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Edwin P. Wilson


John Simkin
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As members have probably guessed from earlier postings, I have been doing some research into Edwin P. Wilson. In 1982, the federal court in northern Virginia sentenced Wilson to 10 years in prison for selling 22 tons of explosive to Libya. He was also convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to another 15 years.

Wilson, now 77 years old, has served 23 years in maximum security prison. Eric Margolis has described him as America's Man in the Iron Mask. Margolis has always believed Wilson innocent and spoke to him many times in prison. ‘I was framed by the government,’ Wilson told Margolis, ‘they want me to disappear. I know too much. ’ ‘They buried him alive in prison,’ a former CIA official told Margolis.

In 2003 Federal District Judge Lynn Hughes in Huston, Texas, threw out Wilson’s two-decades old conviction. Judge Hughes wrote: ‘government knowingly used false evidence against him,’. However, he still has not been released. What is the truth about Edwin P. Wilson?

He was born in Idaho in 1928. The son of an unsuccessful farmer Wilson managed to obtain a degree in psychology before joining the Marine Corps in 1953.

Wilson joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1956. As a CIA agent, he spied on European unions before running shipping companies secretly owned by the agency. Over the next few years he arranged clandestine CIA arms shipments to Angola, Laos, Indonesia and the Congo.

In 1971, Wilson left the CIA to run shipping companies for a secret Navy intelligence organization called Task Force 157. This included a company based in Washington called World Marine Incorporated. Wilson used World Marine to carry out his own private business deals. In 1973 Wilson earned a $500,000 fee by delivering a spy ship to Iran under the cover of World Marine.

In 1973 Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer, and Michael Hand, a former CIA contract operative, established the Nugan Hand Bank. Another key figure in this venture was Bernie Houghton, who was closely connected to CIA officials, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines.

Nugan ran operations in Sydney whereas Hand established a branch in Hong Kong. This enabled Australian depositors to access a money-laundering facility for illegal transfers of Australian money to Hong Kong. According to Alfred W. McCoy, the "Hand-Houghton partnership led the bank's international division into new fields - drug finance, arms trading, and support work for CIA covert operations." Hand told friends "it was his ambition that Nugan Hand became banker for the CIA."

In 1974 the Nugan Hand Bank got involved in helping the CIA to take part in covert arms deals with contacts within Angola. It was at this time that Edwin Wilson became involved with the bank. Two CIA agents based in Indonesia, James Hawes and Robert Moore, called on Wilson at his World Marine offices to discuss "an African arms deal". Later, Bernie Houghton arrived from Sydney to place an order for 10 million rounds of ammunition and 3,000 weapons including machine guns. The following year Houghton asked Wilson to arrange for World Marine to purchase a high-technology spy ship. This ship was then sold to Iran.

By 1976 the Nugan-Hand Bank appeared to have become a CIA-fronted company. This is reflected in the type of people recruited to hold senior positions in the bank. For example, Rear-Admiral Earl P. Yates, the former Chief of Staff for Policy and Plans of the U.S. Pacific Command and a counter-insurgency specialist, became president of the company. Other appointments included William Colby, retired director of the CIA, General Leroy J. Manor, the former chief of staff of the U.S. Pacific Command and deputy director for counterinsurgency and special activities, General Edwin F. Black, former commander of U.S. forces in Thailand, Walter J. McDonald, retired CIA deputy director for economic research and Dale C. Holmgren, former chairman of the CIA's Civil Air Transport.

The investigative journalist, Jonathan Kwitny, became convinced that the Nugan Hand Bank had replaced the Castle Bank & Trust of Nassau, as the CIA's covert banker. Former CIA agent, Kevin P. Mulcahy later told the National Times newspaper "about the Agency's use of Nugan Hand for shifting money for various covert operations around the globe."

In February 1976, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the new head of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), discovered that Wilson was involved in some dubious undercover business deals. A few months later Wilson was asked to leave the ONI. Wilson continued to run the CIA-fronted companies he had established. The largest of these was Consultants International and over the next few years amassed a fortune of over $20 million. This enabled him to buy a 2,338-acre farm in Northern Virginia, where he often entertained his close friends, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines.

Much of his money was made in the arms trade. His most important customer was Moammar Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya. Wilson later claimed that it was Ted Shackley who first suggested he should go to Libya. Wilson got contracts to sell Libya army uniforms, ammunition, explosive timers and 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives.

