Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #490 3rd Interview with Robert Parry

Record­ed Decem­ber 12, 2004

Con­tin­u­ing our dis­cus­sion with ground-break­ing jour­nal­ist Robert Par­ry, this broad­cast begins with the appar­ent sui­cide of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Gary Webb, whose career was destroyed after he authored an inves­ti­ga­tion of the CIA’s com­plic­i­ty in the Contra/cocaine con­nec­tion. Par­ry eulo­gizes Gary Webb and dis­cuss­es the main­stream press’s shame­ful treat­ment of Gary and his work. (Par­ry and his AP col­league Bri­an Barg­er were the first to break the sto­ry of the Contra/cocaine con­nec­tion.) The bal­ance of the pro­gram con­sists of mate­r­i­al cov­ered in Robert’s book Secre­cy and Priv­i­lege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Water­gate to Iraq. After dis­cussing Webb’s life and work, Robert sets forth infor­ma­tion about the Moon orga­ni­za­tion, one of the main cogs in the GOP’s fund­ing and media/attack appa­ra­tus. The Moon orga­ni­za­tion was involved with the Boli­i­vian Cocaine Coup of 1980, brought about by the col­lab­o­ra­tion of inter­na­tion­al fas­cist ele­ments from Europe and Latin Amer­i­ca. The Cocaine Coup was the gen­e­sis of the Con­tras involve­ment in the cocaine trade. The broad­cast also high­lights Oper­a­tion Con­dor, an assas­si­na­tion con­sor­tium put togeth­er by Latin Amer­i­can mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ships. The most famous Con­dor assassination—the killing of Orlan­do Lete­lier in Wash­ing­ton D.C. in 1976—was cov­ered up, in part, by George H.W. Bush’s CIA. Bush accept­ed mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing from Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion after he retired from the Pres­i­den­cy. Rev­erend Jer­ry Fal­well was also a recip­i­ent of Moon’s largesse. The broad­cast con­cludes by exam­in­ing Carl­ton Sher­wood, who wrote a book excul­pa­to­ry of Moon in the 1980’s and also was behind a tele­vi­sion hit piece on John Ker­ry dur­ing the 2004 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The role of for­mer SS offi­cer (and CIA agent) Klaus Bar­bie in the Cocaine Coup; the involve­ment of ele­ments of the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League in the Cocaine Coup; the role of Argen­tine fas­cists in the Cocaine Coup; the grant­i­ng of a jour­nal­ism award to Webb’s edi­tor at the San Jose Mer­cury News for dis­cred­it­ing Webb’s sto­ry; the Moon organization’s role in dis­cred­it­ing jour­nal­ists and inves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing into the Contra/cocaine con­nec­tion; the Moon organization’s own links to Con­tra-con­nect­ed cocaine smug­glers; the influ­ence of the Moon-owned Wash­ing­ton Times with­in the GOP media machine. Be sure to vis­it Robert Parry’s ConsortiumNews.com.

1. The first top­ic of dis­cus­sion was the death of Gary Webb. Webb, who focused great atten­tion on the CIA’s com­plic­i­ty in the traf­fick­ing of drugs, appar­ent­ly com­mit­ted sui­cide on the week­end that this broad­cast was record­ed. (Mr. Emory hadn’t heard about Webb’s death until imme­di­ate­ly before going on air.) As dis­cussed in FTR#’s 485, 489, Robert Par­ry (along with his asso­ciate Bri­an Barg­er) first broke the sto­ry of the con­tra-cocaine con­nec­tion in the mid 1980’s. Lis­ten­ers can hear a read­ing of Gary Webb’s orig­i­nal San Jose Mer­cury News arti­cle in FTR#01, avail­able for down­load on RealAu­dio. The basic thrust of Robert Parry’s com­ments can be found in the arti­cle that fol­lows:

Amer­i­ca’s Debt to Jour­nal­ist Gary Webb
By Robert Par­ry
Decem­ber 13, 2004

In 1996, jour­nal­ist Gary Webb wrote a series of arti­cles that forced a long-over­due inves­ti­ga­tion of a very dark chap­ter of recent U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy – the Rea­gan-Bush administration’s pro­tec­tion of cocaine traf­fick­ers who oper­at­ed under the cov­er of the Nicaraguan con­tra war in the 1980s.

For his brave report­ing at the San Jose Mer­cury News, Webb paid a high price. He was attacked by jour­nal­is­tic col­leagues at the New York Times, the Wash­ing­ton Post, the Los Ange­les Times, the Amer­i­can Jour­nal­ism Review and even the Nation mag­a­zine. Under this »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle»

2. Next, the pro­gram high­lights Oper­a­tion Con­dor, an assas­si­na­tion con­sor­tium formed by a num­ber of Latin Amer­i­can dic­ta­tor­ships. (For more about Oper­a­tion Con­dor, see RFA#’s 19, 22, 27, 29—avail­able from Spitfire—as well as FTR#’s 259, 284. “In Novem­ber 1975, the loose-knit col­lab­o­ra­tion among the South­ern Cone dic­ta­tor­ships took on a more for­mal struc­ture dur­ing a covert intel­li­gence meet­ing in San­ti­a­go, Chile. Del­e­gates from the secu­ri­ty forces of Chile, Argenti­na, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia com­mit­ted them­selves to a region­al strat­e­gy against ‘sub­ver­sives.’ In recog­ni­tion of Chile’s lead­er­ship, the con­fer­ence named the project after Chile’s nation­al bird, the giant vul­ture that tra­vers­es the Andes Moun­tains. The project was called ‘Oper­a­tion Con­dor.’ The U.S. Defense Intel­li­gence Agency con­fi­den­tial­ly informed Wash­ing­ton that the oper­a­tion had three phas­es and that the third and report­ed­ly very secret phase of ‘Oper­a­tion Con­dor’ involves the for­ma­tion of spe­cial teams from mem­ber coun­tries who are to car­ry out oper­a­tions to include assas­si­na­tions.’ The Con­dor accord for­mal­ly took effect on Jan­u­ary 30, 1976, the same day George H.W. Bush was sworn in as CIA direc­tor.”
(Secre­cy and Priv­i­lege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Water­gate to Iraq; by Robert Par­ry; p. 58.)

