In this article about four dozen historical cases of CIA drug trafficking are summarized, complete with sources. These summaries and sources should make it much easier to understand the intricacies of CIA drug trafficking allegations, see how various cases fit together, leap over some of the less reliable ones, and form a relatively clear opinion as to whether or not this subject is credible. A timeline of the more important and credible historical cases is as follows:
- 1940s: the Cosa Nostra, Triads, Black Dragon terrorists and Yakuza;
- 1950s: the role of CAT and SEA Supply in setting up the "Golden Triangle" opium trafficking network;
- 1960s-: later "Golden Triangle" drug lords as Khun Sa and Vang Pao;
- 1960s-1970s: South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu;
- 1970s: the Nugan Hand Bank and BBRDW collapses;
- 1970s-: Bolivia's coca suppliers, starting under dictator Hugo Banzer, with European fascists Klaus Barbie and Stefano Della Chiaie as chief aids;
- 1970s-1980s: the Medellin Cartel and Cali Cartel in Colombia;
- 1978: the Honduran cocaine coup of drug trafficker Felix Gallardo and dictator General Policarpo Paz García;
- 1980: the Bolivian cocaine coup of General Luis Garcia Meza Tajada, once again with Klaus Barbie and Stefano Della Chiaie;
- 1973-1990: Augusto Pinochet in Chile;
- 1980-1989: Manuel Noriega and his Mossad henchman Micha Harari in Panama;
- 1980s: Mexico's Guadalajara Cartel and its government bosses in the DFS and cabinet, in part also revealed through DEA agent Mike Levine;
- 1982-1985: the pro-Contra BLACK EAGLE operation, ran from George H. W. Bush's office;
- 1982-1986: the subsequent CIA crack-cocaine affair, Mena affair, John Hull ranch and Ilopango Airport drug smuggling accusations, and finally Iran-Contra, all in relation to these Contra wars;
- 1980s: Afghanistan and the BCCI in the 1980s;
- 1998-: the Afghan heroin-linked KBR Halliburton-Far West partnership and the U.S.-tied Alfa Group in Ukraine and Russia;
- 1999-2001: the drug trafficking accusations and convictions of the flight school owners who trained the primary 9/11 hijackers;
- 2001-: the Afghanistan heroin production surge post-9/11;
- 2006-2011: Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and Operation Fast and Furious.
Then there are a number of more well-known but far less reliable CIA drug trafficking accusations that have been perpetuated in conspiracy circles. These have been included in a separate list. Because of their prominence and partially or largely correct information (minus a few code names and details), they remain important to discuss. We're talking about:
- 1984-1988: Daniel Sheehan's CIA-Contra investigations through the "liberal CIA"-backed Christic Institute;
- 1991: Richard Brenneke's claims about Mena and the Strategy of Tension;
- "1980": the Colonel Edward Cutolo affidavit;
- 1996: the Colonel Robert Wilson affidavit;
- 1990s: the Dee Ferdinand-Carone testimony;
- 1990s: the claims of Gene Tatum;
- 1996: the rise to prominence of Mike Ruppert immediately after the Gary Webb "Dark Alliance" exposes.
In addition, for now I prefer to label a case mentioned in Daniel Casolaro's private journal as "less reliable", because the same source he used for this case appears to have been feeding him disinformation on other occasions.
The reader should know that certainly not all sources used in the "reliable" section actually are fully reliable. Colonel Bo Gritz, Rodney Stich, or Joseph Trento all have their peculiarities. I only used them when left with no other choice or as one of a number of sources. Furthermore, I can only pray that Mike Levine's claims are genuine. I have little reason to doubt him, except that I wonder how he ever made it to the New York Times best-sellers list. Most likely that has been due to the influence of "liberal CIA" in the aftermath of the Contra affair; let's hope that's all there is to it.
Update: Intuition seldom fails. On June 15, 2005 Mike Levine was invited to conspiracy disinformation radio show Coast to Coast AM alongside Peter Lance to argue in favor of the somewhat official "government negligence theory" for 9/11 while debating fellow security state assets David Ray Griffin and Alex Jones, two unfortunate no-plane-promoting leaders of 9/11 "truth". Considering everyone invited to Coast to Coast AM is a security state asset of some sort, Mike Levine cannot be considered reliable. However, as with Peter Lance, his core accusations do seem to have merit.
As the above update makes additionally clear, the conspiracy business is the ultimate minefield and CIA drug trafficking is hardly different. Despite that, I'm quite sure that the vast majority of cases listed in the "reliable" section are very accurate. But ultimately readers will have to check the sources for themselves and make up their own minds.
As I found out while putting together this oversight, accusing the CIA of drug trafficking certainly isn't contained to conspiracy authors. "Liberal CIA" media outlets have been doing it since at least the Contra affair of the mid 1980s. Articles used as source material here include those from PBS, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Alternet and Consortium News, as well as the National Security Archive and the surprisingly detailed and rather unique 1998 book Whiteout of Alexander Cockburn (ever since UCLA establishmentarian Peter Dale Scott came out as a Pentagon-no-planer, I'm even more hesitant to cite his somewhat similar book Cocaine Politics). A broadcast of Pacifica Radio's WBAI station has also been used.
I was somewhat surprised by all this, because these same alternative "liberal CIA" media outlets - all of them funded by big foundations as Rockefeller, Ford, Soros, MacArthur and others - will scream bloody murder when similarly rational questions are asked about the JFK assassination or 9/11 - which, as far as I can see, largely implicate the same set of characters.
Exposes of Contra drug trafficking or even U.S. government support of dictators and death squads during the Cold War aren't even contained to these alternative outlets. There are a number of quite revealing articles on this in the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as the somewhat less establishment Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly. It must be said though that voicing suspicions that the CIA and top cabinet officials have been involved in drug trafficking is really where establishment publications as the New York Times have been drawing the line. We clearly saw that in late 1996 when Gary Webb reported in the San Jose Mercury News about CIA-sanctioned Contra cocaine trafficking. While some of the "new left" publications - which actually receive financing from interests equally linked to the New York Times and Washington Post - never wavered in their support of Webb, he was harshly and irrationally attacked by (official) establishment publications, to the point he lost his job and eventually committed suicide.
Still, it's good to see that the "new left" media, however controlled it is, has been reporting on CIA drug trafficking, because it makes the subject much easier to discuss. They might not have the authority of the New York Times or Washington Post, but they cannot simply be dismissed either. Far from it. Take the National Security Archive alone. Apart from all the unique government documents it has published, it has numerous establishment individuals involved with it, including Seymour Hersh, Morton Halperin, Walter Slocombe and the occasional high-level Soros employee.
What is also very nice to see is that this "new left" "liberal CIA" network is actively working to make not just marijuana legal, but also psychedelics as mushrooms, ibogaine, ayahuasca and MDMA. All of these psychedelics have shown tremendous potential for unparalleled psychological introspection, release of trauma, and the breaking up of addiction patterns. Ibogaine, in particular, can successfully treat all kinds of addictions, from cigarettes to heroin. George Soros' Drug Policy Alliance and the Rockefeller-tied Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Heffter Research Institute are leading the way in this.
A lot of these same people used to be advocates of the methadone programs of the 1970s, which cut crime in half in the 1970-1973 period. Reluctantly introduced by Nixon under pressure of the Washington Post and other liberal establishment interests , these programs were shelved under the Reagan-Bush administration with its "Just Say No" policy, which, according to Carter's drug czar Dr. Peter Bourne was akin to "telling someone who's depressed, "Have a Nice Day.""  At the same time, the Reagan administration secretly re-introduced U.S. government cooperation with drug cartels and drug dealing military commanders and dictators. Indeed, Christian Conservatives never cease to amaze.
Personally, I would also advocate for the legalization of cocaine and heroin, be it in a very controlled matter in which anyone can buy them for the lowest possible price in specialized government drug stores. The only alternative, especially with regard to heroin, is forced treatment with ibogaine. This aspect is discussed in ISGP's solutions oversight.
It would be very interesting to see - as a temporary experiment - what would happen if a cocaine and heroin legalization program is implemented. It should destroy the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels overnight and end the half-century old "War on Drugs". The Mexican economy should take off, stopping the illegal and legal emigration flows toward the United States. But will it ever come this far? After all, similar to the much newer "War on Terror", there's a military and national security establishment that needs enemies to protect us from. If the drug or terrorism problem gets solved, defense budgets are going to be slashed and a lot of powerful people will lose their jobs, prestige and influence. It will also make it much harder to argue in favor of invasive domestic espionage plans. Terrorism in the most crucial enemy, but the drug cartels and domestic crime groups are a good second. Dr. Bourne is among a number of high officials who have publicly discussed this problem. 
In any case, pushing for full drug legalization and regulation is as viable a route as trying to educate people about CIA-sanctioned drug trafficking and how the CIA built up the French Connection, the Golden Triangle opium lords, the Afghan heroin market, and the Colombian cocaine cartels.
Key CIA names of the Agency's drug trade of the 1950s in Burma/Myanmar - and with that established the infamous Golden Triangle - include Frank Wisner, Paul Helliwell, Claire Chennault, William Pawley and Tommy Corcoran. Their primary tools to facilitate arms-for-opium trafficking operations in the region were Chiang Kai-shek on Taiwan and the airliners Civil Air Transport (CAT; later Air America) and SEA Supply Corporation. Together these elements built up anti-communist guerrilla armies in the Burmese backlands, as well as the Thai national police force.
William Colby came to the Golden Triangle in 1959 as CIA station chief of South Vietnam, working with Ngo Dinh Diem in forcing the population to resist the communist North. Diem reportedly was involved in the trafficking of Burmese opium and so was South Vietnam's president from 1965 to 1975, Nguyen Van Thieu, with whom Colby also worked closely, first as chief of the CIA's Far East Division from 1962 to 1967, and then as head of the Phoenix Program from 1968 to 1971. When the notorious Ted Shackley, widely accused of similar opium trafficking practices, became station chief of Laos in 1966, Colby was his immediate supervisor.
After Vietnam, Shackley continued his activities as chief of the Western Hemisphere Division from 1972 to 1976 and as George H. W. Bush's deputy director of covert operations. After being forced out of the CIA by Carter's CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner, in 1979, he became deeply involved with his mentor Richard Helms, George H. W. Bush, Frank Carlucci and a number of others in managing a private CIA network through groups as the Safari Club  and Le Cercle. His name features in numerous of the most sensitive and appalling CIA scandals, from the JFK assassination to Gladio terrorism, even after he was officially removed from the Agency.
Another of these Shackley-tied scandals is the 1980 collapse of the Nugan Hand Bank amidst accusations that the bank was laundering Golden Triangle heroin profits, almost a decade after the end of the Vietnam War. Shackley, who around the same time was also fingered as a CIA drug trafficker by Burmese opium kingpin Khun Sa, was reported to be involved in the bank. Colby, as the lawyer to one of the founders, certainly was. In addition to Shackley and Colby, CIA officers and key CIA assets Paul Helliwell, General Richard Secord, Rafael Quintero, Thomas Clines all were named in a 1983 study of the Australian government into the Nugan Hand Bank as having been close to the bank's co-founder Michael Hand.
What is almost hilarious is that Hand used to work for the CIA's opium smuggling airline Air America in Laos during the Vietnam War, while General Secord played an important role in directing Air America operations and Shackley and Clines were running the Laotian CIA station in this same period. What might be of additional interest is that Admiral Felix B. Stump was chairman of Air America from 1959 to at least 1970. Why? Because Admiral Stump joined the the national strategy board of the ultraright, death squad-linked American Security Council, which over the years has seen its fair share of top-level CIA and Pentagon officers on the board, as well as three Wackenhut executives. James Angleton, Ray Cline, Iran Contra's General John Singlaub, and Daniel Arnold - of Golden Triangle opium trafficking fame alongside Shackley - include some of these CIA and Pentagon officers. By the 1980s cocaine-trafficking Contras leaders were also very popular at American Security Council meetings.
Shackley's good friend George H. W. Bush has been considered another key insider to the CIA drug trade. There's quite a bit of evidence that Operation BLACK EAGLE - and certainly a similar operation if the name itself turns out to be incorrect - to support the Latin American Contras was ran from Bush's vice presidential office on behalf of CIA director William Casey. There is more than a bit of evidence that these men allowed the Contras to smuggle cocaine into the United States, in order for them to pay for weapons and other supplies. Besides Casey and Bush, other names that continually surfaced in relation to BLACK EAGLE and overlapping operations as the ARMS SUPERMARKET and THE ENTERPRISE included Donald Gregg, Felix Rodriguez, General Richard Secord, and the famous Colonel Oliver North, who reportedly was Casey's asset at the National Security Council.
Others particularly closely tied to the Contra arms and cocaine trafficking operations, mainly in the 1982-1986 period, include Costa Rica-based CIA asset John Hull, Contra leaders and American Security Council visitors Adolfo Calero and Enrique Bermudez, and Panama's Manuel Noriega, together with his right-hand man Mike Harari, a top-level Mossad asset in Latin America. For the rest, clandestine partners of the U.S. government included well-known drug traffickers and dictators who had no particular name to uphold in the first place.
Bush's name we also find in the CIA-linked BBRDW scandal of the early 1980s, although it must be said, maybe not through the most reliable source (the convicted chairman Ron Rewald through author Rodney Stich). Then there's the Mena drug trafficking affair in which Medellin Cartel cocaine importer Barry Seal stood central. Who looks at this case will have to conclude that it is virtually certain that both Bush and Clinton, the latter as governor of Arkansas, were shielding Seal's operations from law enforcement. On top of that, the Casey-Bush-North alliance destroyed the DEA's operation aimed at bringing down the entire Medellin Cartel when they decided to leak the Contra sting operation of their asset Barry Seal to the media. This allowed Reagan to accuse the Sandinista government of drug trafficking and force Congress to end the ban on U.S. military aid to the Contras - who, of course, were the real drug traffickers. The scheme worked.
What might also be important to mention is that it almost certainly wasn't an accident that Bush was appointed CIA director. As has been the case with various other CIA directors (William Casey, James Woolsey), there's evidence that Bush maintained a decades-long affiliation with the CIA through the business world, in his case through the network of his Eastern Establishment father, Prescott Bush, and then through his oil firm Zapata Petroleum. The oil business not only made him a key CIA asset who later came in handy for overtures to the Saudis as part of the Safari Club network, but in the mid 1970s Bush reportedly also was extremely useful to CIA friends as Ted Shackley and CIA director Richard Helms in penetrating the Mexican government and its national oil company PEMEX. William Pawley, a CIA asset in starting up Golden Triangle CIA opium trafficking in the early 1950s and an American Security Council propagandist, is reported to have played a key intermediary role between Bush and the Mexican government. 
We all know what an extremely violent place Mexico has become since the late 1970s when the drug cartels reared their ugly heads. As it happens, various Mexican presidents and cabinet members have been accused of direct involvement in the cocaine trade. Names include defense minister Juan Arevalo and interior minister Manuel Bartlett, both of whom served the full six years (1982-1988) of the presidency of Miguel de la Madrid. Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994) has been accused of direct involvement. Also mentioned have been (the convicted) Ruben Zuno Arce, a son-in-law to Mexican president Luis Echeverria Alvarez (1970-1976); and Colonel Jaime Carranza, a grandson of Venustiano Carranza, Mexico's defacto leader from 1915 to 1917 and then president until 1920. Government control over the cartels, at least in the 1970s and 1980s, was maintained through the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), an internal security service which was trained by the CIA, answered to the interior minister and served as "the eyes and ears" of the cartels.
If we subsequently look at rather serious accusations that Felix Rodriguez - the front man for Bush and Gregg in Contra and seemingly drug trafficking affairs - in the 1980s attended parties in which top Guadalajara Cartel bosses, Mexican cabinet ministers, police chiefs and even national Interpol directors all mingled, and that Rodriguez reportedly played a key role in the torture-murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, and we once again are more or less forced to conclude that Bush, Sr. most likely has been a major insider to CIA/White House-sanctioned drug trafficking. And more than that as well. Bush's name already surfaced in a curious manner in the JFK assassination, while his son, Bush, Jr., was president of the United States on 9/11, another event that has left us with more questions than answers. So, maybe by figuring out who the key persons have been behind CIA drug trafficking, we most likely can also figure out who has been behind a whole range of other conspiracy affairs.
The post-9/11 world has seen the curious spike in production in Afghan opium that the United States, in contrast to the Taliban, just can't seem to get under control.
The violence in Mexico also continued to increase in the post-9/11 world due to competing cocaine cartels. In fact, a lot of evidence has emerged that certainly in the 2006-2011 period, the Bush and Obama administrations were secretly aiding the Sinaloa Cartel against the Los Zetas in what has become known as the gun walking scandals.
As the timeline in this article demonstrates, all these problematic drug-producing hot spots - the French Connection, Golden Triangle, the Golden Crescent and Latin America - were created by the United States during the Cold War to finance (largely) illegal CIA operations. Has anything changed? Who really knows. Apart from the Bush family legacy to go by, we appear to have Bush's vice president Dick Cheney and the CIA linked to Afghan opium trafficking through their (past) partnership with Far West Ltd., at least in the 1998 - early 2000s period.
There may also be ties between the Bush government's brutal extraordinary rendition program (the torturing of terrorist subjects in Third World countries) and Sinaloa Cartel cocaine imports into the United States, much like CIA-backed anti-communist death squads that were partially financed through the drug trade during the Cold War.
We certainly also shouldn't forget, of course, that 9/11 ring leader Mohammed Atta and some of his primary associates were trained as pilots in the United States by rather obvious CIA-tied drug importers: Wally Hilliard, Rudi Dekkers and Arne Kruithof.
These and a number of other latter-day scandals listed in the timeline below most certainly make one wonder if anything has changed since the end of the Cold War. In the end we have to conclude that we just don't know, but with this article and the sources provided in it, at least we have some historical perspective to move forward from.
It's important to understand that there's little evidence that the CIA ever went "rogue". Throughout the decades presidents, national security advisors and often also secretaries of state have authorized just about every CIA operation. This most certainly includes pro-big business coups that brought murderous "anti-communist" dictators to power. These coups have been documented rather well over the years by various parliamentary investigations, such as the Church Committee, the Hamilton and Inouye-led committees into Iran Contra and the closely-related Kerry Committee looking into Contra drug trafficking. A present-day elite-backed NGO as the National Security Archive actually has continued the work of these committees by filing FOIA requests and writing additional reports.
The only Cold War presidents who really did their best to not authorize such operations that involved replacing moderate governments with violent dictators and death squads have been John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, although both continually were under significant pressure by top cabinet members, advisors, and Eastern Establishment and Christian conservative pressure groups to sail more hardline routes. Kennedy was by far the most stubborn in this sense. Coincidence or not, we all know what happened to him and his brother.
An interesting aspect of these "above-CIA" elements having authorized all CIA operations is that this brings "the elite" more into view, because elites have not exactly limited themselves to the CIA directorship, deputy directorship, and the top of the operations department. The positions of secretary of state, national security advisor and defense secretary are all held decade after decade by leading and trusted members of the superclass. There's plenty of evidence to show that persons picked for these positions, have been fully aware that the CIA has been in the drug business. This most certainly goes for the most connected individuals that have occupied these positions: Rockefeller/Bechtel friends (which, as ISGP demonstrates in its intro article, have dominated U.S. politics since World War II) as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Shultz. CIA directors Allen Dulles, John McCone and Richard Helms fall into this same category of powerful Rockefeller friends.
More information on this Cold War Rockefeller network at the top of government can be found in ISGP's Pilgrims Society article. What is particularly relevant here is that if we consider the idea that many of these top government officials have been in the know of CIA drug trafficking, then all of a sudden it starts to make sense that we can tie the very elite 1001 Club membership of Prince Bernhard to a number of high level money laundering and drug trafficking cases. We're talking about such 1001 Club members (in bold) as:
- David Rockefeller and the Bechtels, who, through their friendship with successive CIA directors Allen Dulles, John McCone and Richard Helms (David Rockefeller received full briefings from CIA division chiefs, with both he and Bechtel serving as CIA fronts), not to mention long-time 40 Committee chairman Henry Kissinger, should have been aware of CIA drug trafficking operations;
- Robert Vesco, the alleged CIA-tied drug trafficker and money launderer;
- Tibor Rosenbaum, the Mossad asset, Edmond de Rothschild (1001 Club) associate, and chairman of the International Credit Bank (ICB) of Geneva, which laundered billions in profits of the Jewish-American mafia;
- BCCI founder Aga Hasan Abedi, a product of the Pakistani ISI and western elites;
- top-level Rothschild banker Alfred Hartmann, who was deeply involved in the BCCI and other major scandals as Iraqgate, the Russian IMF money laundering scandal (as vice chair of the Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank in Geneva, headed by Mossad agent and William Casey associate Bruce Rappaport), the Savings and loan crisis, and seemingly even the Banco Ambrosiano collapse;
- the Rothschilds themselves with their rather extensive ties (along with the Israelis) to Russian oligarchs in turn with top-level connections to the Solntsevskaya mafia and Uzbekistan crime boss Gafur Rakhimov, a reported major trafficker of Afghan heroin;
- Edmond Safra, the Zionist banker close to the Rothschilds who was linked to the laundering of Iran Contra and Medellin Cartel proceeds, followed by similar accusations - alongside Solntsevskaya and Zionist Russian oligarchs - involving billions of dollars in IMF loans to Russia;
- the Aga Khans, said to be involved in Afghan heroin with MI6 who are very close Rockefeller and Rothschild friends;
- the royal house of Liechtenstein can be linked to accusions of laundering money for the Medellin Cartel, Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko (1001 Club), Ferdinand Marcos on the Philippines, and Germany's leading CDU political party through Peter Frommelt, a relative of 1001 Club member Egmond Frommelt; and 1001 Club member Herbert Batliner, both close associates of Prince Bernhard, the Mossad's Tibor Rosenbaum, and the house of Liechtenstein.
We also shouldn't forget about drug trafficking charges involving South-East Asia heroin and Colombian cocaine against the Russian-Zionist Alfa Group of Mikhail Fridman and other oligarchs. These charges deserve to be mentioned separately from the Rothschild connections to Russia, in part because Fridman can be found on the global advisory panel of the Council on Foreign Relations, putting him direct contact with the Rockefeller clique of globalists.
Then there's the earlier-mentioned Far West Ltd. corporation, with its alleged involvement in Afghan heroin and South American cocaine trafficking. With prominent Saudis as Prince Turki al Faisal and Adnan Khashoggi and Americans as vice president Dick Cheney and former CIA director William Webster apparently involved in this partnership, this case also crosses the boundary from pure intelligence into the superclass.
With all these strange connections of high society and the historical CIA ties of the Rockefeller clique in particular within the Eastern Establishment, it is very interesting to see that the "liberal CIA" network of the past few decades, which still largely revolves around foundations as Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie, has become so supportive of a small clique of authors, publications and whistleblowers bringing attention to historical CIA trafficking. To this day I myself cannot tell if this has to do with managing dissent or if it represents a genuine desire for change. All I can do is hope it's the latter.
Not directly involving the CIA, but still revealing is a declaration provided by Gold Gym-linked bodybuilder Larry Pollock. According to him, the DEA (as well as the Mexican people) is fully aware that the Mexican police, at least the one of Tijuana, is one-and-the-same with the drug cartels (which would make the government responsible for the situation), while still cooperating with these cartels in getting rid of American drug dealers in Mexico, even ones that only sell steroids.
In 2007, during the well known anti-steroid Raw Deal Operation , Pollock, then running the steroid company Stallion Labs in Mexico, was grabbed by the Tijuana / Arellano-Felix Cartel in what appeared to be a SWAT raid. The DEA was present.
Pollock was brought to a variety of safe houses where he and others were tortured, and he also was put in contact with his U.S.-based family for an additional $1 million ransom. This was after the cartel, in the presence of the DEA, had broken open the safe at his Stallion Labs which already contained a million dollars.
After more than two weeks of torture, witnessing other victims of the cartel get tortured to death and his own body bag laying ready in the garage, Pollock and a boy he was with managed to escape from a safe house in the middle of the night. Eventually he was transported back to the U.S. border by Mexican citizens. After being questioned by the FBI, and the Mexican "police" trying to get him back, the DEA took Pollock with them, with one of the officers remarking to him, "You weren't supposed to come back." 
Remember when in November 1996 Mike Ruppert famously confronted CIA director John Deutch with the following words:
"I will tell you director Deutch, as a former Los Angeles narcotics detective, that the Agency has dealt drugs throughout this country for a long time.
"Director Deutch, I will direct you to three specific Agency operations known as AMADEUS, PEGASUS and WATCHTOWER. I have WATCHTOWER documents heavily redacted by the Agency. I was personally exposed to CIA operations and recruited by CIA personnel, who attempted to recruit me, in the late 70s, to become involved in protecting Agency drug operations in this country. I have been trying to get this out for 18 years. I have the evidence."
This confrontation, which came in the aftermath of the August 1996 "Dark Alliance" exposes of Gary Webb on CIA drug trafficking, instantly established Ruppert as an authority in the emerging online conspiracy community. As impressive as his little speech may sound, Ruppert essentially is a confirmed disinformer when he began arguing for a stand-down order by Cheney on the morning of 9/11 - apart from his family's national security background or peculiar characters such as Pentagon-no-planer Barbara Honegger that he allied himself with. What is interesting here, is that Ruppert has managed to dig up three alleged CIA drug trafficking operations that to this day remain unconfirmed.
AMADEUS, the most unlikely code name of them all, has been pushed by Dee Ferdinand-Carone, along with SANDMAN and RED MIST, other alleged CIA operations that have never been confirmed. Certain important aspects of the Ferdinand-Carone narrative do not check out. Equally interesting, Ruppert was brought in contact with Ferdinand-Carone through "liberal CIA" asset David MacMichael, at one point a researcher of the Rockefeller-Clinton-backed Christic Institute. The March 1980 Cutolo affidavit is tightly linked to the murder trial of special forces veteran Bill Tyree, who allegedly also knew the father of Dee Ferdinand-Carone. The affidavit also included information on a certain conveniently named CIA domestic spy operation called ORWELL, also of unconfirmed existence. The alleged CIA operation PEGASUS was "exposed" by Gene "Chip" Tatum, along with another unverified CIA operation called RED ROCK. Tatum, most certainly another CIA insider, has been cooperating in his exposes with Stew Webb and Ted Gunderson, two extremist conspiracy disinformers with similarly deep insider CIA and FBI ties.
Below all three cases - Ferdinand-Carone, Cutolo and Chip Tatum - are listed. A lot of elements from these cases are true, but we simply cannot rely on a variety of details and code names provided. Other questionable cases of CIA drug trafficking are listed here as well, starting with the Christic Institute's investigation of the La Penca bombing and Contra support network.
|||2000, PBS Frontline, 'Interview: Robert DuPont' (pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/interviews/dupont.html): "DuPont worked with heroin addicts and methadone treatment in Washington D.C. during the early 1970's. His work impressed Bud Krogh, White House Deputy Ass't for Domestic Affairs under President Nixon. Krogh appointed DuPont the Director of the Narcotics Treatment Administration, 1970-73, in order to set up methadone maintenance programs in Washington, D.C. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted in 2000. ...
Nixon had really made a big deal about crime in general, and crime in Washington in particular. He had said he was going to make things better. And when he came to office, he had a lot of other things he was interested in, and this was not important to him at all. And so he just ignored it. It was a group of local citizens--Edward Bennett Williams and Katherine Graham [of the Washington Post] were very important--who went down to Nixon personally, and said, "We're going to hold a press conference every week and quote what you said you were going to do, and show what's really happening, and we're going to embarrass you until you wake up."
It was at that point that Nixon said, "I committed myself to do this. What I said is very public I have to do it." And he turned to Bud Krogh and said, "Make it happen. I don't know how." There weren't a lot of alternatives. The most visible was putting police on the streets, and they did that. ...
We started NTA on February 18, 1970, and we had a goal of treating all the addicts in the city, with the goal of having an impact on heroin addiction and crime and life in the city. And the most remarkable fact about it is that we did it. The crime rate was cut in half, and heroin overdoses almost ended in the city. We couldn't find addicts to get into treatment by 1973. It was an experiment that worked, and it worked to a very high level, way beyond anything anyone could have imagined. It went on to have a profound effect on national policy. That's the good news.
The bad news, and something that I struggled with, is how it was lost. What happened in the city was just gone. It became an orphan in the city government. Nobody cared. And the rates then went back up again, the crime rates and the addiction rates and the people who are there don't even remember that. It's like it never happened. I think the saddest thing to think about is how when you're successful in dealing with the drug problem, you go back to where you were before, and then it's not an issue. ...
Nixon was tremendously unpopular, especially toward the end, especially with the human services. The kind of environment in which we live was full of people who had animosity toward Nixon. The fact that we were associated--that methadone and its expansion was associated with Nixon--that was a tremendous problem. And then there was the racial aspect of it, which was very difficult for me to deal with. Ninety percent of the patients were black. The city was seventy-one percent black, and I was obviously white. There was a charge that this was racist, that this was a form of enslaving the black, young men in the nation's cities. That was, I think, the most vicious of the anti-methadone kind of arguments. ..."
|||2000, PBS Frontline, 'Interview: Peter Bourne' (pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/interviews/bourne.html): "Bourne was in charge of the nation's drug problem under President Jimmy Carter. His official title was Special Assistant to the President for Health Issues. Bourne resigned in 1978 after being caught writing a fraudulent prescription for a staff member and after rumors spread that he used cocaine at a NORML Christmas party he had attended. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted in 2000. ...
I had been hired by President Carter [a Trilateral Commission favorite], who was then the governor of Georgia, to set up a statewide drug treatment program. ... One of my longtime friends and college classmates, Robert DuPont [BA Emory University 1958; MD in psychology Harvard 1963; involved in carrying out the first methadone test treatments in 1969, which eventually helped cut the crime rate in half; White House drug czar under Nixon and Ford 1973-1977], was already running the drug treatment program in Washington, D.C. Governor Carter said that he wanted me to set that up in all the major cities in Georgia. So I agreed. A group of half-dozen of us was running programs, mainly methadone maintenance programs, in major cities around the country. ...
We had already made the decision that he would run. We had a small group, just four or five people, working with Carter in 1972, actually beginning before McGovern's defeat. We were preparing a plan for the four-year strategy for Carter to run for president. When Bud Krogh came and invited me to come to Washington, I talked to Carter about whether or not I should take the job. He said, "You take it, and as soon as they are ready to formally announce that I'm running for president, you can leave there and set up the Washington campiagn office in the presidential race," which is in fact what I did. ...
When Carter came in, I was appointed to that position. So I was essentially the first drug czar with a total responsibility for foreign police, law enforcement, treatment. We also involved the CIA, the Coast Guard, Treasury, and anybody else in the federal government--all coordinated together in one policymaking group, and under one office. ...
The policy that we enunciated was that this was a public health problem, that each drug needed to be dealt with separately because of the different strategy of approach was required for each drug. Heroin was the major public health problem. ...
We did not view marijuana as a significant health problem... marijuana smoking, in fact if one wants to be honest, is a source of pleasure and amusement to countless millions of people in America... Where a drug posed a serious health threat, there was an intensive focus to provide a treatment program. ...
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML, had had a steep decline in its membership after Carter came in office, and talked about decriminalization as a more rational approach towards marijuana smoking. ...
I guess it was the  annual meeting of NORML or something--where Keith Stroup invited me to come and speak about the administration's policy, which I did. And I could see when I was speaking that there were people in the back of the hall smoking joints. I did tell Keith at that point that that just created a big problem for me, because I couldn't be there. I couldn't be in charge of drug policy and have people visibly breaking the law in my presence. There was another annual meeting which may be the one you are referring to, which I either couldn't go to or didn't want to go to because of the previous event. And he said, "I understand that, but tonight we're having a party at the home of William Paley," who was the son of the owner of CBS television. And he said, "Please come by, because people are very upset that you didn't come and speak at our former sessions, and it would be nice if you came to my party." So I went to that party, where again, people were using drugs. And I didn't stay there terribly long and I left. That was the last I heard of that party until many months later. ...
Then Keith [Stroup] said [during the media frenzy about me having prescribed a dozen regular sedatives for someone], "Six months ago, he was at this party given by William Paley, and there was coke being used there, and I'm sure he was one of the people who used coke," which again was not true. But there was no doubt coke was being used at that party. ...
I think [the tide on marijuana decriminalization changing in 1978] probably had to do with the ebbing support for President Carter. He was in serious trouble because of the economy [and] Conservative hard-liner... were attacking him from the right, saying to increase defense spending. ...
I only came to realize later the extent to which bureaucratic wars in Washington often transcend the pursuit of policy, and that one of the objectives in DEA always was to increase the budget and its influence in Washington. One way of doing that was to always say that the drug problem is getting worse... If you're winning the war against heroin, and the person in the White House says we have reduced overdose deaths to the lowest levels in the last 30 years, everybody in DEA says, "They're going to cut our budget. They're going to reduce our agents. Some of us are going to be laid off." ...
