Jan.1981 to Dec. 1988 The Reagan Years and the shadow CIA -part 12
During the spring of 1988, the Reagan Administration conducted a negotiation with Noriega with the declared aim of convincing him to relinquish power in exchange for having the drug charges against him dropped. In May, Michael G. Kozak, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American affairs had been sent to Panama to meet with Noriega. Bush had come under attack from other presidential candidates, especially Dukakis, for being soft on Noriega and seeking a plea bargain with the Panamanian leader.
The 1993, report of UN's Truth Commission refutes official statements made by the Reagan and Bush administrations, stating that the leaders of Salvadoran armed forces were not using execution, rape and torture to sustain their power. The UN report stated they were. In 1960s, CIA advisers helped create a nationwide informant net. In 1981, team of military advisers led by Brig. Gen. Frederick Woener was sent to determine "rightist terrorism and institutional violence. Woerner assumed command of the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama from 1982 to 1986, and concurrently commanded the United States Army Security Assistance Agency, Latin America. From March 1986 to June 1987, he served as the Commanding General of the Sixth United States Army at the Presidio of San Francisco. He was promoted to General (four stars) and became the Commander in Chief of United States Southern Command from 1987 to 1989.
Admiral William Crowe, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, attempted to convince Gen. Frederick F. Woerner, to accept a brigade-sized reinforcement of 3,000 troops in addition to the 12,000 men already stationed in Panama. Woerner declined the additional men, which the Pentagon had intended to dispatch with great fanfare in an attempt to intimidate Noriega and his triumphant supporters. Pres. Bush Sr."relieved of duty (fired) General Woerner when he wouldn't obey an illegal military order to attack Panama. A so-called US "intervention" vs. using the word WAR. Gen. Woerner then retired from the Army.
(Outlook editor. Washington Post, 3/28/1993, C1,5)
Panama, Dec. 1989-1990: US detained 90 people were arrested ("picked up") by US military forces based on wanted lists (Black and Gray watch lists) compiled by US and Panamanian authorities. Several hundred people on list that the Endarra government wanted detained were mostly political activists and labor leaders. (Washington Post, 1/19/1990, A16 and The Nation, 1/29/1990, p. 115)
When President Reagan took office in 1981, he lent full support to South Africa's domestic crimes and its murderous depredations in neighboring countries. The policies were justified in the framework of the war on terror that Reagan had declared on coming into office. From 1986-1991. Israel trained members of Inkatha hit squads aimed at African National Congress, a disillusioned former leader of Zulu organization has revealed. (Israeli Foreign Affairs, 2/20/1992, p. 3)
Mexico: Death Squads
Mexico, 1957-1989: The Mexican DFS (Federal Security Directorate) like many Western-hemisphere intelligence organizations was creation of CIA. DFS has state of the art computer and records systems. Through DFS CIA was able to keep tabs on all embassies in Mexico City. DFS works closely with US. In the early 1970s the suppression of leftists and political parties, Nazar created the Brigada Blanca, a right-wing death squad that killed hundreds, probably thousands of Mexican students and political activists. Zacaris Osorio Cruz, a member of death squad, testified in Canada that, between 1977-1982, he part of team that killed between 60-150 people. (Penthouse, 12/1989)
Mexico, 1977-1989: US looked the other way when Nazar, head of DFS used his infallible (interrogation) techniques on behalf American agencies while he carried out hundreds, perhaps thousands of political executions of Mexican leftists and political dissidents. DFS (Federal Security Directorate) administering drug traffic. (Penthouse, 12/1989)
A former CIA agent Phil Agee wrote in his book CIA Diary (1975) on how Mexican elites picked a President years before the actual "election." Agee worked at the US embassy in Mexico.
"The other day a RYBAT cable arrived from Mexico City showing how the system works there. The Chief of Station advised that Luis Echeverria, the Minister of Government (internal security), told him he has just been secretly selected as the next Mexican President. Echeverria is now the famous tapado (covered one) whom the top inner circle of the ruling party, the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), select well in advance to be the next president. Although Echeverria said it in a somewhat discreet manner, the Chief of Station has no doubt that he was intentionally being let in on the secret -- even though the elections won't be held until 1970.
"The information in the cable is extremely sensitive, not so much because it's a secret but because presidential succession in Mexico is supposedly a decision made by a broad representation within the PRI. For years leaders of the PRI have been denying that presidential succession is determined secretly by the incumbent, ex-presidents, and a few other PRI leaders -- they even have a nominating convention and all the appearances of mass participation. The Mexico branch Reports Office sent a "blue stripe" report (very limited distribution) over to the White House and the State Department on Echeverria's good news."
