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The CIA and Opium
Some notes from Bo Gritz
This video transcript has been posted and reposted to usenet during the last several years. It was originally transcribed by Jim Burnes and has been reposted primarily by John Dinardo. This present version was compiled by me from the nine part usenet series archived at etext.archive.umich.edu. I have stripped the usenet headers and eliminated the breaks and headings between parts of the series, but it is otherwise unchganged from John's postings of last 11/93. The contact info given at the end may no longer be current. -Steve
Part 1, A NATION BETRAYED: CIA Sacrifices American POWs for Drug Profits
The following is a transcript of the video, "A NATION BETRAYED". It documents alleged CIA involvement in covert drug running activities and how they supposedly interfered with the nation's attempts to recover American prisoners of war and those missing in action. You may find it unbelievable. You may not be surprised at what it says. I have several comments which I will append to end of the document. Suffice it to say that information of this type is its own shocking kind of pornography. As far as I can see Gritz's, arguments are more or less sound. The evidence from three separate sources is even more compelling. As I watched this video I felt thoroughly violated. It is not enjoyable reading, but it may well be true.
Be careful when you seek the truth. Upon finding it you may be forced to change your view of the world.
(apologies to the original quote)
(Transcriber's note: The following is a transcription of spoken English and as such can be difficult to read, much less transcribe. I have tried to preserve exactly as was spoken except for a few places where I have organized the language used to clarify meaning. I am not an English major so don't slam me for not using perfect English punctuation in the sometimes rather strange usages.)
Colonel Bo Gritz Addressing the American Liberty Lunch Club:
What I want to tell you very quickly is something that I feel is more heinous than the Bataan death march. Certainly it is of more concern to you as Americans than the Watergate. What I'm talking about is something we found out in Burma - May 1987. We found it out from a man named Khun Sa. He is the recognized overlord of heroin in the world.
Last year he sent 900 tons of opiates and heroin into the free world. This year it will be 1200 tons. (video showing discussion at Khun Sa's headquarters -- some translation of Burmese to English going on..Bo Gritz still talking to Lunch club in the foreground)
On video tape he said to us something that was most astounding: that US government officials have been and are now his biggest customers, and have been for the last twenty years. I wouldn't believe him. We fought a war in Laos and Cambodia even as we fought whatever it was in Vietnam. The point is that there are as many bomb holes in those two other countries as there are in Vietnam. Five hundred and fifty plus Americans were lost in Laos. Not one of them ever came home. We heard a president say, "The war is over, we are out with honor - all of the prisoners are home." and a few other lies. Now we got rid of that president, but we didn't get rid of the problem. We ran the war in Laos and Cambodia through drugs. The money that would not be appropriated by a liberal congress, was appropriated. And you know who we used for distribution? Santos Trafficante, old friend of the CIA and mobster out of Cuba and Florida. We lost the war!
Fifty-eight-thousand Americans were killed. Seventy-thousand became drug casualties. In the sixties and seventies you saw an infusion of drugs into America like never was before. Where do you think the Mafia takes the heroin and opiates that it gets through its arrangement with the US government? It doesn't distribute them in Africa or Europe.
This is the big money bag here. We're Daddy Warbucks for them. So I submit to you that the CIA has been pressed for solutions. Each time they have gone to the sewer to find it. And you can't smell like a rose when you've been playing in the cesspool. We've been embracing organized crime. Now you've all looked and heard about Ollie North, about the Contras, about nobody knowing anything. (cut to part of Iran Contra hearings with Ollie North explaining the flow of funds from Iran to the Contras)
And Mr. Gorbanifar suggested several incentives to make that February transaction work. And the attractive incentive for me was the one he made that residuals could flow to support the Nicaraguan resistance.
Even Gorbanifar knew that you were supporting the Contras.
Yes he did. Isvestia knew it. The name had been in the papers in Moscow. It had been all over Danny Ortega's newscasts. Radio Havana was broadcasting it. It had been in every newspaper in the land.
All our enemies knew it and you wanted to keep it from the United States Congress.
We wanted to be able to deny a covert operation.
(back to Bo at the Luncheon Club)
We have a constitution that says that the laws will be made by the Congress, enforced by the executive branch, interpreted by the judicial branch. But in reality we have an executive branch that has for more than a twenty years operated in what what Ollie North called a parallel government. When the Congress says no, it makes no difference. They're gonna do it anyway. And it is special intelligence - top secret. Why? Not because the communists don't know what were doing, it's to keep it a secret from you. You're not capable of making those kinds of decisions according to those in parallel government. The reason I know ... I was there. I've been a product of parallel government myself.
Lieutenant Colonel James 'Bo' Gritz is the most decorated Green Beret commander of the Vietnam Era. General William Westmoreland, in writing his memoirs, singled out Bo Gritz as the "American Soldier" for his exemplary courage in combat and outstanding ingenuity in recovering a highly secret black-box the Viet-Cong had taken from a crashed U2 spy plane. The feature films "Rambo", "Uncommon Valor" and "Missing in Action" were based in part upon his real-life military experiences.
(Back to Bo)
Dick Secord, General, United States Air Force, a man I know well, said it best. Before the senate investigating committee Dick Secord was asked - if we were supporting the Contras, why were we selling them arms bought from a communist block nation at exorbitant profit rates.
(skip to scene from hearings)
If the purpose of the enterprise was to help the contras, why did you charge Colero a mark-up?
We were in business to make a living, Senator. We had to make a living. I didn't see anything wrong with it at the time. It was a commercial enterprise.
Oh..I thought the purpose of the enterprise was to aid Colero's cause.
Can't I have two purposes? I did.
(back to Bo)
And then Dick Secord said in his playboy interview: "I think I deserve the eight million that we made from the Iran arms sale for all the hard work I did." If you've got to pay a patriot, you've got the wrong guy.
