Current date/time is Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:01 pm
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[size=21]All this stuff fits into one big matrix: intelligence operations and drug trafficking, politicians and terrorists, military spending and Mob money laundering, UFO hoaxes and Men in Black, computer software back doors and savings & loan failures, corporate espionage and insurance fraud, corrupt judges and wandering bishops, private security firms and very public false flag events… it’s all tied together. This is the Deep State.
— from Crash Gordon and the Illuminati Underground[/size]
[size=66]Those who use mass media to mind-Fudge the public are just as evil as those who ramp up inflation and debt to rip-off the public. Some corporations and government agencies do both. I’m sure you can come up with your own examples, but let me tell you a story about Marsh & McLennan, Kroll, AIG, and a Mormon lawyer on a plane, because I think it neatly encapsulates everything that’s gone wrong with America in the last twenty years.[/size]
I met the Mormon lawyer in 2008, when we both took the same trip to China. He told me he was working as a legal advisor at a hedge fund. Basically, it was his job to tell a bunch of greedy sociopaths how much they could get away with without running into trouble with the law. (If they had the potential to make a huge profit and a few laws stood in their way, I’m assuming it was also the Mormon lawyer’s job to help them skirt around those laws.)
During the long plane flight back to New York, we got into a discussion about AIG, the “too big to fail” insurance and financial services corporation that had been primarily responsible for the 2008 financial coup d’état, which had erased trillions of dollars in shareholder equity from the global markets. People had lost their homes, their jobs, their life savings — all in a matter of months. AIG had kicked-off that economic meltdown by selling massive amounts of insurance, known as credit default swaps, without properly hedging their downside risk or setting aside sufficient capital reserves. As is so often the case with insurance companies, they were happy to sell their policies and rake in the fees, but when disaster struck and it was time to pay the claims, well — they decided they’d rather weasel out of their obligations and socialize the losses.
AIG would be bailed out with 184.6 billion dollars from American taxpayers (nearing bankruptcy, AIG was only valued at 15.4 billion dollars in the stock market at the time of the acquisition). And the thing that particularly galled me, as I told the Mormon lawyer, was that AIG had just announced that a big chunk of that bailout money — 165 million dollars — would be used to pay AIG employees their year-end bonuses, even though the actions AIG had taken during that same year had crashed the global economy.
“If I buy stock in a company that later goes bankrupt, no one bails me out,” I griped to the Mormon lawyer. “I just have to eat the losses. The employees at AIG are in a similar position. They invested their time and labor into a company that should’ve gone bankrupt. So why should the American taxpayers be giving them bonuses on top of their regular paychecks? They’re lucky they still have jobs.”
The Mormon lawyer revealed to me then that his wife worked for AIG. He assured me she was lovely and blameless. Then he asked me a weird question that seemed out of context:
“You probably had a pretty good time in college, right?”
“Sure, I had a great time in college,” I told him. Although I was often drunk and generally promiscuous, I still managed to get good grades and graduate with a degree in economics.
“Well, college wasn’t so much fun for us,” the Mormon lawyer said with a frown. “We’re both Mormon, so we didn’t drink alcohol or go to parties. We just studied really hard, all the time. But our reward for all that studying is that now we work at companies where the salaries are just like anywhere else, but we can count on getting bonuses every year that compensate us for all the hard work we’ve put in. If those bonuses are taken away, then we’re not being rewarded for studying harder than the rest of you.”
My first thought was, What a steaming pile of elitist bullshit! But I tend to be polite on long plane flights, so I didn’t call him on it. Instead, I simply said to the Mormon lawyer that maybe it was okay that his wife was getting a bonus (or his multiple Mormon wives, for all I knew…), but there was no way in hell any bonuses should be handed out to those scheming AIG employees who’d been dealing in toxic, unsecured credit default swaps. They should be getting prison sentences instead. I don’t remember much from the rest of our conversation — it happened around ten years ago, after all — but I’ve never forgotten that lame justification:
We studied harder than you, so we get to work for companies that are ruining the world.
It may not be possible to live in this world without being implicated in its evils, but I mean, c’mon… you shouldn’t go around acting superior when you’re complicit in criminal conspiracies against your fellow humans.
