HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Jeremy Renner Ready To ‘K...

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:40 PM


Jeremy Renner Ready To ‘Kill The Messenger’ In Film About CIA-Smeared Journo Gary Webb


Jeremy Renner has been set to star in Kill The Messenger, a thriller that Michael Cuesta will direct that is based on the tragic tale of a journalist who committed suicide after being smeared by the CIA. The script was written by Peter Landesman and Renner and Don Handfield will produce through their production company, The Combine, along with Scott Stuber. The film will begin production in the summer.

This is a project that has been in the works for several years, and most recently had been at Universal. If the CIA mostly wears a white hat in Zero Dark Thirty for its dogged efforts to track and kill Osama Bin Laden, the agency wears a decidedly black lid here. Kill The Messenger is based on the true story of Gary Webb, a San Jose Mercury News reporter who committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Landesman (who is right now making his directorial debut on the JFK assassination pic Parkland) put the script together with source material from two books: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, by Webb, and Nick Schou’s Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb....



352 replies, 146689 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 352 replies Author Time Post
Reply Jeremy Renner Ready To ‘Kill The Messenger’ In Film About CIA-Smeared Journo Gary Webb (Original post)
villager Jan 2013 OP
777man Mar 2013 #1
villager Mar 2013 #2
777man Mar 2013 #3
villager Mar 2013 #4
777man Mar 2013 #5
villager Mar 2013 #6
777man Mar 2013 #7
villager Mar 2013 #8
777man Mar 2013 #9
villager Apr 2013 #10
777man Apr 2013 #11
777man Mar 2014 #65
SamKnause Apr 2014 #77
777man Apr 2014 #79
777man Apr 2013 #12
villager Apr 2013 #13
777man Apr 2013 #14
villager Apr 2013 #15
777man May 2013 #16
villager May 2013 #17
777man Jun 2013 #18
777man Jun 2013 #19
777man Jul 2013 #20
777man Jul 2013 #21
777man Jul 2013 #22
777man Jul 2013 #23
777man Jul 2013 #24
777man Jul 2013 #25
777man Jul 2013 #26
777man Jul 2013 #27
777man Jul 2013 #28
777man Jul 2013 #29
777man Aug 2013 #30
777man Sep 2013 #31
777man Sep 2013 #32
777man Oct 2013 #33
777man Nov 2013 #35
777man Oct 2013 #34
777man Nov 2013 #36
777man Nov 2013 #37
777man Dec 2013 #42
777man Dec 2013 #38
777man Dec 2013 #39
777man Dec 2013 #40
777man Dec 2013 #41
777man Dec 2013 #43
777man Dec 2013 #44
777man Dec 2013 #45
777man Jan 2014 #46
777man Jan 2014 #47
777man Jan 2014 #48
777man Jan 2014 #49
777man Jan 2014 #50
777man Jan 2014 #51
villager Jan 2014 #53
2banon Jan 2014 #52
Skittles Jan 2014 #54
777man Jan 2014 #55
777man Jan 2014 #56
777man Jan 2014 #57
777man Feb 2014 #58
777man Feb 2014 #59
777man Feb 2014 #60
777man Mar 2014 #61
777man Mar 2014 #62
777man Mar 2014 #63
777man Mar 2014 #64
777man Mar 2014 #66
777man Mar 2014 #67
777man Mar 2014 #68
777man Mar 2014 #69
777man Mar 2014 #70
777man Mar 2014 #71
777man Mar 2014 #72
777man Mar 2014 #73
777man Apr 2014 #74
villager Apr 2014 #76
777man Apr 2014 #80
777man Apr 2014 #81
777man Apr 2014 #82
777man Apr 2014 #83
777man Apr 2014 #84
777man Apr 2014 #85
777man Apr 2014 #86
777man May 2014 #87
777man May 2014 #88
777man May 2014 #89
777man May 2014 #90
777man May 2014 #91
777man May 2014 #92
777man Jun 2014 #93
777man Jun 2014 #94
777man Jun 2014 #95
777man Jun 2014 #96
777man Jul 2014 #97
777man Jul 2014 #98
777man Jul 2014 #99
777man Jul 2014 #100
777man Jul 2014 #103
777man Jul 2014 #104
777man Jul 2014 #105
777man Aug 2014 #106
777man Aug 2014 #107
777man Aug 2014 #108
777man Aug 2014 #109
777man Aug 2014 #110
777man Aug 2014 #111
777man Aug 2014 #112
777man Sep 2014 #113
777man Sep 2014 #114
777man Sep 2014 #115
777man Sep 2014 #116
777man Sep 2014 #117
777man Sep 2014 #118
777man Sep 2014 #119
777man Sep 2014 #120
777man Sep 2014 #121
777man Sep 2014 #122
777man Sep 2014 #123
777man Sep 2014 #124
777man Sep 2014 #125
777man Sep 2014 #126
777man Sep 2014 #127
777man Sep 2014 #128
777man Sep 2014 #129
777man Sep 2014 #130
777man Sep 2014 #131
777man Sep 2014 #132
777man Sep 2014 #133
777man Sep 2014 #134
777man Sep 2014 #135
777man Oct 2014 #136
777man Oct 2014 #137
777man Oct 2014 #138
777man Oct 2014 #139
777man Oct 2014 #140
777man Oct 2014 #141
777man Oct 2014 #142
777man Oct 2014 #143
777man Oct 2014 #144
777man Oct 2014 #145
777man Oct 2014 #146
777man Oct 2014 #147
777man Oct 2014 #148
777man Oct 2014 #149
777man Oct 2014 #150
777man Oct 2014 #151
777man Oct 2014 #152
777man Oct 2014 #153
777man Oct 2014 #154
777man Oct 2014 #155
777man Oct 2014 #156
777man Oct 2014 #157
777man Oct 2014 #158
777man Oct 2014 #159
777man Oct 2014 #160
777man Oct 2014 #161
777man Oct 2014 #162
777man Oct 2014 #163
777man Oct 2014 #164
777man Oct 2014 #165
777man Oct 2014 #166
777man Oct 2014 #167
777man Oct 2014 #168
777man Oct 2014 #169
777man Oct 2014 #170
777man Oct 2014 #171
777man Oct 2014 #172
777man Oct 2014 #173
777man Oct 2014 #174
777man Oct 2014 #175
777man Oct 2014 #177
777man Oct 2014 #178
777man Oct 2014 #179
777man Oct 2014 #180
777man Oct 2014 #181
777man Oct 2014 #182
777man Oct 2014 #183
777man Oct 2014 #184
777man Oct 2014 #185
777man Oct 2014 #186
777man Oct 2014 #187
777man Oct 2014 #188
777man Oct 2014 #190
777man Oct 2014 #191
777man Oct 2014 #192
777man Oct 2014 #193
777man Oct 2014 #194
777man Oct 2014 #195
777man Oct 2014 #196
777man Oct 2014 #197
777man Oct 2014 #198
777man Oct 2014 #199
777man Oct 2014 #200
777man Oct 2014 #201
777man Oct 2014 #202
777man Oct 2014 #203
777man Oct 2014 #204
777man Oct 2014 #205
777man Oct 2014 #206
777man Oct 2014 #207
777man Oct 2014 #208
777man Oct 2014 #209
777man Oct 2014 #210
777man Oct 2014 #211
777man Oct 2014 #212
777man Oct 2014 #213
777man Oct 2014 #214
777man Oct 2014 #215
777man Oct 2014 #216
777man Oct 2014 #217
777man Oct 2014 #218
777man Oct 2014 #219
777man Oct 2014 #220
777man Oct 2014 #221
777man Oct 2014 #222
777man Oct 2014 #223
777man Oct 2014 #224
777man Oct 2014 #225
777man Oct 2014 #226
777man Oct 2014 #227
777man Oct 2014 #228
777man Oct 2014 #229
777man Oct 2014 #230
777man Oct 2014 #231
777man Oct 2014 #232
777man Oct 2014 #233
777man Oct 2014 #234
777man Oct 2014 #235
777man Oct 2014 #236
777man Oct 2014 #237
777man Oct 2014 #238
777man Oct 2014 #239
777man Oct 2014 #240
777man Oct 2014 #241
777man Oct 2014 #242
777man Oct 2014 #243
777man Oct 2014 #244
777man Oct 2014 #245
777man Oct 2014 #246
777man Oct 2014 #247
777man Oct 2014 #248
777man Oct 2014 #249
777man Oct 2014 #250
777man Oct 2014 #251
777man Oct 2014 #252
777man Oct 2014 #253
777man Oct 2014 #254
777man Oct 2014 #255
777man Oct 2014 #256
777man Oct 2014 #257
777man Oct 2014 #258
777man Oct 2014 #259
777man Oct 2014 #260
777man Oct 2014 #261
777man Oct 2014 #262
777man Oct 2014 #263
777man Oct 2014 #264
777man Oct 2014 #265
777man Oct 2014 #266
777man Oct 2014 #267
777man Oct 2014 #268
777man Oct 2014 #269
777man Oct 2014 #270
777man Oct 2014 #271
777man Oct 2014 #272
777man Oct 2014 #273
777man Oct 2014 #274
777man Oct 2014 #275
777man Oct 2014 #276
777man Oct 2014 #277
777man Oct 2014 #278
777man Oct 2014 #279
777man Oct 2014 #280
777man Oct 2014 #281
777man Oct 2014 #282
777man Oct 2014 #283
777man Oct 2014 #284
777man Oct 2014 #285
777man Oct 2014 #286
777man Oct 2014 #287
777man Oct 2014 #288
777man Oct 2014 #289
777man Oct 2014 #290
777man Oct 2014 #291
777man Oct 2014 #292
777man Oct 2014 #293
777man Oct 2014 #294
777man Oct 2014 #295
777man Nov 2014 #296
777man Nov 2014 #297
777man Nov 2014 #298
777man Nov 2014 #299
777man Nov 2014 #300
777man Nov 2014 #301
777man Nov 2014 #302
777man Nov 2014 #303
777man Nov 2014 #304
777man Nov 2014 #305
777man Nov 2014 #306
777man Nov 2014 #307
777man Nov 2014 #308
777man Nov 2014 #309
777man Nov 2014 #310
777man Nov 2014 #311
777man Nov 2014 #312
777man Nov 2014 #313
777man Nov 2014 #314
777man Nov 2014 #315
777man Nov 2014 #316
777man Dec 2014 #317
777man Dec 2014 #318
777man Dec 2014 #319
777man Dec 2014 #320
777man Dec 2014 #321
777man Dec 2014 #322
777man Dec 2014 #323
777man Jan 2015 #324
777man Jan 2015 #325
777man Feb 2015 #326
777man Mar 2015 #327
777man Jun 2015 #329
777man Jul 2015 #330
777man Jul 2015 #331
777man Aug 2015 #332
777man Sep 2015 #333
777man Sep 2015 #334
777man Nov 2015 #336
777man Nov 2015 #337
777man Nov 2015 #338
777man Nov 2015 #339
777man Nov 2015 #340
777man Nov 2015 #341
777man Dec 2015 #342
777man Jan 2016 #343
777man Jan 2016 #344
777man Jan 2016 #345
777man Jan 2016 #346
777man Jan 2016 #347
777man Jan 2016 #348
777man Jan 2016 #349
777man Jan 2016 #350
777man Jan 2016 #351
777man Jan 2016 #352
blm Jul 2014 #102
geojet707 Jun 2015 #328
305hitman Nov 2015 #335
777man Apr 2014 #75
SamKnause Apr 2014 #78
villager Jul 2014 #101
cantbeserious Oct 2014 #176
villager Oct 2014 #189

Response to villager (Original post)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 05:21 AM

1. Here is some background on the upcoming film OCT 10,2014


Last edited Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:27 AM - Edit history (40)


How a Dogged L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
The "Elliot Ness" of The DEA, Hector Berrellez speaks out about the Camarena Murder
By Jason McGahan Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Here is some background information on the upcoming movie

Watch KTM movie trailer

Kill the Messenger Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Jeremy Renner Crime Movie HD

The producers promise it will do Gary Webb's story Justice.....


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry, The Washington Post (1996)

"It is clear that there is a network of drug trafficking through the Contras...We can produce specific law-enforcement officials who will tell you that they have been called off drug-trafficking investigations because the CIA is involved or because it would threaten national security."

--Senator John Kerry at a closed door Senate Committee hearing

“Because of Webb’s work the CIA launched an Inspector General investigation that named dozens of troubling connections to drug runners. That wouldn’t have happened if Gary Webb hadn’t been willing to stand up and risk it all.”
Senator John Kerry (LA Weekly, May 30, 2013)

“On the basis of the evidence, it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers. In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.”

--Senator John Kerry’s Committee Report Executive Summary April 13, 1989.




Dark ALLIANCE timeline-


US CONGRESSWOMAN Maxine Waters Investigation

Quite unexpectedly, on April 30, 1998, I obtained a secret 1982 Memorandum of Understanding between the CIA and the Department of Justice, that allowed drug trafficking by CIA assets, agents, and contractors to go unreported to federal law enforcement agencies. I also received correspondence between then Attorney General William French Smith and the head of the CIA, William Casey, that spelled out their intent to protect drug traffickers on the CIA payroll from being reported to federal law enforcement.
Then on July 17, 1998 the New York Times ran this amazing front page CIA admission: "CIA Says It Used Nicaraguan Rebels Accused of Drug Tie." "The Central Intelligence Agency continued to work with about two dozen Nicaraguan rebels and their supporters during the 1980s despite allegations that they were trafficking in drugs.... The agency's decision to keep those paid agents, or to continue dealing with them in some less formal relationship, was made by top [CIA] officials at headquarters in Langley, Va.". (emphasis added)
.........The CIA had always vehemently denied any connection to drug traffickers and the massive global drug trade, despite over ten years of documented reports. But in a shocking reversal, the CIA finally admitted that it was CIA policy to keep Contra drug traffickers on the CIA payroll. The Facts speak for themselves. Maxine Waters, Member of Congress, September 19, 1998

The 1982 MOU that exempted the reporting requirement for drug trafficking was no oversight or misstatement. A remarkable series of letters between the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence show how conscious and deliberate this exemption was.

On February 11, 1982 Attorney General William French Smith wrote to Director of Central Intelligence William Casey that, "I have been advised that a question arose regarding the need to add narcotics violations to the list of reportable non-employee crimes ... No formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violations has been included in these procedures."

On March 2, 1982 Casey responded happily, "I am pleased that these procedures, which I believe strike the proper balance between enforcement of the law and protection of intelligence sources and methods..."

Simply stated, the Attorney General consciously exempted reporting requirements for narcotics violations by CIA agents, assets, and contractors. And the Director of Central Intelligence was pleased because intelligence sources and methods involved in narcotics trafficking could be protected from law enforcement. The 1982 MOU agreement clearly violated the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949. It also raised the possibility that certain individuals who testified in front of Congressional investigating committees perjured themselves.
....... Many questions remain unanswered. However, one thing is clear - the CIA and the Attorney General successfully engineered legal protection for the drug trafficking activities of any of its agents or assets. Maxine Waters, Member of Congress, September 19, 1998

“Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the Department of Justice at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the Los Angeles Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities.According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central Los Angeles,around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Volume II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the Department of Justice, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles.”

--U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters – October 13. 1998, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.


Exhibit 1
U.S. Attorney General William French Smith replies to a still classified letter from DCI William Casey requesting exemption from reporting drug crimes by CIA assets.

Source: cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/01.gif

Exhibit 2:

DCI William Casey happily agrees with William French Smith and signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exempting his agency from reporting drug crimes. This agreement covered both the Latin American conflicts and Afghanistan war. It remained in effect until August, 1995 when it was quietly rescinded by Janet Reno after Gary Webb began making inquiries for his series. The 1995 revision of the DoJ-CIA MOU specifically includes narcotics violations among the lists of potential offenses by non-employees that must be reported to DOJ.

Source: cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/13.gif

Exhibit 3:

On February 8, 1985, Deputy Chief of DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy andReview (OIPR) from 1979 to 1991, A. R. Cinquegrana signed off on this letter approving the MOU. Mark M. Richard, Deputy Assistant Attorney General with responsibility for General Litigation and International Law Enforcement in 1982, states that he was unableto explain why narcotics violations were not on the list of reportable crimes except thatthe MOU had "other deficiencies, not just drugs."
Source: cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/14.gif

MOTHER JONES COVERAGE of "A TAINTED DEAL" - Analysis of The secret agreement (above) allowed drugs into the USA



HPSCI Investigation closed out CONTRA CRACK INVESTIGATION JUNE, 2000
From LOYAL OPPOSITION: In Plain Sight: The CIA Keeps Getting Away With It
By David Corn June 5, 2000


JUNE 8, 2000 Journalist Robert Parry report on CLOSE OUT OF HPSCI hearings

CIA Admits Tolerating Contra- Cocaine Trafficking in 1980s

By Robert Parry
In secret congressional testimony, senior CIA officials admitted that the spy agency turned a blind eye to evidence of cocaine trafficking by U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contra rebels in the 1980s and generally did not treat drug smuggling through Central America as a high priority during the Reagan administration.

“In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working,” CIA Inspector General Britt Snider said in classified testimony on May 25, 1999. He conceded that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in “a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner.”



How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal
Monday, Oct 25, 2004 7:04 PM UTC
Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.
Robert Parry

Ex-DEA officials: CIA operatives involved in 'Kiki' Camarena murder
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times Posted: 10/19/2013

Former local DEA officials Phil Jordan and Hector Berrellez are alleging that CIA operatives killed the late DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

This week's bombshell and widely publicized allegation, which come two months after Mexico's release of kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero from prison, set off a firestorm. Caro Quintero and two other high-level drug-traffickers had been sentenced to 40 years for their roles in Camarena's kidnapping, torture and murder.

Former CIA contract pilot Tosh Plumlee joined Jordan and Berrellez in making the allegations. Celestino Castillo III, another former DEA agent and author of "Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War," said Jordan, Berrellez and Plumlee "are right on the money.
Jordan and Berrellez said they've learned that the real reason Camarena was targeted was because Camarena's investigation had discovered that U.S. intelligence operatives were involved in drug-trafficking.

How a Dogged L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
The "Elliot Ness" of The DEA, Hector Berrellez speaks out about the Camarena Murder
By Jason McGahan
Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Blood On The Corn
In 1985, a murky alliance of drug lords and government officials tortured and killed a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena. In a three-part series, legendary journalist Charles Bowden finally digs into the terrible mystery behind a hero’s murder.

By Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy
Illustrations by Matt Rota


Essays by retired DEA agent Mike Levine


In 1972, I was assigned to assist in a major international drug case involving top Panamanian government officials who were using diplomatic passports to smuggle large quantities of heroin and other drugs into the US. The name Manuel Noriega surfaced prominently in the investigation. Surfacing right behind Noriega was the CIA to protect him from US law enforcement. As head of the CIA, Bush authorized a salary for Manuel Noriega as a CIA asset, while the dictator was listed in as many as 40 DEA computer files as a drug dealer. (pp. 166, 167)--Retired DEA Agent Michael Levine



Dark Alliance Book

Powderburns Book
After downloading, please make a suggested donation of $25 Via PAYPAL. (any amount is appreciated- press the DONATE button) http://powderburns.org/store.html

The Pariah- Interview with 2 retired DEA agents
Hector Berrellez and Mike Holm (DEA-Ret)
LA sheriff investigation 1996

Head of the DEA says CIA smuggled drugs (see the video)
When this case broke, EX DEA Mike Levine spoke with his former colleague in DEA, Annabelle Grimm. She stated that "27 Tons, Minimum" had been smuggled into the U.S.

The original 1996 Dark Alliance 3 day series in the SJMN is now back online at
Thank you to Bill Conroy and Al Giordino for hosting the series and continuing on with the drug war coverage

National Security Archives declassified records on Oliver North - North' diary submitted to congressional investigators contained hundreds of references to drug trafficking, even after North was given time to expurgate sensitive information from it before handing the diary oiver to investigators.

"went and talked to [contra leader Frederico] Vaughn, who wanted to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, wanted aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos."
--Oliver North's July 9, 1984, Diary entry

"$14 million to finance [arms] came from drugs."
-- --Oliver North's July 12, 1985, Diary entry


Testimony of Peter Kornbluh, Senior Analyst, National Security Archive October 19, 1996 (Includes declassified documents)
“..I can and will address the central premise of the story: that the U.S. government tolerated the trafficking of narcotics into this country by individuals involved in the contra war. To summarize: there is concrete evidence that U.S. officials-- White House, NSC
and CIA--not only knew about and condoned drug smuggling in and around the contra war, but in some cases collaborated with, protected, and even paid known drug smugglers”

“..Mr. North called a press conference where he was joined by Duane Clarridge, the CIA official who ran the contra operations from 1981 through mid 1984, and the former attorney general of the United States, Edwin Meese III. Mr. North called it a "cheap political trick...to even suggest that I or anyone in the Reagan administration, in any way, shape or form, ever tolerated the trafficking of illegal substances."

Mr. Clarridge claimed that it was a "moral outrage" to suggest that a Reagan Administration official "would have countenanced" drug trafficking. And Mr. Meese stated that no "Reagan administration official would have ever looked the other way at such activity."

The documentation, in which Mr. North, Mr. Clarridge and Mr. Meese all appear, suggests the opposite. Let me review it here briefly:


Lawrence Victor Harrison Testimony in DEA agent Enrique Camarena Case Ties Contras and Drugs
DEA: CIA Trained Guerrillas At Ranch Owned By Drug Lord July 5, 1990 |Los Angeles Times

PBS Frontline Special on Drugs. #613 Original Air Date: May 17, 1988 Produced and Written by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn. Includes an interview with legendary Intelligence officer Tony (“Tony Poe”) Poshepny. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Poshepny

(Poshepny was a legendary covert operations officer who had supervised the CIA’s secret war in Northern Laos during the 1960s and early 1970s. In the interview, Poshepny stated that the CIA had supplied air transport for the heroin shipments of their local ally, General Vang Pao, the only such on-the-record confirmation by a former CIA officer concerning agency involvement in the narcotics trade.)


The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations — Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras

This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

NYT --CIA Inspector General admits that Agency kept working with drug smugglers-/ Had an agreement to not report smuggling
New York Times 1998

“When CIA Inspector General Fred P. Hitz testified before the House Intelligence Committee in March 1998, he admitted a secret government interagency agreement. `Let me be frank about what we are finding,’ Hitz said. `There are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the Contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking activity.’

“The lawmakers fidgeted uneasily. `Did any of these allegations involved trafficking in the United States?’ asked Congressman Norman Dicks of Washington. `Yes,’ Hitz answered. Dicks flushed.”

“And what, Hitz was asked, had been the CIA’s legal responsibility when it learned of this? That issue, Hitz replied haltingly, had `a rather odd history…the period of 1982 to 1995 was one in which there was no official requirement to report on allegations of drug trafficking with respect to non-employees of the agency, and they were defined to include agents, assets, non-staff employees.’ There had been a secret agreement to that effect `hammered out between the CIA and U.S. Attorney General William French Smith in 1982,’ he testified.”

Hitz concluded his testimony by stating “This is the grist for more work, if anyone wants to do it.”

In 1998, Fredrick Hitz, CIA Inspector General (IG) and Michael Bromwich DOJ Inspector General released reports admitting to the existence of an agreement which exempted the Intelligence agencies of the USA from reporting drug crimes. The legislative body chosen to hear the allegations was the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) chaired by Porter Goss, a former CIA officer (1960-71) who would later serve as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) (2004 to 2006) under George W. Bush. The committee hearings were held behind closed doors from 1998 to 2000 and a final classified report was released in June, 2000. The report has never been released to the public.



Gary Webb Explains how the media caved in



CIA Thugs, Drugs and Terrorism with True Crime Author Evan Wright -watch the video--


Journalist Evan Wright discovers ties between drug cartels and CIA outsourcing of assassinations and intelligence to private contractors. When Wright interviewed a drug trafficker named Jon Roberts, he disclosed participation in a murder with a hitman who would later join the CIA and rise to the top level of the agency. Meyer Lansky’s stepson Richard Schwartz was killed on October 12, 1977, allegedly by the man who would eventually run the unit hunting for terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Ric Prado joined the CIA in 1982. By the time of the 9/11 attacks, he was the chief of counterterrorist operations with the rank of SIS-2. He would later leave the CIA to become a Vice-President at Blackwater from 2004 to 2008. The evidence against Ric Prado was so compelling that one investigator from the case described him as “technically, a serial killer.” Mike Fisten, a former Miami-Dade detective who served on the federal task force stated “The CIA fought us tooth and nail, and basically told us to go fuck ourselves.” Evan Wright interviewed more than a dozen law enforcement officials for this story. He was told “You can’t indict people like Prado. It doesn’t work that way.”

The Terrifying Background of the Man Who Ran a CIA Assassination Unit

By Conor Friedersdorf (July27, 2012)

A federal investigation alleged Enrique Prado’s involvement in seven murders, yet he was in charge when America outsourced covert killing to a private company.


Miami Dade Homicide detective Mike Fisten was part of the FBI/DEA task force CENTAC who tried to capture drug lord Alberto San Pedro and his bodyguard hitman Ric Prado. Implicated in more than 7 murders, Prado was a CIA officer who later moved a privatized assassination program to the private sector firm Blackwater with the help of Cofer Black

Did a CIA Agent Work for the Mob?

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 1:57am (PDT) By Evan Wright


How to Get Away with Murder in America


2011 hack of 2007 Stratfor email: “CIA and White House told DEA to back off investigation” of Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of the President, Hamid Karzai. AWK was named as a major trafficker and on US payroll since 2001.



Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by C.I.A.


Afghan Leader Confirms Cash Deliveries by C.I.A. - NYTimes.com

Apr 30, 2013 · April 29 (Reuters) - Tens of millions of U.S. dollars in cash were delivered by the CIA in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade, the New York Times says, citing current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.


Cables Depict Afghan Graft, Starting at Top


19 October 2009 Classified Embassy Cable: Afghan Vice-President Ahmad Zia Masood was stopped by DEA with $52 million he was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination




The Head of the UN Drug commission said that 352 billion in drug cash infused into the banking system is what saved the banks from collapsing




Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray says UK and USA sent prisoners to Uzbek to be tortured. Murray says that the Taliban sympathizers only account for 10% of drug exports from Afghanistan, whereas Karzai’s people account for well over 50%. See this recent speech by Murray at the 7:20 mark:

CIA pays many in Karzai administration: report



“My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. I … watched the Jeeps … bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe. I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.”

Craig Murray / The Mail, July 21, 2007



Retired CIA Officer Robert D. Steele appeared with Celerino Castillo III in Kevin Booth’s 2007 film American Drug War: The Last White Hope along with several other notable law enforcement agents and political figures. Steele went on to review Dark Alliance and validated the Contra drug allegations. His comments go even further as he alleges that intelligence agencies employed a “eugenics” policy towards low income blacks, considering them “expendable”. “It is safe to say that all US Senators know the truth and have chosen to betray their Oaths of Office and their responsibility under Article 1 of the Constitution…. We the People are considered expendable by those who do this.”

The full Two hour film is here:

CIA Case Officer from Central American Era Validates This Book, June 9, 2007

By Robert D. Steele

This review is from: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion

I am probably the only reviewer who was a clandestine case officer (three back to back tours), who participated in the Central American follies as both a field officer and a desk officer at CIA HQS, who is also very broadly read.

With great sadness, I must conclude that this book is truthful, accurate, and explosive.

Website of Robert D.Steele: http://www.phibetaiota.net/

Contact Robert D. Steele at: robert.david.steele.vivas@gmail.com

Source: http://www.amazon.com/review/REVFM3PIMTIUN


Lt Col Bo Gritz Letters to George Bush about his findings of US Government sanctioned heroin traffic after meeting drug lord KHUN SA
Archive of Bo Gritz letters

(related information below)\

Book details drugs, arms trafficking, money laundering in Asia—

Some background on Nugan Hand Bank:

Complete book is online here:


"There is a secret government in America. It operates with the explicit and implied authority of the highest officials, and in the name of America's interests it has inflicted great damage on the unsuspecting peoples of other countries and on our own fundamental principles.... I wish everyone would read The Crimes of Patriots. Perhaps then the current hearings on the Iran-Contra affair -- for Ronald Reagan is the latest to wield this secret weapon and to perish by it -- will be the last. An informed people might become an outraged people and finally put a stop to our own self-destruction. If so, we will owe much to Jonathan Kwitny's reporting."
-- Bill Moyers

NYSE Chief Richard Grasso Meets FARC Rebels in Colombia to Encourage Investment in the USA
As it turns out, the U.S. does negotiate with Terrorists and Drug Traffickers NYSE Chief Meets Rebel in Colombia June 27, 1999|From Associated Press Los Angeles Times


Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
2/15/13 Rolling Stone Magazine
How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it
by: Matt Taibbi


Robert Parry Interview with Mike Levine on how Bolivian government was overthrown by drug traffickers and former Nazis

Hitlers Shadow Reaches Toward Today by Robert Parry December, 2010

LA Sheriff Sherman Block 1996 Investigation into Contra involvement in drug sales in the County of Los Angeles and Interference in drug cases

(The report denies a link between LASD and a coverup. strangely, the report contradicts the summary of the report. )



Reports: U.S. Government Cut Secret Deals For Years With Mexico's Sinaloa Drug Cartel
Published January 14, 2014

According to government documents from the United States and Mexico, Drug Enforcement Agency agents met more than 50 times with members of the Sinaloa Cartel – headed by billionaire kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and believed to be the country’s most powerful drug trafficking organization – and the information obtained by the U.S. law enforcement agency led to a series of drug seizures. In return cartel members had charges dropped in the U.S., among other pledges.

The meetings appeared to have occurred between 2006 and 2012, a time when Mexico saw a major surge of violence in Mexico, and when the Sinaloa cartel rose significantly in prominence.

In one report obtained by the Mexican newspaper El Universal, David Gaddis, the former regional director of the DEA’s Mexico City office, said that one facet of the meetings allowed the drug cartels to operate freely and that the Mexican government was never informed of the DEA’s meet-ups with cartels.

Senator John Kerry's Aide. Jonathan Winer interview: Jackie Kennedy tried to squash BCCI Investigation.
see also:

There was a phone call from Jackie Kennedy to the senator's (John Kerry) office, correct? Do you remember that incident?

I remember John talking to us after it happened. He felt badly. He thought the world of Jackie Kennedy, thought she was a wonderful human being. He admired her. He had affection and respect for her, and all those all those things. To have her say, "Why are you doing this to my friend Clark Clifford?" was painful. You know, he shook his head. It wasn't a location he particularly wanted to be in.

But he didn't tell us to stop. He said, "You do what you have to do." The hearings continued, and the investigations continued until we'd found out as much as we possibly could. That's what happened.

--Jonathan Winer was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters 1994-1999. He previously worked as counsel to Sen John Kerry (D-MA) advising on foreign policy issues 1983 to 1997

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 6/20/2003.

Kerry's investigation, launched in 1988, helped to close the bank three years later, but not without upsetting some in Washington's Democratic establishment. Prominent BCCI friends included former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford, former President Jimmy Carter, and his budget director, Bert Lance. When news broke that Clifford's Washington bank was a shell for BCCI -- and how the silver-haired Democrat had handsomely profited in the scheme -- some of Kerry's Senate colleagues grew icy.

"What are you doing to my friend Clark Clifford?" more than one Democratic senator asked Kerry. Kerry's aides recall how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Pamela Harriman, a prominent party fund-raiser, called on the senator, urging him to not to pursue Clifford.


Martha Honey and Dennis Bernstein Interview Gary Webb (4parts) VIDEO






"Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy"
a/k/a the Kerry Report Transcripts







Ann Louise Bardach's
comprehensive coverage of Terrorist and Contra Drug Trafficker Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch.

Bosch was later pardoned by Bush Sr. and resided openly in Miami until his death until 2011.
Posada Carriles illegally entered the United States, has bragged of blowing up a jetliner with 74 people on board, blown up bars in Havana, Cuba, assassinated Chilean ambassador Orlando Letlier and his assistant, Spent years in a Panama prison after trying to assassinate Fidel in 1999, ran drugs for the Contra operation, escaped from prison in South America where he is still wanted. He lives openly in Miami to this day.
Read the full coverage here:


The CIA, the Contras and Crack Cocaine
by Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight

One day in the early 1980s, Wanda Palacio watched a Hercules cargo plane roll to a stop on the tarmac of Barranquilla International Airport, located in the Andean foothills just off the azure waters of Colombia's northern coast. According to Palacio, the aircraft bore the markings of Southern Air Transport, a private airline formerly run by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency.

Palacio was in Barranquilla that day with her host, Jorge Luis Ochoa, to arrange a cocaine deal. At the time, Ochoa was known as Colombia's most ambitious drug lord.

As Palacio watched men in green uniforms remove two green military trunks out of the plane and onto a truck -- she would describe this scene later in an 11-page sworn statement to Congress -- her host explained his operation: The plane was a CIA plane, Ochoa told her, and he was "exchanging guns for drugs." The crew, he said, were CIA agents, and "these shipments came each Thursday from the CIA, landing at dusk. Sometimes they brought guns, sometimes they brought U.S. products such as washing machines, gourmet food, fancy furniture or other items for the traffickers which they could not get in Colombia." And each time, Ochoa told Palacio, "they took back drugs."


Gary Webb's official Facebook page:

This page is edited by the family of Gary Webb. Everyone please stop by and thank the family of Gary for his great sacrifice in bringing this story out.


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. --1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham at CIA Headquarters

“The Contras moved drugs not by the pound, not by the bags, but by the tons, by the cargo planeloads.”
--Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, testimony under oath on Feb. 11, 1987

"We were complicit as a country, in narcotics traffic at the same time as we're spending countless dollars in this country as we try to get rid of this problem. It's mind-boggling.
I don't know if we got the worst intelligence system in the world, i don't know if we have the best and they knew it all, and just overlooked it.
But no matter how you look at it, something's wrong. Something is really wrong out there."
-- Senator John Kerry, Iran Contra Hearings, 1987

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:21 PM

2. Thanks.


I wonder what kind of marketing/visibility it will have, if it does Webb too much justice!?

Still, glad they're doing it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 04:03 AM

3. A subsidiary of Universal is handling the distribution


Hopefully, This will get great exposure since it is Universal. What is too much justice?

Taxpayer funds (hundreds of billions) were spent to fight drugs and incarcerate people, while the government allowed the drugs in

Lives were ruined by drug use, crime, prostitution, incarceration and death.

The people who did this operate above the law. The same people were involved in scandals through out history over and over again. The Anti-castro Cubans and their CIA handlers were involved in the JFK assassination, The Watergate Burglary, and Iran Contra.

The honest people who stepped forward to try to stop the drugs faced retaliation.

This information needs to be publicized as much as possible.


Here is further documentation by retired DEA agent Mike Levine Interviewing Judge Lawrence Walsh on his radio show.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:17 AM

4. It does. It's just that studios make decisions about what and how to publicize things...


...how "wide" a release a film gets, etc.

It's definitely good the film's being made --- the next trick will be getting it seen...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 12:45 PM

5. Getting it seen


You are right they could go straight to DVD with no marketing at all.

There are a bunch of things that could happen.

Big Star, Big Company. Things should turn out Okay.

Thanks for starting this thread BTW. I am new here and i can't start my own yet, so I piggybacked on yours =)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 01:36 PM

6. No problem! Thanks for "Reviving" the thread!


no one commented on it when it was originally posted... glad you found it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 26, 2013, 03:38 PM

7. 3/23/2013 Article on the movie


The Dark Stain From The Dark Alliance: Cautionary Tales From The Tragic Saga of Gary Webb
By H. "Corky" Johnson (about the author)
OpEdNews Op Eds 3/23/2013 at 13:22:19


H. "Corky" Johnson is a nationally award-winning investigative reporter/producer with more than 30 years of experience. His work has appeared in The Washington Post,on 60 Minutes and in many other media outlets.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 26, 2013, 03:47 PM

8. Thanks!


Word may get out yet... slowly, surely....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 08:31 PM

9. "Freeway" Ricky Ross announces film by Nick Cassavetes, Starring Nick Cannon March 2013


Last edited Mon Apr 28, 2014, 01:29 AM - Edit history (1)

Freeway Ricky Ross Film announced
In 2013, The Huffington Post reported that journalist and author Cathy Scott was co-writing Ross's autobiography with him, scheduled for release in 2014



Nick Cannon to Play 'Freeway' Rick Ross in Biopic
3:20 PM PST 3/4/2013 by Emily Zemler


Freeway Rick Ross Nick Cannon Split - H 2013
Patrick Bastien; Getty Images
UPDATED: The notorious drug kingpin and the "America's Got Talent" host announced the collaboration in a YouTube video.

Nick Cannon will portray former drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross in an upcoming film.
our editor recommends

Cannon appeared alongside Ross in a YouTube video posted to Ross’ Facebook page Monday to announce the movie. Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog, Blow) wrote the script and will direct.

“I've been wanting him to play my role since '96,” Ross said of Cannon in the video. “We got hooked up, I met him … I loved his personality.”

STORY: Nick Cannon Inks First-Look Deal With NBC

Added Cannon: “This is history in the making right here. We family now. We gonna get this thing right however long it take. The story gotta be told: the real Rick Ross.”

The brief video offers little other information regarding the planned film but does note in a caption that the script will be penned by the “writer of Blow” (Cassavetes did indeed co-write the screenplay for the 2001 Johnny Depp starrer) and includes the following description: “This is more than a movie it’s a movement. This is the story of the real Scarface.”

It's unclear whether the biopic has secured financing. Cannon will also serve as executive producer.

STORY: Nick Cassavetes' New Film Imperiled By Lawsuit

Ross, who has clashed with Maybach Music head and Miami rapper Rick Ross (real name: William L. Roberts) over use of the moniker for numerous years, gained notoriety as a cocaine trafficker in Los Angeles in the 1980s. He has been interviewed on several programs and documentaries including BET's American Gangster series.

Cannon, whose acting credits include Up All Night, Drumline and Bobby, hosts America's Got Talent. He also creator TV's Wild 'N Out, Short Circuitz and The Nick Cannon Show.

Twitter: @THR


EXCLUSIVE: “Freeway” Rick Ross Speaks On His Biopic, Documentary and Nick Cannon
by Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire) March 4th, 2013 @ 9:00pm


EXCLUSIVE: 'Freeway' Rick Ross Talks Music, Film and Being Him (Advance Look) (Photos)

Freeway Rick Ross
March 26, 2013
By: Jerry Doby



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 12:35 PM

10. Alternate means of distribution always good...


... as ever, though, one wonders how long the corporations that are coalescing such channels into smaller ownership groups will let truly "damaging" content persist...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 06:57 PM

11. Taking a Dive on Contra Crack ----- How the Mercury News caved in to the media establishment


Last edited Sun Aug 10, 2014, 12:48 AM - Edit history (2)


Mar 01 2005
Taking a Dive on Contra Crack
How the Mercury News caved in to the media establishment
By Gary Webb

Gary Webb left the Mercury News shortly after being exiled to the paper’s Cupertino bureau. Unable to get another job at a major newspaper, he died on December 10, 2004, an apparent suicide. This article is excerpted from his 1998 book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.
Extra! March/April 2005


expired link--repaired



See also FAIR's resources on Covert Operations, Drugs and Latin America.

Extra! articles:

Snow Job: The Establishment's Papers Do Damage Control for the CIA, by Norman Solomon (1-2/97)
Exposed: The Contra-Crack Connection (10/96)
Time Suppresses Contra Drug Story (11-12/91)
Censored News: Oliver North & Co. Banned from Costa Rica (10-11/89)
Nicaragua's Drug Connection Exposed as Hoax (7-8/88)
Media Censor CIA Ties With Medellin Drug Cartel (3-4/88)
Washington's Worst Kept Secret: The Contra Drug Connection (6/87)

CounterSpin broadcasts:

Jeff Cohen on Gary Webb (12/17/04)
Jeffrey St. Clair on the CIA (7/31/98)
Contra/Crack Special (Part II) (1/3/97)
Contra/Crack Special (Part I) (12/27/96)
The CIA's complicity with drug lords (10/25/96)
Crack and the CIA (9/13/96)


The Consortium's Contra Crack Series
We The People CIA-drugs web site
Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, by Gary Webb
Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press, by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
Fooling America: How Washington Insiders Twist the Truth and Manufacture the Conventional Wisdom, by Robert Parry


EXTRA! June 1987
Washington's Worst Kept Secret: The Contra Drug Connection

Since 1985 reports linking contra arms suppliers to cocaine smuggling have run in progressive publications and a few mainstream outlets. But CBS West 57th's well-documented segment on the CIA-contra-drug connection (April 6) was the first serious network probe.

The segment featured interviews with CIA contract employees who flew weapons shipments to the contras in Honduras and back-loaded cocaine and marijuana. Mike Tolliver, convicted drug smuggler and part-time CIA pilot, told of flying 25,000 pounds of pot to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.

The Contragate plot thickened in Newsday (April 17) with an expose on Manzer al-Kassar, a Syrian drug smuggler who ran guns for Lt. Col. Oliver Norths's supply network, Achille Lauro hijacker Abu Abass, and for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Newsday piece was picked up a few big dailies, but not by the New York Times, Washington Post or the three networks. At the Times, former editor Abe Rosenthal ruminated on the op-ed page(March 15) about how it's time for America to step up the war against drug abuse: "The cheapest and most efficient method of stopping foreign drugs flowing into the country is at the source, not at our borders," says Rosenthal.

Hard to do when the CIA has been supporting dope peddlers for decades. Abe's former colleague, C.L. Sulzberger, knew it. Sulzberger became indignant when poet Allen Ginsberg accused the CIA of smuggling heroin during the Vietnam War. April 11, 1978, Sulzberger wrote: "I fear I owe you an apology. I have been reading a succession of pieced about CIA involvement in the dope trade in Southeast Asia and I remember when you first suggested I look into this I though you were full of beans. Indeed you were right."

Extra! March/April 1988

Media Censor CIA Ties With Medellin Drug Cartel

A key money-launderer for the Medellin cocaine cartel told Congress in February that he worked with the Central Intelligence Agency, but this information was not reported by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the three major networks, even though all covered the hearings.

In testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations, Ramon Milian Rodriguez acknowledged that he laundered more than $3 million for the CIA after his indictment on drug charges in 1983. New York Times correspondent Elaine Sciolino failed to mention this in her coverage of Rodriguez's testimony, which was broadcast live on CNN (2/11/88).

Sciolino's page 6 article ("Accountant Says Noriega Laundered Billions," 2-12-88) did not contain the letters CIA or the words "Central Intelligence Agency," even though Rodriguez had described his participation in CIA anti-Castro operations. He said he was trained in money laundering by men whose names he never learned, and later he delivered cash to the families of Watergate burglars. This did not interest The Times, which focused primarily on Rodriguez's account of Noriega's dealings with the Medellin cartel.

As chief accountant for the Colombian drug cartel, Rodriguez laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in cocaine profits through US banks in Panama. Although Sciolino noted that the cartel had $11 billion in assets in the US in 1983, she did not mention Rodriguez's testimony about meeting secretly with people who worked for US banks but were not on the official employment roll. Rodriguez named Citicorp and the Bank of America as two banks he dealt with this way.

