Drug Plane Scandal grew exponentially last week when
European Union officials broke an official 40-year-long
silence on the previously-taboo subject of the CIA’s
worldwide involvement in drug trafficking.
Mexico City newspaper
El Universal reported that The
European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation has
investigation one of the planes, the cocaine-laden
Gulfstream II business jet (N987SA), for suspected use in
CIA "rendition" flights in which prisoners are covertly
transferred to a third country or US-run detention centers.
crash-landed after running out of fuel in the jungle near
the small town of Tixkokob, 40 miles outside the Yucatan
capital of Merida on September 24th of last year.
downed aircraft’s ties had already been conclusively
demonstrated months ago in investigative reporting by this
reporter, as well as by
Bill Conroy of NarcoNews,
who first broke news of the Gulfstream II jet's longstanding use by
the CIA and the DEA in operations in Colombia.
How Did Fleet of 100 Drug planes Escape U.S. Scrutiny?
planes, earlier stories in our current investigation
revealed, were connected to American covert intelligence and
Homeland Security Agencies, as well as to senior Republican
Party officials, including several
associated with the successful Presidential campaigns of
President George W. Bush.
the affair the “One Hundred Drug Plane Scandal” after an
announcement by the Mexican Attorney General stating that as
many as 100 American aircraft were purchased by Mexican Drug
Lords using the same funding mechanism, supposedly
discovered only after the two American-registered drug
planes were caught in Mexico’s Yucatan carrying a cumulative
10 tons of cocaine.
the Gulfstream busted last year has now been definitively
linked to CIA renditions, the
busted 18 months earlier flew
painted with a bogus but official-looking Seal designed to
impersonate aircraft from the U.S. Dept of Homeland
This was done without any protest from the U.S. Coast
Guard, also part of the Dept of Homeland Security,
although their major air facility for the Caribbean Basin
was located a scant hundred yards away.
Mum's the word from Bush Administration
of the federal agencies with apparent jurisdiction—the DEA
and FAA—has so far offered answers about how two
American-registered jets with extremely politically
well-connected owners, could have wound up carrying so much
Colombian coke. But then, no mainstream American
journalists have bothered to ask.
Mexican journalists have
not been that timid:
reason the story has not been picked up in the mainstream
American press becomes painfully obvious in the story’s
first paragraphs, quoted above.
“How had a CIA plane somehow “ended up” flying for
the Sinaloa Cartel?” The question has no easy
More U.S. "Blowback?"
origins of Mexico's dominant Sinaloa Cartel,
an agricultural state which has spawned Mexico's most notorious gangsters,
here in the U.S.
Opium poppies were cultivated
there with U.S. government encouragement during WWII, and became a major source
of the morphine used to treat wounded soldiers, and became a springboard for
criminal gangs which several decades later began smuggling South American
cocaine to the U.S. These immensely wealthy crime families now
dominate several of Mexico's feuding cartels
The question of how a
CIA plane ended up flying for the Sinaloa Cartel
is reminiscent, as well, of the one raised in 1999, after our discovery, before
the 2000 Presidential election, that the favorite airplane
of Texas Governor George W. Bush once belonged to belong
to Barry Seal, a life-long CIA pilot and the biggest cocaine
smuggler of the go-go ‘80’s.
The Associated Press reported that it had all just been a
Securing the evidence
locker: Easier said than done.
parallels between Barry Seal’s CIA-connected drug trafficking
career and current events are even harder to miss.
For example, among the more curious facts in the current case
(which abounds with them) is that initial reports by
Mexican officials stated the captured Gulfstream was
carrying 3.8 tons of cocaine.
this just another example of the difficulties inherent in
securing the evidence locker? Because, in the most recent
stories, the 3.8 tons of cocaine has now been diminished—perhaps
through an accounting error?—to a more modest
very similar happened after Barry Seal’s first major bust.
He was busted on an island off the coast of Honduras in
November of 1979, with what newspapers reported to be—not
tons, or 5 tons of cocaine—but a ‘mere’ 40 kilos.
some things have changed. But not everything... By the time
Seal was arraigned on trafficking charges in the capital
city of Tegucigalpa, newspapers there reported he had been
busted with just 17 kilos.
