Archive | September 12th, 2015

Russia and Syria: The Die Is Cast


Despite doubts and denials, Russia is about to embark on an ambitious expansion of its Syrian presence, likely to change the game in the war-torn country. Russia’s small and dated naval repair facility in Tartous will be enlarged, while Jableh near Latakia (Laodicea of old) will become the Russian Air Force base and a full-blown Russian Navy base in the Eastern Mediterranean, beyond the narrow Bosphorus straits. The jihadi multitudes besetting Damascus are likely to be beaten into obedience and compliance, and the government of President Assad relieved from danger and siege. The war with Da’esh (ISIS) is to provide the cover for this operation. This is the first report of this fateful development, based on confidential and usually reliable Russian sources in Moscow.

The knowledgeable and Damascus-based French investigative journalist and dissidentThierry Meyssan noted the arrival of many Russian advisers. Russians began to share satellite imagery in real time with their Syrian allies, he added. An Israeli news site said “Russia has begun its military intervention in Syria” and predicted that “in the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria”. Russians promptly denied that.

President Bashar al Assad hinted at that a few days ago expressing his full confidence of Russian support for Damascus. First six MiG-31 fighter jets landed in Damascus a couple of weeks ago, as reported in the official RG newspaperMichael Weiss in the far-right Daily Beast presented a flesh-creeping picture of a Russian penetration of Syria. Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper referred to Jableh as the second-base location.

Now we can confirm that to the best of our knowledge, despite denials (remember Crimea?) Russia has cast its lot and made a very important decision to enter the Syrian war. This decision may yet save Syria from total collapse and incidentally save Europe, too, from being swept by refugee waves. The Russian air force will ostensibly fight Da’esh, but probably (as Michael Weiss guessed) they will also bomb not just Da’esh but the US-allied opposition of al-Nusra (formerly al-Qaeda) and other non-Da’esh Islamic extremists for the simple reason that they can’t be distinguished from Da’esh.

The Russian Foreign Minister Mr Sergey Lavrov proposed to organise a new coalition against Da’esh including Assad’s army, Saudis and some opposition forces. The US envoy visiting Russia said that there is no chance that the Saudis or other Gulf states would agree to join forces with Bashar Assad. Russia still plans to build this coalition, but in the view of the American rejection, apparently President Putin decided to act.

Russia is worried by successes of Da’esh, as this force fights and displaces Christians in Syria, while Russia considers itself a traditional protector of these people. Russia is also worried that Da’esh may begin operations in Muslim areas of Russia, in the Caucasus and on the Volga River. And the US-led anti-Da’esh coalition didn’t do the trick.

The US and Turkey ostensibly fight Da’esh, but they have their own interests, quite different from those of Syrians, Europeans and Russians. Turkey fights the Kurds who are staunch opponents of Da’esh. The US uses the war with Da’esh as a smokescreen to fight the legitimate government of Bashar Assad who was recently re-elected by vast majority of the Syrians. Da’esh does not suffer much from the US raids, as opposed to the Syrian Army. Moreover, the US sent hundreds of trained terrorists to Syria after providing them with a military upgrade in Jordan and elsewhere. Recently David Petraeus called for the arming of Jabhat an Nusra so they would fight Da’esh. This silly idea was laughed out of court but it is far from dead.

The US and its allies have wreaked havoc in Syria. The US is far away and can enjoy the show. Europe is a loser once removed as it gets the flood of refugees. Turkey is a direct loser, as it gets refugees, terrorism, the rapid decline of President Erdogan’s popularity, and a drop of living standards, all this being due to its erroneous policies in Syria.

Now Russia has taken over the difficult task of saving the situation. If Erdogan, Obama, Kerry, and the Saudis had thought that Putin would drop Assad, now they are having a rude awakening from such delusions. The Russian position is rather nuanced. Russia will not fight for Assad, as it did not fight for [the Ukrainian President] Yanukovych. Russia thinks it is up to Syrians to decide who will be their president. Assad or somebody else – that’s an internal Syrian affair. On the other hand, Obama and his allies do fight against Assad. He had “lost his legitimacy”, they say. They have a problem with Assad, as they admit. Russia has no problems with Assad. As long as he is popular with his people, let him rule, Russians say. If some members of the opposition will join him, fine.

Russia does not intend to fight the armed opposition per se, as long as this opposition is ready for peaceful negotiations and does not demand impossible (say, Assad’s head). In real life, nobody can distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate groups and Da’esh. All of them are likely to suffer when the Russians will begin to do the job seriously. They’d better negotiate with the government and come for some arrangement. The alternative (destruction of Syria, millions of refugees, uprooting of Middle Eastern Christendom, jihadi attack on Russia proper) is too horrible to contemplate.

The War in Syria is fraught with dangers for Russia; that’s why Putin steered clear of direct involvement since 2011. The adversary is well armed, has some support on the ground, it has the wealth of the Gulf states and fanatic warriors likely to unleash a wave of terror attacks in Russia. The US position is ambiguous: Obama and his staff does not react on the growing Russian involvement. Thierry Meyssan thinks that Obama and Putin came to agreement regarding the need to defeat Da’esh. In his view, some American officials and generals (Petraeus, Allen) would like to undermine this agreement; so do the Republicans and the Neo-Cons.

Some Russian officials are worried. Perhaps Obama keeps mum in order to lure Putin into the Syrian War. Remember, the US enticed Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait. Russian and American planes in the air over Syria could come to hostile encounters. Others say: shouldn’t Russia get involved in the Ukraine, rather than in Syria? But the apparent decision of Putin to enter war in Syria makes sense.

A war far away from home presents logistic challenges, as the US experienced in Vietnam and Afghanistan, but there is much less danger of war spilling into Russia proper. In the distant theatre of war, Russian army, navy and air force will be able to show their pluck.

If they will succeed, Syria will regain peace, refugees will return to their homes, while Russia will remain forever in the Eastern Mediterranean. Russian success will cool the warmongers in Washington, Kiev, Brussels. However, if they will fail, NATO will think that Russia is ripe for reaping and may try to move war close to home.

We can compare it with military campaigns on 1930s. The Russians under brilliant Marshal Zhukov soundly trashed the Japanese at Khalkhyn Gol in 1939, and the Japanese signed Neutrality pact with Russians and refrained from attacking Russia during the Soviet-German war. But the Red Army managed poorly against Marshal Mannerheim in Finland in 1940, and this encouraged Hitler to begin the war.

This time Russia will act within the international law framework, as opposed to Saddam Hussein’s adventure in Kuwait. While the US and Turkey bomb and strafe Syria without as much as ‘by your leave’ from the legitimate government of the state, Russia is coming by permission and by invitation of the Syrian authorities as their ally. There is a Mutual Defence Treaty between Russia and Syria. Syrian government offered Russians its facilities, airports and harbours for the defence purposes.

The Christian Churches of the Middle East welcome Russia and ask for its assistance in the face of the jihadi onslaught. The ancient Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem welcomed Russian involvement. The most high-ranking and politically active Palestinian clergyman, Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna expressed his hope the Russians will bring peace to Syria and the refugees will return home.

For the Europeans, this is the chance to wean themselves from blind support of the US policies, to return millions of refugees home from European railway stations and hostels.

If it will work, this Putin’s initiative in Syria will count with his greatest achievements. He is playing his hand keeping cards very close to his chest, and this report is the first emanating from his vicinity.

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MI6 Observatory, Russians Hit Israelis on Golan, Drive to Tel Aviv


London MI6 puppet Group Claims Russian Special Forces to Begin Shelling Tel Aviv

Russian troops enter Israel (DEBKA photo(Russian troops enter Israel (DEBKA photo)

By E. Fudd

Exceedingly high Pentagon sources have confirmed that as many as 5000 elite Russian troops have overrun Nazi artillery and peacekeeping bases on the Golan Heights, using Sarin gas, barrel bombs and bunker buster munitions.

The use of cluster bombs, white phosphorous and other chemical weapons against military or civilian targets is illegal, according to the London based rights organization.

Russian troops with advanced armor began offloading last week from ships at the Tartus Naval Logistics Center, as part of the massive Russian military buildup, the Observatory said.

Russian Armor drives deep into Israel

Russian Armor drives deep into Nazi (Reuters photo)

Russian sources, according to a Kiev news bureau, are setting up “free zones,” one on Golan and the other inside Turkey centered on the City of Hatay, headquarters of the Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s  al Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate.  Russian troops, tasked with setting up for refugees were shocked to learn that the Turkish army had trucked them all to the coast days before.

Today was meant to be a celebration in Hatay, the anniversary of the successful 9/11 protest held simultaneously in New York and Washington, back in 2001, according to  SHRO sources.

Sources in Jerusalem tell us that Nazi highways are filling with refugees while public transportation is at a standstill, buses and subway cars filled with the poor and crippled, many holocaust survivors, carrying kitchen knives and broken crockery, their few meager possessions.

Orthodox Jews line up for evacuation information (Times of Israel)

Orthodox Jews line up for evacuation information (Times of Israel)

According to the British MI6  group, Zionist children are being issued tiny flotation devices in case Russians break through and, as so often predicted, Zionist Jewish population is driven into the sea.

IDF recruiting laborers for defense of Tel Aviv (Getty Images)

IDF recruiting laborers for defense of Tel Aviv (Getty Images)

Sources near David Cameron’s highest advisors say that Britain will be issuing a strong protest to Moscow by Monday, Tuesday at the latest, maybe Wednesday but for sure, Friday September 18, 2015.

Sources in the Kremlin have already responded indicating: “We’ll come get the letter ourselves.”

Posted in SyriaComments Off on MI6 Observatory, Russians Hit Israelis on Golan, Drive to Tel Aviv

Brookings: Leading the Propaganda War for an ISIS takeover of Syria


By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Not one sane word in this Brooking’s rant

PHOTO_009… by  Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Yesterday, New Eastern Outlook published a story by Tony Cartalucci outlining a Brookings report advocating a US invasion of Syria meant to put ISIS in total control.

US Seeks Occupation as US Fighters Flood Syria

US corporate-funded policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution, published a June 2015 paper titled,Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country.” The signed and dated open-conspiracy to divide, destroy, invade, then incrementally occupy Syria using no-fly-zones and both US and British special forces is now demonstrably underway.

Today, another Brookings move against Syria was sent to me by VT Editor, Colonel James Hanke.  The article was published in “Defense News,” like “Defense One” a slick pro-Israel corporate blog run by former “entertainment industry executives” from HBO and the like.

The article today is by Michael O’Hanlon, a former low level operative at the Congressional Budget Office, now a hired gun for AIPAC.  Usually, no one ever reads this crap anyway.  This time, I have, and this is more than just stupid, so much more. Why have defense executives or military types involved in defense issues, like Veterans Today does?

Here is the offending piece:

Who Will Hold Together the Future Syria?

By Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of “The Future of Land Warfare.”
O’Hanlon worked at the Congressional Budget Office where he became an expert on Congressional Budget Office issues.  Global affairs is not a typical issue at the Congressional Budget Office as this demonstration of O’Hanlon’s limited grasp reveals:
According to recent press reports, we should all be encouraged about the prospects for peace in Syria. Major powers there that were diametrically opposed to each other’s policies are now talking about the country’s future.

Turks and Americans have agreed on a protected zone in the north, (Editor: an agreement now proven to be a press hoax) even if it is not clear who will do the protecting. Saudis and Russians are consulting, (Editor’s note:  Russians and Saudis are no longer consulting) now that each realizes its own favorite proxies in a war that has killed 250,000 and displaced 12 million have their own major vulnerabilities.

(Editor’s note:  O’Hanlon later blames all the killing on the Syrian Army.  There were no terrorists, no proxies.)

Perhaps the Geneva process that US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN envoy Staffan de Mistura have nursed along for months will finally bear fruit, and a new government of national unity will be formed, first to replace President Bashar al-Assad, then go after ISIL?

(Editor’s note:  No one speaks of Assad leaving anymore, even Brookings, the lowest rung on the ‘Think tank” ladder is aware that Assad’s fall turns the entire Middle East, including Israel, over to ISIS.)

If it all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it almost surely is. At best, the peace process remains a distant longshot. At worst, it could do more harm than good by distracting us from more promising policies to address this terrible conflict, or by producing a peace that quickly falls apart.(?)

To bring peace to Syria, we need to focus not just on who is negotiating, but on who will enforce any possible deal. That will help sober us up about one thing right away: any such deal will probably require an international peacekeeping force that includes American troops. By working backward, from the future possible deal to current policy, it could also help us deduce a more promising and realistic path.

(Editor’s note:  General Martin Dempsey is either laughing or crying at reading this.  Based on the ‘standing’ of the author, laughter is the appropriate response.)

It can also help dispel the new and incorrect conventional wisdom in Washington that argues messy ground operations are a thing of the past for the US military, and thus we can disproportionately downsize the Army in future budget cuts. (? Inane)

Here’s why an international force will someday likely be required. In conflicts like this, when hatreds have been so inflamed by brutality on all sides, when distrust is rampant, when many so-called moderates have been either killed or radicalized, and when there is likely to be no clear battlefield winner anytime soon, any deal written on paper could easily collapse. To avoid such a fate, the deal needs to be well crafted — and effectively enforced.