I still believe that [cocaine is not dangerous]. Cocaine itself, powdered cocaine, poses a fairly minimal health risk. It's been widely used for thousands of years. ... It's an exciting euphoria-producing recreational drug. Most people who get into difficulty with it do so because they have preexisting emotional problems, and they use the cocaine as a way of trying to self-medicate those problems, and become increasingly dependent on it. I'm not saying there aren't people who don't get into serious difficulty with cocaine. But there are people who kill themselves skiing because they run into trees. That is the nature of the risk that you take on if you enjoy that experience. ...
In 1978, seven people in the US died from the effects of cocaine. Two of them were people who were smuggling. ... If you compare it to 400,000 dying every year in the US from the effects of cigarettes, it's absurd to look at cocaine as a health problem. ... Ten percent of the US is alcoholic--has a problem that seriously impairs their functioning due to the use of alcohol. ...
There was a dramatic change when the Reagan administration came in, because they essentially abandoned completely the public health approach to the problem of drug abuse. They equated on moral grounds the use of any of these drugs as being equal to each other... You had a sort of insane policy of "Just Say No," which is like telling someone who's depressed, "Have a Nice Day." And essentially it's an abdication of any responsibility for dealing with the problem, and an effort really just to exploit it politically. And that's what happened. Build more prisons, arrest more people. .. You hadin certain respects the use of cocaine, crack cocaine, and the laws against it, as a way of sort of ethnically cleansing young African-American men from the inner cities of America. ... When Reagan first came in, I would call the National Institute on Drug Abuse every month to get the overdose figures. And from the moment Reagan came in, the number of people dying from drugs went up week by week by week, because they were abandoning all the treatment programs... Eventually they refused to give me overdose death figures anymore. ... The [only] objective was, can you appeal to suburban voters who have this rational or irrational fear about their children smoking marijuana? And that is what you want to appeal to."
|||Ibid.: "I only came to realize later the extent to which bureaucratic wars in Washington often transcend the pursuit of policy, and that one of the objectives in DEA always was to increase the budget and its influence in Washington. One way of doing that was to always say that the drug problem is getting worse... If you're winning the war against heroin, and the person in the White House says we have reduced overdose deaths to the lowest levels in the last 30 years, everybody in DEA says, "They're going to cut our budget. They're going to reduce our agents. Some of us are going to be laid off."|
|||2005, Joseph J. Trento, 'Prelude to Terror', pp. 99-106: "One of George Bush's most significant accomplishments in his year as CIA Director was to switch the Agency's reliance, for regional intelligence, from Israel to Saudi Arabia [in total contrast to Angleton]. …
Although Bush has been given much of the responsibility for the shift, in reality he had always been a strong supporter of Israel, despite ties to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that went back to his father and grandfather. During George Bush's Zapata-Offshore years, he had met most of the Gulf region's royals and had developed close personal relationships with several of them. …
The most important friendship Bush had was with a quiet, dignified man named Sheikh Kamal Adham, Director of Saudi Intelligence, whom Bush had met through his father. Bush has told reporters, "I never met Kamal Adham personally." But according to lawyers for the late Saudi Intelligence head and several officials at the CIA who served under Bush, there were several official meetings inside and outside the United States, both before and after Bush was the DCI. "Bush and Kamal were old friends. I was present when they met in New York when Bush was still United Nations Ambassador," Sarkis Soghanalian said. Bush and Adham shared a fascination with intelligence.
Bush also took a deep interest in the Sheikh's American-educated nephew, HRH Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud. Prince Turki had been the subject of CIA interest ever since his father had sent him to prep school at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Agency talent spotters on the faculty at Georgetown University kept close track of Turki until he got out of Georgetown to return home at the outbreak of the 1967 war with Israel. And later completing his education in England, Turki again returned home to prepare himself to eventually succeed his uncle Kamal Adham as Director of Saudi Intelligence. "On his visits here," Robert Crowley recalled, "Agency management made Turki welcome, knowing full well that at some point Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Department [GID] would fall under his control."
As a young Saudi bureaucrat, Prince Turki was cultivated by various CIA operatives, including Shackley, Clines, and Terpil. In the early 1970s, when Terpil and Wilson first started operations in Libya, Terpil set Wilson up with a Geneva lawyer named Robert Turrettini, who also handled banking matters for Turki. Terpil told Wilson that he went back years with Turki through Turki's personal assistant. When Wilson needed financial backing for several large-scale operations, Prince Turki put up the cash. In 1992, Wilson said he shared millions of dollars with Turki in a Swiss bank account from an old operation.
Both Prince Turki and Kamal Adham would play enormous roles in servicing a spy network designed to replace the official CIA while it was under Congressional scrutiny between the time of Watergate and the end of the Carter administration. … "Clark Clifford approached Kamal Adham and asked that the Saudis consider setting up an informal intelligence network outside the United States during the investigations," Robert Crowley said. Crowley, in his role as the CIA's liaison to the corporate world, was privy to the plan, in which worldwide covert operations for the Agency were funded through a host of Saudi banking and charity enterprises. Several top U.S. military and intelligence officials directed the operations from positions they held overseas, notably former CIA Director Richard Helms, at this time Ambassador to Iran. Ed Wilson and his associates supported the network. According to Wilson, Prince Turki was used to finance several of his intelligence operations during this time period. According to Wilson, the amounts were in the millions of dollars. According to Tom Clines, the relationship between the Saudis and the private U.S. intelligence network grew out of the activities of Clines and his colleagues was "vital… these operations were so sensitive, they could not be revealed." Mike Pilgrims, who also played a role in the operations of the private network during the 1980s, said, "It got to the point where we were used to support GID operations when the CIA could not." According to those involved, there was no line drawn between what was official and what became personal business. …
[Prince Turki's admission at Georgetown that he helped set up the Safari Club in 1976] … Turki's "secret" was that the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States. It was during this time period that the Saudis opened up a series of covert accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington. Starting in the mid-1970s, bank investigators say, these accounts show that tens of millions of dollars were being transferred between CIA operational accounts and accounts controlled by Saudi companies and the Saudi embassy itself. Turki worked directly with agency operatives like Sarkis Soghanalian and Ed Wilson. "If I needed money for an operation, Prince Turki made it available," Wilson said. … Their [the Saudi's] interests included keeping the shah in charge in Teheran and keeping an eye out on increasingly militant Libya. …
Sarkis Soghanalian was close to Sheikh Kamal Adham during this period. Adham frequently asked Soghanalian "about what kind of shape the shah was in. He complained the CIA was not giving him the full picture of how the shah was losing control." Adham believed that binding Saudi Arabia with the United States would increase the House of Saud's chances of surviving an Islamic resurgence. "Believe me," Soghanalian said, "Kamal did not do these things out of charity, but survival."
Adham worked closely with George Bush on the plan to provide covert banking services for CIA operations. … In 1976, when the CIA needed an influx of cash for operations, Adham agreed to allow Nugan Hand Bank's Bernie Houghton to open a branch in Saudi Arabia. … Adham understood that creating a single worldwide clandestine bank was not enough to assure the kind of resources necessary to stave off the coming Islamic revolutions that threatened Saudi Arabia and the entire region. The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world in order to create the biggest clandestine money network in history. Bush had an account with the BCCI established at the time he was at the CIA. The account was set up at the Paris branch of the bank. [black network reports] … What no one reported at the time was that the bank was being used by the United States and Saudi Arabia as an intelligence front. There had never been anything like it. Paul Helliwell may have made the mold, but Adham and BCCI founder Sheikh Agha Hasan Abedi smashed it. They contrived, with Bush and other intelligence service heads, a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank would solicit the business of every major terrorist, rebel, and underground organization in the world. The invaluable intelligence thus gained would be discreetly distributed to "friends" of BCCI. … Adham and Abedi believed the United States needed monitoring. … Adham did not rely simply on money to carry out the plan. Adham and Abedi understood that they would also need muscle. They tapped into the CIA's stockpile of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers. Time magazine called the group a "black network.""
|||2005, Joseph Trento, 'Prelude to Terror', pp. 17-18, 53, 131: "Most of Robert Crowley's work in managing the CIA's connections with business was with huge corporations like International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) and Ford. But, he explained, "sometimes we would suggest someone go off on their own. Sometimes the Agency needed more control. It was much easier to simply set someone up in business like Bush and let him take orders." ...
Sherwood confirmed that Bush's specific role was "to provide cover to allow our people to set up training facilities and invasion launch points against Cuba in the 1960-61 period. ... We had to pay off politicians in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and elsewhere. Bush's company was used as a conduit for these funds under the guise of oil business contracts. We used his company to find Cuban refugees jobs. Bush wasn't even told what the money was for, although he damn well knew what we were up to."
John Sherwood went to great pains to point out that Bush's role was not covert. "He never did any spying, he simply helped his government arrange to place people with oil companies he did business with. ... The major breakthrough was when we were able, through Bush, to place people in PEMEX--the big Mexican national oil operation."
PEMEX, with a long history of corruption, was also a longtime target for CIA infiltration. It was Bush's bizarre involvement with a Mexican national and longtime CIA asset, Jorge Diaz Serrano, that left the only Bush-CIA paper trail. Serrano would eventually rise through the Mexican oil business to assume command of PEMEX [1976-1982], only to be later convicted of stealing tens of millions of dollars. ...
According to William Corson, the CIA had recruited Diaz Serrano to assist in logistics involving the anti-Castro efforts. ... Bush's relationship with Diaz Serrano began [through] Edwin Pawley [note: who was part of the CIA ring that started the Burma / Myanmar / Golden Triangle opium smuggling ring in the early 1950s] ... [In the early 1970s] Wilson reactivated another one of his agents from the 1960s, Ricardo Chavez... Wilson used him for one of his most successful operations: penetrating the Mexican political hierarchy. As Wilson put it, Chavez's wife's family "was very well connected with the President of Mexico, and through her family we recruited the top people in PEMEX and the Mexican government. ... We operated right out of the President's office and home. ...
[Rafael "Chi Chi"] Quintero and Chavez were virtually taking over a CIA/Army Intelligence operation. They planned to use three different companies: API, Fijamex, and a new Bermuda-based company, International Research and Trade (IRT), that would prove to be very important to Shackley, Secord, Clines, and von Marbod. API would submit a bid to Fijamex for a contract offered by PEMEX. [whole scheme is explained]"
|||March 17, 2016, Observer, 'The Troubling Friendship of Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush: Both families have circumvented what democracy is supposed to prevent': "Despite the Bush family being Republican and the Clinton family being Democrats—especially as the polarity between parties is arguably broader than it ever has been in the past few decades—the two political dynasties have maintained a surprisingly close relationship. In a 2014, George W. Bush called Bill Clinton his "brother from another mother" on Instagram, in response to a tweet from Mr. Clinton about Mr. Bush's latest book. That same year, in an interview with Real Clear Politics, Mr. Bush said of Mr. Clinton, "He's got a good spirit about him. We're the only baby-boomer presidents. We were both Southern governors, and we both like each other. He's fun to be around. I hope he would say I'm fun to be around. And we're both grandfathers." In a separate interview with CNN, Mr. Bush described Ms. Clinton as his "sister-in-law."
The 2016 presidential election marked the possibility of having another Clinton or Bush as President. ...
Since the 18th century revolutions have been fueled by the abuse and corruption rampant in monarchies and family dynasties. When democracy took place, the people were heard and represented. The Bush and Clinton families have since circumvented what democracy, in theory, is supposed to accomplish: Although they were elected, their rise to power was ensured by the influence of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Each presidency built the foundation for another Bush and another Clinton to reach the White House.
Their closeness exhibits the façade and pseudo-dramas both political parties engage. Aside from a few differences in opinion on certain issues, both the Bush and Clinton families share moderate political stances, especially when it comes to foreign policy.
Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush also shared many of the same wealthy donors—more than 60 of whom contributed to both campaigns, according to The Daily Beast. Given Ms. Clinton's lead in the Democratic Primaries, she may revert back to her friendship with the Bush family and embrace past stances that are more in line with moderate liberalism and conservatism. ...
In the most recent Democratic town hall on MSNBC, Ms. Clinton told Chris Matthews her vote for the Iraq War—a manifestation of the Bush administration—was born from her agreement with George W. Bush to secure $20 billion toward rebuilding New York City after 9/11.
"I'm sitting there in the Oval Office, and Bush says to me, 'What do you need?' And I said, 'I need $20 billion to rebuild, you know, New York,' and he said, 'You got it.' And he was good to his word," Ms. Clinton said. "Literally, that same day, I get back to the Capitol, and the Republicans are trying to take that money away. We kept calling the White House, Bush kept saying, 'I gave them my word, I'm going to stick with it.' So, you know, I had a different set of experiences."
Ms. Clinton's response was a tangent in defense of her vote for the Iraq War, which Senator Bernie Sanders—who voted against the war—often cites to highlight her poor judgment in foreign policy affairs."
|||November 16, 2014, Daily Mail, ''He's my brother from another mother': George W Bush gushes about unlikely pal Bill Clinton who ousted his father from the Oval Office': "George W Bush has described Bill Clinton as a 'brother from another mother' in a gushing interview about their surprising friendship. He added that his own father 'serves as a father figure' to Clinton, who pushed the elder Bush out of office in 1992."|
|||June 16, 1998, Mother Jones, 'History 101: The CIA & Drugs The CIA has a long and sordid history with drug traffickers. And it's all in the Congressional Record.': "World War II: The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the CIA's parent and sister organizations, cultivate relations with the leaders of the Italian Mafia, recruiting heavily from the New York and Chicago underworlds, whose members, including Charles 'Lucky' Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Joe Adonis, and Frank Costello, help the agencies keep in touch with Sicilian Mafia leaders exiled by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Domestically, the aim is to prevent sabotage on East Coast ports, while in Italy the goal is to gain intelligence on Sicily prior to the allied invasions and to suppress the burgeoning Italian Communist Party. Imprisoned in New York, Luciano earns a pardon for his wartime service and is deported to Italy, where he proceeds to build his heroin empire, first by diverting supplies from the legal market, before developing connections in Lebanon and Turkey that supply morphine base to labs in Sicily. The OSS and ONI also work closely with Chinese gangsters who control vast supplies of opium, morphine and heroin, helping to establish the third pillar of the post-world War II heroin trade in the Golden Triangle, the border region of Thailand, Burma, Laos and China's Yunnan Province.
1947: In its first year of existence, the CIA continues U.S. intelligence community's anti-communist drive. Agency operatives help the Mafia seize total power in Sicily and it sends money to heroin-smuggling Corsican mobsters in Marseille to assist in their battle with Communist unions for control of the city's docks. By 1951, Luciano and the Corsicans have pooled their resources, giving rise to the notorious 'French Connection' which would dominate the world heroin trade until the early 1970s. The CIA also recruits members of organized crime gangs in Japan to help ensure that the country stays in the non-communist world. Several years later, the Japanese Yakuza emerges as a major source of methamphetamine in Hawaii."
*) October 14, 2014, Alternet, 'Meet the CIA's 10 Favorite Drug Traffickers': "The 1940s: Don Calogero Vizzini (Sicilian Mafia): The Sicilian Mafia was decimated by the start of World War II. Mussolini's repression left it clinging to strongholds in Sicily.
The Allied occupation reversed this decline. The CIA's precursor, the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), teamed with organized crime during the July 1943 invasion of Sicily. That was when the US Army appointed Don Calogero Vizzini, a local Mafia boss, mayor of Villalba. He was certain his US ties gave him impunity, so he murdered the local intrusive police chief. The US installed mayors like Vizzini throughout western Sicily, as the US-Mafia partnership persisted.
Italy's Communist Party was gaining power as the war ended, and social reforms would have eroded Mafia power. Both Washington and the crime bosses intended to crush the Italian left.
In 1946, while the Mafia was rebuilding, the US freed top gangster Lucky Luciano from his New York prison, deporting him to Italy. He contacted his friend Vizzini upon arrival, and the two helped construct an enormous drug trafficking network. Law enforcement did not interfere with the project. Morphine base arrived from the Middle East and was made into heroin at a Palermo laboratory Vizzini ran—which fronted as a candy factory—then shipped to the US.
The number of addicts there was near 20,000 at the war's conclusion. In 1952, two years before Vizzini died, it was 60,000. Heroin dependence plagued 150,000 US citizens by 1965."
*) 2013, David M. Fahey and Jon S. Miller, 'Alcohol and Drugs in North America: A Historical Encyclopedia', p. 271: "In the 1930s, Paul Carbonne and Francois Spirito, two eminent figures of the Milieu, created a network to supply opium to the American underground market. After World War II, new godfathers, the brothers Andre and Barthelemy Guerini, took control of the Milieu, taking advantage of their political protection. They had fought the Nazi occupiers within the Resistance alongside Gaston Deferre, the new socialist mayor of Marseilles, elected in 1945. Thereafter, the municipality recruited many body guards and bill posters from the Milieu. It also received financial support from the CIA. In the context of the Cold War and the big 1947 strikes, the CIA wanted to create "free" trade unions against the communist ones, to control the wharves. Lucky Luciano, godfather of the Italian American mafia in New York City, decided to make the Marseilles mafia his main provider in heroin. So, conditions combined for Marseilles to become a huge platform for drug trafficking. From 1951, the growing number of laboratories dismantled by the French police showed the system was becoming increasingly sophisticated.
The French Connection was not a single monolithic organization, but a cluster of networks in permanent reconfiguration. The Corsican mafia, in spite of a cultural similarity with the Sicilian or the Italian American mafias (hierarchy founded on authority and honor, organization in families), is less structured, divided into autonomous, competing groups. The heroin production was controlled by four families: the clans Marignani, Spirito, Aranci, and Patrizzi, identified in 1961 by American and French police. ...
The SAC (Service d'Action Civique), a private police composed mostly of Corsican gangsters, was used by the Gaullist Party (Union pour la Nouvelle Republique or UNR), and often executed dirty work for the French Secret Services [SDECE]. At the time, numerous members of SAC (Serge Constant, Ange Simonpierri) had been arrested for heroin smuggling...
Meanwhile, in the United States, drug abuse was becoming a huge problem."
|||*) 1973, Alfred McCoy, 'The politics of heroin in Southeast Asia', p. 8: "And once again American foreign policy played a role in creating these favorable conditions. During the early 1950s the CIA had backed the formation of a Nationalist Chinese guerrilla army in Burma, which still controls almost a third of the world's illicit opium supply, and in Laos the CIA created a Meo mercenary army whose commander manufactured heroin for sale to Americans GIs in South Vietnam. The State Department provided unconditionalsupport for corrupt governments openly engaged in the drug traffic. In late 1969 new heroin laboratories sprang up inthe tri-border area where Burma, Thailand, and Laos converge, and unprecedented quantities of heroin started floodinginto the United States. Fueled by these seemingly limitless supplies of heroin, America's total number of addictsskyrocketed."
*) 1984, William M. Leary, 'Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia', pp. 67-72 (very official; ignores the opium trafficking): "[In 1949] CAT's president went on to paint a bleak picture of events in China. ... Chennault envisioned "a ring of Red bases," stretching from "Siberia to Saigon." With its eastern flank secured by Chinese subordinates, the Soviet Union would be in position to threaten the United States with destruction. ...
Publication of Way of a Fighter marked the start of Chennault's effort to mobilize American support for a plan to stop communism on the periphery of China. Assisted by Corcoran, Washington lobbyist par excellence, Chennault mounted a full-scale publicity campaign. ...
In his testimony before the committee and elsewhere, CAT's president advanced the "Chennault Plan" to preserve this area from Communist rule and contain Mao's forces. The United States, he said, should send a military mission to China, charged with procurement and distribution of supplies to regional armies in this "sanitary zone." ... CAT and other civilian airlines would provide essentional logistical support. The scheme, he estimated, should cost about $150 to $200 million a year. ...
Chennault took his plan to a skeptical State Department. Secretary Dean Acheson, an "Atlanticist," considered Europe to be most vital to American interests. When he did look across the Pacific, the corruption and venality of the [Chinese] Nationalists [on Chiang Kai-shek's Taiwan] filled him with disgust. ...
According to the public record, which has been maintained for more than three decades, Washington's interest in the Chennault Plan died when Acheson dismissed the proposal. But the public record is not complete. Chennault found another organization in Washington more sympathetic toward his ideas... the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In early May  Corcoran had arranged a meeting between Chennault and Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, director of the CIA. Their discussions proved inconclusive, but Chennault's views sparked the interest of Paul L. E. Helliwell, a CIA official and former chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Intelligence Division in Kunming. Helliwell had worked closely with Chennault during the war, and he had a higher opinion of him than did Rusk. Helliwell recommended to Frank G. Wisner, head of the Office of Policy Coordination (an intentionally vague designation that masked the government's covert action arm) that contact be established with Chennault, looking toward the possible use of his airline for clandestine operations in China. Thus was set in motion a train of events that would have far-reaching consequences for CAT. ...
Acting on Helliwell's recommendation, Wisner and several associates (including Franklin A. Lindsey, Carmel Offie, and Joseph A. FRank) met with Chennault at the Hotel Washington on May 9. The general outlined his plan to contain communism in Asia, emphasizing CAT's role in providing essential logistical support. Wisner came away impressed... Wisner asked Helliwell to consider means of direct or indirect subsidy to CAT in order "to preserve its operations, facilities and personnel for ultimate OPC use in China." Helliwell had a "preliminary and unofficial" discussion with Corcoran on June 27 [to discuss CAT's financial problems]..."
*) 2003, John Prados, 'Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby', pp. 171-172: "From 1951 the CIA's busines in Thailand revolved around help to the national police. Starting with a Miami-based CIA proprietary called the Overseas Southeast Asia Supply Company, set up by Paul Helliwell. a former OSS colonel and lawyer who had been one of that agency's leaders for its mission to Indochina at the end of World War II, the CIA funneled $35 million to start up the Thai police. Many agency officers -- Bill Lair is one example -- went to Thailand with Overseas Supply cover. Thomas Lobe, a scholar who systematically studied these programs, calculates that as many as 200 CIA people entered the country under Sea Supply cover during the first two years of the initiative, while seventy-six more police advisers went to Thailand with overtly acknowledged purpose. ... providing extraterritorial bases for U.S. operations in Laos and North Vietnam, as well as manpower for the CIA secret. The Thai police steadily gathered power. Aside from the Bangkok force and a large provincial force, there were several elite units. Bill Lair's assignment to the Police Aerial Recovery Unit (PARU) occurred early in the life of that entity, which by 1954 already numbered more than 300 men. In 1960, by which time the CIA-Thai alliance had put ninety-nine PARU troopers with the Hmong secret army in Laos, the PARU was building toward a strength of 550. The Border Patrol Police (BPP) formed in 1955 and, with a size of 4,500, had responsibility for security along all Thai frontiers to a depth of twenty-five miles. Then there was the Central Investigative Division, or Special Branch, a Thai security service. The police steadily gathered power until 1956 when they challenged the military for control and were suppressed, with Sarit triumphing instead the following year. The CIA's clients never regained their former political power, but they became stronger in sheer numbers, while the agency, led by Red Jantzen, built links directly to the Thai pontentates."
*) 2009, Joseph Trento, 'Prelude to Terror', p. 25: "The CIA created a pair of front companies to supply and finance the twelve thousand surviving KMT soldiers. The first was Civil Air Transport (CAT), a Taiwan-based airline, and the second was Sea Supply Corporation, a shipping concern in Bangkok that Helliwell founded. Through Sea Supply, Helliwell imported large amounts of arms for the KMT soldiers to keep the Burmese military from throwing them out of the country. The arms were ferried into Burma on CAT airplanes. CAT then used the "empty" planes to fly drugs from Burma to Taiwan, Bangkok, and Saigon. There the drugs were processed for the benefit of the KMT and Chiang Kai-shek's corrupt government on Taiwan.
By 1960, the CIA realized that the KMT drug lords had grown so comfortable that there was little hope of getting the to fulfill their original role... So the CIA turned to a variety of Laotian opium chiefs and sought alliances with their large private armies of Meo tribesmen. ... One of the key Laotian chieftains was "General" Vang Pao. ... In return for joining with the CIA, Vang Pao's opium business was mechanized almost overnight. " p. 26": "In Vietnam, CIA-installed President Ngo Dinh Diem collected protection money for allowing the Hmong and Meo tribesmen in the highlands of Vietnam, along the Laotian border, to farm opium poppies. One of the great secrets of the Vietnam War was that the CIA's duo, President Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were involved in trafficking heroin."
|||June 27, 2007, The Guardian, 'CIA conspired with mafia to kill Castro': "The CIA conspired with a Chicago gangster described as "the chieftain of the Cosa Nostra and the successor to Al Capone" in a bungled 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba's communist revolution, according to classified documents published by the agency yesterday. The disclosure is contained in a 702-page CIA dossier known as the "Family Jewels" compiled at the behest of then agency director James Schlesinger in 1973. According to a memo written at the time, the purpose of the dossier was to identify all current and past CIA activities that "conflict with the provisions of the National Security Act of 1947" - and were, in other words, illegal.
The dossier covers operations including domestic surveillance, kidnapping, infiltration of anti-war movements, and the bugging of leading journalists. ...
The documents released yesterday describe how a CIA officer, Richard Bissell, approached the CIA's Office of Security to establish whether it had "assets that may assist in a sensitive mission requiring gangster-type action. The mission target was Fidel Castro".
The dossier continues: "Because of its extreme sensitivity, only a small group was made privy to the project. The DCI (Director of Central Intelligence Allen Welsh Dulles) was briefed and gave his approval."
Following the meeting with the Office of Security, Bissell employed a go-between, Robert Maheu, and asked him to make contact with "gangster elements". Maheu subsequently reported an approach to Johnny Roselli in Las Vegas. Roselli is described as "a high-ranking member of the [Las Vegas] 'syndicate' ..." ...
The CIA is careful to cover its tracks. According to the dossier, Maheu told Roselli that he (Maheu) has been retained by international businesses suffering "heavy financial losses in Cuba as a result of Castro's action. ...
Roselli in turn led the CIA to a friend, known as Sam Gold. In September 1960, Maheu was introduced to Gold and his associate, known as Joe. In a development that appears to underscore the amateurishness of the whole operation, Maheu subsequently accidentally spotted photographs of "Sam and Joe" in Parade magazine.
Gold was in fact Momo Salvatore Giancana, "the chieftain of Cosa Nostra (the mafia) and the successor to Al Capone". Joe was actually Santos Trafficante, Cosa Nostra boss of Cuban operations. ...
Another disaffected Cuban was recruited [by the mafia] to do the job, but he demanded money up front. In the event, the dossier relates, "the project was cancelled shortly after the Bay of Pigs episode" (in April, 1961)."
|||*) 1991, Colonel Bo Gritz (ISA and Delta Force commander), 'Called to Serve', p. 370. Summary: Khun Sa's interpreter, in the presence of all Khun Sa's top men, names Ted Shackley, Santos Trafficante (mafia boss), Richard Armitage, Daniel Arnold (CIA station chief in Thailand), and Jerry Daniels (CIA agent) as his former partners in the heroin trade. This is recorded on video and audio tape. Gritz went over there at the request of National Security Council staffer to the region to look for prisoners of war.
*) July 4, 1988, interview with Colonel Bo Gritz on the The Morton Downey Jr. Show, Bo Gritz: "We didn't go to see Khun Sa about drugs. We went in in cooperation whith the White House, Tom Harvey, a would-be Ollie North lookalike, was the NSC staffer who asked us to go. It was to find prisoners of war that reportedly Khan Sa was holding. When we got there, we found out that he had no prisoners, but we couldn't leave without asking him why he insisted on shipping this poison into the world. And Khun Sa said that the U.S. had been his best customer for more than 20 years. Well, I didn't believe it. This was in December of 1986. He said that he was willing to stop 900 tons in 1987 and then he said: "I will disclose every U.S. government official that I have dealt with in the last 20 years. We brought those videotapes back and got them to the White House. Four days later we got that response. Tom Hardy calls and goes: "Fantastic, you guys, you are the first Americans to ever go in and come out alive." And I said: "Tom, what about the deal to stop 900 tons? That's fantastic!" And he said: "Bo, we have no interest in doing that. We... [interrupted]..." ... Khun Sa has 8 million Shan people in an area of about one-third of the land mass of Burma that he is taking care of. The only crop that he is allowed to grow is poppies - we refine it into opium, morphine and heroin. He wants to legitimize the economy of those Shan lands, so he can become a true nation state. And he knows he can't do it if they are dependent on drugs."
*) July 4, 1988, interview with Bo Gritz on the The Morton Downey Jr. Show, Morton Downey Jr.: "I wanna show a tape that you made when you became the first American to enter the secret camp of heroin overlord Khun Sa. Now, if you don't mind, I've cut this tape up, so we'll take a look at part of it right now. And this will be the first time this has ever been seen on television. Will you roll that tape please and let the monitor out so that my audience can see it? [Clip shows Bo Gritz shaking hands with Khun Sa with many others around."
*) July 4, 1988, interview with Bo Gritz on the The Morton Downey Jr. Show, Gritz grabs a June 28, 1987 letter of Khun Sa to the Justice Department and reads the following lines: "During the period 1965 to 1975, CIA chief in Laos, Theodore Shackley, was in the drug business. Santos Trafficante acted as his buying and transporting agent, while Richard Armitage handled the financial section with the banks in Australia." Gritz continues in his own words: "Now, Armitage, as we speak, is the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under [Franl] Carlucci, who was a deputy director of CIA. And, of course, [George H. W.] Bush was a director of CIA."
*) March 1, 1988, The Fayetteville Observer, 'Gritz to publicize POW offer': "Gritz said Khun Sa is reputed to have 40,000 men, women and children under arms and will get out of the drug trade if the U.S. will aid his insurgency efforts. Gritz first met Khun Sa in Laos in December 1986. Gritz says he was sent there to find POWs by a man who works for the National Security Council. Gritz returned with video-taped conversations with Khun Sa, who said Amercian officials were involved in drug trafficking during the Vietnam War to finance unofficial wars against the communists in neutral Laos. Among those Khun Sa implicated, according to published reports, was Richard Armitage, currently assistant secretary of defense whose previous mission in Southeast Asia was to find American prisoners of war. U.S. officials told Gritz they didn't want to hear about drugs and suggested he forget the incident, Gritz claims. He said he was told if he persisted, he would serve 15 years as a felon for using a falsified passport. "I've used false passports many times, every time in pursuit of U.S. POWs," Gritz said, adding that U.S. officials knew about the practice. "Only James Bond goes overseas and uses his real name," Gritz said."
*) Unfortuntaly Bo Gritz has been a bit of a white supremicist, but this does not automatically deminish the accuracy of his message.
*) June 28, 1987, letter of Khun Sa to Attorney General Edwin Meese III (photocopies: page 1 and page 2): "
T.R.C. Thailand Revolutionary Council
Date: June 28, 1987
To: U.S. Justice Department Washington, D.C. U.S.A.
Subject: Important facts for the Drugs Eradication Program to be successful.
This letter to the US Justice Department is to make it clear about our deepest concern in wishing to help eradicate drugs and for all the American people as well as the world to know the truth that for the past (15) years they have been misled to look upon us as the main source of all the drug problems.
1. The refusal of the United States government to accept our "SIX YEARS DRUGS ERADICATION PLAN" presented at the Congressional Hearing by Congressman Mr. Lester Woff after his visit to Thailand in April 1977, was really a great disappointment for us. Even after this disappointment, we continued writing letters to President Carter and President Reagan forwarding our sincere wish to help and participate in eradicating drugs. We are really surprise and doubtful as to why the US government refuses our participation and help to make a success of the drugs eradication program.
Furthermore, why the world has been misled to accuse me as the main culprit for all the drug trades..... while in reality, we are most sincere and willing to help solve the drug problems in South East Asia. Through our own secret investigation, we found out that some high officials in the US government's drugs control and enforcement department and with the influence of corrupted persons objected to our active participation in the drugs eradication program of the US government so as to be able to retain their profitable self-interest from the continuation of the drug problems. Thus, the US government and the American people as well as the world have been hoodwinked.
2. During the period (1965 - 1975) CIA Chief in Laos, Theodore Shackly, was in the drug business, having contacts with the Opium Warlord Lor Sing Han and his followers. Santo Trafficano acted as his buying and transporting agent while Richard Armitage handled the financial section with the Banks in Australia. Even after the Vietnam War ended, when Richard Armitage was being posted to the US Embassy in Thailand, his dealings in the drug business continued as before. He was then acting as the US government official concerning with the drug problems in Southeast Asia. After 1979, Richard Armitage resigned from the US Embassy's posting and set up the "Far East Trading Company" as a front for his continuation in the drug trade and to bribe CIA agents in Laos and around the world. Soon after, Daniel Arnold was made to handle the drug business as well as the transportation of arms sales. Jerry Daniels then took over the drug trade from Richard Armitage. For over 10 years, Armitage supported his men in Laos and Thailand with the profits from his drug trade and most of the cash were deposited with the Banks in Australia which was to be used in buying his way for quicker promotions to higher positions.
Within the month of July, 1980, Thailand's english newspaper "Bangkok Post" included a news report that CIA agents were using Australia as a transit-base for their drug business and the banks in Australia for depositing, transferring the large sum of money involved.
