Iran Contra Connections to the Oklahoma City Bombing, by David Hoffman and Alex Constantine
Part 1: “The Octopus,” by David Hoffman, from The Oklahoma City Bombing
and the Politics of Terror, Feral House
Part 2: From: “The Iran-contra Players and the CIA’s War on America,” Virtual
Government, by Alex Constantine, Feral House
There is a concerted attempt by Vincent Cannistraro and other CIA propagandists to pin ultimate responsibility for the Alfred P. Murrah FB bombing on Osama Bin Laden’s mystery terorists. Cannistraro himself originally blamed the destruction on “environmentalists out to destroy all human life on earth.”
He subsequently claimed (see the June 11, 2001 issue of The New American, published by the Birch Society) that he had intelligence information BEFORE the blast concerning Middle Eastern terrorists. If this claim has any substance, and if he knew what he now says he knew, WHY did he tell reporters before McVeigh was captured that GREENS were behind the bombing?
In The Boston Globe, on May 16, 1995, another Iran-contra connection, “anti-terrorism expert” (read: mil. psyop specialist with long-standing ties to Israeli intelligence and the fascist Popular Alliance Party of Spain, not to mention the CIA) Neil Livingstone, also diverted attention from the “Octopus”: “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. 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, continued: “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.”
The terrorists involved are linked to the Iran-contra players, particularly Gen. Schweitzer, John Singlaub and other ranking Pentagonians who remained in the background of the 1987-88 congressional investigation (it focused on Oliver North’s civilain supply network almost exclusively and bent over backwards to skirt any discussion of the core DoD ties.)
– Alex Constantine
1: The Octopus
By David Hoffman
“This underground empire is controlled by a handful of people for money ‹ that’s the only secret of the temple.” ‹ Investigative reporter Danny Casolaro, prior to his murder by the Octopus
The nomenclature of the Lockerbie and World Trade Center bombings provide a unique and unparalleled insight into the dynamics of the Oklahoma City bombing. Each event gives the reader a glimpse of how the Shadow Government operates, utilizing drug dealers, criminals, and terrorists to do its bidding.
All three bombings were sting operations that utilized, and were utilized by, terrorists bent on causing destruction. But the question still remained: who was controlling the terrorists? To understand that, one must peer through the doorway of time stretching from WWII to the present.
To prepare for the invasion of Sicily during WWII, the OSS (later the CIA) collaborated with the Corsican Mafia. The arrangement permitted the Mafia use of the port of Marseilles for heroin smuggling in exchange for its assistance in defeating the Nazis. After WWII, the heroin operation moved to Vietnam and Laos, then to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as the CIA embroiled itself in a covert war against the Soviets. Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Security Affairs Richard Armitage sat on the “208 Committee,” which oversaw military aid to the Mujahadeen. Fazoe Haq, the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province (the largest heroin growing province in Afghanistan), who was originally worth $100,000, was suddenly worth $200 million after the war. Armitage was his main contact.
Vince Cannistraro (Mr. “Libya done it”) also sat on the 208 Committee, representing National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane, OliverNorth’s supervisor.
Shortly after the start of the Afghani operation, the CIA began arming the Contras in Nicaragua. Cannistraro himself [along with Duane “Dewy” Clarridge, then Chief of the CIA’s Latin American Division] headed Casey’s original operation to arm the Contras, based on Reagan’s March, 1981 decision. As former Green Beret Andrew Eiva said, “Cannistraro was up to his ears by 1985.” This is significant, considering the Boland Amendment, prohibiting aid to the Contras, was passed in 1984.
