Several years ago Colonel Cutolo obligated me to bring the enclosed affidavit forward in the event of his death.
In 1980 Col. Cutolo died in an accident while on a military exercise. Just prior to his death he notified me that he was to meet with Michael Harari, an Israeli Mossad agent. It is my belief, though unsubstantiated, that Harari murdered Col. Cutolo because of the information Col. Cutolo possessed.
In the event of Col. Cutolo's death, I was told to discreetly contact Col. Baker which I did. I believe that Col. Cutolo died in his attempt to prove that Operation Watch Tower was not sanctioned by the proper authorities. (see attached affidavit)
Col. Baker enlisted the aid of Col. Nick Rowe, and between Col. Baker, Col. Rowe, and myself, we set out to prove that Harari murdered Col. Cutolo, and that Operation Watch Tower was an unsanctioned illegal operation, which netted Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil of the CIA a large sum of tax -free dollars.
Prior to getting very far into the investigation, Col. Baker died while in command of the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. Col. Baker did not live long enough to see Edwin Wilson arrested for trafficking arms to Libya.
The Libyan situation has two sides to it. First Wilson claimed top CIA officials approached him to go to Libya under the "guise" of trafficking arms, while in actuality gathering intelligence. In this situation (active duty) special forces at Ft. Bragg were approached by Wilson to go to Libya to train troops. The Special Forces verified the fact that Wilson was with the CIA and went along. The second side was the prosecution's theory of the events at Wilson's trial. The prosecution contended that Wilson didn't work for the CIA and duped the Special Forces into helping him. Wilson was convicted and is currently in the Federal Prison at Marion, Illinois, as I am sure you are aware.
One of the CIA officials Wilson claims were involved in the Libyan situation was Thomas Clines [a deputy to CIA officer and top Cercle member Ted Shackley, in tern a protege of former CIA director Richard Helms]. Thomas Clines is named in Col. Cutolo's affidavit by Wilson as being in charge of Operation Watch Tower. Thomas Clines was recently named in the Iran-contra affair for his failure to declare monies earned in that affair.
Col. Baker, Col. Rowe, and myself concluded after failing to verify through various intelligence contacts the existence of Operation Watch Tower, that the operation was run entirely on the authority of Thomas Clines, Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil.
A pattern emerged from the Libyan situation in which Clines, Wilson and Terpil were involved, that was identical to Operation Watch Tower. The similarities we noted were:
- Thomas Clines named as CIA agent in charge, but behind the scenes.
- Wilson, as the front man, running the operations.
- Unauthorized use of U.S. Military Personnel to implement both of the operations.
- Large sums of money involved either relating to arms or to drug trafficking.
- U.S. interests don't appear to have been served by either operation.
Considering these similarities and the most recent issue of Clines' involvement in withholding taxes stemming from the Iran-contra affair, the possibility of Edwin Wilson being sent to Libya, as he claimed, to gather intelligence is very possible.
Suppose Clines, Wilson and Terpil were each separately involved in Operation Watch Tower, as Col. Cutolo's affidavit sets out. Wilson would not have hesitated to go to Libya for Clines, if Wilson thought it was sanctioned by the company. At the same time, if Clines was trying to erase all ties to Operation Watch Tower and Wilson there would never have been a better opportunity for Clines to rid himself of the connection than by sending Wilson on an unsanctioned mission to Libya.
It's also interesting to note that Frank Terpil, who played a minor role in Operation Watch Tower and who was involved in the Libyan situation, is still at large, but sought by the U.S. authorities. It's possible that Terpil helped Clines set up Wilson.
Wilson claimed during his trial that Clines had a debt to Wilson in excess of a million dollars. Where did Wilson or Clines earn that amount of money legally? It presents a substantial motive for Clines to set Wilson up, aside from the motive of Operation Watch Tower a secret. So the story of Edwin Wilson was reviewed by us. We were left with doubts as to his guilt in the Libyan situation. We had no doubt as to the guilt of Thomas Clines, who we suspect was the master mind behind Operation Watch Tower.
After Col. Baker died, Col. Rowe and I located Hugh B. Pierce, named in Col. Cutolo's affidavit. Pearce was then assigned to the National Air Guard in Wilmington, Delaware.
Chief Warrant Officer Pearce verified that Col. Cutolo had given him a copy of the affidavit Col. Cutolo had written. Mr. Pearce verified that Col. Cutolo had openly discussed the entire affidavit with him. We never established how Mr. Pearce and Col. Cutolo became acquainted. Mr. Pearce also verified that Col. Cutolo was due to meet Michael Harari in England just prior to Col. Cutolo's death. Mr. Pearce told us that Col. Cutolo referred to Pearce as his "ace in the hole." We never established what that meant.
Mr Pearce did refer Col. Rowe to an address at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and the name of Larkin Smith. Smith turned out to be a state politician and Col. Rowe and I made plans to discreetly meet with him in the latter part of 1989, within weeks after our communication with Smith, Col. Rowe who had been assigned to the Philippines was assassinated.
It is interesting to note, that although authorities in the Philippines arrested a person with communist ties and beliefs and charged him with the murder of Col. Rowe, Michael Harari was in the Philippines for three days just prior to and after Col. Rowe's murder. Coincidence? It is my unsubstantiated belief that Harari murdered Col. Rowe or arranged it.
I believe Harari's motive for murdering Col. Rowe was due to Col. Rowe's inquiries about Harari's movements and relationships to Edwin Wilson, Thomas Clines and Manuel Noriega.
In June 1989, Mr Pearce was killed in a helicopter accident. The accident has a story of its own I was told.
Both Col. Rowe and Mr. Pearce agreed to go public, after meeting with Larkin Smith, to call for a full investigation into the events described in Col. Cutolo's affidavit. Both men died prior to the meeting with Smith.
On August 13, 1989, Larkin Smith Died in an airplane accident. Whatever he knew, I assume died with him.
Col. Rowe did verify most of the information that is written in Col. Cutolo's affidavit, which relates to the murder of Elaine Tyree. Col. Rowe's last message to me was to remain silent unless he was killed. Col. Rowe said if something happened to him, to find you or Col. Charles Beckwith. Col. Rowe stated that you had made it known that you were told about the U.S. government facilitating the drug flow out of the Orient. Col. Rowe said that you would believe myself and Col. Cutolo's affidavit before Col. Beckwith would.
Col. Rowe was skeptical of the whole matter until he spoke to Col. Baker, Mr. Pearce and William Tyree who is incarcerated in Walpole Prison, Walpole, Mass. After speaking to Tyree, Col. Rowe received documentation from Tyree which prompted Col. Rowe to make inquiries up to the time of his death. I never reviewed the material Tyree sent to Col. Rowe so I cannot comment on it.
Col. Rowe decided I should stay out of the spotlight and act as an anchor to alert you if anything happened to him.
I have not contacted you prior to now because I am very ill and wanted my final days free of intrigue, which this matter presents. On my death which I understand could be soon, I have left this letter, the affidavit, and instructions with a (NSA) co-worker. This person will find you, if you are still alive when I die. If you're dead this person will locate Col. Beckwith. If you're both dead, only the affidavit signed by Col. Cutolo will be sent to the major newspapers.
There are several suggestions and footnotes to the entire matter.
First; check with your contacts in the intelligence field, it is not uncommon for Israeli Mossad agents to kill Americans who the Israelis deem a threat to the security of Israel. (Inquire off the record of the murder of Pentagon scientist, Dr. Gerald V. Bull to confirm this fact) [Editors note: Bull was shot dead in his doorway 22 March 90 after a rocket gun of large caliber, capable of launching chemicals 3,000 miles to Israel, was intercepted en route to Iraq.]
With the recent invasion of Panama and arrest of Noriega, Operation Watch Tower assumes a new reason to be made public and investigated. It is clear from Col. Cutolo's affidavit that George Bush knew or should have known about Operation Watch Tower. With Mr. Noriega no longer in power, the Bush administration has helped install one president and two Vice-presidents in Panama who will continue to launder the drug money the CIA receives from drug operations world wide as described in Col. Cutolo's affidavit.
