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Pows, Drugs, and the CIA

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Greetings, at the end of my article >>THE MEETING<< I concluded

that it was after JFK signed into law NSAM-263 the the Shadow Cabal

comprized of the various entities previously described began in

earnest to prosecute the assassination of JFK. This then, is another

supporting document by Mike Ruppert outlining those events as well

as showing the legacy of the post JFK America.

John Ritchson(SSGT. 499th TC USATC HG US Army Class of 69)

(GunSmith/Ballistican,Black Eagle Gun Works )

(Survivor, SE Asian Games, 11BRAVO7,Tet 1970)


"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out

how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might

have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is

actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and

dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes

short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the

great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who,

if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who,

if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that

his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who

know neither victory nor defeat."





Michael C. Ruppert

Published 7-23-98

© COPYRIGHT 1998, 1999 Michael C. Ruppert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


to reprint or excerpt only if the following appears: "Reprinted by

permission, Michael C.

Ruppert & From The Wilderness at www.copvcia.com."

Did the CIA order the use of Sarin gas to kill American defectors in

Southeast Asia? The answer to

that question opens a black hole of ugly truths about U.S. foreign

policy and covert operations.

Those truths all lead to a central reality, which is that covert and

paramilitary operations, as

conducted by the U.S. Government, do not exist without drug

trafficking. Equally tragic is the fact

that drugs are a main reason why POWs didn’t come home. The irony on

the tragedy is that drugs

were also used to fund several sabotaged covert missions to rescue


The recent CNN reports on Operation Tailwind (referenced in the last

issue of From The

Wilderness), their retraction and the object lessons made of CNN

Producer April Oliver and Peter

Arnett point to much uglier and deeper truths about CIA covert

operations than the fact that CIA

used nerve gas to kill defectors and deserters in Southeast Asia. As

- From The Wilderness will

show, there is a high probability that Sarin gas was used not only

against defectors, but also against

unwilling prisoners of war whom the government had decided would be a

major embarrassment if

they came home alive. Testimony and evidence exists to show that

Sarin was in Laos at the time and

that it was used at or near known POW camps in Laos. If true, those

facts would shed a whole new

light on the CNN stories.

Those stories, flawed in their presentation, not only hinted at an

ongoing feud between elements of

the Navy and CIA, but came dangerously close to far more devastating

truths about the CIA's

involvement in the abandonment and murder of US servicemen left

behind after Vietnam. Those

truths undeniably lead back to the drug trade, the Central

Intelligence Agency and the covert

operatives who have destroyed American democracy.

How does one tie the convoluted pieces together in a coherent manner?

And, doing that, how does

one stomach wanton betrayal of loyal Americans and values which are

the foundation of any

government's legitimacy? A government derives its right to exist from

its mandate to protect its own

people, especially those who risk life to serve it. What legitimacy

then, does a government have

which betrays and then sentences to death those who stood in the font

lines of its exercise of power?

First, let's address the issue of whether or not CIA, MACV-SOG and

elements in the Pentagon

wanted POW's dead or, at minimum, to ensure that they never came


Many of the ugliest truths about deliberate U.S. abandonment or

ordered extermination of POWs

are extremely well documented in Monika Jensen-Stevenson's 1990

bestseller, Kiss The Boys

Goodbye (Dutton). Stevenson, a former Emmy award winning Producer for

CBS News' 60

Minutes, produced mountains of eyewitness statements, documents, and

even admissions from

Ronald Reagan and other White House officials as well as from

intelligence experts in the Pentagon

and the National Security Council showing that: the U.S. knowingly

left POWs behind in Southeast

Asia in 1973; the U.S. government sabotaged at least a half dozen

rescue attempts with high

probabilities for success; and that, the U.S. government ordered

covert operatives to "liquidate" live

POWs if sighted.

On Pages 318-323, Stevenson described a failed 1981 POW rescue

mission involving the perennial

"covert source" (and often hard to fathom) Scott Barnes who wrote a

book about the mission

entitled BOHICA (Bend Over Here It Comes Again). After passing

polygraph and truth serum

exams Barnes recounted how he had been issued atropine (nerve gas

antidote) injectors as a prelude

to entering areas in Laos where POW camps were known to exist. He

also states that, once in the

region, he was ordered to "liquidate the merchandise." "Merchandise"

was the code word for

POWs. (NOTE: Atropine was issued to U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf

war to counter anticipated

Sarin attacks by Iraq).

