Alex Constantine - January 10, 2012
By Alex Constantine
[Adapted from "The Lexington Comair Crash," parts 19-22 (2006)]
"Small arms sales recently to Albania, Bosnia and FYR of Macedonia could come back to haunt us sooner than we think. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced at a September 1998 United Nations meeting that arms exporting states 'bear some [sic] responsibility' for a trade which 'fuels conflict, fortifies extremism and destabilizes entire regions' in Africa and worldwide. ... " – Anna Rich, "U.S. Exports Arms to the World"
Macedonia, Romania, Albania and Bulgaria constitute the "outer ring" of East European black market smuggling routes, and the governments of these countries act as mediators in major transnational trade, a violation of sanctions imposed by international agreement.
Convicted Macedonian arms smuggler Yuri Malinkovski received a stern slap on the wrist – three years probation in 1999 for lethal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers and Export Administration Act, and was prohibited from exporting anything for a period of ten years. At the receiving end, the Macedonian government denied involvement in black trades, but the evidence indicated that a company called Micei-Forten resold them to Serbia.1
Aim Skopje opined flatly after the 1996 arrest of Malinkovski: "This is perhaps the greatest scandal the regime has been involved in." The Macedonian government "has been shaken by all kinds of scandals in the course of this year involving the very top of the administration." One such scandal involved an assassination plot hatched to take out Vanco Cifliganecto, a deputy of the ruling Social Democratic Alliance (SDSM, the former communist party). It was aborted and exposed.
"Just after dust had settled [from a] typical mafia-like showdown and the cruel murder which took place close to the Macedonian assembly, a deputy ... nervously asked from the platform of that same assembly: 'Is it true that somebody is trying to liquidate me? And is my LIQUIDATION supposed to CONCEAL SOMEBODY'S SINS?'
Whatever the result, Aim Skopje editorialized, “the question of the deputy from Radovis will be remembered as perhaps the unique parliamentary question in the world because a deputy of the ruling party asked his own government "WHY" it wanted him killed. “
This question “exploded like a bomb” as a chorus of voices from the press inquired about Macedonian arms smuggling “at the height of the war in Bosnia and blockade of Serbia. Discontent of the public is increasing as the veil is rising. A veil that “carefully concealed the truth that in the 'oasis of peace' ... certain influential politicians and personages [at the highest rungs of authority] made enormous wealth as true war profiteers and black marketeers."2
Mr. Cifliganec, the wealthy manager of the Bucim copper mine, confirmed speculation from the Macedonian tabloids that he was threatened “with assassination by [a] certain Zoran Saklev, officer of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM) at the time. Allegedly, as an experienced intelligence officer trained in the former Yugoslav army and its intelligence service, Saklev was supposed to kill the manager of Bucim and the respectable member of the leadership of the ruling party SDSM for 20 thousand German marks."
But the most “interesting” player in the scandal was "public prosecutor Stevan Pavlevski. He confirmed that last year he had looked into data on Zoran Saklev and established that the material gathered by the intelligence service of the Army was thin."
Pavlevski offered he did not have sufficient evidence to press for criminal charges. But rumors continued to “spread and acquire interesting proportions.” The pro-regime press claimed that the rumors were “propaganda with a specific goal and function.' The goal, suggested the Nova Makedonija daily, served the ambitions of the Macedonian intelligence service. “Why? This newspaper does not have an answer for that, [but] believes that it is clear to internal and external enemies."3
Christopher Deliso reported on February 26, 2004:
Macedonian President Killed in Bosnia Plane Crash
Macedonians are in a state of shock today as the first incomplete reports of the death of their president, Boris Trajkovski, start to filter back from Bosnia, where the president and 8 others died early this morning in a plane crash, in mountainous terrain ... near Croatia's southern coast." Everyone aboard – Trajkovski, six advisors, guards, A two-man crew, were presumed dead. The crash was blamed on inclement weather ... at first.
It was a "sad irony" that "Trajkovski was on his way to an investment conference in Mostar, just as Macedonia’s EU application was about to be officially presented in Ireland [which presides on an honorary basis over the EU]."
