Archive for April, 2012

By Alex Constantine

(Excerpt from Virtual Government: Feral House, 1997, Revised)

“A secret history of US government  World War II-era operations has concluded that US intelligence services  created a ‘safe haven’ in the United States for German Nazis and their  collaborators The New York Times reported over the weekend.  The newspaper said the 600-page report it had obtained described  decades of clashes with other nations over war criminals held in the United  States and abroad. The report cites help that CIA officials provided in 1954 to Otto  Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolph Eichmann. Bolschwing, who had helped develop the initial plans ‘to purge  Germany of the Jews,’ later worked for the CIA in the United States, according  to the report. In a series of memos, Central Intelligence Agency officials debated  what to do if Von Bolschwing were confronted about his past — whether to deny  any Nazi affiliation or ‘explain it away on the basis of extenuating  circumstances,’ the paper noted…. ” — Radio Netherlands, 15 November 2010

“We Germans should be realistic. We lost two wars to the Jews. Why should we lose another?” – Former Nazi propagandist Werner Naumann to British intelligence agents, July, 1953

In September 1944, Sims Carter, assistant chief of the Economic Warfare section of the Justice Department, testified before the Kilgore Committee that despite military defeat, the industrial cartels of German had renewed activity from bases in Argentina: “All the machinery,” he said, “is ready for safeguarding German supremacy in the steadily expanding South American market.” Much of that market had been quietly incorporated by I.G. Farben and other financial backers of Hitler well before the war began.

In the 1930s, as Germany tooled up for the onslaught, German entrepreneurs quietly built factories, railroads and chemical and steel plants throughout South America. The munitions industry was all but monopolized by Farben and Krupp, providing business fronts for the Nazi fifth column.

The insinuation of Nazism into Caribbean politics was directed by Alfred Becker and Arnold Margerie, officers of Farben La Quimica Bayer in Caracas. Down in Argentina, Axel Wenner-Gren, the founder of Electrolux, a Swedish millionaire and crony of Herman Goering, Hitler’s aviation minister, established subsidiaries and gracefully snatched up key industrial plants.

After the war, Nazis quietly assumed new posts within the German government. The Konrad Adenauer government adopted an anti-Nazi facade in public while reelevating war criminals to prominence. By 1951, 134 former members of the National Socialist Party held senior positions in the West German Foreign Office. Attorney Hans Globke, author of the legal rationale underlying the Third Reich’s racial laws, was placed in charge of Konrad Adenauer’s Federal Press and Chancellory bureau. On January 19, 1953, the New York Times took notice: “Nazism is not dead in Germany.”

Given time and opportunity, “a form of Nazism could again rise to power. Materially speaking, Nazism was smashed into a pulp by 1945,” but the “vigorous roots remained.”

A national priority was made of economic recovery. A memo from the German Press Department of B’nai B’rith to officials of the Jewish organization on July 1, 1953 detailed a meeting of the former Waffen SS in Verden, once a Nazi garrison town:

“The reason this little alumni club exists is, one might way, plausible, even sentimental – to care for those in their ranks who survived and to locate lost comrades. The reunion, their first since the war, brought five thousand men to Verden. Mufti-clad, they marched through the cramped, flag-bedecked streets to the rally with all their famous and former military precision.”

“For America!”

“Democracy is an attack upon God!” – Werner Naumann

Lieutenant General Pedro del Valle

Among their contacts in the United States, the Nazi “elite” could rely on the generous assistance of a well-connected patron, Pedro Del Valle, who went on to become a vice president of ITT. In 1954, Del Valle, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, was soundly defeated in his run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. His campaign was spiced with public endorsements of a foaming aniti-Semitic tract, Know Your Enemy.

Twenty years later, Del Valle and ITT consultant John McCone, formerly a CIA director, threw in to overthrow Allende in Chile’s 1970 elections. ITT funnelled $350,000 into event, and when the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet was installed, the conglomerate conspired with other “conservative” companies to pirate the country’s natural resources. As a hedge against the fall of the Third Reich, German industrialists had made provisions in 1944 for protecting their loot from confiscation by the U.S and England.

On the instruction of Martin Bormann, the surviving SS, soon to be known as ODESSA, established hundreds of corporations abroad, donated handsomely to extreme right-wing political candidates in the U.S. and cleared the path for the reconstruction of the Reich on foreign soil.

All of this was accomplished by channeling the loot through a labyrinth of secret bank accounts to non-belligerent countries, and under Bormann’s direction financed 750 news companies worldwide to direct the Nazi Party reconstruction. Over 100 of those companies were based in the United States. Funds materialized in the bank accounts of Germany’s agents around the world. They were instructed to invest in selected businesses, propaganda mills in the U.S. and elsewhere, give legal aid to indicted Nazis, purchase out-of-the-way estates for Nazi leaders in foreign lands, and so on. These funds also supported the “rat lines,” escape routes from the Allied advance set up every 40 miles along the German border. Fascist opinion in the United States was fomented by American contacts.

