Who's A Rat - Largest Online Database of Informants and Agents
HomeMembers LoginLatest NewsRefer A LawyerMessage BoardOnline StoreAffiliatesAbout UsContact Us
Who's A Rat - Largest Online Database of Informants and Agents Worldwide!
Site Navigation
Visit Our Store
Refer A Lawyer
Affiliates
Link To Us
Latest News
Top Secret Documents
Make A Donation
Important Case Law
Members Login
Feedback
Message Board
Legal Information
Advertise your AD, Book or Movie

Informants and Agents?Who's a Rat Message Board

maynard Show full post »
maynard
Music Video Codes By VideoCodeZone









http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=2296

John Bolton: Ally of CIA-linked Drugrunners
03/30/2005 @ 12:10am


John Bolton is a bad penny. He keeps coming back. As I've written before, there are plenty of reasons why he's a horrible pick to be US ambassador to the United Nations. Even if you believe the UN needs reform, you don't send a pyromaniac to fix a house of sticks. Beyond his UN-bashing, Bolton has not just been extreme in his foreign policy views, he has been wrong and reckless: accusing Cuba of developing biological weapons and Syria of posing a serious WMD threat without proof. (The CIA felt obliged to block him from testifying before Congress on Syria and WMDs.) He also has had his brushes with scandal, receiving money from a political slush fund in Taiwan and advocating for Taiwan in congressional testimony (when he was not in government) without revealing he was paid by a Taiwanese entity to write policy papers for it. (He might have even broken the law by failing to register as a foreign agent.) Recently 59 former US ambassadors signed a letter opposing Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the UN; forty-six of these ambassadors served in Republican administrations. (For a full text of the letter, click here.) Now, an alert reader has uncovered more information critical of Bolton. It just happens to be something I wrote with Jefferson Morley for The Nation sixteen years ago--a column which had totally escaped my aging mind.

Readers over the age of 40 might recall that in the late 1980s, there was a fierce fight pitting the Reagan and Bush I administrations against a few gutsy Democrats in Congress--Senator John Kerry among them--who were trying to investigate allegations that supporters of the Reagan-backed contra rebels in Central America were involved in drugrunning. Rather than cooperate in the search for truth, Reagan and Bush I officials withheld documents from the Democrats. They also badmouthed the investigations and did all they could to marginalize these inquiries as nothing but partisan-driven efforts of conspiracy-minded wingnuts. And, to a degree, the GOP obstructionists succeeded. The Iran-contra committees stayed away from the matter. The report produced by Kerry's subcommittee--which concluded there was evidence that supporters of the CIA-assisted contras were drug smugglers--received little media attention. Yet years later, the CIA's own inspector general released two reports that acknowledged the CIA had knowingly worked with contra supporters suspected of drugrunning. Kerry and the others had been right. But the sly spinners of the Reagan-Bush administrations had succeeded in preventing the contra drug connection from becoming a full-blown scandal.

And who was one of the Reagan/Bush officials who strove to thwart Kerry and other pursuers of this politically inconvenient truth? By now you have guessed it: John Bolton. Read on:

From Meese to the UN; John Bolton, nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs

The Nation, April 17, 1989

By David Corn and Jefferson Morley

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee should take a good look at John Bolton, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, a position in which he would, among other things, act as a liaison between the US government and the UN. Currently Assistant AG in the Justice Department's civil division, Bolton was known to be one of Edwin Meese 3rd's most loyal lieutenants. At Justice, Bolton developed a reputation for combativeness. When he attacked the independent counsel law, even a White House spokesman accused him of being intemperate.

Bolton's record as Assistant AG for the Office of Legislative Affairs in 1986 and 1987 merits special scrutiny. He "tried to torpedo" Sen. John Kerry's inquiry into allegations of contra drug smuggling and gunrunning, a committee aide says. When Kerry requested information from the Justice Department, Bolton's office gave it the long stall, a Kerry aide notes. In fact, says another Congressional aide, Bolton's staff worked actively with the Republican senators who opposed Kerry's efforts.

In 1986 this chum of Meese also refused to give Peter Rodino, then chair of he House Judiciary Committee, documents concerning the Iran/contra scandal and Meese's involvement in it, Later, when Congressional investigators were probing charges that the Justice Department had delayed an inquiry into gunrunning to the contras, Bolton was again the spoiler. According to Hayden Gregory, chief counsel of a House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, Bolton blocked an arrangement by which his staff had agreed to let House investigators interview officials of the US Attorney's office in Miami. Bolton refused to speak to us on the subject.

Last year Legal Times reported that Bolton, who earned $330,000 in 1984 as a partner at a blue-blood DC law firm, had contacted several private firms hoping to parlay his government experience into a lucrative lobbying job. None were interested in a tainted Meese disciple. Fortunately for him, George Bush and James Baker are less discriminating.

******

Don't forget about DAVID CORN's BLOG at http://www.davidcorn.com. Read recent postings on Bush's screwed-up budget for homeland defense, an unrequited offer from radical-turned-rightist David Horowitz, and how the fringe-right is right about the Schiavo judges.

*******

That article is a blast from the past. But Bolton's truth-smothering endeavors back then are consistent with his subsequent career. He has been an ideological hatchet man, saying whatever he needs to say (whether it's true or not) to press forward his hawkish agenda. Back in the 1980s, he blocked inquiries into the CIA's involvement with drug runners. Now he complains about corruption at the UN and claims to be a force for truth and reform. As a cynical and partisan situationalist who poses as a frank and blunt idealist, he does indeed represent the Bush administration. But the nation deserves better representation at the UN.

*******************

IT REMAINS RELEVANT, ALAS. SO DON'T FORGET ABOUT DAVID CORN'S BOOK, The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers). A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! An UPDATED and EXPANDED EDITION is AVAILABLE in PAPERBACK. The Washington Post says, "This is a fierce polemic, but it is based on an immense amount of research.... [I]t does present a serious case for the president's partisans to answer.... Readers can hardly avoid drawing...troubling conclusions from Corn's painstaking indictment." The Los Angeles Times says, "David Corn's The Lies of George W. Bush is as hard-hitting an attack as has been leveled against the current president. He compares what Bush said with the known facts of a given situation and ends up making a persuasive case." The Library Journal says, "Corn chronicles to devastating effect the lies, falsehoods, and misrepresentations.... Corn has painstakingly unearthed a bill of particulars against the president that is as damaging as it is thorough." And GEORGE W. BUSH SAYS, "I'd like to tell you I've read [ The Lies of George W. Bush], but that'd be a lie."

For more information and a sample, go to http://www.davidcorn.com. And see his WEBLOG there.
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.copi.com/articles/darker.html

THE CIA, DRUGS, THE GHETTO — AND THE MEDIA WHITEWASH
by Peter Dale Scott

If you read the May 13 New York Times, it appeared that nine months of controversy over a major Contra-drug story, published last August by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News, had finally been laid to rest. "Expose on Crack Was Flawed, Paper Says," read the dismissive headline. A Times editorial the next day claimed that Webb’s editor, Jerry Ceppos, had admitted in a column that Webb’s articles "had been poorly written." Three weeks later, the Times shifted its focus from the story to Webb himself, claiming that his "bare-knuckles" style and "penchant for self-promotion" had split the Mercury newsroom.

For a confused public, all this may have seemed like the last word. For those who had been following closely, Jerry Ceppos’ column of apology, and the Times’ one-sided oversimplification of it, were only further evidence of a dramatic cover-up, a whitewashing that does not stand up under scrutiny. The cover-up suggests further how frightened the establishment is of the truth behind the story: how U.S. law enforcement was subverted when it came to major drug-traffickers who were also Contra supporters, and how the CIA, by recurringly allying itself with the world’s biggest traffickers, has contributed to the increased flow of drugs into this country.

This fear has been enhanced by the rise of the Internet as a public grapevine, a cottage industry alternative press. Amid all the wild stories one can pick up out there in cyberspace, there is also abundant documentation of the big media’s own role in a CIA-drug cover-up that has been going on for several decades.

In 1986, for example, San Francisco Examiner reporter Seth Rosenfeld broke the story that Contra leaders and supporters had been behind the "Frogman" cocaine shipment seized in San Francisco. The big media ignored this story until after Webb repeated it last August. Instead they reported Reagan’s charge on television, made only a few hours after the Examiner story, "that top Nicaraguan government officials are deeply involved in drug trafficking." (The DEA itself swiftly debunked this suspect allegation, saying that it had no evidence to implicate high-level Sandinista officials.)

But for almost a year the Internet has kept alive the series of stories by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury-News, alleging that a California drug ring supplied the cocaine for crack in Los Angeles’ black neighborhoods, and simultaneously channeled drug profits to the CIA-managed Contra Army in Central America.

The Webb Story and the Efforts to Rebut It

Webb focused on three figures. One was "Freeway Ricky" Ross, a black dealer who introduced L.A. and other cities to crack. A second was Daniel Blandón, a Nicaraguan who not only supplied Ross (and others) with his cocaine, but developed the concept of creating a mass market for crack. The third was Norwin Meneses, the head of the "Frogman" connection importing cocaine for Blandón. Webb charged that both Meneses and Blandón met regularly with Contra leaders, and by supplying them with drug earnings gained protection from law enforcement. (Blandón, by turning in Ross, ended up on the DEA payroll; Ross, the black, ended up with a life sentence. Meneses was eventually convicted for trafficking, but in Nicaragua, never in the United States.)

These allegations have been challenged vigorously by the "responsible" U.S. press: those papers, above all the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, who respond most swiftly to the needs and requests of their CIA sources.

For those who follow such matters, the special connection between these papers and the CIA is no secret. Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein once wrote in Rolling Stone that the CIA’s "relationship with the [New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about 10 CIA officials were provided Times cover...[as] part of a general Times policy ... to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible."

The situation at the Washington Post was hardly different. In 1988, the paper’s owner, Katharine Graham, said in a speech at the CIA’s Headquarters: "There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

Graham’s words came amid six years of extraordinary efforts by the Post to first suppress, and then contain, the explosive Contra-drug story. I was myself a witness in a secret Congressional hearing, of which the Post falsely reported the Chair as saying that "none of the witnesses gave any evidence that would show the Contra leadership was involved in drug smuggling." When the Chair, Congressman Rangel, wrote to complain that this was quite different from what he had said, the Post declined to print his letter. Thus it became possible for the words Rangel never uttered to become embalmed as "fact" in the official Iran-Contra Report from two other Congressional Committees.

In 1989 a subcommittee chaired by Senator John Kerry published a report documenting that the U.S. Government had contracted with known drug traffickers to supply the Contras. This important finding was minimized in the dismissive news stories published by the Post and the Times, while Newsweek, owned by the Post, wrote off Kerry as a "randy conspiracy buff."

The Post’s treatment of the Gary Webb story was in this tradition. The rebuttal of Webb was assigned first to Walter Pincus, a man who admits that he was once sent at CIA expense to two overseas conferences. (The Washington Times [7/31/96] once described Pincus as a journalist "who some in the agency refer to as ‘the CIA’s house reporter.’")

Pincus elaborately rebutted a number of allegations that Webb never made, such as "that the CIA helped start and played a major role in promoting the crack plague," or "that the CIA was behind Blandon" (Danilo Blandón, the Nicaraguan drug dealer in LA who gave drug profits to the Contras). (The issues raised by Webb had been of CIA knowledge and protection of the traffickers, not initiation of the project.)

More deviously, Pincus wrote that "Although Nicaraguans took part in the drug trade of that era, most of the cocaine trade then can be attributed to Colombian and Mexican smugglers… the Nicaraguans accounted for only a small portion of the nation’s cocaine trade....Blandon’s own accounts and law enforcement estimates say Blandon only handled a total of about five tons of cocaine during a decade-long career. That...is a fraction of the nationwide trade of the 1980s, when more than 250 tons of the drug were distributed every year."

Both in detail and overall, these words were skillfully misleading. Although Blandón’s various accounts are confused, it takes a very biased reading of them to come up with an estimate of "a total of five tons" over a decade. Blandón testified that he supplied just one of his many customers, the LA crack king Ricky Ross, with an average of 50 to 100 kilos a week. That alone works out to a total of 2.8 to 5.7 tons a year, not a decade.

The larger deception here is through the implicit assumption (which Webb did not make) that all of the Contra drug supporters were Nicaraguan. As we shall see, some of the biggest were the top Colombian and Mexican smugglers whom Pincus tried to imply were irrelevant.

The debate still rages over the actual importance of Ricky Ross and hence of Blandón) in the rise of the crack market. Jesse Katz of the L.A. Times weighed in with a front-page article saying that Ross was only one of many "interchangeable characters," who was dwarfed by other dealers: "How the crack epidemic reached that extreme, on some level, had nothing to do with Ross."

It is clear that something, or someone, had intervened to help produce this verbal performance. Two years earlier, on 12/20/94, the same Jesse Katz had written a 2400 word article on "Freeway Ricky" Ross as "King of Crack… Key to the Drug’s Spread in L.A." His opening words then were: "If there was an eye to the storm, if there was a criminal mastermind behind crack’s decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles’ streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick." As for crack, "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived." Katz estimated that Ross’s "coast-to-coast conglomerate was selling more than 500,000 rocks a day." Other journalists, now forgotten in today’s furor over the Webb stories, have written how Ross personally created the crack scene in other cities such as Cincinnati.

The unseen force that induced Katz to make this remarkable recantation has now reached Jerry Ceppos, Webb’s editor at the San Jose Mercury. Last October, in response to the Pincus article in the Post, Ceppos wrote a letter which the Post, once again, did not publish. In it, after making some of the points in my preceding paragraphs, Ceppos went on to point out that: "While there is considerable circumstantial evidence of CIA involvement with the leaders of this drug ring, we never reached or reported any definitive conclusion on CIA involvement....We reported that the men selling cocaine in Los Angeles met with men on the CIA payroll. We reported that they received fund-raising orders from people on the CIA payroll. We reported that the money raised was sent to a CIA-run operation. But we did not go further — and took pains to say that clearly."

Ceppos concluded by repeating the words of a Post editorial on 10/9/96: "For even just a couple of CIA-connected characters to have played even a trivial role in introducing Americans to crack would indicate an unconscionable breach by the CIA. It is essential know whether the agency contributed to this result or failed to exercise diligence to stop it."

That was Ceppos in 1996. In May 1997, sounding like one of Stalin’s victims in the show trials of the 1930s, Ceppos revised his tune even more dramatically than Jesse Katz. "We fell short of my standards," he wrote in the San Jose Mercury. Reversing himself, he now wrote that the original Webb story on crack and the Contras "strongly suggested high-level C.I.A. knowledge of that connection." "I feel that we did not have proof that top C.I.A. officials knew of the relationship," he added, converting his original defense of the article into an attack on it.

Interestingly, however, Ceppos did not, as the Times claimed, admit that the series was "poorly written." He still claimed that it was "important work" that "solidly documented disturbing information...worthy of further investigation;" and had been "right on many important points." The shortcomings he now admitted referred less to content than to the manner of presentation. "If we were to publish today," he said, the series "would state fewer conclusions as certainties."

Even some who endorse the importance of the series have agreed that the ambiguities in the evidence were greater than Webb admitted. Particularly controversial was his estimate that Meneses and Blandón supplied millions in drug profits to the Contras, a claim which remains debatable even though Webb supported it with Blandón’s court testimony and sheriffs’ affidavits. Ceppos now points to the figure of millions as no more than "our best estimates."

Webb strongly disagrees. Since the series appeared, both he and the British network ITV have interviewed Carlos Cabezas, a convicted member of Meneses’ network, who now talks of having delivered Meneses’ drug profits to a CIA agent in the contra logistics network by the name of Ivan Gómez. (Others have confirmed Gómez’ CIA status.) Cabezas told Webb that in 1982 these profits had amounted to between $4 and $5 million, confirming Blandón’s own figures. Webb wrote up the story, but so far Ceppos has declined to publish or even edit it.

At this point we do not know what induced Jerry Ceppos to change direction. (He declined to be interviewed for Tikkun, saying through a representative that he preferred to let his column "speak for itself.") It is however easy to identify one powerful and interested force in the propaganda battle of the last year: the CIA operatives responsible for the Contras.

One technique used by the L.A. Times to rebut the Webb story was simple and straightforward. Citing a "former CIA official" named Vince Cannistraro, the L.A. Times reported that "CIA officials insist they knew nothing about Meneses’ and Blandón’s tainted contributions to [Adolfo] Calero or other contra leaders." In another news story, Cannistraro was even more categorical: "I have personal knowledge that the CIA knew nothing about these guys [Blandón and Meneses]. These charges are completely illogical."

One might have thought that, in a lengthy three-day series, the L.A. Times could have mentioned that Cannistraro had actually been in charge of the CIA Contra operation in the early 1980s (the Meneses-Blandón period), before moving on to supervise the covert program of CIA aid to heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan. (Tikkun readers may recall Cannistraro as the former CIA "expert" who, within hours of the Oklahoma City bombing, told a TV audience that the act was obviously the work of Arab terrorists.)

If a journal presents a suspect as a credible source, it is clear that that it is looking for the opinion, "not guilty." (The L.A. Times did not cite Noriega, or for that matter O.J. Simpson, as sources to establish their innocence.) And it would not have taken much research for the L.A. Times to show that, on this point, Cannistraro may have been lying.

One need only go to the lengthy attacks on Webb by Tim Golden in the New York Times. Though in sum Golden was also hostile to Webb’s allegations, his articles specified that DEA had notified the CIA about Meneses’ drug-trafficking activities. Golden referred also to "intelligence reports on Norwin Meneses," his Contra contacts, and his involvement in arms and drug smuggling. "’We knew about him, and he obviously knew some people who were contras,’ one official said." Golden does not identify the agency of this official, but it would have been unusual for intelligence of this nature not to have reached the CIA.

Overall, Golden’s reports in the New York Times are as biased as those of Pincus and Katz. He wrote that "Reports of Mr. Meneses’ links to the Nicaraguan rebels are not new," even though his own article belittling them was the first mention of them ever in the New York Times He wrote of the 1986 account of Meneses by Seth Rosenfeld in the San Francisco Examiner that "the most significant contribution by Mr. Meneses that the newspaper could find was a $5,735 tab he was said to have helped pay at a 1984 dinner" in honor of Adolfo Calero. In fact the core of Rosenfeld’s story concerned $36,020 of drug profits seized from Meneses’ organization, which the U.S. Attorney, in an unusual corroboration of a Contra-drug connection, ordered returned as belonging to the Contras. (Recently the New York Times has conceded that, as Rosenfeld also reported, the organization also sent the Contras a truck and other supplies.)

Finally, with twisted logic, Golden derided Webb’s claim that Blandón and Meneses "met with CIA agents" at the same time they were selling drugs. Golden conceded that Contra leader Adolfo Calero had met "on as many as four visits" with Meneses, and also that Contra military commander Enrique Bermúdez had met with Meneses and Blandón. Ignoring Calero, Golden then wrote that "Although Mr. Bermúdez, like other contra leaders, was often paid by the C.I.A., he was not a C.I.A. agent." This is technically correct. However Calero, about whom Tim Golden is so eloquently silent, was a CIA agent, according to more candid histories of the Contras. (Webb also alleged that Meneses met with other CIA agents as well, such as the drug pilot Marcos Aguado.)

The Bigger Story: Subversion of Law Enforcement to Protect Traffickers

These quibbles should not obscure the most important points made by the Webb stories, which cannot be refuted. Two of these, conceded now for the first time by the "responsible" press, are that earlier press dismissals of the Contra-drug connection had been wrong, and that the CIA had knowledge of this connection. As Walter Pincus conceded in his attack on Webb, "Even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that these covert operations involved drug traffickers." (Journalist Robert Parry has pointed out that the use by one Contra faction of cocaine profits to buy a helicopter was noted in a 1985 CIA National Intelligence Estimate.)

An equally important point, ignored in all the attacks on Webb, is that Meneses and Blandón, while they were supporting the Contras, were immune from government prosecution. Jack Blum, former counsel to the Kerry Subcommittee investigating the matter, has focused on this point: "If the question is "Did the CIA sell crack...? the answer is a categorical no. If you ask whether the United States government ignored the drug problem and subverted law enforcement to prevent embarrassment and reward our allies in the contra war, the answer is yes." Referring to his own experience, he recalled how the Justice Department "fought giving us access to essential records and to witnesses in government custody."

Even the Washington Post’s own ombudsman was able to see the issue avoided by Walter Pincus. In an assessment published by the Post, she asked: "Did the U.S. Government play any role in supporting or condoning drug smuggling into the United States?" And she concluded with a rebuke that is hard to disagree with: "A principal responsibility of the press is to protect the people from government excesses. The Post (among others) showed more energy for protecting the CIA from someone else’s journalistic excesses."

And in thus protecting the CIA over the years, one might add, the press helped strengthen the immunity enjoyed by the traffickers themselves. Time after time, it proved impossible for government prosecutors to go after important traffickers, protected by the CIA, of whom the public knew nothing at all.

One can think of many reasons why the "responsible" press should have so risked their credibility in their zeal to rebut Gary Webb. One is to protect their own past record of complicity in covering up the bigger Contra-drug story. Another is a real establishment concern at the anger of black communities and leaders, when they learned that drugs reaching their communities were imported by traffickers who enjoyed protection against arrest. Both the New York Times and the Post tried to discount this as black paranoia, or what the Post called "an inclination, born of bitter history...to accept as fact unsubstantiated reports or rumors about conspiracies targeting blacks."

But in truth the facts should make any citizen angry, angry not only at the Contras and the CIA, but at the "responsible" press for their complicity in covering up an intolerable situation. For Gary Webb, however fallibly, has focused the nation’s attention on a CIA-Contra-drug connection that is bigger, by far, than he and the Mercury ever implied.

DEA reports from the 1980s give us a glimpse of this bigger story: those drug-traffickers supporting the Contras to gain CIA protection included not just Norwin Meneses and Daniel Blandón but some of the DEA’s top targets at the time.

The Real Contra-Drug Connection

In 1982 the DEA prepared a top-level secret intelligence memo, listing twenty Major Cocaine Violators in Colombia and the United States. The memo focused attention on a single four-man consortium which, the DEA believed, accounted for a major share (perhaps a third, perhaps more than half) of all the cocaine moving between the two countries. (M228)

By 1985 the DEA had come to believe that the most important smuggler of the four was a Honduran by the name of Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros, the link between the Colombians and the dominant Guadalajara drug cartel in Mexico. In that year Newsweek published official estimates that Matta alone was responsible for one third of the cocaine reaching the U.S. (5/15/85).

By this time the DEA had another reason to want Matta: it believed that Matta, along with other Guadalajara cartel members, was responsible for the murder in Mexico of its own agent, Enrique Camarena. After 1986 it also knew exactly where Matta was, living comfortably in Honduras, a country almost completely dominated by the United States.

Yet until 1988 Matta remained untouchable. Indeed, as the Kerry Committee documented, when the DEA Office in Honduras began to identify Matta as its principal target, the response of the US Government was to close down that office. Then, in April 1988, Matta was picked up while jogging and quickly flown (some said, "kidnapped") to the United States.

There was no mystery as to what had changed. One month earlier, on March 7, the Christian Science Monitor had noted that the U.S. faced a dilemma, whether to go after Matta (who had many friends in the Honduran military) or to placate Honduran displeasure at the on-going Contra presence in that country. And in that same month U.S. support for the Contra war ended, Congress voted (twice) to suspend military aid, North was indicted, and a truce was declared in Nicaragua.

The two questions, Matta and the Contras, were indeed closely related. Matta was not only one of the world’s leading cocaine traffickers, he was also one of the leading Contra supporters. His airline, SETCO, was used by the CIA and State Department to ship aid to the Contra camps, at the same time that it was listed in Customs and DEA computers for suspected drug-smuggling.

Matta was not alone in buying himself immunity by the simple device of supporting the Contras. So did his Guadalajara associate, Angel Félix Gallardo, who moved to the top of the DEA’s Wanted list after Matta’s arrest. Félix, who was wanted both for Class I trafficking and for Camarena’s murder, escaped arrest for another year, until after the election of a new Mexican President. Witnesses and documents in Félix’s trial alleged that the Guadalajara cartel had supplied the Contras with arms, cash, and even a training camp on a drug ranch near Vera Cruz.

The Honduran military who protected Matta also included some who supported the Contras, and who became involved in drug-trafficking. Two of their drug shipments in late 1987 totaled over 6.7 tons, the largest drug shipments seized up to that time. One Contra-supporting general, José Bueso Rosa, plotted to use cocaine proceeds to finance the assassination of the Honduran President. Although the State Department called this the most significant case of narco-terrorism to date, Bueso Rosa was given lenient treatment because of his Contra support. Oliver North then intervened energetically to reduce his sentence even further.

CIA aid for the Contras in Costa Rica was channeled chiefly through the tightly-controlled Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador, a base where the real power was exercised by a U.S. Colonel responsible for Contra support. The local DEA Agent at the time, Celerino Castillo, has since charged that two hangars there under CIA and Oliver North’s control doubled as depots for major cocaine shipments. Castillo claims that his documented reports on Ilopango to DEA in Washington were never acted on. Certainly a number of known drug traffickers flew regularly in and out of Ilopango, a drug plane given over to the Contras and CIA was stationed there, and Ilopango allegedly served as a base for American drug networks such as the notorious Company, which served the entire United States.

Manuel Noriega was at one time also a Contra supporter, and his initial drug indictment was for shipments with pilots who were at the same time flying aid for Contra camps in Costa Rica. Some of these were Cuban American drug traffickers from Miami, whose airline, listed in DEA computers, also received State Department contracts for flying Contra support. Significantly, the U.S. Government only turned against Noriega in 1987, after he in turn had shifted his attention from the Contras to the incipient Contadora peace process in Central America, named after a Panama island under Noriega’s control.

Finally, to quote from a 1991 Washington Post editorial, "What is one to make of the riveting assertion, made by a convicted Colombian drug kingpin at Manuel Noriega’s Florida drug trial, that the Medellín cartel gave $10 million to the Nicaraguan contras? Carlos Leader is a key prosecution witness; the U.S. government cannot lightly assail his credibility." Another cartel figure, Ramón Milián Rodríguez, also testified under oath that the Medellín cartel had given millions to the Contras.

The overall picture is clear, and devastating. It would appear that, from Colombia through Mexico, all of the major known traffickers at this time doubled as Contra supporters. Indeed, because this drug milieu was still relatively integrated, one could say that the basic Central American drug network simply became a major part of the Contra support network.

The Contra-Drug Story and the Hopes for U.S. Democracy

One can agree with Ceppos’ admission that the Gary Webb articles are not immune to criticism. Nevertheless, as Peter Kornbluh pointed out in the Columbia Journalism Review, the Mercury News managed to "revisit a significant story that had been inexplicably abandoned by the mainstream press, report a new dimension to it, and thus put it back on the national agenda where it belongs." He added that the mainstream press "faces a challenge in the contra-cocaine matter not unlike the government’s: restoring its credibility in the face of public distrust over its perceived role in the handling of these events."

The problem of the "credibility gap" has been an increasing concern of serious politicians since the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War. Much of the concern about the Webb series has focused less on the much-battered image of the CIA, than on the increasing alienation of black civic leaders. Many of these have for some time been convinced that government covert operations have continued since the days of Hoover’s COINTELPRO to target ethnic neighborhoods.

Some of the media rebukes to Webb and the Mercury have implied that that the story would have died, had it not been for what the Post dismissed as black paranoia. Others have pointed to the role of the San Jose Mercury’s website, which because of the story has been "hit" by up to one million viewers a day. More than one critic has contrasted the rationality of the traditional media with the ability of Web surfers to believe anything: even that the CIA had been involved with drug traffickers.

The efforts of the mainstream media to defend the credibility of the CIA may well be successful in the short run. The Webb story, which has now outlasted any previous CIA drug story, is still one which nearly all members of Congress are reluctant to embrace too closely.

In the long run, the press overkill applied to the Webb story may do more to increase alienation than to reduce it. The chief victim may turn out to be the public’s faith, revived by Watergate, frustrated by Iran-Contra, in the ability of the mainstream media to criticize our aging institutions at all.

In psychological warfare, a form of warfare which the CIA takes pride in practicing, the aim is not to persuade one’s opponents. (That is traditional politics). The aim is to neutralize them. TV images of a CIA Director being shouted down in South Los Angeles do more to sustain than threaten the CIA in an increasingly polarized but white-dominated society. Those who wish to de-legitimize the concerns of the Webb story find it convenient to list it among the exotica of the Internet—along with tales of space aliens, fluoridation horrors, and conspiracies to spread the AIDS virus.

What we see threatened here is politics itself. If there ever was an issue worthy of serious political consideration, it is the larger story of tolerated drug-trafficking which Gary Webb began to expose. But Congress is clearly scared of this issue, and scared of the CIA. One can hardly blame them, as long as the responsible media continue to treat the Contra-drug story as a "conspiracy theory" born out of ghetto paranoia.

The result is a national dementia. We continue to marginalize rational discussion of our collective drug crisis, even as drugs, licit and illicit, play a larger and larger role in dividing the different levels of our more and more stratified society.






**************

"....And there was kind of like an embarrassed little silence at the table, and the editor of Newsweek, who was sitting next to me, says - I HOPE partly jokingly but I don't know - he says, "Sometimes we have to do what's good for the country.""

-Former Newsweek and Associated Press journalist Robert Parry
(Parry describes his editor's reaction to Brent Scocroft's suggestion that President Reagan lie about his knowledge of arms sales to Iran)

Fooling America: A talk by Robert Parry
Given in Santa Monica on March 28, 1993
http://www.copi.com/articles/rparry_a.htm
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.wethepeople.la/indict.htm
http://www.powderburns.org/indictment.html




KINGPIN INDICTMENT OF GEORGE BUSH


The following is adapted from a draft indictment of George Bush prepared by former DEA agent Celerino Castillo and the editors of Executive Intelligence Review. All the evidence contained in this draft indictment has been thoroughly documented. Most of it has been taken either from the Kerry Report of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or the Final Report on Iran-Contra.


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

__________________________________
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

vs.

GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH




INDICTMENT

Racketeering 18 USC § 1961et seq.
Conspiracy to Import Narcotics 21 USC §§ 952 & 963
Continuing Criminal Enterprise 21 USC § 848
Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice 18 USC § 1503
Conspiracy To Obstruct Congress 18 USC § 1505


THE ENTERPRISE

1. At all times relevant to this Indictment, there existed an Enterprise, within the meaning of Title 18, USC, Section 1961 (4), that is, a group of individuals associated in fact which utilized the official positions of defendant GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH in the Government of the United States of American to facilitate the transfer, importation, and distribution of large quantities of illegal narcotics within the United States.

2. The members of the Enterprise consisted of the defendant herein named and others, including international drug traffickers, who utilized the Enterprise and the official positions of GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, DONALD P. GREGG, and OLIVER L. NORTH to facilitate their narcotics and money-laundering operations.


ROLE IN THE ENTERPRISE

1. From January 1981 to January 1989, George Bush was Vice President of the United States, and from January 1989 to January 1993, Bush was President of the United States.

2. Beginning in 1981 and up until 1989, while he was Vice President of the United States, Bush assumed extraordinary power over U.S. intelligence and covert operations. This was done through a series of Executives Orders and National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs) signed by President Ronald Reagan.

3. On Dec. 14, 1981, President Reagan signed NSDD-3 on “Crisis Management,” which designated the Vice President chairman of the Special Situation Group (SSG), responsible for crisis management.

4. On January 12, 1982, President Reagan signed NSDD-2, which reaffirmed the existence of various interagency groups to deal with intelligence and covert operations. Under the interpretation of this document promoted by Bush, the SSG superseded and pre-empted the powers of the National Security Council in areas of “crisis management,” which encompassed covert operations and counter-terrorism.

5. On Jan. 28, 1982, Bush was put in charge of the South Florida Task Force on drugs.

6. On May 14, 1982, a standing Crisis Pre-Planning Group (CPPG 1 and 2) was established under the SSG. The SSG-CPPG, under Bush, was given responsibility for any area in which a “potential crisis” could emerge, and was charged with developing “preemptive policy options” for dealing with such a potential crisis.

7. On April 10, 1982, NSDD-30, on “Managing Terrorist Incidents,” was issued, giving the Vice President control over the convening of the SSG, and creating the “Terrorist Incident Working Group” (TIWG) to support the SSG.

