Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider
by Al Martin
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by Al Martin
DoJ: The Old Conspiracy and Coverup Crowd
The Wall Street Journal article, ("At Justice Department, a Conservative Takeover Looms" by David S. Cloud, Dec. 26, 2000) attempts to portray DoJ's Public Integrity Division Chief Lee Radek as some sort of left wing lackey. I find this completely ludicrous. It should be noted that Lee Radek like many others in DoJ's Public Integrity Section has come out of the CIA. And the CIA is not known for producing left wing lackeys.
The Public Integrity Section came into its own in the mid 1980s to give the appearance in the post Iran-Contra environment that the Government was cleaning up its act. Actually it was part of a DoJ Control Mechanism pursuant to an Iran-Contra Cover-up.
And what is a "Control Mechanism"? It suppresses information. It's a mechanism which harasses and intimidates those who know too much. It's a mechanism which is used to subvert Congress vis-a-vis congressional investigations. It's mechanism to seek out and destroy documents.
The Public Integrity Section's real purpose is to act as a unit within a much larger political liability control mechanism within the Department of Justice. The Public Integrity Section also acts to coordinate the management and suppression of information and the management of political liability with other federal agencies.
Lee Radek has been Chief of the Public Integrity Section for a very long time. He has acted with his confederates within the DoJ, namely Dave Margolis, then Chief of the Domestic Criminal Section and Mark Richards, then Chief of the International Criminal Section of the DoJ. These three men, operating under the auspices of Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger, essentially managed the Iran-Contra Cover-up for the Department of Justice.
I have talked with Dave Margolis several times. The only thing he ever did was threaten me. He would say to me that if I revealed anything to congressional committees, or if I leaked any thing out into the press, that I would be subject to all sorts of unpleasant things. Everything was "national security" with these guys.
In February 1986, I was told by my counsel Michael Van Zampft that Attorney General Ed Meese and the Department of Justice had authorized me to invoke reasons of "national security" for refusing to answer questions during the grand jury testimony I would be giving on March 21, 1986. Consequently when I did invoke "national security" as a reason for my refusal to answer questions, the Department of Justice claimed publicly that I was not authorized to invoke such.
They left me flapping in the wind. This is the incident I write about in my book.
It all comes back to Radek. Miami was the key place that had to be controlled. It was where most of the liability vis-a-vis US Government involvement in Iran-Contra occurred. As I said at the time -- which the Washington Post began using -- "Washington was where the misdeeds were thought up and Miami was the place where the misdeeds were executed."
Radek, Margolis and Richards were the three top control guys in the Department of Justice. They were nominally under George W. Terwilliger. Margolis had the function of liaising with the CIA pursuant to the Iran-Contra Cover-up. His contact in the CIA was then CLO (Congressional Liaison Officer) Thomas Rinehart. This position actually involves much power. This person at the CIA is the officer who ultimately clears all the requests for documents the congressional investigating committees make to the CIA. The CLO will often manage a pan-agency cover-up and will often be the CIA's chief guy in liaising with all the other federal agencies, in this case, the Iran-Contra Cover-up.
During the Grand Jury testimony I was questioned by Miami Assistant US Attorney Scruggs who was accompanied by Miami FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney, who was completely out of the loop. He wasn't aware of the real story. I was prepared to plead guilty in order the protect the deniability of others. I then would have been compensated for any time I spent in prison.
Gaffney in concert with FBI CI-3 Anna Maria Mendoza, daughter of the famous Colonel Robert Mendoza of CIA black ops fame, investigated me during that time. She was under the impression that I was a Russian spy code named "Redbeard". During that time I had sent Ross Gaffney a gift subscription to "Soviet Life" magazine -- to his FBI office address. Sold in the West, "Soviet Life" was a propaganda magazine which portrayed life in the Soviet Union as an absolute paradise to live in.