Buried in the middle of Sciolino's article was Rodriguez's admission that he transferred money to the Nicaraguan contras through a Costa Rican "shrimp processing" Warehouse. This company was among the hundreds of dummy corporations Rodriguez claimed he set up to funnel the cartel's cocaine profits. But The Times and most other media (the Boston Globe is an exception) neglected to mention that Rodriguez's shrimp processing firm, Frigorificos de Puntarenas, received $237,000 from the State Department's Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Organization (NHAO). During the hearings Senator John Kerry (D-MA) noted the company's receipt of NHAO funds. NHAO was supposed to deliver $27 million in so-called humanitarian assistance to the contras in 1985, but a subsequent congressional audit could not account for $17 million of the money. (Sciolino did not return five phone calls from Extra!)

While the contra drug link was tucked away on page 6, the same edition of The Times featured a front page above-the-fold article by James LeMoyne ("Military Officers in Honduras are Linked to the Drug Trade," 2-12-88) which quoted unnamed "American officials" claiming that the Medellin drug cartel "has close ties with Fidel Castro . . . and to some Sandinista officials in Nicaragua." No evidence to support this allegation was provided by LeMoyne who wrote: "American officials said they fear that Honduran Army officers profiting from drugs might be willing to make a deal to end or limit Honduran support for the American-backed contras in Nicaragua." Make a deal with whom? Why would Honduran military officers cease aiding the contra when their support for the contras virtually assured that US drug enforcement agents would keep their distance? If anything, the Senate hearings on narco-terrorism indicate that the contras have been the meal ticket for drug traffickers.

The Washington Post (2/12/88) included this politically delicate aspect of Rodriguez's testimony in its headline: "Drug Money Alleged to Go to Contras." But Joe Pichirallo's page 30 article tiptoed around CIA involvement with Rodriguez. The Post also failed to mention Rodriguez's assertion that he worked with US banks, and it did not include his statement about laundering moneyfor the CIA after his drug indictment. This omission was egregious in view of the fact that Senator Kerry questioned Rodriguez in detail about an accounting sheet which a federal prosecutor submitted as evidence at his trail:

Senator Kerry: What does your accounting show with respect to the CIA?

Ramon Rodriguez: It shows that I received a shipment of three million and change sometime in the middle of the month.

At the end of the hearing the Post's Pichirallo asked chief counsel Jack Blum why the CIA would use Rodriguez to funnel money after he'd been indicted. Blum responded that such a time would be ideal, since US government investigators cannot approach a defendant after he has been indicted. Extra! later asked Pichirallo why Rodriguez's testimony about moving dirty money for the CIA was excluded from the Post, but he was not forthcoming: "It is my policy never to discuss anything I do."

To its credit Newsday (2/12/88) reported the CIA's money shipment through Rodriguez and the cartel's $10 million gift to the contras, the elementary facts of the story which were not printed in the "newspaper of record."


EXTRA!, July/August 1988
Nicaragua's Drug Connection Exposed as Hoax

On July 28 the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, chaired by Congressman William Hughes (D-NJ), held the first of a series of hearings into whether Reagan administration officials condoned drug smuggling and other criminal activities to further its Central America policy. Among other things, the panel sought to determine if top leaders of the Colombian cocaine cartel escaped arrest because the much ballyhooed "war on drugs" took a back seat to a covert operation designed to discredit the Nicaraguan government-this at a time when the administration was seeking additional aid to the contras.

CBS Evening News (7-28-88), the only major network to cover the proceedings, reported on the testimony of DEA agent Ernest Jacobsen, who said that White House officials undermined a DEA probe of the Colombian cocaine kingpins by blowing an undercover informant's cover when they leaked information in an attempt to link Nicaragua to the drug trade.

The case against the cartel had been engineered by Barry Seal, a convicted drug dealer turned informant who worked closely with Vice President George Bush's anti-drug task force in Washington.

But the 1984 investigation got derailed when Seal told his handlers that cocaine was being trans-shipped through Nicaragua with the permission of high-level government officials. In an effort to frame the Sandinistas, the CIA installed a hidden camera in Seal's C-130 cargo plane(the same plane, incidentally, that later crashed in Nicaragua leading to the capture of Eugene Hasenfus in October 1986). Seal took a blurry snapshot which purported to show himself with a high-level Nicaraguan official named Federico Vaughn, and a Colombian drug czar unloading bags ofcocaine at an airstrip in Nicaragua.

CBS obtained pages from Col. Oliver North's diary revealing that the former National Security Council aid communicatedfrequently with the CIA about the sting operation in the weeksbefore the photo was leaked to the press despite objections fromthe DEA. The Nicaragua drug story first appeared in the WashingtonTimes (7-17-84) and was immediately given big play by all the majorpapers, wire services and TV networks. President Reagan displayed Seal's photo in a nationally televised speech in March 1986.

But the media showed much less interest when subcommittee chairman Hughes recently disclosed he had new evidence that the entire Sandinista connection was a US intelligence fabrication. Particularly suspicious is the role of Federico Vaughn, the supposed Sandinista official, who appears to have been a US spy all along. An AP dispatch (Omaha World-Herald, 7-29-88) disclosed that subcommittee staffers called Vaughn's phone number in Managua and spoke to a "domestic employee" who said the house had been "continuously rented" by a US embassy official since 1981.

The unnamed embassy official, according to Hughes, was among the group of US officials recently expelled by the Nicaraguan governement after a violent political demonstrations in July. No word of the Hughes hearings appeared in the Washington Post or the New York Times. Instead the Times ran a brief item in its Sunday national edition (7-31-88) quoting President Reagan's weekly radio broadcast about how Sandinista officials are still involved in drug trafficking.



EXTRA! October/November 1989
Censored News: Oliver North & Co. Banned from Costa Rica

Few individuals fascinate the US media like Ollie North. Few subjects grab more media attention than drugs. Few democracies win more media praise than Costa Rica. Put these three into a single scandal and it spells Front Page News, right? Wrong. What it spells is C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P.

In July, North and other major contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica. The order was issued by none other than Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. President Arias was acting on recommendations from a Costa Rican congressional commission investigating drug trafficking.

The commission concluded that the contra re-supply network in Costa Rica which North coordinated from the White House doubled as a drug smuggling operation.

The narcotics commission started probing the contra network centered around the northern Costa Rican ranch of US-born John Hull because of "the quantity and frequency of the shipment of drugsthat passed through the zone." North's personal notebook mentioned" the necessity of giving Mr. Hull protection." (San Juan Star,Puerto Rico, 7/22/89).

Investigators held North responsible for Gen. Manuel Noriega's participation in the contra supply network, which opened thedoor to at least seven pilots who trafficked in drugs whilesupplying arms to the contras. "These requests for contra help were initiated by Colonel North to General Noriega," the commission reported. "They opened a gate so their henchmen could utilize [Costa Rican] territory for trafficking in arms and drugs." (Tico Times, Costa Rica, 7/28/89).

Barred from Costa Rica along with North were Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, former National Security Advisor John Poindexter, former US Ambassador to Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs, and former CIA station chief in Costa Rica, Joseph Fernandez. This winter Costa Rica's congress will vote on the permanent implementation of the bannings. In an interview with Extra!, Costa Rican Minister of Information, Jorge Urbina, stated: "I can assure you that the recommendations will pass nearly unanimously."

The Costa Rican government inquiry confirmed information aboutcontra/drug links developed by independent journalists, lawyers,and a US Senate subcommittee. Ollie North's notebooks contain dozens of references to contra-related drug trafficking, includinga July 12, 1985 entry: "$14 million to finance [arms] came from drugs." When high-ranking officials of the "Just Say No"administration are banned-due to drug links-from the country US editorial writers hail as Central America's leading democracy, one might have expected major coverage. One would have been wrong. Although a lengthy Associated Press wire report (7/22/89) carried the story into virtually every newsroom in the US, major media largely ignored the story or, like the Washington Post and Miami Herald, relegated it to "in Brief" sections. The New York Time sand the three major TV networks failed to mention it at all.

During a period when drug coverage reached hysterical proportions, when Oliver North made news by lecturing campus audiences on the evils of drugs and pledging to do anti-drug work in serving out his criminal sentence of 1500 hours of community service, most media could not find space to mention the Costa Rica bannings. Even when President Bush, 17 other heads of state, and many dozens of US reporters journeyed to Costa Rica in October to celebrate "100 years of democracy," the story failed to attractinterest.

It wasn't for lack of knowledge; FAIR provided information about developments in the case to many national media (who'd already received the original AP story). FAIR's Steve Rendall later contacted the three TV networks, New York Times, and Washington Post to ask why the story had been buried or ignored. Journalists offered no real answers.

Typical was the response from Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, who stated, "Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn't mean it's true." Ironically, through all the years that wildly false statements by US officials on Central America have received prominent uncritical coverage, these same media have responded to FAIR's complaints thusly: "When leaders of a democracy make statements, it's news and we have tocover it. We aren't ruling on whether it's true or not."

If, as a media consumer, you would like your own explanations as to why the following national media have buried the story, you could contact their foreign desks. You might also ask your local media. (Final action on the bannings by Costa Rica's congress is expected in February.)

Extra!, November/December 1991
Time Suppresses Contra Drug Story

As Time magazine's resident expert on narcotics trafficking, Elaine Shannon was a predictable choice for the New York Time Book Review (7/28/91) to critique the book, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. Predictably, she slammed the book, whose central thesis is that the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contras "trafficked extensively in cocaine while the CIA, National Security Council, and Justice Department ignored the evidence."

In her review, the Time magazine correspondent poked fun at Scott and Marshall for believing that media timidity had helped the CIA's alliance with drug dealers: "[The authors] believe that the 'establishment media' have not pursued the story strenuously enough because their practitioners are 'reluctant to find themselves at odds with the government."

A farfetched notion on the part of conspiracy-minded authors? Consider how Time handled the contra/cocaine story. In the fall of 1987, Time assigned a staff reporter to assemble any evidence that the Oliver North network supplying guns to the contras was also bringing cocaine into the U.S. The reporter found serious evidence, and wrote it up. As the former Time reporter explained to Extra!, after the article was written and rewritten, finally, a senior editor told the reporter to give up on the story. "The senior editor leveled with me," the reporter told Extra! "His words were: Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine.'"



EXTRA!Update, October 1996
Exposed: The Contra-Crack Connection

The wave of crack addiction that crippled inner-city neighborhoods across the country in the '80s had its roots in the CIA's efforts to fund the secret contra war against Nicaragua, according to an investigative report by the San Jose Mercury News' Gary Webb (8/18-20/96).

The story of the year? Not according to the New York Times, which has so far ignored the Mercury News' well-documented revelations. The major TV networks gave it no coverage. A few dailies prominently reprinted Webb's work (like the Seattle Times, 8/22/96), or ran an Associated Press account summarizing his findings (e.g., Chicago Tribune, 8/21/96). But there is little sign that the expose has prompted much digging from other reporters--or much outrage on the nation's editorial pages.

Webb's evidence is as persuasive as his conclusions are disturbing. (You can read the stories themselves at http://www.sjmercury.com/drugs/start.htm.) Exhibit A is Oscar Danilo Blandon, a cocaine trafficker and federal informant who told a federal courtroom that " whatever we were running in L.A., the profit was going to the contra revolution." Blandon's claim is backed up by an L.A. Sheriff's Department affidavit, a federal parole report, an FBI memo and other official documents.

Webb connects Blandon and Norwin Meneses, his boss in the operation, to top contra leaders like Enrique Bermudez and Adolfo Calero "There is a saying that the ends justify the means," Blandon testified. "And that's what Mr. Bermudez told us in Honduras, OK?"

Law enforcement agents told the Mercury News (8/18/96) that the CIA squelched investigations against the Meneses/Blandon operation in the name of "national security." Federal prosecutors who used the trafficker as an informant obtained a court order preventing defense attorneys from inquiring about Blandon's ties to the CIA.

But even more startling are the revelations about Blandon's distributor, "Freeway" Ricky Donnell Ross. Ross was no minor drug pusher, but the main supplier of crack for the Crips and Bloods gangs in L.A. "If there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick," the L.A. Times reported two years ago (12/20/94).

Ross became the dominant supplier in L.A.--and much of the country--because of his ability to undersell other dealers. "Whathe had, and they didn't," Webb reported (8/19/96), "was Danilo Blandon, a friend with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of high-grade cocaine."

Would there have been an explosion of crack addiction in urban ghettos if the CIA's war against Nicaragua hadn't provided Ross with an"inexhaustible supply" of cocaine? Would it have assumed the same epidemic proportions? In the wake of the Mercury News series, these are open questions--questions that reporters at every major news outlet ought to be trying to answer.

But most major news outlets seem prepared to let the new evidence get thrown away with yesterday's newspapers--the same approach they have taken to past revelations of the contras' involvement in cocaine trafficking. The contra/cocaine connection was exposed by the Associated Press' Robert Parry and Brian Barger as early as 1985 (12/20/85); further substantiation appeared in such disparate outlets as the San Francisco Examiner (3/16/86,6/23/86), In These Times (12/10/86) and CBS's West 57th (4/6/87,7/11/87). The New York Times, the most powerful paper in the U.S.and one that can be counted on to protect what it sees as the establishment, did worse than ignore these reports: It went out of its way to discredit them, with a series of articles that appeared in July 1987 (7/13/87, 7/16/87, 7/20/87). The message of these articles was direct, and dishonest: "Investigators, including reporters from major news outlets, have tried without success to find proof of . . . allegations that military supplies may have been paid for with profits from drug smuggling," the Times' Keith Schneider reported on July 20, 1987.

The "reporters from major news outlets" couldn't have been trying very hard: The Reagan State Department itself acknowledged a year earlier that at least one contra leader had received money and warplanes from a Columbian drug trafficker. But in a 1987 interview, the Times' Schneider revealed that he had more on his mind than journalism when he wrote two of the dismissive stories.

"This story can shatter a republic," Schneider told In These Times (8/5/87). "I think it is so damaging, the implications are so extraordinary, that for us to run the story, it had better be based on the most solid evidence we can amass." Gary Webb's Mercury News reporting has provided solid evidence that the contras were not just involved with the cocaine trade, they were major players in it. But the New York Times still seems to be more worried about shattering republicsthan reporting the truth.

If you'd like to ask the New York Times why it hasn't followed up on the latest contra/cocaine evidence, the address is 229 W.43rd St., New York, NY 10036 (phone: 212-556-7356; fax:212-556-3690; online: http://www.nytimes.com).

Postscript: Since the publication of this Extra!Update report, the NewYork Times has briefly mentioned the Mercury Newsfindings. The Los Angeles Times and the WashingtonPost have published long articles critical of the Mercury Newsseries. The Mercury has refuted some of the other papers' allegations on their website.



Extra! January/February 1997

Snow Job
The Establishment's Papers Do Damage Control for the CIA

By Norman Solomon

The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies--all this is indispensably necessary.

--George Orwell, 1984

For several weeks after a series last August in the San Jose Mercury News (8/18-20/96) linked the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras with the importation of cocaine into poor black areas of Los Angeles, major news outlets did scant reporting on the story. But in early autumn, near silence gave way to a roar from the country's three most influential urban dailies--the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times--which is still reverberating in the national media's echo chamber.

The first New York Times article on the subject (9/21/96) foreshadowed much that was to follow. Headlined "Inquiry Is Ordered Into Reports of Contra Cocaine Sales in U.S.," the news story focused on assurances from Central Intelligence Agency director John Deutch and unnamed "former senior CIA officials" that the Mercury News assertions were groundless. "I regard these allegations with the utmost seriousness," Deutch said. "They go to the heart and integrity of the CIA enterprise."

Not only did Deutch contend that "the agency never had any relationship" with Nicaraguan drug traffickers Oscar Danilo Blandon and Norvin Meneses--the Times also reported the reassuring news that "former senior CIA officials involved in the contra operations said this week that they had never heard of" Blandon or Meneses. None of the article's dozen paragraphs included any suggestion that the CIA might be a dubious touchstone for veracity. The notion that the CIA's internal probe held a key to unlocking the story's mysteries was to be oft-repeated.

Yet the uproar over the Mercury News series, written by reporter Gary Webb, continued to grow. Denials from the CIA carried little weight with much of the public, particularly African-Americans outraged by the series. Protests mounted in cities from Los Angeles to Washington, and members of the Black Congressional Caucus demanded federal investigations.

October brought a fierce counterattack from the Washington Post, the New York Times and L.A. Times, all of which published lengthy news articles blasting the Mercury News series. In the process, a number of recurrent debunking themes quickly gained the status of media truisms.

"Last month," Newsweek reported in November (11/11/96), "the Merc started getting trashed -- by its peers. In turn, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Times poked holes in the story, exhaustively and mercilessly."

In his role as the Post's in-house media critic, Howard Kurtz took numerous swipes at Webb that grew increasingly dismissive; one item(10/28/96), headed "A Webb of Conspiracy," ended with the smug one-liner, "Oliver Stone, check your voice mail." Liberal columnist Mary McGrory, based at the Post, echoed what she was hearing all around her in an Oct. 27 piece:
"The San Jose story has been discredited by major publications, including the Post."

By November, a clear orthodoxy had taken hold. Certain de rigueur phrases began appearing in news articles: "Many of the series' conclusions have been widely challenged" (Washington Post, 11/6/96); "media critics and other newspapers have questioned the Mercury News' findings" (AP in New York Times, 11/7/96).

Under the headline "CIA Chief Denies Crack Conspiracy," the New York Times (11/16/96) indicated that reputable media outlets--and reputable spooks--had rejected the Mercury News series: "Agency officials said they had no evidence of any such plot. Other news organizations were not able to confirm the plot. Still, the rumor mill continued to grind, seemingly unstoppable."

The next day, Times columnist Maureen Dowd took the company line: "Mr. Deutch and investigators for several major newspapers have found no evidence to support the conspiracy theory that grew out of a series in the San Jose Mercury News suggesting a CIA role in the spread of crack in America's inner cities."

Suspect Sources

But what exactly in the San Jose Mercury News stories was refuted by these "major newspapers"? To a notable degree, the establishment papers relied for their debunking of the Mercury News on the CIA's own obligatory denials. As journalist Marc Cooper pointed out in the weekly New Times Los Angeles (10/31/96), "Regarding the all-important question of how much responsibility the CIA had, we are being asked to take the word of sources who in a more objective account would be considered suspects."

In the New York Times' full-page magnum opus on the controversy (10/21/96), reporter Tim Golden drew extensively on interviews with nameless sources such as "government officials with access to intelligence reports," not to mention "more than two dozen current and former [contra] rebels, CIA officials and narcotics agents, as well as other law-enforcement officials and experts on the drug trade."

The Times seemed eager to take at face value the statements at CIA headquarters that the agency didn't know Blandon from Adam: "Although he claimed to have supplied several thousand pounds of cocaine to one of the biggest crack dealers in Southern California, officials said the CIA had no record of Mr. Blandon before he appeared as a central figure in the series in the Mercury News." As in the earlier Times report(9/21/96) featuring the same CIA disclaimers, there was not the slightest hint that such denials might be self-serving.

The Los Angeles Times was on the same track in its lengthy three-day series. "CIA officials insist they knew nothing about Meneses' and Blandon's tainted contributions to [Adolfo] Calero or other contra leaders," the newspaper reported (10/21/96). One of the officials quoted in support of the claim that the CIA had drug-free hands was Vincent Cannistraro--identified by the newspaper only as a "former CIA official."

In fact--though the L.A. Times could spare none of the article's several thousand words to let readers know--Cannistraro was in charge of the CIA's contra activities during the early 1980s. After moving to the National Security Council in 1984, he became a supervisor of covert aid to Afghanistan's mujahedeen guerrillas, whose involvement in the opium trade made Afghanistan and Pakistan two of the world's main suppliers of heroin
(The Nation, 11/14/88).

If the L.A. Times had been willing to share such relevant details, it would have provided readers with a much better basis for evaluating Cannistraro's testimonial to CIA integrity: "There's no tendency to turn a blind eye to drug trafficking. It's too sensitive. It's not a fine line. It's not a shaded area where you can turn away from the rules."

The L.A. Times was following in the footsteps of less august media outlets that used a deceptively identified Cannistraro to attack the Mercury News series. The right-wing Washington Times (9/12/96) quoted him as saying that the series "doesn't have any elements of authenticity."

And former Washington Times reporter Michael Hedges wrote a Scripps-Howard News Service article (Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/29/96) that called Cannistraro a "retired CIA counterterrorism and Latin America expert" and quoted him as declaring: "I have personal knowledge that the CIA knew nothing about these guys [Blandon and Meneses]. These charges are completely illogical."

Besides self-serving denials, journalistic critics of the Mercury News offered little to rebut the paper's specific pieces of evidence--including Blandon's own testimony and law enforcement documents and comments (8/18/96)--indicating that Meneses and Blandon may have been protected by federal agents.

Whose Army?

Judging the Mercury News series invalid, the preeminent denouncers frequently berated the newspaper for failing to prove what Webb never claimed. The Washington Post, for instance, devoted paragraph after paragraph of its Oct. 4 barrage to illuminating what Webb had already acknowledged in his articles--that while he proves contra links to major cocaine importation, he can't identify specific CIA officials who knew of or condoned the trafficking.

Many critics took issue with Webb's references to the contras as "the CIA's army." The Washington Post's Kurtz, for example, complained (10/2/96) that "Webb's repeated use of the phrase 'the CIA's army'...clearly suggests that the agency was involved." In fact, referring to the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) as the CIA's army is solid journalism, highlighting a relationship that is fundamentally relevant to the story. The army was formed at the instigation of the CIA, its leaders were selected by and received salaries from the agency, and CIA officers controlled day-to-day battlefield strategies. One former contra leader, Edgar Chamorro, has said that the FDN's leaders were "nothing more than the executioners of the CIA's orders" (Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention, Peter Kornbluh; see also Extra! interview with Chamorro, 10-11/87).

Yet the newsroom culture of denial grew so strong that one Washington Post article, by Marc Fisher (11/7/96), seemed to dispute that the CIA and the contras had any ties at all: "On WRC, [talkshow host] Joe Madison droned on as he has for weeks about the supposed CIA-contra connection."

In its big blast at the Mercury News series, the New York Times (10/21/96) tried a semantic maneuver to distance the CIA's army from the CIA. The newspaper acknowledged that Meneses and Blandon "traveled once to Honduras to see the FDN's military commander, Enrique Bermudez." But the Times quickly added: "Although Mr. Bermudez, like other contra leaders, was often paid by the CIA, he was not a CIA agent."

It was classic sleight-of-hand at the keyboard, as columnist Murray Kempton pointed out (Newsday, 10/23/96): "The maintenance of such distinctions without any essential difference is one of the more cunning of the infinite devices the agency employs on obfuscation. The CIA identifies highly placed foreign hirelings not as 'agents' but as 'assets.'" Just such obfuscation helped many journalists to assert that the Mercury News series had been debunked and that the CIA was unfairly implicated.

Dubious Debunkings

The most potentially damaging charge made by the establishment papers is that Webb greatly exaggerated the amount of crack profits going to the contras, which he reported as being "millions" of dollars. "According to law enforcement officials, Blandon sold $30,000 to $60,000 worth of cocaine in two transactions and delivered the money to Meneses for shipment to the contras," the Washington Post reported (10/4/96). "Meneses was indeed a financial contributor to the contras," the L.A. Times reported (10/21/96), "but his donations to the rebel cause amounted to no more than $50,000, according to two men who knew him at the time." These estimates quickly became enshrined as journalistic fact. They were even given credence by an editorial in The Nation (11/18/96): Blandon and Meneses' contributions to the contra cause "may have been $50,000," David Corn wrote.

Yet the Mercury News' higher estimates are better sourced than the debunkers' low numbers. In contrast to the Mercury News--which had drawn on sworn grand jury and court testimony to calculate that millions of crack dollars flowed to the contras--the Post and L.A. Times attributed their much smaller estimates to unnamed sources, variously described as "law enforcement officials" (Washington Post, 10/4/96), "a contra supporter and a business partner who sold drugs with Blandon" (L.A. Times, 10/20/96) and "associates in drug trafficking in Los Angeles" (L.A. Times, 10/21/96).

Nor do the claims by the Washington Post (10/4/96) and New York Times (10/21/96) stand up that the funneling of crack money to the contras ended early in the 1980s. Pete Carey, a reporter assigned by the Mercury News to do a reassessment of the paper's own reporting (10/13/96), presented fuller documentation: "A 1986 Los Angeles County sheriff's affidavit for searches of the homes and business of Blandon and members of his drug ring shows that the contra connection lasted into the mid-1980s. In the 1986 affidavit, three confidential informants said that Blandon was still sending money to the contras."

The establishment papers' orthodoxy also insists that "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the contact who distributed Blandon's cocaine in the form of crack, was not a key player in the drug's proliferation. The Washington Post declared that Ross' activities were incidental to the spread of crack; using identical language in a pair of news articles (10/4/96, 10/12/96), the Post insisted that available data "point to the rise of crack as a broad-based phenomenon driven in numerous places by players of different nationalities." The New York Times (10/21/96) concluded rather cryptically that "several experts on the drug trade said that although Mr. Ross was indeed a crack kingpin, he was one of many."

But two years ago--before the public learned that much of his cocaine was supplied by smugglers connected to the contras--the same man was the subject of a 2,400-word Los Angeles Times news article (12/20/94) that portrayed him as central to the spread of crack cocaine. "If there was an eye to the storm," the article began, "if there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick." The headline? "Deposed King of Crack; Now Free After 5 Years in Prison, This Master Marketer Was Key to the Drug's Spread in L.A."

The article reported that as far as crack went, "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived." He became "South-Central's first millionaire crack lord," the newspaper reported. "While most other dealers toiled at the bottom rungs of the market, his coast-to-coast conglomerate was selling more than 500,000 rocks a day, a staggering turnover that put the drug within reach of anyone with a few dollars."

In a remarkable display of subservience to prevailing orthodoxy, the same reporter who wrote those words, Jesse Katz, went on to write a front-page article for the L.A. Times(10/20/96) that reads like a show-trial recantation. Ross now was one of many "interchangeable characters," who was "dwarfed" by other dealers. "How the crack epidemic reached that extreme, on some level, had nothing to do with Ross," Katz reported. The L.A. Times reporter did not explain how his reporting on Ross two years earlier could have been so inaccurate.

Evidence Ignored

While the Mercury News series could arguably be faulted for occasional overstatement, the elite media's attacks on the series were clearly driven by a need to defend their shoddy record on the contra-cocaine story--involving a decade-long suppression of evidence (Extra!, 6/87, 3-4/88). The Washington Post was typical. "When Brian Barger and I wrote the first story about contra-cocaine smuggling for the Associated Press in December 1985 (12/20/85)," Robert Parry recalls, "the Post waited a week, added some fresh denials and then stuck the story near the back of the national news section."

In 1987, the House Narcotics Committee, chaired by Rep. Charles Rangel (D.-N.Y.), investigated contra-drug allegations and found a "need for further congressional investigation." The Washington Post (7/22/87)distorted reality with the headline "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling"--and then refused to publish Rangel's letter correcting the record (Extra!, 10-11/87).

Later that year, Time magazine staff writer Laurence Zuckerman was assigned to work with an investigative reporter on contra-cocaine allegations. They found serious evidence of the link, but the story Zuckerman wrote was obstructed by higher-ups (Extra! , 11-12/91). A senior editor acknowledged to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine."

Two years later, the Senate subcommittee chaired by John Kerry released a scathing condemnation of U.S. government complicity with drug trafficking by the contras. "When this important report was issued in April 1989, the Post [4/14/89] buried the information in a scant 700-word article on page A20," Parry remembers (The Consortium, 10/28/96). "And most of that story, by Michael Isikoff, was devoted to Republican criticisms of Kerry, rather than to the serious evidence of contra wrongdoing. Other establishment publications took the cue that it was safe to mock Kerry. Newsweek [8/5/91] dubbed him a 'randy conspiracy buff.'"

In July 1989, White House operative Oliver North, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica Lewis Tambs, CIA station chief Joseph Fernandez and other contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica--on orders of that country's president, Oscar Arias, who acted on recommendations from a Costa Rican congressional commission investigating drug trafficking. The commission concluded that the contra resupply network in Costa Rica, which North coordinated from the White House, doubled as a drug smuggling operation.

A big story? Not at all. Although AP sent out a dispatch (7/22/89), the New York Times and the three major TV networks failed to mention it; the Washington Post ran the news as a short back page item. When FAIR's Steve Rendall called the Post to find out why, reporter Walter Pincus--who later co-wrote the Post's 1996 attack on the San Jose Mercury News-made no apologies. "Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn't mean it's true," Pincus said (Extra!, 10-11/89).

In late 1996, one of the basic pretensions threading through much of the coverage by the Washington Post, New York Times and L.A. Times was the notion that contra participation in drug trafficking is old news--a particularly ironic claim coming from newspapers that went out of their way to ignore or disparage key information during the 1980s. The Post's ombudsman, Geneva Overholser, was on target (11/10/96) when she re-raised the question of the U.S. government's relationship to drug smuggling and noted that the three newspapers "showed more passion for sniffing out the flaws in San Jose's answer than for sniffing out a better answer themselves."

Citing "strong previous evidence that the CIA at least chose to overlook contra involvement in the drug trade," Overholser found "misdirected zeal" in the Post's response to the Mercury News series: "Would that we had welcomed the surge of public interest as an occasion to return to a subject the Post and the public had given short shrift. Alas, dismissing someone else's story as old news comes more naturally."

A more pointed observation came from Robert Parry: The irony of the Post's big Oct. 4 story "was that the newspaper was finally accepting the reality of contra cocaine trafficking, albeit in a backhanded way." The Post "had long pooh-poohed earlier allegations that the contras were implicated in drug shipments."

A Dirty, Dangerous World

What explains these elite media outlets' shameful record of suppressing evidence that the CIA's contra army was involved in the drug trade--and attacking those who dared to report the story? In the case of the New York Times and the Washington Post, part of the explanation is that the papers had lent their editorial prestige to the contra cause. By the late 1980s, both papers had endorsed military aid to the contras--though sometimes grudgingly. In February 1988, a pair of pro-contra aid Post editorials (2/3/88, 2/5/88) bracketed a crucial vote in Congress; the pre-vote editorial observed approvingly that "a carrot-and-stick combination has moved the Sandinistas." There was no discernible concern that the military "stick" was being used to take the lives of civilian peasants in the Nicaraguan countryside.

At all three papers, the attitudes of owners and top management set the tone and impose the constraints within which journalists work. Dennis McDougal, a former L.A. Times staffer, described the paper's editor, Shelby Coffey III, this way (New Times Los Angeles, 9/19/96): "He is the dictionary definition of someone who wants to protect the status quo. He weighs whether or not an investigative piece will have repercussions among the ruling elite, and if it will, the chances of seeing it in print in the L.A. Times decrease accordingly."

The New York Times and Washington Post have an even closer relationship to the nation's elites, with connections to the CIA that go back nearly to the agency's founding. In a piece on the CIA and news media written for Rolling Stone two decades ago (10/20/77), Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote that "the agency's relationship with the [New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about 10 CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper's late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy--set by Sulzberger--to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible."

Bernstein's former employer, the Washington Post, was also useful to the CIA; Bernstein quoted a CIA official as saying of the Post's late owner and publisher, "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from."

Descendants of these publishers still run their respective papers, and the attitude that they have an obligation to provide covert help to the CIA persists to the present era. In 1988, Post owner Katharine Graham, Phil's widow, gave a speech at the CIA's Langley, Va. headquarters. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world," Graham told agency leaders (Regardie's Magazine,1/90). "There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

Readers, in turn, can decide how much faith to put in news outlets whose owners embrace such a philosophy.

Research Assistance: Steve Rendall

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #1)

Response to 777man (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 2, 2014, 06:16 AM

77. Thank you 777man

for the time consuming and hard work you put into all of these posts !!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to SamKnause (Reply #77)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 06:44 AM

79. YOU're WELCOME! The most up - to -date fake drug war info on the web is here at DU


Let us make sure to make the film opening a big one!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:56 AM

12. 3 great interviews with former DEA agent Celerino Castillo III - a True American Hero and Patriot


Last edited Sat Jul 26, 2014, 03:44 AM - Edit history (3)





Powderburns Book

After downloading, please make a suggested donation of $25 Via PAYPAL. (any amount is appreciated- press the DONATE button)

Cele fought for all of us many times, and now it is time to help out.


Powderburns Book- Forward by Mike Levine (DEA Retired)


By Michael Levine

Now that you've read this far I advise you to cancel any appointments you may have scheduled during the next several hours. You are not going to be able to putthis book down. It will mesmerize you, enrage you and change your attitude toward the people in government whom we have entrusted with our safety and security. Most importantly it will give you information that has been kept from you;information you have a right to, because you have paid for it with your taxes, and,as many like me have done, with the blood and misery of your loved ones and friends. There are several important facts that you must keep in mind as you read.

First, that the crimes and atrocities described so vividly in these in these pages,were committed by U.S. government officials using taxpayer dollars, or people under their protection, and that, for the most part, the victims of these crimes arethe very people who paid those taxes: the American people.

Second, that this first-hand account was written by Celerino "Cele" Castillo, a highly decorated veteran of two wars - Vietnam and the War on Drugs; a man who has often risked his life to fulfill his oath to protect the American people and uphold their laws, and that Celerino Castillo is a consummate professional investigator who documents everyone of his claims - - often using electronic recording devices - - so that they serve as evidence in any court in the world.

Third, that everything you are about to read was first turned over to the upper management of DEA (The Drug Enforcement Administration), the FBI and the State Department for these agencies to take appropriate action to stop The Oliver North/Contra operations drug smuggling activities and that no action or investigation was ever undertaken.

Fourth, that Cele Castillo persisted in pushing for an investigation spite of a warning from a U. S. Ambassador to back off the investigation because it was a White House Operation, and inspite of being place under a malicious Internal Affairs investigation--DEAs classic method of silencing its outspoken agents - - that would help destroy his marriage and career and almost cost him his life.

Finally, that Cele turned over all his evidence to Special Prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh’s office - - then investigation Oliver North and the Contras - -and when it was clear that no investigative action would ever be taken pursuant tothat evidence, and, in fact m that the Special Prosecutors final report failed to even mention the drug allegation, did Cele write this book.

When I wrote Deep Cover and The Big White Lie detailing my own deep cover experiences in South America,people were astounded by the revelations. They found it impossible to believe that their own government could tax them hundreds of billions of dollars to fight drugs and at the same time support and protect the biggest drug dealers in the world asthey poisoned our children.

It was the most despicable kind of treason. I, like many millions of Americans, was affected personally; my son Keith Richard Levine, a 27year old New York City police officer, was murdered by crack addicts when, while off- duty, he tried to stop and armed robbery they were committing to support their addiction; my brother David, a life-long drug addict, ended his misery at 34 years ofage by suicide. Our nation, thanks in large part to these criminals now has a homicide rate exceeding 25,000 per year, much of it drug related, and, according to some economists, our economy is impacted by this drug plague by as much a trillion dollars a year. Is it conceivable that so many members of our legislative, judicial and law enforcement branches of government betrayed us? No it’s not conceivable, but all those who read this book will find it undeniable.

In my books articles and media appearances I told of deep cover cases from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, that were destroyed by the covert agencies of my own government; casesthat would have exposed people; who had been given a license to sell massive amounts of drugs to Americans in return for their support of Oliver North’s contras. I could easily prove that these investigations were intentionally destroyed and that our cover was blown by our own government, but I only had circumstantial evidence linking the events to the Contras.

Celerino Castillo, as you will see in these pages, had the smoking gun.

At that time, had Cele come forward with his story, I believe the public’s reaction to our joint testimony would have forced our elected officials into taking the action against North and others, that they were so desperately afraid of taking. But at that time, Cele was just fighting for his family, his career and his life.

Wherever I went, people asked, “If this is true, why aren't any other government agents saying what you are?” I was a lone voice. From the moment my first book was published i began receiving - - and still receive - - letters from both federal and local law enforcement officers, government informants and contract pilots for both DEA and CIA, with their own horror stories to tell indicating that our covert agencies and state Department were sabotaging the drug war, and that when honest officers tried to do something about it, their lives and jobs were threatened, yet none would go public with their stories. They were afraid. I pointed out to all who would listen that even our highest government officials are afraid to confront the criminals in government.

During the years J Edgar Hoover ran the FBI, eight Presidents were aware that he was running a political police force, in violation of every law of the land, yet they kept theirsilence and did nothing to stop him. They were terrified of his secret files and the revelations they might contain. It took almost twenty years after his death before the truth finally surfaced. If one man could intimidate eight Presidents, can you imagine the kind of club the CIA has over the heads of our current crop of political leaders? How else can you explain the difference between their rhetoric and their actions, or lack thereof?

Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars investigating the drug running activities of Oliver North’s Nicaraguan Contra effort and came to the same conclusions that Cele and I did as DEA agents in the field. He said, “Our covert agencies have converted themselves to channels for drugs ... they have perverted our system of justice”. An outraged Senator Alphonse D'amato, a Republican, found it mind boggling, that while we taxed Americans morethan $ 100 billion to fight drugs, we were in bed with the biggest drug dealers in the world.

All the outrage and oratory not withstanding, none of the evidence that the led to those statements was ever presented to a grand jury of American citizens, and not one single indictment of a U.S. laws relating to narcotics trafficking was ever forthcoming. Nor was there ever any house - cleaning of the agencies involved. Many of these criminals in government are still, in fact, criminals in government, and as this book goes to press there is evidence that their crimes continue.

It is also important for the reader to keep in mind, that to prove agovernment official guilty of violations of the Federal Drug Conspiracy laws, isa relatively easy task for a professional narcotics investigator. One would onlyhave to prove that he or she knew of drug trafficking activity and failed to take appropriate action. In one case I was involved in, for example, A new York City police detective was convicted of violation of the Federal Conspiracy statutesand sentenced to 8 years in prison, for not taking appropriate action against dope-dealing friend of his. We could not even prove that he had profited fromhis crime.

The DEA’s files are full of similar cases. The law is exactly asPresident Bush once said: All those who look the other way are as guilty as thedrug dealer. The Kerry commission amassed impressive evidence that OliverNorth and others had violated our drug trafficking laws; they reviewed North’s 543 pages of personal notes relating to drug trafficking activity, which - - even after North blacked out many incriminating statements - - included notations like, $14 million to finance came from drugs; they learned that North had attempted to get leniency for General Bueso-Rosa (convicted of an assassination paid for with 700 pounds of cocaine distributed in the U.S.); they found evidence, such as North’s cash purchase of a car from a $15.000 cash slush fund he kept in a closet, and his interest in a multi -million dollar Swissbank account, indicating that North, with no other source of income than his military pay check, may have profited financially from drug trafficking activities, yet none of this evidence was ever fully investigated by professional narcotics investigators, nor presented to a grand jury of American citizens as it shouldhave been, or as it would have been had North not been given the phony Teflon shield of National Security and the protection of a President.

The evidence - - and the above is only a small sampling of what is available - -is enough to enrage career narcotic enforcement officers who have sent so many to jail for so much less. And when you add the evidence so powerfully presented in this book, what is already known about North and his Contra operation, you will understand why Cele Castillo put his career and life at risk to try and break through that shield, and why he continues to risk himself to his day. In Senator Kerry’s final report he stated,

Those U.S. officials who turned a blind eye to General Noriega, who intervened on behalf of General Bueso-Rosa and who adamantly opposed the investigations of foreign narcotics figures by honest,hardworking law enforcement officials, must also hear the responsibility for what ishappening in the streets of the U.S. today. By the time you finish this book you willknow that his accusation is aimed squarely at Oliver North, Presidents Reaganand Bush, and other high government officials, yet, and it bears repeating, none ofthe evidence provoking that statement was ever presented to a grand jury ofAmerican citizens. What else but fear can account for this failure on the part of ourleaders to take appropriate action. A failure that local cops or DEA agents would have gotten them arrested and prosecuted, along with the people they were protecting. Jack Blum, special counsel for the Kerry commission, resigned hispost, stating, I am sick to death of the truths I cannot tell.

But Cele Castillo, as youwill soon know, is not afraid and never has been. In these pages he will reveal toyou some of the most devastating of those truths. I now welcome Cele Castillo, a true American hero, to the front lines of his third and perhaps most important war -a war against the criminals within his own government.

Powderburns Introduction by Author Dave Harmon


Dear General Noriega:... Your long-standing support of the Drug Enforcement Administration is greatly appreciated... Thank you very much for the autographed photograph. I have had it framed and it is proudly displayed in my office….That letter was written in March, 1984 by DEA Administrator Francis M. Mullen,Jr. to Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega, who, four years later,was indicted on drug trafficking charges in the United States. In December, 1989,15 American soldiers, part of an invading force of 10,000, were killed trying tohunt down Noriega and haul him back to the U.S. The man whose autographedportrait once hung on the DEA Administrators wall was now, in the words of theU.S. military, a cocaine snorting, voodoo worshiping alcoholic despot whoentertained prostitutes and wore red underwear.Such are the ironies of the drug war.These pages contain one DEA agent’s account of America’s longest, mostfrustrating war. Celerino “Cele” Castillo III spent a dozen years battling the drugcartels, a menace that General Paul C. Gorman, former head of the U.S. SouthernCommand in Panama, called more successful at subversion in the United Statesthan any that are centered in Moscow.This book reveals why, after more than 20 years and billions of dollars, the drugwar has failed miserably. Why DEA cannot rid the streets of pushers, why it cannotdent the burgeoning coca economy in South America, why its much - ballyhooedinterdiction efforts are swatted aside like gnats by the cartels.

Put simply, when U.S. foreign policy and U.S. drug policy collide, drugpolicy yields every time.
People like Manuel Noriega are treasured for theirstrategic importance, their long-standing support, and their democratic ideals,however superficial, while their back -door deals with drug traffickers areconveniently ignored. And while Communist regimes around the world havewithered and collapsed under their own weight, the cartels grow stronger.No one knows this better than Cele Castillo. For every small victory during hisDEA Career, a crushing defeat followed. As a Vietnam veteran, he knew all toowell the disillusionment that accompanies messy wars led by vacillating politicians. He shrugged off the frustrations and stubbornly fought on. Then, inCentral America, he stumbled upon the Contra resupply operation, a covertnetwork guided by Lt. Col. Oliver North. Castillo’s investigation of the Contraoperation revealed the deepest secret of the Iran-Contra Affair: the Contras;drugs-for-guns connection. Castillo’s investigation unearthed enough evidence to merit a full-scaleinvestigation, yet none occurred. His superiors told Castillo point-blank to leavethe Contra-drug connection alone. A committee, headed by Sen. John Kerry of

Massachusetts, concluded: ... “it is clear that individuals who provided support forthe Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contraswas used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drugtraffickers.” Yet the Kerry committee’s findings were ignored by the White House,and neither the Congressional Iran- Contra committees nor the Iran- Contraspecial prosecutor was fit to delve into the third secret of the Iran- Contra Affair.Throughout his DEA career, Castillo kept detailed journals which provide thebasis for the dates, names, places, and DEA file numbers cited in this book. Conversations quoted in these pages were reconstructed to the best of Castillo’s recollection. DEA rejected repeated efforts to obtain Castillo’s reports and cables fromCentral America. The material, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy: “is not appropriate for discretionary release”. Likewise, large Portions of North’s diaries were censored before they were turned over to thegovernment, including many sections adjacent to drug references. For example, North’sJune 26, 1984 entry by DEA- followed by two blocks of deleted text. Important questions remain: Who in the government knew about the Contras drug ties? Why were Castillo’sreports ignored? And what did North, now a candidate for the United States Senate, know about the drug activities within the network he steered from Washington?
The truth lies somewhere beneath a quashed investigation, a belligerent bureaucracy and a censor’s pen.

