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Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 7 Num. 56

("Quid coniuratio est?")


I spoke with John Cummings, co-author with Terry Reed of the bestselling book Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA (Clandestine Publishing, ISBN: 1-883955-02-5), on March 25, 1996. (See David Feustel's great archive on CIA cocaine smuggling: The following is an abbreviated version of our interview. The entire interview will be featured in the May 1996 issue of the Conspiracy Nation Newsletter. For more information on the Conspiracy Nation Newsletter, e-mail to (Also note that the April issue is running a bit late due to a delay at the printer and computer problems.)

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What exactly was Mena about?

Terry came in contact with a man who was introduced to him as "John Cathey." And John Cathey was, in reality, Oliver North. And he came into contact as the result of the Toshiba investigation.

So at some point, Terry decides to go into business for himself and he's gonna move to Arkansas. And North tells him, "Well. If you're moving to Arkansas, there's a guy there who's running some stuff for us that you ought to meet." And he says, "You can probably make some money out of this."

Well he meets [Barry] Seal, and they hit it off. And Seal tells him that he needs someone who can train Contra pilots to drop supplies into areas of Nicaragua at night; you know, teach them how to do air drops.

So Terry's job was trying to teach them how to drop this stuff at night, in the jungle, to supply their own troops. Because they didn't want (what later happened), they did not want a plane shot down with an American crew on board. (And of course, that did happen.)

And then he found out, later on, while he was in Mexico, that drugs were involved. And he didn't want to have anything to do with the drugs.

He was down there supposedly to run a machine tool company. And he had acquired a big warehouse for putting machine tools. He'd been told that what they were gonna do with this proprietary company was run guns from the U.S. to Central America. But when he went to his warehouse one day, he opened one of these big, huge containers, and it was full of cocaine.

[So Reed told "Max Gomez", that he was quitting the operation.] And what happened was, Reed thought everything was okay, and he heads north. And Buddy Young puts out a false "profile" on him, through the computers.

So Reed went "underground" for what, 18 months or so?

Well, a little less than a year. He and his wife took off with their children and drove across the country, trying to stay out of sight, figuring that he had been marked for a hit like [Barry] Seal had been! He was convinced they would do the same thing to him that they did to Seal.

So after about a year underground, Reed decides that he's gonna turn himself in.

No, he learns that he's been indicted. So having been indicted, he decided that he'd better surrender before they tried to come and find him. And he did. He arranged to surrender. And he went with an attorney and surrendered. And his wife was also indicted. And she had done absolutely nothing.

So then Reed and his wife were exonerated, and found not guilty.

[They were] acquitted, yeah. He was acquitted by the judge. It was an order of acquittal, from a judge (which you hardly ever see.) There was no jury trial.

So after he was acquitted, he wanted redress of his grievances and he also wanted to get the truth out.

He was very angry because of what they had done to his wife. He was very angry that they had put her through this. And they had three small children. And it's very obvious that she had done absolutely nothing.

And so Reed brought suit against the government?

No, it wasn't a suit against the government. It was a suit against the two men who testified against him. There was a third man, who was an Arkansas state trooper, who works for the DEA.

And by bringing suit, this allows what they call the discovery process, right? That he (at least theoretically) should have access to documents that aren't normally available?

He got documents from the FBI and from the DEA Intelligence Headquarters in El Paso...

And so, this case was proceeding well, up until recently, right?

There was a motion, from the other side, to limit the amount of evidence that Terry could bring in. And that copy of the court order I sent you just about wipes away any reference to Mena or... In other words, he can try his civil rights case, but you can't go into why they would have wanted to frame him.

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                        WESTERN DIVISION
TERRY K. REED, ET AL.                            PLAINTIFFS
         v.            Civil No. LR-C-94-634
RAYMOND YOUNG, ET AL.                            DEFENDANTS

Pending before the court is defendants' [Raymond (Buddy) Young and Tommy L. Baker] December 4th motion in limins to exclude the following matters....... These general areas will be referred to as the "Mena" evidence or documents.

.......Even if the Court were to find that the complaint 
adequately states sufficient facts to make the allegations....... 

relevant to the alleged overt actions of these defendants, the probative value is substantially outweighed by the dangers of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, the potential for misleading of the jury and considerations of undue delay and waste of time. The following description will control: [may not be introduced into evidence or made part of the court record]

Any reference to the plaintiffs' [Terry and Janis Reed] participation in programs, operations or missions sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Central Intelligence Agency or any other agency of the United States government, covert or otherwise, as well as any organization sponsored by or aligned with the United States government specifically including, but not limited to, any programs, operations or missions conducted in southwest Arkansas regarding the training of Nicaraguan nationals, the funding and support for any factions involved in the Nicaraguan conflict and any contact or communications with operatives or officials of the above-named agencies or organizations. Any reference to President or Governor Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton and the Mena or Nella Airports. Any references to Barry Seale [sic] and any alleged drug smuggling operation or other references to the Mena and Nella Airports, or to a business relationship of Barry Seale [sic] and Dan Lasater, Lasater and Company and the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority (ADFA) and ADFA's former Director, Bob Nash.

.............IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 8th day of March, 1996.

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