by Virginia McCullough

(The four part series.)

Virginia McCullough

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
  Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon.                          

© 2000 Virginia McCullough. All Rights Reserved. Use only with written  permission.              


On March 21, 2000, the Houston Chronicle reported that ex-CIA operative Edwin Wilson asked U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes to issue citations against 17 current and former government attorneys or top CIA officials.  All helped prosecute him in 1982 for smuggling explosives to Libya.

The issue revolves around a false affidavit the government knowingly submitted to help convict Wilson.  Two statements juxtaposed testify to the two-faced attitude of officials of the CIA and the Department of Justice.

The federal prosecutors acknowledged they knowingly submitted the false affidavit but they state, "Wilson is not entitled to a new trial because the bogus evidence was inconsequential and unrelated to the charges".  In the same breath  the court documents submitted by the Justice Department prosecutors insisted that they had to use the affidavit because "it was the backbone of their case".

It is obvious that the prosecutors are liars and cannot have it both ways.  The affidavit is either the backbone of their case or it is inconsequential and unrelated to the charges.  In either case, if there is any justice in this country, people in very high places who have been covering up for the foul deeds of the CIA, should serve at least the same amount of time in jail as has Edwin Wilson.

The Houston Chronicle article, written by Deborah Tedford, contains the following two paragraphs:

According to documents released to Wilson under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, "Larson" had told prosecutors the agency would "deal with the devil" if need be.

"Larson" also acknowledged the CIA might consider providing 40,000 pounds of explosives to someone in Libya if "great" information could be obtained.

When I read this article, I was immediately reminded of a man who worked for Edwin Wilson.  The man's name was Eugene A. Tafoya and the first correspondence I received from him in 1991 asked the question "Have you heard the Devil's Secret Name".  In future correspondence and in hundreds of phone conversations it became obvious that Tafoya believed  the Devil's Secret Name is CIA.

Copyright 2000
Virginia McCullough



POEM BY GEORGE L. SKYPECK, First Calvary Division, Vietnam

I was that which others did not want to be.

I went where others feared to go, and did what others feared to do.

I asked only from those who gave nothing and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness should I fail.

I have seen the face of terror, felt the stinging cold of fear and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love.

I have cried, pained and hoped but most of all, 

I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.

At least someday, 

I will be able to say,  

I was proud of what I was....



In August of 1991, a friend and  fellow investigative reporter, Joseph "Danny" Casolaro, was executed at the Sheraton Inn in Martinsburg, West Virginia where he had gone to meet a source in the infamous INSLAW case.  Within days I made an appearance on the television show "Inside Edition" and I was quoted in many publications.  In each and every case, I stated that Casolaro had been murdered because of the stories he had been investigating.

September and October of 1991 were spent following up the leads Casolaro had been sharing with me.  During the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, I was in Truckee, California meeting with the parents and sister of Fred Alvarez.  Fred Alvarez and two of his friends had been tortured and murdered in 1981 because Alvarez was meeting with the press and distributing documents proving that the CIA had used the Cabazon Indian Reservation to support  black operations involving what later became known as the Iran Contra fiasco.  During these  meetings I was given access to information known only to the CIA controllers of the reservation revealing horrific details involving drugs for weapons and money laundering for biological warfare weapons.  I stayed at a motel outside of Reno during the time of these meetings.  While at the motel, I received three death threats that necessitated the motel stationing a security guard outside of my room.

When I returned home at the end of October 1991, I was still frightened and nervous about the ongoing investigation.  My document stash involving the CIA operations now numbered in the thousands and increased daily.

Late one night, surrounded by paper, I received a phone call.  At the other end of the line was a male voice unknown to me.  The man asked if this was Virginia McCullough and I said, "Yes." What followed was one of the strangest experiences of my life.  The man began an angry monologue addressing some unidentified third party.  He stated that he was now my protector and if "they" didn't like it "they" could come and get him and "they" would die like a dog at his feet.  He finally stopped talking and asked me if I knew who he was.  I said, "no, I'm sorry I don't, but are you mad at me too?"  He identified himself as Eugene A. Tafoya and told me to keep a lower profile and he would protect me.  We talked for an hour and I found out that Tafoya had worked as an intelligence agent under the direction of "ex" CIA operative Edwin Wilson.  Tafoya said Wilson had been in jail since 1982 because of lies told in Wilson's trial by CIA officials and federal prosecutors.  Tafoya told me to read the book  "Manhunt" written by Peter Maas.  He told me not to believe Maas's conclusion about the events in the book; he stated that Maas had never interviewed him to confirm the facts.

Tafoya told me the facts were as follows:

He had entered the armed forces as a Marine.  He was "seconded" to Korea, and was among the survivors of the history making, bloody fight at Pork Chop Hill.  After Korea, he decided to make service to his country both his life and career.  He joined the Army.

Tafoya was one of the first to wear the Green Beret, walking through Indochina before most Americans knew it existed.  He was part of the clandestine Phoenix Project as an operations soldier, and his memories of the undefined final solution to the Viet Cong initiative would add meat and bone to recently released, and previously classified, documents regarding the work of American Special Forces in Vietnam, Thailand and Kampuchea.

However, Tafoya's real ordeal did not begin until he retired from the Army and became one of about a dozen Special Forces sergeants recruited by two CIA operatives at Fort Bragg.  These same two agents later became key figures in the Iran Contra Affair, escaping both arrest and prosecution.  These two CIA agents were also responsible for arranging the same scam earlier in Indochina and through Australia.

