political and social commentary about the flat earthers and other ridiculous subjects

Just Corporations and Profits Count. It is time for We The People

I wrote this article over 50 years ago.  As the songs says, “When will we Ever Learn?”



Memories during the Cuban Missile Crises

                The first billboard out of Boulder on the way to the Atomic Bomb factory at Rocky Flats bomb factory targeted the current Supreme Court Justice.  These were put up by the John Birch Society, which exists now under different monikers, but the message is the same. The next one said “Get the US out of the RED UN.”  This was the end of the cold war.  CU still required a loyalty oath and bomb shelters were found in many basements.  Joe Coors was running for reagent of the university stating he was going to rid the institution of commies.  The CIA had infiltrated the National Student Association, and Ozzie and Harriet was one of the most popular TV shows.  Of course, with atomic bombs, euphemistically called “triggers,” manufactured just ten miles away, missiles manufactured 30 miles away and nerve gas manufactured 40 miles away, I seriously doubt there were many commies in the neighborhood.  However the accusations and fear mongering made good headlines.  In this state of paranoia, a holy war crusade emerged.  Godless communism must be defeated.  In school, we had duck and cover atomic bomb drills, nerve gas drills, and the universal fire drills.  We lived in fear.  Then something happened.  We said to hell with it, why worry about something over which we have now control?  If some goofy bastard launches missiles, so be it.  In the meantime, let’s live.

                The fear mongering produced beatniks and then hippies.  Spirits were free, along with drugs, sex, and rock and roll.  Of course, the uptight rulers got nervous and intensified their attack on the “Godless” communists.  Instead of worrying about communist economics, totalitarian Napoleonic police state and important things, they were worried about lack of belief in a deity.  Communism was the devil.  It had no God, calling capitalism the God of the west.  That was the late fifties and early sixties.  McCarthyism was with us into the sixties and manifested itself in other crusades, such as fear of civil rights and the assertion the Rockefeller was a communist.  Communist and atheist were used interchangeably.  Christians were good, communists were bad.  In the spirit of the Crusades, bumper stickers appeared with the mantra, “Kill a Commie for Christ.”  There was no question of the morality of killing.  Evil was being fought in a holy war.  God was on our side only because the opposition was godless.  Life was as simple as the minds until social upheaval started the young thinking.  Fear of communism distracted from real problems such as poverty, housing, health care and employment.

                Now, as I sit and watch the Occupy Wall Street news on television, I am reminded of the former days of protest.  It has expanded to other cities and could go global.  We no longer fear communists.  We fear terrorists, called Al Qaeda, or Arab extremists, or other words to fit the current prejudice.  However, after ten years of war on terror and war on drugs while the infra-structure, health care, education, and banking risk irreparable harm, the public is fed up.  They see some people taking the lion’s share of the wealth, while fellow citizens lose their houses, jobs, cars and other things.  They see bankers flying to Washington asking for handouts in private corporate jets.  They are fed bullshit that giving money to the rich creates jobs, and God favors the rich.  In short, the people are tired of being screwed and exploited.  They see the Corporations and their Government view them as pigeons to be plucked.  The whole world seems predatory, and Government is protecting the predators.  Police generate revenue, courts generate revenue, jails generate revenue, plus the tax burden on the worker gets more onerous as buying power is cut.  The culprit is the Corporation.  It is godless, without morals or conscience.  Because of the lack of ability to determine what is good for any other entity than itself, it should not have any power.  It is not a person.  It cannot think.  I can not consciously do good.  And, in about 1980, a Delaware Court ruled that a corporation’s and its directors only obligation is to the stockholders; not the public, not the government, not the general good.  Social Darwinism was given Court approval by the Corporate dominated courts.  In the celebration that followed, the people became prey for the vultures of the capitalistic corporations and the predatory state, promoting privatization.

                However, the rich don’t get it.  Finally, the people said “enough,” and took to the streets.  The Corporate controlled media downplayed the news, portraying the social unrest as a bunch of young brats with nothing better to do.  Their analysts conclude there is no threat because the people are not presenting an alternative plan.  These delusional idiots, whose job it is to govern, protect and mete out fairness believe that the Public should do their jobs.  If the people don’t have alternatives, then why worry.”  The capitalist system and free market ideology ruled and was presented to the public by the powerful as coincidental with Christianity.  The exploitation was institutionalized and faith based.  If you believed in a deity, you had to believe in capitalism.  All else was godless.

                This is the same attitude of French royalty and clergy exhibited before they lost their heads.  That revolution didn’t happen overnight.  Their king had many chances to change things, but they were too oblivious to the plight of the people that they danced away in happy ignorance. 

                Now, our rulers do the same thing.  Instead of concluding that there is a problem and that the people expect them to forge a solution, they feign ignorance and ask, “What do you want? What are we to do?”  They don’t quite see that they should be asking those questions of themselves.  Instead of allowing predatory practices, and in some cases joining in on them, the politicians and officials should start protecting their constituents.  Corporations aren’t going to rebel, but citizens could.  The right has ridden roughshod over the people of this country and have produced a nation as bankrupt as their philosophy of greed  They see their millions as a deserving entitlement.  The people see it as a mechanism to exploit them and bribe officials.  They call the curtailment of power taxing the rich instead of creating a climate of social, economic and political justice.  Soon even the bribed politicians will desert the rich in fear for their own safety.  So far, they have the police acting against their class interest believing they will be rewarded by the greedy masters whom they chose to serve.  However, in time even the dumbest cop will see that they are being used to promote oppression and suppress fairness.  Law and order is not justice.  Fascists want law and order, the people want justice.  The bumper sticker that read “Kill a Commie for Christ”  might suddenly change to “Kill a Capitalist for Christ.”  Hopefully the teachings of Gandhi will prevail, and the religious crusades will fade.


Early in my career, my practice and even my life was defined by Washington politics way beyond my comprehension or control. Due to Viet Nam, an administration who believed that any dissent must be “leftist” and inspired or funded by communists, in a complete denial of reality, a culture of fear and suspicion became instilled into our culture. This ignorance and prejudice result in the toppling of a Government over an illegal break-in by the president which exposed a whole corrupt and out of control administration, resulting in years of hearings by both the Senate and House into illegal activities of the intelligence communities. This denial of truth or just plain ignorance almost wrecked our government and left us with a legacy of distrust, revenge, and rejection of the notion of a society or a people, replaced with selfish individualism, devoid of character or compassion.
This came to light because of brave civil servants, courageous protesters, and the underestimation of the intelligence of the general public. During that time, in order to sell an unpopular war, Psywar was waged against the citizens with law and order propaganda tv programs to push a non-democratic agenda. Many brave people exposed the crimes of the officials and stopped the march to a totalitarian government.
The situation today is even worse. Fear permeates our society. Any criticism of the Government’s misconduct or crimes is met with prosecutions such as espionage. War criminals are protected instead of exposed. Scientists are ridiculed rather than believed. Truth is stopped with the politicization of officials sworn to protect us and our Constitution. Critics are not criminals. Scholars and intellectuals sre not enemies. So, I ask you to read and weep. Don’t let the selfish and greedy win Don’t let ignorance rule and lies and propaganda shape our future. Think and act. What happened to me a half century ago is repeating even more venous and dangerous. Act like a people, not a herd.
This is from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Government misconduct and criminal activities. It is discouraging that we still haven’t learned in a half a century. Please think about the following. Pay attention.

Moreover, in the spring of 1970 the FBI severed its formal liaison to the CIA in reaction to a CIA-FBI dispute over confidential sources in Colorado. 33 Though hostility between the two agencies had surfaced before with some frequency over matters such as disagreement regarding the bona fides of communist defectors, this particular dispute was “the one straw that broke the camel’s back.” 34 The incident in Colorado, now known as the Riha Case, involved a CIA officer who received information concerning the disappearance of a foreign national on the faculty of the University of Colorado, a Czechoslovak by the name of Thomas Riha.
The information apparently came from an unnamed FBI officer stationed in Denver. Hoover demanded to know the identity of the FBI agent; but, as a matter of personal integrity, the CIA officer refused to divulge the name of his source. Hoover was furious with Helms for not providing the FBI with this information and, “in a fit of pique,” 35 he broke formal Bureau ties with the Agency. 36 To many observers, including Huston and Sullivan, the severance of these ties contributed to the perceived inability of the Bureau’s intelligence division to perform their task adequately.
In this context, a special meeting was called on April 22, 1970, in Haldeman’s office. In attendance were Haldeman, Krogh, Huston Alexander Butterfield (who had responsibility for White House liaison’ with the Secret Service), and Ehrlichman. The purpose of this gathering was to improve coordination among the White House staff for contact with intelligence agencies in the government and, more importantly, as Huston remembers, to decide “whether — because of the escalating level of the violence — something within the government further needed to be done.” 37


WATCH: Student Left Hemorrhaging After Cops Allegedly Sodomize Him With Baton VIDEO OMITTED

Denver, CO — The Denver police department has opened an internal investigation into their officers after a man claimed he was forcibly sodomized by a cop during an arrest.
According to police, 23-year-old Michael Jacobs was being placed under arrest during a protest near Civic Center Park on July 29 for disarming a police officer. Police claim Jacobs attempted to take an officer’s pepper ball gun — which is not backed up by video evidence and disputed by Jacobs and his attorney.
Jacobs disputes the claim that officers had probable cause to arrest him at all. The college student says he was rattling a fence during the protest to get an officer’s attention when he was taken down from behind.
“I was grabbed from behind, it felt like it was from my neck, no warning, no ‘you’re under arrest,’” Jacobs said.
A portion of the video shows people shaking a fence near the park and then the takedown. Exactly what transpired before this video is unclear and is a matter of Jacobs’ word verses the police.
As the video shows, an officer runs at Jacobs as several other officers pile on top. In the brief video, you can see an officer use his baton against the student.
During his arrest, Jacobs said that an officer came up to him as he was face down on the ground and sodomized him with an object he thinks was a police baton.
“As I was on the ground, and as I was completely helpless, someone took what felt to be a nightstick and just shoved it up my butt. After that it was pretty much done,” Jacobs told KDVR.
“It was the traumatizing experience I’ve been through in all 23 years of my life.”
After the arrest, Jacobs went to the hospital where he conducted a rape kit and says doctors who evaluated him two weeks later found evidence of rectal and anal hemorrhage, KDVR reported.
“I’ve been having to go to GI doctors since and have them explain to me why I have hemorrhoids bleeding out of my [sic] rectum,” Jacobs said.
“I mean, the people that are there to protect you, to do something so wrong, it’s like I have panic attacks now, which I’ve never experienced before.”
Jacobs now faces charges which his lawyer has dismissed as bogus.
As the Denver Channel reports:
A probable cause statement released by the Denver Police Department claims Jacobs was part of a group trying to push down a gate at Lincoln Park and adds that they managed to bring it down and get inside.
But in the video, Jacobs is outside of the fence.
The police report states Jacobs violently resisted arrest and even grabbed an officer’s pepper ball gun. It’s a claim Jacobs and his attorney, Dr. Matt Greife, dispute.
“That could not be further from the truth,” Jacobs said.
“This was a cover charge,” Greife told KDVR. “They have to charge him with something to justify why they went to him in the first place.”
“To say that he attempted to disarm a police officer off their pepper gun or pepper ball gun, that’s nonsense, he was on the ground way too fast,” Dr. Greife said.
Griefe told the Denver Channel that cops have refused to release the body camera footage he says would exonerate his client.
“We should know what the police reports say. We should know what the body cams tell us,” Dr. Greife said.
Jacobs is now facing a felony charge of attempting to disarm a police officer and is due back in court at the end of the month. Greife is now moving to have the charge dropped against his client, noting that their failure to release the body camera footage means they have no evidence to convict him.

IN THE SIXTIES, THERE WAS police scandal that rocked Denver.  Police would investigate a robbery and what the burglars didn’t take, they did.  Soon, they started to stage their own robberies.  Some actually did time when the scandal broke.  One of the lawyers I worked with was acting governor when the scandal broke and appointed the special prosecutor.  The investigation was going real high in Colo politics, when the Governor, upon returning to Colorado shut down the investigation  An understanding of Denver police behavior would not be relevant without studying the political structure and the influence of Federal Intelligence Agencies upon policy.

When the hippies arrived, and, with the anti-war movement, the police were given a pretty much-unbridled privilege to attack what they perceived as deviance, lack of patriotism, evasion of barbers, and other objectionable qualities which offended local citizens. For instance, I had clients takeen to jail, stripped down, and hosed with cold water from fire hydrants. In a court in which I was a judge, from drugs came in, seized the hippie with the intent of cutting his hair with their sheep sheers. Many arrests in Denver and the surrounding areas were enforced with the sundown intent to encourage miscreants to leave before the Sunset.

In one of mine more notorious cases, a sheriff’s officer chased my clients on his motorcycle of Boulder Canyon firing at him.  This crime, driving a motorcycle without a helmet. The jury acquitted him of the charge that the judge found them guilty. Nonetheless. In sentencing, the judge took judicial notice that the gun was a 22, which nobody used to hurt anybody. He called it an aggravation weapon. After arguing with the jury foreman and chasing me out of the courthouse, demanding that I come back and I can like a man, he sentenced my client to jail. The judge was a big act like that of supporting his local police. That has been entrenched in the law enforcement culture of Colorado for the past 50 years. 40 years later, the hippie’s body was discovered in a mine shaft in Nederland Colorado, the officer who chased by client admitted that he had shot the hippie because he didn’t like them. Since the old policeman was dying of cancer, nothing was done to him. I have been studying this issue for half a century. As long as district attorneys feel that they represent to the police establishment which they identified as their constituency, and the judges are appointed from district attorney’s offices, there will be very little change. The law enforcement culture today, has evolved into a them v. us dichotomy. Because of the socioeconomic bias and recruitment from upper classes, there is a piss on the peasant environment in law enforcement. With a broken windows policy,, and in many cities, the racist – the elitist view of the police is not seen for what it is. No mention is made of the fact that many people living in certain areas To afford to repair their windows, sometimes, and view the action as good law enforcement.

Of course, law enforcement is that conditioned to be the poor as potential criminals. In our society, a high percentage of the poor are black. To blacked out any conversation of economic elitism, or discrimination. The debate is deflected to one of race and is exclusive of institutional racism.  This is but one factor to consider in a complex analysis. We have to examine are reward system, or the secondary reward system, are values, our tolerance, our patience, and other factors. All I can say to the attorney representing the sexually assaulted protester’s that he had to be thankful that the police are now murdering his clients.


A recent youtube video reminded me of one time I was searched.  If you are squeamish or lack sugar coat or not use my usual vocabulary in this piece.  It will not be politically correct, fit for innocent minds, have a modicum of sensitivity or any special consideration for the reader.  A story like this can’t be censored or edited. The story is true.  Only the vocabulary has been changed to amuse the reader.  This is your last chance.


If offensive language bothers you then GO NO FURTHER

This memory was the result of watching a cavity search of a motorist in Texas after a citizen had been stopped.  The officer stated he stopped the car because the driver tossed a cigarette but out the window.  After the lecture, he inquired about drugs.  When the two women in the car expressed ignorance about marijuana, he informed them that his old infallible trooper nose smelled marijuana and they would have to be searched.  The video then showed a front and back cavity search of the two women in the car, resulting in nothing being found.  I just had to relate my tale of my trip to Canada.

The trip to Vancouver Island started out inauspiciously.  I had just acquired another car and was set for a road trip.  However, although the car performed marvelously, I can’t say the same for myself.  I was in need of massive doses of Kaopectate.  Between Sinclair, Wyoming and Little America, I changed shorts 2 times.  The afternoon of the second day, the situation abated and the shorts were tightly packaged in triple plastic shopping bags and packed in a trash bag in the trunk, to be dealt with at our destination where there was there were laundry facilities.  Because I felt better and the underwear was well packaged, I forgot about it in the trunk.

We proceeded to Annacortes, Washington and spent the night after parking our car in the ferry line, ensuring our passage first thing the next morning to Victoria.  It was a great trip, whales in sight, no clouds or wind.  We stopped at Orca Island and two other small towns before approaching Victoria.

There was a customs inspection point and most cars were waived on through after showing identification.  However, I had to toy with the customs agent.

“You’re an American?

“Yes, that’s what it says on the passport.”

“Have you ever been in Court on a Driving Under the Influence charge?”

“Yes, several times.”

“Were you convicted?”

“No but many of my clients were.  I’m a defense attorney.”

For some reason the Mounty wasn’t amused.  “Over there, smartass” he commanded.

He informed his comrades in red

“We have a smart-ass defense attorney here.  Be thorough with him.  You know how tricky they are.”

So, I was going to be subjected to summary punishment by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for being a smart-ass attorney.  I watched while the 7 or so officers climbed all over my car, taking out suitcases and rummaging through them.  They were thorough indeed.  The Mounties were having fun joking with each other as they rummaged through the car.

“Open the trunk!”

I complied and watched as more suitcases were taken and opened.  Nothing.  Then he came to a plastic garbage bag.  Inside were some white plastic bags from grocery stores.  He lifted the bag out of the trunk. And the Mounties gathered around.

“What’s in there,” he demanded.

“That’s our laundry.”

He started taking clothes out and examining our dirty laundry.  He then came to the white grocery plastic bag.

“What’s in this one,”

“You really don’t want to know, I wouldn’t open that if I were you,” I emphasized, shaking my head no.  However, curiosity got the best of him.  They gathered around the garbage bag as the Mounty reached down into the bag, bringing out my excrement saturated underwear.

“Shit!!!” shouted the Mounty, while his comrades laughed hysterically.  His face matched the crimson of his uniform and his fury was hard to conceal.  He wielded his authority in a retaliatory way and had paid the price.  I suppose it was a shitty thing to do, but what the hell.

The delay was annoying and his retaliatory show of authority was over the top.  But his surprise and humiliation in front of his crew was well worth it.  I didn’t plan to return to Victoria in the near future.

On rigging football games

I promised to do a video on a case i did in Oklahoma involving Pody Poe and Dale Hines. A book was written about Poe called “from Tinhorn to Kingpin.” I need to publish some articles in order for people to follow my narrative. Otherwise, I will never finish. In the video, I will refer to published items.



Posted by Mike Sylwester
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Mob Connections

Jack Ruby, Smuggling With and Spying on Communists, 1938-1958
At the end of the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, thousands of leftists who had fought on the defeated Republican side retreated across the border from Catalonia to southern France, especially to Marseille-Toulon, which is the main urban region there. During the decade 1938-1948, one of the biggest international leftist causes was to resettle these refugees to better locations. Church groups and charities were persuaded to offer their support.
While in Marseille, a group of these refugees became employed in the secret narcotics trafficking system known as the French Connection. The main smuggling trail for opium to the West was from Burma overland to Turkey, then by various routes to Marseille, where it was processed and then distributed everywhere.
During World War Two, this route was disupted, and other routes became more important. One of the major new routes was from China and Burma, smuggled on US military ships around South Africa, to Florida, which had the main supply ports for the China-Burma-India Theater. Much of this smuggling operation was under the control of Communists allied with Mao Tse Tung. I quote from Joseph Douglass’s book, Red Cocaine, pp 1-2:
[quote] In 1928, Mao Tse-Tung, the Chinese Communist leader, instructed one of his trusted subordinates, Tan Chen-lin, to begin cultivating opium on a grand scale. Mao had two objectives: obtaining exchange for needed supplies and “drugging the white region,” where “white” was an ideological, not racist, term that Mao used to refer to his non-communist opposition.
Mao’s strategy was simple; use drugs to soften a target area. Then, after a captured region was secured, outlaw the use of all narcotics and impose strict controls to ensure that the poppies remained exclusively an instrument of the state against its enemies…. [unquote]

Military Service
Jack Rubenstein apparently became directly involved with this smuggling operation and with US military counter-intelligence through his military service during World War Two. He joined the Army Air Corps in May 1943 and served until February 1946. During the War, Jack’s brother, Sam Rubenstein, also served in the Army Air Corps and served as a counter-intelligence informer. Sam would “keep an eye on Communists and Nazis” in the US military and write letters to his brother Jack about his observations. However, Sam testified (WC, Vol 14, pg 503) that although he wrote the letters as if they were to his brother Jack, he actually addressed the evelope to a US military counter-intelligence officer. Supposedly, this reporting arrangement was ordered by the counter-intelligence officer for security purposes, but it really makes little sense. It makes a lot more sense that Sam did actually send such letters to his brother Jack, who passed them to Air Corps counter-intelligence. This relationship has never been explained by the US Government.
At the same time, Jack Rubenstein continued to organize Communist cells. A citizen named George Fehrenbach testified to the Warren Commission (WC, Vol 15, pp 289-321) that he saw Rubenstein doing this several times in a three-story building in Muncie, Indiana. The third story was a union hall where gambling often happened during evenings and weekends. (Investigators found several other people who also said that gambling did take place on the third story.) Fehrenbach testified that several of the people associated with the activities on the second and third stories of the building were Russian Jews and were Communists.
On three occasions, in about summer 1943, early 1944, and early-47 (all these absences were possible, according to his military leave record), Jack Rubenstein came from Chicago to Muncie to participate in some mysterious meetings in this building. On the second of these occasions, Fehrenbach happened to have a two-hour lunch talking with Rubenstein and became fairly well acquainted with him. Because of the overall circumstances, Fehrenbach deduced that Jack Rubenstein was there to meet with the Communist cell. Fehrenbach had the impression that “very seldom would there be over three or four at any one time” at these cell meetings (pg 300), but that when Jack Rubenstein came to Muncie, “there was a meeting that apparently had some significance to it, because there were so many people coming in” (pg 316).
He reported for active duty to Camp Grant, Illinois, on May 28, 1943. There, he was not assigned to any unit until June 4, when he was assigned to the 1633 SU (Student Unit?). He was there just five days, until June 9. Sometime just before or during this period of semi-activity, he could have gone to Muncie.
On June 10, 1943, he was moved to Company AAF (Army Air Field), Military Police, Recruit Training Center, Keesler Field, Mississipi. He was there almost four months, until September 3, 1943. Apparently, he trained to be be a military policeman, but then, as we shall see, he was for some reason transferred to become a mechanic for reconnaissance aircraft.
From September 5, 1943 — a little more than five months — through February 15, 1944, he was at the 793 Technical School Squadron, at Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina. According to the reference book Air Force Bases, starting in September 1943, this base “accomodated an Aviation Cadet Pre-Technical School Training program (bomber mechanics). However, Rubenstein was pre-trained to become a reconnaissance aircraft mechanic. During these five months, he probably received general instruction on aircraft mechanics, to prepare him to then specialize.
To receive his specialized reconnaissance aircraft mechanics training, he then moved on February 15, 1944, to the 18th AAF Technical Training Detachment, Republic Aviation Crops, Farmingdale, on Long Island, New York. He was there about five weeks, until March 23, 1944. A book titled World War II Photo Intelligence, by Col Roy Stanley II, provides a description about Republic’s aircraft program at that time (pp 95-96):
[quote] Republic Aviation also proposed an aircraft to meet the 1943 call for a long-range, high-speed, high-altitude photorecon aircraft. Their version, the F-12. Two prototypes were in testing in early 1944 and initially looked promising, but by mid-1944, tests showed that F-12 performance did not surpass that of the stripped B-29s already being used for photo work in the Pacific.
In a 24 August 1944 memorandum, Brig. Gen. Marvin C. Gross, Chief of the Air Staff Requirements Division, informed the Materiel Division, that though he had previously recommended cancellation, he now agreed to continue the F-12 as “an insurance against failure of the F-11 [another reconnaissance aircraft being developed by Howard Hughs], either because of production difficulties or operational limitations.” He referred to the fact that the F-12 “does not meet the requirement for high maneuverability desired in combat photographic reconnaissance aircraft,” but had to conceed that the “F-11 and the F-12 are the only airplanes currently being built wich approximately meet the military characteristics prescribed by G-2 [Intelligence] of the War Department for a photographic mapping airplane.” [unquote]
In other words, Jack Rubenstein had been sent to Long Island, directly to the Republic factory, where US Army Air Corps Intelligence was developing the first two prototypes of a promising, technologically controversial photoreconnaissance aircraft being tested at that time, especially for use in the Pacific Theater.
After that, he went on leave for 19 days, from March 24, 1944, until April 11, 1944. This period provided the opportunity for the second trip to Muncie.
After that, he returned to Bluethenthal Field, North Carolina, near Seymour Johnson, where he had been previously. He was there from April 26, 1944, to June 7, 1944 — about six weeks. His unit there was called “D-2 Static Crew Section.” I think that this was the tests that were described in the above phrase “by mid-1944, tests showed that F-12 performance did not surpass that of the stripped B-29s already being used for photo work in the Pacific.” One of his fellow soldiers, Stephen Belancik, has added the detail that Rubenstein was assigned to the 321st Fighter Squadron (Exhibit 1294).
Then, from June 9, 1944, to November 27, 1945, Rubenstein was assigned to the 114th Air Force Base Unit (B), Chatham Field, near Savannah, Georgia. On July 17, 1944, Robins had been reassigned to AAF Materiel and Services Command. As mentioned above: “In a 24 August 1944 memorandum, Brig. Gen. Marvin C. Gross, Chief of the Air Staff Requirements Division, informed the Materiel Division, that though he had previously recommended cancellation, he now agreed to continue the F-12.” The book Air Force Bases says that during this period, Robins was “primarily a logistics depot….military personnel trained at Robins for overseas duty during World War II.” Irving Zakarin, one of Rubenstein’s fellow soldiers at Chatham Air Field, remembers that they served as airplane mechanics with about 15 other men, servicing P-47s, which were classified as “transit aircraft.” (Exhibit 1295)
I believe that during this half year at Chatham, a secret logistics base with trade to reconnaissance units in Asia, Ruby become involved in a long-distance Communist smuggling ring, receiving opium from Burma.
During the period 17 Aug 1944 through 23 October 1944, while Rubenstein was at Chetham, the First and Second Fighter Squadrons were organized at Tampa, specifically at Drew and Lakeland Fields, for a deployment to the CBI Theater. The P-51 bomber was reconfigured as a special reconnaissance version called the F-6, which deployed from Tampa to India.
On November 27, 1945, until February 17, 1946 — for about three months — Rubenstein was assigned to the Tampa area, first at Drew Field and then in Tampa, where he was closer to the shipping port. On February 17, 1946, he traveled back to Illinois, where he was discharged from the Service.

Ruby in Dallas, 1946-48
Jack Rubenstein’s living arrangements and activities during the first postwar years are only known at a few points in time. In about October 1946, he was in Dallas, Texas, where his sister Eva Grant had been living since about 1943. In Dallas, he built a log cabin, where he hosted a private night club that was open mostly only on weekends. The evidence is confusing about whether he considered Dallas to be his main residence. In August 1947, he was in a Chicago hotel, but in October 1947, he told government authorities that he was only “visiting” Dallas. As late as 1951, he was living in only a YMCA room in Dallas. (HSCA vol 9, pp 522, 1080)
Fehrenbach claimes he saw Jack Rubenstein for the third time in Muncie in about early 1947, for only for a few seconds, when Rubenstein walked into the second-story office. Some days after that visit, Fehrenbach found an unlabeled list of more than 100 names that was left by mistake on the third floor. That list included local people he suspected of Communist sympathies and also included the name of Jack Rubenstein. Fehrenbach stole that list and turned it over to his father-in-law, who was a local police officer. Several of the local people he thought were Communists accused him of stealing the list, but he denied it.
After that, during the second half of 1947, Fehrenbach was subjected to an intensive surveillance. Every day when he left work, for about six months, a car with two or three people in it would follow him out to his rural home and park across the street for several hours. His wife confirmed this surveillance. Fehrenbach deduced that the people watching him were doing this on the behest of Communists who were concerned about the missing list. The surveillance lasted until about Christmas 1947 and then stopped. .
As we will see, there are also statements that Jack Rubenstein was also spending a lot of time in hotels in Florida in the late 1940s, involved in various smuggling operations.
During these postwar years, the new Communist governments of East Europe led the reintroduction of opium into the West. Yugoslavia grew opium and smuggled it across the border to Trieste, Italy. That operations was disrupted when a lot of those smugglers were arrested in Italy in 1950. Subsequently, the major smuggling route went through Greece. This smuggling ring was run by a married couple of Greek Communists and a refugee from the Spanish Civil War. This ring was arrested in the early 1950s. There was also a major opium-smuggling ring operating out of the Romanian Embassy in Switzerland, primarily buying Western industrial equipment in exchange for opium. (Charles Siragusa, The Trail of the Poppy: Behind the Mask of the Mafia, chapters 5 and 7).
The Mafia was also trying to establish new smuggling networks. In 1946, the Mafia sent Paul Roland Jones, who had been operating a casino in Mexico City, to Dallas for this purpose. Jones began by attempting to bribe some police officers in November 1946 to allow him to set up a gambling casino in the back of a Dallas restaurant. Police investigators tape recorded all these conversations, and Jones was arrested for bribery on December 18, 1946. (HSCA, vol 9, pp 517-518).
The HSCA tried hard to prove that Rubenstein was involved in Jones attempt to establish this casino. There was some circumstantial evidence, and one officer involved in the bribery sting, Steve Guthrie, later remembered to the assassination investigators that Ruby was supposed to operate the casino restaurant.
However, there were also contrary evidence. Rubenstein was never mentioned in any of the extant tapes or notes from the bribery sting, and another officer involved in the sting, George Butler, told the FBI (ibid, pg 520):
[quote] Ruby was not involved in the bribery attempt. In fact, he [Butler] had never heard of Ruby until after the investigation and trial had been completed. He stated the way Ruby came into the picture was a number of individuals who were involved in the bribery attempt and in particular Paul Roland Jones began “hanging out” at Ruby’s club after the sentence. [unquote]
Jones and the Rubensteins also said they did not meet until after the bribery attempt. Eva Grant said that she first met Jones in early 1947, when Jones tried to buy a Dallas restaurant she owned. She refused to sell it, but she did talk about business ideas with Jones and suggest that Jones contact Hyman Rubenstein in Chicago to discuss other possible business ideas. Shortly after that, Jones traveled to Chicago and did meet with Hyman Rubenstein, but supposedly no business enterprises were established during that meeting. Shortly afterwards, Jones returned to Dallas.
In Dallas, Jones was trying to organize a drug smuggling operation and other businesses (he was also an egg broker and a liquor store owner). According to Eva and Jack, Eva introduced Jack to Jones in about June or July 1947 at her restaurant. At about the same time, Hyman recontacted Jones to suggest a business of shipping excess metal pipe from Chicago to Dallas. On August 2, Jones returned to Chicago to conduct various business and telephoned Hyman Rubenstein from his hotel room to discuss the proposed pipe business. During this period, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) had Jones under surveillance and noted that Jones had telephoned from his hotel to a local number that belonged to Hyman and Jack Rubenstein. Jones remembered that he met Jack Rubenstein in a hotel lobby there. Shortly afterwards, Jones returned to Dallas.
On August 27, 1947, one of Jones’ accomplices was arrested trying to smuggle 48 pounds of opium across the border. On October 29, 1947, Jones was also arrested, supposedly because he was implicated by the accomplice. On that same day, the FBN interviewed Jack Rubenstein in Dallas. Rubenstein told the FBN that he had met Jones in Dallas four or five months previously, but that they had never discussed any drug smuggling and had not been in contact when Jones was in Chicago. The FBN also questioned Hyman, who told the story about the proposed pipe business.
None of the Rubensteins were charged, but Jones was confined to jail for the bribery and smuggling convictions until March 1952. After he was released, he moved away from Dallas. (HSCA, vol 9, pp 517-523). In the meantime, Jack Rubenstein proceeded to establish the casino restaurant and smuggling operation that Jones had failed to establish. Whereas Jones and his Mafia partners had been surveilled, stung, and prosecuted very successfully by government investigators, Rubenstein and his partners were not. I think it’s worth considering the possibility that the Rubensteins even helped sabotage Jones’ efforts in order to set up their own operation.