In 1976 Wilson recruited Raphael Quintero to kill a Libyan dissident in Egypt. Quintero selected two brothers, Rafael and Raoul Villaverde, to carry out the killing. However, the killing was later called off.

One of the men Wilson employed was former CIA officer Kevin P. Mulcahy. He became concerned about Wilson's illegal activities and sent a message about them to the agency. Ted Shackley, Deputy Director of Operations, was initially able to block any internal investigation of Wilson. However, in April, 1977, the Washington Post, published an article on Wilson's activities stating that he may be getting support from "current CIA employees". Stansfield Turner, director of the CIA, ordered an investigation and discovered that both Shackley and Clines had close relationships with Wilson. As a result, Turner made sure that both men's careers came to an end in the CIA.

In 1978 Thomas G. Clines left the CIA. He now joined with Raphael Quintero and Ricardo Chavez (another former CIA operative) to establish API Distributors. According to David Corn (Blond Ghost) Wilson provided Clines with "half a million dollars to get his business empire going". In 1979 Clines established International Research and Trade Limited in Bermuda. Later that year he joined forces with Hussein Salem in providing U.S. military hardware to Egypt.

After leaving the CIA in September, 1979, Ted Shackley formed his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business. He was also given consulting work with API Distributors, the company established by Thomas G. Clines, Raphael Quintero, and Ricardo Chavez.

In 1979 a gun that Wilson arranged to be delivered to the Libyan embassy in Bonn was used to kill a political dissident. Another dissident was murdered in Colorado by one of Wilson's men.

According to Alfred W. McCoy (The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade): "Throughout 1979 the Wilson network and the Nugan Hand Bank began to build a close commercial alliance in the netherworld of national security subcontracting". Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines were also drawn into a relationship with the Nugan Hand Bank. Michael Hand wrote to Shackley on 27th November, 1979, suggesting a business meeting. Hand's latter also referred to Bernie Houghton, who had worked for Shackley in Vietnam.

Michael Hand probably wanted to talk about Edwin Wilson. In 1979 a Washington grand jury began gathering incriminating evidence about his illegal arms sales. To avoid arrest he moved to London. In the winter of 1979, Wilson had a meeting with Bernie Houghton and Thomas G. Clines in Switzerland in an attempt to help him out of his difficulties. This included a non-delivery of 5,000 M16 automatic rifles. The three men discussed ways of using the Nugan Hand Bank to float a $22 million loan to finance the delivery. Hand was obviously concerned that if Wilson was arrested he might begin talking about his dealings with Nugan Hand.

Michael Hand also had talks with William Colby, the former director of the CIA. It is not known what was discussed at this meeting but Colby submitted a bill to Nugan Hand Bank for $45,684 for his legal advice.

On 27th January, 1980 Frank Nugan was found dead in his car. Bernie Houghton was in Switzerland at the time and he immediately rang his branch office in Saudi Arabia and ordered the staff to leave the country. Houghton also visited Edwin Wilson's office in Geneva and left a briefcase with bank documents for safekeeping. Soon afterwards, a witness saw Thomas G. Clines going through the briefcase at Wilson's office and remove papers that referred to him and General Richard Secord.

Two days after Nugan died, Michael Hand held a meeting of Nugan Hand Bank directors. He warned them that unless they did as they were told they could "finish up with concrete shoes" and would be "liable to find their wives being delivered to them in pieces".

According to one witness, Thomas G. Clines helped Bernie Houghton escape from Australia. Michael Hand also left the country accompanied by James Oswald Spencer, a man who served with Ted Shackley in Laos. The two men traveled to America via Fiji and Vancouver. Hand then disappeared and has never been seen again.

The Australian authorities were forced to investigate the bank. They discovered that Ricardo Chavez, the former CIA operative who was co-owner of API Distributors with Thomas G. Clines and Raphael Quintero, was attempting to take control of the bank. The Corporate Affairs Commission of New South Wales came to the conclusion that Chavez was working on behalf of Clines, Quintero and Wilson.

Wilson was eventually indicted by the Department of Justice. However, he had moved to Libya and Moammar Gaddafi refused to extradite him. Wilson feared for his safety and the prosecutors knew this and in 1982 they sent Ernest Keiser to convince him that he would be safe in the Dominican Republic. Wilson flew to the Caribbean but upon arrival was arrested and flown to New York.

