THE GUYS ABOVE THE CIA, WHO RUN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA THAILAND IMPORTS OF HEROIN AND MARIJUANA. GUESS WHO? Observing the strange neat career of Richard Armitage. (Imports continue....)


Click. Iran Contra Criminal Armitage turns into an "intellectual" while living in Britain teaching "war games" at a British University and interviewing "wargamester" Paul Virilio.

Click. New evidence links George Bush to Los Angeles drug operation.



Click. CIA And Mossad Drug Involvement.


Katharine aka BB Bell
Norfolk, Va. October 30, 2000  

Iran Contra Criminal Armitage turns into an "intellectual" while living in Britain teaching "war games" at a British University and interviewing "wargamester" Paul Virilio

The Kosovo War Took Place in Orbital Space


Paulo Virilio in Conversation with John Armitage

Translated by Patrice Riemens


Paul Virilio is a renowned urbanist, political theorist and critic of the art of technology. Born in Paris in 1932, Virilio is best known for his 'war model' of the growth of the modern city and the evolution of human society. He is also the inventor of the term 'dromology' or the logic of speed. Identified with the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, the futurism of Marinetti and technoscientific writings of Einstein, Virilio's intellectual outlook can usefully be compared to contemporary architects, philosophers and cultural critics such as Bernard Tschumi, Gilles Deleuze and Jean Baudrillard. Virilio is the author, among other books, of Bunker Archeology (1994 [1975]), Speed & Politics: An Essay on Dromology (1986 [1977]), The Information Bomb (2000 [1998]) and, most recently, Strategie de la deception (1999). His analysis of the Kosovo War is the subject of his conversation with John Armitage below.

John Armitage: Professor Virilio, to what extent does your intellectual and artistic work on the architecture of war, and architecture more generally, inform your thinking in Strategie de la deception?  Is it the case that, in common with other so-called 'postmodern' wars, such as the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the architecture of war, along with architecture itself, is 'disappearing'? How did you approach the question of the architecture of war and its disappearance in Strategie de la deception?

Paul Virilio: Well, let me put it this way, I have always been interested in the architecture of war, as can be seen in Bunker Archeology. However, at the time that I did the research for that book, I was very young. My aim was to understand the notion of 'Total War'. As I have said many times before, I was among the first people to experience the German Occupation of France during the Second World War. I was 7-13 years old during the War and did not really internalise its significance. More specifically, under the Occupation, we in Nantes were denied access to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It was therefore not until after the War was over that I saw the sea for the first time, in the vicinity of St Nazaire. It was there that I discovered the bunkers. But what I also discovered was that, during the War, the whole of Europe had become a fortress. And thus I saw to what extent an immense territory, a whole continent, had effectively been reorganised into one city, and just like the cities of old. From that moment on, I became more interested in urban matters, in logistics, in the organisation of transport, in maintenance and supplies.

But what is so astonishing about the war in Kosovo for me is that it was a war that totally bypassed territorial space. It was a war that took place almost entirely in the air. There were hardly any Allied armed personnel on the ground. There was, for example, no real state of siege and practically no blockade. However, may I remind you that France and Germany were opposed to a maritime blockade of the Adriatic Sea without a mandate from the United Nations (UN). So, what we witnessed in Kosovo was an extraordinary war, a war waged solely with bombs from the air. What happened in Kosovo was the exact reversal of what happened in 'Fortress Europe' in 1943-45. Let me explain. Air Marshall 'Bomber' Harris used to say that 'Fortress Europe' was a fortress without a roof, since the Allies had air supremacy. Now, if we look at the Kosovo War, what do we see? We see a fortress without walls - but with a roof! Isn't that disappearance extraordinary?!

John Armitage: Let's talk about your theoretical efforts to understand and interpret the Kosovo war in Strategie de la deception. Is the campaign in the air the only important element that other theorists should pay attention to?

Paul Virilio: Let me emphasise the following points about the Kosovo War. First, while the United States (US) can view the war as a success, Europe must see it as a failure for it and, in particular, for the institutions of the European Union (EU). For the US, the Kosovo War was a success because it encouraged the development of the Pentagon's 'Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA). The war provided a test site for experimentation, and paved the way for emergence of what I call in Strategie de la deception 'the second deterrence'. It is, therefore, my firm belief that the US is currently seeking to revert to the position it held after the triggering of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the 1940s, when the US was the sole nuclear power. And here I repeat what I suggest in my book. The first deterrence, nuclear deterrence, is presently being superseded by the second deterrence: a type of deterrence based on what I call 'the information bomb' associated with the new weaponry of information and communications technologies.

Thus, in the very near future, and I stress this important point, it will no longer be war that is the continuation of politics by other means, it will be what I have dubbed 'the integral accident' that is the continuation of politics by other means. The automation of warfare has, then, come a long way since the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Needless to say, none of these developments will help the plight of the refugees in Kosovo or stop the actions of the militias operating there. However, the automation of warfare will allow for the continuation not only of war in the air but also of the further development of the Pentagon's RMA in the form of 'Global Information Dominance' (GID) and 'Global Air Power' (GAP).

It is for these reasons that, in my new book, I focus for example on the use of the 'graphite bomb' to shut off the Serbian electricity supply as well as the cutting off of the service provision to Serbia of the EuTelSat television satellite by the EU. And, let me remind you that the latter action was carried out against the explicit wishes of the UN. To my mind, therefore, the integral accident, the automation of warfare, and the RMA are all part of the shift towards the second deterrence and the explosion of the information bomb. For me, these developments are revolutionary because, today, the age of the locally situated bomb such as the atomic bomb has passed. The atomic bomb provoked a specific accident. But the information bomb gives rise to the integral and globally constituted accident. The globally constituted accident can be compared to what people who work at the stock exchange call 'systemic risk'. And, of course, we have already seen some instances of systemic risk in recent times in the Asian financial crisis. But what sparked off the Asian financial crisis? Automated trading programmes! Here, then, we meet again the problems I noted in earlier works with regard to interactivity.

Moreover, it is clear that the era of the information bomb, the era of aerial warfare, the era of the RMA and global surveillance is also the era of the integral accident. 'Cyberwar' has nothing to do with the destruction brought about by bombs and grenades and so on. It is specifically linked to the information systems of life itself. It is in this sense that, as I have said many times before, interactivity is the equivalent of radioactivity. For interactivity effects a kind of disintegration, a kind of rupture. For me, the Asian financial crisis of 1998 and the war in Kosovo in 1999 are the prelude to the integral accident.

John Armitage: How does your description above of the chief theoretical aspects of the Kosovo War map on to the important themes of your previous writings? I would like to start by charting your theoretical and architectural interest in questions concerning the two concepts of military space and the organization of territory. For example, even your earliest research  -- into the 'Atlantic Wall' in the 1950s and 1960s -- was founded on these two concepts. However, before we discuss Strategie de la deception and the war in Kosovo in some detail, could you explain first of all what you mean by military space and the organization of territory and why these concepts are so important for an understanding of your work?

Paul Virilio: These concepts are important quite simply because I am an urbanist. Thus the whole of my work is focused on geopolitics and geostrategy. However, a second aspect of my work is movement. This, of course, I pursue through my research on speed and on my study of the organisation of the revolution of the means of transportation. For me, then, territory and movement are linked. For instance, territory is controlled by the movements of horsemen, of tanks, of planes, and so on. Thus my research on dromology, on the logic and impact of speed, necessarily implies the study of the organisation of territory. Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation. Hence I am always concerned with ideas of territory and movement. Indeed, my first book after Bunker Archeology was entitled L'insecurite du territoire (1976).

John Armitage: In Speed & Politics: An Essay on Dromology, you write of the military and political revolution in transportation and information transmission. Indeed, for you, the speed of the military-industrial complex is the driving force of cultural and social development, or, as you put it in the book, 'history progresses at the speed of its weapons systems'. In what ways do you think that speed politics played a role in the military and political conflict in Kosovo? For instance, was the speed of transportation and information transmission the most important factor in the war? Or, more generally, for you, is the military-industrial complex still the motor of history?

Paul Virilio: I believe that the military-industrial complex is more important than ever. This is because the war in Kosovo gave fresh impetus not to the military-industrial complex but to the military-scientific complex. You can see this in China. You can also see it in Russia with its development of stealth planes and other very sophisticated military machines. I am of course thinking here about new planes such as the Sukhois. There is very little discussion about such developments but, for me, I am constantly astonished by the current developments within the Russian airforce. And, despite the economic disaster that is Russia, there are still air shows taking place in the country. For these reasons, then, I believe that the politics of intervention and the Kosovo war prompted a fresh resumption of the arms race worldwide. However, this situation has arisen because the sovereignty of the state is no longer accepted. This is also why we are witnessing states rushing forward in order to safeguard themselves against an intervention similar to the one that took place in Kosovo. This is one of the most disturbing, if indirect, aspects of the war in Kosovo and one that I discuss at length in my new book. Of course, one of the most disturbing features is the fact that while we have had roughly a ten year pause in the arms race where a lot of good work was done, this has now come to an end. For what we are seeing at the present time are new developments in anti-missile weaponry, drones, and so on. Thus, some of the most dramatic consequences of the Kosovo war are linked to the resumption of the arms race and the suicidal political and economic policies of countries like India and Pakistan where tons of money are currently being spent on atomic weaponry. This is abhorrent!

John Armitage: Before we turn to consider the aesthetic aspects of the 'disappearance' of military space and the organisation of territory in Kosovo, I would like to ask why it was that in the late 1970s and early 1980s you first began to consider the technological aspects of these phenomena? What was it that prompted you to focus on the technological aspects at that time?

Paul Virilio: Because it was from that time onwards that real time superseded real space! Today, almost all-current technologies put the speed of light to work. And, as you know, here we are not only talking about information at a distance but also operation at a distance, or, the possibility to act instantaneously, from afar. For example, the RMA begins with the application of the speed of light. This means that history is now rushing headlong into the wall of time. As I have said many times before, the speed of light does not merely transform the world. It becomes the world. Globalisation is the speed of light. And it is nothing else! Globalisation cannot take shape without the speed of light. In this way, history now inscribes itself in real time, in the 'live', in the realm of interactivity. Consequently, history no longer resides in the extension of territory. Look at the US, look at Russia. Both of these countries are immense geographical territories. But, nowadays, immense territories amount to nothing! Today, everything is about speed and real time. We are no longer concerned with real space. Hence not only the crisis of geopolitics and geostrategy but also the shift towards the emergence and dominance of chronostrategy. As I have been arguing for a long time now, there is a real need not simply for a political economy of wealth but also for a political economy of speed.

