What is plagiarism?

Have you ever noticed how the CIA never gives up, on certain things, even if there’s no chance they’re going to change anyone’s mind? How they’re still pushing the Oswald-acted-alone meme, for example, or the phony war on drugs?


MCA-Universal has prepared a preemptive strike against crucial bits of America’s recent history— the part that’s got to do with drugs—in a new movie starring the world’s most famous Scientologist.

Fit at fifty-year old Tom Cruise portrays Barry Seal, a man who outweighed him by more than a hundred pounds, in a movie that was at first called “Mena,” before recently changing its name to “American Made” while pushing back its release date a year.


The movie is being directed by director Doug Liman, who also just happens to be the son of the lawyer for the Kerry Commission Iran Contra investigation in the late 1980’s, which did a reasonably effective job at keeping a lid on the contra cocaine scandal until Republicans were no longer in office.

It was me who dragged those ‘crucial bits’ about America’s biggest and most famous drug smuggler into the light.  It was me who discovered that drug smuggler Seal —and probably not coincidentally—had also been a life-long CIA pilot, going back to the mid-50’s.

barry-seal-s-daughter-attempts-to-boycott-tom-cruise-starring-film-menaMy book, “Barry & the boys,” the only full-length biography of Seal, is by far the go-to book on Seal. And it’s also the uncredited basis for Doug Liman and Tom Cruise’s Barry Seal movie.

Unless, of course, it isn’t. The following is a true story, which appears only on my website. There is no other source for it. If the story turns up in someone else’s book, is it plagiarism?


A lot going on beside just The Wedge 

In the 10 years I spent living in Newport Beach I had never met a spook, a spy, or anyone in intelligence, until one day an occasional associate producer working on the business news show I was producing at the time brought a tanned, older but still vigorous man into our offices to meet me. He had an  interest—in a puttering offhand way, he indicated, in a documentary I’d begun shooting on drug smuggler Seal.

Movie Benefit Flyer 2016 - The Accountant SNIPERHe was the president of one of Newport Beach’s service clubs, like the Exchange Club, he explained. He thought I might want to come to speak to one of the Club’s weekly lunch meetings about my adventures.

Later I would learn that the man who stood in front of me with a genial smile had been young pilot Barry Seal’s boss at the Bay of Pigs. Or that he had overseen development of  a portable radar-defeating device while he was at e-systems in the early 1980’s that pilots of twin engine planes like Barry Seal used while flying contraband into the U.S. with near-absolute impunity.

He didn’t tell me any of that stuff then, though, or for a long time afterward. Some people can be a little slow to warm up.


Bodyguard to the stars

ten-most-enormous-bodyguards-1369402467-view-1I learned of my new friend’s secret past from the professional bodyguard in Los Angeles who my new friend insisted I take  along on my final shoot trip into the murky swamps of South Louisiana.  There had been a few vague death threats wafting in from remnants of the Carlos Marcello organization in New Orleans. Nothing super-serious, but enough to make me lock all the windows.

“Nick” turned out to be a former Special Forces  operative. Not just Special Forces, but Special Ops Special Forces, he told me, like I knew the difference. (I didn’t.)

When I finished the aforementioned two hour documentary, called “The Secret Heartbeat of America,” (which I thought was a killer title) I couldn’t sell it. My one big dog friend, a founder of HBO,  told me he maybe could set it up somewhere, but only if they took me out.

I was less than thrilled. Anyway, one day while having lunch in Newport Beach with my friend,  who I now “knew” to be retired NSA (he wasn’t, retired, that is), I was grousing about the change in my financial condition owing to my poorly-thought through Barry Seal expedition.

If he had ONLY told me, I intimated, before I spent all that money, “Kid, you’re in over your head,” I could have picked up my marbles and gone home.

In truth, he didn’t owe me anything, and it was a pretty shitty kind of emotional blackmail. But it worked. Over lunch, he said the same thing, using the same words, and with the same intonation, three separate times.


Watch my eyes. listen to the message

stock-vector-tell-them-what-you-want-typography-poster-362599706“He said, If they ever come to you, and ask you what you want, you have to be willing to tell them.”

Genius that I was, I thought, maybe he’s trying to tell me something. Okay. I got it. If they ever ask me what I want I’ve got to be ready and willing to tell them.

One day a few weeks later he called and said he wanted to come by our little studio that afternoon. He had someone he wanted me to meet, who wanted to see a little bit of my Barry Seal show. Can he swing by after lunch?