Tafoya's code name was "Casper" and he became a messenger and intelligence operative for acknowledged CIA agent Edwin Paul Wilson, who was putting together the arms sale later referred to as the "Libyan Affair".  Tafoya believed that this sanctioned CIA flirtation with Muammar Quadaffi  was responsible for putting both Wilson and Tafoya in jail.  When the CIA-ordered Libyan Affair became embarrassing and Wilson was arrested, the government used the Internal Revenue Service laws to ensnare Tafoya.  Wilson would not be the only sacrifice.  Tafoya is the only known Wilson agent to spend time behind bars and he believed he was working for the CIA.  The men who recruited Wilson and Tafoya were acknowledged agents.

At Tafoya's trial in San Antonio, Texas for income tax evasion, the testimony centered on a shadowy world of international intrigue that included little or no testimony regarding unreported income.  Tafoya's wife, who later divorced him because of the trauma of his incarcer- ation and the fear of retribution from some unknown evil, was
acquitted.  He, however, was convicted.  The tax returns in question were joint filings.  Tafoya was sentenced to federal prison in the early 1980's and upon his release was escorted to Colorado to face spurious misdemeanor assault charges.  At this trial the alleged victim, a Libyan student, could not be found to testify.  After conviction and time spent in jail, the next stop for this former hero and CIA operative was Ontario, Canada for trial in the fire bombing of a Jaguar owned by an international arms dealer.  Even with expert testimony from a former comrade-in-arms that Tafoya was in Fort Bragg for a Special Forces Association Convention the day of the bombing, he was still convicted.  Tafoya spent almost ten years in custody in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Ontario, Canada.        

From 1991 until his death from testicular cancer caused by his four tours in Agent Orange contaminated Vietnam, Tafoya and I corresponded often and talked by phone at least two times a week.  He was a patriot, a friend, a protector, and a bona fide American hero who fought for the country whose government set him up and jailed him for years.  [Click here for correspondence in date order. One  Two Three Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine ]

When I remember my friend Eugene A. Tafoya, I recall the way he wanted to be memorialized.

"At least, someday,
I will be able to say
I was proud of what I was...

Posted in Honor of Eugene Tafoya.

copyright 2000
Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
  Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon.                          

© 2000 Virginia McCullough. All Rights Reserved. Use only with written  permission.              




In the last month of December 1993, Gene Tafoya surprised me with a long letter and an enclosure of an article he had written entitled "Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, What Is The Story?  What If..........."  The story appeared on the front page of a New Mexico newspaper called "The Courier" identified further as "Your Regional Independent Newspaper serving Dona Ana, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Socorro and Cantron Counties".  Apparently this newspaper no longer exists.  That is unfortunate because these local newspapers perform a great service for their reading public.  Luckily Tafoya sent the four part series to this author; the issues he addressed are still current and the stories should be posted to the net for all to read.

The comments of the editor of the Courier, Gene Ballinger, explain the paper's concerns that resulted in reporter "Gene" Tafoya's four-part series.  On January 20, 1994 Ballinger wrote:


So said Bill Porter, our local state representative last week when he stopped at the office.

Bill is particularly disturbed over allegations that BLM employees of BLM volunteers were caught digging up Buffalo Soldiers graves at a U.S. Army Cemetery active during territorial days and the Indian Wars.

"The BLM has changed a lot in the last 10-years, all for the worse, and we must take steps to correct it," Bill said.


THE COURIER  has always supported, to the fullest, our regional agricultural rural lifestyle.  Our farmers, ranchers, rural communities, our history, youth and schools.

We have also always supported the historic usage of the lands of our state including being farming, cattle and sheep, mining, logging, hunting, fishing and multiple use of the public lands.

As we all know U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and BLM Director Jim Baca, want to change all that and effectively have the government take over those public lands, much to the determent of the people who make their livelihood from the land or enjoy that land with their families.

Well they have a fight on their hands, and maybe by now they are starting to realize that.

Not only are ranchers, farmers, hunters, fisherman, loggers, miners and prospectors, to name a few, fighting to preserve our way of life, even the Navajo Nation has joined the battle.

This has to be a first in our western history, when even our Native Americans, as a solidified political force, have joined with everyone else who has an interest in our public lands, to fight against more and more federal encroachment on the rights, privileges and historic use of our lands.

And are they going to know that come election 1994!

Babbitt and Baca are appointed officials who serve at the pleasure of President Clinton.  But what happens when both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives switch majorities and minorities on January 1, 1995?

That could well happen unless Bill Clinton puts a leash and a muzzle on both Babbitt and Baca.

"Gene" Tafoya grew up in his beloved New Mexico while his warrior/patriot life took him to the far corners of the world, his heart remained in New Mexico.  Following his years in prison, he returned to New Mexico, went to college majoring in computer science and became a fine investigative reporter.  The following is the first part of a four-part series he wrote as his life was ebbing.

There are many people that work for our federal government that perform their duties honorably and with efficiency.  Thanks to such employees in our government The Courier can bring to you, the citizens of our country, you who pay taxes and want our country to be a leader of nations, and most of all for the Red White and Blue to be respected and not trampled upon, information regarding BLM employees who apparently have chosen to use our tax dollars for their own private projects and entertainment.

Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt and the Cold War is over.  As a nation we are trying to get back on our feet and establish what is called a new world order.  One in which nations can enter the global market and become part of Export Oriented Industrialization (OEI) and we, the United States, as a super power are the nation that other nations look to for leadership.  Our public servants ought to set an example, or so it would seem.