Trajkovski took office in 1999, and "presided over Macedonia’s most difficult period: the turbulence brought on by NATO’s Kosovo bombardment and the 2001 war, with its uncertain aftermath. Through it all, Trajkovski was firmly pro-American."4
As a matter of fact, Trajkovski's rise to office was, noted Sam Vaknin, a former economic advisor to the government of Macedonia, "attributed by the opposition - and not only by the opposition - to mass electoral fraud among Albanian voters. There were hints of a collusion at the highest levels involving a web of business interests and meddling Western diplomats."
The West's geopolitical intrigues bred rot:
There isn't a single country in the Balkan - Serbia included - whose political elite, past and present, is not thoroughly criminalized. Crime, business, and politics are inextricable in this part of the world. ... The early histories of many nations – perhaps all nations – are studded with rogues, terrorists, criminals, slave traders, eccentrics, and worse. Robber barons, gunslingers, outcasts, slavers, and criminals established both the United States and Australia, for instance.
Macedonians view U.S. operations in the Outer Ring as contrary to its own interests:
[The] U.S. first said ... it would act in a manner fair to all sides. But the U.S. breached [this position] when it intervened militarily in Kosovo. It did so not only by favoring one side--the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army--but by arming and training it and supplying it with military intelligence. Macedonians are bitter at NATO for allowing the KLA to operate with impunity both in Kosovo and in Macedonia, even though it had stated that its goal was to disarm the KLA once UN forces were in place. Many Macedonians, therefore, suspect that the U.S. is assisting the terrorists in order to justify stationing significant forces in the country and making Macedonia into a protectorate, as has already happened in Kosovo and Bosnia.... Serbia has sold its soul to the 'liberal-capitalistic' dream of Western-style prosperity and 'civil society' (which is, in reality, uncivil and asocial). It is now a de facto economic protectorate of the United States and its long arms, the IMF and the World Bank. Militarily, it is completely defanged. And its corrupt politicians and businessmen are addicted to Western payouts and handouts. The population is fatigued, bombed into submission.
"The Washington Consensus," he said, "has proved to be an unmitigated failure in dozens of countries throughout the world."5
Croatian President Stipe Mesic predicted that the Macedonian leader's death would have "political consequences" in the Balkans: "This afternoon I was supposed to meet Boris at the conference on investment in Bosnia. Together with him and the presidents of other states, we worked on the program of stabilization and reconciliation in southeastern Europe."6
There was some speculation before his death, Paul Mojzes wrote in August 2001, that Trajkovski "might be assassinated by those who consider him too close to the 'international community.'"7
The provocative actions of Ugly Americans in the Balkans, News from Russia editorialized, was the work of the CIA. It "exposed the U.S. government as an imperial state. It could turn out in the long run that another empire will find its graveyard in the Balkans if interventionist hawks prevail in Washington." 8
President Boris Trajkovski claimed his plot in that graveyard. There were many – including other government leaders in the Balkans – who doubted the official explanation.
Initially, the crash was blamed on pilot error. But the son of pilot Marko Markovski, among others, disputed this verdict. From the Russian language article, with Markivski's comments:
“Experienced Macedonian pilots surveyed by Dnevnik newspaper agreed that Markovski Sr. was 'one of the best,' a flight instructor and pilot with 30 years flying experience in both military and civilian aircraft, a man who had wide experience flying intercontinental and European routes.’
“‘The expertise of co-pilot Branko Ivanovski, an experienced officer in the Macedonian air force, is supported by a leaked US Air Force document that I have seen. Dated April 7, 2000, the document records Ivanovski's attendance at a 5-week squadron officer course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Signed by a USAF colonel, the document commends Ivanovski's abilities, stating that he displayed 'top analytical and decision-making skills,' and also 'excelled in extremely challenging, dynamic leadership situations.... Bosnian media who spoke with investigators claim that audio tapes record 25 minutes of recorded ground-pilot conversation – followed by a SEVEN-MINUTE SILENCE preceding the crash.’
