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Posts: 278


« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2003, 09:49:08 PM »

peace and hotep,

Houston Chronicle

July 24, 1998

Probe finds no fed links to drug ring
Money channeled to Contras in 1980s

Author: Los Angeles Times

Edition: 3 STAR
Section: A
Page: 13

Index Terms:
Drug Traffic

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's internal watchdog said Thursday that he found no evidence that U.S. government officials protected a California drug-trafficking ring whose members contributed money to the Nicaraguan rebels known as Contras during the 1980s.

Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich, reporting on a 15-month investigation, said he concluded that the drug dealers had contributed money to the rebels, but the amounts were "relatively insignificant," and there was no evidence that Contra leaders or the CIA knew about them.

Bromwich's investigation, and its 407-page report, were produced in response to charges made by the San Jose Mercury News in 1996. The newspaper claimed that a San Francisco-based drug-trafficking ring introduced crack cocaine to Los Angeles, sent millions of dollars to the CIA-backed Contras, and operated under the protection of U.S. government officials.

"After interviewing more than 200 people and reviewing more than 40,000 pages of documents, we did not substantiate the main allegations suggested by the San Jose Mercury News articles," Bromwich said.

"While some drug traffickers supplying cocaine to Los Angeles drug dealers were Contra supporters, they were investigated and pursued by the Department of Justice. These investigations were not always successful, but we did not find that they were obstructed because of claims that these individuals were connected to Contras or the CIA."

The report said the two drug dealers at the center of the allegations were "Contra supporters, although their roles in this regard were marginal. . . . Both gave charitable contributions to the Contras and, because of their line of business, that money came from drug trafficking. The monetary amounts were relatively insignificant compared to the money they made in drug trafficking."

The report quoted one of the drug dealers as estimating their total contributions at about $49,000, and several of the dealers' associates provided even smaller estimates.

"Contra leaders have denied - and there is no evidence to contradict the denials - that they solicited drug funds or knew that drug money was coming into the Contra movement," according to the report.

"The implication that the drug trafficking . . . was connected to the CIA was also not supported by the facts," it added.

In addition, the report concluded that the explosion in crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles and across the United States "was not the result of any single source or seller."

Much of the apparent evidence in the San Jose Mercury News articles appeared to have been distorted or exaggerated, according to the report.

In 1977, the newspaper concluded that its reports were flawed and reporter Gary Webb resigned this year.

Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle
Record Number: 3071326  

Lips Sealed 2
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Posts: 278


« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2003, 09:51:33 PM »

peace and hotep,

Houston Chronicle

September 19, 1996

CIA faces pressure over reports that it supplied drugs to blacks

Author: Reuters News Service

Edition: 3 STAR
Section: a
Page: 24

Index Terms:
Drug Traffic

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

WASHINGTON - The CIA has been thrown on the defensive by news reports that it helped flood African-American neighborhoods in the United States with cocaine to finance Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua's leftist government in the 1980s.

CIA Director John Deutch, under pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and a wide range of others, has ordered an internal investigation of the reports, which appeared in a three-part series last month in the San Jose Mercury News.

"Although I believe there is no substance to the allegations in the Mercury News, I do wish to dispel any lingering public doubt on the subject," Deutch wrote to the heads of the congressional intelligence oversight committees and two members of the California delegation on Sept. 4.

He said he had asked the CIA's inspector general, Frederick Hitz, to finish within 60 days a review of "all the allegations concerning the agency published by the newspaper."

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat, lashed out Wednesday on the House floor at what she called the "Central Intoxication Agency," calling the drug allegations a "cloud of shame."

In its series titled "Dark Alliance," the Mercury News detailed a scheme that, it said funneled tons of cocaine to black Los Angeles neighborhoods and returned millions in drug profits to a CIA-funded, Contra guerrilla army in Nicaragua.

"It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history: the union of a U.S.-backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the Uzi-toting `gangstas' of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles," the Mercury News said.

The series traced the U.S. crack cocaine epidemic to two Nicaraguan drug dealers, Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, who were civilian leaders of the CIA-backed FDN. The organization was the largest Nicaraguan Contra group fighting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government.

Citing newly declassified material, court testimony and interviews, the newspaper reported that the pair had been recruited by the CIA to raise money for the Contras and turned to drug-running with at least tacit spy agency approval.

In his letter to members of Congress, Deutch said the CIA had "never had any relationship with either Blandon or Meneses."

Nor, contrary to the newspaper report, had it sought to have information regarding either of them withheld at the recent trial of a convicted Los Angeles drug dealer, he added.

