Jump to content
The Education Forum

John Hull


Recommended Posts

I found this article on John Hull. Does any member have anymore information on this CIA agent.

JOHN HULL, originally from Indiana, was the CIA's man in Costa Rica during the 80s. His ranch there served as an arms and drugs depot, a key Contra base, and planning center. He was involved in the attempted assassination of rogue Contra leader Eden Pastora at a press conference. Hull also acted as a key link in the Contra drug chain. According to testimony, he had personal knowledge of the million dollar pay-off made to FELIX RODRIGUEZ

Today, he is wanted on charges of murder and drug dealing by the Costa Rican government. Whisked away by the CIA, his current whereabouts are unknown. However, in 1998 the CIA's Inspector General was able to track down and interview him while preparing a classified report on CIA drug smuggling activities during the Contra war. However, the declassified version of the report presents Hull's denials at face value.

http://www.subliminal.org/mugbook/spooks/hull.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John Hull, the American farmer in Costa Rica whose land became a base for contra raids into Nicaragua, averted prosecution for alleged drug trafficking by fleeing Costa Rica in 1989 with the help of U.S. government operatives.

A report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich disclosed new evidence about Hull's escape from Costa Rica in a plane flown by a pilot who worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The report, however, could not reconcile conflicting accounts about the direct involvement of a DEA officer and concluded, improbably, with a finding of no wrongdoing.

The finding makes Bromwich's report the latest chapter in a long saga of U.S. government protection of Hull, a fervent anti-communist who became a favorite of the Reagan-Bush administrations.

For years, however, contra-connected witnesses also cited Hull's ranch as a cocaine transshipment point for drugs heading to the United States. According to Bromwich's report, the DEA even prepared a research report on the evidence in November 1986.

In it, one informant described Colombian cocaine off-loaded at an airstrip on Hull's ranch. The drugs were then concealed in a shipment of frozen shrimp and transported to the United States. The alleged Costa Rican shipper was Frigorificos de Puntarenas, a firm controlled by Cuban-American Luis Rodriguez.

Like Hull, however, Frigorificos had friends in high places. In 1985-86, the State Department had selected the shrimp company to handle $261,937 in non-lethal assistance earmarked for the contras.

In 1987, the DEA in Miami opened a file on Rodriguez, but soon concluded there was no case. Still, as more evidence surfaced in 1987, the FBI and Customs indicted Rodriguez for drug trafficking and money-laundering.

But Hull remained untouchable, although five witnesses implicated him during Sen. John Kerry's investigation of contra-drug trafficking. The drug suspicions just glanced off the pugnacious farmer, who had cultivated close relationships with the U.S. Embassy and conservative Costa Rican politicians.

In January 1989, however, Costa Rican authorities finally acted. They indicted Hull for drug trafficking, arms smuggling and other crimes. Hull was jailed, a move that outraged some U.S. congressmen. A letter, signed by senior Democrat Rep. Lee Hamilton and others, threatened to cut off U.S. economic aid if Hull were not released.

Costa Rica complied, freeing Hull pending trial. But Hull didn't wait for his day in court. In July 1989, he hopped a plane, flew to Haiti and then to the United States.

Hull got another break when one of his conservative friends, Roberto Calderon, won the Costa Rican presidency. On Oct. 10, 1990, Calderon informed the U.S. embassy that he could not stop an extradition request for Hull's return but signaled that he did not want to prosecute his pal.

The embassy officials received the message. A cable noted that the new president was "clearly hoping that Hull will not be extradited." The Bush administration fulfilled Calderon's hope by rebuffing Costa Rican extradition requests, effectively killing the case against Hull.

While not objecting to that maneuvering, Bromwich's report revealed that behind the scenes, another drama was playing out: an internal investigation into whether DEA personnel had conspired to thwart Hull's drug prosecution.

That phase of the story began on May 17, 1991, when a Costa Rican journalist told a DEA official in Costa Rica that Hull was boasting that a DEA special agent had assisted in the 1989 flight to Haiti. DEA launched an internal inquiry, headed by senior inspector Anthony Ricevuto.

The suspected DEA agent, whose name was withheld in Bromwich's report, admitted knowing Hull but denied helping him escape. Ricevuto learned, however, that one of the agent's informants, a pilot named Harold Wires, had flown the plane carrying Hull.