(applause from audience)
These are patriots for profit. There has been a guise of patriotism that a lot of people have been hiding behind. War is their business. Business has been good.
(fade to shots of the Vietnam 'conflict' - Narrator takes over again)
Bo Gritz risked his life a thousand times in combat in Vietnam before he was sent by a national security council staffer Tom Harvey in the White House to Burma in November of 1986 in search of American prisoners of war. He discovered instead a heroin highway and a nation betrayed by high level American officials involved in narcotics trafficking. Tom Harvey and his superiors in the White House were not pleased with Bo's report.
(fade to scene of Bo - now with beard in a field obviously somewhere in Southeast Asia - palm trees and oxen indigenous to the area abound - I assume its in either Burma or Thailand)
The thing that I was most concerned about was - and I thought was fantastic - was the general's offer to stop the flow of opium and heroin into the free world. When I asked him (assume he's talking about a conversation with Tom Harvey now) he said "that's fantastic". There was a pause, then he said, "Bo, there's no one here that supports that." And I said, "What?! Vice-President Bush has been appointed by president Reagan as the Number One policeman to control drug entry into the United States. How can you say there's no interest and no support when we bring back a video tape with a direct interview with a man who puts 900 tons of opium and heroin across into the free world every year and is willing to stop it?" And he said, "Bo, what can I tell you?
All I can tell you is there is no interest in doing that here."
Well that made me wonder. That's because it doesn't sound American and it doesn't sound right. Thats when we began to do our own investigation because for about three years people had told me, both in Washington DC and, interestingly enough, in Oklahoma city that the whole POW situation was being undermined by US government officials involved in drug trafficking. I wouldn't believe it. I said, "You guys aren't playing with a full deck... you've got yourselves strung out too thin." And they said, "Bo, you better listen, because for three years we've had prisoners literally within our grasp and something has happened at the last minute." (I said), "Each time I've made every effort to cooperate with government officials. I can't believe that people in the US government would actually, either overtly or covertly, do anything to undermine a rescue operation. "
Well, we're still without Prisoners of War and there is no interest, we're told at the White House, in stopping the flow of drugs coming in from the Golden Triangle into the free world.
(fade to front-page articles about Bo Gritz in Parade magazine and Soldier of Fortune...narrator picks up here)
Lieutenant Colonel Bo Gritz is no stranger to controversy. In thirty years of devoted service to the US Army and to the recovery of American prisoners of war, he has encountered plenty. The making of this American warrior began early. He was five years old when his father, a B-17 pilot, was shot down over Europe during World War II. His mother, a pilot with the women's Air Force, would later marry a master sergeant and remain with the occupation forces in Germany after the war. Raised by his maternal grandparents in Oklahoma, young Bo Gritz began training at Fort Union Military Academy in Virginia. He was named Corps Commander in his senior year when he chanced upon a recruiting poster that changed his life. In short order, Gritz won his green beret in the Army Special forces by passing all courses in the unconventional warfare training. After graduating from officer's candidate school, the newly-commissioned second lieutenant then insisted on Ranger training. Assigned to the command of the first mobile South Vietnamese gorilla forces to be organized, Gritz also operated secretly in Cambodia and Laos with his force of Cambodian mercenaries, or "Bos", as he called them. By official body-count, over 450 of the enemy died as a result of Gritz's actions. His wartime records are replete with examples of Bo's concern for keeping Americans alive in a war gone mad.
As recon chief of the supersecret delta-force, Bo was cited for Valor in saving the lives of 30 US Infantrymen from the BigRed-One division. More often than not, his valor was in placing himself between the enemy and his men. According to an official military report dated 31 July 1967 submitted on then Major Gritz, "His personal bravery is legendary exemplified by the fact that he has been awarded five silver stars and numerous other decorations for valor." In all Bo Gritz was awarded 62 citations for valor, five silver stars, eight bronze stars, two purple hearts and a presidential citation.
Bo was ready to sign up for a fifth tour of duty when he had a talk with General Fred Weiyan (sp?), the "daddy-rabbit" in Vietnam. As Gritz described it, "I was a major and special operations chief. I'll never forget that day. I stood there and heard that man say. Bo, your not going to win the war and neither am I." That was the most disillusioning moment of my life. It meant that every man who had ever lost his finger or his life had lost it for nothing. I decided, on the spot, to leave Vietnam. I would not kill another enemy or risk another comrade's life."
(back to Bo at the luncheon)
I've had the opportunity to do a lot of things that other officers have not. I was the first recon chief and intelligence officer for delta-force. Commanded the first gorilla forces that went behind enemy lines. When I commanded special forces in Latin America, we did it exactly right. And we did exactly what men in camoflage are supposed to do. It was very natural that Harold R. Aaron (sp?) would single me out because, besides having a sixth-degree black belt in karate, I have established an ability to operate on my own. And I think when Aaron said, "Bo, we want you to do this", he understood that I'm also hard headed enough that I wouldn't cave in. He said, "I want you to consider retiring. It would only be temporary. We have overwhealming evidence now that people are still there, being held in communist prisons." Mr. H. Ross Perot had been asked by Eugene Tighe, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to back a private mission that would look into the POW situation. Perot said, "Bo, I want you to go there. I want you to do everything you have to do. You come and tell me there aren't any prisoners of war left alive."
Bo returned from Indo-China with extensive evidence that there were indeed American prisoners of war in captivity, including a solid report of 47 at one particular camp. Perot turned the project back over to General Tighe who wrote to Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown asking that the source, a Nguyen Dok Jong (sp?) be brought to the United States for a polygraph test. Brown repeated the request to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. One month later, Vance finally responded that the commissioner of immigration would not permit Jong into the United States for further questioning. As Bo puts it, "Think about it. One man, not a thousand and the defense intelligence agency chief and secretary of state can't get him into the country. That was a pretty clear signal that the military was politically handcuffed on the prisoner of war issue."
