terrorist pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan Al-Shehhi and Siad Al-Jarrah spent the
last six months of the year 2000 practicing “touch-and-go’s” at the Venice
Municipal Airport, they were sharing the runways with a second clandestine
operation which has gone unmentioned until now.
The New American Drug Lords, a new 2-hour documentary by investigative
journalist Daniel Hopsicker, the second ongoing operation in Venice while
terrorists took flight training there was a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO),
with a global reach, and a talent for avoiding publicity.
Among the chilling
conclusions of The New American Drug Lords, a new 2-hour
documentary by investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker:
international drug trafficking network has been operating in Venice since the
early 1970’s, when the notorious paramilitary drug trafficking organization
known as The Company had a base at
the Venice Airport.
Today, the successor to The Company appears to be the major drug
trafficking operation an hour up the coast from Venice, at the St.
Petersburg-Clearwater Int’l Airport, where two American-registered airplanes
took off before being busted in the Yucatan carrying a cumulative total of
ten tons of cocaine.
Some wisdom from a true American hero
“cut-outs” like foreign pilots and Saudi money-man Adnan Khashoggi to provide
deniability to the drug network’s U.S. sponsors, the organization was run—or at
least received protection from—America’s Central Intelligence Agency,
with powerful connections to prominent figures and top financiers in the
national Republican Party.
drug operation in Venice has strong links to the St. Petersburg operation. Many
already been reported. New ones are still
operations may in fact be the same operation.
Almost 50 years ago, New Orleans
District Attorney James Garrison puzzled over what was visible, what was not,
and what it meant.
“I knew by now that when a group of
individuals gravitated towards one another for no apparent reason," he wrote,
in “On the Trail of the Assassins.”
"Or a group of individuals inexplicably
headed in the same direction as if drawn by a magnetic field…Or coincidence
piled on coincidence too many times…As often as not the shadowy outlines of a
covert intelligence operation were somehow becoming visible.”
It made sense then. It makes sense
"THAT Company? Yep. That Company."
"I have known since 2004, (I
reported it in my book Welcome to Terrorland) that when Mohamed
Atta arrived at Huffman Aviation, a Lear jet (N351WB) belonging to the flight
school’s owner, Wally Hilliard, was flying weekly drug flights—a total of 39—to
Venezuela and back,” says Hopsicker.
"Then, three weeks after Atta’s
arrival, Hilliard’s Lear was seized by DEA agents at Orlando Executive Airport
who found 43 lbs. of heroin onboard. According
to the Orlando Sentinel, it was a Central
After the 9/11 killed
almost 3000 people, one would think that this incriminating fact alone
would be enough to spark a Watergate-style Congressional Inquiry. Alas,
the connection between Atta's arrival and Hilliard's drug trafficking has never
been remarked on officially.
Today, that seems to
have been a case of the less said the better.
The Company’s contingent at
the Venice Airport numbered as many
as a dozen pilots and
associates, and was led by a mysterious Cuban exile,
Mario Silverio Villamia, using the
alias Frank Guzman,
who was named along with Jack Ruby in a 1964 FBI document
to the Warren Commission.
Federal prosecutors said The
Company ( the subject of Sally Denton’s excellent The Bluegrass Conspiracy,
raised pointed questions
about the involvement of the CIA with the group)
was composed of three hundred or so Special Force’s veterans, former
military intelligence officers, ex-DEA Agents, policemen, and even judges.
Going "Whole Island" in the Bahamas
small mountain of evidence, including eyewitness interviews, financial records,
court documents, even the FAA’s Aircraft Registry, is introduced in the course
of the two hour show to demonstrate the connections between the planes,
the drugs, and the CIA.
In addition to ten tons of cocaine
which instantly became Lost Luggage, the second SkyWay Aircraft...
Larry Peter's SkyWay Aircraft...may be in deeper
than was thought.
All by itself Peter's
SkyWay sold nine airplanes to cartels that were
caught or seized for hauling cocaine.
The silence on this issue by law
enforcement and the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security is unnerving.
"If you lived in Medellin and police
discovered 1o tons of cocaine, people would be looking around for Pablo
Escobar, or, since he's dead, the new Pablo Escobar,” says
Hopsicker. "But the drug trafficking operation in St Petersburg has
received barely a smattering of unfavorable publicity."
in the documentary you'll hear eyewitness testimony about how one of Hilliard’s
Lear jets (N35NK) flew three times a week to Rum Cay in the Bahamas
in 2003 and 2004 to support an Adnan Khashoggi-led move to take over the
island,” said Hopsicker.
“The island was isolated, it has only
And it has a brand new 5000-ft runway,
making it a perfect place for twin-engine planes and business jets to refuel in
discreet privacy enroute to and from South and North America."
That accomplished, the plane began
flying CIA extraordinary renditions.
The Big Taboo
connection between Mohamed Atta and Wally Hilliard's drug trafficking
has not been aired before the nation is a testament to the power of one of our
country’s Big Taboos, which somehow “protects” the American
public from having to confront either the existence or identity of their own "home
team" in the drug wars.
The New American Drug Lords would have
it no other way. Few believe things will be changing anytime soon.
“Questions about drug trafficking and
9/11 weren’t being encouraged—putting it mildly—back in 2002 &
2003, said Hopsicker.
"When the FBI found out that Amanda
Keller, Atta’s erstwhile American girlfriend, had seen him regularly using
cocaine, they did nothing to discourage her—again, putting it mildly—from
slipping out of town and disappearing, until I was found her hiding in Ohio more
than a year later.”
So, who is the Procter &
Gamble of the drug business?
How does $300 billion
worth of drugs get distributed to retail as efficiently as if it were razor
blades or Charmin bathroom tissue each year?
The very question is verboten.
The elephant in the living room escapes exposure through the invocation of
Learning from the Tongans
‘taboo’ comes from the South Pacific island of Tonga, meaning “a
prohibition against touching, saying, or doing something for fear of immediate
harm from a supernatural force,” was brought back to Europe by the legendary
While taboos exist in all societies,
according to anthropologists say, only the Tongans apparently felt free
enough to give it a name.
Tongan taboos can mostly be traced to
risks to health and safety, for example, banning foods which can make you sick.
Worldwide, most taboos concern avoiding objects and actions considered
significant for the maintenance of social order.
The American Drug Lords bear less of a
resemblance to the Tony Montana character in “Scarface” than to preppy
Yale and Harvard-educated scions of America’s traditional political elite.
This is a fact some might consider
injurious to the current social order.
The subject isn’t even raised.
Not in polite company. Not in newspapers. Not even in books, except of course,
those which reside beyond the Pale, in Conspiracy Land.
Don’t take my word for it.
The power of the taboo against
discussing the American role in the global drug trade is painfully visible in a
recent book by Tim Weiner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York
Wiener recently wrote a highly critical
history of the CIA, called “Legacy of Ashes.” You can't get
much more critical about an institution than to call a history of it "Legacy
Yet, in a 702-page book, Pulitzer Prize
winning reporter Weiner brings up CIA drug trafficking exactly zero times.
Not once. Not a single mention.
How odd. Even troglodytes are aware of
the many controversies over drug trafficking which have swirled around the CIA
in its 60-year history.
Apparently, taboos don’t exist today
only in places like Borneo, and the pages of National Geographic.
They exist here, too.
Right here. Right