Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 4 Num. 14

("Quid coniuratio est?")

[CN -- Received the following from a CN reader]

Dear Brian,

I put together a few articles that might interest you. The first is excerpts from the article about Mena that was supposed to appear in the Washington Post, but you know what happened.... It appeared in the final edition of New American View...

Maybe there's something there for Conspiracy of the Day.

Best of luck for COD. All the best.



The Crimes of Mena

Clinton and the Cult of Intelligence

The following are excerpts from an article by former National Security Council staffer Roger Morris and Sally Denton. This amazing story was scheduled to appear in the *Washington Post on January 29 - after months of delay by the Clintonites and the CIA cultists at the *Post. However, in a last minute turnaround by the editor of the *Post, the story was not published (see accompanying item from *The Sunday Telegraph).

If the story ever makes headline news it is almost certain to bring down the Clinton presidency. Moreover, though, it threatens much more than a presidency - it exposes the total corrupt and debased nature of consecutive U.S. Administrations.

Of the many stories emerging from the Arkansas of the 1980s that was the crucible of the Clinton presidency, none has been more elusive - nor more ominous - than the specter of major drug smuggling, gunrunning and money laundering tracing to the tiny town of Mena, nestled in the dense pine forests of the Ouachita Mountains some 150 miles due west of Little Rock.

Local Internal Revenue Service agent Bill Duncan, Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welch, Arkansas Attorney General Winston Bryant, then-Congressman Bill Alexander and various other officials and citizens in the state all believed by the late 1980s that they had what Bryant termed "credible evidence" of the most serious criminal activity involving Mena between 1981 and 1986, crimes seemingly with the acquiescence if not complicity of elements of the U.S. government. Mena's obscure Intermountain Airport they thought to be a base for Adler Berriman (Barry) Seal, a self-confessed, convicted smuggler whose operations were said to be linked to the intelligence community, and who was murdered by Colombian assassins early in 1986 after Seal testified for the U.S. government in a prosecution of leaders of the Medellin drug cartel.

After 1987, Duncan, Welch and others pressed for a number of official investigations into the alleged Mena connection. To their mounting dismay and alarm, every inquiry would be inexplicably ineffectual or else stifled altogether, and their own careers damaged in the process, furthering their suspicions of higher-level collusion and cover-up - and in any case leaving the larger mystery of what had really happened in the woods of western Arkansas.

Now, however, a new mass of documentary evidence relating to Barry Seal has come to light, substantiating the worst suspicions about Mena as never before.

Gathered from various sources over the course of the past year, the more than 2,000 documents span the years 1981-1986, and include Seal's bank and telephone records; negotiable instruments, promissory notes and invoices; personal correspondence; address and appointment books; bills of sale for aircraft and parts; aircraft registration and modification work orders; personal diaries, handwritten "to do" lists and other private notes; secretly tape-recorded conversations; cryptographic keys and legends for codes used in the Seal operation; numerous depositions and other sworn statements - and, not least, extensive official records, including federal investigative and surveillance reports, accounting assessments by the IRS and Drug Enforcement Agency, and previousIy unreported court testimony as well as confidential pre-sentencing memoranda in federal narcotics trafficking trials in Florida and Nevada.

Startling Evidence

Among only a few of its revelations, the Seal Archive provides documentation:

The Barry Seal files are vindication for dedicated officials in Arkansas and others who kept an all-too-authentic story alive amid wider indifference. What happened to some nine different official investigations into Mena after 1987, from allegedly compromised federal grand juries to congressional inquiries suppressed by the National Security Council in 1988 under Ronald Reagan, to still later Justice Department inaction under George Bush?

Officials apparently invoked "national security" to quash most of the invesigations. Court documents do show clearly that the CIA and DEA employed Seal in 1984-85 for the Reagan administration's celebrated "sting" attempting to implicate thc Nicaraguan Sandinista regime in cocaine trafficking.

Having assessed Seal posthumously for some $86 million in back taxes on his huge smuggler's earnings from Mena and elsewhere between 1981 and 1983, as his tax records show, even the IRS forgave hundreds of millions in known drug and gun profits over the ensuing two-year period when Seal was in effect moonlighting for the U.S. government. "... Worked for the DEA/CIA," an IRS agent noted pointedly across one of the papers in a file on Seal's taxes.

