Jump to content
The Education Forum

1990 Classified testimony to be Dereleased in June

Recommended Posts

NOTE: Classified testimony of 1990 to be declassified in June 2008. Within this release is documented information about the JFK assassination and military special operations of the sixties

Forum reference:

(John Simkin @ Sep 12 2006, 08:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In his book, Blond Ghost: The Shackley and the CIA's Crusades (1994), David Corn defends Ted Shackley against Gene Wheaton's unified theory of CIA illegal operations.

Sheehan and Wheaton sat down in the kitchen of Hoven's house in early February of 1986. It was magic. To a wide-eyed Sheehan, Wheaton, posing as an experienced operator, tossed out wild stories of clandestine operations and dozens of names: Wilson, Secord, Clines, Hakim, Singlaub, Bush. A whole crew was running amok, supporting Contras, conducting covert activity elsewhere. Drugs were involved. Some of this gang had engaged in corrupt government business in Iran and Southeast Asia. Now the same old boys were running weapons to Latin America. Central to the whole shebang was a former CIA officer named Ted Shackley. Sheehan was captivated. He had struck the mother lode.

Sheehan spoke a few times with Carl Jenkins. At one session, Sheehan listened as Jenkins and Wheaton discussed what Wheaton was calling the "off-the-reservation gang"- Secord, Clines, Hakim, and Shackley - and the operations they ran in and out of government. According to Hoven, Wheaton and Jenkins wanted to see information about this crowd made public and saw Sheehan as the mechanism of disclosure.

Wheaton and Jenkins did not tell Sheehan that they hoped to settle a score with a band they believed had an unfair lock on the air-supply contracts they desired. But to Hoven it was clear that one faction of spooks was whacking another. Hoven was not sure who was on what side. He guessed that somebody somewhere -

maybe even in the Agency itself - was upset with the freelancers and wanted to see them reined in. But if Jenkins or anyone else thought they could use Sheehan as a quiet transmitter of damaging information, they were as wrong as they could be.

Throughout the winter and spring, as Sheehan talked to Wheaton and Jenkins, he had something else on his mind: a two-year-old bombing in Nicaragua. On May 30, 1984, a bomb had exploded at a press conference in La Penca, Nicaragua, held by Eden Pastora, a maverick Contra leader who resisted cooperating with the CIA and the main Contra force. Several people were killed, but not Pastora. Afterward, Tony Avirgan, an American journalist who suffered shrapnel wounds at La Penca, and his wife, Martha Honey, set out to uncover who had plotted the attack. A year later, they produced a book that charged a small group of Americans and Cuban exiles-some with ties to the CIA and the Contras-with planning the murderous assault. One of the persons they fingered was John Hull, a Contra supporter with a spread in northern Costa Rica and a relationship with North and the CIA. Their report noted that some Contra supporters were moonlighting in the drug trade.

Hull sued the couple for libel in Costa Rica. He demanded $1 million. Avirgan and Honey, who lived in San Jose, received death threats. They considered retaliating by filing a lawsuit in the States against individuals in the secret Contra-support network. But they could find no lawyer to take such a difficult case. Eventually Sheehan was recommended to them. They checked him out. The reports were mixed. But he had one undeniable positive attribute: he would accept the case. The couple retained him.

Come late spring of 1986, Sheehan was mixing with spooks in the Washington area, and he was pondering how to craft a lawsuit for Avirgan and Honey. He collected information on the Contra operation. He drew closer to Wheaton, who had a new tale every time they met. Then Sheehan made a pilgrimage to meet the dark angel of the covert crowd: Ed Wilson.

The imprisoned rogue officer made Sheehan's head swim. The essence of Wilson's story, Sheehan claimed, was that the Agency in 1976 had created a highly secretive counter terrorist unit modeled on the PRUs of Vietnam and had run this entity apart from the main bureaucracy. The mission: conduct "wet operations" (spy talk for assassinations). After the election of Jimmy Carter, this group was erased from the books and hidden in private companies, and Shackley was the man in charge of the unit both in and out of government. The program was divided into different components. CIA man William Buckley supposedly had directed one out of Mexico with Quintero and Ricardo Chavez. Another unit was headed by a former Mossad officer. Felix Rodriguez was involved in yet one more in the Mideast. Sheehan took Wilson at his word. "Wilson went into such detail," Sheehan later maintained. "It's not something that's being made up."

