SNOW JOB AND BILL CLINTON
I have never seen a whitewash job like what has been executed in this
case. There prosecuted. US Rep. William Alexander (D, AR) on Mena
In These Times, Feb. 12, 1992.
You mention Mena, Arkansas to just about anyone and they ask you if you
really said the word ˘mee-nuh÷. But this small town in the Ozark Mountains west of Little Rock holds dark secrets. It was here in the 1980s that Contra mercenaries were trained in guerilla flying techniques, ones that could be used to smuggle and deliver arms. Arms were stockpiled and flown from Mena to Central America, where the cargo was exchanged for cocaine from the Medellin Cartel. The planes returned to Mena and unloaded their precious cargo into CIA hands to be sold on the streets of the US. This was not a ˘rogue element÷ conducting this cocaine smuggling directly into the United States. It was a business arrangement made at the highest levels of our government, conceived and executed in the offices of the White House, the National Security Council, and the CIA. There is also evidence to show that a deal was made directly between the CIA (thus the NSC) and the Medellin Cartel in Colombia, one which involved payments of millions of dollars¨and, apparently, ˘product÷¨by Medellin to the CIA. A Governor named Bill Clinton knew about CIA cocaine in Mena, abetted the operation, and with his chief of personal security actively sabotaged nearly all official and media investigations into it. WhatĂs more, ClintonĂs state-of-the-art presidential campaign was funded by money looted from BCCI, the CIAĂs money laundering bank of choice. Money donated by very old Clinton friends with ties to the CIA leadership.
Bill Clinton is a Company man.
Much of the early history of the Mena operation has been exposed by Terry Reed, a man who acted as a flight trainer at Mena and ran CIA front companies in the US and Mexico. He says he quit the illegal Contra supply network in 1987 only to face retribution and endangerment of himself and his family. A life-long patriot, he says he never intended to talk publicly about what he knew. Nevertheless, he was framed on insurance fraud charges in a CIA ˘preemptive strike÷. It was through Gov. Clinton that the set-up was made. Reed decided to defend himself, and he started to talk. To understand Mena, perhaps it is best to understand his story. It centers around a Piper turbo-prop airplane. Terry Reed served during the Viet Nam war as a pilot with Air-America, a secret CIA subsidiary used to conduct covert air strikes and smuggle arms throughout Southeast Asia. This was the same Air-America used by Oliver North, Richard Secord, Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, Thomas Clines and Theodore Shackley to smuggle heroin out of Laos and eventually to the US. The profits from the heroin sales were laundered through banks like Nugan-Hand in Australia, and then used to finance myriad top secret intelligence operations. (These included the infamous Project PHOENIX, a program of systematic assassinations of a perceived ˘Vietcong infrastructure÷ throughout Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. More than 48,000 peasants were tortured and slaughtered.) The secret team made alliance with the top heroin lord in Laos, headquartered on the Plain of Jars. Secord, who commanded the tactical air wing in the region, lent high-powered enforcement against Vang PaoĂs rivals, not to mention efficient transportation. In return, the CIA got cheap heroin. Countless millions of dollars were made in profit¨most of it vanishing into secret bank accounts known only to the Secret Team. The Laos operation was the prototype for future operations by the exact same group of people. ˘The Enterprise÷, as they themselves would come to call it, conducted war on a commercial basis. Pilot Terry Reed ˘cut his teeth on covert operations÷, serving two ˘enjoyable tours÷ in Thailand, with top security clearance. It was then that Reed first met William Cooper, one of the chief pilots under Secord. (Not to be confused with Milton William Cooper, author of Behold a Pale Horse.) Despite this veritable nest of heroin smugglers, Reed claims he had no personal knowledge of any drug operations. Reed left the Air Force in 1976; the year Jimmy Carter was elected, the year he would instruct his new CIA director Stansfield Turner to fire half of the CIAĂs covert action wing, following the public uproar caused by the revelations of the Congressional Church and Pike hearings. ReedĂs friends were among those given the boot. So he moved to Oklahoma City where he started a machine tool business. In 1980, right around the time that Reagan came into office, Reed got a phone call from his old Air-America friend William Cooper. They arranged for ReedĂs company to begin machining special parts for what he later discovered was the nascent Contra initiative. In 1982, a man calling himself ˘John Cathey÷ met with Reed in a Oklahoma City restaurant. Cathey talked a lot about patriotism (they shared an admiration for Harry Truman), and at one point in the conversation showed a CIA i.d. card. They talked about the Contras. Cathey told him about ˘Operation Donation÷, whereby people could ˘donate÷ materiel to the cause and then claim the loss from certain insurance companies the CIA knew about. Reed wasnĂt willing to part with his plane. But after more conversation, they arranged for him to open a front company through which to ship arms. Terry Reed was moving up. A few months later, his Piper turbo-prop airplane was stolen from a repair shop in Joplin, Missouri (ReedĂs home state). He was out of town at the time and claims he didnĂt know who had stolen it. He settled with the insurance company and went on with his life. Which was about to get exciting.