In the December 2, 1993 issue of The Courier  an article dealing in part, about a dedicated BLM employee (meaning a legitimate public servant) who caught BLM employees and others associated with the BLM, digging up graves at a United States Army Cemetery abandoned in 1891.  These were graves of Buffalo Soldiers (Black cavalry troopers) and other Americans, including families that helped make our country one to be admired and respected.  The Buffalo Soldiers, according to a BLM employee were identified by the hair on their skulls.  At the very minimum these soldiers, their families and other citizens, deserve a place to rest and never be disturbed.

They already have a place in our history that is well deserved.  General Colin Powell, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commemorated a statue to the heroism of the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma this last summer.

Reportedly the grave robbers were cutting off buttons from uniforms still clinging to skeletal remains and ghoulishly removing rings and anything of value from the graves of those honored dead.  Among them was a child in a red velvet dress.  It is said the grave robbers were kind enough to cover up the remains and not take the ring from her finger.  Conduct such as this shocks the conscience of any decent citizen, or should.

Just for the record, all of the information presented in this series is well documented and many sources inside the BLM have come forward in an effort to expose and eliminate what they perceive to be outrageous conduct on the part of fellow civil servants.

According to one source, an Arizona BLM employee had Native American artifacts displayed in his office.  Those artifacts, including pottery, were identified as possibly being Anasazi or Hopi.  The employee was also caught during a sting operation on camera with illegal artifacts.  It is not clear at this time if the sting operation was carried out by the Justice Department or the Department of the Interior.  The bottom line is that the employee was given what the source called a "free pass."  This is what it is called in the BLM when you get caught violating law or regulations and nothing is done about it.

The only corrective action is taken, according to my source, is when there is intense media interest or pressure from a higher level.  And the source also claimed that the employee had an interest in an antique shop in Arizona that carried Native American artifacts.  I wonder if the shop carried buttons off of United States Calvary troopers uniforms and other such items pilfered from graves?  As a matter of fact, were the artifacts displayed in his office funerary items too?

This raises a very interesting question, which I am looking into.  Were these grave robbers doing their robbing on our tax dollars when they were supposed to be performing some duty?  Or was it in their spare time?  If they had nothing better to do than pilfer graves....then would this not be a good time to think about cutbacks in government?

Speaking of spare time.  Two dedicated BLM employees over the course of two years (according to documentation) and in their spare time, created a computer graphics program for the entertainment of other Bureau of Land Management employees at their offices in Washington, D.C.  According to documentation "The game is played and distributed in BLM Headquarters."

The game for our overworked public servants is meant to be used on a program called "Print Master".  According to my source, this program is on several computers in BLM headquarters, including some of its most sensitive offices, namely Personnel, EEO, Budget, Management Research, Minerals, and others.

Tax payers!  I introduce to you ASTROTIT!  A computer program that took two years to create by BLM employees, and if you believe that it was done in the creators spare time...I know where there is some ocean front property in Arizona you can pick up real cheap.

The computer program consists of detailed explicit sex and a wide selection of pornographic material that is interactive.  No newspaper would print the contents of that kind of material.

However, it is apparently suitable material to be downloaded on computers within the offices of the Department of the Interior, and more specifically, the Bureau of Land Management in D.C. for the entertainment of some of our more jaded public servants.

According to my source, there are some employees in BLM who consider a 4 day work month very taxing...and maybe they need their remaining days to relax and play ASTROTIT on their computer terminals...on your tax dollars, of course.

And they have another computer program that no doubt was created in their spare time as well by employees of the BLM in their D.C. offices.  It is called "Dr. Ruth's Computer Game of Good Sex."  This program consists of more trash, sexist filth, and graphic representations for the screens of the over-worked few that consider a 4 day work month a burden.

There are many more issues to present in this series and hopefully there are readers out there who will contact their Congressmen and Senators and get some answers as to why this is allowed. The .29 cent protest [a letter to your Congressmen] will soon cost .32 cents so get yours in the mail and beat the rush!

Gene Tafoya would not have been the least bit surprised to learn that former CIA Director John Deutch reportedly had an addiction to porn and that government computers contain the most degrading type of trash victimizing the mind, children, women and men alike.  What are our taxpayer dollars being used for today?

Tomorrow NewsMakingNews will publish the second part of reporter Tafoya's series on "The BLM, What If?"

Copyright 2000
Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
  Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon.                          

© 2000 Virginia McCullough. All Rights Reserved. Use only with written  permission.              



As 1993 drew to a close, Eugene Tafoya was settling into the quiet life of a scholar in his tiny "hacienda" in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Few people who read his first article in The Courier knew that the author who was so concerned with the misconduct at The Bureau of Land Management had served four tours of duty in Vietnam with honor.  The readers only knew that this writer had struck a cord deep in their hearts.  The ghoulish grave robbers who had raided the graves of the Buffalo Soldiers had a new enemy; an old warrior who had survived the infamous battle of Pork Chop Hill as a young Marine in Korea now set his sights on those who had desecrated the cemeteries of those fallen patriots he so admired.

