("Quid coniuratio est?")
Ex-DEA Agent Levels
NEW CHARGES ON NORTH'S DRUG-RUNNING
by Edward Spannaus
[From The New Federalist, 8/15/94]
Washington, Aug. 8 (EIRNS) -- More evidence that narcotics- trafficking was a central part of Oliver North's "Contra" operation in Central America was presented here on Aug. 2 by a former senior U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officer.
Celerino Castillo, addressing a press conference at the National Press Club, said that massive amounts of drugs were being run out of the air base in Ilopango, El Salvador, the center of North's Contra supply program. "All of his pilots were drug traffickers," Castillo said. A majority had been arrested for drug-trafficking. "He [North] knew what they were up to and refused to do anything about it."
Castillo, the DEA's senior agent in El Salvador from 1985 to 1991, said he had two informants at Ilopango who had access to all the flight plans and the pilots. The informants saw the drugs and the money, and the pilots also talked freely about cocaine they were taking to the United States and about the money. When the DEA ran the names of the pilots through their computer, "every single one of them was documented as a narcotics trafficker in DEA files."
-+- In North's Own Notebooks -+-
Castillo, who was joined in the press conference by author Terry Reed [Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, by Terry Reed & John Cummings. New York: S.P.I. Books, 1994. ISBN 1-56171-249-3], also pointed to the 543 pages of Ollie North notebooks which make reference to drugs and drug trafficking, as identified by the Kerry Committee -- the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on narcotics and terrorism. [CN -- A good book which covers how branches of our government have been smuggling cocaine into the United States is Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. ISBN 0-520-07781- 4 (paperback).] "Robert Owens, his buddy, was warning him and advising him that the Contras were heavily involved in narcotics trafficking," Castillo charged.
"His operation ran a lot of narcotics into the United States," Castillo said. He noted that under the drug conspiracy laws, if someone has knowledge that drugs are being trafficked, and doesn't do anything about it, this is a violation of federal law.
One of the key traffickers operating out of Ilopango, William Brasher, flaunted the fact that he was protected by North, by the FBI, by the CIA, and by top U.S. Embassy officials in San Salvador. Repeated efforts by Mr. Castillo and fellow DEA agents to bust Mr. Brasher and the other narco-pilots were met with interference from the White House, where Vice President Bush and Oliver North were personally in charge of the secret Contra program.
Castillo also reported that Ollie North is still under investigation by the DEA, in a case involving weapons smuggling into the Philippines, an operation which also involved known drug traffickers. Castillo provided a case number, GFGD 91-39, which he said he believes is still an active DEA investigation.
-+- Bush "In The Loop" -+-
Castillo's book, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War, co-authored with David Harmon, has just been released. In the book, Castillo reports that from the moment he arrived in Central America in October 1985 to take charge of DEA operations in El Salvador and Honduras, he was inundated with evidence that the Contra resupply base at Ilopango Air Field in El Salvador was a hub of cocaine trafficking.
Ilopango was run by "former" CIA official Felix Rodriguez, a close personal friend of then-Vice President George Bush. It is well-documented that Rodriguez held a series of meetings at the White House with Bush and his senior intelligence advisor, Donald Gregg, during the time frame in which Castillo was gathering the evidence of the dope smuggling.
At the same press conference here today, Terry Reed, co-author of the book Compromised, said that George Bush was definitely "in the loop" on the Contra drug operation. Reed says that the Israeli agents he worked with in Mexico referred to Bush as "the man in charge" on several occasions. "That didn't shock me," Reed said. "Knowing Bush's background, he should be; he was probably the most qualified to run the Iran-Contra affair."
In Compromised, Reed also identified Rodriguez, Bush, and North as the key players running a guns-for-drugs operation through Guadalajara, Mexico. Reed discovered a large shipment of pure cocaine at a warehouse at Guadalajara Airport bound for the United States in August 1987. When he attempted to expose the operation, he was framed up by federal prosecutors in an unsuccessful effort to shut him up.
In front of an audience of reporters that included Hollinger's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard [CN -- Evans-Pritchard writes for the London Telegraph], Reed declared that he is not out to unseat Bill Clinton. [CN -- According to Reed and others, guns were flown out of Mena, Arkansas to the Contras and the planes returned with tons of cocaine. Reed and others claim that Clinton was well-aware of what was going on.] The information he has "is not only damaging to the current administration, but also to the Reagan and Bush administrations as well. This is a bi-partisan issue," Reed said.
"I'm out to defend my Constitutional rights," Reed asserted, as he described his civil lawsuit now underway in Little Rock. "In the course of doing that, if something spills off on Bill [Clinton] or George Bush, so be it."
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
"Justice" = "Just us" = "History is written by the assassins."