Honduran General may have smiled when he read the newspapers
figure of 17
kilos, while patting a suitcase in which he’d packed
the other 23.
Agency still using
20-year old playbook
importance of European officials “weighing in” on the
scandal may prove crucial to penetrating the current “cover-up in
progress” attempting to shield the Americans
involved in the scandal.
reported in previous stories, the owners of the Gulfstream
business jet have interlocking relationships with the owners
of the second American-registered aircraft involved in the
scandal, the DC9 airliner caught carrying an astonishing 5.5
tons of cocaine on the Yucatan Peninsula in Cuidad del
Carmen on April 10, 2006.
hidden connections may prove crucial to any successful
demands for prosecution of the Americans who
owned the planes, who have so far been protected from
official scrutiny by unnamed DEA sources quoted in
interviews in the mainstream press making unchallenged
assertions that the American plane's owners are innocent of
that is not the case.
investigation uncovered evidence linking the past and
current owners of both busted American planes to a
continuing criminal enterprise engaged—not just in drug
trafficking—but in massive financial fraud which has cost
American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Round up the usual suspects"
owners of both planes also owned all three companies
involved in a massive $300 million financial scandal
STOCKGATE, which was engineered by shadowy Saudi arms
merchant and alleged CIA “fixer” Adnan Khashoggi, currently
a fugitive from justice in the case.
The men involved include Stephan Adams and Michael Farkas,
who owned two of three companies used in the hugely
successful fraud, which stole over $300 million from unwary
attorney Michael Farkas was the founder of Skyway Aircraft, which owned the DC9. Farkas is also
the American representative of an Israeli political party
representing settlers on the West Bank, Manhigut Yehudit.
a secretive Midwestern media baron and Republican
fund-raiser who owned the Gulfstream in 1999 and 2000, when
he was also personally buying over
million in billboard advertising
support of George W. Bush’s 2000 Presidential campaign.
with Farkas, Adams owned Holiday RV Superstores, Inc., one
of the companies involved in STOCKGATE. (Farkas controlled a
second all by himself.)
who controlled the third corporation used in the scheme,
Genesis Intermedia, and the mastermind of the
financial fraud, is . Adjectives applied
before Khashoggi’s name, even in the mainstream press,
usually include “Saudi billionaire,” “arms merchant” and
A $300 Million heist with next to no news coverage
irony we will not dwell on here,
was incorporated by the longtime lawyer for Barry Seal’s
drug trafficking organization.
lawsuit filed by this individual kept our book “Barry & the
boys,” from reaching bookstores for more than five
Khashoggi’s lieutenants, ran Genesis Intermedia. El-Batrawi
owned a charter airline
testimony during the Iran Contra Scandal
revealed was a CIA subsidiary. His
flew TOW missiles to Iran for Oliver North, supposedly to
provide funds for the contras, although most of the money
was never recovered or accounted for.
El-Batrawi also owned the sister ship to the busted
Khashoggi et al’s most recant caper, the looting led
to the biggest brokerage failure in American history.
In a case
providing a clear example of what has come to be called
“Wall Street Socialism,” American taxpayers were left to
pick up much of the bill, while nominally Republican figures
with pig snouts snuffling through the public trough
occasionally come up for air to rail against infringements
on free enterprise.
surprisingly, considering the shameful state of American
journalism, the massive fraud received surprisingly little
But, one has
$300 million bank heist receive a similar cold
An unfair advantage
Officials in Central and South American countries were used
to seeing both planes flying in and out on missions which
they assumed were for the American Government
Gulfstream was well-known in Colombia for flying for the CIA and DEA.
The DC9 airliner from SkyWay was painted to impersonate a plane from
U.S. Homeland Security.
It may even, when and if the truth finally comes
out, be shown to have been one.
Thus, both of the busted American planes had a major advantage for drug
trafficking not available to the ordinary slob on the street.
The question is:
Why should anyone care? The answer is simple...
time the DEA, or the U.S. Coast Guard trumpets their latest multi-ton
interdiction of cocaine (like one recently of a ship they busted with 12 tons of
cocaine) the bust is of interest and concern to no one but other drug
They haven't taken 12 tons
of cocaine off the street. They've just created an additional marketing
opportunity for somebody else's 12 tons of cocaine.
Who might that somebody else
Imagination runs riot.