Rubenstein Smuggling Operations, 1948-1952
In 1948, there was another develoment, in Guatemala, which at that time was ruled by a Communist-dominated regime. In 1948, a leading Guatemalan Communist serving in the embassy to France granted immigration visas to 300 veterans of the Spanish Civil War. As one expert on subsequent developments, Daniel James, later observed:
[quote] A veritable International Brigade, which could claim kinship with its Spanish original, functioned as part of the Little Cominform apparatus [in Guatemala]….Trained by the Soviet police in Spain, they …were employed to spy and inform on Communism’s enemies, to burglarize and break up anti-Red centers, and to beat up, of if need be, assassinate opponents. [unquote]
Almost immediately after these Spanish Civil War veterans arrived, the subversion in Latin America spread so dramatically that the United States embargoed all arms sales to Guatemala and convinced many other suppliers, including Great Britain, Denmark, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Switzerland to break off sales agreements. Nevertheless, Guatemala managed to buy weapons for a while from smugglers, many of whom flew them to Guatemala on small airplanes.
An FBI informant designated AT T-1 recalled that Ruby had lived in Daytona, Florida, for a while in the late 1940s. Another FBI informant, designated as AT T-2 (real name, Blaney Mack Johnson), also told the FBI that Ruby was in Florida in the early 1950s and was smuggling weapons and counterfeit money to leftist rebels in Cuba (Exhibit 3063, pp 634-635, 638):
[quote] He stated that in the early 1950s, Jack Ruby held interest in the Colonial Inn, a nightclub and gambling house in Hollandale, Florida. He stated that Jack Ruby, known then as Rubenstein, was active in arranging illegal flights of weapons from Miami to the Castro organization in Cuba. According to T-2, Ruby was reportedly part owner of two planes used for these purposes.
T-2 further stated that Ruby subsequently left Miami and purchased a substantial share in a Havana gaming house in which one Collis Prio (phonetic) was principal owner. T-2 stated that Colis Prio was within favor of former Cuban leader Batista, but was instrumental in financing and managing accumulation of arms by pro-Castro forces.
T-2 stated that one Donald Edward Browder was associated with Ruby in the arms smuggling operation. Browder is reportedly incarcerated in the US Penitentiary, Atlanta, after conviction on a US Customs violation. T-2 also stated that Joe Marrs of Marrs Aircraft, 167th Street, Miami, Florida, allegedly contracted with Ruby to make flights to Havana. T-2 further stated that Leslie Lewis, formerly Chief of Police, Hialeah, Florida, and now possibly a pistol instructor in Dade County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office, possessed detailed knowledge of persons involved in flight of weaons to Cuba and had specific knowledge of Ruby’s participation. …. T-2 also named Clifton T. Bowes, Jr, formerly captain of National Airlines, Miami, Florida, as having been acquainted with Rubenstein and his activities. ….
He also indicated that the Colonial Club in which Jack Rubenstein had an interest was a place where counterfeit money was handled. [unquote]

However, when the FBI interviewed Marrs, Lewis, and Bowes, they all denied they knew Jack Ruby. Furthermore, financial records showed that the Colonial Club had been closed in 1948. Johnson also had trouble identifying photographs of Ruby. However, he still insisted he was correct. He said Browder was called Don, Eddie, and Don Eduardo. (ibid, pg 642)
On April 21, 1964, the FBI did find Browder in a prison. The FBI agents devoted a third of their report to the fact that they had carefully informed him that he did not have to answer their questions (ibid, pg 643):
[quote] Edward J. Browder, Jr, also known as John Smith, Earl Brewder, who has FBI Number 4840823, and presently serving a three year sentence at Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahasee, Florida, was interviewed on April 21, 1964. Browder was sentenced from Federal Court at Miami, Florida, on June 3, 1960, for receiving and concealing stolen Canadian securities.
At the outset of the interview, Browder was advised by Special Agent Robert W. Clark that he did not have to make any statement or talk to the interviewing agents and that any statment he did make could be used in court, even against him at a later date. No threats or promises were made, and Browder advised that he was aware of his right to consult an attorney before saying anything to the interviewing agents.
Browder advised that he was not acquainted with Jack Leon Ruby, whose picture he had seen in the newspapers many times and that he was never associated with Ruby in the smuggling of arms to Cuba in the early 1950s or any other time. Browder advised that he had never used the name Donald Edward Browder and he did not know any person by that name. Browder advised that he was not acquainted with a Blaney Mack Johnson, Leslie Lewis, or Clifton T. Bowes, Jr, but was aware that several years back, there was a Marrs, possibly Joe Marrs, who operated a repair shop for airplanes in Miami, but he, Browder, was not acquainted with the man. [unquote]

However, Browder was lying at least about his name. Joe Marrs told the FBI that he knew Browder and knew him as Donald Edward Browder (ibid, pg 639):
[quote] He [Marrs] had never heard of Jack Ruby. …. He said he knew Donald Edward Browser as an ex-Royal Canadian Air Force ferry comand pilot who came to Miami about 1945. …. Marrs said Browder spoke of plans to set up an air transport service to South American countries, but to Marrs’ knowledge, did not succeed in doing so. Marrs has read of Browder’s alleged escapades of smuggling, but has no knowledge of them. [unquote]

(It is also worth noting that CIA employees H. Howard Hunt and James McCord both used the alias Don Eduardo when dealing with Cubans. (Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda (New York: Random House, 1984), pg 18)).

Interruption, 1952-1955
Ruby was not seen in Dallas for several months in 1952. In an interview with the FBI (HSCA, Vol 5, pg 186) he explained this absence thus:
[quote] Ruby said he went broke in the night club business in 1952 and had a “mental breakdown.” He continued along this line by saying he was “mentally depressed” and that he “hibernated in the Cotton Bowl Hotel” for three or four months, declining to see his friends. He said he went back to Chicago briefly, and his brother Earl tried to help him out financially. He returned to Dallas, however, in 1952. [unquote]

In about 1953-54, Sam Ruby disappeared for about a year. Sam and Earl were partners in Earl Products, Co, in Chicago. That company manufactured salt and pepper shakers, key chains, bottle openers, screw drivers, and small hammers. The company employed about 40 people, and grossed about a quarter million dollars a year (WC, Vol 14, pgs 370-71). In fact, this company was also involved in smuggling, because Hyman Rubenstein was shipping bootleg liquor to Oklahoma in boxes labeled to show they contained salt and pepper shakers (David Scheim, Contract on America, pg 103).
In 1955, after Sam Ruby returned from his year’s absence, Earl gave him $30,000 to buy him out of the business, and Sam then moved to Dallas, where he went into various vague “advertising specialty businesses” and gave Jack Ruby about $5,500 (WC, Vol 14, pgs 371, 494-96).

Ruby’s Smuggling Operation, 1956-1958
In about January 1956, a pimp named James Breen met with Ruby to discuss collaboration in managing three prostitutes. However, Ruby was primarily interested in discussing narcotics smuggling with Breen. This was “a large narcotics setup operating between Mexico, Texas, and the East.” A few days after that first meeting, Ruby returned with another man, and they showed Breen a film of border guards, narcotics agents, and a Mexican contact. Breen was “enthused over what he considered an extremely efficient operation in connection with narcotics traffic.” One typical load of narcotics was valued at about $350,000, and Breen received $2,400.
In addition, Ruby tried to set up an arrangement to sell pornographic pictures through Breen’s prostitutes. Ruby said he had “a large quantity of material available to him.” However, the prostitutes refused, because if they were caught with this kind of pornography, the charges against them would be much more serious. Although the pornography is not described, it must have been something much more objectionable than just pictures of naked women.
Later, two of Breen’s prostitutes informed the FBI about all of this. (WC, Exhibits 1761-1762). That FBI report from one of these prostitutes, Eileen Curry, concludes with these words:
[quote] CURRY advised that one RALPH HEDRICK has been a close friend of BREEN’s, when both were incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Seagoville, Texas.
She stated that HEDRICK, in 1956, was in his 30’s and had already completed 15 years of various penal servitude. She said that HEDRICK was, at that time, employed in a print shop in Dallas, Texas, and was active in some type of lecture tour wherein he spoke about his criminal background before youth groups. CURRY advised that she had no knowledge as to whether BREEN would have confided in HEDRICK or whether HEDRICK would have known RUBY, but felt that HEDRICK was BREEN’s closest frient in the Dallas area.
CURRY advised that she had heard rumors in Dallas, Texas, the source not now recalled, to the effect that BREEN’s contact and protection in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was allegedly the Cief of Police of Muskogee. [unquote]

The FBI report from the other prostitute, Bunny Breen (she had been married to James Breen), added this supplementary information:
[quote] She believes James [Breen] made connections with the narcotics ring through a former associate from Seagoville Prison, where James served time. [unquote]
In other words, Hedrick, who spoke about his criminal background before youth groups, was not a peripheral character in all this, but might have been a central one. Breen tried to steal some of the narcotics from the ring and disappeared. But that doesn’t mean that Hedrick also betrayed the ring. He may have stayed loyal to this smuggling ring and continued to preach to youth groups in Dallas.
In 1958, this weapons-smuggling network developed. Ruby’s own role broadened when one of his Dallas gambling partners, Lewis J. McWillie, moved to Havana to become manager of the Mob-owned Tropicana Hotel. Ruby shipped weapons to Cuba through McWillie. Another Ruby associate from Dallas, Russell Douglas Matthews, a convicted narcotics smuggler, also opened a bar business in Havana in 1958. (HSCA, Vol IX, pgs 524-586.)
Three related witnesses have described Ruby’s very personal role in this gun smuggling in 1958. The first of these witnesses was Mary Thompson (Exhibit 3065):
[quote] On about May 30, 1958, she traveled to Islamerada, Florida, accompanied by her daughter and son-in-law, Dolores and Richard Rhoads. They visited her brother and sister-in-law, James and Mary Lou “Butch” Woodard, who resided in a cottage. …. While there they met Jack and Isabel (last name unknown), acquaintances of the Woodards. There was not sufficient room in the Woodard cottage, and Jack and Isabel suggested that Dolores and Richard spend the night at their home. ….
[Thompson then listed several facts that indicated that this Jack was Jack Ruby — grew up in Chicago, ran a bar in Dallas, also called Leon, same physical description, etc]
Mary Lou said that Jack had a trunk full of guns and inferred that Jack was going to supply them to the Cubans. Mrs Thomspons stated that she was told that there were supplies of guns hidden in the marshes that were being collected by the Indians in the area to be sold to the Cubans. This was at the time of the revolution in Cuba. [unquote]
In a separate FBI interview, the daughter Dolores confirmed the story. She added:
[quote] [Her husband at that time,] Richard Rhoads, and [her uncle] James Woodard got drunk one night, and Woodard said that he and Jack would run some guns to Cuba. …. He said that Jack had a lot more guns than he did. [unquote]
A separate FBI report based on an interview with James Woodard said only:
[quote] Woodard, in a somewhat rambling and incoherent manner, alleged he had participated in an invasion of Cuba prior to the Castro regime; that he had participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and has furnished ammunition and dynamite to both Castro and Cuban exile forces. [unquote]
The FBI agents who wrote this report neglected to ask him if he had worked with or known Jack Ruby. Most of the report was devoted to statements by relatives that Woodard was a liar. (ibid) However, Scott Malone noted in a memorandum, dated September 24, 1977 (Ruby file, Assassinations Archive) that Woodard has said he knew both Browder and Ruby.
David Scheim in his book Contract on America (New York: Kensington, 1988), adds another detail (pg 221):
[quote]In 1958, Ruby wrote a letter to the State Department’s Office of Munitions Controls “requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of firearms and ammunition from an Italian firm.” And the name “Jack Rubenstein” [Ruby’s birth name] was listed in a 1959 Army Intelligence report on U.S. arms dealers. Although located by clerks of these two federal agencies in 1963, both documents are today inexplicably missing. [unquote]
Another person who was apparently involved in this gun smuggling to Cuba was David Ferrie. Born in 1918, he worked in the late 1940s as a pilot for an oil drilling firm that had jobs in Latin America. In 1951, he became an Eastern Airlines pilot and moved to New Orleans. There, he also became a leader in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), where is reported to have befriended a young Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald. Ferrie started a secret group within the CAP, called the Omnipote nts, which “trained cadets in what to do in the event of a major attack on the United States.” The House Select Committee on Assassinations summarized his activities at the end of the 1950s thus:
[quote] Ferrie’s job and ownership of an airplane enabled him to travel frequently around the country with relative ease. He told officials he frequently travled to Texas and other parts of the South, including Miami. He also visited New York on occasion. The amount of time Ferrie spent in these other cities could not be determined. In August 1959, while in Miami, Ferrie was put under 24-hour surveillance by customs agents who believed he was involved in gun smuggling. Following a brief investigation, including a tapping of his telephone conversations, it was determinted that Ferrie ws not involved in any illegal activity, but merely planning an outing for his “scouts.” The investigation was dropped. [vol 10, pg 109] [unquote]
In the summer and fall of 1958, Donald Edward Browder, the ex-Canadian pilot who was reported to be involved with Ruby since the late 1940s, was arrested for smuggling guns to Castro. Browder was later sentenced to three years in prison for this (Scott Malone’s memorandum, dated September 19, 1977 in Ruby file, Assassination Archives, Washington DC):
[quote] Browder [was] in a US prison serving three years for a conviction of receiving, transporting, and possessing stolen Canadian securities. The securities were stolen from the Brockville Savings and Trust company and two other Canadian financial institutions. While the FBI supplied several reports to the Warren Commission concerning Browder, including his denial about knowing Ruby, they withheld hundreds of reports from Browder’s file which illuminated his extensive involvement in gun smuggling to Cuba and the stolen Canadian securities. Both the gun smuggling to Cuba and the stolen Canadian securities were activtities controlled by Norman Rothman. Rothman admits to knowing Browder.
On July 7, 1961, Browder gave a sworn deposition to the American Surety Company in which he stated that he had obtained the stolen securities he was arrested for ($136,000) from the 26th of July Movement, Fidel Castro’s revolutionary group, in exchange for arms during the summer and fall of 1958. Browder stated that he had obtained the weapons from the International Armament Corporation (InterArmco) in Alexandria, Virginia, starting in late May and early June of 1958. Browder was apparently the purchasing agent for the Rothman gun-running operation to Castro’s forces.
According to a memorandum of a House Un-American Activities Committee investigator, Cubans driving station wagons and small trucks were purchasing automatic weapons from InterArmco at this time with the approval of the CIA. [CIA agent] Frank Sturgis has admitted to being involved with this operation at this same time. Efren Pichardo, associate of Browder, has also admitted to being involved in this operation (he drove a station wagon) at the exact same time with Sturgis. Pichardo was working for Browder at the time. Pichardo also confirmed that many of the weapons were hidden in the marshes of Islmorada, Florida, where Ruby has been identified by independent witnesses as “babysitting” a large arms cache. ….
While Browder has ample underworld connections, he is not lacking in intelligence connections either. Browder claims to have known the chief of intelligence for the Mexican Air Force, as well as a Canadian Minister of Defense. His “rap sheet” reveals that although he had numerous arrests, he spent relatively little time behind bars. [unquote]

Sending Trucks to Castro, 1959
On January 1, 1959, Castro seized power in Cuba and arrested Santos Trafficante, the Mafia Chief in Cuba. Until that time, the Communists, not the Castroites, had before that time been smuggling narcotics. Two good books on this Communist-Castroite rivalry are Maurice Halperin’s The Taming of Fidel Castro and Mario Llerena’s The Unsuspected Revolution. Halperin describes how the Castroites discredited and even legally charged the Communists for the past narcotics trading.
The Mafia had been exporting weapons and importing narcotics from the Cuban Communists, not the Cuban Castroites. Trafficante told the HSCA that he simply had not expected Castro’s victory. Therefore, a new deal had to be negotiated.
In the following weeks, Ruby, as a major smuggler, tried to intercede through Robert McKeown, who had been smuggling weapons to the Castro forces. Ruby asked McKeown to write a personal letter of introduction to Castro or otherwise help free Trafficante. In return, Ruby has admitted, Ruby tried to send jeeps and “other similar equipment” to Castro (Hall (C. Ray) Exhibit No. 3):
[quote] Ruby volunteered that some years ago, “at a time when Castro was popular in the United States,” he read of an individual [McKeown] in the vicinity of Houston, Texas, having been engaged in “gun running to Castro.” He said he attempted by telephone to get in touch with this individual, as he had in mind “making a buck” by possibly acquiring some jeeps or other similar equipment which he might sell to persons interested in their importation to Cuba. He said nothing came of this. He said he had never attended any meetings concerned with “gun running,” smuggling of persons in or out of Cuba or otherwise in relation to Cuban affairs. [unquote]
On April 27, Castro himself visited McKeown in Houston and offered McKeown a post in the Cuban government. However, McKeown turned down the offer because he was on probation for gun-running and therefore could not leave the United States.
Apparently at this meeting, Castro agreed to some kind of ransom terms for Trafficante, but the Mafia suffered a major fiasco in trying to meet them. In early May,1959, the Mafia stole $8.5 million from a Canadian bank and also stole a large number of Arms from the Ohio National Guard. A police investigation showed that Rothman had spent $6,000 of the money to rent airplanes to smuggle the arms to Castro’s forces in Cuba. On July 3, Rothman was arrested for this series of crimes.
During this period, Ruby was heavily involved in these negotiations. Many people who have studies Ruby’s life have assumed he was working for the Mafia, but perhaps he was representing other clients instead or in addition. In retrospect, we should consider that this truck business would also be useful to the Teamsters labor union and to the CIA. The overthrow of Batista dictatorship seemed to open the possibility for the rapid development of labor unions like the Teamsters in Cuba. It is also worth noting that US labor unions (especially for example the AFL-CIO) cooperated closely with the CIA’s efforts to plant its own agents in foreign countries. The Teamsters might well have had a similar relationship with the CIA. Therefore, the role of the Mafia in Ruby’s activities then might have been only secondary or even tertiary.
Anyway, on April 27, when Castro had visited Houston, Ruby rented a mysterious safe deposit, which he accessed several times during that summer. He was also called in for questioning by the FBI several times, starting on April 28. In August, 1959, David Ferrie was put under 24-hour surveillance in Miami for gun running. In September 1959, Ruby traveled to Cuba twice, supposedly to visit Trafficante in prison on the pretense of visiting McWillie, who was now working at another Trafficante casino in the Capri Hotel in Havana.
In prison with Trafficante was a Soviet agent named John Wilson, who was at least observing and possibly had also participated in all this. I quote from a book called Who Was Jack Ruby (pp 132-134) by Seth Kantor:
[quote] The CIA file on him went back to 1951….Wilson, well educated at Oxford University, had been born in Liverpool, December 29, 1916, had reached Chile on January 28, 1939 [apparently a refugee of the Spanish Civil War], from Buenos Aires, and “was a contact of one Bert Sucharov, a suspected Soviet agent in Santiago, Chile.”

Wilson was outspoken as a pro-communist and foe of the United States. He posed occasionally as a British Royal Air Force captain in uniform and two attempts by the British embassy to have him expelled from Chile failed — after Wilson apparently convinced authorities inside the embassy that he had “worked on a special mission for the British government in Germany, Egypt, and Turkey at the close of World War II.”
The CIA source in Chile pegged John Wilson as “very probably an intelligence agent.” Wilson always seemed to have a lot of money without an apparent income. he held UN press pass no. 287, issued in Santiago, and another pass from the Chilean secret police which allowed him special access.
At the end of June, 1959, Wilson and three Americans were arrested in a suburb of Havana as they planned to carry out a sneak bomb raid on Nicaragua, using three airplanes and a small volunteer attack force. Fidel Castro had nothing to do with the attack plans and ordered Wilson and the other ringleaders arrested; thus John Wilson was in jail at the time of the Ruby visit.
In prison in Cuba, Wilson says he met an American gangster gambler named Santos [Trafficante] who could not return to the USA because there were several indictments outstanding against him. Instead, he preferred to live in relative luxury in a Cuban prison. While Santos was in prison, Wilson says, Santos was visited frequently by an American gangster type named Ruby. Inexplicably, one of Ruby’s notebooks had this entry, which Dallas police located on the day Oswald was shot: “October 29, 1963 — John Wilson — bond.” The FBI checked police and sheriff’s records in Dallas to see if a John Wilson had made bond. The FBI also consulted two different private attorneys in Dallas whose names were John Wilsn, but who had never had dealings with Ruby. The FBI said it found no reason for the notebook entry. [unquote]

I want to specially point out a couple of elements of this situation. First, Wilson’s story of how he himself was imprisoned is fishy. What sense was there in flying three small airplanes to Nicaragua to drop a few bombs? Perhaps this was some kind of smuggling flight that was prevented at the last minute.
Second, Trafficante’s imprisonment seems to be somewhat of a hoax. Trafficante himself testified to the Select Committe on Assassinations that he was released from prison and left Cuba in August 1959. He then returned to Cuba to defend himself in a trial during October-November 1959 and then voluntarily returned to his Cuban “prison.” (HSCA, Vol 5, pg 355). He also testified (pg 367) that his own lawyer’s brother later became the Minister of Sports in Communist Cuba.
I think that Trafficante was really negotiating an agreement for the Mafia to give up its gambling interests in Cuba in return for Cuban cooperation in continuing the Mafia’s narcotics-weapons smuggling network in Latin America. Trafficante returned to the United States again in early 1960.
As noted earlier, Ruby had apparently committed himself to send trucks to Cuba in order to free Trafficante from prison in August 1959, but then said that he never sent any trucks. Would Castro have suffered such a double-cross and still allowed Trafficante to leave Cuba? Did anybody ever supply the trucks? It seems that in accordance with Ruby’s negotiations, the trucks were supplied to Castro by Guy Banister.

Personalities at the New Orleans CRC Branch, 1961
Most people who understand that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy explain Banister and his Cuban associates generally in the following manner. Banister and his associated anti-Castro Cuban exiles were right-wingers who hated Kennedy. They agreed to participate in the conspiracy, which was controlled by the Mafia or the CIA/FBI. Their role was to manipulate and frame Oswald so that there would be lots of evidence that he was pro-Castro. Then, after the assassination, the American public would blame Castro and help the anti-Castro Cubans.
This theory is based on a stereotype that all anti-Castro Cuban exiles were right-wingers and hated Kennedy. In fact, many of them were left-wingers and looked to Kennedy’s support as their key opportunity to overthrow Castro, who they considered an egomaniac, and establish a more authentic socialism on Cuba. It is certainly possible that Banister shared those goals and was working for left-wing superiors in the U.S. Government or abroad. I suggest that the conspirators attempted to frame Banister and his Cubans along with Oswald.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations described the role in all this intrigue that was played by Guy Banister and Sergio Arcacha Smith.
[quote] In 1960 [-] early 1961 Banister … was helping to establish the Friends of Democratic Cuba organization as an adjuct to Sergio Arcacha Smith’s CRC. At the time, Banister’s investigative business and the CRC were both located in the Balter Buiding. In February 1961, Banister was conducting background investigations of the members of the CRC from a list provided by Arcacha Smith. [vol 10, pg 110 ]

The … first New Orleans delegate to the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC), Sergio Arcacha Smith, told the Committee that he arrived in Miami in August 1960 and at the request of Antonio de Varona, a director of the CRC, agreed to establish a chapter of this group in New Orleans. Arcacha Smith was initially afforded free office space in the Balter Building; he later rented space at 544 Camp Street. He occupied an office at 544 Camp Street for about six months during 1961-62 [October to February] . [HSCA, vol 10, pg 61]
The CRC in New Orleans was affiliated with the main branch of the CRC in Miami, which had been receiving funds from the US Government. Some of these funds may have been disseminated to the New Orleans branch to cover operating costs. [In this regard, the HSCA cited, but did not reproduce or even summarize a] CIA Office of Security memo from Raymond G. Rocca, May 31, 1961, Item F; also a memo from Donovan E. Pratt, Sep 28, 1967, items A, B, and C, regarding Arcacha Smith. The Sep 28, 1967, Pratt memo [was] also found in [the] Office of Security file for David W. Ferrie. One local office did believe the group had the “unofficial sanction of CIA,” according to Lieutenant Martello. [vol 10, pp 109, 119, note 106]
Early in 1961, Banister helped draw up a charter for the Friends of Democratic Cuba, an organization set up as the fundraising arm of Sergio Arcacha Smith’s branch of the Cuban Revoutionary Council. Coincidentally, Gerard F. Tujague, owner of Gerard F. Tujague, Inc. Forwarding Company, who had employed Oswald as a messenger from November 1955 to January 1956, was also a member and officer (vice-president) of Friends of Democratic Cuba.
Banister described his work for the Council:
“Our work was primarily to gather food and clothing for the refugees. However, because of my being known in connection with that, my background being know with Arcacha Smith and others, I have had high-ranking Cuban refugees in my office asking me how to go underground, and I gave them diagrams for that. I have talked to military and political leaders from the various provinces of Cuba that have slipped out and slipped back.”
The FBI files indicate Banister was performing another service for the Cuban exile group. He ran background investigations on those Cuban students on the campus of Louisiana State University who wished to be members of Arcacha Smith’s anti-Castro group, ferreting out any pro-Castro sympathizers who might be among them. Banister also talked Sam Newman into leasing 544 Camp Street to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. [HSCA, vol 10, pp 126-127; note 64]
During his tenure as head of the New Orleans delegation, Arcacha Smith endeavored to raise funds by selling CRC bonds and was instrumental in organizing several rallies to promote the cause of the Cuban exiles. [vol 10, pg 61] [unquote]
Anthony Summers reported in his book Conspiracy (pp 579-580) that Roselli and Maheu were also involved with Guy Banister in New Orleans:
[quote] Banister’s personal secretary, Delphine Roberts, offers one further clue to the way 544 Camp Street was caught up in the dirtier undercurrents…. She came up with the names “Roselli” and “Maheu” as having had dealings with the Banister office. Robert Maheu was the man used by the CIA, as early as 1960, to enlist Mafia help in assassination plots against Fidel Castro. John Roselli was the first underworld figure Maheu recruited.
Mrs Roberts’ claim that Banister was in touch with Maheu is not wholly implausible. Years previously, the two men had been agents together in the Chicago office of the FBI, and Maheu admits he knew Banister. He denies, however, contacting Banister in 1963. ….
New Orleans would have been a natural enough place to find John Roselli. Delphine Roberts says she believes he was there and actually visited 544 Camp Street. [unquote]

Cuban Exile Intrigues, January – April 1961
In January 1961, as de Varona began planning to poison Castro for CIA’s Office of Security, Guy Banister in New Orleans drew up the charter for a new organization, Friends of Democratic Cuba, to raise money for de Varona’s New Orleans protege, Sergo Arcacha Smith. (HSCA, vol 10, pg 126). One of the new organization’s first acts was to send a person with the name Oswald to buy several trucks from a local automobile dealer. Jim Garrison described this strange event in his book On the Trail of the Assassins (pp 57-58):
[quote] As we later learned from [automobile] salesmen Fred Sewall and Oscar Deslatte, two men claiming to represent an organization called Friends of Democratic Cuba arrived at the Bolton [Ford dealership on North Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans] on January 20, 1961. This was only three months before the abortive Bay of Pigs attempt to invade Cuba. …. One of the men was a powerfully built Latin with a thick neck and a distinct scar over his left eyebrow. The other was a thin, young Anglo-Saxon who obviously was in charge.
The two men indicated that they wanted to buy ten Ford pickup trucks. They wanted a bid from Bolton Ford on the price. The Latin identified himself as “Joseph Moore,”but said the bid had to be in the name of “Oswald.” The young Anglo-Saxon confirmed this, explaining that “Oswald” was his name and that he was the one with the money. Instead of asking the buyers to sign, Deslatte himself printed the name “Oswald” on the form.
Of course, as all the world now knows, the real Lee Oswald was in the Soviet Union that day and would be for more than another year. …. I [Garrison] pondered the implications of this staggering information. In the very month that John Kennedy was inaugurated, an intelligence project being run by Guy Banister was using the name “Oswald” in bidding for pickup trucks for apparent use in the Bay of Pigs invasion. [quote]
However, Garrison’s interpretation of this purchase is disputable. It’s not so certain that these trucks were being purchased for the Bay of Pigs invasion. President Kennedy had frozen the invasion plans on November 18, 1960, and the plans were still frozen solid on January 20, 1961. In addition, at first glance, the name “Friends of Democratic Cuba” seems supportive of Castro’s regime — similar to the later “Fair Play for Cuba,” which was also run out of Banister’s office. In other words, Moore and Oswald may have been purchasing the trucks for Castro. In the context of de Varona’s simultaneous planning to poison Castro, the trucks might have been a Trojan Horse to enter Cuba as part of the poison plot.
The fact that the purchaser’s name was Oswald is intriguing. There is some reason to speculate that this was an attempt to create the impression that Lee Harvey Oswald had already returned from the Soviet Union and purchased these trucks in January 1961. The Vice-President of Friends of Cuba was Gerard F. Tujague, who had employed Lee Harvey Oswald as a messenger in 1955-1956 and probably knew that Oswald was a Marxist who had defected (HSCA, Vol 10, pg 134, note 64). In this case, a possible explanation for this deceit was to use a false Lee Harvey Oswald, for which there was local evidence of a Marxist background, in order to reinforce the impression that Friends of Democratic Cuba was a pro-Castro organization. The target of this deceit would have been Castro’s government, which didn’t necessarily know that Oswald was still in the Soviet Union.
A similar possibility is that the Oswald who purchased the trucks might have been a relative of Lee Harvey Oswald. There were other Oswalds who were mysterious, besides Lee Harvey Oswald.
Anyway, this mysterious Oswald ordered the trucks for the Friends of Democratic Cuba almost three months before President Kennedy authorized the invasion of Cuba. Morrow described Kennedy’s position as follows:
[quote] In late February, [1961,] when Kennedy still failed to let the CIA proceed with the invasion, Dulles warned the chief executive that to delay any longer could be fatal. The young President, after talking it over with brother Bobby, the new Attorney General, instead ordered Dulles to stop all anti-Cuban operations. …. William Wieland and the leftist factions in the exile community — seeking to regain their power over the Brigade and to save their influence with the new administration — had proclaimed to the new President and Attorney General that the rightist-controlled Brigade was being funded in part by the Mafia. …. [unquote]
The House Select Committe on Assassinations described the next development:
[quote] The FRD [had] set up headquarters initially in Mexico, but recruited most of its proposed invasion force from Miami. The military arm of the FRD was known as Brigade 2506. The Brigade was eventually composed of 1,443 men who were trained by US Army specialists at two sites on the south coast of Guatemala. ….

