In the wreckage of the downed plane, the Nicaraguan government and media plane found little pieces of paper, they were flight logs, business cards of retired CIA agents, US Generals, contractors of the US government. It looked like the same planes that were delivering aid to refugees were also delivering weapons to the Contras.
The official story says that the Reagan administration believed that the Soviet Union, through Cuba was trying to establish communists’ governments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. So they funded ‘freedom fighters’ in the Contras to overthrow the government of Nicaragua. So the Contras go into Nicaragua and start causing all these atrocities against the Nicaraguan people. And the United States were in the position of supporting this evil organisation. They were not freedom fighters they were obviously assassinating people and raping women they were corrupt. They were violating human rights, so Congress cut off the aid.
At that point, Reagan chose to continue supporting the Contras but to find other means to do it, other than Congress. They decided to elicit private funds, get money from overseas sources like Saudi Arabia, and take proceeds from one covert operation and use it for another. They decided that they would deal with Iran. Despite Reagan’s constant public denials he did just that.
Israel were the middlemen in the deal, they sold Iran missiles and other weapons at an increased price. That’s where Oliver North came in. Up until then, he had only be associated with the Contras but when he saw the ten million dollar profit from the sale of arms to Iran he got the idea that he could redirect the money to the Contras.
When it came to the cover-up the Senate Inquiry would invoke the privacy in defence of the nation rule and discuss the issues under private Senate sessions.
There was also thousands of documents that were shredded before they could be examined. The conspirators also altered and stole what they couldn’t shred.
Designed to eliminate his links to Barry Seal and drugs, Oliver North shredded hundreds of documents over three days. Over 500 documents are still missing.
Barbara Honegger is a former member of the Reagan/Bush campaign. She worked on the special writing, research and policy staff and later as a Whitehouse policy analyst. Part of her job was a requirement to monitor the news in its operational centre, just in case Jimmy Carter managed to bring about a deal that would negotiate the release of the 56 hostages held in Iran.
Now working as a private investigator she has researched the Iran-Contra and the hostage situation thoroughly.
Ronald Reagan cut the deal with Iran to sell them arms before the 1980 election if they would delay the release of the American hostages held in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, until after the election. The hostages were released on the day of Reagan inauguration. In October of 1980, before the election, George H W Bush, Richard Allen (who became Reagan's National Security Officer), and Donald Gregg (who became National Security Advisor to Vice President and President George H W Bush), took part in a meeting in Washington. The decided to pass millions of dollars to the Iranians to delay the release of the hostages for 76 days.
The Americans met with a member of Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime who offered them a deal. They would delay releasing the prisoners if the United States agreed to provide them with all the weaponry they required for their war against Iraq.
Abolhassan Banisadr was president of Iran during the hostage crisis and attended a meeting in Paris with George H W Bush to confirm the arrangements. He also met with Manucher Ghorbanifar is an expatriate Iranian arms dealer. He is best known as a middleman in the Iran–Contra Affair and with Albert A. Hakim who was an Iranian-American businessman and a figure in the Iran-Contra affair.
The sale of arms started in late February 1981, as evidence of this agreement Banisadr has made available written orders for the weaponry through an Israeli-owned company: Kendal Holdings Ltd.
The Iran-Contra Senate inquiry was in itself a cover-up, given that its mandate only went back to 1984. Thus making a real investigation impossible. Oliver North told the Senate inquiry that he thought using the Iranian money to support the Contras was a good idea.
Governments overthrown by the CIA acting in the interest of private mining interests, or government drug interests include: Egypt 1952, Iran 1953, Guatemala 1953, Korea 1960-61, Laos 1960, Zaire 1960, Dominican Republic 1963, Vietnam 1963, Bolivia 1964 & 1971, Brazil 1964, Indonesia 1965, Ghana 1966, Greece 1967, Cambodia 1970 and Chile 1973.
There was a covert group of ex-CIA and ex-Whitehouse / Pentagon arms dealers who have joined together outside the government to conduct their personal wars wherever they felt like. They are like the Carlyle Group. Some of these people are Theodore Shackley (former assistant director of operation for the CIA as of 1976), under George H W Bush who was CIA director at the time. Thomas Clines who worked as a case officer under Shackley in Miami and in Laos. Rafael ‘Chi-Chi’ Quintero and anti-Castro Cuban who worked under Clines and was allegedly recruited by the CIA as an assassin. General John Singlaub, worked with Shackley and Clines in Vietnam and was in charge of the CIA special operations over the border into Laos. General Richard Secord who supervised the air operations into Laos and was later assigned to the Pentagon where he was put in charge of the arms sales to Iran. Albert Hakim was a salesman for US weapons companies and a middleman in the Iran-Contra Affair.
It was after the failed ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion that Shackley and Clines started working with Quintero to overthrow the Cuban government. In 1965 Shackley and Clines were transferred to Laos where Shackley became CIA station chief. It was there in South East Asia that they teamed up with Singlaub and Secord running the secret war in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. They participated in assassinations of people they believed to be sympathisers of the North Vietnamese people.
