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John Simkin

Gene Wheaton:CIA and the Military Industrial Complex

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Gene Wheaton was one of the key figures in exposing the Iran Contra Scandal. He was interviewed by Matt Ehling about this on 4th January, 2002. The full interview can be found here:

http://www.strategic-road.com/confid/archiv/special1102.htm

However, this section is well-worth reading as I believe it is relevant to the investigation into the assassination of JFK:

This stuff goes back to the scandals of the 70s... of Watergate and Richard Helms, the CIA director, being convicted by Congress of lying to Congress, of Ted Shackley and Tom Clines and Dick Secord and a group of them being forced into retirement as a result of the scandal over Edmond P. Wilson’s training of Libyan terrorists in conjunction with these guys, and moving C-4 explosives to Libya. They decided way back when, ‘75-’76, during the Pike and Church Committee hearings, that the Congress was their enemy. They felt that the government had betrayed them and that they were the real heroes in this country and that the government became their enemy. In the late 70s, in fact, after Gerry Ford lost the election in ’76 to Jimmy Carter, and then these guys became exposed by Stansfield Turner and crowd for whatever reason... there were different factions involved in all this stuff, and power plays... Ted Shackley and Vernon Walters and Frank Carlucci and Ving West and a group of these guys used to have park-bench meetings in the late 70s in McClean, Virginia so nobody could overhear they conversations. They basically said, "With our expertise at placing dictators in power," I’m almost quoting verbatim one of their comments, "why don’t we treat the United States like the world’s biggest banana republic and take it over?" And the first thing they had to do was to get their man in the White House, and that was George Bush."

Reagan never really was the president. He was the front man. They selected a guy that had charisma, who was popular, and just a good old boy, but they got George Bush in there to actually run the White House. They’d let Ronald Reagan and Nancy out of the closet and let them make a speech and run them up the flagpole and salute them and put them back in the closet while these spooks ran the White House. They made sure that George Bush was the chairman of each of the critical committees involving these covert operations things. One of them was the Vice President’s Task Force On Combating Terrorism. They got Bush in as the head of the vice president’s task force on narcotics, the South Florida Task Force, so that they could place people in DEA and in the Pentagon and in customs to run interference for them in these large-scale international narcotics and movement of narcotics money cases. They got Bush in as the chairman of the committee to deregulate the Savings and Loans in ’83 so they could deregulate the Savings and Loans, so that they would be so loosely structured that they could steal 400, 500 billion dollars of what amounted to the taxpayers’ money out of these Savings and Loans and then bail them out. They got hit twice: they stole the money out of the Savings and Loans, and then they sold the Savings and Loans right back to the same guys, and then the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- the taxpayers money -- paid for bailing out the Savings and Loans that they stole the money from ... and they ran the whole operation, and Bush was the de facto president even before the ‘88 election when he became president.

See, when Harry Truman signed the National Security Act creating the CIA, he specifically stated in that act that they could not have any police powers. And they could not operate domestically in the United States, because he feared a secret police coup. By creeping in a little at a time, that coup has taken place.

This crowd really believes that the unwashed masses are ignorant, that we are people who are not capable of governing ourselves, that we need this elitist group to control the country, and the world -- these guys have expanded. They look at the United States not as a country, not in any kind of patriotic mode now, but they look on it as a state within a world that they control. And that’s this attitude that they have. They’re not unlike any other megalomaniac in the world. They’re nutty as fruitcake, but they’ve got distinguished gray hair, three-piece dark suits and they carry briefcases, and they’ll stand up and make speeches just as articulate as anybody in the world, but they don’t socialize and function outside their own little clique. My experience with them is that they could be certified as criminally insane and put away in a rubber room and have the key thrown away. That’s how dangerous they are. But they’re powerful, and they’re educated. And that makes them twice as dangerous. And that’s basically what’s running the world right now.

If I had not been part of this, and hadn’t seen it first hand, I would not believe a word I’m saying. You couldn’t convince me that something like this -- and the American people will not believe it. Because you can’t get the average citizen . . . I’ve talked to judges and lawyers who have invited me in to talk to them. Some of them really patriotic concerned people. It turns them off, because it changes their entire life experience, and the reason that they have existed, and the things they have believed in all their life if you tell them this.