The Balkan press openly accused NATO of sabotaging the flight. On February 27, the day after the crash, a Bosnian Interior Minister explained that when the crash occurred, the plane “was only 15 air kilometers away from the airport in Mostar. That radius vector is under direct control of SFOR's navigation team. … SFOR will be asked to provide more information."
He stated that SFOR (NATO’s “Stabilization Force”) air traffic controllers were responsible for either ignoring the Macedonian flight, or permitting it to approach the landing strip too low. Bosnian officials, crash investigators, and the press were all in agreement that SFOR caused the crash, and that it was deliberate.
The principal evidence against SFOR, for Macedonian and Bosnian critics, is the fact that it took over 24 hours for the wreckage of the plane to be found. The plane disappeared at 8:20 AM on the 26th, and for an entire day, SFOR, citing dangerous weather conditions, didn't allow air searches. … This explanation was attacked at once. Given that the air traffic controllers knew the plane's last coordinates, and that it should have automatically emitted an emergency radio signal upon crashing, critics argued, why did SFOR fail to locate the wreckage quickly? And why were the Bosnian search teams – the world's best at working in minefields – prevented from searching?
Ivanovikj asked why SFOR “didn't announce the exact location of the plane crash and why the search for the missing plane took 24 hours, if they saw on the navigation system where the plane had crashed?" Zoran Markovski, himself an air traffic controller, agreed: “They [Mostar's SFOR controllers] can register the exact geographic position of the plane, its height and speed. Yet the plane was found 26 hours after the accident and was only 10 kilometers from the airport, and crashed during the landing phase. Why wasn't the Bosnian search team activated – the one which during the war found a crashed plane and saved the pilot in just 17 minutes?"
These suspicions were exacerbated by reports that the flight controllers fled after the crash. Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski: “I don't know whether they are out of Bosnia or not, but wherever they are they cannot avoid being investigated."
Two days later, SFOR spokesman Norbert Hoerpel claimed that the French air controllers had already been interrogated by investigators. But Bosnian State Prosecutor Vaso Marinkovic led the investigation, and rebuked him: “No one from our team has talked with them. I do not have information [as to] whom they have…talked [to], but certainly they have had no talks with us."
Hoerpel burbled mysteriously, “I know that they [the alleged interrogators] were members of the Air Accident Investigation Committee, but I do not know their names."
The damage control baton was passed to Bosnia's Europolice spokesman, Kirsten Haupt, who “denied accusations that Europolice might be responsible for the disinformation [on] the day of the accident."
When all else failed, a new explanation was proposed: The Beechcraft was downed by mechanical failure.
Former Foreign Minister Slobodan Casule suddenly remembered that the plane had almost endangered his life on one occasion. An ex-foreign minister, Slobodan Casule, recalled that the windshield of the very same plane once sailed away during a flight over Romania.
Perhaps a Macedonian president shouldn’t have to fly on a rickety, 26 year-old deathtrap.
The Balkan Analysis article:
"No wonder then that the government has diverted public attention by taking the offensive against SFOR. If it turns out that mechanical and not human error was behind the crash, it will be hard to avoid the embarrassing conclusion that, all heartfelt expressions of sympathy aside, the country actually cares very little for the well-being of its leaders. And this is where we leave the investigation behind and enter into the still more shadowy realm of symbol."
"You play with my world
Like it's your little toy ...
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes,
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly."
– Bob Dylan
"Masters of War"
An underground railroad in the black market arms trade to Macedonia begins in Lexington, Kentucky, with Galls, Inc., a gun dealer and security supply store. A typical Galls proxy statement describes Galls as "one of the country's largest suppliers of uniforms and equipment to public safety professionals. This multi-channel business (catalog, telemarketing sales, field sales, the internet and retail) caters to the special needs of people involved in public safety, law enforcement, fire-fighting ... federal government agency ... military and emergency medical services .... "
"Government agency?" "Military?" “Galls markets public safety equipment and apparel under the Galls, Dynamed and other brand names to over one million individuals, as well as to public safety departments, private security companies and the Military ... "
Sally Denton's The Bluegrass Conspiracy lays out a bit of pre-history. Galls surfaced in her investigation of guns-and-drugs smuggling in Lexington after a cargo plane stuffed full of Uzis, Ingrams, AK-47s, and so on, was discovered by local authorities.