For eight years Gritz sought to find and free American POW's. He crossed five times behind enemy lines into communist Laos and Vietnam. Three times he was within moments of embracing those American heroes our government had declared dead. Each time something unexplained caused Gritz and his Operation Lazarus team to fall short with freedom and victory in sight for the POWs.
There has never been a shortage of criticism from any number of armchair generals such as Robert K. Brown of "Soldier of Fortune" magazine who devoted an entire issue to condemning Gritz's efforts. Even to the extent of publishing documents stolen from Bo while he was on the mission in Laos. They have even belittled his prayer before crossing enemy lines. (Gritz is a devout Mormon...Ed) His critics said he should have looked more like the Rambo in the movies, who actually avoided the draft in an all-girls school in Switzerland.
More debilitating than the hundreds of miles on foot within enemy territory has been the disinformation propagated by those within our government who have covered up the plight of our prisoners of war. Gritz has been accused of being a media hound. He insists he has never sought the spotlight, but when confronted has always been a positive voice for our prisoners of war and will continue to be until they are home to speak for themselves.
Working as an agent for the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) in the CIA, it was fine for Gritz to travel at great peril using false documents, as Ollie North and Bud McFarland did when they traveled to Iran on phony Irish passports. On one occasion he was stopped by US customs at Seattle-Tacoma airport with four separate passports. He was quickly released when his intelligence contact in Washington confirmed his mission. It was quite acceptable with the US government for Bo Gritz to travel at such great peril until he returned from Burma's infamous Golden Triangle on December of 1986 with information concerning with involvement of high-level US officials involved in large-scale drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. His tremendous courage in refusing to back down to their threats has lead to his current indictment for misuse of a passport in order to keep him from getting this information to the American public.
(back to Bo at the luncheon)
There a book out now called Secret Warriors, I think. Its about an organization called the ISA. Congress never knew about and everybody gives me credit for exposing it, but that's not true. When I was called before congress in 1983, they said, "Bo, are you working as an official agent for the US government?" And I said, "Yes". And they said, "For what organization?" And I said, "I will not identify that organization, other than to call it the activity." This is because even the initials I-S-A were top secret. Because it wasn't an oversight. It was created by Carter. Can you imagine that? He did one good thing that I know of. (laughter) But it was parallel government. He created a secret organization to do things that the CIA could not do and he didn't dare let congress know about it.
Now ISA got Dosier back, the general that was captured by terrorists in Italy. And ISA did a lot of other things. You can read about them now because its in this book by some guy who writes for the Wall Street Journal. The point is that Jerry King was the head of ISA. Jerry King called me on the telephone and said, "Bo, we have been ordered to put operation Grand Eagle...", which was the governments name for the prisoner of war rescue mission. It certainly wasn't grand and it sure wasn't an eagle 'cause it never got off the ground. But he said, "We've been ordered to put operation Grand Eagle on the shelf as if it never existed." Hand before God he said, "there are still too many bureaucrats that don't want to see American prisoners of war come back alive." Now I didn't know what Jerry King meant then. I thought he was angry because there was a bureaucratic tug-of-war going on between ISA, the CIA and defense intelligence and maybe he was losing. But remember Jerry King's words, 'cause they'll tie in here. I'm wondering why that the Vietnamese intercept Colonel Richard Walsh (a POW..Ed) moments before the turnover and capture not only him, but the General also (unclear who the General is here ... Ed.) And I knew that we still had him, because in the newspapers it appeared that, "The Vietnamese and Lao delegations of the United Nations confirm that they are holding an American citizen in custody." And I said, "By golly, we in our state department are going to press for an identity." Because doesn't it say that the president is required to safegaurd American citizens in hostile hands. And I knew when when we pressed what would happen? Richard Walsh would be identified. Who is he? A prisoner of war. Hooray! Now the log jam is broken. And who can Walsh testify to? The other men he was with. And they can testify. Were going to get them all out now, even though its going to cost us something. Did you ever see Richard Walsh's name identified? I didn't.
Mrs. Walsh showed me a newspaper article that said where an Air Force casualty officer came to her at this time and said: "Your husband is alive. He's a prisoner of war. We have high hopes he'll be coming home soon." They put it in the newspaper there in Minneapolis. She was told that Air Force Two was spooling up...who's that belong to?..George Bush...to go get her husband. That's what she told me, but it never happened and I thought again, "What rotten luck and what a bunch of wimps in the state department for not going and demanding that they identify that citizen." They probably did. They found out who he was and they said, "lets forget it." Because when I walked into the state department shortly thereafter, a friend of mine said, "Bo, we thought that you'd been captured. Your passport turned up in a very unlikely place." And I said, "Yeah, I know all about it." (not sure what he's referring to here ... Ed.)
Do you think that all of this has just been rotten luck. Well, when you wear the uniform of the United States you have this faith ... hope that the system will do it. Just like General Aaron said, "Let the system do the rest." Now comes truth...
We were training Afghan freedom fighters in the deserts of South Nevada near where I live and I was proud to do so. In cooperation with the US State Department Office For Security Assistance. We finished that mission. A man by the name of Tom Harvey who is National Security Council Ollie North look-alike. Ollie comes from Annapolis, Harvey comes from West Point. Tom Harvey called me and said, "We have information ...", and here is a copy of the letter that's why I brought all these documents. I hope some of you challenge them. I hope the White House, the Pentagon would challenge them. Because if they would publicly they would have to admit to the truth. This letter was sent to Vice-President Bush by an American citizen by the name of Aurthur Soucheck, it is dated 29 August 1986. It says that General Khun Sa has American prisoners of war. It says that Khun Sa tried to rescue four of them. It says his forces escorted the four to the Mekong river.
