Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 2 Num. 12

("Quid coniuratio est?")



Give us a little background on Mr. Rodriguez. Many other guests have talked about him.

Mr. Rodriguez?

Well Mr. Rodriguez is a very fabled character in the Cuban exile community, in Miami. He is the man, his claim to fame, is he's the man who caught Che Guevara. Or, not caught him, but who went to interrogate him for the CIA. He cut off Che Guevara's hands -- some say before Guevara was killed -- as proof that they did in fact have the Che Guevara. And since that time, he has travelled in some very important circles -- particularly in Florida and in the circle of George Bush and others -- as "the great anti-communist patriot".
Hasn't he been indicted, and the finger pointed at Mr. Rodriguez by many Latin American countries, as a major drug runner?
He's never been indicted. He has been accused of being involved in drug operations, but... something he has steadfastly denied. {1}.
How about the Noriega connection to Bush? Have you done much research in that area?
Well not beyond what, not really much beyond what was talked about. In the book [Compromised], Terry [Reed] talks about Rodriguez discussing with [Oliver] North and others about finding a substitute funding for Arkansas' money laundry, out of Panama. This was after the agency was threatening, agency [CIA] had decided to leave Arkansas. And Terry can tell you about that much better than I.
Let me just... We'll touch on that before we go to the calls.

Terry, when did the Mena, Arkansas operation shut down? And where has it moved to?

Well for all practical purposes, it was over by December of 1985 -- the flight training aspects of it. We graduated 24 students. So the pressure was off to get some Nicaraguans at the controls of the aircraft in Central America. In fact, they were going along to be upgraded into C-123 aircraft, in like an "OJT", or "on the job training" program down there.

How about the drug and money-laundering aspects of this operation?
Well, by that point... See, my information gets a little sketchy as of September of '85 because, what happened was, the decision was made to put together... These are very business oriented people that are involved in this decision making, and they wanted to see what would be necessary to put together what is called a "front company", a CIA proprietary, to run on Mexican soil. It would pretend to be a high-technology trading company, as I was familiar in running. So I was tasked with putting together a business plan, to see how that would all transpire.

My direct knowledge of what was going on in Arkansas in 1986 is simply that the cash flights were still occurring when I left Arkansas in the spring of '86. It was still ongoing, but we certainly were making every effort to move the entire operation offshore.

So it looks like Mexico could really be the primary training base and source of... I guess that would be the actual location.
Yeah I actually moved there and lived there for the better part of 19 months. And right at a little town south of Guadalajara, called Chapala, a beautiful little retirement community. I lived there and my wife taught school there and I had... My third son was actually born in Guadalajara.

But up at the Guadalajara airport, my company, Maquinaria Internacional [International Machinery], was based to, on the surface, be trading in machine tools and high technology -- automating Mexico to get their export economy built up. But in reality, we were warehousing and storing guns, and had plans to build this manufacturing facility, that John had mentioned, down in a little town, Morelia, Mexico -- the capital of the state of Michoacan.

So our "NAFTA Neighbor" will be the next Mena. I mean, that's where we can operate out of.
Well, let me take the other side of that story. I mean, I think we're buying Mexico. I think what's going on here is, Mexico's becoming our colony. Our 51st state, someday, is slowly to be acquired through... Of course my background goes back to intelligence linkage, but I think Cardenas is the man for the job. I certainly hope my book does not interfere with him being President of Mexico. Somebody needs to disrupt something with the PRI [Mexico's ruling political party since at least the 1930s], certainly the most corrupt, evil political outfit I've ever run across. And I can say that firsthand: I lived there. They're to be feared.

But I'm not saying that I'm for the CIA acquiring all foreign governments [i.e., Cardenas is allegedly a CIA asset]. But I think Cardenas is the man for the job down there.

O.K. Let's go straight to phone calls. Jeff, in Dallas: Go ahead, Jeff.
Good morning, gentlemen.
Direct your question to either Terry Reed or John Cummings.
Mr. Reed, do you recall the name of the DEA agent who was tortured?
Yes. "Kiki" Camarena. Enrique Camarena.
O.K. Wasn't he from Texas?
I believe he was from southern California. (I think my memory serves me correctly.)

Yeah, he was killed in 1985, prior to me moving there [i.e., to Mexico]. Yes, he and his pilot, his DEA-assigned pilot, were both tortured to death. And of course that's been the subject of a lot of speculation on what he really knew, and why they did what they did, and, actually, who was there during the interrogation. And I don't believe anybody... I believe there's some people in prison for his death. But as you recall, they released the Mexican doctor that actually administered drugs to him to keep him awake during his interrogation. [The Mexican doctor] was, you know, kidnapped off the streets of Guadalajara and brought up into the U.S. and was later released, I believe.

Uh-huh. Well I think his name should be remembered and people should know that...

REED: Well I do, as well.

...that he died, you know, for a cause. {2}. And -- What was his name? His last name, once more?
Camarena. Enrique Camarena.
Thank you, Jeff.
All right.
O.K. We're gonna move on to Jack, in the great state of Massachusetts. Go ahead, Jack.

[ be continued...]

--------------------------<< Notes >>---------------------------- {1} "He [Mr. Rodriguez] has been accused of being involved in drug operations, but... something he has steadfastly denied." Then again, if he were involved, what's he gonna say -- "Yes, it's true. (Sighs) You have caught me."

{2} "...he ["Kiki" Camarena] died, you know, for a cause." Yes, he died for a cause, but for whose cause? I recommend a couple of books by another DEA agent, Mike Levine (Deep Cover, and The Big White Lie). Mr. Levine was fortunate in that he finally saw through the sham of our "War on Drugs" and got out of it while still alive, unlike the unfortunate Mr. Camarena.

From the October 26, 1993, "Conspiracy for the Day":

[BFR -- Mike Levine, author of Deep Cover (see part 2 of today's CfD) spoke at the university where I was an undergraduate in 1991. Following are excerpts from the student newspaper's report of his talk.]

Former DEA Agent: "Drug war all a show" by Paul Kirk, Staff Reporter

"The drug war's a sham," said former Drug Enforcement Agent Mike Levine at the Holmes Student Center Tuesday night.

Levine hinted that those in the DEA who come too close to the political reality of the drug war sometimes mysteriously lose their lives.

Levine recalled the time a former agent, Sandy Barrio, was accused by the DEA of drug smuggling. He died of strychnine poisoning while awaiting trial.

But Barrio's death certificate was fixed to read that he died of asphyxiation on a peanut butter sandwich, Levine said.

"I threw my life to the winds believing in the war against drugs. If I died, I believed I was dying for a just cause," Levine said.

"I realized the reality of what I was doing never quite matched what the public was seeing," he said.

Levine cited a mission which he followed into Asia during the Vietnam War.

The bodies of dead soldiers were being used for containers to ship heroin back to the United States. Levine investigated the deal all the way to the production line where he was stopped by his superiors.

Levine said he experienced such evasion techniques by his superiors throughout his career. He said he watched the values of the drug war plummet into oblivion.

"DEA was designed to put itself out of business but that doesn't happen. The opposite happens. It's always 'we need more,'" he said.

"The drug war programs are ill-conceived. All that politicians are is parrots," said Levine.

"It's all a show. 'We need more money. We're going to get these guys,'" Levine said, mimicking the politicians. "The drug war is the laughing stock of South America."

Levine said the United States needs to direct the money designated for the drug war toward domestic problems which breed the drug problem. He said he believes small community involvement is the key.

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9

Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

"Justice" = "Just us" = "History is written by the assassins."