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American Terrorism CIA Secrets Drugs

Iran Contra, Cocaine Patriots & the Oklahoma City Bombing

By Alex Constantine

“… In his Oct. 20 [1003] letter [to his sister Jennifer], Mr. McVeigh wrote that he and nine other soldiers had been taken to a private intelligence briefing at Fort Bragg, where they were told they could be required to take part in Government-sanctioned assassinations and Government-sponsored drug trafficking. …”New York Times, July 1, 1998

“In the days and months after the bombing, it was all too easy to fit McVeigh into the narrative of the lone wolf… But then, as now, the label of lone wolf misleads more than it informs.” – J.M. Berger, Foreign Policy, April 18, 2012

Craig Roberts, a Tulsa, Oklahoma career cop for 27 years until his retirement in 1996, believes the pits in the official account of the terrorist attack are as deep as those left inside the blast radius of the Murrah Building on April 19, 1995.

Craig knew more about military intelligence than the average cop, having served in the department’s first Special Operations Team (TAC group, sniper), bomb squad, fugitive warrants investigations, patrol division and air support. Incidentally, he held Tulsa’s highest department pistol qualification rating.

Three weeks after the bombing, Roberts received a call at his desk from a man who refused to give his name, claiming to work for a federal division based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Roberts believes that the caller was from the DEA or possibly IRS.

“He said that the key to the bombing was the records that had been taken out of the building on Day One by the mysterious team who removed them from the basement.” The removal of those files was widely-publicized, prompting widespread derision because the paper purge delayed rescue efforts.(1) “He said that they were the investigative records from his agency … during the Iran-Contra affair on the drug connections revolving around Rich Mountain Aviation at the Mena Airport. There was no call back number and the man never contacted me again.”(2)

Mena has long been grist for conspiracy theories, some speculative, some slanted to impugn Bill Clinton, some factual and even compelling, all embedded in Iran Contra nomenclature.

In May, a law enforcement source in Texas told Roberts that he had evidence that Gulf Cartel cocaine trafficker Juan Garcia Abrego was involved in the bombing as a “cash provider.”

“He was still involved and allegedly had inside sources with the governor’s office (Ann Richardson, who served from 1/15/91 to 1/17/95), including contacts within the Texas National Guard senior staff who provided information on where the border was not guarded by JTF-6.” Some of these National Guard staffers had served in the notorious PHOENIX Program led by William Colby in the disastrous final days of the Vietnam War.

Roberts learned Abrego’s Texas contact was a former Army colonel: “There are three brothers in this particular family. All three had special ops training, were involved in Project Phoenix [and] one or more [was] involved with the ‘Company.’ … One is or was a professor at Rice University. Two are, or were, fugitives. These boys are the link to Abrego and Texas. Very bad. Abrego [was] probably set up to silence him like Noriega. He was part of same drug importation ring during Iran contra and after.”

Abrego was extradited from Mexico to Houston and charged with trafficking at least $20-billion worth of cocaine (the collateral enrichment of a number of American financial institutions, including the Texas Commerce Bank with its connections to the Bush family, was lightly pursued by law enforcement. In 1994, according to reports in Bloomberg, American Express paid $14 million to settle with the government after two employees were found guilty of laundering drug money for the Abrego’s cartel.).

The Texas Monthly reported in January 1988 that the drug trafficker “cast off his lot as a factory worker at a Nabisco plant and amassed a fortune, ostensibly through legitimate trucking enterprises.” His “legitimate” fortune accrued when he “ran the Gulf cartel, an organization that still controls practically all of the narcotics that pass into the United States through Matamoros.” Abrego was elevated to lofty heights by Mexican officials on the take: “Mexican law enforcement agents gave the gang plenty of leeway, for reasons that became clear at García Abrego’s trial. ‘We pay off the government officials, the agents in charge of that region or that area,’ explained Ortiz. ‘Narcotics agents, federal agents that worked with the Justice Department in Mexico.’”(3)

In an story posted online by PBS, the Mexican journal Reforma states that President Raul Salinas protected Abrego. Banamex — one of the banks that laundered the cartel’s drug proceeds while Salinas turned a blind eye – fell under the scrutiny of the DEA’s Operation Casablanca. The bank, which operated an American branch, was indicted for the laundering of drug money. In a civil action, the Federal Reserve confiscated $3.8-million from Banamex … but the bank’s misfortunes soon turned around when Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin left office and moved on to the vice chairmanship of Citicorp. Citicorp subsequently acquired Banamex. The DEA’s case was summarily dropped.(4)

Abrego, according to Roberts, was the Medillin distribution king of his time — also a key player in Iran Contra cocaine trafficking, with narcotics entry points in L.A., Mena, and cities throughout the southwest, including Houston, Dallas and Oklahoma City. Abrego had been recruited by the Columbian Cali cartel, then responsible for 30% of the cocaine flooding American streets. In March 1995, Abrego was number three on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. Roberts:

It should be noted that former CIA Chief of Station Theodore Shackley, who (with his assistant Thomas Clines) set up the Laotian heroin smuggling operation in Laos during the war in Southeast Asia, now lives in Bogota, Columbia, and is rumored in intelligence circles to be responsible for forming the Cali and Medillin cartels for the purposes of smuggling cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. to support certain compartmentalized CIA covert operators with a source for black funding. The route of smuggling cocaine and marijuana by the “Enterprise” as it was called at the time, was from Bogota, to Panama (where Manual Noriega and Mossad agent Amiram Nir and Israeli colonel Michael Harare took their respective cuts), to Illopango Air Base in El Salvador, where it was divided into three routings. These routings took the drugs via air to the Los Angeles area, Mena, and to Guadalajara. The drugs at Guadalajara were then transported by truck in crates stenciled “machine tools” to Matamoros, Mexico, then across the border to Brownsville, Texas. Abrego handled this route. Abrego, therefore, can be considered part of the “Mena Connection.”(5)

If this is one cog in a greater wheel, if there was was wider Iran Contra/CIA involvement in the OKC bombing, names must have surfaced in the public record over the intervening years to establish this fact.

And, as a matter of fact, they did, and they do.

Prosecutors at the OKC bombing trial argued that Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols ripped off gun dealer Roger Moore to finance the bombing. But this isn’t strictly true. Moore, whose past exploits happened to include the payment of Iran Contra gun runners under neo-Nazi Tom Posey, in the subsequent decade would fraternize with Timothy McVeigh.

Moore operated a company in South Florida adjacent to Bahia Mar Yachting Center, a manufacturer of high-performance speed boats frequented by a number of Iran Contra figures. OKC bombing investigator David Hoffman wrote that the boats, “sold through Intercontinental Industries of Costa Rica (an Ollie North ‘cut-out’), were used to mine Nicaragua’s harbors in ‘Operation Cordova Harbor.’ One source I spoke to said Moore had direct contact with Oliver North.”

The Untouchable

Another source told Hoffman, “I don’t know who [Moore’s] contact was on Iran-Contra beyond Don Aronow.” (Aronow, the late, mobbed-up “Thunder Boat King,” spent the better part of a week on the phone with then-Vice President G,H,W, Bush before he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting by unknown assailants on February 3, 1987.) “I know he had access and would talk directly to Oliver North. He knew Felix Rodriquez pretty well, he knew Nester Sanchez, Manny Diaz, all those guys around Jeb [Bush] pretty well. … A retired CIA/DIA agent I spoke to in Arkansas said ‘[Moore] was an Agency contractor.’ Other sources say Moore was an informant for the FBI. He allegedly tried to sell heavy weapons to the Militia of Montana (MOM) as part of an FBI sting operation.”(6)

Hoffman also learned that the busy Mr. Moore was “a ‘paymaster’ for KKK leader and Marine vet Tom Posey’s Civilian Military Assistance (CMA), the covert paramilitary operation that served as the primary nexus for arming the Contras.”

In early 1995, in a letter written by Moore to McVeigh, later entered into evidence at the Nichols trial, Moore referred to “a plan to bring the country down and have a few more things happen.”

In 2004, McVeigh’s accomplice Terry Nichols wrote from his prison cell to AG John Ashcroft offering to reveal the names of collaborators in the bombing. Ashcroft did not respond to Nichols’ offer. In his letter, Nichols specifically mentioned Roger Moore, maintaining that Posey’s paymaster “provided blasting caps and ‘kine-stik’ along with other components” of the OKC bomb. Western Journalism’s Doug Book writes that, in a 2007 declaration, Nichols confessed that McVeigh planned “a sham robbery” of Moore’s home where firearms, cash and bomb components were “stolen.”  The “robbery of convenience” was “agreed upon between Moore and McVeigh so that any trail back to Moore of items used in the bombing — fingerprint evidence and the like — could be claimed to exist merely as a byproduct of the theft, not because Roger Moore had willingly provided materials, information and assistance to the bombers themselves.”

