Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presidency w

Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 7:26 pm

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER 15: TRIP ON THE DARK SIDE

It was Friday evening, December 13, 1985, just 11 shopping days until Christmas. Barry Seal couldn't know he had little more than two months left to live and his telephone voice was filled with excitement.

"Glad I caught you, Santa Claus! It's time for the trip to my brother's place. I've checked winds aloft and they're predicted to be one-niner-zero degrees at thirteen thousand five hundred feet. We should plan on leaving from my place day after tomorrow at 1400 hours. You may want to bring a RON (remain over night) kit and remember, there's no phone at his place. You'll want to remind Janis, so she's not trying to contact you there."

"Sounds good to me. Will I need a hunting license (a coded reference to a passport requirement) where we're going?" Terry asked.

"Yeah, but I'll take care of that. This trip's on me, and my brother is really anxious to meet you. I'll call my brother and tell him we're coming. Adios Papa Bravo," Seal ended, as usual, with a chuckle.

This cryptic conversation set in place a pre-planned sequence of events that Seal and Terry had devised at SOBs, a week earlier. All Terry had to do was remove "one's" from each of the coded elements of the message. Ever since the FBI/McAfee event that had led to Aki Sawahata's problems, Barry didn't trust Terry's home phone. Seal and Terry felt that McAfee was mentally disturbed and he had probably listed Terry as being a "known associate" of Sawahata. Therefore, they had worked up a way to relay coded flight plan instructions for their secret trip to Panama.

As Seal spoke, Terry jotted down some specially coded details on a telephone note pad:

190 degrees-1 = 90 degrees
13,500 feet-1 = 3,500 feet
1,400 hours-1 = 0400 hours
day after tomorrow = tomorrow.

To decode Seal's information, Terry merely had to remove" 1" from each item. This meant Terry was supposed to be waiting to intercept Seal's plane on the 090-degree radial of the Monticello, Arkansas VOR (navigation fix) at 3,500 feet at 4 AM the following day.

"His brother" was Seal's reference to a CIA handler who was setting up the meeting in Panama. His reference to a RON kit was his way of advising Reed they might be gone more than one day. The lack of a telephone at his brother's place meant for Janis to understand there would be no way for Terry to be contacted by phone while he was out of the country. "Papa Bravo" was to be decoded as P.B., or simply a cryptic way of "calling the play" -- or piggy-backing. Terry would have to tell Janis he wouldn't be at the dinner table for a few days, something routine for a spook's wife.

Seal's voice had exuded excitement and Terry was sharing the feeling. Ever since his return from Mexico four months earlier, Terry had been "consulting" for the Agency and developing an in-depth business plan that would utilize a machine-tool proprietary as a cover for a weapons transshipment operation in Mexico. Operation "Centaur Rose" in Arkansas had proved to be a successful prototype of what the Agency wanted to develop and expand upon, either in Mexico or some other "offshore" location.

The CIA had decided that operating outside United States borders would reduce the nuisance factor that had come into play in Arkansas, where "snoopin' and meddlin'" by the local law enforcement groups had resulted, as in Mena, in too many prying eyes. This problem had been compounded by a major turf war which had developed between federal agents who held diametrically opposing views of who Barry Seal really was.

Perhaps in hindsight, the "drug cover" given the operation had not been an excellent idea. In theory, it was to have been a way to allow the FBI to be the "controlling" investigative body, giving the appearance of leading an investigation against the operation. This was to provide federal security, thereby keeping state and local law enforcement out.

With this carefully orchestrated disinformation program, if an outsider later read the FBI's case files on Mena, they would appear to be the result of a criminal investigation. But, in reality, the FBI had been using its vast resources for containment and cover-up; the equivalent of a shadow shadowing a black operation. *

But the Agency-selected counter-intelligence F.B.I. agents assigned to Jade Bridge and Centaur Rose had lost control, and it had become literally, a law enforcement feeding frenzy. This had forced the Agency to assert its control with the Justice Department, as well, to prevent arrests and prosecutions.

Believing Mena to be a major drug-smuggling mecca because of Seal's cover as a trafficker, a state police investigator would later testify that stake out operations at the Mena airport by a joint task force included even agents from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Nothing had been accomplished, because they did not realize that the CIA used Seal as a diversion to distract them from what was really happening at Nella, just under their noses 12 miles away.
And, by the time the stakeout even began, the training operations at Nella had already been shut down and some of those involved at Nella were being groomed for bigger and better opportunities in Mexico.

* * *

Mexico had been "numero uno" on the agenda at the meeting at SOBs as Terry and Seal renewed their friendship after several months of not seeing each other.

Seal, like Terry, had been very busy with other things. Terry wasn't aware of the fact that Seal actually had been put into the federal witness protection program and had become the government's chief witness in a series of high profile drug trials reaching from Las Vegas to Miami. He had proved to be one of the best undercover agents the government had ever developed and was an extremely effective witness.

His testimony helped convict Norman Saunders, the Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands, whom Seal had ensnared on tape while giving Saunders a $20,000 bribe to protect drug trafficking in his tiny island nation. During this time, Seal had been kept under wraps in Miami, and sometimes in an underground one-room cell for his own protection. This was the ultimate hell for a man who hated confinement of any kind.


Terry did not know any of this when he met with Seal that December night in 1985 in Little Rock, but it was clear from the onset of the meeting that Seal was anxious for a change of scene.

"Goddam! You must have hit a nerve with that business plan of yours," Seal had proclaimed. "You've really got these people's attention, which ain't easy to do. I think if we handle this right, this is something we could work on together -- and out of this fuckin' country! I don't know about you, but I'm gettin' real fuckin' tired of the U.S."

It was apparent from Seal's comments that he had been in touch with the people at SAT or someone reading Terry's confidential reports.

"So you've been in touch with Johnson?" Terry asked. "I was afraid my reports were going into some black hole in outer space. I've been getting no feedback and was beginning to wonder if they were interested at all."

"This is way beyond the interest phase. Not only do they wannna pursue this ASAP, but their plans down there could make 'Bridge' and 'Rose' and Mena appear as small as the tits on a Vietnamese hooker."

Seal was still chuckling as he began to sketch out an operation on his napkin that would possibly be located in the center of Mexico. The map was familiar. It looked just like a diagram Terry had sent to Johnson.

"That looks just like the routing diagram I sent to Johnson. Where arms could come in from all over the world, 'cool off' and be transshipped back out of Mexico."

"Well, if that's the case, I guess John Cathey and my handler are takin' credit for your work product. 'Cause this is what they're interested in. And what interests me is they're gonna need somebody ta move all this shit. So, Captain Reed, let's just retire to Mexico and live the life of fuckin' Riley down there. You can teach me Spanish and I'll teach you how to fly a 130. Deal?" He paused and gulped down a soda, then continued. "Let's start right now. How do you say 'I want a blow job' in Spanish, anyway?"

Terry picked on Seal's mention of a "handler" other than Cathey, and was glad to hear Cathey was looking at his reports. "Who's this other guy you are referring to?" Terry asked.

"He's my main man out of the country -- Leroy. He's tryin' to set up a meetin' between you, me and this Gomez character you met in Vera Cruz," Seal answered. "Can you get away for a meetin' to discuss all this, face-to-face, if I can get it set up? They're wantin' ta act on this real fast. And you and I need to take advantage of that. And this time, you're through workin' for peanuts. I'll do all the talkin' when it comes ta money. Fuckin' GS weenies! This is really gonna cost Uncle Sam, an' this time you'll probably get your jet."

It all sounded good. Finally, Terry thought, it was payoff time.
The hours sweating in the cockpit with the students at Nella were behind him. He had begun to feel at last that he'd made the right decision passing up Bill Cooper's offer to move to El Salvador and join the Enterprise there as a flight instructor.

The door to the good ole boy club, he felt, was finally opening. Apparently, he had been doing things right. Maybe the life of a foreign asset, something he had always coveted since Asia, was now attainable.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to outlining the needed codes for a piggy-back operation. In addition to the normal piggy-back procedures, which were to be conducted in matching 400-series Cessna aircraft, Seal said that, after the aerial "swap," the two men would rendezvous at Love Field in Dallas, where Seal would have his Lear serviced and ready to go. The Lear, he said, would be used for the balance of the trip south. It was clear Seal was seriously concerned about security, which puzzled Terry.

"If we're going to have a meeting with the Agency, why all the added security of a piggy-back?" he asked. "Who are we trying to avoid?"

"The other fuckin' Feds," Seal snarled.

* * *

At precisely 0400 hours, Terry was holding in the standard right-hand race track holding pattern on the 090-degree radial of the Monticello VOR looking for the green and red navigation lights of Seal's Cessna which should be approaching from the west at 3,500 feet. He was monitoring Memphis Center frequency on his No. 1 radio, waiting to hear Seal's voice report to Air Traffic Control as planned. His No. 2 radio was set to their secret, or discreet frequency of 122.97. That would be used for private air-to-air communication between the two Cessnas throughout the piggy-back maneuver. ATC on the ground would be unaware the two men would be communicating air-to-air or plane-to-plane.

Aircraft radios are normally wired in such a way that the pilot can only listen to one radio at a time in order to avoid confusion. But Seal's planes were custom-wired with avionics packages courtesy of Ultra-Sonics, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, and Homer (Red) Hall, Seal's avionics expert, thus allowing both radios to be monitored simultaneously.

At 0402 hours, Terry heard Seal's voice transmitting on the normal ATC Center frequency.

"Memphis Center, this is twin-Cessna November six-niner-eight-eight-niner, level at three thousand five hundred trackin' inbound on the two-six-five degree radial of the Monticello VOR showin' twenty DME, squawkin' twelve hundred."

Seal's position report to the center included a precise location in mileage from the ground navigation fix, which was the 20 DME to which Seal had referred. The 1200 code was a frequency set into Seal's transponder indicating the aircraft was on a visual flight plan. Aircraft on a visual flight plan need not communicate with the center. But Seal had established radio contact for identification purposes and to create a record of entering and leaving the center's airspace. What the center would not be aware of was that while Seal's plane was under their control, another plane would take its place. The plane initially "handled" by the center would depart undetected and the rendezvousing aircraft, or Terry's, would proceed on Seals' original flight plan. One plane takes another's place, but no one other than the two pilots is the wiser.

"Roger, twin Cessna eight-eight-niner. What can I do for you?" the ground controller responded.

"Center, how do you read my transponder?"

"I am painting you eighteen DME from the fix, ground speed one-four-zero knots, squawking one-two-zero-zero, level three thousand five hundred feet. What else can I do for you twin-Cessna eight-eight-niner?"

"Oh, nuthin'. It's just that my transponder light appears to be intermittent, and I was wonderin' if y'all were paintin' me OK."

The light Seal referred to was an indicator on his transponder that lights up each time the center bounces a radar beam off of the airplane. This is referred to as having your transponder "interrogated." There was nothing wrong with Seal's transponder, he was simply establishing radio contact with the center in order to establish a record of his arrival and departure from their "window" of controlled air space.

"Everything looks fine here, sir. But, would you like a transponder check?" ATC replied.

"Yeah, that'd be great."

"Roger, twin Cessna eight-eight-niner, squawk ident."

At which point, Seal pushed the ident button on his transponder causing his radar blip to "blossom" or enlarge on the controller's radar scope. This enabled the controller to distinguish it from other aircraft on his screen.

At the same time, Seal also switched his transponder from the altitude reporting mode, mode C as it is called. ATC would no longer be able to determine the plane's altitude.

Terry, of course, had been silently monitoring this radio transmission between Seal and ATC and had used Seal's position reporting to locate the approaching aircraft visually from its navigation lights. Terry's plane had no lights on and was at minimum terrain clearance altitude below the surveillance envelope of the center's radar. The center was totally unaware of Terry's presence.

He had been maneuvering his plane to intercept Seal's flight path. This had been accomplished easily because Seal ran his engines at 55 per cent of their maximum power and Terry had used this time to assure himself visually that Seal had not been followed. If this had been the case, he would have alerted Seal on their discreet frequency and the mission would have been aborted.

"I'm below you and almost in position, your tail is clear. Stand by for a hack," Terry told Seal on the discreet frequency while Barry was faking the test of his transponder.

"Twin Cessna eight-eight-niner this is center. Sir, your ident looks fine, but I've now lost your Mode C. It does appear you have an intermittent problem of some sort," ATC said.

"Roger, center. I'm dual transponder equipped and when I get time in a minute, I'll switch over ta the other one and we'll see what she does."

"Roger, twin Cessna, whenever you're ready."

By disabling his plane's altitude reporting capability, Seal's transponder now no longer would tell ATC his true altitude. This would be important because Terry's plane soon would make an abrupt climb to Seal's altitude and once directly behind him, Seal would turn his transponder completely off and dive his plane for the deck. His electronically enhanced radar blip would completely disappear from the scope.

At precisely the same moment, Terry would switch on his transponder and squawk an ident mode. Terry's large radar return that would suddenly appear on Center's screen would mask any secondary return generated from Seal's plane during his diving maneuver away from Terry.

Terry was now in place below and behind Seal and gaining air speed as the distance between the two planes decreased.

"Thirty seconds to hack," Terry said to Seal. Then, "twenty." Then "ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hack."

Seal had now synchronized his clock with Terry's, and knew that he now had exactly one minute until Terry's plane would be in position directly behind him and slightly below. Without causing a mid-air collision, it would be Terry's job in this dangerous maneuver to get his airplane close enough to Seal's in order "to count the rivets" as Seal had taught him. It required the same flight precision demanded of the aerial stunt teams and each pilot was entrusting his life to the other.

It would be up to Seal then to execute a right-wing over, or half of a split-S course reversal maneuver taught to fighter pilots to dive in on unsuspecting targets below. This would separate the two aircraft as quickly as possible.

Seal and Terry's eyes were both locked on their cockpit clocks as the second hands approached 12. At ten seconds til, Terry began the count down, "ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, execute." At precisely that second, Terry switched on his transponder, which had been off, pushed the ident button and turned on his Mode C, or altitude reporting capability.

Seal switched his transponder completely off and at the same time abruptly turned his plane beyond 90 degrees of bank angle and dove for the surface in the reverse direction.

If all had gone well the controller on the ground would never see more than one radar blip. For all he knew, he had only assisted one airplane with a transponder problem.

"Twin Cessna eight-eight-niner, this is Center. I'm painting you now at ten miles east of the fix, tracking outbound on the zero-niner-zero degree radial squawking ident and your mode C is now operational, showing you at three thousand five hundred feet. It appears that this transponder is a good one."

Seal, not Terry, now replied to ATC so that the controller hears the same voice.

"Roger center, thanks for the assistance. I'll be seein' ya."

"Good day, sir and have a nice flight."

The switch had been flawless.

Seal continued to fly at low altitude to Dallas Love Field below radar detection. There he landed and waited for Terry as they had earlier agreed. Terry continued flying on to Seal's original VFR flight-planned destination, Greenville, Mississippi airport, pretending to be Seal.

Once on the ground and sure that no one was following him or, even more important, that no one was waiting for him, Terry flew back to Little Rock and landed at Adams Field. It had already been a long morning and the sun was just beginning to rise as Terry boarded a Southwest Airlines flight at 6 AM for Dallas' Love Field. There, he took the shuttle bus to the general aviation side of the field and rendezvoused with Barry.

Their plan was to be in the air at 0800 hours in Seal's Lear jet N 13SN heading south.

All went flawlessly, and, as Terry's bus pulled into the general aviation parking lot on the north side of Love Field, he could see Barry overseeing the refueling of the Lear. The twin Cessna he had flown in to Love was tied down on the transit parking ramp. Terry hoped all this hocus-pocus of the piggy-back flight had been worth it. He knew Seal was security conscious, but it was still amazing the lengths he would go to ensure there was no tail. It was 7:30 AM.

"Your left engine on the Cessna is losing some oil," Terry said as they boarded the Lear and buckled in. "You better get it checked out when we get back."

"How do ya know?"

"Because it deposited residue on my windshield when I was tucked in behind you."

"Jeeesus Christ! You must have been awful close to me."

"Hey, you're the one who said get close enough to count the rivets. There's exactly 26 holding on your tail hook," Terry laughed.

The Lear's engines spooled and it started its take off roll at exactly 0800 hours as planned. As the airspeed rose to 125 knots indicated, Terry rotated the aircraft as Seal in the right seat called out "V-l, check, cross-check, positive rate, gear up, turn and burn."

Terry banked the plane to the south as Seal briefed him on their planned 400-mile trip to Brownsville, Texas, where they would take on fuel and file a phony flight plan to Campeche, Mexico, a city on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Seal told him they would file all the flight plans in Emile Camp's name and in his honor, since Barry had Emile's pilot's license and voter registration card from Slidell, Louisiana.

"Here's your huntin' license. You file the flight plan in Emile's name once we get to Brownsville, and then we'll cancel once we're in the air over Mexico." "Oh, we're not goin' to Campeche?"

"No. We'll be flyin' direct to Ilopango (in El Salvador) for fuel and then on to Howard Air Force Base in Panama." Terry was excited.

Terry knew that Mexican Customs would not be a problem. Jets entering Mexican airspace do not have to clear at the port of entry, which in this case would have been Matamoros. Had they been flying a propeller-driven plane, they would not have been able to penetrate Mexican airspace as they crossed the Rio Grande coming out of Brownsville and "just keep on truckin '" as Seal had said. Flying jets certainly had its advantages. Terry knew they would not need Emile's identification unless an emergency forced them to land in Mexico since there would be no identification inspection by the Mexican Federales prior to leaving the U.S. He could tell Seal was an expert at exploiting the world of regulations and had done this many times before. He wondered if there was a loop hole in the rules Barry wasn't aware of?

"Keep this thing below eighteen thousand and we won't even file this leg," Seal said as they departed Dallas airspace.

All clever choices, Terry thought. By staying below 18,000 feet there would be no legal requirement to file a flight plan to Brownsville. The only punishment for not climbing to a higher altitude would be that the Lear's model CJ610-2 GE engines would suck fuel like crazy at this lower altitude.

"Don't worry about the fuel burn," Seal said. "This trip is on Uncle Sam."

After the brief hour trip to Brownsville, Terry (now Emile Camp) went inside the general aviation terminal to check weather and file their phony flight plan to Campeche. He felt a little uneasy using a dead man's pilot's license number. But, as Seal had joked earlier, "Emile won't mind. Where he's flying they don't need licenses."

After filing the plan, Terry joined Seal on the ramp where he was chewing out the "line boy" for not topping off the tanks completely.

"Son, the next time someone tells ya ta fill his fuckin' airplane ... I suggest ya do just that ...all the way ta the fuckin' top. Know what I mean? A friend of mine ran outa gas and died. A pilot can't burn air for fuel. So get your ass ova' here and top this baby off. I bet she'll hold another five gallons per side. And don't forget the Prist this time." Prist is a fuel additive used to prevent the growth of algae in fuel tanks when flying in humid and tropical climates.

Terry had grown to respect Seal's demand for perfection when it came to the world of aviation. He, too, knew that a pilot couldn't assume anything had been done properly when it came to servicing an airplane.

"Aviation is very unforgiving," he could hear his instructor-examiner John P. Brown saying from his training days at Mizzou Aviation in Joplin. And to prove it, on a wall behind Brown's desk was a picture of an old plane impaled upon and still stuck in the only tree that was visible for as far as the eye could see. A monument to what can happen anytime a pilot drops his guard ...for any reason.

"Most aviation accidents can be prevented while still on the ground," he could hear the looming, somber, and often intimidating Brown still saying. Terry admired Seal for living by this rule, even after all the flying experience he had amassed. He may be a "calculated risk taker", but he certainly knew how to "reduce" the risks.

The white Lear was airborne and heading south at 10 AM with "Emile Camp" at the controls and Barry Seal on the radio. Once on their flight plan, and in Mexican airspace, at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, Seal went to the rear of the aircraft, grabbed two pilot map cases and dragged them to the front. These were the same type of cases Terry had seen earlier in Seal's Aero Commander that blew the engine in Texarkana. Inside were custom aluminum boxes containing sophisticated electronics, some of which Terry recognized.

"GNS-500s. Damn, those things used to cost a half-million apiece and you've got two?"

"Nuthin' but the best when you're workin' for Uncle." Seal quipped. "And these ain't your normal 500's. They're modified ta do "special" things. With these babies, we cannot only pinpoint our position via satellite within about 10 meters, we can find the window to the Bermuda Triangle. That takes accuracy, son."

GNS-500s are navigational radios that continuously read the aircraft's position in latitude and longitude via digital readouts. This, coupled with their capability of storing and processing complex flight plans and denoting wind speeds at various altitudes, and determining ground tracks would give the jet the ability to fly without making contact with ground controllers.
Earlier in his aviation training, Terry had attended an advanced navigation class in St. Louis, which taught the operation of this system, but he never thought he would see two of them worth more than $1 million in the same portable box. This was the same type of sophisticated navigation system aboard the Korean 747 airliner, Flight 007, shot down by a Soviet MIG in September, 1983. That aircraft had only one GPS (Global Positioning System). Seal had two to guarantee pinpoint navigation accuracy.

Under the control panel on the co-pilot's side, Red Hall had installed a secret power buss that Seal accessed with a jumper cable to power the GNS- 500s. With another jack, Seal connected the antennas, hidden within the fuselage of the plane, to the radios in the box making everything operational.

Terry sat in awe as he watched while Seal remove a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and punched in the coordinates of the entire flight plan.

"OK, I'll just hook up the ground and satellite communications equipment in this other box and it'll be time for us to 'disappear,''' Seal chuckled.

As he opened the second box, Terry saw an array of electronics and radios with ultra-high radio frequency ranges totally foreign to him. On a sticker in the middle of the control panel was a service note, saying: "Direct all service inquiries to Summit Aviation, Middletown, Delaware."

Once power was supplied to these radios, Seal pulled a microphone from the box, smiled at Terry and said: "Now you're gonna know what it's like to fly into the Bermuda Triangle and just fuckin' disappear."

What Seal was preparing to do was to "blind" a Department of Defense satellite designed as a sentry to give advance warning of incoming hostile weapons systems. This would provide a window through which the Lear could fly through undetected. At the same time, Seal said, secret military surveillance tracking stations manned by U.S. Army intelligence personnel would emit large bursts of energy to jam the U.S. and Mexican ATC radar.

Terry felt he was seeing the results of all the Star War countermeasures technology. This, he now realized, was how Seal's Operation Jade Bridge aircraft, codenamed Dodger, had been able to enter and leave the United States without being detected. If there had ever been a doubt in Terry's mind about who Seal was, and how high he was connected, it had been put to rest forever. Seal got his flight plan authorizations not from someone on the ground, like most pilots, but from satellites out in space.


"You get ready to switch transponders to standby. I'll call our guys in Cuba on a secure frequency," Seal said to Terry.

"Sea Spray, this is Lear one-three Sierra November, thirty seconds from the window. How do you read?"

"Loud and clear, Lear," came the voice from the ground. "We've been expecting you. We're showing you being handled by Mexico City Center squawking zero-seven-four-two, level flight level three-five-zero (35,000)."

"That's a Roger. Give me a hack for the trip on the darkside. We're ready to go."

"Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hack."

Seal had zeroed the LED clock on the dashboard of the Lear and pressed the 'ON' button as the controller called "Hack."

He turned to Terry, "When that clock reads 30, switch both transponders to standby, hit the speed brakes and let's dive this bitch to the deck. Use your emergency decompression check list."

Seal immediately went to Mexico City Center frequency, "Mexico City, this is Lear one-three Sierra November requesting hand-off to Campeche approach." The Mexican ATC authorized Seal to leave his frequency and go to Campeche's, thus terminating Mexico City's service.

Thirty seconds later the ground controller announced "your portal time is sixteen forty-five zulu. You're black." Terry saw that the transponder "interrogation" light was no longer working. As the Lear buffeted with its speed brakes extended and its altimeter indicating 20,000 feet per minute descent, Seal got on the radio to Campeche approach and said: "Campeche approach, we are Lear one-three Sierra November, cancel our flight plan to your destination. We are goin' somewhere else."

At this point, they no longer existed as Lear 13SN heading for Campeche from Brownsville. Now, they were self-navigating under no one's ground control. They would now swing out of Mexican and Cuban airspace by circumventing the Yucatan Peninsula and establish a course of 230 degrees to Ilopango, El Salvador.

Terry leveled the plane out at 10,000 feet and started reviewing the approach charts to Ilopongo, now about 600 miles away. The fuel burn at low altitude was horrible, but Seal didn't care as he had factored in the tail wind component supplied him by the GNS-500s.

Now they were flying "on the darkside" mused Terry and asked Seal about the term. It had a science fiction connotation.

"Yeah, some spook technocrat stole it from 'Close Encounters,'" Seal said referring to the movie. "It was originally conceived as a way to hide the whereabouts and destination of Top Secret military flights, including Air Force One. But once they got it perfected, the Agency saw it had lots of uses." Seal went on to say it was rumored in the spook world that this technique of literally falling off the edge of the earth was used not only by the Agency as a way of hiding agents who became too hot, but by unscrupulous people who paid for such disappearance. Perhaps this was part of the Bermuda Triangle myth, Terry thought.

Seal began connecting and activating portable low-frequency receivers called ADFs (automatic direction finders). These were needed to receive signals from low-frequency transmitters common throughout Central and South America. If these devices had been permanently installed in the plane, the Federal Aviation Administration would have flagged this aircraft as one that operated in that area and would have brought unnecessary outside scrutiny.

At 1300 hours, they landed at Ilopongo and took on fuel from the Salvadoran Air Force, whose armed guards surrounded the aircraft. Cold Cokes and flight lunches were brought out for the two men. No one signed for the fuel and no money was exchanged.

There was no flight plan in -- or out. They were handled by ATC as a "special flight." Terry realized that what he had suspected was true: the CIA owned El Salvador just as they had owned Laos.

As the plane taxied out for takeoff, Seal instructed Terry to stop the Lear in the pre-takeoff runup area. He had a little "cosmetic work" to perform before the leaving. Once stopped, Seal got out and removed a Mylar masks bearing the plane's tail-number. Once removed, a hidden number of N83JA was exposed. Upon reentering the cockpit, Seal chuckled, "One last little detail taken care of. The world now figures that the Bermuda Triangle swallowed up 13SN."

Once again airborne, they were headed for their real destination, Panama.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 7:27 pm

Part 2 of 2

During the flight, Seal lectured Terry on how to "handle the handlers," something he had promised Terry back in Arkansas.

"Now keep in mind, you got somethin' these fuckers really want. It's your reputation and experience in the machine-tool industry. And that's what you have for sale. They want ta build a front nobody will be looking at and you've got the creds ta do that. So don't sell yourself short and don't talk money on this trip. View this as an operational discussion only and don't let Leroy pin ya down on anythin'. That'll all come later. Don't forget, he's a fuckin' bean-counter just like all the rest of the GS weenies. Sometimes he acts like it's his money and not Uncle Sam's. I'll take care of the money discussions later."

"So what do you want out of this, Barry?"

"I wanna a new life. They're gonna need major air transportation capability for this program. I always wanted ta own Air America, maybe this is my chance ta do somethin' like that."

Once on the ground at Howard Air Force Base in Panama, a dark blue Chevy pickup truck bearing a large yellow and black "follow me" sign escorted them to a parking area on the east side of the field.

Leroy was waiting for them inside the terminal, wearing his Panama shirt, sunglasses and bearing that thin, drawn look of someone whose liquid intake far outmeasures solid nutrition.

"You guys are on time," Leroy said with a relaxed, wrinkled grin. "I love punctuality. The meeting's been moved to Chagres. A couple of the people that are attending don't want to be seen here. I've got us a Cessna parked outside and a pilot that'll fly us over there. It's only 30 miles away."

He pointed out the door to a Cessna 172 bearing North American registration. Terry calculated the number and combined weight of the prospective passengers and pointed out that this would require two trips, at least. Leroy obviously hadn't thought about this.

"Can you fly this little thing?" Leroy said to Seal. "If you can, I'll get rid of the pilot. I'll just pay him to sit here till we get back."

"Well, if I can't, Terry can. We just flew a fuckin' Lear jet. Leroy, I keep tellin' ya, they all fly alike just like all women fuck alike when ya get right down to it. They just all come in different sizes."

Seal flew the overweight 172 to a small, 2,700-foot dirt strip on the banks of the Panama Canal. It was a former U.S. Armed Forces Aeroclub with shelter hangers and a couple of wooden out-buildings. From the building where the meeting was to take place, you could watch the ships on the canal pass by.
The three men walked inside. Max Gomez was impatiently waiting. He immediately pulled Leroy and Seal off to a corner, out of Terry's hearing.

After a short, private discussion, Seal walked away from the other two, returned to Terry and said, "This is a pretty sensitive area we need ta talk about. There's another person present outside who represents another government who may wanna get involved in this operation. This other person would like ta sit in on this meeting, but not be identified for security reasons. You got any problem with that?"

"What's his role?" Terry asked, feeling a little leery.

"He just wants ta leave this meetin' fully informed and then file a report with his boss. He wants ta be sure he hears everythin' straight from the horse's mouth. I got no problem with that if you don't."

Terry shrugged and said, "Sure, we flew too far to fuck up the meeting now. I guess I can't be trusted, yet, with this guy's identity, huh?"

Seal nodded. "Spook shit, ya know ... let them play their fuckin' games."

Gomez returned from outside with a man who sat down at one end of the table. Terry had never seen the man before. He was built like Terry, about five feet, 11 inches tall, clean cut and had the aura of a businessman, possibly an attorney. He had the lean, muscular build that gave him the appearance of a distance runner.

Terry was struck by one aspect of his appearance. The man's eyes seemed too far apart, giving his face a somewhat peculiar look. It later became apparent to Terry that the man probably had a glass or fake eye.

Reed was given no information about this man, not even a name. He would not be formally introduced until months later, and would then be told his name was "Pat Weber". This, however, was a code name, and his true identity remained a mystery for much longer. He would become a key and mysterious player in this black game further down the murky road.

Leroy was the first to speak. "Mr. Reed -- Terry, if I may -- sorry about the security precautions taken to not divulge the identity of our guest. But I'll show you my identification to allay your suspicions."

The CIA credentials laid open on the table were like the ones Terry had seen before in Oklahoma City when he first met John Cathey -- "the Eagle, the photo and the whole nine yards." The name on the I.D. was Leroy Tracta and he said he had been Mr. Seal's Agency contact for quite some time.

Terry was relieved that someone had a name and government credentials to legitimize this whole clandestine operation.