In March 1961, the State Department pressured FRD leaders to accept the Movimento Revolutionario del Pueblo (MRP), headed by Manuel Ray Rivero, into the FRD. The inclusion of Ray’s group into the alliance of Cuban exiles was reportedly also “terribly important to the White House,” which wanted to broaden the political base of the FRD. In an effort to attract Ray and his group into the FRD, … Dr Jose Miro Cardona was elected its new president. Dr Miro Cardona was a former Havana jurist who broke with Castro after serving him as his first Prime Minister. [vol 10, pg 57] ….
[Manuel Ray Rivero had been appointed by Castro as] Minister of Public Works in February 1959. …. Ray’s tenure in Castro’s government was short lived. He was relieved of his official position in November 1959. No definite reason for this sudden move has been documented but, according to one source, Ray did not leave Castro because of ideological or policy discrepancies, but rather because of a personality clash with Castro’s Miniter of Labor, who almost shot Ray after a stomy cabinet meeting. …. For whatever reason, Ray did permit his name to be associated with the Castro regime until May 1960, when he formed the Revolutionary Movement of the People (MRP). ….
Having waited until May 1960 to organize his resistance group, Ray was criticized as being suspiciously tardy to the anti-Castro movement. Charges of “Fidelism without Fidel” were made against him and the MRP because of their leftist ideologies. …. A [US Government] officer who met with Ray in November 1960 noted that his political posture was “doubtful” as far as US Government acceptance was concerned, and a further assessment portrayed Ray as so far “left in his thinking that he would be as dangerous to US interests as Castro.”
Some prominent Cubans also expressed negative opinions about Ray, among them Dr Jose Miro Cardona, president of the FRD. Miro opposed Ray because he considered his program too Marxist and declared Ray was bitterly anti-American as well as probably totalitarian in his thinking. ….
Although aware of his controversial political philosophy, attempts were continued to recruit Ray to join the FRD, because the White House and State Department pushed for his inclusion. Ray received full operational approval as a “political asset” on February 7, 1961. [ibid, pp 137-138] [unquote]

After the formation of this new alliance, Kennedy now approved the invasion of Cuba.

Kennedy Intrigues in the CIA
Shortly before the invasion of Cuba (which began April 16, 1961) a group of men attempted to take $3 million that was supposed to help pay for the invasion. The CIA had given this money to the Cuban exiles through a false religious front and confiscated it back from the group. The men in the group were not arrested or punished for taking the money. President Kennedy was somehow involved in trying to divert this money and felt betrayed when the group was caught. Apparently, Kennedy had arranged for the group of men to divert the money to a Cuban exile faction that he favored. Kennedy’s annoyance at the CIA’s interception of this money helped provoke him to cancel US Air Force support of the invasion, which allowed Castro to defeat the invaders.
In about 1968, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison received a letter from an anonymous informant who had heard more of this story from one of the participants. The complete letter follows (Old Catholic Church file, Assassinations Archives, Washington DC):
Mr. Garrison:
The following account may be fiction or it may be fact, I dare not commit myself by trying to substantiate it. The story was told to me in bits and pieces over a period of three months by a man, whom, I admit, has very little credibility to his character. The only reason I take the time to relate this to you, is because it is now past the realm of coincidence.
I fully realize the consequences of my actions, and so therefore I am prepared to co-operate with your office to the fullest extent, if you think the information I have warrants it.
Naturally, what I refer to is the Kennedy assassination.
It is hard to know where to begin, because the beginning was years before I had occasion to come upon this information. This is the story, the best I can relate to you:
It seems that back in 1960 and 1961 a group of men in this country began collecting money for a so-called invasion force into Cuba. This “army” was prepared to attack and capture Castro’s Cuba in an invasion sponsored by the CIA. This is common knowledge, but what is not so well known, is WHY THE INVASION FAILED! As the information was given to me, a few of the leaders of the anti-Castro force in this country decided to flee the country with a good deal of the funds collected from the sympathizers of the Cuban refugees. These men whom I will name later, were arrested in the Miami airport with the money in their possession. The arresting officers, members of the CIA, confiscated the money; amounting to almost three million dollars. Then, as the story goes, President Kennedy, feeling that he had been duped, and would be left holding the bag, and … realizing the international consequences of such an invasion, pulled the air support that had been orally committed. This, of course, led to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.
Since most of the 1400 or more invasion members were either killed or captured, the Cuban leaders in this country put most of the blame upon President Kennedy himself. I feel that I have evidence, though admittedly hearsay, that can prove this course of events.
I was told this story by a man who allegedly was a part of the Cuban revolutionary movement in this country. He claims to have been one of those arrested in Miami. Also, he claims to have been under FBI investigation at various times. I was in Omaha Nebraska at the time this was told to me, and at about the same time, so I’m sure you remember, your office was trying to get Perry Ruso’s girl friend; Mrs McBlaine or something to that effect, down to New Orleans for questioning. It seems rather strange to me that she would wind up in Omaha since she really had no people there. Also, WHY did the gentleman whom I quote decide to come to Omaha? He had no job there, no relatives, and no real desire to find either. He moved to Omaha in March from Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had spent about two months or less with no visable means of support. He had just previously been in the State of Washington with an associate of his. The following are a few facts that the Omaha man told me, either directly or indirectly.
He told me about the pilot named Ferrie long before your office announced your interest in him. He described the man in great detail and claimed to know him personally. He also predicted his demise.
I overheard numerous telephone conversations (mostly with the man in Washington) in which he asked with great concern whether it was the FBI, the CIA, or who, that had been asking questions about them, and whether it was that they had something on him or on “one of the others.”
He claimed to have either known or had met the Mr. Shaw you questioned.
He was originally from New Orleans, and claims to have worked on your staff at one time as an investigator.
He says he saw Oswald in New Orleans. Also a man who “looked like Ruby”.
At one time, the Omaha man and the Washington man met in a hotel there and discussed plans to go to New Orleans to see a man called Sergio Arcacha. They went, but could not find him or another man they said was there. Three days later, the local Newspapers Announced that you, too had been looking for Mr. Arcacha for questioning and that he had told you he would talk to you, but not alone.
He described the assassination scene in great detail and told me some facts about it that I had definitely not heard before.
He claims that Oswald was a patsy, a setup, to take the blame for the whole thing. Also that OSWALD WAS A HOMOSEXUAL like Shaw, Ferrie, Tippett (Dallas police officer) and a score of others.
He told me about the motorcycle police officer who claimed to have seen a man with a rifle run from the grassy knowl in front of Kennedy. (incidentally, the Omaha man claims that this is where the fatal shot came from) The police officer mysteriously had a very serious accident right after the incident, and now is a near idiot.
He claimed to have met the late President on a number of occasions, and he talked about him with very little respect.
He claims that he left Louisiana upon the advice of the Governor.
The Omaha man and the Washington man were always in telephone contact with each other, no matter where they were. Once, the Washington man was in Washington DC for some reason or another and they conferred by telephone twice in that one day.
The following is a list of the names for the story above. If you feel that any of them fit into a proper place, or into your current investigation, Please contact me so we can further discuss that.

  1. Sergio Arcacha
  2. Lucian Rebel
  3. Fred L. Crisman
  4. Thomas E. Beckham
  5. Martin Grassi
    Mr Garrison, perhaps this is all hogwash. I really do not know. I can go into moe detail on all of this, and I have the addresses of those mentioned above. I would come to New Orleans myself, but I do not have the necessary finances. Also, I would have to be assured of protection, at least to the best of your ability.
    I have arranged to be reached through the Democratic chairman here, Mr Thomas Reagan, 1C1 Woodbridge Way, Mesquite, Texas. His telephone number is: AT 5-4573
    If the information I have related to you here is of any consequence, contact Mr. Reagan, and he will contact me.
    Good luck in your investigation.
    Mr. _
    In the list of five people toward the end of this letter, the first two, Sergio Arcacha and Lucien Rebel (correct spelling: Luis Rabel) were the two top officers in the New Orleans Cuban Revolutionary Council The fourth person, Thomas Beckham, has written an essay about his experiences. That essay does not mention the $3 million, but does describe some of the related developments (Old Catholic Church file, Assassination Archives, Washington DC):
    In 1961, I was 19 years old and living in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a peaceful time, the best I can remember. I was full of ideas which I like to call undeveloped dreams. My father Arvel Monroe Beckham was away on the high seas trying to make us a living. I was the second oldest of all five boys. It was at this time of my life that I was looking for excitement and fulfillment. …
    Jack [Martin], to me, seemed like “Mister Cool.” He knew everything and everyone. He had all types of I.D. and badges. For for this reason, when I met a few of his Cuban friends, I was very impressed. Within just a short while , I found it easy to be a part of the Cuban crowd. They were all very friendly. That’s when I met Mr X and Dr X. Dr X was formally a teacher and physician in Cuba, and Mr X was in the dry cleaning business in Cuba. They seemed to welcome my presence without question. I guess because they knew I did not speak Spanish, and I was a friend of Jack’s. In any case, they welcomed me as a friend.

As the weeks passed, one day Jack ask while I was at his apartment if I wanted to be a priest. He (Jack) showed me all types of certificates and even a black suit with all the vestments of his holy office. He said he would get me ordained in the Old Catholic Church. In a few days, I became a legal ordained priest. Then a couple of days later, two young Cubans met me at Walgreen’s Drug Store on Canal Street and told me that I could be of service to my country. They had some kind of police I.D. they showed me. I was informed they worked for the government. A few days later, I opened up a mission on Rampart Street using funds they had given me. The mission carried the lettering on its glass front of UCMF, which I was told stood for United Catholic Mission Fathers. Which I later learned stood for United Cuban Mission Forces. Strange as it may seem, I ask no questions. At last I myself had become someone important and was really needed. I felt like I was a little general and saint all rolled into one.
I was told that Castro was a criminal and that the CIA was going to kill him and free Cuba. My little two-story mission was only a front, an assembly place for Cubans. And Dr X and Mr X were very high in rank.
It was not long that I, “Rev Thomas Edward Beckham,” a priest in the Old Catholic Church, learned that I was just a front for a small group of powerful Cuban exiles which made New Orleans, Louisiana, and Miami, Florida, their home base for the 1,200 man Cuban Brigade, armed and trained in the United States by the CIA.
The things I began to hear shocked me. I guess I was not developed enough to stand the mental pressure. A great deal of money was raised for the movement by the use of bank type tin cans which had two flags crossed, an American and a Cuban. Under them were the wording: KEEP AMERICA FREE, Communists are only 90 miles from American shores.” Plus a special coin was used for a badge by officials of the movement for their I.D.
Then one day, I overheard talk about President John F. Kennedy. They said that the CIA was training men for them at Algiers Naval Station and that the President was to give them US Air Support for the Brigade. Then one said he did not trust Kennedy. Then a person said two assassinations are as easy as one. That’s when I wanted to take a walk and fast. I felt like a Jew in a Nazi camp. The next day, I went to see another friend of mine, Mr G.B., a former Special Agent of the FBI. I told him what was going on. I remember just what he said: “Kid, how and the hell did you get your ass in this mess?” ….
It was later I learned that Kennedy was killed with the knowledge of the CIA by the Cubans and this double-agent, Lee Harvey Oswald. It was to look like Castro had it done. Therefore serving the benefit of all.
I also learned that the Cubans did not trust Kennedy, believed him to be a supporter of Castro, because he withdrew air support for the Cuban Brigade. They said Kennedy would pay well in more ways than one. That’s when I learned that some of the Cubans met with Kennedy, stating that they could prove him to be a Communist. I don’t know how true it was. But they did get him to meet their demands in 1962 to the tune of millions of dollars with the aid of Kennedy’s personal friend and attorney to handle the Bay of Pigs survivors. He (Kennedy) assured them (Cubans) that the Brigade flag would fly again. But the machine works were in motion, months ahead of time.
I remember how sick I was when I learned of his death. I felt that in some way, I was a part of it. I also wanted no part of the so-called “justice” of this great country. But time seemed to heal my cuts.
Then one day, almost 7 1/2 later, I found myself as a witness before a New Orleans Grand Jury into the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I knew someone had set me up again. Why I did not know. At this time, I was living in Omaha, Nebraska. But long before I appeared as a Grand Jury witness, I was advised on what not to say, if I knew what was best for me. And I did — I wanted to live. As to date, Mr G. B.. was found dead plus all the others I knew personally.


The Deportation of Carlos Marcello, April 1961
The country of Guatemala played a mysterious role in the development of the Kennedy assassination. In the preceeding years, it was the scene of intense intrigue and political struggle that had involved many of the same characters as the assassination. Much of Ruby’s narcotics and weapons smuggling was ultimately with Guatemala. In 1954, the CIA organized a coup to put a new government in Guatemala, and in 1960-61 the CIA organized and trained the Cuban exiles in Guatemala for their invasion of Cuba. In August 1961, allegedly at Robert Kennedy’s behest, Guy Banister and his associates removed weapons from the Schlumberger bunker in Houma, Louisiana, to help overthrow the Guatemala government.
Among the characters heavily involved in Guatemala was the Boss of the Louisiana Mafia, Carlos Marcello. However, it is not clear what role he played in regard to the CIA’s role. Was he basically working for or against the CIA in Guatemala? Was this a factor in turning Guy Banister and associates against the Kennedys? I suggest that these questions could be a productive area of research in solving the assassination.
Carlos Marcello was born in Sicily in 1910 and was brought by his parents to Louisiana when he was eight months old. There, his parents grew vegetables on a small farm outside New Orleans. As a boy, Carlos brought the family vegetables to the market at the city dock, which was controlled by the Mafia. He got involved with the criminals there and became a bank robber, for which he was imprisoned in 1930-34. (My main source for Marcello’s life is the excellent book, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by John H. Davis, Penguin Books, 1989.)
After he was released, he opened a bar that was a front for marijuana trafficking, for which he imprisoned again in 1938. After he was released this time, he obtained the Mafia’s authorization to control the slot machines and juke boxes in the region, which lay the foundation for a wealthy conglomerate of criminal businesses. When the boss of the Louisiana Mafia was deported in 1947, Marcello became the new boss.
Marcello’s cover occupation was that he owned the Pelican Tomato Company, which gave him an income of about $18,000 a year. This company smuggled most of its tomatoes from Central America and sold them to the US Navy despite a law that required the Navy to buy only domestic produce. It also seems that this business was a cover for Marcellos’ continued smuggling of marijuana and other narcotics into the United States.
Although the Pelican Tomato Company is commonly dismissed as simply a front for criminal activities, it actually represents the larger economic base of the Sicilian immigrant community along the Gulf of Mexico. Sicilian immigrants typically began as poor farmers and agricultural retailers. The United Fruit Company, which dominated the import of Central American fruit, especially Guatemalan bananas, was headed by a New Orleans citizen, Samuel Zemurray. This company sent many Louisiana farmers to Guatemala to develop and manage the plantations there.
The Louisiana Mafia was not necessarily an ally of the United Fruit Company. The Mafia’s was much more associated with the low-class laborers who viewed United Fruit as an exploitive employer that they could justifiably expoit in return. The secret cultivation of marijuana on United Fruit plantations and the smuggling of marijuana on United Fruit ships were parasitic activities that did not earn any profits for United Fruit. The Mafia had an interest in limiting United Fruit’s power. In 1945, a leftist regime was elected to power in Guatemala. To a major extent, this election was a reaction against United Fruit’s control over the plantations and transportation systems in the country. At first, the new government was broadly popular, but was quickly infiltrated by Communists who caused increasing revulsion among the local and neighboring populations. As a reaction, in 1948 the United States embargoed all arms sales to Guatemala and convinced many other suppliers, including Great Britain, Denmark, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Switzerland to break off sales agreements.
Nevertheless, Guatemala managed to buy weapons for a while from smugglers, many of whom flew them to Guatemala on small airplanes. Apparently, Marcello helped smuggle weapons to this leftist Guatemala government in exchange for narcotics, which he sold in the United States. He had long imported marijuana from Guatemala. However, after the leftist Guatemala government arranged for a large number of Spanish Civil War refugees to resettle from southern France to Guatemala in 1945-48, the heroin trade also grew dramatically.
In 1951, Marcello was called before the Senate Committee to Investigate Organized Crime. Since he refused to answer any questions, he was found in contempt of Congress, imprisoned for six months, and ordered deported back to Sicily as an undesirable alien. However, the deportation order was never carried out.
In order to legally confuse the deportation decision, he arranged a fictitous Guatemalan birth certificate in 1953. He hired Carl Noll, a New Orleans criminal with contacts in Guatemala, to arrange this. Noll flew to Guatemala and bribed a lawyer, Antonio Valladores, to help find a local 1910 birth registry with gap, into which they wrote Marcello’s birth name. On the basis of this fraudulent registry, the Guatemalan Government gave Marcello a passport. Marcello received this help when the leftists were in power in Guatemala.
In 1954, the Warsaw Pact secretly sent Guatemala a shipload of weapons, but the United States discovered this shipment and used it as a justification to support a coup that overthrew the leftist Guatemalan Government.
In 1957, Marcello was called before the Senate committee to investigate labor racketeering and organized crime. Senator John Kennedy was a member of this committee, and his younger brother, Robert Kennedy, was a staffer. Since he again refused to testify, they harrassed him and renewed the Government’s attempts to deport him.
After John Kennedy became President and Robert Kennedy became Attorney General in January 1961, they continued to harrass him and even deported him to Guatemala on April 4, 1961. The events that followed are murky. It seems that one group of officials harrassed and detained him, and another group, led by President Miguel Fuentes, treated him well and arranged his return to the United States. For some reason, US Secret Service agents seemed to be involved with the latter group. Just as Marcello was about to return according to Fuentes’ arrangements, he was kidnapped by the first group. John Davis describes the events in Mafia Kingfish (pp 106-108):
[quote] What happened next [after Marcello’s first night in Guatemala] is uncertain. Somehow, Marcello ended up in jail and had to promise to pay a $75,000 bribe to a high-ranking Guatemalan official to get out. …. Whatever the case, Marcello was soon out of jail ….
By the time Marcello had taken up residence in the Biltmore Hotel, Guatemala City’s most influential paper, El Imparcial, had demanded in an editorial an official explanation of Marcello’s presence in Guatemala. Among other things, the editorial implied that the entry of Marcello’s birth inthe civil registry at San Jose Pinula was bogus.
By April 12, six days [sic] after his deportation, things were not going so badly for Carlos Marcello in Guatemala City. Ensconsed with his wife and daughter in a suite at the Biltmore Hotel, with two brothers and his lawyer in neighboring rooms, Carlos was meeting with various Guatemalan businessmen… For a while, Carlos and his family were able to enjoy themselves in Guatemala City. The press noted their presence at the racetrack and in the city’s finest shops and restaurants.
But El Imparcial would not rest. Finally, its editorials about Marcello stirred up the opposition forces to Guatemalan President Miguel Fuentes so much that about a month after his arrival, the Guatemalan government told Marcello he could return home. In Marcello’s words:
“They said they going to give me a permit to go to the United States, so we’re all happy. We go to the airport. My wife gets the ticket, and we all … they got a ticket. When I went there, they say we got orders from the State Department, you can’t get a ticket, you can’t get a visa to go back. State Department of the United States.
“So my wife, she start to cry, and then I say, ‘Well, look, why don’t you all go ahead and leave me and Mike [Maroun, his attorney].’
So we went back to the hotel, and it’s about eight that night. We had the two Secret Service men staying with us. I find it was funny they was staying there. About an hour later, three more came in there, and they say, ‘All right, pack your bags. Let’s go.’ So they put us in a station wagon, and we go to San Salvador, me and Mike.’ [quote]
Davis never explained in his book what the Secret Service agents were doing with Marcello. Anyway, the Secret Service agents took Marcello to an army camp across the border.

David Ferrie Joins Guy Banister Associates
By early 1961, David Ferrie was involved with Arcacha Smith, and in about August 1961, he became involved with Guy Banister’s agency. Ferrie never realized that Arcacha Smith and Banister were involved with each other. He thought that Guy Banister Associates really was just a detective agency. The HSCA stated the facts correctly, but misinterpreted them:
[quote] Strangely, although Ferrie seemed to be straightforward during his interviews with FBI agents in discussing his opposition to Kennedy, his conflict with Jack Martin, his involvement with th Marcello case, etc, Ferrie denied outright that he had ever known “of the Cuban Revolutionary Front maintaining an office at 544 Camp Street, nor does he have any knowledge of Sergio Arcacha Smith maintaining an office at the address during the time he was head of the organization and later after he was replaced.” This is clearly in contradition to the accounts of the witnesses on this subject. [vol 10, pg 132] [unquote]
It is not a contradiction. Banister and Arcacha Smith had a several reasons to deceive Ferrie. David Ferrie was working for Carlos Marcello, and Guy Banister was working for Robert Kennedy. Ferrie had participated in the Bag of Pigs, while Arcacha Smith’s mentor, de Varona was locked up and readied for execution on the beach. Ferrie was going to become a patsy like Oswald.
Excerpts from the HSCA report follow (Vol 10, pp 109-122, 130; text rearranged into chronological order):
[quote] [Ferrie] expressed his views to anyone who would listen. During an interview with an IRS auditor in 1960, Ferrie was “outspoken” in his derogatory comments about the United States. He complained bitterly about his alleged tax persecution.
[Ferrie] reportedly built two miniature submarines….. The submarines were found [later] in a search of Ferrie’s house. Also found were a Morse code key, … a flare gun, and maps [Cuba]. Ferrie had been training Cuban pilots in the new Orleans area.
Ferrie also started a [Civil Air Patrol] group called the “Falcon Squadron,” composed of Ferrie’s closest CAP associates. A group within this group, the “Ominipotents,” was allegedly started to train cadets in what to do in the event of a major attack on the United States. While would-be members claimed approaches were made to them to join the group, Banister [emphasis added] testified there never was such a group by tha name. Several of Ferrie’s cadets claimed to have taken trips to Cuba in Ferrie’s airplane.
By early 1961, Ferrie and a young man whom Ferrie had first met in the Civil Air Patrol, Layton Martens, were working with Sergio Arcacha Smith, head of the Cuban Revolutionary Front delegation in New Orleans. Martens identified himself to police as Arcacha Smith’s second-in-command. Ferrie soon became Smith’s eager partner…. According to Carlos Quiroga, a Cuban who had been involved with the CRC, Ferrie often provided Arcacha Smith with funds, stating, “Ferrie lent him (Arcacha Smith) money when he needed it for his family …. He (Ferrie) had $100 bills around all the time.” [A New Orleans finance company also stated that] Ferrie assisted Arcacha Smith in obtaining a loan.
Ferrie’s vacation [from Eastern Airlines] in April [16-31] 1961 coincided with the Bay of Pigs invasion. The Bay of Pigs invasion began April 17, 1961. [On July 18, 1961,] Arcacha Smith wrote Eastern Airlines then-President Eddie Rickenbacker on Ferrie’s behalf requesting a 60- or 90-day leave with pay for full-time work for the CRC. The request was denied.
Ferrie later admitted that after the Bay of Pigs invasion, he severely criticized President John F. Kennedy, both in public and in private. Ferrie was asked to discontinue his remarks at a speaking engagement in July 1961 before the New Orleans chapter of the Military Order of World Wars. His topic was the Presidential administration and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The organization put a stop to Ferrie’s remarks when he became too critical of President Kennedy [and proclaimed that “anyone could hide in the bushes and shoot a President.”]. He [later] denied ever making a statement that Kennedy should be killed with the intention that this be done.
Ferrie’s troubles intensified [in August, 1961,] when charges were brought against him by parents of boys [the Alexander Landry and Albert Cheramie cases] who had run away from home. …. The parents of another boy complained to authorities [letter from William Bell] that their son was staying with Ferrie. As a result, Ferrie was arrested on August 8, 1961, for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Cuban exile leader Arcacha Smith intervened on Ferrie’s behalf by telling police that the boy would be returned to his parents if they did not press charges against Ferrie. But Ferrie was arrested again on August 11, 1961, for crime against nature on a 15-year-old boy and indecent behavior with three others.
An intensive New Orleans police investigation of the charges against Ferrie produced statements from several boys that Ferrie had commited indecent acts with them. The boys also told investigators Ferrie had told them he had had homosexual relations with a married man in Houston. On August 26, Eastern Airlines removed him from the payroll for an indefinite period, and the Federal Aviation Administration then opened its own investigation into the charges.
Ferrie managed to stay afloat financially despite his loss of income from Eastern Airlines in 1961. …. Ferrie made payments on his car and met living expenses. According to Carlos Quiroga, a Cuban who had been involved with the CRC, “Ferrie has $100 bills around all the time,” even after he lost his job with the airlines.
[Also in about August 1961, Ferrie was accused of extortion. Information about this case was deleted from the HSCA report. See pg 110-111, where footnote 130 should be. The footnote remains and indicates that the extortion might have involved Sam Newman, the owner of the building at 544 Camp Street.]
Jack Martin, a private investigator associated with Banister, may have contacted Ferrie for assistance on his case [apparently Ferrie’s extortion case]. Ferrie told the FBI he met Martin in the fall of 1961 … to assist Martin in a Department of Health, Education, and Welfare investigation into the sale of phony certificates of ordination and consecration. …. Later, Martin wrote letters to the Federal Aviation Administration and Eastern Airlines on Ferrie’s behalf.
With this assistance, Ferrie was able to resolve many of his difficulties. Ferrie … testified that he … entered into an … arrangement in February 1962 with Guy Banister. Banister stated he handled Ferrie’s case personally. At the end of February 1962, Ferrie was tried and acquitted of the charges of extortion. [unquote]