At one point after Sheehan met with Wilson, it dawned on him: everything was connected. The La Penca bombing, the North-Contra network, the Wilson gang, all those CIA-trained Cuban exiles, the whole history of Agency dirty tricks, the operations against Castro, the war in Laos, the nasty spook side of the Vietnam War, clandestine Agency action in Iran. It was an ongoing conspiracy. It did not matter if these guys were in or out of government. It was a villainous government within a government, a plot that had existed for decades, a permanent criminal enterprise. Sheehan had a unified held theory of covert U.S. history. And Shackley was the evil Professor Moriarty, the man who pulled all the strings. The avenging Sheehan now was determined to take Shackley down.

Sheehan melded the La Penca bombing case to his Wheaton - influenced investigation of the old-boy network. Avirgan and Honey shared with him all the information they carefully had developed on the Contra support operation. Names and stories he threw at them - including Shackley's - were unfamiliar. They took it on faith that Sheehan knew what he was doing when he blended the results of their professional investigation with the grab-bag of information he had collected from Wheaton, Wilson, and others. "We saw John Hull as the center, and Sheehan saw it as Shackley," Honey recalled. "Shackley was the main ingredient. I don't know why Danny fixated on him. He told us he had lots of information on Shackley's involvement in La Penca. That was b.s. But what do we know, sitting in Costa Rica?" Sheehan was looking for a case he could play before a large audience. He repeatedly told Avirgan and Honey the public did not care about La Penca. But people would pay notice if the enemy was one grand conspiracy headed by a dastardly figure.

Sheehan applied the resources of his small Christic Institute to the case. Wheaton continued investigating the Wilson crowd and other covert sorts. He started telling Jenkins that he believed he was chasing a decades-old, top-secret assassination unit. Wheaton claimed it had begun with an assassination training program for Cuban exiles that Shackley had set up in the early 1960s. The target was Castro. The secret war against Cuba faded, but the "Shooter Team" continued. It expanded and was now called the Fish Farm, and Shackley remained its chief.

Sheehan knitted together all this spook gossip and misinformation with a few hard facts, and on May 29, 1986, he dropped the load. In a Miami federal court, Sheehan filed a lawsuit against thirty individuals, invoking the RICO antiracketeering law and accusing all of being part of a criminal conspiracy that trained, financed, and armed Cuban-American mercenaries in Nicaragua, smuggled drugs, violated the Neutrality Act by supporting the Contras, traded various weapons, and bombed the press conference at La Penca. Sheehan's plaintiffs were journalists Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey. The conspirators were far-flung: John Hull in Costa Rica; Cuban exiles based in Miami (including Quintero); drug lords Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa in Colombia; arms dealers in Florida; Contra leader Adolfo Calero; an Alabama mercenary named Tom Posey; Robert Owen, a secret North aide; the unknown bomber at La Penca; and Singlaub, Hakim, Secord, Clines, and Shackley. Sheehan alleged that Shackley had peddled arms illegally, plotted to kill Pastora, and (with Secord, Clines, and Hakim) accepted money from drug sales for arms shipments. Sheehan demanded over $23 million in damages.

With this lawsuit, Sheehan believed, he could break up the Contra support operation and cast into the light shadowy characters who had been up to mischief for years. Sheehan and Wheaton had stumbled across some real players and some real operations. But they both possessed hyperactive imaginations, and whatever truth they did uncover they had twisted into a false, cosmic conspiracy.

The filing-drafted sloppily by Sheehan-surprised Shackley and his fellow defendants. Hoven and Jenkins were stunned. Neither expected Sheehan to produce such a storm. Sheehan clearly was in this for politics and ego. He was not about to be a quiet disseminator of information. "I had been left with the assumption," Hoven noted, "that I was set up to pass information to Sheehan. But they" - whoever they were - "mucked it up because Sheehan was not playing it close to the script."

Corn’s view has been generally accepted by most commentators on the CIA. Daniel Sheehan was also criticised by “conspiracy theorists” for including too much in his original legal action that he could not prove. This was mainly based on information provided by Carl E. Jenkins, who was still working for the CIA at the time. Jenkins later refused to testify for Sheehan. Peter Dale Scott has suggested that Jenkins’ role was to undermine Sheehan’s case. I am sure he is right about this. However, I believe Gene Wheaton was a genuine informer. As far as I can see, nothing that Wheaton told Sheehan has proved to be incorrect. It has to be remembered that Wheaton began telling his story before the Iran-Contra scandal was exposed by the shooting down of the C-123K cargo plane and the capture of Eugene Hasenfus on the 5th October, 1986.

Wheaton’s unified theory goes further than the one told to Sheehan and assessed by Corn.