Nicaragua: Watch List
Joseph Adams, a former Marine intelligence officer, who served as chief of security for Aldolfo Calero, helped maintain a list of civilians marked for assassination when Contra forces entered Nicaragua. (The Progressive, 3/1987, p. 24)
Nicaragua: Death Squads
Nicaragua, 1983-1989: Enrique Bermudez, a Contra leader, said in Contra raids on economic targets in northern Nicaragua, particularly coffee plantations and farming cooperatives, any resistance brought brutal retribution. Commandantes in field authorized to select those to die. Bermudez ordered prisoners to have throats cut rather than waste bullets. (Disposable Patriot by Terrell, J., and Martz, R., 1992, p. 149)
Nicaragua, 1985-1989: "Death squad" reports re Sandinistas first circulated by the CIA-funded Puebla Institute in 1991 as coming from the UN and OAS. When checked out, this proved to be not true. Unclassified, 9/1992, p. 14
Philippines, 1969-1983: Marcos' land reform failed and he approved creation of "Monkees" a group used to intimidate and even murder Marcos' rivals. Karnow, S. (1989). In Our Image. p.378
Philippines, 1973-1983: In Philippines 1,166 persons were killed from 1972-1983. Human rights groups say most of victims were opponents of President Marcos. (Washington Post, 4/12/1984, A21) and (Vigilante Terror, a report of CIA-inspired death squads in the Philippines. National Reporter, Fall 1987, pp. 24-31)
Philippines, March 1986: Reagan signs finding increasing CIA involvement in Philippine counterinsurgency operations. The new Aquino government is allegedly perpetrating a purge of opposition, carried out by more than 50 death squads. Ramsey Clark, who investigated death squad activity in 1987, wrote in June that "the victims of vigilante violence are overwhelmingly poor farmers, workers, slum dwellers, and others who are pushing for significant land reform, wage increases and protection workers' rights, as well as those who oppose U.S. military bases." Upsurge in death squad activities are coincident with increased CIA aid and was preceded by visit to Philippines by retired Maj. Gen. John Singlaub. (The Nation, 9/19/1987, pp. 259-60)
Iran, 1982: Vladimir Kuzichkin, a senior KGB officer in Tehran, defected to the British. CIA had a sharing agreement with MI6 and became privy to contents of two trunks full of documents. From those documents CIA prepared name lists of more than one hundred people, mostly Iranians, working as secret agents in Iran for the USSR. Casey allowed this list be handed to the Iranians who executed them. Persico, J. (1991). Casey, p. 301
Iran, 1983: CIA identifies to Iranian government 200 leftists who were then executed.( The Nation, 12/13/1986, p. 660)
When the Tudeh party was closed down, the CIA gave the Khomeni government a list of USSR KGB agents operating in Iran. Two hundred suspects were executed, 18 USSR diplomats expelled and Tudeh party leaders imprisoned. (Washington Post, 1/13/1987, A1,8)
To curry favor with Khomeni, the CIA gave his government a list of USSR KGB agents and collaborators operating in Iran. The Khomeni regime then executed 200 suspects and closed down the communist Tudeh party. Khomeni then expelled 18 USSR diplomats, and imprisoned the Tudeh leaders. (Washington Post, 11/19/1986, A28)
On December 8, 1982, the House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Edward Boland of Massachusetts barring U.S. covert actions "for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua." That new law alone did not slow the administration down, but the demands of an enlarged war did. Later the next year, the CIA had to augment its budget by persuading the Pentagon to donate $12 million in "surplus" arms to the agency for delivery to the contras. That December, however Congress voted a $24 million ceiling on CIA spending for its covert war in the coming fiscal year.
In May 1984 revelations got out that CIA contract agents had seeded Nicaraguan harbors with mines. These agents included Salvadoran Hondurans, Argentinians, Chileans and Ecuadorans-but ironically, no Nicaraguans.
This act of war been conceived by the NSC s Oliver North and a top CIA officer in charge of anti-Sandinista operations to get more bang for limited bucks. But it outraged Managua's Western trading partners and the US Congress, whose intelligence oversight committees were taken by surprise. The fiction of arms interdiction" held up no longer. Congress rejected a supplemental appropriation for the contras.
In August 1984, it passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting any administration agency involved in "intelligence activities" from "supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by any nation, group,
organization or individual."
North proposed (accepted by National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane) to subvert Congress' intent by building a "private" funding and supply network. He cris-crossed the globe in 1984 and 1985, raising as much as $1 million a month from private and foreign
government sources to keep the administration's proxy war alive. North's agents in turn carried cash from his office safe to Central America for disbursement to the rebels.