McAllen, June 15, 1994

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:02 PM

13. Thanks!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 01:45 PM

14. Dennis Bernstein and Martha Honey Video 4 part Gary webb interview



Title: Gary Webb - 'DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors'
URL Source: http://blip.tv/file/834451
Post Date: 2008-06-21 12:07:37 by Robin
Keywords: None
Views: 1040
Comments: 6

Part 1/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org

Part 2/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org

Part 3/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org

Part 4/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org

Post Comment Private Reply Ignore Thread

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 05:43 PM

15. This thread's becoming a great DU resource!


Thanks again!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #15)

Mon May 20, 2013, 03:11 AM

16. Afghan Prez Karzai Admits to Receiving Tens of millions in CIA Cash


Like we didn't know already.

CIA cash to Karzai a bust
Afghan leader lacks loyalty to U.S.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
PrintEmail Comments (1)
Martin Schram

America’s long-running, mondo-bizzaro courtship of Afghanistan’s mercurial Hamid Karzai got even wilder and wackier this past week.

Now, things that used to be top secret — like CIA bags full of cash delivered, with no questions asked, to a government famously rife with corruption — are being featured on screens everywhere. And Washington policy is looking like a comic Hollywood parody of the way the world really works.


Updated April 29, 2013, 1:12 p.m. ET

Karzai Confirms Accepting CIA Cash Monthly for 10 Years





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #16)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:10 PM

17. Sadly, there will continue to be no shortage of items bearing out that the situation is, in fact,


even worse than we'd imagined.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 11:01 AM

18. 5/30/13 Ex-L.A. Times Writer Jesse Katz Apologizes for "Tawdry" Attacks on Gary Webb



Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for "Tawdry" Attacks
Jesse Katz admits that attacking journalist Gary Webb's CIA-cocaine expose ruined Webb's life
A A A Comments (25) By Nick Schou Thursday, May 30 2013

Nine years after investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide, Jesse Katz, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who played a leading role in ruining the controversial journalist's career, has publicly apologized — just weeks before shooting begins in Atlanta on Kill the Messenger, a film expected to reinstate Webb's reputation as an award-winning journalist dragged through the mud by disdainful, competing media outlets.
New Times L.A. headline, circa 1996
New Times L.A. headline, circa 1996

Webb made history, then quickly fell from grace, with his 20,000-word 1996 investigation, "Dark Alliance," in which the San Jose Mercury News reported that crack cocaine was being peddled in L.A.'s black ghettos to fund a CIA-backed proxy war carried out by contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Kill the Messenger is based on Webb's 1998 book, Dark Alliance, in which he attempted to rebuild his ruined reputation, as well as my 2004 biography of Webb, Kill the Messenger, which shares the movie's title. (I worked as a consultant on the script.)

The movie will portray Webb as a courageous reporter whose career and life were cut short when the nation's three most powerful newspapers piled on to attack Webb and his three-part Mercury News series on the CIA's crack-cocaine connection.

The New York Times, Washington Post and L.A. Times each obscured basic truths of Webb's "Dark Alliance" series. But no newspaper tried harder than the L.A. Times, where editors were said to have been appalled that a distant San Jose daily had published a blockbuster about America's most powerful spy agency and its possible role in allowing drug dealers to flood South L.A. with crack.

Much of the Times' attack was clever misdirection, but it ruined Webb's reputation: In particular, the L.A. Times attacked a claim that Webb never made: that the CIA had intentionally addicted African-Americans to crack.

Webb, who eventually could find only part-time work at a small weekly paper, committed suicide.

No journalist played a more central role in the effort to obscure the facts Webb reported than former L.A. Times reporter Katz. But on May 22, Katz, who has penned a Los Angeles magazine story hitting newsstands now that resurfaces the Gary Webb episode, essentially apologized, on KPCC-FM 89.3's AirTalk With Larry Mantle.

Katz was discussing "Freeway Rick Is Dreaming" in the July 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine, in which he profiles Ricky Ross, the notorious crack-cocaine dealer with whom Katz has a long, tortured relationship. In 1994, shortly after Ross got out of prison for coke trafficking, Katz wrote that Ross was the mastermind of America's crack-cocaine epidemic, at his peak pushing half a million rocks a day.

"f there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was 'Freeway' Rick," Katz's 1994 L.A. Times article claimed. "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived."

But Webb's 1996 Mercury News series exposed a startling fact: Ross' mentor and chief supplier, who helped him climb to the top of the crack trade, was Nicaraguan exile Oscar Danilo Blandón Reyes. Blandón belonged to one of Nicaragua's most prominent political families and was a major backer of the "contras" — a rebel movement secretly created by the CIA to overthrow the leftist Sandinista rebels.

While Blandón supplied Ricky Ross with coke, the Mercury News revealed, Blandón and others in his politically connected drug cartel, which supplied Ross, were using drug profits to arm the contras.

"Dark Alliance" blew the lid off the CIA's ties to America's crack market by showing for the first time not just the agency's role in turning a blind eye to Nicaraguan contras smuggling cocaine to the United States but also vividly illustrating the role of that cocaine in the spread — via marketers like Ross — of crack in America's inner cities.

Katz' rather embarrassed employer, the L.A. Times — caught off-guard by Webb's reporting in its own backyard — yanked Katz all the way from Texas to re-evaluate Ricky Ross' role in the crack epidemic.

Katz recast Ross as a much less central player in the crack plague, thus helping dilute the effect of "Dark Alliance," which had caused a firestorm of outrage, particularly in black communities.

"The story of crack's genesis and evolution," Katz newly wrote, "is filled with a cast of interchangeable characters, from ruthless billionaires to strung-out curb dealers, none of whom is central to the drama."

In researching the scandal over "Dark Alliance" for my book, I interviewed Katz about the stark disconnect between his two stories about Ross, and he struggled to answer. "I'm not sure I can answer that in a wholly satisfying way," he mused.

In his new Los Angeles magazine story, Katz buries and downplays his role in the debacle. Katz says he was just one of many reporters who ganged up on Webb. He apologizes only for bloating Ross' importance in his first Times piece on the dealer.

Contacted days ago, Katz said my interview of him for Kill the Messenger — "questions I didn't really have good answers for" in part inspired the new magazine article, but he had to edit out some of his self-reflection because the story ran too long.

He mostly focuses on Ross' near-miraculous early release from a life prison sentence, his hair-weave business schemes, his name-rights lawsuit against Florida rapper Rick Ross and a floundering movie deal. However, on AirTalk, when Mantle noted that many listeners were calling in with questions about "Dark Alliance," Katz made his confession.

"As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder[ed] how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope," Katz explained. "And we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill. We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California."

Katz stated there were "some flaws" in Webb's stories, and the L.A. Times "pointed all those out."

Katz seems to be referring to the fact that Times editor Shelby Coffey assigned a staggering 17 reporters to exploit any error in Webb's reporting, including the most minute. The newspaper's response to "Dark Alliance" was longer than Webb's series. It was replete with quotes from anonymous CIA sources who denied the CIA was connected to contra-backing coke peddlers in the ghettos. Eventually, Webb's unnerved editors in San Jose withdrew their support for his story.

L.A.'s alternative papers, New Times L.A. and L.A. Weekly, not only covered the media controversy but also advanced Webb's reporting. In my case, working for both L.A. Weekly and OC Weekly, I revealed that a central character in the Mercury News' series — a security consultant, former cop and partner of Blandón's, named Ronald Lister — gave Blandón weapons, which he sold to Ross, and helped the drug ring launder cash and evade police detection.

While Lister was laundering cash, he was staging "business meetings" with death-squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson in El Salvador, as well as "retired" CIA agents in California.

Webb was vindicated by a 1998 CIA Inspector General report, which revealed that for more than a decade the agency had covered up a business relationship it had with Nicaraguan drug dealers like Blandón.

The L.A. Times, New York Times and Washington Post buried the IG's report; under L.A. Times editor Michael Parks, the paper didn't acknowledge its release for months.

The L.A. Times' smears against Webb continued after his death. After Webb committed suicide in a suburb of Sacramento in December 2004 — the same day he was to vacate his just-sold home and move in with his mother — a damning L.A. Times obituary described the coverage by the three papers as "discrediting" Webb.

As Katz admitted to Mantle, "We really didn't do anything to advance his work or illuminate much to the story, and it was a really kind of tawdry exercise. ... And it ruined that reporter's career."

Under editor Dean Baquet, the L.A. Times did publish a commentary I wrote on the 10-year anniversary of Webb's Mercury News series. In it, I lambasted the paper for its unfair treatment of Webb.

The L.A. Times has never apologized for its attacks on a reporter who took his own life after being hounded out of mainstream journalism. A few months before Webb died, he landed a part-time gig at the alt-weekly newspaper Sacramento News & Review, thanks to its sympathetic editor, Tom Walsh.

The brilliant, award-winning reporter wrote about library funding and traffic-ticket shakedowns. But the pay couldn't cover his mortgage and Webb had reached the end of his dwindling psychological resources.

Sadly, because Webb shot himself in the head twice — the first bullet simply went through his cheek — many falsely believe the CIA killed him. As Katz, if not the rest of the Times crew, knows, it wasn't the CIA that helped load the gun that killed Gary Webb.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 26, 2013, 12:19 AM

19. Paz Vega Joins Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger as Coral Marie Baca Talavera


Paz Vega plays Coral Baca, the girlfriend of Drug trafficker Rafael Cornejo


Paz Vega Joins Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
June 24, 2013
16 1

Paz Vega is set to join Jeremy Renner in the upcoming Kill the Messenger, says a story at The Hollywood Reporter.

The film is based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb, a San Jose Mercury News reporter who allegedly committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Peter Landesman wrote the screenplay, based on the two books the studio optioned: "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," by Webb, and Nick Schou's "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb."

Vega's credits include Sex and Lucia and Cat Run. She can be seen in the upcoming Grace of Monaco.

Michael Cuesta is attached to direct Kill the Messenger with Scott Stuber producing.


Paz Vega Joining Jeremy Renner in 'Kill the Messenger' (Exclusive)
2:37 PM PDT 6/24/2013 by Borys Kit

Paz Vega Madagascar Premiere - P 2012
Getty Images
Paz Vega

Paz Vega is joining Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger, Focus Features’ adaptation of the true-life drama book by Nick Schou.
our editor recommends
Berlin 2013: Jeremy Renner's Gary Webb Biopic 'Kill the Messenger' Sells Out
Paz Vega to Play Maria Callas in 'Grace of Monaco'

Michael Cuesta, who has helmed episodes of Homeland and Dexter, is directing the picture, which is being produced by Scott Stuber and Renner.

Messenger tells the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb who through his reporting exposed the CIA’s involvement in helping Nicaragua's Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s. The agency then tried to discredit him, which ultimately led to his “committing suicide,” though with two bullets to his head.

Vega will play the girlfriend of a wealthy dealer who is in jail and hopes that Webb can get him out.

The production plans an August start in Atlanta.

Vega will appear in Grace of Monaco as legendary opera singer Maria Callas opposite Nicole Kidman and recently wrapped Paul W.S. Anderson's historical drama Pompeii. She is repped by WME and Radius Entertainment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #19)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 10:50 PM

20. July 13-2013 Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’



Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’
By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Deadline.com – 23 hours ago


Related Content

Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’View Photo

Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’

Fresh off roles in The Lone Ranger and Snitch, Barry Pepper has signed for Michael Cuesta’s fact-based pic about a CIA smear campaign that led to a Pulitzer-winning journalist’s downfall. In Kill The Messenger, Pepper will play federal prosecutor Russell Dodson, who is tasked with keeping a lid on the agency’s connection to the massive influx of cocaine into the U.S. by Nicaraguan contras. He tries to prevent investigative reporter Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) from running a series of newspaper articles about the case. Focus Features picked up worldwide rights to the pic ahead of Berlin. Production starts Monday in Atlanta. Pepper, whose credits range from Saving Private Ryan to playing Dale Earnhardt in a TV biopic to True Grit, is repped by the Kohner Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Related stories
UPDATE: Jeremy Renner’s ‘Kill The Messenger’ Acquired By Focus Features For WW Distribution On Journo Gary Webb Saga
Rosemarie DeWitt To Star Opposite Jeremy Renner In ‘Kill The Messenger’
TOLDJA! Focus Features Lands ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #20)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 10:59 PM

21. 'Moonrise Kingdom's' Lucas Hedges to Play Jeremy Renner's Son in 'Kill the Messenger'


'Moonrise Kingdom's' Lucas Hedges to Play Jeremy Renner's Son in 'Kill the Messenger' (Exclusive)
Michael Cuesta is directing Focus' thriller, which co-stars Rosemarie DeWitt and Paz Vega

Published: July 09, 2013 @ 2:40 pm
Post a Comment
Print this page

By Jeff Sneider

After playing one of the young scouts in Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Lucas Hedges has been cast as Jeremy Renner and Rosemarie DeWitt's son in Focus Features' thriller "Kill the Messenger."

"Messenger" tells the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb (Renner), whose reporting exposed the CIA's involvement in helping Nicaragua's Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s. Webb was found shot to death in 2004 in what the coroner determined to be a suicide, but foul play has long been suspected.

Also read: 'Boardwalk Empire' Star Michael K. Williams May Play 'Freeway' Rick Ross in Jeremy Renner Movie (Exclusive)

Hedges will play Ian Webb, who looks up to his truth-seeking father and stands by him when Gary needs him the most.

Paz Vega will co-star in the film, while Michael K. Williams is in negotiations to play "Freeway" Rick Ross, though his "Boardwalk Empire" schedule may prevent him from taking on the brief-yet-key role.

Michael Cuesta ("Homeland" is directing from a script by Peter Landesman, who adapted Nick Schou's book. Scott Stuber is producing through his Bluegrass Films banner along with The Combine's Renner and Don Handfield, as well as Naomi Despres. Landesman will executive produce the film, which starts production in the coming weeks in Atlanta.

Hedges is the son of director Peter Hedges, who cast Lucas in the 2007 dramedy "Dan in Real Life." Focus produced that movie and also distributed "Moonrise Kingdom," so Hedges is no stranger to the company.

The rising young actor, who recently appeared alongside Colin Firth and Emily Blunt in "Arthur Newman," will soon be seen in Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" and Terry Gilliam's "The Zero Theorem." He also played a young Ewan McGregor in Noah Baumbach's HBO pilot "The Corrections," which is not going forward at the cable network.

Hedges is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Anonymous Content.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #21)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:03 PM

22. 'Boardwalk Empire' Star Michael K. Williams May Play 'Freeway' Rick Ross in Jeremy Renner Movie


'Boardwalk Empire' Star Michael K. Williams May Play 'Freeway' Rick Ross in Jeremy Renner Movie (Exclusive)
"Kill the Messenger" stars Renner as journalist Gary Webb, who became a target of the CIA


Published: July 08, 2013 @ 1:48 pm
Post a Comment
Print this page

By Jeff Sneider

(Update 2:51 p.m.: Rick Ross has sent TheWrap an exclusive statement, which has been edited for spelling and grammar. "Please be aware that I will still be moving forward with my motion picture written by Nick Cassavetes. I am not involved with 'Kill the Messenger.' This does not affect my relationship with Cassavetes or Nick Cannon. My story is the heart of what happened from 79-95. People have to understand Gary Webb came into the story 10 years after it was over. This is his story from the outside as a reporter. Much of how the actual explosion of Crack happened and my life story won't be in their piece. It will be in mine, along with the reality of the impact economically, socially and racially. We also have our documentary coming out directed by Marc Levin tentatively titled 'A Crack in the System' nearing completion."

"Boardwalk Empire" star Michael K. Williams is in negotiations to play "Freeway" Rick Ross alongside Jeremy Renner in Focus Features' thriller "Kill the Messenger," two individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Williams (top left) is eager to tackle the brief-yet-key role but will have to overcome a significant obstacle and work out shooting dates with his "Boardwalk" producers, as "Kill the Messenger" starts production in the coming weeks in Atlanta.

Michael Cuesta ("Homeland" is directing from a script by Peter Landesman, who adapted Nick Schou's book. Scott Stuber is producing through his Bluegrass Films banner along with The Combine's Renner and Don Handfield, as well as Naomi Despres. Landesman will executive produce.

Also read: Focus Buys Jeremy Renner as Award-Winning Journalist Gary Webb

"Messenger" tells the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, whose reporting exposed the CIA's involvement in helping Nicaragua's Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s. Webb was found shot to death in 2004 in what the coroner determined to be a suicide, but foul play has long been suspected.

Rosemarie DeWitt will co-star as Renner's wife, while Paz Vega will play the girlfriend of a wealthy drug dealer who hopes Webb can get him out of jail.

In "Kill the Messenger," Rick Ross (top right) will be depicted as a wealthy, powerful drug dealer who's in jail awaiting trial. With Webb's help, he realizes he's just a small pawn in a larger game being played by the CIA and the U.S. government.

Between his breakout performance as Omar Little on "The Wire" and his current turn as Chalky White on "Boardwalk Empire," Williams has become a fixture on HBO. He recently appeared alongside Dwayne Johnson in "Snitch" and will soon be seen alongside fellow TV star Joel Kinnaman in "RoboCop." Williams also co-stars in Steve McQueen's drama "12 Years a Slave." He's repped by ICM Partners

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #22)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:05 PM

23. ‘The Master’ Actor Josh Close Joins Jeremy Renner in ‘Kill the Messenger’


‘The Master’ Actor Josh Close Joins Jeremy Renner in ‘Kill the Messenger’
Email Print

‘The Master’ Actor Josh Close Joins Jeremy Renner in ‘Kill the Messenger’
July 12, 2013 | 05:42PM PT
Focus will distribute
Justin Kroll
Related Stories

Paramount, MGM Developing Sequel to ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’
01:48 pm
Paramount, MGM Developing Sequel to ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’

“The Master” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” actor Josh Close has come on to star in the Focus pic “Kill the Messenger.”

Pic stars Jeremy Renner and Rosemarie DeWitt with Michael Cuesta directing. Scott Stuber is producing through his Bluegrass Films banner.
Get Jeremy Renner News and alerts free to your inbox Learn More >>

Pic is based on the true story of Gary Webb, a reporter who becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Close will play a fellow reporter with the L.A. Times and close friend of Webb.

Pic is currently in production.

Close, who is repped by DBA and Untitled Entertainment, most recently wrapped production on “Solace” starring Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #23)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:29 PM

24. June 18-2013 Gary Webb and the Limits of Vindication - Esquire Magazine


Jun 18, 2013
Gary Webb And The Limits Of Vindication
By Charles P. Pierce at 1:45PM

The L.A. Weekly has a fascinating piece concerning the late Gary Webb, the brilliant investigative reporter whose life and career were ruined when the establishment media of the time joined with the government to discredit a series he'd written about the involvement of the CIA in drug-running operations in alliance with the guerrilla forces the United States was backing in Central America in the 1980s.

(Full disclosure: Prior to his suicide in 2004, Webb wrote for the print edition of Esquire.)

Most notable in the LAW piece is a mea culpa from Jesse Katz, a reporter whose work in the Los Angeles Times went a long way towards demolishing Webb's reputation. Katz had done extensive work detailing the rise of a drug dealer named "Freeway Ricky" Ross as the majordomo of the crack-cocaine explosion of the 1980s. Webb's series revealed that one of Ross's mentors was a Nicaraguan kingpin named Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes, who also happened to be one of the sugar daddies funding the Contra rebels.

While Blandón supplied Ricky Ross with coke, the Mercury News revealed, Blandón and others in his politically connected drug cartel, which supplied Ross, were using drug profits to arm the contras. "Dark Alliance" blew the lid off the CIA's ties to America's crack market by showing for the first time not just the agency's role in turning a blind eye to Nicaraguan contras smuggling cocaine to the United States but also vividly illustrating the role of that cocaine in the spread - via marketers like Ross - of crack in America's inner cities. Katz' rather embarrassed employer, the L.A. Times - caught off-guard by Webb's reporting in its own backyard - yanked Katz all the way from Texas to re-evaluate Ricky Ross' role in the crack epidemic. Katz recast Ross as a much less central player in the crack plague, thus helping dilute the effect of "Dark Alliance," which had caused a firestorm of outrage, particularly in black communities. "The story of crack's genesis and evolution," Katz newly wrote, "is filled with a cast of interchangeable characters, from ruthless billionaires to strung-out curb dealers, none of whom is central to the drama."

Now, it seems, Katz is having second thoughts about how his old employer went all DefCon1 on Webb's series.

"As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder[ed] how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope," Katz explained. "And we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill. We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California."

Well, yeah, I'd say.

Katz seems to be referring to the fact thatTimes editor Shelby Coffey assigned a staggering 17 reporters to exploit any error in Webb's reporting, including the most minute. The newspaper's response to "Dark Alliance" was longer than Webb's series. It was replete with quotes from anonymous CIA sources who denied the CIA was connected to contra-backing coke peddlers in the ghettos.

And let us not underestimate the contributions to the debacle made by the utterly chickenshit.

Eventually, Webb's unnerved editors in San Jose withdrew their support for his story.

And, not that it mattered much at the time, but Webb was pretty much right.

Webb was vindicated by a 1998 CIA Inspector General report, which revealed that for more than a decade the agency had covered up a business relationship it had with Nicaraguan drug dealers like Blandón. The L.A. Times, New York Times and Washington Post buried the IG's report; under L.A. Times editor Michael Parks, the paper didn't acknowledge its release for months. The L.A. Times' smears against Webb continued after his death. After Webb committed suicide in a suburb of Sacramento in December 2004 - the same day he was to vacate his just-sold home and move in with his mother - a damning L.A. Times obituary described the coverage by the three papers as "discrediting" Webb. As Katz admitted to Mantle, "We really didn't do anything to advance his work or illuminate much to the story, and it was a really kind of tawdry exercise. ... And it ruined that reporter's career."

And a lot of the people who ran the Contra operations from Washington continued to have fine careers in and out of the private sector, despite their earlier careers as de facto drug kingpins and money launderers. Yes, friends, it surely was Morning In America.

This whole business stank from jump. For all the whining about the current adminstration's knuckling of the press, the Reagan people were the true masters at it. They were able to scare editors and publishers out of stories about what was really going on with the Moral Equivalents Of Our Founding Fathers down in Central America. They scared them into selling out their reporters; Ray Bonner and Alma Guillermoprieto over the El Mozote massacre, and Bob Parry over a lot of his Iran-Contra work, much of which itself had to do with Contra drug running. The Reagan people got the L.A. Times and a lot of the prestige press to do its dirty work on Gary Webb, who got destroyed in the process, but who now gets to be a hero in a movie, so there's that, I guess. And he gets an apology from one of the journalistic button men who did him in.

Also, and not for nothing, Mr. President? But this is the kind of stuff that happens when you start arming one side in a civil war that turns into a proxy war. This kind of stuff will happen. You cannot avoid it.

READ: Driving While Black by Gary Webb in Esquire

ALSO: Esquire's Mark Warren on Gary Webb's Glorious Comeback

Read more: Gary Webb And The Limits Of Vindication - Esquire
Follow us: @Esquiremag on Twitter | Esquire on Facebook
Visit us at Esquire.com

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #24)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:30 PM

25. June 13- 2013 Gary Webb's Glorious Comeback



Jun 18, 2013
Gary Webb's Glorious Comeback
By Mark Warren at 5:37PM

Esquire executive editor Mark Warren wrote this introduction for an anthology of Gary Webb's work at the magazine and many other publications, published in 2004.

It was a late summer evening in 1998, over dinner at a fancy New York restaurant where the waiters dote on you, that my boss, Esquire editor in chief David Granger, and I presented Gary Webb with the Pulitzer Prize he had earned for the “Dark Alliance” series that he had published in the San Jose Mercury News exactly two years previous. That the honor was long overdue was obvious, and to say that the oversight was egregious is no small understatement. Even as the tortured separation from his newspaper was still being negotiated (for reasons that the profiles in courage who ran the paper had never found the words to articulate), the CIA’s own inspector general had earlier that summer largely validated Webb’s findings. Big news, you might think! But the major newspapers from coast to coast — from the Washington Post and The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times — had somehow neglected to cover this seismic news, at least not with the same vigor they had put into savaging the “Dark Alliance” series two summers before.

I will never forget that when the Merc published the series and the CIA had emerged from the shadows to take the unprecedented step of issuing a strongly worded denial, those same pillars of American journalism had simply taken the Agency’s word for it. Yes, official denials are always to be heeded, because as we know they are always true. And I.F. Stone, Webb’s north star, spun madly in his plain pine box.

And so it was that by the evening of our private award ceremony at the Four Seasons, Gary Webb, certainly one of the greatest investigative journalists of his time, had, at age forty-three, been shunned and abandoned by his profession, and all the mewling cowards in it.

But the good cheer in the room! For Webb was undaunted and unbowed, and the evening was such a buoyant and inspiring celebration of the very idea of noble journalism — Investigate the bastards! All the bastards! — and the wine — selected with solemn purpose by Granger — flowed freely, even though Webb was really a Maker’s Mark kind of guy.

Okay, so I lied. We presented no haughty prize to Gary that night, as it wasn’t ours to give, and what the fuck’s a Pulitzer anyway, really? But we did bestow a small token of appreciation to Gary on behalf of the profession to which he had devoted his life, and might have actually given him something better: an assignment.

The talk turned to stories we might do together — which had been the whole purpose of the dinner in the first place — and Granger excused himself to the men’s room. Gary mentioned that he had found work with am investigative committee of the state assembly in Sacramento, and that through this work he had discovered a secret federal program, administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, by which the Agency had taken to training law enforcement agencies nationwide in the art and science of racial profiling. Probable cause of pulling somebody over reverted to what it had been in the bad old decades, overwhelming anecdotal evidence notwithstanding, state and local governments had denied that black people were more likely to be suspected of crimes solely on account of their race, and here Gary Webb had given the lie to that assertion, revealing in the process that not only was a lie, but there was a federal program — applied in forty-eight states, paid for by taxpayers (of all races, presumably) — whose business it had been to institutionalize such profiling. And had been doing so since 1986. It was an explosive story. “Holy shit, David,” I said to Granger as he returned to the table. “Gary, tell him what you just told me.” And just like that, Gary Webb got the assignment that returned him to the ranks of working journalists.

“Driving While Black” was published in the April 1999, issue. It contains groundbreaking reporting and its writing is riveting. But the whole profession of journalism seemed so determined to erase Gary Webb that on publication the story was manifestly ignored. Nineteen months later, in late November 2000, I received a call from Cynthia Cotts, who was then a columnist for the Village Voice. The New York Times, it seems, had just published a blockbuster story about racial profiling. The Times was running it prominently and in several parts. It contained explosive revelations about a federal program, administered by the DEA, called Operation Pipeline. Cotts noted that it was indeed a big story, but that it wasn’t news: Gary Webb had broken the story more than a year and a half earlier in Esquire. In their account of Operation Pipeline, the Times pretended not to know about this, and gave Webb no credit whatsoever for his pioneering work.

Thinking back to our dinner together — can you tell in that moment whether what seems like a glorious new beginning is just a pause in a man’s decline? No, you can’t. Because as God my witness, it was a new beginning, the next chapter in the life of a man dedicated to fearless journalism, to poking a stick in the eye of power. Except here’s the part where we — where I — also abandoned Gary Webb. Over the next couple of years, he and I would talk regularly about stories, many stories. But for a thousand good and couple not very good reasons, nothing came out of our talk. We talked about a regular investigative column. As the 2000 election approached, we conceived of covering Bush and Gore not as the herd typically covers them, but by thoroughly and pitilessly investigating them as only a hawkeyed investigative reporter could — and as anyone who presumed to ask for such power deserved — issuing our findings in a series of reports. Again, nothing. And then, over time, Gary and I simply lost touch. And so we of course, never said a proper goodbye.

READ: Driving While Black by Gary Webb in Esquire

ALSO: Charlie Pierce on Gary Webb's Accusers

Read more: Gary Webb's Glorious Comeback - Esquire
Follow us: @Esquiremag on Twitter | Esquire on Facebook
Visit us at Esquire.com

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #26)

Mon Jul 22, 2013, 04:28 AM

27. Kill The Messenger, Long-Anticipated Gary Webb Film, Now Filming! 7/19


Kill The Messenger, Long-Anticipated Gary Webb Film, Now Filming!
By Nick Schou Fri., Jul. 19 2013 at 9:33 AM
Write Comment
Categories: OC Bookly

Thumbnail image for gary_webb_kill_the_messanger.jpg
Filming began this week in Atlanta, Georgia, on Kill the Messenger, a Focus Features movie based on my similarly-titled 2006 book, as well as Gary Webb's 1998 volume, "Dark Alliance."

My book shares its title with a December 2004 obituary I wrote for this paper about Webb's suicide and how what should have been the greatest story of his career backfired, ruined his reputation, and ultimately drove him out of daily journalism.

The film is directed by Michael Cuesta of Homeland and Dexter fame (he also helmed the fantastic 2001 film L.I.E.). It stars the Academy Award-nominated Jeremy Renner as Webb and Michael K. Williams (The Wire's wonderful Omar) as "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the South Central L.A. drug dealer who for years was supplied by a CIA-tied Nicaraguan drug cartel, thus enabling him to flood America's inner cities with crack cocaine. It was written by Peter Landesman, whose screen credits include Trade as well as the forthcoming Kennedy assassination film Parkland, which marks Landesman's directorial debut.

Webb, then a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, uncovered the source of Ross' cheap supply of coke in 1996, finding that at least some of the profits had been used to aid the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras. By then, the L.A. Times had already identified Ross as the "kingpin" of crack cocaine. Then, after Webb reported his findings in a three-part series that ran in the Mercury News, the Times recast Ross as just a bit player in the crack plague. (I recently wrote about this charade, as well as a puzzling half-apology for his role in the episode by former Times reporter Jesse Katz in a story that ran in L.A. Weekly).

When Webb committed suicide, the Times ran an obituary insulting his memory. Given the role that the newspaper--along with the nation's two other largest print journalism outlets, the New York Times and Washington Post--played in "discrediting" his work, it will be interesting to see how the Times responds to the movie, which is currently scheduled to hit screens worldwide sometime next year.

As I wrote in my obituary for Webb, I first came to know him in late 1996, after following up on some local hooks to his original Dark Alliance story. In particular, I published a series of articles concerning a member of the drug ring he exposed: Ronald Lister, a former Laguna Beach cop turned security consultant and international arms dealer who claimed to be working for the CIA when police raided his Mission Viejo house in 1986.

After filing numerous U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests with the CIA, FBI and other agencies, I uncovered evidence that at the same time he was providing weapons to the Ross drug cartel and the contras, Lister was meeting with a Fluor Corp. security director whose previous job was deputy director of the CIA. Although the FBI investigated Lister's ties to the retired CIA official in 1985, the exact nature of their business relationship remains classified to protect U.S. national security.

As my discoveries thinned and the years passed, I kept in only sporadic contact with Webb, and was unaware of the extent of the depression he was suffering in the wake of losing his job at the Mercury News in May 1997, after the mainstream press attacked his work. The only time I actually met him in person was the following year, when Webb spoke about his book at the Midnight Special bookstore in Santa Monica. I had the pleasure of introducing him to the crowd.

Webb signed my copy of his book, "From one newsman to another, keep the faith."

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:47 AM

28. 7/26 Major production: "Kill the Messenger" wraps two-day shoot in Douglasville



July 26,2013

Major production: "Kill the Messenger" wraps two-day shoot in Douglasville

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 17, 2013, 01:16 AM

30. 8/13/13 Ray Liotta Joins the cast of KILL THE MESSENGER


Last edited Sun Aug 18, 2013, 01:13 PM - Edit history (2)





Ray Liotta to tip off Jeremy Renner in ‘Kill the Messenger’

August 17, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Aug 17 — Ray Liotta will join Jeremy Renner on the set of “Kill the Messenger,” a thriller based on one journalist’s investigation of ties between drug trafficking and the CIA.

In “Kill The Messenger,” Ray Liotta will play a former CIA agent who informs the journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner). — AFP picIn “Kill The Messenger,” Ray Liotta will play a former CIA agent who informs the journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner). — AFP picOne of the most hotly anticipated biopics of 2014, the film will be directed by Michael Cuesta (“Homeland,” “Six Feet Under”) and written by Peter Landesman (“Trade”).

The thriller will explore the story of investigative journalist Gary Webb, who sparked a nationwide controversy with his book “Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” (Seven Stories Press). The film will be based on Webb’s book and on a posthumous biography by Nick Schou, entitled “Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Gary Webb” (Nation Books).

An exceptional journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Webb criticised the CIA’s role in the war on drugs. Following the scandal created by his book, Gary Webb was found dead, with two bullets to the head, in 2004 in Sacramento. An investigation concluded that suicide was the cause of death.

The reporter will be played by Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”), who will also appear in theaters in 2014 in the fifth installment of the “Jason Bourne” saga.

According to Deadline.com, Ray Liotta, a regular in crime thriller supporting roles (“The Iceman,” “Cogan,” “The Place beyond the Pines”), will play a retired CIA agent who is interviewed by the journalist. The agent will play a crucial role in providing information on the actions of his former employer.

The actor, who portrayed the unforgettable Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” will join Rosemarie DeWitt (playing Webb’s wife), Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams (Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire”) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. — AFP/Relaxnews
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/showbiz/article/ray-liotta-to-tip-off-jeremy-renner-in-kill-the-messenger

August 9, 2013, 5:57 PM
Rafael Caro Quintero, infamous Mexican drug lord, released after 28 years in prison


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #30)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 05:04 PM

31. 8/26/2013 Former West Wing Star Richard Schiff to portray Walter Pincus in "Kill The Messnger"




Richard Schiff Joins Jeremy Renner in CIA Tale ‘Kill the Messenger’ (Exclusive)
| By Lucas Shaw on August 22, 2013 @ 1:26 pm Follow @lucas_shaw

'Moonrise Kingdom's' Lucas Hedges to Play Jeremy Renner's Son in 'Kill the Messenger' (Exclusive)

The Cuesta-directed project is one of three movies that Schiff has just signed on to

Former "West Wing" star Richard Schiff has joined the cast of three different movies, including Michael Cuesta’s "Kill the Messenger," according to an individual with knowledge of the actor’s plans.

Schiff, who had a role in this summer's "Man of Steel," has also appeared in three different plays over the past year, including the Al Pacino-led revival of "Glengarry Glen Ross," but the Emmy-winning actor's focus now shifts to features.

He is currently filming Matt Sobel's "Explosion, in which he plays the father of a California teen who unravels after being accused of abusing a younger cousin. His next job is in "Kill the Messenger," which Cuesta is filming now in Atlanta.

The movie stars Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, a journalist who exposed the CIA’s involvement in funneling drugs to the Nicaraguan Contras. When Webb was discredited, he became depressed and eventually committed suicide. Schiff will play the editor of the Washington Post.

After shooting that film, Schiff will make "The Automatic Hate," director Justin Lerner's follow-up film to the 2010 Toronto selection "Girlfriend." Schiff will play a renowned Yale professor who has kept his younger brother a secret for three decades. Production begins in September.


"The movie stars Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, a journalist who exposed the CIA�s involvement in funneling drugs to the Nicaraguan Contras. When Webb was discredited, he became depressed and eventually committed suicide. Schiff will play the editor of the Washington Post." That would be Pincus!

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/richard-schiff-joins-cia-tal e-kill-messenger-automatic-hate-exclusive-112676

Walter Pincus:

Walter Pincus also led the attack on Gary Webb when he published his series of articles on CIA involvement with the Contras and the drug industry. After Dark Alliance was published Pincus wrote: "A Washington Post investigation into Ross, Blandon, Meneses, and the U.S. cocaine market in the 1980s found the available information does not support the conclusion that the CIA-backed contras - or Nicaraguans in general - played a major role in the emergence of crack as a narcotic in widespread use across the United States."

The Washington Post refused to publish Webb's letters when he attempted to defend his views on the CIA. This included information that Pincus had been recruited by the CIA when he was at Yale University in order to spy on student groups at several international youth conferences in the 1950s. Later, Geneva Overholser, the Washington Post ombudsman, criticized Pincus and other reporters working for the newspaper: "A principal responsibility of the press is to protect the people from government excesses. The Washington Post (among others) showed more energy for protecting the CIA from someone else's journalistic excesses."

When Gary Webb committed suicide, French journalist, Paul Moreira, made a television documentary for France's Canal Plus. He interviewed Pincus and asked him why in October, 1998, he had not reported on the CIA's inspector general report admitting the agency worked with drug dealers throughout the 1980s. Pincus was unable to explain why he and other mainstream journalists completely ignored this report that helped to support Webb's case against the CIA.

Marc Cooper of LA Weekly argued that CIA controlled journalists destroyed Webb's career: "What I can say is that the media killed his career. That's obvious and it's really a nauseating and very discouraging story, because as a journalist, the only thing you have is your credibility. When that is shredded, there's no way to rebuild it... This is an outstanding case where three of the major newspapers in the country decided to take out somebody, a competitor whose mistakes seem by any measure to be very minor."

Pincus eventually admitted that he had carried out covert operations for the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s. However, he denied being a CIA asset later in his career. On 31st July, 1996, The Washington Post claimed that "some in the agency refer to (Pincus) as the CIA's house reporter." In 2002 Pincus won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

According to an interview Pincus gave to Nick Schou (Kill The Messenger), the most important legacy of Gary Webb's book Dark Alliance was that it "encouraged the CIA to be less aggressive in its efforts against Islamic terrorism, which helped enable Osama bin Laden's 9/11 terrorist attacks."


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #31)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 05:15 PM

32. 9/4/2013 KILL THE MESSENGER Filming is now wrapped and the project is in post production


» Wed Sep 4 2013 09:32:16
IMDb member since August 2011
Filming is wrapped, Post Production begins:

Filming is now wrapped and the project is officially in Post Production


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 08:23 PM

33. OCT 19 2013 El Paso Times / Ex-DEA officials: CIA operatives involved in 'Kiki' Camarena murder


Ex-DEA officials: CIA operatives involved in 'Kiki' Camarena murder
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 10/19/2013 09:50:26 AM MDT

Click photo to enlarge
Enrique "Kiki" Camarena (Times file photo)

Reporter: Diana
Washington Valdez

Former local DEA officials Phil Jordan and Hector Berrellez are alleging that CIA operatives killed the late DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

This week's bombshell and widely publicized allegation, which come two months after Mexico's release of kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero from prison, set off a firestorm. Caro Quintero and two other high-level drug-traffickers had been sentenced to 40 years for their roles in Camarena's kidnapping, torture and murder



Camarena's Abduction and Torture Described : Courts: Former bodyguard says ranking Mexican officials were at the house where U.S. drug agent was killed.

A former Mexican policeman who became a bodyguard to a drug kingpin testified Wednesday that two defendants, along with an array of high-ranking Mexican government officials, were at the Guadalajara house where an American drug agent was being tortured and killed in 1985.

Among those in the living room, according to Lopez, were Defense Minister Juan Arevalo Gardoqui, Interior Minister Manuel Bartlett Diaz, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alvarez del Castillo, Mexican Federal Judicial Police Director Manuel Ibarra Herrera and Mexican Interpol Director Miguel Aldana Ibarra.




Informant Puts CIA at Ranch of Agent's Killer

The Central Intelligence Agency trained Guatemalan guerrillas in the early 1980s at a ranch near Veracruz, Mexico, owned by drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, one of the murderers of U.S. drug agent Enrique Camarena, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report made public in Los Angeles.

Witness in Camarena Case Describes Life in Mexican Drug Ring : Trial: Man holds jury spellbound with tales of raucous parties. He does not implicate defendants in agent's death.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:12 PM

35. 11/3/13 Sneak peek: Jeremy Renner in 'Kill the Messenger'



Sneak peek: Jeremy Renner in 'Kill the Messenger'
05:00 AM, Nov 03, 2013

Jeremy Renner in a scene from the motion picture 'Kill the Messenger.' Chuck Zlotnick Focus Features/
Written By by Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

Jeremy Renner has been involved in every type of danger that comes with starring in action franchises such as Mission: Impossible, The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy.

But even Renner was daunted by the decidedly less-physical world of investigative newspaper journalism in his upcoming film Kill the Messenger (2014, no release date yet).

“That is one tough trade,” says Renner. “It took me to a pretty intense world.”

The dramatic thriller is based on San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, who wrote a highly controversial 1996 series alleging the C.I.A. played a role in the importation of crack cocaine to California, with illicit proceeds funding the Nicaraguan Contra rebel army.

The reporter’s life changed drastically after receiving a source phone call that started the ball rolling, says director Michael Cuesta, the Emmy Award-winning director of Showtime’s Homeland. The tale follows the reporter as he pulls together the pieces of his story and then deals with the blowback.

“Gary just starts digging and keeps digging like a Doberman to find the truth,” says Cuesta. “But he never expected the story to have the response it did.”

Rival reporters criticized Webb’s reporting and even personally attacked Webb. “He was controversial-ized,” says Cuesta.

“Good investigative journalism ruffles feathers,” says Renner. “From the reaction he got, Gary was doing something right.”

Facing a growing storm, Webb’s bosses wrote a backtracking editorial, and Webb eventually left in a cloud of controversy.

“It’s a man left out in the wind on his own,” says Renner. “The letter was the ultimate betrayal for Gary, I believe. The mothership bailed and that crushed him.”

Renner, experiencing award buzz for his upcoming role in American Hustle, took on double duty in Messenger, portraying Webb and also producing a film for the first time. Preparing for a newspaper reporter role had its difficulties as large as understanding the mind-set of a man professionally besieged and as small as having illegible handwriting for scenes involving his reporter’s note pad.

“Fortunately, Gary was known for having really (terrible) handwriting anyways,” says Renner. “Mine is not great. We had to reshoot a few scenes when we did close-ups of my written words.”

Producing required Renner to reach into his Hollywood address book to help corral a cast which includes Ray Liotta as an ex-C.I.A. operative and Rosemarie DeWitt as Webb’s supportive wife. “I had to ask a lot of favors for people to come in and do some work with us,” says Renner.

But the subject matter, with a screenplay by former New York Times Magazine writer Peter Landesman, was important to Renner, who grew up near the California city where Webb worked. Webb shot himself in 2004, an act that Internet scribes have deemed suspicious but which the filmmakers treat as the self-inflicted result of the overall backlash. “Everything he had in his life was his job,” says Renner. “And you take that away from a man, then it leads to a tragic situation.”

Cuesta says the film is not meant to attack the government or carry a strong political agenda, even if it shows the once discredited reporting eventually receiving validation.