The Stolen Weapons, 1961
The House Select Committee on Assassinations noted only briefly one secret operation that Banister’s group carried out in August 1961:
[quote] Both Ferrie and Banister were implicated in a raid in late 1961 against a munitions depot in Houma, Louisiana, in which various weapons, grenades, and ammunition were stolen. Banister’s role may have been limited to storing the materiel which was reportedly seen stacked in Banister’s back room by several witnesses. Others who actually participated in the raid, include Andrew Blackmon, a Ferrie associate and former Civil Air Patrol cadet, Sergio Arcacha Smith, adventurer Gordon Novel, and Layton Martens [vol 10, pp 127, 109; Other participants were Novel’s fiancee, Marlene Mancuso, and Rancier Ehlinger; the month of August was specified in Garrison’s indictment of Novel] [unquote]
Guy Banister’s employees, Jack Martin and David Lewis, explained in their affidavit that this raid was arranged by Robert Kennedy. Kennedy’s motivations were to help France prevent a rebellion on two French colonial islands in the Caribbean, to give the leftist Cuban exiles more weapons, and to help overthrow the rightist government of Guatemala:
[quote] Gangland Boss Carlos Marcello (whom R.F.K. was so intent upon deporting while Attorney General) [was] linked with the immediate cooperation which Marcello had received from Guatemala’s President, General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes. It is very easy to understand why the entire political administration of Guatemala just had to go! R.F.K. was so angry because he couldn’t win. He lost his case against Marcello and in so doing, lost face. …. General Ydigoras was very friendly to the United States and was a good president of that small, Latin American country, even though it meant no difference to R.F.K. or others — not one bit! Perhaps via Philby’s instructions, these were waiting for just the right moment to seek revenge. ….
About this time, a split in France’s political structure arose, and that existing build-up reached its peak. The ranks and staff of all French government were divided at that time. There were the Gaullest and the anti-Gaullest factions, all of whom were secretly back-stabbing each other, fighting over the political and territorial severances from the whole government of Metropolitan France proper.
The French political pot was brewing, especially in the Gulf-Caribbean area. For at that minute, it was in the planning stage to execute a military coup to take over the isles of Guadeloupe and Martinique. These insurgent units were anti-Gaullest militants desiring to institute separate insurgent governments on the two French islands. ….
Right about then, the Schlumberger companies (those in the U.S. and the world over), who were all said to be a part of the Dutch Antilles Schlumberger, Incorporated, located on the isle of St Martin (French Guadeloupe), became involved in this political tangle. This happened through an operation of the anti-Gaullest faction of the DGSS. (the Direction General Service Specialiux, a French counterpart of our CIA), with those anti-Gaullest insurgent activities. Moreover, it should be noted that the secret home offices of all these Schlumberger firms are supposed to be in Paris, France, of all places. This is to say nothing of the fact that those on the upper-echelon plane of command are reported to be venomously anti-Gaullest in their political allegiance.
It seems that all of these anti-Gaullest factions had by devious means slipped some arms and munitions into the U.S. and stored them in one of the Schlumberger bunkers located in Houma, Louisiana. Of course, these were to be used by certain anti-Gaullest insurgents whose forces planned to take over the Guadeloupe and Martinique possessions of Metropolitan France.
Philby and company jumped on this one. It was the proper time, the cue on which to move. After all, we couldn’t harbor any of De Gaulle’s enemies — there were various big treaty agreements at stake here! Moreover, we just could not upset De Gaule (France). Due to his erratic nature, he might blow the Alliance completely and no one, especially the President [Kennedy], would like this a bit. ….
Taking immediate action under the masterful direction of Philby, the anti-Castro Cubans of Dr Jose Miro Cardona’s FRD (Frente Revolutionario Democratico), commanded in New Orleans by Dr Sergio Arcacha Smith, were promised that they could have these munitions to use at once against Castro. In short, these arms wre theirs for the taking. Yes! This would solve matters and protect De Gaulle’s interests as well. …
We had known those of the FRD unit well. …. Most of their contacts were through William Guy Banister (former FBI Special Agent in Charge), who along with Grady Clifford Durham (former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel), operated the Friends of Democratic Cuba and the Voice of Radio Free Cuba through the medium of one Billy B. Little Horse (alias William W. Dalzell, former Defense Department Intelligence Agent and a partner of ours). And these were all supported in liaison by Guy P. Johnson (former U.S. Naval Commander and Office of Naval Intelligence Agent), who functioned with Office of Naval Intelligence Civilian Agent Sunsat, joined by CIA Agent Lloyd Ray, to assist these semi-militants, et cetera, behind the scenes. …. [unquote]

Martin and Lewis noted in their affidavit that Robert Kennedy had established his own secret channel of communication to communicate with Banister, by-passing J. Edgar Hoover and the local FBI Special Agent in Charge .
[quote] This FRD group, through Banister, was additionally serviced by an FBI Special Agent, Regis Kennedy, who we often met during this period at Banister’s office. Sometimes, we would run into him several times a day. Banister once told [another of his investigators, Joseph] Newbrough and we that [Regis] Kennedy’s daily reports on these activities were forwarded straight to one Assistant FBI Director Mohr, subservient only to John Edgar Hoover in Washington, always by-passing [Regis] Kennedy’s own local Special Agent in Charge (resident agent) for numerous top-security reasons. From here [Washington], they were viewed by none other than Philby and RFK, the story goes.
Inasmuch as we were for many years associated with Banister, we had upon occasion engaged (independently) in some of these activities, cooperating with FRD and Dalzell operations. From time to time, our code names had been “El Gringo” and “Jauquin” during these periods.
Returning to the subject, RFK allegedly tendered several documents in the form of “Letters-Marques” giving “carte-blanche” status to any and all of those about to participate in this pending pseudo-legal hijacking. These were directed to all concerned to “seize munitions or arms, the property of a foreign government, that are illegally located within the US, which might otherwise be used against nations friendly to the US, using any and all means to do so.” They, of course, supposedly bore the signature of none other than RFK himself, because they were issued on Justice Department Attorney General’s letterhead stationery.
Needless to say, as we recall it, everyone was overjoyed by this prospective arms hijacking. Furthermore, someone had said that either the FBI or CIA were to supply the keys to pull this “job” (robbery), so no locks would be broken.
Later on that following afternoon, we heard Banister talking over the telephone to who we were told was a Mr M.E. Loy, the South-Eastern Manager of Schlumberger in New Orleans. (Loy at this writing is the President of all Schlumberger incorporations here in the US, whose home office is in Houston, Texas.) This conversation was in regard to the pending Schlumberger operation. Banister seemed to be setting the time and date, like H hour and D date. In short, they of the Schlumberger company knew that we were coming in the fake bakery truck. ….
That evening, FBI Agent Kennedy made his daily appearance at Banister’s office as usual. It was about this time that the Letters-Marque and the keys showed up. No one ever said that Agent Kennedy brought them, but they did come to light shortly after he had left.
Anyway, the story goes that it was in the dark of night that the very “chosen people” hijacked those munitions at the Houma Schlumberger bunker, transported, and stored them in their designated location, the storage area ajoining Banister’s office. The following day, everyone in the “know” came to look and gloat. Boy, ol’ Castro should sure catch hell now! ….
Well, at any rate, it appears that after the Houma bunker haul, Philby and company may have progressed in activity. We say this because later the next evening, apparently some other band of thieves filched those promised arms and munitions from the safety of their hiding place at Banister’s office. However, no robbery report was made, nor search launched for them. Banister was ordered to do nothing about this matter and to remain silent, as were the rest of us so instructed.
Some bastard about this time circulated the rumor (we understand that it was believed by all or most of the Cubans) that Dr Arcacha had either sold or had given away these arms and munitions to the pro-Castro Cubans or others. So he engineered another hijacking of his own. On this, they only found low-yield projectiles looking like small aerial bombs, but with not much explosive power. However, the Cubans thought they were for real and feated Arcacha to a blow-out in one of the local hotels (St Charles) to celebrate the occasion. Although a few days later, they (the Cubans) found out that these were oil-well equipment or exploration low-yield explosive units. With this, the Cubans really believed that they’d been crossed, and Arcacha left town immediately in fear of his life. ….
Now, what happened, and where did they [the stolen arms] go? It seems that there were some others, a bunch of discontented people, who just wanted to take over Guatemala using these weapons far more than we needed them to give the “works” to Castro. Thus, via Philby and company, General Ydigoras went out of office, and Guatemala had a completely new political administration. Somebody fulfilled the vendetta for the Carlos Marcello caper in spades! JFK had gotten his revenge one way or another. ….
This left Dr Cardona’s Frente under the total command of Arcacha’s former assistant, Carlos Quiroga. He claims to be an avid anti-Communist. We believe he protests far too much upon this subject. Hence, we did some checking. Quiroga says he left Cuba just at the time his father was arrested and imprisoned within the Isle of Pines near Havana. Our sources inform us that Quiroga’s father may have been assisted into confinement by none other than Quiroga himself, just as he is said to have assisted Arcacha to be removed. He is truly an assistant, however, according to our information. Moreover, it is highly speculative that this subject, Quiroga, may well be as Philby, a double agent. [text rearranged slightly into chronological order; punctuation fixed] [unquote]

Banister’s secretary Delphine Roberts also indicated to Police Sgt Fenner Sedgebeer that Banister was involved with Latin American Communists who were exporting items to Central America. Sedgebeer’s raw notes records Roberts’ encounters with this group (Banister file, Assassination Archives, Washington DC; dots are in original; this is a single, continuous excerpt; capitalization corrected; W.G.B. is obviously Banister):
[quote] Was introduced to six Cubans who were out to overthrow Castro … They met with W.G.B. behind closed door … Later, I saw the same men in an office in the Balter Bldg … Passsed this office going toward Camp Street … Was about to enter Richard’s office (don’t recall last name … he was from Honduras, not a naturalized citizen, I understand) … He was in export business with Honduras and Guatemala … They were surprised to see me, and Richard asked to see me another time.
Some time later, ran into Richard on street … He looked like a tramp … Wanted to speak to me … told me he had been beaten up by these people connected with the Communist movement … “Now, they were the same people connected with the people who put up the money for him to establish a business here — export-import. I think that was a business front.”
I saw Richard two more times … Same Richard once sold tickets for an airline at Moisant Airport … Each time, he was in a worse condition and in fear for his life. …
Banister connected with people associated with both a conservative element as well as the Communist element … He told me “You rub shoulders with all kinds of characters to get information from both sides.” …. He belonged to a world-wide intelligence network. [unquote]
This escapade with Ferrie apparently helped lead to the removal of Arcacha Smith from his position as chief of the CRC’s New Orleans branch. HSCA noted that:
[quote] In September 1961, the US border patrol received information that Ferrie was attempting to purchase a C-47 airplane for $30,000 and reportedly had a cache of arms in the New Orleans area.
Lack of funds caused Arcacha Smith to leave town in 1962, his reputation tarnished by his asociation with Ferrie. He was also accused by several Cuban exiles of misappropriation of funds. [HSCA, vol 10, pp 109-110].
When he was relieved of his official position with the CRC in early 1962, Arcacha left New Orleans. Arcacha Smith’s replacement, Luis Rabel, assumed the delegate duties in January 1962, but, he told the committee, found it necessary to resign by October of that year because his job entailed extensive traveling. During his short tenure, Rabel said he organized several rallies and brought in prominent Miami speakers to inspire the New Orleans Cuban exile community. Other than going to the Camp Street address to remove office materials left there by Archacha Smith, Rabel said he had no connection with the building and never saw Oswald in New Orleans. [HSCA, vol 10, pp 61-62] [unquote]

Summers notes in his book “Conspiracy” that:
[quote] On March 9, 1962, the owner of 544 Camp Street, Sam Newman, wrote to the CRC regarding rent arears left behind by Arcacha. The letter was addressed personally to Antonio de Varona, the CRC leader who reportedly — at the initiative of Santos Trafficante — played a part in the CIA-Mafia plots to murder Castro (copy of letter is infiles of William Scott Malone) [pg 576] [unquote]
Arcacha Smith and Rabel were two of the group from whom the CIA had confiscated the $3 million in the Miami airport before the Bay of Pigs invasion. I have no more information to offer about Rabel.

The Ultimate Double-Cross
The CIA’s Counter-intelligence Staff came to believe that Banister and his associates were secret Communists working for Robert Kennedy, also supposedly a secret Communist. Banister had stolen the secret FBI files listing the secret underground Communist leakers, so now Robert Kennedy would supposedly be able to prevent the arrests of these key Communists in a national emergency.
Therefore the CIA’s Counter-Intelligence Staff began already in 1961 to concentrate its resources on infiltrating and studying Banister’s organization, setting up agents, double-agents, and patsies there.


I generally don’t like reprinting material that has already appeared in print and other publications. However, this article written by a friend of mine deserves to be republished. She’s published several articles and several books and has won several awards in one of her books, “the bluegrass conspiracy” which features many of my cases and clients, I have been following the subject. Since I first uncovered government drug smuggling in the late 60s. As a relatively minor player in the world, I could understand how easily my writing and ideas might be suppressed. But, I was blown away by the fact that this publication was rejected by major players although factually accurate. The co-author was a National security advisor to the Johnson administration. However, the article got spiked but did appear in some magazines which the government tried to sink but failed to do.
So now. We have live TV performances by the police knocking the hell out of protesters beating up old man, tear gas in them, firing guns at them with allegedly harmless rubber bullets, and bullying to the point of murder. After decades of such treatment, the people have finally had enough and have been protesting not only nationwide, but worldwide. This is been predictable. Since the war on crime and war on drugs has been declared by administrations that target their own populations. The policy of the government is made, the public the enemy. The police are trained in worry or methodology, and ideology. Citizens exercising rights guaranteed to them under the First Amendment to our Constitution have been attacked, beaten, gassed, harassed, crowded, and persecuted so that their voices won’t be heard. As the 2nd line of defense our masters have decided to Pit Black against White in a black lives matter movement. This has the effect of a divide and conquer tactic that has been used since Julius Caesar. The real divide it isn’t black and white, but it is rich and poor. The poor are both Black and White. The poor are all disenfranchised. The poor are all subject to police harassment. The poor have no effective advocates. And the Justice system is rigged against the poor. People are frustrated because they feel that is discrimination, when in fact it secure outright ignorance, because of the class consciousness recruiting of officials. Officials think the poor are only affected by money. That’s how little they know they’re ignorant. The judges are particularly ignorant because they feel they are being feeling and sensitive which clouds their ignorance. For instance, before we started, worshiping efficiency. If a client couldn’t pay a fine you can ask the judge for a stay until the client was able to pay the fine. Now, judges are too good to issue stays and degrade the people whom they are judging to go elsewhere and make an application to some self-righteous cleric and beg to be allowed time to pay the fine. Most of my clients would rather get arrested and take their chances then to humble themselves and embarrass themselves to such a procedure.
This same group of privileged officials having avoided the great unwashed their whole lives feel that if they read a few books about others they are sensitive and are therefore good, and just. As a result, they don’t question things. So, when a corporation says lists charge the prisoner’s $2 a phone call. They don’t object and allow it. When the system adjusts where everybody has to pay a bondsman in order to get out of jail, they don’t question. When somebody cannot pay his fine a warrant for his arrest is automatically issued without a 2nd thought, or in any investigation. So, we have assembly-line procedures. We also have various lobbying groups like district attorneys Association’s attorney general’s associations, and police unions or benevolent organizations brainwashing the public just so gun manufacturers and other weapons greedy armor’s can sell their wearers to local forces.
The worst part is that there are too stupid, ignorant, or arrogant to realize how many people they are hurting. Because they hang out in country clubs and with Rich lawyers, they have no idea what the peasantry wants or think it’s about. They believe that the citizenry’s biggest objective is to cut costs and cut taxes. They don’t know that this is the attitude of the upper-middle-class and the Rich. The poor don’t make enough were matters that much anyway. But, the politicians, in their infinite wisdom and their greedy desire to stay in office by into the fact that the peasantry is dangerous and should be watched and held in their place, and that this should be done by military weapons they don’t even think about the fact that the police are being demilitarized and are now acting as an occupying force. They worry about their stocks, their yards, their houses, their schools, and have no idea that the poor have very little of that, and the priorities are different. The poor just want to survive. They would like better lives with their focus is generally on feeding their families providing housing and clothing.
Therefore, they don’t pay attention, nor do they care how police are funded, or that the trend of policing is toward a police state. None of them are conscious of the fact that we have become a Napoleonic type of governing entity and the common law has been abolished, leaving instead the types of government empowering Hitler and Mussolini Stalin and other dictators this happens, because power shifts from the top down to the bottom up, negating centuries of tradition and presumptions like innocent right to trial and right to bond.
One of the main causes for this change was found in the Kerry Committee and the 70s when investigated. The intelligence agencies. The thing that they found was that the intelligence agencies were uncontrollable because they were self-funding they could raise their own money, and therefore tell Congress to go to help it was easy for the administration, for instance, to ignore the bull and amendment. The press started up the public to demand prosecution, allowing the public to remain ignorant because getting vengeance and prosecuting criminals was much more important to them than finding out how all of this happened by calling congressional investigations.
Now, all of this ignorance and confidence in malfeasance is coming back to haunt us. Police brutality is excused because the police claim their in fear of their lives, or investigators find they were just following their training. From what I’ve seen of the brutality in the fact that these men have been fearful of their lives show extreme coward menace masking delivered, sadism. Many of us have questioned who trained these people. The people in power don’t know, don’t question, and don’t give a shit.
All they care about is awarding contracts and lucrative arrangements to corporations in so-called business-government partnerships so they can pass the buck to others. Those of us who actually know poor people, or work with them can see this is extreme elitism. A judge making $200,000 a year would find it hard to understand why some person couldn’t pay for a $2 a phone bill. They don’t realize that many of us see the police as revenue generators. They see the lower courts is a revenue production line. They don’t see police as protectors, but they see them as oppressors. The police, don’t act and dress like police, but act like an appeared to be an alien occupation force.
Somebody has to stop and think. Somebody has to realize that taking money from the government to buy tanks, armored personnel carriers, SWAT gear, and other offenses gear offends the general public.
But the greatest problem is the fact that the police are self-funding. This happened during the Nixon administration, when they decided they would reenact admiralty law and enable the courts to act as vice admirals, collecting plunder for the crown or in this case for the government. The even said it up like the old privateers or pirates we are different agencies would get a split like the profit privateers did between themselves, their crews, and the King or Queen.
In 50 years of law practice, I have never met a judge who thought that was wrong. Now, according to my law studies, anybody who doesn’t know right from wrong is insane and legally. Many people wonder why the judicial system acts as though it were insane. Now, you know.

This article was originally written for publication in the Washington Post. After clearing the legal department for inaccurate statements and scheduled for press, Washington Post Managing Editor Bob Kaiser killed the article without explanation. This story is an investigative report into events that haunt the activities of three presidents: Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Included beneath the following article is Arkansas Drug Exposé Misses The Post by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The London Sunday Telegraph, 1/29/95.

