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Guest Robert Morrow

Jeb Bush and the 1986 Murder of CIA Drug Smuggler Barry Seal

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Guest Robert Morrow

Did Jeb Bush, VP George Herbert Walker Bush and Oliver North Murder Barry Seal in February, 1986?

There is a question that needs to be asked of Jeb Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Oliver North.

It is “Did you murder Barry Seal in February, 1986?”

Barry Seal was a legendary CIA drug smuggler and ace pilot who had literally worked for the Agency since he was a teenage pilot prodigy in the late 1950’s. By 1986 Barry Seal was having legal problems (criminal and a huge IRS tax liability) that not even his CIA connections could protect him from and according to Seal’s lawyer Lewis Unglesby, Barry Seal was a threat to testify against Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush. In fact, in early 1986 Barry Seal was threatening GHW Bush to get the IRS off his back or he (Seal) was going to blow the whistle on the Contra scheme and CIA drug smuggling.

Two weeks after his argument with Vice President GHW Bush, Barry Seal was pumped full of bullets and murdered outside his Baton Rouge halfway house on Feb. 19, 1986. The three Columbians who were convicted of the crime thought they were working for Lt. Col. Oliver North of the National Security Council. North’s alias in the 1980’s was “John Cathey.” The personal phone number of George Herbert Walker Bush was found in Seal’s possessions, even after the “men in black” had swept in to pick his car clean of evidence. Years later, Texas Gov. George W. Bush was literally being flown around in what had been the favorite plane of the murdered CIA asset and drug runner Barry Seal

Many folks don’t know that on the exact same day (2/19/86) Barry Seal was murdered in Baton Rouge, his mistress “Barbara” was also murdered in Miami; two other men also affiliated with the Medellin drug cartel, Pablo Carrera and Pablo Ochill, were also assassinated in Colombia.

Some people think the CIA American drug cartel were switching horses from the Medellin drug cartel to a partnership with the Cali drug cartel. The three men convicted of murdering Barry Seal were from Cali, Colombia. The CIA American drug cartel was using the Cali cartel in a killing spree to wipe out the competition and anyone who might pose a threat to spill the beans on CIA drug smuggling and the participation of very high U.S. officials.

Jeb Bush in 1986 was the 33-year-old chairman of the Dade County Republican party and he was up to his eyeballs in the Iran-contra scandal. To get a taste of that read Al Martin’s book The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider (2002) and read about Jeb Bush’s dealings with operatives such as Al Martin, Oliver North, Richard Secord, Dewey Clarridge, Sam Watson, Fred Ikley and, of course, his father George Herbert Walker Bush. Basically Jeb Bush was in the center of a wasp’s nest of dirty dealing CIA/military operatives engaged in rampant criminality – all in the name of “national security.”

The well respected reporter Daniel Hopsicker, who focuses on the government drug trade, is a must read on the murder of Barry Seal. Read “CIA Linked to Seal’s Assassination: George Bush’s Personal Phone Number Found in Seals’ Trunk” (Daniel Hopsicker, 8/18/97):

http://www.idfiles.c...-seal-death.htm

Also read the “Real American Desperados” by Daniel Hopsicker (6/4/12): http://www.madcowpro...can-desperados/

Hopsicker’s book “Barry and ‘the Boys:’ The CIA, the Mob and America’s Secret History (2006) is one of the classics of modern politics: http://www.amazon.co...ry and the boys It has critical information on the murder of Barry Seal and the possible Bush family/Oliver North involvement.

Another fine article is “Why Does George W. Bush Fly in Drug Smuggler Barry Seal’s Airplane?” (Oct., 1999) by Daniel Hopsicker and Michael Ruppert: http://www.fromthewi...gs/W_plane.html

That article is about how after the murder of Barry Seal, his favorite airplane somehow ended up being the exact same plane use to transport Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the brother of Jeb Bush and son of George Herbert Walker Bush.

Read Hopsicker’s Barry and the Boys (2006) and also Terry Reed’s Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA (1994) and you will never look at modern American politics in the same way again: http://www.amazon.co...eed compromised

In the 1980’s the dirty little secret of the Iran-Contra scandal was not that the government was illegally dealing with the Iranians to free American hostages and not that the U.S. government was illegally supporting the Nicaraguan contras, but rather that the U.S. government and its high level politicians of both political parties (the Bushes and the Clintons) were up to their eyeballs in drug trafficking to support the Nicaraguan contras. I think they were also skimming plenty of money for themselves, too, especially on the Clinton end.

In fact one of the big reasons that Ross Perot ran for president in 1992 was out of anger at George Herbert Walker Bush’s participation in the drug trade. The US Government and the CIA were running billions of dollars’ worth of drugs into the USA and they were doing in hand in hand with Columbian drug cartels and people like Panamanian dictator and CIA asset Manuel Noreiga.

Funny how Noriega goes to jail but the American politicians involved in the drug trade never do.

Ross Perot once said in private “When you look into the prisoner cover-up, you find government officials in the drug trade who can’t break themselves of the habit.” (See “Ross Perot Will Not Like This Book,” Richard Bernstein, NYT 8/7/96) Google “Chip Tatum Pegasus” and you will learn about GHW Bush’s attempts to intimidate or possibly murder Ross Perot who simply knew too much about the governmental drug trade. Chip Tatum’s story: http://whatreallyhap...ATUM/tatum.html

There have been a lot of good books written on the bipartisan CIA drug trade of the 1980’s. When one reads the cumulative work of Daniel Hopsicker, Gary Webb, Robert Parry, Pete Brewton, Leslie Cockburn, Ambrose Evans Pritchard, Al Martin, L.D. Brown, Chip Tatum one cannot help but think that the Bushes and Lt. Col. Oliver North were behind the 1986 murder of Barry Seal with intent to cover up the Iran-contra drug smuggling activities.

Remember the C-123 cargo plane that Eugene Hasenfus was on did not get shot down over Nicaragua until October 5, 1986, which had the effect of busting Iran-contra wide open. The real story of Iran-contra was the one that got suppressed by the government and media: that the US government was engaged in gargantuan drug running and that VP George Herbert Walker Bush and Lt. Col. Oliver North as well as the Democratic governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, were involved in the drug trade up to their eyeballs.

Below are some web links to articles and some passages from books that cover this topic. Read them and decide for yourself if you think Jeb Bush, VP George Herbert Walker Bush and Oliver North were involved in the murder of Barry Seal. Here are some interesting excerpts from some books.

The George Herbert Walker Bush- Barry Seal Relationship

[Daniel Hopsicker, "Barry & the Boys: The CIA, The Mob and America's Secret History," pp. 375-376]

"Lewis Unglesby is today a prominent and very well connected Louisiana lawyer. At the time his name was daily on the front page of the state's newspapers., defending his long-time client and associate, Governor Edwin Edwards.

Unglesby had told us about a confrontation he had with Barry over the fact that Seal was keeping him in the dark about matters Unglesbly considered crucial to defending him...

"Barry pushed the phone across the desk to me and said, 'You wanna know what's going on? Here. Dial this number. Tell 'em you're me,' Unglesby related.

"When I did what he requested," he continued, "A female voice answered the phone, sayin' 'Vice President Bush's office, may I help you?'"

"I said, 'This is Barry Seal.' She asked me to wait while she transferred the call, which was immediately picked up by a man who identified himself as Admiral somebody or other, who said to me 'Barry, Where you been?'"

"That's when I told him that I wasn't Barry Seal, I was his lawyer," said Unglesby. "Immediately he slammed down the phone."

So why was Barry Seal murdered?" we asked Sharpstein.

"Unglesby said he had been with Seal when the IRS came and seized all his property," Sharpstein related. "The IRS man said, 'You owe us $30 million for the money you made in drug dealing.'

"Hey, I work for you," was Seal's reply. "We work for the same people."

"You don't work for us," the IRS agent stated. "We're the IRS."

"Unglesby was with Seal when he retired to a back roonm." Sharpstein stated. "He watched as Seal placed a call to George Bush. He heard Barry Seal tell Bush, 'If you don't get these IRS assholes off my back I'm going to blow the whistle on the Contra scheme."

Sharpstein spoke solemnly, aware of the gravity of his words..., "'That's why he's dead,' is what Unglesby said."

One week after the phone conversation between Barry Seal and George Bush, Seal was sentenced to a halfway house. Two weeks later he was dead.

"Barry Seal, you mean that agent that went bad?" Gordon Novel had casually inquired, when we'd posed the question of his associations with Seal.

An agent that 'goes bad,' as we understand intelligence industry trade jargon, is one who contemplates talking.

"Seal was gunned down, supposedly by those Colombians," says Sharpstein. "But they were fed information by the assholes in our government who wanted him dead."

The assassination of Barry Seal was very likely even not the first attempt on Seal's life by North, we were told by CIA electronics expert Red Hall, on the ground in Nicaragua with Seal on the Sandinista drug sting....

"The only thing I knew was the CIA had a lot to do with it (Barry's murder.) The killers were being directed by Oliver North at the time. It was the same thing Oliver North pulled on us down in Nicaragua."

"Then, I didn't know yet that Oliver North had it for Barry Seal, because he was working with Oliver at that particular point. We was undercover, and we were still down there (Nicaragua), when Oliver blew the whistle on us."

Chip Tatum, another covert operative who had known Seal and shared confidences with him, listened with amusement the first time we breathlessly relayed what we'd discovered: that Oliver North is guilty in the assassination of Barry Seal...

"No xxxx, Sherlock," he replied, laughing. "It ain't exactly the secret of the century, I can tell you."

[Daniel Hopsicker, "Barry & the Boys: The CIA, The Mob and America's Secret History," pp. 375-376]

Al Martin conversation with Jeb Bush just days after the Feb, 1986 Murder of Barry Seal in Baton Rouge. Jeb Bush had been at a meeting in Sept, 1985, where the assassination of Barry Seal had been discussed

Al Martin: "In this discussion, I had mentioned the recent assassination, only a few days before, of Barry Seal [Feb, 1986, outside his halfway house in New Orleans].

I said to Jeb, "Isn't is convenient that Barry Seal was assassinated when he was? And now suddenly all the information and documents he had are gone missing?"

Jeb had a rather broad smile on his face, and he concurred that it was convenient. He added a little snicker - as he often had a tendency of doing. Also little beads of sweat formed on his forehead, as when he gets nervous. It's something you can notice when he's on television. He still has a tendency to have little beads of sweat around his forehead, when he is either lying about something, or he's nervous about what someone is saying."

My conversations with Jeb at this meeting were overheard by the two Secret Service agents who were always assigned to Jeb when he was in his office at 1390 Brickell Avenue in Miami.

I had intimated that if certain parties in Washington were not prepared to come to my aid pursuant to my grand jury testimony, that it would be entirely possible that certain details of a certain meeting occurring in September of the year [sept., 1985] before might be leaked out to the press.

Jeb asked me what I was talking about.

I specifically mentioned a September meeting of the Dade County Latin America Chamber of Commerce, which Jeb chaired, and which, of course, was not used as a Chamber of Commerce meeting at all. It was essentially used as a political meeting for covert operational planning pursuant to Iran-Contra.

As I've said before, Oliver North, Richard Secord or Dewey Clarridge or, in a few cases, even Sam Watson and Fred Ikley himself, would show up at these meetings.

Anyway, I had recounted to Jeb, as if he didn't know what the text of that meeting was that he chaired - the conversations he had with Oliver North and Richard Secord and Dewey Clarridge, all of whom attended that meeting.

Dewey seldom attended the meetings, but this time the four of them were discussing the assassination of Barry Seal and how it was to be carried out, since Barry was becoming an increasing liability.

I had told Jeb that I had substantial corroboration of that meeting. And I think Jeb understood what I meant.

It would certainly place him into a conspiracy to assassinate a CIA drug runner for the sake of political expediency.

When I was through speaking, Jeb became quiet and his demeanor became serious and changed. He became flushed, as he often does when he's frightened.

Jeb responded by telling me that it would be most unfortunate if I were to do that, since I might wind up like George Morales or Johnny Molina.

[ Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider," p. 194-195]

Oliver North speaking to Jeb Bush and Dewey Clarridge in the 1980's: "Well, we haven't decided how we will rule his demise yet - whether it will be accident, natural causes, or suicide."

[Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Confessions of an Iran-Contra Insider," p.201]

"As I am a middle-aged man, I have worked or been involved in illegal covert operation of government all my adult life.

How many others in my age group can say they have personally known in their adult lifetimes almost 400 people who have died under clouded circumstances?

The common thread among the deaths of these 400 people was not anything they did - but what they knew.

I wonder how many others can make the same comment about their lives.

It's an indication of the type of life I've led.

Even what I have revealed thus far - it isn't a tenth of what I know. And it is such a task. That's the type of life I've led and what I know. I hope that the flavor of this comes out of what has happened to my friends, those I've known, who became inconvenient to their superiors and who died to maintain the deniability of others.

The egregious nature of the conspiracy surrounding their death goes to a level that is virtually humorous.

When Jeb Bush, Oliver North and Dewey Clarridge once spoke about an individual, North laughed and said, "Well, we haven't decided how we will rule his demise yet - whether it will be accident, natural causes, or suicide.""

[Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Confessions of an Iran-Contra Insider," p.201]

Chip Tatum - CIA operative who worked closely with Oliver North in the 1980's: Says Oliver North said GHW Bush was going to have Jeb Bush “arrange something out of Colombia.”

Google "Chip Tatum Pegasus"

http://whatreallyhap...ATUM/tatum.html

Mr. North stated the following to the other passengers, "One more year of this and we'll all retire." He then made a remark concerning Barry Seal and Governor Clinton. "If we can keep those Arkansas hicks in line, that is," referring to the loss of monies as determined the week prior during their meeting in Costa Rica. I stood silently by the vat of leaves, listening to the conversation. General Alverez had gone with the Contra leader to discuss logistics. The other three - North, Rodriguez, and Ami Nir - continued through the wooden building, inspecting the cocaine. North continued, "...but he (Vice President Bush) is very concerned about those missing monies. I think he's going to have Jeb (Bush) arrange something out of Columbia," he told his comrades, not thinking twice of my presence. What Mr. North was referring to ended up being the assassination of Barry Seal by members of the Medellin Cartel in early 1986.

"Compromised: Clinton, Bush & the CIA; how the Presidency was Co-opted by the CIA" by Terry Reed & John Cummings, pp. 211-213]

CIA drug smuggler Barry Seal thought he had blackmail info on the Bushes, until he ended up riddle with bullets

on Feb. 19, 1986 in Baton Rouge, LA

"As the two walked away, Terry could hear Seal say, "Well, I'm sorry Leroy, if they feel like I'm blackmailin' 'em. But this is business and I just gotta do what I gotta do ..."

At 10 AM, after saying goodbye to Tracta, the two prepared to depart. Terry felt that he would be home for dinner with any luck. He was wondering what new excitement would be awaiting him on the trip back.

It didn't take long for him to find out. As soon as the two were airborne, Seal laid it on him. He was full of pent-up emotion and startled his flying companion as they exited Howard airspace.

Seal began yelling at the top of his voice, something out of character for him. Terry had never seen him this euphoric.

"YEE-HAWWWWWW," he screamed. "I'm gonna xxxxin' make it. We're gonna do this, Terry. We've got these assholes eatin' outa our hands. YEE-HAWWWWWWWWW. Give me the xxxxin' airplane.

He grabbed the control yoke and executed a series of aileron rolls. Terry had never been sick in an airplane, but he was sure about to lose his SOS.

"OK, enough of that xxxx," Seal said after seeming to tire of the aerobatic antics. "You got the airplane, I'll hook up the radios."

"Terry sat silently at the controls, trying to figure out what was driving Seal. As Barry emerged from under the electrical panel, after making the radio connections, he abruptly began pounding with his right hand on the dash of the Lear until Terry thought the avionics in the control panel would be dislodged.

"There ain't nuthin' in this world more powerful than good ol' xxxxing blackmail, Terry. And don't let anybody ever tell ya different. Jeeeeeesus Christ, I got some good xxxx on some big people."

"Will you let me in on your party? Calm down, Barry! Tell me what's goin' on."

"Terry, what's most important right now is for ya ta play ball with these guys and get your ass down to Mexico ASAP. You impressed the xxxx out of Leroy... Robert Johnson [William Barr, later Attorney General for GHW Bush], too. I won't be able ta come to Mexico right now, I've got a little matter to take care of. But ya get on down there and get in a position to receive me, and I'll be joining ya soon. Goddam, this'll be great. Won't it be fun workin' together and spendin' all their xxxxin' money?"

"What this blackmail, you're talking about?"

"Ever hear the old expression, it's not what ya know, it's who ya know? Well, whoever said that just hadn't caught the Vice President's kids in the dope business, 'cause I can tell ya for sure what ya know can definitely be more important than who you know.

"You gotta calm down and tell me what you're talking about, if you want me to know. What's this about the Vice President's kids and dope."

"I don't wannna tell ya too much, 'cause truthfully ya don't have a need to know. But Terry I been workin' with several federal agencies for the past couple of years as ya probably suspicioned. In the course of that business, a person can't help but run across some real sensitive information. It seems some major players in the Medellin Cartel, whom I personally know, ran across some knowledge that's very valuable to both the Republican and Democratic party. Real national security stuff. It seems some of George Bush's kids just can't say no ta drugs, ha ha ha ha ... Well, ya can imagine how valuable information like that would be, can't ya? That could get ya out of almost any kind of jam." Seal paused for a moment than asked, "Ya ever play Monopoly? The information I got is so good it's just like a get-out-of-jail-free card ... ha, ha, ha, ha YEE-HAWWWW..."

"Barry, are you telling me George Bush's kids are in the drug business?"

"Yup, that's what I am tellin' ya. A guy in Florida who flipped for the DEA has the goods on the Bush boys. Now I heard this earlier from a reliable source in Colombia, but I just sat on it then, waitin' to use it as a trump card, if I ever needed it. Well, I need ta use it now. I got names, dates, places.... even got some tape recordins'. xxxx, I even got surveillance videos catchin' the Bush boys red-handed. I consider this stuff my insurance policy. It makes me and my mole on the inside that's feedin' the stuff to me invincible. Now this is real sensitive xxxx inside of U.S. Customs and DEA and those guys are pretty much under control. It's damage control as usual.

[Terry Reed, "Compromised," pp. 211-213]

L.D. Brown: "Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation" L.D. Brown for a time in the 1980's was Bill Clinton's favorite Arkansas state trooper and Bill Clinton helped him get into the C.I.A.

Barry Seal was L.D. Brown’s CIA handler

Bill was loving every minute of living this association with the C.I.A. through me. Just as he enjoyed the womanizing, going to the bars and doing his best to dribble a basketball like one of the guys, he was getting his vicarious jollies through yet another source. But by using the C.I.A. and me, he would push my ability to follow orders to the breaking point - and destroy our friendship. [...]

Barry Seal was a crazy man. He was also everything Dan Magruder [Donald Gregg, an aide to GHW Bush] was not. Happy-go-lucky, irreverent and loud, Seal telephoned me and told me he was the man I was told would call me. It was the mid-1980's and with the decadence of that time and the free-flowing cocaine, Cajun's Wharf was a hangout for the bond daddies such as Lasater and company. [...]

[L.D. Brown, "Crossfire," pp.102-103]

The first words out of Seal's mouth, "How's the Guv?" reminded me of Magruder's apparent familiarity with Bill. An overweight, jovial, almost slap-happy man as my contact with C.I.A. was not exactly what I expected. Seal, too, knew everything about me. He focused on my D.E.A. training as Magruder had done in Dallas.

[L.D. Brown, "Crossfire," pp.104]

"Seal reached back to open the duffel bag in the back. He removed a manila envelope identical to the one he had given me after the first trip. I knew what was in the envelope but there was something else. He reached deeper in the bag and gave me the shock of my life.

Seal's face had a sly, smirkly, almost proud look as he removed a waxed paper-wrapped taped brick-shaped package from the bag. I immediately recognized it as identical to bricks of cocaine from my days in narcotics. I didn't know what to think and began demanding to know what was going on. I cursed, ranted and raved and I believe I actually caused Seal to wonder if I might pull a gun and arrest him. Seal threw up his hands and tried to calm me down saying everything was all right and quickly exited my car. He removed the bag from the bag and hustled back toward the plane.

I at once felt a sense of panic and relief that Seal was gone. Had he left something in the car? Was I about to be surrounded by the police? Wait a minute I was the police and furthermore this was an operation sanctioned by the C.I.A and I was recruited by them - and by Bill Clinton. [...] I would become furious with Bill for shepherding me through this mess, indeed for getting me involved. I would then as quickly think of explaining it all away as a 'sting' operation designed to trap the people on the other end of our flight who maybe had sold drugs to Seal. [...]

[L.D. Brown, "Crossfire," pp.113-114]

The tension was building up inside me as I saw Bill coming out the back door. I was getting mad all over again as I got out of my car and he strode over to me. It was the first time we talked since the trip, the trip he knew I was going to take. His mouth opened and the words "You having fun yet?" were already forming on his lips when I burst out, "Do you know what they are bringing back on those airplanes?" He immediately threw up his hands in a halting fashion and took a couple of steps back. I know he thought he was in danger of receiving a class A state police ass-whipping. My hopes of an innocent explanation to the whole sordid affair were dashed with the now-famous line, "That's Lasater's deal! That's Lasater's deal!" he whined as if he had just taken a tongue lashing by Hillary. "And your buddy [Vice President George Herbert Walker] Bush knows about it!"

Bill had done to me what I had seen him to do so many other people. I, too, had now been used and severely betrayed. I immediately ran to Becky, who lived in a small house on the mansion grounds. I told her of the incident and cried with the pain it caused me.

[L.D. Brown, "Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation, p. 116]

But I was not done with the C.I.A. In early 1985, I received a telephone call from a man at the Mansion who identified himself as Felix Rodriguez. A man who claimed he was Barry Seal's boss. He asked if he could come to Arkansas and meet me and I agreed. Could it have been that Seal was doing drug transports on his own? I was more curious than anything else and had to find out. Rodriguez was the man to tell me.

Felix Rodriguez is a Cuban-American with a long history of intelligence work. He had telephoned me at the Mansion and wanted to meet me there in the parking lot. When he arrived, he drove in the back gate as if he had been there before. We sat in his rental car and shook hands. Felix was a polished, articulate man and it was obvious he did not like Seal. He had already been told by someone about my experiences with Seal and was obviously upset with what Seal had done. I am still puzzled over how Rodriguez found out about the incident. When I telephoned C.I.A. personnel in Dallas I never mentioned what had happened with Seal. It must have come from Bill through whomever his contact at the Agency was. Rodriguez made me feel comfortable. He had C.I.A. credentials which he showed me. "Don't worry about him. We'll take care of him," is how he assured me of the 'problem' with Seal. Indeed Seal would die a violent death a year later- at the hands of whom is still a point of controversy in some circles.

[L.D. Brown, "Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation, p. 118]

Bo Gritz Letter to VP GHW Bush in 1988 and regarding US government Heroin Smuggling

Web link: http://www.serendipi.../cia/gritz1.htm

Bo Gritz Letter to George Bush

1 February 1988, Sandy Valley, NV

Honorable George Bush, Vice President, United States of America, Washington, D.C.

Sir:

Why does it seem that you are saying "YES" to illegal narcotics in America?

I turned over video tapes to your NSC staff assistant, Tom Harvey, January 1987, wherein General KHUN SA, overlord of Asia's "Golden Triangle", offered to stop 900 tons of heroin/opium from entering the free world in 1987. Harvey told me, "...there is no interest here in doing that." General Khun Sa also offered to identify U.S. Government officials who, he says, have been trafficking in heroin for more than 20 years.

November 1986, Scott Weekly and I went into Burma in coordination and cooperation with The White House. Tom Harvey told me you received a letter from Arthur Suchesk, Orange County, CA, dated 29 August 1986. Dr. Suchesk said that Gen Khun Sa had access to U.S. POWs. Harvey said the letter had received "highest attention". He gave me a copy along with other case documents. I was asked if it was possible to verify the information. According to Harvey, the CIA said Khun Sa had been assassinated some months before. Harvey supplied Scott and myself with language under White House and NSC letterhead that would help us gain access to Khun Sa. It worked. Unfortunately, Khun Sa knew nothing about US POWs. He did, however, offer to trade his nation's poppy dependence for a legitimate economy.

Instead of receiving an "Atta Boy" for bringing back video tape showing Khun Sa`s offer to stop 900 tons of illegal narcotics and expose dirty USG officials, Scott was jailed and I was threatened. I was told that if I didn't "erase and forget" all that we had discovered, I would, "hurt the government". Further, I was promised a prison sentence of "15 years".

I returned to Burma with two other American witnesses, Lance Trimmer, a private detective from San Francisco, and Barry Flynn from Boston. Gen Khun Sa identified some of those in government service he says were dealing in heroin and arms sales. We video taped this second interview and I turned copies over in June 1987, to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence; Chairman of the House on Foreign Affairs Task Force on Narcotics Control; Co-Chairman, Senate Narcotics Committee; Senator Harry Reid, NV; Representative James Bilbray, NV; and other Congressional members. Mister Richard Armitage, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, is one of those USG officials implicated by Khun Sa. Nothing was done with this evidence that indicated that anyone of authority, including yourself, had intended to do anything more than protect Mr. Armitage. I was charged with "Misuse of Passport". Seems that it is alright for Oliver North and Robert MacFarlane to go into Iran on Irish Passports to negotiate an illegal arms deal that neither you nor anyone else admits condoning, but I can't use a passport that brings back drug information against your friends.

Lance Trimmer and I submitted a "Citizen Complaint of Wrongdoing by Federal Officers" to Attorney General Edwin Meese, III on 17 September 1987. Continuous private and Legislative inquiries to date indicate that the Attorney General's Office has "lost" the document. Congressional requests to the Government Accounting Office have resulted in additional government snares and stalls.