Of course he could. That afternoon, when he came by, the sky was grey and leaden, and it was raining. It was February. That’s when it rains in Southern California.

His introduced his companion, a tall distinguished-looking older man, as the “Special Advisor to the President of a large Midwestern institution.” I was aware the description lacked a certain  specificity, but let it pass.


Meet Mr Trenchcoat

nickAnd while I was mulling that over I also noticed that, of all things, he was wearing—and this is the part you’re going to have to trust me on—a trenchcoat.  Fully equipped. Epaulettes, the works. A zippered compartment, in case you’re wearing a wire.

Of course, it was raining. I told myself. Still, even so. (Later I learned he was had been the long-time CIA station chief in Madrid.)

Mr. London Fog sat quietly watching my Seal documentary for 15 minutes. When he said he’d seen enough, I got nervous.

I was thinking— because I can be a real genius sometimes— ‘this guy’s probably from the CIA. He’s not going to like my show. He’s probably really going to let me have it. What the hell have you been smoking, boy, saying the CIA smuggles drugs?”

(In retrospect, it probably went a little too indignantly on and on and on about retired Lt. Colonel Oliver North. But such were the times.)

But no. Trenchcoat Guy was genius in action. Mr. Nonchalant.   And what he said was unexpected:

suspicious-man-14107363“Hey. Everybody already knows about this. It’s old news. Everybody knows the government smuggles drugs. Its no big deal. Hey, I’ve loaded drugs onto planes. I was just down in Costa Rica, and they were loading drugs onto planes while I was there.”

He might have been looking deeply into my eyes over his glasses. Or maybe I just imagined it. But there was no mistaking what he said next.

He said, “What do you want?”


Mr Donkey Kong


Maybe I paused. But I know I never paused long enough to consider an answer before, in fact, blurting out what I wanted, in a way that identifies me for all time as just another donkey on the planet of the apes.

What I said was, “Everybody doesn’t know. If everybody knew, drugs would be legal, or at least there wouldn’t be two million people in prison for selling small amounts of what you guys are bringing in by the ton.”

I was just winding up. “AND,” I continued, “if its no big deal—tell you what—put  me in charge of cocaine distribution in North America next year… and I’ll choose your next fucking commander-in-chief!”

It was not my most charming moment.High dudgeon is not an attitude to bring to every party.  Nonetheless, something very strange and illuminating happened.

My friend and Mr Trenchcoat exchanged a wordless look.

And in that instant I realized the conversation we were having has taken place behind closed doors many times. Even so— how often do you ever get to spout off to a distinguished-looking CIA agent in a trenchcoat?— I wasn’t done…


Too late to stop now

instructiveanecdote32“And as for what I want,” I continued, taking a deep breath… Then I plunged headlong into the most ridiculous anecdote in the world.

“When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to play baseball in the backyard with a hardball, only a rubber ball. And one day I was back there, I was eight or nine, playing with a hardball, even though I wasn’t supposed to, and I hit the ball right through the kitchen window of our neighbor’s house, the one who didn’t like kids.

“And when I told my dad, he made me march next door and ring the front bell, and tell the householder it was me broke his window, and I would pay to fix it.”

That’s what I want.”

I had just blown my chance of getting any compensation for being roadkill for the powers that be. Of all the things I could have asked for, I wanted them to say they were sorry.

The two men stared at me incredulously. I began a long slow slide towards oblivion that seemed to last forever. But maybe that was just me.


Daniel Hopsicker

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

23 Responses

  1. MSimon says:

    “Of all the things I could have asked for, I wanted them to say they were sorry.”


    And it answers the question I posted quite a few threads back.

    So let me ask another. Why do you think you are still alive? Gary Webb is not.

    It has been a long time since I was asked what I want. I was too young to realize the question. Evidently my answers were not satisfactory. And I have no idea which “side” was asking. But I was asked.

  2. King Kangaroo says:

    I was about to say, “If it helps Daniel there are a pile of people as ‘rich’ as you who love your work and know what it’s like to put principal before cash.”

    But platitudes are like assholes, they’re everywhere and often annoying. So I won’t say it.

    Maybe you need your website translated into Farsi? I’m sure Iran would be interested in a re-telling of how tons of Crack Cocaine flooded the inner cities of America destroying whole communities.