It was getting close to evening and Terry felt it was time to get things moving. He had been up since 2 AM, and he was tired. He sat down at the long table with Seal to his left. Tracta was directly across from him. Gomez was across from Seal and "Weber," with a yellow legal pad, taking notes, sat at the far end at Terry's left.

Gomez produced a file from his briefcase, which contained copies of Terry's business plan and correspondence with Robert Johnson of Southern Air Transport in Miami.

"Mr. Reed, it appears you've been very busy since our meeting in Vera Cruz," Gomez said. "Mr. Johnson is extremely impressed with the progress of your feasibility study. It is time to get beyond feasibility and into the reality of developing this front company. That is why we have requested this meeting, and I want to thank you and Mr. Seal for coming on such short notice. We felt it best to arrange for a face-to-face meeting and have Mr. Tracta interrogate ... ask you ... detailed questions. And he wanted to meet you in person."

Tracta, nodding toward the man with the glass eye, told Terry to view the unidentified man as a possible "foreign investor" in the operation. Tracta was sure that the "investor" would have questions of his own for the purpose of filing a report with his "people."

"An area of special interest in your plan is the concept of multi-national ownership for the machinery company," Tracta said. "Could you start out by recapping your entire concept for the sake of our visitor, and please give special emphasis to the foreign ownership portion of your plan."

Tracta handed Seal, Terry and the unidentified stranger a copy of Terry's plan. Terry noticed that his work product was now laden with "Top Secret" stamps. He knew from his military intelligence days that it probably wouldn't be declassified until 30 years later ... if then. The document on top of the pile of papers was a diagram of Mexico that Terry and Seal had discussed at SOBs the week before. This was the key to the plan. (See end of chapter 14.)

The map showed import routes from Asia, the United States and Europe entering either directly into Mexico or from third countries, all converging in Mexico City. From there, export lines to other Latin American nations trading with Mexico were indicated. Camouflaged within this trading plan was the ability to store and trans-ship "large, heavy, crated items" to secret destinations. Right now the interest was Nicaragua, but, in the future, who knew?

Terry then explained his plan in detail, including the results of his exploratory work that led to the now-classified written findings in everyone's hands. Addressing Tracta's request, he detailed the interest he had developed between Hungarian, German and Japanese firms that were expressing interest in joint ownership of a foreign machine tool venture in Mexico.

Now, he felt, was a good time to bring up a sensitive issue. "I suppose I need to address this question to Mr. Gomez," Terry said. "Has the Agency considered having partners involved in this who are fully aware of the business of the Company? The reason I ask is that my Hungarian friend, George Fenue, is very curious about our ability to control the tariffs. I think he suspicions who my silent partners are. My imagination runs wild at the thought of international investors who are actually into the loop on the weapons procurement side of the equation."

"Is this, in fact, the case?" Gomez asked with great excitement. "Do you sense a degree of willingness from your communist friends to get totally in bed with us? I mean to really spread their legs?"

"Yes. I've known this guy for several years now. And my sixth sense tells me he wants to get involved. And not only that, I don't believe he'll be able to sell his parent company on the idea of a joint venture unless there's something really attractive in this for them."

"Good. I will go take care of this. This is my specialty. It's important for them to see there's someone behind you. You make the introduction for me and I will go see this KGB guy. It will be fun." Gomez had a broad grin on his face. He had better alert Fenue, Terry thought.

He interpreted Gomez's enthusiasm as a "Yes" answer to his question about inviting the Hungarians into the venture. So much for the complexities of geopolitics. After recapping his written reports, Terry outlined his areas of concern about implementing the plan and focused on areas beyond his control such as Mexican licensing requirements and possibly even favorable consideration, or worse yet, legislation that might be required for 100 per cent foreign ownership of the venture.

As the conversation unfolded, it became quickly apparent that the stranger was not there just to take notes. In fact, he assumed the role of Devil's advocate and began posing detailed questions about obstacles he felt had to be overcome to make the plan totally successful. It was clear that he was, by nature, very calculating and conservative. From his questioning, Reed wondered if his "clients" were as tough as he. He became a foil for Gomez who took the typical Latin view that everything was "no problema."

Terry stressed that one major factor in favor of such a venture was that the project was something the Mexican government desperately needed. Mexico's President, Miguel de la Madrid, was publicly embracing the need for foreign technology that would allow Mexico to develop a stronger export market. To do so, the Mexicans would need modern factories utilizing state-of-the-art machine tools.

"Mexican machine tool industry is at this moment an oxymoron," Terry said.

"What's that mean?" Gomez wanted to know.

It was apparent the stranger was now embarrassed for Gomez.

"He means this is something that is non-existent in Mexico," the stranger replied. "And, from what I've heard, this is the major attraction of Mr. Reed's plan. When I file my report, I'm going to emphasize this point as well as to expand upon the joint venture concept."

By his comments it seemed the stranger was favorably impressed with what he was hearing. Terry was beginning to feel this meeting was actually a very expensive job interview.

Seal said very little until Terry pointed out the poor quality of Mexican roads made air transportation vital because of the fragile nature of the electronics associated with computer-controlled machine tools. Terry stressed that large air-cargo shipments coming in from all over the world to fill machine tool orders would disguise the arms dealing, reduce the risk of discovery and virtually eliminate scrutiny. It would be a perfect front.

It was Seal's turn to speak. "With all this air cargo activity, we're gonna need a very specialized carrier that can operate freely worldwide, move sensitive cargo and, most of all, keep its mouth shut. I propose the formation of a small, elite air cargo operation based outa Mexico that would be like a scaled-down version of SAT (Southern Air Transport). I can put all that together for ya and, considering the black ops capabilities in place from Sea Spray*, we'll be able to move undetected throughout this region. The U.S. Army's anti-detection capabilities in the corridors around Panama and the Bahamas are excellently suited for this style of operation."

Tracta had a simple question: "What's this gonna cost me, Barry? With you, that's a question I'm always afraid to ask." He laughed.

Seal answered with a question. "Leroy, haven't ya always got your money's worth from me? I'm a professional, and you know it, and professionals cost money. I've instructed Terry to discuss no money figures today. He's sorta new at this. You come to me later after Terry and I have had a chance ta put a sharp pencil to it and then we'll discuss money."

"Oh shit! Just what I need," Tracta joked. Are you training him how to handle me, too, as you're always boasting?"

Even the newcomer was laughing now.

"How do ya know I said that? Ya got my phones bugged again, Leroy?"

When the laughter died down, Terry had a question. "I'm confused. What is the reporting procedure. I'm from the military and I can't work without a chain of command. With my Agency contact in Arkansas now gone, and with Barry out of the loop there, I feel isolated. Can anyone define this for me?"

Gomez had the answer. "Right now, this is Mr. Cathey's project. View him as the big boss. Mr. Bob Johnson in Miami is like a one-man legal oversight committee. You need to be filing all of your reports with him as this progresses. I will be operations manager for this project ... if it's a go."

The three-hour meeting ended with everyone upbeat. Gomez and Tracta both said they would file a joint report to Cathey, who would make the final decision. It appeared all systems were go, only the money had to be worked out. It was still not clear to Terry what the unidentified man's role was. It was obvious he had been cleared for everything, but it was a mystery who, or what, he truly represented. All Terry knew for sure was that he had a glass eye, an accent he could not quite place, and he left with a copy of the business plan, which had by now been stamped "Top Secret."

By now it was dark outside and approaching 8 PM. Terry had not slept for more than 18 stressful hours and the day had been anything but routine. Seal, Tracta and Terry got into the Cessna and flew back to Howard where they spent the night at the bachelor officer's quarters.

Despite his exhaustion, Terry couldn't sleep. This had been one hell of a day. He noticed the light from Seal's room coming in from under the door. He walked across the hall and knocked on the door. Seal was lying on his bed just staring at the idle ceiling fan.

"Barry, tell me about this Gomez guy. Back in the states, you said he was a loose cannon and we had to play ball with him. From what I can see now, he's going to be the guy in charge down here. I can't figure out if he's driven by ideals or greed. Does that bother you?"

Seal seemed pensive and in the mood for a philosophical discussion. "Terry, as a young man I had ideals similar ta yours. I was put into play early on with a group of guys wantin' to liberate their country just as your 'freedom fighters' want ta liberate theirs. Anyone whose ideals drive them has ta be a little bit crazy. Gomez falls in that category. My Agency service has pivoted around a group of ragtag Cubans and now, Panamanians. They just come with this business. They're always on the ragged edge between right and wrong and sometimes they'll pull you in there with them. You just gotta keep your own head screwed on straight and remember why you got involved. Don't make their war your war or you can get into real trouble. But all I can tell ya from an Agency point of view, they're the only game in town, at least on this side of the world. If you wanna play this game, you gotta associate with guys like Gomez. They've turned fightin' commies into their own selfish full time profession. You don't know what really motivates them, greed or ideals or hatred. But, I agree with you, fuckin' communism is a threat. I may be a wild-ass free enterpriser, but I'm also a patriot."

The following morning after a hearty GI breakfast of SOS (shit on a shingle) at the officer's mess, Terry was still trying to absorb all this. For him, it was still new, this sneaking off to a foreign country to hold intelligence briefings. It made him think of Thailand, watching the GIs walking around the Howard Air Base, seemingly barely able to tolerate their surroundings during the Christmas season, gawking back at him and Seal. It reminded him of how envious he had been in Asia while he watched the civilian spooks come and go as they pleased while he toiled in the strict, disciplined environment of the military. That's just how he must have looked to the spooks who operated in Thailand. Now it was his turn to be the envy of the underpaid grunts.

At the base operations building, Terry had to oversee the Lear's refueling while Seal and Tracta indicated the need for another private meeting. As the two walked away, Terry could hear Seal say, "Well, I'm sorry Leroy, if they feel like I'm blackmailin' 'em. But this is business and I just gotta do what I gotta do ..."

At 10 AM, after saying goodbye to Tracta, the two prepared to depart. Terry felt that he would be home for dinner with any luck. He was wondering what new excitement might be awaiting him on the trip back.

It didn't take long for him to find out. As soon as the two were airborne, Seal laid it on him. He was full of pent-up emotion and startled his flying companion as they exited Howard airspace.

Seal began yelling at the top of his voice, something totally out of character for him. Terry had never seen him this euphoric.

"YEE-HAWWWWWW," he screamed. "I'm gonna fuckin' make it. We're gonna do this, Terry. We've got these assholes eatin' outa our hands. YEEHAWWWWWWWWW. Give me the fuckin' airplane."

He grabbed the control yoke and executed a series of aileron rolls. Terry had never been sick in an airplane, but he was sure he was about to lose his SOS.

"OK, enough of that shit," Seal said after seeming to tire of the aerobatic antics. "You got the airplane, I'll hook up the radios."

Terry sat silently at the controls, trying to figure out what was driving Seal. As Barry emerged from under the electrical panel, after making the radio connections, he abruptly began pounding with his right hand on the dash of the Lear until Terry thought the avionics in the control panel would be dislodged.

"There ain't nuthin' in this world more powerful than good ol' fuckin' blackmail, Terry. And don't let anybody ever tell ya different. Jeeeeesus Christ, I got some good shit on some big people."

"Will you let me in on your party? Calm down, Barry! Tell me what's goin' on. "


"Terry, what's most important right now is for ya ta play ball with these guys and get your ass down to Mexico ASAP. You impressed the shit out of Leroy ... Robert Johnson, too. I won't be able ta come ta Mexico right now, I've got a little matter ta take care of. But ya get on down there and get in a position to receive me, and I'll be joining ya soon. Goddam, this'll be great. Won't it be fun workin' together and spendin' all their fuckin' money?"

"What this blackmail, you're talking about?"

"Ever hear the old expression, it's not what ya know, it's who ya know? Well, whoever said that just hadn't caught the Vice President's kids in the dope business, 'cause I can tell ya for sure what ya know can definitely be more important than who you know."

"You gotta calm down and tell me what you're talking about, if you want me to know. What's this about the Vice President's kids and dope."

"I don't wannna tell ya too much, 'cause truthfully ya don't have a need to know. But Terry I been workin' with several federal agencies for the past couple of years as ya probably suspicioned. In the course of that business, a person can't help but run across some real sensitive information. It seems some major players in the Medellin Cartel, whom I personally know, ran across some knowledge that's very valuable to both the Republicans and the Democratic Party. Real national security stuff. It seems some of George Bush's kids just can't say no ta drugs, ha ha ha ha ...Well, ya can imagine how valuable information like that would be, can't ya? That could get ya out of almost any kind of jam." Seal paused for a moment then asked, "Ya ever play Monopoly? The information I got is so good it's just like a get-out-of-jail-free card ... ha,ha,ha,ha YEEHAWWWWW..."

"Barry, are you telling me George Bush's kids are in the drug business?"

"Yup, that's what I'm tellin' ya. A guy in Florida who flipped for the DEA has got the goods on the Bush boys. Now I heard this earlier from a reliable source in Colombia, but I just sat on it then, waitin' to use it as a trump card, if I ever needed it. Well, I need ta use it now. I got names, dates, places ....even got some tape recordins'. Fuck, I even got surveillance videos catchin' the Bush boys red-handed. I consider this stuff my insurance policy. It makes me and my mole on the inside that's feedin' the stuff to me invincible. Now this is real sensitive shit inside of U.S. Customs and DEA and those guys are pretty much under control. It's damage control as usual. But where it gets real interestin' is what the Republicans will do ta the Democrats in order ta dirty up the people who might use this information against Bush."

"So you've got direct knowledge of the Republicans trying to neutralize some Democrats before they can nuke Bush with this?"

"Hell yeah. I've been part of it. Remember that meetin' we had at SOBs when I told ya ya should play ball with these guys and get your butt down ta Mexico and be prepared to receive me? ... Remember in that meetin' I told ya I had a plan to blow the lid off the whole damn Mena deal and shut it down due to adverse publicity? Well, what I didn't tell ya was that project was already in effect, and the Republicans were already trying to neutralize some important people in Arkansas ...namely the Clinton family."

Seal took a break to communicate with ground control. When he turned back to Terry, he continued, "Yeah, that day ya explained to me the connection between the Ward family, the Rose Law Firm and the governor's mansion, well ....I about shit! Ya see what ya didn't know was I was on a secret mission by none other than the Agency ta sort of.. ..uh, dirty up some people real close to the governor. Now I had been workin' on this through Dan Lasater. Now Dan's a good ol' boy and all that, but he's gotta drug problem, and he's got the balls to be stealin' from the Agency, too. From what I hear, Dan's been doin' a lot of questionable out-a-state investin'. In fact, he's stashin' a lot of cash in a resort in New Mexico. *

"I was told ta exploit that, which I was workin' on. But you come along with this new connection. And when ya told me that Finis Shell nut was the guy at the ranch (where the 'green flights' dropped their money in Arkansas) ... dollar signs started dancin' in my head. I saw an immediate way to get some white stuff up some noses around Bill Clinton real fast. Now don't get mad, but that duffel bag I had ya take over to Skeeter Ward wasn't really money."

"I'm afraid to ask what it was," Terry said as he focused on the "little airplane" displayed on the Lear's flight director.

"Let's don't call it cocaine. Let's just call it neutralizin' powder. Least that's the way the Bush family saw it. This is just one family warrin' against another. Just like the Mob."

"Goddam, Barry, this is heavy shit! Are you saying you were the source of the cocaine ending up around a lot of important people in Arkansas. Like the ones I've been reading about in the paper. There's a major scandal brewing there ..."

Terry sat silently and continued to think. Seal gazed out the window and said nothing.

Already predicting the answer by Seal's silence, Terry asked, Did you have anything to do with Roger (Clinton) and some of those guys in Lasater's firm getting investigated?

"Terry, I told ya when I met ya, I'm in transportation and I transport what the government wants transported. In this case, the Republicans ... the Bush family ... wanted some stuff transported through Mena and into Arkansas that would end up in the noses of some very prominent Democrats. And yes, I must 'fess up, I've had a hand in that. YEEE-HAWWWWWW! It's not who ya know it's what ya know."


Terry found all this disquieting. Seal had never discussed drugs with him before, and if Barry was telling the truth, he had unknowingly delivered some to Skeeter Ward. Seal was telling him that he had a hand in the major political storm that was brewing in Arkansas. Terry had not bargained for this sort of involvement.

Roger Clinton, the governor's brother, had already been arrested and had pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. He was now serving time at a federal prison/drug rehab center in Texas. Rumors abounded that Roger was helping the Feds implicate major figures in the Arkansas financial community for cocaine related crimes. Not only was a federal grand jury investigation getting underway, but panic was already permeating the Arkansas bond business with fears that investor confidence would be shaken if the Feds proved that the bond industry was laundering drug money and its corporate leaders were actually trafficking in drugs.

The Feds were targeting Dan Lasater and people in his firm, most of them friends of Governor Clinton. But George Bush's real target, from what Seal was saying, was Bill Clinton and Seal was the instrument that Republicans were using under the guise of the CIA.

Tommy Teagle, an ex-convict interviewed by Burdick, said he feared that George Bush would have him killed because information in his possession would implicate Jeb Bush in cocaine smuggling. Teagle's story was that Aronow and Jeb Bush had been partners in cocaine trafficking and were $2.5 million in debt to their Columbian suppliers. Dr. Robert Magoon, a friend of Aronow, is quoted in the same location as having heard a similar report. But Teagle rapidly changed his story. [fn 3] Ultimately, an imprisoned convict was indicted for the murder of Aronow.

But the circumstances of the murder remain highly suspect. Starting in 1985, and with special intensity during 1987-88, more than two dozen persons involved in various aspects of the Iran-contra gun-running and drug-running operation met their deaths. At the same time, other persons knowledgeable about Iran-contra, but one or more steps removed from eyewitness knowledge of these operations, have been subjected to campaigns of discrediting and slander, often associated with indictments on a variety of charges, charges which often stemmed from the Iran-contra operations themselves. Above and beyond the details of each particular case, the overall pattern of these deaths strongly suggests that they are coherent with a damage control operation by the networks involved, a damage control operation that has concentrated on liquidating those individuals whose testimony might prove to be most damning to the leading personalities of these networks. The death of Don Aronow occurred within the time frame of this general process of amputation and cauterization of the Iran-contra and related networks. Many aspects of Aronow's life suggest that his assassination may have been a product of the same "damage control" logic.

-- George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin


But Terry was thoroughly confused as this began to sink in. Why would the Agency want the bond business investigated since it was the source of the black ops money being "washed" there? He began to wonder how much of this was the Agency's plan and how much was just Seal's personal plan? Seal seemed to be enjoying all this too much. Maybe this was Barry's way of extricating himself out of some unforeseen mess and into Mexico. Terry was beginning to wonder why Seal would be needed in Mexico, since the Agency already had easy access to Southern Air Transport. SAT definitely was in the transportation business in a big way. Remembering Skeeter Ward's statement about Seal "playin'" with everyone further troubled Terry.

It was beginning to sound like Barry was the instigator rather than the tool in this "political sting. " Maybe Barry had started out working for the Republicans, but now it appeared he was blackmailing everyone with what he knew. This scared Terry. Where was the Barry Seal he knew and respected? Where was the man who was going to teach him how to "handle the handlers?" If this is what he had meant by "handling the handlers, " Terry realized this was a career he wanted no part of. As the two friends sat there in silence, streaking along in the Lear above a layer of clouds, Terry's mood turned to anger.

"Barry, I gotta tell you, I'm sitting here pretty pissed off. This whole thing about putting cocaine up people's noses is not what I'm about. We got thrust together by a guy named John Cathey and, up until today, I thought he had made a great decision in putting the two of us together. But I gotta tell you, I'm having second thoughts about a lot of this. If we continue as friends, you've got to promise me two things. I know the first one goes against the intelligence grain, but you've got to start telling me everything so I can make my own decisions. We're treading into some dangerous territory, it sounds like to me. Ours is getting way beyond a need to know relationship. Second, don't ever put cocaine near me again. If that's what you have to do for the Agency, then you go do it and I don't want to know about it."

"Terry, you're my friend and believe me I need friends right now. I'm sorry if I upset you or if I compromised your values. It's hard to run across a person with values these days. They're scarce."

The conversation was interrupted by a radio transmission. "Lear one-three-Sierra November, this is Sea Spray. We're painting you direct to Ilopongo, squawking four-six-three-three, level flight level three-four-zero. I assumed you'll be using corridor Whisky Echo, sir, then direct New Orleans after you refuel. Give me your ETD (expected time of departure) out of Ilopongo, and we'll have the window activated for you."

"Roger Sea Spray, this is Lear one-three Sierra November. We've got horrible headwinds at this flight level, and they don't get any better any lower. We'll wanna stay high 'til we get to the ADIZ (a coastal defense alert area), then we'll drop down and pretend we're fling-wing traffic 'til we get inland. Can you arrange all that?"

"Roger, one-three Sierra November, we'll provide the cover out of El Salvador. Just squawk zero-seven-seven-two for identification when you're off Ilopongo and we'll receive you."

The two left Ilopongo at noon after a guarded military refueling, just like on the way down. Then the Mylar masks were reinstalled over the plane's N-number, restoring the Lear's tail number to the one it bore when it left the states. Once airborne and back at altitude, Seal established radio contact with the Army Sea Spray ground controllers who gave him a time hack for reentry into U.S. airspace. This would occur about 200 miles out over the Gulf of Mexico. The Lear then would have to be barely off the water, squawking 1200 and at a speed slow enough that American ATC would not be able to differentiate it from helicopter traffic servicing offshore oil rigs. The Sea Spray service effectively masks the Lear's flight from El Salvador all the way to the ADIZ.

Once safely within American-controlled air space the plane landed at New Orleans for a legitimate fuel stop and then on up to Little Rock where Seal dropped Terry off.

As they sat in the Lear at Little Rock Seal made a vow. "I'm sorry about the deal with Skeeter. I promise I'll never do it again. Captain, you and I have lotsa good times ahead of us. I've taught ya all I can teach ya'. It's time for you to 'solo'."

"When will I see you next?" Terry asked, sensing Seal was cryptically establishing some sort of finality to their relationship. What was all this talk about soloing, he wondered. He didn't feel ready to cut the cord. He felt he still needed Seal's instruction on handling the handlers.

Without being specific, Seal answered, "I don't know for sure. I've got to attend a legal orgy in Baton Rouge .... a private matter. * Be careful with these guys and I'll see ya' soon down south."

Seal gave Terry a thumbs up, and smiled out of the cockpit window as he started the jet engines of the Lear. It was Terry's last trip on the dark side with Seal, and it was to be his last conversation with him.

Seal taxied out, probably still laughing, not knowing his life on earth could now be measured in weeks.

_______________

Notes:

* This became evident from an FBI Teletype provided to Terry Reed through federal court discovery in 1993. The three-page report dated August 18, 1987 and marked "Secret in its entirety," proves the FBI was alerting the CIA and DEA that the residue of the Mena operation was in jeopardy of being exposed by the media. This document identifies Barry Seal as a "CIA operative.'"

* Sea Spray is an operational code name for a joint CIA-Army program to mask covert flights entering and leaving the American airspace. [2]

* Lasater was a major investor in a ski resort called "Angel Fire" near Taos, New Mexico, where Gov. Bill Clinton vacationed at Lasater's expense. Lasater later sold the resort to a savings and loan that eventually failed and was taken over by the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC).

* The legal orgy Seal had referred to was a deposition he was scheduled to give on Friday, December 27, 1985, in Baton Rouge. In the presence of his attorney, Louis Unglesby, he was grilled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley C. Meyers, IRS Special Agents William C. Duncan and Jerry Bize, and Arkansas State Police Investigator Russell Welch, from 1:18 PM to 3:30 PM. The purpose of the questioning was centered primarily around the cash that was turning up in Arkansas' banks around Mena as a result of Seal having paid for work done to DEA and other federally owned aircraft. This reckless questioning of Seal, under oath, administered by the IRS, clearly showed the difficulty the Agency was experiencing in controlling the security for operations "Jade Bridge" and "Centaur Rose". With the operations either shut down, or by this time moved, what the IRS perceived as a money-laundering of proceeds from narcotics trafficking was still bringing unwanted scrutiny. By reading the transcript of the proceedings, one can clearly see Seal handled himself extremely well that day in keeping the Agency's dirty secrets.

1. FBI Teletype provided in litigation, LRC-91-414. Date/time group F 182227Z August 87, from FM Chicago to Director Priorty, ATTN: Drug Section. CID. and 01-1, Section, INTD, Little Rock Priority.

2. CIA Base, a computer data base on the CIA, compiled by former intelligence officer Ralph McGehee, Herndon, Virginia, 1992.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 7:28 pm

CHAPTER 16: A DATE WITH DEATH

What a long day it had been. The exhausting trip from Panama had answered a lot of questions, and yet created a lot more. Terry stood by the terminal at The Little Rock Air Center and watched Seal taxi out for takeoff.

When the white Lear jet's strobe light became only a distant twinkle moving southeast, he paused to think about the man who had become his personal instructor in dealing with this dark and Byzantine world.

He had seen a transformation in Seal over the course of the past two years. He had gone from a confident businessman, seemingly well-established in Baton Rouge, to a man unsure of his future. Terry wasn't sure his friend could any longer control the forces with which he was dealing.

Though still cocky, and often arrogant, Seal was beginning to react rather than act, and seemed to be holding something back. And, indeed, he was. Seal had not told Terry everything on their long trip back from Panama.

Terry didn't know about the previous five months of Seal's life. Seal had become the most important informant in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration and had tied the Sandinista government together with the Medellin Cartel. As a result of leaks from Oliver North and the White House, the Cartel had put a $500,000 price on Seal's head. In addition, Seal had handed the DEA three of the best drug cases it had ever had, testifying as the government's chief witness. The DEA was winning plaudits from the White House over the Sandinista "sting", but Seal had been left twisting in the wind. While he was undeniably a major asset for the DEA, he was now a major liability for the CIA and George Bush because of the knowledge he had confided to Terry about Bush's sons.

Now Seal just wanted to escape and start life over somewhere else. But that was not going to happen.

Terry wanted to escape, too. Even though he felt there was a genuine opportunity for him in the Arkansas business community, he had made a near-deathbed vow to make his life count for something beyond making a good living. And most of all he, like Seal, had become addicted to adrenalin.

The black ops world, he believed, had built a foundation for him in Arkansas and he could use it to go in several directions. One would be to remain where he was and build up the network of important people with which he had been dealing. He was orbiting in both high social and political circles. Terry also had accumulated a lot of inside knowledge about the secret CIA-state connection and who the hidden players were, which could be of immense value in the future.

Terry was being drawn toward Mexico, but, if he did go he would be turning his back on unknown business opportunities in Arkansas. From his initial sponsorship into the power structure of Little Rock, he felt, he was beginning to stand alone as an individual and a respected businessman. Janis felt that they were finally putting down roots.

There was vacillation, fed by a nagging feeling of uncertainty, but he kept it to himself. After returning home from his flight with Seal, he spoke positively about the trip. He and Janis sat up late that night and reconstructed what had occurred in Panama. This excited her. Mexico was now beginning to looking like a reality.

As Terry immersed himself in his workaday world, he continued to put the Mexican plan in place. He was now dealing exclusively with a man whom he had yet to meet, but who was a major decision-maker in the new operations, Robert Johnson. Johnson sounded friendly, articulate, and knowledgeable on the phone, a man accustomed to plowing his way through bureaucratic red tape.

By mid-January, 1986, the foreign ownership element of the plan was coming into focus. After lengthy discussions with Johnson and the potential investors, an equation of ownership had been established. Rodriguez had in fact visited George Fenue, Terry's "commie friend" in Mexico City.

Terry believed he was discovering what he had long suspected, that enemies can become friends when there's a mutual benefit. It was the old "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" story
, he surmised, only he couldn't figure out who was the common enemy of both the CIA and KGB. It must be the American Congress, he and John Cathey speculated, in reflecting on their ongoing hatred of that body. Not only had the KGB seen the capitalistic opportunities hidden within the joint venture, but so had "the Harbor Bombers," who Terry endearingly called the Japanese. Johnson's research had uncovered that Gomiya, the Japanese company targeted by Terry as an investor, had strong trading ties with communist China. The CIA knew about these ties, but Gomiya's American management didn't.

Johnson informed Terry that Gomiya was actually exporting restricted computer technology to China. They were doing this by selling computer-controlled lathes built by Dianichi of Japan through Gomiya's communist trading partner. Just like Toshiba, Terry thought. Was this another shining example of Japanese honor, he wondered?

A sensitive morsel of information revealed by Johnson was that Frank Fujikawa, the Japanese "HMFIC" for Gomiya U.S.A., had helped set up the illegal trading link. Armed with this intelligence, Terry approached Fujikawa privately in Dallas about a "hypothetical" situation. What could be done, he asked, if the new joint venture company in Mexico had a need to establish a secret trading tie with Peking?

He confirmed once again that the bottom line for these corporation's morality was the bottom line. By dangling the clout of the CIA's backing of the new company, the potential investors now had to be fended off. It was, Terry discovered, like trying to hand-feed a cheeseburger to a lion.

Fujikawa was on board, with a passion.

By January 21st, 1985, Terry put all of this into writing so that everyone understood the arrangement. (At about this same time, Oliver North was putting into play other key people such as retired Air Force General Richard Secord as part of the "Enterprise.")

Reed's project was now going beyond talk and into legalities, which was Johnson's speciality. Terry recapped the proposed stock ownership for the new company, which would be incorporated in America as a holding company and called Machinery International, Inc. Its only holding would be a Mexican company called Maquinaria Intemacional, S.A.

Stock, to be sold only in the name of Machinery International, would be issued as follows: SAT: 55 per cent; Reed: 25 per cent; the Hungarians: 10 per cent; and the Japanese: 10 percent. Johnson had devised a plan to further insulate the company's true ownership. All potential investors were instructed to form new corporations to hold the stock of Machinery International, Inc. That way, if anyone was able to penetrate its corporate veil it would find only that its owners were other corporations.

Terry learned that's the type of business charade the CIA used. Like a cat, the Agency was covering its own dirt so it could not be easily tracked.
And Fujikawa saw another advantage of doing business with the Agency. With a big toothy grin, he added, "It's nice to be in joint venture with people who can eliminate competition." Based upon Terry's prior knowledge of Fujikawa's freewheeling business ethics, he probably actually hoped to have the Agency kill selected competition.

Fujikawa had received a private visit from Gomez, whose job was to scout and do a "final interview" with all the potential investors. During their meeting, Max brought up the capitalization requirements for the new off-shore venture. Gomez, in a prior discussion with Terry, had pointed out that there would be a financial price to pay for what he called the "privilege" of working with the Agency. Johnson had moderated Gomez's language to more business-like terms of "placing value on the stock." At the Fujikawa-Gomez meeting, the Gomiya executive was informed that 10 percent of the company would cost $250,000. Johnson told Fujikawa to view this as "good faith" money from the Japanese side. The Hungarians, after all, were capitalizing their stock with their already operational facilities in Mexico along with their business licenses. As January came to a close, Terry and Johnson were ecstatic about how quickly the venture was coming together.