Phillip Galls & Sons was immediately suspected as the source of the illicit weapons transfers, "a wholesale Lexington gun dealer who seemed to have an inordinate supply of weapons warehoused. Licensed to supply the official handguns to all the major police departments in Kentucky, Florida, West Virginia, and Tennessee, the outfit [was] a perfect cover for arms trafficking."9
Galls had a clever scam going in the mid-1980s involving firearms and the Kentucky State Police. Denton:
Every year, Gall ordered a thousand magnum pistols from the Smith & Wesson factory. Since guns could legally be purchased in such massive quantity from a gun manufacturer only if they were to be sold to police departments, Gall made arrangements for the weapons to be sold to the Kentucky State Police. The following year, Gall would order a thousand brand-new guns from Smith & Wesson, claiming they would be provided to the State Police. When the guns arrived, Gall would distribute them to the state troopers free of charge, in exchange for the previous year's weapons.
This exchange "provided the Galls Company with a surplus of unreported weapons available for private sale." Black market guns. And among Galls’ leading customers: “government agencies,” “the military.”
In the subsequent investigation, it developed that Galls
" … had a longstanding history of shoddy paperwork and delinquency in filing reports required by the federal government. But, like so many other occurrences in Lexington, the gun dealer had never been the subject of a criminal investigation. To the contrary, the company's owners enjoyed the social benefits generally bestowed upon reputable, successful businessmen."
Drew Thornton, a former Special Forces operative with CIA ties and a cocaine smuggler, purchased his guns from Galls.
Twenty years pass after Thornton’s body was found plastered to a residential driveway. His parachute gave out in the course of ditching his small plane to evade authorities. The CIA smuggler’s packs were so full of coke that the chute couldn’t handle the weight, and he plummeted to his death.
Years later, Galls is STILL dealing in the black market gun trade, now on an international scale, as Direct, an export marketing magazine, reported on September 1, 2004:
Galls Inc. ... is under investigation for allegedly failing to obtain proper licenses before exporting merchandise overseas, according to federal documents. The firm was contacted in early August by agents of the U.S. Department of Commerce at its Lexington, KY, facility in connection with record-keeping and documentation of certain export sales. The probe involves shipments that had been made over the course of a few years, she said. 'We had agents at our headquarters in Lexington and our distribution center in Lexington,' said Grow.
This wasn't the first report of criminal activity at Galls: "A Lexington television station had reported that two former Galls employees said they noticed shipments of military items to Iran and other countries while they worked for Galls, but were told by managers not to be concerned about it."
Federal agents …
seized bank and credit card records from the house of Yuri Montgomery of Seattle one week before a search warrant was issued at the Galls facilities on July 21. Montgomery was named in an affidavit that agents used to obtain the warrant. The affidavit stated Galls allegedly exported items to an address in Macedonia that were paid for using Montgomery's personal credit card, according to the AP report. The affidavit also stated Montgomery had his export privileges denied by a federal court.
In 1998, Yuri Montgomery pled guilty “to violating federal export controls by exporting laser rifle sights, ballistic helmets, optical sights, handcuffs and stun guns to Macedonia and Slovenia. He served three years' probation and agreed to leave the export business."10
Deep, and very ugly ...
Thornton and Montgomery had one thing in common: Galls, a covert ops arms depot.
Corporate and CIA connections: Galls is owned by Aramark, Inc., a diversified food services company with interests Saudi Arabia.
Aramark is a division of Pepsico, a multinational that operated a heroin refinery for the CIA in Laos -- as we know since Alfred McCoy reported it 40 years ago in the Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia -- with impunity during the Vietnam War era.
Ray Hunt from the infamous Texas clan sits on the Pepsico board of directors.11
Thomas Kean, former governor of New Jersey and chairman of the 9/11 Commission, is also a Pepsico director.12 Kean has had vaguely-defined business dealings with Khalid bin Mahfouz of the Saudi-owned National Commercial Bank and BCCI.13
Pepsico was a driving force in the overthrow of Salvador Allendé and rise of Operation Condor. Journalist Greg Palast wrote in the London Observer that the coup plot, ‘using CIA ’sub-machine guns and ammo,’ was the direct result of a plea for action a month earlier by Donald Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, in two telephone calls to the company’s former lawyer, President Richard Nixon.”