The Crimes of Mena
by Sally Denton and Roger Morris
July 1995
Barry Seal — gunrunner, drug trafficker, and covert C.I.A. operative extraordinaire — is hardly a familiar name in American politics. But nine years after he was murdered in a hail of bullets by Medellin cartel hit men outside a Salvation Army shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he has come back to haunt the reputations of three American presidents.
Seal’s legacy includes more than 2,000 newly discovered documents that now verify and quantify much of what previously had been only suspicion, conjecture, and legend. The documents confirm that from 1981 to his brutal death in 1986, Barry Seal carried on one of the most lucrative, extensive, and brazen operations in the history of the international drug trade, and that he did it with the evident complicity, if not collusion, of elements of the United States government, apparently with the acquiescence of Ronald Reagan’s administration, impunity from any subsequent exposure by George Bush’s administration, and under the usually acute political nose of then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton.
The newly unearthed papers show the real Seal as far more impressive and well-connected than the character played by Dennis Hopper in a made-for-TV movie some years ago, loosely based on the smuggler’s life. The film portrayed the pudgy pilot as a hapless victim, caught in a cross fire between bungling but benign government agencies and Latin drug lords. The truth sprinkled through the documents is a richer — and altogether more sinister — matter of national and individual corruption. It is a tale of massive, socially devastating crime, of what seems to have been an official cover-up to match, and, not least, of the strange reluctance of so-called mainstream American journalism to come to grips with the phenomenon and its ominous implications — even when the documentary evidence had appeared.
The trail winds back to another slightly bruited but obscure name — a small place in western Arkansas called Mena.
Of the many stories emerging from the Arkansas of the 1980s that was crucible to the Clinton presidency, none has been more elusive than the charges surrounding Mena. Nestled in the dense pine and hardwood forests of the Ouachita Mountains, some 160 miles west of Little Rock, once thought a refuge for nineteenth-century border outlaws and even a hotbed of Depression-era anarchists, the tiny town has been the locale for persistent reports of drug smuggling, gunrunning, and money laundering tracing to the early eighties, when Seal based his aircraft at Mena’s Intermountain Regional Airport.
From first accounts circulating locally in Arkansas, the story surfaced nationally as early as 1989 in a Penthouse article called “Snowbound,” written by the investigative reporter John Cummings, and in a Jack Anderson column, but was never advanced at the time by other media. Few reporters covering Clinton in the 1992 campaign missed hearing at least something about Mena. But it was obviously a serious and demanding subject — the specter of vast drug smuggling with CIA involvement — and none of the major media pursued it seriously During 1992, the story was kept alive by Sarah McClendon, The Nation, and The Village Voice.
Then, after Clinton became president, Mena began to reappear. Over the past year, CBS News and The Wall Street Journal have reported the original, unquieted charges surrounding Mena, including the shadow of some CIA (or “national security”) involvement in the gun and drug traffic, and the apparent failure of then-governor Clinton to pursue evidence of such international crime so close to home.
“Seal was smuggling drugs and kept his planes at Mena,” The Wall Street Journal reported in 1994. “He also acted as an agent for the DEA In one of these missions, he flew the plane that produced photographs of Sandinistas loading drugs in Nicaragua. He was killed by a drug gang [Medellin cartel hit men] in Baton Rouge. The cargo plane he flew was the same one later flown by Eugene Hasenfus when he was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of contra supplies.
In a mix of wild rumor and random fact, Mena has also been a topic of ubiquitous anti-Clinton diatribes circulated by right-wing extremists — an irony in that the Mena operation was the apparent brainchild of the two previous and Republican administrations.
Still, most of the larger American media have continued to ignore, if not ridicule, the Mena accusations. Finding no conspiracy in the Oachitas last July, a Washington Post reporter typically scoffed at the “alleged dark deeds,” contrasting Mena with an image as “Clandestination, Arkansas . . . Cloak and Dagger Capital of America.” Noting that The New York Times had “mentioned Mena primarily as the headquarters of the American Rock Garden Society,” the Columbia Journalism Review in a recent issue dismissed “the conspiracy theories” as of “dubious relevance.”
A former Little Rock businessman, Terry Reed, has coauthored with John Cummings a highly controversial book, Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the C.lA., which describes a number of covert activities around Mena, including a CIA operation to train pilots and troops for the Nicaraguan Contras, and the collusion of local officials. Both the book and its authors were greeted with derision.
Now, however, a new mass of documentary evidence has come to light regarding just such “dark deeds” — previously private and secret records that substantiate as never before some of the worst and most portentous suspicions about what went on at Mena, Arkansas, a decade ago.
Given the scope and implications of the Mena story, it may be easy to understand the media’s initial skepticism and reluctance. But it was never so easy to dismiss the testimony arid suspicions of some of those close to the matter: Internal Revenue Service Agent Bill Duncan, Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welch, Arkansas Attorney General J. Winston Bryant, Congressman Bill Alexander, and various other local law-enforcement officials and citizens.
All of these people were convinced by the late eighties that there existed what Bryant termed “credible evidence” of the most serious criminal activity involving Mena between 1981 and 1986. They also believed that the crimes were committed with the acquiescence, if not the complicity, of elements of the US government. But they couldn’t seem to get the national media to pay attention.
During the 1992 campaign, outside advisers and aides urged former California governor Jerry Brown to raise the Mena issue against Clinton — at least to ask why the Arkansas governor had not done more about such serious international crime so close to home. But Brown, too, backed away from the subject. “I’ll raise it if the major media break it first,” he told aides. “The media will do it, Governor,” one of them replied in frustration, “if only you’ll raise it.”
Mena’s obscure airport was thought by the IRS, the FBI, US Customs, and the Arkansas State Police to be a base for Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal, a self-confessed, convicted smuggler whose operations had been linked to the intelligence community. Duncan and Welch both spent years building cases against Seal and others for drug smuggling and money laundering around Mena, only to see their own law-enforcement careers damaged in the process.
What evidence they gathered, they have said in testimony and other public statements were not sufficiently pursued by the then US attorney for the region, J. Michael Fitzhugh, or by the IRS, Arkansas State Police, and other agencies. Duncan, testifying before the joint investigation by the Arkansas state attorney general’s office and the United States Congress in June 1991, said that 29 federal indictments drafted in a Mena-based money-laundering scheme had gone unexplored. Fitzhugh, responding at the time to Duncan’s charges, said, “This office has not slowed up any investigation . . . [and] has never been under any pressure in any investigation.”
By 1992, to Duncan’s and Welch’s mounting dismay, several other official inquiries into the alleged Mena connection were similarly ineffectual or were stifled altogether, furthering their suspicions of government collusion and cover-up. In his testimony before Congress, Duncan said the IRS “withdrew support for the operations” and further directed him to “withhold information from Congress and perjure myself.”
Duncan later testified that he had never before experienced “anything remotely akin to this type of interference. . . . Alarms were going off,” he continued, “and as soon as Mr. Fitzhugh got involved, he was more aggressive in not allowing the subpoenas and in interfering in the investigative process.”
State policeman Russell Welch felt he was “probably the most knowledgeable person” regarding the activities at Mena, yet he was not initially subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury. Welch testified later that the only reason he was ultimately subpoenaed at all was because one of the grand jurors was from Mena and “told the others that if they wanted to know something about the Mena airport, they ought to ask that guy [Welch] out there in the hall.”
State Attorney General Bryant, in a 1991 letter to the office of Lawrence Walsh, the independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation, wondered “why no one was prosecuted in Arkansas despite a mountain of evidence that Seal was using Arkansas as his principle staging area during the years 1982 through 1985.”
What actually went on in the woods of western Arkansas? The question is still relevant for what it may reveal about certain government operations during the time that Reagan and Bush were in the White House and Clinton was governor of Arkansas.
In a mass of startling new documentation — the more than 2,000 papers gathered by the authors from private and law-enforcement sources in a year-long nationwide search — answers are found and serious questions are posed.
These newly unearthed documents — the veritable private papers of Barry Seal — substantiate at least part of what went on at Mena.
What might be called the Seal archive dates back to 1981, when Seal began his operations at the Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena. The archive, all of it now in our possession, continues beyond February 1986, when Seal was murdered by Colombian assassins after he had testified in federal court in Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami for the US government against leaders of the Medellin drug cartel.
The papers include such seemingly innocuous material as Seal’s bank and telephone records; negotiable instruments, promissory notes, and invoices; personal correspondence address and appointment books; bills of sale for aircraft and boats; aircraft registration, and modification work orders.
In addition, the archive also contains personal diaries; handwritten to-do lists and other private notes; secretly tape-recorded conversations; and cryptographic keys and legends for codes used in the Seal operation.
Finally, there are extensive official records: federal investigative and surveillance reports, accounting assessments by the IRS and the DEA, and court proceedings not previously reported in the press — testimony as well as confidential pre-sentencing memoranda in federal narcotics-trafficking trials in Florida and Nevada — numerous depositions, and other sworn statements.
The archive paints a vivid portrait not only of a major criminal conspiracy around Mena, but also of the unmistakable shadow of government complicity. Among the new revelations:
Mena, from 1981 to 1985, was indeed one of the centers for international smuggling traffic. According to official IRS and DEA calculations, sworn court testimony, and other corroborative records, the traffic amounted to thousands of kilos of cocaine and heroin and literally hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits. According to a 1986 letter from the Louisiana attorney general to then US attorney general Edwin Meese, Seal “smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion of drugs into the US”
Seal himself spent considerable sums to land, base, maintain, and specially equip or refit his aircraft for smuggling. According to personal and business records, he had extensive associations at Mena and in Little Rock, and was in nearly constant telephone contact with Mena when he was not there himself. Phone records indicate Seal made repeated calls to Mena the day before his murder. This was long after Seal, according to his own testimony, was working as an $800,000-a-year informant for the federal government.
A former member of the Army Special Forces, Seal had ties to the Central Intelligence Agency dating to the early 1970s. He had confided to relatives and others, according to their sworn statements, that he was a CIA operative before and during the period when he established his operations at Mena. In one statement to Louisiana State Police, a Seal relative said, “Barry was into gunrunning and drug smuggling in Central and South America . . . and he had done some time in El Salvadore [sic].” Another then added, “lt was true, but at the time Barry was working for the CIA.”
In a posthumous jeopardy-assessment case against Seal — also documented in the archive — the IRS determined that money earned by Seal between 1984 and 1986 was not illegal because of his “CIA-DEA employment.” The only public official acknowledgment of Seal’s relationship to the CIA has been in court and congressional testimony, and in various published accounts describing the CIA’s installation of cameras in Seal’s C-123K transport plane, used in a highly celebrated 1984 sting operation against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
Robert Joura, the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s Houston office and the agent who coordinated Seal’s undercover work, told The Washington Post last year that Seal was enlisted by the CIA for one sensitive mission — providing photographic evidence that the Sandinistas were letting cocaine from Colombia move through Nicaragua. A spokesman for then Senate candidate Oliver North told The Post that North had been kept aware of Seal’s work through “intelligence sources.”
Federal Aviation Administration registration records contained in the archive confirm that aircraft identified by federal and state narcotics agents as in the Seal smuggling operation were previously owned by Air America, Inc., widely reported to have been a CIA proprietary company. Emile Camp, one of Seal’s pilots and a witness to some of his most significant dealings, was killed on a mountainside near Mena in 1985 in the unexplained crash of one of those planes that had once belonged to Air America.
According to still other Seal records, at least some of the aircraft in his smuggling fleet, which included a Lear jet, helicopters, and former US military transports, were also outfitted with avionics and other equipment by yet another company in turn linked to Air America.
Among the aircraft flown in and out of Mena was Seal’s C-123K cargo plane, christened Fat Lady. The records show that Fat Lady, serial number 54-0679, was sold by Seal months before his death. According to other files, the plane soon found its way to a phantom company of what became known in the Iran-Contra scandal as “the Enterprise,” the CIA-related secret entity managed by Oliver North and others to smuggle illegal weapons to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels. According to former DEA agent Celerino Castillo and others, the aircraft was allegedly involved in a return traffic in cocaine, profits from which were then used to finance more clandestine gunrunning.
F.A.A. records show that in October 1986, the same Fat Lady was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of arms destined for the Contras. Documents found on board the aircraft and seized by the Sandinistas included logs linking the plane with Area 51 — the nation’s top-secret nuclear-weapons facility at the Nevada Test Site. The doomed aircraft was co-piloted by Wallace Blaine “Buzz” Sawyer, a native of western Arkansas, who died in the crash. The admissions of the surviving crew member, Eugene Hasenfus, began a public unraveling of the Iran-Contra episode.
An Arkansas gun manufacturer testified in 1993 in federal court in Fayetteville that the CIA contracted with him to build 250 automatic pistols for the Mena operation. William Holmes testified that he had been introduced to Seal in Mena by a CIA operative, and that he then sold weapons to Seal. Even though he was given a Department of Defense purchase order for guns fitted with silencers, Holmes testified that he was never paid the $140,000 the government owed him. “After the Hasenfus plane was shot down,” Holmes said, “you couldn’t find a soul around Mena.”
Meanwhile, there was still more evidence that Seal’s massive smuggling operation based in Arkansas had been part of a CIA operation, and that the crimes were continuing well after Seal’s murder. In 1991 sworn testimony to both Congressman Alexander and Attorney General Bryant, state police investigator Welch recorded that in 1987 he had documented “new activity at the [Mena] airport with the appearance of . . . an Australian business [a company linked with the CIA], and C-130s had appeared. . . .”
At the same time, according to Welch, two FBI agents officially informed him that the CIA “had something going on at the Mena Airport involving Southern Air Transport [another company linked with the CIA] . . . and they didn’t want us [the Arkansas State Police] to screw it up like we had the last one.”
The hundreds of millions in profits generated by the Seal trafficking via Mena and other outposts resulted in extraordinary banking and business practices in apparent efforts to launder or disperse the vast amounts of illicit money in Arkansas and elsewhere. Seal’s financial records show from the early eighties, for example, instances of daily deposits of $50,000 or more, and extensive use of an offshore foreign bank in the Caribbean, as well as financial institutions in Arkansas and Florida.
According to IRS criminal investigator Duncan, secretaries at the Mena Airport told him that when Seal flew into Mena, “there would be stacks of cash to be taken to the bank and laundered.” One secretary told him that she was ordered to obtain numerous cashier’s checks, each in an amount just under $10,000, at various banks in Mena and surrounding communities, to avoid filing the federal Currency Transaction Reports required for all bank transactions that exceed that limit.
Bank tellers testified before a federal grand jury that in November 1982, a Mena airport employee carried a suitcase containing more than $70,000 into a bank. “The bank officer went down the teller lines handing out the stacks of $1,000 bills and got the cashier’s checks.”
Law-enforcement sources confirmed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were laundered from 1981 to 1983 just in a few small banks near Mena, and that millions more from Seal’s operation were laundered elsewhere in Arkansas and the nation.
Spanish-language documents in Seal’s possession at the time of his murder also indicate that he had accounts throughout Central America and was planning to set up his own bank in the Caribbean.
Additionally, Seal’s files suggest a grandiose scheme for building an empire. Papers in his office at the time of his death include references to dozens of companiesQall of which had names that began with Royale. Among them: Royale Sports, Royale Television Network, Royale Liquors, Royale Casino, S.A., Royale Pharmaceuticals, Royale Arabians, Royale Seafood, Royale Security, Royale Resorts . . . and on and on.
Seal was scarcely alone in his extensive smuggling operation based in Mena from 1981 to 1986, commonly described in both federal and state law-enforcement files as one of the largest drug-trafficking operations in the United States at the time, if not in the history of the drug trade. Documents show Seal confiding on one occasion that he was “only the transport,” pointing to an extensive network of narcotics distribution and finance in Arkansas and other states. After drugs were smuggled across the border, the duffel bags of cocaine would be retrieved by helicopters and dropped onto flatbed trucks destined for various American cities.
In recognition of Seal’s significance in the drug trade, government prosecutors made him their chief witness in various cases, including a 1985 Miami trial in absentia of Medellln drug lords; in another 1985 trial of what federal officials regarded as the largest narcotics-trafficking case to date in Las Vegas; and in still a third prosecution of corrupt officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands. At the same time, court records and other documents reveal a studied indifference by government prosecutors to Seal’s earlier and ongoing operations at Mena.
In the end, the Seal documents are vindication for dedicated officials in Arkansas like agents Duncan and Welch and local citizens’ groups like the Arkansas Committee, whose own evidence and charges take on new gravity — and also for The Nation, The Village Voice, the Association of National Security Alumni, the venerable Washington journalists Sarah McClendon and Jack Anderson, Arkansas. reporters Rodney Bowers and Mara Leveritt, and others who kept an all-too-authentic story alive amid wider indifference.
But now the larger implications of the newly exposed evidence seem as disturbing as the criminal enormity it silhouettes. Like his modern freebooter’s life, Seal’s documents leave the political and legal landscape littered with stark questions.
What, for example, happened to some nine different official investigations into Mena after 1987, from allegedly compromised federal grand juries to congressional inquiries suppressed by the National Security Council in 1988 under Ronald Reagan to still later Justice Department inaction under George Bush?
Officials repeatedly invoked national security to quash most of the investigations. Court documents do show clearly that the CIA and the DEA employed Seal during 1984 and 1985 for the Reagan administration’s celebrated sting attempt to implicate the Nicaraguan Sandinista regime in cocaine trafficking.
According to a December 1988 Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, “cases were dropped. The apparent reason was that the prosecution might have revealed national-security information, even though all of the crimes which were the focus of the investigation occurred before Seal became a federal informant.”
Tax records show that, having assessed Seal posthumously for some $86 million in back taxes on his earnings from Mena and elsewhere between 1981 and 1983, even the IRS forgave the taxes on hundreds of millions in known drug and gun profits over the ensuing two-year period when Seal was officially admitted to be employed by the government.
To follow the IRS Iogic, what of the years, crimes, and profits at Mena in the early eighties, before Barry Seal became an acknowledged federal operative, as well as the subsequently reported drug-trafficking activities at Mena even after his murder — crimes far removed from his admitted cooperation as government informant and witness?
“Joe [name deleted] works for Seal and cannot be touched because Seal works for the CIA,” a Customs official said in an Arkansas investigation into drug trafficking during the early eighties. “A CIA or DEA operation is taking place at the Mena airport,” an FBI telex advised the Arkansas State Police in August 1987, 18 months after Seal’s murder. Welch later testified that a Customs agent told him, “Look, we’ve been told not to touch anything that has Barry Seal’s name on it, just to let it go.”
The London Sunday Telegraph recently reported new evidence, including a secret code number, that Seal was also working as an operative of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the period of the gunrunning and drug smuggling.
Perhaps most telling is what is so visibly missing from the voluminous files. In thousands of pages reflecting a man of meticulous organization and plan- ning, Barry Seal seems to have felt singularly and utterly secure — if not somehow invulnerable — at least in the ceaseless air transport and delivery into the United States of tons of cocaine for more than five years. In a 1986 letter to the DEA, the commander and deputy commander of narcotics for the Louisiana State Police say that Seal “was being given apparent free rein to import drugs in conjunction with DEA investigations with so little restraint and control on his actions as to allow him the opportunity to import drugs for himself should he have been so disposed.”
Seal’s personal videotapes, in the authors’ possession, show one scene in which he used US Army paratroop equipment, as well as militarylike precision, in his drug-transporting operation. Then, in the middle of the afternoon after a number of dry runs, one of his airplanes dropped a load of several duffel bags attached to a parachute. Within seconds, the cargo sitting on the remote grass landing strip was retrieved by Seal and loaded onto a helicopter that had followed the low-flying aircraft. “This is the first daylight cocaine drop in the history of the state of Louisiana,” Seal narrates on the tape. If the duffel bags seen in the smuggler’s home movies were filled with cocaine — as Seal himself states on tape — that single load would have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Perhaps the videos were not of an actual cocaine drop, but merely the drug trafficker’s training video for his smuggling organization, or even a test maneuver. Regardless, the films show a remarkable, fearless invincibility. Barry Seal was not expecting apprehension.
His most personal papers show him all but unconcerned about the very flights and drops that would indeed have been protected or “fixed,” according to law-enforcement sources, by the collusion of US intelligence.
In an interview with agent Duncan, Seal brazenly “admitted that he had been a drug smuggler.”
If the Seal documents show anything, an attentive reader might conclude, it is that ominous implication of some official sanction. Over the entire episode looms the unmistakable shape of government collaboration in vast drug trafficking and gunrunning, and in a decade-long cover-up of criminality.
Government investigators apparently had no doubt about the magnitude of those crimes. According to Customs sources, Seal’s operations at Mena and other bases were involved in the export of guns to Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil, as well as to the Contras, and the importation of cocaine from Colombia to be sold in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and other cities, as well as in Arkansas itself.
Duncan and his colleagues knew that Seal’s modus operandi included dumping most of the drugs in other southern states, so that what Arkansas agents witnessed in Mena was but a tiny fragment of an operation staggering in its magnitude. Yet none of the putative inquiries seems to have made a serious effort to gather even a fraction of the available Seal documents now assembled and studied by the authors.
Finally, of course, there are somber questions about then governor Clinton’s own role vis-a-vis the crimes of Mena.
Clinton has acknowledged learning officially about Mena only in April 1988, though a state police investigation had been in progress for several years. As the state’s chief executive, Clinton often claimed to be fully abreast of such inquiries. In his one public statement on the matter as governor, in September 1991 he spoke of that investigation finding “linkages to the federal government,” and “all kinds of questions about whether he [Seal] had any links to the CIA . . . and if that backed into the Iran-Contra deal.”
But then Clinton did not offer further support for any inquiry, “despite the fact,” as Bill Plante and Michael Singer of CBS News have written, “that a Republican administration was apparently sponsoring a Contra-aid operation in his state and protecting a smuggling ring that flew tons of cocaine through Arkansas.”
As recently as March 1995, Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson testified under oath, according to The London Sunday Telegraph, that he and other officers “discussed repeatedly in Clinton’s presence” the “large quantities of drugs being flown into the Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns,” indicating that Clinton may have known much more about Seal’s activities than he has admitted.
Moreover, what of the hundreds of millions generated by Seal’s Mena contraband? The Seal records reveal his dealings with at least one major Little Rock bank. How much drug money from him or his associates made its way into criminal laundering in Arkansas’s notoriously freewheeling financial institutions and bond houses, some of which are reportedly under investigation by the Whitewater special prosecutor for just such large, unaccountable infusions of cash and unexplained transactions?
“The state offers an enticing climate for traffickers,” IRS agents had concluded by the end of the eighties, documenting a “major increase” in the amount of large cash and bank transactions in Arkansas after 1985, despite a struggling local economy.
Meanwhile, prominent backers of Clinton’s over the same years — including bond broker and convicted drug dealer Dan Lasater and chicken tycoon Don Tyson — have themselves been subjects of extensive investigative and surveillance files by the DEA or the FBI similar to those relating to Seal, including allegations of illegal drug activity that Tyson has recently acknowledged publicly and denounced as “totally false.” “This may be the first president in history with such close buddies who have NADDIS numbers,” says one concerned law-enforcement official, referring to the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Intelligence System numbers assigned those under protracted investigation for possible drug crimes.
The Seal documents are still more proof that for Clinton, the Arkansas of the eighties and the company he kept there will not soon disappear as a political or even constitutional liability.
“I’ve always felt we never got the whole story there,” Clinton said in 1991.
Indeed. But as president of the United States, he need no longer wonder — and neither should the nation. On the basis of the Seal documents (copies of which are being given to the Whitewater special prosecutor in any case), the president should ask immediately for a full report on the matter from the CIA, the DEA, the FBI, the Justice Department, and other relevant agencies of his own administration — including the long-buried evidence gathered by IRS agent Duncan and Arkansas state police investigator Welch. President Clinton should also offer full executive-branch cooperation with a reopened congressional inquiry, and expose the subject fully for what it says of both the American past and future.
Seal saw himself as a patriot to the end. He had dictated his own epitaph for his grave in Baton Rouge: “A rebel adventurer the likes of whom in previous days made America great.” In a sense his documents may now render that claim less ironic than it seems.
The tons of drugs that Seal and his associates brought into the country, officials agree, affected tens of thousands of lives at the least, and exacted an incalculable toll on American society. And for the three presidents, the enduring questions of political scandal are once again apt: What did they know about Mena? When did they know it? Why didn’t they do anything to stop it?
The crimes of Mena were real. That much is now documented beyond doubt. The only remaining issues are how far they extended, and who was responsible.
Arkansas Drug Exposé Misses The Post
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Washington
29 January 1995
The London Sunday Telegraph

It might almost be called The Greatest Story Never Told. The article was typeset and scheduled to run in today’s edition of The Washington Post.
It had the enthusiastic backing of the editors and staff of the Sunday Outlook section, where it was to appear after eleven weeks of soul-searching and debate.
Lawyers had gone through the text line by line. Supporting documents had been examined with meticulous care. The artwork and illustrations had been completed. The contract with the authors had been signed. Leonard Downie, the executive editor of the newspaper, had given his final assent.
But on Thursday morning the piece was cancelled. It had been delayed before — so often, in fact, that its non-appearance was becoming the talk of Washington — but this time the authors were convinced that the story was doomed and would never make it into the pages of what is arguably the world’s most powerful political newspaper. They have withdrawn it in disgust, accusing the Post of a cover-up of the biggest scandal in American history.
In stark contrast, the managing editor, Robert Kaiser, left a message on my answering machine saying that there was really nothing to “this non-existent story”. In a subsequent conversation, he dismissed the article as a reprise of rumours and allegations. “I am confident that it doesn’t have any great new revelations,” he said.
Others are less confident. A copy of the article passed to The Sunday Telegraph — not, it should be stressed, by its authors — appears to be absolutely explosive.
Based on an archive of more than 2,000 documents, it says that western Arkansas was a centre of international drug smuggling in the early 1980s — perhaps even the headquarters of the biggest drug trafficking operation in history. It asks whether hundreds of millions of dollars in profits made their way “into criminal laundering in Arkansas’s notoriously free-wheeling financial institutions and bond houses.”
The activities were mixed up with a US intelligence operation at the Mena airport in Arkansas that was smuggling weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras.
Bill Clinton is not specifically accused of involvement, but he was Governor of Arkansas at the time. The piece also notes that some of his prominent backers had been the subject of extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, and had been assigned files in NADDIS — the Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Intelligence System.
The article makes clear that the alleged scandal is not confined to the activities of the Arkansas political machine and Mr. Clinton. It embraces the highest levels of the federal government over several years.
“For three Presidents of both parties — Messrs. Reagan, Bush and Clinton — the old enduring questions of political scandal are once again apt,” the article concludes. “What did they know about Mena? When did they know it? Why didn’t they do anything to stop it?”
It is clear that The Washington Post took the article extremely seriously. It was to be run at full length — roughly 4,000 words, taking up several pages in an almost unprecedented spread across the Sunday Outlook section.
The authors, Dr. Roger Morris and Sally Denton, were told that they were being offered the highest fee ever paid for a contribution to Outlook. They are veteran investigators with established reputations. Morris worked for the National Security Council staff at the White House during the Johnson and Nixon Administrations. He has taught at Harvard and has written a series of acclaimed books on foreign policy.
Denton is the former head of news agency UPI’s special investigative unit, and is the author of the Bluegrass Conspiracy, which exposed the involvement of Kentucky political and law enforcement figures in an international arms and drug smuggling ring.
Their research is concentrated on the activities of Barry Seal, a legendary smuggler who operated from a company called Rich Mountain Aviation in the Ouachita Mountains west of Little Rock.
They have his bank and telephone records, invoices, appointment books, handwritten notes, personal diaries and secretly-recorded conversations, as well as extensive police records and surveillance reports.
Among other allegations they make are:
• Seal was using his fleet of aircraft to export weapons to Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil in addition to the Nicaraguan Contras.
• The planes were carrying cocaine back up to Arkansas on the return journey for sale in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and other cities.
• Seal had ties to the CIA and felt that he could smuggle with impunity.
• Nine separate attempts to investigate Mena, by both state and federal authorities, were stymied.
“Over the entire episode looms the unmistakable dark shape of US government complicity in vast drug trafficking and gun-running,” the article says.
The broad picture is not new to readers of The Sunday Telegraph, which published a story making some of the same points on October 9th last year. [“Smugglers Linked to Contra Arms Deals,” by Evans-Pritchard]. The Wall Street Journal has also done original reporting on the subject.
Morris and Denton have added fresh evidence but the real political importance of the piece is the fact that it was going to run in The Washington Post. The Post still sets the agenda in Washington and guides many US press and TV reporters on what they are supposed to think.
Up to now, the Post has conducted no more than desultory investigation of the Mena affair and its reporters have persistently treated it as a ludicrous conspiracy theory.
The treatment of the article by Morris and Denton will fuel claims from both Left and Right that The Washington Post is engaged in active suppression of the news to protect either Clinton or the CIA or both.
“It’s down to naked politics now,” Morris told The Sunday Telegraph. “We’ve jumped through every hoop. We’ve given them everything they’ve asked for. They can’t say the story’s not credible now.”
In the end the Mena story is going to come out, with the courts doing the work of the press. A lawsuit in Arkasas is being used to determine the role of both Clinton and the US federal government in dirty tricks linked to Mena.
The case has already reached a crucial phase. A high-powered team of lawyers has issued subpoenas to key witnesses who will be compelled to testify under oath. Sworn depositions will rain down like confetti over the next few months.
And if the great American newspapers do not want to cover it, the radio talk shows certainly will.
Copyright © 1995 Penthouse
Copyright © 1995 London Su


In 1992, Colorado enacted a constitutional amendment to the state Constitution labeled the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, also known as the Bruce amendment.  It was part of a movement by the tea party, to cut spending on government and encourage business-government partnerships and privatization of a government function.  It was sold to the voters as an amendment or method to restrict government waste and promote efficiency.  This was in conjunction with a campaign in the Southern states, labeled a contract for America, referred to by some as Contract on America.

                In any event, the outcome was pretty much a disaster.  The bill provided, among other things, that any monies not spent by an agency had to be returned to the taxpayer in any given year.  It also provided that any taxes or increase in revenues were subject to a vote by the public.  So slowly but surely state revenues declined as expenses increased.  At the same time.  This insidious group of neo-liberals started campaigning for the privatization of anything and everything they could possibly think of.  So, for instance, if somebody wanted to look at a public record such as a court file, a clerk would charge a fee to retrieve the file.  If the defense attorney wanted copies of documentation or evidence that a district attorney based prosecution or policy decision on, the defendant, typically a lower-class worker, was charged a fee for photocopying, although police records were publicly funded, investigators were publicly funded as were district attorneys and judges.  Although they were funded, because of this amendment revenue was collected in the manner favorable to the wealthy and detrimental to the poor. Agencies became merchants selling items to the public that they had already paid for.

                Likewise, the bond concept.  A system was changed so that it took 10 times longer to make bond than previously, bonding was more expensive unless one waited a day in jail for a judge to set Bond.  Jails became more crowded, holding unconvicted citizens awaiting trial, necessitating contracting to private enterprise to build more jails.  The privateers sold the politicians on the fact that privatized managers were more efficient because they can open and shut as supply and demand required.  However, being profiteers, they soon demanded that the State give them guaranteed contracts, allowing them to extort profit from the taxpayer’s in a monopolistic manner.  It’s ironic, the taxpayers restrict raising funds through taxes to support their government and, in the same breath, attacked the poor by charging them for the cost of government and reward stockholders and executives of corporations.

 One of the biggest crimes against the public or the people, and particularly against the poor is the privatization of the jail telephone system.  In the system, every phone call made by any inmate or detainee of a jail facility has to pay a fee per call.  At the time that payphone call for $0.10 a call, the privatized phone companies operating monopolistic franchises in the penal institutions were charging $2 a call.  The rationale was that jails needed to be secure and phone calls should be monitored and even recorded, and by the exploitation of labor, the service could be done more cheaply.  Ever since I first watched police programs on TV in 1954, I was inculcated with the notion that upon arrest a person was entitled to a phone call.  I was also taught that everyone was entitled to a lawyer, whether or not he could afford one.  Also, I was told that communications between lawyer and client were sacrosanct and could not be intercepted or other ways read or heard.  Of course, I was told that since Magna Carta all accused were innocent until proven guilty, and that of bonds’ sole purpose was to ensure a defendant’s presence in court.  Anything else, was contrary to common law, and only existed under the Roman code law, such as used in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.  It’s ironic, that the anti-Communist super-patriots were the ones pushing for preventive detention, and all these restrictions under the guise of safety.  Apparently constitutional rights don’t apply to the poor and disadvantaged as long as the ruling Elite can subjugate them.

                Meanwhile, judges. hand-picked from the ruling class, ignore the problems of constitutional violations, because they are minor, don’t apply to their class, and the public wanted safety over liberty.  They are indoctrinated with the idea that government is bad, commerce is good, businesses good, and poor people must be controlled, especially ones that belong to an ethnic or racial minority.  I suppose that makes sense, because if I were in their position might be nervous about members of the mass also.  The ones that live in gated communities have less to worry about than those that live in Fancy neighborhoods.  It’s not that judges don’t care; they just have never been arrested or jailed.  They don’t know how humiliating it is for someone in custody to call a potential employer, while seeking a job and having the potential employer here “this is a collect call from a correctional institution.”  The poor just have their pride, but the privilege to have more; or money; or clothes; or status; more toys; more education; and more opportunity.  They can’t understand the problem.  Hopefully, they don’t push the people to the point where they find out.  The hard way.

                Thus, it came as no surprise that the elitist city of Boulder, Colorado announced that it would lower their speed limits to 20 miles an hour.  The city has been essentially closed because of the virus scare or plague and revenue were dropped.  Most municipal revenue is dependent upon sales tax, and when you have distancing orders, stay-at-home health regulations, or orders, and other instruments of regulation that close establishments that generate income tax, the municipalities are going to hurt.  In a democratic society, the taxpayers could raise taxes later in payback emergency funds if necessary and keep the Government’s operating at the same capacity.  Or they can design other methods of raising revenue other than targeting the citizenry.  Having had the experience as a municipal judge ruling on traffic cases and being discharged because I did not collect enough revenue for the city, I have had reason to study the functions of municipal courts over 5 decades.  But that is for democracies, not plutocracies.  From my perspective, this is nothing but a revenue generator.  However, most of the residents of Boulder are Young, physically fit, wealthy, self-centered, and have tunnel vision.  They have no empathy for working people that must get from point a to point b with time constraints and who are paid by the hour, rather than by the dividend clippings.  Many of them ride bicycles because they are physically able.  In Boulder, a mortgage payment, the loan without taxes and insurance for the typical house starts $3000 a month.  However, the majority of the houses in Boulder cost twice that.  So, what do these people know about having to pay $2 a phone call, not being able to leisurely stroll or ride a bicycle between 2 points are getting a disproportionate amount of traffic tickets.  For them, is a minor annoyance for the non-Elite, it may mean missing a meal or to a house payment, insurance payment, dental expense, or some other semi-necessity.

                But raising taxes is unacceptable and unnecessary as long as the poor can be whacked without recourse.  It’s not callousness by these people, it is downright ignorance.  Although commonly thought of as being self-centered or egotistical, these people are genuinely nice.  They care about others but limit themselves to the thinking of people like them not “others”.  In the meantime, the beautiful residents of “liberal” Boulder can go about their business and their beautiful perfect city devoid of old, crippled, workers, or minorities, believing this is the way.  Other people live.


