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For The Record  

FTR #1107 Deep Politics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 1 and FTR #1108 Deep Politics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 2

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FTR #1107: This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR #1108: This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

“The Sea­graves have uncov­ered one of the Biggest Secrets of the Twen­ti­eth Century”–Iris Chang, quot­ed on the front cov­er of Gold War­riors.

Intro­duc­tion: Late last year (2019), the city of San Jose (Cal­i­for­nia) opened a park ded­i­cat­ed to the mem­o­ry of the late author Iris Chang.

These broad­casts update and sup­ple­ment dis­cus­sion of Iris Chang’s alleged “sui­cide,” high­light­ed in FTR #509. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the Gold­en Lily loot and the deci­sive polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic fac­tors stem­ming from the mate­r­i­al cov­ered in Gold War­riors, the oth­er books by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave, and Ms. Chang’s The Rape of Nanking, have enor­mous and ongo­ing sig­nif­i­cance.

(FTR #‘s 427, 428, 446, 451, 501, 509, 688689 deal with the sub­ject of the Gold­en Lily pro­gram suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed by the Japan­ese to loot Asia. That loot was merged with Nazi gold, became the Black Eagle Trust, which not only financed Cold War covert oper­a­tions but under­wrote much of the post-war glob­al econ­o­my. Philip­pine dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos recov­ered a tremen­dous amount of the Gold­en Lily loot, some of which was shared with  the Japan­ese, some with  the U.S. and much of it kept by Mar­cos. The Mar­cos “Black Gold” fig­ures promi­nent­ly in the deep pol­i­tics sur­round­ing the death of Ms. Chang.)

In Novem­ber of 2004, author and inves­ti­ga­tor Iris Chang was found dead of an alleged­ly self-inflict­ed gun­shot wound. This pro­gram exam­ines the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing her death.

In her land­mark book The Rape of Nanking, Ms. Chang doc­u­ment­ed the Japan­ese atroc­i­ties which gave that occu­pa­tion its name. The rape of Nanking saw the begin­ning of the Japan­ese Gold­en Lily pro­gram, which yield­ed the spec­tac­u­lar loot­ed wealth and post­war eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal intrigue doc­u­ment­ed in the Sea­graves’ inci­sive text Gold War­riors.

The Rape of Nankingdrew much hos­tile reac­tion from the Japan­ese right and relat­ed forces:  “. . . . At the same time, tor­rents of hate mail came in, Brett [her hus­band] said. ‘Iris is sen­si­tive, but she got charged up,’ he recalled. ‘When any­body ques­tioned the valid­i­ty of what she wrote, she would respond with over­whelm­ing evi­dence to back it up. She’s very much a per­fec­tion­ist. It was hard for her not to react every sin­gle time.’ Most of the attacks came from Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ists. ‘We saw car­toons where she was por­trayed as this woman with a great big mouth,’ Brett said. ‘She got used to the fact that there is a Web site called ‘Iris Chang and Her Lies.’ She would just laugh.’ But friends say Iris began to voice con­cerns for her safe­ty. She believed her phone was tapped. She described find­ing threat­en­ing notes on her car. She said she was con­front­ed by a man who said, ‘You will NOT con­tin­ue writ­ing this.’ She used a post office box, nev­er her home address, for mail. ‘There are a fair num­ber of peo­ple who don’t take kind­ly to what she wrote in The Rape of Nanking.’ Brett said, ‘so she’s always been very, very pri­vate about our fam­i­ly life.’ . . . .”

(As we have seen in–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR #‘s 813, 905, 969, 970, the Japan­ese “ultra­na­tion­al­ists” were put right back in pow­er by the Amer­i­can occu­pa­tion forces, as the Sea­graves doc­u­ment in Gold War­riors, as well as The Yam­a­to Dynasty.)

At the time of her death, Ms. Chang was research­ing a book chron­i­cling the expe­ri­ences of sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March—the bru­tal per­se­cu­tion of Amer­i­can POW’s cap­tured in the siege of Bataan in the Philip­pines dur­ing World War II. Many of the sur­vivors were shipped to Japan to work as slave labor­ers for major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions.

Many of these cor­po­ra­tions have had pro­found con­nec­tions with their Amer­i­can transna­tion­al coun­ter­parts, and were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Amer­i­can invest­ment cap­i­tal in the run-up to World War II. More impor­tant­ly, many of these cor­po­ra­tions are a prin­ci­pal ele­ment of the US/Japanese com­mer­cial rela­tion­ship today.

Law­suits in Cal­i­for­nia tar­get­ed those Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions for com­pen­sa­tion for the slave labor wrung from the Bat­taan POWs. The State Depart­ment sided with the Japan­ese and Judge Vaughn Walk­er ruled against the Bataan sur­vivors.

Per­haps most impor­tant­ly, in-depth cov­er­age of the Bataan Death March would uncov­er the Black Eagle Trust and the fun­da­men­tal role in post-World War II Amer­i­can and Japan­ese pol­i­tics of the vast wealth loot­ed by Japan dur­ing World War II. That pur­loined “black gold” is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with U.S. covert oper­a­tions and is at the epi­cen­ter of post­war Japan­ese pow­er pol­i­tics and econ­o­my.

In addi­tion to the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March sur­vivors, Ms. Chang’s research cut across some deep polit­i­cal dynam­ics con­nect­ed to then-Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s admin­is­tra­tion and his busi­ness deal­ings.

George W. Bush:

  1. Was using U.S. Naval forces to secure Japan­ese war gold from the Philip­pines for his per­son­al blind trust, as well as shoring up Amer­i­can gold reserves.
  2. Was deeply involved with Harken Ener­gy, which may well have been a cor­po­rate front for the acqui­si­tion and recy­cling of Gold­en Lily loot and Bor­mann mon­ey.
  3. Was heir to a deep polit­i­cal her­itage involv­ing, among oth­ers, the fam­i­ly of William Stamps Far­ish, the head of Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey dur­ing the time it man­i­fest­ed its car­tel agree­ments with I.G. Far­ben. Dubya ben­e­fit­ed from his father’s lega­cy of involve­ment with the milieu of Dou­glas MacArthur. George H.W. Bush’s deep polit­i­cal con­nec­tions in the Philip­pines include the involve­ment of both Trump cam­paign man­ag­er Paul Man­afort and Trump and GOP trick­ster Roger Stone with Fer­di­nand Mar­cos while the dic­ta­tor was involved with the recov­ery of Gold­en Lily loot.
  4. Served as a direc­tor of Harken when the head of the firm was Alan Quasha, son of William Quasha, an attor­ney for the CIA-linked Nugan Hand Bank, a focal point of AFA #25William had been Alien Prop­er­ty cus­to­di­an in the Philip­pines under Dou­glas MacArthur, which placed him in a posi­tion to great­ly influ­ence the “Alien Prop­er­ty” placed there by the Japan­ese under Gold­en Lily.

There is evi­dence to sug­gest that Ms. Chang’s death may have result­ed from mind con­trol, admin­is­tered to neu­tral­ize her as a threat to those clan­des­tine eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty rela­tion­ships that have gov­erned US/Japanese affairs in the post­war peri­od. Ms. Chang had received threats ever since the pub­li­ca­tion of her land­mark text The Rape of Nanking.

(For more about the gov­ern­men­t’s mind con­trol pro­grams, see, among oth­er broad­casts, AFA #‘s 5–7. Key parts of that AFA series are excerpt­ed in FTR #‘s 974, 975, 976, 977.)

She appears to have been under sur­veil­lance, and her “sui­cide” note alleged that a sus­pi­cious intern­ment in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal may have been ini­ti­at­ed at the insti­ga­tion of the ele­ments opposed to a ruf­fling of the Japanese/US feath­ers. In addi­tion to threat­en­ing to expose a dom­i­nant fac­tor in U.S. covert oper­a­tions, a key ele­ment in the post­war Amer­i­can and glob­al econ­o­my, Ms. Chang’s inves­ti­ga­tion of Japan­ese war crimes was an irri­tant to the Japan­ese estab­lish­ment that had thrived on the gold and oth­er wealth loot­ed from occu­pied coun­tries since World War II.

Ms. Chang’s “sui­cide” note read, in part: “. . . .There are aspects of my expe­ri­ence in Louisville that I will nev­er under­stand. . . . . I can nev­er shake my belief that I was being recruit­ed, and lat­er per­se­cut­ed, by forces more pow­er­ful than I could have imag­ined. Whether it was the CIA or some oth­er orga­ni­za­tion I will nev­er know. As long as I am alive, these forces will nev­er stop hound­ing me. Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep fore­bod­ing about my safe­ty. I sensed sud­den­ly threats to my own life: an eerie feel­ing that I was being fol­lowed in the streets, the white van parked out­side my house, dam­aged mail arriv­ing at my P.O. Box. I believe my deten­tion at Nor­ton Hos­pi­tal was the gov­ern­men­t’s attempt to dis­cred­it me. . . .”

At the con­clu­sion of the pro­gram, we review Rita Katz’s expe­ri­ences after she helped break the inves­ti­ga­tion into the SAAR net­work that became known  as Oper­a­tion Green Quest. That inves­ti­ga­tion over­lapped George W. Bush’s firm Harken Ener­gy. Note the sim­i­lar­i­ty between Iris Chang’s expe­ri­ences and those  of Rita  Katz. ” . . . . White vans and SUV’s with dark win­dows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors. All agents, some of whom were very expe­ri­enced with sur­veil­lance, knew they were being fol­lowed. So was I. I felt that I was being fol­lowed every­where and watched at home, in the super­mar­ket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . Now—I was being watched 24/7. It’s a ter­ri­ble sen­sa­tion to know that you have no pri­va­cy. . . . and no secu­ri­ty. That strange click­ing of the phones that wasn’t there before. . . the oh-so-crude­ly opened mail at home in the office. . . and the same man I spied in my neigh­bor­hood super­mar­ket, who was also on the train I took to Wash­ing­ton a week ago. . . Life can be mis­er­able when you know that someone’s always breath­ing down your neck. . . .”

In con­ver­sa­tions with friends, Ms. Chang not­ed that her prob­lems were “exter­nal, not in her head. She also felt she was being “recruit­ed” to become a “Manchuri­an Can­di­date” for the CIA–i.e. being sub­ject­ed to mind con­trol. ” . . . . in her last year she became para­noid about every­thing from virus­es attack­ing her com­put­er to attempts by the gov­ern­ment to “recruit” her, a la The Manchuri­an Can­di­date. . . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:  The alleged role of Japan­ese war crim­i­nal Tsu­ji Masanobu in aid­ing the Mar­cos gold recov­er­ies in the Philip­pines; the role of Tsu­ji Masanobu in imple­ment­ing the Bataan Death March; William Stamps Far­ish III’s stew­ard­ship of Dubya’s blind trust, for which Philip­pines war gold was appar­ent­ly being sought; William Stamps Far­ish (II) and his stew­ard­ship of Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey, when it col­lab­o­rat­ed with I.G. Far­ben; George H.W. Bush’s asso­ci­a­tion with the descen­dants of Amer­i­can cor­po­rate fig­ures who col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Third Reich.

1a. The pro­gram exam­ines the vicious reac­tion of Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ists and oth­ers to Iris Chang’s book—The Rape of Nanking. Note the hos­til­i­ty with which her work was met. Was this hos­til­i­ty car­ried to anoth­er lev­el?

A detail about the phys­i­cal cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Iris’s “sui­cide” suggests–strongly–that she did not pull the trig­ger her­self. Her body was dis­cov­ered by a San­ta Clara Coun­ty Water Dis­trict Employ­ee.

Some­one who had fired a .45 cal­iber black pow­der weapon into her mouth would be unlike­ly to have her hands crossed in her lap and with the revolver on her left leg. This sounds like it may well an arranged crime scene. ” . . . . He noticed con­den­sa­tion on the win­dows, peered inside and saw Iris in the dri­ver’s seat with her hands crossed in her lap. The revolver lay on her left leg. Her head rest­ed against the win­dow. . . .”

“His­to­ri­an Iris Chang Won Many Bat­tles: The War She Lost Raged With­in” by Hei­di Ben­son; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 4/17/2005; p. 9 [of 22].

. . . At the same time, tor­rents of hate mail came in, Brett [her hus­band] said. “Iris is sen­si­tive, but she got charged up,” he recalled. “When any­body ques­tioned the valid­i­ty of what she wrote, she would respond with over­whelm­ing evi­dence to back it up. She’s very much a per­fec­tion­ist. It was hard for her not to react every sin­gle time.” Most of the attacks came from Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ists. ‘We saw car­toons where she was por­trayed as this woman with a great big mouth,’ Brett said. ‘She got used to the fact that there is a Web site called ‘Iris Chang and Her Lies.’ She would just laugh.”

But friends say Iris began to voice con­cerns for her safe­ty. She believed her phone was tapped. She described find­ing threat­en­ing notes on her car. She said she was con­front­ed by a man who said, ‘You will NOT con­tin­ue writ­ing this.’ She used a post office box, nev­er her home address, for mail. “There are a fair num­ber of peo­ple who don’t take kind­ly to what she wrote in The Rape of Nanking.” Brett said, “so she’s always been very, very pri­vate about our fam­i­ly life.” . . . . 

. . . . Among her many tele­vi­sion appear­ances was a mem­o­rable evening on “Night­line,” where she was the only Asian and the only woman among a pan­el of Chi­na experts. “To see her on TV, defend­ing Rape of Nanking so fierce­ly and so fearlessly—I just sat down, stopped, in awe,” said Helen Zia, author of Asian-Amer­i­can Dreams: Emer­gence of an Amer­i­can Peo­ple and co-author Wen-Ho Lee, of My Coun­try Ver­sus Me: The First-Hand Account by the Los Alam­os Sci­en­tist Who Was False­ly Accused.

“Iris tru­ly had no fear. You could see it in the steadi­ness of her voice and in her per­sis­tence,” Zia recalled. “She would just say, mat­ter-of-fact­ly, ‘Japan is lying and here’s why.”’ Lat­er Iris chal­lenged the Japan­ese ambas­sador to a debate on the ‘Mac­Neil-Lehrer News Hour’ on PBS. After the ambas­sador spoke of events in Nanking, Iris turned to the mod­er­a­tor and said: “I did­n’t hear an apol­o­gy.” [This would NOT have been well received by the Japan­ese polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ments, who would nev­er have coun­te­nanced a gov­ern­ment offi­cial being tak­en to task by a Chi­nese woman–D.E.]

. . . . He noticed con­den­sa­tion on the win­dows, peered inside and saw Iris in the dri­ver’s seat with her hands crossed in her lap. The revolver lay on her left leg. . . .

1b. Iris turned her atten­tion to anoth­er sub­ject con­nect­ed to Japan­ese atroc­i­ties from World War II—the Bataan Death March. Some of the Amer­i­can sol­diers cap­tured after the Japan­ese inva­sion of the Philip­pines were forced to work as slave labor­ers for some of the major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions. As will be seen below, class action law­suits and oth­er attempts at gain­ing belat­ed com­pen­sa­tion for these unfor­tu­nate POWs was met with fierce oppo­si­tion from the US State Depart­ment!! Remem­ber that Iris Chang was cut­ting across these same lines of polit­i­cal pow­er.

As Ms. Chang was inves­ti­gat­ing the sto­ry of the Death Marchers, she made the acquain­tance of a colonel, who elicit­ed fear in this oth­er­wise daunt­less indi­vid­ual. The colonel checked her into a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal, where she was put on a cycle of psy­chi­atric drugs. Was she sub­ject­ed to some sort of mind con­trol? Did that have some­thing to do with her death? Was she pro­grammed to com­mit sui­cide?

Iris’s sui­cide note betrayed fear of ret­ri­bu­tion for her research. She felt that her intern­ment in the psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal may have some­how been part of that ret­ri­bu­tion. As not­ed below, she felt the CIA or some sim­i­lar type of insti­tu­tion may have been involved in the activ­i­ties con­duct­ed against her.

Iris’s sui­cide note betrayed fear of ret­ri­bu­tion for her research. She felt that her intern­ment in the psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal may have some­how been part of that ret­ri­bu­tion. As not­ed below, she felt the CIA or some sim­i­lar type of insti­tu­tion may have been involved in the activ­i­ties con­duct­ed against her.

“His­to­ri­an Iris Chang Won Many Bat­tles: The War She Lost Raged With­in” by Hei­di Ben­son; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 4/17/2005; p. 9 [of 22].

 . . . But soon she found her­self drawn to a sub­ject just as dark. Iris Chang rang the door­bell on Ed Martel’s front porch in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin, on Decem­ber 4, 2003. It’s a date he won’t for­get. “She sat down and cross-exam­ined me like a dis­trict attor­ney for five sol­id hours,” said Mar­tel, 86, one of the last remain­ing sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March of World War II. His daugh­ter, Mad­dy, remem­bered the day well, too. “We set out a very big lunch—meat trays and sand­wich­es and desserts,” she said. “My dad was so excit­ed that she was doing this, and so hon­ored.”

Months ear­li­er, Iris had seized on a let­ter in her “book ideas” file about a Mid­west­ern pock­et of Bataan sur­vivors, all mem­bers of two tank bat­tal­ions. “They drop so fast,” the let­ter had read. The cor­re­spon­dent was Sgt. Antho­ny Mel­dahl, a sup­ply sergeant with the Ohio Nation­al Guard who had admired Iris’ work. Mel­dahl was now urg­ing Iris to join his oral-his­to­ry project. She did, and, start­ing in Novem­ber 2003, would make four trips to meet with Bataan vets—in Wis­con­sin, Illi­nois, Ohio and Ken­tucky. Each time, Iris swept into town and con­duct­ed four or five inten­sive inter­views in as many days. “She was like a bat­tal­ion com­man­der,” Mel­dahl said.