3. “Part of Bush’s job was to spare Ford any fresh embar­rass­ments at the CIA. But in Bush’s first few months, right-wing vio­lence across the South­ern Cone surged. On March 24, 1976, the Argen­tine mil­i­tary staged a coup, oust­ing the inef­fec­tu­al Pres­i­dent Isabel Per­on and esca­lat­ing a bru­tal inter­nal secu­ri­ty cam­paign against both vio­lent and non-vio­lent oppo­nents on the Left. The Argen­tine secu­ri­ty forces became espe­cial­ly well-known for gris­ly meth­ods of tor­ture and the prac­tice of ‘dis­ap­pear­ing’ polit­i­cal dis­si­dents who would be snatched from the streets or from their homes, under­go tor­ture and nev­er be seen again. . . .” (Idem.)

4. Per­haps the best known of the “Con­dor” assas­si­na­tions was the killing of Orlan­do Lete­lier in Wash­ing­ton D.C. “ . . .One of the most elo­quent voic­es mak­ing the case against Pinochet’s regime was Chile’s for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter Orlan­do Lete­lier, who was oper­at­ing out of a lib­er­al think tank in Wash­ing­ton, the Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies. Ear­li­er in their gov­ern­ment careers, when Lete­lier was briefly defense min­is­ter in Allende’s gov­ern­ment, Pinochet had been his sub­or­di­nate. After the coup, Pinochet impris­oned Lete­lier at a des­o­late con­cen­tra­tion camp on Daw­son Island off the south Pacif­ic coast. Inter­na­tion­al pres­sure won Lete­lier release a year lat­er.” (Ibid.; p. 60.)

5. “Now, Pinochet was chaf­ing under Letelier’s rough crit­i­cism of the regime’s human rights record. Lete­lier was dou­bly infu­ri­at­ing to Pinochet because

Lete­lier was regard­ed as a man of intel­lect and charm, even impress­ing CIA offi­cers who observed him as ‘a per­son­able, social­ly pleas­ant man’ and ‘a rea­son­able, mature demo­c­rat,’ accord­ing to bio­graph­i­cal sketch­es. Pinochet fumed to U.S. offi­cials, includ­ing Sec­re­tary of State Kissinger, that Lete­lier was spread­ing lies and caus­ing trou­ble with the U.S. Con­gress. Soon, Pinochet was plot­ting with DINA chief Con­tr­eras how to silence Letelier’s crit­i­cism for good. . . .” (Idem.)

6. “ . . . As for the Lete­lier plot, DINA was soon devis­ing anoth­er way to car­ry out the killing. In late August, DINA dis­patched a pre­lim­i­nary team of one man and one woman to do sur­veil­lance on Lete­lier as he moved around Wash­ing­ton. Then, Town­ley was sent under a dif­fer­ent alias to car­ry out the mur­der. After arriv­ing in New York on Sept. 9, 1976, Town­ley con­tact­ed Cuban Nation­al Move­ment leader Guiller­mo Novo in Union City, New Jer­sey, and then head­ed to Wash­ing­ton. Town­ley assem­bled a remote-con­trolled bomb using parts bought at Radio Shack and Sears.” (Ibid.; p. 62.)

7. “On Sep­tem­ber 18, joined by Cuban extrem­ists Vir­gilio Paz and Dion­i­sio Suarez, Town­ley went to Letelier’s home in Bethes­da, Mary­land, out­side Wash­ing­ton. The assas­si­na­tion team attached the bomb under­neath Letelier’s Chevro­let Chev­elle. Three days lat­er, on the morn­ing of Sep­tem­ber 21, Paz and Suarez fol­lowed Lete­lier as he drove to work with two asso­ciates, Ron­ni Mof­fitt and her hus­band Michael. As the Chev­elle pro­ceed­ed down Mass­a­chu­setts Avenue, through an area known as Embassy Row because many of the city’s embassies line the street, the assas­sins det­o­nat­ed the bomb. The blast ripped off Letelier’s legs and –punc­tured a hole in Ron­ni Moffitt’s jugu­lar vein. She drowned in her own blood at the scene; Lete­lier died after being tak­en to George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal. Michael Mof­fitt sur­vived. . . .” (Idem.)

8. “ . . . Bush’s rep­u­ta­tion was also at risk. As authors Dinges and Lan­dau not­ed in Assas­si­na­tion on Embassy Row, ‘the CIA reac­tion was pecu­liar,’ after the cable from Ambas­sador Lan­dau arrived dis­clos­ing a covert Chilean intel­li­gence oper­a­tion and ask­ing Deputy Direc­tor Wal­ters if he had a meet­ing sched­uled with the DINA agents. Ambas­sador ‘Lan­dau expect­ed Wal­ters to take quick action in the event that the Chilean mis­sion did not have CIA clear­ance,’ authors Dinges and Lan­dau wrote. ‘Yet a week passed dur­ing which the assas­si­na­tion team could well have had time to car­ry out their orig­i­nal plan to go direct­ly from Paraguay to Wash­ing­ton to kill Lete­lier. Wal­ters and Bush con­ferred dur­ing that week about the mat­ter.’” (Ibid.; pp. 62–63.)

9. “ ‘One thing is clear,’ Dinges and Lan­dau wrote, ‘DINA chief Manuel Con­tr­eras would have called off the assas­si­na­tion mis­sion if the CIA or State Depart­ment had expressed their dis­plea­sure to the Chilean gov­ern­ment. An intel­li­gence offi­cer famil­iar with the case said that any warn­ing would have been suf­fi­cient to cause the assas­si­na­tion to be scut­tled. What­ev­er Wal­ters and Bush did—if anything—the DINA mis­sion pro­ceed­ed.’” (Ibid.; p. 63.)