The Sixties were a time of turmoil, conflict and change. Nowhere was it more pronounced or exiting than in Boulder. There was an invasion of “hippies,” much to the consternation of the town’s founders and power structure. It is still going on today.
Before I left town for law school in Chicago, I did an analysis of the Boulder power structure, using a recent fluoridation referendum as the subject. Since there was a large Adventist hospital in Boulder, I assumed, that group was in the leadership position. Essentially, it was an attempted application of net theory. The reader should be aware that we were just coming out of the McCarthy era and the loyalty oaths were a subject of much debate among the faculty. The University was viewed as a fantasy land, inhabited by Communists and other threats to patriotism. I was at my first anti-discriminations rally at the Woolworth’s store at Broadway and Pearl streets.
To my surprise, I discovered a different group, led by small businessmen ultra conservatives, agitating against fluoridation, and more, such as impeaching Earl Warren, getting out of the UN, firing a left-wing professor who described J. Edgar Hoover as the biggest threat to democracy that existed in the world at that time. He was opposed by as naturalized “patriot” who traveled the state, addressing legionaries and others who feared politics of change. This paranoia increased with the start of the Viet Nam conflict and the draft and anti-war resistance movement.
So, after a three-year absence for law school, imagine my surprise to find how the city had changed. Turmoil prevailed. The old guard was still there, but circling the wagons. They were threatened. The Impeach Earl Warren billboards were still up going South out of town. Outsiders were barely tolerated, unless they were famous. The founding fathers viewed hippies as commies and traitors. The police now harassed those who looked different rather than thought different. The university loyalty oath became less important, at least to some. Hippies were now the clear and present danger. When arrested, they were given haircuts for “sanitary” reasons by the jailors. It took a lawsuit to stop that practice. However, the jailers substituted hosing down with garden hoses in the booking center as a substitute. It was more fun to watch. Sometimes, the arrestees had to strip and be hosed down in the showers, general in front of a full audience. It was explained that it was for the prisoner’s protection. From what, I never discovered. Fear and loathing was the general condition. The conservative founding fathers led the charge against hippies and change. The culture war was on. Sides were chosen. And some were drafted, just like in Viet Nam.
The main stage for this war was marijuana. It was the symbol of choice for those against the status quo, the establishment, the war machine. However, the forces for change lost with the convention of 1968, there were riots in Chicago at the democratic convention where a police force ran rampant over the constitution to stop the infestation of hirsute youth. There was a revolution by a younger generation. They lost. My belief was that the only logical political position was that of a counterrevolutionary. Otherwise, the pro-police state maniacs would win. The election of Richard Nixon confirmed my analysis.
There hordes of “hippies” arriving in Boulder, dressed in colorful costumes in unconventional styles. There were the Hare Krishna’s robed in Saffron and beating drums or chanting. There was the activist. There were the stoners. And, also, there were a group, led by a robed hippie calling himself John the Baptist, preaching from the flatirons about love, sex, drugs and resistance. He made Timothy Leary seem like a reactionary.
In any event, one of his followers wandered into my office, after being caught in possession of over a pound of weed, in a grocery bag, tucked under his arm like the ghost of the London Tower. He was arrested in that hotbed of communism and drugs known as the “hill,” adjacent to the University, over-run with University Students and other suspicious persons. A good percentage of law enforcement hung out there, municipal, state, and federal, where it was easy to bag their quotas of pot smokers and other non-patriots.
The client was of Hispanic origin from Harlem, New York. His New York accent was hard to miss. I had known his wife prior to his marriage. She was related to a prominent Southern Senator at the time and came from a long, established Southern family. She escaped to Boulder to explore life. Her relative, when he heard I was representing her husband, offered me a sum of money to take a dive. I declined. I wasn’t a big fan of Southern Democrats. I ended up defending him for free, but it was worth it.
The new DA was a former FBI agent who practiced law in the town. He was an Easterner and therefore felt compelled to wear cowboy boots to show he was one of us. He was going to rid the town of the scourge, and the most obvious way was to prosecute all marijuana possession cases. The judge was the just defeated DA. He was WW2 disabled Navy vet who ran as a democrat after the Chicago police riots. He was friendly
The new DA was full of himself, but had the support of the law enforcement community. His new policy was to try every case. Be tough on crime, especially that evil marijuana. Show hippies who we are. I was batting a thousand in losing drug cases thus far. However, since no other lawyers would go near them with a ten-foot pole, I was relatively safe. That was until it was discovered that many “hippies” had substantial trust funds and I was getting paid for some of my cases. In the meantime, those of us who objected to the oppressive and punitive conduct of the police and Courts, decided to clog the docket. This we did without effort. The only way that it was stopped was by the institution of a Public Defender’s office.
Marijuana was extremely divisive among the townspeople. When I was growing up, it was referred to as “loco weed,” favored by Mexican immigrants and seasonal workers. Nobody seemed to pay any attention, until it started being associated with draft and war resistance, Commie politics, and flat-top dodging young men who burned draft cards and protested the war. The weed became a problem because it became associated with everything feared by the young people’s parents. They survived a depression, World War, rationing and recovery. The wanted better for their children. They wanted obedience, conformity, loyalty. Ozzie and Harriet were their model. Beaver was what they expected in their children.
There was no dialogue, just demonstrations of power. It was “my way or the highway” as far as the Government was concerned. Dissent wasn’t to be tolerated. Patriotism was an imperative. The children had to be saved from themselves. The hippies must die. So, must dissent and disorder. One of the most hated was the “STP” family. They were colorful and predated the rainbow coalition. There was a case in our office involving one of their members who was arrested for having an upside United States flag sewn on the seat of his pants. That one was in the appellate stage. STP John preached from the flatirons every day, extoling the virtues of the Leary hallucinogen.
That was the climate when Carlos got caught with his kilo of marijuana. An Hispanic from Spanish Harlem, he had the New York attitude that cold piss off any cop. He had a ponytail and beard together with outrageous consuming, consisting of beads, bells and other bobbles. From the town’s elite, it was worse. He had a white wife. He was exactly what Boulder didn’t want. Image conscious Boulder was afraid of what the STP family would produce. Why would parents send their kids there, when there were draft dodgers, draft card burners, hippies, intellectual Marxists and other undesirables. I had a choice. I could plead Carlos guilty in exchange for a prison term not exceeding 5 years, or I could go to trial on what appeared to be an open and shut case.
At a suppression motion, the arresting officer testified that he observed Carlos in a high crime area. (It was “the hill,” a student area, infested with students, hippies and other young people. It was adjacent to the University and was were the students went to shop, eat and drink.) It was the happy hunting grounds for training new narcotics officers. It was impossible to be there for more than one half hour before an arrest could be made. Students and hippies were fair game for the police.
The arresting officer testified at a preliminary hearing that it was a high crime area because drugs were a crime and over half of the people in that area were in possession of the same. (He failed to testify that 90 percent were youths and college students.) He stated that the defendant had a Safeway bag under his arm and seemed nervous. When he approached Carlos, he noticed that the bag was leaking a brown leafy substance. His experience and training told him that the defendant had marijuana. The defendant stated he was picking up trash and on his way to a trashcan on the corner when he was accosted by the officer. The evidence was ruled admissible. (My client said that the hole wasn’t in the bag when the officer took it. I asked the officer if this were the case, and stated that the bag was exactly like it was when he took it and turned it into the evidence locker.) He said that my client was probably lying to me. A polygraph indicated differently. So, we went to trial.
However, at the trial, another version was told. The Courtroom was packed. It resembled a clown convention or a Halloween costume party. There were festive ornaments on the multi-colored garments. Bells rang and bracelets rattled. The hippies were in force to watch American justice in action. The defendant’s story was unlikely, but it was plausible, but just barely. I didn’t think I could sell a jury, so additional tactics were in order. I believed that if the jury thought I was a court appointed red-neck bigot, they might feel sorry for Carlos for having to be defended by such an ass hole. I scowled at him in front of the jury. So, when picking the jury, I had Carlos sit away from me and I looked at him with disdain, as though I were court appointed to represent him. The jury looked formidable. Not a hippie among them. They looked so serious. I felt they were making plans to build a scaffold while sitting there. When the DA questioned, they smiled and nodded like good little robots. They all had short hair.
The DA was a smiling glad-handing yuppie. He was young and dynamic. He was likeable. The judge was a WWII vet from the navy. He was wounded at Normandy and had a bad back. He had just been defeated for DA even though I worked for him on his election campaign. He was sort of fair, but not exactly a model of liberalism. He was better than the alternative. He allowed most questions and sat there looking judge-like.
My turn. When I got up to interview the jurors, I sighed and tried to do my job. The reception was more than hostile. These were solid, middle-class, white, patriots of the white middle class community. It was hard to discern what was hated more, the hippies, the students or Hispanics. I was pissing into the wind. There were no students on the jury. Few young people were in the pool. They were all in the audience. They couldn’t vote yet. So, I shook things up a bit. When questioning the jurors, I asked, “Do any of you have an opinion of Spicks?” Those jurors that were shocked, I left on. The ones that snickered or laughed, I threw off. However, there was one man from a small town who was on Social Security that I could not get off the jury. I was out of challenges. So, the trial began. All I could do is try or cry.
Some preliminary witnesses established the substance and the analysis. Finally, it was the policeman’s turn. His testimony was essentially the same as earlier, except for one minor point. He had previously testified that he saw a hole in the bag with green leafy substance seeping out, which, as a trained police officer, knew was marijuana, although it was dark with little light. At the trial, he testified that as he approached Carlos, Carlos shifted the bag on the other side, using his body to shield the bag from his light.
Now, the reader might ask, “why did the officer change stories?’ He obviously saw the hole in the story he gave at the preliminary hearing. It looked suspicious when the hole in the marijuana bag was the approximate size of a pencil. In the cultural war, no one in the policeman’s circle of friends would have assumed any hippie would carrying a bag would have anything else. “Yes, you may say, but why would he obviously tell such a lie?”
Now that is something more complicated. Testimony is tailored to specific results. At the suppression hearing, the officer was charged with justifying his stopping of the defending, the questioning and the subsequent search. It was important that he establish probable cause to look into the bag. The only possible reason was that there was marijuana coming out of the bag. That necessitated a hole from which some mysterious substance could leak. The reader must realize that, to the police, the biggest threat to society, other than stopping commies in Viet Nam rather than at the Golden Gate Bridge, was the scourge of marijuana use, causing all the political and social turmoil. Marijuana caused rebellious youths. Marijuana caused daughters to have sex out of wedlock. Marijuana caused antiwar protests. Marijuana killed patriotism. Marijuana was a communist conspiracy to undermine the youths of this country and sap their vital bodily fluids. Marijuana was evil. So were the users. So, since police always believe the ends justify the means, the officer felt justified in lying for the greater good and said what he wanted. At the trial, he had to justify some sort of guilty knowledge. Therefore, blocking the light with his flashlight so that the officer could not examine the bag was conceived. It showed that Carlos had guilty knowledge of the bag’s contents.
However, I left comment for later. After a denied motion to dismiss, I gave an opening statement and presented my defense– my client. He was dressed in what he described as “West Harlem Pimp” finery and was applauded by my audience, which I generally attracted in those days. The audience were mostly members of the STP family, with court regulars and colleagues hoping to see me get chewed out by a judge or other entertainment that might occur.
Defendant stated his name and his address as “the streets and mountain campgrounds.” I asked him to tell what he remembered of the night of his arrest.
“Wha chu mean, mon, about that night? How could I forget it, man? I was on the hill minding my own business when I noticed this bag in the gutter. I stooped over to pick it up and take it to a trash container when I am confronted by this racist pig. He asked what I was doing there and if I was a citizen. I said that Puerto Rico qualified me for citizenship last I heard and told him he was a racist pig.”
“Why did you say that?”
“Because he was. I know the way these guys think, whether its New York or Boulder. If you white, that’s alright, if your black, get back, get back, get back. All you have to do is read the papers to know that. I’ve experienced it my whole life. This town ain’t no different. They just hide it better.”
He then testified how the officer asked about the bag, and when the defendant told him he could not look in the bag, the cop poked the bag with a pencil. Then the cop told him it looked like marijuana coming out and he was under arrest. And, he said, “Here we are.”
He was then cross examined by the DA. After several questions, that got him nowhere, the district attorney asked, “Do you expect this jury to believe that you came across two pounds of marijuana just lying in the streets and you were going to throw it in the trash?”
“I grew up in Harlem, man. You country clubbers haven’t experienced it. There was trash everywhere. In the streets, in the gutters, on the sidewalks and just everywhere. I vowed that if I ever was able to escape, I would never again tolerate trash anywhere I lived. So, when I saw the bag, I picked it up to throw it away. On the way, the pig stopped me, questioned me, stabbed the bag and arrested me.
“Are you saying that the office is lying.”
“He don’t look like no George Washington to me.”
At that point, he sat down, and the court was adjourned until the next day where we would the jury instructions would be read, and our closing arguments given. That night, we both went out and got drunk together.
The next morning, I was raring to go, but the DA overslept and was hung over. That was one defense tactic he wasn’t taught, but I educated him in a hurry. When he arrived, he didn’t look too good, but told the Judge that he was ready to proceed.
We gave final arguments. My opponent argued that it was the jury’s duty to stop the marijuana scourge and clean up the town. We should not tolerate drugs or the people that it brought to the town, pointing to my client’s supporters assembled in the back of the courtroom, in a rainbow of colors and beads. He summoned moral outrage and told the jury that it was there duty to protect the community from such trash. Then it was my turn. I slowly arose, shaking my head, looking bewildered. I slowly addressed the jury, starting in a soft voice, making them strain to hear me.
I agreed with the district attorney. Cases like this were significant and would define our community. But it was up to the jury to determine what type of a community we wanted to live in. Since the district attorney brought up the subject, I thought I would comment on the subject.
“What type of community do we want,” I asked rhetorically? I then described the dream middle class existence, with all white people, no crime or delinquency and with all youths with close shaved haircuts.
“There is ample precedent for such communities or societies. My father risked his life in a war to with such a society that wanted to discriminate, euthanize, and exterminate all the ‘others,’ to purify people and thoughts. That was what the DA was describing. But, is that what we want?
Or, do we want a society based upon tolerance and truth. I agree that my client isn’t the type of person that I would like my sister to marry. However, I don’t make decisions for her. Will we tolerate prejudice and lies to protect our daughters and sisters? Do we want police that believe that they can get away with lying because of the nature of the offense or the offender? Or, will we believe any person who has a uniform or a badge? Does a certificate of truth come with the badge? I want you to go into the jury room and look at the evidence. Calculate the probability that a pencil hole just happens to be in a bag, or was it added later? Pick up the flashlight. Shine it around. Point it at you fellow jurors and see if the flashlight is an x-ray flashlight. Can it see through a person? If, not, there can be only one conclusion. My client was right. He, ain’t no George Washington. So, if that is what you want, go ahead a convict the defendant. Very few people would care, and many would rejoice, not because of what he had done, but because he looks different, talks different, and is offensive. I don’t care. A year from now, I will be at some University teaching. So, the future is up to you.” I then sat down.
The jury was back in three hours. Surprisingly, the verdict was not guilty. I waited around the courthouse to talk to the jurors. One of the jurors whom I tried to exclude from the jury and started to talk. He was a farmer from Louisville, a small neighboring town. He looked old enough to be retired, but said he was still farming. I asked him, “Why the hell did you find the defendant not guilty? He looked at the district attorney and replied, “shit, we just couldn’t convict someone of having anything that grows wild in the ditches around here. We all agreed on that.
The next day, the District Attorney’s office announced that it was impossible to obtain a marijuana conviction in Boulder County. That was his conclusion. His mind just wasn’t clear enough to see that maybe the problem was his constituency, not the community. No community likes a police force that bullies or allows perjury. Of course, one who worships law enforcement and owes his political existence to police would never think of that. Oh, well, at least I won.


Dennis L. Blewitt, J.D. 2015
Continuation of What Happened?
I remember a time when there was trust, compassion, charity, and a sense of community in the third branch of Government called the Courts. That era has all but disappeared. Change came rapidly, and, in an instant, a branch of Government was transformed from an equal branch of Government that served the citizenry or people into a “system” which became the playground of the multi-nationals. This was not accidental, it was planned and premeditated by the greedy and ignorant, disdainful of the lower classes whom they believed inferior and needed to be punished. A major impediment to the era of corporate rule was the Constitution. The Constitution was attacked wholesale by politicians and the press. Laws, especially drug laws were made more draconian due the publicized death of a professional basketball player. Propaganda media programs, enshrining police and creating a villainous “other” was in full swing. People believed that Government was the enemy and only corporate efficiency could save them from the ravages of Government. Ironically, this same group idolized the police. While the elite got wealthier, predators siphoned off people’s money, blaming the decline in the standard of living on the poor, lazy, welfare recipients, deadbeat fathers and other manufactured causes, readily accepted by the uninformed and ignorant. People were conditioned to believe that private business persons were heroes and good rather than the venal, greedy unscrupulous enemy of the public that they were. Society’s unfortunates were blamed for the siphoning off of wealth.
Efficiency was the buzzword and the Government started marketing protection similar to the tactics of the Mafia in an earlier period. It thrived on fear. No one stopped to think what this efficiency meant, or how it would affect us. In 2003, minimum mandatory sentencing was introduced. This reflected a change in thinking regarding punishment or treatment of an individual to that of punishing an act or thing. Crime became symbolic and sentence was meted out to validate the people’s concerns and prejudices. Reason and causation that defense attorneys used to present to judges or certain social conditions were now forbidden. The Government had the equivalency of papal infallibility. Decisions on justice and crime were made by prosecutors, anxious to prostitute themselves to stay in power or keep their positions. The public wanted safety and they got it, or the illusion of it, at the expense of an 800-year traditional legal system and the nebulous concept of justice. Justice now meant retribution or vengeance, not understanding and compassion. At the same time, an ambivalent public favored corporations over Government to better address the problems of a complex society.
Bail reform, disguising the concept of preventive detention, negated the presumption of innocence and right to trial and counsel, obtained at Runnymede by sword point and great cost to the originators. Judges started to restrict the questioning of potential jurors to speed up the conviction process, curtailing the right to a jury. Justice in thought and practice was replaced by vengeance. Many groups agitated for less government and more business-like government. The third branch of Government was to become the servant of the Executive branch. Fear, ignorance, servitude, and expediency reigned over destruction of the Constitution, cheered by a fearful population. Laws promoted the rich.
Tax revision, distributing wealth and power upward, and control of the narrative convinced the public that there was danger everywhere and more police could protect a person. Very few challenged this assumption. People wanted security. People wanted certainty. People didn’t want to look at complex problems or solutions. They believed that the free market would solve all problems and save them from fear. Only privatized government could save us. The crime policy was to contain and warehouse the poor like we did cattle on ranches. Criminals weren’t people, they were essentially cattle that should be put away or even executed because they didn’t behave. Only individuals were responsible. Society efficiently run by corporations was blameless. The idea of a society was replaced by a Darwinist battle of individuals. Various interest groups started to flex their muscles, many of which were quasi-religious in ideology and belief. Although a tiny O-ring on a rocket scuttled a space launch, a comparably simple system, the public thought that a much more complicated “justice system” could be the immediate “fixed” simply by efficiency. The idea of evidence-based policy was discarded, replaced by such totalitarian ideas as zero-tolerance and broken windows law enforcement. Everyone was suspect and a potential threat. To deal with these and many other perceived dangers, Officials in the law enforcement community and ex judges recruited mainly from the ranks of prosecutors implemented the concept of preventive detention. Zero tolerance prohibited debate. Broken window policy of strict enforcement of chicken shit laws kept the peasantry docile, in fear, and in line. Unlike opinions of scientists 75 years ago which showed that criminals should be taught to differentiate between running a stop sign and murder, any violation of any law or regulation was reason to punish. And who had “broken windows?” The poor, of course.
To gain control, the Common law system had to go. The corporation managers could not countenance power from below. They wished dictatorial power. They were to become terrorists by acquiescence. Although centuries old, the presumption of innocence needed to be abolished and replaced with an Old Testament non-Christian view of the world with the view that everyone way a sinner or guilty of something. Like the characters of the Old Testament, the people wanted vengeance, protection and the feeling of comfort generally associated with cattle. Many intellectually deficient drones proclaimed themselves “Christians,” libertarians, and “Patriots,” causing the thinking public to cringe. However, these people were vocal and made their desires heard. The problem was that they could only think in terms of dichotomy. Continuums were beyond their ken. They believed in simple answers to complex problems. They denied science and the concept of a society. It was all up to the individual and those who did not excel were morally lacking.
An earlier attempt under the Nixon-Mitchell administration was made to privatize records when Law Enforcement Assistance Administration was created, but was defeated. This group spun off a private intelligence corporation which stored records. When the abuse was obvious, prosecutors feigned lack of control over the corporations, claiming that information was private and not available to the defense. Judges put a short stop to that. They weren’t quite indoctrinated to cow-tow to the corporation. That would soon change.
Privatization occurred with a vengeance under the Reagan administration. Private prisons cropped up, hyped as an answer to prison crowding. The crowding, however, was manufactured. First bail reform abolished the common law concept of bail being a guarantee for a court appearance. It was now used as a device to control, discriminate, and punish. For centuries, the right to bail was absolute. Now it is conditional with the accused treated as though he has already been convicted, subject to terms and conditions imposed by Courts and prosecutors without precedent in Anglo-American jurisprudence. The new breed of politician and lawyer respected expediency and profit, not justice and fairness.
When I first started law practice, I used to get a call from a client that he had been arrested. I could have him released within two hours of my arrival at jail. There was a bail schedule, a deputy clerk to grant the bail, a bondsman to post the bond, and that was it. Now, under bail reform, the reality is that the accused generally has to spend at least one night in jail. Bond is set in a greater amount than before and the accused is subject to various conditions pending the disposition of the case. The bond is not to ensure the accused’s appearance in court, it functions as a peace bond, subject to revocation for a myriad of reasons which may or may not pertain to the prosecution. In effect, the defendant is already found guilty of something. He just needed to wait for the police and their DA lackeys to decide how to treat them. To be released, they had to agree to being treated as though convicted. That has changed. I now take at least a day. Release on bond has become a form of punishment because the arrestee is presumed to be guilty of something. Mostly, the main offense was being poor. Conditions, identical to the pre-Reagan practices of probation after conviction replaced the right to bail. Conditional release had absolutely no relation to appearance to answer charges.
Bond was identical to the Roman-Napoleon concept of the peace bond. Release was conditional. If an arrest were made on a weekend, the accused generally had to spend it in confinement. The costs of bail raised because the amount demanded by the schedules were escalated. Not to insure appearance of an accused, but to increase profitability.
A recent example is the requirement of an accused to wear a sobriety ankle device, have an interlock device on his car to drive and attend alcohol classes sponsored by a political lobby group, whose purpose is to indoctrinate the public and change the law. This particular individual was accused of driving under the influence of marijuana. The dumbass court applied the alcohol statute to the defendant because there wasn’t one yet for driving while using marijuana. Common sense suffers, but the private groups providing these services thrive. The accused must pay $25 for a breath test that he is not drinking, when that was never in issue. He also has to pay for an interlock device on his car, sold by another vendor. Additionally he has to take an alcohol class, administered by a private company. All told, before any conviction he has paid the Court racket over a thousand dollars to comply with stupid, non-relevant conditions of bond. He must contact the private vendor regularly and pay for that. So much for the presumption of innocence. The system is mechanized and mindlessly rambles on. The only logical reason for this is to create the illusion that the police state can protect us.
Science is denied by those in power. Science is inconvenience. It is easier to keep power by manipulating opinion and maintaining an ignorant public. Social scientists have studied crime causation and all the research is ignored by most policymakers. Medical science has shown that the prime cause of addiction is a person’s social environment and addiction is correlated with mental health problems. However, the public won’t face this. They are convinced that the individual is to blame for all of society’s problems. If enough people can be locked up, we don’t have to worry about causation. So speaks the simple mind.
Before “reform, when the defendant was arrested and before the Courts allowed predatory practices by business, an accused was allowed access to the facility’s telephone, paid for by the taxpayers and not subject to any surtax. He had an unconditional right to a phone call. He was innocent and had rights, eight centuries old. Now, he must make a collect call to someone to arrange bail or counsel. A private company provides this at a cost of around $2.00-$300 per call, which must be paid by the call recipient. Naturally, several people refuse to accept the call when a recorder informs them that, “you have a correct call from a correctional institution.” Additionally, the calls are monitored, even if to an attorney in a blatant, deliberate violation of the right to counsel and to that of attorney-client privilege. This is also true of spousal calls. Considering that most arrestees are poor, this is a truly regressive form of punishment.
The end result of all of this privatization is a destruction of Constitutional rights. The irony is that we are being charged for this by allowing a failed policy to benefit the robber barons and privateers. The true crime is that those who should be standing up to the profiteers are generally in bed with them. They seem to be morally and ethically challenged, or else brainwashed into believing that the Government to whom they took a loyalty oath is corrupt and evil compared to the multinational corporations. This whole system is insane and calculated to enhance corporate profits and transfer wealth to them at the expense of the citizenry, especially the poor. It should be obvious to even the most obtuse that the corporation executives, not the People, benefit from such policy.


So, as we enter the election climate with the same mindset of a sporting event including pep rallies and cheer leaders.  “Lock her up” was repeatedly shouted in a convention.  This is in light of the fact that we have the highest incarceration rate in the free world.  “Build a wall” was chanted as a solution to the economy doldrums at the same time as a release of a report stating home-grown terrorism is the biggest threat to the safety of our citizenry.  I am tired of being embarrassed, lied to, manipulated, and ignored.  This is insulting.  It is time for us to make our presence known.  Let the rulers be aware that we are watching, and we expect better of them.  Get active at the congressional and state levels.  Don’t fear being labeled as stupid.  Those are the ones doing the labeling.  Hit the social media with demands that the candidates talk about real issues rather than amuse us.  Get angry.  Get involved.  Stop bullies.  Stop corporation power.  Quit worshipping toxic business ethics.  Tell the other candidate to concern herself with all the people and society rather than corporations and children.

Justice and Law (B.N.) Before Nixon

Dennis L. Blewitt, J.D, June 2016

Like many of my colleagues, I hung out at bars and coffee shops and talked to   people, even today.  However, there are some significant differences that merit comment about “the good old days.”  The only thing good about them was that they warrant discussion.  So, I rewrote an excerpt from my Memoirs of a Drug Warrior to see if anyone understands it, or, more to the point, if anyone cares.  It is my hope that some nostalgic well-connected acid freak might even line up a publisher or an agent.

               One of the many advantages of trying cases in numerous jurisdictions is the benefit of comparing different views of the law and of legal procedure. Before I started traveling, I assumed law in the United States was pretty much the same all over however, that’s not the case.  The only consistency is when people in the system view it as a methodology rather than a body of knowledge.  There have, over the decades, substantial changes in both the law and the perception of the law.  Here is an example of the good old days.

               One of my first cases out of state was in Laramie, Wyoming.  Both Laramie and Boulder, Colorado were college towns with travel between the student bodies at each institution. Laramie is on a wind-swept plateau is cold.  The town is much less active and much smaller than Boulder and, other than romancing sheep, I there’s not much else to do there. But, the cowboys do have money. And that’s where my clients, newly returned from Vietnam to enroll at the local University here enter the picture.  They were contacted by someone in Laramie who wanted to purchase marijuana. He drove down to Boulder to beg the clients to deliver the product to Laramie, which the clients were reluctant to do at first until the price offered was so high, they couldn’t refuse.

               An interesting fact about my client’s back then was that the majority of them were first introduced to marijuana in Vietnam, by superior officers. So, as long as they were killing Commies for Christ, everything was cool. But when they came home things changed. There were newspaper articles at the time about how soldiers returning from Vietnam had become addicted to heroin and the government wasn’t doing anything about it. Later, I found out they were doing something about it. The government was packing heroin into caskets and sending it to the United States with the corpses, but that’s another story.

               So, when my clients showed up in Laramie with a couple hundred pounds of marijuana they were surprised to be presented with handcuffs rather than money. I recruited co-counsel, Eugene Dykeman, and we flew to Laramie to see what we could do. We talked to the prosecutor and a date was set for hearing on our suppression motion. The prosecutor was friendly and condescending and offered to go easier on me when I told him I had never done a drug case there before. After the hearing, he accused me of lying to him because of my performance at the hearing.

               “I thought you said that you had never handled a drug case before,” he said accusatorially.

               “No, Mr. Reese, I said that I had never handled a drug case in Wyoming before. You must have misunderstood.”

               During the hearing, I discovered some very interesting facts. First, Boulder was targeted by various agencies as a drug center. In fact, it was a training ground for some agencies. Additionally, the detective on this case specified that the informant had to buy marijuana from someone in Boulder and get them to deliver it across a state line to Wyoming. My clients were nominated and elected at the same time.

               When I delved into the phone call made from Laramie to my clients in Boulder, some very interesting facts were uncovered. The officer, listening in on the phone call, heard both sides of the conversation between the informant and my client. But the call was made from a phone that had no extension. It was a pay phone. So I asked the investigator how he managed to hear both sides of the conversation and he said, “well now, I have this neat little gadget that I use. I take my knife and I peeled back the wires and attach alligator clips to them, attached to headphones. there’s no microphone in the unit so the other side couldn’t hear anything from me, but I can hear everything that goes on.”

               Well, the detective had just confessed to a warrantless illegal wiretap. He was clueless he had done so.  I considered the case won at that point but toyed with him for another hour.  Then Dykeman had a go.  All was well except the prosecutor didn’t seem to recognize the problem with the search.  I concentrated on that and Dykeman concentrated on the enticement by the Government to encourage citizens to cross a state line to commit a crime.  I personally believed that it was to help populate the state with one congressman and two senators.  Incarceration would ensure that they would be around for a census.  After the first hearing, the prosecutor informed me that the U.S. Attorney was interested in my case.  He explained that he was a part-time prosecutor and dealing with me took up too much time.  He threatened to turn the case over to the Feds if I kept filing motions.  I knew that the penalty under Federal law was much less that the state of Wyoming was offering.  Immediately, upon returning to Boulder, I filed more motions.

               I had some more trips. In one, I got within a mile of the runway when they closed the airport, forcing me to fly back and drive there. Most of the hearings were uneventful, and the prosecutor kept trying to get me to tell my clients to plead guilty to something.  I would respond by filing more motions.  This was the first wiretap case in Laramie and I don’t think the Courts there were used to them.

               Finally, I pissed off the prosecutor to the point he turned the case over to the Feds. We had to wait to celebrate because I didn’t drink if I was flying.  However, I made up for it when I got back.  Looking back and comparing what happened then with what would have happened now is astounding.  It is hard for me to believe or appreciate what four decades has done to the drug laws.

               In Cheyenne, we had a judge who had sat form many years and had many years as a practicing lawyer.  We both knew about loco weed that the cattle and horses occasionally ate, but there wasn’t a big marijuana problem in the area.  Most illicit smoking was trying to burn corn silk behind the barn.  The prosecutor made a reasonable offer to dispose of the case.  We actually had some discussions about the case, as opposed to today when a recent Law School graduate reads some police files written in a slanted fashion by more experienced police officer and then confers with the officer or agent in order to come up with a “plea bargain.”  There is no bargain.  There is an offer by some kid on a take it or leave it basis.  This arrogance is enforced by long prison sentencings with minimum mandatory sentences of the client balks at the extortion of a plea.  It is assembly line case processing.  It isn’t fair, but it is efficient.  That’s how the courts handle so many cases in a year.  It is also why we have ten times more prisoners now than when I started.

               Before the clients were to be sentenced on a plea to a reduced charge, the Judge called us back to his chambers before Court.  Back then, judges mingled with the peasant lawyers and didn’t hide behind back doors.  I think that is not the case now because the judges know that they are unfair, dictatorial and clueless.  The judges were more concerned with Justice than processing cases and moving the docket along.  The process was fair, but not efficient.  Now the process resembles a ritual such as Mass, where a litany is recited which has absolutely no relationship to reality where a judge tells a defendant about rights he theoretically has, which actually don’t exist.  The client responds with catechistic answers.  The judge asks the defendant if he is agreeing to be screwed of his own free will and there haven’t been any threats.  Instead of telling the judge that he was threatened with extremely long sentencing if he didn’t go along, he tells the judge that his plea is voluntary.  At that point, the defendant is sentenced according to some chart that any clerk could use with the same result.  Uniformity is the buzz word.  To get that, judges can’t be independent.

               In chambers, the judge had a conversation with the attorneys and prosecutor.  He explained his position in advanced and warned the prosecutor that he would have many regrets if he pissed and moaned about the decision.  This is the essence of the judge’s position as best as I can remember.

               Judge start out by addressing us.  Gentlemen, I have been doing some reading about this marijuana situation.  I don’t think it is that bad.  I read how it became law and am aware that the defendants didn’t start until they were in Viet Nam.  I find it unfortunate that the Government isn’t doing something about the situation there.  We’re surely spending lots of money to kill and I think some of the money could be used to help these men out.  So, I am sentencing them to the indeterminate sentence as required.  He told us that he had to do that because the press demanded some kind of punishment because it was the biggest marijuana case in Wyoming so far.

