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June 6, 2000


According to a report in today's "New York Times," John Millis, Republican Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) committed suicide in a Fairfax County Virginia motel last Sunday. According to the Times, "A spokesman for the Fairfax City police said officers were called to a motel about 8 p.m. on Sunday because a man was threatening suicide. Officer Jeff Morrison said that when the police arrived they found Mr. Millis dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound."

The Times reported that Millis, appointed to his post as staff director by Republican Chairman Porter Goss of Florida three years ago, was himself, like Goss, a former CIA case officer. In his 13 year career with CIA, Millis served in Pakistan with Afghani "Freedom Fighters" in the 1980s. Those Freedom Fighters, known as Mujahedeen, and led by radical Islamic leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, have been documented as supplying or producing as much as 50% of the heroin entering the United States by 1984.

Just recently HPSCI closed out its four year investigation into allegations of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade during the 1980s. Its final report, dated in February but not publicly released until May 11th, stated that there was "no evidence" that the CIA had any involvement or connection with cocaine trafficking as alleged by a series of 1996 stories in "The San Jose Mercury News." [SEE MAY ISSUE OF FROM THE WILDERNESS]. FTW Publisher and Editor Mike Ruppert, himself an eyewitness to CIA involvement in drug dealing, had dealt extensively with HPSCI during the four year investigation and had provided the committee with 6,000 pages of documents indicating CIA involvement in both cocaine and heroin trafficking over a period of three decades.

MILLIS' "UNUSUAL" ACTIVITIES COVERED BY FTW IN MARCH, 2000 ISSUE Millis, in unprecedented style for a Congressional staffer, made volatile and highly critical comments about the performance of former CIA Director John Deutch and President Bill Clinton in a February 18,2000 interview with "Washington Post" reporter Vernon Loeb. Loeb is one of the Post's primary intelligence beat reporters and regarded by FTW as being a conduit for CIA "inspired" stories. In a lengthy article covering the back story behind allegations that former CIA Director (DCI) John Deutch, a Clinton Democratic appointee, had misused CIA computers at his home, Loeb included a series of quotes from Millis that FTW noted were unusually candid. The remarks merit inclusion in their entirety.

Loeb wrote, " Over on the other side of the Capitol this week, the chief staffer of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, former CIA operations officer John Millis, proclaimed Deutch the worst CIA director ever. "Asked at a public lecture at the Smithsonian Tuesday night to rate the various directors of Central Intelligence, Millis said Deutch now takes 'first, second and third prize,' adding that he did 'major damage' to the CIA's Directorate of Operations."

Loeb included additional quotes from Millis praising current DCI George Tenet but closed his story with the following passage: "Where Tenet hasn't done as well, Millis said, is coordinating the overall affairs of the 13-agency intelligence community. But Millis blamed that shortcoming on a lack of support by President Clinton, whom Millis ranked as one of the worst presidents when it comes to support of, and regard for, the intelligence community."

FTW noted in the March issue that such on-the-record quotes by a senior Congressional staffer, in an apparently pre-arranged news story, were highly unusual. Statements of strong opinion are usually reserved for elected Members of Congress. In an election year marked by unusually strenuous behind the scenes conflicts, Millis' statements struck us as especially unusual for their apparent candor and premeditation.

Already comparisons have been made linking the circumstances of Millis' death to those of White House lawyer Vincent Foster and investigative reporter Danny Casolero. Anti-Clinton groups will certainly add Millis' name to the so-called "Clinton Body Count" while others will likely wonder if Millis had pangs of conscience or inside knowledge that might have jeopardized other interests in the intelligence community during a highly volatile period of American history.

FTW finds the timing of Millis' death, especially in proximity to the close-out of HPSCI's investigation of CIA's drug connections, both suspicious and worthy of additional investigation before the trail grows cold and leads become hard to find or deliberately obscured.


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