I think it is very important to present a "full" and complete picture of Lester K. Coleman in order to understand why he is so important to understanding "the big picture". To that end, the following is an article about Coleman from the London Times dated Monday, July 22,1991. The article carries no byline and reads as follows:
US DRUGS STING 'GAVE PAN AM BOMBER COVER'
A former American intelligence officer who worked for a secret unit, four of whose members have been killed, is hiding abroad because of allegations he has made about the Lockerbie bomb disaster.
Lester Knox Coleman, formerly with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is a key witness behind allegations that negligence on the part of the US government led to the placing of a bomb on board Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21, 1988, killing 270 people.
Mr. Coleman, age 47, worked until May 1990 with the secret unit Middle East Collection 10 (MC10). For most of his six years with the DIA he was in Cyprus, running a network of agents in Beirut, whose mission was to find American hostages held by extremists. Two senior MC10 members were Matthew Kevin Gannon and Major Charles Dennis McKee. Both were on flight 103 and had just returned from a mission in Beirut. Also on board was Khaled Nazir
Jaafar, a Lebanese agent for the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Mr. Coleman has a unique insight into DIA and DEA operations in the Middle East because he worked for both organizations in Cyprus. While still a DIA agent -- usually paid in travelers cheques sent from the Luxembourg branch of the now collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) -- he was seconded twice to the DEA, from February to September 1987 and April to May 1988.
According to an affidavit by Mr. Coleman given to Pan Am lawyers in Brussels on April 17 this year , the DEA, with the narcotics squad of the Cypriot national police, the German BKA police and British customs, ran a "drugs sting operation" through Cyprus and airports in Europe including Frankfurt. It involved delivering heroin from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon to the United States, particularly to Detroit, Houston and Los Angeles, where there are large Lebanese communities.
The explanation for this operation, which was officially codenamed Khourah, was provided by Ronald Caffrey, acting assistant administrator of the operational division of the DEA, in a US government submission dated March 20 this year . He said the drugs operation was "a controlled delivery".
His statement said: "In a controlled delivery, a law enforcement agency permits and monitors shipment of contraband, including drugs, to move from a source or transit location to its intended destination. Use of this technique is sometimes essential to enable law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest high-ranking members of trafficking organizations, rather than simply arrest low level couriers."
Mr. Coleman, with his knowledge of this type of operation, believes that flight 103 was being used by the DEA as a "controlled" flight in which Khaled Jaafar, a DEA courier, was allowed to carry his luggage through Frankfurt without being subject to normal security checks. He knew Jaafar was one of many agents involved in drug operations.
In a telephone conversation last October with a BKA officer in charge of investigations at Frankfurt Rhein-Main airport, Mr. Coleman said he was told that BKA had "serious concerns" that a US drugs sting operation out of Cyprus had been used by terrorists to place the bomb on flight 103, by switching bags.
According to reports last year, the security of flight 103 had already been compromised by a mysterious man with an American accent using the pseudonym David Lovejoy, who had reportedly telephoned the Iranian embassy in Beirut on December 20, 1988, the day before the Lockerbie flight, to tip them off that US agents Gannon and McKee would return from a mission in Beirut to the
US on flight 103.
Mr. Coleman said: "Individuals involved in drug sting operations would arrive at Larnaca (in Cyprus) on the ferry from Jounich (in Lebanon) and be escorted by officers of the Cypriot national police to the offices of Eurame Trading Company in Nicosia, a DEA proprietary company." Mr. Coleman saw Khaled Jaafar on at least three occasions in the Eurame offices and knew him to be a DEA courier.
The DEA has denied it was involved in a drugs sting operation at any time around the Lockerbie incident. But James Shaughnessy, lead counsel for Pan Am, said in his latest affidavit dated May 3 : "The DEA's denial is incredulous....simply false." Pan Am's affidavit refers to a telephone conversation between a senior officer of British customs' investigations branch and Michael Jones of Pan Am Corporate Security in London in which he asked: "Have you considered a bag switch in Frankfurt due to the large amounts of Turkish workers?"