January 20, 1988, I talked before your Breakfast Club in Houston, Texas. A distinguished group of approximately 125 associates of yours, including the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, expressed assurance that you are a righteous man. Almost all of them raised their hand when I asked how many of them know you personally. If you are a man with good intent, I pray you will do more than respond to this letter. I ask that you seriously look into the possibility that political appointees close to you are guilty of by passing our Constitutional process, and for purposes of promoting illegal covert operations, conspired in the trafficking of narcotics and arms.

Please answer why a respected American Citizen like Mister H. Ross Perot can bring you a pile of evidence of wrongdoing by Armitage and others, and you, according to TIME magazine (May 4, page 18), not only offer him no support, but have your Secretary of Defense, Frank Carlucci tell Mr. Perot to "stop pursuing Mr. Armitage". Why Sir, will you not look into affidavits gathered by The Christic Institute (Washington, D.C.), which testify that Armitage not only trafficked in heroin, but did so under the guise of an officer charged with bringing home our POWs. If the charges are true, Armitage, who is still responsible for POW recovery as your Assistant Secretary of Defense ISA, has every reason not to want these heros returned to us alive. Clearly, follow on investigations would illuminate the collective crimes of Armitage and others.

Several years ago a secretary working for Armitage asked me "Why would he have us expunge his official record of all reference to past POW/MIA assignments and activities?" Not knowing, I ventured a guess that maybe he was considering running for public office and didn't feel the POW -Vietnam association would be a plus in his resume. It was about the same time a CIA agent named by Khun Sa turned up dead in Bangkok under "mysterious circumstances". Also about this time, as an agent of NSC's Intelligence Support Activity, I was told by ISA Chief Jerry King, "...there are still too many bureaucrats in Washington who don't want to see POWs returned alive". I failed to realize the fullness of his meaning, or these other events, until in May 1987, Gen Khun Sa, in his jungle headquarters, named Richard Armitage as a key connection in a ring of heroin trafficking mobsters and USG officials. A U.S. agent I have known for many years stopped by my home last month enroute to his next overseas assignment. He remarked that he had worked for those CIA chiefs named by Khun Sa, and that by his own personal knowledge, he knew what Khun Sa said was true. He was surprised it had taken so long to surface.

I am a registered Republican. I voted for you twice. I will not do so again. If you have any love or loyalty in your heart for this nation; if you have not completely sold out, then do something positive to determine the truth of these most serious allegations. You were Director of the CIA in 1975, during a time Khun Sa says Armitage and CIA officials were trafficking in heroin. As Director of Intelligence you were responsible to the American people for the activities of your assistant - even as you should know what some of these same people are doing who are close to you now as our Vice President because I feel these "parallel government" types will only be promoted by you, giving them more reason to bury our POWs.

I am enclosing some documentation that supports the charges made. Chief is a letter from Khun Sa to the U.S. Justice Department dated 28 June 1987, wherein Richard Armitage is named along with Theodore Shackley (your former Deputy Director CIA from Covert Operations) and others. Please also note William Stevenson's article, "Bank of Intrigue-Circles of Power". You, Armitage, and General Richard Secord are prominently mentioned. Stevenson, you might remember, authored A MAN CALLED INTREPID. Also Tom Fitzpatrick's article, "From Burma to Bush, a Heroin Highway", should interest you. Both of these men are prize winning journalists. The book, CRIMES of PATRIOTS, "A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA", by Jonathan Kwitny, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, details for you the bank connections that Khun Sa mentions. Finally, the basic primer that spells out exactly how this dope for covert operations gambit began, is Alfred McCoy's THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. All of these should be required reading for the man appointed chief cop by our President to safeguard America from illegal narcotics. These are just a sampling of many works now available that chronical disgraceful conduct by those sworn to protect and defend our Constitution.

Parting shot Mr. Vice President: On 28 January 1988, General Khun Sa tendered an offer to turn over to me one metric ton (2,200 pounds) of heroin. He says this is a good faith gesture to the American people that he is serious about stopping all drugs coming from the infamous Golden Triangle. I, you and Nancy Reagan are really serious about saying "NO" to drugs, why not test Gen Khun Sa? I challenge you to allow me in the company of agents of your choice to arrange to receive this token offer worth over $4 billion on the streets of New York City. It will represent the largest "legal" seizure of heroin on record. You can personally torch it, dump it in the ocean, or turn it into legal medication; as I understand there is a great shortage of legal opiates available to our doctors. I think Gen Khun Sa's offer is most interesting. If you say "YES" then the ever increasing flow of heroin from Southeast Asia (600-- tons-- '86, 900 tons-- '87, 1200-- tons'88) may dry up--not good for business in the parallel government and super CIA circles Oliver North mentioned. If you say "NO" to Khun Sa, you are showing colors not fit for a man who would be President.

What is your decision? I challenge you to demonstrate exactly where you stand with respect to big-business-drugs, parallel government, misuse of U.S. tax-payer dollars in foreign drug supression programs that don't work, no interest in dialogue that will stem the flow of illegal narcotics, return of POWs while they are still alive? I for one am not for a "USA, Inc." with you or anyone else as Chairman of the Board.

Respecting Your Office,

James "Bo" Gritz, Concerned American, Box 472 HCR-31Sandy Valley, NV 89019, Tel: (702) 723-5266

George Herbert Walker Bush to Texas journalist Sarah McLendon:

"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."

Watch the YouTube interview of Chip Tatum about his orders from GHW Bush to neutralize (murder) Ross Perot in 1991-1992 period

"CIA +George HW Bush,Gary Hart,H Ross Perot,Blackmail" is name of YouTube Video

Also, this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHV68fjDiCE

Entitled "Presidential Secrets - Former CIA Black Op Speaks Out with ex-FBI Ted Gunderson

“The Crimes of Mena” by Sally Denton and Roger Morris

Another good article to read is: “The Crimes of Mena” by Sally Denton and Roger Morris from the July 1995 issue of Penthouse Magazine (this story was set to run in the Washington Post and it got spiked by an editor for political reasons.)

http://www.serendipi...a/c_o_mena.html “The Crimes of Mena”

http://www.nytimes.c...-this-book.html A hit job NYT piece on Ross Perot who was incensed over CIA drug smuggling.

Here is a good biography on Barry Seal at Spartacus Educational: http://www.spartacus....uk/JFKseal.htm

Barry Seal: Set up for Murder: http://whatreallyhap...iii_3-3-86.html This is a must read letter from the Louisiana Attorney General William J. Guste, Jr. to the US Attorney General Edwin Meese on March 3, 1986, complaining about why Barry Seal was not given governmental protection.

Link to buy the fabulous book “Barry and the Boys” by Daniel Hopsicker: http://www.cia-drugs...0001.about.html

Another good link on the 1986 murder of CIA drug smuggler Barry Seal: http://spitfirelist....-of-barry-seal/

A collection of articles on the murder of Barry Seal: http://whatreallyhap.../SEAL/seal.html

Here is good reading list on governmental and CIA drug smuggling and related criminal activities:

1) Powerburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War by former DEA agent Celerino Castillo, III

2) Dark Alliance by Gary Webb

3) Barry and the Boys: the CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History by Daniel Hopsicker

4) Whiteout by Alexander Cockburn

5) Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott and

Jonathon Marshall

6) Lost History by Robert Parry

7) The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider by Al Martin

8) The Big White Lie: The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed the CIA Sabotage of the Drug War: An Undercover Odyssey by Michael Levine and Laura Kavanau-Levine

9) The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy (from the 1970’s era)

10) Out of Control: The Story of the Reagan Administration’s Secret War in Nicaragua, the Illegal Arms Pipeline, and the Contra Drug Connection by Leslie Cockburn

11) Blue Thunder: How the Mafia Owned and Finally Murdered Cigarette Boat King Donald Aronov by Thomas Burdick and Charlene Mitchell

12) The Mafia, CIA, & George Bush by Pete Brewton

13) Called to Serve by James “Bo” Gritz

14) Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation by L.D. Brown

15) The Secret Life of Bill Clinton by Ambrose Evans Pritchard

16) American Desperado: My Life - From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset by Jon Roberts & Evan Wright

17) Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: U.S. Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia by Oliver Villar and Drew Cottle

Edited by Robert Morrow

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Hopsicker, Ruppet and Tatum are your principle sources! They're a cabal of crackpots!

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The CIA and Drugs

Just say "Why not?"

by William Blum

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"In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."

Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit.{1}

On August 18, 1996, the San Jose Mercury initiated an extended series of articles about the CIA connection to the crack epidemic in Los Angeles. Though the CIA and influential media like The Washington Post , The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times went out of their way to belittle the significance of the articles, the basic ingredients of the story were not really new -- the CIA's Contra army, fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua, turning to smuggling cocaine into the U.S., under CIA protection, to raise money for their military and personal use.

What was unique about the articles was (A) they appeared in a "respectable" daily newspaper and not an "alternative" publication, which could have and would have been completely ignored by the powers that be; and ( B) they followed the cocaine into Los Angeles' inner city, into the hands of the Crips and the Bloods, at the time that street-level drug users were figuring out how to make cocaine affordable: by changing the costly white powder into powerful little nuggets of crack that could be smoked cheaply.

The Contra dealers, principally Oscar Danilo Blandon and his boss Juan Norwin Meneses, both from the Nicaraguan privileged class, operated out of the San Francisco Bay Area and sold tons of cocaine -- a drug that was virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before -- to Los Angeles street gangs. They then funneled millions in drug profits to the Contra cause, while helping to fuel a disastrous crack explosion in L.A. and other cities, and enabling the gangs to buy automatic weapons, sometimes from Blandon himself.

The principal objection raised by the establishment critics to this scenario was that, even if correct, it didn't prove that the CIA was complicit, or even had any knowledge of it. However, to arrive at this conclusion, they had to ignore things like the following from the SJM series:

a) Cocaine flights from Central America landed with impunity in various spots in the United States, including a U.S. Air Force base in Texas. In 1985, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent assigned to El Salvador reported to headquarters the details on cocaine flights from El Salvador to the U.S. The DEA did nothing but force him out of the agency{2}.

B) When Blandon was finally arrested in October 1986, after congress resumed funding for the Contras, and he admitted to crimes that have sent others away for life, the Justice Department turned him loose on unsupervised probation after only 28 months behind bars and has paid him more than $166,000 since.

c) According to a legal motion filed in a 1990 police corruption trial: In the 1986 raid on Blandon's money-launderer, the police carted away numerous documents purportedly linking the U.S. government to cocaine trafficking and money-laundering on behalf of the Contras. CIA personnel appeared at the sheriff's department within 48 hours of the raid and removed the seized files from the evidence room. This motion drew media coverage in 1990 but, at the request of the Justice Department, a federal judge issued a gag order barring any discussion of the matter.

d) Blandon subsequently became a full-time informant for the DEA. When he testified in 1996 as a prosecution witness, the federal prosecutors obtained a court order preventing defense lawyers from delving into Blandon's ties to the CIA.

e) Though Meneses is listed in the DEA's computers as a major international drug smuggler and was implicated in 45 separate federal investigations since 1974, he lived openly and conspicuously in California until 1989 and never spent a day in a U.S. prison. The DEA, U.S. Customs, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement have complained that a number of the probes of Meneses were stymied by the CIA or unnamed "national security" interests.

f) The U.S. Attorney in San Francisco gave back to an arrested Nicaraguan drug dealer the $36,000 found in his possession. The money was returned after two Contra leaders sent letters to the court swearing that the drug dealer had been given the cash to buy supplies "for the reinstatement of democracy in Nicaragua". The letters were hurriedly sealed after prosecutors invoked the Classified Information Procedures Act, a law designed to keep national security secrets from leaking out during trials. When a U.S. Senate subcommittee later inquired of the Justice Department the reason for this unusual turn of events, they ran into a wall of secrecy. "The Justice Department flipped out to prevent us from getting access to people, records -- finding anything out about it," recalled Jack Blum, former chief counsel to the Senate subcommittee that investigated allegations of Contra cocaine trafficking. "It was one of the most frustrating exercises that I can ever recall."