How much longer, and how many more will be murdered, die accidentally, or be discredited through incarceration so that the poppies and coca leaves can fund the secret wars of the CIA? Will Latin America be the next secret CIA war as was the case in Vietnam? And how many of our service people will die fighting there?
The final note to the entire matter of Operation Watch Tower is speculation. Col. Baker, Col. Rowe and I believed that Thomas Clines, with the aid of Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil orchestrated Operation Watch Tower outside the sanctioned "Loop" of the U.S. Military and Intelligence community at large, but with full CIA auspices. We believe Operation Watch Tower was in part, if not full, run on authority of Task Force 157 which Wilson was in charge of.
Col. Rowe discreetly inquired about the mission of Task Force 157 in Feb. 1989, and the exact role of Wilson in Task Force 157. Col. Rowe was curious to learn whether or not the Israeli Intelligence Network in Latin America or the Middle East played any role in the Task Force. Col. Rowe was specifically inquiring as to whether or not Michael Harari or David Kimche were named as parties in this task force. I believe this Feb. inquiry by Col. Rowe tipped off Harari, who then murdered Col. Rowe to keep him from asking questions.
Col. Rowe told me in our last telephone conversation that he would be receiving the documentation necessary to show that Wilson and Harari had known each other. After that call, Col. Rowe was murdered.
Since the Israeli Mossad openly trafficks in arms and drugs in Latin America, a theory that Clines, Wilson, Terpil, Harari, and Noriega engaged in Operation Watch Tower is very easy to believe at this time, especially following the Libyan situation and the Iran-contra affair.
With the deaths of Col. Cutolo, Col. Baker, Col. Rowe (and Col. Robert Bayard named in Col. Cutolo's affidavit) it is hard to believe the deaths of these men are not the work of the Israeli Mossad. It is equally easy to attribute the death of Col. Cutolo, directly to Operation Watch Tower inquiries.
Worst case scenario is that there are three army colonels named in Col. Cutolo's affidavit aside from Col. Cutolo who are now dead-is there a connection? Did Harari and Wilson meet the planes in Panama after they flew out of Colombia with cocaine? Did Clines set Wilson up in the Libyan situation to cut Wilson out of the million dollar profit accumulated from Operation Watch Tower?
To the best of my knowledge, Col. Rowe learned what he did outside regular channels so I don't know the name of the other two soldiers or where their names came from. It's possible that was the information Larkin Smith retained. It all fits, this entire scenario carried over from Operation Watch Tower directly into the Iran-contra affair with the same characters.
For your information a copy of the affidavit will be sent to the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. This is in the event you desire to go forward to the press with your own statement and facts that you may find while investigating Col. Cutolo's affidavit. The men who have died so far that worked on this project were good men. It can't be proven that their deaths were the result of their involvement in this project, but I believe we owe it to them to investigate this matter and establish the true reason they were killed. They attempted to let the public know what really occurred in Latin America, and in the never-ending drug flow. I'm sorry I am unable to carry the work any further.
This is now your Pandora's Box. I leave it in your hands. I have instructed the affidavit be sent to the newspapers. Hopefully this will help you get it out in the open and investigated if you so choose. I'm sure Col. Rowe would not have referred me to you or Col. Beckwith unless he was sure that you would do your best with getting this information into the open. Good luck.
~ Paul Neri
I, Edward P. Cutolo, having been duly sworn, do state under oath;
1. I am currently the Commanding Officer of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
2. I swear affirmation to the contents of this affidavit freely and without coercion or threat to my person.
3. In Dec., 1975, I spoke with Col. "Bo" Baker concerning a classified mission he commanded during that month, inside Colombia. The mission was known as Watch Tower.
4. Following a lengthy discussion with Col. Baker, I was introduced to Mr. Edwin Wilson and Mr. Frank Terpil. Both Wilson and Terpil were in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency. Both Wilson and Terpil inquired if I was interested in working for short periods of time in Colombia and I acknowledged that I was.
5. In Feb., 1976, I commanded the second Watch Tower Mission into Colombia. This mission was 22 days long and ended with only one reportable incident occurring between team members and a Colombian army unit. There were no fatalities received by Watch Tower team members. There was no indication that the Colombian army unit sustained fatalities.
6. The purpose of Operation watch Tower was to establish a series of three electronic beacon towers beginning outside of Bogota, Colombia and running northeast to the border of Panama. Once the Watch Tower teams (Special Action Teams) were in place, the beacon was activated to emit a signal that aircraft could fix on and fly undetected from Bogota into Panama, then land at Albrook Air Station.
7. During the Feb., 1976, Watch Tower Mission, 30 high performance aircraft landed safely at Albrook Air Station where the plane were met by Col. Tony Noriega, who is a Panama Defence Force Officer currently assigned to the Customs and Intelligence Section. Noriega normally was in the company of other PDF officers known to me as Major Diaz-Herrera, Major Luis del Cid, Major Ramirez. Also present at most of the arrivals, was Edwin Wilson, and an unidentified male Israeli national.
8. The cargo flown from Colombia into Panama was cocaine.
9. The male Israeli national was identified and known to members of the 570th Military Intelligence Group in Panama who only specified that this individual had the authority from the U.S. Army Southern Command in Panama to be in the A.O.
10. In March, 1976, a third Watch Tower Mission was implemented and I was in command of that mission which lasted 29 days and engaged in the same tactics used in the Feb.,1976, mission. The March mission encountered a serious accident and resulted in several SAT members being injured from wounds suffered while attempting to exfiltrate from Colombia across the border into Panama where helicopters were waiting to extract them.
11. The March, 1976 mission incident occurred as the SAT that was on station at Turbo, Colombia, encountered 40 to 50 armed men. Action Intelligence reports identified the armed men as local bandits. In regards to this incident the helicopters waiting in Panama, to extract the SAT, entered Colombian air space without authorization and successfully extracted the SAT, after an estimated six or seven minute fire fight.
12. During the March, 1976, Watch Tower Mission, 40 high performance aircraft landed safely at Albrook Air Station where they were met in the previously related fashion by those named.
13. After the Watch Tower Mission in March,1976, I lost touch with several of the men who had served on the SATs, but made no attempt to locate them
14. In 1978, I assumed command of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort. Devens and recognized two soldiers.
15. The two soldiers I recognized were assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). One was assigned to a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha in the 3rd Battalion, Sgt. John Newby. The other had just been reassigned off an Operational Detachment Alpha following a criminal Investigation Division matter being levied against him. PFC William Tyree. Tyree was reassigned to a Forward Support Team but had been carried for the preceding month on 2nd Battalion's roster.
16. Upon the assumption of command, I created and implemented 12 separate SATs. Their mission was to implement Army Regulation 340-18-5 (file number 503-05). My authority for this action came directly from FORSCOM through Edwin Wilson who appeared before me in my office at 10th Special Forces Group Headquarters. This action was taken to develop surveillance of politicians, judicial figures, law enforcement agencies at the state level, and of religious figures.
17. Mr. Edwin Wilson explained that it was considered that Operation Watch Tower might be compromised and become known if politicians, judicial figures, police and religious entities were approached or received word that U.S. Troops had aided in delivering narcotics from Columbia into Panama. Based on that possibility, intense surveillance was undertaken by my office to ensure if Watch Tower became known of, the U.S. government and the Army would have advance warning and could prepare a defense.
18. I was under orders not to inform Col. Forrest Rittgers, Commanding Officer of Ft. Devens. The reason for this order I was told, is that in the event Ft. Devens personnel are caught in the act of implementing the surveillance, Col. Rittger will have a margin of plausible deniability on which he may be able to downplay and defend against injuries.
19. The surveillance was unofficially dubbed Operation George Orwell based on the theme of the surveillance and the George Orwell published work 1984.
20. I instituted surveillance against Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Edward King, Michael Dukakis, Levin H. Campbell, Andrew A. Caffey, Fred Johnston, Kenneth A. Chandler, Thomas P. O'Neill to name a few of the targets. Surveillance at my orders was instituted at the Governors' residences of Massachusetts, Maine, New York, and New Hampshire. The Catholic cathedrals of New York and Boston were placed under electronic surveillance also. In the area of Ft. Devens, all local police and politicians were under some sort of surveillance at various times.
