IG REPORT - VOL. II
OLIVER NORTH IS TOAST!
NOTE: At the time this story was written
it looked like the House Intelligence Committee was going
to get away with closing out the CIA drug investigations.
But thanks to the efforts of From The Wilderness
that resulted in class action suits being filed against
the CIA in Los Angeles and Oakland and other publicity we
have generated Volume II has not been closed out. They can't
because too many people are watching. On October 12, 1999,
investigators from House Intelligence came to Los Angeles
and copied 6,000 pages of our records for review. Going
into 2000, Volume II is still very much an open investigation
and FTW is proof that something can be done. - MCR
Volume Two of CIA Inspector General's Drug Report Released
A CIA Confession - Oliver North Exposed
Michael C. Ruppert
© COPYRIGHT 1998, 1999, 2000, Michael C. Ruppert
- From The Wilderness @ www.copvcia.com.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Permission to reprint
only if the preceding appears.
October 21, 1998
In a move apparently deliberately timed to muzzle Congressional
response, the Central Intelligence Agency, on October 8,
released the long awaited declassified version of Volume
II of Inspector General Frederick Hitz's investigation into
allegations of Contra drug trafficking. The report, which
had been in the hands of the Intelligence Committees of
both Houses since Spring is a virtual confession by CIA
that it engaged in a conspiracy to protect known narcotics
traffickers throughout the Contra war years. Release of
the declassified version of the report came just one hour
after the House of Representatives voted to conduct an impeachment
inquiry on President Clinton and just before House members
were compelled to cease all other activity to resolve the
budget crisis. Mike Schmitz, aide to Congresswoman Maxine
Waters who sits on the Judiciary Committee, which debated
the impeachment measure, told From The Wilderness, "She
was unable to read it. She couldn't respond. And then she
had to go right into budget talks.
"But," Schmitz added, "You
can bet the farm that she is not going to keep quiet about
this." This writer has prepared a 44-page extract of
relevant passages from the report, which shows that the
Agency participated in an apparent conspiracy to protect
traffickers throughout the Contra war. It also demonstrates
that now departed CIA Inspector General Fred Hitz opted
for a course which pointed accusing fingers directly at
retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, the National Security
Council (NSC) and indirectly at then Vice President George
Bush. A copy of that extract was sent to Waters' office
The House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence (HPSCI) has not yet announced a date for
hearings to review the report but it will have to do so
in the near future. Many are still smarting from HPSCI's
last set of hearings on Volume I which were begun March
15, without notice, on orders of Committee Chair Porter
Goss, (R) Fla, who is himself a retired CIA case officer.
Calls and letters to HPSCI and the White House accusing
Goss of a conflict of interest and demanding adequate public
notice have already started going out. It is not likely
that hearings will be held until after the November elections
when Republicans hope to increase their majority in the
Mainstream media coverage of the report,
though underplayed, gave indications of how damning the
report really is. None of the stories I reviewed mentioned
the fact that the Inspector General's report also goes a
long way toward corroborating allegations made by retired
DEA Agent Celerino Castillo and author Gary Webb.
As reported by Associated Press, the
report, "portrays the spy agency as reluctant to inform
Congress or law enforcement of suspected drug activity by
Nicaraguan Contra forces." The AP story continued to
say that, "In classified briefings on Capitol Hill,
CIA officials typically acknowledged only one major case
of narcotics involvement by an anti-Sandinista group - the
so called ADREN [sic] 15th of September group, which was
disbanded in 1982. But the newly declassified report links
to drug allegations 58 other individuals belonging to various
A telling passage of the CIA report
itself states that "In six cases CIA knowledge of allegations
or information indicating that organizations or individuals
had been involved in drug trafficking did not deter their
use by CIA. In at least two of those cases, CIA did not
act to verify drug trafficking allegations or information
even when it had the opportunity to do so."
In an apparent confirmation of Gary
Webb's Dark Alliance series The New York Times, in
a brief story, picked out a paragraph from the report which
acknowledged that Contra leaders in California and the Bay
area specifically planned to deal drugs to raise money for
The Los Angeles Times has not
printed a word about the report.
The report itself is a thousand times
more damaging to CIA than even these limited stories indicated.