A Brief History of CIA Involvement in Drug Trafficking

1947 to 1951, France

CIA arms, money, and disinformation enabled Corsican criminal syndicates in Marseille to wrestle control of labor unions from the Communist Party. The Corsicans gained political influence and control over the docks -- ideal conditions for cementing a long-term partnership with mafia drug distributors, which turned Marseille into the postwar heroin capital of the Western world. Marseille's first heroin laboratories were opened in 1951, only months after the Corsicans took over the waterfront.{3}

Early 1950s, Southeast Asia

The Nationalist Chinese army, organized by the CIA to wage war against Communist China, became the opium barons of The Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand and Laos), the world's largest source of opium and heroin. Air America, the CIA's principal airline proprietary, flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia.{4}

1950s to early 1970s, Indochina

During U.S. military involvement in Laos and other parts of Indochina, Air America flew opium and heroin throughout the area. Many GI's in Vietnam became addicts. A laboratory built at CIA headquarters in northern Laos was used to refine heroin. After a decade of American military intervention, Southeast Asia had become the source of 70 percent of the world's illicit opium and the major supplier of raw materials for America's booming heroin market.{5}

1973-80, Australia

The Nugan Hand Bank of Sydney was a CIA bank in all but name. Among its officers were a network of US generals, admirals and CIA men, including former CIA Director William Colby, who was also one of its lawyers. With branches in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Southeast Asia, South America and the U.S., Nugan Hand Bank financed drug trafficking, money laundering and international arms dealings. In 1980, amidst several mysterious deaths, the bank collapsed, $50 million in debt.{6}

1970s and 1980s, Panama

For more than a decade, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a highly paid CIA asset and collaborator, despite knowledge by U.S. drug authorities as early as 1971 that the general was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega facilitated "guns-for-drugs" flights for the Contras, providing protection and pilots, as well as safe havens for drug cartel officials, and discreet banking facilities. U.S. officials, including then-CIA Director William Webster and several DEA officers, sent Noriega letters of praise for efforts to thwart drug trafficking (albeit only against competitors of his Medellin Cartel patrons). When a confluence of circumstances led to Noriega's political luck running out, the Bush administration was reluctantly obliged to turn against him, invading Panama in December 1989, kidnapping the general, and falsely ascribing the invasion to the war on drugs. Ironically, drug trafficking through Panama was not abated after the US invasion.{7}

1980s, Central America

Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the Contras. In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region. ... U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua. ... In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter. ... Senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems."{8}

In Costa Rica, which served as the "Southern Front" for the Contras (Honduras being the Northern Front), there were several different CIA-Contra networks involved in drug trafficking, including that of CIA operative John Hull, whose farms along Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua were the main staging area for the Contras. Hull and other CIA-connected Contra supporters and pilots teamed up with George Morales, a major Miami-based Colombian drug trafficker who later admitted to giving $3 million in cash and several planes to Contra leaders.{9} In 1989, after the Costa Rica government indicted Hull for drug trafficking, a DEA-hired plane clandestinely and illegally flew him to Miami, via Haiti. The US repeatedly thwarted Costa Rican efforts to extradite Hull back to Costa Rica to stand trial.{10}

Another Costa Rican-based drug ring involved a group of Cuban Americans whom the CIA had hired as military trainers for the Contras. Many had long been involved with the CIA and drug trafficking. They used Contra planes and a Costa Rican-based shrimpcompany, which laundered money for the CIA, to move cocaine to the U.S.{11}

Costa Rica was not the only route. Other way stations along the cocaine highway -- and closely associated with the CIA -- were the Guatemalan military intelligence service,which harbored many drug traffickers, and Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador, a key component of the U.S. military intervention against the country's guerrillas.{12}

The Contras provided both protection and infrastructure (planes, pilots, airstrips, warehouses, front companies and banks) to these CIA-linked drug networks. At least four transport companies under investigation for drug trafficking received US government contracts to carry non-lethal supplies to the Contras.{13} Southern Air Transport, "formerly" CIA-owned, and later under Pentagon contract, was involved in the drug running as well.{14} Cocaine-laden planes flew to Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other locations, including several military bases. Designated as "Contra Craft," these shipments were not to be inspected. When some authority wasn't clued in and made an arrest, powerful strings were pulled on behalf of dropping the case, acquittal, reduced sentence, or deportation.{15}

1980s to early 1990s, Afghanistan

CIA-supported Moujahedeen rebels engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The Agency's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and leading heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan-Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. US officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies.{16} In 1993, an official of the DEA called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.{17}

Mid-1980s to early 1990s, Haiti

While working to keep key Haitian military and political leaders in power, the CIA turned a blind eye to their clients' drug trafficking. In 1986, the Agency added some more names to its payroll by creating a new Haitian organization, the National Intelligence Service (SIN). SIN was purportedly created to fight the cocaine trade, though SIN officers themselves engaged in the trafficking, a trade aided and abetted by some of the Haitian military and political leaders.{18}

NOTES

1. Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.

2. Celerino Castillo, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War, Mosaic Press, 1994, passim.

3. Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, New York: Harper & Row, 1972, chapter 2.

4. Christopher Robbins, Air America, New York: Avon Books, 1985, chapter 9; McCoy, passim

5. McCoy, chapter 7; Robbins, p. 128 and chapter 9

6. Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money and the CIA, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1987, passim; William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995, p. 420, note 33.

7. a) Scott & Marshall, passim

B) John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, New York: Random House, 1991, passim

c) Murray Waas, "Cocaine and the White House Connection", Los Angeles Weekly, Sept. 30-Oct. 6 and Oct. 7-13, 1988, passim

d) National Security Archive Documentation Packet: "The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations" (Washington, D.C.), passim

8. "Kerry Report": Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, 1989, pp. 2, 36, 41

9. Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994.

10. Martha Honey and David Myers, "U.S. Probing Drug Agent's Activities in Costa Rica," San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1991.

11. Honey, Hostile Acts.

12. Frank Smyth, "In Guatemala, The DEA Fights the CIA", New Republic, June 5, 1995; Martha Honey, "Cocaine's Certified Public Accountant," two-part series, The Source, August and September, 1994; Blum, p. 239.

13. Kerry report, passim.

14. Scott & Marshall, pp. 17-18

15. Scott & Marshall, passim; Waas, passim; NSA, passim.

16. Blum, p. 351; Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget, New York: Warner Books, 1990, pp. 151-2

17. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 1993

18. New York Times, Nov. 14, 1993; The Nation, Oct. 3, 1994, p. 346

Written by William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II; email:bblum6@aol.com

Edited by Steven Gaal

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Pipe Dreams: the CIA, Drugs, and the Media

by Daniel Brandt and Steve Badrich From NameBase NewsLine, No. 16, January-March 1997

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Like some Russian high official come to treat with Chechen rebels, CIA Director John Deutch arrived in force -- by heavily-armed motorcade, and with helicopter cover. SWAT teams swarmed over the building that was Deutch's destination.

But on November 15, 1996, Deutch's destination was in fact only the auditorium of Locke High School in the beleaguered South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles: for a U.S. public servant, not officially enemy territory at all. Still, the citizens who showed up to hear and question Deutch were searched with a metal detector in return for the privilege.

And privilege it was. The post-Cold-War world had become so threatening to the CIA that Deutch was taking the unprecedented step of showing up in public -- of walking, in fact, directly into a popular firestorm. That evening, Deutch emphatically claimed that the CIA had no involvement whatsoever with the crack-cocaine epidemic that is battering South Central. It was a message Deutch's audience wasn't buying.

This event and its aftermath are well worth reflecting upon. Unfortunately, the defense of Deutch and his agency by major U.S. media has proved far less illuminating than the narrow and ahistorical way these same media have defined and framed the relevant issues. The ability of well-paid media people to vaporize the known history of the CIA, to turn this history into a non-issue, is scary -- scarier, almost, than the long, lamentable, but extremely well-documented story of CIA involvement with drug traffickers on four continents.

This essay will attempt to say something, yet again, both about the major media and about some of the many mind-bending episodes, already on the public record, of CIA-drug-trafficker complicity.

The CIA's latest trials on this issue began in August 1996 with the now-notorious series on crack cocaine in the San Jose Mercury News. In this series, reporter Gary Webb made the case that the CIA, through the actions of several drug-dealing Nicaraguan contras it had funded, was involved in the introduction of crack into Los Angeles during the 1980s.

Parallel stories have appeared in provincial papers before, and been ignored. But San Jose isn't in Silicon Valley for nothing; the Mercury News boosted Webb's stories with its state-of-the-art website, and a popular firestorm ensued. Soon Maxine Waters of the Congressional Black Caucus was calling for an investigation, and the Senate Intelligence Committee had scheduled hearings.

Belatedly, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times all recognized that, this time around, they couldn't ignore the story. But instead of investigating the CIA, they investigated their fellow journalists at the Mercury News. Quoting each other's stories to strengthen their common case, editorialists, reporters, and columnists from all three papers attacked Webb's reporting -- or what they claimed Webb had reported -- as well as his ethics, his talk-show appearances, his book proposal, his movie deal, his editors, and even a graphic on his newspaper's website. Gary Webb, after all, is neither a Washingtonian nor a New Yorker.

There was nothing casual or accidental about this bashing. The L.A. Times had 25 reporters on the story. The Post refused to print a reasoned letter from Mercury News editor Jerry Ceppos defending the series, even after Ceppos provided a requested revision. Perhaps the low point of this campaign was a story by Tim Golden of the New York Times, which explained that African-Americans are more susceptible than their fellow citizens to conspiracy theories and paranoia.

But it's not necessarily paranoid to note what crack has done to our cities, or that the U.S. prison population has tripled over the past 14 years, or that California now spends more on prisons than it does on colleges and universities. And as the Mercury News noted: in 1993, snorters of powdered cocaine drew an average sentence of three months, whereas crack smokers got an average of three years. And 83 percent of those sent to prison for crack trafficking were African-American. If present trends were to continue for another 14 years, a majority of African-American males between the ages of 18 and 40 would be locked up.

Deutch's audience at Locke High, furthermore, had a more appropriate response than the Washington Post did to Deutch's promise that the CIA would investigate itself: hoots and howls. After all, the last internal CIA report on contras and drugs, completed in 1988, is still secret. "I don't know why [Rep. Julian] Dixon is saluting Deutch's courage for coming here today," someone from the audience complained at the floor microphone, "when everybody knows this building's got hundreds of pigs in it. There's pigs behind those curtains, there's pigs on top of the roof. We're not going to get no justice here today -- we're going to need a revolution."

And it's the major media, rather than the folks who turned out at Locke High, that are guilty of what amounts to suppression of evidence on this issue. Consider media treatment of Jack Blum, former special counsel to John Kerry's Senate subcommittee that investigated the CIA-contra-drug connection. If senators will listen to anyone who can speak authoritatively on this issue, it's Blum. On October 23, 1996, Blum told the Senate Intelligence Committee that although the CIA had not itself sold crack in the inner city, it had "ignored the drug problem and subverted law enforcement to prevent embarrassment and to reward our allies in the contra war.... A careful review of covert operations in the Caribbean and South and Central America shows a forty-year connection between crime and covert operations that has repeatedly blown back on the United States.... I would hope that this inquiry goes beyond the narrow questions posed in the San Jose Mercury News story."

Blum's statement reviewed the same history of CIA complicity with drug traffickers that will be touched on in this essay: CIA ties to the Mafia during World War II; its role in Burma in the 1950s; in Laos in the 1960s; in Argentina and Bolivia in the 1970s; and in Central America and Afghanistan in the 1980s. But Blum's 3,700 words of historical perspective raised the specter of exactly the kind of inquiry that the major media don't want. ABC's Peter Jennings crunched Blum's reflections down to a single sound bite, perversely out of context, in which Blum absolved the CIA of directly selling drugs in Los Angeles. The two sentences on CNN's U.S. News Story Page on their website were equally shameless: "Jack Blum, a former Senate investigator who looked into the matter during the 1980s, defended the CIA. 'No members of the staff of the CIA ... (were) in the cocaine business,' he said."

In fairness we may note that the media were only following the government's lead on this issue. CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz lacks subpoena power and must produce a declassified report; for additional powers, he must petition Congress. But Congressional "oversight" over the CIA is unfortunately just that. The House Intelligence Committee is now chaired by Porter Goss (R-FL), a former CIA operations officer who still hangs out with Agency friends. Its Senate counterpart is under Arlen Specter (R-PA), whose major contribution to investigative history to date is the Warren Commission's "magic bullet" theory.

Put simply, neither the major media nor Congress has the will, perhaps not even the power, to pursue the real history of CIA activity. Maxine Waters (D-CA) fears that the investigations now in train will fade away unless public pressure is maintained. To this end, Waters plans teach-ins on California campuses this spring. A fourth contra-crack investigation is being conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich, a former narcotics prosecutor. But even though Bromwich's intentions seem good, he can subpoena only Justice Department documents, and cannot compel witnesses to testify.

Jack Blum is surely right to want to pursue all CIA-drugs investigations within the framework of the larger history of the CIA -- even though one must surely question Blum's assumption that established agencies are capable of doing this. Since the 1960s, evidence of corruption and official lies has periodically made it onto the public record, but the worse the news, the more intense official resistance has become.

What follows, nevertheless, is a quick sketch of what all such investigators -- and the public -- ought to have firmly in mind. A variety of sources have been assembled here into a rough chronological narrative. But the scope of this narrative is so great that only major chapters in the CIA's long association with drugs can be mentioned. Still, as a big picture, it's better than nothing -- which is what official sources and investigations, and well-heeled publishers and producers, threaten to give us.

Back in 1936, Lucky Luciano, the boss of Mafia drug and prostitution rackets in New York City, was finally convicted as a result of Thomas Dewey's prosecution, and sentenced to thirty to fifty years. But in 1942 the Office of Naval Intelligence asked Meyer Lansky to seek Luciano's assistance in getting New York waterfront workers to watch out for enemy agents and activity. Soon Luciano's friends in Sicily, who had been severely repressed by Mussolini, were helping with the American invasion there. In 1946 the ONI appealed to Luciano's parole board. He was released from prison and deported to Italy -- where he built up a heroin syndicate.

