C.I.A. & DRUGS
SUGGESTED READING: To understand how the CIA has for decades infiltrated various agencies of the United States Government, stolen property and subverted the will of Congress there is one book which is on my „must read“ list. That book is The Secret Team – The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World by L. Fletcher Prouty (1973, 1992 & 1997). The book is extremely hard to find but worth every ounce of effort. You can download a copy at www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST.
Rep. McKinney of Georgia Blasts „Drug War“ Lawsuit in Open Letter to Rob’t Strauss.
The Crimes of Mena
HOSTAGES, Part II
Citibank and Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson by Mara Leveritt
New Buzz on Peru Shootdown
The Bush Cheney Drug Empire
As described by the Associated Press, during „Iran-Contra“ Congressman Dick Cheney of the House Intelligence Committee was a rabid supporter of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. This was in spite of the fact that North had lied to Cheney in a private 1986 White House briefing. Oliver North’s own diaries and subsequent investigations by the CIA Inspector General have irrevocably tied him directly to cocaine smuggling during the 1980s and the opening of bank accounts for one firm moving four tons of cocaine a month. This, however, did not stop Cheney from actively supporting North’s 1994 unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate from Virginia just a year before he took over the reins at Brown and Root’s parent company, Dallas based Halliburton Inc. in 1995..
As the Bush Secretary of Defense during Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-91), Cheney also directed special operations involving Kurdish rebels in northern Iran. The Kurds‘ primary source of income for more than fifty years has been heroin smuggling from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Having had some personal experience with Brown and Root (partner: firm ecolog family Lazim Destani / Tetove / Macedonia ) I noted carefully when the Los Angeles Times observed that on March 22, 1991 that a group of gunmen burst into the Ankara, Turkey offices of the joint venture, Vinnell, Brown and Root and assassinated retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Gandy. In March of 1991, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees, long-time assets of the CIA, were being massacred by Saddam Hussein in the wake of the Gulf War. Saddam, seeking to destroy any hopes of a successful Kurdish revolt, found it easy to kill thousands of the unwanted Kurds who had fled to the Turkish border seeking sanctuary. There, Turkish security forces, trained in part by the Vinnell, Brown and Root partnership, turned thousands of Kurds back into certain death. Today, the Vinnell Corporation (a TRW Company) is, along with the firms MPRI and DynCorp (FTW June, 00) one of the three pre-eminent private mercenary corporations in the world. It is also the dominant entity for the training of security forces throughout the Middle East. Not surprisingly the Turkish border regions in question were the primary transhipment points for heroin, grown in Afghanistan and Pakistan and destined for the markets of Europe. A confidential source with intelligence experience in the region subsequently told me that the Kurds „got some payback against the folks that used to help them move their drugs.“ He openly acknowledged that Brown and Root and Vinnell both routinely provided NOC or non-official cover for CIA officers. But I already knew that. From 1994 to 1999, during US military intervention in the Balkans where, according to „The Christian Science Monitor“ and „Jane’s Intelligence Review,“ the Kosovo Liberation Army controls 70 per cent of the heroin entering Western Europe, Cheney’s Brown and Root made billions of dollars supplying U.S. troops from vast facilities in the region. Brown and Root support operations continue in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia to this day. After describing how organized criminal interests in the Alfa Group had allegedly stolen the oil field by fraud, the CPI story, using official reports from the FSB (the Russian equivalent of the FBI), oil companies such as BP-Amoco, former CIA and KGB officers and press accounts then established a solid link to Alfa Tyumen and the transportation of heroin.
In 1995 sacks of heroin disguised as sugar were stolen from a rail container leased by Alfa Echo and sold in the Siberian town of Khabarovsk. A problem arose when many residents of the town became „intoxicated“ or „poisoned.“ The CPI story also stated, „The FSB report said that within days of the incident, Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) agents conducted raids of Alfa Eko buildings and found ‚drugs and other compromising documentation.‘
„Both reports claim that Alfa Bank has laundered drug funds from Russian and Colombian drug cartels.
„The FSB document claims that at the end of 1993, a top Alfa official met with Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, the now imprisoned financial mastermind of Colombia’s notorious Cali cartel, ‚to conclude an agreement about the transfer of money into the Alfa Bank from offshore zones such as the Bahamas, Gibraltar and others. The plan was to insert it back into the Russian economy through the purchase of stock in Russian companies.
„É He [the former KGB agent] reported that there was evidence ‚regarding [Alfa Bank’s] involvement with the money laundering ofÉ Latin American drug cartels.“
It then becomes harder for Cheney and Halliburton to assert mere coincidence in all of this as CPI reported that Tyumen’s lead Washington attorney James C, Langdon, Jr. at the firm of Aikin Gump „helped coordinate a $2.2 million fund raiser for Bush this June. He then agreed to help recruit 100 lawyers and lobbyists in the capital to raise $25,000 each for W’s campaign.“
The heroin mentioned in the CPI story, originated in Laos where longtime Bush allies and covert warriors Richard Armitage and retired CIA ADDO (Associate Deputy Director of Operations) Ted Shackley have been repeatedly linked to the drug trade. It then made its way across Southeast Asia to Vietnam, probably the port of Haiphong. Then the heroin sailed to Russia’s Pacific port of Valdivostok from whence it subsequently bounced across Siberia by rail and thence by truck or rail to Europe, passing through the hands of Russian Mafia leaders in Chechnya and Azerbaijan. Chechnya and Azerbaijan are hotbeds of both armed conflict and oil exploration and Brown and Root has operations all along this route.
This long, expensive and tortured path was hastily established, as described by FTW in previous issues, after President George Bush’s personal envoy Richard Armitage, holding the rank of Ambassador, had traveled to the former Soviet Union to assist it with its „economic development“ in 1989. The obstacle then to a more direct, profitable and efficient route from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Turkey into Europe was a cohesive Yugoslavian/Serbian government controlling the Balkans and continuing instability in the Golden Crescent of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Also, there was no other way, using heroin from the Golden Triangle (Burma, Laos and Thailand), to deal with China and India but to go around them.
It is perhaps not by coincidence again that Cheney and Armitage share membership in the prestigious Aspen Institute, an exclusive bi-partisan research think tank, and also in the U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Just last November, in what may be a portent of things to come, Armitage, played the role of Secretary of Defense in an practical exercise at the Council on Foreign Relations where he and Cheney are also both members. Speculation that the scandal plagued Armitage, who resigned under a cloud as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, is W’s first choice for Secretary of Defense next year is widespread.
The Clinton Administration took care of all that wasted travel for heroin with the 1998 destruction of Serbia and Kosovo and the installation of the KLA as a regional power. That opened a direct line from Afghanistan to Western Europe and Brown and Root was right in the middle of that too. The Clinton skill at streamlining drug operations was described in detail in the May issue of FTW in a story entitled „The Democratic Party’s Presidential Drug Money Pipeline.“ That article has since been reprinted in three countries. The essence of the drug economic lesson was that by growing opium in Colombia and by smuggling both cocaine and heroin from Colombia to New York City through the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (a virtual straight line), traditional smuggling routes could be shortened or even eliminated. This reduced both risk and cost, increased profits and eliminated competition.
FTW suspects the hand of Medellin co-founder Carlos Lehder in this process and it is interesting to note that Lehder, released from prison under Clinton in 1995, is now active in both the Bahamas and South America. Lehder was known during the eighties as „The genius of transportation.“ I can well imagine a Dick Cheney, having witnessed the complete restructuring of the global drug trade in the last eight years, going to George W and saying, „Look, I know how we can make it even better.“ One thing is for certain. As quoted in the CPI article, one Halliburton Vice President noted that if the Bush-Cheney ticket was elected, „the company’s government contracts would obviously go through the roof.“
THE DARK PAST
The Clinton Administration took care of all that wasted travel for heroin with the 1998 destruction of Serbia and Kosovo and the installation of the KLA as a regional power.
That opened a direct line from Afghanistan to Western Europe and Brown and Root was right in the middle of that too. The Clinton skill at streamlining drug operations was described in detail in the May issue of FTW in a story entitled „The Democratic Party’s Presidential Drug Money Pipeline.“ (US Senator Eliot Engel – the US Brooklyn Mafia). That article has since been reprinted in three countries. The essence of the drug economic lesson was that by growing opium in Colombia and by smuggling both cocaine and heroin from Colombia to New York City through the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (a virtual straight line), traditional smuggling routes could be shortened or even eliminated. This reduced both risk and cost, increased profits and eliminated competition.
– The Center for Public Integrity, „Cheney Led Halliburton to Feast at Federal Trough“, Knut Royce & Nathaniel Heller,
-„Le Monde – Diplomatique“, April 2000.
– The U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
-The Aspen Institute, www.aspeninst.org
Appeals Court Backs Claim of CIA/Contra Drugs
Peter Dale Scott’s plea to Congr. Pelosi
Excerpts from Scott’s Essay on CIA & Drugs
Vol. II Closed by House, 4/00
Ed Wilson’s Revenge
Casey Letter Admits CIA Drugs
„W“ Bush in Barry Seal’s Plane
CIA Vol. II – IG Confession
Extract of Vol. II Report
DEA Agent Cele Castillo
Senate Intel. Written Testimony
CIA, Drugs, and Wall Street
The Herald Examiner Story
The Fuller Letter
N.Y. Times Admission
VOL 1 Hearings Backfire!