In March 1983, the Boland Amendment was imminent. There was not much time left to implement covert supply lines to the CIAĂs growing Contra army. It was then that ˘John Cathey÷ met with Reed in his office and revealed that his name was actually Oliver North. The CIA was consolidating the supply ops in Florida and southeastern states. They had strong intelligence resources there among the anti-Castro crowd, dating back to the days of Operation Mongoose and Bay of Pigs. North asked Reed to train guerilla pilots at a secluded new base deep in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. He quickly agreed, and off he went to Mena.
Actually, the CIA air strip and camp was outside of Nella, AK, a tiny mountain berg ten miles north of Mena in the Ouachita National Forest. The Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena also served as a cargo and personnel hub. Conveniently enough it was 82 miles due south of Fort Smith. And the capital of Little Rock lies just 130 miles east of Mena. Why the Arkansas Ozarks?? One reason was that Mena is in ArkansasĂ 3rd Congressional District, represented at that time by Republican John Paul Hammerschmidt, a longtime friend of Vice President Bush. He was one of two (out of six) Arkansas Representatives who supported federal aid to the Contras. ReedĂs old friend William Cooper was there. ReedĂs job was to take Nicaraguan Contras and other recruits from Latin America and train them in resupply missions, night landings, precision paradrops and similar flight maneuvers. Aircraft were also to be retro-fitted for smuggling operations and ˘special maneuvers÷, which would originate from the airstrip. That was CooperĂs job. One of the people Reed met at the Mena airbase was Barry Seal. Seal had been a Green Beret in Viet Nam and later a pilot for TWA. In 1972 he was indicted but aquitted on charges of conspiring to ship explosives to anti-Castro Cubans in Mexico. From Š73 to Š82 he ran a no questions asked aiplane dealership, including as customers the CIA. During this period he also flew marijuana, and later cocaine from Colombia to his private airstrip in Baton Rouge. In 1982 he was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale for possession with intent to deliver quaaludes. He faced a 10-year sentence. He had tried to cut a deal with the DEA, but they werenĂt interested. So, Seal flew on a Lear jet to Washington, DC for a hearing before the National Narcotics Border Interdiction Task Force. The NNBITF was a Vice Presidential Task Force. They overruled the concerns of the Miami DEA office and made an arrangement with Seal. He was put to work in Operation Screamer, which included the largest drug bust in Nevada history. Later, NorthĂs network had Seal work undercover to ˘discredit the Sandinista government.÷ Seal agreed to fly his C-130 transport plane to a site where ˘Sandinista soldiers÷ would be photographed loading it with 750 kilos of cocaine. (This photo ˘evidence÷ was widely publicized in the US, until it became known that they had been faked.) That cleared Seal of the DEA. North then recruited the ex-Green Beret to help manage and fly missions to Central America. That took him to Mena. Seal first made contact with the Medellin cartelĂs Miami contacts, Fillix Dixon Bates and Carlos Bustmante. Medellin was headed at time by the Ochoa brothers: Juan, Jorge and Flavio Ochoa. Soon he was in Colombia contracting with the Ochoas to deliver their cocaine to customers in Miami and the West Coast.
Planes were loaded with arms at the CIAĂs private airbase in Mena. They flew almost a straight shot south to Ilopango Air Base in civil-war wracked El Salvador. There the arms were unloaded to be distributed to Contra bases just to the east in Honduras, where the mercenaries maintained field camps all along the northern border of Nicaragua. (The southern front, and the main command post, was based in Costa Rica. The role of John Hull and his ranch and several airfields as the base for NorthĂs network was well documented in the documentary film Cover-Up: Behind the Iran-Contra Scandal (1988). Arms and drugs poured through HullĂs ranch during the Š80s, most of it from Florida bases and Ilopango. After federal charges of drug smuggling, conspiracy, and arms violations were filed in Costa Rica, Hull fled the country and is now hiding somewhere in the US, perhaps in his native Indiana. See also, L. Cockburn, Out of Control and Christic Institute, The Shadow Government.) The planes were then loaded with shipments of cocaine and marijuana. This was done both at Ilopango and HullĂs Ranch. Some flights were actually sent to La Guajita in Colombia where they were loaded with cocaine. Even from La Guajita, Colombia it is only 2 1/2 hours by air to Miami. The cocaine pipeline flowed back across the Caribbean, past the CIAĂs base at Quantanimo Bay, and emptied out in small air fields in Florida, Georgia, and of course Mena, AR. The cocaine was distributed through longstanding CIA contacts in the US drug trade. The money was laundered through Arkansas banks, BCCI, and other networks NorthĂs team long used.
