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tainted by the immunized testimony he gave to the Iran- for purposes other than stopping the flow of drugs. It masterful ability to see only what he wanted to see.5
Contra Committee. Independent prosecutor Lawrence has been used to conceal intelligence operations, to There are degrees of subtlety in photo opportunities.
M. Walsh could still ask North about his relationship conceal covert action and foreign policy failures, as a Some are flagrant public relations, as was the photo op
with Bush in all its aspects. The backsliding Congress front for counter-insurgency adventures in other staged on January 4, 1984, in the Florida Keys. Bush,
could not immunize testimony it was afraid to hear.3 countries and for bringing in cash for campaign then head of the vice-presidential Joint Florida Drug
On May 15, 1984, George Bush, then Vice expenses. Task Force Group, mugged for the cameras with his
President, visited Pakistan. He was the first high- Although the kindest explanation for Bush™s good buddy of 10 years, speedboat king Don Amow,
ranking U.S. official to come to Islamabad since 1977. passivity to the Afghan-rebel Pakistani drug connection builder of the cigarette boat, an ocean-going Ferrari that
Gen. Zia™s gratitude knew few bounds, and the Vice would be naivete, the President is not naive. He seems was the world™s fastest and sleekest powerboat.
President was treated as royalty. At a magnificent State Arnow had invented a 39-foot catamaran he called
able to put on an air of naivete like a protective vest,
banquet, Bush rose to acknowledge the applause of the when facing battering and embarrassing questions from Bush was anxious to test it on a
“Blue Thunder”.
Pakistani generals and praised the Zia government™s the press. simulated drug patrol for the media, racing along the
anti-narcotics efforts as a “personal” satisfaction to him, Bush also has unappreciated skills, much like a southeastern Florida coastline favored by drug
as America™s head mu-c. snake-oil salesman. When the President announced his smugglers. A White House photographer followed
War Against Drugs to the nation from the Oval Office
The general beamed in self-congratulation. Bush in a helicopter, in case the press missed a
When Bush left Pakistan three days later, he in 1990, he held up for the national television audience dramatic shot of Bush against the sea.
announced an extraordinary outpouring from the U.S. Afterwards, Bush told the press that Customs
a bag of crack cocaine he said had been purchased in
treasury: $3.2 billion in new U.S. military aid, and Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. should purchase boats like Blue Thunder: “Boats like
another $2 billion for the Pakistani Army providing the When the bust of the crack dealer turned out to be that would help in the drug war.”
arms pipeline to the CIA-supported Afghan rebels. Not surprisingly, Arnow™s company, U.S.A. Racing
a set-up and a phony, Bush momentarily lost his cool
At the time Bush praised Pakistan™s anti-drug Team, won the government contract in 1985 to
and testily asked inquiring reporters whose side they
stance, that nation was providing as much as 70 percent were on [sic]: the President, or some “drug guy”. manufacture pursuit boats for the Vice President™s drug-
of the high-grade heroin entering the world market. The nation™s many wars against drugs have been interdiction group. In 1986, Amow™s company was
Most of the dope came from an elite Pakistani military again awarded the contract to manufacture the pursuit
used to distract Americans from other realities of
craft of the War Against Drugs, despite the fact that the
unit that managed the truck convoys carrying the CIA™s politics. The fact that George Bush began his third
term in the War Against Drugs with a lie points up the
arms to Afghanistan, touted as the largest CIA “covert Blue Thunders were widely considered a joke in North
op” since the early days of the Vietnam War. Miami™s speedboat industry: They were always in the
consistency of his political lifestyle.4
The trucking company, owned by the Army, was shop with ailments and were incredibly slow next to the
The concept that the military can win a war on
the largest transportation business in Pakistan. The powerful models the drug traffickers used.
drugs is also a fantasy, although a useful one for the
trucks left for Afghanistan laden with arms and returned Amow was the odds-on favorite to get the contract
Pentagon. A Department of Defense report says that a
again for 1987, until a mob hit man killed him in his
laden with poppies. The fabulous profits were spread 24-hour surveillance of the Florida-to-California border
white Mercedes on North Miami™s “Thunderboat
throughout the military hierarchy. would require: a third of the Navy™s fleet, more radar
Pakistan™s role in transporting raw opium gum from Alley”, a dead-end street where the world™s most
planes than the United States has, deployment of as
Afghanistan and processing it in laboratories in many as 100 battalions, and cost a billion dollars a powerful speedboats are built.