8. On March 23, 1983, Bush took charge of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System (NNBIS).

9. In July 1985, the Vice President’s Terrorism Task Force was created, headed by Bush.

10. In Feb. 1986, the Terrorism Task Force issued its report, creating the Operations Sub-Group, officially a sub-group of the TIWG, and also creating a permanent counter-terrorism office located in the NSC staff, headed by Oliver North, but ultimately controlled and directed by Bush.

11. In August 1986, Bush became the chief of “Operation Alliance,” an anti-narcotics effort to be conducted in cooperation with Mexico.

Thus from Dec. 1981 to August 1986, Bush had consolidated his control over virtually aspect of U.S. covert operations, as well as every agency dealing with drug interdiction. Never before in peacetime in our country’s history had one man assumed as much power as Bush exercised while Vice President.


PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVE OF THE ENTERPRISE

1. In 1982, the first in a series of "Boland Amendments" was passed by the U.S. Congress sharply curtailing the available funding from the U.S. government to the Nicaraguan Contras (hereafter "The Contras"). To make up for this loss of funding, defendant BUSH entered into an agreement with the Columbian drug cartels to exhange guns for drugs. The proceeds of the drug sales in turn were used to secretly fund the Contras. In order to accomplish this, the Enterprise, through its vast connections, made arrangements to make the cocaine it received for guns affordable and readily available to the ghettos across America. This would come in the form of "rock," which is more commonly known as crack cocaine.


OVERT ACTS

1. In the summer of 1981, Norwin Meneses and Oscar Blandon traveled to Honduras to meet with contra leader Enrique Bermudez, and Bermudez instructed Meneses and Blandon to establish a funding mechanism for the Contras on the West Coast of the United States.

2. During 1981, Meneses and Blandon imported and sold over 2000 pounds of cocaine in California.

3. During 1983, Blandon, Meneses, and others began to sell and distribute crack cocaine in Los Angeles, derived from cocaine imported from Colombia via El Salvador and Costa Rica. Much of this cocaine was flown into the U.S. by Marcos Aquado, operating from Ilopango air base in El Salvador.

4. On or about March 6, 1984, George Morales was indicted for drug smuggling. A few weeks after that, Morales met with certain Contra leaders in south Florida, Popo Chomorro and Octaviano Ceasar, whom he identified as CIA agents. They told Morales they would help him with his legal problems if he helped them with weapons and explosives and other items. The Contra leaders agreed to supply Morales with drugs, which he would sell then purchase supplies for the Contras.

5. In March 1984, Barry Seal, who had been rejected as an informant by local agencies, traveled to Washington to the offices of the Vice President’s Task Force on Drugs. The Task Force directed the DEA to retain Seal as an informant and to allow him to keep his property and assets, and to allow him to continue to smuggle drugs from Central America into Louisiana and Arkansas, among other places.

6. During the summer of 1984, Barry Seal met representatives of the Colombian drug cartel in Miami, and traveled with them to Mena, Arkansas, to show them the facilities used by Seal for smuggling narcotics and maintaining and disguising his aircraft.

7. On May 12, 1984, Oliver North wrote in his note book:
“...contract indicates Gustavo is involved w/drugs.”

8. In June 1984, Meneses attended a fund-raising meeting with Calero in San Francisco.

9. In the summer of 1984, North asked Richard Secord to assist Calero in purchasing arms for the Contras.

10. In the summer of 1984, North spoke with his courier, Robert Owen, and asked him to meet regularly with Calero to discuss the Contra’s needs, to deliver intelligence to the Contras, and to supply them with money.

11. On June 26, 1984, North wrote in his notebook:
“Call from Owen—John Hull—protection ...
John now has ‘private army of 75-100’— Cubans involved in drug—up to 100 more Cubans expected.”

12. In or around July of 1984, Morales purchased weapons in Florida and loaded them on an airplane in Florida. The plane returned within a few days with a load of narcotics, which Morales sold and gave the money to the Contras.

13. In or around July of 1984, for the second time, Morales purchased weapons in Florida and loaded them on an airplane in Florida. The plane returned within a few days with a load of narcotics, with Morales sold and gave the money to the Contras.

14. During or around June or July of 1984, Morales placed a telephone call to Gary Betzner and asked him to come to Florida. Morales and Betzner then met in Florida to discuss flying weapons to the Contras and flying drugs back.

15. In or around July 1984, Betzner flew a planeload of weapons, including an M-60 machine gun, M-16 rifles, and C-4 plastic explosives from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to the ranch of John Hull in Costa Rica. At the Hull ranch, the weapons and explosives were unloaded, and then 17 duffel bags of cocaine and 5 or 6 boxes of cocaine were loaded on the plane in the presence of Hull, which Betzner brought back to Lakeland, Florida.

16. About ten days later, Betzner flew a planeload of small arms from Morales’s hanger at Opa-Locka Airport in Florida to Los Llanos, adjacent to the Hull ranch, in Costa Rica. The arms were offloaded in the presence of Hull and then 15 to 17 dufflebags of cocaine, about 500 kilograms, were loaded on the plane for Betzner to take back to Florida.

17. On July 20, 1984, North wrote in his notebook:
“Call from Clarridge:—Alfredo Cesar Re Drugs-Borge/
Owen leave Hull alone [deletions] Los Brasiles Air
Field—Owen off Hull.”

18. In or around July 1984, through January 1986, at the suggestion of Marcos Aguado, Morales trained pilots at Opa-Locka Airport in Florida to fly weapons to the Contras in Central America and to transport drugs back into the United States.

19. Between July 1984 and January 1986, on at least eight occasions, Morales directed pilots to fly to the Hull ranch in Costa Rica to deliver weapons to the Contras, and to bring drugs back into the United States.

20. On July 23, 1984, North wrote in his notebook:
“Call from Rob Owen—call from John Hull.”

21. From late 1984 up through late 1986, John Hull received a payment of $10,000 per month from Adolfo Calero, at the direction of Oliver North.

22. In or around November 1984, Morales purchased more weapons in south Miami and loaded them on an airplane at Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. The plane returned within a few days with a load of narcotics, which Morales sold and gave the money to the Contras.

23. On or about October 1, 1984, Morales transferred a McDonnell-Douglas DC-3 aircraft, also known as a C-47, to Marcos Aguado for the Contras.

24. In late 1984, Morales met with Chammoro and other Contra leaders who discussed the activities of North courier Rob Owen.

25. On or about December 20, 1984, Morales met at a hotel in Costa Rica with Contra leaders Popo Chammoro, Octaviano Cesar, Commandante Tito, and Carlo Prado, to discuss the shipment of illegal narcotics into the United States.

26. In mid-December, 1984, Owen, Hull, Calero, Enrique Bermudez, and others met in Miami at the home of Calero.

27. On or about December 21, 1984, Felix Rodriguez met with Donald Gregg and North and discussed how to provide supplies to the Contras.

28. Shortly after the December 21 meeting, Gregg reported to George Bush that Rodriguez wanted to go to El Salvador, and that Gregg was going to introduce Rodriguez to other U.S. government officials involved with Central America. Bush said “Fine.”

29. On January 14, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“Rob Owen—John Hull—no drug connection—Believes.”

30. During Jan. 1985 Rodriguez met with Owen at the Key Bridge Marriot Hotel in Rosslyn, Virginia. Following this meeting, Owen wrote a two-page letter to North, discussing his meeting with Rodriguez and Rodriguez’s projects.

31. On January 22, 1985, Bush, Gregg, and Rodriguez met at Bush’s office in the Old Executive Office Building.

32. Two days later, on January 24, 1985, Rodriguez met with General Adolfo Blandon, the Salvadoran military chief of staff, and on January 30, 1985, Rodriguez met with General Bustillo, commander of the Salvadoran Air Force. Bustillo agreed that Rodriguez could stay at Ilopango Military Air Base outside of San Salvador.

33. On Feb. 15, 1985, Rodriguez met with Ambassador Pickering and Col. James Steele, the commander of the U.S. Military Group in El Salvador.

34. On Feb. 19, 1985, Rodriguez met with Gregg to report on the process of his activities at Ilopango, and then Rodriguez also met with North.

35. In late Feb. or early March of 1985, Owen traveled to Costa Rica at the request of North to meet with Contra groups.

36. In March 1985, Hull states that he has a friend at the National Security Council who puts $10,000 a month in a Miami bank account for him.

37. In mid-March, 1985, Rodriguez relocated to Ilopango air base.

38. On or about April 20, 1985, Rodriguez wrote to Gregg, stating: “Don, I thank you and the Vice President [Bush] for supporting me. Without your help I could not have made it here.”

39. On April 29, 1985, Gregg wrote to Col. Steele thanking Steele for his assistance to Rodriguez.

40. On June 5, 1985, Gregg, Rodriguez, and Steele met at the Key Bridge Marriot Hotel in Rosslyn, Virginia.

41. On or about June 3, 1985, Owen traveled to California with Calero to meet with Meneses.

42. On or about June 7, 1985, Calero and Owen met to conclude purchase of weapons for the Contras, after a telephone call from North.

43. In the summer of 1985, North and other members of the Restricted Interagency Group (RIG - a body established under NSDD-2) met and decided to open up a Southern Front for the Contras in Costa Rica.

44. On June 28, 1985, North, Secord, former CIA officers Thomas Clines and Raphael Quintero, Calero, and Enrique Bermudez met in Miami. North told Calero and Bermudez that they must work with him and Secord to build a viable Southern Front.

45. On July 12, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“$14 million to finance came from drugs.”

46. On August 9, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“DC-6 which is being used for run out of
New Orleans is probably being used for
drug runs into the U.S.”

47. On August 10, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“Southern Front . . . John Hull to arrange for
[deleted] training....”
and also:
“Mtg w/A.C.—name of DEA person in New Orleans
re bust on Mario/DC-6.”

48. In August 1985 Congress appropriated $27 million in “humanitarian” assistance for the Contras, and President Reagan established the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO). In September 1985, North urged Ambassador Robert Duemling, the director of NHAO, to hire North’s courier Owen for the NHAO. Duemling at first refused, but North and the RIG pressured Duemling to hire Owen.

49. On September 10, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“1630 Mtg w/ Jim Steele/Don Gregg
Talked to Blandon [...]
Says Bermudez was prepared
to devote a special ops unit
astride FMLN log lines.
Introduced by Wally GresheimbackslashLitton
Calero/Bermudez visit to
Ilopango to estab.
log support./maint. [...]”

50. On Sept. 20, 1985, North wrote a letter to Rodriguez, requesting Rodriguez to become the liaison between the government of El Salvador and the North-Secord Contra resupply operation. At the top of the letter North wrote in capital letters: “AFTER READING THIS PLEASE DESTROY IT.”

51. On October 1, 1985, North wrote in his notebook:
“Don Gregg: Maximo Gomez 27-31-59,”
which was Rodriguez’s telephone number in El Salvador.

52. Also on October 1, 1985, Ambassador Duemling, the director of the NHAO, wrote the following notes:
“(North) can use— Mr. Green said to call— Maximo Gomez
273159 in San Salvador
Will airlift the stuff from Salvador.”

53. On October 17, 1985, Rodriguez and North met in Washington, D.C.

54. In December 1985, North and Alan Friers, the chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force, traveled to Honduras and El Salvador to convince local officials to permit NHAO shipments to be transshipped from the United States to Ilopango air base in El Salvador, and on to Honduras.

55. Beginning on or about Jan. 9, 1986, and continuing through August 1986, the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO) made the following payments to companies owned and operated by narcotics traffickers:
SETCO, for air transport service— $185,294.25.
DIACSA, for airplane engine parts— $41,120.90.
FRIGORIFICOS DE PUNTARENAS— $261,932.00.
VORTEX— $317,425.17.

56. Vortex was owned by Michael Palmer, a drug-trafficker who became an informant for the DEA, while at the same time making his aircraft available to the NHAO for “humanitarian” shipments to the Contras. Subsequently, an indictment against him for marijuana smuggling was dropped as “not being in the interests of the United States.”

57. In Jan. 1986, Rodriguez met with Richard Gadd, as associate of Secord in Secord’s airlift operation.

58. On or about Jan. 14, 1986, Bush traveled to Guatemala. During a reception at the U.S. Embassy, DEA Agent Celerino Castillo identified himself to Vice President Bush as a DEA agent conducting international narcotics investigations, and told Bush there was something funny going on at Ilopango. Bush refused to listen to Castillo, and walked away.

59. On or about Jan. 19. 1986, at the direction of Bush and Gregg, Bush’s deputy national security advisor Samuel Watson traveled to Ilopango and met with Rodriguez to be briefed on the operations taking place there.

60. On Feb. 4, 1986, Watson wrote a memorandum to Bush, which was channeled through Gregg, reporting on his findings in El Salvador and Honduras. Gregg wrote on the top of Watson’s memorandum: “Good report from Sam.”

61. Gregg underlined a portion of the Feb. 4 Watson memorandum to Bush which discussed the lack of logistical support for the Contras, and wrote in the margin: “Felix agrees with this—It is a major shortcoming.”

62. On Feb. 27, 1986, North wrote in his notebook:
“Mtg w/Lew Tambs—DEA auction A/C seized as
drug runners.—$250-260K fee.”

63. On April 16, 1986, Rodriguez called the Office of the Vice President to request a meeting with Bush. A secretary in Bush’s office wrote: “Felix Rodriguez . . . [t]o brief the Vice President on the status of the war in El Salvador and resupply of the Contras.”

64. On April 20, 1986, North, Secord, Rodriguez and Contra military commander Enrique Bermudez met at Ilopango air base in El Salvador.

65. On the evening of April 30, Rodriguez and Sam Watson met for drinks at a Washington restaurant.

66. On May 1, 1986, Rodriguez met with Bush, Gregg and Watson in Bush’s office in Washington. During the meeting, North joined the meeting along with Ambassador Edward Corr.

67. On May 6, 1986, Watson sent a memorandum to Bush concerning the Contras, and Gregg wrote a note with it, which stated:
“A sober analysis of the Sandinistas’ hold on power.
The means suggested to counter this hold will not
be enough. The central point is that Contra actions +
internal political opposition need to be coordinated.
Felix says we are doing nothing to direct the Contra
planning.”

68. Following the meeting with Bush, Rodriguez returned to El Salvador and during May 1986 met with Robert Dutton, who had replaced Richard Gadd as the principal supervisor of Secord’s resupply operation. Rodriguez told Dutton that he, Rodriguez, had a very close relationship with Bush and a number of Bush’s people.

69. On or about May 9, 1986, following a meeting with FBI official Oliver “Buck” Revell, North met with FBI agents and asks them to investigate various persons who are raising allegations about drugs and the Contras, including Jack Terrell and Senator John Kerry.

70. On June 3, 1986, North met with FBI agents and demanded to know why no action had been taken against Senator Kerry because of his allegations against North.

71. On July 17, 1986, North drafted a memorandum describing Jack Terrell as a “terrorist threat,” and stating that FBI official Oliver Revell and the Operations Sub-Group/Terrorist Incident Working Group (OSG/TIWG) were meeting to discuss how to deal with Terrell, who was being used as a source for news media stories on the Contras and drug-running.

72. On June 25, 1986, Rodriguez met with North and Robert Dutton in Washington at the Old Executive Office Building. North complained to Rodriguez of security violations. Rodriguez told North: “This could be worse than Watergate. It could destroy the President of the United States.”

73. Immediately after the meeting with North, Rodriguez went to the office of Bush and had a discussion with Watson.

74. On August 8, 1986, Rodriguez met with Gregg in Washington to discuss the activities at Ilopango and accusations that Rodriguez had stolen an airplane.

75. On or about August 8, 1986, Hull wrote a letter to the United States Attorney in Miami, and Senators Richard Lugar and Warren Rudman, accusing Senator Kerry’s staff of engaging in misconduct and bribing witnesses.

76. On August 12, 1986, Gregg called a meeting of various U.S. government officials to discuss the Contra resupply operation. One of the participants, Robert Earl, took notes which include the following:
“Ilopango [classified information withheld from notes]
not 1st choice
Felix claims working w/ VP blessing for CIA.”

77. On October 5, 1986, upon learning that the C-123 plane involved in the resupply effort had been shot down over Nicaragua, Rodriguez placed a telephone call to the office of Bush. Unable to reach Bush or Gregg, Rodriguez then called Gregg’s assistant Sam Watson to warn him about the situation.

78. On October 15 and 24, 1986, North made entries in his notebook which indicated that he was closely monitoring the investigation being conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Kerry.

79. On November 21, 1986, North made additional entries in his notebook concerning information regarding Secord provided to Senator Kerry by a private investigator.

80. Throughout 1987 and 1988, William Weld, who had become Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in the summer of 1986, prevented the Kerry subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations committee from obtaining access to records and witnesses.

81. On or about March 5, 1986, after learning that Jack Terrell, a former associate of the Enterprise, was giving information about the activities of the Enterprise to law enforcement agencies and the news media, Secord assigned a “security officer” to investigate Terrell.

82. On or after March 24, 1986, North improperly obtained an investigative report written by FBI special agent George Kiszynski concerning a Miami investigation of the Contras and drug trafficking.

83. On or about April 7, 1986, Owen wrote a letter to North containing secret and privileged information concerning the investigation of the Contras and drug-trafficking, being conducted by the United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida.

84. On or about May 5, 1986, following a story on National Public Radio about the Contras and drug-trafficking, North together with FBI official Oliver Revell and others decided to use the Operations Sub-Group of the Terrorist Incident Working Group (OSG/TIWG) to harass and intimidate and root out critics of their activities.

85. On June 1, 1986, a spokesman for the United States Department of Justice falsely stated that the FBI and DEA have “run down each and every one” of the allegations regarding gunrunning, murder plots, drug trafficking, and corruption connected to the Contras, and have found “no credible or substantive evidence warranting prosecution of Contra leaders.” The spokesman further described the allegations as those of “disgruntled people with an ax to grind.”

86. On June 25, 1986, Rodriguez met with North and Robert Dutton in Washington at the Old Executive Office Building. North complained to Rodriguez of security violations. Rodriguez to North: “This could be worse than Watergate. It could destroy the President of the United States.”

87. On November 21, 1986, North and others shredded large numbers of documents in his offices at the National Security Council.

88. Throughout 1987 and 1988, William Weld, who had become Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in the summer of 1986, prevented the Justice Department, the FBI and the DEA from investigating and prosecuting members of the Enterprise and their associates.

89. Between 1986 and continuing up through at least 1989, Bush and others quashed at least six investigations of drug-trafficking and money-laundering in and around Mena, Arkansas.

90. In December of 1992, President Bush pardoned major figures in the Iran-Contra scandal, thus ensuring that the real crimes of the Enterprise - cocaine trafficking - would never be brought out into the light of day.

A TRUE BILL

_______________________________
Foreman Of The Grand Jury
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard


CIA admits tolerating contra- cocaine trafficking in 1980s

By Robert Parry


In secret congressional testimony, senior CIA officials admitted that the spy agency turned a blind eye to evidence of cocaine trafficking by U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contra rebels in the 1980s and generally did not treat drug smuggling through Central America as a high priority during the Reagan administration.

"In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working," CIA Inspector General Britt Snider said in classified testimony on May 25, 1999. He conceded that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in "a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner."

Still, Snider and other officials sought to minimize the seriousness of the CIA's misconduct – a position echoed by a House Intelligence Committee report released in May and by press coverage it received. In particular, CIA officials insisted that CIA personnel did not order the contras to engage in drug trafficking and did not directly join in the smuggling.

But the CIA testimony to the House Intelligence Committee and the body of the House report confirmed long-standing allegations – dating back to the mid-1980s – that drug traffickers pervaded the contra operation and used it as a cover for smuggling substantial volumes of cocaine into the United States.

Deep in the report, the House committee noted that in some cases, "CIA employees did nothing to verify or disprove drug trafficking information, even when they had the opportunity to do so. In some of these, receipt of a drug allegation appeared to provoke no specific response, and business went on as usual."

Former CIA officer Duane Clarridge, who oversaw covert CIA support for the contras in the early years of their war against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government, said "counter-narcotics programs in Central America were not a priority of CIA personnel in the early 1980s," according to the House report.

The House committee also reported new details about how a major Nicaraguan drug lord, Norwin Meneses, recruited one of his principal lieutenants, Oscar Danilo Blandon, with promises that much of their drug money would go to the contras. Meneses and Blandon were key figures in a controversial 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News that alleged a "dark alliance" between the CIA and contra traffickers.

That series touched off renewed interest in contra-drug trafficking and its connection to the flood of cocaine that swept through U.S. cities in the 1980s, devastating many communities with addiction and violence. In reaction to the articles by reporter Gary Webb, U.S. government agencies and leading American newspapers rallied to the CIA's defense.

Like those responses, the House Intelligence Committee report attacked Webb's series. It highlighted exculpatory information about the CIA and buried admissions of wrongdoing deep in the text where only a careful reading would find them. The report's seven "findings" – accepted by the majority Republicans as well as the minority Democrats – absolved the CIA of any serious offenses, sometimes using convoluted phrasing that obscured the facts.

For instance, one key finding stated that "the CIA as an institution did not approve of connections between contras and drug traffickers, and, indeed, contras were discouraged from involvement with traffickers." The phrasing is tricky, however. The use of the phrase "as an institution" obscures the report's clear evidence that many CIA officials ignored the contra-cocaine smuggling and continued doing business with suspected drug traffickers.

The finding's second sentence said, "CIA officials, on occasion, notified law enforcement entities when they became aware of allegations concerning the identities or activities of drug traffickers." Stressing that CIA officials "on occasion" alerted law enforcement about contra drug traffickers glossed over the reality that many CIA officials withheld evidence of illegal drug smuggling and undermined investigations of those crimes.

Normally in investigations, it is the wrongdoing that is noteworthy, not the fact that some did not participate in the wrongdoing.

A close reading of the House report reveals a different story from the "findings." On page 38, for instance, the House committee observed that the second volume of the CIA's inspector general's study of the contra-drug controversy disclosed numerous instances of contra-drug operations and CIA knowledge of the problem.

"The first question is what CIA knew," the House report said. "Volume II of the CIA IG report explains in detail the knowledge the CIA had that some contras had been, were alleged to be or were in fact involved or somehow associated with drug trafficking or drug traffickers. The reporting of possible connections between drug trafficking and the Southern Front contra organizations is particularly extensive.

"The second question is what the CIA reported to DOJ [Department of Justice]. The Committee was concerned about the CIA's record in reporting and following up on allegations of drug activity during this period. … In many cases, it is clear the information was reported from the field, but it is less clear what happened to the information after it arrived at CIA headquarters."

In other words, the internal government investigations found that CIA officers in Central America were informing CIA headquarters at Langley, Va., about the contra-drug problem, but the evidence went no farther. It was kept from law enforcement agencies, from Congress and from the American public. Beyond withholding the evidence, the Reagan administration mounted public relations attacks on members of Congress, journalists and witnesses who were exposing the crimes in the 1980s.

In a sense, those attacks continue to this day, with reporter Gary Webb excoriated for alleged overstatements in the Mercury News stories. As a result of those attacks, Webb was forced to resign from the Mercury News and leave daily journalism. No member of the Reagan administration has received any punishment or even public rebuke for concealing evidence of contra-cocaine trafficking. [For details on the CIA's internal report, see Robert Parry's Lost History.]

Besides confirming the CIA's internal admissions about contra-drug trafficking and the CIA's spotty record of taking action to stop it, the House committee included in its report the Reagan administration's rationale for blacking out the contra-cocaine evidence in the 1980s.

"The committee interviewed several individuals who served in Latin America as [CIA] chiefs of station during the 1980s," the report said. "They all personally deplored the use and trafficking of drugs, but indicated that in the 1980s the counter-narcotics mission did not have as high a priority as the missions of reporting on and fighting against communist insurrections and supporting struggling democratic movements.

"Indeed, most of those interviewed indicated that they were, effectively speaking, operating in a war zone and were totally engaged in keeping U.S. allies from being overwhelmed. In this environment, what reporting the CIA did do on narcotics was often based on one of two considerations: either a general understanding that the CIA should report on criminal activities so that law enforcement agencies could follow up on them, or, in case of the contras, an effort to monitor allegations of trafficking that, if true, could undermine the legitimacy of the contras cause."

In other words, the CIA station chiefs admitted to the House committee that they gave the contras a walk on drug trafficking. "In case of the contras," only monitoring was in order, as the CIA worried that disclosure of contra-drug smuggling would be a public relations problem that "could undermine the legitimacy of the contra cause."

The House report followed this CIA admission with a jarring – and seemingly contradictory – conclusion. "The committee found no evidence of an attempt to 'cover up' such information," the report said.

Yet, that "no cover-up" conclusion flew in the face of both the CIA inspector general's report and the report by the Justice Department's inspector general. Both detailed case after case in which CIA and senior Reagan administration officials intervened to frustrate investigations on contra-connected drug trafficking, either by blocking the work of investigators or by withholding timely evidence.

In one case, a CIA lawyer persuaded a federal prosecutor in San Francisco to forego a 1984 trip to Costa Rica because the CIA feared the investigation might expose a contra-cocaine tie-in. In others, Drug Enforcement Administration investigators in Central America complained about obstacles put in their path by CIA officers and U.S. embassy officials. [For more details, see Lost History.]

In classified testimony to the House committee, CIA Inspector General Snider acknowledged that the CIA's handling of the contra-cocaine evidence was "mixed" and "inconsistent." He said, "While we found no evidence that any CIA employees involved in the contra program had participated in drug-related activities or had conspired with others in such activities, we found that the agency did not deal with contra-related drug trafficking allegations and information in a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner."

Even in this limited admission, Snider's words conflicted with evidence published in the CIA inspector general's report in October 1998. That report, prepared by Snider's predecessor Frederick Hitz, showed that some CIA personnel working with the contras indeed were implicated in drug trafficking. The tricky word in Snider's testimony was "employees," that is, regular full-time CIA officers.

Both the CIA report and the House report acknowledged that a CIA "contractor" known by the pseudonym Ivan Gomez was involved in drug trafficking. In the early 1980s, the CIA sent Gomez to Costa Rica to oversee the contra operation. Later, Gomez admitted in a CIA polygraph that he participated in his brother's drug business in Florida.

In separate testimony, Nicaraguan drug smuggler Carlos Cabezas fingered Gomez as the CIA's man in Costa Rica who made sure that drug money went into the contra coffers.

Despite the seeming corroboration of Cabezas's allegation about Ivan Gomez's role in drug smuggling, the House committee split hairs again. It attacked Cabezas's credibility and argued that the Gomez drug money could not be connected definitively to the contras. "No evidence suggests that the drug trafficking and money laundering operations in which Gomez claimed involvement were in any way related to CIA or the contra movement," the House report said.

What the report leaves out is that one reason for this lack of proof was that the CIA prevented a thorough investigation of Ivan Gomez's drug activities by withholding the polygraph admission from the Justice Department and the U.S. Congress in the late 1980s. In effect, the House committee now is rewarding the CIA for torpedoing those investigations.

In one surprise disclosure, the House committee uncovered new details about the involvement of Nicaraguan drug smuggler Oscar Danilo Blandon in trafficking intended to support the contras financially. Blandon, a central figure in the Mercury News series, said he was drawn into the drug business because he understood profits were going to the contra war.

In a deposition to the House committee, Blandon described a meeting with Nicaraguan drug kingpin Norwin Meneses at the Los Angeles airport in 1981. "It was during this encounter, according to Blandon, that Meneses encouraged Blandon to become involved with the drug business in order to assist the contras," the House report stated.

"We spoke a lot of things about the contra revolution, about the movement, because then he took me to the drug business, speaking to me about the drug business that we had to raise money with drugs," said Blandon. "And he explained to me, you don't know, but I am going to teach you. And, you know, I am going to tell you how you will do it. You see, you keep some of the profit for you, and some of the profit we will help the contra revolution, you see. … Meneses was trying to convince me with the contra revolution to get me involved in drugs. Give a piece of the apple to the contras and a piece of the apple to him."

Blandon accepted Meneses's proposal and "assumed the money he had given Meneses was being sent by Meneses to the contra movement. However, Blandon stated that he had no firsthand knowledge that this was actually occurring," the House report said.

Though Blandon claimed ignorance about the regular delivery of cocaine cash to the contras, other witnesses confirmed that substantial sums went from Meneses and other drug rings to the contras. A Justice Department investigation discovered several informants who corroborated the flow of money.

One confidential informant, identified in the Justice report only as "DEA CI-1," said Meneses, Blandon and another cohort, Ivan Torres, contributed drug profits to the contras.

Renato Pena, a money-and-drug courier for Meneses, also described sharing drug profits with the contras, while acting as their northern California representative. Pena quoted a Colombian contact called "Carlos" as saying "We're helping your cause with this drug thing. … We're helping your organization a lot."

The Justice report noted, too, that Meneses's nephew, Jairo, told the DEA in the 1980s that he had asked Pena to help transport drug money to the contras and that his uncle, Norwin Meneses, dealt directly with contra military commander Enrique Bermudez.

The Justice report found that Julio Zavala and Carlos Cabezas ran a parallel contra-drug network. Cabezas said cocaine from Peru was packed into hollow reeds which were woven into tourist baskets and smuggled to the United States. After arriving in San Francisco, the baskets went to Zavala who arranged sale of the cocaine for contra operatives, Horacio Pereira and Troilo Sanchez. Cabezas estimated that he gave them between $1 million and $1.5 million between December 1981 and December 1982.

Another U.S. informant, designated "FBI Source 1," backed up much of Cabezas's story. Source 1 said Cabezas and Zavala were helping the contras with proceeds from two drug-trafficking operations, one smuggling Colombian cocaine and the other shipping cocaine through Honduras. Source 1 said the traffickers had to agree to give 50 percent of their profits to the contras.

The House report made no note of this corroborating evidence published in the DOJ report.

The broader contra-cocaine picture was ignored, too. The evidence now available from government investigations over the past 15 years makes clear that many major cocaine smuggling networks used the contra operation, either relying on direct contra assistance or exploiting the relationship to gain protection from U.S. law enforcement.

Sworn testimony before an investigation by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, in the late 1980s disclosed that the contra-drug link dated back to the origins of the movement in 1980. Then, Bolivian drug lord Roberto Suarez invested $30 million in several Argentine-run paramilitary operations, according to Argentine intelligence officer Leonardo Sanchez-Reisse.

The Suarez money financed the so-called Cocaine Coup that ousted Bolivia's elected government in 1980 and then was used by Argentine intelligence to start the contra war against Nicaragua's leftist government. In 1981, President Reagan ordered the CIA to work with the Argentines in building up the contra army.

According to Volume Two of the CIA report, the spy agency learned about the contra-cocaine connection almost immediately, secretly reporting that contra operatives were smuggling cocaine into South Florida.

By the early 1980s, the Bolivian connection had drawn in the fledgling Colombian Medellin cartel. Top cartel figures picked up on the value of interlocking their operations with the contras. Miami-based anti-Castro Cubans played a key matchmaker role, especially by working with contras based in Costa Rica.

U.S. agencies secretly reported on the work of Frank Castro and other Cuban-American contra supporters who were seen as Medellin operatives. With the Reagan administration battling Congress to keep CIA money flowing to the contras, there were no high-profile crackdowns that might embarrass the contras and undermine public support for their war.

No evidence was deigned good enough to justify sullying the contras' reputation. In 1986, for example, Reagan's Justice Department rejected the eyewitness account of an FBI informant named Wanda Palacio. She testified that she saw Jorge Ochoa's Colombian organization loading cocaine onto planes belonging to Southern Air Transport, a former CIA-owned airline that secretly was flying supplies to the contras. Despite documentary corroboration, her account was dismissed as not believable.

Another contra-cocaine connection ran through Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega, who was recruited by the Reagan administration to assist the contras despite Noriega's drug-trafficking reputation. The CIA worked closely, too, with corrupt military officers in Honduras and El Salvador who were known to moonlight as cocaine traffickers and money-launderers.

In Honduras, the contra operation tied into the huge cocaine-smuggling network of Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros. His airline, SETCO, was hired by the Reagan administration to ferry supplies to the contras. U.S. government reports also disclosed that contra spokesman Frank Arana worked closely with lieutenants in the Matta Ballesteros network.