The man running the Ilopango supply operation for the CIA was Felix Rodriguez (alias Max Gomez). He testified as such before the Tower Iran-Contra Hearings. Rodriguez, now ˘retired÷, had a long and colorful career with the CIA, one which took him into the darkest corners of covert operations. He was a member of the CIAĂs pre-Bay of Pigs assassination squad based in Miami, FL called ZR/RIFLE. Their mission was to ˘develop a capability to disable foreign leaders or murder them if necessary.÷ The 1975 Senate Church Committee hearings, in their public findings, detailed eight assassination plots connected to ZR/RIFLE and other ˘shooter teams÷. Rodriguez was also in the CIAĂs advance team that covertly entered Cuba six weeks before the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. He was one of 15 (out of 33) who escaped Cuba afterward. In 1967, Rodriguez was the last man to interrogate Che Guevara in Bolivia, and gave the order to shoot him. (He wears GuevaraĂs watch as a trophy to this day.) During the late-Ă60s and early-Ă70s, he followed his ZR/RIFLE boss, Theodore Shackley, to Laos where he led an elite antiguerilla force, the Provincial Reconnaissance Units. After injuries forced him out of combat, Rodriguez trained guerillas and assassins in Lebanon. Then came the fall of the Shah, the ascention of Reagan, and the Contra War.
THE GENTLEMENĂS AGREEMENT
Congressional testimony suggests that a deal was struck between the CIA and the Medellin cartel based in Colombia. It is known that Medellin made payments to the CIA through Felix Rodriguez. Barry Seal, a Medellin asset in the US with links to the Secret Team, was probably the ˘liaison officer÷ to the Mena operation. In all likelihood, Seal was one of several such CIA-Medellin liaisons at bases throughout the US Southeast. Milian Rodriguez (no relation) presented testimony & documents at his trial that showed several million dollars in cash had been paid by the Medellin cartel to the Contras, buying access to the aircraft pipeline. Other Congressional testimony, including that of former Noriega crony Jose Blandon, has closely linked the CIA with Contra cocaine operation. Lt.Col. Oliver NorthĂs own files specifically mentioned $14 million in drug money being used in the contra program. (Remember that he spent three days shredding his more sensitive files.) Evidence, including reports with NorthĂs signature, describe the flow of drug money from the Enterprise, and saying disclusure ˘could damage Vice President Bush.÷ According to declassified NSC documents, NorthĂs notebooks and other Iran-Contra evidence, Felix Rodriguez met several times with Vice President George Bush at the White House several times over the course of the Ilopango operation. It was probably at these meetings when details about the Medellin deal were handled, and quite possibly money exchanged. With Rodriguez acting as the bagman for cartel payoffs, CIA planes were permitted to fly into Colombia and load up with cocaine, at a ˘fair price÷. In return, the CIA kept the DEA and other arrogant Justice Department agencies at bay. The Cartel already had a cozy relationship with several banks in Manuel NoriegaĂs Panama. The CIA offered to share some of their own resources (and thus learn more about MedellinĂs). Later, Medellin would sometimes aid the CIA in combatting the communist Sandero Luminosa insurgency in Peru, a relationship which continues today.
CRIMES OF SISYPHUS
By 1985, the Enterprise was in full swing. Terry Reed was training a steady stream of mercenary pilots who were then being sent to the Contra camps. Arms and cocaine moved through Mena regularly. And money was flowing in rivers. For example, once a week, an airplane would fly over the Mena airstrip and drop a leather satchel filled with $10 million. Despite it all, Reed claims he knew of no drug smuggling at the time. That year he was informed by Cooper that his plane which had been ˘stolen÷ two years before had been in use by North in Central America the whole time. It was being returned him. Cooper suggested Reed rent a hangar for it until things ˘cooled off÷. North later called him and repeated the advice. He followed it. Later that year, Reed was approached with a plan for him to go to Mexico and set up an operation expanding the supply network. He agreed, and travelled to Vercruz for discussions with Felix Rodriguez. In July of 1986, Reed set up a front company called Machinery International, in Guadalajara. Three months later, on October 5, 1986, a C-123 transport plane carrying weapons to a Contra air drop was shot down by a Sandinista missile. William Cooper and Buzz Sawyer, the pilots, were killed. The dropmaster, Eugene Hasenfus, managed to parachute right into the SandinistasĂ arms. His face, and the names in the phone book captured with him (Felix Rodriguez, Oliver North, Barry Seal...), would come to unravel the cultivated public ignorance about the war. The whole supply operation all but ground to a halt while the Secret Team regrouped. The cover-up in Washington began in full force, with Atty. Gen. Ed Meese directing damage control in the Justice Dept. Later that same year, Barry Seal was gunned down in Baton Rouge, LA by what authorities say was a Medellin hit squad. ReedĂs Machinery International ˘transshipping÷ business was on hold until January 1987. Seven months later, <<Continued on next page>> ReedĂs singular blindness evidentally lifted and he says he then discovered that the CIA was smuggling cocaine into the US. He told his handler, Rodriguez, that he wanted out. He didnĂt want to disclose the operation, he didnĂt need anything special, he just wanted to guit. And remarkably they seemed to let him: by early September 1987 he and his wife had returned to the United States.