[size=66]Incase you didn’t know, American International Group (or AIG) started out as a subsidiary of C.V. Starr & Co., a global insurance and investment firm founded by Cornelius Vander Starr in Shanghai, China, around 1919. Starr was an American businessman who also happened to work as an operative for the Office of Strategic Services (or OSS) in their ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit during World War II.[/size]
(Here’s a fun fact: Cornelius Vander Starr was the uncle of Kenneth Starr, the prissy, uptight solicitor general who tried to impeach President Clinton for jizzing all over Monica Lewinsky’s pretty blue dress. As if to flaunt his hypocrisy, Kenneth Starr later joined the legal team defending a soon-to-be-convicted billionaire pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, against charges that he was raping and exploiting a bevy of underage girls.)
The OSS, of course, was the wartime predecessor of the CIA. So it’s a sure bet that Cornelius Vander Starr had deep ties to U.S. intelligence agencies throughout his long career as the founder of what was to become the world’s largest commercial insurer. Some researchers have even gone so far as to suggest that AIG is a CIA asset company, which routinely functions as a front for their cut-out operations. But I’m not sure I’m ready to go there, because that would then beg the question:
“Did the CIA deliberately plunge the U.S. economy into a recession in 2008?”
That’s kind of like asking if the CIA had something to do with the Kennedy assassinations, or with the September 11 attacks. It seems likely (they certainly did nothing to stop those national tragedies), but there’s no way to get any clear answers to those questions, because no one at the CIA (or the Mossad) is going to be raising a hand and saying, “Uhm, sorry… that was our bad. We’re the evil bastards who did that shit. But now, thanks to people like Oliver Stone and Peter Dale Scott, we’ve seen the error of our ways, and we promise we won’t be doing any more shit like that shit, ever again.”
(On a lighter note, I find it interesting that a disproportionate number of Mormons work for the CIA. You can look it up if you don’t believe me. Thanks to Fox Business host, Lou Dobbs, they even have their own hashtag: #MormonMafia.)
The dying Cornelius Vander Starr chose Maurice “Hank” Greenberg as his “hand-picked successor” in 1968. Greenberg took over the company just a year before AIG went public, making him an exceedingly wealthy man. It’d be safe to assume Greenberg also took over Starr’s intelligence agency connections and continued to build on them.
(Think that sounds far-fetched? In 1996, Senator Arlen Specter nominated Maurice Greenberg as a candidate for the directorship of the CIA during the first Clinton administration. Although the job eventually went to George Tenet instead, Specter wouldn’t have made the suggestion if Greenberg hadn’t already had extensive dealings with the CIA — as we can infer from the shady history of ex-CIA director George H.W. Bush.)
While serving as CEO and chairman of AIG from 1968 to 2005, Greenberg was also a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a deputy chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, and a major shareholder in the Blackstone Group, Kroll, and Marsh & McLennan. He’s also been a long-time friend of Henry Kissinger, as well as the oldest and largest paying client of Kissinger’s consulting firm, Kissinger Associates.
(Greenberg and Kissinger were still alive and surly at the time I was writing this essay, both well into their nineties — perhaps because they’ve had access to advanced Illuminati medical technology and harvested organs from kidnapped college grads who failed to make their student loan payments. Their lizard-skinned pal, David Rockefeller, made it past a hundred before he finally croaked.)
According to Noam Scheiber in his article, “Sins of the Son,” for New York magazine, Greenberg had built up AIG into the most monstrous conglomerate in the insurance industry by overseeing, among other morally dubious schemes:
[size=21]NOAM SCHEIBER: …a brutally efficient claims division — the part of an insurance company that determines whether the company will pay up on a policy — which kept the number of claims paid out to an absolute minimum. In one famous episode, an AIG subsidiary (along with a handful of other companies) insured the producers of the Broadway musical Victor/Victoria against the event that the show’s star, Julie Andrews, would be unable to perform because of illness. According to the Wall Street Journal, the policy cost about $150,000 and promised up to $2 million for missed performances, and $8.5 million if Andrews had to drop out of the show altogether. But when Andrews missed a series of shows, costing the producers more than $1.5 million at the box office, the AIG-led consortium refused to pay, insisting that Andrews had provided two false answers in the health questionnaire she filled out when purchasing the policy.[/size]
Some might say Greenberg was in the business of betrayal, lying to separate people from their money. He seemed to enjoy being the predatory king of the insurance industry, but in 2005 Greenberg was forced to resign from AIG by “the big bad wolf of Wall Street,” New York’s then attorney general, Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer had gone out of his way to prove that several of the world’s largest brokers and insurers were conspiring to rig quotes for commercial clients in an effort to maximize commissions, stifle competition, and cheat their customers. More specifically, Spitzer had charged Greenberg and AIG’s chief financial officer, Howard I. Smith, with civil fraud, alleging that they’d personally conceived and negotiated deals with Berkshire Hathaway to create the appearance of insurance reserves where none existed, while engaging in other sham transactions to disguise their underwriting losses.