There was one unexpected development, however, one that would eventually cause Terry legal grief. Fujikawa, like many Japanese managers, was simply a company man, a "salary man" as they call it in Japan. He saw this "new venture" as a golden opportunity to go into business for himself, something very few Japanese even dare to think about. He informed Terry of his plans to "fruck company big time" and secretly "collateralize" his new company, "Okami, LTD" with Gomiya's corporate funds. From this plan, he said, he would eventually end up owning Okami himself.

When Terry pressed him for the details of the scheme he responded, "do not want to discuss on phone. We can talk on trip to Japan."

This was reflected in Terry's letter to Johnson on January, 21st, when one paragraph of it read: "A new twist to the program, though, is that Mr. Fujikawa of Gomiya has indicated he may like to use Gomiya's name initially but eventually do the Japanese procurement side on his own. I informed him of the necessity of forming a new corporation if that's the case and also of his being able to "carry his own weight" in the new company. Anyway, I'm going to Japan next month with him and he and I will discuss it in great detail, especially the need to have access to the Chinese market."

Fujikawa later privately told Terry that he had a plan to "temporarily divert" the needed $250,000 from Gomiya's receivables in the U.S. division, and then cover the short fall through a "bad debt write-off procedure" with the parent company out of Japan. If all went as planned, he said, he would be tricking the "fat" part of Gomiya's international trading company to cover his "skinny" venture with the Agency.

He closed the conversation by saying, "It is time I start acting like you 'gaijins', and take care of Frank first. I work for company many, many years and they do not appreciate my effort and sacrifice."

Terry was beginning to feel there might be some hope for America after all, and eventually the Japanese onslaught into our market place might be stemmed. It sounded like American capitalistic selfishness was starting to undermine and corrupt the Japanese value system. If Fujikawa was typical of Japanese managers after extended tours of duty in the U.S., eventually the Japanese firms would have the same problems as American ones, namely constant management turn-over. Little did Terry realize that Fujikawa was only hedging his bet with his crafty and complex plan, and that eventually Terry's firm, Applied Technologies, Inc. would pay a heavy price for his Japanese colleague's capitalistic endeavors.

But capitalistic endeavors of his own were on Terry's mind on February 19th, and it was an upbeat day at Applied Technologies. New machine-tool business was pouring in and Terry was preparing for a quick trip to Japan to close a large sale to a firm in Texas. He would be traveling with Gomiya management and visiting Gomiya's headquarters in Osaka. This would solidify his relationship with his potential new partner, since Fujikawa was going along. During twenty-four hours in a jumbo jet, a lot of CIA business could be discussed.

Wednesday, February 19th, 1986, may have been a red letter day for Terry, but it turned out to be the last day of Barry Seal's life. His blood, along with pieces of flesh and bone, were splattered all over the interior of his car. For some unknown reason, Seal had tried to contact Terry by phone at his home in Maumelle shortly before his death. This still haunts him. Perhaps Seal was reaching out for help only hours before his "termination."

The Baton Rouge police report, in cold official language, described what happened to him that day:

"Autopsy determined the cause of Seal's death to be multiple gunshot wounds fired by an automatic weapon," the crime report said. "Three rounds entered Seal's upper torso and four entered the left head. Some 15 rounds were recovered at the murder scene. One round traveled from inside the car through the roof. A portable (metal) sign approximately 120 feet away was hit by three projectiles, two of which exited the rear of the sign."

Seal's two assassins had ambushed him outside a Salvation Army Halfway House to which Seal had been committed by U.S. District Court Judge Frank Palozola, who had sentenced Seal December 20, 1985, shortly after returning from Panama with Terry. This nighttime confinement, ordered by Palozola, had been viewed by Seal as a double cross by the government. By now, the Internal Revenue Service had slapped Seal with an incredible $29 million jeopardy tax assessment, and stripped him of most of his property, including his airplanes. This assessment was based on his voluntary testimony to The Presidential Commission on Organized Crime, a year before his death, about profits he said he made moving drugs for the Cartel while working undercover for the U.S. Government. He testified as an expert witness to demonstrate how deeply he had penetrated the Cartel, and on the level of sophistication of the modern-day drug trafficker which included the use of Defense Department navigation and communication equipment designed for use in nuclear war. [1]

His attorneys had worked out a plea agreement. The government guaranteed Seal that he would serve no more time in Louisiana than he had received for his conviction in Florida. Because of his cooperation with the DEA, the judge in Florida had resentenced Seal to the short time he had already served, a matter of days. This meant, Seal thought, that he would walk out of the Baton Rouge courtroom a free man. But Polozola had other ideas. Seal and his attorneys were shocked when the judge ordered him to spend the next six months reporting to the halfway house and to remain there from 6PM to 6AM each day.

The judge also told Seal he could not leave Louisiana, even to work for a government agency, without the court's approval. "I don't care if it is the Drug Enforcement Administration. I don't care if it is the CIA, I don't care if it is the State Department, I don't care it if is the U.S. Attorney, I don't care who it is, you don't go any place, any place, without getting my written approval in advance," Polozola told him.

Seal's attorney, Lewis Unglesby, told Polozola his ruling was tantamount to a death sentence. Now the Medellin Cartel would know exactly where, and when, to find Seal. And it did. A month later, outside the halfway house on Airport Road, Seal died.


When Seal pulled up in his car to check in for the night, the two Colombian hitmen sent by the Cartel, with MAC-10 and Uzi submachine guns equipped with silencers, were waiting near a clothing donation bin. One of the assassins fired into Seal's Cadillac at point-blank range. Seal's skin was festooned from the car's ceiling.

Seal was buried three days later. He had written his own epitaph in the family Bible which was read at his funeral: "A rebel adventurer the likes of whom, in previous days, made America great."

Terry was not informed of the death until weeks later, and the government did not allow federal agents to attend his funeral.

Seal had been an asset, but assets can become liabilities. To an accountant, a liability is a red number on a spread sheet. To George Bush and the top echelons of the CIA, Barry Seal had become a lot more than a red number. They couldn't just offset this liability. This one had to be erased. Seal knew too much. He had already told Terry about his plans for "blackmail." His expertise in handling handlers had not gone unobserved by his handlers, the "GS pukes" as he called them. He perhaps had underestimated his handlers and had come to feel invincible.

"What you know" can be power, Seal had said to Terry. But, unfortunately, that same knowledge can also turn you into a liability. Seal knew what had happened to other people who screwed the Agency. Somehow, he never thought it would happen to him.

Whatever the case, Terry would now be going to Mexico alone.

Reed left for Japan the morning of the 24th of February at 8 AM without knowing of Seal's assassination in Baton Rouge. Janis received a phone call an hour later from Aki Sawahata, who said he urgently needed to reach her husband.

"It is very important I talk to Terry-san," he said. "I have bad news for him."

Janis said she would try to intercept Terry in Seattle if that's what Aki wanted.

"No, that will not be necessary. I do not wish to spoil his trip to Japan. Bad news can wait, so please do not tell I called. Please tell him to call me through Bruce after he returns."

Terry returned on March 7th to learn of Sawahata's call. He called OSI's office and asked Bruce if he knew what the bad news was that Sawahata had referred to in his conversation with Janis. Bruce asked him to report immediately to the office, where Terry received the shocking information.

"What do you mean, Barry's dead? He didn't crash did he?

"No. He was shot to death in Baton Rouge."

As Terry stood there and absorbed what he had been told, his emotions ran the gamut. After learning Seal had been killed nearly three weeks previously, there was no action he could take now. He couldn't even truly grieve. The funeral was over.

It came to him that he had now lost two friends, Emile Camp and Barry. Death in this "war" had now touched him more closely that it had during the Vietnam War. Arkansas was a dangerous place, he began to realize.

Bruce informed him that, because of Seal's death and other "new developments" that he could not explain, the OSI office would be soon closing. Sawahata, he said, was out of the country and unavailable.

Terry had had a premonition about Seal since the flight to Panama. Barry had been acting erratically during the trip and he had felt sure that Seal was dealing with something way beyond his control. The whole idea of blackmailing political groups, presidents and governors frightened Terry. From what he had learned through Seal about knowledge being power, he was beginning to suspect that same knowledge could be lethal.

"Bruce, tell me all you know about the killing. This is extremely important to me. I've GOT to know what happened. I'm getting involved up to my eyeballs with the Agency and my family's a part of this, too. I can't risk their lives. Is there an Agency investigation?"

Bruce told him that the assassins had already been arrested in Louisiana and as far as the Agency knew it was just as the newspapers were saying, Seal had been murdered by the Medellin Cartel to keep him from testifying against them. But the Agency was conducting its own investigation.

Seal's connection to the Cartel was news to Terry, who had been compartmentalized from this aspect of the operation. Terry could barely believe what he was hearing while being briefed by Bruce about the "other side" of Barry Seal's work for the CIA and all of Seal's legal problems. He was also unaware of the television special, "Uncle Sam Wants You," which Seal had orchestrated to prove that he really was working for the DEA and not a drug trafficker.

Terry recalled the conversation on the trip from Panama when Barry had mentioned only that he had received information from people "I personally know" within the Cartel. There had been no further mention of that and Terry presumed that Seal would have told him more if he had a need to know.

But, as Bruce continued, Terry was now discovering a dark side to Seal, the man who had led him into the dark world. Unlike the military, the civilian intelligence world is populated by people who wear no uniform, no rank and no name tag. They give you a name, but they can be someone else. Who else, he wondered, was he associating with now who had a hidden side?

As he and Bruce ended their conversation, Terry had many questions, but Bruce had few answers. Bruce advised him to continue on his present course and continue his dialogue with the Agency concerning the Mexico venture.

For the time being, he would have to accept what he was being told and what he was reading about Seal's murder. But Terry's thoughts now were about his family. He decided to undertake his own investigation and proceed cautiously. For now, at least, he would stay on the path that he hoped would lead to Mexico.

He was worried. He had no evidence, yet he felt some powerful people in Arkansas had the most to gain from Seal's death. If anyone in Arkansas was involved in the murder, he was sure the Agency would unearth it. Bruce had told him the CIA was very upset about the loss of Seal. "He was a good agent," Bruce said. But Terry wondered about the sincerity of the CIA's investigation.

That night he took Janis and the boys to SOBs. The children loved the ragtime band, and for Terry, this was a kind of farewell. While driving home that night, he was mentally preparing his answers for the questions Janis was sure to have, once he shared "the bad news."

He didn't want to upset her unnecessarily, so he told her only part of the truth, that Barry "died in his car," leaving her to infer he was killed in an auto accident. She was shocked and upset because she, too, had wanted Seal to be part of the Mexico venture. She knew how close the two men had become and she was looking forward to meeting Seal's wife and forming a new "spook support group" like the one she had known in Oklahoma.

On March 16th, 1986, Ronald Reagan went on television to address the nation and apply pressure on Congress for aid to the Contras. The Reeds watched as Reagan displayed the undercover photos Seal had taken in Managua.

"Every American parent will be outraged to learn that top Nicaraguan government officials are deeply involved in drug trafficking. There is no crime to which the Sandinistas will not stoop. This is an outlaw regime."


There was no mention of Barry Seal.

But in Washington, the push for Contra funding was falling on deaf ears and reports were beginning to leak out about the secret resupply operation called "The Enterprise" now being run by Secord. North was informed in a memo from the field that "what you had hoped to remain quiet is now being discussed openly on the street." [2]

It was now becoming obvious that the war was only a business for Secord and his partners. Pressure was building within the inner circle of aides close to President Reagan for a long-term solution, not only to keep open the supply lines to the Contras, but to create a new, perhaps foreign-owned, entity that would bypass Congress altogether.

Toward the end of March, Terry had satisfied all the prerequisites of the Mexican plan. From his point of view he had done all he could do as a consultant. Whatever happened next would be in the Agency's hands.

"Any further participation on my behalf in my present capacity would be a waste of time and money," he told Johnson in a telephone conversation. "If Max Gomez is taking care of the areas you tell me he is, we can proceed no further on this, in my opinion, unless we implement the plan. There will certainly be problems we haven't thought of, but as we said in the Air Force, it's time to kick the tires and light the fires, or go to the officers club and just get drunk."

At that point, Terry considered the plan dead unless he heard to the contrary. He was busy, had closed two major factory automation projects, and was reluctant to take on any more Agency obligations.

He had to prepare for the possibility that the Mexico plan would be dropped. And something else was on his mind, too. Maumelle, where he lived, was a planned community built under a federal program by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There was talk of it being annexed by the City of Little Rock, which most of the homeowners there were organizing to fight for fear it would drive up their taxes.

The Reeds had attended several meetings where incorporation of Maumelle was discussed. If that occurred, a new city government would be needed and Terry was toying with the idea of running for mayor. Under the HUD plan, Maumelle was to have been a self-contained community allowing the residents "to live, work and play" without having to go anywhere else. It was possible to live and play there, but work was a commuter drive away. What little industry had developed within the self-contained industrial park was storage and receiving oriented, offering no high-skilled employment. Through Terry's Japanese contacts he had located a large Japanese machine-tool firm looking for a home in the U.S. Recruiting this firm and bringing it to Maumelle, he felt, would be a great foundation for a mayoral campaign.

All of this was on his mind the day John Cathey called him at his home office.

"We just had a meeting about the new plan. I've got great news for you. How would you like to head up this project for us?"

A shot at the "big time" was about to come true. Terry felt the next words out of his mouth would change his life drastically, and forever. And he was right. Terry was happy and, at the same time, sad. Finally, his machine-tool business was at a point where it could stand alone and support him in style living right where he was. His firm, Applied Technologies, Inc., was now being courted by out-of-state suppliers instead of the other way around. He had even been looking for warehouse space in anticipation of becoming an inventory stocking dealer for several lines of new equipment. But, as he listened to Cathey, he envisioned his life as a foreign asset. He could actually enter the world of James Bond!

"Terry. Are you there? I need an answer," Cathey pressed.

"John, would Curtis LeMay have nuked Hanoi?" he asked Cathey. With those seven words, he had changed his life forever.

"Great. I'm going to make a call to Bob Nash. We need to have a major meeting in Arkansas and I want him to attend. We've got a lot of old ground to cover and we'll take that opportunity to 'swear you in' and discuss the fine points of the new plan."

We? You said 'We', is somebody coming besides you?"

"Yes, but I don't want to discuss it over the phone. Go see Nash tomorrow. He'll give you details on the whereabouts of the meeting. Welcome aboard."

Terry called his wife after hanging up. "Honey, let's do lunch! I've got great news! You need to master your Spanish!"

At that moment, all thoughts of Seal had vanished from his mind. They met at a Mexican restaurant near her office where Janis expressed both excitement and concern at the thought of relocating in Mexico.

"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" she asked, appearing to need his reassurance. "We've both talked about doing this for a long time and the thought does excite me. But Terry, this is a big decision. We'll be turning our backs on a lot of serious opportunity right here in Arkansas."

"Janis I need to attend this meeting. I'll learn a lot more while I'm there. I'll talk to Nash tomorrow and find out where it is. Besides what's the worst that can happen!" He had bought himself some time. He too still had some doubts about "cutting the cord" to their way of life in Arkansas. He wanted to bring up the subject of Seal's murder at the meeting. The answers he received would have a big bearing on his decision. He had not been completely truthful with Janis about Barry's death and that bothered him.

The next day, at Fu Lin's, Nash outlined the details of the meeting, as he understood them. But he had more questions than answers. Terry sensed that Nash was unaware of the complete agenda.

"What's this meeting all about?" Nash asked. And he was particularly curious about what Terry had been doing since the training at Nella had shut down in August.

"Bob, I'm not being flippant. But honestly, you don't have a need to know." Nash seemed irritated and extremely nervous at the answer. Clearly, the entire Mexican plan had been put together without the knowledge, or input, of the Clinton administration in Arkansas. Maybe, Terry thought, the Agency was getting ready to show Clinton "who's in charge" as Seal had put it.

Terry now knew a lot of things that Nash didn't. He was recalling what Seal had said about Nash at the last meeting at SOBs, about Nash stealing Agency money.
He was beginning to wonder just how many people were coming to this meeting -- and for what purpose. Nash had imparted no information about that and was obviously in the dark himself. Nash's entire demeanor had changed. He reminded Terry of Seal on the flight back from Panama. He seemed to be reacting from uncertainty rather than knowledge.

Nash informed Terry that Cathey would pick him up at his Maumelle home late Friday afternoon and would transport him to the meeting. As they read their fortune cookies, Nash asked what Reed's said. He smiled and replied, "It says I've got travel in my future. What does your says Bob?"

"Oh nuthin'," he said glumly, tossing the slip of paper into the ashtray. As Nash went to pay the tab, Terry retrieved Nash's fortune and read it. It was the same as Reed's: "There is travel in your future." Apparently, the thought of travel didn't fit in with Nash's career plans.

As the two men departed the restaurant Terry was thinking about what Seal had said. "Yessirree, things are gonna get reeeeeal interestin' around here."

_______________

Notes:

1. Arkansas Gazette, June 27, 1988, Page 1.

2. Robert Owen testimony, Iran-Contra Hearings, 100-2, at 405-06
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 7:29 pm

Nothing works against the success of a conspiracy so much as the wish to make it wholly secure and certain to succeed. Such an attempt requires many men, much time and very favorable conditions. And all of these, in turn, heighten the risk of being discovered. You see, therefore, how dangerous conspiracies are!

-- Francesco Guicciardi, 1528


CHAPTER 17: NEW COVENANT

The men alighted from the three waiting cars as the governor's van rolled into position and turned off its headlights. The van's front seat occupants stepped out and took up security positions.

The van's driver positioned himself in front of the vehicle, installed his earphone and spoke distinctly into his attached boom microphone to the unseen recipient of his communication. He then racked the bolt of his Uzi and said: "C-1 security to Robinson Ready Team, we're in position and on duty. How do you read?"

From a receiver still on in the van, the somewhat static-laden response returned immediately from a monotone, no-nonsense voice. "Loud and clear, C-1. Perimeter secure, 12 in place. The door is closed. Radio to me to reopen."

The governor's chief of security, Lieutenant Raymond Young of the Arkansas State Police, had already advanced to the side of the vehicle and opened the door in preparation for the passengers to disembark. The five waiting men were clearly taken aback when Governor Bill Clinton stepped from the vehicle with his aide, Bob Nash, and led the entourage into the World War II ammunition storage bunker that would serve as the meeting place.

In a low tone, Cathey turned to Terry and said: "Shit! I was afraid he'd show up. That'll certainly upset our agenda. I'm glad Johnson is here. He'll be able to handle him."

The waiting group of five had expected Nash, but not his boss, Arkansas' Commander-in-Chief, Bill Clinton. By his mere appearance, Clinton was risking exposure of his involvement in unauthorized covert operations. But he seemed desperate.

The meeting had been called at Camp Robinson, an Army facility outside Little Rock, to get some problems ironed out. In addition to the governor and his aide, the "guest list" included Max Gomez (Felix Rodriguez), John Cathey (Oliver North), resident CIA agent Akihide Sawahata, Agency subcontractor Terry Reed -- and the man in charge, the one who would call the shots. He called himself Robert Johnson.

Johnson had been sent from Washington to chair this very delicate operational briefing that would hopefully extricate the Agency from its entanglement in what was becoming a messy situation in Arkansas.


A lot of loose ends were yet to be tied up.

It was a rendezvous that would change the complexion of the secret American policy in Central America and would outline the impending "Operation Screw Worm" in Mexico.

The oscillating sound signaled that the hand-held electronic metal detector had been activated as it passed over Gomez' left, upper torso. Young, who was performing the weapons search of each individual entering the earthen and concrete bunker, stepped back to receive what was obviously a concealed weapon. Reluctantly, Gomez produced a customized black polymer housed, nickel-plated slide, Glock 9MM pistol.

Without breaking his glaring, eye-to-eye contact with Young, and without blinking or looking at the weapon, Gomez deftly and, as if in one rehearsed motion, removed the magazine, racked the slide to the rear position ejecting a live round to the ground, and surrendered the weapon ....grip first.

"Take good care of this," he snarled. "This is a special gun. It was a gift from the Presidente of El Salvador and I feel naked without it."

The piercing stare of Gomez' eyes forced Young to stutter: "Oh, yes, yes sir. Ya' can trust me. It's only a formality anyway. It'll be right here for ya' when ya' leave."

Cathey and the undercover resident CIA agent, Akihide Sawahata, voluntarily surrendered their government-issue .357 magnum revolvers without the pompous ceremony that had preceded them.

On that March night in 1986, seven men entered the earthen and concrete ammunition storage bunker at Camp Robinson while Young stood outside on guard. The bunker, dimly lit by a series of one-bulb fixtures suspended near the ceiling, emitted a musty and damp odor. The principals sat down around the gray, government-issue metal tables and chairs while Cathey began the briefing.

"Governor Clinton," he said switching to his toastmaster tone, "I'm glad you could attend tonight's meeting with us. We're both surprised and honored. Bobby (Nash) didn't inform us you would be attending ... However, let's get down to it.
I know you've previously met some of the people here, but, for everyone's convenience, I'll just go around the table."

Terry could tell by the hypocritical change in Cathey's behavior how Nash and Clinton were viewed as outsiders and the formal tone of voice had been solely for their benefit.

Nash, Cathey noted, was Clinton's top economic aide and the state's liaison officer with the secret intelligence operations "Centaur Rose" and "Jade Bridge" that had been carried out, undetected, at the Mena Airport in Western Arkansas.

Next came Gomez, whom he described as the Agency's man to be in charge of planned operations in Mexico.

Sawahata, who had been the Agency's resident field agent in Arkansas for operations at Mena, would now serve as the transition officer until things in Mexico were fully operational.

Terry Reed was introduced as the man who had worked in both Mena operations and was now being put in charge of setting up a proprietary operation in Mexico. Terry viewed this meeting as his initiation into the inner circle. But this impromptu appearance by Governor Clinton, however, would expose Terry to yet more things that he had no "need to know." It would also confirm his suspicions that operations in Arkansas were being run with Clinton's full knowledge.

Cathey described himself as CIA operations officer for "Rose" and "Bridge" who was now "transitioning over" to the job of operations officer for Mexico.

"Gentlemen," Cathey said, "this meeting is classified Top-Secret. The items discussed here should be relayed to no one who does not have an operational need to know. I repeat Top-Secret. There are to be no notes taken."

Then, Johnson rose to speak. He was the only person attending the meeting that Terry did not recognize. Up until now, he had only been a voice on the telephone. He was taken aback with how young the bespectacled, cherubic-looking man appeared. From the sound of his voice, Terry had expected an older man. His boyish and overly-serious look reminded Terry of fast-track junior officers he had seen in his Air Force days. But his aloof, yuppie demeanor made Terry think of him as akin to the "bond daddies" he associated with in Little Rock and as someone who would be only a message-carrier back to men with the real power in Washington. Even his impending introduction did not convince Terry he was truly the man entrusted with decision-making authority for this sensitive project.

Johnson, Cathey said, was the personal representative of CIA Director William Casey and had been sent to chair the meeting. Casey was too important to show his face, Terry assumed. But he felt honored, and yet surprised, to find he'd been dealing with someone so closely connected to the Director of Central Intelligence, the top of the intelligence pyramid.

"Thank you," Johnson said. "As Mr. Cathey mentioned, I am the emissary of Mr. Casey, who for obvious security reasons could not attend. We are at a major junction of our Central American support program. And I am here to tie up a few loose ends. As you are all aware, the severity of the charges that could be brought against us if this operation becomes public ... well, I don't need to remind you of what Benjamin Franklin said as he and our founding fathers framed the Declaration of Independence ..."

Cathey interrupted. "Yeah, but hanging is a much more humane way of doing things than what Congress will put us through if any of this leaks out." This marked the only time during the briefing that laughter was heard.

"This is true," Johnson replied. "And therefore, Governor Clinton, I'm going to find it necessary to divide this meeting into groups so that we don't unnecessarily expose classified data to those who don't have an absolute need to know. We can first discuss any old business that concerns either "Centaur Rose" or "Jade Bridge", and I think that you will agree that afterwards you and Mr. Nash will have to excuse yourselves ..."

Clinton was visibly indignant, giving the angry appearance of someone not accustomed to being treated in such a condescending manner.

"It seems someone in Washington has made decisions without much consulting with either myself or my aide here, Mr. Nash. And I'd like to express my concern about the possible exposure my state has as you guys skedaddle out of here to Mexico. I feel somewhat naked and compromised. You're right, there are definitely some loose ends!"


Based upon his comments about Mexico, Clinton already knew of the Agency's plans to withdraw from Arkansas. And he was not happy about being left out of the decision-making loop.

Nash interjected: "Sir, Governor Clinton's concerns are that there may be some loose ends cropping up from the Mena operation in general. As you know, we have had our Arkansas State Police intelligence division riding herd on the project. And that has been no simple task. Even with some of our ASP officers undercover over there, we couldn't have gained any real inside knowledge had it not been for Mr. Reed's ability to report it directly to me. This thing about Barry Seal getting Governor Clinton's brother involved is what's got us all upset. I mean, as we speak, there's an investigation going on that could spill over onto some very influential people here in Arkansas, and people very close to the governor personally ..."

Johnson looked like he was getting irritated. Clinton had not been scheduled to be there and his original agenda now was being discarded.

"Hold on!" Johnson shot back. "Calm down! Mr. Casey is fully in charge here. Don't you old boys get it. Just tell me what has to be taken care of, or who needs to be taken care of, and I'll fix it for you!"

Johnson boasted to the group that Attorney General Edwin Meese, by arranging the appointment of J. Michael Fitzhugh as U.S. Attorney in Western Arkansas, had effectively stonewalled the ongoing money laundering investigations in Mena where the Contra training operations had been centered. It was his impression, Johnson said, that everything was now "kosher" and the "containment" was still in place. Operations "Rose" and "Bridge" had not been exposed because federal law-enforcement agencies had been effectively neutralized. But Johnson said he was now concerned that the "drug" investigation there might expand beyond his control and unmask the residue of black operations.

Now the meeting was starting to turn into a shouting match, Terry quietly observed that Clinton appeared on the verge of losing his well-rehearsed, statesman-like demeanor. Stopping investigations around Mena had helped the CIA and its bosses in Washington, but it had not solved any of the governor's local political problems. And these same problems were threatening to unveil the Mena operations.

It was the spring of 1986, just over a month after Barry Seal's assassination in Louisiana. Clinton was facing a very tough and dirty reelection campaign. His Republican opponent was certain to be ex-Governor Frank White, the only man who had ever defeated Clinton. The newspapers were filled with stories about Clinton's brother, who had been convicted and served time from federal drug trafficking charges, giving White the dirt he needed to launch a serious and damaging political attack.

Roger Clinton had "rolled over" and turned informant, enabling the Feds to begin an investigation of investment banker Dan Lasater, a close personal friend and campaign contributor of Clinton's. This investigation, it was clear, could spill over into Lasater's firm, possibly exposing CIA money-laundering and other possible illegal activities. [1]

The investigation of Clinton's brother had been carried out largely by disloyal state police officials who were backing White, and without Clinton's knowledge, when the inquiry was first initiated. Terry wondered whether a "coup" was building? Clinton was clearly in big political trouble, and his demeanor now was not the cool and composed man people saw on television. Perhaps the CIA and the Reagan administration wanted another "presidente," a Republican one, in its banana republic?

Rumors were also running wild that the bond underwriting business, in which Lasater was a major figure, had been used to launder drug money. In addition, candidate White had another big issue to run with. He would charge later that Clinton was directing choice state legal work as bond counsel to the prestigious Rose Law firm, where his wife, Hillary, was a senior partner. And Clinton had to be fearful that exposure of the Mena operations would be the death blow to his reelection hopes. And, if that weren't enough ammunition, the governor was also facing a possible state budgetary shortfall of more than $200 million.

By his comments, the governor's political problems and his potential exposure were clearly on his mind. Clinton showed his contempt for the young man from Washington as he lost his composure, jumped to his feet and shouted: "Getting my brother arrested and bringing down the Arkansas bond business in the process isn't my idea of kosher! You gents live a long way from here. Your meddling in our affairs here is gonna carry long-term exposure for me! I mean us. And what are we supposed to do, just pretend nothing happened?" He was angry.

"Exactly, pretend nothing's happened," Johnson snapped back. "It's just like the commercial, you're in good hands with Allstate. Only in this case, it's the CIA." Johnson paused, took a deep breath, and continued. "Mr. Clinton, Bill, if you will, some of those loose ends you refer to here were definitely brought on by your own people, don't you agree? I mean your brother didn't have to start shoving Mr. Seal's drugs up his nose and your friend, Lasater, has been flaunting his new wealth as if he's trying to bring you down. We're having to control the SEC and the IRS just to keep him afloat.

"Our deal with you was to help 'reconstruct the South,''' Johnson sniped, using a term Southerners hate, since it reminds them of the post-Civil War Yankee dominance of the South. "We didn't plan on Arkansas becoming more difficult to deal with than most banana republics. This has turned out to be almost comical."

"Bobby! Don't sit here on your black ass and take this Yankee shit!" Clinton yelled at Nash in an appeal for support. "Tell him about Seal bribing those federal agents!" It was getting to resemble a verbal tennis match as volleys were being lobbed, each one with more intensity. From the comment about Seal, Terry concluded that Clinton did in fact have his own intelligence network, too.

"Why, Mr. Clinton, with racial slurs like that, the federal government could terminate educational busing aid here," Johnson wryly shot back. "I thought Arkansas was an equal opportunity employer!"

Nash touched the governor's arm, coaxing him back into his chair.

Johnson continued, "The deal we made was to launder our money through your bond business. What we didn't plan on was you and your token nigger here to start taking yourselves seriously and purposely shrinking our laundry."

"What do you mean by shrinking the laundry?!" Clinton asked still shouting. By now, Clinton's face was flushed with anger.

To the CIA, Arkansas had to be a money-launderers' heaven. To understand why, one must realize that intelligence agencies have the same problem as drug traffickers. To launder cash, a trafficker must either find a bank willing to break the law by not filing the documentation required for cash deposits, or go offshore where reporting requirements are less strict. Like traffickers, once offshore, the CIA must use wire transfers to get their money into the U.S., but at great risk of detection.

The trafficker, having broken the law to make his money, has no legal recourse if his banker double-crossed him. In other words, it's an insecure investment, which pays low interest, if any.