One of North's allies in this project was Elliot Abrams, the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs and an enthusiast of the Contra war against Nicaragua. Abrams solicited money from other countries, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes. But he consciously "decided to use the account opened by North without procedures for monitoring expenditures from the account, " according to a Senate committee report. This studied lack of interest closely paralleled the ClA's own official policy of asking no questions about the origin of large sums of money in the Contras' bank accounts.
Together with Abrams and other officials and private agents, North raised money from a remarkable variety of sources outside the United States-and thus outside the jurisdiction of Congress. Amos Perlmutter, an American political scientist with close connections
to the Israeli government, reports that, "All those who are clients of the United States have been told more or less, "You've got to do something for the Contras."
No country, however, has played a more significant surrogate role in both Central America and Iran than Israel. As early as 1981, Israel's economic minister Ya'acov Meridor had declared, "Israel will be your proxy." Although Israeli leaders have officially denied aiding the Contras, the record of their involvement is clear and unequivocal. As recently as September 1986, according to Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, Israel sent the Contras by sea a large shipment of Soviet-made arms, presumably captured in Lebanon.
Israel's proxy activities on behalf of the Contras grew out of a long tradition of military support for authoritarian regimes in Central America, including that of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua. Israel was also in on the ground floor with the Contras when Somoza finally fled the country. Haifa University professor Benjamin Beit- Hallahmi reports that "when the CIA was setting up the Contra organization in 1981, the Mossad was also there, carrying out the training and support for the first units.
Finally, Israel was a leading arms supplier to Argentina during the period of its military rule, despite anti-semitic violence and the Falklands War. Indirectly, therefore, Israel bolstered the contras by arming their direct military supporters in the first years of opposition.
The point man for this cooperative strategy was David Kimche, a 30- year Mossad veteran who rose to direct Israel's Foreign Ministry until the fall of 1986. Known as Israel's "key Contras specialist," he has been directly linked to surrogate funding of Contras. Kimche's Israeli patron Ariel Sharon was himself an architect contra supply operation.
When Washington and just about every other government in the world was boycotting Somoza, Israel had been willing to provide him with weapons.The Israeli ambassador to Costa Rica supplied the Contras with passports and aliases so that they could travel through Central America.
Sometime before June 1981 Israel was provided with satellite pictures of Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak "within the framework of an appeal to Israel for help to the Contras." Israel used the pictures to destroy the reactor. It is not known to what extent, if any, Tel Aviv responded to the administration's appeal.
This particular arrangement apparently continued until 1986, "When the Israelis presented their bill for $50 million...[and] the CIA pleaded poverty, paying $30 million in arms, not cash."
(The Secret War Against the Jews, by John Loftus, New York: St Martin's Press pgs. 181-196)
Argentine right wing guerrillas teamed up with the Sandinistas; they also advised security forces and death squads in Guatemala and El Salvador.
Argentina's military junta supplied as many as 100 veterans of its own dirty war against the left to train the first contras in urban terrorist tactics and guerrilla war. These were not just any contras: Argentina's recruits were from Somoza's brutal National Guard. Visits to Buenos Aires in 1981 by Reagan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Edwin Meyer, Ambassador-at-Large Vernon Walters and UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick helped establish the alliance of the CIA and Argentine military in Central America. A November 1 meeting of CIA director William Casey and the American-trained leader of Argentina's military junta, Gen. Leopold Galtieri, cemented it.