While attempting to cross the rain-swollen river, the four US personnel, three of Khun Sa's soldiers and two horses were swept away by the raging water and all drowned. It goes on to say that Khun Sa has repeated intelligence reports of location of US prisoners being kept in Laos ... that he says that has seventy prisoners of war. Tom Harvey said, "This is getting TOP priority."
Now in G. Gordon Liddy's book, "Will", he says, "no American has ever come out of the Golden Triangle alive." But that's what we were being asked to do. Tom Harvey said, "Bo, do you think you would be able to infiltrate into Khun Sa's inner sanctum and determine if this report is true or not?" Do you think maybe somebody is trying to get me bumped off? (laughter) It didn't make any difference. Brothers and sisters, you and I are small compared to this nation and the risk that we take if there is one American there is worth it. God's will they'll be home while they're still alive. I told Harvey, "We didn't fight a war in Burma, why should there be prisoners of war there?" But you know a guy like Khun Sa has got connections all over. And I said, "We'll try."
I speak Chinese. Khun Sa speaks Chinese. He's right along the southern China border. Surrounded by communists, he's fighting the communists. He has a forty-thousand man army. About eight-million Shan people that make up the minority Shan state. Burma is communist.
Every one of his weapons are M16s and M60 machine guns. All the latest stuff that we have. I found out why later. Too make a long story short, we got in to see Khun Sa and he didn't have any prisoners of war. And let me caveat it by saying this. We traveled three days going and three days coming by horse over mountains that were literally vertical up and down. I made the comment at that time to Scott Weekly (sp?) who was Ollie North's classmate at Annapolis and went with me.
I said, "I would hate to be an engineer that had to build a highway through these mountains because they're virgin teak forests ... rain forests .. tremendously beautiful."
Six days coming and going. Khun Sa didn't have any prisoners of war. We gave Khun Sa the letter from the White House that I had. Thats the only thing that let me get in there. You don't walk in because the CIA has a seven digit figure on Khun Sa's head and they haven't been able to collect. You think they're gonna let somebody like me in there.
Say, "Hi! I wanna go visit Khun Sa!" Doesn't work! But I guess they thought this guy is crazy enough because I gave this letter ... I told Harvey, "We got to have a credential, guy." He said, "We can't do that, Bo. We never do that." I said, "Harvey, has anyone ever gone to the Golden Triangle and come out alive? I need something that will convince Khun Sa were not there to kill him, we're there for humanitarian purposes." So Harvey said, "Well, this will be the language. 'You are operating in cooperation with the White House .. etc .. etc.'" It worked! Khun Sa didn't have one single prisoner of war, didn't know anything about prisoners of war. (switch to a scene with Bo and Khun Sa talking at Khun Sa's camp with Khun Sa's troops doing practice drills in the background. Bo is discussing the letter from Soucheck with Khun Sa. It is nearly impossible to decipher what is specifically being discussed because Khun Sa's troops are incredibly loud and drown out the conversation, so I will proceed to the next scene. Don't worry...there are more Khun Sa meetings to come. The long and short of it is Khun Sa says he will decrease or stop the drug shipments and Gritz gets it on videotape. Now back to Bo at the luncheon.)
Now with Nancy Reagan saying no to drugs and Judge Ginsberg not allowed to sit on the supreme court because he smoked marijuana .. and you're an accessory to murder if you ever smoke marijuana, according to Nancy Reagan. I figured we'd get an 'attaboy'. We didn't have prisoners, but we had three video tapes showing Khun Sa himself. And I thought, "Boy, is George Bush gonna be thrilled about this!" (much laughter)
We delivered those tapes to Tom Harvey just before Christmas. You try to call Tom Harvey now, because some news people did, and he doesn't return your calls. We delivered those tapes just before Christmas, Tom Harvey called me back and said, "Bo, Fantastic! You guys actually got in to see Khun Sa. The CIA said he had been assasinated." Somebody needed some pocket change. "And there he is talking." And I said, "That's right, Tom. Harvey, what about the 900 tons?" I figured they were just bubbling over. They were all right, they were dripping in their knickers. But it wasn't from joy. Harvey said, "Bo..", these are quotes ... hand on the square .. he said, "Bo, there's no interest here in that." You be on the other end of the phone. You've just come out of Burma. You've brought what you consider to be a way to stop 900 tons of heroin, not marijuana and get rid of the cancer that has infected the bureaucracy and there's "no interest." I challenged
Harvey because I'm pretty hard-headed. I said, "Tom, didn't President Reagan appoint George Bush the number one cop to stop drugs before they come into the United States?" I wanted to remind him of these little things. And he said, "Bo, what can I tell you? There is NO INTEREST here in doing that." Now that is White-House-ese for saying, "Get off this subject, leave us alone." I knew that we had trod upon some very sensitive toes. I still didn't have a clue to what was going on, but I knew that we were getting close to finding out and I took off and went to Burma again.
Now I want to show you some things when I got back to Burma. (he shows some newspaper headlines) The United States government wanted Khun Sa killed quick and here's how they did it:
US CALLS FOR NO MERCY IN DRUG WAR
These are over-there newspapers...
AIRSTRIKES AGAINST KHUN SA's HEADQUARTERS
BURMESE AND THAI TROOPS MOVE ON KHUN SA
Finally it says, and there is a picture of Burmese and Thai troops standing on top of a high mountain top:
KHUN SA'S STRONGHOLD SEIZED
Now many of you are soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors. You know that airstrikes, troops mean war. There's hair, eyes and teeth everywhere.