While awaiting trial Wilson attempted to recruit a fellow prisoner to kill Lawrence Barcella, the federal prosecutor. The prisoner instead went to the authorities and they set Wilson up with an undercover agent. The agent taped Wilson hiring him to kill the prosecutors, six witnesses and his ex-wife.

In 1984 Wilson was found not guilty of trying to hire Raphael Quintero and other Cubans to kill a Libyan dissident. However, he was found guilty of exporting guns and conspiracy to murder and was sentenced to 52 years in prison.

Wilson claimed he had been framed and claimed that he was working on behalf of the CIA. He employed David Adler, a former CIA agent, as his lawyer. Adler eventually found evidence that Wilson was indeed working for the CIA after he retired from the agency. In October 2003 a Houston federal judge threw out Wilson's conviction in the C-4 explosives case, ruling that the prosecutors had "deliberately deceived the court" about Wilson's continuing CIA contacts, thus "double-crossing a part-time informal government agent."

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JOHN, YOUR POST ON ED WILSON HAS SPARKED SOME THOUGHTS I'D LIKE TO SHARE.

As members have probably guessed from earlier postings, I have been doing some research into Edwin P. Wilson. ...He was born in Idaho in 1928. The son of an unsuccessful farmer Wilson managed to obtain a degree in psychology before joining the Marine Corps in 1953. Wilson joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1956. As a CIA agent, he spied on European unions before running shipping companies secretly owned by the agency. Over the next few years he arranged clandestine CIA arms shipments to Angola, Laos, Indonesia and the Congo.

JOHN, THAT'S A PRETTY BIG GAP YOU GOT IN THE EPW CHRONOLOGY - 1953-usmc-1956-cia-1971-TF157

TO BRING THIS AROUND TO TOPIC - I RECALL READING A BIO OF WILSON SAYING THAT CIRCA 1958 HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR U2 BASE SECURITY - WHEN OZZIE WAS DOING RADAR AND GUARD DUTY AT U2 BASE IN JAPAN.

ALSO, WILSON'S SPECIALITY WAS SHIPS - MARITIME STUFF - AND WAS SAID TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CIA OBTAINING THE SHIPS USED IN THE BAY OF PIGS - HOUSTON, ET AL. -

In 1971, Wilson left the CIA to run shipping companies for a secret Navy intelligence organization called Task Force 157. This included a company based in Washington called World Marine Incorporated. Wilson used World Marine to carry out his own private business deals. In 1973 Wilson earned a $500,000 fee by delivering a spy ship to Iran under the cover of World Marine.

In 1973 Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer, and Michael Hand, a former CIA contract operative, established the Nugan Hand Bank. Another key figure in this venture was Bernie Houghton, who was closely connected to CIA officials, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines.

Nugan ran operations in Sydney -

THESE GUYS - BERNIE HOUGHTON & CO. OPERATED OUT OF A KINGS CROSS, SYDNEY BAR, FREQUENTED BY USA VIETNAM VETS, DOES ANY OF THE FORUM SYDNEY GUYS REMEMBER THIS JOINT?

In February 1976, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the new head of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI),

INMAN WAS ONE OF THE SYSTEMS ANALYSTS THAT CAME OUT OF THE HYMAN RICKOVER NUKE NAVY -

ANOTHER THREASHER CONNECTION - HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POLARIS UNDERWATER NUKE SUB MISSLE -

discovered that Wilson was involved in some dubious undercover business deals. A few months later Wilson was asked to leave the ONI. Wilson continued to run the CIA-fronted companies he had established. The largest of these was Consultants International and over the next few years amassed a fortune of over $20 million. This enabled him to buy a 2,338-acre farm in Northern Virginia, where he often entertained his close friends, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines.

Much of his money was made in the arms trade. His most important customer was Moammar Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya. Wilson later claimed that it was Ted Shackley who first suggested he should go to Libya. Wilson got contracts to sell Libya army uniforms, ammunition, explosive timers and 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives.

20 TONS IS A LOT OF PLASTIC - WHERE IS THE REST? - OTHER THAN THE GERMAN NIGHTCLUB BOMBING, LOCKERBIE? - ARE WE STILL WAITING FOR THE LAST V2?

In 1976 Wilson recruited Raphael Quintero to kill a Libyan dissident in Egypt. Quintero selected two brothers, Rafael and Raoul Villaverde, to carry out the killing. However, the killing was later called off.

