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FTR #729 Interview with Daniel Hopsicker: Strange Doings South of the Border

[1]Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

Intro­duc­tion: Con­tin­u­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion of appar­ent drug-smug­gler Walid Mak­led Gar­cia [4], this pro­gram flesh­es out ele­ments of the net­works for which Gar­cia appar­ent­ly works.

The back­ground against which this event must be viewed is the years-long inves­ti­ga­tion Hop­sick­er has under­tak­en into clan­des­tine air­lines and flight schools which, tak­en togeth­er, are in the ser­vice of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and uti­lized for drug traf­fick­ing by those same ele­ments. It is through this envi­ron­ment that Mohammed Atta and some of the 9/11 hijack­ers infil­trat­ed.

Of pri­ma­ry inter­est is the spin being put on Venezue­lan caudil­lo Hugo Chavez’s role in these events. Although he cer­tain­ly appears to be involved with nar­cotics traf­fick­ing, Chavez is NOT the king­pin in these events. Indeed, ele­ments of the shady avi­a­tion net­works appear to be oper­at­ing on behalf of those try­ing to over­throw Chavez.

By the same token, Hop­sick­er’s assess­ment of the alleged Al Qaeda/drug smug­gling is some­what flawed. Although there cer­tain­ly IS involve­ment by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ele­ments in the Maghreb in this con­cate­na­tion, ele­ments of these net­works are involved with that ele­ment of U.S. intel­li­gence that appears to have been com­plic­it with 9/11. [The Broth­er­hood is the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of Al Qae­da.]

Billed as a “king­pin” Gar­cia actu­al­ly appears to have been func­tion­ing in an aux­il­liary role, aid­ing co-con­spir­a­tors that were not named.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of the links between the clan­des­tine avi­a­tion net­works and the milieu through which Mohammed Atta and com­pa­ny infil­trat­ed; review of the links between this milieu and a sub­sidiary com­pa­ny of Titan, a major defense sub­con­trac­tor [5]; sup­port giv­en this net­work by the GOP polit­i­cal infra­struc­ture [6] in both Cal­i­for­nia and Flori­da.

1. Much of the pro­gram focus­es on Walid Mak­led Gar­cia. Arrest­ed and tout­ed by the DEA as a king­pin of the drug trade, Gar­cia appears to have been a less­er fig­ure.

The back­ground against which this event must be viewed is the years-long inves­ti­ga­tion Hop­sick­er has under­tak­en into clan­des­tine air­lines and flight schools which, tak­en togeth­er, are in the ser­vice of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and uti­lized for drug traf­fick­ing by those same ele­ments. It is through this envi­ron­ment that Mohammed Atta and some of the 9/11 hijack­ers infil­trat­ed.

Of pri­ma­ry inter­est is the spin being put on Venezue­lan caudil­lo Hugo Chavez’s role in these events. Although he cer­tain­ly appears to be involved with nar­cotics traf­fick­ing, Chavez is NOT the king­pin in these events. Indeed, ele­ments of the shady avi­a­tion net­works appear to be oper­at­ing on behalf of those try­ing to over­throw Chavez.

By the same token, Hop­sick­er’s assess­ment of the alleged Al Qaeda/drug smug­gling is some­what flawed. Although there cer­tain­ly IS involve­ment by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ele­ments in the Maghreb in this con­cate­na­tion, ele­ments of these net­works are involved with those ele­ment of U.S. intel­li­gence that appears to have been com­plic­it with 9/11. [The Broth­er­hood is the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of Al Qae­da.]

Billed as a “king­pin” Gar­cia actu­al­ly appears to have been func­tion­ing in an aux­il­liary role, aid­ing co-con­spir­a­tors that were not named.

The now-famous DC9 from St Peters­burg Flori­da caught car­ry­ing 5.5 tons of cocaine in the Yucatan four years ago is back in the news, as the cen­ter­piece of a new DEA cam­paign of “pro­jec­tive or reverse pro­pa­gan­da.”

Just four months ago fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors used the bust of the cocaine-laden DC9 to fin­ger Wachovia Bank, then the U.S.’s fourth largest, for laun­der­ing drug mon­ey used to pur­chase the plane.

An incred­i­ble $450 bil­lion had been run through Wachovia, said U.S. pros­e­cu­tors, whose ori­gins and prove­nance were con­sid­ered... (here they used the same word a Fed­er­al Judge in Tam­pa used, to describe the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Sky­Way Air­craft’s bank­rupt­cy)... murky.

The bank was allowed to plead guilty to laun­der­ing a frac­tion of that amount, was fined $160 mil­lion, and then sold off to Wells Far­go Bank.