AIG ended up paying more than 1.6 billion dollars to settle the fraud charges in February of 2006. A year earlier, a similar lawsuit brought by Spitzer against the world’s then-largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan, had resulted in an 850 million dollar settlement and the ouster of Marsh & McLennan’s CEO, Jeffrey W. Greenberg — Maurice Greenberg’s son.
A predilection for accounting fraud apparently runs in the family.
(It’d be fair to say that Spitzer had it in for the Greenbergs. He’d told Marsh & McLennan’s directors, “If your company wants a settlement that permits survival, a threshold demonstration of reform means transition to new leadership.” Essentially, he was calling for Jeffrey Greenberg’s metaphorical head on a pike. New Yorkers know what came next: Spitzer was elected governor in 2007, but he’d screwed himself out of that job by 2008. You have to wonder who tipped off the public to Spitzer’s predilection for prostitutes. It would be fair to say that the Greenbergs had it in for Spitzer — but then again, so did a lot of other white-collar criminals. Swindle the public for a billion dollars or more and we’ll give you a pass, but you’d better not get caught screwing around outside your marriage while you hold a public office. That’s what the mainstream media has taught us: kinky sex with your socks on is bad, but wanton thievery on a massive scale is A-okay.)
Between AIG and Marsh & McLennan, Spitzer had clawed back roughly two-and-a-half billion dollars from those two Greenberg-run companies to compensate the clients they’d ripped off. So we’re talking serious fraud, because you have to assume that the settlement amount was only a small fraction what they really got away with. The Greenbergs are obviously people you don’t want to do business with — unless you’re in deep with the Deep State.
It’s also obvious that AIG didn’t mend its ways after its directors ousted Maurice Greenberg in 2005. He remained one of the largest investors in AIG and he was primarily responsible for AIG’s entry into the credit default swap business that doomed the company in 2008. As Igor Greenwald at Forbes magazine wrote:
[size=21]IGOR GREENWALD: AIG got to death’s door by denying the financial reality all around it. And Greenberg is a reality denier like few others. Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stone has called his lieutenant, Joe Cassano, who ran the AIG-FP subsidiary that sold the ill-fated default swaps, “Patient Zero” of the global financial epidemic. If so, Hank Greenberg was the infection… he forgot to tell new management that Cassano had carte blanche to gamble with the company’s balance sheet.
Cassano was such a bully, according to Michael Lewis, that when subordinates belatedly learned that the mortgage derivatives on which they’d written protection were vastly toxic they only had the courage to urge him not to write any more, but not to start cutting their already massive exposure.