“It’s amaz­ing when you watch Iris do research,“Brett said. “She would go into a town—and with Tony Mel­dahl’s help, it was even bet­ter. She would have a team of three vets and their chil­dren and their wives. Iris would be inter­view­ing them, some­body else would be film­ing them, some­body else would be pho­to­copy­ing records, and some­body would be send­ing doc­u­ments down to UPS. And Iris would buy lunch and din­ner for every­body, and they all thought it was great.”

“These peo­ple want­ed their sto­ry told for a long, long time, and they knew that because Iris had suc­cess as an author, she’d be able to do a very good job,” Brett said. Ed Martel’s sto­ry began on Dec. 7, 1941. Pearl Har­bor was still smol­der­ing when Japan­ese planes bombed the Philip­pines” Bataan Penin­su­la, where Mar­tel was sta­tioned with a Nation­al Guard tank bat­tal­ion. With few rations, lit­tle ammu­ni­tion and no rein­force­ments, 70,000 Amer­i­can and Fil­ipino troops held off the Japan­ese for months. When the Amer­i­can gen­er­al sur­ren­dered on April 9, the Japan­ese forced the troops to walk 65 miles through swel­ter­ing jun­gle. Some 8,000 died on the noto­ri­ous “death march.” Those who sur­vived spent the rest of the war in a bleak prison camp; some were shipped to Japan as slave labor­ers. [Empha­sis added.] Once the Allies won the war, the sto­ry was for­got­ten. It had been the largest U.S. Army sur­ren­der in his­to­ry.

“It’s baf­fling to me that the U.S. today has so lit­tle knowl­edge of the four months we held out,” Mar­tel told The Chron­i­cle by tele­phone from his home in Wis­con­sin. “We mar­vel at how Amer­i­ca turned their backs on us.” Mar­tel was slight­ly hard of hear­ing, but his mem­o­ry was crisp. He recalled telling Iris about the worst of his Bataan expe­ri­ences. “Iris asked me to tell about atroc­i­ties,’ he said. “Twice I broke down and had to leave the room.”

. . . “I knew Iris was not right,” her moth­er said. “She could­n’t eat or drink. She was very depressed.” She asked if Iris had any friends there she could call for help. One of the veterans—a colonel she had planned to meet in Louisville—came to the hotel. Smith said the colonel spent only a short time with her. “She was afraid of him when he showed up,” Smith said. “But he spoke to her moth­er on the phone and told Iris, “Your mom is on the phone, so it’s OK.” That after­noon, she checked her­self in to Nor­ton Psy­chi­atric Hos­pi­tal in Louisville, with help from the colonel. Through a third par­ty, the colonel declined to be inter­viewed. “First they gave her an antipsy­chot­ic, to sta­bi­lize her,” her moth­er said. “For three days they gave her med­ica­tion, the first time in her life.” (The fam­i­ly would not name spe­cif­ic drugs.) . . .

. . . Then she wrote a sui­cide note—addressed to her par­ents, Brett and her brother—followed by a lengthy revi­sion. The first draft said: “When you believe you have a future, you think in terms of gen­er­a­tions and years. When you do not, you live not just by the day—but by the minute. [Empha­sis added.] It is far bet­ter that you remem­ber me as I was—in my hey­day as a best-sell­ing author—than the wild-eyed wreck who returned from Louisville . . . Each breath is becom­ing dif­fi­cult for me to take—the anx­i­ety can be com­pared to drown­ing in an open sea. I know that my actions will trans­fer some of this pain to oth­ers, indeed those who love me the most. Please for­give me. For­give me because I can­not for­give myself.”

In the final ver­sion, she added: “There are aspects of my expe­ri­ence in Louisville that I will nev­er under­stand. Deep down I sus­pect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can nev­er shake my belief that I was being recruit­ed, and lat­er per­se­cut­ed, by forces more pow­er­ful than I could have imag­ined. Whether it was the CIA or some oth­er orga­ni­za­tion I will nev­er know. As long as I am alive, these forces will nev­er stop hound­ing me. . . .

“Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep fore­bod­ing about my safe­ty. I sensed sud­den­ly threats to my own life: an eerie feel­ing that I was being fol­lowed in the streets, the white van parked out­side my house, dam­aged mail arriv­ing at my P.O. Box. I believe my deten­tion at Nor­ton Hos­pi­tal was the gov­ern­men­t’s attempt to dis­cred­it me. “I had con­sid­ered run­ning away, but I will nev­er be able to escape from myself and my thoughts. I am doing this because I am too weak to with­stand the years of pain and agony ahead.”

After Iris Chang’s Oldsmo­bile was found off High­way 17 on Tues­day morn­ing, Nov. 9, the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol was called to the scene. The High­way Patrol then called the San­ta Clara Sher­if­f’s homi­cide unit and detec­tive Sgt. Dean Bak­er, a 33-year vet­er­an, took over the inves­ti­ga­tion. “There is an aspect of para­noia in the major­i­ty of sui­cides.” Bak­er said. ’ A lot of people—depending on how dis­turbed they are—feel that peo­ple are plot­ting against them.”

2. Despite the dis­missal of Iris’s fears as “para­noia,” there is rea­son to believe her fears were jus­ti­fied. In a phone call to an old friend from col­lege, Iris not­ed that her fam­i­ly and friends thought her prob­lems were “in her head”—“internal”—but that they were real, i.e. “exter­nal.”

“How ‘Iris Chang’ Became a Verb” by Paula Kamen; Salon.com.

 . . . The months passed, and I got involved in my own projects. A few weeks ago, a mutu­al friend e‑mailed me that Iris was try­ing to reach me, and that she had been sick for the past few months. Then, on Sat­ur­day, Nov. 6, my cell­phone rang. When I heard the tone of Iris’ voice, I excused myself from the friends I was vis­it­ing and stood out­side in their yard for pri­va­cy. The bounce in her voice was total­ly gone. Instead, it was sad and total­ly drained, as if she were mak­ing a huge effort just to talk to me. I remem­bered that she recent­ly had been sick.

She said, “I just want­ed to let you know that in case some­thing should hap­pen to me, you should always know that you’ve been a good friend.” Over the next hour, I stum­bled to ask her about what had hap­pened. She talked about her over­whelm­ing fears and anx­i­eties, includ­ing being unable to face the magnitude—and the con­tro­ver­sial nature—of the sto­ries that she had uncov­ered. Her cur­rent vague­ly described prob­lems were “exter­nal,” she kept repeat­ing, a result of her con­tro­ver­sial research. They weren’t a result of the “inter­nal,” that is, they weren’t all in her head. I asked her about what oth­ers in her life thought about the cause of this appar­ent depres­sion. She paused and said, “They think it’s inter­nal.”

3. Iris was wor­ried about virus­es attack­ing her com­put­er and about being turned into a “Manchuri­an can­di­date” by the gov­ern­ment. The lat­ter sug­gests that she may indeed have been sub­ject­ed to mind con­trol.

“What Hap­pened to Iris Chang?” by Ker­ry Reid; Chica­go Read­er; 11/1/2007.

. . . . Among oth­er things, the com­pul­sive­ly well-orga­nized Chang began los­ing cred­it cards every cou­ple of weeks, accord­ing to Dou­glas, and in her last year she became para­noid about every­thing from virus­es attack­ing her com­put­er to attempts by the gov­ern­ment to “recruit” her, a la The Manchuri­an Can­di­date. . . .

4. The Rape of Nanking–the sub­ject of Iris Chang’s best-sell­ing, non­fic­tion book, saw the begin­ning of the Gold­en Lily oper­a­tion. Note that Prince Take­da, in charge of Gold­en Lily oper­a­tions in the Philip­pines, as well as Prince Chichibu (in over­all charge of Gold­en Lily).

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 37–39.

. . . . In the Rape of Nanking that fol­lowed, some 300,000 defense­less civil­ians were slain by Japan­ese troops, between 20,000 and 80,000 women of all ages were raped repeat­ed­ly, includ­ing chil­dren, ado­les­cent girls, and grand­moth­ers, many of them dis­em­bow­eled in the process. Men, women and chil­dren were sub­ject­ed to acts of such bar­barism that the world recoiled in hor­ror. Thou­sands of men were roped togeth­er and machine-gunned, or doused with gaso­line and set afire. Oth­ers were used for bay­o­net prac­tice, or to prac­tice behead­ing, in a sport­ing com­pe­ti­tion to see which offi­cer could behead the great­est num­ber that day. Weeks passed while atroc­i­ties con­tin­ued, streets and alleys piled high with corpses. Unlike pre­vi­ous mass atroc­i­ties, done out of sight, these were wit­nessed by hun­dreds of West­ern­ers includ­ing diplo­mats, doc­tors and mis­sion­ar­ies, some of whom smug­gled out pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence.

It was at this point that Gold­en Lily came into exis­tence.

When the Japan­ese Army swarmed down the Chi­na Coast in 1937, crossed the Yangtze, and moved west­ward to Nanking, so many units were involved across such a broad front that there was dan­ger of Japan’s rul­ing elite los­ing con­trol of the finan­cial side of con­quest, as rival com­man­ders com­pet­ed for spoils. How could you keep army or navy offi­cers from side-track­ing gold bul­lion and price­less art works, not to men­tion small­er scale theft by sol­diers? At the same time, groups of yakuza were mov­ing through new­ly occu­pied areas, con­duct­ing their own reign of ter­ror. To keep every­thing under strict con­trol at the high­est lev­el, the Impe­r­i­al Gen­er­al Head­quar­ters cre­at­ed Gold­en Lily (kin no yuri) named after one of Hirohito’s poems. This was to be a palace orga­ni­za­tion of Japan’s top finan­cial minds and spe­cial­ists in all forms of trea­sure includ­ing cul­tur­al and reli­gious antiq­ui­ties, sup­port­ed by accoun­tants, book­keep­ers, ship­ping experts, and units of the army and navy, all over­seen by princes of the blood. When Chi­na was milked by Gold­en Lily, the army would hold the cow, while princes skimmed the cream. This orga­ni­za­tion was put direct­ly under the com­mand of the emperor’s broth­er, Prince Chichibu. We know the date because the Impe­r­i­al Gen­er­al Head­quar­ters itself was only set up in the impe­r­i­al palace in Tokyo in Novem­ber 1937, just as the Rape of Nanking was com­menc­ing. . . . The Impe­r­i­al Army already had a num­ber of Spe­cial Ser­vice Units, among them intel­li­gence teams spe­cial­iz­ing in dif­fer­ent kinds of cul­tur­al and finan­cial espi­onage, and secret ser­vice agents like Gen­er­al Doi­hara, out­side the ordi­nary com­mand struc­ture. These were reas­signed to Gold­en Lily, giv­ing it the resources need­ed to find trea­sure of all kinds, from the sub­lime to the most pro­sa­ic.

In Nanking, the first wave of Gold­en Lily helpers were kem­peitai [the Japan­ese intel­li­gence ser­vice]. Spe­cial kem­peitai units moved through the city seiz­ing all gov­ern­ment assets, blow­ing open bank vaults, break­ing into and emp­ty­ing homes of wealthy fam­i­lies of what­ev­er gold, gem­stones, jew­el­ry, art­works, and cur­ren­cy could be found. Nanking had been rich for over a thou­sand years. Many wealthy and promi­nent Chi­nese had man­sions in town, and estates in the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. This was not the only time Nanking was ran­sacked by con­querors, but it was by far the most delib­er­ate, metic­u­lous, and sys­tem­at­ic. At least 6,ooo met­ric tons of gold are report­ed to have been amassed by the kem­peitai dur­ing this first pass. His­tor­i­cal research into loot­ing shows that what is offi­cial­ly report­ed typ­i­cal­ly is only a tiny frac­tion of what is actu­al­ly stolen. Also loot­ed were many of the small bis­cuit bars that indi­vid­ual Chi­nese pre­fer to hoard, along with small plat­inum ingots, dia­monds, rubies and sap­phires, small works of art, and antiq­ui­ties. These were tak­en from pri­vate homes and from tombs van­dal­ized by the army in the coun­try­side. Remorse­less­ly thor­ough, the Japan­ese ham­mered the teeth out of corpses to extract gold fill­ings. . . .

. . . . A num­ber of oth­er princes joined Gold­en Lily at this stage, spend­ing the war enrich­ing Japan, rather than par­tic­i­pat­ing in less glam­orous and dan­ger­ous com­bat assign­ments. Aside from Prince Asa­ka [the Emperor’s uncle and in charge of the Rape of Nanking–D.E.], we know Prince Chichibu and Prince Take­da were at Nanking because both lat­er con­fid­ed to friends that they had hor­rif­ic night­mares from wit­ness­ing atroc­i­ties. . . .

5a. Next, the pro­gram sets forth the details of some class action law­suits against major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions. These law­suits aimed at secur­ing finan­cial com­pen­sa­tion for POW’s used as slave labor­ers by the major Japan­ese enti­ties. Note that some of these POW’s were sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March—the men whose plight was being inves­ti­gat­ed and pub­li­cized by Iris Chang!!

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 239–240.

  . . . .Since 1999, more than thir­ty law­suits have been filed in Cal­i­for­nia courts by sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March and oth­er POW’s who were forced to pro­vide slave labor for Japan­ese com­pa­nies. [Empha­sis added.] They were focused in Cal­i­for­nia because the state leg­is­la­ture had extend­ed the peri­od when such claims could be filed. The U.S. gov­ern­ment then had the cas­es trans­ferred to a fed­er­al court in San Fran­cis­co, where most of these suits then were reject­ed in Sep­tem­ber 2000 by Fed­er­al Judge Vaughn Walk­er. Judge Walk­er said they were ‘barred’ by the terms of the 1951 Peace Treaty, the same stonewalling used by Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton.

Hard as it may be to believe, the State Depart­ment argued on the side of Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions in these cas­es. Walk­er summed up his deci­sion by stat­ing that the San Fran­cis­co Peace Treaty had ‘exchanged full com­pen­sa­tion of plain­tiffs for a future peace. His­to­ry has vin­di­cat­ed the wis­dom of that bar­gain.”

 . . . Some fought back. In March 2001, U.S. Con­gress­men Mike Hon­da (D‑San Jose) and Dana Rohrabach­er (R.-Huntington Beach) intro­duced a bill, ‘Jus­tice for Pris­on­ers of War Act’ before the U.S. Con­gress. The bill had strong bipar­ti­san sup­port and by August 2002 had 228 co-sign­ers includ­ing House whips for both par­ties. Hon­da’s bill called for ‘clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the word­ing of the 1951 Peace Treaty between Japan and the Unit­ed States’ to keep the State Depart­ment from devi­ous­ly inter­fer­ing in vic­tims’ law­suits. . . .

. . . . “If this bill became law, it could open a win­dow for com­pen­sa­tion to POWs who were forced to per­form slave labor for Japan­ese com­pa­nies like Mit­sui, Mit­subishi and Sum­it­o­mo, which are among the rich­est on earth. The bill would remove a key legal bar­ri­er [Arti­cle 26—D.E.] used in Judge Walk­er’s rejec­tion of the slave-labor law­suits. . . .

. . . . Judge Walk­er, pos­si­bly under con­sid­er­able pres­sure, sided with the State Depart­ment and ruled that Arti­cle 26 can­not be invoked by pri­vate cit­i­zens, but only by their gov­ern­ment. The Hon­da-Rohrabach­er bill would get around that bizarre rul­ing by hav­ing Con­gress act for the vic­tims. The State Depart­men­t’s unelect­ed bureau­crats, aghast at the temer­i­ty of Amer­i­ca’s elect­ed law­mak­ers, real­ized that Hon­da’s bill can­not be thrown out by the exer­cise of polit­i­cal pres­sure over fed­er­al judges. Instead, State took the high moral ground by claim­ing that pas­sage of Hon­da’s bill ‘would be an act of extreme bad faith.’ Bad faith toward Japan’s biggest cor­po­ra­tions and its extra­or­di­nar­i­ly cor­rupt and incom­pe­tent LDP boss­es. . . .

5b. More about the pol­i­tics sur­round­ing com­pen­sa­tion to the Bataan Death Marchers:

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; p. 12.

. . . . The Depart­ment of State and Depart­ment of Jus­tice are using Arti­cle 14 of the 1951 peace treaty to pre­vent POWs and oth­er vic­tims from suing immense­ly rich Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions such as Mit­subishi, Mit­sui and Sum­it­o­mo. At U.S. Sen­ate hear­ings in June 2000, chair­man Orrin Hatch of Utah chal­lenged State and Jus­tice attor­neys about the legit­i­ma­cy of their claim that the 1951 Peace Treaty can­celed all rights of vic­tims. “You mean our fed­er­al gov­ern­ment can just say, ‘To hell with you, Bataan Death Marchers, and you peo­ple who were mis­treat­ed, we’re just going to waive all your rights. . . .’ Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly, can our gov­ern­ment take away the rights of indi­vid­ual cit­i­zens just because they put it in a treaty . . . .? We’re not ask­ing the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment to pay. We’re ask­ing the com­pa­nies that did the acts to pay, some of these com­pa­nies are mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar com­pa­nies today.”

Despite such impas­sioned appeals, on Sep­tem­ber 21, 2000, U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Vaughn Walk­er ruled against Amer­i­can POWs and oth­er slave labor­ers. Walk­er dis­missed their suits, say­ing it was dan­ger­ous to upset the diplo­mat­ic alliance that exist­ed between Amer­i­ca and Japan since the end of the war. . . .

6. The key Japan­ese oper­a­tive who facil­i­tat­ed Fer­di­nand Mar­cos’s Gold­en Lily recov­er­ies was a man who used the pseu­do­nym “Ishi­hara,” a pseu­do­nym which was as com­mon as “Smith” in Eng­lish.

The Sea­graves opine that “Ishi­hara” may well have been Colonel Tsu­ji Masanobu, a war crim­i­nal who was involved with the Philip­pine Gold­en Lily oper­a­tions. Among Masanobu’s assign­ments had been a cen­tral role in the Bataan Death March.