“I’m not thinking big message or an indictment film. I’m not Oliver Stone,” says Cuesta. “The movie to me was much more about the burden Gary carries wanting to get to the truth. And what that does to you. I am more interested in seeing a man who goes out and fights what seems like an unwinnable war.”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 08:25 PM

34. 10/10/2013 FOX NEWS / US intelligence assets in Mexico reportedly tied to murdered DEA agent


US intelligence assets in Mexico reportedly tied to murdered DEA agent

By William La Jeunesse, Lee Ross
Published October 10, 2013
Facebook505 Twitter423 LinkedIn4

Few remember Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena, the DEA agent killed in the line of duty almost 30 years ago, when the War on Drugs was the talk of Washington.

"On February 7, 1985, Special Agent Camarena was kidnapped by the traffickers," then First Lady Nancy Reagan somberly told a room full of anti-drug advocates. "He was tortured and beaten to death."

Camarena's killer was sentenced to 40 years in jail. Now, he's free after serving only 28 years. And those who knew the agent and became close to his family are fighting to see that his story is not forgotten.

"I think the American people, at least, owe him for the sacrifice that he made to ensure that the people that took his life, that subjected him to torture over a three day period of time are held accountable and brought to justice, says Jimmy Gurule’, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.

Gurule’ indicted Rafael Caro Quintero for Camerena’s murder. But it would be in a federal Mexican courtroom that the powerful drug cartel leader was convicted of murder.

Today, however, Quintero is gone, released from jail by Mexican judges nine weeks ago on a legal technicality. In doing so, Mexico ignored a U.S. extradition request and also never informed Washington of his release. Two days later, the White House released a statement saying it was "deeply concerned" Quintero was free.

"I'm deeply disappointed about a lot of things," Gurule’ told Fox News. "But we're talking about the release of the murderer of a DEA agent. I think that's a very shameful statement. The government should be outraged. I'm outraged. The DEA is outraged. The Camarena family is outraged."

Outraged because of how Camarena died and the role Quintero played.

"Quintero is such a psychopath that he makes Charles Manson appear to be a cub scout," former DEA agent Hector Berrellez said.

According to an internal government report obtained by Fox News, Quintero's drug operation stretched 2,000 miles, establishing "a cocaine pipeline from Colombia, shipping multi-ton quantities of cocaine into the United States via Mexico."

Using a series of wiretaps, the DEA and Camarena were making sizeable drug busts inside Mexico, including one that cost Quintero $2.5 billion.

"Camarena was kidnapped and murdered because he came up with the idea that we needed to chase the money not the drugs," said Berrellez, who led the investigation into Camarena's murder. "We were seizing a huge amount of drugs. However, we were not really disrupting the cartels. So he came up with the idea that we should set up a task force and target their monies."

In February 1985, as Camarena left to meet his wife for lunch outside the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara, he was surrounded by Mexican intelligence officers from the DFS, a Mexican intelligence agency that no longer exists.

"Back in the middle 1980's, the DFS, their main role was to protect the drug lords," Berrellez claims.

U.S. intelligence documents obtained by Fox News support that assessment: "Drug smugglers/transporters employed by Rafael Caro Quintero were always provided protection prior to moving a drug load....two DFS agents (would) accompany the smugglers at all times to avoid any problems."

Blindfolded and held at gunpoint, the DFS agents took Camarena to one of Quintero's haciendas five miles away.

Over 30 hours, Quintero and others crushed Camarena's skull, jaw, nose and cheekbones with a tire iron. They broke his ribs, drilled a hole in his head and tortured him with a cattle prod. As Camarena lay dying, Quintero ordered a cartel doctor to keep the U.S. agent alive.

"At that point he administered lidocaine into his heart to keep him alert and awake during the torture," said Berrellez.

After the cartel dumped Camarena's body on a nearby ranch, the DEA closed in on Quintero at the Guadalajara airport.

"Upon arrival we were confronted by over 50 DFS agents pointing machine guns and shotguns at us--the DEA. They told us we were not going to take Caro Quintero," says Berrellez, recalling the stand-off. "Well, Caro Quintero came up to the plane door waved a bottle of champagne at the DEA agents and said, 'My children, next time, bring more guns.' And laughed at us."

The kidnapping and death of a U.S. drug agent was, until then, unprecedented. Mexico initially did little, until President Reagan shut down the U.S. border, paralyzing the Mexican economy. Within weeks, Quintero was behind bars.

The details of the case are not new. However, those involved in investigating the case, have until now remained silent about the role U.S. intelligence assets played in Camarena’s capture and Quintero's escape.

"Our intelligence agencies were working under the cover of DFS. And as I said it before, unfortunately, DFS agents at that time were also in charge of protecting the drug lords and their monies," said Berrellez.

"After the murder of Camarena, (Mexico's) investigation pointed that the DFS had been complicit along with American intelligence in the kidnap and torture of Kiki. That's when they decided to disband the DFS."

Complicit is a strong term that Berrellez doesn't shy away from. However, when he raised the issue internally, his supervisors told him to drop it. Eventually he was transferred to Washington D.C., and was ordered to stop pursuing any angle that suggested U.S. assets knew of Camarena's capture.

"I know and from what I have been told by a former head of the Mexican federal police, Comandante (Guillermo Gonzales) Calderoni, the CIA was involved in the movement of drugs from South America to Mexico and to the U.S.," says Phil Jordan, former director of DEA's powerful El Paso Intelligence Center.

"In (Camarena’s) interrogation room, I was told by Mexican authorities, that CIA operatives were in there. Actually conducting the interrogation. Actually taping Kiki."

Eventually, the prosecution did obtain tapes of Camarena's torture and murder.

"The CIA was the source. They gave them to us," said Berrellez. "Obviously, they were there. Or at least some of their contract workers were there."

On Thursday night, a CIA Spokesman told Fox News that “it’s ridiculous to suggest that the CIA had anything to do with the murder of a U.S. federal agent or the escape of his killer.”

Berrellez says two informants from the Mexican state police, who witnessed Camarena's torture, independently and positively identified a photo of one man, a Cuban, who worked as a CIA operative who helped run guns and drugs for the Contras.

Tosh Plumlee claims he was hired to fly covert missions on behalf of U.S. intelligence. He says he flew C-130s in and out of Quintero's ranch and airports throughout Central America in the 1980s.

"The United States government played both ends against the middle. We were running guns. We were running drugs. We were using the drug money to finance the gun running operation," says Plumlee, who now works in Colorado.

Plumlee flew for SETCO, which according to a CIA Inspector General's report delivered "military supplies to Contra forces inside Nicaragua."

In 1998, CIA Inspector General Fred Hitz told Congress he "found no evidence...of any conspiracy by CIA or its employees to bring drugs into the United States. However, it worked with a variety of ...assets (and) pilots who ferried supplies to the Contras, who were alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking activity."

Hitz said the "CIA had an operational interest" in the Contras. And while aware the rebels were trading "arms-for-drugs" the CIA "did nothing to stop it."

Plumlee puts it more directly.

"You want me to say this on camera? Alright. Those entities were cut outs financed and operated by the Central Intelligence Agency," he said. "Our operations were sanctioned by the federal government, controlled out of the Pentagon. The CIA acted in some cases as our logistical support team."

In the past the CIA has insisted, it was not involved supplying or helping the Contras.

However, all three men, say it was an American pilot - who worked for the CIA as well as the Contras and drug cartels - who flew Quintero to freedom from Guadalajara.

“You have the CIA employees,which are your badge, carrying CIA personnel and then you have all of these subcontract employees that work with these intelligence agencies,” Berrellez explains. “Some of them are pilots, some of them run boats, but they are contract employees. Now, the pilot that flew Caro Quintero to Costa Rica was a contract employee.”

"Absolutely," agreed Jordan. "That's a fact."

"That's absolutely right," added Plumlee.

Plumlee says the pilot now lives in New Mexico and regrets that flight.

Quintero’s escape was short-lived. After significant pressure from the Reagan administration, including shutting down the border, in April 1985 the Mexicans nabbed Quintero in Costa Rica and brought him back to stand trial.

He was convicted and sent to prison. Two months ago a Mexican court ordered his release on a legal technicality - that his trial should have taken place in state not federal court. He hasn’t been seen since.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:21 PM

36. Assassinated DEA Agent Kiki Camarena Fell in a CIA Operation ...


Assassinated DEA Agent Kiki Camarena Fell in a CIA Operation ...

Oct 27, 2013 ... Berrellez — as well as Jordan and Plumlee — say they believe it is likely Camarena was abducted on orders from powerful individuals who ...


Kiki Camarena executed on orders of the CIA?
Sunday, October 13, 2013 | Borderland Beat Reporter un vato

El Diario de Coahuila (10-13-13) Proceso (10-12-13) By Luis Chaparro and J. Jesus Esquivel


"It was I who directed the investigation into the death of Camarena", says Berrellez, and he adds: "During this investigation, we discovered that some members of a U.S. intelligence agency, who had infiltrated the DFS (the Mexican Federal Security Directorate), also participated in the kidnapping of Camarena. Two witnesses identified Felix Ismael Rodriguez. They (witnesses) were with the DFS and they told us that, in addition, he (Rodriguez) had identified himself s "U.S. intelligence."

Felix Ismael Rodriguez, "El Gato", has one of the murkiest histories in the U.S. intervention in Central America, mainly in Nicaragua. To this Cuban -- who participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and after that, in the Vietnam War -- is attributed the capture, and therefore the assassination, of Che Guevara in Bolivia on October 9, 1967.

Was the CIA Behind 'Kiki' Camarena's Murder? Investigative ...

Oct 15, 2013 ... Fox quotes Jordan as stating that at the time, working with Quintero, "the CIA was ... Berrellez also claims that CIA agents were present during ...

www.huffingtonpost.com/ luis-a-marentes/ was-the-cia-behind-kiki-c_b_4102104.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #36)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:51 PM

37. Caso Camarena: más evidencias contra la CIA


Last edited Tue Dec 17, 2013, 05:27 AM - Edit history (1)

La historia secreta detrás del asesinato de Enrique Camarena ...

Oct 22, 2013 ... En entrevista con Proceso el exagente Héctor Berrellez habla de todo esto, confirma su denuncia de que la CIA mandó matar a Camarena y ...


Molly Molloy
4 nov

As far as I can tell from a quick search on google news, there has been no real followup in the US press on the FOX news story from mid-October quoting retired DEA agents Jordan and Berellez saying that the CIA was involved in the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Camarena in 1984 in Mexico. The best single account in English is this by Bill Conroy in Narco News posted here last week:


The Mexican newsmagazine Proceso has published several articles, including this latest. Last week, the DEA Museum in Washington held a conference for the purpose of debunking the revelations from Jordan, Berellez and former CIA operative Tosh Plumlee. I have seen no account of this event in the English-language press. The article below from Proceso gives the play by play. It also cites another retired DEA agent, Mike Holm, as supporting the claims of CIA involvement in Camarena's death. For readers who think this is a novel claim, I recommend this 1998 article by Charles Bowden, http://www.esquire.com/features/pariah-gary-webb-0998

The main point of the "new" revelations is that the CIA was taking advantage of Mexican cartels smuggling cocaine into the US to earn $$$ that was then funneled illegally into the CIA support for the Nicaraguan contras. Camarena knew about this and his knowledge was considered dangerous. So Mexican cartel criminals led by Rafael Caro Quintero were enlisted by the CIA to kidnap Camarena and find out what he really knew. Camarena died while being tortured. Eyewitnesses say that CIA operatives were in the room during Camarena's torture. Caro Quintero has recently been released from Mexican prison and his whereabouts are unknown.

The CIA has also been implicated in the assassination of Mexican journalist Manuel Buendia who was also killed in 1984 after publishing several columns revealing the links between the CIA and the Nicaraguan Contras. It is interesting that these links that have now been substantiated in reams of US government documents over the years, in Congressional hearings in 1987, in the criminal indictments of Oliver North and others working in the Reagan administration to supply illegal money and arms to the Contras... well, these links were fairly well known in Central America as early as 1984. I happened to be living in Managua from 1984-1986. Oliver North's name frequently appeared in the Nicaraguan press. I remember being surprised at the shock surrounding the revelations in 1987 when North and his henchmen were forced to testify in the US Congress...

But the story was also known in 1984 in Mexico, thanks to the revelations of Manuel Buendia. He was killed. Camarena was killed. Twelve years later, in 1996, California reporter Gary Webb revealed these links in the San Jose Mercury News and the backlash against him cost him his job. He wrote a great book, DARK ALLIANCE, that filled in many of the details of the story. But he never recovered from the media and CIA campaign to smear him. He committed suicide in 2004.

What is interesting is that the true story is coming out now, nearly 30 years after the murders of Buendia and Camarena.
Will Proceso and Narco News Bulletin be the only media to expose the hypocrisy of the CIA? molly molloy

Caso Camarena Contra la CIA, más evidencias
2013-11-02 17:56:39 · COMENTARIOS DESACTIVADOS

Mientras la DEA se aferra en descalificar a sus exagentes Héctor Berrellez y Phil Jordan, otro más, Mike Holm, los defiende. Los dos primeros revelaron los entretelones del caso Camarena: la participación de la CIA y de la misma Casa Blanca en tiempos de Ronald Reagan. Holm, quien fue jefe de Berrellez cuando se instrumentó la Operación Leyenda, proporciona más datos novedosos: cuando se negociaba el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, la DEA ordenó que no se reportaran los actos de corrupción por narcotráfico de ningún alto funcionario mexicano.

WASHINGTON.– En su intento por deslindar a la CIA del secuestro, tortura y asesinato de su agente Enrique Kiki Camarena, la Administración Federal Antidrogas (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) abona nuevas evidencias de que el gobierno de Estados Unidos tiene más información sobre el caso, que cambió el rumbo de la lucha contra el narcotráfico en México.

Para hablar del asunto y “aclarar” las revelaciones de sus exagentes Hector Berrellez y Phil Jordan, quienes acusan a la CIA de haber dispuesto el homicidio de Kiki Camarena, ocurrido en 1985 (Proceso 1928, 1929), la agencia organizó un foro público.

El acto se realizó el 29 de octubre en el Museo de la DEA bajo el título “Llevados ante la justicia: Operación Leyenda”. Participaron Jack Lawn, administrador de la agencia entre 1985 y 1990; el exagente Jack Taylor, supervisor de la Operación Leyenda en los primeros dos años y medio de esta iniciativa, y la periodista Elaine Shannon, autora del libro Desperados, en el cual narra la historia del secuestro, tortura y asesinato de Camarena.

Los primeros 100 minutos se centraron en un recuento histórico del caso Camarena. Los panelistas insistieron en que el responsable de su ejecución fue Caro Quintero, quien contó con la colaboración de agentes corruptos de la desaparecida Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS).

En esa parte de la narración, al hablar de cómo las autoridades mexicanas trataron de manipular las pruebas, Lawn soltó las nuevas evidencias en torno al involucramiento indirecto de la CIA.

“Nos enteramos por parte de nuestros amigos de la comunidad de inteligencia (la CIA) que el interrogatorio al que fue sometido Camarena estaba grabado”, comentó Lawn, quien estaba al frente de la DEA el 7 de febrero de 1985, cuando el agente antinarcóticos fue secuestrado en Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Y detalló: “Los individuos que interrogaron a Kiki Camarena lo grabaron, ya que era una práctica normal (en México). Pero había también algo más: el número de gente que estaba en la nómina de pagos del narcotráfico en la Ciudad de México y en Guadalajara. (Los torturadores) querían saber qué sabía la DEA de sus actividades”.

Los exagentes de esta agencia que hicieron las declaraciones “desafortunadas” respecto del presunto involucramiento de la CIA en el homicidio de Camarena son Berrellez, quien reemplazó a Taylor como supervisor de la Operación Leyenda, y Jordan, exsubadministrador de la DEA y exdirector del Centro de Inteligencia El Paso (EPIC), en Texas.

Ellos revelaron que el exagente de la CIA de origen cubano Félix Ismael Rodríguez, El Gato, interrogó a Camarena cuando fue secuestrado por la gente de Caro Quintero. Él estaba a cargo de centros de entrenamiento de integrantes de la Contra nicaragüense en Sinaloa y Veracruz.

Berrellez y Jordan sostienen que, con base en las investigaciones y conclusiones, después del paso de Taylor y del propio Lawn en la DEA se conoció la relación de la CIA con el homicidio de Camarena (Proceso 1928 y 1929).

De acuerdo con la versión de los exagentes, en México la CIA colaboraba con Caro Quintero en el tráfico de drogas hacia Estados Unidos por medio de las operaciones dirigidas por Rodríguez. Asimismo, según ellos, las ganancias obtenidas por este negocio ilícito eran usadas por la CIA para comprar armas, que enviaba a los contras a Nicaragua desde México en aviones que contrataba a la empresa SETCO, propiedad del narcotraficante hondureño Juan Matta Ballesteros.

En resumen, Jordan y Berrellez sostienen que en sus investigaciones descubrieron que Camarena se dio cuenta de la relación de la CIA con Caro Quintero. Eso, dijeron, pudo ser el motivo real de su secuestro, tortura y asesinato.

En el caso de algunas personas “sería mejor que no hablaran”, pues sus afirmaciones “se pueden investigar e inclusive usar potencialmente en su contra si difieren de lo que dijeron hace 28 años”, sentenció Sean Fearns, director del Museo de la DEA y moderador del evento.

La versión del exagente Holm

Mike Holm estuvo 27 años al servicio de la DEA hasta que se retiró en 1996. Tuvo puestos importantes en la institución; incluso fue el jefe directo de Berrellez cuando éste fungió como supervisor de la Operación Leyenda.

“La relación de la CIA y el narcotráfico mexicano era algo que se mencionaba constantemente dentro de la DEA en esos años”, afirma Holm a Proceso en entrevista telefónica.

En 1989, Holm trabajó en varias ciudades de Estados Unidos, Asia y Medio Oriente. Estaba a cargo de la oficina de la DEA en Los Ángeles, California, por lo que era responsable de la Operación Leyenda y, por ende, de Berrellez.

Los años previos, 1987 y 1988, trabajó en Detroit, Michigan, en una investigación en la que salió a la luz la relación entre la CIA y el narcotráfico.

Se explaya: “En Detroit estábamos realizando una investigación que involucraba a un piloto que llevaba cargamentos de armas a Honduras. Lo que hicimos con él es lo que llamamos ‘entrega controlada’. Volamos 17 toneladas de mariguana y 600 kilos cocaína a una parte de la zona norte de Detroit. Nos hicimos pasar como narcotraficantes para, cuando entregáramos la mercancía a los destinatarios, los detuviéramos.

“Ese avión en el que se transportó la droga era utilizado para llevar armas a la Contra de Nicaragua. Yo hice un chiste, diciendo que era uno de los aviones de Oliver North y que no tenía sentido que un avión regresara vacío de un viaje.

“Estructuramos un plan junto con el FBI, bajo el acuerdo de que se trataría de una investigación clasificada. Pero el jefe del FBI en Detroit filtró a la prensa una fotografía del avión con las drogas y provocó un escándalo. Era un secreto a voces que la CIA traficaba cocaína para venderla y, con las ganancias, apoyar a la Contra”.

En el foro organizado por la DEA para aclarar las “declaraciones desafortunadas” de Berrellez y Jordan –según la administración “desvirtúan la historia oficial del caso Camarena”– la mención de la CIA surgió durante la sesión de preguntas y respuestas.

Cuando el moderador Fearns preguntó si había alguna pregunta enviada por internet, una de sus asistentes aclaró que había llegado un comentario enviado por David Wilson, exagente de la DEA.

Y lo leyó: Recientemente se ha dicho en la prensa que la CIA tiene alguna responsabilidad en el asesinato de Camarena y que de alguna manera está ligada al escándalo Irán-Contras. Estas acusaciones provienen de exagentes especiales de la DEA, quienes afirman que tuvieron un papel de liderazgo en la investigación del homicidio.

Fearns le pidió entonces a Lawn comentar al respecto. El exadministrador de la DEA fue parco: “No vale la pena hacer comentarios. Cualquiera que sepa quiénes somos, sabe sobre esta investigación y debería saber que cuando se trata de lo que descubrimos fue precisamente porque la CIA nos informó sobre las grabaciones del interrogatorio (a Camarena)”.

Lawn hizo una pausa y después enfatizó: “Es desafortunado que dos de nuestros exagentes hayan llegado a esta conclusión que no tiene fundamentos”.

Taylor, el primer supervisor de la Operación Leyenda, también respondió de manera escueta: “Durante mi labor de investigación en torno a este caso, hubo cero evidencias de involucramiento o complicidad de la CIA en la muerte de Camarena”.

Las preguntas de Elaine

Después de la alocución de Taylor, ­Elaine Shannon pidió la palabra. “Si me permiten, la CIA tenía una relación con la DFS. Esa relación podría haber incluido el que la CIA hubiese obtenido información adelantada de que alguien quería secuestrar y matar a un agente de la DEA. ¿Qué piensas, Jack?”, dijo la autora de Desperados.

“No creo que la CIA haya tenido conocimiento de esto porque su personal también está en peligro en distintos países. Pero Elaine está absolutamente en lo correcto sobre la relación de la CIA y la DFS”, contestó Lawn.

En la entrevista con Holm, realizada el lunes 28, antes del foro de la DEA, el corresponsal le preguntó sobre los desmentidos que en la prensa estadunidense están haciendo algunos exagentes de la DEA, como David Wilson.

Antes de responder, Holm explicó que la Operación Leyenda fue una investigación secreta bajo la cual Berrellez se reportaba primero a Washington con la Oficina de Responsabilidad Profesional (ORP) de la DEA y después lo hacía con él.

Luego se explayó: “Conozco muy bien a Jordan. Es un gran profesional que goza de la admiración de muchas personas dentro del sistema judicial de Estados Unidos; incluso llegó a ser subadministrador de la DEA.

“Berrellez, por su parte, fue uno de los agentes de la DEA más condecorados por el Departamento de Justicia. Fue acreedor de dos premios que otorga la dirigencia de la DEA a lo más destacado de su personal. En mi caso, cada año yo le daba la mejor calificación como supervisor de operaciones como Leyenda.”

–¿Esto quiere decir que la CIA sí estuvo involucrada en el secuestro de Kiki ­Camarena?

–Primero que nada, no estoy diciendo que la CIA estuvo involucrada en el secuestro. Lo que estoy diciendo es que nosotros sabíamos… Bueno, existen tres grabaciones del interrogatorio al que fue sometido Camarena. La CIA nos dio dos de esas grabaciones.

“Y yo digo: es obvio que la CIA tenía a alguien dentro de la casa de Lope de Vega (donde se interrogó y torturó a Camarena). Si no, ¿cómo diablos las obtuvieron?

“Tenían a algún infiltrado, o a alguien en esa casa o en el cuarto donde se interrogó a Camarena; si no, ¿de dónde sacaron las grabaciones? No sé si se las dio la DFS, o un informante o un miembro del cártel (de Caro Quintero). Existe algún tipo de conexión, pero no estoy diciendo que la CIA estuvo involucrada en el secuestro y asesinato de Camarena.

“Lo que digo es que la CIA debió haber tenido a algún infiltrado. Pero es lógico que (la CIA) jamás entregará a nadie de su gente; jamás aceptará nada ni explicará cómo obtuvo las grabaciones. Si la CIA estaba traficando drogas para comprar armas para los Contras fue porque no quería que el Congreso lo supiera.”

–Dice Berrellez que en Washington le prohibieron investigar la conexión de la CIA con el narcotráfico en México…

–Es correcto. Le dijeron que sólo investigara lo referente al homicidio de Camarena.

A diferencia de lo señalado indirectamente en el Museo de la DEA sobre las declaraciones de Berrellez y Jordan respecto a la relación de la CIA con Caro Quintero –y con el caso Camarena–, Holm insiste en que los dos exagentes de la DEA no mienten.

Según él, están contando únicamente lo que descubrieron en la investigación; lo que ocurrió fue posterior al asesinato de Camarena.

Holm hace un apunte para poner sobre contexto las posibles razones por las que el Departamento de Justicia le pidió a Berrellez que no investigara el presunto involucramiento de la CIA en el homicidio de Camarena:

“Años después del asesinato, en 1992 o 1993, cuando el gobierno de México negociaba con Estados Unidos el Tratado de Libre Comercio, en la DEA se nos dio una orden: no reportar la corrupción por narcotráfico de ningún funcionario mexicano de alto nivel. Si lo hacíamos, se enteraría el Congreso (estadunidense) y bloquearía el proceso de aprobación del acuerdo ­comercial.”

Horas después del foro de la DEA, Proceso llamó por teléfono a Berrellez para obtener su opinión sobre el asunto.

“Lawn y Taylor no saben lo que están diciendo –sostiene–, porque la conexión de la CIA con el caso Camarena la conseguimos en 1992, con las declaraciones de dos testigos que estuvieron en la casa de Lope de Vega. Para entonces Lawn y Taylor ya no estaban en la DEA ni podían tener acceso a la información que se entregó a la ORP, que se encargaba de clasificarla.”


Ex agente DEA Phil Jordan acusa a Felix Ismael Rodriguez de ...

16 Oct 2013 ... América TeVé, Sevcec a Fondo 8pm. Más en americateve.com Suscríbete ahora para recibir más videos, aquí: http://bit.ly/TImLl3 Mira los todos ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #37)

Sat Dec 21, 2013, 05:06 PM

42. David Sabow, the brother of Col. Jim Sabow comments on Camarena articles


David Sabow: Reagan Administration with CIA / Cuban Exile Contras Complicit in Torture & Murder of DEA Field Officer Agent

DEC 7, 2013


You are my hero! You have supported me of over twenty years. You are making it happen. You are as important to our country as any person in our history. You have discovered the treatment that can cure the cancer in our country.

My brother Jimmy and I are alive and well, each in our unique ways. Together we will expose the cancer and demand the irradiation of the primary tumor as well as the metastasis that is prevalent within the DC Beltway.

Daily I am in awe of the courage you have shown as well as the courage of a small group who have openly supported both your’s and my efforts. However, I am appalled by the cowardice that I have personally witnessed by the dozens in and out of the Beltway who are well aware of the cancer but lack the courage to stand up and be counted.



OCT 23, 2013

David Sabow: White House/Pentagon/CIA Iran Contra Drug Running — and Destruction of Senator Gary Hart to Stop Investigation


Read about Col. Sabow


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2013, 05:20 AM

38. New Evidence of Contra-Cocaine Scandal



New Evidence of Contra-Cocaine Scandal
December 9, 2013

Special Report: Since journalist Gary Webb died in 2004, the story that destroyed his life has slowly come into clearer focus, revealing how President Reagan’s beloved Contras really were enmeshed in cocaine trafficking. On this ninth anniversary of Webb’s suicide, new corroboration has emerged, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Nearly a decade before Gary Webb published his investigative series on cocaine trafficking by Nicaraguan Contra rebels, U.S. law enforcement received a detailed account of top Contra leader Adolfo Calero casually associating with Norwin Meneses, called “a well-reputed drug dealer” in a “secret” document that I recently found at the National Archives.

Meneses was near the center of Webb’s 1996 articles for the San Jose Mercury-News, a series that came under fierce attack from U.S. government officials as well as major news organizations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The controversy cost Webb his career, left him nearly penniless and ultimately contributed to his suicide on Dec. 9, 2004.
Journalist Gary Webb holding a copy of his Contra-cocaine article in the San Jose Mercury-News.

Journalist Gary Webb holding a copy of his Contra-cocaine article in the San Jose Mercury-News.

But the bitter irony of Webb’s demise, which will be the subject of a 2014 movie starring Jeremy Renner as Webb, is that Webb’s much-maligned “Dark Alliance” series forced major admissions from the CIA, the Justice Department and other government agencies revealing an even-deeper relationship between President Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras and drug cartels than Webb ever alleged.

Typical of the evidence that the Reagan administration chose to ignore was information provided by Dennis Ainsworth, a blue-blood Republican from San Francisco who volunteered to help the Contra cause in 1984-85. That put him in position to witness the strange behind-the-scenes activities of Contra leaders hobnobbing with drug traffickers and negotiating arms deals with White House emissaries.

Ainsworth also was a source of mine in fall 1985 when I was investigating the mysterious sources of funding for the Contras after Congress shut off CIA support in 1984 amid widespread reports of Contra atrocities inflicted on Nicaraguan civilians, including rapes, executions and torture.

Ainsworth’s first-hand knowledge of the Contra dealings dovetailed with information that I already had, such as the central role of National Security Council aide Oliver North in aiding the Contras and his use of “courier” Rob Owen as an off-the-books White House intermediary to the Contras. I later developed confirmation of some other details that Ainsworth described, such as his overhearing Owen and Calero working together on an arms deal as Ainsworth drove them through the streets of San Francisco.

As for Ainsworth’s knowledge about the Contra-cocaine connection, he said he sponsored a June 1984 cocktail party at which Calero spoke to about 60 people. Meneses, a notorious drug kingpin in the Nicaraguan community, showed up uninvited and clearly had a personal relationship with Calero, who was then the political leader of the Contra’s chief fighting force, the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Democratic Force (or FDN).

“At the end of the cocktail party, Meneses and Calero went off together,” Ainsworth told U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello, according to a “secret” Jan. 6, 1987 cable submitted by Russoniello to an FBI investigation code-named “Front Door,” a probe into corruption by the Reagan administration.

After Calero’s speech, Ainsworth said Meneses accompanied Calero and about 20 people to dinner and picked up the entire tab, according to a more detailed debriefing of Ainsworth by the FBI. Concerned about this relationship, Ainsworth said he was told by Renato Pena, an FDN leader in the San Francisco area, that “the FDN is involved in drug smuggling with the aid of Norwin Meneses who also buys arms for Enrique Bermudez, a leader of the FDN.” Bermudez was then the top Contra military commander.

Corroborating Account

Pena, who himself was convicted on federal drug charges in 1984, gave a similar account to the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to a 1998 report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Bromwich, “When debriefed by the DEA in the early 1980s, Pena said that the CIA was allowing the Contras to fly drugs into the United States, sell them, and keep the proceeds. …

“Pena stated that he was present on many occasions when Meneses telephoned Bermudez in Honduras. Meneses told Pena of Bermudez’s requests for such things as gun silencers (which Pena said Meneses obtained in Los Angeles), cross bows, and other military equipment for the Contras. Pena believed that Meneses would sometimes transport certain of these items himself to Central America, and other times would have contacts in Los Angeles and Miami send cargo to Honduras, where the authorities were cooperating with the Contras. Pena believed Meneses had contact with Bermudez from about 1981 or 1982 through the mid-1980s.”

Bromwich’s report then added, “Pena said he was one of the couriers Meneses used to deliver drug money to a Colombian known as ‘Carlos’ in Los Angeles and return to San Francisco with cocaine. Pena made six to eight trips, with anywhere from $600,000 to nearly $1 million, and brought back six to eight kilos of cocaine each time. Pena said Meneses was moving hundreds of kilos a week. ‘Carlos’ once told Pena, ‘We’re helping your cause with this drug thing … we are helping your organization a lot.”

Ainsworth also said he tried to alert Oliver North in 1985 about the troubling connections between the Contra movement and cocaine traffickers but that North turned a deaf ear. “In the spring some friends of mine and I went back to the White House staff but we were put off by Ollie North and others on the staff who really don’t want to know all what’s going on,” Ainsworth told Russoniello.

When I first spoke with Ainsworth in September 1985 at a coffee shop in San Francisco, he asked for confidentiality which I granted. However, since the documents released by the National Archives include him describing his conversations with me, that confidentiality no longer applies. Ainsworth also spoke with Webb for his 1996 San Jose Mercury-News series under the pseudonym “David Morrison.”

Though I found Ainsworth to be generally reliable, some of his depictions of our conversations contained mild exaggerations or confusion over details, such as his claim that I called him from Costa Rica in January 1986 and told him that the Contra-cocaine story that I had been working on with my AP colleague Brian Barger “never hit the papers because it was suppressed by the Associated Press due to political pressure primarily from the CIA.”

In reality, Barger and I returned from Costa Rica in fall 1985, wrote our story about the Contras’ involvement in cocaine smuggling, and pushed it onto the AP wire in December though in a reduced form because of resistance from some senior AP news executives who were supportive of President Reagan’s foreign policies. The CIA, the White House and other agencies of the Reagan administration did seek to discredit our story, but they did not prevent its publication.

An Overriding Hostility

The Reagan administration’s neglect of Ainsworth’s insights reflected the overriding hostility toward any information – even from Republican activists – that put the Contras in a negative light. In early 1987, when Ainsworth spoke with U.S. Attorney Russoniello and the FBI, the Reagan administration was in full damage-control mode, trying to tamp down the Iran-Contra disclosures about Oliver North diverting profits from secret arms sales to Iran to the Contra war.

Fears that the Iran-Contra scandal could lead to Reagan’s impeachment made it even less likely that the Justice Department would pursue an investigation into drug ties implicating the Contra leadership. Ainsworth’s information was simply passed on to Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh whose inquiry was already overwhelmed by the task of sorting out the convoluted Iran transactions.

Publicly, the Reagan team continued dumping on the Contra-cocaine allegations and playing the find-any-possible-reason-to-reject-a-witness game. The major news media went along, leading to much mainstream ridicule of a 1989 investigative report by Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, who uncovered more drug connections implicating the Contras and the Reagan administration.

Only occasionally, such as when the George H.W. Bush administration needed witnesses to convict Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega did the Contra-cocaine evidence pop onto Official Washington’s radar screens.

During Noriega’s drug-trafficking trial in 1991, U.S. prosecutors called as a witness Colombian Medellín cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder, who — along with implicating Noriega — testified that the cartel had given $10 million to the Contras, an allegation first unearthed by Sen. Kerry. “The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time,” a Washington Post editorial on Nov. 27, 1991, acknowledged. “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”

But the Post offered its readers no explanation for why Kerry’s hearings had been largely ignored, with the Post itself a leading culprit in this journalistic misfeasance. Nor did the Post and the other leading newspapers use the opening created by the Noriega trial to do anything to rectify their past neglect.

Everything quickly returned to the status quo in which the desired perception of the noble Contras trumped the clear reality of their criminal activities. Instead of recognizing the skewed moral compass of the Reagan administration, Congress was soon falling over itself to attach Reagan’s name to as many public buildings and facilities as possible, including Washington’s National Airport.

Meanwhile, those of us in journalism who had exposed the national security crimes of the 1980s saw our careers mostly sink or go sideways. We were regarded as “pariahs” in our profession.

As for me, shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal broke wide open in fall 1986, I accepted a job at Newsweek, one of the many mainstream news outlets that had long ignored Contra-connected scandals and briefly thought it needed to bolster its coverage. But I soon discovered that senior editors remained hostile toward the Iran-Contra story and related spinoff scandals, including the Contra-cocaine mess.

After losing battle after battle with my Newsweek editors, I departed the magazine in June 1990 to write a book (called Fooling America) about the decline of the Washington press corps and the parallel rise of a new generation of government propagandists.

I was also hired by PBS Frontline to investigate whether there had been a prequel to the Iran-Contra scandal — whether those arms-for-hostage deals in the mid-1980s had been preceded by contacts between Reagan’s 1980 campaign staff and Iran, which was then holding 52 Americans hostage and essentially destroying Jimmy Carter’s reelection hopes. [For more on that topic, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege and America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Finding New Ways

In 1995, frustrated by the growing triviality of American journalism — and acting on the advice of and with the assistance of my oldest son Sam — I turned to a new medium and launched the Internet’s first investigative news magazine, known as Consortiumnews.com. The Web site became a way for me to put out well-reported stories that my former mainstream colleagues ignored or mock.

So, when Gary Webb called me in 1996 to talk about the Contra-cocaine story, I explained some of this tortured history and urged him to make sure that his editors were firmly behind him. He sounded perplexed at my advice and assured me that he had the solid support of his editors.

When Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series finally appeared in late August 1996, it initially drew little attention. The major national news outlets applied their usual studied indifference to a topic that they had already judged unworthy of serious attention.

But Webb’s story proved hard to ignore. First, unlike the work that Barger and I did for AP in the mid-1980s, Webb’s series wasn’t just a story about drug traffickers in Central America and their protectors in Washington. It was about the on-the-ground consequences, inside the United States, of that drug trafficking, how the lives of Americans were blighted and destroyed as the collateral damage of a U.S. foreign policy initiative.

In other words, there were real-life American victims, and they were concentrated in African-American communities. That meant the ever-sensitive issue of race had been injected into the controversy. Anger from black communities spread quickly to the Congressional Black Caucus, which started demanding answers.

Secondly, the San Jose Mercury News, which was the local newspaper for Silicon Valley, had posted documents and audio on its state-of-the-art Internet site. That way, readers could examine much of the documentary support for the series.

It also meant that the traditional “gatekeeper” role of the major newspapers — the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times — was under assault. If a regional paper like the Mercury News could finance a major journalistic investigation like this one, and circumvent the judgments of the editorial boards at the Big Three, then there might be a tectonic shift in the power relations of the U.S. news media. There could be a breakdown of the established order.

This combination of factors led to the next phase of the Contra-cocaine battle: the “get-Gary-Webb” counterattack. Soon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times were lining up like some tag-team wrestlers taking turns pummeling Webb and his story.

On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post published a front-page article knocking down Webb’s series, although acknowledging that some Contra operatives did help the cocaine cartels. The Post’s approach fit with the Big Media’s cognitive dissonance on the topic: first, the Post called the Contra-cocaine allegations old news — “even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,” the Post said — and second, the Post minimized the importance of the one Contra smuggling channel that Webb had highlighted in his series, saying it had not “played a major role in the emergence of crack.”

To add to the smug hoo-hah treatment that was enveloping Webb and his story, a Post published a sidebar story dismissing African-Americans as prone to “conspiracy fears.”

Next, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times weighed in with lengthy articles castigating Webb and “Dark Alliance.” The big newspapers made much of the CIA’s internal reviews in 1987 and 1988 — almost a decade earlier — that supposedly had cleared the spy agency of any role in Contra-cocaine smuggling.

But the first ominous sign for the CIA’s cover-up emerged on Oct. 24, 1996, when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz conceded before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the first CIA probe had lasted only12 days, and the second only three days. He promised a more thorough review.

Mocking Webb

But Webb had already crossed over from being treated as a serious journalist to becoming a target of ridicule. Influential Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz mocked Webb for saying in a book proposal that he would explore the possibility that the Contra war was primarily a business to its participants. “Oliver Stone, check your voice mail,” Kurtz smirked.

Yet, Webb’s suspicion was no conspiracy theory. Indeed, Oliver North’s chief Contra emissary, Rob Owen, had made the same point in a March 17, 1986, message about the Contra leadership. “Few of the so-called leaders of the movement . . . really care about the boys in the field,” Owen wrote. “THIS WAR HAS BECOME A BUSINESS TO MANY OF THEM.” [Emphasis in original.]

Ainsworth and other pro-Contra activists were reaching the same conclusion, that the Contra leadership was skimming money from the supply lines and padding their personal wealth with proceeds from the drug trade. According to a Jan. 21, 1987 interview report by the FBI, Ainsworth said he had “made inquiries in the local San Francisco Nicaraguan community and wondered among his acquaintances what Adolfo Calero and the other people in the FDN movement were doing and the word that he received back is that they were probably engaged in cocaine smuggling.”

In other words, Webb was right about the suspicion that the Contra movement had become less a cause than a business to many of its participants. Even Oliver North’s emissary reported that many Contra leaders treated the conflict as “a business.” But accuracy had ceased to be relevant in the media’s hazing of Gary Webb.

In another double standard, while Webb was held to the strictest standards of journalism, it was entirely all right for Kurtz — the supposed arbiter of journalistic integrity who was a longtime fixture on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” — to make judgments based on ignorance. Kurtz would face no repercussions for mocking a fellow journalist who was factually correct.

The Big Three’s assault — combined with their disparaging tone — had a predictable effect on the executives of the Mercury News. As it turned out, Webb’s confidence in his editors had been misplaced. By early 1997, executive editor Jerry Ceppos, who had his own corporate career to worry about, was in retreat.

On May 11, 1997, Ceppos published a front-page column saying the series “fell short of my standards.” He criticized the stories because they “strongly implied CIA knowledge” of Contra connections to U.S. drug dealers who were manufacturing crack cocaine. “We did not have enough proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship,” Ceppos wrote.

Ceppos was wrong about the proof, of course. At AP, before we published our first Contra-cocaine article in 1985, Barger and I had known that the CIA and Reagan’s White House were aware of the Contra-cocaine problem at senior levels.

However, Ceppos recognized that he and his newspaper were facing a credibility crisis brought on by the harsh consensus delivered by the Big Three, a judgment that had quickly solidified into conventional wisdom throughout the major news media and inside Knight-Ridder, Inc., which owned the Mercury News. The only career-saving move – career-saving for Ceppos even if career-destroying for Webb – was to jettison Webb and the Contra-cocaine investigative project.

A ‘Vindication’

The big newspapers and the Contras’ defenders celebrated Ceppos’s retreat as vindication of their own dismissal of the Contra-cocaine stories. In particular, Kurtz seemed proud that his demeaning of Webb now had the endorsement of Webb’s editor. Ceppos next pulled the plug on the Mercury News’ continuing Contra-cocaine investigation and reassigned Webb to a small office in Cupertino, California, far from his family. Webb resigned from the paper in disgrace.

For undercutting Webb and other Mercury News reporters working on the Contra-cocaine project – some of whom were facing personal danger in Central America – Ceppos was lauded by the American Journalism Review and received the 1997 national Ethics in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

While Ceppos won raves, Webb watched his career collapse and his marriage break up. Still, Gary Webb had set in motion internal government investigations that would bring to the surface long-hidden facts about how the Reagan administration had conducted the Contra war.

The CIA published the first part of Inspector General Hitz’s findings on Jan. 29, 1998. Though the CIA’s press release for the report criticized Webb and defended the CIA, Hitz’s Volume One admitted that not only were many of Webb’s allegations true but that he actually understated the seriousness of the Contra-drug crimes and the CIA’s knowledge of them.

Hitz conceded that cocaine smugglers played a significant early role in the Contra movement and that the CIA intervened to block an image-threatening 1984 federal investigation into a San Francisco–based drug ring with suspected ties to the Contras, the so-called “Frogman Case.”

After Volume One was released, I called Webb (whom I had spent some time with since his series was published). I chided him for indeed getting the story “wrong.” He had understated how serious the problem of Contra-cocaine trafficking had been.

It was a form of gallows humor for the two of us, since nothing had changed in the way the major newspapers treated the Contra-cocaine issue. They focused only on the press release that continued to attack Webb, while ignoring the incriminating information that could be found in the full report. All I could do was highlight those admissions at Consortiumnews.com, which sadly had a much, much smaller readership than the Big Three.

The major U.S. news media also looked the other way on other startling disclosures.

On May 7, 1998, for instance, Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, introduced into the Congressional Record a Feb. 11, 1982 letter of understanding between the CIA and the Justice Department. The letter, which had been requested by CIA Director William Casey, freed the CIA from legal requirements that it must report drug smuggling by CIA assets, a provision that covered the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan mujahedeen.

In other words, early in those two covert wars, the CIA leadership wanted to make sure that its geopolitical objectives would not be complicated by a legal requirement to turn in its client forces for drug trafficking.

Justice Denied

The next break in the long-running Contra-cocaine cover-up was a report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Bromwich. Given the hostile climate surrounding Webb’s series, Bromwich’s report also opened with criticism of Webb. But, like the CIA’s Volume One, the contents revealed new details about serious government wrongdoing.