I have sat on the banks of the Potomac in restaurants with 75 and 80-year-old retired CIA people and retired generals, West Point graduates, honorable people ... these old men have sat with tears in their eyes and told me that, "Gene, what you’re into, you understand it more than we did, and it’s absolutely true, but it’s just so big you can’t do anything about it." I guess if I believed that, I’d go off to some South Sea island and drink a few Cuba Libres laying in the sand or something, but somebody has to keep charging in there, you know. The biggest chink in their armor – and it would take somebody smarter than me to figure out how to exploit it -- is their insecurity. They are afraid of a peasant with a pitchfork. And the reason they react so strongly and violently against anybody who opposes them, is because they’re afraid someone will grab a thread and unravel it, and their whole uniform will come unraveled ...

The only way I can think of to get this thing exposed, would be to coordinate with all of the different independent small newspapers and radio stations in the United States -- and television networks -- and get them to start blasting this thing -- and some universities -- because the major media’s not going to do anything about it.

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John one immediate problem I noted with this guy's remarks is that he claimed some CIA guys schemed to put Bush in power through the use of Ronald Reagan as a figurehead.

Well having been involved in GOP politics in that period (you'd never guess who my first choice for the GOP nomination was in 1980, BTW) I know there was a bitter fight between Reagan and Bush for the GOP nomination. And as you may very well recall, Reagan almost selected Ford rather than Bush for his VEEP choice.

So the notion that some CIA kingmakers put Reagan and Bush together is just plain wrong.

Wheaton also states:

Reagan never really was the president. He was the front man. They selected a guy that had charisma, who was popular, and just a good old boy, but they got George Bush in there to actually run the White House. They’d let Ronald Reagan and Nancy out of the closet and let them make a speech and run them up the flagpole and salute them and put them back in the closet while these spooks ran the White House

This too is nonsense. Reagan had policies that were anathema to Bush supporters. Reagan's policies were dependent upon the advice of his conservative counselors, e.g. Ed Meese, although James Baker, a Bush man, was certainly influential.

And the true-blue Reagan conservatives were quite disappointed with the changes GB I effected when he took over in 1988. It was then that the true Bush people first took over the WH.

In fact there was an interesting article in the "New York Times Magazine" a while back that GB II was a lot closer philosophically and politically to RR than he was to his own father.

So Wheaton's notion that in the 1980s Reagan was not really president but the country was being run by GB I and his pals the CIA "spooks" is akin to what comes out of the south end of a bull.

Surely you knew this much about American politics, John?

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John one immediate problem I noted with this guy's remarks is that he claimed some CIA guys schemed to put Bush in power through the use of Ronald Reagan as a figurehead.

Well having been involved in GOP politics in that period (you'd never guess who my first choice for the GOP nomination was in 1980, BTW) I know there was a bitter fight between Reagan and Bush for the GOP nomination. And as you may very well recall, Reagan almost selected Ford rather than Bush for his VEEP choice.

I can understand why the Iran-Contra issue is embarrassing to supporters of Ronald Reagan. Here is another extract from the Gene Wheaton interview that you might find interesting.

While running back and forth to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Egypt in the ‘80s, early, mid 80s ... I kept my contacts with the embassies around the world and with the State Department, and with the Agency, so that I could get quicker access into countries whenever I got a project that I could work on. In 1985 I became the vice-president of a cargo airline called National Air. It was during that period, summer of ’85, that some of my old CIA contacts -- who were no longer full-time employees of the agency -- but when they retire these guys they usually give them a contract as an outside contractor on the side, and then they have deniability for working for the agency. They can say, "No, he’s not an employee of the agency," but in fact they are contractors and they still carry security clearances and have to be polygraphed once in a while. I was recruited into Ollie North’s network by that group during the summer of ’85 because they wanted my airplanes for missions to the Contras, and they wanted my Middle East background for helping devise a plan for movement of weapons to the Mujahadin in Afghanistan. I had traveled across Afghanistan before, and again, I speak the language, and had been in and out of in Afghanistan and Pakistan more so than anybody they could find within the agency.

The guys that I had known for several years, uh, primarily Carl Jenkins, who was a long-time career CIA paramilitary mercenary operator, uh, probably the most highly respected of those people in that division of the agency ... he was the commander of the biggest CIA base in Laos while Shackley was over there, and while Bill Sullivan was over as ambassador. Carl and I became very close friends in the early 80s, to the point where I would keep a bedroom in his home in Washington with clothes and papers and things so I didn’t have to carry them from California. I was commuting regularly back and forth when I was going overseas, and Carl and his wife, who was an active super-grader in the agency -- he was her case officer and she had been his interpreter, and then he got her a master’s degree and then she got her Ph.D. She went on to head one of the branches of the agency -- we became like brothers and sisters, between me and them.