(Editor’s note:  Brookings is pretending to take the “high road” and now asks for an international force from nations that have long armed and supported the terrorists that Brookings is obviously tasked to protect and preserve.)

But who will do the enforcing? The Syrian Army, formerly more than 200,000 soldiers, is now a shell of itself, and al- Assad has admitted to severe manpower shortages. Most of his current recruits probably come from fellow Alawites, as well as Christians and perhaps some Kurds, which collectively make up only a third of the nation’s population.

(Editor’s note:  Here, O’Hanlon admits to being on the payroll of Israeli intelligence.  The quote “has admitted to severe manpower shortages” is a “talking point” sent out to press disinformation operatives.  It is an out of context misinterpretation from an Assad interview from early 2015, jumped on by the Israeli press.  O’Hanlon’s “probably come from fellow Alawites…” is even more amateurish and indicates he knows nothing about the Iranian organized National Guard of over 100,000 operating in Syria or the powerful YPG forces which are not part of Assad’s military. ) 

This Army cannot reunify Syria. It has an enormous amount of blood on its hands, having fired countless artillery shells and dropped hundreds of barrel bombs in areas populated by suspected insurgent sympathizers. Fighting for its life, and facing foes that include jihadist groups like the al-Nusra Front and ISIL that consider Alawites and Christians to be apostates worthy of death, it has pulled out all the stops. And moderate opposition forces are far too few in number to handle such a task.

(Editor’s note:  O’Hanlon hits himself in the foot with a howitzer here though he probably doesn’t know what a howitzer is.  He again runs to talking points with “blood on its hands” and “barrel bombs.”  He forgot to blame Assad for Turkey’s use of Sarin gas inside Syria.  Maybe I missed that somewhere.)

Much more realistic is something like a Bosnia model of federalism, along the lines of what Joe Biden proposed for Iraq in 2006. Syria would have a central government, but a weak one. Al-Assad would be gone, and ISIL as well as the al-Nusra Front defeated.

(Editor’s note:  This last paragraph clearly define O’Hanlon as “unsound” or perhaps “off his meds.”)

Most governance would occur regionally. The Kurds would have a zone in the northeast; Alawites would create an autonomous area where many live now along the Mediterranean coast. Two or three Sunni-majority regions would form in the nation’s south as well as its north/central zones.

(Editor’s note:  Now it’s out, the Brookings plan to take over the world, obviously authored using Starbucks free WiFi.)

A final region, and the most difficult to police, would include much of the intermixed population belt running from Damascus through Homs and Hama up to Aleppo. Ideally, most parts of it would remain intermixed, with Sunnis and Alawites and Christians living together, though some soft partition might become necessary.

(Editor’s note:  Oh God!  O’Hanlon’s “intermixed population,” dogs and cats living together, breeding, that and the other people O’Hanlon can’t identify because he knows nothing of the region other than a few buzz words he picked up at Starbucks.)

International peacekeeping forces could concentrate their efforts along the borders separating the autonomous zones and within that central multi-sectarian area, where they would seek to build a new Syrian security force.

(Editor’s note:  We are now back to imaginary international peacekeeping forces, usually from Ethiopia or Ghana or perhaps the Danes.  Funny.)

The Bosnia mission started with some 60,000 NATO troops in a country with one-fifth Syria’s population. But it was almost surely oversized, since NATO militaries had few competing demands at the time. So a Syria mission might require 100,000 or so foreign peacekeeping troops at first. Perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 of the troops would have to be American, in order to provide adequate military muscle and logistical capabilities.

(Editor’s note:  Brookings has obviously not been told the US lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that the entire region, all of West and North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, all the way to India and north to the Baltic, is falling apart.)

We have been hoping for a miracle from the Syrian peace process too long. It is time to ground our thinking in basic realities about power and security on the ground. Envisioning an enforceable peace deal based on the declared goal of confederation makes more sense than throwing another Hail Mary in the peace talks in Geneva.

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The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga


The Staging of a US-NATO Sponsored Humanitarian Disaster


Global Research
Image result for NATO LOGO

Author’s Note and Update

In the light of recent developments and accusations directed against the Syrian government, it is important once more to set the record straight: the US supported rebels possess chemical weapons.  

The following article first published in December 2012 [scroll down] documents how the Pentagon  not only provided chemical weapons to Al Nusra, an affiliated Al Qaeda terrorist organization, but also provided  training to the rebels in the use of these weapons.

While Washington  continues to point its finger at president Bashar al Assad, a United Nations independent commission of inquiry confirmed in May 2013 that the rebels rather than the government have chemical weapons in their possession and were using sarin nerve against the civilian population:

U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

The Geneva-based inquiry into war crimes and other human rights violations is separate from an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria instigated by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which has since stalled [discredited]. See U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator,” Chicago Tribune, May, 5  2013, emphasis added)

Ironically, when the chemical weapons pretext was first launched by the Pentagon in August 2012, the accusations were not directed against President Bashar al Assad to the effect that he was underhandedly conniving to use WMD against Syrian civilians. Quite the opposite. According to the Pentagon, the operation was to ensure that Syria’s WMDs, which allegedly had been “left unguarded” in military bunkers around the country would not fall in the hands of opposition jihadist rebels who are fighting government forces:

Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms –, August 22, 2012

What the Pentagon was saying in August 2012, is that these WMD could fall in the hands of  the “pro-democracy” Al Qaeda rebels recruited and financed by several of America’s close allies including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, in liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

In a twisted logic,  the Pentagon was to ensure that the rebels aligned with Al Qaeda would not acquire WMD, by actually training them in the use of chemical weapons:

The training [in chemical weapons], which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources.Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American. (CNN, December 09, 2012, emphasis added

And once these Al Qaeda rebels had been supplied and trained in the use of WMDs by military contractors hired by the Pentagon,  the Syrian government would then be held responsible for using the WMD against the Syrian people.

This in turn would provide a justification for a humanitarian R2P intervention to “protect” and come to the rescue of the Syrian people.

Believe it or not: that is the justification for waging a “humanitarian war” on Syria.

Michel Chossudovsky, May 7, 2013, minor updates and edits, September 12, 2015

The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga: The Staging of a US-NATO Sponsored Humanitarian Disaster?

by Michel Chossudovsky

December 12, 2012

Modeled on the Saddam Hussein WMD narrative, the propaganda ploy concerning the alleged threat of Syria’s chemical weapons has been building up over several months.

The Western media suggests –in chorus and without evidence– that  a “frustrated” and “desperate” president Bashar al Assad is planning to use deadly chemical weapons against his own people. Last week, U.S. officials revealed to NBC News that “Syria’s military has loaded nerve-gas chemicals into bombs and are awaiting final orders from al-Assad”.

Western governments are now accusing Syria of planning a diabolical scheme on the orders of the Syrian head of State. Meanwhile, the media hype has gone into full gear. Fake reports on Syria’s WMD are funneled into the news chain, reminiscent of the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The evolving media consensus is that  “the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad appears to be entering its twilight”  and that the “international community” has a responsibility to come to the rescue of the Syrian people to prevent the occurrence of a humanitarian disaster.

“…Fears are growing in the West that Syria will unleash chemical weapons in a last-ditch act of desperation”

Recent reports that the embattled government of Syria has begun preparations for the use of chemical weapons [against the Syrian people] . After two years of civil war and more than 40,000 deaths, events in Syria may be heading to a bloody crescendo.  (WBUR, December 11, 2012)

Accused: George Bush and Tony Blair who said today that Archbishop Tutu was wrong about the Iraq war

Syria versus Iraq

Antiwar critics have largely underscored the similarities with the Iraq WMD ploy, which consisted in accusing the government of Saddam Hussein of possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The alleged WMD threat was then used as a justification to invade Iraq in March 2003.

The WMD Iraq ploy was subsequently acknowledged in the wake of the invasion as an outright fabrication, with president George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair actually recognizing that it was a “big mistake”. In a recent statement Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu called  for ‘lying’ Blair and Bush to face trial in the Hague`s International Criminal Court

The Syria WMD saga is in marked contrast to that of Iraq. The objective is not to” justify” an all out humanitarian war on Syria, using chemical weapons as a pretext.

An examination of  allied military planning as well as the nature of US-NATO support to the opposition forces suggests a different course of action to that adopted in relation to Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011).

The purpose is indeed to demonize Bashar Al Assad but the objective at this stage is not the conduct of an all out “shock and awe” war on Syria, involving a full fledged air campaign. Such an action would, under present conditions, be a highly risky undertaking. Syria has advanced air defense capabilities, equipped with Russian Iskander missiles (see image) as well as significant ground forces. A Western military operation could also lead to a response from Russia, which has a naval base at the port city of Tartus in Southern Syria.

Moreover, Iranian forces from its revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) are present on the ground in Syria; Russian military advisers are involved in the training of the Syrian military.

In recent developments, Syria took delivery of the more advanced Russian Iskander missile system, the Mach 6-7,  in response to the deployment of US Made Patriot missiles in Turkey Syria already possesses the less advanced E-Series Iskander.  Syria is also equipped with the Russian ground to air defense missile system Pechora-2M.  (see video below)

Iskander Mach 6-7

Pechora-2M S-125 SA-3 surface-to-air defense missile system technical data sheet specifications information description pictures photos images video intelligence identification intelligence Russia Russian army defence industry military technology

The Pechora-2M is a surface-to-air anti-aircraft short-range missile system designed for destruction of aircraft, cruise missiles, assault helicopters and other air targets at ground, low and medium altitudes.

Ground to air defense Russian Pechora 2M deployed to Syria

Non-Conventional Warfare

At this juncture, despite US-NATO military superiority, an all out military operation, for the reasons mentioned above, is not contemplated.

Non-conventional warfare remains the chosen avenue. Reports confirm that NATO-led military operations would be largely in support of rebel forces, its command structure, communications systems, recruitment, training, the transfer to rebel forces of more advanced weapons. Part of this undertaking including the training of rebels is being carried by private mercenary companies.

A limited and selective air campaign in support of the rebels, using Syria’s chemical weapons bunker stockpiles as a pretext could be contemplated, but even this would be a risky undertaking given Syria’s air defense capabilities.

What was on the drawing board of a recent “Semi-Secret” Meeting in London, hosted by General Sir David Julian Richards, head of Britain’s Defense Staff  is a coordinated military agenda characterised by“air and naval support, plus military training for the opposition”.

The meeting in London included the participation of  the military chiefs of France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and the US. No further details were made public (See Felicity Arbuthnot,  Secret Meetings in London Plotting to Wage War on Syria without UN Authorization,Global Research, December 11, 2012

The thrust of this London gathering behind closed doors (reported on December 10, 2012) was to support a unified military command structure of opposition forces designed to “unify insurgent ranks” fighting government forces. In practice, this will require a renewed influx of mercenaries under the supervision of Western special forces which are already on the ground inside Syria.

Staging a Humanitarian Disaster?

The training component of  US-NATO action is of crucial importance. How does it relate to the Syria ‘chemical weapons’ issue?

The Western military alliance does not contemplate at this stage an all out war in response to Syria’s possession of chemical weapons. What is contemplated is the need to train the opposition rebels in the handling of chemical weapons.

This specialized training program which was confirmed is already ongoing, implemented with the support of specialized private mercenary and security companies on contract to the Pentagon:

The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

What is unfolding is a diabolical scenario –which is an integral part of military planning– namely a situation where opposition terrorists advised by Western defense contractors are actually in possession of chemical weapons.

This is not a rebel training exercise in non-proliferation. While president Obama states that “you will be held accountable” if “you” (meaning the Syrian government) use chemical weapons, what is contemplated as part of this covert operation is the possession of chemical weapons by the US-NATO sponsored terrorists, namely “by our” Al Qaeda affiliated operatives,  including the Al Nusra Front (see image on right), which constitutes the most effective Western financed and trained fighting group, largely integrated by foreign mercenaries. In a bitter twist, Jabhat al-Nusra, a US sponsored “intelligence asset”, was recently put on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

The West claims that it is coming to the rescue of the Syrian people, whose lives are allegedly threatened by Bashar Al Assad.  The truth of the matter is that the Western military alliance is not only supporting the terrorists, including the Al Nusra Front, it is also making chemical weapons available to its proxy “opposition” rebel forces.

The next phase of this diabolical scenario is that the chemical weapons could be used by the US-NATO recruited “opposition” terrorists against civilians, which could potentially lead an entire nation into a humanitarian disaster.

The broader issue is: who is a threat to the Syrian people? The Syrian government of Bashar al Assad or the US-NATO-Israel military alliance which is recruting and training “opposition” terrorist forces.