It begins by going through a detailed and convoluted process
of describing how, beginning in 1981, the CIA entered into
a conspiratorial set of negotiations with the Justice Department
which accomplished two things. First, the negotiations took
literally thousands of people described as agents, assets
and contractors and removed them from their previous as
classification of "employees" and made them instantly
"non-employees." This set the stage for the second
part of the conspiracy, which was to remove a previously
stated responsibility to report drug trafficking by non-employees
connected to Agency operations.
Later on the report describes how,
in 1987, then acting DCI Robert Gates, wrote a strident
and noble sounding memorandum to then Deputy Director of
Operations, Clair George, setting down no-nonsense policies
against dealing with traffickers. The problem is that the
memorandum was not officially distributed for 15 years.
In a move apparently intended to show
that the Agency had some sense of right and wrong it describes
in detail the drug trafficking activities of Jorge Morales
as connected to ARDE Southern Front Contra leader Eden Pastora.
Pastora was, almost from the outset, in disfavor with the
Agency. A credible case has been made, in fact, that the
Agency intended several times to assassinate Pastora and
one failed attempt, a bombing at La Penca in Nicaragua,
led to the serious injury of American journalist Tony Avirgan.
Much later in the report the Agency links the infamous John
Hull to the bombing through its own cable traffic and information
developed by the government of Costa Rica where Hull operated.
As the report continues, CIA's excuses
and denials for continued dealings with other traffickers
begin to sound strangely like Bill Clinton's evolving definitions
of sex. When absolutely cornered they lay out someone else,
namely Ollie North and the NSC.
a sections on SETCO, an air freight company owned by Class
Iviolator Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, which was documented
shipping tons of cocaine, CIA says SETCO was chosen by NHAO
[The Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office of the State
Department which reported to Oliver North] to transport
goods on behalf of the Contras from late 1985 through mid-1986.
According to testimony by FDN leader Adolfo Calero before
the Iran-Contra committees, SETCO received funds for Contra
supply operations from the "bank accounts that were
established by Oliver North." Oliver North's ally at
State was Elliot Abrams, a frequently named co-conspirator
in the Iran Contra affair, and a man known to have worked
with CIA bagman Albert Vincent Carone who dealt withorganized
crime figures for the purpose of moving cocaine and laundering
money in the era. Carone has been covered in previous issues
of From The Wilderness.
In another section on major trafficker
Moises Nunez, who was being investigated for shipment of
hundreds of kilos of cocaine through firms named Frigorificos
de Puntarenas and Ocean Hunter (also NHAO contractors),
the CIA lays out North yet again. They describe how cocaine
was reportedly received at air strips owned by John Hull
in Costa Rica and taken to ships owned by these two firms.
The CIA report then states, "On March 25, 1987, CIA
questioned Nunez about narcotics trafficking allegations
"Nunez revealed that since
1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with
the National Security Council (NSC). Nunez refused to elaborate
on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult
to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics
trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed
at the direction of the NSC (emphasis mine). Nunez refused
to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved."
Oliver North was the point man at NSC
for all Contra support activities.
The IG report continues, "Headquarters
cabled in April 1987 that a decision had been made to "debrief"
Nunez regarding the revelations he had made. The next day
however, a Headquarters cable stated that 'Headquarters
had decided againstÉ debriefing Nunez.' The cable offered
no explanation for the decision."
As to allegations of trafficking at
Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador the report, over approximately
five pages, appears to corroborate many of the allegations
made by former DEA Agent Celerino Castillo in his book Powderburns.
The Agency draws a distinction between two separate hangars
at Ilopnago, one of which was operated by the Agency, the
other of which was operated by the NSC [Oliver North]. In
making those distinctions the Inspector General's report
also tends to state that CIA personnel somehow evaporated
from the airfield during the time period when Castillo documented
many drug flights. The CIA report also, referring to him
as an unnamed "American citizen", utterly trashes
and disavows the spook Wally Grasheim who Castillo arrested
on drug trafficking and weapons charges. Grasheim had recently
filed suit against the U.S. government and is currently
represented by former Kerry Committee lawyer, John Mattes.
John Hull, one of the biggest covert
operators in the region, who was indicted along with Oliver
North on drug and weapons charges by the Costa Rican government,
is similarly left on twisting in the breeze. In spite of
allegations from a number of pilots and major traffickers
including Jorge Morales, eyewitness testimony and the fact
that the Costa Rican government indicted Hull and North
on drug trafficking and weapons charges. Hull denied any
such activity. He did admit to fleeing the country in 1989.