Before his state trial, Western Journalism’s Doug Book reports, “Nichols was visited by a Mr. Selby who represented himself as an attorney ‘speaking for and with the authority … from the highest level within the Department of Justice.’ Representing his visit as an ‘off the books’ operation so its existence could be denied if ever spoken of injudiciously, and accompanied by Nichols trial attorney, Mr. Selby offered Nichols a guarantee against a death penalty verdict if he would disclose the location of the remaining explosives taken from Roger Moore prior to the bombing. Believing the man interested in obtaining evidence against Moore, Nichols responded ‘I can give you Roger Moore!’ But as Nichols relates it, ‘Mr. Selby’s reaction to my offer … was not what I had expected. Mr. Selby essentially said no deal. Mr. Selby told me that Roger Moore was ‘untouchable.’”(7)

Number Three and So On

In 1988, Contra spokesman Mario Calero told a reporter for Orlando’s Sun-Sentinel that Moore associate Posey’s CMA was “perhaps the most supportive American group of them all. … CMA broke from obscurity onto the front pages in 1984, when two members were killed as they attempted a ‘rescue mission’ in Nicaragua, and Sandinistas shot down the helicopter transporting them. CMA also had been conducting military training of Contra troops in Honduras.”(8)

Posey went on to assume the mantle of treasurer to the Koch brothers’ Citizens for a Sound Economy, described by Public Citizen as a “front for corporate lobbying interests that refuses to reveal its funding sources.” CSE has since reorganized and rechristened itself Americans for Prosperity. Posey died in 2011.

Ten years after the OKC bombing, political researcher John Berger discovered that, in the 1990s, the FBI’s Operation PATCON (short for “Patriot Conspiracy”) infiltrated the very far-right cells that McVeigh frequented, including Elohim City, a white nationalist compound in Oklahoma. Writing in Foreign Policy, Berger described these militia cells as “a wildly diverse collection of racist, ultra-libertarian, right-wing and/or pro-gun activists and extremists who, over the years, have found common cause in their suspicion and fear of the federal government. The undercover agents met some of the most infamous names in the movement, but their work never led to a single arrest.”(9)

According to Peter Dale Scott, who has spent decades researching state-sponsored assassinations, drug importation and terrorism, PATCON was “particularly focused on a former asset of Oliver North’s illegal network to supply arms to the Nicaragua Contras: Tom Posey and his paramilitary group Civilian Material Assistance (CMA).”

CMA originated as an offshoot of the KKK under Tom Posey in Alabama. “Enrolled in the Contra supply effort by first the Defense Intelligence Agency and then Oliver North, CMA’s ‘volunteer’ work in patrolling the Arizona border against incoming aliens persuaded then-Congressman John McCain to serve on its board. But in PATCON’s eyes in the Post-Reagan era, ‘Posey was a notorious black market arms dealer, suspected of having contraband sources on more than one U.S. military base.’”

Berger discovered that Dennis Mahon, founder of Oklahoma’s White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and McVeigh’s key contact in Elohim City, was a PATCON target. Mahon has since been convicted for the 2004 mail bombing of a state diversity office in Arizona. After his arrest in 2009, Mahon boasted to a cellmate that he was ‘the number three anonymous person in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.’(10)

Was Mahon the elusive “3?” Berger: “It is at least plausible that Mahon was involved in the [Oklahoma City] bombing. … Mahon talked about targeting federal buildings for bombings {and] took three trips [with McVeigh’s contact Andre Strassmeir, the son of a German Hitler Youth leader] to Oklahoma City.”(11)

Scott observes that though PATCON “was officially terminated in 1993, we learn from its files that there were in fact a number of ongoing informants at Elohim City, Oklahoma very likely including not only [Carole] Howe but also Strassmeir.”(12)

David Paul Hammer, a death row inmate who spent more than two years with McVeigh, claims that the latter confided to him that Andreas Strassmeir, the notorious German military intelligence agent, and convicted bank robber Michael Brescia, planned the Oklahoma City bombing in Elohim City.

Berger reports that McVeigh and Moore had both attended a Las Vegas convention hosted by Soldier of Fortune magazine and Tom Posey’s CMA, an annual recruitment opportunity for CMA. Posey was in attendance. …

In the aftermath of Waco, Posey had grown increasingly bitter, talking more and more about revenge, according to sources and FBI records. He and other CMA members discussed plans to bomb the FBI office in Birmingham as well as a plot to raid the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama. Posey believed the plant had an armory stocked with the high-powered weapons he coveted.

The FBI had heard about the raid idea in 1990, but it went nowhere. After Waco, it was back on the table. In the months after the end of the siege, Posey allegedly began crafting a plan to bribe or overwhelm the plant’s security guards and break in using a five-man team.