               However, he told us, I will entertain a motion to resentence these people in 90 days when the publicity dies down.  So if you gentlemen file motions in about 85 days, I will grant them.  He also said that the clients had 30 days to turn themselves in at the facility in El Reno, Oklahoma and they could take their cars there.  Not a peep out of the U.S. attorney.  The defendants were released in 100 days, finished college and have been employed ever since.

               I don’t have the vocabulary to describe what occurs today to give all of you a comparison.  All I can say is that you should attend some court sessions and compare what is happening today with my story.  There hasn’t been just a change in attitudes, there has been a whole change in the culture.  Everyone entering the courthouse is suspect.  Probability is slim, but that doesn’t matter.  We are no longer a free country where we are assumed to be good.  We are suspected of wanting to cause harm to the court personnel.  Unless you are a member of the police state, you have to submit to surveillance, and searched, either by hand or electronically.  I can’t help but observe that the courts weren’t that way until the prosecutors and judges started screwing the people.  I have always found the situation to be insulting, but I guess I am one of the few who doesn’t live in a state of fear.  Like one famous president said, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” and yet another stated confidently, “you have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  Also, compare past presidents with the front-running candidates today.  It is not hard to see why I write.

               We don’t need all those prisoners, except to make corporations wealthy.  We do need hospitals to care for the sick.  We don’t need vengeance.  We do need compassion and understanding.  Before Nixon, we were on the way of defining a drug problem in medical terms, not law enforcement terms.  The reason for the drug war wasn’t to regulate or decrease drug abuse.  It was to destabilize minorities, youths, protesters and any other group that pisssed off my father’s generation There was no law enforcement problem.  There was a problem with an administration frustrated that it couldn’t kill Asians.  That’s bad enough, but certain parts of the government wanted drugs controlled because it kept the price of drugs high.  They wanted that because the Government, who declared war on drugs, meaning hippies and yuppies, also wanted to profit from controlling drug supply.  I think back on the thousands of clients who got a felony charge and, maybe, a conviction at the start of their lives and it makes me angry and depressed.  What makes me more frustrated is that, even with all the material available on the history and damage that the drug war does to youths, we still continue.  It frustrates me when a state amends its Constitution reflecting the will of the people, that Government official do all within their power to negate our vote. I don’t blame the public for being resistant.  Sputnik, which provided me years of post-high-school education for free is old history.  Instead, after brainwashing the citizenry that business can run governmental institutions better and exploit the youth of this country with high tuition and outrageous loan policy, we spend the money that should be used for an educated citizenry, a healthy citizenry, a housed and fed citizenry on selling weapons to other countries whom we buy drugs from so they can buy our weapons.  We encourage perpetual war while bridges collapse on the people and the ignorant people cheer the politicians on when the screw us.  Instead of controlling our public servants, we allow them to kill us to the point that more people are killed by police than in our wars.  I have often said in jest that this country should produce more proctologists to treat our rectal-cranial inversion.  I still can’t decide if the people are stupid, ignorant, brainwashed, or, just don’t care anymore.  This situation isn’t sustainable.  People see how agencies band together to get their way no matter what the people or their elected representatives want to thwart or ignore the will of the people.  If that doesn’t work, they kill a few of us as an example.  We are not governed with our consent, we are ruled in a more and more sinister manner.  It will get worse unless we wake up, read, inform ourselves and ostracize the ones who try to screw us or do us harm.  Join me in denouncing fear.  Tell officials we can no longer be intimidated or made fearful.  Quit trying to destroy our freedom, or else.




DENNIS L. BLEWITT, J. D.., May 2016

WHEN I finished law school, there still was stability in the law.  There were century old definitions, concepts and principles.  There was a respect for precedent.  Law was methodology, not a body of knowledge.  There were fairly clear lines that defined crime, which developed over centuries. I started in a time of social change and challenge to concepts and ideas.  Power was up for grabs.  The rulers had divided the population along color lines, class lines and gender lines.  But these divisions were being challenged.  Loyalty oaths were attacked, the selective service was attacked, separate but equal schools were attacked, and the new generation didn’t know their place.  They were restless and questioned authority.

All wrongs weren’t criminal.  A person had to intend to be a criminal to commit a crime.  However, there were lots of harmful screw ups; ones that hurt others because of recklessness or lack caution.  These people weren’t then considered criminal.  Yet.  But, to get control of thoughts and deeds, the regime believed that more power must be exercised.  The people couldn’t be trusted to govern themselves.  The law was called upon for discipline and to maintain the status quo.  The new generation preached love and the old preached hate.  The new wanted change, the old wanted the status quo and stability.  Not only was there a war in SE Asia, but there was a cultural war at home.  One that was viewed as a matter of life and death by the old guard.  Rather than try to understand, force was the weapon of choice, and the war on drugs was the battle ground.  The war kept the rabble paranoid, fractured and incapable of coordinated social action.  A casualty of that war was the abolition of common law, and the implementation of various degrees of Civil, or Napoleonic law.  Power was taken from the people and instilled in the rulers.  Debate was stifled and simple mindedness prevailed.  If there was a hurt, there was a punishment.

Causation had been defined as intent, now it was equated with knowledge.  Defenses dating back centuries which were clear now became confused and blurred.  “I didn’t do it, I didn’t mean to do it, it wasn’t illegal to do it, and, the devil made me do it” were the only defenses to crime.  Common law held that the act wasn’t relevant.  That stopped being a factor with the Druids.  What mattered was what was in the persons “soul” or heart.  Was he a bad guy or a screw up?  Only bad guys were criminals.  Crime was behavior that concerned the state and not individuals.  Criminal law could not be used for personal gain or revenge, if harm occurred, of consideration or caring.  There was a whole area of the law that dealt with these problems.  It was not criminal law.  However, without intent, there may be grounds for a lawsuit, but not for a prosecution.

Then things started to get blurred.  The population wasn’t responding to things in predictable ways.  Young people avoided what was considered their duty.  They avoid the draft and protested war.  Races started to demand equality.  Gender equality was next.  The powerful took advantage of the unrest to dilute the labor pool and subjugate populations to lower wages.  Standard of living declined along with the perceived dominance of the world by the U.S.  Law no longer was the exemplar of the culture, through mores, folkways, taboos and customs.  Various groups vied for power to impose definitions upon the public.  Common law was considered inconvenient and unfair.  Power was up for grabs and for sale. The war on drugs was the perfect vehicle to keep the youths, minorities and dissidents under control.

When I started, common law was the law of the land in a substantial part of the English-speaking world.  It was the reflection of the people.  It existed by consensus.  Consensus gave it legitimacy.  Power was exercised from the bottom up. “with consent of the governed.”  Most of the rest of the world had law based upon recognized or forced power from the top down, called Napoleonic, Roman or Civil Law.  It had worked well for centuries until some leaders got greedy and power hungry.  Some also got frustrated with the inefficiency of Government and, with the salad bowl concept rather than mixing bowl, definitions were up for grabs.

There have been many definitions of law, government, etc., however most deal with power and who yields it and who is subject to it.  Is the subjugation voluntary or not?  Where does the power come from?  How is it used?  The main difference between the two system can be defined in terms of power.  In Common Law system, power depends upon the consent of the population.  Rulers don’t remain rulers if the people don’t agree.  A Napoleonic system has power at the top, going down to the people.  It has many forms, the most extreme being Fascism, National Socialism, Stalinism and martial law. When people are fearful, unscrupulous politicians wrest power from the people and concentrate it for their own benefit.  That happened in the U. S.

Conservative Presidents wanted power and were afraid of change and of Communists.  Younger people had experienced enough duck and cover, paranoia, cold war suspicion and adopted the motto of Mad Magazine, “Quid, me vex are?”  They reasoned that if a bomb was going to fall, there wasn’t much they could do about it, so why worry about it.  Live, love, and be free was the password of passage.

Indoctrinated by fear of communism, the leaders were convinced that this change in beliefs of the young was inspired by communists.  Reds were behind civil rights demands, anti-war demonstrations, draft-card burnings, riots, student protests, and fluoridation.  The reds were behind everything.  But, we were saved by a president who identified the problem as the young and minorities, led by reds, who needed to be controlled.  A perfect way was devised to do this.  Drugs were associated with protest and long hair with draft resistance, and vice versa.  Our president’s men decided that the situation could be controlled by criminalizing drugs, instead of making it a tax evasion matter which it was considered previously.  This policy was embraced by the older citizens who were fearful of change.  The propaganda machine went into operation and the powers that be started marketing fear like some companies marketed soap.

However, the rulers were cognizant of the perilous position they were in.  So, the legal system had to be changed.  Power needed to be concentrated.  This was easy to do with a congress afraid to declare war in Viet Nam and left it up to the Executive branch.

Without opposition, the system started to be changed into a Napoleonic one.  Power was exerted from the top, not exercised by consent.  Since drug cases took up so much court time, the civil cases became backlogged and costlier.  Prosecutors, to win elections, tried to convince the people that they could represent the victims of crime and the interests of the state at the same time.  This was another power grab.  As that developed, the general bad guy theory gave way to the concept that wrongs should be paid for and the state should make sure that happened.  All of the sudden, anything that caused an injury or hurt was defined as a crime.  Prisons expanded exponentially.  By the time of Reagan, privatization was promoted as a cure for big government who had demonstrated that they couldn’t work in instances in which there was no reason for it to work.  Crime again got redefined, depending upon the profitability of the situation.  Some interest groups organized to have their definitions of crime.  New crimes evolved and were defined differently in various jurisdictions, depending upon who could exercise the power to define.  We went developed into a legal tower of Babel.

Thus, we evolved into a police state.  The vehicle used to do this was the drug war, inflamed with the marketing of fear.  There were not enough leaders with integrity to speak up for right and risk public condemnation or ridicule.  There were few people with the vision to see what was happening.  Intellectuals feared criticism and ridicule. The brightest were either tripping and dying, the rest were quaking and pissing their pants.  Whites wanted to keep power, the rich wanted more money, youths wanted to be mellow, politicians wanted war.  All this combined to steal freedom and liberty from the citizenry.  Freedom was intentionally and premeditatedly stolen from the citizenry.  Who is the criminal




dennis L. blewitt, J.D. May 2016

It took a while for me to recover from my grand jury experience.  I was still fairly idealistic then.  That was to change over time.  I still didn’t connect the dots.  Sally Denton had published her book, “Bluegrass Conspiracy” and “Smith County Justice,” “Compromised,” “Politics or Heroin in SE Asia,” and other books.  I also started seriously research the subject.  At first, I wouldn’t discuss my findings, believing that I would be locked up in a looney bin.  That soon changed.

In addition to having drug cases in over 30 U. S, state and Federal jurisdictions, I started receiving information anonymously by chance meetings and deliveries to my mailbox.  All in all, the experience was surrealistic.  It made me question my sanity and ability to think and understand.  I was starting to agree with my friends that I was bat-shit crazy.  After all, why should a nobody from nowhere Colorado have these surrealistic experiences, when my clients, who were on acid quite often seem perfectly normal.  I asked people if two plus three still equaled five.  There was agreement.  I would describe things I saw, and no one argued.  But, when I would speak about what I had observed and how I interpreted events, observations and experiences, I could see the disbelief and skepticism in people’s eyes.  The information mysteriously supplied started to make sense and form a pattern.  I would run into strangers who would tell me things which would later prove to be true.

At that time, all new clients had to have a reference.  I had to feel comfortable with them.  I didn’t care about a fee, I only cared about them being a plant to set me up or otherwise harm me.  Then came an inquiry from an ex-client.  He had been a large-scale distributor with his own fleet of airplanes.  I had represented him in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and S. Dakota.  He was arrested east of Denver with about 500 pounds of marijuana on the interstate.  He had landed a plane with a confederate and an agent whom he had employed to write his memoirs. He documented the trip on film for his memoirs. Of course, he didn’t know she was a Fed at that time.  That came later.  At the time of the arrest, she made it a point to try to get me to advise some kind of questionable conduct, but I was too naïve and didn’t succumb to her charms like my client had.  In any event, within one hour of his arrest, they told him they would release him on a recognizance bond if he would agree to work for them to try to obtain anything usable against me.  If he could set me up for something, they would dismiss his 500-pound marijuana case.  We had a jury trial, and he was convicted.  I appealed the case.  The Government spent all the money investigating and capturing him.  However, the agents took the film from the camera to a corner drug store for developing.  The contact prints showed people unloading marijuana from a plane, but wasn’t good enough to identify anyone.  When the jury asked for a magnifying glass, I suspected that the case was lost. And, sure enough, two hours later a guilty verdict was announced.  The judge sentenced him to one year per 100 pounds.  He also stated that the main reason wasn’t the marijuana, but the fact that he had fathered several children and didn’t pay any support.  The judge said he was obligated to stop a one-man population explosion.  This was the last of several matters that I had handled for this defendant. He seemed to have lost confidence in me after his 5-year sentence. Or at least so it seemed at the time.

However, I was not to have been so lucky. Although this particular client had great entertainment value, he was also a pain in the ass. Additionally, he had a monumental ego, reflected by the fact that he had hired a federal agent unknown to him at the time, to transcribe his memoirs, which turned out to be a confession of great significance however for some reason this document never seem to have gotten into the court files or records I suspect because he had significant ties to the intelligence community.

Out of the blue, his new lawyer contacted me and informed me he was filing a post-conviction case for the defendant based upon ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct. That didn’t particularly surprise me, because many choose to do that when their lawyer loses a case. However, the grounds that this defendant used were unique. At that time, there been several cases of prosecutorial misconduct including planting spies and Jim Garrison’s office while he was trying to indict people on the Kennedy assassination, and planting spies on the Russell means defense team. I knew that the secretary, recording the client’s memoirs was employed by the drug agency, which I thought was outrageous enough, but, curiously, that wasn’t the grounds for his appeal.

It seems, that when my client was arrested and in the custody of the federal agents, they told him that his case could be dismissed if he was able to get any evidence against me. Although he tried he was unable to do so, for which he blamed me. Had I done something illegal or unethical, and he would be a freeman today. They told him that it be fairly easy to do. They also said they would be greatly appreciative. So under his theory, he couldn’t tell me everything about the case that I needed to know to defend him, because to do so would incriminate him in a way that might be leveraged against him if he were to get something against me. Follow? I sure as hell didn’t. So, because he couldn’t tell me what I needed to know to defend him he had inadequate representation of counsel. All I needed then was the white rabbit and the red queen. I considered using this in a class I talk about postmodern criminal defense. It was a scenario that could rival that of Umberto Eco.  However, since I realized that I wasn’t anywhere near the writer that Eco was, I decided not to. Additionally, I couldn’t determine whether to style it as Eco or Kafka or maybe a synthesis of the two.  So, I bumbled along, blissfully ignorant of the swamp in which I had chosen to play.

I then started to sociogram my experiences again.  I did that before I ran for DA, and sort of stopped while I was reeling from attack.  I had a tip from an agent in Aspen, a case in Chicago and one in Milwaukee that enlarged my paranoia and, eventually understanding.  But that took a while.  Soon, I was about to be inundated with information, and with it, misinformation.  In my book, I detail these delusions, but I already get enough criticism of the length of my missives.  So until I find a publisher, this is it.





I digress from the sequence if my narrative to answer some observation, questions and revelations I’ve discovered since my first article of my war with the CIA.  Many readers have expressed the attitude “so what else is new, that’s interesting, what did you expect, etc.”  I have had comments from all over the political spectrum.  From that, I see a pattern evolving.  Both sides are suspicious of both the Government and the elite.  Most readers now accept that the Government or at least a Government agency is behind the drug trade and has been for quite some time.  “If [we] all know this, why are your writing about it?”

Well, the reason is that it is still going on.  People are still going to jail.  The police state is advancing, and our rights are still jeopardized.  It is frustrating that with so many people aware of the situation, that it is still allowed to exist.

When I first became aware of the CIA involvement, I questioned my conclusions.  I questioned my sanity.  I questioned my suspicions.  It was too unbelievable.  Our Government couldn’t be involved.  Sure, maybe there are a few rogue elephants out there, but I was watching a stampede.  This couldn’t be true!

It took a lot for me to overcome my provincial small-town view of the world and people.  I was on a cruise ship that held more than the population of my home town.  My father was a state employee and a local business man.  He was active in the VFW and other organizations.  I was slated for Annapolis as a political appointee.  My younger brother was a career military pilot.  I was not taught, but indoctrinated to support the Government, right or wrong.  The Government paid for almost 10 years of school beyond high school.  In short, I represented the views, beliefs and values of small-town America.  Even as late as law school, I still held onto these delusions.  Then I started defending drug cases.

My first drug cases were all ex Viet Nam vets, returning from the war.  They were introduced to drugs by their officers and commanders.  I did drug cases because I didn’t expect to practice law long and was killing time until I could find an academic slot.  I took a drug case because no one else in town wanted to soil their hands or risk the social ostracism associated with drug use.  I knew about drugs somewhat because at one time I enrolled as a pharmacy major and held an apprentice certificate from the state.  I also knew chemistry and lab procedure.  I had even toyed with the idea of going to University of Kentucky’s program for a graduate degree in narcotics social work before deciding on law school.  I grew up in a time of building bomb shelters in the basements, witnessing crosses being burned on people’s lawns, and loyalty oaths demanded of university professors.  It was extremely difficult for me to believe anything bad about our Government.

I look back on those days as extreme naiveté and ignorance, which, I assume made me a perfect patsy.   So, for four decades, I learned, researched, reflected and codified my thinking.

At first, I was branded a “conspiracy theorist,” a label placed upon people who expressed ideas contrary to the propaganda machine.  The logic seemed to make sense.  Conspiracies are extremely hard to keep concealed.  Then came the Watergate burglary.  A senate select committee held hearings and issued a report about all the violations of the intelligence agencies.  I believe the purpose of the committee was to find leaks and plug them.  There was very little change in structure, but lots of new security regulations.  But, people still believed that there could be no conspiracies. It is hard to keep information sequestered.  At least until WiKi leaks by Assange and Snowden’s revelations about the NSA.

In my view, there are no conspiracies.  We should be looking at the structure of our Government and how it works.  We should look at who has power and how it is distributed.  We should pity the preachers of conspiracy for their lack of vision and understanding.  We should fight corruption on all levels and examine policy makers and policy bribers.  If we don’t wake up, our society cannot survive.

No one likes to be labeled as a conspiracy nut.  That is the way the ignorant can dismiss unpleasant facts without having to engage a thought process.  However, these things still exist and operate without original players.  It is systemic.  So, in my humble way, I try to explain to people what is, not what is perceived.  There should be some real consequences of lying to the citizenry.  We confiscate property of marijuana merchants, but reward death merchants.  We allow two branches of Government to ignore their obligations and default to the executive who engage in wholesale war crimes and violation of the Constitution.  We allow the rich to build a police state to protect their status gained at the expense of the people.  We allow power groups divide us and so dissent to strip the people of power.  We allow the greedy to strip our national treasures, steal our resources and enslave our population.

It is time to realize who, if anyone, is in charge or did we create a self-perpetuating fascist machine, relying upon the media to perpetrate.  We seem to forget that all Corporations are the creation of Government and serve at will of Government.  The corporate rulers believe that they can act with impunity they have immunity as long as small shareholders can be held hostage.  If we dissolve a few corrupt corporations and make the executives’ pay for their robberies, I believe things will change.  Drug money is forfeited, why not executive salaries?  After all, fair is fair.  We could use the confiscated funds to fight the police state.  When a pension is robbed, all who profit from the robbery should be made to indemnify the workers that were cheated or robbed.  Corporations are not people.  They are run by people.  Why should a corporation, run by a board of directors and executive officers be able to bribe officials with massive campaign contributions, when individuals can’t?  It is too bad that we don’t have titles in this country like they do in Europe.  Then we could identify the guilty more readily.  Why should corporations, who benefit by our government protection and laws, be allowed to leave the country, shifting burdens to the people when the people have no benefit?  Companies extort tax breaks by making promises which they rarely keep.  If a company pulls up stakes, it should return the benefits given from the community that were promised.  If companies destroy land or communities, this should be accounted for.  Executives that don’t operate as fiduciaries for the public policy should be barred from holding office.  Bullshit insider trading fines should not be allowed to mislead the public that regulators aren’t controlled or bought off.  It is time for change.

I digress and ramble.  I apologize, however not for what I say, but for the presentation.  It is time to resist.  It is time for change.  It is time to be heard.




The audit wasn’t without its moments of levity, at least in retrospect.  It gave me lots of things to talk about, ridicule and use as examples of how not to govern.  It also gave me something to talk about in bars.  But I mostly enjoyed watching how the agents with whom I had to deal transitioned from crusading ass-holes to guilt-ridden toadies during the several years in which they had to deal with me.  It is interesting to see the bureaucratic mind in action.  At first, it was obvious that all with whom I had to deal had preconceived ideas about me.  They all believed they had god on their side in a war against evil.  They, unlike my worldview, believed everyone was a miscreant, selfish criminal.  I was burdened by having been partially raised by an ecclesiastic, who believed all people were basically good.  He took the English common law view based upon religious doctrine.  Others took anti-Christian original sin view, reflected in Roman law.  It was the paranoid view of a conqueror who viewed everyone as a potential enemy.

I often wondered how much of that view was a projection of their own selves.  Since I started out representing underdogs with little power or standing, I had many clients that couldn’t pay me or for whom it would be a horrible burden. I never dreamed they were out to get me or wanted to cheat or steal.  They just were not fortunate enough to have inherited money, or believed in the Age of Aquarius beliefs of the young at that time.  The flower children had arrived in Boulder and most of us didn’t think about money. There wasn’t a public defender’s office when I started and most lawyers with whom I associated took turns representing indigent arrestees.  I thought it was a good system, but that was before the advent of billable hours and turning the practice of law into a mercantile endeavor. In fact, legal ethics prohibited turning down a case or abandoning a client for not paying at that time.  Most of us honored that tradition.  I remember reading William Jennings Bryant’s statement in his biography that he was unable to make a living in the practice of law, so he entered politics.

So, I found it almost hysterical when the auditor expressed how shocked he was after he interviewed twelve of my clients in a row whose conversations I will consolidate and try to portray.

Agent Stice, “I’m here to ask you a few questions about your lawyer, Mr. Blewitt.”

Hippie client, “Far out.  It is about time that someone is finally recognizing him.  He is a really far out dude and helped me a lot.”

“How much money did you pay him?”

“What do you mean?

“How much did he charge you?”

“Man, like you know, I always meant to lay some bread on him, but never could get around to it.”

“What did he do when you didn’t pay him?”

“Nothing.  He never pressed me for it.  He told me to give him something if I ever got some money.

“What exactly did he say?”

“Nothing, he just told me to pay when I could.”

“How much?”

“He said whatever I thought I could afford.  If I couldn’t afford it, don’t worry about it.”

“Did he send you a bill?”

“Yes, but he said ‘don’t’ stress,” so I sort of spaced it out.  I want to lay some bread on him sometime, but I just haven’t been able to, you know.  Someone told me that he sent bills so that his clients wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

I have to admit that he must have skewed his sample somehow, but I never asked Stice about it.  I got my information from my clients who clued me in when he talked to them.  One of my client’s conversation was remarkable.  He had 80 arrests without conviction, but was constantly targeted by various agencies.  I took his racketeering all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also appealed a gun possession to the Supreme Court, but it was combined with two others.  His conversation was amusing because he was reporting live from the IRS agent’s interview.

“Hello,” I said, answering my phone after my assistant told me my client was on the line.

“I need to ask you something,” he said.

“Go ahead and ask,”

“It concerns one of my attorneys,” the client informed me.  “There is an IRS agent here to interview me about one of my attorneys and I told him that I wanted to talk to an attorney.”

“Is the interview about me?”

“Yes. What should I do?”

“Well, you always told me that you wanted to tell one of them to go fuck himself.”

I heard my client tell the IRS agent he was talking to, “My lawyer told me to tell you to go fuck yourselves.”  I assume that the interview ended because the line went dead after that.

That really brightened up my day.  This client had worked for Jack Ruby in the fifties running guns to Cuba.  He didn’t take sides, but delivered to both Castro and Batista.  He and his partner were paid in heroin, which was back to Dallas in armored trucks.  The Warren Commission forgot to mention this as well as the fact that Ruby had been with Army Intelligence prior to the time of the Kennedy assassination.  I wrote quite a bit more about this character in my memoirs.  He was among my most colorful clients.

There were similar incidences, but that was the only one that I heard in progress.  They didn’t find any unreported income, but they sure scared away lots of clients.  Finally, after a year and a half, where I barely made my overhead, I was assessed for not keeping mileage records.  Since I couldn’t pay the money, they took all my office furniture and seized my rent deposit on my office.   I did have one client offer to pay with a side of beef.  I had him deliver it to the local IRS office and then called the health department to report a health hazard at their office.  Also one of my clients called the agent’s wife, telling her I had assigned her offer to take a fee out in trade to her husband and asked when it would be convenient for her to service him.  They laid off of my family after that, but I had to close my office.  I became a trophy husband at that point and listed my occupation as “odd jobs.”  It left me with lots of time for reading and learning.  Additionally, I started to get information from weird sources.  The whole ordeal was like a bad trip, except I never took any drugs.  Everyone else had all the fun.  I was under too much surveillance to take any chances.  My identity grew from the razzing that I took from friends and colleagues for being so paranoid.

Another amusing incident occurred when my youngest daughter noticed tape all over the house, notifying people that the house had been seized for back taxes.  She tore the tape down and was extremely embarrassed over the ordeal.  However, I didn’t own the house.  My wife did.  The IRS wasn’t embarrassed and never apologized, but they wrongfully seized the house.  I can say from my experiences with the Government and its representatives that they are arrogant, ignorant, vindictive, self-righteous and never admit mistakes.  Although they took oaths to uphold the Constitution, they believe that they can do so selectively, if they approve of the person.  Otherwise, its “let them eat cake.”  Like soldiers of the third Reich, they just follow orders and never question them.  However, some had consciences and discussed my plight with friends, explaining that they were powerless.  Since agencies have the power to classify information, the public rarely learns about the transgressions, except during a scandal.  Secrecy is the real enemy.  It works because we are a nation of cowards, afraid of manufactured dangers, designed to keep us under control.  We are not the home of the brave, nor are we the land of the free.  We are a nation of ignorance and brainwashing, conditioned by an inferior privatized system which we have been conned into supporting because we are too lazy to think.  We can’t make informed or logical decisions, because we are denied information and facts which are essential to the preservation of freedom and justice.  It is time to put the liars in jail and take away their methods to harm us.  Strip them of status, respect, and funds.

The audit wasn’t without its moments of levity, at least in retrospect.  It gave me lots of things to talk about, ridicule and use as examples of how not to govern.  It also gave me something to talk about in bars.  But I mostly enjoyed watching how the agents with whom I had to deal transitioned from crusading ass-holes to guilt-ridden toadies during the several years in which they had to deal with me.  It is interesting to see the bureaucratic mind in action.  At first, it was obvious that all with whom I had to deal had preconceived ideas about me.  They all believed they had god on their side in a war against evil.  They, unlike my worldview, believed everyone was a miscreant, selfish criminal.  I was burdened by having been partially raised by an ecclesiastic, who believed all people were basically good.  He took the English common law view based upon religious doctrine.  Others took anti-Christian original sin view, reflected in Roman law.  It was the paranoid view of a conqueror who viewed everyone as a potential enemy.

I often wondered how much of that view was a projection of their own selves.  Since I started out representing underdogs with little power or standing, I had many clients that couldn’t pay me or for whom it would be a horrible burden. I never dreamed they were out to get me or wanted to cheat or steal.  They just were not fortunate enough to have inherited money, or believed in the Age of Aquarius beliefs of the young at that time.  The flower children had arrived in Boulder and most of us didn’t think about money. There wasn’t a public defender’s office when I started and most lawyers with whom I associated took turns representing indigent arrestees.  I thought it was a good system, but that was before the advent of billable hours and turning the practice of law into a mercantile endeavor. In fact, legal ethics prohibited turning down a case or abandoning a client for not paying at that time.  Most of us honored that tradition.  I remember reading William Jennings Bryant’s statement in his biography that he was unable to make a living in the practice of law, so he entered politics.

So, I found it almost hysterical when the auditor expressed how shocked he was after he interviewed twelve of my clients in a row whose conversations I will consolidate and try to portray.

Agent Stice, “I’m here to ask you a few questions about your lawyer, Mr. Blewitt.”

Hippie client, “Far out.  It is about time that someone is finally recognizing him.  He is a really far out dude and helped me a lot.”

“How much money did you pay him?”

“What do you mean?

“How much did he charge you?”

“Man, like you know, I always meant to lay some bread on him, but never could get around to it.”

“What did he do when you didn’t pay him?”

“Nothing.  He never pressed me for it.  He told me to give him something if I ever got some money.

“What exactly did he say?”

“Nothing, he just told me to pay when I could.”

“How much?”

“He said whatever I thought I could afford.  If I couldn’t afford it, don’t worry about it.”

“Did he send you a bill?”