Letters to the editor filled the people's forum page in The Courier urging reporter Tafoya to dig deeper and publish more articles.  Writers pointed out that the grave robbers had committed criminal violations of the Archeological Resources Protection Act for which ordinary citizens have been prosecuted o the fullest extent of the law.  Many correspondents told of certain BLM employees who maintained personal fossil and artifact collections garnered from public lands and offered for sale to the highest bidder.  A private attorney from Socorro, New Mexico stated that she had "personally reviewed correspondence and witnessed BLM employees violating the Federal Hatch Act by continually lobbying governors and congressmen for new laws which would restrict ordinary access to public lands by the public".  The letter writers responded to Tafoya's concerns by adopting them as their own.

The second piece in the series appeared on January 4, 1994.  Tafoya wrote.....

Last week, I introduced you to a few examples of how the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, waste our tax dollars and appear to be immune from the very laws and regulations you and I must abide by.  Laws and rules the BLM imposes and enforces on American Citizens desiring to make use of our public lands.

I have often heard that we learn from history, or do we?  In 1924, a senate committee discovered that the Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, had illegally leased government- owned oil reserves in the Teapot Dome section of Wyoming to private business interests in return for over $300,000 in bribes.  Illegal activities were also discovered elsewhere in the government.  The attorney general at the time resigned in disgrace and the Secretary of the Navy barely avoided prison, two advisors committed suicide, and the Secretary of the Interior was sentenced to jail.

Sound familiar?  This happened during the Calvin Coolidge administration.  Coolidge represented to many, old fashioned rural values, simple religious faith and personal integrity.

Senator Gerald P. Nye, of North Dakota, a conscientious and determined man, helped expose the Teapot Dome scandal in 1924.  Hopefully, conscientious people will now surface and do what needs to be done with matters dealing with the BLM.  Why do the words "I'm mad as hell, and I ain't gonna take any more" come to mind?

There are those who will say: "they will do something!"  I sincerely hope we understand who this "they" is!  It is We the People, and if we wait till the other guy does something about this matter...then it may be too late.

During 1993, under the tutelage of Secretary Bruce Babbitt and BLM Director Jim Baca, the BLM, already a           monstrous and bloated bureaucracy, in my opinion, stepped way over the line in their effort to absolutely destroy our western way of life.

They want total control of the public lands which will no longer be public.  They want to do away with the multiple-use theory of public land management, a system that has worked extremely well.

They want to restrict, or do away with, recreational use, prospecting, mining, hunting, cattle grazing, and everything else that historically has been a part of our West.

They are instituting a new $400 million computer system that will inter-link those government systems with environmental groups throughout the nation.

In my opinion, they are out to destroy our western way of life.  Yet...please consider that both men, Babbitt and Baca, come from our southwest and act like they are from New York City.

Worse, numerous employees of the BLM bureaucracy believe just as Babbitt and Baca do, and they are moving forward at a rapid pace to implement the end of the west as we know it.

But folks.........consider this.  Before they do, or attempt to do anything further, I believe it is mandatory that they clean up their house, clean out the rat packs, end gross waste of taxpayers' dollars and fire, or bring to justice, each and every BLM bureaucrat that has, or is, misusing the public trust.

Then common sense must come into play and an end to any attempt to enforce eastern city lifestyles on our western culture.  The two never have met, and never shall.  I speak as a native New Mexican.

Before they try to start imposing outrageous restrictions on the public, it is high time the public demand total accountability from them.  That time is RIGHT NOW!

When BLM employees or associates rob graves of the American and U.S. Army personnel from the Indian Wars, nothing is done.

When BLM employees are caught red-handed selling illegal Amerindian artifacts, nothing is done.

When BLM employees waste tax money creating computer sex games and then dozens of those employees play those games on public owned computer systems at work, all at our expense, nothing is done.

It goes on and on, and it is high time it came to a screeching halt.

Clearly the BLM, at every level, is overburdened with employees who have nothing to do but waste time and our tax money.  I suggest a staff cut of 50% right now....

Thanks to disgusted current BLM employees who are fed up with their own fellow workers, we are able to bring you this series.  All material is documented and verified.  Often I will not use names only to protect our sources or innocent people who were caught up in questionable BLM employee activities.

We have been led to believe that all high-ranking BLM supervisors, civil servants if you will, are dedicated to the public service of this country.  As you will see, not only are some of the highest ranking some of the worst time wasters, gadflies and players, many in the lower employee categories are in the same category.

Many BLM employees have told me, and our staff, that they love their jobs and those who work in the field are being paid for work that the average citizen takes a vacation to do and enjoy.  But they also say that the agency [BLM] is so bloated with extra employees and supervisors more interested in inter-agency politics than public service, that they fear losing their jobs when the general public finally wakes up to what has happened and demands work instead of play and the reduction of make-work jobs that are senseless.

What ever happened to leadership by example?  If that is the type of leadership displayed at the top....then the problem is worse than it appeared on the surface.

President Clinton promised big cuts in the bureaucracy.  Well, where are the cuts?  Where is the relief from this bloated bureaucracy that was promised?  Don't tell me, let me guess...they will do something about it!  Wrong!  There are some who find the mismanagement and waste intolerable.

There are those who want something to be done.  Yet, the problem is so entrenched that those in the top echelon of BLM management have issued threats, and ruined the careers of the few who have tried to do something.  The top echelon calls them whistle blowers, trouble makers, and other names not printable.

Following are some more prime examples of waste and fraudulent spending of your tax dollars.

We, as citizens and tax payers, are obligated to obey the law.  Yet, we find those in government who, when caught, only get transferred or are given a "free pass" or at times are even rewarded for fraud and theft.  We know that the law makers of our country don't have to obey the laws they pass for the tax payers but this is going a bit far, don't you think?