The Beirut end of MC10 had been "blown". There were five key members of the MC10 cell in Cyprus and Beirut, according to Mr. Coleman. Apart from Mr. Coleman there were Werner Tony Asmar, a German Lebanese, Charlie Frezeli, a Lebanese army officer, and two more Lebanese who worked with Asmar. Asmar was killed in a bomb explosion at his office in east Beirut on May 26, 1988. Frezeli was shot dead at his home in east Beirut in November 1989. When
Asmar was killed, the DIA ordered Mr. Coleman home.
Those, like Mr. Coleman and the Pan Am lawyers who are convinced there is a link between the Lockerbie bomb and "Operation Khourah", were not helped by the so-called Aviv report, which claimed that a rogue CIA unit permitted the bags switch, knowing it contained a bomb. The report, produced by Israeli
investigator Juval Aviv was discredited. Now, however, a judge in a US court has ruled that the US government must produce all relevant documents relating to the practice of drugs sting operations through Frankfurt and elsewhere in Europe.
End of article.
It is VERY important to read the preceding article closely and then re-read it again. Next, one must compare the information in the article to an affidavit Coleman introduced in Adversary Proceeding No. 86-0069 in the case entitled INSLAW, INC, plaintiff v. USA and the USA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The affidavit reads as follows:
I, LESTER K. COLEMAN, being duly sworn do hereby state as follows:
1. I am currently self-employed as a freelance writer, editor, and
security consultant. I am a United States citizen and am temporarily
residing outside of the United States.
2. In November 1984, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) offered me a position in human intelligence operations in the Middle East. I was raised in the Middle East, where I lived in Iran, Libya and Saudi Arabia. I speak three dialects of Arabic and some Farsi. I accepted the position and received training from the DIA. I was assigned to a Middle East intelligence unit.
3. Between February and September 1987, I was seconded by DIA to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Nicosia, Cyprus, reporting to the DEA Country Attaché, Michael T. Hurley.
4. After a cover assignment in the United States, I was again seconded to the DEA in Nicosia, Cyprus, in early 1988.
5. During April and May 1988, I worked in the offices of EURAME Trading Company, Ltd., in Nicosia, Cyprus, a DEA proprietary company. On or about May 29, 1988, because of my concern about poor security in the DEA operation in Cyprus, I returned to the United States, having previously obtained the concurrence of the DIA.
6. During my two stints as a DIA covert intelligence officer seconded to the DEA in Nicosia, Cyprus, I became aware of the fact that DEA was using its proprietary company, EURAME Trading Company, Ltd, to sell computer software called PROMISE or PROMIS to the drug abuse control agencies of various countries in the Middle East, including Cyprus, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Turkey.
7. I personally witnessed the unpacking at the Nicosia, Cyprus, Police Force Narcotics Squad of boxes containing reels of computer tapes and computer hardware. The boxes bore the name and red logo of a Canadian corporation with the words "PROMISE" or "PROMIS" and "Ltd" in the company name.
8. The DEA objective in inducing the implementation of this computerized PROMIS[E] system in the drug abuse control resources available to the United States government by making it possible for the United States Government to access sensitive drug control law enforcement and intelligence files of these Middle East governments.
9. It is also my understanding that third-party funds were generally made available for the purchase of these computer software and hardware systems. One third-party funding source was the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control in Vienna, Austria.
10. As DEA Country Attaché for Cyprus, Michael T. Hurley had overall responsibility for both the EURAME Trading Company, Ltd, and its initiative to sell PROMIS[E] computer systems to Middle East countries for drug abuse control.
11. In 1990, DEA reassigned Hurley to a DEA intelligence position in
12. I became aware in 1991 that Michael Riconosciuto, known to me as a long-time CIA asset, was arrested in Washington State by DEA for the manufacturing of illegal chemical drugs. I had also become aware of the fact that Riconosciuto made a sworn statement, prior to his arrest, about his participation in a covert U.S. intelligence initiative to sell INSLAW's PROMIS to foreign governments.