John Armitage: But what about the cultural dimensions of chronostrategy? For instance, although modernist artists such as Marinetti suggested to us that 'war is the highest form of modern art', Walter Benjamin warned us against the 'aestheticization' of war in his famous essay in Illuminations (1968) on 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'. Additionally, in your The Aesthetics of Disappearance (1991 [1980]), you make several references to the relationship between war and aesthetics. To what extent do you think that the Kosovo War can or should be perceived in cultural or aesthetic terms?

Paul Virilio: First of all, if I have spoken of a link between war and aesthetics, it is because there is something I am very interested in and that is what Sun Tzu in his ancient Chinese text calls The Art of War. This is because, for me, war consists of the organisation of the field of perception. But war is also, as the Japanese call it, 'the art of embellishing death'. And, in this sense, the relationship between war and aesthetics is a matter of very serious concern. Conversely, one could say that religion -- in the broadest sense of the word -- is 'the art of embellishing life'. Thus, anything that strives to aestheticise death is profoundly tragic. But, nowadays, the tragedy of war is mediated through technology. It is no longer mediated through a human being with moral responsibilities. It is mediated through the destructive power of the atomic bomb, as in Stanley Kubrick's film, Dr Strangelove.

Now, if we turn to the war in Kosovo, what do we find?  We find the manipulation of the audience's emotions by the mass media. Today, the media handle information as if it was a religious artefact. In this way, the media is more concerned with what we feel about the refugees and so on rather than what we think about them. Indeed, the truth, the reality of the Kosovo War, was actually hidden behind all the 'humanitarian' faces. This is a very  different situation from the one faced by General Patton and the American army when they first encountered the concentration camps at the end of the Second World War. Then, it was a total and absolute surprise to find out that what was inside the concentration camps was a sea of skeletons. What is clear to me, therefore, is that while the tragedy of war grinds on, the contemporary aesthetics of the tragedy seem not only confused but, in some way, suspicious.

John Armitage: Almost inevitably, reviewers will compare Strategie de la deception with your earlier works and, in particular, War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (1989 [1984]). Indeed, the very first chapter of the latter book is called 'Military Force is based upon Deception'. Could you summarise the most important developments that, for you, have taken place in the relationship between war, cinema, and deception since you wrote War and Cinema?

Paul Virilio: For me, Sun Tzu's statement that military force is based upon deception is an extraordinary statement. But let us start with the title of War and Cinema. The important part of the title is not War and Cinema. It is the subtitle, The Logistics of Perception. As I said back in 1984, the idea of logistics is not only about oil, about ammunitions and supplies but also about images. Troops must be fed with ammunition and so on but also with information, with images, with visual intelligence. Without these elements troops cannot perform their duties properly. This is what is meant by the logistics of perception.

Now, if we consider my latest book, Strategie de la deception, what we need to focus on are the other aspects of the same phenomenon. For the strategies of deception are concerned with deceiving an opponent through the logistics of perception. But these strategies are not merely aimed at the Serbs or the Iraqis but also at all those who might support Milosevic or Saddam Hussein. Moreover, such strategies are also aimed at deceiving the general public through radio, television and so on.

In this way, it seems to me that, since 1984, my book on the logistics of perception has been proved totally correct. For instance, almost every conflict since then has involved the logistics of perception, including the war in Lebanon, where Israel made use of cheap drones in order to track Yasser Arafat with the aim of killing him. If we look at the Gulf War, the same is also true. Indeed, my work on the logistics of perception and the Gulf War was so accurate that I was even asked to discuss it with high-ranking French military officers. They asked me: 'how is it that you wrote that book in 1984 and now it's happening for real?' My answer was: 'the problem is not mine but yours: you have not been doing your job properly!'

But let us link all this to something that is not discussed very often. I am referring here to the impact of the launch of the television news service CNN in 1984 or thereabouts. However, what I want to draw your attention to is CNN's so-called 'Newshounds'. Newshounds are people with mini-video cameras, people who are continually taking pictures in the street and sending the tapes in to CNN. These Newshounds are a sort of pack of wolves, continually looking for quarry, but quarry in the form of images. For example, it was this pack of wolves that sparked off the Rodney King affair a few years ago in Los Angeles. Let us consider the situation: a person videos Rodney King being beaten up by the cops. That person then sends in the footage to the TV station. Within hours riots flare up in the city! There is, then, a link between the logistics of perception, the wars in Lebanon and the Gulf as well as with CNN and the Pentagon. But what interests me here is that what starts out as a story of a black man being beaten up in the street, a story that, unfortunately, happens all the time, everywhere, escalates into something that is little short of a war in Los Angeles!

John Armitage: In The Vision Machine (1994 [1988]) you were concerned with highlighting the role of the military in the 'contemporary crisis in perceptive faith' and the 'automation of perception' more broadly. Has the Kosovo War led you to modify your claims about the role of the military in the contemporary production and destruction of automated perception via Cruise missiles, so-called 'smart bombs' and so on?

Paul Virilio: On the contrary. The development and deployment of drones and Cruise missiles involves the continuing development of the vision machine. Research on Cruise missiles is intrinsically linked to the development of vision machines. The aim, of course, is not only to give vision to a machine but, as in the case of the Cruise missiles that were aimed at Leningrad and Moscow, also to enable a machine to deploy radar readings and pre-programmed maps as it follows its course towards its target. Cruise missiles necessarily fly low, in order to check on the details of the terrain they are flying over. They are equipped with a memory that gives them bearings on the terrain. However, when the missiles arrive at their destination, they need more subtle vision, in order to choose right or left. This, then, is the reason why vision was given to Cruise missiles. But in one sense, such missiles are really only flying cameras, whose results are interpreted by a computer. This, therefore, is what I call 'sightless vision', vision without looking. The research on vision machines was mainly conducted at the Stanford Research Institute in the US. So, we can say that the events that took place in the Kosovo War were a total confirmation of the thesis of The Vision Machine.

John Armitage: Let us turn to vision machines of a different variety. To what extent do you think that watching the Kosovo War on TV reduced us all to a state of Polar Inertia (1999 [1990]), to the status of Howard Hughes, the imprisoned and impotent state of what you call 'technological monks'?

Paul Virilio: There can be no doubt about this. It even held true for the soldiers involved in the Kosovo War. For the soldiers stayed mostly in their barracks! In this way, polar inertia has truly become a mass phenomenon. And not only for the TV audiences watching the war at home but also for the army that watches the battle from the barracks. Today, the army only occupies the territory once the war is over. Clearly, there is a kind of inertia here. Moreover, I would like to say that the sort of polar inertia we witnessed in the Kosovo War, the polar inertia involving 'automated war' and 'war-at-a-distance' is also terribly weak in the face of terrorism. For instance, in such situations, any individual who decides to place or throw a bomb can simply walk away. He or she has the freedom to move. This also applies to militant political groups and their actions. Look at the Intifadah in Jerusalem. One cannot understand that phenomenon, a phenomenon where people, often very young boys, are successfully harassing one of the best armies in the world, without appreciating their freedom to move!

John Armitage: Jean Baudrillard infamously argued that The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (1995 [1991]). Could it be argued that the Kosovo War did not take place?

Paul Virilio: Although Jean Baudrillard is a friend of mine, I do not agree with him on that one! For me, the significance of the war in Kosovo was that it was a war that moved into space. For instance, the Persian Gulf War was a miniature world war. It took place in a small geographical area. In this sense it was a local war. But it was one that made use of all the power normally reserved for global war. However, the Kosovo War took place in orbital space. In other words, war now takes place in 'aero-electro-magnetic space'. It is equivalent to the birth of a new type of flotilla, a home fleet, of a new type of naval power, but in orbital space!

John Armitage: How do these developments relate to Global Positioning Systems (GPS)? For example, in The Art of the Motor (1995 [1993]), you were very interested in the relationship between globalisation, physical space, and the phenomenon of virtual spaces, positioning, or, 'delocalization'. In what ways, if any, do you think that militarized GPS played a 'delocalizing' role in the war in Kosovo?

Paul Virilio: GPS not only played a large and delocalizing role in the war in Kosovo but is increasingly playing a role in social life. For instance, it was the GPS that directed the planes, the missiles and the bombs to localised targets in Kosovo. But may I remind you that the bombs that were dropped by the B-2 plane on the Chinese embassy -- or at least that is what we were told -- were GPS bombs. And the B-2 flew in from the US. However, GPS are everywhere. They are in cars. They were even in the half-tracks that, initially at least, were going to make the ground invasion in Kosovo possible. Yet, for all the sophistication of GPS, there still remain numerous problems with their use.

The most obvious problem in this context is the problem of landmines. For example, when the French troops went into Kosovo they were told that they were going to enter in half-tracks, over the open fields. But their leaders had forgotten about the landmines. And this was a major problem because, these days, landmines are no longer localised. They are launched via tubes and distributed haphazardly over the territory. As a result, one cannot remove them after the war because one cannot find them! And yet the ability to detect such landmines, especially in a global war of movement, is absolutely crucial.

Thus, for the US, GPS are a form of sovereignty! It is hardly surprising, then, that the EU has proposed its own GPS in order to be able to localise and to compete with the American GPS. As I have said before, sovereignty no longer resides in the territory itself, but in the control of the territory. And localisation is an inherent part of that territorial control. As I pointed out in The Art of the Motor and elsewhere, from now on we need two watches: a wristwatch to tell us what time it is and a GPS watch to tell us what space it is!

John Armitage: Lastly, given your analyses of technology and the general accident in recent works such as Open Sky (1997 [1995]), Politics of the Very Worst (1999 [1996]) and The Information Bomb (2000 [1998]), what, for you, is the likely prospective critical impact of counter measures to such developments? Are there any obvious strategies of resistance that can be deployed against the relentless advance of the technological strategies of deception?

Paul Virilio: Resistance is always possible! But we must engage in resistance first of all by developing the idea of a technological culture. However, at the present time, this idea is grossly underdeveloped. For example, we have developed an artistic and a literary culture. Nevertheless, the ideals of technological culture remain underdeveloped and therefore outside of popular culture and the practical ideals of democracy. This is also why society as a whole has no control over technological developments. And this is one of the gravest threats to democracy in the near future. It is, then, imperative to develop a democratic technological culture. Even among the elite, in government circles, technological culture is somewhat deficient. I could give examples of cabinet ministers, including defence ministers, who have no technological culture at all.

In other words, what I am suggesting is that the hype generated by the publicity around the Internet and so on is not counter balanced by a political intelligence that is based on a technological culture. For instance, in 1999, Bill Gates not only published a new book on work at the speed of thought but also detailed how Microsoft's 'Falconview' software would enable the destruction of bridges in Kosovo. Thus it is no longer a Caesar or a Napoleon who decides on the fate of any particular war but a piece of software! In short, the political intelligence of war and the political intelligence of society no longer penetrate the technoscientific world. Or, let us put it this way, technoscientific intelligence is presently insufficiently spread among society at large to enable us to interpret the sorts of technoscientific advances that are taking shape today.