ENTER THE SAXOPHONE MAN
The story goes, Tommy Baker was out for a stroll. On October 8, 1987¨just one month after ReedĂs return¨Baker just happened to be walking past the hangar hiding ReedĂs ˘stolen÷ airplane. Suddenly, he later testified, a powerful gust of wind blew the door open and there it was. Baker says he thought the plane looked ˘suspicious÷, so he called up his friend in the Arkansas State Police. His friend at the GovernorĂs mansion. Buddy Young was the chief of ClintonĂs personal security throughout his gubanatorial career right up to the election. Baker had worked under Young in the State Police. Young says that when he got BakerĂs call, he gave the planeĂs registration number to the National Crime Information Center, a nationwide crime intelligence computer network used by law enforcement. The NCIC said the plane had indeed been stolen, as Reed himself had reported it. By October 21 the case was turned over to the FBI. A manhunt ensued. The FBI file described Reed as ˘armed and dangerous...hiding out in Mexico...[and] may be involved in running drugs.÷ Federal agents confronted ReedĂs parents in Carthage, MO. After their intimidating visit, his elderly mother had to be hospitalized ˘as a result of stress÷. The agents then proceeded to interrogate ReedĂs friends and coworkers about their knowledge of his criminal activities,thus effectively destroying his reputation. Fearful for his family, Reed turned himself in to Federal Marshalls in Kansas City. In June 1988 four counts of federal insurance and postal fraud charge were filed against him. His wife Janis was slapped with corollary charges of aiding and abetting a felon. But under scrutiny, the sequence set out by Young and Baker did not stand up. Baker swore that he had discovered ReedĂs plane on Oct. 8, 1987. But NCIS phone records showed that Young had called in the registration numbers three days _before_, on Oct. 5¨one year to the day after Cooper and HasenfusĂ plane was shot down. Other ˘irregularities÷ began to appear. Records showed Young made his calls from the GovernorĂs mansion. Young and Baker eventually admitted to entering ReedĂs hangar three times without a warrant. They also admitted to tampering with the plane. When they finally did obtain a warrant it was on the basis of misrepresentation. And even though the hangar had been rented in ReedĂs name, his signature is not that on the lease. Police documents relating to the case were falsified as much as a year after the fact. Chief Young and Baker subsequeNtly made false statements to a federal grand jury as well as, on more than one occasion, in hearings related to United States v. Reed. Also, evidence that would have helped Reed was hidden in a safe in YoungĂs office in ClintonĂs mansion when it was supposed to be in federal court. The federal judge on the case, Frank Theis, declared that Baker and Young had acted with ˘reckless disregard for the truth.÷ Reed was acquited when he ruled that the government did not have enough legitimate evidence to convict him. Perjury charges against State Police officers Young and/or Baker were never filed. Even darker forces would soon assail Reed. Furious and betrayed, he risked confronting the CIA and filed a court motion in February 1989. In it he outlined the ˘borrowing÷ of his plane by NorthĂs Operation Donation. He also claimed the case was retribution by Rodriguez for his quitting the Contra supply operation. Reed went bankrupt paying two ˘ineffectual÷ lawyers, who he says actively sabotaged the case. Eventually he turned to the Public DefenderĂs Office. With no experience in covert operations or disinformation, Joe Dunlap and Fed. Public Defender Marilyn Trubey took on the case. The trio gathered a witness list 54 names long, including people like Oliver North and Felix Rodriguez. They prepared to subpoena their witnesses. That was when a reign of terror began against Dunlap and Trubey. Two days before the first trial date, on Memorial Day 1990, DunlapĂs daughterĂs car was firebombed as it sat in his driveway. Two weeks later, DunlapĂs wifeĂs car was rammed in a deliberate hit-and-run. Witnesses gave two different license numbers; neither checked out. By this time, Reed had safely squirreled away his most important evidence. In April 1990, his secret storage unit was broken into, ransacked, and six boxes of meticulous, key financial and personal records were stolen. Both counsel and client regularly encountered surveillance vehicles outside their homes. They all suspected their phones were tapped, and began using only secure lines. Then in September 1991, the windows of DunlapĂs car were smashed only four days before a delayed court date. Because of who was on ReedĂs witness list, the Classified Information Procedure Act was invoked. This federal law effectively bars any court inquiry involving CIA agents, assets, or sensitive topics. Judge Theis dismissed the case. Fearing for their lives, Reed and his family vanished into the wallpaper. [Terry Reed and John Cummings coauthored the new book Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA (S.P.I. Books, 1994). This small publisherĂs hardback is currently available at most major book retailers. The 566-page tome tells ReedĂs whole account, reproducing many documents, receipts and photographs.]