So I was back in Washington trying to drum up business for this little cargo airline, and Carl agreed to be my Washington representative, uh, for marketing purposes to open doors for me in Washington, D.C. ... to see if I could get some cargo contracts. It was in that vein that Carl told me it was time ... that the guys in the national security council wanted to bring me into the inner circle. And that’s where I sort of got at the very national level of this. I had previously attended some black-tie functions with Bill Casey and the veterans of the OSS; had been invited to a party where the guest of honor was Vice President Bush. My wife and I were invited. We were running with a fairly high-level crowd. In December of, uh, ’85 was the scheduled time for me to actually meet with Ollie North, so they had a black-tie dinner at the Palm Restaurant in Washington D. C. on the 4th of December. It was the day that Bud McFarland resigned as national security advisor.

At that black tie party at the Palm Restaurant on the 4th of December in 1985, I was specifically invited by Neil Livingston and to come in and meet Ollie North, and it was a party to promote Neil Livingston’s book, called "Fighting Back", and the subtitle was "The War on Terrorism". He and a State Department/CIA spook by the name of Terry Arnold wrote that book together and this was the coming-out party for the book, and all the covert operations community, the real snake eaters, were going to be there with black ties. Ollie North was there and Bud McFarland and I don’t know, 75 or 100 people in black ties, having drinks and dinner and hobnobbing and they felt like ... the atmosphere at that party was one of ‘We are the shadow government running the United States.’ It was almost like a diplomatic party or a State Department coming out party for a regime. These guys were in charge, and that was how they presented it.

There was a plan that was approved later on by the Congress in August, no, excuse me, October of 1985 -- Congress was going to vote in 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras and it was going to be a legitimate but covert, uh, program to supply the Contras with everything from medicines to tents and uniforms and food and whatever else they might need that was non-lethal, but as it turned out, that program became a lethal one too, because they would ship what they would laughingly refer to as hard rice, meaning weaponry, in with the $27 million worth of stuff.

Carl took me to the, what they called the Humanitarian Aid Office for the State Department in Roslyn, Virginia, and I met with Chris Arcos who was the deputy for that program to a guy, an Ambassador Dumeling. We were trying to get some of the 27 million dollars of cargo to haul to Honduras for the Contras that Congress had approved, and we were told several times in no uncertain terms that the only way we could do it was to work through Dick Secord and that aviation supply route, and I refused to do that because I knew that Secord had an unsavory reputation; he been forced into retirement out of the Air Force as a major general in ’83 over the Ed Wilson scandal in Libya. So I was advising the people around Ollie North, the liaison people between me and him, that they were dealing with a bunch of unsavory characters that had a reputation, an official public reputation, of causing extreme embarrassment to the government. At that time I didn’t ... I thought the contractors -- Secord and that group -- I thought they had a legitimate covert contract with the government, but they were also diverting aircraft and hauling illegal cargo on the side, and I was receiving direct information about their movement.

Well, in May of ’86, I personally briefed CIA director Bill Casey, and of course he looked startled. I had no idea at the time that he was one of the masterminds behind all this illegal stuff, but he said he’d look into it and get back to me. And he said he had to leave the country the next day, and would be back in touch with me in two or three weeks. It was exactly the same weekend, or the week, I think the 30th of May, when I met with him, or the 31st, when Ollie North was on that secret trip with Bud McFarland to Tehran. So I suppose Casey was going over to Israel to brief them about it. I didn’t know that at the time. Casey sent a message to me after he got back saying that the agency wasn’t involved in any of this stuff, and that the government wasn’t involved in this illegal diversion, and "If you think you can do anything about it, let the chips fall where they may," as a bluff. I’m just a raggedy little old Oklahoma country boy, retired chief warrant officer, and I guess he figured I couldn’t do it.