For America, a spin-off of the America First Committee, was formed in 1954, ran by some of the leading WW II “isolationists.” One of the organization’s leading lights was Colonel Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The chairman of For America was Clarence Manion, formerly dean of law at Notre Dame University. Manion once sat on Eisenhower’s Commission on Inter-Governmental Affairs. Robert Wood, then head of Sears, Roebuck, was a blustering propagandist for the bund. The stated aim of For America was the support of political candidates sympathetic to the Nazi cause.

On September 20, 2011, the Washington Examiner editorialized that Howard Buffett (left) was “the Ron Paul of his day”: “Warren Buffett may be a committed liberal Democrat, but his father, Howard Buffett, was a four-term Republican member of Congress (1943-49 and 51-53), a John Bircher who fought FDR and warned that the expansion of government was eroding individual liberty.”

Three congressmen made up the recruiting arm of the pro-Nazi organization: Burton K. Wheeler, Hamilton Fish and Howard Buffett, the father of Omaha investment “wizard” Warren Buffett. Fish, a Republican Party leader, had as his greatest ambition the start of a third party based on principles of National Socialism. The others were already in disrepute for involvement in “non-interventionist” America First chapters and other enclaves of domestic Nazism during the war.

“What will it take to disband this group?” asked the Atlanta Journal, “World War III?”

Confiscated Jewish assets were poured into the Nazi rebirth and turned up in the oddest places. On September 20, 1996, a half century after the fact, the Associated Press at long last noticed:

“Tons of gold looted by Nazis during World War II – some of it possibly taken from the fillings in Holocaust victims’ teeth – are stored in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank of England in London. Recently declassified federal documents show that 6 tons of gold looted by Nazis are stored in the two banks, the World Jewish Congress said. The group’s president has written to the two countries asking that the gold be returned to Holocaust survivors.”

Elan Steinberg, speaking for the World Jewish Congress, based his allegations on declassified State Department documents that confirm two tons of Nazi gold had turned up in New York vaults (worth about $28 million) and four tons ($56 million) in London.

Un-American Activities

Rep. Hamilton Fish III

During the early ’30s, in Washington, Congressman Hamilton Fish’s life was changed by a reading of Communism in Germany, published by a Nazi propaganda front. Inspired by the book, he joined forces with George Sylvester Viereck, the ranking Nazi agent in the United States. Viereck was graciously given the run of Rep. Fish’s suite at the House Office Building. Albert Kahn, in High Treason, reports that Fish’s office clerk, George Hill, was arrested and charged by authorities of being an agent of the Nazis. Well before Martin Dies took the reins, Congressman Fish conducted the first full-blown federal “investigation of Communism.” widely known as the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings. Between the pair of hooting panels came the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, formed in 1934 to stamp out Nazi propaganda in the United States. The committee unearthed “a fascist plot to seize the government.” Shortly thereafter, HUAC was disbanded and its successor turned a deaf ear to any mention of fascist coups.

In The Yahoos (Marzani and Munsell, 1964), a study of Aryan Nations-type groups in America, author Mike Newberry provides the backgrounds of HUAC investigators:

EDWARD SULLIVAN, HUAC’s first “Chief Investigator,” a man with a record of nine arrests [from sodomy to larceny], was co-editor with James [“Kike Killer”] True’s hate sheet, addressed German-American Bund rallies prior to his concern with “un-Americanism,” and was director of an admittedly fascistic Ukrainian group.

Dr. J.B. MATTHEWS, HUAC’s second “Chief Investigator,” declared in his autobiography: “America’s answer to Communism will be fascism, or something so closely akin to it that the difference will not greatly matter.” His autobiography was published by a veteran anti-Semite John Cecil. His writings were reprinted by the “Contra-Komintern,” the official organ of the Nazi Foreign Office. A close advisor to Robert Welch of the John Birch Society.

DR. FRED SCHWARTZ, one of HUAC’s most favored “experts,” leader of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.

FULTON LEWIS, III, leader of Young Americans for Freedom, earned his spurs on the HUAC staff. [He] wrote for the anti-Semitic American Mercury, then under the editorship of Harold Lord Varney, a former paid propagandist of the Italian Fascisti.

Mrs. Nixon’s Conservative Cloth Coat & Walt Disney’s Nazi

“When it is necessary to kill an enemy, it is also necessary to leave a good impression for other enemies to see. The dead body did not care whether it had a head or not, but psychologically the individual faced with such a sight can see himself in the same decapitated condition and the heart is filled with terror. Therefore, such a principle should be adopted by guerillas for just such a reason. Not that we need a trophy, but that we might terrorize the invading enemy [“Godless” communists], always leaving bodies with some mark which would be universally understood by the guerilla fighting force.” – Liberty Lobby Pamphlet, 1962

The propagandists at CIA’s House of Secrets proceeded to mold collective opinion with heavy hands. The infiltration of the media and the spread of disinformation would cost taxpayers $90 million a year by 1978, according to university of Paris economist Sean Gervasi. The CIA’s assimilation of old guard Nazis was overseen by the CIA’s Operations coordination board, directed by C.D. Jackson, a former executive of Time magazine and Dwight Eisenhower’s “special assistant for cold war strategy.”