The Syria Chemical Weapons Pretext: Background

The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga was launched last Summer. In  early August, the Pentagon announced that it would send “small teams of special operations troops” into Syria with a view to destroying Syria’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These teams would in turn be supported by “precision air strikes”, namely air raids. An all out aerial attack was not contemplated. According to the Pentagon, the precision strikes were intended to “destroy the chemical weapons without dispersing them in the air”, a highly risky undertaking…

Ironically, at the outset of this diabolical plan, the US special forces incursion and air operation were not to be directed against the Syrian regime. In fact quite the opposite. The stated intent of the operation was to protect civilians against “opposition” rebels, rather than government forces.

No accusations were directed against President Bashar al Assad to the effect that he was underhandedly conniving to use WMD against Syrian civilians. According to the Pentagon, the operation was to ensure that Syria’s WMDs, which allegedly “are left unguarded” in military bunkers around the country do not fall in the hands of opposition jihadist rebels who are fighting government forces:

Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms –, August 22, 2012

What the Pentagon was saying in August, was that these WMD could fall in the hands of  the “pro-democracy” freedom fighters recruited and financed by several of America’s close allies including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, in liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

In essence, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was refuting his own lies. In August he acknowledged the terrorist threat, now he is accusing Bashar Al Assad. Tacitly acknowledged by Washington, the majority of the Syrian freedom fighters are not only foreign mercenaries, they also belong to extremist Islamist groups, which are on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

Israel is a partner in the Syria chemical weapons operation in liaison with NATO and the Pentagon.

Training Terrorists in the Use of Chemical Weapons

If the Obama administration were genuinely concerned in preventing these chemical weapons from falling “in the wrong hands” (as suggested by the Pentagon in August), why then are they now training “opposition rebels” –largely composed of Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated fighters– to gain control over government stockpiles of chemical weapons?

The training [in chemical weapons], which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American. (CNN, December 09, 2012)

While the news report does not confirm the identity of the defense contractors, the official statements suggest a close contractual relationship to the Pentagon:

The US decision to hire unaccountable defense contractors to train Syrian rebels to handle stockpiles of chemical weapons seems dangerously irresponsible in the extreme, especially considering how inept Washington has so far been at making sure only trustworthy, secular rebels – to the extent they exist – receive their aid and the weapons that allies in the Gulf Arab states have been providing.

It also feeds accusations that the Syrian Foreign Ministry recently made that the US is working to frame the Syrian regime as having used or prepared for chemical warfare.

“What raises concerns about this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of the countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government that used the weapons,” the letters said.”( John Glaser, Us Defense Contractors Training Syrian Rebels,, December 10, 2012, See also CNN ReportDecember 9, 2012)

The central question is: what is the nature of this gruesome covert operation? Is the purpose of the US-NATO led operation to “prevent” or “encourage” the use of chemical weapons by the Free Syrian Army (FSA)?

The above report confirms that the US and NATO are training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. Does this type of specialized training require the actual handling of toxic chemicals? In other words, is the Western military alliance, through its appointed defense contractors, making chemical weapons available to terrorists for training purposes?

Knowing that the Syrian insurgency is in large part made up of jihadists and Al Qaeda affiliated formations, this is hardly a means to “preventing” the actual use of chemical weapons against civilians. Moreover, amply documented, many of the “opposition” rebels who are receiving training in chemical weapons, have committed countless atrocities directed against Syrian civilians, including the massacres in Houla:

“Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people… after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory [in Aleppo],” the foreign ministry said Saturday.” (Press TV, December 8, 2012)

It should be noted that the use of chemical weapons by opposition forces does not require that the rebels actually secure control over government stockpiles. Chemical weapons could easily be made available –from Western stockpiles– to the defense contractors involved in the specialized chemical weapons training programs.

Needless to say, the chemical weapons training and the involvement of private mercenary outfits on contract to NATO and the Pentagon, increase the risk; they create conditions which favor the use of chemical weapons by opposition forces, thereby potentially triggering a nationwide humanitarian disaster.

The US-NATO coalition has clarified at its “semi-secret” meeting in London (reported on December 10), however, that it does not contemplate “boots on the ground”. The special forces will be working with the opposition insurgency against government forces.

In the absence of an all out US-NATO military operation, the focus is on non-conventional warfare. In this context, one of  several diabolical “options on the table” would be to create conditions whereby chemical weapons “fall in the hands” of the terrorists thereby potentially triggering a nationwide humanitarian disaster.

While this option, were it to be carried out, would not require a US-NATO military intervention, the humanitarian catastrophe would set the stage for the collapse of the Syrian government, namely the long sought objective of “regime change”.

The Libya or Iraq model is not an option. The strategic choice of the Western military alliance points towards the possible staging of a humanitarian catastrophe?

In the logic of war propaganda and media disinformation, the deaths of civilians resulting from the use of chemical weapons would be blamed on President Bashar Al Assad, with a view to enforcing subsequent actions by the US-NATO military alliance.

We are not suggesting that this option will inevitably be carried out. What we are saying is that the option of chemical weapons in the hands of the rebels which could potentially trigger a humanitarian disaster is on the US-NATO drawing board.

How can we ensure that this gruesome and diabolical option be thwarted and definitively shelved?

The issue must be brought into the open. Public opinion must be mobilized against the US-NATO-Israel led war.

Denounce the Déjà Vu WMD lies.

Challenge the mainstream media consensus.

Reveal and refute the lies and fabrications concerning Syria’s chemical weapons program.

Spread the word, far and wide,

Bring the issue to the forefront of public debate, Confront the war criminals in high office.

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Jeremy Corbyn Elected Britain’s New Labour Party Leader

Global Research
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Longtime British Labour party MP since 1983, Corbyn was considered a 100 – 1 shot for its leadership after declaring his candidacy in June, on an anti-war, anti-austerity platform, saying:

“This decision to stand is in response to an overwhelming call by Labour party members who want to see a broader range of candidates and a thorough debate about the future of the party. I am standing to give Labour party members a voice in this debate.” 

He promised a “different economic strategy, particularly opposing austerity” – calling other Labour leadership candidates cardboard cutouts of each other – failing to offer “a clear enough alternative on the economic strategy and austerity, and our attitude to welfare expenditure.”

London’s Guardian called him one of Labour’s “most rebellious” MPs, defying its former leadership 238 times. According to the Financial Times, it was over 500 times.

As new Labour leader will he make a difference, or is he Britain’s Bernie Sanders and Greece’s Alexis Tsipras – a real or phony populist? Will he run ahead for prime minister on a progressive, anti-war platform?

Will he stand forthrightly and unequivocally against business as usual – or simply support cosmetic changes too insignificant to matter?

He’s a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Amnesty International, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and chairs Britain’s Stop the War Coalition.

He calls himself a democratic socialist, advocating renationalizing Britain’s utilities and railways, making business pay its fair share in taxes, ending austerity, reversing public welfare cuts, abolishing higher education tuition fees, nuclear disarmament, and quantitative easing for ordinary people, vital infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

He said “(w)e need to strongly challenge NATO supremacy and oppose its exercise in Ukraine.” He opposes Britain’s membership in the US-dominated Alliance.

His web site says “(o)ur timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it. That notion has driven me throughout my political life – and it’s what drove me to stand for Parliament in the first place.”

In mid-August, he said “(s)urely it is high time that we had a serious debate about Britain’s overall defense and foreign policy. More than 60 years of Nato membership has brought us enormous levels of military expenditure and by our close relationship with the US through NATO and the Mutual Defence Agreement involved us in countless conflicts.”

“In a world beset by conflict, often around the grab for natural resources and fueled by the greed of arms and defence manufacturers, surely it’s time to reassess our priorities for a foreign policy based on human values, peaceful development and not exacerbating military aggression.”

In late August, Britain’s Stop the War coalition discussed “10 reasons” UK neocons oppose Corbyn for Labour party leadership.

1. He opposed US/UK et al war on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. He wants individuals responsible for illegal wars held accountable.

2. He’s a “dangerous leftist” – supporting policies benefitting ordinary Brits for the first time since pre-Margaret Thatcher’s anti-populism.

3. He’s critical of US and Israeli policies – supports long denied justice for Palestinians.

4. He has undefined “extremist links.”

5. His policies make him “unelectable.”

6. He wants 1970s policies reinstituted – when the gap between Britain’s rich and poor was the lowest in UK history.

7. His anti-militarism agenda “would leave Britain defenseless and open to invasion.”

8. Earlier, he praised one of John Pilger’s articles – condemning the devastating human cost of US-led NATO’s rape of Yugoslavia.

9. He “opposes austerity.”

10. He enjoys increasing popularity. He says things people want to hear as well as voting on the right side of important issues.

It’s one thing supporting populist interests as a powerless backbencher, quite another as party leader. He’ll face enormous pressure to bend, perhaps too much to withstand, maybe enough to make a possible transformational leader into a largely business as usual compliant one.

As Labour leader, it’s up to him to stand forthright for principles he rhetorically supports and against Britain’s devastating domestic and foreign policy agenda – using his bully pulpit to rally Brits against an overwhelming right-wing parliament.

He won a smashing victory with around 60% support – compared to 19% for his nearest rival (Andy Burnham), 17% for Yvette Cooper, and 4% for Blairite Liz Kendall.

Newly elected deputy leader Tom Watson called for party unity, saying he “promised to back the new leader 100% and I plan to do exactly that.”

The Financial Times said he “filled (Labour) with division and dismay.” He’s “an unlikely figure to try impose discipline upon the ranks…”

The New York Times said he ‘promis(es) radical approaches to longstanding problems.” The Washington Post called him “a left-wing rebel…a grassroots phenomenon.”

The Wall Street Journal said his leadership “could herald a realignment of British politics. (His) anti-austerity, anti-war and egalitarian message has resonated with supporters…”

He faces a daunting task against majority right-wing pro-business, pro-war, anti-populist Labourites masquerading as democrats – besides sure to come enormous bipartisan business as usual pressure from Washington.


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UK: Jeremy Corbyn Wins the Labour Leadership

Global Research
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Jeremy Corbyn has done it. The agitation of the Left in a deflated, and to a large extent ruined British Labour Party, raised Corbyn from the status of the rank outsider to that of leader with a mighty 59.5 percent of the vote.  The Times deemed him a “veteran backroom operative” who became prominent while working for “Red” Ken Livingstone over the course of 12 years, eight of which he did so as chief of staff.  

Shocked out of their nonchalance, various contenders, and former leader Ed Milliband, immediately made it clear that they would be reluctant to serve in a Corbyn ministry, shadow or otherwise.  Andy Burnham, who netted a mere 19 percent of the vote, had only one tweet of any interest: “Fuck.” Yvette Cooper, another deemed “front runner” limped over the line with 17 percent.

The campaign against Corbyn has been, in certain quarters, venal. The Mail on Sunday predicted crippling, spell binding catastrophe, with a “Prime Minister Corbyn” whose 1000 days would lay waste to Britain.  “£3 trillion debt.  National riots.  A UN airlift from No 10.”

The Tory tacticians were already gathering around the notion of Left wing “risk” and are eyeing the declining union base of the Labour Party.  Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, GCHQ’s finest errand boy and rank apologist, chose to congratulate Corbyn with a statement that “Labour are now a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security.”

The richest comment to stem from Fallon comes from what Corbyn will supposedly do to Britain’s working class.  Workers, he argues, will suffer under a Corbyn government, “racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money”.

Corbyn’s victory casts light on dramatic changes in party structure and policy. One involves the makeup of the Labour Party, which occasionally makes Corbyn sound like Podemos of Spain.  “I don’t think we can go on having policy made by the leader, shadow cabinet, or parliamentary Labour party. It’s got to go much wider. Party members need to be more enfranchised.”

The effect of Corbyn’s campaign has been dramatic at the town hall level. He has spoken to packed halls across the country.  Community activists have crammed in to listen in anticipation of a progressive coming.  Labour membership has boomed.  The so-called £3 registered voters have effectively become a new political feature of the party.

Corbyn has done something no British politician has managed in years, with the exception perhaps, of Nicola Sturgeon.  “Thanks to Corbynmania,” writes Ellie Mae O’Hagan, “we now know people up and down the country will give up their evenings and weekends for politics” (The Independent, Sep 12).

The other feature this Corbynmania drive is the policy shift it represents within a party long bruised and emptied by the Blair modernisation program.  Under Blair, the budget and the market became sacred trees in the grove.  Call it market realism, or, as it might better be termed, market irrationalism.

Such a philosophy invariably prided the third way sound bite and the evangelical worship of focus groups.  Blair the Witch (or Warlock) tended to linger malodorously, waiting for a Corbyn to fumigate it with conviction.

What Corbyn represents is the mainstreaming of opposition to public sector cuts. It is the reaffirmation that if a government collects taxes, it should spend it as part of its social undertaking to the electorate.

The Cameron government has been waging a remorseless battle against services in an effort to balance the books, and opposition at the public level has been noisy.  Labour under Ed Miliband exhibited no such opposition, accepting the Tory line that slashing budgets was the more acceptable of economic wisdoms.  A plethora of grassroots organisations took root in an effort to fill the void.