Anyway, as result of those briefings in the summer of ‘86, and I was kind of – this struck me as being treason and grand larceny on a major scale, stealing from the taxpayers’ money, -- and having been a cop all my life, I thought it was kind of wrong. So I got with a couple of Washington D.C. journalists that I knew. And one of them was a two-time Pulitzer prize winning journalist by the name of Newt Royce. And Newt Royce and Mike Icoca, who was a free-lancer who was writing with him – Newt at that time was with the Hearst newspaper chain in Washington D. C., with their bureau. I had information -- direct knowledge from the Saudi royal family -- that kickbacks were being, from the Saudi AWACS program, were being used to help fund the Contras, to buy weapons from different countries around the world. And I furnished Newt with the names of other people that could back up what I was saying, and that this was a scam because Secord, who was on active duty after the Iranian revolution, was the chief architect of the Saudi AWACS program. The Saudi AWACS program was identical to our Iran IBEX program that we had to close down in Iran. They just moved it across the Persian Gulf to Saudi Arabia and renamed it. It was an 8 billion dollar program, and those guys were talking about 10 % or 15%, so you’re talking about an 800 million dollars minimum, estimate, that that these guys could get whenever they wanted it, out of the bag.

And Newt and Mike Icoca wrote it up on the wire service for Hearst newspaper chain, and it went out on the wires and was made a front page headline of the San Francisco Examiner on the 27th of July of 1986. As a result of that article in August of ‘86, Congressman Dante Facell wrote a letter to then secretary of defense Casper Weinberger asking him if it was true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations. And in September of ‘86 Cap Weinberger wrote a letter back to Facell denying that it was being done by the U.S. government, with any knowledge of it being kickback money. That eventually, one of George Bush’s last acts -- and Larry Walsh, the special prosecutor, indicted Weinberger as a result of that correspondence -- and Bush pardoned him as one of his last acts. And that’s how this whole mess got started.

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Oliver North is a patriot.

Danny Ortega, besides being a Communist, was a child molester.

You never responded, I note, to my comments.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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So Wheaton's notion that in the 1980s Reagan was not really president but the country was being run by GB I and his pals the CIA "spooks" is akin to what comes out of the south end of a bull.

Come on, they shot the man two months after he took office. The assassination failed because Reagan was too dumb to die. But it turned out all right, since Reagan got the message (he was that smart, at least) and let Bush and the gang have their way for 8 years. In return they let him have all the jellybeans that he wanted.

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Danny Ortega, besides being a Communist, was a child molester.

Could we have your source that statement that he was a "child molester". Are you arguing that Ronald Regan was justified in trying to overthrow a democratically elected government because he thought the leader of that country was a "child molester"?

Oliver North is a patriot.

What is your definition of a patriot? I know your mate Gerry Hemming once stated that JFK was assassinated by patriots. Is that your view as well?

Were you in favour of the Reagan/CIA actions during the Iran-Contra Affair? Here is the Wikipedia entry for this topic.

The Iran-Contra Affair (also known as "Irangate") was a mid-1980s political scandal in the United States. President Ronald Reagan's administration sold arms to Iran, an avowed enemy. At the time, Americans were being held hostage in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a militant Shi'a organization loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini, and it was hoped that Iran would influence them to release the hostages; at the same time, Iran, which was in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War, could find few nations willing to supply it with weapons. The U.S. diverted proceeds from the sale to the Contras, anti-Communist guerrillas engaged in an insurgency against the elected socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Both the sale of weapons and the funding of the Contras violated stated administration policy as well as legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress, which had blocked further Contra funding.

In July 1985 the Israeli government approached the Reagan administration with a proposal to get hostages held by Hezbollah released.

The Israelis wanted the United States to act as an intermediary by shipping 508 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of the Rev. Benjamin Weir, an American hostage being held by Hezbollah, a militant Shi'a organization. This was done with the understanding that the United States would then ship replacement missiles to Israel. Robert McFarlane, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, approached Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and arranged the details. The transfer took place over the next two months. The first American hostage was released in mid-September.

In November 1985, there was another round of negotiations, where the Israelis proposed to ship Iran 500 HAWK surface-to-air missiles in exchange for the release of all remaining American hostages being held in Lebanon. Major General Colin Powell, senior military assistant to Weinberger, attempted to procure the missiles, but realized that the deal would require Congressional notification as its overall value exceeded $14 million. McFarlane responded to Powell that the President had decided to conduct the sale anyway. Israel sent an initial shipment of 18 missiles to Iran in late November, 1985, but the Iranians didn't approve of the missiles, and further shipments were halted. Negotiations continued with the Israelis and Iranians over the next few months.

In December 1985, President Reagan signed a secret presidential "finding" describing the deal as "arms-for-hostages."