If Barnes' statement was not enough, his return from the mission was

immediately followed by the

alleged violent suicide of Army chemical warfare and Sarin gas expert

General Bobby Robinson.

Local police doubted the suicide findings of the military.

What's more, Robinson was known to have been involved in moving Sarin

supplies into the region at

the time. Stevenson confirmed this. Sources postulated a cover story

to Stevenson that Robinson

had been planting Sarin gas to blame the Soviets for its use and thus

motivate Congress to increase

chemical warfare budgets. Such operations are not unusual in covert

operations and are hardly

grounds for a suicide. As one source put it to me. "It's much more

likely that Robinson could have

exposed the use of his Sarin to kill Americans and he had to be

killed - especially if he found out

what his precious chemical agents were used for."

Several covert warfare veterans have told me that they absolutely

believe that Sarin was used under

CIA orders against U.S. personnel using deep cover operatives planted

in the "Studies and

Observation Group" which had reverted to Pentagon control after a

1968 turf battle.

The turf battle may have put SOG back under nominal Pentagon control

but it did not stop members

of the shadow government and CIA from infiltrating to protect the

deepest of dirty secrets. The OSS

faction in CIA has no trouble "sheep dipping" people into the

Pentagon or any other U.S.

Government agency.

Much of the CNN story fell because the Pentagon found no records of

Sarin use. Experts like

Special Forces Captain John McCarthy, who ran covert ops for CIA

while in Special Forces, were

quick to point out that the records would all be at Langley and not

at the DoD. A CNN electronic

bulletin board with more than 2,500 angry responses from veterans

pointing out flaws in the

retractions was suddenly removed on July 16.

The can of worms was getting legs that wouldn't go away. It was

starting to walk off into


How big was the POW problem? Informed sources place the number of

American POW's not

returned, in spite of Henry Kissinger's outright lies to the

contrary, at near 2,500. Add to that the

large number of defectors and deserters remaining in the region and

the way these men sometimes

became intermingled and we see the first part of the reasons for

betrayal. McCarthy told From The

Wilderness that in 1968 there were known to be some 3,000 deserters

living in the Saigon suburb

of Cholon alone. Estimates for the whole of Southeast Asia, including

Thailand and Laos rose as high

as 8,000 according to other sources. Numbers that high would again

have brought the legitimacy of

the government, and the military into question.

With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords Richard Nixon, in a

secret agreement, promised the

Vietnamese government some $4 billion in aid to guarantee the return

of POW's left behind. This

was after Kissinger's announcement that there were no more POW's left

in Asia. With Watergate

and the collapse of the Nixon Administration the money was never

exchanged and the POW's went

from desperate cause to a major potential embarrassment. So goes the

cover story.

The best way to explain the connection with drug trafficking is to

show the correlation in people and

organizations between the two issues.

The names of some of those who have been connected to CIA drug

trafficking by a multitude of

sources are: Ted Shackley (CIA Station Chief in Laos and later

Saigon), Tom Clines (Shackley's

deputy), Richard Secord (Air Force/CIA liaison to Shackley after

flying many missions as a fighter

pilot), General Heinie Aderholt (Chief Air Operations strategist for

CIA's undeclared war in Laos),

Richard Armitage (former Navy officer and covert operations

specialist charged with removing key

materiel from Vietnam in 1975), Erich von Marbod (Defense

Department), John Singlaub, William

Casey, William Colby and Oliver North. Other key figures who turn up

throwing monkey wrenches

into POW rescue efforts who have not been connected to drugs but who

turn up in key positions

during Iran-Contra or the Bush Administration are Richard Allen

(Reagan National Security Adviser

who helped write the Paris Peace Accords), Colin Powell (Joint Chiefs

Chairman and National

Security Adviser to George Bush) and Col. Richard Childress, a

National Security Council staffer

under Ronald Reagan.