Gaffney worked for the WC-1 (White Collar) crime division of the Miami FBI Field office. Mendoza, who came into my office once, actually tried to infiltrate my former wife's jazzercise club to get information from her. My ex-wife, Maria Taghioff, had been formerly married to the renowned Iranian dissident Dr. Mohammed Taghioff, who organized pro-Khomeini cells within the Iranian army in the mid to late 1970s. The CIA thought he was working for them as a double agent, but in fact he wasn't. He was leaking them false information, but the CIA got him out of Iran into the United States anyway. Then when the CIA found out that all the information he had been leaking out was false, they got together with the SAVAK. In 1979, they suckered him to go back to Iran by saying his mother was sick. He went. They were waiting for him at Teheran Airport and he was simply liquidated.
By the way, Special Agent Ross Gaffney was suspected of misstating his academic credentials on his employment application with the FBI.
However, under Rinehart's control were two of the CIA's most notorious henchmen, the infamous Lt. Col John Berglund and his equally sinister cohort Major Karl Wahl. I was the one who exposed these men. These men were dispatched by Rinehart after my in camera and ex parte testimony before Federal District Judge Eugene Spellman on Friday, March 21, 1986.
This incident is detailed in my book.
After I gave testimony, the Judge ordered the testimony sealed for ten days. On the eighth day, the Government suddenly and inexplicably dropped its request for the material to be unsealed. The reason why is that on the preceding Wednesday, two men in military uniform bearing insignias of the Judge Advocate General's office showed up at the judge's chambers. These men then talked to the judge's secretary, Judy. As it turned out Judy also worked as a part time secretary for the CIA-controlled Dade County Latin American Chamber of Commerce, chaired by Jeb Bush.
Judy let these two guys into the judge's chambers when the judge wasn't there. She also had the combination to his personal safe where my testimony was kept. They took the transcript out of the judge's safe. That's why the Government suddenly dropped the request. They already had a copy of what I had said.
These two men were under the impression that the judge's secretary was sympathetic, since she worked for Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush told her to let these two guys in. She later admitted this in an affidavit submitted to the renowned Iran-Contra private investigator Steve Dinerstein, then under my employ. She knew what day they were coming. She was playing both sides of the street. She was paid by Dinerstein to help us on the day these two guys in military uniform were coming. She didn't even know their real names.
On that day Dinerstein arranged one of his guys, a former Hollywood Police Department officer in the intelligence unit, who worked on the fourth floor of the Justice Building, to take pictures of them with a miniature camera. He was there under the guise of being a maintenance guy. He had a broom and a pail of water.
Later I exposed these two in the Washington Post as henchmen for the CIA. They would appear in various places in Miami bearing credentials of the Secret Service, or the FBi, or BATF. They would also attempt to intimidate attorneys representing Iran-Contra whistle-blowers, including my attorney.
Radek was the guy at the Department of Justice who acted to screen and quantify Iran-Contra whistleblowers. It was his job to identify people like me and find out exactly what we knew and then to recommend a course of action vis-a-vis control.
Radek reported to Terwilliger and Terwilliger reported to Clair George, the Deputy Director of the CIA. He didn't report directly to Ed Meese to maintain his deniability.
This is the direct deep connection that the Deputy Attorney General represented with the CIA. This has been going on for a long time. It's the standard operating procedure of those charged with the responsibility to maintain cover ups and their interconnections when the Department of Justice has launched a cover-up of government wrongdoing. Then Attorney General Ed Meese was aware of these things, but he professed to be out of the loop.
This is the operational frame work for the internal control mechanism of the Iran-Contra cover-up, the largest cover-up ever instituted by the US Government.
Also, Rinehart would try to get whistleblowers to spy on various congressional investigative committees by promising people like me that the CIA would help us and that our grievances would be addressed, if we helped them.
Those in my position didn't believe that story for one minute. Every conversation I ever had with Rinehart I tape recorded. I then sent the tape to the chief investigators of the various Committee Chairmen -- Henry Gonzalez, Jack Brooks, Charlie Rose -- and they then leaked the tapes to the Washington Post. Rinehart was actually attempting to recruit people to suborn Congressional committees, and that ended Rinehart's career.