......Wilson claimed he had been framed and claimed that he was working on behalf of the CIA. He employed David Adler, a former CIA agent, as his lawyer. Adler eventually found evidence that Wilson was indeed working for the CIA after he retired from the agency. In October 2003 a Houston federal judge threw out Wilson's conviction in the C-4 explosives case, ruling that the prosecutors had "deliberately deceived the court" about Wilson's continuing CIA contacts, thus "double-crossing a part-time informal government agent."

COULD THE CHANGE IN US COURT RULINGS REFLECT THE SAME CHANGES IN LIBYAN COURT RULINGS - US/WILSON - LIBYA/BURGLARIAN NURSES' EXECUTION OVERTURNED? REFLECTING CHANGES IN TOP ADMINISTRATION POLICY ON BOTH SIDES - RATHER THAN REFLECTION OF REAL JUSTICE?

JUST SOME THOUGHTS ON ED WILSON, WHOSE EX-WIFE USED TO HAVE AN ANTIQUE SHOP IN LONG BEACH ISLAND, NEW JERSEY, A FORMER NEIGHBOR.

I WONDER WHAT WILSON'S GOING TO DO WHEN THEY SPRING HIM?

I BET HE OPENS AN IRISH PUB AND GOLF COURSE ON THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI.

BILL KELLY

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Namebase entry for Edwin P. Wilson:

http://www.namebase.org/main1/Edwin-Paul-Wilson.html

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My copy of Joe Trento’s Prelude to Terror was delivered this morning. It is based largely on interviews with Edwin Wilson after he was released from prison last year.

Here for example is one passage of interest:

Wilson recalled a visit by Shackley to his farm, Mt. Airey, in the spring of 1978. Shackley spoke seriously of how the Agency was being destroyed by Carter and Turner and how "the only hope was to take things private until they got both men out of office." Wilson said Shackley was convinced that under a George Bush administration, he, Shackley, was going to be the next head of the CIA. "Things were looking good for Bush at that time, and I knew that Shackley and Clines were meeting with Bush," Wilson said. Shackley suggested to Wilson that if he was willing to back a private company that would allow covert operations to be taken out of the CIA, Shackley would arrange for Wilson's legal problems to end, and for him to be brought in from the cold. "He reminded me that under [DCI] Bush I was not a target of any grand jury investigations ... but since (the time of) the Letelier publicity, I had been a constant target. Larry Barcella was after me.... My problem was, I was too damn stupid to figure out why."

Wilson said he agreed in principle to back this private intelligence venture as long as his Around The World Shipping got any shipping business that came out of it. Wilson told Shackley that he wanted one more thing: "Tom Clines is my good friend. I don't mind being in the trenches with him, but he has no head for business. If I put up any money, I want you to run things." Wilson said Shackley agreed. That is when Wilson agreed to fund API, the company that would manage the PEMEX account. Wilson put up the money, and Clines, Quintero, and Chavez were the corporate officers.

There is also an interesting passage about Wilson in Gaeton Fonzi's, The Last Investigation (1993):

Kevin Mulcahy called me because he thought the Federal Government had used him and was hanging him out to dry. A husky, darkhaired, 39-year-old Irishman, Mulcahy was an ex-CIA agent who, at that time, was the only witness in a case the Federal Government had brought against two other men on Kelly's list: Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil. Mulcahy thought the Government was stalling in its prosecution and he feared for his life. Wilson, he said, was a killer, whose current job was arranging to knock off the enemies of Libyan strongman Moammar Khadafy. In response to my direct question, Mulcahy said he knew nothing that would link Wilson to the Kennedy assassination, but Wilson, like David Phillips, was deep inside that CIA clique pulling the strings at the time...

To insiders, Wilson was a big-time player in the spook world. He owned a huge estate in Virginia horse country and regularly hosted Washington's top politicians, admirals, generals and key intelligence officers. He had been in the CIA's Special Operations section, which handled covert paramilitary operations around the world. His job was to set up the proprietary companies used to ship supplies for the Agency's secret missions or the coups it supported. Wilson's company shipped incendiary, crowd dispersion and harassment devices to Chile, Brazil and Venezuela, and arms to the Dominican Republic, all areas that came under David Phillips's charge. Wilson also had supplied many of the boats used by Miami exiles for their raids against Cuba. (His case officer at one point was Tom Clines, who then was a top deputy to Ted Shackley at Miami's JM/WAVE station.)