When interviewed on July 23, 1991, Wires said the DEA agent had paid him between $500 and $700 to fly Hull to Haiti aboard a Cessna. In Haiti, Wires said, they met another DEA pilot Jorge Melendez and Ron Lippert, a friend of the agent. Melendez accompanied Wires back to Costa Rica, and Lippert flew with Hull to the United States.

From DEA records, Ricevuto confirmed that Melendez had been a DEA informant and freelance pilot. But when questioned, Melendez denied seeing Hull in Haiti. Then, 20 days later, Ricevuto got a call from Wires who reversed his initial story. Wires suddenly was claiming that the DEA agent did not know that Hull was on the Cessna.

Later, Wires amended the story again, saying that the agent gave him $700 to pay for the Cessna's fuel but only for the return flight. Wires also claimed it was the agent's friend, Lippert, who asked Wires to fly Hull out of Costa Rica, not the agent. Wires added that he took the assignment because he felt the CIA had abandoned Hull. Yet, Wires also acknowledged that he had received an angry call from Hull who wanted to clear the agent of suspicion.

Though Hull's overheard comments about the DEA agent's role had started the investigation, Hull weighed in on Oct. 7, 1991, with a letter. "I have no idea if [the accused agent] knew how and when I was leaving Costa Rica," Hull wrote. He then added, cryptically, "I assumed the ambassador was fully aware of my intentions."

For his part, Lippert told Ricevuto that the DEA agent indeed had helped plan Hull's escape. But a DEA polygrapher was brought in to test Lippert and judge him "deceptive." No polygraphs apparently were ever administered to Wires, Hull or the DEA agent.

So, despite the evidence that DEA personnel conspired in the flight of an accused drug trafficker, the DEA cleared the agent of any wrongdoing. Bromwich endorsed that finding as "reasonable."

http://www.consortiumnews.com/1990s/consor15.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few additional points to ponder:

Apparently it was Dan Quayle who introduced John Hull to Ollie North, thus facilitating the drugs/arms Contra pipeline. It may be a point worth recalling when trying to analyze why Bush the Elder selected this young unknown as his Vice Presidential running mate. Quayle's otherwise inexplicable selection may have been a payoff for that service rendered, or, despite being perhaps the dullest potato[e] in the patch, his selection was designed to buy his silence on that key issue [or some combination of the two.]

As for Ron Lippert, I had contact with him some years back for several reasons. In my own prior research in newspapers published in the autumn of '63, I had come across a number of stories about two young Canadian pilots who had been caught smuggling materiel and ordnance into Cuba by plane, Lippert being one of those arrested. While the other pilot was ultimately allowed to walk from the charges, Lippert received a hefty sentence and spent more than a decade in Cuban prison. [i located and contacted Lippert to determine what he may have learned about the JFK assassination while incarcerated in Cuba. It was my hope that he might have been jailed with exiles who had told him information worth knowing, or may have picked up a worthy tidbit from his jailers.]

Lippert contends, and my own research tends to corroborate him, that these two Canadian pilots were deliberately "sacrificed" by CIA in order to create an international diplomatic incident between Cuba and Canada, because the latter had never participated in the trade embargo against Cuba. Langley hoped that driving a wedge between these two countries would further isolate Cuba.

Newly elected Canadian Liberal Party Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his UN-related work in defusing the mid-'50s Suez crisis, apparently threatened both Havana and Moscow, advising them that if either of the Canadian pilots was executed, Canadian goods would cease to flow to either country. This was a particularly effective threat for the Soviets, as there had been a large deal brokered for Canadian wheat to the USSR, which badly needed it at the time. [Pearson also, one might note, indicated his intention to strike a Parliamentary committe to investigate whether his own election as Prime Minister had been engineered or facilitated by CIA as punishment against his Conservative Party predecessor, who had repeatedly clashed with President Kennedy. I could find no evidence that such a committee ever produced a report on the topic.]

Lippert was eventually released by Castro at the urging of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. When I inquired about his role in spiriting John Hull back to the US, Lippert maintained that he had said all he was about to on the topic. He advised that he was seeking compensation from CIA for his decade-plus behind Cuban bars, and didn't see any benefit to him for being any more candid on the subject of John Hull than he had already been.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few additional points to ponder:

Apparently it was Dan Quayle who introduced John Hull to Ollie North, thus facilitating the drugs/arms Contra pipeline.

Very interesting RCD. Choir boy Quayle -(can you spell potato? :blink:- hooking up Hull with Ollie- (CIA drug running name "John Cathey"). I think you are correct on why Poppa Bush choose Danny. He can't spell but he can wheel and deal in Contra cocaine it seems.

