Barry Seal was assassinated on a "Night of the Long Knives" that decimated the top ranks of the Medellin Cartel. One of the seminal events in America’s phony ‘drug war, ’ that fateful night in February of 1986 remains a part of America’s Secret History.
Yet the official story— the Big Lie that Jorge Ochoa, head of the Medellin Cartel, ordered Seal’s death, has been churned out ad nauseum by the CIA's so-called Mighty Wurlitzer and its circus-full of media organ-grinders.
While flacking for one of the CIA’s Big Lies has never been a bad career move, a recent book about the drug war reportedly being made into an HBO miniseries and a major movie from Paramount starring Mark Wahlberg takes this ‘art form’— dissembling for dollars—to a new low, made possible only by assiduously ignoring known facts while simultaneously hoping your readers won’t notice.
“American Desperado,” an as-told-to book about the drug war by Evan Wright about supposed Medellin cartel transportation boss Jon Roberts, repeats the big lie that the Medellin Cartel was responsible for the assassination of Barry Seal.
Nothing borrowed, nothing gained
Wright was only too happy to borrow, without attribution, as we recounted two weeks ago, my discovery of Barry Seal’s CIA recruitment while a member of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol, where he met both Lee Harvey Oswald and Kennedy assassination factotum David Ferrie.
He was also happy to borrow—again without attribution—my discovery of the now-famous nightclub picture taken in Mexico City in 1963 showing Seal sitting next to a man who would later become George W. Bush's head of the CIA, Porter Goss.
His “borrowings” are convincing evidence of his familiarity with my work.
So when Wright suddenly develops either scruples, or more likely, cold feet, and neglects to borrow copious evidence in “Barry & ‘the boys’” about the assassination of Barry Seal, and instead repeats the canard (read: Big Lie) that Seal was murdered by the Medellin Cartel, it is safe to assume the mistake is not one of ignorance, but design.
Let’s hear how he retells the story, supposedly in the words of admitted sociopath and all-around scumbag Jon Roberts.
Meet the Forrest Gump of the Drug War
“What happened is, in April 1983 the DEA busted Barry (Seal) at Fort Lauderdale Airport when he tried to fly in a load of counterfeit Quaaludes. Once they got Barry on the Quaalude charge they forced him to set up Pablo Escobar.”
This is flat-out wrong, but let it pass…
Incredibly, Robert’s places himself on the plane on the way to the famous sting in Nicaragua, which would surely be news to either Seal or Emile Camp, who really were there. Both of them are now dead.
“The time I flew with him to Nicaragua, I told him I was uptight. Barry laughed and said, don’t worry, Jon. We're working for Vice President Bush,” Robert’s continues. “Barry set up Pablo because that’s what they told him to do, probably to work off his Quaalude charges. For that Barry would have to be killed.”
Roberts next claim is to have been involved in Seal’s assassination. He was apparently everywhere. He is the Forrest Gump of the drug war.
“Max (Mermelstein) ran to me with a shoebox with $250,000 and begged me to hire a hitman. Of course its never that easy.”
Jon and Max fly to Baton Rouge, where while driving around they spot Seal, who is living in a halfway house, and Robert’s gets the bright idea to run him over and be done with it.
“Maybe we can do something here Max,” says Roberts.
“But he’s under federal protection!” exclaims Max, apparently forgetting about the shoebox with $250,000 he’s already given Roberts to have Seal rubbed out.
Roberts, ever the hard-headed realist, replies, “So was Kennedy you asshole.”
“What are we doing?” Max exclaims again.
“Shut up,” replies Roberts. “We’re running him over.”
For his part, Max is now done exclaiming. Perhaps he somehow realized that no matter what he said, Robert’s would never give him any good lines.
He screams “No!” and locks his hand on the wheel.
“Max won. I slowed down, and Barry got to live another day,” says Roberts, finishing his (fairy) tale.
A blowhard blows. No one says a word.
Robert’s is not yet done with Seal, who he has earlier referred to as “his employee.” This would no doubt have come as a surprise to, not just Seal, but also to real Mob bosses, like Salvatore Reale, who coordinated moving the cocaine Seal flew into Mena Arkansas up to New York for distribution.
Talk about convenient. Through the simple expedient of never mentioning the word “Mena” in his book—which even the Wall Street Journal called “the scandal behind the Iran Contra scandal”— Wright avoids having to call out his writing partner Roberts on the error.
In a book about the cocaine epidemic of the 1980's, Wright doesn't mention Mena. That is some kind of new world record for dishonest reporting.
Roberts says, “I had unfinished business with Barry Seal. Fabito slipped into Miami to emphasize how important it was to kill him.”