10. “With­in hours of the bomb­ing, Letelier’s asso­ciates accused the Pinochet regime, cit­ing its hatred of Lete­lier and its record for bru­tal­i­ty. The Chilean gov­ern­ment, how­ev­er, heat­ed­ly denied any respon­si­bil­i­ty. That night, at a din­ner at the Jor­dan­ian Embassy, Sen­a­tor James Abourezk, a South Dako­ta Demo­c­rat, spot­ted Bush and approached the CIA direc­tor. Abourezk said he was a friend of Letelier’s and beseeched Bush to get the CIA ‘to find the bas­tards who killed him.’ Abourezk said Bush respond­ed: ‘I’ll see what I can do. We are not with­out assets in Chile.’” (Idem.)

11. “A prob­lem, how­ev­er, was that one of the CIA’s best-placed assets—DINA chief Manuel Contreras—would turn out to be the mas­ter­mind of the assas­si­na­tion. Wiley Gilstrap, the CIA’s San­ti­a­go Sta­tion Chief, did approach Con­tr­eras with ques­tions about the Lete­lier bomb­ing and wired back to Lan­g­ley Contreras’s assur­ance that the Chilean gov­ern­ment wasn’t involved. Fol­low­ing the strat­e­gy of pub­lic mis­di­rec­tion already used in hun­dreds of ‘dis­ap­pear­ances,’ Con­tr­eras point­ed the fin­ger at the Chilean Left. Con­tr­eras sug­gest­ed that left­ists had killed Lete­lier to turn him into a mar­tyr.” (Idem.)

12. “The Ford admin­is­tra­tion, of course, had plen­ty of evi­dence that Con­tr­eras was lying. Like a quar­ter cen­tu­ry lat­er, when the U.S. gov­ern­ment imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized al-Qaeda’s hand in the Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, ter­ror­ist attacks on New York and Wash­ing­ton because U.S. offi­cials knew about Osama bin Laden’s inten­tions, there were signs every­where in Sep­tem­ber 1976 that DINA had been plot­ting some kind of attack inside the Unit­ed States. If any­thing, the Lete­lier assas­si­na­tion should have been even eas­i­er to solve since the Pinochet gov­ern­ment had flashed its inten­tion to mount a sus­pi­cious oper­a­tion inside the Unit­ed States by involv­ing the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay and the deputy direc­tor of the CIA. Bush’s CIA even had in its files a pho­to­graph of the leader of the ter­ror­ist squad, Michael Town­ley. . . .” (Idem.)

13. As CIA direc­tor, George Bush actu­al­ly led poten­tial inves­ti­ga­tors away from the real cul­prits in the Lete­lier killing. “Rather than ful­fill­ing his promise to Abourezk to ‘see what I can do,’ Bush ignored the leads. The CIA either didn’t put the pieces togeth­er or chose to avoid the obvi­ous con­clu­sions that the evi­dence pre­sent­ed. Indeed, the CIA didn’t seem to want any infor­ma­tion that might impli­cate the Pinochet regime. On Octo­ber 6, a CIA infor­mant in Chile went to the CIA Sta­tion in San­ti­a­go and relayed an account of Pinochet denounc­ing Lete­lier. The infor­mant said the dic­ta­tor had called Letelier’s crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment ‘unac­cept­able.’ The source ‘believes that the Chilean Gov­ern­ment is direct­ly involved in Letelier’s death and feels that inves­ti­ga­tion into the inci­dent will so indi­cate,’ the CIA field report said. But Bush’s CIA chose to accept Contreras’s denials and even began leak­ing infor­ma­tion that point­ed away from the real killers.” (Ibid.; p. 64.)

14. Return­ing to the sub­ject that was the focal point of Gary Webb’s work—the Contra/cocaine connection—the pro­gram sets forth the gen­e­sis of that oper­a­tion, the Boli­vian Cocaine Coup of 1980. Real­ized through the type of inter­na­tion­al fas­cist col­lab­o­ra­tion exem­pli­fied by Con­dor, the Cocaine Coup was assist­ed by Argen­tine ter­ror vet­er­ans, who then helped set the con­tras up in the cocaine trade. “Anoth­er secret tac­tic passed on to the con­tras was how to finance oper­a­tions through drug traf­fick­ing and drug mon­ey laun­der­ing. Accord­ing to Argen­tine mon­ey-laun­der­er and con­tra train­er Sanchez-Reisse, Argen­tine intel­li­gence arranged an ear­ly flow of drug mon­ey into the con­tras’ cof­fers. In closed tes­ti­mo­ny to Sen­a­tor John Kerry’s con­tra-drug inves­ti­ga­tion in more than $30 mil­lion to sup­port right-wing para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Cen­tral and South Amer­i­ca, includ­ing the con­tra war.” (Ibid.; p. 214.)

15. “Sanchez-Reisse, who over­saw the operation’s mon­ey laun­der­ing, said the drug mon­ey first helped finance a 1980 mil­i­tary coup in Bolivia that oust­ed a demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed left-of-cen­ter gov­ern­ment. Argen­tine intel­li­gence officers—and a cadre of Euro­pean neo-Nazis—assisted in the putsch, which became known as the Cocaine Coup because it gave the drug lords free run of the coun­try.” (Idem.)

16. “Sanchez-Reisse said he and an Argen­tine neo-fas­cist ‘death squad’ leader named Raul Guglielminet­ti over­saw the Mia­mi-based mon­ey-laun­der­ing front that shared some prof­its with the con­tras. Sanchez-Reisse said the Mia­mi mon­ey laun­dry used two front companies—Argenshow, a pro­mot­er of U.S. enter­tain­ment acts in Argenti­na, and the Sil­ver Dol­lar, a pawn shop that was licensed to sell guns. Sanchez-Reisse said the real work of the com­pa­nies was the trans­fer of Rober­to Suarez’s $30 mil­lion into polit­i­cal and paramilit

ary oper­a­tions that had the bless­ings of the CIA. The mon­ey for the Boli­vian Cocaine Coup ‘was shipped from Bahamas to Unit­ed States,’ Sanchez-Reisse said. ‘It was mon­ey [that] belonged to peo­ple con­nect­ed with drug traf­fic in Bolivia at the time, specif­i­cal­ly Mr. Rober­to Suarez in Bolivia.’” (Idem.)

