Tuesday, October 07, 2008

DEADLY DIVERSION: On Opium Trafficking, the CIA & the Challenger Disaster

The Challenger disaster took its sweet time gestating - several years to piece it all together, in fact. I'm completely aware that this story will be doubted initially by anyone unfamiliar with the many relevant facts (and by standard American donut heads long subjected to Big Cable's herd programming) - it's my unfortunate lot in life to report these things - and that's why I suggest chasing down my sources and reading anything relevant available on the Net. In the past, when I've posted this story, a Conserva-Troll invariably posts a link to it and opines with a dismissive yawn, "I don't believe the government blew up the Challenger. ... " In a fascist state, reality is squeezed through a lens of willful ignorance by media programmers and their enabling victims.

Mae Brussell's work on Challenger: There was thick layer of ice on the shuttle's launcher that morning - yet NASA claimed over the course of several days to be waiting for the temperature to rise. This is not an incidental detail. (The American prole brain is conditioned to explain essential facts away, but this one is comprehensible only in the wider context of intention in which it is consistent, not an unexplained contradiction.) I've posted this before, but like many stories I write, the significance of it is lost in a sea of Orwellian historical revision - not mine, the military-industrial media machine's. The Challenger blew up at roughly the same moment that a witness swore in to testify on federally-sanctioned heroin smuggling and money laundering - at that very moment NASA launch conditions were ideal for mass murder, as engineers from Thiokol testified openly, and prolonged flight that morning was impossible. The engineers stated that they knew the O-rings would give, that the Challenger would explode, and signed a group statement in advance that they would assume no responsibility for the decision to launch. That came from above. It is on record, not to be ignored but understood. They knew the cannon was loaded. This is not another "incidental" anomaly ... The reporters attending the drug testimony scurried out of the room when the shuttle exploded - the press never ran the story. How "coincidental." ...

Let us reconstruct the Challenger disaster and the drug testimony as they occurred - this set of facts explains the lingering anomalies, which, as I say, are not so incidental - given the bloodshed that ensued, not to mention widespread heroin addiction ... and a bonus - I tussle with a completely disingenuous Conserva-Troll (see below) ...

- AC
DEADLY DIVERSION: On Opium Trafficking, the CIA & the Challenger Disaster
By Alex Constantine

On January 28, 1986, Scott Barnes, a DEA contract agent, sat before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs to testify about American opium smuggling from Southeast Asia. The chairman of the committee was Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming. Other notable nabobs on the committee: Strom Thrumond, George Mitchell, Jeremiah Denton, Alan Cranston and John D. Rockefeller.

Barnes flew in from Los Angeles to testify about the CIA and southeast Asian opium, an underground industry he'd discovered in his search for POWs in Vietnam. He passed lie detector and sodium amytal tests to convince the press ("calls and inimidations from news people escalated ... ") and filled out a sworn affidavit before testifying.

He also spoke to Congressman Solomon, who was "adamant." As an "ex-Marine," said Solomon, "I won't believe any of this."

"As the questioning progressed during my two hour testimony, I began to feel cornered," Barnes wrote. "I heard someone behind me whisper, 'Oh, God, NO!"

Barnes was given two hours to testify on the logistics of a covert postwar underground of military and intelligence officers engaged in the drug trade. He explained that some of them had been apprehended and were held captive in Southeast Asian prison camps.

Scott Barnes: "In the midst of my testimony, Brian Bonnet entered and whispered in the ear of Murkowski who immediately announced, 'Excuse me, I must go to the White House.' Not long after his return, he was interrupted again, then announced, 'I should advise you that unofficially we have had word that THE SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER HAS BLOWN UP, and things do not look very good. I have nothing final on that but have just been advised that shortly after launching, there was an explosion. So if anybody wants to be excused, we will certainly understand.'"

Barnes, shaken but determined to speak, resumed his testimony ... but "by that time most of the senators and media people had left."1

Moments before, he had addressed a full Congressional committee and a wall of reporters. If not for the Challenger explosion, his account of CIA drug smuggling – and the abandonment of downed pilots overseas – might have made it into public print.

The Challenger explosion was investigated by another "blue ribbon" commission, this one headed up by Nixon ally and Secretary of State William Pierce Rogers, an attorney with a keen professional interest in both the CIA and the heroin industry.

Architect's rendering of the William P. Rogers Building, 2001 K Street, Washington, D.C.

As background, this was culled this from the Lake Erie Reporter:

"Harken [Oil Co., owned by GHW Bush] was connected to the drug trade, the manipulation of foreign currencies and the CIA’s efforts to destabilize the government of Argentina. Harken’s major owners were George Soros, the Harvard [University] Management Corporation, and Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a Saudi investor."

