The English language news for Spain and Portugal
Lisbon, 26 July 2002


By Rui Amaral do Brito

Retired American Major General and former senior CIA officer, Dr. Oswald LeWinter, 71, who has been living in exile near Lisbon since his release from an Austrian prison, where he served two of a four year sentence resulting from a sting operation run against him by the CIA and FBI with the connivance of Harrods millionaire, Mohamed Al Fayed, spoke before the National Assembly Wednesday, July 24th on the subject of Portugal’s part in the infamous and illegal “October Surprise”, which is still officially denied by the U.S. Congress.

The ailing LeWinter, author of two best selling volumes in Portuguese, “Desmantelar A America” and “Democracia E Secretismo”, received a standing ovation from the members of parliament following his talk and two-hour question period, parts of which were carried live on Channel 2. LeWinter is well-known in
government circles in Portugal for his role as one of three senior CIA officers who came to Portugal in 1974 to help in the planning of the bloodless coup that toppled the fascist Salazar-Caetano dictatorship and helped extricate Portugal from its unwinnable colonial wars in Africa.

In his speech, LeWinter presented strong evidence that the illegal ‘October Surprise’ arms for hostages deal struck in Paris meetings between George Bush, the elder, William Casey (later CIA director) and representatives of the Khomeini government on October 19th 1980, resulted in covert arms shipments from the port of Setubal, made on or about December 1st, 1980, to Iran against the expressed prohibition of the Portuguese government.

LeWinter told the assembled legislators investigating the murder of Prime Minister Dr. Francisco
Sa Carneiro and hi Minister of Defense, Adelino Amaro da Costa, by an airplane bomb on December 4th, 1980, that on the 15th of November 1980, following the successful election of the Reagan-Bush team as President and Vice-President of the U.S.A., Henry Kissinger arrived in Portugal for talks with Dr. Sa Carneiro but was unsuccessful in securing his assent to the shipment of arms from NATO stores on the U.S. base in the Azores to Iran from a Portuguese port.

The weapons, relabeled as Farm Machinery were shipped nevertheless with the help of two members of the military named by LeWinter, Army Marshall Costa Gomes, who was President of the Republic from 1974-1976, and Admiral Pinheiro de Azevedo, who had been Prime Minister in 1975. Both officers, according to
LeWinter, provided covert aid to Kissinger’s local agents in making the secret shipments. LeWinter also told the lawmakers that when the Minister of Defense learned about the shipments he planned to go to the Security Council of the U.N. to report this violation of Portuguese sovereignty. On December 4th 1980, both
men, Sa Carneiro and Amaro da Costa, together with their wives, pilots and Sa Carneiro’s chief of cabinet, were in a private plane that had taken off from Camarate when it exploded, killing  all the occupants. No one was ever charged with the murders. LeWinter also presented proof that the administration that followed the tragedy, Kissinger friend and fellow Bilderberg steering committee member, Francisco Pinto Balsemao, allowed uncounted shipments of arms to Iran and the Contras through Portugal.

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