Arkansas offered the CIA something money launderers are rarely able to achieve, a secure business environment containing a banking industry where vast amounts of money move around unnoticed as part of the normal course of business. Through its substantial bond underwriting activities, the state had a huge cash flow that could allow dirty and clean money to co-mingle without detection. All they were lacking was the "dirty banker" to cooperate with them by ignoring the federal banking laws.

And that they found within the Clinton administration. This "banker" was none other than the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority, or ADFA, which was a creation of, and directly under the control of, the governor's office. Its official mandate was to loan money to businesses either already in or coming to Arkansas in order to develop an industrial base for new jobs that Clinton had made the centerpiece of his administration. ADFA, was in effect, a bank making preferred loans.

But, from what Terry had learned from Seal and Sawahata, that was not all ADFA was doing. ADFA, in effect a state investment bank, was being "capitalized" by large cash transfusions that the Agency was taking great pains to hide.

"No paper, no trail," seemed to be the dominate doctrine of the Agency's activities since, by design, cash dropped from an airplane in a duffel bag is not the standard way of transferring money.

ADFA was designed to compete for the profits generated by the bond issues necessary to industrialize Arkansas. The old Arkansas Industrial Development Commission that Clinton had inherited had no money of its own, and was forced to send prospective clients seeking industrial development loans to the established, privately-run investment banking industry in Little Rock. The state could be very selective in its referral business, however, and those who received the state's business stood to profit handsomely.

This insider referral business was alive and well when Terry moved to Arkansas, and he saw Seth Ward's son-in-law, Finis Shellnut, jockey for a position to reap these profits by going to work for Lasater, who was getting the lion's share of the secret sweetheart deals.

Before ADFA's creation, the state sent preferred business directly to investment banking firms like Lasater's. All that was needed for money-laundering was the firm's silence and a source of cash, which, in this case, the CIA provided. The heads of these firms were a coterie of wealthy and well-connected people who got even richer by doing what comes natural in Arkansas, "The Natural State" as it's called ..... dealing incestuously under the table.

Arkansas desperately needed new businesses -- and so did the CIA. It had plenty of black money, but that alone was not enough. "You can't kill an enemy by lobbing dollars at him" was the phrase Cathey had used with Terry to explain the CIA's dilemma of having the monetary resources to fund the Contras, but no legal way to deliver it directly. The Agency was barred by Congress from converting the cash into weapons and training the Contras needed on the battlefield, at least not through traditional Department of Defense suppliers.

Under Director William Casey's plan, the CIA needed other companies that would be a source of secretly-produced weapons that would find their way into the hands of the Contras. These selected businesses needed payment to perform these services for the CIA, and that cash came to them conveniently in a legal and undetectable manner, through ADFA, in the form of industrial development loans backed by tax-free development bonds. The CIA should have been showing a profit through accrued interest on their secured investments. But a problem had arisen. As Johnson had said, the "laundry" was shrinking.

And Johnson was not happy about that as evidenced by the way he was firing back at Clinton. It was apparent that Johnson knew Clinton and his people had not abided by his agreement with the Agency.

"Our deal was for you to have 10 per cent of the profits, not 10 per cent of the gross," Johnson sternly admonished Clinton.

"This has turned into a feeding frenzy by your good ole boy sharks, and you've had a hand in it, too, Mr. Clinton. Just ask your Mr. Nash to produce a business card. I'll bet it reads Arkansas Development and Finance Authority. We know what's been going on. Our people are professionals; they're not stupid. They didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, as you guys say. This ADFA of yours is double-dipping. Our deal with you was to launder our money. You get 10 per cent after costs and after post-tax profits. No one agreed for you to start loaning our money out to your friends through your ADFA so that they could buy machinery to build our guns. That wasn't the deal. Mr. Sawahata tells me that one of ADFA's first customers was some parking meter company that got several million in ... how shall we say it ... in preferred loans.

"Dammit, we bought a whole gun company, lock, stock and barrel and shipped the whole thing down here for you. And Mr. Reed even helped set it up. You people go and screw us by setting up some subcontractors that weren't even authorized by us. Shit, people who didn't even have security clearances. That's why we're pulling the operation out of Arkansas. It's become a liability for us. We don't need live liabilities."


Terry was fighting to control his open astonishment at what he was hearing. He didn't understand all the subtleties of this black financial maze constructed by the CIA and implemented through the State of Arkansas. But Bill Clinton, it appeared, was finding out the hard way that accounting procedures the Agency utilized were the envy of the business world. This meeting had turned into a bean counters' seminar with discussions of post-tax profits seemingly running into the millions. But Terry didn't need to be an accountant to grasp the significance of what was occurring. It sounded to him like the Clinton administration had been caught with its hand in the till and Clinton personally was learning there were no free rides with the CIA.

Johnson's worry was centered on security. He had referred to the CIA's buying and relocating to Arkansas an existing arms manufacturing firm, Iver Johnson's Arms, Inc., which had been based in New Jersey. But what the Agency had hoped would be a very secret operation to build weapons for the Contras had now been gobbled up as part of Clinton's industrial plan, and had now become an open secret among Clinton cronies.

These insiders, learning through a security leak what Iver Johnson's Arms, Inc. was really doing, had demanded a piece of the action for themselves and had blackmailed their way into this black operation. POM, a parking meter manufacturer in Russellville, Arkansas, was an example of a company that had leveraged its way into the underground arms manufacturing loop. Terry concluded the people running these companies must be the "good ol' boy sharks" that Johnson had referred to.

The weapons clique was composed of five companies situated around Arkansas, at least two of which had received state-backed loans for the machinery necessary to perform the CIA work. This total lack of security and intelligence professionalism was apparently the reason the CIA was preparing to extricate itself from Arkansas and set up operations in Mexico.

The primary "loose end" that Johnson could not tie up was the investigation of Roger Clinton and his friends brought on by his drug problem. His arrest had brought widespread attention to powerful people in Arkansas who were involved in the CIA's operations. In addition, close Clinton political allies, including a state senator, had become targets of the drug investigation.

Terry mused as he absorbed what he was hearing. He realized for the first time the impact of what he believed was Barry Seal's secret plan to expose and shut down the Arkansas operation. Terry reflected how three months earlier Seal had confided to him his disgust with the people he was working with in Arkansas and revealed the secret plan to bring these operations in Arkansas to an end. Had the CIA known about Seal's plan, and helped implement it to dump Clinton and vacate Arkansas?

Terry wondered.

Or, was the Bush family and the Republican Party playing games with Clinton and his friends? True banana republic intrigue. The place was primitive, but the politics were not.

Clinton had paused for a moment to ponder Johnson's words. "What do ya' mean, live liabilities?" he demanded.

"There's no such thing as a dead liability. It's an oxymoron, get it? Oh, or didn't you Rhodes Scholars study things like that?" Johnson snapped.


The secret society of Cecil Rhodes is mentioned in the first five of his seven wills. In the fifth it was supplemented by the idea of an educational institution with scholarships, whose alumni would be bound together by common ideals — Rhodes's ideals. In the sixth and seventh wills the secret society was not mentioned, and the scholarships monopolized the estate. But Rhodes still had the same ideals and still believed that they could be carried out best by a secret society of men devoted to a common cause. The scholarships were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his purpose. This purpose, as expressed in the first will (1877), was:

"The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour, and enterprise, . . . the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire, the consolidation of the whole Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial Representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity."


-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


"What! Are you threatenin' us? Because if ya' are ..."

Johnson stared down at the table, again took a deep breath, and paused. It appeared he wanted to elevate the tone of the disintegrating exchange.

"Calm down and listen," Johnson said. "We are all in this together. We all have our personal agendas ... but let's not forget, both the Vice President and Mr. Casey want this operation to be a success. We need to get these assets and resources in place and get them self-sustaining and prospering on their own while we have the chance. This is a golden opportunity. The timing is right. We have communists taking over a country in this hemisphere. We must all pull together and play as a team. This is no time for lone wolves. Mr. Seal is an example of what happens to lone wolves. They just don't survive in the modern world of intelligence.

"I'm not here to threaten you. But there have been mistakes. The Mena operation survived undetected and unexposed only because Mr. Seal carried with him a falsely created, high-level profile of a drugrunner. All the cops in the country were trying to investigate a drug operation. That put the police in a position where we could control them. We fed them what we wanted to feed them, when we wanted to feed them; it was our restaurant and our menu. Seal was himself a diversion. It was perfect until your brother started free-enterprising and now we have to shut it down. It's as simple as that. Mr. Seal was a good agent and it's a shame he's dead. But, hopefully, our new operation will build on Seal's success in sustaining our Contra support effort while goddamn Congress dilly dallies around as the Russians take over Nicaragua."

Clinton just glared back. "That was a good sermon, but what can you specifically do to end this investigation concerning my brother and the bond business?"

"Your brother needed to go to jail," Johnson said staring at the governor. "As governor you should intervene and make things as painless as possible now. As far as the money investigation goes, Mr. Meese is intervening right now. There will be no money investigation. The U.S. attorney's office (in Little Rock) is 'getting religion' as we speak. *

"There may be nothing we can do about your friend Lasater's drug problem. I suggest that he and everyone else caught with their pants down take the bad along with the good and do a little time -- as your brother has. It's a shame. But bartenders shouldn't drink. If some of our people are going to be in the drug business as a cover, they should do as Mrs. Reagan says and 'just say no'."

Johnson had applied the balm and now the massage began. "Bill, you are Mr. Casey's fair-haired boy. But you do have competition for the job you seek. We would never put all our eggs in one basket. You and your state have been our greatest asset. The beauty of this, as you know, is that you're a Democrat, and with our ability to influence both parties, this country can get beyond partisan gridlock. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you fuck up and do something stupid, you're No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job you've always wanted.

"That's pretty heady stuff, Bill. So why don't you help us keep a lid on this and we'll all be promoted together. You and guys like us are the fathers of the new government. Hell, we're the new covenant."


Clinton, having been stroked, seemed satisfied that the cover-up was expanding to, at least, protect the bond business. Like Lyndon Johnson, Clinton had learned that politics is the "art of the possible." He had not gotten everything he wanted, but he was at least walking away whole.

It appeared to Terry that Johnson had won the debate. Clinton and his administration had no grounds to complain about the Agency terminating its operation. Too many errors had been made. The young governor seemed to recognize he had lost, for now, and didn't want to continue the argument in front of the others.

"Bobby, I guess you and I should excuse ourselves," Clinton said while turning to his aide. "These gentlemen have other pressing business and besides, we don't have a need to know ... nor do I think we want to know."

When Clinton exited the bunker, Terry took a moment to absorb what had happened. Clinton had been treated badly in front of the others. Terry had certainly underestimated Johnson, the man he had sized up initially as a mere errand boy for Casey. His youthful demeanor had been misleading. He was clearly a skilled hatchet man. But Terry felt somewhat embarrassed for the governor. Johnson had effectively neutralized the governor of Arkansas' argument by simply changing the subject, and what a subject it was!

Was he hearing that the presidency is offered to a few groomed men, men groomed by the CIA?


Bill Peterson of the Washington Post wrote in a March 1, 1980 article, "Simply put, no presidential campaign in recent memory -- perhaps ever -- has attracted as much support from the intelligence community as [has] the campaign of former CIA director George Bush."

It was true. By the first of March, Ray Cline had helped put together an intelligence community campaign support staff of such size, complexity and character, that, had the Bush campaign initiated its own covert actions, it undoubtedly had the capacity to bring down at least half of the world's governments based on its own past experiences and associations.

George Bush's CIA campaign staff included Cline, CIA Chief of Station in Taiwan from 1958 to 1962; Lt. General Sam V. Wilson and Lt. General Harold A. Aaron, both former Directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Also included were retired General Richard Stillwell, once the CIA's Chief of Covert Operations for the Far East, and at least twenty-five other retired Company directors, deputy directors and/or agents.

It is hard to overestimate the level of CIA support that then existed for Bush's presidential campaign. At the annual meeting of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) the previous fall, Bush's Virginia campaign coordinator (and the former director of AFIO) Jack Coakley, claimed to have counted 190 "Bush for President" buttons being worn by the convention's 240 delegates. [1]

CIA support for Bush was apparently not limited to off-duty or retired agents, either. One of Bush's earliest supporters, Angelo Codevilla, informed a Congressional committee that he was "aware that active duty agents of the Central Intelligence Agency worked for the George Bush primary election campaign." [2]

Codevilla made this statement in a sworn affidavit prepared for a 1984 House investigation. In an amended copy of the document, Codevilla later changed his statement from "I am aware ... " to "I have heard that active duty agents of the Central Intelligence Agency worked for the George Bush primary election campaign." [3]

It is an important correction (the possibility of jail hung on the distinction). Given the extent of CIA involvement in the Bush campaign, it is a wonder that "the spook issue" was not discussed more in the press. Some of Bush's CIA backers themselves worried that it might be. "I can see the headlines [now]," said one former covert operations officer, "Bush Sprinkles Campaign With Former Spooks." [4]

One person who wasn't surprised by the lack of adverse press coverage of the CIA's role in the Bush campaign was Ray Cline. Calling attention to his own resignation in disgust from the Agency in 1973, Cline claimed that he had been promoting the pro-CIA agenda that Bush had embraced for years, and that he had found the post-Church hearings criticism had died down some time ago. "I found there was a tremendous constituency for the CIA when everyone in Washington was still urinating all over it," Cline said, in his typically colorful manner. "It's panned out almost too good to be true. The country is waking up just in time for George's candidacy." [5]

-- The 1980 Campaign: Agents for Bush, by Bob Callahan


Who was this guy, "Johnson," who so easily manipulated Bill Clinton? He made Bill Clinton, on his own turf, appear to be under the control of an invisible force. Up until now, Terry had known Johnson only as the lawyer for Southern Air Transport. He was obviously a lot more than that. He was beginning to take on the mannerisms of a Viceroy and Clinton was certainly showing his obedience to authority and paying the price for fealty. Clinton was compromised.

Who was this Johnson, really? It would be eight more years before Terry would finally find out his true identity and how highly connected he was.

When Clinton and Nash had gone, the mood changed dramatically. A mood of familiarity returned and only the brotherhood remained. Gomez was the first to speak. The man who was to be in charge of the new operation in Mexico was indignant.

"Presidente Clinton," he said with disgust in a thick Hispanic accent. "Why is it I have more respect for the enemy I've slain on the battlefield than I have for that yuppie kid governor. I've seen everything now. Republicans conspiring with Democrats. Isn't that similar to capitalists trusting Marxists?"

Johnson restrained himself as if wanting to chastise Gomez for not showing proper respect for Clinton in front of the others. "You need to realign your thinking about black and white, good and bad, us and them. Under our new plan we all get along for the advancement of the common goal."

Gomez spit contemptuously on the concrete floor. "Sounds like Mao Tsetung or Lenin philosophy to me!"

Cathey stepped in. "Let me apologize for Max and the rest of us cold warriors here. We're a product of our training, and old hatreds die slowly, if ever. But what we must all come to understand is that communism is our common enemy and not our dislike for one another. We are all hand-chosen by the highest office in the land to be entrusted with this mission. We should all feel honored to be here. Our objective is two-fold. One, to rid this earth of the evil communist element we've been trained to seek out and destroy. The other is to set in place a true self-sustaining and modern black operations division worldwide, as Mr. Casey has envisioned ..."


Johnson interrupted. This was no time for a marathon speech, something Cathey appeared on the verge of making. "That, John, should be my lead in for the briefing on the Mexico operation. I remind you gentlemen, this is a top-secret discussion. Centaur Rose and Jade Bridge are transitioning to Mexico. The new code name is Screw Worm."

Image
17-1. Internal FBI memorandum obtained through Federal court discovery by Terry Reed and Robert Meloni showing key Mena files "missing." Indicates that Special Agent (SA) Tom Ross, the man who was Seal's contact, was the one covering the Agency's trail by conveniently "losing" materials.

Image
17-2. DEA report showing how law enforcement agents were unable to look beyond Seal's cover as a drug trafficker. His cover worked. Right under the noses of the police had been Contra training activity which had been conducted at the rural airstrip described above.

_______________

Notes:

* ADFA had been the center of major political controversy by that time. Some members of the Arkansas financial community charged that ADFA had been a "money cow" for years for Clinton and his political supporters. State records showed that ADFA private activity bonds totaled more than $719,000,000 between 1984 through 1991, while creating only 2,700 new, mostly marginal, jobs paying an average wage of only $15,000. ADFA, at the same time, had proved a bonanza for investment banker Jackson T. Stephens. As head of Arkansas' largest investment banking firm, Stephens & Co. made at least $3 to $5 million in bond underwriting fees between 1985 and 1991. Stephens helped underwrite 60 state bond issues worth $18.82 billion. In addition, more than $100,000 was paid by ADFA in legal fees to the Rose Law firm. [2]

* And indeed, the federal prosecutor had become a believer. With much fanfare, U.S. Attorney George Proctor announced the following October the indictments of Lasater and others close to Clinton on minor drug charges involving recreational use. Because of later guilty pleas no politically-embarrassing trials were necessary. No other charges were brought, and Proctor shut down the investigation saying there was no evidence of illicit activities being linked with the bond business, which had been widely rumored in the media for months. The "containment" continued and the investigation was limited to the casual and "social use" of narcotics, with Proctor proclaiming: "The case illustrates that the law not only prohibits the selling of cocaine for profit, but it also prohibits one person giving cocaine to another." And that was that. [2]

1. Arkansas Democrat, Sept. 18, 1986

2. Washington Times, April 10, 1992

3. Arkansas Democrat, Oct. 25, 1986
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 7:31 pm

CHAPTER 18: WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Bill Clinton had been pacified, and subdued -- for the time being at least. With this distraction behind him, Robert Johnson was anxious to get on to the new business. But there was still a lot of old business -- loose ends -- to be dealt with.

Akihide Sawahata wanted to make sure that Johnson grasped the significance of the overall money problems. Even though the federal prosecutors in Arkansas had "gotten religion," as Johnson had put it, and had been brought into line, the tenacity of some of the field investigators had been underestimated. They were refusing to be stonewalled. They really had religion and they refused to shut their eyes to what was happening.

"With Governor Clinton gone, Mr. Johnson, I would like to express concern about some loose money ends right here in Arkansas," Sawahata said. "Some unfinished business concerning 'Rose' and 'Bridge'. We have overzealous IRS-CID agent taking his job too serious. He is still pressing for indictments on money-laundering in the Mena area, and also pressing the U.S. Attorney to seek indictments against our assets at Rich Mountain Aviation and the local banker. He just won't back off!"

Sawahata was referring to Bill Duncan, an IRS investigator who had been sent to Mena after the Drug Enforcement Administration tipped the IRS about what appeared to them to be massive laundering of drug profits there. As usual in government, no one was really in charge and the right hand apparently did not know what the left hand was doing. Or did it?

Duncan did find evidence of money laundering involving officials of Rich Mountain, the fixed base operation at the Mena airport that Barry Seal had been running as a CIA front company. Try as Duncan would, however, the federal prosecutor was refusing to present the case properly to a grand jury sitting in Ft. Smith, Ark. [1]

Duncan would later say that his investigation was probably just a diversion, and that what he was really doing, without realizing it at the time, was protecting the Mena operations. The CIA, by helping to place him there and feeding Duncan what they wanted him to know, could watch and oversee what he was doing and be assured that his activities would preempt any other investigations.

They apparently and mistakenly thought Duncan's behavior would be predictable. That he would confine his evidence to within the law enforcement and federal judicial system. But he didn't. Now, through frustration, he was allowing his close associates to leak information to the media about the inexplicable stonewalling he was encountering with the prosecutor. Duncan felt he and other investigators had been put in harm's way. That was a correct assumption. He had been assigned, without his knowledge, to investigate an Agency black ops program that was employing Cuban exile criminal elements who were conducting political assassination training. At the same time, the operation carried with it a high-profile drug cover that could have easily produced a shootout between law enforcement agents unknown to each other.

The worst part, Duncan now says, was being kept in the dark. "If they had told me to stop, I would have," he told one of this book's authors. "But all I heard was 'sic 'em Fido.'"

This was nothing new. It's an old Agency technique to manipulate other federal agencies without them knowing they were being manipulated. It's what they do best. This is what Johnson had meant when he said "We fed them what we wanted to feed them, when we wanted to feed them; it was our restaurant and our menu."

The American public is led to believe that this is done only outside American territory because the CIA, by law, can only conduct operations on foreign soil. But in Arkansas, the Agency was applying their usual banana republic tactics on their own citizens. But Duncan still had to be contained. He was like a fly annoyingly buzzing around an elephant's ear.

And they thought they had a strategy for this. "Does this guy have a boss?" John Cathey asked. "Go tell his boss to have him back off. Tell the boss 'national security' and all that good stuff ... a high level federal matter."

Sawahata answered back. "Yes, boss' name is Paul Whitmore and his office is right here in Little Rock. Problem is we have contacted him already. He also determined to expose money laundering which he thinks is from drug proceeds."

"Jesus Christ!" Cathey said. "Just what we need. A couple of dumb-ass GS types out to get promoted. What's the field agent's name?

"Bill Duncan," Sawahata replied. "And his friend Russell Welch, an ASP (Arkansas State Police) officer are nirvana-bent on exposing all this. I'm afraid with Seal now gone, their attention will now focus on these other people and apply pressure until someone breaks."

Cathey decided it was something he would have to handle personally when he returned to Washington.

"I'll call Revell and see if they can't fix it," he said. *

Sawahata wanted to know what Cathey was planning.

"We'll toss 'em a bone," Cathey replied. "Maybe we'll have them promoted and transferred out of the field, at least the IRS guys, that is. The ASP officer? That's another story. You'd better contact Colonel Goodwin and have him sit on this guy. Maybe our FBI agent over there can help with that."

Cathey was referring to Col. Tommy Goodwin, the director of the state police. Welch was the resident state police investigator in Polk County where Mena is situated.

Whatever Cathey did back in Washington, coupled with the containment by the U.S. attorney in Ft. Smith, it worked. Duncan and Welch were testaments to that. Regardless of reams of incriminating evidence, no arrests or prosecutions ever resulted from the countless man hours spent investigating Mena.

Duncan later testified on June 21, 1991 that he had lined up 20 prospective witnesses and the U.S. Attorney called only three before the grand jury. Two of these witnesses, Duncan said, were inexplicably not allowed to furnish any evidence to the grand jury. [3]

One was a vice president of the Union Bank of Mena, who, Duncan said, had conducted a search of the bank's records and provided "a significant amount of evidence relating to the money-laundering transactions ... he [the banker] also was furious that he was not allowed to provide the evidence that he wanted to the grand jury."

Duncan said that the deputy grand jury foreman subsequently told him that the jurors "were not allowed to hear" the evidence. The juror also told Duncan that the U.S. Attorney J. Michael Fitzhugh refused the Jury's request to bring Agent Duncan in to testify, telling them Duncan was in Washington "which was not the truth."

When Duncan complained about Fitzhugh's actions to his superiors, including local IRS CID (Criminal Investigation Division) chief Paul Whitmore, Whitmore went to Fitzhugh to check on the allegations. Fitzhugh eventually wrote Whitmore telling him not to come to his office complaining, saying that it was "unprofessional behavior."

Whitmore called the entire matter "a cover-up." No indictments were ever returned and, to this day, no one connected with the Mena operation has been charged with a crime -- a testament to the CIA's long-standing efforts to pervert the justice system. And so the government-sanctioned cover-up goes on.

Welch, of the Arkansas State Police, later also provided further corroboration about the cover-up. In a sworn oral deposition given the Arkansas Attorney-General's Office on June 21,1991, he said that two FBI agents, Floyd Hayes and Tom Ross, came to him sometime in 1987 to discuss Mena. They told him that a CIA source of their's at the Hot Springs airport had received a phone call from the CIA in Miami saying the Agency had "something going on at the Mena airport involving Southern Air Transport" and the Agency didn't want the FBI "to screw it up like (they) had the last one." [4]

The "last one" was an obvious reference to the Nella operation, giving an outsider the definite impression that the FBI was involved in the overall security program for the Agency's operations. It was, after all, an FBI Special Agent that Terry had seen Seal hand a parcel to outside the Mena airport the previous fall when Seal went to "slop the hogs."

FBI agent Ross even showed Welch a classified FBI inter-office message to prove to him officially that an ongoing CIA operation would be in jeopardy of being compromised if Welch continued investigating.

Welch told author John Cummings that Ross now denies ever having had this conversation or showing Welch the secret FBI telex divulging CIA activity at Mena. Author Terry Reed has obtained under court discovery the secret FBI telex Ross had in his possession when he was cautioning Welch not to compromise the operation. (See chapter end.)

The message dated August 18, 1987, clearly outlines the government's concern about pending media exposure of not only the airport, but refers to Barry Seal as a "CIA operative." [5]

Duncan also revealed that Ross became his shadow during the IRS investigation. "Ross ... would suddenly appear on the scene," Duncan said, whenever he was about to conduct a critical interview. [6]

Sawahata shifted to money problems. "What about bribe money?" he asked. The others stared at him with confused looks on their faces.

"You mean the stuff that ended up in EM's personal account?" Cathey queried.

Johnson, by now totally confused, asked both to "cut out the code talk" and spell out to him what they were saying.

"Well, Bob, this is a little embarrassing," Cathey acknowledged. "It seems that Barry Seal, God rest his soul, had a very unique trait of being able to compromise damned near everyone he came into contact with. I attribute it to good intelligence training, but he had this knack of paying people 'commissions' as he liked to call them. And during his period in Arkansas, I guess he bribed ... uh ... paid commissions to damned near everyone over there."

Cathey noted that this normally wouldn't have been a problem since intelligence operations are built on bribing all kinds of people. "In fact, as you know, that's right out of the agent's handbook, Bribes 101."

But Seal, he said, was doing something different and quite unorthodox. He was paying bills and bribing people with dirty money. Seal wasn't laundering the money before using it for bribes and this left an embarrassing trail that Duncan was following. Sort of like the stones that led Hansel and Gretel out of the forest.

Cathey said one source of Seal's dirty money came from the DEA, part of which had been confiscated in drug raids in Florida and used to operate Rich Mountain and procure what he called "aviation services" for the Agency.


"He was using this dirty, or marked money if you will, to buy influence from high-ranking officials," Cathey said. "We don't know if Seal was just having fun or if we were setting some of our people up. But anyway his activities were putting this IRS agent, Duncan, on a very compromising and embarrassing trail."

Where does this trail lead?" Johnson asked in a slow, deliberate tone after listening with rapt attention. He seemed almost fearful of the answer.

Somberly, Cathey replied: "Oh right to Ed Meese's personal bank account as well as to several FBI, DEA, FAA and Customs officials."

Because he uncovered this alleged bribe concerning Attorney General Meese, Duncan invoked the wrath of his IRS superiors in Washington. Duncan testified at a Congressional hearing in 1989 that the IRS wanted him to perjure himself before another Congressional committee if they asked him about his knowledge of any Meese payment.7 Duncan resigned from the IRS in 1989 because he did not want to be part of an organization that wanted him to lie under oath.

Duncan confided to author John Cummings that a confidential source of Welch's told him that Seal bragged on several occasions about bribing Meese with sums of money running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meese's identity was revealed in closed session testimony Duncan gave before the House Subcommittee on Crime in 1988.

"Goddam," Johnson snapped as he referred back to Seal. "Seal's still gonna have the last laugh in this if we're not careful. It wasn't enough for him to get the governor's brother addicted and bring down half the Arkansas elite in a drug investigation. Shit! What was wrong with this guy? He bought off the Attorney General? What the hell for?"

"We thought maybe you could answer that," Cathey said to Johnson. "But it seems Barry had a death wish. That only makes about four federal agencies, a governor, an attorney-general, at least two foreign governments, the Medellin Cartel and 50 or 60 individuals that had motive to kill him."


Terry could understand the confusion in the minds of Cathey and Johnson as he sat and listened. He had seen first hand the complexity of Seal's thought process and behavior. Seal had been through too many handlers, too many objectives and, clearly, had an agenda of his own. If these were the people investigating Seal's motives and his death, it was clear they had no simple answers. What confused Terry was why Seal would purposely bring attention to a successful covert operation? The men sitting with Terry in the bunker wanted the program to be a success. Was Barry being controlled, not just by these men, but by the Republican Party and the Bush family as well? He recalled Barry's conversation about transporting "some stuff" through Mena and into Arkansas that would "end up in the noses of some very prominent Democrats." Was it possible the Vice President of the United States would jeopardize a CIA operation just to retaliate for his own family's behavior and "dirty up some Democrats?"

Terry knew now why the Arkansas operation was being shut down. It was out of control. There had been too many cooks and the chef took the secret ingredients to his grave. There was no other way to say it: The recipe was now fucked up!

Representative Bill McCollum (R-Florida) would later write a new epitaph for Seal. Referring to the knowledge he gained during Congressional hearings on Seal's death, McCollum would say: "Barry Seal was a tough informant to handle, and he would have become even tougher. In short, the DEA had a monster on its hands."

Terry spoke for the first time. "I'm glad you brought this up, John," he said to Cathey. "This Seal killing really bothers me. People having motive is one thing, but opportunity and means are two others. I'm not buying this Colombian hitman story. I grew to know Barry quite well during Rose and Bridge and something still doesn't fit. From what I've read and been told, Seal was under some sort of house arrest when he was killed. Can you explain that for me?"

Cathey answered: "It was part of his ongoing cover. He was placed there (in a Louisiana halfway house) by a pissed off do-gooder judge who hadn't gotten the word from our guys. We were in the process of getting him out of there without blowing his cover when he was hit. You know the rest. Like the papers say ... some Colombian hitmen. We guess Seal must have been trafficking on the side. He certainly had opportunity, and he must have crossed someone down there. We're still checking it out."

Cathey was lying, but Terry had no reason at the time to suspect otherwise. He did not know at the time that Cathey was really Oliver North, and it was North who helped leak the information about Seal to the media, and blew Seal's cover. So Cathey could not honestly answer, fearful that Terry would see that agents are expendable under the right circumstances.


"But what about those photos on television that President Reagan was showing?" Terry asked, referring to what he had seen on TV. "Wasn't that The Fat Lady the photos were taken from?"

On March 16th, a little less than a month after Seal was murdered, Reagan went on television and revealed the secret photographs taken by Seal showing Cartel officials helping load drugs aboard Seal's plane, a military C-123 called The Fat Lady, which had been outfitted with cameras by the CIA. Seal was given no credit and was never mentioned by the President despite his undercover activities conducted at great peril.

