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("Quid coniuratio est?")
STATEMENT OF PLAINTIFF TERRY K. REED
On July 5, 1991, one month shy of 5 years ago, my wife Janis and I mustered up the courage to register ourselves as plaintiffs in a civil law suit that we knew was seeded with political land mines. That original lawsuit, LRC 91-414, filed in federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, and later to evolve into case number LRC 94-634, has transformed into an all-consuming endeavor, for not only Janis and me, our team of lawyers, but many concerned American citizens as well.
We knew all along, as well did Little Rock Federal District Judge George Howard, Jr., that this case was not only about the violation of our civil rights, but carried with it the burden of re-educating the Court, the jury, and the American people about a painful period known in the annals of history as Iran-Contra.
Slowly but surely, we and our legal team have been penetrating layer upon layer of government disinformation created for the sole purpose of preventing the truth to surface concerning the Reagan Administration's efforts to assist the Nicaraguan Contras in Arkansas. The Executive branch's by-passing of congressional restraints designed to prohibit or restrict military aid to the Contras through the law known as the Boland Amendment was in great part carried out on Arkansas soil with the full knowledge and complicity of our now-sitting President, Bill Clinton.
Some of the CIA's activities which took place at Bill Clinton's Mena, Arkansas were patriotically driven and justified. Other activities, however, those which included the importation of cocaine and money laundering, can never be justified in the domain of the public. For this reason, there has been a concerted and bi-partisan effort to keep the subject matter known as MENA from becoming legitimized through the court process.
Judge Howard's court has at times condoned our efforts to amass non-partisan evidence to not only prove our case, but to also re-write history and do what Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh either feared or failed to do after conducting a $40 million investigation: to tell the truth about the CIA's activities in Mena, Arkansas in the mid-1980s.
To begin, let me recap our motivations for suing Raymond (Buddy) Young, then a captain with the Arkansas State Police and serving as Bill Clinton's gubernatorial chief of security. Young is now the director of Region 6 of the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) and based at Denton, Texas. From his position at FEMA he still finds time to protect Bill Clinton by threatening former Clinton bodyguards whenever they come forward with evidence which may embarrass the President or hint of wrong-doing.
We felt then, as we feel now, that Mr. Young was a dangerous and unethical man who should never have been allowed to wear a badge. Yet, there he was in 1987, officing out of the Governor's mansion, drawing from the resources of the state of Arkansas, and behaving as any modern day crime family "enforcer" as he provided "security" for Arkansas' first family, Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton.
Providing security: what does this encompass? That is what this case was destined to expose. Does it include destroying the lives of people who innocently become a political liability to powerful politicians, namely his boss, Bill Clinton?
Well, the senior federal judge in Wichita, Kansas, Frank G. Theis, ruled in 1990 that these "security services" included at least the orchestration of phony criminal indictments against myself and Janis. The question is, why? We wanted to answer that question in Judge Howard's court. We already knew the answer. I had worked at the Mena airport and could connect prominent Arkansan power brokers and politicians to some very nefarious activity. Simply said: Janice and I were liabilities and had to be dealt with.
As Judge Theis clearly saw, Young was not a solo actor as he conducted the despicable deed of trying to wrongfully and illegally cause innocent people to be incarcerated or killed. Theis concluded that Young had at least one accomplice, Tommy Lee Baker, of Little Rock, Arkansas, another former Arkansas State cop and sometimes private detective. Mr. Baker now sells alcohol to some of Little Rock's lower socio-economic groups through his liquor store on East 9th Street.
Judge Theis, the senior federal judge for the 10th circuit district, had witnessed Young and Baker shuffling through his court room on more than one occasion between 1988 and 1990 as they emerged as the star witnesses in a U.S. Government prosecution designed to imprison Janis and myself for 20 years each -- for a crime we knew absolutely nothing about.
Yet, Young and Baker, through their own perjurous lips, and manufactured material evidence, had convinced a Kansas U.S. Attorney that Janis and I were drug smuggling airplane thieves who were so "armed and dangerous" that we and our young children could have been shot on sight by any overly wary or trigger-happy law enforcement officer. Young, by his own admission, fabricated and authored a criminal profile that presented us as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.
But miraculously, by November, 1990, through two and one half years of effort, a lot of money, and a little bit of luck, Janis and I and our criminal defense lawyers were able to set the record straight in Judge Theis' courtroom. The judge exonerated us of all alleged criminal wrong-doing by finding me "not guilty" and at the same time lashed out at the government-embraced accusers. In the judge's own written words, sworn statements made by both Baker and Young were "made with at least reckless disregard for the truth."
On my day of judgement, November 9, 1990, when I was acquitted, I quietly vowed to bring Buddy Young and Tommy Baker to justice -- to expose them for the dregs that they are -- simply bad cops hiding behind tarnished badges and taking instructions from corrupt power-brokers and politicians who likewise should be prosecuted and forced from office to an awaiting prison cell.
But that is not going to happen in Judge Howard's courtroom, and not through the five years of sweat and effort that Janis and I have devoted to this uphill and horrendously expensive legal exercise.
Judge Howard, for reasons unexplained but clearly understood, has decided to protect these scoundrels, and in so doing protect those who assigned Young and Baker their "targets". In recent months Judge Howard has gutted our lawsuit and in the process has exposed the strings to which he is attached -- strings that are obviously being pulled from Washington, and more significantly, the White House.