In 1954, Jackson was succeeded by Nelson Rockefeller. Rocky quit a year later, repulsed, he said, by the administration’s political infighting. Vice President Nixon succeeded Rockefeller as the country’s key cold war strategist.”

“Nixon,” writes John Loftus, at one time an attorney for the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, took “a small boy’s delight in the arcane tools of the intelligence craft – the hidden microphones, the ‘black’ propaganda.” Nixon especially enjoyed his visit to a Virginia training camp to observe Nazis in the “special forces” learning the arts of “spycraft” he so admired.

One of the fugitives recruited by the American intelligence establishment was heroin smuggler Hubert von Blucher, the son of a German ambassador. Hubert often boasted that he’d been trained by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence division, while still a civilian in his twenties. He served in a reconnaissance unit of the German Army’s 2nd Battalion until forced out for medical reasons in 1944, according to his wartime records. He worked briefly as an assistant director for Berlin Film on a movie entitled One Day …, and finished out the war flying with the Luftwaffe – not to engage the enemy, but to smuggle Nazi gold bullion out of the country. In 1948, he flew the coop to Argentina. Posing as a photographer, now named Huberto von Bleucher Corell, he immediately paid court to Eva Peron, presenting her with an invaluable Gobelin tapestry (doubtless a sample from the wealth of artifacts confiscated by SS from their prey).

Hubert then met with Martin Bormann at Argentina’s Hotel Plaza and handed over German marks worth $80 million. He later told investigators that the loot financed the formation of the National Socialist Party in Argentina. Three years later Hubert migrated to El Norte. The Nazi landed a position with the Color Corporation of America in California, and eked out a living writing scripts for Hollywood’s thriving movie industry. His voice graces a film set in the Amazon, produced by Walt Disney. In 1951 he returned to Buenos Aires, then Dusseldorf, West Germany.

He established a firm that developed not movie scripts, but anti-chemo-warfare agents for the German government.

At the posh Industrie Club in Dusseldorf in 1982, Von Blucher crowed to journalists, “I am chief shareholder of Pan American Airways. I am the best friend of Howard Hughes. The Beach Hotel in Las Vegas is 45 percent financed by me. I am thus the biggest financier ever to appear in the Arabian Nights tales dreamed up by these people over their second bottle of brandy.”

General Wedemeyer’s Ultraconservative, Lonely-Hearts Club Bund & Dr. Becher’s Beltway Brotherhood

“If the military is infected with this virus of right-wing radicalism, the danger is worthy of attention.” –  Senator J.W. Fulbright

Had the government slapped an embargo on I.Qs? The fascist war machine had been pounded to scrap in Europe and Japan, only to resurface in San Antonio, Texas … and the American proletariet greased the gears. The 1961 “Let’s Look at America” seminar, sponsored by the Fourth Army and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Jaycees, drew a crowd of 3,500 strong. Retired General Alfred Wedemeyer, a supporter of the John Birch Society, railed at President Kennedy’s “appeasement” of the Soviet Union. Cleon Skousen, formerly an FBI agent and a ramrod of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, demanded the end of all diplomatic relations with the Eastern Bloc. Dr. Gerhart Niemeyer, a writer for the National Review, spoke at the event. So did Senator Strom Thurmond and Donald Jackson of HUAC.

The “seminar” violated the direct orders of then Secretary of the Army Elvis Stahat – a “violation of Army policy,” Stahat warned. Unmoved by orders from the Pentagon, Colonel William Blythe of the Fourth Army’s G-2 Division went insubordinate: “We are not interested in politics,” he shot back. “The Army intends to stand up and be counted!”

Albert C. Wedemeyer

General Wedemeyer flew from the San Antonio session to Dallas, where he met with oil baron H.L. Hunt, one of Joseph McCarthy’s most beneficent financial sponsors (Borger, Texas News Herald, September 25, 1961).

A platoon of military personalities threw in with a host of American fascist front organizations, figureheads for the domestic cause, among them:

Generals Nathan Twining, J.B. Medaris, Rear Admiral Chester Ward and Admiral Radford – The Military-Industrial Institute.

Admiral Arleigh Burke – Featured speaker of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.

General Charles Willoughby and General Peyton Campbell – Christian Anti- Communist Crusade.

General Stratemeyer – Liberty Lobby, Christian Crusade.

General Bonner Fellers – Endorsed the Birch Society and Americans for Constitutional Action.

Admiral Strauss and General Wedemeyer – National Advisory Board, Young Americans for Freedom.