The internal CIA investigation under way seems unlikely to satisfy prominent blacks and others who want an independent investigation.

On Saturday, the White House drug control policy director, retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, joined those calling for a "full and thorough investigation."

Asked if the CIA would welcome an outside investigation, spokesman Mark Mansfield declined to answer directly but said: "We will cooperate fully with any review of this matter."

An investigator, who looked into reports of Contra drug trafficking for a Senate panel in the late 1980s, said he concluded that individual CIA officers in the field knew of the trafficking but the information was not passed up their chain of command.

"To say that the CIA was moving crack cocaine into California is, I think, clearly wrong," said the former Senate aide, who spoke on condition that he not be named.

However, the Senate aide said it was "absolutely true" that cocaine traffickers of the period had sought to buy "good will" in their shadowy netherworld by funding Contra guerrillas.

Photo: Director John Deutch
Houston Chronicle file

freedomisahapislave Lips Sealed 2

Copyright 1996 Houston Chronicle
Record Number: HSC09191366328  
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Posts: 278


« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2003, 09:56:38 PM »

peace and hotep,

Houston Chronicle

DECEMBER 31, 1992

Bush labels six pardons "difficult call"
President defends his decision on major Iran-Contra figures

Author: ANA PUGA, Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

Edition: 2 STAR
Section: A NEWS
Page: 1

Index Terms:

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Wednesday defended his controversial decision to grant pardons to major figures in the Iran-Contra affair as a "difficult call."

"Nobody is above the law. And I believe when people break the law that's a bad thing . . . " Bush said. "I've read some stupid comment to the contrary.

"But the Constitution is quite clear on the powers of the president, and sometimes the president has to make a very difficult call, and that's what I've done."

Independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh and other critics of the Christmas Eve pardons have charged that the president shielded former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five other officials to cover up his own role in the scandal. Walsh has vowed to continue investigating the possibility that Bush is guilty of wrongdoing.

The White House announced Wednesday that Bush had asked former Attorney General Griffin Bell to represent him on matters related to the case.

Bell, who served as the nation's top law enforcement officer under Jimmy Carter, was hired after Walsh informed the president Tuesday that he would not be provided a copy of the deposition Bush gave to investigators in 1988.

The president asked for a copy of the sworn testimony on Dec. 14, and Bell was retained "to assist Bush in seeking to obtain a copy of this document," a White House statement said.

In addition, Bell will advise the president "should the independent counsel fail to complete his investigation during the president's term in office."

The statement was released after Bush answered a question about the pardons at an early morning meeting with reporters in the Rose Garden. The president dismissed the accusation that the pardons amounted to a manipulation of the the criminal justice system for political ends.

"I've read some rather frivolous reporting that I don't care about the law. I pride myself on 25 or more years of public service of serving honorably, decently, and with my integrity intact," Bush said.

"And certainly I wouldn't feel that way if I had a lack of respect for the law. And I don't think there is one single thing in my career that could lead anybody to look at my record and make a statement of that nature."

But a Gallup poll published in the newspaper USA Today on Wednesday said 54 percent of 608 people surveyed disapproved of the pardons. Only 27 percent approved and 19 percent had no opinion.

According to the survey, 49 percent thought Bush granted the pardons to spare himself legal investigation or embarrassment.

Bush was vice president during the Reagan administration, when U.S. officials engineered arms sales to Iran in exchange for American hostages in Lebanon. Proceeds from the sales were illegally used to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, despite a congressional ban on assistance to the rebels. Meanwhile, the Reagan administration publicly maintained that it would never bargain for the release of hostages.

Bush has said that he was purposely kept in the dark about the two operations and their interrelationship. Last week he promised to make public all documents relevant to his role in the affair, including some 1986 notes that the independent prosecutor has been demanding.

Weinberger opposed the original arms sales but was accused of later lying about the deal to congressional investigators and to Walsh's prosecutors.

Mug: Griffin Bell (color)

Copyright 1992 Houston Chronicle
Record Number: 12*31*1102536  

freedomisahapislave Lips Sealed 2
AfricaSpeaks Member
Posts: 278


« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2003, 10:02:59 PM »

peace and hotep,

Houston Chronicle

JULY 28, 1991

London banks reportedly used in secret U.S. arms sales to Iran

By Associated Press

Edition: 2 STAR
Section: A NEWS
Page: 1
Dateline: LONDON

Index Terms:

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

LONDON - London branches of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International were used to finance sales of U.S. anti-tank missiles to Iran during its war with Iraq, the Financial Times reported Saturday.