17. Among the prin­ci­pal fig­ures in the Cocaine Coup was for­mer SS man and CIA agent Klaus Bar­bie. (For more about Bar­bie, see—among oth­er pro­grams—RFA#’s 3, 19, 27—avail­able from Spit­fire. Oth­er ref­er­ences can be accessed by using the Spit­fire search func­tion. “The Cocaine Coup had its own extra­or­di­nary his­to­ry. One orga­niz­er of the Boli­vian coup was World War II Nazi fugi­tive Klaus Bar­bie, the noto­ri­ous ‘Butch­er of Lyon’ who was work­ing as a Boli­vian intel­li­gence offi­cer under the name Klaus Alt­mann. Bar­bie drew up plans mod­eled after the 1976 Argen­tine coup and con­tact­ed hard­lin­ers in the Argen­tine secu­ri­ty ser­vices for help. One of the first Argen­tine offi­cers to arrive, Lieu­tenant Alfred Mario Min­gol­la, lat­er described Barbie’s role to Ger­man jour­nal­ist Kai Her­mann. ‘Before our depar­ture, we received a dossier on [Bar­bie],’ Min­gol­la said. ‘There it stat­ed that he was of great use to Argenti­na because he played an impor­tant role in all of Latin Amer­i­ca in the fight against com­mu­nism.’” (Idem.)

18. “Beyond the rou­tine plan­ning, Bar­bie enlist­ed a younger gen­er­a­tion of Ital­ian neo-fas­cists, includ­ing Ste­fano del­la Chi­aie, who was already work­ing with the Argen­tine ‘death squads.’ Bar­bie estab­lished a secret lodge called ‘Thule,’ where he lec­tured his fol­low­ers under­neath swastikas by can­dle­light. The Boli­vian mil­i­tary coup leader was Colonel Luis Arce-Gomez, the cousin of drug lord Rober­to Suarez. Dr. Alfred Can­dia, the Boli­vian leader of the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, coor­di­nat­ed arrival of the para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tives.” (Ibid.; pp. 214–215.)

19. “Plan­ning for the coup pro­ceed­ed almost in the open. There were reports about a June 17, 1980, meet­ing between six of Bolivia’s largest drug traf­fick­ers and the Boli­vian mil­i­tary con­spir­a­tors to ham­mer out finan­cial arrange­ments for the future pro­tec­tion of the cocaine trade. The plot­ting was so brazen that one La Paz busi­ness­man dubbed the oper­a­tion the Cocaine Coup, a name that stuck.” (Ibid.; p. 215.)

20. “On July 17, 1980, the Cocaine Coup unfold­ed, spear­head­ed by Bar­bie and his neo-fas­cist acolytes who went by the name Fiances of Death. ‘The masked thugs were not Boli­vian; they spoke Span­ish with Ger­man, French and Ital­ian accents,’ wrote Michael Levine, an under­cov­er Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion agent oper­at­ing in South Amer­i­ca. ‘Their uni­forms bore nei­ther nation­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion nor any mark­ings, although many of them wore Nazi swasti­ka arm­bands and insignias.’” (Idem.)

21. “The slaugh­ter was fierce. When the putschists stormed the nation­al labor head­quar­ters, they wound­ed labor leader Marce­lo Quiroga, who had led the bat­tle to indict for­mer mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Hugo Banz­er on drug and cor­rup­tion charges. Quiroga ‘was dragged off to police head­quar­ters to be the object of a game played by some of the tor­ture experts import­ed from Argentina’s dread­ed Mechan­ic School of the Navy,’ Levine wrote. ‘These experts applied their ‘sci­ence’ to Quiroga as a les­son to the Boli­vians, who were a lit­tle back­ward in such mat­ters. They kept Quiroga alive and suf­fer­ing for hours. His cas­trat­ed, tor­tured body was found days lat­er in a place called ‘The Val­ley of the Moon’ in south­ern La Paz.’” (Idem.)

22. “To DEA agent Levine back in Buenos Aires, it was soon clear ‘that the pri­ma­ry goal of the rev­o­lu­tion was the pro­tec­tion and con­trol of Bolivia’s cocaine indus­try. All major drug traf­fick­ers in prison were released, after which they joined the neo-Nazis in their ram­page. Gov­ern­ment build­ings were invad­ed and traf­fick­er files were either car­ried off or burned. Gov­ern­ment employ­ees were tor­tured and shot, the women tied and repeat­ed­ly raped by para­mil­i­taries and the freed traf­fick­ers.’” (Idem.)

23. “Colonel Arce-Gomez, the pot-bel­lied cousin of drug lord Rober­to Suarez, grabbed broad pow­ers as Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter. Gen­er­al Luis Gar­cia Meza became Bolivia’s new pres­i­dent. After the coup, Arce-Gomez went into part­ner­ship with big nar­co-traf­fick­ers, includ­ing Mafia-con­nect­ed Cuban-Amer­i­can smug­glers based in Mia­mi. Accord­ing to DEA agent Levine, Arce-Gomez bragged to one traf­fick­er, ‘we will flood America’s bor­ders with cocaine,’ a boast that proved pre­scient.” (Idem.)

24. “ ‘Bolivia soon became the prin­ci­pal sup­pli­er of cocaine base to the then fledg­ling Colom­bian car­tels, mak­ing them­selves the main sup­pli­ers of cocaine to the Unit­ed States,’ Levine said. Car­tel mon­ey-laun­der­er Ramon Mil­ian Rodriguez cor­rob­o­rat­ed the impor­tance of the Boli­vian sup­ply line for the Colom­bian car­tels in the ear­ly days. ‘Bolivia was much more sig­nif­i­cant than the oth­er coun­tries,’ Mil­ian Rodriguez said in tes­ti­mo­ny to Sen­a­tor Kerry’s con­tra-drug inves­ti­ga­tion on April 6, 1988.” (Ibid.; pp. 215–216.)