And so on, a platoon of others who joined forces with hooting ultracons and Aryan Nationals alike. While ranking military officials raised the rabble against Soviet “expansionism,” the Nazis sought influence in Washington, D.C. One of the most influential Nazi spies in the U.S. was Dr. Walter Becher, an anti-Communist “refugee leader” from the Hitler regime. Becher joined the Nazi Party in December, 1931, and became an editor of Die Zeit, a Nazi propaganda sheet in 1937. He was a Brown-Shirt for a spell and a member of the National Socialist Student Bund. He editorialized for the purge of all Jews from state-owned radio in Prague. During the war, Becher worked in the Goebbels Propaganda Ministry and for the Wehrmacht as a war correspondent. Soon after the war, he founded a newspaper in Germany that agitated for the restoration of National Socialism. Becher had his advocates in Washington, D.C. In 1957, Congressman Usher Burdick inserted one of Dr. Becher’s propaganda pieces in the Congressional Record, and in August 1959, seven more appeared in the pages of the Record. When he junketed to the States, conferences were arranged for him by the State Department. His geopolitical opinions were trumpeted by scores of newspapers and the Mutual Broadcasting Network’s 600 affiliates.

Dr. Becher’s early contacts in Washington were McCarthy and William Jenner in the Senate, and a handful of congressmen in the House. T.H. Tetens in The New Germany and the Old Nazis, was awed by the Nazi’s camaraderie with Beltway politicians, and tracked his movements through the District of Columbia:

“During the early fifties, when he first came to Washington, he began to build for himself a formidable political machine. His scheme was very simple. If he could obtain the support of leading politicians in the United States, his prestige and stature would grow enormously at home…. With the help of the McCarthy faction in the United States, he could establish a nationwide reputation as the foremost leader of the anti-Communist crusade.” Among the senators who sent personal letters of support to Dr. Becher in Munich in the 1950s: Prescott Bush, Albert Gore, Pat McNamara, William Knowland, Strom Thurmond, Thomas Dodd, Robert Byrd, William Langer and Stuart Symington. House Speaker John McCormack also offered his unblushing public support to the Nazi editor.”

Willis Carto & Charles Willoughby/Weidenbach: American Quislings for “Freedom”

Ultraconservatives place rhetorical emphasis on “character,” a quality all too often absent within their own ranks. An oracal of the militias, Willis A. Carto, is the publisher of Spotlight, a populist newspaper that backed Patrick Buchanon for president and has attempted, since its inception, to emasculate the United Nations.

Carto was the protege of Francis Parker Yocky, indicted for sedition during WW II. Yocky’s indictment included charges of generously supporting the Nazi Party under Hitler. Carto’s organization was one of five “Liberty Lobbies” founded in 1957 at the first WACL conference in Mexico City. The faction known today as the Liberty Lobby was originally run by a steering committee of radical Right leaders, among them:

Major Gen. Charles A. Willoughby – Real name:Adolf Tscheppe Weidenbach, born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1892, a Nazi agent in the Army Supreme Command; Army Intelligence chief under Douglas MacArthur in Korea; “security director” of the Shickshinny Knights of Malta.

Willis A. Carto – Treasurer and founder.

Major General Edwin A. Walker – US Army, John Birch Society.

Lt. Col. Philip Corso (ret) – US Army Intelligence under Willoughby/Weidenbach.

Robert Morris – Birch Society, American Security Council (ASC), Young Americans for Freedom.

Senator Strom Thurmond (D-S.C.) – Since a “defector” to the Republican Party.

Otto Etepka – Director of Security Evaluations, State Department.

Senator James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) – Director of internal security in the U.S. Senate.

A profusion of bridges was erected by the Liberty Lobby to Nazis in Germany. Edwin Walker, who once stated in a radio interview that “[Jack] Ruby’s name was Rubenstein,” was the coeval of Gerhard Frey, publisher of the Neo-Nazi Deutsche National-Zeitung und Soldaten-Zeitung. A bosom ally of Maj. Gen Willoughby/Weidenbach, Theodor Oberlander, was the German commander of the Ukraine’s Nightingales during the war and wrote for Frey’s newspaper.

Dick Russell, in The Man Who Knew Too Much, drew connections between the Munich-based Reinhard Gehlen spy apparat under the CIA’s Allen Dulles and assorted WACL “Lobbies” under Willoughby:

“German veterans were included, notably Fritz Kramer [another German agent, Kramer ran the Plans Division of the DoD during the Vietnam War; his son Sven served in the National Security Council under Reagan] – a former Nazi Abwehr officer who then headed up a private vigilante group that ferreted out German Leftists at the behest of private industry. Its U.S. sister organization was the American Security Council (ASC), a private Washington group set up in 1955 by ex-FBI agents that built an index of over one million alleged ‘subversives’ for major corporations seeking security checks. Willoughby, a friend of Fritz Kramer, eventually sat on the ASC’s board.”