21 I specifically used individuals from the 441st Military Intelligence Detachment and 402 Army Security Agency Detachment assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group to supplement the Sats tasked with carrying out Operation Orwell.
22. I also recruited a number of local state employees who worked within the ranks of local police and as court personnel to assist in this Operation. They were veterans and had previous security clearances. They were told at the outset that if they were caught they were on their own.
23. Among the SAT personnel was (then) SP4 William Tyree. Tyree had learned of the Operation and requested in person to be part of it. Tyree was used in less than a dozen surveillances.
24. In Oct., 1978, it became known to me that SP4 Tyree was receiving telephone threats to his wife and himself. He made that fact known to his First Sergeant, Fredrick Henry and then approached me. Following our discussion, I considered placing Tyree under surveillance to arrive at who was behind the threats and whether or not the threats had the potential of inspiring or compromising Operation Orwell.
25. On 26 Dec. 1978 I began a file on SP4 Tyree and assigned a three man surveillance SAT to the multi-dwelling apartment complex SP4 Tyree shared with his wife. That unit was in place from that date until 14 Feb. 1979.
26. On 5 Jan. 1979, Tyree appeared before me to receive a Field Grade Article-15 (non-judicial punishment) for his part in the theft and sale of military property. I had to make an example out of Tyree and instituted the most severe punishment possible. I concluded that with pending congressional inquiries, the Post Commander (Col. Rittgers) would reverse my decision on appeal, in Pvt. Tyree's favor. As reason to support this conclusion, in addition to pending congressional inquiries, was the fact that the proceedings against Pvt. Tyree were flawed from the outset of the investigation with a number of discrepancies.
27. I was told and understood that the main reason for seeking the Article-15 against him was to make an example of him. To show others that cooperation with the Command law enforcement agencies was mandatory.
28. On 26 Jan. 1979, Pvt. Tyree tendered his Appeal of my sanction. The appeal is attached. It is the best example of what proof existed against Pvt. Tyree when he came before me on 5 Jan. 1979. It also names the characters in another matter that was unfolding as of 26 Jan. 1979.
29. By 29 Jan. 1979, Senator Garn's office had contacted the Army Liaison Office in Washington D.C., on the behalf of Pvt. Tyree who referred the matter to my office, as I was Pvt. Tyree's commanding officer. I then notified Sgt. Doucette in Washington D.C., that it would be approximately two weeks before further action could be taken in regards to the threats Pvt. Tyree was receiving. At that point I knew the threats were taking place, but had not ascertained from whence they originated.
30. At approx. 0945 hours on 30 Jan. 1979 Pvt. Tyree reported to my office at 10th Special Forces Group Headquarters per my instructions. Pvt. Tyree reported that between 2400 hours and 0100 hours of the previous night that his wife had received another threatening phone call. I was notified of the call by the SAT in place at the tyree residence prior to speaking with Pvt. Tyree. I ordered Tyree to keep this matter to himself as it was being investigated. I notified Pvt. Tyree I would contact him between 1200 and 1300 hours at his duty station as soon as I could look into a matter that pertained to the threats. This meeting lasted until 1019 hours.
31. On 30 Jan. 1979, at approx. 1147 hours, two men were dropped in the parking area of the apt. complex that Pvt. Tyree resided within. One man was identified as Erik Aarhus. The second man due to his face being covered could not be identified as the two men entered the apartment building that the Tyree family resided within. Surveillance indicates that at least one of the two men entered the Tyree apt. and left prior to the arrival of Pvt. tyree and his wife at noon.
32. On 30 Jan 1979, at noon Pvt. Tyree and his wife were seen arriving at the apartment complex they resided in. Pvt. Tyree never exited his truck and Mrs. tyree entered the building where their apt. was located. After she disappeared, a car almost ran into Pvt. Tyree as he was leaving the complex parking lot. Mrs. Tyree was stabbed to death in their apt. shortly thereafter.
33. Following a scream, local police were notified. (this was not known to the SAT involved in the surveillance however.) The first police car responded quickly and a single officer entered the building where the Tyree family resided. After the officer entered one of the two men exited from a window on the ground floor of the building. This widow was identified as the Tyree bedroom window. The man seen leaving this window was identified as SP4 Earl M. Peters. Peters exited the window wearing blue denim, with a red hood sticking out of the rear neck area of the blue denim jacket. He was carrying a box, green and white in color and described by the SAT a long and flat in appearance. Peters then walked from the building to the driveway entrance of the apt. complex and walked in the general direction of the main street in Ayer, Massachusetts. Within 5 or 6 minutes after the first police officer arrived a second officer identified as the police chief arrived.
34. After the police chief arrived a third vehicle arrived. This was 10 to 15 minutes later. That vehicle carried an unknown man in his late 30s. He was later identified as the landlord of the Tyree apt.
35. Upon knowledge that Mrs. Tyree was dead the SAT did notify me of this fact and I did place Pvt. Tyree under intense surveillance. In addition I placed SP4 Peters under surveillance and at approx. 1405 hours on the afternoon of the murder Sp4 Peters signed a weapon (12 gauge shotgun, Remington 1100) into the Service Company. The weapon was in a long, flat green and white box bearing the name "Remington" across the front and back sides.
36. Pvt. Tyree was questioned and cooperated in a limited fashion. He was then taken to the 441 Military Intelligence Detachment where he slept on the Commanding officers couch, under guard. The following morning, I spoke to him in my office at 10th Special Forces Group Headquarters. I informed him of the surveillance and of what I knew had occurred to his wife. He knew at that point that SP4 Peters and Pvt. Aarhus had been involved in the murder and he began to talk to me.
37. Pvt. Tyree admitted, on 31 Jan. 1979 in my office to me, that his wife had been killed, he felt, because of a set of diaries she kept. Tyree explained that SP4 Peters and Sp4 Rosario were named throughout the books as being involved in illegal matters on and around Ft. Devens. I knew Rosario had been alleged to be involved in such matters and knew the information could be true. Then Pvt. Tyree admitted that his wife knew of Operation Watch Tower and Orwell, as he had seen it in her diaries the previous night. Pvt. tyree swore he didn't reveal the Operations to her and I believed him. Tyree didn't know where the diaries were at this time.
38. Upon Pvt. Tyree leaving my office, I initiated contact with Mass. State Police Lieutenant J. Dwyer, of the Middlesex District Attorneys Office. Lt. Dwyer had cooperated previously on Operation Orwell and understood the urgency of the situation and Lt. Dwyer notified me that during a search of the Tyree apt. he discovered the diaries behind the refrigerator with a note to the family of Elaine Tyree. He did not disclose the contents of the note.
39. Shortly before noon on 2 Feb. 1979, I received a telephone call from Lt. Dwyer indicating he would drop off the diaries belonging to Elaine tyree at my office. Upon receipt of the diaries I reviewed them, noting much of Operation Watch Tower and Orwell was written about throughout the many pages of the diaries.
40. After my review, I contacted Col. Moore of the U.S. Army Liaison in Washington D.C., and notified him of the scope of the issues involved in the murder of Elaine Tyree. I did notify him at that time of the possibility that arms and narcotics trafficking played a role in her murder. Due to security issues surrounding Operation Watch Tower and Orwell, I did not indicate how the arms and narcotics trafficking figured in the murder of Elaine Tyree, however.
41. Despite repeated warnings to stay out of the investigation and to remain silent, Tyree was arrested on 13 Feb. 1979, after attempting to bring about the arrest of Pvt. Aarhus The surveillance SAT reported that an armed confrontation between Pvt. Tyree and SP4 Peters occurred prior to the arrest of Tyree.
42. During Feb. 1979, Pvt. Tyree was arraigned on the pending civilian criminal charges. It was too risky to allow a military court to review the charges against Pvt. Tyree with Operation Orwell still ongoing and Senator Garn's office requesting a full investigation. Pvt. Tyree therefore had to stand before a civilian court of law on the criminal charges.