Verifications of the news report can be made by the US Justice Department with Bangkok Post and in Australia.
Other facts given herewith have been drawn out from out Secret Reports files so as to present to you of the real facts as to why the drug problem is being prolonged till today.
3. Finally, we sincerely hope in the nearest future to be given the opportunity to actively take part in helping the US government, the Americans and people of the world in eradication and uprooting the drug problems.
Thailand Revolutionary Council
|||*) November 22, 1990, The New York Review of Books, 'Heroin, Laos, & the CIA: William E. Colby, reply by Jonathan Mirsky': "From his conversation with me, at his request, in Washington in 1981, Colby knows that one of his ex-agents told me at length about the heroin trade in Laos. The agent, who had lived with Vang Pao for several years, told me that "the general" stored a great quantity of opium under his house, as "insurance" in case the CIA abandoned him, and that he, the ex-agent, had seen opium put on Air America planes. Within a few days, however, and at Colby's insistence, he added that the pilots did not know what they were carrying. Colby spoke highly of this ex-agent, and did not dispute what he had told me. He simply underlined that none of these activities were CIA policy. I accepted that there was probably no document likely to be seen by a Senate oversight committee which would stipulate CIA cooperation in the drug traffic."
*) April 5, 1970, New York Times, 'Air America's Civilian Facade Gives It Latitude in East Asia': "With its assorted fleet of 167 aircraft, Air America performs diverse missions across East Asia from Korea to Indonesia. It is believed to be a major link for the C.I.A.'s extensive activities throughout Asia. ... Air America has been essential to the development of the clandestine army, headed by Maj. Gen. Vang Pao and recruited, trained, supplied and advised by the C.I.A. Air America began supplying food and weapons to the Meo hill tribesmen even before the pro-Communist Pathet Lao resumed the war against the Government of Prince Souvanna Phouma in 1964. ... In November, 1967, Air America began flying services in Thailand similar to those in Laos. ... It was from Udon that Thai troops were flown into Laos by Air America a couple of weeks ago to reinforce General Vang Pao's troops, which had been pushed off the Plaine des Jarres by the North Vietnamese."
*) May 17, 1988, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn for PBS Frontline, 'Guns, Drugs, and the CIA': "NARRATOR: General Richard Secord is one of the many veterans of the CIA secret war in Laos. Because Laos was officially neutral, American troops could not be used. The CIA relied on massive air power and a tribal army to fight the local communists and the North Vietnamese. On the ground in Northern Laos, a handful of CIA officers directed as many as eighty-five thousand soldiers drawn from the mountain tribes. But American officials did more than just send their allies into battle. ...
NARRATOR The war isolated the Meo tribespeople in their remote villages. CIA-owned Air America planes became their only life line to the outside world. While Meo children came to believe that rice fell from the sky, Meo farmer witnesses could count on Air America to move their [opium] cash crop.
RON RICKENBACH [former USAID official]: It was then the presence of these air support services in and out of the areas in question where the product, where the opium was grown that greatly facilitated an increase in production and an ease of transhipment from the point of agriculture to the point of processing. ...
NARRATOR: The possibility that Air America flew drugs is still hotly disputed by many former senior officers.
RICHARD SECORD: You can question any number of people who were there, who actually were there, not people who claim that they had some knowledge of rumors, you can question any number of people and I venture to say they will all support what I'm saying, and that is that there was no commercial trade in opium going on. RON RICKENBACH: I was on the airstrip, that was my job, to move in and about and to go from place to place and my people were in charge of dispatching aircraft. I was in the areas where opium was transshipped, I personally was a witness to opium being placed on aircraft, American aircraft. I witnessed it being taken off smaller aircraft that were coming in from outlying sites.
NEIL HANSEN, Former Pilot, Air America: Yes I've seen the sticky bricks come on board and no one was challenging their right to carry it. It was their own property.
NARRATOR: Neil Hansen is a former senior Air America pilot, now serving a sentence for smuggling cocaine.
NEIL HANSEN: We were some sort of a freebie airline in some respects there, whoever the customer or the local representative put on the airplane we flew. Primarily it was transported on our smaller aircraft, the Helios, the Porters and the things like that would visit the little outlying villages. They would send their opium to market.
NARRATOR: From the villages, the planes carried their cargo over the mountains to Long Chien, CIA headquarters for the war. It was a secret city. Unmarked on any map and carefully hidden from outsiders, Long Chien became one of the busiest airports in the world, with hundreds of landings and takeoffs a day. ...
NARRATOR: To lead their Meo army, the CIA selected Vang Pao, a former lieutenant in the French colonial army in Laos. The agency made very effort to boost his reputation. ...
NARRATOR: Vang Pao, however, did more than just lead his people in war. According to observers he and his officers dominated the trade in the Meo farmers' [opium] cash crop. In 1968, one visitor got a first-hand look at this trade in the village called Long Pot.
JOHN EVERINGHAM, Photographer: I was given the guest bed in the village, in fact the district headman's house, and I ended up sharing it with a guy in military uniform who I later found out was an officer of the Vang Pao army and one morning I was awoken very early by this great confusion of people and noise at the bottom of the bed, just, literally people brushing against my feet with the packets of black sticky substance in bamboo tubes and wrapped up in leaves and bits and things and the military officer who was there was weighing it out and paying off a considerable amount of money to these people and this went on for most of the morning and it went on for several mornings he brought up a great deal of this substance which I then started to think about and asked and had it confirmed that this was in fact raw opium.
NARRATOR: War photographer John Everingham has lived in Southeast Asia for over twenty years. He was one of the very few outsiders who dared to look for and photograph the secret army for himself.
JOHN EVERINGHAM: They all wore American supplied uniforms and the villagers very innocently and very openly told me, "oh they took it to Long Chien," and I asked them how they took it and they said, "oh well they took it on the helicopters as everything else that went to and from Long Chien went by helicopter and so did the opium."
FRONTLINE: And whose helicopters were they?
JOHN EVERINGHAM: Well they were the Air America helicopters which were on contract to the CIA.
JOHN EVERINGHAM: I know as a fact soon after the army was formed the military officers soon got control of the opium trade. It helped not only make them a lot of money and become good loyal officers to the CIA but it helped the villagers. The villagers needed their opium carried out and carried over the land in a war situation that was much more dangerous and more difficult, and the officers were obviously paying a good price 'cos the villagers were very eager to sell to the military people.
HARRY ADERHOLT, U.S. General: That's hogwash. No way and as far as the agency ever, ever advocating that: do you think I would be in an organization where I've devoted my life to my country--involved in a operation like that without blowing the whistle?--absolutely not.
NARRATOR: For veterans like General Aderholt and General Secord the war in Laos is now commemorated at nostalgic reunions. Last fall they gathered at a Florida air base to talk over old times and current business. While Vang Pao does not attend such functions, he is well remembered by his old comrades. ...
FRONTLINE: Did you work with Vang Pao?
RICHARD SECORD: Sure, all the time.
FRONTLINE: What was your relationship?
RICHARD SECORD: I was his supplier of air, therefore he stayed in close contact with me.
FRONTLINE: Were you in charge of supplying Air America planes?
RICHARD SECORD: For the tactical air operations, yes.
NARRATOR: The movement of Air America planes say witnesses were influenced by Vang Pao's business requirements.
RON RICKENBACH: Vang Pao wanted control of the aircraft-- sure, he would do the work that needed to be done but it would give that much more freedom and that much more flexibility to use these aircraft to go out and pick up the opium that needed to be picked up at this site or that site and to bring it back to Long Chien, and there was quite a hassle and Vang Pao won. Not only did he get control of the aircraft, but there was also a question of the operational control of the airplanes that were leaving Long Chien to go south, even into Thailand, and there was an embarrassing situation where the Americans knew that this could be exposed and it would be a very compromising situation. The way they got around that was to concede, to create for Vang Pao his own local airline, and Xieng Kouang airlines came into reality as a direct result of this compromise that was worked out, and they brought in a C-47 from the states and they painted it up nice and put Xieng Kouang airlines on it and they gave it to Vang Pao, and that aircraft was largely used for the transshipment of opium from Long Chien to sites further south.
FRONTLINE: Air Opium?
RON RICKENBACH: Air opium.
HARRY ADERHOLT: Those airlines didn't really belong to General Vang Pao. FRONTLINE: They belonged to the agency.
HARRY ADERHOLT: They belonged to the agency. They were maintained by the United States government in the form of Air America or Continental, so they didn't really own anything. It wasn't something he could take away with him, it was something that we controlled every iota of that operation, lock, stock and barrel.
FRONTLINE: You know what the nickname for that airline was?
RICHARD SECORD: No.
FRONTLINE: Opium Air.
RICHARD SECORD: I've never heard that before. ...
TONY POE: I'm sure we all knew it, but we tried to monitor it, because we controlled most of the pilots you see. We're giving him freedom of navigation into Thailand, into the bases, and we don't want him to get involved in moving, you know, this illicit traffic--O.K., silver bars and gold, O.K., but not heroin. What they would do is, they weren't going into Thailand, they were flying it in a big wet wing airplane that could fly for thirteen hours, a DC-3, and all the wings were filled with gas. They fly down to Pakse, then they fly over to Da Nang, and then the number two guy to President Thieu would receive it.
NARRATOR: Nguyen Van Thieu was president of South Vietnam from 1967 to 1975. Reports at the time accused president Thieu of financing his election through the heroin trade. Like Vang Pao, he always denied it, remaining America's honored and indispensable ally.
TONY POE: They were all in a contractual relationship: Some of this goes to me, some of this goes to thee. And you know just the bookkeeping--we deliver you on a certain day; they had coded messages and di-di-di. That means so and so as this much comes back and goes into our Swiss bank account. Oh, they had a wonderful relationship and every, maybe, six months they'd all come together, have a party somewhere and talk about their business: is it good or bad. It is like a mafia, yeah, a big organized mafia.
NARRATOR: By the end of 1970, there were thirty thousand Americans in Vietnam addicted to heroin. GI's were dying from overdoses at the rate of two a day. ... VICTOR MARCHETTI: Well, there may have been other funds generated by Vang Pao himself through his dope operations. After all, I mean they were poppy growers and opium smugglers, so I imagine there was money being earned that way that was Vang Pao's contribution to the war.
FRONTLINE: Is it conceivable that the CIA would fight a war with dope money?
VICTOR MARCHETTI: Well, yes, in the sense that they would not sell dope to earn money to support an operation. But they would look the other way if the people they were supporting were financing themselves by selling dope. ...
NARRATOR: As a former chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Narcotics, Joe Nellis did indeed have access to the records.
JOE NELLIS: Vang Pao had a heavy hand in the production of heroin in that area. ... [Iran Contra] was known at a very high level, it was known at all sorts of levels really--it's amazing that they could keep it secret as long as they did, and I guess that was the situation with Air America. People in CIA certainly knew it, and at that time Dick Helms I think was the head of the office, and I'm sure he must have reported it to Nixon.
NARRATOR: Former CIA Director Richard Helms told us: "I knew nothing of this. It certainly was not policy."
RICHARD SECORD: It's patently impossible. There are thousands of people involved in the intelligence community in the United States who read the reports, who are intimately familiar with details of field activities, and no such operation could ever be kept secret from the authorities in Washington, and would never be tolerated, never, not for a minute.
FRONTLINE: How many people knew what was going on [in the U.S. government]?
JOE NELLIS: Oh I don't think it was very many at all... A handful, maybe a hundred.
RON RICKENBACH: I personally did not complain, not at the time. I certainly complained after the fact, but that came as a result of my own awakening as to the rather horrible implications of what we were doing and I left working for the government rather abortively because I just could not tolerate myself-what was going on.
NARRATOR: His disgust was not only at the drug trade, but at the human cost of a war in which the recruits were as young as eight years old.
RON RICKENBACH: These people were absolutely decimated. The war itself took its own toll. Thousands and thousands of these people were either maimed or killed or died of disease or malnutrition secondary to the effects of the war. Many were bombed, many were blown away by conflict and combat. What was left after the war was the exodus to the south or to the west. These people have had their whole life destroyed for helping out in our war. For helping out in our war."
*) September 10, 2015, Consortium News, 'CIA and the Drug Business': "In 1966, [Federal Bureau of Narcotics] Agent John Evans was assigned as an assistant to [FBN] enforcement chief John Enright. "And that's when I got to see what the CIA was doing," Evans said. "I saw a report on the Kuomintang saying they were the biggest drug dealers in the world, and that the CIA was underwriting them. Air America was transporting tons of Kuomintang opium." Evans bristled. "I took the report to Enright. He said, 'Leave it here. Forget about it.' "Other things came to my attention," Evans added, "that proved that the CIA contributed to drug use in America. We were in constant conflict with the CIA because it was hiding its budget in ours, and because CIA people were smuggling drugs into the U.S. We weren't allowed to tell, and that fostered corruption in the Bureau.""
|||*) May 17, 1988, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn for PBS Frontline, 'Guns, Drugs, and the CIA' (ibid.): "TONY POE: ... What [General Vang Pao and the CIA's Air America] would do is, they weren't going into Thailand, they were flying it in a big wet wing airplane that could fly for thirteen hours, a DC-3, and all the wings were filled with gas. They fly down to Pakse, then they fly over to Da Nang, and then the number two guy to President Thieu would receive it.
NARRATOR: Nguyen Van Thieu was president of South Vietnam from 1967 to 1975. Reports at the time accused president Thieu of financing his election through the heroin trade. Like Vang Pao, he always denied it, remaining America's honored and indispensable ally.
TONY POE: They were all in a contractual relationship: Some of this goes to me, some of this goes to thee. And you know just the bookkeeping--we deliver you on a certain day; they had coded messages and di-di-di. That means so and so as this much comes back and goes into our Swiss bank account. Oh, they had a wonderful relationship and every, maybe, six months they'd all come together, have a party somewhere and talk about their business: is it good or bad. It is like a mafia, yeah, a big organized mafia.
NARRATOR: By the end of 1970, there were thirty thousand Americans in Vietnam addicted to heroin. GI's were dying from overdoses at the rate of two a day. ..."
*) 2005, Joseph J. Trento, 'Prelude to Terror', pp. 44-47: "All the weaknesses Shackley had shown in his earlier assignments quickly resurfaced in Vietnam. He demanded voluminous intelligence reports that forced case officers to concentrate on numbers rather than quality. When case officers tried to question him, his cold responses earned him the nickname "Ice Man". Shackley turned to old associates from Berlin and Miami to help him run what was then the largest CIA station in the world. Among them were his loyal cadre of Cuban refugees, like the legendary Felix Rodriguez [ran drug-related CIA counterinsurgency program in El Salvador and surrounding countries in the 1980s], who followed him first to Laos and then to Vietnam...
Back in Miami, former Cuban employees of Shackley's were showing up with embarrassing frequency in drug busts. When the old Bureau of Narcotics and Drugs (BNDD) launched Operation Eagle in 1968, it found itself arresting scores of CIA employees. ... many of these men were working directly for Santos Trafficante, who, the BNDD learned, now controlled significant heroin traffic in the United States. But although it arrested several of Trafficante's deputies, the BNDD could not get the Nixon administration to go after Trafficante directly. By this time, Trafficante was taking a serious interest in Vietnam. Not long after Shackley moved to Saigon Station, Trafficante made a tour of the Far East...
Meanwhile, it was an open secret in Saigon Station that President Nguyen Van Thieu, who had replaced Ngo Dinh Diem after the 1963 coup, and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky were participants in the heroin trade. Ky, one of [future CIA director William] Colby's most frequently cited intelligence sources, had been removed from Operation Haylift, which was flying commando units into Laos, when U.S. officers caught him loading opium onto his plane. Another frequently cited CIA asset and Shackley source, General Dang Van Quang, Thieu's security advisor, was a frequent point of friction between the CIA station and the U.S. military command. The military believed Quang was a major distributor of heroin to U.S. troops, according to Peter Kapusta, former CIA case officer to Saigon Police Chief General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. ... Shackley even interfered with the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in its probe of Ky 's top aide, General Ngo Dzu, who the Army investigators charged with being a major purveyor of heroin in Vietnam. ...
By 1971, Congress was getting so many complaints about GIs returning home addicted that the BNDD began to investigate. It, too, immediately ran into problems with CIA cooperation. ... When the CIA ostensibly began cooperating, this cooperation took the form of lending some of its officers to the BNDD as "investigators". These, of course, were many of the same men who had assisted in setting up the Laotians and Thais in the heroin business in the first place. ...
In Vietnam Shackley assigned Rodriguez and many of the other Cubans to Rudy Enders, who had also worked for Shackley at JM/WAVE [CIA station in Miami]. According to William Corson and others who served in Vietnam during this period Enders ran what were politely called Provincial Reconnaisance Units. These were units, engaged in, among other tasks, assassination. Enders's immediate boss was Donald Gregg, the CIA Base Chief for Region Three - Bien Hoa. Gregg would later play a key role as George Bush's contact man with America's private intelligence network after Bush became vice president.
David Morales, a Yaqui Indian who had worked for Shackley ever since Berlin in the 1950s and who had been his deputy in Laos, also moved with him to Vietnam. Morales was loyal to Shackley to a fault. He took on any assignment Shackley gave him, from blowing up buildings to ferrying money to drug lords.
Shackley's Cubans also included Frank Fiorini --who later changed his name to Frank Sturgis... and Rafael "Chi Chi" Quintero. The Cubans' roles in Laos and, later, Vietnam under Morales and others were what they had always been: as CIA killers. Quintero and some of the others later played an major role in the private intelligence network. These men worked under the aegis of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS). CORDS was supposed to reward Vietnamese who turned in their Viet Cong neighbors through Project Phoenix. Project Phoenix turned into a massive interrogation and assassination program. To receive their rewards, the South Vietnamese smoked out alleged Viet Cong cadres, captured them, and turned them in to be interrogated. More and more, the interrogators gave way to torture and assassination. ...
Under Shackley, Saigon Station spied on its own people as well as its enemies [it spied on William Colby and General Creighton Abrams, who had secret Vietnamese girlfriends, and later George Bush]. ... If pressed on an undesirable topic by a colleague, Shackley would warn him off by mentioning any personal entanglements."
|||November 11, 1991, interview with Mike Levine on WBAI's Undercurrents radio program (WBAI is part of the "liberal CIA" Pacifica Radio): "The first time I ran into CIA and other U.S. influences in this War on Drugs , was an undercover case I did into Bangkok, Thailand in 1971. I successfully conned the hell out of Chinese drug dealers who were also the source of an investigation on a case titled the William Henry Jackson Organization. In essence, a bunch of GI's from Vietnam were buying heroin in Thailand and putting the heroin in dead bodies of GI's killed in Vietnam. They were using the bodies of 19 year old Americans killed in that other holy war as conduits for heroin.
The Chinese drug dealers, who really bought my act, wanted to invite me to a laboratory in Chiang Mai, where they were producing hundreds of kilos. This was a time when the biggest heroin seizure was the French Connection, 65 or 67 kilos of heroin.
Here are people inviting me to a factory that produces hundreds of kilos of heroin a week and mysteriously I was instructed not to go and the case was ended with the Chinese dealers in Bangkok. I was told that there are a lot of things I didn't understand, there were other priorities, and of course I accepted that because I was the good soldier. What I point out with Alfred McCoy's book is that even if I'd had his book in my hand in 1971 and 72 - a book that clearly pointed out why I was not allowed to go to Changmai - what an incredible thing that is to accept - that my own government could protect people who were using the dead GI's as heroin conduits! How could I accept that? If I'd had McCoy's book in my hand I would have considered it an un-American thing to read. That's why I can understand what happens to young men who are in law enforcement, why they refuse to look at the reality of the situation. It's just too much for Americans to accept, it's too much for young narcotics agents. You don't take a j ob like this for Civil Service security, you take it because you believe in it and most of these guys do believe. When events happen, and they are told that there are priorities they don't understand, and when they see around them things like Oliver North, who had 500 pages on drug trafficking in his notebooks, they don't want to accept this because to accept it is to realize that your career is a lie."
October 9, 1996, Mike Levine on the Montel Williams Show with Gary Webb and AIM's Joe Goulden representing the official side: "I was a deep cover agent. I lived with Chinese drug dealers in Bangkok, Thailand, during the Vietnam War. ... I was in the Hot Narcotics Smuggling Unit of Customs. And the case that I was living with, these Chinese drug dealers, led me right to Chiang Mai. It was the first case that was killed by Central Intelligence. Ironically, it was a case that involved the smuggling of heroin into the U.S. in the dead bodies of GIs. And this was my first instance that I was brought into the embassy in the middle of the night. I was being forced by my government, mysteriously, suddenly, to lie to the drug dealers. All logistical support was withdrawn."
|||December 6, 1981, New York Times, 'Former intelligence aides profiting from old ties': "Many former American intelligence agents have entered into profitable business arrangements based on the extraordinary secret access to foreign officials and to sensitive information they gained in Government service. ... One case involves Daniel C. Arnold, the former [CIA] chief in Thailand. After leaving the agency in 1979, officials said, he went to work representing companies seeking to do business in Thailand. American officials involved in Thai affairs said they were concerned about Mr. Arnold's continued dealings with top-level Thai officials. Mr. Arnold apparently lives in the Washington area, but he does not have a listed telephone and could not be located."|
|||escapefromparadise.com/NewFiles/cia.html: 'Dan Arnold aka Daniel C. Arnold Ex-CIA Chief of Station in Thailand Lobbyist for Burma & Strange Bedfellow of S. P. and Hin Chew Chung': "We were able to track down only one photograph of Dan Arnold, which is reproduced in Escape from Paradise, under license from the Associated Press, but for print, only. The press service caption for that photograph reads, "Daniel Arnold, former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Bangkok, answers questions at a news conference in Bangkok on Thursday, January 25, 1996. Arnold and two other former U.S. government officials came to the defense of a Thai politician who has been denied a visa to the U.S. because he is suspected of drug trafficking." ... Dan Arnold is now a Board Member of Jefferson Waterman International, a Washington lobbying firm said to be paid by Burmese companies, which US officials say have business ties to the military regime. Dan Arnold has also been mentioned in conjunction with the arms and drug trade in Asia, and an alleged cocaine bust in northern California."|
|||*) June 6, 1997, Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), 'New evidence links George Bush to Los Angeles drug operation' (PDF original) (PDF backup). Alternative, but here the Bill Nelson - Ronald Lister case is perfectly summarized and put in its full context.
*) October 26, 2001, OC Weekly, '31 Scariest People in OC': "22. BILL NELSON. When he retired as deputy director of operations for the CIA and moved to Orange County in 1976, Congress was grilling the agency over its secret forays into Laos, Cambodia, Chile and Angola. According to newspaper articles at the time, Nelson, who had worked for the CIA since its inception in 1948, was "troubled" over the CIA's involvement in those controversial--and often illegal --operations, which is why he decided to take a nice, quiet job as vice president of security with Irvine-based [top engineering firm] Fluor Corp. [Note: Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, a director of ONI, NSA and SAIC and deputy director of the CIA, was a director Fluor construction firm 1985-December 2003, where he was replaced by Suzanne Woolsey, wife of former CIA director James Woolsey].
Nelson's qualifications? In Vietnam, he helped carry out Operation Phoenix, the assassination and torture program that wiped out tens of thousands of Viet Cong--along with anyone unlucky enough to be branded a subversive. The specifics of Nelson's tenure at the CIA are still top secret, thanks to government censors, but his career at Fluor is no less shadowy.
According to FBI records recently obtained by the Weekly, Nelson maintained an eight-year friendship and business relationship with Ronald Lister, the convicted coke dealer of San Jose Mercury News "Dark Alliance" series of articles fame. Lister claimed he worked for the CIA, and his business dealings with Nelson apparently involved Central America, where his security company worked with the murderous Salvadoran Defense Ministry and Roberto D'Aubuisson, leader of that country's right-wing death squads [and a person involved in the American Security Council and Western Goald Foundation].
What kind of business relationship could Nelson, a former top CIA official working for an Orange County construction company, have with Lister, a drug and weapons dealer, and D'Aubuisson, a Hitler admirer who authorized the 1980 murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero? There's no way to know: the FBI has withheld details of Nelson's relationship with Lister on the grounds that revealing them would violate U.S. national security.
MITIGATING FACTOR: Nelson died six years ago."
*) fas.org/irp/cia/product/cocaine/findings1.html (accessed: July 3, 2016): "On September 18, 1996, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California requested that the Agency determine whether CIA had any relationship with Ricky Donnell Ross, Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes, Juan Norwin Meneses Cantarero, Ronald Jay Lister, or David Scott Weekly. All five of these individuals were mentioned in the August 1996 San Jose Mercury News articles that implied CIA was connected to the drug trafficking activities of Ross, Blandon and Meneses. ... The RVO's Declaration further certified that CIA records included no information of any kind concerning Ross. With respect to Blandon, Meneses, Lister, and Weekly, the Declaration explained that there was relevant information in CIA files, but no information in CIA records indicated there was any Agency relationship with these individuals."
|||April 24, 1980, Washington Post, 'CIA Helped Quash Major Star-Studded Tax Evasion Case' (reprint of the Wall Street Journal). (PDF)|
||| *) April 5, 1976, Newsweek, 'A Slap for the Prince': "Rosenbaum founded the International Credit Bank of Geneva in 1959, and was introduced to Bernhard by Baron de Rothschild, who had placed millions in the ICB on behalf of the Israeli Government. In 1967, a Life magazine story charged that the ICB had served as a "laundry" for $7 billion to $8 billion of mob money skimmed from casinos in Las Vegas and the Caribbean. Even so, Rosenbaum and Bernhard remained friends."
*) March 1, 1976, Wall Street Journal, p. 12 (summary of the WSJ): "Article notes Lockheed Aircraft Corp's alleged $1 million payoff to Netherlands' Prince Bernhard was not only incident of Prince being used for business purposes and gains. Notes fugitive financier Robert Vesco and Tibor Rosenbaum, who was reptedly charged with fraud and embezzlement in '74, both sought Prince's favor as means of receiving financial backing from country's bankers. Describes encounters and unfavorable reception by bankers (M)."
*) 1998, Alan A. Block, 'Masters of paradise: organized crime and the Internal Revenue Service in The Bahamas', p. 83: "Rosenbaum worked with John Pullman in the International Credit Bank based in Geneva with a branch in The Bahamas. In the early 1960s, the mob's International Credit Bank became vitally important to Cornfeld's robust creation. It served as the Laundromat for smuggled funds, mostly from South American clients of I.O.S. [Investment Overseas Services]"
*) September 5, 2002, Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada), 'Casino Niagara the worst place to launder cash; Alleged terrorists drew attention': "Meyer Lansky, the legendary mobster who reputedly taught the Mafia how to hide its money. ... Possamai disputed Lansky's reputation as the godfather of money laundering. He said the real pioneer was a Canadian called John Pullman who moved to Switzerland and married a Swiss woman. Through his contacts with Swiss bankers, he set up the first offshore laundering schemes and washed money for a number of mobsters, including Lansky, before he retired from crime."
*) May 3, 2008, New York Times, 'A Last Vanishing Act for Robert Vesco, Fugitive': "[Robert Vesco] bought I.O.S. in 1970 for less than $5 million, gaining control of an estimated $400 million in funds. The accounting at the company had been so chaotic that Mr. Vesco, by adding a few subterfuges of his own, was able to plunder its holdings at will."
*) September 10, 2015, Consortium News, 'CIA and the Drug Business': "A deniable asset Conein used for parallel operations, Werbell had tried to sell several thousand silenced machine pistols to DEACON 1 [DEA Clandestine Operations Network] target Robert Vesco, then living in Costa Rica surrounded by drug trafficking Cuban exiles in the Trafficante organization. Trafficante was also, at the time, living in Costa Rica as a guest of President Figueres whose son had purchased weapons from Werbell and used them to arm a death squad he formed with DEACON 1 asset Carlos Rumbault, a notorious anti-Castro Cuban terrorist and fugitive drug smuggler."
*) See ISGP's 1001 Club article for more info Tibor Rosenbaum, Robert Vesco and associates as Prince Bernhard and the Rothschilds.
|||*) March 8, 1987, New York Times, 'North's Aides Linked to Australia Study': "Several former military and intelligence officers who helped Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North ship weapons to Iran and Central America were closely associated with the co-founder of an Australian financial concern that collapsed in 1980, according to an Australian Government investigation.
The collapse of the financial concern came amid charges that it had laundered money earned from weapons and illicit drug sales.
Among those linked to the failed Sydney-based concern, Nugan Hand Bank, and its co-founder, Michael J. Hand, was Richard V. Secord, a retired Air Force major general who helped Colonel North conduct airlifts of weapons to the Middle East and Central America, according to the four-year-old Australian investigation.
The Australian study, parts of which are still secret, was conducted by the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking and was completed in March 1983. ...
The Australian report, which has stirred Congressional interest, also concluded that several former Central Intelligence Agency officials and contract operatives, among them Theodore G. Shackley, Thomas G. Clines and Rafael Quintero, were involved in military and intelligence-related activities with Mr. Hand and other top officers of the Nugan Hand concern.
The Australian study does not demonstrate that Mr. Secord, Mr. Shackley, Mr. Clines or Mr. Quintero smuggled weapons or narcotics. It does, however, say that these men were close to Mr. Hand, a former Army Green Beret and military intelligence officer who served in Laos during the late 1960's with a C.I.A.-owned airline named Air America. It was the same period in which Mr. Secord played a large role in directing Air America's operations. Mr. Shackley and Mr. Clines were the two top officers of the C.I.A's Laotian station during this period as well, the report said. Mr. Hand, the report said, later worked with these men while he was directing his merchant bank, which he established in the early 1970's with Francis J. Nugan, an Australian."
*) August 17, 1983, Wall Street Journal, 'Bank's Links to Ex-CIA Men Detailed': "The Australian government report, prepared and released to Parliament in March by the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking, cites Mr. [Ted] Shackley [of the CIA] as one of the leading characters whose "background is relevant to a proper understanding of the activities of the Nugan Hand group and people associated with that group...
The report refers to contacts between Mr. Shackley and Michael Hand, the currently missing former CIA operator who founded, owned and managed the Nugan Hand banking group. Mr. Hand's partner, Australian Frank Nugan, died of a gunshot wound in January, 1980, later ruled a suicide, and Nugan Hand failed a few months later.
Investigations following Mr. Nugan's death and the failure of the bank revealed widespread dealings by Nugan-Hand with international heroin syndicates, and evidence of massive fraud against U.S. and foreign citizens. Many retired high-ranking Pentagon and CIA officials were executives of or consultants to Nugan-Hand... Among the high-level Pentagon and CIA officials associated with Nugan Hand were former CIA director William Colby [Le Cercle], who was its attorney... "
*) More details can be found in Jonathan Kwitny's book The Crimes of Patriots.
*) November 13, 1982, New York Times, 'Austrialia suspects bank link to CIA': "Australian detectives are expected to visit the United States and Southeast Asia in the next few weeks as they attempt to determine whether the failed Sydney-based Nugan Hand Merchant Bank was involved in trafficking in heroin and covert activities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. … The police report said of Mr. Hand: ''His business activities in the late 1960's and the early 1970's with members of the C.I.A.- controlled airline, Air America, and C.I.A.-connected Continental Air Service, and Agency for International Development led to the strong inference that Hand's intelligence activity was with the C.I.A. ''There is some evidence to suggest that Hand retained his U.S. intelligence ties through the 1970's and probably into the 1980's. Houghton was associated with U.S. intelligence personnel in Southeast Asia and Australia, and had some type of association with personnel in the Australian security and intelligence organization.'' … The sections include ''The destruction of Nugan Hand records;'' his meetings in 1979 with a former C.I.A. operative, Edwin P. Wilson, who was recently arrested in the United States and charged with exporting explosives to Libya to help train terrorists, and one headed, ''Houghton and two Australian clients of Nugan Hand - a case of fraud?'' Colby Is Named The report included a list of Americans who worked for Nugan Hand. Among them were Rear Adm. Earl Yates, U.S.N., retired, the first president of Nugan Hand International; William E. Colby, Director of Central Intelligence from 1973 to 1976, who worked as legal adviser to Nugan Hand International after 1979; Walter McDonald, former economist and oil expert at the C.I.A., who joined Nugan Hand International in 1979 as a consultant; Brig. Gen. Edwin Black, U.S.A., retired, the bank's representative in Hawaii; Lieut. Gen. LeRoy Manor, U.S.A.F., retired, the Nugan Hand representative in Manila; Dr. Guy Pauker, a consultant to Nugan Hand International, and Dale Holmgren, the bank's Taiwan representative, who was an Army officer in Taiwan."
||| 2006, Rodney Stich, 'Those Ugly Americans: 20th and 21st Centuries', pp. 342-343: "In March 1996, I acquired several boxes containing hundreds of CIA documents generated from the CIA's secret operation in Hawaii, and within these boxes I found highly sensitive material, including notes that Rewald had made while the titular head of BBRDW. Certain notes and information provided to me by Rewald divulged CIA drug related activities, including drug money laundering. As I gathered from looking over the material and by talking with Rewald, he was unaware of much of the CIA activities originating out of BBRDW... Deeply imbedded in these documents was an envelope labeled "Lawyer- Client information." The information was dynamite, divulging secret activities, including CIA drug trafficking, and CIA funding of secret overseas bank accounts for high U.S. officials. The information in this envelope included information from the "Green Book" that the CIA sought to get from Rewald while he was in the hospital recovering from the combination suicide and assassination attempt. The notes in the envelope listed high-level people with secret CIA-funded accounts. The names on the left side of the notes were the aliases Rewald used to identify the people on the right for which there were secret bank accounts opened and funded by the CIA through BBRDW....
