To: “V.K. Durham”
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 8:28 PM
Subject: Some words about me – Re: Rainbow
(You can call me XXXX, I have seen your photo and I suppose you are very younger
than me – I am 45 year old)
I would like to tell you something about me:
I started to be a whistleblower in 1999, during the war in the Balkans, denouncing
the NATO crazy use of uranium in the weapons there.
Well, I started before: in 1997 I unveiled a network of stay-behind officers here
in Italy – they were the Italians of the Operation Gladio. Some of them
encountered a death like your husband – mostly they were ‘suicided’ likeRaul
Gardini, Cagliari, etc. etc.
The August 13, 2006, at 8:30 P.M., an Hercules C130 aircraft cargo (Lockheed
Martin) crashed in Piacenza, Italy, killing all abroad. This C130 was embedded with
depleted uranium balance weights, which (uranium) is used in the US also to make
depleted uranium (DU) kinetic penetrators, i.e. weapons to be used in humanitarian
In 1999 I knew an Italian operative of the Mossad,Alberto Lanzi, who used DU
weapons back in 1973 (Yom Kippur war). He assured to me: no danger! He died
from cancer in 2004, at 53.
Now the history can go on, the latest sad thing is the death of my associate
Sherman Skolnick from Chicago… (last week another: Giacinto Auriti, but he was
I don’t want to be annoying to you, so I stop here.
But I was able to find documents about Rainbow in 2001, in the Internet: those
documents are not there anymore. (it was something involving BIO-RAD and a
journalist writing a book entitled Octopus…)
Don’t be angry with me for my amateurishly kind of enquiring.
~ ~ ~
Aloha and Mahalo, xxxx!
Top Secret Military Bases
By Mark A. Lecuyer, Alien Astronomer
The history of Wackenhut Corporation is best described from its own literature.
An outdated letter of introduction typed on Wackenhut letterhead once sent to
prospective clients provided me with the following profile: (Excerpted)
“Wackenhut Corporation had its beginnings in 1954, when George R. Wackenhut
and three other former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
formed a company in Miami, Special Agent Investigators, to provide investigative
services to business and industry.
“The approach was so well received that a second company was formed in 1955 to
apply the same philosophy to physical security problems. In 1958 the companies
were combined under the name of Wackenhut Corporation, a Florida company.
From the outset, George Wackenhut was President and chief executive officer of
the enterprise. Wackenhut established its headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida in
1960, extending its physical security operations to the United States government
through formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Wackenhut Services,
This was done in order to comply with federal statute prohibiting the government
from contracting with companies which furnish investigative or detective services.
“In 1962, Wackenhut operations extended from Florida to California and Hawaii.
On January 1, 1966, the company became international with offices in Caracas,
Venezuela, through half ownership of an affiliate.
“The Wackenhut Corporation became public in 1966 with over-the-counter stock
sales and joined the American Stock Exchange in 1967. Through acquisitions of
subsidiaries and affiliates, now totaling more than 20, and expansion of it
contracts into numerous territories and foreign countries, the Wackenhut
Corporation has grown into one of the world’s largest security and investigative
“In 1978 acquisition of NUSAC, a Virginia company providing technical and
consulting services to the nuclear industry, brought Wackenhut into the fields of
environment and energy management. In 1979, Wackenhut acquired Stellar
Systems, Inc., a California company specializing in outdoor electronic security.
“The executive makeup of the company reflects the stress Mr. Wackenhut placed
on professional leadership. The Wackenhut Corporation is guided by executives and
managers with extensive backgrounds in the FBI and other military, governmental
and private security and investigative fields.
“The principle business of the company is furnishing security and complete
investigative services and systems to business, industry and professional clients,
and to various agencies of the U.S. Government.
“Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Wackenhut Electronic Systems Corporation,
the company develops and produces sophisticated computerized security systems
to complement its guard services.
“Major clients of Wackenhut’s investigative services are theinsurance industryandfinancial interests. These services include insurance inspections, corporate
acquisition surveys, personnel background reports, preemployment screening,
polygraph examinations and general criminal, fraud and arson investigations.
“The wide variety of services offered by Wackenhut Corporation also includes
guard and electronic security for banks, office buildings, apartments, industrial
complexes and other physical structures; training programs in English and foreign
languages to apply Wackenhut procedures to individual clients needs; fire, safety
and protective patrols; rescue and first aid services; emergency support programs
tailored to labor-management disputes,and pre-departure screening programs
widely used by airports and airlines.
“The company now has some 20,000 employees and maintains close to 100 offices
and facilities with operations spread across the United States and extending into
Canada, the United Kingdom, Western Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, Central
and South America and the Caribbean. . . .”
~ ~ ~
ON THE SURFACE, Wackenhut Corporation seemed innocuous enough, but
through documents later obtained from Michael Riconosciuto, I learned there was
another, darker side to Wackenhut operations, at the Cabazon Indian reservation
near Indio, California.
Because Indian reservations are sovereign nations and do not come under federal
jurisdiction, Wackenhut International had formed a partnership and entered into
a business venture with theCabazon Indiansto produce high-tech arms and
explosives for export to third-world countries. This maneuver was designed to
evade congressional prohibitions against U.S. weapons being shipped to the Contras
and middle eastern countries.
In the early 1980’s, Dr. John Nichols, the Cabazon tribal administrator, obtained
a department of Defense secret facility clearance for the reservation to conduct
various research projects. Nichols then approached Wackenhut with an elaborate
“joint venture” proposal to manufacture 120mm combustible cartridge cases, 9mm
machine pistols, laser-sighted assault weapons, sniper rifles and portable rocket
systems on the Cabazon reservation and in Latin America. At one point, he even
sought to develop biological weapons.
Again, through Michael Riconosciuto’s files, I later obtained interoffice
memorandums and correspondence relating to biological technology…. Meanwhile, in
1980, Dr. John Nichols obtained the blueprints to Crown Prince Fahd’s palace in
Tiaf, Saudi Arabia, and drafted a plan to provide security for the palace.
The Saudis were interested enough to conduct a background check on the
Cabazons. Mohammad Jameel Hashem, consul of the Royal Embassy of Saudi
Arabia in Washington, D.C., wrote former South Dakota Senator James Abourezk
at his offices in Washington D.C. and noted, “According to our black list for
companies, the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians/Cabazon Trading Company and
Wackenhut International are not included.”
Translated, that meant that neither the Cabazons or Wackenhut were Jewish-run
~ ~ ~
Danny Casolaro’s body was found at 12:30 p.m. in a blood-filled bath tub by
a hotel maid who called the Martinsburg police.
The body contained three deep cuts on the right wrist and seven on the left wrist,
made by a single edge razor blade, the kind used to scrape windows or open
packages. At the bottom of the bath-water was an empty Milwaukee beer can, a
paper glass coaster, the razor blade and two white plastic trash bags, the kind
used in wastepaper baskets.
On the desk in the hotel room was an empty mead composition notebook with one
page torn out and a suicide note which read: “To those who I love the most, please
forgive me for the worst possible thing I could have done. Most of all, I’m sorry to
my son. I know deep down inside that God will let me in.”
There were no other papers, folders, documents of any sort, nor any briefcase
found in the room. Danny’s wallet was intact, stuffed with credit cards. The body
was removed from the tub by Lieutenant Dave Brining from the Martinsburg fire
department, and his wife, Sandra, a nurse who works in the hospital emergency
room. The couple, who often moonlighted as coroners, took the body to the Brown
Funeral Home where they conducted an examination. Charles Brown then decided
to embalm the body that night and go home, rather than come back to work the
next day, Sunday.
No one in Danny Casolaro’s family had been notified of his death at that time, nor
had they requested the body be embalmed. When Casolaro’s family learned of the
death, they insisted it was not a suicide and called for an autopsy and an
investigation. Though the body had already been embalmed, an autopsy was
performed at the West Virginia University Hospital by a Dr. Frost. The findings
indicated that no struggle had taken place because there were no recent bruises
on the body. The drugs found in Casolaro’s urine, blood and tissue samples were in
minute amounts but they were also unexplainable by his brother, Tony, who is a
According to Tony Casolaro, Danny did not take drugs or have any prescriptions for
the drug traces of Hydrocodone and Tricyclic antidepressant that were found in
the body. No pill boxes or written prescriptions were found. Dr. Casolaro searched
through his brother’s Blue Cross records and found no record of the prescriptions
or doctor visits….
On August 6, 1991, Casolaro’s housekeeper, Olga, helped Danny pack a black
leather tote bag. She remembered he also packed a thick sheaf of papers into a
dark brown or black briefcase. She asked him what he had put into the briefcase
and he replied, “I have all my papers …”
He had been typing for two days, and as he left the house, he said, “Wish me luck.
I’ll see you in a couple of days.”
By August 9th, Casolaro’s friends were alarmed. None had heard from him and
Olga was receiving threatening phone calls at Danny’s home. On Saturday, August
10th, Olga received another call, a man’s voice said, “You son of a bitch. You’re
After learning of Danny’s death, Olga recalled seeing Danny sitting in the kitchen
on August 5th with a “heavy man … wearing a dark suit. He was a dark man with
black hair he turned towards the door, I saw he was dark-skinned. I told police
maybe he could be from India.”
At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, the day before Danny’s death, Bill Turner, a friend and
confidante, met Danny in the parking lot of the Sheraton Hotel to deliver some
papers to him. The papers allegedly consisted of two sealed packages which Turner
had been keeping in his safe at home for Danny, and a packet of Hughes Aircraft
papers which belonged to Turner.
Danny had appeared exhuberant to most of his friends before his death, noting
that he was about to “wrap up” his investigation of The Octopus. Casolaro was
trying to prove that the alleged theft of the Inslawcomputer program, PROMIS,
was related to the October Surprise scandal, the Iran-Contra affair and the
collapse of BCCI(Bank of Credit and Commerce International).
Turner later admitted to police that he had indeed met with Danny on August 9th,
but at that time he refused to specify what time and would not describe what was
in the papers he delivered to Danny. I later learned that Turner had been
investigating discrepancies involving his former employer, Hughes Aircraft
The documents he had delivered from his safe to Danny had been sealed, with
Casolaro’s name written across the seal, and he claimed not to have known what
they contained. Nevertheless, it is feasible to assume that Turner may have known
who Danny was preparing to meet that evening at the Martinsburg Hotel because,
for reasons of his own, Turner apparently wanted Danny to show the Hughes
Aircraft documents to whoever he was meeting with.
Turner later noted to reporters that he was “scared shitless” about information
he had seen connectingOllie NorthandBCCI.
“I saw papers from Danny that connected back through the Keating FiveandSilverado [the failed Denver S & L where Neil Bush had been an officer],” he said.
To his friend, Ben Mason, Danny showed a 22-point outline for his book. Included in
the information he shared with Mason were papers referring to Iran-Contra arms
deals. Photocopies of checks made out for $1 millionand$4 million drawn on
BCCI accounts held for Adnan Khashoggi, an international arms merchant and
factotum for the House of Saud, and by Manucher Ghorbanifar, an arms dealer
and Iran-Contra middleman, were presented.
“The last sheet,” noted Mason, “was a passport of some guy namedIbrahim.”
Casolaro had emphasized that Ibrahim had made a big deal of showing him
(Casolaro) his “Egyptian” passport. “Ibrahim” was obviously the informant whom
Olga, Casolaro’s housekeeper, had seen sitting in the kitchen with Danny on August
5th. Hassan Ali Ibrahim Ali, born in 1928, was later identified as the manager of
Sitico, an alleged Iraqi front company for arms purchases. Casolaro had obtained
these papers from Bob Bickel, who in turn obtained them from October Surprise
source Richard Brenneke.
Ari BenMenasche, a self proclaimed Israeli military intelligence officer, was
responsible for the tipoff to an obscure Lebanese magazine about what later
became known as theIran-Contra scandal.
After Casolaro’s death, Menasche called Bill Hamilton, the president ofInslaw
Company and creator of the PROMISE software. (Hamilton had been in daily
contact with Casolaro until about a week prior to his death).
Menasche claimed that two FBI agents from Lexington, Kentucky, had embarked
on a trip to Martinsburg to meet Casolaroas part of their investigation of the sale
of the PROMISE software to Israel and other intelligence agencies.
Ben Menasche told Hamilton that one of the FBI agents, E.B. Cartinhour, was
disaffected because his superiors had refused to indict high Reagan officials for
their role in the October Surprise. Ben Menasche claimed the agents were
prepared to give Casolaro proof that the FBI was illegally using PROMISE
Casolaro was also investigating Colonel Bo Gritz’s expose of CIA drug trafficking,
and had requested to meet with a former police officer who had information on
Laotian warlord Kuhn Sa’s Golden Triangle drug trade proposal to the U.S. He had
learned through a Sacramento Bee newspaper article, dated June 2, 1990 that
Patrick Moriarty, the Red Devil fireworks magnate convicted of laundering
political contributions and bribing city officials in Sacramento, had been
subpoenaed to testify on behalf of Gritz at his trial in Las Vegas where he was
tried for using a false passport. Gritz was acquitted of the charges….
Moriarty’s lawyer, Jan Lawrence Handzlik, told the Bee that Moriarty had paid
Gritz to make business trips to China, Singapore and other parts of Asia. Gritz
said his business trip to Asia in July 1989 was for the purpose of negotiating an oil
interest that he and Moriarty had set up between the People’s Republic of China
It is noteworthy that Patrick Moriarty is the longtime (30 years) partner of
Marshall Riconosciuto, Michael Riconosciuto’s father. They owned several
California businesses together, two of which were Hercules Research Corporation,
of which Michael was a partner, and Pyrotronics Corporation.
Casolaro at one time considered the title of “Indio” for the book he was writing
about“The Octopus.” His death occurred just days before he planned to visit the
Cabazon Indian reservation near Indio, California. Though his notes did not divulge
what role the Cabazons may have had in the conspiracy, Casolaro listed Dr. John
Phillip Nichols, the Cabazon administrator, as a former CIA agent.
A source of information which Danny may have read is entitled, “DARK VICTORY,
Ronald Reagan, MCA, and the Mob,” by Dan E. Moldea. Moldea named this unholy
alliance “The Octopus” in his book.
Numerous publications reporting on Casolaro’s death corroborated that one of his
sources included Michael Riconosciuto, a “44-year-old former high-tech scientist
who had connections with Wackenhut Corporation …”
What brought Casolaro to Riconosciuto was an affidavit signed by Riconosciuto
claiming that when he worked on the Wackenhut-Cabazon project, he was given a
copy of the Inslaw software by Earl Brian for modification. Riconosciuto also
swore that Peter Videnieks, a Justice Department official associated with the
Inslaw contract, had visited the Wackenhut-Cabazon project with Earl Brian.
Earl Brian was a businessman and Edwin Meese crony who served in Governor
Ronald Reagan’s cabinet in California. The $6 million in software stolen from
William and Nancy Hamilton, co-owners of Inslaw Company, was allegedly sold by
the Justice Department through Earl Brian to raise off-the-books money for
covert government operations.