According to evidence cited by Bromwich, the Reagan administration knew almost from the outset of the Contra war that cocaine traffickers permeated the paramilitary operation. The administration also did next to nothing to expose or stop the crimes. Bromwich’s report revealed example after example of leads not followed, corroborated witnesses disparaged, official law-enforcement investigations sabotaged, and even the CIA facilitating the work of drug traffickers.

The report showed that the Contras and their supporters ran several parallel drug-smuggling operations, not just the one at the center of Webb’s series. The report also found that the CIA shared little of its information about Contra drugs with law-enforcement agencies and on three occasions disrupted cocaine-trafficking investigations that threatened the Contras.

As well as depicting a more widespread Contra-drug operation than Webb had understood, the Justice Department report provided some important corroboration about Nicaraguan drug smuggler Norwin Meneses, a key figure in Gary Webb’s series and Adolfo Calero’s friend as described by Dennis Ainsworth.

Bromwich cited U.S. government informants who supplied detailed information about Meneses’s drug operation and his financial assistance to the Contras. For instance, Renato Pena, the money-and-drug courier for Meneses, said that in the early 1980s the CIA allowed the Contras to fly drugs into the United States, sell them, and keep the proceeds. Pena, the FDN’s northern California representative, said the drug trafficking was forced on the Contras by the inadequate levels of U.S. government assistance.

The Justice Department report also disclosed repeated examples of the CIA and U.S. embassies in Central America discouraging DEA investigations, including one into Contra-cocaine shipments moving through the international airport in El Salvador. Bromwich said secrecy trumped all. “We have no doubt that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy were not anxious for the DEA to pursue its investigation at the airport,” he wrote.

Bromwich also described the curious case of how a DEA pilot helped a CIA asset escape from Costa Rican authorities in 1989 after the man, American farmer John Hull, had been charged in connection with Contra-cocaine trafficking. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “John Hull’s Great Escape.”]

Hull’s ranch in northern Costa Rica had been the site of Contra camps for attacking Nicaragua from the south. For years, Contra-connected witnesses also said Hull’s property was used for the transshipment of cocaine en route to the United States, but those accounts were brushed aside by the Reagan administration and disparaged in major U.S. newspapers.

Yet, according to Bromwich’s report, the DEA took the accounts seriously enough to prepare a research report on the evidence in November 1986. 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.

Hull also remained a man with powerful protectors. Even after Costa Rican authorities brought drug charges against him, influential Americans, including Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, demanded that Hull be let out of jail pending trial. Then, in July 1989 with the help of a DEA pilot – and possibly a DEA agent – Hull managed to fly out of Costa Rica to Haiti and then to the United States.

Despite these startling new disclosures, the big newspapers still showed no inclination to read beyond the criticism of Webb in the press release.

Major Disclosures

By fall 1998, Washington was obsessed with President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, which made it easier to ignore even more stunning Contra-cocaine disclosures in the CIA’s Volume Two, published on Oct. 8, 1998.

In the report, CIA Inspector General Hitz identified more than 50 Contras and Contra-related entities implicated in the drug trade. He also detailed how the Reagan administration had protected these drug operations and frustrated federal investigations throughout the 1980s.

According to Volume Two, the CIA knew the criminal nature of its Contra clients from the start of the war against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. The earliest Contra force, called the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Democratic Alliance (ADREN) or the 15th of September Legion, had chosen “to stoop to criminal activities in order to feed and clothe their cadre,” according to a June 1981 draft of a CIA field report.

According to a September 1981 cable to CIA headquarters, two ADREN members made the first delivery of drugs to Miami in July 1981. ADREN’s leaders included Enrique Bermúdez and other early Contras who would later direct the major Contra army, the CIA-organized FDN which was based in Honduras, along Nicaragua’s northern border.

Throughout the war, Bermúdez remained the top Contra military commander. The CIA later corroborated the allegations about ADREN’s cocaine trafficking, but insisted that Bermúdez had opposed the drug shipments to the United States that went ahead nonetheless.

The truth about Bermúdez’s supposed objections to drug trafficking, however, was less clear. According to Hitz’s Volume One, Bermúdez enlisted Norwin Meneses – the Nicaraguan cocaine smuggler, the friend of Adolfo Calero, and a key figure in Webb’s series – to raise money and buy supplies for the Contras.

Volume One had quoted another Nicaraguan trafficker, Danilo Blandón, a Meneses associate (and another lead character in Webb’s series), as telling Hitz’s investigators that he (Blandón) and Meneses flew to Honduras to meet with Bermúdez in 1982. At the time, Meneses’s criminal activities were well-known in the Nicaraguan exile community, but Bermúdez told the cocaine smugglers that “the ends justify the means” in raising money for the Contras.

After the Bermúdez meeting, Meneses and Blandón were briefly arrested by Honduran police who confiscated $100,000 that the police suspected was to be a payment for a drug transaction. The Contras intervened, gained freedom for the two traffickers and got them their money back by saying the cash, which indeed was for a cocaine purchase in Bolivia, belonged to the Contras.

There were other indications of Bermúdez’s drug-smuggling complicity. In February 1988, another Nicaraguan exile linked to the drug trade accused Bermúdez of participation in narcotics trafficking, according to Hitz’s report. After the Contra war ended, Bermúdez returned to Managua, Nicaragua, where he was shot to death on Feb. 16, 1991. The murder has never been solved.

The Southern Front

Along the Southern Front, the Contras’ military operations in Costa Rica on Nicaragua’s southern border, the CIA’s drug evidence centered on the forces of Edén Pastora, another top Contra commander. But Hitz discovered that the U.S. government may have made the drug situation worse, not better.

Hitz revealed that the CIA put an admitted drug operative — known by his CIA pseudonym “Ivan Gomez” — in a supervisory position over Pastora. Hitz reported that the CIA discovered Gomez’s drug history in 1987 when Gomez failed a security review on drug-trafficking questions.

In internal CIA interviews, Gomez admitted that in March or April 1982, he helped family members who were engaged in drug trafficking and money laundering. In one case, Gomez said he assisted his brother and brother-in-law transporting cash from New York City to Miami. He admitted he “knew this act was illegal.”

Later, Gomez expanded on his admission, describing how his family members had fallen $2 million into debt and had gone to Miami to run a money-laundering center for drug traffickers. Gomez said “his brother had many visitors whom [Gomez] assumed to be in the drug trafficking business.” Gomez’s brother was arrested on drug charges in June 1982. Three months later, in September 1982, Gomez started his CIA assignment in Costa Rica.

Years later, convicted drug trafficker Carlos Cabezas alleged that in the early 1980s, Ivan Gomez was the CIA agent in Costa Rica who was overseeing drug-money donations to the Contras. Gomez “was to make sure the money was given to the right people [the Contras] and nobody was taking . . . profit they weren’t supposed to,” Cabezas stated publicly.

But the CIA sought to discredit Cabezas at the time because he had trouble identifying Gomez’s picture and put Gomez at one meeting in early 1982 before Gomez started his CIA assignment. While the CIA was able to fend off Cabezas’s allegations by pointing to these discrepancies, Hitz’s report revealed that the CIA was nevertheless aware of Gomez’s direct role in drug-money laundering, a fact the agency hid from Sen. Kerry in his investigation during the late 1980s.

There was also more to know about Gomez. In November 1985, the FBI learned from an informant that Gomez’s two brothers had been large-scale cocaine importers, with one brother arranging shipments from Bolivia’s infamous drug kingpin Roberto Suarez.

Suarez already was known as a financier of right-wing causes. In 1980, with the support of Argentina’s hard-line anticommunist military regime, Suarez bankrolled a coup in Bolivia that ousted the elected left-of-center government. The violent putsch became known as the Cocaine Coup because it made Bolivia the region’s first narco-state.

By protecting cocaine shipments headed north, Bolivia’s government helped transform Colombia’s Medellín cartel from a struggling local operation into a giant corporate-style business for delivering vast quantities of cocaine to the U.S. market.

Flush with cash in the early 1980s, Suarez invested more than $30 million in various right-wing paramilitary operations, including the Contra forces in Central America, according to U.S. Senate testimony by an Argentine intelligence officer, Leonardo Sanchez-Reisse.

In 1987, Sanchez-Reisse said the Suarez drug money was laundered through front companies in Miami before going to Central America. There, other Argentine intelligence officers — veterans of the Bolivian coup — trained the Contras in the early 1980s, even before the CIA arrived to first assist with the training and later take over the Contra operation from the Argentines.

Inspector General Hitz added another piece to the mystery of the Bolivian-Contra connection. One Contra fund-raiser, Jose Orlando Bolanos, boasted that the Argentine government was supporting his Contra activities, according to a May 1982 cable to CIA headquarters. Bolanos made the statement during a meeting with undercover DEA agents in Florida. He even offered to introduce them to his Bolivian cocaine supplier.

Despite all this suspicious drug activity centered around Ivan Gomez and the Contras, the CIA insisted that it did not unmask Gomez until 1987, when he failed a security check and confessed his role in his family’s drug business. The CIA official who interviewed Gomez concluded that “Gomez directly participated in illegal drug transactions, concealed participation in illegal drug transactions, and concealed information about involvement in illegal drug activity,” Hitz wrote.

But senior CIA officials still protected Gomez. They refused to refer the Gomez case to the Justice Department, citing the 1982 agreement that spared the CIA from a legal obligation to report narcotics crimes by people collaborating with the CIA who were not formal agency employees. Gomez was an independent contractor who worked for the CIA but was not officially on staff. The CIA eased Gomez out of the agency in February 1988, without alerting law enforcement or the congressional oversight committees.

When questioned about the case nearly a decade later, one senior CIA official who had supported the gentle treatment of Gomez had second thoughts. “It is a striking commentary on me and everyone that this guy’s involvement in narcotics didn’t weigh more heavily on me or the system,” the official told Hitz’s investigators.

Drug Path to the White House

A Medellín drug connection arose in another section of Hitz’s report, when he revealed evidence suggesting that some Contra trafficking may have been sanctioned by Reagan’s National Security Council. The protagonist for this part of the Contra-cocaine mystery was Moises Nunez, a Cuban-American who worked for Oliver North’s NSC Contra-support operation and for two drug-connected seafood importers, Ocean Hunter in Miami and Frigorificos De Puntarenas in Costa Rica.

Frigorificos De Puntarenas was created in the early 1980s as a cover for drug-money laundering, according to sworn testimony by two of the firm’s principals — Carlos Soto and Medellín cartel accountant Ramon Milian Rodriguez. (It was also the company implicated by a DEA informant in moving cocaine from John Hull’s ranch to the United States.)

Drug allegations were swirling around Moises Nunez by the mid-1980s. Indeed, his operation was one of the targets of my and Barger’s AP investigation in 1985. Finally reacting to the suspicions, the CIA questioned Nunez about his alleged cocaine trafficking on March 25, 1987. He responded by pointing the finger at his NSC superiors.

“Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council,” Hitz reported, adding: “Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Nunez refused to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved.”

After this first round of questioning, CIA headquarters authorized an additional session, but then senior CIA officials reversed the decision. There would be no further efforts at “debriefing Nunez.”

Hitz noted that “the cable [from headquarters] offered no explanation for the decision” to stop the Nunez interrogation. But the CIA’s Central American Task Force chief Alan Fiers Jr. said the Nunez-NSC drug lead was not pursued “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor program [the Contra money handled by the NSC’s Oliver North] a decision was made not to pursue this matter.”

Joseph Fernandez, who had been the CIA’s station chief in Costa Rica, confirmed to congressional Iran-Contra investigators that Nunez “was involved in a very sensitive operation” for North’s “Enterprise.” The exact nature of that NSC-authorized activity has never been divulged.

At the time of the Nunez-NSC drug admissions and his truncated interrogation, the CIA’s acting director was Robert Gates, who nearly two decades later became President George W. Bush’s second secretary of defense, a position he retained under President Barack Obama.

Drug Record

The CIA also worked directly with other drug-connected Cuban-Americans on the Contra project, Hitz found. One of Nunez’s Cuban-American associates, Felipe Vidal, had a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker in the 1970s. But the CIA still hired him to serve as a logistics coordinator for the Contras, Hitz reported.

The CIA also learned that Vidal’s drug connections were not only in the past. A December 1984 cable to CIA headquarters revealed Vidal’s ties to Rene Corvo, another Cuban-American suspected of drug trafficking. Corvo was working with Cuban anticommunist Frank Castro, who was viewed as a Medellín cartel representative within the Contra movement.

There were other narcotics links to Vidal. In January 1986, the DEA in Miami seized 414 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of yucca that was going from a Contra operative in Costa Rica to Ocean Hunter, the company where Vidal (and Moises Nunez) worked. Despite the evidence, Vidal remained a CIA employee as he collaborated with Frank Castro’s assistant, Rene Corvo, in raising money for the Contras, according to a CIA memo in June 1986.

By fall 1986, Sen. Kerry had heard enough rumors about Vidal to demand information about him as part of his congressional inquiry into Contra drugs. But the CIA withheld the derogatory information in its files. On Oct. 15, 1986, Kerry received a briefing from the CIA’s Alan Fiers, who didn’t mention Vidal’s drug arrests and conviction in the 1970s.

But Vidal was not yet in the clear. In 1987, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami began investigating Vidal, Ocean Hunter, and other Contra-connected entities. This prosecutorial attention worried the CIA. The CIA’s Latin American division felt it was time for a security review of Vidal. But on Aug. 5, 1987, the CIA’s security office blocked the review for fear that the Vidal drug information “could be exposed during any future litigation.”

As expected, the U.S. Attorney’s Office did request documents about “Contra-related activities” by Vidal, Ocean Hunter, and 16 other entities. The CIA advised the prosecutor that “no information had been found regarding Ocean Hunter,” a statement that was clearly false. The CIA continued Vidal’s employment as an adviser to the Contra movement until 1990, virtually the end of the Contra war.

Hitz also revealed that drugs tainted the highest levels of the Honduran-based FDN, the largest Contra army. Hitz found that Juan Rivas, a Contra commander who rose to be chief of staff, admitted that he had been a cocaine trafficker in Colombia before the war.

The CIA asked Rivas, known as El Quiche, about his background after the DEA began suspecting that Rivas might be an escaped convict from a Colombian prison. In interviews with CIA officers, Rivas acknowledged that he had been arrested and convicted of packaging and transporting cocaine for the drug trade in Barranquilla, Colombia. After several months in prison, Rivas said, he escaped and moved to Central America, where he joined the Contras.

Defending Rivas, CIA officials insisted that there was no evidence that Rivas engaged in trafficking while with the Contras. But one CIA cable noted that he lived an expensive lifestyle, even keeping a $100,000 Thoroughbred horse at the Contra camp. Contra military commander Bermúdez later attributed Rivas’s wealth to his ex-girlfriend’s rich family. But a CIA cable in March 1989 added that “some in the FDN may have suspected at the time that the father-in-law was engaged in drug trafficking.”

Still, the CIA moved quickly to protect Rivas from exposure and possible extradition to Colombia. In February 1989, CIA headquarters asked that the DEA take no action “in view of the serious political damage to the U.S. Government that could occur should the information about Rivas become public.” Rivas was eased out of the Contra leadership with an explanation of poor health. With U.S. government help, he was allowed to resettle in Miami. Colombia was not informed about his fugitive status.

Another senior FDN official implicated in the drug trade was its chief spokesman in Honduras, Arnoldo Jose “Frank” Arana. The drug allegations against Arana dated back to 1983 when a federal narcotics task force put him under criminal investigation because of plans “to smuggle 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States from South America.” On Jan. 23, 1986, the FBI reported that Arana and his brothers were involved in a drug-smuggling enterprise, although Arana was not charged.

Arana sought to clear up another set of drug suspicions in 1989 by visiting the DEA in Honduras with a business associate, Jose Perez. Arana’s association with Perez, however, only raised new alarms. If “Arana is mixed up with the Perez brothers, he is probably dirty,” the DEA said.

Drug Airlines

Through their ownership of an air services company called SETCO, the Perez brothers were associated with Juan Matta-Ballesteros, a major cocaine kingpin connected to the 1985 torture-murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, according to reports by the DEA and U.S. Customs. Hitz reported that someone at the CIA scribbled a note on a DEA cable about Arana stating: “Arnold Arana . . . still active and working, we [CIA] may have a problem.”

Despite its drug ties to Matta-Ballesteros, SETCO emerged as the principal company for ferrying supplies to the Contras in Honduras. During congressional Iran-Contra hearings, FDN political leader Adolfo Calero testified that SETCO was paid from bank accounts controlled by Oliver North. SETCO also received $185,924 from the State Department for ferrying supplies to the Contras in 1986. Furthermore, Hitz found that other air transport companies used by the Contras were implicated in the cocaine trade as well.

Even FDN leaders suspected that they were shipping supplies to Central America aboard planes that might be returning with drugs. Mario Calero, Adolfo Calero’s brother and the chief of Contra logistics, grew so uneasy about one air freight company that he notified U.S. law enforcement that the FDN only chartered the planes for the flights south, not the return flights north.

Hitz found that some drug pilots simply rotated from one sector of the Contra operation to another. Donaldo Frixone, who had a drug record in the Dominican Republic, was hired by the CIA to fly Contra missions from 1983 to 1985. In September 1986, however, Frixone was implicated in smuggling 19,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States. In late 1986 or early 1987, he went to work for Vortex, another U.S.-paid Contra supply company linked to the drug trade.

By the time that Hitz’s Volume Two was published in fall 1998, the CIA’s defense against Webb’s series had shrunk to a fig leaf: that the CIA did not conspire with the Contras to raise money through cocaine trafficking. But Hitz made clear that the Contra war took precedence over law enforcement and that the CIA withheld evidence of Contra crimes from the Justice Department, Congress, and even the CIA’s own analytical division.

Besides tracing the evidence of Contra-drug trafficking through the decade-long Contra war, the inspector general interviewed senior CIA officers who acknowledged that they were aware of the Contra-drug problem but didn’t want its exposure to undermine the struggle to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.

According to Hitz, the CIA had “one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government. . . . [CIA officers] were determined that the various difficulties they encountered not be allowed to prevent effective implementation of the Contra program.” One CIA field officer explained, “The focus was to get the job done, get the support and win the war.”

Hitz also recounted complaints from CIA analysts that CIA operations officers handling the Contras hid evidence of Contra-drug trafficking even from the CIA’s analysts.

Because of the withheld evidence, the CIA analysts incorrectly concluded in the mid-1980s that “only a handful of Contras might have been involved in drug trafficking.” That false assessment was passed on to Congress and to major news organizations — serving as an important basis for denouncing Gary Webb and his “Dark Alliance” series in 1996.

CIA Admission

Although Hitz’s report was an extraordinary admission of institutional guilt by the CIA, it went almost unnoticed by the big American newspapers.

On Oct. 10, 1998, two days after Hitz’s Volume Two was posted on the CIA’s Web site, the New York Times published a brief article that continued to deride Webb but acknowledged the Contra-drug problem may have been worse than earlier understood. Several weeks later, the Washington Post weighed in with a similarly superficial article. The Los Angeles Times never published a story on the release of Hitz’s Volume Two.

In 2000, the House Intelligence Committee grudgingly acknowledged that the stories about Reagan’s CIA protecting Contra drug traffickers were true. The committee released a report citing classified testimony from CIA Inspector General Britt Snider (Hitz’s successor) admitting that the spy agency had turned a blind eye to evidence of Contra-drug smuggling and generally treated drug smuggling through Central America as a low priority.

“In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working,” Snider said, adding that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in “a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner.”

The House committee — then controlled by Republicans — still downplayed the significance of the Contra-cocaine scandal, but the panel acknowledged, deep inside its report, that in some cases, “CIA employees did nothing to verify or disprove drug trafficking information, even when they had the opportunity to do so. In some of these, receipt of a drug allegation appeared to provoke no specific response, and business went on as usual.”

Like the release of Hitz’s report in 1998, the admissions by Snider and the House committee drew virtually no media attention in 2000 — except for a few articles on the Internet, including one at Consortiumnews.com.

Because of this journalistic misconduct by the Big Three newspapers — choosing to conceal their own neglect of the Contra-cocaine scandal and to protect the Reagan administration’s image — Webb’s reputation was never rehabilitated.

After his original “Dark Alliance” series was published in 1996, Webb had been inundated with attractive book offers from major publishing houses, but once the vilification began, the interest evaporated. Webb’s agent contacted an independent publishing house, Seven Stories Press, which had a reputation for publishing books that had been censored, and it took on the project.

After Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion was published in 1998, I joined Webb in a few speaking appearances on the West Coast, including one packed book talk at the Midnight Special bookstore in Santa Monica, California. For a time, Webb was treated as a celebrity on the American Left, but that gradually faded.

In our interactions during these joint appearances, I found Webb to be a regular guy who seemed to be holding up fairly well under the terrible pressure. He had landed an investigative job with a California state legislative committee. He also felt some measure of vindication when CIA Inspector General Hitz’s reports came out.

But Webb never could overcome the pain caused by his betrayal at the hands of his journalistic colleagues, his peers. In the years that followed, Webb was unable to find decent-paying work in his profession — the conventional wisdom remained that he had somehow been exposed as a journalistic fraud. His state job ended; his marriage fell apart; he struggled to pay bills; and he was faced with a move out of a modest rental house near Sacramento, California.

On Dec. 9, 2004, the 49-year-old Webb typed out suicide notes to his ex-wife and his three children; laid out a certificate for his cremation; and taped a note on the door telling movers — who were coming the next morning — to instead call 911. Webb then took out his father’s pistol and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.

Even with Webb’s death, the big newspapers that had played key roles in his destruction couldn’t bring themselves to show Webb any mercy. After Webb’s body was found, I received a call from a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who knew that I was one of Webb’s few journalistic colleagues who had defended him and his work.

I told the reporter that American history owed a great debt to Gary Webb because he had forced out important facts about Reagan-era crimes. But I added that the Los Angeles Times would be hard-pressed to write an honest obituary because the newspaper had not published a single word on the contents of Hitz’s final report, which had largely vindicated Webb.

To my disappointment but not my surprise, I was correct. The Los Angeles Times ran a mean-spirited obituary that made no mention of either my defense of Webb, nor the CIA’s admissions in 1998. The obituary was republished in other newspapers, including the Washington Post.

In effect, Webb’s suicide enabled senior editors at the Big Three newspapers to breathe a little easier — one of the few people who understood the ugly story of the Reagan administration’s cover-up of the Contra-cocaine scandal and the U.S. media’s complicity was now silenced.

To this day, none of the journalists or media critics who participated in the destruction of Gary Webb has paid a price. None has faced the sort of humiliation that Webb had to endure. None had to experience that special pain of standing up for what is best in the profession of journalism — taking on a difficult story that seeks to hold powerful people accountable for serious crimes — and then being vilified by your own colleagues, the people that you expected to understand and appreciate what you had done.

On the contrary, many were rewarded with professional advancement and lucrative careers. For instance, for years, Howard Kurtz got to host the CNN program, “Reliable Sources,” which lectured journalists on professional standards. He was described in the program’s bio as “the nation’s premier media critic.” (His show has since moved to Fox News, renamed “MediaBuzz.”)

The rehabilitation of Webb’s reputation and possibly even the correction of this dark chapter of American history now rests on how accurately – and how bravely – Hollywood presents Webb’s story in the film, “Kill the Messenger,” starring Jeremy Renner and scheduled for release next year. [For more on the Contra-cocaine story, see Robert Parry’s Lost History.]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon an

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2013, 02:13 PM

39. 12/16/13 Veterans today -- CIA Connection TO DEA Agent’s Murder “TOO HOT FOR FOX NEWS”


3 articles---

CIA Connection TO DEA Agent’s Murder “TOO HOT FOR FOX NEWS” DECEMBER 16, 2013
DEA Agent Camarena

DEA Agent Kiki Camarena
by Robert O’Dowd


Part 1 of 2

Reagan administration, CIA complicit in DEA agent’s murder, say former insiders

Posted: Friday, December 06, 2013 - By John McPhaul

Former DEA El Paso boss: Agent Camarena had discovered the arms-for-drugs operation run on behalf of the Contras, aided by U.S. officials in the National Security Council and the CIA, and threatened to blow the whistle on the covert operation.

Part 2 of 2

27 years later, CIA pilot tells of using secret Costa Rican airstrip to traffic guns, cocaine
Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - By John McPhaul
They seemed like isolated events unfolding in the chaos of Central America in the 1980s. But now, the pieces of the puzzle are fitting together.
Nicaragua Contra war 1
The Tico Times

Former CIA contract pilot Robert “Tosh” Plumlee says he trafficked cocaine and weapons in and out of a secret airstrip in northern Costa Rica in the 1980s to arm the Nicaraguan Contras. The cocaine came from Colombia and was shipped to consumers in the U.S.

Second in a series.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 21, 2013, 01:31 AM

40. Test screenings Comments KTM



» Fri Nov 22 2013 17:44:07
Last night I was a guest at a Neilsen preview screening in Santa Monica. We were the first audience to see Kill the Messenger and participated as a focus group to give feedback. Get excited movie fans, this is a good one!! It's a true story that needs to be told. Kudos to Jeremy Renner and all the actors.

» Sat Nov 23 2013 03:53:53
Sounds Great! I´m curious of Oliver Platt´s (Jerry Ceppos) and Richard Schiff´s(Walter Pincus) parts. Good Screentime? Good Characters?

» 4 days ago (Sun Dec 15 2013 23:18:48)
No, not a lot of screen time for Platt and Schiff. The newspaper's editor gets most attention.

» Sat Nov 23 2013 05:26:22
Sat Nov 23 2013 07:02:29
I'm so jealous!! Great that you got to see this, I'm so looking forward to this movie! It is a great story and what an awesome cast !!! Cuesta and Renner have worked together before, I'm sure this is going to be great !

Thanks so much for sharing this !

Re: Great Movie!
» Sat Nov 23 2013 16:23:36 Fl
Thanks so much for sharing! I know you can't share details. Can you share if Cuesta or any of the actors were there? Also, did the movie have a music track? Did they give you any crew info, like who edited or did the score - that info is missing from the site.

Sounds like you enjoyed the movie, there are some great actors in some very memorable roles. Did anyone stand out? Let us know if you get invited to another screening.

Thanks again!

» 4 days ago (Sun Dec 15 2013 23:27:09)
Sun Dec 15 2013 23:30:32
No actors nor directors attended. There were some movie big wigs reviewing our feedback. They seemed most concerned to make sure that we understood the story and what the article was about. The soundtrack was still rough so didn't pay much attention, other than music from that time period.

The ensemble is good. Beyond Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Michael Sheen and Paz Vega are memorable.

You will like it!

KTM Movie poster

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sat Dec 21, 2013, 01:42 AM

41. 12/19/13 Proceso article -- Todo el poder de la DEA contra dos exagentes


Not a peep in the U.S. Media.....

Todo el poder de la DEA contra dos exagentes
J. Jesús Esquivel
19 de diciembre de 2013
Reportaje Especial

Héctor Berrellez, exagente de la DEA. Foto: Jesús Esquivel
Héctor Berrellez, exagente de la DEA.
Foto: Jesús Esquivel

Para tratar de frenar el escándalo que ha provocado la revelación de que la CIA intervino en el asesinato de Enrique Camarena Salazar y ha tenido nexos con el narcotráfico mexicano, la DEA desplegó una auténtica “guerra sucia” contra dos de sus exagentes, Phil Jordan y Héctor Berrellez. Ambos han denunciado reiteradamente desde Proceso las operaciones negras de la agencia estadunidense de inteligencia. La maniobra más reciente: un foro en el cual, luego de desacreditarlos, se les lanzó una amenaza nada velada.

WASHINGTON (Proceso).- La administración antidrogas de Estados Unidos (DEA) desarrolla una guerra sucia para ocultar las evidencias de la participación de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) en el secuestro, tortura y asesinato –en México, en febrero de 1985– de Enrique Kiki Camarena, denuncian dos exagentes antinarcóticos.

“La DEA y la CIA no soportarían que se sepa toda la verdad sobre el caso Camarena. Saldrían muy afectadas”, dice en entrevista telefónica con Proceso Phil Jordan, exagente de la DEA y exdirector del Centro de Inteligencia de El Paso (EPIC).

Desde el pasado octubre, cuando Jordan y Héctor Berrellez, otro exagente de la DEA, revelaron a Proceso (edición 1928) que la CIA fue cómplice del narcotraficante mexicano Rafael Caro Quintero en el secuestro, tortura y asesinato de Camarena, ambos se convirtieron en “enemigos del Departamento de Justicia” de Estados Unidos, que antes había hecho múltiples reconocimientos a su trabajo.

“La DEA y la CIA, a través de varios de mis excolegas, están buscando desacreditarnos por decir la verdad sobre el caso Camarena. Pero no lo van a lograr. Tenemos muchas pruebas para fundamentar lo que denunciamos”, apunta Jordan, quien fue también subadministrador antidrogas.

Oficialmente, comenta Berrellez en conversación telefónica con el corresponsal, la campaña de desacreditación de la DEA arrancó el pasado 29 de octubre con un acto bautizado “Llevados ante la justicia: Operación Leyenda”, un foro donde se hizo un recuento oficial del caso Camarena (Proceso 1931).

Efectuado en el Museo de la DEA, en el foro participaron como oradores su exdirector Jack Lawn, el exagente Jack ­Taylor –primero a cargo de la Operación Leyenda, dedicada a investigar el homicidio de Camarena– y la periodista Elaine Shannon, autora del libro Desperados.

“Ese acto fue una clara demostración de que la CIA y la DEA tienen mucho miedo de que se conozca toda la verdad del caso Camarena, y están dispuestos a todo para callarnos a Jordan y a mí”, apunta Berrellez, quien reemplazó a Taylor al frente de la Operación Leyenda y asegura haber descubierto la intervención indirecta de la CIA en el homicidio.

En el foro, primero en voz del director del Museo de la DEA, Sean Fearns, y después por boca de Lawn y Taylor, se desmintió lo dicho por Berrellez y Jordan respecto de la CIA y el caso Camarena. Fearns incluso lanzó una amenaza a los exagentes: “Sería mejor que no hablaran”, pues sus declaraciones podrían ser investigadas e “inclusive usadas potencialmente en su contra si difieren de lo que dijeron hace 28 años”.

La advertencia desató la furia de Jordan y Berrellez.

Misiva secuestrada

En una carta dirigida a Dave Wilson, presidente de la Asociación de Exagentes Federales Antinarcóticos (AFFNA), y a todos sus miembros, Jordan y Berrellez exponen la guerra sucia en su contra que lleva a cabo la dependencia federal a la cual dedicaron varias décadas de su vida.

“Al anunciar la realización del acto (en el Museo de la DEA), Dave Wilson, presidente de la AFFNA, informó que el panel aclararía todas las falsas ideas, mitos y mentiras sobre la investigación del asesinato que dos exagentes especiales habían elegido fabricar alrededor de este trágico evento”, especifica el documento, enviado unos días después de concluido el foro en la DEA y copia de la cual pudo consultar Proceso.

En la misiva de dos páginas firmada por Jordan y Berrellez, ambos resumen el embrollo del caso Camarena y la participación de la CIA, así como la cortina de humo tendida por la DEA para ocultar la verdad.

En su texto, dicen entender “que es muy seria la imputación de involucrar a contratistas de la CIA en el asesinato de Camarena”, pero, puntualizan, “los hechos son los hechos”.

Jordan cuenta que tres días antes de enviar su queja al presidente de la AFFNA, lo llamó por teléfono para aclarar la situación.

“En primer lugar Wilson no me conoce ni yo lo conozco”, explica el exdirector del EPIC, quien luego hace esta recreación de la plática telefónica con el presidente de la AFFNA:

“–¿Dave Wilson?

“–Sí. ¿Quién habla?

“–Phil Jordan, el exagente a quien junto con Berrellez estás desacreditando con ese foro en el Museo de la DEA.

“–¿En qué puedo servirte?

“–Primero te voy a hacer esta pregunta: ¿acaso eres un agente de la CIA infiltrado en la DEA, cumpliendo órdenes para llamarme mentiroso?

“–No. No soy agente de la CIA. Yo a ti no te conozco.

“–¿A quién buscas proteger con tus afirmaciones si no me conoces, ni mucho menos conoces ni sabes quién es Berrellez?

“–A nadie.

“–Qué bueno que lo digas, porque te voy a mandar una carta dirigida a todos los miembros de la AFFNA; te pido por favor que hagas lo correcto y la distribuyas.

“–¡Sí, claro! Envía la carta por favor.”

Según Jordan el texto fue enviado a la oficina de Wilson tres días después de esta conversación, que tuvo lugar en la segunda semana de noviembre.

Hasta la fecha la carta no ha sido distribuida por Wilson a los miembros de la AFFNA y éste no ha explicado por qué no lo ha hecho. “Hablé con su asistente y ella me confirmó que la carta no ha salido, que sigue en el escritorio de Wilson en su oficina en el estado de Washington”, comenta Jordan al corresponsal.

El exagente de la DEA sostiene que de “muy buena fuente” sabe que Wilson está muy avergonzado por haberse prestado a participar en la guerra sucia de la DEA.

Respecto a lo que piensen sus colegas de la AFNNA, del vuelco que dio el caso Camarena con sus declaraciones y las de Berrellez en cuanto al involucramiento de la CIA, Jordan dice: “No me preocupa porque me conocen y conocen a Berrellez, y saben que tenemos las pruebas”.

Aunque no se atreve a desacreditar a Lawn –por respeto a quienes fueron su jefes–, el exdirector del EPIC dice estar decepcionado de lo que el exjefe de la DEA declaró en el museo.

“Porque sabe que todo lo dicho por nosotros está documentado como parte de la investigación Operación Leyenda, y sobre todo porque él, como los miembros de la AFFNA, sabe que Berrellez es uno de los exagentes con más reconocimientos del Departamento de Justicia precisamente por su trabajo en el caso Camarena.”

Berrellez y Jordan sospechan que, más que la DEA, es la CIA la encargada de la campaña para desacreditarlos y hacer lo necesario para ocultar la verdad sobre el caso Camarena.

“Hay que tener mucho cuidado con esto. La historia de la CIA es muy tenebrosa. No sólo ha mandado matar a sus propios agentes cuando denuncian casos internos de corrupción; también ha eliminado a mensajeros que lo hacen público”, advierte Berrellez.

La carta que Wilson tiene secuestrada en su oficina destaca precisamente que Kiki Camarena no fue asesinado por su buen trabajo como agente de la DEA en México, sino porque descubrió la sombra de la CIA en el negocio del narcotráfico mexicano.

“Para de verdad hacerle honor al sacrificio de Kiki y al de su familia debemos garantizar que se conozca la verdad de por qué fue asesinado. Para ello, y para evitar que otros agentes federales estadunidenses paguen con su vida por cumplir con sus obligaciones, debemos prevenir que se conviertan en un daño colateral”, remata la misiva firmada por Jordan y Berrellez.

getting rid of the witnesses...


Former Mexican drug czar convicted of aiding cartel dies at 79


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 07:42 AM

43. 12/29/13 'Caro Quintero is Protected by the White House': Former CIA pilot



Dec-29-2013 14:05printcomments
'Caro Quintero is Protected by the White House': Former CIA pilot
Luis Chaparro

If it were not for these few documents that I managed to get, some still classified until 2020, the statements of three former agents might seem to be more of a conspiracy theory.
Former CIA pilot Robert
Former CIA pilot Robert "Tosh" Plumlee is a Salem-News.com writer making major headlines for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

(SAN JUAN, Coast Rica Vice) - This article was sent to Salem-News.com from a source in El Salvador. We understand it is part of a four part series to be released during the 2nd week in Jan., 2014 by Proceso Magazine, MX, Tico Times in Costa Rico, and El Salvador media. This is a semi-rough English translation, the Spanish version link is included below so the reader can go to the source and research the original piece. The Vice logo below will also take you it.

Hours after Rafael Caro Quintero, alleged murderer of DEA agent Enrique Camarena Kiki, was released on 9 August, the governments of Mexico and the United States announced a manhunt. But in reality it is a fake show. Caro Quintero did not murder Kiki Camarena, and it is possible that the Mexican drug don is now living under a new identity as a protected secret agenda of the White House.

Tosh Plumlee today, Salem-News.com
photo by Tim King

In interviews, three former U.S. intelligence agents: Hector Berrellez, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), Robert Tosh Plumlee, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and Phil Jordan, EPIC (Intelligence Center El Paso) - I was putting together a version of the complete opposite to the line that now dominates the agenda for both governments' drug case. A reality that we fail to see and where it is envisioned that the enemies of the U.S. are rather its proteges.

I had access to documents that prove what happened during the famous 1980's Drug War murder and the role of the CIA and current Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was aware of this since 1991.

If it were not for these few documents that I managed to get, some still classified until 2020, the statements of three former agents might seem to be more of a conspiracy theory.

But the documents are here. The first is signed by Gary Hart, former Democratic senator, dated February 14, 1991 and sent to Senator John Kerry, then chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications of the upper house of U.S. Congress letter. This letter is one of the few documents that were not burned by Oliver North [former lieutenant colonel in the Marines, serving Ronald Regan] in the basement of the Pentagon.

The paper's concern is noted Kerry after learning about the Iran- Contra affair that smuggled cocaine into the U.S. from South America through Mexico and the sale sponsored weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras.

The letter refers to a meeting of former CIA pilot outsourced, Plumlee, with Bill Holen, Senate office in Denver, Colorado then headed Gary Hart. And that drops a bombshell: "In addition [Robert Plumlee] noted that these operations were not CIA but were under the direction of the White House, the Pentagon and staff National Security Council [NSC]."

In this operation Rafael Caro Quintero was the key person. The Reagan plan saw planes flying from the U.S. to Nicaragua and several South American countries. Plumlee and a dozen colleagues landed at Mexican ranches owned by Caro Quintero, specifically in Veracruz.

Berrellez said the first snitch was Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni, one of the main commanders of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) in the eighties. After collaborating with the Juarez Cartel, he fled to the United States in 1993, became DEA informant and was then shot dead in McCallen, Texas in 2003.

Berrellez was asked to get Calderoni of Mexico in 1993. I said Calderoni called from a consulate in Mexico asking to help him because otherwise "they would raise and murder."

"I helped him, sent a Jet and brought to California. Here, as protected by the DEA became an informant and was very helpful to us. The Mexican government wanted to extradite him, but I did what I could to make it not because I knew they would kill him there. Then he was accused of corruption and influence peddling and stuff, but I say it's not true, " he explained to Berrellez on his last trip to Texas to meet in person.

"What he told me about what Camarena was 'Hector, skip that item because they will fuck. It is involved in the CIA Kiki is very dangerous to walk in it.' He gave me names and details and everything, but when my boss retired I got wind of the investigation and sent me to Washington DC."

A Calderoni was murdered with a shot to the head in 2003, ten years after arriving in the United States. He had left the office of his lawyer in an avenue of McCallen, Texas when a man shot him from a car.

When I interviewed Plumlee, the fifth visit I made to his home in New Mexico, after ten hours in total talking on the phone, I asked for documents that would support his version, and see how they fit with that of Berrellez and Jordan.

That gave me the letter. He also had photographs, his pilot license and more.

After drinking a Corona drink to release the tensions of the first interview, (He met me with a .9 mm tucked into his pants) Tosh showed me pictures of him allegedly at the ranch Caro Quintero and another where it appears in one of the planes that flew to EU. But he also gave me a series of research papers on which he put the FBI still marked secret, to confirm their participation in covert CIA operations. The researchers concluded that "alias X is another likely alias Plumlee." Asking this perhaps was rude of me, but Plumlee could be any well aware of the business of the CIA and the Contras and Caro Quintero. To believe these accusations he had to prove his identity, and of course, then check that version out.

Later I found more interesting evidence. Copies of a series of maps delivered to the U.S. government and classified until 2020, which delineated by Plumlee routes where weapons and cocaine were transported. The training of members of the Nicaraguan Contras at Caro Quintero ranches are also detailed. These maps eventually convinced me that Plumlee was indeed the pilot; the man who entered the United States carrying more than 40 tons of cocaine to the CIA, in a period of one year and, in 1985, brought the country Caro Quintero.

Contact on the Pacific coast, just outside of Cabo San Lucas . This is one of the points of contact between the path and desert of Central Arizona and California during 1983-1986.

April. Rafael Caro Quintero, San Felipe, Mex. [phone number] Gacha, M. Colombo, Penonome, Panama, 1986. The note on the map contains a phone number in San Felipe that Plumlee says Quintero is the number of Delgado's ranch. This note refers to a drug deal between Gacha and Caro Quintero in 1986 "probably related to the Contras, because I was involved."

May. L 12 degrees, 84 degrees... Long, NGA Bluefield, Escualito River. Bluefields is a port on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, one of the three landing areas mined by the CIA in 1984.

6. Luis Ochoa, Penonome, Panama, in the village by the river. Previously owned by Vesco and Rojas 09/06/83. Plumlee says Jorge Luis Ochoa, a member of the Medellin cartel, sometimes stayed at the villa from Rio Hato and Penonome when sending cargo to Panama.

Tosh on the Mexican border, 2011

This same man explains to me how the CIA indirectly had Enrique Kiki Camarena killed, the DEA agent investigating Caro Quintero. "Kiki was no fool. He knew that the drug was not everything he wanted, then began to follow the money and found loaded with drugs openly flying to America," said Plumlee from his chair at his home in New Mexico.

"I found out about this because the CIA asked to investigate who had opened his mouth. That was Kiki and then specifically asked Oliver North was kidnapped and interrogated."

For this they hired Nicaraguan drug trafficker Juan Matta Ballesteros, who also owned SETCO, the aircraft company Plumlee worked for, under the CIA. They explained the situation and Matta Ballesteros. Caro Quintero did tell an undercover agent had found his buffalo ranch in Chihuahua, I visited a few months ago, the largest marijuana ranch in Mexico's history. "And Caro ran his hand, but in presence of two CIA agents who were also infiltrated and did nothing," Plumlee says.

"I report that Caro Quintero is alive and safe. Now living under a new identity under a special program, a step before the witness protection program," he explained. "These so far are rumors of my sources, there is nothing that can be proven as a fact, but time will tell if it was true or just rumors."

Tosh during his CIA days

Plumlee offered me his confidence, so did Hector Berrellez and Phil Jordan. Both told the same version from their research. These two, as I understand, seek one thing: justice for the legacy of Kiki Camarena. I am told that is the only personal agenda that has led them to talk now that they are finally retired agents, and not force them to keep secrets. They were good friends.

The agents also confessed that I have evidence of what they have heard of "military and intelligence sources" in the United States and Mexico, which suggests that Caro Quintero entered a special protection program from Washington monitored by the CIA and U.S. State Department.

Phil Jordan says this idea does not seem far-fetched, in fact you think there is a very strong probability. In a strange seedy motel in El Paso, Texas, he explained that the U.S. government is very concerned of what Rafael Caro Quintero can say about the operation of Iran-Contra: he bought drugs in South America to sell in the United States and money to buy weapons to give to the Nicaraguan Contras. All operations by Caro Quintero in Mexico.

For Jordan, Quintero should be protected the same as at any time can become their main enemy. Jordan goes further: the CIA may be giving protection to the boss of bosses, for now, but anytime you can get rid of it.