- Irwin M. Peach [=] George Bush...
- Mr. Bramble [=] George Bush...
- Mr. Branch [=] Richard Armitage...
- Mr. Denile [=] William Casey...
Rewald's notes also indicated that fictitious names were used to hide money for B.K. Kim, Philippines' President Ferdinand, and Imelda Marcos, among others."
*) Ibid., p. 340: "In November 1984, CIA Director William Casey complained to the Federal Communication Commission about the ABC television network for having aired a show featuring CIA agent Scott Barnes. In the television presentation Barnes said he was asked by two CIA agents in Honolulu to kill Ronald Rewald. This airing had the danger of revealing the CIA role in BBRDW and could expose an endless number of other covert CIA proprietaries and operations..."
||| 1990, Hugo Gijsels, 'De Bende & Co. - 20 jaar destabilizering in België' ('The Gang & Co. - 20 years of destabilization in Belgium'), pp. 36-37: "When the Gazet of Antwerpen in early November 1981 reported about the drug trafficking in frozen meat, the editorial office of the paper also received threatening phone calls. The trafficking which occurred is one of the most mysterious aspects of the Francois affair where Vernaillen and Goffinon [both survived assassination attempts] became embroiled with. The drugs - hash and cocaine - were smuggled in frozen meat in trucks of the company's Congel and Boucheries Ghysels from Spain, via the customs depot Mamer in Luxembourg to Belgium. Although the NDB already knew about this three years before the arrival of the tipster, the trucks kept passing the border unhindered. According to the tipster of the High Committee, commandant [general] Francois and his right hand Cammerman were always personally present when such a freezer truck was due to arrive. One detail catches the eye here: important shareholder and chairman of Boucheries Ghysels was Paul Vanden Boeynants. Congel, by the way, is a subsidiary of the Ghysels Group."
*) Ibid., pp. 144-150: "In the first interview Lekeu told journalist Gilbert Dupont that in the late 1970s he had become a member of Group G, a Nazi-inspired parallel secret organization within the gendarmerie. Group G was directed from outside of the gendarmerie by Francis Dossogne and Paul Latinus, the leaders of Front de la Jeunesse. As has been sufficiently proven in the mean time, both the Front de la Jeunesse as well as Dossogne and Latinus at the time were on the pay-list of baron de Bonvoisin, in turn the political handyman of Paul Vanden Boeynants. Group G would have stood for 'Groupe d'Action Politique'. Other sources speak about 'Groupe de la Gendarmerie', after the sister organization of the Group G in the Army, the Group M (Groupe Militaire). Next to these there also existed cells at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - consisting of candidate gendarme officers who studied criminology at this university, the Royal Military School, the Mobile Legion, the Special Intervention Squadron (Diana Group), in the narcotics section of the Brussels BOB and different other brigades of the gendarmerie. According to detectives who anno 1989 tried to get an idea of the extent of this extreme-right infiltration, at least sixty personnel from the gendarmerie would be involved. The organizational structure of Group G consisted of different cells who knew nothing about each others existence and inner workings. It is also admitted then that the infiltration might well have been a lot more extensive than the estimated sixty personnel."
Martial Lekeu claimed to have been recruited by Didier Mievis, a BOB officer who worked at the Central Bureau for Intelligence and was described by Lekeu as the recruiting officer of the Front at the gendarmerie. Lekeu also regularly took part in informal gatherings at the Brussels 'Hotel de la Pompe' with commandant Francois [invited by the US Army's CID in 1969; educated by the DEA; received by President Nixon; secretary of the International Drug Enforcement Association; founded the gendarmerie's National Bureau for Drugs (NBD) in the 1972-1975 period with Paul "VdB" Vanden Boeynants and CIA support, and became the NBD's initial head; always present at the border when a new large shipment of marihuana and cocaine of VdB's company was smuggled into Belgium; leading member of the subversive and fascist Group G, together with DEA agent Frank Eaton; provided the CIA chief in Belgium with intelligence about leftists and other dissident groups; accused in 1990 by prostitute Maud Sarr of involvement in orgies with minors, together with Paul Vanden Boeynants and Jean Depretre (both accused by other sources as well); one of his successors at the NBD, general Beaurir was also accused of pedophilia and was also part of the CEPIC circle] of the NBD and Frank Eaton (his friend, pilot and DEA agent Jean-Francois Buslik, was tied with his friend Madani Bouhouche to a number of assassinations) of the DEA...
According to Lekeu, the Group G and Group M were working on a coup since 1975. This coup had to be the brought about through a whole series of terrorist actions and would hand the power to the Centre Politique des Independants et Cadres Chretiens, the CEPIC, the in 1981 dissolved extreme-right wing of the French-language christian-democratic party PSC. In that period, Paul Vanden Boeynants was defense secretary and chairman of the CEPIC. Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin, aka the Black Baron, in that period was another member of the board of directors and the national treasurer of the CEPIC. Since the newspaper De Morgen published on May 19, 1981 the contents of a confidential nota of State Security, we know that the Front de la Jeunesse and Nouvel Europe Magazine in those years were financed by the CEPIC and de Bonvoisin.
Lekeu did make other revelations as well: so the the never solved theft of the fifteen Heckler und Koch machine guns in the night of December 31, 1981 from the Group Diana barracks would have been the work of Group G [tightly linked to Madani Bouhouche, so very much possible]... Also the failed assassinations on colonel Vernaillen and adjutant Goffinon should be written on the account of Group G, according to Lekeu. Lekeu stated he got out when the organization began to organize the terrorist attacks of the Gang [of Nijvel]."
|||1994, Carol Marshall, 'The Last Circle'.|
|||1986, Covertaction Information Bulletin, issue 25-30, p. 9: "The Gemayel family's financial wizard, Sami el Khouri, was for many years the brain behind a major drug operation in Lebanon. He controlled the police, customs, two shipping lines, and the Middle Eastern Airlines. Among his proteges was Ahmed Yousef Wehbe. A U.S. Senate Subcommittee learned in 1955 that Sami el Khouri was Lebanon's most important drug trafficker. In the late 1950s, el Khouri was sent to jail. When he was released in 1963, the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs suggested that he become an informer. Whether he is, is unknown. In 1966, Sami el Khouri was sentenced to five years in jail. It is doubtful that he ever served any of that sentence, except maybe in house arrest. In 1970 he had a meeting with Meyer Lansky, the reputed Mafia drug trafficker with ties to the CIA, after which he claimed that he had retired from all business."|
|||*) 1994, Carol Marshall, 'The Last Circle', chapter 10: "The crux of the Wackenut involvement in arms development and shipments through various sources, including Peter Zokosky, Robert Booth Nichols, John Vanderwerker, and others, was tied irrevocably to the Reagan administration's efforts to aid the Nicaraguan Contras. ...
The Special Operations Intelligence Report entitled, "Nicaraguans and Earl Brian at Lake Cahuilla 9/10/81" described a meeting held between two groups, the Nicaraguans and Wackenhut/Cabazon officials, at a countyowned police firing range at Lake Cahuilla in Riverside County.
According to the surveillance report, the purpose of the meeting was "to test a new night vision device and weapons. All [the] weapons tested were semiautomatic. [A} new sniper rifle tested was a 50 caliber with a 308 bullet." The report went on to note that, "some automatic weapons were present, but all had necessary permits through Meridian Arms. Meridian Arms [is] owned by Michael Riconosciuto [and] Robert Booth Nichols ... Meeting and testing took about one hour, then all parties left."
Police officers had been placed around the surrounding area in a surveillance/protection type mode. Each of the six Indio police officers participating in the range surveillance were named individually in the report. The license plate numbers of each car that arrived on the scene was included in the Report along with the names and identification of everyone who attended the demonstration. Some of those names and I.D.'s were: "
- Michael Riconosciuto, Researcher for Cabazon Indians [and vice president of Robert Booth Nichols' Meridian Arms company].
- Peter Zokosky, President of Armtech Coachella.
- John D. Vanderwerker and a couple of his friends. Vanderwerker, CIA Research Director for CIA [for] 8 years.
- Earl Brian, Wisconsin businessman and CIA employee.
- Two Nicaraguan Generals Eden Pastora, Commander Zero and Jose Curdel, Commander Alpha. ...
The surveillance report indicated that Wayne Reeder and Earl Brian arrived together in a 1981 White Rolls Royce, License Plate Number OK 2XG2302. The two Nicaraguan Generals arrived in a 1981 Honda, License Plate Number AZ AFM877."
*) July 1989 issue, Penthouse magazine, 'The remarkable life and brutal death of Adler Berriman Seal explains why America is losing the war on drugs ... because, in large measure, the American government is fighting itself': "In 1982, Casey had approved the creation of a group of Costa Rican-based Contras under the leadership of Eden "Commandante Zero" Pastora, a former Sandinista leader who had broken with the regime. However grandiose Casey's strategic conception that Pastora's "southern front" would unite with the Honduran-based Contra faction in the north and crush Nicaragua in a giant pincer, there was in fact not enough money io accomplish that vision. The Boland Amendment made direct CIA funding impossible, and some members of Pastora's faction began reaching out for other sources of funds. Pastora himself wanted nothing to do with drugs, but one of his aides, Sebastian Gonzalez, did. Gonzalez broke with Pastora, formed his own Contra group called M-3, and went into business with the Medellin Cartel. He was later indicted in Costa Rica for narcotics trafficking and fled the country. The interesting aspect of the entire episode is that he was encouraged by the CIA to break with Pastora. The agency become disenchanted with Pastora when he refused to meld his forces with the Honduran-based Contras -- a group that, he argued, contained too many former members of Anastasio Somoza's notorious National Guard. The CIA's solution was to undercut Pastora by wooing away some of his key supporters, including Gonzalez. But Gonzalez had no money, the CIA had none to give him, and thus there could not have been a doubt in anyone's mind where Gonzalez got the money to equip his M-3 fighting force."
*) May 16, 1991, Los Angeles Times, 'Noriega Papers Claim CIA Sent Him Millions': " Gen. Manuel A. Noriega, Panama's former strongman leader, was paid more than $11 million from a Central Intelligence Agency slush fund, according to a Noriega defense document released Wednesday. ... The Justice Department deleted key sections of the document, including details of Noriega's contacts with President Bush. Among other allegations in the filing, which is unsupported by documentation:
- Noriega knew that planes carrying arms to Nicaraguan rebels returned to the United States loaded with illegal drugs. He understood that the U.S. government "clearly was involved in a guns for drugs policy" ...
- Noriega served as a conduit for cash payments from the CIA to onetime anti-Sandinista leader Eden Pastora."
|||Photocopies of a police file on Robert Booth Nichols: page 1, page 2.|
|||*) Photocopy of an FBI transcript of phone taps on Robert Booth Nichols associate Eugene Giaquinto.
*) 1994, Carol Marshall, 'The Last Circle': "The wiretape had recorded Robert Booth Nichols communicating with Eugene Giaquinto, then president of MCA home entertainment division. Gianquinto was a board member of Nichols' holding company, Meridian International Logistics [MIL], under investigation by the FBI as a "source of funding for the purchasing of narcotics/controlled substances and the allocation and use of the proceeds from its trafficking," according to the wiretap application.
MIL was reportedly a NSC cutout, used for the purpose of "funneling money to pay the board of directors," according to Nichols' friend who was once on the board. He explained that the NSC is a "proifit-making entity; funding is unlimited and no accountability is required because of national security."
He further explained that all business conducted covertly today relates to two things: "money and/or drugs." Drugs are used as international currency, commonly called "gold." Drugs are a business at the highest levels of corporations because there is a huge market and demand for drugs. Entire countries and banking institutions are dependent on the drug trade for income, he said. Presumably these include Colombia, Mexico, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and other drug-dependent economies. ...
Marvin Rudnick, now a Pasadena lawyer, once tried to prosecute MCA Corporation for organized crime involvement, but got shut down at the highest level, and the Organized Crime Strike Force was disbanned. One member of that investigative team was Richard Stavin, who talked to Danny Casolaro shortly before his death. Eugene Giaquinto and Jack Valenti played heavily in Stavin's investigation of MCA, as did Curry Company (a subsidiary of MCA) in Yosemite National Park. Rudnick ... at some point, worked parallel with Thomas Gates during his investigations of Robert Nichols. Gates and Weinstein were also well acquainted with Mariposa County government's relationship with Curry Company. ...
In an interview, Richard Stavin remembered the incident [of following Robert Booth Nichols and seeing him meet with Eugene Giaquinto]. He said that he and Thomas Gates "were astounded by the comments Giaquinto made about Robert Booth Nichols as to what information he could get from the federal government."
I sent Stavin an FBI report on Nichols, and he responded: "I had seen other intelligence reports on RBN similar to this one. We had thought that he might have been involved in another Ollie North Iran-Contra deal through MCA and the Reagan/Wasserman connection. John Cohen intimated that we might have been on to something there." Stavin added: "I guess we'll never know how my investigation would have turned out had it not been sabotaged. Nichols was/is very mysterious. ...I seem to recall the Cabazon reservation deal and Wackenhut popping up with RBN. We had so much else on our plates it was just another un-followed up lead." ...
I asked [Robert Booth Nichols] about his relationship with MCA corporation. He said Eugene Giaquinto, President of MCA Home Entertainment Division, had resigned from his company, MIL, after the FBI investigation was underway."
|||*) July 18, 1988, Sydney Morning Herald, 'Poppies may sprout as Soviet troops pull out': "Afghanistan, a tribal-based, impoverished nation of widely scattered villages, has always been a major heroin producer. Accurate figures have been hard to come by since the Soviet intervention, but the last DEA estimate, for 1985, put Afghanistan's annual opium production at 300 to 400 tons. Most is believed to have found its way to heroin refineries across the border. According to Pakistani opposition leaders, a $US2 billion covert Central Intelligence Agency operation that provided arms for the Afghan resistance also fuelled the drug trade. They say that by opening weapons supply routes into Afghanistan, President Zia and the CIA have also opened routes for drugs coming out."
*) December 13, 2003, The Guardian, 'Smart money' (a combined review of Loretta Napoleoni's 'Modern Jihad: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks' and Jeffrey Robinson's 'The Sink: Terror, Crime and Dirty Money in the Offshore World'): "William Casey, Reagan's CIA chief, used Pakistan and its BCCI bank as fronts to train Afghan rebels against the Soviets. Covert operations required a "black network" within the bank and its state equivalent, the notorious ISI. The bank financed and brokered covert arms deals, complete with full laundry service. The short and logical step from there was a BCCI/ISI/CIA move into drug smuggling to feed the needy, and leaky, money pipeline to the Mujahedin. The Pakistan-Afghan connection became the biggest single supplier of heroin to the US, meeting 60% of demand, with annual profits a stratospheric $100-$200 billion."
*) September 1, 1991, Washington Post, 'Pakistan's illicit economies affect BCCI bank...': "According to diplomatic sources, Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal -- working with Pakistan's main intelligence agency -- distributed over $1 billion in cash to Afghan guerrillas during the late 1980s... The financial transactions were handled principally between Saudi intelligence and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), the main liaison between the United States, Saudi Arabia and the Afghan guerrillas, the sources said... As for drug trafficking, the sources acknowledged that Pakistan's ISI routinely condoned heroin manufacture and sales by some Afghan guerrilla groups."
*) September 30, 2001, Star Tribune, 'Drug trade filled coffers of Taliban, Bin Laden group': "Alfred McCoy, a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin, said U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials sanctioned the rebels' drug trafficking because of their fierce opposition to the Soviets. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a rebel leader who received $1 billion in covert CIA funds, was a major heroin trafficker, according to McCoy. Afghan opium production ballooned from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991."
*) 2002 (third edition), John Cooley, 'Unholy Wars', pp. 108-110: "All close observers of the war knew that the drug smugglers carried weapons into Afghanistan and took drugs back with them. Heroin laboratories began to spring up in the rear of the various Afghan battlefronts... The Soviet account quotes the American Left-liberal magazine, Rolling Stone, reporting on a powerful narcobusiness network, including vast new fields of opium poppies on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, created during the jihad. It was "complete with well-planned routes and a whole network of dozens of factories" to process the opium into morphine base and heroin. "Western experts" [names and nationalities unspecified] supervised creation of the labs in camps of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's [very radical and an associate of Bin Laden] group. However -and here, interestingly, the Russian view of the wartime drug traffic diverges from the Western one — "the real 'King of Heroin,'" said Shvedov's Russian team, "is considered to be Gaylani who has far surpassed Hekmatyar in narcobusiness and controls the overwhelming majority of the operations of the opium mafia." The CIA, the Russians added, was working closely with both Hekmatyar and Gaylani... Sayad Ahmed Gaylani, called "Effendi Juan" by compatriots, headed the NIF [National Islamic Front of Afghanistan]. He was a wealthy Afghan aristocrat, supporter of the exiled king, Zahir Shah. Gaylani had a strong bent for business. In 1952 he married a woman of the royal dynasty, the Durranis. He wisely invested profits from holding the sales franchise for Peugeot cars in Kabul. At the same time, he kept the religious prestige attached to his descent from the Qadiriya brotherhood, one of the mystic Sufi orders of South Asian Islam... The Soviet intelligence report on Gaylani's NIF found that it "has significant financial resources. Besides the aid from various foundations in the USA, Western Europe and Arab countries, it makes profit on selling drugs and exacting taxes from the population.""
|||2005, Joseph J. Trento, 'Prelude to Terror', pp. 99-106: "One of George Bush's most significant accomplishments in his year as CIA Director  was to switch the Agency's reliance, for regional intelligence, from Israel to Saudi Arabia [in total contrast to Angleton]. …
Although Bush has been given much of the responsibility for the shift, in reality he had always been a strong supporter of Israel, despite ties to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that went back to his father and grandfather.
During George Bush's Zapata-Offshore years, he had met most of the Gulf region's royals and had developed close personal relationships with several of them. …
The most important friendship Bush had was with a quiet, dignified man named Sheikh Kamal Adham, Director of Saudi Intelligence, whom Bush had met through his father. Bush has told reporters, "I never met Kamal Adham personally." But according to lawyers for the late Saudi Intelligence head and several officials at the CIA who served under Bush, there were several official meetings inside and outside the United States, both before and after Bush was the DCI. "Bush and Kamal were old friends. I was present when they met in New York when Bush was still United Nations Ambassador," Sarkis Soghanalian said. Bush and Adham shared a fascination with intelligence.
Bush also took a deep interest in the Sheikh's American-educated nephew, HRH Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud. Prince Turki had been the subject of CIA interest ever since his father had sent him to prep school at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Agency talent spotters on the faculty at Georgetown University kept close track of Turki until he came out of Georgetown to return home at the outbreak of the 1967 war with Israel. And later completing his education in England, Turki again returned home to prepare himself to eventually succeed his uncle Kamal Adham as Director of Saudi Intelligence.
"On his visits here," Robert Crowley recalled, 'Agency management made Turki welcome, knowing full well that at some point Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Department [GID] would fall under his control." As a young Saudi bureaucrat, Prince Turki was cultivated by various CIA operatives, including Shackley, Clines, and Terpil. In the early 1970s, when Terpil and Wilson first started operations in Libya, Terpil set Wilson up with a Geneva lawyer named Robert Turrettini, who also handled banking matters for Turki. Terpil told Wilson that he went back years with Turki through Turki's personal assistant. When Wilson needed financial backing for several large-scale operations, Prince Turki put up the cash. In 1992, Wilson said he shared millions of dollars with Turki in a Swiss bank account from an old operation.
Both Prince Turki and Kamal Adham would play enormous roles in servicing a spy network designed to replace the official CIA while it was under Congressional scrutiny between the time of Watergate and the end of the Carter administration. …
"Clark Clifford approached Kamal Adham and asked that the Saudis consider setting up an informal intelligence network outside the United States during the investigations," Robert Crowley said. Crowley, in his role as the CIA's liaison to the corporate world, was privy to the plan, in which worldwide covert operations for the Agency were funded through a host of Saudi banking and charity enterprises. Several top U.S. military and intelligence officials directed the operations from positions they held overseas, notably former CIA Director Richard Helms, at this time Ambassador to Iran. Ed Wilson and his associates supported the network.
According to Wilson, Prince Turki was used to finance several of his intelligence operations during this time period. According to Wilson, the amounts were in the millions of dollars. According to Tom Clines, the relationship between the Saudis and the private U.S. intelligence network grew out of the activities of Clines and his colleagues was "vital… these operations were so sensitive, they could not be revealed." Mike Pilgrims, who also played a role in the operations of the private network during the 1980s, said, "It got to the point where we were used to support GID operations when the CIA could not." According to those involved, there was no line drawn between what was official and what became personal business. … [Prince Turki's admission at Georgetown that he helped set up the Safari Club in 1976] …
Turki's "secret" was that the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States. It was during this time period that the Saudis opened up a series of covert accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington. Starting in the mid-1970s, bank investigators say, these accounts show that tens of millions of dollars were being transferred between CIA operational accounts and accounts controlled by Saudi companies and the Saudi embassy itself. Turki worked directly with agency operatives like Sarkis Soghanalian and Ed Wilson. "If I needed money for an operation, Prince Turki made it available," Wilson said. … Their [the Saudi's] interests included keeping the shah in charge in Teheran and keeping an eye out on increasingly militant Libya. …
Sarkis Soghanalian was close to Sheikh Kamal Adham during this period. Adham frequently asked Soghanalian "about what kind of shape the shah was in. He complained the CIA was not giving him the full picture of how the shah was losing control." Adham believed that binding Saudi Arabia with the United States would increase the House of Saud's chances of surviving an Islamic resurgence. "Believe me," Soghanalian said, "Kamal did not do these things out of charity, but survival."
Adham worked closely with George Bush on the plan to provide covert banking services for CIA operations. … In 1976, when the CIA needed an influx of cash for operations, Adham agreed to allow Nugan Hand Bank's Bernie Houghton to open a branch in Saudi Arabia. … Adham understood that creating a single worldwide clandestine bank was not enough to assure the kind of resources necessary to stave off the coming Islamic revolutions that threatened Saudi Arabia and the entire region. The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world in order to create the biggest clandestine money network in history. Bush had an account with the BCCI established at the time he was at the CIA. The account was set up at the Paris branch of the bank. …
What no one reported at the time was that the bank was being used by the United States and Saudi Arabia as an intelligence front. There had never been anything like it. Paul Helliwell may have made the mold, but Adham and BCCI founder Sheikh Agha Hasan Abedi smashed it. They contrived, with Bush and other intelligence service heads, a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank would solicit the business of every major terrorist, rebel, and underground organization in the world. The invaluable intelligence thus gained would be discreetly distributed to "friends" of BCCI. …
Adham and Abedi believed the United States needed monitoring. … Adham did not rely simply on money to carry out the plan. Adham and Abedi understood that they would also need muscle. They tapped into the CIA's stockpile of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers. Time magazine called the group a "black network.""
*) 2010, Rodney Stich, 'Japanese and U.S. World War II Plunder and Intrigue', p. 244: "The CIA provided part of the startup funding for BCCI. It moved large amounts of money through BCCI during its entire operation. Former CIA Director Richard Helms tried to arrange for the purchase of First American by BCCI and failed. Clark Clifford then sought to arrange the purchase using BCCI front men, obtaining U.S. regulatory approval based upon Clifford's false representations."
*) September 15, 1991, Sunday Telegraph, 'Saudi intelligence figure key part of huge BCCI scandal': "Richard Helms, former CIA director and U.S. ambassador to Iran, said Western bank regulators and business don't understand the business culture of the Middle East. Adham probably viewed his relationship with BCCI in the First American takeover as nothing out of the ordinary," he said."
|||1992, Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown, Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, part 11: "In the case of BCCI, former CIA officials, including former CIA director Richard Helms and the late William Casey; former and current foreign intelligence officials, including Kamal Adham and Abdul Raouf Khalil; and principal foreign agents of the U.S., such as Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar, float in and out of BCCI at critical times in its history, and participate simultaneously in the making of key episodes in U.S. foreign policy...
On February 23, 1992, NBC News broadcast the allegation that former Director of Central Intelligence William Casey met secretly for three years with Abedi [1001 Club; head of the BCCI], that such meetings took place every few months at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., and that they discussed matters relating to U.S. arms deals to Iran and the arming of Afghani rebels... The BCCI official explicitly described meetings between Casey and Abedi at the Madison Hotel in the mid-1980's..."
|||November 21, 1991, ATLAS document: "Around 1983, PRZEDBORSKI would have hired a MOSSAD Colonel for his own safety and that of his group. ... "Later, this Colonel would have accepted the proposal to leave the MOSSAD and put his entire team at the service of PRZEDBORSKI. "This Colonel would have ... trained members of the CONTRAS as well as those of the CALI CARTEL... "It is said that some weapons of IRANGATE would have been transferred to the CONTRAS of NICARAGUA by this network. (It appears that on this matter PRZEDBORSKI would have called an American president by his first name)."
For details visit ISGP's article on the ATLAS document.
|||August 30, 1989, Los Angeles Times, 'Tape Shows Israelis Training Cartels' Killers': "Experienced Israeli instructors trained private paramilitary units whose members included a leader of the Medellin drug cartel's death squads, blamed in the killings this month of four judges and nine court workers, according to a videotape prepared by the Israelis themselves. The 48-minute color videotape clearly showed former Israeli army Col. Yair Klein running military and assassination training exercises for about 50 men, including one known as Vladimir. Other foreigners speaking Hebrew were shown and heard on the videotape. Vladimir, whose real name is Alfredo Vaquero, is identified by Colombian authorities as the leader of the Medellin cartel's paramilitary organization. He was arrested 10 days ago and charged with murder in the slayings of the judges and court workers. In addition to Vladimir, the security authorities identified at least four key figures in Colombia's massive drug trade as attending a graduation ceremony at the end of the training program. A secret report prepared for a government security agent also disclosed that the trainees in the film had been recruited at the behest of Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, two leaders of the Medellin cartel. The video was prepared by Klein as a promotion for a company, The Spear of Glory, that he had established to train paramilitary groups, according to Gen. Miguel A. Maza Marquez, head of the Administrative Security Department, Colombia's equivalent of the FBI. ... [Maza] said that at least 11 British instructors also had trained paramilitary units for the Cali drug cartel, but he made clear that the Israeli trainers were his targets. "With this (videotape), everything is proved, and in this country everything has to be proved," he said. ... Klein, a former commander of an Israeli anti-terrorist unit, returned to Israel last year. He told Israel television that he had worked in Colombia for six months, from December, 1987, to May, 1988. The group he trained "included only farmers who have been physically injured by guerrilla bullets and survived or had their families killed," he said. "Nobody else was accepted into this organization." ... Maza, whose car was blown up last week in an apparent attempt by the drug dealers to kill him, said the Israelis had now left his country. The secret report asserted that Klein had told his employers that he and his men were going to Costa Rica and Honduras to train Nicaraguan rebels."|
|||May 4, 1990, Los Angeles Times, 'Former Cartel Kingpin Says Drug Leaders Gave Contras $20 Million': "A former kingpin of the Medellin drug cartel said Colombian drug lords donated about $20 million to the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua. Carlos Lehder Rivas, 40, made his remarks in a broadcast Thursday night of ABC's PrimeTime Live, which interviewed him in the federal prison in Marion, Ill., where Lehder is serving a life sentence plus 135 years. "We did give a great deal of money to the Contra cause . . . I gave. We put up the first time about $10 million to the Contras," said Lehder, whose hands were shackled during the interview. "(In all) around $20 million in cash went to help the Contras."
Adolfo Calero, a former director of the Nicaraguan Resistance [note: who worked with Colonel Oliver North and has many ties to drug trafficking, despite being free], an umbrella group for the Contras, denied Lehder's allegations. "We never had one cent from them," Calero said in a telephone interview from his Miami home. "We know where all our contributions came from." ..."
|||September 4, 1991, Washington Post, 'Noriega Defense Team Vows to Detail Secret U.S. Deals': "More than 20 months after he was toppled by a U.S. invasion, Manuel Antonio Noriega will go to trial on drug trafficking charges in federal court Thursday, and his defense lawyers vow to disclose new details about the former Panamanian dictator's secret dealings with the Central Intelligence Agency and high-level U.S. government officials...
Court papers filed here describe Noriega as the CIA's "man in Panama" whose activities were conducted with the full consent and knowledge of the U.S. intelligence community for more than two decades...
No written records tie Noriega directly to drug trafficking, prosecution sources said. But 60 to 80 government witnesses -- many of them convicted drug traffickers, arms dealers and other felons -- are expected to testify that he took multimillion-dollar payoffs from the Medellin drug cartel to turn his country into a "safe haven" for shipment of cocaine from Colombia to the United States...
But most importantly, the motion describes Noriega's pivotal role in assisting CIA efforts to arm Nicaraguan contra guerrillas. Without citing new evidence, it calls that effort a "guns-for-drugs" policy in which drug-sale proceeds were used to finance shipment of arms to the contras. In addition, the filings -- with heavy deletions from the security officer -- allude to two meetings with Bush in 1976 and 1983 and numerous others with such figures as the late CIA director William J. Casey and former National Security Council aide Oliver L. North."
|||2012, Javier A. Galvan, 'Latin American Dictators of the 20th Century: The Lives and Regimes of 15 Rulers', p. 188.|
|||1988 commercial of Michael Dukakis against presidential candidate George H. W. Bush: "1982: Bush was made responsible for stopping drug traffic from coming into this country. What happened? Cocaine traffic up 300 percent. More drugs in our class rooms and Panamanian drug lord Noriega kept on the government payroll [photo of Bush and Noriega]. That's the Bush record on fighting drugs. And now George Bush wants to put Dan Quayle in charge for the next four years. [Quayle:] "I'm gonna be coordinating the drug effort.""
|||*) December 10, 2000, The Guardian, 'Revealed: Pinochet drug smuggling link': "The Chilean army and secret police have spent almost two decades secretly flooding Europe and the US with massive shipments of cocaine. The trafficking began during the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and continues to this day, a year-long investigation for The Observer has established.
Twelve tons of the drug, with a street value of several billion pounds, left Chile in 1986 and 1987 alone. The drugs, destined for Europe, have often been flown to Spanish territory by aircraft carrying Chilean-made arms to Iraq and Iran. Distribution to Britain and other European countries has been controlled by secret police stationed in Chilean embassies in Stockholm and Madrid.
The revelations will come as an embarrassment to the Conservative Party, which criticized Pinochet's arrest in London in 1998 and backed his fight to avoid deportation to Spain on charges of murder and torture. The news will be particularly unwelcome to Lord Lamont, the former Chancellor, who was in Santiago last week to deliver a letter of support to the former dictator from Lady Thatcher.
Under Conservative governments, large quantities of British arms were sold to Chile, and British firms such as Royal Ordnance collaborated with the development of Chile's weapons potential. There can be no doubt that Pinochet, whose power was absolute between the 1973 coup and his surrender in 1990, was a party to trafficking."
*) July 11, 2006, New York Times, 'Former Aide Says Pinochet and a Son Dealt in Drugs': "Gen. Augusto Pinochet's former intelligence chief [and paid CIA asset], now one of his bitterest enemies, has implicated the disgraced dictator and one of his sons in a cocaine manufacturing and smuggling scheme and contends that it was one of the sources of General Pinochet's illicit $28 million fortune. ...
According to General Contreras's account, the cocaine was processed with General Pinochet's authorization at a Chilean Army chemical plant in Talagante, south of here, during the 1980's. General Pinochet's son Marco Antonio and one of his business partners then arranged for the drugs to be transported to Europe and the United States, with payoffs going into secret bank accounts the Pinochet family held abroad, General Contreras's account said. ...
General Contreras said, according to the account, that the drug manufacturing effort was overseen by a secret police chemist named Eugenio Berrios, accused by human rights groups of developing poisons to kill General Pinochet's political opponents. Mr. Berrios disappeared in 1991, as he faced questioning about the making of the bomb that killed Mr. Letelier, and was found dead on a beach in Uruguay four years later."
|||Kissinger ordered Allende overthrow.|
|||nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20000919/ (accessed: July 15, 2016): " After twenty-seven years of withholding details about covert activities following the 1973 military coup in Chile, the CIA released a report yesterday acknowledging its close relations with General Augusto Pinochet's violent regime. The report, "CIA Activities in Chile," revealed for the first time that the head of the Chile's feared secret police, DINA, was a paid CIA asset in 1975, and that CIA contacts continued with him long after he dispatched his agents to Washington D.C. to assassinate former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his 25-year old American associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt.