When Shackley was promoted to director of the CIA Western Operations, he supervised the plans to over through the democratically elected leader of Chile Salvador Allende. Allende had promised to nationalise the copper mines and other industries and posed a threat to US business interests in Chile.
Shackley then moved on, returning to South East Asia. It was clear that the Vietnamese under Hồ Chí Minh were going to win the war, so Shackley and his men began to pilfer ammunition out of Vietnam. They began to construct a covert war capacity, that was unknown to the US congress but they would pursue what they saw as their ultimate mission. That was to vanquish any people who didn’t support United States foreign policy.
In 1976 Jimmy Carter and new CIA Director Stansfield Turner began to clean house. They got rid of nearly 800 CIA members from covert operations. None of these men went away though. They ganged up and found a leader who would put them back in power. Then along came Reagan.
In the late 70’s Shackley, Cline and Secord worked together in a company called EATSCO Egyptian-American Transport and Services Corporation. The company was formed in order to ship stolen weapons from the United States to Egypt. As in the Iran sales, large profits were taken from these deals. Edwin Wilson was the man who provided the financing for EATSCO. According to Wilson, Shackley, and co. saw how much money Wilson was making and decided they could do the same thing.
In 1983 Wilson was convicted of selling arms to Muammar Gaddafi. Now speaking from jail, where he is spending 52 years, he says he is being held responsible for the crimes of his superiors Shackley, Clines, Secord and one other person, all five had a 20 percent share in the business.
As private businessmen and government operatives, Shackley, Climes, Secord, Wilson and middle man Albert Hakim turned their attention to the Middle East. They made huge profits while skimming off into hidden bank accounts around the world. They secretly supplied weapons and military intelligence to Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Jnr and helped Mohammed Riza Pahlevi the Shah of Iran eliminate his enemies. There was a CIA bond between Nicaragua and Iran. The Shah collapses in 1978 and Somoza collapses in 1979.
After the overthrow of Somoza, most of his men fled to Honduras, where they were organised and trained by the CIA as a counter-revolutionary force against the new government in Nicaragua. The CIA began to create the Contras. In 1981 Édgar Chamorro was invited to be a Contra leader by the CIA. After several years with the Contras, Chamorro became disillusioned with the CIA influence and left. The Contras under CIA instruction were killing civilians not fighting the socialist Sandinista government. In addition to the widespread attacks on the people of Nicaragua, there was corruption, money would flow in for the Contras and cocaine would flow out. Congressional funds and private money were never accounted for.
Defence Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger knew about the secret arms sales to Iran. Oliver North denied he knew anything about the cocaine smuggling and the Senate Committee were not interested in pursuing it. Robert Owen, National Security Officer, served as liaison to the network funding the Contras and was accused of drug smuggling. Owen wrote a number of declassified documents to North where he was telling Oliver North that there was a number of high ranking Contra officials involved in drug smuggling.
Oliver North’s 1st National Program Office was at Laguna Airfield, where 1400 lbs. of cocaine was found on the runway.
In the early 1980’s when the CIA was working to establish a Southern front in Costa Rica in the war against Nicaragua a relationship was established with John Hull, an American rancher living in Costa Rica. There was evidence that the air strips on Hull’s ranch became not only a delivery point for illegal weapon shipments from Florida but were also used for transporting Cocaine into the United States via Mena Arkansas, Under the watchful eye of its governor Bill Clinton. The planes flew constantly from Florida with weapons and the back to the United States with cocaine. Being flown by CIA agents the planes didn’t have to go through customs.
George Morales who is currently serving 32 years in prison for drug smuggling. In 1984 he was approached by the CIA while he was under indictment for selling marijuana. He was flying from Florida to Columbia to import cocaine and was asked to help with the arms trading in exchange for protection from his legal problems. He was told his legal problems would be looked after by Elliot Abrams and George H W Bush. He would fly the weapons down to Costa Rica and on the return trip he would fly back with cocaine.
Working with the CIA, Gary Betzner, also in jail, worked as a pilot for Morales told the same story of flying arms down to Hull’s ranch and flying back with cocaine. Each time Betzner did it he would pay himself with 20 kilos with of cocaine, which was approximate $400,000.
Eventually, this was brought to the attention of the FBI and the district attorney in Miami, they conducted some kind of investigation. Hull’s name came up however he refused to be interviewed. Hull and his associates phoned Washington DC and spoke to Oliver North. North somehow got Justice Department in Washington to phone down to the US attorney’s office in Miami, and apparently, the Miami Attorney’s office was told to go very slow in its investigation.
CIA drug smuggling dates back to at least Vietnam, when Shackley, Climes, and Secord were brought back opium poppies from the Golden Triangle in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in the body bags of dead soldiers.