On April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Island. Argentina had little use for them. In 1982, Argentina's economy was collapsing under the weight of its national debt and corruption. A new junta government calculated that the only thing more powerful than the anger at its continued suppression of democracy was anti-imperialist sentiment. The British counter-invasion of the Falklands was code-named Operation Corporation. (The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Kline, pgs. 137-138)
In early March, 1988, the Nicaraguan Sandinista government launched Operation Danto to overrun Contras rebel supply caches in the San Andrés de Bocay region, crossing into Honduran territory in their drive. The United States, under President Ronald Reagan, dispatched one company from 5-21 Infantry and one squad of Combat Engineers /Sapper from the 13th Engineer Battalion.of the 7th Infantry Division (Light) on a no-notice deployment. This small force quickly landed at Palmerola Air Base (now known as Soto Cano Air Base) and moved quickly into position at a Honduran military base to facilitate the guarding of a local general. The 7th ID units were on the ground several days when the 82nd Airborne arrived. The light infantry soldiers and paratroopers deployed ready to fight, causing the Sandinistas to rapidly withdraw back across their border
The objective of Operation Golden Pheasant was to provide a "show of force" to convince the Sandinistas to go back to their side of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. Had the Sandinistas not withdrawn, the 82nd Airborne Division's orders directed them to forcefully remove them (shoot to kill). Within days of the 82nd' arrival there was a truce negotiated between the Contra and Honduran leaders. This was another example of an undeclared US invasion, an act of WAR, albeit no shots were fired. http://www.pope.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123045377
In 1988, The New York Times ran a groundbreaking investigation into U.S. involvement in torture and assassination in Honduras. Florence Caballero, an interrogator with Honduras's notoriously brutal Battalion 3-16, told the Times that he and 24 of his colleagues were taken to Texas and trained by the CIA. "They taught us psychological methods-- to study the fears and weaknesses of a prisoner. Make him stand up, don't let him sleep, keep him naked and isolate, put rats and cockroaches in his cell, give him bad food, serve him dead animals, throw cold water on him, change the temperature."
The death toll was staggering -- an estimated 70,000 or more political killings in El Salvador, possibly 20,000 slain from the contra war in Nicaragua, about 200 political "disappearances" in Honduras and some 100,000 people eliminated during a resurgence of political violence in Guatemala.
In 1986, a scandal shook the administration stemming from the use of proceeds from covert arms sales to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, which had been specifically outlawed by an act of Congress. The International Court of Justice, whose jurisdiction it is to decide the case, ruled that the US had violated international law in Nicaragua due to its obligations not to intervene in the affairs of other states.
World Anti-Communist League
As chief of staff of the United Nations Command in South Korea in 1978, Major General John "Jack" K. Singlaub publicly condemned the decision of President Carter to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Korea. Singlaub was then forced to retire (fired by Carter).
Singlaub served as honorary chairman of Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign in Colorado. In 1984, Under Secretary of Defense Fred Ikle appointed Singlaub to head a committee studying US responses to the insurgency in El Salvador.
When questioned on the CBS Television the show "60 Minutes" about his connections with contra funding Singlaub was asked by Mike Wallace,"Let me put a thesis to you, General Singlaub. Private citizen Jack Singlaub has become Ronald Reagan's secret weapon to sidestep a Congress that will not permit him to act in the areas where he believes that our security interests are at stake. True?" Singlaub's response: "True."
John K. Singlaub and his newly-formed US chapter of World Anti-Communist League, the United States Council for World Freedom (USWCF), became WACL's most active branch. USCWF was founded in 1981 by Singlaub with a $16,500 loan from the Taiwanese branch of WACL and generous support from beer baron Joseph Coors. From 1984 through 1986, Singlaub was the chairman of WACL. The Unification Church (UC) of Sun Myung Moon has remained a major power within WACL. Moon claimed that he raised $1.4 million for WACL in 1970.
Singlaub enjoyed a good relationship with Ronald Reagan and in 1982 USCWF was granted tax-exempt status by IRS. Singlaub had to give an undertaken that "at no time will the USCWF ever contemplate providing material or funds to any revolutionary, counter-revolutionary or liberation movement".
Soon afterwards Singlaub helped establish a company called GeoMiliTech Consultants Corporation (GMT) a Washington-based arms trading company. In 1984 it is believed that Singlaub organized a shipment of weapons, ammunition and C-4 explosives to the Contras (Inside the Shadow Government).
In January 1985, Singlaub visited South Korea and Taiwan in order to obtain money and weapons for the Contras. Later that year Singlaub developed a plan for a large military action called the "Rainbow Mission" which involved the invasion of Nicaragua by Americans and Contras. This plan was approved by Robert Owen and Oliver North. Soon afterwards Singlaub procured a $5.3 million of Eastern bloc arms for the Contras through GMT. This included 500 pounds of C-4, five ground-to-air missiles, grenades and mortars.
Iran/contra investigator Lawrence Walsh also discovered that: "CIA officers in South Korea informed CIA headquarters on January 28, 1985, that retired U.S. Army Major General John K. Singlaub had asked the governing political party to contribute $2 million to the Contras. The Koreans told CIA personnel that some signal from the US Government endorsing the Singlaub request would be necessary." Walsh obtained a memorandum from Oliver North to Robert McFarlane discussing this issue.
As the Iran-Contra investigation discovered, Singlaub did not keep his promise and used his own company, GeoMiliTech Consultants Corporation (GMT) to provide these arms. This also broke other US laws. For example, the US Neutrality Act bans a private American organization from supplying weapons to foreign groups. Therefore, Singlaub established a secret overseas bank account to collect this money. Most of this money came from the governments of Taiwan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. However, some came from the Texas oil industry.