PENNY FOR YOUR DOCS?
Much has been made about ClintonĂs anti-Contra views, but the facts
belie the spin. Clinton was only too happy to deploy Arkansas National Guard
units in Honduras for training. Some of these, like Operation Big Pine III, were
huge ˘practice invasions÷ involving 8,000 - 11,000 US and Honduran
soldiers. These ˘maneuvers÷ played a key role in the NSCĂs war of nerves against the Sandinistas. And it is a matter of record that early in 1988 the Governor was happy to issue Arkansas ˘Traveller÷ citations¨a fairly routine honorific¨ to three of the most notorious figures in the Contra nexus: Adolfo and Mario Calero and Major Gen. John Singlaub. Adolfo and his brother were top Contra leaders, the same who conspired to kill US journalists in the bombing at La Penca. Singlaub was at the time NSC intelligence liaison over North in the chain of command. He had previously been the Pentagon connection in the Laos operation. One of the signatures on those Arkansas Traveller certificates was that of an old Clinton pal named Larry Nichols. He just happened to have recently returned from prolonged intelligence duty in Honduras in 1987. He needed a job so he called his old friend the Governor. Clinton installed Nichols as the head of Arkansas Development Finance Authority, despite his total lack of experience in such an agency. ADFA was a fairly new state agency offering low-interest, tax-exempt loans for housing and attracting business to Arkansas. It was widely known as one of ˘ClintonĂs fiefdoms÷. Oddly enough, it was loaning money to the very companies and shells which were filling semi-secret commercial accounts for the Mena operation. Also, the ADFAĂs bonds were underwritten by Lasater & Co. President Dan Lassater was one of SealĂs money laundering connections. In 1988, as Reed and his wife were indicted in Missouri, a Little Rock reporter discovered this former Contra was working for the ADFA. The reporter queried Clinton about the appointment and Nichols was promptly fired, accused of making over 700 phone calls to Central America on state time. However, there is no evidence in the phone toll records from that period of any calls to Central America, although Nichols would later admit to making calls to Washington. Sliced off and tossed away, Nichols vowed revenge. He prepared a defamation of character lawsuit which made a number of allegations, including drug money laundering, covert smuggling, and an affair Clinton had with a woman named Gennifer Flowers. The resulting scandal about the affair nearly ended ClintonĂs campaign, until he and his wife appeared on 60 Minutes. Nichols later told the Arkansas Committee that ˘Buddy Young had phoned to tell him as an old friend that if he kept this up he was Ša dead man.Ă On January 29, the night before Bill Clinton was scheduled to go before the nation on 60 Minutes to deny the FlowersĂ story, Nichols put his name to a statement discrediting all his previous assertions. At the end of it all, Clinton quietly put Flowers on the state payroll, and she disappeared from the media eye.
SILENCE OF THE WOLVES
Evidence shows that Clinton not only framed Reed, but also interfered with earlier investigations into Mena. The GovernorĂs own State Police began investigating drug activities at Mena in 1984. Is it not reasonable to assume that Clinton would be informed of such an investigation? Buddy Young himself was officially a Chief of the State Police, and would have been briefed on it. CBS News correspondant Bill Plante wrote in a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, ˘Mr. Clinton did acknowledge learning about Mena as early as April 1988; Ross Perot, who had done his own investigation of Mena, was concerned enough about the drugs-for-guns operation to call Mr. Clinton. And former Clinton staff people have told CBS News that the governor was aware of what was going on there.÷ In 1988, former state prosecutor Charles Black delivered in person a letter to Clinton asking for help to pursue the case against the Mena defendants. Black wanted him to fund a grand jury investigation. Help was promised but never arrived. In 1989 Clinton received petitions from Arkansas citizens demanding he convene a state grand jury and continue the investigation. A student group called the Arkansas Committee was formed at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, headed by Mark Swaney and Tom Brown. They began their own investigation of the Mena affair, and went to the press to demand Clinton invesigate.