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  • 11 months later...

Larry Hancock: In the new edition of “Someone Would Have Talked” you claim that Edwin Wilson was at JM/WAVE in 1963. He is still alive and is feeling bitter about being betrayed by his CIA colleagues about his involvement in illegal activities in Iran. Did you try to interview him for your book?

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Larry Hancock: In the new edition of “Someone Would Have Talked” you claim that Edwin Wilson was at JM/WAVE in 1963. He is still alive and is feeling bitter about being betrayed by his CIA colleagues about his involvement in illegal activities in Iran. Did you try to interview him for your book?

Check that Iran, John,

Libya.

We should be hearing from them soon on the fate of the Bulgarian nurses.

Ed Wilson also crossed paths with LHO when Wilson ran security for U2 bases and LHO in Japan, doing guard duty for same.

BK

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Check that Iran, John,

Libya.

I am aware that in 1984 was found guilty of exporting guns and conspiracy to murder a Libyan dissident and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. However, he was also involved, along with Ted Shackley, Tom Clines, Rafael Quintero, Carl E. Jenkins, Richard Secord and Ricardo Chavez in supplying weapons for the Iran-Contra deal.

I am surprised that no one has written a book about the connections between the "Secret Team" and the JFK assassination and the Iran-Contra scandal. Of course, Daniel Sheehan tried to show these connection and therefore he had to be destroyed.

Here is a passage from Leslie Cockburn's book Out of Control (1987):

Daniel Sheehan... had accumulated a great deal of information about the connection between the secret military and criminal goings-on in Costa Rica and higher authority in Washington - the CIA and Oliver North. But as Sheehan began to piece all this together he received a call that would eventually double his defendants list to include not only Cuban and other Central American desperadoes but immensely powerful former U.S. government officials.

The caller was Paul Hoven, a much-decorated Vietnam helicopter pilot who had settled in Washington to fight for military reform. He and associates in a group called the Project on Military Procurement were working to expose the Pentagon's wanton and slipshod approach to developing and buying weapons. Chastising the military along these lines appeals to true conservatives, and Hoven took pride in his right-wing views.

Thus ideologically equipped, Hoven had an enormous range of contacts in the murky world of special - i.e., clandestine operations. Late in 1984 he encountered a denizen of this world, a retired military intelligence officer, who wanted to discuss the corruption and inefficiency with which aid to the gallant Afghan guerrillas was being dispensed by the CIA. The conversation soon turned, however, to something far more out of the ordinary.

Hoven's new found friend told him that a group of former CIA senior officials, military officers, and Middle Eastern arms dealers had formed what he called a "secret team" to undertake covert operations on a commercial basis. Their activities were massive and wide ranging and, in the case of some members, included political assassinations. They operated independently of the U.S. government, though several of those concerned had previous histories of involvement in government-sanctioned assassination programs, stretching back through the Phoenix program in Vietnam to Kennedy-era attempts to kill Castro. Hoven's friend had stumbled across this group in the course of trying to get some semi covert CIA Central American business for himself, but he had come across their insalubrious tracks years before in Iran, and he knew they were dangerous people.

Conservative though he may be, Hoven was troubled by this news, and he called his friend Danny Sheehan to pass it along and arrange a direct meeting. The three men met in a house outside Washington in February 1985.

The retired spook told Sheehan that in the mid-1970s he had been assigned as an antiterrorist specialist in the U.S. military mission in Tehran. From that vantage point he had become aware of the existence of what he called an "antiterrorist search-and-destroy project" run by a former CIA agent named Edwin Wilson. Wilson was later to be arrested, tried, and sentenced to fifty-two years in jail for sundry crimes, including arming and advising Muammar Qaddafi. But in Iran, the graying spook informed Sheehan, Wilson had been working under the direct supervision of Theodore Shackley, then second in command at the CIA's (clandestine) operations division, and Shackley's assistant, Thomas Clines.