New evidence links George Bush to Los Angeles drug operation

by Edward Spannaus © Executive Intelligence Review (LaRouche)

On Oct. 27, 1986, federal and local law enforcement officials executed search warrants on more than a dozen locations connected to a major cocaine-trafficking ring in southern California centered around Danilo Blandon.. One of the locations raided was the home of a former Laguna Beach police officer by the name of Ronald Lister.

Los Angeles Sheriff's Department detectives reported that when they raided Lister's house, they found ``films of military operations in Central America, technical manuals, information on assorted military hardware and communications, and numerous documents indicating that drug money was being used to purchase military equipment for Central America.'' Documents were also found which diagrammed ``the route of drug money out of the United States, back into the United States purchasing weaponry for the Contras.''

An official report by one of the detectives from the 1986 raid stated: ``Mr. Lister ... told me he had dealings in South America and worked with the CIA and added that his friends in Washington weren't going to like what was going on. I told Mr. Lister that we were not interested in his business in South America. Mr. Lister replied that he would call Mr. Weekly of the CIA and report me.''

New evidence has now surfaced showing who some of Lister's ``friends in Washington'' were, and we shall see that these ``friends'' ran all the way up to the Office of the Vice President, at that time George Bush.

Mark Richard's tell-tale notes

Around the same time as the October 1986 drug raid, ``Mr. Weekly,'' whose full name is David Scott Weekly, became the subject of a federal investigation opened for the purpose of prosecuting him on federal explosives charges. According to later testimony, this investigation was under way for some time before Weekly himself first learned about it, which was on Dec. 21-22, 1986.

But ten days before Weekly learned that he was being targetted, Bill Price, the U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma City handling Weekly's case, had a telephone conversation with a top official at Justice Department headquarters about some of the stickier aspects of the investigation. The official to whom Price talked was Mark Richard, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, and the career Justice Department official who served as the Department's liaison to the intelligence agencies.

The question arises: What might have triggered this conversation between Mark Richard--the DOJ's point of contact for the NSC, CIA, and military intelligence agencies--and the Oklahoma prosecutor?

First of all, on Oct. 5, 1986, a C-123 cargo plane, flying from El Salvador's Ilopango military air base, had been shot down over Nicaragua. Three crewmen were killed, and the fourth, Eugene Hasenfus, was captured by the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. This was the beginning of the public unravelling of what became known as the ``Iran-Contra'' affair.

Then came the Oct. 27 raid in Los Angeles, after which the Los Angeles FBI office communicated to FBI headquarters what had transpired, including Lister's claims of involvement in arming the Contras, and his citation of ``Mr. Weekly'' as being ``CIA'' and a ``DIA subcontractor''--referring to the Defense Intelligence Agency. (The FBI had already interviewed a businessman to whom Lister had bragged, on Aug. 1, that he was involved in arming the Contras, and that his arms deals were ``CIA approved.'')

On Nov. 10, 1986, the FBI sent a teletype to various sections of the CIA, inquiring about Lister, Blandon, Weekly, and some others. The inquiry, over the name of the FBI Director, asked diplomatically if any of these individuals were ``of operational interest'' to the CIA.

FBI documents also show that a teletype was sent to FBI headquarters on Dec. 9, followed up by a phone conversation with an FBI supervisor on Dec. 11--the same day that Mark Richard spoke to the prosecutor in Oklahoma City--who was at the time secretly preparing his case against Scott Weekly.

In August 1987--less than a year later--Mark Richard was required to give testimony in the Congressional Iran-Contra investigation. While being interrogated about various matters in which there were allegations of Justice Department interference in Contra-related cases, Richard was specifically questioned about handwritten notes he had made during his Dec. 11 conversation with prosecutor Bill Price. Richard said that Bill Hendricks of the DOJ's Public Integrity Section, which was dealing with a lot of the Iran-Contra matters, had previously been in touch with Price. After examining his own notes, Richard said that the conversation pertained to ``an individual who had been arrested and his possible involvement in some CIA/Contra-related activities.'' (In fact, Scott Weekly was out of the country on Dec. 11, and had not yet been arrested.)

Richard was asked about the portion of the notes which read: ``Weekly posts on tape that he's tied into CIA and Hasenfus. Said he reports to people reporting to Bush.'' Richard disclaimed any knowledge of what this meant, and said that the matter had been referred to the Independent Counsel. He said that in his notes, ``There is a suggestion of a relationship to the CIA and the exportation of explosives to the--countries.''

Richard was then asked: ``And he's alleging or indicating to someone that he's connected with the CIA and he is reporting to people who report to Bush?'' Richard answers: ``That's what he's asserting.''

Richard's notes, printed in Appendix B, Volume 23 of the Congressional Iran-Contra Report, also reference Weekly's toll calls to ``Col. Nestor Pino, Spec Asst to Undersecretary for Security Assistance,'' apparently made in September-October 1986, and also ``Phone calls from Weekly to Alex, Va.--Tom Harvey of NSC,'' apparently on Oct. 30, 1986.

Richard's reference to Tom Harvey is most significant. {EIR'}s investigations have shown that Harvey was operating out of George Bush's office, and was definitely one of the ``people who report to Bush.'' Nestor Pino was likewise deeply involved in the drug-ridden Contra supply operation, which was being run out of Bush's office though Felix Rodriguez, as well as by Oliver North, under the direct supervision of Bush's national security adviser Donald Gregg.

What has misled many investigators--and has continued to confuse the issue--is that many of these operatives, even Bush himself, at one point or another worked for the CIA. But the Contra-drug operation was not a ``CIA'' operation: It was run at a level {higher} than the CIA, primarily through military and private networks deployed out of the National Security Council, which in turn was operating in these matters under the direction of Vice President Bush.

The case at hand--of Ron Lister, Scott Weekly, and Tom Harvey--is a very good example of how such things actually worked, in contrast to popular fairy tales about the ``CIA.''

Who is Ron Lister?

Before discussing Lister's ``friends,'' a few salient facts about Lister himself.

The investigation of the Blandon drug ring--the Contra-linked cocaine-smuggling operation featured in the controversial {San Jose Mercury News} series last Fall--appears to have begun in late 1984, with a probe into a Colombian money-laundering operation in the city of Bell, California, near southeast Los Angeles. The police officer who initiated the investigation, which was done at the request of agents from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Customs Service, identified former Laguna Beach police officer Ronald Lister as transporting large amounts of cocaine and ``millions of dollars'' for Danilo.

During interviews with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department last year, as part of their internal investigation of the {San Jose Mercury News} series, Lister acknowledged that he and Blandon were in the drug business, and he told Sheriff's investigators that ``he had moved $50-60 million for Blandon.'' Lister also admitted that he himself had been a user of cocaine from 1985 to 1989.

In a well-researched article in the May 22 issue of the {Los Angeles Weekly}, investigative reporter Nick Schou has documented some of Lister's ties to former CIA officials. A San Diego weapons dealer, Timothy LaFrance (mentioned in Mark Richard's notes), told Schou that Lister's company, Pyramid International Security Consultants, was a ``private vendor that the CIA used'' to do things that the agency itself couldn't do. LaFrance said he had made a number of trips to Central America with Lister, providing weapons to the Contras. Another employee of Pyramid was Paul Wilker, a former CIA officer who, after leaving the CIA, had worked for a company called ``Intersect'' in Orange County, California. One of the founders of Intersect was still another former CIA officer, John Vandewerker. Vanderwerker told reporter Schou that he had met Lister through Wilker, his former employee. Vanderwerker also said that either Lister or Wilker had helped him apply for a job at Fluor Corporation, the large construction firm, with Bill Nelson, then Fluor's vice president for security and administration. Nelson was a well-known figure, having been the CIA Deputy Director for Operations in the 1973-76 period. According to Schou, Nelson, Wilker, and Vanderwerker all retired from the agency around 1976, when they set up Intersect. (This was prior to the late 1970s purge of the CIA's Operations Directorate under Adm. Stansfield Turner; the Turner housecleaning spun off many of the privatized ``asteroid'' operations, which then played such an important role during the 1980s.)

To round out the picture of Lister's associates, we note that in ten pages of notes seized from Lister's house in the 1986 raid, is a list of six names, which starts with Bill Nelson, and ends with Roberto D'Aubuisson, the military strongman of El Salvador in that period.

Also in the list is Scott Weekly. Elsewhere in Lister's ten paes of notes, he had written: ``I had regular meeting with DIA Subcontractor Scott Weekly. Scott had worked in El Salvador for us. Meeting concerned my relationship with the Contra grp. in Cent. Am.''

Ron Lister's `friends in Washington'

Recall, that among the names mentioned in Mark Richard's notes were those of Nestor Pino and Tom Harvey.

Nestor Pino, an Army colonel, worked with one William Bode; both Pino and bode were designated as special assistants to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance. Pino was posted to the State Department from the Pentagon's Defense Security Assistance Agency. Both Bode and Pino were deeply involved in the then-secret program supplying arms and supplies to the Contras. This program is often described as ``guns down, drugs back.'' It is not surprising, therefore, that Pino and Bode were also both closely tied to Felix Rodriguez, one of the top drug-runners in the Contra operation, who was directly deployed out of Bush's office through Bush's national security adviser Donald Gregg--another former CIA official.

It was William Bode who introduced Felix Rodriguez to Oliver North in December 1984, as Rodriguez was on his way to meet with Gregg. (A few weeks after this, Gregg introduced Rodriguez personally to Bush, in the Vice Presidents's office.)

In his book {Shadow Warrior}, Rodriguez describes Pino as a close buddy of his from the days of the Bay of Pigs ``2506 Brigade.'' Rodriguez says that at the ``2506'' training camp in Guatemala, he became friends with both Nestor Pino, and with Jose Basulto--more recently known for his provocative actions as part of the ``Brothers to the Rescue'' operation.

Scott Weekly's involvement with Bode and Pino came about in the following way. In August 1986, Bode contacted Col. James ``Bo'' Gritz, the retired, highly decorated special forces commander, and asked him to come to Washington to discuss a training program for Afghanistan mujahideen general-staff officers--another of the clandestine operations being run by the intelligence community simultaneously with the Contra operation. Gritz meet with Bode and Pino at the State Department twice in early August, and then, with his longtime associate Scott Weekly, launched a training program in unconventional warfare for the Afghanis, conducted on federal land in Nevada.

The training program, as Gritz later testified, was financed by $50,000, paid through Albert Hakim's Stanford Technology Group--one of the companies used by Oliver North, Richard Secord, et al. for shipping arms to Iran and to the Contras. The Stanford group was found by Iran-Contra Independent Counsel prosecutor Lawrence Walsh to have been at the heart of what he called ``The Enterprise.''

