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October 09, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-09

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Sage 4 Monday, October 9,1989 The Michigan Daily








John Stockwell is an ex-Marine and former Central Intelligence Agency field case of-
ficer. In his thirteen years with the agency, he served in the Congo, Vietnam, and was
the director of the secret war in Angola.
The University Activities Committee will sponsor a talk by Stockwell on Tuesday,
"October 10 at 8:00 pm in the Union Ballroom. Tickets are $3.00 and are available at
'the Union ticket office.
The following comments were taken from an interview with David Barsamian.

Transcripts and cassette copies of the entire
1814 Spruce, Boulder CO, 80302.

interview are available from Barsamian,

"Clearly we have a guy who's working for
us who has access to our vehicles to use
them to smuggle heroin into Saigon," and
I proposed that we do a thorough investi-
gation and have him arrested. My boss
took me for a ride and said, "John, you
don't want to do that." I said, "Wait
minute. My office is being used to smug-
gle heroin and I'm not supposed to no-
tice?" His explanation was, "Well, you
don't know that there was heroin in that
jeep." "I'm sure there was, and we can in-
vestigate and prove it." "Well, you're not
a policeman [sic] in this country. You
have no license. You have no charter. You
have no authority to do any investigation.

happens to be the general who's a friend of
the Vice President back in the United
States, so that's his dirty laundry, just
leave it at that and don't ask questions."
There are pilots who have testified to
flying guns to Central America and com-
ing back to the United States with plane-
loads of drugs. One of them said, extraor-
dinarily enough, that he landed at Home-
stead Air Force Base in Florida. Gary
Betzner is the pilot. This is all doc-
umented by Leslie Cockburn and Peter
Dale Scott [in the books Out of Control
and The Iran/Contra Connection]. Not
only did he testify about this planeload and
how much money he got for it, but

-1 - J

'You mentioned stories linking the
agency with drug smuggling. Why
would the agency risk disgrace by being
linked with drugs? It just doesn't
It does track but you have to analyze it a
bit. It goes back before the 1960s. The
OSS [Office of Strategic Services], the
'agency's predecessor in World War II, got
"Lucky Luciano out of prison and set him
ip in Italy to reactivate the Mafia and run
4ctivities into France against the Germans.
The network they established evolved into
the French connection, the pipeline of her-
ein into the United States. The Southeast
kAsia connection is thoroughly documented
now. There at at least a half a dozen solid
,books out, including some by Air
"America pilots. The CIA had the Civil Air
'Transport, which became Air America,
which was the world's largest airline at
one point flying arms for the Kuomintang
from Nationalist China and Taiwan into
Communist China from the islands of
Quemoy and Matsu, flying arms in and
then flying back from Thailand and Burma
with heroin.
The French have this historic tradition
of dealing drugs, dating back to colonial
times when they built heroin factories in
Saigon and gave the villagers quotas of
opium they had to smuggle. By the post-
war 1950s the French intelligence service
overlapped the Corsican Mafia. They were
4flying in their pacification war Laos, up-
*country in Vietnam, and in North Viet-
namese. They had their little airports and

their planes. They were flying in arms and
flying out heroin, and of course the Mafia
was taking the heroin. The U.S. stepped
in to replace the French after the battle of
Dien Bien Phu and used its Air America
planes flying into the same airstrips to
keep the flow of arms and heroin going.
They even put into Laos an agricultural
adviser to teach the people how to grow
the grass more effectively. This is mass-
ive, it went on a long time, and eventually
it stimulated the creation of the Golden
Triangle, a major source of heroin in the
world for a long time.
Take my own case, to make the exam-
ple crystal clear. In 1973 and 1974 I'm as-
signed upcountry in Tay Ninh in Vietnam.
This is definitely on one of the pipelines
of heroin flowing from the mountains
right through my province. Everyone
knew it. Opium houses were illegal but
nobody enforced the law. ARVN [South
Vietnam's army] generals were known to
patronize these houses. If you wanted you
could easily buy the stuff on the streets in
Bangkok. One day I caught my office
manager racing from Tay Ninh to Saigon
in my jeep. He didn't have permission to
take the jeep. I flagged him down. He
roared past. I tried to chase him and he
outran me. He was about to crash he was
so desperate to get away. I did a little in-
vestigation and found he was a wealthy
man who did not need our little salary and
that he took trips to Saigon regularly with
our jeeps when no one was looking. So I
went and reported to my boss. I said,

'There are pilots who have testified to flying guns to Central
America and coming back to the United States with planeloads
of drugs. One of them said, extraordinarily enough, that he
landed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.'