Winston Bryant even made Mena an issue in his successful bid for state Atty. Gen. in 1990. A year later he turned over state files involving Mena to special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, who was investigating the whole Contra operation. But nothing more was heard from Mr. Walsh. US Asst. Attorney Steve Snyder confided to associates that his office had been ordered to drop the case by the Miami Drug Enforcement Agency.
State Investigator Russell Welch says he believes the scandal reaches ˘from Mena, Arkansas, to the White House.÷ At one point in WelchĂs own investigation, he was told by federal agents that the case was being handled ˘differ ently÷ from others.
THE SEVEN VEILS
When Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander tried to initiate his own hearings into the Mena case, Clinton (and everyone else) stonewalled until the investigation withered on the vine. Alexander then asked the General Accounting Office in Congress to investigate, only to find the NSC instructed other White House agencies not tocooperate with the investigation. In 1991, Alexander did manage to get the Justice Dept. to allocate $25,000 to restart a Mena investigation, but the money was held up behind a wall of bureaucratic red tape in Little Rock. After the federal government scrapped its investigation, the State Police were taken off the case by Clinton. In fact, for years investigators from the IRS and the Arkansas State Police had probed money laundering, drug smuggling and weapons shipments arising from MenaĂs ˘exotic position÷ in international trade. They couldnĂt understand why an ˘international aircraft delivery company÷ picked a remote base like Mena in the Ozarks to run their operation out of. Bill Duncan, an investigator for the IRS, was looking into suspected drug smuggling by Rich Mountain Aviation, a front company at Mena. In the spring of 1989, Duncan was called into the office of a lawyer for the IRS who told him if he continued to pursue his investigation it would lead to ˘an extremely high level official in the [Bush] administration.÷ Duncan says he was instructed to lie about government tampering in the Mena case to the House Judiciary Subcommittee. Duncan was also told to suppress a report he had received from an employee of Fred Hampton, Jr., Barry SealĂs chief mechanic at Mena, that Atty. Gen. Ed Meese received a $350,000 bride from Seal. Duncan refused to perjure himself and resigned from the IRS. DuncanĂs reports were later confirmed by Terry Capehart, an auxiliary Polk County (Mena) sheriffĂs deputy at the time of SealĂs arrival there, and who also ran a small machine shop at the airport. Unfortunately, investigators were never able to really target Barry Seal, a key connection. Long before his assassination, they knew he was working for the federal government and was ˘untouchable÷. However, Seal had been called to testify at the Kerry hearings. In the summer of 1985, Barry Seal testified before the early Kerry hearings against the Medellin cartel, implicating the Ochoa Brothers. In hearings against the Medellin cartel, implicating the Ochoa Brothers. In December was sentenced on earlier drug charges to six months probation with community service at a Salvation Army shelter. He was not to leave Baton Rouge or carry a firearm. Seal began his Salvation Army shelter stint in January, 1986. Then on February 19, he was assassinated in front of the shelter, shot over 50 times with an Ingram Mac-10 and an Uzi. One of the seven people eventually arrested in connection with SealĂs killing was Jose Coutin. Coutin owned a gun shop in Miami which ˘was a well-known meeting place for Contras and their buddies from Brigade 2506.÷ (Brigade 2506 was a Miami based Cuban-American group which trained and fought with Contras. NorthĂs representative to the Brigade was the State Dept.Ăs Robert Owen.) To this day, Clinton, despite his anti-drug rhetoric, has taken a self-described ˘hands-off÷ approach to the investigation. In 1991, while he was still Governor, ClintonĂs adviser on criminal justice wrote to a concerned citizen to say that the Governor understood the matter was being studied or otherwise taken up by Bryant, Walsh and Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander, and thus the matter was in othersĂ hands. However, these were investigators Clinton had all obstructed. But they were still having real problems sitting on the Mena story. Besides Nichols, Duncan, et al., several other court cases turned up evidence of involvement by Contras and CIA subsidiary companies that were supporting the contraĂs involvement with drug smuggling. US Attorney General Edwin Meese himself repeatedly blocked major drug prosecution of smugglers on ˘grounds of national security÷. And as long the cases are in court, the CIA decline to comment. Then people started looking at the banks that were used. All that money had to get washed somehow, right? It was found that several companies involved in Mena were run by some of ClintonĂs oldest friends and financial backers. These men have close ties to BCCI (The Bank of Credit and Commerce International), making huge fortunes off illegal money handling and the eventual failure of many of BCCIĂs member banks. BCCI is also known to have laundered CIA profits from covert drug sales, and it almost certainly laundered the cash from Mena.