Though based in Honduras, the Matta Ballesteros network was regarded as a leading Mexican smuggling ring and was implicated in the torture-murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

The CIA knew, too, that the contra-cocaine taint had spread into President Reagan's National Security Council and into the CIA through Cuban-American anti-communists who were working for two drug-connected seafood companies, Ocean Hunter of Miami and Frigorificos de Puntarenas in Costa Rica. One of these Cuban-Americans, Moises Nunez, worked directly for the NSC.

In 1987, the CIA asked Nunez about allegations tying him to the drug trade. "Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council," the CIA contra-drug report said. "Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC."

[B]The CIA had its own link to the Frigorificos/Ocean Hunter operation through Felipe Vidal, a Cuban-American with a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker. Despite that record, the CIA hired Vidal as a logistics coordinator for the contras, the CIA report said. When Sen. Kerry sought the CIA's file on Vidal, the CIA withheld the data about Vidal's drug arrest and kept him on the payroll until 1990.[/B]

These specific cases were not mentioned in the House report. They also have gone unreported in the major news media of the United States.

Now, with the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committees joining with their Republican counterparts, the official verdict on the sordid contra-drug history has been delivered – a near full acquittal of the Reagan administration and the CIA. The verdict is justified as long as no one reads what's in the government's own reports.


Copyright © 1999 Consortium For Independent Journalism.
All rights reserved.
Republisheded with the permission of the
Consortium For Independent Journalism




New evidence links George Bush to Los Angeles drug operation

by Edward Spannaus © Executive Intelligence Review (LaRouche)

On Oct. 27, 1986, federal and local law enforcement officials executed search warrants on more than a dozen locations connected to a major cocaine-trafficking ring in southern California centered around Danilo Blandon.. One of the locations raided was the home of a former Laguna Beach police officer by the name of Ronald Lister.

Los Angeles Sheriff's Department detectives reported that when they raided Lister's house, they found ``films of military operations in Central America, technical manuals, information on assorted military hardware and communications, and numerous documents indicating that drug money was being used to purchase military equipment for Central America.'' Documents were also found which diagrammed ``the route of drug money out of the United States, back into the United States purchasing weaponry for the Contras.''

An official report by one of the detectives from the 1986 raid stated: ``Mr. Lister ... told me he had dealings in South America and worked with the CIA and added that his friends in Washington weren't going to like what was going on. I told Mr. Lister that we were not interested in his business in South America. Mr. Lister replied that he would call Mr. Weekly of the CIA and report me.''

New evidence has now surfaced showing who some of Lister's ``friends in Washington'' were, and we shall see that these ``friends'' ran all the way up to the Office of the Vice President, at that time George Bush.

Mark Richard's tell-tale notes

Around the same time as the October 1986 drug raid, ``Mr. Weekly,'' whose full name is David Scott Weekly, became the subject of a federal investigation opened for the purpose of prosecuting him on federal explosives charges. According to later testimony, this investigation was under way for some time before Weekly himself first learned about it, which was on Dec. 21-22, 1986.

But ten days before Weekly learned that he was being targetted, Bill Price, the U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma City handling Weekly's case, had a telephone conversation with a top official at Justice Department headquarters about some of the stickier aspects of the investigation. The official to whom Price talked was Mark Richard, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, and the career Justice Department official who served as the Department's liaison to the intelligence agencies.

The question arises: What might have triggered this conversation between Mark Richard--the DOJ's point of contact for the NSC, CIA, and military intelligence agencies--and the Oklahoma prosecutor?

First of all, on Oct. 5, 1986, a C-123 cargo plane, flying from El Salvador's Ilopango military air base, had been shot down over Nicaragua. Three crewmen were killed, and the fourth, Eugene Hasenfus, was captured by the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. This was the beginning of the public unravelling of what became known as the ``Iran-Contra'' affair.

Then came the Oct. 27 raid in Los Angeles, after which the Los Angeles FBI office communicated to FBI headquarters what had transpired, including Lister's claims of involvement in arming the Contras, and his citation of ``Mr. Weekly'' as being ``CIA'' and a ``DIA subcontractor''--referring to the Defense Intelligence Agency. (The FBI had already interviewed a businessman to whom Lister had bragged, on Aug. 1, that he was involved in arming the Contras, and that his arms deals were ``CIA approved.'')

On Nov. 10, 1986, the FBI sent a teletype to various sections of the CIA, inquiring about Lister, Blandon, Weekly, and some others. The inquiry, over the name of the FBI Director, asked diplomatically if any of these individuals were ``of operational interest'' to the CIA.

FBI documents also show that a teletype was sent to FBI headquarters on Dec. 9, followed up by a phone conversation with an FBI supervisor on Dec. 11--the same day that Mark Richard spoke to the prosecutor in Oklahoma City--who was at the time secretly preparing his case against Scott Weekly.

In August 1987--less than a year later--Mark Richard was required to give testimony in the Congressional Iran-Contra investigation. While being interrogated about various matters in which there were allegations of Justice Department interference in Contra-related cases, Richard was specifically questioned about handwritten notes he had made during his Dec. 11 conversation with prosecutor Bill Price. Richard said that Bill Hendricks of the DOJ's Public Integrity Section, which was dealing with a lot of the Iran-Contra matters, had previously been in touch with Price. After examining his own notes, Richard said that the conversation pertained to ``an individual who had been arrested and his possible involvement in some CIA/Contra-related activities.'' (In fact, Scott Weekly was out of the country on Dec. 11, and had not yet been arrested.)

Richard was asked about the portion of the notes which read: ``Weekly posts on tape that he's tied into CIA and Hasenfus. Said he reports to people reporting to Bush.'' Richard disclaimed any knowledge of what this meant, and said that the matter had been referred to the Independent Counsel. He said that in his notes, ``There is a suggestion of a relationship to the CIA and the exportation of explosives to the--countries.''

Richard was then asked: ``And he's alleging or indicating to someone that he's connected with the CIA and he is reporting to people who report to Bush?'' Richard answers: ``That's what he's asserting.''

Richard's notes, printed in Appendix B, Volume 23 of the Congressional Iran-Contra Report, also reference Weekly's toll calls to ``Col. Nestor Pino, Spec Asst to Undersecretary for Security Assistance,'' apparently made in September-October 1986, and also ``Phone calls from Weekly to Alex, Va.--Tom Harvey of NSC,'' apparently on Oct. 30, 1986.

Richard's reference to Tom Harvey is most significant. {EIR'}s investigations have shown that Harvey was operating out of George Bush's office, and was definitely one of the ``people who report to Bush.'' Nestor Pino was likewise deeply involved in the drug-ridden Contra supply operation, which was being run out of Bush's office though Felix Rodriguez, as well as by Oliver North, under the direct supervision of Bush's national security adviser Donald Gregg.

What has misled many investigators--and has continued to confuse the issue--is that many of these operatives, even Bush himself, at one point or another worked for the CIA. But the Contra-drug operation was not a ``CIA'' operation: It was run at a level {higher} than the CIA, primarily through military and private networks deployed out of the National Security Council, which in turn was operating in these matters under the direction of Vice President Bush.

The case at hand--of Ron Lister, Scott Weekly, and Tom Harvey--is a very good example of how such things actually worked, in contrast to popular fairy tales about the ``CIA.''

Who is Ron Lister?

Before discussing Lister's ``friends,'' a few salient facts about Lister himself.

The investigation of the Blandon drug ring--the Contra-linked cocaine-smuggling operation featured in the controversial {San Jose Mercury News} series last Fall--appears to have begun in late 1984, with a probe into a Colombian money-laundering operation in the city of Bell, California, near southeast Los Angeles. The police officer who initiated the investigation, which was done at the request of agents from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Customs Service, identified former Laguna Beach police officer Ronald Lister as transporting large amounts of cocaine and ``millions of dollars'' for Danilo.

During interviews with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department last year, as part of their internal investigation of the {San Jose Mercury News} series, Lister acknowledged that he and Blandon were in the drug business, and he told Sheriff's investigators that ``he had moved $50-60 million for Blandon.'' Lister also admitted that he himself had been a user of cocaine from 1985 to 1989.

In a well-researched article in the May 22 issue of the {Los Angeles Weekly}, investigative reporter Nick Schou has documented some of Lister's ties to former CIA officials. A San Diego weapons dealer, Timothy LaFrance (mentioned in Mark Richard's notes), told Schou that Lister's company, Pyramid International Security Consultants, was a ``private vendor that the CIA used'' to do things that the agency itself couldn't do. LaFrance said he had made a number of trips to Central America with Lister, providing weapons to the Contras. Another employee of Pyramid was Paul Wilker, a former CIA officer who, after leaving the CIA, had worked for a company called ``Intersect'' in Orange County, California. One of the founders of Intersect was still another former CIA officer, John Vandewerker. Vanderwerker told reporter Schou that he had met Lister through Wilker, his former employee. Vanderwerker also said that either Lister or Wilker had helped him apply for a job at Fluor Corporation, the large construction firm, with Bill Nelson, then Fluor's vice president for security and administration. Nelson was a well-known figure, having been the CIA Deputy Director for Operations in the 1973-76 period. According to Schou, Nelson, Wilker, and Vanderwerker all retired from the agency around 1976, when they set up Intersect. (This was prior to the late 1970s purge of the CIA's Operations Directorate under Adm. Stansfield Turner; the Turner housecleaning spun off many of the privatized ``asteroid'' operations, which then played such an important role during the 1980s.)

To round out the picture of Lister's associates, we note that in ten pages of notes seized from Lister's house in the 1986 raid, is a list of six names, which starts with Bill Nelson, and ends with Roberto D'Aubuisson, the military strongman of El Salvador in that period.

Also in the list is Scott Weekly. Elsewhere in Lister's ten paes of notes, he had written: ``I had regular meeting with DIA Subcontractor Scott Weekly. Scott had worked in El Salvador for us. Meeting concerned my relationship with the Contra grp. in Cent. Am.''

Ron Lister's `friends in Washington'

Recall, that among the names mentioned in Mark Richard's notes were those of Nestor Pino and Tom Harvey.

Nestor Pino, an Army colonel, worked with one William Bode; both Pino and bode were designated as special assistants to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance. Pino was posted to the State Department from the Pentagon's Defense Security Assistance Agency. Both Bode and Pino were deeply involved in the then-secret program supplying arms and supplies to the Contras. This program is often described as ``guns down, drugs back.'' It is not surprising, therefore, that Pino and Bode were also both closely tied to Felix Rodriguez, one of the top drug-runners in the Contra operation, who was directly deployed out of Bush's office through Bush's national security adviser Donald Gregg--another former CIA official.

It was William Bode who introduced Felix Rodriguez to Oliver North in December 1984, as Rodriguez was on his way to meet with Gregg. (A few weeks after this, Gregg introduced Rodriguez personally to Bush, in the Vice Presidents's office.)

In his book {Shadow Warrior}, Rodriguez describes Pino as a close buddy of his from the days of the Bay of Pigs ``2506 Brigade.'' Rodriguez says that at the ``2506'' training camp in Guatemala, he became friends with both Nestor Pino, and with Jose Basulto--more recently known for his provocative actions as part of the ``Brothers to the Rescue'' operation.

Scott Weekly's involvement with Bode and Pino came about in the following way. In August 1986, Bode contacted Col. James ``Bo'' Gritz, the retired, highly decorated special forces commander, and asked him to come to Washington to discuss a training program for Afghanistan mujahideen general-staff officers--another of the clandestine operations being run by the intelligence community simultaneously with the Contra operation. Gritz meet with Bode and Pino at the State Department twice in early August, and then, with his longtime associate Scott Weekly, launched a training program in unconventional warfare for the Afghanis, conducted on federal land in Nevada.

The training program, as Gritz later testified, was financed by $50,000, paid through Albert Hakim's Stanford Technology Group--one of the companies used by Oliver North, Richard Secord, et al. for shipping arms to Iran and to the Contras. The Stanford group was found by Iran-Contra Independent Counsel prosecutor Lawrence Walsh to have been at the heart of what he called ``The Enterprise.''

Now, there is no evidence whatsoever that Gritz had any knowledge of Weekly's ties to the drug-dealer and money-launderer Ron Lister, much less any involvement in it. Indeed, Gritz is well-known for his opposition to drug trafficking; he was prosecuted by the federal government in the late 1980s after exposing the role of certain Reagan-Bush government officials in drug smuggling in Southeast Asia--as we shall see below.

Scott Weekly was a weapons specialist, working as part of a team created by Gritz, after Gritz had been requested in 1979 by the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to officially resign from the U.S. Army, and carry out a private intelligence operation in Southeast Asia. Gritz's team carried out a number of U.S. government-backed missions into Thailand, Laos, and Burma between 1982 and 1986, to determine whether America POWs were still alive in Southeast Asia.

In his 1991 book {Called To Serve,} Gritz described how he formed a ``private'' team with the assistance of the DIA, CIA, and the Army's Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). The ISA was a secret Army special operations unit, involved in counter-terrorist activity, and also in support for the Nicaraguan Contras in Central America. Sworn evidence exists showing that, during most of the 1980s, Gritz was reporting to military intelligence officials through an intermediary known as a ``cut-out.''

To return to our narrative: In late October 1986, as the first round of the Afghan training program was being completed, and just before the Los Angeles Sheriff's raid on the Blandon drug ring, Gritz was contacted by an NSC staff officer, Lt. Col. Thomas Harvey. (The misnamed ``NSC staff'' is not a staff for the National Security Council, but it serves the President--and in this case the vice president--on national security matters.)

Colonel Harvey told Gritz that information had recently been given to Vice President Bush indicating that Burmese drug lord Khun Sa had information on U.S. prisoners of war still being detained in Southeast Asia. Harvey asked Gritz if he could go to the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Asia to attempt to verify this report. He could, Gritz said, but he told Harvey that he would need special documents for such a mission.

A few days later, Harvey told Gritz to come to Washington. On Oct. 29, 1986, Gritz and Scott Weekly flew there, and met Harvey near the White House. Harvey provided them with two letters, one for Gritz on White House letterhead, and one for Weekly on National Security Council letterhead, stating that Gritz and Weekly were cooperating with the U.S. government.

The letter given to Weekly states:

  • ``The bearer and undersigned of the only original of this document is David Scott Weekly. Mr. Weekly is cooperating in determining the authenticity of reported U.S. prisoner of war sightings....

    ``Mr. Weekly is an operational agent cooperating with this office....''

This was Oct. 29. Mark Richard's notes also indicate a toll call by Weekly to Tom Harvey the next day.

`CIA' was the cover story

As to the claims by Lister, Weekly, and others that Weekly was working for the CIA, Gritz has more recently had a number of highly pertinent things to say.

In his {Center for Action} newsletter, Dec. 5, 1996, while discussing the FBI's confusion over whom Weekly worked for when he was working for Gritz, Gritz wrote:

  • ``The FBI never knew exactly who I was working for.''

Gritz indicates that he was working for ISA--the Army's Intelligence Support Activity, and explains:

  • ``The truth is that the initials `ISA' were above Top Secret to the point where CIA was our cover. ISA worked directly for the National Security Council.''

Gritz then says that he initially worked for DIA, and was then transferred to J-5 (Strategic Plans and Policy) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when his POW operations went into the field.

  • ``Toward the end it was ISA that picked up the effort.''

He describes how he was called into the White House by Adm. Bobby Inman, then deputy director of the CIA, just before the POW mission was taken away from ISA and given back to DIA.

Gritz continues:

  • ``It is no wonder the FBI had no idea who was actually carrying the ball! Scott Weekly never worked for DIA--he worked for me.''

When Gritz was reached by {EIR}, he confirmed and elaborated what he had written in his newsletter. Gritz disavowed any knowledge of a link between Weekly and Ron Lister, and said that Weekly only had a few contacts with the CIA, and that those were through Gritz. Gritz confirmed that he himself was actually working for the ISA.

  • ``It was identified, incorrectly, as a low-level Army intelligence effort,''

Gritz explained,

  • ``but it really worked directly for the National Security Council. Otherwise, how in the hell could we have been doing all the weird things we were doing? And we used the CIA as a cover, when you had to get messages, and this kind of stuff.''

    ``When I came on board,''

Gritz continued,

  • ``I was carefully briefed: `We are not under the CIA, we are not under Defense Intelligence; we work for the National Security Council.'|''

He also said that ISA coordinated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which provided the ``muscle'' for ISA, using Delta Force special operations forces.

Tom Harvey, Bush, and `the families'

Now, to the matter of Col. Thomas Harvey.

Thomas Nelson Harvey graduated from West Point in the early 1970s, and was posted to a SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) support group position. In 1975, he trained as a Foreign Area Specialist in Yugoslav studies. Harvey was later assigned to the headquarters of the Ninth Army Division (which has responsibilities throughout the Pacific), and in 1983 attended the Command and General Staff College, thus becoming eligible to serve with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Informed sources indicate that Harvey is a proteage of Richard Armitage, who was Assistant Secretary of State for International Affairs. Armitage is a notorious intelligence community ``Asia hand'' whose career has been colored with allegations of gun running, drug smuggling, and privateering on a grand scale. During Gritz's mission to Khun Sa in 1986, Khun Sa identified Armitage as playing a central role in ``Golden Triangle'' drug trafficking--which has some bearing on Harvey's behavior after Gritz returned from his 1986 mission.

From 1983 until his retirement in 1991, Harvey was usually listed in Pentagon directories as located in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army; he was, among other things, a speechwriter responsible for space, arms control, and low-intensity operations. According to his own testimony, he held numerous sensitive intelligence positions during that time. Among these, were his serving as a military assistant to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he worked closely with Senators Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and John Warner (R-Va.).

Asked about Tom Harvey, Gritz told this reporter that Harvey was actually working out of George Bush's office.

  • ``Harvey was the military adviser to Sen. John Warner, and he was also, of course, in the NSC, working in the Vice President's Office--George Bush at the time,''

Gritz said.

  • ``Harvey was the Ollie North look-alike for George Bush.''

It was apparently while Harvey was at the NSC in 1985-86, that he was instrumental in the creation of a bizarre ``private'' paramilitary unit in Loudoun County, Virginia, called ``ARGUS'' (Armored Response Group U.S.). ARGUS's ostensible purpose was to provide surplus armored military equipment for use in ``anti-terrorist'' and other crisis situations by local law enforcement agencies in the mid-Atlantic region. Among its acquisitions were a C-130 military aircraft, an armored personnel carrier, and an armored forklift.

One of the few times that ARGUS equipment was actually deployed, to be on standby, was during the Oct. 6-7, 1986 raid, by federal, state, and local agents, on the offices of organizations associated with Lyndon LaRouche in Leesburg, Virginia. That raid was officially run by the FBI, but it was later learned that planning for the raid included the ``focal point'' office of the J-3 Special Operations Division of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two truckloads of seized documents were taken to highly secure U.S. Marine Corps facilities at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, where they were presumably culled over by intelligence specialists, before being reviewed by state and federal prosecutors.

ARGUS was a project of the oligarchal families based in the Loudoun County ``Hunt Country'' (see article, p.|64). Magalen Ohrstrom Bryant and John W. Hanes were both officials and funders of ARGUS; at the same time, Bryant and Hanes were both funding Oliver North's secret Contra operations as well.

In 1988, by which time Harvey was posted to Senator Warner's staff, he was able to set up ARGUS's training base at the Army's Cameron Station base in Alexandria, Virginia. ARGUS also housed some of its specialized armored vehicles at Cameron Station. iven that ARGUS was supposedly a completely private operation, this was rather extraordinary--except that ARGUS was obviously {not} ``private;'' it was rather part of the {privatized} military-intelligence operations which flourished under the authority of Executive Order 12333 and Bush's ``secret government'' apparatus.

After his retirement from active military service in 1991, Harvey continued to work for these same intelligence-related ``family'' networks. He became the chairman and CEO of the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation. On Global's Board of Directors, naturally, is Maggie Bryant, also listed as chairperson of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It is reported that Harvey was personally selected for this role by Maggie Bryant, who has called him one of her most trusted operatives. Among Global's projects is what is called the ``Defense and Environmental Initiative,'' which, in their words, involves ``integrating environmental considerations into America's national and international security mission.''

`Erase and forget'

Now, back to Gritz's dealings with Tom Harvey in 1986-87.

Gritz and his team, including Scott Weekly, did go to Burma, where they met with Khun Sa. Khun Sa told Gritz that he did not have any American POWs, but he proposed a deal with the United States: that he would stop all drug flows out of the Golden Triangle, in return for recognition of his Shan State. He would guarantee the eradication of opium production in the Golden Triangle, which was the major source of heroin coming into the United States--although it was rapidly being supplanted by drugs from the ``Golden Crescent'' of Afghanistan and Pakistan as a by-product of the arms and money flowing into the Afghan War. The parallels between the Bush ``secret government'' clandestine operations in Central American and those in Afghanistan are striking: The net result of both was a massive increase in drugs coming from those areas into the United States. Guns and drugs, like love and marriage, go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. (The Afghan operation gave us something else: the world-wide British-controlled terrorist network known today as the ``Afghansi.'')

The other thing which Khun Sa offered--even more explosive--was that he would name the names of U.S. government officials involved in illegal arms and drug trafficking.

Gritz and his team returned just before Christmas, 1986. In his book, Gritz reports that he submitted his after-action report to Harvey; a few days later, Harvey called. When Gritz asked Harvey about the reaction to Khun Sa's proposal to stop the drug trade, Harvey told Gritz:

  • ``Bo, there's no one around here who supports that.''

Gritz's account continues:

  • ``I reminded him that Vice President George H.W. Bush was appointed by his boss, the President of the United States, as the `Number-One Cop' for stopping drugs before they got to the United States. Reagan had declared war on drugs, and Bush was his so-called `Czar.'"

Harvey reiterated, this time in a more forcible tone,

  • {`Bo, what can I tell you? There's no interest in doing that.'}

    ``I knew then that we were treading on some very sensitive toes,'' Gritz writes, ``but I didn't know whose.''

Almost immediately, Scott Weekly was charged with illegal shipments of explosives (the C4 used in the Afghani training program) and he was induced to plead guilty without a trial, and even without a lawyer.

In May 1987, Gritz was told in no uncertain terms to cease and desist all of his activities related to the Golden Triangle and drugs. He was contacted by Joseph Felter, his close friend and the former head of Wedtech, the scandalized defense contractor. Felter told Gritz that he was conveying a message from Tom Harvey and a State Department official named William Davis: that Gritz was to ``erase and forget'' everything about his trip to the Golden Triangle. Felter told Gritz that Harvey and Davis said that ``if you don't stop everything you're doing ... you're gonna serve 15 years in prison as a felon!'' (Felter later confirmed the thrust of his remarks, and that he was acting on behalf of Harvey, in a sworn affidavit.)

Gritz was at the time about to be charged with using a false passport, for travelling to Southeast Asia on a passport in a different name which had in fact been provided to him by the U.S. government, through the NSC-run ISA. Gritz was also threatened with charges for neutrality violations, for the Afghan training operation. Gritz says that when he was finally indicted in 1989, Tom Harvey showed up, and told him privately:

  • ``Bo, we're so angry with you! Your focus is supposed to be prisoners of war. Why do you insist on getting involved in this government drug operation?''

The coverup continues to this day. The attacks on Bo Gritz to prevent exposure of the U.S. government complicity in the Golden Triangle drug trade, and the frantic efforts in late 1986-87 to suppress any exposure of the Contra drugs-for-guns dealings--as shows up in the Lister-Weekly case--were clearly one and the same.

And in both cases, we see that the trail leads directly to the same place: George Bush.

1. For a more thorough description and documentation of this structure, which operated under the authority of Executive Order 12333 and various National Security Decision Directives, see the two {EIR Special Reports}: ``Would a President Bob Dole Prosecute Drug Super-Kingpin George Bush?'' September 1996; and ``George Bush and the 12333 Serial Murder Ring,'' October 1996.


A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Vol. 10 No. 34 Apr. 29 - May 5, 2005

Dr. Death Revisited
In French TV documentary, ex-CIA official admits ties to CIA-cocaine scandal character

by NICK SCHOU


Weekly, minus fake beard

                                       


In August 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published a three-part series in which reporter Gary Webb—who committed suicide last December—connected the CIA to California’s crack-cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. One of the key players in Webb’s “Dark Alliance” was ex-Laguna Beach cop Ron Lister, whose Mission Viejo home was raided by police in October 1986 as part of a massive operation targeting Southern California crack-cocaine sales. Lister, who besides smuggling cocaine pitched security contracts to the military in El Salvador and sold weapons to the Nicaraguan contras, famously told police that the CIA wouldn’t be happy about the raid. Then he threatened to contact his agency handler, Scott Weekly.

The CIA swore in court it had no tie to Lister and has always denied ever employing Scott Weekly. A 1998 CIA Inspector General report found “no evidence” linking Weekly, a Vietnam War veteran and right-wing mercenary, to the agency. But in a just-aired Canal Plus documentary on the French television show 90 Minutes, Milton Bearden, who supervised the CIA’s covert war in Afghanistan, says otherwise. While not mentioning Weekly by name, Bearden confirmed that the CIA was behind a bizarre training operation for Afghan mujahedin fighters in the Nevada desert in early 1986. Besides violating the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, the top-secret training resulted in Weekly’s later conviction for smuggling plastic explosives onto commercial jetliners.

As the Weekly first reported in December 1996, the San Diego resident was a three-year Naval Academy classmate of a more well-known Iran-Contra figure: Oliver North. Although various newspaper articles attacking “Dark Alliance” refer to Weekly not as a CIA operative but as a former Navy SEAL, an organization that monitors such claims, Veri-SEAL, says that can’t be verified.

After serving in Vietnam, where he reportedly won two Bronze Stars, Weekly became a soldier of fortune who accompanied Bo Gritz, an illustrious highly determined ex-Green Beret, to Laos on the latter’s ill-fated 1982 hunt for U.S. prisoners of war. When the pair returned from Laos empty-handed, both men were briefly jailed by Thai authorities for illegally possessing high-tech radio equipment. A United Press International story from that time described Weekly as “a steely-eyed weapons wizard who goes by the nickname ‘Dr. Death.’”

During their search of Lister’s home, police found Weekly’s name at the bottom of a list that included Bill Nelson, the CIA’s ex-deputy director of operations, and Roberto D’Aubuisson, the founder of El Salvador’s right-wing death squads. In his notes, Lister identified Weekly as a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) “subcontractor” and scribbled, “Scott had worked in El Salvador for us.”

After Webb wrote about the raid on Lister’s home in his “Dark Alliance” series—highlighting Lister’s claim of a CIA connection—the LA County Sheriff’s Department interviewed Weekly about Lister’s notes. Weekly refused to elaborate. “Let me put it this way,” he told investigators. “There is not one ounce of love lost between the DIA and me. It is even more aggressive than that . . . It’s a non-subject—that’s as much as I’m going to say about it. As far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t piss on them if their face was on fire.”

Weekly’s anger may stem from his 1986 conviction in an Oklahoma City federal courthouse for smuggling C-4 explosives aboard two civilian airliners bound to Las Vegas. After turning himself in to federal agents, he pleaded guilty but refused to give authorities the names of anyone else involved. But after Weekly served 14 months of a five-year prison sentence, the court granted him a new hearing that focused on new evidence about the explosives.

As the Weekly first reported in December 1996, courtroom records show the explosives were used in a covert operation aimed at uniting the leaders of various Afghan rebel factions by providing them with lessons in explosives. At Weekly’s re-sentencing hearing, he and Gritz testified they carried out the operation in the Nevada desert and had the permission of a U.S. Army colonel named Nestor Piño, a Bay of Pigs veteran who then worked with Oliver North’s National Security Council. Gritz and Weekly also said they were paid by Osman Kalderim, who worked for Stanford Technology, a private company established by two of North’s Iran-Contra associates, Richard Secord and Albert Hakim, to help arm the contras.

Following that testimony, a federal judge released Weekly from custody and sentenced him to time served. “The CIA could have been involved in that Bo Gritz thing,” Bearden says in the French documentary that aired April 25. He was apparently unaware that he was acknowledging agency involvement in an illegal covert operation. “If we did some romantic training in the Nevada desert with a few Afghans . . . I’m aware of that. I know about that. There’s something like that. But it doesn’t matter.”

Bearden’s statement was the first confirmation that Weekly was an agency operative. And it runs contrary to the CIA’s oft-repeated assertion that it had no ties whatsoever to Weekly.

According to the show’s producer, French reporter Paul Moreira, Bearden made those comments during a late 2001 interview, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “He was very surprised that I even knew about the existence of Bo Gritz,” Moreira said. “In France, we call people like Gritz and Weekly ‘barbouzes’ or fake beards because they are a bunch of illegal guys who get used from time to time by government agencies when some action is not strictly legal. You cannot wage a war without these type of guys.”

NSCHOU@OCWEEKLY.COM
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Vol. 10 No. 24 February 18 - 24, 2005

Dead End
Feds deny connection between CIA and ex-Laguna Beach cop and drug dealer. So why are his files secret?

by NICK SCHOU


Smuggler's blues: Lister in
1988 booking photo
Courtesy Costa Mesa Police Dept.

                                       

The San Jose Mercury News published a three-part series in August 1996 in which reporter Gary Webb connected the CIA to California’s crack-cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. Several months later, Webb’s editors published a retraction of his Dark Alliance stories. Webb quit the paper soon thereafter. Last December, he committed suicide.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Dec. 12 obituary, “Major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post, wrote reports discrediting elements of Webb’s reporting.”

End of story? Well, if so, why is the FBI still citing concerns over U.S. national security in its refusal to hand over documents from its 1985 investigation of a key player in the drug ring Webb wrote about: convicted drug dealer, international arms dealer and ex-Laguna Beach cop Ronald Lister?

A Jan. 31, 2005, letter from Richard Huff, co-director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, to the Weekly’s law firm, Davis, Wright & Tremaine, states that “some of the information responsive to your client’s request is classified.” Huff affirmed the FBI’s refusal to release uncensored copies of its files on Lister but said the decision would be referred to the agency’s Department Review Committee “so that it may determine if this information should remain classified.”

In his Dark Alliance series, Webb reported that Lister claimed to work for the CIA when cops raided his home for drugs in October 1986, a statement the mainstream media dismissed as a desperate attempt by a “con artist” to escape punishment for his drug dealing. But during that raid, cops uncovered a heap of documents supporting Lister’s claim. Among them were a 1982 proposal by Lister’s Newport Beach-based security firm to provide security to El Salvador’s Ministry of Defense and a list of business contacts that included Salvadoran death-squad founder Roberto D’Aubuisson and Bill Nelson, then-vice president of security for the Irvine-based construction giant Fluor Corp.

According to a 1998 U.S. Justice Department Office of the Inspector General report, the FBI investigated Lister five times in the mid-1980s. One probe involved the alleged sale of missiles to Iran. Another centered on the illegal transfer of weapons between Saudi Arabia and El Salvador. In a third investigation, Lister testified for the FBI about a covert-arms pipeline allegedly directed by Iran-contra co-conspirators Richard Secord and Oliver North. The FBI claims it dropped those investigations because it could find no evidence Lister ever worked for North or the CIA (see “Crack Cop,” July 13, 2001).

Eight years ago, the Weekly requested documents from both the FBI and CIA concerning Lister’s relationship to Nelson, whose previous job was deputy director of operations for the CIA. Nelson had retired from the agency in 1976 amid a congressional investigation into the CIA’s controversial forays into Chile and Angola—clandestine operations Nelson supervised from his office at the CIA’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters. The CIA responded by saying it could locate no records responsive to that request.

But in 2001, the FBI handed over several pages of heavily censored records from its 1985 investigation of Lister’s activities in El Salvador. They showed that Nelson met Lister in 1978, just two years after Nelson left the CIA and while Lister was still a Laguna Beach police detective. How they met is unclear, thanks to government censors. But the documents revealed Nelson and Lister did business together for the next eight years, a period when Lister was both smuggling cocaine into the U.S. and running down to El Salvador to meet with the likes of D’Aubuisson.

In a 1996 interview with Webb, Christopher Moore, an employee of Lister’s, said Lister had “a big CIA contact” at an Orange County company who would help protect Lister and his employees in El Salvador. “I can’t remember his name, but Ron was always running off to a meeting with him, supposedly,” Moore told Webb. “Ron said the guy was the former deputy director of operations or something, real high up there. All I know is that this supposed contact of his was working at the Fluor Corp. because I had to call Ron out there a couple of times.”