It was Kendall who “arranged for the owner of the company’s Chilean bottling operation to meet National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger on September 15. Hours later, Nixon called in his CIA chief, Richard Helms, and, according to Helms’s handwritten notes, ordered the CIA to prevent Allende’s inauguration."14
Aramark, Inc. is represented by the Baker Botts law firm (close ties to the CIA and GOP).
The Galls Bust
All of this adds up to a reserve of clout. Even after Phillip Galls himself committed serious violations of domestic export law and got caught at it, others took the fall.
The full story has never appeared in newsprint. Phillip Galls & Sons is a proverbial merchant of death. The company basks in a reputation belied by its commercial reputation in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Galls illegal arms trade saga was foreshadowed by the arrest and conviction of Yuri Montgomery, a Macedonian immigrant, by a U.S. district court judge in Washington D.C. on January 15, 1999.
Montgomery, according to Department of Commerce records, pled guilty "to exporting various U.S.-origin crime control items from the United States to Macedonia and Slovenia without the required export licenses. The investigation was conducted by OEE's Boston Field Office and the U.S. Customs Service."15
The probationary sentence followed a prior conviction in 1996. Brian Wood and Johan Peleman, in The Arms Fixers, report that Montgomery (also known as Yuri Malinkovsky) had connections to "former Yugoslavia and ran a company called Fortend USA.” Fortend USA sent the equipment sans valid export licenses. “It is believed that some of this may have ended up in Serbian hands since torture with such shock weapons began in Kosovo."16
Montgomery qualified for the three-time loser club when he was caught at it yet again, this time in collaboration with a certain black market arms dealer in Lexington.
According to a news report on WTVQ-TV in Seattle in June 2004, a local man “whose home was searched last year shortly before the raid of a Lexington military and police equipment supply company has been charged with shipping illegal goods to Macedonia. Yuri Montgomery has been charged with making eleven illegal shipments to that country.” Commerce Department authorities said that a twelfth shipment was intercepted at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.17
AP reported that Montgomery's bank and credit cards were seized. Montgomery's banking records led police to Lexington.
A search warrant was issued at Galls on July 21.
The arrest affidavit stated Galls exported military and security hardware to an address in Macedonia, paid for with Montgomery's personal credit card, according to the AP report. The affidavit also stated Montgomery had export privileges denied by a federal court.
Galls was charged with exporting the sanctioned items to Macedonia.18
Wood and Peleman observe that U.S. arms export laws are "sometimes a paradox." Loose regulation of gun sales have meant "a steady flow of small weapons smuggled across the borders, particularly into Mexico. However, a relatively tough US law on international arms brokering was introduced in March 1998. It requires any US citizen, wherever located, and any foreign person located in the USA or subject to US jurisdiction, engaged in the brokering of arms, to first register and to obtain prior written approval for each proposed transaction. Registration and license approval must be obtained from the Office of Defense Trade Controls of the US Department of State. These requirements are set out in the Arms Export Control Act and related regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulation and the Munitions List. The latter defines what are termed ‘defense articles.’"
The Montgomery/Galls raids barely rated a ripple of scandal stateside. But in Macedonia, the arrest of Yuri Montgomery did not pass unnoticed. The commotion was on a par with the Iran-contra affair in this country. It was reported in Aim Skopje that the "most bizarre" protagonist of the scandal was "deputy Vanco Cifliganec. With his public appearance in the Assembly, he hinted that there are other participants [in the weapons transfers] and that they are very powerful."
At the "tip of this newest profit-making pyramid" was "the leadership of the state."
There were the usual scripted cover stories, but "defense minister Lazar Kitanovski was not convincing either while he was fruitlessly explaining that Macedonia had not violated the embargo and bought American weapons without a permit."
Cifliganec announced "that the persons in charge would investigate who was responsible," and this "just added fuel to the fire."