Key institutions connected to CIA drug trafficking include the

Nugan-Hand bank, Hawaii investment

firm BBRDW (Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dilingham and Wong) and last but

not least, the CIA itself.

How do these connect to the POW's?

As Station Chief in Laos Ted Shackley ran the single largest covert

operation in CIA's history, a war

financed almost in its entirety on the proceeds of heroin. That war

was fought almost exclusively by

Hmong tribesmen and a Laotian rebel Army under the command of General

Vang Pao, an opium

warlord who derived his entire budget from heroin. Legion are the

stories of CIA's involvement in

drug trafficking to fund that war but one anecdote is telling. Former

Air America pilot Bucky Blair,

who flew supply missions to CIA's Site 85 in Laos, sitting on a

remote mountain top, told me that

when he flew in to make his drops he could "see the poppy fields

stretching out for miles in all

directions." Site 85 was overrun in 1968 and eleven live Americans

were captured. Imagine what

they might have told under the intense torture of Pathet Lao or North

Vietnamese interrogators and

how that could have been used as propaganda against an America

already disintegrating under the

war? Imagine what they might have told other POWs they met as they

were moved from camp to


Imagine the damage that might have been done in 1985-6 as some of the

most intense rescue efforts

were being mounted and as stories of CIA drug trafficking in Central

America were starting to

circulate in the press and Congress?

Did Air America brief Blair on the opium? "I was briefed one time and

told that we were moving

small amounts of opium for legitimate pharmaceutical uses," he

answered. The world's supply of

pharmaceutical heroin is less than five percent of total world

production. Shackley's CIA pilots could

have supplied the world for a year in about a month. This does not

take into account the brave

testimony of other Air America pilots like Tosh Plumley and Bo Abbott

who have spoken out

directly about Air America's direct transport of opium in vast

quantities over a period of years.

Shackley and his deputy Clines turn up heavily again in Iran-Contra

connected to Richard Secord

and Ollie North. A former CIA officer told me in 1995 that Ollie

North was leasing office space for

his 1995 Senate run from Shackley's company, Research Associates

International, in Rosslyn,


Estimates of live POWs taken in the undeclared (illegal) war in Laos

from POW researchers,

families and military sources rise as high as 600 according to


In the Reagan Administration, Richard Armitage as an Assistant

Secretary of Defense was the

Pentagon's highest-ranking official in charge of covert warfare, arms

shipments and POW affairs.

Colin Powell, in 1995, referred to Armitage as his white son.

Armitage was linked directly to CIA

drug trafficking by, among others, the POW's champion, Ross Perot.

John Singlaub, who was quoted in the Sarin gas stories as saying he

would have placed a high

priority on killing POW's and defectors because they might have

compromised military secrets,

commanded MACV-SOG during Vietnam and would have had knowledge of SOG


targeting Americans. He was also a major player in Iran-Contra,

dispersing weapons purchased with

drug money and engaging in fund raising activities intended to divert

attention away from the NSC

and Oliver North. I am saving North for last.

The documentation for the involvement of Richard Secord, in

Iran-Contra is voluminous and his role

in CIA operations in Laos is equally clear as documented by letters

from POW family members

requesting that Secord be queried about Site 85. Drugs were central

to both wars.

General Heinie Aderholt is a mixed bag. While undeniably involved in

Laos and as a low-profile

operator in Iran-Contra, (connected to the illegal take-over of Bob

Fletcher's Florida toy company

to establish a front for arms shipments), Aderholt chose to oppose

the official line and fight for

missing POW's. He confirmed secret intelligence reports revealing the

existence of live and

obtainable POWs in the region to families and the press.

Bill Colby and Bill Casey need little clarification except to say the

Bill Casey was DCI when many of

the most intense rescue efforts came into being - and failed. And

Colby, who ran the Phoenix

Program in Vietnam, was DCI from 1973-6 and on the Board of Directors

of the Nugan-Hand


The Nugan-Hand Bank and its successor firm BBRDW were high rolling


operations, both of which laundered covert drug profits for CIA. Some

of those monies were

allocated to POW rescue operations by military elements who refused

to abandon their comrades. It

is also well documented, however, that millions of dollars were

collected by scam artists connected

to these firms from hopeful POW families and supporters for rescues,

which never took place. That

money bought nice vacation homes and went to other unworthy causes.