During that time, FBI agents investigated Lister’s possible involvement in drug trafficking when the bureau learned Lister had purchased his Mission Viejo home for $374,000—in cash. Simultaneously, the heavily censored memos released to the Weekly show the FBI was interviewing Lister about his Central American arms deals—an investigation that led straight to Nelson. The memos reveal that while Lister was testifying to a federal grand jury about that activity, Nelson was coaching him about what to say.

“He [Lister] then told of his meeting with the FBI and that he had been subpoenaed before the grand jury in San Francisco,” one of the memos states. “He told Nelson he was terrified. Nelson said go. . . . [Lister] admitted being stupid and that he had done a dumb thing. Nelson said [Lister] left and then called back after his grand-jury appearance and said he really did well.”

Citing U.S. national security, the FBI censored the next three lines of Nelson’s statement. But strikingly—given the CIA’s repeated assertion that Lister had absolutely no ties to the agency—the FBI memo reveals that, in an effort to aid Lister, Nelson telephoned at least one other former CIA agent. “Nelson told [Lister] he had discussed his problem with another retired CIA agent and that no one could help him until he cleared himself with the FBI. Nelson said he told [Lister] he no longer cared to continue their relationship, and he has not heard from him since.”

Nelson died of natural causes in 1995. Lister’s current whereabouts are unknown, but he has refused repeated offers to share his story with the press. When interrogated by LA County sheriff’s detectives about Webb’s story in 1996, Lister denied ever working for the CIA, then he said he wouldn’t admit to such a relationship if he did have one. According to the detectives who interviewed him, “Lister did display some knowledge of the U.S. intelligence community during our interview.”

NSCOU@OCWEEKLY.COM

       



http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/05/24/news-schou.php
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Vol. 10 No. 33 April 22 - 28, 2005

Ink-Stained Wretchedness

                                       
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, PART 1
While he was still alive, the mainstream media savaged investigative reporter Gary Webb, whose 1996 San Jose Mercury News series “Dark Alliance” revealed CIA ties to inner-city cocaine sales. The Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post published massive front-page stories purporting to debunk Webb’s reporting, and his own newspaper cowardly backed off his stories. It wasn’t until after Webb committed suicide last December that his former employer published a belated editorial apologizing for the betrayal.

So now that Webb’s dead, the job of distorting him and his legacy is appropriately being taken over by right-wing ideologues like Chris Reed, columns editor for The Orange County Register’s opinion pages. On March 20, Reed published an “Unspin” column calling Webb a “new hero for the advocates of ‘fake but accurate’ news.” But contrary to its title, Reed’s 345-word column contains nothing but spin.

“The fact is that while Webb did establish CIA links with drug figures in his ‘Dark Alliance’ series for the San Jose Mercury News, plenty of honest journalists looked hard at his evidence of a CIA-crack conspiracy, and just about all of them found . . . nothing,” Reed wrote. “How did Webb respond? A responsible reporter would have gone back and done more digging. Instead, he allied himself with the Maxine Waters paranoids, who claim blacks are the target of government genocide.”

Rather than provide evidence, Reed spends the rest of his column comparing Webb’s defenders to supporters of disgraced CBS columnist Dan Rather. But if Reed had done his homework, he’d know that Webb never allied himself with the paranoids who used his reporting to claim the CIA deliberately put crack in the inner cities. The fact that Webb agreed to be interviewed by conspiracy theorists who distorted his reporting is no more relevant than the fact that he agreed to be interviewed by centrist blowhards like Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball.

In reality, Webb’s Dark Alliance series had nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Rather, it alleged that “Freeway” Ricky Ross, whom the LA Times had labeled the kingpin of crack, got his cocaine from Nicaraguan contra fund-raisers who had ties to the CIA. Webb wrote that the agency turned a blind eye to this activity and therefore was at least partly responsible for the crack epidemic.

After the mainstream media “debunked” Webb’s stories, an internal CIA report acknowledged for the first time that it had a secret “memo of understanding” with the Drug Enforcement Administration not to report drug dealing by CIA operatives, including the contras. And contrary to Reed’s assertion, Webb did a lot of additional digging after his series was attacked, and his cowardly editors refused to publish his findings, which totaled several thousand words of new reporting.

In fact, Webb included that information in his 1998 book, which also drew from the mainstream media’s response as well as the Justice Department and CIA reports of that same year, which actually bolstered Webb’s thesis. I also did a lot of digging and am still receiving declassified reports from the FBI about one of the drug dealers Webb exposed, an ex-Laguna Beach cop and weapons dealer named Ron Lister. (These stories can be read in our Dark Alliance archive).

Of course, the conspiracy nuts who distorted—and continue to distort—Webb’s “Dark Alliance” to further their own agenda can be forgiven because, by definition, they’re nuts. Supposedly sober journalists, as well as posthumously inclined hatchet men like Reed, should be ashamed of themselves. (Nick Schou)

NSCHOU@OCWEEKLY.COM
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Britain
       
                                                               
                                                               
                       
                        May 07, 2005                        
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1601272,00.html

MI5 is linked to death of drugs baron 'Popeye'
                                               
                Customs demand answers over smuggler whose exploits cost life of heroic agent
                                                               
                                                                                                       
WHEN the millionaire drugs baron known as “Popeye” absconded from prison, the criminal underworld was sure that his friends in the British security services had helped Roddy McLean to escape.

The life and crimes of 60-year-old McLean were always coloured by lurid claims of how he had been allowed to build up his empire in exchange for betraying rival drug gangs to the police and intelligence services.



His last will and testament to his family about how MI5 agents had helped him to flee from jail has triggered a feud between rival wings of Britain’s security apparatus.

Customs officers are demanding to know why MI5 apparently assisted the man they blame for the death of one of their colleagues.

McLean’s version of events is that he was given a fake identity by his handlers, then sent to Ireland to infiltrate Britain’s biggest heroin gang. Nine weeks later he was found dead in a scruffy benefits hostel in South London after, it is said, double-crossing MI5 and just hours before he was due to escape for a new life beyond the reach of British justice.

A new book, Cut-Throat, written by McLean’s nephew, Wayne Thallon, uses the crime boss’s own diaries and documents to detail his life as an informer.

The fear is that any public investigation into McLean’s links with police, Customs and the intelligence services could deeply embarrass Whitehall.

Customs agents have told The Times that they are appalled at allegations that MI5 organised the disappearance of McLean only five years into his 21-year sentence for a drug-smuggling operation in which Alistair Soutar, a much-decorated undercover agent, died.

Mr Soutar, 47, was among the team who ambushed McLean’s boat off the coast of Scotland in July 1996, and was crushed to death as he attempted to board the vessel while the crime boss tried to destroy the three tonnes of cannabis on board.

His fellow agents are also angry at the apparent reluctance of their own officers to demand a full, public investigation. The Prison Service has yet to fully explain why McLean, a category-A convict, was moved so quickly to Leyhill open prison in south Gloucestershire, which has the worst record in Britain for absconders.

He lied to the authorities about wanting a transfer to be closer to his wife, who had just bought a home in Edinburgh. On a Saturday in November 2003 McLean was allowed out of prison for a day release.

A van-load of MI5 agents are alleged to have been waiting for him. They are said to have given him a fresh set of clothes. a new identity and fake documents and slipped him on to a ferry to Ireland.

McLean travelled on to Wexford on the southeast coast to make contact with fellow smugglers, who would help him to get in touch with a notorious London-based crime family.

The authorities were desperate to discover the heroin- smuggling routes that the Turkish-Cypriot crime clan were using.

Within 24 hours of his escape, McLean, who gained the nickname “Popeye” because of his love of the sea, was sailing for a rendezvous with a Spanish fishing boat to pick up a consignment of cannabis.

Britain
       
                                                                                                                                               
                                Page 1 || Page 2
                                                       
                                                                                                                               
After four of the trips, McLean is said to have driven to London, shadowed by his MI5 handlers, to fix up a meeting with the crime family, who were a top target for Customs and police.

His nephew, who is a criminology student, claims that the intelligence agents did not know that McLean was making his own secret deal with the Turkish crime family to help him to make a new life in northern Cyprus, where even if he were discovered there is no extradition agreement with Britain. He was also plotting to stage his own drug runs to finance his exile.



When news of his escape finally leaked out, the millionaire drug lord sought refuge in a run-down hostel in Streatham while he waited for his new crime partners to smuggle him out of the country. He even applied for the job of caretaker as a cover story for his stay.

On the eve of his disappearance in January 2004, he was found dead in bed by hotel staff.

It would be four weeks before the police announced his death, claiming that a post-mortem examination showed that McLean had died from natural causes, thought to be a massive heart attack.

Some of his close associates refuse to believe this, claiming that one of his many enemies killed him. They do not say whom they blame.

There were no toxicology tests taken, and his body was cremated, so further investigation is impossible.

The Scottish National Party and the Conservatives have backed Mr Soutar’s family in demanding a public inquiry to unravel the facts from the fantasy of McLean’s ruthless career.

They also want an investigation into where he stashed the millions that he had accumulated, with rumours of properties in Africa and Europe.

The Assets Recovery Agency, set up by the Government to seize the assets of criminals, has not been asked to investigate McLean’s finances, saying that no law enforcement agency has asked it to.

Mr Soutar’s son, Justin, said: “For the sake of my father’s memory, this cover-up should stop now.”

                                                       
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
BIO SKETCH
VSG0006301652
UPDATED: 270105Z JUL 2003

NAME: WEEKLY, DAVID SCOTT
AKA WEEKLY, SCOTT
AKA "DOCTOR DEATH"
SSN: [FILE]
DOB: APPROX 56 YOA
NATIONALITY: U.S.
DM/C: UNK
BOP INMATE REGISTER #: 09958-064
RELEASE DATE: 15 JUL 1988
LOC: POSSIBLY NEVADA US
POSSIBLY IDAHO US
POSSIBLY SAN DIEGO CA US
EMPL: http://www.BOGRITZ.COM
FALSE SOF CLAIM(S): US NAVY SEAL
PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE

CRIMINAL RECORD:

FEDERAL CONVICTION(S):

  • BANK FRAUD
  • EXPLOSIVES VIOLATIONS

NARR/ 1. IN OCTOBER 1986, THE LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S OFFICE, ALONG WITH FEDERAL AGENTS, EXECUTED SEARCH WARRANTS AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CONNECTED TO A MAJOR NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING OPERATION. AT THE HOME OF RONALD LISTER, AGENTS DISCOVERED A CACHE OF MILITARY-RELATED MATERIALS ALONG WITH DOCUMENTS SUGGESTING THE PROCEEDS OF DRUG SALES WERE BEING USED TO PURCHASE WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT DESTINED FOR USE IN CENTRAL AMERICA. UPON HIS ARREST, LISTER REPORTEDLY INFORMED A LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DETECTIVE THAT HE [LISTER] WORKED FOR CIA AND INTENDED TO "REPORT" THE DETECTIVE TO "MR. WEEKLY" AT CIA.

2. AT THE SAME TIME, "MR. WEEKLY", ALLEGEDLY OF CIA, WAS UNAWARE THAT HE WAS THE SUBJECT OF A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION BY THE US ATTORNEY IN OKLAHOMA CITY INTO EXPLOSIVES VIOLATIONS. APPARENTLY WEEKLY HAD SHIPPED AN AMOUNT OF C-4 (MILITARY PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE) FROM OKLAHOMA TO NEVADA BY COMMERCIAL AIR CARRIER -- A STUNT THE BATF FOUND CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN BRILLIANT, AND SLIGHTLY MORE THAN ILLEGAL.

3. "MR. WEEKLY" WAS ACTUALLY DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY, A CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF FORMER US ARMY COLONEL JAMES "BO" GRITZ. WEEKLY WAS RECRUITED BY GRITZ POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS 1979 AND HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH GRITZ EVER SINCE.

4. ACCORDING TO GRITZ, HE [GRITZ] WAS TASKED TO CONDUCT OPERATIONS IN SE-ASIA BETWEEN 1982 AND 1986 IN ORDER TO DEVELOP INTELLIGENCE PERTAINING TO THE PRESENCE OF USMIL POW/MIA PERSONNEL POSSIBLY REMAINING IN VIETNAM, CAMBODIA AND LAOS. ONE MEMBER OF GRITZ'S "TEAM" WAS AN ALLEGED NAVY SEAL NAMED DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY. GRITZ CLAIMS HE FORMED THIS "TEAM" WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF CIA, DIA, AND THE US ARMY INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT ACTIVITY (ISA). IF THAT WERE TRUE, QUESTIONS ARISE AS TO HOW GRITZ, A FORMER SPECIAL FORCES LT. COLONEL, COULD HAVE FAILED TO CONFIRM WEEKLY'S ALLEGED SEAL BACKGROUND. IN EFFECT, GRITZ RECRUITED A "WEAPONS SPECIALIST" NAMED DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY BASED ON FICTITIOUS CREDENTIALS. SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES COULD BE DESCRIBED AS NOTHING SHORT OF AN UNPROFESSIONAL OPERATION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. IF GRITZ, WITH THE ALLEGED ASSISTANCE OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, WAS INCAPABLE OF RECRUITING LEGITIMATE PERSONNEL, MORE QUESTIONS ARE INEVITABLY RAISED ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF THESE ALLEGED "OPERATIONS" PURPORTEDLY UNDERTAKEN AT THE BEHEST OF, AND WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF, THE US GOVERNMENT.

5. LATER, IN AUGUST 1986, GRITZ CLAIMS HE WAS ASKED TO CONDUCT CLASSIFIED TRAINING OF AFGHAN MUJAHIDEEN PERSONNEL. GRITZ AND CO. -- INCLUDING WEEKLY -- ALLEGEDLY CONDUCTED THIS TRAINING AT A FEDERAL RESERVATION IN NEVADA, THE ENTIRE "OPERATION" ALLEGEDLY FUNDED BY ALBERT HAKIM'S STANFORD TECHNOLOGY GROUP.

6. IT WAS ONLY TWO MONTHS LATER THAT FEDERAL AGENTS CONDUCTED THE NARCOTICS RAIDS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, ARRESTING LISTER AND DISCOVERING LISTER'S CONNECTION TO DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY.

7. WEEKLY WAS CHARGED IN THE C-4 INCIDENT AND QUESTIONED BY PROSECUTORS. IT WAS AT THAT TIME, DURING TAPED INTERVIEWS WITH INVESTIGATORS, THAT WEEKLY ALLUDED TO CIA CONNECTIONS AND A CONNECTION TO GENE HASENFUS, A CIA CONTRACTOR WHOSE CARGO AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN SHOT DOWN OVER NICARAGUA IN OCTOBER 1986 WHILE COVERTLY SUPPLYING THE CONTRAS.

8. ACCORDING TO AT LEAST TWO FORMER CIA DIRECTORATE OF OPERATIONS (DO) OFFICERS WITH EXTENSIVE COVERT OPERATIONS INVOLVEMENT IN CENTRAL AMERICA THROUGHOUT THE 1980s, INCLUDING THE CENTRAL AMERICAN TASK FORCE (CATF), ANY ACTIVITIES MR. WEEKLY MAY HAVE UNDERTAKEN WITH MR. GRITZ -- IF, INDEED, THERE WERE ANY AT ALL -- WERE "IN NO WAY CONNECTED TO ANY US GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA, 'UNOFFICIAL' OR OTHERWISE".

9. AS FOR THE NARCOTICS ACTIVITY, GRITZ ASSERTS THAT HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT WEEKLY'S CONNECTION TO RONALD LISTER OR DRUG TRAFFICKING. BASED ON GRITZ'S PRIOR IGNORANCE OF WEEKLY'S FICTITIOUS SEAL BACKGROUND, GRITZ MAY BE TELLING THE TRUTH IN THS REGARD.

10. WEEKLY WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO TRIAL AND PLED GUILTY TO FEDERAL EXPLOSIVES VIOLATIONS RELATED TO THE "MUJAHIDEEN TRAINING" IN NEVADA. NO CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST WEEKLY RELATED TO THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NARCOTICS ARRESTS.

11. WEEKLY WAS RECRUITED BY GRITZ AND GRITZ ALONE. DESPITE CLAIMS ON GRITZ'S WEBSITE, WHERE HE OFFERS SPECIAL OPERATIONS "ADVENTURES" AND "TRAINING" MATERIALS TO UNWARY BUYERS, DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY WAS NOT A US NAVY SEAL.

12. MOREOVER, IN LATE 2001, GRITZ WAS APPROACHED BY A VERISEAL REPRESENTATIVE AT A GUN SHOW IN OKLAHOMA AND ASKED WHY HE PERSISTED IN THE PROMOTION AND SALE OF "TRAINING" MATERIALS FEATURING "FORMER NAVY SEAL DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY" ON HIS WEBSITE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT GRITZ HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY ADVISED THAT WEEKLY'S "SEAL" CREDENTIALS ARE BOGUS. GRITZ DECLINED TO DISCUSS THE MATTER AND HAS FAILED TO RESPOND TO SUBSEQUENT REQUESTS FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE CONTINUING GRITZ-WEEKLY AFFILIATION.

13. AS OF JUNE 2002 GRITZ CONTINUED TO OFFER HIS "SPIKE" TRAINING TAPES, FEATURING FAKE SEAL "DOCTOR DEATH" DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY, ON THE BOGRITZ.COM WEBSITE//


REFS/1.US Dept of Justice on DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY.

2. CIA on DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY//

http://sec-global.com/services/ctp/vsg/profiles/weeklyds/vsg0006301652.html


****It Should be noted that in 1996, the first reporter investigating Webb's allegations contacted the Veteran's Admin with Weekly's name, record number and MOS.  The VA initially DID verify his status as a SEAL.  Suddenly, the person said "WHOAAA, I wasn't supposed to say that. You'll have to call back"  and then hung up.  All inquiries after that were met with denials.  There is apparently a notation on the file at the VA to deny his service record.

Ran accross this on Richard Armitage's background while researching Weekly on the same site:

http://sec-global.com/services/ctp/vsg/news/021001.html
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Read the 60 minutes transcripts here:
http://www.csun.edu/CommunicationStudies/ben/news/cia/ven/davila.script.html
http://www.csun.edu/CommunicationStudies/ben/news/cia/ven/60m.html
up to 20,000 kilos alleged, agents fired (probably rehired as contarct labor):
http://www.csun.edu/CommunicationStudies/ben/news/cia/ven/980327.html
http://www.csun.edu/CommunicationStudies/ben/news/cia/961122.venez.html



Miami Jury Indicts CIA Assets In a Cocaine-Sex Scandal Involving 20,000 Kilos!
Reported in the Wall Street Journal (22 November 1996) and sent to me by Joe Horman.
Now let me get this straight. A couple days before this indictment is reported CIA director Deutch is swearing up and down he has seen no evidence of CIA drug connections. Yet the indictment gets very little coverage in the mainstream press. See also "New Dirt on CIA Drug Operations": Why was the recent Miami trial of Venezuelan CIA assets and DEA agents ignored in the mainstream press coverage of the Webb story? Also see "The CIA: An Unfunny Joke" by Larry Taylor.
November 22, 1996-

In an ongoing scandal ballooning by the day, the Wall Street Journal
reported today that a CIA asset in Venezuela has been indicted by a
Miami federal grand jury on charges of smuggling more than 20,000 kilos
of pure cocaine into the United States.

So far one CIA agent was forced to resign, a second disciplined and the
careers of two Drug Enforcement Administration officers effectively
ended in the plot.

An internal investigation grew more complicated with the discovery that
the male CIA agent and the two Venezuelan men had sexual relationships
with the two female DEA agents. The case involves the same program under
which the agency created a Haitian intelligence service whose officers
became involved in drug trafficking and acts of political terror. Its
exposure comes amidst Justice Department and CIA investigations into
allegations the CIA helped finance the Contra war in the 1980s with
profits from cocaine smuggled into the United States by members of its
Contra army.

In the mid-1980's, under orders from President Ronald Reagan, the
agency began to set up anti-drug programs in the major cocaine-producing
and trafficking capitals of Central and South America. In Venezuela it
worked with the country's National Guard, a paramilitary force that
controls the highways and borders. Government officials said that the
joint CIA-Venezuelan force was headed by Gen. Ramon Guillen Davila who
was indicted today, and that the ranking CIA officer was Mark McFarlin,
who had worked with anti-guerrilla forces in El Salvador in the 1980's.

Guillen worked for Venezuelan drug organizations, and he worked for
Colombian drug organizations a source said. In late 1990, police
tipped the DEA that Guillen's men were guarding a cocaine shipment
instead of seizing it. The DEA investigated and informed the CIA. The
CIA allowed the cocaine deals to continue, CIA agent McFarlin said, in
order to keep information channels with Guillen open.

In an interview from his modest home in Caracas, Guillen told the Wall
Street Journal his Venezuelan National Guard anti-narcotics unit sent
about 4,100 pounds of cocaine to the United States with the knowledge of
the CIA and the DEA to help U.S. officials snare drug traffickers.
But law-enforcement officials familiar with the case told the newspaper
Guillen's unit shipped as much as 22 tons of cocaine into the United
States during the period when he headed it, between 1987 and 1991.

22 tons of cocaine, the equivalent of 20,000 kilos, would have a street
value in the United States of $4 billion dollars if sold in powder
form. When formulated into crack cocaine the street value is estimated
at more than $7 billion dollars.










opyright 1995 Burrelle's Information Services
CBS News Transcripts
SHOW: 60 MINUTES (7:00 PM ET)
September 03, 1995, Sunday
TYPE: Profile
LENGTH: 2600 words
HEADLINE: THE CIA'S COCAINE; USE OF TAXPAYER MONEY FOR CIA INVOLVEMENT IN DRUG
TRAFFICKING AND DRUG SMUGGLING
ANCHORS: MIKE WALLACE
BODY:
THE CIA'S COCAINE
MIKE WALLACE, co-host:


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

A ton of cocaine, pure cocaine worth hundreds of millions of dollars,
smuggled into the United States. Sound familiar? Not the way this ton of
cocaine got here, according to the former head of the Drug Enforcement
Administration. This drug shipment got here courtesy of what he called drug
trafficking by the CIA in partnership with the Venezuelan national guard. When
we first broadcast this report two years ago, rumors of CIA involvement in drug
trafficking had been circulating for years, but no one in the US government had
ever before publicly charged the CIA with doing it. For it's surely not the
kind of accusation anyone in the US government would make without thinking long
and hard.
(Footage of Judge Robert Bonner)
WALLACE: Let me understand what you're saying. A ton of cocaine was smuggled
into the United States of America by the Venezuelan national guard...
Judge ROBERT BONNER (Former Head, Drug Enforcement Administration): Well,
they...
WALLACE: ...in cooperation with the CIA?


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

Judge BONNER: That's what--that's exactly what appears to have happened.
(Footage of Wallace and Bonner walking)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Until last month, Judge Robert Bonner was the head of
the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA. And Judge Bonner explained to us
that only the head of the DEA is authorized to approve the transportation of any
illegal narcotics, like cocaine, into this country, even if the CIA is bringing
it in.
Judge BONNER: Let me put it this way, Mike. If this has not been approved by
DEA or an appropriate law-enforcement authority in the United States, then it's
illegal. It's called drug trafficking. It's called drug smuggling.
WALLACE: So what you're saying, in effect, is the CIA broke the law, simple
as that.
Judge BONNER: I don't think there's any other way you can rationalize around
it, assuming, as I think we can, that there was some knowledge on the part of
CIA. At least some participation in approving or condoning this to be done.


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

(Footage of Wallace and Bonner; the CIA seal)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Judge Bonner says he came to that conclusion after a
two-year secret investigation conducted by the DEA's Office of Professional
Responsibility, in cooperation with the CIA's own inspector general. And what
reason did the CIA have for promoting this drug smuggling?
Judge BONNER: Well, the only rationale that's ever been offered is that
that--this would lead to some valuable drug intelligence about the Colombian
cartels.
(Footage of a drug inspection; a ship; trucks; a building; General Ramon
Guillen Davila)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Over half of the Colombian drug cartel's cocaine crosses
the border with Venezuela on its way to the United States and Europe. Back in
the 1980s, the CIA was mandated by then-President Reagan to develop intelligence
on the Colombian drug cartels. And so the CIA, with Venezuela's guardia
nacional, or national guard, set up an undercover operation, a drug-smuggling
operation in Venezuela that could handle the trans-shipment of the Colombian
cartel's cocaine on its way to market. The plan was to infiltrate the cartel,


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

and it worked, for the CIA-national guard undercover operation quickly
accumulated this cocaine, over a ton and a half that was smuggled from Colombia
into Venezuela inside these trucks and then was stored here at the CIA-financed
Counternarcotics Intelligence Center in Caracas. The center's commander and the
CIA's man in Venezuela was national guard General Ramon Guillen Davila.
Ms. ANNABELLE GRIMM (Drug Enforcement Agency): I tried to work together with
them. I was always aware that they were not telling me everything they were
doing.
(Footage of Grimm; a building; Mark McFarlin; a plane taking off)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Annabelle Grimm was a DEA agent with 18 years'
experience when she was made agent-in-charge in Caracas. And she says that the
CIA station chief, James Campbell, and this man, Mark McFarlin, the CIA officer
in charge at the center, told her that to keep the undercover smuggling
operation credible, they had to keep the cartel happy, and the way to do that
was simple: deliver their dope, untouched by US law enforcement, to the cartel's
distributors, their dope dealers in the United States.


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

Ms. GRIMM: The CIA and the guardia nacional wanted to let cocaine go on into
the traffic without doing anything. They wanted to let it come up to the United
States, no surveillance, no nothing.
WALLACE: In other words, you weren't going to stop them in Miami or Houston
or wherever. These drugs were simply going to go to the United States and then
go into the traffic and eventually rich--reach the streets.
Ms. GRIMM: That's what they wanted to do, yes. And we had very, very
lengthy discussions where I told them what the US law was and the fact that we
could not do this.
WALLACE: So here you've got Jim Campbell, chief of station, who knows about
this; Mark McFarlin, CIA officer, knows about this and are stimulating
this--this business of sending what are uncontrolled deliveries of
drugs--smuggling drugs into the United States, right?
Ms. GRIMM: Right.
WALLACE: Why in the world would they want to do that?


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

Ms. GRIMM: As they explained to me, that--this would enable them to gain the
traffickers' confidence, keep their informant cool and it would result in future
seizures of larger quantities of drugs. And also, they hoped to--I guess they
thought they were going to get Pablo Escobar at the scene of the crime or
something, which I found personally ludicrous.
WALLACE: But if Annabelle Grimm thought this was ludicrous, the CIA station
chief, James Campbell, did not. He enlisted the assistance of CIA headquarters
in Washington to get approval for the drug shipments. And his bosses at the CIA
in Washington went over Annabelle Grimm's head, directly to her bosses at DEA
headquarters in Washington.
Judge BONNER: They made this proposal and we said, 'No, no way. We will not
permit this. It should not go forward.' And then, apparently, it went forward
anyway.
(Footage of Wallace and Bonner; a guardia national truck; inspectors)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The joint DEA-CIA investigation we mentioned earlier
confirmed that over a ton of cocaine made its way from the Counternarcotics
Center in Caracas to the streets of the United States. And they discovered


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

that at one point, General Guillen's national guard tried to ship 1,500 kilos
at once.
Ms. GRIMM: They were not successful in that because apparently the package
they had put together was too large. It wouldn't fit on the plane.
(Footage of Guillen)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) General Guillen admits to the bungled operation.
General RAMON GUILLEN DAVILA (Venezuelan Guardia Nacional): (Through
Translator) It was too big for the airplane door because the plane was a 707.
WALLACE: The box was too big to get into the airplane, $ 30 million worth of
cargo, drugs? All these officials--the Venezuelans, the Americans,
the--the--the Colombians--all so stupid that they don't have a box that's small
enough to fit inside their own airplane?
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) The traffickers made a mistake with the
plane.


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

(Footage of Guillen)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Is it possible that General Guillen was doing this on
his own, without the knowledge of the CIA?
Ms. GRIMM: I would find it very difficult, for several reasons, to believe
that they did not know what was going on. They built, they ran, they controlled
that center. General Guillen and his officers didn't go to the bathroom
without telling Mark McFarlin or the CIA what they were going to do.
(Footage of traffic; a Colombia road sign; an airplane landing)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The drug-smuggling operation finally unraveled nearly a
year after Annabelle Grimm says she told the CIA and General Guillen that it
was illegal to send drugs uncontrolled into the US. Then a shipment arrived at
Miami's International Airport and was seized, coincidentally, by US Customs.
Customs traced those drugs back to the Venezuelan national guard, but General
Guillen told us that operation had been approved by US authorities.
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) Look, what I see here is that there is
a problem between the CIA and the DEA, and perhaps they are trying to find a


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

fall guy, who is General Guillen. If I had anything to do with illegal drug
trafficking, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you.
(Footage of Guillen; a document)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) General Guillen is right about one thing. He could
travel to New York to talk to us about Judge Bonner's charges only because he
had already been granted immunity from prosecution in that DEA-CIA inspector
general's investigation. So we confronted the general with this document, a
report from that investigation that reads like his confession.
(Reading) 'Guillen lost his composure, and when directly confronted
concerning his involvement in the unauthorized and illegal shipment of cocaine
to the US, confesses.'
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) Look, I say that that confession is not
true. In that report, there are a lot of lies. It's useless. I have not
confessed anywhere.
WALLACE: So you're clean?


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) Clean until the last day God has for
me.
(Footage of Guillen; buildings; a document; McFarlin in a truck; a
photograph of James Campbell; the CIA logo)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) So far there has been no legal action against General
Guillen. As for the CIA officers? Well, Judge Bonner may believe that
someone at the agency must have known, but the CIA and the US Department of
Justice say they have discovered, quote, "No evidence of criminal wrongdoing."
However, the CIA did acknowledge to us that the investigation, quote, "Did
reveal instances of poor judgment and management, leading to disciplinary
actions for several CIA officers." Mark McFarlin, the CIA officer in charge of
the Counternarcotics Center, resigned from the agency last year. We tried to
talk to him, but he told us the CIA would take legal action against him if he
violated his secrecy agreement with the agency. As for James Campbell, the CIA
station chief, we learned he was brought back to the US and promoted, but then
he retired. Campbell did tell us, quote, "I've devoted my life to my country
and feel like a victim in this thing. This happened without our knowledge. We
were there to prevent it." While CIA headquarters declined to answer our
questions on camera, off camera a CIA official involved in the Venezuelan


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

cocaine operation did.
We talked to some people at CIA. They say, 'The DEA does the same thing all
the time. They let drugs walk. They let drugs into the traffic, and look the
other way to further a more important goal.'
Judge BONNER: It's absolutely untrue. And frankly, maybe it--it--it displays
the kind of ignorance that makes the CIA dangerous in this area. It is wrong for
an agency of the US government to facilitate and participate in allowing drugs
to reach the streets. And apparently--you know, if the--if the CIA doesn't
understand that, then I--I would be concerned that this kind of incident could
be repeated.
(Footage of Wallace and Dennis DeConcini)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The CIA advised us they had recently briefed the
chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dennis DeConcini, and
they urged us to talk with him, apparently believing he would defend the
operation.


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

Senator DENNIS DeCONCINI (Senate Intelligence Committee): Here we--it was an
operation that I don't think they should have been involved in.
WALLACE: No question, the drugs got in?
Sen. DeCONCINI: I don't doubt that the drugs got in here.
WALLACE: You'd think that maybe the agency would want to say, 'OK, we made a
mistake.'
Sen. DeCONCINI: I think they made a mistake.
WALLACE: Yeah.
Sen. DeCONCINI: And I--you know, you hope when these mistakes are made that,
hell, not too many more of them are, particularly when the mistake is a large
quantity of substance like this that can kill people, and probably did.
(Footage of Wallace and DeConcini)


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

WALLACE: (Voiceover) We asked the senator why no one in the CIA has been
prosecuted for bringing in the drugs.
Sen. DeCONCINI: It--you would seem to think there would be a good case
there.
WALLACE: A case against?
Sen. DeCONCINI: Against an American who knew anything about it. But, you
know, I've been a prosecutor, Mike, and you have to look at the case, convince
a--a jury or a judge not to throw the case out. The Justice Department reviewed
that and they decided not to prosecute these individuals from the agency.
(Footage of the Venezuelan intelligence agency)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) And what about the vaunted intelligence gathered from
the whole CIA, anti-drug caper in Venezuela?
Judge BONNER: Well, let me tell you, I--first of all, I don't know of any.
Because from what I know, no valuable intelligence of any kind was produced from
this operation.