"Nobody in Mexico is interested in Caro Quintero because neither the PRI nor anyone going to do anything, he has always been protected. But there is a U.S. intelligence agency from which to look, did you know what ? ... the CIA. "

I sent a series of questions to the headquarters of the CIA. I responded to a template of the information they have on their website and sent to all journalists who ask about it.

In the more than 12 pages I got a reply, the CIA is specifically about the aviation company SETCO , Matta Ballesteros, and through which drugs from south to north and weapons flew north to south .

"According to the official records of the United States, referred to in the report of Senator Kerry , SETCO was established by Matta Ballesteros, Class 1 criminal. Besides the Kerry Report states that these records indicate that Matta was a leading figure in the Colombian cartel and was involved in the murder of Enrique Camarena , "says the CIA.

However, participation of the intelligence agency in SETCO flights and knowledge regarding drug trafficking is denied.

"Not found information indicating that said the CIA received allegations that some aircraft SETCO they were involved in drug trafficking during the Contra. [ ... ] Not found files or shared information with other government agencies . No information was found indicating that the CIA played a role in selecting SETCO to deliver humanitarian aid and assistance to the Contras."

Newest published by the CIA regarding the Southern Front and Iran -Contra , was this:

"The intelligence community has no independent DEA information on this case. The DEA will provide additional information as it becomes available. "

Since then the DEA offered nothing . But last October the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration met to refute Jordan , Plumlee and Berrellez .

From Washington, in a press conference said the following : " Many of you are aware that there are two former DEA special agents who have recently been interviewed by various media about this research , for reasons that are unclear, the two former agents have chosen to invent stories about his involvement in the case and causes the murder of Kiki Camarena . His version of events could not be further from the truth. The stories of them are hurting the DEA effort to ensure that we bring to justice the real culprits . "

In an interview , another former DEA agent told me wary of what the three agents have been saying. Gilbert Gonzalez, who was infiltrated into the Guadalajara Cartel in the nineties and who now trains agents active in infiltration techniques , said " all you are doing [ these three agents ] is to make people remove your finger from the line " .

" Jordan is a great friend , he did have first-hand information , but do not know why you are saying these things. Plumlee do not know who is, but Berrellez was in charge of investigating the murder of Kiki from here, he never traveled to Mexico , do not know how things are " , I said smiling .

" I do not say they are doing it consciously, but we are distracted from the main goal: to bring justice to American Rafael Caro Quintero Camarena's murder ."

By Robert Plumlee has now confessed to me that he is afraid. More than a dozen of his friends, the other pilots who flew cocaine for Uncle Sam , have been killed or are behind bars . He is an old man and do not want to end his life under these circumstances. So you've decided to protect a very paradoxical way , making public everything he knows about the operation for which he was hired .

One of his friends was Celestino Castillo III , a former DEA agent who served his sentence in prison for trafficking weapons during this operation .

Castillo himself has written in his book Powderburns how the U.S. government imprisoned for leaking information of Iran -Contra .

"I'm still trying to clear my name. And I know what these men are saying [ Tosh, Jordan and Berrellez ] is true. I served at the forefront of Latin America for six years when all this was happening, "he told me in a brief phone interview .

The other friend , the one who has more crying , was Barry Seal, a U.S. pilot involved in various covert operations outsourced by the CIA who was killed when he was very close to talk.

According to an internal FBI investigation , was killed when Seal , agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided their personal items Police forensic lab in Louisiana , where he was fatally shot . Among the documents seized by the FBI was your staff George Bush.

Furthermore, once the murderers were found told lawyers that were ordered by an official identified as Oliver North .

" I do not care about politics or money or who is president and who is not, I want to save my ass ," he replied when he finally confessed that he suspected she could have to reveal this hidden agendas.

To be fair to anyone but politicians care policy . But to say that the CIA was behind an illegal operation that also took the life of a DEA agent goes beyond being Democrat or Republican , PRI or PAN or PRD.

So we know how things move : on the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico City , Ciudad Juarez , El Paso, New Mexico , California , there are drug dealers , drug dealers and where there is the most likely DEA and CIA protecting .

Ronald Reagan was a president who trafficked drugs to his own people and weapons to annihilate your enemies. But what the hell , raise your hand the president has not done so.


King and Plumlee in Colorado, 2013
This article was translated from the original Spanish version published in Costa Rica, by Salem-News.com's Tim King, using Google Translator. If readers catch distinct discrepancies and inconsistencies in the copy translation we apologize and will correct accordingly. Special thanks to Tosh Plumlee and to Vice for bringing this long-buried story to life.

This article, like so many before it, proves once again that the United States government has been directly involved in drug running for decades. Keep watching the Central and South American media for more reports because these crimes took place on their soil and the negative impacts last to this day. Reagan and North soiled the soul of the United States and there are no statutes of limitations on Murder and Treason. I'm just saying...


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 07:44 AM

44. ‘Caro Quintero es protegido por la Casa Blanca’: ex piloto de la CIA


‘Caro Quintero es protegido por la Casa Blanca’: ex piloto de la CIA
Por Luis Chaparro
Share on Tumblr

El ex piloto de la CIA, Robert Tosh Plumlee.

Horas después de que Rafael Caro Quintero, supuesto asesino del agente de la DEA, Enrique Kiki Camarena, fuera liberado el 9 de agosto pasado, los gobiernos de México y Estados Unidos anunciaron una cacería en su contra. Pero en realidad se trata de un falso espectáculo. Caro Quintero no asesinó a Kiki Camarena, y es posible que el don del narcotráfico mexicano viva bajo una nueva identidad como protegido de un programa secreto de la Casa Blanca.

En entrevistas, tres ex agentes de inteligencia de EU —Héctor Berrellez, de la DEA (Agencia Antidrogas), Robert Tosh Plumlee, de la CIA (Agencia Central de Inteligencia) y Phil Jordan, de EPIC (Centro de Inteligencia de El Paso)— me fueron armando una versión del caso totalmente opuesta a la línea que ahora domina la agenda antidrogas de ambos gobiernos. Una realidad que no alcanzamos a ver y donde se vislumbra que los enemigos de EU son más bien sus protegidos.

Tuve acceso a documentos que prueban que detrás del asesinato más simbólico de la Guerra contra las drogas de los ochenta estuvo la misma CIA y que el actual Secretario de Estado estadounidense, John Kerry, estuvo enterado de esto desde 1991.

Si no fuera por estos escasos documentos que logré obtener —algunos aún clasificados hasta el 2020— las declaraciones de estos tres ex agentes me parecerían una teoría de conspiración de tres ancianos macabros.

Pero los documentos están aquí. El primero es una carta firmada por Gary Hart, ex senador demócrata, fechada el 14 de febrero de 1991 y enviada al senador John Kerry, entonces presidente del Subcomité para el Terrorismo, Narcóticos y Comunicaciones Internacionales de la cámara alta del congreso de EU. Esta carta es uno de los pocos documentos que no fueron quemados por Oliver North [ex teniente coronel de los marines, al servicio de Ronald Regan] en los sótanos del Pentágono.

En el documento se nota la preocupación de Kerry tras enterarse de la operación Irán-Contra, que traficaba cocaína a Estados Unidos desde Sudamérica, mediante México y cuya venta patrocinó con armas a la Contra nicaragüense.

En la carta se habla de una reunión del ex piloto subcontratado de la CIA, Plumlee, con Bill Holen, de la oficina del senado en Denver, Colorado que entonces encabezaba Gary Hart. Y ahí suelta una bomba: “Además [Robert Plumlee] destacó que estas operaciones no eran de la CIA sino que estaban bajo la dirección de la Casa Blanca, el Pentágono y personal del consejo de Seguridad Nacional [NSC]”.

Fue justo esta operación en la que Rafael Caro Quintero fue la persona clave. El plan de Reagan y amigos llevaba armas de norte a sur, desde Estados Unidos hasta Nicaragua y varios países en Sudamérica. Las avionetas que conducía Plumlee y una decena de sus colegas, aterrizaban en México, en los ranchos de Caro Quintero, específicamente en Veracruz. Pero además ahí mismo se entrenaba a la contraguerrilla.

Y Berrellez me apunta hacia el primer soplón: Guillermo González Calderoni, uno de los principales comandantes de la Policía Judicial Federal (PJF) en los años ochenta que, luego de colaborar con el Cártel de Juárez huyó a Estados Unidos en 1993, se convirtió en informante de la DEA y luego fue asesinado de un tiro en McCallen, Texas en 2003.

Berrellez fue el encargado de sacar a Calderoni de México en 1993. Me dice que Calderoni lo llamó desde un consulado en México pidiéndole que lo ayudara porque sino “lo iban a levantar y a asesinar”.

“Yo lo ayudé, mandé un Jet y lo traje a California. Acá, ya protegido por la DEA se volvió un informante y nos fue de mucha ayuda. El gobierno mexicano lo quería extraditar, pero yo hice lo que pude para que no fuera así porque yo sabía que lo iban a matar allá. Luego fue acusado de corrupción y tráfico de influencias y esas cosas, pero te digo que no es cierto”, me explicó Berrellez en su último viaje a Texas para conocernos en persona.

“Lo que me dijo respecto a lo de Camarena fue: ‘Héctor, salte de ese tema porque te van a chingar. Está involucrada la CIA en lo de Kiki, es muy peligroso que andes en eso’. Me dio nombres y detalles y todo, pero cuando mis jefes se enteraron me retiraron de la investigación y me enviaron a Washington DC”.

A Calderoni lo asesinaron de un tiro en la cabeza en 2003, a diez años de haber llegado a Estados Unidos. Salía de la oficina de su abogado en una avenida de McCallen, Texas cuando un hombre le disparó desde un auto.

Cuando entrevisté a Plumlee, en la quinta visita que hice a su casa en Nuevo México, tras unas diez horas en total de hablar por teléfono, le pedí documentos que sustentaran su versión, y ver cómo cuadraba con la de Berrellez y Jordan.

Ahí me entregó la carta. Le pedí además fotografías, licencias de aviador y más.

Luego de bebernos una Corona para liberar las tensiones de la primera entrevista (me recibió con una .9 mm fajada en el pantalón), me mostró fotografías de él presuntamente en el rancho de Caro Quintero y otra donde aparece en una de las avionetas que voló a EU. Pero además me entregó una serie de documentos sobre una investigación a la que lo sometió el FBI aún marcada como secreta, para confirmar su participación en operaciones encubiertas de la CIA. Los investigadores concluyeron que “alias X muy probablemente es otro alias de Plumlee”. Pedirle todo esto tal vez fue rudo de mi parte, pero Plumlee podía ser cualquier persona bien enterada de los negocios de la CIA con la Contra y con Caro Quintero. Para creer esas acusaciones tenía que comprobar su identidad, y desde luego, después comprobar su versión.

Plumlee mostrándome sus credenciales.

Más tarde encontré otra evidencia interesante. Las copias de una serie de mapas entregados al gobierno estadounidense y clasificados hasta el 2020, delineados por Plumlee donde se detallan sus rutas por donde transportó armas, cocaína y miembros de la Contra nicaragüense que además entrenaban en los ranchos de Caro Quintero. Estos mapas terminaron por convencerme de que Plumlee efectivamente era ese piloto. El hombre que introdujo a Estados Unidos más de 40 toneladas de cocaína para la CIA, en un periodo de un año y que, en 1985, sacó a Caro Quintero del país.

2. Contacto en la costa del Pacífico, justo fuera de Cabo San Lucas. Este es uno de los puntos de contacto entre la ruta de Centroamérica y el desierto de Arizona y California durante 1983-1986.

4. Rafael Caro Quintero, San Felipe, Mex. [número telefónico], Gacha, M. Colombo, Penonome, Panamá, 1986. La nota en el mapa contiene un número de teléfono en San Felipe que Plumlee dice es el número de Quintero en el rancho de Delgado. Esta nota hace referencia a un trato de drogas entre Gacha y Caro Quintero en 1986 "relacionado a los Contras seguramente, porque estuve involucrado".

5. 12 grados L, 84 grados Long..., Bluefield NGA, River Escualito. Bluefields es un puerto en la costa Caribe de Nicaragua, uno de los tres zonas de aterrizaje minados por la CIA en 1984.

6. Luis Ochoa, Penonome, Panamá, en la villa junto al río. Anteriormente propiedad de Vesco y Rojas 6-9-83. Plumlee dice que Jorge Luis Ochoa, miembro del Cártel de Medellín, a veces se quedaba en la villa entre Río Hato y Penonome cuando enviaba cargamento a Panamá.

Este mismo hombre me explica cómo la CIA indirectamente asesinó a Enrique Kiki Camarena, el agente de la DEA que investigaba a Caro Quintero. “Kiki no era tonto. Sabía que la droga no era todo lo que buscaba, entonces comenzó a seguir el dinero y se encontró con aviones cargados de droga volando abiertamente a Estados Unidos”, me cuenta Plumlee desde su sillón en su casa de Nuevo México.

“Yo me enteré de esto porque la CIA pidió investigar quién había abierto la boca. Ese fue Kiki y entonces específicamente Oliver North pidió que fuera secuestrado e interrogado”.

Para esto contrataron al narcotraficante nicaragüense Juan Matta Ballesteros, quien además era dueño de SETCO, la compañía de aviones para la que trabajaba Plumlee, bajo la CIA. Le explicaron la situación y a Matta Ballesteros se le ocurrió decirle a Caro Quintero que un agente infiltrado había encontrado su rancho Búfalo, en Chihuahua, que visité hace unos meses, el rancho de mariguana más grande en la historia de México. “Y a Caro se le pasó la mano, pero en presencia de dos agentes de la CIA que también estaban infiltrados y no hicieron nada”, dice Plumlee.

“Me reportan que Caro Quintero está vivo y a salvo. Ahora vive bajo una nueva identidad y bajo un programa especial, un paso antes del programa de testigos protegidos”, me explicó. “Estos, hasta ahora son rumores de mis fuentes, no hay nada que se pueda comprobar como un hecho, pero el tiempo se encargará de decir si es verdad o sólo fueron rumores”.

Así como Plumlee me ofreció su confianza, también lo hicieron Héctor Berrellez y Phil Jordan. Ambos me contaron la misma versión desde sus investigaciones. Ellos dos, según entiendo, buscan una sola cosa: justicia para el legado de Kiki Camarena. Según me dicen, ésa es la única agenda personal que los ha motivado a hablar ahora que finalmente son agentes retirados, y no los obligan a guardar secretos. Eran buenos amigos.

Los agentes además me confesaron que tienen indicios de lo que han escuchado de “fuentes militares y de inteligencia” tanto en Estados Unidos como en México, que apuntan a que Caro Quintero puede bajo un programa de protección especial de Washington monitoreado por la CIA y el Departamento de Estado de EU.

A Phil Jordan esta idea no le parece descabellada, de hecho le parece que es una probabilidad muy fuerte. En un extraño motel de mala muerte en El Paso, Texas, me explicó que el gobierno estadounidense está muy preocupado de lo que Rafael Caro Quintero pueda decir sobre la operación de Irán-Contra: que compraba droga en Sudamérica para venderla en Estados Unidos y con el dinero comprar armas para regalar a la Contra nicaragüense. Todo mediante las operaciones de Caro Quintero en México.

Para Jordan, Quintero debe estar protegido por los mismos que en cualquier momento se pueden convertir en su principal enemigo. Jordan va más allá: la CIA puede que esté dando protección al capo de capos, por ahora, pero en cualquier momento se puede deshacer de él.

“A nadie en México le interesa matar a Caro Quintero porque ni el PRI ni nadie va a hacer nada, siempre ha estado protegido. Pero sí hay una agencia de inteligencia estadounidense de la que se debe cuidar, ¿ya sabes cuál?... la CIA”.

Envié una serie de preguntas a las oficinas centrales de la CIA. Me respondieron un machote de la información que tienen en su página web y que envían a todos los periodistas que preguntan sobre el tema.

En las más de 12 páginas que obtuve de respuesta, la CIA habla específicamente de la empresa de aviación SETCO, de Matta Ballesteros, y mediante la cual se volaban las drogas de sur a norte y las armas de norte a sur.

“De acuerdo a los archivos oficiales de Estados Unidos, citados en el reporte del Senador Kerry, SETCO fue establecida por Matta Ballesteros, un criminal Clase 1. Además el Reporte Kerry afirma que estos registros indican que Matta fue una figura principal en el cártel colombiano y estuvo involucrado en el asesinato de Enrique Camarena”, dice la CIA.

Sin embargo se niega la participación de la agencia de inteligencia en los vuelos de SETCO y su conocimiento respecto al tráfico de drogas.

“No se ha encontrado información que indique que la CIA recibió dichas acusaciones de que algunos aviones de SETCO estuvieran envueltos en narcotráfico durante la Contra. [...] No se han encontrado archivos o información compartida con otras agencias de gobierno. No se ha encontrado información que indique que la CIA jugó algún rol en la selección de SETCO para entregar ayuda humanitaria y asistencia a la Contra”.

Lo último publicado por la CIA respecto al Frente Sur o Irán-Contra, fue lo siguiente:

“La comunidad de inteligencia no tiene información independiente de la DEA sobre este caso. La DEA ofrecerá información adicional tan pronto como esté disponible”.

Desde luego la DEA no ofreció nada. Pero el pasado octubre las oficinas centrales de la Agencia Antidrogas se reunió para desmentir a Jordan, Plumlee y Berrellez.

Desde Washington, en conferencia de prensa dijeron lo siguiente: “Muchos de ustedes están conscientes de que hay dos ex agentes especiales de la DEA que recientemente han sido entrevistados por varios medios de comunicación sobre esta investigación, por razones que no están claras, los dos ex agentes han escogido por inventar historias sobre su implicación en el caso y las causas del asesinato de Kiki Camarena. Sus versiones de los hechos no podrían estar más lejos de la verdad. Las historias de ellos están perjudicando los esfuerzo de la DEA para asegurarnos de que podamos llevar ante la justicia a los verdaderos responsables”.

En una entrevista, otro ex agente de la DEA me dijo desconfiar de lo que los tres agentes han estado diciendo. Gilbert González, quien fue infiltrado en el Cártel de Guadalajara en los años noventa y quien ahora entrena a agentes en activo en técnicas de infiltración, dijo que “lo único que están haciendo [estos tres agentes] es hacer que la gente quite el dedo del renglón”.

“Jordan es un gran amigo, él sí tuvo información de primera mano, pero no sé por qué esté diciendo estas cosas. Plumlee no sé quien es, pero Berrellez estuvo a cargo de la investigación del asesinato de Kiki desde acá, él nunca viajó a México, no sabe cómo son las cosas”, me explicó sonriente.

“Yo no digo que lo estén haciendo conscientemente, pero nos están distrayendo en el objetivo principal: traer a la justicia norteamericana a Rafael Caro Quintero por el asesinato de Camarena”.

Por ahora Robert Plumlee me ha confesado que tiene miedo. A más de una decena de sus amigos, los otros pilotos que volaron cocaína para el Tío Sam, han sido asesinados o están tras las rejas. Él es ya un anciano y no quiere terminar su vida bajo esas circunstancias. Así que ha decidido protegerse de una manera muy paradójica, haciendo público todo lo que sabe sobre el operativo para el que fue contratado.

Uno de sus amigos fue Celestino Castillo III, un ex agente de la DEA quien cumplió su sentencia en prisión por traficar armas durante esta misma operación.

El mismo Castillo ha escrito en su libro Powderburns cómo el gobierno estadounidense lo encarceló por filtrar información del Irán-Contra.

“Aún estoy intentando limpiar mi nombre. Y yo sé que lo que estos hombres están diciendo [Tosh, Jordan y Berrellez] es verdad. Yo serví en la avanzada de Latinoamérica por seis años cuando todo esto estaba sucediendo”, me contó en una breve entrevista por teléfono.

El otro amigo, uno de los que más ha llorado, fue Barry Seal, un piloto estadounidense involucrado en distintas operaciones encubiertas subcontratado por la CIA que fue asesinado cuando estuvo muy cerca de hablar.

De acuerdo a una investigación interna del FBI, cuando Seal fue asesinado, los agentes del Buró Federal de Investigaciones allanaron sus artículos personales del laboratorio forense de la Policía de Louisiana, donde murió de un tiro. Entre los documentos que decomisó el FBI estaba el teléfono personal de George Bush.

Además, una vez que los asesinos fueron localizados dijeron a sus abogados que recibieron órdenes de un oficial identificado como Oliver North.

“A mí no me importa la política ni el dinero o quién es presidente y quién no, yo quiero salvar mi trasero”, me respondió cuando finalmente le confesé que sospechaba de que pudiera tener agendas ocultas al revelarme todo esto.

Para ser sinceros a nadie más que a los políticos les importa la política. Pero decir que la CIA estuvo detrás de un operativo ilegal que además terminó con la vida de un agente de la DEA va más allá de ser demócrata o republicano; PRI o PAN o PRD.

Así sabemos cómo se mueven las cosas: en las calles de Guadalajara, de la Ciudad de México, de Ciudad Juárez, El Paso, Nuevo México, California, hay narcos, y donde hay narcos está la DEA y muy probablemente la CIA protegiéndolos.

Ronald Reagan fue un presidente que traficó drogas a su propia gente y armas para aniquilar a sus enemigos. Pero qué chingados, que levante la mano el presidente que no lo ha hecho.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #44)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 07:57 AM

45. U.S. Treasury Tracks Secret Bank Accounts of Top Mexican Kingpin




U.S. Treasury Tracks Secret Bank Accounts of Top Mexican Kingpin

Mexican drug dealer arrested by the DEA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero ordered the kidnapping, torture and assassination of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, he was the leader of a billion dollar criminal empire, according to a former DEA agent. “Caro Quintero had billions of dollars stashed in secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and in Switzerland,” former DEA agent Hector Berrellez told me in a telephone interview. “The one in Luxembourg had $4 billion and the other one had even more.”

Berrellez claimed that he saw with his own eyes those accounts in electronic statements in 1995 while investigating the Mexican trafficker at the DEA headquarters. Berrellez retired in 1996. The U.S. government, he explained, was unable to seize the accounts because of the banking secrecy laws in those countries. He said the accounts were listed under the alien name that Caro Quintero, a major drug trafficker and fugitive from U.S. justice, used to do business with Mexican banks. “To my knowledge they were never confiscated,” Berrellez said.
Was Mexican Fugitive Caro Quintero The First Billionaire Drug Lord? Dolia Estevez Dolia Estevez Contributor
World's Most Powerful Drug Dealer Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Makes A Mockery Of U.S. Law Enforcement Dolia Estevez Dolia Estevez Contributor

DEA spokesperson Dawn Dearden could not confirm or deny reports about the alleged Luxembourg and Switzerland accounts.

In the past six months, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has taken an aggressive approach toward Caro Quintero’s criminal empire by blacklisting a total of 19 individuals and 35 companies linked to the former leader of the powerful Guadalajara Cartel. OFAC said that from prison, Caro Quintero directed family members and associates to invest his fortune into ostensibly legitimate companies and real estate projects in Guadalajara. Under U.S. law, all U.S. entities and individuals are banned from doing business with the blacklisted network.

John Sullivan, OFAC’s spokesperson, said he could not comment on foreign assets that Treasury may be tracking, but added that tracking bank accounts outside Mexico, “is part of our strategy for going after [Caro Quintero’s] financial support network.”

Sullivan declined to assess Caro Quintero’s wealth, saying that Treasury is not in the business of making estimates. “It’s fair to say that through all these companies and through all these connections, he has made a very significant pile of money. Different businesses are making so much money here and there, there are amounts of money floating in and out,” Sullivan explained.

Is he a billionaire? Replied Sullivan: “I would not call you and ask you for a correction if you printed that.”

Caro Quintero continued his activities from behind the prison walls where at one point he lived like a king. In 1989, The Washington Post reported that Caro Quintero and a fellow kingpin had taken over two entire cellblocks designed for 250 inmates and remodeled them, installing kitchens, living and dining rooms, offices, marble bathrooms and, for Caro Quintero, a carpeted master bedroom with satin sheets and closets full of silk shirts, cowboy boots and cowboy hats. The kingpins had guns, cell phones, fax machines and other communications gear. According to U.S. law enforcement Caro Quintero never lost control of his drug business.

Caro Quintero was sentenced in 1989 to serve 40 years in a Mexican prison for the murder of Camarena. The Mexican government failed to seize his drug assets which were taken over by his former wife and children. After spending 28 years in jail, the 61 year-old kingpin was released on a legal technicality in August. Caro Quintero’s early release outraged Washington. The Obama Administration asked Mexico to re-apprehend and extradite him, and offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. But, according to the Mexican government, he has disappeared. Powerful drug lords in México are notorious for buying their freedom by bribing corrupt government officials.
Seal of the United States Department of the Tr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, Caro Quintero was back in the news. He sent a letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto urging him to resist U.S. pressure to extradite him and put an end to his family’s harassment. He told the president that he had “already paid his debt to society” and that the only thing the U.S. is trying to do, “is make me feel the weight of revenge, using my family and discrediting Mexico and its laws, and to subjugate our sovereignty [Mexico's] with only the desire of feeling superior.” The Mexican government acknowledged receiving the letter. DEA thinks it is authentic.

Twitter: @DoliaEstevez


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 06:41 PM

46. Robert plumlee's original article "I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam" (1990) - years before Gary Webb


Last edited Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:45 AM - Edit history (3)

"I RAN DRUGS FOR UNCLE SAM" by Neal Matthews
The San Diego Reader
April, 1990

Interview with pilot Robert "Tosh" Plumlee complete with Maps , etc.


mirrored here incase it gets removed

FOIA request and docs on Tosh Plumlee
from Kennedy and Cuba on to Iran-Contra
DEA report on Caro Quintero

I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam--William "Tosh" Plumlee parts 1-5....
EXPERT WITNESS RADIO SHOW 1999 - MICHAEL LEVINE (DEA-Ret) http://www.expertwitnessradio.org/


Tosh Plumlee's FACEBOOK:


Robert Tosh Plumlee shared a link.
December 3, 2013
The original article I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam can be found on Neal Matthews website. This article has the military map with all the flyways into the United States from Central and South America, and Mexico.


(go to Dangerous waters section... then scroll down to San Diego Reader article... "I ran Drugs..


Other links


Other links:

Alex jones

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #46)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:32 PM

47. Proceso articles Camarena murder Hector Berrellez, Tosh Plumlee, Phil Jordan, Mike Holm


(full color with photos)

Mike Holm was the supervisor of Hector Berrellez at DEA and was famous for the world's largest drug seizure in Sylmar, California (Los Angeles) 21,700 Kilos of cocaine. Amazingly, the price of drugs was not affected at all and remained at record low prices.
read about him here:

Hector Berrellez lead the murder investigation - Operation Leyenda into the death of DEA agent Enrique "KIKI" Camarena.
He was transferred to a Washington DC desk job when he discovered US intelligence involvement in the drug trade and ordered a criminal investigation of the CIA. Berrellez was known as the "Elliot Ness of the DEA"

Phil Jordan was the head of DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the subject of the book "Down by the River" (soon to be a movie) by Charles Bowden. He also appears in the excellent article "the killer across the river" about the drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Proceso Magazine (issue #1929) article October 20, 2013 “La Historia Secreta”
Proceso (issue 1931) November 3, 2013 Caso Camarena: Contra CIA mas evidencias
Proceso (issue 1932) Nov 10, 2013 Caso Caro Quintero: La SCJN se congracia con Estados Unidos
La versión del piloto Plumlee: La Casa Blanca protegió a Caro Quintero (2 articles)
Proceso (issue 1928) October 13, 2013 “A Camarena lo ejecutó la CIA, no Caro Quintero”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:14 PM

48. Celerino Castillo III Video Interview Parts 1 to 7 (2009) Drug Trafficking- Central America


Celerino Castillo III Video Interview Parts 1 to 7 (2009)

Interviewer - Alex Jones
Topics- George Bush, Col James Steele, El Salvador, Iraq, Covert operations, drug trafficking, CONTRAS.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2014, 08:30 PM

49. KillTheMessenger w/ Jeremy Renner make @IndieWire’s list of Most Anticipated Films of 2014.



KillTheMessenger w/ Jeremy Renner make @IndieWire’s list of Most Anticipated Films of 2014.


81. “Kill The Messenger”
Synopsis: This is the true story of journalist Gary Webb, who documented the CIA’s involvement in the global drug trade, and ended up having his career destroyed as a result.

What You Need To Know: Jeremy Renner is using his clout from “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Avengers” to get this story out there, serving as producer and star for this true story. The script from Peter Landesman draws inspiration from two books, Webb’s own “Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras And The Crack Cocaine Explosion” and “Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Gary Webb” by Nick Schou. Renner was smart enough to reach into his past to hire his “Twelve And Holding” director Michael Cuesta, who has also logged hours in television with “Homeland” and “Dexter.” Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael K. Williams, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star.

Why Is It Anticipated: Simply put, this is a significant story that needs to be told about the CIA sullying the name of an innocent man in plain sight in order to protect their clearly illegal actions. There’s been a strand of aggression and antagonism towards honest reportage in the recent political climate, and the government (and the media, somehow!) have been allowed to control the narrative and distract the public from nakedly obvious wrongdoing. A movie isn’t going to do much in the long run, but as far as informing the public, it’s a start.
Release Date: Possibly fourth quarter 2014.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:23 AM



Friday, 10 January 2014 10:07
Written by Jordan DeSaulnier
Finally, somebody made a movie about Gary Webb, the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News reporter who, in his 1996 article series "Dark Alliance," alleged that the CIA was instrumental in importing crack cocaine to California in the 1980s, using the profits to illegally fund the Contra rebel army in Nicaragua. Webb was then thrown under the bus by his colleagues and hounded until meeting a suspicious end. Webb's story is a fascinating one, and with Jeremy Renner playing him, we ought to get a complex character study. Throw in L.I.E. and prolific television helmer Michael Cuesta and Kill the Messenger could just be devastating and even important.

http://www.iamrogue.com/news/lists/item/10430-rogue-10-ten-potential-g ems-of-2014.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:32 AM

51. 1/4/14 DEA Case Threatens to Expose US Government-Sanctioned Drug-Running by Bill Conroy



DEA Case Threatens to Expose US Government-Sanctioned Drug-Running
Posted by Bill Conroy - January 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Pleadings in Federal Court Reveal ICE Undercover Operation Marked With CIA Fingerprints

Federal agents this past November raided the offices of an aircraft brokerage and leasing company called World Jet Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The raid, spearheaded by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, was launched on the heels of a DEA affidavit for a search warrant, which was filed in late October last year in federal court in Colorado as part of a case that is now sealed. The search-warrant affidavit was made available on the Internet after being obtained by a reporter for the Durango Herald newspaper.

The affidavit outlines allegations against several individuals accused by the DEA of participating in a narco-trafficking conspiracy. But that is not the big story here.

Instead, the real news is buried deep in the DEA court pleadings and confirms the existence of a US undercover operation that Narco News reported previously had allowed tons of cocaine to be flown from Latin America into the states absent proper controls or the knowledge of the affected Latin American nations.

The DEA affidavit focuses on the owner of World Jet, Don Whittington, and his brother, Bill — both of whom earned modest infamy as race-car drivers who were convicted and served time in prison for participating in a marijuana-smuggling conspiracy in the 1980s.

The DEA now alleges the pair, through World Jet, have leased or brokered the sale of multiple aircraft to agents of known narco-trafficking organizations in Latin America. Those aircraft, the DEA claims, were leased or sold at inflated prices and the proceeds laundered through various businesses owned or operate by the brothers — including a resort and spa in Colorado.

Because the titles and tail numbers for the leased aircraft are kept in World Jet or related-parties’ names, the planes can be “repossessed” by World Jet after they have served their purpose for the narco-traffickers, or if a plane is later seized as part of a drug bust, “both parties can deny responsibility and World Jet Inc. can reclaim the aircraft as they hold the financial lien,” the DEA affidavit alleges.

Narco News contacted World Jet’s office in Florida seeking comment from the Whittington brothers and also contacted their attorney. None of them returned calls prior to deadline.

However, Jason Bowles, an attorney representing Bill Whittington’s daughter, Nerissa, claims DEA’s allegations with respect to his client are without merit. (Nerissa Whittington is the registered agent for the company that controls the Colorado resort and spa that the DEA affidavit alleges is part of the World Jet money-laundering scheme.)

"Nerissa and her companies have done nothing wrong," Bowles says. "She is a good business woman. She is innocent."

Bowles adds that to date no arrests have been made or indictments issued as a result of the DEA search-warrant affidavit.

Although the investigation into the Whittingtons and World Jet may seem like a typical drug-war saga, there is a twist in this case, related to the sale of a Gulfstream II corporate jet, that appears to put the DEA in the position of investigating one or more of its sister federal agencies.

Mayan Express

Don Whittington’s World Jet brokered the Gulfstream II’s sale to a company called Donna Blue Aircraft Inc., according to the DEA affidavit.

The DEA affidavit indicates that Donna Blue was, in fact, a front company for an ICE undercover operation dubbed “Mayan Jaguar.” Donna Blue subsequently sold the Gulfstream II jet to a Florida duo — Clyde O'Connor and Gregory Smith, who has a history of involvement in US government operations.

About a week later, on Sept. 24, 2007, the Gulfstream jet crashed in Mexico’s Yucatan with a payload of some 4 tons of cocaine onboard. Media reports at the time and European investigators, it turns out, have linked the Gulfstream II’s tail number, N987SA, to past CIA flights to Guantanamo Bay.

Narco News reported on the Gulfstream II jet crash and its aftermath extensively and has uncovered documents and sources indicating that Gregory Smith was, in fact, a contract pilot who did work for the US government, including US Customs (later rolled into ICE, which is part of Homeland Security), DEA, FBI and likely CIA.

A Narco News story published in December 2007 also revealed that the Gulfstream II jet was part of an ICE undercover operation called Mayan Express.

From that story:

The Gulfstream II jet that crash landed in the Mexican Yucatan in late September [2007] carrying close to four tons of cocaine was part of an operation being carried out by a Department of Homeland Security agency, DEA sources have revealed to Narco News.

The operation, codenamed “Mayan Express,” is an ongoing effort spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the sources claim. The information surfaced during a high-level meeting at DEA headquarters in mid-December [2007], DEA sources familiar with the meeting assert.

Those same sources now tell Narco News that Mayan Express and ICE’s Mayan Jaguar operation revealed in the recently filed DEA affidavit are one and the same. The Narco News story about Mayan Express also revealed that, according to several US law enforcers, the operation likely was run with CIA assistance and may well have been a CIA covert operation using ICE as a cover for its activities.

More from the 2007 Narco News story:

The operation [Mayan Express/Jaguar] also appears to be badly flawed, the sources say, because it is being carried out unilaterally, (Rambo-style), by ICE and without the knowledge of the Mexican government ….

“This is a case of ICE running amok,” one DEA source told Narco News. “If this [operation] was being run by the book, they would not be doing it unilaterally” – without the participation of DEA – “and without the knowledge of the Mexican government.”

… The bottom line, though, according to the DEA sources who leaked the information to Narco News, is that the real purpose of the Mayan Express [Mayan Jaguar] operation remains unclear, as does the volume of drugs involved in the operation to date [beyond the four tons found onboard the crashed Gulfstream II].

One proposition that all of the law enforcers who spoke with Narco News agreed on with respect to the Mayan Express [Mayan Jaguar] is that even if DEA was precluded from participating in the effort, the CIA almost certainly was involved on some level. They say no law enforcement operation is carried out overseas without the CIA lurking in the background.

… Attorney Mark Conrad, a former high-level supervisory US Customs special agent who has an extensive background in the intelligence world, has no problem entertaining a CIA scenario in the Gulfstream II narco-world saga.

“… It [Mayan Express/Jaguar] makes no sense and it makes perfect sense. There probably aren’t six people left at ICE who could put an operation like this together. It could well be a CIA operation working under ICE cover.”

Government Pilot

Narco News’ past coverage of the Gulfstream II jet also established that Gregory Smith, one of the jet’s owners at the time of its crash landing in Mexico, worked as a contract pilot for a US government operation targeting Colombian narco-traffickers in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

In fact, Smith’s company at the time, Aero Group Jets, leased the Hawker jet used for that operation to the individual at the center of it — a CIA [link here, see page 16], DEA and FBI asset named Baruch Vega. That same Hawker jet, FAA records show, was later purchased by Clyde O’Connor — Smith’s partner in the 2007 Gulfstream II purchase.

From a December 2007 Narco News story:

[CIA asset] Vega, in a recent lawsuit filed in federal court, claims the FBI and DEA both used him between 1997 and 2000 to help broker plea deals with Colombian narco-traffickers and that, in the end, the U.S. government stiffed him out of $28.5 million in promised payments for his work.

It was during that work for the FBI and DEA that Vega ran across Greg [Gregory] Smith, whom Vega claims was brought in by the FBI to pilot some 25 to 30 flights that involved couriering federal agents, Colombian narco-traffickers and lawyers back and forth between the United States and Latin America as part of the naroc-trafficker [cooperating-source] “recruiting” efforts.

Vega also says that the CIA was very involved in this effort, assisting with assuring the safe transport of the narco-traffickers to the airports in Latin America.

“We did have the full cooperation of the CIA…,” he told Narco News.

On at least one occasion, Vega adds, a CIA agent actually flew in the jet during one of the Latin American missions — though he stresses the agent simply needed to hitch a ride and was not directly involved with the operation.

In another story published by Narco News in February 2008, Vega reveals additional details about the Gulfstream II jet and its role in Mayan Express/Jaguar that he learned due to his connections with US government agencies.

From that story:

… The Gulfstream II, according to DEA sources, was being used as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) undercover operation, called the Mayan Express [Mayan Jaguar], when it crashed in Mexico. Those sources contend the operation is being run “unilaterally” without the knowledge or cooperation of Latin American governments.

CIA asset Vega further claims that a notorious Colombian narco-trafficker named Nelson Urrego works as an informant for the U.S. government, both ICE and the CIA, and that he helped to arrange the Gulfstream II’s cocaine payload through Colombian paramilitary groups. Panamanian authorities arrested Urrego on money-laundering charges about a week before the Gulfstream II crashed. Urrego has since told the Panamanian press that he is, in fact, a CIA asset.

Given this backdrop, several Narco News sources, including Mark Conrad, a former supervisor special agent with ICE’s predecessor agency, U.S. Customs, have suggested that the CIA, not ICE, is actually the U.S. agency controlling the Mayan Express operation.

If Conrad is right, then DEA may now, in effect, be declaring war on the CIA because its World Jet investigation, if pursued to its end, could potentially expose CIA-sponsored drug running.

The DEA search-warrant affidavit now filed in federal court also alleges that Gregory Smith — identified as a contract pilot for World Jet — is also a DEA target suspected of being a drug smuggler.

From the DEA affidavit:

On September 24, 2007, a 1975 Grumman Gulfstream II Turbo Jet bearing tail number N987SA, crashed in the Yucatan Peninsula while transporting 3.723 kilograms of cocaine, which was recovered by the Mexican government, as documented by DEA Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. N987SA was owned by Donna Blue Aircraft Inc., which was subsequently identified as a front company for a Tampa Bay, Florida-based ICE undercover operation named Operation Mayan Jaguar [alias Mayan Express].

Earlier in 2007, the aircraft was sold from a Delaware-based company, SA Holdings LLC, to Donna Blue Aircraft Inc., which in turn produced a bill of sale for the aircraft to Clyde O’Connor and Gregory Smith. Clyde O’Connor and Gregory Smith have long been targets of DEA investigations for the trafficking of cocaine from South America to Central America and Mexico. As well, Gregory Smith currently works as a contract pilot for Don Whittington and World Jet Inc. Don Whittington and World Jet Inc. were implicated in the brokering of the sale of N987SA from SA Holdings LLC to the undercover company, Donna Blue Aircraft Inc.

… Gregory Smith has been identified in other DEA investigations as a pilot of interest due to intelligence that indicated he was a contract pilot who has flown loads of cocaine and marijuana from South and Central America to other points in the United States and Mexico.

Narco News recently contacted World Jet and asked to speak with Gregory Smith. The individual who answered the phone responded that Smith was unavailable, adding that she had "not seen him in a while.”

More Connections

Could pilot Gregory Smith’s alleged drug-smuggling runs, as outlined in the DEA affidavit, actually have been part of Mayan Jaguar/Express, or various CIA operations, that were unknown to DEA?

Tosh Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot who has blown the whistle on past CIA-sponsored drug-running operations, concludes that the answer to that question is “simple.”

“The CIA’s fingerprints are everywhere [on this operation],” Plumlee adds.

Still, it’s difficult to know with absolute certainty, based on the available evidence, the full extent of any CIA involvement. But there are other facts related to this case that should raise eyebrows for anyone in the US government empowered to investigate such matters.

For example, Joao Malago, one of the owners of the alleged ICE front company Donna Blue, confirmed to Narco News previously that he served as a business partner in a biofuels company called Atlantic Alcohol that listed among its officers an individual named Larry Peters, owner of Skyway Aircraft Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Skyway also happens to have brokered the sale of nine planes to Venezuelan buyers between 2003 and 2008, based on a past Narco News investigation. At least two of them were later identified as aircraft that were used in drug-trafficking operations.

Peters and Malago have previously denied having any connections to drug traffickers. In fact, based on the revelations in the recent DEA affidavit, it would appear that Malago and Peters are far more likely to have US government connections.

Both the Gulfstream II jet sold by Malago’s Donna Blue to O’Connor and Smith as well as one of the Peters’ Skyway Aircraft planes (a Beechcraft King Air 200) sold to a Venezuelan buyer were later found crashed or abandoned and linked to cocaine payloads — the Gulfstream II in Mexico after crashing in the Yucatan and the Beechcraft King Air 200 in Nicaragua. Both of those aircraft sported tail numbers at the time that linked them to apparent prior use by the CIA.

From a Narco News story published in March 2008:

Skyway Aircraft Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, sold the aircraft [Beechcraft King Air 200] to a Venezuelan purchaser in October 2004, about a month before it was apprehended in a Nicaraguan cotton field linked to a payload of some 1,100 kilos of cocaine. The Beech 200 was found in Nicaragua bearing a false tail number (N168D), which FAA records show is registered to a North Carolina company called Devon Holding and Leasing Inc.

According to press reports and an investigation conducted by the European Parliament into the CIA’s terrorist rendition program, Devon Holding is a CIA shell company and N168D is a tail number to a CIA aircraft.

ICE spokesperson Carissa Cutrell confirmed that Mayan Jaguar was an ICE operation “initiated to target drug trafficking.” She said it ran from around 2003 to 2007 and was then shut down.

“I don’t’ think anything [arrests or indictments] came out of it,” she says.

A DEA source told Narco News that it is surprising that ICE would allow an operation like Mayan Jaguar/Express to continue for so many years without producing any law enforcement results, adding that such an expensive and expansive international operation would not be launched and continued for years at DEA unless strict controls were in place and it also produced results — such as arrests and indictments.

Yet another connection to all of this is the fact that the Mexican government claims a money-exchange company called Casa De Cambio Puebla, operated by an individual named Pedro Alfonso Alatorrre Damy, fronted the money for the purchase of the cocaine Gulfstream II jet -- which was reportedly sold by Donna Blue Aircraft to Smith and O'Connor for $2 million only 8 days prior to it crashing in Mexico.