Now, there is no evidence whatsoever that Gritz had any knowledge of Weekly's ties to the drug-dealer and money-launderer Ron Lister, much less any involvement in it. Indeed, Gritz is well-known for his opposition to drug trafficking; he was prosecuted by the federal government in the late 1980s after exposing the role of certain Reagan-Bush government officials in drug smuggling in Southeast Asia--as we shall see below.

Scott Weekly was a weapons specialist, working as part of a team created by Gritz, after Gritz had been requested in 1979 by the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to officially resign from the U.S. Army, and carry out a private intelligence operation in Southeast Asia. Gritz's team carried out a number of U.S. government-backed missions into Thailand, Laos, and Burma between 1982 and 1986, to determine whether America POWs were still alive in Southeast Asia.

In his 1991 book {Called To Serve,} Gritz described how he formed a ``private'' team with the assistance of the DIA, CIA, and the Army's Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). The ISA was a secret Army special operations unit, involved in counter-terrorist activity, and also in support for the Nicaraguan Contras in Central America. Sworn evidence exists showing that, during most of the 1980s, Gritz was reporting to military intelligence officials through an intermediary known as a ``cut-out.''

To return to our narrative: In late October 1986, as the first round of the Afghan training program was being completed, and just before the Los Angeles Sheriff's raid on the Blandon drug ring, Gritz was contacted by an NSC staff officer, Lt. Col. Thomas Harvey. (The misnamed ``NSC staff'' is not a staff for the National Security Council, but it serves the President--and in this case the vice president--on national security matters.)

Colonel Harvey told Gritz that information had recently been given to Vice President Bush indicating that Burmese drug lord Khun Sa had information on U.S. prisoners of war still being detained in Southeast Asia. Harvey asked Gritz if he could go to the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Asia to attempt to verify this report. He could, Gritz said, but he told Harvey that he would need special documents for such a mission.

A few days later, Harvey told Gritz to come to Washington. On Oct. 29, 1986, Gritz and Scott Weekly flew there, and met Harvey near the White House. Harvey provided them with two letters, one for Gritz on White House letterhead, and one for Weekly on National Security Council letterhead, stating that Gritz and Weekly were cooperating with the U.S. government.

The letter given to Weekly states:

This was Oct. 29. Mark Richard's notes also indicate a toll call by Weekly to Tom Harvey the next day.

`CIA' was the cover story

As to the claims by Lister, Weekly, and others that Weekly was working for the CIA, Gritz has more recently had a number of highly pertinent things to say.

In his {Center for Action} newsletter, Dec. 5, 1996, while discussing the FBI's confusion over whom Weekly worked for when he was working for Gritz, Gritz wrote:

Gritz indicates that he was working for ISA--the Army's Intelligence Support Activity, and explains:

Gritz then says that he initially worked for DIA, and was then transferred to J-5 (Strategic Plans and Policy) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when his POW operations went into the field.

He describes how he was called into the White House by Adm. Bobby Inman, then deputy director of the CIA, just before the POW mission was taken away from ISA and given back to DIA.

Gritz continues:

When Gritz was reached by {EIR}, he confirmed and elaborated what he had written in his newsletter. Gritz disavowed any knowledge of a link between Weekly and Ron Lister, and said that Weekly only had a few contacts with the CIA, and that those were through Gritz. Gritz confirmed that he himself was actually working for the ISA.

Gritz explained,

Gritz continued,

He also said that ISA coordinated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which provided the ``muscle'' for ISA, using Delta Force special operations forces.

Tom Harvey, Bush, and `the families'

Now, to the matter of Col. Thomas Harvey.

Thomas Nelson Harvey graduated from West Point in the early 1970s, and was posted to a SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) support group position. In 1975, he trained as a Foreign Area Specialist in Yugoslav studies. Harvey was later assigned to the headquarters of the Ninth Army Division (which has responsibilities throughout the Pacific), and in 1983 attended the Command and General Staff College, thus becoming eligible to serve with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Informed sources indicate that Harvey is a proteage of Richard Armitage, who was Assistant Secretary of State for International Affairs. Armitage is a notorious intelligence community ``Asia hand'' whose career has been colored with allegations of gun running, drug smuggling, and privateering on a grand scale. During Gritz's mission to Khun Sa in 1986, Khun Sa identified Armitage as playing a central role in ``Golden Triangle'' drug trafficking--which has some bearing on Harvey's behavior after Gritz returned from his 1986 mission.

From 1983 until his retirement in 1991, Harvey was usually listed in Pentagon directories as located in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army; he was, among other things, a speechwriter responsible for space, arms control, and low-intensity operations. According to his own testimony, he held numerous sensitive intelligence positions during that time. Among these, were his serving as a military assistant to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he worked closely with Senators Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and John Warner (R-Va.).

Asked about Tom Harvey, Gritz told this reporter that Harvey was actually working out of George Bush's office.

Gritz said.

It was apparently while Harvey was at the NSC in 1985-86, that he was instrumental in the creation of a bizarre ``private'' paramilitary unit in Loudoun County, Virginia, called ``ARGUS'' (Armored Response Group U.S.). ARGUS's ostensible purpose was to provide surplus armored military equipment for use in ``anti-terrorist'' and other crisis situations by local law enforcement agencies in the mid-Atlantic region. Among its acquisitions were a C-130 military aircraft, an armored personnel carrier, and an armored forklift.

One of the few times that ARGUS equipment was actually deployed, to be on standby, was during the Oct. 6-7, 1986 raid, by federal, state, and local agents, on the offices of organizations associated with Lyndon LaRouche in Leesburg, Virginia. That raid was officially run by the FBI, but it was later learned that planning for the raid included the ``focal point'' office of the J-3 Special Operations Division of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two truckloads of seized documents were taken to highly secure U.S. Marine Corps facilities at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, where they were presumably culled over by intelligence specialists, before being reviewed by state and federal prosecutors.

ARGUS was a project of the oligarchal families based in the Loudoun County ``Hunt Country'' (see article, p.|64). Magalen Ohrstrom Bryant and John W. Hanes were both officials and funders of ARGUS; at the same time, Bryant and Hanes were both funding Oliver North's secret Contra operations as well.

In 1988, by which time Harvey was posted to Senator Warner's staff, he was able to set up ARGUS's training base at the Army's Cameron Station base in Alexandria, Virginia. ARGUS also housed some of its specialized armored vehicles at Cameron Station. iven that ARGUS was supposedly a completely private operation, this was rather extraordinary--except that ARGUS was obviously {not} ``private;'' it was rather part of the {privatized} military-intelligence operations which flourished under the authority of Executive Order 12333 and Bush's ``secret government'' apparatus.

After his retirement from active military service in 1991, Harvey continued to work for these same intelligence-related ``family'' networks. He became the chairman and CEO of the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation. On Global's Board of Directors, naturally, is Maggie Bryant, also listed as chairperson of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It is reported that Harvey was personally selected for this role by Maggie Bryant, who has called him one of her most trusted operatives. Among Global's projects is what is called the ``Defense and Environmental Initiative,'' which, in their words, involves ``integrating environmental considerations into America's national and international security mission.''

`Erase and forget'

Now, back to Gritz's dealings with Tom Harvey in 1986-87.

Gritz and his team, including Scott Weekly, did go to Burma, where they met with Khun Sa. Khun Sa told Gritz that he did not have any American POWs, but he proposed a deal with the United States: that he would stop all drug flows out of the Golden Triangle, in return for recognition of his Shan State. He would guarantee the eradication of opium production in the Golden Triangle, which was the major source of heroin coming into the United States--although it was rapidly being supplanted by drugs from the ``Golden Crescent'' of Afghanistan and Pakistan as a by-product of the arms and money flowing into the Afghan War. The parallels between the Bush ``secret government'' clandestine operations in Central American and those in Afghanistan are striking: The net result of both was a massive increase in drugs coming from those areas into the United States. Guns and drugs, like love and marriage, go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. (The Afghan operation gave us something else: the world-wide British-controlled terrorist network known today as the ``Afghansi.'')

The other thing which Khun Sa offered--even more explosive--was that he would name the names of U.S. government officials involved in illegal arms and drug trafficking.

Gritz and his team returned just before Christmas, 1986. In his book, Gritz reports that he submitted his after-action report to Harvey; a few days later, Harvey called. When Gritz asked Harvey about the reaction to Khun Sa's proposal to stop the drug trade, Harvey told Gritz:

Gritz's account continues:

Harvey reiterated, this time in a more forcible tone,

Almost immediately, Scott Weekly was charged with illegal shipments of explosives (the C4 used in the Afghani training program) and he was induced to plead guilty without a trial, and even without a lawyer.

In May 1987, Gritz was told in no uncertain terms to cease and desist all of his activities related to the Golden Triangle and drugs. He was contacted by Joseph Felter, his close friend and the former head of Wedtech, the scandalized defense contractor. Felter told Gritz that he was conveying a message from Tom Harvey and a State Department official named William Davis: that Gritz was to ``erase and forget'' everything about his trip to the Golden Triangle. Felter told Gritz that Harvey and Davis said that ``if you don't stop everything you're doing ... you're gonna serve 15 years in prison as a felon!'' (Felter later confirmed the thrust of his remarks, and that he was acting on behalf of Harvey, in a sworn affidavit.)

Gritz was at the time about to be charged with using a false passport, for travelling to Southeast Asia on a passport in a different name which had in fact been provided to him by the U.S. government, through the NSC-run ISA. Gritz was also threatened with charges for neutrality violations, for the Afghan training operation. Gritz says that when he was finally indicted in 1989, Tom Harvey showed up, and told him privately:

The coverup continues to this day. The attacks on Bo Gritz to prevent exposure of the U.S. government complicity in the Golden Triangle drug trade, and the frantic efforts in late 1986-87 to suppress any exposure of the Contra drugs-for-guns dealings--as shows up in the Lister-Weekly case--were clearly one and the same.

And in both cases, we see that the trail leads directly to the same place: George Bush.

1. For a more thorough description and documentation of this structure, which operated under the authority of Executive Order 12333 and various National Security Decision Directives, see the two {EIR Special Reports}: ``Would a President Bob Dole Prosecute Drug Super-Kingpin George Bush?'' September 1996; and ``George Bush and the 12333 Serial Murder Ring,'' October 1996.

CIA And Mossad Drug Involvement
Published in the Spotlight.

The "mainstream" media in the United States continue to cover up the considerable role played by the CIA and its longtime allies in Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, in the international illicit drug trade.

For over a decade The SPOTLIGHT has been the only national weekly newspaper
to dare to report the facts about this dark secret suppressed by the national media.

The now widely-known CIA involvement in drug-and-arms smuggling through the
tiny Mena, Ark., airport as part of the Iran-contra affair involving Lt. Colonel Ollie North and Barry Seal are just the tip of the iceberg.