WHAT IF...A BLM law enforcement officer drove around a convenience store in circles supposedly on official business and makes a comment to a rancher "I love to see them scatter" -- meaning the migrant workers.  Oops...another free pass.  He's a BLM employee and needs to be entertained... at the tax payers' expense.

WHAT IF...A Deputy Director of the BLM went to Russia on a fact finding tour and was caught having an extra-marital relationship with his Russian interpreter.  Then.....brings her back to the USA and gets her a contract job with the BLM in Fort Collins, Colorado!  This was done at your expense, of course.  He was allowed to retire.  After all...he was a good old boy (another free pass).  From Russia with your expense.

WHAT IF...After numerous complaints to his supervisor, a BLM employee was told by that supervisor to "shut up and forget it," when the employee was complaining about the BLM paying $120 a ton (40 bale average) for hay to feed mustang horses when the hay was moldy, weedy and unusable.  The hay was being purchased from the State of New Mexico Corrections Department.  The employee then had to sell the hay for five cents (.05) a bale to get rid of it.  Your tax money, of course.

WHAT IF...An armed BLM law enforcement officer used a bull horn and ordered a man out of his home when the man was not home, but his elderly wife, scared to death, came our of the home with her hands up.  The husband, not home at the time, was criminally charged with taking less than half-a-yard of gravel off of BLM supervised public lands which was, in fact, private land.

WHAT IF...Armed BLM law enforcement officers go into a home, where no adults are present, supposedly investigating a crime with a search warrant, and inform a small child that they are going to arrest her grandfather.  After finding nothing related to the search warrant and embarrassing the whole family, they left without the least apology.

WHAT IF...After promising that BLM law enforcement officers would strictly enforce laws regarding dumping trash and garbage on the public lands, lands leased to ranchers for cattle grazing, that was not done and just as much trash and garbage exists at the locations as just a few months ago.

WHAT IF...An armed BLM law enforcement officer stops an 18-wheeler on an interstate highway and checks the drivers license, registration and load papers.  Why?

And why is it necessary for BLM rangers to carry three (3) different firearms in their government vehicles?  If it is for intimidation purposes, then who are they supposed to be intimidating?

WHAT IF...A BLM State Director, using an aircraft, took his wife along on most, if not all of his dozens of trips crisscrossing his area of responsibility, and she rode free.  And because she was aboard, some of his district managers were unable to fly on their duties, they drove or did not go at all.  They were bumped so the wife could go along.  In fact, whey did the state director even have access to an airplane to start with?  And did he reimburse the government (the taxpayer) for his wife going along on those trips?

These matters pose some interesting questions such as...Who is supposed to be enforcing the laws that supposedly protect the taxpayer against these people?  How many free passes are going to be handed out?  Where are the cuts in the bureaucracy that were promised?  Why are land managers turning into unneeded, unnecessary armed land cops?

The tax payers are entitled to know the answers to these questions, and they are entitled to get such matters corrected.  The time to be interested is not a week before election day....the time to do something is now!

And oh yes...I did get some feedback, unofficial of course, from some BLM bureaucrats over last week's article.  The Courier was nothing more than a "gossip sheet" and could not have any influence on anything "they" were doing or were going to do.

We'll see what 25,000 readers have to say about that.

NEXT WEEK... How they are planning to take control of our public lands and why.

The preceding article paints the picture of Eugene A. Tafoya, the proud New Mexican.

Copyright 2000
Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
  Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon.                          

© 2000 Virginia McCullough. All Rights Reserved. Use only with written  permission.              


In the third part of Eugene Tafoya's series on misconduct in the Bureau of Land Management, the reporter attacked the public apathy that allowed such abuses to continue unabated.  He wanted to make a difference and he urged his readers to become activists protecting the land he loved from the vultures that hovered over it.  Tafoya had evolved from a soldier armed with weapons to a soldier armed with words.  He chose his words carefully and he painted a picture people could clearly see and appreciate.

The Courier published on January 13, 1994 featured a picture taken by publisher Gene Ballinger, Tafoya's friend and publisher.  It was a photo of New Mexico's grazing land with the caption: "This is an overview of the military cemetery that reportedly was the site of grave robbing by BLM employees, BLM volunteers and others.  The fort site adjacent to the cemetery was operational from 1854 to 1885 and occupied by U.S. Troops, including Black Buffalo Soldiers, during their service and time in our Southwestern History, throughout the Apache Indian Wars."  Gene Tafoya's third article followed the picture and caption by Ballinger.

Last week I cited several examples of alleged abuses by employees of the Bureau of Land Management.  In this great country of ours there is a tendency to sometimes keep to ourselves abuses that should be brought to the attention of our elected representatives.  I believe the reason many times citizens are reluctant to step forward is the fear of retaliation from the very people entrusted with the responsibility to perform their duties as public servants with integrity.

Fortunately, there are employees and ex-employees of the BLM who are fed up with what they perceive to be excesses at every level of the BLM and have come forward.  From information, documentation and records from those employees, I am able to bring to you this series.

There are those in the government who use their positions to intimidate and coerce their employees.  They go a step further and ruin careers of those that do not kneel to their tyrannical and dictatorial whims.

There is another group in the BLM who specialize in sexual harassment.  These range from the generic brand male macho types and arrive at the more advanced level.  The advanced level according to sources say: "would you like a promotion?", or "Would you like to keep your job?", or "Come on...its not like you haven't done it before."  This is not the type of work environment that should exist, or is it just the boredom in the 4 day work month from some our public servants?