Damy was an alleged money launder for Mexico's Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization. This is important because Jesus Zambada Niebla, now awaiting trial in Chicago, is a top-level Sinaloa player who claims in his court pleadings that the drug-trafficking organization had a quid pro quo agreement with the US government that allowed its senior members to operate with impunity in exchange for providing US law enforcement and intel agencies with information about rival cartels.

From Zambada Niebla's court pleadings:

The United States government considered the arrangements with the Sinaloa Cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartel — without regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled into Chicago and other parts of the United States and consumption continued virtually unabated.

Damy was arrested in Mexico in 2007 and extradited to the US in early 2013. As part of a plea deal he was convicted on one count of money laundering and this past April quietly sentenced to time served — pretty lenient considering the amount of cocaine involved and an alleged money-laundering tally exceeding $170 million, according to the indictment. A law enforcer who spoke with Narco News on background says the light sentence is a good sign that Damy had agreed at some point to cooperate with the US government.

Coincidently, Damy’s case also is tied intricately to another U.S. government legal action against former banking giant Wachovia (since sold to Wells Fargo), which was implicated in the Damy money-laundering operation. Sinaloa organization operative Damy allegedly used the bank as part of his money-laundering enterprise.

Wachovia inked a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2010 in exchange for paying a monetary penalty of some $160 million and providing a promise of cooperation with the U.S. government.

Jim Schrant, DEA resident agent in charge in Grand Junction, Colo., when contacted by Narco News confirmed that there is "an ongoing investigation" related to the World Jet search warrant that "involves very serious crimes." He declined to comment, however, on specific "individuals or events mentioned in the affidavit." Schrant also confirmed that his office is involved in the investigation.

Another DEA source, who asked not to be named, told Narco News that the World Jet investigation, if it indeed gets too close to exposing a CIA-enabled covert operation, will in all likelihood be jammed up by the brass at the headquarters level.

"Any agency that is above the law [such as CIA] can get away with anything. It's sad, and most people don't know it, or care, but it's true,” the source says. “When they invoke national security, everyone just craps their pants, even judges."

Stay tuned….

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 03:56 AM

53. Sadly, we can expect more pants-crapping...


...before the CIA is ever made to pay for its crimes...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 03:08 AM

52. K& R and bookmarked!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 04:13 AM

54. love Jeremy Renner

I am a movie buff and count myself among his many fans

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 07:23 AM

55. Aaron Wilson Interviews Michael Levine


Aaron Wilson Interviews Michael Levine

User Rating: 5 / 5
Star activeStar activeStar activeStar activeStar active
Please rate

Created: Saturday, 19 October 2013 05:53


Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 | Posted by Robert O'Dowd
Don’t Kill the Messenger: Looking Back at the Death of Reporter Gary Webb
Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services36

Robert O’Dowd and Tim King Salem-News.com

Gary Webb reported treasonous activities within the US govt relating to the Contra rebels and lost his life in a most unusual manner.







Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #55)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 10:52 AM

56. 1/14/14 TIME MAGAZINE--U.S. Government Helped Rise of Mexican Drug Cartel: Mexican newspaper reveals



U.S. Government Helped Rise of Mexican Drug Cartel: Report

Mexican newspaper reveals secret arrangement between DEA and Sinaloa cartel
By Per Liljas Jan. 14, 20149 Comments

Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

A police officer watches one of the alleged leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel in Guatemala, Wilmar Anavisca (C), also known as "El Chino", after his arrest in the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, October 18, 2013.

Follow @TIMEWorld

The U.S. government allowed the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel to carry out its business unimpeded between 2000 and 2012 in exchange for information on rival cartels, an investigation by El Universal claims.

Citing court documents, the Mexican newspaper reports that DEA officers met with top Sinaloa officials over fifty times and offered to have charges against cartel members dropped in the U.S., among other pledges.

Dr. Edgardo Buscaglia, a senior research scholar in law and economics at Columbia University, says that the tactic has been previously used in Colombia, Cambodia, Thailand and Afghanistan.

“Of course, this modus operandi involves a violation of public international law, besides adding more fuel to the violence, violations of due process and of human rights,” he told El Universal.

Myles Frechette, a former U.S. ambassador to Colombia, said while that the problem of drug trafficking in Colombia persists, the tactic of secret agreements had managed to reduce it.

The period when the relationship between the DEA and Sinaloa was supposed to have been the closest, between 2006 and 2012, saw a major surge of violence in Mexico, and was the time when the Sinaloa cartel rose significantly in prominence.

Read more: DEA, Sinaloa Cartel in Secret Cooperation for Years | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/01/14/dea-boosted-mexican-drug-cartel/#ixzz2r2q48SKV


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #56)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 04:44 PM

57. 1/19/14 ICE Investigation Targeting Drug Planes Plagued by Scandal,Court Records Show by Bill Conroy


ICE Investigation Targeting Drug Planes Plagued by Scandal, Court Records Show
Posted by Bill Conroy - January 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Was “Mayan Jaguar” a Corrupt Undercover Op or a CIA Cover?


Feds raid CIA-connected air charter in Fort Lauderdale
Posted on December 12, 2013 by Daniel Hopsicker



Actor Jeremy Renner Jan 20, 2014 interview about KILL THE MESSENGER

While the logistics and details of billion-dollar franchises like The Avengers and Bourne may be out of Renner’s hands, he is taking control of his own destiny in other ways. His recently formed production company, The Combine, will release its first film the fourth quarter of 2014.

(From left) Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Rohm, Christian Bale and Renner in American Hustle.
(From left) Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Rohm, Christian Bale and Renner in American Hustle.

Renner also stars in the drama Kill The Messenger, which is the true story of a San Jose Mercury News reporter who became the target of a smear campaign after exposing a CIA scandal.

“I saw (the movie) this morning in editing and we’re working away on getting that finished up,” he said. “That’s a pet project for us – me and the production company I started. It’s our first movie out of the gate. I’m very proud of what we’ve done so far.”

Renner said his work in franchise films affords him the luxury to focus on smaller projects, like Kill The Messenger. The movie also stars Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and Rosemarie DeWitt.

“It’s the brand, the kind of movies I really want to be doing consistently outside of the franchise work,” Renner said. “It’s a true story. There is an exciting world here, a world that is very interesting and still worthy of being on a big screen. TV is so good now, we thought, why not do a TV show, but for film? That’s kind of where we’re going with the company.”


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #57)

Sat Feb 15, 2014, 02:43 PM

58. 2/9/14 US-Sponsored Drug-Plane Operation Had Global Reach


US-Sponsored Drug-Plane Operation Had Global Reach
Posted by Bill Conroy - February 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Aircraft Linked to “Mayan Jaguar” Flew Tons of Cocaine Into Africa — Gateway to the European Market



Posted on February 6, 2014 by Daniel Hopsicker
Share via emailShare via email

News that a DEA affidavit implicated Fort Lauderdale aviation impresario Don Whittington for brokering the now-famous Gulfstream II jet that crashed with 4 tons of cocaine in the Yucatan to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) black operation in Tampa came as a complete surprise, even to those closely following the case.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 01:32 AM




image for user Red_Rusty
» 4 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 15:23:00) Flag ▼ | Reply |
IMDb member since August 2011
Just an update from Nick - He did get a private screening, the score isn't complete and none of the principal cast was there, the movie is everything he hoped for and a release date announcement could be coming soon. His book will be re-released this fall (which speaks volumes about release dates).

From his comments on twitter - he's very excited about the movie. People can follow him on Twitter at @NickSchou or catch his articles in the OC Weekly. His book "Kill The Messenger" is available at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripboo ks&field-keywords=nick+schou&sprefix=nick+scho%2Caps%2C249


Re: Editor: Brian Kates, Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt
image for user Red_Rusty
» 4 days ago (Thu Feb 13 2014 16:10:30) Flag ▼ | Reply |
IMDb member since August 2011
Post Edited:
Thu Feb 13 2014 16:20:56
As mam pointed out - Sean Bobbitt is in demand right now:


Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, who shot Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," is now among the town's most coveted directors of photography and he just completed the Jeremy Renner film "Kill the Messenger."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #59)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:05 PM

60. 2/22/2014 Ex-DEA Agent Phil Jordan: Chapo funded EPN's Campaign Saturday, February 22, 2014


Last edited Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:59 PM - Edit history (1)


Phil Jordan: Chapo funded EPN's Campaign
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Phil Jordan was the administrator of DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC)


Operation Gargoyle: Pursuit, capture and confessions of El Chapo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | Borderland Beat Reporter un vato

Noticieros Televisa (2-24-2014) By Carlos Loret de Mola Fuente
Respectful, using no bad language, and in an even voice, Chapo
confessed to having killed between 2,000 and 3,000 persons

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 04:35 PM

61. 3/1/14 Ex DEA Hector Berrellez: Narco-Villain “El Chapo’s” Arrest Packaged for Media Consumption


Narco-Villain “El Chapo’s” Arrest Packaged for Media Consumption
Posted by Bill Conroy - March 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Former DEA Supervisor Contends Guzman’s Capture Was An “Arranged” Event

The recent capture of the notorious Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, longtime leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization, was not what it appeared to be, according to a former DEA supervisory agent who still has a deep network of contacts in Mexico.

Guzman’s takedown, despite the media script portraying it as a daring predawn raid, was, in fact, an “arranged thing,” claims the retired DEA agent, Hector Berrellez, who led the investigation into the 1985 torture and murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena. That cross-border investigation ran for several years and eventually led to the capture and conviction in Mexico of Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo — considered the leaders of Mexico’s then-dominate drug organization, The Guadalajara Cartel.

“Chapo [Guzman] was protected by Mexican federal agents and military, by the Mexican government,” Berrellez told Narco News. “He was making [Mexican President Enrique] Peña Nieto look bad, and so the government decided to withdraw his security detail. Chapo was told he could either surrender, or he would be killed.”

Berrellez, who retired from the DEA in 1996, stresses that he is not speaking on behalf of the US government, but rather as an individual who has decades of law enforcement experience, including serving as DEA’s lead investigator in Mexico.

“This information comes from my sources, that I am still in contact with,” Berrellez adds. “I developed a large informant network in Mexico, including sources in the Mexican Attorney General’s office, Mexican generals and others. These people are still in contact with me.”

Berrellez says his version of what happened is further evidenced by the fact that Guzman was apprehended early Saturday morning, Feb. 22, in an unremarkable condominium tower in the Pacific resort town of Mazatlan, Mexico, without a shot being fired and no security detail present to offer a fight.

“This guy [Guzman] was bigger than Pablo Escobar [the infamous Colombian narco-trafficker whom law enforcers killed in 1993 in a rooftop shootout in Medellin],” Berrellez says. “He [Guzman] ran around with a several-hundred man security detail that included Mexican military and federal agents, yet, in the end, he is arrested like a rat in a hole. My sources are telling me it was an arranged thing.”

Finding Chapo

As remarkable as Berrellez claims may sound to some, there is evidence indicating that law enforcement authorities have known for years where to find Guzman, who has led the Sinaloa organization since at least 2001, when he "escaped" from prison. Still, law enforcers mysteriously failed to capture him — until last week.

Among the reasons for Guzman’s long run from the law, several law enforcers and intelligence sources told Narco News, was not due to the fact that he could not be found, but rather because Guzman’s security team was formidable and any move against him would have led to a bloodbath — not an attractive political or law-enforcement option.

An email penned by the head of the Texas-based private intelligence firm Strafor, obtained and made public in 2012 by WikiLeaks, echoes that analysis:

Chapo commands the support of a large network of informers and has security circles of up to 300 men that make launching capture operations difficult.

Once the security-detail obstacle was removed, Guzman became a sitting duck. One law enforcer with experience working in Latin America put it this way:

It seems Chapo put his life in the hands of the people he paid off [the Mexican government, if Berrellez is right, and the military and federal cops attached to his security detail]. But whenever the government wants to get you, they can get you. Look at Escobar, Fonseca, Gallardo, Quintero. They were all considered untouchable. Then, one day, it was in the interest of the government to get them.

Retired DEA agent Phil Jordan, who once led DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center, told Narco News that he was surprised that Guzman was captured under a PRI government. (President Peña Nieto is part of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI in its Spanish initials.)

“Chapo contributed a lot of money to the PRI,” Jordan says. “The PRI historically has been an ally of the cartels, and Chapo Guzman has contributed millions to their campaigns. All of that is documented [in intelligence reports] I have seen.”

After Jordan made similar comments to the Spanish-language TV station Univision recently, the DEA issued the following statement to the media.

Remarks made by retired Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Phil Jordan and those of other retired DEA agents do not reflect the views of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera was a significant achievement for Mexico and a major step forward in our shared fight against transnational organized crime, violence, and drug trafficking. …

The fact that DEA felt compelled to issue such a statement indicates that Jordan’s comments about the PRI’s complicity with narco-trafficking organizations must have hit a nerve in Washington, one DEA source told Narco News. Jordan’s allegations, if on the mark, also support Berrellez’ contention — and those of his sources — that Guzman was receiving protection from the Mexican government — including under the administration of President Peña Nieto. If we accept that, the question then becomes: Why was that support withdrawn?

Berrellez says his sources indicated to him that Guzman had become more of a liability than an asset for the Mexican government. The reform agenda being pursued by the Peña Nieto regime hinges, in part, on creating a perception that Mexico is winning the drug war and reducing the violence, so that it appears a safer bet for the billions of dollars in foreign investment (particularly in the oil-and-gas and tourism sectors) that Mexico is seeking to attract.

A free Guzman was deemed a bigger threat to that agenda than a defanged Guzman, and his capture, conversely, would provide the Peña Nieto administration with a big image boost, and so Guzman had to go.

“It was political,” Berrellez says.

And it’s clear the arrest of Guzman did give Peña Nieto’s administration a major image bounce on the global stage — given the avalanche of positive press that followed "El Chapo's" capture. And it comes at a time when Peña Nieto is seeking to promote reforms that position Mexico as a land of enchantment for speculators, investors and tourists.

A 14-page advertorial section that ran in TIME magazine in late December of last year, about two months prior to Guzman’s capture — which was paid for, in part, by the Mexican government — spells out the Peña Nieto plan for “progress.”

Osorio Chong says the series of market reforms means 2014 is the ideal time to invest in Mexico and that foreign investors are welcome to bring their money, knowledge and skills to any of the nation’s industrial, commercial and manufacturing sectors. [Miguel Angel Osorio Chong is Peña Nieto’s Interior Minister, the top post in his administration.]

… A former energy minister, Luis Téllez-Kuenzler, who is now president of one of the country’s most important financial institutions, the Mexican Stock Exchange, adds:

“Mexico is very investor-friendly. Anyone wishing to invest from any other country just needs to go to their bank or stock brokerage house and invest. It’s transparent, efficient and very easy to do.”

Berrellez is not the lone veteran law enforcer who does not buy into the conventional-media script manufactured for Guzman’s capture. Another former DEA agent, Mike Levine, a veteran of deep undercover missions, such as Operation Trifecta — which played out in Mexico in the late 1980s when the PRI Party also was in power in Mexico — describes the arrest of Sinaloa organization top-capo Guzman as “yet another drug war rip-off.”

Levine relayed to Narco News the following via email:

Here’s why it [Guzman’s arrest] perpetuates the drug-war shill game run by media: Two decades ago, I was part of an international undercover operation [called] “Operation Trifecta.”

On hidden video, our undercover “Mafia” [a ruse organization set up to sting Mexican narco-traffickers and corrupt government officials] was able to arrange a 15-ton cocaine deal directly with the Mexican military and representatives of the Mexican government, at least one of whom was tied directly to the incoming president of Mexico. As I detailed in NY Times Best Seller “Deep Cover,” CIA, State and the Department of Justice immediately moved to destroy “Operation Trifecta.” As is revealed in the book, the then-Attorney General of the United States actually blew the cover of our undercover team.

Due to a couple of hard-headed DEA and Customs agents, they were not entirely successful. Point is, what gave Chapo Guzman and ALL like him the power to become billionaire drug kingpins was the covert involvement of his own government in maintaining the flow of money and drugs through Mexico into the US.

… Understand that NOTHING has changed since this was shown and that while the covert involvement and support of the drug economy by the Mexican government — and those elements of the US government lending covert support to same — continues, there will be a continued flow of CHAPO GUZMANS ….

This link to a Youtube [video]

actually captures the undercover deal [that was carried out as part of Operation Trifecta]. The video was sent by overnight courier to the Attorney General of the US, who then blew our cover by warning the AG of Mexico of the impending arrests.…

Stay tuned….

see also--

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #61)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:43 PM

62. 2/28/14 Ex DEA Hector Berrellez& Phil Jordan: 'Chapo' Guzman had role in the 'Kiki' Camarena case




Ex DEA agents Hector Berrellez and Phil Jordan:

'Chapo' Guzman had role in the 'Kiki' Camarena conspiracy, ex-DEA official says
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 02/28/2014 09:27:07 AM MST

Hector Berrellez, a former DEA supervisor who led the multi-year investigation into DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena's abduction, torture and slaying at the hands of drug-traffickers in 1985, wants the U.S. government to extradite Joaquín "Chapo" Guzmán because of his alleged role in the Camarena affair.

Berrellez, who retired from the DEA in 1996, said that one of his witnesses during the investigation alleged that Guzmán was present during the torture-interrogation session of Camarena, and was ordered by a drug cartel leader to pick up Camarena's pilot, Alfredo Zavala, who was also tortured and killed.

"We have people in the U.S. witness protection program who say they are willing to give additional statements under oath to a federal agent or federal prosecutor concerning these details," Berrellez said Wednesday
"Back then, and this is already documented, Guzmán was an errand man, 'gatillero' (hit man) and understudy of the Guadalajara drug cartel that was led by Rafael Caro-Quintero, Miguel Felix Gallardo and Ernest Fonseca Carrillo," Berrellez said. "It was Fonseca who ordered a backup crew of 'gatilleros' for Zavala's kidnapping, and Guzmán was one of the members of the backup crew. He was also in the room when Camarena was being beaten because the cartel wanted to know how far the DEA had infiltrated their organization."

The investigation led by Berrellez lasted several years and cost millions of dollars. Numerous people were indicted and tried, some in Mexico and others in the United States. The big capos — Caro Quintero, Felix Gallardo and Fonseca Carrillo — were tried in Mexico and sentenced to 40 years in prison for their roles in the Camarena murder. Caro Quintero was released from prison last year on a technicality.

A spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, Peter Carr, said Wednesday, "We'll decline to comment beyond the following: The decision whether to pursue extradition will be the subject of further discussion between the United States and Mexico."

Carr noted that seven federal judicial districts have cases filed against Guzmán: the Western District of Texas has a drug conspiracy and RICO (Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charges; Southern District of California, drug conspiracy; Eastern District of New York, money laundering; Northern District of Illinois, drug conspiracy; Southern District of Florida, drug conspiracy; New Hampshire, drug conspiracy; and the Southern District of New York, drug conspiracy.

Berrellez has joined with El Pasoan Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center and DEA special agent, in bringing out aspects of the Camarena investigation that were not made public in the past.

"We've been attacked for this, and our credibility has been questioned," Jordan said," by people who were not involved in the investigation and had no first-hand knowledge of what took place then or what is happening now."

While with the DEA, Jordan served as deputy chief of the cocaine section, and deputy chief of European operations. He also served as director of EPIC.

The DEA issued a single statement about Guzmán's capture and statements by Jordan and others:

"Remarks made by retired Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Phil Jordan and those of other retired DEA agents do not reflect the views of the Drug Enforcement Administration," the DEA statement said.

"The arrest of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera was a significant achievement for Mexico and a major step forward in our shared fight against transnational organized crime, violence, and drug trafficking," the DEA said. "We congratulate the Mexican people and their government on the capture of the alleged head of the Sinaloa Cartel. The DEA and Mexico have a strong partnership and we will continue to support Mexico in its efforts to improve security for its citizens and continue to work together to respond to the evolving threats posed by transnational criminal organizations."

Berrellez said, "I would be a total nut case if I were to fabricate any of this. I am not an active federal agent, so I can't take the allegations into an indictment process, but interested agents and prosecutors can do this. We're waiting."

Berrellez said that during Camarena's 1985 torture session, Camarena's interrogators asked the abducted agent about money that Caro Quintero allegedly paid Camarena to leave his drug operations alone.

"It was something on the order of $4 million dollars that Caro Quintero had paid in bribes," Berrellez said. "But Kiki told the truth when they were beating him, that he didn't know anything about the money. What happened, we learned through the investigation, is that the police commanders that Caro Quintero gave the money to, which was supposed to be for Camarena, kept the money for themselves and lied about it to Caro Quintero.

"We found out that another DEA agent working in Mexico was dirty and did accept bribes from the Guadalajara drug cartel," Berrellez said. "Supposedly, the agency was going to deal with him and other aspects of the case later. The higher-ups wanted me to stay focused on the big drug lords involved in Kiki's murder."

Jordan said the alleged corrupt DEA agent "was holed up in a hotel with a 13-year-old girl when Kiki was kidnapped in Guadalajara. We were all very embarrassed about this."

In an interview Tuesday with Mexican TV network Televisa, Mexico's federal Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said that it is unlikely that Guzmán will be extradited anytime soon to the United States. Murillo said that investigators in Mexico are at the beginning of what is expected to be a lengthy investigation into Guzmán's operations.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at 546-6140.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #62)

Thu Mar 6, 2014, 02:26 AM



Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October
Source: Focus Features
March 5, 2014
Tweet22 0

Focus Features announced today that Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner (Marvel's The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), will be released on October 10, 2014 in limited theaters. The movie will then expand on October 17 and again on October 24.

The dramatic thriller is based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb (Renner) stumbles onto a story which leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.

Josh Close, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Wiliams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star in the Michael Cuesta-directed film.

Read more: Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October - ComingSoon.net http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=115609&utm_medium=%20twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #63)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 11:11 PM

64. Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Actor Contenders



Jeremy Renner ("Kill The Messenger"
As the only principle cast member of "American Hustle" not to get an Oscar nomination (and having given a performance at least as good as his colleagues'), Jeremy Renner must be feeling a little hard done by from the Academy this year. But the two-time nominee (Best Actor for "The Hurt Locker," and Best Supporting Actor for "The Town" probably won't be licking his wounds for too long, as he's got a true-life story coming up that seems like it has a lot of potential to return him to the Dolby Theater. Renner has the lead in Michael Cuesta's "Kill The Messenger," playing investigative journalist Gary Webb, who uncovered CIA links to cocaine smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras backed by the Agency. Webb's reporting, which took many years, was initially discredited, but later proved to be pretty much on the money, but his career was left in tatters, and he later took his own life. It's a sort of "All The President's Men" vibe but with a more tragic ending, it seems, and with a promising director (Cuesta's best known on the big screen for "L.I.E," but has reinvented himself after helming the "Homeland" pilot) and cast, you can see why Focus have high hopes for it -- they just set it for the same October slot that helped them take "Dallas Buyers Club" to Oscar glory. It'll be execution dependent (the script is from Peter Landesman, who wrote the dire "Parkland", but if it comes off, Renner will certainly be a contender.


Jeremy Renner’s ‘Kill the Messenger’ Set for Oct. 10 Release

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #64)

Thu Mar 13, 2014, 11:34 AM

66. Famous Quotes by Ex DEA


Last edited Sun Jun 21, 2015, 02:43 PM - Edit history (15)

"In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."

--Dennis Dayle, former chief of DEA CENTAC.(Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies,and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.)

"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."

—Senator John Kerry, The Washington Post (1996).

"our covert agencies have converted themselves to channels for drugs."
--Senator John Kerry, 1988

"It is clear that there is a network of drug trafficking through the Contras...We can produce specific law-enforcement officials who will tell you that they have been called off drug-trafficking investigations because the CIA is involved or because it would threaten national security."

--Senator John Kerry at a closed door Senate Committee hearing

"...officials in the Justice Department sought to undermine attempts by Senator Kerry to have hearings held on the [Contra drug] allegations."
-Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee

“On the basis of the evidence, it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers. In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.”

Executive Summary, John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee Report. April 13, 1989.

We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.

--1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham at CIA Headquarters

"We were complicit as a country, in narcotics traffic at the same time as we're spending countless dollars in this country as we try to get rid of this problem. It's mind-boggling.
I don't know if we got the worst intelligence system in the world, i don't know if we have the best and they knew it all, and just overlooked it.
But no matter how you look at it, something's wrong. Something is really wrong out there."
-- Senator John Kerry, Iran Contra Hearings, 1987

"it is common knowledge here in Miami that this whole Contra operation was paid for with cocaine... I actually saw the cocaine and the weapons together under one roof, weapons that I [later] helped ship to Costa Rica." --Oliver North employee Jesus Garcia December, 1986

"I have put thousands of Americans away for tens of thousands of years with less evidence for conspiracy than is available against Ollie North and CIA people...I personally was involved in a deep-cover case that went to the top of the drug world in three countries. The CIA killed it."
Former DEA Agent Michael Levine - CNBC-TV, October 8, 1996

"When this whole business of drug trafficking came out in the open in the Contras, the CIA gave a document to Cesar, Popo Chamorro and Marcos Aguado, too...""..They said this is a document holding them harmless, without any responsibility, for having worked in U.S.security..."

--Eden Pastora, Former ARDE Contra leader - November 26, 1996, speaking before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s

"I believe that elements working for the CIA were involved in bringing drugs into the country," "I know specifically that some of the CIA contract workers, meaning some of the pilots, in fact were bringing drugs into the U.S. and landing some of these drugs in government air bases. And I know so because I was told by someo f these pilots that in fact they had done that."

– Retired DEA agent Hector Berrellez on PBS Frontline. Berrellez was a supervisory agent on the Enrique Camarena murder investigation

"I do think it a terrible mistake to say that
'We're going to allow drug trafficking to destroy American citizens'
as a consequence of believing that the contra effort was a higher priority."
Senator Robert Kerrey (D-NE)

A Sept. 26, 1984, Miami police intelligence report noted that money supporting contras being illegally trained inFlorida "comes from narcotics transactions." Every page of the report is stamped: "Record furnished toGeorge Kosinsky, FBI." Is Mr. Kosinsky's number missing from (Janet) Reno's rolodex?

– Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein, 1996 . Janet Reno was at that time (1984), the Florida State prosecutor.----on Sept. 13, 1996, the nation's highest law enforcement official, Attorney General Janet Reno, stated flatly that there's "no evidence" at this time to support the charges. And a week earlier, on Sept. 7, director of Central Intelligence, John Deutch, stated his belief that there's "no substance" to allegations of CIA involvement.

"For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North's Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world's biggest drug dealers.... The Contras and some of their Central Americanallies ... have been documented by DEA as supplying ... at least 50 percent of our national cocaine consumption. They were the main conduit to the United States for Colombian cocaine during the 1980's. The rest of the drug supply ... came from other CIA-supported groups, such as DFS (the Mexican CIA) ... other groups and/or individuals like Manual Noriega."

-- Michael Levine, The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic

"To my great regret, the bureau (FBI) has told me that some of the people I identified as being involved in drug smuggling are present or past agents of the Central Intelligence Agency."

--Wanda Palacio’s 1987 sworn testimony before U.S. Sen. John Kerry's Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics and International Terrorism.

“I sat gape-mouthed as I heard the CIA Inspector General, testify that there has existed a secret agreement between CIA and the Justice Department, wherein "during the years 1982 to 1995, CIA did not have to report the drug trafficking its assets did to the Justice Department. To a trained DEA agent this literally means that the CIA had been granted a license to obstruct justice in our so-called war on drugs; a license that lasted - so CIA claims -from 1982 to 1995, a time during which Americans paid almost $150 billion in taxes to "fight" drugs.God, with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, March 23, 1998.

CIA ADMITS TO DEAL WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.“The CIA finally admitted, yesterday, in the New York Times no less, that they, in fact, did "work with" the Nicaraguan Contras while they had information that they were involved in cocaine trafficking to the United States. An action known to us court qualified experts and federal agents as Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Cocaine—a federal felony punishable by up to life in prison. To illustrate how us regular walking around, non CIA types are treated when we violate this law, while I was serving as a DEA supervisor in New York City, I put two New York City police officers in a federal prison for Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine when they looked the other way at their friend's drug dealing. We could not prove they earned a nickel nor that they helped their friend in any way, they merely did not do their duty by reporting him. They were sentenced to 10and 12 years respectively, and one of them, I was recently told, had committed suicide.”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “IS ANYONE APOLOGIZING TO GARY WEBB?”

“After five witnesses testified before the U.S. Senate, confirming that John Hull—a C.I.A. operative and the lynch-pin of North's contra resupply operation—had been actively running drugs from Costa Rica to the U.S."under the direction of the C.I.A.," Costa Rican authorities arrested him. Hull then quickly jumped bail and fled to the U.S.—according to my sources—with the help of DEA, putting the drug fighting agency in the schizoid business of both kidnapping accused drug dealers and helping them escape…. The then-President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias was stunned when he received letters from nineteen U.S. Congressman—including Lee Hamilton of Indiana, the Democrat who headed the Iran-contra committee—warning him "to avoid situations . . .that could adversely affect our relations."

-Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “I Volunteer to Kidnap Oliver North”

"Drug trafficking has permeated all political structures and has corrupted federal, state, and local officials. It has deformed the economy. It is a cancer that has generated financial and political dependence, which instead of producing goods, has created serious problems ultimately affecting honest businessmen. The Attorney General's office is unable to eradicate drug trafficking because government structures at all levels are corrupted."

-- Eduardo Valle, former adviser, Attorney General in Mexico

Dennis Dayle, former head of DEA's Centac, was asked the following question: "Enormously powerful criminal organizations are controlling many countries, and to a certain degree controlling the world, and controlling our lives.Your own U.S. government to some extent supports them, and is concealing this fact from you."Dennis Dayle's answer:
"I know that to be true. That is not conjecture. Experience, over the better part of my adult life, tells me that that is so. And there is a great deal of persuasive evidence.

"He (Former Congressman Bill Alexander - D. Ark.) made me privy to the depositions he took from three of the most credible witnesses in that project, which left absolutely
no doubt in my mind that the government of the United States was an active participant in one of the largest dope operations in the world.."

Former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson

The Contras moved drugs not by the pound, not by the bags, but by the tons, by the cargo planeloads”

--Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, testimony under oath on Feb. 11, 1987

“… he was making millions, 'cos he had his own source of,… avenue for his own,..heroin.I'm sure we all knew it, but we tried to monitor it, because we controlled most of the pilots you see. We're giving him freedom of navigation into Thailand, into the bases, and we don't want him to get involved in moving, you know, this illicit traffic--O.K., silver bars and gold, O.K., but not heroin. What they would do is, they weren't going into Thailand, they were flying it in a big wet wing airplane that could fly for thirteen hours, a DC-3, and all the wings were filled with gas. They fly down to Pakse, then they fly over to Da Nang, and then the number two guy to President Thieu would receive it.”

–CIA Officer Anthony (“Tony Poe”) Poshepny May 17, 1988 PBS Frontline episode “Guns, Drugs, and the CIA”

(Poshepny was a legendary covert operations officer who had supervised the CIA’s secret war in Northern Laos during the 1960s and early 1970s. In the interview, Poshepny stated that the CIA had supplied air transport for the heroin shipments of their local ally, General Vang Pao, the only such on-the-record confirmation by a former CIA officer concerning agency involvement in the narcotics trade.)

"It is … believed by the FBI, SF, that Norwin Meneses was and still may be, an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency."
--CIA OIG report on Contra involvement in drug trafficking (ChIII, Pt2).
(Norwin Meneses was issued a visa and moved freely about the United States despite being listed in more than40 drug investigations over the two previous decades and being listed in an active indictment for narcotics. He has never been prosecuted in this country.)

“There is secret communication between CIA and members of the Congressional staff - one must keep in mind that Porter Goss, the chairman, is an ex CIA official- indicating that the whole hearing is just a smoke and mirror show so that the American people - particularly the Black community - can "blow off some steam"without doing any damage to CIA. The CIA has been assured that nothing real will be done, other than some embarrassing questions being asked.”


"If you ask: In the process of fighting a war against the Sandinistas, did people connected with the US government open channels which allowed drug traffickers to move drugs to the United States, did they know the drug traffickers were doing it, and did they protect them from law enforcement? The answer to all those questions is yes.""We don't need to investigate . We already know. The evidence is there."--
Jack Blum, former Chief Counsel to John Kerry's Subcommittee on Narcotics and Terrorism in 1996 Senate Hearings

“Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the Department of Justice at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the Los Angeles Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities.According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central Los Angeles,around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Volume II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the Department of Justice, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles.”

--U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters – October 13. 1998, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

“My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. I … watched the Jeeps … bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe. I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.” --Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray,2007


This war with China … really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men’s minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force; and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority. — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840


"We also became aware of deep connections between the law-enforcement community and the intelligence community. I, personally, repeatedly heard from prosecutors and people in the law-enforcement world that CIA agents were required to sit in on the debriefing of various people who were being questioned about the drug trade. They were required to be present when witnesses were being prepped for certain drug trials. At various times the intelligence community inserted itself in that legal process. I believe that that was an impropriety; that that should not have occurred."

--Jack Blum, speaking before the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter.

"The CIA wants to know about drug trafficking, but only for their own purposes, and not necessarily for the use of law enforcement agencies. Torres told DEA Confidential Informant 1 that CIA representatives are aware of his drug-related activities, and that they don't mind. He said they had gone so far as to encourage cocaine trafficking by members of the contras, because they know it's a good source of income. Some of this money has gone into numbered accounts in Europe and Panama, as does the money that goes to Managua from cocaine trafficking. Torres told the informant about receiving counterintelligence training from the CIA, and had avowed that the CIA looks the other way and in essence allows them to engage in narcotics trafficking."


"US ATTORNEY WILLIAM) Weld claims he followed up with an investigation. But there is, however, no record that while Weld was the chief prosecutor for the U.S., that so much as one Contra-related narcotics trafficker was brought to justice."
--John Mattes, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

(When the FBI was notified) "in fact they didn't want to look at the contras. They wanted to look at us and try to deter us from our investigation. We were threatened on countless occasions by FBI agents who told us that we'd gone too far in our investigation of the contras."
--John Mattes, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

"There would appear to be substance to the allegations," "potential official involvement in...gunrunning and narcotics trafficking between Florida and Central and South America." "that the Justice Department either attempted to slow down or abort one of the ongoing criminal investigations."
---House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime chairman William Hughes (D-N.J.) 1987 press conference

"Cabezas claimed that the contra cocaine operated with the knowledge of, and under the supervision of, the CIA. Cabezas claimed that this drug enterprise was run with the knowledge of CIA agent Ivan Gómez."

"what we investigated, which is on the record as part of the Kerry committee report, is evidence that narcotics traffickers associated with the Contra leaders were allowed to smuggle over a ton of cocaine into the United States. Those same Contra leaders admitted under oath their association and affiliation with the CIA."
--John Mattes, attorney, former federal public defender, counsel to John Kerry's senate committee

"we knew everybody around [Contra leader Eden] Pastora was involved in cocaine... His staff and friends... were drug smugglers or involved in drug smuggling."
--CIA Officer Alan Fiers

(At Ilopango) "the CIA owned one hangar, and the National Security Council ran the other."
"There is no doubt that they [agents from the U.S. government] were running large quantities of cocaine into the U.S. to support the Contras," "We saw the cocaine and we saw boxes full of money. We're talking about very large quantities of cocaine and millions of dollars."
"my reports contain not only the names of traffickers, but their destinations, flight paths, tail numbers, and the date and time of each flight."
--DEA Agent Celerino Castillo III said he detailed Contra drug activities in Official DEA reports, each signed by DEA Country attache Bob Stia.

an eight-page June 25, 1986, staff memorandum clearly stated that "a number of individuals who supported the Contras and who participated in Contra activity in Texas, Louisiana, California and Florida, as well as in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, have suggested that cocaine is being smuggled in the U.S. through the same infrastructure which is procuring, storing and transporting weapons, explosives, ammunition and military equipment for the Contras from the United States."
----March 31, 1987 Newsday article

"What we investigated and uncovered, was the very infrastructure of the network that had the veil of national security protecting it, so that people could load cannons in broad daylight, in public airports, on flights going to Ilopango Airport, where in fact the very same people were bringing narcotics back into the U.S., unimpeded."
--John Mattes, attorney, former federal public defender, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

"Imagine this, here you have Oliver North, a high-level official in the National Security Council running a covert action in collaboration with a drug cartel,"

"That's what I call treason [and] we'll never know how many kids died because these so-called patriots were so hot to support the contras that they risked several generations of our young people to do it."

"As a key member of the joint committees, he (HENRY HYDE) certainly played a major role in keeping the American people blindfolded about this story," Levine said. "There was plenty of hard evidence. … The totality of the whole picture is very compelling. This is very damning evidence. ...

(FBI Agent Mike Foster) "Foster said it (CONTRA DRUG TRAFFICKING) would be a great story, like a grand slam, if they could put it together. He asked the DEA for the reports, who told him there were no such reports. Yet when I showed him the copies of the reports that I had, he was shocked. I never heard from him again."

---Celerino Castillo III describes his meeting with FBI agent Mike Foster, who was assigned to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.

"My god," "when I was serving as a DEA agent, you gave me a page from someone in the
Pentagon with notes like that, I would've been on his back investigating everything he did from the minute his eyes opened, every diary notebook, every phone would have been tapped, every trip he made."

--Michael Levine (DEA retired) read Oliver North's diary entries, finding hundreds of drug references. Former Drug Enforcement Administration head John Lawn testified that Mr. North himself had prematurely leaked a DEA undercover operation, jeopardizing agents’ lives, for political advantage in an upcoming Congressional vote on aid to the contras (p.121).

"In my book, Big White Lie, I [wrote] that the CIA stopped us from indicting the Bolivian government at the same time contra assets were going down there to pick up drugs. When you put it all together, you have much more evidence to convict Ollie North, [former senior CIA official] Dewey Clarridge and all the way up the line, than they had in any John Gotti [Mafia] case." _MIKE LEVINE, (DEA RETIRED)

"With respect to [drug trafficking by] the Resistance Forces...it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people."
--CIA Central American Task Force Chief Alan Fiers, Testimony at Iran Contra hearings

"The government made a secret decision to sacrifice a part of the American population for the contra effort,"

-- Washington attorney Jack Blum before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1996. Blum had been special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

(Reagan administration officials were) "quietly undercutting law enforcement and human-rights agencies that might have caused them difficulty," "Policy makers absolutely closed their eyes to the criminal behavior of the contras."
-- Washington attorney Jack Blum before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1996.

"For some reason, Webb's piece came up, and I asked the guys (Undercover narcs), 'So, what do you think? Is what Webb wrote about the CIA true?'" "And they all turned to me and said," Of course it is.'
--Writer Charles Bowden describes the reaction of drug agents during an interview, September, 1998

"Here's my problem. I think that if people in the government of the United States make a secret decision to sacrifice some portion of the American population in the form of ... deliberately exposing them to drugs, that is a terrible decision that should never be made in secret."

--Jack Blum, speaking before the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter.


"The other thing that John found out over time -- and the seeds of that were so very early -- was the drug traffickers were moving dope to the United States under cover of the Contra war, and that the Contra movement, the infrastructure supporting the Contras, was infested by drug traffickers.

In fact, later on, we found one of the drug traffickers who Oliver North and the NSC [National Security Council] was working with to provide support to the Contras -- and we even got money ultimately from the State Department to support the Contras -- was moving marijuana by the ton into the state of Massachusetts, into New Bedford. It wasn't the only place he was moving dope. But it was one of the places.

So the disorder caused by the war was bringing dope into this country. Now, 10 years later, the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general investigated all of this, and found that the particular allegations and things that Kerry had looked at -- there was substantial evidence for every one of them. There was a huge amount of drugs relating to that Contra infrastructure. …"

-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement

I remember Dick Cheney attacking John Kerry in 1986 for things John Kerry was saying about the Contras and the NSC and Oliver North. Every single thing John Kerry said was true. The attacks were aggressive, and were based on hopes, wishes, and politics -- partisan politics, not reality. John Kerry's reality was proven -- and it was proven -- when the plane went down in Nicaragua, and it turned out that that was tied to the National Security Council, and money out of Saudi Arabia, and money from the Iranians, and ultimately, as we showed, related in part to narcotics money, at least in other elements of the Contra infrastructure.

There were a lot of people who were mad at John Kerry for having been right. The Reagan administration was, of course, furious. They didn't want him anywhere near the Iran-Contra investigation, because he knew too much and he was too effective. That's what I believe it was about.
-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement

"What we didn't know was, [at] the time that John Kerry made the decision not to go after Oliver North and to go after the other violations of law that we saw, that Oliver North was going after John Kerry. If you look at Oliver North's diaries, North had people calling him up, and giving him detailed information on every aspect of our investigation. Week after week, month after month, in 1986, Oliver North's diaries have references to John Kerry. North understood that the Kerry investigation was a real risk to his ability to continue to engage in the illegal activity he was engaging in."
-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement


“It was I who directed the investigation into the death of Camarena” “During this investigation, we discovered that some members of a U.S. intelligence agency, who had infiltrated the DFS (the Mexican Federal Security Directorate), also participated in the kidnapping of Camarena. Two witnesses identified Felix Ismael Rodriguez. They (witnesses) were with the DFS and they told us that, in addition, he (Rodriguez) had identified himself s “U.S. intelligence.”

--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. Berrellez lead the murder inestigation "Operation Leyenda"" into the death of DEA agent ENRIQUE "KIKI" CAMARENA

“Caro Quintero had billions of dollars stashed in secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and in Switzerland,” “The one in Luxembourg had $4 billion and the other one had even more.”
“To my knowledge they were never confiscated,”
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ, Forbes Magazine December 5, 2013

“In [Camarena’s] interrogation room, I was told by Mexican authorities, that CIA operatives were in there. Actually conducting the interrogation. Actually taping Kiki.”
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

"The CIA was the source. They gave them to us," "Obviously, they were there. Or at least some of their contract workers were there."
-EX-DEA Agent Hector Berrellez (COPIES of the audio taped torture session were provided to DEA within a week)

“The CIA ordered the kidnapping and torture of ‘Kiki’ Camarena, and when they killed him, they made us believe it was Caro Quintero in order to cover up all the illegal things they were doing (with drug trafficking) in Mexico” “The DEA is the only (federal agency) with the authority to authorize drug trafficking into the United States as part of an undercover operation”.

“The business with El Bufalo (RAFAEL CARO QUINTERO's RANCH) was nothing compared with the money from the cocaine that was being sold to buy weapons for the CIA”.
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

"I know and from what I have been told by a former head of the Mexican federal police, Comandante (Guillermo Gonzales) Calderoni, the CIA was involved in the movement of drugs from South America to Mexico and to the U.S.,"
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

He (Mexican Judicial Police Officer Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni) told me: ‘Hector, get out of this business because they’re going to fuck you over. The CIA is involved in that business about ‘Kiki’. It’s very dangerous for you to be in this.’ He gave me names, among them that of Felix, and details and everything, but when my bosses found out, they took me out of the investigation and sent me to Washington.
"He told me, 'Your government did it,' "
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. Calderoni was killed in in McAllen Texas in 2003. His murder remains unsolved.