This "search-and-destroy project," the source told him, had continued as a privately run, non-CIA-authorized program as of 1977, when "outsiders"-President Jimmy Carter and Adm. Stansfield Turner-had taken control of the CIA. It was for Shackley and Clines, the source insisted, that Wilson was working in Libya between 1977 and 1979. He was ostensibly supplying training and supplies for Qaddafi's clandestine operations, and that was the key charge against him when he was later tried in the U.S. But in reality, so Sheehan was now told, Wilson was gathering intelligence on these operations for transmission to a certain Rafael ("Chi Chi") Quintero. Quintero's function was to arrange for the interception of Qaddafi's minions as soon as they left Libya to go about their business, and to murder them. Quintero later testified that he had indeed accepted a down payment for at least one assassination job in the belief that it was a CIA-sponsored "hit." Quintero claimed that he pulled out of the operation when he discovered that the target was in fact on Qaddafi's hit list, not the agency's.

Unfortunately for Wilson, his "cover" activities on behalf of Qaddafi came to the ears of federal law enforcement authorities, who devoted great energy to putting him in jail. Since the alleged Shackley-Clines operation to neutralize terrorists was officially unauthorized, Wilson was unable to invoke it to protect himself.

Shackley and Clines were, however, besmirched enough by their association with Wilson to be forced to resign from the CIA by Stansfield Turner in 1979. They thereupon joined forces with two people whose names were to become well known to Sheehan and, much later, to the press and public: Richard Secord, at the time an active general officer in the U.S. Air Force, and the Iranian-born arms dealer Albert Hakim.

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John, it would be very important to have a dialog with Wilson, we might even be able to provide some interesting insights for him. However as with a couple of other folks, it would be self defeating to even talk about an outreach....so I'll have to settle for the routine "no comment at this time"... Larry

Larry Hancock: In the new edition of “Someone Would Have Talked” you claim that Edwin Wilson was at JM/WAVE in 1963. He is still alive and is feeling bitter about being betrayed by his CIA colleagues about his involvement in illegal activities in Iran. Did you try to interview him for your book?
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It is my take on Wilson, that he knows as much as anyone else alive now about Shackley's and Quintero's involvement [and others] in a whole lot of things from JM/WAVE through Dallas and beyond.....and guns and drugs and assassinations and government overthrows and wars and all kinds of really dirty stuff......some black ops types I've asked about Wilson freeze when one mentions the name...and don't even say no comment..but leave the room. Sure he was framed to be in jail and buried alive and I'm sure he knows that if he says too much he will soon enough find out if there is life after death. So good luck to anyone trying to interview him....and I mean that most sincerely! John's very good summary of Wilson's life only hints at some of the dirt he knows about and has been involved with....it gets little dirtier than he knows about directly.

Shane O'Sullivan interviewed him earlier this year. However, he denied it was Morales, Campbell and Joannides in the film and photographs. Although he was very angry when he first came out of prison it seems that he is unwilling to provide any information on other members of the Secret Team who escaped from being punished for their illegal activities.

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  • 4 months later...

Here is a message from an undercover agent who wishes to remain anonymous.

There is a persistent theme that Ed Wilson, Shackley et el somehow are a tight group of conspirators. That is not true if for no other reason than that is not how operatives work. The fact is that rarely do these people ever meet, plan, or work in concert. Safety for them lies in extreme compartmental ism. For example, one operative may know, or can guess, that another is developing an asset, or is "running" an agent. Despite a common mission, the level of trust and mutual cooperation is very low. Most operations that fail in fact are the result of "trust". Safety is best accomplished by operating alone. This means that the "dots" cannot be easily connected.

For example, and I speak from experience, operatives depend on "keys" to prove that they are dealing with who they can trust. These keys can be as simple as a torn in half business card which can only match perfectly with the other half when presented by the proper person. Failure to ask for the "key" from the contact can prove fatal to the mission. Yet, it happens! It is a case of lax, or sloppy habits. (How often do you ask your "wife" to prove who she is?)

It becomes difficult to prove what anyone is doing. In "confessions" or betrayals it is often circumstantial evidence and guesswork. This results in scapegoating or the creation of false trails. But, and this is a big one, when top people are guilty of "sins". you should look at their "support" structure. For example, a journalist "exposes" wrong doing. It's not the journalist we should investigate for the "leak", but the people who benefits by the leak. In a knife fight at the top, the knives are blackmail and counter-betrayals. The fight ends when the price is paid.

Did Ed Wilson supply arms ( a couple of rifles) to the Libyans? Most probably, but where did the payments go, who benefits, who supplied? In Vietnam, who ran Shackley? Obviously the answer ultimately is who "created" a Wilson, or a Chi Chi?" Who had the authority or power to create such a powerful agents? The answer will lead you to people much bigger than Ed. And, why did Ed not defend himself by revealing the things he knew? Can you imagine accepting a lifetime of solitary confinement in prison? Who, or what would be worth that?