Dawn

And finally we get- (well almost)- a picture!! Continually mysterious :)

It may be a point worth recalling when trying to analyze why Bush the Elder selected this young unknown as his Vice Presidential running mate. Quayle's otherwise inexplicable selection may have been a payoff for that service rendered, or, despite being perhaps the dullest potato[e] in the patch, his selection was designed to buy his silence on that key issue [or some combination of the two.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for Ron Lippert, I had contact with him some years back for several reasons. In my own prior research in newspapers published in the autumn of '63, I had come across a number of stories about two young Canadian pilots who had been caught smuggling materiel and ordnance into Cuba by plane, Lippert being one of those arrested. While the other pilot was ultimately allowed to walk from the charges, Lippert received a hefty sentence and spent more than a decade in Cuban prison. [i located and contacted Lippert to determine what he may have learned about the JFK assassination while incarcerated in Cuba. It was my hope that he might have been jailed with exiles who had told him information worth knowing, or may have picked up a worthy tidbit from his jailers.] (Robert Charles-Dunne)

Very interesting, Robert.

A couple of things, the other Canadian pilot mentioned, do you know if that was Guy Laruse?

Also, in your conversation with Lippert, did he ever mention Robert Emmett Johnson? Lippert and Johnson were well aquainted.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting, Robert.

A couple of things, the other Canadian pilot mentioned, do you know if that was Guy Laruse?

That name doesn't ring a bell. Seems to me, just off the top of my head, the other pilot's name was "Martin," though I may be misrecalling. [in any event, the other pilot died decades ago, if I recall correctly.] Among the dozens of boxes of stuff I have are the photocopies of the original newspaper clippings, which contain the other name, but I can guarantee you that "Guy Laruse" was not it. Whatever his name, charges against him seemed to have been dropped by the Cubans, leaving Lippert holding the baby, as it were.

Also, in your conversation with Lippert, did he ever mention Robert Emmett Johnson? Lippert and Johnson were well aquainted.

I found Lippert to be justifiably paranoid, insisting upon encrypted e-mails and the use of cutouts and trusted third parties. He was extremely forthcoming about his own experiences [including his contention that he was among the first to report to the US the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba, which he gleaned from his own flights], but incredibly circumspect about anything that involved anyone other than himself.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Robert.

I did some checking and Lippert's co-pilot was Guy Larose, not Laruse as I first thought. Also, the incident I was referring to happened in 1961. We are indeed talking about two different things. Sorry for the confusion.

James

Edited by James Richards
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Robert.

I did some checking and Lippert's co-pilot was Guy Larose, not Laruse as I first thought. Also, the incident I was referring to happened in 1961. We are indeed talking about two different things. Sorry for the confusion.

James

James:

I think Guy LaRose was likely the pilot who accompanied Lippert to the US in '61 when Cubana Airlines retained them to retrieve aircraft left stranded in the States by defecting Cubana pilots.

I found some of the original press clippings I mentioned previously, and the other pilot busted in Havana in October of '63 with Lippert was William David Milne, who was killed in a plane crash some years later. This '63 arrest in Havana occurred when a previously legit cargo scheme was usurped to include the export to Cuba of arms and materiel destined for anti-Castro rebels.

Oddly, the plan for the export of consumer goods from Canada to Cuba was initially brokered by serveral Canadian entrepreneurs, one of whom was Leonard Rosenberg. Two decades later, the same Rosenberg was arrested and charged with fraud for having done a one-day flip of Toronto-area apartment complexes that ended up being owned, on paper at least, by a non-existent Saudi conglomerate. The final price tag was a half billion, much of which was a purely paper profit. While I cannot recall all the details, there was a distinct, albeit peripheral, Iran-Contra connection to that fraud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this article on John Hull. Does any member have anymore information on this CIA agent.