On May 18, 1990, Riconosciuto had called the Hamiltons and informed them that
the Inslaw case was connected to the October Surprise affair.
Riconosciuto claimed that he and Earl Brian had traveled to Iran in 1980 and paid
$40 million to Iranian officialsto persuade them NOT to release the hostages
before the presidential election in which Reagan became president of the United
Riconosciuto’s information created a domino effect in Washington D.C., opening
numerous investigations and causing a media blitz. At that time, Casolaro headed
the Hamilton’s private investigation of the theft of their software and he had
regular communication with Riconosciuto.
Former U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson, the Hamilton’s attorney,
subsequently sent Riconosciuto an affidavit to sign, to be filed by Inslaw in federal
court in connection with Inslaw’s pending Motion for Limited Discovery.
The affidavit, Case No. 8500070, entered into court records, resulted in
Riconosciuto’s arrest within days. It read as follows:
“I Michael J. Riconosciuto, being duly sworn, do hereby state as follows:
“(1) During the early 1980’s, I served as the Director of Research for a joint
venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the
Cabazon Band of Indians of Indio, California. The joint venture was located on the
“(2) The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture sought to develop and/or manufacture
certain materials that are used in military and national security operations,
including night vision goggles, machine guns, fuel-air explosives, and biological and
chemical warfare weapons.
“(3) The Cabazon Band of Indians are a sovereign nation. The sovereign immunity
that is accorded the Cabazons as a consequence of this fact made it feasible to
pursue on the reservation the development and/or manufacture of materials whose
development or manufacture would be subject to stringent controls off the
reservation. As a minority group, the Cabazon Indians also provided the Wackenhut
Corporation with an enhanced ability to obtain federal contracts through the 8A
Set Aside Program, and in connection with Government-owned contractor-operated
“(4) The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture was intended to support the needs of a
number of foreign governments and forces, including forces and governments in
Central America and the Middle East. The Contras in Nicaragua represented one of
the most important priorities for the joint venture.
“(5) The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture maintained close liaison with certain
elements of the United States Government, including representatives of
intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies.
“(6) Among the frequent visitors to the Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture were
Peter Videnieks of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and a close
associate of Videnieks by the name of Earl W. Brian. Brian is a private businessman
who lives in Maryland and who has maintained close ties with the U.S. intelligence
community for many years.
“(7) In connection with my work for Wackenhut, I engaged in some software
development and modification work in 1983 and 1984 on the proprietary PROMIS
computer software product. The copy of PROMIS on which I worked came from
the U.S. Department of Justice. Earl W. Brian made it available to me through
Wackenhut after acquiring it from Peter Videnieks, who was then a Department of
Justice contracting official with responsibility for the PROMIS software. I
performed the modifications to PROMIS in Indio, California; Silver Spring,
Maryland; and Miami, Florida.
“(8) The purpose of the PROMIS software modifications that I made in 1983 and
1984 was to support a plan for the implementation of PROMIS in law enforcement
and intelligence agencies worldwide. Earl W. Brian was spearheading the plan for
this worldwide use of the PROMISE computer software.
“(9) Some of the modifications that I made were specifically designed to facilitate
the implementation of PROMIS within two agencies of the Government of Canada;
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security and
Intelligence Service (CSIS). Earl W. Brian would check with me from time to time
to make certain that the work would be completed in time to satisfy the schedule
for the RCMP and CSIS implementations of PROMIS.
“(10) The proprietary version of PROMIS, as modified by me, was, in fact,
implemented in both the RCMP and the CSIS in Canada. It was my understanding
that Earl W. Brian had sold this version of PROMIS to the Government of Canada.
“(11) In February 1991, I had a telephone conversation with Peter Videnieks, then
still employed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Videnicks attempted during this
telephone conversation to persuade me not to cooperate with an independent
investigation of the government’s piracy of Inslaw’s proprietary PROMIS
software being conducted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of
“(12) Videnieks stated that I would be rewarded for a decision not to cooperate
with the House Judiciary Committee investigation. Videnieks forecasted an
immediate and favorable resolution of a protracted child custody dispute being
prosecuted against my wife by her former husband, if I were to decide not to
cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee investigation.
“(13) Videnieks also outlined specific punishments that I could expect to receive
from the U.S. Department of Justice if I cooperate with the House Judiciary
“(14) One punishment that Videnieks outlined was the future inclusion of me and
my father in a criminal prosecution of certain business associates of mine in
Orange County, California, in connection with the operation of a savings and loan
institution in Orange County. By way of underscoring his power to influence such
decisions at the U.S. Department of Justice, Videnieks informed me of the
indictment of these business associates prior to the time when that indictment
was unsealed and made public.
“(15) Another punishment that Videnieks threatened against me if I cooperate
with the House Judiciary Committee is prosecution by the U.S. Department of
Justice for perjury. Videnieks warned me that credible witnesses would come
forward to contradict any damaging claims that I made in testimony before the
House Judiciary Committee, and that I would subsequently be prosecuted for
perjury by the U.S. Department of Justice for my testimony before the House
~ ~ ~
It is necessary to digress here to disclose the magnitude of the apparent
government coverup relative to Riconosciuto’s case.
About two weeks before Riconosciuto’s trial began, I had received a call from
Michael asking me to contact Brian Leighton, a former assistant U.S. Attorney in
Fresno, whom Michael claimed to have provided information to. Michael was lining
up his ducks. Essentially his defense rested on his ability to prove he worked for
the U.S. government in intelligence operations, but his lawyer was behind schedule
in making the contacts.
Brian Leighton had been instrumental in prosecuting 29 members of a drug/arms
organization called“The Company.” The Company had been written up in the San
Francisco Chronicle on April 28, 1982 under the heading“Story of Spies, Stolen
Arms and Drugs.”
According to reporter Bill Wallace, The Company consisted of (quote) “about 300
members, many of them former military men or ex-police officers with nearly $30
million worth of assets, including planes, ships and real estate.”
The article went on to say that “federal drug agents said the organization had
imported billions of dollars worth of narcotics from Latin America, and was also
involved in gunrunning and mercenary operations.”
Specialized military equipment consisting of nine infrared sniper-scopes, a
television camera for taking pictures in darkness, 1500 rounds of small arms tracer
ammunition for night combat, a five-foot remote-control helicopter, and secret
components from the radar unit of a Sidewinder guided missile were stolen from
theU.S. Naval Weapons Stationat China Lake in the Mojave Desert.
Federal agents said some of the stolen equipment was going to be used to make
electronic equipment for drug smugglers and some was traded to drug suppliers in
Columbia. Twenty-nine members of the Company were indicted by the Fresno
federal grand jury in 1981. Amongst those indicted was Andrew “Drew” Thornton,
40, a former narcotics officer.
On September 13, 1985, the Los Angeles Times published the story of Thornton’s
death, entitled, “Former Narcotics Officer Parachutes Out of Plane, Dies with 77
Pounds of Cocaine.” The article said Thornton was indicted in 1981 for “allegedly
flying a plane to South America for a reputed drug ring known as `The
Thornton’s mysterious death was discussed at length in a book written by Sally
Denton entitled, “The Blue Grass Conspiracy.”
Part of The Company was headquartered inLexington, Kentucky. Prosecutors in
Lexington, Fresno, California (Brian Leighton), and Miami, Florida were working
together in a joint effort to bring down The Company.
The San Francisco Chronicle noted that in January, 1982, Gene Berry, a state
prosecutor in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, was shot in the face as he answered his
door. Police subsequently arrested Bonnie Kelly as Berry’s murderer. Bonnie’s
husband, Mike McClure Kelly, was a suspected member of The Company who later
pleaded guilty in the Fresno, California case.
In Michael Riconosciuto’s documents, I discovered a letter dated March 24, 1982,
written on Cabazon letterhead to Michael McClure at Hercules Corporation from
Art Welmas, President of the Cabazon Band of Indians. Copies (cc:) were also
noted to Marshall Riconosciuto and Michael Riconosciuto. The letter complimented
McClure’s competence in presenting a clear and lucid explanation of a power pack
under development at Hercules….
Throughout Michael’s documents, I found references to Michael McClure and
Bonnie Lynne G. Kelly. Michael’s code word for Mike McClure was “Gopher.”
Journalist Danny Casolaro had been communicating regularly with Michael
Riconosciuto and obviously learned about The Company.
It is not to be overlooked that coincidentally or not, Ari BenMenashe (a former
Israeli intelligence agent who lived in Lexington, Kentucky) told Bill Hamilton that
two Lexington FBI agents had been enroute to meet with Danny at the
Martinsburg Hotel on the day of his death. The Company was headquartered in
Danny was not meeting with the FBI relative to PROMIS, he was preparing to turn
over drug trafficking information onThe Company….
~ ~ ~
“The Company was originally out ofLexington, Kentuckyand Mena, Arkansas.
Brian Leighton was the assistant U.S. Attorney who was the most effective person
in formulating a strategy in the Justice Department to go after these people.
“We recognized what they were, for what they were, at that time, and there were
a few ATF guys down in Los Angeles that recognized them for what they were,
OK? Here was a group of over 300 people, most of them ex-law enforcement and
ex-military, ex-intelligence people involved in a major drug and smuggling operation.
And they were involved in compromising activities. The bottom line was espionage.
“And all Leighton served to do was vaccinate the group against further
penetration. Just hardened them. And all the major sources that were developed
from inside turned up dead. A federal judge in Texas turned up dead.
” … This is a nasty bunch of people. And they’re still alive and well. Now where that
dovetails into my current situation, is in 1984 I was involved with Robert Booth
Nicholswho owns Meridian Arms Corporation and is a principle in F.I.D.C.O.,
First Intercontinental Development Corporation. The CEO of FIDCO is George
Pender and Bob Maheu was Vice President …
“FIDCO was an NSC [National Security Council] corporate cutout. FIDCO was
created to be the corporate vehicle to secure the financing for the reconstruction
of the cities of Beirut and Damour in Lebanon. And they were working out of an
office in Nicosia, Cyprus.
” … And here I got involved with a group of people that were all high profile and
should have been above reproach. FIDCO had a companion company calledEuramae
Trading which operated throughout the Middle East. I came in contact with the
PROMISE software (unintelligible). Euramae had a distribution contract with
several Arab countries and I was asked to evaluate the hardware platforms they
had chosen. That was IBM/AS400 stuff …
” … That had come from IBM Tel Aviv but it came through a cutout, Link Systems,
because they couldn’t deal directly with the Arabs.
“And I came across a guy named Michael T. Hurley and I thought he worked for
the State Department but it turned out he was in-country attache for the DEA in
Nicosia, Cyprus. [Nicosia is the capital of the island of Cyprus, off the coast of
Lebanon]. Now, the DEA had no real presence in Lebanon. Neither did anybody else,
including the Israelis. They had their usual network of contacts but it was very
ineffective. The only way to penetrate that situation, was to get into the drug
“Euramaegot into the drug trade and I was told that it was a fully sanctioned NSC
directed operation, which it turns out that it was … All those operations were
bonafide and all the people who were in them were definitely key government
people, although they were not who they said they were.
“They all worked for different agencies other than was stated. Probably part of
the normal disinformation that goes with that. And I was technical advisor for
FIDCOand we had auspices through the government of Lebanon to get in and out
“But as far as going to the eastern part of Lebanon, unless you were connected
with the drug trade, your chances were slim coming out unscathed … They built a
network throughout the Bekaa Valley, and[Robert Booth] Nichols … he is under
Harold Okimoto from theHawaiian Islands.
“Harold Okimoto was represented to me as being an intelligence person, which he
is. He has worked under the auspices of Frank Carlucci for years. [Carlucci was
former CIA-deputy director and former Defense secretary].
“Apparently Harold performed services for the U.S. government during World War
II. He’s of Japanese ancestry. I guess he was rewarded for services well done.
” … Harold operates through a company called Island Tobacco Corporation. He has
contracts for all the condiments at all the casinos in Atlantic City, in Reno, in
Vegas, in Macao, China … he’s got contacts in Honolulu, the Orient … a couple of
Jews he knows in Bankok … and there is a casino, no a city about 15 miles north of
Beruit that Harold has his fingers in.
“WhenFIDCO was wheeling and dealing on financing for the reconstruction of the
infrastructure of Beirut, they were making sweetheart deals with Syrian mobsters
and the brother of the president of Syria,Hafez Assad.
” … The intelligence people in their infinite wisdom decided to capitalize on the
longstanding battle between Rifat Assad and his group and the Jafaar family.
Selectively they were backing both people, but they were also playing them off
against one another, developing networks. They got a bunch of prominent Syrians
thoroughly compromised and they were in tow in the intelligence game. And they
had people that could get me in and out of the Bekaa Valley, even out of certain
areas of Syria.
“From an intelligence standpoint, it was a success. But to maintain the credibility of
those intelligence operations theheroin had to flow. To make it real. And the stuff
was starting to accumulate in a warehouse outside of Larnaca.
“I personally was in a warehouse where Hurley and George Pender and George
Marcobie (phonetic spelling) told me there was upwards of twenty-two tons. And
even though it was packaged for shipment, the smell of it in that closed warehouse
was overpowering. You know, white heroin like that has a certain odor because of
the way it’s processed.
“They had authorization for what they called `controlled deliveries’ into the
United States. And they would target certain cities and then follow the stuff out,
ostensibly unmasking the network and conducting prosecutions.
“However, the operation became perverted at the U.S. end of the pipeline.
Controlled heroin shipments were doubled, sometimes tripled, and only one third of
the heroin was returned to the DEA.
“At a certain transfer point at the airport in Larnaca, the excess baggage from
the original controlled delivery would be allowed to go through. I was given the
names of the narcotics people who were handling that. But there were a couple of
agents who were on the up and up, and they had suspicions.
“An intelligence agent who worked with DIA is now deceased. His name was Tony
Asmar and he got on to the operation early on, and started going toe to toe with
Hurley [DEA]. He died in a bomb blast and it was ascribed to terrorists. And it
actually was terrorists who did it, but his cover was deliberately blown. Myself and
others suspected Hurley and Bob Nichols and Glen Shockley were responsible for
that … ”
“You need to understand that the airport in Lebanon was closed down. I took the
ferry from Larnaca to Jounieb. Now Jounieb was slightly south of where the casino
city was and the casino city was intact. Beirut was a nightmare, and so was
Damour, because the PLO destroyed the infrastructure by burrowing bunkers, and
there was no water, electricity or phones. It was a combat zone.
“The Syrian mob controlled theCasino du Libanin a little city north of Beirut. It
was used as a front by narcotics people.Island Tobacco, owned byHarold
Okimoto, sells all the cigarettes there. Now, I could give you the names of the
families. They pitted them off against one another. F.I.D.C.O. was to finance the
reconstruction of the infrastructure of the cities of Beirut and Damour. Deals
were cut as to who got what concessions. There were certain families, like theElJorr familythat had to be placated. And there wasRifat Assadand his group.