It takes a man who understands that when you start rolling up the net, you will be destroying the fabric of our national security.

Perhaps Nixon earned his pardon by silence.

The US Senate is controlled by two men. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee (all legislation must go through that committee) and the chairman of appropriations....for obvious reasons he holds the purse strings and these chairmen have the power to make or break appointments ( i.e. federal judgeship's). During the Vietnam War (and the present Gulf War) who were these men, and who did they serve? Who were their "creatures". You can ask the same questions about Hoover, Helms, Bush, etc.

John, you seek the truth, but it is also compartmentalized. Many people hold pieces of it, it would take a lifetime to put those pieces together. The power people, are another story.

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Here is a message from an undercover agent who wishes to remain anonymous.

There is a persistent theme that Ed Wilson, Shackley et el somehow are a tight group of conspirators. That is not true if for no other reason than that is not how operatives work. The fact is that rarely do these people ever meet, plan, or work in concert. Safety for them lies in extreme compartmental ism. For example, one operative may know, or can guess, that another is developing an asset, or is "running" an agent. Despite a common mission, the level of trust and mutual cooperation is very low. Most operations that fail in fact are the result of "trust". Safety is best accomplished by operating alone. This means that the "dots" cannot be easily connected.

For example, and I speak from experience, operatives depend on "keys" to prove that they are dealing with who they can trust. These keys can be as simple as a torn in half business card which can only match perfectly with the other half when presented by the proper person. Failure to ask for the "key" from the contact can prove fatal to the mission. Yet, it happens! It is a case of lax, or sloppy habits. (How often do you ask your "wife" to prove who she is?)

It becomes difficult to prove what anyone is doing. In "confessions" or betrayals it is often circumstantial evidence and guesswork. This results in scapegoating or the creation of false trails. But, and this is a big one, when top people are guilty of "sins". you should look at their "support" structure. For example, a journalist "exposes" wrong doing. It's not the journalist we should investigate for the "leak", but the people who benefits by the leak. In a knife fight at the top, the knives are blackmail and counter-betrayals. The fight ends when the price is paid.

Did Ed Wilson supply arms ( a couple of rifles) to the Libyans? Most probably, but where did the payments go, who benefits, who supplied? In Vietnam, who ran Shackley? Obviously the answer ultimately is who "created" a Wilson, or a Chi Chi?" Who had the authority or power to create such a powerful agents? The answer will lead you to people much bigger than Ed. And, why did Ed not defend himself by revealing the things he knew? Can you imagine accepting a lifetime of solitary confinement in prison? Who, or what would be worth that?

It takes a man who understands that when you start rolling up the net, you will be destroying the fabric of our national security.

Perhaps Nixon earned his pardon by silence.

The US Senate is controlled by two men. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee (all legislation must go through that committee) and the chairman of appropriations....for obvious reasons he holds the purse strings and these chairmen have the power to make or break appointments ( i.e. federal judgeship's). During the Vietnam War (and the present Gulf War) who were these men, and who did they serve? Who were their "creatures". You can ask the same questions about Hoover, Helms, Bush, etc.

John, you seek the truth, but it is also compartmentalized. Many people hold pieces of it, it would take a lifetime to put those pieces together. The power people, are another story.

John, at the risk of derailing the thread, the above is why it is so difficult to pin down who was running Oswald. It does however, explain his lack of trust, why he operated solo and the torn box-top found on him after his arrest.

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Some follow up questions:

(1) “For example, and I speak from experience, operatives depend on "keys" to prove that they are dealing with who they can trust. These keys can be as simple as a torn in half business card which can only match perfectly with the other half when presented by the proper person.”

The heroin traffickers in the Mertz-Marcello-Trafficante group that was busted in 1963 running heroin from Mexico City through Texas also used the torn dollar bill method to identify their conspirators.

According to Antonio Veciana CIA agents used the torn dollar method to identify undercover agents.

When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested he was found with a torn-in-half box top. Do you think it was possible that he was going meet someone in the movie theater with the other half?

Torn-in-half dollar bills were also found in his apartment. Do you think Oswald was a CIA agent?