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; p9. 159–160.

. . . . One Japan­ese source told us Ishi­hara might be the noto­ri­ous Colonel Tsu­ji Masanobu, reviled for the Sook Ching mas­sacres of eth­nic Chi­nese in Sin­ga­pore and Malaya, and for eat­ing an Allied pilot’s liv­er. After Sook Ching, he  was  sent to Mani­la  as trou­bleshoot­er with the rank of  “Impe­r­i­al Inspec­tor Gen­er­al.” True to form, Tsu­ji became a key fig­ure respon­si­ble for the Bataan Death March when he bypassed mild-man­nered Gen­er­al Hom­ma and urged field offi­cers to mur­der Allied pris­on­ers dur­ing the march. When he was in areas con­trolled by the Impe­r­i­al Navy, Tsu­ji had the navy rank of cap­tain. In areas con­trolled by the army, he changed uni­forms and became a colonel. Although he made fre­quent trips to Tokyo by plane the next two years, and put in appear­ances at Guadal­canal and oth­er bat­tles, he is said to have spent most of 1943 and 1944 in Luzon work­ing with Kodama and keep­ing an eye on Gold­en Lily trea­sure sites in and around Mani­la. Late in 1944, Tsu­ji moved to Bur­ma and Siam, and  was in Bangkok in August 1945 when Japan sur­ren­dered, elud­ing cap­ture. . . .

6. With Iris Chang’s work on the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March cut across the Gold­en Lily-relat­ed oper­a­tions at a time that new­ly inau­gu­rat­ed Pres­i­dent George W. Bush was report­ed to be using the U.S. Navy to recov­er gold from the Philip­pines vaults.

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; p. 235.

. . . . In March 2001, only weeks into the new Bush Admin­is­tra­tion, two U.S. Navy ships arrived in the Philip­pines car­ry­ing teams of SEAL com­man­dos. Accord­ing to a source at the U.S. Embassy, they were sent to the Philip­pines to recov­er gold as part of a plan to enlarge America’s reserves. This gold, the embassy source said, would come from two places:–New exca­va­tions of Yamashita Gold vaults, and the pur­chase (at a deep dis­count) of Japan­ese loot already recov­ered and held in pri­vate vaults by wealthy Fil­ipinos. One of the two ships sailed on to Min­danao to take on a load of bul­lion the embassy source said was owned by the fam­i­ly of the new pres­i­dent, Glo­ria Maca­pa­gal Arroyo. Pres­i­dent Bush, the source said, was “being aggres­sive”.
The buzz among gold hunters in Luzon was that asso­ciates of Pres­i­dent Bush and his fam­i­ly were pri­vate­ly in the mar­ket to buy some of the bul­lion still being recov­ered from Gold­en Lily sites. One of the names being dropped by gold­bugs in Mani­la was that of East Texas oil bil­lion­aire William Stamps Far­ish, an inti­mate friend and fish­ing com­pan­ion of the Bush fam­i­ly. Will Far­ish, who rais­es hors­es in Ken­tucky and is board chair­man of Churchill Downs where the Ken­tucky Der­by is staged, had just been nom­i­nat­ed by Pres­i­dent Bush to be America’s new ambas­sador to the Court of St. James’s, where he was a per­son­al friend of Queen Eliz­a­beth. The buzz had spe­cial res­o­nance because Will Far­ish is said to be the man­ag­er of Pres­i­dent Bush’s blind trust. . . .

7a. High­light­ing the deep pol­i­tics of which the Bush fam­i­ly is a part and across which Iris Chang’s research cut, the broad­cast details the role of William S. Far­ish II in ful­fill­ing the car­tel agree­ments between Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey and I.G. Far­ben.

Amer­i­can Dynasty by Kevin Phillips; Copy­right 2004 by Kevin Phillips; Viking Pen­guin (HC); ISBN 0–670-0324–6; p. 38.

 . . . .In ear­ly March 1942, a spe­cial Sen­ate com­mit­tee began pub­lic hear­ings on car­tel agree­ments between U.S. and Ger­man firms. Before long, William S. Far­ish, the chair­man of Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey, had plead­ed no con­test to charges of crim­i­nal con­spir­a­cy between his com­pa­ny and I.G. Far­ben. In keep­ing with car­tel agree­ments, Stan­dard had with­held from U.S. author­i­ties infor­ma­tion on the pro­duc­tion of arti­fi­cial rub­ber. . . .

7b. Next, the pro­gram presents review of mate­r­i­al from FTR #511 about the car­tel agree­ments between Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey and I.G. Far­ben. These agree­ments were fun­da­men­tal to the suc­cess of the Nazi war machine in World War II. William Stamps Far­ish II helped rein­force these agree­ments. He was the father of William Stamps Far­ish III, in charge of Dubya’s blind trust. William Stamps Far­ish II was the grand­nephew of Jef­fer­son Davis, the pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­cy.

7c. Repris­ing anoth­er excerpt from FTR #511, we note the roles of Brigadier Gen­er­al William Drap­er as both an exec­u­tive with Dil­lon, Read & Co. who facil­i­tat­ed Wall Street invest­ment in Ger­man heavy indus­try and as chief of the eco­nom­ics divi­sion of the occu­pa­tion gov­ern­ment of Ger­many after World War II. He helped to frus­trate attempts to neu­tral­ize the big Ger­man firms which had backed Hitler.

8. Illus­trat­ing Amer­i­can oli­garchy (and the influ­ence of the Bor­mann net­work inex­tri­ca­bly linked with it), the pro­gram notes that many of the descen­dants of busi­ness­men who had helped forge the firms that drove Nazi indus­try served in, or as advis­ers to, the admin­is­tra­tion of George H.W. Bush.

Amer­i­can Dynasty by Kevin Phillips; Copy­right 2004 by Kevin Phillips; Viking Pen­guin (HC); ISBN 0–670-0324–6; p. 40.

. . . . In any event, a sur­pris­ing num­ber of the descen­dants of men who had dealt with Germany—William S. Far­ish III, William Drap­er III, and Joseph Vern­er Reed Jr. (grand­son of Rem­ing­ton Arms chair­man Samuel Pry­or, ear­li­er a direc­tor of both UBC and Amer­i­can Ship and Commerce)–turned up as close per­son­al advis­ers or high-lev­el appointees in the George H.W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion. . . .

9a. On March of 2002, the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids exposed pro­found con­nec­tions between the GOP and its oper­a­tives Grover Norquist and Karl Rove. In ear­ly April of that year, Talat Othman–a close friend and polit­i­cal advis­er to both Georges Bush and a man who gave a Mus­lim bene­dic­tion at the GOP con­ven­tion that year inter­ced­ed on behalf of the tar­gets of Oper­a­tion Green Quest.

Oth­man was a direc­tor of Harken Ener­gy, one of George W. Bush’s cor­po­rate involve­ments and one which was crit­i­cal to his rise to being gov­er­nor of Texas and Pres­i­dent.

Harken Ener­gy, itself, appears to have been a laun­der­ing vehi­cle for Philip­pines Gold­en Lily wealth, among oth­er sources of ill-got­ten gains. Oper­a­tion Green Quest was cov­ered up, in part, by then head of the F.B.I., Robert Mueller.

We next under­take an explo­ration of the Philip­pine deep polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic involve­ment of George H.W. and George W. Bush and their links to the Gold­en Lily dynam­ics. NEVER for­get that Iris Chang’s “sui­cide” took place as she was work­ing on her Bataan Death March book, which cut across the lines of deep polit­i­cal pow­er that embraced the seat­ed Pres­i­dent.

Fam­i­ly of Secrets by Russ Bak­er; Blooms­bury Press [SC]; Copy­right 2009 by Russ Bak­er; ISBN 978–1‑59691–557‑2; pp. 336–337.

In Sep­tem­ber of 1986, as oil prices con­tin­ued to col­lapse and W.’s pre­vi­ous finan­cial sav­ior, the Cincin­nati-based Spec­trum 7 Ener­gy, was itself fail­ing, along came the Dal­las-based Harken, a com­par­a­tive­ly lit­tle-known inde­pen­dent oil and gas com­pa­ny, rid­ing to the res­cue. Harken snapped up Spec­trum, put W. on its board, and gave him a hand­some com­pen­sa­tion pack­age. In return, W. was allowed to go about his business–which at the time meant play­ing a cru­cial role in his father’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. But the Harken assist didn’t just ben­e­fit Poppy’s polit­i­cal for­tunes. Prof­its from W.’s sub­se­quent sale of Harken stock would jack up his own polit­i­cal career. The Harken deal ulti­mate­ly made it pos­si­ble for him to become part own­er and high­ly vis­i­ble “man­ag­ing direc­tor” of the pop­u­lar Texas Rangers base­ball tam–a posi­tion that would enhance his mod­est resume as a can­di­date for gov­er­nor a few years lat­er. Thus, the laresse of the fig­ures behind Harken played a key role in George W. Bush’s quick march to the Pres­i­den­cy.

Vir­tu­al­ly every­one who has looked at Harken over the years agrees that it is some strange kind of cor­po­rate beast, like a new­ly dis­cov­ered species of man­a­tee. The company’s books have nev­er made any sense to outsiders–which might have had some­thing to do with the fact that the only peo­ple who seemed to make any mon­ey were the insid­ers. In 1991 Time pro­claimed Harken “one of the most mys­te­ri­ous and eccen­tric out­fits ever to drill for oil.”

The Harken sto­ry reads at times like the stuff of an air­port book­store thriller. One finds fig­ures asso­ci­at­ed with BCCI, gold caches, and an alpha­bet soup of secret soci­eties appear­ing at crit­i­cal junc­tures to bail out Harken . . . .

9b. Next, we exam­ine the Bush fam­i­ly’s involve­ment with:

  1. The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing World War II, the Philip­pines, and the milieu of Dou­glas MacArthur, includ­ing MacArthur’s wid­ow, who con­tributed to W.‘s first Con­gres­sion­al cam­paign. (In FTR #448, we not­ed that Dou­glas MacArthur mar­ried the daugh­ter of key Mor­gan part­ner and financier of domes­tic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions Edward Stotes­bury.)
  2. The MacArthur involve­ment with Philip­pine gold and the Gold­en Lily trea­sure.
  3. The Mar­cos regime’s recov­ery of, and use of, Gold­en Lily loot.
  4. The gen­e­sis of Nugan Hand bank attor­ney William Quasha with MacArthur’s post­war admin­is­tra­tion. (We have cov­ered the Nugan Hand Bank in, among oth­er pro­grams, AFA #25.)
  5. MacArthur appoint­ed William Quasha as Alien Prop­er­ty admin­is­tra­tor. Japan­ese war gold was con­sid­ered Alien Prop­er­ty.

Fam­i­ly of Secrets by Russ Bak­er; Blooms­bury Press [SC]; Copy­right 2009 by Russ Bak­er; ISBN 978–1‑59691–557‑2; pp. 345–347.

Pop­py Bush him­self doesn’t talk much about the Philip­pines, but he too did ser­vice there. Among oth­er things, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in numer­ous bomb­ing runs over the islands when they were in Japan­ese hands–including Mani­la Har­bor as part of MacArthur’s effort to retake the ter­ri­to­ry.

And, of course there was his intel­li­gence work. As not­ed in chap­ter 2, on his way to the Pacif­ic, Pop­py stopped off at Pearl Har­bor for some face time with offi­cers assigned to the Joint Intel­li­gence Cen­ter for the Pacif­ic Ocean Areas (JICPOA). The ear­ly incar­na­tion of JICOA was head­ed by Admi­ral Roscoe Hil­lenkoeter, who would after the war become the direc­tor of the CIA. JICPOA remains lit­tle known and lit­tle dis­cussed, but it was a cru­cial devel­op­ment in wartime intel­li­gence, and played a key role in Admi­ral Chester Nimitz’s suc­cess­ful island-hop­ping cam­paign, of which Bush was a part.

Franklin Roo­sevelt cre­at­ed the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS) in July 1942 to replace a pre­vi­ous intel­li­gence sys­tem that was deemed inef­fec­tive. Gen­er­al MacArthur, how­ev­er, barred the OSS from oper­at­ing in the Philip­pines so that bat­tle­ground was pret­ty much his own show.

Thus, Bush became part of a joint intel­li­gence effort coor­di­nat­ed with MacArthur’s com­mand. The asso­ci­a­tion with the Bush cir­cle would date back to the days when Dou­glas MacArthur was a young man and his moth­er con­tact­ed E.H. Har­ri­man, father of Prescott’s future busi­ness part­nrs, to ask the rail­road tycoon to give her son a job. Years lat­er, when Pop­py Bush became U.N. ambas­sador, he took an apart­ment next to Mrs. Dou­glas MacArthur, and in 1978, the wid­ow con­tributed to W.’s Mid­land Texas con­gres­sion­al cam­paign. . . .

. . . . Even before Dou­glas MacArthur com­mand­ed U.S. troops in the coun­try, he had major hold­ings in the largest Philip­pine gold mine. MacArthur’s staff offi­cer, Major Gen­er­al Court­ney Whit­ney, had been an exec­u­tive of sev­er­al gold min­ing com­pa­nies before the war.

Besides the indige­nous gold, a great for­tune in gold booty was . . . . buried in the Philip­pines, seized by the Japan­ese as they plun­dered one East Asian coun­try after anoth­er. . . . Sev­er­al jour­nal­ists, who have spent com­bined decades on the Philip­pines gold sto­ry, assert that the cache was actu­al­ly seized by Amer­i­can forces under MacArthur and that its very exis­tence is a sen­si­tive secret. . . .

. . . . At the end of the war, MacArthur appoint­ed William Quasha as alien prop­er­ty admin­is­tra­tor “Alien prop­er­ty” would have includ­ed any­thing of val­ue cap­tured by the Japan­ese. . . .

. . . . Authors Ster­ling Sea­grave and Peg­gy Sea­grave con­tend . . . . that the Unit­ed States did locate the Japan­ese gold and used it to fund anti-Com­mu­nist oper­a­tions the world over. Inves­ti­ga­tors in the Philip­pines have said that the gold was stashed in bank vaults in forty-two coun­tries. Some of the mon­ey was used in Japan, to quick­ly reestab­lish the rul­ing clique, and a pro‑U.S. rul­ing par­ty, the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. MacArthur over­saw the post­war occu­pa­tion of Japan. The admin­is­tra­tor of the . . . . M Fund that secret­ly chan­neled these monies to Tokyo was none oth­er than Pop­py Bush friend and CIA offi­cer Alfred C. Ulmer. . . .

9c. Note that among the “Pop­py” Bush entourage who worked with Mar­cos dur­ing the time he was recov­er­ing Gold­en Lily gold were Trump cam­paign man­ag­er, EU Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment run­ning dog and Haps­burg Group lynch­pin Paul Man­afort, as well as Roger Stone, anoth­er Trump cam­paign sol­dier.

Fam­i­ly of Secrets by Russ Bak­er; Blooms­bury Press [SC]; Copy­right 2009 by Russ Bak­er; ISBN 978–1‑59691–557‑2; pp. 348–351.

. . . . Pop­py Bush and Fer­di­nand Mar­cos cul­ti­vat­ed a rela­tion­ship of mutu­al appre­ci­a­tion. “We love your adher­ence to demo­c­ra­t­ic prin­ci­ples,” Pop­py gushed dur­ing a vis­it to Mani­la in 1981. Mar­cos knew how to play the anti-Com­mu­nist card, and like near­ly all U.S. lead­ers, Pop­py avid­ly helped prop up the dic­ta­tor. A num­ber of Poppy’s lieu­tenants, includ­ing Lee Atwa­ter, Paul Man­afort and the noto­ri­ous “dirty trick­ster” Roger Stone (no rela­tion to Robert G. Stone Jr.) did polit­i­cal con­sult­ing for Mar­cos. Ed Rollins, the man­age of the Rea­gan-Bush 1984 reelec­tion cam­paign, admit­ted that a top Fil­ipino politi­cian ille­gal­ly deliv­ered ten mil­lion dol­lars in cash from Mar­cos to Reagan’s 1984 cam­paign, though he declined to name him.

Pop­py also is known to have per­son­al­ly urged Fer­di­nand Mar­cos to invest mon­ey in the Unit­ed States. Imel­da has claimed that Pop­py urged her hus­band to put “his” funds into some­thing that Imel­da knew only as the Com­mu­nist Takeover Fund. That sug­gests that gold in the Philip­pines has long been seen as a fund­ing vehi­cle for off-the-books intel­li­gence, covert oper­a­tions, weapons traf­fick­ing, and even coups–plus pro­tec­tion mon­ey that Mara­cos felt he had to pay. . . .

. . . . If all this gold was going some­where, we have to ask: Was some of it going into Harken Ener­gy, where George W. Bush was deeply involved? Cer­tain­ly, Alan Quasha had a rela­tion­ship with his father that some­what par­al­leled that of W. and Poppy’s.

Hav­ing remained in the Philip­pines after the war, William Quasha even­tu­al­ly attained the rar­efied sta­tus as the only Amer­i­can licensed to prac­tice law there. He also picked up some intrigu­ing clients, includ­ing the CIA-tied Nugan Hand Bank. . . .

. . . . He was well-off and well con­nect­ed with cap­i­tal sources. In the final days of the Mar­cos reign, after near­ly all the expa­tri­ates had aban­doned him, Quasha con­tin­ued to stick by his man, lead­ing the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce to con­demn his “par­ti­san approach.”

He also may have been a Mar­cos mon­ey man, just as Phil Kendrick had heard. Philip­pine inves­ti­ga­tors seek­ing to track the bil­lions Mar­cos had embez­zled from the Philip­pine trea­sury or obtained as bribes found that most of the mon­ey had been moved over­seas through inter­me­di­aries. . . .