    There is a swathe of Iranian youth who think America is a.ok. It would be great if you could temper their enthusiasm some what.

  3. Vic says:

    An apology from Psychopaths? Not one of your best moments I guess.

  4. DEDSTIK says:

    During my misspent youth Berry and I were both wanting and keeping our eyes out for the same things (we were in 747 class together). For some reason, he always got most of my share along with his own but he was still fun to be with regardless!

  5. Carl says:

    As you yourself have said, Daniel, being connected means never having to say you’re sorry.

  6. Dan Williams says:

    Having been “in the shit” myself, I know exactly what it means to not take a hint. duuuh.

  7. g says:

    hopsicker, great stuff.

  8. pzo says:

    Seems to me that if the producers can’t provide proof that they, or the writers, did their own research, you have a good case. (I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.) They should have put an option on your book, compared to all the other costs, it’s nothing.

  9. Rob Macfarlane says:

    Hey! Since you brought up the subject of living in Newport Beach, I just had to chime in. It’s where I live. I think I’ve mentioned my wife to you. I met her in 1996. At that time she was living in Arizona. Or, to be more precise, the Arizona Womens’ Penitentury. She was doing 16 years on a murder charge. I was introduced to her by her former cell mate. When she was released in 1998, we dated. When she was able to leave the state, she moved in with me in Newport. She loved it! But, I suppose anything without bars on the windows would be nice. I knew a little bit about her from her former cellmate who was a friend of mine from Calif.
    We bought a nice condo overlooking the ocean. We thought it best to not tell any of the neighbors about her criminal background.
    She grew up in Cuba, and came from a wealthy family. But, like all Cuban youth, she had to perform a year in the Cuban military. During this time, she met Castro and became his part-time girlfriend. When she was 20, Fidel sent her to Moscow to attend KGB spy / assassination school. When she got back to the states in the summer of ’63 she knocked around trying to find something to do to test her newly learned skills. The CIA picked her up and she stayed with them for the next 20 years. She was a contract agent. Not a vested employee. That means she didn’t get a pension.
    Somewhere she got hooked up with her childhood friend from Cuba, Felix Rodriguez. This is how I got to know Felix. The two of them worked as partners off and on for the next 20 years. They worked all over the world together. From Vietnam to Israel, to Siberia, to ?. She was always very secretive. She did tell me about one of her assignments. It was in Dallas, in the Fall of ’63. It involved her being part of a 3-man shooter team. I’m sure you’ve seen her work. It was her shot that blew President Kennedy’s head apart.
    My wife died 6 years ago. It is only now that I feel I can go public with some of her stories. I’ve told only a handful
    of people about her involvement in the Kennedy assassination. It’s been my
    experience nobody believes me.
    When she left Russia in ’63, she left as a KGB double agent. I don’t think she shared this with the CIA. I don’t know what kind of information she could have told them. After JFK, she found herself in Vietnam slogging through the jungle trying to fight the Viet Cong. Not exactly a story for a spy novel. She was part of the CIA’s effort to organize a fifty thousand man army made up of Hmong Highlanders, and extracting information from the VC. I always had to stop her when she tried to tell me the things she used to do to torture theVC to get information out of them. I didn’t want to know. That’s what nightmares are made of.
    When she came to Newport, she hoped to do away with the nightmares of someone chasing her through the jungle trying to shoot her. That was her standard bad dream Those bad dreams were with her every night until she died.
    Three time over the course of 4 years, she was very sick. She would get some weird infection and end up in the ICU dept. of Hoag Hospital. Each time, she would be visited by KGB assassins. Always a guy and a girl. They’d come in the hospital dressed as a doctor or nurse and find her room, and look at photographa of her from 25 years ago. They would try to figure out if the girl in the hospital was the same person in the photograph. They had been sent to kill the girl in the photograph. Each time, they couldn’t make the identification positive. She would pretend to be asleep, but she could still understand them when they were whispering in Russian. She speaks Russian. She knew why they were there. When she quit the KGB, it is standard practice for them to kill anyone who wants to leave. They don’t allow quitting.
    I could go on and on. Quite a story.
    Keep in touch,
    —-Danial, this is a personal story, not for publication. Thanks.

  10. Carl says:

    It’s public now dude.

  11. g says:

    lol rob “macfarlane” youre so fuking funnee

  12. King Kangaroo says:


    KGB Assassins…double agents…leprechauns? I feel a movie deal coming on.