commanders. So early on they seized into
this thing, with Noriega providing air
strips in Panama from which the cocaine
and marijuana could be loaded to fly it into
the United States. When that became too
flagrant they switched to the Enterprise
and the Contras.
So what happened was that the guards at
the base at Homestead had been ordered not
to mess with the trucks leaving from these
airplanes. And at the other Air National
Guard bases across the United States we
have testimony before the committees and
reported by the major media about DEA
officers who would begin to pursue hot
leads of Contras who were caught with co-
caine in the United States and when the
district attorneys tried to prosecute 'they
would get a call and be told this is na-
tional security, stay out of it. Or there
would be pilots they would try to inter-
cept, and they would be told here's a
phone number, you'd better call it and it
was a number at the White House, Ollie
North interceding. We have Robert
Owen's memos from Costa Rica, warning
North that his planes were being used to
fly drugs back into the United States. We
have published, certified stories that the
U.S. attorney in Florida, t1ying to break a
big case, was ordered by Ed Meese not to
investigate because it was national secu-
rity. We have Senator Kerry's outraged
statement saying that national security card
never be used to cover for drug smuggling.

The DEA [Drug Enforcement Authority]
is here to look over the shoulder of the
Vietnamese. It's their business." "I said,
"So bring them in." He said, "No we
wouldn't want to do that because the
Vietnamese authorities don't want us in-
volved at that level in their activities,
therefore it wouldn't be appropriate for us
to get involved." He said, "You've been
sent over here and given a diplomatic
passport and given this assignment to
gather information about the Communists
and that's all you're here for. The Viet-
namese have agreed to this. Your govern-
ment has sent you here for this purpose.
There is nothing else for you to be doing
here. Forget the drug issue." I said, "I can-
not forget the fact that people are using
my vehicles to smuggle drugs." He said,
"Just put it out of your mind."
I had a choice: I could resign and leave
the country and give up my career and pay-
checks and miss my child support pay-
ments, or I could put crimps in the office
manager's style. I passed the word that he
was never to borrow a jeep without my
express permission and I said we wouldn't
give him a jeep for more than a 30-minute
period to go buy material when he needed
And it is similar for pilots flying for.
Air America. They land and tell the boss,
"Hey, that guy getting off the plane has
got two suitcases full of heroin." The boss
would give him the pat answer: "Wait a
minute, you're hired to fly a plane. You're
not a cop. You don't have the authority to
arrest him. In addition to which, that guy

Cockburn confirmed that there was a plane
parked that night with the tail number of
Betzner's discription.
Planes were flying arms from Home-
stead and international bases down into
Central America on an almost daily basis,
and then coming back empty. The Me-
dellin people are sitting down there with
endless pressure to find new ways to get
their supplies into the United States and
here are these empty planes flown by a-
moral mercenaries and amoral Contra

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.

Vol. C, No. 23

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Columbus Day:
Nothing to celebrate

"The Nicaraguans can't possibly know who we are... we're wearing civilian clothes,
and we've specially modified our helicopter!"

Life in the Occupied Territories:

Resisting Israeli

TODAY IS Columbus Day. It is a fed-
eral holiday. The Post Office will be
closed. Banks will be closed. Flags
will be hung. Students in elementary
schools will perform skits and draw
pictures recreating Columbus' discov-
ery of America. Because that is what
this holiday is for - to celebrate the
man who successfully crossed the
stormy seas to discover the New
World, the empty expanse of land on
which this nation grew and prospered.
That, anyway, is what most children
in the United States are taught in
school; that is the myth perpetuated by
the history books and the media. But
while schoolchildren are learning about
the braxe adventures of the Nina, the
Pinta, and the Santa Maria, some cru-
cial facts are omitted from the story.
Columbus did not discover America.
In 1492,100 million Native Americans
were living in the "New World." The
supposedly unsettled, vast expanse
contained a greater population than all
of Western Europe. (J.Sakai, Settlers,
p.6). This, however, did not phase
Columbus. Upon meeting the Arawak
Indians, who presented him and his
sailors with food and gifts, he wrote in
. his log, "They do not bear arms and do
not know them... They would make
fine servants... With fifty men we
could subjugate them all and make
them do whatever we want." (Howard
Zinn, A People's History of the United
States, p.1).
Intent on navin back those who had