Some of these are the same players who moved into other Central American countries, setting up security services (death squads) for U.S.-backed dictators, and profiting handsomely from the cocaine trade. If anyone thinks these are outrageous allegations, consider the statements of Mike Levine, one of the DEA’s most highly decorated veterans: ”
For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North’s Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world’s biggest drug dealers,” including the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, the Contras in Central America, the DFS in Mexico, the Shan United Army in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, and “any of a score of other groups and/or individuals like Manuel Noriega. …
As “Special Consultant to the Pentagon on the MIAs,” in Bangkok in 1975, Armitage reportedly spent more time repatriating opium profits then recovering POWs. In 1976, when Khun Sa was still selling heroin to CIA officials, the head of the CIA was none other than George Bush. Former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, who was appointed presidential investigator for POW/MIA affairs, came upon the same information, and was warned by former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci to stop pursuing the connections to Armitage. As he sadly explained to a group of POW/MIA families in 1987: “I have been instructed to cease and desist.” Ironically, between 1987 and 1991, Vice-President Bush served as head of the South Florida Drug Task Force, and later as chair of the National Narcotics] Interdiction System, both set up to “stem” the flow of drugs into the U.S. While Bush was drug czar, the volume of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. tripled.
Celerino “Cele” Castillo, the DEA’s head agent in El Salvador and Guatemala from 1985 to 1991, told reporters and Senate investigators of numerous known drug traffickers who used hangers controlled by Oliver North and the CIA in El Salvador’s Ilopango military airbase. When Castillo naively tried to warn Bush at a U.S. embassy party in Guatemala, Bush “just shook my hand, smiled and walked awayŠ”
“By the end of 1988,” added Castillo, “I realized how hopelessly tangled the DEA, the CIA, and every other U.S. entity in Central America had become with the criminals. The connections boggled my mind.”
“The CIA ‹ they’re making deals with the Devil,” adds Mike Levine. “Unfortunately, the Devil is smarter than they are.” Some of those devils, like Monzer al-Kassar ‹ “business partner” of Richard Secord and Oliver North ‹ would be utilized to do the Octopus’s dirty work. … While the operation was shut down in 1965, due mainly to revelations of organized crime connections and drug smuggling, many of the participants remained in Miami, continuing their illegal activities. Later, as Station Chief of Laos, Shackley directed Major General Richard Secord’s air wing in tactical raids against the Communist Pathet Lao, who happened to be General Vang Pao’s main competition in the opium trade. By keeping the Pathet Lao busy with the help of the CIA and the American military, Pao’s Hmong tribesmen were able to become the region’s largest heroin producers. …
After becoming the head of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere operations (Latin American Division) in 1972, Shackley supervised the overthrow of the Chilean government (“Operation Track II”) by murdering democratically elected President Salvador Allende. With the backing of the CIA under Shackley, the military led a violent coup by Right-wing General Augusto Pinochet, which resulted in the abolishment of the Constitution, the closing of all newspapers save for two Right-wing dailies, the outlawing of trade unions, the suppression of all political parties, and the arrest, torture, and execution of thousands.
After a brief stint as Director of the Far East Division, Shackley directed CIA agent Edwin Wilson in training the Shah of Iran’s notorious secret police, the Savak, who routinely tortured and murdered the Shah’s opponents.
Later Shackley would assist more directly in these efforts. In 1975, Shackley became Associate Director in the Directorate of Operations, which put him in charge of Covert-Operations, Counter-Intelligence, and ironically, Counter-Narcotics, all under the command of George Herbert Walker Bush.
These associations naturally led to Shackley playing a role in the formation of the “Secret Team,” (to coin a phrase invented by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty) the covert and illegal enterprise that was the driving force behind the Iran-Contra operation. Donald Gregg, one of Shackley’s subordinates during his Saigon tenure, would later become Assistant National Security Advisor during Iran-Contra, reporting directly to Vice-President Bush.It was against this backdrop that Shackley served as a “consultant” to players such as Bush, Secord, North, and Casey in their illegal and bloody guns-for-drugs network that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the flooding of our streets with tons of drugs. As Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny writes about Ted Shackley in his book, The Crimes of Patriots: Looking at the list of disasters Shackley has presided over during his career, one might even conclude that on the day the CIA hired Shackley it might have done better hiring a KGB agent; a Soviet mole probably could not have done as much damage to the national security of the United States with all his wile as Shackley did with the most patriotic of intentions. Between Shackely’s Cuban and Indochinese campaigns, more dope dealers were probably put onto the payroll of the United States Government, and protected and encouraged in their activities, than if the government had simply gone out and hired the Mafia ‹ which, in the case of the Cuban campaign, it did. CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner forced Shackley to resign from the Agency in 1979, due to his “unauthorized” dealings with rogue agent Edwin Wilson, who was selling plastic explosives to Libya (with Shackley’s approval). Had he not left, Shackley would likely have become head of the Agency.