“Tony Asmar figured out what was going on with Hurley, that they were shipping
`noncontrolled’ loads of heroin back to the U.S… They killed Tony…“
“What were the names of the people you were working for over there?,” I asked.
Michael’s time was always limited on the phone.
“Ok, there was a man named Maurice Ganem. He had a relative, either a brother or
a cousin, who is a senior DEA official withMichael Hurley. I can’t remember his
name right now. Anyways, Maurice was agency, you know, in country, in Lebanon.
And Maurice and I and George Pender worked together.”
“Which agency? CIA or DEA?,” I asked.
“CIA.” Michael continued. ” … And then there was Danny Habib. Danny Habib and
Bob Nichols worked out of Cario (phonetic spelling) and Italy.”
“And Bob was NSA or …” “No, Bob was NSC at that time.”
“George Pender and Bob Clark were the high level contacts on all of this. Bob
Clark got drummed out because he was clean. And McFarland then took over, OK?”
“So, it was George Pender andMcFarland andMichael McManus [Assistant to
President Reagan at the White House].”
I asked, “What was your involvement with that particular operation?”
“I handled communications protocol. All the communications and financial
transactions. If I could get my records on line I could show all the money flows,
Michael called back later that day and we continued our conversation. He was
intent on talking to someone inFinCen (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). ”
… The keystone cops are working on my defense. You know it’s really an ordeal.
Have you talked to R.J. again?”
“No Mike, he’s not giving much information.”
“Listen, tell him that not only am I willing to polygraph, but I need some expert
help and I think he needs some expert help. In the league we’re playing in, the only
guys we can get that have the where-with-all are with FinCen. That stands for
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Get me a technical guy that speaks my
“Alright, Mike …”
“I’m talking about Swift Chips. That stands for Clearing House Interbank
Payment System, Ok?”
“I’m mad, OK?”
“I’m real mad. The government has all my files and records. They’ve got all of my
optical storage disks. Each of those optical storages, 130 of them, contains 20,000
plus pages. They jacked me around so bad …”
” … Get an expert that speaks my language, and I’ll tell him everything I know and
he can do so much damage, they won’t need my testimony or anything else.”
“Mike, everything you know about what?”
“Tell R.J. it goes all the way back to the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas and
Castle Bank. Norm Caspar … Resorts International Bank…”
“How’d you get this stuff?”
“I handled the money for them, OK?”
” … For the Wackenhut people. For Norm Caspar who was a Wackenhut employee
during all of this. Now, there was the Workers Bank in Columbia. I can’t
pronounce the Spanish name for it, I just know it as Workers Bank. I set up their
virtual dead-drops …”
“It’s a way to get around A.C.H. reconciliations on a daily basis. It’ll take an
expert, you know, I can’t even talk to a normal human being about this …”
” … And the bottom line here is Bob Nichols and Gilbert Rodriguez, Michael Abbell,
whose now an attorney in D.C., but he was with the criminal section of the Justice
Department andHarold Okimoto, and Jose Londodo, and Glenn Shockley are all in
bed together. (Three years after this conversation, Michael Abbell was indicted
for laundering money for the Cali Cartel).
“Now Ted Gunderson …”
“Mike, have you got any paperwork on that?”
“Now, wait a minute. Gunderson was physically with me when Wayne Reeder, Peter
Zokosky and his wife and several of Wayne Reeder’s lieutenants, Bob Nichols and
his wife, Harold Okimoto, George Pender, Deborah Pender, Dill Pender, and
myself were all together …”
” … Where?”
” … At Wayne Reeders country club, golf club, in Indio, California. And Bob
discussed openly in front of Ted Gunderson and myself and everyone present
bragged about Glenn Shockley and Jose Londono having 3,500 soldiers. It’s now
almost double that …”
“What does that mean? What are the soldiers?”
Mike: “R.J. will know what it means.”
“This took place in 1983. I have correspondence on the things we were doing. But I
was in fear of my life because Bob was starting to act irrational. The guy was
getting drunk all the time, waving a gun out of the car window, shooting in the air,
you know, just really doing a mind trip on me. I’ve been on the run ever since …”
“Mike, what are you going to provide to FinCen?”
“I’m going to show them how these boys handled the life blood of the cash flow on
a day to day basis. I’m going to unmask the whole operation….”
“Anything specific on Robert Booth Nichols?”
Mike: “Nichols is Harold Okimoto’s godson. He’s also Renee Hanner’s (phonetic
sp.) boy, and Wolfgang Fosog’s (phonetic sp.) boy.”
” … And who are they?”
“The FinCen people will know. There’s also Octon Potnar.”
“Alright. Well, if I’m going to play around with this, I don’t want to be in the dark
… I could end up like Danny. I’ve got to know what I’m dealing with.”
“If you get the right guy at FinCen, he’ll jump at this, OK? We’ve got to start
right now. We’re talking about some time getting things up and rolling to where
we’re fluid and flexible and functional in their system internationally. They’ll be
able to watch the daily transactions …”
Michael continued to request of R.J. that he be connected with someone
“trustworthy” at FinCen, to no avail. He also requested to be placed into a Witness
Protection Program, again offering to assemble his computer equipment in a secret
location and provide FinCen with a day by day view of Mob (and MCA Corporation)
illegal banking transactions.
According to Michael, before his arrest, he had been handling gold transfers,
money laundering, “virtual dead drops,” altered ACH daily reconciliations and other
transactions for various underworld figures including Robert Booth Nichols, Harold
Okimoto, George Pender, Wayne Reeder, Michael A. McManus, Norm Caspar,
Gilbert Rodriguez, Jose Londono, Glen Shockley, and others.
Michael continued to call and give me tape-recorded (at his request) messages to
pass on to R.J. The man accepted the messages, but they just went down the big,
black hole and never emerged again.
One message in particular later became significant to me. The message from
Michael to R.J. went as follows: (Quote) “There are three dozen C130’s down at
the Firebird Lake Airstrip on the Gila Indian Reservation in Arizona. Check out J
& G Aviation, it’s an FBO. The Fresno Company is alive and well down there.
“The real activity is not at Mirana, it’s at Firebird Lake Airstrip. Other airlines
operating at Firebird are Beigert, Macavia International, Pacific Air Express,
Evergreenand Southern Air.
“Question to R.J.:How much cocaine or heroin can be transported in a C130?
Do you want the C130, or do you want the guys who orchestrate it?
“Do a matrix link analysis, then sit down and pick the targets. Otherwise, you will
tip off the others and the proof will dry up….
The message continued regarding Robert Booth Nichols:
“Bob Nichols runs Glen Shockley. Glen Shockley runs Jose Londono. I [Michael]
sat with Bob Nichols and Mike Abbell. Bob handed him $50,000 cash to handle an
internal affairs investigation that the Justice Department conducted which would
have led to the extradition of Gilbert and Miguel Rodriguez and Jose Londono.
“Bob Nichols told me [Michael] that it was necessary to `crowbar’ the
investigation because they were `intelligence people.’
“Michael wanted to hand The Company and Bob Nichols over to FinCen in exchange
for entry into the Witness Protection Program, but nothing was forthcoming from
It was two years before I learned who Mike Abbell, Gilbert Rodriguez and Jose
Londono were. Abbell had worked in the criminal division of the Justice
Department, according to Bill Hamilton. Hamilton added that, to his knowledge,
Abbell had left the DOJ in 1982 and went directly into the Bogota, Columbia law
offices of Kaplan and Russin.
A member of our loosely coalesced investigative team, George Williamson, a former
San Francisco Chronicle reporter, obtained Abbell’s background from library
directories: From 1973 to 1979 Abbell was staff assistant to the Assistant U.S.
Attorney General. From 1979 to 1981 he was the Director of the Office of
International Affairs of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
After leaving the Department of Justice in 1982, Abbell became counsel at the law
firm of Kaplan, Russin and Becchi, with offices in San Francisco, California Bogota,
Columbia Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic Bangkok, Thailand Tapai, Taiwan
New York Madrid, Spain and Miami, Florida.
As of this writing, Abbell was listed as working in his own firm with a partner
named Bruno Ristau (Ristau and Abbell) in Washington D.C. Ristau was also
formerly with the law firm of Kaplan, Russin and Becchi. And from 1958 to 1963 he
was an attorney in the Internal Security Division and Civil Division of theDepartment of Justice. . . .
A TIME magazine article, dated July 4, 1994, described Gilbert Rodriguez as a
“leader of the Cali [Columbian drug] cartel, which controls 80% of the world’s
cocaine trade.” The newly elected president of Columbia, Ernesto Samper Pizano,
was accused of taking $3.7 million in campaign funds from Rodriguez, which in
effect, put Samper in league with Columbia’s drug lords.
Three audio tapes of conversations between Rodriguez and Samper’s campaign
manager, Santiago Medina, had been handed over to U.S. State Department
officials before the election,but nothing was done.
DEA officials were furious, stating to TIME that “No one did anything. They [the
State Department] allowed this travesty to take place. Everybody, including the
U.S. government, is participating in this coverup.”
The State Department responded, “We can’t interfere with elections.”
I pulled out a book from a dusty corner of my library entitled, “Cocaine Politics”
by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, and looked up the name Gilbert
Rodriguez. On page 83, Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and Jose Santacruz Londono
were mentioned as part of the early leadership of the Cali cartel. On page 88 it
was noted that the “Calibased Ocampo and Gilberto Rodriguez had been the
principal targets of a major DEA Centac investigtion that resulted in indictments
of Rodriguez in Los Angeles and New York in 1978.”
At that time, President Jimmy Carter’s Human Rights foreign policy in Latin
America distanced the CIA under Stansfield Turner (later a Wackenhut Board
Director) from any death-squad interdiction. The Carter administration was also
reportedly reluctant to go after Ocampo because of its determination in 1977 to
sign a Panama Canal treaty with General Torrijos, even though Torrijos and family
members were heavily involved at the highest levels of the world cocaine trade.
The Cali cartel, described in a 1983 Customs report, laundered its profits through
Miami banks, one of which wasNorthside Bank of Miami, owned by Gilberto
Rodriguez. Rodriguez popped up again as the leader of a delegation to the “cocaine
summit conference” in Panama City in the early 1980’s. Yet, Rodriguez’s name was
subsequently removed from DEA reports under the Ronald Reagan administration.
In fact, according to disgruntled DEA agents, some of whom suspected they were
stumbling into a CIA connection, the case was never pursued past the indictment
level and the Centac 21 task force was totally dismantled when Reagan and Bush
came to office….
On Monday, August 5th, “Riconosciuto called Bill Hamilton from his jail in Tacoma.
He wanted some information about a former Justice Department attorney [Mike
Abbell], and warned Hamilton that getting the information might be dangerous.
Hamilton called Casolaro to help him find out about the attorney.
“That same day, Danny called Bob Bickel to say that he was “getting close to the
source, and he would soon go to Martinsburg and bring back the head of the
Tuesday, August 6: Casolaro had been typing steadily since Monday, and by
afternoon, he’d finished. Olga, his housekeeper, helped him pack a leather tote
bag. She also remembered him packing a thick sheaf of papers into a dark brown or
black briefcase. Danny walked out the door saying, “I have all my papers … Wish
me luck. I’ll see you in a couple of days.” That was the last time Olga saw Casolaro
Wednesday, August 7: According to Inslaw records, Casolarocalled the Hamiltons
in the afternoon, and was put on hold. Before Hamilton could get free, he had hung
up. At some time on that same day, Riconosciuto called Hamilton again to ask for
the information about the Justice Department lawyer [Mike Abbell]. Hamilton
called Casolaro, but he had already left for Martinsburg.
Thursday, August 8: Casolaro called Danielle Stalling and asked her to set up
appointments for him the next week with a former police officer, now employed as
a private investigator, to learn more about the Laotian warlord Kuhn Sa’s
proposed Golden Triangle drug trade.
Friday, August 9: By now Hamilton was starting to worry. I talk to Danny
everyday,” Hamilton said. “I had never [gone without speaking to him for so long]
before, so I called Bob Nichols in Los Angeles and asked whether he had heard
from Danny recently.”
Nichols told Hamilton “Yes,” he had spoken with Danny late Monday night [August
5th] and he had been “euphoric.” Nichols told Hamilton he (Nichols) was taking off
for Europe that evening.
It was at that point that Olga, Danny’s housekeeper, received four or five
threatening phone calls. The first was about 9 a.m., a man’s voice, in good English,
said, “I will cut his [Danny’s] body and throw it to the sharks.
“About a half hour later, another call came in. “Drop dead,” the man’s voice said.
Saturday, August 10: At 12:30 that afternoon, a maid knocked on the door of room
517 at the Sheraton Martinsburg Inn. Nobody answered, so she used her passkey
to open the door; though it had both a security bolt and a chain lock on the inside,
neither one was attached. When she glanced into the bathroom, she saw a lot of
blood on the tile floor and screamed.
Another hotel maid came into the bathroom and saw a man’s nude body lying in the
blood-filled tub. There was blood not only on the tile floor but splattered up onto
the wall above the tub as well. The police were called to the scene.
At 8:30 p.m. that night, unaware that Danny’s body had been found, Olga, Danny’s
housekeeper, returned to Casolaro’s house to look for him. The phone rang. A
man’s voice said, “You son of a bitch. You’re dead.”
It was not until Monday, August 12, that authorities notified family and friends
that Danny Casolaro was dead. . . .
Just days before his death, Danny had planned to visit the reservation. In his
notes were cryptic references to slow-acting brain viruses likeMad Cow Disease,
which could be used against targeted people by slipping the virus into meat pies.
Riconosciuto told Rosenbaum that Danny was “concerned” that he may have been a
target of this virus. “That was one of the reasons he [Danny] had such an
obsession with this story. He felt he had been hit by these people.” . . .
Danny’s girlfriend, Wendy Weaver, had been present at one of the meetings at
the Four Seasons Hotel bar when Nichols issued the warning: “You don’t know how
bad this guy Riconosciutois … he might not get you today, he might not get you
next month. He might get you two years from now. If you say anything against him
he will kill you.”
Nichols repeated the warning several times, said Weaver. “At least five times.”
Weaver described Nichols as “very charming, very handsome,” but said “it [the
meeting] was a weird night, so weird.”
Another friend of Danny’s met Nichols at a luncheon at Clyde’s in Tysons Corner
where Nichols allegedly informed them that he had just been asked to become
“minister of state security” on the island of Dominica. Reportedly, the island was
going to be transformed into a CIA base. The friend, who spoke to Rosenbaum on
condition of anonymity, said Nichols was “very slick, very civilized-appearing” …
“oozing intrigue,” but he added that he had never witnessed a performance like the
one that ensued.
After lunch Danny had pulled his friend aside and showed him a purported FBI
wiretap summary on Nichols. The summary was part of FBI agent Thomas Gates’s
affidavit in Nichols’ slander suit against him. The summary linked Nichols to the
Yakuza and to the Gambino crime family as a money launderer.
Danny’s friend had been shocked. “You just put me in a meeting with this man and
didn’t tell me what the hell why didn’t you tell me before?,” he asked Danny. Danny
said he wanted to see how Nichols would react. The friend told Rosenbaum, “In
other words, he gaffed me with a hook and tossed me in the water to see if the
Octopus would move!”