Arnow sold his boats to the rich and powerful:
southwest Pakistan was well known in the European year-and that™s only the southern border of the nation.
intelligence community. It was also known to the DEA The militarizing of the war on drugs puts Bush Spain™s King Juan Carlos, King Hussein of Jordan,
and the CIA. The question is how could then-Vice Charles Keating of Lincoln Savings and Loan and
higher in the saddle of a white horse he has been riding
George Bush of Kennebunkport.
President Bush-a former CIA Director who, as head for almost 20 years-the many-splendored, elastic-in-
He also sold them to major mobsters and
of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System, purpose drug war. Bush has been involved in the war
was privy to world-wide narcotics intelligence-not on drugs through three administrations. His baptism international drug traffickers. Amow began by building
boats with disguised extra fuel tanks to carry cocaine,
know what was happening in Pakistan? was in 197 1 as a member of Richard Nixon™s now
Why would he be instrumental in rewarding such a and he accepted payment in bags of cash.
notorious Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics
A new investigative book, Blue Thunder, describes
dope-pushing regime with $5 billion in military aid? Control.
Was the Vice President naive, or did he know too much This select group included such grand old names as how Amow developed into an indentured servant of the
or was he just following orders? Once again, the “good mob, who did what he was told with noquestions asked,
John Mitchell and Egil Krogh, and out of it grew the
and became involved in Mafia drug-smuggling
lieutenant”? White House plumbers and the hydra-headed monster
How,tindeed, could the State Department, CIA and operations ranging from the Meyer Lansky organization
known as Watergate. The Committee was the
DEA look the other way on heroin profiteering by our to the Purple Gang of the Genovese crime family.
instrument whereby the CIA was brought into the war
Thomas Burdick and Charlene Mitchell, authors of
allies, when Bush™s drug czar, William Bennett, was on drugs; drug enforcement became a matter of
Blue Thunder, report that Arnow was so close to the
asking Americans to surrender some of their basic “national security” and national security a blanket
Purple Gang™s Frankie “Pizza-furter” Viserto that, in
constitutional rights, including the right not to be excuse for law-breaking.
unreasonably searched, in the name of the War Against 1981, he wrote a letter to the feds on Frankie™s behalf,
The Committee also blessed the crossover of many
Drugs? offering this “boating and fishing enthusiast”
CIA covert-action operatives into what became the
And what sort of answers could be given now that employment as a boat demonstrator, providing the
Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA, in turn,
“federales” would let him out of the penitentiary, where
the primary apology of the past-that Cold War served as a cover for illegal CIA domestic actions and
he was sentenced for heroin smuggling.
realities had to take precedence over drug war tactics- brought into government service the shadowy network
Amow™s association with the notorious Mafioso
was old business? of anti-Castro Cubans left over from the Bay of Pigs
drug smuggler and gunrunner began in the early ˜70%
The answers tell a lot about the hypocrisy of invasion-men primed for crime and violence.
American foreign policy, but divulge more about the about the same time he became friends with George
In Bush™s early days in the drug wars, the policy
President, the only figure in public life who has been in Bush. They were parallel but not intermingled
now operative in Peru, that anti-drug efforts are anti-
the drug wars of three administrations, beginning with leftist guerrilla efforts, was formulated. friendships.
Through the
DECEMBER 20, 1999 CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL Page 17

DeFeo Report, after one of its authors. It was a hot
“While Viserto was gaining control of the largest At the time, Noriega had been caught bribing
heroin-smuggling ring in the country, Bush was American GIs in Panama to provide him with item in Washington, because it detailed drug dealings
climbing the Washington political ladder. As Amow National Security Agency electronic-surveillance tapes by Panamanian officials, including the CIA™s man,
became more deeply enmeshed in Mafia-sponsored drug of Panamanian politicians. Noriega and an assassination plot against Noriega by
activities, he clinched a multi-million dollar government According to a recent book on Noriega, the DEAKIA cowboys.
contract. Ultimately, by awarding Amow the Blue general continued in his $lOO,OOO-a-year CIA Right-wing congressmen were anxious to lay
hands on the DeFeo Report as a vehicle to sabotage
Thunder contract, Bush allowed not one, but two, drug- arrangement. That figure rose to a reported $200,000
smuggling arms of the mob to penetrate the a year during the Reagan-Bush Administration. negotiations with the Panamanian government over
government™s anti-drug program,” the authors write. Governmental secrecy has been an over-abiding the Panama Canal. But they were stonewalled by
Bush and Arnow were such good friends that a few concern of Bush: “When I took over as DC1 Thomburgh, earning him Bush™s gratitude, despite
weeks before he was murdered in February 1987, (Director of Central Intelligence), there were daily their public spats.