In January of 1986, the administration approved a plan proposed by McFarlane employee Michael Ledeen, whereby an intermediary, rather than Israel, would sell arms to Iran in exchange for the release of the hostages, with proceeds made available to the Contras. At first, the Iranians had refused the weapons from Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian intermediary, when both Oliver North and Ghorbanifar created a 370% markup (WALSH, Lawrence E. "Firewall"). The arms were eventually sold - in February, 1000 TOW missiles were shipped to Iran. From May to November, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts. However, Hezbollah proceeded to take more hostages after they had released old ones, and failing to produce any meaningful results, the arms-for-hostages program was finally cancelled.

The Reagan administration had been providing covert assistance to the Contras since November 1981, but the 1982 Boland Amendment blocked further military aid when it was discovered that the CIA had supervised acts of sabotage in Nicaragua without notifying Congress. The amendment, effective December 1983 to September 1985, prohibited the CIA, Defense Department and any other government agency from providing any further covert military assistance. The Reagan administration circumvented this ban by using the National Security Council, which was not explicitly covered by the law, to supervise covert support. The NSC proceeded to raise private and foreign funds for the Contras. In addition, proceeds from the arms sales to Iran were used to purchase arms for the Contras in an arrangement instituted by Colonel Oliver North, aide to National Security Advisor John Poindexter.

The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on 3 November 1986. This was the first public reporting of the weapons-for-hostages deal. The operation was discovered only after an airlift of guns was downed over Nicaragua. The scandal was compounded when on November 21, Oliver North and his secretary Fawn Hall shredded pertinent documents. US Attorney General Edwin Meese on November 25 admitted that profits from weapons sales to Iran were made available to assist the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

On November 26 President Reagan, faced with mounting pressure from Congressional Democrats and the media, announced that as of December 1 former Senator John Tower, former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft would serve as members of a Special Review Board looking into the matter; this Presidential Commission became known as the Tower Commission. At this point, President Reagan said he had not been informed of the operation. The Tower Commission implicated North, Poindexter and Weinberger, amongst others. It did not determine that the President had knowledge, although it argued that the President ought to have had better control of the National Security Council staff.

The U.S. Congress issued its final report on 18 November 1987, which stated that the President bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception and disdain for the law." Oliver North and John Poindexter were indicted on multiple charges on March 16, 1988. North, indicted on nine counts, was initially convicted of three minor counts, although the conviction was later vacated upon appeal on the grounds that North's Fifth Amendment rights may have been violated. The violation was said to be the indirect use of his testimony to Congress which had been given under a grant of immunity. Poindexter was convicted on several felony counts of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and altering and destroying documents pertinent to the investigation. His convictions were also overturned on appeal on similar grounds as North's. The Independent Counsel chose not to re-try North or Poindexter.

Faced with undeniable evidence of his involvement in the scandal, Reagan expressed regret regarding the situation on national television. In his speech, Reagan stated that he believed what he did was right, and understood how the American people might not think the same way. Nevertheless, Reagan survived the scandal, and would see his approval ratings return to previous levels.

Sen. John Kerry's 1988 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on Contra-drug links concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." [1] According to the National Security Archive, Oliver North had been in contact with Manuel Noriega, Panama's drug-baron, whom he personally met.

In August of 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance", a 20,000 word, three-part investigative series which alleged that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold and distributed crack cocaine in Los Angeles during the 1980s, and that drug profits were used to fund the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras. Webb never asserted that the CIA directly aided drug dealers to raise money for the Contras, but he did imply that the CIA were aware of the transactions (Webb's 1999 book, Dark Alliance, substantiated these allegations with copious references). On December 10, 2004, Gary Webb was found dead from gunshots wounds to the head. Coroner Robert Lyons concluded it was suicide.

It has also been claimed that Swedish prime minister Olof Palme had been assassinated in 1986 because of his refusal to take part in the arms-trade. In particular, former CIA agent Richard Brenneke substained this, stating that Licio Gelli, headmaster of P2 Italian freemasonry lodge, would have been interested by Olof Palme's death. Lyndon Larouche also claimed, in 1995, that Olof Palme's murder was linked to the Irangate.

Significance: The separation of powers

The Iran-Contra Affair is significant because it brought many questions into public view:

Does the president have unconditional authority to conduct foreign policy? (Can the president approve selling arms to a foreign nation without congressional approval?)