JOHN HULL, originally from Indiana, was the CIA's man in Costa Rica during the 80s. His ranch there served as an arms and drugs depot, a key Contra base, and planning center. He was involved in the attempted assassination of rogue Contra leader Eden Pastora at a press conference. Hull also acted as a key link in the Contra drug chain. According to testimony, he had personal knowledge of the million dollar pay-off made to FELIX RODRIGUEZ

Today, he is wanted on charges of murder and drug dealing by the Costa Rican government. Whisked away by the CIA, his current whereabouts are unknown. However, in 1998 the CIA's Inspector General was able to track down and interview him while preparing a classified report on CIA drug smuggling activities during the Contra war. However, the declassified version of the report presents Hull's denials at face value.

http://www.subliminal.org/mugbook/spooks/hull.html

********************************************************

Apparently John Hull's Costa Rican plantation's landing field may have been used as one of Operation Watchtower's ports of entry into the U.S. for illegal cocaine shipments. Here's a link courtesy of my friend, Dixie Dea. BTW, the people of Costa Rica used to refer to him as,

"Senator John Hull." He, at one time, had been considered a highly respected eschelon of the United States. FWIW

***I'm not sure if the link can be opened so I took the liberty of opening it up myself for you below:

Dixie Dea Tue Jan-20-04 07:54 AM

Member since May 30th 2002

46 posts

#29263, "RE: No Name Key mercenaries linked to JFK assassination"

In response to Reply # 69

CHRONOLOGY OF JOHN HULL'S ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES

***http://www.williambowles.info/ini/hull-chron.html

Dixie

CHRONOLOGY OF JOHN HULL'S ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES June 7, 1991

1982-1986 John Hull's ranch in Northern Costa Rica serves as the main supply base for the contras on the Southern Front of Nicaragua. [Newsday, 5/10/87]

October 1984 Hull receives $10,000 a month from the Reagan-Bush Administration's National Security Council…

September 1984 and deposits the money into a Miami bank account. [senate Foreign Relations

subcommittee report, "Private Assistance' and the Contras: A Staff Report." 10/14/86] [Common Cause, Sept/Oct. 1985] [Covert Action Bulletin, Winter 86] [New York Daily News, 1/8/87]

1984 Hull takes out a $375,000 loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for a supposed manufacturing project. Hull deposits the money into his private account in Indiana and the project is never started. He later defaults on the loan. [senate Foreign Relations narcotics and terrorism subcommittee: ``Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy,'' a report on investigation of contra drug trafficking, April 1989]

April 9, 1984 Plane piloted by a Nicaraguan crashes while taking off from the airstrip on Hull's ranch, purportedly because it was overloaded with military supplies. [Tico Times, 9/28/84]

April 25, 1984 Hull's ranch is raided and he is detained by security officers investigating allegations of Southern Front contra activities in Costa Rica. [Tico Times 4/27/84]

April 1984 Pastora is given a 30-day deadline to unify his forces with the F.D.N. in the North. [Out of Control, Leslie Cockburn]

May 30, 1984 A bomb explodes in La Penca, Nicaragua, killing three journalists--including U.S. citizen Linda Frazier--and injuring many others. The bomb's apparent target, moderate contra leader Eden Pastora, is injured but survives. One of the reporters wounded in the bombing is ABC cameraman Tony Avirgan. [Convergence, Spring 1987]

May 30, 1984 Hull, Robert Owen, C.I.A. station chief Phil Holtz and several pilots meet in a C.I.A. safe house in San Jose, Costa Rica. After news of the explosion, Hull phones his associates to instruct that his private plane not be used to help the wounded. [Costa Rican Special Prosecutor's Report, Dec. 1989]

June 22, 1984 Hull obtains Costa Rican citizenship, which he later claims was at the C.I.A.'s request. [Tico Times, 3/23/90]

October 1984 Costa Rican Government initiates investigation of Hull after he admits on radio that he aided the contras. [Tico Times, 10/26/84]

December 1984 According to mercenary Jack Terrell, Hull, Robert Owen, Felipe Vidal and the alleged bomber Amac Galil meet and discuss the continuing need to kill Pastora. [New York Times, 3/1/90]

July 18, 1985 David, an eyewitness source for Avirgan and Honey's La Penca investigation, is kidnapped and later allegedly murdered on Hull's ranch. [Convergence Magazine, Spring 1988]

October 1985 At a San Jose, Costa Rica press conference, Tony Avirgan (who was injured in the bombing) and Martha Honey present the findings from their investigation of the La Penca bombing, identifying Hull as one of the bombing's planners. [La Penca: Report of an Investigation, Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey, 1985] Days after Avirgan and Honey's report is published, Hull files suit against the journalists, charging them with ``injuries, falsehood and defamation of character'' because of their allegations of his role in the bombing [La Penca: On Trial in Costa Rica, Edited by Avirgan and Honey, 1987]

April 1986 A CBS "West 57th Street" broadcast airs, in which former contra resupply pilots identify Hull's ranch as major transhipment point for military supplies and drugs, but Hull denies any role in the contra resupply network.