    But hey! You do meet interesting people in jail. I am not going to entirely throw this one off though I have a handful of salt on the table…in my hand.

    I met Tony Sami in jail. Real name, Tewfik Ali Sourour. Manager and owner of STT Travel out of New York. He bought in the first WTC bombers and the Atta crew. He met Atta twice at dinner – alot of money in plastic bags being thrown around. Says Atta had no “1000 yard stare”. I guess he was out of coke and hungry for dinner that night.

    Now, I was of course clutching much salt in my hands at the time of our meeteing at Hakea max Remand Centre, Perth, Western Australia. But his story did pan out over time.

    He said he ratted on Atta and his crew and was paid $18 million USD. He did not know what was going on at the time which is entirely possible. He spoke to a Mr Prokoff at US Consulate in Perth W.A. He said the people he had named were “the real deal”.

    Times, dates and places are a little out and his story wobbles. But…he was definitely paid $18million by the US State Department. Someone I trust with a fine prison reputation (stand over man, kidnapper, shot gun wielder – so you know he’s honest) “Tim” was ably looking after Tony when some Middle Eastern persons came looking for Tony in the jail. Tony was paying for protection in tobacco. Tim thought it was just “another” bullshit jail story till the infamous banker phone call from the Senior Officer telephone – to freeze one of Tony’s bank accounts. While present in the office, on speaker phone, the banking clerk stated, “Mr Sami, I have the account in front of me with the $18 million deposit from the US State Department. It is now frozen. We will send official documentation in the mail.”

    Tony’s wife was having an affair while he was in jail.

    Anyway, I have a signed statement from him but it could of been from Santa Claus of a KGB double agent. I’ll sell the movie rights for a pouch of “White Ox” tobacco and a free tattoo.

    I also met William “Roger” Reaves in an Australian jail. Employer of Barry Seal. I interviewed him over the phone once I got out and made this video…

    Yes, I am a CIA, NSA, ASIO, AFP, FBI, M.I, MOSSAD, MI6 asset. Though woefully underpaid, so if anyone wants to send money for silence…please do. I have a family of leprechauns to look after.


  13. MSimon says:

    Something that does not get near enough play:

    Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts had been sexually assaulted in childhood.

  14. King Kangaroo says:

    ALL drug use is a way of avoiding “legitimate suffering” as Carl Jung was apt to say.

    Drug use is a medical problem – not a criminal one. I’m sure I am speaking to the choir here.

    I guess all those 401K plans will fold with no liquid drug money flooding the system.

    I met many fine, honesst drug dealers in jail. I caught up with several on the outside. As we drove through my home city they would say…”See that business? See that one? see that one over there? You know that guy…thats all drug money.”

    From my reckoning, just in my home town, at least %25-%30 of the thriving businesses are drug money laundering outlets or started and maintained till profitable, with drug money. Thats a low estimate.

    The state and federal police are up to their necks in the drug trade. There is a biggish case coming up in the High Court of Australia involving a convicted drug trafficker Jamison SANTOS. He has successfully lobbied his appeal into the High Court – not easy. But it looks like he will win. Matters of “jurisdiction”. State police are making clearly federal drug cases, into local state cases. Why? Because they want to keep direct control of the case. Why? Because they are THIEVING ALL THE F***ING DRUGS!

    Case in point – Detective SRGT Timothy Richard PAINI. He must explain how the 22kg of Methamphetamine confiscated from the SANTOS piloted light aircraft at Jandakot (Perth, W.A) airport started at %80 purity – then, became %10 purity at the chem lab.

    Under federal law, SANTOS can only be charged for the trafficking of 2.2kg of drug with its purity at %10. Under state law, they go by weight with no regard to purity or even if the “drug” is in fact a “drug” – or just caffeine tablets. If your “intent” was to make a belief that the mud/chocolate bar/candy/hand grenade was in fact a “controlled substance” – you are charged as if it was so, by weight.

    Of course – no cops EVER go to jail. Not in this state. The main man in charge of the states “Meth Task Force” is Inspector Tom CLAY. How is he in possession of a multi million dollar property portfolio? Thrifty with his pay? Maybe he took lessons in investing from Bill and Hillary? Where is the Australian Federal Police “Lifestyle Income Analysis” department? What? They lost their internet connection?


    The worst for Tom CLAY is he will be asked to retire. Mena, Arkansas, eat ya heart out.