. . . . Dur­ing the years William Quasha was liv­ing in Mani­la and con­duct­ing his law prac­tice, his son Alan attend­ed Har­vard Law School and Har­vard Busi­ness School–even study­ing in years that over­lapped W.’s time there. Then Alan Quasha set up a law prac­tice spe­cial­iz­ing in the alche­my of cor­po­rate restruc­tur­ing. News reports have char­ac­ter­ized his approach to acquir­ing com­pa­nies on the cheap as bot­tom-feed­ing, and not­ed that the prove­nance of the fund­ing was not always clear. Addi­tion­al­ly, at the time of the Harken pur­chase, Pop­py Bush, a for­mer CIA direc­tor, was vice pres­i­dent, with the port­fo­lio for man­ag­ing covert operations–an empire that was under­gird­ed by laun­dered intel­li­gence funds.

When Alan Quasha took con­trol of Harken in 1983, he was essen­tial­ly an unknown and a small-timer. Sev­er­al years lat­er, he appeared to be on top of the world. Did gold, and/or Marcos’s bil­lions have any­thing to do with this? . . . .

9c. The sec­ond pro­gram con­cludes with mate­r­i­al cov­ered in FTR #569. Rita’s asso­ciates in Green Quest were inves­ti­gat­ed and harassed by the FBI. In FTR#310 (record­ed in July of 2001) Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sized that Robert Mueller was appoint­ed head of the FBI in order to safe­guard the Bush administration’s links with the milieu of the BCCI and George W. Bush’s busi­ness links to the Bin Laden fam­i­ly.

Mueller, con­sid­ered a men­tor to fired FBI direc­tor James Comey, comes by his Deep State (and pos­si­bly Bor­mann) cre­den­tials through a “con­sum­mate” lin­eage. He is the grand-nephew of for­mer CIA deputy direc­tor Richard Bis­sell. Wife Ann Cabell Stan­dish is the grand­daugh­ter of for­mer CIA deputy direc­tor Gen­er­al Charles Cabell. (Charles’ broth­er Earl was the may­or of Dal­las on Nov 22 1963). JFK fired both men, along with direc­tor Allen Dulles fol­low­ing the Bay of Pigs fias­co.

The incon­ve­nient GOP ethnic/Green Quest con­nec­tion cit­ed in FTR #s 356, 357, 454 may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hos­tile inter­est in the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest.

Note that the FBI gave more doc­u­ments to Zacarias Mous­saoui for his defense than to the Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors. 

(Ter­ror­ist Hunter by “Anony­mous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harp­er Collins]; Copy­right 2003 by Harp­er Collins [HC]; ISBN 0–06-052819–2; pp. 327–329.)

. . . . For two months after the raids I didn’t hear a word from Green Quest. Then one day Mark sud­den­ly called and asked to see me. ‘Why?’ I said cyn­i­cal­ly. ‘Your inves­ti­ga­tion is over. You don’t need me any­more.’ He under­stood. ‘Please don’t be cross,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t talk to you. I too was under inves­ti­ga­tion. I was being fol­lowed, my phones were tapped, and I was ques­tioned. I was mis­er­able. They gave me a very hard time. Please don’t give any more grief. I don’t deserve it.’ What was this, I thought, anoth­er rerun of the sto­ry with John Can­field? What’s wrong with these peo­ple who keep inves­ti­gat­ing the inves­ti­ga­tors? ‘If you don’t believe me,’ he con­tin­ued, ‘talk to the U.S. attor­ney you worked with. He’ll tell you. He and every­one else on the team were under inves­ti­ga­tion.’ Mark, I knew, was not a guy to make some­thing like that up. But I was curi­ous, and I called the U.S. attor­ney to get his take. I didn’t press him too, much, because the whole thing was—and prob­a­bly still is—under inves­ti­ga­tion. But he did ver­i­fy every­thing Mark had told me. Prac­ti­cal­ly every­one involved with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion had been under sur­veil­lance. The FBI was among the agen­cies con­duct­ing that inves­ti­ga­tion. 

. . . . For two months after the raids I didn’t hear a word from Green Quest. Then one day Mark sud­den­ly called and asked to see me. ‘Why?’ I said cyn­i­cal­ly. ‘Your inves­ti­ga­tion is over. You don’t need me any­more.’ He under­stood. ‘Please don’t be cross,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t talk to you. I too was under inves­ti­ga­tion. I was being fol­lowed, my phones were tapped, and I was ques­tioned. I was mis­er­able. They gave me a very hard time. Please don’t give any more grief. I don’t deserve it.’ What was this, I thought, anoth­er rerun of the sto­ry with John Can­field? What’s wrong with these peo­ple who keep inves­ti­gat­ing the inves­ti­ga­tors? ‘If you don’t believe me,’ he con­tin­ued, ‘talk to the U.S. attor­ney you worked with. He’ll tell you. He and every­one else on the team were under inves­ti­ga­tion.’ Mark, I knew, was not a guy to make some­thing like that up. But I was curi­ous, and I called the U.S. attor­ney to get his take. I didn’t press him too, much, because the whole thing was—and prob­a­bly still is—under inves­ti­ga­tion. But he did ver­i­fy every­thing Mark had told me. Prac­ti­cal­ly every­one involved with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion had been under sur­veil­lance. The FBI was among the agen­cies con­duct­ing that inves­ti­ga­tion. 

Now, as I write these lines, the FBI is try­ing to take over the inves­ti­ga­tion alto­geth­er. Once again, a replay of the sto­ry with Sami al-Ari­an and with John Can­field. The FBI claims that Cus­toms and Green Quest were right­ful­ly the ones to ini­ti­ate the inves­ti­ga­tion, when it seemed to be about mon­ey laun­der­ing. But now that it’s become a ter­ror­ism-relat­ed mat­ter, Cus­toms is inca­pable, you see, of deal­ing with it. Isn’t that peachy? Judg­ing by what the FBI did with oth­er inves­ti­ga­tions, if it indeed suc­ceeds in tak­ing over the SAAR probe, we can all kiss this inves­ti­ga­tion good-bye. How many ter­ror­ism-relat­ed suc­cess­es can the FBI take the cred­it for? Not too many, that’s for sure.

Yet the FBI wasn’t the worst part in that sticky affair. The CIA was. The CIA was inves­ti­gat­ing me and the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors from Green Quest and Cus­toms. The CIA and the FBI inves­ti­gat­ed every­one who had any­thing to do with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion. White vans and SUV’s with dark win­dows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors. All agents, some of whom were very expe­ri­enced with sur­veil­lance, knew they were being fol­lowed. So was I. I felt that I was being fol­lowed every­where and watched at home, in the super­mar­ket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . Now—I was being watched 24/7. It’s a ter­ri­ble sen­sa­tion to know that you have no pri­va­cy. . . . and no secu­ri­ty. That strange click­ing of the phones that wasn’t there before. . . the oh-so-crude­ly opened mail at home in the office. . . and the same man I spied in my neigh­bor­hood super­mar­ket, who was also on the train I took to Wash­ing­ton a week ago. . . Life can be mis­er­able when you know that someone’s always breath­ing down your neck. . . .






5 comments for “FTR #1107 Deep Politics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 1 and FTR #1108 Deep Politics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 2”

  1. Hel­lo Mr. Emory. I was attempt­ing to post some book quotes to the com­ments sec­tion of your bril­liant FTR #1107 & #1108 broad­cast and I keep get­ting a mes­sage stat­ing 412 Pre­con­di­tion Failed, which would indi­cate some­thing is wrong with my infor­ma­tion of I am being blocked for some rea­son. The fol­low­ing is all I want­ed to post in the com­ments sec­tion: “...I just got done with lis­ten­ing to “FTR #1107 Deep Pol­i­tics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 1 and FTR #1108 Deep Pol­i­tics and the Death of Iris Chang, Part 2” and I have to say it was an anti-fas­cist tour de force spec­ta­cle, tra­vers­ing time and space and filled with fun­da­men­tal hor­rors, much like a good episode of the Out­er Lim­its or Twi­light Zone. Thank you, Mr. Emory for your efforts.

    I thought some print ded­i­cat­ed, for the sake of Mr. Emory’s lis­ten­ing audi­ence, to one of CIA Maj. Gen. Edward Geary Lansdale’s dis­ci­ples and a key play­er in the events described in FTR #1107 and FTR #1108: Lt. Col. Lucien Emile Conein AKA “Black Lui­gi”.

    The first is from a book authored by Mr. H. P. Albarel­li Jr. enti­tled, “A Ter­ri­ble Mis­take: The Mur­der Of Frank Olson And The CIA’s Cold War Exper­i­ments” The sec­tion of the book I am quot­ing, in its entire­ty, is called, “Book II- From Brain­wash­ing To LSD, Chap­ter 8: Assas­si­na­tions, Lt. Col. Lucien Conein And Assas­si­na­tion” and can be found on pages 335–338:

    QUOTE— “… After QJ/WIN and Boris Pash, Lt. Col. Lucien Conein may be ranked as anoth­er of the more intrigu­ing peo­ple involved in the prac­tice of state-spon­sored mur­der. Conein, accord­ing to CIA and FBI files, was “a for­mer mem­ber of the Cor­si­can Broth­er­hood,” a shad­owy, secret group of unknown mem­ber­ship that finances its oper­a­tions thru drug traf­fick­ing and con­tract assas­si­na­tions, and which report­ed­ly still oper­ates world­wide today. Peo­ple famil­iar with the Cor­si­can Broth­er­hood say that it “makes the Mafia look the Kiwa­nis Club” and that “the entire con­cept and prac­tice of ‘omer­ta’ orig­i­nat­ed with the Cor­si­cans.” Said Conein of the Cor­si­cans:

    When the Sicil­ians put out a con­tract, it’s usu­al­ly lim­it­ed to the con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, or maybe Cana­da or Mex­i­co. But with the Cor­si­cans, it’s inter­na­tion­al. They’ll go any­where. There’s an old Cor­si­can proverb: ‘If you want revenge and you act in twen­ty years, you’re act­ing in haste.’

    Born in Paris, France, Conein was sent to the Unit­ed States by his moth­er when he was only five years old. He was raised in Kansas City by his French aunt, a World War I bride. His aunt assured that he retained his French cit­i­zen­ship, and in 1939, when World War II began, Conein hitch­hiked to Chica­go and went to the French con­sulate where he enlist­ed in the French army. “I didn’t have hard­ly any mon­ey,” he lat­er explained, “but I want­ed to see France and Europe and kill Nazis in the process.” Fol­low­ing the Ger­man takeover of France, Conein helped deliv­er weapons to the French Resis­tance forces and trained civil­ian fight­ers in the arts of sab­o­tage and killing. While in France, Conein gained the nick­name “Black Lui­gi.”

    After the war, Conein returned to Chica­go, where he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the OSS because of his flu­en­cy in French. (It is pos­si­ble that around this time, he met fel­low OSS recruit, E. Howard Hunt.) Lat­er, the OSS trans­ferred Conein to the Pacif­ic the­atre of oper­a­tions where he led com­man­do raids against Japan­ese-held bases in North Viet­nam.

    In 1947, Conein joined the CIA at the rank of Lieu­tenant Colonel, which allowed him to use his mil­i­tary stand­ing to con­ceal his Agency employ­ment. In his ear­ly Agency years, he worked in at least five coun­tries in both Europe and South­east Asia pre­form­ing “sen­si­tive tasks,” accord­ing to CIA files on Conein, which large­ly remain closed to pub­lic access. In 1951, the chief of espi­onage in West Ger­many recruit­ed Conein to estab­lish a base of oper­a­tions in Nurem­burg. The cen­tral pur­pose of the base was to recruit and dis­patch covert agents into War­saw Pact coun­tries to iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate trou­ble­some East Ger­man and Sovi­et agents. The oper­a­tion was mild­ly suc­cess­ful but lost a large num­ber of per­son­nel, who were mur­dered, impris­oned, or sim­ply van­ished. About eigh­teen months into his Nurem­burg assign­ment, Conein was trans­ferred to work for William King Har­vey, chief of the CIA’s Berlin sta­tion. His duties in Berlin are most­ly unknown, but for­mer intel­li­gence offi­cers say that he “served as a link between Har­vey and the mil­i­tary, which was oper­at­ing a num­ber of safe hous­es through­out West Ger­many. Said one for­mer offi­cial:

    Lucien [Conein] helped with cer­tain human exports out of Ger­many to the U.S., and served as liai­son fre­quent­ly to del­e­ga­tions from [Camp] Det­rick and Edge­wood [Arse­nal] that arrived to do inter­views of assess­ments on any prospec­tive Ger­man sci­en­tists that some­body back home thought would be worth­while to ship back.
    Did he come into con­tact with Frank Olson or oth­ers from Spe­cial Oper­a­tions? It’s pret­ty like­ly, but that con­tact would not have been sig­nif­i­cant in any way. Olson wasn’t high enough up on the lad­der; he was a foot sol­dier, so to speak, and Lucien most­ly played with the big boys.

    In 1954, Conein was dis­patched to work with Gen­er­al Edward Lans­dale in South­east Asia. His work pri­mar­i­ly entailed mount­ing covert oper­a­tions against the gov­ern­ment of Ho Chi Minh in North Viet­nam. By 1959, Conein was work­ing close­ly with future DCI William Col­by, CIA sta­tion chief in Saigon. In 1967, Col­by would launch per­haps the largest assas­si­na­tion pro­gram ever con­duct­ed by the CIA, the Phoenix Pro­gram, which sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly mur­dered, kid­napped, and tor­tured hun­dreds, if not thou­sands, of Viet­namese peo­ple. Many, if not all, of the extreme inter­ro­ga­tion and tor­ture meth­ods, such as water-board­ing, used by the Army and CIA today orig­i­nat­ed with or were refined by the Phoenix Pro­gram.

    Conein, under Col­by in Viet­nam, worked close­ly with local tribes­men, the Mon­tag­nards, and ran com­man­do raids into Laos and North Viet­nam. Conein was also close­ly involved in the vio­lent over­throw and assas­si­na­tion of Ngo Dinh Diem, pres­i­dent of South Viet­nam.

    Conein’s name first sur­faces pub­licly after he had left Viet­nam for the Unit­ed States – he was said to have played a role in the assas­si­na­tion of John F. Kennedy. Sev­er­al cred­i­ble writ­ers have advanced the argu­ment that Conein was close­ly linked to for­mer OSS offi­cers, E. Howard Hunt and Mitch Wer­bell, III, two men also strong­ly sus­pect­ed of play­ing roles in Kennedy’s death.

    Around the same time, Conein was joined in the Unit­ed States by a char­ac­ter intro­duced ear­li­er and about whom read­ers will soon learn far more, Jean-Pierre Lafitte. Conein had known Lafitte since his wartime days in France, and had lat­er used Lafitte for at least one sen­si­tive mis­sion in Viet­nam. The two men shared in com­mon not only their French her­itage, but also a mys­te­ri­ous con­nec­tion to the Cor­si­can Broth­er­hood. Lafitte has years ear­li­er been award­ed a spe­cial Cor­si­can Broth­er­hood medal­lion bear­ing the Brotherhood’s coat-of-arms and the Napoleon­ic Impe­r­i­al Eagle. Lafitte would lat­er claim that Conein had been award­ed the same hon­or at about the same time. Also like Conein, Lafitte was flu­ent in French and Viet­namese. Pierre Lafitte — a pseu­do­nym he used in the Unit­ed States for at least twen­ty years pri­or to 1960 — was expert in many so-called black-oper­a­tions, includ­ing break­ing-and-enter­ing, covert sur­veil­lance, dis­guis­es, and imper­son­ation. Accord­ing to Ger­ald Patrick Hem­ming, a for­mer sol­dier-of-for­tune and CIA con­trac­tor who knew Conein well, “Lafitte, who we jok­ing­ly called ‘Pow­er­ful Pierre’ after some car­toon char­ac­ter, was a mas­ter at all, except killing.” Explained Hem­ming, “he was French, or at least I think he was, and didn’t care much for blood. Fine food, wine, and mon­ey were his things. Maybe not in that order, but that’s what he enjoyed most in life.” Accord­ing to Conein, Lafitte had been in Viet­nam at the time of Diem’s death and had “assist­ed in impor­tant ways, but nev­er in any­way relat­ed to actu­al mur­der.” In 1962, Conein would put CIA offi­cer William King Har­vey in touch with Lafitte, who was at that time involved with a num­ber of shady busi­ness enter­pris­es and shut­tling back and forth between Ger­many, Lux­em­bourg, South Africa, and the Unit­ed States.

    In Novem­ber 1973, Conein was asked to work for the Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion (report­ed­ly, he was approached by E. Howard Hunt, then a ‘spe­cial employ­ee’ in the Nixon White House). Conein nat­u­ral­ly thought of his friend, Lafitte, who had worked extreme­ly close with George Hunter White, Charles Sir­a­gusa, Vance New­man, and oth­er FBN agents in New York, Boston, Hous­ton, Chica­go, Cal­i­for­nia and over­seas. Lafitte, who knew vir­tu­al­ly every major drug-traf­fick­er in the world, includ­ing the entire cast of the infa­mous French Con­nec­tion case, now gave his friend Conein a crash course in the machi­na­tions of inter­na­tion­al drug traf­fick­ing.

    Thanks to Lafitte, Conein quick­ly pro­gressed from con­sul­tant to direc­tor of the DEA’s new­ly formed Spe­cial Oper­a­tions and Field Sup­port Divi­sion. His respon­si­bil­i­ties were “to cre­ate world­wide intel­li­gence net­works, both inside and out­side the Unit­ed States, and to iden­ti­fy and ulti­mate­ly stop the work of the many sig­nif­i­cant drug traf­fick­ers.” Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post, some of Conein’s activ­i­ties were “so sen­si­tive that they required approval of [Sec­re­tary of State] Hen­ry Kissinger’s {For­eign Advi­so­ry} Com­mit­tee.” Accord­ing to hand­writ­ten notes by the CIA’s William King Har­vey — who was him­self deeply enmeshed in oper­at­ing Agency assas­si­na­tion projects at the time — Conein was assem­bling “hit-squads” com­posed of for­mer CIA con­trac­tors and vet­er­ans of the Bay of Pigs inva­sion to tar­get and assas­si­nate for­eign drug traf­fick­ers.