13. In light of Hurley's personal involvement in the U.S. Government's covert intelligence initiative to sell PROMIS[E] software to foreign governments and his reassignment to a DEA intelligence position in Washington State in advance of the DEA's arrest of Riconosciuto, the arrest of Riconosciuto should be regarded as suspect. I do not believe that Hurley's posting to a drug intelligence position in Washington State in advance of Riconosciuto's arrest on drug charges in merely coincidental.
Rather, the probability is that Hurley was reassigned to Washington State to manufacture a case against Riconosciuto in order to prevent Riconosciuto from becoming a credible witness about the U.S. Government's covert sale of the PROMIS software to foreign governments.
14. The investigative journalist Danny Casolaro contacted me in Europe on August 3, 1991. Mr. Casolaro had leads and hard information about things that I know about, including Department of Justice groups operating overseas, the sale of PROMIS[E] software by the U.S. Government to foreign governments, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the Iran/Contra scandal. I subsequently learned of Mr. Casolaro's death in Martinsburg, West Virginia, one week later, on August 10, 1991. I contacted INSLAW in October 1991, after learning about Mr. Casolaro's death under
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT. Signed by Lester K. Coleman
This, then, was Danny Casolaro's Octopus. Casolaro had been interviewing Michael Riconosciuto since approximately May of 1990; Casolaro had also met with and interviewed Michael's wife, Bobbie. Both Riconosciutos had told Casolaro the same thing they have repeatedly told me about the downing of Pan Am 103. Michael Roconosciuto claimed to be an intelligence officer monitoring the hostage situation in Iran, staying at the apartment of Robert Booth Nichols and Ellen Hopko Nichols located near the Nicosia, Cyprus airport. This group of people, according to Michael, were also involved in the "controlled drug operation" run by the DIA. Riconosciuto stated that
they were paid with unsigned BCCI travelers checks. Shortly before the Lockerbie crash Riconosciuto returned to his home in Oregon. He knew that the McKee team would be returning to the United States to "blow the whistle" on the drug operation run by George W. Bush. Riconosciuto told me that when the warning came to the unit in Nicosia that there might be a bombing of Pan Am #103, Robert Booth Nichols told Rinconosciuto that he would change the reservation for the McKee team to another flight, just as FBI agent Revell's son had done. The night of the Lockerbie crash, Bobbi Riconosciuto was watching the television with their children when she learned of the crash and heard that the McKee team went down with others on board. She woke Michael up and told him. Michael broke from Robert Booth Nichols from that point forward because he held Nichols responsible for betraying the McKee team.
Robert Booth Nichols became the key source for Danny Casolaro who had contacted Lester K. Coleman seven days before his murder in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Nichols stated, in a lawsuit against the FBI and FBI agent Thomas Gates, that he has had no source of income for the past twenty-plus years and yet his concealed weapons permit shows that he maintains many residences around the world. Sam Giacana was Nichols' business partner and it is rumored that Nichols' mentor is the head of Yakuza in Hawaii. Nichols' lawsuit was sustained by a declaration submitted by the former head of the LA FBI, Ted Gunderson. Gunderson has stated to me and others that he owes his life to Nichols because he called off a mob hit on Gunderson. Gunderson also states that he is nothing but a private investigator, but documents out of his own files show his intelligence connections.
270 people were killed on Pan Am 103 and the United States government is continually silencing witnesses who could tell the truth about what happened. Lawyers who hold the Coleman documents out for ransom, judges who use the law to torture and imprison individuals who would expose the intelligence prostitutes who whore for drugs, arms, power and money, and an apathetic public are the ones who are responsible for the murder of those who died at Lockerbie. Let Lester K. Coleman testify. Let Michael Riconosciuto testify. MAKE Robert Booth and Ellen Hopko Nichols testify. FORCE Michael T. Hurley to testify. MAKE THEM TELL THE TRUTH!! If the families of the victims want to really know what happened they should demand the head of Danny Casolaro's Octopus.
Virginia McCullough © 2000