Danny HAD in fact been receiving death threats on the phone. One threat
reported by his housekeeper, “You’re dead, you son of a bitch,” which came hours
AFTER Danny’s body had been found, ruled out Danny himself as a possible source
of the threats. And his prophesy to his brother, Tony Casolaro, “If anything
happens to me it won’t be an accident,” made it unmistakably clear that Danny did,
indeed, feel threatened.
Nevertheless, Danny appeared upbeat to most of the people he talked to prior to
his death. Dr. Tony Casolaro, a specialist in pulmonary medicine, told Vanity Fair
that he didn’t believe his brother committed suicide because Danny was so
excited and upbeat about his investigation on that last Monday when he saw him.
The autopsy examination of Danny’s brain had revealed possible symptoms of
Multiple Schlerosis, but friends and family dismissed this as irrelevant because
Danny had never complained of symptoms or, to their knowledge, known of the
disease, if he had it.
Tony was also troubled by a number of facts, one of which was Danny’s current
papers and files which he took to West Virginia were missing from his motel room.
His body had been embalmed even before family members were notified of the
death, and the motel room had been commercially cleaned before any type of
investigation, other than a cursory look at the death scene by police, could occur.
In his Vanity Fair article, Ron Rosenbaum wrote that he had obtained one of
Casolaro’s surviving notebooks and found mentioned under the heading of August
6, four days before Danny’s death, the name “Gilberto.” It read: “Bill Hamilton
August 6. MR … also brought up `Gilberto.'” Rosenbaum did not speculate publicly
who Gilberto might be, but it was obviously Gilberto Rodriguez, head of the Cali
Cartel, at that time deeply involved with Michael Abbell, formerly of the
Department of Justice.
A dozen or so drafts of Casolaro’s proposed manuscript along with notes and phone
bills had been sent to the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the
University of Missouri by his brother, Dr. Tony Casolaro. Tony Casolaro had sent
the material to the University because, at one time, the IRE (Investigative
Reporters and Editors) Association, headquartered at the University, had
researched the fatal car-bombing of reporter Don Bolles in Arizona.
Bolles had been researching a mob-connected gold smuggling operation in that
state. Through Tracy Barnett at IRE, I learned that a graduate student at the
University had been assigned to catalog all Danny’s material for eventual insertion
into a data base. In contacting the graduate student, who by then (September
1994) worked for ABC in Houston, Texas, I learned that few if any journalists had
inquired about the notes.
But, interestingly, Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Zipperstein from Los
Angeles, working for the Department of Justice, had requested copies of Danny’s
NOTES, but declined Danny’s phone records. The graduate student noted that the
notes and drafts of Danny’s proposed manuscript focused on a Cabal of intelligence
people who, originally consisting of numerous names, were subsequently narrowed
down to about eight. One of those names was Glen Shockley. Shockley, of course,
was listed on the Board of Directors of F.I.D.C.O. along with Robert Booth Nichols.
Shockley was also a corporate partner in Meridian International Logistics, headed
by Nichols. Shockley was also a CIA-contract employee (according to several
sources) who allegedly “ran Jose Londono” of the Cali Cartel. This according to
Riconosciuto’s taped interview with government agents while negotiating for
I purchased everything of any significance pertaining to Danny’s writings and
documents, including the FBI wire tap summaries which corroborated everything I
had learned to date.
In reviewing the summaries, it became apparent that the FBI had inadvertently
stumbled onto a CIA drug trafficking operation which included high ranking La
Cosa Nostra figures, the Gambino crime family and the Japanese Yakuza.
One affidavit in support of an application to intercept wire communications over
the telephone listed names of those to be intercepted: Robert Booth Nichols,
Eugene Giaquinto (then President of MCA Corportion Entertainment Division, and
corporate partner with Nichols in Meridian International Logistics), Angelo
Commito, Edward Sciandra, Michael Del Gaizo, Joseph Garofalo, and others.
The purpose of the interceptions was to determine “source, type and quantity of
narcotics/controlled substances, methods and means of delivery, and the source of
funding for purchasing of narcotics/controlled substances.”
The intercepted conversations read like a “Who’s Who” of organized crime. It was
also apparent that Eugene Giaquinto enjoyed a special relationship with John Gotti.
Ann Klenk, a long time friend of Danny Casolaro’s and former associate of
Washington D.C. columnist Jack Anderson, held all his personal notes which were
not sent to the University. In a September 14, 1994 phone interview, she noted
that the last time she talked to Danny, that last Monday before his death, he told
her he’d cracked the Inslaw case.
I asked her, “Do you think he resolved that?”
Ann responded, “Oh, yes. I KNOW he did. He TOLD me he did. He said, `Ann, I
broke Inslaw.’ And I said, `Geez, Danny that’s great!’ But, I never asked him
what he found because he was very despondent about it. He said, `You can have it.
You and Jack [Anderson] can have the story. I don’t even want it.'”
Ann said Danny was disgusted and related their last conversation: “I said, `Danny,
you worked on this [so long] and now you don’t want it?’ He said, `It’s just a little
piece of the puzzle anyway.’ See, Inslaw led him into this, but Danny quickly
became more involved with the drug aspects … with the CIA-aspects, with the
I said, “I know what you mean, because I followed the same trail.”
Danny’s proposed drafts and notes obtained from Western Historical Manuscript
Collection at University of Missouri revealed information never published in
mainstream media. Typewritten and handwritten lists of contacts included names
and telephone numbers of Ted Gunderson, Raymond Lavas, Robert Nichols,
Peter Zokosky, Bob Bickel, Fahim Safar, Earl Brian, Peter Dale Scott, Art
Welmus, John Vanderwerker, Jack Blum, Dr. Harry Fair, Bill Hamilton, Bob
Parry, Bill McCoy, and numerous others.
Most of Danny’s drafts focused on the Southeast Asian heroin connection, CIA
drug money used to finance the Contras, and the ability of terrorists to send
missiles containing dangerous chemicals and biological diseases into the U.S.
One typewritten draft, entitled,“Behold, A Pale Horse,” described an
“international cabal [in Southern California] whose freelance services covered
parochial political intrigue, espionage, sophisticated weapon technologies that
included biotoxins, drug trafficking, money laundering and murder-for-hire.”
According to Danny,the cabal continues today, “its origins spawned thirty years
ago in the shadow of the Cold War.” . . .
Within six months of Casolaro’s death, Riconosciutowas again attempting to trade
information in exchange for entry into a Witness Protection Program. But this
time, instead of using Casolaro or Bill Hamilton, he was using me to make the
At Riconosciuto’s request, I contacted a man whom I will identify as N.B. at the
BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) in San Francisco. Michael had
advised me to call this agent because the BATF was “Treasury Department” as was
I set up the phone meeting and Riconosciuto called the San Francisco BATF collect,
as scheduled. N.B. listened attentively to Michael, then ran a check on him through
the departmental computer system. Shortly thereafter, I received an unnerving
N.B. advised me in strong terms to “get out of this” while I still could. He said I
would end up getting subpoenaed as a witness if I didn’t discontinue my
investigation. He added that sometimes people got killed or committed suicide
when they got involved with Michael Riconosciuto or Robert Booth Nichols. . . .
Through one of Michael’s contacts, I was able to obtain the corporate documents
on F.I.D.C.O. Corporation (First Intercontinental Development Corporation). This
formidable organization lead me straight to the head of The Octopus.
The Board of Directors of FIDCO consisted of the following principles:
(1) Robert Maheu, Sr, Vice President, Director former FBI agent, former CEO ofHoward Hughes Operations, senior consultant to Leisure Industries.
(2) Michael A. McManus, Director, Vice President and General Counsel to FIDCO
former Assistant to the President [Reagan] of the United States at the White
House in Washington D.C.
(3) Robert Booth Nichols, Director, Sr. Vice President and Chairman of
Investment Committee Chief Executive Officer of R.B.N. Companies,
International, a holding company for manufacturing and development of high
technology electronics, real estate development, construction and international
(4) George K. Pender, Director former Director of Pacific Ocean area ofBurns &
Roe, Inc., an international engineering & construction corporation with active
projects on all seven continents of the world. Senior engineer consultant to Burns
& Roe, Inc.
(5) Kenneth A. Roe, Director Chairman and President of Burns & Roe, Inc.,
International engineers and Constructors, a family corporation owned by Kenneth
Roe and family. Major current project of the company is the engineering design and
construction of the U.S.A. Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor Plant in conjunction
with Westinghouse Electric Corporation which is responsible for the nuclear
system supply of steam. Construction value of present business backlog of Burns &
Roe, Inc. is in e Manager xcess of six billion U.S. dollar.
(6) Frances T. Fox, Vice President and Director former General of L.A.
International Airport, former Director of Aviation for Howard Hughes Nevada
operations, now called Summa Corporation, City Manager of San Jose, California.
(7) Clint W. Murchison, Jr. Director Owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football
(8) William M. Pender, Director and Sr. Vice President licensed contractor, State
(9) Glen R. Shockley, Director Consultant to Fortune 500 Companies in business
management. Internationally known as financial consultant in funding.
The list of directors was accompanied by a letter dated January 11, 1983 on
FIDCO letterhead originating out of Santa Monica, California addressed to Robert
Booth Nichols in Marina Del Rey, California. The letter, signed by George K.
Pender, briefly referenced a copy of a resolution resulting from a meeting of the
Board of Directors of FIDCO.
On April 13, 1983, Robert Booth Nichols wrote a letter to Joseph F. Preloznik in
Madison, Wisconsin, outlining proposed arms projects, one of which was to build a
two story building of approximately 7500 square feet with concrete walls and
floors to house the “R & D position.”
(I later found the R & D facility referenced in a 1981 Wackenhut Interoffice
memorandum as a companion facility to Wackenhut to be constructed on the
Cabazon Indian reservation for the assembly of shell casings, propellants, war
heads, fuses, combustible cartridge cases and other weapons systems). . . .
If in fact, F.I.D.C.O. was a vehicle of The Octopus, then the tentacles of its
Board of Directors lead straight to the head. Clint Murchison, Jr. of Dallas,
Texas was the son of Clint Murchison, Sr. who, according to Dick Russell, author
of the book, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” (pp. 521-523) was cut from the
same political cloth as H.L. Hunt….
Wrote Russell: “Back in 1951, after General Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his
Korean command by President Truman, H.L. Hunt accompanied MacArthur on a
flight to Texas for a speaking tour. Hunt and Murchison were the chief organizers
of the pro-MacArthur forces in Texas. They would always remember the general
standing bareheaded in front of the Alamo, urging removal of the `burden of
taxation’ from enterprising men like themselves, charging that such restraints
were imposed by `those who seek to convert us to a form of socialistic endeavor,
leading directly to the path of Communist slavery.'”
According to Russell, Hunt went on to set up a MacArthur-for-president
headquarters in Chicago, spending $150,000 of his own money on the general’s
reluctant 1952 campaign, which eventually fell apart as MacArthur adopted the
strident rhetoric of the right wing.
“Still, connections were made,” wrote Russell, “Charles Willoughby, for example,
was a regular part of the MacArthur-Hunt entourage and undoubtedly was
acquainted with Murchison as well.”
Both [the Hunts and the Murchisons] cultivated not only powerful people on the far
right, but alsoJ. Edgar Hoover,Richard Nixon, organized crime figures, and
Lyndon Johnson, whose rise to power emanated directly from his friends in Texas
“Like Hunt, Murchison was an ardent supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s
anticommunist crusade. McCarthy came often to the exclusive hotel that Murchson
opened in La Jolla, California, in the early 1950’s. So did Richard Nixon and J.
“In 1961, after Nixon had lost the presidential election to JFK the previous year,
Murchison sold Nixon a lot in Beverly Hills for only $35,000 a lot Murchison had
financed through a Hoffa loan which Nixon sold two years later for $86,000.
When Hoover visited the (Murchison) Hotel Del Charro, as he did every summer
between 1953 and 1959, Murchison picked up his tab. That amounted to about
$19,000 of free vacations for the FBI Director over those years.
Whether Hoover knew it or not, almost 20 percent of the Murchison Oil Lease
Company in Oklahoma was then owned by Gerardo Catena, chief lieutenant to the
Genovese crime family.
By the autumn of 1963, a major scandal was brewing aroundBobby Baker, whom
Vice President Lyndon Johnson had made secretary of the Senate Democrats in
1955, when LBJ was majority leader. LBJ called Baker “my strong right arm, the
last man I see at night, the first I see in the morning.”
On October 8, 1963 Baker was forced to resign, as a Senate investigation of his
outside business activities began producing sensational testimony on numerous
“Baker’s deals were tightly interwoven with the Murchison family and the Mob,”
wrote Dick Russell.
“What first attracted the attention of Senate investigators was a lawsuit brought
against Baker in 1963 by his associates in a vending company, alleging that he failed
to live up to certain bargains. Those associates were, for the most part, Las Vegas
gamblers; one of them, Edward Levinson, was a lieutenant of Florida mobster
Meyer Lansky, whose Fremont Hotel in Vegas was financed through a Hoffa loan.
“Baker, it later turned out, did considerable business with the Mob in Las Vegas,
Chicago, Louisiana, and the Caribbean. Through Baker, Levinson had also gotten to
know Clint Murchison.”
“Clint Murchison, Jr. [listed on the Board of Directors of FIDCO] tried to
persuade the Senate Rules Committee in 1964 that his own real estate dealings
with Jimmy Hoffa in Florida were `hardly relevant’ to the Baker investigation.”
Robert Maheu (Senior Vice President and Director of F.I.D.C.O.), was also
mentioned in Russell’s book,“The Man Who Knew Too Much,” (pp. 190). Wrote
Russell: “Back in 1960, with then vice president Richard Nixon serving as the
White House’s liaison to the CIA’s Cuban operations, the CIA had initiated its long
series of assassination attempts against Castro.
The `cutouts’ in the operation started with Las Vegas billionaire Howard
Hughes’s right-hand man, Robert Maheu, who got in touch with organized-crime
leadersSam Giancana, Johnny Rosselli, andSantos Trafficante, Jr.
“They in turn enlisted the direct assistance of Cuban exiles …”
When Osama Bin Ladin Was Tim Osman
by J. Orlin Grabbe
The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California in the late
Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives of the mujahadeen, the
Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
One of the two, Ted Gunderson, had had a distinguished career in the FBI, serving
as some sort of supervisor over Special Agents in the early 60s, as head of the Dallas
field office from 1973-75, and as head of the Los Angeles field office from 1977-1979. He retired to become an investigator for, among others, well-known attorney
F. Lee Bailey.
And all along the way, Gunderson, whether or not actually a CIA contract agent, had
been around to provide services to various CIA and National Security Council
operations, as he was doing now.