    Accord­ing to author and inves­tiga­tive reporter Hen­rik Kruger, “DEA offi­cial told Wash­ing­ton Post reporter George Crile: ‘When you get right down to it, Conein was orga­niz­ing an assas­si­na­tion pro­gram.’”

    In 1976, inves­ti­ga­tors of the Church Com­mit­tee, men­tioned ear­li­er, told news­pa­per reporters off-the-record that Conein “had recruit­ed twelve retired CIA men, not pre­vi­ous­ly known to Conein, to pre­form assas­si­na­tions and spe­cial inter­ro­ga­tions on drug traf­fick­ers.” A sub­se­quent Wash­ing­ton Post arti­cle stat­ed that Conein, who died in 1998, “appears to have stretched so far the bound­aries of legal­i­ty that they were under­tak­en in total secre­cy…” —END QUOTE.

    Posted by Robert Ward Montenegro | January 21, 2020, 5:14 pm
  2. The sec­ond lit­er­ary entry CIA com­man­der Lt. Col. Lucien Emile Conein AKA “Black Lui­gi” is quite dev­as­tat­ing in terms of its para-polit­i­cal grav­i­ty, or what Pro­fes­sor Peter Dale Scott famous­ly termed “Deep Pol­i­tics”.

    The book I will now be quot­ing is authored by Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist Dou­glas Valen­tine and is enti­tled, “The CIA As Orga­nized Crime: How Ille­gal Oper­a­tions Cor­rupt Amer­i­ca And The World.” The sec­tion of the book I am quot­ing (just ele­ments of the book this time) is called, “Part II- How The CIA Co-Opt­ed And Man­ages The War On Drugs, Chap­ter 12: Cre­at­ing A Crime: How The CIA Com­man­deered The Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion” and can be found on pages 178–203:

    QUOTE— “… Fed­er­al drug law enforcement’s rela­tion­ship with the espi­onage estab­lish­ment matured with the cre­ation of the Office Of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS). Pri­or to World War Two, the FBN was the gov­ern­ment agency most adept at con­duct­ing covert oper­a­tions at home and abroad. As a result, OSS chief William Dono­van asked his friend Har­ry Anslinger to pro­vide senior FBN agents to man­age agent net­works, engage in sab­o­tage and sub­ver­sion and work under­cov­er to avoid secu­ri­ty forces in hos­tile nations.

    The rela­tion­ship grew dur­ing the war when FBN exec­u­tives and agents assist­ed OSS sci­en­tists in “truth drug” exper­i­ments involv­ing mar­i­jua­na. The “extra-legal” nature of the rela­tion­ship con­tin­ued after the war: when the CIA decid­ed to test LSD on unsus­pect­ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, FBN agents were cho­sen to oper­ate the CIA safe hous­es where the exper­i­ments were con­duct­ed.

    The rela­tion­ship for­mal­ized over­seas in 1951, when Agent Char­lie Sir­a­gusa opened an office in Rome and began to devel­op the FBN’s for­eign oper­a­tions. In the 1950s, FBN agents post­ed over­seas spent half their time doing “favors” for the CIA, such as inves­ti­gat­ing diver­sions of strate­gic mate­ri­als and Mar­shall Plan largess behind the Iron Cur­tain. A hand­ful of FBN agents were actu­al­ly recruit­ed into the CIA while main­tain­ing their FBN cre­den­tials as cov­er.

    Offi­cial­ly, FBN agents set lim­its, Sir­a­gusa, for exam­ple, claimed to object when the CIA asked him to mount a “con­trolled deliv­ery” in the US as a way of iden­ti­fy­ing the Amer­i­can mem­bers of a smug­gling ring with Com­mu­nist affil­i­a­tions. In his auto­bi­og­ra­phy, Sir­a­gusa said, “The FBN could nev­er know­ing­ly allow two pounds of hero­in to be deliv­ered into the Unit­ed State and be pushed to Mafia cus­tomers in the New York City area, even if in the long run we could seize a much big­ger haul.”

    In 1960 the CIA asked Sir­a­gusa to recruit assas­sins from his sta­ble of under­world con­tacts. Sir­a­gusa again claimed to have refused. But the Mafia drug traf­fick­ers, includ­ing most promi­nent­ly San­to Traf­fi­cante Jr., were soon par­tic­i­pat­ing in CIA attempts to assas­si­nate Fidel Cas­tro.
    Sir­a­gusa did open a CIA safe house in 1960. FBN agents in New York main­tained the MKULTRA “pad” and used it to make cas­es and debrief infor­mants. When the CIA want­ed to use the pad, it would call the dis­trict super­vi­sor in New York City and tell him to keep the agents away for a few days.

    FBN agent Arthur Fluhr served as New York Dis­trict Super­vi­sor George Belk’s admin­is­tra­tive assis­tant from 1963–1968. As Fluhr recalled, “Belk was giv­en a CIA con­tract. George said that he nev­er actu­al­ly met any­one form the CIA, but that Sir­a­gusa told him to coop­er­ate if and when he was con­tact­ed. Lat­er the CIA did call. They told Belk: You’ll have this check­ing account, but don’t write any checks oth­er than for rent and the main­te­nance of the 13th Street apart­ment.”

    The CIA used Belk’s account — which at times held a mil­lion dol­lars and at oth­er times was emp­ty — as a slush fund for for­eign offi­cials on its pay­roll. “Some­times we were told to baby sit peo­ple for the CIA while they were in town,” Fluhr said. “One time it was a group of Burmese gen­er­als. They came for a few days and when they weren’t at the UN, they used to mon­ey in Belk’s account to go on a shop­ping spree. They went down to the elec­tron­ics shops on Canal Street and filled suit­cas­es full of stuff.”

    The CIA chap­er­oned the vis­it­ing Burmese gen­er­als through Cus­toms with­out their bags being checked. One can imag­ine what they brought into New York City in those same suit­cas­es.

    The CIA used the safe hous­es to con­duct all man­ner of ille­gal domes­tic oper­a­tions behind the FBI’s back. Indeed, in the course of inves­ti­gat­ing ille­gal FBI wire­taps in Jan­u­ary 1967, Sen­a­tor Edward Long learned that the FBN was man­ag­ing the CIA safe hous­es. No one in Con­gress knew about it. Trea­sury offi­cials held meet­ing with the CIA’s Assis­tant Deputy Direc­tor of Plans, Desmond FritzGer­ald, and MKULTRA boss Sid Got­tlieb. After a few days of dis­sem­bling, Got­tlieb admit­ted the CIA had used the pads to obtain infor­ma­tion “which was of obvi­ous inter­est to us in con­nec­tion with our inves­tiga­tive work.”

    That par­tic­u­lar pad was shut down. “We gave the fur­ni­ture to the Sal­va­tion Army,” Fluhr recalled, “and took the drapes off the win­dows and put them up in our office.”

    And FBN Agent Andrew Tartagli­no opened a more lux­u­ri­ous CIA safe house on Sut­ton Place.

    As the dom­i­nate part­ner in the rela­tion­ship, the CIA exploit­ed it’s affin­i­ty with the FBN. “Like the CIA,” FBN Agent Robert DeFauw explained, “nar­cotics agents mount covert oper­a­tions. We pose as mem­bers of the nar­cotics trade. The big dif­fer­ence is that we’re in for­eign coun­tries legal­ly and through our police and intel­li­gence sources, we can check out just about any­one or any­thing. Not only that, we’re oper­a­tional. So the CIA jumped in our stir­rups.”

    Jump­ing into the FBN’s stir­rups afford­ed the CIA deni­a­bil­i­ty. To fur­ther ensure that the CIA’s crim­i­nal activ­i­ties are not revealed to the pub­lic, nar­cotics agents are orga­nized mil­i­tar­i­ly with­in the sacred chain of com­mand. High­ly indoc­tri­nat­ed, they blind­ly obey on a “need to know” basis. This insti­tu­tion­al­ized igno­rance main­tains the illu­sion of Amer­i­can right­eous­ness, in the name of nation­al secu­ri­ty, upon which their moti­va­tion to com­mit all man­ner of crimes depends.

    But, as FBN Agent Mar­tin Pera explained, “If you’re suc­cess­ful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureau­cra­cy.”

    Insti­tu­tion­al­ized cor­rup­tion orig­i­nat­ed at head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton, where FBN exec­u­tives pro­vid­ed cov­er for CIA assets engaged in drug traf­fick­ing. In 1966, Agent John Evans was assigned as an assis­tant to FBN Enforce­ment Chief John Enright. “And that’s when I got to see what the CIA was doing,” Evans told me. “I saw a report on the Kuom­intang say­ing they were the biggest drug deal­ers in the world and that the CIA was under­writ­ing them. Air Amer­i­ca was trans­port­ing tons of Kuom­intang opi­um.” Evans bris­tled. “I took the report to Enright. He said, ‘Leave it here. For­get about it.’.

    “Oth­er things came to my atten­tion,” Evans added, “that proved that the CIA con­tributed to drug use in Amer­i­ca. We were in con­stant con­flict with the CIA because it was hid­ing its bud­get in ours, and because CIA peo­ple were smug­gling drugs into the US. We weren’t allowed to tell and that fos­tered cor­rup­tion in the Bureau.”

    Hero­in smug­gled by “CIA peo­ple” in the US was chan­neled by Mafia dis­trib­u­tors pri­mar­i­ly to African Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. Local nar­cotics agents then tar­get­ed dis­en­fran­chised blacks as an easy way of sub­du­ing or crim­i­nal­iz­ing them, reduc­ing their com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing and vot­ing pow­er, and there­by pre­serv­ing the white rul­ing class’s priv­i­leges…”

    We didn’t need a search war­rant,” explained for­mer New Orleans nar­cotics chief Clarence Gia­rus­so. “It allowed us to meet our quo­ta, and it was ongo­ing. If I find dope on a black man, I can put him in jail for a few days. He’s got no mon­ey for a lawyer and the courts are ready to con­vict. There’s no expec­ta­tion on the jury’s part that we have to make a case. So rather than go cold turkey, the addict becomes an infor­mant, which means I can make more cas­es in the neigh­bor­hood, which is all we’re inter­est­ed in. We don’t care about Car­los Mar­cel­lo or the Mafia. City cops have no inter­est in who brings dope in. That’s the job of the fed­er­al agents.”

    The Establishment’s race and class priv­i­leges have always been equat­ed with nation­al secu­ri­ty, and FBN exec­u­tives pre­served the social order. Not until 1968 were black FBN agents allowed to become group super­vi­sors and man­age white agents.

    The war on drugs is a pro­jec­tion of two con­di­tions pecu­liar to Amer­i­ca. First is the insti­tu­tion­al­ized white suprema­cy that has defined it since slave own­er Thomas Jef­fer­son declared “All men are cre­at­ed equal.” Sec­ond is the pol­i­cy of allow­ing anti-com­mu­nist allies to traf­fic in nar­cotics. These deni­able but offi­cial poli­cies rein­force the beliefs among CIA and drug law enforce­ment offi­cials that the Bill of Rights is an obsta­cle to nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    Blan­ket immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion for bureau­crats who trans­late these poli­cies into prac­tice fos­ters cor­rup­tion in oth­er forms. The FBN’s pre­mier “case-mak­ing” agents, for exam­ple, rou­tine­ly “cre­at­ed a crime” by break­ing and enter­ing, plant­i­ng evi­dence, using ille­gal wire­taps and fal­si­fy­ing reports. They tam­pered with hero­in, trans­ferred it to infor­mants for sale, and even mur­dered “straight” agents who threat­ened to expose them.

    All of this was known at the high­est lev­el of gov­ern­ment and in 1965 the Trea­sury Depart­ment launched a cor­rup­tion inves­ti­ga­tion of the FBN. Head­ed by Andrew Tartagli­no, the inves­ti­ga­tion end­ed in 1968with the res­ig­na­tion of 32 agents and the indict­ment of five. That same year the FBN was recon­struct­ed in the Depart­ment Of Jus­tice as the Bureau of Nar­cotics and Dan­ger­ous Drugs (BNDD).

    But, as Tartagli­no said to me, deject­ed­ly, “The job was only half done.”

    The First Infes­ta­tion

    Richard Nixon was elect­ed pres­i­dent based on a vow to restore “law and order” to Amer­i­ca. To prove, sym­bol­i­cal­ly, that it intend­ed to keep that promise, the White House launched Oper­a­tion Inter­cept along the Mex­i­can bor­der in ear­ly 1969. There were, how­ev­er, unin­tend­ed con­se­quences; the mas­sive “stop and search” oper­a­tion so bad­ly dam­aged rela­tions with Mex­i­co that Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor Hen­ry Kissinger formed the Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee on Nar­cotics (aka the Hero­in Com­mit­tee) to coor­di­nate drug pol­i­cy and pre­vent fur­ther diplo­mat­ic dis­as­ters.

    The Hero­in Com­mit­tee was com­posed of cab­i­net mem­bers rep­re­sent­ed by their deputies. James Lud­lum rep­re­sent­ed CIA Direc­tor Richard Helms. A mem­ber of the CIA’s Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence staff, report­ing direct­ly to James Angle­ton, Lud­lum had been the CIA’s liai­son offi­cer to the FBN since 1962.

    “When Kissinger set up the Hero­in Com­mit­tee,” Lud­lum recalled, “the CIA cer­tain­ly didn’t take it seri­ous­ly, because drug con­trol wasn’t part of their mis­sion.”

    As John Evans not­ed above, and as select mem­bers of Con­gress were aware, the CIA for years had sanc­tioned the hero­in traf­fic from the Gold­en Tri­an­gle region of Bur­ma, Thai­land and Laos into South Viet­nam as a way of reward­ing top offi­cials for advanc­ing US poli­cies. This real­i­ty pre­sent­ed the White House with a dilem­ma; either cur­tail the CIA and risk los­ing the war, or allow tons of hero­in to be smug­gled into the US for use by rebel­lious mid­dle-class white kids dab­bling in cul­tur­al rev­o­lu­tion.

    Nixon’s com­pro­mise solu­tion was to make drug law enforce­ment part of the CIA’s mis­sion. This deci­sion forced the CIA to tar­get it’s clients in South Viet­nam. Although reluc­tant to do so, CIA Direc­tor Richard Helms told Lud­lum: “We’re going to break their rice bowls.”

    This betray­al occurred incre­men­tal­ly. Fred Dick, the BNDD agent assigned to Saigon, passed the names of com­plic­it South Viet­namese mil­i­tary offi­cers and politi­cians to the Hero­in Com­mit­tee. But, as Agent Dick recalled, “Ambas­sador [Ellsworth] Bunker called a meet­ing in Saigon at which CIA Sta­tion Chief Ted Shack­ley appeared and explained that there was ‘a del­i­cate bal­ance.’ What he said, in effect, was that no one was will­ing to do any­thing.”

    Mean­while, to pro­tect its glob­al net­work of drug traf­fick­ing assets, the CIA began infil­trat­ing the BNDD and com­man­deer­ing its exec­u­tive man­age­ment, inter­nal secu­ri­ty, intel­li­gence and for­eign oper­a­tions branch­es. This act of bureau­crat­ic pira­cy required the place­ment of CIA offi­cers in influ­en­tial posi­tions in every fed­er­al agency con­cerned with drug law enforce­ment.

    CIA Offi­cer Paul Van Marx, for exam­ple, was assigned as an assis­tant on nar­cotics con­trol to the US Ambas­sador in France. Van Marx there­after ensured that BNDD con­spir­a­cy cas­es against Euro­pean traf­fick­ers did not com­pro­mise CIA oper­a­tions and assets. He also vet­ted poten­tial BNDD assets to make sure they were not ene­my spies.

    The FBN had nev­er had more than 16 agents sta­tioned over­seas, but Nixon dra­mat­i­cal­ly increased fund­ing for the BNDD with the result that hun­dreds of agents were soon post­ed abroad. The suc­cess of these over­seas agents depend­ed entire­ly on CIA intel­li­gence and coop­er­a­tion, as BNDD Direc­tor John Inger­soll under­stood.

    BNDD agents soon felt the sting of CIA involve­ment in drug law enforce­ment oper­a­tions with­in the Unit­ed States. Oper­a­tion Eagle was the flash­point. Launched in 1970, Eagle tar­get­ed anti-Cas­tro Cubans smug­gling cocaine from Latin Amer­i­ca to the Traf­fi­cante crime fam­i­ly in Flori­da. Of the dozens of Cuban traf­fick­ers arrest­ed in June, many were found to be mem­bers of Oper­a­tion 40, a CIA ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion active in the US, the Caribbean, Mex­i­co, and Cen­tral and South Amer­i­ca.

    Oper­a­tion 40 was one of sev­er­al nar­co-ter­ror­ist groups cre­at­ed, fund­ed and direct­ed by the CIA.

    The rev­e­la­tion that CIA nar­co-ter­ror­ists were oper­at­ing with­in the US led to the assign­ment of CIA offi­cers as “advi­sors” to mid-lev­el BNDD enforce­ment offi­cials, includ­ing Latin Amer­i­can Divi­sion chief Jer­ry Strick­ler. CIA offi­cers tasked to work with the enforce­ment divi­sion served as polit­i­cal cadre; their job was not to make cas­es, but to pro­tect CIA drug traf­fick­ing assets from expo­sure and pros­e­cu­tion, while facil­i­tat­ing the recruit­ment of these assets as infor­mants for the BNDD.