George Bush, who headed the Agency in 1976, strongly desired to continue in that post. He was not reappointed when Jimmy Carter took office.*
Moreover, Turner, who had little faith in HUMNIT (Human Intelligence) sources, decided to reshape the CIA along more advanced technological lines. As a result of Turner’s infamous “Halloween Massacre,” the CIA cut its field agents from several thousand to just over 300. As President Jimmy Carter would later state, “We were aware that some of the unqualified and incompetent personnel whom he discharged were deeply resentful.” The old hands of the Agency, who formerly had at their disposal almost unlimited “Black Budget” funds for covert operations, were suddenly forced into retirement, or forced into lockstep with Turner’s new guidelines.
Although CIA Director William Casey hired 2,000 new covert operators in 1980, many CIA critics felt Turner’s actions had already caused the secret cells of the good-old-boy networks to bury themselves ‹ and their illegal activities ‹ even deeper.
It is this element, birthed in the hysteria of the Cold War, legitimized by the paranoia of the National Security state, and nurtured by the politics of greed, that has buried itself in the core of American politics. As long-time Army Criminal Investigator Gene Wheaton defines it: “An elite, very clandestine, very covert group within the intelligence communityŠ. The CIA and DIA is just the lightening rod for the people who really control things.”
Those who could accept the idea of government foreknowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing would be hard-pressed to accept the notion that certain factions within the government might have orchestrated the bombing itself. Those who have a difficult time accepting this are stymied by what they perceive as “government.”
As Wheaton explains, “The government is just a bunch of monuments, office buildings, computers, and desks. They don’t see the crazies in the government ‹ the little conspiratorial cliques within the government.” These little conspiratorial cliques ‹ the same players that Shackley intersects with, going back to Cuba, Laos, Afghanistan and Nicaragua ‹ have been involved for decades in everything from drug and gun-running, to assassinations, covert warfare, and outright terrorism. It is a terrorism that increasingly has no particular face, no ideological credo, no political goal. It is a terrorism motivated by power and greed.
By no means the lone man behind the curtain, Ted Shackley represents one of the more visible of this lexicon of covert operators upon whom the powers that be depend on for their endless supply of “black ops” and dirty tricks. Perhaps this is how Shackley knows, or seems to know, the complex truth behind Oklahoma City. It is a truth that remains hidden behind a sophisticated labyrinth of covert operatives, all of whom converge at similar times and places. They are, as David Corn writes, “the little faceless gray men we never see and seldom hear about.” Those we call the “Shadow Government,” the “Parallel Government,” the “Enterprise,” the “Octopus,” or a half-a-dozen other names, are carefully hidden behind an endless roster of official titles and duties, and a plethora of familiar-sounding organizations and institutions.
From the Bay of Pigs to Iran-Contra to Oklahoma City, the names, faces, and players would coalesce for a brief moment in time into an indistinguishable menagerie of politicos and spooks, terrorists and assassins ‹ to commit their terrible deed, then fade into the seamless world were little distinction is made between assets and criminals.
