Good piece by Eric Margolis re: the recent
acquittal of ex-CIA operative Edwin P. Wilson who
spent 20 years in prison because as the judge
noted, "Government knowingly used false evidence
against him"; plus two links to Jessica Lynch -
re: who the real hero was, and her biography in
which she debunks myths about her rescue and
describes her Iraqi doctors as caring and gentle.
1. Former CIA Agent Was Hung Out To Dry
By Eric Margolis
Contributing Foreign Editor
The case of former Central Intelligence Agency
officer Edwin P. Wilson recalls the words of the
great American thinker, H.L. Mencken: "Every
decent man is ashamed of the government he lives
The Wilson case has outraged me for 20 years.
In 1982 and 1983, the federal court in northern
Virginia - the same hang-'em-high court the feds
now use to try terrorism cases - along with
courts in New York and Texas, sentenced Wilson to
a total of 52 years in prison for selling arms,
including 22 tons of explosives, to Libya. He was
also convicted on shaky charges of attempted
Wilson, now 75 years old, has served 20 years in
a maximum security prison.
I always believed Wilson innocent and spoke to
him many times in prison.
"I was framed by the government," Wilson told me.
"They want me to disappear. I know too much."
His words shake me to this day.
"They buried him alive in prison," a former CIA
official confided to me.
Last week, Houston Federal District Judge Lynn
Hughes threw out Wilson's two-decades old
conviction. She wrote: "Government knowingly used
false evidence against him," concluding "honesty
comes hard to government."
Wilson, a veteran, tough-as-nails CIA field agent
who specialized in running arms and mounting
coups, was one of the agency's old-time
"cowboys." In 1971, Wilson officially "retired"
from the CIA and went into business on his own.
In reality, the CIA used Wilson for potentially
explosive clandestine deals it wanted to keep
I first heard of Wilson and his partner, Frank
Terpil, while covering the war in Angola between
Soviet and Cuban-backed Marxist forces and Jonas
Savimbi's anti-communist UNITA guerrilla army.
UNITA was secretly armed by South Africa and the
U.S., but Washington did not want to be seen as
an ally of the apartheid regime. So the CIA used
Wilson and Terpil to channel arms to Savimbi,
using CIA front firms and banks in Asia and
In the late 1970s, the CIA sent Wilson and Terpil
to Libya to covertly strengthen the regime of
Moammar Khadafy. Washington planned to use the
fiery Libyan leader as its strongman in North
Africa, just as it was using longtime CIA "asset"
Anwar Sadat in Egypt.
Wilson sold Libya C-4 explosives and arms, and
sent teams of ex-Green Berets to train Libyan
commandos and "terminate" some of Khadafy's many
enemies abroad. But while the CIA was backing
Khadafy, the new Ronald Reagan administration
sought to distance itself from the soft policies
of the Jimmy Carter administration by denouncing
Khadafy as the world's leading terrorist and a
threat to America.
The CIA was ordered to overthrow Khadafy, putting
the agency in a frightfully embarrassing dilemma.
Bureaucratic panic erupted in Langley,Va. The
Libyan operation was ordered immediately shut
down and all records destroyed. As word of secret
U.S. backing of Khadafy leaked out, Wilson and
Terpil were cut adrift and proclaimed outlaws.
They fled to the Mideast. In 1982, Wilson was
lured by American agents to the Dominican
Republic, kidnapped to the USA, and charged with
During numerous trials, Wilson maintained he had
been working for the CIA. But he was not allowed
to cross-examine CIA witnesses for "security
reasons" - shades of today's terrorism trials.
A high-ranking CIA official provided a false
affidavit to U.S. Justice Department prosecutors
that the agency "had no knowledge of Edwin P.
This was a lie, a fact discovered by Wilson's
tenacious lawyer, David Adler, by poring through
300,000 documents obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act. A lie prosecutors were aware of,
found Judge Hughes, who said the jury would have
acquitted Wilson had the government told the
In the early 1980s, an old friend, Ed G., an
Iranian-born American accountant with no
intelligence experience, was convinced by the CIA
it was his "patriotic duty" to go to Iran and
build a new agent network in Tehran to replace
the one rolled up by the Khomeni revolution.
After three years of amateurish spying, Ed's
cover was blown. He fled for his life. On
returning to the U.S., Ed called his CIA
controller and was told, "There is no one here by
that name, and we have no record of you." Another
disaster was simply erased by throwing agents to
the wolves. Penniless, Ed was reduced to begging
money from friends and finally working as a shoe
salesman. Compared to Wilson, he was lucky.
It is terrifying to see government's massive
weight crush an innocent man. Wilson became
America's "Man in the Iron Mask." Judge Hughes
called the case "double-crossing a part-time,
informal government agent." She aptly used the
term "framed" to qualify this disgusting legal
High Justice Department officials involved in
this crime are today serving judges. They, and
the retired CIA official, should be prosecuted.
The Wilson case should remind us of all the
Justice Department's recent and ongoing
"terrorism" prosecutions, where individuals,
mostly foreign-born, poor, and uneducated, have
the book thrown at them and are threatened with
life terms if they do not confess to crimes.
While truth is the first victim of nationalist
hysteria, justice is always the second.
In spite of Judge Hughes' ruling, the U.S.
government refuses to release Wilson and is now
considering an appeal. For shame.
Eric can be reached by e-mail at
2. Pfc Patrick Miller - Jessica Lynch's Hero
(Note - Why do so many US guns jam in times of
heavy combat?? -ed)
NEW YORK -- Hardly a person in America has not
heard of Private Jessica Lynch. But if it weren't
for the heroic efforts of a much less known
soldier, Lynch would have been a statistic --
killed in action -- instead of the subject of
headlines, a movie and a book. Mike Wallace has
the story of this unsung hero...
3. Lynch book debunks rescue myths
NEW YORK., Nov. 11 The authorized biography of
Pfc. Jessica Lynch debunks early myths that U.S.
troops waged a daring rescue to save her, and
describes a team of Iraqi doctors as gentle
caretakers who worked at their own risk to keep
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