What information does the president have to provide to Congress and when should that information be supplied? (Does the president have to tell Congress about foreign policy initiatives?)

What authority, if any, does Congress have to oversee functions of the executive branch? (Does funding for foreign policy initiatives have to be approved by Congress?

Who defines the entire spending budget and who regulates it? Is the provision of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act that creates the position of independent counsel answering to the Attorney General, constitutional?)

What role does the Supreme Court have in deciding conflicts between the legislative branch and executive branch?

How much support is America entitled to provide to armed opposition forces seeking to replace governments with ones more sympathetic to the United States?

Most, if not all, of the constitutional and ethical questions are still unresolved. On one view, it appears that if the legislative and executive branches do not wish to work together, there are no legal remedies. These issues are of far-reaching importance in themselves, and also in light of the fact that several key people implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal reappeared again at high-level posts in later administrations, most notably in George W. Bush's administration.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Oliver North is a patriot.

Oliver North is a lying scumbag.

In July 1987, at the Congressional Committee to investigate Iran-Contra, North admitted he had lied to congress, he later stated that he viewed the ILLEGAL Iran- contra scheme as "A neat idea"

In May 1989 he was covicted in three felony counts 1, Accepting an illegal gratuity 2, Aiding and abetting obstruction of a congressional inquiry and, 3, destruction of documents. The only reason for 1991's overturning of these was the granting of limited immunity, this testimony was deemed to have influenced witnesses at his trial. Tim not for the first time your political zealotry is causing you myopia.

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John,

Thanks for the Wheaton link. That's a great interview. Wheaton confirms that the elephant in the living room is not a bad dream or fantasy. I feared that I was suffering from that dread disease, schizoid elephantitis. I don't feel quite so paranoid now.

Ron

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John wrote:

What is your definition of a patriot? I know your mate Gerry Hemming once stated that JFK was assassinated by patriots. Is that your view as well?

Gerry is not my "mate": he's not my type. Although I understand you Brits misuse the English language!

JFK was not shot by "patriots". John, surely you do not think I believe Fidel and crew are American patriots?

Sorry, just couldn't resist the opening!!

Postscript:

From the web: Aerial hijacking as an international crime.

by Nancy Douglas Joyner

Thorough research concludes that while hijacking a plane may be an international crime, there is no statute prohibiting hijacking a thread!

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Guest Stephen Turner

. Although I understand you Brits misuse the English language!

"Hey Fawn honey, just shred those old documents for me" now there's a misuse of the English lanuage. ;)

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. Although I understand you Brits misuse the English language!

"Hey Fawn honey, just shred those old documents for me" now there's a misuse of the English lanuage. ;)

In the good old day's Wheaton could pop-up on television (somewhere) and make his allegations public, but I am sure if he tried to go that route he would find himself "persona non grata."

Maybe he could talk to Fitzgerald, and just add it to the list. But what am I saying, there were no good old day's.

Edited by Robert Howard

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Oliver North is a patriot.

Danny Ortega, besides being a Communist, was a child molester.

You never responded, I note, to my comments.

Tim, I hope the North line was just bait. If you read the books of others involved in the scandal, such as Robert Macfarlane and Gen. John Singlaub, you'll see that North is held in very LOW REGARD, even by those who defended the operation. The way he weasled out of prison and implicated Reagan in an attempt to gain immunity, was downright sleazy. If you're gonna fall on your sword, fall on your sword, a la Poindexter. North was just a sneaky self-righteous wimp who saw no problem with Secord etc making MILLIONS off this supposedly patriotic deal. He was like a John Dean who failed to learn his lesson. Wheaton was right to speak out against him.

That North, after bragging about lying to congress, ran for the senate, is reflective of the contempt this man has for American institutions. In some ways I wish he'd been elected, if only so that a few of the more upright senators could have had the chance to kick the crap out of him.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Hint: it is defintely worth doing a google search and reading more about Mr. Wheaton. Some interesting stuff.

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In May, 1986, Gene Wheaton contacted Daniel Sheehan, a left-wing lawyer. Wheaton told him that Tom Clines and Ted Shackley had been running a top-secret CIA assassination unit since the early 1960s. According to Wheaton, it had begun with an assassination training program for Cuban exiles and the original target had been Fidel Castro. This unit remained in operation and people like Raphael Quintero were still being used to murder people on behalf of the CIA. It seems that in 1986 Wheaton was unwilling to disclose that Carl Jenkins and David Morales was also involved with this "assassination team".