43.Prior to the arrest of Pvt. tyree, Lt. Dwyer approached me and insisted on knowing whether or not Tyree had ever served in Vietnam. I suspect Lt. Dwyer was attempting to learn if Tyree's involvement in the military operations elsewhere were being covered up the way Operation Watch Tower was. I replied in the negative, that Tyree had never been in the Republic of South Vietnam. I then contemplated for the first time that Tyree might go public on Operation Watch Tower and Orwell because I had not come forward. Based on that conclusion, I gave orders to erase certain parts of his military records.
44. Actual information erased included the attendance of Pvt. Tyree at certain service schools and references to overseas service. I ordered all records to be erased that linked Pvt. Tyree to Operation Watch Tower or Orwell. Service schools and badges I know were erased were " Paper Flash Special Forces Qualification," "Crewman's Aviator Wings," " Canadian Airborne Badge," and "Master Parachute Badge." I also gave orders to disenfranchise Pvt. Tyree from Special Forces. I wanted no one standing up for him and in the process dragging the information concerning Operation Watch Tower into the public eye.
45. Unbeknownst to him, Pvt. Tyree underwent a hearing on the criminal charges in a local courthouse, under surveillance of Operation Orwell. I learned through transmissions that Tyree only spoke of defense issues with his attorney, but never mentioned Operation Watch Tower or Orwell. In the process of Pvt. Tyree's hearing, a state police officer from Lt. Dwyer's office discovered the state courthouse was under surveillance. This led to the arrest of the senior Court Officer Ira Kiezer, who took full responsibility and never mentioned my office.
46. After the hearing concluded, the presiding judge in the Tyree matter found no reason to bind Tyree over for the trial on the murder of his wife. I found myself faced with the possibility that Pvt. Tyree, upon release, would become angered at my decision to disfranchise him. So I approached Lt. Dwyer who informed me that an indictment had already been secured for Tyree and that he would stand trial for the charge of murder. Lt. Dwyer expressed concern that there would not be enough evidence to warrant a guilty finding against Tyree. Lt Dwyer indicated that the only person with enough credibility was SP4 Peters. I could not inform Lt. Dwyer that Peters had been the person responsible for Elaine Tyree's murder.
47. After weeks of consideration, I concluded that the security of Operation Watch Tower and Orwell came first and AR 340-18-5 strictly prohibited the disclosure of intelligence gathered pursuant to that regulation.
48. On 29 Feb. 1980, Pvt. Tyree was convicted of murder and will spend the duration of his life incarcerated. I could not disseminate intelligence gathered under Operation Orwell to notify civilian authorities who actually killed Elaine Tyree.
49. The current intelligence on Archbishop Romero (El Salvador) indicates he is in receipt of physical evidence supporting several allegations that the U.S. is currently with Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama covertly training and sponsoring freedom fighters attempting to overthrow the current regime in Nicaragua; that these freedom fighters are also being supported from funds arising from Operation Watch Tower in part; that Mr. Robert D`Aubuisson (El Salvador) secretly aided the freedom fighters by allowing U.S. Advisors to train the freedom fighters inside El Salvador, that D`Aubuisson was contacted by Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil prior to the freedom fighters being trained inside El Salvador. This information made it necessary to protect Operation Watch Tower and Orwell regardless of the costs.
50. I have been in communication with Lt. Dwyer. In Nov. 1979, after some prodding, Lt. Dwyer and the Middlesex District Attorney went to the Mass. Supreme Court and attained a ruling that prohibits any court but the Mass. Supreme Court from ordering the arrest of suspects in the Tyree murder. I am told that this is without precedent and that normally any court can issue arrest warrants for suspects in a murder. This will ensure that only Tyree and Aarhus are arrested for the murder and that SP4 Peters will not have to be subjected to having to defend himself on the witness stand. That also could bring the about the entire matter being made public as by this time, I'm sure SP4 Peters is acutely aware that something is afoot, or he would have been arrested when the hearing in the local courthouse was held.
51. I mailed the diaries of Elaine Tyree to a post office box number in Langley, Virginia, per instructions of Edwin Wilson who contacted me by telephone concerning the diaries. Wilson also notified me of the intelligence on Archbishop Romero.
52. I reviewed the diaries prior to mailing them. The diaries contained most of the information on SP4 Peters, as Pvt. Tyree indicated they did. I suspect that this was the motive for Peters' killing Elaine Tyree. The diaries contained no mention of Pvt. Tyree or his alleged illegal dealings. I suspect that Elaine Tyree only wrote in the diaries relating to soldiers other than her husband, who were involved in illegal activities in and around Ft. Devens.
53. The diaries kept by Elaine Tyree mentioned certain personal entries that can corroborate the fact that I saw the diaries, that they exist, and that the information contained within them is accurate. There were numerous entries relating to Elaine Hebb Tyree's family in Maryland and her friends in the army.
54. Jan. 1978 entry: "Rosemary got a job with the FBI and has to be in Washington D.C. by Jan. 31, 1978. Cindy and Edie got out of the hospital today (Thursday)."
55. From reading the entry on Cindy and Edie I suspect the actual date of their release from the hospital was 12 Jan. 1978. But no specific date was given, nor was the hospital named that they were admitted to.
56. Jan. 1978 entry: "Rosemary will be leaving for Wash. D.C., on Sunday. I may ride back with her."
57. From reading the entry on Rosemary driving to Washington, I suspect the actual date Rosemary left the Hebb family home in Cumberland, Maryland to travel to Washington, possibly with Elaine Tyree, was 29 Jan. 1978. No actual date was given in the diaries, nor was there further mention whether or not Elaine Tyree actually rode `back with her.'
58. Nov 1978 entry: "SP5 Scott had a little baby girl. She was due in July. I remember her back before she came to Ft. Devens."
59. From reading the entries on SP5 Scott which begin to appear in the diaries around April 1978, I suspect this female was a member of a unit Elaine Tyree was assigned to either at Ft. Lee, Virginia, or at Ft. Mc Clellan, Alabama. In either case, this is an intimate fact obviously known only to elaine Tyree, as no one else would need or knowledge about when another female friend gave birth, and the gender of the baby born to that female friend.
60. Jan.-Feb. 1978 entries. "I've been running around with Heidi Urban. We go all over together when I don't have duty. Oh, yeah, Diary, Pat Imbu left in mid-January."
61. From reading the entries on Heidi Urban the main fact appears obvious is that Elaine Tyree is then at Ft. Lee, Virginia. That Pvt. William Tyree is not present as he is at Ft. Devens. Mass. Other that Elaine and Heidi, no one, specifically not Pvt. Tyree or myself could know that Elaine and Heidi are `running around together' at that time, unless these facts are represented in the diaries maintained by Elaine Tyree in her own handwriting. Elaine Tyree was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, Quartermaster School.
62. Nov. 1978 entry: "Dear Diary, my brother Steven who has been stationed in England for a over a year, is coming home on the 20th for good."
63. From reading the entries on Steven, I learned that he is currently assigned to an Air Force Base in England and that Elaine Tyree got along well with him.
64. rom further consideration and reading entries on SP5 Scott., I conclude that Elaine Tyree knew this female at Ft. Lee, Virginia, in the sense that both Scott and Elaine Tyree underwent the same training there. I don't gather from the entries that SP5 Scott married or had a name change between her duty at Ft. Lee, Virginia, and Ft. Devens, Mass., but I could be forgetting of overlooking the numerous personal entries in the diaries in an attempt only to view data pertinent to Operation Watch Tower or Orwell.
65. Nov. 1978 entry: "Peters came by the apartment today. Bill spoke with him in the front room while I was washing dishes. Peters is thinking about buying a new truck. Bill asked Peters if he was going to have Dennis Testagrossa steal this new truck and burn it so Peters could collect the insurance the way Peters had the last time? Peters laughed and said the payments are better on this truck than the one he had Testagrossa steal from the parking lot of Carlin's Bar. This was the first I knew that Peters was involved in the stealing of his own truck. Peters told me Bill was not involved because at the time Bill was under too much attention."
66. To date, I have not actually seen proof that Pvt. Tyree was involved in illegal activities. I have seen ample proof that he is foolish and eager to do things his way, since Pvt. Tyree's involvement in the March 1976 Watch Tower incident with the 40-50 armed Colombians.