When I went back into Burma in May I took two other Americans with me.
It was the most peaceful area. It was exactly like we left it except for one big change. Remember I told you it took us three days to ride by horse to get there in November and come out in December. Well, when we went in May, we went by pickup truck. Straight from the Thai border all the way right to the General's front door. And on the other way coming back there were Thai military 10 ton trucks covered and loaded.
There's only one thing that comes out of the Golden Triangle and that's heroin.
When we got there General Khun Sa said, "What took you so long?" I said, "General, I was waiting for the war to die down. I didn't want to get caught in all of this 26,000 troops and airstrikes", and he just laughed. He said, "That was a newspaper war!" I said, "What do you mean newspaper war?" He said, "The Thai and Burmese came to me and said that if they don't make it look like there doing something, they stand to lose tens of millions of dollars this year in drug supression funds from American taxpayers." So Kuhn Sa said, "Make it look like anything you want to, but I want a road built here." They used the newspapers and I want to show you something. This one here says, "US PROVIDES ANOTHER 1.8 MILLION TO FIGHT DRUGS" So it worked! And this guy is really smiling. This is a Thai receiving a check from the US Ambassador.
Khun Sa got what he wanted. Now he began to assemble his officers. It took him a week to get them all together because he brought them from all over the place. And now I understand why. I thought I was just going to talk to him, but he said no and put me off for a week. He assembled officers from the entire Shan territory from all over the Golden Triangle. They came in. He sat everybody down. He brought his secretary out. He had his secretary read from their log.
(Scene switches to Khun Sa's headquarters. All of Khun Sa' officers are here along with Khun Sa. I'd say around twenty in all. Bo and his companions are sitting with them. This is where it gets VERY interesting. The following conversation was in broken english from Khun Sa's end so some of the syntax may be a bit wierd.)
I cannot ask the General to cut your throat by revealing any contact that would hurt your economy at this moment. But I pray that he will reveal any connections from the older time or that will not hurt you now. That if they are still in power, we might be free of them.
Some of the connections I can expose to you. Some were in Burma, some were in Thailand, some were in America. But I don't remember all of their names and my secretary remembers them so he will give you the information.
In 1965 to 1975 there is one CIA in Laos, his name was Shackley. He was involved the narcotics business. And we know that Shackley used one civilian to organize trafficking. His civilian name was Santos Trafficante. He was the organizer of trafficking for Shackley. This was financed by Richard Armitage who stayed in Vietnam. After the Vietnam war Richard Armitage was a prominent trafficker in Bangkok.
This was between 1975 to 1979 he was a very active trafficker in Bangkok. He was one of the embassy employees. Then after that in 1979 he quit from embassy and then he established a company name the Far East Trading company. Then he used the name of his company under the table for drug trafficking. He then used the drug money to support the Lao anti-communist troops.
So he used it in arms and munitions.
Yes. This Richard Armitage has a lot of friends in Laos and Thailand. There is a lot of CIA personnel in Laos. One of the CIA agents is named Daniel Arnold. This Arnold was a munitions trafficker. There is another one Jerry Daniels who organized trafficking for Richard Armitage.
(Now back at the luncheon with Bo)
One of the men named by Khun Sa, this is not me naming him. This is Khun Sa, the drug overlord reading from his records, named Richard Armitage as being a chief drug trafficker from 1965 through 1979. You know where Richard Armitage went in 1979? He went to Dole's staff, then to Reagan's campaign staff and now he is the Assistant Secretary of Defense right underneath Mr. Carlucci. Richard Armitage has been responsible for recovery of US prisoners of war way back before we actually got involved with H. Ross Perot. He is still responsible for them. What I'm trying to do is find you Khun Sa's letter because it will say it best. Here it is. Letter from Khun Sa written to the US Justice department dated 28 Jun 1987. I just want to read you a couple sentences. "During the period 1965 to 1975, CIA chief in Laos Theodore Shackley, was in the Drug Business." Now Theodore Shackley would have been director of intelligence of the CIA if George Bush had not been appointed to that post. Theodore Shackley was then posted as the deputy director for covert operations. It said, "Santos Trafficante acted as his buying and transporting agent while Richard Armitage handled the financial section with banks in Australia."
All of a sudden the words from Jerry King came back, "Too many bureaucrats don't want to see American prisoners returned alive." Why?
Couldn't figure it out. Gunboat at midnight in the middle of the Mekong with Voice of America saying we're there to abort our attack.
Walsh and the General recaptured before turnover. Why? Now I'll tell you why. If this is true it means Richard Armitage and a lot of other people that are named here are the least men in the world that want to see Americans come home. Because when American prisoners of war do come home, whether we bring them home or they drag themselves across that Mekong river somehow, and report to the US Embassy and aren't destroyed there. When they do come home, because they will, there will be one hell of an investigation as to what took the greatest nation in the world so long to bring home heroes that have been waiting for more than fifteen years. When that investigation is conducted it will show as Khun Sa says that these men, these bureaucrats, appointed not elected, appointed, have broken the faith with you and this country and its law. Have used their office as a cover to run drugs and arms to promote covert operations that the United States Congress did not approve of. Its the parallel government. Now that may be allright, but I'll tell you something. It's not allright to leave hundreds of Americans to die alone in the hands of the enemy to a bunch of wimps that were never there.