The latest twist in the media cover-up came during the week of May 12 when a nationally-distributed Associated Press (AP) report announced that theintelligence committee of the U.S. House of Representatives had exonerated the CIA of charges that it had been "involved in the supply or sale of drugs in the Los Angeles area."

The AP quoted committee chairman Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) as saying: "Bottom line: The allegations were false."

What AP did not mention was that Goss had been a former career CIA official involved in the agency's so-called "clandestine services division," the branch of the CIA that has been pinpointed as the prime mover in the agency's long-standing ties to the drug racket.

AP hailed the House report as "the latest in a series by investigatory bodies to exonerate the CIA" pointing out that "the committee noted that similar conclusions had been reached in previous inquiries by the CIA's inspector general, the Justice Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department."

The "investigation" by ex-CIA operative Goss had focused specifically on a story —reported by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News in August 1996—that
alleged that the crack epidemic in California could be traced to two CIA-connected Nicaraguan cocaine dealers who used at least part of their  profits to finance the Nicaraguan contra forces during the 1980s.

AP blurred the issue by saying that "allegations of CIA links to drug dealers surfaced" with the 1996 reports in the Mercury News. This is a lie.

In fact, detailed charges of CIA involvement in drug smuggling were first unveiled in a book published 28 years ago, the findings of which have never been publicized by any publication other than The SPOTLIGHT.

In 1972, Alfred W. McCoy, then a graduate student, at Yale, released his book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia issued by no less a "mainstream" publisher than Harper & Row.

The book outlined the role of the CIA in the drug trade, from its origins in Southeast Asia, to the smuggling routes of the Sicilian and Corsican Mafias in Europe on to the streets of New York and Los Angeles. The drug profits were then sent back to the money laundering banks of the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate in the Caribbean and in Switzerland.

Despite energetic efforts spearheaded by veteran CIA official Cord Meyer, the CIA failed to prevent the book from being published.

However, the CIA then launched a campaign to suppress distribution of the book, a scheme which largely succeeded.

In 1991 McCoy, by then a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, re-issued his book in an up-dated edition under the title The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.

McCoy's book never mentioned the role of the Mossad in all of this, which is not surprising. In fact, The Mercury News reporter Gary Webb told a veteran international correspondent—at a private deli lunch in Manhattan—that he (Webb) could "never" write about Mossad in volvement with the CIA in the drug racket or he would lose his job. Webb fled the deli, refusing to discuss the matter further.

In short, in America today, it's "safe" to expose the CIA to a certain degree, but the Mossad's part in the drug trade is strictly "off limits." 


However, The SPOTLIGHT has consistently unmasked the joint role of the CIA and the Mossad in the drug trade.

For example, 10 years ago in its issue No. 23 for 1990 (June 4) The SPOTLIGHT reported that Israeli arms dealers had supplied a vast array of weapons to Colombian drug kingpin Jose Rod riguez Gacha.

The Israeli government claimed the arms were sold to the island nation of Antigua and that Israel had no idea how the guns got into the hands of the Colombian drug traffickers.

However, Antigua's ambassador to the United States told SPOTLIGHT correspondent Mike Blair in an exclusive interview that his government never ordered weapons from Israel.

An inquiry by the Antiguan government determined that two Israelis, Yair G. Klein and Maurice R. Sarfati, were running the operation which was funded by the New York branch of the Bank Hap oalim, owned by Israel's government-sponsored labor bund, the His tadrut.

Klein, a former Israeli army officer, had previously been identified as training Rodriguez Gacha's forces.

When this was leaked in September 1989, Rafael Eitan, a former chief of staff of the Israeli Army, frankly told the Israeli press:

Someday, perhaps, if it's decided that the stories can be told, you'll see that [the government of Israel] has been involved in acts that are a thousand times more dirty than anything going on in Colombia. These things were decided by the government, in cabinet meetings. As long as the government decides to do something, something that the national interest demanded, then it is legitimate.

On June 5, 1989, The SPOTLIGHT reported flatly, citing intelligence sources, that the infamous Medellin cartel of Colombia was, in reality, "an Israeli-directed organization which nets Israel billions of dollars every year in illegal drug profits."

In addition, Blair reported in The SPOTLIGHT on May 13, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11, 1991, about the strange death of Special Forces Col. Edward P. Cutolo, commander of the 10th Special Forces based at Ft. Devens, Mass. Cutolo had detailed a covert joint CIA-Mossad ma chin a tion known as "Opera tion Watch tower" in a 15-page affidavit which he prepared in 1980, fearful that his life was in danger because of his knowledge about the operation.

Cutolo died in what was described as an alcohol-related traffic accident, although Cutolo was not known to be a heavy drinker.

Cutolo was one of four Special Forces colonels linked to Operation Watch tower who died under mysterious circumstances. Another was famed Vietnam hero, Col. Nick Rowe, who launched an effort to investigate Cutolo's death. Rowe was assassinated in the Philippines in 1989, ostensibly by "communists," al though his friends believe his death was a Mossad-ordered "executive action."

According to Cutolo's affidavit, under Operation Watchtower, beginning in 1976, the CIA and the Mossad utilized U.S. Army Special Forces troops to set up an electronics system which allowed drugs to be shuttled by air from Colombia to Albrook Air Station in Panama, without being detected by aerial surveillance. The money derived from the drug operation was used to fund clandestine CIA and Mossad secret operations.

Cutolo specifically cited veteran Mossad clandestine services operative Michael Harari as a key figure in the operation, charging that then-former CIA director George Bush and other high-ranking U.S. government figures had "gone to great lengths to keep the activities of Michael Harari a secret."

According to Cutolo, Col. Manuel Nor iega, then head of the Panamanian Defense Forces and soon-to-be dictator of Panama, was involved in the CIA-Mossad activities.

During the Noriega regime, Harari emerged as the power behind Noriega. Harari
managed to slip out of Panama on an Israeli jet after U.S. forces invaded the
country and arrested him.

After Noriega was taken into custody and tried on drug charges in a widely-publicized trial in Miami, The SPOTLIGHT was the only publication anywhere to reveal that Noriega's defense attorney, Frank Rubino, tried to introduce evidence that Noriega's activities were conducted under joint CIA and Mossad sponsorship. The information was suppressed for reasons of "national security."

The SPOTLIGHT actually put ex-Special Forces hero, Col. James (Bo) Gritz, "on the map" on July 13, 1987. It was the only newspaper at the time to report his discovery that longtime U.S. diplomat Richard Armitage had been a key figure in the CIA's role in drug smuggling out of Southeast Asia, beginning during the Vietnam War and for years thereafter. In fact, Armitage emerged during the 1980s as part of a Defense Department clique known for its affinity for the interests of Israel.

Along with their superior, Under secretary of Defense Fred Iklй, Armitage and his colleagues, Richard Perle and Stephen Bryen, were masters of covert intrigue conducted jointly with the Mos sad in areas as broad-ranging as Burma, Afghanistan, Iran, Nicaragua and Cambodia.

(One of the low-level operatives for their ventures in Burma and Afghanistan was Andrew E. Allen, who has played a key role in a long-standing effort to undermine The SPOTLIGHT, precisely because of this newspaper's continuing exposure of CIA-Mossad drug operations and of the activities of Allen and company.)

The Swiss-born Iklй was the cousin of Elizabeth Kopp, Switzerland's minister of police and justice, ousted from office in 1989 amid accusations that she and her husband Hans were using their private law firm as a front for international drug traffickers.

At the time, Swiss Vice President Achille Casanova admitted at a press conference that the drug money laundering circles around Hans and Elizabeth Kopp were linked to "secret American authorities" involved in the financing of covert operations, clearly referring to the Iklй-Armitage-Perle-Bryan intrigue.