"Yes," Cathey said, responding to Terry's question about the plane. "But you've got to keep in mind Seal had a multi-mission, if you will. His drug cover gave him the ability to move around freely in several areas for us. It's very unfortunate, but someone at DEA or the White House level made the decision to use the photo, or they just plain old fucked up. I suspect that Reagan didn't even know what he was doing that day. That guy's scary. Just wind him up, give him some props, point him towards a teleprompter and it's action on the set. You know what I mean. If it wasn't for Bush and Casey and guys like Johnson here, I'd be really frightened."

In hindsight, once Terry discovered that Cathey was actually North, he realized that North had been feeding him lies about his knowledge of how the leak was made that led to Seal's death.

Terry was surprised to note that Ronald Reagan's name had been strangely missing from all this. Only Bush and Casey's names were being discussed in a respectful tone. But Terry was no fan of Reagan's, and had always assumed he was only a puppet. Maybe he was discovering who really ran the White House .... Bush and Casey.

Terry was still dubious about what Cathey was saying regarding Seal, and Johnson quickly picked up on that. Now Johnson was applying the balm to Reed. Johnson shifted quickly to the need for trust.

"Mr. Reed, if I could add," Johnson began. "I'm aware of your friendship for Mr. Seal. He always spoke highly of you and he is a main reason you're going to Mexico for us. He was your sponsor, as we say in the Agency. We viewed Barry as we view you now, an asset to our activities, an asset to our common objectives, an asset to our national agenda, an asset to our foreign policy. This has to be a relationship built on trust, however."

Johnson apparently felt the need to stress the difference between Terry's structured Air Force intelligence service and what he would now be doing, outside that structured environment, as an asset in charge of a proprietary CIA front company.

"At the CIA, we're under constant monitoring and scrutiny. We're structured and regimented. Christ, we're a government agency, understand? And there'll be times we will have to insulate you from certain information in order to not compromise ourselves." He was defining what spooks call a deniable link, but he was also effectively diverting Terry from pressing further about Seal.

"You were in Air Force Intelligence. As you know, the government side is just a chicken-shit outfit full of rules and regulations. But your side, that's different. The side you and Barry come from. You're the operational side of the CIA as Bill Casey and others before him envisioned, you're deniable. You can move around unobserved and undetected. You can hold meetings like this without 20 idiots armed with machine guns guarding you. Understand?"

Johnson added that Seal had become a liability by violating the basic rule of trust, one that controls assets. By doing so, he said cryptically, Seal had grown outside the Agency's control by trying to go into business for himself in Mexico, an allusion perhaps to the Agency's fear that Seal was trying to force himself on the Mexican operation with his "small Air America operation" duplicating Southern Air Transport. To support the premise that Seal was possibly going into business for himself, Terry recalled how Seal originally had sworn Terry to secrecy about plans for weapons manufacturing in Mexico. Manufacturing had not been part of the plan Terry had originally drawn up for Johnson. Maybe Seal had learned enough about weapons manufacturing from Terry and was planning to go into production without the Agency ... or with someone else.

"It's very unfortunate about Barry's death, and we had nothing to do with it," Johnson assured. "These problems have a way of taking care of themselves. "

What did he really mean by that, Terry wondered. Had they conveniently allowed Seal to be murdered? In any case, Terry got the message. He would be trusted as long as he was not caught going his own way and screwing the Agency. It was becoming, from what he had read, like the Mafia whose rules were simple: you don't go outside the organization and freelance without prior approval of the bosses.

Maybe Barry's fate was proof of the underworld saying: You live with the Mob, you die with the Mob.

But Terry persisted with his questions. He still wanted to know why the Agency had allowed the IRS and the Arkansas State Police to question Seal under oath on December 27th, 1985, just two months before his death. Bruce, at OSI in Little Rock, had informed him of this interrogation, flabbergasted that the Agency had allowed it. "Isn't that just inviting problems to allow an agent to be scrutinized ... that way?" Terry asked Johnson.

Cathey intervened. "Barry handled himself quite well with that legal orgy you're referring to. And, yes, it's unfortunate that happened. Remember the old saying in the military, there's always someone who doesn't get the word. Well, in this case, that someone is that IRS agent, Bill Duncan."

Gomez jumped into the conversation. "There's another way for people like this guy Duncan to 'get the word.'"

This upset Cathey. "Now Max, with talk like that, Terry might get the wrong idea. We're not like the Mob, Maximo. We don't kill people. So explain that last comment for the benefit of Terry and the group."

"Like we say in Cuba, the most precious gift a person can receive is a gift of the rest of his life," Gomez responded, with laughter filling the bunker. "I simply meant that a direct warning in many cases takes care of problems like these ... sometimes."


Terry's gut drew in as Gomez' eyes twinkled in the reflection of the enameled military lighting suspended from the ceiling above. He got the distinct feeling that Gomez would truly enjoy dealing with those occasions he had referred to when a threat didn't work to scare someone off.

Johnson tried to reassure Terry. "Don't let this kind of talk upset you. We need to get this conversation back on track, gentlemen. Do these answers take care of this Seal issue?"

"I guess so ... for now," Terry answered halfheartedly. He let it go at that. From what he had heard a lot of people had a lot of reasons to kill Barry Seal. But, as far as anyone here seemed to know, it had happened just the way the police in Baton Rouge were saying. Neverthe ess, he was assured the investigation of Seal's death was continuing.

Sawahata then turned back to where he had started by saying "I am real glad the governor is not here to discuss our BIG problem. The papers are full of it. State has big money problems."

Johnson shook his head, "What's this, another loose end?" It looked like Johnson didn't have a realistic understanding of all the problems, which, like an Arkansas diamond, had many facets.

Sawahata knew all too well that Johnson's simplistic reassurances to Clinton about the impending phase-out of the Mena operation were, to say the least, misleading. Containing an investigation was one thing, but shoring up a state's finances was quite another.

Economic chaos in the Arkansas bond business could ensue unless a new source of "bridge capital" was found right away to shore up the freewheeling lending policies of Clinton's aggressive industrial recruitment program.

"Yes," Sawahata answered. "And this could cause long-term problems for our other operations in Arkansas. This state has terrible budgetary shortfall with the closing of Rose and Bridge. Governor Clinton has real problems on his hands. Our operations transfused over $250 million into his economy in less than two years ... and his people stole ... er, diverted ... from us another $75 to $100 million."

Sawahata felt compelled to spell it out. Johnson seemed to grasp Clinton's addiction to this money, but not the magnitude of it and the danger that could ensue from all the loose financial ends. The state's "habit" now required "fixes" totaling hundreds of millions of dollars annually to support the economic growth package Clinton had promised his electorate, not to mention meeting the financial obligations for which he was already committed. For Arkansas to go without the black money would be the same as a junkie trying to go "cold turkey." The state would face serious withdrawal symptoms.

Johnson quickly grasped the political implications with the gubernatorial election just eight months away. "Is he in danger of not being reelected over this money issue?" Johnson asked.

"I do not know, but Bob Nash tells me they are having to access funds from First American in Washington in order to cover the commitments they made for industrial development, based upon our cash flow into their economy."

"You mean they are borrowing our money from First American in order to make up for their cash shortage?" Johnson was clearly startled.

"Exactly. And this cannot go on forever, as you know, without causing audit problems from bank examiners," Sawahata told him.

Johnson, in astonishment, replied, "Mr. Casey and Mr. Clifford wouldn't like that." The last name seemed to slip from his mouth as an afterthought.

"Mr. Who?" Sawahata was puzzled by the second name. He reacted as if he had not heard of "Clifford" before.

"Oh, just another guy who's got his butt sticking out over our banking business," Johnson said, dismissing Aki's question and getting onto his own. "But I'm curious, how did Mr. Clinton and company gain access to our funds in First American?"

"Through bond business here in Arkansas. It seems this was brainchild of Mr. Dan Lasater. But with Mr. Lasater out of way, state has implemented the plan through biggest firm here in Arkansas, Stephens & Co."

"Let me get this straight," Johnson said. "Clinton needs money in order to keep his promises to bring industry to Arkansas. So Stephens issues a municipal bond or whatever and our bank, First American, buys or underwrites the goddam thing. So our offshore money is laundered right here in Arkansas through legitimate industrial loans, and Clinton benefits?" *

By "offshore" Johnson was referring to CIA money held in foreign banks to disguise the fact that it was money used to fund intelligence operations. This was a Cold War technique designed to prevent the money's source from being traced back to Washington. Oliver North and the others had learned that this was an ideal way to move money to the Contras without congressional investigators finding out.

"That's about it," Sawahata replied.

"Goddam. Clinton IS presidential material, isn't he?" Johnson chuckled. "And I thought the South lost the war!"

It now became clear to Terry as he sat and listened that the money delivered by Barry Seal's "green flights" and the profits from black operations in Arkansas had built the "laundromat" that was now permanently in place under the guise of the Arkansas bond business. Having run short on "laundry," Clinton and his friends had tapped into other sources of "dirty money."

The public would learn years later of the tenebrous connection between Stephens, First American Bank and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, later to have its acronym, BCCI, emblazoned in headlines throughout the world. CIA Director Robert Gates labeled it later as the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals Inc.," but admitted to its extensive use by the Agency.

And Jackson T. Stephens, the chairman of Stephens & Co. in Little Rock, who would later be identified as the one who helped BCCI gets its financial foothold in America, had replaced Lasater as the state's investment banker of choice to attract new capital. [9]


Through these discussions in the bunker, Cathey was realizing the urgency in helping Arkansas find new investors to replace the BCCI money, before federal bank examiners launched an investigation that would lead to Arkansas and, more importantly, the Agency. This was especially important since state investigators in New York would later charge that First American Bank and Trust in Washington, owned by First American Bancshares, had hidden ownership ties to BCCI. [See The New Republic, April 4, 1994, The Poisoned Rose.]

This allegedly secret tie was vehemently denied by its chairman, former Defense Secretary and Washington power broker Clark Clifford, and his partner, Robert Altman, both of whom were indicted in New York in connection with that banking tie.


The full impact of the money debacle seemed to impact Cathey as he said: "Let's not take this money thing too lightly, Bob. We'd better do something to cushion the blow economically, so that Clinton can try and wean himself off of our First American money. That can't go undetected very long, even if he is successful in bridging the shortfall through savvy bond investments."

"Yes," Sawahata answered, "and now with his friend, Dan Lasater, under investigation and out of way, Clinton will not have his expertise to fall back upon. But I am curious, Mr. Johnson, what other money is there that can be diverted to Arkansas that will not come leaving trail?"

An interesting question. Just what other money might have been diverted through the Arkansas investment banking business will never be known because of Robert Johnson's efforts in aborting the then ongoing federal investigation in Little Rock. This was just the type of behavior that George Bush's Attorney-General, William Barr, was accused of by Congress during the ensuing BCCI scandal when the Justice Department contained its BCCI investigation to one area of the country, Tampa, Florida. [10] By not allowing the inquiry to expand where federal agents saw its tentacles reaching, BCCI's ties to intelligence was suppressed.


Gomez, even though Sawahata's question had not been directed to him, had an answer. He had extensive connections within Latin America that he had obtained either through bribes or previous operations.

"I can talk to my people in Panama," Gomez said. "I'm sure they would love to replace First American and become Arkansas' sugar daddy. They're always looking for good 'Third World' investment opportunities. Maybe they want to buy stock in Arkansas. I'm sure they will be interested, especially considering the capabilities that are in place thanks to Mr. Seal's and Terry's efforts."

"Excellent idea, Maximo," Cathey chimed in. "I'll go with you to see Noriega's people.
If we're successful, Aki, you can brief Nash that there'll be a new 'investor' for Arkansas, which means he can begin curtailing his bond underwriting through First American. And Terry, for the record, exactly what capabilities are in place here as a result of Rose. Just what do we have to sell [to the new investors]?"

Terry, having the most direct knowledge of the "assets" in place in Arkansas during the past two years, then began his briefing on what they were. And they were substantial.

"Just about any high technology manufacturing expertise needed to produce high-quality, world-class weapons components up to .50-caliber at the present time," he said. There was metal-casting capability for both ferrous and non-ferrous materials. The company providing that service had a wide array of computerized modern design and testing equipment.

"We have non-destructive testing equipment, which includes X-ray, magnetic particle inspection, finite element analysis and state-of-the-art CAD (computer-assisted design) capability," Terry continued. "We also have a wide range of modern machining options to include computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools, plus metal-treatment and plating capabilities.

"In the electronics area, there is the sibling of the Albuquerque-based, military-approved facility located in Piggot, Arkansas, that has automated circuit board manufacturing and enclosure capability. As I understand it, they're making perfect copies of stinger circuit boards."

Terry had given a detailed explanation of the high-grade weapons manufacturing facilities that had been secretly put in place in Arkansas to support Operation Centaur Rose. He had described decentralized, modern manufacturing factories possessing in-house, computer-controlled capabilities to produce untraceable weapons parts or components.

This enabled the Enterprise to bypass the traditional arms suppliers who must document and serialize certain parts they produce. Without such controls, federal agents would have little way of discovering their manufacture.

The Agency had thought of nearly everything, including a method of secure transportation. "No paper, no trail," Seal had said in describing the operation to Terry.

Terry continued. "All of this combined with the secure waterway transportation system afforded by the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, which are controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and I would say to a potential investor we've got a complete, turnkey weapons manufacturing capability for anything short of nuclear weapons." Terry smiled.

Cathey mused and said: "How do you know Clinton doesn't have that, too? It sounds like you've done too good of a job, Terry. Considering the nuclear reactors here that could breed fuel, we had better add Arkansas to the list of Third World countries that could produce a nuke."

So it was all in place -- weapons, transportation and the money to finance it all. But it had been jeopardized because of unprofessional behavior and greed.

Sawahata understood that the ability to handle "questionable" financial transactions would be the best selling point of all. "John, besides what Terry just explained, I think Noriega's people will be most attracted to money-laundering aspect. Under Bill Clinton's leadership, Arkansas has set in place permanent money-laundering industry concealed as their everyday municipal bond business. They do not care where funds come from. In fact, dirtier is better."

Regardless of the method used by the money-launderer, the common denominator is finding a bank or financial institution along with people in a position of power who are willing to break the law and not ask questions. Money laundering, by definition, involves co-mingling clean and dirty making both indistinguishable. Arkansas offered this environment under the umbrella of its cooperative bond business.

All that was lacking was a way of consistently and inconspicuously moving large amounts of money offshore to be deposited as collateral against loans generated for industrial development. Once this activity was underway, occasionally dirty money could be substituted by the Agency for clean money without drawing attention to it. *

One such case in point is the record of the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority (ADFA) depositing $50 million offshore with the Fuji Bank, Ltd., in the Cayman Islands on December 29, 1988. This was a very strange transaction indeed, for an organization chartered and founded on lending money for investment and development within Arkansas, not for moving large sums of funds offshore.

Fuji Bank's name reappears as being the bank that purchased the industrial development loan of POM Inc., the parking meter company in Russellville, Arkansas, owned and operated by the Ward family. Oddly, the underwriter, or issuer, of this loan was initially an out-of-state bank in Memphis, named First American, the same name as Clark Clifford's bank, First American Bancshares in Washington.

By purchasing the loan from First American Bank of Memphis, Tennessee, Fuji effectively retired the loan and the Ward family presumably continued making their payments directly to Fuji. This was curious behavior on behalf of POM since they were giving up a long-term, fixed rate, low interest loan issued by ADFA, which had a guarantor, the bank in Memphis, to back it up. Curious behavior, indeed, to forfeit a loan that has a co-signor, since this action would normally reduce a company's line of credit. Unless, of course, the objective was to move the loan offshore, where repayment ledgers are nearly impossible to attain. Webb Hubbell, Hillary Clinton's law partner, was POM's corporate attorney at the time.

ADFA, being a state authority, is not legally required to publicly divulge its records. And therefore, the millions of dollars that flow through the Arkansas agency's coffers can be shrouded in secrecy, just like the money that flowed offshore in the ADFA "investment" just cited. One possible reason the money was deposited in the Cayman Islands was to set up a laundering process similar to that provided by Panamanian banks.

Panama, then under the leadership of General Manuel Noriega, was the main country of choice for drug traffickers wanting to hide their money. But even safely in Panamanian banks, there was still the problem of moving the funds, particularly into the United States. But Arkansas offered its own version of what bankers' slang calls "the Dutch sandwich."

The Dutch sandwich is a method perfected in the Netherlands Antilles, a small group of Caribbean islands off South America, and is a legal tax avoidance maneuver in the Antilles. [11] There, funds, dirty in this case, remain offshore on deposit and are used only as collateral to back legitimate loans in the United States.

Legitimate loans are what Arkansas needed to underwrite industrial development bonds at low interest rates to attract business to the state. If Arkansas allowed the CIA to guarantee its loans by collateralizing its industrial bonds with dirty, off-shore money, the interest from the loan which is repaid in the form of clean money by the borrower, has in reality accomplished the goal of generating clean money from dirty money.

Arkansas, in effect, could become the "cooperating banker" in the equation. The owner of the dirty money would get back clean money from the stateside loan's interest. In this case, the stateside bank, a bank like First American, supplied the up-front cash through CIA sources.

This apparently was what Sawahata was referring to when he said "the dirtier, the better."
Sawahata then continued: "I suppose if you have to launder money, it is very secure way even though there is risk, considering the fact that a high per cent of out-of-state businesses Arkansas recruits fail within the first few years of being transplanted. But, when it pays off, it pays off well ...you get back clean money plus tax-free interest and no one in Arkansas asks questions ...at least not at state auditor level. "

Sawahata noted that the state gets the high-risk venture capital it needs to grow and the investor can't complain when he loses his money in what appears to be the normal course of business. But to offset this risk, the "investor" could even attend the bankruptcy sale if a business failure occurred, and possibly buy back his undocumented, and hidden, assets wholesale.

Through possible combinations of laundering CIA money, either off-shore, domestically, or by direct infusion into the lending system, the Clinton administration had evidently developed an insatiable appetite for money that could only be compared to that of the plant from outer space in the movie "The Little Shop of Horrors" which continually said, "Feed me, feed me."

"So far," Sawahata continued, "they have gone through all Mena black money that started it all. Now, they are laundering First American's black ops' proceeds and we are going to help them attain Panama as client? What a deal for Arkansas! Money-launderer's nirvana!"

Johnson expressed hope the "loose ends" had been dealt with through the possible solutions that had been tabled. Maybe, he suggested, they could get on with the original purpose of the meeting.

"Terry, it sounds like we've selected the right person for our Mexican operation. From your correspondence with me, as you developed your business plan and strategy for us down there, I could tell you were a star at this game, which brings me to the major reason for coming ..... your initiation. So before we go any further with this briefing, I'll ask Mr. Sawahata to excuse himself if he's finished with all the loose ends of 'Bridge' and 'Rose'. The remainder of this meeting will focus on 'Screw Worm' and frankly, Aki.... "

"I know, I do not have need to know," Sawahata said. "Intel 101. Yes, I am finished for now, but I would like to say goodbye and good luck to Weta Okami. It has been pleasure." Sawahata shook Terry's hand and then walked toward the bunker door.

The sanctity of the "initiation" began to set in.

Terry was beginning to feel a little panicky. Butterflies! Just like before an FAA check ride, he thought.

With Sawahata in the process of leaving, he was now looking at the faces of men he didn't know well. Of those left, Cathey was the only one with whom he had any real familiarity. Feelings akin to those of religion that he had long ago abandoned were starting to rekindle within him. He was convinced that he was entering into a patriotic brotherhood of honorable men. A secret society.

Terry had to push his doubts about Seal's death out of his mind. It was time of decision. He felt there would be no turning back.

It was all falling together, he thought. All knowledge gained from Air Force Intelligence, combined with his skills and experience in the business world were coming into play. His reward was in sight. There was a secret world of sponsorship for patriotic men like him. Doing things the hard way was paying off. He was glad he'd made the right decision to serve his country in time of war. Surely, that was a prerequisite for joining the inner circle.

The thought of being expendable had not entered his mind.

Image
F(?) 182127Z AUG 87
FM CHICAGO (12-0)
TO DIRECTOR PRIORITY
(ATTN): DRUG SECTION [CIO, 01-1, SECTION INTS]
LITTLE ROCK PRIORITY
ET
SECRET
THIS COMMUNICATION IS CLASSIFIED "SECRET" IN ITS ENTIRETY. INFORMATION CONCERNING POSSIBLE DEA AND/OR CIA OPERATION.

ON AUGUST 6, 1987, SA FRANCIS MARROCCO WAS ADVISED BY CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES, WHO HAVE PROVIDED RELIABLE INFORMATION IN THE PAST, OF THE FOLLOWING:

BOTH THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE TELEVISION NEWS SHOW WEST 57TH STREET ARE PRESENTLY PREPARING STORIES REGARDING ALLEGED CIA ACTIVITIES AT AN AIR FIELD IN MENA, ARKANSAS.

THE ORIGINAL INFORMATION DATES BACK TO A PILOT, BARRY SEAL, NOW DECEASED, WHO IS PURPORTED TO HAVE FLOWN GUNS TO SOUTH AMERICA FROM MENA AND DRUGS BACK INTO THE UNITED STATES. THE INFORMATION INDICATES THAT SEAL WAS AN INFORMANT FOR THE DEA AT THE TIME BUT ALSO WORKING AS AN OPERATIVE OF THE CIA. DURING THE PAST FEW YEARS, THE ACTIVITY AT THE AIRSTRIP HAS AROUSED THE INTEREST OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO THEN ATTEMPTED TO CONDUCT SOME INVESTIGATIONS BUT WERE BLOCKED BY THE U.S. ATTORNEY. IN 1986, SEAL WAS GUNNED DOWN IN BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA. THIS WAS PURPORTED TO BE A HIT BY COLOMBIAN DRUG DEALERS.

EVEN WITH THE DEMISE OF SEAL, ACTIVITY AT THE AIRFIELD CONTINUED. THERE IS CONTINUOUS TRAFFIC FROM C-130 AIRCRAFT BELONGING TO HERC AIRLIFT CORPORATION. FOKKER AIRCRAFT OF ANTWERP, BELGIUM, HAS SET UP SHOP AT THIS AIRSTRIP AND IS PURPORTED TO BE INVOLVED IN OUTFITTING AIRCRAFT WITH VERY HIGH TECH GEAR.

ANOTHER COMPANY, GOODNER BROTHERS, HAS ALSO SET UP BUSINESS AT THE AIRFIELD. GOODNER BROTHERS REPAINTS AIRCRAFT. GOODNER IS RUN BY GEORGE REEB, WHO CLAIMS TO BE FROM MARYLAND. SOURCES ATTEMPTED TO VERIFY GOODNER'S BACKGROUND BUT WERE UNABLE TO DO SO.

SOURCES FURTHER REPORTED THAT ONE OF THE AIRCRAFT RECENTLY OUTFITTED BY FOKKER WAS SIGHTED IN AN EAST BLOC COUNTRY.

TWO AIRCRAFT BEARING "N" NUMBERS, N239MA AND N243MA AND THE CHICAGO AIR LOGO WERE SIGHTED AT FOKKER AND ARE AWAITING OUTFITTING. (CHICAGO AIR RECENTLY DECLARED BANKRUPTCY IN CHICAGO AND IS BELIEVED TO HAVE SOLD THEIR AIRCRAFT.)

ABOVE BEING FURNISHED TO FBIHQ FOR INFORMATION AND DISSEMINATION TO CIA HQ AND/OR DEAHQ AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE.

LITTLE ROCK IS REQUESTED TO PROVIDE CHICAGO AND FBIHQ WITH ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS MATTER.


18-1. August 1987 "Secret" report alerting the FBI, DEA and CIA of pending media investigation into Mena which lists Barry Seal as a CIA operative. Above is a reconstructed copy, since original is barely legible.

Image
18-2. Hand drawn sketch of the location of the Nella strip. This diagram, which denotes mileage, was used to develop a "homemade" visual approach to the field to be used in marginal weather and during low visibility conditions.

Image
18-3. Letter from Polk County Prosecutor Charles Black to U.S. Attorney J. Michael Fitzhugh, trying to nudge him and the Justice Department into action.

Image
18-4. Dichotomous key showing tangled financial empire of Arkansas' Stephens family.

_______________

Notes:

* This is believed to have been a reference to Oliver (Buck) Revell, then an assistant director of the FBI and a person that North would later turn to in times of crises when the Iran-Contra affair began to become public knowledge. Author Terry Reed has documents showing Revell was being briefed on Mena. [2]

* In the Fall of 1990, the Internal Revenue Service began a statewide investigation in Arkansas, saying it believed the state had become a magnet for dirty money. An IRS spokesman, Phil Beasley, said information compiled by the Federal Reserve Board and the FBI showed a 210 per cent increase in cash surplus in Arkansas in 1988 and 1989 alone. [8]

* A federal financial investigator consulted by the authors said the millions of dollars that Seal was dropping each week could easily have been laundered and disguised, leaving no clue as to its source, if the right people -- bankers and organizations worked together and kept their dealings to themselves.

All that would be required, the former investigator for the Securities & Exchange Commission said, was "cooperation" among a triad of key financial services willing to enter into a white collar criminal conspiracy to work together for their mutual gain. And such a triad was already in place in Arkansas: ADFA, investment banker Jackson T. Stephens, a stockholder in several Little Rock banks, and Dan Lasater, then the CEO of Lasater & Co., a brokerage firm specializing in bonds.

These three institutions could share top management or simply operate autonomously if the proper amount of "trust" existed among these key conspirators. The Arkansas banking, investment banking, bond business and state development authority does, in fact, orbit around a coterie of very small and centralized power base, in many cases sharing the same boards of directors.

The most likely scenario the investigator outlined, would work as follows:

1. A trusted courier (such as Lasater) deposits the cash in a bank or banks (like Worthen) under various corporate names. No federal banking attention is drawn to the deposits since the banker (like Stephens) waives the requirement of filling out the CTR's.

2. ADFA attracts a "preferred client" (CIA Proprietary) in need of a "loan." This client can be a firm or individual from within the state, which is involved with this secret group (i.e. POM and MRL) or even an out-of-state corporation (i.e. Lasater's Angel Fire project in New Mexico), since ADFA's charter allows it to underwrite business outside of Arkansas.

3. The financial banking firm (Stephens & Co.) announces it is seeking capital to underwrite a bond issue to develop the money needed for the "loan." The bonds will be guaranteed by the state since ADFA will be the issuer, thereby eliminating the SEC scrutiny of the "buyers" (Lasater's fake corporations) of the bonds, and reducing or eliminating the collateral requirements needed by the "client".

4. Lasater announces that he has "sold" the bonds to various customers (Lasater's fake corporations which have large cash reserves on deposit at the Stephen's bank).

5. ADFA handles all the paperwork and contracts at the time of loan "closing", becomes the guarantor (co-signer) of the loan, and retains the right to "sell" the entire loan package to another financial institution in the future, if it wishes.

6. Lasater's customers (his fake corporations) issue checks to Stephens & Co. earmarked for this bond issue. Stephens issues a check to ADFA in order to buy the bonds for Lasater's customers, after deducting commissions (clean money) on the transaction for his firm (Stephens & Co.) and Lasater's (Lasater & Co.). The bond certificates are then issued and are held by Lasater's "customers" as security and collateral.

7. ADFA issues a check to the "client" (the CIA proprietary) and it builds or buys whatever it needs in order to comply with the conditions of the loan.

8. The "client" puts the purchased equipment to use and creates a positive cash now as any legitimate business would and makes monthly payments in order to retire the bonds. The principal and interest received by the lender (Lasater's customers) is clean.

9. At any point during the life of the loan, ADFA is free to find a "buyer" for the entire loan package, retire the debt owed to Lasater's customers and distance itself from the "client's operation" if the CIA wants to "sell off" the assets.


1. Testimony of William Duncan, July 29, 1989, House Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs, Washington, D.C.

2. Confidential FBI telex dated 7/26/84 from Little Rock FBI Field Office to Assistant FBI Director Oliver Revell, obtained by Terry Reed under court discovery, LRC-91-414.

3. Duncan, Deposition given the Arkansas Attorney-General's office, June 21, 1991, Page 6.

4. Ibid. Testimony of Russell Welch, pp. 35-36

5. Classified FBI AIRTEL, Date/time group: F 182227Z AUG 87

6. Duncan, Deposition given Arkansas Attorney-General's office, June 21, 1991, Page 21.

7. Duncan testimony, House Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs, July 29, 1989, and executive session of House Subcommittee on Crime, February 26, 1988.

8. Arkansas Democrat, November 14, 1990.

9. Arkansas Gazette, August 14, 1991, and The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 1993.

10. New York Times, November 13, 1991.

11. TIME magazine, December 18, 1989, p. 50.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:45 pm

CHAPTER 19: OPERATION SCREW WORM

As Akihide Sawahata approached the bunker's large metal exit doors, his footsteps echoed from the concrete floor. His knock on the plate steel door, signaling his wish to leave, reverberated as if it had come from a hollow steel drum.

The returning echo following the arched roof was reminiscent of the acoustics of a church's vaulted ceilings.

A faceless guard opened the door. As Sawahata started to step out into the chilly night air, he paused, turned and focused on Terry, saying: "I guess it's sayonara time. Goodbye, Terry-san."

He felt alone now that Sawahata was gone. It was time to decide his future. One chapter of his life was ending. Another was about to begin.

Terry thought, as the door slammed shut, his time was at hand. He was about to join the cabal. The other three men took up new positions at another table, facing Terry as if sitting at a tribunal. It was a change from business as usual into a solemn ritual. The bunker took on a hallowed atmosphere, and he felt was taking a sacred vow, like that of receiving knighthood.

He had been found worthy of acceptance to the Round Table where he would live under unwritten rules and, he hoped, be judged an equal.

Cathey was the first to speak. "Terry, you're now crossing the line few operatives ... assets, if you will ... are ever given the opportunity to do. You understand this is a honor, and we feel confident you won't let us down. You've proved yourself time and time again. You are, in fact, a star. So, from this point on, you will be known by your code name, Senor Estrella. Congratulations."

With those flowery words, Terry was initiated.
In the darkened room whose lights cast long shadows over the faces of the three other men present, he felt as if those in a position of sacred trust were placing their faith in him. This was an appeal that went to the core of his being. It was not only a position of honor, but just as much an obligation. He was to protect the core of American values.

He felt he had been part of a sacred ritual, but he did not realize then that there was a Judas among them.

Turning to Cathey, Robert Johnson and Max Gomez, he said: "Thank you gentlemen, I feel deeply honored. I will do everything in my power to make 'Screw Worm' a success and to represent our country with honor and professionalism."