25. “Anoth­er sig­nif­i­cant aspect of the Cocaine Coup was that it was the point of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion for the Nicaraguan con­tra oper­a­tion, anoth­er secret that would have to be pro­tect­ed by the Rea­gan-Bush admin­is­tra­tion. Though both Pres­i­dent Rea­gan and Vice Pres­i­dent Bush were sym­pa­thet­ic to the harsh anti­com­mu­nism prac­ticed by the Argen­tines and their Latin Amer­i­can allies, the dis­clo­sure of cocaine traf­fick­ing that impli­cat­ed the con­tra move­ment would have dev­as­tat­ed the frag­ile pub­lic sup­port for the oper­a­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 216.)

26. “Still, the Argen­tine train­ing and sup­port for the con­tras pro­ceed­ed. The Argen­tine intel­li­gence offi­cers who had assist­ed in the Cocaine Coup sim­ply moved their base of oper­a­tion from Bolivia to Hon­duras, where the rag­tag force of for­mer Nicaraguan nation­al guards­men was tak­ing shape. Argen­tine mon­ey-laun­der­er Sanchez-Reisse said the mon­ey from the Argen­show-Sil­ver Dol­lar laun­dry was soon flow­ing into the con­tras’ cof­fers. Sanchez-Reisse said his part­ner, Guglielminet­ti, befriend­ed Amer­i­can farmer John Hull, who let the con­tras use his ranch in Cos­ta Rica near the Nicaraguan bor­der.” (Idem.)

27. Much of the pro­gram focus­es on the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church of Sun Myung Moon. Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion was deeply involved in the Cocaine Coup of 1980. “In 1980, Moon made more friends in South Amer­i­ca when Bolivia’s Cocaine Coup plot­ters seized pow­er. Before the coup, WACL asso­ciates, such as Alfred Can­dia, alleged­ly had coor­di­nat­ed the arrival of some of the para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tives who assist­ed in the vio­lent coup. After­wards, one of the first well-wish­ers arriv­ing in La Paz to con­grat­u­late the new gov­ern­ment was Moon’s top lieu­tenant, Bo Hi Pak. The Moon orga­ni­za­tion pub­lished a pho­to of Pak meet­ing with the new strong­man, Gen­er­al Gar­cia Meza. After the vis­it to the moun­tain­ous cap­i­tal, Pak declared, ‘I have erect­ed a throne for Father Moon in the world’s high­est city.’” (Ibid.; p. 231.)

28. “Accord­ing to lat­er Boli­vian gov­ern­ment and news­pa­per reports, a Moon rep­re­sen­ta­tive invest­ed about $4 mil­lion in prepa­ra­tions for the coup. Bolivia’s WACL rep­re­sen­ta­tives also played key roles, and CAUSA, one of Moon’s anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions, list­ed as mem­bers near­ly all the lead­ing Boli­vian coup-mak­ers. . . .” (Idem.)

29. Moon was active in the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League. (For more about WACL, see RFA#’s 14, 15, 36, 37—avail­able from Spit­fire. Addi­tion­al ref­er­ences can be obtained using the “search” func­tion on the Spit­fire web­site.) “ . . . A month after the coup, Gen­er­al Gar­cia Meza par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Fourth Con­gress of the Latin Amer­i­can Anti-Com­mu­nist Con­fed­er­a­tion, an arm of the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League. Also attend­ing the Fourth Con­gress was WACL pres­i­dent Woo Jae Sung, a lead­ing Moon dis­ci­ple. Moon claimed to have split wi

th WACL as of 1975, call­ing the group ‘fas­cist,’ but his fol­low­ers remained active in the orga­ni­za­tion.” (Idem.)

30. “As the drug lords con­sol­i­dat­ed their pow­er in Bolivia, the Moon orga­ni­za­tion expand­ed its pres­ence, too. Her­mann report­ed that in ear­ly 1981, war crim­i­nal Bar­bie and Moon leader Thomas Ward were often seen togeth­er in appar­ent prayer. Min­gol­la, the Argen­tine intel­li­gence offi­cer, described Ward as his CIA pay­mas­ter, with the $1,500 month­ly salary com­ing from the CAUSA office of Ward’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive.” (Ibid.; pp. 231–232.)

31. “On May 31, 1981, Moon rep­re­sen­ta­tives spon­sored a CAUSA recep­tion at the Sher­a­ton Hotel’s Hall of Free­dom in La Paz. Moon’s Lieu­tenant Bo Hi Pak and Boli­vian strong­man Gar­cia Meza led a prayer for Pres­i­dent Reagan’s recov­ery from an assas­si­na­tion attempt. In his speech, Bo Hi Pak declared, ‘God had cho­sen the Boli­vian peo­ple in the heart of South Amer­i­ca s the ones to con­quer com­mu­nism.’ Accord­ing to a lat­er Boli­vian intel­li­gence report, the Moon orga­ni­za­tion sought to recruit an ‘armed church’ of Boli­vians, with about 7,000 Boli­vians receiv­ing some para­mil­i­tary train­ing.” (Idem.)

32. The Moon orga­ni­za­tion also had strong links to the Contra/cocaine smug­glers. “ . . . Besides col­lab­o­rat­ing with Sasakawa and oth­er lead­ers of the Japan­ese yakuza and the Cocaine Coup gov­ern­ment of Bolivia, Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion devel­oped close ties with the Hon­duran mil­i­tary and with Nicaraguan con­tras units tied to drug smug­gling. Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion also used its polit­i­cal clout in Wash­ing­ton to intim­i­date or dis­cred­it gov­ern­ment offi­cials and jour­nal­ists who tried to inves­ti­gate those crim­i­nal activ­i­ties.” (Ibid.; p. 235.)