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

WALLACE: What intelligence was generated by the shipment of this 1,000 to
1,500 kilos, controlled or uncontrolled?
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) It was very positive.
WALLACE: Really? Who--who--who did you finger? What did you find out?
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) Right now, a truck driver and the truck
that were trafficking drugs into Venezuela are under arrest. There was another
truck and two similar van types were also caught.
WALLACE: So what you're saying is that you captured three or four or five
truck drivers. I'm asking about intelligence in the United States that was
generated by the actual shipment of these kilos into the United States.
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through Translator) Now whether or not here in the United
States they arrested anyone or the intelligence gathered was useless, that is
the responsibility of the Americans.
WALLACE: After speaking to us, General Guillen traveled to Miami, where
federal agents found him and served him with a subpoena to appear before a


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

newly revived grand jury investigation into the CIA's cocaine. But the word out
of Venezuela is that the government there will not permit him to testify.
Ms. GRIMM: I look at that 1,000 kilos, at least that 1,000 kilos. I look at
the fact--I mean, Mike, you're a taxpayer and that was US taxpayer money that
built that center, that funded it, that maintained it. And I really take great
exception to the fact that that 1,000 kilos came in funded by US taxpayer money
and it hit the streets of the United States. I found that particularly
appalling when you look at all the damaged lives that 1,000 kilos represents.
WALLACE: After that broadcast two years ago, and following our interview,
Venezuela's General Guillen was served with a subpoena to appear before a
federal grand jury in Miami that was investigating the CIA cocaine episode. But
he decided to skip that appearance and he returned to Venezuela where he
promptly retired, and received a blanket pardon for any drug crimes he might
have committed, while he was head of his country's anti-narcotics effort.
Meantime, sources in the US drug enforcement community tell us now the CIA
has changed its ways. For instance, the CIA provided major assistance that led
to the recent arrests of the high command of the Cali drug cartel in Colombia.
And the CIA, under its new director, John Deutch, has made working with law


CBS News Transcripts, September 03, 1995, Sunday

enforcement to stem the tide of illegal drugs into the United States its highest
priority.

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Terrorist and contra-drug smuggler Enrique POSADA sneaks into the USA after escaping into Honduras on a fake U.S. Passport.  The saga continues...and where is Dept. of Homeland Security?,  probably harassing people who have never killed civillians or smuggled drugs for the contras......




http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1364932.htm

Last Update: Wednesday, May 11, 2005. 12:00pm (AEST)        

CIA files throw light on accused terrorist in US


Declassified US files have revealed an anti-communist Cuban, who has applied for asylum in the United States but is wanted by Venezuela for the bombing of a Cuban airliner 29 years ago, spent years on the CIA payroll.

CIA and FBI files, published by George Washington University's National Security Archive, revealed US investigators believed Luis Posada Carriles was involved in the 1976 bombing plot in Venezuela of the Cubana Airlines jet in which 73 passengers died, including teenage members of a Cuban fencing team.

Posada's application for asylum has presented the US Government with a dilemma of how to reconcile its traditional sympathy for politically powerful Cuban exiles, and its firm stand after September 11, 2001, against terrorism suspects.

Venezuela, now a close ally of communist Cuba, plans to ask for his extradition and Cuban President Fidel Castro has used his presence in Miami to hammer away at what he calls US hypocrisy in the war on terrorism.

"We going to step up our demands for extradition," Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told reporters last week.

"I hope Mr Bush will take note of his own anti-terrorism policies and hand over Posada Carriles."

Cuba also blames Posada for a wave of bomb blasts at Cuban hotels that killed an Italian businessman in 1997.

Posada was arrested by Venezuela after the Cubana jet came down off the coast of Barbados but was not convicted before escaping from prison in 1985 disguised as a priest.

He was arrested again in Panama in 2000 and jailed in connection with a plot to blow up Mr Castro during a summit and then pardoned last year by outgoing President Mireya Moscoso.

Posada, now 77, disappeared after the pardon but his lawyers said he arrived in Miami about a month ago after slipping into the United States illegally.

He has not been seen in public but applied for asylum through a lawyer, galvanising the Cuban American community in Miami, where anti-Castro militants are often feted as heroes but also sparking an uncomfortable debate about terrorism.

In an FBI report a day after the Cubana bombing, the agency said a source "all but admitted that Posada and [Miami doctor Orlando] Bosch had engineered the bombing of the airline".

Another FBI report cited a confidential source as saying that Posada was one of several people who met at least twice at the Anauco Hilton in Caracas to plot the attack.

The CIA reports acknowledged that Posada was a "former agent" in the 1960s and early 1970s and remained an informant until mid-1976.

He was paid $300 a month, one document said.

His lawyer, Eduardo Soto, has said his client has never been convicted of a terrorist act.

US officials say they have no evidence that Posada is in the country and would deal with any asylum application from him as they would with any other.

Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Documentation Project, said Posada's presence posed a direct challenge to President George W Bush.

"The declassified record leaves no doubt that Posada has been one of the world's most unremitting purveyors of terrorist violence," Mr Kornbluh said in a statement.

In addition to linking Posada to the airline bombing, the documents showed he went to El Salvador after his escape from Venezuela and joined the covert US effort, directed by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, to resupply the anti-communist Contra guerrillas with weapons.

The documents also connected him to a plot to overthrow the Guatemalan government in 1965 and said he handed over weapons, including a flame thrower and six gallons of napalm, to a US customs agent when the plan was uncovered.

Others described a plan to place limpet mines on Cuban or Soviet freighters in the Mexican port of Veracruz.

-Reuters



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB153/index.htm
Retired DEA agent Celerino Castillo III documented this man smuggling coke for Ollie North.   http://www.powderburns.org


Press Coverage
"Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist"
by Tim Weiner
New York Times
May 9, 2005
"Papers connect exile to bomb plot"
by Oscar Corral
Miami Herald
May 10, 2005
"Documentos vinculan a Posada con ataque"
por Oscar Corral
Miami Herald via elnuevoherald.com
May 10, 2005

LUIS POSADA CARRILES
THE DECLASSIFIED RECORD

CIA and FBI Documents Detail Career in International Terrorism; Connection to U.S.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 153

For more information contact
Peter Kornbluh - 202/994-7116

May 10, 2005

 

 

Washington D.C. May 10, 2005 - Declassified CIA and FBI records posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University identify Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who is apparently in Florida seeking asylum, as a former CIA agent and as one of the "engineer[s]" of the 1976 terrorist bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 that killed 73 passengers.

The documents include a November 1976 FBI report on the bombing cited in yesterday's New York Times article "Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist," CIA trace reports covering the Agency's recruitment of Posada in the 1960s, as well as the FBI intelligence reporting on the downing of the plane. The Archive also posted a second FBI report, dated one day after the bombing, in which a confidential source "all but admitted that Posada and [Orlando] Bosch had engineered the bombing of the airline." In addition, the posting includes several documents relating to Bosch and his suspected role in the downing of the jetliner on October 6, 1976.

Using a false passport, Posada apparently snuck into the United States in late March and remains in hiding. His lawyer announced that Posada is asking the Bush administration for asylum because of the work he had done for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s. The documents posted today include CIA records confirming that Posada was an agent in the 1960s and early 1970s, and remained an informant in regular contact with CIA officials at least until June 1976.

In 1985, Posada escaped from prison in Venezuela where he had been incarcerated after the plane bombing and remains a fugitive from justice. He went directly to El Salvador, where he worked, using the alias "Ramon Medina," on the illegal contra resupply program being run by Lt. Col. Oliver North in the Reagan National Security Council. In 1998 he was interviewed by Ann Louise Bardach for the New York Times at a secret location in Aruba, and claimed responsibility for a string of hotel bombings in Havana during which eleven people were injured and one Italian businessman was killed. Most recently he was imprisoned in Panama for trying to assassinate Fidel Castro in December 2000 with 33 pounds of C-4 explosives. In September 2004, he and three co-conspirators were suddenly pardoned, and Posada went to Honduras. Venezuela is now preparing to submit an official extradition request to the United States for his return.

According to Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Archive's Cuba Documentation Project, Posada's presence in the United States "poses a direct challenge to the Bush administration's terrorism policy. The declassified record," he said, "leaves no doubt that Posada has been one of the world's most unremitting purveyors of terrorist violence." President Bush has repeatedly stated that no nation should harbor terrorists, and all nations should work to bring individuals who advocate and employ the use of terror tactics to justice. During the Presidential campaign last year Bush stated that "I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." Although Posada has reportedly been in the Miami area for more than six weeks, the FBI has indicated it is not actively searching for him.


Documents
Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

THE CIA CONNECTION

Luis Posada Carriles had a long relationship with the CIA. In February 1961, he joined the CIA's Brigade 2506 to invade Cuba, although the ship to which he was assigned never landed at the Bay of Pigs. While in the U.S. military between 1963 and 1965 the CIA recruited him and trained him in demolitions; he subsequently became a trainer of other paramilitary exile forces in the mid 1960s. CIA documents posted below reveal that he was terminated as an asset in July 1967, but then reinstated four months later and apparently remained an asset until 1974. The documents also show that he remained in contact with the Agency until June 1976, only three months before the plane bombing.

Document 1: CIA, October 13, 1976, Report, "Traces on Persons Involved in 6 Oct 1976 Cubana Crash."

In the aftermath of the bombing of Cubana flight 455, the CIA ran a file check on all names associated with the terror attack. In a report to the FBI the Agency stated that it had no association with the two Venezuelans who were arrested. A section on Luis Posada Carriles was heavily redacted when the document was declassified. But the FBI retransmitted the report three days later and that version was released uncensored revealing Posada's relations with the CIA.

Document 2: FBI, October 16, 1976, Retransmission of CIA Trace Report

In this uncensored version of the CIA trace report, the Agency admits that it "had a relationship with one person whose name has been mentioned in connection with the reported bombing," Luis Posada Carriles. The CIA file check shows that Posada was "a former agent of CIA." Although it doesn't say when his employment began, it indicates he was terminated briefly in the summer of 1967 but then reinstated in the fall and continued as an asset while a high level official in the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP, until 1974. Even then, "occasional contact with him" continued until June 1976.

Document 3: CIA, June 1966, File search on Luis "Pozada"

In this file search the CIA states that Posada has "been of operational interest to this Agency since April 1965," the likely date when he first became a paid CIA agent.

Document 4: FBI, July 18, 1966, "Cuba"

An informant reports to the FBI that Posada is a CIA agent and is "receiving approximately $300.00 per month from CIA."

Document 5: CIA, April 17, 1972, Personal Record Questionnaire on Posada

This "PRQ" was compiled in 1972 at a time Posada was a high level official at the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP, in charge of demolitions. The CIA was beginning to have some concerns about him, based on reports that he had taken CIA explosives equipment to Venezuela, and that he had ties to a Miami mafia figure named Lefty Rosenthal. The PRQ spells out Posada's personal background and includes his travel to various countries between 1956 and 1971. It also confirms that one of his many aliases was "Bambi Carriles."

EARLY TERRORIST PLOTTING

During the time that Posada was on the CIA payroll in the mid-1960s, he participated in a number of plots that involved sabotage and explosives. FBI reporting recorded some of Posada's earliest activities, including his financial ties to Jorge Mas Canosa, who would later become head of the powerful anti-Castro lobby, the Cuban American National Foundation.

Document 6: FBI, July 7, 1965, "Luis Posada Carriles"

The FBI transmits information obtained from the CIA's Mexico station titled "Intention of Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE) to Blow up a Cuban or Soviet Vessel in Veracruz, Mexico." The document summarizes intelligence on a payment that Jorge Mas Canosa, then the head of RECE, has made to Luis Posada to finance a sabotage operation against ships in Mexico. Posada reportedly has "100 pounds of C-4 explosives and detonators" and limpet mines to use in the operation.

Document 7: FBI, July 13, 1965, "Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE)"

A FBI cable reports on intelligence obtained from "MM T-1" (a code reference to the CIA) on a number of RECE terrorist operations, including the bombing of the Soviet library in Mexico City. The document contains information on payments from Jorge Mas Canosa to Luis Posada for an operation to bomb ships in the port of Veracruz, as well as a description of Posada and a statement he gave to the FBI in June of 1964.

Document 8: FBI, May 17, 1965, "Roberto Alejos Arzu; Luis Sierra Lopez, Neutrality Matters, Internal Security-Guatemala"

The FBI links Posada to a major plot to overthrow the government of Guatemala. U.S. Customs agents force Posada and other co-conspirators to turn over a cache of weapons that are listed in this document. The weapons include napalm, 80 pounds of C-4 explosives, and 28 pounds of C-3 explosives.

BOMBING OF CUBANA FLIGHT 455

Document 9: FBI, October 7, 1976, Secret Intelligence Report, "Suspected Bombing of Cubana Airlines DC-8 Near Barbados"

In one of the very first reports on the October 6, 1976, downing of Cubana Flight 455, the FBI Venezuelan bureau cables that a confidential source has identified Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch as responsible for the bombing. "The source all but admitted that Posada and Bosch had engineered the bombing of the airline," according to the report. The report appears to indicate that the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, were arranging for Bosch and Posada to leave Caracas, although this section of the document has been censored.

In the report, the FBI identifies two Venezuelan suspects arrested in Barbados: Freddy Lugo and Jose Vazquez Garcia. Vazquez Garcia is an alias for Hernan Ricardo Lozano. Both Ricardo and Lugo worked for Luis Posada's private security firm in Caracas at the time of the bombing.

Document 10: FBI, November 2, 1976, Secret Intelligence Report "Bombing of Cubana Airlines DC-8 Near Barbados, West Indies, October 6, 1976"

The FBI receives information from a source who has spoken with Ricardo Morales Navarrete, a Cuban exile informant working for DISIP in Caracas. Known as "Monkey" Morales, he tells the FBI source of two meetings during which plotting for the plane bombing took place: one in the Hotel Anauco Hilton in Caracas, and another in Morales room at the Hilton. Both meetings were attended by Posada Carriles. A key passage of the report quotes Morales as stating that "some people in the Venezuelan government are involved in this airplane bombing, and that if Posada Carriles talks, then Morales Navarrete and others in the Venezuelan government will 'go down the tube.' He said that if people start talking 'we'll have our own Watergate.'" Morales also states that after the plane went down, one of the men who placed the bomb aboard the jet called Orlando Bosch and reported: "A bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff and all got killed."

Document 11: FBI, November 3, 1976, Cable, "Bombing of Cubana Airlines DC-8 Near Barbados, West Indies, October 6, 1976"

The FBI reports on arrest warrants issued by a Venezuelan judge for Posada, Bosch, Freddy Lugo and Ricardo Lozano.

ORLANDO BOSCH AND ANTI-CASTRO TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

Document 12: FBI, January 24, 1977, Secret Report, "Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU) Neutrality Matters - Cuba - (Anti-Castro)"

The FBI reports on a plot to carry out terrorist attacks that will divert attention from the prosecution of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada in Caracas. Orders for the attacks are attributed to Orlando Garcia Vazquez, a Cuban exile who was then head of the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP. (Garcia Vazquez currently lives in Miami.) The report also provides some details on CORU.

Document 13: FBI, August 16, 1978, Secret Report, "Coordinacion de Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas (Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations) (CORU), Neutrality Matters - Cuba - (Anti-Castro)"

This FBI report provides a comprehensive overview of CORU which the FBI describes as "an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization" headed by Orlando Bosch. The report records how CORU was created at a secret meeting in Santo Domingo on June 11, 1976, during which a series of bombing attacks were planned, including the bombing of a Cubana airliner. On page 6, the report relates in great detail how Orlando Bosch was met in Caracas on September 8, 1976, by Luis Posada and other anti-Castro exiles and a deal was struck as to what kind of activities he could organize on Venezuelan soil. The document also contains substantive details on behind-the-scene efforts in Caracas to obtain the early release of Bosch and Posada from prison.

IRAN-CONTRA AND POSADA (A.K.A. RAMON MEDINA)

Document 14: September 2, 1986, Contra re-supply document, [Distribution of Warehoused Contra Weapons and Equipment - in Spanish with English translation]

After bribing his way out of prison in Venezuela in September 1985, Posada went directly to El Salvador to work on the illicit contra resupply operations being run by Lt. Col. Oliver North. Posada assumed the name "Ramon Medina," and worked as a deputy to another anti-Castro Cuban exile, Felix Rodriguez, who was in charge of a small airlift of arms and supplies to the contras in Southern Nicaragua. Rodriguez used the code name, Max Gomez. This document, released during the Congressional investigation into the Iran-Contra operations, records both Posada and Rodriguez obtaining supplies for contra troops from a warehouse at Illopango airbase in San Salvador.




A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB113/

From United States v. Oliver L. North, Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) Papers, National Archives & Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

The Oliver North File:
His Diaries, E-Mail, and Memos on
the Kerry Report, Contras and Drugs

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 113

February 26, 2004

For further information Contact
Peter Kornbluh: 202/994-7116

Washington D.C., 26 February 2004 - Diaries, e-mail, and memos of Iran-contra figure Oliver North, posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive, directly contradict his criticisms yesterday of Sen. John Kerry's 1988 Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee report on the ways that covert support for the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s undermined the U.S. war on drugs.

Mr. North claimed to talk show hosts Hannity & Colmes that the Kerry report was "wrong," that Sen. Kerry "makes this stuff up and then he can't justify it," and that "The fact is nobody in the government of the United States, going all the way back to the earliest days of this under Jimmy Carter, ever had anything to do with running drugs to support the Nicaraguan resistance. Nobody in the government of the United States. I will stand on that to my grave."

The Kerry subcommittee did not report that U.S. government officials ran drugs, but rather, that Mr. North, then on the National Security Council staff at the White House, and other senior officials created a privatized contra network that attracted drug traffickers looking for cover for their operations, then turned a blind eye to repeated reports of drug smuggling related to the contras, and actively worked with known drug smugglers such as Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to assist the contras. The report cited former Drug Enforcement Administration head John Lawn testifying that Mr. North himself had prematurely leaked a DEA undercover operation, jeopardizing agents' lives, for political advantage in an upcoming Congressional vote on aid to the contras (p.121).

Among the documents posted today are:

  • Mr. North's diary entries, from the reporter's notebooks he kept in those years, noting multiple reports of drug smuggling among the contras. A Washington Post investigation published on 22 October 1994 found no evidence he had relayed these reports to the DEA or other law enforcement authorities.
  • Memos from North aide Robert Owen to Mr. North recounting drug-running "indiscretions" among the contras, warning that a known drug-smuggling airplane was delivering taxpayer-funded "humanitarian aid" overseen by Mr. North.
  • Mr. North's White House e-mails recounting his efforts to spring from prison a Honduran general who could "spill the beans" on the secret contra war, even though the Justice Department termed the Honduran a "narcoterrorist" for his involvement in cocaine smuggling and an assassination plot.

Also in the posting is Peter Kornbluh's detailed critique - the January/February 1997 cover story in the Columbia Journalism Review - of news coverage of the contra-drug allegations, including the controversial San Jose Mercury News series.


Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Read the Documents

Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras

Evidence that NSC Staff Supported Using Drug Money to Fund the Contras

U.S. Officials and Major Traffickers

Kerry Report - Iran/Contra North Notebook Citation Bibliography

Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras

The National Security Archive obtained the hand-written notebooks of Oliver North, the National Security Council aide who helped run the contra war and other Reagan administration covert operations, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in 1989 with Public Citizen Litigation Group. The notebooks, as well as declassified memos sent to North, record that North was repeatedly informed of contra ties to drug trafficking.

Document 1
In his entry for August 9, 1985, North summarizes a meeting with Robert Owen ("Rob"), his liaison with the contras. They discuss a plane used by Mario Calero, brother of Adolfo Calero, head of the FDN, to transport supplies from New Orleans to contras in Honduras. North writes: "Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S." As Lorraine Adams reported in the October 22, 1994 Washington Post, there are no records that corroborate North's later assertion that he passed this intelligence on drug trafficking to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Document 2
In a July 12, 1985 entry, North noted a call from retired Air Force general Richard Secord in which the two discussed a Honduran arms warehouse from which the contras planned to purchase weapons. (The contras did eventually buy the arms, using money the Reagan administration secretly raised from Saudi Arabia.) According to the notebook, Secord told North that "14 M to finance [the arms in the warehouse] came from drugs."

Document 3
An April 1, 1985 memo from Robert Owen (code-name: "T.C." for "The Courier") to Oliver North (code-name: "The Hammer") describes contra operations on the Southern Front. Owen tells North that FDN leader Adolfo Calero (code-name: "Sparkplug") has picked a new Southern Front commander, one of the former captains to Eden Pastora who has been paid to defect to the FDN. Owen reports that the officials in the new Southern Front FDN units include "people who are questionable because of past indiscretions," such as José Robelo, who is believed to have "potential involvement with drug running" and Sebastian Gonzalez, who is "now involved in drug running out of Panama."

Document 4
On February 10, 1986, Owen ("TC") wrote North (this time as "BG," for "Blood and Guts") regarding a plane being used to carry "humanitarian aid" to the contras that was previously used to transport drugs. The plane belongs to the Miami-based company Vortex, which is run by Michael Palmer, one of the largest marijuana traffickers in the United States. Despite Palmer's long history of drug smuggling, which would soon lead to a Michigan indictment on drug charges, Palmer receives over $300,000.00 from the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Aid Office (NHAO) -- an office overseen by Oliver North, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Elliott Abrams, and CIA officer Alan Fiers -- to ferry supplies to the contras.

Document 5a and Document 5b
State Department contracts from February 1986 detail Palmer's work to transport material to the contras on behalf of the NHAO.


Evidence that NSC Staff Supported Using Drug Money to Fund the Contras

In 1987, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations, led by Senator John Kerry, launched an investigation of allegations arising from reports of contra-drug links. One of the incidents examined by the "Kerry Committee" was an effort to divert drug money from a counternarcotics operation to the contra war.

On July 28, 1988, two DEA agents testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime regarding a sting operation conducted against the Medellin Cartel. The two agents said that in 1985 Oliver North had wanted to take $1.5 million in Cartel bribe money that was carried by a DEA informant and give it to the contras. DEA officials rejected the idea.

Document 6 [90 pp. / 9.47 MB - For best results, Right click and select "Save Target As..."]
Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, A Report Prepared by the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations of the Committtee on Foreign Relations, 100th Congress, 2d Session
The Kerry Committee report concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." (See page 41)

U.S. Officials and Major Traffickers

Manuel Noriega

In June, 1986, the New York Times published articles detailing years of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's collaboration with Colombian drug traffickers. Reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that Noriega "is extensively involved in illicit money laundering and drug activities," and that an unnamed White House official "said the most significant drug running in Panama was being directed by General Noriega." In August, Noriega, a long-standing U.S. intelligence asset, sent an emissary to Washington to seek assistance from the Reagan administration in rehabilitating his drug-stained reputation.

Document 7
Oliver North, who met with Noriega's representative, described the meeting in an August 23, 1986 e-mail message to Reagan national security advisor John Poindexter. "You will recall that over the years Manuel Noriega in Panama and I have developed a fairly good relationship," North writes before explaining Noriega's proposal. If U.S. officials can "help clean up his image" and lift the ban on arms sales to the Panamanian Defense Force, Noriega will "'take care of' the Sandinista leadership for us."

North tells Poindexter that Noriega can assist with sabotage against the Sandinistas, and suggests paying Noriega a million dollars -- from "Project Democracy" funds raised from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran -- for the Panamanian leader's help in destroying Nicaraguan economic installations.

Document 8
The same day Poindexter responds with an e-mail message authorizing North to meet secretly with Noriega. "I have nothing against him other than his illegal activities," Poindexter writes.

Document 9
On the following day, August 24, North's notebook records a meeting with CIA official Duane "Dewey" Clarridge on Noriega's overture. They decided, according to this entry, to "send word back to Noriega to meet in Europe or Israel."

Document 10
The CIA's Alan Fiers later recalls North's involvement with the Noriega sabotage proposal. In testimony at the 1992 trial of former CIA official Clair George, Fiers describes North's plan as it was discussed at a meeting of the Reagan administration's Restricted Interagency Group: "[North] made a very strong suggestion that . . . there needed to be a resistance presence in the western part of Nicaragua, where the resistance did not operate. And he said, 'I can arrange to have General Noriega execute some insurgent -- some operations there -- sabotage operations in that area. It will cost us about $1 million. Do we want to do it?' And there was significant silence at the table. And then I recall I said, 'No. We don't want to do that.'"

Document 11
Senior officials ignored Fiers' opinion. On September 20, North informed Poindexter via e-mail that "Noriega wants to meet me in London" and that both Elliott Abrams and Secretary of State George Shultz support the initiative. Two days later, Poindexter authorized the North/Noriega meeting.

Document 12
North's notebook lists details of his meeting with Noriega, which took place in a London hotel on September 22. According to the notes, the two discussed developing a commando training program in Panama, with Israeli support, for the contras and Afghani rebels. They also spoke of sabotaging major economic targets in the Managua area, including an airport, an oil refinery, and electric and telephone systems. (These plans were apparently aborted when the Iran-Contra scandal broke in November 1986.)

José Bueso Rosa

Reagan administration officials interceded on behalf of José Bueso Rosa, a Honduran general who was heavily involved with the CIA's contra operations and faced trial for his role in a massive drug shipment to the United States. In 1984 Bueso and co-conspirators hatched a plan to assassinate Honduran President Roberto Suazo Córdoba; the plot was to be financed with a $40 million cocaine shipment to the United States, which the FBI intercepted in Florida.

Document 13
Declassified e-mail messages indicate that Oliver North led the behind-the-scenes effort to seek leniency for Bueso . The messages record the efforts of U.S. officials to "cabal quietly" to get Bueso off the hook, be it by "pardon, clemency, deportation, [or] reduced sentence." Eventually they succeeded in getting Bueso a short sentence in "Club Fed," a white collar prison in Florida.

Document 14 (See page 76 of Document 6, the Kerry Report)
The Kerry Committee report reviewed the case, and noted that the man Reagan officials aided was involved in a conspiracy that the Justice Department deemed the "most significant case of narco-terrorism yet discovered."


Kerry Report - Iran/Contra North Notebook Citation Bibliography

The text below is taken from page 146 of the Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy report prepared by the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations ("Kerry Committee"). Click on the links to view the relevant passages from Oliver North's notebooks.

Case Study: The Drug-Related Entries
...

Among the entries in the North Notebooks which discernably concern narcotics or terrorism are:
May 12, 1984…contract indicates that Gustavo is involved w/ drugs. (Q0266)
June 26, 1984. DEA- (followed by two blocks of text deleted by North) (Q0349)
June 27, 1984. Drug Case - DEA program on controlling cocaine- Ether cutoff- Colombians readjusting- possible negotiations to move on refining effort to Nicaragua- Pablo Escobar-Colombian drug czar- Informant (Pilot) is indicted criminal- Carlos Ledher- Freddy Vaughn (Q0354)
July 9, 1984. [NOTE: Portions transcribed in Kerry Report but deleted from declassified version] Call from Clarridge- Call Michel re Narco Issue- RIG at 1000 Tomorrow (Q0384)- DEA Miami- Pilot went talked to Vaughn- wanted A/C to go to Bolivia to p/u paste- want A/C to p/u 1500 kilos- Bud to meet w/ Group (Q0385)
July 12, 1984. [NOTE: Portions transcribed in Kerry Report but deleted from declassified version] Gen. Gorman-*Include Drug Case (Q0400) Call from Johnstone- (White House deletion) leak on Drug (0402)
July 17, 1984. Call to Frank M- Bud Mullins Re- leak on DEA piece- Carlton Turner (Q0418) Call from Johnstone- McManus, LA Times-says/NSC source claims W.H. has pictures of Borge loading cocaine in Nic. (Q0416)
July 20, 1984. Call from Clarridge:-Alfredo Cesar Re Drugs-Borge/Owen leave Hull alone (Deletions)/Los Brasiles Air Field-Owen off Hull (Q0426)
July 27, 1984. Clarridge:-(Block of White House deleted text follows)-Arturo Cruz, Jr.-Get Alfredo Cesar on Drugs (Q0450)
July 31, 1984. -Finance: Libya- Cuba/Bloc Countries-Drugs. . . Pablo Escobar/Federic Vaughn (Q0460)
July 31, 1984. [NOTE: Portions transcribed in Kerry Report but deleted from declassified version] Staff queries re (White House deletion) role in DEA operations in Nicaragua (Q0461)
December 21, 1984. Call from Clarridge: Ferch (White House deletion)- Tambs- Costa Rica- Felix Rodriguez close to (White House deletion)- not assoc. W/Villoldo- Bay of Pigs- No drugs (Q0922)
January 14, 1985. $14 million to finance came from drugs (Q1039)
July 12, 1985. $14 million to finance came from drugs
August 10, 1985. Mtg w/ A.C.- name of DEA person in New Orleans re Bust on Mario/ DC-6 (Q1140)
February 27, 1986. Mtg w/ Lew Tambs- DEA Auction A/C seized as drug runners.- $250-260K fee (Q2027)

Numerous other entries contain references to individuals or events whoch Subcommittee staff has determined have relevance to narcotics, terrorism, or international operations, but whose ambiguities cannot be resolved without the production of the deleted materials by North and his attorneys.







http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 2

The Contras, Cocaine,
and Covert Operations


An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s. Webb's series, "The Dark Alliance," has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered.

This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.

Special thanks to the Arca Foundation, the Ruth Mott Fund, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Fund for Constitutional Government for their support.

Contents:


Click on the document icon next to each description to view the document.

Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of
Drug Trafficking and the Contras


The National Security Archive obtained the hand-written notebooks of Oliver North, the National Security Council aide who helped run the contra war and other Reagan administration covert operations, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in 1989. The notebooks, as well as declassified memos sent to North, record that North was repeatedly informed of contra ties to drug trafficking.

In his entry for August 9, 1985, North summarizes a meeting with Robert Owen ("Rob"), his liaison with the contras. They discuss a plane used by Mario Calero, brother of Adolfo Calero, head of the FDN, to transport supplies from New Orleans to contras in Honduras. North writes: "Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S." As Lorraine Adams reported in the October 22, 1994 Washington Post, there are no records that corroborate North's later assertion that he passed this intelligence on drug trafficking to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In a July 12, 1985 entry, North noted a call from retired Air Force general Richard Secord in which the two discussed a Honduran arms warehouse from which the contras planned to purchase weapons. (The contras did eventually buy the arms, using money the Reagan administration secretly raised from Saudi Arabia.) According to the notebook, Secord told North that "14 M to finance [the arms in the warehouse] came from drugs."

An April 1, 1985 memo from Robert Owen (code-name: "T.C." for "The Courier") to Oliver North (code-name: "The Hammer") describes contra operations on the Southern Front. Owen tells North that FDN leader Adolfo Calero (code-name: "Sparkplug") has picked a new Southern Front commander, one of the former captains to Eden Pastora who has been paid to defect to the FDN. Owen reports that the officials in the new Southern Front FDN units include "people who are questionable because of past indiscretions," such as José Robelo, who is believed to have "potential involvement with drug running" and Sebastian Gonzalez, who is "now involved in drug running out of Panama."

On February 10, 1986, Owen ("TC") wrote North (this time as "BG," for "Blood and Guts") regarding a plane being used to carry "humanitarian aid" to the contras that was previously used to transport drugs. The plane belongs to the Miami-based company Vortex, which is run by Michael Palmer, one of the largest marijuana traffickers in the United States. Despite Palmer's long history of drug smuggling, which would soon lead to a Michigan indictment on drug charges, Palmer receives over $300,000.00 from the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Aid Office (NHAO) -- an office overseen by Oliver North, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Elliott Abrams, and CIA officer Alan Fiers -- to ferry supplies to the contras.

State Department contracts from February 1986 detail Palmer's work to transport material to the contras on behalf of the NHAO.

Evidence that NSC Staff Supported Using Drug Money to Fund the Contras


In 1987, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations, led by Senator John Kerry, launched an investigation of allegations arising from reports, more than a decade ago, of contra-drug links. One of the incidents examined by the "Kerry Committee" was an effort to divert drug money from a counternarcotics operation to the contra war.