MENA TODAY: INFO WAR
The cover-up has begun in the pages of periodicals known to have covert links to the CIA. Time magazine ran an article by Richard Behar titled (appropriately enough) ˘Anatomy of a Smear÷. In it, Terry Reed was called an outright liar. Behar grossly misstated facts of the case, distorted aspects of ReedĂs life, and treated the story with derisive sarcasm. Reed and his family went back into hiding after the public
 See Alfred McCoy in last issue of Lumpen Times. Also, the Church Senate Committee and the HouseĂs Pike hearings into CIA activities here and abroad; McCoyĂs Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia; David Barsamian, ˘The CIA & the Politics of Narcotics÷, an interview with Alfred McCoy, conducted at the Univ. of Wisconsin (Madison), 2/17/90 (CA: Prevailing Winds Research); Daniel Sheehan, ˘Who, What, When, Where÷, speech at Victoria Theater, Santa Barbara, CA, 8/21/88 (CA: Prevailing Winds Research).  See Johnathan Kwitney, Crimes of Patriots (NY: Touchstone, 1987). A detailed account of xthe Nugan-Hand drug money laundering operation, including the several mysterious and timely deaths connected with the affair. Documents deep CIA involvement in Nugan-Hand.  See also Douglas Valentine, The PHOENIX Program (NY: Morrow, 1990).  Christic Institute, Inside the Shadow Government (1988), p. 13; Ned Scott Jr., ˘The Secret Life of Richard V. Secord÷, High Times December 1990, pp. 44.  David S. Fallis, ˘ŠNot the America I KnewĂ: Disposeable Asset Burned by NorthĂs Network÷; Covert Action Information Bulletin, no. 37 (Summer 1991), p. 42. Based on interviews and court testimony by Terry Reed.  During this period, North and Secord dissolved into the Carter-era Pentagon. North would later play a key role in carrying out the ill-fated Desert One attempted rescue of the US hostages in Iran. Theodore Shackley became second in command at the CIAĂs (clandestine) operations division, with Clines as his assistant. Together, directly supervised an ˘anti-terrorist÷ assassination squad out of Tehran. This team of killers worked with the approval and aid of the Shah of Iran and his dreaded secret police, the SAVAK¨an organization the CIA had helped to set up. These connections proved to be pivotal in the Iran-Contra crimes. Shackley and Clines resigned under a cloud in 1979 after they were implicated in an ˘unofficial÷ Libyan arms deal. They immediately surfaced in the pre-election October Surprise circles and were back in business¨off the shelf¨during the Š80s. [See, Leslie Cockburn, Out of Control (NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987), pp. 95-96.]  Fallis, Op. cit.  Ibid.  Reed filed a $33,000 claim on the plane, which he still owed $26,500 on. He eventually received $6,600 from the company.  Alexander Cockburn, ˘Say it With Flowers÷, Beat the Devil [regular column], The Nation, 2/24/92.  See McCoy,et al. Op. cit. .  A. Cockburn 2/24/92; John Cummings, Boston Phoenix, 2/23/90.  Joel Bainerman, The Crimes of a President: New Revelations on Conspiracy & Cover-Up in the Bush & Reagan Administrations, (NY: S.P.I. Books, 1992), p. 265.  A. Cockburn, 2/24/92.  Rob Koenig & Ben Masel, ˘Congress to Probe Contra Cocaine Link÷, Overthrow, Vol. 9 No. 1 (Spring Š87), pp. 1, 18; Joel Millman, Village Voice, July 1, 1986.  Koenig & Masel, p. 18; Bainerman, p. 266; A. Cockburn, 2/24/92; Fallis, p. 44; Bill Plante & Michael Singer, ˘Still a Strong Scent on the Mena Trail÷, Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, 5/3/94.  See also, Jenny Pearce, Under the Eagle: US Intervention in Central America (Boston: South End Press, 1984).  Kerry hearings: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 100th Congress, Second Session. Part 3, April 4-7, 1988. John F. Kerry (chairman), pp. 297-307; L. Cockburn, Out of Control; Stockwell pp. 118-120.  Bainerman, pp. 264-274; A. Cockburn, 2/10, 2/24 & 3/23/94; Fallis, pp. 42-46; Plante & Singer; Kerry hearings. The Kerry subcommittee was able to document at least 50-100 Contra flights carrying drugs into the US.  See Henrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, and International Fascism (Boston: South End Press, 1980); Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (NY: Sheridan Square Press, 1988 / NY: Warner Books, 1991); L. Cockburn, Out of Control; McCoy, Politics of Heroin, etc.  