William Rogers

Bakhsh was legally represented by Rogers & Wells, the New York law firm of William P. Rogers. Bakhsh "arranged for Union des Banques Swisses, to invest $25 million in the firm. The Swiss bank was connected to the corrupt banking conglomerate BCCI, which collapsed amid scandal in 1992. BCCI has been called the most corrupt bank in modern times, having financed terrorists, drug dealers, and various covert operations."2

Rewind to 1986, Scott Barnes and his explosive Senate testimony. Recall that when he began to wade into detail in his brief to Senator Simpson's committee, someone seated directly behind him burst out in a whisper, "Oh, God, NO!"

Someone was very anxious about the politics of heroin in Southeast Asia. Who might that be?

Barnes: "The videos of the hearing show a very restless Ann Mills Griffiths seated directly behind me."

Ms. Griffiths was the head of the National League of Families, and though she was a vocal proponent of the POW issue, her many critics maintained that she frustrated efforts to resolve the MIA question behind the scenes.

In 1993, her name surfaced in connection with Richard Childress of the Reagan-Bush National Security Council, as reported by USA Today: "A Reagan administration official secretly funneled money from a POW-MIA group seeking information on missing Americans to help anti-communist rebels in Laos, a Senate report said Wednesday. Richard Childress, a National Security Council staffer, channeled the money during the early 1980s operation... Childress received about $200,000 working with Ann Mills Griffiths, head of the POW-MIA group, the National League of Families, and John LeBoutillier, a former New York Republican congressman.

"The operation 'sounds like a dry run' for the Iran-contra affair, said Jack Blum, a former Senate investigator. ...''3

The NSC's Dick Childress was another ne'er-do-well involved in the importation of heroin from Laos.4 And the Challenger explosion occurred at the very moment testimony about heroin smuggling was heard in Senate chambers.

Could this be a factor in the concurrent timing of the Challenger disaster? Political researcher Mae Brussell provided details of the launch and posited that the Challenger explosion was premeditated:

"Memorandum detailing a 'catastrophic' disaster if the shuttle was launched in less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit was presented to NASA in July 1985, and again in August 1985 by two different scientists. Did NASA, and the Pentagon, select the time when they demanded a lunch on the coldest day in shuttle history?

"The Challenger shuttle, unlike any other launch, waited outside in rain and cold for 38 days. Television cameras focused upon the ice coating and huge icicles at the time of the launch. Ice teams were sent out to 'check.'

"It was not always cold at Cape Canaveral. The Rogers Commission limited their public inquiry into launching decisions to the evening of January 27th and the morning of the 28th of January 1986. Plans for an earlier launch on Saturday, January 25th, 1986 were postponed because of dust storms in Africa and Morocco. It is interesting that the weather, so far away, was conveyed to the launch team at the top of the their pyramid. The same decision makers couldn't see ice, or feel freezing temperature around them at Cape Canaveral.

"It was not a matter of seeing or feeling the cold.... Challenger would leave on the morning of January 28, 1986. Weather was not a factor considered, then or now.

"Robert Lund, Vice President for Engineering at Morton Thiokol, the company who made the controversial solid fuel boosters, was told to "stop making an engineering decision." ... The other hat was military. Lund changed directions and took orders. Life is cheap for the Pentagon.

"Sunday turned out to be a fine day for a launch. Was there too much media competition with the Super bowl Sunday, with Reagan's 'teacher in space' production, after two years of publicity? The hundreds of press, teachers, and students waiting at Cape Canaveral, could have seen a fine launch on Sunday, Monday afternoon or even Tuesday afternoon when it was much

"NASA officials had been alerted by Sunday that a cold front was coming in Monday night or Tuesday for sure. Indications were that weather was always a factor in safely launching a shuttle."5

It was "the coldest day in shuttle history," and yet Challenger launched... And Barnes returned to California, an obscure DEA contract agent completely unaware that had his testimony on the CIA and drugs had the potential of wiping out the prospects of two future occupiers of the Oval office, GHW Bush and son. At the very least, the CIA would have had its feet put to the fire one more time. And should the name "Childress" have emerged, the Iran-contra investigation would likely have focused on heroin, not hostages.

1) Scott Barnes, BOHICA, BOHICA Corporation, Canton, Ohio, 1987, pp. 195-204.

2) "Bush Watch," http://mysite.verizon.net/resox2t6/thelakeeriereporter/

3) Carol J. Castaneda, "Misuse of funds alleged," USA TODAY, January 14, 1993, p. 13-A.

4) See, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/pandora/POW.html

5) Mae Brussell, "NASA'S CHALLENGER, R.I.P. January 28, 1986."
Response to "jreck" re the Challenger Disaster and CIA Opium

By Alex Constantine

In a discussion of the orchestrated Challenger disaster, I opened with the testimony of Scott Barnes, who described heroin smuggling by American GIs during and AFTER THE VIETNAM WAR, captured, held prisoner in Southeast Asia - exactly where Richard Armitage, Dick Childress and other familiar criminals linked to the Bush regimes wanted them.

