IRAN CONTRA LIVES: Censored FOIA CIA documents on Mena Arkansas cocaine trafficking: Barry Seal's ghost sez: Silence speaks louder than words!!
Lookie here! Barry Seal surfaces in CIA documents with suspicious questions all around: Methinks this is a pretty good find in the CIA FOIA archives: Let's find out what Iowa Rep. James Leach wanted the NSA and CIA to tell him about Barry Seal, Iran-Contra and Mena operations. Our source for this heavily redacted file is the CIA Freedom of Information Act stash of documents. I did a search for Barry Seal and I felt pretty pleased that a chestnut like this popped right up.
This document really takes a cross-section right across the Reagan-era Mena Arkansas drug-trafficking allegations, and that alone makes it interesting. Anyone trying to debunk the Barry Seal Planet of conspiracies should have to face this CIA document as hard evidence that the bizarre connections were there for all to see. And its subsequent release by the CIA indicates they consider it all "blown" at this late date anyway.
I'm going to repost most pages of it, except for a tiny "these things are attached" type of sheet. Basically this is one of those cool primary sources that indicates Serious People Asking Tinfoil Questions and Getting Heavily Redacted Answers. I mean, who doesn't love a government document like this?
You're goddamn right!! And who doesn't love this one?
Or more succinctly:
That box is just the badass Spy Way to say "No," I'm sure!
To get to the file go to the CIA's stash here and do a search for Barry Seal and hit the link named below:
Title: BRIEFING FOR REPSENTATIVE JAMES LEACH (R-IA) REGARDING MONEY LAUNDERING IN ARKANSAS
Pub Date: 8/16/1995
Release Date: 8/4/2002
Keywords: MONEY LAUNDERING
Case Number: F-1997-01423
Release Decision: RIPPUB
Classification: U [Unclassified]
So first here's the intro letter about what it's about. Note that the stuff about Arkansas banks is redacted.
Here's an old school Iran-contra multipack! Barry Seal and PROMIS! The DEA! All righty:
This stuff pertains to how Barry Seal's cargo plane got shot down in Nicaragua. I have no idea what park-o-meter is but must be up to something cool:
This one's pretty awesome and refers to the secretive PROMIS program. SSCI is Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Let's get right into it: who were the "private benefactors" organized by Richard Secord to train pilots and move weapons to the Contras?
All right: the next one has good material. Note all the small redactions on NSA responses. Looks like about the width of the word "Yes." But that's just me. I don't know what other kind of answer would be both censored and that size. It pops up all over the place, that's why I'm saying Silence Speaks Louder than Words!
More of those suspiciously small redactions. Clearly the CIA's negative answers are different than the NSA's, but what oh what could the NSA be saying?
This one is pretty mysterious but the last part is funny.
A fun answer from the NSA about selling PROMIS to finance Contras. Or no answer.... at all.
Some mysterious stuff about the Meadows Trust at Mellon Bank and Vince Foster. This really gave the whole transcript a nice 1995-era Washington DC Conspiracy Vibe:
If you don't love the answers to the next one, well hey, you're not wearing enough tinfoil!!!
All right folks, thanks for cruising through to the end. If one wants to leap to conclusions, you can imagine all the little boxes are "Yes" and that means everyone helped move the drugs. But that isn't what it says, so don't leap to conclusions!!
Here's the big point to take away: this is really what they were talking about, apparently as an extension of the Republican Leach's interest in Whitewater. A discussion about Mena and Barry Seal's drug smuggling with all the attendant weirdness did in fact take place on this day in 1995. For whatever reason the CIA was comfortable releasing this to the public in 2002, so they must have figured it didn't really matter anymore.
And that perhaps is the kernel of the story. After Iran-contra sprawled from past covert frauds like the JFK assassination and Watergate, the Whitewater non-scandal got trumped up by GOPers like Leach who wanted to nail Clinton without inadvertently exposing Mena. Whatever Whitewater was, it was very very close to Mena, but both political parties, and the CIA and NSA, needed to protect the secrecy of Mena, not spill it.
Effectively, this meeting probably helped the CIA and NSA illustrate to Leach how far he could go into shady Arkansas Lore without blowing everything about the blow. If that's true, it's a fascinating act of kryptocracy (secrecy-oriented power bureaucracies): They define the borders of an attempted scandal so that everyone protects the franchise of power (and the foolish public's trust in regulating narcotics!).
Bonus points for everyone!! Thanks to Peter Dale Scott for the framework of kryptocracies!
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