On July 28, 1988, two DEA agents testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime regarding a sting operation conducted against the Medellin Cartel. The two agents said that in 1985 Oliver North had wanted to take $1.5 million in Cartel bribe money that was carried by a DEA informant and give it to the contras. DEA officials rejected the idea.

The Kerry Committee report concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems."

U.S. Officials and Major Traffickers


Manuel Noriega

In June, 1986, the New York Times published articles detailing years of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's collaboration with Colombian drug traffickers. Reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that Noriega "is extensively involved in illicit money laundering and drug activities," and that an unnamed White House official "said the most significant drug running in Panama was being directed by General Noriega." In August, Noriega, a long-standing U.S. intelligence asset, sent an emissary to Washington to seek assistance from the Reagan administration in rehabilitating his drug-stained reputation.

Oliver North, who met with Noriega's representative, described the meeting in an August 23, 1986 e-mail message to Reagan national security advisor John Poindexter. "You will recall that over the years Manuel Noriega in Panama and I have developed a fairly good relationship," North writes before explaining Noriega's proposal. If U.S. officials can "help clean up his image" and lift the ban on arms sales to the Panamanian Defense Force, Noriega will "'take care of' the Sandinista leadership for us."

North tells Poindexter that Noriega can assist with sabotage against the Sandinistas, and suggests paying Noriega a million dollars -- from "Project Democracy" funds raised from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran -- for the Panamanian leader's help in destroying Nicaraguan economic installations.

The same day Poindexter responds with an e-mail message authorizing North to meet secretly with Noriega. "I have nothing against him other than his illegal activities," Poindexter writes.

On the following day, August 24, North's notebook records a meeting with CIA official Duane "Dewey" Clarridge on Noriega's overture. They decided, according to this entry, to "send word back to Noriega to meet in Europe or Israel."

The CIA's Alan Fiers later recalls North's involvement with the Noriega sabotage proposal. In testimony at the 1992 trial of former CIA official Clair George, Fiers describes North's plan as it was discussed at a meeting of the Reagan administration's Restricted Interagency Group: "[North] made a very strong suggestion that . . . there needed to be a resistance presence in the western part of Nicaragua, where the resistance did not operate. And he said, 'I can arrange to have General Noriega execute some insurgent -- some operations there -- sabotage operations in that area. It will cost us about $1 million. Do we want to do it?' And there was significant silence at the table. And then I recall I said, 'No. We don't want to do that.'"

Senior officials ignored Fiers' opinion. On September 20, North informed Poindexter via e-mail that "Noriega wants to meet me in London" and that both Elliott Abrams and Secretary of State George Shultz support the initiative. Two days later, Poindexter authorized the North/Noriega meeting.

North's notebook lists details of his meeting with Noriega, which took place in a London hotel on September 22. According to the notes, the two discussed developing a commando training program in Panama, with Israeli support, for the contras and Afghani rebels. They also spoke of sabotaging major economic targets in the Managua area, including an airport, an oil refinery, and electric and telephone systems. (These plans were apparently aborted when the Iran-Contra scandal broke in November 1986.)


José Bueso Rosa

Reagan administration officials interceded on behalf of José Bueso Rosa, a Honduran general who was heavily involved with the CIA's contra operations and faced trial for his role in a massive drug shipment to the United States. In 1984 Bueso and co-conspirators hatched a plan to assassinate Honduran President Roberto Suazo Córdoba; the plot was to be financed with a $40 million cocaine shipment to the United States, which the FBI intercepted in Florida.

Declassified e-mail messages indicate that Oliver North led the behind-the-scenes effort to seek leniency for Bueso . The messages record the efforts of U.S. officials to "cabal quietly" to get Bueso off the hook, be it by "pardon, clemency, deportation, [or] reduced sentence." Eventually they succeeded in getting Bueso a short sentence in "Club Fed," a white collar prison in Florida.

The Kerry Committee report reviewed the case, and noted that the man Reagan officials aided was involved in a conspiracy that the Justice Department deemed the "most significant case of narco-terrorism yet discovered."

FBI/DEA Documentation


In February 1987 a contra sympathizer in California told the FBI he believed FDN officials were involved in the drug trade. Dennis Ainsworth, a Berkeley-based conservative activist who had supported the contra cause for years, gave a lengthy description of his suspicions to FBI agents. The bureau's debriefing says that Ainsworth agreed to be interviewed because "he has certain information in which he believes the Nicaraguan 'Contra' organization known as FDN (Frente Democrático Nacional) has become more involved in selling arms and cocaine for personal gain than in a military effort to overthrow the current Nicaraguan Sandinista Government." Ainsworth informed the FBI of his extensive contacts with various contra leaders and backers, and explained the basis for his belief that members of the FDN were trafficking in drugs.

A DEA report of February 6, 1984 indicates that a central figure in the San Jose Mercury News series was being tracked by U.S. law enforcement officials as early as 1976, when a DEA agent "identified Norwin MENESES-Canterero as a cocaine source of supply in Managua, Nicaragua." Meneses, an associate of dictator Anastasio Somoza who moved to California after the Nicaraguan revolution in 1979, was an FDN backer and large-scale cocaine trafficker.

Testimony of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, 6 April 1990


On October 31, 1996, the Washington Post ran a follow up story to the San Jose Mercury News series titled "CIA, Contras and Drugs: Questions on Links Linger." The story drew on court testimony in 1990 of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, a pilot for a major Columbian drug smuggler named George Morales. As a witness in a drug trial, Carrasco testified that in 1984 and 1985, he piloted planes loaded with weapons for contras operating in Costa Rica. The weapons were offloaded, and then drugs stored in military bags were put on the planes which flew to the United States. "I participated in two [flights] which involved weapons and cocaine at the same time," he told the court.

Carrasco also testified that Morales provided "several million dollars" to Octaviano Cesar and Adolfo "Popo" Chamorro, two rebel leaders working with the head of the contras' southern front, Eden Pastora. The Washington Post reported that Chamorro said he had called his CIA control officer to ask if the contras could accept money and arms from Morales, who was at the time under indictment for cocaine smuggling. "They said [Morales] was fine," Chamorro told the Post.

National Security Archive Analysis and Publications


Peter Kornbluh's Testimony at California Congressional Inquiry (19 October 1996)

"Crack, Contras, and the CIA: The Storm Over 'Dark Alliance,'" from Columbia Journalism Review (January/February 1997)

"CIA's Challenge in South Central," from the Los Angeles Times (15 November 1996)

"The Paper Trail to the Top," from the Baltimore Sun (17 November 1996)

White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan/Bush White House Tried to Destroy

The Iran-Contra Scandal: the Declassified History

The National Security Archive,
The Gelman Library, George Washington University
2130 H Street, NW, Suite 701, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-994-7000 / Fax: 202-994-7005
Internet: nsarchiv@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
nothing will ever happen to POSADA. He will spill his guts and start talking about all the dirty deeds he did on behalf of the CIA..........


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/05/20/MNGSTCS1ST1.DTL

U.S. charges Cuban exile with entering the country illegally
Venezuela seeks ex-CIA operative on terror allegation

John Mintz, Washington Post

Friday, May 20, 2005

                                                                       
 
                                                                                               
Luis Posada Carriles was detained Tuesday in Miami after ...
       
                               
                                                               
                               
                                                               

Washington -- The U.S. government charged aging Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles on Thursday with entering the United States illegally, as the Justice Department mulls whether to deport the former CIA-trained operative to Venezuela, which wants to try him on terrorism charges.

The case presents a dilemma for American officials, because Posada, 77, an anti-Castro Cuban, has been charged by Venezuela with blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976, killing 73 people. But Caracas is no friend to U.S. officials, who see in Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez a close friend to Washington's historic adversary Fidel Castro.

U.S. officials detained Posada on Tuesday in Miami after he publicly surfaced for interviews with local reporters. He was whisked away by Black Hawk helicopter to an Air Force base south of Miami, and then to a secure immigration facility in El Paso, Texas, where he faces a June 13 hearing before an immigration judge.

On Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified Posada, who has acknowledged slipping into this country by way of Mexico in March, that he is in the United States illegally, and that it plans to hold him without bond. Posada can contest his detention and the no-bond order in a proceeding before the June hearing.

Posada's lawyer, Eduardo Soto, had filed an asylum request with the U.S. government earlier this year and then withdrew it around the time Posada resurfaced. Soto could refile the request on the grounds that Posada would face persecution if he were deported.

This raises the prospect of three separate legal proceedings in the case, each of which might involve legal wrangling that could last months or even years: the administrative immigration charge filed Thursday, the extradition request by Venezuela and the asylum request.

"This is only the beginning of a lot of litigation that could last a long, long time," said a U.S. official involved in the process. "There's no end to this in sight anytime soon."

The Posada case could raise questions about the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism, international affairs experts said. The Bush administration has said the war on terrorism is its highest priority.

But cracking down on Posada could be complicated because elements of the U.S. government worked closely for years with him and his allies in planning opposition to Castro and anti-American rebels in Central America. Moreover, he is admired by many politically potent Cuban Americans in South Florida.

Posada has denied involvement in the terrorist attack on the Cubana airline jet that blew up over Barbados. Most of the 73 passengers and crew members were Cuban and Venezuelan. He was acquitted after two trials in Venezuela, and then escaped from a jail there in 1985 while he waited for an appeal by prosecutors. He also has been accused of involvement in a series of 1997 bombings in Cuba, one of which killed an Italian citizen.

"We can't pick and choose which terrorist to punish, or else the credibility of policy goes down the toilet," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA and State Department counterterrorism official, who said Washington cannot allow Posada to avoid prosecution on the bombing charges. "We need to have a consistent stand on terrorism."

"This is a dilemma for U.S. officials of their own making," said Wayne Smith, a longtime critic of U.S. policy toward Havana and a former U.S. diplomat.                                

Page A - 3



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
USG protects terrorist drug dealer POSADA

http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/052405Crumpacker/052405crumpacker.html

Analysis

Beating around the Bush

By Tom Crumpacker
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Download a .pdf file for printing.
Adobe Acrobat Reader required.
Click here to download a free copy.

May 24, 2005—The Bush administration has done an excellent job of confusing the public about its plans regarding Luis Posada Carriles, former CIA operative who blew up a civilian Cubana airliner on October 6, 1976, killing 73 innocent civilians. He resurfaced in the US a couple of months ago and is now being held in El Paso Texas on a minor illegal entry charge brought against him by Homeland Security.

Numerous reporters from several newspapers and magazines have talked to unnamed administration officials and quote them as saying the US has decided Posada will not be deported or extradited to Venezuela, because it has a policy not to do so to a country which "acts on behalf of Cuba."

Indeed, Homeland has stated it does have such a policy and Venezuela is such a country. If such a policy exists, this is the first time Homeland has implemented it or made it public. In any event, it's Homeland's policy, has no relevance to extradition, and there is no official statement by the State Department that it has such a policy or that it would prevent extradition to Venezuela.

If the US honors its laws, Constitution and treaty obligations (as its president in January took an oath to do), it has to extradite Posada to Venezuela. Venezuela has an 83-year old extradition treaty with the US which has always been honored by both countries. For years Venezuela has had a standing request under this treaty to extradite Posada for trial in the Cubana Airlines Flight 455 bombing. He apparently has visited Miami occasionally in the past.

Venezuela renewed its demand two weeks ago. The crime started in Caracas, where Posada and his partner Orlando Bosch made the bomb, their two agents then got on the Cubana flight with it in Trinidad, at the Barbados stop they put it in the plane restroom and got off the plane, and the plane exploded after take off. The agents caught a flight back to Caracas which stopped in Trinidad where they were apprehended. One of them, Posada's employee, later confessed Posada made the bomb and he planted it at Posada's direction.

An immigration case is something entirely different from extradition. In immigration proceedings (handled by Homeland Security under supervision of its director and the president), the question is the right to emigrate and where an immigrant should be sent to live (usually his home country) when he is removed for illegal entry or deported for certain conduct in the US. Extradition (handled by the State Department under supervision of the secretary of state and the president) concerns the question where an alleged criminal should be tried for his crime, regardless of his immigration status. Venezuela is the only place where Posada could legally be tried for this crime, because of his Venezuelan citizenship and the fact that his crime was committed there. In fact he was being tried there when in 1985 he was allowed to escape and go to Nicaragua to work under Col. Oliver North in the Contra supply operation.

Posada also has Cuban citizenship since he was born there. Once Cubans set foot in the US, whether the entry is illegal or legal, they have the right to stay here and work and apply for US permanent residency after a year. This is under the Cuban Adjustment Act and the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy. They do not need to file asylum cases, and usually don't.

Homeland has charged Posada only with not reporting immediately to them on entry. This would normally not be worth filing, in any event it's a simple matter which could be determined within a few minutes and a small fine. However it's been set for hearing on June 13 and Posada's Miami lawyers are talking about filing motions to move the case to Miami, filing asylum petitions and other technical maneuvers. From Secretary of State Rice's statement Saturday, one could surmise that the Homeland's case will go on for many months. Reportedly Posada is very ill and may not be around much longer.

Our CIA and State Department were at least very aware of the plans for the Cubana bombing, and neither (or anyone in our government) gave Cuba or prospective passengers any warning of the coming attack. Posada had been trained in the 1960s by the CIA in explosives. He was on the CIA payroll for many years up until about four months before the Cubana bombing. He went back on when he was sent to Nicaragua. Recently released CIA and State Department reports indicate that a few months beforehand they were aware that Posada and Bosch were planning to bomb a Cuban civilian airliner, and just a few weeks beforehand, in June 1976, the pair had plans to bomb a Cubana flight traveling from Panama to Havana. CIA also had beforehand reports about the planning meetings in Caracas and Santo Domingo involving Posada and Bosch. None of these reports were made available to the Venezuelan officials who were prosecuting them in the '80s. It would be interesting to learn if the CIA director informed President Ford of the impending attack on innocent Cuban civilians.

George Bush Sr. was the CIA director at the time of the bombing. He was vice present at the time when Posada was allowed to escape during his trial in Venezuela and report to Oliver North in Nicaragua. He was president when he pardoned Bosch, allowing him to stay in the US against the recommendation of his Justice Department.

There's no valid reason why Posada should not be extradited to Venezuela now. There's no necessity to wait while lawyers mess around with Homeland's insignificant illegal entry claim or any asylum claim. The case should be promptly submitted to the extradition judge.

It seems like the administration is using these immigration cases, with Posada's cooperation, to try to delay decision on the extradition request in hope of avoiding evidence of the CIA's involvement in the bombing from becoming public in a Venezuelan proceeding. Part of its plan seems to be to make reporters and the public think the US can't extradite until the immigration proceedings are ended and they have some policy preventing extradition. Neither of which is so.

Tom Crumpacker is a retired lawyer now working with the Miami Coalition to End the US Embargo of Cuba.



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard

http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3874

 

From AJR,   April/May 2005

June/July Preview:
The Sad Saga of Gary Webb   

The hard-charging investigative reporter's career imploded in the wake of his much-criticized “Dark Alliance” series about the CIA and crack cocaine. But while Webb overreached, some key findings in “Dark Alliance” were on target--and important. Last December Webb committed suicide.

Related reading:   Sorting It Out
  I Don’t Want to Talk About It
  The CIA and Drug Trafficking

By Susan Paterno
Susan Paterno is an AJR senior writer.     

Gary Webb never remembered the unruly Polish name of his hard-boiled colleague at Cleveland's Plain Dealer who called editors unprintable expletives and declared "It's The Big One!" every time he picked up the phone. But he never forgot what the guy taught him: "The Big One was the reporter's Holy Grail, the tip that led you from the daily morass of press conferences and of cop calls and on to the trail of The Biggest Story You'd Ever Write, the one that would turn the rest of your career into an anticlimax." The Big One, Webb remembered, "would be like a bullet with your name on it. You'd never hear it coming."

Webb's bullet came out of nowhere, a phone call from a seductive young Cuban woman in high heels, a short skirt and a daring décolletage, with a drug-dealer boyfriend. She left a number, no message. Webb could have ignored her call, but that would have been uncharacteristic. He phoned her back, and she introduced him to the unfamiliar world of espionage and drug dealing that he exposed in "Dark Alliance," a 1996 San Jose Mercury News series accusing the "CIA's army" of peddling crack in South Central Los Angeles to support the Reagan administration's efforts to overthrow a socialist government in Nicaragua.

Unfortunately for Webb, he made a few too many errors. The Mercury News posted the series on the paper's Web site, using the power of the nascent alternative media to fan the flames of indignation among African Americans. They, in turn, accused the nation's most powerful newspapers--the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times--of laziness at best, and of genocide at worst. The papers fought back, discrediting Webb and his reporting: The Los Angeles Times, for example, assigned two dozen reporters and published a page-one series of almost 20,000 words, painting the CIA "as law-abiding and conscientious," as one critic put it. But none of the papers adequately investigated the CIA's connection to Central American drug dealers, a relationship the agency confirmed in 1998, two years after Webb's series ran, and a year after he was exiled from journalism.

That revelation barely registered on the radar of the mainstream media, consumed as they were by Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and the ensuing impeachment battle. Webb, meanwhile, became radioactive, unable to find work at a daily newspaper, shunned and isolated from the world of journalism he loved.

In the final analysis, "Dark Alliance" was a series in search of competent editing; the remarkable lack of editorial oversight produced what became one of the most notorious sagas in American journalism. Much of what Webb wrote was accurate: The drug traffickers he profiled were sending money to help the CIA-backed contras in the war in Nicaragua. But his editors allowed him to push the story's thesis far beyond what the facts could support, suggesting drug-dealing contras caused America's crack epidemic with the CIA's knowledge. The story included no CIA response; Webb said his editors never asked for one. Though Webb compiled an impressive circumstantial case, the editors failed to hold the story to what he could substantiate, letting him make leaps in reasoning that would earn failing marks in freshman logic.

"If Gary had had a decent editor, the key mistakes that ended up costing him so dearly would have been caught and dealt with," says Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst with George Washington University's National Security Archive, an expert on the contra war and an early critic of "Dark Alliance." "He became quite unfairly the victim of piling on in one of the most extraordinary episodes of piling on by the mainstream press ever."

In the aftermath, the Mercury News "did a mea culpa, [the] editors got promoted, and Gary bore the burden of the damage," says Scott Herhold, a Mercury News editor in the late '80s and a columnist there now. The editors who directed the series saw their careers flourish: David Yarnold was promoted to executive editor (he later became editorial page editor and recently left the paper to become an executive with an environmental organization); Paul Van Slambrouck became executive editor of the Christian Science Monitor (he is now a senior editor); Jerry Ceppos is vice president for news at Knight Ridder; and Dawn Garcia is deputy director of the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists at Stanford University. All four declined to be interviewed for this article.

Webb never got over it, never acknowledged his serious mistakes and never stopped trying to prove he was right. "Gary was very stubborn," recalls New York Times investigative reporter Walt Bogdanich, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who worked with Webb at Cleveland's Plain Dealer. "He was brilliant; he knew more about public records than anybody I've ever known. But he was sometimes too unwilling to entertain the possibility that there could be another view," Bogdanich remembers. "He could be an intimidating force when you [were] around him. It's hard to disagree with people like that." But, he adds, Webb did "a tremendous amount of good work. And you don't want that lost in the tragedy and controversy."

Always challenging authority, Webb was "a balls-to-the-wall kind of guy," remembers friend and colleague Tom Dresslar, now a press deputy for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. He liked to shoot guns, drive a cherry red sports coupe, rebuild motorcycles, lay wood floors, play hockey, smoke Marlboros and help out friends. He was a "guy's guy," Dresslar says, "the kind of guy you'd go to a bar with, sit down, have some beers, engage in guy talk, sports, hockey, that kind of thing." But they rarely discussed "Dark Alliance."

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how he felt," Dresslar says. "For him to get chewed up by the powers that be in mainstream American journalism, to get shuffled out, exiled and made to eventually quit: You know how the guy feels."

As Webb's identity slipped away, so did his mental stability. Last December 9, he sat alone inside the home he'd carefully crafted and later sold to support his family, knowing the next day movers would put the last of his old life into storage and he'd move into his mother's house, where he'd have to begin again. How did it come to this? He picked up one of his guns, aimed for his temple and squeezed the trigger. His death, says Kornbluh, "was a very sad day" in the history of journalism.

Like so many journalists who came of age during Watergate, Webb followed a familiar path into the ranks of reporting. He studied journalism at a state university and landed his first job at a small daily, the Kentucky Post. He was striking in a rugged sort of way; he wore his hair in a '70s shag much of his adult life, a reaction to his Marine dad's Saturday morning dictate to get his head shaved at the base barber shop. At the Mercury News, colleagues say he moved through life with a macho swagger, leaving everyone except those closest to him with the impression he was impervious to criticism, confident to the point of arrogant, "fearless," remembers Mercury News colleague and investigative reporter Pete Carey. "He was never the guy who'd wake up in the middle of the night saying to himself, 'Oh Jesus, did I spell that guy's name right?' There was none of that, not in Gary. He'd be like, 'Oh well, shit. So what?' He was something, I can tell you, something right out of the Wild West."

Those who knew him best describe Webb much differently, noting his polite Midwestern manner, his sardonic wit, intelligence and passionate idealism. He was his son's hockey coach, the dad who baked a cake from scratch for his daughter's birthday, the sentimentalist who kept memories of his life carefully wrapped and lovingly preserved, the fix-it man friends frequently called for answers about car engines, computers and household repair, a working-class guy who loved blaring heavy-metal music and reading The Nation and the Village Voice, a reporter known for sleeping little and working 80-hour weeks. He had a tight circle that included almost no one from the Mercury News, says his former wife, Susan Bell, and a sensitive side he rarely showed outside the bounds of his close friends and family.

From the outset of his career, Webb distinguished himself by uncovering official malfeasance, winning national recognition for exposing organized crime in Kentucky coal mines in the late '70s, moving to the Plain Dealer in the '80s, where he earned the sobriquet "The Carpenter" for nailing down facts. While Webb diligently and methodically uncovered local government misdeeds in Cleveland, he closely followed President Reagan's diligent and methodical attempts to overthrow Nicaragua's socialist government.

Throughout the decade, the Reagan administration had tolerated drug smugglers who were helping the contras, a Senate subcommittee reported in 1988. But few in the media took the findings seriously, says Jack Blum, then special counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Unknown to Congress or the committee, the CIA had a secret agreement with then-Attorney General William French Smith that absolved the agency of its legal requirement to report crimes committed by people acting on its behalf. The deal gave the CIA plausible deniability and allowed the administration to launch "a huge campaign to cover up what they were doing, running a war that was off the books," recalls Blum, now a Washington attorney. "The appalling tragedy," he adds, is that "while all this was being investigated, the press was being spun and told all this garbage by the administration."

Blum and the committee's members "were personally trashed. The Reagan administration and some people in Congress tried to make us look like crazies. And to some degree, it worked." Newsweek called Kerry a "randy conspiracy buff," few news organizations carried stories about the committee's findings, and Blum remembers reporters being outright hostile. "The press treated it like, 'These people are wackos!'"

Fast-forward to a steamy Sacramento summer, July 1995, when Webb received a call from Coral Baca, a twenty-something woman he once described as all "cleavage and jewelry." Baca, a strange, shadowy character in the novel of Webb's life with alleged ties to a Colombian drug cartel, wanted Webb to investigate how "a guy who used to work with the CIA selling drugs" had framed her drug-dealing boyfriend. Webb was uninterested in the boyfriend but intrigued by the CIA.

He used Baca as a tour guide through the world of West Coast drug trafficking, racking his brain to remember the details of what had happened in Nicaragua a decade earlier while he was covering state government in Ohio. He called his editor at the Mercury News, Dawn Garcia, and read her the grand jury testimony of Oscar Danilo Blandón, a contra supporter somehow connected to cocaine dealing in South Central Los Angeles. Garcia told him to find out more.

Webb did what he did best: He dug and dug and dug, scribbling notes from indictments, detention-hearing transcripts, docket sheets, U.S. Attorney motions. He returned to Sacramento and spent a week sitting in the California State Library in front of a microfiche copier, a roll of dimes on the table next to him, "growing more astounded each day," he said, sifting through Congressional records, U.S. Customs and FBI reports, internal Justice Department memos, many showing "direct links between the drug dealers and the contras... It almost knocked me off my chair." Back in his office, Webb called Jack Blum. "Why can I barely remember this? I read the papers every day," Webb asked. "It wasn't in the papers, for the most part," Blum said. "The big papers stayed as far away from this as they could... It was like they didn't want to know."

Intrigued, Webb kept digging. Pretty soon he connected Nicaraguan cocaine supplier Blandón to a Los Angeles drug dealer named Ricky Donnell Ross, aka "Freeway" Ricky Ross. From there, he quickly found a Los Angeles Times article about Ross, written by Jesse Katz, with the headline: "Deposed King of Crack." The Times called Ross a "master marketer," the "key to the drug's spread in L.A...the outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles streets with mass-marketed cocaine." Ka-ching. Pay dirt.

By December 1995, Webb had enough information to formally pitch his project in a four-page memo to Garcia. "While there has long been solid--if largely ignored--evidence of a CIA-contra-cocaine connection, no one has ever asked the question: Where did the cocaine go once it got here? Now we know." Webb was nearing the end of his memo, passionately pounding the computer keys, when an e-mail arrived from a friend at the Los Angeles Times asking what he was working on. Webb told his friend he had "no idea what this fucking government is capable of," according to Esquire magazine. He had entered a "netherworld 99 percent of the American public would never believe existed."

In typical Webb fashion, he charged forward with abandon.

Webb was born into a conservative Catholic military family in 1955 in Corona, California, moving from base to base during his childhood with his housewife mother, his younger brother and his father, a former Marine frogman. The elder Webb reminded one of Webb's boyhood friends of a character out of the "Wild, Wild West" TV show. "He was aggressive, cocky, self-assured," disillusioned with the government, and, "like a lot of middle-aged guys, coming to the end of his run, dissatisfied," recalls Greg Wolf, now an Indianapolis attorney. His father's sense of duty and the Marines' tendency to view the world as good versus evil, "that good will out," helped shaped Webb's worldview, remembers another childhood friend, Bruce Colville.

Webb's father retired from the Marines when Webb was in junior high, found a job as a security guard, and the family settled into a working-class neighborhood in Indianapolis.

In high school, Webb started rebelling, challenging authority in typical teenage ways, questioning his father's orders, writing parodies about the high school drill team, creating a Christmas crossword puzzle in the school paper that spelled out "penis" if done correctly, flouting the rules he thought pointless, smoking "a lot of pot," says Wolf, staging a mock coup of the Third World country he represented at a Model United Nations conference. He was brave, brilliant, funny, adventurous and "always in trouble," says Wolf. "He didn't have any boundaries."

It was the '60s. Webb and his friends were reading radical writers, talking endlessly about politics, embracing the humor and irony of the era. "At a young age, he was always interested in searching. He caught that passion for idealism, for the possibilities, for the romanticism," remembers Colville, who works in theater in New York City. Webb pursued journalism, a field where he could "keep that passion growing. That was our time. We had all been told a Donna Reed version of reality, but what we were told and what we saw were two different things. So we rebelled. We were right at the end of a generation that was going to change the world."

In his early 20s, Webb married his high school sweetheart, Susan Bell, in a Unitarian service where Webb, at the time "a belligerent atheist," allowed no mention of Jesus, says Wolf, who remembers a late-night discussion in which Webb announced he had no fear, not even of death. In his mid-20s, working at the Kentucky Post, Webb challenged and beat two of the state's most powerful officials in a battle to obtain public documents that revealed conflict of interest in the energy office, filing Freedom of Information Act requests and his own appeal when Kentucky's attorney general initially denied access to the information Webb felt the paper was entitled to see.

Not long after, in 1983, he moved to the Plain Dealer, where he fought secretive government officials to make records public, so relentlessly attacking corruption, cronyism, contract fixing and other abuses of power he prompted a television reporter to ask on air, "Why is a Cleveland newspaper investigating our mayor?" He required the strongest editor in the building, with skills and experience that matched his, someone who could challenge him the way he challenged government officials. With Mary Anne Sharkey, the Statehouse bureau chief for the Plain Dealer, he had what he needed, and the partnership produced some of his best work. Together, they exposed corruption and incompetence in state government, prompting indictments and changes in Ohio state law. He decorated his office with heavy-metal posters and floor-to-ceiling stacks of documents, blaring AC/DC, ZZ Top and Mott the Hoople as he pounded out stories, says Sharkey, who remembers him cutting a dashing figure in the newsroom.

Like a lot of maverick reporters, Webb lived on the edge, and it sometimes got him into trouble. In Cleveland, two Grand Prix promoters Webb wrote about sued the Plain Dealer for libel, and a jury awarded them $13.6 million; the Plain Dealer settled another suit involving an Ohio Supreme Court judge for an undisclosed sum, says Sharkey, adding "reporters who are involved in high-wire acts tend to get into lawsuits."

The suits failed to stop the Mercury News from hiring Webb in 1988. By then, he had joined the rarefied and clubby world of the nation's investigative reporters, winning dozens of journalism awards over the years, clearly on his way to a Pulitzer, maybe a few. He had "all the qualities you'd want in a reporter: curious, dogged, a very high sense of wanting to expose wrongdoing and to hold private and public officials accountable," recalls Jonathan Krim, long considered one of the Mercury News' best editors and now a reporter for the Washington Post.

Back then, Webb "was a couple of notches down from cocksure," remembers colleague Herhold, "but he emanated a lot of self-confidence." Though the Plain Dealer was larger, the Mercury News intrigued Webb. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the paper benefited from the region's booming economy, providing the sort of financial strength that gave editors power and independence uncommon in the industry. No topic was taboo and there were no sacred cows, Webb remembered being told; the editors "convinced me that they ran one of the few newspapers in the country with that kind of courage."

The paper hired Webb to work in the Sacramento bureau, about 100 miles from San Jose. Webb moved his wife and two young children to a suburb and continued a tradition he had started in Cleveland, restoring their small house with the help of how-to books, installing wainscoting and custom tile, new cabinets and gardens, while putting in overtime at the paper. Unlike the old-world Plain Dealer newsroom, the Mercury News was the future, all high-tech and steel, striving to take its place among the nation's top tier of metropolitan dailies. One of Webb's first page-one stories accused the Mercury News and other businesses of using government job-training funds unethically. In another series, Webb alienated colleagues by questioning the ethics of Capitol reporters who were moonlighting for agencies they covered.

He spent the next few years exposing incompetence in state government, helping the paper win a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for covering the Loma Prieta earthquake, writing stories investigating faulty construction in highway bridges that collapsed. "That's Gary," remembers friend Colville. "The story you always see is the melodrama. Gary would never focus on 'Oh, isn't this sad.' He's going: 'Why did the fuckin' bridge fall down?' He was always sticking his finger into something and saying, 'This doesn't smell right.'"

In the early '90s, Bell had a third child, leaving Webb overwhelmed by the emotional and financial pressures of being the family's sole wage earner in a demanding job. Diagnosed with depression, he was prescribed medication; he continued to bury himself in his family and work. He loved the stories but never connected with the Mercury News reporters and editors the way he had with colleagues at the Plain Dealer, never felt the same camaraderie, stuck in a small bureau far away from the newsroom with people who by many accounts resented him at worst and tolerated him at best. It is perhaps why so many at the Mercury News describe Webb as a lone wolf, while reporters and editors in Cleveland remember him as a social magnet, "so dazzling and so cool we all wanted to be around him," says former Plain Dealer Statehouse reporter Mary Beth Lane, now a regional reporter for the Columbus Dispatch.

Inspired by Woodward and Bernstein, Webb got on the ice of reporting and "played with fierceness," says Herhold. "Occasionally, he'd drop the gloves and go after officials. And sometimes, he'd go after editors." In attack mode, Webb made editors at the Mercury News "cower, mostly," Herhold recalls, treating those he deemed incompetent contemptuously, answering their calls with a curt, "What do you want?"

In 1994, after Tandem Computers bought a two-page advertisement attacking Webb's series that insinuated the company was somehow responsible for failures to modernize the state's Department of Motor Vehicles computer system, editors assigned reporter Lee Gomes to investigate.