Johnson continued the briefing: "Terry, as you know, from this point forward you will be in the gray zone, a no-man's land in which assets operate. You have no written contract to protect you, nor to hinder you. You can move freely. We will always be near you, but yet you must be kept at arm's length for built-in deniability -- for your protection, as well as ours. We will be your shadow in Mexico and Max will see to it that maximum allowable security will be provided for you and your family. But yet we will not be in a position to directly or overtly intervene in an emergency for fear of exposing your cover."

"Beyond the three of you who else, in country, will know of 'Senor Estrella' and what his mission is?" Terry asked.

"From an Agency operational level, only our local handler in Ajijic and the consul-general in Guadalajara," Johnson answered. "Others may have to know that you are somehow aligned with the State Department and getting preferential treatment, as is not uncommon for U.S. businessmen being supported overseas by our government. But only those two individuals know exactly of your, and our, true objectives."


Later on, only 12 names -- "The Dirty Dozen" -- surfaced in the Iran-Contra scandal as having detailed knowledge of the affair. By design, Terry began to realize how small the circle was of those "in the loop."

Cathey had an additional concern, "And Terry, that brings up another point. I know you told me your wife knows generally what's going on here in Arkansas up to now. But, from this point forward, you should begin limiting her knowledge of details that may compromise her or put her at risk."

Johnson then revealed what Terry had already assumed. The Agency had done an extensive background check on his wife and her family. Johnson said his wife had been cleared for a "general operational knowledge" on a "need to know" basis.

"But it's important for you not to forget, we're investing a great deal of time and money in you," Johnson stressed. "And we wouldn't want to jeopardize the whole operation by a mere marital dispute. Spouses have been problems in the past, not saying that yours will be. I've been told you have a very stable family relationship."

Gomez had another point of view. It was clear by this time that a subtle friction was already developing between him and Terry. Only later did Terry realize that Gomez didn't hold most Anglos in high esteem.

"That's where we Latinos make much better agents than you gringos!" he said reflecting his Latin macho attitude. "We don't tell our wives fucking shit!"

"You guys just tell your secrets to your mistresses in order to impress them," Cathey shot back, shaking his head and laughing. "Some security!"

Johnson stepped in to head off any more racial comments and to soothe ruffled feelings. After referring to Gomez as the "field jefe" for "Screw Worm," he asked for an up-to-date operational briefing about Mexico, which ended the squabbling.

"Well, at the present time all should be in place to receive Mr. Reed and start up the operation within 60 days ... by May at the latest," Gomez replied.

Terry said he needed more time to phase out his regular business in Arkansas without bringing attention to what would appear as a too-rapid departure.

"There are ongoing automation projects both here and in Texas that require my involvement. I can't go that soon," Terry said.

"He's right, Max," Cathey said. "Let's move slow on this, so it appears that Terry is just making a career move. That way his present customers and suppliers won't get jumpy or suspicious on us. We have all worked too hard in order to develop this multi-national front for Machinery International and we don't want to blow that cover. It's excellent for our purposes."

Terry had been successful in attracting two other companies, one Japanese and one Hungarian, into this operation to make it a real multi-national joint venture. Maquinaria Internacional, B.A., was the selected name of the company Terry was setting up to front for the gun-running operation. Headquartered eventually in Guadalajara, it would serve as a legitimate import-export machine tool trading company.

For now, at least, the new company would use Cortec's warehouse facilities in Mexico City and Reed's operation would serve as a "satellite" or franchise operation based in Guadalajara. Robert Johnson had liked the idea of remotely locating Reed's warehouse away from Cortec, not only for security reasons, but for giving the business the appearance of being one that was expanding from an already established firm.

From the onset, Seal had told Terry the Agency's attraction to him was his ability to move around in international trading circles that included German, Japanese and Hungarian companies. This would give the operation firm business "roots" and a true multi-national flavor.

Front companies, or proprietaries as they are called, must not only appear as legitimate businesses, they have to be legitimate so as not to be exposed. Carrying out seemingly real operations requires real businessmen who speak the "language" and understand the intricacies of the front business they are carrying on.

Even in a dark world, some things must be opaque or their true function will quickly become transparent.

Gomez did not wait long to respond to Cathey's fear of going too fast for Terry's investors, adding fuel to the existing tension.

"After my visits to Reed's commie friends in Mexico City, the Hungarian KGB assholes, I don't think anything we do can scare them off. They know opportunity when they see it. I've been able to buy off more mother-fuckin' Mexicans in the past five months than those Russian influence peddlers have in the past three years. This is a good deal for them and they know it."

Gomez's prejudice highlighted a problem that plagued the operation from the beginning. "Reed's commie friends," as Gomez had put it, were legitimate Hungarian businessmen operating a machine-tool company named Cortec in Mexico City. This is what made the plan attractive to the CIA. But Gomez couldn't overcome his continually-professed hatred of anything "communist." Terry was beginning to view Gomez as something akin to an Air Force guard dog that can never be retrained to become anything more than a killer.

Terry had informed the Agency earlier that one of the Hungarians was indeed KGB, something he had been told earlier by the FBI. But the CIA found this attractive and intended to use this as a conduit for disinformation and, possibly, as a source for obtaining weapons from Eastern Europe.


The "buy offs" Gomez was referring to were bribes he had been paying high-level Mexican government officials to insure total foreign ownership of Machinery International, something rarely allowed under Mexican law. It was essential to the CIA plan because the Agency wanted to be certain that no Mexican partner would be brought in, as is normally required. There could be no security leak.

Stepping in again as mediator, Johnson replied: "That may be true Maximo but, for Terry's sake, let's go slow on this. We've waited too long for an opportunity like this just to blow it through impatience. Don't you have a sufficient stockpile of weapons in place in country to carry the Contras through until summer?"

"With all the disorganization down there, I don't know," Gomez admitted. "These guys you brought into the supply side of this, John, are just not professionals in my professional opinion."

(Rodriguez would later testify in Congressional hearings that the resupply operation was being run solely by profiteers "and not patriots." They were, he testified, "unprofessional.") [1]

"If worse comes to worse," Johnson replied, "I can get Southern Air Transport to fly some missions direct to Honduras or El Salvador, but I don't want to. It's too risky. That's the beauty of 'Screw Worm.' Once this front is set up in Guadalajara the pressure will be taken off. We can control things in Mexico and no one will be looking there. Terry's facility can warehouse several months of munitions and supplies, with the ability to bring in weapons from all over the world through this multi-national appearance. That's why 'Operation Screw Worm' is so important to Mr. Casey's plan.
Max, you can control things in Mexico for us? Over the long haul, I mean?"

"By this time next year, I'll have Mexico wanting to apply for statehood in the U.S.," Gomez said. "I'll have them all speaking English as their native tongue ... I'll be the true Conquistador of Mexico. I will make Cortez appear as a coward."

Cathey had had enough. "Calm down, Maximo. I'm sure you could do all that ... with enough bribe money. But, in the meantime, please brief us on the operational consideration of 'Screw Worm,' OK?"

After a piercing stare at Cathey, and a long pause, Gomez returned to the agenda. "I have been in touch with my good friend at the DFS (the Mexican CIA) in Mexico City, Mr. Jainie Bravo. He is taking care of security at both facilities, the Hungarians' warehouse in Mexico City as well as the warehouse at the Guadalajara Airport. By working through his people in the Mexican Army, he can station DFS agents within pissing distance of all our materiels. It will be secure.

"My good friend, Capitan Raul Fierro, the ex-commandante of the Guadalajara airport will be in charge of operations. He's connected with the Mexican FAA and can fix anything as it pertains to flight plans, documents et cetera."


Cathey liked what he heard, but he was still worried. What about flight records maintained by the Mexican air traffic control system?

Specifically, Cathey wanted to know: "Now, are you sure that if one of Southern Air Transport's planes delivers a load of guns to Terry's facility that Fierro can fix the international air traffic control system so that there is no permanent record of that flight? Either from its origination as it penetrates Mexican air space or to its destination at Guadalajara?"

"Senor Fierro said to tell you he has a brother who provides this same security service in the Bermuda triangle," Gomez joked. "What flies in never flies out, at least not from ATC point of view." That took care of Mexican airspace. With everyone still laughing, another problem occurred to Johnson.

"What about our own satellite reconnaissance?" he asked.

Cathey had the answer to that. "The same procedures as we used for Dodger sorties. We will have them blinded just as we did for Seal's departures and penetrations. The military's satellite coverage is from the equator north all the way into the U.S."

"But I'm curious." Johnson said. "I've never understood how Seal got back in. Taking care of the defense system is one thing, but what about American ATC? Don't these two systems overlap?"

"Sea Spray is the coordinator," Cathey replied.

"For the purpose of my report, remind me what Sea Spray is?" Johnson requested.

Cathey explained the technical details of Sea Spray, itself a black joint Army-CIA unit that provides "cover" for covert ops flights to enter and exit American airspace undetected, and added "Terry knows how it works. He went on a Sea Spray flight with Seal down to Panama, remember, Max?"

Gomez nodded.

"Beautiful," Johnson said. "The flights just never happen."

Satellites in orbit provide the primary defense network that protects American coastal airspace. By "blinding" those satellites, Cathey was referring to the Defense Department's ability to selectively turn off their detection capability. This had to be done in order to prevent a triggered response from the military whose mission is to intercept unauthorized incursions into U.S. airspace.


Southern Air Transport's aircraft, which would be carrying the weapons to Guadalajara, would be exiting and entering United States airspace without flight plans. For such black flights to come and go, avoiding detection and interception by the military, certain select air corridors would momentarily be "established", allowing penetration without detection.

Electronically, a "hole" is temporarily created in the defense network. This was how Barry Seal was able to fly weapons south from Arkansas for so long, seemingly without interference. The same was true for return flights, when Seal and others were hauling drugs.

Gomez said that he was going directly to Miami after the meeting in order to brief the "black operations" commander at Southern Air Transport about the procedures their air crews would need to use.

"Mr. Fierro has developed a system for penetrating and departing Mexican air space while on a 'Sierra Whiskey' mission," Gomez added.

"Sierra Whiskey?" Johnson asked.

"Screw Worm," Gomez replied.

"Oh yeah, Army talk," Johnson confirmed, appearing a little embarrassed. Reed guessed he hadn't been in the military and didn't know the phonetic alphabet.

Since he had to separate and safeguard the shipments after they arrived at the facilities in Mexico, Terry expressed concern about flights where legitimate machine tools would be arriving and how he would be informed as to which flights were which.

Gomez said the legitimate flight plans would be processed in normal fashion that would be labeled "negative Sierra Whiskey." He went on to say that Fierro's people typically would know 24 hours in advance of the arrival of black flights and they would nearly always be at night. All Terry had to do, he said, was to have his warehouse ready to receive cargo.

"How does Terry know when to ship black cargo that he has been warehousing?" Johnson asked.

"His local boss in Mexico, Mitch Marr, will alert him," Gomez answered. "He's in charge of that. 1will communicate to Mitch by a secure system and he will then inform Mr. Reed ... or Senor Estrella, that is. They will be living in the same village south of the airport."

The problems arising from air operations seemed to have been addressed. Now they turned to licensing aspects of Machinery International.

"What about all the necessary business licenses Senor Estrella and Machinery International will be needing," Johnson asked as he appeared to be checking off a list in his pocket-size day planner. "Where do we stand on all that?"

"I've already greased the wheels in Mexico City and they are just waiting for the green light," Gomez boasted. "Senor Estrella will have to appear personally before several personas muy importante in Mexico City. I can't do anything about that. That is just a Latino formality."

The meeting was winding down. It was time now for a Cathey pep talk. "Good, gentlemen. Let's all make Phase 1 of Screw Worm a gigantic success. I would like for the brass upstairs to hear nothing but glowing reports on this operation so that we can implement Phase II of the plan as soon as possible. So, Terry -- I mean Senor Estrella -- What is your commitment date to move ... when can you be in place so that we may get started?"

"Let's do it the government way. I'll be in place the first day of fiscal year 1987 (meaning July 1, using the military fiscal year system)," Terry said.

Everyone was finished but Gomez. "I would like to add something, a personal message to Mr. Reed. I am a professional agent. I have spent my whole adult life involved with the CIA in one way or another. I know that you come to this operation with high qualifications technically, but, from an intelligence point of view, I still consider you an amateur. This is my operation and you are a key player ... but don't screw this project up by playing like a spy. You are to be an American businessman conducting high-technology trading in Mexico, period. Just go about your business, and leave the spy work to us professionals. You provide the cover and we pay the bills, it's just that simple. Comprende? Don't play spook and don't cross us."

Cathey again felt the need for moderation. "What Maximo is trying to articulate, Terry, is that it's our job to handle the dirty end of the business. Your job is to attend to the clean end. A good asset always remembers who he is and what his mission is. It's imperative you do not compromise our agents and our methods. This will take a lot of self-control. But try to turn a blind eye to our side of the operation and do not delve into areas in which you do not have an absolute ..."

"Need to know," Terry said finishing the sentence. "I know, Intel 101."


Johnson now was closing down the meeting. "Gentlemen, this concludes our operational meeting. Senor Estrella, with Mr. Seal gone you can continue reporting directly to me at SAT, just as you have been doing. Keep us informed of your progress to move to Mexico."

There was one more small piece, or so it seemed then, of unfinished business for Terry, a small detail that would come back to haunt him. He had been maintaining a hangar at the North Little Rock Airport at Agency expense. He thought he would not be needing it now as he moved on to Mexico.

"One question. With the Arkansas operations all but shut down, will the Company have any further need of me maintaining the hangar, once I depart for Mexico?"

"Good point," Johnson said. "Yes. Keep it rented, leased, whatever your arrangements are. The SAT maintenance people are always in need of secure storage facilities, safe hangars if you will, especially considering all of our flight activity here in the central U.S."

Gomez was now thinking of something beyond the meeting. "So Senor Estrella, where does a good-looking Latino ladies man go around here in order to surround himself with these southern belles I keep hearing of. It's still early and I don't go back to Miami until tomorrow."

Cathey had the answer. "Maximo, for a guy like you, I would suggest a place on the Arkansas River not far from here called 'Snug Harbor.' The women there are accustomed to servicing all of the different racial elements stationed here at Camp Robinson. But, on second thought, I don't think they'll fuck Cubans!"

"You wouldn't say things like that if I had my weapon! Speaking of which, where's my Glock," Gomez snapped back with a smile. "I feel naked without it!"

The four men left the bunker and joined the security force outside. Cathey volunteered to drive Terry back to his home on the golf course in nearby Maumelle.

Terry would think about this night for a long time.

_______________

Notes:

1. Rodriguez testimony, Iran-Contra Hearings, 100-3, at 302-06
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:47 pm

CHAPTER 20: MEXICAN HANDOFF

Terry was quiet on the ride home. John Cathey, who was driving, sensed something was troubling his passenger.

"What's wrong? Are you upset because we didn't go with Max to 'Snug Harbor?'" Cathey asked, trying to inject a little humor and draw Terry out of his funk.

"No. It's ... I gotta be truthful with you. I still have to sell this idea to Janis."

"I thought she was totally on board!"

"She is, based on my deceit. I haven't been totally truthful with her. She's not aware of the circumstances of Barry's death. And, John, I'm gonna go home and tell her everything. It's just not fair for me to ask her to give up her life here in Arkansas and move to Mexico on a decision based upon half-truths."

"Well, all I can tell you is, I'm counting on you. We've gone with you a long ways on this program. This was your idea, whether you realize it or not. Call me as soon as both of you make up your minds on this. I've got to know, one way or the other."

As the car's headlights illuminated the lawn of Terry's new house at 32 Club Manor in Maumelle, its serene setting wasn't helping him to cut his ties with the community he now felt part of.

The light was on in the upstairs bedroom as he got out of the CIA man's car. "I'm not gonna tell anybody about your indecision for 72 hours. Then I'll be obligated to alert them," Cathey said in parting.

"Thanks."

The sedan pulled away from the house leaving Reed alone with his thoughts and his problems. Damn! He didn't feel any happiness and it was his own fault. He had just been "sworn in" to what he thought was an elite brotherhood. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work undercover as a secret intelligence agent in a foreign country lay before him. What the thousands of Walter Mittys would pay to trade places, he could only speculate.

But on the opposite side of the scale was Janis, the mother of his two sons and the woman he had vowed to love forever. He had lied to her. He had let her down; he had let himself down. He had to confront her with the whole truth.

"So tell me how it went," she said, peering through her reading glasses. She put her book aside to give him her full attention. "Who all did you meet. Is it real? Do they really want you to go?" The questions came tumbling out.

He now had to dampen her enthusiasm and the answer came as fast as the questions. "Janis, I've let you down and you don't even know it. I'm sorry I lied about Barry's death. He died in his car all right ... from multiple bullet wounds. He must have got in way over his head. All 1 know is, he died a violent death. And I've led these guys on as if you're 100 percent behind me. And now I've got to back up and deal with reality. The reality is this could be a very dangerous business and I've got you and the boys to think about. I'm willing to abide by your decision if you want me to pull the plug on all this."

She was furious. It was not only that he had lied, she said, but he had not trusted her enough to be honest. Now, he was tossing the problem in her lap, putting her in the position of a spoil-sport that would wreck his opportunity. If she said "No," he would rebuke her all his life.

It was a long and tormenting night. After telling her everything, including all he knew about Barry's murder, an assassination as she saw it, the decision was made for him. He realized as he was describing the gruesome details, as he understood them, that this flirtation with danger should not have gone this far. It was no kind of life for a family.

"Terry, Barry Seal was assassinated," Janis lectured. "You need to accept that and quit referring to his death as a murder. I know you weren't doing anything wrong, but you were around Barry so often that whoever killed him probably thinks you were in on his activities, too. You may be next. They would love to get you out of the country where it would be easier to kill you. And maybe me too."

He awoke early the next morning. As he surveyed the bedroom his sleeping wife had so tastefully decorated, he realized she was right. They were giving up too much security to leave Arkansas for the unknown. His cooling-off period had given him a new focus. He called his attorney, Mark Stodola at his new office. He was now the Little Rock City Attorney and a political-wannabe who had run unsuccessfully for county prosecutor.

"Can I take you to lunch?" he asked Stodola. "I need some advice on running for office."

Over lunch, Terry outlined his hope of running for mayor of Maumelle. Stodola said he would contact a "political handler" named Buddy Vilines, a former Little Rock mayor. Vilines, Stodola said, had been the mastermind behind several political upsets. Terry left convinced that Vilines was on the inside of the political fast track and looked forward to meeting him.

The following night, he dined, no, drank, with Vilines, a man with a hollow leg at the Faded Rose, THE political hangout in Little Rock. Vilines drank multiple whiskey sours starting with happy hour and all through dinner. He seemed impressed with Terry's plans for bringing foreign industry to Maumelle.

"If you can deliver, or even come close to deliverin' on your promise of a new factory in Maumelle, I'll be your campaign manager," Vilines told him. He then gave Reed -- on a paper napkin -- a cost-per-vote analysis. "I'm glad Stodola sent you my way. This could be fun. You know Bill Clinton is makin' a lotta noise right now about his upcomin' trip to Japan to recruit industry. We can steal his publicity. It's a good idea."

Janis was excited when she heard about her husband's plans to enter the political arena. She got the nominating petitions and began collecting the prerequisite signatures he would need to get on the Democratic primary ballot. "Are you sure this is what you want to do?" she asked. "You're not doing this just to put excitement in your life since you're not going to Mexico?" He told her no.

He lied. In fact, he genuinely dreaded informing John Cathey of his decision. He scheduled lunch with Bob Nash instead. Nash and Clinton had left the bunker meeting with a compromise settlement. Reed felt it politically advantageous to inform Nash of his decision to stay in Arkansas. He still was having ambivalent feelings. He was trying to convince himself he was more an Arkansan than part of the cabal he had joined in the bunker. In hindsight, he was unhappy about the cavalier way Nash and Clinton had been treated by the men from Washington.

"You need to inform your people that I'm not going to Mexico," Reed told Nash as he spooned his egg drop soup at Fu Lin's. "I have new plans." Reed told him of his desire to stay in Arkansas where he saw great opportunities in the machine-tool business. Besides, he said, he was planning to run for office and there was a possibility of attracting a Japanese company to Maumelle.

"Why this sudden change of heart?" Nash asked.

"To tell you the truth, Bob, this Barry Seal death has strongly influenced my decision. I just can't get it out of my craw that there's a lot more to his death than we all have been told."

Nash sat silently, looking at Reed. "This'll really be a disappointment to our friend," Nash said, referring to Cathey. "Have you informed him yet of your change of mind? You know he's already factored you into his plan."

Reed told Nash that he had not informed anyone up to now. His primary reason for not going, he said, was concern for his family's safety in Mexico. But there were other considerations, too. There was the burgeoning media coverage of the drug trial of Hot Springs attorney Sam Anderson Jr. The trial was bringing Roger Clinton's name back to public attention. Roger, who had pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, had turned informer and was the government's star witness against Anderson.

This scandal was certain to spread, if it hadn't already, into Dan Lasater's bond firm, which handled millions in state bond business along with Seal's money and the "deposits" from the green flights.


All of this renewed media coverage about Roger was generating haunting thoughts of Seal's comments about being involved in a Republican-backed sting operation to bring down some major Democrats. He was certain that somehow Seal's name would surface in all of this and that other motives behind his death and connection to Arkansas would be revealed. He couldn't be sure how much Nash knew about this.

"I still have unanswered questions about what all Barry Seal was doing here. You and I both know Barry was doing a whole lot more that just flying 'green flights' into the Triple-S," Terry said.

"What are you referring to?"

"Well since Barry's dead now, I guess he won't mind me talking about it. But he alluded to being the source of the drugs that are bringing down some important people here. I guess you know all about that."
It had been discussed by the governor himself, in a round-about way, during the bunker meeting at Camp Robinson. ("Gettin' my brother arrested and bringin' down the Arkansas bond business in the process isn't my idea of kosher.!'')

Nash shot back. "You weren't involved in any of that, were you? 'Cause Bill is really pissed. And if you were, it'd be my advice not to plan a political career in Arkansas. In fact, if I were you, I wouldn't plan any career in Arkansas."

Terry shook his head. "No. I wasn't involved in any way... that I know of. I was aware of some mutinous planning by Seal, but I thought it was only against the Agency. It certainly didn't involve Roger, Lasater or anyone else close to Bill. What I did learn was strictly after the fact stuff. Bob, I've never had anything to do with drugs."

"That's good. I'll tell Bill. I've got to call Cathey on something else anyway. Do you want me to tell him about your decision not to go?"

"Yeah, I'd really appreciate that. It's a call I haven't been looking forward to and I have no way to contact him directly anyway."

"I'm sure he won't be happy. But you know the Feds, they're never happy anyway." Reed felt they parted as friends.

Whatever Cathey's reaction, Reed's news would certainly not sit well in the governor's mansion. Terry Reed had been an eyewitness during the secret Camp Robinson meeting when the CIA, through Robert Johnson, gave the 39-year-old Bill Clinton his marching orders. Now Terry, who had been privy to unauthorized Contra operations and money laundering in Arkansas, was not going to Mexico. Instead he was planning to stay in Arkansas and attempt to build a political power base there just as a major political scandal was unfolding. He would be an on-going threat to Bill Clinton, who was already in trouble.

Because of his Agency connection, Terry had inadvertently amassed a lot of political dirt. Locked in Terry's head, which had a tremendous capacity for detail, were enough dark and dirty secrets to send half of the Arkansas oligarchy to prison. Clinton didn't need another loose end in Maumelle. The phone lines between Little Rock and Washington had to be buzzing about Reed's decision to stay.

For the next three days, Terry kept waiting for the phone to ring with an irate John Cathey on the other end. The call never came and it was beginning to eat at him that he had not told Cathey personally of his decision. But what was really tearing at him was whether he had really made the right decision about staying in Arkansas?

He endured a hectic week wrestling with all the turmoil of his decision and trying to get in the groove of his machine-tool activity. How could he ever live the life of a mundane surburbanite, even as a small town mayor, with the secrets he had acquired in the spook world. Janis knew by the look on his face that he was "faking it" with being content about his decision.

Twice she had broached the subject of his decision. Had she been responsible for it, she had asked? Both times, he assured her that was not the case.

He lied.

It was a Saturday afternoon, April 19th, 1986, and Terry was in the garage for a self-imposed therapy session. Restoring the 1967 Corvette he had purchased was actually therapeutic.

Janis leaned through the doorway holding the receiver of the hall phone. "I've got Cherryl Hall on the phone, she wants to know if we want to go with her and Wally tonight to a new Mexican restaurant."

The last thing he wanted was to be reminded of Mexico, but he knew Janis wanted to go out for the evening.

"Sure. Why not? It'll get my mind off things." What the hell, he thought, there'd be a price to pay if he didn't.


As he continued reassembling the Corvette's engine, all he could think about was how he wished he would be going to dinner with Barry Seal or someone else with which he had something in common. He knew Barry liked engines. If he were here, they'd both be "shootin' the shit" and discussing such things as the compression ratio of a 327 cubic-inch, small-block Chevy engine.

Wally Hall was just not his type. It wasn't that he disliked him, they simply had nothing in common. Terry knew the evening would be occupied with idle chit-chat centered on what jock could jump the highest, who'd elbowed who, sports injuries, coach gossip and, of course, which star athlete was servicing the wife of some Arkansas power broker. Yup, he thought, that about sums up Wally Hall, the famous Arkansas sportscaster who was sports editor of the Arkansas Democrat.

His wife, Cherryl, now, that was something else, he decided, as he torqued the cylinder head bolts. Cherryl and Janis had become rather close friends, but it was a "friendship" founded on convenience. They worked together in real estate, had joined the same firm at the same time and had a child the same age. Cherryl, for some reason, had decided to share with Janis all the intimate, blow-by-blow minutiae of not only her present extra-marital affair, but also the details of her previous criminal charges stemming from drug addiction while living in Virginia Beach.

Wally was totally in the dark about his wife's jaded past and her current sexual indiscretions, making it a pain for Terry to try to remember what he could and couldn't say around the Halls for fear of bringing up something he ... or Wally ... wasn't supposed to know about. Yeah, it was sure to be a hell of an evening.

Shit, Barry, it's all your fault. I miss you. If you hadn't gone and got yourself riddled with bullets, Janis wouldn't have turned on me and we could all be in Mexico tonight havin' fun, he thought to himself while caressing the body lines of Zora Duntov's creation.

But Terry made one of those marital compromises a wise husband makes. His wife wanted to go. That night, the four of them drove to Juanita's restaurant in the Reeds' van. Terry was at the wheel making idle conversation with Wally, seated in the front with him. The two wives were laughing in the back drinking pre-prepared margaritas as part of their mood adjustment. His thoughts were not on Wally's gossip about basketball coach Eddie Sutton leaving Arkansas and going to Kentucky.

He needed some adrenalin, he thought. Damn, it had been a long time since the Contra "graduation." He needed a "fix." He was certain he had made the wrong decision, but he couldn't admit it.

And little did he know that Janis in the back seat was thinking the very same thing. She and Cherryl's conversation had gravitated to a discussion of the Montessori school system where their children were enrolled. Is this all there is to life, she thought, as she listened to Cherryl worry about the school letting in black children. She had forced Terry into making the wrong decision, but she couldn't admit it.

It was what marriage is sometimes all about, pursuing a course each thinks the other wants and which makes neither happy.

"My God, look at the crowd! They're standing outside just to get in," Reed said looking for a place to park a block away. The sight turned Terry off. Here was Little Rock's "Who's Who" all fighting to get into what was now becoming the new "in-place," where one would go to be seen and dine on Tex-Mex food.

"Whose idea was this?" Reed asked of no one in particular. "Let's go to SOBs, at least they've got a band there."

"No," Cherryl said," we have to go here, everybody in the office is just raving about this place." Terry was outvoted 3-1.

Before elbowing their way through the Corona drinking crowd that spilled out onto the sidewalk, Reed noticed a dark-colored van parked directly in front of the screen door, which served as the entrance.

I've seen that van before, Reed thought to himself, and then shrugged it off as he searched for the right person to bribe for a table. The women remained outside, while Wally accompanied Reed to the maitre d'. Terry pressed a $20 bill in his hand and said: "We're the Reed party of four. I hope the wait won't be long."

As they returned to their wives with four bottles of beer, Wally said for everyone to hear: "Shit! I can't believe it. Terry just bribed that guy $20 and the maitre d' said we'd only have to wait 15 minutes." Janis threw him a dirty look. He shrugged and said: "Hey, I couldn't help it. I've been practicing for Mexico by bribing people. This looks like Mexico to me, or at least as near as I'll ever get."

Cherryl was impressed. Wally never bribed anyone. She admonished him that he probably didn't even know how. They were ushered in past the throngs of people, and seated in the back on the west side of the packed restaurant. In the southeast corner of the main dining area was a large, rowdy group of people seated around several tables put together to form one large one.

The Reed party ordered their Tex-Mex gringo food and passed the time in meaningless conversation. This was very much like the vacation scene in Puerto Vallarta, people trying to offset their week-long misery with two hours of drunken merriment. Why couldn't people live a life that makes them happy most of the time? Why did people find it necessary to group together and make fools of themselves on the weekend? It rekindled his thoughts they shared in Mexico. He didn't want to be like these people, yet here he was, with them, instead of in Mexico. By the strained look on her face, he knew Janis was sharing the same feeling.

When the check came, Wally placed the cash Terry had laid on the table in his pocket and pulled out his company credit card, saying: "I hope you don't mind if I take your money. I need some cash for the weekend and this way I won't have to use the money machine. I'll just put the whole bill on my credit card." Reed shrugged, figuring the newspaper had probably just bought the four of them their dinner and Wally had actually turned a profit by pocketing the cash. Terry hadn't noticed a man approach their table. He looked up and saw Bob Nash standing beside him.

"I noticed you were just finishing with your dinner. Bill would like to talk to you outside," Nash said.

"Bill?"

"Yeah, he's right over here in the corner ... Oh, here he comes now."

Reed turned around in his chair to get a better look and saw Bill Clinton walking away from the unruly group in the corner and toward Reed's table.

Clinton made eye contact with him and sauntered by without stopping.

"Hi! ... Bye!" was all he said as if speaking to no one.

The young governor continued walking until he reached the exit. It was easy to see by his glassy gaze and relaxed posture that he was under the influence.

Nash shrugged his shoulders and conjured up an apologetic expression, "I guess that means we're going."

"I hope you'll excuse us," Nash said to Janis and the Halls. "I'm sure we won't be gone long."

Terry excused himself from his wife and the wide-eyed Halls.