L. Cockburn, p. 98. ZR/RIFLE existed under the umbrella of Operation Mongoose, which was run in Miami by then-CIA station chief Theodore Shackley 1962-1965. It was Mongoose which spawned such espionage classics as the exploding cigar, and the foot-powder that would cause CastroĂs beard to fall out and make his voice high-pitched. It also kept several trained ˘Shooter Teams÷. (c.f. Rodriguez, Shadow Warrior.)  Another veteran of the CIA shooter teams was Frank Fiorini, better known as Watergate burglar Frank ˘Sturgis÷.  L. Cockburn, Op. cit.; Felix Rodriguez, Shadow Warrior.  Stockwell, p. 20.  Ibid.  Kerry hearings, April 4, 1988, testimony of Jose Blandon.  Ibid.  Newsweek, May 23, 1988.  Stockwell, p. 22; Kerry hearings; Milian Rodriguez trial testimony.  See also, Phillip Smith, ˘Peru: Inching Toward the Abyss÷, Covert Action Information Bulletin, no. 42 (Fall 1992; also Gustavo Gorriti, ˘Vladimiro Montesinos: The Betrayal of Peruvian Democracy÷, Covert Action Quarterly, no. 49 (Summer 1994). At press time, news reports indicate that a powerful transmitter has been built in the Bolivian Amazon region to provide vital radio links with Panama and Washington vis a vis operations in Colombia and Peru. Newspapers in Peru and Brazil report that over 100 members of the 37th Airborne, stationed at Fort Bragg (home of Special Forces), are erecting a permanent base near the town of El Benia, in the heart of cocaine-producing territory. The Pentagon claims it is building a ˘school.÷  Bainerman, p.272-274; A. Cockburn, 2/24/92.  Ibid.  Op. cit. .  Fallis, pp. 44-45.  Ibid.  Bainerman, pp. 272-274; A. Cockburn 2/24 & 3/23/92; Fallis, Op. cit.  Bainerman, p. 274; A. Cockburn, 2/24/92. Judge Theis also sat for the Karen Sil8wood trial.  Fallis, p. 45.  Ibid.  Bainerman, pp.270-271; A. Cockburn 2/10/92.  Interview with Larry Nichols by host Tom Donahue, AmericaĂs Town Forum, May 5, 1994. The Libertarian talk show is broadcast most weekday evenings at 7 pm (CST) on shortwave frequency 5.810 mHz.  Op. cit.   A. Cockburn, 2/24/92.  A. Cockburn, 2/10/92.  Plante & Singer.  Ibid.  Bainerman, p. 268; Paul DeRienzo, ˘Clinton Turned Blind Eye to Arkansas Contra Connections÷, _High Times_, May 1992, p. 21.  Mena Star, April 14, 1992; Bainerman, pp. 268-269.  Bainerman, p. 266.  A. Cockburn, 3/23/92.  Bainerman, p. 270.  In These Times, Feb. 12, 1992; Unclassified, Feb.-Mar. 1992; Bainerman, p. 270.  Ibid.  Plante & Singer.  Koenig & Masel, p. 18  A. Cockburn, 3/23/92.  Stockwell, p. 119.  Alan Friedman, ˘Justice Department ŠFailed to ActĂ÷, Financial Times, 7/25/91; Christina Lamb, ˘BCCI Linked to Heroin Trade,÷ Financial Times, 7/25/91, p. 1; and The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  See the Pike and Church Hearings.  Richard Behar, ˘Anatomy of a Smear÷, _Time_, 4/20/92, p. 45.  See _Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the CIA_ by Reed & Cummings. The authors reprint trasciptions of interview tapes made by
Behar in preparing the ar ticle, obtained under court order.  Edward J. Epstein, ˘On the Mena Trail÷, _Wall Street Journal_, 4/20/94. Epstein also wrote _Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA_. The _WSJ_ has a long history of CIA collaboration, including a key role as a front for CIA disinformation during the ˘Yellow Rain÷ hoax.  Plante & Singer.  Ibid.  Nichols radio int., 5/5/94. Nichols may have been poisoned in an effort to silence him. He developed a rash in his lungs which only appears when the victim is exposed to certain pesticides. Nichols claims he has never been near those chemicals. Several of the most deadly nerve gasses ever developed are chemically related to pesticides.  Ibid.  Ibid.  Just last year the Pentagon reopened their BioChemical Research facility at the Dugway Proving Grounds, only about 60 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, UT. It had been shut down in the mid-Ă80s due to public outcry about safety. The story about its reopenig was selected as one of the Top-Ten Most Censored News Stories of 1993. For more on CBW and the USĂ role in it, see Robert Harris & Jeremy Paxman, _A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical & Biological Warfare_ (NY: Noonday Press, 1982); also Sheldon H. Harris, _Factories of Death:
Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover Up_ (NY: Routledge, 1994).  Nichols radio int., 5/5/94.  Ibid.
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