The Peoples’ Assembly and UK Uncut will have much to cheer, as will economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman who have long argued that scorched earth policies against public spending tends to be a suicidal way of reducing deficits.  Austerity, by its very nature, shrinks all before it.

While hope tends to often be a counterfeit currency, Corbyn’s victory has at least given Britain’s political establishment a jolt.  His tasks will be huge – regaining Labour’s lost foothold in Scotland, and beating off detractors in his own party who are forming an exodus of retreaters.  He also faces the diminishing influence of union membership in a party that always prided itself on those links.  Critics will be trying to make sure Corbynmania doesn’t assume the form of a reforming avalanche.

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Narcotics and Covert Intelligence


How the CIA Commandeered the “War on Drugs”

Global Research

The outlawing of narcotic drugs at the start of the Twentieth Century, the turning of the matter from public health to social control, coincided with American’s imperial Open Door policy and the belief that the government had an obligation to American industrialists to create markets in every nation in the world, whether those nations liked it or not.

Civic institutions, like public education, were required to sanctify this policy, while “security” bureaucracies were established to ensure the citizenry conformed to the state ideology. Secret services, both public and private, were likewise established to promote the expansion of private American economic interests overseas.

It takes a book to explain the economic foundations of the war on drugs, and the reasons behind the regulation of the medical, pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers industries. Suffice it to say that by 1943, the nations of the “free world” were relying on America for their opium derivatives, under the guardianship of Harry Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN).

Narcotic drugs are a strategic resource, and when Anslinger learned that Peru had built a cocaine factory, he and the Board of Economic Warfare confiscated its product before it could be sold to Germany or Japan. In another instance, Anslinger and his counterpart at the State Department prevented a drug manufacturer in Argentina from selling drugs to Germany.

At the same time, according to Douglas Clark Kinder and William O. Walker III in their article, “Stable Force In a Storm: Harry J. Anslinger and United States Narcotic Policy, 1930-1962,” Anslinger permitted “an American company to ship drugs to Southeast Asia despite receiving intelligence reports that French authorities were permitting opiate smuggling into China and collaborating with Japanese drug traffickers.”

Federal drug law enforcement’s relationship with the espionage establishment matured with the creation of CIA’s predecessor organization, the Office of Strategic Services. Prior to the Second World War, the FBN was the government agency most adept at conducting covert operations at home and abroad. As a result, OSS chief William Donovan asked Anslinger to provide seasoned FBN agents to help organize the OSS and train its agents to work undercover, avoid security forces in hostile nations, manage agent networks, and engage in sabotage and subversion.

The relationship expanded during the war, when FBN executives and agents worked with OSS scientists in domestic “truth drug” experiments involving marijuana. The “extra-legal” nature of the relationship continued after the war: when the CIA decided to test LSD on unsuspecting American citizens, FBN agents were chosen to operate the safehouses where the experiments were conducted.

The relationship was formalized overseas in 1951, when Agent Charlie Siragusa opened an office in Rome and began to develop the FBN’s foreign operations. In the 1950s, FBN agents posted overseas spent half their time doing “favors” for the CIA, such as investigating diversions of strategic materials behind the Iron Curtain. A handful of FBN agents were actually recruited into the CIA while maintaining their FBN credentials as cover.

Officially, FBN agents set limits. Siragusa, for example, claimed to object when the CIA asked him to mount a “controlled delivery” into the U.S. as a way of identifying the American members of a smuggling ring with Communist affiliations.

As Siragusa said,

“The FBN could never knowingly allow two pounds of heroin to be delivered into the United States and be pushed to Mafia customers in the New York City area, even if in the long run we could seize a bigger haul.” [For citations to this and other quotations/interviews, as well as documents, please refer to the author’s books, The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs (Verso 2004) and The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics, and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA (TrineDay 2009). See also]

And in 1960, when the CIA asked him to recruit assassins from his stable of underworld contacts, Siragusa again claimed to have refused. But drug traffickers, including, most prominently, Santo Trafficante Jr, were soon participating in CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.

As the dominant partner in the relationship, the CIA exploited its affinity with the FBN. “Like the CIA,” FBN Agent Robert DeFauw explained, “narcotic agents mount covert operations. We pose as members of the narcotics trade. The big difference is that we were in foreign countries legally, and through our police and intelligence sources, we could check out just about anyone or anything. Not only that, we were operational. So the CIA jumped in our stirrups.”

Jumping in the FBN’s stirrups afforded the CIA deniability, which is turn affords it impunity. To ensure that the CIA’s criminal activities are not revealed, narcotic agents are organized militarily within an inviolable chain of command. Highly indoctrinated, they blindly obey based on a “need to know.” This institutionalized ignorance sustains the illusion of righteousness, in the name of national security, upon which their motivation depends.

As FBN Agent Martin Pera explained, “Most FBN agents were corrupted by the lure of the underworld. They thought they could check their morality at the door – go out and lie, cheat, and steal – then come back and retrieve it. But you can’t. In fact, if you’re successful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureaucracy.”

Institutionalized corruption began at headquarters, where FBN executives provided cover for CIA assets engaged in drug trafficking. In 1966, Agent John Evans was assigned as an assistant to enforcement chief John Enright.

“And that’s when I got to see what the CIA was doing,” Evans said. “I saw a report on the Kuomintang saying they were the biggest drug dealers in the world, and that the CIA was underwriting them. Air America was transporting tons of Kuomintang opium.” Evans bristled. “I took the report to Enright.  He said, ‘Leave it here.  Forget about it.’

“Other things came to my attention,” Evans added, “that proved that the CIA contributed to drug use in America. We were in constant conflict with the CIA because it was hiding its budget in ours, and because CIA people were smuggling drugs into the US. We weren’t allowed to tell, and that fostered corruption in the Bureau.”

Heroin smuggled by “CIA people” into the U.S. was channeled by Mafia distributors primarily to African-American communities. Local narcotic agents then targeted disenfranchised blacks as an easy way of preserving the white ruling class’s privileges.

“We didn’t need a search warrant,” explains New Orleans narcotics officer Clarence Giarusso. “It allowed us to meet our quota. And it was on-going. If I find dope on a black man, I can put him in jail for a few days. He’s got no money for a lawyer and the courts are ready to convict. There’s no expectation on the jury’s part that we have to make a case.

So rather than go cold turkey, the addict becomes an informant, which means I can make more cases in the neighborhood, which is all we’re interested in. We don’t care about Carlos Marcello or the Mafia. City cops have no interest in who brings dope in. That’s the job of the federal agents.

The Establishment’s race and class privileges have always been equated with national security, and FBN executives dutifully preserved the social order. Not until 1968, when Civil Rights reforms were imposed upon government bureaucracies, were black FBN agents allowed to become supervisors and manage white agents.

The war on drugs is largely a projection of two things: the racism that has defined America since its inception, and the government policy of allowing political allies to traffic in narcotics. These unstated but official policies reinforce the belief among CIA and drug law enforcement officials that the Bill of Rights is an obstacle to national security.

Blanket immunity from prosecution for turning these policies into practice engenders a belief among bureaucrats that they are above the law, which fosters corruption in other forms. FBN agents, for example, routinely “created a crime” by breaking and entering, planting evidence, using illegal wiretaps, and falsifying reports. They tampered with heroin, transferred it to informants for sale, and even murdered other agents who threatened to expose them.

All of this was secretly known at the highest level of government, and in 1965 the Treasury Department launched a corruption investigation of the FBN. Headed by Andrew Tartaglino, the investigation ended in 1968 with the resignation of 32 agents and the indictment of five. That same year the FBN was reconstructed in the Department of Justice as the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD).

But, as Tartaglino said dejectedly, “The job was only half done.”

First Infestation

Richard Nixon was elected president based on a vow to restore “law and order” to America. To prove that it intended to keep that promise, the White House in 1969 launched Operation Intercept along the Mexican border. This massive “stop and search” operation so badly damaged relations with Mexico, however, that National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger formed the Ad Hoc Committee on Narcotics (the Heroin Committee), to coordinate drug policy and prevent further diplomatic disasters.

The Heroin Committee was composed of cabinet members represented by their deputies. James Ludlum represented CIA Director Richard Helms. A member of the CIA’s Counter-Intelligence staff, Ludlum had been the CIA’s liaison officer to the FBN since 1962.

“When Kissinger set up the Heroin Committee,” Ludlum recalled, “the CIA certainly didn’t take it seriously, because drug control wasn’t part of their mission.”

Indeed, as John Evans noted above, and as the government was aware, the CIA for years had sanctioned the heroin traffic from the Golden Triangle region of Burma, Thailand and Laos into South Vietnam as a way of rewarding top foreign officials for advancing U.S. policies. This reality presented the Nixon White House with a dilemma, given that addiction among U.S. troops in Vietnam was soaring, and that massive amounts of Southeast Asian heroin were being smuggled into the U.S., for use by middle-class white kids on the verge of revolution.

Nixon’s response was to make drug law enforcement part of the CIA’s mission. Although reluctant to betray the CIA’s clients in South Vietnam, Helms told Ludlum: “We’re going to break their rice bowls.”

This betrayal occurred incrementally. Fred Dick, the BNDD agent assigned to Saigon, passed the names of the complicit military officers and politicians to the White House. But, as Dick recalled, “Ambassador [Ellsworth] Bunker called a meeting in Saigon at which CIA Station Chief Ted Shackley appeared and explained that there was ‘a delicate balance.’ What he said, in effect, was that no one was willing to do anything.”

Meanwhile, to protect its global network of drug trafficking assets, the CIA began infiltrating the BNDD and commandeering its internal security, intelligence, and foreign operations branches. This massive reorganization required the placement of CIA officers in influential positions in every federal agency concerned with drug law enforcement.

CIA Officer Paul Van Marx, for example, was assigned as the U.S. Ambassador to France’s assistant on narcotics. From this vantage point, Van Marx ensured that BNDD conspiracy cases against European traffickers did not compromise CIA operations and assets. Van Marx also vetted potential BNDD assets to make sure they were not enemy spies.

The FBN never had more than 16 agents stationed overseas, but Nixon dramatically increased funding for the BNDD and hundreds of agents were posted abroad. The success of these overseas agents soon came to depend on CIA intelligence, as BNDD Director John Ingersoll understood.

BNDD agents immediately felt the impact of the CIA’s involvement in drug law enforcement operations within the United States. Operation Eagle was the flashpoint. Launched in 1970, Eagle targeted anti-Castro Cubans smuggling cocaine from Latin America to the Trafficante organization in Florida. Of the dozens of traffickers arrested in June, many were found to be members of Operation 40, a CIA terror organization active in the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico.

The revelation that CIA drug smuggling assets were operating within the U.S. led to the assignment of CIA officers as counterparts to mid-level BNDD enforcement officials, including Latin American division chief Jerry Strickler. Like Van Marks in France, these CIA officers served to protect CIA assets from exposure, while facilitating their recruitment as informants for the BNDD.

Many Cuban exiles arrested in Operation Eagle were indeed hired by the BNDD and sent throughout Latin America. They got “fantastic intelligence,” Strickler noted. But many were secretly serving the CIA and playing a double game.

Second Infestation

By 1970, BNDD Director Ingersoll’s inspections staff had gathered enough evidence to warrant the investigation of dozens of corrupt FBN agents who had risen to management positions in the BNDD. But Ingersoll could not investigate his top managers while simultaneously investigating drug traffickers. So he asked CIA Director Helms for help building a “counter-intelligence” capacity within the BNDD.

The result was Operation Twofold, in which 19 CIA officers were infiltrated into the BNDD, ostensibly to spy on corrupt BNDD officials. According to the BNDD’s Chief Inspector Patrick Fuller, “A corporation engaged in law enforcement hired three CIA officers posing as private businessmen to do the contact and interview work.”

CIA recruiter Jerry Soul, a former Operation 40 case officer, primarily selected officers whose careers had stalled due to the gradual reduction of forces in Southeast Asia. Those hired were put through the BNDD’s training course and assigned to spy on a particular regional director. No records were kept and some participants have never been identified.

Charles Gutensohn was a typical Twofold “torpedo.” Prior to his recruitment into the BNDD, Gutensohn had spent two years at the CIA’s base in Pakse, a major heroin transit point between Laos and South Vietnam. “Fuller said that when we communicated, I was to be known as Leo Adams for Los Angeles,” Gutensohn said. “He was to be Walter DeCarlo, for Washington, DC.”

Gutensohn’s cover, however, was blown before he got to Los Angeles. “Someone at headquarters was talking and everyone knew,” he recalled. “About a month after I arrived, one of the agents said to me, ‘I hear that Pat Fuller signed your credentials’.”

Twofold, which existed at least until 1974, was deemed by the Rockefeller Commission to have “violated the 1947 Act which prohibits the CIA’s participation in law enforcement activities.” It also, as shall be discussed later, served as a cover for clandestine CIA operations.