67. I have detailed pertinent events in this affidavit should something happen to me. The lug nuts have been loosened on my car tires twice in the past week. I have had someone tamper with my car once and I have received telephone calls at my home where no one answered at the other end. I have seen other men involved in Operation Watch Tower meet accidental deaths after they were also threatened.
68. Sgt. John Newby reported that he had received threats just prior to the parachuting accident that claimed his life in Oct. 1978. It was at that time that (then) SP4 Tyree began to report threatening phone calls. I saw a pattern and still believe that a pattern exists.
69. I gave Col. Baker the original copy of this affidavit. I have true copies to Hugh B. Pearce, and to Paul Neri of the National Security Agency and instructed each person to deliver this affidavit to the authorities in the event something occurs to me.
70. I believe the friends I have entrusted with the original and copies of this affidavit will place the National Security of the United States and American interests in Latin America first, and if circumstances allow, will bring this affidavit to the attention of the authorities in the event something occurs to me.
71. During the conversation with Edwin Wilson I was informed of the sensitive data related to Archbishop Romero. He also spoke to me concerning operation Watch Tower and the geopolitical climate in Latin America and the need to maintain security. I notified him that I had requested to release intelligence gathered from Operation Orwell to civilian police authorities involved in the Elaine Tyree murder and that the Staff Judge Advocate's Office had denied the request.
72. Edwin Wilson explained that Operation Watch Tower had to remain secret and gave these reasons: (1) If it became public knowledge it would undermine present governmental interests as well as those in the future. (2) There are similar operations being implemented elsewhere in the world. Wilson named the "Golden Triangle" of Southeast Asia and Pakistan. Wilson stated in both areas of the world the CIA and other intelligence agencies are using the illegal narcotics flow to support forces fighting to overthrow communist governments, or governments that are not friendly towards the U.S.. Wilson named several recognized officials of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, Korea, Thailand and Cambodia as being aware and consenting to these arrangements, similar to the ones in Panama. (3) Wilson cited the military coup in Argentina in 1976, the coup in Peru in 1976, the fall of the Somoza Government in Nicaragua in 1979, and the growing civil war in El Salvador as examples of the need for operations like Watch Tower. As these operations funded the ongoing effort to combat communism and defeat actions directed against the United States or matters concerning the U.S.
73. Edwin Wilson explained that the profit from the sale of narcotics was laundered through a series of banks. Wilson stated that over 70% of the profits were laundered through the banks in Panama. The remaining percentage was funneled through Swiss banks with a small remainder being handled by banks within the U.S. Wilson indicated that a large portion of the profits are brought into the banks of Panama without being checked. I understood that some of the profits in Panamanian banks arrived through Israeli couriers. I became aware of that fact from normal conversations with some of the Embassy personnel assigned to the Embassy in Panama. Wilson also stated that an associate whom I don't know also aided in over seeing the laundering of funds, which was then used to purchase weapons to arm the various factions that the CIA saw as friendly towards the U. S. The associates name is Tom Clines. Wilson indicated that most of Operation Watch Tower was implemented on the authority of Clines.
74. I was notified by Edwin Wilson that the information forwarded to Wash. D.C., was disseminated to private corporations who were developing weapons for the Dept. of Defense. Those private corporations were encouraged to use the sensitive information gathered from surveillance on U.S. Senators and Representatives as leverage to manipulate those Congressmen into approving whatever costs the weapons systems incurred.
75. Edwin Wilson named three weapons systems when he spoke of private corporations receiving information from Operation Orwell. (1) An armored vehicle. (2) An aircraft that is invisible to radar. (3) A weapons system that utilizes kinetic energy. I got the impression this weapon was being developed either for use by Nasa or for CBR purposes. I wrote down what I recalled at the time and it is attached.
76. Edwin Wilson indicated to me during our conversation while entailed the dissemination of Operation Orwell information and the identification of the three weapons systems, that Operation Orwell would be implemented nationwide by 4 July 1980.
77. As of the date of this affidavit, 8,400 police departments, 1,370 churches, and approx. 17,900 citizens have been monitored under Operation Orwell. The major churches targeted have been Catholic and Latter-Day Saints. I have stored certain information gathered by Operation Orwell on Ft. Devens, and pursuant to instructions from Edwin Wilson have forwarded additional information gathered to Wash. D.C.
78. Per orders from Edwin Wilson, I did not discuss the implementation of Operation Orwell with my staff or others outside of the personnel assigned to surveillance. The only matter discussed with Operation Orwell personnel was what the SATs needed to know in order to carry out their mission. Certain information was collected on suspected members of the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg group. Among those that information was collected on were Gerald Ford and President Jimmy Carter. Edwin Wilson indicated that additional surveillance was implemented against former CIA director George Bush, who Wilson named as a member of the Trilateral Commission. I do not have personal knowledge that Ford, Carter or Bush were under surveillance.
79. I spoke to Col. James N. Rowe on 5 March 1980. I specifically requested that Col. Rowe communicate with several contacts he has within the CIA. I asked Col. Rowe to check out Edwin Wilson. I had two concerns. The first was that Edwin Wilson may pose a threat to National Security by disseminating classified information on the CIA's activities to personnel without a clearance or a need to know that information. Edwin Wilson, during his conversations with me, outlined information that was classified and to which I had no need to know. Information that pertained to the activities of the CIA in the U.S. and Latin America. I've related such conversations with Wilson herein. The second concern I had was the issue of his authority and connection to Thomas Clines. I was told repeatedly that Clines was the agent in charge and that Wilson worked with Clines. Col. Rowe indicated that he would make inquiries I requested and would contact me with that information as soon as he had something. Col. Rowe indicated that it would be 60 to 90 days before he would speak to the CIA contact that was most apt to have knowledge of the information I requested. I agreed to meet Col. Rowe on Ft. Bragg the next week in June in the event Col. Rose received documentation relating to the information I sought.
80. On 7 March 1980 Col. Rowe contacted me. During the course of our conversation Col. Rowe informed me that his initial inquiries with CIA contacts confirmed that Edwin Wilson was working for Thomas Clines at the times in question. Col. Rowe indicated that Edwin Wilson was under scrutiny by the CIA at that time but had not been given the details of the circumstances surrounding the events of that matter. Col. Rowe also indicated that there was an Israeli aspect to the matter involving Edwin Wilson and Col. Rowe provided the name of David Kimche as being the Israeli most likely to be involved with Edwin Wilson. In regards to my concerns that Edwin Wilson posed a possible threat to national security or to the inner working of the CIA, Col. Rowe indicated that off the record, that was a concern of several people to whom he had spoken. Col. Rowe also indicated that he would be in receipt of documentation by the first week of June which listed Edwin Wilson's involvement in several operations. I specifically asked Col. Rowe if he had the names of any of those operations at this time and his reply was in the negative. Col. Rowe did indicate that it was his understanding that each operation had basically the same characters involved and Col. Rowe named two other individuals involved with Edwin Wilson. Col. Rowe named Robert Gates and William J. Casey as officials who had been named in the documentation he would acquire prior to our scheduled meeting on June 1980.
81. On 7 March 1980 after my conversation with Col. Rowe, I made inquiries through Paul Neri and Pentagon contacts and was informed that David Kimche had ties with the Israeli Intelligence Agency known as "The Mossad." I also asked that I be provided a photograph, if any existed, of David Kimche. I requested such a photograph to determine if Kimche was the unidentified male Israeli national who met the aircraft fling into Albrook Air Station during Operation Watch Tower. In addition, I sought whatever photographs existed on those who were known associates of David Kimche for the same reason.
82. In March 1980 I received three photographs from Army Intelligence contacts at the Pentagon. Amongst the three photographs were two individuals I recognized. David Kimche's photograph had been shown to me by a friend, Col. Robert Bayard just prior to his murder in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977. According to Bayard, Kimche was due to meet with him later. Shortly thereafter, I was informed through the normal lines of communication that Col. Bayard was murdered. As of this date his murder remains unsolved. The photograph of Kimche that Col. Bayard had appeared to be a surveillance photo. There is no doubt that Kimche was the person Bayard named as being in the photograph. According to Col. Bayard, Kimche was due to meet with him to discuss a matter that related to Col. Bayard's previous duty in the U.S. Army and assignment in the CIA.