by Michael C. Ruppert
© 7/23/98
© COPYRIGHT 1998 Michael C. Ruppert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Permission to reprint or excerpt only if the following appears: "Reprinted by permission, Michael C. Ruppert & From The Wilderness at"
Did the CIA order the use of Sarin gas to kill American defectors in Southeast Asia? The answer to that question opens a black hole of ugly truths about U.S. foreign policy and covert operations. Those truths all lead to a central reality, which is that covert and paramilitary operations, as conducted by the U.S. Government, do not exist without drug trafficking. Equally tragic is the fact that drugs are a main reason why POWs didn't come home. The irony on the tragedy is that drugs were also used to fund several sabotaged covert missions to rescue them.
The recent CNN reports on Operation Tailwind (referenced in the last issue of From The Wilderness), their retraction and the object lessons made of CNN Producer April Oliver and Peter Arnett point to much uglier and deeper truths about CIA covert operations than the fact that CIA used nerve gas to kill defectors and deserters in Southeast Asia. As From The Wilderness will show, there is a high probability that Sarin gas was used not only against defectors, but also against unwilling prisoners of war whom the government had decided would be a major embarrassment if they came home alive. Testimony and evidence exists to show that Sarin was in Laos at the time and that it was used at or near known POW camps in Laos. If true, those facts would shed a whole new light on the CNN stories.
Those stories, flawed in their presentation, not only hinted at an ongoing feud between elements of the Navy and CIA, but came dangerously close to far more devastating truths about the CIA's involvement in the abandonment and murder of US servicemen left behind after Vietnam. Those truths undeniably lead back to the drug trade, the Central Intelligence Agency and the covert operatives who have destroyed American democracy.
How does one tie the convoluted pieces together in a coherent manner? And, doing that, how does one stomach wanton betrayal of loyal Americans and values which are the foundation of any government's legitimacy? A government derives its right to exist from its mandate to protect its own people, especially those who risk life to serve it. What legitimacy then, does a government have which betrays and then sentences to death those who stood in the font lines of its exercise of power?
First, let's address the issue of whether or not CIA, MACV-SOG and elements in the Pentagon wanted POW's dead or, at minimum, to ensure that they never came home?
Many of the ugliest truths about deliberate U.S. abandonment or ordered extermination of POWs are extremely well documented in Monika Jensen-Stevenson's 1990 bestseller, Kiss The Boys Goodbye (Dutton). Stevenson, a former Emmy award winning Producer for CBS News' 60 Minutes, produced mountains of eyewitness statements, documents, and even admissions from Ronald Reagan and other White House officials as well as from intelligence experts in the Pentagon and the National Security Council showing that: the U.S. knowingly left POWs behind in Southeast Asia in 1973; the U.S. government sabotaged at least a half dozen rescue attempts with high probabilities for success; and that, the U.S. government ordered covert operatives to "liquidate" live POWs if sighted.
On Pages 318-323, Stevenson described a failed 1981 POW rescue mission involving the perennial "covert source" (and often hard to fathom) Scott Barnes who wrote a book about the mission entitled BOHICA (Bend Over Here It Comes Again). After passing polygraph and truth serum exams Barnes recounted how he had been issued atropine (nerve gas antidote) injectors as a prelude to entering areas in Laos where POW camps were known to exist. He also states that, once in the region, he was ordered to "liquidate the merchandise." "Merchandise" was the code word for POWs. (NOTE: Atropine was issued to U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf war to counter anticipated Sarin attacks by Iraq).
If Barnes' statement was not enough, his return from the mission was immediately followed by the alleged violent suicide of Army chemical warfare and Sarin gas expert General Bobby Robinson. Local police doubted the suicide findings of the military.
What's more, Robinson was known to have been involved in moving Sarin supplies into the region at the time. Stevenson confirmed this. Sources postulated a cover story to Stevenson that Robinson had been planting Sarin gas to blame the Soviets for its use and thus motivate Congress to increase chemical warfare budgets. Such operations are not unusual in covert operations and are hardly grounds for a suicide. As one source put it to me. "It's much more likely that Robinson could have exposed the use of his Sarin to kill Americans and he had to be killed - especially if he found out what his precious chemical agents were used for."
Several covert warfare veterans have told me that they absolutely believe that Sarin was used under CIA orders against U.S. personnel using deep cover operatives planted in the "Studies and Observation Group" which had reverted to Pentagon control after a 1968 turf battle.
The turf battle may have put SOG back under nominal Pentagon control but it did not stop members of the shadow government and CIA from infiltrating to protect the deepest of dirty secrets. The OSS faction in CIA has no trouble "sheep dipping" people into the Pentagon or any other U.S. Government agency.
Much of the CNN story fell because the Pentagon found no records of Sarin use. Experts like Special Forces Captain John McCarthy, who ran covert ops for CIA while in Special Forces, were quick to point out that the records would all be at Langley and not at the DoD. A CNN electronic bulletin board with more than 2,500 angry responses from veterans pointing out flaws in the retractions was suddenly removed on July 16.
The can of worms was getting legs that wouldn't go away. It was starting to walk off into cyberspace.
How big was the POW problem? Informed sources place the number of American POW's not returned, in spite of Henry Kissinger's outright lies to the contrary, at near 2,500. Add to that the large number of defectors and deserters remaining in the region and the way these men sometimes became intermingled and we see the first part of the reasons for betrayal. McCarthy told From The Wilderness that in 1968 there were known to be some 3,000 deserters living in the Saigon suburb of Cholon alone. Estimates for the whole of Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Laos rose as high as 8,000 according to other sources. Numbers that high would again have brought the legitimacy of the government, and the military into question.
With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords Richard Nixon, in a secret agreement, promised the Vietnamese government some $4 billion in aid to guarantee the return of POW's left behind. This was after Kissinger's announcement that there were no more POW's left in Asia. With Watergate and the collapse of the Nixon Administration the money was never exchanged and the POW's went from desperate cause to a major potential embarrassment. So goes the cover story.
The best way to explain the connection with drug trafficking is to show the correlation in people and organizations between the two issues.
The names of some of those who have been connected to CIA drug trafficking by a multitude of sources are: Ted Shackley (CIA Station Chief in Laos and later Saigon), Tom Clines (Shackley's deputy), Richard Secord (Air Force/CIA liaison to Shackley after flying many missions as a fighter pilot), General Heinie Aderholt (Chief Air Operations strategist for CIA's undeclared war in Laos), Richard Armitage (former Navy officer and covert operations specialist charged with removing key materiel from Vietnam in 1975), Erich von Marbod (Defense Department), John Singlaub, William Casey, William Colby and Oliver North. Other key figures who turn up throwing monkey wrenches into POW rescue efforts who have not been connected to drugs but who turn up in key positions during Iran-Contra or the Bush Administration are Richard Allen (Reagan National Security Adviser who helped write the Paris Peace Accords), Colin Powell (Joint Chiefs Chairman and National Security Adviser to George Bush) and Col. Richard Childress, a National Security Council staffer under Ronald Reagan.
Key institutions connected to CIA drug trafficking include the Nugan-Hand bank, Hawaii investment firm BBRDW (Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dilingham and Wong) and last but not least, the CIA itself.
How do these connect to the POW's?
As Station Chief in Laos Ted Shackley ran the single largest covert operation in CIA's history, a war financed almost in its entirety on the proceeds of heroin. That war was fought almost exclusively by Hmong tribesmen and a Laotian rebel Army under the command of General Vang Pao, an opium warlord who derived his entire budget from heroin. Legion are the stories of CIA's involvement in drug trafficking to fund that war but one anecdote is telling. Former Air America pilot Bucky Blair, who flew supply missions to CIA's Site 85 in Laos, sitting on a remote mountain top, told me that when he flew in to make his drops he could "see the poppy fields stretching out for miles in all directions." Site 85 was overrun in 1968 and eleven live Americans were captured. Imagine what they might have told under the intense torture of Pathet Lao or North Vietnamese interrogators and how that could have been used as propaganda against an America already disintegrating under the war? Imagine what they might have told other POWs they met as they were moved from camp to camp?
Imagine the damage that might have been done in 1985-6 as some of the most intense rescue efforts were being mounted and as stories of CIA drug trafficking in Central America were starting to circulate in the press and Congress?
Did Air America brief Blair on the opium? "I was briefed one time and told that we were moving small amounts of opium for legitimate pharmaceutical uses," he answered. The world's supply of pharmaceutical heroin is less than five percent of total world production. Shackley's CIA pilots could have supplied the world for a year in about a month. This does not take into account the brave testimony of other Air America pilots like Tosh Plumley and Bo Abbott who have spoken out directly about Air America's direct transport of opium in vast quantities over a period of years.
Shackley and his deputy Clines turn up heavily again in Iran-Contra connected to Richard Secord and Ollie North. A former CIA officer told me in 1995 that Ollie North was leasing office space for his 1995 Senate run from Shackley's company, Research Associates International, in Rosslyn, Virginia.
Estimates of live POWs taken in the undeclared (illegal) war in Laos from POW researchers, families and military sources rise as high as 600 according to Stevenson.
In the Reagan Administration, Richard Armitage as an Assistant Secretary of Defense was the Pentagon's highest-ranking official in charge of covert warfare, arms shipments and POW affairs. Colin Powell, in 1995, referred to Armitage as his white son. Armitage was linked directly to CIA drug trafficking by, among others, the POW's champion, Ross Perot.
John Singlaub, who was quoted in the Sarin gas stories as saying he would have placed a high priority on killing POW's and defectors because they might have compromised military secrets, commanded MACV-SOG during Vietnam and would have had knowledge of SOG operations targeting Americans. He was also a major player in Iran-Contra, dispersing weapons purchased with drug money and engaging in fund raising activities intended to divert attention away from the NSC and Oliver North. I am saving North for last.
The documentation for the involvement of Richard Secord, in Iran-Contra is voluminous and his role in CIA operations in Laos is equally clear as documented by letters from POW family members requesting that Secord be queried about Site 85. Drugs were central to both wars.
General Heinie Aderholt is a mixed bag. While undeniably involved in Laos and as a low-profile operator in Iran-Contra, (connected to the illegal take-over of Bob Fletcher's Florida toy company to establish a front for arms shipments), Aderholt chose to oppose the official line and fight for missing POW's. He confirmed secret intelligence reports revealing the existence of live and obtainable POWs in the region to families and the press.
Bill Colby and Bill Casey need little clarification except to say the Bill Casey was DCI when many of the most intense rescue efforts came into being - and failed. And Colby, who ran the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, was DCI from 1973-6 and on the Board of Directors of the Nugan-Hand Bank.
The Nugan-Hand Bank and its successor firm BBRDW were high rolling investment-banking operations, both of which laundered covert drug profits for CIA. Some of those monies were allocated to POW rescue operations by military elements who refused to abandon their comrades. It is also well documented, however, that millions of dollars were collected by scam artists connected to these firms from hopeful POW families and supporters for rescues, which never took place. That money bought nice vacation homes and went to other unworthy causes.
If we examine the rescue side of the POW issue we come across men like retired Green Beret Lt. Colonel Bo Gritz, Ross Perot and the ubiquitous Oliver North. Gritz undertook two missions into Southeast Asia, both of which were connected in one way or another to the Army's highly secret Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). In Bo's book, Called To Serve (Lazarus, 1991) he talks about a period of time in 1979-80 when he was undercover at Hughes aircraft in Culver City as preparation for his first mission. So, coincidentally, was Oliver North - a fact which Bo neglected to mention. I think I know why. A retired Hughes executive phoned me in 1997 and described the office shared by Gritz and North as having a large picture of a Bengal Tiger on the wall with the caption, "If you can't sleep with the tigers, stay out of the den." He also stated, "You could see them out jogging together every day."
The ISA, which ran Gritz's mission, was created by Army General Richard Stilwell. It has been repeatedly linked to drug smuggling by sources including the daughter of Col. Albert Carone who served as Oliver North's bagman and bill-payer during the eighties. Records left behind after Carone's death in 1990 and eyewitness statements clearly indicate that Carone handled both drugs and drug money for CIA, North and the NSC. Carone's personal phone book contains the home addresses and telephone numbers of William Casey, Gambino crime boss Pauly Castellano and Stilwell. Further hard evidence, in the form of CIA and DIA cable traffic linking to drugs, ISA and DIA operations surfaces in Gary Webb's Dark Alliance (Seven Stories, 1998). These cables and law enforcement records tie Scott Weekly to the drug operations of Norwin Menses, Danillo Blandon and Ricky Ross. Weekly, a firearms master, is Gritz's self-described best friend and went on POW missions to Southeast Asia with Gritz. Coincidentally again, Weekly is an Annapolis classmate of Ollie North.
I have met Bo Gritz twice through my close friend, Mrs. Francis Gary (Sue) Powers. That Bo was, and remains, irrevocably committed to the cause of the POWs cannot be disputed. That Bo brought back utterly damning videotaped interviews with opium warlord Khun Sa in which Khun Sa described the roles of Shackley, Armitage, Clines, and the CIA in heroin trafficking also cannot be disputed. That Bo was a leader in exposing CIA's long standing proprietorship of the international drug trade also is beyond question. But these revelations, taken as a whole, leave wide open the likelihood that, with or without Gritz's knowledge, his own efforts to rescue POWs, as sponsored by elements of the Pentagon, were funded by drug profits. In 1980 the official U.S. Government policy was that cocaine was less harmful than marijuana.
[NOTE: I omit here, discussion of Gritz's alleged white supremacist or racist views because I have never heard him speak or seen him write such views. I will say that if Bo believes in or advocates white supremacy or racism in any form I disagree with him wholeheartedly.]
Then there is Ross Perot. No man in American history has been more closely linked to the cause of the POW's and their families than the Texas billionaire. In late 1986, after funding one rescue mission and spending years as a thorn in the side of the Reagan Administration as he battled national security roadblocks and the outright deception which ultimately condemned the POW's to death, Ross Perot backed six-foot, power weight lifter Richard Armitage into a corner and confronted him with not only the evidence of Armitage's lying about POW's but his direct involvement in Vietnamese gambling and CIA drug trafficking. After going to then Vice President George Bush, and being summarily dismissed, Perot's efforts leaked to the Boston Globe and TIME Magazine. Armitage then lost his almost certain appointment as Secretary of defense under President George Bush.
I have spoken to Perot twice and I served as the L.A. County Press Spokesman for his '92 campaign. While I, like many, was crushed by his conduct in pulling out of the race, I have absolutely no doubt that Ross Perot is absolutely unbending in his belief that illegal drugs cannot be used to serve a good purpose - anywhere, at any time.
That leaves us with Ollie.
During the Contra years Oliver North contracted with a small British Security firm, KMS, run by a former SAS Major named David Walker, to carry out commando raids against the Sandinistas. AP, the Washington Post and Congressional hearings all brought out the fact that Walker's company conducted a few marginally successful attacks and provided some air logistic support to the Contras. What was not reported was that North, according to sources I have found in the last three months, was using KMS to train mercenaries for a POW rescue mission inside the Soviet Union. That operation was funded with drugs and the payments were made in London, at the St. George Hotel and through channel island banks by Albert Carone. Sources in Britain and former members of U.S. Army Special Forces described to me how North's plan, which involved training of mercenaries in Morocco and the Ivory Coast, neared success as, "his people got close enough to touch" the skilled electronics warfare officers who had been shipped to Russia for money by Vietnam during the war. But, inexplicably, they never came out. The British source added that North, if he had succeeded, "would have become President of the United States."
The Sherlock Holmes cliché says, "Once you have eliminated the impossible, the improbable, no matter how unlikely, is the answer." The POWs remain, as unrequited ghosts, an embarrassment of astronomical dimension to the U.S. government. Any reporter asking a POW who, what, where, when and how would inevitably pull the covers on some of the U.S.'s dirtiest secrets. But more than that the question needs to be asked, "Did abandoning the POWs serve a purpose in U.S. foreign policy?" The answer is yes.
In 1993 a former Green Beret officer told me, at the point of tears, of how he had been ordered in 1968-9 to rendezvous with Russian Spetnatz commandos in the central highlands of Vietnam. There, under direct orders from the CIA, he exchanged millions of dollars in hard U.S. currency for Russian diamonds. This was at the height of the Vietnam War. Russia's economy (its ability to support North Vietnam) was on the brink of collapse. The hard U.S. currency salvaged Russia's ability to buy needed imports on world markets.
Bobby Garwood, the heroic Marine who remains the only POW ever to return alive, told debriefers at DIA of the amazement the North Vietnamese, struggling with a stone age economy, had at his ability to assemble a simple gasoline generator and the power of a light bulb. He stayed alive because he could fix American things.
Ted Shackley, in his book The Third Option lays out detailed blueprints for the survival of the military-security-industrial state by means of perpetuation of "low intensity" insurgent wars in which it might be necessary to arm both sides of a conflict to keep the military skills sharp and the war machine going. The fact that major U.S. industrialists armed and financed every enemy from Adolph Hitler, to Ho Chi Minh, to Sadam Hussein is well documented and beyond the scope of this article.
Covert operations in Southeast Asia continued unabated after the fall of Saigon in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. They were all financed by heroin, which remains the largest source of capital in the region. Vietnam is now emerging in a world capitalist economy as a consumer and provider of services. Is it coincidental that Henry Kissinger's associate and later Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger was on the first secret mission to explore rapprochement with Vietnam? Is it a coincidence that Col. Richard Childress, who stonewalled POW families for so long, became a Southeast Asian investment consultant in 1990? Is it a coincidence that President George Bush dispatched Richard Armitage to the former Soviet Union as a special economic adviser or that almost immediately after his arrival there was an explosion of drug use in Russia?
I think that the POWs were commodities who, as one CIA source put it to Stevenson, were "Chosen by God to stay" as a form of plausibly deniable economic assistance to enemies we needed to keep in place until other pieces of a larger plan were complete. That phase of the plan was complete in 1990 when Litton Chairman Roy Ash's prediction of one world under state capitalism would come into being. The Soviet Union was dead and Vietnam.was on its way to becoming a trading partner. Ash made that prediction in 1972.
So why kill them? If covert operatives could get close enough to kill POWs then men like Gritz or Jerry Daniels or Ross Perot could get close enough to rescue them. Defectors, enjoying freedom of movement could have surfaced at any time with POW stories as their imagined ticket back home. And that would have upset The Plan and revealed the U.S. government to be as morally bankrupt as the Third Reich.
© COPYRIGHT 1998 Michael C. Ruppert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Permission to reprint or excerpt only if the following appears: "Reprinted by permission, Michael C. Ruppert & From The Wilderness at"
Michael C. Ruppert
P.O. Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
* (818)788-8791
* (818)981-2847 fax
* [email protected]