Outside, Clinton was already seated in the parked security van with the side door open. A man and a woman stepped out of the van as Reed and Nash approached and the governor told Nash: "Bobby ... I'd like to talk to him privately." Reed stepped in and Nash closed the door. Standing guard outside the restaurant watching the van was Arkansas State Police Lieutenant Raymond (Buddy) Young, the governor's chief of security. This was the same vehicle he had witnessed Clinton arrive in for the Agency's meeting at Camp Robinson.

Clinton was comfortably seated in a plush, swiveling captain's chair on the streetside of the van and Reed took the one opposite him on the curbside with his back to the van's side door, which was now closed. His eyes scanned the interior of what was really a mobile command post equipped with an array of electronics that included a computer terminal. It was a much scaled-down, wingless version of Air Force One, he thought.

The governor's invitation had come as a surprise to Terry. He would be even more surprised by what he was about to see and hear.

"Bobby says you've got a problem about going to Mexico because of the deal with Barry Seal," the glassy-eyed governor began. By this time, the smell of marijuana was unmistakable.

Clinton paused for a moment as if trying to sort out his thoughts. "I can see your concern. I understand Seal was a friend of yours. His death does appear suspicious. And Bobby says you got a feeling somebody here in Arkansas may have had a motive to kill him. But nobody here had anything to do with that. Seal just got too damn big for his britches and that scum basically deserved to die, in my opinion ..."

With that, Clinton got up from his chair and went to the back of the van, returning with a half-smoked joint. He reseated himself. He took a long, deep drag. After holding it in until his cheeks bulged, he then exhaled slowly and deliberately.

He extended his arm and offered the joint to Reed. Terry shook his head and gestured, no thanks.

"Go on, I'm the commander in chief here; you won't get busted," the governor said with a straight face while exhaling. Reed felt uncomfortable with a cop standing right outside the van and he sure didn't want to cloud his mind with anything more that the two beers he had already consumed in the restaurant.

"No, thanks.
I just want to get all of this straight. You're saying that Seal's death, from what you know, is just as the papers say, he was killed by some Colombians because of his connection to the Medellin Cartel?"

"Yeah. And I think you're makin' a big mistake by passing up the opportunity to go to Mexico for Cathey. It sounds attractive to me. I wish I could go in your place. Terry, these guys are counting on you and they're leaning on me to get you to go. I'm not standing in your way. I just want to tell you that if you wanna still go to Mexico, you'd be leaving here with my blessing. There's no hard feelings about anything that happened here. I wanted you to hear that coming from me."

Clinton took another deep drag, held it and exhaled. In a raspy voice, with smoke still coming from his mouth, Clinton added, "Sure you don't want some of this? This is good shit. We sure do grow lotsa good things besides watermelons here in Arkansas."

"Thanks, again, but I gotta get back inside with my group before they wonder what happened to me."


"So what's your decision, you gonna go or aren't ya? I gotta tell Cathey somethin' ASAP to get him offa my ass. It's ridiculous, but he's holdin' me responsible for your vacillation."

"Tell him I'm goin'."

"Good."


Terry walked back toward the restaurant entrance and could hear Clinton calling out to Nash. "Bobby, get 'em rounded up. I'm ready to go.'"

How could Terry know then he had just witnessed the future President of the United States smoking a joint and inhaling with expertise.

As he rejoined his wife and friends, Terry felt elation beginning to bubble up inside him. He had spent a miserable evening with boring company and had just left a man close to his age, who was the governor, and who should be on top of the world. Yet this same man had just expressed the desire to change places with Terry. Nobody's really happy, he decided. Like Grandpa said, "The grass is always greener ...'" Somehow the thought of grass seemed fitting.

He had needed a "fix'" and the adrenalin was now flowing. Yes, he was going!

Back at the table, Cherryl, always nosey, was champing at the bit and demanded to know what had just happened. "I didn't know you knew Bill Clinton. What's that all about? Where'd you go?'"

Ignoring the question, Terry turned to Janis and smiled. "We're going to Mexico."

Oblivious to their dinner guests, she asked, "Are you sure you're making the right decision?"

"Yeah. What's the worst that could happen? We're off on an adventure."

On the drive home, he had time to think about what had happened in the governor's van. With all things considered, and even having inside knowledge of the source of "capitalization" of the governor's industrial plan, Terry still liked Clinton. He and Janis had found it refreshing to live in a state that was ruled by someone of their generation. Clinton was doing a lot of good things for Arkansas and was taking it from the "corn cob pipe and moonshine" image of its past to its proper place in the industrialized world.

But he couldn't help but feel let down by the hypocrisy demonstrated by Clinton having the courage to smoke a joint in his presence and yet not possessing the strength to campaign openly to reform marijuana laws. When, he wondered, was someone from his generation going to stand up and tell it like it is to the voters.

Throughout the state that night, Terry was sure, kids were being busted and their lives destroyed for the possession of a few joints of "Arkansas' finest."


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20-1. Bar bill from Juanita's Restaurant on the night Terry Reed met with Bill Clinton.

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20-2. Reed's decision to move to Mexico meant he would no longer be orbiting in the same circles as Bob Nash, Aki Sawahata, Dean Mangum, and Tony Matejko. Little did Reed know, however, that his sheer knowledge of "Jade Bridge" and "Centaur Rose" as he transitioned to "Operation Screw Worm" would make him a liability to powerful people in Arkansas.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:53 pm

Photo Gallery

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1a. Cadet Lt. Colonel Terry K. Reed (sabre drawn) ,1966, with award winning ROTC Company Alpha, which he commanded.

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1b. Harry S. Truman, 1966, receiving sabre from Reed's R.O.T.C. unit. Photo courtesy of Truman Library.

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2a. Emery (Veda) West, 1981, the F.B.I.'s Hungarian technology transfer asset in Oklahoma City.

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2b. Terry Reed (left) in 1981 with Hungarian KGB asset George Fenue at height of F.B.I.'s technology transfer "monitoring."

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3a. Barry Seal 1984 testifying before Presidential Crime Commission.

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3b. Barry Seal, late 1985 outside Federal Court house, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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4a. Hangars used for C.I.A. black operations at Mena Airport.

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4b. Panoramic view of "field" near Nella, Arkansas, prior to construction of the C.I.A.'s clandestine training base.

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4c. Oliver North (left) dressed as he appeared when undercover as C.I.A. agent John Cathey.

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5a. C.I.A. asset Fred Hampton, Jr. and man who ran Barry Seal's airplane maintenance operation in Mena.

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5b. C.I.A. asset Joe Evans, Barry Seal's chief aircraft mechanic.

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6a. Terry, Elliott, Janis & Duncan Reed, 1985, shortly after C.I.A. funded fact finding trip to Mexico.

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6b. Terry Reed (with sunglasses), Mena, Arkansas Airport, 1984, during C.I.A. Operation "Jade Bridge".

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7a. "Parking Meter Factory" in Russellville, Arkansas where C.I.A. weapons parts were secretly manufactured.

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7b. Webster (Webb) Hubbell, Hillary Clinton's former law partner, corporate attorney for POM and now number 3 man in Clinton Justice Department. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

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7c. Seth Ward (left), owner of POM with friend Joe Ida. Ultra light in background.

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8a. Raymond "Buddy" Young, Bill Clinton's former security chief and man who guarded the "bunker" meeting, posing in front of Arkansas State Capital Building.

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8b. Bob Nash, Clinton's Chief Economic Advisor and Liaison to the C.I.A.'s operations in Arkansas. Now with the Clinton Administration in D.C. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

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9a. Terry with co-pilot Duncan Reed at Guadalajara Airport, 1987, during Operation Screw Worm.

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9b. Mexican working papers for "Sr. Estrella".

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10a. Then Vice-President George Bush and Felix Rodriguez/Maximo Gomez circa C.I.A. Operation "Screw Worm".

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10b. A young Felix Rodriguez with Che Guevara in Bolivia, just prior to Guevara's execution.

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11 a. Terry and Janis in Mexico, 1987, showing results of "undercover" work. Janis is carrying baby Baxter.

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11b. Janis and Terry partying in Mexico with Patrick Juin, witness to "divorce meeting" with Felix Rodriguez.

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12a. Terry and Janis Reed shortly after their marriage in 1981 when Terry was performing "monitoring" services for the F.B.I.

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12b. Janis Reed and children while Terry was working undercover in Operation "Screw worm", Ajijic, Mexico, 1986.

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13a. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Fowler, the man who led the government's merciless attack on the Reeds ... and who was defeated!

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13b. In-processing into Criminal Justice System August 1988, courtesy of Mr. Fowler's Grand Jury proceedings.

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13c. Terry and Janis Reed 1989. Packing for Federal Court odyssey with court documents loaded on roof.

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14a. Steve Clark, former Arkansas Attorney General and man who would be Governor had he not threatened Clinton's political future. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

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14b. John Wesley Hall Jr., the Reeds' former Attorney and man who assisted Time Magazine in preventing the Reeds' civil suit from going to trial during the presidential election. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

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15a. William C. Duncan, former IRS criminal investigator and man whose Mena investigations were stonewalled by the Reagan/Bush White House.

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15b. Russell Welch, Arkansas State Police investigator in Mena whose inquiries about C.I.A. activities were stonewalled by the F.B.I.

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16a. Reed's refuge and "secret communications headquarters" in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

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16b. Clark Ronnow, man who befriended the Reeds and gave them asylum after Time magazine's vicious attack.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:55 pm

CHAPTER 21: ESCAPE FROM 'FREEDOM'

In a 1984 Chevy conversion van, loaded to the ceiling with all the Reeds' "important, have-to-have, can't-live-without, absolutely-essential stuff," Terry, Janis and the two boys sat waiting for the United States Customs agent to raise the barrier allowing them access to Mexico.

It was June 15th, 1986, a day they thought would never arrive. The mystique of a secret agent's life lay just across the meandering stream called the Rio Grande.

Presidio, Texas, which advertises itself as the onion capital of the world, was both their port of debarkation and their springboard to happiness, or so they thought. Across the river lay the sweltering and dusty Mexican town of Ojinaga, one of the typical "arm-pits" strung along the border.

It was early Sunday morning and they were the first car of the day to pass southward through the checkpoint, catching by surprise the U.S. Customs agents who had to rouse themselves and raise the barricade.

Terry had honked the horn, thinking the booth was unmanned. The confused, young agent walked out with a mirror mounted on wheels and rolled it underneath the van to inspect it for contraband. "Excuse me, we're going into Mexico, not coming out," Terry reminded the still groggy agent. An embarrassed GS weenie, as Seal would have called him, raised the barricade and they made their escape.

Fifteen minutes later, after bribing Mexican Customs Officials in exchange for expeditious and hassle-free passage, they were on their way, and free at last, dodging the potholes on Mexican Highway 16 enroute to Chihuahua. Janis was in the back comforting the children and breaking out the toys she had packed to occupy them for their journey. They were a full 30 miles inland and avoiding cattle roaming the road when it finally hit them -- they had done it, they had escaped the American rat race -- at last.

Everything was now a blur from this point back to that night two months earlier at Juanita's restaurant when Bill Clinton had personally taken the trouble to encourage Terry to join the operation. This gesture had removed Terry's fears about any sort of ill will or retribution coming as a result of confusion that he may have been part of Seal's dirty-tricks campaign.

John Cathey and Robert Johnson were relieved that both Reeds were now 100 percent on board. Besides putting final touches on the business plan with Johnson, Terry began interfacing with Gomez in anticipation of his "handoff" from the States to Mexico. The itinerary had been difficult to plan due to machine tool business that Terry had to clear up before leaving. The cover story for Terry's departure was an expansion of his machine-tool business to Mexico and to test the Mexican market for factory automation.

In addition to contractually transferring maintenance obligations that Applied Technologies had with clients in Arkansas and Texas, Terry had been busy "mothballing" the firm just in case Mexico didn't work out as he hoped and he wanted to return. Janis had frantically shut down her real estate activities in Little Rock just days before the moving van arrived to transfer their household goods to storage. Then there were the usual good byes to friends and associates and the calls from well-wishers who couldn't believe they were actually taking children to Mexico considering all the disease and filth they had heard were there. Janis and Terry knew this was a myth perpetuated by ill-informed non-travelers, but didn't wish to correct these misconceptions for fear that too many gringos might move there and destroy the paradise they had discovered.

Janis and the children had departed Little Rock on June 1st to visit her parents in Kansas City while Terry had gone to Texas to oversee a large machine-tool installation. While in Texas, Gomez called him with the itinerary for Mexico and he was told to be at the Hotel Playa Conchas Chinas in Puerto Vallarta by June 21st. It was a remote hotel on the outskirts of town, he was told, and it was frequented primarily by Mexican tourists.

A man by the name of Mitch Marr, he was told, would find him and rendezvous with him there.

"Why meet him in Puerto Vallarta? Aren't we going to set this up in Guadalajara?" Terry had asked Gomez.

"There is a very large gringo element in Guadalajara," Gomez explained. "That's a bad place to meet ... someone who knows him might see the two of you together there. Remember, you and Mitch are never to be seen together in public. Mitch wants to meet you in PV (Puerto Vallarta) and spend some time with you, you know, get to know you. He'll be your handler and, I'm sure most important to you, your money man. Besides, this trip is on Uncle and Mitch wants to take advantage of the scenery, and the women, at the beach."

The Reeds had planned a leisurely trip to PV, which included a stopover at several cities they had never seen. They had factored in several days for the trip from the border to their destination and the second night "in country" was spent in Durango, home of the large Hollywood movie set where John Wayne and other western stars filmed some of their best.

After finding "el centro," they purchased a brochure on the city and discovered Pancho Villa was assassinated right across the street from where they were parked. They decided anyway to spend the night in the very room the assassin had taken.

The foreign intrigue began to remind them of their honeymoon in Budapest. Janis was very amorous that night. This was, after all, Mexico with its endless, night-long street sounds mixed in with Mariachi music and laughter. Both were starting to settle in together and the aura of pending danger, coupled with cutting the chord to the life she had known, excited her.

Then, the next day, on to Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast, after first crossing the famous gorge of El Diablo Canyon. In Mazatlan, they found a very Mexican beach hotel, away from gringos, and checked in for the night to watch the sun set and take on a supply of margarita mix. They were, after all, on vacation, and tequila was why Mexico was famous. Jose Cuervo was only three U.S. dollars a bottle.

They quickly discovered they were not only in the tropics, but it was also the tourist off-season, due to the sweltering heat and the summer invasion of insects. The humidity was unbearable and only the poorest Americans turistas were showing up now causing the hotels to virtually give the rooms away. For every minus there is a plus.

They had been out of the U.S. for three days and still having difficulty dealing with having no phone and no schedule. Work habits die hard for gringos. Even though there was nothing to plan, Janis kept her daily planner up to date and attached her yellow Mexican automobile insurance policy sticker with a phone number to call in case of accident. They hadn't yet discovered that only gringos believed in and were required to have insurance. The entire industry was one that Mexicans not only avoided but ridiculed classifying it as a "Yankee" problem and creation, not one of theirs.

The following day brought them to Puerto Vallarta, their destination, a day ahead of schedule. After asking directions, they discovered the hotel they were seeking was situated on the far south limits of the cove that defines the port city. The southern area geographically shared nothing with the central city and the hotel row on the north, built on flat coastal terrain.

This area had steep cliffs and was much more private and exclusive, reserved more for wealthy Mexicans and foreigners who wanted to avoid the tourist element. The hotel was built on the side of a cliff and had 40 "junior suites" that extended down to beach level from the lobby level, which was the top floor.

On the 21st, a Saturday morning, the phone rang around 9 AM in the Reeds' room. The desk clerk, in his best English, told Terry, "Your friend is waiting for you at our Oceanside bar. He requests for you to join him for desayuno." Terry would soon find why Marr rhymed with bar.

He left his sleeping family and went to join his new "handler" at the surfside bar. There, under the shade of palapas, the Mexican beautiful people were taking breakfast by the beach, most enjoying fruit or a continental breakfast. From among the beautiful bodies attired in coordinated beach wear, Terry searched for a person he had no face to hang on. Unlike the movies there were no whispered code words, no passed notes. Marr spotted him first. In a loud voice, he beckoned "Terry! It's me Mitch! Come join me over here."

Marr was easy to find. Besides shouting, he was the only one wearing an iridescent tank top, Bermuda shorts, and tennis shoes.

Terry joined Marr at a small table nearest the bar. He would soon learn why Marr had selected this strategic location. Once seated down wind, he got the aroma of stale booze. Marr was a man in his late 50s, sporting a flat-top haircut with closely cropped sides. His full head of hair, which showed no signs of receding, was salted with gray and joined what appeared to be a two-day growth of beard. He was about six feet tall and had a burly chest above his sagging middle.

Mitch was one of what the media later called the "over-the-hill gang." Like Bill Cooper, Marr was ex-Air America, men long thought to have been put out to pasture. But Terry was learning that old CIA men never really retire, but become "dormant," to be recalled, recycled and used again. For Mitch, it'd been a long time between secret projects and government-paid expenses.

"I got here day before yesterday," Marr belted out once Terry was seated. "Thought I'd come on down early an' check out the broads at the beach. It's hotter'n shit this time a year, but a lot of the classy Mexican cunts come down here in the off season and run around half fuckin' naked. They leave their fag Latino lovers at home and come down here in pairs and a lot of 'em wanna fuck around. You're gonna like it here, Reed."

He paused long enough to down the remains of what appeared to be a screw driver. "Coop's told me all about ya. Ain't this great? Startin' up Air America again. Fuck, I was about to go crazy in retirement down here 'til all this shit blew up down south. Goddam, let's order a pitcher of bloody Marys and drink to communism and Daniel Ortega."

Terry was observing the results of too many years with not enough to do in "Margaritaville," as he would later call it. He knew he would like the life here, but only if he stayed busy and didn't end up a drunk like Marr.

"So, you still doing any flying down here?" Terry asked.

"No, flyin' brings too much attention to me. I've sorta grounded myself for security reasons."

Terry would learn later that was a lie. Marr was grounded, but not of his own volition. He simply couldn't pass the pilot's physical anymore, and he had lost what a pilot calls "his edge." The booze had gotten him.

Terry didn't realize that morning, as Marr "inhaled" his huevos rancheros while washing them down with bloody Marys, just how bad Mitch's drinking problem was. The two men spent several hours while Marr gave Terry his operational briefing while consuming the bulk of the pitcher.

"You met Diana Aguilar from Chapala Realty when you were here last September," Marr said between swallows of the bloody Mary. "I've had her lookin' for a house close to where I live for ya and the family. After this trip, we should not be seen together in public unless it's at a fiesta or some gringo shindig like the ones that go on at the Lake." He was referring to the Lake Chapala area south of Guadalajara.

"I believe Aguilar had lined up several homes to show your wife and is expectin' ya to call her once ya arrive in Chapala. Gomez said you'd be needin' a phone for business reasons and the problem is none of the one's she's targeted has one. A phone stays with a house an' is just passed on from one occupant to another. It's damn hard to get a phone down here. Last time I checked, the waitin' list for a new phone number is over a year. And only then after ya bribe some motherfucker about 500 bucks. You'll soon learn that greenbacks make anything possible down here."

Again, it was napkin time. As they talked, Marr sketched a map of the village of Ajijic showing where he lived. "I don't have a phone either, so, if we need to communicate directly, ya can walk over to my house, at night. I'm normally at home then. Don't drive. I don't want the neighbors to see your car near my home. We'll only have reason to see each other a couple of times a month once things get set up. It's my understand in' you'll just be comin' to me for money, and for monthly progress reportin' which I'll just pass on to Gomez."

"How do you communicate with him if you don't have a phone?" Terry asked.

"Say, you know better than to ask questions like that! You just do the reportin'. Communication's my problem."

Marr, he learned, was going to play strictly by the rules, at least for now. Marr would be Terry's only communication link to the Enterprise, as Oliver North and Richard Secord called it. For security of the entire operation, Terry was being insulated and, as he would find, isolated as well. He had learned as far back as the Air Force Intelligence School in Denver that you can't compromise what you don't know, no matter how much someone would try to extract it from you. And, for now at least, he realized his linkage to the intelligence world started and stopped with Mitch Marr.

What a scary dilemma, Terry thought, as he watched the ex-Air American cowboy woof down the last of the refried beans and fart loud enough to attract the attention of the "classy Mexican cunts" sitting near them. Marr certainly wasn't as well preserved as Bill Cooper, for whom Reed had nothing but admiration. Oh well, maybe he was seeing Marr on one of his bad days. We all have those, he rationalized.

The reality of what was happening began to make Terry feel a little claustrophobic. To the world, Terry was to appear as an entrepreneurial-driven American businessman. Only he and his wife would know the deep, dark secret about their sponsorship into the Mexican business community. From what Marr was telling him, only this CIA retread could attest to Terry's secret linkage. For this reason, Terry decided to confirm what he had been told during the bunker meeting back in Arkansas. "Up in the States, I attended a meeting with Gomez, Cathy and Johnson in which I was told the American consul also knows of my true mission. Is that so?"

"They told ya that!" Marr said somewhat taken aback. "I didn't think ya were supposed ta know that. But hell, if they told ya that, I guess ya know already. Yeah, his name is Daniel Darrach. What else did they tell ya?"

"Only that I was to turn to him only in an emergency."

This made Terry more comfortable, knowing that someone officially linked to the State Department would be on hand if something went wrong.

"But ya shouldn't be goin' there and talking to him or anythin' like that. He's only there, like they said, for an emergency," Marr stressed. "I'm the only guy you're supposed to be havin' official contact with. Understand?"

Reed nodded.

The balance of the conversation at the beach that morning consisted of an outline for a trip during which Marr would introduce Terry to the people selected to provide the services he would need in order to operate as a businessman in Mexico.

"When ya get ready, I'll take ya to the Guadalajara Airport an' introduce ya to Commandante Raul Fierro. He's an old buddya mine and we go way back," Marr boasted. "He ain't the real commandante anymore, but ya still gotta call him that or he'll get offended. He's big on respect. You'll find his family is the Mexican equivalent to the Wright Brothers, Lindbergh and Chuck Yeager all rolled up into one. His brother flew an airplane nonstop from Mexico City ta New York and somehow these fuckin' Mexicans think that compares ta Lindbergh's flight over the Atlantic. No one's ever confirmed if he even fuckin' did it non-stop, or over any fuckin' water for that matter."

"So does Fierro know what I'm doing here?" Terry asked, trying to probe deeper into the command structure in Mexico.

"He knows enough, and another guy in Mexico City named Jaime Bravo, who's with the DFS (the Mexican CIA) will take care of all the flight plans in an' out, or at least that's my understandin' from Gomez. Remember, you're not supposed to be pokin' your nose in ta areas ya don't belong. Gomez told me ta remind ya not ta be playin' like a spook ... just run the fuckin' company."

"You've mentioned Gomez several times today, you know him pretty well?" Terry asked again.

"Yeah, but he's one of those guys you'd like ta forget sometimes. We all go back to SEA (Southeast Asia) together. Back when killin' commies was legal, uncontrolled and fun. Weren't no limit on 'em then. I always liked killin' slant-eyed commies the best. Somehow I just never cottoned ta killing the ones with round eyes, though. They seem a lot more human."


It was apparent from Marr's comments, and what was not being said, that Mitch had seen a lot of action in Southeast Asia. He would later learn Marr had been in Korea as well as Vietnam and Laos.

Marr looked pensively at the water lapping over the beach next to them, and added: "Some of us have grown up since then, though. But then there's Gomez, he'll never change. He's made commie-killin' his life's occupation. Nah, me an' Coop, we see through it all now that we're older and wiser. We're just in it for the money and adrenalin. Adrenalin keeps ya young."

This lapse into personal philosophy and war stories was a sign that the endless Bloody Marys Marr had consumed during the past two hours were starting to take effect. It was 11 AM and the palapas could no longer insulate them from the heat.

"Say, it's gettin' fuckin' hot," Marr said. "We don't have ta cover all this shit in one day, ya know. Why don't we knock off 'til tonight when the sun goes down? One good thing ta remember is there's no hurry down here, 'specially when the 'Company's' payin' the bills."

Terry suddenly heard Janis shouting from the balcony above them and waving: "Is it OK if I come on down and join you? These kids are driving me crazy cooped up in this room."

She and the children, dressed in their bathing suits, joined the two men. Duncan, their oldest, ran to the coral-rimmed tidal basin while the younger, Elliott, now 13 months, contented himself with playing in the sand.

Terry took the opportunity to introduce Janis to his new CIA handler. She was not impressed. He represented all the attributes of the male stereotype who looked at women as decorations and something to be tolerated in exchange for sex. Something better rented when needed and not owned. Based on her initial conversations with him, she could tell Mitch was not someone with whom she wanted to socialize.

She was definitely not offended when Marr told her they could not be seen together in Ajijic. "It's real unfortunate I won't be able ta introduce you ta the little lady," Marr said referring to his wife. The term made her cringe. "She needs a new friend, someone ta keep her occupied and offa my ass." He laughed.

Janis winced. He was not the type of "spook" she was used to seeing. It was only 11 AM; he was already drunk; and no party was going on. She also found his words offensive and his macho, condescending attitude toward women insulting. And Terry found the situation uncomfortable because he had to make excuses for someone he had only just met and would be dealing with on an ongoing basis. She learned quickly that spies come in many styles and varieties and this guy was certainly not like Joszef Bona or Wayne Barlow back in Oklahoma.

After making his excuses about the heat and leaving the table with plans to meet that night, Marr staggered off to his room and left Terry to defend his unprofessional actions.

"Hey, Janis, we all get drunk occasionally. The guy said he's been waiting here for two days and he's obviously been relaxing a little too much and vacationing on the CIA. I'm sure he has a good side to him, otherwise he wouldn't be in charge of this project at this level."

"I don't know. There's something about him I don't like," Janis said apprehensively. "He seems like the kind of guy that would stab you in the back if he had to. I do want to meet his wife, once we get settled, in order to learn more about him."

She got no argument. Such information would be helpful to Terry, as well.

After a day of frolicking in the surf, and admiring the golden brown bodies of the Mexican "cunts," as Mitch referred to them, Terry decided it was time to prepare for the evening meeting with Mitch. The family retired to their room to shower and dress, waiting for Marr's call. The call never came.

A check of the front desk revealed that no one by the name of Marr was registered there. Either Mitch was using an assumed name or was staying somewhere else. Terry figured that was just spook caution. But, regardless of the reason, being stood up was something else, something that bothered Terry. And this made Janis even more suspicious.

"I'll bet he's dead drunk somewhere and doesn't even know what time it is," she said in a chiding tone as they headed out on their own for dinner. Nor did she appreciate Terry's idea of humor when he said: "Maybe some commie assassin got to him."

They dined that night at a place named Le Bistro, which was situated near the river that flows though Puerto Vallarta and turned out to be the No. 1 "action spot" in town.

The continental atmosphere, the gourmet food and the romantic setting peopled by mostly upscale Mexicans helped compensate for his wife's uneasiness with Marr. Having subcontracted the children's care that evening to the hotel nanny, they both settled into what they envisioned more to be the life of a CIA asset with his family in a foreign country. Later that night, as the sound of the pounding surf echoed up the cliff and into their suite, Janis had to take special care to touch only the areas of her husband's sunburned anatomy that had been shielded by his swim trunks. The pleasure and the pain offset each other.

Early the next morning, an apologetic and still-unshaven Mitch Marr summoned Terry back to the breakfast bar by the beach. "I guess it's a combination of the heat and the remnants of Montezuma's revenge. I took some medicine that wiped me out for the night. But I'm feelin' great today, so let's get on with the details. Hey, waiter, give me and my friend a pitcher of screwdrivers."

Terry nursed one glass, while Marr quickly emptied the multi-liter pitcher. It was becoming pretty apparent the type of guy with whom Terry was dealing. Since Marr was having some "hair of the dog," Terry decided he had better get this meeting over with quickly and get the important points out of the way before Marr needed more "medicine." Not the least important topic was Reed's need to get in touch with William Cooper.

"Do you have a way of contacting Cooper?" Terry asked. "He and I still have a little unfinished business up in the States." The Charlie Cuatro was still where Terry had buried it in Little Rock. Terry revealed the C-4 situation to Marr and that Mark McAfee's building was going to be auctioned off in the fall. Someone, he said, had to remove the explosives before the new owner moves in and increases the chance of the C-4 being discovered.

"I'll be making weekly trips between here and Texas for the next six to eight weeks in order to finish up a factory start-up I'm involved with. I'd like you to help me take care of this matter before I get permanently situated down here."

"Yeah, I can contact him for ya," Marr replied as he downed another screwdriver.

Marr said Terry's concerns would be relayed to Cooper and, in fact, indicated that Cooper would be flying in and out of the Guadalajara airport from time to time. Marr said he was planning to have an Air America old flyers reunion when circumstances permitted.

After a discussion of finances dealing with the methods of payments, disbursements, accounting and draws for the new operation, Marr handed Terry an envelope.

"Don't open it and count it here, but there's ten grand here. That ought ta take care of ya for a couple a weeks, at least until I get back from a trip ta Washington. They want ta talk ta me about all of the chicken shit aspects of this operation. Remember, if ya wanna be reimbursed ya gotta have receipts."

(As Marr was heading to Washington to discuss "chicken shit" details, there was good news and bad news for the Enterprise. With Congressional elections five months away, the White House apparently had twisted enough arms to get the House of Representatives to reverse itself and approve, after a vote of 221- 209, a $100 million appropriation for military and humanitarian aid for the Contras. It was a major victory for Reagan, reversing as it did the most recent Boland prohibition on military aid. The bad news was that North and Rodriguez were at each other's throats again. It was clear from what Terry had heard during the bunker meeting near Little Rock just a few months earlier that their personal animosity toward each other could not be contained. But this time, North in the presence of former Air Force Colonel Robert Dutton, another operative who had been activated for the operation, accused Rodriguez of talking about secret information over open phone lines. Rodriguez countered with the same charges against Dutton and William Cooper. This behavior resulted in internal power struggles based on conflicting ideology, animosity, jealously, and greed. It was beginning to show there was no real chain of command holding the operation together. The "commie killers" were turning on, and devouring, each other.) [1]

Marr continued with his instructions for Terry while he was away in the States.

"All you need ta do is get settled into your new house and begin scoutin' around for a suitable attorney, et cetera. Gomez tells me that you and Johnson are takin' care of all the business paperwork up in the States ... so I don't have ta fuck with any of that, I hope. I don't like fuckin' paperwork unless it's green and has pictures of Benjamin Franklin," Marr joked, making reference to hundred dollar bills. It was flash-back time.