Third Infestation

The Nixon White House blamed the BNDD’s failure to stop international drug trafficking on its underdeveloped intelligence capabilities, a situation that opened the door to further CIA infiltration. In late 1970, CIA Director Helms arranged for his recently retired chief of continuing intelligence, E. Drexel Godfrey, to review BNDD intelligence procedures. Among other things, Godfrey recommended that the BNDD create regional intelligence units (RIUs) and an office of strategic intelligence (SI0).

The RIUs were up and running by 1971 with CIA officers often assigned as analysts, prompting BNDD agents to view the RIUs with suspicion, as repositories for Twofold torpedoes.

The SIO was harder to implement, given its arcane function as a tool to help top managers formulate plans and strategies “in the political sphere.” As SIO Director John Warner explained, “We needed to understand the political climate in Thailand in order to address the problem. We needed to know what kind of protection the Thai police were affording traffickers. We were looking for an intelligence office that could deal with those sorts of issues, on the ground, overseas.”

Organizing the SIO fell to CIA officers Adrian Swain and Tom Tripodi, both of whom were recruited into the BNDD. In April 1971 they accompanied Ingersoll to Saigon, where Station Chief Shackley briefed them. Through his CIA contacts, Swain obtained maps of drug-smuggling routes in Southeast Asia.

Upon their return to the U.S., Swain and Tripodi expressed frustration that the CIA had access to people capable of providing the BNDD with intelligence, but these people “were involved in narcotics trafficking and the CIA did not want to identify them.”

Seeking a way to circumvent the CIA, they recommended the creation of a “special operations or strategic operations staff” that would function as the BNDD’s own CIA “using a backdoor approach to gather intelligence in support of operations.” Those operations would rely on “longer range, deep penetration, clandestine assets, who remain undercover, do not appear during the course of any trial and are recruited and directed by the Special Operations agents on a covert basis.”

The White House approved the plan and in May 1971, Kissinger presented a $120 million drug control proposal, of which $50 million was earmarked for special operations. Three weeks later Nixon declared “war on drugs,” at which point Congress responded with funding for the SIO and authorization for the extra-legal operations Swain and Tripodi envisioned.

SIO Director Warner was given a seat on the U.S. Intelligence Board so the SIO could obtain raw intelligence from the CIA. But, in return, the SIO was compelled to adopt CIA security procedures. A CIA officer established the SIO’s file room and computer system; safes and steel doors were installed; and witting agents had to obtain CIA clearances.

Active-duty CIA officers were assigned to the SIO as desk officers for Europe and the Middle East, the Far East, and Latin America. Tripodi was assigned as chief of operations. Tripodi had spent the previous six years in the CIA’s Security Research Services, where his duties included the penetration of peace groups, as well as setting up firms to conduct black bag jobs. Notably, White House “Plumber” E. Howard Hunt inherited Tripodi’s Special Operations unit, which included several of the Watergate burglars.

Tripodi liaised with the CIA on matters of mutual interest and the covert collection of narcotics intelligence outside of routine BNDD channels. As part of his operational plan, code-named Medusa, Tripodi proposed that SIO agents hire foreign nationals to blow up contrabandista planes while they were refueling at clandestine air strips. Another proposal called for ambushing traffickers in America, and taking their drugs and money.

Enter Lucien Conein

The creation of the SIO coincided with the assignment of CIA officer Lucien Conein to the BNDD. As a member of the OSS, Conein had parachuted into France to form resistance cells that included Corsican gangsters. As a CIA officer, Conein in 1954 was assigned to Vietnam to organize anti-communist forces, and in 1963 achieved infamy as the intermediary between the Kennedy White House and the cabal of generals that murdered President Diem.

Historian Alfred McCoy has alleged that, in 1965, Conein arranged a truce between the CIA and drug trafficking Corsicans in Saigon. The truce, according to McCoy, allowed the Corsicans to traffic, as long as they served as contact men for the CIA. The truce also endowed the Corsicans with “free passage” at a time when Marseilles’ heroin labs were turning from Turkish to Southeast Asian morphine base.

Conein denied McCoy’s allegation and insisted that his meeting with the Corsicans was solely to resolve a problem caused by Daniel Ellsberg’s “peccadilloes with the mistress of a Corsican.”

It is impossible to know who is telling the truth. What is known is that in July 1971, on Howard Hunt’s recommendation, the White House hired Conein as an expert on Corsican drug traffickers in Southeast Asia. Conein was assigned as a consultant to the SIO’s Far East Asia desk. His activities will soon be discussed in greater detail.

The Parallel Mechanism

In September 1971, the Heroin Committee was reorganized as the Cabinet Committee for International Narcotics Control (CCINC) under Secretary of State William Rogers. CCINC’s mandate was to “set policies which relate international considerations to domestic considerations.” By 1975, its budget amounted to $875 million, and the war on drugs had become a most profitable industry.

Concurrently, the CIA formed a unilateral drug unit in its operations division under Seymour Bolten. Known as the Special Assistant to the Director for the Coordination of Narcotics, Bolten directed CIA division and station chiefs in unilateral drug control operations. In doing this, Bolten worked closely with Ted Shackley, who in 1972 was appointed head of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division. Bolten and Shackley had worked together in post-war Germany, as well as in anti-Castro Cubans operations in the early 1960s. Their collaboration would grease federal drug law enforcement’s skid into oblivion.

“Bolten screwed us,” BNDD’s Latin American division chief Jerry Strickler said emphatically. “And so did Shackley.”

Bolten “screwed” the BNDD, and the American judicial system, by setting up a “parallel mechanism” based on a computerized register of international drug traffickers and a CIA-staffed communications crew that intercepted calls from drug traffickers inside the U.S. to their accomplices around the world. The International Narcotics Information Network (INIS) was modeled on a computerized management information system Shackley had used to terrorize the underground resistance in South Vietnam.

Bolten’s staff also “re-tooled” dozens of CIA officers and slipped them into the BNDD. Several went to Lou Conein at the SIO for clandestine, highly illegal operations.

Factions within the CIA and military were opposed to Bolten’s parallel mechanism, but CIA Executive Director William Colby supported Bolten’s plan to preempt the BNDD and use its agents and informants for unilateral CIA purposes. The White House also supported the plan for political purposes related to Watergate. Top BNDD officials who resisted were expunged; those who cooperated were rewarded.

Bureau of Narcotics Covert Intelligence Network 

In September 1972, DCI Helms (then immersed in Watergate intrigues), told BNDD Director Ingersoll that the CIA had prepared files on specific drug traffickers in Miami, the Florida Keys, and the Caribbean. Helms said the CIA would provide Ingersoll with assets to pursue the traffickers and develop information on targets of opportunity. The CIA would also provide operational, technical, and financial support.

The result was the Bureau of Narcotics Covert Intelligence Network (BUNCIN) whose methodology reflected Tripodi’s Medusa Plan and included “provocations, inducement to desertion, creating confusion and apprehension.”

Some BUNCIN intelligence activities were directed against “senior foreign government officials” and were “blamed on other government agencies or even on the intelligence services of other nations.” Other BUNCIN activities were directed against American civic and political groups.

BNDD officials managed BUNCIN’s legal activities, while Conein at the SIO managed its political and CIA aspects. According to Conein’s administrative deputy, Rich Kobakoff, “BUNCIN was an experiment in how to finesse the law. The end product was intelligence, not seizures or arrests.”

CIA officers Robert Medell and William Logay were selected to manage BUNCIN.

A Bay of Pigs veteran born in Cuba, Medell was initially assigned to the Twofold program. Medell was BUNCIN’s “covert” agent and recruited its principal agents. All of his assets had previously worked for the CIA, and all believed they were working for it again.

Medell started running agents in March 1973 with the stated goal of penetrating the Trafficante organization. To this end the BNDD’s Enforcement Chief, Andy Tartaglino, introduced Medell to Sal Caneba, a retired Mafioso who had been in business with Trafficante in the 1950s. Caneba in one day identified the head of the Cuban side of the Trafficante family, as well as its organizational structure.

But the CIA refused to allow the BNDD to pursue the investigation, because it had employed Trafficante in its assassination attempts against Fidel Castro, and because Trafficante’s Operation 40 associates were performing similar functions for the CIA around the world.

Medell’s Principal Agent was Bay of Pigs veteran Guillermo Tabraue, whom the CIA paid $1,400 a week. While receiving this princely sum, Tabraue participated in the “Alvarez-Cruz” drug smuggling ring.

Medell also recruited agents from Manuel Artime’s anti-Castro Cuban organization. Former CIA officer and White House “Plumber” Howard Hunt, notably, had been Artime’s case officer for years, and many members of Artime’s organization had worked for Ted Shackley while Shackley was the CIA’s station chief in Miami.

Bill Logay was the “overt” agent assigned to the BUNCIN office in Miami. Logay had been Shackley’s bodyguard in Saigon in 1969. From 1970-1971, Logay had served as a special police liaison and drug coordinator in Saigon’s Precinct 5. Logay was also asked to join Twofold, but claims to have refused.

Medell and Logay’s reports were hand delivered to BNDD headquarters via the Defense Department’s classified courier service. The Defense Department was in charge of emergency planning and provided BUNCIN agents with special communications equipment. The CIA supplied BUNCIN’s assets with forged IDs that enabled them to work for foreign governments, including Panama, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

Like Twofold, BUNCIN had two agendas. One, according to Chief Inspector Fuller, “was told” and had a narcotics mission. The other provided cover for the Plumbers. Orders for the domestic political facet emanated from the White House and passed through Conein to “Plumber” Gordon Liddy and his “Operation Gemstone” squad of exile Cuban terrorists from the Artime organization.

Enforcement chief Tartaglino was unhappy with the arrangement and gave Agent Ralph Frias the job of screening anti-Castro Cubans sent by the White House to the BNDD. Frias was assigned to International Affairs chief George Belk. When Nixon’s White House chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman sent over three Cubans, Frias interviewed them and realized they were “plants.” Those three were not hired, but, Frias lamented, many others were successfully infiltrated inside the BNDD and other federal agencies.

Under BUNCIN cover, CIA anti-Castro assets reportedly kidnapped and assassinated people in Colombia and Mexico. BUNCIN’s White House sponsors also sent CIA anti-Castro Cuban assets to gather dirt on Democratic politicians in Key West. With BUNCIN, federal drug law enforcement sank to new lows of political repression and corruption.

Novo Yardley

The Nixon White House introduced the “operations by committee” management method to ensure control over its illegal drug operations. But as agencies involved in drug law enforcement pooled resources, the BNDD’s mission was diluted and diminished.

And, as the preeminent agency in the federal government, the CIA not only separated itself from the BNDD as part of Bolten’s parallel mechanism, it rode off into the sunset on the BNDD’s horse. For example, at their introductory meeting in Mexico City in 1972, Ted Shackley told Latin American division chief Strickler to hand over all BNDD files, informant lists, and cable traffic.

According to Strickler, “Bad things happened.” The worst abuse was that the CIA allowed drug shipments into the U.S. without telling the BNDD.

“Individual stations allowed this,” SIO Director John Warner confirmed.

In so far as evidence acquired by CIA electronic surveillance is inadmissible in court, the CIA was able to protect its controlled deliveries into the U.S. merely by monitoring them. Numerous investigations had to be terminated as a result. Likewise, dozens of prosecutions were dismissed on national security grounds due to the participation of CIA assets operating around the world.

Strickler knew which CIA people were guilty of sabotaging cases in Latin America, and wanted to indict them. And so, at Bolten’s insistence, Strickler was reassigned. Meanwhile, CIA assets from Bolten’s unilateral drug unit were kidnapping and assassinating traffickers as part of Operation Twofold.

BNDD Director Ingersoll confirmed the existence of this covert facet of Twofold. Its purpose, he said, was to put people in deep cover in the U.S. to develop intelligence on drug trafficking, particularly from South America. The regional directors weren’t aware of it. Ingersoll said he got approval from Attorney General John Mitchell and passed the operation on to John Bartels, the first administrator of the DEA. He said the unit did not operate inside the U.S., which is why he thought it was legal.

Ingersoll added that he was surprised that no one from the Rockefeller Commission asked him about it.

Joseph DiGennaro’s entry into the covert facet of Operation Twofold began when a family friend, who knew CIA officer Jim Ludlum, suggested that he apply for a job with the BNDD. Then working as a stockbroker in New York, DiGennaro met Fuller in August 1971 in Washington. Fuller gave DiGennaro the code name Novo Yardley, based on his posting in New York, and as a play on the name of the famous codebreaker.

After DiGennaro obtained the required clearances, he was told that he and several other recruits were being “spun-off” from Twofold into the CIA’s “operational” unit. The background check took 14 months, during which time he received intensive combat and trade-craft training.

In October 1972 he was sent to New York City and assigned to an enforcement group as a cover. His paychecks came from BNDD funds, but the program was reimbursed by the CIA through the Bureau of Mines. The program was authorized by the “appropriate” Congressional committee.