If we examine the rescue side of the POW issue we come across men

like retired Green Beret Lt.

Colonel Bo Gritz, Ross Perot and the ubiquitous Oliver North. Gritz

undertook two missions into

Southeast Asia, both of which were connected in one way or another to

the Army's highly secret

Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). In Bo's book, Called To Serve

(Lazarus, 1991) he talks about

a period of time in 1979-80 when he was undercover at Hughes aircraft

in Culver City as

preparation for his first mission. So, coincidentally, was Oliver

North - a fact which Bo neglected to

mention. I think I know why. A retired Hughes executive phoned me in

1997 and described the

office shared by Gritz and North as having a large picture of a

Bengal Tiger on the wall with the

caption, "If you can't sleep with the tigers, stay out of the den."

He also stated, "You could see them

out jogging together every day."

The ISA, which ran Gritz's mission, was created by Army General

Richard Stilwell. It has been

repeatedly linked to drug smuggling by sources including the daughter

of Col. Albert Carone who

served as Oliver North's bagman and bill-payer during the eighties.

Records left behind after

Carone's death in 1990 and eyewitness statements clearly indicate

that Carone handled both drugs

and drug money for CIA, North and the NSC. Carone's personal phone

book contains the home

addresses and telephone numbers of William Casey, Gambino crime boss

Pauly Castellano and

Stilwell. Further hard evidence, in the form of CIA and DIA cable

traffic linking to drugs, ISA and

DIA operations surfaces in Gary Webb's Dark Alliance (Seven Stories,

1998). These cables and

law enforcement records tie Scott Weekly to the drug operations of

Norwin Menses, Danillo

Blandon and Ricky Ross. Weekly, a firearms master, is Gritz's

self-described best friend and went

on POW missions to Southeast Asia with Gritz. Coincidentally again,

Weekly is an Annapolis

classmate of Ollie North.

I have met Bo Gritz twice through my close friend, Mrs. Francis Gary

(Sue) Powers. That Bo was,

and remains, irrevocably committed to the cause of the POWs cannot be

disputed. That Bo brought

back utterly damning videotaped interviews with opium warlord Khun Sa

in which Khun Sa

described the roles of Shackley, Armitage, Clines, and the CIA in

heroin trafficking also cannot be

disputed. That Bo was a leader in exposing CIA's long standing

proprietorship of the international

drug trade also is beyond question. But these revelations, taken as a

whole, leave wide open the

likelihood that, with or without Gritz's knowledge, his own efforts

to rescue POWs, as sponsored by

elements of the Pentagon, were funded by drug profits. In 1980 the

official U.S. Government policy

was that cocaine was less harmful than marijuana.

[NOTE: I omit here, discussion of Gritz's alleged white supremacist

or racist views because I have

never heard him speak or seen him write such views. I will say that

if Bo believes in or advocates

white supremacy or racism in any form I disagree with him


Then there is Ross Perot. No man in American history has been more

closely linked to the cause of

the POW's and their families than the Texas billionaire. In late

1986, after funding one rescue mission

and spending years as a thorn in the side of the Reagan

Administration as he battled national security

roadblocks and the outright deception which ultimately condemned the

POW's to death, Ross Perot

backed six-foot, power weight lifter Richard Armitage into a corner

and confronted him with not

only the evidence of Armitage's lying about POW's but his direct

involvement in Vietnamese

gambling and CIA drug trafficking. After going to then Vice President

George Bush, and being

summarily dismissed, Perot's efforts leaked to the Boston Globe and

TIME Magazine. Armitage

then lost his almost certain appointment as Secretary of defense

under President George Bush.

I have spoken to Perot twice and I served as the L.A. County Press

Spokesman for his '92

campaign. While I, like many, was crushed by his conduct in pulling

out of the race, I have absolutely

no doubt that Ross Perot is absolutely unbending in his belief that

illegal drugs cannot be used to

serve a good purpose - anywhere, at any time.

That leaves us with Ollie.