What is unusual is that CIA devotes
approximately four pages to Hull demonstrating that his
drug trafficking connections, murders and even a planned
bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica were the subject
of intense and frequent communications between CIA and the
Congress. Whereas in other places the CIA report goes to
great lengths to state that suspected drug traffickers were
not employed by the Agency, in Hull's case it neither confirms
or denies any such relationship.
Additional operations and individuals
discussed in the CIA report include Arnoldo Arana, Frank
Castro, Vortex, Michael Palmer, Hondu Carib, Alan Hyde,
Manuel Noriega, Felix Rodriguez, Eden Pastora, Ramon Milian
Rodriguez, Jorge Morales, Jorge Ochoa and an elusive CIA
contractor/employee who worked under the pseudonym of Ivan
Celerino Castillo, in an interview
with From The Wilderness stated that he believed
the mysterious Ivan Gomez to be a Venezuelan trafficker
named Victor Rivera who Cele had met and had dealings with
during the course of his DEA investigations. He described
Rivera, in his book and the interview as a goon who fired
shots within inches of torture victims ears as a means of
intimidation. The CIA says of Gomez, that virtually his
entire family was in the drug business at the same time
that Gomez was married to a CIA employee.
From the damaging nature of the
report it is apparent that what happens now will be up to
the Congress and the people. There is no longer any room
for CIA to hide and Oliver North should start packing his
bags - either to go to jail or to flee the country.
[ All of the revelations
made in the CIA report are too numerous and too damning
to list here. They read like a really good (dumb) spy novel.
A 44 page extract with additional exhibits and commentary
by this writer is available for $12.95 plus $2.00 shipping
and handling. It is strongly suggested for anyone who would
like to have 44 pages of CIA's own self-condemning words
and who would like to begin the hunt for Oliver North, NSC
and George Bush.]
TO OBTAIN YOUR COPY OF THE From
The Wilderness EXTRACTS AND COMMENTARY ON VOLUME TWO
OF THE CIA's INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT WITH COMMENTS AND
NOTES BY MIKE RUPPERTÉ
RELEVANT EXCERPTS -
VOLUME TWO of the CIA
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT OF INVESTIGATION INTO
CONTRA DRUG TRAFFICKING
(released Oct. 8, 1998)
Edited with Notes by Michael C. Ruppert
© COPYRIGHT 1998, 1999, 2000, Michael C. Ruppert - From
The Wilderness www.copvcia.com
P.O. Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
numbers herein listed are taken directly from the CIA Inspector
General's report. My notes and emphases are followed by
the initials MCR. All other highlights, underlines, etc.
are exactly as they appear in the original 410 page report.
The complete report with appendices is available at no charge
and located at www.cia.gov. - MCR]
Summary and Conclusions
14. "CIA received allegations
or information regarding drug trafficking by Contra-related
individuals in the Southern Front that operated from Costa
Rica. In 1984, CIA received allegations that five individuals
associated with the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE)/Sandino
Revolutionary Front (FRS) were engaged in a drug trafficking
conspiracy with a known narcotics trafficker, Jorge Morales.
CIA broke off contact with ARDE in October, 1984, but continued
to have contact with four of the individuals involved with
16. In addition to the five individuals
associated with ARDE, CIA received drug trafficking allegations
or information concerning 16 other individuals who supported
Southern Front Contra operations based in Costa Rica."
17. Contra Related Individuals -
Northern Front. CIA also received allegations or information
concerning drug trafficking by nine Contra-related individuals
in the Northern Front based in Honduras.
18. Other Individuals Involved in
the Contra Program. CIA received drug trafficking allegations
or information concerning five individuals who were used
to support the Contra program.
19. Companies, Pilots and Other
Individuals Working for Companies Used in Support of the
Contra Program. CIA received drug trafficking allegations
or information concerning 14 pilots and two other individuals
who were associated with companies that provided support
for the Contra program. CIA also learned of drug trafficking
allegations or information concerning three companies that
were used to support Contra activities from 1984 until at
20. CIA received drug
trafficking allegations or information concerning an individual
who flew Contra support missions from Ilopango Air Base
in El Salvador in 1985 and 1986.
If you want to know MORE
about this subject,
we recommend the following:
Extracts and Commentary from Vol. II of the CIA Inspector
- Mike with Maxine Waters at Fairfax High
- CIA Drugs and the Impeachment (video or audio)
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