    Many of the anti-Cas­tro Cuban exiles arrest­ed in Oper­a­tion Eagle were indeed hired by the BNDD and sent through­out Latin Amer­i­ca to expand its oper­a­tions. They got “fan­tas­tic infor­ma­tion,” Strick­ler not­ed. But many were play­ing a dou­ble game…”

    The Sec­ond Infes­ta­tion

    By 1969, Ingersoll’s inspec­tions staff had gath­ered enough evi­dence to war­rant the inves­ti­ga­tion of sev­er­al cor­rupt FBN agents who had risen to man­age­ment posi­tions in the BNDD. But Inger­soll could not inves­ti­gate his top man­agers with­out sub­vert­ing the organization’s drug inves­ti­ga­tions. So he asked CIA Direc­tor Helms for help build­ing a “coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence” capac­i­ty with­in the BNDD.

    The result was Oper­a­tion Twofold, in which 19 CIA offi­cers were infil­trat­ed into the BNDD to spy on cor­rupt BNDD offi­cials. Accord­ing to Chief Inspec­tor Patrick Fuller, “A cor­po­ra­tion engaged in law enforce­ment hired three CIA offi­cers pos­ing as pri­vate busi­ness­men to do con­tact and inter­view work.”

    CIA Offi­cer Jer­ry Soul, a for­mer Oper­a­tion 40 case offi­cer, was the pri­ma­ry recruiter. In select­ing CIA offi­cers for Twofold, Soul chose junior offi­cers whose careers had stalled due to the reduc­tion of forces in South­east Asia. Those hired were put through the BNDD’s train­ing course and were assigned to spy on the BNDD’s 16 region­al direc­tors. No records were kept and some par­tic­i­pants have nev­er been iden­ti­fied.

    Chuck Guten­sohn was one of sev­er­al Twofold “tor­pe­does” inter­viewed. Pri­or to his recruit­ment into the BNDD, Guten­sohn had spent two years at the CIA’s base in Pakse, a major hero­in tran­sit point between Laos and South Viet­nam. “Fuller said that when we com­mu­ni­cat­ed, I was to be known as Leo Adams for Los Ange­les,” Guten­sohn said. “He was to be Wal­ter DeCar­lo, for Wash­ing­ton, DC.”

    Gutensohn’s cov­er, how­ev­er, was blown before he got to Los Ange­les. “Some­one at head­quar­ters was talk­ing and every­one knew,” he recalled. “About a month after I arrived, one of the agents said to me, ‘I heard Pat Fuller signed your cre­den­tials’.”

    Twofold exist­ed at least until 1974 and was deemed by the Rock­e­feller Com­mis­sion to have “vio­lat­ed the 1947 Act which pro­hibits the CIA’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in law enforce­ment activ­i­ties.” It also, as shall be dis­cussed lat­er, served as a cov­er for clan­des­tine CIA oper­a­tions.

    The Third Infes­ta­tion

    The Nixon White House blamed the BNDD’s fail­ure to stop inter­na­tion­al drug traf­fick­ing on its fee­ble intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties, a con­di­tion that opened the door to fur­ther CIA infil­tra­tion. In late 1970, CIA Direc­tor Helms arranged for his recent­ly retired Chief of Con­tin­u­ing Intel­li­gence, E. Drex­el God­frey, to review BNDD intel­li­gence pro­ce­dures. Among oth­er things, God­frey rec­om­mend­ed that the BNDD cre­ate Region­al Intel­li­gence Units (RIUs) and a Strate­gic Intel­li­gence Office (SIO).

    The RIUs were up and run­ning by 1971, with recy­cled CIA offi­cers assigned as ana­lysts, prompt­ing reg­u­lar BNDD agents to view the RIUs with sus­pi­cion, as repos­i­to­ries for Twofold tor­pe­does.

    The SIO was hard­er to imple­ment, giv­en its arcane func­tion as a tool to help senior BNDD man­agers for­mu­late plans and strate­gies “in the polit­i­cal sphere.” As SIO Direc­tor John Warn­er explained, “We need­ed to under­stand the polit­i­cal cli­mate in Thai­land in order to address the prob­lem. We need­ed to know what kind of pro­tec­tion the Thai police were afford­ing traf­fick­ers. We were look­ing for an intel­li­gence office that could deal with those sort of issues, on the ground, over­seas.”

    Orga­niz­ing the SIO fell to CIA offi­cers Adri­an Swain and Tom Tripo­di, both of whom were infil­trat­ed into the BNDD. In April 1971, Swain and Tripo­di accom­pa­nied Inger­soll to Saigon, where they were briefed by Sta­tion Chief Ted Shack­ley. Swain had worked in Laos and Viet­nam, and through for­mer CIA con­tacts, he sur­rep­ti­tious­ly obtained maps of CIA-pro­tect­ed drug smug­gling routes in South­east Asia.

    Upon their return to the US, Swain and Tripo­di expressed frus­tra­tion that the CIA had access to peo­ple capa­ble of pro­vid­ing the BNDD with addi­tion­al intel­li­gence, but these peo­ple “were involved in nar­cotics traf­fick­ing and the CIA did not want to iden­ti­fy them.”

    Seek­ing a way to finesse the sit­u­a­tion, Swain and Tripo­di rec­om­mend­ed the cre­ation of a “spe­cial oper­a­tions of strate­gic oper­a­tions staff” that would func­tion as the BNDD’s own CIA “using a back­door approach to gath­er intel­li­gence in sup­port of oper­a­tions.” Those oper­a­tions would rely on “longer range, deep pen­e­tra­tion, clan­des­tine assets, who remain under­cov­er, do not appear dur­ing the course of any tri­al and are recruit­ed and direct­ed by the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions agents on a covert basis.”

    The White House approved the plan in May 1971, along with a $120 mil­lion dol­lar pro­pos­al for drug con­trol, of which $50 mil­lion was ear­marked for BNDD spe­cial oper­a­tions. Three weeks lat­er Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” at which point Con­gress respond­ed with fund­ing for the SIO and autho­riza­tion for the extra-legal oper­a­tions Swain and Tripo­di envi­sioned.

    Direc­tor John Warn­er was giv­en a seat on the US Intel­li­gence Board so the SIO could obtain raw intel­li­gence from the CIA. But, in return, the SIO was com­pelled to adopt CIA secu­ri­ty pro­ce­dures; a CIA secu­ri­ty offi­cer assigned to estab­lish the SIO’s file room and com­put­er sys­tem; safes and steel doors were installed; and wit­ting agents had to obtain CIA clear­ances.

    Three active-duty CIA offi­cers were assigned to the SIO as desk offi­cers for Europe and the Mid­dle East, the Far East, and Latin Amer­i­ca. Tripo­di was assigned as the SIO’s chief of oper­a­tions. Tripo­di, notably, had spent the pre­vi­ous six years in Flori­da with the CIA’s Secu­ri­ty Research Ser­vices, where his duties includ­ed the pen­e­tra­tion of peace groups, as well as set­ting up “notion­al” pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tion firms to con­duct black bag jobs. It is of his­tor­i­cal impor­tance that White House “Plumber” E. Howard Hunt inher­it­ed Tripodi’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions unit, which includ­ed sev­er­al of the Water­gate bur­glars.

    SIO ops chief Tripo­di liaised with the CIA on mat­ters of mutu­al inter­est, includ­ing the covert col­lec­tion of intel­li­gence out­side of rou­tine BNDD chan­nels. As part of his oper­a­tional plan, code-named Medusa, Tripo­di pro­posed that SIO agents hire for­eign nation­als to blow up con­tra­ban­dista planes while they were refu­el­ing at clan­des­tine air strips. Anoth­er pro­pos­al called for ambush­ing traf­fick­ers in Amer­i­ca, and tak­ing their drugs and mon­ey — which, as I’ve report­ed else­where and in my books on the sub­ject, case-mak­ing agents had been doing for decades, albeit unof­fi­cial­ly.

    Enter Lucien Conein

    The cre­ation of the SIO coin­cid­ed with the assign­ment of CIA offi­cer Lucien Conein to the BNDD. As a mem­ber of the OSS, Conein had para­chut­ed into France to form resis­tance cells that includ­ed Cor­si­can smug­glers. As a CIA offi­cer, Conein in 1954 was assigned to Viet­nam to orga­nize anti-Com­mu­nist forces in the North, and in 1963 he achieved infamy as the inter­me­di­ary between the Kennedy White House and the cabal of gen­er­als that mur­dered Pres­i­dent Diem and his broth­er Nhu.

    In The Pol­i­tics of Hero­in In South­east Asia, his­to­ri­an Alfred McCoy alleged that in 1965, Conein arranged a truce between the CIA and drug traf­fick­ing Cor­si­cans in Saigon. Conein appar­ent­ly knew some of these gang­sters from his work with the French resis­tance. The truce, accord­ing to McCoy, allowed the Cor­si­cans to traf­fic in nar­cotics as long as they served as con­tact men for the CIA. The truce also endowed the Cor­si­cans with “free pas­sage” at a time when Mar­seilles’ hero­in labs were turn­ing from Turk­ish to South­east Asian mor­phine base.

    In a let­ter to McCoy’s pub­lish­er, Conein denied McCoy’ alle­ga­tion and insist­ed that his meet­ing with the Cor­si­cans was sole­ly to resolve a prob­lem caused by Daniel Ellsberg’s “pec­ca­dil­loes with the mis­tress of a Cor­si­can.”

    It is impos­si­ble to find out who is telling the truth. Ells­berg denies that his CIA friends were involved in drug traf­fick­ing; McCoy and all the evi­dence indi­cate that they were. What is def­i­nite­ly known is that in July 1971, on Howard Hunt’s rec­om­men­da­tion, the White House hired Conein as an expert on Cor­si­can traf­fick­ers in South­east Asia. Conein was assigned as a con­sul­tant to the SIO’s Far East Asia desk, then under CIA offi­cer Wal­ter Mack­em, a vet­er­an of Viet­nam. Conein’s activ­i­ties will be dis­cussed in greater detail…”

    The Par­al­lel Mech­a­nism

    In Sep­tem­ber 1971, the Hero­in Com­mit­tee was reor­ga­nized as the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee for Inter­na­tion­al Nar­cotics Con­trol (CCINC) under Sec­re­tary of State William Rogers. CCINC’s man­date was to “set poli­cies which relate inter­na­tion­al con­sid­er­a­tions to domes­tic con­sid­er­a­tions.” By 1975, its bud­get amount­ed to $875 mil­lion, and the war on drugs had become a most prof­itable indus­try.

    Con­cur­rent­ly, the CIA formed a uni­lat­er­al drug unit in its oper­a­tions divi­sion under Sey­mour Bolten. Known as the Spe­cial Assis­tant to the Direc­tor for the Coor­di­na­tion of Nar­cotics, Bolten direct­ed CIA divi­sion and sta­tion chiefs in uni­lat­er­al drug con­trol oper­a­tions. In doing this, Bolten worked close­ly with Ted Shack­ley, who in 1972 was appoint­ed head of the CIA’s West­ern Hemi­sphere Divi­sion. Bolten and Shack­ley had worked togeth­er in post-war Ger­many, as well as in anti-Cas­tro Cubans oper­a­tions in the ear­ly 1960s. Their col­lab­o­ra­tion would grease fed­er­al drug law enforcement’s skid into obliv­ion.

    “Bolten screwed us,” BNDD’s Latin Amer­i­can divi­sion chief Jer­ry Strick­ler said emphat­i­cal­ly. “And so did Shack­ley.”

    Bolten “screwed” the BNDD, and the Amer­i­can judi­cial sys­tem, by set­ting up a “par­al­lel mech­a­nism” based on a com­put­er­ized reg­is­ter of inter­na­tion­al drug traf­fick­ers and a CIA-staffed com­mu­ni­ca­tions crew that inter­cept­ed calls from drug traf­fick­ers inside the U.S. to their accom­plices around the world. The Inter­na­tion­al Nar­cotics Infor­ma­tion Net­work (INIS) was mod­eled on a com­put­er­ized man­age­ment infor­ma­tion sys­tem Shack­ley had used to ter­ror­ize the under­ground resis­tance in South Viet­nam.

    Bolten’s staff also “re-tooled” dozens of CIA offi­cers and slipped them into the BNDD. Sev­er­al went to Lou Conein at the SIO for clan­des­tine, high­ly ille­gal oper­a­tions.

    Fac­tions with­in the CIA and mil­i­tary were opposed to Bolten’s par­al­lel mech­a­nism, but CIA Exec­u­tive Direc­tor William Col­by sup­port­ed Bolten’s plan to pre­empt the BNDD and use its agents and infor­mants for uni­lat­er­al CIA pur­pos­es. The White House also sup­port­ed the plan for polit­i­cal pur­pos­es relat­ed to Water­gate. Top BNDD offi­cials who resist­ed were expunged; those who coop­er­at­ed were reward­ed.

    Bureau of Nar­cotics Covert Intel­li­gence Net­work

    In Sep­tem­ber 1972, DCI Helms (then immersed in Water­gate intrigues), told BNDD Direc­tor Inger­soll that the CIA had pre­pared files on spe­cif­ic drug traf­fick­ers in Mia­mi, the Flori­da Keys, and the Caribbean. Helms said the CIA would pro­vide Inger­soll with assets to pur­sue the traf­fick­ers and devel­op infor­ma­tion on tar­gets of oppor­tu­ni­ty. The CIA would also pro­vide oper­a­tional, tech­ni­cal, and finan­cial sup­port.

    The result was the Bureau of Nar­cotics Covert Intel­li­gence Net­work (BUNCIN) whose method­ol­o­gy reflect­ed Tripodi’s Medusa Plan and includ­ed “provo­ca­tions, induce­ment to deser­tion, cre­at­ing con­fu­sion and appre­hen­sion.”

    Some BUNCIN intel­li­gence activ­i­ties were direct­ed against “senior for­eign gov­ern­ment offi­cials” and were “blamed on oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies or even on the intel­li­gence ser­vices of oth­er nations.” Oth­er BUNCIN activ­i­ties were direct­ed against Amer­i­can civic and polit­i­cal groups.

    BNDD offi­cials man­aged BUNCIN’s legal activ­i­ties, while Conein at the SIO man­aged its polit­i­cal and CIA aspects. Accord­ing to Conein’s admin­is­tra­tive deputy, Rich Kobakoff, “BUNCIN was an exper­i­ment in how to finesse the law. The end prod­uct was intel­li­gence, not seizures or arrests.”

    CIA offi­cers Robert Medell and William Logay were select­ed to man­age BUNCIN.

    A Bay of Pigs vet­er­an born in Cuba, Medell was ini­tial­ly assigned to the Twofold pro­gram. Medell was BUNCIN’s “covert” agent and recruit­ed its prin­ci­pal agents. All of his assets had pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the CIA, and all believed they were work­ing for it again.

    Medell start­ed run­ning agents in March 1973 with the stat­ed goal of pen­e­trat­ing the Traf­fi­cante orga­ni­za­tion. To this end the BNDD’s Enforce­ment Chief, Andy Tartagli­no, intro­duced Medell to Sal Cane­ba, a retired Mafioso who had been in busi­ness with Traf­fi­cante in the 1950s. Cane­ba in one day iden­ti­fied the head of the Cuban side of the Traf­fi­cante fam­i­ly, as well as its orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture.

    But the CIA refused to allow the BNDD to pur­sue the inves­ti­ga­tion, because it had employed Traf­fi­cante in its assas­si­na­tion attempts against Fidel Cas­tro, and because Trafficante’s Oper­a­tion 40 asso­ciates were per­form­ing sim­i­lar func­tions for the CIA around the world.

    Medell’s Prin­ci­pal Agent was Bay of Pigs vet­er­an Guiller­mo Tabraue, whom the CIA paid $1,400 a week. While receiv­ing this prince­ly sum, Tabraue par­tic­i­pat­ed in the “Alvarez-Cruz” drug smug­gling ring.

    Medell also recruit­ed agents from Manuel Artime’s anti-Cas­tro Cuban orga­ni­za­tion. For­mer CIA offi­cer and White House “Plumber” Howard Hunt, notably, had been Artime’s case offi­cer for years, and many mem­bers of Artime’s orga­ni­za­tion had worked for Ted Shack­ley while Shack­ley was the CIA’s sta­tion chief in Mia­mi.

    Bill Logay was the “overt” agent assigned to the BUNCIN office in Mia­mi. Logay had been Shackley’s body­guard in Saigon in 1969. From 1970–1971, Logay had served as a spe­cial police liai­son and drug coor­di­na­tor in Saigon’s Precinct 5. Logay was also asked to join Twofold, but claims to have refused.

    Medell and Logay’s reports were hand deliv­ered to BNDD head­quar­ters via the Defense Department’s clas­si­fied couri­er ser­vice. The Defense Depart­ment was in charge of emer­gency plan­ning and pro­vid­ed BUNCIN agents with spe­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment. The CIA sup­plied BUNCIN’s assets with forged IDs that enabled them to work for for­eign gov­ern­ments, includ­ing Pana­ma, Venezuela and Cos­ta Rica.

    Like Twofold, BUNCIN had two agen­das. One, accord­ing to Chief Inspec­tor Fuller, “was told” and had a nar­cotics mis­sion. The oth­er pro­vid­ed cov­er for the Plumbers. Orders for the domes­tic polit­i­cal facet emanat­ed from the White House and passed through Conein to “Plumber” Gor­don Lid­dy and his “Oper­a­tion Gem­stone” squad of exile Cuban ter­ror­ists from the Artime orga­ni­za­tion...”

    Enforce­ment chief Tartagli­no was unhap­py with the arrange­ment and gave Agent Ralph Frias the job of screen­ing anti-Cas­tro Cubans sent by the White House to the BNDD. Frias was assigned to Inter­na­tion­al Affairs chief George Belk. When Nixon’s White House chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Halde­man sent over three Cubans, Frias inter­viewed them and real­ized they were “plants.” Those three were not hired, but, Frias lament­ed, many oth­ers were suc­cess­ful­ly infil­trat­ed inside the BNDD and oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies.

    Under BUNCIN cov­er, CIA anti-Cas­tro assets report­ed­ly kid­napped and assas­si­nat­ed peo­ple in Colom­bia and Mex­i­co. BUNCIN’s White House spon­sors also sent CIA anti-Cas­tro Cuban assets to gath­er dirt on Demo­c­ra­t­ic politi­cians in Key West. With BUNCIN, fed­er­al drug law enforce­ment sank to new lows of polit­i­cal repres­sion and cor­rup­tion.

    Novo Yard­ley

    The Nixon White House intro­duced the “oper­a­tions by com­mit­tee” man­age­ment method to ensure con­trol over its ille­gal drug oper­a­tions. But as agen­cies involved in drug law enforce­ment pooled resources, the BNDD’s mis­sion was dilut­ed and dimin­ished.

    And, as the pre­em­i­nent agency in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, the CIA not only sep­a­rat­ed itself from the BNDD as part of Bolten’s par­al­lel mech­a­nism, it rode off into the sun­set on the BNDD’s horse. For exam­ple, at their intro­duc­to­ry meet­ing in Mex­i­co City in 1972, Ted Shack­ley told Latin Amer­i­can divi­sion chief Strick­ler to hand over all BNDD files, infor­mant lists, and cable traf­fic.

    Accord­ing to Strick­ler, “Bad things hap­pened.” The worst abuse was that the CIA allowed drug ship­ments into the U.S. with­out telling the BNDD.

    “Indi­vid­ual sta­tions allowed this,” SIO Direc­tor John Warn­er con­firmed.

    In so far as evi­dence acquired by CIA elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance is inad­mis­si­ble in court, the CIA was able to pro­tect its con­trolled deliv­er­ies into the U.S. mere­ly by mon­i­tor­ing them. Numer­ous inves­ti­ga­tions had to be ter­mi­nat­ed as a result. Like­wise, dozens of pros­e­cu­tions were dis­missed on nation­al secu­ri­ty grounds due to the par­tic­i­pa­tion of CIA assets oper­at­ing around the world.

    Strick­ler knew which CIA peo­ple were guilty of sab­o­tag­ing cas­es in Latin Amer­i­ca, and want­ed to indict them. And so, at Bolten’s insis­tence, Strick­ler was reas­signed. Mean­while, CIA assets from Bolten’s uni­lat­er­al drug unit were kid­nap­ping and assas­si­nat­ing traf­fick­ers as part of Oper­a­tion Twofold.

    BNDD Direc­tor Inger­soll con­firmed the exis­tence of this covert facet of Twofold. Its pur­pose, he said, was to put peo­ple in deep cov­er in the U.S. to devel­op intel­li­gence on drug traf­fick­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly from South Amer­i­ca. The region­al direc­tors weren’t aware of it. Inger­soll said he got approval from Attor­ney Gen­er­al John Mitchell and passed the oper­a­tion on to John Bar­tels, the first admin­is­tra­tor of the DEA. He said the unit did not oper­ate inside the U.S., which is why he thought it was legal.

    Inger­soll added that he was sur­prised that no one from the Rock­e­feller Com­mis­sion asked him about it.

    Joseph DiGennaro’s entry into the covert facet of Oper­a­tion Twofold began when a fam­i­ly friend, who knew CIA offi­cer Jim Lud­lum, sug­gest­ed that he apply for a job with the BNDD. Then work­ing as a stock­bro­ker in New York, DiGen­naro met Fuller in August 1971 in Wash­ing­ton. Fuller gave DiGen­naro the code name Novo Yard­ley, based on his post­ing in New York, and as a play on the name of the famous code­break­er.

    After DiGen­naro obtained the required clear­ances, he was told that he and sev­er­al oth­er recruits were being “spun-off” from Twofold into the CIA’s “oper­a­tional” unit. The back­ground check took 14 months, dur­ing which time he received inten­sive com­bat and trade-craft train­ing.

    In Octo­ber 1972 he was sent to New York City and assigned to an enforce­ment group as a cov­er. His pay­checks came from BNDD funds, but the pro­gram was reim­bursed by the CIA through the Bureau of Mines. The pro­gram was autho­rized by the “appro­pri­ate” Con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee.

    DiGennaro’s unit was man­aged by the CIA’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Divi­sion in con­junc­tion with the mil­i­tary, which pro­vid­ed assets with­in for­eign mil­i­tary ser­vices to keep ex-fil­tra­tion routes (air cor­ri­dors and roads) open. The mil­i­tary cleared air space when cap­tured sus­pects were brought into the U.S. DiGen­naro spent most of his time in South Amer­i­ca, but the unit oper­at­ed world­wide. The CIA unit num­bered about 40 men, includ­ing experts in print­ing, forgery, mar­itime oper­a­tions, and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

    DiGen­naro would check with Fuller and take sick time or annu­al leave to go on mis­sions. There were lots of mis­sions. As his BNDD group super­vi­sor in New York said, “Joey was nev­er in the office.”

    The job was track­ing down, kid­nap­ping, and, if they resist­ed, killing drug traf­fick­ers. Kid­napped tar­gets were inca­pac­i­tat­ed by drugs and dumped in the U.S. As DEA Agent Ger­ry Carey recalled, “We’d get a call that there was ‘a present’ wait­ing for us on the cor­ner of 116th Street and Sixth Avenue. We’d go there and find some guy, who’d been indict­ed in the East­ern Dis­trict of New York, hand­cuffed to a tele­phone pole. We’d take him to a safe house for ques­tion­ing and, if pos­si­ble, turn him into an informer. Some­times we’d have him in cus­tody for months. But what did he know?”

    If you’re a Cor­si­can drug deal­er in Argenti­na, and men with police cre­den­tials arrest you, how do you know it’s a CIA oper­a­tion? DiGennaro’s last oper­a­tion in 1977 involved the recov­ery of a satel­lite that had fall­en into a drug dealer’s hands. Such was the extent of the CIA’s “par­al­lel mech­a­nism.”

    The Dirty Dozen

    With the for­ma­tion of the Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion in July 1973, BUNCIN was renamed the DEA Clan­des­tine Oper­a­tions Net­work (DEACON 1). A num­ber of addi­tion­al DEA­CONs were devel­oped through Spe­cial Field Intel­li­gence Pro­grams (SFIP). As an exten­sion of BUNCIN, DEACON 1 devel­oped intel­li­gence on traf­fick­ers in Cos­ta Rica, Ohio and New Jer­sey; politi­cians in Flori­da; ter­ror­ists and gun run­ners; the sale of boats and heli­copters to Cuba; and the Traf­fi­cante orga­ni­za­tion.

    Under DEA chief John Bar­tels, admin­is­tra­tive con­trol fell under Enforce­ment Chief George Belk and his Spe­cial Projects assis­tant Philip Smith. Through Belk and Smith, the Office of Spe­cial Projects had become a major facet of Bolten’s par­al­lel mech­a­nism. It housed the DEA’s air wing (staffed large­ly by CIA offi­cers), con­duct­ed “research pro­grams” with the CIA, pro­vid­ed tech­ni­cal aids and doc­u­men­ta­tion to agents, and han­dled fugi­tive search­es.

    As part of DEACON 1, Smith sent covert agent Bob Medell “to Cara­cas or Bogo­ta to devel­op a net­work of agents.” As Smith not­ed in a mem­o­ran­dum, reim­burse­ment for Medell “is being made in backchan­nel fash­ion to CIA under pay­ments to oth­er agen­cies and is not count­ed as a posi­tion against us.”

    Thor­ough­ly sub­orned by Bolten and the CIA, DEA Admin­is­tra­tor Bar­tels estab­lished a pri­or­i­ty on for­eign clan­des­tine nar­cotics col­lec­tion. And when Belk pro­posed a spe­cial oper­a­tions group in intel­li­gence, Bar­tels imme­di­ate­ly approved it. In March 1974, Belk assigned the group to Lou Conein.

    As chief of the Intel­li­gence Group/Operations (IGO), Conein admin­is­tered the DEA Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Group (DEASOG), SFIP and Nation­al Intel­li­gence Offi­cers (NIO) pro­grams. The chain of com­mand, how­ev­er, was “unclear” and while Medell report­ed admin­is­tra­tive­ly to Smith, Conein man­aged oper­a­tions through a sep­a­rate chain of com­mand reach­ing to William Col­by, who had risen to the rank of CIA Direc­tor con­cur­rent with the for­ma­tion of the DEA.

    Conein had worked for Col­by for many years in Viet­nam, for through Col­by he hired a “dirty dozen” CIA offi­cers to staff DEASOG. As NIOs (not reg­u­lar gun-tot­ing DEA agents), the DEASOG offi­cers did not buy nar­cotics or appear in court, but instead used stan­dard CIA oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures to recruit assets and set up agent net­works for the long-range col­lec­tion of intel­li­gence on traf­fick­ing groups. They had no con­nec­tion to the DEA and were housed in a safe house out­side head­quar­ters in down­town Wash­ing­ton, DC.

    The first DEASOG recruits were CIA offi­cers Elias P. Chavez and Nicholas Zap­a­ta. Both had para­mil­i­tary and drug con­trol expe­ri­ence in Laos. Colby’s per­son­nel assis­tant Jack Math­ews had been Chavez’s case offi­cer at the Long Thien base, where Gen­er­al Vang Pao ran his secret drug-smug­gling army under Ted Shackley’s aus­pices from 1966–1968.

    A group of eight CIA offi­cers fol­lowed: Wes­ley Dyck­man, a Chi­nese lin­guist with ser­vice in Viet­nam, was assigned to San Fran­cis­co. Louis J. Davis, a vet­er­an of Viet­nam and Laos, was assigned to the Chica­go Region­al Intel­li­gence Unit. Christo­pher Thomp­son from the CIA’s Phoenix Pro­gram in Viet­nam went to San Anto­nio. Hugh E. Mur­ray, vet­er­an of Pakse and Bolivia (where he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the cap­ture of Che Gue­vara), was sent to Tuc­son. Thomas D. McPhaul had worked with Conein in Viet­nam, and was sent to Dal­las. Thomas L. Brig­gs, a vet­er­an of Laos and a friend of Shackley’s, went to Mex­i­co. Ver­non J. Goertz, a Shack­ley friend who had par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Allende coup, went to Venezuela. David A. Scher­man, a Conein friend and for­mer man­ag­er of the CIA’s inter­ro­ga­tion cen­ter in Da Nang, was sent to sun­ny San Diego.

    Gary Mat­tocks, who ran CIA counter-ter­ror teams in Vietnam’s Delta, and inter­roga­tor Robert Simon were the eleventh and twelfth mem­bers. Ter­ry Bald­win, Bar­ry Carew and Joseph Lagat­tuta joined lat­er.

    Accord­ing to Davis, Conein cre­at­ed DEASOG specif­i­cal­ly to do Phoenix pro­gram-style jobs over­seas: the type where a para­mil­i­tary offi­cer breaks into a trafficker’s house, takes his drugs, and slits his throat. The NIOs were to oper­ate over­seas where they would tar­get traf­fick­ers the police couldn’t reach, like a prime minister’s son or the police chief in Aca­pul­co if he was the local drug boss. If they couldn’t assas­si­nate the tar­get, they would bomb his labs or use psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare to make him look like he was a DEA infor­mant, so his own peo­ple would kill him.

    The DEASOG peo­ple “would be break­ing the law,” Davis observed, “but they didn’t have arrest pow­ers over­seas any­way.”

    Conein envi­sioned 50 NIOs oper­at­ing world­wide by 1977. But a slew of Water­gate-relat­ed scan­dals forced the DEA to cur­tail its NIO pro­gram and reor­ga­nize its covert oper­a­tions staff and func­tions in ways that have cor­rupt­ed fed­er­al drug law enforce­ment beyond repair.

    Assas­si­na­tion Scan­dals

    The first scan­dal focused on DEACON 3, which tar­get­ed the Aviles-Perez orga­ni­za­tion in Mex­i­co. Eli Chavez, Nick Zap­a­ta and Bar­ry Carew were the NIOs assigned.

    A vet­er­an CIA offi­cer who spoke Span­ish, Carew had served as a spe­cial police advis­er in Saigon before join­ing the BNDD. Carew was assigned as Conein’s Latin Amer­i­can desk offi­cer and man­aged Chavez and Zap­a­ta (aka “the Mex­i­can Assas­sin”) in Mex­i­co. Accord­ing to Chavez, a White House Task Force under Howard Hunt had start­ed the DEACON 3 case. The Task force pro­vid­ed pho­tographs of the Aviles Perez com­pound in Mex­i­co, from whence truck­loads of mar­i­jua­na were shipped to the U.S.

    Funds were allot­ted in Feb­ru­ary 1974, at which point Chavez and Zap­a­ta trav­eled to Mex­i­co City as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the North Amer­i­can Alarm and Fire Sys­tems Com­pa­ny. In Mazatlán, they met with Carew, who stayed at a fan­cy hotel and played ten­nis every day, while Chavez and Zap­a­ta, whom Conein referred to as “pep­per-bel­lies,” fumed in a flea-bag motel.

    An infor­mant arranged for Chavez, pos­ing as a buy­er, to meet Perez. A deal was struck, but DEA chief John Bar­tels made the mis­take of instruct­ing Chavez to brief the DEA’s region­al direc­tor in Mex­i­co City before mak­ing “the buy.”

    At this meet­ing, the DEACON 3 agents pre­sent­ed their oper­a­tional plan. But when the sub­ject of “neu­tral­iz­ing” Perez came up, ana­lyst Joan Ban­is­ter took this to mean assas­si­na­tion. Ban­nis­ter report­ed her sus­pi­cions to DEA head­quar­ters, where the anti-CIA fac­tion leaked her report to Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Jack Ander­son.

    Anderson’s alle­ga­tion that the DEA was pro­vid­ing cov­er for a CIA assas­si­na­tion unit includ­ed rev­e­la­tions that the Sen­ate had inves­ti­gat­ed IGO chief Conein for shop­ping around for assas­si­na­tion devices, like explod­ing ash­trays and tele­phones. Conein man­aged to keep his job, but the trail led to his com­rade from the OSS, Mitch Wer­bell.

    A deni­able asset Conein used for par­al­lel oper­a­tions, Wer­bell had tried to sell sev­er­al thou­sand silenced machine pis­tols to DEACON 1 tar­get Robert Vesco, then liv­ing in Cos­ta Rica sur­round­ed by drug traf­fick­ing Cuban exiles in the Traf­fi­cante orga­ni­za­tion. Traf­fi­cante was also, at the time, liv­ing in Cos­ta Rica as a guest of Pres­i­dent Figueres whose son had pur­chased weapons from Wer­bell and used them to arm a death squad he formed with DEACON 1 asset Car­los Rum­bault, a noto­ri­ous anti-Cas­tro Cuban ter­ror­ist and fugi­tive drug smug­gler.

    Mean­while, in Feb­ru­ary 1974, DEA Agent Antho­ny Triponi, a for­mer Green Beret and mem­ber of Oper­a­tion Twofold, was admit­ted to St. Luke’s Hos­pi­tal in New York “suf­fer­ing from hyper­ten­sion.” DEA inspec­tors found Triponi in the psy­chi­atric ward, dis­traught because he had bro­ken his “cov­er” and now his “spe­cial code” would have to be changed.

    Think­ing he was insane, the DEA inspec­tors called for­mer chief inspec­tor Patrick Fuller in Cal­i­for­nia, just to be sure. As it turned out, every­thing Triponi had said about Twofold was true! The incred­u­lous DEA inspec­tors called the CIA and were stunned when they were told: “If you release the sto­ry, we will destroy you.”

    By 1975, Con­gress and the Jus­tice Depart­ment were inves­ti­gat­ing the DEA’s rela­tions with the CIA. In the process they stum­bled on, among oth­er things, plots to assas­si­nate Tor­ri­jos and Nor­ie­ga in Pana­ma, as well as Tripodi’s Medusa Pro­gram.

    In a draft report, one DEA inspec­tor described Medusa as fol­lows: “Top­ics con­sid­ered as options includ­ed psy­cho­log­i­cal ter­ror tac­tics, sub­sti­tu­tion of place­bos to dis­cred­it traf­fick­ers, use of incen­di­aries to destroy con­ver­sion lab­o­ra­to­ries, and dis­in­for­ma­tion to cause inter­nal war­fare between drug traf­fick­ing orga­ni­za­tions; oth­er meth­ods under con­sid­er­a­tion involved black­mail, use of psy­chophar­ma­co­log­i­cal tech­niques, bribery and even ter­mi­nal sanc­tions.”

    The Cov­er-Up

    Despite the flur­ry of inves­ti­ga­tions, Nixon’s suc­ces­sor, Ger­ald Ford, recon­firmed the CIA’s nar­cot­ic intel­li­gence col­lec­tion arrange­ment with DEA, and the CIA con­tin­ued to have its way. Much of its suc­cess is attrib­uted to Sey­mour Bolten, whose staff han­dled “all requests for files from the Church Com­mit­tee,” which con­clud­ed that alle­ga­tions of drug smug­gling by CIA assets and pro­pri­etaries “lacked sub­stance.”

    The Rock­e­feller Com­mis­sion like­wise gave the CIA a clean bill of health, false­ly stat­ing that the Twofold inspec­tions project was ter­mi­nat­ed in 1973. The Com­mis­sion com­plete­ly cov­ered-up the exis­tence of the oper­a­tion unit hid­den with­in the inspec­tions pro­gram.

    Ford did task the Jus­tice Depart­ment to inves­ti­gate “alle­ga­tions of fraud, irreg­u­lar­i­ty, and mis­con­duct” in the DEA. The so-called DeFeo inves­ti­ga­tion last­ed through July 1975, and includ­ed alle­ga­tions that DEA offi­cials had dis­cussed killing Omar Tor­ri­jos and Manuel Nor­ie­ga. In March 1976, Deputy Attor­ney Gen­er­al Richard Thorn­burgh announced there were no find­ings to war­rant crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tions.