Ted Shackley was officially forced to resign from the CIA due to his dealings with friend and renegade agent Edwin Wilson. Wilson and former CIA employee Frank Terpil had smuggled two tons of C-4 to Libya, and at the behest of Shackley, had set up terrorist training camps there utilizing Green Berets led to believe they were working for the Agency. The ostensible purpose of this maneuver was to permit the CIA to gather information on Soviet and Libyan weapons and defense capabilities, and to learn the identities of foreign nationals being trained for guerrilla warfare. Upon obtaining their passports and travel plans, Shackley would alert their home country’s secret police, who would then assassinate them upon their return. While Wilson was sentenced to a long prison term, Terpil fled to Cuba, and has since been involved in numerous dealings with the PLO and other terrorists, supplying them with sophisticated assassination weapons, detonators, and communication systems. Terpil also supplied torture devices to Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin, who used a bomb supplied by Terpil to assassinate Kenyan cabinet member Bruce McKenzie.*
One month later, Terpil was implicated in the murder of three executives of the IBEX corporation ‹ a high-technology company that was doing business with the Savak. John Harper, IBEX’s former director of security, said that while in Tripoli, he saw a mock-up of the ambush site at the training facility that Terpil and Wilson had set up.Ý Readers will recall this is the same Frank Terpil that was seen by Cary Gagan in Mexico City with Omar (Sam Khalid?), six months before the Oklahoma City bombing. “I saw him down in Mexico,” recalled Gagan, “in November of ’94, in Mexico CityŠ with Omar.” Gagan said he and Omar met Terpil at the Hotel Maria Isabelle in the Zona Rosa district. Gagan didn’t know who Terpil was at the time, but described him as a fat, balding, 60ish fellow, who was “terribly dressed.” In other words ‹ Frank Terpil.
“I heard the name because I knew Wilson’s name from the Florence Federal Penitentiary in Colorado.” Gagan said that one of his intelligence contacts, a man named Daniel, told him about Terpil. “The conversation came up in reference to the Gander, Newfoundland crash,” said Gagan. Was Terpil in Mexico to supply explosives to Omar? While Gagan wasn’t privy to the conversation, he believes that was the purpose of the meeting. When Wilson and Terpil were selling arms and explosives to Libya, they were reporting to none other than Ted Shackley. Kwitny notes that Wilson and Terpil were hiring anti-Castro Cubans from Shackley’s old JM/WAVE program [and Green Berets] to assassinate President Qaddafi’s political opponents abroad: Some U.S. Army men were literally lured away from the doorway of Fort Bragg, their North Carolina training post. The GIs were given every reason to believe that the operation summoning them was being carried out with the full backing of the CIA.Š
Readers will also recall that while Timothy McVeigh was still in the Army, he wrote his sister a letter telling her that he had been picked for a Special Forces (Green Beret) Covert Tactical Unit (CTU) that was involved in illegal activities. These illegal activities included “protecting drug shipments, eliminating the [Octopus’s drug] competition, and population control.” This is exactly what Shackley, Clines, and Secord did in Laos ‹assassinating and bombing Vang Pao’s opium competition out of existence. Could this CTU McVeigh claims he was recruited for be a latter-day version of Shackley’s assassins?
If McVeigh had actually been recruited for such a group, the question arises of what cover-story he was given. As discussed, it is highly likely he was told that he was on an important mission ‹ to infiltrate a terrorist organization and prevent a bombing. Considering McVeigh’s background and character, it is unlikely he is a terrorist who set out to murder 169 innocent people.
Also recall that McVeigh was seen with Hussain al-Hussaini. The Iraqis would provide a convincing and plausible excuse if McVeigh was led to believe he was part of a sting operation: “Son, you were a hero in the Gulf War. Your country needs you now in the fight against terrorism.” It is a story a young, impressionable man like McVeigh would fall for. It is also possible that McVeigh was sheep-dipped as disgruntled ex-GI for infiltration into the neo-Nazi community, which would provide a doorway into the bombing conspiracy through places like Elohim City. Or perhaps, as a result of his becoming “disenchanted” and “leaving” the CTU, he became targeted for “termination,” and was set up as a fall-guy. Such is standard operating procedure for those who attempt to leave the
world of covert operations.
Either way, the fact that there appeared to be two “Timothy McVeighs,” just as there were two Oswalds, would suggest a sophisticated intelligence operation, one that was designed to put McVeigh in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like Oswald, McVeigh probably believed himself to be a government agent, part of a secret project. Like Oswald, McVeigh was not told what the plan really involved, and was trapped, framed, and made a patsy. This goes a long way towards explaining why an armed McVeigh didn’t shoot and kill Officer Charles Hanger when he was stopped on the Interstate after the bombing. Why would a man who had just killed 169 men, women, and children balk at killing a cop (a member of the system that McVeigh allegedly hated) on a lonely stretch of highway? The only possible answer is that McVeigh believed he was part of a sting operation – a government asset – and would be protected.