And after Cassano walked away from the global financial wreckage with hundreds of millions in his bank account, he had the gall to tell the inevitable crisis postmortem panel that AIG’s losses were caused by its auditors and regulators, suggesting all that subprime exposure would have worked out just fine if AIG had been left alone. It was basically a preview of Greenberg’s claims against the government.[/size]
About those claims: In 2011, Maurice Greenberg sued the federal government (and thus U.S. taxpayers) for 25 billion dollars, contending that AIG had been overcharged for the bailout that had rescued it from bankruptcy. Never mind that in 2010, Greenberg had cashed in 278 million dollars worth of AIG stock that would have been worth nothing if the government hadn’t stepped in. And never mind that Greenberg had paid yet another multi-million dollar fine, in 2009, to settle an SEC investigation into his further adventures in accounting fraud. Greenberg’s personal net worth floats somewhere between three and four billion dollars, but he sued because he was super-pissed that the government had charged AIG a 14% interest rate on its bailout funds, when some bailed out banks were charged less. Jon Stewart responded to that on “The Daily Show” by calling Greenberg a “rich and shameless” crybaby:
[size=21]JON STEWART: Your loan terms were worse than the banks’ because you were insolvent. You should know how that works — you’re an insurance company. Putting the screws to people in their lowest moments is what you do. So the essence of Greenberg’s argument appears to be the banks got special treatment that AIG did not get, to which I say welcome to the f-cking world, buddy, because that’s what we’ve been mad about forever. You’re angry that they wouldn’t lend to you at less than 14 percent? Yeah, we hate it too, only we call it having a credit card. And we don’t sue over those rates, because we can’t.
In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA.
— Dennis Dayle, former chief of DEA CENTAC[/size]
[size=66]You might think that ripping-off your clients for a few billion dollars, then initiating the sequence of events that crashed the global economy, and subsequently suing U.S. taxpayers for 25 billion in the litigious equivalent of a hissy fit would be more than enough criminal activity for any one man to get up to during his lifetime — but you’d be mistaken in that assumption. Hank Greenberg very likely used AIG to get into the drug money laundering business in a big way, as well. Here’s where the Rabbit Hole gets deep and starts branching off into dozens of dark and depressing passageways. There’s not enough time to properly explore them all here, but just to give you a glimpse, I’ll focus on one particular office manager (or “Staff Counsel” as her business card described her) hired by AIG at their in-house San Francisco law firm in 1994 — a woman known as Coral Marie Talavera Baca Lehder.[/size]
Let’s just call by her maiden name, Coral Talavera, for short….
Coral Talavera was the Latina femme fatale who contacted journalist Gary Webb in 1995 to offer him the secret federal grand jury transcripts that got him started on his famous “Dark Alliance” series for the San Jose Mercury News, in which he reported that the Reagan-endorsed Contra rebels in Nicaragua (acting with the full knowledge and protection of the CIA) had been selling crack cocaine on the streets of Los Angeles to finance their vicious insurgency against the socialist Nicaraguan government. You can watch Coral Talavera being played by Paz Vega in Kill The Messenger, a film about Gary Webb that flopped at the box office due to a screwed-up marketing campaign and a quick retraction from movie theaters that bore some similarities to the inept marketing of They Live.
Former LAPD officer and investigative journalist, Michael Ruppert, followed up on Gary Webb’s research and contacted Coral Talavera because he’d heard she was engaged to Carlos Lehder — the co-founder, with Pablo Escobar, of the Medellin Cartel. I’ll tell you more about Carlos Lehder’s strange history in a moment, but while I’m doing that, you should be asking yourself this: Why would AIG permit a sexy young Latina (who is not a lawyer), to represent herself as Staff Counsel for its in-house San Francisco law firm? Could it have anything to do with her close, personal connection to one of the world’s most notorious cocaine barons?
Maybe it was only coincidence. Some people just seem to luck into their connections: for instance, the actor Tommy Lee Jones had Al Gore as his roommate at Harvard (and CIA entertainment liaison officer, Chase Brandon, as his cousin); and Carlos Lehder had George Jung as his cellmate at the minimum-security Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury, Connecticut. Some of you might be asking, “Who the hell is George Jung?” Others might recall that Johnny Depp portrayed him in the biopic, Blow, which is all about George’s crazy exploits with Carlos back in the seventies and eighties, when those two feckless, fun-loving entrepreneurs were responsible for importing roughly 85 percent of all the cocaine coming into America.
But before all that got started, George was doing time at Danbury in 1974 for being a pot smuggler who got caught with over 600 pounds of primo bud while staying at the Playboy Club in Chicago. Carlos was in for stealing cars, but he had some grandiose ambitions about becoming a full-on drug lord. After they got out of prison in 1975, the two aspiring criminals seemed to complement each other perfectly: George had a network of pot-smuggling pilots already in place, at a time when flying small planes below radar level (and landing on dry lake beds) was an easy way to get drugs across the U.S. border; he also had Hollywood connections that would help turn cocaine into a status symbol on par with champagne and caviar. And Carlos had some serious Colombian connections that could give him access to a near-infinite supply of cheap cocaine. Back then, you could buy a kilo of coke in Colombia for four or five thousand dollars and then sell it in the U.S. for sixty grand. George and Carlos went into business together — along with some other fine folks like Pablo Escobar, Barry Seal, and some helpful agents at the CIA and the DEA. Soon, they were making millions on a daily basis.