The immediate postwar problem in places like Italy and France, from the point of view of both the CIA and entrenched interests such as the Mafia, was that many Communists had been anti-fascist Resistance fighters, and as such were attractive to voters. The Marshall Plan aimed not merely to rebuild a war-torn Europe; it aimed to rebuild Europe in such a way that no Communists could ever win an election. To this end, the CIA played a major role in administering Marshall Plan aid.

In Italy the CIA spent money to deny the 1948 elections to the Communists. By 1950 the Mafia again controlled Sicily. The CIA was also paying the Corsican Mafia in Marseilles to undermine Communist influence with striking workers. These Mafia syndicates were sufficiently well-protected that in 1951 they opened their first heroin lab. By 1965 there were two dozen labs in Marseilles, which together exported nearly five tons of heroin to the U.S. during that year.[1]

Heroin trafficking shifted in the 1960s and 1970s from the Turkey-Marseilles connection to the Asian connection. For decades until the 1950s, the opium trade was sanctioned by colonial administrations in Asia. By the early 1960s, the mountain areas of Southeast Asia -- the Golden Triangle region -- produced most of the world's opium. Northeastern Burma was particularly productive.

In the case of Burma, production before 1945 was insignificant -- as a province of India under the British, most of the opium traded in Burma was produced in India. But in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Forces retreated from Mao's army to the mountains of northeast Burma. The CIA helped maintain these troops, and sponsored two invasions of China. During their stay in Burma, the Nationalist Chinese exacted opium quotas from Burma's peasants; failure to pay was punished by the cutting off of fingers, hands, and feet. By the time the Nationalists fled in 1961, Burma had gone from producing about seven tons of opium per year to producing as much as a thousand tons, or about sixty percent of the world's production.[2]

In French-occupied Indochina, meanwhile, the Corsican syndicates were operating the opium trade out of Saigon under the protection of French military intelligence. When France withdrew in 1955, the U.S. inherited France's colonial politics and infrastructure. The U.S. worked with the same peoples -- the Hmong in Laos -- that the French had used. And again, the American Mafia was involved through their Corsican contacts. From Tampa, Florida, Santo Trafficante ran the Marseilles connection in Cuba during the 1950s. In 1968 he visited Saigon to meet with Corsican syndicate leaders. After 1970, Asian heroin began showing up in the U.S.

After the Cuban revolution, Trafficante's Mafia foot soldiers were mainly Cuban exiles.[3] In a 1982 interview, former CIA commando leader Grayston Lynch described what had once been the largest CIA station in the world, located south of Miami from 1961-1964. This station issued orders to 400 case officers and 2,000 exiles, dispersed in "safe houses" from Miami to Tampa. Lynch concedes that after the CIA cut off support, many of these exiles, trained in covert operations and smuggling, turned to narcotics trafficking.[4] Given that the CIA had worked with Trafficante to assassinate Castro in 1961,[5] the agency lacked sufficient ethical intelligence to worry that these Trafficante-associated exiles might pose a criminal problem. They were considered merely a "disposal problem," an institutional nuisance.

At the time all of these events were unfolding, they were secret history, unavailable in books and newspapers. Then one day in 1970, the poet Allen Ginsberg stumbled onto the CIA-heroin connection while sorting his files of clippings. He noticed that when sorted chronologically, U.S. advances into the opium-producing areas of the Golden Triangle were followed, a few months later, by clippings that reported a rise in heroin overdose deaths in American cities. The alternative press fleshed out Ginsberg's insight, and the May 1971 Ramparts magazine featured a cover story on South Vietnam's "Marshal Ky: The Biggest Pusher in the World." The major media ignored everything until Sen. Ernest Gruening, a maverick from Alaska, opened hearings. At that point the Washington Post and NBC News "discovered" this story, but soon buried it. Only the alternative press kept it alive.[6]

South Vietnam was completely corrupted by a heroin trade whose immediate origin was in Laos. The Hmong culture in Laos provided 30,000 men for the CIA's secret Laotian army under General Vang Pao. But in the process, opium production took over Hmong culture; the Hmong grew only enough rice for subsistence. To support the Hmong economy, the CIA's Air America transported raw opium out of the Laotian hills to the labs. At this point the CIA begged off, and let the syndicates and South Vietnamese officials take care of distribution. Double UOGlobe no.4 heroin, produced at a Laotian lab owned by Gen. Ouane Rattikone, became particularly famous. By mid-1971, Army medical officers estimated that fifteen percent of American GIs were addicted.

Veterans of Vietnam and Laos with intelligence connections, men such as Theodore Shackley (former chief of the Miami station), his deputy Thomas Clines, Richard Secord, Oliver North, and Felix Rodriguez, later became familiar names during the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s. More obscure was one Michael Hand, who had been a CIA contract agent in Laos. In 1973, Hand and his partner Frank Nugan established the Nugan Hand Bank in Sydney.

A slew of top-level retirees from the CIA and U.S. military intelligence were associated with this bank; William Colby served as its attorney. Nugan Hand collapsed spectacularly in 1980. After three major investigations, Australian officials concluded that the bank had been primarily involved in laundering money for arms and drug traffickers.[7] Apparently the CIA's infamous "disposal problem" -- what to do with those nasty, well-trained former assets -- extends to its top-level former executives and administrators.

Then there is the horrible tale of Afghanistan. Heroin there was also a well-kept secret, at least until the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Then the Washington Post was free to "discover" that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the CIA's favorite guerrilla leader, had commanders under him who worked with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency to run heroin labs in southwest Pakistan. "Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, U.S. narcotics policy in Afghanistan has been subordinated to the war against Soviet influence there.... In 1989, Afghanistan was second only to Burma as a producer of opium, growing 650 tons, nearly all of which was intended for heroin manufacturing, a State Department report said."[8]

When Allen Ginsberg was sorting his clippings about heroin, his discovery of a correlation with CIA activity in the Golden Triangle must have seemed dismaying enough, almost unbelievable. Fortunately for Ginsberg, a proponent of LSD, he had no evidence that the CIA may have also been behind the expansion of LSD distribution within the counterculture. But such evidence later came to light.

Ginsberg, like most of the counterculture, saw LSD as a liberating experience. The drug was nonaddictive, although it could be dangerous in the case of an overdose. A safe dosage, however, was entirely an individual phenomenon, and could not even be objectively established. And it soon became clear that LSD dramatically amplified tendencies that were already present in the individual and the immediate environment. The exact dosage that might have seemed liberating in 1967 might have been debilitating when ingested by the same individual in 1969, a banner year for agents provocateurs and bad vibes.

In 1975, the Rockefeller Commission reported that the CIA had been testing LSD since the 1950s -- only to discover that the drug's effects were too unpredictable to make it a reliable tool for mind control. Still, given what the CIA knew about LSD at this early date, it doesn't seem inconceivable that the CIA may have hoped that greater availability of the powerful drug would undermine the political effectiveness of the student movement and counterculture.

Evidence of the possible strategic use of LSD emerged in 1979, when Italian magistrate Giorgio Floridia issued a report on the case of Ronald Stark, who had been arrested in Bologna for drug trafficking in 1975. The magistrate ordered Stark's release on the grounds that he had been working for U.S. intelligence since 1960. From 1969-1974, Stark was a major producer of LSD, with factories first in Paris, then in Belgium and California, and a pipeline into the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the world's largest distributor.

Floridia cited Stark's frequent prison visits from Wendy M. Hansen at the U.S. consulate in Florence, "Dear Ron" letters from Charles C. Adams at the U.S. embassy in London, addressed to Stark's LSD lab in Brussels (these were seized by Italian police after his arrest), and his links with Philip B. Taylor III at the U.S. consulate in Rome. (Taylor is now in Sao Paulo, Brazil.) According to Floridia, Stark had done secret work for the Defense Department from 1960 to 1962, and had received "periodic payments to him from Fort Lee, known to be the site of a CIA office." On his release, Stark was ordered to report in to Italian police twice a week. But within days, Stark had left the country. Bologna police believe that Stark was secretly flown from a NATO air base in Pisa or Vicenza.

In 1984 an Italian parliamentary commission issued a report on domestic terrorism that included a section on Ronald Stark. They concluded that Stark was an adventurer who was used by the CIA, but were unable to determine when the association began. In 1982, Stark was arrested in Holland. Charges were dropped the following year, and Stark was deported to a San Francisco jail, where pending federal charges were dropped by the Justice Department. When Italy requested extradition in 1984, U.S. officials sent a death certificate indicating that Stark had died of a heart attack.

Way back in 1969, Stark first approached the Brotherhood, wowing them with a kilogram of pure LSD (more than they had ever seen), and claiming that he had a new, efficient production method. Stark's lab in France was already a going concern, and the Brotherhood agreed to distribute his product. When Stark shut down this lab in 1971 and opened a better one in Brussels, he boasted that he had done so because of a timely tip from the CIA. In all, Stark made 20 kilograms of LSD, enough for 50 million doses. Most of it was sold in the U.S. There's no proof that Stark was anything more than an adventurer and an opportunist. But Carl Oglesby, former national president of Students for a Democratic Society, sums up the Stark phenomenon as follows:

What we have to contemplate nevertheless is the possibility that the great American acid trip, no matter how distinctive of the rebellion of the 1960s it came to appear, was in fact the result of a despicable government conspiracy.... If U.S. intelligence bodies collaborated in an effort to drug an entire generation of Americans, then the reason they did so was to disorient it, sedate it and de-politicize it.[9]

Currently it's cocaine in the form of crack that's a major problem in the inner cities of America. Coca leaf is grown on the high Andean plateaus of Bolivia and Peru, and until 1980 it was generally refined in Colombia. After the Bolivian "cocaine coup," refinement of coca paste into cocaine became more of a local affair, while Peru and Paraguay also increased their production. New smuggling routes were established, and new strains of coca were bred that could thrive in the lowlands of the Amazon basin. Cocaine soon glutted the market. Prices dropped dramatically during the first half of the 1980s, which saw the appearance of crack -- a condensed, rock-like substance that can be produced by cooking cocaine with water and baking soda on a kitchen stove. Crack is smoked rather than snorted, a process which absorbs more of the drug into the body with less effort.

The 1980 cocaine coup in Bolivia was arranged by the Argentine military, which in 1976 seized power in Argentina and proceeded to "disappear" about 11,000 of the country's own citizens. Michael Levine, who was the DEA's country attache to Argentina and Uruguay in 1980, discovered that the high-level Argentine military officers he was trying to bust for trafficking were well-connected in Bolivia, and that the entire bunch were protected by the CIA. Some of the bloodiest coup-makers in Bolivia were recruited by Klaus Barbie, a fugitive Nazi war criminal and long-time CIA asset.[10]

Confirmation of the CIA's role came from testimony taken by the Kerry subcommittee in a closed hearing on July 23, 1987. Leandro Sanchez Reisse was assigned by the Argentine military to set up a money laundering front in Florida in 1977. He said that these fronts ran operations for and with the CIA, including weapons shipments to Argentine personnel in Central America. In 1980, funds from a major Bolivian trafficker were funneled to the Argentine military, which then sent ambulances loaded with weapons to Bolivia. These were used in the 1980 coup engineered by Luis Arce Gomez and Luis Garcia Meza, both of whom were connected to traffickers.[11]

The CIA, claiming that the Sandinistas in Nicaragua were sending arms to guerrillas in El Salvador, paid Argentina to provide military training to contras in Central America. This arrangement ended in 1982, when the military government in Argentina lost power after the Falklands debacle. Within several years, however, the contra war developed into a major CIA operation involving Cuban exiles from Miami; former Nicaraguan guardsmen who fled during the 1979 revolution and regrouped in Honduras; and assorted CIA adventurers with drug- and arms-trafficking connections.

Celerino Castillo fought in Vietnam from 1971-1972, where he saw the effects of drugs on U.S. troops. By 1975 he was a Texas cop, later a detective working drug cases. In 1980, Castillo joined the DEA and worked the streets of New York. He worked in Peru in 1984-1985, and Guatemala from 1985-1990. While stationed in Guatemala, Castillo was the DEA agent in charge of anti-drug operations in El Salvador from 1985-1987. During this period, he discovered that Oliver North's contras were running cocaine from El Salvador's Ilopango airport.

Castillo did his best to bust them, but soon learned that the traffickers were protected by the CIA. "By the end of 1988," he writes, "I realized how hopelessly tangled DEA, the CIA, and every other U.S. entity in Central America had become with the criminals. The connections boggled my mind."[12] Feeling his life was in danger, Castillo got out in a hurry in 1990. The DEA, meanwhile, was increasing the pressure with an internal investigation of Castillo. His career was over and he resigned. Lawrence Walsh's office extensively debriefed Castillo, but when Walsh released his massive report in 1993, the narcotics connection was nowhere to be found. The combined House and Senate Iran-contra hearings in 1987 also ignored the drug issue. Instead, investigators granted immunity to Oliver North.

John Kerry's subcommittee, the "Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations," began its investigations in 1987, held hearings in 1988 and 1989, and issued a 144-page report on April 13, 1989.[13] At one point, the subcommittee took testimony from the head of the Honduran DEA office, who described how it was closed down in June 1983, at a time when the CIA station was doubling in size. Honduras was a major transit station for cocaine, thanks to their corrupt military. It was clear to the CIA and Pentagon that the contra effort required the support of Honduras, and that the price for this support was to overlook the cocaine traffic.