Researcher William McLoughlin, in a samizdat monograph on Willoughby/Weidenbach, notes that MacArthur’s Nordic intelligence chief engaged in a lifetime of acts designed “with the direct intention of facilitating the success of [the] Fourth Reich. The most frightening thing to consider is that he almost succeeded in his intentions on several different occasions. It is my contention that Charles [Adolf] Willoughby [Weidenbach] will eventually be remembered as one of the most prolific mass murderers in the history of mankind, behind only Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.”

McLoughlin revisited

“the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the ensuing follow-up attack on the U.S. Far Eastern command in the Philippines. Both of these events were under the aegis of MacArthur and Willoughby as head of intelligence for the Far Eastern Command, at that time. Even after he was told of the occurrence of the Pearl Harbor attack, Willoughby declined to suggest a search of the Pacific rim for the Japanese carriers supporting the surprise attack and instead opted for leaving the US Army’s entire air strike capability sitting on the tarmac in the Philippines in closely clustered groups, which made them easy targets for the Japanese Zeroes ten hours later.”

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By Gregory Korte

USA TODAY, April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON – A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names.

The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY‘s reporting on the military’s “information operations” program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

For example, Internet domain registries show the website TomVandenBrook.com was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker’s byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site, RayLocker.com, through the same company.

If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption.

“We’re not aware of any participation in such activities, nor would it be acceptable,” said Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman.

A Pentagon official confirmed that the military had made inquiries to information operations contractors to ask them about the Internet activity. All denied it, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiries were informal and did not amount to an official investigation.

The websites were taken down following those inquiries. Various other sites and accounts were removed for violating their providers’ terms of service.

“I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,” Vanden Brook said.

The activity is the work of what online reputation expert Andy Beal calls a “determined detractor.”

“It’s like a machine gun approach. They’re trying to generate as much online content as they can,” he said. “The person who’s behind this, we can give them a lot of credit here and assume they’re very sophisticated about reputation attacks.”

It can cost $10 to register a domain name, but $50 to pay for a proxy service to hide the owner’s identity, as was done with two of the websites. A third was registered to a non-existent address in Pueblo, Colo.

“This is the work of somebody who knows what they’re doing. They have some experience of covering their tracks. This is probably not the first time they’ve done something like this,” said Beal, CEO of Trackur, an online reputation tracking service.

Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook’s and Locker’s previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. “They disputed nothing factual in the story about information operations,” Vanden Brook said.

On Feb. 8, as Vanden Brook continued to ask questions of contractors, a new Wikipedia user attempted to create an entry on him, alleging he “gained worldwide notoriety” for his “misreporting” of the 2006 Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia.

Early reports from the scene, relying on faulty information from the governor and mine operators — said 12 of 13 miners were found alive, when in fact only one was. Many news outlets — including the Associated Press, The New York Times and USA TODAY — conveyed the inaccurate reports in early editions.

Wikipedia took down the page and banned the user, but similar comments started populating Internet message boards and blogs. In one case, the fake @Tomvandenbrook Twitter account defended his Sago reporting to another apparently fake account.

Vanden Brook said he’s continuing to pursue the propaganda story. “If they thought it would deter me from writing about this, they’re wrong.”

“This is a clear attempt at intimidation that has failed,” Locker said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-04-19/vanden-brook-locker-propaganda/54419654/1

T h e V e r d i c t i s T r e a s o n

by David Armstrong and Alex Constantine
Z Magazine, July/August 1990

Z is an independent, progressive monthly magazine of critical thinking on political, cultural, social, and economic life in the United States. It sees the racial, sexual, class, and political dimensions of personal life as fundamental to understanding and improving contemporary circumstances; and it aims to assist activist efforts to attain a better future.

[excerpts]

The May 4 acquittal of Richard Brenneke, the self-proclaimed CIA contract agent accused of lying to a federal grand jury about the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign’s efforts to delay the release of 52 American hostages then held in Iran, has cast a long shadow over Washington. Despite the modicum of attention the case has received in the mainstream press, its true implications-namely “treason,” “perjury,” and “impeachable offenses”- have yet to be fully addressed.

Brenneke’s story bears repeating. On September 23, 1988, Brenneke, a Portland, Oregon, property manager and arms dealer, voluntarily testified at the sentencing hearing of his “close friend,” Heinrich Rupp, a gold dealer and former-Luftwaffe pilot who had been convicted of bank fraud in Colorado. During closed-door testimony before Judge James R. Carrigan, Brenneke told the Denver court that both he and Rupp had worked for the CIA on a contract basis since 1967, including flying planes for Air America, the CIA-owned front company in southeast asia. Moreover, Brenneke testified that Rupp believed he’d been “doing something the [CIA] asked him to do” when the fraud was committed.