(2) “It becomes difficult to prove what anyone is doing. In "confessions" or betrayals it is often circumstantial evidence and guesswork. This results in scapegoating or the creation of false trails. But, and this is a big one, when top people are guilty of "sins". You should look at their "support" structure. For example, a journalist "exposes" wrong doing. It's not the journalist we should investigate for the "leak", but the people who benefits by the leak. In a knife fight at the top, the knives are blackmail and counter-betrayals. The fight ends when the price is paid.”

This is a very good point. I believe the CIA is sometimes behind the discovery of information about agents involved in illegal activities. These agents are nearly always dead and are therefore not in a position to tell their story. This helps to take investigators away from more important agents still alive or senior officials whose reputations they are still protecting. For example, information about David Sanchez Morales can be given up whereas Carl E. Jenkins, who is still alive, is protected.

(3) “Did Ed Wilson supply arms (a couple of rifles) to the Libyans? Most probably, but where did the payments go, who benefits, who supplied?”

Do you really mean “a couple of rifles”? According to the prosecution, it was 42,000 pounds of plastic explosives. As William Kelly has pointed out, Wilson sold “a couple of tons of C4 plastic explosives that have probably killed thousands and are still being used by terrorists all over the world.”

(4) “In Vietnam, who ran Shackley? Obviously the answer ultimately is who "created" a Wilson, or a Chi Chi?" Who had the authority or power to create such powerful agents?”

This is of course the big question. Was Shackley freelancing or did others, higher in the command chain, running the show? Did Shackley use investors for his various illegal activities. For example, according to to Fabian Escalante (The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-62), in 1959, Jack Alston Crichton and George H. W. Bush raised funds for the CIA's Operation 40. One would assume that Crichton and Bush got back something in return. We know that by the 1970s Bush was very close to Shackley. Is it possible they were working together in the 1960s?

I am reminded of something Gene Wheaton said in 2002: “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.”

(5) “Who had the authority or power to create such a powerful agents? The answer will lead you to people much bigger than Ed. And, why did Ed not defend himself by revealing the things he knew? Can you imagine accepting a lifetime of solitary confinement in prison? Who, or what would be worth that?”

You cannot get more powerful than George H. W. Bush. Wilson of course hinted that he was covering for more powerful figures than himself. The journalist, Diana Wilson wrote: “I talked to Edwin Wilson after he was arrested, indicted and convicted while he was on appeal and in the Marion Illinois prison. I spoke to Wilson by phone on two occasions because I wanted to write a book because I knew some of his employees who "knew" that his operation was "sanctioned" by the CIA. In the early days of Wilson's imprisonment, he was sure that the CIA would not "abandon him" and that it was only a matter of time when the truth would come out.” Why has he not told the story since his release?

(6) “It takes a man who understands that when you start rolling up the net, you will be destroying the fabric of our national security. Perhaps Nixon earned his pardon by silence.”

I suspect it also worked the other way. The full-truth about Nixon was not revealed as long as he remained silent. For example, Nixon’s role in the destroying of George Wallace and Edward Kennedy’s presidential campaigns. To my mind, Watergate was a result of Nixon threatening to expose the illegal activities of the CIA.

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Do you really mean “a couple of rifles”? According to the prosecution, it was 42,000 pounds of plastic explosives. As William Kelly has pointed out, Wilson sold “a couple of tons of C4 plastic explosives that have probably killed thousands and are still being used by terrorists all over the world.”

Comment from the undercover agent:

Regarding the 22 tons (depending on who you believe ) of explosives (mostly Semtex from the Czechs) is mostly fiction. In the first place there was no source of that much production. And, C4 in such amounts would have left a trail a mile wide.

There is no doubt, of course, about the rifles. Their delivery was with the approval of "see-a".

Correct your report on Ed's cover companies to include Maritime Consultants (a Navy front) and Fed Com Inc, both formerly housed in the Postal Union building near the Capitol They shared a suite with Ed's offices (in those days Ed could travel via the old underground tunnels from the parking garage, into the New Senate Office Building (NSOB) tram system.)

Ed is still under threat of prosecution and at his age, I suspect he will maintain his silence. I think even he would be shocked at who his enemies were...and who now are his defenders. But, John, except for historical research, Ed's story is only part of the prologue.

Note: The VP says very little as expected, but when it comes to listing the real power brokers inside the Beltway, He would top any list. His companies and contacts are such legends that they almost define arrogance.

Gates is a very good chief of shadows, he would be anyone's candidate for Number 2, he should get the vote.

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