It all began when a short piece of news of Associated Press from America exploded like a bomb in Macedonian media. Quoting the register of court proceedings in the USA, the respectable AP published that criminal proceedings had been instigated against the enterprise called Fortend-USA for illegal sale of weapons to Macedonia and Slovenia. Macedonian media immediately linked Fortend-USA with a Macedonian firm called MIKEI-Fortend. Macedonian Fortend is one of the suppliers of military and other equipment for the Macedonian government from the time of the embargo on arms and selling of weapons in the Balkans.
It was immediately made public that the owner of the American Fortend was certain Jurij Montgomery, alias Uros Malinkovski. He turned out to be the brother of Pance Malinkovski, the owner of Macedonian Fortend. The coincidence was too self-evident. The link is quite logical for the domestic public: if the American court has raised charges against Fortend-USA, the Macedonian MIKEI-Fortend must have something to do with it, the name cannot be the only connection between the two.
Once such a connection was established, an avalanche of revelations started in public.
The father of “assassin Zoran Saklev, Kamce Saklev, bragged that his son had revealed in America the dirty business of brothers Malinkovski, who jointly supplied Macedonia with weapons during the embargo." They may have "even supplied the army." Then again, "father and son Saklev have themselves registered an enterprise for import and sale of weapons called Mak-Bereta, which did not succeed to become the supplier of Macedonian ministries of defense and interior affairs.”
The Macedonia government chose Mikei-Fortend and its steady supply of military equipment from American arms traders, including Galls.19
Seismic upheavals in political history often hinge on a minor slip-up. If not for a piece of tape, whither Nixon? If Eugene Hassenfuss hadn't crashed a plane, those Tow missile sales to Iran might have been an obscure footnote in a Latin American political journal.
The "piece of tape" of this instance was a box of police uniforms purchased by Montgomery-Malinkovski from Galls & Sons on Polumbo Road, carelessly shipped to Syria, among other countries on the federal export-denied list.
This illicit shipment was one of a dozen such exports tracked by the Department of Commerce.
Direct, the marketing journal, reported that Galls was contacted by agents of the U.S. Department of Commerce “in connection with record-keeping and documentation of certain export sales. Galls is cooperating with the investigation" of "certain" exports – by SHREDDING DOCUMENTS, according to employees.
"The probe involves [mostly undefined] shipments that had been made over the course of a FEW YEARS [in fact, until 2001, a long time to hang back, an arms transfer flow that continued uninterrupted by the feds]. ... Despite the investigation, the company is in full operation and is fulfilling and shipping orders. ... Galls is a subsidiary of Aramark Corp., Philadelphia."
Another corporation, among the first tainted by the scandal, was FedEx, based in Memphis Tennessee.
FedEx agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty “to settle charges pertaining to a total of five violations of the EAR in connection with exporting on the behalf of [Yuri Montgomery], transporting WITH KNOWLEDGE of a violation of the regulations ... to SYRIA without the required license, and misrepresentations of license code on automated export system record."20
FedEx continued to ship military goods to "terrorist" countries for Malinkovski as late as 2001 – two years after his conviction and his placement on the export denial list.
Who at FedEx "with knowledge" considered it imperative to ship banned items to Syria and elsewhere – for years – all the while shrugging off proper licensing regulations and falsifying documents to place torture weapons in the hands of the "enemy," seeing as how they could easily be turned on Americans, as Madelaine Albright has observed – an act of sedition that the Chamber of Commerce frowns upon?
The destabilization of Macedonia – resulting in massive public demonstrations, Mafia-like shoot-outs, ubiquitous "conspiracy theories" – that we have witnessed up close came about after FedEx shipments to that country were exposed.