After this revelation Rinehart was transferred to "unspecified classified foreign duties" and he could not be contacted through the Agency. This is how the CIA gets rid of people because it gets them out of the way of any Congressional subpoenas and it also prevents any media access to them. His replacement was Dan Moskowitz who was one of the CIA's specially trained clean-up people.
I will take credit though for helping to end Rinehart's career.
Below the level of Radek, Margolis and Richards, there was a control mechanism that filtered down to the local US Attorneys' offices. This existed everywhere Iran-Contra activity occurred -- Washington, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Little Rock, etc. How it works is that in every US Attorneys office, there is always one AUSA (Assistant US Attorney) who has a significantly higher security clearance than the US Attorney himself.
The control man in the Miami US Attorneys Office was none other than Assistant US Attorney William Richard Scruggs, who reported directly to Chief of Domestic Criminal Section, Dave Margolis.
There's actually an official title, Cover-up Operations Field Manager. You will see in the "pink cable" traffic -- restricted cable traffic between the US Attorneys offices and the Department in Washington, a coded designation for the guy managing the cover-up within the local district.
Scruggs was one of the 1,100 Reagan-Bush holdovers brought into the Clinton Administration specifically for that reason. They are the C&C; Crowd, the Conspiracy and Cover-up Crowd. They control conspiracies and their ensuing cover-ups. These are the ones who are held over from administration to administration.
Scruggs was one of the "Miami Boys" that Reno brought with her to Washington . He rose to the rank of National Security Advisor to Attorney General Janet Reno, while at the same time being under indictment for kidnapping in Costa Rica.
Radek, Margolis, Richards and Scruggs were all involved in the so-called Reagan-Bush kidnapping policies that started in 1986 and were extant until 1991. It involved kidnapping both US and foreign citizens on foreign soil. After the US Supreme Court in its 1986 landmark decision gave the administration the right to use "extralegal" procedures to bring foreign fugitives before American courts. There were 21 in all who were kidnapped, mostly those who were under indictment for cocaine trafficking in the United States. The commonality is that all of these cocaine traffickers were controlled by the CIA. In their own defense, they had all begun to leak out information to Congress and the media about their connections to the CIA. That's why they were targeted for kidnapping.
It all fell apart when they tried to kidnap a cocaine trafficker named Israel Abel form Costa Rica in 1991. And how did it fall apart? Someone tipped off the Costa Rican government -- when, where, and who the people were.
Gee, I wonder who that could have been!
Scruggs was actually stupid enough to go along himself and the Costa Rican government nabbed him. He got indicted for violating Costa Rican national sovereignty and other felonies. The US Government exerted pressure against President Oscar Arias Sanchez to return Scruggs and so he got returned.
Then the Costa Rican Attorney General's Office proffered a bill of indictment with the US State Department seeking the extradition from the United States of William Richard Scruggs to stand charges in a Costa Rican Court of Law pursuant to these crimes.
A friend of mine in Costa Rica would send Scruggs a postcard from San Jose. It was a picture of the Costa Rican national penitentiary. And on the back of the card, he'd write, "Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here."
Scruggs is still being sought by the Costa Rican authorities.
IN VINO VERITAS
"Ah...America... Home of the naive. Land of the provincial...Thank God!"
- Pronouncement from a well-lubricated Senator Bob Dole at the 1985 Reagan Re-inauguration Dinner held at the Watergate Plaza.
"Long live the Military Industrial Complex!"
- Pronouncement from notorious Iran-Contra figure Major General Richard V. Secord after draining a quart of Old Bushmills whiskey charged to the account of Southern Air Transport at the Oak Room Bar at the Miami Intercontinental Hotel in the summer of 1985.
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©2000, 2001, 2002 Al Martin Raw All Rights Reserved