A detractor, "jreck," claims to have checked my sources and "debunks" me. The point of contention is "a book by the man himself, Scott Barnes, called BOHICA. I loked the book up on Amazon ..." says "jreck." Note, he didn't actually to read it ...

"jreck" - who "did put a lot of work into tracking down each of Mr. Constantine's claims" - so diligent ... he didn't actually track down any of them but tried, and gives himself points for that - didn't glance at the book, or even search for excerpts, he "looked the book up on Amazon," and "read every review of the book I could find on the internet. It concerns the covert mission Barnes went on into southeast Asia in search of POWs. ... This book recounts how Scott Barnes testified about the mishandling of the information about two American prisoners of war he saw being held captive in Laos (essentially the government ignored him and left the POWs alone). A tragic story to be sure, but mention of heroin? nada. zip. zilch."

"jreck" is arguing that there is no mention of heroin smuggling in BOHICA, by former DEA agent Scott Barnes ... or in the reviews, but he seems to be hoping we'll believe this extends to the book, as well.

If "jreck" examines the actual text, not reviews, he'll find - not exactly "zilch" - but p. xxxiv of interest; the preface has a footnote on Michael Hand, who laundered heroin proceeds for the CIA and was "suicided." On page xliii of the introduction to the book, Daniel W. Bartow, the publisher of BOHICA, writes about "DRUG SMUGGLERS FOR OUR GOVERNMENT" in Laos. (The caps are his.)

Page 12 is also of interest: it concerns the Hell's Angels, under investigation at the time for alleged "international drug trafficking," ie. heroin, and the assignment Barnes received to infiltrate the motorcycle gang. Page 14 is about a bribe that Barnes received from a man who identified himself as Calvin Brown, "a big time international drug dealer."

Page 15 of Bohica discusses "big-name mafia figures," and Santos Trafficanté being "a former close associate of Laotian Gneral Vang Pao in his drug dealings." Vang Pao, of course, was in the opium business.

Page 18 is about testimony Barnes gave concerning the heroin smuggling network that used the Angels to distribute the drug.

On page 21, Barnes writes about the "thousands of dollars the government pays to murderers and drug addicts and perjurers to be witnesses."

Skip ahead to page 95, and the last paragraph is about how the CIA launders heroin proceeds in the gem export business. Page 180, picked at random, has a long footnote about narcotic overdoses in the prisons.

But no need to belabor the point. Heroin smuggling is the heart of the book. It is the reason Americans were captured AFTER the war - not only during the war, as "jreck" mistakenly assumes, so they weren't really "POWs," another falsehood from my detractor - and held prisoner. They were prisoners of Vietnam War-and-postwar opium trafficking (POVWAPOTs).

Narcotics are also the reason why Barnes's testimony was suppressed. His life was threatened, and he was viciously harassed by the CIA and military intelligence officials (today, many of the same criminals are found in the Bush regime) who feared his congressional testimony - which happened to occur at the moment the shuttle exploded. All reporters were called off the Barnes story. It would have been the leading headline of the day, if not for the shuttle disaster.

I won't go on. Apparently, "jreck" isn't the most experienced ressearcher on the Internet ... He even insulted Mae Brussell. Those are fighting words, so I must observe that Mr. "jreck" is a piece of drek. Mae Brussell was worth a hundred "jrecks." That said ...

CIA heroin, in fact, appears repeatedly in the book, despite "jreck's" claim that I "claimed" it without substance. This is an odd way to discredit me, with a flat-out lie.

Unlike "jreck," I DID go to the library, photocopied the book, read it, took notes - but my critic boasts that he has checked my sources exhaustively and claims I'm a liar. Pathetic. He makes other points, each as lame as the one made above, and I won't degrade myself by responding. (One of his criticisms was that he couldn't find a USA Today story from 1993 that I cited in the Challenger story ... so, he claims, I must have made it up. I have the hard copy, though, so perhaps he should PAY to search the newspaper's archives, then he can rescind his silly comments ... )

Another blogger at the "Book of Thoth" site, where "jreck" posted his wonderful exposé of myself, responds:

"Phew, you sure did one serious bit of research on Constantine's article! Major kudos on the huge effort, and thanks for sharing the insights with us." What a Bozo.

And something named Sol writes, "crazy rants like Constantine's serve to confuse the public and make them ignore the whole Big Issue behind the rant. The 'Challenger connection' is utterly preposterous and is very easily dismissed."

If my article on the Challenger explosion is "easily dismissed," why did "jreck" resort to misstatements?

It's not all that complicated, actually - the shuttle was launched on a morning too cold for blast-off; NASA techs knew that it would explode; it exploded at the moment Barnes was giving his testimony to congress; the pressure to launch came from the Reagan White House. An untold number of addictions had also had ties to the same regime, which brings us back to the names Bush, Armitage, Childress, etal. These atrocities have the same political ne'er-do-wells in common.