Whatever McVeigh’s actual purpose and intent, it is curious, to say the least, that Ted Shackley would tell D’Ferdinand Carone that the perpetrator of the bombing was somebody from here. How did he know?
Roger Moore, the mysterious gun dealer whom the government claimed McVeigh and Nichols robbed to “finance” the bombing, ran a company next to Bahia Mar Marina in South Florida (a popular hang-out for the Iran-Contra crowd), which manufactured high-speed boats. 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. “I don’t know who his [Moore’s] contact was on Iran-Contra beyond Don Aranow. 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.” This source also claimed that Moore was a “paymaster” for Tom Posey’s Civilian Military Assistance (CMA) ‹ the covert paramilitary operation that served as the primary nexus for arming the Contras.
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. A call to MOM indicated that Moore had indeed stopped by for a friendly chat. He told Randy Trochmann, one of MOM’s leaders, that he was traveling the country meeting with militia groups in an attempt to verify black helicopter sightings and rumors of UN troop movements. This seems a peculiar pastime for a man who worked for a network of spooks devoted to bypassing and subverting the Constitution.*
What is also peculiar is a letter written by Moore to McVeigh in early 1995. Introduced at the trial of Terry Nichols, the letter, speaks of “a planŠ to bring the country down and have a few more things happen.” Robert “Bud” McFarlane went on to form his own consulting firm, and joined the board of American Equity Investors (AEI), founded by Prescott Bush. AEI’s board of directors reads like a Who’s Who of the spook world, including former CIA officials George Clairmont and Howard Hebert, and CIA
lawyer Mitch Rogovin, who was George Bush’s legal counsel when he wa Director of the Agency.
AEI invested in a Tulsa, Oklahoma company: Hawkins Oil and Gas, from 1988 to 1991. McFarlane was a “consultant” for Hawkins and several other companies on the Ech power project in Pakistan, which required frequent trips to that country. This was during the tail end of the largest covert operation the U.S. ever conducted ‹ the arming of the Mujahadeen, who trained in Pakistan. McFarlane sat on the “208 Committee,” who’s job it was to procure weapons for the Mujahadeen, and arms contracts for the Pakistani government.
Recall that Richard Armitage, who was the contact for Fazoe Haq, governor of the Northwest Frontier Province, also sat on the “208 Committee.” As Alfred A. McCoy writes in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia: It’s known that the CIA paid the Afghan guerrillas, who were based in Pakistan, through BCCI.Š That the Pakistan military were in fact banking their drug profits, moving their drug profits from the consuming country back to Pakistan though BCCI. In fact the boom in the Pakistan drug trade
was financed by BCCI.Š BCCI also served as a conduit for the Iran-Contra operation, largely through Gaith Pharon, former head of Saudi Intelligence, who operated out of Islamabad, Pakistan. The Saudis played a major role in funding the Mujahadeen and [via the request of Secord and McFarlane] the Contras.
McFarlane ‹ who former Mossad official Ari Ben Menashe claims is a Mossad asset ‹ worked with the president of Hawkins’ International Division, Mujeeb Rehman Cheema, on the Ech project. Was Hani Kamal’s supposed statement that Khalid was connected to the Mossad accurate? A prominent Muslim community leader, Cheema claims he does not know Sam Khalid. Interestingly, Gagan said that at one point, Terry Nichols rendezvoused with his Middle Eastern friends at the Islamic society of Nevada. Cheema is chairman of the Islamic Society of Tulsa. Is there a connection? And what of Cheema’s links to McFarlane? Was McFarlane using Hawkins as a front for CIA activities in Pakistan?