Gomes did, and wrote a memo to his editors stating one of the stories in Webb's series was "in all its major elements incorrect." The editors read it, says Gomes, now a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, "and said, 'Thank you.' The fact that a big-name reporter could get a big series wrong – that idea had not occurred to them." Responding to Gomes' findings, Webb replied: "Lee Gomes was covering Tandem while its much ballyhooed DMV project was collapsing, yet somehow managed to miss the story entirely."

 

(continued)

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard

(continued)

 

Though hard to manage, Webb continued to bring recognition to the Mercury News, winning the 1994 H.L. Mencken Award for his exposé of corruption in California's drug asset forfeiture program. It was the government's practice of seizing assets from alleged criminals that brought Coral Baca--and the "Dark Alliance" story--to Webb in the first place.

A CIA agent's testimony against Baca's boyfriend had allowed the government to take everything he owned, leaving him penniless, Baca told Webb. Webb was unimpressed. "Oh, the CIA," he told her. "I don't run across them too often here in Sacramento. See, I mostly cover state government." He thought she was crazy. But her cache of documents changed his mind. For nearly six months, Webb talked to his editor, Dawn Garcia, daily, says Susan Bell. Webb liked Garcia, probably because he could "roll her over," says a friend and former Mercury News reporter. She ran interference with the other editors so well, Webb said, even he was unsure if anyone knew what he was doing.

"The story was handled in a silo," recalls then-Projects Editor Jonathan Krim. "Few people in the paper knew what it was about, what it involved," himself included.

"It was like this secret project," says reporter Pete Carey. Webb and the editors "were afraid the L.A. Times would pick it up and scoop them."

In December 1995, Webb met with Garcia and Managing Editor David Yarnold and told them what he knew: L.A. drug dealer Ross paid cash to Nicaraguan Blandón for cocaine. Blandón funneled the cash to the contras, who used it to buy weapons to fight the socialist Sandinistas who were running Nicaragua. "I recounted for my editors the sorry history of how the contra-cocaine story had been ridiculed and marginalized by the Washington press corps in the '80s, and that we could expect similar reactions to this series," Webb said. To circumvent the mainstream media, Webb proposed posting the series on the Web, putting the Mercury News in the vanguard of American journalism at the time, making the stories "all the more difficult to dismiss." The editors agreed, Webb said, and set him loose.

He went full bore, engendering resentment among his Mercury News colleagues, says a Capitol press corps member who heard the griping about "how much time Gary was spending on the project." But Webb didn't care. He traveled to Nicaragua and into the shadowy underworld of the contras and the CIA, chasing Blandón from San Francisco to Miami and back, following the cocaine supply route through the gritty, trash-littered backstreets of South Central Los Angeles. In mid-April, Webb sent a four-part series to editors Garcia and Yarnold, "with no clue as to how it would be received" and no idea it would take four months to edit. Garcia called with the verdict: "They loved it!" he said she told him, calling it "groundbreaking reporting" with one exception: It was too long.

They argued about length for weeks, Webb recalled, until Yarnold decreed the series would be three parts or nothing. Throughout the spring of '96, Garcia cut, Webb restored, they argued, cutting, pasting, reassembling, going from four parts to three parts to four parts again. Webb wrote a feature lead; Garcia wanted hard news. They argued some more, with Garcia blaming "the editors." "I'm just telling you what they told me," Webb recalled her saying. She urged Webb to harden the lead; fuming, he pounded out in a few minutes what largely became the controversial opening paragraph and sent it to Garcia. "This is perfect!" Webb recalled her saying. "This is exactly what they wanted." They finished editing on July 26, scheduling the first story to run on August 18. Webb closed on a new house, booked a family vacation and got ready to leave for three weeks in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Indiana.

Then Garcia called with a new wrinkle. Yarnold had suddenly left the paper to take a job with Knight Ridder, the Mercury News' corporate parent. Jerry Ceppos, the paper's executive editor, assigned Paul Van Slambrouck to handle the final editing on the series. Webb said Van Slambrouck told him his work was terrific, asked him to put more CIA in the lead, and ordered him to cut 65 inches.

Under protest, he rewrote the series in a beach house on North Carolina's Outer Banks, in a motel room and in the basement of his in-laws' house in Indiana. "It was horrible," he said. "Five or six different versions were flying around... I had no way of knowing what was being cut, what was being put back, or what was being rewritten," prompting him to doubt his editors' competence. "Don't these people know what they're dealing with here? Don't they realize the import of what they're printing? I eventually realized that for the most part they did not, which may have been the reason the series got into the paper in the first place." Ceppos, preoccupied with searching for a managing editor to replace Yarnold, only read parts of the series before it was published.

Webb was in Indiana when the Mercury News published the first installment on August 18, 1996. At a friend's party, he logged onto the paper's Web site, saw the image of a crack smoker superimposed on the CIA seal, and began reading what he'd written: A San Francisco drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs, funneling millions in profits to CIA-run guerrilla armies in Latin America. Before the "CIA's army" started bringing cocaine into South Central, Webb asserted, it was "virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods" but quickly spread nationwide.

After that, the story gets complicated and hard to follow; it features a cast of characters large enough for a Russian novel, with events spanning a decade in a chronology so confusing it demands rereading, rereading and rereading again. To his credit, Webb provided links to the documents he cited, but by the fourth page of the online version of "Dark Alliance," you feel as though you've dropped down Alice's rabbit hole, with the story shifting, changing and contradicting itself as each new fact is added to the litany that came before.

The government and the national news media at first greeted the series' publication with "a deafening silence," as one national journal noted. But the Mercury News' online staff, presciently recognizing the power of the Internet, created a dazzling "Dark Alliance" Web site with color, animated maps, documents and audio clips. They sent e-mails to alert newsgroups of the coming series, attracting "attention and readers from all over the world," Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia reported. While internally, the Mercury News reporters and editors argued bitterly about the series' validity, the story spun into the world and out of the paper's control. With hundreds of thousands of hits on the site daily, millions were finding out about "Dark Alliance" even as the mainstream media ignored it.

"The feedback on the Web and on the radio talk shows fed each other," Slate reported, "with anger at the mainstream media overwhelming anger at the government." Protesters demonstrated at CIA headquarters. The Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and comedian and activist Dick Gregory demanded an explanation from the CIA, whose spokesman declared the idea of the agency condoning drug operations "ludicrous."

Webb became a celebrity, entertaining six-figure book and movie deals, going on radio shows and Internet chat rooms nationwide, while the national news media fretted. The L.A. Times scrambled to double back on a story it apparently had missed in its own backyard. In the middle of September, a Times editor called Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus, inquiring: "What's this all about? What should we do?" The paper assigned a team to investigate.

Meanwhile, Webb basked in the adulation and embraced his newfound power. He called editors and producers "chickenshit" for ignoring "Dark Alliance" and suggested in an online discussion, "Now we know what CIA stands for--Crack in America," the L.A. Times quoted Webb as saying. He felt emboldened. "It was remarkable to think journalism could have this kind of effect on people," he said, "that people were out marching in the streets because of something you'd written."

At the same time came "the temptations," says friend Greg Wolf. "A movie and book deal, 'The Tonight Show,' all of a sudden he's got literary groupies." His wife urged him to leave the Mercury News and take the deals offered him, but he refused, telling her the paper "had stuck by me this whole time, they really like me, and I owe it to them to finish this story."

Then came the blowback. The national media assaulted the series, slowly at first, then with increasing virulence. None of the attacks had the intensity of the coming fusillade, however. On October 4, the Washington Post launched its first salvo. While Webb had "provided what appears to be the first account of Nicaraguans with links to contras selling drugs in American cities," reported Walter Pincus and Roberto Suro, there was no evidence to support the notion of a CIA-backed contra plot to spread crack cocaine in the inner city, they wrote, a claim the series never made explicitly but led readers to believe. By referring to members of the drug ring as "the CIA's army" and "the army's financiers," the Mercury News left the impression that the CIA was behind the plot, giving the series' critics ample ammunition to attack.

Even so, Ceppos felt the Post story mischaracterized the series, and he sent a letter in protest. The Post refused to publish it. The ridicule worsened when the Los Angeles Times and New York Times assailed "Dark Alliance" a few weeks later.

The L.A. Times' three-day series reported the paper had conducted more than "100 interviews in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and Managua" and declared "the available evidence.. fails to support any of [Webb's] allegations." But the L.A. Times' "rebuttals were filled with the same types of errors that Gary had made, except on the side of exonerating the CIA," says the National Security Archives' Kornbluh. "They quoted these CIA guys who had a tremendous amount of stuff to hide as though they were telling the truth." It remains baffling to Kornbluh how the L.A. Times "could be so gullible. I remain astounded by the editorial decisions they made, on their gullibility, on the support they offered the CIA..as well as getting a bunch of their facts wrong." McManus says the Times had an obligation to report the CIA's response. "We weighed the evidence we had based on its reliability as we could assess it."

Some members of the Mercury News staff were gleeful enough about the attacks on Webb to prompt Ceppos to write a memo reprimanding them for "gloating," "backbiting" and "whispering." Though Webb refused to admit it, "he was a dead man walking," Esquire magazine correctly predicted.

The media, engaged in a "high level, bicoastal broadsheet newspaper war," as Newsday put it, took the focus off the CIA and put it squarely on Webb. "The fact that the media didn't fully report on this scandal was a major failure," says Kornbluh. "There were parts of Gary's story that needed to be corrected. But more important than correcting those parts was to use that space to advance the story. They didn't have to use all that space to trash him."

Despite the ongoing assault against the Mercury News, Ceppos continued to support Webb: He hammered the paper's critics and arrived at the newspaper's in-house awards in a combat helmet, a joke meant to poke fun at the paper's battering. A few brave and respected allies publicly backed Webb, but they did little to quell the national media's outrage. "The Mercury News asked for it," Newsweek said. Webb was obsessive and a bit conspiratorial; he had editors who "weren't paying attention."

Webb responded arrogantly: "[N]othing in their stories says there is anything wrong with what I wrote. In fact, they have confirmed every element of it."

The government was getting worried. While the CIA publicly disavowed Webb's findings--the director appeared in Watts to denounce the Mercury News and dispute any CIA connection to drug trafficking--by November an explosion of grassroots outrage had prompted three federal probes, two by the CIA and one by the Justice Department.

With the Mercury News staff divided, Webb became more and more isolated. He launched a counteroffensive: He found an article the Post's Pincus had written about attending a youth conference in Ghana in the summer of 1960 on a CIA subsidy. He analyzed the L.A. Times coverage in the '80s and discovered McManus had written a 1987 story quoting drug enforcement officials rebutting allegations that the contras had trafficked in cocaine. At a strategy meeting with Mercury News editors, Webb proposed writing "a story about Walter Pincus' CIA connections. Let's write about how the L.A. Times has been booting this story since 1987." But Ceppos disagreed, Webb said, telling him he wanted to avoid a war.

The Mercury News editors "were behind him 100 percent," Susan Bell remembers Webb telling her, prompting Webb to relentlessly and publicly defend his work, producing follow-up stories, spending his vacation time and money, flying to Florida where he found more connections between drug traffickers and the CIA.

When he returned, he said, "just like that, it was over."

At every turn, Webb had stubbornly refused to back down. And that was, perhaps, his fatal flaw, suggests former Mercury News editor Jonathan Krim. "A lot of the story was accurate and important. There was a drug operation. No question it had links to people in intelligence services. It was dirty as hell," Krim says. But Webb made "an anthropological leap," when he called the drug operation "the genesis of the crack epidemic in America. That assertion.. didn't hold up under further scrutiny. The tragedy of Gary was that when presented with that information, he simply couldn't accept it and let go of his work. But," he adds, "the willingness to print the story with that assertion was an institutional failure. Somewhere, somebody along the line, someone should have said: 'Are we sure about this? Can we say that?' You cannot simply blame everything on the reporter."

On March 25, 1997, Ceppos called Webb and told him the paper was going to publish a retraction admitting the series' mistakes, enumerating those errors: Webb had omitted testimony that suggested the Nicaraguans kept crack profits for themselves after 1982 rather than funneling them to the contras. He had oversimplified the crack epidemic's genesis in the United States. And with insufficient evidence, he had claimed top CIA officials knew about contra drug trafficking. Finally, the series lacked--and needed--a response from the CIA.

The next day, Webb drove two hours to San Jose, preparing his rebuttal. He'd put the blame where he thought it belonged--squarely on the editors--and demand they publish his version next to their retraction. As far as he was concerned, it was Garcia and company who cut the series from four parts to three, eliminating the evidence that would have provided the proof they were now saying the stories lacked. It was Van Slambrouck who wanted greater emphasis placed on the CIA's involvement. It was Ceppos who was ignoring the follow-up stories that would prove "the entire series is 100 percent accurate."

The meeting left everyone bloodied. Ceppos called Webb's rebuttal too personal; he had no intention of publishing it or the follow-up stories. Webb exploded, predicting his attackers would celebrate Ceppos' retraction as their vindication, accusing the paper of crawling "into bed with the rest of the apologists who wanted the CIA drug story put back in its grave once and for all."

The national news media (and AJR Editor Rem Rieder) applauded Ceppos' column with front-page stories and editorials commending him for repudiating the series. The New York Times called it "a courageous gesture" to correct "an inflammatory and inadequately substantiated series of articles" that had been "poorly written and edited and misleadingly packaged." A CIA spokesman praised the media for taking "an objective look at how this story was constructed and reported." The Society of Professional Journalists gave Ceppos the 1997 National Ethics in Journalism Award.

At the Mercury News, staff members "openly delighted in seeing Webb..tarnished after scoring what first seemed like the biggest journalistic achievement of his career," the New York Times reported. Ambitious young reporters hoping to climb out of the regional backwaters and "move on to bigger papers are the most upset with Mr. Webb," the Times wrote, quoting staff members demanding to know if he or the editors "would be disciplined." Garcia, Yarnold and Van Slambrouck remained publicly silent; Ceppos made his column his coda.

"The damage done to the Mercury News was palpable," recalls a former Mercury News editor, who requested anonymity because he fears retaliation. "I fault the editors, not the reporter. The job of an investigative reporter is to dig and dig and dig and push the envelope as hard as he can push. The job of an investigative editor is to demand [the story is] bulletproof." The Mercury News editors "never fully took responsibility," he adds. "Gary Webb bore plenty responsibility. But when the shit hit the fan, the editors backpedaled as fast as they could."

Undaunted, Webb launched an all-out defense of his work in newspapers, on television, on the radio and on the Internet, accusing the mainstream media of ignoring the story because they were too close to intelligence agencies. "The press had gone from being a watchdog to being a guard dog," he said on a radio show. On another show, the host urged listeners to call Ceppos and demand he publish Webb's follow-ups, the stories "he [was] suppressing."

Webb had crossed a threshold. Ceppos accused him of aligning himself with "one side of the issue."

"Which side?" Webb shot back. "The side that wants the truth to come out?"

Ceppos demanded Webb come to San Jose to discuss his future. At the meeting, Ceppos read from a prepared statement. Webb had a choice: Work in the San Jose office or move to the Cupertino bureau, "the newspaper's version of Siberia," in Webb's view. He took Cupertino, 120 miles from Sacramento, "because he didn't want to be with those guys in San Jose," recalls Bell. He cried the day he left. The children were little, "they were so upset, and they didn't want their daddy to go. And he didn't want to go; he didn't want to leave his family. He felt betrayed," she says. He should have listened to her, he told her. He should have taken the movie and book deals and moved on. "He took it very personally."

Throughout the summer of 1997, Webb kept his byline off his stories, mundane matters having to do with a police horse, a clothing drive for flood victims, summer school computer classes. He fought the transfer through the Newspaper Guild, believing "every day I showed up would be an act of defiance." He told Esquire, "This is what I did, this was me. I was a reporter. This was a calling; it was not something you do eight to five."

Meanwhile, in San Jose, the paper promoted Van Slambrouck to deputy managing editor; Knight Ridder, the Mercury News' corporate parent, defended Ceppos against a conservative columnist's call to have him fired "for a gross act of journalistic malpractice." On the contrary, Clark Hoyt, then Knight Ridder's vice president for news, told the Washington Post, "he's handled it superbly. I'm very proud of him."

The burden took its toll on Webb. By the end of the summer of 1997, 25 publishers had turned down his book proposal. Depression set in with a vengeance, remembers Bell, as Webb faced the future. Even if he won arbitration, he had no desire to stay at the Mercury News. But if he couldn't be a reporter, he had no idea what to do. He decided to settle with the paper, even though it meant resigning. It took him a month to sign the letter. "I saw it as a surrender," he told Bell, "like signing my death certificate." On December 10, 1997, Webb resigned, took a job as an investigator for the state Legislature and began working on a book for a small publisher, sometimes staying up all night writing, telling Bell when she fretted, "You can sleep when you're dead."

By January 1998, obsessed with the affair between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the media had forgotten about Webb and "Dark Alliance."

But little by little, with virtually no media attention, federal reports on the episode became public, producing "concrete evidence disproving, once and for all," the CIA's long-standing assertion that it had nothing to do with drug trafficking to benefit the contra war, Kornbluh says. While the investigations found no evidence that the CIA had supplied or sold drugs in Los Angeles, they did find the agency had withheld information about contra crimes from the Justice Department and Congress, and had recruited drug traffickers to run an undeclared war that took precedence over law enforcement (see "The CIA and Drug Trafficking,"). The CIA had one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government, the agency's inspector general reported. The government findings indicated "the CIA turned a blind eye at best to information that suggests drug trafficking by contra operatives," Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.) said at a congressional hearing in 1998.

Though hardly a vindication of Webb, the report marked one of the most extensive internal probes the CIA had ever launched, and it strengthened Webb's resolve to win the war his series had unleashed. In the tragic arc of Webb's life, this was a crucial turning point: the instincts, idealism and stubbornness that had served him so well as an investigative reporter clouded his ability to clearly assess himself. A cowboy to the end, he walked alone into the third and final act of his life.

He fantasized about starting over. He threw himself into his job with the state, growing distant from his family, eventually leaving Bell for another woman, a friend recalls, a relationship that ended badly. He worked feverishly in his job and on his book, which was published in the fall of 1998. The Washington Post gave "Dark Alliance" a mixed review, criticizing Webb for botching parts of the story but praising him for "pushing a sleazy piece of the CIA's past into the public light. The gang at Langley is still resisting coming clean, and these unholy alliances remain in the dark." The Los Angeles Times dismissed it as old news; the New York Times chastised Webb, the San Jose Mercury News editors and the book's publisher for their "relaxed approaches" to reporting the facts of such "a serious subject."

Webb continued to work for the Legislature, investigating state government with the same fervor he had as a reporter, pairing up on several projects with Tom Dresslar, an old Capitol press corps colleague who'd also left to work for the state. Dresslar knew Webb mostly from what he had heard from Mercury News reporters, so he was skeptical about their partnership. "Any skepticism was quickly dashed," Dresslar recalls. "He worked his ass off." Sometimes he and Webb stayed up until two or three in the morning preparing for hearings the next day. A report Webb wrote on the California Highway Patrol's racial profiling--it served as the basis for his 1999 Esquire piece "Driving While Black"--prompted the Assembly speaker to denounce his work and the ACLU to file and win a class-action lawsuit on behalf of minority motorists.

As the capital's political alliances shifted, so did its priorities, leaving Webb in a job with a mandate to get politicians reelected. "Most of the time," says Dresslar, "his talents were wasted." In February 2004, Webb and a few others were laid off. He called Bell--discouraged, scared, crying--on what would have been their 25th wedding anniversary. He said he'd never find another job in daily journalism; she disagreed and urged him to try. With his daughter's help, they assembled 50 packets--clips, résumés, letters--and sent them off. Nothing happened. He called everyone he knew in newspapers. No offers. "It was crushing," recalls a friend.

He tried and failed at a new relationship. His children, now older and more independent, had less time for him. At every turn, he found failure; even so, he kept trying, refusing to ask for help--"he wasn't that type of person," says Bell--and hiding the pain from those he loved most. In May, about to lose his health insurance, he stopped taking his anti-depressants, he told Greg Wolf. "That was the last I heard from him." Bell encouraged him to see a therapist. "Thank you for your concern," he e-mailed her. "But I can't afford it."

When a screenwriter suggested they write a miniseries that summer, he threw himself into the work, but the project fizzled. He took a job with the weekly Sacramento News and Review, earning half what he had at a daily. He wrote five stories between September and November, all the while looking back to where he had been before "Dark Alliance" catapulted him into the world he now inhabited, living alone, financial pressures mounting. "It seems being a reporter all my life doesn't qualify me for much of anything else aside from flackery, and I'd rather starve than do that," he said in an e-mail to a friend. "The job's OK, but it's hard to really enjoy it."

He was getting reckless, driving too fast, making excuses when friends called to go out for beers; he stopped playing hockey and showing up for his daughter's soccer games, pulled away from his motorcycle buddies, worried about his ability to support his family. Friend Bruce Colville tried to contact him by e-mail and phone, hoping to arrange a visit in the fall. But Webb never responded. In Webb's mind he had become what the media had dubbed him: a failure, discredited, damaged, an unworthy role model for his children. Staring down 50, unable to afford even a cell phone, he saw no hope. Life "was a crapshoot and he wasn't willing to play the game anymore," says a friend. "He didn't have the energy to keep trying. It was just too painful."

Instead, he started planning for his death, secretly signing over his possessions and bank accounts to his family, purchasing a cremation certificate, selling his Carmichael house for more than $300,000. In December, as the anniversary of his Mercury News resignation loomed, he took unpaid leave from his job to pack his remaining life into boxes, spending more time with his children, working for hours with son Eric on a family history project for school. The next day, he asked Bell if he could stay with her after he moved. "I can't be alone," he told her. "I've been alone for too long." She suggested he stay with his mother. In retrospect, Bell believes, "he wanted to be stopped, there's no doubt in my mind. He did not want to die. If on the last day of his life someone called him up and offered him a job at a newspaper, he'd be here today."

But that didn't happen. On the day he died, his motorcycle broke down. A man who appeared to be in his early 20s offered him a ride. Webb took it and gave him $20 for his trouble. By the time Webb returned to the parking lot where he'd left the motorcycle, it was gone, stolen by the same man, according to a detective with the Sacramento sheriff's department. "Gary was too trusting," Bell says. "He'd try to help people all the time. He trusted this kid, he trusted hitchhikers, he trusted Jerry [Ceppos] when he said, 'I'll stick by you 100 percent.'" The last betrayal and the loss of his motorcycle, she says, were "the final signs that he should carry out his plan."

His mother drove him home that day, where he continued packing up the house he had restored with a craftsman's precision. He noticed a framed poster he'd carted around with him since his days at the Kentucky Post, a paean to the paper's readers that promised "no fetters on our reporters, nor must they bow to sacred cows"; to never "tamper with the truth"; to "give light [so] the people will find their own way." He chucked it in the trash.

He put his favorite movie--"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"--in the DVD player and his favorite album--"Ian Hunter Live"--on the turntable, stacked the remaining boxes neatly in the corners of his living room, leaving his Social Security card, cremation certificate and car keys on the kitchen counter. He mailed four letters to his family, wrote an ominous note and taped it to the front door. He repaired to the bedroom, pulled out a revolver, and sent a bullet through his cheek. The second time he tried, he hit a major artery. "There's no way [to know] if he died suddenly," says Ed Smith, assistant Sacramento County coroner, "or if he bled to death."

The movers arrived the next day, December 10, the anniversary of his resignation from the Mercury News. They saw the note on the door: "Please do not enter. Call 9-1-1 for assistance. Thank you."

When Bell sorted through what he'd left behind, she found the movie in the DVD player, the album on the turntable and the Kentucky Post poster in the trash. She fished the poster out of the garbage, repaired the broken glass and hung it in the office in her small suburban Sacramento house, a shrine to Webb so his children can remember the man he was: the awards on the walls, the editorial cartoons lambasting the media's treatment of him, his books neatly arranged on the shelves, his research meticulously tabbed to where he had left it. In his letter to Bell, he tried to explain his profound regrets about her and the children, but he had no answers. "All I want to do is write, and if I can't do what I love, then what's the sense of going on?" she says he wrote, adding, in case anyone asks, "tell them I never regretted anything I wrote."

After his death, hundreds of friends and family members packed into a small room at the Sacramento Doubletree Hotel for his memorial service, filling the chairs, standing in every corner, spilling into the hall. No one from the Mercury News sent regrets, says Bell, "not even a card. He wrote a lot of good stories for them. No matter how they felt about 'Dark Alliance,' they should have had respect for what he'd written before."

At the service, the family showed videos, the friends gave eulogies. "That boy couldn't stop worth a damn," remembered a hockey buddy. "Gary couldn't stop himself when he had his sights on something, whether he was chasing [a] puck or pursuing [a] story." When Bell stood to convey one of Webb's last wishes, sent to his son Eric in a suicide note, no one stirred. "If I had one dream for you," he wrote, "it was that you would go into journalism and carry on the kind of work I did, fighting with all your might and talent the oppression and bigotry and stupidity and greed that surrounds us. No matter what you do, try to do that in some way."


Unless otherwise noted in the story, Gary Webb's quotes and recollections about the editing process of the San Jose Mercury News series "Dark Alliance" come from his book, "Dark Alliance," an essay he wrote for "Into the Buzzsaw" or a first-person account titled "Dark Defiance."

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard

Venezuela seeks extradition of bomber with CIA ties

By ED O'KEEFE
May 24, 2005

The May 18 arrest of Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles on charges of entering the United States illegally could lead to his deportation.

Venezuela filed a formal extradition request for Posada and hopes to try him on charges related to the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet.

Posada, 77, is being held without bond pending a hearing before an immigration judge on June 13. He slipped into the United States via Mexico in March in hopes of gaining political asylum, surfacing at a press conference in Miami May 17. He was arrested later that day.

Venezuela's extradition request stems from Posada's alleged involvement in planning the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455. Seventy-three people died when the plane exploded over Barbados after departing Caracas, Venezuela en route to Havana. Posada would likely face charges similar to the ones he faced when he escaped Venezuela in 1985.

Posada worked with the CIA beginning in the 1960s, according to recently declassified CIA documents. Also linked to the 1997 bombing of a Havana hotel that killed one Italian tourist, he was arrested in Panama in 2000 after an assassination attempt on Cuban President Fidel Castro. The outgoing Panamanian president pardoned Posada and his accomplices in 2004.

Brian Becker, national coordinator of A.N.S.W.E.R., an anti-war coalition established after 9/11, stated at a May 13 press conference that the Bush Administration would be committing "obvious and apparent hypocrisy" if it did not arrest and then extradite Posada.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com)

 

 

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/Issues/2005-05-26/news/metro2.html

 

 

How I Missed the Posada Story
By Kirk Nielsen

Published: Thursday, May 26, 2005


Printer friendly version of this story
Email Kirk Nielsen
More stories by Kirk Nielsen
Send a letter to the editor

Feature
Excess Hollywood
Some interesting horror flicks, a couple of relationship movies, and plenty of action save summer from sequels

Letters
Letters from the Issue of May 26, 2005
Best this, best that, and bad newspapers

Metro
To Serve and Protect and Intimidate
A school teacher is beaten senseless by Miami Beach police, then his life is allegedly threatened, now he's gone

The Bitch
The Bitch
28 Days Later

Kulchur
The D Word
Say anything you want, but just don't call them Democrats


Well, it just so happened I was gearing up for a vacation when Luis Posada Carriles decided to announce he had sneaked into the United States, putting the Bush administration on the spot and setting the stage for a huge public-relations triumph for his nemesis Fidel Castro. That was in mid-April.

Is a serious journalist really expected to cancel a bonefishing excursion to a tranquil corner of the Bahamas and instead try to track down this decomposing geezer for yet another duplicitous interview? I don't think so. Besides, in our post-9/11 world, what were the chances a mere reporter could find Posada before high-tech Homeland Security agents swooped in and snatched him? After all, the man is a convicted terrorist. (Last year a Panamanian court found him guilty of "endangering public security" in a plot to murder Castro using C4 explosives.)

But even if I had secretly trailed Posada's hotheaded Miami host and financial patron, Santiago Alvarez, to the hiding place, and even if I'd been received with open arms, what new would the fanatical "man of action" have to say? More important, why would anyone believe it?

He once told the New York Times he had organized the lethal Havana hotel bombings of 1997, and revealed that Cuban American National Foundation founder Jorge Mas Canosa had financed them. But after the remarks were published, Posada recanted them.

In 2001 we exchanged correspondence as he sat in a Panamanian jail cell. In a letter he explained his mention of Mas Canosa was a "tactical error." He also claimed his mission in Panama had been to help the chief of Cuba's intelligence service defect -- not to detonate C4 in Fidel's face. He "repudiated terrorism" but still considered a "military solution" to be "viable" and "abundantly justified." All of this mumbo jumbo was dutifully reported in my story "Fidel Made Them Do It" (August 9, 2001).

So I went fishing.

When I returned to work this past May 16, I was shocked to discover Posada had successfully eluded the feds and (supposedly) was still at large somewhere in Miami. I also learned the editor of this paper was prepared to offer a $500 reward for information leading to Posada's whereabouts. So I sprang into action and called Santiago Alvarez, hoping he would slip me a lead.

"WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT I WOULD WANT TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN?" Alvarez yelled at me over the phone. "What makes you think that -- you write something like that -- I want to talk to you again?" His chief complaint: In the 2001 article I had referred to his office in a Hialeah strip mall as a "war room." The image was more than a metaphor, especially for someone like Posada, who champions violent struggle against the Cuban government and, as he wrote to me in 2001, considers the death of 32-year-old Fabio Di Celmo in one of the Havana hotel bombings "a sacrifice."

Alvarez: "I was very candid and I was very frank with you, and you come up with stuff like that? And you expect for me to talk to you again?"

I protested. My article, I reminded him, had provided the most complete account (4000 words!) of what Posada said he was up to in Panama.

Alvarez: "If you want me to talk to you again, you apologize to me in print, in your paper, and then you talk to me again!"

The belligerence continued the next day at a secret news conference in a Hialeah warehouse, which Alvarez hadn't bothered to mention to me. ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman asked -- frankly and candidly -- a question about the 1997 Havana bombings. Alvarez shouted him down. Queries about that topic were not allowed.

New York Times correspondent Abby Goodnough reported she refused to attend the news conference "because of the terms, which included being driven by Mr. Posada's associates to an undisclosed location and agreeing to ask only certain questions." Good for her. Buying into that kind of deal would be like going to a Homeland Security press briefing and agreeing not to ask why it took U.S. authorities more than two months to arrest Posada.

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
May 17, 2005
Retired DEA Agent comments on POSADA case.
Posada is a documented drug trafficker and terrorist in government files. According to Castillo, Luis Posada, Felix Rodriguez, Oliver North and Walter Grasheim all have multiple files in the DEA database. Cele Castillo personally witnessed and documented their activities in El Salvador during the 1980's Contra war in the book "Powderburns".  Castillo was tipped off to investigate Ilopango airbase by fellow agent Bobby Nieves.  Nieves told Castillo that large scale drug trafficking was occuring at Ilopango as part of the contra resupply effort and that he (Castillo) should investigate it.  Bobby Nieves now works for Guardian technologies, Oliver North's company.  He now denies any link between the contras and drugs.

For over a century, our government has made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that we have done to other people in third world countries, especially in Latin America.  With the creation of the School of the Americas, a breeding ground for assassins, and the death squads, we have become the greatest human rights violators in the world.

We have become the most hated country in the world, not because we practice democracy or value our freedom.   We are hated because our government denies these basic principles to these people. The hate has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism, AND as they say, once again, “the chickens have come home to roost with our own home grown American made terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles.

When I was posted in Central America, as a DEA agent, I still remember seeing Luis Posada and Felix Rodriguez, another American terrorist, at Illopango airport base in El Salvador.  Joining them was a CIA asset Venezuelan advisor Victor Rivera.  They had become part of what was known as a CIA apparatus that did not have to answer to no one.  They were involved from drug trafficking, kidnapping, and the training of the death squads.  It was also at the height of the Iran-Contra investigation where I had documented these atrocities to my government.  I could not understand how our government had assisted in having Posada escaped from a Venezuela prison, and then placing him at Illopango airport as a CIA asset under the new name of Ramon Medina. He was now working hand in hand with then U. S. Lt. Col. Oliver North. When I question Posada’s presence at Illopango, I was once again told that it was a covert operation being run by the White House.  I started to learn real fast that just about every time I question illegal events, I was told that it was “a covert operation being run by the White House”.  And as we found out later, my allegations became facts, especially with President Bush Sr. 1990 pardoning of another American made terrorist and partners in crime with Posada, Orlando Bosch.  Now you have a clear observation of why we had 9/11 and possibly more to come.  We have exported death and violence to the four corners of the Earth with individuals like Posada and Bosch.

