Spooks and Saudis and Florida and Raytheon

Everything you need to know about the corruption of America that left this country defenseless on September 11 can be gleaned today from stories coming out of Jeb Bush’s Florida, the hub of the plot. There the climate of intrigue created by the commodities being traded so casually in that state’s over-active black market allowed 19 Arabs from desert kingdoms to wander about with the ease of Jimmy Buffet fans after a concert, looking for a bar serving frozen margaritas.

Let’s begin with a story in the Tampa Tribune of a twin-engine Lear jet, which took off two days after the Sept 11 attack, at a time when every other private plane in the nation was grounded due to safety concerns.

"The Phantom Flight from Florida"

Because the federal government says the flight never took place, the paper headlined it the "Phantom Flight from Florida." It carried a Saudi Arabian prince, the son of that nation's defense minister, as well as the son of a Saudi army commander, and it flew from Tampa to Lexington, Kentucky, where Saudi princes had been purchasing racehorses in Bluegrass Country.

From there, they flew a private 747 out of the country. But if no one in the government would acknowledge what had happened, the two armed bodyguards hired to get their clients out of the state were only too happy to recall a trip they remembered vividly.

The Trib’s reporter said the story revealed "a glimpse of international intrigue in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on America."

It also offers a glimpse of the privilege accorded these foreign Saudi nationals that was denied American citizens.

"Everyone’s got deals with the Saudi’s," protested a Special Forces Commander at McDill AFB, where the Afghan war was run, when asked about the trip. "Why point a finger at this one incident?"

Because, we told him, we suspected that the initial pilot training of Bin Laden’s Air Force at the tiny Venice Florida airport was a CIA operation, one they would be loath to admit.

So we presumed the evacuation of the Saudis had been accomplished by the CIA, and we were trying to track down the owner of the Lear in question to better understand some of that Agency’s numerous activities in Florida.

Since the plane took off from a private hanger at Raytheon Airport Services in Tampa, we went there first… Raytheon is a major defense-intelligence industry player which spent the past decade expanding, purchasing notorious  E-Systems and culminating with Raytheon’s merger with Hughes Electronics’ defense operations (Hughes Aircraft).

Catch-22 All Over Again

Surely such a patriotic organization would support the American people’s right to know? After all, that’s what we’re fighting for, right? Freedom?

But when we contacted Raytheon to ask who owned the Lear we were told we would have to ask the owner of the plane to ask Raytheon to tell us who owned the plane.

A Raytheon spokesman said, "I checked our policy on disclosing owner/customer information and we decline to do so unless that owner requests that we release the information."

We had inadvertently stumbled onto a modern day Catch-22. We didn’t know who the owner was, so how could we ask them for permission to release their names?

Today—no thanks to Raytheon— the MadCowMorningNews has learned from a knowledgeable aviation source that the Lear jet in question very likely came from a Naples, Florida charter service.

The Magic Dutch Boy Gets Around

"Wally Hilliard owns the only charter Lear service in Southwest Florida," said this source. "If a Lear was flying that day, it would have been his."

Among his many accomplishments, ‘retired’ entrepreneur Hilliard is the partner and financial backer of 'Magic Dutch Boy' Rudi Dekkers, whose Venice Florida flight school was the terrorist’s American beachhead.

If Hilliard’s Lear jets were extricating Saudis out of Raytheon in a CIA operation at the same time that Hilliard is also the boss of Magic Dutch Boy Rudi Dekkers, whose operation trained Mohamed Atta and his terrorist cadre to fly… well anyone can connect those dots. Except of course for American journalists like Geraldo and Ashley Banfield.

Is the CIA responsible for the fact that Rudi Dekker’s Huffman Aviation was the terrorist’s Omaha Beach?

At press time, phone calls to Mr. Hilliard for comment had not been returned.

Presumably, the FBI has already looked into this, and reported their findings to the Senate Intelligence panel, which will be conducting hearings into the Sept 11 debacle in the coming months….right?

The FBI, we recalled, had pointedly stated—early on—that they knew about terrorists rotating through Rudi Dekkers’ flight school in Venice, Florida. But they had left hanging the question of why they did nothing to shut it down.

Saudi Princess Charged with Beating Servant

Two other stories surfaced this past week illustrating the intrigue and corruption in Florida that may have contributed to the Sept 11 attacks.

An AP article last week told of a Saudi Princess, a niece of King Fahd, charged with beating her servant and throwing her down the stairs.

The assault occurred in Orlando, Florida. The Saudi Princess’s attorney says she has diplomatic immunity. But what we found most interesting in the story was the revelation that several years ago another Saudi princess was also accused of beating her servants…also in Orlando.

It's a Small World After All, huh?

In that attack, three Sheriff’s deputies stood by and watched, though they had all taken oaths to uphold American law. They were later 'disciplined' for not stopping the beating.

Money doesn't talk. It swears.

Death Ship Sailed from Tampa, Florida

The last story that came out this week fingering Florida as a cauldron of "spookish" plots was the big story in London last week. A cargo ship was intercepted in the English Channel on its way towards carrying suspected terrorist material into the heart of London. British anti-terrorist officers seized the London-bound MV Nisha off the coast of England in a dramatic raid by Royal Navy units.

The route taken by the vessel was cited as having caused suspicion…

We have learned that what the British Press took to calling the ‘Death Ship’ started its journey in Tampa, Florida, bound for Djibouti and neighboring Somalia (linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network) with a cargo of "humanitarian aid."

Was there a Tampa-Djibouti Connection? Or is this just mere coincidence?

Strangely, Tampa is also the home of an Islamic studies think tank whose ‘head thinker’ left town several years ago to become the leader of… Islamic Jihad.

Then the government held the new think tank chief for more than three and a half years on secret evidence, in a Bradenton, Florida jail. Mazen Al-Najjar was eventually released after courts ruled that he could not be detained further without just cause.

But local reporters wrote at the time that the government had reluctantly revealed only the smallest bit of its evidence against him.

Tampa, of course, is home to McDill Air Force Base, where the military’s Central Command serves as the nerve center for the war in Afghanistan.

Is this just coincidence? What could have attracted "Islamic extremists" from the country (Afghanistan) known as the worldwide center of heroin production, to Tampa, a cigar-making Gulf port that was also the home to Mob Boss Santos Trafficante (who controlled the heroin trade)?

Do you imagine the Senate Intelligence Committee will be looking into this?

Racehorses… filled with Cocaine?

In a curious aside, respected writer Dominick Dunne last week reported that a source "who helps prepare racehorses for Middle Eastern businessmen" (in Lexington Kentucky?) had told him that Rep. Gary Condit was a frequent guest at the Middle Eastern embassies in Washington "where young women would be brought for "nocturnal pleasures."

The procurer supposedly told Dunne's contact that some time before April 30, Condit confided to one of his Middle Eastern friends that he had been involved with a woman and wanted to end it, but that she was "threatening to talk."

Levy may have stumbled into a noxious ring of prostitution, sex slaves and Middle Eastern sheiks in Washington, D.C., said the story, which might have contributed to her disappearance.

Here we recall that several sources had reported that Barry Seal, the subject of our recent book, had brought racehorses from Colombia in military C123 cargo planes that were filled with cocaine.

In the wake of the Sept 11 disaster officials in Washington promised explanations. But it was left to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to sketch out the Cliff notes version of the case against Bin Laden.

He said, "Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization with ties to a global network."

"A global network."

A global network clearly assisted the terrorist cadre.

But…what global network? A global network of what?

Today, this same "global network" is still shadowy and undefined.

And it appears that official Washington and the major media would like to keep it that way.

Facebook Comments

Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.