It is perhaps prophetic that many of the terrorists implicated in the major bombings of the last decade attended the terrorist conference held in the Northwest Frontier Province town of Konli, Pakistan in July of 1996. As noted, Osama bin Ladin, a Saudi who funded the Mujahadeen and was implicated in the Riyadh and Dhahran bombings, (a close associate of Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman, implicated in the World Trade Center bombing), Ahmed Jibril (who bombed Pan Am 103), and senior representatives of Iranian and Pakistani intelligence, and Hamas, HizbAllah, and other groups attended the conference.
2: From: “The Iran-contra Players and the CIA’s War on America,
” Virtual Government, by Alex Constantine, Feral House, 1997:
[…] Who should step forward immediately after the bombing but a chorus of “National Security Experts” drawn from hundreds of propagandists squatting in the duck-blinds of the corporate press.
The most strident terrorism “expert” consulted by the media was Vincent Cannistraro, the former CIA officer who ran covert ops for the NSC during the Iran-contra debacle ‹ with its cocaine backdrop. In 1991, Cannistraro told the San Francisco Chronicle that sinister “environmentalists” had mustered into “clandestine cells,” plotting to develop technologies to diminish, even “eliminate” the entire human race.
Cannistraro performed a similar service for the Contragate contingent at the NSC by blaming the Gander crash on Iraqui terrorists. In fact, the plane was bearing a score of intelligence agents to the U.S. when it crashed in Newfoundland. Several of them had gathered damning information on John Singlaub, North and related Pentagon/CIA subterfuges abroad.
In December 1990, Gene Wheaton, formerly an investigator for the Christic Institute, concluded a probe of the Arrow Air jet crash with the comment, “the official version is a cover-up, and the Canadian and U.S. government officials who are responsible have been criminally negligent or worse.” On board had been over 20 crack commandos from the Special Forces, identified on the passenger log as “warrant officers.” Arrow Air itself was a CIA dummy front, and bore a ton of mystery cargo when the jet and its 256 passengers went down.
Wheaton discovered that Arrow had transported arms from Israel to Iran on North’s behalf as part of the arms-for- hostages swap. The mid-flight explosion, he claims, was a retaliatory strike by the Iranians for a swindle perpetrated by the Reagan administration¹s pugnacious schemer, Oliver North.
Five years on, seeds planted by the Iran-contra players resulted in another bombing ‹ of the Alfred Murrah Building in Oklahoma City….
Larry Nichols [a vocal Clinton critic] is a CIA veteran of the contra guns-for-drugs network. Nichols fought under John Singlaub in Vietnam, and reported to the World Anti-Communist League official during the Nicaraguan
Singlaub is an anti-Communist of the 1950s genus, and it was during that decade, as deputy CIA station chief in South Korea, that his political psychopathology found an outlet. During the Korean war he fell in with a circle of Seoul’s most powerful politicians, spies and industrialists. His sole ambition in life since appears to be fundraising to destroy Communism.
In Vietnam, Singlaub organized the dreaded Phoenix Program under his Special Operations Group, a bund of 10,000 troops unleashed in the south to conduct covert raids, assassinations of Viet Minh by the tens of thousands, psychological warfare and sabotage missions.
Ollie North was one of John Singlaub¹s second lieutenants.
Claire Sterling writes that Singlaub “the centurion came to be regarded with awe by a whole generation of military men and intelligence officers, many of whom shared his conservative views about the way things should be in Asia. Around him grew a following that developed into an infrastructure at the Pentagon and CIA.”
The quarter of covert intelligence that took part in the Iran-contra scandal was represented in the Oklahoma bombing case by Michael Tigar, the attorney representing Terry Nichols. In the 1960s and ’70s, Tigar was employed by the law firm of Williams, Wadden & Stein. He reported to Edward Bennett Williams, the head of the firm, a powerful Beltway attorney on intimate terms with the CIA. Williams often referred to Tigar as his most brilliant protégé.” The law firm sprang into existence to cater to the same interagency intelligence underground implicated in drug distribution and a pile of exploding compost in Oklahoma City.
A senior partner of the firm was Brendon Sullivan, the high-strung legal phenomenon who represented Oliver North during the Congressional Iran-contra hearings.