“When Rafa (Cardona, a Medellin lieutenant) brought hit men from Colombia into the US to kill him, I told them they could find Barry driving his Eldorado on Airport Road between the Waffle House and the Salvation Army. I had Rafa draw them a map.”
“People say that a search of his briefcase turned up a piece of paper with George Bush’s direct phone number on it. A lot of good it did Barry.”
"It's the little things that trip you up."
“The most baffling part of Seal’s story is simply that after serving as an instrument of American clandestine policies, the case against him for Quaalude smuggling pressed ahead, with the results that Seal was ordered to live in a Baton Rouge halfway house for drug addicts, with scant police or federal protection,” says Roberts.
Proving that Robert’s has no idea what he’s talking about is a simple matter: In 1985, any real cartel insider would have been only too aware that Seal’s trial in Baton Rouge had nothing whatever to do with his Quaalude conviction in Miami.
In fact, Seal’s ‘beef’ with Vice President George Bush was because Seal believed his deal with Bush to clear up the Quaalude bust precluded other charges—like those in Baton Rouge—being filed against him.
That Roberts knows nothing about all this says more about author Wright—who accepts his tall tale as the truth—that it does about Roberts, a self-admitted sociopath.
Barry Seal was not murdered by the Medellin Cartel. A few simple facts—which we were lucky enough to rescue from the media hole to which they had been consigned—prove it.
The official story—that Jorge Ochoa, head of the Medellin Cartel, ordered Seal’s death is a Big Lie which has been churned out ad nauseum by the CIA's so-called Mighty Wurlitzer, its media organ-grinders.
Just another organ-grinder
Just ten days before he died, in a typical display of the fearlessness for which he was justly famous, Barry Seal threatened to expose the gunrunning and drug smuggling that flourished in Mena Arkansas, according to his Baton Rouge attorney, who witnessed the phone call.
The man he threatened was the Vice President of the United States, George Bush.
Then, on the night Barry Seal was slain, at least three other top lieutenants of the Medellin Cartel were murdered, in coordinated hits across three continents.
On the night after Seal was assassinated, a local Baton Rouge TV newscast (see the accompanying video)reported the following:
“MetroNews has uncovered some new information in the assassination of Barry Seal. Reporter Dana Kaye has the story:
"MetroNews has learned there were a total of four drug-related killings the same day Barry Seal was gunned down here in Baton Rouge.”
“All of them seem to have been related to the same drug ring operated out of Colombia.”
“MetroNews reported last night that a lieutenant in the Medellin cartel named Pablo Carrera was shot and killed in Colombia the same night Barry Seal was gunned down in Baton Rouge by a professional hit squad. Carrera was identified as the number two man in the Colombian drug organization run by Jorge Ochoa.”
“Metro News has now learned that two other Ochoa associates were shot to death at the same time, including Pablo Ochilla, the brother-in-law of Jorge Ochoa, executed in Colombia, as well as an Ochoa associate, a woman identified only as ‘Barbara,’ who was killed in Miami.”
Divide and conquer 101
The brother-in-law of Jorge Ochoa, the number two man in the Medellin Cartel, and ‘Barbara’, at the time Barry Seal’s paramour in Miami, living in a home he owned in Plantation, Florida, and Barry Seal…all died in a coordinated hit ordered by…the Medellin Cartel?
A drug cartel doesn't whack its top lieutenants… but another drug cartel might.
We were told by a reliable source, but were unable to verify, that as many as 30 cartel soldiers were also murdered that same evening.
Seal’s assassination occurred as the U.S. switched horses from backing the Medellin Cartel to protecting their arch-rivals: the Cali Cartel.
Wright repeats the DEA canard that 80% of the cocaine entering the U.S. was coming from the Medellin Cartel. But when the Medellin Cartel had been decimated, and Pablo Escobar killed, cocaine didn’t become more difficult to find, and its price remained stable.
According to prominent Miami attorney Richard Sharpstein, who defended Miguel Velez, one of the three Colombian shooters who went on trial for Seal's murder, all three of the men told their attorneys that once they reached the U.S. their actions had been directed by a U.S. military officer, who they learned was Lt. Colonel Oliver North.
Oliver North, American Drug Lord
"All three Colombians who went on trial always said they were being directed, after they got into this country, on what to do and where to go by an ‘anonymous gringo,' a US military officer, who they very quickly figured out was Oliver North," Sharpstein told me.
We should all thank Evan Wright. His highly selective use of known facts reveals more than it should about the true beneficiaries of the phony drug war: the American Drug Lords.
A sad fact of American life is that 5o years from now you can pretty must rest assured someone will still be out there flogging—and making a buck—touting probably the biggest of the CIA’s Big Lies, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. If we weren’t paying for it, their persistence would almost be admirable.
The three men convicted of killing Barry Seal are still in prison in Homer, Louisiana.
All three men are from Cali, Colombia.