“Instead of operating within rules and law, we have been supplying lethal weapons to terrorist’s nations. Trading arms for hostages. Involving the U.S. government in military activities in direct contravention of the law. Diverting public funds into private pockets and secret unofficial activities. Selling access to the President for thousands of dollars. Dispensing cash and foreign money orders out of a White House safe. Accepting gifts and falsifying papers to cover it up. Altering and shedding national security documents. Lying to the Congress. Now I believe, that the American people understand, that democracy cannot survive that kind of abuse.” Rep. Jack Brooks (Democrat – Texas)
Billy Bob Bottoms was a pilot for Barry Seal, he said they run the financial arm of the business out of Louisiana. They’d leave their airplanes at Mena. In 1982 Barry Seal set up one of the world’s biggest drug smuggling operations out of Mena, with the approval of Governor Bill Clinton. George H W Bush ran Americas Foreign Policy and was Reagan's Head of the Security Council making him a very busy Vice-President. Bush worked closely with CIA director William Casey and there was a lot of talk about Oliver North using cocaine to help fund the Contras.
Dan Lasater was a good friend of Bill Clinton, as well as being a convicted drug dealer. Lasater helped with gun running and drug dealing.
Dan Harmon was the Saline County Special Prosecutor. He was a suspect in the murder of Don Henry and Kevin Ives. He was also instructing the Grand Jury in the case of the murder of the two boys. In 1997 Harmon got arrested on charges of racketeering and drug dealing. Harmon was indicted on eleven charges The RICO Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Cocaine Hydrochloride, Hobbs Act conspiracy which prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce, Conspiracy to manufacture drugs, Witness Tampering and Witness Retaliation.
Initially, Harmon was jailed for refusing to take a drugs test.
On a British 60 minutes type show called ‘The Big Story’ aired the story about Mena, the gun running and the cocaine smuggling leading to the Whitehouse. The show was banned within the United States. Within an hour of its release, the shows distributor was forced to pull it off the shelves because they spoke about Mena.
The secret history was and still is written in places like Mena. Through which was woven every secret black operation of the 1980’s. If you’re talking Oliver North, the CIA, Contras, and cocaine you’re talking about Mena. Mena. Arkansas was home to Operation Black Eagle, the most massive covert operation in history.
A criminal prosecutor was stationed in Mena in 1979 because there were allegations of cocaine smuggling before Barry Seal. Seal was bringing in up 5 billion dollars’ worth of cocaine during the 1980’s via South and Central America.
Russell Welch, State Police investigator, had been ordered by the State Police not to do anything about it. Barry Seal was saying he was involved with the CIA. Seal piloted a C123 CIA military aircraft to Nicaragua in a drug sting that was supposed to a ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident to create a war between Nicaragua and the United States. A photograph taken from the back of Barry Seals plane shows Frederico Vaughan, who worked for Oliver North, loading cocaine into the plane.
Eugene H. Hasenfus United States citizen who was accused by the Secretary General of Nicaraguan, Foreign Ministry Alejandro Bandana of the Nicaragua Sandinista authorities, to be employed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), after the aircraft, Barry Seal’s C123, he was aboard crashed on Nicaraguan soil. Hasenfus was shot down over Nicaragua on October 5, 1986, while delivering supplies to the Nicaraguan Contras. According to Hasenfus he was receiving instruction from Vice President George H W Bush. US Secretary of State George Shultz made the denial, however, it was proven the CIA plane took off from El Salvador loaded with weapons.
Barry Seal wasn’t just a drug smuggler, he was an agent for the CIA. Seal became an informant for the DEA. When Seal was sentenced to a halfway house for six months. There was already a contract out on his life. Seal defied the court order and had armed guards watch over him every night he spent in the Salvation Army detention centre accept the one night, the night he was killed. Billy Bob Bottoms was the man assigned to watch Seal that night, but Bottoms didn’t show up. Seal was shot by a Mac10 automatic pistol equipped with a silencer. Right after that Bottoms went to work for the DEA.
The CIA privatised weapons and drug smuggling in the 1980’s. It was all part of a plausible deniability angle. In Barry Seals luggage on the night he was murdered had been ransacked however they left behind one crucial thing. George H W Bush's direct phone number. Barry Seal the drug smuggler was able to buy a surplus minesweeper from the government.
There’s really only one conclusion, if Barry Seal works for the CIA, then the CIA controlled the drug trade.
After Barry Seal’s death nothing changed at Mena, the body of his operation was still functioning and as a CIA traitor he’s been taken care of, so now it was back to business as usual. Barry Seal had a trick, he used to own two of every plane he owned. This gave him plausible deniability.
Whenever someone would come forward a say they flew a mission on a particular date, Seal or his representatives would say how is that possible the plane was grounded at Mena at the time.
('Cover-up,' Iran-Contra Affair: Barbara Trent, Gary Meyer, and David Kaspar)