The issue of Thomburgh withholding the Panama
Amow told his wife that if anything happened to him messages from CIA stations on my desk every
drug report from Congress came up during his 1988
and she had problems, she should call the Vice morning, reporting that we were losing valuable
confirmation hearings as Reagan™s “Mr. Clean”
President in Washington. Mrs. At-now took over the sources of information as a result of worldwide
Attorney General nominee to replace the muddied
company after her husband™s mob-style execution and publicity caused by leaks from irresponsible
Meese.
called Bush with a question: “Should she go to Panama investigators on Capitol Hill,” he wrote in his
Thomburgh, who had written a memorandum
to see Gen. Manuel Noriega about some Blue Thunder autobiography.
about keeping the DeFeo secrets from Congress,
boats the General had ordered?” Thornburgh, as Attorney General, has served
assured congressmen that he would give them the
“He told me that there were a lot of bad things Bush well in this regard. He put an effective
Justice Department report quickly. He never did.
going on with that guy and that I shouldn™t have national-security collar on the Independent Prosecutor
Last month, Thornburgh became the first
anything to do with him,” she said. Bush has insisted in the Iran-Contra investigation and blocked the
Attorney General to take a lie-detector test while in
that until the 1987 indictments of Noriega for drug criminal prosecution of Joseph Femandez, the former
office. Thomburgh took the test voluntarily, as part
smuggling, he thought the dictator was our loyal ally. CIA Station Chief in Costa Rica during Iran-Contra,
of an internal Justice Department investigation into
The question of how Bush, a former CIA Director by invoking a 1980 law that gives the Attorney
leaks to the media. He passed easily.
and general in the war on drugs, could be so close to General power to withhold classified information in
Obviously, anyone who has helped George Bush
a man with such major mob connections is as national-security trials. Independent Counsel
cover up drug-war secrets for so many years has little
confounding as how Bush was about the last person to Lawrence Walsh accused Thomburgh of creating
to fear from a polygraph.™
discover that Noriega was a drug trafficker. The “fictional secrets”.
answers lead to cynicism about the war on drugs.6 It was not always so with Thornburgh. In 1976,
FOOTNOTES:
˜*Some of the documents you sent to us are almost when Thomburgh headed the Criminal Division of the
illegible. From our review of Agency materials, we Justice Department under Ford and Bush was 1 Warren Hinckle, “CIA protects drug traffickers”, S.
know that good copies could have been provided. “- Director of the CIA, Thomburgh pushed Bush to F. Examiner, June 21, 1990
Richard Thornburgh™s testy note to George Bush™s release CIA records involving more than 100 CIA * Hinckle, “Bush oversaw FBI™s domestic spying”,
CIA, 1976 and DEA agents, for offenses ranging from padding S. F. Examiner, October 18, 1990
Attorney General Richard Thomburgh had cut a expense accounts to plotting assassinations. 3 Hinckle, “Secret links between Bush and North™,
deal. The federal government would front Panamanian When Bush took over the CIA in 1976 S.F. Examiner, July 26, 1990
narco-dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega™s multimillion- (reportedly he barely beat out then-Solicitor General 4 Hinckle, “Afghan drug traffic escapes Bush™s
dollar legal fees, in return for the jailed despot™s Robert H. Bork and Supreme Court Justice Byron notice”, S.F. Examiner, May 17, 1990
attorneys withdrawing subpoenas for Noriega™s CIA White), the Agency was on the ropes after the mid- 5 Hinckle, “Another Vietnam brewing in Peru?“, S.F.
payroll stubs. Examiner, May 24, 1990
™70s revelations of share-rental assassination plots
But Miami Federal District Court Judge William with the Mafia and illegal domestic spying on 6 Hinckle, “George Bush and the speedboat king”,
Hoeveler ruled that the Criminal Justice Act, that S. F. Examiner, December 13, 1990
“radlibs”.