Those who did not bring in the quota
he demanded were punished by having
their hands cut off and bleeding to
death. (Zinn, p.4).
Much of the information about
Columbus comes from Bartolemd de
las Casas, a priest who settled on the
islands and who transcribed Colum-
bus' journal. In his book, History of
the Indies, Las Casas offers his own
opinion of Columbus' deeds and the
example he set for the colonists who
followed him. "Endless testimon-
ies...prove the mild and pacific temper-
ament of the natives... But our work
was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle
and destroy; small wonder, then, if
they tried to kill one of us now and
then... The admiral [Columbus], it is
true, was blind as those who came after
him, and he was so anxious to please
the King that he committed irreparable
crimes against the Indians..." (Zinn,
In two years after Columbus landed,
half of the 250,000 Native Americans
on the island had been killed. 50,000
were left in 1515. In 1650 all of the
original Arawaks and their descendents
were dead.
By the end of the 17th century,
Spanish colonists following. in
Colombus' grand tradition of system-
atic genocide had slaughtered enough
Native Americans in their colonies to
reduce the population from 10 million
to 4 million. And by 1900, of the 10
million Native Americans that had once
inhabited North America, only
200,000-300,000 descendents sur-
vived. (Sakai, p.7).

by the PSC Delegation to the
Occupied Territories
In June of this year all the pharmacies
in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour
were raided by the Israeli army and all the
medicines were confiscated. The confisca-
tion took place because everybody in Beit
Sahour refused to pay taxes to the occupa-
tion authorities. Today, this town does not
have adequate access to the necessary
medicines. Elias Rishmawi, one of the af-

fected pharmacists, explains what hap-
Delegation: Why did you stop paying
taxes and what happened subsequently?
"Well, I stopped paying taxes in January
1988, as everybody did, responding to a
call from the Unified leadership.
"I should add something important that
you should know. Taxation is something
legal in most countries. People usually
pay taxes to their legally elected govern-
ments, and these taxes are spent on ser-
vices and the welfare of the people. Now,
consider what we have here in Palestine;
we have occupation authorities that are not
legally elected and they are using taxes to
cover the expenses of the occupation. The
services that we are getting are really un-
believable: more killing, more prisoners,
more house demolitions, and the closure
of our academic institutions for the last
two years - they opened the primary and
secondary schools in the last couple of
weeks, yes, but they already are starting to
close some schools and the rest will, I be-
lieve, be closed very shortly. These are the
"services" we receive. I don't think that
anyone can justify paying taxes for those
"The cost of water is another example.
In the West Bank we pay about $1.00/m3,
the [Jewish] settlement five kilometers
east of Beit Sahour pays less than
$0.50/m3, and Israelis in Jerusalem and
Tel Aviv pay about $0.60/m3. You
should also know that the Israelis use
more than 94% of the water reserves of the
West Bank - transferring it to the settle-
ments and to Israel - leaving for the
West Bank population only 6% of our wa-
ter resources for which we pay double the
price that they pay. This, as a symbol, is
what occupation means.
"To continue with the story, last
Nanmher the fnnr nhnrmnitc ofRenot

with all these documents the judge said
that we would have to go to prison for ten 4
days or pay a $2,500 bail and submit the
reports to the tax authorities. We immedi-
ately refused, and were placed in jail.
"According to the law we should have
been placed in a West Bank jail, but in-
stead they placed us in a Israeli jail in cells
among Israeli drug addicts. We were kept
there for nine days and then taken again in
front of the military judge to determine if
we'd go back to prison or to interrogation
It was very clear to us the interest of the
tax people was not to interrogate us, but
rather to keep us in jail in order to impose
pressure on us to pay the taxes. The judge
admitted this in his verdict because none
of us had been interrogated during our stay
in prison. Nevertheless, the judge gave us
the option to go to jail for another 18 days
or to pay a $750 bail. This time he was
more clever than the previous time be-
cause he did not connect the bail to the4
payment of taxes. After deliberating with
our lawyers we were satisfied that the bail
was not connected with a condition to pay
taxes, but that it was a guarantee for us to
reappear in court. The bail was paid by an
Israeli friend of mine who was disgusted
by the court proceedings.
"During the next three months the four
of us were subjected to many long interro-
gations, but we refused to cooperate in anyd
way. Then they declared that they would
confiscate our property. We appealed to
the High Court in Israel, and on June 22,
1989 the High Court gave the verdict that
the tax authorities had no right to confis-
cate anything unless they gave us 10 days
advance notice. Imagine what happened,
four days after the verdict, about 70 sol-
diers came to my pharmacy backing ten
tax collectors. They confiscated every-
thing, that is, medicines, laboratory sup-4
nlies chemicals hv fond hh nrndnrti

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