lunedì 16 febbraio 2015

How the CIA laundered millions in drug profits from Mena and paid for Clinton's 1992 election campaign.

How the CIA laundered millions in drug profits from Mena and paid for Clinton's 1992 election campaign.
Via: Craig Westbrook
by John Dee

* * *

In part one of this article, we examined a CIA-supervised
cocaine smuggling operation based during the '80s in Mena, Arkansas. We also detailed evidence of then-Governor Clinton's role in supressing evidnce, mishandling federal funds, even blocking a congressional level investigation into the affair. While Clinton's at-least tacit role in the Mena cover-up continues to this day (he has yet to authorize any investigation into the charges), behind the scenes are highly secretive, quasi-independent elements within the US intelligence community who are handling the actual machinery. In a high level deal between the National Security Council and the Medellin cartel, millions of dollars were paid to Felix Rodriguez, the CIA's commander at El Salvador's Ilopango Air Base, and others (including Manuel Noriega) in exchange for access to the CIA pipeline for Medellin cocaine. In this conclusion, we examine the secret network which laundered the Mena drug money. We also find that these same covert bankers, with close ties to BCCI, financed Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. [It should be noted that since the publication of part one, this writer has learned that Buddy Young was appointed by Pres. Clinton to head the Dallas Regional Office of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Young was Governor Clinton's chief of security, and the man who framed Terry Reed for trying to quit the Mena operation. FEMA, of course, is the agency empowered to sieze control of the country in the event of martial law.]

There is one estimate that Barry Seal ran as much as $100 million worth of cocaine a month--$1.2 billion a year--through the Mena airbase.

Former Mena pilot Terry Reed has testified that large sums of money were being laundered through leading Arkansas banks and bond brokers (a pattern of investment also being examined by a federal investigator just as his researches were abruptly terminated).[1] For a period, he says, satchels containing $10 million in laundered cash were airdropped weekly at the airfield. These funds did not include other secret bank arrangements.
CBS News correspondant Bill Plante has said that there is trail of "tens of millions of dollars in cocaine profits [from Mena], and we don't know where it leads. It is a trail that has been blocked by the National Security Council."[2]
But despite the efforts of the NSC, there actually is a pretty good indication of where the money went (beside's the Secret Team's pockets). Money from CIA drug smuggling operations is known to have been laundered through BCCI, a massive transnational mega-bank set up and run to launder "covert funds" for intelligence and criminal clients.[3]
Coincidentally, BCCI has extremely deep roots in Arkansas. In fact, President Clinton has ties with some of BCCI's top shareholders. Most of the money for Clinton's 1992 campaign came from these people. They are the same people who were also raking in fortunes through companies which were supplying the Mena operation. In plain words, President Clinton was elected with money from CIA guns-and-drugs operations.


One business in the CIA's Arkansas network was Park-on-Meter, or POM Inc. Based in Russellvile, AR its current annual revenue is estimated at $18 million.[4]
Commercially, it produces parking meters and machine parts. Covertly, it was manufacturing untraceable custom weapons parts for the Contras and shipping them to Mena. POM had subcontracted the job from a CIA front called Iver Johnson's Firearms
(now bankrupt), of Jacksonville, AR.[5]
Former CIA scientist Michael Riconosciuto[6] has told reporters that he was closely involved in these covert arms operations at POM. He claims that he supervised high-tech equipment transfers to POM, and had developed software to help launder the Mena drug money.[7]
He also says that POM manufactured external fuel tanks for C-130 transport planes.
This would have allowed the massive cargo planes to travel the long distances to Central and South America.[8] He also claims to have worked on fuel-air explosives specifically for use in the Contra war.[9] But Riconoscuito's most disturbing allegations concern his work in developing chemical and biological weapons in a project connected to POM. He says that in 1983 the company, in conjunction with the infamous "private" police force Wackenhut and Stormont Laboratories in Woodland, CA, began production of the delivery system for the new chemical and biological warfare CBW weaponry for use in the Contra war.
He claims that POM was to receive chemical agents from the 354th Chemical Company of the Army Reserve, located on property across from the corrugated barn housing the POM facilities, for use in small explosive devices made with the same equipment POM used to produce parking meters.[10]
When contacted by journalist Alexander Cockburn, Stormont Labs acknowledged only "discussions" with Wackenhut about biological weapons. Wackenhut denied ever working with POM.
POM pres. Seth Ward admitted that the company had defense contracts, but only for "re-entry nose cones for the nuclear warheads on the MX missile and nozzles for rocket engines," not CBW weapons. Ward also falsely denied that POM ever accepted any money from the ADFA.