Williams, a Jesuit, was offered the post of CIA director by two presidents. He refused, possibly because he was already a de facto CIA functionary, and thereby shaped history ‹ Gerald Ford gave the job to George Bush instead. Robert Maheu, the CIA hit man, attended Holy Cross with Williams and was a close friend. In 1958, the famed attorney referred Maheu to Los Angeles mobster Johnny Roselli to plot against Cuban premier Fidel Castro.
Junk bond magnate Michael Milken, a client of the firm, openly wept at his funeral in 1988. Williams¹ client roster included Joseph McCarthy, Mafia don Frank Costello, Jimmy Hoffa, Frank Sinatra, Armand Hammer and John Connally. He was general counsel to Georgetown University, which has long maintained a symbiotic relationship with Langley. Tigar came to the firm after resigning his position as a Supreme Court clerk. He represented some extremely high-powered clients for a journeyman attorney. He coached Bobby Baker, the LBJ aide imprisoned for tax fraud and influence peddling in 1967, before Senate appearances. Tigar defended John Connally when the former Texas governor was accused of pocketing a bribe. Connally was acquitted. Tigar was rewarded with a prize bull. He packed the beast off to Fidel Castro.
One San Francisco reporter described Tigar, with his danger-high-voltage wardrobe and crewcut, as appearing ³more like a Young Republican than the spell-binding firebrand he was a dozen years ago.² The press has made much of his radical days at Berekely, his representation of Angela Davis, but he has more than comforted critical neo-³conservatives² by taking on far-right clients. One of the most controversial was John Demjanjuk, the accused Nazi war criminal. Tigar also represented Clayton Jackson, the California lobbyist convicted for money laundering, racketeering and offering a bribe to state senator Alan Robbins.
He agreed to counsel Terry Nichols at the request of three federal judges.
Like his mercurial attorney, Nichols was turned out by the same national security bund behind the Iran-contra swaps and the World Trade Center bombing, not to mention foreign coups, death squad outrages, drug imports and a long history of homicidal covert operations. After his arrest, federal agents discovered that Terry Nichols had a locker full of gold and silver bullion stored in a locker in Las Vegas. Gold, like guns and drugs, is a favored currency in the international netherworld of “spycraft.”
Nichols obtained the gold in November, 1994 while on a junket to the Philippines.
Terry Nichols hid a dagger under his compost-smeared cloak. Lana Padilla, his ex-wife, called a news conference on July 13 after visiting him in prison. She said that Nichols made frequent trips to the Philippines since 1989 ‹ so many, in fact, that the farmer from Kansas had charged $40,000 in air fares to his credit cards. Ms. Padilla also claimed that Tim McVeigh footed the bill for the 1989 trip.
The gold, Padilla said, was given to Nichols by a party unknown in the Philippines ‹ allegedly a bearded Islamic involved in the World Trade Center bombing.
Padilla said that Nichols never took Mary Fay, his current wife (a mail-order bride from the Philippines), when he travelled, even though her family lived in Cebu. Cebu is a well-known terrorist haunt in the Phillipines. Nichols told Lana, before departing for his last visit to the Philippines, ³I might not be coming back. “He travelled with a gun,” she said, and managed to pass through airport security gates. Before he left, he entrusted her with $20,000 for McVeigh in case he never returned. He did, and he was noticeably on edge, “Those people can kill you,” he said with a shudder, “I¹m never going back there again.”
Critics of the CIA have dismissed Padilla¹s tale of terrorists in the Philippines as a ploy to distract attention from the true source of the funds. One of Padilla¹shrillest critics was Tony Sgarlatti, host of “The Truth (as I see it),” a cable program originating in Minnesota that purports to raise the lid on secret government. Sgarlatti’s video credits include “Proof that UFOs are Real” and “What the Government isn¹t telling you about AIDS.”
“It¹s very clear that Lana is lying,” Sgarlatti argued with prescient confidence, noting that he¹d spoken with an unnamed official of the bombing investigative team. “Lana is trying to make money selling her story to the tabloid newspapers,” Sgarlatti said. “Terry Nichols only knew Tim McVeigh for a short time, about five weeks.” The court affidavit of Terry Nicholshowever, states that he and McVeigh had experimented with explosives as long ago as 1992.