The leading British business daily, without quoting its sources, said the export of TOW missiles to Iran's Revolutionary Guards in 1985 was arranged by a British arms merchant who had boasted of his ties to former Lt. Col. Oliver North.

It said the arms dealer, Indian-born Ben Banerjee, who died of a heart attack in May 1990, had figured into the scandal in which North played a central role.

The report said Banerjee's family denied he was involved in the affair.

Since Banerjee appears to have acted only as a broker for the arms shipment, which was not directly exported from Britain, "the deal was not illegal" in the United Kingdom, the Financial Times said.

Luxembourg-based BCCI is at the center of a worldwide scandal involving allegations of fraud and money laundering. Regulators in eight countries - including the United States and Britain - began seizing its assets and operations earlier this month.

Saturday's report amplified accusations in the United States the scandal-tainted bank was used by North to set up accounts for covert operations.

BCCI, with its branches worldwide and strict privacy laws, was used by Saudi millionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi to deposit money into North's Enterprise - the name by which his covert slush fund was known, said former Senate Iran-Contra counsel Arthur Liman. Enterprise money was then funneled to the Contras to circumvent a congressional ban on aiding the guerrillas.

The Financial Times said the 1985 deal involved $18.9 million and "at least two payments through separate branches" of BCCI in London that were disguised as shipments of 1,250 forklifts.

The report said Liman stated that BCCI was used for "as much as $10 million of bank transfers that paid for the secret sale of U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles and other weapons to Iran that were part of the Irangate scandal."

The story said the Enterprise funds were largely kept in accounts at a bank in Switzerland, Credit Suisse.

The Financial Times said Banerjee and his now defunct company, B R and W Industries, arranged the shipment of the arms to the Revolutionary Guards.

According to the story: "Documents detailing the deal show the original order from Iran's Revolutionary Guards was made through front companies in Liechtenstein and Panama.

"The missiles, priced at $7,500 each for a total cost of $9.375 million, together with rocket-propelled grenades, Strella anti-aircraft missiles and automatic rifles, were shipped to Iran through a front company in Dubai, the Arabian Gate Trading Company," the report said.

Officials estimate that at least $3.4 billion in world trade has been delayed by the BCCI collapse.

Copyright 1991 Houston Chronicle
Record Number: 07*28*799514  

Lips Sealed 2
AfricaSpeaks Member
Posts: 278


« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2003, 10:06:52 PM »

peace and hotep,

Houston Chronicle

JULY 17, 1991

Column: Editorials

If CIA nominee didn't know, he should have

By Staff

Edition: 2 STAR
Section: A NEWS
Page: 14

Index Terms:
Editorial Opinion

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

President Bush's nomination of Robert Gates to be director of central intelligence is, predictably enough, in deep trouble. In 1987, Gates was forced to withdraw his name from consideration when President Reagan nominated him for the same post.

Gates' immediate difficulty stems from the recent guilty plea of one of his former colleagues at the CIA, but the underlying problem was always there: his own profession of ignorance. Gates is now a national security aide to the president, but he was deputy director of the CIA during the Reagan administration when Oliver North and others were selling arms to Iran and diverting some of the proceeds to the Nicaraguan Contras. Gates' boss at the time, the late CIA Director William Casey, is generally presumed to have known the details of the rogue operation known as the Iran-Contra affair. One of Gates' CIA subordinates, Alan Fiers, recently admitted knowing about the fund diversion, alleged that at least one other top CIA official also kne w, and pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding that information from Congress.

Bush's nominee to be the president's chief provider of secret intelligence and informed analysis claims he knew little or nothing about Iran-Contra until just before it became public in November 1986. Barring introduction of conclusive evidence to the contrary, Gates must be taken at his word. However, his admission that he didn't know what his closest colleagues above and below him were up to does not inspire confidence in a man who seeks to become the nation's head spy.

Gates' problem is one he shares with former President Reagan and, to a lesser degree, with Bush himself. All three claim they didn't know important information with which their subordinates were all too familiar. Gates' defenders point to the fact that CIA operations are compartmentalized in such a way that no one person knows the whole picture. If they are right, however, that is grounds for drastic changes at the intelligence-gathering agency. Surely those at the top should both be aware and be accountable for their agency's activities. The Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to hear testimony from Gates and others next week, but to delay consideration of his nomination until the fall. Gates can be expected to reiterate his ignorance of CIA collusion with Oliver North and other Reagan administration officials in the Iran-Contra diversion. That ignorance is not something a top intelligence official can be proud of.