So who is Judge Howard protecting? I can't fathom it would be the enemies of civil liberties like Young and Baker. Why is a federal judge, who up until recently appeared to be so sympathetic with civil rights issues, ordering me to not put on the evidence we have amassed that can clearly prove WHO was instructing Young and Baker to violate our civil rights?
The judge, by his own order, has specifically forbidden me to introduce the following evidence, evidence my lawyers desperately need to prove motive on behalf of Young and Baker and other unnamed co-conspirators.
Pending before the Court is defendants' December 4th motion in limine to exclude the following matters: ....... These general areas will be referred to as the "Mena" evidence or documents.
.......Even if the Court were to find that the complaint adequately states sufficient facts to make the allegations....... relevant to the alleged overt actions of these defendants, the probative value is substantially outweighed by the dangers of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, the potential for misleading of the jury and considerations of undue delay and waste of time. The following description will control:
Any reference to the plaintiffs' participation in programs, operations or missions sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Central Intelligence Agency or any other agency of the United States government, covert or otherwise, as well as any organization sponsored by or aligned with the United States government specifically including, but not limited to, any programs, operations or missions conducted in southwest Arkansas regarding the training of Nicaraguan nationals, the funding and support for any factions involved in the Nicaraguan conflict and any contact or communications with operatives or officials of the above-named agencies or organizations. Any reference to President or Governor Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton and the Mena or Nella Airports. Any references to Barry Seale [sic] and any alleged drug smuggling operation or other references to the Mena and Nella Airports, or to a business relationship of Barry Seale [sic] and Dan Lasater, Lasater and Company and the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority (ADFA) and ADFA's former Director, Bob Nash.
.......IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 8th day of March, 1996.
George Howard, Jr. [signed] United States District Judge
Judge Howard, through his own order, has exposed himself. Unwittingly, he and his integrity have now been compromised. By dissecting his order, one can clearly see two things.
As a former U.S. Air Force intelligence professional, I am making the following observation: this Democrat appointed judge is running interference for Bill Clinton in this election year. Mena will not be allowed to become a political issue in the 1996 race for the Presidency. Judge Howard has been appointed to be our road block to justice. At the same time he is cleverly putting Janis, me and my lawyers in a suicidal posture. We can go to trial, we just cannot put on our evidence.
And speaking of suicide, imagine the forces that are causing judge Howard to fall on his sword. When this is over, surely he will have no judicial integrity or respect. But I guess that is a price one pays when one is securely employed for life.
And what was the judge's response when my law team filed a 20 page motion on April 23, 1996 giving him the alternatives to:
Plaintiffs' April 23rd motion for reconsideration and clarification or, alternatively, for leave to file interlocutory appeal (#55) is denied for the reasons contained in the March 8th order and defendants' May 6th response. .......IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 10th day of May, 1996.
George Howard, Jr. [signed] United States District Judge
Devastation does not come close to describing our feelings. After years of dragging this case through the federal civil justice system, Judge Howard has manipulated us into the following legal posture: we can go to court but we cannot put on critical evidence, therefore we will lose. That loss, even though we could appeal it (and the appeal would consume at minimum another year of our lives and tens of thousands more dollars), will be interpreted by the Clinton spin doctors as a victory. There will be no mention of the fact our hands were tied, and our mouths were gagged, and the so-called "trial" was a travesty of justice. They will attempt to convince the media, at a critical point in the election process, that Mena is a figment of my imagination, even though the Mena evidence was not allowed to be presented in court.
Proudly being a former member of the U.S. armed services, I was trained to win wars, not lose them. I refuse to repeat my Vietnam experience and not be allowed to win.
When we rather naively filed the original complaint, our sons were ages 4, 6, and 8. They are now 9, 11, and 13, and have little or no memory of their parents not being consumed in the efforts to properly litigate this case. For the sake of our children, and the sanity of our family unit, we are making a very difficult and painful decision.
Ruefully, after 59 months of a stressful, tumultuous and at times triumphant struggle, we are being forced to conclude that the subject of Mena will never be presented within the confines of a federal court room, and that Janis and I will not see justice served. Instead, we now cynically view the federal court house in Little Rock as a monument to federal corruption, and a slap in the face to all Americans who believe in the separation of powers provided under the Constitution.
With tears in our eyes, lumps in our throats, and knots in our stomachs, we are instructing our attorneys to non-suit this case.
To the hundreds of people who directly participated in our struggle, we would like to remind them of the many victories achieved throughout the course of our ordeal. In many ways we did win -- at least in the court of public opinion. Our numerous depositions, which were funded in great part by public contributions, have clearly established the fact that the CIA's activities at Mena, Arkansas did take place, and that prominent politicians from both parties either were complicit in the illegal activities that swirled around this covert operation, or even worse, were directly involved or benefited.
I would like to think that my personal hero, Harry S. Truman, would be proud of our accomplishments, even in the face of overwhelming odds. At times of strife he was encouraged by the average citizen to "Give 'em hell, Harry!" I too have heard voices who backed me shout, "Give 'em hell, Terry!" I hope I've lived up to the task.
And to Raymond (Buddy) Young, Tommy Lee Baker, and those working with the Arkansas political establishment who have successfully undermined my efforts to take this material to trial, I will now quote from another hero of mine, Douglas McArthur: "I will return."
Terry K. Reed [signed] 3 Jun 96 ---------------------- --------
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