DiGennaro’s unit was managed by the CIA’s Special Operations Division in conjunction with the military, which provided assets within foreign military services to keep ex-filtration routes (air corridors and roads) open. The military cleared air space when captured suspects were brought into the U.S. DiGennaro spent most of his time in South America, but the unit operated worldwide. The CIA unit numbered about 40 men, including experts in printing, forgery, maritime operations, and telecommunications.

DiGennaro would check with Fuller and take sick time or annual leave to go on missions. There were lots of missions. As his BNDD group supervisor in New York said, “Joey was never in the office.”

The job was tracking down, kidnapping, and, if they resisted, killing drug traffickers. Kidnapped targets were incapacitated by drugs and dumped in the U.S. As DEA Agent Gerry Carey recalled, “We’d get a call that there was ‘a present’ waiting for us on the corner of 116th Street and Sixth Avenue. We’d go there and find some guy, who’d been indicted in the Eastern District of New York, handcuffed to a telephone pole. We’d take him to a safe house for questioning and, if possible, turn him into an informer. Sometimes we’d have him in custody for months. But what did he know?”

If you’re a Corsican drug dealer in Argentina, and men with police credentials arrest you, how do you know it’s a CIA operation? DiGennaro’s last operation in 1977 involved the recovery of a satellite that had fallen into a drug dealer’s hands. Such was the extent of the CIA’s “parallel mechanism.”

The Dirty Dozen

With the formation of the Drug Enforcement Administration in July 1973, BUNCIN was renamed the DEA Clandestine Operations Network (DEACON 1). A number of additional DEACONs were developed through Special Field Intelligence Programs (SFIP). As an extension of BUNCIN, DEACON 1 developed intelligence on traffickers in Costa Rica, Ohio and New Jersey; politicians in Florida; terrorists and gun runners; the sale of boats and helicopters to Cuba; and the Trafficante organization.

Under DEA chief John Bartels, administrative control fell under Enforcement Chief George Belk and his Special Projects assistant Philip Smith. Through Belk and Smith, the Office of Special Projects had become a major facet of Bolten’s parallel mechanism. It housed the DEA’s air wing (staffed largely by CIA officers), conducted “research programs” with the CIA, provided technical aids and documentation to agents, and handled fugitive searches.

As part of DEACON 1, Smith sent covert agent Bob Medell “to Caracas or Bogota to develop a network of agents.” As Smith noted in a memorandum, reimbursement for Medell “is being made in backchannel fashion to CIA under payments to other agencies and is not counted as a position against us.”

Thoroughly suborned by Bolten and the CIA, DEA Administrator Bartels established a priority on foreign clandestine narcotics collection. And when Belk proposed a special operations group in intelligence, Bartels immediately approved it. In March 1974, Belk assigned the group to Lou Conein.

As chief of the Intelligence Group/Operations (IGO), Conein administered the DEA Special Operations Group (DEASOG), SFIP and National Intelligence Officers (NIO) programs. The chain of command, however, was “unclear” and while Medell reported administratively to Smith, Conein managed operations through a separate chain of command reaching to William Colby, who had risen to the rank of CIA Director concurrent with the formation of the DEA.

Conein had worked for Colby for many years in Vietnam, for through Colby he hired a “dirty dozen” CIA officers to staff DEASOG. As NIOs (not regular gun-toting DEA agents), the DEASOG officers did not buy narcotics or appear in court, but instead used standard CIA operating procedures to recruit assets and set up agent networks for the long-range collection of intelligence on trafficking groups. They had no connection to the DEA and were housed in a safe house outside headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.

The first DEASOG recruits were CIA officers Elias P. Chavez and Nicholas Zapata. Both had paramilitary and drug control experience in Laos. Colby’s personnel assistant Jack Mathews had been Chavez’s case officer at the Long Thien base, where General Vang Pao ran his secret drug-smuggling army under Ted Shackley’s auspices from 1966-1968.

A group of eight CIA officers followed: Wesley Dyckman, a Chinese linguist with service in Vietnam, was assigned to San Francisco. Louis J. Davis, a veteran of Vietnam and Laos, was assigned to the Chicago Regional Intelligence Unit. Christopher Thompson from the CIA’s Phoenix Program in Vietnam went to San Antonio. Hugh E. Murray, veteran of Pakse and Bolivia (where he participated in the capture of Che Guevara), was sent to Tucson.  Thomas D. McPhaul had worked with Conein in Vietnam, and was sent to Dallas. Thomas L. Briggs, a veteran of Laos and a friend of Shackley’s, went to Mexico. Vernon J. Goertz, a Shackley friend who had participated in the Allende coup, went to Venezuela. David A. Scherman, a Conein friend and former manager of the CIA’s interrogation center in Da Nang, was sent to sunny San Diego.

Gary Mattocks, who ran CIA counter-terror teams in Vietnam’s Delta, and interrogator Robert Simon were the eleventh and twelfth members. Terry Baldwin, Barry Carew and Joseph Lagattuta joined later.

According to Davis, Conein created DEASOG specifically to do Phoenix program-style jobs overseas: the type where a paramilitary officer breaks into a trafficker’s house, takes his drugs, and slits his throat. The NIOs were to operate overseas where they would target traffickers the police couldn’t reach, like a prime minister’s son or the police chief in Acapulco if he was the local drug boss. If they couldn’t assassinate the target, they would bomb his labs or use psychological warfare to make him look like he was a DEA informant, so his own people would kill him.

The DEASOG people “would be breaking the law,” Davis observed, “but they didn’t have arrest powers overseas anyway.”

Conein envisioned 50 NIOs operating worldwide by 1977. But a slew of Watergate-related scandals forced the DEA to curtail its NIO program and reorganize its covert operations staff and functions in ways that have corrupted federal drug law enforcement beyond repair.

Assassination Scandals

The first scandal focused on DEACON 3, which targeted the Aviles-Perez organization in Mexico. Eli Chavez, Nick Zapata and Barry Carew were the NIOs assigned.

A veteran CIA officer who spoke Spanish, Carew had served as a special police adviser in Saigon before joining the BNDD. Carew was assigned as Conein’s Latin American desk officer and managed Chavez and Zapata (aka “the Mexican Assassin”) in Mexico. According to Chavez, a White House Task Force under Howard Hunt had started the DEACON 3 case. The Task force provided photographs of the Aviles Perez compound in Mexico, from whence truckloads of marijuana were shipped to the U.S.

Funds were allotted in February 1974, at which point Chavez and Zapata traveled to Mexico City as representatives of the North American Alarm and Fire Systems Company. In Mazatlán, they met with Carew, who stayed at a fancy hotel and played tennis every day, while Chavez and Zapata, whom Conein referred to as “pepper-bellies,” fumed in a flea-bag motel.

An informant arranged for Chavez, posing as a buyer, to meet Perez. A deal was struck, but DEA chief John Bartels made the mistake of instructing Chavez to brief the DEA’s regional director in Mexico City before making “the buy.”

At this meeting, the DEACON 3 agents presented their operational plan. But when the subject of “neutralizing” Perez came up, analyst Joan Banister took this to mean assassination. Bannister reported her suspicions to DEA headquarters, where the anti-CIA faction leaked her report to Washington Post columnist Jack Anderson.

Anderson’s allegation that the DEA was providing cover for a CIA assassination unit included revelations that the Senate had investigated IGO chief Conein for shopping around for assassination devices, like exploding ashtrays and telephones. Conein managed to keep his job, but the trail led to his comrade from the OSS, Mitch Werbell.

A deniable asset Conein used for parallel operations, Werbell had tried to sell several thousand silenced machine pistols to DEACON 1 target Robert Vesco, then living in Costa Rica surrounded by drug trafficking Cuban exiles in the Trafficante organization. Trafficante was also, at the time, living in Costa Rica as a guest of President Figueres whose son had purchased weapons from Werbell and used them to arm a death squad he formed with DEACON 1 asset Carlos Rumbault, a notorious anti-Castro Cuban terrorist and fugitive drug smuggler.

Meanwhile, in February 1974, DEA Agent Anthony Triponi, a former Green Beret and member of Operation Twofold, was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in New York “suffering from hypertension.” DEA inspectors found Triponi in the psychiatric ward, distraught because he had broken his “cover” and now his “special code” would have to be changed.

Thinking he was insane, the DEA inspectors called former chief inspector Patrick Fuller in California, just to be sure. As it turned out, everything Triponi had said about Twofold was true! The incredulous DEA inspectors called the CIA and were stunned when they were told: “If you release the story, we will destroy you.”

By 1975, Congress and the Justice Department were investigating the DEA’s relations with the CIA. In the process they stumbled on, among other things, plots to assassinate Torrijos and Noriega in Panama, as well as Tripodi’s Medusa Program.

In a draft report, one DEA inspector described Medusa as follows: “Topics considered as options included psychological terror tactics, substitution of placebos to discredit traffickers, use of incendiaries to destroy conversion laboratories, and disinformation to cause internal warfare between drug trafficking organizations; other methods under consideration involved blackmail, use of psychopharmacological techniques, bribery and even terminal sanctions.”

The Cover-Up

Despite the flurry of investigations, Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, reconfirmed the CIA’s narcotic intelligence collection arrangement with DEA, and the CIA continued to have its way. Much of its success is attributed to Seymour Bolten, whose staff handled “all requests for files from the Church Committee,” which concluded that allegations of drug smuggling by CIA assets and proprietaries “lacked substance.”

The Rockefeller Commission likewise gave the CIA a clean bill of health, falsely stating that the Twofold inspections project was terminated in 1973. The Commission completely covered-up the existence of the operation unit hidden within the inspections program.

Ford did task the Justice Department to investigate “allegations of fraud, irregularity, and misconduct” in the DEA. The so-called DeFeo investigation lasted through July 1975, and included allegations that DEA officials had discussed killing Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega. In March 1976, Deputy Attorney General Richard Thornburgh announced there were no findings to warrant criminal prosecutions.

In 1976, Congresswoman Bella Abzug submitted questions to new Director of Central Intelligence George H.W. Bush, about the CIA’s central role in international drug trafficking. Bush’s response was to cite a 1954 agreement with the Justice Department gave the CIA the right to block prosecution or keep its crimes secret in the name of national security.

In its report, the Abzug Committee said: “It was ironic that the CIA should be given responsibility of narcotic intelligence, particularly since they are supporting the prime movers.”

The Mansfield Amendment of 1976 sought to curtail the DEA’s extra-legal activities abroad by prohibiting agents from kidnapping or conducting unilateral actions without the consent of the host government. The CIA, of course, was exempt and continued to sabotage DEA cases against its movers, while further tightening its stranglehold on the DEA’s enforcement and intelligence capabilities.

In 1977, the DEA’s Assistant Administrator for Enforcement sent a memo, co-signed by the six enforcement division chiefs, to DEA chief Peter Bensinger. As the memo stated, “All were unanimous in their belief that present CIA programs were likely to cause serious future problems for DEA, both foreign and domestic.”

They specifically cited controlled deliveries enabled by CIA electronic surveillance and the fact that the CIA “will not respond positively to any discovery motion.” They complained that “Many of the subjects who appear in these CIA- promoted or controlled surveillances regularly travel to the United States in furtherance of their trafficking activities.” The “de facto immunity” from prosecution enabled the CIA assets to “operate much more openly and effectively.”

But then DEA chief Peter Bensinger suffered the CIA at the expense of America’s citizens and the DEA’s integrity. Under Bensinger the DEA created its CENTAC program to target drug trafficking organization worldwide through the early 1980s. But the CIA subverted the CENTAC: as its director Dennis Dayle famously said, “The major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA.”

Murder and Mayhem

DEACON 1 inherited BUNCIN’s anti-Castro Cuban assets from Brigade 2506, which the CIA organized to invade Cuba in 1960. Controlled by Nixon’s secret political police, these CIA assets, operating under DEA cover, had parallel assignments involving “extremist groups and terrorism, and information of a political nature.”

Noriega and Moises Torrijos in Panama were targets, as was fugitive financier and Nixon campaign contributor Robert Vesco in Costa Rica, who was suspected of being a middle man in drug and money-laundering operations of value to the CIA.

DEACON 1’s problems began when overt agent Bill Logay charged that covert agent Bob Medell’s anti-Castro Cuban assets had penetrated the DEA on behalf of the Trafficante organization. DEACON 1 secretary Cecelia Plicet fanned the flames by claiming that Conein and Medell were using Principal Agent Tabraue to circumvent the DEA.

In what amounted to an endless succession of controlled deliveries, Tabraue was financing loads of cocaine and using DEACON 1’s Cuban assets to smuggle them into the U.S. Plicet said that Medell and Conein worked for “the other side” and wanted the DEA to fail. These accusations prompted an investigation, after which Logay was reassigned to inspections and Medell was reassigned and replaced by Gary Mattocks, an NIO member of the Dirty Dozen.