83. Thee second individual I recognized from the three photographs I received, was listed as Michael Harari. I was informed that Michael Harari is listed as a senior Mossad agent. Harari was the un identified male Israeli national that met the aircraft which flew into Albrook Air Station during Operation Watch Tower. He was the one who gave Edwin Wilson two briefcases full of U.S. currency in various denominations. The briefcases were given to Edwin Wilson at the end of operations in March and Feb. 1976. It is my understanding from Pentagon contacts, that Harari's activities in Latin America are well known, including his drug trafficking endeavors. I was also informed from those same contacts that the Pentagon on the orders of several Washington VIPs have gone to great lengths to keep the activities of Harari a secret. I have begun preparations to meet with David Kimche or Michael Harari while in Europe on annual NATO exercises. I intend to verify that Harari was the individual who gave Edwin Wilson the briefcases while at Albrook Air Station during Operation Watch Tower.
84. I was told from Pentagon contacts, off the record, that CIA Director Stansfield Turner and former CIA Director George Bush are among the VIPs that shield Harari from public scrutiny. Those Pentagon contacts further indicated to me their knowledge that Operation Watch Tower was implemented and of my involvement in that operation. This was the first time that U.S. military authorities confirmed to me that the Operation occurred and gave their approval. I also learned that Harari was a known middleman for matters involving the U.S. in Latin America. Harari acted with the support of a network of Mossad personnel throughout Latin America and worked mainly in the import and export of arms and drug trafficking.
85. As further means to corroborate this affidavit, on 9 Feb. 1979 , I spoke to Col. Rittgers concerning the release of Pvt. Tyree from Walter Reed Medical Center in Wash. D.C., where he had been admitted on 5 Feb. 1979. Col. Rittgers notified me that Pvt. Tyree had fully recovered from the depression which was brought about by the murder of Elaine Tyree. Col. Rittgers indicated that upon arrival at Ft. Devens later that day, he would interview Pvt. Tyree to determine for himself if Pvt. Tyree felt he was in any real danger.
86. I also spoke to Captain Gruden who was the Commanding Officer of the 409th Army Security Agency Company, Augsberg, Germany. The telephone call was brief and I inquired into what information PFC Tina Gregory might be expected to give in support of Pvt. Tyree's trial defense. The surveillance of the civilian court house in the early stages of the criminal proceedings against Pvt. Tyree indicated PFC Gregory could have knowledge of Operation Watch Tower since PFC Gregory and Elaine Tyree were very close friends. I was not able to learn much from Cpt. Gruden who was leaving his office when I called. In order not to attract attention to the value of the information PFC Gregory may or may not have, I passed the entire phone call off as being interested on the part of Pvt. Tyree who was in my command.
SIGNED UNDER THE PAINS AND PENALTIES OF PERJURY ON THIS 11TH DAY OF MARCH 1980
Edward P. Cutolo
Wired magazine | Monday, 22 April 2013
"This is a story about an extreme miscarriage of justice. It involves the CIA, the US Army and a shitload of cocaine." "If you want to, you can question anything to death," says director Eric Stacey, his melodic Californian drawl coming slow and steady down the line. "But my point of view is, if enough people are writing about the same thing from different backgrounds and perspectives, there's got to be something to it."
Stacey, who grew up in old Hollywood watching his father work alongside Hitchcock and Capra, is speaking about his film Affidavit, currently posted on crowdfunding site USA Projects somewhere between a holocaust memorial made from six million toothpicks and Claud Zeeb's Love Utopitility Vehicles (we're not sure either).
If made, Affidavit will dramatise the story of army private William Tyree Jr, currently serving a life term at a maximum security prison in Massachusetts for ordering colleague Erik Aarhus to kill his 22-year-old wife Elaine. Stacey believes he is innocent, and if the promise of a shitload of cocaine isn't enough to entice, how about the CIA supporting Panamanian drug trafficking, army personnel deliberately withholding information that could free Tyree and widespread surveillance of the judiciary by intelligence services?
US officials were fully aware drug traffickers were also using their airstrips.
In 1980 the courts alleged that Elaine Tyree's murder was financially motivated -- Tyree, stationed at Fort Devens, had taken out life insurance policies in the months preceding his wife's death. An affidavit allegedly penned a few months later by Colonel Edward Cutolo -- in command at Fort Devens -- recounts a far more sinister motive. It details his, Tyree's, and CIA and Army personnel's involvement in and knowledge of Special Forces missions enabling the transportation of cocaine from Colombia to Panama's Albrook Army Airfield to help in the funding of, among other things, Manuel Noriega's apparent fight against communism. It also recounts details of surveillance at Tyree's home that would have exonerated the private.
It's pretty incredible stuff, pointing the finger of blame at CIA officials including Edwin Wilson (later convicted of illegally selling arms to Libya), that may or may not have been operating with the agency's direct knowledge. In the years 1975-76, according to Cutolo's affidavit and Colonel James "Bo" Gritz's book Called to Serve, operation Watchtower involved the erection of beacon towers to allow low-flying planes to operate undetected between Bogota and Albrook. Follow-up operation Orwell was allegedly an effort to monitor politicians, judges and churches in case word of Watchtower got out. Wired.co.uk has not seen an original copy of Cutolo's affidavit, but has a photocopied version of a Colonel William Wilson's affidavit verifying the facts. Wilson, a well-respected former Green Beret and investigator for the US Army Inspector General, spent five years investigating Cutolo's affidavit, interviewing 200 people including former members of the CIA.
Though Wired.co.uk cannot attest to the authenticity of the document, it appears to have been notarised by an official contracted by the State of Florida.
It's such an extraordinary story that it's easy to cry conspiracy theorist. In its historical context, however, it begins to sound less far-fetched. The alleged missions took place in the years preceding the Iran-Contra affair, an arms-for-hostages scandal that saw the US break an arms embargo with the Middle Eastern nation amid allegations of related funds being diverted to anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua, known as the Contras. An investigation, the John Kerry Committee report, found "foreign policy considerations [had] interfered with the US's ability to fight the war on drugs", US officials maintaining airstrips used in "covert Contra supply operations" were fully aware drug traffickers were also using the strips, and the State Department contracted four companies owned and operated by drugs traffickers "to supply humanitarian assistance to the Contras". It does not go as far as saying the CIA was complicit, but the implication that it was routinely turning a blind eye to illegal activities to the benefit of US foreign policy -- and detriment of US citizens as drug imports spiked -- was clear.
We live in an information wilderness, and that's no accident.
~ Eugene Jarecki, Director
Why then is Tyree's story, just a few years before the Iran-Contra affair and a few years after Watergate, so hard to believe? Why, despite historical context and testimony, is it still so ridiculous to believe government is so at fault? Why is the conspiracy theorist sidelined in a world where our expectations of state morality have been so diminished? "We live in an information wilderness," political documentary maker Eugene Jarecki tells Wired.co.uk, "and so conspiracy theorists have been made a laughing stock by government and their friends in the media, because of course it's a good idea to marginalise critics and turn them into people that shouldn't be taken seriously. What better way to undermine them? Donald Rumsfeld referred to the information wilderness as information asymmetry -- his goal was to maintain information asymmetry over his adversaries, but who were his adversaries? Was it Al Qaida, the Iraqi people? I think the real answer, in part, is the American people."
Jarecki has spent his career challenging the status quo and asking uncomfortable questions. The subject matter of his films -- racially and socially-motivated US drug policy in The House I Live In, and the US government routinely misleading the public into war in
Why We Fight -- could have seen him marginalised as a conspiracy theorist. But with credentials like two Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prizes to his name, Jarecki's musings have more sway than an imprisoned army private's.
"Mainstream media and official investigations have not adequately pursued legitimate stories"
~ Jonathan Marshall, Author, Cocaine Politics
He argues that a government-induced information wilderness inevitably breeds theorists like himself and Stacey: "When you have an information asymmetry, no wonder you're made to feel ridiculous hypothesising about what's going on. When we're deprived of the information necessary to understand what our government is doing, we're left to hypothesise about the particulars of a story like the Iran-Contra."