"I watched the CIA protect drug traffickers throughout my career as a DEA agent," says Michael Levine. "I have put thousands of Americans away for tens of thousands of years for conspiracy with less evidence than is available against Ollie North and CIA people."[14] Tom Cash, a former top DEA official in Miami, agrees: "When you have those types of political upheavals and foreign policy considerations of the President to start with, and at the same time have a drug prosecution to contend with, drugs are going to be second. It is something we grappled with on a daily basis."[15]

One could, arguably, defend the mainstream press for refusing to follow up on stories as improbable, and characters as fringey, as some of those we've considered here: an iconoclast poet like Ginsberg, a shapeshifter like Stark, a low-level Serpico like Castillo. But the real indictment of the major media on the CIA-drugs question is their inability to follow up on obvious leads occurring in major stories taking place under floodlights in their own backyard.

Consider the case of Oliver North, known associate of drug traffickers. Oliver North's conviction for three felonies (lying, cheating, and stealing) was reversed in 1990 because his case was muddied by the Congressional grant of immunity. This meant that he could run for office, and in 1994 he was nearly elected to the U.S. Senate. North's infamous notebooks, however, may yet return to haunt him.

Ten months after the Kerry subcommittee subpoenaed these notebooks, they still lacked clean, unexpurgated copies. Nevertheless, these notebooks contain dozens of references to contra drug trafficking. In an e-mail message about General Jose Bueso Rosa from Honduras, who was involved in a conspiracy to import 345 kilos of cocaine into Florida, North noted that U.S. officials would "cabal quietly to look at options: pardon, clemency, deportation, reduced sentence." Even after Panama's Manuel Noriega was exposed in the U.S. press as a drug runner, North met with him because Noriega wanted help to "clean up his image." In exchange, Noriega offered North some helpful anti-Sandinista sabotage.

Or consider the decision by the Post and other major media to throw away a truly sensational story: the official declaration by Costa Rica, Central America's one shining light of democracy, that it considered a number of major U.S. officials to be drug traffickers, and as such was barring them from entering the country. The list here is nothing short of amazing: Oliver North himself, retired air-force major general Richard Secord, Reagan's former national security advisor John Poindexter, former U.S. Ambassador Lewis Tambs, and former CIA station chief Joseph Fernandez.

On July 22, 1989, the Associated Press ran this story, but they were virtually alone; some major media buried this story, and the rest resolutely ignored it. When asked why, Post reporter Walter Pincus gave a revealing response: "Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn't mean it's true."[16] (Before he joined the Post in the 1960s, Pincus traveled abroad on a CIA subsidy to spy on student leaders from other countries.[17] Unsurprisingly, Pincus was out in front of the pack of reporters that attacked the recent Mercury News story.)

When the major media turn aside from stories so sensational, and so easy to pursue, it's unlikely to be an accident. And given that stories so high-profile go nowhere, it's not surprising that the same thing happens to countless lower-profile stories that lack immediately-recognizable American names. Space prevents giving even a "bullet" version of many stories that could be adduced here, but consider the following items, at least:

  • Medellin trafficker Carlos Lehder testified at Noriega's 1991 trial that the Medellin cartel gave $10 million to the contras.
  • FBI informant Wanda Palacio told the Kerry subcommittee that she saw cocaine being loaded onto pilot Wallace Sawyer's plane in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1985. (Sawyer and his Southern Air Transport L382, carrying guns this time, were shot down over Nicaragua one year later. The flight logs from the plane, recovered by the Sandinistas, substantiated Palacio's story.)
  • George Morales, a major cocaine trafficker, offered planes and cash to the contras; when contra leader Adolfo Chamorro checked with the CIA, they said Morales was fine and to go ahead with the deal.
  • Ramon Milian Rodriguez, the chief accountant for the Medellin cartel, testified to the Kerry subcommittee that he transferred money to the contras and laundered more than $3 million for the CIA, even after his indictment on drug charges in 1983.
  • In what was known as the Frogman Case, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, Joseph Russoniello, returned $36,000 to an arrested cocaine dealer after contra leaders stipulated that the money was earmarked for weapons. The Justice Department foiled Kerry's attempts to investigate this. (Russoniello, by the way, is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.)
  • Recently a Venezuelan, Gen. Ramon Guillen Davila, was indicted in Miami for smuggling tons of cocaine. This is the only instance in which the CIA has acknowledged responsibility for drugs being imported into the U.S. One CIA officer resigned and another was recalled to Washington, but no CIA officials have been charged.

Or consider the blatant attempt by the Washington Post and its corporate sibling Newsweek to bury the inconvenient results of Congressional investigations into CIA complicity with drug traffickers, and then smear the investigators. On July 22, 1987, the Post ran an article whose headline seemed perfectly clear: "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling."

But Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, wrote to the Post and complained, "Your headline says we drew one conclusion, while in fact we reached quite a different one." Rangel's letter ended up buried in the Congressional Record (August 6, 1987), because the Post refused to publish it. Two years later, when the Kerry subcommittee report was released, the Post buried it on a back page, and devoted most of the short article to Republican criticisms of Kerry. Newsweek called Kerry a "randy conspiracy buff."

When our major media behave more irresponsibly than Congress, and frequently only a few members of Congress deserve our support, it's easy to see that we have a problem. The 1980s were a repeat performance of the 1970s, when the stakes were larger. At that time it was a question of organized assassinations and secret wars of aggression. Both Congress and the media were interested, at least initially. But our media establishment took one look into the abyss and decided that investigative journalism was not so profitable after all. Without the support of the media, Congress quickly lost interest.[18]

Is it even necessary to write a conclusion to this tragic but also farcical story? Confronting his outraged fellow citizens in South Central, CIA Director John Deutch thought he was offering a reasonable extenuation when he remarked at one point: "Our case officers deal with bad people, very bad people." But a moment's thought reveals the utter vacuity of this remark. The Cold War is over. For the young, even its memory is fading away. What should fade away now are the rationalizations that once led men like Deutch to justify cutting deals with tinhorn dictators and smack dealers.

Unfortunately, as Deutch's audience knew, the evil these men did lives after them -- on the streets of South Central, and all over our unhappy global village. It's still going on. Why can't our press report it?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1. Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (Brooklyn NY: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), pp. 29-63. This book is an expanded edition of Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York: Harper & Row, 1972).

2. David Barsamian, "The Politics of Drugs: An Interview with Alfred McCoy," Z Magazine, January 1991, pp. 64-74.

3. Henrik Krueger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, and International Fascism (Boston: South End Press, 1980), pp. 142-43.

4. Gary Moore, "The exiles who turned to drugs," St. Petersburg Times, 30 May 1982, pp. 1-A, 14-A.

5. Central Intelligence Agency, Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, 25 April 1967, pp. 19-20, 25-31.

6. Chip Berlet, "How the Muckrakers Saved America," Alternative Media, Vol. 11, No. 1 (1979), pp. 5-7.

7. Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987), 424 pages; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, pp. 461-78.

8. James Rupert and Steve Coll, "U.S. Declines to Probe Afghan Drug Trade," Washington Post, 13 May 1990, pp. A1, A29.

9. Carl Oglesby, "The Acid Test and How It Failed," The National Reporter, Fall 1988, p. 10. The information on Ronald Stark comes from three sources: Jonathan Marshall, "The Strange Career of Ronald Hadley Stark," Intelligence/Parapolitics, November 1984, pp. 15-18; Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion (New York: Grove Press, 1985), pp. 248-51, 279-82, 286-87; Philip Willan, Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy (London: Constable and Company, 1991), pp. 308-16.

10. Michael Levine, The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993), 472 pages.

11. David Corn, "The CIA and the Cocaine Coup," The Nation, 7 October 1991, p. 404-6.

12. Celerino Castillo III and Dave Harmon, Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War (Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press -- Sundial, 1994), p. 208.

13. The most comprehensive discussion of the details in this report can be found in Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 279 pages.

14. Geraldo Rivera Show, CNBC-TV, 9 October 1996, with guests Jack Blum, Michael Levine, and Maxine Waters.

15. Warren Richey, "CIA Under Pressure to Divulge Info on Contras," Christian Science Monitor, 20 September 1996, p. 3.

16. "Censored News: Oliver North & Co. Banned from Costa Rica," Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, Extra!, October/November 1989, pp. 1, 5. See FAIR's website < http://www.fair.org/fair > for more about major media and the CIA-cocaine story.

17. Walter Pincus, "How I Traveled Abroad On CIA Subsidy," San Jose Mercury, 18 February 1967, p. 14.

18. Kathryn S. Olmsted, Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 255 pages.

For references to more information on this topic, search for the proper names found in this essay by using NameBase from our home page, a cumulative name index of 600 investigative books, plus 23 years of assorted clippings.

NameBase book reviews

Edited by Steven Gaal

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Guest Robert Morrow

Hopsicker, Ruppet and Tatum are your principle sources! They're a cabal of crackpots!

Is namecalling all you can bring to the table, Colby? Al Martin is another key source that points towards Jeb Bush's participation in the 1986 Barry Seal murder.

Al Martin conversation with Jeb Bush just days after the Feb, 1986 Murder of Barry Seal in Baton Rouge. Jeb Bush had been at a meeting in Sept, 1985, where the assassination of Barry Seal had been discussed

Al Martin: "In this discussion, I had mentioned the recent assassination, only a few days before, of Barry Seal [Feb, 1986, outside his halfway house in New Orleans].

I said to Jeb, "Isn't it convenient that Barry Seal was assassinated when he was? And now suddenly all the information and documents he had are gone missing?"

Jeb had a rather broad smile on his face, and he concurred that it was convenient. He added a little snicker - as he often had a tendency of doing. Also little beads of sweat formed on his forehead, as when he gets nervous. It's something you can notice when he's on television. He still has a tendency to have little beads of sweat around his forehead, when he is either lying about something, or he's nervous about what someone is saying."

My conversations with Jeb at this meeting were overheard by the two Secret Service agents who were always assigned to Jeb when he was in his office at 1390 Brickell Avenue in Miami.

I had intimated that if certain parties in Washington were not prepared to come to my aid pursuant to my grand jury testimony, that it would be entirely possible that certain details of a certain meeting occurring in September of the year [sept., 1985] before might be leaked out to the press.

Jeb asked me what I was talking about.

I specifically mentioned a September meeting of the Dade County Latin America Chamber of Commerce, which Jeb chaired, and which, of course, was not used as a Chamber of Commerce meeting at all. It was essentially used as a political meeting for covert operational planning pursuant to Iran-Contra.

As I've said before, Oliver North, Richard Secord or Dewey Clarridge or, in a few cases, even Sam Watson and Fred Ikley himself, would show up at these meetings.

Anyway, I had recounted to Jeb, as if he didn't know what the text of that meeting was that he chaired - the conversations he had with Oliver North and Richard Secord and Dewey Clarridge, all of whom attended that meeting.

Dewey seldom attended the meetings, but this time the four of them were discussing the assassination of Barry Seal and how it was to be carried out, since Barry was becoming an increasing liability.

I had told Jeb that I had substantial corroboration of that meeting. And I think Jeb understood what I meant.

It would certainly place him into a conspiracy to assassinate a CIA drug runner for the sake of political expediency.

When I was through speaking, Jeb became quiet and his demeanor became serious and changed. He became flushed, as he often does when he's frightened.

Jeb responded by telling me that it would be most unfortunate if I were to do that, since I might wind up like George Morales or Johnny Molina.

[ Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider," p. 194-195]

Oliver North speaking to Jeb Bush and Dewey Clarridge in the 1980's: "Well, we haven't decided how we will rule his demise yet - whether it will be accident, natural causes, or suicide."

[Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Confessions of an Iran-Contra Insider," p.201]

"As I am a middle-aged man, I have worked or been involved in illegal covert operation of government all my adult life.

How many others in my age group can say they have personally known in their adult lifetimes almost 400 people who have died under clouded circumstances?

The common thread among the deaths of these 400 people was not anything they did - but what they knew.

I wonder how many others can make the same comment about their lives.

It's an indication of the type of life I've led.

Even what I have revealed thus far - it isn't a tenth of what I know. And it is such a task. That's the type of life I've led and what I know. I hope that the flavor of this comes out of what has happened to my friends, those I've known, who became inconvenient to their superiors and who died to maintain the deniability of others.

The egregious nature of the conspiracy surrounding their death goes to a level that is virtually humorous.

When Jeb Bush, Oliver North and Dewey Clarridge once spoke about an individual, North laughed and said, "Well, we haven't decided how we will rule his demise yet - whether it will be accident, natural causes, or suicide.""

[Al Martin, "The Conspirators: Confessions of an Iran-Contra Insider," p.201]

Edited by Robert Morrow

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Steve unlike Robert you cited reputable sources but there was no mention of Seal or Bush in either post and the only mention of the latter's family was "When a confluence of circumstances led to Noriega's political luck running out, the Bush administration was reluctantly obliged to turn against him, invading Panama in December 1989, kidnapping the general, and falsely ascribing the invasion to the war on drugs." thus they were off topic.