May 22-23, 1986 Trial against Avirgan and Honey takes place, resulting in a victory for the two journalists after documents and witnesses confirm their findings. The judge throws Hull's lawsuit out of court. [La Penca: On Trial in Costa Rica, edited by Avirgan and Honey, 1987]

May 1986 Christic Institute attorneys file the La Penca lawsuit (Avirgan v. Hull) on behalf of Avirgan and Honey, naming Hull and 28 others as major figures in a racketeering network involved in drug trafficking, arms smuggling. The same ring engineered the La Penca bombing, the suit alleges. [Convergence, Spring 1987]

May 5, 1988 Costa Rican police announce an investigation into charges of Hull's involvement in arms and drug trafficking.

May 1988 Christic Institute takes Hull's deposition for the La Penca lawsuit. He refuses to cooperate in the proceedings.

June 1988 Federal Judge James L. King dismisses La Penca lawsuit in Miami two days before the trial is scheduled to begin, arguing that there is no evidence linking Hull and others to the bombing. The Christic Institute immediately announces it will appeal.

January 1989 Costa Rican authorities arrest Hull on charges of drug trafficking and using Costa Rican territory for ``hostile acts'' against NIcaragua. [Tico Times, 3/23/90]

April 1989 Sen. John Kerry's Foreign Relations narcotics and terrorism subcommittee releases a 1,200-page report, ``Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy,'' including testimony that Hull's ranch was used for gun- and drug-smuggling operations. One eyewitness tell the subcommittee that Hull supervised the transfer of drugs into a plane before its return journey to the United States.

May 26, 1989 John Hull fails to appear to testify before the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly's Special Commission Investigating Narcotics. Hull later appears before the commission but refuses to be sworn in to testify.

July 1989 Costa Rican Legislative Assembly concludes in an official report that Hull was trafficking drugs through the country on behalf of the contras. [The Guardian, 8/30/89]

July 1989 Hull flees Costa Rica while waiting trial, jumping a $37,000 bail posted by friends. Several reports confirm that D.E.A. agent Juan Perez arranged his secret flight out of the country. [Convergence, Winter 1991] [Tico Times, 12/7/90]

September 1989 Based on the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly report on drug trafficking, Oliver North, Richard Secord, former U.S. Ambassador Lewis Tambs and former National Security Adviser John Poindexter are all declared personae non gratae and banned from Costa Rica by the country's government. Secord is a defendant in Avirgan v. Hull. [The Guardian, 8/30/89]

March 1990 Hull is indicted for murder in Costa Rica on charges that he masterminded the La Penca bombing. [Convergence, Spring 1990]

May 1990 ABC Primetime Live airs Diane Sawyer's interview with Carlos Lehder, a key figure in the Medellin cocaine cartel. Lehder names Hull as a major cocaine trafficker and says Hull smuggled 30 tons of cocaine into the United States yearly.

June 1990 Hull's name added to Interpol's "most wanted" list of international fugitives at the request of Costa Rican special prosecutor Jorge Chaverria. [Convergence, Fall 1990]

November 1990 Costa Rican Legislative Assembly establishes four-member La Penca investigative committee with representatives from all political parties.

November 1990 Hull slips into Nicaragua on a 72-hour visa and soon disappears. [Los Angeles Times 12/7/90] [uPI 12/11/90]

December 1990 Investigators track Hull to a remote town in Southern Nicaragua--Juigalpa--which is the seat of an extreme right-wing movement against the conservative government of Violetta Chamorro. Hull is reported to be looking into investments to help contra veterans. [Tico Times, 12/7/90]

December 7, 1990 Costa Rica officially asks Nicaragua to extradite Hull.

December 11, 1990 Nicaraguan Supreme Court orders the arrest of Hull, although Presidential Minister Antonio Lacayo denies any knowledge of the case and says Hull was not facing criminal charges in Nicaragua. [uPI 12/12/90] Hull quietly leaves Nicaragua and returns to the United States.

April 19, 1991 The Costa Rican Ambassador submits a formal request to the U.S. State Department to extradite Hull.

Edited by Terry Mauro
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found some of the original press clippings I mentioned previously, and the other pilot busted in Havana in October of '63 with Lippert was William David Milne, who was killed in a plane crash some years later. This '63 arrest in Havana occurred when a previously legit cargo scheme was usurped to include the export to Cuba of arms and materiel destined for anti-Castro rebels. (Robert Charles-Dunne)

Thanks, Robert.

I am with the program now.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 13 years later...

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...