[Gary Webb video]
There are plenty of examples of US government involvement, to some degree, in enabling drug trafficking (see George Washington University'sNational Security Archives). But over the years stories have gained little traction. In 1996 investigative reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News on Contras smuggling cocaine to LA and the CIA turning a blind eye to ensure funds trickled back to the rebel group (which, since the Boland Amendment was passed, Reagan could no longer openly financially support). "His allegations have never been undermined in any meaningful way by those in power," comments documentary-maker Jarecki, yet Webb's publishers backed away from the story as controversy stirred. If it wasn't for the internet, Webb said, his story might not have reached so many people, having been published by a local newspaper. Webb struggled to find work again over the years, before his suicide in 2004. "There's no question the mainstream media is reluctant to write about events well documented, and incidences of wrongdoing involving official agencies and drug trafficking,"
Jonathan Marshall, author of Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, told Wired.co.uk. "And that reluctance helps breed speculation. It lends credence to the idea that there is some suppression of truth going on. It's partly because there's a well-deserved feeling that mainstream media and official investigations have not adequately pursued legitimate stories; it opens the door for conspiracy theorising."
Jarecki argues the US government has repeatedly used "threats" to national security to pursue any interest it sees fit -- this agenda is widely picked up in the press, and perpetuated by sidelining tales of "rare" wrongdoings. In the case of Watchtower and Orwell, both fit nicely into the anti-communist interest of the day.
Read more Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) "National interest becomes a relevant and guiding term in the shaping of public policy," he says. "Reagan had a personal agenda to be an anti-communist, that made him see Iran-Contra activities as a no-holds bar approach to preventing the spread of communism -- he believed it was so worthy one would stop at nothing to pursue it, even violating the principles of democracy supposedly to defend it. When US Congress blocks him from being involved with the Contras because of their human rights violations, in an act that symbolises the great disconnect between what the public wants and what Reagan wants, he figures he'll get money elsewhere."
So if an individual like Stacey senses there is something awry, an injustice or a false truth, how do they relay it in a meaningful way? Moreover, how can it have any affect on a public opinion already so under duress by ideological propaganda?
Kendrick Oliver, reader in American History at the University of Southampton, suggests an inherent problem in communication is that "truth tellers" believe it is simply enough to do just that: speak their truth. "The Vietnam My Lai massacre happened in March 1968 and was revealed in November 1969. It was a subject of major headlines with visual content of atrocities. But it didn't change opinion. By that point in the Vietnam war those opposed were opposed -- people continued to support the war and a President persevering the reasons: communism. You assume if you throw content in the direction of an audience then like a magic bullet it will affect consciousness and opinions, balance and consensus. I'm less certain that's the case."
Oliver points to The Death Of Others, by Executive Director of MIT's Centre for International Studies John Tirman, in which the research scientist highlights the indifference demonstrated by the American public to the death toll of "those we fight and those we fight for". Tirman wrote the book after a press release sent out by his department revealing civilian casualties in Iraq stretched to the hundreds of thousands, made no splash whatsoever. "He subsequently wrote this book on American responses to reports of civilian casualties from World War I to the Vietnam War and found more or less the same thing," says Oliver. "There are arguments it's to do with American frontier ideology, but I don't know too many examples where a nation anywhere has been called to conscious. There's a pattern, whether it's indifference or an unwillingness to spend one's time thinking about these things."
For this reason, Oliver does not believe Affidavit can have the effect its creator is hoping for. "It sounds like a noble gesture, and I hope it gets made, but I do wonder whether it will find an audience or whether the audience will just be the usual suspects that like to listen to these things. So it won't actually make much of a difference."
Nevertheless, he continues, "There's a need for these films to be made to hasten a kind of accounting; to make the public more aware of the things government has been doing behind the scenes".
Aside from finding an audience, director Jarecki believes Stacey's project may also struggle to find funding due to its conspiracy theory rhetoric. "There's nothing wrong in what I read in the suggestions of
Affidavit, but there is if you read it as someone being asked for crowdfunding." "You have to walk very carefully, because it's become easy to be marginalised as a conspiracy theorist if you try to define what the wizard's doing behind the curtain. It's almost like you're looked down upon if you express your democratic right -- no, obligation -- to ask questions about the running of your government. Information asymmetry is designed to leave those of us who critique the system in a state of looking ridiculous. We are not ridiculous."
Trouble is, even those in the know are skeptical about the "truths" behind the affidavits. Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- whose book on US involvement in Golden Triangle drug cartels the CIA attempted to quash -- does not hold much stead in Tyree's claims. "Personally I'm skeptical about the agency having direct involvement," he told Wired.co.uk. "It's not how they work. Usually they have a mission to affect a certain outcome with minimal intrusion, working with operatives to create a favourable climate such as a change of government. They disappear completely, knowing assets are in place."
Cocaine Politics author Marshall agrees: "I've covered that period and not seen any independent verification of Watchtower or any event mentioned here. I would be very cautious before I put much faith in it. In my view there was direct involvement with people in drug trafficking, but the CIA was not involved directly with drug trafficking. It's not as if the CIA has a small budget. There's ample legitimate material out there, and I'm sure there's many things we don't know, but it's important to be scrupulous checking new claims."
Sources have disputed that Tyree was ever a member of the Special Forces (though both Cutolo and Wilson's affidavits point to his record being expunged to remove evidence of Watchtower and Orwell), turning the army private into something of a comic figure and common liar. Others have likewise been ridiculed for their theories. Colonel Bo Gritz for instance, who also claims he worked on Watchtower, went on to carry out dubious Rambo-style rogue trips to rescue US POWs in the 80s, thought to still be held in Vietnam and Laos. The missions were resoundingly seen as a farce and a failure. If that weren't enough to discredit the soldier of fortune, he also fears the implementation of a New World Order and was a candidate for Vice President of the extremist US Populist Party (of which former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was also a member). But William Shatner reportedly bought the rights to his life story, so it can't all be bad...
Nevertheless, if Wilson's affidavit is accurate, the facts are damning. It states that the courtroom Tyree's case was held in was bugged (claims separately corroborated and in point 17 of this appeals court document dismissed because nothing worthwhile was taped), witnesses admitted they were coached in testimony by investigating officer Chief William Adamson and Tyree's attorney did not raise the fact that his home was searched without a warrant (this meant no inventory was taken and a diary Elaine allegedly kept containing details of Watchtower and Aarhus' criminal activities was never recovered).
Wilson argues the case against Tyree was largely circumstantial, and on reading the details this seems partially true. The prosecution highlights Tyree's changing story, witnesses saying he talked about having his wife killed and the fact Adamson thought he was "emotionless". Wilson also points out that Tyree was, unusually, given an honourable discharge: "We do not recall one case during our military careers in which we have seen this type of discharge given to a soldier convicted of murder." There are plenty of hairy details in between, though, that call to question its authenticity. For instance, Tyree's commanding colonel Cutolo conveniently alleges in his affidavit that Watchtower was implemented under the authority of CIA operative Thomas Clines, the same operative who would later be found to be deeply entrenched in the Iran-Contra affair. Clines involvement in the scandal occurred years after Cutolo allegedly penned the affidavit in 1980. However, copies of it online are purported to have emerged in 1990, giving Tyree or any sympathisers a decade to put together a false affidavit naming those who had already had their reputations tarnished or linked to 80s scandals.
I, like anyone else confronted with shady government doings in a world where information is everywhere and easily accessible, remain skeptical. If there haven't been several books and news reports written about it, it's hard to trust. Only when it has that body of work behind it, and public acknowledgement, does it seem tangible enough to grab hold of.