"CIA actively supported the military Junta after the overthrow of Allende," the report states. "Many of Pinochet's officers were involved in systematic and widespread human rights abuses....Some of these were contacts or agents of the CIA or US military."
Among the report's other major revelations:
- Within a year of the coup, the CIA was aware of bilateral arrangements between the Pinochet regime and other Southern Cone intelligence services to track and kill opponents—arrangements that developed into Operation Condor.
- The CIA made Gen. Manuel Contreras, head of DINA, a paid asset only several months after concluding that he "was the principal obstacle to a reasonable human rights policy within the Junta." After the assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in Washington D.C., the CIA continued to work with Contreras even as "his possible role in the Letelier assassination became an issue."
- The CIA made a payment of $35,000 to a group of coup plotters in Chile after that group had murdered the Chilean commander-in-chief, Gen. Rene Schneider in October 1970—a fact that was apparently withheld in 1975 from the special Senate Committee investigating CIA involvement in assassinations. The report says the payment was made "in an effort to keep the prior contact secret, maintain the good will of the group, and for humanitarian reasons." "
|||*) 1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout', pp. 178-180: "The nationalist General Juan Jose Torres ... released Che [Guavara]'s comrades Regis Debray and Ciro Bustos from prison and made dangerous overtures to the Chilean government of Salvador Allende and to Castro's Cuba. His government also seized lands owned by foreign corporations, including the lucrative mineral rights controlled by Gulf Oil [of the Mellon family].
This turn of events did not come as welcome news for the CIA, which had invested so heavily in Bolivia. Another coup was plotted. This time the general of choice was Hugo Banzer Suarez, a man trained by the US military at Fort Hunt and at the Escuela de Golpes (the School of the Americas) in Panama. ... He was also a longtime friend of Klaus Barbie, who was to play a crucial role in the coup.
The coup against President Torres culminated in August 1970, a week before President Torres was scheduled to journey to Santiago, Chile for a meeting with Salvador Allende. Even in Bolivia, the overthrow of the Torres government became known for its extreme vioilence and the lengths the new regime took to eradicate leftist elements in the country. Universities were shut down as "hotbeds" of radicalism, tin miners were once again violently suppressed, more than 3,000 leftists and union organizers were hauled in for interrogations and "disappeared." The Soviet embassy was shut down, and relations with Cuba and [Allende's] Chile cooled. Gulf Oil was swiftly compensated for its seized properties. ...
For his role in helping to plot Banzer's bloody takeover of Bolivia, Klaus Barbie was made an honorary colonel, and he became a paid consultant to both the Ministry of the Interior and the notorious Department 7, the counterinsurgency wing of the Bolivian army. Both institutions were thoroughly penetrated and funded by the CIA. Indeed, records from the CIA and the Bolivian government show that Barbie passed information to the CIA on suspected Soviet and Cuban agents in South America. He also sent back to Langley copies of documents he stole from the Peruvian embassy and information on the operations of the Chilean intelligence agency, DINA.
A Bolivian report on Barbie speaks glowingly of his service to the Banzer government: "One of the most important aspects of Barbie's work was advising Banzer on how to adapt the military effectively for internal repression rather than external aggression. Many of the features of the Army which was later to become standard were first developed by Barbie in the early 1970s. The system of concentration camps... became standard for important military and political prisoners."
The Nazi also continued to advise the military's secret police on methods of interrogating prisoners, which seem not have evolved much since his days in Lyons. "Under Barbie, they [the Bolivian military] learned to use the techniques of electricity and the use of medical supervision to keep the suspect alive till they had finished with him."
The Bolivian government paid Barbie $2,000 a month for his consulting services. But this was just a small portion of his take. He was also earning enormous profits from arms sales to the Bolivian military. Many of these purchases were paid for using funds provided by the US government, which was underwriting the cost of the Bolivian military.
The 1970s were a heady time for Barbie. He lectured widely on the new South American fascism, often at candlelight vigils in so-called Thule halls adorned with Nazi flags and other iconography from the Third Reich. The war criminal also traveled freely. During the late 1960s and 1970s Barbie visited the US at least seven times. Incredibly, he also journeyed back to France...
Catholic missionaires and priests were on eof the groups that Barbie and Banzer went after with particular zeal, since Banzer believed they had "become infiltrated with Marxists." Priests were hauled in for interrogation, harassed, tortured and killed. One who was murdered was an American missionary from Iowa named Raymond Herman. This repression campaign against liberalist clergy became known as the Banzer Plan, and was enthusiastically adopted in 1977 by his fellow dictators in the Latin America Anti-Communist Confederation. This crackdown was also backed by the CIA, which provided information to Barbie's men on the addresses, backgrounds, writings and friends of the priests. Barbie also was at the heart of the US-sponsored Condor Operation, a kind of trade association of South American dictators, who merged their forces in an effort to stamp out insurgencies wherever they broke out on the continent."
||| *) 1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout', pp. 180-182: "Banzer's startling consolidation of power was backed by millions from two friends, the German-born industrialist Eduardo Gasser and the cattle rancher Roberto Suarez Gomez. But Suarez also had another business. He oversaw one of the world's most profitable drug empires. Gasser's son, Jose, would later join Suarez in this billion-dollar enterprise, as would Hugo Banzer's cousin, Guillermo Banzer Ojopi, two of Bolivia's top generals, the head of the custom soffice at Santa Cruz, and Klaus Barbie. ...
Suarez's drug syndicate became known as La Mafia Cruzena. He enjoyed a near monopoly on the most productive coca-growing field in in the world: 80 percent of the world's cocaine originated from from his fields in the Alto Beni. He was the primary supplier of raw coca and cocaine paste to Medellin cartel. Suarez maintained one of the largest private fleets of aircraft in the world, which he used to fly much of his coca paste to Colombian cocaine labs. The cocaine planes were launched from one of Suarez's network of private airstrips. Other coca paste was shipped to Colombia via Barbie's firm, Transmaritania.
As Suarez's operation grew into a multibillion dollar empire, he turned to Barbie for help with his burgeoning security needs. Barbie duly assembled his band of narco-mercenaries, which the Nazi christened Los Novios de la Muerte, the fiances of death. Their ranks included two former SS officers, a white Rhodesian terrorist, and Joachim Fiebelkorn, a neo-fascist madman from Frankfurt.
Barbie assigned fifteen bodyguards to follow Suarez's every footstep. He ensured that Colombian buyers made their payments and sent armed bands of Novios on forays into the jungle to destroy the operations of rival drug lords. The weapons for Barbie's men were provided gratis by the Banzer government, which in turn bought them from Barbie's arms company.
By the mid-1970s the Bolivian economy was in ruins. Banzer, following the advice of his close friend from Santa Cruz, Roberto Suarez, conconted a bold plan to save Bolivia: he ordered the nation's ailing cotton fields to be planted with coca trees. Between 1974 and 1980 land in coca production tripled, prompting one DEA agent to note, "Someone out there planted a heck of a lot of trees." This tremendous upsurge in supply sharply drove down the price of cocaine, fueling a huge new market and the rise of the Colombian cartels. The street price of cocaine in 1975 was $1,500 per gram. By 1986 the price had fallen to about $200 per gram.
"The Bolivian military leaders began to export cocaine and cocaine base as though it were a legal product, without any pretense of narcotics control," recounted former DEA agent Michael Levine. "At the same time there was a tremendous upswing in demand from the United States. The Bolivian dictatorship quickly became the primary source of supply for the Colombian cartels, which formed during this period. And the cartels, in turn, became the main distributors of cocaine throughout the US. It was truly the beginning of the cocaine explosion in the 1980s."
Banzer's take from the drug trade reportedly tallied at several million dollars a year. It was an enterprise he shared with his family and friends. By 1978, Banzer's private secretary, his son-in-law, his nephew and his wife had been arrested for cocaine trafficking in the US and Canada. Embarrased by the revelations, Banzer stood down in 1978 and promised free elections in 1979. Despite widespread fraud and voter intimidation, the right-wing parties unexpectedly lost the elections, an event that prompted the infamous cocaine coup of 1980.
This time the coup plotters were led by general Luis Arce Gomez, Roberto Suarez's cousin, and his partner General Luis Garcia-Meza. Arce Gomez, then head of Bolivia's military intelligence agency, had been using the military to assist Suarez's drug running since the early 1970s. In plotting the coup, Arce Gomez called on the services of his close friend, the man he called "my teacher," Klaus Barbie. The CIA was posted on the events leading up to the coup and, in fact, had been given a tape recording of a planning session involving Arce Gomez, Roberto Suarez and Klaus Barbie.
To aid the cause, Barbie recruited the help of the Italian terrorist Stefano "Alfa" Delle Chiaie. At the time, Delle Chiaie was on the move, following the murder in Washington, D.C. of the Chilean Orlando Letelier by the Italian's associate Michael Townley, the American ageny in the employ of Pinochet's secret police. Delle Chiaie brought with him to Bolivia a group of 200 Argentine terrorists, veterans of the "dirty war." In a nod to William Colby's Vietnam assassins, Delle Chiaie called his band of murderers "the Phoenix Commandos."
*) August 3, 2000, The Economist, 'Roberto Suarez Gomez, Bolivia's King of Cocaine, died on July 20th, aged 68': "Why did Mr Suarez involve himself in this dirty business? Unlike the riff-raff of the Medellin cartel, he did not have the excuse of seeking to escape poverty. His is an old-money family that ranked among the country's elite in social prestige, wealth and influence. When everybody who was anybody was invited to the wedding of one of his daughters, nobody sent regrets. His forbears include senators, government ministers and the first Bolivian ambassador to London. ...
Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "Butcher of Lyons", was Mr Suarez's adviser on security. Joachim Fiebelkorn, another right-wing extremist and a veteran of the Spanish foreign legion, created his private army. Prominent among Fiebelkorn's recruits were a comical but frightening bunch of European terrorists who called themselves los novios de la muerte (the bridegrooms of death). ...
After his bodyguards followed President Garcia Meza in fleeing abroad, Mr Suarez's cocaine business was harried both by American undercover agents and by local competitors."
|||*) 1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout', p. 281: "Take the case of SETCO, a Honduran airline company that from 1983 to 1985 was the principal firm used to transport supplies and weapons from the US to Contra camps in Honduras. In those years SETCO planes alone carried more than a million rounds of ammunition. The company was controlled by Juan Matta Ballesteros, one of the largest drug dealers in Latin America and a man with useful contacts in the CIA and the Pentagon. Ballesteros had been arrested in 1970 for bringing 26 kilos of cocaine into Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C. This misfortune did not earn a life sentence in the US for the friend of the CIA, but merely deportation to Honduras, where in 1975 he formed a partnership with the Mexican drug kingpin Felix Gallardo. In 1978 Matta used his drug profits to finance the overthrow of Honduran president Juan Alberto Melgar Castro, thus ushering into power General Policarpo Paz Garcia. The CIA took a close and friendly interest in this transfer of power because, unlike the man he ousted, Paz was a keen supporter of Nicaragua's Somoza.
Under the Paz regime the Honduran army and intelligence service began to get a cut of Matta's drug trafficking in exchange for protecting his burgeoning operations. Honduras was now becoming a major point of transit for cocaine and marijuana coming north from Columbia.
At the nexus between the Contras and their mutual patron, the CIA, was a man named Leonides Torres Arias, the head of the Honduran military intelligence. Since the 1978 coup by Paz Garcia, Torres, according to a US Senate investigation, had been getting cocaine money kickbacks from Matta. When the Argentinian military officers training the Contras pulled out at the onset of the Falklands/Malvinas War, the CIA's top man in Latin America, Dewey Clarridge, began to depand more and more on Torres and Juan Matta Ballesteros's company [SETCO] to prop up the Contras until money appropriated by Congress began to flow south.
In 1983 SETCO got one of the first supply contracts to haul arms from the US to the Contras. The contract was awarded even though US law enforcement and the CIA knew the firm was owned by the notorious drug smuggler Matta and that his airline company had been flagged in DEA and US Customs records for its history of drug running. A 1983 Customs Service report declared that "SETCO stands for Services Ejectutizox Touristas Comander [sic] [Servicios Ejecutivos Turistas Commander] and is headed by Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, a class I DEA violator. ... SETCO aviation is a corporation formed by American businessmen who are dealing with Matta and are smuggling narcotics into the United States."
*) April 13, 1989, Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy (Kerry Committee report): "Before being chosen by the State Department to transport goods on behalf of the Contras from late 1985 through mid-1986, SETCO had a long-standing relationship with the largest of the Contra groups, the Honduras-based FDN. Beginning in 1984, SETCO was the principal company used by the Contras in Honduras to transport supplies and personnel for the FDN, carrying at least a million rounds of ammunition, food, uniforms and other military supplies for the Contras from 1983 through 1985. According to testimony before the Iran/Contra Committees by FDN leader Adolfo Calero, SETCO received funds for Contra supply operations from the contra accounts established by Oliver North. 
U.S. law enforcement records state that SETCO was established by Honduran cocaine trafficker Juan Matta Ballesteros, whose April 1988 extradition from Honduras to the United States in connection with drug trafficking charges caused riots outside the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa.
For example, a 1983 Customs Investigative Report states that "SETCO stands for Services Ejectutivos Turistas Commander and is headed by Juan Ramon Mata Ballestros, a class I DEA violator." The same report states that according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, "SETCO aviation is a corporation formed by American businessmen who are dealing with Matta and are smuggling narcotics into the United States."
One of the pilots selected to fly Contra supply missions for the FDN for SETCO was Frank Moss, who has been under investigation as an alleged drug trafficker since 1979. Moss has been investigated, although never indicted, for narcotics offenses by ten different law enforcement agencies."
|||May 9, 1988, Rolling Stone, 'The Dirty Secrets of George Bush: The Vice President's illegal operations': "The Honduran president, Roberto Suazo Cordova, had never been enthusiastic about having to host the main body of the contra army, and now, with legal U.S. military aid cut off, he was apprehensive that the contras would turn to banditry. Before Bush interceded, Suazo had threatened to disarm the contras and move them into refugee camps. Bush talked Suazo out of it by assuring him that the contras would be maintained as a military force through funds being raised independent of Congress. "We will fight with everything we have," Bush reportedly said."|
|||*) November 28, 1993, Washington Post, 'Death Squad Debris': "The legacy of a CIA-trained death squad has been one of the vexing and painful issues of the recent presidential campaign in Honduras. In the early 1980s, Battalion 3-16, a Honduran military unit whose members were instructed by and worked with CIA officials, "disappeared" scores of leftist activists -- students, teachers, unionists and would-be guerrillas -- who were never seen again, dead or alive. But with the Cold War over, Honduras is no longer in the forefront of the U.S. offensive against leftist forces in Central America. As Washington loses interest in this poor, agricultural republic, its 4.8 million people are left to cope with the consequences. ...
The trial did not dwell on the American role, if any, in the terror. But the CIA's intimate connection with Battalion 3-16 was later confirmed by Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who created and commanded the death squad from 1980, when he became chief of the national police force, through 1984, when he was serving as chief of the Honduran armed forces.
"The CIA trained my people in intelligence," Alvarez told a Reuters reporter years later. "They gave very good training, especially in interrogation." Alvarez said the agency provided his men with lie detectors, phone-tapping devices and electronic equipment to analyze intelligence data."
*) June 11, 1995, Baltimore Sun, 'When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty': "These are among the findings of a 14-month investigation in which The Sun obtained formerly classified documents and interviewed U.S. and Honduran participants, many of whom - fearing for their lives or careers - have kept silent until now. Among those interviewed were three former Battalion 316 torturers who acknowledged their crimes and detailed the battalion's close relationship with the CIA. U.S. collaboration with Battalion 316 occurred at many levels: ...
- Starting in 1981, the United States secretly provided funds for Argentine counterinsurgency experts to train anti-Communist forces in Honduras. By that time, Argentina was notorious for its own "Dirty War," which had left at least 10,000 dead or "disappeared" in the 1970s. Argentine and CIA instructors worked side by side training Battalion 316 members at a camp in Lepaterique, a town about 16 miles west of Tegucigalpa.
- Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who as chief of the Honduran armed forces personally directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support - even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives.
- By 1983, when Alvarez's oppressive methods were well known to the U.S. Embassy, the Reagan administration awarded him the Legion of Merit for "encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras." His friendship with Donald Winters, the CIA station chief in Honduras, was so close that when Winters adopted a child, he asked Alvarez to be the girl's godfather.
- A CIA officer based in the U.S. Embassy went frequently to a secret jail known as INDUMIL, where torture was conducted, and visited the cell of kidnap victim Ines Murillo. That jail and other Battalion 316 installations were off-limits to Honduran officials, including judges trying to find kidnap victims. ...
Gloria Esperanza Reyes, now 52, speaking in an interview at her home in Vienna, Va., describes how she was tortured with electric wires attached to her breasts and vagina. "The first jolt was so bad I just wanted to die," she said.
Jose Barrera, a former battalion torturer interviewed in Toronto, recalls such pleas from prisoners. "They always asked to be killed," he said. "Torture is worse than death."
Battalion 316 got its early training from Argentines, who had been invited to Honduras by General Alvarez, himself an honors graduate of the Argentine Military Academy.
"The Argentines came in first, and they taught how to disappear people. The United States made them more efficient," said Oscar Alvarez, a former Honduran special forces officer and diplomat who was the general's nephew. ...
"They said, 'You need someone to tap phones, you need someone to transcribe the tapes, you need surveillance groups.' They brought in special cameras that were inside thermoses. They taught interrogation techniques.
"The United States did not come here and say kill people," he added. "I never saw any efforts by the United States to create death squads."
General Alvarez's chief of staff, Gen. Jose Bueso Rosa, also describes the U.S. role in developing the battalion. "It was their idea to create an intelligence unit that reported directly to the head of the armed forces," he said. "Battalion 316 was created by a need for information. We were not specialists in intelligence, in gathering information, so the United States offered to help us organize a special unit.""
||| *) June 11, 1995, Baltimore Sun, 'When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty': "U.S. collaboration with Battalion 316 occurred at many levels: ...
- Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who as chief of the Honduran armed forces personally directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support - even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives."
*) November 28, 1993, Washington Post, 'Death Squad Debris': "U.S. officials, meanwhile, continued to deny that there were abuses by the Honduran military. Nonetheless, U.S. officials attacked the credibility of those who denounced the Honduran military's abuses. "It is simply untrue to state that death squads have made their appearance in Honduras," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte wrote in the Economist in 1982. At the same time, the State Department was attacking the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras, the group that did the most to expose Battalion 3-16. The commission was repeatedly denounced by the State Department as "communist," "anti-democratic" and, ironically, as a terrorist front group."
*) June 18, 1995, Baltimore Sun, 'A carefully crafted deception': "A dangerous truth confronted John Dimitri Negroponte as he prepared to take over as U.S. ambassador to Honduras late in 1981. The military in Honduras -- the country from which the Reagan administration had decided to run the battle for democracy in Central America -- was kidnapping and murdering its own citizens.
"GOH [Government of Honduras] security forces have begun to resort to extralegal tactics -- disappearances and, apparently, physical eliminations ` to control a perceived subversive threat," Negroponte was told in a secret briefing book prepared by the embassy staff.
The assertion was true, and there was worse to come.
Time and again during his tour of duty in Honduras from 1981 to 1985, Negroponte was confronted with evidence that a Honduran army intelligence unit, trained by the CIA, was stalking, kidnapping, torturing and killing suspected subversives. A 14-month investigation by The Sun, which included interviews with U.S. and Honduran officials who could not have spoken freely at the time, shows that Negroponte learned from numerous sources about the crimes of the unit called Battalion 316. ...
Ambassador Negroponte also made numerous public statements praising the Honduran military for supporting the civilian government and for respecting the rights of its people. In a letter to the New York Times, published on Sept. 12, 1982, he wrote: "Honduras' increasingly professional armed forces are dedicated to defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and they are publicly committed to civilian constitutional rule."
In October 1982, he wrote to The Economist: "Honduras' increasingly professional armed forces are fully supportive of this country's constitutional system." That was the same year journalist Oscar Reyes and his wife were abducted and tortured by the Honduran military for a week because of articles he had written."
|||1998, Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, 'Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Updated Edition', pp. 75-76: "In Honduras, Gerard Latchinian, the arms dealer convicted of a cocaine-financed assassination plot against President Suazo (see Chapter 3), brought the Israeli security firm ISDS into the country to train bodyguards for Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, and, according to Alvarez's successor, members of a Contra death squad.  Honduran military sources said that one Israeli principal of ISDS, Emil Saada, supplied Israeli arms to the Contras.  Saada also had business ties to Honduran Vice-President Jaime Rosenthal, who resigned in April 1988 to protest extradition of Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros to the United States "|
|||November 11, 1991, interview with Mike Levine on WBAI's Undercurrents radio program (WBAI is part of the "liberal CIA" Pacifica Radio): "ROBERT KNIGHT: This is UNDERCURRENTS for Monday, November 11th, 1991. I'm Robert Knight, with Paul DeRienzo in the field, at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City where Saturday there was held a conference — a 100-city national teleconference called, "Causes and Cures: A National Campaign on the Narcotics Epidemic." Present at that teleconference were such experts in the drug field as Michael Levine, Peter Dale Scott, Alfred McCoy and Daniel Sheehan of the Christic Institute. In today's program, we'll be hearing a special interview, conducted by Paul DeRienzo, with former United States Drug Enforcement Agency officer Michael Levine. ...
MIKE LEVINE: In '78, '79, '80, '81, I was stationed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was the country attaché for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. I covered Argentina and Uruguay. This was during the years of "the dirty war", "la guerra sucia", when the Argentine hit-squads were disappearing any number of young Argentines for being political activists. And I was there on a holy mission from the "War on Drugs," — as focused on the "War on Drugs" as I ever was. I was blind to anything else. I was there for MY country, to protect the AMERICAN children from "the white death." And I quickly penetrated an organization called "the Roberto Suarez Cocaine Organization." ...
So I penetrated the Roberto Suarez Cocaine Organization. It's an INCREDIBLE story. But let me put it this way. I was being offered THOUSANDS of kilos of cocaine a month, at a time when the then-biggest drug seizure was two hundred and forty kilos of cocaine, on a casual stop by border patrolmen. They found it in the trunk of a car. The first man I met was Marcello Ybanéz, who was the ex-Minister of Agriculture of Bolivia, who told me there's a man named Roberto Suarez, who was now putting together ALL the drug producers in Bolivia under one umbrella organization, which later became "La Corporacion," the General Motors of cocaine.
Now, I go to DEA and ask for funding and approval to set up a sting operation. And I'm called a liar! I'm told that Roberto Suarez isn't in the computer. Neither was Marcello Ybanéz. I go to the CIA and check his name. They have NOTHING on him. Of course, three or four months later, on SIXTY MINUTES, Mike Wallace called him "the biggest drug dealer who ever lived." There had to be something wrong at that point. But I continued to desist. The lie .... I was, at one point, accused of trying to run a scam on DEA — getting an all-expenses-paid undercover trip up to the States.
I kept meeting with these Bolivians, still pretending to be a half-Sicilian, half-Puerto Rican drug-buyer, representative of the Mafia. Finally, I literally forced DEA into setting up a sting operation, and they did all they could to destroy the case. But they set up the operation. I managed to rally a team of undercover agents who, like me, didn't believe that anybody [in the U.S Government] could go AGAINST an operation like this. We got the support of elements of the Bolivian Government, the Litiagala [sp?] Government — who were genuinely, then, in 1980, ANTI-DRUG! — to carry out a huge sting operation that ended with the seizure of about a thousand pounds of cocaine, with me paying nine million dollars to José Roberto Gasser, one of the richest and most powerful Bolivians from one of the most powerful Bolivian families — again, parenthetically, a family that had long been linked to the World Anti-Communist League and the C.I.A. He was arrested leaving the bank with my nine million dollars, along with Alfredo Cutucci Gutierrez, a man who was, in fact, in the DEA computer as one of the biggest drug dealers in the World. And before I could get back to Argentina, my post of duty, the United States Attorney in South Florida — a man who is now prosecuting Noriega, Michael Sullivan, RELEASED Gasser without putting the case before a grand jury. He just dropped all charges! ...
Gasser goes back to Bolivia, publishes a full-page replica of his release, making a laughing stock of the American "War on Drugs". Where? Not in America, but where it really counts: in South America. Within months, Alfredo Gutierrez is released — walks free. So the biggest drug sting in history — as it was called by Penthouse Magazine and others — was left without any of its defendants. The American People were the only ones who didn't know that.
Now, what do these people do? José Roberto Gasser, Roberto Suarez, Gasser's father, Edwin Gasser, have a meeting with the Military. They begin to foment what became "the Cocaine Coup", the 1980 Bolivian Revolution, in which, for the first time in history, drug dealers — the people I was investigating, the people I had indicted, the people I had arrested — NOW TOOK OVER THEIR COUNTRY!
During that coup, all the people who had helped DEA with this sting were either exiled or killed or tortured. During my time in South America, I learned that the CIA was a supporter of this revolution. Then, it seemed really clear to me — at least I had a strong circumstantial-evidence case — that that was why Gasser was released in the first place. How else would he be released? There was no other logical explanation!
So, at that moment, I began, for the first time in MY LIFE, to see the truth! In SPITE of everything else, I had no CHOICE, but to look at the truth! And that is that this "War on Drugs" was not for real."
|||1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout', pp. 182-184: "Banzer's take from the drug trade reportedly tallied at several million dollars a year. It was an enterprise he shared with his family and friends. By 1978, Banzer's private secretary, his son-in-law, his nephew and his wife had been arrested for cocaine trafficking in the US and Canada. Embarrased by the revelations, Banzer stood down in 1978 and promised free elections in 1979. Despite widespread fraud and voter intimidation, the right-wing parties unexpectedly lost the elections, an event that prompted the infamous cocaine coup of 1980.
This time the coup plotters were led by general Luis Arce Gomez, Roberto Suarez's cousin, and his partner General Luis Garcia-Meza. Arce Gomez, then head of Bolivia's military intelligence agency, had been using the military to assist Suarez's drug running since the early 1970s. In plotting the coup, Arce Gomez called on the services of his close friend, the man he called "my teacher," Klaus Barbie. The CIA was posted on the events leading up to the coup and, in fact, had been given a tape recording of a planning session involving Arce Gomez, Roberto Suarez and Klaus Barbie.
To aid the cause, Barbie recruited the help of the Italian terrorist Stefano "Alfa" Delle Chiaie. At the time, Delle Chiaie was on the move, following the murder in Washington, D.C. of the Chilean Orlando Letelier by the Italian's associate Michael Townley, the American ageny in the employ of Pinochet's secret police. Delle Chiaie brought with him to Bolivia a group of 200 Argentine terrorists, veterans of the "dirty war." In a nod to William Colby's Vietnam assassins, Delle Chiaie called his band of murderers "the Phoenix Commandos."
Delle Chiaie had his own ties to the CIA that stretched back to the close of World War II. The young Italian, who battled his way up through street gangs in Rome and Naples, became the protege of Count Junio Valerio Borghese, the Italian fascist known as the Black Prince. Borghese headed up Mussolini's intelligence apparatus and hunted down and killed thousands of Italian resistance fighters. At the close of the war, Borghese was captured by Italian Communists, who were intent on seeing the butcher put to death for his crime. But when the CIA's legendary James Jesus Angleton, then with the OSS, learned of the Black Prince's impending fate, he rushed to Milan and saved Borghese from the firing squad. The Black Prince spent a few months in prison and then went to work in the CIA's campaign to suppress the Italian left.
Delle Chiaie was recruited from his street gang into the neo-fascist group the P-2, where he intimidated Italian Communists, initiated a string of bombings and, in 1969, plotted a coup against the Italian government. When that coup failed, Delle Chiaie and Borghese fled to Franco's Spain, where they supervised covert attacks on Basque separatists. From Madrid, Delle Chiaie launched his career as an international consultant on right-wing terrorism, lending his services to Jonas Savimbi, leader of the CIA-backed UNITA forces in Angola; Jose Lopez Rega, architect of Argentina's death squads; and the Chilean dictator helped to power by the CIA, Augusto Pinochet.
On July 17, 1980 the Bolivian cocaine coup unfolded. Liberal newspapers and radio stations were bombed. The universities were shut down. Barbie and Delle Chiaie's hooded troops, armed with machine guns, swept through the streets of La Paz in ambulances. They converged on the center of resistance, the COB building, the headquarters of the Bolivian national union. Inside was Marcelo Quiroga, a labor leader recently elected to parliament, who had called a general strike. The doors were blasted down, and Los Novios de la Muerte entered, guns blazing. Quiroga was quickly found and shot. Severely wounded, he and a dozen other leaders were taken to army headquarters, where they were beaten and treated to Barbie's electro-shock machines. The women prisoners were reaped. Quiroga's body was found three days later on the outskirts of La Paz. He had been shot, beaten, burned and castrated.
The following day General Garcia-Meza was sworn in as Bolivia's new president. He duly appointed General Arce Gomez as minister of interior. Barbie was selected as the head of Bolivia's internal security forces and Stephano Delle Chiaie was assigned the task of securing international support for the regime, which quickly came from Argentina, Chile, South Africa and El Salvador.
Over the next few weeks, thousands of opposition leaders were rounded up and herded into the large soccer stadium in La Paz. In true Argentine style, they were shot en masse, their bodies dumped in rivers and deep canyons outside the capital. The Novios de la Muerte began dressing in SS-style uniforms and were called upon by Arce Gomez and Barbie to suppress "organized delinquency."
In a show of support for the international drug war, the new Bolivian regime quickly began a drug suppression campaign. Klaus Barbie was appointed its supervisor. The operation had three objectives: soften criticism from the US and the United Nations on Bolivia's role in the drug trade; eliminate 140 rivals to the Suarez monopoly; and ruthlessly suppress the regime's political opponents. Over the next year, the cocaine generals made an estimated $2 billion in the drug trade.
Ultimately, the situation in Bolivia became so flagrant that the regime's backers in the United States decided to pull the plug. Garcia-Meza was forced to resign in August 1981: he left Bolivia a wealthy man after securing his country's position as world's leading supplier of cocaine. Barbie and Delle Chiaie would remain in Bolivia in another year and half. The Italian police and the US DEA planned a raid to capture Delle Chiaie in 1982, but he fled Bolivia after being tipped off by a CIA contact. On January 25, 1983, Klaus Barbie was arrested and later handed over to the French."
March 20, 1980, Times Daily, 'This Is Our Friend?': "And isn't it a fact that the man who really runs Panama, national guard commandant Omar Torrijos, enjoys a close friendship with President Carter's trusted chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan? ... These leave little doubt that Panama, far from being a friend of the United States is in fact all too willing to assist Cuba in advancing the Marxist tide in Central America.
Solid evidence for this alarming conclusion links the Panamanian government to the flow of arms from Cuba to the Sandinista guerrillas during last year's revolution in Nicaragua. ... On several occasions, Panamanian Air Force planes ferried arms and munitions from Cuba to Panama. Panamanian officials then arranged for delivery to Sandinistas openly operating in Panama. Furthermore, Torrijos' government routinely provided air transport for Sandinistas shuttled in and out of Cuba for political and military training."
*) May 28, 1983, Roland Evans and Robert Novak column, Spokane Chronicle, 'Nicaragua leader in confident mood despite counterrevolution': "Tomas Borge, one of the top two Sandinista leaders, called it "absolutely normal that there would be a counterrevolution" in Nicaragua and predicted it would be repelled even if the United States intervenes. ...
Although our interview exhibited Borge in what appeared to be a confident mood despite the onrush of more than 10,000 FDN Contras (all anti-Sandinista Nicaraguans) from the Honduran border, Borge was messianic about his revolution.
Employing Marxist idiom to explain that revolution... he quoted Panama's late dictator, Gen. Omar Torrijos, as having told him that the victory of the Sandinistas "will change the political geography of Central America. It will create a political and moral stream of great luminosity."
Finessing scorn for the United States, Borge had plenty of it, however, for President Reagan. He referred to the Sandinista struggle against the FDN as the result of "Ronald Reagan's declaration of war.""
*) August 2, 1981, New York Times, 'Panama Leader Killed in Crash in Bad Weather': "From 1972 to 1978, General Torrijos also held the title of Chief of Government and Supreme Leader of the Panamanian Revolution. Though still the Commander in Chief of the National Guard, General Torrijos faded more and more into the background after 1978, when he placed Aristides Royo, a lawyer, in the presidency. ...
General Torrijos was stereotyped as Panama's ''strongman,'' a military dictator of the Latin American mold. Yet he and the role he played were far more complex than was realized by many outsiders.
Without an intellectual frame of mind, he could inspire crowds to wild ovations and cheers with his nationalistic oratory, denouncing the United States in the harshest terms over the canal issue.
But it was entirely normal for him a short while later to sit down for a chat with an American correspondent or other visitor, speaking softly as he explained his views and professed his admiration for things American - except for Washington's position on the canal. ...
He backed the leftist Sandinists in Nicaragua when they ousted President Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979. He also permitted some Panamanian exiles to return home in recent years and let a number of banned political parties resume their activities. ...
