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CIA And Mossad Drug Involvement

The "mainstream" media in the United States continue to cover up the considerable role played by the CIA and its longtime allies in Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, in the international illicit drug trade.

For over a decade The SPOTLIGHT has been the only national weekly newspaper to dare to report the facts about this dark secret suppressed by the national media.

The now widely-known CIA involvement in drug-and-arms smuggling through the tiny Mena, Ark., airport as part of the Iran-contra affair involving Lt. Colonel Ollie North and Barry Seal are just the tip of the iceberg.

The latest twist in the media cover-up came during the week of May 12 when a nationally-distributed Asso ciated Press (AP) report announced that the intelligence committee of the U.S. House of Representatives had exonerated the CIA of charges that it had been "involved in the supply or sale of drugs in the Los Angeles area."

The AP quoted committee chairman Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) as saying: "Bot tom line: The allegations were false."

What AP did not mention was that Goss had been a former career CIA official involved in the agency's so-called "clandestine services division," the branch of the CIA that has been pinpointed as the prime mover in the agency's long-standing ties to the drug racket.

AP hailed the House report as "the latest in a series by investigatory bodies to exonerate the CIA" pointing out that "the committee noted that similar conclusions had been reached in previous inquiries by the CIA's inspector general, the Justice Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department."

The "investigation" by ex-CIA operative Goss had focused specifically on a story -- reported by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News in August 1996 -- that alleged that the crack epidemic in California could be traced to two CIA-connected Nicaraguan cocaine dealers who used at least part of their profits to finance the Nicaraguan contra forces during the 1980s.

AP blurred the issue by saying that "allegations of CIA links to drug dealers surfaced" with the 1996 reports in the Mercury News. This is a lie.

In fact, detailed charges of CIA involvement in drug smuggling were first unveiled in a book published 28 years ago, the findings of which have never been publicized by any publication other than The SPOTLIGHT.

In 1972, Alfred W. McCoy, then a graduate student, at Yale, released his book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia issued by no less a "mainstream" publisher than Harper & Row.

The book outlined the role of the CIA in the drug trade, from its origins in Southeast Asia, to the smuggling routes of the Sicilian and Corsican Mafias in Europe on to the streets of New York and Los Angeles. The drug profits were then sent back to the money laundering banks of the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate in the Caribbean and in Switzerland.

Despite energetic efforts spearheaded by veteran CIA official Cord Meyer, the CIA failed to prevent the book from being published.

However, the CIA then launched a campaign to suppress distribution of the book, a scheme which largely succeeded.

In 1991 McCoy, by then a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, re-issued his book in an up-dated edition under the title The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.

McCoy's book never mentioned the role of the Mossad in all of this, which is not surprising. In fact, The Mercury News reporter Gary Webb told a veteran international correspondent -- at a private deli lunch in Manhattan -- that he (Webb) could "never" write about Mossad in volvement with the CIA in the drug racket or he would lose his job. Webb fled the deli, refusing to discuss the matter further.

In short, in America today, it's "safe" to expose the CIA to a certain degree, but the Mossad's part in the drug trade is strictly "off limits."


However, The SPOTLIGHT has consistently unmasked the joint role of the CIA and the Mossad in the drug trade.

For example, 10 years ago in its issue No. 23 for 1990 (June 4) The SPOTLIGHT reported that Israeli arms dealers had supplied a vast array of weapons to Colombian drug kingpin Jose Rod riguez Gacha.

The Israeli government claimed the arms were sold to the island nation of Antigua and that Israel had no idea how the guns got into the hands of the Colombian drug traffickers.

However, Antigua's ambassador to the United States told SPOTLIGHT correspondent Mike Blair in an exclusive interview that his government never ordered weapons from Israel.

An inquiry by the Antiguan government determined that two Israelis, Yair G. Klein and Maurice R. Sarfati, were running the operation which was funded by the New York branch of the Bank Hap oalim, owned by Israel's government-spon sored labor bund, the His tadrut.

Klein, a former Israeli army officer, had previously been identified as training Rodriguez Gacha's forces.

When this was leaked in September 1989, Rafael Eitan, a former chief of staff of the Israeli Army, frankly told the Israeli press:

Someday, perhaps, if it's decided that the stories can be told, you'll see that [the government of Israel] has been involved in acts that are a thousand times more dirty than anything going on in Colombia. These things were decided by the government, in cabinet meetings. As long as the government decides to do something, something that the national interest demanded, then it is legitimate.