To support his claim, Brenneke swore that both he and Rupp had been employed by the CIA to assist in covert operations on numerous occasions. One of these clandestine adventures

T h e O c t o b e r S u r p r i s e

In his Denver deposition, Brenneke testified that on the night of October 18, 1980, Rupp flew Reagan-Bush campaign director William Casey from Washington’s National Airport to the Le Bourget Airfield north of Paris for a series of secret meetings. According to Brenneke, it was at these meetings–held on October 19 and 20, at the Waldorf Florida and Crillon hotels–that members of the Reagan-Bush campaign secretly negotiated an “arms-for-no-hostages” deal with representatives of the Ayatollah Khomeini. The purpose of this Faustian pact, Brenneke said, was to prevent an “October Surprise”–the release of the hostages prior to the November elections–thereby ensuring President Carter’s defeat. For their part, the Iranians allegedly received $40 million with which they could purchase badly needed American-made weapons and military spare parts for their war against Iraq.

Brenneke testified that he had participated in the last of the three Paris meetings, working out the details of the cash and weapons transactions. Also present at this meeting, Brenneke said, was William Casey, who was eventually appointed Reagan’s CIA director. It was in that latter capacity that Casey masterminded the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran that would eventually be known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

Also in attendance at this remarkable meeting, according to Brenneke, was Donald Gregg, a CIA liaison to President Carter’s National Security Council. Gregg, a CIA operative since 1951, later became National Security Advisor to Vice President George Bush, and is currently the US ambassador to South Korea.

A third member of the American delegation in attendance at the Paris meetings, Brenneke told the court, was then-vice presidential hopeful George Bush. A month after his Denver testimony, Brenneke wrote a letter to Judge Carrigan amending his statement. In the letter, Brenneke explained that he had no first hand knowledge of Bush being in Paris, but had been told by Rupp that Bush had been spotted on the tarmac at Le Bourget. When questioned on this point during his trial, Brenneke replied: “I simply repeated what I was told…. I disbelieved it then, and I disbelieve it now.”

B r e n n e k e ‘ s D a y i n C o u r t

Eight months after his sworn statement in Denver, the US Justice Department charged Brenneke with five counts of making “false declarations” to a federal judge. The indictment alleged that Brenneke had knowingly lied when he said that both he and Rupp had worked for the CIA. The government also charged that Brenneke had concocted the entire story about Bush, Casey, Gregg and the “October Surprise” deal.

Speculation at the time held that the indictment may have been timed to avoid political embarrassment. During the 1988 presidential campaign, Brenneke had publicly accused Gregg of directing the Contra resupply effort out of Vice President Bush’s office. After assuming the presidency, Bush nominated Gregg to become the US ambassador to South Korea. Gregg’s Senate confirmation hearings began on May 12, 1989, the same day Brenneke was indicted. The charges effectively prevented senators from raising Brenneke’s accusations during the confirmation process.

Furthermore, the Bush administration showed no real interest in taking Brenneke to trial. In fact, the prosecution offered Brenneke a deal that would keep him out of jail in exchange for a guilty plea. Despite having no money and suffering from a severe heart ailment, Brenneke refused the government’s conditions.

Brenneke’s trial began on April 24, in federal district court in Portland, Oregon. Brenneke’s attorney, Michael Scott, the brother of Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colorado, had originally planned to subpoena a star- studded list of witnesses for the defense. Among the notables were former President Carter and former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, both of whom have stated that they were aware of the Reagan-Bush campaign’s hostage negotiations prior to the 1980 election.

Being broke, however, Brenneke was forced to rely on the government to pay the expenses of his witnesses. It was up to the court, therefore, to determine which witnesseswere necessary to his defense. Judge Malcolm F. Marsh–a Reagan appointee–had no trouble determining that Carter, Bani- Sadr, and Robert McFarlane were not. In fact, of the 24 potential witnesses presented by Brenneke lawyers, only five were deemed “necessary.”

Government prosecutor Thomas O’Rourke, the US attorney in Denver, suffered under no such burden. At taxpayers’ expense O’Rourke assembled an impressive roster of government witnesses. Eldon Hatch, a CIA personnel specialist, testified that after thoroughly searching the agency’s files he could find no employment records for either Rupp or Brenneke. Under cross examination, however, Hatch admitted that Rupp had been trained by Inter- Mountain Aviation, a CIA proprietary. Hatch, a 31-year CIA veteran, also acknowledged that the agency had maintained “files” on both Rupp and Brenneke. Defense witness Frank Snepp, a former CIA agent and critic of the Agency, later testified that CIA contract agents were often listed in “Soft files” that “existed only in a clandestine part of the agency and were not shared with personnel because the [agent’s] situation was so sensitive.

A S t a r i s S w o r n

The government’s star witness was Donald Gregg, who was flown in from South Korea to testify. But Gregg has never been a credible witness. During the Congressional Iran-contra hearings, Gregg testified under oath that despite being vice President George Bush’s National Security Adviser at the time, he had not learned of the Reagan Administration’s efforts to resupply the Nicaraguan Contras until August 1986. During his Senate confirmation hearing in 1989, however, information surfaced that clearly contradicted Gregg’s earlier statements. An entry in one of Oliver North’s notebooks that somehow escaped the shredder indicates that Gregg attended a meeting on the illegal resupply operation in September 1985. In addition, a memo from Gregg’s on office initialed by Gregg himself, reveals that on May 1, 1986, Gregg met with Vice President Bush to discuss “resupply of the Contras.” Gregg attributed the discrepancy to a secretarial error, claiming the meeting had actually concerned “resupply of the Copters.” A New York Times editorial a the time ran under the heading “Mr. Gregg Still Lacks Credibility.”