General Torrijos represented no ideology, although many in the United States considered him a leftist, as he occasionally flirted with such leaders as Fidel Castro of Cuba and Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya."
|||1998, Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, 'Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Updated Edition', pp. 76-77: "Stories about the Harari network and the Israeli connection received a big boost in credibility after the sensational murder of Colombian presidential candidate Luis Galan in August 1989. Colombian government investigators put the spotlight on Israeli (and other) mercenaries who had trained drug-cartel assassins and drug-financed paramilitary squads responsible for much of the political terrorism in that country.  Colombia's top drug investigator, Gen. Miguel Maza Marquez, blamed Yair Klein, the chief Israeli hired gun, of training terrorists who blew up a Colombian, commercial airliner in November 1989, killing 177 people: "He is the person who trained these people in the making of bombings and is responsible for this aggression." 
After they finished their contract with associates of the Medellin drug bosses, some of the Israelis were scheduled to begin assignments in Honduras and Costa Rica for the benefit of Contra forces.  One member of Klein's firm implicated in the Colombia operation had previously trained Contras in Honduras and claimed to have instructred most of Guatemala's high-ranking officers through a contract arranged by Brenneke's alleged controller Pesakh Ben-Or. 
Klein was reportedly in contact with Harari.  ... Within days the Israeli newspaper Hadashot decalred that Harari was "wanted by U.S. authorities," who consider him "one of the world's biggest drug lords."  And Colombia's chief narcotics investigator reported a few weeks later that the Israeli mercenaries smuggled their weapons into Colombia through Panama, a sign that Harari was probably involved. 
Given Klein's status as a reserve colonel with a high-level position in the war room of the Israeli chief of staff, it is hard to imagine that the Israeli government was truly ignorant of his business with representatives of the Medellin cartel.  The prestigious Hebrew daily Ha'Aretz reported that Colombian authorities had complained to the Israeli government as early as February 1989 about mercenary activities. Although Israel followed up by sending a Mossad agent and foreign ministry official to discuss the situation, for months it took no action against Klein....
Klein then became the center of another scandal involving a large shipment of Israeli arms to the Medellin cartel leader Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, overseer of the foreign mercenaries. The weapons traveled via the Caribbean island of Antigua. Klein claimed that he had ordered the arms on behalf of a group of CIA-backed Panamanian exiles who intended to train on Antigua under Klein's supervision to "neutralize Mike Harari" and overthrow Noriega. He asserted further that the CIA called off the Panamanians, who then disposed of the weapons on their own.  His story made no sense; the Antiguan government turned down the proposal for a training camp long before the arms arrived. The Israelis could not have intended the arms for any activity on the island. Antigua was simply a convenient destination of record to disguise the true buyer.  The leader of the Panamanian dissidents, who became head of Panama's police force after the invasion, said he did hold discussions with Klein regarding a possible Antigua training camp. But he discounted Klein's story and declared, "Col. Mike Harari, who is now in Israel, is behind all this." Agents of Colombia's Department of Administrative Security (DAS) have confirmed that Harari, like Klein, indeed entered Colombia to train mercenaries under the command of Rodriguez Gacha.  A British television report identified Peskh Ben-Or and a retired Israeli general as key figures in the arms deal.
Only after the Antigua scandal broke and Colombia suspended an immigration treaty with Jerusalem did an Israeli court finally charge Klein with illegally supplying military expertise and equipment to a Colombian "farmers' organization."  But Colombian investigators continued to complain that Israeli authorities were providing no real help in tracing arms shipments.
Other Israeli mercenaries served in similar function for drug-linked paramilitary groups in both Peru and Bolivia. Israel, in connection with Argentina, provided mercenary and diplomatic support for the Bolivian Cocaine Coup of 1980. "
|||August 8, 1988, Sun Sentinel, 'Noriega's 'Mentor' Prompts U.S. Concern': "Panamanian Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega is protected by an elite 200-man military unit trained and advised by Israelis under the auspices of a former Israeli intelligence agent who figures prominently in a Senate investigation of drug- and gun-running in Latin America, sources say. The presence in Noriega's inner circle of Michael Harari, said to have been the top Israeli intelligence agent in Central America and Mexico during part of the 1970s, has proved an irritant to the Reagan administration. ...
Noriega reportedly met Harari in Mexico in the 1970s, where the Israeli was sent after what sources said was a botched operation in pursuit of Palestinian terrorists [the July 1973 assassination of Ahmed Bouchiki in Lillehammer, Norway]. ...
Among Panamanian opposition leaders, Harari is a despised figure and given broad credit for helping Noriega withstand U.S. and dissident Panamanian pressure to force him from power after the general's indictment in Florida this year on drug-related charges.
''Harari is the closest man to Noriega,'' said an opposition Panamanian senator who fled Panama under an arrest order. ...
If military action against Noriega were ordered, it likely would have to confront the Special Anti-Terror Security Unit, known by its Spanish initials UESAT, which U.S. and Panamanian sources say Harari helped arrange to be trained in Israel and advised in Panama by Israelis.
One Panamanian military source said that after an abortive coup attempt in March, Noriega installed Cuban advisers in the UESAT as well.
While the existence of the UESAT has not been publicly acknowledged in the government-controlled Panamanian press, Panamanians familiar with it respect its fearsome reputation. Its reach is said to extend beyond Panama's borders.
''Please be careful with my name,'' a Panamanian officer told a reporter. ''Noriega is a very bad man, and he could send someone from UESAT to cut my neck.''
Another Panamanian officer turned aside a reporter's queries about the UESAT and its Israeli advisers with the warning: ''I don't know very much about them; I don't want to know very much about them -- and neither do you.''
Frank Camper, a former soldier of fortune and federal informant who in 1984 put two UESAT sergeants through his Alabama mercenary school training course ''for evaluation,'' said he was told ''UESAT was carrying out Noriega's personal missions -- assassinations in and out of the country ... using Israeli assassination techniques.''
The UESAT is led by Capt. Ramon Diaz, who reports directly to Noriega, bypassing the normal chain of command and fostering an air of elitism and intense personal loyalty to the general among the UESAT, Panamanian sources say.
UESAT soldiers are given special financial incentives to further cement their dedication to Noriega, sources say. Enlisted men can count on financial help in times of need, and UESAT officers are offered lucrative ''business opportunities'' by Noriega, sources say. ''Commanders are in business -- dirty business -- with Noriega,'' an officer said.
The unit is headquartered on three small islands -- Naos, Flamenco and Pirico -- near the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. The islands are connected to each other and to the mainland by a causeway and are just a short distance from Noriega's heavily fortified bunker. Sources said the UESAT compound includes fortifications built by the U.S. military during World War II to guard the canal.
One source familiar with the Panamanian military, said of the remote and formidable complex: ''There are a lot of tunnels and passageways in there. It's like a maze. You could be in there and scream all night and no one would hear you.''
Sources said that UESAT soldiers are chosen for their leadership potential and many are sent to Israel for advanced military training.
''They have trained on all kinds of jobs -- clean jobs and dirty jobs,'' a Panamanian officer said.
Kuriel, the Israeli official, said that he had no knowledge of Israel's providing either military training or advisers to Panama. ...
The UESAT reportedly has three missions: Noriega's personal security, intelligence gathering and counterterrorism. ...
Officers who leave UESAT are given postings elsewhere in the military, where they continue providing intelligence to Noriega -- including informing on their fellow officers -- without going through the chain of command, sources said."
|||*) January 7, 1990, Washington Post, 'Noriega's Pet Spy': "In April 1951, when Israel's external intelligence organization -- the Mossad -- was officially established, Harari was one of its first recruits. From the outset, he worked on the "black," or covert, side of the house, rising to become chief of the Mossad's operations section in 1967. ...
Throughout his long career, Harari played a central role in some of Israel's most dramatic -- and controversial -- covert operations. He perhaps is best remembered as the commander of the Israeli "hit teams" that hunted down and killed Black September terrorists...
In 1980 he approached his old friend, Nachum Admoni, who was then serving as the Mossad's number-two man and later became director, and asked to go back on the payroll. He wanted an assignment abroad. Admoni had just the place for Harari: Central America. Harari became regional representative of Mossad. His headquarters was the Israeli embassy in Mexico City, but his real base of operations increasingly was [Noriega's] Panama. ... With his language skills and dark features, Harari could easily pass for a Latin and was assigned to monitor PLO connections to Cuba and Nicaragua.
Within a short time, Harari had not only renewed his acquaintance with Noriega but had become a close confidant. What encouraged this contact was the fact that Noriega, despite some assistance to Panama from Libya, was something of an Israelophile. He had received parachute training in Israel (he made six jumps with the Israeli army, according to Israeli sources) and proudly wore his Israeli parachutist wings on his tunic.
As Panama's intelligence chief, Noriega enjoyed close ties to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and, later, the CIA, which paid him $200,000 a year for his services, according to U.S. intelligence sources. He was also on the payroll of Cuba's intelligence service, the DGI. Noriega's relationship with the DGI became a valuable pipeline of information on PLO activities for Harari and his superiors back in Israel.
Harari's intelligence "take" became even richer after Noriega assumed power in July 1981, following the death of Gen. Omar Torrijos in a plane crash. Soon Harari was said to be doing a brisk business as an arms dealer. ...
In 1985, according to Israeli intelligence sources, Harari allegedly retired a second time from the Mossad to devote his full energies to projects in Panama. Israeli sources claim that Harari used his years of experience and close ties to Israel's special-operations community to recruit teams of Israelis who trained Noriega's personal guard. Israeli sources also claim that Harari helped the PDF establish a special-operations battalion and reorganized the Panamanian intelligence establishment, working closely with Cuban and East German advisers after Noriega's relationship with the United States began to sour. (Harari denied Friday that he had helped train Noriega's forces.) "
*) January 12, 1990, New York Times, 'The U.S. and Panama; An Israeli in Panama: Whose Broker?': "''Noriega used him as a vehicle,'' one State Department official said in an interview. ''He really relied on him a lot, not just for security services but as a bag man on trips to the States.''
Charles Stone, a retired Army colonel who served in Panama from 1982 to 1987, said of Mr. Harari: ''He was a businessman, like he portrays himself. But it goes far beyond business and into military links with the Israel Defense Forces.''
The United States Embassy in Panama heightened the speculation on Mr. Harari's shadowy status by reporting on Dec. 22 that Mr. Harari was an American ''prisoner of war,'' only to recant the statement two days later without offering a clear explanation of the error. ...
Mr. Harari has said he retired from Mossad in 1980 to enter private business [note: in reality he retired in 1979, rejoined the Mossad in 1980, and was sent to Panama]. ... While based in Mexico he visited Panama and became friends with Gen. Omar Torrijos Herrera [a friend since 1973 actually], then Panama's leader, and his intelligence chief, Lieutenant Colonel Noriega. When General Noriega seized power and elevated his rank after General Torrijos died in a mysterious plane accident in 1981, the friendship between the two men blossomed."
*) February 11, 1988, Washington Post, 'Noriega Approved Arms to Sandinistas, Panel Told': "Jose I. Blandon, a former top Noriega political adviser, in earlier testimony to the Senate panel, described Harari as a "very interesting character in Panamanian politics." "He's an Israeli general who retired and worked for 10 years with the Israel intelligence services, and he now works for Noriega," Blandon said. "He trains and directs [Noriega's] own personal guards and negotiated with Noriega in weapons trafficking operations. ... Blandon testified that Harari also arranged for Noriega to receive protection from Israeli intelligence when he travels to Europe. ... The official said that Israeli government officials have assured U.S. officials that Harari is a private citizen working on his own."
||| *) October 28, 1988, Technician: North Carolina State University's Student Newspaper Since 1920, 'Bush's CIA past scandalous', p. 6: "William F. Buckley immediately reminded Jackson he had no documented proof [of CIA-backed Contra drug trafficking] to validate his statement. Well, now Jackson does. Rolling Stone magazine is the first to expose the Noriega/Bush Black Eagle scandal. Its article, "The Dirty Secrets of George Bush," published in the November 3 issue, covers an investigation the magazine pursued itself."
*) May 9, 1988, Rolling Stone, 'The Dirty Secrets of George Bush: The Vice President's illegal operations' (full article backup).
*) 1998, Peter Dale Scott, 'Cocaine Politics', p. 225: " ... The [Black Eagle] claim correlates with the earlier public charges from Jose Blandon that the Harari network supplied the Ilopango Air Force Base, and Felix Rodriguez in particular, from 1982 to 1986; and that Casey accordingly placed Noriega on the CIA payroll (Keyy hearings, III, 18; PBS, "Frontline," May 17, 1988). It is not clear how much of Blandon's story should be believed. Both Gregg and Rodriguez have flatly denied the charges. The last election produced numerous self-professed insiders talking about Bush, Gregg, and Rodriguez's links to the Contras and drugs, and some of these statements are not only exaggerated but possibly perjured (Kerry report, 61-62).
 Details in the 1983 Customs report [May 18, 1983, file NOGGBDO30036] corroborate at least part of the Cummings-Volkman story [in Penthouse magazine about the Black Eagle - Barry Seal connection] and suggest that [SETCO drug pilot and Oliver North contact Frank] Moss, [Barry] Seal, and [Col. Oliver North, State Department, Contra and Medellin Cartel-linked Juan Ramon] Matta [the owner of SETCO] were in fact part of a single network."
*) The BLACK EAGLE account differs from the official account provided by Bush, Gregg and Rodriguez.
********) August 4, 1993, Lawrence E. Walsh, Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Chapter 29, Donald P. Gregg: "When Gregg assumed his position as assistant to the Vice President for national security affairs in August 1982, he consciously disassociated himself from former colleagues with whom he had worked during his CIA career. The exception to that rule was Felix Rodriguez. ... Gregg lost track of Rodriguez for a period of time after Vietnam and did not see him until the early 1980s, when Rodriguez came to Washington sporadically and talked with Gregg about old times. Gregg was not certain what Rodriguez was doing at that time, and he did not inquire; however, they remained friends. ...
During the Vietnam War, Gregg supervised CIA officer Felix Rodriguez and they kept in contact following the war. Gregg introduced Rodriguez to Vice President Bush in January 1985, and Rodriguez met with the Vice President again in Washington, D.C., in May 1986. He also met Vice President Bush briefly in Miami on May 20, 1986. ...
In 1985 and 1986, Rodriguez worked out of the Ilopango air base in El Salvador, where he assisted the Salvadoran Air Force in anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency tactics. In late 1985 and during 1986, Rodriguez -- whose alias was ``Max Gomez'' -- became increasingly involved in the contra-resupply effort that was based at Ilopango at that time. Because of Rodriguez's close association with General Juan Bustillo, who headed the Salvadoran Air Force, Rodriguez was vital to Lt. Col. Oliver L. North's contra-resupply operation by coordinating flights based at Ilopango. ...
Both Gregg and his deputy, Col. Samuel J. Watson III, were investigated for possible false testimony regarding their denial of knowledge of Rodriguez's involvement in North's contra-resupply operation. OIC obtained Watson's immunized testimony in an effort to further its investigation. Despite unresolved conflicts between documentary evidence and the testimony of the principal witnesses, OIC determined that it could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt a criminal case against Gregg."
|||November 4, 1988, Jonathan Kwitny for the Los Angeles Times, 'Who Gave Bush His Teflon Coat in the Iran-Contra Scam?': "Bush, a former CIA director, hired career CIA officer Donald Gregg as his personal vice presidential adviser. When Contra military aid was banned, Gregg began phoning and meeting with an old CIA pal of both men, Felix Rodriguez, who, allegedly as a private citizen, went to the Salvadoran military base where arms were transferred for shipment in small craft to Contra bases.
Guns, ammo, mines and explosives were collected by men close to White House aide Oliver North and used in a terror war against civilian farm cooperatives in Nicaragua. Rodriguez ran the arms depot, at times talking almost daily with Gregg and meeting at least three times with Bush--whose office says that they only discussed other things, and that the presence of the arms deals on the agenda for one of those meetings was a typing error.
It gets worse. As his own assistant Rodriguez hired, under an assumed name, Luis Posada Carriles, another former CIA colleague who had just been sprung from a Venezuelan jail--with his help, Rodriguez has hinted. Posada was in jail for the mid-air bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner that took 73 lives. That surpasses all the Arab terrorist acts that Bush and Reagan have complained of.
Bush's office has said that he didn't know of Posada's background. Nonsense. Posada bombed that airliner on Bush's watch, in October, 1976, and Castro's howls of CIA culpability and U.S. denials were big news. Surely a CIA director worthy of the title would have called for the file on Posada.
Much has been made of the alleged incompetence of Bush's running-mate, Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle. Here, too, the Iran-Contra link has been ignored. When the Administration decided to expand its already illegal war against Nicaragua by secretly opening a southern front in Costa Rica, it used Quayle's office. Quayle's staff aide, Rob Owen, put North in touch with another Hoosier, John Hull, who owned vast lands in northern Costa Rica. ...
Correspondence between Owen and North showed concern that drug-dealing among the Contras could embarrass the operation, and even identified some drug dealers on the Contra team. Nothing was done. I have obtained aircraft-maintenance and -refueling receipts with crew signatures proving that the planes of a convicted Colombian cocaine cartel leader, George Morales--planes carrying Contra leaders as well as drug smugglers--were serviced and refueled at the Salvadoran base where Rodriguez managed the war supplies; Rodriguez reported to the office of George Bush, who supposedly ran the Administration's anti-drug program.
Contra arms were being supplied through Panama with the help of military strongman Manuel A. Noriega, a major drug smuggler. Bush says he didn't know that, which could put him in a class by himself among drug enforcers. In fact, when Bush took over the CIA in 1976, the agency had just received a high-level report from the Justice Department citing Noriega's major role in drug-trafficking; the report mentioned that U.S. drug agents had even suggested Noriega's assassination. As Panama's intelligence chief, Noriega was then working with the CIA.
There is much more evidence, which this space can't begin to accommodate. But it isn't a new story. Covert U.S. operations aimed at fighting communism were inadvertently responsible, decades ago, for the development of the "Golden Triangle" in Asia and the "French Connection" in Marseilles--until recently the major sources of illegal drugs entering the United States. Over the years our covert actions probably have created and maintained more one-party dictatorships than the Soviet Union has. Under their cover of secrecy, CIA-supported bandits have stolen untold riches from the American taxpayers. And these operations have loosed on the world terrorists like Luis Posada, who might at any given time be acting on behalf of the CIA."
|||July 2, 2010, Reuters, 'Cuban ex-intelligence chief recalls JFK assassination': "Like many, Fabian Escalante remembers what he was doing when he heard U.S. President John F. Kennedy had been shot: he was trying to stop the Central Intelligence Agency from toppling the Cuban government with the help of anti-Castro exiles.
Years later, when he had risen to head Cuba's Department of State Security, he was well placed to consider whether those same exiles may have had a hand in the November 22, 1963 slaying of the dashing young president in Dallas.
Escalante does not claim to know who killed JFK, but says that Cuban exiles recruited by the CIA had planned to kill Kennedy twice in November 1963, because they felt the U.S. president had done too little to topple the government on the Caribbean island. ...
"How was this meant to turn out? To assassinate Kennedy, launch a furious campaign against Cuba, blaming it for the assassination, which they did, then kill Fidel Castro a few days later, on December 12, and invade Cuba."
Escalante worked with members of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations investigating the JFK killing when they travelled to Cuba in 1978 to collect data on the activities of Cuban exiles.
In his retirement, he has published many of his findings in book form, along with research he has conducted since he set up the Centre for Security Studies in 1993.
Escalante says one anti-Castro exile and former CIA operative who may hold clues to the JFK assassination is Luis Posada Carriles, who lives in Miami and is wanted in Cuba on charges of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet which killed 73 people.
Posada Carriles is also accused [note: he admitted to being the mastermind on tape, but still walked away] of involvement in a 1997 wave of hotel bombings, which were aimed at destabilizing Cuba and scaring away tourists, but Escalante doubts the U.S. government will deport him to Cuba to face trial.
"He has a life insurance policy, which is what he knows about the Kennedy plot," Escalante said. "He and (fellow exile) Orlando Bosch were in the thick of the Kennedy plot. Remember, both he and Posada were part of this terrorist mechanism set up in New Orleans, which is where the plot was hatched to assassinate Kennedy." ...
In his book "Executive Action," Escalante lists 634 conspiracies to kill Castro between 1959 and 2000, including 168 plots which may have succeeded."
|||*) Barry Seal's sting operation against the Sandinista government being a psychological warfare campaign is hinted to in the articles above and below. It is discussed in much greater detail, however, in the following article:
*) September 30, 1988, L.A. Weekly, 'Cocaine and the White House Connection': " Appalled and enraged [by the deliberate CIA/Oliver North press leak of the Barry Seal sting operation against the Sandinistas], the DEA immediately pulled Seal from the field, abruptly ending its investigations and its high hopes for breaking up the cartel. DEA officials would later tell Congress that none of the allegations about the Sandinistas in the article were true. No matter - on March 16, 1986, just prior to another contra-aid vote by Congress, President Reagan went on national television and, displaying huge blowups of what he said was a plane being loaded with cocaine at a Nicaraguan airfield, repeated the charges that originally appeared in the Washington Times. President Reagan embellished on one other part of the story, naming an alleged Sandinista official in the picture. ...
Meanwhile, new evidence has surfaced indicating strongly that the entire case against the Sandinistas, photos included, was concocted by Oliver North and the CIA. Most telling is the new evidence about "Frederico Vaughan", the supposedly photographed aide to the comandantes. In other media in 1985, it has been noted, "If Frederick Vaughan remains a mystery, his cousin's career is better known. Barney Vaughan is a banker in Miami, and he has tied to the contras. ...
More damaging to the White House is evidence presented at the House Crime Subcommittee hearings, suggesting that Frederico Vaughan is an employee of the United States, either of the Embassy, the CIA or Oliver North's NSC. ... DEA officials would later tell Congress that none of the allegations about the Sandinistas in the article [and made by Reagan] were true." (full article backup).
||| *) July 1989 issue, Penthouse magazine, 'The remarkable life and brutal death of Adler Berriman Seal explains why America is losing the war on drugs ... because, in large measure, the American government is fighting itself': "Casey set about creating an operation that could not be traced back to the CIA, code-named Eagle (later, Black Eagle), the operation went forward through an essential Casey contact, Micha "Mike" Harari. ...
As if the CIA's reliance on a man like Noriega weren't bad enough, the crime was compounded by a second decision: Seal was recruited to find pilots for Black Eagle flights." (full article backup).
|||August 27, 1996, NPR, 'California Reporter Alleges CIA Approval of Drug Ring': "GARY WEBB: ... The way it operated in was this - they would bring the cocaine in, in various means, through Miami, through Houston, along the coast of California. And they would distribute it and collect the money, and the money would be sent- at least some of the money would be sent to the Contras in Nicaragua. And the biggest part of the- the drug operation that we were able to find operated in South Central L.A. in Compton. ...
Correct. And that's- You know, as you realize, there were several of- several guerrilla groups that we called the Contras. Actually, the biggest one and the one that was directly sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency was the FDN, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, in English. And the fellow who was the- the Southern California distributor for this ring was a man named Denielo Blandone [sp] [Danilo Blandon], who was a former official of the Somoza government. And he arrived in the United States in 1979 and testified recently that he began selling cocaine in South Central Los Angeles in- in early 1982. After he had met with the military commander of the FDN, which was a fellow named Colonel Enrique Bermudez [sp], who, you know, as the Iran-Contra hearing showed, was on the CIA's payroll for almost a decade, probably even longer than that. ...
What we found was that they were meeting with CIA agents - Enrique Bermudez, number one; Aldofo Colero [sp] [Adolfo Calero], number two. We- we found and printed a picture of Aldofo Colero, who was the political leader of the FDN, that was taken in June of 1984 in a kitchen in San Francisco, in the company of Norlind Menessas [sp], who was the Nicaraguan exile who actually ran the drug ring. He was Denielo Blandone's boss. As far as protecting the ring, I mean, this thing came very close to being broken by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in late 1986, and according to an affidavit for the search warrant that I found, the police knew that this ring was selling cocaine and funneling the profits to the Contras through a brokerage firm in Florida. It was a very, very detailed affidavit for a search warrant. They raided 12 to 13 locations, they arrested a number of Nicaraguans, but they didn't find anything. And when I asked the police department what happened- I mean, usually when you have raids of this magnitude, you go in and you find things. And the attorney for the police officer who led the raid said that the police had always believed that it was compromised by the CIA. Now, we also had received documents from the National Archives that we had declassified, which told of a customs investigation in '85- '84, in which a customs official claimed that his investigation was sidetracked and stymied by 'national security interests.' Then we also reported that on- in El Salvador at that same time, a DEA agent named Selerino Castillo [sp] had discovered that drugs were being flown out of a couple of hangars at Ilipango Air Base [sp] outside of San Salvador. He was told that it was a CIA covert operation, that he was not to interfere with it. And he continued writing reports and eventually said he was drummed out of the DEA. So, you have three different agencies, at roughly the same period of time, reporting similar problems when they attempted to investigate this ring. ...
Well, Denielo Blandone, who, by the way- I mean, this fellow is not a drug dealer who is trying to beat a rap by- by going public with this thing. He is working for the federal government at the moment, and he testified as a DEA witness in a case in San Diego where most of this came out last March. And he estimated that in the first year, 1981, that he started working with this ring, they sold around 900 kilos of cocaine. You know, we figured out that the wholesale value, alone- I mean, this isn't street value. We- we were playing very conservative with these figures. The wholesale value was $54 million. In 1990, Blandone was taped by the DEA bragging that he had sold the black drug dealers in Los Angeles between 2,000 and 4,000 kilos. And you just need to multiply that out. That's like four tons of cocaine. ...
Blandone was arrested in 1992, and was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, and pleaded guilty. The probation department recommended a life sentence and a $4-million fine. What happened was that he was released from federal prison after 28 months in custody, was not fined, and, in fact, was given a job with the Drug Enforcement Administration to work for them as an informant. And we found records indicating that he had been paid approximately $166,000 in the last 18 months for his work with the DEA."
|||April 26, 1986, UPI, 'Contra accuses other rebels of corruption, drug trafficking': "A Contra guerrilla has accused the main U.S.-backed rebel group of beating and paralyzing him because he ''denounced corruption'' and drug trafficking in the force. Leonardo Zeledon Rodriguez left the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, or FDN, which operates out of base camps along the Honduran border, in 1982 to join a smaller Contra force. ''Although there was no food at the camps, here in Tegucigalpa the leaders, such as '380,' went around drinking rum in the bars,'' Zeledon said Friday. He identified FDN military chief Enrique Bermudez as 380. ''Who doesn't remember that Troilo Sanchez, brother of Aristides Sanchez who is a member of the FDN directorate, was caught in Costa Rica with pillows full of cocaine,'' he said. ''Troilo is a brother-in-law of Adolfo Calero,'' one of the top rebel leaders, Zeledon said. ''Troilo sold 200 pounds of cocaine and received $6.1 million for it.'' Zeledon also charged the FDN with ordering an assault against him. He said he was in a Tegucigalpa night club Jan. 21 when he met Leonardo Montalvan, who told him the Contras wanted to ''screw me over'' because he had taken local reporters to an FDN instruction school near the Honduran capital. ''Leonaro Montalvan told me I was on a (secret police) list and that they were going to kill me,'' he said. He said he left the club at about 1:30 a.m. and the next thing he remembered was waking up in a hospital, Zeledon said. ''It has left me immobile,'' Zeledon said of the beating that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He denied taking reporters to the training center. ''They did this to me because I denounced corruption, and I'm going to continue to denounce it while I'm still alive,'' Zeledon said from his bed in the Military Hospital School. Zeledon said that until last September he was private secretary to Stedman Fagoth, leader of a Nicaraguan rebel force made up of Misura Indians [who since 1983 was allied with the FDN]."|
|||April 13, 1989, John Kerry et al., Kerry Committee Report, John Hull section.|
|||December 9, 2012, Consortium News, 'John Hull's Great Escape': "For years, Contra-connected witnesses had cited Hull's ranch as a cocaine transshipment point for drugs heading to the United States. According to Bromwich's report, the DEA even prepared a research report on the evidence in November 1986. In it, one informant described Colombian cocaine off-loaded at an airstrip on Hull's ranch. The drugs were then concealed in a shipment of frozen shrimp and transported to the United States, the informant said.
The alleged Costa Rican shipper was Frigorificos de Puntarenas, a firm controlled by Cuban-American Luis Rodriguez. Like Hull, however, Frigorificos had friends in high places. In 1985-86, the State Department had selected the shrimp company to handle $261,937 in non-lethal assistance earmarked for the Contras. In 1987, the DEA in Miami opened a file on Rodriguez, but soon concluded there was no case.
However, as more evidence surfaced in 1987, the FBI and Customs indicted Rodriguez for drug trafficking and money-laundering. But Hull remained untouchable, although five witnesses implicated him during Sen. John Kerry's investigation of Contra-drug trafficking."
|||April 13, 1989, John Kerry et al., Kerry Committee Report, Frigorificos de Puntarenas section.
|||May 4, 1990, Los Angeles Times, 'Former Cartel Kingpin Says Drug Leaders Gave Contras $20 Million': "A former kingpin of the Medellin drug cartel said Colombian drug lords donated about $20 million to the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua. Carlos Lehder Rivas, 40, made his remarks in a broadcast Thursday night of ABC's PrimeTime Live, which interviewed him in the federal prison in Marion, Ill., where Lehder is serving a life sentence plus 135 years. ...
Lehder also accused John Hull, an American who directed supplies for the Contras from Costa Rica, of cocaine trafficking. Hull, who now lives in the United States, denied the allegations, the news program reported. "I do know the situation for a fact that John Hull in Costa Rica . . . he was taking about 30 tons of cocaine into the United States a year," Lehder said. "Now this is a kingpin [note: Lehder was much worse than this].""
|||May 1, 1989, People magazine, 'John Hull, Once Oliver North's Man in Costa Rica, Is Now Accused of Running Guns and Drugs': "Hell, the CIA once paid for five of my bodyguards. And I'm certainly not in the same league as Ollie North." Those bodyguards were armed sentries posted at Hull's main ranch near Muelle de San Carlos, says Hull, and he insists that their salaries were all the money he received from the CIA. The Kerry report offers a different account, stating that for two years Hull received $10,000 a month from contra leader Adolfo Calero, all at North's direction."|
|||November 4, 1988, Jonathan Kwitny for the Los Angeles Times, 'Who Gave Bush His Teflon Coat in the Iran-Contra Scam?': "Quayle's staff aide, Rob Owen, put North in touch with another Hoosier, John Hull, who owned vast lands in northern Costa Rica. Hull's property, with six airstrips, became the secret Contra arms depot and staging base. Owen went further as a facilitator. Hull got a $375,000 U.S. government loan to build a lumber mill (he never built it), and Owen was trying to get him $500,000 more. Officials of the lending agency have testified that Hull's loan was fraudulently obtained."|
|||May 1, 1989, People magazine, 'John Hull, Once Oliver North's Man in Costa Rica, Is Now Accused of Running Guns and Drugs': "Hull is equally firm in his views about Oliver North, calling his trial a disgrace to the nation. Hull first met the former Marine lieutenant colonel in 1983, while in Washington visiting then Sen. Dan Quayle, another vocal contra supporter. Quayle helped arrange an introduction at the White House, Hull says, and North was pleased to meet such an avid fellow anti-Communist. Charges that North mishandled contra funds or acted unpatriotically cause Hull to bristle."
*) August 18, 1999, Milwaukee Journal, 'Academic, military records among questions for Quayle': "Testimony before Congress last year revealed that Quayle's office was the site of a meeting between John Hull, an American rancher in Costa Rica who helped funnel money to contra rebels, and Rob Owen, a former Quayle aide who later was a courier for Lt. Col. Oliver North.
Hull said Wednesday that he met with Owen in Quayle's office in 1983...
Hull, contacted at his 1,750-acre ranch in Costa Rice, said he had never met Quayle. "I'd like to," he said. "I think Dan Quayle and Rob Owen are two of the finest people on the face of the Earth."
Hull said he traveled to Washington in 1983 "to try to explain what was going on" in Central America. "I didn't know where to start, so, being from Indiana, I started with Dan Quayle."
At Quayle's office, he met Owen. Owen agreed to help, and in the course of doing so, met North."
|||August 17, 1988, 'Bush Selects Quayle as His Running Mate : Calls Indiana Senator, 41, Future Leader': "Quayle, who was editor and associate publisher of the Huntington, Ind., Herald Press, a family-owned newspaper in the mid-1970s, is the grandson of the late Eugene Pulliam, a conservative owner and publisher of Indiana and Arizona newspapers.
Despite his relationship with several Bush advisers, the senator's background had not placed him in Bush's close circle of friends.
Although Quayle's press secretary, Jeff Nesbit, said the senator often stopped by Bush's office to chat, the two men apparently have not had a close relationship. One longtime Bush aide, saying he knew of no relationship between the two men, called the selection of Quayle "quite odd." ...