permits the government to finance the defense of ™ Hincide, “Thornburgh joins drug-secrets game”,
Thomburgh led Justice™s prosecution of former
S.F. Examiner, May 30, 1990
indigent defendants, could not be stretched to CIA Director Helms for perjury before Congress in
convenience Noriega™s pricey $250 to $300˜an-hour the CIA-manipulated overthrow of the Allende
attorneys . Government in Chile. Thomburgh accused Bush of
The former Panamanian ruler is known to be filthy stalling and deleting documents he had requested.
rich, but the U.S. government has put liens on all of his (Bush was so cavalier as to write Helms and warn
known bank ,accounts. The arrangement presented to him, against Justice Department admonitions, of the
the court by Thomburgh™s Justice Department would CIA case forming against him.)
have had the taxpayers advance the cost of his defense When Bush™s stonewalling took the form of
for a promissory note, signed by the imprisoned sending illegible copies of documents to Justice, a
General. piqued Thomburgh asked the Ford White House to
Had the deal not been aborted, Thomburgh might order Bush to produce good copies.
have kept sealed the secret records of Noriega™s CIA Director Bush was most interested in killing
business relationship with U.S. intelligence since he a Justice Department report, also in Thomburgh™s
began to inform on Panamanian leftists in the jurisdiction, about serious wrongdoing in 1972-1975
Eisenhower Administration. by CIA agents operating in the Drug Enforcement
And Thomburghls boss, President Bush, would Agency. Bush™s political mentor, President Nixon,
have been revealed as one of the paymasters of the appointed hilm in 1971 to the White House Cabinet
narco-general. Committee on International Narcotics Control, which
about the War Against
When he headed the CIA in 1976, Bush so valued made Bush knowledgeable
Drugs, used as a cover for political warfare.
Noriega as an agency “asset” that he rebuffed attempts
to sever the dope-dealing militarist™s ties with the CIA. The controversial 1975 report was called the
Page 14 CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL DECEMBER 27, 1999




The Immaculate Deception
draw attention away from a far darker scandal in which
Bush was deeply involved.
When CIA Director Bush met Don Gregg in 1976,
using third-party “cutouts” to fund unpopular causes


TheBushCrime
FamilvExvosed
behind Congress™s back was the rage in Langley,
Virginia. A year before, during the twilight of the
Vietnam. War, both Israel and Saudi Arabia had been
encouraged to provide secret handouts to Saigon to offset
U.S. aid cutbacks. Not long after Bush settled into his

ChapterSeveh - CIA job, two of his deputies proposed that the CIA look
to private companies to front and implement sensitive
operations.
By Russell S. Bowen As a sometime CIA liaison to Congress, Bush knew
how crippling oversight by Congress could be. The
then-National Security Adviser, Don Gregg, as answer to that, apparently, was increased deniability of
CHAPTER 7
ringmaster, and Felix Rodriguez as a principal field the sort these cutout operations allowed.
“OUT OF THE LOOP” operative. He even implicated himself, saying that as a During Reagan™s first year-and-a-half in office,
contract pilot he had flown drugs to the United States as cutouts and indirect funding became operational staples
“National Security has become a synonym for part of the increasingly corrupt U.S.-Israeli supply at Casey™s newly “revitalized” CIA, and basic tools in its
coverup. Reagan didn™t know, Bush denied, Casey shuttle. burgeoning secret war against the Sandinista government
died, Poindexter lied, Ollie was tried and Noriega fried, Some sources told Snepp and King that Brenneke in Nicaragua.
all while patriots-fur-profit made millions from the was an Israeli-intelligence plant trying to discredit former In July 1982, Gregg, then an intelligence specialist
Iran-Contra, Punamu and Gulf War. It™s time to stop Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and other Laborites on the National Security Council, drew up a “finding”,
the “Bushlip!“- James “Bo” Gritz, war hero, author, in Tel Aviv, who had embroiled Israel in the Iran-Contra to be signed by the President, designed to give legality
and presidential candidate scandal. When ABC™s World News Tonight broadcast to such deep-cover operations.