Here are couple of examples:

WHAT IF...A new and young female BLM employee was chased after incessantly by one of her male supervisors while on a BLM field training exercise in an attempt to goad her into a sexual relationship.  She finally left the exercise and filed a complaint.  After an investigation, nothing was done.

WHAT IF...A crippled female BLM employee in a Northwestern U.S. BLM office, when at a BLM employee evening party, accused a male BLM supervisor of chasing after her, and actually physically raping her.  After an investigation, nothing was done.

Once some people arrive at the top of the heap in civil service, in the BLM, it would appear that they are above the law and above being subject to the same standards they impose on others.  It would appear they are nothing more than warlords in a country that is...a democracy?  Maybe it is time for a change!  Remember what a BLM bureaucrat said just a week ago relating to what they are planning..."we (you) will have no influence on anything "they" are going to do!"  The Courier response remains..."We'll see what 25,000 readers have to say about that!"  By the way, we are not alone!

Cy Jamison, a former director of the Bureau of Land Management says the Clinton administration has opened a "war on the west" with its management proposals for grazing and mining reforms.  According to Jamison, the administration "is using rules and regulations to shift away from law that requires multiple use of public lands and is leaving a lot of western people who rely on the land out of the process."  Jamison was the BLM director during the Bush administration.

How are they planning to take control of our public lands and why?

One year ago, when Bruce Babbitt was appointed as Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton, Babbitt brought with him a reputation for being anti-public land multiple use.  This includes, among other things, extreme changes in the general mining law, junking of the multiple use theory and huge increases in public land grazing fees as well as takeover of all water sources, something that has historically been a state's right.

According to Babbitt:

"We need a new western land ethic for non-wilderness.  The old concept of multiple use no longer fits the reality of public use.  From this day on, we must recognize the new reality that the highest and best, most productive use of Western Land will usually be for public purposes--watershed, wildlife and recreation."
---From a Babbitt speech to the Sierra Club, 1986.

What is wrong with this picture?  Just what is this new land ethic he's talking about?   Whose interest does he have in mind with this 'so called'  new ethic?  Did he talk to the ranchers and people who rely on the public land for a livelihood?  Maybe Mr. Babbitt should check his drinking water in Washington?  Maybe he should check the carpet in his office?  Maybe that is the reason for some employees producing pornographic filth on their computers?   Remember Astrotit?  Maybe it is causing the high rate of sexual harassment?  This brings up a question.  What are they going to do with a $400 million dollar computer system...more of the same?

WHAT IF...The personal political strategy of a person in high office sounded like this...

"We must identify our enemies and drive them into oblivion."
---This was Babbitt's introduction (as president) to the League of Conservative Voters, 1991.

Who is Babbitt identifying as enemies?  I have always heard that actions speak louder than words.  From Mr. Babbitt's actions it would appear farmers, ranchers, miners, loggers, hunters and everyone else that uses or enjoys our public lands are the enemies---therefore We the People are his enemies.

"The Endangered Species Act is an extraordinary piece of legislation because it allows the Federal Government to preserve, maintain and foster the recovery of endangered species wherever they occur, without regard to geography, location or land ownership...Let me just add that the Endangered Species Act is a good law, but we've done less than a stellar job of enforcing it."
---Babbitt testimony on the National Biological Survey, July 15, 1993.

I said that we are not alone.  According to the American Land Rights Association's Executive Director , there are over 200 organizations comprising some 200,000 ranchers, miners, lumbermen, sportsmen of all types, and many other users of public lands taking part in the effort to HAVE BABBITT FIRED.  YES!  These are all taxpayers and voters.  I would like to repeat that just in case some of elected representatives are reading this article...these are all taxpayers and voters!

There is no question that we must, as a nation, preserve our national resources and pay close attention to environmental concerns, but under no circumstances can we allow special interest groups, or individuals, more interested in their own agenda, to take control of not only the public lands, but private lands as well, for their own purposes, well intentioned or not.

Private land ownership is the backbone of these United States and multi-use of the public lands has been one of the most successful programs ever instituted in our nation.

Clearly there are those now who would destroy both.

WHAT IF...We the people are tired of some civil servants thinking federal employment is another word for "free lunch counter" or "happy hour?"

WHAT IF...The taxpayers and voters are fed up with the high handed tactics of people like Babbitt?

WHAT IF...The taxpayers expect a higher standard of conduct from their representatives?

WHAT IF...You are tired of grave robbers, sexual harassment, mismanagement, computer porn and these Bonzai Buckaroos charging around in their vehicles, who get their kicks out of "watching them scatter," at the taxpayers' expense?

Oh last week's article I made mention of an aircraft used by a BLM State Director and the fact that he took his wife on several of his 'official' trips while bumping BLM district directors and others from the flights.

It has now been confirmed that the aircraft was not a government plane.  It was leased!

One knowledgeable BLM employee said that he and others computed the cost of each passenger on that leased aircraft at $500 per person per trip and that they also computed round trip airfare on commercial airlines for the same trips at $125 per person round trip.  But what the hell, it's only your tax money, huh?

I wish I could say that it's simple and this is all you have to do!....Nope can't do that.  It isn't simple and you will have to keep on top of it.  Demand action from your elected representatives.  This is no time for argument over Democrat and Republican...this is our country that needs help.  Vote for the person that promises AND gets results, regardless of party.  The voters of America in the last election voted...FOR CHANGE!  Now, is the time to take charge and tell your representatives exactly what you want to change.