According to Mattocks, Shackley helped Colby set up DEASOG and brought in “his” people, including Tom Clines, whom Shackley placed in charge of the CIA’s Caribbean operations. Clines, like Shackley and Bolten, knew all the exile Cuban terrorists and traffickers on the DEASOG payroll. CIA officer Vernon Goertz worked for Clines in Caracas as part of the CIA’s parallel mechanism under DEASOG cover.

As cover for his DEACON 1 activities, Mattocks set up a front company designed to improve relations between Cuban and American businessmen. Meanwhile, through the CIA, he recruited members of the Artime organization including Watergate burglars Rolando Martinez and Bernard Barker, as well as Che Guevara’s murderer, Felix Rodriguez. These anti-Castro terrorists were allegedly part of an Operation 40 assassination squad that Shackley and Clines employed for private as well as professional purposes.

In late 1974, DEACON 1 crashed and burned when interrogator Robert Simon’s daughter was murdered in a drive-by shooting by crazed anti-Castro Cubans. Simon at the time was managing the CIA’s drug data base and had linked the exile Cuban drug traffickers with “a foreign terrorist organization.” As Mattocks explained, “It got bad after the Brigaders found out Simon was after them.”

None of the CIA’s terrorists, however, were ever arrested. Instead, Conein issued a directive prohibiting DEACON 1 assets from reporting on domestic political affairs or terrorist activities and the tragedy was swept under the carpet for reasons of national security.

DEACON 1 unceremoniously ended in 1975 after Agent Fred Dick was assigned to head the DEA’s Caribbean Basin Group. In that capacity Dick visited the DEACON 1 safe house and found, in his words, “a clandestine CIA unit using miscreants from Bay of Pigs, guys who were blowing up planes.” Dick hit the ceiling and in August 1975 DEACON I was terminated.

No new DEACONs were initiated and the others quietly ran their course. Undeterred, the CIA redeployed its anti-Castro Cuban miscreant assets, some of whom established the terror organization CORU in 1977. Others would go to work for Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a key National Security Council aide under President Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra drug and terror network.

Conein’s IGO was disbanded in 1976 after a grand jury sought DEACON I intelligence regarding several drug busts. But CIA acquired intelligence cannot be used in prosecutions, and the CIA refused to identify its assets in court, with the result that 27 prosecutions were dismissed on national security grounds.

Gary Mattocks was thereafter unwelcomed in the DEA. But his patron Ted Shackley had become DCI George Bush’s assistant deputy director for operations and Shackley kindly rehired Mattocks into the CIA and assigned him to the CIA’s narcotics unit in Peru.

At the time, Santiago Ocampo was purchasing cocaine in Peru and his partner Matta Ballesteros was flying it to the usual Cuban miscreants in Miami. One of the receivers, Francisco Chanes, an erstwhile DEACON asset, owned two seafood companies that would soon allegedly come to serve as fronts in Oliver North’s Contra supply network, receiving and distributing tons of Contra cocaine.

Mattocks himself soon joined the Contra support operation as Eden Pastrora’s case officer. In that capacity Mattocks was present in 1984 when CIA officers handed pilot Barry Seal a camera and told him to take photographs of Sandinista official Federico Vaughn loading bags of cocaine onto Seal’s plane. A DEA “special employee,” Seal was running drugs for Jorge Ochoa Vasquez and purportedly using Nicaragua as a transit point for his deliveries.

North asked DEA officials to instruct Seal, who was returning to Ochoa with $1.5 million, to deliver the cash to the Contras. When the DEA officials refused, North leaked a blurry photo, purportedly of Vaughn, to the right-wing Washington Times. For partisan political purposes, on behalf of the Reagan administration, Oliver North blew the DEA’s biggest case at the time, and the DEA did nothing about it, even though DEA Administrator Jack Lawn said in 1988, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, that leaking the photo “severely jeopardized the lives” of agents.

The circle was squared in 1989 when the CIA instructed Gary Mattocks to testify as a defense witness at the trial of DEACON 1 Principal Agent Gabriel Tabraue. Although Tabraue had earned $75 million from drug trafficking, while working as a CIA and DEA asset, the judge declared a mistrial based on Mattocks’s testimony. Tabraue was released. Some people inferred that President George H.W. Bush had personally ordered Mattocks to dynamite the case.

The CIA’s use of the DEA to employ terrorists would continue apace. For example, in 1981, DEA Agent Dick Salmi recruited Roberto Cabrillo, a drug smuggling member of CORU, an organization of murderous Cuban exiles formed by drug smuggler Frank Castro and Luis Posada while George Bush was DCI.

The DEA arrested Castro in 1981, but the CIA engineered his release and hired him to establish a Contra training camp in the Florida Everglades. Posada reportedly managed resupply and drug shipments for the Contras in El Salvador, in cahoots with Felix Rodriguez. Charged in Venezuela with blowing up a Cuban airliner and killing 73 people in 1976, Posada was shielded from extradition by George W. Bush in the mid-2000s.

Having been politically castrated by the CIA, DEA officials merely warned its CORU assets to stop bombing people in the U.S. It could maim and kill people anywhere else, just not here in the sacred homeland. By then, Salmi noted, the Justice Department had a special “grey-mail section” to fix cases involving CIA terrorists and drug dealers.

The Hoax

DCI William Webster formed the CIA’s Counter-Narcotics Center in 1988. Staffed by over 100 agents, it ostensibly became the springboard for the covert penetration of, and paramilitary operations against, top traffickers protected by high-tech security firms, lawyers and well-armed private armies.

The CNC brought together, under CIA control, every federal agency involved in the drug wars. Former CIA officer and erstwhile Twofold member, Terry Burke, then serving as the DEA’s Deputy for Operations, was allowed to send one liaison officer to the CNC.

The CNC quickly showed its true colors. In the late 1990, Customs agents in Miami seized a ton of pure cocaine from Venezuela. To their surprise, a Venezuelan undercover agent said the CIA had approved the delivery. DEA Administrator Robert Bonner ordered an investigation and discovered that the CIA had, in fact, shipped the load from its warehouse in Venezuela.

The “controlled deliveries” were managed by CIA officer Mark McFarlin, a veteran of Reagan’s terror campaign in El Salvador. Bonner wanted to indict McFarlin, but was prevented from doing so because Venezuela was in the process of fighting off a rebellion led by leftist Hugo Chavez. This same scenario has been playing out in Afghanistan for the last 15 years, largely through the DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD), which provides cover for CIA operations worldwide.

The ultimate and inevitable result of American imperialism, the SOD job is not simply to “create a crime,” as freewheeling FBN agents did in the old days, but to “recreate a crime” so it is prosecutable, despite whatever extra-legal methods were employed to obtain the evidence before it is passed along to law enforcement agencies so they can make arrests without revealing what prompted their suspicions.

Reuters reported in 2013,

“The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.”

The utilization of information from the SOD, which operates out of a secret location in Virginia, “cannot be revealed or discussed in any investigative function,” according to an internal document cited by Reuters, which added that agents are specifically directed “to omit the SOD’s involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony.”

Agents are told to use “parallel construction” to build their cases without reference to SOD’s tips which may come from sensitive “intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records,” Reuters reported.

Citing a former federal agent, Reuters reported that SOD operators would tell law enforcement officials in the U.S. to be at a certain place at a certain time and to look for a certain vehicle which would then be stopped and searched on some pretext. “After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said,” Reuters reported.

An anonymous senior DEA official told Reuters that this “parallel construction” approach is “decades old, a bedrock concept” for law enforcement. The SOD’s approach follows Twofold techniques and Bolten’s parallel mechanism from the early 1970s.

To put it simply, lying to frame defendants, which has always been unstated policy, is now official policy: no longer considered corruption, it is how your government manages the judicial system on behalf of the rich political elite.

As outlined in this article, the process tracks back to Nixon, the formation of the BNDD, and the creation of a secret political police force out of the White House. As Agent Bowman Taylor caustically observed, “I used to think we were fighting the drug business, but after they formed the BNDD, I realized we were feeding it.”

The corruption was first “collateral” – as a function of national security performed by the CIA in secret – but has now become “integral,’ the essence of empire run amok.

Posted in USAComments Off on Narcotics and Covert Intelligence

Silencing a Whistle-Blower, Gladio B and the Origins of ISIS. Sibel Edmonds


Global Research News Hour Episode 111: A Conversation with Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds

So that Operation Gladio turned into a different operation, the same Modus Operandi, of creating false flag events, synthetically created terror units, um as Islamic fanatic units, that would create these terror events, thus the chaos associated with it, thus the justification for NATO/CIA/US military intervention in Middle East today but with the goal of having more of these events taking us further in- into the previously Russian territories.” -Sibel Edmonds on Operation Gladio B (from this week’s interview.)


Length (58:59)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

 On the season debut of the Global Research News Hour, we spend the bulk of the hour with former FBI language specialist turned whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds.

Ms. Edmonds went to work for the FBI in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks. While under the employ of the State Agency she uncovered ongoing criminal operations implicating foreign nationals and high level US officials. When she tried to report on these revelations, she was told to shut up and eventually dispatched from the agency.

Edmonds has reported instances of FBI foreknowledge of 9/11. For example, a disclosure by a long-term FBI informant to two FBI agents and a translator, which indicated a terrorist attack in US cities involving airplanes to take place within a few months. After the disclosure was forwarded to the Special Agent in Charge of Counter-terrorism at the Washington Field Office, no action was taken, and following 9/11, the agents and translator in question were told to keep quiet about the issue. [1]

In this week’s interview, conducted by Global Research News Hour contributor Jonathan Wilson, Edmonds discusses how she became “the most classified woman in America,” as well as how sensitive information gets contained, the rise of Islamic Terror as “Gladio B” and her assessment of the trouble-spots likely to emerge in coming months.

Sibel Edmonds is the editor of the Boiling Frogs Post and Founder-Director of the US-based National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award, and the author of two books including her memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story: A Memoir and a work of fiction: The Lone Gladio.


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Interview Transcript

Global Research: On the Global Research News Hour, it is Sibel Edmonds who is the editor and publisher of the Boiling Frogs Post, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, and author of the acclaimed book, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio: A Political Spy Thriller. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist fluent in four languages and has an M.A. in Public Policy from George Mason University and a B.A. In Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. Thanks so much Sibel for coming on the program!

Sibel Edmonds: Sure! Many thanks for inviting me!

GR: Now first, uh…I wanted, there’s so much in your story to talk about, but I first wanted to hear just um, about your life and what led you to be employed as a translator in the days following the 9/11 attacks.

 SE: Sure, I’m originally from Turkey, and I moved to the United States in 1988. This is where I got my college degree, my master’s degree, and I never planned working for the government in any form. But in 1990s for my university related coursework, I wanted to have a summer internship in a division of the FBI that deals with crime against children. So at that point I had sent them a request, filled out the forms, and of course in the forms there was a section that asked information about any other talents or languages spoken etc.

Anyhow I filled out that form, I sent it to the FBI, I never heard from them. And years went by and September 11 happened and three days after September 11, I received a call from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, this is in Washington, D.C., asking me to come and help them work on some really urgent terrorism and counter-intelligence related cases. I was very surprised that at that point in my life I was not ready to go and work for the FBI, but they pressed the issue, they actually begged because they didn’t have enough language specialists with also geo-strategic information, political information which my background provided for all of that.

So they said we are even willing to have you as a contract worker and you can determine your own hours. And give us as much as you can, our country needs you Ms Edmonds, etc, etc. So how could I have said no? I saw it as an opportunity to do something for what is coined, has been coined as National Security, I’m laughing because that was a really an eye-opener experience.

I was naïve back then. I truly believed what majority of the people here in the United States believed, still believe today. And that is, you know, we don’t have a perfect system but we have this great thing called constitution and a system of checks and balances and separation of powers. That’s what I got my Master’s Degree on (laughter)! Um, but as often as it was the experience, the whistle-blowing it was an eye-opener. It was like waking up from this extreme sleep and seeing the reality of this nation unfortunately, and the illusion that is being sold to the public.

GR: It’s ironic that they begged you to work there, amd then, uh, and then you end up getting fired from your position because you’re speaking out against what you saw as a cover-up there. So, working there for six months, what led to your firing for people who don’t know the details of the story?

SE: Sure, I mean I have documented that in detail in my book Classified Woman. Which government fought and they said if I were to publish this book I would go to jail. They said every single word in this book is classified, etc. And maybe we will get into that a little bit later, and it’s really hard to give bullet points and summarize what took place during that short period.

The division I was working for – I worked for many divisions there. I worked with Counter-terrorism agents in various field offices in the country, the Chicago Field Office, FBI Chicago Field Office – Counter-terrorism, the New Jersey Field Office, etc, but my main work was with the Counter-intelligence Division, and this was the highly specialized unit in the Washington DC Field Office that dealt with Counter-intelligence-related operations, and it involved other types of criminal activities than jointly, I’m saying jointly, I’m emphasizing jointly by both US persons and also foreign individuals and because the FBI did not have any analyst with both the language capabilities of the region and this is Turkey and other Turkish speaking nations, you’re looking at countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus, I ended up serving as both analyst and language specialist for this special division within the FBI’s Washington DC Office.