Hopsicker, Ruppet and Tatum are your principle sources! They're a cabal of crackpots!

Is namecalling all you can bring to the table, Colby? Al Martin is another key source that points towards Jeb Bush's participation in the 1986 Barry Seal murder.

[...]

LOL hugely ironic since you routinely toss out charges of people being “sex fiend(s)”. Tatum as I've demonstrated is a flat out xxxx, Hopsmoker's and Ruppert's research is sloppy and reaches conclusions with little if any evidentiary basis. I don't know anything about Martin but he doesn't come across as anymore reliable than the others, does he offer anymore than his sayso?

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The CIA, Cocaine Smuggling at Mena and the Train Deaths

  • Sally Denton and Roger Morris: THE CRIMES OF MENA
    Of this Michael Rivero [page gone] has written:

    This is the article which had been scheduled to appear in the Washington Post. After having cleared the legal department for all possible questions of inaccurate statements, the article was scheduled for publication when, just as the presses were set to roll, Washington Post Managing Editor Bob Kaiser (Like George Bush, a member of the infamous Skull & Bones Fraternity) killed the article without explanation. According to
    which appeared with the Penthouse Magazine version of this story, Bob Kaiser refused to even meet with Sally Denton and Roger Morris, hiding in his office while his secretary made excuses.


    Mena, Arkansas, was (and perhaps still is) one of the major centers for the smuggling of cocaine and heroin into America. This article is about the late Barry Seal, a CIA agent who is said to have smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. It is based in part upon an extensive archive of Seal's personal records. Denton and Morris write:

    If the Seal documents show anything, an attentive reader might conclude, it is that ominous implication of some official sanction. Over the entire episode looms the unmistakable shape of government collaboration in vast drug trafficking and gunrunning, and in a decade-long cover-up of criminality.


  • donkevin.gif <a href="http://www.idfiles.com/">The "Train Deaths"
    August 23, 1987, in a rural community just south of Little Rock, police officers murdered two teenage boys [Kevin Ives and Don Henry] because they witnessed a police-protected drug drop. The drop was part of a drug smuggling operation based at a small airport in Mena, Arkansas. ... There were CIA operatives who took advantage of the protection their positions gave them, and they participated in saturating our country with drugs. Kevin and Don were victims of this atrocious crime, and it is up to us to expose those responsible.
    This site includes:

    ttd-red1.gif[*]Jean K. Duffey:

    [*]Mara Leveritt:

    boysontracks.gif

    • A review of the book The Boys on the Tracks
    • Asa and Me
      What does Asa Hutchinson (George W. Bush's nominee as head of the DEA) know about Arkansas's biggest drug smuggler? And when did he know it?
    • Mara Leveritt's web site
      "... the site is a significant collection of government documents about the murders of Kevin and Don, Berry Seal's drug smuggling, and the federal cover-up of the Mena guns-for-drugs operation."

  • Alexander Cockburn: Chapters in the Recent History of Arkansas
  • The Mena Scandal
    A chronological summary and archive of the Washington Weekly, with links to many supporting documents.
  • More on the CIA-Drugs Connection
  • Ace R. Hayes: New York Mob at Mena

    America is losing its mind. The two-party system has been utterly homogenized by corrupt money. The mob and Mossad have cut a deal with Wall Street and the CIA to run the world as a global plantation for the benefit of the global plutocracy. Only impoverished presses like the PFP, some talk radio and the Internet are yet outside the hegemonic power of transnational corporate fascism. However, when the Imperial pigs succeed in driving 80 percent of the world into the new serfdom, they will probably wish they had not let their greed glands run wild. When the middle class discovers that they are part of the impoverished and imprisoned rather than the privileged, they will lead the "underclass" in a revolution against the plutocracy and its gun thugs. Failure to deal with the Mena cesspool will continue to erode the credibility of a terminally corrupt governing class.


  • Ace R. Hayes: CIA Drug-Money Laundering

    ... knowledge of drug-running through Mena, Arkansas has been known to the FBI and the head of the Arkansas State Police since January 1988 ... The Arkansas Attorney General and Special Prosecutor Walsh have known of this since June 1991 ... How in the hell have the corporate media and government law enforcement succeeded in playing dumb for the past decade?


  • The Oral Deposition of Richard J. Brenneke (multipage; a single page version is here)
    Joint Investigation by the Arkansas State Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Congress; very revealing testimony.
  • Daniel Hopsicker: The Secret Heartbeat of America: A New Look at the Mena Story
    secr_hb.jpg

    What in my opinion has been involved is a CIA or rogue CIA operation, conducted by the CIA or CIA operatives. To smuggle drugs into the United States from South America, using Barry Seal's drug smuggling operation in Mena.
    — Linda Ives, mother of Kevin Ives, one of the boys murdered in the Train Deaths.


  • Two messages from Daniel Hopsicker:

    [*]Bill Clinton's Skeleton Closet has links to many articles concerning Mena, Barry Seal, etc.

    [*]Dick Russell: Spook Wars in Cyberspace — Is the FBI Railroading Charles

    Asked if then-Governor Bill Clinton was aware of the Mena operation, Hayes responded, "No, but his associates were involved." He elaborated that some of the money was laundered through two powerful Arkansas companies with ties to Clinton.

    [*]The Crimes of Mena: GRAY MONEY

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Guest Robert Morrow

Here are the testimonies of 2 people who worked for the US government in the drug war - Darlene Novinger (FBI undercover) and Cele Castillo (DEA agent assigned to Guatemala). Both of them found out that the Bushes and the government were involved in high level drug dealing.

Former (honest) DEA agent Cele Castillo on George Herbert Walker Bush and his participation in drug smuggling.

Web link on Cele Castillo

Powerburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War by Celerino Castillo (1998)

"The end of my career with the DEA took place in El Salvador. One day, I received a cable from a fellow agent, saying to investigate possible drug smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras operating from the Ilopango Air Force Base.

"I 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."

Instead of playing along with the criminals inside government profiting from cocaine trafficking, Castillo attempted to seek justice, naming many high-level officials along the way, including North and former President George H.W Bush.

In fact, after Castillo blew the whistle, Bush made a point to seek out Castillo during one of his South of the border visits, in essence trying to "feel out" Castillo, but at the same time careful not to make any incriminating statement.

"When Bush confronted me and then just walked away after I told him some of the evidence I had, it was obvious he knew what was going on and was involved in the illegal drug trade," said Castillo.

And when Castillo's allegations first went public, he was the first government DEA agent with first-hand knowledge of North's drug dealing sanctioned by Bush and other higher-ups.

DEA agent Cele Castillo knew all about Contra Drug Smuggling at Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador; GHW Bush most certainly did not want to discuss it at a 1986 meeting!

On January 14 [1986], Vice President George Bush visited Guatemala City to put the U.S. stamp of approval on Cerezo’s inauguration. I met Bush at the obligatory cocktail party at the ambassador’s residence. Embassy personnel and Guatemalan dignitaries elbowed through the crowd, jockeying for floor space near the Vice President. I was standing alone, watching the steel-faced secret service agents watching everyone else, when Bush approached. He read the tag on my lapel identifying me as a member of the U.S. embassy, and asked what I did. As he shook my hand, someone snapped a photo. I told him I was a DEA agent assigned to Guatemala. He said, “Well, what do you do?” I knew it wasn’t wise to bring up the Contras – this man was part of the Administration, and Reagan had even declared himself to be a Contra.

I just blurted it out. “There’s some funny things going on with the Contras in El Salvador.”

Bush didn’t reply. He simply smiled and walked away, seeking another hand to shake. After that exchange, I knew that he knew.”

[Celerino Castillo & Dave Harmon, Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War, p. 132]

FBI Undercover Agent Darlene Novinger on the involvement of Jeb Bush and Vice President GHW Bush in the drug trade in Florida. Cocaine deliveries to VP office; drug lords providing prostitutes for Jeb Bush & VP GHW Bush

[Rodney Stich, Drugging America: a Trojan Horse – FBI, CIA and Other Insiders Reveal Greatest Threat to America’s Men and Women From Government’s Fraudulent War-On-Drugs, pp. 425-426 ]

After testifying in Harrisburg, Darlene returned to her Florida assignment with the South Florida Drug Task Force. Because of her earlier associations with the Smatt brothers, who by now were reportedly major drug smugglers, the FBI suggested that Darlene renew her contacts with them. In December 1982 she called Raymond Smatt in Jamaica, who invited Darlene to his mansion, where she stayed for several weeks. Raymond then suggested that Darlene stay with another brother William, who had a mansion in Miami, where she stayed for several days before going back to Jamaica.

Claiming Vice President Involved in Drugs

During one of many conversations with William Smatt at his Jamaica mansion, William started talking about the corrupt nature of the American judicial system and the White House. In one instance he said, “Let’s take, for instance, the vice president and his son, referring to George Bush and his son, Jeb Bush.”

Darlene asked, “What about them, you mean George Bush and his son; which son?” Smatt responds, “Jeb.”

Darlene responded, “You mean, Jeb with the Miami Republican party?” “Yes,” he replied. Darlene started explaining what occurred:

I was in one of the drug lords mansions which I was trained to encounter and infiltrate. I was sitting on a couch and a conversation turned up that would lead to something that would change the rest of my life. I was sitting and talking about justice in the judicial system. Well, these people were not American citizens, but they had strong opinions about the American judicial system, and how it worked, and they wanted to express it to me. I’ll never forget this day. What came out was the following.

They proceeded to tell me how money is the way to justice. Without it, there is no chance. You’re living in a Disney World to believe otherwise. This is what I was told by them. They proceeded to tell me how they had to pay the Republican Party in Miami. At that time, Jeb Bush was the chairman of the Republican Party in Florida [editor’s note: Jeb was Dade County GOP chairman in the early 1980’s]

They told me about the visits Vice President George Bush made to their mansion. The story that unfolded was incredible that I thought I had heard everything until this gentleman was done showing me correspondence. His office phone was ringing at this time. Lo and behold, it was the Miami Republican Party calling. He was screaming at them because he said, “I just gave you a couple hundred-thousand dollars and I want this done!”

Darlene explained how Smatt told her about providing pharmaceutical-grade drugs to aircraft arriving from Washington, DC, which were then flown back to Washington and delivered by courier to the Bush White House. [editor’s note: Office of the Vice Presidency] Smatt told Darlene of the money that he provided to the head of the Republican Party in Florida, and the relationship he had with Florida politicians. He was complaining that they kept asking him for more money. Darlene explained:

I asked him why he continued to do business with them if he didn’t like them. He said it was very simple. His contributions were going to the vice president and his sons’ interests because he was going to be appointed roving ambassador in the

Caribbean. Meaning something called the Caribbean Basin initiative, which was to their benefit to get passed because they would make a lot of money, on top of everything else.

He proceeded to tell me how he and his family, particularly he, furnished prostitutes to Jeb Bush and George Bush when they were in Miami, Florida, and of the use of cocaine by these individuals and George Bush’s staff in Washington, D.C. He proceeded to also tell me about flying pharmaceutical grade cocaine, and how the currier delivered it to the vice president’s office in Washington, D.C.

Darlene continued to explain what was said:

At that point I was sitting there with absolutely nothing to say other than, I could not believe it. I then sort of regrouped and said, “How do I know that what you’re saying is true? That just seems so incredible.”

Darlene explained William Smatt opening his desk drawer and “showing me personal correspondence from the vice-president , his son, photographs, and checks. I had no reason to believe that this man who I had known for years made this up.”

At another time, while staying at Raymond Smatt’s Miami mansion, Raymond said that Vice President George Bush and Jeb Bush had used cocaine at his Miami home.

[Rodney Stich, Drugging America: a Trojan Horse – FBI, CIA and Other Insiders Reveal Greatest Threat to America’s Men and Women From Government’s Fraudulent War-On-Drugs, pp. 425-426 ]

Darlene Novinger and her 1982 Report to the FBI Office in Harrisburg

Darlene said that after she submitted her report in December 1982, an investigation was commenced. Darlene said that in January 1983, newspapers reported that Vice President George Bush’s entire staff on the South Florida Drug Task Force was replaced. She assumed this was due to her report. She also remembered a Washington Post article in January 1983 that stated many members of the South Florida Task Force were using drugs…

[Rodney Stich, Drugging America: a Trojan Horse – FBI, CIA and Other Insiders Reveal Greatest Threat to America’s Men and Women From Government’s Fraudulent War-On-Drugs, pp. 427]

Darlene Novinger was Set Up to be Murdered by Drug Traffickers by Justice Department personnel who intentionally blew her cover, revealing she was an informant. Someone in government wanted Darlene dead. She survived.

Darlene returned to her assignment in Florida and found herself being set up by someone in the Miami U.S. attorney’s office to be killed. She explained that while staying at the Raymond Smatt mansion in Jamaica, and while talking to Raymond, the phone rings. It was a call from his brother, William Smatt in Miami, who stated that his contact in the Miami U.S. attorney’s office found out that Darlene was an FBI informant. Darlene explained:

That particular office, the Miami U.S. attorney’s office, almost cost me my life. I was at the mansion of a major drug lord in Jamaica, and a phone call was made when I was in the living room of their house. I could hear part of the conversation and they were talking about me. I could hear Raymond acting, “The FBI in Miami said who was working for them?” They were talking about me!