On June 5, 1989, The SPOTLIGHT reported flatly, citing intelligence sources, that the infamous Medellin cartel of Colombia was, in reality, "an Israeli-directed organization which nets Israel billions of dollars every year in illegal drug profits."

In addition, Blair reported in The SPOTLIGHT on May 13, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11, 1991, about the strange death of Special Forces Col. Edward P. Cutolo, commander of the 10th Special Forces based at Ft. Devens, Mass.

Cutolo had detailed a covert joint CIA-Mossad ma chin a tion known as "Opera tion Watch tower" in a 15-page affidavit which he prepared in 1980, fearful that his life was in danger because of his knowledge about the operation.

Cutolo died in what was described as an alcohol-related traffic accident, although Cutolo was not known to be a heavy drinker.

Cutolo was one of four Special Forces colonels linked to Operation Watch tower who died under mysterious circumstances. Another was famed Viet nam hero, Col. Nick Rowe, who launched an effort to investigate Cutolo's death. Rowe was assassinated in the Philippines in 1989, ostensibly by "communists," al though his friends believe his death was a Mossad-ordered "executive action."

According to Cutolo's affidavit, under Operation Watchtower, beginning in 1976, the CIA and the Mossad utilized U.S. Army Special Forces troops to set up an electronics system which allowed drugs to be shuttled by air from Colombia to Albrook Air Station in Panama, without being detected by aerial surveillance. The money derived from the drug operation was used to fund clandestine CIA and Mossad secret operations.

Cutolo specifically cited veteran Mos sad clandestine services operative Mi chael Harari as a key figure in the operation, charging that then-former CIA director George Bush and other high-ranking U.S. government figures had "gone to great lengths to keep the activities of Michael Harari a secret."

According to Cutolo, Col. Manuel Nor iega, then head of the Panamanian Defense Forces and soon-to-be dictator of Panama, was involved in the CIA-Mossad activities.

During the Noriega regime, Harari emerged as the power behind Noriega. Harari managed to slip out of Panama on an Israeli jet after U.S. forces invaded the country and arrested him.

After Noriega was taken into custody and tried on drug charges in a widely-publicized trial in Miami, The SPOTLIGHT was the only publication anywhere to reveal that Noriega's defense attorney, Frank Rubino, tried to introduce evidence that Noriega's activities were conducted under joint CIA and Mossad sponsorship. The information was suppressed for reasons of "national security."

The SPOTLIGHT actually put ex-Special Forces hero, Col. James (Bo) Gritz, "on the map" on July 13, 1987. It was the only newspaper at the time to report his discovery that longtime U.S. diplomat Richard Armitage had been a key figure in the CIA's role in drug smuggling out of Southeast Asia, beginning during the Vietnam War and for years thereafter. In fact, Armitage emerged during the 1980s as part of a Defense Department clique known for its affinity for the interests of Israel.

Along with their superior, Undersecretary of Defense Fred Iklè, Armitage and his colleagues, Richard Perle and Stephen Bryen, were masters of covert intrigue conducted jointly with the Mos sad in areas as broad-ranging as Burma, Afghanistan, Iran, Nicaragua and Cam bodia.

(One of the low-level operatives for their ventures in Burma and Afghanistan was Andrew E. Allen, who has played a key role in a long-standing effort to undermine The SPOTLIGHT, precisely because of this newspaper's continuing exposure of CIA-Mossad drug operations and of the activities of Iklè and company.)

The Swiss-born Iklè was the cousin of Elizabeth Iklè Kopp, Switzerland's minister of police and justice, ousted from office in 1989 amid accusations that she and her husband Hans were using their private law firm as a front for international drug traffickers.

At the time, Swiss Vice President Achille Casanova admitted at a press conference that the drug money laundering circles around Hans and Elizabeth Iklè were linked to "secret American authorities" involved in the financing of covert operations, clearly referring to the Iklè-Armitage-Perle-Bryan intrigue.

Get the scoop on the media blackout of CIA drug running by getting your copy of Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press (hardback, 408 pages, $27, item # 224). Call toll free 1-800-522-6292 and charge to Visa or MasterCard.