Norman J. Ornstein, a political analyst with the American Enterprise Institute who specializes in Congress, declared he was "stunned" by the selection. "I didn't think Quayle was a serious possibility and I don't think he should have been a serious possibility. If you take any of the criteria--winning electoral votes, a signal of change, depth of experience and responsibility--he doesn't stack up," Ornstein said.
A veteran Democratic political figure in Indiana, who declined to be identified, said he has followed Quayle's career closely--and "to think that he might be a heartbeat away from the presidency is scary. He just doesn't have the stature or the experience."
||| *) 1989, Barbara Honneger, October Surprise, p. 205: "Wheaton claims that the "French Connection" to the U.S. "Irangate" includes then Senator Dan Quayle, President George Bush's choice for vice-president in 1988. According to Wheaton, a major source of Quayle's political power in Indiana, his home state, is a longtime associate of former CIA director William Casey, Beurt SerVaas. SerVaas, Wheaton says, was on the Executive Board of the Veterans of the O.S.S. (the predecessor organization to the CIA), which "runs the CIA from behind the scenes. " [note: Obscure as he is, SerVaas was also a trustee at the Hudson Institute and a Council for National Poilicy (CNP) participant.] SerVaas's daughter, Joan, according to Wheaton, is married to an "off-the-books" French intelligence asset and Indiana resident, Bernard Marie. In 1982, Wheaton claims to have introduced Marie to Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials who then played a key role in the Reagan-Bush Administration's secret deliveries of U.S. arms to Iran in the 1980's. ...
Oliver North's courier in the Iran/Contra operation, Robert Owen, was introduced to another Indianan, John Hull, and to Contra commander Luis Rivas in Senator Dan Quayle's office on July 21, 1983, when Owen was Quayle's legislative aide. Senator Quayle reportedly stayed for the beginning of the meeting. That summer, Quayle authorized Owen to travel to Hull's ranch in Costa Rica at Hull's expense. The ranch was being used by the CIA as a military supply site for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, a relationship that continued throughout the period during which "profits" from the administration's secret arms sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the Contras. In November 1983, Robert Owen left the staff of Senator Dan Quayle and went to work for Oliver North's "Project Democracy," which oversaw secret U.S. arms shipments to both the Contras and to Iran. ...
According to Gene Wheaton, "SerVaas brought Quayle into the Casey network early in the game.""
*) While Barbara Honegger (see ISGP biography) is far from a reliable source (she's a major 9/11 Truth no-plane-at-Pentagon disinformer, for instance), she did work for the Reagan-Bush White House. I also have found Gene Wheaton's basic information on the CIA clique of Bush, Casey, Shackley and Carlucci undermining the Carter administration and bringing in Reagan as their man to be quite believable. In addition, there's no doubt that the OSS Society/AFIO network Wheaton talked about to Honegger most certainly has tremendous influence on the CIA and special operations community.
The following article also reveals a somewhat close association between Quayle and SerVaas, at least in the 1990s (both were also in the publishing business):
*) December 14, 1996, Indianapolis Star, p. 25, 'Quayle has his focus on the 1998 elections, not the White House': "Anne Hathaway, executive director of Quayle's Campaign America political action committee, said Quayle called together a "core group of Campaign America. ... He met with friends, past supporters, current supporters of Campaign America and told them that '96 had been a successful year," she said. Asked if Quayle had discussed his future political plans, she refused to be drawn into speculation about the presidency. "I think Dan Quayle is looking ahead. The focus right now is on 1998," Hathaway said. Not every Indiana Republican of stature was invited. Former Gov. Robert D. Orr, City-County Council President Beurt SerVaas and Mutz got the call. Republican Party chairman Mike McDaniel and former party chairman Rex Early did not."
|||March 8, 1989, New York Times, 'Washington Talk: Briefing; Dispute With Arias': "Representative Lee Hamilton, the Indiana Democrat who has been a leading figure in articulating his party's policies on Central America, is embroiled in a dispute with President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, who has often been praised by Democrats.
The conflict arose in January, when the Costa Rican authorities arrested John Hull, an Indiana native whose ranch in Costa Rica played a role in efforts to aid the Nicaraguan rebels. Mr. Hull was charged with drug trafficking and undermining Costa Rica's national security. Mr. Hull has said he was paid by the Central Intelligence Agency to help the contras.
Mr. Hamilton and Representative David Dreier, Republican of California, were the first two signatories of a Jan. 26 Congressional letter to Mr. Arias that said: ''It is our hope that Mr. Hull's case can be concluded promptly and that it will be handled in a manner that will not complicate U.S.-Costa Rican relations. As you know, there is much debate in the United States over policy toward Central America.''
Mr. Arias replied: ''Mr. John Hull is accused of serious crimes, among them that of participating in the illegal traffic of drugs to the United States. It pains me that you insinuate that the exemplary relations between your country and mine could deteriorate because our legal system is fighting against drug trafficking, no matter how powerful the people who participate in it, or what external backing they might have.''
Mr. Arias insisted that Mr. Hull had been treated with appropriate regard for his human rights, ''about which Costa Ricans need lessons from nobody.'' A copy of the Arias letter was made available by the Christic Institute, a research group which is appealing a Federal judge's dismissal of a suit charging Mr. Hull and others with complicity in a 1984 bombing in Costa Rica. Mr. Hamilton said through a spokeswoman yesterday that he had not yet received the letter."
|||*) 1988 commercial of Michael Dukakis against presidential candidate George H. W. Bush: "1982: Bush was made responsible for stopping drug traffic from coming into this country. What happened? Cocaine traffic up 300 percent. More drugs in our class rooms and Panamanian drug lord Noriega kept on the government payroll [photo of Bush and Noriega]. That's the Bush record on fighting drugs. And now George Bush wants to put Dan Quayle in charge for the next four years. [Quayle:] "I'm gonna be coordinating the drug effort.""
*) February 2, 1989, Los Angeles Times, 'Quayle, in Venezuela, Discusses Drug War, Opposes 'Debtor Cartel'': "Vice President Dan Quayle, arriving Wednesday on his first visit to Latin America, discussed anti-drug efforts with Colombia's president and declared staunch U.S. opposition to any Latin "debtor cartel." ...
Quayle mostly listened as Colombian President Virgilio Barco Vargas reviewed his nation's effort to combat drugs and guerrillas "and how much help they need from the United States," said Quayle's press secretary, David Beckwith. Beckwith said Quayle congratulated Barco on "those courageous steps" but pointed out that U.S. resources to help out are limited."
|||December 25, 1992, Los Angeles Times, 'Bush Pardons Weinberger, 5 Others in Iran-Contra; Act Called Cover-Up : Inquiry: Prosecutor accuses President of misconduct, claims Bush kept own notes of arms-for-hostages affair. Christmas Eve clemency scuttles six-year investigation.': "President Bush granted Christmas Eve pardons to former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and five other former government officials Thursday, wiping out all pending criminal prosecutions in the Iran-Contra case.
In an angry statement, the Iran-Contra independent counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, accused Bush of "misconduct" and declared that the pardon was part of the cover-up that "has continued for more than six years."
And in a potentially explosive revelation, he said it was recently discovered that Bush himself kept personal notes on aspects of the arms-for-hostages affair. He said prosecutors have been denied access to some of them "despite repeated requests" and added ominously that this "will lead to appropriate action." ...
Walsh declined to say what action he might take against Bush. In an interview broadcast later, however, he did acknowledge that Bush is "the subject now of our investigation" and that the potential grounds are having "illegally withheld documents" from Iran-Contra investigations.
Of Bush's notes, he said: "We have some already and some have been withheld still. There are months missing..." ...
In addition to Weinberger, Bush pardoned Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state; Robert C. McFarlane, former national security adviser, and former CIA officials Clair E. George, Alan D. Fiers and Duane Clarridge. All were in President Ronald Reagan's Administration.
A presidential pardon is absolute. It wipes out all convictions, pending charges, appeals or even possible future prosecutions."
|||1990, Information Services Latin America (ISLA), Volume 41, Issues 1-3, p. 5 (column of Jack Anderson): "The DEA reports reveal agency interviews with an American, Laurence Victor Harrison, who set up radio communications for Mexican drug barons in the mid-1980s. ... In an interview last February, Harrison said he knew as an insider that [murdered journalist Manuel] Buendia was investigating links between the drug trade and Mexican officials. Among the officials he was asking questions about was Manuel Bartlett Diaz, then Zorilla's boss as interior minister. Bartlett now is education minister.
Harrison told the DEA that Buendia got some leads from Javier Juarez Vasquez, then-editor of the newspaper Primera Plana. Vasquez's tortured body was found a day after Buendia's murder. Vasquez had told Buendia about a ranch allegedly owned by drug traffickers and used by the CIA to train guerrillas. Apparently Buendia's source also had turned up information about airstrips owned by drug lords and used by the CIA to fly arms to contras. The DEA report says pilots who flew arms were allowed to make the return trip more profitable by picking up cocaine in Colombia. They would refuel at the airstrips en route to Miami."
|||*) July 16, 1990, Washington Post, 'Trial in Camarena case shows DEA anger at CIA': "By this account, Caro Quintero gave up the names of top military and police officials he was paying off, including the head of the DFS, Jose Antonio Zorrilla Perez, a protege of the interior secretary at the time, Manuel Bartlett."
*) 1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout', pp. 348-349: "Two days later, the DEA learned that Rafael Caro Quintero was at the Guadalajara airport ready to board a private plane bound for Mexico City. The agents contacted the Mexican Federal Judicial Police and converged on the airport. The jet was surrounded by ten men carrying AK-47s, and Caro Quintero was approached by police Commandante Armando Pavon. To the astonishment of the DEA agents, Pavon and Caro Quintero shook hands, talked warmly and the plane was permitted to depart. Pavon told the American agents that everything was under control, because the armed guards were actually DFS agents who had been assigned to Caro Quintero by the secretary of the interior [Manuel Bartlett at the time]. The DEA later learned that Caro Quintero had offered Pavon $300,000 to permit his plane to take off. ..."
*) Much more information in ISGP's article on Kiki Camarena's death.
|||1998, Gary Webb, 'Dark Alliance: The CIA, the contras, and the crack cocaine explosion' (digital): "[Robert Nieves] became head of the cocaine investigations in Washington, then chief of major investigations, and at the time of his retirement in late 1995, he was serving as chief of the DEA's International Division. After his retirement, Nieves went to work for a body armor manufacturing company in Virginia--Guardian Technologies. That company is owned by Oliver North, and the CIA's former chief of station in Costa Rica, Joe Fernandez. ... The CIA's Costa Rican station chief, Joseph Fernandez, was so heavily involved with illegal Contra operations that he would be fired and indicted for his participation."
*) Much more information in ISGP's article on the Demmink affair.
|||pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/special/nieves.html (undated interview with Robert Nieves, but goes back to the 1990s): "I was publicly accused by conspiracy theorists whose opinions don't value much. The person who publicly accused me was Gary Webb, in a book called Dark Alliance. The guy's a fabricator. Publications like the New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, have all said that his stories were fantasy. His own Knight-Ridder Publications retracted many of the things he reported, so I place no value on what Gary Webb says. He is a conspiracy theorist, his motivation was clearly to sell books. It's irrelevant what he says. ...
What you are referring to is the Iran-Contra affair. In my opinion, it's the second most investigated event in American history, the first being the J.F.K. assassination. Every stone has been turned. Every page has been written. Everybody who had any knowledge about it has been questioned ad nauseam. There is no story about Contra drug smuggling that hasn't been reported a thousand times by the Kerry commission, Tower Commission, the IG's...There is no story...
First of all, I don't know that those numbers are accurate. I think they probably include uncorroborated reports. You have to understand Central America at that time was a haven for conspiracy theorists. The Christic Institute, people like Gary Webb, others down there looking to dig up some story for political advantage. No sexier story than to create the notion in people's minds that these people are drug traffickers. I was given carte blanche to do my job. Never once did anybody say anything about anything I was doing that wasn't supportive.
What the American people have lost sight of, and what the liberals [and conspiracy theorists] would want you to lose sight of...is the fact that the Contra conflict was about indigenous people...fighting for survival...against the Communist government. They're lost in all these conspiracy theories."
|||All discussed with sources in ISGP's article on the Demmink affair.|
|||1998, Alexander Cockburn, 'Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press', p. 296: "In April 1986, Castillo got a cable from Bobby Nieves, a DEA man in Costa Rica. Nieves told Castillo that he believed cocaine was being smuggled from John Hull's large ranch on the Costa Rican side of the border with Nicaragua to Ilopango air base in El Salvador. He advised Castillo to investigate goings-on in Hangers 4 and 5 at Ilopango. The cable concluded, "We believe the Contras are involved in narcotics trafficking." Soon thereafter Castillo was approached by Robert Chavez, the State Department's general counsel in El Salvador. ... [Chavez] had been advised by the CIA to grant [a visa] to a Nicaraguan pilot named Carlos Alberto Amador. But, Chavez said, when he checked the files he'd found that Amador had a record for drug smuggling. ... When the CIA duly raised a stink [about not granting the visa], Chavez said that he'd taken that action on the orders of Castillo. This was the moment, Castillo says he looks back on the entire affair, that the CIA began to go after him seriously. It wasn't long after this that Castillo got a visit from John Martsh, head of DEA operations in Latin America. "Cele, they're coming after you because of the Contra thing and the reports you wrote.""|
|||October 11, 1986, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 'Downed plane was used in drug sting' (note: the drug sting was simply part of CIA operation to mask its own involvement in the drug trade and further slander the (also guilty) left-wing Sandinistas): "The cargo plane that was shot down on Sunday while taking ammunition to insurgents in Nicaragua was earlier involved in a US"sting" operation against the Sandinista Government, the Drug Enforcement Administration said yesterday. A spokesman for the agency, Mr Jack Hood, said in Miami: "We believe that the C-123 that was shot down was the same plane that was used in the Barry Seal operation." Mr Adler (Barry) Seal, a pilot and drug smuggler from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who became an undercover informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency, flew the plane to the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio, where CIA men installed hidden cameras on it in 1984. Mr Seal then flew to Nicaragua and returned to the US with 662 kilograms of cocaine. The cameras filmed Federico Vaughn, whom American officials said was a senior employee of the Nicaraguan Government, helping to load the cocaine into the plane. American authorities said at the time that the use of Nicaraguan facilities meant the operation had the approval of, and was possibly controlled by, the Nicaraguan Minister for Defence, Mr Humberto Ortega, a brother of the Sandinista leader, Mr Daniel Ortega. Mr Seal was murdered in Baton Rouge in February.
In another development here yesterday, Major-General John Singlaub, the retired army officer said by White House officials to have arranged the supply flight, again denied involvement. At a news conference yesterday, the general said: "I do not know who ordered the aircraft into the air. I want to assure you that it had nothing to do with me. The men who were killed were not in my employ." General Singlaub also asserted that a statement made in Managua yesterday by Mr Eugene Hasenfus, the former Marine Corps parachute rigger who survived the crash, was "probably false". He added: "We can't afford to take a statement from someone who is acting under duress." Mr Hasenfus has said he worked with CIA employees in El Salvador and had made 10 covert flights into Nicaragua.
The assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs, Mr Elliott Abrams, said he was confident the Sandinistas were telling Mr Hasenfus if he said what they wanted to hear, he would be "out in no time".
General Singlaub suggested that Major-General Richard Secord, a retired Air Force officer, was "one of the people who might have some knowledge" of the operation. But he said he had not been able to reach General Secord, who is associated with the Stanford Technology Trading Group in Vienna, Virginia. American defence sources have meanwhile said the supply flight was paid for with Saudi Arabian money and named General Secord as the organiser of the operation. General Secord was the chief Middle East arms-sales adviser to the Defence Secretary, Mr Caspar Weinberger, before he retired in May 1983. He has close ties with Saudi officials. General Secord retired following allegations linking him with inflated payments to Washington arms dealers to ship US military equipment to Egypt. One of the arms dealers was Mr Thomas Clines, a former CIA official. Defence sources said the money for the flight was provided by a "friendly third Government", which they identified as Saudi Arabia. A Saudi spokesman in Washington, Mr Habib Shaheen, denied his Government was connected to the incident."
|||December 9, 2013, Tico Times, '27 years later, CIA pilot tells of using secret Costa Rican airstrip to traffic guns, cocaine': "In October 1986, the Sandinista army shot down a [C-123] carrying arms to the Contras and captured a cargo kicker named Eugene Hasenfus, the only crew member with a parachute. Journalists given access to documents found aboard Hasenfus' airplane linked the flight to the CIA. A Tico Times reporter determined that two phone numbers found in logs in the wreckage belonged to the home and the embassy office of CIA San José station chief Joe Fernández (code-named Tomás Castillo), a foreshadowing of the Iran-Contra scandal that erupted the following November..."|
|||*) 2004, Kristina Borjesson, 'Into the Buzzsaw', Mike Levine essay contribution, 'Mainstream Media: The Drug War Shills', pp. 177-179: "[In 1987] posing as a Puerto Rican-Sicilian Mafia chief, myself and a small cadre of DEA and Customs undercover agents managed to penetrate to the top of the drug world in three countries: Bolivia, Panama and Mexico. DEA called it "Operation Trifecta." Customs name for it was "Operation Saber." Our fictitious little "Mafia" managed to make a 15 ton cocaine purchase and smuggling deal with the Bolivian drug cartel known as La Corporacion, the same group that the CIA helped in its takeover of Bolivia, the same group responsible for most of the cocaine base being processed in Colombia to this day.
Hidden video cameras rolled as I negotiated the price and quantity of the drugs with top representatives of the cartel. The deal done, I sent undercover pilots into the jungles of Bolivia to verify that the cocaine was on the ground and ready for delivery. Then I arranged with top Mexican government officials for military protection of the drug shipments as they transited through Mexico into the United States. Among those with whom I negotiated directly were Colonel Jaime Carranza, grandson of Mexico's former President, Venustiano Carranza, and Pablo Giron, a bodyguard of Mexico's President-elect at the time, Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
To verify that the Mexican government was keeping its part of the deal, "Mafia" representatives (undercover officers) were dispatched to Mexico to observe military units preparing our landing field. As part of the deal, my first drug payment—five million dollars in cash— would be made to Remberto Rodriguez, chief money launderer for the Bolivian and Colombian Cartels. His operation, as the Cartel leaders told me, was protected by— then, CIA asset— Manuel Noriega. I personally went to Rodriguez's headquarters in Panama City where we made arrangements for the first transfer of the down payment of $5 million cash and shook hands on the deal.
During this harrowing assignment our undercover team gathered hard evidence in the form of secretly recorded video and audio—tapes, first hand observations and secret government intelligence reports that clearly indicated that members of the military and staff of incoming President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari were planning to open the Mexican border for drug smuggling once he took office as President and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was passed. Hard evidence that that they had already begun to put their plan into action.
We had also stumbled onto evidence indicating that the corrupt Mexican officials we were negotiating with were also directly involved in training CIA-supported Contras. We uncovered uninvestigated, personal links between US government officials (including at least one DEA officer) and corrupt Mexican government officials, some of whom may have been involved in the torture/murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena and/or its cover-up.
And we had proof that the US paramilitary operation in the Andean Region (then Operation Snowcap, now Plan Colombia and/or The Andean Initiative) was a premeditated fraud on the American people, never intended to have any effect on the supply of drugs from its inception.
As I detailed in Deep Cover, once top officials in our government became aware of what we had uncovered, the CIA became involved.  We had gone too far and had to be stopped. The top drug dealers, the Panama based money-laundering operation, and the high-ranking corrupt Mexican government officials that we had snared were effectively protected from prosecution. Operations Trifecta and Saber were destroyed."
*) November 11, 1991, interview with Mike Levine on WBAI's Undercurrents radio program (WBAI is part of the "liberal CIA" Pacifica Radio): "Operation Trifecta was a three-pronged probe into the top of the drug world. It went into La Corporacion in Bolivia, where myself and another undercover agent, Jorge Urquijo, made a 15 ton cocaine deal with people who were producing 400 kilos of cocaine a day in their lab. They were only a small part of this corporation.
In the course of this operation we met the top money launderer in Panama, Remberto Rodriguez, where we were instructed to make our first $5 million payment. Rodriguez was a man we then believed was closely linked to Manuel Noriega when the Panamanian dictator was being protected by the United States. This was three months before Noriega's indictment.
We then met with the grandson of the man who wrote the Mexican Constitution, Mexican colonel Jorge Carranza, and I bribed him with $1 million to land the first shipment of cocaine from Bolivia in Mexico with Mexican military protection to ferry the load up to the States.
The case in all three countries was truncated by my own government's actions. We were not allowed to go further then we went and that's when I wrote Deep Cover and then I retired from the agency. "
|||*) October 27, 2002, The Observer, 'Trouble in banking paradise as Uncle Sam's sheriffs ride in': "The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's equivalent to MI6, used international banking contacts for its report, as well as electronic surveillance equipment that intercepted telecommunications, including wire transfers. Its investigation, carried out in 1999 and 2000, focuses on the work of Herbert Batliner, a senior Liechtenstein lawyer and fund manager who is said to administer more than 10,000 letterbox companies and foundations. Known to be a friend of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Batliner has already been identified as a key figure in Germany's 'slush funds' scandal, helping to manage anonymous donations to Kohl's Christian Democrat party. The BND's sources accuse him of 'washing' dirty money for clients including Escobar, godfather of the Medellin cartel in the Eighties, and Mobutu, the late dictator of Zaire. Batliner is also reported to have helped Marcos loot money from the Philippines during his notorious 20-year rule. The lawyer denies any money-laundering, however, and was cleared by a Liechtenstein inquiry. According to the BND, Rudolf Ritter, the brother of a Liechtenstein government minister, also reportedly worked for Marcos. Two trustees, Engelbert Schreiber and Peter Frommelt, also allegedly advised the Marcos family, as well as Mexican drug gangs and a major Italian-American mafia family. Ritter, Schreiber and Frommelt all denied wrongdoing."
*) See more details on Herbert Batliner in his 1001 Club biography.
|||*) Edmond Safra was a member of the 1001 Club, along with Prince Bernhard, Prince Philip, the British and French Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Bechtels, Edgar de Piciotto, Tibor Rosenbaum, the House of Liechtenstein, Thurn und Taxis, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and other elites.
*) December 4, 1999, The Express, 'Shadowy world of billionaire killed in arson raid': "[Edmond Safra] was patronised by the rich and famous, including Prince Rainier, the ruler of Monaco, members of the Rothschild family and the Fiat magnate Gianni Agnelli."
*) February 6, 2004, London Evening Standard, 'A guide to the new 'east-ablishment': "It was the super-well-connected Jacob Rothschild who helped introduce the billionaire widow of banker Edward Safra, Lily, to Prince Charles, and helped establish her in London."
*) October 29, 2000, The Observer, 'Life: Crime: When the billionaire banker Edmond Safra died': "Safra was buried in Geneva. Around 1,000 mourners attended the ceremony at the Hekhal Haness synagogue, including the Nobel Peace laureate Eli Wiesel, Israel's foreign minister David Levy, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and former United Nations secretary general, Javier Perez de Cuellar."
|||October 29, 2000, The Observer, 'Life: Crime: When the billionaire banker Edmond Safra died': "As far back as 1957, Edmond Safra was named as a drug trafficker in a US Bureau of Narcotics report. The accusation was later withdrawn, but until his death Safra was the inspiration for countless unsubstantiated rumours that linked him to drug, gold and currency trafficking, money laundering and organised crime. ...
In contrast to most banks, Safra's was built on deposits rather than loans. It may be this strategy that originally led some observers to view Safra's banks as attractive propositions for money launderers. Five years ago, New York magazine ran an investigation into Safra's Republic National Bank in which it claimed that the bank 'quickly became known on the street as a bank that would send an armoured car to pick up large sums from its more secretive customers'. ...
In the 80s, Safra and Republic were the targets of a global whispering campaign. Among the allegations that surfaced in a variety of mostly obscure publications was the suggestion that he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair; that he arranged the murder of a security specialist who had supposedly discovered a link between him and the arms-for-hostages scandal; that he had double-crossed the Medellin cocaine cartel; that he was a confrere of mafia legend Meyer Lansky; and that Republic had laundered the drug-trafficking profits of Panama's General Noriega. Only the last claim had any basis in established fact, and Republic was only one of a number of banks that held Noriega's funds. Eventually, Safra proved in court that the rumours emanated from his corporate rivals, American Express, which had bought Republic's Swiss parent company, TDB, in an acrimonious deal in 1983 (Safra regained control in 1988). American Express was forced to apologise and donate Dollars 8m to a number of charities, including the Anti-Defamation League. ... Bryan Burrough ascribed the slurs aimed at Safra to anti-Semitism in his book Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra."
|||*) January 25, 1996, Intelligence Newsletter, 'Federal Reserve Top Launderer': "The latest issue of New York Magazine has published a remarkable story by investigative journalist Robert Friedman about gigantic currency purchases (at least $500 million per week) by Russian banks in the United States. Since January, 1994 over $40 billion in fresh $100 bills have been transferred by scheduled flights between New York and Moscow by the Federal Reserve and the Republic National Bank of New York [of Edmond Safra].
And the majority of Russian banks that buy the dollars (Stolichny Bank, Inkombank, Promstroy, etc.) are considered by organized crime experts and the CIA as under the thumb of the Russian mobs.
U.S. officials dealing with money laundering have regularly rung the alarm about the practice but inquiries have not led to much and the government doesn't seem particularly concerned about the traffic, which is perfectly legal in any case because the actual transactions usually pass by way of a perfectly respectable London bank.
An affiliate of the Geneva-based Trade Development Bank and headed by Edmond Safra, the Republic National Bank of New York has already been suspected in the U.S. and Switzerland of involvement in money laundering and drugs trafficking, particularly after a rift with American Express in the 1980's. But Safra has always been cleared by the courts.
The government's benevolent attitude towards him can easily be explained. Each $100 dollar bill costs the U.S. 4 cents to print. Each bill sold abroad and which doesn't return to the U.S. represents a net profit of $99.6. Annual profits from the sale of bills overseas has been estimated at $15 billion. That makes a pretty tempting sum of loot."
*) October 29, 2000, The Observer, 'Life: Crime: When the billionaire banker Edmond Safra died': "As far back as 1957, Edmond Safra was named as a drug trafficker in a US Bureau of Narcotics report. ...
Three factors pointed in its direction [of Safra and his bank being involved in the Russian mafia]. First, Republic's dealings with Russia were well documented. Under licence from the US government, Republic shipped around Dollars 10bn of US currency a year to Russian banks. Although perfectly legal, the shipments caused no little consternation among some state agencies. The problem was that many banks in Russia, and up to 50 that Republic was trading currency with, were suspected of being at the very least unreliable and quite possibly fronts for the mafiya. ...
Second, at the time of his death, Safra was engaged in the protracted and problematic sale of Republic to HSBC. There were various hold-ups, but one of them was said to be the Russian accounts that were frozen as a result of Federal investigation into money laundering, which Republic itself prompted by alerting the authorities to its concerns. Observers speedily concluded that a short-changed mafiya chief had sought revenge. Some 90 or so bankers have been killed in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. 'What you have to understand,' Stephen Handelman, an expert on the mafiya and author of Comrade Criminal , told me, 'is that bankers are different in Russia. Over 2,000 banks were set up after 1989, most of which have since collapsed, and many of the people behind them had emerged from the black market and criminal backgrounds. So often when a banker is killed he may himself be involved in the mafiya.'
And third, the French Riviera, which enjoys a rich history of Russian influence dating back to 19th-century aristocrats, had seen a sudden and ostentatious influx of newly wealthy Russians."
*) July 25, 2000, Jamestown Foundation, 'Newspaper scandal over IMF diversion expands': "The scandal surrounding allegations that a US$4.8 billion IMF "stabilization credit" in the summer of 1998 was diverted before reaching Russia with the help of Mikhail Kasyanov... Even more sensationally, the author of Novaya Gazeta's investigation, Oleg Lurye, claims that following the diversion of the IMF credit and the subsequent collapse of the ruble and Russia's banking system, Edmond Safra, the late head of the New York-based Republic National Bank, gave evidence to the FBI concerning the diversion.
Safra died in December of last year of asphyxiation as the result of a fire in his Monte Carlo residence. Lurye quotes Geneva prosecutor Bertrand Bertossa as saying that Safra was murdered for giving evidence to both the FBI and Swiss prosecutors concerning the diversion of the IMF credit. Both La Repubblica and Novaya gazeta claim that the US$4.8 billion credit went from the New York Federal Reserve Bank to Republic National Bank [of Safra] and then to various banks in Switzerland and elsewhere, but not to Russia.
Lurye also claims that at the start of autumn 1999 Boris Berezovsky visited Safra at his estate in southern France. The two men, according to Lurye, had a three-hour conversation in "raised voices," after which Safra fled in a panic to his heavily fortified Monte Carlo residence (Novaya gazeta, July 24)."
*) Edmond Safra died in a fire in his Monte-Carlo apartment in December 1999. One of his male nurses, a former U.S. Marine, supposedly set fire to the building in order to rescue him and become the hero. The investigative reporter, Oleg Lurye, was assaulted by four man in December 2000 and badly injured.
|||September 8, 1999, AFP, 'Key points in the "Kremlingate" corruption scandal': "August 19: The New York Times reports that billions of dollars of Russian mafia funds have been laundered by the Bank of New York. US investigators name shadowy Russian businessman Semyon Mogilevich, as a channel for the laundered funds. ...
August 26: US investigators, cited by USA Today, say as much as 15 billion dollars, including some IMF loans, were diverted through New York bank accounts by Russian organized crime and members of Russia's political and business elite. The New York Times says 4.2 billion dollars transited through Benex, an investment bank linked to Mogilevich, to the Bank of New York. "
|||*) August 29, 1999, Ha'aretz, 'Top News: Jews and Israelis in Global Money-Laundering Scheme': "Several Jews, including some with Israeli citizenship, have been questioned in connection with a worldwide probe into an alleged money-laundering operation. In what may be the biggest such case in history, investigators are trying to find out whether Russian mobsters funneled billions of dollars through accounts at the Bank of New York. ...
The name of Israeli-born businessman Bruce Rappaport, the founder of Geneva's Inter Maritime Bank [full name: Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank], has been mentioned in connection with the transfer of funds via offshore accounts in banks in Antigua. Rappaport is Antigua's ambassador to Russia. Also named in the scandal are Alexander Krasnenker, Roman Abramovich and the Runikon company, which is jointly owned by Abramovich and three companies owned by the Lev brothers and Michael Chernoi [Michael Cherney] - Israeli citizens with dealings with the Bank of New York. ...
This month, the accounts in Switzerland of Boris Berezovsky, a Russian businessman who in the early 1990s obtained Israeli citizenship but apparently gave it up about two years ago in order to take a government position in Russia. Among those said to have profited from the bank accounts and the bribes from Mabetex are President Boris Yeltsin, his wife Naina, their daughters Tatyana and Yelena, and Yelena's husband, Valery Okulov, the managing director of Aeroflot."
*) September 13, 1991, Wall Street Journal, 'Close links existed between BCCI, BNL': "BNL, he [Rep. Henry Gonzalez] said, "became Baghdad's banker in the U.S. before our regulatory cops at the Federal Reserve could locate Iraq on the map." The most prominent link between the banks [BNL and BCCI] involves Alfred Hartmann, a successful Swiss banker and businessman, who until recently was a BCCI director and the chairman of its Swiss unit, Banque de Commerce et Placements S.A., or BCP. Following the seizure of BCCI by Western regulators on July 5, Mr. Hartmann resigned from BCP, which has been sold to a Turkish group. In addition to serving BCCI in those capacities, Mr. Hartmann also serves as the chairman of BNL's unit in Zurich, known as Lavoro Bank AG.
Finally, Mr. Hartmann is vice chairman of a small, joint-venture institution in Geneva called Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank. ... Mr. Hartmann links to these institutions were established by P. Network, a research service based in Geneva. ... employees at his [Hartmann's] various offices confirmed his roles in BNL and BCCI's Swiss units and at Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank. ...
The involvement of the BCCI-BNL banker in the Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank is particularly intriguing. The chairman of that bank is Bruce Rappoport, an international oilman who has been thought for years to have close ties to the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities. ... According to published profiles, Mr. Rappaport was a friend and golfing companion of William Casey, the late director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also employed E. Robert Wallach, an old friend of former Attorney General Edwin Meese, as his lawyer for a massive but ill-fated Iraqi oil pipe line project. ...
BNL was far and away Iraq's largest source of foreign credit. Its Atlanta branch loaned or pledged more than $4 billion to Iraq between 1985 and the summer of 1989, about $2 billion of which went for farm goods."
|||December 10, 1999, New York Times, 'Paid Notice: Deaths SAFRA, EDMOND J.': "SAFRA-Edmond J. - Yad Avraham Institute, its Officers, Directors and members record with deep sorrow and mourn the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved and esteemed patron. For the past decade, he provided a home for us with love and enthusiasm in his Beit Yaakov Synagogue. His support enabled Yad Avraham, an institution devoted to teaching Torah, to grow and flourish. ... [Signed:] Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky, Dean David S. Lobel, President Bruce Rappaport, Major Benefactor Ira Rennert, Director Louis Glick, Director Yad Avraham Institute."|
|||September 14, 2004, Far West chairman Vladimir Filin to (his own) Pravda.info (which Far West owned), 'Александр Нагорный: Наркобароны из ЦРУ и МИ-6' ('Drug lords of the CIA and MI- 6'): "True, already back [in the mid-1990s] the British entered into the [heroin trafficking] picture, represented by Aga Khan IV Foundation. But that had only local significance. ... Why necessarily the army [to protect heroin shipments]? Aga Khan IV Foundation always did this as well. And then not the entire army was involved in this."