The movie made their partnership look fun while it lasted. Unfortunately for George, Carlos also happened to be a Hitler-obsessed megalomaniac with a mind like a ruthless industrialist. In 1978, he betrayed George by stealing his Hollywood connections and forcing him out of their joint operation. Carlos then used some of his excess capital — around 4.5 million dollars — to buy up most of an island in the central Bahamas called Norman’s Cay, which he transformed into his base of operations (or into a lawless, drug-fueled, orgy-hosting private fiefdom — depending on who you talk to…). Located just over 200 miles off the coast of Florida, Norman’s Cay had its own airstrip — which made for easy refueling of the drug-smuggling planes coming in from Colombia, before flying on to the U.S. — and just as important, the island was a tax haven that came with easily bribed Bahamian government officials and very few residents or tourists, largely due to the fact that no one wanted to go swimming off its shores: the crystal blue water surrounding the island was always swarming with hammerhead sharks.
(It’s worth mentioning here that the single largest shareholder in AIG, until its 2008 taxpayer-funded bailout, was the Starr International Company — which is controlled by Maurice Greenberg, of course, and headquartered in nearby Bermuda — another island tax haven surrounded by sharks.)
With the Norman’s Cay operation in full swing, Carlos was soon elevated into the skuzzy ranks of the world’s billionaires.
In retrospect, putting George Jung and Carlos Lehder together in the same Danbury prison cell almost seems like divinely-sanctioned destiny (especially if you share the Gnostic belief that a hostile, jealous god, known as the Demiurge, created this calamitously fucked up world and now rules it, maliciously, with the help of a puppeteered power elite made up of people like Hitler, Carlos Lehder, Maurice Greenberg, and Henry Kissinger…). Everything just fell into place for Carlos and George. The world generously provided them all the sex, drugs, and discretionary income they could handle.
But then poor Carlos had a run of bad luck. A 1983 NBC news report shamed the corrupt Bahamian government officials into finally taking action. They froze all the cocaine-trafficking-related bank accounts they could find and shut down the Norman’s Cay operation. Carlos went on the run in the Colombian jungle, where he fell sick with a fever (hallucinating that he was surrounded by monkeys jerking off to sad eighties hair metal power ballads). He was finally captured and extradited to America in 1987. At his 1988 trial, U.S. prosecutor Robert Merkle stated that Carlos Lehder was to cocaine smuggling what Henry Ford (another Hitler booster) was to cars. As a reward for his Henry Ford-ish business acumen, Carlos was handed a life sentence, plus 135 years, without possibility of parole.
His old partner, George Jung, ran afoul of the law in 1994, after getting caught with nearly a ton of cocaine in Topeka, Kansas. George drew a 60-year sentence, but he was released in 2014 — after serving less than 20 years — and rumors suggest that Carlos has been a free man for even longer. In 1992, in exchange for his agreement to testify against the Panamanian military dictator (and long-time CIA asset), Manuel Noriega — fondly known as “Old Pineapple Face” among Panama’s beleaguered citizens — Carlos Lehder’s sentence was reduced to a total of 55 “non-paroleable” years. But “non-paroleable” apparently meant different things to different people. The previously mentioned US prosecutor, Robert Merkle, told Michael Ruppert in 2001 that he’d been “speculating for years that Lehder was free.”
Which brings us back to Coral Talavera. On June 28th, 1998, retired DEA Agent Celerino Castillo met Talavera at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills that featured Gary Webb as a speaker. According to Castillo (talking to Michael Ruppert, who was also at the fundraiser): “She said, straight out, that she was engaged to Carlos Lehder.” When Castillo asked her what Carlos was up to, Talavera allegedly said, ‘Oh, he’s out of jail and selling drugs to the Russians for the CIA.’”