And that’s where most of the explosive information was resided, not within the counter-terrorism division- most people would think it would be counter-terrorism that would have all these operations and activities under, but actually it was under counter-intelligence division, and these also involved high-level US individuals, from Congress, from the State Department from the Pentagon who were engaged in operations and activities that were illegal and also terrorism related in the United States and around the world. And the agents, the FBI Agents who were in charge of this unit, they all had good intentions and they were exasperated, they were trying to get these processed as current counter-terrorism operations and be investigated and dealt with as such, however they were being blocked by the State Department and CIA because those operations were sanctioned by- by those entities, by – by those agencies, mainly I would say the CIA and the State Department.

So, they didn’t go any further than just wasting exasperation, but after getting exposed to what that information was, and these files, some of them dated back to 1997, these were ongoing operations both from the surveillance part, from the FBI’s side, and also from these networks and individuals and organizations that carried out these operations, that were targets of the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigations.

So, I – I decided to really speak up, and I didn’t jump out there and go to some reporter or to a journalist. As I said, I started that work as a very naïve person. I believed in the system, and the system dictated that you take this to your superior. If it doesn’t work you take it to this department. So, from there I ended up with the FBI’s own OPR department, that’s the Office of Professional Responsibility. From there, it went up to – my case – all the way to the Director’s office, and that’s Director Mueller himself, and this was when I was asked to basically shut up, to hush and not to pursue this, and that forced me to go outside the FBI and again within the government . So I went to the Inspector- General’s Office for the Department of Justice, and I went to the appropriate committees in the Congress, both the Senate and the House, places like the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, and from there I ended up with the 9/11 Commission.

“…actually it was under counter-intelligence division, and these also involved high-level US individuals, from Congress, from the State Department from the Pentagon who were engaged in operations and activities that were illegal and also terrorism related in the United States and around the world.”

So to make the long story short, for about a year and a half, and this includes after the time I was fired, I was working within the system, trying to get these extremely, extremely dangerous important issues addressed , made public via so-called appropriate channels. And then from there it went to the media, which was around mid to late 2002, and yes, I was fired after six-seven months and then the case became a court case. My case went all the way to the Supreme Court and during the entire process the government stepped in, not only the FBI but also the CIA and the State Department, and requested the courts, the judges, both for the Appellate Court, the Lower Courts, and later the Supreme Court, to shut down the case, and say everything about this woman, this lady, is classified. In fact, they succeeded in having the court rule for them by saying that even the languages I speak are all classified, where I was born is classified, where I went to school in the United States is classified, that everything about me basically was classified, and- and this is the other separate branch – we are talking about the courts in the United States, the Federal Courts. And then after that it was the media so that’s basically the very shallow, I guess, summary version of this case that is now almost 13 years old.

GR: Right and uh, the detail in your book, Classified Woman, you know fills in all those details , and like you’re saying all these things about you are classified. You’re referred to as the most gagged, most classified person in the United States, then you come out with this book and it was self-published right?

SE: Yes, I was forced to self-publish it because when I took the job with the FBI I was made, it was mandatory to sign hundreds and hundreds of pages of bureaucratic documents. Well one of the document forms that I signed at the time, before I took the contract job with the FBI was if in the future whether I was retired long even after if I was gone from the FBI if I were to publish a non-fiction book, I was obligated, because I have the highest level Security Clearance with the FBI, and as a result of holding that security clearance while you’re working with these agencies whether it’s the CIA or the FBI, you’re obligated to send the manuscript, before you send it to any publishers, to any agent, to any editor, etc, you have to send it to the FBI’s Department of Justice’s Special Division, and it is called the basically the pre-publication review.

And this division they take your manuscript and they go through it… to see whether or not you have either intentionally or unintentionally have put anything that is considered sensitive or classified in your book in your non-fiction, and if they find such information whether it’s a word or a sentence or a name, what they do is they black it out. They send you the manuscript, and they give you a chance to go and take out those sensitive information those words those sentences those names, and only after that when you have this FBI’s DOJ’s approval that yes, there’s nothing sensitive or classified in your manuscript, then you can go to the publishers etc and go with the publishing process – go forward with the publishing process.

Well, I sent mine and legally, by law, the Justice Department was required in thirty days …complete this process of sending my manuscript- send it back to me. Well, they sat on it for six months. I had to go and get a law firm, I had to go and get an attorney, and my attorney was started engaging with this dialogue saying where is this manuscript, you have thirty days, that’s the legal time allowance for you. After six months of back and forth and additional six months the FBI DOJ Division , they sent a letter official letter saying they considered everything in my book, every single word including the title classified and sensitive. So they basically sent back the entire thing blacked out, that includes the author’s name and the title of the book!

 GR: Wow, that’s a lot of …

SE: Could you imagine how ludicrous that would be? (chuckle)

GR: That’s a lot of ink, yeah.

 SE: Because this book also has some background information of my father, and where I was born, and little bit of my childhood.

GR: Right!

 SE: So, my attorney sent a letter saying that’s ludicrous, they went to the appeal process. They said no. She publish a single word and she’s going to go to jail! Because everything she has in here is classified. And we have all these letters in fact, people can go and find it via google all the letters that the FBI sent and my attorneys had a press release saying look at these letters. This has never happened in the history of this country that an entire book is being considered classified and blacked out. It’s against the First Amendment and it’s very Kafkaesque really. And they couldn’t care less.

“After six months of back and forth and additional six months the FBI DOJ Division , they sent a letter official letter saying they considered everything in my book, every single word including the title classified and sensitive. So they basically sent back the entire thing blacked out, that includes the author’s name and the title of the book!”

They said it is what it is. And at that point I said no, I’m going to challenge this because it is ludicrous, and see if they’re going to – how are they going to argue for this in any court – in any court of law? You know? And this is after the experience of seeing that the court, the federal courts of law in this country, they’re truly not independent.

So, I took it to some publishers, some of the main publishers , and they said under no circumstances would they publish it, it was a great book, but they didn’t want to get into any trouble with the FBI, and unless I – I brought them something that said Department of Justice or the FBI sanctions this , they’re not going to publish.

So at that point I hired my own editors and cover designers and proof-readers, I established my own little company and we spent months preparing and then later publishing this book, independently, which we did, and nothing happened. ..I guess it was all bluff by the government knowing very well that 99.9% of people, whistle-blowers, would back off and the wouldn’t dare going ahead and publish it. And, in a way it’s a vindication that people should not, I guess, back down and give up when they face such ludicrous, really fascistic, government’s response, or government ultimatum.

 GR: Right it’s like they don’t want you to say a single word, or print a single word, but uh, if they were to take any action it would draw so much attention to what you wrote also so they’re trying to, I guess, hope that no one sees it right?

SE: Exactly! Because look, we know the intimate incestuous relationship connection between the US mainstream media and the publishers and the government agencies especially the, such as the CIA and Pentagon. So they knew that they had those fronts under control, meaning this was not going to be widely distributed in the bookstores. They knew that none of the mainstream media outlets under any circumstances were going to provide any coverage.

So with the hope that it would die down and nobody would see it, they didn’t do anything in order not to draw more public attention. And I would say for a self-published book, independently published book, they did pretty good, it maybe sold over 20,000 copies. Interestingly I would say half of it were purchased and bought by people outside the United States. I would say places like United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, uh, they, all of them together, they account for, I would say, account for 50% of the book sales…I wouldn’t say it was a great success, the feedback has been incredible. And people can see it on amazon and the rating, and even its status, even after three plus years, still be ranked fairly high up there among non-fiction books, and also the reviews from hundreds and hundreds of people.

So, again I would say that alone was encouraging vindication of not backing off and saying you know the publishers are not touching it, mainstream media is not going to cover this, so I’m going to go away, I’m discouraged, I’m not going to do this. Saying, well today with the technology, we can do certain things that we couldn’t have done 15, 20 years ago , and challenge it, challenge it with every chance you get, I guess.

GR: Yeah, I followed your story since I heard about it in the mid-2000s and so when I saw that you were publishing this book I was, you know, I was intrigued because, because all this information had been withheld, and state secrets and so forth…I’ve read it and then passed it along to other people who’ve had their minds blown. So it’s getting out there, but it’s one of those things where as soon as soon as people read it or hear about it then they want to know but it’s hard to spread that information you know when mainstream channels have decided it’s a non-story or won’t touch it, right?

 SE: Absolutely! I mean, to give you an example for this, um, so-called whistle-blower case, the Valerie Plame case, um, CIA sanctioned the book and actually the publisher, they got the written consent from the CIA that it was okay to publish the book. And also they garnered political support from the Democratic Party. And for that book not only they received three million dollars, okay? But also, around the clock for three months coverage from the CNN, and CBS, Sixty Minutes, and all these mainstream outlets both print and TV news. And so, the difference there being this book was not sanctioned by the CIA or the State Department or the FBI or the Pentagon. It was a true whistle-blower, real life whistle-blower story.

But also, another characteristic of my book was the fact that it was so non-partisan because anyone who reads it, they realize there really is no difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party whatsoever, and the fact that it’s rotten at its core and basically you’re staring at the two sides of the same coin, and so when you are in that position your angle is not considered partisan, meaning you’re banging on one administration, I don’t care whether it’s the just the Obama Administration or Bush Administration, that you have this cheering crowd, the same establishment the same rotten people who are under the brand of Democratic Party, or Republican Party. And-and – so that alone becomes a major roadblock.

But I say in the long run, it is a historical document, it is going to stay hopefully around and anybody who reads it, and this has been the reaction so far, people have good gut feelings. They can smell… when they read something that is written with an agenda, or with partisanship and it’s something that is totally coloured. And that has been the case so far. And I don’t have any regrets. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I would never do it any other way.

And I was also very cautious with not really including anything any information that was justifiably classified, because I think that would be nefarious. You know, Let’s say if there is an ongoing criminal investigation against a real target and it’s going to go to court and you end up putting that information there and thus damaging the case. I’m just giving an example. That would just be with a nefarious kind of detention. I did not give that.

And also, one of the things that I learned during the publication process, was that while I had to submit my manuscript for pre-review, publication and etc, pre-publication review, you as someone who held classified, top-secret, clarification and classification at work and experience etc, you don’t have to do such things. You are not under any obligation to do such a thing, if you’re writing a fiction. And that was when I decided as I was preparing Classified Woman for publication, to sit down and spend another two years and write a fiction book, fairly truthful fiction book, and let my readers, our readers know of a lot of things that I could not talk about in a non-fiction book. Uh, it would have given the excuse to the government to come after me and actually thrown me in jail. And they would have done so had they found anything that is in any way justifiably classified in Classified Woman.

“…another characteristic of my book was the fact that it was so non-partisan because anyone who reads it, they realize there really is no difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party whatsoever, and the fact that it’s rotten at its core and basically you’re staring at the two sides of the same coin.”

But I followed up with a book that would be a follow-up book to Classified Woman. It’s a fiction book that came out last September – it’s been exactly a year – it came out on September 11, 2014 – that is a fiction book. It’s Lone Gladio, and anybody who has read my Classified Woman book, reading the Lone Gladiothey would understand what really this fiction is all about.

GR: Right! Yeah it’s “fiction” in quotation marks, and with the title “Lone Gladio,” sounds like, you know, a reference to “Operation Gladio” or “Gladio B.” Could you talk a little bit about what that means?

 SE: Well, it’s hard to summarize this, uh, because uh, sometimes uh, I’m afraid suh- oversimplifying things can-can leave it up to so many different kinds of interpretation…

GR: Sure.

SE: …but, Operation Gladio is not some kind of a…a conspiracy term or something that people come up with saying I believe there was such an operation. Operation Gladio, people can go and do a google search and they can find it, even from the CIA’s (chuckle) own division…

GR: Right, yeah.

 SE: …four year documents that in nineteen uh, late nineteen fifties after World War 2, after CIA was established, after NATO was established, uh, NATO together with the CIA they created this paramilitary units uh, covert paramilitary units uh around the world, mainly in Europe, uh some in the Middle East, um, to basically counter the Soviet Union and the spread of communism as an ideology.

So the role of these paramilitary units, funded, directed, managed, armed by the CIA and NATO was, during these years, in Europe and elsewhere, were to create terror events. You know, blow up bombs, um, gun down people, set, let’s say a shopping centre on fire, and then blame it on the communist net-communist networks. And they did hundreds of such operations. There are several good books from historians who have documented these false flag terror events, terror events that were created, implemented, brought about by the CIA/NATO’s paramilitary units within Eastern Europe, in Italy, and in Italy they were very big, but the biggest nation that they had the biggest units, we just had its own also office inside the Pentagon was in Turkey, and that’s where I’m from! (chuckle!) – the Turkish arm of the Gladio network.

So, they did all this and you’d think that once the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990-1991, the operation would have been basically shut down, because this was against communism so-called. That’

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