I felt trapped. There I was in his home, on an island, trapped, and I’m hearing this man get this call, and I thought, “I’m going to die.” I really did. I thought, whew, it was a close one, I’ll tell you. And he kept looking at me and he was a little grumpy. I said, “The next thing you know, they’ll have me working for the CIA.”

Eventually he lightened up, and I talked my way out of that one. Later, I found out that that gentleman was very heavily involved and he was not playing on the up and up….

Apparently, whoever told William Smatt that Darlene was an FBI undercover agent knew that Darlene was staying in Jamaica at the Raymond Smatt residence, and wanted Darlene killed. That would solve the problem with the report on Vice President George Bush and his son, Jeb.

[Rodney Stich, Drugging America: a Trojan Horse – FBI, CIA and Other Insiders Reveal Greatest Threat to America’s Men and Women From Government’s Fraudulent War-On-Drugs, pp. 428-429]

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Guest Robert Morrow

Bo Gritz, a highly decorated Green Beret, is yet another person who was working for the interests of the US government (finding POWs) and stumbled across some epic information: that the US government & CIA was deeply involved in the heroin trade, literally importing it in and handing it off to distribution networks to sell to Americans.

Bo Gritz Letter to VP GHW Bush in 1988 and regarding US government Heroin Smuggling

Web link: http://www.serendipi.../cia/gritz1.htm

Bo Gritz Letter to George Bush

1 February 1988, Sandy Valley, NV

Honorable George Bush, Vice President, United States of America, Washington, D.C.

Sir:

Why does it seem that you are saying "YES" to illegal narcotics in America?

I turned over video tapes to your NSC staff assistant, Tom Harvey, January 1987, wherein General KHUN SA, overlord of Asia's "Golden Triangle", offered to stop 900 tons of heroin/opium from entering the free world in 1987. Harvey told me, "...there is no interest here in doing that." General Khun Sa also offered to identify U.S. Government officials who, he says, have been trafficking in heroin for more than 20 years.

November 1986, Scott Weekly and I went into Burma in coordination and cooperation with The White House. Tom Harvey told me you received a letter from Arthur Suchesk, Orange County, CA, dated 29 August 1986. Dr. Suchesk said that Gen Khun Sa had access to U.S. POWs. Harvey said the letter had received "highest attention". He gave me a copy along with other case documents. I was asked if it was possible to verify the information. According to Harvey, the CIA said Khun Sa had been assassinated some months before. Harvey supplied Scott and myself with language under White House and NSC letterhead that would help us gain access to Khun Sa. It worked. Unfortunately, Khun Sa knew nothing about US POWs. He did, however, offer to trade his nation's poppy dependence for a legitimate economy.

Instead of receiving an "Atta Boy" for bringing back video tape showing Khun Sa`s offer to stop 900 tons of illegal narcotics and expose dirty USG officials, Scott was jailed and I was threatened. I was told that if I didn't "erase and forget" all that we had discovered, I would, "hurt the government". Further, I was promised a prison sentence of "15 years".

I returned to Burma with two other American witnesses, Lance Trimmer, a private detective from San Francisco, and Barry Flynn from Boston. Gen Khun Sa identified some of those in government service he says were dealing in heroin and arms sales. We video taped this second interview and I turned copies over in June 1987, to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence; Chairman of the House on Foreign Affairs Task Force on Narcotics Control; Co-Chairman, Senate Narcotics Committee; Senator Harry Reid, NV; Representative James Bilbray, NV; and other Congressional members. Mister Richard Armitage, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, is one of those USG officials implicated by Khun Sa. Nothing was done with this evidence that indicated that anyone of authority, including yourself, had intended to do anything more than protect Mr. Armitage. I was charged with "Misuse of Passport". Seems that it is alright for Oliver North and Robert MacFarlane to go into Iran on Irish Passports to negotiate an illegal arms deal that neither you nor anyone else admits condoning, but I can't use a passport that brings back drug information against your friends.

Lance Trimmer and I submitted a "Citizen Complaint of Wrongdoing by Federal Officers" to Attorney General Edwin Meese, III on 17 September 1987. Continuous private and Legislative inquiries to date indicate that the Attorney General's Office has "lost" the document. Congressional requests to the Government Accounting Office have resulted in additional government snares and stalls.

January 20, 1988, I talked before your Breakfast Club in Houston, Texas. A distinguished group of approximately 125 associates of yours, including the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, expressed assurance that you are a righteous man. Almost all of them raised their hand when I asked how many of them know you personally. If you are a man with good intent, I pray you will do more than respond to this letter. I ask that you seriously look into the possibility that political appointees close to you are guilty of by passing our Constitutional process, and for purposes of promoting illegal covert operations, conspired in the trafficking of narcotics and arms.

Please answer why a respected American Citizen like Mister H. Ross Perot can bring you a pile of evidence of wrongdoing by Armitage and others, and you, according to TIME magazine (May 4, page 18), not only offer him no support, but have your Secretary of Defense, Frank Carlucci tell Mr. Perot to "stop pursuing Mr. Armitage". Why Sir, will you not look into affidavits gathered by The Christic Institute (Washington, D.C.), which testify that Armitage not only trafficked in heroin, but did so under the guise of an officer charged with bringing home our POWs. If the charges are true, Armitage, who is still responsible for POW recovery as your Assistant Secretary of Defense ISA, has every reason not to want these heros returned to us alive. Clearly, follow on investigations would illuminate the collective crimes of Armitage and others.

Several years ago a secretary working for Armitage asked me "Why would he have us expunge his official record of all reference to past POW/MIA assignments and activities?" Not knowing, I ventured a guess that maybe he was considering running for public office and didn't feel the POW -Vietnam association would be a plus in his resume. It was about the same time a CIA agent named by Khun Sa turned up dead in Bangkok under "mysterious circumstances". Also about this time, as an agent of NSC's Intelligence Support Activity, I was told by ISA Chief Jerry King, "...there are still too many bureaucrats in Washington who don't want to see POWs returned alive". I failed to realize the fullness of his meaning, or these other events, until in May 1987, Gen Khun Sa, in his jungle headquarters, named Richard Armitage as a key connection in a ring of heroin trafficking mobsters and USG officials. A U.S. agent I have known for many years stopped by my home last month enroute to his next overseas assignment. He remarked that he had worked for those CIA chiefs named by Khun Sa, and that by his own personal knowledge, he knew what Khun Sa said was true. He was surprised it had taken so long to surface.

I am a registered Republican. I voted for you twice. I will not do so again. If you have any love or loyalty in your heart for this nation; if you have not completely sold out, then do something positive to determine the truth of these most serious allegations. You were Director of the CIA in 1975, during a time Khun Sa says Armitage and CIA officials were trafficking in heroin. As Director of Intelligence you were responsible to the American people for the activities of your assistant - even as you should know what some of these same people are doing who are close to you now as our Vice President because I feel these "parallel government" types will only be promoted by you, giving them more reason to bury our POWs.

I am enclosing some documentation that supports the charges made. Chief is a letter from Khun Sa to the U.S. Justice Department dated 28 June 1987, wherein Richard Armitage is named along with Theodore Shackley (your former Deputy Director CIA from Covert Operations) and others. Please also note William Stevenson's article, "Bank of Intrigue-Circles of Power". You, Armitage, and General Richard Secord are prominently mentioned. Stevenson, you might remember, authored A MAN CALLED INTREPID. Also Tom Fitzpatrick's article, "From Burma to Bush, a Heroin Highway", should interest you. Both of these men are prize winning journalists. The book, CRIMES of PATRIOTS, "A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA", by Jonathan Kwitny, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, details for you the bank connections that Khun Sa mentions. Finally, the basic primer that spells out exactly how this dope for covert operations gambit began, is Alfred McCoy's THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. All of these should be required reading for the man appointed chief cop by our President to safeguard America from illegal narcotics. These are just a sampling of many works now available that chronical disgraceful conduct by those sworn to protect and defend our Constitution.

Parting shot Mr. Vice President: On 28 January 1988, General Khun Sa tendered an offer to turn over to me one metric ton (2,200 pounds) of heroin. He says this is a good faith gesture to the American people that he is serious about stopping all drugs coming from the infamous Golden Triangle. I, you and Nancy Reagan are really serious about saying "NO" to drugs, why not test Gen Khun Sa? I challenge you to allow me in the company of agents of your choice to arrange to receive this token offer worth over $4 billion on the streets of New York City. It will represent the largest "legal" seizure of heroin on record. You can personally torch it, dump it in the ocean, or turn it into legal medication; as I understand there is a great shortage of legal opiates available to our doctors. I think Gen Khun Sa's offer is most interesting. If you say "YES" then the ever increasing flow of heroin from Southeast Asia (600-- tons-- '86, 900 tons-- '87, 1200-- tons'88) may dry up--not good for business in the parallel government and super CIA circles Oliver North mentioned. If you say "NO" to Khun Sa, you are showing colors not fit for a man who would be President.

What is your decision? I challenge you to demonstrate exactly where you stand with respect to big-business-drugs, parallel government, misuse of U.S. tax-payer dollars in foreign drug supression programs that don't work, no interest in dialogue that will stem the flow of illegal narcotics, return of POWs while they are still alive? I for one am not for a "USA, Inc." with you or anyone else as Chairman of the Board.

Respecting Your Office,

James "Bo" Gritz, Concerned American, Box 472 HCR-31Sandy Valley, NV 89019, Tel: (702) 723-5266

Edited by Robert Morrow

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Robert , I went to see Bo Gritz give a lecture at the University of California Santa Barbara. Gritz played a subtitled video tape interview proported to be of Khun Sa. The 'Kuhn Sa' fellow talked about his drug deals with Armitage as the bag man. The money was in the billions.

Edited by Steven Gaal

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I fully expected Perot to be killed because he was interfering with GHWB, who clearly was not a man to be xxxxed with. This was a guy who not only had been DCIA, but the whole HQ was named after him! That kind of job and recognition doesn't go to a brother-in-law, or a mere campaign contributor, or hack. At least not in those days!

But thanks to the tremendous furor and popularity of Oliver Stone's JFK, which was HUGE (When I saw it, the theater was packed solid.), the whole country was assassination-happy. If it hadn't been for JFK, Perot probably would have simply been killed IMO. Therefore threats and extortion were resorted to and ultimately succeeded. So in the end, Perot owes his life to Oliver Stone! IMO.

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Guest Robert Morrow

Robert , I went to see Bo Gritz give a lecture at the University of California Santa Barbara. Gritz played a subtitled video tape interview proported to be of Khun Sa. The 'Kuhn Sa' fellow talked about his drug deals with Armitage as the bag man. The money was in the billions.

Excellent post.

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Guest Robert Morrow

Ross Perot, incensed over CIA/government drug running, ran for President with only one goal - to kick George Herbert Walker Bush out of the White House. Of course, Perot ended up kicking out a Republican CIA drug smuggler and replacing him with a Democratic CIA drug smuggler Blll Clinton. Perot was not running to win, not spending the money to win. In fact, Perot was coordinating with Bill Clinton throughout the campaign according to Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson in his audio cassette tapes "More Than Sex."

Ross Perot only wanted to beat GHW Bush in the 1992 campaign; Perot was running to sink Bush and not to win

Robert Novak on 1992 interview with Ross Perot:

"I could not vote for Clinton, but this time there was a genuine third party al Dallas on May 6, 1992, to interview Perot, I thought I actually might vote for him. Perot had become the first independent candidate ever to pass the Republican and Democratic candidates in presidential polls...

I found it hard to fall in love with any presidential candidate (even John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, both of whom I liked personally) because, as a reporter, I observed them at close range. The May 6 interview with Perot served that purpose and incidentally guaranteed my eventual, reluctant vote for Bush. I began the Evans & Novak column based on that meeting:

After concluding a 90-minute interview in his modest 17th-floor North Dallas office, Ross Perot stopped us at the door to confide his dream: a one-on-one debate with President Bush, with no questions from journalists and nobody else interfering.

But what about the third man in the presidential race, Bill Clinton? Perot sloughed off our question. The putative Democratic nominee just isn't on the mind of the Texas billionaire as he prepares his independent candidacy. He sees the election of Ross Perot vs. George Bush ....

[H]e makes clear he does not consider Bush much of a president ... Perot told us he believes he is hurting Bush more than Clinton, basing that opinion on polls showing him ahead in three big Sunbelt states dear to Republican hearts: California, Texas and Florida.

By the same token, Perot traces hostile probing by the news media to inspiration from the Bush camp, not Clinton. Bush "started the character assassination as soon as I got ahead of him in Texas," he told us....

Perot later got back into the race, without Rollins and without any promises to spend his own money. But the glitter was gone, and his clear purpose now was not to elect himself but to beat George Bush. That was what he always had in mind.

[Robert Novak, "The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years of Reporting in Washington," p. 497-499]

Edited by Robert Morrow

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