In 1995 Gene Wheaton approached the Assassination Records Review Board with information on the death of John F. Kennedy. Anne Buttimer, Chief Investigator of the ARRB, recorded that: "Wheaton told me that from 1984 to 1987 he spent a lot of time in the Washington DC area and that starting in 1985 he was "recruited into Ollie North's network" by the CIA officer he has information about. He got to know this man and his wife, a "'super grade high level CIA officer" and kept a bedroom in their Virginia home. His friend was a Marine Corps liaison in New Orleans and was the CIA contact with Carlos Marcello. He had been responsible for "running people into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs." His friend is now 68 or 69 years of age... Over the course of a year or a year and one-half his friend told him about his activities with training Cuban insurgency groups. Wheaton said he also got to know many of the Cubans who had been his friend's soldiers/operatives when the Cubans visited in Virginia from their homes in Miami. His friend and the Cubans confirmed to Wheaton they assassinated JFK. Wheaton's friend said he trained the Cubans who pulled the triggers. Wheaton said the street level Cubans felt JFK was a traitor after the Bay of Pigs and wanted to kill him. People "above the Cubans" wanted JFK killed for other reasons." It was later revealed that Wheaton's friend was Carl E. Jenkins. Wheaton also named Irving Davidson as being involved in the assassination.

In an interview with William Law and Mark Sobel in the summer of 2005, Gene Wheaton claimed that Carl E. Jenkins and Rafael Quintero were both involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The operation was organized out of JM/WAVE, the CIA station in Miami. In 1963, Ted Shackley was chief of JM/WAVE station. Shackley was also a close associate of George Bush.

Bush was head of the CIA when in 1976 Frank Castro established Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU). Other members included Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch, Armando Lopez Estrada and Guillermo Novo. CORU was partly financed by Guillermo Hernαndez Cartaya, another Bay of Pigs veteran closely linked to the CIA. He was later charged with money laundering, drugs & arms trafficking and embezzlement. The federal prosecutor told Pete Brewton that he had been approached by a CIA officer who explained that "Cartaya had done a bunch of things that the government was indebted to him for, and he asked me to drop the charges against him."

Bush also played an important role in covering up the assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, by CIA contract agent Michael Townley.

Bush was grooming Shackley to take over from him as director of the CIA. Jimmy Carter’s election put an end to this plan. Bush then worked with Shackley to help Reagan defeat Carter in 1980. Bush had been a candidate for the job (some of his speeches had been written by Shackley) but decided to help Reagan after being promised the vice-presidency.

Bush was also the key figure in the Iran-Contra Scandal. However, as Lawrence E. Walsh, who wrote the official report on the scandal, Bush refused to be interviewed or to hand over documents during the enquiry. As soon as Bush became president he pardoned all those who could have provided evidence against him. He also gave top jobs in his administration who helped him cover-up the scandal (this includes Dick Cheney who is still being rewarded for his silence).

It is Shackley and Bush that is the unifying factor in understanding CIA illegal activities between 1960-1990.

Plumlee reply to Simkin: Sept. 2006


You might like to note that in 1983 Wheaton and another operative were talking to then Senator Gary Hart about the Contra northern front and the formation of the new southern front. Both of these gentleman provided Senator Gary Hart with military maps and detailed flyways as well as aircraft ID numbers, and names of pilots, long before the Iran-Contra affair and the names of locations, operatives, and pilots, became public knowledge. (1983-86) The information provided by both of these operatives was given to The Senate Arms Service Committee which decided to take "No Action" as per Senator Hart's memo of 1984 and again in 1991. This was before the C-123 crash, which opened the door into the contra re-supply operations and the "Savings and Loan scandal of the mid eighites. In 1990 an article with Senator Hart's information and the map notations was published in a southern California publication which created a "firestorm" in Washington DC. Leslie Cockburn also had inside information which she published concerning the secret airbase located in CR (Santa Elena) which was later referenced as "Point West" in O North's notebook, as noted in her 1987 book "Out of Control", and CBS producer Ty West's 60 min program, confirmed Cockburns account of the affair.. All of this information was and still is still being withheld. Senator John Kerry has had the major parts of this information "Classified Top Secret, Committee Senitive" as of 1990. FWIW

Edited by William Plumlee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's worth a great deal.

What can you tell us about a "Pegasus" group?

Nothing..... but its in the soon to be released documents and I am sure your question will be addressed by others more qualified than I..

"....A little sidebar about PEGASUS.... "Dallas is a one horse town" . In the fifties another side was installed on PEGASUS and it could be seen for forty miles... Dallas was no longer considered a 'One Horse Town". Magnolia? PEGASUS/MAGSEA

Edited by William Plumlee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...