FedEx is part and parcel of the military-postal-industrial complex. The Wall Street Journal reports that the private mail service has signed on "for a frontline role in the war on terror." The Bush administration claimed that "the struggle against terrorism is an unorthodox fight where information and intelligence is as important as guns and bullets. Information is what FedEx has in spades."21
Some FedEx officers have all-too-interesting histories, including:
Frederick W. Smith – a Bonesman (Yale class of 1966) – founder of FedEx and CEO.157 Smith served four years as an active duty pilot and platoon leader in the US Marine Corps (1966-70). He flew in the Vietnam War, went on to buy a controlling interest in Ark Aviation Sales, an aircraft maintenance service. On June 18, 1971, Smith incorporated Federal Express with $91 million in investment capital and his $4 million inheritance.22
Cuban-born Juan Cento is president of the FedEx Express Division in Miami. Cento previously worked with Flying Tigers Airline – one of the better-known CIA fronts. Flying Tiger was operated during WW II by Claire Chennault of the OSS, later a heroin-transport proprietary of the CIA, etc. – grafted to FedEx in 1989 by corporate merger. Cento is a member of the Beacon Council and The World Trade Center Miami.23
Michael L. Ducker, executive VP, International ExpressFreight Services, was appointed by President Bush as one of three business U.S representatives on the Asia Business Advisory Council, an adjunct to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC).24
Incidentally, it was a FedEx plane that crashed in Winnipeg on October 6, 2005 with six vials of research viruses aboard. Canadians took to calling it the "Plague Plane." This crash followed an incident in which a FedEx courier truck, involved in a collision in Winnipeg, was found to be transporting ebola, tuberculosis and hepatitis bacilli.25
There is a distinct possibility that the Galls deliveries to Macedonia were calculated on-high and had covert sanction. But they were merely drop of the hard rain that has fallen across Macedonia and the Outer Ring since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
The weapons were shipped to enemies of the United States – Syria, Iran, terrorists in the Balkans ... And they were shipped in direct violation of U.S. export law by FedEx (a company founded by a Marine that did, in fact, merge with a CIA proprietary, Flying Tigers, and is on close terms with both the military and the Agency) ...
And none of this has appeared in the domestic public print. But the pieces lay scattered about the sinking American Empire for any reporter to reconstruct.
The death of Boris Trajkovsky has been widely blamed on his successor, Branko Crvenkovski, a former communist. Todor Petrov, leader of the World Macedonian Congress, has gone so far as to make the charge publicly, exactly as "reporters" on Richard Mellon Scaife's payroll blamed Clinton for Ron Brown's 1996 plane crash, also in Croatia.26
But Branko Crvenkovski does not control the area where the plane was disabled and crashed, and the obvious DELAY in "finding" the downed plane was an integral part of the death plot. Elements of SFOR, on the other hand, were practiced at this sort of thing, and furtively in league with extremists in Macedonia.
The plane "exploded" seven minutes before it crashed into a mountainous Croatian terrain – in airspace controlled by Croatian SFOR.27
The commander of SFOR when the plane crashed was Lt. Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward, a hardened American combat veteran.28
From the NATO web site:
"SFOR Command Structure – The Stabilisation Force has a unified command and is NATO-led under the political direction and control of the Alliance's North Atlantic Council." Military authority is “in the hands of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). As from 19 February 2001, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AF South) has become Joint Force Commander (JFC) for SFOR, as it has been for KFOR since 18 January 2001."29
Lt. Gen. Ward was the Commander of SFOR (COMSFOR). Jared Israel and Rick Rozoff have written a series of bombshell articles exposing SFOR as back-stabbers and collaborators with Balkan terrorists. The strategy: "KFOR (that is, NATO) bombs Yugoslavia," "KFOR occupies Kosovo," and "KFOR trains 'terrorists who attack the rest of Serbia," then "KFOR detains some of those terrorists" and "out of the kindness of its military heart, KFOR declares an amnesty and forgives - whom? Whom does KFOR forgive? The terrorists it has trained."30
NATO has trained these forces since the initial assault on southern Serbia. The region hasn't forgotten NATO's "humanitarian bombing" campaigns.
Washington controlled SFOR when Boris Trajkovsky’s plane went down – to be specific, the Bush administration. It's extremely doubtful that anyone BUT SFOR could have downed the plane given its military "stabilization" mission in the region it controlled. And it was SFOR issuing the lame excuses that angered Macedonians.
The cover-up proves the crime.