"Did Coop ever tell ya the story of the time I flew a DC-3 loaded with Meo tribesmen and $10 million in gold bouillon out of a 2,500-foot strip built on a cliff overlookin' the side of a Karst mountain near Tchepone on the Plain of Jars in Laos while gettin' hit by over 50 rounds of 23 MM ack-ack fire?"

The day's business, obviously, was over. Marr was slipping off into one of his "there I was at 10,000 feet with both engines on fire" stories.

Terry could have listened all day.

[Ralph] Hey, Jackie? Jackie!

[Jack Noah] Hey, Ralph!

[Ralph] What's the deal? When are you headed back? Hey, what's happening? Where are you off to?

[Jack Noah] Well, I'm scheduled for a flight outta here tomorrow.

[Ralph] Hey, listen. Just cool it. Stick around. You don't wanna miss that Carnival. It's a fun sucker.

[Jack Noah] You've been down here a long time, huh, Ralph?

[Ralph] When I retired from the military, I went over to Ocala, Florida, and, uh, bought a trailer. And it got kinda close, you know? It got, uh, expensive, crowded. So Midge and I, the little woman, we sold out everything, lock, stock and barrel, and moved down here to Parador. Bought a little bungalow up in the heights, some fruit trees, full-time maid. It's kind of a secret paradise.

[Jack Noah] Well, I'd like to stay, but I think it's best that I get back to New York and start hustling.

Image

[Ralph] Do yourself a favor. Take time out to smell the roses, okay?

[Jack Noah] So you're retired, is that it?

[Ralph] Hell, no. Are you kidding? I got a couple of businesses. One, I'm into hammocks. A whole bunch of hammocks. They can make the best hemp hammocks in the world down here. Hey, let's shoot in here. Get a couple of tall ones, okay? I import fungicides for the coffee boys, and, uh, I import, uh, air-conditioning parts, you know? Keeps me alert, keeps me on the -- on the go. This is not a bad place for broads, and the chow's outta sight. See the chick in red? Not a pro. You can crack walnuts on her ass. This clown is gay. Look at him. Looks like he's an army dude. He isn't. It's a cover-up. I'll tell you somethin'. You gotta really kick ass around here.I don't know what it is, but these people just don't catch on. You understand?

Thanks to, uh, Saint Reggie. He wasn't a real saint. This place actually was discovered, founded, as it were, by the Spaniards, slaves, blacks from the Ivory Coast and Indians. There was an English pirate came in here and really took over. In order to keep the peace, he took on three wives. He married a senorita, a black and an Indian. So, to this very day, you see a lot of people around here named Simms, including, I might add, His Excellency, the dictator. Hey, take a look here. Right up here. Take a look at that. You know who that is? That's Madonna Mendez. That's the dictator's girlfriend. Is that not a piece of ass? Look at the hooters, will you? They're just as hard as little rocks.

***

[Jack Noah as Dictator] Those guerrillas don't seem very fond of me.

[Roberto Strausmann] Communist bastards.

[Jack Noah as Dictator] What am I doing in this piece of shit? Where's my limo?

[Roberto Strausmann] We have a secret meeting in a few moments.

[Jack Noah as Dictator] I thought we were gonna dedicate the dog track.

[Roberto Strausmann] This is more important.

[Jack Noah as Dictator] Who's this meeting with?

[Roberto Strausmann] C.I.A.

[Ralph] You boys are late.

[Jack Noah as Dictator] [Sees Ralph and starts coughing] I have a very bad cold.

Image

[Ralph] Yeah, and I've had the shits for the last three days. How is it, amigo, that we've been working together, what, eight or nine years? You ever known me to beat around the bush? Remember I told you about six months ago that the natives were restless? Well, they're more than restless. These guys are about ready to flip out. You and your people better put a capper on it. Do you understand? Because I don't want you and your tinhorn bastards letting this thing slide to the Commies. Do you understand? I don't know what this bullshit is about Parador and its sovereignty, but if it wasn't for the U.S.A. handing it over to your forebearers back in 1890, there wouldn't be any goddamn Parador. Another thing is, I want you to stop listening to those faggots in the State Department, understand? And get this. I am sick to death of backing bad horses. This is a stakes race. Do you understand? I want a winner. Now, you just holster your dick, okay? Otherwise, your ass goes in a hammock back to Miami. That is, if we let you into Miami. Pull over! I wanna take a dump.

-- Moon Over Parador, directed by Paul Mazursky


That night Reed made the mistake of calling Texas and checking on the status of his machine-tool installation in progress there. He learned to his dismay that his presence was needed there immediately. He made plans for Janis and the children to remain in PV until he could return by air.

Deplaning from AeroMexico Airlines after returning four days later, he was greeted by a sunburned, very relaxed, beautiful woman wearing a strapless sun dress and being escorted by two handsome young sons.

She had enjoyed some "quiet time" with only herself and the children, to become immersed in her own thoughts and adjust to the time warp separating the Mexican and gringo cultures. In her bag was a newly purchased, must-read book entitled Distant Neighbors analyzing the chasm that separates the cultures of the U.S. and Mexico. She was trying to understand what made this nation of twenty-five million people so different from the chaotic environment she had just left.

She watched Terry clear customs and saw a man in a business suit and carrying a briefcase, the modern American's battle dress. As Duncan, dressed in his surfer outfit, rushed to greet his father, Terry felt he was viewing a family that in four days had become foreign to him. It was unnerving to see how fast his family had shed their Yankee look and attitudes.

Terry truly hoped that what lay ahead was a life that would give him the one thing he had not had in the U.S., ... time ... time ... time to spend with his family. He no longer wanted to subcontract the care of his children to a day-care system that had turned into an industry.

He hugged her, kissed her and while Duncan embraced his leg he spoke softly, "You sure you're up for this? We can turn back now. I don't ever want to hear I made you do this."

He needed the assurance from Janis that she was still a consenting adult participant in the cultural shift underway.

"Hey, what's the worst that can happen?" she said using his favorite line and grinning. "Let's get you out of those funny looking clothes and go find our new home."

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21-1. Hotel bill from Puerta Vallarta where Terry Reed first met his CIA handler Mitch Marr.

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21-2. As a result of Reed's introduction to Mitch Marr, he would now be "put in play" with the above CIA connected Mexican Nationals. A new layer of "black" players.

_______________

Notes:

1. Rodriguez testimony, Iran-Contra hearings, 100-3, 221-22, 275-76; North testimony, Hearings, 100-7, 302-06, 333-35.
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Re: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presiden

Postby admin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:55 pm

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER 22: MARGARITAVILLE

"Home" for the Reeds was now less than a day's drive through the layers of Mexican climate. From the steamy, tropical coastline upward and through the high desert elevations and into the cool micro-climate formed around Lake Chapala.

It was Mexico's rainy season and the foliage on the mountains that provided the backdrop to Chapala and Ajijic was a sharp contrast to the smog-laden air of nearby Guadalajara.

They departed Puerto Vallarta on June 27th, 1986, and arrived in Ajijic the same day. After checking into La Posada, they contacted Diana Aguilar, as Marr had instructed. After two days of searching, they found the house they wanted, one just off the square at #57 Calle Hidalgo, which was being vacated by a congenial male couple who were part of the large gay community there. As is often the case, this artistic pair were drawn to this romantic, isolated and naturally beautiful area.

Strangely, the macho Mexican culture made less ado about homosexuality than America, causing many to "flee South" where they lived openly in their relationships and seemingly were accepted by the Mexican community.

The expensively-furnished house was on a cobblestone street which fed into the Zocalo (town square) and had once been converted into a private art gallery. From its exterior, the walled compound gave no hint of the opulence hidden inside. A large palm tree rose from the lush manicured lawn and provided a perfect, shaded playing area that could be viewed from inside the glass-encased house. A casita, or guest house, was included in this single-story, stone and glass L-shaped home with a secure off-street parking area. All of this third world elegance came at a "grossly-inflated" rental price of $350 a month.

By July 4th, the Reeds were ready to celebrate their house-warming, with the help of their new day maid named Concha, a woman in her mid-30s, with six children of her own and two foster children.

It was fitting that the Fourth of July, the day America celebrates its independence, was being celebrated by the Reeds in a foreign country from which Terry hoped freedom for Nicaragua would be spawned. Congress be damned! There would be victory this time whether they approved of it or not. Terry Reed and John Cathey would make it so. He felt elated that he was part of something, a cabal about which only a few knew. It was time for Terry to cash in, believing the members of the Cabal had singled him out to collect his reward for what he had suffered in Southeast Asia. That's what he thought, anyway.

That evening, as the colorful hand-made firewheels spun in Terry's front yard, he felt light years removed from the July 4th just a year earlier when he was training Contra pilots in Arkansas. He thought of his students, probably jettisoning cargo over some battle-riddled area of Nicaragua. And he hoped for their safety on that night of the celebration of freedom.

In addition to getting his household in order in the early part of July, Terry had gone to Mexico City to visit with George Fenue, his soon-to-be Hungarian partner, to discuss the types of machinery likely to be preferred by Mexican customers.

Marr had quietly returned from his trip north and found Terry mired in decision- making concerning compliance with Mexican laws as they related to the new company. Marr arrived discreetly at Terry's house one evening in mid-July and invited him back to his home for a secret operational meeting. The two men departed separately for Marr's house so as to not be seen together in public.

Terry seated himself in Marr's favorite room, his den. It contained his essentials: an overstuffed, rattan papa-san chair from Southeast Asia, a fully-furbished wet bar and his Sony Trinitron large-screen TV. Recessed into the masonry wall was a major collection of mostly pirated videos of Rambo, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Rocky movies including anything that pertained to Vietnam or martial arts. Enshrined in a special place was the video tape of Apocalypse Now. He had even recorded the film's sound track on an audio cassette, which he later loaned to Terry, so that he could listen to it in his car.

"So what are you drinkin'? Have you discovered Mexican white lightening yet?" he asked as he produced a plastic milk carton from the refrigerator. Scrawled on the side with a black marker was "1982."

"It's worth livin' in Mexico just for this. It's green tequila bought right at the factory and personally aged by me. I've got all the years aging, goin' back to 1975. 1982 was a very good year, however. So I chilled this just for us. Maria! Tome dos limones, por favor."

The Mexican maid appeared with two limes, two tumblers and a jigger of salt. It was obvious she had served her master his liquid drug paraphernalia many times before. Her silent actions were so rehearsed as to be almost mechanical.

She filled both tumblers to the brim with the aged green tequila which had been purchased at one of the factories in the City of Tequila, north of Guadalajara. The fiery Mexican drink, which comes from the fermented juice of the tequila cactus, is something akin to rocket fuel. Tequila could be bought there in bulk at a certain time each year for approximately $1 per gallon as the maturing product is moved from vat to vat. It was part of an annual pilgrimage for the American expatriates living in Mexico. It was a way to lay in a 12 month supply cheaply and was another fringe benefit of living south of the border.

While Terry was busy biting his limon in preparation for the taste test, Marr was preparing the entertainment.

He thumbed his remote control to activate the video tape of Apocalypse Now already loaded in the VCR, as he emptied half his tumbler in one gulp. The previously queued tape was strategically wound to show the invasion scene with Robert Duval as commander of the Air Cavalry Unit attacking a Vietnamese village by helicopter at sunrise as loudspeakers blared the music from Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.

Terry coughed as he swallowed the tequila in his glass. Suddenly his attention was drawn to Marr, who was mouthing the dialogue of the entire battle scene being played out on the giant screen. The sounds of war shrieking from the dual speakers reverberated off the arch-brick ceiling causing Marr's eyes to glass over as he joined Duval in saying his famous line: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

Marr switched off the movie, drained his tumbler and said: "Goddam, I miss 'Nam. They don't make scenes any better than that, do they? Sure wish you and I could hang out together. I've got lotsa war stories I could share with ya. It gets pretty lonesome down here between wars. An' that bitch of mine is drivin' me fuckin' nuts. She just don't understand me. Know what I mean?"

Terry viewed the whole scene with a mixture of humor and sadness tinged with respect. He also felt somewhat uneasy in that he could remotely identify with Marr .... wondering if he could be seeing himself years from now. He had observed that seasoned combat flyers like Marr often substitute alcohol for the adrenalin high they can no longer experience. They couldn't kick the habit from the rush their own bodies created, and at this stage in their lives, instead ingested foreign chemicals.

Adrenalin's repeated and controlled rush not only raises one's threshold of fear, but also lowers one's threshold of boredom. It may enable a person to deal with fear and stress, but it's as addicting as tobacco, Reed knew from his previous two-pack a day habit.


For now, Terry put this thought out of his head and felt thankful to see a fate he wanted to avoid.

"Yeah, Mitch, that's a great movie. Duval's a great actor. But it's getting late and I don't think you asked me here just to look at a movie, did you? By the way, where's your wife? I was hoping to meet her."

"Ah, we're not gettin' along right now," Marr responded in a low, melancholy tone. "She's up in the States visitin' her grandchildren. Besides that's the best place for her right now with all the action we got goin' on down here." He paused and then continued in an upbeat way. "And guess what? I think Coop is comin' over for a visit next month."

"Glad you brought up his name," Terry interjected. "I mailed him a letter while I was up in the States and haven't heard back. I'm hoping to rendezvous with him in Arkansas sometime this month. He mentioned to me he'd probably be attending his daughter's wedding this summer. Has he said anything to you about that, 'cause that would be a perfect time for him to pick up the Charlie Cuatro we talked about?"

"Yeah. I saw him while I was in Florida," Marr noted. "It's my understandin' he'll be attendin' the wedding. It's a big occasion for him. His last kid living at home is finally leaving. I nearly forgot, he said ta tell you ta pencil in July 31 as a target date to meet in Little Rock."

Terry was relieved. Finally, he would be able to resolve this problem.

Marr continued, this time on the business arrangements and partners. "And Johnson wants ya ta meet him and your Jap friend Fuckikawa in Dallas around the same time. He wants ta talk ta you about the stock issue and all that business stuff. So if you can make it, I need ta know soon so I can relay the info."

"Tell them I'll be there".

The remainder of the evening centered on the plans for Terry to meet Raul Fierro, the Mexican contact, at the Guadalajara Airport and to deal with problems that had arisen as a result of the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moving its aircraft maintenance to a company called Aviacion del Pacifico, which was situated next to the warehouse Fierro had selected for Terry to house the machine tool company.

"In some ways, that's bad. You'll have to be awfully careful not to compromise yourself or our mission to these beaner flyers the DEA is usin' down here. Ever since that Camarena shithead (DEA agent Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena who was kidnapped and murdered along with his pilot a year earlier) got greased down here, the DEA has been on red alert about Cartel sabotage to their airplanes. They trust this cat nicknamed Gato. His real name is Ricardo de Veal; he runs the maintenance for Aviacion del Pacifico. His chief mechanic is a Mexican by the name of Pablo Ponce. Pablo used to fly Agency missions down here until his brother cracked up doin' the same. He sorta retired from flyin' after that. You know, lost his nerve. He's still a good mechanic, though. He used to work on my 123.

"So you'll have Feds, if ya want to call them that, crawlin' all over the place right next to your facility. But it's been my experience when you're dealin' with these card-carrying government types, the best place to be is right under their noses. They never think to look right there. So we'll go out there tomorrow and talk to Fierro. I won't be hangin' around with ya once the introduction is made."

"Is it safe for you to be going to the Guadalajara Airport? What if you get spotted out there?" Terry asked recalling the "never to be seen together" rule.

"No one out there will think nuthin' of it, " Marr said with a shrug. "I hang out there a lot. I know all the pilots in Mexico, foreign and Mexican. You forget, I flew C-123s out of Guadalajara for six years for the Agency."

Terry had learned from Marr's discussions at the beach that several of Air America's old crews and aircraft had been reassigned to Mexico when the CIA cut back operations in Southeast Asia. Marr had been based at the Guadalajara Airport since 1973 and had been involved in a program, also called "Screw Worm," to secretly photomap portions of Mexico using state-of-the art infrared surveillance equipment to pinpoint poppy fields grown for heroin production.

All of this had been done by the CIA without the Mexican government's knowledge under the cover of a United States Department of Agriculture program to eradicate a parasitic worm that attacks cattle. This was one way the Agency could retain the pilots and planes that had been used by Air America during the Vietnam war without Congressional knowledge.

The codename "Screw Worm," Marr told Terry, was being resurrected for the new operation now being started in Mexico, as a way to further disguise the arms transshipment program. If the name was heard by compromising ears, they would probably think it was only a reference to the old operation and not suspect there was a new one.


They wound down with a plan to meet the following morning near the base of the VOR transmitter (a ground based navigation antenna building) centrally located near the airport terminal. As the maid opened the squeaky wrought iron gate to let Terry out of the compound, Marr had restarted the VCR and Terry could hear Duval screaming amid the mortar explosions: "Lance, get me my surfboard ... sure the beach is secure ... Charlie don't surf."

"Senor Mitch es muy loco," Maria said as she chuckled at the door.


The next morning, at ten-hundred hours, the two men met at the designated spot and Marr took Terry to the general aviation terminal that houses Aerovias Castillo, a fixed base operator, and the pilot's lounge.

When the two men entered the combination lounge and flight-planning room, "Comandante" Fierro was already regaling a group of airline pilots with one of his famous flying stories -- something pilots call "hangar flying." Fierro was not only the scion of Mexico's premier aviation family, but had become the padron of the Guadalajara Airport. Though he was no longer in charge officially, he nonetheless was the man without whose approval nothing moved or happened.

The group of uniformed, off-duty pilots from various international airlines stood captivated around Fierro as he talked about shooting an instrument approach while flying an ice-laden 707 through a mountainous pass in the Andes on one engine. Out of respect, Marr waited for the group's laughter that signaled the end of yet another tale that always improved with age. Aviation, by Fierro's macho interpretation, was a Latino invention.

When the story ended, the time came for Fierro to switch from entertainer to store owner and sell supplies to the waiting aviators. Fierro's concession stocked not only the usual array of pilot necessities such as charts, plotters, flashlight batteries, flight computers and Rayban sunglasses. His glass display case that served as a check-out counter contained a well-stocked supply of miniature bottles of liquor.

To Terry's shock, many of the Mexican and Latin American airline pilots were popping the caps and downing several shots of whiskey as they charted their next flight. Aviation rules in the Third World appeared to be a lot more lax. There clearly was no rule here about time restrictions between "bottle to throttle."

From the embrazo Raul Fierro and Marr exchanged, they actually were the "blood brothers" Marr had said they were. They were about the same age, and as they hugged, Terry could see that Fierro had the same stocky build as Mitch, though he was slightly shorter. His light complexion tone suggested to Terry that he was of the Mexican ruling class, meaning someone of Castillan descent. He, too, had a full head of dark hair peppered with gray. A relaxed demeanor and cherubic face radiated the quiet confidence of someone who didn't need to demand respect .... since he knew he was going to get it.

"Raul, this is my friend from the States, Mr. Terry Reed," Marr said as he introduced them. "He's the one you've been waiting for."

Fierro seemed apprehensive, looking around as if to see who might be watching. He quickly ushered the two men down the hall to his office. The rather functional office whose walls were adorned with framed mementos and photographs of Fierro and his family shaking hands with dignitaries contained a singular gray metal U.S. government issue desk, around which the men seated themselves. Terry was somewhat surprised at Fierro's tact. Instead of an operational briefing, Fierro launched into a lengthy personal interview that included extensive questioning about Terry's family, background and religion.

"So Mitch tells me you, how do you say... cut your teeth in Southeast Asia, supporting Air America and fighting communism," Fierro said in his soft-spoken, broken English that reflected his padron bearing. "And did you work with my good amigo, Maximo Gomez, while over there?"

Fighting communism, there were those words again. The common thread that seemed to tie all these people together, the reason -- or the excuse -- for all their actions.

"No. I didn't work with Mr. Gomez or with Mitch while in the Air Force over there," Terry replied. "The man I knew best who worked for Air America out of Laos was Mr. Bill Cooper, who is presently based in El Salvador as I understand it."

"You know Guillermo!" Fierro shot back. "He is one of my other best amigos. We go way back together. Guillermo is the only gringo I know of that can tell a better flying story than myself, and he certainly doesn't let the truth limit them."

The ensuing laughter broke the initial tension and now Fierro had found a common link with Terry, namely their joint friendship with Cooper. Fierro had seemingly found his personal comfort level with Terry. Everyone was now relaxed and Terry felt he was being accepted into the Mexican fold. His bona fides had been established and he was being handed off with the usual ritual, but this time it was spiced with a Latin flavor. Terry had apparently met the test.

"You come back manana en Latarde after siesta and I will make the necessary introductions for you here at the aeropuerto," Fierro told him. "You will need a flight line pass for your coche and I will show you the complejo industrial I've selected to house your new company. And Mitch, it is my understanding you are not to be seen with Mr. Reed, so I don't think you should leave here together."

"Sure, but on the way out, I need ta buy a six pack of those little miniatures from ya," Marr said. "Just for the 'flight' home, if ya know what I mean."

When Terry returned home that day, he found a 1978 red Ford LTD with Texas license plates parked in front of his house.

Upon entering his living room, he was struck by the presence of a stunning, statuesque Latin beauty in her mid-20s with long flowing black hair and dark eyes. Janis introduced her as Patricia Juin, a Colombian who now lived on the lakeshore and who was married to a Frenchman named Patrick. Janis and Patricia shared something in common. Patricia's daughter, Joana, was the same age as Duncan. The two children were happily playing in the yard as their nannies watched over them.

Judging from the smiles on the faces of the two women, and from the half dozen or so empty miniature Corona bottles and the lunch leftovers still sitting on the table, it was obvious they had established an instant informal friendship.

"Terry, this is Patty Juin, she lives right here on the lake, two miles down the road and you won't believe what her husband does .... He flies Ultra-Lights and a hang glider and Patty says he's setting up a company to give tourists Ultra-Light rides from hotels on the beach."

Terry extended his hand, but instead Patty caught him off guard by leaning over to be kissed on the cheek, a traditional Latin response among close friends. Terry kissed her perfunctorily, but this custom was something that always bothered him about the Latin culture. They just didn't do this in Missouri.

The striking woman with a naturally tanned complexion had already decided that she liked Janis, and therefore, Terry, because, to her mind, they were not like most of the Americans she had met there. Those gringos were older, retired and symbolized the stereotypical ugly American. Many had become alcoholics since they spent most of their time socializing, entertaining .... and drinking. Live cheap and drink, was how it looked to her.

In the Reeds, she told them both later as their friendship blossomed, she saw the type of people with which she had always wanted her family to associate. She wanted her daughter to speak English without an accent and, in one afternoon of playing with Duncan, that process had already started. Janis had explained that Terry was a businessman there to advance Mexican manufacturing technology, something that intimidated, yet fascinated her.

"Oh we are so glad to see people like you moving down here," she gushed. "Diana Aguilar is a friend of ours and she told us all about your business plan here in Mexico. I can't wait for you to meet Patrick. He'll be home tomorrow and I've invited you all over for dinner. We live on the lake and have a pool the children can play in."

While engaged in conversation with her, Terry was struck by her bearing -- aristocratic without pretentiousness. Patty Juin displayed all the positive aspects of the Latin culture, and none of its negatives. She was bilingual, intelligent, demonstrated a knowledge of the world and was someone who could really teach the Reed family the inner workings of the Mexican culture.

He was hoping they had found a mirror family to ease them into their new lifestyle. And if they could contribute to the Americanization of the Juin family, it could evolve into the perfect cultural exchange program.

The best part of all was the fact that Janis now had linked up with a young, female friend she could relate to and who would help her assimilate into their new lifestyle. And even better for Janis, they would soon discover Patty didn't allow Patrick to smother her with his Latin machismo dominance they already noticed was prevalent in most male-female relationships.

The day following, after Terry had spent the afternoon with Fierro and being shown around the airport, he took his family to dinner at the Juins' home situated on the carraterra midway between Ajijic and the lakeside village of Jocotepec. The two-story, salmon colored, masonry house on the lake had an attached casita and conveyed a subtle elegance. By Mexican standards, it was opulent. And not only did it have an unobstructed view of the mountains on the south shore of Lake Chapala, it had another characteristic to which the Reeds were unaccustomed. It was fully paid for. The Juins, not a bank, actually owned it. A strange concept for Americans to deal with.

That night the Reeds and the Juins became a tight foursome. Terry and Patrick Juin found they each had a common goal. Each strangely was searching for something they believed existed only in the other's culture -- true happiness.

Patrick thought he saw in Terry a man about the same age who was launching a business in his adopted country, Mexico. Patrick harbored ambitions of starting a business exporting Mexican manufactured goods to the U.S. As the evening wore on, both realized each viewed the other man's country as his golden opportunity. Neither could see the down-side in the other's culture. Here was a classic example of how the grass is always greener on the other side.

Patrick Juin was an interesting person. He had a European outlook and features to match. Born the son of a French couple, Juin's father had started his own firm in Mexico to market famous French perfumes. Patrick was born in Venezuela and, at one time, held triple citizenship, but had voluntarily given up his Venezuelan citizenship and had tried to renounce his French citizenship, which is impossible under French law and custom.

After an earlier, unhappy marriage, which produced two teenage daughters now living in Mexico City, Juin told the Reeds he underwent a personal metamorphosis, working as a musician and becoming a drifter searching for something he could not define. He found the answer while wind surfing off the beach at Puerto Vallarta. Patty, the daughter of a wealthy Colombian family, was vacationing there, too. Patricia, he said, represented to him Eve when Adam first saw her, someone he could mold to his liking. Their love had produced one child, a daughter who was the best of both cultures.

During dinner, Patrick told the Reeds he had just sold a jewelry business in Ajijic that catered to foreign tourists and was about to launch the Ultra-Light project. As the night wore on, he sat with Terry by the pool pointing out the features of the heavens as seen from south of the Tropic of Cancer. Their talk centered on aviation, Ultra-Lights, the modernization of Mexico, the decay of the United States, and the meaning of life. Through Juin's eyes and experiences, Terry would get a condensed and practical education on Mexican culture and Latino attitudes.

Throughout the remainder of July, Janis adapted quickly and easily to the land of manana and life on the shoreline of Lake Chapala. Her biggest domestic problem was "maid management" or how to stay in charge in your own house and not end up working for your hired help. Terry, having once lived on the local economy in Thailand, had become knowledgeable about servants and the Third World mentality when he lived off the base.

She refused to take his and Juin's advice to be "non-friendly" to servants and establish the necessary class lines. This led to a constant turnover of domestic help until Janis finally mustered up the correct "game-face" and attitude to supervise the "professional maids" who were abundant in the area.

Every day brought a new discovery. Janis found delight in probing the area's large art community, discovering the region's posh hideaway hotels, endless artisan gift shops, and more importantly, the interesting people who in actuality were mostly misfits and malcontents. Terry, on the other hand, had to immerse himself in the business of setting up a company.

Marr arranged a meeting with a local abogado, an attorney named Arturo Velazquez Lopez, who Terry was told had done work for the Agency in the past. "He's connected and he knows how to keep his mouth shut," Marr assured Terry. "He's expecting you. Don't talk about anything we're doing, only discuss the business aspects of your licensing with him. He'll keep ya straight when it comes to Mexican law."

It was late July when Marr told Terry it was time to travel to Dallas for a meeting with Robert Johnson of Southern Air Transport and Frank Fujikawa of Gomiya, USA Inc., the Japanese investor in the Mexican operation now called Machinery International, Inc., on the American side of the border. On the same trip, he would link up with Cooper in Little Rock to recover "the storage item."

Terry left Guadalajara early on July 31 aboard American Airlines flight for the planned afternoon meeting in Dallas. He was told the meeting to spell out Fujikawa's contribution to the project would take place in a rented conference room at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. Fujikawa, in typical Japanese fashion, wanted to meet face-to-face with the operation's top man, Johnson, before finally committing himself. Terry's presence was requested to answer any questions that Johnson could not, and was designed to give Fujikawa a "comfort zone" prior to consummating the deal.

Fujikawa, he was told, had recently inspected the Hungarian's facilities in Mexico City, and Terry took with him photographs of the facilities now ready to be leased at the Guadalajara Airport. Key to the plan, he also had important Mexican client information provided him by the Hungarians, showing projected sales to industries presently operating in Mexico. All projections showed Mexico with a pent-up demand for high-tech manufacturing equipment as well as the government's burgeoning desire to develop an export economy.

That year, 1986, tourism dollars had for the first time exceeded petro-dollars on Mexico's GNP spread sheet. Elements of the De La Madrid government were pressing hard for immediate expansion of tourism to bring in more hard currencies desperately needed to prevent default on Mexico's massive international bank loans. Brazil had already declared a "moratorium" on interest payments on its billions in loans from world banks.

But the group Terry had been dealing with in Mexico City represented a consortium of Mexican banks and businessmen pressing the government equally as hard for legislation, tax and banking law changes, to help establish an export economy. This group's views dovetailed right into the Agency's plans and Terry was excited about the future.

No one, including Johnson, Fujikawa or Reed, could have predicted how far the slipping peso would eventually fall. While Terry was flying to Dallas that morning, there already had been a devastating 23 per cent drop in one week during June. But the Mexican government was declaring that the "monetary adjustment" was over, and the nation's financial condition was stable. This did not provide much solace for the individuals and companies that had converted their strong currencies into pesos and had lost 50 percent of their value over a period of a few months.

After clearing U.S. Customs in Dallas, Terry called Johnson's office in Miami and discovered a glitch in their schedules. Bill Cooper, Johnson told him, had already attended his daughter's wedding and had departed Reno, Nevada, en route to Little Rock. Cooper had expressed dismay at having no way of contacting Terry directly, but was requesting his assistance immediately in Little Rock. Johnson told Terry to go on to Little Rock and he would see Fujikawa alone, hopeful that Terry could make it back to Dallas before the meeting was over.

Terry flew on to Little Rock, confident he could return with knowledge that the C-4 problem had, finally, been resolved. Upon landing, he rented a car at Adams Field, drove to the North Little Rock Airport and found Cooper waiting in the city terminal.

"I guess Johnson was able to getta hold of you, but I think we need to wait until dark if we gotta go dig this stuff up at your friend's warehouse," Cooper cautioned.

Terry agreed and both men killed the day by going to the Jacuzzi Corp. in Little Rock, one of Applied Technology's accounts, where he supervised a machine tool installation that was underway.

After dark, the "grave robbers" went to what had been McAfee's warehouse and spent a half-hour digging up "Charlie." Back at the North Little Rock Airport, they loaded it aboard a Maule plane Cooper had flown in and parked near Terry's hangar. The Maule, he had said earlier, was another new plane destined for action in Central America. Cooper departed the North Little Rock airport at around 10 PM, establishing a course of approximately 120 degrees, heading southeast.
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