"Back in the middle 1980's, the DFS, their main role was to protect the drug lords,"
"Upon arrival we were confronted by over 50 DFS agents pointing machine guns and shotguns at us--the DEA. They told us we were not going to take Caro Quintero," "Well, Caro Quintero came up to the plane door waved a bottle of champagne at the DEA agents and said, 'My children, next time, bring more guns.' And laughed at us."
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. (Caro Quintero allegedly carried DFS credentials during the escape flight piloted by a CIA Contractor.)

"Our intelligence agencies were working under the cover of DFS. And as I said it before, unfortunately, DFS agents at that time were also in charge of protecting the drug lords and their monies,"
"After the murder of Camarena, (Mexico's) investigation pointed that the DFS had been complicit along with American intelligence in the kidnap and torture of Kiki. That's when they decided to disband the DFS."

"I know what these men are saying is true, that the Contras were trafficking in drugs while the CIA looked the other way, because I served in the trenches of Latin America for six years when this was going on,"
--EX DEA agent Celerino Castillo III, October, 2013.

“I don’t know of any DEA administrator that I worked for who would have sanctioned cocaine smuggling into the United States in the name of national security, when we are out there risking our lives,”
--Phil Jordan

“Kiki said, ‘That’s horseshit. You’re lining your pockets,’” “He could not believe that the U.S. government could be running drugs into the United States.”
-Phil Jordan

"the use of a drug dealer’s property by the CIA for the purpose of helping the Contras didn’t sit well with the DEA agents."
“That’s the way we’re brought up, so to speak,” he said. “When we see someone running drugs, we want to bust them, not work with them.”
--Phil Jordan

“The Contras were running drugs from Central America and the Contras were providing drugs to street gangs in Los Angeles. That’s your connection.”
--Hector Berrellez

"We've been attacked for this, and our credibility has been questioned, by people who were not involved in the investigation and had no first-hand knowledge of what took place then or what is happening now."
-Phil Jordan

“We’re not saying the CIA murdered Kiki Camarena,” Jordan said. But the “consensual relationship between the Godfathers of Mexico and the CIA that included drug trafficking” contributed to Camarena’s death, he added.
“I don’t have a problem with the CIA conducting covert operations to protect the national security of our country or our allies, but not to engage in criminal activity that leads to the murder of one our agents,”
--Phil Jordan

"We have people in the U.S. witness protection program who say they are willing to give additional statements under oath to a federal agent or federal prosecutor concerning these details," ....I am not an active federal agent, so I can't take the allegations into an indictment process, but interested agents and prosecutors can do this. We're waiting."
-Hector Berrellez

--------------From "The Pariah" by Charles Bowden, Esquire Magazine, September, 1998

"When the Big Dog gets off the porch, watch out."
"The CIA's mission is to break laws and be ruthless. And they are dangerous."

--EX DEA Agent Mike Holm, September, 1998, Esquire Magazine article "The Pariah" by Charles Bowden

"stand down because of national security."

--DEA agent Mike Holm (Holm's superiors at DEA's reaction to reports that Southern Air Transport, a CIA-contracted airline, was landing planeloads of cocaine at Homestead Air Force)

"There ain't no fucking drug war," he says now. "I was even called un-American. Nobody cares about this shit.
"As I read (about Gary Webb), I thought, This shit is true,"

--Hector Berrellez checked into a blank schedule for one year after being transferred to Washington DC desk job. He had ordered a criminal investigation of the CIA and drug trafficking. His informants were "reporting strange fortified bases scattered around Mexico, ...and, his informants told him, the planes were shipping drugs." Berrellez went to Mexico City to meet with his DEA superiors and American-embassy staff, mentioned the reports and was told, Stay away from those bases; they're our training camps, special operations"

"Remarks made by retired Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Phil Jordan and those of other retired DEA agents do not reflect the views of the Drug Enforcement Administration,"
-- DEA statement, 2014

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #66)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 09:58 AM

67. VIDEOS- Gary Webb- Kerry Committee- Iran CONTRA


Website established July, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Kerry Committee II Day 1: Manuel Noriega, the CIA, and Drug Trafficking (1988)
The subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations led by Senator John Kerry began hearings to assess international narcotics control programs for Panama. Witnesses included Robert M. Morgenthau (district attorney, New York County, NY), Paul Gorman (retired U.S. Army General), a pilot for Eastern Air Lines (witness to drug trafficking in Panama and Miami, FL), and a drug trafficker serving a 30-year sentence for drug-related offences.

Pete Brewton on the Mafia, CIA and George Bush (1992)
Former reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Pete Brewton told of one of the most momentous stories of the past 50 years and how it was suppressed by the establishment media and the U.S. Congress. Brewton's book The Mafia, CIA and George Bush shows the incredible complexity of the relationships in the operation of the destruction of hundreds of Savings and Loans at the hands of the CIA and the Mafia, stealing many billions of dollars in the process, and leaving the taxpayers to bailout the banks. Big names at the state and national levels of power were involved, including Lloyd Bentsen, the Bush family, and power brokers in Houston. People such as Kenneth Keating and Don Dixon, mentioned prominently in the press in connection with the S & L debacle, were merely front men or "cutouts" for the main movers. Keating and his ilk only took millions; the CIA and the Mafia looted billions.

CIA and Drugs: Cocaine Sales - Drug Trafficking Allegations (1996)
Members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence heard testimony from two former Contra leaders (Adolfo Calero and Eden Pastora) about allegations that the CIA sold drugs in the U.S. to help finance covert operations against the Sandanista regime in Nicaragua. They denied any knowledge of the CIA either aiding or allowing drug sales to be used to fund the struggle against the Sandinista regime. Participants were questioned by Senator Arlen Specter and Rep. Maxine Waters was invited to participate in the questioning. At one point, the hearing was interrupted for several minutes while several members of the audience shouted accusations at the committee and the witnesses. Mr. Pastora's remarks were through an interpreter. The last segment of this hearing is missing audio on the original tape and is not included here.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
CIA Drug Trafficking: Town Hall with Director of Central Intelligence John M. Deutch (1996)
CIA Director Deutch spoke to central Los Angeles residents at a town hall meeting about allegations that the CIA sold drugs in Los Angeles in order to finance covert operations in Central America. Rep. Millender-McDonald, who represented California's 37th congressional district, sponsored the meeting. The director stated that he had seen no proof of such allegations but that he would continue to pursue the matter if more people brought new evidence to the investigation. Many of the questioners were very confrontational. The allegations were originally raised in the San Jose Mercury-News

Friday, August 6, 2010
CIA Drug Trafficking Allegations Involving the Sale of Cocaine in Los Angeles (1998)
House Committee Select Intelligence members heard testimony concerning allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency facilitated the introduction and spread of crack cocaine in U.S. urban areas in order to fund Contra activities in Nicaragua. Representative Millender-McDonald testified that the report by the CIA Inspector-General was incorrect and that the committee must pursue its own investigation of the matter to uncover those responsible for this activity. Inspector-General Hitz outlined his office's report, which found no evidence of any links between the CIA and drug traffickers in Central America.

Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press - Lecture by Alexander Cockburn (1998)
Alexander Cockburn, co-author of Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press, gave this talk in 1998 regarding the CIA, the international illegal drug trade, and the media's treatment of this issue. The impetus for Whiteout came after journalist Gary Webb faced evisceration in the mainstream media for his series on the CIA and drugs originally published in the San Jose Mercury News. In this wide-ranging speech, Cockburn covers numerous topics including the CIA's involvement in drug smuggling, the Mafia, assassination, Nazis, mind control, and its role in U.S. foreign policy.

Gary Webb on Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (1998)
Gary Webb is the author of Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. He discussed his book, headline news and responded to audience telephone calls, faxes, and electronic mail. Topics included Bill Clinton, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Contras, the crack cocaine epidemic, CIA blowback, CIA drug trafficking, and drug smuggling.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Iran-Contra Hearings Day 1: Richard Secord Testimony (1987)
The proceedings began with opening statements from Senate and House committee members, including chairmen Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN). After two hours, testimony began with General Richard Secord, who testified voluntarily and without legal immunity. Secord described the network of private companies, known as the "Enterprise," that was used to sell arms to Iran and channel money and supplies to the Contras. Secord answered questions concerning the profits generated by the arms sales, the money that actually went to the contra supply effort, and money that remained in Swiss bank accounts.

Iran-Contra Hearings Day 3: Richard Secord Testimony (1987)
Richard Secord was questioned on the profit-making aspects of the Contra supply operation. Secord maintained that he had no direct financial interest or motive.

Iran-Contra Hearings Day 7: Robert McFarlane Testimony (1987)
Robert McFarlane was questioned about President Reagan's knowledge of Oliver North's activities. McFarlane testified that North seemed to be in regular contact with CIA director Casey concerning contra support strategy. McFarlane answered questions from committee members on topics including the Boland amendment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Iran-Contra Hearings Day 12: Felix Rodriguez Testimony (1987)
Felix Rodriguez worked with the Contra supply network that worked out of El Salvador. He testified that he became disillusioned with the Contra supply operation and expressed his dissatisfaction in meetings with members of Vice President Bush's staff. Rodriguez also testified that, during a meeting with Oliver North, North said that Congress wanted to get him but "they can't touch me because the old man loves my ass."

Iran-Contra Hearings Day 18: Fawn Hall Testimony (1987)
Oliver North's secretary at the National Security Council testified concerning documents she changed, destroyed, or removed at North's request.

Ronald Reagan Testimony at the Iran-Contra Affair / Poindexter Trial (1990)
President Reagan testified in the trial of John Poindexter on charges related to the Iran-Contra scandal.


MISC VIDEO (This site has great classic, hard to find movies)

United States Senate Watergate Hearings (1973)

Secret Wars of the CIA: John Stockwell Lecture (1989)
John Stockwell talked about the inner workings of the CIA. Topics included CIA destabilizing governments in Angola and other countries and setting up drug cartels as part of covert operations in certain countries. After his presentation he responded to audience members' questions.

Monday, September 6, 2010
The Secret War in Laos (1970)
This film is a CBS exploration of the history of the "secret" war in Laos, the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the war, and U.S foreign policy toward the country.

Alexander Cockburn on Journalism in the United States and How Americans Receive World News (1987)
Alexander Cockburn, a correspondent for The Nation, was interviewed to talk about his book Corruptions of Empire. The book is part biography and part a collection of Mr. Cockburn's writing. Mr. Cockburn was viewed as a radical journalist at the time and a self-proclaimed "socialist."

Alexander Cockburn and Steve Forbes on Events in the News (1992)
Steve Forbes and Alexander Cockburn discussed the presidential election and the Republican National Convention. They also discussed their own political beliefs and opinions on the presidential candidates and responded to viewer telephone calls.

Reefer Madness (1938)
Considered the archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie, but it's really an exploitation film made to capitalize on the hot taboo subject of marijuana use. Like many exploitation films of the time, Reefer Madness tried to make a quick buck off of a forbidden subject while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. The Code forbade the portrayal of immoral acts like drug use. ("The illegal drug traffic must not be portrayed in such a way as to stimulate curiosity concerning the use of, or traffic in, such drugs; nor shall scenes be approved which show the use of illegal drugs, or their effects, in detail."

The film toured around the country for many years - often being re-edited and re-titled (Tell Your Children, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, Love Madness, The Burning Question). It was re-discovered in the early 1970s by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and screened again as an example of the government's demonization of marijuana. NORML may have been confused about the film's sponsorship since one of the film's distributors, Dwain Esper, testified to the Arizona Supreme Court that Reefer Madness was not a trashy exploitation film but was actually sponsored by the U.S. government - a convincing lie, but a lie nonetheless.

That being said, the film is still quite enjoyable since it dramatizes the "violent narcotic's ... soul destroying" effects on unwary teens, and their hedonistic exploits enroute to the bottom.

The Roswell Interviews: Glenn Dennis, Mortician, Roswell Army Air Field (1990)
This video recording contains an interview with mortician W. Glenn Davis, alleged firsthand witness to events at Roswell Army Air Force Hospital concerning recovered alien bodies.

Nazi Concentration Camp Footage (1945)
U.S. Army film directed by George Stevens. As the Allies reached Germany, General Eisenhower ordered George Stevens to film the concentration camps. The camps were filmed and survivors were interviewed. This film was used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #67)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 10:47 PM

68. 3/19/14 IRAN CONTRA Independant Council Lawrence Walsh Dies at Age 102


Last edited Sun Mar 30, 2014, 08:56 AM - Edit history (1)

Firewall: Inside the Iran-Contra Cover-up
March 21, 2014

From the Archive: The death of Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh on Wednesday at the age of 102 marked the passing of what is now rare in the American Establishment, a person who courageously fought for a truthful historical record, as Robert Parry explained in this 1997 review of Walsh’s memoir, Firewall.

By Robert Parry (First published in 1997)





December 18, 2012
The One Armed Bandit Goes to His Grave
The Contras, Crack and Senator Inouye


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #68)

Wed Mar 26, 2014, 12:12 AM

69. Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko


Last edited Wed Apr 2, 2014, 02:57 AM - Edit history (2)

CIA reportedly employed several operatives, warlords and militant leaders deeply involved in Afghan opium trade

US funding ghost workers across Afghanistan: Report

US funding ghost workers across Afghanistan: Report
(PHOTO) US marines patrol through a poppy field in Helmand province.

Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:36PM GMT

A senior western audit officer has raised fresh concerns that US funds meant to help pay Afghan police salaries may instead be going to "ghost workers".

"I am writing to express my concern that the US may be unwittingly helping to pay the salaries of non-existent members of the Afghan National Police," John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction wrote in recent letter to top US-led NATO generals.

The revelation comes as the US and Afghan officials have blamed each other for embezzlement and corruption.

Afghan officials accuse the US of channeling funds to the Taliban militant group.

Afghan lawmakers say American helicopters have recently delivered several shipments of small arms and heavy weapons to the militants in southern provinces.

Senior officials in Kabul have also demanded an explanation from Washington over its aid to the Taliban.

Senior Afghan officials say the US military aid to the Taliban and its covert talks with the militants have raised serious doubts regarding the Washington’s goals in the war-torn country.

In addition to that, the Afghan counter-narcotics officials say foreign troops are also earning money from drug production in Afghanistan.

Reports say US-led NATO forces are taxing the production of opium in the regions under their control.

Drug production in the war-ravaged country has increased dramatically since the US-led invasion more than twelve years ago.

CIA has reportedly employed several operatives, warlords and militant leaders who are deeply involved in the opium trade.

The opium trade is the major source of Taliban financing. Afghanistan is the world's biggest supplier of opium.

Latest developments come as senior US officials say Washington has no plan to withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan even after the 2014 pullout deadline.



Opium Poppy Growth Booming In Afghanistan
January 19, 2014 8:00 AM
The U.S. has sent billions of dollars to Afghanistan for drug eradication, but to little effect. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, who testified on the hill Wednesday about the future of counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
JOHN SOPKO: They're growing more poppy now and introducing more opium than ever before

Afghan opium production on the rise despite U.S. troops, inspector says
Wednesday Jan 15, 2014 12:11 PM (excerpt)

Citing the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Sopkp said the cultivation of poppy plants — used to make opium and its derivative drugs such as heroin — is greater today than in 2001 when the United States invaded Afghanistan.

Indeed, he said it’s the highest in modern history.

In 2012, Afghanistan produced 3,700 tons of opium, he said in his prepared remarks. In 2013, opium production was up almost 50 percent, with 5,500 tons produced.

Last year the amount of land used to cultivate opium poppies reached a record high of 209,000 hectares (about 516,000 acres) — up from 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) in 2002, he said.

Sopko said the uptick in opium production and poppy cultivation are signs that the Afghan National Security Forces may be encouraging production.



March 20, 2014
Afghanistan Reconstruction

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko provided an update on the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and addressed future operations in the region and the upcoming elections. He focused on the problem of corruption and said that if corruption continued unabated in Afghanistan it would likely jeopardize all the gains made in the country in the past twelve years. He responded to questions from members of the audienc


Afghanistan's Opium Trade Tripled After US Spends $10 Billion
Image: Afghanistan's Opium Trade Tripled After US Spends $10 Billion
Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 11:27 AM
By Courtney Coren

UN: Afghan Opium Production Hits Record High
Image: UN: Afghan Opium Production Hits Record High
Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 03:30 AM

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade
Washington's Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade January, 2014


Washington Supports the Multibillion Dollar Trade in Heroin? UN Report: Afghanistan Opium Production Up 49 Per Cent
By Global Research News
Global Research, February 23, 2014
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 13 November 2014


Israel and the Iran-Contra Scandal: How Neocons Messed Up the Mideast
By Robert Parry
Global Research, February 15, 2013


Afghan drug trade thrives with help, and neglect, of officials

By Tom Lasseter McClatchy NewspapersMay 10, 2009 '


Karzai's brother threatened McClatchy writer reporting Afghan drug story

By Tom Lasseter McClatchy NewspapersMay 10, 2009

Only small-time Afghan drug dealers serve time

By Tom Lasseter McClatchy NewspapersMay 10, 2009

West looked the other way as Afghan drug trade exploded

By Tom Lasseter McClatchy Newspapers May 10, 2009



Thriving Afghan drug trade has friends in high places
By Tom Lasseter, Mcclatchy Newspapers – Sun May 10, 6:00 am ET
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — When it's harvest time in the poppy fields of Kandahar , dust-covered Taliban fighters pull up on their motorbikes to collect a 10 percent tax on the crop. Afghan police arrive in Ford Ranger pickups — bought with U.S. aid money — and demand their cut of the cash in exchange for promises to skip the farms during annual eradication.

Then, usually late one afternoon, a drug trafficker will roll up in his Toyota Land Cruiser with black-tinted windows and send a footman to pay the farmers in cash. The farmers never see the boss, but they suspect that he's a local powerbroker who has ties to the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

Everyone wants a piece of the action, said farmer Abdul Satar , a thin man with rough hands who tends about half an acre of poppy just south of Kandahar . "There is no one to complain to," he said, sitting in the shade of an orange tree. "Most of the government officials are involved."

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's opium, which was worth some $3.4 billion to Afghan exporters last year. For a cut of that, Afghan officials open their highways to opium and heroin trafficking, allow public land to be used for growing opium poppies and protect drug dealers.

The drug trade funnels hundreds of millions of dollars each year to drug barons and the resurgent Taliban , the militant Islamist group that's killed an estimated 450 American troops in Afghanistan since 2001 and seeks to overthrow the fledgling democracy here.

What's more, Afghan officials' involvement in the drug trade suggests that American tax dollars are supporting the corrupt officials who protect the Taliban's efforts to raise money from the drug trade, money the militants use to buy weapons that kill U.S. soldiers.

Islam forbids the use of opium and heroin — the Taliban outlawed poppy growing in 2000 — but the militants now justify the drug production by saying it's not for domestic consumption but rather to sell abroad as part of a holy war against the West. Under the Taliban regime, the biggest Afghan opium crop was roughly 4,500 tons in 1999, far below the record 8,200 tons in 2007.

The booming drug trade threatens the stability of the Afghan government, and with it America's efforts to defeat the Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan . The threat has grown not only because of the cozy relationships among drug lords, militants and corrupt officials, but also because of apathy by Western powers.

From the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan after the 9-11 attacks until last year, the United States and other NATO countries did little to address the problem, according to a Western counter-narcotics official in Afghanistan .

"We all realized that it will take a long time to win this war, but we can lose it in a couple years if we don't take this (drug) problem by the horns," said the official, who asked for anonymity so that he could speak more freely.

To unravel the ties among militants, opium and the government, McClatchy interviewed more than two dozen current and past Afghan officials, poppy farmers and others familiar with the drug trade. Seven former Afghan governors and security commanders said they had firsthand knowledge of local or national officials who were transporting or selling drugs or protecting those who did.

Most of the sources feared retribution. One man was killed a week after he spoke to McClatchy . Another called back a week after the interview and said he hadn't left his home in days, fearful that McClatchy's calls to verify his story would bring trouble. A third met on the condition that a reporter promised not to tell anyone that he still lives in Kabul .

"In this country, if someone really tells the truth he will have no place to live," said Agha Saqeb, who served as the provincial police chief in Kandahar , in the heart of Afghanistan's opium belt, from 2007 to 2008. Naming Afghan officials who profit from drugs, he said, would get him killed: "They are still in power and they could harm me."

The embassies of the U.S., Britain and Canada — the countries principally behind counter-narcotics in Afghanistan — declined to comment. A State Department report issued earlier this year flatly noted that: "Many Afghan government officials are believed to profit from the drug trade."

It also said: "Regrettably, no major drug trafficker has been arrested or convicted in Afghanistan since 2006."

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials in Kabul also refused to comment. Afghan and Western observers said the DEA had been hampered by inadequate staffing and by the difficulty of cracking down on drug trafficking in a country where local officials were implicated in it.

The corruption allegedly reaches the highest levels of Afghanistan's political elite. According to multiple Afghan former officials, Ahmed Wali Karzai , the brother of President Hamid Karzai and the head of the provincial council in Kandahar , routinely manipulates judicial and police officials to facilitate shipments of opium and heroin.

Ahmed Wali Karzai and his defenders retort that the U.S. government never has formally accused him of any wrongdoing.

In Kabul , President Karzai's office said no one could prove that his brother had anything to do with opium and heroin. The Afghan Attorney General's Office has received no complaints or evidence against Ahmed Wali Karzai , according to an official there who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the issue.

Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations has officially charged him with involvement in drugs, and a former DEA chief of operations, Michael Braun , said the agency had "basically struck out" in trying to prove the allegations.

Ahmed Wali Karzai himself is defensive, saying that the accusations are part of a political conspiracy against his brother, the president. When he was asked recently about the allegations linking him to drugs and crime, he threatened to assault a visiting McClatchy reporter.

The narcotics trade in Afghanistan would be impossible without government officials and the Taliban on the payroll, said the man in the brown turban. "The link between them is a natural one."

The man should know. He's a drug dealer in Kandahar who provides money to purchase opium culled from poppy on local farms and arranges for it to be shipped to markets near the city.

The owner of several shoe and electronics shops in Kandahar , he sat in a plastic chair in a small office tucked away on the second floor of a bare concrete building. As he described the inner workings of the opium trade, he spat tobacco from under the fold of his cheek into a silken floral print handkerchief.

"The drug smuggler tells a police commander to transport a certain amount of drugs, for example, from the city to Maiwand District " — on the northwest edge of Kandahar province — "and pays him 100,000 Pakistani rupees," about $1,200 , said the dealer, who asked that his name not be used for fear of running afoul of local warlords or officials. "And then from Maiwand, he pays the Taliban another 100,000 rupees to take it farther," to heroin labs in the southern province of Helmand and on to Pakistan or Iran .

The dealer offered introductions to the Taliban or to the provincial governor, but there was one man he didn't wish to discuss: Ahmed Wali Karzai .

According to several Afghan former officials in the region, however, the major drug traffickers in southern Afghanistan don't worry much about getting caught because they're working under the protection of Karzai and other powerful government officials.

For example, a former top Afghan intelligence official recounted an incident from about five years ago, when, he said, his men arrested a Taliban commander who was involved with drugs at a key narcotics-trafficking point between Helmand and the Pakistani border.

Late on the evening of the arrest, a local prosecutor dropped by and said that Ahmed Wali Karzai wanted the militant released, according to Dad Mohammed Khan, who was the national intelligence directorate chief of Helmand province for about three years before he became a member of the national parliament.

Khan said he released the Taliban commander, a man known as Haji Abdul Rahim, because he didn't want to tangle with the president's brother.

A week after his conversation with McClatchy , Khan — a large man with a bushy black beard who had a reputation for dealing with enemies ruthlessly — was killed by a roadside bomb that most attribute to the Taliban .

Khan, however, isn't the only one to accuse Ahmed Wali Karzai of ties to drug trafficking.

In 2004, an Afghan Defense Ministry brigade reportedly had a similar run-in with Karzai. The brigade pulled over a truck in Kandahar and found heroin hidden under sacks of concrete, according to the corps commander who oversaw the unit, Brig. Gen. Khan Mohammed.

Shortly afterward, the brigade leader, a man named Habibullah Jan , got a phone call from Ahmed Wali Karzai demanding that he release the truck, Mohammed said. That call was followed by one from a member of President Karzai's staff, Mohammed said.

Jan later became a parliament member and publicly accused Ahmed Wali Karzai of being a criminal. Jan was killed last year in a sophisticated ambush in Kandahar under circumstances that remain unclear. The Taliban haven't taken responsibility for the attack.

" Ahmed Wali Karzai has very close links with the drug smugglers," said Mohammed, who was sipping tea as he sat on a cushion at his home in Kabul . "The house that he's living in in Kandahar right now is owned by a very big drug smuggler."

People who accuse Ahmed Wali Karzai of ties to the drug trade often don't stay around very long. Many Afghans were shocked last year when a TV station that broadcasts to several cities around the country aired a roundtable discussion in which one of the guests said he knew that Karzai was involved with drugs.

Although he isn't a current government official — he had part ownership in an Internet technology institute — Abdullah Kandahari is from Karzai's Popalzai tribe and has known the president's family for years. He also was an intelligence official for two years during the regime of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani , a political opponent of the Karzais.

Speaking by phone from Pakistan , Kandahari said he was forced to move his family out of the country and sell his business interests in the aftermath of the show; Ahmed Wali Karzai sent gunmen looking for him four times in two locations, Kandahari said.

Another guest on the show, a parliament member from Kandahar named Shakiba Hashimi , said that Karzai called her husband the morning after it aired.

" Ahmed Wali said that after appearing on that program, I would not have the courage to return to Kandahar ," Hashimi said. It was a gloating sort of threat, and Hashimi took it seriously: She said she hadn't been back to the province since.

Asked for comment about Dad Mohammed Khan's allegation and others during an interview at his palatial Kandahar home, which is protected by guard shacks, perimeter walls and sand-filled roadblocks, Ahmed Wali Karzai said he had nothing to do with drugs.

A few minutes later, he yelled, "Get the (expletive) out before I kick your (expletive)" at a reporter.

Asked about Ahmed Wali Karzai , the president's spokesman said there was no proof that the president's brother was involved with the drug trade.

President Karzai has told the U.S. and British governments that "if they have any evidence against his brothers or close associates, they should come forward," said Humayun Hamidzada , the spokesman. To date, he said, there's been no response.

President Karzai hasn't been accused of any connection to drug trafficking, but he appears to be powerless to halt some of his own officials' ties to it. The issue allegedly extends far beyond his brother.

A man named Syed Jan traveled through Afghanistan in 2005 with documents saying that he worked for a drug task force in Helmand province. The deputy interior minister for counter-narcotics, Col. Gen. Mohammed Daoud , had signed the paperwork. When Jan's car was stopped at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan , it was carrying about 425 pounds of heroin. That amount was worth about $580,000 on the Afghan wholesale market in 2005 and more than $5.4 million wholesale in Britain — which gets most of its heroin from Afghanistan — during 2006, according to figures from the United Nations .

Daoud told McClatchy the documents were genuine, but that Jan "was introduced to my office by President Karzai's office."

Appearing before a special narcotics court in Kabul , Jan was sentenced to 16 years. An appeals court then declared him innocent and released him.

Sareer Ahmad Barmak, a spokesman for a central narcotics-prosecution task force in Kabul , said that Jan had confessed to being a drug trafficker. "I don't know what he did, how much money he offered to the judges to get acquitted," Barmak said.

At the urging of Afghanistan's attorney general, President Karzai directed the appeals court to reconsider. While the case was pending, however, the Justice Ministry ordered that Jan be transferred from Kabul to a jail in his home province of Helmand, a move that Barmak said was illegal.

On the drive from the Helmand airport to the jail, gunmen ambushed the police convoy and Jan escaped.

It was obvious from the details that Barmak gave that the gunmen knew about the transfer in advance. A Justice Ministry official told McClatchy that Jan had simply slipped out of custody. The last anyone heard, he was living in Dubai or Pakistan .

Asked for comment, Hamidzada, President Karzai's spokesman, said, "I'm not aware of these little details, of one particular person carrying letters, (of) these little people doing little things."

Several former security officers in southern Afghanistan said that the story of Syed Jan was nothing unusual.

Mohammed Hussein Andewal, a former police chief of Helmand province, said that in 2007 his men caught an opium dealer red-handed with a large stash of drugs on his way to the bordering province of Farah.

Andewal said he was called first by a regional Interior Ministry commander and then by a senior official from the ministry in Kabul telling him to let the man go.

"I know very high government officials who have heroin storerooms in their own houses," he said.

Andewal said that if he had a map in front of him, he could sketch the bases and the movements of a drug-dealing ring of Afghan leaders in five provinces who pushed heroin through Nimruz province into Iran .

"If anyone could guarantee my security, I could give the names and draw the map," he said with a grin and then a shrug. "But I would get killed."

A former senior Afghan official who's worked in high positions in southern Afghanistan and the national government said he could list the bases and movements of Ahmed Wali Karzai's drug network as well as the names, home districts and jobs of the dealers in Afghanistan and Pakistan . However, the former official said he wouldn't want those facts or his identity made public, because he had the same worries as Andewal: a bullet to the head or a bomb on the road.



Inside the Afghan drug trade

In a northern province, four law-enforcement officials describe life built around trafficking.

By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / June 13, 2006 at 12:06 pm EDT

The Afghan police chief doesn't realize his voice is being taped. So pardon him if he brags about his life as a drug trafficker.

In a friendly conversation recorded in his home last summer, he tells of his quarrels with another drug-dealing police commander in the country's northern Takhar Province; about driving through a rival's police checkpoint with 500 kilos of heroin in his car; and his adventures in rescuing three heroin-smuggling friends from the clutches of Tajik policemen. It's just another part of the job, he says.


Afghan Officials In Drug Trade Cut Deals Across Enemy Lines

Afghan Officials In Drug Trade Cut Deals Across Enemy Lines March 21st, 2009

Toronto Globe and Mail
March 21, 2009
Corrupt politicians are safeguarding traffickers who then help the Taliban, Globe investigation finds
By Graeme Smith
KABUL — In the shadow of the craggy mountains overlooking the road between Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad, a specially trained unit of police conducted a nearly perfect ambush of a drug dealer.
Officers surrounded Sayyed Jan's vehicle so quickly that his two bodyguards never had a chance to fire their weapons, and he was caught moving at least 183 kilograms of pure heroin.
But the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan realized they had a problem when they discovered that Mr. Jan's powerful friends included their own boss. The drug dealer was carrying a signed letter of protection from General Mohammed Daud Daud, the deputy minister of interior responsible for counternarcotics, widely considered Afghanistan's most powerful anti-drug czar.
That along with other papers and interviews with well-placed sources, show that Gen. Daud has safeguarded shipments of illegal opiates even as he commands thousands of officers sworn to fight the trade. Some accuse the deputy minister of taking a major cut of dealers' profits, ranking him among the biggest players in Afghanistan's $3-billion (U.S.) drug industry.
Reached by telephone this week, Gen. Daud angrily denied involvement in drug corruption. "Your information is completely defective and deficient, and shameful for the prestige of journalism," he said.
The Globe and Mail's investigation of Gen. Daud highlights the wider implications of drug cartels operating inside the Kabul administration. It's a toxic triangle of alliances, as corrupt officials work with drug traffickers who, in turn, help the Taliban.
Some international officials still say the corruption is limited to isolated bureaucrats who supplement their meagre salaries with graft. But a growing number of informed observers now agree with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent description of Afghanistan as a "narco-state," saying they are concerned about networks of corrupt officials taking over parts of government — in effect, running branches of the state for illegal gain.
This is a problem for Canada and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, not only because Afghanistan supplies most of the heroin on their own streets, officials say, and not only because such large-scale corruption wastes the money and lives spent in support of the Kabul government.
More importantly, the routes used to export heroin also bring guns and ammunition into the country, giving firepower to those killing Canadian soldiers. The drug barons inside the Afghan administration are believed to be cutting deals across enemy lines, supplying cash and weapons to the rising insurgency.
The wolf as shepherd
One of the most notorious departments in Kabul is the anti-drug section of the Ministry of Interior, the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan.
Gen. Daud has been responsible for the CNPA since his presidential appointment as deputy minister for Counternarcotics in 2004, and the force has grown to an estimated 3,000 drug officers across the country. But the and case studies gathered by The Globe and Mail paint a disturbing portrait of his role in the industry.
"You have chosen a wolf as your shepherd," said an Afghan police officer who worked with Gen. Daud.
The officer spoke on condition of anonymity, as did all other Western and Afghan officials who provided details about drug corruption.
Talking about narcotics can be dangerous in Kabul; in December, an outspoken judge who handled drug cases was dragged out of his house by masked men and executed with a gunshot to the head.
One of the few people who has discussed Gen. Daud's dealings on the record is Lieutenant Nyamatullah Nyamat, then serving as head of the counternarcotics police in Kunduz province. He gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times accusing Gen. Daud of running a drug business in northern Afghanistan and protecting other dealers; shortly after the article was published in 2005, Lt. Nyamat disappeared. Two sources familiar with the incident said British advisers to the CNPA scrambled to ensure the lieutenant's safety, holding a meeting in which Gen. Daud admitted ordering his arrest. (Gen. Daud now denies this.) The lieutenant was eventually released unharmed, and reassigned to a less active post in central Afghanistan.
The Kabul government has often emphasized the lack of firm evidence against its top members; Ms. Clinton's "narco-state" reference was angrily rejected by government officials earlier this year. Gen. Daud's boss, Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, specifically defended the counternarcotics force during an interview last month at his elegant offices in Kabul. When asked whether he still has confidence in the CNPA, Mr. Atmar nodded vigorously.
"Absolutely, absolutely," he said. "That's not to say some people may not be honest in their jobs, but this is an ongoing battle in every country, every nation, with every police force. By and large they are actually doing the right job with honesty and integrity."
Mr. Atmar's appointment to the Interior Ministry last fall was greeted with optimism among foreign diplomats, who hoped the well-regarded administrator would clean up corruption among the police. The minister says he has attempted to purge the senior ranks, removing 10 police generals and charging some of them with drug corruption in the few months since he took office.
Powerful figures in the ministry such as Gen. Daud remain untouched, but the minister said he can only take action with proof of wrongdoing.
"One unfortunate thing is that much of this is based on speculation," Mr. Atmar said. "Give me the evidence, and hold me accountable for action on that evidence."
The drug runner
The strongest paper trail connecting Gen. Daud with drug dealing comes from the arrest of Sayyed Jan, the infamous trafficker, on June 19, 2005.
Officials disagree about how much heroin Mr. Jan was carrying: one source said 183 kilograms, another said 192, and Gen. Daud himself said it was 250.
Sources also disagree about whether the dealer was wearing a CNPA uniform when arrested, but either way it appears he was operating with Gen. Daud's blessings until he was undeniably caught smuggling. A letter from Gen. Daud to the governor of Helmand province, dated March 15, 2005, introduces Mr. Jan as a "respected Haji," meaning a Muslim who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and urges the provincial administration to assist Mr. Jan. The letter was signed with a flourish by Gen. Daud. The governor seems to have obeyed the counternarcotics chief, as investigators found two other letters written the same month, one from the governor telling the police chief to allow safe passage for Mr. Jan and another from the police chief repeating the instruction to his men.
A relative of Mr. Jan described him as a hard-working young trafficker from the southern province of Helmand who got started as a teenager during the Taliban regime, guarding small caches of opium in the desert. Mr. Jan founded his own drug business in 2001, his relative said, and the operation thrived under the new government as he bought protection for his refineries and transportation routes.
One of the dealer's biggest protectors was Gen. Daud, his relative said, describing a conversation in which Mr. Jan confided that he paid the deputy minister $50,000 (U.S.) for permission to run a single convoy through his zone of control. When speaking about the counternarcotics chief, the trafficker used a Pashto word that means "boss."
Another source confirmed that Gen. Daud received payments from Mr. Jan, but suggested they were based on 50 per cent commission on his drug profits.
That relationship seems to have broken down when a CNPA unit, apparently acting without Gen. Daud's knowledge, caught the trafficker with a vehicle full of heroin. Gen. Daud initially attempted to set Mr. Jan free from prison, but then reversed himself and declared his support for the prosecution.
In a complicated series of legal manoeuvrings, however, the young trafficker was transferred to a prison in Helmand where sources say a local official accepted a bribe of 1.8 million Pakistani rupees, worth about $28,000Ö Canadian dollars, to set him free. The dealer is now believed to be continuing his work outside of Afghanistan.
When confronted with this information, Gen. Daud said he cannot be held responsible for Mr. Jan escaping prosecution because it falls outside his jurisdiction. He denied taking money from Mr. Jan or any other dealer.
"Sayyed Jan fled from jail, but God willing we are chasing him to arrest him again and put him back in jail," the counternarcotics chief said.
Another arrest caught Gen. Daud by surprise in the summer of 2005. His own men, again apparently working without the direct supervision of the counternarcotics chief, captured a fuel tanker packed with an estimated 700 kilograms of raw opium on the outskirts of Kabul. The driver, Noor Mohammed, asked for permission to make a phone call; he dialled a number, and shortly afterward Gen. Daud's personal bodyguards rushed to the scene, brandishing their weapons and demanding the CNPA officers leave.
A tense standoff followed, then confusion as the CNPA bodyguards realized they were pointing their guns at fellow CNPA officers. Two Afghan officials who described the scene said they eventually settled the dispute by agreeing to take the tanker back to CNPA headquarters, and it's not known what eventually happened to the drugs. But those involved saw the incident as a clear example of Gen. Daud trying to protect some shipments.
"This is nonsense," Gen. Daud said, suggesting that drug dealers spread unfounded rumours to undermine his work.
Such anecdotes have spread widely, in fact, in Kabul's community of Western officials. But some take a sanguine view of reported corruption, especially when the reports concern a figure so prominent as Gen. Daud.
The former warlord
Born in 1969 to a family from the northern province of Takhar, Gen. Daud joined the anti-Soviet resistance as a teenager and became part of the famed militia of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the so-called Lion of the Panjshir.
After the assassination of Massoud no honorific needed in 2001, Gen. Daud worked with U.S. forces overthrowing the Taliban regime and was rewarded with control over a broad territory in the north.
As the country held its first presidential elections in 2004, however, Western officials became increasingly concerned that warlords such as Gen. Daud and their private armies would not fit into their plans for a heavily centralized government. Like other warlords, Gen. Daud was invited to accept a senior appointment in Kabul in hopes that he could be drawn away from his regional power base and integrated into the new regime.
This strategy worked, in some respects; officials say Gen. Daud no longer ranks among the country's biggest militia commanders, though he could still mobilize 4,000 to 6,000 armed men within 48 hours if necessary. He remains popular in his home province, where Western officials have been amused to hear villagers reciting poems in his honour.
Gen. Daud's supporters point out that many senior figures in the Kabul administration are implicated in drug corruption, and pushing them out of their jobs won't solve the problem. They emphasize that Gen. Daud appears to be reducing his involvement in the drug trade as he reaches middle age; his second wife is a U.S. citizen, and some speculate that he might try to clean up his business and eventually settle in the United States.
"Dealing with these characters is a slow process," a senior Western official said. "You can't judge them based on the past. You have to think about what they can do for this country in the future."
Others disagree, seeing the problem of corruption in more urgent terms.
"Fighting corruption and official involvement in drug trafficking in Afghanistan is as critical a challenge to rebuilding the country as defeating the Taliban," veteran ABC news correspondent Gretchen Peters writes in her forthcoming book Seeds of Terror, based on five years of field research along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
The need for such reform becomes clearer as drug investigators find traffickers involved with another kind of contraband: weapons.
Two Western officials closely monitoring the problem said about 50 to 70 per cent of weapons that supply the insurgency arrive in the country by road, facilitated by corrupt figures in the Afghan government — a statistic that shatters the image of Taliban hauling shipments of guns and ammunition through snowy mountain passes, as usually portrayed by NATO leaders; instead, many insurgents apparently find it more convenient to buy supplies from corrupt authorities.
The profits are huge: a Kalashnikov rifle purchased for $100 or $150 in Tajikistan can be smuggled to the battlefields of southern Afghanistan and sold for $400. The fact that the same rifle might be used to kill a Canadian soldier — or the corrupt Afghan official who sold it — has not diminished the trade.
"This government is not working for us," said the relative of Mr. Jan, the trafficker, expressing his disgust with the business. "We hate the drugs. But this government is addicted to money."



The Lure of Opium Wealth Is a Potent Force in Afghanistan
Western officials warn of a nascent narco state as drug traffickers act with impunity, some allegedly with the support of top officials

By Paul Watson Times Staff Writer

May 29, 2005
Kunduz, Afghanistan


Afghanistan: Halbbruder des Präsidenten ein Drogenbaron?
KABUL. Eine Woche vor der Präsidentenwahl verschärft ein Drogenskandal im Umfeld von Präsident Hamid Karzai die ohnehin komplizierte und gefährliche politische Situation Afghanistans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #69)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 04:54 AM

70. Congress Woman Maxine Waters' testimony before HSPCI (CSPAN VIDEO)


The trials of Rep. Maxine Waters: Ethics or payback?
August 20, 2010 by Joseph Debro
(Videos from the above article)

When the Nicaraguan Contras began to covertly fund their war against the Sandanistas by selling drugs and guns to California street gangs, the Central Intelligence Agency turned a blind eye. While Black neighborhoods were being ravaged by the crack cocaine plague, CIA operatives actively participated in this devastating drug explosion, protected from prosecution by a secret agreement between the Department of Justice and the CIA. – Video: http://www.prisonplanet.com/

Rep. Maxine Waters on CIA Drug Trafficking Part 1 of 4 (CSPAN testimony in front of HPSCI)

On March 16, 1998, the House Intelligence Committee heard testimony concerning a report on CIA involvement in drug trafficking. The testimony of Congresswoman Maxine Waters is recorded in these four videos.

Rep. Maxine Waters on CIA Drug Trafficking Part 2 of 4

Rep. Maxine Waters on CIA Drug Trafficking Part 3 of 4

Rep. Maxine Waters on CIA Drug Trafficking Part 4 of 4

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to 777man (Reply #70)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 04:56 AM



Last edited Fri Apr 4, 2014, 07:09 AM - Edit history (1)


Mike Levine & Gary Webb - The Big White Lie + Dark Alliance= CIA drug cartel (Posted by EX DEA Mike Levine) Montel Williams show

Mike Levine at Mike Savage's "Savage Nation" Exposes "The Big White Lie" CIA sabotage of DEA
Mike Levine, one of DEA's most decorated undercover agents reveals the inside story of Operation Hun, the dream undercover assignment turned nightmare that blew the lid off CIA sabotage of the drug war. to Mike Savage's Paul Revere Society, an audience of 5000 at the Marin County Civic Auditorium.

Inside the DEA Sting that blew the lid off CIA drug trafficking
The Big White Lie, by NY Times best selling author Michael Levine, is an insider's look at Operation Hun, the top-secret deep cover operation that rips the lid off CIA sabotage of the war on drugs. Levine, interviewed here on Good Morning America, tells of his undercover role posing as the lover and drug dealing partner of Sonia Atala, the woman Pablo Escobar named "The Queen of Cocaine."

Caught on Camera - 1990 - 1st time in history Drug War called fraud by DEA insider (fixed audio)
The publicatio