33. The Moon orga­ni­za­tion rou­tine­ly attacked inves­ti­ga­tors and jour­nal­ists who uncov­ered evi­dence of the links between the Con­tras and cocaine traf­fic. “ . . . In the mid-1980’s, for instance, when jour­nal­ists and con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tors began prob­ing the evi­dence of con­tra-con­nect­ed drug traf­fick­ing, they came under attacks from Moon’s Wash­ing­ton Times. An Asso­ci­at­ed Press sto­ry that I co-wrote with Bri­an Barg­er about a Mia­mi-based fed­er­al probe into gun-and drug-run­ning by the con­tras was den­i­grat­ed in a front-page Wash­ing­ton Times arti­cle with the head­line: ‘Sto­ry on [con­tra] drug smug­gling denounced as polit­i­cal ploy.’” (Ibid.; pp. 235–236.)

34. “When Sen­a­tor John Ker­ry of Mass­a­chu­setts con­duct­ed a Sen­ate probe and uncov­ered addi­tion­al evi­dence of con­tra drug traf­fick­ing, The Wash­ing­ton Times denounced him, too. The news­pa­per first pub­lished anti-con­tra efforts exten­sive, expen­sive, in vain,’ announced the head­line of one Times arti­cle.” (Ibid.; p. 236)

35. “But when Ker­ry exposed more con­tra wrong­do­ing, The Wash­ing­ton Times shift­ed tac­tics. In 1987, in front-page arti­cles, it began accus­ing Kerry’s staff of obstruct­ing jus­tice because their inves­ti­ga­tion was sup­pos­ed­ly inter­fer­ing with Rea­gan-Bush admin­is­tra­tion efforts to get at the truth. ‘Ker­ry staffers dam­aged FBI probe,’ said one Times arti­cle that opened with the asser­tion: ‘Con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tors for Sen. John Ker­ry severe­ly dam­aged a fed­er­al drug inves­ti­ga­tion last sum­mer by inter­fer­ing with a wit­ness while pur­su­ing alle­ga­tions of drug smug­gling by the Nicaraguan resis­tance, fed­er­al law enforce­ment offi­cials said.’” (Idem.)

36. John Kerry’s con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tion of the contra/cocaine con­nec­tion placed him in oppo­si­tion to then Vice-Pres­i­dent George Bush, who was in charge of attempt­ing to inter­dict the flow of nar­cotics into the U.S. through its South­ern bor­ders. “ . . . The Ker­ry inves­ti­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ed an indi­rect chal­lenge to Vice Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush, who had been named by Pres­i­dent Rea­gan to head the South Flori­da Task Force for inter­dict­ing the flow of drugs into the Unit­ed States and was lat­er put in charge of the Nation­al Nar­cotics Bor­der Inter­dic­tion Sys­tem. In short, Bush was the lead offi­cial in the U.S. gov­ern­ment to counter the drug trade, which he him­self had dubbed a nation­al secu­ri­ty threat.” (Ibid.; pp. 236–237.)

37. “If the Amer­i­can vot­ers came to believe that Bush had com­pro­mised his anti-drug respon­si­bil­i­ties to pro­tect the image of the Nicaraguan con­tras and oth­er right­ists in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca, that judg­ment could have threat­ened the polit­i­cal future of Bush and his polit­i­cal­ly ambi­tious fam­i­ly. By pub­licly chal­leng­ing press and con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tions of this touchy sub­ject, The Wash­ing­ton Times helped keep an unfa­vor­able media spot­light from swing­ing in the direc­tion of the Vice Pres­i­dent.” (Ibid.; p. 237.)

38. “The avail­able evi­dence now shows that there was much more to the con­tra drug issue than either the Rea­gan-Bush admin­is­tra­tion or Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion want­ed the Amer­i­can peo­ple to know in the 1980’s. The evidence—assembled over the years by inspec­tors gen­er­al at the CIA, the Jus­tice Depart­ment and oth­er fed­er­al agencies—indicates that Bolivia’s Cocaine Coup gov­ern­ment was only the first in a line of drug enter­pris­es that tried to squeeze under the pro­tec­tive umbrel­la of Ronald Reagan’s favorite covert oper­a­tion, the con­tra war.” (Idem.)

39. After retir­ing from the Pres­i­den­cy, Bush gar­nered enor­mous speak­ing fees for the Moon out­fit. Some of these fees were in exchange for pro­mo­tion­al appear­ances he did in Latin Amer­i­ca for Tiem­pos del Mun­do, a Span­ish-lan­guage paper Moon was start­ing in Latin Amer­i­ca. “ . . . Giv­en the con­tro­ver­sy, Argentina’s elect­ed pres­i­dent, Car­los Men­em, decid­ed to reject Moon’s invi­ta­tion. But Moon had a trump card to play in his bid for South Amer­i­can respectabil­i­ty: the endorse­ment of an ex-Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, George H.W. Bush. Agree­ing to speak at the newspaper’s launch, Bush flew aboard a pri­vate plane, arriv­ing in Buenos Aires on Novem­ber 22. Bush stayed at Menem’s offi­cial res­i­dence, the Olivos, though Bush’s pres­ence didn’t change Menem’s mind about attend­ing the gala.” (Ibid.; p. 272.)

40. “Still, as the biggest VIP at the inau­gur­al cel­e­bra­tion, Bush saved the day, Moon’s fol­low­ers gushed. ‘Mr. Bush’s pres­ence as keynote speak­er gave the event invalu­able pres­tige,’ wrote the Uni­fi­ca­tion News. ‘Father [Moon] and Moth­er [Mrs. Moon] sat with sev­er­al of the True Chil­dren [Moon’s off­spring] just a few feet from the podi­um’ where Bush spoke. Before about 900 Moon guests at the Sher­a­ton Hotel, Bush lav­ished praise on Moon.” (Idem.)