Copyright 1991 Houston Chronicle
Record Number: 07*17*797465  

freedomisahapislave Lips Sealed 2
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2003, 03:24:58 AM »

In one way being globalised is a good thing in that it makes us appreciate how other people live and introduces us to their culture.  

We must be careful not to loose our own culture by selling it out to a bigger culture.  
AfricaSpeaks Member
Posts: 278


« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2004, 11:58:58 AM »

peace and hotep,

InfoTrac Web: InfoTrac Newspapers.

AL General
CT Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA)
DP March 26, 2002 pB7
NA Column
ND 20020327
OT (Editorial)(Column)
PT Newspaper
RM COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group
SN 0745-970X
XX 795
  Source:  Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA), March 26, 2002
   Title:  GOVERNMENT'S PANTS ON FIRE.(Editorial)(Column)
Electronic Collection:  CJ84207003
                  RN:  CJ84207003

Full Text COPYRIGHT 2002 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights
Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.

Byline: SEAN GONSALVES Syndicated columnist

Did you hear about what the federal government's top lawyer told the
Court a week ago? Solicitor General Theodore Olson testified that U.S.
officials have the right to lie to American citizens.

Why? Because, he said, misleading statements sometimes are needed to
foreign policy interests. "It's easy to imagine an infinite number of
situations where the government might legitimately give out false
information," Olson said.

Even if you're a Bible-believing fundamentalist who thinks Robert Bork
William Bennett are the true guardians of Western morality, you don't
necessarily have to get your prayer beads in a knot over this one.

According to the first chapter of Exodus, the Egyptian midwives,
Shiph'rah and
Pu'ah, were blessed by the Lord despite their lying.

In their case, they didn't lie to the people, but to Pharaoh, who had
instituted a policy of male infanticide. Bottom line: The midwives'
misinformation move was an act of moral courage that saved Moses' life
so he
could lead the Israelites out of bondage.

But unless, or until, Bush can spontaneously combust and burn without
consumed, I'm not comfortable swallowing whole Olson's notion of Uncle
having the right to lie.

If he had said, "Government officials have a tendency to lie, if they
telling the truth will unnecessarily harm foreign policy interests,"
the story
about his testimony probably wouldn't have made me give it a second

After all, even the most cursory review of Cold War history will reveal
the feds lying to cover their foreign policy tracks is nothing new. But
right to lie?

If our government has a right to lie, then we citizens have a duty to
skeptical about official statements.

Just don't tell Attorney General John Ashcroft I said that. I don't
want to
end up a "detainee" in this war on terrorism for suggesting that
citizens actually question policy pronouncements because, after all,
government has the right to lie, especially when it comes to war.

Consider the recent release of more Richard Nixon Oval Office tapes.
commentators have focused on what the former president had to say about
theVietnam War. But the researchers at Common Sense for Drug Policy
a major root of another war - the war on drugs (see www.csdp.org).

In 1971, Nixon appointed a National Commission on Marijuana and Drug
aka the Shafer Commission, whose charge it was to do extensive weed
and then make some policy recommendations.

"You know, it's a funny thing: Every one of the bastards that are out
legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the
Bob? ... I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists," Nixon
in a May 1971 meeting.

He went on to explain that people drink alcohol "to have fun" but
light up just "to get high." Little wonder Washington Post staff writer
Weingarten wrote a piece recently asking: "Just what was he smoking?"

In another meeting, Nixon met with then-Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond
Shafer about
the commission's work. "You're enough of a pro to know that for you to
out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels
... and
what we're planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as
Nixon told Shafer, when he learned that the commission was about to
marijuana be legalized.

Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, reports that
since the
commission issued its recommendation that marijuana offenses not be a
15 million people have been arrested on marijuana charges.

"Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. Not if they catch
they send them up. You see, homosexuality, dope, uh, immorality in
These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists
and the
left-wingers are pushing it. They're trying to destroy us," Nixon said,
explaining his justification for the "all-out war" on marijuana use.

As Weingarten observes, the "Jew-homo-doper-Commie-shrink-lefty cabal
has not,
to date, destroyed us." What Weingarten didn't say was: The war on
drugs is
shrouded in misinformation, covering up the destruction it has wrought
in both
foreign and domestic places.

In a 1999 campaign speech, President Bush noted that "America has
tripled its
prison population in the last 15 years," which has resulted in "a
problem - an
estimated 1.3 million children who have one or both parents in prison."

Time for another commission to review our national drug laws. But this
time we
ought to demand a truth and reconciliation commission to counter the
right to
lie and affirm our right to truth and justice. Lips Sealed 2

Sean Gonsalves is a columnist with the Cape Cod Times. E-mail:
                               -- End --

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