During the Brenneke trial, Gregg swore he did not go to Paris on October 18, 1980, but had been vacationing with his family at Bethany Beach, Delaware. To prove his point, Gregg presented photographs of himself, his wife and their daughter, on a sunny beach that he said were taken on the weekend in question.

Gregg’s claims were easily disproved by Robert Lynott, a veteran meteorologist for the National Weather Service, the National Forest Service and a Portland TV station. After comparing the photographs with reports from the Indian River weather station–ten miles from Bethany Beach–Lynott concluded that “These pictures were not taken on those days. I’m 100 percent sure that they weren’t taken on the 18th and I’m 90 percent sure they weren’t taken on the 19th.”

As for Bush and Casey, prosecutor O’Rourke failed to demonstrate that they could NOT have been in Paris on the relevant days. This inexplicable lack of accurate record keeping is all the more remarkable for a campaign manager and candidate at the height of a presidential race.

More damning testimony came from Richard Allen, a former Reagan-Bush campaign official who later served as President Reagan’s National Security adviser. Allen told the court that during the fall of 1980, he had set up a secret committee within the campaign to monitor the Carter Administration’s progress in their hostage negotiations. Two internal campaign memos were presented as evidence to support Allen’s testimony. The first, dated October 15, 1980, was from Allen to Reagan, Casey, campaign strategist Richard Wirthlin, and Edwin Meese III, who later became Reagan’s attorney general. According to the memo, a person referred to as “ABC XYZ”had informed the campaign that the hostages could be freed “at any moment, as a bolt from the blue.” Allen testified that “ABC XYZ” was in fact Edmund Muskie, who at the time was President Carter’s secretary of state. [note Muskie served with John Tower and Brent Scowcroft on the presidential commission which investigated the Iran/Contra scandal. RW] A second memo, dated October 24, 1980, named Bob Garrick, a high ranking campaign official, as the sole spokesperson on the hostage issue.

Another defense witness, Israeli Col. William Northrup, testified that American-made weapons were shipped to Iran via Israel “within a fortnight” of the Paris meetings, implying that they were part of the deal not to release the hostages.

In his closing argument defense attorney Michael Scott stressed the timing of the hostages release which came on January 20, 1981, just minutes after Reagan was sworn in as president.

T h e V e r d i c t

On May 4, after only five hours of deliberation, the jury found Brenneke “not guilty” on all five counts.

“We were convinced that, yes, there was a meeting, and he was there and the other people listed in the indictment were there,” said jury foreman Mark Kristoff following the trial. “There never was a guilty vote … It was 100 percent.”

While the jury’s verdict represents a substantial victory for Brenneke personally, many questions remain unresolved. Technically, the decision does not mean Brenneke was telling the truth about the Paris meetings; it simply means the government was unable to convince the jury that he was lying.

Still, there is a substantial body of circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Reagan-Bush campaign stole the 1980 election, and the Brenneke decision adds even greater credence to that argument. At the very least it suggest the Republicans were willing to barter with American lives for their own political gain. Legally, any dealings between campaign officials and the Iranians would be a clear violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from engaging in diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments. More important, since Iran could easily have been classified as a hostile nation at the time, any effort to furnish them with weapons would constitute providing aid to an enemy nation, which is tantamount to treason.

Then there is the question of Donald Gregg’s testimony. If, as the jury apparently believed, Gregg was not telling the truth about his whereabouts on that all important weekend in 1980, will the bush administration be as vigilant in seeking perjury charges against him as it was in prosecuting Brenneke?

E n t e r t h e S & L ‘ s

In addition to lifting the lid on the October Surprise, Brenneke’s testimony in Denver shed light on another scandal. During his deposition, Brenneke stated that the bank fraud for which Rupp was convicted was actually part of a larger “systematically developed program by which money was raised for the Contras, using a variety of schemes involving banks, and then involving the disposition of those funds.”

Brenneke’s comments became the center piece for a series of investigative reports by Pete Brewton of the Houston Post. Earlier this year, Brewton revealed that “the CIA may have used part of the proceeds from S&L fraud to help pay for covert operations and other activities that Congress was unwilling to support publicly.” Brewton disclosed that “numerous links” exist “between organized crime figures and CIA operatives, including some involved in gun running, drug smuggling, money laundering, and covert aid for the Nicaraguan Contras.”