Sgarlatti was employing a time-tested technique for discrediting a troublesome witness ‹ the old tabloid fever gambit. As a matter of fact, bearded Islamic bomb-tossers with safe houses in the Philippines have proved useful to the national security crowd.
And the investigation of the World Trade Center bombing was not as painstaking as it might have been. Sandbags were repeatedly dropped in the path of investigators by the CIA. ”
Jack Blum, a former investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, was appalled. “One of the big problems here is that many suspects in the World Trade Center bombing were associated with the mujahedeen,” Blum pointed out. “There are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war.”
“We” are a deep cover infantry of counter-insurgent drug smugglers, arms dealers, money launderers and professional liars.
There is a bridge spanning the World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City federal building. It’s in the Philippines.
And it¹s made of gold ‹ Japanese and Nazi gold buried in underground vaults once used to imprison and torture American prisoners of war and local insurgents. Approximately 1,000 tons of the loot was liberated by Ferdinand Marcos before his ouster. Billions of dollars worth were shipped overseas by American intelligence agents and the Mafia. Much of the horde was cabbaged away in a high-security, subterranean storage caché buried beneath the Zurich airport. This vault was once used to conceal European gold from Hitler¹s greedy SS scavengers. Fifty years later, some of the same bullion has found its way into the campaign coffers of ultra-conservative political candidates in the U.S., according to the Las Vegas Sun.
But Marcos didn¹t recover the lion¹s share of the pelf. A six-month series in the Sun reported in 1993 that Marcos abandoned thousands of tons of gold hidden in his homeland. Gary Thompson, the newspaper’s former managing editor, and journalist Steve Kanigher published copies of gold certificates from Credit Suisse, deposit records from the Union Bank of Switzerland, the correspondence of Corazon Aquino and letters to Reagan administration officials documenting witness accounts that lackeys of the
CIA and Army Special Forces carted off an unknown quantity of the bullion.
The gold extraction was sanctioned by Lt. General Robert Schweitzer, President Reagan¹s senior military liaison to the National Security Council, and Lt. General Daniel Graham, then director of the DIA and a key consultant on the Strategic Defense Initiative. Schweitzer and retired General John Singlaub, the aforementioned veteran of the Iran-contra affair, joined the board of Nippon Star, a Japanese conglomerate with branches in the Philippines. As they explained to two plaintive Nippon Star consultants, “the company is going out of business ‹ the National Security Council is taking over.”
Among those recruited to run the intelligence front was retired Army Colonel Dan Myers, a former aide to Watergate celebrity G. Gordon Liddy. Eldon ³Dan² Cummings, a Pentagon staffer, was named vice president. Schwartz¹s ambitious aide, Oliver North, was already dabbling in the gold trade. In 1985, he attempted to sell 44 tons of Marcos bullion, worth $465 million, on the black market. He blithely suggested skimming $5 million to finance the Nicaraguan contra war, but the deal fell through when North, true to form, stiffed the Israeli middlemen on the Marcos payroll. Tapes and documents implicating American officials in the gold transfers
were withheld from the Iran-contra committee by Major General Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and William Odom, director of the NSA.
“It wasn’t so much the mention of gold that concerned them,” say Thompson and Kanigher. “It was Marcos talking (on tape) about contributions to U.S. presidential campaigns and the use of the gold proceeds to fund illegal arms deals.” …
The upshot was that either Lana Padilla was telling the truth about Terry Nichols’ mystery trips abroad, or she is a scholar of national security studies with an emphasis on black ops. Her allusion to terrorists from the Middle East was hardly far-fetched. General Schweitzer¹s crew from the NSC hired a team of lawyers to sell the gold recovered in the Philippines. Much of it was sold off to Middle Eastern terrorists. Some of them have indeed been linked to the World Trade Center bombing, according to Kanigher and Thompson. It is not at all unlikely that Terry Nichols should have had dealings with the rabid foreign clients of the national security sector.