In more recent years Gunderson was to become controversial for his investigations
into child prostitution rings, after he became convinced of the innocence of an Army
medical doctor named Jeffrey McDonald, who had been convicted of the murder of
his wife and three young children in the 1970s. This has led to various attempts by
the patrons and operators of the child prostitution industry to smear Gunderson’s
Michael Riconosciuto was there to discuss assisting the mujahadeen with
MANPADs——Man Portable Air Defense Systems. Stinger missiles were one
possibility. If the U.S. would permit their export, Riconosciuto could modify the
Stinger’s electronics, so the guided missile would still be effective against Soviet
aircraft, but would not be a threat to U.S. or NATO forces.
But Riconosciuto had another idea. Through his connections with the Chinese
industrial and military group Norinco, he could obtain the basic components for the
unassembled Chinese 107 MM rocket system. These could be reconfigured into a man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft guided missile sytem, and produced in Pakistan
at a facility called the Pakistan Ordinance Works. The mujahadeen would then have
a lethal weapon against Soviet helicopter, observation, and transport aircraft.
Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he was also an
expert on electronic computers and associated subjects such as cryptology (see my
“Michael Riconosciuto on Encryption“).
Riconosciuto was a prodigy who had grown up in the spook community. The Riconosciuto
family had once run Hercules, California, as a company town. In the early days (1861)
a company called California Powder Works had been established in Santa Cruz, CA. It
later purchased land on San Pablo Bay, and in 1881 started producing dynamite,
locating buildings in gullies and ravines for safety purposes. A particularly potent type
of black powder was named “Hercules Powder”, which gave the name to the town of
Hercules, formally incorporated in 1900. In World War I, Hercules became the
largest producer of TNT in the U.S.
Hercules, however, had gotten out of the explosives business by 1940 when an
anhydrous ammonia plant was constructed. In 1959 Hercules began a new
manufacturing facility to produce methanol, formaldehyde, and urea formaldehyde.
In 1966 the plant was sold to Valley Nitrogen Producers. Labor problems led to a plant
closure in 1977. In 1979 the plant and site was purchased by a group of investors
calling themselves Hercules Properties, Ltd.
However, Michael and his father Marshall Riconosciuto, a friend of Richard Nixon,
continued to run the Hercules Research Corporation. In the early 1980s Michael also
served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut
Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians in Indio,
Riconosciuto’s talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic bomb
(or “Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device”), which sank the ground level of the
Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor
of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto: “I’ve spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the
inventor of the a-neutronic bomb) and he’s an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have
a hunch, which I can’t prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner)
indirectly work for the CIA.”
Riconosciuto’s bomb made suitcase nukes obsolete, because it achieved near-atomic
explosive yields, but could be more easily minaturized. You could have a suitcase a-neutronic bomb, or a briefcase a-neutronic bomb, or simply a lady’s purse a-neutronic
bomb. Or just pull out your wallet for identification and ——.
The Meridian Arms Corporation, as well as the Universities of California and
Chicago owned a piece of the technology.
But there was more than explosives in the portfolios of the CIA agents who
surrounded Riconosciuto like moths around a candle. Both Robert Booth Nichols, the
shady head of Meridian Arms Corporation (with both CIA and organized crime
connections), and Dr. John Phillip Nichols, the manager of the Cabazon reservation,
were involved in bio-warfare work——the first in trying to sell bio-warfare products
to the army through Wackenhut, the second in giving tribal permission for research
to take place at Cabazon.
According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts for biological warfare
research. Riconosciuto would later testify under oath that Stormont Laboratories
was involved in the DARPA-Wackenhut-Cabazon project.
Jonathan Littman, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle would relate: “Cabazons
and Wackenhut appeared to be acting as middlemen between the Pentagon’s DARPA
and Stormont Laboratories, a small facility in Woodland near Sacramento.”
The Race Weapon
Riconosciuto would make additional claims about Bio-Rad corporation, a medical
supplier which had gradually taken over Hercules, California. They were also,
Riconosciuto would say, covertly engaged in bio-warfare research — producing
some of the deadliest toxins known to man.
The focus of Bio-Rad’s research was said to be bio-active elements that could
be tailored to attack those with certain types of DNA. Weapons could thus be
produced that were specifically designed to wipe out specific races or genetic
classes of human beings. (Alternatively, particular DNA types could be immunized
against a deadly biological agent; the agent could then be released, and everyone
else would die.)
A couple of years later, Meridian International Logistics, the parent company of
Meridian Arms, was to farm similar research out to the Japanese. This included
(according to minutes of a corporate meeting dated Aug. 26, 1988) methods for
“induction and activation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes”.
Associated with Meridian’sRobert Booth Nichols in a Middle Eastern operation
called FIDCO, a company that ran arms into and heroin out of Lebanon’s Beqaa
(Bekaa) Valley, was Harold Okimoto,a high-ranking member of theYakuza.
Okimoto had longed worked under Frank Carlucci (who served as Secretary of
Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA before becoming Chairman of The Carlyle
Group). Okimoto owned food concessions in casinos around the world——Las Vega,
Reno, Macao, and the Middle East. (Free drinks and anthrax while you play blackjack,
Meeting Riconosciuto and Gunderson at the hotel were two representatives of the
mujahadeen, waiting to discuss their armament needs. One of the two was named
“Ralph Olberg.” The other one was called Tim Osman (or Ossman).
“Ralph Olberg” was an American businessman who was leading the procurement of
American weapons and technology on behalf of the Afghan rebels. He worked through
the Afghan desk at the U.S. State Department, as well as through Senator Hubert
Humphrey’s office. Olberg looked after the Afghanis through a curious front called
MSH——Management Sciences for Health.
The other man, dressed in Docker’s clothing, was not a native Afghan any more than
Olberg was. He was a 28-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman)has recently become
better known as Osama Bin Ladin. “Tim Osman” was the name assigned to him
by the CIAfor his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of
political support and armaments.
Gunderson and Riconosciuto were not on an altruistic mission. They had some
conditions for their help. And they had some bad news to deliver. The mujahadeen
needed to be willing to test new weapons in the field and to return a research report,
complete with photos.
The bad news was that some factions of the CIA didn’t feel that Oldberg and
Osman’s group were the real representatives of the Afghans. Upon hearing this both
Tim and Ralph were indignant. They wanted to mount a full-court press. Round up
other members of their group and do a congressional and White House lobbying
effort in Washington, D.C.
~ ~ ~
Did the lobbying effort take place? I don’t know. There is some evidence that Tim
Osman and Ralph Oldberg visited the White House. There is certainty that Tim
Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special demonstrations of the
latest equipment. Why hasn’t this been reported in the major media?
One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS software in 1991,
Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug charges.
The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case attempted to cover up
Riconosciuto’s intelligence background by claiming to the jury he was “delusional.” A
TV station came and pointed a camera out at the desert at Cabazon and said,
“Riconosciuto says he modified the PROMIS software here.”
Of course Riconosciuto didn’t modify the software out between the cacti and yucca.
Sand isn’t good for computers. He did the modifications in offices in nearby Indio,
California. The AUSA told reporters Riconosciuto had been diagnosed with a mental
condition, the implication being “he’s making all this stuff up”. Yes, there had been a
mental evaluation of Riconosciuto. I have a copy of the report.
The diagnosis? Here it is: NO MENTAL DISORDER. The Department of Justice
consistently and maliciously lied to the jury, just as had been threatened by Justice
Department official Peter Viednicks if Riconosciuto cooperated with the congressional
investigation of PROMIS.
If the war against Osama Bin Ladin (Tim Osman) is not a total fraud, then what isMichael Riconosciuto doing in prison? Why doesn’t he have an office next to Colin
Powell so he can give realistic advice on Bin Ladin’s thinking? And where is Ralph
Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August 7, 1998,
Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings were going to take place.
Two days prior to the bombings he requested of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) officials at
the Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) in Coleman, FL., that he be allowed to call
ECOMOG security headquarters to warn African officials. The BOP denied the
Riconosciuto was mystified at being ignored by the relevant government authorities.
I’m not mystified.
I suspect the reason Riconosciuto was ignored was that the relevant parties, including
especially the Miami FBI office, knew all along the bombings would take place. And
they wanted them to happen.
The same is true with respect to the recent plane bombings of the WTC. It wasn’t
an intelligence “failure”. The terrorist acts were deliberately allowed to happen. The
actors may have been foreign. But the stage directors appear to have been all along
here in the U.S. Cui bono?
Isn’t it time to let Michael Riconosciuto out of prison, and wipe the slate clean of the
trumped up drug charges, and let him be a national security advisor——at least with
respect to the government’s pursuit of Osama Bin Ladin? Isn’t it time to quit
pretending Osama Bin Ladin came out of nowhere?
This is not an academic argument. Sources say three dozen MANPADs have been
imported into Quebec, Canada, from Colombia (where they arrived from Eastern
Europe). The missile shipments followed the “northern” drug route——from Colombia
into Canada. The missiles involved are Russian Strellas and Iglas. These will serve just
fine to take down commercial airline flights. Just like TWA 800. Which group of
terrorists has the missiles?
Meanwhile, how many biological warfare agents are in the hands of organized crime?
Maybe you should ask Riconosciuto about all this.
Michael Riconosciuto is now incarcerated at the FCI Allenwood, PA. You know where
to find him.
Note: Michael Riconosciuto has just been moved to Springfield, MO. His address is:
Michael J. Riconosciuto
21309-086 Box 4000
U.S. Medical Center
Booming ‘ice’ use gets Hawaii labeled a
‘high intensity’ problem — opening access to federal
personnel and a$186.5 millionprogram
By Pete Pichaske, Phillips News Service
WASHINGTON – Hawaii today was named one of the nation’s “high intensity drug
trafficking areas” by federal drug officials concerned about the state’s continuing
problem with crystal methamphetamine or “ice” as well as its status as an international
drug distribution hub.
The designation will mean an immediate influx of$700,000 to help fight drugs, as well
as federal help with training, equipment and personnel.
The designation “is a catalyst for the coordination of law enforcement and
prosecution,” said Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the nation’s drug czar and director of
the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The first “high intensity” drug areas were named in 1990 in an attempt to slow drug
trafficking in regions with “significant narcotics threats.”
The addition of Hawaii and four other geographic areas brings the number of drug
trafficking areas to 31. The other four named today were central California, Ohio,
Oregon and parts of New England.
The total budget for the program this year is $186.5 million.
Although one New England senator today called the designation, with its clear
admission of a drug problem, a decidedly mixed blessing, Hawaii’s lawmakers
unanimously applauded their state’s new status.
Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Patsy Mink noted that Hawaii is a “jumping-off” point for drug trafficking between Asia and the mainland, and said increased
efforts should help slow the traffic.
Sen. Daniel Akaka said “the help we can get … will certainly help us to stem the tide
of ice to the mainland.”
Ice first appeared in Hawaii about a decade ago, imported from Asia. It has since
spread to the West Coast and, now, the Midwest.
Honolulu is among the top eight U.S. cities with the fastest growth of ice use,
according to the 1998 annual report by the National Institutes of Health and the
National Institute on Drug Abuse. The other cities are Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix,
San Diego, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and St. Louis.
Three of Hawaii’s four counties have showed dramatic increases in drug cases handled
by local police, according to the national drug control office.
From 1996 to 1998, the number of cases increased by 53 percent in Honolulu and 42
percent in the Big Island, and quadrupled on Kauai.
The courts have seen the ramifications of the state’s ice problem, in child abuse
cases in particular.
Ice is the No. 1 drug among 90 percent of parents who abuse or neglect their
children, according to Child Protective Services. There are about 2,300 confirmed
cases of child abuse a year here.
In the last 10 years, child abuse cases have doubled, according to Family Court
According to a fact sheet prepared by the national drug control office, Hawaii’s
“accessibility to Los Angeles and Tokyo make the islands a key international drug
The isles’ huge volume of cargo and mail, especially at Honolulu Airport, hampers
efforts to stop drug trafficking, according to the office.
While local efforts to intercept drugs have met with some success, they have stopped
only a fraction of the total traffic.
The fact sheet labeled Hawaii a conduit for drugs shipped from Mexico or the
mainland and bound for Pacific islands, such as Guam or American Samoa, or Pacific
Rim nations, such as Japan, Korea or Australia.
Authorities in the isles recently seized shipments of ice and cocaine bound for the
Law enforcement officials received today’s news of additional federal help with open
“That’s great,” said Keith Kamita, administrator of the Narcotic Enforcement
Division, Department of Public Safety. “The added resources should make more of an
impact on our efforts. The sharing of information will assist all agencies.”
“We’ll use the money through our airport program, working with other federal
agencies,” said Honolulu Police Capt. Thomas Nitta. “It’s a continuing problem. We
could use the extra money.”
HPD is already working with federal agencies on a recently formed drug task force
to fight the state’s crystal methamphetamine invasion. The agencies include the FBI,
Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, U.S.
Customs, and the state attorney general’s office.
Nitta blamed the state court system’s shorter sentences for drug traffickers and
prison overcrowding for the shorter jail terms drug offenders receive….
November 30, 1999
Airport, stadium security contracts
are up for grabs
by Malia Zimmerman, Pacific Business News
Two state entities — the Department of Transportation and the Procurement Office
— will soon decide which Hawaii company wwill be awarded three coveted security-service contracts valued at more than $36 million.
The contracts are for security guard services at Honolulu International Airport; the
neighbor island airports; and Aloha Stadium.
The transportation department is expected to begin the bidding process Aug. 5 for
the Honolulu and neighbor island airport contracts.
The winning bid may be determined within 10 days after the initial request for
proposals is issued.
Collectively valued at $12 million a year over a three-year period, the contracts are
coveted because combined they could make the winning security firm the largest in
the state. The Wackenhut Corp., a mainland-based security company, has held the
contract since 1994.
The bids originally were solicited last August, but the transportation department
recalled and re-issued the specifications after complaints by competitors of
favoritism toward Wackenhut.
Complaints filed with the transportation department ranged from too short a
turnaround time (three weeks from when the specifications were issued to when the
bid was due); too short a turnaround time to implement the bid if selected; and a lack
of clarity in equipment needed to meet the state’s requirements.
But Marilyn Kali, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said in
an interview last year there was no favoritism in the bidding process. She says the
state broke the $36 million airport contract into two bids to give more companies and
smaller firms a chance to win one of the bids. And she says the attorney general’s
office would look into clarifying the specifications.
Kali did not return calls to PBN to answer questions regarding the new bid, and no one
else from the transportation department involved in the project would comment
without her permission.
Security companies bidding on the project say the winning security firm will still have
to work to meet the challenges of complex requirements within the allotted time.
These include hiring 600 to 700 trained employees with high school diplomas, and
running FBI background clearances and 10-year residence and employment checks,
and providing 40 hours of sidearm and general training.
In addition, the winning bidder must purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of
equipment from mainland distributors, including guns, 4-by-4 vehicles, golf carts and
more than $50,000 in radios and other equipment. All the equipment must be uniform.
Ray Romero, Hawaii general manager of Burns International Security Services Corp.,
says his company bid on the state airport contracts. Burns, established in Hawaii 30
years ago, held the airport contract in the 1970s.
Buzzy Chang, president of Wackenhut, could not be reached for comment.