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 11:41:10 -0700
From: Brian Downing Quig

For those of you that think I have made the whole matter of the Temple Murders and the Hayward heroin bust up out of thin air below is the indictment.  Now note that the heroin amount is rounded off to 1,000 lbs from 1,080 lbs.  That is very unusual is it not?

The note in the temple just 5 feet from the 9 murdered Buddhists read "The weight is now up to 1,083 lbs."

The person who wrote this indictment clearly wanted to obscure this fact.  Remember the DEA in California and the DEA in Thailand were working the Temple Murders as a China White Heroin crime connected to the Hayward bust immediately.


U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. v. CHEN, 979 F.2d 714 (9th Cir. 1992)

979 F.2d 714

Nos. 92-10243, 92-10244.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted July 15, 1992.
Decided November 5, 1992.

Rory K. Little, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Francisco, Cal., for plaintiff-appellant.

Peter Goodman, and Scott A. Sugarman, Sugarman & Cannon, San Francisco, Cal., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Before WALLACE, Chief Judge, CHOY and POOLE, Circuit Judges.

WALLACE, Chief Judge:

The government appeals from the district court's order suppressing all of the evidence obtained from the government's video surveillance of a warehouse containing a shipment of heroin. The district court had jurisdiction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3231. We have jurisdiction over this timely appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3731. We reverse and remand.

On May 20, 1991, United States Customs agents in Oakland, California searched two containers from a ship that had arrived from Taiwan, and discovered over 1,000 pounds of heroin. The containers were destined for a rented warehouse. The agents removed most of the heroin, but decided to allow a controlled delivery of the remaining portion of the shipment.

In order to observe the heroin shipment once it was placed in the warehouse, the agents requested and obtained a warrant authorizing the installation of a video camera. During the night of May 21, the agents entered the warehouse and installed two cameras, camera 1 and camera 2. However, the agents discovered that due to technical difficulties both cameras could not be operated simultaneously, and the agents removed camera 2 before they left the warehouse.

During the night of May 29, the agents installed video camera 3. Camera 3 was located inside the warehouse, but was used to film an area outside the building. Once Assistant United States Attorney Kennedy, who was assisting with the investigation, learned that camera 3 had been installed, he ordered it to be disconnected.

On June 20, Jim Chen, Lucy Chen, Kelly Chen, and Li Yuen Shing began opening the boxes in the warehouse. Before completing this task, however, they noticed video camera 1. The agents then executed a previously obtained search warrant for the warehouse and arrested these four defendants. Mike Chen was subsequently arrested in Massachusetts.

Mike Chen, Jim Chen, Lucy Chen, Kelly Chen, and Li Yuen Shing (the Chen defendants) were indicted for a number of offenses, including conspiracy to import heroin and importation of more than 1,000 pounds of heroin. The Chen defendants filed motions to suppress the video surveillance evidence. The district court relied on United States v. Koyomejian, 946 F.2d 1450, 1453 -60 (9th Cir. 1991) (Koyomejian I,) and suppressed all of the video surveillance evidence because the government failed to comply with the technical procedures specified in 18 U.S.C. 2510-21 (the wiretap statute). The district court also held that the suppression of all of the video surveillance evidence was justified because the government flagrantly disregarded the terms of the warrant.


We review the lawfulness of a search de novo. United States v. Ayers, 924 F.2d 1468, 1479 (9th Cir. 1991) (Ayers). Whether video surveillance is governed by the wiretap statute is a question of law subject to de novo review. See United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1201 (9th Cir.) (en banc), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 , 105 S.Ct. 101 (1984). However, the standard for reviewing a district court's determination that government agents flagrantly disregarded the terms of a warrant is unclear. The government contends that the district court's ruling should be reviewed de novo. See Ayers, 924 F.2d at 1480 (scope of whether government agents exceed search is reviewed de novo). The Chen defendants argue that the district court's flagrant disregard ruling is fact intensive and should be reviewed only for clear error. See United States v. Medlin, 842 F.2d 1194, 1199 (10th Cir. 1988) (Medlin) (district court's determination that the violations were "not mitigated by practical considerations" and that the search was a "fishing expedition" is reviewed for clear error). However, it is unnecessary for us to resolve this issue because even if we assume that the district court's decision can be reviewed only for clear error, reversal is necessary in this case.


The district court relied on Koyomejian I, 946 F.2d at 1453 -60, which held that video surveillance is governed by the wiretap statute, and suppressed the video evidence because the government failed to comply with the requirements of the statute. Subsequently, however, an en banc court rejected the holding of Koyomejian I, and concluded that video surveillance is not regulated by the wiretap statute. United States v. Koyomejian, 970 F.2d 536, 537 (9th Cir. 1992) (en banc) (Koyomejian II). Thus, the district court erred by suppressing the evidence based on the wiretap statute.

We do not reach the question of whether the search in this case meets the Fourth Amendment standards established by Koyomejian II. On remand, the district court may address this question in the first instance, if the district court determines that it has been properly raised. Id. at 541-42. The district court may also consider whether any alleged violation of these standards is excused by the good faith exception established in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 , 925-26, 104 S.Ct. 3405, 3421-22, 82 L.Ed.2d 677 (1984).


The Chen defendants also moved to suppress the video surveillance evidence because the agents violated the terms of the warrant by installing camera 2 and camera 3. The Chen defendants argued that the warrant authorized the installation of only one video camera, but the agents installed two additional cameras. The government agreed to suppress the evidence that was obtained from camera 3 and pointed out that no evidence was filmed by camera 2. The district court, however, concluded that this remedy was insufficient and held that the illegal installation of camera 2 and camera 3 justified the suppression of all of the video surveillance evidence, including the evidence obtained from camera 1. The court reasoned that the suppression should not be limited to the evidence illegally seized because the agents flagrantly disregarded the terms of the warrant by installing more than one camera.