    In 1976, Con­gress­woman Bel­la Abzug sub­mit­ted ques­tions to new Direc­tor of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence George H.W. Bush, about the CIA’s cen­tral role in inter­na­tion­al drug traf­fick­ing. Bush’s response was to cite a 1954 agree­ment with the Jus­tice Depart­ment gave the CIA the right to block pros­e­cu­tion or keep its crimes secret in the name of nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    In its report, the Abzug Com­mit­tee said: “It was iron­ic that the CIA should be giv­en respon­si­bil­i­ty of nar­cot­ic intel­li­gence, par­tic­u­lar­ly since they are sup­port­ing the prime movers.”

    The Mans­field Amend­ment of 1976 sought to cur­tail the DEA’s extra-legal activ­i­ties abroad by pro­hibit­ing agents from kid­nap­ping or con­duct­ing uni­lat­er­al actions with­out the con­sent of the host gov­ern­ment. The CIA, of course, was exempt and con­tin­ued to sab­o­tage DEA cas­es against its movers, while fur­ther tight­en­ing its stran­gle­hold on the DEA’s enforce­ment and intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties.

    In 1977, the DEA’s Assis­tant Admin­is­tra­tor for Enforce­ment sent a memo, co-signed by the six enforce­ment divi­sion chiefs, to DEA chief Peter Bensinger. As the memo stat­ed, “All were unan­i­mous in their belief that present CIA pro­grams were like­ly to cause seri­ous future prob­lems for DEA, both for­eign and domes­tic.”

    They specif­i­cal­ly cit­ed con­trolled deliv­er­ies enabled by CIA elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance and the fact that the CIA “will not respond pos­i­tive­ly to any dis­cov­ery motion.” They com­plained that “Many of the sub­jects who appear in these CIA- pro­mot­ed or con­trolled sur­veil­lances reg­u­lar­ly trav­el to the Unit­ed States in fur­ther­ance of their traf­fick­ing activ­i­ties.” The “de fac­to immu­ni­ty” from pros­e­cu­tion enabled the CIA assets to “oper­ate much more open­ly and effec­tive­ly.”

    But then DEA chief Peter Bensinger suf­fered the CIA at the expense of America’s cit­i­zens and the DEA’s integri­ty. Under Bensinger the DEA cre­at­ed its CENTAC pro­gram to tar­get drug traf­fick­ing orga­ni­za­tion world­wide through the ear­ly 1980s. But the CIA sub­vert­ed the CENTAC: as its direc­tor Den­nis Dayle famous­ly said, “The major tar­gets of my inves­ti­ga­tions almost invari­ably turned out to be work­ing for the CIA.”

    Mur­der and May­hem

    DEACON 1 inher­it­ed BUNCIN’s anti-Cas­tro Cuban assets from Brigade 2506, which the CIA orga­nized to invade Cuba in 1960. Con­trolled by Nixon’s secret polit­i­cal police, these CIA assets, oper­at­ing under DEA cov­er, had par­al­lel assign­ments involv­ing “extrem­ist groups and ter­ror­ism, and infor­ma­tion of a polit­i­cal nature.”

    Nor­ie­ga and Moi­ses Tor­ri­jos in Pana­ma were tar­gets, as was fugi­tive financier and Nixon cam­paign con­trib­u­tor Robert Vesco in Cos­ta Rica, who was sus­pect­ed of being a mid­dle man in drug and mon­ey-laun­der­ing oper­a­tions of val­ue to the CIA.

    DEACON 1’s prob­lems began when overt agent Bill Logay charged that covert agent Bob Medell’s anti-Cas­tro Cuban assets had pen­e­trat­ed the DEA on behalf of the Traf­fi­cante orga­ni­za­tion. DEACON 1 sec­re­tary Cecelia Plicet fanned the flames by claim­ing that Conein and Medell were using Prin­ci­pal Agent Tabraue to cir­cum­vent the DEA.

    In what amount­ed to an end­less suc­ces­sion of con­trolled deliv­er­ies, Tabraue was financ­ing loads of cocaine and using DEACON 1’s Cuban assets to smug­gle them into the U.S. Plicet said that Medell and Conein worked for “the oth­er side” and want­ed the DEA to fail. These accu­sa­tions prompt­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion, after which Logay was reas­signed to inspec­tions and Medell was reas­signed and replaced by Gary Mat­tocks, an NIO mem­ber of the Dirty Dozen.

    Accord­ing to Mat­tocks, Shack­ley helped Col­by set up DEASOG and brought in “his” peo­ple, includ­ing Tom Clines, whom Shack­ley placed in charge of the CIA’s Caribbean oper­a­tions. Clines, like Shack­ley and Bolten, knew all the exile Cuban ter­ror­ists and traf­fick­ers on the DEASOG pay­roll. CIA offi­cer Ver­non Goertz worked for Clines in Cara­cas as part of the CIA’s par­al­lel mech­a­nism under DEASOG cov­er.

    As cov­er for his DEACON 1 activ­i­ties, Mat­tocks set up a front com­pa­ny designed to improve rela­tions between Cuban and Amer­i­can busi­ness­men. Mean­while, through the CIA, he recruit­ed mem­bers of the Artime orga­ni­za­tion includ­ing Water­gate bur­glars Rolan­do Mar­tinez and Bernard Bark­er, as well as Che Guevara’s mur­der­er, Felix Rodriguez. These anti-Cas­tro ter­ror­ists were alleged­ly part of an Oper­a­tion 40 assas­si­na­tion squad that Shack­ley and Clines employed for pri­vate as well as pro­fes­sion­al pur­pos­es.

    In late 1974, DEACON 1 crashed and burned when inter­roga­tor Robert Simon’s daugh­ter was mur­dered in a dri­ve-by shoot­ing by crazed anti-Cas­tro Cubans. Simon at the time was man­ag­ing the CIA’s drug data base and had linked the exile Cuban drug traf­fick­ers with “a for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.” As Mat­tocks explained, “It got bad after the Brigaders found out Simon was after them.”

    None of the CIA’s ter­ror­ists, how­ev­er, were ever arrest­ed. Instead, Conein issued a direc­tive pro­hibit­ing DEACON 1 assets from report­ing on domes­tic polit­i­cal affairs or ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties and the tragedy was swept under the car­pet for rea­sons of nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    DEACON 1 uncer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly end­ed in 1975 after Agent Fred Dick was assigned to head the DEA’s Caribbean Basin Group. In that capac­i­ty Dick vis­it­ed the DEACON 1 safe house and found, in his words, “a clan­des­tine CIA unit using mis­cre­ants from Bay of Pigs, guys who were blow­ing up planes.” Dick hit the ceil­ing and in August 1975 DEACON I was ter­mi­nat­ed.

    No new DEA­CONs were ini­ti­at­ed and the oth­ers qui­et­ly ran their course. Unde­terred, the CIA rede­ployed its anti-Cas­tro Cuban mis­cre­ant assets, some of whom estab­lished the ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion CORU in 1977. Oth­ers would go to work for Marine Lt. Col. Oliv­er North, a key Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil aide under Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan in the Iran-Con­tra drug and ter­ror net­work.

    Conein’s IGO was dis­band­ed in 1976 after a grand jury sought DEACON I intel­li­gence regard­ing sev­er­al drug busts. But CIA acquired intel­li­gence can­not be used in pros­e­cu­tions, and the CIA refused to iden­ti­fy its assets in court, with the result that 27 pros­e­cu­tions were dis­missed on nation­al secu­ri­ty grounds.

    Gary Mat­tocks was there­after unwel­comed in the DEA. But his patron Ted Shack­ley had become DCI George Bush’s assis­tant deputy direc­tor for oper­a­tions and Shack­ley kind­ly rehired Mat­tocks into the CIA and assigned him to the CIA’s nar­cotics unit in Peru.

    At the time, San­ti­a­go Ocam­po was pur­chas­ing cocaine in Peru and his part­ner Mat­ta Balles­teros was fly­ing it to the usu­al Cuban mis­cre­ants in Mia­mi. One of the receivers, Fran­cis­co Chanes, an erst­while DEACON asset, owned two seafood com­pa­nies that would soon alleged­ly come to serve as fronts in Oliv­er North’s Con­tra sup­ply net­work, receiv­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing tons of Con­tra cocaine.

    Mat­tocks him­self soon joined the Con­tra sup­port oper­a­tion as Eden Pastrora’s case offi­cer. In that capac­i­ty Mat­tocks was present in 1984 when CIA offi­cers hand­ed pilot Bar­ry Seal a cam­era and told him to take pho­tographs of San­din­ista offi­cial Fed­eri­co Vaughn load­ing bags of cocaine onto Seal’s plane. A DEA “spe­cial employ­ee,” Seal was run­ning drugs for Jorge Ochoa Vasquez and pur­port­ed­ly using Nicaragua as a tran­sit point for his deliv­er­ies.

    North asked DEA offi­cials to instruct Seal, who was return­ing to Ochoa with $1.5 mil­lion, to deliv­er the cash to the Con­tras. When the DEA offi­cials refused, North leaked a blur­ry pho­to, pur­port­ed­ly of Vaughn, to the right-wing Wash­ing­ton Times. For par­ti­san polit­i­cal pur­pos­es, on behalf of the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion, Oliv­er North blew the DEA’s biggest case at the time, and the DEA did noth­ing about it, even though DEA Admin­is­tra­tor Jack Lawn said in 1988, in tes­ti­mo­ny before the Sub­com­mit­tee on Crime of the Com­mit­tee on the Judi­cia­ry, that leak­ing the pho­to “severe­ly jeop­ar­dized the lives” of agents.

    The cir­cle was squared in 1989 when the CIA instruct­ed Gary Mat­tocks to tes­ti­fy as a defense wit­ness at the tri­al of DEACON 1 Prin­ci­pal Agent Gabriel Tabraue. Although Tabraue had earned $75 mil­lion from drug traf­fick­ing, while work­ing as a CIA and DEA asset, the judge declared a mis­tri­al based on Mattocks’s tes­ti­mo­ny. Tabraue was released. Some peo­ple inferred that Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush had per­son­al­ly ordered Mat­tocks to dyna­mite the case.

    The CIA’s use of the DEA to employ ter­ror­ists would con­tin­ue apace. For exam­ple, in 1981, DEA Agent Dick Sal­mi recruit­ed Rober­to Cabril­lo, a drug smug­gling mem­ber of CORU, an orga­ni­za­tion of mur­der­ous Cuban exiles formed by drug smug­gler Frank Cas­tro and Luis Posa­da while George Bush was DCI.

    The DEA arrest­ed Cas­tro in 1981, but the CIA engi­neered his release and hired him to estab­lish a Con­tra train­ing camp in the Flori­da Ever­glades. Posa­da report­ed­ly man­aged resup­ply and drug ship­ments for the Con­tras in El Sal­vador, in cahoots with Felix Rodriguez. Charged in Venezuela with blow­ing up a Cuban air­lin­er and killing 73 peo­ple in 1976, Posa­da was shield­ed from extra­di­tion by George W. Bush in the mid-2000s.

    Hav­ing been polit­i­cal­ly cas­trat­ed by the CIA, DEA offi­cials mere­ly warned its CORU assets to stop bomb­ing peo­ple in the U.S. It could maim and kill peo­ple any­where else, just not here in the sacred home­land. By then, Sal­mi not­ed, the Jus­tice Depart­ment had a spe­cial “grey-mail sec­tion” to fix cas­es involv­ing CIA ter­ror­ists and drug deal­ers.

    The Hoax

    DCI William Web­ster formed the CIA’s Counter-Nar­cotics Cen­ter in 1988. Staffed by over 100 agents, it osten­si­bly became the spring­board for the covert pen­e­tra­tion of, and para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions against, top traf­fick­ers pro­tect­ed by high-tech secu­ri­ty firms, lawyers and well-armed pri­vate armies.

    The CNC brought togeth­er, under CIA con­trol, every fed­er­al agency involved in the drug wars. For­mer CIA offi­cer and erst­while Twofold mem­ber, Ter­ry Burke, then serv­ing as the DEA’s Deputy for Oper­a­tions, was allowed to send one liai­son offi­cer to the CNC.

    The CNC quick­ly showed its true col­ors. In the late 1990, Cus­toms agents in Mia­mi seized a ton of pure cocaine from Venezuela. To their sur­prise, a Venezue­lan under­cov­er agent said the CIA had approved the deliv­ery. DEA Admin­is­tra­tor Robert Bon­ner ordered an inves­ti­ga­tion and dis­cov­ered that the CIA had, in fact, shipped the load from its ware­house in Venezuela.

    The “con­trolled deliv­er­ies” were man­aged by CIA offi­cer Mark McFar­lin, a vet­er­an of Reagan’s ter­ror cam­paign in El Sal­vador. Bon­ner want­ed to indict McFar­lin, but was pre­vent­ed from doing so because Venezuela was in the process of fight­ing off a rebel­lion led by left­ist Hugo Chavez. This same sce­nario has been play­ing out in Afghanistan for the last 15 years, large­ly through the DEA’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Divi­sion (SOD), which pro­vides cov­er for CIA oper­a­tions world­wide. The ulti­mate and inevitable result of Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism, the SOD job is not sim­ply to “cre­ate a crime,” as free­wheel­ing FBN agents did in the old days, but to “recre­ate a crime” so it is pros­e­cutable, despite what­ev­er extra-legal meth­ods were employed to obtain the evi­dence before it is passed along to law enforce­ment agen­cies so they can make arrests with­out reveal­ing what prompt­ed their sus­pi­cions.

    Reuters report­ed in 2013,

    “The unit of the DEA that dis­trib­utes the infor­ma­tion is called the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Divi­sion, or SOD. Two dozen part­ner agen­cies com­prise the unit, includ­ing the FBI, CIA, NSA, Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty. It was cre­at­ed in 1994 to com­bat Latin Amer­i­can drug car­tels and has grown from sev­er­al dozen employ­ees to sev­er­al hun­dred.”

    The uti­liza­tion of infor­ma­tion from the SOD, which oper­ates out of a secret loca­tion in Vir­ginia, “can­not be revealed or dis­cussed in any inves­tiga­tive func­tion,” accord­ing to an inter­nal doc­u­ment cit­ed by Reuters, which added that agents are specif­i­cal­ly direct­ed “to omit the SOD’s involve­ment from inves­tiga­tive reports, affi­davits, dis­cus­sions with pros­e­cu­tors and court­room tes­ti­mo­ny.”

    Agents are told to use “par­al­lel con­struc­tion” to build their cas­es with­out ref­er­ence to SOD’s tips which may come from sen­si­tive “intel­li­gence inter­cepts, wire­taps, infor­mants and a mas­sive data­base of tele­phone records,” Reuters report­ed.

    Cit­ing a for­mer fed­er­al agent, Reuters report­ed that SOD oper­a­tors would tell law enforce­ment offi­cials in the U.S. to be at a cer­tain place at a cer­tain time and to look for a cer­tain vehi­cle which would then be stopped and searched on some pre­text. “After an arrest was made, agents then pre­tend­ed that their inves­ti­ga­tion began with the traf­fic stop, not with the SOD tip, the for­mer agent said,” Reuters report­ed.

    An anony­mous senior DEA offi­cial told Reuters that this “par­al­lel con­struc­tion” approach is “decades old, a bedrock con­cept” for law enforce­ment. The SOD’s approach fol­lows Twofold tech­niques and Bolten’s par­al­lel mech­a­nism from the ear­ly 1970s.

    To put it sim­ply, lying to frame defen­dants, which has always been unstat­ed pol­i­cy, is now offi­cial pol­i­cy: no longer con­sid­ered cor­rup­tion, it is how your gov­ern­ment man­ages the judi­cial sys­tem on behalf of the rich polit­i­cal elite.

    As out­lined in this arti­cle, the process tracks back to Nixon, the for­ma­tion of the BNDD, and the cre­ation of a secret polit­i­cal police force out of the White House. As Agent Bow­man Tay­lor caus­ti­cal­ly observed, “I used to think we were fight­ing the drug busi­ness, but after they formed the BNDD, I real­ized we were feed­ing it.”

    The cor­rup­tion was first “col­lat­er­al” – as a func­tion of nation­al secu­ri­ty per­formed by the CIA in secret – but has now become “inte­gral,’ the essence of empire run amok...” —END QUOTE...”

    Posted by Robert Ward Montenegro | January 21, 2020, 5:17 pm
  3. “He noticed con­den­sa­tion on the win­dows, peered inside and saw Iris in the dri­ver’s seat **with her hands crossed** in her lap.”

    Source: https://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Historian-Iris-Chang-won-many-battles-The-war-2679354.php

    I am not cer­tain of the physics involved here, but it seems unlike­ly at best, that after shoot­ing her­self, her hands would be “crossed in her lap.”

    Posted by The Gary Webb Experience | January 24, 2020, 7:25 am
  4. @The Gary Webb Expe­ri­ence–

    Good catch! I over­looked that. If that detail is accu­rate, it sug­gests the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­i­ty that some­one else pulled the trig­ger.

    The phys­i­cal evi­dence is indeed sus­pi­cious.

    Thanks so much for this!



    Posted by Dave Emory | January 24, 2020, 3:53 pm
  5. Here, here Dave. The Mind con­trol as nuclear weapon anal­o­gy is indeed an essen­tial con­cept to grasp. If you’re famil­iar with the work of Paul Vir­ilio and his idea of the three bombs:

    1. Nuclear Bomb
    2. Infor­ma­tion Bomb
    3. Genet­ic Bomb

    ...we need to upgrade that for 2020, and take it a nec­es­sary step fur­ther to include

    4. Religious/Spiritual Fanati­cism Bomb (includ­ing the New Age / Cor­po­rate Cult!)

    5. The Mind Con­trol Bomb (Rev­o­lu­tion in Mil­i­tary Affairs)

    6. The Climate/ Weath­er Warfare/ Geo­Engi­neer­ing Bomb



    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2020, 10:16 am

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