Also up for grabs is the contract for security guard service at the Aloha Stadium,
estimated to be worth around $260,000 annually for 18 guards. The contract, now
held by Hawaii Protective Services, likely will be awarded to one of two companies:
Wackenhut, which bid $255,000 a year; and Centurion Guard Service, which bid
If both are disqualified, the contract will go back to Hawaii Protective Services, a
local company owned byLarry Mehau.
Hawaii Protective Services was eliminated from the running because its bid was higher
than that of its two competitors….
From newsmakingnews (http://www.newsmakingnews.com ):
SLEEP SOUNDLY TONIGHT, AMERICA! WACKENHUT AND
PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY LOS ALAMOS, INC. ARE PROVIDING
SECURITY FOR THE LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB!
The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)is operated by the University of
California for the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States military or the
FBI are not employed to guard the LANL’S top nuclear secrets. Private firms, who
do not take the military or FBI loyalty oath to the United States, are employed
WHO ARE THESE FIRMS WHO GUARD THE LANL?
Wackenhut and Protection Technology Los Alamos, Inc.
So far, the USA and the media have not called them to task as why the total
breakdown in the security at LANL occurred on their watch. NewsMakingNews
breaks the story:
From 1984 to the present, The Wackenhut Corporation has had a contract with the
Department of Energy to provide “management and operation support services” for
the DOE’SNonproliferation and National Security Institute (formerly the Central
Training Academy). . . .
From 1990 to the present, The Wackenhut Corporation has had a contract with the
Department of Energy “to provide the DOE with technical and administrative services
in support of the Accelerated Access Authorization Program, to include psychological
assessments, drug testing/urinalysis, medical records review and counterintelligence
scope polygraph examination.” The Wackenhut testing center is located at: 3201
University Blvd., S.E. Ste. 103, Albuquerque, New Mexico. This Wackenhut program
is called the Accelerated Access Authorization Program.
From 1992 to the present, Protection Technology Los Alamos Inc. has provided
physical security services to Los Alamos National Laboratory, a subcontract worth
about $26 million per year during the past four years. This contract was renewed in
1997 despite the extensive problems with LANL nuclear security which resulted in
Wen Ho Lee arrest for security violations.
“Protection Technology provides more than 400 guards and other personnel provide
security at Los Alamos, a U.S. Department of Energy facility. Their duties include
protecting nuclear materials; providing personnel and training for tactical response
teams; maintaining, monitoring and responding to sensors and alarms; guarding security
stations; patrolling the 43-square-mile Laboratory; guarding transportation convoys;
protecting property; operating a live firing range; and regulating parking.”
Day and Zimmerman Group, Inc. a privately-held corporation, based in Philadelphia,
owns and operates Protection Technology Los Alamos, Inc. Day and Zimmerman’s web
site states: “Day & Zimmermann’s engineering and facilities’ management expertise
naturally expanded to include provision of highly trained professionals delivering
sophisticated security programs to very sensitive installations. Protection Technology
was formally founded in 1987 through consolidation of Day & Zimmermann’s security
services operations. We currently serve a growing number of Fortune 500 firms,
Department of Energy facilities, utilities, and nuclear power generating plants
throughout the United States. Delivery of 100% safe environments is our core
dedication and a key “attitude” at Protection Technology.”
WHO’S WHO AT DAY & ZIMMERMAN, INC?
In a recent press release Day & Zimmerman stated:
William R. Holmes, a retired Army Brigadier General, joined Day & Zimmermann in
1998. He was named president of Day & Zimmermann, Inc., formerly the Government
Systems Group in 1999. This unit of The Day & Zimmermann Group, Inc. is responsible
for the production, storage and demilitarization of ammunition products and provides
related services to the Departments of Defense and Energy and to U.S.-approved
Holmes came to Day & Zimmermann after more than 30 years of U.S. Army service.
During that time, he held a number of important positions in logistics and acquisitions,
principally in munitions and armament systems. His final assignment was Deputy for
Ammunition in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research,
Development and Acquisition. In that role, he was responsible for development of the
Army’’s annual ammunition budget and oversight of the U.S. ammunition industrial
base. He also served as the Commanding General of Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
Additionally, his Army service included command tours in Germany, Vietnam,
Hawthorne Army Depot, Nevada and Seneca Army Depot, New York.
Day & Zimmermann, Inc. is a leading global provider of diversified professional,
technical and personnel services encompassing the full range of engineering,
construction and maintenance services; technical staffing; munitions production,
logistics and disposal; facilities management; and security services. One of the
world’s largest and most successful privately held, family-owned and operated
businesses, Day & Zimmermann was named the national family business of the year in
1998. Founded in 1901 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the company
is ranked 108 in Forbes magazine’s listing of the top 500 private companies.
Hoover’s On-line states that family of recently retired CEO Harold Yoh III has
operated Day & Zimmerman since it was founded in 1901. Hoovers states:
Without getting dazed, Day & Zimmermann circles the globe providing technical and
engineering consulting and construction services. It provides services such as
procurement, project management, security, and staffing, mostly for defense, energy,
and industrial projects. Defense projects have included assembling Tomahawk cruise
missiles and anti-tank weapons. The company also operates dedicated offices for
individual clients, such as its Charlotte, North Carolina, location that serves DuPont.
Founded in 1901, Day & Zimmermann is owned by the family of CEO Harold Yoh III.
The company is adding to its munitions operations by acquiring Mason & Hanger
Engineering, the US’s oldest engineering and construction firm.
Duke University provided a good biography of Harold Yoh III:
Spike Yoh retired last month as chairman of the board and chief executive officer
of Day & Zimmermann Inc., a billion-dollar sales diversified professional service firm
now managed by his children in Philadelphia. . . .
Spike Yoh began his professional career in 1960, joining a firm begun by his father,
the H.L. Yoh Co., which merged with Day & Zimmermann in 1962. He held a variety
of management positions with the firm, becoming chief executive officer in 1976 and
chairman of the board in 1980. He earned a master’s degree in business
administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962….
Spike Yoh has served as a member of the executive committee and chairman of the
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Mid-Atlantic chairman of the U.S.
Olympic Committee; board member and vice chairman of the Philadelphia Industrial
Development Corp.; and member of regional and national committees, including
continuing service on the national executive board of the Boy Scouts of America.
NEWSMAKINGNEWS QUESTION OF THE DAY?
Is the Yoh family which controls and operates Day & Zimmerman related to Bernard
Yoh, now deceased, who was on the Board of Directors of Accuracy in Media, a CIA
Public Information Research (PIR) provided biographical data about Bernard Yoh:
Bernard Yoh also has a history of intelligence and military work. He is/was a
professor of psychological warfare at the Air Force University in Montgomery,
Alabama. He was a hit man for the Shanghai police during the Sino-Japanese war and
organized the South Vietnamese counterinsurgency forces during the Vietnam War.
In the 1964 Brazilian coup, Yoh advised the Brazilian generals.(2,6) (Click to read
entire PIR article.) (Click to see PIR Name Base connections for Bernard Yoh.)
Bernard Yoh was well-connected to Reed Irvine who served on the Council for
National Policy. Bernard Yoh “contributed regularly to the Unification Church
publication Rising Tide and was a strong supporter of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and
the South Korean government.” (Click to read entire article.)
WHY WACKENHUT IS A FOX GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE
AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB!
Wackenhut was founded by George Wackenhut, FBI agent, who obtained
Wackenhut’s first big job, when it worked as the investigator for Clay Shaw, accused
by Jim Garrison in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Since then, Wackenhut
Corporation has become of the world’s top security and investigation firms.
Wackenhut was investigated by Congress in regard to its dirty trick campaign against
persons who protested the Alyeska pipeline.
Wackenhut recently was charged in Texas with running private prison facilities where
inmates were raped and beaten (60 Minutes June 2000.)
Wackenhut is known as the “CIA’s CIA.” At the Cabazon Indian reservation,
Wackenhut engaged in biological and munitions research with black cover operatives.
On its board of directors, in the past, was William Casey, former CIA director. Its
current board of directors is a who’s who list of right wing intelligence operatives.
In Alameda County, California Wackenhut provides “food and other services” at the
Santa Rita County jail in Dublin, and provides investigation services for the Emery
Unified School Board which ran the human pain experiments on school children for the
University of California, San Francisco. Wackenhut’s job in Emeryville was to silence
the molested students who were injured by the pain experiments and the perverted
teaching staff which permitted the experiments and themselves administered pain
Wackenhut provides services for many other Bay area public entities and private
firms. An excellent description of Wackenhut’s services and history is contained in
an article printed in Spy Magazine. (See below.) The Wackenhut Corporation is the
“grand central station” of dirty intelligence operations. (Click to see Wackenhut’s
connections. – Click to see George Wackenhut’s connections.)
The two discs which were “lost” at the LANL have been found behind a copy machine.
Who is being questioned? The media has yet to report that the security firms
involved have been questioned at all! Or are these security firms conducting the
A prime question in the LANL investigation is what was and is the role of Wackenhut
and Protection Technology Los Alamos, Inc. and Day & Zimmerman and the Yoh family?
It’s time to let the United States military enlisted persons perform security at the
laboratories. These private investigation firms have their own for-profit agendas and
other personal agendas.
Only the military is qualified to perform these services at the laboratories, because
it is subject to the oath of loyalty to the United States of America. If a military
person breaks that oath, the remedy is likely to be sure and swift pursuant to the
Code of Military Justice….
INSIDE THE SHADOW CIA
SPY Magazine – Sept 1992 – Volume 6
What? A big private company – one with a board of former CIA, FBI and Pentagon
officials; one in charge of protecting Nuclear-Weapons facilities, nuclear reactors,
the Alaskan oil pipeline and more than a dozen American embassies abroad; one with
long-standing ties to a radical ring-wing organization; one with 30,000 men and women
under arms – secretly helped IRAQ in its effort to obtain sophisticated weapons?
And fueled unrest in Venezuela? This is all the plot of a new best-selling thriller,
right? Or the ravings of some overheated conspiracy buff, right?
~ ~ ~
In the WINTER OF 1990, David Ramirez, a 24 year-old member of the Special
Investigations Division of the Wackenhut Corporation, was sent by his superiors on
an unusual mission.
Ramirez a former Marine Corps sergeant based in Miami, was told to fly immediately
to San Antonio along with three other members of SID-a unit, known as founder and
chairman George Wackenhut’s “private FBI,” that provided executive protection and
conducted undercover investigations and sting operations. Once they arrived, they
rented two gray Ford Tauruses and drove four hours to a desolate town on the
Mexican border called Eagle Pass. There, just after dark, they met two truck drivers
who had been flown in from Houston. Inside a nearby warehouse was an 18 -wheel
tractor-trailer, which the two truck drivers and the four Wackenhut agents in their
rented cars were supposed to transport to Chicago.
“My instructions were very clear,” Ramirez recalls. “Do not look into the trailer,
secure it, and make sure it safely gets to Chicago.” It went without saying that no one
else was supposed to look in the trailer, either, which is why the Wackenhut men were
armed with fully loaded Remington 870 pump-action shotguns.
The convoy drove for 30 hours straight, stopping only for gas and food. Even then, one
of the Wackenhut agents had to stay with the truck, standing by one of the cars, its
trunk open, shotgun within easy reach.
“Whenever we stopped, I bought a shot glass with the name of the town on it,”
Ramirez recalls. “I have glasses from Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis.”
A little before 5:00 on the morning of the third day, they delivered the trailer to a
practically empty warehouse outside Chicago. A burly man who had been waiting for
them on the loading dock told them to take off the locks and go home, and that was
that. They were on a plane back to Miami that afternoon. Later Ramirez’s superiors
told him-as they told other SID agents about similar midnight runs-that the trucks
contained $40 million worth of food stamps. After considering the secrecy, the way
the team was assembled and the orders not to stop or open the truck, Ramirez
decided he didn’t believe that explanation.
Neither do we. One reason is simple: A Department of Agriculture official simply
denies that food stamps are shipped that way. “Someone is blowing smoke,” he says.
Another reason is that after a six-month investigation, in the course of which we
spoke to more than 300 people, we believe we know what the truck did contain-equipment necessary for the manufacture of chemical weapons-and where it was
headed: to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
And the Wackenhut Corporation – a publicly traded company with strong ties to the
CIA and federal contracts worth $200 million a year –was making sure Saddam
would be getting his equipment intact.
The question is why.
In 1954, George Wackenhut, then a 34-year old former FBI agent, joined up with
three other former FBI agents to open a company in Miami called Special Agent
Investigators Inc. The partnership was neither successful nor harmonious – George
once knocked partner Ed Dubois unconscious to end a disagreement over the direction
the company would take – and in 1958, George bought out his partners.
However capable Wackenhut’s detectives may have been at their work, George
Wackenhut had two personal attributes that were instrumental in the company’s
First, he got along exceptionally well with important politicians.
He was a close ally of Florida governor Claude Kirk, who hired him to combat
organized crime in the state; and was also friends with Senator George Smathers,
an intimate of John F. Kennedy’s.
It was Smathers who provided Wackenhut with his big break when the senator’s law
firm helped the company find a loophole in the Pinkerton law, the 1893 federal statute
that had made it a crime for an employee of a private detective agency to do work for
Smathers’s firm set up a wholly owned subsidiary of Wackenhut that provided only
guards, not detectives. Shortly thereafter, Wackenhut received multimillion-dollar
contracts from the government to guard Cape Canaveral and the Nevada nuclear-bomb
test site, the first of many extremely lucrative federal contracts that have sustained
the company to this day.
The second thing that helped make George Wackenhut successful was that he was,
and is, a hard-line right-winger. He was able to profit from his beliefs by building up
dossiers on Americans suspected of being Communists or merely left-leaning-“subversives and sympathizers,” as he put it-and selling the information to interested
According to Frank Donner, the author of “Age of Surveillance”, the Wackenhut
Corporation maintained and updated its files even after the McCarthyite hysteria had
ebbed, adding the names of antiwar protesters and civil-rights demonstrators to its
list of “derogatory types.”
By 1965, Wackenhut was boasting to potential investors that the company maintained
files on 2.5 million suspected dissidents-one in 46 American adults then living. In
1966, after acquiring the private files of Karl Barslaag; a former staff member of the
House Committee on Un- American Activities, Wackenhut could confidently maintain
that with more than 4 million names, it had the largest privately held file on suspected
dissidents in America.
In 1975, after Congress investigated companies that had private files, Wackenhut
gave its files to the now- defunct anti-Communist Church League of America of
Wheaton, Illinois. That organization had worked closely with the red squads of big-city police departments, particularly in New York and L.A., spying on suspected
sympathizers; George Wackenhut was personal friends with the League’s leaders, and
was a major contributor to the group. To be sure, after giving the League its files,
Wackenhut reserved the right to use them for its clients and friends.
Wackenhut had gone public in 1965 ; George Wackenhut retained 54 percent of the
company. Between his salary and dividends, his annual compensation approaches $2
million a year, sufficient for him to live in a $20 million castle in Coral Gables, Florida,
complete with a moat and 18 full-time servants. Today the company is the third-largest investigative security firm in the country, with offices throughout the United
States and in 39 foreign countries.