With the plot apparently moving toward fruition, the FBI finally arrested Posey and several other CMA members, just days after the Soldier of Fortune convention. … Five members of CMA and an associate were indicted by a grand jury. Two of the defendants were convicted, two pleaded guilty, and charges were dismissed against the two remaining. Posey served only two years in prison.(13)

McVeigh admitted that he phoned a second gun show regular in the bomber’s social circuit on April 5, 1995 — Andres Strassmeier, German military intelligence agent, neo-Nazi, an alleged PATCON plant and Elohim City’s chief security officer. It is well-known that McVeigh dialed up Strassmeier to ask if he could hide out at the Christian Identity compound after the destruction of the Murrah Building. Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck, in American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing, sketch the German operative’s profile:  “Strassmeir had served in the German army…. His father, Gunter, was a member of the Hitler Youth movement” and “Chief-of-Staff to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. … Vincent Petruskie helped Andreas Strassmeir get into the U.S., and Andreas referred to him as ‘a former CIA [OSS] guy my father had known’ in Berlin during WWII. Petruskie had been an Air Force intelligence officer in Viet Nam in the 1960s, and in the counterintelligence division in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s. He introduced Andreas to Black Mountain, N.C. attorney Kirk Lyons, whose grandfather was also a founding member of the Nazi Party.”

Petruskie had made millions of dollars in deals with CIA operatives immersed in off-the-shelf covert ops involving arms dealing, drug importation and money laundering.

Misdirection: After the bombing, there was a concerted attempt by Iran Contra’s Vincent Cannistraro and other “counterterror specialists” to pin ultimate responsibility for the bombing on Osama Bin Laden. (Initially, Cannistraro blamed the tragedy on “environmentalists out to destroy all human life on earth,” but soon redirected blame to al Qaeda.)(15) At the CIA, Cannistraro directed the Central American task force on covert operations, including sponsorship of the Contras. He moved on to the National Security Council under Reagan to work aside Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, another Contragate collaborator. Cannistraro was appointed as director of intelligence at the NSC later the same year, charged with monitoring the intelligence budget and overseeing the approval process for covert operations. In 1988, Cannistraro was named Chief of Operations and Analysis at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, in which capacity he led the agency’s investigation into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 (also said to have Iran Contra drug ties).

In The Boston Globe, May 16, 1995, another Iran-contra connection, “anti-terrorism expert” Neil Livingstone, the employer of Ollie North collaborator Rob Owen, also diverted attention from domestic ties: “There is a remarkable similarity between the methods used by Islamic terrorists in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the attack on the World Trade Center, and the bombing in Oklahoma,” he claimed in a pundit piece. “The truckload of explosives is almost a signature or calling card and it is the weapon of choice among these groups.”

Livingstone, the author of several books on terrorism, offered: “Very typically, these terrorists have found homegrown radicals to use as dupes in the actual bombings. They have supplied the money and the technical expertise and highly skilled operatives to guide a project and then get out of town before they can be apprehended.”(16)

And that is an example of a CIA pot calling the Al Qaeeda kettle black …

Notes

1.) See, for instance, “FILES BEFORE VICTIMS RESCUERS: FEDS DELAYED SEARCH,” NY Daily News, May 1, 1995: “… ‘You’d think they would have let their evidence and files sit at least until the last survivor was pulled out,’ one angry rescue worker told The News. ‘They had guys carrying out boxes while the rescue workers were forced to sit on their hands.’ …”

2,) Craig Roberts, “THE BOMBING OF THE ALFRED P. MURRAH FEDERAL BUILDING,” September 4, 1996. http://www.riflewarrior.com/okc.html

3.) Helen Thorpe, “Anatomy of a Drug Cartel,” Texas Monthly, January 1998: “Over the past decade tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars of the Gulf cartel’s money has moved through Texas banks.” http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/anatomy-of-a-drug-cartel/#sthash.GVSGNSql.dpuf

4.) Peter Dale Scott, “American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan,” Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, p. 62.

5.) Roberts.

6.) David Hoffnan, “Iran Contra Connections to the Oklahoma City Bombing” – http://www.constantinereport.com/iran-contra-connections-to-the-ok-city-bombing-by-david-hoffman-and-alex-constantine/

7.) Doug Book, “The FBI and its ‘Untouchable’ Oklahoma City Bombing Informant,” Western Journalism, December 30, 2011. http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-fbi-and-its-untouchable-oklahoma-city-bombing-informant/

8.) Michele Cohen, “Fiery Leader Pushes Crusade For The Contras Posey Says Communism Is The Enemy And The Rebels Are A Way To Thwart It,” Sun-Sentinel, June 12, 1988.

9.) John M. Berger, “Patriot Games: How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh,” Foreign Policy, April 18, 2012.

10.) Peter Dale Scott, “SYSTEMIC DESTABILIZATION IN RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension,” April 27, 2013.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178312.html

11.) John Berger, “Patriot Games: How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh,” Foreign Policy, April 18, 2012.

12.) Scott.

13.) Berger, “Patriot Games.” Also see, Berger, “Bombing Investigation: ATF Raids White Supremacists,” Intelwire.com, June 26, 2009.bhttp://intelwire.egoplex.com/reports.html

15.) Alex Constantine, Virtual Government: CIA Mind Control Operations in America, Feral House, 1997.

16.) Ibid.

 

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