41. “ ‘I want to salute Rev­erend Moon, who is the founder of The Wash­ing­ton Times and also of Tiem­pos del Mun­do,’ Bush declared. ‘A lot of my friends in South Amer­i­ca don’t know about The Wash­ing­ton Times, but it is an inde­pen­dent voice. The edi­tors of The Wash­ing­ton Times tell me that nev­er once has the man with the vision inter­fered with the run­ning of the paper, a paper that in my view brings san­i­ty to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. I am con­vinced that Tiem­pos del Mun­do is going to do the same thing’ in Latin Amer­i­ca.” (Ibid.; pp. 272–273.)

42. “Bush then held up the col­or­ful new news­pa­per and com­pli­ment­ed sev­er­al arti­cles, includ­ing one flat­ter­ing piece about his wife Bar­bara. Bush’s speech was so effu­sive that it sur­prised even Moon’s fol­low­ers. ‘Once again, heav­en turned a dis­ap­point­ment into a vic­to­ry,’ the Uni­fi­ca­tion News exult­ed. ‘Every­one was delight­ed to hear his com­pli­ments. We knew would give an appro­pri­ate and ‘nice’ speech, but praise in Father’s pres­ence was more than we expect­ed. . . . I

t was vin­di­ca­tion. We could just hear a sigh of relief from Heav­en.’” (Ibid.; p. 273.)

43. “In Sep­tem­ber 1995, Bush and his wife, Bar­bara, gave six speech­es in Asia for the Women’s Fed­er­a­tion for World Peace, a group led by Moon’s wife, Hak Ja Han Moon. In one speech on Sep­tem­ber 14 to 50,000 Moon sup­port­ers in Tokyo, Bush insist­ed that ‘what real­ly counts is faith, fam­i­ly and friends.’ Mrs. Moon fol­lowed the ex-Pres­i­dent to the podi­um and announced that ‘it has to be Rev­erend Moon to save the Unit­ed States, which is in decline because of the destruc­tion of the fam­i­ly and moral decay.’” (Idem.)

44. “In sum­mer 1996, Bush was lend­ing his pres­tige to Moon again. Bush addressed the Moon-con­nect­ed Fam­i­ly Fed­er­a­tion for World Peace in Wash­ing­ton, an event that gained noto­ri­ety when come­di­an Bill Cos­by tried to back out of his con­tract after learn­ing of Moon’s con­nec­tion. Bush had no such qualms.” (Ibid.; pp. 273–274.)

45. The total for Bush’s speech­es on behalf of Moon may have exceed­ed $10 mil­lion. “Through­out these pub­lic appear­ances for Moon, Bush’s office refused to divulge how much Moon-affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tions have paid the ex-Pres­i­dent. But esti­mates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appear­ance alone ran between $100,00 and $500,000. Sources close to the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church have put the total Bush-Moon pack­age in the mil­lions, with one source telling me that Bush stood to make as much as $10 mil­lion total from Moon “Through­out these pub­lic appear­ances for Moon, Bush’s office refused to divulge how much Moon-affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tions have paid the ex-Pres­i­dent. But esti­mates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appear­ance alone ran between $100,00 and $500,000. Sources close to the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church have put the total Bush-Moon pack­age in the mil­lions, with one source telling me that Bush stood to make as much as $10 mil­lion total from Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 274.)

46. Among the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Moon’s largesse was Rev­erend Jer­ry Fal­well. (In addi­tion to Moon, Fal­well accept­ed large sums of mon­ey from Wal­ly Hilliard, who owned the flight schools through which the 9/11 hijack­ers infil­trat­ed. For more about this, see FTR#482.) “But Fal­well was joy­ous. He told local reporters that the moment was ‘the great­est sin­gle day of finan­cial advan­tage’ in the school’s his­to­ry. Left unmen­tioned in the hap­py ser­mon was the iden­ti­ty of the big­ger guardian angel who had appeared at the pro­pi­tious moment to pro­tect Falwell’s finan­cial inter­ests. Falwell’s secret bene­fec­tor was the Rev­erend Sun Myung Moon, the self-pro­claimed South Kore­an Mes­si­ah who is con­tro­ver­sial with many fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­tians because of his strange Bib­li­cal inter­pre­ta­tions and his alleged brain­wash­ing of thou­sands of young Amer­i­cans, often shat­ter­ing their bonds with their bio­log­i­cal fam­i­lies replaced by Moon and his wife as True Par­ents. Covert­ly, Moon had helped bail out Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty through one of his front groups which fun­neled $3.5 mil­lion to the Reber-Thomas Chris­t­ian Her­itage Foun­da­tion, the non-prof­it that had pur­chased the school’s debt. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 267.)

47. Cur­rent FBI direc­tor Robert Mueller helped to exon­er­ate Moon. (FTR#’s 462, 464 doc­u­ment Mueller’s efforts at obfus­cat­ing the ter­ror­ist fund­ing appa­ra­tus that backed Al Qae­da. FTR#485 high­lights Mueller’s less than vig­or­ous inves­ti­ga­tion of the BCCI affair.) “ . . . As pub­lic demands mount­ed for Moon and his front groups to reg­is­ter as for­eign agents, the Jus­tice Depart­ment added a new argu­ment to its rea­sons to say no. In an August 19, 1992, let­ter, Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al Robert S. Mueller rebuffed a demand that the Moon-backed Amer­i­can Free­dom Coun­cil reg­is­ter under FARA by not­ing that Moon, a South Kore­an cit­i­zen, had obtained U.S. res­i­dent-alien status—or a ‘green card.’” (Ibid.; p. 242.)

48. “Mueller, who is now FBI direc­tor, wrote that ‘in the absence of a for­eign prin­ci­pal, there is no require­ment for reg­is­tra­tion. . . .The Rev­erend Sun Myung Moon enjoys the sta­tus of per­ma­nent res­i­dent alien in the Unit­ed States and there­fore does not fall with­in FARA’s def­i­n­i­tion of for­eign prin­ci­pal. It fol­lows that the Act is not applic­a­ble to the [Amer­i­can Free­dom] Coun­cil because of its asso­ci­a­tion with Rev­erend Moon.’” (Idem.)