When I came back here, I thought I was a lone ranger. I said, "Boy, I've got this information. Somehow we've got to get it to the proper authorities and I'm all alone. Well, not so. Guess who shows up in Time Magazine? H. Ross Perot ... and he's on page 18, May 4th and it says, "Perot's Private Probes." H. Ross Perot was not in Burma with me, but I know now where he got his info. Four billion dollars opens a lot of doors for you. It didn't open a couple of doors, however, as I'll let you in on this story. H. Ross Perot had gained US agent investigation reports of Richard Armitage. Perot didn't know I was over in Burma. He was doing this on his own. This article said he pinned Richard Armitage. Armitage is a fat broad. Literally. This is a giant of a man. And demanded that Armitage resign because it says that H. Ross Perot accused him of being an a drug smuggler and an arms dealer. That takes pretty big cajones. (laughter) It says that Perot then went to his friend, George Bush. It says that he gave evidence of wrong doing by Armitage. I'm quoting. Bush told Perot to go to the proper authorities. (sounds of shock and dismay by audience) I'm still reading now. So the billionaire called on William Webster. He's now head of the CIA. It says that Perot made at least one visit to the White House carrying a pile of documents, yet he has received no support from the Reagan administration. In fact Frank Carlucci...
Who's he? He's the secretary of defense. And who was he before? Deputy directory of Central Intelligence. Frank Carlucci called him in to ask him to stop pursuing Armitage. Talk about insulation! And when four billion dollars can't even get your foot in the door even though the man is a good Texan from Houston. Tell me there's no cover-up here.
Now H. Ross was working on his own. He didn't know what Khun Sa had told us. Khun Sa doesn't have a television or a telephone. He doesn't know who Richard Armitage is. He doesn't give a damn. All he knows is the people who are on his records that he's dealt with. This affadavit though by a man by the name of Daniel Sheehan ... and you'll recognize Sheehan's name if you don't know him already by the Silkwood case. He jumped on Kerr-Magee (sp?). Kerr-Magee is pretty powerful. But they won the Silkwood case there in Oklahoma and have done a few other things.
(switch to a talk-show interview with Daniel Sheehan, lead attorney for the Christic Institute)
There's little doubt at all that President Reagan was involved in a conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act. He's been directly ordered by the United States Congress not to mount this military operation against Nicaragua. They've cut off all funds for him to do so, but he went to Saudi Arabia and various private citizens to raise the money in total violation of the Federal Neutrality Act. They're engaged in violations of the arms-export control act. They're engaged in violations of the Federal Racketeering Act. There is a whole federal racketeering syndicate that they like to refer to as The Enterprise.
Richard Secord referred to it as. But what it is in fact, Jim, is the off-the-shelf, stand-alone, self-financing, covert operations capacity that Oliver North talked about Bill Casey wanting to set up. Fact is, that it has been set up. Its been operating for many years now. Out from under the control of any president. Out from under the control of the director of central intelligence. Out from under the supervision of any intelligence committee. Its run by Theodore Shakley, the former director of covert operations worldwide by the CIA under George Bush when George Bush was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1976. And this crowd has set up the off-the-shelf operation and is carrying out not only a partnership with the drug dealers from Central America and from Southeast Asia, but also carrying out a major political assasination program which was participated in by William Buckley who was the Beirut section chief for the CIA who was kidnapped in March of 1984 and who was the subject of all the real negotiations for the sale of the TOW missiles to Iran. It was not a sale to open any openings to the moderates in Iran, nor was it in fact a negotiation to negotiate for the general release of hostages. It was initiated solely and exclusively to obtain the release of William Buckley because he knew about the whereabouts of the off-the-shelf operation. It was a criminal enterprise and they feared that if the American people found out about that there would be a huge constitutional scandal and the President of the United States would be impeached.
May I most respectfully ask that this matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this I'm certain arrangements can be made during executive session.
(cut to Jack Brook's summary)
.. involving the US government in military activity in direct contradiction of the law, diverting public funds into private pockets in secret unofficial activities, selling access to the President for thousands of dollars, dispensing cash and foreign money orders out of a White House safe, accepting gifts and falsifying papers to cover it up, altering and shredding national security documents, lying to Congress.
Now I believe that the American people understand that democracy cannot survive that kind of abuse.
(back to Bo at luncheon)
I don't think it makes a hoot who you vote for for President. The same people are gonna run this country. I stand before you today. You gotta know who I am. I'm an indicted felon because part of that phone call in Thailand said, "Bo, if you don't erase and forget, if you don't come to the apartment (that was a safehouse in Washington, DC), you're gonna be charged with 15 years and your going to serve as a felon and we're going to bring up aggravated charges and hostile witnesses."
That's not my kind of language. I said, "Friend, that's an insult to you, me and two hundred years of constitutional government." He said, "Bo, don't give me that. Bring everything you've got to the apartment." I said, "Who's going to be there, Joe?" And he said, "You know me better than that, Bo. It will just be me and Tom Harvey." I said, "OK, I'll bring this stuff dear citizen. I'll show it to you then you tell me to erase and forget." When I got to LA with the tapes he said, "Bo, don't come." He was that much of a friend. He said, "Don't come. Hide those tapes. Everybody's laying for you." He said, "But please destroy and forget. That's all the state department wants you to do because otherwise you're going to jail as a felon." You know what they charged me with? They did charge me. Misuse of a passport.
Now that is a weeny charge for somebody thats been in clandestine warfare for more than 30 years. That throws me in league with Jane Fonda. She was cavorting with the enemy and misusing her passport.
Ollie North and Robert McValium went to Iran on Irish passports so they could do an illegal arms deal, but nobody has charged them. Thats because they're cooperating.
Well, I'm not worried about that. The US attorney doesn't know how hard to take it because I said, "I don't deny I misused a passport. I misused it many times. Every time in pursuit of US prisoners of war."