Park-On-Meter was the first company to receive a loan from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), receiving $2.85 million tax-free with low interest.
Growing out of a program offering low-interest loans for housing construction, the ADFA was created by the state legislature at Clinton's urging in 1985.
Its ostensible purpose was to attract capital to the state for the purpose of economic development, offering companies long-term loans financed through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.[11] The ADFA took over much of the state's bond-issuing power and gave the governor the ability "essentially to create money". The ADFA has no regulator and no legislative oversight. The governor appoints the board and has the right to approve or disapprove every bond issue. There is virtually no limit on the value of bonds that can be issued. One financial advisor described this scenario as a "prescription for abuse".[12]
The principle bond underwriter for the ADFA was Lasater & Company, founded in 1983 by Dan Lasater. In just two years Lasater & Co. underwote $664 million in Arkansas bonds.
A child of poverty born in Indiana, Dan Lasater made his fortune when he founded Ponderosa, a steakhouse chain that went public in 1971. He then moved to Little Rock, AR.
Lasater had close ties with Bill Clinton, through his friendship with Clinton's mother and half-brother, Roger. By the early '80s, Lasater was known throughout Little Rock for
his extravagant parties and fast living. In 1982 he was one of the biggest contributers to Clinton's election campaign, when he won back the governorship after a term out of office. When Lasater formed his company in 1983, the firm became a frequent underwriter of Arkansas municipal bond issues.[13] Then, in 1985 Clinton gave Lasater & Co. the ADFA plum as a quid pro quo repayment for his campaign debt.
Terry Reed alleges in court documents and his recent book, Compromised:

Clinton, Bush and the CIA, (NY: S.P.I. Books, 1994), that Barry Seal made deposits of cash from the Mena drug operation directly to Lasater & Co. Reed also says that Lasater introduced Seal to him once as a client of his, although Lasater's attorney denies the charge. This drug money laundering was in addition to services ADFA was providing to channel large amounts of cash to POM and other companies. Former ADFA marketing director Larry Nichols claims that no one was actually buying these bonds, that they were instead sold to out-of-state banks, two with connections to BCCI. The losses from these junk bonds were then mixed into the vortex of vanishing money in the S&L crisis.[14]
Nichols and other witnesses state that ADFA used BCCI branches in Florida and Georgia, as well as Garfield Ridge Trust & Savings Bank in Chicago. That bank is partially owned by indicted congressman Dan Rostenkowsi.[15] Other shady deals known to be made by the ADFA included the transfer of $50 million into Fuji Bank in the Caymen Islands and using a trading account belonging to Dennis Patrick to move another $50 million in junk bonds.[16]
Awash in drug money and good connections, Lasater became a heavy user of cocaine. The noose tightened when his friend Roger Clinton, who was then working as Lasater's driver, came under scrutiny by narcotics police. Lasater sent him to his Florida horse-farm to lie low, but to no avail. The pair were eventually arrested and indicted on drug charges.
Lasater was charged with "social distribution" of drugs and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. He served only six months, until Governor Clinton pardoned him. (Lasater is now back in Little Rock and still active in business. His aptly-named Phoenix Corporation has been bidding on assets being sold off by the Resolution Trust Company. Some of these very S&Ls collapsed precisely because of Lasater & Co.'s illegal bond trading.)


POM president/co-owner Seth Ward's brother-in-law is Webster ("Webb") Hubbell, who served on POM's board during the early '80s. Later Webb Hubbell would become a partner in the Rose Law Firm, the Little Rock firm which employed Hillary Rodham Clinton and is currently at the center of the Whitewater scandal. While a partner at Rose, Hubbell served as POM's lawyer on a number of cases, including a failed claim of patent infringement.
Hubbell co-wrote the documents which created the ADFA in 1985. He also represented Madison Savings and Loan, owned by McDougal. Later, he served on the Resolution Trust Corporation during its takeover of Madison. Hubbell neglected to inform the RTC of this

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