During the Contra years Oliver North contracted with a small British

Security firm, KMS, run by a

former SAS Major named David Walker, to carry out commando raids

against the Sandinistas. AP,

the Washington Post and Congressional hearings all brought out the

fact that Walker's company

conducted a few marginally successful attacks and provided some air

logistic support to the Contras.

What was not reported was that North, according to sources I have

found in the last three months,

was using KMS to train mercenaries for a POW rescue mission inside

the Soviet Union. That

operation was funded with drugs and the payments were made in London,

at the St. George Hotel

and through channel island banks by Albert Carone. Sources in Britain

and former members of U.S.

Army Special Forces described to me how North's plan, which involved

training of mercenaries in

Morocco and the Ivory Coast, neared success as, "his people got close

enough to touch" the skilled

electronics warfare officers who had been shipped to Russia for money

by Vietnam during the war.

But, inexplicably, they never came out. The British source added that

North, if he had succeeded,

"would have become President of the United States."

The Sherlock Holmes cliché says, "Once you have eliminated the

impossible, the improbable, no

matter how unlikely, is the answer." The POWs remain, as unrequited

ghosts, an embarrassment of

astronomical dimension to the U.S. government. Any reporter asking a

POW who, what, where,

when and how would inevitably pull the covers on some of the U.S.'s

dirtiest secrets. But more than

that the question needs to be asked, "Did abandoning the POWs serve a

purpose in U.S. foreign

policy?" The answer is yes.

In 1993 a former Green Beret officer told me, at the point of tears,

of how he had been ordered in

1968-9 to rendezvous with Russian Spetnatz commandos in the central

highlands of Vietnam. There,

under direct orders from the CIA, he exchanged millions of dollars in

hard U.S. currency for Russian

diamonds. This was at the height of the Vietnam War. Russia's economy

(its ability to support North

Vietnam) was on the brink of collapse. The hard U.S. currency

salvaged Russia's ability to buy

needed imports on world markets.

Bobby Garwood, the heroic Marine who remains the only POW ever to

return alive, told debriefers

at DIA of the amazement the North Vietnamese, struggling with a stone

age economy, had at his

ability to assemble a simple gasoline generator and the power of a

light bulb. He stayed alive

because he could fix American things.

Ted Shackley, in his book The Third Option lays out detailed

blueprints for the survival of the

military-security-industrial state by means of perpetuation of "low

intensity" insurgent wars in which it

might be necessary to arm both sides of a conflict to keep the

military skills sharp and the war

machine going. The fact that major U.S. industrialists armed and

financed every enemy from Adolph

Hitler, to Ho Chi Minh, to Sadam Hussein is well documented and

beyond the scope of this article.

Covert operations in Southeast Asia continued unabated after the fall

of Saigon in Laos, Cambodia

and Thailand. They were all financed by heroin, which remains the

largest source of capital in the

region. Vietnam is now emerging in a world capitalist economy as a

consumer and provider of

services. Is it coincidental that Henry Kissinger's associate and

later Secretary of State Lawrence

Eagleburger was on the first secret mission to explore rapprochement

with Vietnam? Is it a

coincidence that Col. Richard Childress, who stonewalled POW families

for so long, became a

Southeast Asian investment consultant in 1990? Is it a coincidence

that President George Bush

dispatched Richard Armitage to the former Soviet Union as a special

economic adviser or that

almost immediately after his arrival there was an explosion of drug

use in Russia?

I think that the POWs were commodities who, as one CIA source put it

to Stevenson, were

"Chosen by God to stay" as a form of plausibly deniable economic

assistance to enemies we needed

to keep in place until other pieces of a larger plan were complete.

That phase of the plan was

complete in 1990 when Litton Chairman Roy Ash's prediction of one

world under state capitalism

would come into being. The Soviet Union was dead and Vietnam.was on

its way to becoming a

trading partner. Ash made that prediction in 1972.

So why kill them? If covert operatives could get close enough to kill

POWs then men like Gritz or

Jerry Daniels or Ross Perot could get close enough to rescue them.

Defectors, enjoying freedom of

movement could have surfaced at any time with POW stories as their

imagined ticket back home.

And that would have upset The Plan and revealed the U.S. government

to be as morally bankrupt as

the Third Reich.


Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com>





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