1.) CSD Report, "The Outer Ring: The Role of Macedonia, Albania, Romania and Bulgaria," http://www.csd.bg/publications/book10/1.3.pdf
2.) "Scandal with Weapons," AIM Skopje, 16 December, 1997.
4.) Christopher Deliso, "Macedonian President Killed in Bosnia Plane Crash," Balkan Analysis, balkanalysis.com, February 26, 2004.
5.) Mickey Bozinovich, "Interview with Serbianna," Buzzle.com.
6.) Paul Moizes, "Into the inferno? - present-day Macedonia," Christian Century, August 29, 2001.
8.) Raymond Kent, "The Balkans, Blowback and Bodybags," News from Russia, September, 9, 2003. http://newsfromrussia.com/yougoslavia/2001/09/03/14022.html
9.) Sally Denton, The Bluegrass Conspiracy, Author's Guild, 1990, p. 53.
10.) BILL GRABAREK, "Galls' Export Practices Under Investigation," Direct, September 1, 2004.http://directmag.com/mag/marketing_galls_export_practices/
12.) Matthew Callan, "Meet the New Boss," Freezerbox, January 17, 2003.
13.) Chris Marsden, "Former US Ambassador to Chile tells Britain's Observer newspaper of American plots against Allende," November 13, 1998.
14.) Greg Palast, "A Marxist threat to cola sales? Pepsi demands a US coup. Goodbye Allende. Hello Pinochet," November 8, 1998.
15.) Bureau of Industry and Security Annual Report – FY 1999, Chapter 7, "Office of Chemical and Biological Controls and Treaty of Compliance," U.S. Department of Commerce.
16.) Wood and Peleman, “Back to the High Tech Future," The Arms Fixers: Controlling the Brokers and Shipping Agents.
19.) "Scandal with Weapons: Politicians, Smugglers, Professional Murderers in the Game," AIM Skopje, December 16, 1997.
20.) Wood and Peleman, The Arms Fixers.
21.) Robert Block, "In Terrorism Fight, Government Finds a Surprising Ally: FedEx," Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2005. The company has "opened the international portion of its databases, including credit-card details, to government officials." And FedEx has mustered a police force "recognized by the state of Tennessee that works alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Moreover, the company is encouraging its 250,000 employees to be spotters of would-be terrorists. It is setting up a system designed to send reports of suspicious activities directly to the Department of Homeland Security via a special computer link." On the FedEx board of directors sits Charles Manatt, chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1981 to 1985. He was also co-chair of the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign; also, Steven R. Loranger, chairman, president & CEO of ITT Corp.
22.) "List of Skull & Bones Members," Wikipedia entry.
23.) Flying Tigers web site, "China Tiger: Claire Lee Chennault, 1893-1958 (part 2),"
" ... The CIA loaned money to keep the airline in business, and eventually it bought out Chennault's company ... " http://www.warbirdforum.com/clc2.htm
Director bios: FedEx web site. http://www.fedex.com/us/about/today/bios.html#1
25.) See, "Plague Plane Down? FedEx Cargo Included Lab Viruses," Peace, Earth & Justice News, October 6, 2005.
26.) See, "Branko Crvenkovski secrets will be ever discovered?" August 17, 2004.
27.) For reference, see the SFOR web page.
"On 14 December 1995 the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) was signed in Paris, after it had been negotiated in Dayton, Ohio. On 16 December the Alliance's North Atlantic Council launched the largest military operation ever undertaken by the Alliance, Operation Joint Endeavour. Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1031, NATO was given the mandate to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. A NATO-led multinational force, called the Implementation Force (IFOR), started its mission on 20 December 1995. IFOR was given a one-year mandate. Its primary mission was to implement Annex 1A (Military Aspects) of the Peace Agreement ... "
28.) SFOR Informer's bio page for William Ward.
30.) Jared Israel and Rick Rozoff, "TERRORISM AGAINST SERBIA IS NO CRIME," Global Resistance, 25 May 2001.
Also see, Jared Israel, "Gentle Reign: Washington Makes It Perfectly Clear in Kosovo & Macedonia," March 17, 2001: