Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cheney, Addington, and drug trafficking to finance political campaigns Maybe?‏

Dick McManus

Commentary by me:

Remember that the real cover up of Watergate and Nixon was the fact that Republicans were laundering money through a Mexican bank and was used to pay for the Watergate burglar's lawyers - if I recall correctly - after they were arrested. That is how the checks were fallowed by the press back to the White House from the Committee to re-elect Nixon.


WAYNE MADSEN writes that a key member of that strategy was Cheney’s Chief of Staff, David Addington, who was with the CIA, the Iran-Contra Committee in Congress, and then signed on as senior Vice President for the American Trucking Associations (ATA). WAYNE MADSEN reported on the involvement of a foundation set up by McLean Trucking Co., a member of the ATA, with covertContra support.

The ATA is a hotbed of GOP activity as well past connections with support for covert CIA activities. ATA’s chief lobbyist is Jim (“Whit”) Whittinghill, a former aide to Sen. Bob Dole. Whittinghill’s wife, Nancy Dorn, served as an assistant to Texas Representative Tom and later served as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Nancy Dorn worked for Defense Secretary Dick Cheney as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Inter-American Affairs (where all the Latin American CIA drug trafficking was happening) . While working for Cheney, Dorn became a close associate of Addington. In 2002, Dorn became special assistant for legislative affairs to Vice President Cheney.

In 1989, state Representative Ron Cobb was snared by the FBI in a cocaine bust. Cobb, a Democrat, was charged with trying to buy a kilo of cocaine for $20,000 from an undercover FBI agent, Cobb was set up as the head of a phony Atlanta-based lobbying company -- Alpha Group –set-up by the FBI and Cobb was tasked to bribe South Carolina legislators into pushing a bill to legalize horse and dog track betting in South Carolina. Rep. Robert Kohn of Charleston was brought in by Cobb to entrap white legislators while Rep. Luther Taylor was drafted to bring African American legislators. In all, 17 legislators pleaded guilty or were convicted of drug and racketeering charges. Kohn received a lighter sentence for testifying against his colleagues.

Kohn’s activities in trying to bribe a judge in South Carolina in order to get a Florence, South Carolina truck stop owner and major Republican contributor on the hook for a cocaine bust, were never adequately pursued by the FBI, mainly because of links between the South Carolina cocaine smuggling operations, trucking companies, and Ku Klux Klan and southern white supremacist organizations that were assisting in the distribution of cocaine in support of Contra money-making scheme.

Kohn’s association with Richard T. Hines, himself a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, was known to the FBI. But Hines, as a top GOP figure, was “off limits” as far as the FBI was concerned. The FBI told Hurley that “political influence” in the judge bribery case made it impossible for them to continue with an investigation, which was said to have involved cocaine. Hines was a Carolina GOP operative..

Hines was certainly no stranger to the trucking business, having held a position under the Reagan administration with the now-defunct Interstate Commerce Commission, which regulated the trucking industry, and the Department of Transportation. Trucking firms associated with the American Trucking Association were part and parcel with the national cocaine distribution network in the United States, according to sources familiar with the covert operation. The Alabama Trucking Association is a member of the American Trucking Associations, where Cheney’s Chief of Staff Addington used to hang his hat (I guess employed).

The Contra smuggling operation also saw money from illegal drug sales and offshore bank account caches making their way into the campaign coffers of a number of U.S. political candidates, mostly Republicans but also including a few Democrats, Assistant 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney (Fixer) Alton Paulk and Former 14th Judicial Circuit Florida State James Appleman. Appleman and his associates provided cover to George Bush Sr,’s Contra Cocaine smuggling and money laundering in Florida Panhandle. Appleman and other Law officers from the 14th Judicial Circuit were also implicated in wide-scale extortion and bribery in hundreds of criminal cases

Illicict campaign contributions were particularly targeted at Florida officials in the state’s important Panhandle, a haven and nexus for drug and weapons smuggling involving the CIA and Latin America during Contra. According to Florida sources, Jim Appleman, the Florida State Attorney for the 14th Judicial District of Florida who was based in Panama City, Florida, gave protection to the Contra smuggling operations in northern Florida.

Appleman’s 2000 campaign treasurer, Gerald R. Stanton, was President of Mutual Development Corporation, a Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation entity that only existed on paper and eventually siphoned off the S&L proceeds confiscated by the U.S. government. Much of that money ended up in Bush family coffers.

Two of the Bush sons, Neil (Silverado S&L) and Jeb (Broward Federal S&L) were intimately tied into the S&L collapse.

George W. Bush, through his financial stake in Harken Energy, benefited from money provided by the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a major avenue for Contra weapons and drug money laundering activities. Marvin Bush served as Finance Chairman of the Virginia Republican Party until 1991, after the collapse of the S&Ls. While Marvin’s role in the S&L collapse and the Contra drug and weapons smuggling scheme at first appears sketchy, a detailed analysis of contributions to the GOP while Marvin served as the Virginia Republican Party’s finance chair shows definite links between the youngest Bush brother and the CIA-led network.

Farhad Azima, an Iranian expatriate who was close to the Shah’s family, owned Global International, which was involved in transporting arms for the CIA along with an associated air company, Race Aviation. Azima was a major contributor to the GOP, including Virginia Senate and House candidates, when Marvin was in charge of finances for the Virginia Republicans. The contributions came from Aviation Leasing and LCA Partners, two of

Azima’s companies. Global’s planes were maintained by Southern Air Transport, a CIA proprietary that flew weapons to the Contras and drugs back from Latin America.

Azima was also involved with Mario Renda in Indian Springs Bank of Kansas City. Renda, who was convicted of bilking $16 million from the S&Ls and tax fraud, was a Long Island mob figure who brokered drug money laundering for the CIA and the National Security Council. Renda was associated with four collapsed Virginia Savings & Loans: Heritage S&L, Investors S&L, Virginia Beach Federal S&L, and First S&L. Indian Springs collapsed in 1984, a year after its president died in a suspicious car.

The ground segment of the weapons and drug smuggling operation involved trucking firms, some of which were tied to white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. The money amassed by the Bushes from these operations also found their way into secret bank accounts abroad and blind trusts in the United States.

According to’s John Caylor, the CIA used its proprietary airline companies in Florida to ship in drugs and to distribute them nationally. According to Caylor, former Lt. Col. Thomas Bledsoe supplied transportation and possible storage of the goods [cocaine and weapons]. Bledsoe also flew truck parts nationwide to truckers with his feet of pilots and fixed wing aircraft. Bledsoe was a former owner of Kenworth of Dothan, Alabama, past President of Alabama Truckers Association , and director of CIA front company, Tepper Aviation, which was associated with Crestview Aerospace Corporation.

WAYNE MADSEN say he has seen U.S. Customs Intelligence reports that say the Tepper planes would land late at night with several armed masked men in black guarding the aircraft with sub-machine guns while supervising the on-loading of tractor trailer rigs and local law enforcement were told to stay the hell away.

Bledsoe became irritated after Customs opened the cover-up investigation and moved his yacht from BayPoint, Florida to Fort Lauderdale. Panama City Beach Police Chief Lee Sullivan was reportedly on his payroll.

According to those same reports, Tepper employed 17 pilots in 1992, and was caught with stolen military tanks on board an aircraft and a gun-battle almost ensued between U.S. Customs and Tepper black ops people. Tepper was part of the Contra network. Caylor, who has extensive sources inside the FBI, Customs, and DEA, reported that Tepper/Crestview maintained drug and weapons smuggling operations right alongside the DEA at the San Antonio, Texas airport.

Drugs moved into the United States and throughout distribution channels controlled by the Mafia, the Latin American cartels, and the Chinese. Few have heard about “China-Contra.” The Reagan and Bush I administrations received a significant amount of arms for the Contras from the Chinese, who were paid back in cocaine. During the height of the Contra operation, the FBI conducted a huge cocaine bust in Belize. The arrests led to a route in which the Chinese were distributing their cocaine through drug routes that went by air from Belize to Mena, Arkansas and then to Chinese crime syndicates throughout the United States and Canada.

The drug smuggling business was a financial windfall for the Bush family. With slush funds in BCCI and the S&Ls, the Bush family could move large amounts of money to their friends in the Republican Party and fatten

the campaign coffers for candidates and office holders who would be permanently beholden to the Bushes.

Newly Elected 14th Judicial Circuit (Democrat) State Attorney Steve Meadows Campaign Funds Came From Bush Republican Party Slush Fund. Meadows campaign was Primarily directed by

Dixie Mafia Figure Charles L. Hilton...

But the mother lode for Bush money remained in offshore secret bank accounts. Adler B. “Barry” Seal was a former TWA pilot who had flown marijuana and cocaine into the United States since the 1970s. When he was arrested in 1983, Seal had already flown 100 flights into the United States each carrying between 600 and 1200 pounds of cocaine, equating to a street value of between $3 and $5 billion. However, Seal became a witness and informant for the government and proved invaluable for grand juries investigating how drug smuggling worked in the United States. But that testimony came too close to certain top leaders who had been involved in the Contra and China-Contra scandals.

On February 19, 1986, at the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, Seal was murdered gangland style in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at a halfway house where he was assigned. Those who relied on Seal’s testimony and cooperation in the drug war, including Louisiana Attorney General William Guste, Jr., were

aghast that such an important witness and informant had no protection from the government.

According to those close to the Seal family, after Seal was gunned down, several Swiss bank account numbers were discovered on papers found in the trunk of Seal’s car. They were all in the name of George H. W. Bush.

The numbers were confiscated by Federal agents.

After the collapse of BCCI and the S&Ls, the Bush family required a new slush fund. It would not be a bank but something with which the Bushes were very familiar -- an energy company specializing in oil and natural gas.

Enron, headed up by Bush friend and contributor Ken Lay would fill the vacuum left by BCCI and the S&Ls. Enron, operating with dubious funds from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other sources, would become the launching pad for George W. Bush’s run for the governorship of Texas and the presidency of

the United States.

Enron’s corporate jet was used by Bush in the 2000 campaign. Ken Lay, and George H. W. and W. Bush were close friends. But after Enron served its purpose, it, too, was allowed to collapse. Just as with BCCI and the S&Ls, Enron’s employees and shareholders took a bath, while its corporate dons cashed out before the financial doomsday arrived. However, another Bush “phoenix” would arise from the ashes of Enron. Northern Trust, a Chicago-based multinational financial firm, would assume control of Enron’s pension plans, employee savings accounts, 401Ks, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) funds.

After Enron’s bankruptcy in 2002, Northern Trust and Enron’s principals (including Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Andy Fastow, Lou Pai, and Cliff Baxter (who supposedly committed suicide before his appearance before a grand

jury as a star witness for the government) were sued in the Houston U.S. District Court by ex-Enron employees.

Just before Lay and Skilling were convicted in the Enron case for fraud, Northern Trust submitted Form 10Q to the Securities and Exchange Commission stating the outcome of the suit against Northern Trust: One subsidiary of the Corporation [Northern Trust] was named as a defendant in several Enron-related class action suits that were consolidated under a single complaint in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston).

Individual participants in the employee pension benefit plans sponsored by Enron Corp issued various corporate entities and individuals, including the Bank in its capacity as the former directed trustee of the Enron Corp. Savings Plan and former service-provider for the Enron Corp. Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The lawsuit made claims, inter alia, for breach of fiduciary duty to the plan participants, and sought equitable relief and monetary damages in an unspecified amount against the defendants. On September 30, 2003, the court denied the Bank’s motion to dismiss the complaint as a matter of law.

In an Amended Consolidated Complaint filed on January 2, 2004, plaintiffs continued to assert claims against the Bank and other defendants under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, seeking a finding that defendants are liable to restore to the benefit plans and the plaintiffs hundreds of millions of dollars of losses allegedly caused by defendants’ alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.

In June 2003, after conducting an extensive investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a civil action against numerous parties charging that they violated their obligations to the Enron plan participants. The DOL did not name any Northern Trust entity or employee as a defendant in its suit.

On March 31, 2006, the Corporation announced that the Bank had reached an agreement with counsel for the plaintiffs in the Enron lawsuit to seek approval of a settlement of that class action at $37.5 million, all of

which will be paid by the Corporation’s insurance carriers. Before the settlement can be finalized, it will have to be approved by the court.

On April 20, 2006, the court gave preliminary approval to the settlement. A hearing at which the court may give final approval of the settlement is scheduled for July 24, 2006. As part of the proposed settlement, the Corporation has agreed to give up any claim it might have against Enron, presently in bankruptcy, arising out of or relating to the Enron employee benefit plans.”

Now, here is where we go full circle back to Bush and Florida.

According to IRS Form 8872 filed by the Americans for Free Speech, a GOP Political Action Committee (PAC) located at 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC, between Aug. 8, 2004 and September 30, 2004 -- right in the middle of the presidential election campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry, affiliated PACs, including Americans for Jobs, Families for Conservative Values [also located at 2020 Pennsylvania Ave.], and Taxpayers for Conservative Government and Floridians for Conservative Values [both located in Tallahassee, Florida] contributed a little less than $1 million to Americans for Free Speech.

The Americans for Free Speech laundered the money to other rightwing political committees [South Florida Community Council in Coral Gables; People for Fairness and Equality and Citizens for Safer Streets in

Tallahassee; and Alliance for Protecting Seniors in Washington, DC] which, in turn, made contributions to various candidates, mostly Republicans but also a few Democrats.

One of these recipients was Steve Meadows, a Democrat, the Bush family’s hand picked successor to Florida State Attorney Jim Appleman in the 14th Judicial District of Florida. Meadows would continue to look out for the interests of the Bushes in the Florida Panhandle as Appleman had for the Contra and S&L frauds. The Americans for Free Speech also listed an interesting recipient of its expenditures: a Northern Trust office in North Palm Beach, Florida received payment for handling the money wires from and to the GOP PACs.

On April 18, 2005, The Chicago Tribune ran a story on George W. Bush’s 2004 Federal Income Tax Return. Bush listed his address as: Post Office Box 803968, Chicago, Illinois, 60680. The post office box is the downtown post office box of -- Northern Trust – the financial group that held Enron’s pension and other financial assets.

It is also the holding company that maintains George W. Bush’s blind trust.

Bush money, Enron money, GOP right-wing PAC money, and God only knows what covert action funds, all handled by the same company. It does sound all so familiar. Enron is dead and so is Ken Lay. Long live the new Bush slush fund – Northern Trust. The question remains. What did Ken Lay know about Northern Trust?

One can assume plenty. For the Bushes, its better that one dead man is now in a position to keep their secrets.

Source: July 11, 2006

Madsen has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and the National Press Club.

Madsen is the author of The Handbook of Personal Data Protection (London: Macmillan, 1992), an acclaimed reference book on international data protection law; Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999); co-author of America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II (Dandelion, 2003);

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