You dear citizen, see if you would erase and go back to sleep and forget. I don't think that you will. In my defense I got a lawyer, he's the former US attorney for Nevada. He took my case for free other than all the expenses it cost to bring in witnesses. Were going to use this court as a forum for prisoners of war and for government in drug dealing because you know you can't sue the government, but when the government jumps on you now you can turn it around on them. Thats exactly what were doing. I got a plea the other day saying, "Bo, just go ahead and cop a plea it'll be a misdemeanor." No way Jose, were going all the way with this one.
The American Warrior has traveled a long road from the jungles of Vietnam to the Pentagon to a hostile federal courtroom in Las Vegas, but the commitment to God, country, honor and decency have never wavered. It would be far easier to walk away from this battle, but to do so would be impossible for this soldier.
Interestingly enough, the US attorney prosecuting this case against a respected dissenting war hero is himself the former road manager for a well-known 1960's antiwar rock group. The irony is not lost on Las Vegans, but the issues behind the trial demand nationwide attention. One can only wonder what the charges will be against Oliver North.
The Christic Institue, on the other hand, is facing an uphill battle in their current appeal of Judge King's dismissal of their racketeering lawsuit against The Enterprise last June in Miami. As Father Bill Davis, their chief investigator explains:
(cut to Fr. Bill Davis from The Christic Institute)
This is by far the most important case we've ever done. I think for the kinds of forces that we're up against, as well as for the broader public policy implications. If this crowd can get away with what they have been getting away with: the arms dealing, the drug dealing, the assasination programs and sell it under the guise of some kind of blind anti-communism, having had the revelations that we've had: the Hasenfus flight, the Iran arms deal. If they still get away with it then I think democracy, at least in this country, is in very very serious condition. I don't think it will survive. We're either going to win against these forces, this time or I am not optimistic about the survival of democracy in this country. I think it's that serious.
The seriousness of Gritz's discoveries during his first mission to the Golden Triangle, however was brought home immediately after his return. Scott Weekly, his Operation Lazarus team member and veteran of several POW recovery missions, was arrested and charged with a federal violation resulting from the Afghan training program he helped Gritz conduct. Weekly was a classmate of Oliver North's at Annapolis and has a PhD in physics. After numerous forays into hostile enemy territory neither he nor Gritz were prepared for the treachery that awaited them at home.
(Bo filmed in Thailand or thereabouts)
The ambassador level person for the US government in charge of narcotics control made a statement immediately following the release of this tape to the White House that the United States would never a agree to talk with General Khun Sa about drug control because he was such a black-hearted criminal. I believe that we can show through facts that have already been established by the US Justice Department and on-going investigations that there are people currently who saw that tape in the US government that all that they could to stop this interview right here for fear they would be exposed. Even to the point where they arrested Scott Weekly for a minor technicality of transporting explosives illegally on a commercial airliner.
Very briefly we were training a couple of Afghan freedom fighters through the knowledge and request of the US state department and other official agencies. The explosives were procurred for us from Fort Sill, Oklahoma and were naturally transported, because we were using them at a remote desert base, by aircraft. There was no danger to the civilian aircraft. The explosives were C4, plastic, frontline safe. You could shoot them with a machine gun and they wouldn't go off.
There were no detonating devices with us. Federal agents told Scott when he was taken into custody that it wasn't a technicality and that the real target was me. They were under pressure by the US attorney's office to find out whether or not I was in kahoots with North and Poindexter since I had traveled to Latin America and to the Middle East in pursuit of various government associated projects. The fact is and the truth is that I've had nothing to do with North and Poindexter or any illegal activities either in South America or the Middle East. Now the truth is that I believe that elements in the US government are afraid that they will be exposed for their illegal activities and drug trafficking. Through that exposure that this will cease and they will lose their power.
If they had tried to put pressure by causing Scott Weekly even to be adjudged guilty ... because he was told if he would plead guilty that there would be no problem... that he would be given probation... that there would be no more pursuit... that it would be unsupervised probation which would allow him to continue to travel overseas. In truth, he was sentenced. The fact is that Scott was told that if he would plead guilty that there would be no further investigation and that all would go well for him and that if he did not plead guilty there would be a tether put on all of us so that we would not be able to travel and at that time we were very very close to negotiating the release of American prisoners of war. The only reason that Scott plead guilty was so that other members of the Operation Lazarus team, myself included, would be free to continue the mission of liberating US prisoners of war, which is ongoing now.
(Narrator Discussing Weekly's case)
Scott Weekly was made to serve fourteen months of a five year sentence before it was demonstrated that the agents had removed sensitive documents from his pre-sentencing file which would have exonerated him. The sentence was simply dismissed.
Lance Trimmer, a former Green Beret communications specialist with the Lazarus team, accompanied Gritz to Burma in Weekly's place in May, 1987 where he witnessed Khun Sa naming the US officials involved in drug trafficking. As a professional private investigator, since returning he has spearheaded the effort to document and publicize the team's findings and was instrumental in obtaining Scott Weekly's release from LongPoke Federal Prison. In the process he has been unjustifiably arrested and detained three times by the police and federal authorities.
(Narrator introducing Barry Flinn)
Barry Flinn is the Bangkok station chief for Operation Lazarus. In May of 1987 he served as the cameraman with Colonel Gritz on his second trip to visit Khun Sa. Also during this time he has made other trips into ShanLand. On one occasion he accompanied a journalist from Australia who filmed the proceedings and made this the subject of a news program in Australia. Barry himself was arrested immediatly upon his return to Bangkok from ShanLand on the first trip and has been several times since then as has been Khun Sa.
(Khun Sa in interview with Australian journalist .. either he himself or a translator is speaking... it sounds like Khun Sa himself)
.. even if they kill me the opium will still be there. They only use me as a money tree. Every time they want money, they come and shake the tree just like a Christmas tree.
..spraying the opium crop with the poison 24-D (or somesuch...Ed.)