In 1984, columnist Jack Anderson wrote a series of exposes on WACL connecting the group with death squads operating in Latin America, and once again linking them with fascists, this time in Latin America. He reported that the "godfather" of the death squads in Guatemala, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, a principal of the Latin American group, Confederacion Anti-Comunista Latinoamericana CAL, had been on the CIA payroll for 30 years--since the National Liberation Movement (MLN) was organized by the CIA to overthrow progressive President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman of Guatemala. Further articles by Anderson reported that CAL, which operated out of Guadalajara, Mexico, was an outgrowth of Los Tecos, a World War II fascist group.
During the 1970s WACL spread to all six continents and chapters were opened in Japan, Europe, Britain, Australia, the US, and Latin America. The organization attracted former Nazi supporters in Europe and in Latin America. CAL headed by Raimundo Guerrero, sprang from the roots of Los Tecos. CAL was overtly fascist and connected to a chain of rightwing military plots in Latin America.
The purpose WACL was to the conduct operations to overcome and eliminate groups or governments considered to pose a "communist" threat. The group revised its charter in 1987 to include among its purposes the development of "political and psychological warfare methods in order to expose and counteract the evil designs and intrigues of Communist imperialism." At the 1984 convention the group established committees to support and assist eight anti-communist resistance groups: Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
WACL activities in Central America expanded greatly in 1984 when Congress shut off all funds to the contra forces. Between 1984 and 1986 WACL became the principal publicly identified source of funding for the Contras. Singlaub said that he "quite frankly used the WACL organization... to meet with some people who are capable of contributing" to the contra cause. He identified his three principal WACL sources for funding as Latin America, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Canada: After the U.S. Congress prohibited the CIA from further assistance to the contras in 1984, the Canadian WACL chapter became active in procuring and shipping goods to the contras.
Costa Rica: In 1982, Argentineans came to Costa Rica to organize contra forces who had slipped across the border from Nicaragua. They worked with the Free Costa Rica Movement. Cuban exiles who are members of WACL also live in Costa Rica. Most notable among them is Nazario Sargen head of Alpha 66, an anti-Castro Cuban terrorist group and long-standing WACL member. John Hull--whose ranch in Costa Rica was used as a base by the CIA and private groups to bring supplies and military support to the contras--is a member of WACL. In fact, WACL was considered by some to be the main CIA conduit in the supply network for the contras.
El Salvador: In 1980, Roberto D'Aubuisson went to the WACL convention in Buenos Aires where he arranged for Argentine intelligence operatives to come to El Salvador and give the National Guard instruction in counter-subversion. The advisers helped Salvadorans set up safe houses out of which the death squads operated.
Philippines: In 1987, General Singlaub visited the Philippines with Ray Cline, former CIA deputy director. They met with CIA station chief, Norbett Garrett. Singlaub set up an office in Manila at the Nippon Star, a subsidiary of the Japanese firm, Nippon Electronics. The Manila Chronicle reported that Singlaub offered financial support to sugar planters organizing an anti-communist drive on the island of Negros. The Philadelphia Reporter and the Washington Post reported that Singlaub had recruited 37 mercenaries from around the world to train Philippine soldiers in counterinsurgency tactics. Singlaub denies this. A Senate Committee headed by Frank Church commented on Singlaub's activities in the Philippines, calling it "sheep-dipping," the process by which military men are given civilian documentation, ostensibly resign from the service and are employed overseas as civilians primarily for the CIA."
Singlaub was selected by the White House in 1984 to be the chief private fundraiser for the Contras. The key private funders were to be wealthy business people, Taiwan, South Korea, and "an anti-communist organization with close ties to those governments." Other major contributions came from Guatemala and Argentina, countries where Singlaub had strong WACL connections. In his position as chief private fundraiser for the Contras Singlaub reported directly to Lt. Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council. In his deposition at the Iran-Contra hearings, Singlaub's claims that he raised $10 million in Contra aid were questioned.
Lev Dobriansky was chairman of the National Captive Nations Committee and on the U.S. WACL board in the 1970s. He was appointed US ambassador to the Bahamas by President Ronald Reagan. Dobriansky's daughter Paula (Dobriansky) was on the National Security Council during the Reagan administration. Lewis Tambs, the ambassador to Costa Rica until 1986, was a WACL member as was Alberto Piedra, appointed by Reagan as ambassador to Guatemala. http://rightweb.irc-online.org/groupwatch/wacl.php