How much had Wachovia made for wash­ing all that filthy lucre? The fig­ure was nev­er revealed.

Dol­lars to donuts (or sub-prime mort­gage secu­ri­ties) the bank made a killing.

As ever, the U.S. treats some ele­ments of the drug trade (Repub­li­cans?) as more equal than oth­ers.

“Chair­man Hugo just don’t sound right”

Today the DEA is gear­ing up to go after—to Noriega-ize—Hugo Chavez, accus­ing him of engag­ing in a glob­al drug traf­fick­ing con­spir­a­cy of stag­ger­ing dimen­sions.

Hugo Chavez is the lat­est vic­tim of a U.S. reverse pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign.

The term, first coined by emi­nence grise Pro­fes­sor Peter Dale Scott, the lead­ing aca­d­e­m­ic author­i­ty on the drug trade, describes a U.S. tac­tic repeat­ed­ly used for over 50 years of accus­ing a cur­rent Amer­i­can foe of drug traf­fick­ing that the U.S. is itself guilty of con­duct­ing with covert assis­tance from U.S. prox­ies and allies.

For exam­ple, the U.S. blamed Red Chi­na in the 1950’s for traf­fick­ing hero­in into the U.S. being trans­port­ed by Air Amer­i­ca from Chi­ang Kai-shek’s Nation­al­ist Chi­nese strong­holds in the Gold­en Tri­an­gle.

More recent­ly, Pres­i­dent Rea­gan blamed the San­din­istas for flood­ing Amer­i­ca with cocaine actu­al­ly being sup­plied by drug traf­fick­ers sup­port­ing the Con­tras and flown to the U.S. by life-long CIA assets like pilot Bar­ry Seal, in an oper­a­tion coor­di­nat­ed in the White House by Marine Lieu­tenant Colonel Oliv­er North.

Act­ing DEA Admin­is­tra­tor Chats with Amer­i­can DrugLo­rd

The pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign began in earnest last Jan­u­ary. That’s when an uniden­ti­fied offi­cial from the Dept. of Home­land Secu­ri­ty announced the dis­cov­ery of a pipeline, using car­go planes and even Boe­ing 727’s, pump­ing cocaine from Venezuela across the Atlantic to West Africa.

The surg­ing sales and bur­geon­ing sup­ply of cocaine in Europe could be blamed on Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

And, can you guess?

Al Qae­da in North Africa.

“Al Qae­da linked to rogue air net­work: U.S. offi­cial” read the head­line on a Jan­u­ary 14, 2010 wire ser­vice report.

From the FARC to Chavez to Al Qae­da... It was a ter­ror­ist tri-fec­ta.

It must have been the clos­est thing to a wet dream that griz­zled old U.S. drug war apol­o­gist Gen. Bar­ry McCaf­frey has had since Jane Rus­sell starred in “The Fuzzy Pink Night­gown.”

Too bad it isn’t true.

“A king­pin among king­pins.”

What­ev­er Chavez’s faults–and drug traf­fick­ing is cer­tain­ly one of them–he is not the head hon­cho sit­ting astride a glob­al drug traf­fick­ing Colos­sus.

But don’t take our word for it.

Let’s take a look at the affi­davit filed in sup­port of Walid’s indict­ment by DEA Spe­cial Agent Gre­go­ry Ball, and com­pare it to the wide­ly-quot­ed news con­fer­ence held ear­li­er this month by DEA act­ing admin­is­tra­tor Michele Leon­hart and Man­hat­tan U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara, who fin­gered Syr­i­an-born Walid Mak­led-Gar­cia, 43, a for­mer crony of Venezue­lan strong­man Hugo Chavez, as a drug king­pin.

Walid Mak­led was “a for­eign drug king­pin with a long his­to­ry of drug traf­fick­ing, and he has built a vast glob­al drug traf­fick­ing empire on illic­it pro­ceeds,” gushed DEA act­ing admin­is­tra­tor Michele Leon­hart.

“His arrest will impact world­wide sup­plies of drugs…”

Cit­ing Mak­led’s “vast inter­na­tion­al nar­cotics traf­fick­ing orga­ni­za­tion,” U.S. Atty. Bharara said, “Even among glob­al nar­cotics traf­fick­ers, Mak­led-Gar­cia is a king among king­pins.”

“These airstrips were used by dif­fer­ent traf­fick­ers.”

