"But, You Don't Understand,
My Case Is Different!"
Advice and Experience for Whistleblowers Looking for Help
[Appeared as the Lead Essay in the March 31, 2000 issue of From The Wilderness]
by Michael C. Ruppert
Richard Taus earned three Bronze Stars and seven Air Medals flying helicopters in Vietnam. Taus later became a highly decorated FBI Agent in New York while also serving as a Reserve Army Instructor for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Colleges. In the 1980s, before the Iran-Contra scandals, Taus uncovered massive illegal covert operations that led directly to Bill Casey, Oliver North and Vice President George Bush through a contract spook outfit called "The K Team." Undaunted by pressure from higher-ups - including one of my favorite bad guys, FBI Assistant Director, Oliver "Buck" Revell - to cease and desist his investigations, Taus refused to yield. His investigations led to drugs, money laundering, weapons smuggling, political corruption and into the heart of the CIA.
Taus was so persistent that, when his cover as a soccer coach got him too close to powerful political circles, he was railroaded into 32 to 90 years in the infamous Dannemora prison for child molestation. This, notwithstanding the fact that the trial Judge disallowed evidence that the families of the boys who made the charges initially, had their own criminal investigations disappear after Taus was convicted.
I believe Rich Taus. He has provided me with very helpful information and much of what he has told me has been solidly corroborated through other sources. I want to share with you a letter Rich wrote to me recently.
Received your FTW issue of Jan. 28 s [actually Feb 25] yesterday. Nary a mention of my plight since we first corresponded. I noted extensive coverage of former CIA agent Edwin Wilson's case and even a full-page for DEA Agent Cele Castillo. At least they have someone crying in the wilderness for them.
Last year you mentioned holding off on my story, using it as a "knock-out" blow. If my appeal succeeds, every news organization in the country will be after my story. If it does not succeed, you and people who opposed government corruption will have lost an ally who could have helped you by telling his story.
Brad Ayers is both a former CIA and DEA Agent. In the 1980s, while working for the DEA in South Florida he entered aircraft being operated by CIA proprietary Southern Air Transport and actually removed, and booked into evidence, samples of cocaine residue. Despite enormous pressure that eventually led to wanted posters being circulated on him, implying that he was a cop killer, Brad Ayers survived relentless persecution and attempts to silence him. Brad now lives in semi-seclusion in the Midwest. After reading my story on Ed Wilson Brad wrote:
I have just received the January 28th issue of your newsletter...
You know a good bit of my history, all well documented and substantiated by bon fides, military, CIA and DEA records as well as personal FOIA request-responses.
In all of your extended discourse on the CIA-Reagan/Bush war on drugs revelations, you've never mentioned my 85-6 entry of aircraft at Southern Air Transport (SAT) and Pan Aviation or the Joe Price affair. I'm not looking for attention, but is this not testimony worthy of inclusion in the sordid history you seem intent on publishing?
What moves me to write at this time, most specifically, is your reference to two individuals with whom I've had some extended personal experience. The first is Ted Shackley who was my boss at JM WAVE and the second is Dan Sheehan of the Christic Institute who I had direct contact with during my DEA/war-on-drugs/Iran-Contra testimony in Washington in 1986 and 1987 (suggested inquiry, common connection to Jack Blum).
You apparently have pretty good book on Shackley, but you should know that Sheehan is as phony as a three dollar bill with a Janus agenda. I could go into detail but what the hell! Others to watch for - Gene Wheaton and Bo Gritz - both have been operating with two-faced agendas...
I also have complete faith in and concur with the conclusions of Brad Ayers.
Early this month a man named Roy G. contacted me via e-mail and virtually demanded that I immediately begin an investigation into rampant CIA connected drug corruption in Belize. Roy, who had lived and worked in the area, claimed to have detailed knowledge of corruption and complicity on the part of U.S. Government and Belizean officials. After several exchanges with Roy I concluded that his experience was probably entirely valid and that his life might be in some jeopardy as a result of having come forward but that - since he had no hard documentation or government records to substantiate his claims - I did not have the resources to investigate his story. After advising him of this, Roy wrote me back saying, "You're just like all of the major media!" He then accused me of being cavalier, lazy and not caring about whistleblowers' welfare.
Just a week earlier an MD from Texas named Steve e-mailed me about CIA involvement in drugs in Panama. He started to solicit my help then began telling me what to do and to read so that I could prove CIA complicity in drugs moving through Panama and Texas. He wanted to lecture me on how to play one political party against the other. After I had told Dr. Steve that I was not in a position to help, he e-mailed me fourteen different messages with more than one hundred pages of material and - probably because he had watched too many spy movies - started giving me suggestions on how to proceed with my investigation. I had to e-mail him back and politely threaten to have him blocked at my server.
There is John Carman, a former Customs Agent, and a really nice guy, who for more than two years has wanted me to write about his horrific saga of CIA connected corruption at the Mexican border. John, a licensed PI with a concealed weapons permit, was recently set up to be arrested on phony weapons charges in front of his own child.
There is a former CIA case officer, whose name I dare not mention, who has been reaching out to me for almost a year. This case officer, having resigned from the Agency's Directorate of Operations, is living in a horrible limbo, unable to work and now meeting with lawyers to find out what he/she can and cannot disclose to me without being instantly jailed.
There is my good friend and trusted source, Gary Eitel, a decorated helicopter pilot from Vietnam, attorney and former CIA pilot who blew the whistle on CIA's movement of C-130s through the Forest Service and into the drug trade. He writhes in agony under civil and criminal charges as a former Oakland PD narc, with connections to CIA and DoJ torments his family in a small Washington State township.