It is not possible to overstate the special relationship Wackenhut enjoys with the
federal government. It is close. When it comes to security matters, Wackenhut in
many respects “is” the government. In 1991, a third of the company’s $600- million
in revenues came from the federal government, and another large chunk from
companies that themselves work for the government, such as Westinghouse.
Wackenhut is the largest single company supplying security to U.S. embassies
overseas; several of the 13 embassies it guards have been in important hotbeds of
espionage, such as Chile, Greece and El Salvador.
It also guards nearly all the most strategic government facilities in the U.S., including
the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Hanford nuclear-waste facility, the Savannah River
plutonium plant and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Wackenhut maintains an especially close relationship with the federal government in
other ways as well.
While early boards of directors included such prominent personalities of the political
right as Captain Eddie Rickenbacker; General Mark Clark and Ralph E. Davis, a John
Birch Society leader, current and recent members of the board have included much
of the country’s recent national-security directorate: former FBI director Clarence
Kelley; former Defense secretary and former CIA deputy director Frank Carlucci:
former Defense Intelligence Agency director General Joseph Carroll; former U.S.
Secret Service director James J. Rowley; former Marine commandant P. X. Kelley;
and acting chairman of President Bush’sforeign- intelligence advisory board and
former CIA deputy director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman.
Before his appointment as Reagan’s CIA director, the late William Casey was
Wackenhut’s outside legal counsel.
The company has 30,000 armed employees on its payroll. We wanted to know more
about this special relationship; but the government was not forthcoming. Repeated
requests to the Department of Energy for an explanation of how one company got the
security contracts for nearly all of America’s most strategic installations have gone
Similarly, efforts to get the State Department to explain whether embassy contracts
were awarded arbitrarily or through competitive bidding were fruitless; essentially,
the State Department said, “Some of both.”
Wackenhut’s competitors – who, understandably, asked not to be quoted by name –
have their own version. “All those contracts;” said one security-firm executive, “are
just another way to pay Wackenhut for their clandestine help.”
And what is the nature of that help?
“It is known throughout the industry,” said retired FBI special agent William Hinshaw,
“that if you want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut.”
We met George Wackenhut in his swanky, muy macho offices in Coral Gables. The
rooms are paneled in a dark, rich rosewood, accented with gray-blue stone. The main
office is dominated by Wackenhut’s 12-foot-long desk and a pair of chairs shaped like
elephants – “Republican chairs,” he calls them-complete with real tusks, which, the old
man says with some amusement, tend to stick his visitors.
The highlight of the usual collection of pictures and awards is the Republican
presidential exhibit: an autographed photo of Wackenhut shaking hands with George
Bush (whom Wackenhut, according to a former associate, used to call “that pinko”) as
well as framed photos of Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Bush, each accompanied by
a handwritten note.
The chairman looks every inch the comfortable Florida septuagenarian. The day we
spoke, his clothing ranged across the color spectrum from baby blue to light baby
blue, and he wore a lot of jewelry-a huge gold watch on a thick gold band, two massive
But Wackenhut was, at 72, quick and tough in his responses. Near the end of our two-and-a-half hour interview, when asked if his company was an arm of the CIA, he
Of course, this may just be a matter of semantics.
We have spoken to numerous experts, including current and former CIA agents and
analysts, current and former agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and
current and former Wackenhut executives and employees, all of whom have said that
in the mid-197O’s, after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s revelations of the
CIA’s covert and sometimes illegal overseas operations, the agency and Wackenhut
grew very, very close.
Those revelations had forced the CIA to do a housecleaning, and it became CIA policy
that certain kinds of activities would no longer officially be performed. But that
didn’t always mean that the need or the desire to undertake such operations
And that’s where Wackenhut came in.
Our sources confirm that Wackenhut has had a long- standing relationship with the
CIA, and that it has deepened over the last decade or so. Bruce Berckmans, who was
assigned to the CIA station in Mexico City, left the agency in January 1975
(putatively) to become a Wackenhut international-operations vice president.
Berckmans, who left Wackenhut in 1981, told SPY that he has seen a formal proposal
George Wackenhut submitted to the CIA to allow the agency to use Wackenhut
offices throughout the world as fronts for CIA activities.
Kichard Babayan, who says he was a CIA contract employee and is currently in jail
awaiting trial on fraud and racketeering charges, has been cooperating with federal
and congressional investigators looking into illegal shipments of nuclear-and-chemical-weapons- making supplies to Iraq.
“Wackenhut has been used by the CIA and other intelligence agencies for years,” he
told SPY. “When they [the CIA] need cover, Wackenhut is there to provide it for
Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau was said to have rebuffed Wackenhut’s
effort in the 1980’s to purchase a weaponspropellant manufacturer in Quebec with
the remark “We just got rid of the CIA – we don’t want them back.”
Phillip Agee, the left-wing former CIA agent who wrote an expose’ of the agency in
1975, told us, “I don’t have the slightest doubt that the CIA and Wackenhut
There is also testimony from people who are not convicts, renegades or Canadians.
William Corbett, a terrorism expert who spent 18 years as a CIA analyst and is now
an ABC News consultant based in Europe, confirmed the relationship between
Wackenhut and the agency.
“For years Wackenhut has been involved with the CIA and other intelligence
organizations, including the DEA,” he told SPY. “Wackenhut would allow the CIA to
occupy positions within the company [in order to carry out] clandestine operations.”
He also said that Wackenhut would supply intelligence agencies with information, and
that it was compensated for this- “in a quid pro quo arrangement,” Corbett says –
with government contracts worth billions of dollars over the years.
We have uncovered considerable evidence that Wackenhut carried the CIA’s water
in fighting Communist encroachment in Central America in the 1980s (that is to say,
during the Reagan administration when the CIA director was former Wackenhut
lawyer William Casey, the late superpatriot who had a proclivity for extralegal and
illegal anti-Communist covert operations such as Iran-contra).
In 1981, Berckmans, the CIA agent turned Wackenhut vice president, joined with
other senior Wackenhut executives to form the company’s Special Projects Division.
It was this division that linked up with ex-CIA man John Phillip Nichols, who had
taken over the Cabazon Indian reservation in California, as we described in a previous
article [“Badlands,” April 1992],in pursuit of a scheme to manufacture explosives,
poison gas and biological weapons – and then, by virtue of the tribe’s status as
a sovereign nation, to export the weapons to the contras.
This maneuver was designed to evade congressional prohibitions against the U.S.
government’s helping the contras. Indeed, in an interview with SPY, Eden Pastora, the
contras’ famous Commander Zero, who had been spotted at a test of some night-vision goggles at a firing range near the Cabazon reservation in the company of
Nichols and a Wackenhut executive, offhandedly identified that executive, A. Robert
Frye, as “the man from the CIA.”
(In a subsequent conversation he denied knowing Frye at all; of course, in that same
talk he quite unbelievably denied having ever been a contra.)
In addition to attempted weapons supply, Wackenhut seems to have been involved in
Central America in other ways. Ernesto Bermudez who was Wackenhut’s director of
international operations from 1987 to ’89, admitted to SPY that during 1985 and ’86
he ran Wackenhut’s operations in El Salvador, where he was in charge of 1,500 men.
When asked what 1 ,500 men were doing for Wackenhut in El Salvador, Bermudez
replied coyly, “Things.”
Pressed, he elaborated: “Things you wouldn’t want your mother to know about.”
It’s worth noting that Wackenhut’s annual revenues from government contracts–the
alleged reward for cooperation in the government’s clandestine activities – increased
by 150 million, a 45 percent jump, while Ronald Reagan was in office.
“You’ve done an awful lot of research, George Wackenhut said to me as I was leaving.
“How would you like to run all our New York operations?”
If that was the extent of Wackenhut’s possible involvement in a government agency’s
attempt to circumvent the law, then we might dismiss it as an interesting footnote to
the overheated, cowboy anti-Communist 1980s. However, the U.S. Attorney for the
Southern District of Florida has been conducting an investigation into the illegal
export of dual-use technology-that is, seemingly innocuous technology that can also
be used to make nuclear weapons to Iraq and Libya. And SPY has learned that
Wackenhut’s name has come up in the federal investigation, but not at present as a
Between 1987 and ’89, three companies in the United States received investments
from an Iraqi architect named Ihsan Barbouti. The colorful Barbouti owned an
engineering company in Frankfort that had a $552 million contract to build airfields
in Iraq. He also admitted having designed Mu’ammar Qaddafi’s infamous German-built chemical- weapons plant in Rabta, Libya.
According to an attorney for one of the companies in which Barbouti invested, the
architect owned $100 millionworth of real estate and oil-drilling equipment in
Texas and Oklahoma.
He may also be dead, there being reports that he died of heart failure in Hospital in
London on July 1, 1990, his 63rd birthday. Barbouti, however, had faked his death
once before, in 1969, after the Ba’ath takeover in Iraq which brought Saddam
Hussein to power as the second-in-command. That time, Barbouti escaped Iraq;
resurfacing several years later in Lebanon and Libya. There are no reports that he
is living in Jordan – or, according to other reports, in a CIA safe house in Florida.
Those reports can be considered no better than rumor; what follows, though, is fact.
As reported on ABC’s “Nightline” last year, the three companies in which Barbouti
invested were TK-7 of Oklahoma City, which makes a fuel additive; Pipeline Recovery
Systemsof Dallas, which makes an anti-corrosive chemical that preserves pipes; andProduct Ingredient Technology of Boca Raton, which makes food flavorings. None of
these companies was looking to do business with Iraq; Barbouti sought them out.
Why was he interested?
Because TK-7 had formulas that could extend the range of jet aircraft and liquid-fueled missiles such as the SCUD; because Pipeline Recovery knows how to coat pipes
to make them usable in nuclear reactors and chemical-weapons plants; and because
one of the by- products in making cherry flavoring is ferric ferrocyanide, a chemical
that’s used to manufacture hydrogen cyanide, which can penetrate gas masks and
Hydrogen cyanide was used by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in the Iran-Iraq war.
Barbouti was more than a passive investor, and soon he began pressuring the
companies to ship not only their products but also their manufacturing technology to
corporations he owned in Europe, on which, he told the businessmen, it would be sent
to Libya and Iraq. In doing so, Barbouti was attempting to violate the law.
First, the U.S. forbade sending anything to Libya, which was embargoed as a terrorist
Second, the U.S. specified that material of this sort must be sent to its final
destination, not to an intermediate locale, where the U.S. would risk losing control of
According to former CIA contract employee Richard Babayan, in late 1989 Barbouti
met in London with Ibrahim Sabawai, Saddam Hussein’s half brother and European
head of Iraqi intelligence, who grew excited about the work Pipeline Recovery was
doing and called for the company’s technology to be rushed to Iraq, so that it could
be in place by early 1990.
And the owner of TK-7 swears that Barbouti told him he was developingan atom
device for Qaddafi that would be used against the U.S. in retaliation for the 1986
U.S. air strike against Libya.
Barbouri also wanted the ferrocyanide from Product Ingredient.
Assisting Barbouti with these investments was New Orleans exporter Don Seaton,
business associate of Richard Secord, the right-wing U.S. Army general turned war
profiteer who was so deeply enmeshed in the Iran-contra affair.
It was Secord who connected Barbouti with Wackenhut.
Barbouti met with Secord in Florida on several occasions, and phone records show
that several calls were placed from Barbouti’s office to Secord’s private number in
McLean, Virginia; Secord has acknowledged knowing Barbouti. He is currently a
partner of Washington businessman James Tully (who is the man who leaked Bill
Clinton’s draft-dodge letter to ABC) and Jack Brennan, a former Marine Corps
colonel and longtime aide to Richard Nixon both in the White House and in exile.
Brennan has gone back to the White House, where he works as a director of
administrative operations in President Bush’s office. He refused to return repeated
calls from SPY.
Interestingly, Brennan and Tully had previously been involved in a $181 million
business deal to supply uniforms to the Iraqi army. Oddly, they arranged to have
the uniforms manufactured in Nicolae Ceaucescu’s Romania.
The partners in that deal were former U.S. attorney general and Watergate felon
John Mitchell and Sarkis Soghanalian, a Turkish-born Lebanese citizen.
Soghanalian,who has been credited with beingSaddam Hussein’sleading arms
procurer and with introducing the demonic weapons inventor Gerald Bull to the Iraqis,
is currently serving a six-year sentence in federal prison in Miamifor the illegal sale
of 103 military helicopters to Iraq.
According to former Wackenhut agent David Ramirez, the company considered
Soghanalian “a very valuable client.”
Unfortunately for Barbouti, none of the companies in which he made investments was
willing to ship its products or technology to his European divisions. That, however,
doesn’t necessarily mean that he didn’t get some of what he wanted.
In 1990, 2,000 gallons of ferrocyanide were found to be missing from the cherry-flavor factory in Boca Raton. Where it went is a mystery; Peter Kawaja, who was the
head of security for all of Barbouti’s U.S. investments, told SPY, “We were never
burglarized, but that stuff didn’t walk out by itself.”
What does all this have to do with Wackenhut?
Lots: According to Louis Champon, the owner of Product Ingredient Technology, it
was Wackenhut that guarded his Boca Raton plant, a fact confirmed by Murray Levine,
a Wackenhut vice president.
Champon also says, and Wackenhut also confirms, that the security for the plant
consisted of one unarmed guard. While a Wackenhut spokesperson maintains that this
was the only job they were doing for Barbouti, he also says that they were never paid,
that Barbouti stiffed them.
This does not seem true. SPY has obtained four checks from Barbouti to Wackenhut.
All were written within ten days in 1990: one on March 27 for $168.89; one on March
28 for $24,828.07; another on April 5 for $756; the last on April 6 for $40,116.25.
We asked Richard Kneip, Wackenhut’s senior vice president for corporate planning,
to explain why a single guard was worth $66,000 a year; Kneip was at a loss to do so.
He was similarly at a loss to explain a fifth check, from another Barbouti company to
Wackenhut’s travel-service division in 1987, almost two years before Wackenhut has
acknowledged providing security for the Boca Raton plant .
Two former CIA operatives, separately interviewed, have the explanation.
Charles Hayes, who describes himself as “a CIA asset ” says Wackenhut was helping
Barbouti ship chemicals to Iraq.
“Supplying Iraq was originally a good idea,” he maintains, “but then it got out of hand.
Wackenhut was just in it for the money.”
Richard Babayan the former CIA contract employee, confirmed Hayes’s account.
He says that Wackenhut’s relationship with Barbouti existed before the Boca Raton
plant opened: “Barbouti was placed in the hands of Secord by the CIA, and Secord
called in Wackenhut to handle security and travel and protection for Barbouti and his
Wackenhut, Babayan says was working for the CIA in helping Barbouti ship the
chemical-and-nuclear-weapons-making equipment first to Texas, then to Chicago,
and then to Baltimore to be shipped overseas.