One example Brewton refers to is Indian Springs State Bank in Kansas City, Missouri. When Indian Springs failed in 1984, federal investigators focused their attention on Farhad Azima, a major shareholder in the bank. Azima, an Iranian emigrant who’s family had close ties to the Shah, has been linked in court documents to the CIA and organized crime. Azima was also the owner of Global International Airways. Brewton reported that an ID card given to him by Brenneke, dated November 1, 1975, shows a vice president and pilot for global to be none other than Heinrich Rupp. Global supplied one of the cargo planes used by the White House to deliver 23 tons of TOW missiles and sundry spare parts to Tehran.

Among Global’s clients was Southern Air Transport, once owned-and- operated by the CIA. Southern Air personnel maintain that Global ran weapons out of Dallas to the contras and cocaine back into the US. Global’s biggest customer was the Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation (EATSCO). EATSCO’s board of directors included unindicted Iran-contra figure Theodore Shackley and convicted Iran-contra conspirator retired Gen. Richard Secord. The finances of Indian Springs Bank and Global were intimately intertwined. When Global filed for bankruptcy, Indian Springs was next in line.

I s T h e r e a R e p o r t e r i n t h e H o u s e ?

Mainstream coverage of the Brenneke trial and the CIA/Mafia/White House links to the S&L crisis have been conspicuously absent. Following the Brenneke decision, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post all ran short Associated Press wire stories but never mentioned the words “treason” or “perjury.” Joel Bleifuss of In These Times writes: “The most interesting of the three AP stories was the heavily and strangely edited version in the Washington Post. It seems that if the jury didn’t have sense enough to find Brenneke guilty, it was up to the Post to do the job.”

Brewton’s revelations concerning the S&L debacle have fared even worse. In February, the Los Angeles Times buried a short piece outlining Brewton’s basic thesis, and has since failed to follow up on the allegations. To date, neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post have seen fit to report on the subject.

Having been vindicated in court, Brenneke says he plans to write a book about his life in the CIA and the October Surprise. It will be interesting to see how the press responds when his story, which has been sitting right under their noses for four years, “breaks” in the book review section.

F u r t h e r R e a d i n g

S & L s c a n d a l

Pete Brewton’s investigative articles in the Houston Post are
(may be incomplete):
“S&L probe has possible CIA links” 2/4/90
“Evidence finds CIA operatives may be implicated in failure” 2/5/90
“[House] Panel calls CIA chief to testify” 2/6/90
“A bank’s shadowy demise” 2/8/90
“Azima no stranger to Texas business” 2/(between 8 and 11)/90
“Linsay aided S&L probe figure” 2/11/90
“Texas S&L, mob, CIA: A tangled web of deceit” 2/18/90
“CIA declines to testify before [House] panel” 2/21/90
“House committee plans investigation of agency’s actions” 3/2/90
“The suspicious trail of Denver S&L failure” 3/11/90
“Attorney linked to S&L crisis has ties to CIA, Mafia figures” 4/4/90
“House investigators pursue Post’s S&L findings” 7/11/90
also “The news story hardly anyone wants to touch” by Nicols Fox,
July/August Washington Journalism Review
also see the book “Inside Job” by Steve Pizzo, Mary Fricker & Paul Molo

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(note: as of mid November, 1990, the staff of the House Intelligence committee is about to make a recommendation as to whether to pursue a formal investigation of the Post’s allegations)
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C I A & d r u g s m u g g l i n g :

“Is there a contra drug connection?” Newsweek, 1/26/87
“Contra arms crew said to smuggle drugs” New York Times, 1/20/87
“Bay area cocaine ring tied to contras” San Francisco Examiner, 3/16/86
“Nicaraguan exile’s cocaine-contra connection” SF Examiner, 6/23/86
“Probe tracks contra smuggling, US role” Chicago Tribune, 3/3/87
“Narco-terrorism: A tale of two stories” Columbia Journalism Rev, Sept/Oct 87
“Pilot: I flew contra arms in, pot out” Newsday, 4/6/87
“Obstruction at justice” The Village Voice, 3/31/87
“Memo urged Iran panels to absolve contras of drug charges” Boston Globe 8/5/87
“North’s aids linked to Austrialia study” New York Times, 3/8/87
“CIA, contras hooked on drug money” In These Times, 4/15/87

A l s o s e e :

New York Times 2/24/87, 7/16/87
Washington Post 12/27/85, 6/30/87
Wall St. Journal 4/22/87
Miami Herald 2/16/87, 3/22/87
Los Angeles Times 2/12/87, 2/18/87
CBS News West 57th, contra drug reports aired 4/6/87 and 7/11/87

Related books:
“Out of Control” by Leslie Cockburn, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987
“The Crimes of Patriots” by Jonathan Kwitney, Norton, 1987
“The Iran Contra Connection” by Johnathan Marshall, Peter Scott, Jane Hunter, South End Press, 1987
“The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” by Alfred W. McCoy, Harper & Row, 1972
“The Great Heroin Coup” by Henrik Kruger, South End Press, 1980
“In Banks We Trust” by Penny Lernoux, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984

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