There are the bothers Lamb, Walter and David, who struggle while one is imprisoned and the other free but living in fear because of revelations they made leading directly to drugs, the CIA and George Bush.
There was the "sexy blonde" named Brenda who e-mailed me and insisted that I meet her and her blue jeans outside an Orange County Court immediately because she had hard evidence of CIA and drugs and the way business names link to specific operations.
I could go on and on and on.
Since FTW has been in print I have received pleas for assistance from no less than 75 people with tragic and heartbreaking stories of corruption, whistle blowing, harassment, retaliation and sacrifice. I have been contacted by maybe 25 more who were, in my opinion, certifiable nut cases. And I have been contacted by maybe 15 who were, in my opinion, disinformation agents, seeking to lead me down a garden path and into ambushes of one kind or another. That makes 115 contacts in two years or roughly five per month. Each of those five has provided me with from between 10 and 2000 pages of documents to read. And these do not take into account my ongoing commitments to Bill Tyree, from whom I have more than 1,200 pages, Dee Carone Ferdinand and my dear friend, former DEA Agent Celerino Castillo.
A human heart can contain only so much suffering.
To all of the wonderful, courageous victims who have reached out to me I must tell you honestly that if I were to tell anyone's story about years of sacrifice and torment - of pain, disillusionment, humiliation and betrayal - it would be my own. I would do that for no other reason than that I have been at it far longer than any of you have (24 years since 1976) and I have suffered as much as any of you - except the ones who have been murdered like Col. Jim Sabow, or those who have been imprisoned like Bill Tyree and Richard Taus. I am selfish and I want sympathy and consolation for my sacrifice. I want someone to make it better for me too. What I have discovered is that we have to do this ourselves.
But telling you about my suffering will not change a damn thing. That is why I have never become so self-indulgent in these pages as to describe, in detail, my own life experience. And telling others about your sufferings will not change anything either. Iran-Contra is old news. Only those stories that impact present-day affairs have the potential to change the course of history, to drive a wedge - to make the Midianites fight each other. For those like Rich Taus and Brad Ayers I was only too happy, last October, to copy my records and correspondence, my files and data on them for two investigators from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. I was honored to be able to tell the Committee staffers that open hearings on Volume II of the CIA Inspector General's report should include their testimony as well as mine and that of Cele Castillo.
But when it comes to the pages of this newsletter - where I had to just cut back in length to save on postage to pay an employee - I will publish only those stories that help to crack the edifice of silence and the illusion of legality that imprisons all whistleblowers . If there's one thing that drives me mad it is a newcomer demanding that I go back and repeat the mistakes I made fifteen and twenty years ago for their benefit - and at my expense. For the scores of people who insist that if they can just get to 60 Minutes everything will be OK - because their case is different - I ask you to look someplace else for help.
60 Minutes visited me in 1986. The producer admitted that my story was true. She later admitted that it would never get aired. I later consulted for two segments of 60 Minutes for Producers Marly Klaus and Jan Legnitto. One of my subscribers is an Emmy Award winning former CBS News producer who nearly was tarred, feathered and scalped for trying to tell the truth about TWA 800. Where does she go for help? Another one of my subscribers is a former Chief of Staff to a Congressman who suffered the same fate. Where does she go for help? To Congress?!
I have never seen a war won by fighting to rescue one victim at a time. Wars, whether for good or evil, have been won only when the generals exploited weaknesses in systems, armies, strategies and philosophies - not in individual warriors.
As "The General" at From The Wilderness I have to husband my limited financial and emotional resources and use them to achieve the best ends that I can- for everyone. Not one of the whistleblowers who has contacted me, especially those in prison, is ever far from my consciousness - especially when I try to go to sleep at night. I have been able to help a few whistleblowers tangibly. But, as with the CIA, my successes are better left unheralded and unbroadcast. I am truly doing the best that I can.I have not taken a full day off in two months. I have no medical insurance, no savings, no pension.The rent is a question mark every month. And I am having the time of my life.
In the meantime Ed Wilson has just asked for contempt charges against 14 of the biggest legal names in and out of government. And his attorney is moving for summary judgement because Judge Lynn Hughes, in Houston, is sitting on Wilson's explosive motion to dismiss the conviction and not rendering a decision. One Federal Judge, Stanley Sporkin, has already retired and two more, one on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, are on the verge of having their rights read to them and of being accused of perjury and of withholding exculpatory evidence. The CIA risks being exposed as having deliberately armed Moammar Qadaffy at the instigation of George Bush. Retired CIA Associate Deputy Director of Operations (ADDO) Ted Shackley stands on the verge of being exposed for perjury and worse. And the Department of Justice is close to being exposed, in open court, of having hidden crimes by high-ranking members for more than 17 years. Now that's the kind of edifice crumbling upheaval that may eventually lead to letting a lot of innocent people out of prison - not just one. But only If it is pursued and capitalized upon.
Edwin Wilson writes to me:
I have received your January 28 issue and thank you for a favorable article.
My problem is this place [Federal Penitentiary, Allenwood, Pa.] makes it almost impossible to communicate. So I ask you to stay in touch with [Attorney David] Adler who has better, up to date, information than I. Also, I want to cooperate with you.
By the way, the article you sent me is missing pages 6&7. Some machine also hates me!
Michael C. Ruppert