All of which makes the story of the midnight convoy ride of David Ramirez, recounted
at the beginning of this article rather less mysterious. SPY has learned that this
shipment is now the subject of a joint USDA-Customs investigation.
When we asked George Wackenhut what was being shipped from Eagle Pass to
Chicago, the sharp, straightforward chairman at first claimed they were protecting
an unnamed executive. He then directed an aide to get back to me.
Two days later, Richard Kneip did, repeating the tale that had been passed on to David
Ramirez – that the trucks contained food stamps. We told him that we had spoken to
a Department of Agriculture official, who informed us that food stamps are shipped
from Chicago to outlying areas, never the other way around, and that food stamps,
unlike money, are used once and then destroyed.
All Kneip would say then was, “We do not reveal the names of our clients.”
Wackenhut’s connection to the CIA and to other government agencies raises several
First, is the CIA using Wackenhut to conduct operations that it has been forbidden
Second, is the White House or some other party in the executive branch working
through Wackenhut to conduct operations that it doesn’t want Congress to know
Third, has Wackenhut’s cozy relationship with the government given it a feeling of
security-or worse, an outright knowledge of sensitive or embarrassing information-that allows the company to believe that it can conduct itself as though it were above
A congressional investigation into Wackenhut’s activities in the Alyeska affair last
November began to shed some light on Wackenhut’s way of doing business; clearly
it’s time for Congress to investigate just how far Wackenhut’s other tentacles
Additional reporting by Erzc Reguly, Margie Sloan and Wendell Smith
* * *
AND WHO OWN’S WAKENHUT?
The #1 institutional stockholder is Britain’s Barclays Global Investors International
(a key member of the Committee of 300).
Other top stockholders (as if 03/31/01) include: Zurich Scudder; Goldman Sachs;
Merrill Lynch; Deutsche Bankers Trust.
And top purchasers (for the quarter ending 03/31/01) included:AXA; Nomura
Securities; Harvard University; andOhio State Public Employees Retirement
* * *
FromThe Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 5, No 46, November 12, 2001:
The Criminal Cabal of Guns & Drugs
By David Guyatt
It is one of those stories that even the wildest novelists can’t properly imagine.
A group of well placed government bureaucrats and politicians, plus numerous CIA
spooks and military covert ops types shake hands with the Mafia and agree to do
business on the QT. This involves shaking-down very wealthy figures, dealing guns on
the black market, money laundering and trafficking drugs on a world-wide scale. Along
the way they bleed the assets of numerous banks, bankrupting many of them in the
process. They also involve themselves in Masonic secret societies and pull unseen
strings deep inside the Vatican.
And, of course, they organise a few political assassinations, invoke some random
murders and set alight the fuse on dozens of major bombing events – just to add zest
Everything is done in the name of “anti-communism,” and is conducted under the
umbrella of “national security” –– a designation that is sure to stifle any irksome police
investigation that could otherwise lead to arrest and imprisonment. It also ensures
their now decades old “business enterprise” will continue to prosper without any kind
Welcome then, to the national security ““untouchables”” – a group of shadowy puppet-masters who practice organised crime on a global scale in the name of freedom and
democracy –– and who often possess marked Nazi sympathies.
Danny Casolaro, a freelance American journalist dubbed this group The Octopus.
Casolaro was investigating them for their involvement in the October Surprise story,
the theft of Inslaw Corporation’s smart software suite known as “PROMIS” and their
connections to the Iran-Contra affair involving Lt. Col. Oliver North, as well as the
collapse of BCCI, the global bank dubbed the Bank for Crooks & Criminals
According to Carol Marshall, an American writer, Casolaro told friends that he “had
traced the Inslaw and related stories back to a dirty CIA ‘Old Boy’ network that had
begun working together in the 1950’s around Albanian covert operations.”
Marshall adds that “these men had gotten into the illegal gun and drugs trade back
then and had continued in that business ever since.”
She adds that Casolaro was also investigating the Wackenhut Corporation –– a leading
international security firm based in Indio, California. Wackenhut Corp., began life,
according to its own promotional literature, back in 1954 when a handful of FBI
Special Agents decided to set-up a specialist company providing investigative services
to business and industry.
But Marshall and Casolaro may well have been a few years out in their reckoning on
the founding of the Octopus. There is persuasive evidence that the roots of this
group date back to the war or immediate post-war years. There was certainly an
accommodation reached between the Mafia and the US military by the time of the US
led invasion of Sicily.
In exchange for Mafia help for the Sicily landing, Mafia kingpin, Lucky Luciano, was
released from prison in the US for exile in Italy.
But the relationship between the US military and intelligence community and senior
members of organised crime was far more deep-seated. Lt. Colonel Lucien Conein, a
high-ranking CIA officer stationed in Saigon before and during the Vietnam war, also
belonged to the Corsican underworld, the Union Corse.
This crime clan was responsible for the so called “French Connection” heroin
shipments from Southeast Asia to Marseilles and then on to the United States during
the Vietnam War era. Conein was so well connected to leaders of the Corsican
underworld that when he left Vietnam, he was presented with a gold medallion
embossed with the Napoleonic eagle and the Corsican crest. The medallion is
traditionally worn by Corsican crime bosses to signify their seniority.
Conein is believed by some to have been the inspiration for the principal character in
William Herrernan’s best selling novel, The Corsican. Meanwhile, earlier in his career,
Conein had been an OSS liaison officer with the French resistance during WW11.
Meanwhile, it is a sad fact that the narcotics industry has been lurking behind almost
every major –– and most minor –– wars over the past five decades.
The war in Southeast Asia that encompassed Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
witnessed a vast explosion in Opium and Heroin trafficking –– with the connivance of
the CIA. Much of this resulted from the decision to covertly arm, at a cost, local
warlords to fight in the battle against communism. In order to be able to buy these
weapons, local military commanders took control of and increased Opium production
in their region. This was then exchanged for weapons and the Opium found its way to
the US and Europe.
The guns for dope model that developed during the Vietnam war proved effective
elsewhere, too. Similar structures were later developed in Afghanistan, El Salvador
and even up to and including Kosovo –– where the NATO backed KLA trafficked
But the Octopus does not limit itself to just guns and drugs –– even though these two
do generate spectacular profits. According to Carol Marshall, there is evidence of an
old and deep involvement in chemical and biological (CB) weapons that may date back
to WW11 and the secret Japanese Unit 731 that developed CB weapons in Manchuria.
This connection also revealed, Marshall discovered, the Octopus connection to the
Yakuza –– Japan’s notorious underworld –– in the form of Robert Booth Nichols.
Nichols repeatedly appears in Marshall’s manuscript because of his apparent
relationship to organised crime syndicates and Mafia front organisations. Nichols,
however, is also a member of the CIA, a fact he admitted on the witness stand during
a 1993 trial for false arrest. Threatening to subpoena a list of highly placed
government officers in his defence, the trial Judge, Thomas C. Murphy, ruled a
Meanwhile, Nichols continued to maintain a very close association with Harold
Okimoto, Nichols Godfather and member of the Board of Directors of First
Intercontinental Development Corporation (FIDCO) –– a firm in which Nichols was
a principle. Okimoto, meanwhile is alleged to have been a high ranking Japanese
intelligence officer during WW11 –– a post invariably given to senior members of the
One of the principal persons providing inside information to Carol Marshall was
Michael Riconsciuto –– a CIA scientific whiz kid imbued with marked intellectual
abilities who ostensibly worked for the Wackenhut Corporation.
Riconsciuto, who had been close to Robert Booth Nichols for twenty years, visited a
top secret facility with him. This was located at Alice Springs in Australia and housed,
according to Riconosciuto a “city of sorts, containing sophisticated communications
equipment, laboratory equipment and other items that he would not define.”
This facility was “privately owned” Riconosciuto told Marshall, adding that what he had
seen there “made him realise it was time to terminate his relationship with Robert
Riconosciuto refused to say what it was that caused his dismay during his Australian
trip, but author Carol Marshall believed it had something to do with bio weapons that
he’d worked on and which might have had a bearing on Gulf War Syndrome. This
illness is said to have subterranean connections to HIV AIDS and is rumoured to have
resulted from the illegal field-testing on allied troops of an experimental AIDS
vaccine during the Gulf war. Were a commercial company to have found and
successfully tested an AIDS vaccine, the potential profits they could earn would be
Likewise, the development of a genetically modified killer disease possesses potential
for profits also. During one of her last interviews with Riconosciuto, Carol Marshall
pressed the CIA scientist to explain his involvement in developing a genetically
engineered biological weapon during his time at Wackenhut.
Riconoscituo explained that he had worked on a “military concept where you can
engineer these biological agents…….you see, a specific penetration group can be
immunised, and everybody else dies.”
Riconosciuto, meanwhile, was the first to claim years ago that a race specific
biological weapon had been developed. At the time his claims received short shrift.
We now know, however, that the Israeli’s have indeed been developing such a device
as have the South Africans. Nor can the allegations of an HIV AIDS bio-weapon be
written off as fantasy.
Dr. Wouter Bassoon – head of South Africa’s military covert weapons programme ––
who has been dubbed the “Doctor of Death” by the South African media, is said to
have been involved in the use of the AIDS virus against enemies by using “infected
blood” in “an operation.”
Bassoon is also charged with trafficking in Ecstacy and Mandrax tablets, money
laundering, the illegal administration of truth serum, conspiracy to murder and
murder. Dr. Bassoon had admitted that his activities were based on a US chemical &
biological weapons programme.
“I must confirm that the structure of the project was based on the U.S. system.
That’s where we learnt the most,” he said.
Meanwhile, the serpentine connections between South African security forces and
leading figures from the realm of organised crime during the Apartheid era, can only
serve to reinforce the incredible reach and depth of the Octopus.
How the Octopus gets it profits
A typical scam revolves around the most popular arms for drugs cycle.
Weapons purchased years before by the Pentagon are acquired by the Octopus at
“book value” –– meaning the cost of purchase for, say, 1980 when an assault rifle might
then have had a price tag of $300 each. In 1990, this cost could easily have risen to
$600 each. By acquiring the 1980 stock at $300 per rifle, the Octopus could sell it
to their “client” for, say, for $700 each –– including shipping – thereby making a
handsome profit of $400 each.
In order to replenish its stock of rifles, the Pentagon arranges to purchase the
current model weapon at the prevailing price –– making the tax-payer the loser.
The second leg of the arrangement sees the Octopus contract to purchase the
“clients” supply of drugs. The purchase price is set well below street value, but
sufficient for the client to be able to afford to purchase the arms needed. The drugs
are then “cut” and distributed and, naturally, generate immense additional profits at
the street level.
In this manner, each leg of the transaction makes a bountiful profit. The last part of
the jigsaw is to launder the illegal profits through the banking system and then invest
part of the proceeds into bona fide businesses.
US Grandees of the octopus
CIA whiz-kid Michael Riconosciuto told author Carol Marshall that the US
government “sanctioned” meth laboratories in Fresno, Madera and Mariposa County
Marshall had been earlier involved in an investigation in Mariposa County that involved
Police Sergeant Roderick Sinclair of the Mariposa Sheriff’s Department. Sinclair, had
according to a number of witnesses been a long-term user of drugs had, while on duty,
veered the car he was driving across the road and hit another car. Inside were three
US Secret Service men who were all killed outright.
What grabbed Carol Marshall’s attention, however, was the way the Judge in the
subsequent trial appeared to cover-up Sinclair’s drug habit. The author later realised
that a “tentacle of the Octopus had slithered into Mariposa County” when she
discovered that Rod Sinclair’s father, Colonel Sinclair, had been a military attaché to
General Douglas MacArthur during WW11 –– and later supervised training of Japanese
in intelligence methods.
MacArthur and members of his team have long been associated with the Octopus ––
perhaps because of the General’s role as Japan’s “Shogun” after WW11 and the
inevitable contacts created with the Japanese crime clans, the Yakuza.
It has recently been revealed that MacArthur appears to have personally benefited
from war loot plundered by the Japanese and later secretly recovered by the OSS
and the CIA. This was in the form of gold bullion accounts set-up in MacArthur’s name
by the OSS/CIA officer Santa Romana.
Warfare –– each side is set to bleed the other for profit
During hearings in 1987, the Senate Sub Committee on Terrorism, Narcotics &
International Operations revealed a series of “secret memo’s” written by General Paul
F. Gorman who as head of “Southern Command” commanded the US military presence
in South America during the 1980’’s.
Gorman had written:
“There is not a single group in unconventional warfare that does not use narcotics
to fund itself.”
He was referring to the US backed Contra’s supported byColonel Oliver North and
the national Security Council of the US. This was the tip of the iceberg, however.
Every conflict from Vietnam on through Lebanon, Afghanistan, Croatia and Kosovo has
relied on the guns for drugs equation operated by the Octopus.
One very senior Pentagon source described how this came about to author Monica
“What started out in Vietnam as a neat way to find money to fund covert
operations had developed into a huge industry. The men and women who are
involved, maybe they can’t get off the merry-go-round. Maybe it keeps spinning
faster and faster, they make more and more money, and even if they wanted to
duck out, they can’t.”
Theodore Shackley, one of the key CIA figures involved in covert operation since
Vietnam described in his book The Third Way that low intensity conflicts are not
really fought to be won but to bleed both sides so as to maximise black market
commerce and to secretly field test new weapons and techniques on a “training
The Head of the Octopus?
In her book The Last Circle, author Carol Marshall outlines an international company,
First Intercontinental Development Corporation (FIDCO) that she said led her
“straight to the head of the octopus.”
She then lists the Board of Directors of FIDCO who includedRobert Maheu Snr,
right hand man of Mob and CIA-connected Howard Hughes and Robert Booth Nichols,
self-confessed CIA agent with powerful Mafia affiliations. Among others on the
board were Michael McManus, former assistant to President Reagan and Clint
Murchison Jnr., owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team.
The latter is the son of Clint Murchison Snr., who was one of the motivating factors
behind General Douglas MacArthur’s failed Presidential attempt in 1952. Muchison
senior was also closely associated at this time with Richard Nixon, who later became
US President and had financial dealings with him that involved Jimmy Hoffa, a Mafia
figure connected to the Teamsters Union.
Others who were close friends of Murchison senior included FBI chief, J. Edgar
That Clint Muchison senior had dealings with the Mafia is undisputed. For example,
20% of the Murchison Oil Lease Company was owned by Gerardo Catena, a leading
lieutenant of the Genovese crime family. Of interest, too, are Murchison’s Texas
Investigative journalist, Pete Brewton, in his book The Mafia, CIA & George Bush,
ties former President George Bush to leadingMafia figures in Texas. . . .
October 15, 1996
Harold T. Okimoto, 71, of Honolulu, retired business consultant and former president
of Island Tobacco, died Saturday in St. Francis Hospital. He is survived by wife Clara
Y.; sons Blake T. and Bruce T.; brothers Thomas T. and Fred T.; sisters Hideko
Nagatoshi and Sadako Okimoto. Memorial service: 8 p.m. Friday at Hosoi Garden
Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.
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