Ordinarily, only evidence that is obtained in violation of a warrant is suppressed. United States v. Tamura, 694 F.2d 591, 597 (9th Cir. 1982) (Tamura). However, in cases where there is a "flagrant disregard" for the terms of the warrant, the district court may suppress all of the evidence, including evidence that was not tainted by the violation. Medlin, 842 F.2d at 1199 .

This extraordinary remedy should be used only when the violations of the warrant's requirements are so extreme that the search is essentially transformed into an impermissible general search. See id.; Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 . For example, we ordered wholesale suppression in United States v. Rettig, 589 F.2d 418, 423 (9th Cir. 1978) (Rettig). There, the government agents were issued a warrant to search for evidence of marijuana possession, but they ignored the limitations of the warrant and searched for evidence of a cocaine conspiracy despite the fact that the government had earlier been denied a warrant to conduct just such a search. Id. at 420-22. In contrast, we have refused to suppress all of the evidence where the agents who exceeded their authority under the warrant "were motivated by considerations of practicality rather than by a desire to engage in indiscriminate `fishing.'" Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 . Thus, wholesale suppression is appropriate under the flagrant disregard standard only when the officers transform the search into an impermissible general search by ignoring the terms of the warrant and engaging in indiscriminate fishing.


We start our analysis by pointing out that the district court erred in balancing the interests at stake. The district court properly determined that video surveillance is very intrusive, and that the Chen defendants are entitled to protection under the Fourth Amendment. See United States v. Mesa-Rincon, 911 F.2d 1433, 1436-37, 1442 (10th Cir. 1990). The district court also correctly pointed out that a business is entitled to less protection from video surveillance than an individual's private home. Id. at 1443. The district court, however, erred by holding that this lessened expectation of privacy is offset because this was merely a "mercantile crime" and there was no immediate threat of violence or harm to persons or property.

Drug crimes are very serious and represent one of the greatest threats to our society. Drug conspiracies are often well-planned, and video and audio surveillance may be necessary because the conspirators often carefully conceal their activities and identities by using code words and other techniques. See United States v. Abascal, 564 F.2d 821, 827 (9th Cir. 1977) (Abascal), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 942 , 98 S.Ct. 1521, 55 L.Ed.2d 538 and 435 U.S. 953 , 98 S.Ct. 1583, 55 L.Ed.2d 804 (1978). Therefore, in balancing the interests, the fact that this is a drug crime does not weigh in favor of suppression.

The district court also erred by concluding that the installation of camera 2 supports a finding that there has been a flagrant disregard. The district court correctly pointed out that the warrant authorized the agents to install only "a video camera," and the agents initially installed two cameras. Moreover, the installation of the extra camera may have been caused in part because the agents installing the cameras did not read or fully understand the terms of the warrant.

These facts, however, do not indicate that there was a flagrant disregard justifying the suppression of all of the evidence. See United States v. Whitten, 706 F.2d 1000, 1009 -10 (9th Cir. 1983) (no flagrant disregard although agents did not read or fully understand the terms of the warrant), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1100 , 104 S.Ct. 1593, 80 L.Ed.2d 125 (1984). The agents did not install the extra camera in order to engage in indiscriminate fishing and record activities not covered by the warrant. They installed the camera because they discovered that one camera could not film the entire warehouse and fulfill the purposes of the surveillance warrant. Indeed, the installation of this camera was only a de minimis intrusion on the Chen defendants' rights. Camera 2 was removed before the agents left the warehouse, and the camera was never used to record any evidence. Additionally, contrary to the clearly erroneous finding of the district court, the installation of the camera was disclosed to the monitoring judges.

The installation of camera 2 did not transform this search into a general search, and this is clearly a case where the agents were "motivated by considerations of practicality rather than by a desire to engage in indiscriminate `fishing.'" Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 . Thus, it was clear error for the district court to conclude that the installation of camera 2 supports a finding that there was a flagrant disregard justifying wholesale suppression.

The district court also clearly erred by relying on camera 3 in determining that there was a flagrant disregard. Installation and operation of camera 3 does not show that the agents have "engage[d] in indiscriminate `fishing'" and so exceeded the limitations of the warrant that the entire surveillance operation has been transformed into an impermissible general search. See Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 ; Rettig, 589 F.2d at 423 . The district court expressly recognized that this alleged violation was mitigated by the fact that the camera was focused only on the area outside the warehouse. Additionally, when Kennedy learned that camera 3 had been installed and that the camera was monitoring the area outside the warehouse, he caused the agents to terminate use of the camera. Kennedy also notified the district court in a timely fashion of this alleged violation of the warrant.

The government has agreed to suppress all of the fruits of camera 3, and, under the facts of this case, this is a sufficient remedy. Thus, the district court clearly erred by determining that the installation and use of camera 3 justified suppression of evidence that was not tainted by the camera's operation.


Although the installation of camera 2 and camera 3 alone does not justify a flagrant disregard finding, we must also examine the other factors considered by the district court in making its flagrant disregard decision. The district court stated that it was not holding that any one factor was determinative. We assume that by this statement, the court was focusing on additional factors as circumstances that aggravated the alleged illegal installation of the additional cameras.

One factor considered by the district court was the government's minimization efforts. "Minimization requires that the government adopt reasonable measures to reduce the interception of [activities] unrelated to the criminal activity under investigation to a practical minimum while permitting the government to pursue legitimate investigation." United States v. Torres, 908 F.2d 1417, 1423 (9th Cir.) (Torres), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 111 S.Ct. 272, 112 L.Ed.2d 228 and ___ U.S. ___, 111 S.Ct. 366, 112 L.Ed.2d 329 (1990). "The standard of minimization is reasonableness." Abascal, 564 F.2d at 827 . The district court concluded that the minimization briefings were deficient because they focused on audio surveillance rather than video surveillance, and Agent Andreozzi, one of the agents in charge of the surveillance, was not briefed on the minimization of the video surveillance. The district court also pointed out that the cameras were monitored continuously for a period of time.

The agents, however, did take some steps to minimize the video monitoring. On May 22, Kennedy read the magistrate's order to Mallory, the monitoring agent, and gave her instructions regarding minimization. Kennedy also later conducted a more formal minimization briefing. Although this briefing may have emphasized the audio surveillance, Kennedy also repeated his instructions regarding minimization of the video surveillance pursuant to the magistrate's order. Kennedy informed the monitoring agents that if they had any questions they could contact him at any time, and he provided them with his home and office telephone numbers. See Torres, 908 F.2d at 1423 (federal agent available on a 24-hour basis for consultation). Agent Andreozzi was not present during these minimization briefings because he was never scheduled to monitor the audio or video surveillance. The district court failed to make adequate findings indicating why these efforts were insufficient to meet the reasonableness standard and whether this alleged violation transformed the search into an impermissible general search.

The agents also apparently allowed the cameras to operate continuously for a certain period of time. However, on June 6, Kennedy filed a periodic report that informed the district court of the continuous surveillance. At Kennedy's instruction, the agents stopped this practice and thereafter operated the camera only when someone was in the warehouse, plus regular spot checks. Kennedy stated that the video observations of persons in the warehouse had not been minimized because their visible actions appeared to be related to the pallets that were the subject of the surveillance order. Cf. Abascal, 564 F.2d at 827 (holding that the recording of all monitored calls is not always a violation of the minimization requirement). The district court has not made adequate findings on the scope of this violation that indicate which specific actions or persons were recorded that should not have been observed.

The district court's minimization findings are not sufficient to support its flagrant disregard finding. The district court failed to explore the scope of the alleged minimization violation adequately or to indicate why the agents' actions transformed this into a general search. Thus, the district court erred by holding there were minimization violations without making further findings.

We, however, do not foreclose the possibility that the suppression of some of the evidence may be appropriate. On remand, the district court may make additional findings and hold additional hearings, if necessary, in order to determine whether the government's minimization efforts were constitutionally sufficient. The district court should then carefully examine the scope of any alleged minimization violations and determine what evidence may appropriately be suppressed.

The district court also relied on the agents' failure to secure approval of the Attorney General or his special designate before the video surveillance was conducted. The warrant did not require that approval be obtained, and thus this factor does not indicate that the agents flagrantly disregarded the terms of the warrant. Moreover, Koyomejian II held that video surveillance is not subject to the technical requirements of the wiretap statute, such as Attorney General approval. See Koyomejian II, 970 F.2d at 542 ; accord United States v. Cuevas-Sanchez, 821 F.2d 248, 251052 (5th Cir. 1987). Thus, the district court could not properly rely on this factor.

The district court also relied on the government's failure to utilize conventional surveillance techniques. The issuing judge adopted the affidavit's explanation of why conventional methods would not be successful, see United States v. Commito, 918 F.2d 95, 98 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 112 S.Ct. 224, 116 L.Ed.2d 181 (1991), and the warrant did not require that the agents engage in any conventional surveillance before the video surveillance could begin. Thus, the agents' failure to use conventional methods is not a violation of the warrant and does not support a finding of flagrant disregard.

The district court also relied on the fact that the warrant only required that progress reports be made every ten days. This factor does not indicate that the agents flagrantly disregarded the terms of the warrant, and the district court conceded that this factor is not of any "great significance in and of itself." Thus, this factor also does not weigh in favor of suppression.

The district court also considered the fact that the warrants allegedly contained no limit on the number of surreptitious entries. This is not an error by the agents in complying with the terms of the warrant and does not support a flagrant disregard finding. There is no requirement that the warrant include a "specific authorization to enter covertly the premises described in the order." Dalia v. United States, 441 U.S. 238 , 258-59, 99 S.Ct. 1682, 1694, 60 L.Ed.2d 177 (1979) (footnote omitted). This does not mean that agents can ignore the rights of others. The agents must limit their entry in a reasonable manner. Id. at 258, 99 S.Ct. at 1693. But, the district judge relied solely on the lack of sufficient limitations in the warrant, which he could not do to support a flagrant disregard finding.


The standard for determining whether there has been a flagrant disregard justifying wholesale suppression is whether the agents have disregarded the terms of the warrant to such an extent that the search has been transformed into an impermissible general search. See Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 ; Rettig, 589 F.2d at 423 . As explained above, none of the factors relied upon by the district judge justify a finding that this search has been transformed into a general search. Moreover, even when all of the factors are considered cumulatively, it is clear that the agents in this case were not "engag[ing] in indiscriminate `fishing,'" and the search was not transformed into an impermissible general search. Tamura, 694 F.2d at 597 . The district court clearly erred in determining that there was a flagrant disregard of the terms of the warrant that justifies the wholesale suppression of all of the video evidence. We need not reach the government's other arguments that wholesale suppression was inappropriate in this case.