But to follow the IRS logic, what of the years, crimes and profits at Mena in the early 1980s before Barry Seal became an acknowledged federal operative, and then reported drug trafficking activities at Mena even after his murder, crimes far removed from his admitted cooperation as government informant and witness? Government investigators apparently had no doubt about the scope and magnitude of those crimes. According to U.S. Customs sources, Seal's operations at Mena and other bases were involved in the export of guns to Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil as well as the contras, and the importation of cocaine from Colombia to be sold in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and other cities, as well as in Arkansas itself.

Yet again and again over the years, lower level federal or state law enforcement officers looking into the crimes of Mena found themselves stymied by the apparent presence of the CIA or other government involvement. "Joe [deleted] works for Seal, and cannot be touched because Seal works for the CIA," as one U.S. Customs official put it in an Arkansas investigation in the early 1980s. "... A CIA or DEA operation is taking place at the Mena airport," an FBI telex advised the Arkansas State Police in August, 1987, 18 months after Seal's assassination.

Significantly, none of the putative inquiries into Mena seems to have made a serious effort to gather even a fraction of the available Seal documents now assembled and studied by the authors.

In over 2,000 documents reflecting intimately a man of meticulous organization and planning, careful about every detail, Barry Seal seems to have felt singularly and utterly secure - if not somehow invulnerable - at least in the air transport and delivery in the U.S. of tons of cocaine, done ceaselessly for more than five years. His most personal papers show him all but unconcerned about the very flights and drops, say law enforcement sources, that would indeed have been protected or "fixed" by the collusion of U.S. intelligence.

If the Seal documents show anything, an attentive reader might conclude, it is that ominous implication of some official sanction. Over the entire episode looms the unmistakable dark shape of U.S. government complicity in vast drug trafficking and gunrunning, and in a decade-long cover-up of the criminality.

Clinton's Involvement

Finally, of course, there are somber questions about then-Gov. Bill Clinton's own role *vis-a-vis the crimes of Mena. He has acknowledged learning officially about Mena only in April, 1988, though a state police investigation of Mena, reportedly amounting to thousands of pages, had been in progress for several years, and as the state's chief executive Clinton was customarily abreast of such inquiries. In his one public statement on the matter as governor in September, 1991, he spoke of that state police investigation finding "linkages to the federal government" and "all kinds of questions about whether he [Seal] had any links to the CIA... and if that backed into the Iran-contra deal."

But then, inexplicably, Clinton did not at any time seize on the issue or offer further support for any inquiry, "despite the fact," as Bill Plante and Michael Singer of CBS News have written, "that a Republican administration was apparently sponsoring a contra aid operation in his state and protecting a smuggling ring that flew tons of cocaine through Arkansas."

Moreover, what of the hundreds of millions generated by Seal's Mena contraband? The Seal records reveal his dealings with at least one major Little Rock bank. How much drug money from him or his associates made its way into criminal laundering in Arkansas's notoriously free-wheeling financial institutions and bond houses, some of which are reportedly under investigation by the Whitewater Special Prosecutor for just such large, unaccountable infusions of cash and unexplained transactions? "The state offers an enticing climate for traffickers... " IRS agents had concluded by the end of the 1980s, documenting a "major increase" in the amount of large cash and bank transactions in the state after 1985, despite a struggling local economy.

Meanwhile, others who were prominent backers of Clinton over the same years have themselves been subjects of extensive investigative and surveillance files by the DEA and FBI similar to those relating to Seal. "This may be the first president in history with such close buddies who have NADDIS numbers," says one concerned law enforcement official, referring to the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Intelligence System numbers assigned those under protracted investigation for possible drug crimes. The Seal documents seem still more proof that for Clinton, the Arkansas of the 1980s, and the company he kept there, will not soon disappear as a political or even constitutional liability.

"I've always felt we never got the whole story there..." Clinton said in his 1991 statement on Mena. Indeed. But as president of the United States, he need no longer wonder - and neither does the nation. On the basis of the Seal documents (copies of which are being given to the Whitewater Special Prosecutor in any case), the president should ask immediately for a full report on the matter from what is now the CIA, DEA, FBI, Justice Department and other relevant agencies of his own administration, including the long-buried evidence gathered by Duncan and Welch. Clinton should also offer full executive branch cooperation with a re-opened congressional inquiry, and expose the subject fully, for what it says of both our past and future.

As for Seal, he saw himself as a patriot to the end. He had dictated his own epitaph for his grave in Baton Rouge: "A rebel adventurer the likes of whom in previous days made America great." In a sense, his documents may now render that claim less ironic than it seems.

From New American View, February, 1995. PO Box 999, Herndon, Virginia.

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9

Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"