Next week "Wasted BLM Tax Dollars In New Mexico.

Eugene Tafoya had evolved from a Soldier fighting wars on foreign lands into a Soldier fighting wars on his own home soil.   He had come full circle while remaining the honorable man he had always been.
Copyright 2000 by
Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
  Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon.                          

© 2000 Virginia McCullough. All Rights Reserved. Use only with written  permission.              

Click to see Purple Heart dedication.

During the early part of January 1994 I had many long telephone conversations with Eugene Tafoya.  The subjects we discussed ranged from his intense dislike for the Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, to our mutual love for white wine and blue cheese.  Later in the year, when Gene would be in and out of the hospital, I would leave messages for him identifying myself as "the blue cheese lady".  Somehow that little joke between us always seemed to lift his spirits even as his illness took its toll.

The last article about the Bureau of Land Management that Gene sent to me was the Fourth in the Series, but it does not indicate that it was the final article in that series.  In fact, the piece concludes with the teaser "NEXT WEEK...Where did the $1.2 million dollars go?"  The Courier, like many small newspapers, paid its price for independence and ceased publication.  I have been unable to locate any archive for this journal but I will continue to try to determine if Tafoya's series continued.  The fourth part of the series appeared on January 20, 1994.

Last week many alleged abuses by supervisory bureaucrats employed by the Bureau of Land Management were cited.  This included blatant sexual harassment of a female employee (one of many) and the alleged rape of another employee, who was handicapped.  In neither case, or in any of the other situations cited, was anything done, and the question that enters my mind is...Why isn't anything done?

Sometimes the answer to the most complex of questions is right out there in the open, in places we might least expect them.

Today I was reading a story that read in part, "They through us off our land, they lie to us, they discriminate against us, they kill us, they exploit us in every way."  Do these words sound familiar?  They sound like they might be words from people here in the United States.  Yet they are the words of the Indians fighting desperately to correct injustice in the south of Mexico.  These are honest people whose rights were eroded away a little at a time and finally said... enough is enough.  The only question now is how many innocent lives will be taken before justice is done?

I have found after two wars (Korea and Vietnam) and several tragedies that: it is usually the innocent that suffer most.  The Indians in Mexico are not fighting for that condo in Florida, a vacation to Europe, big cars, $500 dollar suits, chartered and leased airplanes, or any of the other luxury items held in such high esteem by the casiques of the world [meaning the wealthiest people who exert great socio-economic and political control].  They are fighting for schools for their children, hospitals for their sick, food for their families, and they are doing it with rocks and machetes.  If this sounds like I am sympathetic with the Indians...YES...I AM!

What is the connection you might ask?  Well, we have our own brand of casiques, well paid bureaucrats in our federal government.  Here is but one example:

A now retired BLM executive (he was the New Mexico BLM Director, a federal position) is the BLM executive who leased a private aircraft (with permission, of course) at the taxpayers expense.  This is the person that certain BLM employees claim would bump other BLM officials off of flights so that his wife could accompany him.

According to sources, the New Mexico State Director had a shortfall in his budget one year and could not afford to fly his leased twin engine aircraft.  So allegedly he engineered the closure of a BLM mustang horse facility outside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which had cost the taxpayers $200,00 to build, and transferred that money to his operational account in New Mexico, so he could continue to fly his leased aircraft.

The taxpayers got it again!  There are those in the know in the BLM in New Mexico, that call the aircraft, and the affair, "Larry Air".  A pun, of course.  After all you have other airlines, why not "Larry Air?"

BLM employees claim that over $200,000 from the horse program that was shut down was moved to Santa Fe to pay for lease payments, service, pilot time, etc., on that aircraft.

Please understand that this was all perfectly legal and proper, but please explain to me why a leased, very-expensive aircraft, could possibly have been justified in the first place.  And were his wife's trips, if indeed she did go with him, reimbursed to the government?

Now, I am told, that the Oklahoma City facility is going to be reopened again.  Guess who is going to pick up the tab?  Right, you the taxpayer.  This is not all of the waste by any means.

I am told that a BLM office located in Silver Springs, Maryland, directs the Mustang Horse and Burro Adoption Program East of the Mississippi and that office charges more for adoptions (upwards to $500 per head) than does the BLM counterpart West of the Mississippi, which only charges $125 dollars for adoption of a mustang.

The mustangs are gathered from public lands throughout the Western United States under federal mandate and are to be auctioned to the public or put out to pasture on approved sanctuaries.

And what if there is money left over in their operational budget or from mustang sales?

At the end of the year the money is all accounted for...Right?   Wrong...At the end of the year any money left over is NOT USED to pay off the national debt.  It goes for the entertainment of our casiques of the East.

They have a name for it.  According to sources, it is called "Leaving The Money On The Table".   If there is any money left on the table (taxpayers' money),  then selected bureaucrats go to Kissimmee, Florida, a posh resort area, where they rent the top portion of the Holiday Inn and have a party.  At the taxpayers expense, of course.  This includes car rentals, and according to sources, not the small cars, they get the "BIG CARS" and such other luxuries as may strike their fancy (at taxpayers expense).  Their party lasts for a week at a time.  It is scheduled like a spring break so our overworked bureaucrats can get away from it all for awhile, according to sources.

I am sure the event is outwardly justified as some very important top-level meeting of some sort or other.