49. The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of Carl­ton Sher­wood. Sher­wood was instru­men­tal in help­ing to defend Moon against attacks and inves­ti­ga­tions in the 1980’s. More recent­ly, Carl­ton Sher­wood was a prime mover behind an attack “pseu­do-doc­u­men­tary” that was pro­duced for the Sin­clair broad­cast­ing net­work.

Ker­ry Attack­er Pro­tect­ed Rev. Moon
By Robert Par­ry
Octo­ber 15, 2004

Carl­ton Sher­wood, who has pro­duced an anti-John Ker­ry video that will be aired across the Unit­ed States before the Nov. 2 elec­tions, wrote a book in the 1980s denounc­ing fed­er­al inves­ti­ga­tors who tried to crack down on Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s illic­it finan­cial oper­a­tions.

In ret­ro­spect, Sherwood’s book, Inqui­si­tion: The Pros­e­cu­tion and Per­se­cu­tion of the Rev­erend Sun Myung Moon, appears to have been part of a right-wing counter-offen­sive aimed at »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle»


One comment for “FTR #490 3rd Interview with Robert Parry”

  1. While Hen­ry Kissinger’s sta­tus as a real-life Dr. Strangelove is some­what com­pli­cat­ed, he nev­er fails to inspire dark humor:

    Moth­er Jones

    New Memo: Kissinger Gave the “Green Light” for Argenti­na’s Dirty War

    —By David Corn | Tue Jan. 14, 2014 12:23 PM GMT

    Only a few months ago, Hen­ry Kissinger was danc­ing with Stephen Col­bert in a fun­ny bit on the lat­ter’s Com­e­dy Cen­tral show. But for years, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state has side­stepped judg­ment for his com­plic­i­ty in hor­rif­ic human rights abus­es abroad, and a new memo has emerged that pro­vides clear evi­dence that in 1976 Kissinger gave Argenti­na’s neo-fas­cist mil­i­tary jun­ta the “green light” for the dirty war it was con­duct­ing against civil­ian and mil­i­tant left­ists that result­ed in the disappearance—that is, deaths—of an esti­mat­ed 30,000 peo­ple.

    In April 1977, Patt Der­ian, a one­time civ­il rights activist whom Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter had recent­ly appoint­ed assis­tant sec­re­tary of state for human rights, met with the US ambas­sador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. A memo record­ing that con­ver­sa­tion has been unearthed by Mar­tin Edwin Ander­sen, who in 1987 first report­ed that Kissinger had told the Argen­tine gen­er­als to pro­ceed with their ter­ror cam­paign against left­ists (whom the jun­ta rou­tine­ly referred to as “ter­ror­ists”). The memo notes that Hill told Der­ian about a meet­ing Kissinger held with Argen­tine For­eign Min­is­ter Cesar Augus­to Guzzetti the pre­vi­ous June. What the two men dis­cussed was revealed in 2004 when the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Archive obtained and released the secret mem­o­ran­dum of con­ver­sa­tion for that get-togeth­er. Guzzetti, accord­ing to that doc­u­ment, told Kissinger, “our main prob­lem in Argenti­na is ter­ror­ism.” Kissinger replied, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quick­ly. But you must get back quick­ly to nor­mal pro­ce­dures.” In oth­er words, go ahead with your killing cru­sade against the left­ists.

    The new doc­u­ment shows that Kissinger was even more explic­it in encour­ag­ing the Argen­tine jun­ta. The memo recounts Hill describ­ing the Kissinger-Guzzetti dis­cus­sion this way:

    The Argen­tines were very wor­ried that Kissinger would lec­ture to them on human rights. Guzzetti and Kissinger had a very long break­fast but the Sec­re­tary did not raise the sub­ject. Final­ly Guzzetti did. Kissinger asked how long will it take you (the Argen­tines) to clean up the prob­lem. Guzzetti replied that it would be done by the end of the year. Kissinger approved.

    In oth­er words, Ambas­sador Hill explained, Kissinger gave the Argen­tines the green light.

    That’s a damn­ing state­ment: a US ambas­sador say­ing a sec­re­tary of state had egged on a repres­sive regime that was engaged in a killing spree.

    In August 1976, accord­ing to the new memo, Hill dis­cussed “the mat­ter per­son­al­ly with Kissinger, on the way back to Wash­ing­ton from a Bohemi­an Grove meet­ing in San Fran­cis­co.” Kissinger, Hill told Der­ian, con­firmed the Guzzetti con­ver­sa­tion and informed Hill that he want­ed Argenti­na “to fin­ish its ter­ror­ist prob­lem before year end.” Kissinger was con­cerned about new human rights laws passed by the Con­gress requir­ing the White House to cer­ti­fy a gov­ern­ment was not vio­lat­ing human rights before pro­vid­ing US aid. He was hop­ing the Argen­tine gen­er­als could wrap up their mur­der­ous erad­i­ca­tion of the left before the law took effect.


    Hill, who died in 1978, nev­er did tes­ti­fy that Kissinger had urged on the Argen­tine gen­er­als, and the Carter admin­is­tra­tion reversed pol­i­cy and made human rights a pri­or­i­ty in its rela­tions with Argenti­na and oth­er nations. As for Kissinger, he skated—and he has been skat­ing ever since, dodg­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for dirty deeds in Chile, Bangladesh, East Tim­or, Cam­bo­dia, and else­where. Kissinger watch­ers have known for years that he at least implic­it­ly (though pri­vate­ly) endorsed the Argen­tine dirty war, but this new memo makes clear he was an enabler for an endeav­or that entailed the tor­ture, dis­ap­pear­ance, and mur­der of tens of thou­sands of peo­ple. Next time you see him danc­ing on tele­vi­sion, don’t laugh.

    We should­n’t laugh at Kissinger’s lega­cy although some of Robert Hill’s mem­os might be inspi­ra­tional. And there’s always the orig­i­nal kind of dark humor that might be appro­pri­ate giv­en the con­text.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 16, 2014, 8:24 pm

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