People also abide by the formulas and structures built to sustain them: the government sustains my way of life; I trust the government. But it is also part of the human condition to cast that formula aside and question everything the moment a personal slight is experienced. The death of a parent makes one question the things they took for granted; in war, death makes us question everything as we inevitably search for reasons. Colonel Wilson knew this better than most, his part in the My Lai Massacre investigation revealing what atrocities may be committed, and concealed, in the name of preserving public opinion. Around 400 unarmed men, women and children were slaughtered on that March day in Vietnam. But just one lieutenant, William Calley, was convicted, his life sentence lifted two days later by President Nixon before being adjusted to three and a half years house arrest. Nixon, and the army, utterly negated Wilson's investigative efforts, efforts of the press, and the deaths of those 400 people. Culpability was washed over, military law rendering those no longer in the service untouchable and the US President stepping in to singlehandedly pardon the only individual charged. The press's ability to let these things pass, is ever present today. Former Guatemalan ruler Efraín Ríos Montt is currently standing trial for the brutal genocide of the indigenous Mayan population 1982-3, and mainstream news items give fleeting mention to Reagan's support for the dictator.
Mainstream press don't even mentioning conspiracies, except to ridicule them.
For Stacey, the betrayal of authority was closer to home, if a lot less gruesome.
Midway through our interview, the director assures me he is not simply a man obsessed with conspiracies. "I watched the Masters yesterday," he says softly, "I like to go fishing... It's odd, I really don't know why I'm committed to this kind of film." He pauses quite suddenly then, an afterthought: "My father was killed on a movie set in 1969 and there was a coverup by the studio of the circumstances because they wanted to avoid a costly lawsuit... The more I found out about that, I guess the deeper my feelings for this kind of corruption and duplicity were established."
For Stacey, it might be about righting a wrong and shedding light on an undeniably shady part of US history. But it's also about telling people, it's ok to question; it's ok to make use of your democratic right to interrogate your government.
You may not have a law degree or a voice among lobbyists, but you still have a voice and it's ok to use it. "I'd just like to open the door for projects to question the status quo," he says. "Twenty years ago or more there were a number of films that cast the CIA as a sort of evil empire.
And since then we've come full circle to mainstream press not even mentioning conspiracies, except to ridicule them. It's important mainstream film audiences become open to questioning what may or may not be true."
Affidavit may also provide Stacey with a little peace of mind. As assistant director his father worked alongside filmmaker Frank Capra, famed for capturing small town USA nostalgia on screen. He also produced seven "information films", readying the US public for war at the behest of the Pentagon. Today, Stacey hopes to ready the US public to question the lengths we go to perpetuate that small town idealism, at home and abroad.
Eric Stacey is seeking $75,000 (£50,000) in funding to produce the film. Crowdfunding closes 22 May at midnight.
pbs.org, 2010 My Lai documenary, 'Biography: Selected Men Involved with My Lai'
William Wilson was asked by the Office of the Inspector General to conduct an inquiry to determine if Ron Ridenhour's letters to Washington, D.C. had any merit. A World War II Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient, Colonel Wilson was regarded as a highly respected, "no nonsense" combat veteran.
Wilson held face-to-face interviews with the people involved, beginning with Ron Ridenhour at the end of April, 1969. On May 2, Wilson interviewed Lawrence LaCroix, who was the first to back up Ridenhour's claim of unnecessary civilian casualties. LaCroix also mentioned that Hugh Thompson had filed a complaint following the operation, a complaint Wilson had heard no previous mention of. Midway through the month, Wilson interviewed Captain Medina, who admitted that Henderson had been directed to conduct an investigation. This information was a red flag to Wilson, who was still unable to locate such a report.
On May 27, Wilson interviewed Colonel Henderson, who initially claimed that his informal investigation revealed nothing alarming, but later in the interview admitted that he handed off the formal investigation to Colonel Barker. The reason the report was missing, he suggested, was due to the disorganization in the Chu Lai headquarters and Barker's death the previous summer.
In June, Wilson interviewed Hugh Thompson, and in July Paul Meadlo. Private Meadlo was the first to personally confess his guilt. This closed any question in Wilson's mind about Ridenhour's claims, and he presented his findings to the Office of the Inspector General in Washington on July 17th.
With this presentation, additional interviews with Meadlo, and a consultation with the Judge Advocate General in Washington, authorities at Fort Benning decided to press charges against Lieutenant Calley on August 19, 1969.
One month later, General Peers was appointed to investigate the cover up. Peers' investigation led the United States Army to charge more than 25 men for crimes related to the cover-up of My Lai. A separate investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division lead to charges against both Calley and Medina as well.
The one mentioned in the Wired magazine article, which is supposed to back up the Cutolo affidavit. This is an incomplete photocopy of the affidavit with only 9 of the 18 pages available. The reader can read Colonel Wilson's biography above.
David MacMichael. Bo Gritz. Brenneke.
Tyree talked about WATCHTOWER. Carone involved in WATCHTOWER.
"28. ... We found that Colonel Albert Vincent Carone, had been involved in WATCHTOWER, and his MI connections stopped any investigation. This caught our attention upon learning that Colonel Carone died in January 1990. MI personnel were twice as reluctant to reopen this investigation as it involved narcotics trafficking and money laundering by Colonel Carone, and several important United STates government figures.
29. ... Mr. Colby confirmed that he had known, and worked with Colonel Carone. Mr. Colby also confirmed that Colonel Carone had been good friends with William Casey (former DCI 1981-1987), General Richard Stilwell, (U.S. Army Special Forces: the father of Intelligence Support Agency[ISA]), and Colonel Cutolo. We spoke on the telephone with Thomas and Desiree Ferdinand who confirmed that Colonel Carone had worked for William Casey, William Colby, and General Stilwell. William Casey attended the baptism of Colonel Carone's grandson. Mr. Colby advised us to, "leave Carone and WATCHTOWER alone."
Albert V. Carone had retained the rank of Colonel in the New York National Guard. He had also been employed full time as a police officer in the New York Police Department, (retired 1966). Colonel Carone had been a member of the New York mafia. He had worked for his friend and mafia sponsor "Uncle Vito" Genovese. It is well known that Mr. Vito Genovese was a former member of the board of the infamous New York based Charles (Lucky) Luciano-Meyer Lansky Murder Incorporated Syndicate. The crime family grew into the Gambino Family, and later the John Gotti Family. We found that senior mafia "Dons" had been present at the wedding of Thomas and Desiree Ferdinand. Those present inluded Mr. Paul Castellano of New York, and Mr. Santos [Santo] Trafficante of Florida. We found that Colonel Carone was seen often in the company of Don Sam Giancana. Once we established this mafia connection to Colonel Carone we began to investigate it in detail. ...
Mr. Genovese, head of the Luciano-Lansky gambling and narcotics operations acted as liaison in Italy between 1942-1944 for the OSS, and the Italian Mafia. Following the war, Mr. Luciano received a sentence commutation based in part on the recommendation of OSS Agent Allen Dulles. (Mr. Dulles would later serve as DCI from 1953-1961). Upon issuance of the commutation of sentence, Mr. Luciano was deported to Italy, and Mr. Genovese returned to New York. Colonel Carone grew up around "Uncle Vito" on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. In time, both Mr. Casey, and Mr. Colby, would be introduced to the young National Guard Officer, Lieutenant Carone. Lt. Carone would rise through the ranks to be involved in WATCHTOWER. This drug operation delivered cocaine into Mena, Arkansas, and the colonel would help that delivery. Colonel Carone acted as the bagman for the CIA, and his mafia family in New York. ...
In the 1980's Mr. John Gotti became involved in the CIA cocaine operation at Mena, Arkansas. This involvement was through Mr. Salvatore Reale, a lieutenant in the Gotti family. Mr. Reale would meet the cocaine laden aircraft at Mena airport. This was the testimony of former CIA pilot, Mr. Richard Brenneke, before Congressman Bill Alexander.
2005, Rodney Stich, 'Subverting America, Vol. One', pp. 519-520: "One of my friends and sources for many years was [the super-unreliable] retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson, who had been in charge of the Los Angeles office. He devoted his retirement years to exposing FBI misconduct, especially the cover-up of pedophile activities involving prominent people and government officials. In 1997 he started a campaign to reorganize the FBI, seeking to correct the many problems that he, Taus, many others, and Im discovered of tha government agency. ...
One person who provided highly revealing parts of the complex organized crime-CIA relationship was [the unreliable] Dee Ferdinand, the daughter of a Mafia figure, Albert Carone."