A care­ful read­ing of the indict­ment and DEA affi­davit filed in New York Fed­er­al Court pro­vides evi­dence con­firm­ing Mak­led’s involve­ment in drug traf­fick­ing. But it does not sup­port the charge that Walid Mak­led-Gar­cia is a “king­pin among king­pins.”

It states Mak­led oper­at­ed and con­trolled sev­er­al airstrips in Venezuela between 2006 and 2010 which were “used by dif­fer­ent drug traf­fick­ing orga­ni­za­tions.”

Mak­led was respon­si­ble for pay­ing off local law enforce­ment offi­cials in Venezuela so that planes car­ry­ing drug loads could leave Venezuela, said DEA Agent Bal­l’s con­fi­den­tial infor­mant.

They weren’t Makled’s drugs. They weren’t Makled’s planes either.

But wait. It gets worse.

He coor­di­nates. You know, like, a wardrobe coor­di­na­tor?

Ball’s affi­davit cites Mak­led for just two overt acts.

The first is his role in the 5.5 ton DC9 drug move. Mak­led isn’t named for being respon­si­ble for deliv­er­ing the drugs to the U.S. His job, states Ball, was to “coor­di­nate the trans­porta­tion to Mex­i­co” of the 5.5 ton load.

In the sec­ond overt act, a plane loaded with 1.5 tons of cocaine (1500 kilos) left Venezuela on May 10, 2009 bound for Hon­duras. On that flight Mak­led once again “coor­di­nat­ed the trans­porta­tion from Venezuela to Hon­duras.”
The flight crashed with three peo­ple onboard, one of whom died in the crash.

Was it Makled’s plane that was lost? No. Was it his cocaine? No again. Was it Mak­led who suf­fered the loss?

If the answer to any of these ques­tions were “yes,” it would have been in the indict­ment.

Not as lot of “overt acts” for a “king­pin among king­pins”

When we look at Makled’s “overt acts” in his indict­ment, the sit­u­a­tion goes from bad to worse, and ends up pos­i­tive­ly com­i­cal. Mak­led is again cit­ed for coor­di­nat­ing the trans­porta­tion to Mex­i­co of the 5.5 ton DC9 flight.

But… what’s this? “On or about April 11 2006 co-con­spir­a­tors not named as defen­dants pos­sessed 5.5 tons (5600 kilo­grams) of cocaine in Mex­i­co.”

On the May 11, 2006 1.5 tons of cocaine flight from Venezuela to Hon­duras, Mak­led again paid off author­i­ties for a flight con­trolled by “oth­er co-con­spir­a­tors not named as defen­dants.”

Co-con­spir­a­tors not named in this indict­ment? Who might they be?

Mak­led wasn’t even a plane-mover, just a flight facil­i­ta­tor. A bag man. The mon­ey he was spread­ing around wasn’t even his.

Mak­led wasn’t a king­pin. He just worked for them, brib­ing local offi­cials, Gen­er­als, and Venezuela’s anti-drug czar, and mak­ing sure they stayed bribed.

And the DEA won’t name the real drug traf­fick­ers involved. Is it because they’re wait­ing to reel in the Big Fish?

Don’t hold your breath. You could die wait­ing.

Deci­sion 2008: Too Late to Vote “No?”

It was the kind of lie we came to expect dur­ing the bad old days of the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion. Remem­ber?

For­mer pest con­trol man Tom Delay strut­ting around like a lit­tle Napoleon in cow­boy boots?

But this... this here’s the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion.

Who ever thought Oba­ma would sec­ond the nom­i­na­tion to head the DEA of some­one cho­sen by some­one, for­mer Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, whose drug war cre­den­tials include the rumor which has been abroad for two decades that he was caught offload­ing cocaine off a plane by “DEA Agent” Bar­ry Seal?

Act­ing DEA admin­is­tra­tor Michele Leon­hart is a clear ear­ly favorite for the Asa Hutchin­son Look­ing the Oth­er Way Award.”

Maybe that’s why Leon­hart was con­sort­ing with FOX News repro­bate North on her recent look-see trip to the hero­in cap­i­tal of the world, Afghanistan.

Maybe she was check­ing out first­hand the tes­ti­mo­ny in court of the Colom­bian assas­sins of Bar­ry Seal, who said they’d been direct­ed while in the U.S. by an anony­mous U.S. mil­i­tary offi­cer, who they quick­ly fig­ured out was Oliv­er North.

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Chris­t­ian,” said one of North’s own pilots about him, “any­more than going to a car­wash makes you a car.”

“Chair­man Chavez, Oliv­er North & ‘Co-Con­spir­a­tors Not Named as Defen­dants’ ” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews; 12/1/2010. [4]