One of the problems that Khun Sa pointed out in the news program in Australia is the extensive use of toxic herbicide spraying over his territory not to kill the opium plants, but to kill the food crops which is very very destructive of the culture and the people and creating a very serious refugee problem.
(Khun Sa again...)
We have 300 families in the hills now who have no food. The world body is doing something against humanity in the Shan state and nobody knows about it.
(Bo talks about Khun Sa's offer)
General Khun Sa has extended an offer in writing to turn over to the United States Government on March 15, 1988 one ton of refined Asian heroin, that sells for $250,000 per pound to distributors, as a show of good faith that he would stop 1200 tons of heroin from entering the free world in 1988. The response of the State Department was, "no interest."
(Bo talking in Southeast Asian Field)
There are personalities within the United States Government who have, as early as the early 1960's, trafficked in opium and heroin to finance assasination programs initially approved by the Central Intelligence Agency, which didn't work then and aren't working now. If these assasinations programs spread from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand to Iran, to Nicaragua, to Libya and have the potential of continuing to spread unless some exposure is finally done to eliminate these high officials.
H. Ross Perot has said as a result of his investigation he has found a, "snake pit without a bottom." He says that the people involved will do anything to keep their wrongdoings covered up. He even says that a man that was responsible for the Phoenix assasination program is now on the personal staff of George Bush.
(Cut to Barry Flinn in Bangkok discussing his trip with Bo.)
My name is Barry Flinn and I live in Bangkok, Thailand. I have been in Bangkok now for two years. I am a member of Operation Lazarus and I am the station chief here in Bangkok. My function for Operation Lazarus is to collect information from my agents in Laos and in Vietnam on locating live Americans held captive in these two countries. This last trip Colonel Gritz had asked me to go into ShanLand, a territory of Burma, to be a witness and a cameraman to record the conversation with him and General Khun Sa. I agreed to go and I did witness, I did record the meeting with Lt. Colonel James 'Bo' Gritz and General Khun Sa. Another member of Operation Lazarus by the name of Lance Trimmer also accompanied us. In Shanland I did record the meeting and the facts are as follows: General Khun Sa's people, the secretaries read from a document written in the Shan language about American officials dealing in heroin from 1965 to the present. Some of the names he had given us were a man by the name of Shackley, a man by the name of Armitage and other American officials involved in drugs. Now my job is strictly locating POWS. I am not involved with the DEA or any other US Government agency. I am a private citizen. It makes you angry when you hear of the drug problems in America. Children taking heroin at twelve and high officials supplying them the heroin and all the cover-ups they did in the past, the present and probably in the future.
Now as a witness I definitely believe these men were involved in the drug trade. General Khun Sa did say that, after giving us the names, he wouldn't be surprised if B52 bombers started flying over Shanland to destroy him and to kill him so that he wouldn't testify to the other Americans involved in the drug trade.
I am staying in Bangkok, Thailand to locate POWs and if people are interested in more information about the interview with Khun Sa and Lt. Colonel James 'Bo' Gritz they know were to find me. The American embassy knows were to locate me. Lt. Colonel James 'Bo' Gritz knows were to locate me and I'm sure the people involved in the drug trade know where to locate me.
Alright. One more thing. I did here about the Americans Shackley, Armitage and other Americans being named it sent a chill up my spine and down my back. It made me angry. It made me shocked. I couldn't believe it, but it was there: names, files of old papers that the Lao agents and the Shan people have on our Americans. Somebody has to do something. It will probably all be covered up. I don't know. It's not my business. I was only a witness and it will stay with me for the rest of my life about the people in our government dealing drugs. It's nice to know, isn't it? It's really nice to know...
(Bo gives summary)
In summary, the reason that American prisoners of war are not at home as we speak, if what Khun Sa, the Christic Institute, and H. Ross Perot are saying is true, is because Richard Armitage, the one man responsible for their recovery is a heroin smuggler and an arms dealer. He has misused his office in order to promote covert operations through the sale of heroin and trading in arms that bypasses the US Congress. When prisoners come home he will be investigated. His wrongdoings and misuse of office will be uncovered and exposed and he and the others will fall like a house of cards. As an American citizen it is our responsibility to wake up to the internal threat, the treachery that threatens literally the life of this nation.
(Bo back at luncheon asks people to swear to do something)
It's time that we just became Americans. Here is what I would ask you to do, because you can't just go back to sleep on this thing like we did on 007, the Korean airline. One is, I would ask that in your mind, if not physically here today be willing to raise you hand to the square (?) and swear again before God and witnesses your allegiance to this heavenly banner (points to flag) and to the constitution of the United States because it will die hermetically sealed in the National Archives if we don't breath some life back into it. It is hanging by a thread.
The righteous people of this country, doesn't mean Democrat, Republican, right, left, conservative, liberal, the righteous people of this country need now to stand up and put a shoulder to it to keep it stable. I want you to commit to yourself that you're going to do something about it. Demand that an investigation be made.
(Bo narrating here...)
Demand a thorough and true investigation of Richard Armitage. Insist that The Christic Institute's charges go to trial and be heard by a jury of Americans. That those in our government that represent sewage, that clog the bureaucracy today might be cleaned out. That the American way might continue. That our children might grow up in liberty and freedom with same opportunities that we have had.
(Gritz apparently is willing to run for Congress on the Republican ticket. Back to the luncheon)
In the legislature you need to seek out, identify and draft people that have the guts to stand up, because if you get the legislature up there it can be through the people. It can be pulled back from the brink. I think thats our saving grace. I think that through the legislature we can do what no one else would have done to Nixon. We can wash him away, we can wash away, hopefully, it's going to be a hard fight, this cancer. I stand before you and give you an order. You have got to do something about this thing. We fought the enemy foreign. Can't we fight the enemy domestic?
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