And according to sources who have reported this waste...The policy is to not leave any money on the books!  When this suspected waste was brought to the attention of upper echelon executives in the BLM and Interior Department, they were told to stay out of it.  It is considered free they (the bureaucrats) are compelled to spend.  This sounds to me like waste...on top of waste!  The fancy words are Fiscal Management...but I call it legalized theft.

Here in New Mexico, the Mustang Training Program, a joint venture between the BLM and the New Mexico Department of Corrections between 1988 and 1992, was an overwhelming success as it related to rehabilitation of inmates and the training and welfare of the mustangs. But when a BLM supervisor in charge of the project repeatedly asked his supervisor to help him account for over one million dollars in payments the BLM had made to the state, which apparently could not be satisfactorily accounted for by the state, he was told to shut up, forget it, and not mention it again.

This all brings up a very important question.  Why isn't something done to deal with these excesses?  What is the General Accounting Office doing?  A thief is a thief is a thief!  I don't care who the bureaucrat may be, anyone that misappropriates, or otherwise misuses public money under any guise, is stealing from us.  His or her buddy-buddy co-bureaucrats may have approved the spending but whose money are they spending?  I call it theft!  If a bureaucrat siphons money for his own personal use in any manner...that is theft!  Rape by a bureaucrat is still rape!  Sexual harassment by public servants is still sexual harassment.  None of these matters should exist, and when it involves public servants regardless of position, it should be dealt with promptly and efficiently.

In every government building, in various places, one can see a hardboard poster entitled "Code of Ethics for Government Service".

The first of the ten items, which references PL 96-013, says, "Put loyalty to the Highest Moral Principles and to Country above loyalty to persons, party or government department."

Another says, "Expose corruption where ever discovered."

Maybe the cartoon character Andy Capp has the answer to the lack of prompt action and the government excess of governmental agencies.  Andy Capp said, "I'm all for equality but not in a man's own home."  Maybe their rationale is to jump on a taxpayer if they break the law...but don't mess with the good ole boys?  After all they are part of our federal bureaucracy.  They're good ole boys!

The Archeological Resources Act, with amendments, has been on the books a goodly while.  There are already numerous instances where private citizens have been arrested, jailed, fined, and had property confiscated by federal officers, including BLM law enforcement personnel, relating to violation of that Act.

Why then, have there been no arrests of BLM employees or volunteers for violating the very same Act?

Digging up, and taking buttons, coins and other items from the remains of U.S. Cavalry troopers who died during the Indian Wars has certainly got to be as blatant a violation of that Act as there is possible.

And when an Arizona BLM supervisor is caught red handed with Amerindian funerary artifacts, and also associated with a retail store that in part, deals in such artifacts, nothing is done, even after the in-house investigation, there is something seriously flawed in the system.

And here is a dandy... A BLM departmental psychologist found that a particular BLM Ranger applicant was too unstable to be trusted with firearms around other people.

The psychologist was overruled by bureaucratic means wherein a top echelon BLM supervisor, who was a friend of the applicant, interceded on behalf of the applicant.

Reportedly, the psychologist challenged the action as a violation of professional ethics, and consequently, according to him, was terminated after fifteen years service.

That BLM Ranger is now a full-time BLM law enforcement officer packing three weapons in his government issued 4X4.

And I have been asked by many citizens why there seem to be so many BLM Rangers running around in their 4X4's these days.

Certainly, there seems to be very little for them to do, except burn gasoline.  But I am told there is another answer.  And if that answer is correct, then the intent of Congress has been contravened and so has the public welfare.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a tough job to do.  Although that agency has made it share of mistakes, their overall duties, in combating illegal drugs is a nasty one at best.

I can speak with some knowledge of the subject because of working with the DEA and CIA while assigned to the Special Operations Section of my Special Forces Unit in Southeast Asia, Central and South America.

I am told that the DEA was, at some point not too long ago, short of funds for field agents and the BLM did have extra funds (from where I do not know) so the BLM hired additional Rangers but the duties of those Rangers were primarily drug interdiction under the auspices of the DEA.

I suggest that the DEA is far more capable of handling drug interdiction and that agency should be funded to the level they require so that they can have the necessary personnel to do the job and those extra Rangers be hired by the DEA or else their jobs be eliminated.  They certainly are not needed by the BLM by any stretch of the imagination.

But what the hell, it's just money...your tax money.  Obviously there are those in the federal bureaucracy, especially in the BLM, who could care less.

And one interesting side note to this series.  This newspaper and myself personally, have now been contacted by other federal employees, not just people associated with the BLM, who ask what they can do to help clean house.  My response was fairly simple, do what any good American Citizen would do, go through the system.  If that doesn't work promptly, then go to your elected officials; if they are not responsible, just let us know.  Then we can tell their story as well.
In December of 1994 I received a Christmas card from Eugene Tafoya that read, in part:


Received the McCullough news letter and thank you for remembering me.  I haven't been writing much lately because of surgery and now, I have cancer.  Another Agent Orange victim.  Have been undergoing chemotherapy and will be undergoing radiation therapy soon. 

Sometimes it is all I can do just to keep going to school and finish.  I should graduate this coming May.  Well, guess I'll stick around, if for nothing see what else can happen (smile).

There is some stuff in the works and when it happens I will make sure you are among the first to know. 

Best of everything to you and the family.............Gene

White wine and blue cheese!   YES!

Copyright 2000 by
Virginia McCullough