Based on research carried out by Wheaton, on 12th December, 1986, Daniel Sheehan submitted to the court an affidavit detailing the Irangate scandal. He also claimed that Tom Clines and Ted Shackley were running a private assassination program that had evolved from projects they ran while working for the CIA. Others named as being part of this assassination team included Raphael Quintero, Richard Secord, Felix Rodriguez and Albert Hakim. It later emerged that it was not only Wheaton who was providing this information to Sheehan. The other CIA informant was Carl Jenkins.

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Daniel Sheehan became another Jim Garrison. During his investigation the CIA launched a massive smear campaign against him. Leading this campaign was a woman called Susan Huck. She put around stories that Sheehan and the Christic Institute were "instruments of Soviet disinformation". That Sheehan's lawsuit advanced "Soviet interests" and was an attempt to weaken the United States. Huck argued that the Soviets were out to get people like Ted Shackley, Tom Clines, Raphael Quintero, Felix Rodriguez, Richard Secord, etc. because of their "record of thwarting... Moscow and Havana for three decades". Huck went onto publish a book, Legal Terrorism, about Sheehan's attack on the CIA.

There were two parts to Sheehan's lawsuit. One involved the CIA assassination team that had been run by Shackley and company since the early 1960s and the other involved Reagan's use of Congress' decision to grant 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras in Nicaragua. According to Sheehan the Reagan administration were using this money to provide weapons to the Contras and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

On 5th October, 1986, a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, survived the crash and told his captors that he thought the CIA was behind the operation. He also provided information on two Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Savador. This resulted in journalists being able to identify Raphael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez as the two Cuban-Americans. It gradually emerged that Clines, Oliver North, Edwin Wilson and Richard Secord were also involved in this conspiracy to provide arms to the Contras.

Shirley Brill, a former CIA official, published a 24 page affidavit in 1988. Brill had lived with Tom Clines in 1977 and claimed that he was involved in illegal activities with Raphael Quintero and a drug dealer living in Miami. After retering from the CIA in 1978, Brill claims Clines joined forces with Ted Shackley, Richard Secord and Edwin Wilson in order to gain Pentagon contracts. Brill also argued that she heard Clines, Secord, Quintero and Shakley plotting to frame Wilson.

Brill's information added support to the stories provided to Sheehan by Gene Wheaton (Source 48) and Carl Jenkins (Source 49). However, on 23rd June, 1988, Judge James L. King ruled that Sheehan's allegations were "based on unsubstantiated rumor and speculation from unidentified sources with no firsthand knowledge". In February, 1989, Judge King ruled that Sheehan had brought a frivolous lawsuit and ordered his Christic Institute to pay the defendants $955,000. This was one of the highest sanction orders in history and represented four times the total assets of the Christic Institute.

Despite Sheehan's information being correct about what eventually became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, none of these men were ever convicted in a court of law for these offences. The only one to go to prison was Tom Clines as a result of under-reporting his income from his various business enterprises by at least $260,000 and with failing to disclose on his tax returns that he had an overseas bank account. Clines was found guilty and sentenced to sixteen months and a $40,000 fine.

Shackley was never charged with any offence although Oliver North's notebook that was declassified in 1990 showed that he had been involved in selling arms to the Contras since December 1984. Instead of being sent to prison, Shackley received a libel payout of $148,296 from Sheehan.

Oliver North's notebook also shows that Tom Clines, Raphael Quintero, Felix Rodriguez, Albert Hakim and Richard Secord were also involved in this conspiracy. They only one to suffer from this was Daniel Sheehan who was forced into bankrupcy.

It is of course possible that Sheehan was right both about the Iran-Contra story and the CIA assassination team that originally was set up to kill Fidel Castro but was later used against other figures who posed a threat to the agency. If Wheaton is to be believed, it was this team that killed JFK.

According to Sheehan, his two main sources were Wheaton and Jenkins (although he later denied this). Why did they do this? One theory is that Wheaton and Jenkins had both been part of the original deal (both men had established a cargo airline called National Air in 1985). It is believed that this airline was to be used to transport arms to the Contras in Nicaragua and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. For some reason Clines decided to cut Wheaton and Jenkins out of the deal. As a result, both men decided to get even by informing against those involved in these two CIA conspiracies.

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