William J. ChamblissState-Organized Crime Part 7Sun Feb 20, 2005 00:16220.127.116.11A host of terrorist plans and activities connected with the attempt to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, including several murders and assassinations, were exposed in an affidavit filed by free-lance reporters Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey. They began investigating Contra activities after Avirgan was injured in an attempt on the life of Contra leader Eden Pastora. In 1986, Honey and Avirgan filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Miami charging John Hull, Robert Owen, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines, Chi Chi Quintero, Maj. General Richard Secord, and others working for the CIA in Central America with criminal conspiracy and the smuggling of cocaine to aid the Nicaraguan rebels.
A criminal conspiracy in which the CIA admits participating is the publication of a manual, Psychological Operation in Guerilla Warfare, which was distributed to the people in Nicaragua. The manual describes how the people should proceed to commit murder, sabotage, vandalism, and violent acts in order to undermine the government. Encouraging or instigating such crimes is not only a violation of U.S. law, it was also prohibited by Reagan’s executive order of 1981, which forbade any U.S. participation in foreign assassinations.
The CIA is not alone in hatching criminal conspiracies. The DEA organized a "Special Operations Group," which was responsible for working out plans to assassinate political and business leaders in foreign countries who were involved in drug trafficking. The head of this group was a former CIA agent, Lou Conein (also known as "Black Luigi"). George Crile wrote in the Washington Post (June 13, 1976):
When you get down to it, Conein was organizing an assassination program. He was frustrated by the big-time operators who were just too insulated to get to. . . . Meetings were held to decide whom to target and what method of assassination to employ.
Crile’s findings were also supported by the investigative journalist Jim Hougan (1978: 32).
It is a crime to conspire to commit murder. The official record, including testimony by three participants in three conspiracies before the U.S. Congress and in court, make it abundantly clear that the crime of conspiring to commit murder is not infrequent in the intelligence agencies of the United States and other countries.
It is also a crime to cover up criminal acts, but there are innumerable examples of instances in which the CIA and the FBI conspired to interfere with the criminal prosecution of drug dealers, murderers, and assassins. In the death of Letellier, mentioned earlier, the FBI and the CIA refused to cooperate with the prosecution of the DINA agents who murdered Letellier (Dinges and Landau, 1980: 208-209). Those agencies were also involved in the cover-up of the criminal activities of a Cuban exile, Ricardo (Monkey) Morales. While an employee of the FBI and the CIA, Morales planted a bomb on an Air Cubana flight from Venezuela, which killed 73 people. The Miami police confirmed Morales’ claim that he was acting under orders from the CIA (Lernoux, 1984: 188). In fact, Morales, who was arrested for overseeing the shipment of 10 tons of marijuana, admitted to being a CIA contract agent who conducted murders, bombings, and assassinations. He was himself killed in a bar after he made public his work with the CIA and the FBI.
Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, like Fidel Castro, has been the target of a number of assassination attempts and conspiracies by the U.S. government. One plot, the Washington Post reported, included an effort to "lure [Qaddafi] into some foreign adventure or terrorist exploit that would give a growing number of Qaddafi opponents in the Libyan military a chance to seize power, or such a foreign adventure might give one of Qaddafi’s neighbors, such as Algeria or Egypt, a justification for responding to Qadaffi militarily" (the Washington Post, April 14, 1986). The CIA recommended "stimulating" Qaddafi’s fall "by encouraging disaffected elements in the Libyan army who could be spurred to assassination attempts" (the Guardian, November 20, 1985: 6).
Opposition to government policies can be a very risky business, as the ecology group Greenpeace discovered when it opposed French nuclear testing in the Pacific. In the fall of 1985 the French government planned a series of atomic tests in the South Pacific. Greenpeace sent its flagship to New Zealand with instructions to sail into the area where the atomic testing was scheduled to occur. Before the ship could arrive at the scene, however, the French secret service located the ship and blew it up. The blast from the bomb killed one of the crew.
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