More details in ISGP's article on the Demmink affair.
|||amaana.org/ISWEB/hadrock.htm (accessed: July 19, 2016): "His Highness the Aga Khan Honored by WMF's famous Hadrian Award:
- His Highness Aga Khan's Speech at the Hadrian Award Presentation.
- David Rockefeller Speech at Hadrian Award Ceremony.
- Lord Rothschild's Message to His Highness Aga Khan.
- Cyrus Vance's Remarks.
- Michel David-Weill's Address: "I also want to thank you on behalf of my Co-Chairman, Patricia Buckley, who has given so much time and attention in recent months to ensure the success of this event. ... It is indeed rare to find a man such as The Aga Khan." ...
Remarks by David Rockefeller at the Hadrian Award Luncheon The Plaza Hotel, October 25, 1996: "Today we all regret that last year's award recipient, Lord Rothschild, is unable to be with us as was originally planned, but I'm delighted to have the priviledge of introducing this year's honoree in his stead. His Highness The Aga Khan is a man of vision, intellect, and passion. I've had the pleasure of knowing him for almost forty years, ever since he was an undergraduate at Harvard and a roommate of my nephew Jay Rockefeller.
The spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan is the forty-ninth in a hereditary line extending back to the Prophet Muhammad. (I don't believe there are many of us in this room who could trace, in any direction, anything like that kind of heritage.) ... We salute Prince Karim Aga Khan IV for this intelligent and visionary effort that he has been making and continues to make and take great pride in presenting him with the 1996 Hadrian Award.""
|||Hamid Karzai's 2006 CFR speech can be found on Youtube: Council on Foreign Relations channel, 'Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai'.|
|||October 8, 2008, New York Times, 'Reports link Karzai's brother to Afghanistan heroin trade'.|
April 30, 2013, Jeremy Hammond, 'The CIA's Suitcases of Cash to Afghan Drug Lords': "I've frequently written about how the mainstream media exaggerates the role of the Taliban in the Afghanistan opium trade and downplays the role of the Afghan government, U.S.-backed warlords and drug lords with connections to the regime, and the CIA. Occasionally, a mainstream media report sheds some light on the elephant in the room.
The New York Times this week reports on how the CIA has been handing over suitcases of currency to the regime of Hamid Karzai, but that there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington's exit strategy from Afghanistan. "The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan," one American official said, "was the United States." This is of course completely unsurprising.
Iran, the Times also notes, has similarly been giving cash to the Afghanistan government, but Interestingly, the cash from Tehran appears to have been handled with greater transparency than the dollars from the C.I.A., Afghan officials said.
The Times suggests that Instead of securing his good graces, the payments may well illustrate the opposite: Mr. Karzai is seemingly unable to be bought. But other information reported by the Times suggests that the money isn't about bribing Karzai into compliance. They remind readers, for example, how Mr. Karzai's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was paid by the C.I.A. to run the Kandahar Strike Force, a militia used by the agency to combat militants, until his assassination in 2011. The article doesn't mention the fact that Ahmed Wali Karzai was suspected of being a major drug lord. Following the link to an earlier Times piece, it notes towards the end of the article that most American and Afghan officials believed: that he had connections to the opium trade….
That may be putting it mildly. In August of 2009, I discussed the Afghan drug trade with former chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) Gen. Hamid Gul, and he told me the president's half-brother was the leading drug lord in Afghanistan.
The Times article adds further down the page, with regard the suitcases of cash from the CIA, that Much of it also still goes to keeping old warlords in line. One is Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek whose militia served as a C.I.A. proxy force in 2001. He receives nearly $100,000 a month from the palace, two Afghan officials said. Other officials said the amount was significantly lower. The article similarly doesn't mention that Dostum is likewise a leading figure in the Afghan drug trade.
Here is the relevant excerpt from my interview with Gen. Gul, in which we discussed both Karzai and Dostum: Turning the focus of our discussion to the Afghan drug problem, I noted that the U.S. mainstream corporate media routinely suggest that the Taliban is in control of the opium trade. However, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Anti-Government Elements (or AGEs), which include but are not limited to the Taliban, account for a relatively small percentage of the profits from the drug trade. Two of the U.S.'s own intelligence agencies, the CIA and the DIA, estimate that the Taliban receives about $70 million a year from the drugs trade. That may seem at first glance like a significant amount of money, but it's only about two percent of the total estimated profits from the drug trade, a figure placed at $3.4 billion by the UNODC last year.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has just announced its new strategy for combating the drug problem: placing drug traffickers with ties to insurgents —and only drug lords with ties to insurgents — on a list to be eliminated. The vast majority of drug lords, in other words, are explicitly excluded as targets under the new strategy. Or, to put it yet another way, the U.S. will be assisting to eliminate the competition for drug lords allied with occupying forces or the Afghan government and helping them to further corner the market.
I pointed out to the former ISI chief that Afghan opium finds its way into Europe via Pakistan, via Iran and Turkey, and via the former Soviet republics. According to the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, convoys under General Rashid Dostum — who was reappointed last month to his government position as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army by President Hamid Karzai — would truck the drugs over the border. And President Karzai's own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been accused of being a major drug lord.
So I asked General Gul who was really responsible for the Afghan drug trade. "Now, let me give you the history of the drug trade in Afghanistan," his answer began. "Before the Taliban stepped into it, in 1994 — in fact, before they captured Kabul in September 1996 — the drugs, the opium production volume was 4,500 tons a year. Then gradually the Taliban came down hard upon the poppy growing. It was reduced to around 50 tons in the last year of the Taliban. That was the year 2001. Nearly 50 tons of opium produced. 50. Five-zero tons. Now last year the volume was at 6,200 tons. That means it has really gone one and a half times more than it used to be before the Taliban era."
He pointed out, correctly, that the U.S. had actually awarded the Taliban for its effective reduction of the drug trade. On top of $125 million the U.S. gave to the Taliban ostensibly as humanitarian aid, the State Department awarded the Taliban $43 million for its anti-drug efforts. "Of course, they made their mistakes," General Gul continued. "But on the whole, they were doing fairly good. If they had been engaged in meaningful, fruitful, constructive talks, I think it would have been very good for Afghanistan."
Referring to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, General Gul [ISGP note: a Muslim extremist who has been sponsoring state terrorism, protects his ISI from involvement in sponsoring the 9/11 hijackers, and has promoted disinformative no-plane theories for the Pentagon on 9/11] told me in a later conversation that Taliban leader "Mullah Omar was all the time telling that, look, I am prepared to hand over Osama bin Laden to a third country for a trial under Shariah. Now that is where — he said [it] twice — and they rejected this. Because the Taliban ambassador here in Islamabad, he came to me, and I asked him, 'Why don't you study this issue, because America is threatening to attack you. So you should do something.' He said, 'We have done everything possible.' He said, 'I was summoned by the American ambassador in Islamabad' — I think Milam was the ambassador at that time — and he told me that 'I said, "Look, produce the evidence." But he did not show me anything other than cuttings from the newspapers.' He said, 'Look, we can't accept this as evidence, because it has to stand in a court of law. You are prepared to put him on trial. You can try him in the United Nations compound in Kabul, but it has to be a Shariah court because he's a citizen under Shariah law. Therefore, we will not accept that he should be immediately handed over to America, because George Bush has already said that he wants him "dead or alive", so he's passed the punishment, literally, against him." Referring to the U.S. rejection of the Taliban offer to try bin Laden in Afghanistan or hand him over to a third country, General Gul added, "I think this is a great opportunity that they missed."
Returning to the drug trade, General Gul named the brother of President Karzai, Abdul Wali Karzai. "Abdul Wali Karzai is the biggest drug baron of Afghanistan," he stated bluntly. He added that the drug lords are also involved in arms trafficking, which is "a flourishing trade" in Afghanistan. "But what is most disturbing from my point of view is that the military aircraft, American military aircraft are also being used. You said very rightly that the drug routes are northward through the Central Asia republics and through some of the Russian territory, and then into Europe and beyond. But some of it is going directly. That is by the military aircraft. I have so many times in my interviews said, 'Please listen to this information, because I am an aware person.' We have Afghans still in Pakistan, and they sometimes contact and pass on the stories to me. And some of them are very authentic. I can judge that. So they are saying that the American military aircraft are being used for this purpose. So, if that is true, it is very, very disturbing indeed." An alternative interpretation is that, far from failing to accomplish their goal, the suitcases of cash from the CIA have been quite successful in achieving their aim."
||| *) 1998 Turkey Human Rights Report, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, p. 50: "At pages 10 and 11 of the MİT report prepared by former MİT Undersecretary Sönmez Köksal, the following information pertaining to Azerbaijan coup was given: "A. Gökdemir, then-Minister of State responsible from Turkish Republics, General Director of Security M. Ağar, İbrahim Şahin and Korkut Eken planned the coup to overthrow Aliyev with the approval of T. Çiller. However, the attempt of coup failed after the MİT informed S. Demirel and the President informed Aliyev." After the sections regarding the attempt of coup appeared in the media, the sections mentioning the names of Turkmenistan President Saparmurad Niyazov Türkmenbaşı and Azerbaijan President Haydar Aliyev led to diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan officially requested a statement denoting that this section of the report was "untrue." Thereupon, Prime Minister made a statement on 23 January: "In the broadcast related with the Susurluk Report in Arena Program on Kanal D Channel yesterday (22 January), an information was given concerning the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This information was based on allegations by a (now dead) person (Ömer Lütfü Topal) who had a gambling house. No investigation pertaining to the accuracy of these allegations was carried out and the claims of the said person were written in the report. Therefore, they do not reflect any opinions by Prime Ministry Inspection Board." In another written statement he gave on 18 February, Yılmaz disclosed that he gave instructions to reconsider Ömer Lütfü Topal-Azerbaijan relation "upon the sensibility of Azerbaijan President Haydar Aliyev." Yılmaz stated that intelligence agencies reconsidered the connections of Emperyal Company in Azerbaijan, that the relation or cooperation of Topal with President Aliyev's son was only Topal's allegation and that it was determined that there was no source to verify the allegation." CHP İçel MP Fikri Sağlar stated on 19 February that the report revealed that the coup was not related with the oil route. Sağlar argued that the coup was related with Afghanistan which was the starting point of narcotics, reminded that the name Yüceoral was involved in sending money from discretionary fund to Uzbek General Raşit Dostum who was one of the parties fought in Afghanistan. He said, "The first and most important stop of narcotics coming out of Afghanistan is Azerbaijan. The drugs then come to Turkey and distributed in Europe. So, it should be considered that the gang members that are said to be involved in drug trafficking attempted the coup in order to take control of drug trafficking. It is also interesting that Yüceoral who is said to have sent money to Horzum is involved in coup attempt against Aliyev." Meanwhile, it was understood that important names of the Susurluk Scandal like Korkut Eken, İbrahim Şahin, Abdullah Çatlı and Ayhan Çarkın went to Azerbaijan approximately three months before the coup attempt and trained OMON police units. It was stated that the team went to Azerbaijan on 12 December 1994 and trained a special unit of 60 people. This team was composed of special team members. It was also alleged that they brought large amounts of weapons and munitions in Azerbaijan. It was claimed that the weapons taken to Azerbaijan were some of the "lost" weapons that were bought from Israel via HOSPRO company. Korkut Eken said in his testimony to the inspectors of the Ministry of Interior Affairs that the weapons had been used in an important mission in a country the name of which he could not disclose. It was learnt that then Special Operations Department Chief İbrahim Şahin went to Baku as the special guest of Cevadov some time after this group went to Azerbaijan. It was stated that Şahin was on an official visit upon the invitation letter by Cevadov. Ruşen Cevadov, commander of OMON units that participated the coup attempt and Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs Affairs, was killed by Aliyev forces on 17 March 1995. It was stated that Cevadov who acted as the leader of the coup attempt led the coup attempt through a satellite phone sent from Turkey."
*) More information in ISGP's Demmink affair article.
|||August 2, 2007, Stratfor Associates, 'Mikhail Fridman: Background Investigation': "Like many of Russia's oligarchs, Fridman considers himself a Jew first and a Russian a distant second. ... Fridman is closely tied into the Muscovite Solntsevo (Solntsevskaya) Organization, one of Russia's largest and most powerful organized crime associations, via funding from Alfa. ... Russian media have frequently tied many oligarchs to the Solsnetskaya organization, though a Russian prosecutor Stratfor spoke with said the evidence that Fridman and [Pyotr] Aven are involved with the group has been officially removed from all records. ... Specifically, Alfa Group is now involved in transporting drugs from Southeast Asia through Russia into Europe, laundering money of Colombian drug cartels, and bribing organs of justice in Russia in order to keep the entire operation below law enforcement's radar. Despite Fridman's officially "clean" record so far as violence is concerned, he is believed to be at least partially responsible for many of the assassinations that plague Russian society, particularly regarding journalists.""
*) More details in ISGP's article on the Demmink affair.
|||*) Mikhail Fridman's CFR tie:
cfr.org/content/about/annual_report /ar_2009/intl_advisory_board2009.pdf: "The IAB includes the following distinguished individuals:
- Chairman: Peter G. Peterson [very close friend of David Rockefeller] ...
- Gustavo A. Cisneros (Venezuela) [very close friend of David Rockefeller] ...
- Gerhard Cromme (Germany), Chairman of the Supervisory Board, ThyssenKrupp AG ...
- Jacob A. Frenkel (Israel), Vice Chairman, American International Group, Inc.; former Governor, Bank of Israel.
- Mikhail Fridman (Russia), Chairman of the Board, Alfa Bank ...
- Brian Mulroney (Canada), Senior Partner, Ogilvy Renault; former Prime Minister of Canada ...
- Jacob Wallenberg (Sweden) ..."
*) More details in ISGP's article on the Demmink affair.
|||*) August 11, 2011, Washington Times, 'FARAGO: Was CIA behind Operation Fast and Furious? New and troubling motive for Team Obama's illegal gunrunning scheme': "Why did the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) let criminals buy firearms, smuggle them across the Mexican border and deliver them into the hands of vicious drug cartels? The ATF claims it launched its now-disgraced Operation Fast and Furious in 2009 to catch the "big fish." Fast and Furious was designed to stem the "Iron River" flowing from American gun stores into the cartels' arsenals. The bureau says it allowed gun smuggling so it could track the firearms and arrest the cartel members downstream. Not true.
During the course of Operation Fast and Furious, about 2,000 weapons moved from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug cartels - exactly as intended.
In congressional testimony, William Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division, testified that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were "full partners" in Operation Fast and Furious. Mr. Newell's list left out the most important player: the CIA. According to a CIA insider, the agency had a strong hand in creating, orchestrating and exploiting Operation Fast and Furious.
The CIA's motive is clear enough: The U.S. government is afraid the Los Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup d'etat against the government of Felipe Calderon.
Founded by ex-Mexican special forces, the Zetas already control huge swaths of Mexican territory. They have the organization, arms and money needed to take over the entire country.
Former CIA pilot Robert Plumlee and former CIA operative and DEA Director Phil Jordan recently said the brutally efficient Mexican drug cartel has stockpiled thousands of weapons to disrupt and influence Mexico's national elections in 2012. There's a very real chance the Zetas cartel could subvert the political process completely, as it has throughout the regions it controls.
In an effort to prevent a Los Zetas takeover, Uncle Sam has gotten into bed with the rival Sinaloa cartel, which has close ties to the Mexican military. Recent court filings by former Sinaloa cartel member Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, currently in U.S. custody, reveal that the United States allowed the Sinaloas to fly a 747 cargo plane packed with cocaine into American airspace - unmolested.
The CIA made sure the trade wasn't one-way. It persuaded the ATF to create Operation Fast and Furious - a "no strings attached" variation of the agency's previous firearms sting. By design, the ATF operation armed the Mexican government's preferred cartel on the street level near the American border, where the Zetas are most active.
Operation Fast and Furious may not have been the only way the CIA helped put lethal weapons into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel and its allies, but it certainly was an effective strategy. If drug thugs hadn't murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with an ATF- provided weapon, who knows how many thousands more guns would have crossed the U.S. border?
To be sure, Operation Fast and Furious suited the ATF's needs. It was all too willing to let guns walk to increase its power, prestige and budget in Washington. It actively recruited so-called straw purchasers and happily used American gun dealers as pawns. And it was only one agency in a mosaic of federal agencies helping the CIA actualize its covert plans. ...
The Obama administration clearly thinks the entire federal government should help keep the profoundly corrupt Calderon government in power - no matter what. If that means sending lawyers, guns and money to unconscionable criminals, so be it. In this, Obama officials are wrong.
By choosing sides in a brutal war between opposing criminal syndicates rather than sealing our southern border, the Obama administration is fueling brutality and carnage and killing any hope of Mexican democracy."
*) August 9, 2012, The Blaze, 'High-Ranking Mexican Drug Cartel Member Makes Explosive Allegation: 'Fast and Furious' Is Not What You Think It Is': "A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as "Fast and Furious" isn't what you think it is. It wasn't about tracking guns, it was about supplying them — all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels. The explosive allegations are being made by Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel's "logistics coordinator." He was extradited to the Chicago last year to face federal drug charges."
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a "divide and conquer" strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming. ...
Zambada-Niebla is reportedly a close associate of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the son of Ismael "Mayo" Zambada-Garcia, both of which remain fugitives, likely because of the deal made with the DEA, federal court documents allege. ...
During his initial court proceedings, Zambada-Niebla continually stated that he was granted full immunity by the DEA in exchange for his cooperation. The agency, however, argues that an "official" immunity deal was never established though they admit he may have acted as an informant."
The full Blaze article has been backed up here.
|||April 25, 2011, Narcosphere.narconews.com, 'Mexican Narco-Trafficker's Revelation Exposes Drug War's Duplicity' (backup with all the relevant links).|
|||October 1, 2012, BusinessInsider, 'Mexican Diplomat Says America Pretty Much Invited The Sinaloa Drug Cartel Across The Border': "Leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor cite a Mexican diplomat who says the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the United States and has sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico. ...
Most notably, the reports from MX1 line up with assertions by a Sinaloa cartel insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman is a U.S. informant, the Sinaloa cartel was "given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago," and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information used to take down rival cartels."
|||August 9, 2012, Narconews.com, 'Mexican Diplomat Traded Secrets with Private Intel Firm Stratfor, WikiLeaks Documents Reveal': "The Mexican diplomat is referred to as "MX1" in the some of the emails obtained by WikiLeaks but also identified by name in others. The description of MX1 in the emails [indeed] matches the publicly available information on Fernando de la Mora Salcedo, a Mexican foreign service officer who studied law at the University of New Mexico, served in the Mexican Consulate in El Paso, Texas, and is currently stationed in the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix. The disclosures made in the emails obtained by WikiLeaks seem to show that a high-level Mexican official was dealing his country's national secrets to US entities. ...
From the Stratfor email, drafted on Dec. 16, 2010: He is the youngest FSO [foreign service officer] in recent Mexican history … and has been appointed the GOM [government of Mexico] point man on SB1070 in Arizona [the anti-immigration legislation adopted by that state], which is essentially like being the U.S. FSO in charge of Afghanistan in Kabul. The GOM paid for his law school stint at UNM [the University of New Mexico] to prepare him for more interactions with U.S. law enforcement and legislators. He is also being given a free hand to speak to US law enforcement and I think he doubles duty with CISEN [Mexico's equivalent of the CIA], but he won't tell me which I understand. But his contacts in Mexican intelligence and law enforcement are too great for someone who — at that age — should be stamping passports."
As evidence of the connections the Mexican diplomat, MX1, allegedly had with Mexico's intelligence agency, CISEN, another Stratfor email, penned on April 2, 2008, offers this insight about him:
"He [MX1] thought it would be useful if he got us in touch with the Mexican Intel Bureau Chief in El Paso (they have one, a new development — I think I reported this a few months ago when it happened in one of my reports). Fernando [MX1] says that if you want to go to El Paso and meet with them he can arrange a meeting. That would be the CISEN Bureau Chief in El Paso."
And in yet another Stratfor email, with the subject line "Fwd: Another question for MX1" a question from Stratfor analysts is directed to MX1, and his real name is revealed as Fernando de la Mora."
(accessed: August 26, 2012): "On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Re: [Fwd: Re: FW: From MX1 -- 2] Released on 2012-08-19 05:00 GMT... [copy-paste of emails]"
|||September 24, 2007, ESPN.com, ''Raw Deal' busts labs across U.S., many supplied by China': "The crackdown, dubbed "Raw Deal," grew out of a 2005 operation targeting eight Mexican labs that were responsible for 80 percent of America's underground steroid trade."|
|||January 7, 2014 YouTube upload by 'Fresh Out- Life After The Penitentiary', 'Kidnapped by a Cartel and TORTURED for 16 days - Fresh Out: Life After The Penitentiary', 15:50 (account of bodybuilder Larry Pollock): "I was living in Mexico. I had a [steroids] lab down there. And I actually went to Mexico, because steroids were legal in Mexico. Not here. When in 2007 Operation Raw Deal took place [against steroids]... I thought I was safe in Mexico, because I was outside of their jurisdiction. Well, what happened is the U.S. DEA contacted the Mexican police and they sent the Arellano-Felix [Tijuana] Cartel to come get me in the middle of the night. So I'm sitting in bed watching a movie with my wife in the middle of the night and I have M-16s with laser sights in my face from all directions. These guys werre in full SWAT outfits, basically looked like the police - but they weren't. ...
So I guess they went back there to get into the safe [after kidnapping me and torturing me about how to get in it]. I found later on they were in my house digging this safe out of the ground with a jack hammer while the DEA was in there documenting it all. So there DEA is in there - and I have all this documented - building their case while the Cartel is digging my safe out of the ground. ...
They had told me if they get the money from the safe, which was over a million dollars, they were gonna release me. Well, they got the money from the safe and then they decided they weren't gonna release me. They wanted more money. ... They put me on the phone with my brother, I guess to verify that I was alive. I said to him, where is Denise, my wife? And he said he didn't know, which was actually not true. SHe was with him. My brother and the people he was with weren't telling the Cartel was with them, because they wanted her too. ... [So while I was held in a safe house where people were tortured and murdered] they asked my family for a million dollars, which, of course, they didn't have. ...
[So after our miraculous escape I end up in] a taco stand. Here I come in with blood all over me, handcuffs and underwear, a rag on my head and they [20 Mexican guys] ask if I wanna sit down and have a taco. ... "You want us to call police?" "No, the police are kidnappers." I can tell you that part. People don't know this, but the cartel is the police. They don't work with the police. They are the police. In the daytime they put on their police uniform. In the night time they go around kidnapping people. They are the same guys. I know because I was with them and they basically told me that while I was talking to them the whole time. So, "No, no. No police." And actually people who live down there get it. People here, they don't believe that. But that's how it is. So I told these guys, "Take me to the border and I'll pay you." So they went like, "Alright, come on." ... So they brought me to [the] border. ... FBI shows up [eventually]. ... Then the Mexican police came and they asked me to go back with them to show me where the kidnappers were. ... "We'll protect you." "Yeah, and who is going to protect me from you?" ... DEA walks in and they're like, "Alright, we are going to take him now." ... And they said, "You know, we thought you were dead, because there was a bodybuilder in the morgue and he was beaten up beyond recognition and we were sure it was you." They said, "You weren't supposed to come back." I was like, "Yeah, fuck you." I was just irritated at that point."
|||January 13, 1992, Christic Institute v. Hull, 112 S.Ct. 913 (Mem): "Also during this time [March-May 1984], the plaintiffs contend that the defendants Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines, Richard Secord, Albert Hakim and Rafael "Chi Chi" Quintero joined the enterprise and purchased and transported arms and explosives through their businesses the Orca Supply Company and CSF Investments Ltd. John K. Singlaub and Robert Owen allegedly joined the enterprise and operated through four organizations: Gray & Co., IDEA, Inc., the United States Council on World Freedom, and the World Anti-Communist League. The plaintiffs believed these organizations provided money for explosives and arms to be used in Nicaragua. Sometime around the beginning of May 1984, the enterprise focused in on its planned assassination of Eden Pastora. ...
The plaintiffs next contend that the defendants Owen, Hull, Colero, conspired on two occasions to murder Eden Pastora. ...
Plaintiffs further contend that in August of 1983 [Medellin Cartel bosses] Ochoa and Escobar joined the enterprise [through John Hull and others] and agreed to provide hundreds of pounds of Columbian cocaine in order to finance the activities of the enterprise in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. ...
The plaintiffs allege that the enterprise sent the defendants Ricardo Gris and William Gris to Chile where they met and hired the defendant Amac Galil to murder Eden Pastora. The plaintiffs contend that the purpose of this action was to take over the leadership of ARDE. ...
The following defendants have either in fact or through stipulation of counsel timely filed motions for summary judgment: Jones, Owen, Hull, Calero, Singlaub, Shackley, Martin, McCoy, Quintero, Delamico, Clines, Hakim, and Secord. ...
Six defendants were never served and were dismissed. These are Vidal, Palacio, Galil, Cruz, Escobar and Ochoa. ...
The court, after hearing in oral argument the respective positions of the parties, established limitations and guidelines for discovery on July 30, 1987. ... The parties were limited in their discovery to a four year period covering the relevant alleged conspiratorial time period of December 1982 until November 1986. ...
The plaintiff's contend that they should have been permitted to conduct worldwide discovery concerning the activities of the *1361 defendants prior to December 1982 in Cuba, Southeast Asia, Iran, and Libya. Some of these events occurred as far back as 1959. ..."
|||January 13, 1992, Christic Institute v. Hull, 112 S.Ct. 913 (Mem): "Avirgan and Honey presented no evidence to indicate that Galil committed the bombing or was a part of the alleged enterprise. No admissible evidence was ever produced to show that Galil even existed. [FN7] The evidence completely failed. Galil was never served with a complaint or scheduled for deposition. All parties realized that responsibility for the La Penca bombing was a key issue on summary judgment. Yet, Avirgan and Honey, after years of discovery, brought forth nothing on the causation issue.
FN7. At one point, Avirgan and Honey argue that Theodore Shackley's counsel admitted Galil's existence. Shackley's counsel's statement was, "I don't believe that the plaintiffs have any proof that any of the defendants was engaged in the La Penca bombing or connected to the La Penca bombing other than this fellow that they describe as Amac Galil." ...
Avirgan and Honey had two years to conduct discovery and seven and one-half months advance warning of the discovery cut-off date. Knowing this, they took absolutely no discovery during the first nine months after filing the case and little more until January, 1988. During the final 4 1/2 months of discovery, Avirgan and Honey filed 153 deposition notices. It is clear that Avirgan and Honey's actions caused delay in discovery, not the appellees."
|||1994, David Corn, 'David Corn, Blond Ghost: The Shackley and the CIA's Crusades', pp. 383-384: "Afterward, Tony Avirgan, an American journalist who suffered shrapnel wounds at La Penca, and his wife, Martha Honey, set out to uncover who had plotted the attack. A year later, they produced a book that charged a small group of Americans and Cuban exiles-some with ties to the CIA and the Contras-with planning the murderous assault. One of the persons they fingered was John Hull, a Contra supporter with a spread in northern Costa Rica and a relationship with North and the CIA. Their report noted that some Contra supporters were moonlighting in the drug trade.
Hull sued the couple for libel in Costa Rica. He demanded $1 million. Avirgan and Honey, who lived in San Jose, received death threats. They considered retaliating by filing a lawsuit in the States against individuals in the secret Contra-support network. But they could find no lawyer to take such a difficult case. Eventually Sheehan was recommended to them. They checked him out. The reports were mixed. But he had one undeniable positive attribute: he would accept the case. The couple retained him.
Sheehan melded the La Penca bombing case to his Wheaton - influenced investigation of the old-boy network. Avirgan and Honey shared with him all the information they carefully had developed on the Contra support operation. Names and stories he threw at them - including Shackley's - were unfamiliar. They took it on faith that Sheehan knew what he was doing when he blended the results of their professional investigation with the grab-bag of information he had collected from Wheaton, Wilson, and others. "We saw John Hull as the center, and Sheehan saw it as Shackley," Honey recalled. "Shackley was the main ingredient. I don't know why Danny fixated on him. He told us he had lots of information on Shackley's involvement in La Penca. That was b.s. But what do we know, sitting in Costa Rica?" Sheehan was looking for a case he could play before a large audience. He repeatedly told Avirgan and Honey the public did not care about La Penca. But people would pay notice if the enemy was one grand conspiracy headed by a dastardly figure."
|||March 1, 1990, New York Times, 'Turnover in Nicaragua; Costa Rica Is Asking U.S. to Extradite Rancher Tied to '84 Bombing That Killed 4'.|
|||April 22, 2013, Wired magazine, 'Filmmaker claims CIA kept innocent man jailed to cover up drug trafficking': "[Eric] 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...
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? ...
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. ...
Wired.co.uk has not seen an original copy of Cutolo's affidavit, but has a photocopied version of a Colonel Robert Wilson's affidavit [note: equally unreliable] 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. ...
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.""
|||October 23, 1989, Chicago Tribune, 'Princess Grace's Fatal Crash: Her Daughter's Account'.|
|||Danny Casolaro's private notebook: "MEMORANDUM FOR THE FILES - 5/3/91
According to CHIPS, ONI is hot on the trail of George Okon and Dr. Earl Brian [CIA surgeon in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam in the late 1960s; postgraduate work at Stanford in the early 1970s; secretary of health in governor Ronald Reagan's "Kitchen Cabinet" since the early 1970s, with Joseph Coors and others; with Reagan in the 1970s he tried to set up a Center for the Study of Violence, with MKULTRA veteran Louis Jolyon West heading it; briefly president of the questionable telecommunications company Xonics Inc., which had CIA- and DOD-contracts, 1975-; founder and head of Biotech Capital Corp. 1977-; involved in the October Surprise and Promis affairs; trustee Duke Medical School; chairman of the Financial News Network; tried to buy United Press International (UPI) in 1985, but only succeeded in 1987, after which he headed the news agency until the mid 1990s; convicted for fraud in 1996 and after a number of appeals went to prison until 2002]. It may turn out that Brian is in the middle of a major heroin transaction involving the Gambino family, dirty elements of U.S. and British intelligence and others. It is pure hypothesis, but worth noting that Brian's involvement in this apparent heroin shipment could be linked to his personal financial difficulties— ie. an attempt to get his hands on some quick cash to bail out UPI, FNN, etc.
The facts, as passed from ONI/Boston to CHIPS are as follows:
The Big City Diner, where John Gotti's chauffer was seen shortly before his assassination last month, is just two blocks away from the Cunard Line pier on the West Side of Manhattan. The diner/private club is a hangout for people who use those shipping lines for smuggling.
There is a UK-German-Japanese consortium called Trio Container Service which handles the offloading of containers from ships. Apparently, employees of Trio in New York City are on the mob payroll and are used to smuggle drugs into the United States.
... There is at least one, and probably two containers that were specially constructed to conceal large shipments of heroin that are among the missing [Desert Shield] containers. One of the missing containers was manufactured by a company in the UK called Craven-Tasker. The container, an 8' X 40' model No. 150 668-1A, was rebuilt with a lighter weight false floor so that the weight of the container would conform to that of an empty container, while actually holding 350 kilos of pure heroin. The heroin shipment was part of an overall guns-for-drugs transaction. The container had been the property of Mitsui OSK Lines at the time that it was coopted into military sealift use.
The assassination of John Gotti's chauffer, according to CHIPS' source, was linked to the missing container of heroin. The chauffer was in some way directly responsible for securing the safe delivery of the heroin, and there is apparently some suspicion that the shipment was somehow bungled by him.
Two or three years ago, George Okon was implicated in a BATF bust of a shipment of 2,000 AR-15 rifles that had been modified into fully automatic M-16s, with the serial numbers all erased. The gun shipment was seized in Lower Manhattan and the "Japanese Group" was implicated in the operation. CHIPS' people believe that the BATF bust in the late 1980s and the missing heroin shipment today are part of the same ring. And they are convinced the Okon is involved. ...
[CHIPS] also reports that there is some kind of link between this story, Brian and Okon and the Christian Defense League's paramilitary training camp in Reliance, Tn. The CDL has some kind of secret working arrangement with the remnants of the Jewish Defense League. This is tied somehow to the Project Democracy secret intelligence networks, and their dealings with the mob in generating cash through dope deals. The assassination of Meir Kahane [founder of the Jewish Defense League] in New York City last' year was also somehow tied to this gun/drug operation. Presumably details will follow that will clarify this specific piece of the story. end. "