Iran-Contra Witness List
Iran-Contra Era – CIA & Drugs Factsheet
House Intelligence Jammed on Volume II Close-Out
COULD DOWNING OF MISSIONARY PLANE IN PERU HAVE BEEN A PLAN COLOMBIA PUBLICITY STUNT GONE BAD? — Plenty Wrong With The Story We’ve Been Told
FBI: Senator Eliot Engel and the Albanian Mafia and the Sahit Muja Mafia
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TIRANA 000892
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE JISMAIL, TREASURY FOR VIMAL ATUKORALA
SOFIA FOR P.ROBERTS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2018
TAGS: EFIN ECON KCRM PREL AL
SUBJECT: ALBANIA’S INSURANCE PRIVATIZATION: DIRTY MONEY?
Classified By: A/DCM Paul Poletes, reasons 1.4 (b), (d)
¶1. (C) Dallas-based American Reserve Life Insurance Company
(ARL) on December 9 was awarded the tender for the GOA’s 61
percent of Albanian insurance company INSIG for 25 million
euro. The remaining 39 percent is owned by EBRD and IFC.
The Ministry of Finance organized the tender, which to many
observers seemed less transparent than most. The MOF refused
to release the names of interested companies prior to the bid
opening, as has been the practice with past tenders. When
the MOF awarded the tender to ARL, open-source inquiries
revealed that ARL and several U.S. interlocking insurance
companies are owned by Texas businessman Gene Phillips and
run by members of his family. Phillips has been implicated
in numerous fraud and bribery schemes and was arrested by the FBI on racketeering charges in 2001, but later acquitted. According to Post sources, Phillips and business associate Ron Finley have links to Bulgarian crime organization Multigroup. Finley recently bought controlling interest in
Albania’s digital TV company DigitAlb and both Finley and Phillips are behind CableTel, a large cable TV company operating in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Kosovo. End Summary.
Note: Please see Post’s classified Intellipedia site for
background information and open-source URLs:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Albanian Insurance Company
INSIG Sold To American Reserve Life Insurance
Albania’s Last Privatization
¶2. (U) On December 9, Albania marked the end of an era. The
GOA sold its last state-owned company, insurance provider
INSIG, to Dallas-based American Reserve Life Insurance
Company (ARL) for 25 million euro. INSIG was established in
1991 as a state-owned monopoly, but lost much of its business
when the GOA opened the insurance sector to private companies
in 1999. INSIG has life and non-life operations in Albania,
Kosovo, and Macedonia. 2007 profits were 1.8 million euro on
revenues of 17 million euro. Reported assets totaled 50
¶3. (C) While there have been many rumors of Albania’s organized crime (OC) gangs laundering money by investing it in construction and other infrastructure projects, it is reasonable to assume that OC gangs from other countries could also find Albanian investments lucrative, particularly given allegations of pervasive corruption of government officials.
¶4. (C) The INSIG tender process seemed less transparent than most. The MOF refused to answer our questions concerning
which companies had expressed an interest in bidding and
simply announced the winning bidder. Apparently, 12
companies expressed interest initially while only three – a
Slovenian company, a German company and ARL – submitted bids.
On the surface, everything seemed reasonable and ARL’s bid
was considered fair by industry experts. However, a check on
ARL using public sources turned up some disturbing facts.
ARL is part of a network of insurance companies owned by
Dallas businessman Gene Phillips. Phillips has had many
encounters with law enforcement agencies, including an arrest
in 2001 by the FBI on racketeering charges, although he was
acquitted two years later. He was also linked to Texas
insurance commissioner Carroll Fisher, now serving time in
jail for taking bribes. Fisher allegedly received money and
property from Phillips.
¶5. (C) One of Phillips‘ business associates was Ron Finley, who, with brother Jeffery owned Finley Equities. According to Philip Bay, president of AmCham of Albania and regional director of U.S. real estate firm Colliers, the Finleys were associated with Bulgarian OC gang Multigroup, with which Bay
had some encounters when he was working in Sofia. The
Finleys own CableTel, a large cable operator in Bulgaria,
Macedonia, and Kosovo, in which Phillips, through his maze of
companies, is also a shareholder. In October 2008, CableTel
bought Albanian digital TV company DigitAlb.
EBRD Is Concerned
TIRANA 00000892 002 OF 002
¶6. (C) EBRD and IFC bought 39 percent of INSIG in 2004,
intending to sell their shares to the new owner or exercise
their put options to sell the shares back to the GOA. EBRD Country Director Dan Berg told Econoff that he wanted to do additional investigation into ARL’s background, but EBRD headquarters apparently thought that was not necessary. Berg
has asked his headquarters to look into ARL and will decide
what to do based on that information. Berg said EBRD has the
right to disqualify ARL if enough negative information is
¶7. (C) How much OC money has fueled Albania’s economic growth is impossible to estimate, but what we suspect about ARL could well be just the tip of the iceberg. Albania’s vast and largely unexploited tourist potential will likely attract not just tourists, but also money launderers and other shady businesspeople, underlining yet again the need for continued U.S. and EU assistance to Albania’s fledgling oversight bodies.