    Posada admitted to a New York Times reporter, that he organized a wave of bombings in Cuba in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and injured others.  However, he is best know as the prime suspect in the bombing of a Cuban Airlines flight in Barbados in October 1976.  All 73 crewmembers and passengers including teenaged members of Cuba’s national fencing team were killed.

    In 2002, he was convicted of conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro in Panama.  Once again, with an allied of the United State, he was pardon.
 
    Our credibility has been eroded these past few weeks since Posada's arrival into our U. S. soil, with a bogus American passport.  According to Posada’s attorney, he has filed for an asylum claim.  This should be a free ticket to any other immigrant that is applying for asylum.  If an American made terrorist can get asylum, then it should be easy for an immigrant who is honest and hard working individual to get asylum.

    The FBI and the CIA has just released their Top Secret memos, of course they are now declassified, on Posada’s involvement with terrorist acts against humanity.

 Other American made terrorists are Mario Alarcon - Sandoval godfather of the death squads in Central America, Felix Rodriguez, and a Cuban exile who murdered Che Guevara, Major Roberto D’Aubuisson who led the death squads in El Salvador.  They all had American’s blessing in assassinations. This will affirm that the U. S. government is considers itself to be the vehicles of higher morality and truth and has yet, continue to operate in violation of law. 

Even though I’m known as a tranquil individual at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for a country that has a double standard of terrorism.  Where is the Border Patrol, Immigration, or Homeland Security when you need them?  Posada entered this country illegally, and most devastating, has admitted to bombing where civilians were killed. The FBI claims that they don’t have an arrest warrant for him, as the reason they are not looking for him. Wait, just off the wire, Homeland Security has just picked up Posada. Will he be extradited to Venezuela?  I don’t think so. He will probably be given a couple of million dollars, and will live in a secluded island for the remainder of his golden years. What reward to be an assassin for the United States government.

This world has become a very dangerous place to live, not just because of the evil people that control it, but also because of the individuals who do absolutely nothing to make it a better place to live.

For years, I have advocated that this country has become the worst human rights violator, and Posada and his Cuban criminals are proof that we are who we are.  Let’s not forget our human rights violations in Iraq, and just recently in Colombia, the assassination of Colombian Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, Luis Eduardo Guerra. I’ve witnessed, time and time again, as an American Diplomat in Latin America, this atrocities that our government has committed. My biggest enemy was not the drug cartels but the CIA and the criminals they hired.  It is because of that, that I have now remained capable of feeling deeply in my blood when an injustice is being committed.

Celerino “Cele” Castillo, 3rd
Ex-DEA Agent
2709 North 28 ½ Street
McAllen, Texas 78501
956-345-5770
Powderburns.org
e-mail: powderburns@prodigy.net






From: pete katz <gatos@ccms.net>
To: "pedro gatos" <gatos@ccms.net>
Subject: Be close to a radio ............
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:15 PM
Friends,

Good evening friends of truth and justice.

For the next few weeks please note that in addition to hosting ........"Bringing Light into Darkness".

 I will be substitute host for the KOOP Monday News from 5:30-6pm which will be followed by "Bringing Light into Darkness" from 6:00pm-6:30pm CST. Therefore please tune in beginning at 5:30pm to 91.7 FM, or on the web (webstreaming @ http://www.koop.org)  . 

Therefore, Don't Be Late! Tune in Tomorrow night, Monday 5/30/05 at 5:30pm - 6:30pm. We will have news and and a dialogue with a special guest from 5:30-6:30pm Central Standard Time. Celebrate Memorial Day by doing your 1 hour history homework assignment by tuning in!!!!!

Our guest will be retired DEA Agent Celerino "Cele" Castillo III, who after serving in Viet Nam and being awarded the bronze star, became employed and served for 12 years in the Drug Enforcement Administration. He served predominantly in South and Central America.

The eerie climax of agent Castillo's career with the DEA took place in El Salvador. One day, he received a cable from a fellow agent. He was told to investigate possible drug smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras operating from the Ilopango Air Force Base, El Salvador.

Mr. Castillo quickly discovered that the Contra pilots were, indeed, smuggling narcotics back into the United States - using the same pilots, planes and hangers that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North, used to maintain their covert supply operation to the Contras.

Please join us for a dialogue with Mr. Castillo, on the day our nation celebrates Memorial Day for all fallen soldiers of war. Mr Castillo will reflect on our U.S. Foreign Policy regarding the War on Drugs and share his personal insights regarding the real motives he believes drives our policies and the experiences he has had that helped shape those beliefs.

Please forward comments, questions and ideas to gatos@ccms.net. Please pass the word and enlarge our concerns.

thanks for your interests and concerns,

respectfully and siempre fieles,

pedro gatos

PS. You can also send comments to the station both positive or negative to promote your feelings about the show and our community radio station at koop@yahoo.com


A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000086&sid=aE0jrmFFPn_w&refer=latin_america

Venezuela presses for extradition of terrorist/contra cocaine dealer POSADA
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
Hola Cele,
 
I have just read your article on the web about Posada and Bosch.  I send along a composition of my own that you may find of interest.  Best Regards,  John

Making war on Cuban families

It was October 6, 1976, and the message read, "A bus with 73 dogs on board went off a cliff and all got killed." The message had been relayed to Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada in Venezuela from their two employees who had recently arrived in Barbados. Except, it wasn't a bus, it was an airplane -- Cubana flight 455 from Caracas, Venezuela to Barbados-Jamaica-Cuba.

Ten minutes out of Barbados, on the second leg of the flight, the first bomb went off. Fire, chaos, and terror were now on board. Inside, toxic black smoke filled the cabin. Miraculously, the plane was still airborne. After announcing the bomb to the tower in Barbados, the Cuban pilot headed back and could be heard desperately ordering the cockpit door closed in an attempt to maintain visibility for a hoped emergency landing. Five minutes went by -- and there was growing optimism, the old DC 8 was holding together. She was on a long, sloping descent in line with the runway. Then the second bomb went off in the rear toilet. That was it. Cubana 455 was going down. She crashed into blue Carribbean waters west of Barbados.

There weren't any dogs on board. There were mostly teenagers, and their chaperones. It was a team of young Olympic fencers from Cuba who had just swept the Latin region competition, winning all the gold medals. They couldn't wait to get home to show them off to their families and school chums. Then there were the six Guayana teenagers, star pupils who had so excelled in school that they had been admitted to Cuban medical schools on full scholarship. All of their parents had been at the airport to see them off, full of hope and pride. The remaining twenty or so passengers on flight 455 worked for the airline and were on a mission to map out possible new routes. In all, the plane held 73 souls. The crash was so violent that no bodies were ever recovered; only a few parts here and there, washed up on the white beaches, in front of the tourist hotels.

It was as true an act of terrorism as has ever been committed. But the masterminds behind this tragedy were not agents of Islamic fundamentalism. No, they were from Miami, from the radical Cuban exile community. Both men, Bosch and Posada, had been trained and used by the CIA. They had been "our guys." When Orlando Bosch was eventually returned to Miami, he returned to a hero's welcome. The Cuban hard liners loved it. Eventually, at the behest of politically powerful Cuban Americans in Miami, and lobbied by his own son Jeb, George Bush senior, then president, granted Orlando Bosh political asylum. They say there was a near riot at the justice department over Bush's granting the asylum, because of their strong objections based on FBI documants. Orlando Bosh and his "Cuban Warriors" were linked to a long list of assassinations, car bombings, sabotage and terror directed at anyone who supported the Castro regime, or who argued for more normal relations between the U.S and Cuba.

As for Luis Posada, trained by the CIA in explosives, he eventually bribed his way out of Venezuela's prison and went underground in Latin America. He later participated in the illegal Iran/Contra affair that also included sworn testimony of a cocaine-financed transport system of raising money. Posada's plan in November of 2000 was to bomb a Panamanian conference of young students. He and three cohorts in Panama City were found to have 33 pounds of C4 explosive and detonators, along with weapons. It was to have been an auditorium bombing, when Castro would be speaking to the kids. After a visit by Colin Powell, Posada was pardoned by the outgoing Panamanian president for "humanitarian reasons." She now lives in Miami.

These acts were all outside Cuba; the story on the island is even more sad. Posada has publicly boasted of masterminding a string of hotel lobby bombings in Cuba that killed one Italian tourist and seriously wounded many others. Over the years Miami's "counter-revolutionary" groups, including Alpha-66, Omega-7, CORU (formed by then CIA director George Bush) and others, have been accused of numerous acts of violence directed at civilian populations on the island. As early as 1962, US sponsored saboteurs blew up an industrial complex in Cuba that killed 400 workers. The Washington Post in 1979 drew up a list of Biological Warfare tactics used against Cuba, claiming the Pentagon had produced biological agents to use against Cuba's sugar cane and tobacco fields. Later, CIA documents disclosed that the Agency "maintained a clandestine anti-crop warfare research program targeted ... at a number of countries throughout the world."

There have also been suspicious outbreaks of exotic viral pathogens on the island, some directed at animals, including African swine flu in 1971 that resulted in the destruction of over one half million hogs. This, in a land of near starvation diets. Ulcerative mammilitis, making milk cows for children non-productive, was also suspected of having been introduced to the island from outside. A Newsday account of the time describes epidemics of human dengue fever, a severe bleeding infection, sprouting up on the island at different locations spontaneously, eventually infecting tens of thousands of citizens and killing over one hundred children. Haemorraghic conjunctivitis, a blinding eye disease, may also have been introduced during the same period. In 1984, Eduardo Arocena, leader of the Omega 7 Cuban exile group, in court on a homicide charge, admitted to having participated in an operation to introduce "germs" as part of the "war" against Cuba. There is one account, reported to the U.N., of an observed "dispersion" of substance from a crop spraying U.S.military plane overflying Cuba, headed for Colombia. When confronted, the US State Department said "smoke" had been released by the pilot to warn the observing civilian airline pilot of his presence. A previously foreign multi-crop destroying insect was later found to develop along the path of the flight to Cayman Island.

One has but to look back on the history of Cuba-American relations to recognize our long involvement in her internal affairs, and our often violent attempts to hold sway there. If national soverignity means anything, it means the right of a country to chart its own course without internal interference from powerful outside forces, even down what many of us believe is the dead-end road of communism. It is giving to other nations nothing more than we demand for ourselves.

Perhaps it is just this kind of hypocricy and double standard that we have shown to Cuba and other Central and South American countries that now spurs so much bitter resentment and hatred toward our government in the world at large.

We didn''t call what we and our agents did to Cubans terrorism, we called it "Dirty Tricks" or "Black Ops." You see, for some, it seems a "Terrorist" is in the eye of the beholder.


John R. Bomar

Tel: 501-525-0519

Dr. John Bomar is an ocean sailor who unexpectedly found himself in Cuba for six weeks after signing on to a Dutch schooner in Curasao in 1996.
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
FULL TRANSCRIPTS OF THE KERRY REPORT ON THEMEMORYHOLE.ORG

PLEASE HELP SUPPORT THEMEMORYHOLE.ORG FOR SCANNING THE ENTIRE REPORT  AND HOSTING IT. THERE IS NO COMPLETE COPY OF THIS REPORT ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.  THIS IS A RARE AND VALUABLE RESEARCH RESOURCE.


"Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy"
a/k/a the Kerry Report transcripts
Thanks to Lorenzo Hagerty for supplying me with his copy of the Kerry Report transcripts


[see below for background on these elusive transcripts]

Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy:
Transcripts of the Hearings

Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Communications and International Economic Policy, Trade, Oceans and Environment of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundredth Congress, First Session, May 27, July 15, and October 30, 1987


Part Two: Panama

entire volume in one Acrobat file


Part One

cover and title page | committee members | table of contents

pages > 1-20 | 21-40 | 41-60 | 61-80 | 81-100 | 101-120 | 121-140 | 141-160 | 161-190

[more will be posted soon]


Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy:
Final Report

The final report, based on the hearings above, is here.
(Thanks to the National Security Archive.)

Background

>>> In 1987, two subcommittees of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held three days of hearings on drug trafficking. Headed by Sen. John F. Kerry (D - Mass.)—who has since become a candidate for President—the panel heard evidence of official corruption in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The next year, the government published the transcripts in a 4-volume set that has remained a touchstone for anyone interested in narco-corruption, particularly as it involves US intelligence agencies.

The trouble is, this 1,800-page goldmine of information has been incredibly hard to find. The Memory Hole's copy was given to me by a friend of the family—Lorenzo Hagerty—who told me an interesting story. As soon as the Kerry Report was published in 1988, Lorenzo ordered a copy from the Government Printing Office. When it arrived, he began reading it and realized how important it was. He immediately called the GPO to order another set. He was told that the report was already out of print and would not be published again. It had been available to the public for one single week.

Small portions of the Kerry Report transcripts have been published online, but they are only a fraction of the entire four volumes. The Memory Hole is planning to scan and post the entire thing. The first volume has been posted as HTML, and the rest will go up as Acrobat files. The front page and the email updates will contain notifications when new portions are posted.

December 1988 saw the publication of the one-volume report based on these hearings. This report--also very rare--has been scanned and posted by the National Security Archive. It's available here [PDF format].



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard

http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2005/junio/mart7/24narco.html

Havana. June 7, 2005

POSADA AND DRUG TRAFFICKING
"Prodigal son" of the Bush family whiffs
of cocaine

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD – Special for Granma International –

AMONG the elements that make terrorist Luis Posada Carriles a hot potato for the US administration, and have him treated like a prodigal son of the Bush family are the international criminal’s links with drug trafficking, which continue to figure prominently.

In his book Dark Alliance, the well-known and talented US investigative journalist Gary Webb describes Posada as "a veteran CIA agent with a history of involvement with drug traffickers, underworld characters and terrorists," who was investigated by the Justice Department for his activities supplying weapons and explosives to the mafiosi troops of the former Havana capo Santos Traficante.

In 1973, Webb says, Posada was placed under surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) after that agency discovered that he was the "main contact" for a large-scale trafficking operation implicating the Venezuelan government.

The following year, the CIA was advised by the DEA that Posada was involved in a cocaine trafficking operation with a person implicated in political assassinations – a reference to Félix Rodríguez, the CIA agent who ordered Che’s assassination and was already involved in that area of criminal activity.

In June of 1976, Posada took part – with Orlando Bosch – in a meeting in Bonao, the Dominican Republic, to set up the terrorist organization CORU, on the instructions of Bush Sr. After his arrest for the mid-flight bombing of a Cuban passenger plane on October 6, 1976, Posada was arrested and held until 1986, when Félix Rodríguez and the CIA sprung him.

Rodríguez wanted him as his right hand man in the gigantic drug trafficking operation that he was developing from the Ilopango air base in El Salvador.

Webb’s series in the San Jose Mercury News explained in detail how the CIA network sold tons of cocaine to criminal gangs in exchange for weapons for the Nicaraguan Contra forces.

Celerino Castillo, a DEA agent, later explained to the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee that his informants saw warehouses full of drugs, weapons and money on the Ilopango base.

He also explained how they realized that many of the pilots for the Nicaraguan Contra who benefited from the clandestine operation were on file as drug traffickers.

After the CIA Inspector General published a report on drug trafficking carried out by that agency, the House of Representatives finally agreed to discuss the matter, and in a 60-minute hearing, Porter Goss, who had headed the Intelligence Committee since the previous year, determined that the allegations were false.

At that time, nobody said anything then about Goss also being a former CIA agent, a member of the notorious Operation 40, side-by-side with Posada Carriles, and who participated in the JM/WAVE terrorist operations in Miami in 1972.

Goss was named director of the CIA last August 10 by George W. Bush.

Posada obtained an illegal pardon from Mireya Moscoso, the corrupt former president of Panama, on the 26th of that same month.

This past December 10, Webb’s body was discovered in his home in Carmichael, California.

IN PANAMA, THE DRUG TRAFFICKING TRAIL

Several events link Posada’s presence in Panama in 2000 with drug trafficking.

José Valladares Acosta, a fugitive of justice in the U.S, who died of natural causes in Panama on October 7, 2003 while awaiting trial as an accomplice of Posada in the conspiracy to assassinate the Cuban president, was associated with Cuban-American Orestes Cosío, deported to the U.S. on May 22, 2003 for drug trafficking and participating in three homicides.

Cosío, who was living in the province of Chiriquí under the name of Luis "Mack" Navarro, linked up with José "Pepe" Valladares and Pedro Caridad Gordillo Serrano, a retired Miami policeman also linked to drug trafficking, in a mechanics’ garage called Big Truck, a façade for criminal activities.

Born on February 7, 1934, in Pinar del Río, Cuba, Valladares conveniently died on October 7, 2003, "from heart problems," in Boquete, where he had lived for years, it being used as a point of communications and transit for the Miami mafia.

Valladares’ ties with the Miami ring of terrorism and drug trafficking date back more than three decades. On the other hand, during his trial in the Panamanian courts, Posada and his accomplices, Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo, Guillermo Novo Sampoll and Pedro Remón, were represented by narco-attorney Rogelio Cruz, former attorney general, deposed and sentenced for his links with the Colombian cartels.

Cruz has made a number of trips to Miami to meet with members of the mafiosi groups that paid for Posada’s legal defense. He has not had any problems whatsoever with the immigration authorities in spite of having been sentenced in Panama for his support to the Colombian cartels.

THE CANF AND DRUGS

In the murky history of the Cuban-American National Foundation that always directed, supported and financed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, various individuals are involved with drugs.

The Miami Herald once related how Jorge Valdés, a CANF director, was implicated in drug trafficking and that funds obtained from that source were used for sponsoring Posada’s actions.

In 1980, Mas Canosa – with the help of the police – obtained the release from prison in Miami of César Quiroga and Israel Rojas, two former CIA agents involved in drug trafficking that he wanted to use as part of an infiltration team when the U.S. attacked Grenada.

Mas Canosa was also a great friend of José Chaviano, a narco-businessman who had ties to José Francisco "Ricky" Escalada, a drug magnate who lent his boats for terrorist actions against Cuba.

Millionaire Carlos Pérez, a CANF director, made a generous donation to Ronald Reagan’s election campaign and to Oliver North’s defense during the ill-named Iran-Contra scandal, which involved Posada. In an article published in the Spanish magazine Interviú, Pérez was accused of importing cocaine through his banana company in Costa Rica.

In October of 1997, the US Coast Guard intercepted the La Esperanza yacht in the vicinity of Puerto Rican territorial waters as it headed toward the Venezuelan island of Margarita, where Fidel Castro was due to attend the annual Ibero-American summit a few days later.

Investigations promptly revealed that Francisco "Pepe" Hernández, 61, the CANF president himself, was the owner of one of their guns. Investigators also determined that José Antonio "Toñin" Llama, 66, a CANF executive committee member, was the owner of the yacht.

Weeks later, in January of 1998, Juan Bautista Márquez, one of the four La Esperanza crew members, was released on bail and then rearrested. This time, it was by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which charged him with importing 365 kg of cocaine into the U.S, conspiring to import 2,000 kg and money laundering.

Later, it was discovered that the chief organizer of the entire operation was … Luis Posada Carriles.

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/miami/sfl-0609posadacarriles,0,7580746.story?coll=sfla-news-miami

New documents link Cuban militant Posada Carriles to airliner bombing

By Curt Anderson
The Associated Press
Posted June 9 2005, 4:56 PM EDT

 

Luis Posada Carriles


Luis Posada Carriles


 
MIAMI -- Cuban militant exile Luis Posada Carriles said shortly before the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that he and others ``are going to hit a Cuban airplane,'' according to a declassified CIA document released Thursday.

The 1976 cable quotes an unnamed former Venezuelan official known as a ``usually reliable reporter'' as saying that Posada made the remark following a $1,100-a-plate fund-raising dinner in Caracas for Orlando Bosch, a leader of Cuban exiles opposed to the communist government of President Fidel Castro.

The CIA documents says that during the dinner, Bosch made the comment that his organization was ``looking good'' after the Sept. 21, 1976 assassination in Washington of Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and that ``we are going to try something else.''

``A few days following the fund-raising dinner, Posada was overhead to say that 'we are going to hit a Cuban airplane' and that 'Orlando has the details,''' the CIA cable says, adding that the identities of ``we'' and ``Orlando'' were not certain.

Posada, 77, was arrested May 17 in Miami and is being held by U.S. immigration authorities in El Paso, Texas, on charges of entering the country illegally in March. Venezuela plans to seek his extradition in the airliner bombing, which killed 73 people when it crashed of the coast of Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976.

Posada, a former CIA operative and ex-Venezuelan security official, plans to seek political asylum in the United States and has denied taking part in the bombing. A hearing for Posada is scheduled Monday before an immigration judge in El Paso.

Two Venezuelan trials failed to convict Posada in the airline bombing, and he was awaiting a third trial when he escaped from prison in 1985. Months later, he surfaced in El Salvador as part of the U.S. effort to supply arms purchased from Iran to the Contras attempting to topple the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

The CIA cable is among several newly declassified documents regarding Posada that were released Thursday by the National Security Archive, a nonprofit organization based at George Washington University. Other documents include a lengthy 1992 FBI interview in Honduras with Posada about the Iran-Contra affair and a CIA summary of his activities for the spy agency in the 1960s and 1970s.

Peter Kornbluh, director of the archive's Cuba Documentation Project, said the documents demonstrate the need for the CIA to declassify what it knows about Posada ``as a concrete contribution to justice for those who have committed acts of terror.''

Posada's attorney in Miami, Eduardo Soto, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

According to the new documents:

--Posada was trained in Guatemala in 1961 by the CIA to participate in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. That training included explosives and weapons. He was in the U.S. Army from March 1963 to March 1964 in Fort Benning, Ga., rising to the rank of second lieutenant and commanding a Ranger weapons platoon.

--Posada was used as a CIA source on Cuban exile activities and worked in 1965 with a Miami-based group attempting to overthrow the Guatemalan government. He was ``formally terminated'' as a CIA operative in July 1967, then moved to Caracas and became a Venezuelan security official. He attempted to get a U.S. visa for himself and his wife in July 1976 but was denied.

--Posada saved about $40,000 from his pay as part of the Iran-Contra project. His job at an airfield in El Salvador in 1985 was mainly to ``take care of all the needs of the resupply personnel'' including ``food and beer.'' But he also flew periodically on the resupply flights, mainly because his fluency in Spanish was needed to communicate on the radio.



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB157/index.htm

Luis Posada Carriles spoke of plans to "hit" a Cuban airliner only days before Cubana flight 455 exploded on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 passengers aboard, according to this declassified CIA document from 1976.

The Posada File: Part II

Posada Boasted of Plans to "Hit" Cuban Plane, CIA Document States

Served as Instructor, Informant for Agency for more than a Decade

Other Documents Highlight Creation of Exile Terrorist Umbrella Group;
Subsequent Acts of Terrorism and Violence attributed to Orlando Bosch

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 157

For more information contact
Peter Kornbluh - 202/994-7116 - pkorn@gwu.edu

Posted - June 9, 2005

Related Posting
May 10, 2005
Luis Posada Carriles:
The Declassified Record

Previous Press Coverage
"Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist"
by Tim Weiner
New York Times
May 9, 2005
"Papers connect exile to bomb plot"
by Oscar Corral
Miami Herald
May 10, 2005
"Documentos vinculan a Posada con ataque"
por Oscar Corral
Miami Herald via elnuevoherald.com
May 10, 2005

 

 

Washington D.C. June 9, 2005 - Luis Posada Carriles spoke of plans to "hit" a Cuban airliner only days before Cubana flight 455 exploded on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 passengers aboard, according to a declassified CIA document from 1976 posted by the National Security Archive today. The unusually detailed intelligence was provided by a source described as "a former Venezuelan government official" who "is usually a reliable reporter," according to the secret report.

Posada, a violent anti-Castro exile, is due to have his first legal hearing on June 13, after entering the United States illegally in March and applying for political asylum from the Bush Administration. After living for almost two months in Miami unmolested by law enforcement officials, he was detained on May 17. Venezuelan authorities say they are planning to formally request his extradition back to Caracas where he escaped in 1985 after being incarcerated for alleged involvement in the bombing of the Cuban airliner.

The CIA document described a $1000-a-plate fundraiser in Caracas held between September 22 and October 5, 1976, to support the activities of Orlando Bosch, the head of CORU, which the FBI has described as "an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization." The informant quoted Bosch as making an offer to Venezuelan officials to forgo acts of violence in the United States when President Carlos Andres Perez visited the UN in November, in return for "a substantial cash contribution to [Bosch's] organization." Bosch was also overheard stating: "Now that our organization has come out of the Letelier job looking good, we are going to try something else." Several days later, Posada was reported to have stated that "we are going to hit a Cuban airplane" and "Orlando has the details." (Both the Bosch and Posada statements were cited in an October 18th, 1976 report to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger posted by the Archive on May 17th.)

Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, called these documents "part of a trove of intelligence records that provide leads and evidence on major acts of terrorism committed by violent anti-Castro groups." He called on the CIA to fully declassify its voluminous files on Posada "as a concrete contribution to justice for those who have committed acts of terror."

The Archive also posted a declassified CIA summary that provided new details of Agency ties to Posada and Bosch in the 1960s and 70s. The CIA "traces" noted that Posada "was recruited by the Agency to serve as a Maritime Training Branch instructor" in early 1965 and also was "used as a source of information on Cuban exile activities." The CIA continued to maintain relations with Posada after he became a high ranking official in the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, between 1967 and 1974, although the nature of Posada's work for the Agency during that time remains censored in the document. The CIA also admitted that it had multiple contacts with Orlando Bosch in 1962 and 1963.

In addition, the Archive posted a declassified FBI document dated October 21, 1976, citing sources who stated that CORU "was responsible for the bombing of the Cubana Airlines DC-8 on October 6, 1976." The source quoted a CORU member, Secundino Carrera, as stating that "this bombing and the resulting deaths were fully justified because CORU was at war with the Fidel Castro regime." At the time, CORU was led by Orlando Bosch.

According to the declassified documents, CORU was created at a meeting of Cuban exile groups in a small town called Bonao in the Dominican Republic in June 1976. In a June 29, 1976, report on Orlando Bosch's group Accion Cubana, FBI sources stated that "these groups agreed to jointly participate in the planning, financing, and carrying out of terrorist operations and attacks against Cuba." (page 8) Bosch, according to the document, was committed to violent acts against other countries he believed supported Cuba, including Colombia, Mexico and Panama. At the meeting, according to the document, the groups discussed kidnapping and executing a diplomat. A month later CORU members attempted to kidnap the Cuban ambassador to Mexico; one of his aides was shot and killed.

After Posada escaped from prison in Caracas, he flew aboard a private aircraft to Aruba, and was then taken to El Salvador where he assumed the alias "Ramon Medina" and became "support director" for the illicit contra resupply operation being run by the Reagan White House out of Illopango airbase in San Salvador. (see diagram) In a 31 page deposition given to FBI agents in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, as part of the Independent Counsel investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal, Posada detailed his participation in these covert operations, including flying on resupply missions for contra soldiers in southern Nicaragua.

According to Posada, he was able to save $40,000 from his pay and lived on that in Central America after the scandal broke in late 1986 and the resupply operation was shut down. When he ran out of money, he asked another exile figure, Rafael Quintero for help. "Quintero told him to send one of his paintings to [Richard] Secord," the retired special forces official who collaborated with Oliver North in selling arms to Iran and transferring the profits to sustaining the contra war. According to the deposition, "Posada did so and Secord sent Posada $1000 for it."


Documents
Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

CIA Documents On Posada and Bosch

Document 1: CIA, Secret Intelligence Report, "Activities of Cuban Exile Leader Orlando Bosch During his Stay in Venezuela," October 14, 1976

A source in Venezuela supplied the CIA with detailed intelligence on a fund raiser held for Orlando Bosch and his organization CORU after he arrived in Caracas in September 1976. The source described the dinner at the house of a Cuban exile doctor, Hildo Folgar, which included Venezuelan government officials. Bosch was said to have essentially asked for a bribe in order to refrain from acts of violence during the United Nations meeting in November 1976, which would be attended by Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez. He was also quoted as saying that his group had done a "great job" in assassinating former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. on September 21, and now was going to "try something else." A few days later, according to this intelligence report, Luis Posada Carriles was overheard to say that "we are going to hit a Cuban airplane" and "Orlando has the details."

Document 2: CIA, Secret Memorandum to the FBI, "Information Regarding Anti-Castro Figures Possibly Involved in Neutrality or Other Violations of Federal Law," December 9, 1976

In the aftermath of the bombing of the Cubana flight, the CIA ran "traces" on dozens of anti-Castro exiles who might be linked to this atrocity. This document records the summaries of traces on the two exiles who had by then been arrested in Caracas, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada. The CIA noted that agents had had multiple contacts with Bosch in 1962 and 1963; and the Agency acknowledged that it had employed Luis Posada starting in 1965 and that he was a "demolitions expert." The CIA also noted that he provided information to them on the activities of other exile groups. It censored a section of the document that described the services he performed for the CIA while a high official in the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, between 1967 and 1974. Other CIA records show that the Agency continued to have contact with Posada until June of 1976, more than eleven years after he was first recruited.

FBI Documents on CORU and ACCION CUBANA

Document 3: FBI, Intelligence Cable, "Bombing of Cubana Airlines DC-8, Near Barbados, West Indies, October 6, 1976, Neutrality Matters-Cuba-West Indies," October 21, 1976

The FBI transmits information from a source who has spoken with a member of CORU named Secundino Carrera who admitted "that CORU was responsible for the bombing of the Cubana Airlines DC-8 on October 6, 1976." Carrera justifies the bombing as an act of war. The memo indicates that the bombing has caused some dissention in CORU over its tactics, but that the organization headed by Orlando Bosch is planning to sell bonds to finance future operations.

Document 4: FBI, Intelligence Report, "Accion Cubana (Cuban Action) Internal Security-Cuba," June 29, 1976

This FBI report contains a range of information on "a small terrorist organization headed by Orlando Bosch Avila," and other Cuban exile terrorists. Based on sources close to Bosch's group, Accion Cubana, the report details Bosch's efforts to raise funds from specific individuals in Miami, Caracas, and elsewhere. The FBI also reports on the activities of Guillermo and Ignacio Novo, who are described as "two Cuban exiles with long records of terrorist activities. Most importantly, on pages 8 and 9, the document describes the meeting in the Dominican Republic where CORU was created in June 1976 to unify five different exile groups. According to the memo, "these groups agreed to jointly participate in the planning, financing and carrying out terrorist operations and attacks against Cuba" and targets in other countries.

Posada and the Iran-Contra Operations

Document 5: Organizational Diagram of the "Benefactor Company" (BC) Contra Resupply Operation in San Salvador

The entity established by Lt. Col. Oliver North and retired Pentagon officer, Richard Secord to illicitly sustain the contra war was known as "BC." At Illopango airbase, known as "Cincinnati" in the BC records, the Reagan administration secret established a mini airforce of resupply planes along with warehouses of supplies. After Luis Posada escaped from prison in Caracas, he was given a high position as "support director" of the Illopango operation, working under another Cuban exile, Felix Rodriguez who used the codename "Max Gomez."

Document 6: Office of the Independent Counsel, Lawrence Walsh, Secret, "Record of Interview with Luis Posada Carriles," February 7, 1992

Two FBI agents interviewed Posada at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in February 1992. He provided a detailed account of his work for the contra war, which included descriptions of escaping from Venezuela in a private aircraft and being flown to Aruba, and then on to El Salvador. The 31-page interview transcript also provides extensive details on his operations in El Salvador and Guatemala after the Iran Contra scandal broke in November 1986 and the contra resupply operation was shut down. Although Posada accumulated $40,000 from the contra work-he and others were paid from profits from the sale of armaments to Iran--he eventually ran out of funds. At one point Richard Secord sent him $1000.00 for one of his paintings.



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0

Add a Website Forum to your website.

? ?
Copyright ? 2001-2004 Who?s A Rat. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.
?