  15. adam says:

    “I met Tony Sami in jail. Real name, Tewfik Ali Sourour. Manager and owner of STT Travel out of New York.”

    A background check on his real name produced interesting results, so thank you.

  16. King Kangaroo says:

    Let me know if possible. I looked with my limited resources and found little.

    He left Australia.


  17. King Kangaroo says:


    Toni Sami’s statement to me in Acacia Prison, Western Australia on 25th June, 2011.

    I have a highly secure computer. But, it did not just stop “them” from crashing it, re-booting it then doing a pile of port scan attacks and other nefarious packet injection crapola.

    This is a first for this machine – my most secure. Running through a VPN.

    So, I hope you appreciate the intel because someone does not appreciate it being spread around which confirms for me that Toni is the real deal.

  18. adam says:

    December 11, 2016 at 12:28 pm
    Let me know if possible. I looked with my limited resources and found little.

    I reviewed his address history with advancedbackgroundchecks dot com. He lived at an address in Mercer St in Jersey City. I think he was probably associated with the Blink Sheikh cell at 2824 kennedy Blvd. They did were responsible for the 93 WTC bombing and 9/11 hijackers did indeed visit the area, supposedly obtaining false documents at Sphinx Trading. People sharing the Mercer St address also used addresses on Kennedy Blvd. Other interesting characters such as Magdy el Amir lived nearby (on Summit). Given that you say you found him in a jail in Australia making these claims, i think his address history backs him up rather than anything else.

  19. King Kangaroo says:

    He stated he bought in the first WTC bombers. Its in the above PDF of a statement I took from him. Acacia Prison. Head of security there was Bill BOSHE/BOSCHE – former South African Intelligence. When I asked him if he had ever signed off on any death warrants for black activists I was transferred to maximum security Casuarina Prison, Perth, Western Australia – the Management Unit.

    Mr SOUROUR stated Mohammed ATTA was polite and congenial. He met him twice at dinner, in, I presume, New York. I asked specifically if he had the “thousand yard stare” you hear about. He said no. No cocaine then I guess 🙂

    SOUROUR stated he was throwing around vast sums of money in plastic bags and was hanging with some rich Saudi sheik.

    He said STT Travel had 14 outlets.

    I heard he was back in Egypt.

    He came to me because they were hammering him for refusing to continue to be an informant. His lawyer here in Perth was top lawyer (Q.C – Queens Counsel) Tom PERCY.

    Western Australia is FULL of people hiding out.

    Special Forces base here – Campbell Barracks. SAS – Special Air Service. Alot of Military Intelligence.

    Australian Federal Police have an entire floor of the old Sheraton Hotel which is now another name that escapes me.

    Perth is a beautiful city. Abe SAFFRON, Jewish mafia don of Australia had a hang out pad here – The Raffles Hotel. His wife retired here. SAFFRON was bringing in heroin with Australia media tycoon Kerry PACKER into his string of cattle stations in the north of the state. SAFFRON had all of the state of New South Wales political and policing class black mailed via his string of brothels with one way mirrors. SAFFRON was always hanging out in Israel. Jeffrey EPSTIEN eat your heart out. Australia….WAYYYYYY ahead of ya. Look up “Mr Sin” on YT. An ABC documentary that has suddenly been removed in its entirety when I linked to it.

    There are ties way back to 1973 and the dismissal of the WHITLAM government and the CIA’s Nugen Hand Bank.

    Perth, Western Australia is a GIANT place of intrigue. Heaps of former South African Intelligence and Special Forces here with strong ties to Israel.

    Someone needs to do a doco on it…


  20. King Kangaroo says:

    Golly gee…no computer backflips…


  21. adam says:

    Atta was indeed in NYC. Ashraf el Maghraby went to meet him there as early as 1996, he passed a polygraph to that effect. Not sure if Atta was there for 93 bombing or not. He visited New York during the years leading up to the 911 attack also, but if your guy was in Australia by 1999 it must have been before. His address history says he was there until 2001 though.

  22. King Kangaroo says:

    ADAM: Many thanks for the reply.

    His 1999 move to Australia never fit the timeline. Maybe he visited – but never lived here.

    He claimed to have a PHD in economics. Everyone thought he was full of it but it was just to grand to be made up and I knew Perth, W.A was a popular hiding spot for really big fish like him.

    I gathered his meeting with Atta was not long before 9-11.

    People ya meet.

    Thanks again for the reply.