Castillo is the author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War. In a later phone conversation with Coral Talavera, which Castillo recorded, Talavera claimed that Carlos Lehder had been released from prison in March of 1995 and they were married in the fall of 1998. When Ruppert asked Castillo about the possibility of Talavera running an elaborate ruse, Castillo replied:
[size=20][size=21]CELERINO CASTILLO: Look. You almost have to go to more trouble to justify the notion that (Lehder’s) in prison than you do to justify the position that he’s out…. (Coral) had a powerful position at AIG that would be jeopardized if she were exposed as making this up. Why would someone go to all this trouble to make people think she’s his wife? It’s not something you would put on a résumé…. What does she gain by that? I know that some people insist he’s still in jail but why won’t the government just say so? Instead, you have this big mystery that only deepens the legend. Who benefits from that? Who profits from the confusion?[/size][/size]
[size=21]When Carlos Lehder was tried and sentenced in 1988, he was allowed to keep almost 3 billion dollars worth of assets in a move that was severely criticized by the prosecuting attorney, Robert Merkle. Where did all that money go? Michael Ruppert has suggested that it might have been hidden in a major insurance company with cash flows large enough to conceal it. He was talking, of course, about AIG.[/size]
[size=21]Ruppert felt like he’d taken a step closer to the truth when he was tipped off to a company called Coral Reinsurance (or Coral Re) in Barbados. It had been founded in secret by AIG in 1987 — the same year that Carlos Lehder had been apprehended and extradited to America. Its two primary shareholders, in addition to AIG, were Goldman Sachs and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, which, according to Ruppert, had been “voluminously linked” to allegations of drug money laundering during that whole Iran-Contra clusterfuck featuring Barry Seal (who’d been operating out of the Mena Regional Intermountain Airport in Arkansas — Bill Clinton territory).[/size]
[size=21]Was it just another coincidence then, that Coral Reinsurance featured Coral Talavera’s name? Reinsurance companies cover other insurers against catastrophic losses that could wipe out a single company; it’s a way for insurance companies to pool their risk. But reinsurance companies also can be used to commit accounting fraud (as we saw in the lawsuit that Eliot Spitzer brought against AIG for is criminal use of Berkshire Hathaway’s General Re), or they can be used to hide and launder drug money, as Coral Talavera pointed out to Michael Ruppert one day while they were having lunch. Talavera insisted that neither she nor her husband, Carlos, had anything to do with Coral Re — but then she would, wouldn’t she, if three billion dollars was at stake.[/size]
[size=21]And just like the selling of crack on the streets of Los Angeles to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, you have to assume that none of this could have happened without the full knowledge and protection of the CIA.[/size]
[size=21]Other journalists have already established AIG’s deep connections to US intelligence agencies. (Here’s another fun fact: One AIG board member, Frank Wisner Jr., had a dad who’d been a key figure in the creation of the CIA; Frank Wisner Senior had been in charge of the Operation Mockingbird program, among other dubious accomplishments.) As Michael Ruppert wrote: “The seemingly mundane insurance business is, in fact, one of the primary weapons of intelligence gathering around the world.” Cornelius Vander Starr was an architect of its use during World War II and Maurice Greenberg has continued that use up to the present day — with the only difference being that now the weapon of intelligence gathering seems to be directed at us — ordinary citizens, just trying to live our ordinary lives with our small, ordinary pleasures. As Ruppert concluded in Part Two of his “Hostages” investigation into Coral Talavera and AIG, published on August 14th, 2001:[/size]
[size=20][size=21]MICHAEL RUPPERT: Perhaps no one knows more about your life, not even your immediate family, than the various companies who insure you. Your health, finances, work history, medical records, driving habits and almost every other aspect of your life is recorded in insurance files and records. Is this necessarily something you want available to the CIA or any part of the government? Remember that the CIA doesn’t operate under the law or respect privacy. What happens then when a giant like AIG winds up insuring parts of the government or major businesses that violate your rights or break the law?[/size][/size]
[size=21]Ruppert had plans to write a Part 3 to his investigation, but he soon found himself distracted by a much bigger criminal conspiracy: the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.[/size]