“...the United States Government is inherently and three circumspect accounts of his allegations in spring His draft, though later overlooked by Iran-Contra
operationally incapable of developing and successf%lly 1988, the White House savaged his credibility, tagging investigators, reads in retrospect like a blueprint for
carrying out clandestine operations, primarily because him falsely as an indicted co-conspirator in a New York everything that would finally define Reagan™s “secret
they run at total opposites to our basic way of life.- gun-running case. war”: “funding, arms supply and some training” by
L. Fletcher Prouty in The Secret Team: The CIA and A year later, after Bush™s election, the Justice “third-country nationals”, combined with supplementary
Its AZZies in Control of the United States and the Department brought perjury charges against Brenneke, aid from “selected Latin American and European
World alleging that he lied about his affiliation .with the CIA governments, organizations and individuals”.
Hours after being sentenced to two years™ probation (he™d said he had one) and an early episode in the Iran- The “finding” was never adopted; nobody wanted to
for perjury in the Iran-Contra scandal on January 24, Contra affair. By the time he was finally cleared of all add to the lengthening paper trail. But, soon afterward,
1990, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Secord said charges last May, his reputation had been so sullied by two of Gregg™s old Vietnam colleagues, Rudy Enders
that a “cowardly” former President Reagan “has been mudslinging that neither the press nor Congress could be and Felix Rodriguez, rallied him behind an impressive
hiding out” to avoid accounting for his participation. persuaded to re-examine what he had sajd. Killing the substitute.
Secord, the middleman, did not receive jail time or messenger had been raised to a fine art.™ Both Enders and Rodriguez had met Gregg in
a fine for lying to congressional investigators about The real significance of Brenneke™s case is how it ties Vietnam in the early 1970s and had worked with him in
buying former White House aide Oliver L. North a in Bush. During the 1989 trial of Oliver North, the developing a highly effective helicopter-assault strategy
$13,800 home-security system. government released a 42-page condensation of classified for jungle warfare. Rodriguez was already renowned for
Secord told a news conference that he believed documents that thrust Bush to the very center of Contragate. tracking down and killing Che Guevara in 1967, and
Reagan “was well aware” of the “general outlines” of the _
˜i, More recently, two Washington-based organizations, Enders studied at Gregg™s elbow to become one of the
covert operation involving secret arms sales to Iran and the National Security Archive and Public Citizen, have CIA™s top paramilitary specialists.
used the Freedom of Information Act to pry loose
clandestine assistance to Nicaraguan rebels. In 1981, he and Rodriguez, who had retired from the
He claimed that Reagan “should have stood up and previously suppressed portions of North™s diaries that Agency several years earlier, traveled to Central America
taken the heat right at .the time the disclosures started damage what™s left of Bush™s deniability. to combat leftist insurgents more effectively. The
.
coming out” more than four years ago. Secord claimed To appreciate these revelations and Bush™s cover-up blueprint they drew up, dubbed “Pink Team Plan”,
that the plan was a presidential directive, regardless of you have to recall what he and his former aides have said borrowed heavily from the assault strategy they had
how much™Reagan knew about its specifics. about their role in Contragate. Don Gregg, who once conceived in Vietnam but with one critical difference.
“The diversion was a small portion of a large, headed the Vice President™s National Security Staff, Whereas CIA contract pilots had flowg the prescribed
difficult, dangerous covert operation on which Reagan declared flatly: “We never discussed the Contras. We counterinsurgent missions there, this time Cuban exiles
was briefed regularly,” he said. He added that two had no responsibility for it [the Contra War]. We had did the dirty work, under the ostensible sponsorship of
former National Security Advisers, John M. Poindexter no expertise in it.” Bush insisted that he knew nothing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
and Robert C. McFarlane, and the late CIA Director, of the “privatized” supply initiative until it became front- In March 1983, Gregg, now elevated to the Vice
page news in late 1986, after the congressional ban on
William J. Casey, all had assured him Reagan was kept President™s National Security Adviser, forwarded the
informed of the operation. Contra aid had eased. Pink Team Plan to his colleague Robert McFarlane, who
Richard Brenneke, a self-professed contract Given the new historical record, it™s now clear that sent it to his boss, the President™s NSC Chief, William
operative for the CIA, recounted to reporters Frank we were Bush-whacked: The “privatized” aid network Clark. “This is representative of the kinds of things we
Snepp (himself a former CIA agent), Jonathan King, and Bush allegedly knew nothing about never really existed can do with Israel, if we work quietly behind the scenes,”
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that from anyway. What™s more, Brenneke has been proven right McFarlane wrote in a covering note that escaped notice

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