“Yes, but he said ‘don’t’ stress,” so I sort of spaced it out.  I want to lay some bread on him sometime, but I just haven’t been able to, you know.  Someone told me that he sent bills so that his clients wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

I have to admit that he must have skewed his sample somehow, but I never asked Stice about it.  I got my information from my clients who clued me in when he talked to them.  One of my client’s conversation was remarkable.  He had 80 arrests without conviction, but was constantly targeted by various agencies.  I took his racketeering all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also appealed a gun possession to the Supreme Court, but it was combined with two others.  His conversation was amusing because he was reporting live from the IRS agent’s interview.

“Hello,” I said, answering my phone after my assistant told me my client was on the line.

“I need to ask you something,” he said.

“Go ahead and ask,”

“It concerns one of my attorneys,” the client informed me.  “There is an IRS agent here to interview me about one of my attorneys and I told him that I wanted to talk to an attorney.”

“Is the interview about me?”

“Yes. What should I do?”

“Well, you always told me that you wanted to tell one of them to go fuck himself.”

I heard my client tell the IRS agent he was talking to, “My lawyer told me to tell you to go fuck yourselves.”  I assume that the interview ended because the line went dead after that.

That really brightened up my day.  This client had worked for Jack Ruby in the fifties running guns to Cuba.  He didn’t take sides, but delivered to both Castro and Batista.  He and his partner were paid in heroin, which was back to Dallas in armored trucks.  The Warren Commission forgot to mention this as well as the fact that Ruby had been with Army Intelligence prior to the time of the Kennedy assassination.  I wrote quite a bit more about this character in my memoirs.  He was among my most colorful clients.

There were similar incidences, but that was the only one that I heard in progress.  They didn’t find any unreported income, but they sure scared away lots of clients.  Finally, after a year and a half, where I barely made my overhead, I was assessed for not keeping mileage records.  Since I couldn’t pay the money, they took all my office furniture and seized my rent deposit on my office.   I did have one client offer to pay with a side of beef.  I had him deliver it to the local IRS office and then called the health department to report a health hazard at their office.  Also one of my clients called the agent’s wife, telling her I had assigned her offer to take a fee out in trade to her husband and asked when it would be convenient for her to service him.  They laid off of my family after that, but I had to close my office.  I became a trophy husband at that point and listed my occupation as “odd jobs.”  It left me with lots of time for reading and learning.  Additionally, I started to get information from weird sources.  The whole ordeal was like a bad trip, except I never took any drugs.  Everyone else had all the fun.  I was under too much surveillance to take any chances.  My identity grew from the razzing that I took from friends and colleagues for being so paranoid.

Another amusing incident occurred when my youngest daughter noticed tape all over the house, notifying people that the house had been seized for back taxes.  She tore the tape down and was extremely embarrassed over the ordeal.  However, I didn’t own the house.  My wife did.  The IRS wasn’t embarrassed and never apologized, but they wrongfully seized the house.  I can say from my experiences with the Government and its representatives that they are arrogant, ignorant, vindictive, self-righteous and never admit mistakes.  Although they took oaths to uphold the Constitution, they believe that they can do so selectively, if they approve of the person.  Otherwise, its “let them eat cake.”  Like soldiers of the third Reich, they just follow orders and never question them.  However, some had consciences and discussed my plight with friends, explaining that they were powerless.  Since agencies have the power to classify information, the public rarely learns about the transgressions, except during a scandal.  Secrecy is the real enemy.  It works because we are a nation of cowards, afraid of manufactured dangers, designed to keep us under control.  We are not the home of the brave, nor are we the land of the free.  We are a nation of ignorance and brainwashing, conditioned by an inferior privatized system which we have been conned into supporting because we are too lazy to think.  We can’t make informed or logical decisions, because we are denied information and facts which are essential to the preservation of freedom and justice.  It is time to put the liars in jail and take away their methods to harm us.  Strip them of status, respect, and funds.



Dennis L. Blewitt, J.D.  April 2016

Most parents with more than one child has heard the following,

“Why did you hit your brother?”

“He hit me first.”  Or,

“Why did you steal that candy?”

“Everyone else is doing it and they don’t get punished.  Why are you picking on           me?”

              Most children can’t differentiate between degrees of bad, or severity of their acts. Typically, many offenders rationalize their behavior by claiming that others also offend in various ways.  For some reason, many are unable to outgrow this childish behavior.  This often serves a dilemma for disciplinarians, which has caused various response from superiors.  Unfortunately, many persons in power can’t differentiate severities either.

One of the first things that a student of criminology and corrections is to analyze criminality.  It is basic corrections theory that some people can’t put things in perspective and think in dichotomous terms.  Amateur psychologists refer to this as the “criminal mind.”  Only, it isn’t that simple.  Crime is complex and is a function of a given society, not the individuals in it.  In order to address crime, one has to address the society and culture.  This is something the press and the public don’t seem to grasp.

            There are some simpletons who believe that all crime is voluntary and caused by moral flaws.  Other blame crime on stupidity, impulsivity, and immaturity.  The problem is that it is complex and that there is no one answer.  But since I believe that crime is a function of social organization or society, that occupies the majority of my thinking.  Comparing our society with that of the government is a logical extension of that theory.  Almost.

            A basis theory of corrections is that a criminal must be made aware that murder is much more serious than running a stop-sign.  I have heard clients rationalize their behavior by blaming others for also breaking the law.  Thus, they can claim discrimination, play martyr and not accept the results of any decision or conduct.   The role of the correction officer in this instance is that of teacher.

            With that in mind I observe the election process going on right now.  I have been waiting for months for the candidates to exhibit some maturity.  Looks like I will have to keep waiting.  The most amazing attack is the attack on Hillary Clinton.  She is not my favorite candidate, but the dumbass critics in the Republican party have focused upon some miniscule offense to call for her disqualification and as a reason that people shouldn’t vote for her.  She sent emails through a private server, not a Government one.  Oh, the horrors!

            The irony of the situation is that these same critics support extraordinary rendition, suspension of habeas corpus, torture, and even assassination or murder, performed by members of a different party for a different President.  Obviously, many cannot tell the difference between bad and evil.  These people bitch about government, but criticize a candidate for not using a government email system These people claim to be religious, but favor committing war crime.  They claim to support the Constitution, but flagrantly ignore the violations by various officials I could go on, but I think I have made the point.

            I have with-held my opinion and ridicule long enough.  It is time to point out to the idiots that they are idiots.  It is time to show these people that murder is indeed more serious than running a stop sign.  At the very least, don’t let these people be put in charge of anything that might affect us.  Please don’t make the public resort to the Hitler solution of eliminating the “sub-humans.”  Tell them to get a clue.  Tell them what you think.  Tell them to stop.  Better yet, laugh them out of our presence.




Once I was proud to be a lawyer.  I was a member of an old and honorable profession that had many Blewitts on the roles as Bishop of Lincoln, Chancellor of England and Judiciar to Henry I.  The name appeared as a signatory of the Magna Carta, as Lord Mayor of London, Sheriff of London. and on the rolls of Lincolns Inn.  I was steeped in the tradition of ten centuries law tradition.  Unfortunately, the practice of law was nothing like what I assumed from family history.  I wasn’t surrounded by noble knights, scholars, clergy and others concerned with the welfare of the citizenry or their rights.  When I first started practicing, law was a calling.  I believed that my primary obligation was to help others, then help society and maintain the dignity of the law.  Money was secondary.  Over the years, I have witnessed a drastic change where most, not all lawyers, are motivated by greed, avarice and exercise of power, without social conscious.

Many who started with me were similarly motivated.  Most of us took our oaths seriously and were genuinely concerned with the welfare of our clients. We also believed that we had an obligation to make things better.  I met with prosecutors at least on a weekly basis concerning cases.  There was discussion and mediation between positions, with a true belief that all parties should be concerned with policy and justice.  Image was subordinate to perception.  Punishment was an end in itself, but just one of the possible outcome. Case processing may have been efficient, but justice was highly inefficient.  Like English barristers, prosecutors used to serve a stint in the DA’s office and venture into private practice, knowing that they couldn’t be arbitrary and dogmatic and be able to establish or maintain a practice after the left the prosecutor’s post.  The sides didn’t agree generally, but accommodations were made.  That was what lawyers were trained to do.  Prosecutors would then educate the officers or investigators, who would quite often complain, bitch and moan or otherwise display their ignorance or bigotry, but it did them very little good.  Justice didn’t take a back seat to image.

Things radically changed in the 70’s.  The politicians discovered that they could sell protection to the electorate by trading in fear, ignorance, and bigotry, fueled by a propaganda machine which would have been the envy of Goebbels.  Excuses concocted by the press and officials is a really drastic paradigm shift.  Justice is no longer equated with fairness.  Law was no longer about advocacy, but protection of superstitious beliefs, curtailment of popular power by the zealot fundamentalist paranoids.  In my book I addressed these issues in more detail, but my health and lack of funding make it somewhat unlikely that I will finish either of life opus’s.  So, I will try to break things down, not for lawyers, but for people.  I will try to explain the attack on the social contract by a collective of individuals who believe that each one is unique and doesn’t need a society or civilization to exists.  As Nietzsche postulated, “God is Dead.”  The new god is business and efficiency.  Society and Government must be restructured along business principles, all of which are incompatible with a Court System and separation of powers.  /Executives should rule and others in a political should be support staff for the executives.  Management by Objectives is the Prime directive.  Have an objective and let nothing stand in the way of accomplishing it.  Get with it or die!

With the push to promote privatization, government was slandered, and an ignorant citizenry was taught that government was bad and efficient business principles could save us from harm (code for minorities) The Constitution became an impediment to the business interests and had to be destroyed.  Every major event involving publicity was used to destroy another part of the Constitution.  Complete disaster occurred with sentencing “reform.”  All the factors that defendants could argue to mitigate their situations were abolished.  Policy decisions were made by a herd of prosecutors under the age of 30’s based upon publicity value to policy.  Justice had to take a back seat.  Consequently, a ten ford increase in prisoners.  Fear was marketed to the people applying Madison Avenue public relations technique.  Although the criminals in the Nixon administration had law degrees, they were not practicing lawyers.  Many worked in the area of Public relations

The ignorance was also inculcated into legal education.  Many law trained crime warriors don’t see anything wrong with abolishing habeas corpus, renditions, torture, and committing war crimes in general.  A corrupt system employed lawyers that would write opinion letters condoning war crimes which allowed the administrations to do essentially anything that the executive branch desired, all without any repercussions.  A Nixon administration lawyer Ehrlichman recently confessed that the “Drug War” was contrived to harass leftists, blacks and anti-war activists.  In a state of perpetual war, we now operate under a system of Martial Law.  Like the ignorant masses of Germany after WWII, were taught that Germany was sold out and not allowed to win, many in the US complain that we were not allowed to win in Viet Nam.  We gradually became accustomed to a war mentality in which victory was the only objective.  The result is a police state with a public too shell shocked or fearful that there is no opposition.

So as our roads deteriorate, bridges crumble, rivers overflow, assets of the People confiscated from the People for privatization, and at war with the world, we blithely cheer our own destruction, rushing like lemmings to the sea, to be murdered by our self-created police state.  Roosevelt pegged it when he said, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  Now with only fear left, we have nothing.

We are told that the only thing that matters is business and trade.  Bullshit.  We are told that social contract must be destroyed in the name of trade.  Bullshit.  We are told that there must be free trade like the old days.  Bullshit.  We are told that we must be efficient.  Bullshit.  We are told that Government should be run like a business.  Bullshit.  The asses that are espousing this Bullshit know absolutely nothing about history.  There never was free trade.  The Lords franchised mills, markets, shops, etc.  The Guilds organized to keep out non trained workers.  Leagues formed to control competition.  Even the most stupid peasant in medieval times knew that the function of his master’s castle was to protect him from others.  Governments were formed for protection and advancement of the citizenry, or at least the rulers, not corporate interests.

The people dumbed down to intellect of Neanderthals believe the bullshit.  It is time to exit the caves and start thinking in terms of societies, not corporate police or fascist states.  Business principals don’t work when you have collective decision making.  Corporations don’t have courts to decide proper or improper conduct.  Free governments don’t have dictators to make everything run effectively.  It is time for Government of the People, by the People and for the People, and to put corporations in line.  If not, uncharted them or ban the corrupt officers and directors from holding positions which can harm society or people.  It is either that, or eventually cease to exist.



Dennis L. Blewitt, J.D.  April 2016

Most parents with more than one child has heard the following,

“Why did you hit your brother?”

“He hit me first.”  Or,

“Why did you steal that candy?”

“Everyone else is doing it and they don’t get punished.  Why are you picking on me?”

              Most children can’t differentiate between degrees of bad, or severity of their acts. Typically, many offenders rationalize their behavior by claiming that others also offend in various ways.  For some reason, many are unable to outgrow this childish behavior.  This often serves a dilemma for disciplinarians, which has caused various response from superiors.  Unfortunately, many persons in power can’t differentiate severities either.

One of the first things that a student of criminology and corrections is to analyze criminality.  It is basic corrections theory that some people can’t put things in perspective and think in dichotomous terms.  Amateur psychologists refer to this as the “criminal mind.”  Only, it isn’t that simple.  Crime is complex and is a function of a given society, not the individuals in it.  In order to address crime, one has to address the society and culture.  This is something the press and the public don’t seem to grasp.

            There are some simpletons who believe that all crime is voluntary and caused by moral flaws.  Other blame crime on stupidity, impulsivity, and immaturity.  The problem is that it is complex and that there is no one answer.  But since I believe that crime is a function of social organization or society, that occupies the majority of my thinking.  Comparing our society with that of the government is a logical extension of that theory.  Almost.

            A basis theory of corrections is that a criminal must be made aware that murder is much more serious than running a stop-sign.  I have heard clients rationalize their behavior by blaming others for also breaking the law.  Thus, they can claim discrimination, play martyr and not accept the results of any decision or conduct.   The role of the correction officer in this instance is that of teacher.

            With that in mind I observe the election process going on right now.  I have been waiting for months for the candidates to exhibit some maturity.  Looks like I will have to keep waiting.  The most amazing attack is the attack on Hillary Clinton.  She is not my favorite candidate, but the dumbass critics in the Republican party have focused upon some miniscule offense to call for her disqualification and as a reason that people shouldn’t vote for her.  She sent emails through a private server, not a Government one.  Oh, the horrors!

            The irony of the situation is that these same critics support extraordinary rendition, suspension of habeas corpus, torture, and even assassination or murder, performed by members of a different party for a different President.  Obviously, many cannot tell the difference between bad and evil.  These people bitch about government, but criticize a candidate for not using a government email system These people claim to be religious, but favor committing war crime.  They claim to support the Constitution, but flagrantly ignore the violations by various officials I could go on, but I think I have made the point.

            I have with-held my opinion and ridicule long enough.  It is time to point out to the idiots that they are idiots.  It is time to show these people that murder is indeed more serious than running a stop sign.  At the very least, don’t let these people be put in charge of anything that might affect us.  Please don’t make the public resort to the Hitler solution of eliminating the “sub-humans.”  Tell them to get a clue.  Tell them what you think.  Tell them to stop.  Better yet, laugh them out of our presence.



(This was a subject of a History Channel series in summer of 2017)

One of the first cases I had involved two people who moved to Colorado from Chicago.  These two defined my practice and my career.  I was told that I should never disclose this story and was harassed by various Governmental agencies for many years as a result.  My mail was “accidently” delivered to the FBI and other strange events.

            However, in making powerful enemies, I made powerful allies, including David Wise, Sally Denton, Sam Hart, Jack Anderson and others.  Smith, Ken Cummings, Peter Dale Scott, Fed Gillies, Bryan Abbas, Mike O’Keefe, Gary Webb, Sen. Gary Hart.

            For years, I felt like a Kafka character.  My perception and milieu were that of a small-town hayseed, struggling to adjust to living with his social and educational superiors.  The question I asked myself for 40 years was, “Why me?”  I still don’t know the answer, but discovering some facts and some history has helped.  A ran for public office in 1971 and my life hasn’t been normal since then.  In order to make some sense of this I am relaying some of my story in serial form.  I apologize for both length and lack of clarity, but I am trying.  What I have seen from a small-town perspective is corruption beyond belief and deliberate blindness and amnesia to the problem and results.  I realize now that running for office accusing the CIA of being behind the Viet Nam war and Drug Trafficking may have been a mistake, but I think blindly ignoring this unpleasant reality like most of my colleagues and the citizenry would have been too frustrating for me.  I am a nobody.  I had no family or history to put me in the position in which I found myself, and I was in denial of the situation for a long time.  I had to adapt and develop survival skills, which results in these article.  Little did I know that my activities would cause the scuttling of the Huston plan to combine all intelligence agencies into one, cause the FBI and the CIA to go to war with each other, cause a clandestine group dubbed “The Plumbers” to be formed and topple a President of the United States of America.

     If I get enough response, to this, I will publish the story.  It involves two clients, Professor Thomas Riha and Galya Tannenbaum.  Please help in evaluating my situation and tell me if the story is worth telling.

Thanks,  Dennis L. Blewitt


Thomas Riha’s disappearance has never been solved

Silvia Pettem, for the Camera

Posted: 07/24/2010 AM MDT

Thomas Riha was photographed on his wedding day, in October 1968, five months before he disappeared from Boulder. Camera file photo.

C) n March 15, 1969, University of Colorado associate Russian professor Thomas Riha vanished without a trace. Tied to his disappearance was Gayla Tannenbaum, a self-proclaimed confidante, who took her own life, in 1971, by swallowing cyanide pills in the state mental hospital in Pueblo.

Tannenbaum’s death left many unanswered questions, especially as to whether Riha is dead or Alive. To this date, no one knows if he was the victim of a murder, kidnapped as a counter-spy, or if he dropped from sight of his own free will.

Prior to Riha’s disappearance and Tannenbaum’s death, both had left paper trails. According to the Camera, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been compiling reports on Riha for nine years, beginning in 1960.

Riha, a native of Czechoslovakia, was 40 at the time of his disappearance. He had come to the U.S. in 1947, received a master’s degree at the Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, and a doctorate from Harvard Univ.

He also served in an intelligence capacity in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. From 1960 to 1967, he taught at the Univ. of Chicago, then moved to Boulder.

Meanwhile, embezzlement and forgery accusations had followed Tannenbaum around the 20untry as she lived under various names. She spent three years in an Ill. prison and was paroled in 1962. Both Riha and Tannenbaum moved to Colo. in 1967.

[n Boulder, Riha married a young Czechoslovakian woman, and Tannenbaum attended the wedding. She was also at Riha’s home one night when Riha’s wife, smelling like ether, was rescued by neighbors after she screamed from a bedroom window.

Several months after Riha’s disappearance, Tannenbaum was arrested by Boulder police for forging a check.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge MATSCH, U. S. District Court, Colorado



Thomas Riha has been a missing person since an abrupt departure from his Boulder, Colorado, residence and teaching position at the University of Colorado in March 1969. None of his family, friends or colleagues has had any information from him since that time. “The mysterious disappearance of Professor Riha has been the subject of news media activity and considerable speculation has been generated about the possibility that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were involved. An initial impetus for such conjecture may have come from a conversation between officials of the Denver FBI and CIA offices which resulted in a statement that Professor Riha was safe and that he had departed voluntarily because of a personal problem.

The manner in which this matter was handled between the Denver offices of the FBI and CIA resulted in a complete termination of any communication between those two agencies at the national level.

The Select Committee on Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate heard testimony from a former CIA official and a former FBI official in November 1975. The staff of that committee prepared a written report about the Riha matter in February 1976. That report referred to inquiries made of the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. United States Senator Gary Hart (Colorado) then released the following public statement about the Riha case:

Thomas Riha, is, most probably, living somewhere today in Eastern Europe, possibly in Czechoslovakia. He was sighted there in 1973. Why he left the United States remains unclear: personal reasons were probably the basis for his decision to leave.

Thomas Riha was never employed, nor in contact with, the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence. At one time the CIA had a general counterintelligence interest in Riha, but this interest was never pursued. There is no indication of any kind that the CIA, the FBI or military was involved in Riha’s disappearance.

The breaking off of formal FBI-CIA relations in 1970 resulted not from a dispute over Riha himself but from the bureaucratic handling of the Riha case by local FBI and CIA officials in Denver.

Proceedings had been commenced in 1970 in the Probate Court in and for the City and County of

Denver, Colorado, to recover and preserve the assets of Riha’s estate and Zdenek Cerveny was appointed conservator of the absentee estate. Colorado law provides a presumption of death after a continuous, unexplained absence of seven years. Because of the Select Committee Staff report and the statement of Senator Hart, Mr. Cerveny caused a letter request to be made of the CIA on February 17, 1976, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for any information concerning the disappearance or whereabouts of Riha and all agency documents on the subject. That request was an act undertaken in the performance of Mr. Cerveny legal duty to make diligent inquiry as a requirement for application of the presumption of death. The CIA responded to the request by releasing copies of two memoranda. Memorandum 7-74, dated January 31, 1974, was provided, with deletions based on claims of exemptions under (b)(l), (b)(2), (b)(3) and (b)(6) of the FOIA. The second document was a copy of Memorandum 21-74, dated March 13, 1974, with deletions based upon the same four exemptions.

Mr. Cerveny then filed his complaint in this court on July 12, 1976 to require further disclosure. Jurisdiction has been invoked properly under 5 U. S.C. 552(a)(4)(B). After the complaint was filed, the CIA Information Review Committee affirmed the claims of exemption.

At a pre-trial conference held on September 22, 1976, it became apparent that the plaintiffs primary interest was to learn the identity of a person who reportedly had seen Professor Riha in Czechoslovakia in late 1973. That sighting was the subject of the two released memoranda. Counsel for the respondent agreed to request the CIA to submit affidavits in support of the claimed exemptions, following the procedure suggested in Vaughn v. Rosen, 157 U.S. App. D.C. 340, 484 F.2d 820 (1973).

On November 8, 1976, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, accompanied by four affidavits of CIA officials. They described additional releases of 174 pages of newspaper clippings and 38 documents released with deletions. Seven additional documents, withheld in their entireties, have been characterized as cables, dating from October 20 to November 9, 1971 which were generated as a result of an individual contacting a CIA representative overseas for the purpose of obtaining information for a newspaper story about the Riha disappearance. According to the affidavits, no agency activity was involved. Exemptions of those cables are asserted under (b)(l), (b)(2), (b)(3) and (b)(6) and it has been claimed that there are no reasonably segregable relevant portions of them. Additionally, the defendant disclosed that it had 14 documents which had originated with the FBI and that there had been a response made by the

CIA to a set of interrogatories from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in November 1975. The affidavits also indicated that the CIA had taken the extraordinary step of requesting permission from its source to release identifying information, which request was denied.

Additionally, it was reported that the personal safety of the original source would be threatened if identification were made.

Additional affidavits were filed in answer to some of the questions raised in the plaintiff’s memorandum brief. A hearing on the motion for summary judgment was held on August 1, 1977.

At that hearing, the court noted that since this suit had begun a new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency had been selected, personally, by a new President who had directed a new policy of openness in that agency. Accordingly, the court suggested that the Director take the extraordinary action of making a personal review of the CIA material relevant to this case.

Phat suggestion was accepted and by a letter to the court, dated October 8, 1977, Admiral

Stansfield Turner reported the result of his personal inquiry into the matter as the Director of the

Central Intelligence Agency. After his assertion that the disclosure of the intelligence source

reporting the hearsay information on the sighting of Professor Riha would be contrary to his statutory responsibility to protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure, he Director wrote concerning the sighting memoranda:

Additional affidavits were filed in answer to some of the questions raised in the plaintiff’s memorandum brief. A hearing on the motion for summary judgment was held on August 1, 1977. At that hearing, the court noted that since this suit had begun a new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency had been selected, personally, by a new President who had directed a new policy of openness in that agency. Accordingly, the court suggested that the Director take the extraordinary action of making a personal review of the CIA material relevant to this case.

That suggestion was accepted and by a letter to the court, dated October 8, 1977, Admiral Stansfield Turner reported the result of his personal inquiry into the matter as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After his assertion that the disclosure of the intelligence source reporting the hearsay information on the sighting of Professor Riha would be contrary to his; statutory responsibility to protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure, he Director wrote concerning the sighting memoranda:

The actual identity or reliability of the original source of the information is not known to this Agency, nor does the Agency have sufficient information upon which to base an informed judgment as to the accuracy of the information provided by that individual. As I have indicated, the information contained in Documents Nos. 1 and 2 is third-hand information and the Agency has made no attempt to verify the information.

Admiral Turner also wrote that he had reviewed the seven documents which had been withheld n their entireties and that he agreed with the characterization of the information contained herein as having no probative value with respect to the Riha disappearance or whereabouts.

At a hearing on December 16, 1977, the plaintiff renewed his request for an in-camera inspection the CIA documents and files. Particular concern was expressed about the adequacy of the

search for relevant documents in the CIA files. In justification of that concern, plaintiff’s counsel reported that Mr. Cerveny had recently received an unsolicited communication concerning information within the files of the United States Army Intelligence Agency, an organization within the Department of Defense. A copy of the Army document had been in the CIA files, which had not been disclosed in the affidavits filed in support of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. That failure was explained satisfactorily by counsel for the defendant at the hearing.

Given the volume and complexity of the records kept by the CIA, there can be no absolute

certainty that everything touching and concerning any specific subject has been located. The

 CIA does not require an absolute guarantee of an exhaustive exhumation of records. The duty is to make a good faith effort to conduct a search using methods which can reasonably be expected to produce the information requested. From the affidavits submitted, it is apparent that the officials of the CIA have performed that duty in this case.

5 U.S.C. 2552(b)(1) exempts from disclosure all matters that are in fact properly classified under criteria established by an executive order in the interest of national defense or foreign policy. While the 1974 amendments to the FOIA expressly authorized an in camera inspection of documents claimed to be exempt under (b)(l), the legislative history reflects the expectation that the courts “will accord substantial weight to an agency’s affidavit concerning the details of the classified status of the disputed record.” Conf. Rep. No. 93-1200, 93rd Cong. 2d Sess., reprinted in 1974 U.S. Code Cong. & Administrative. News 6285, 6290. It has been recognized in other cases involving the CIA that the courts have little competence in evaluating intelligence information because of a lack of cognitive context. The role of the court was articulated in Weissman v. Central Intelligence Agency, 184 U.S. App. D.C 117, 565 F.2d 692, (1977) in these words:

If exemption is claimed on the basis of national security the District Court must, of course, be satisfied that proper procedures have been followed, and that by its sufficient description the contested document logically falls into the category of the exemption indicated. In deciding whether to conduct an in-camera inspection it need not go further to test the expertise of the agency, or to question its veracity when nothing appears to raise the issue of good faith. (565 F.2d at 697 Revised)

5 U.S.C. 2552(b)(3) excludes application of the Act to matters which are specifically exempted from disclosure by another statute without discretion or with definite criteria for withholding or references to particular types of matters to be withheld. The Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, establishing the CIA, holds the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency responsible “for protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure,” 50 U.S.C.  403(d)(3), and specifically exempts the agency from “the provisions of any other law which require the publication or disclosure of the organization, functions, names, official titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed by the Agency. ” 50 U.S.C.  403g. These statutory provisions have been held to be within the scope of the (b)(3) exclusion in the FOIA. Weissman, supra; Philippi v. Central Intelligence Agency, 178 U.S. App. D.C. 243, 546 F.2d 1009 (1976); Baker v. Central Intelligence Agency, 425 F. Supp. 633 (D.D.C. 1977); Bennett v. United States Department of Defense, 419 F. Supp. 663 (S.D.N.Y. 1976); Richardson v. Spahr, 416 F. Supp. 752 (W.D. Pa.), affd., 547 F.2d 1163 (3rd Cir. 1976).

Here, Admiral Turner has explicitly informed this court that disclosure of that which has been deleted and withheld would constitute a violation of this specific statutory duty. There is no reason to question the expertise or the good faith of Admiral Turner. Some deletions have been made on the basis of the exemption for internal personnel rules and practices under 5 U.S.C.  2552(b)(2). More specifically, these are markings and reference numbers which were placed on the documents for internal purposes. While the applicability of is questionable under Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 48 L. Ed. 2d 1 1, 96 S. Ct. 1592 (1976), the plaintiff has taken the position that he is concerned with such markings only if they would assist in the location of other relevant documents or information. There is no reason to question the response in the supplemental affidavits that the deletions would not provide such assistance.

Some information, including the names of individuals, has been withheld upon the conclusion that there would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, exempted by 5 U.S.C.2552(b)(6). The affidavits and the Director’s letter advised that what has been withheld includes unsubstantiated information which is derogatory and which concerns persons not connected with the Riha matter. Additionally, it is realistic to recognize that the mere mention of the names of individuals as being the subjects of CIA files could be damaging to their reputations.

The application of the privacy exemption requires a balancing of the interests of the public in obtaining disclosure and the preservation of the integrity of an individual’s reputation and right to privacy. Campbell v. United States Civil Service Commission, 539 F.2d 58 (10th Cir. 1976). The particularized need of Mr. Cerveny for information relevant to his duty of inquiry is not a factor in the balance. The plaintiff here is no different from any other person seeking public disclosure of the information. A moment’s reflection upon recent political history and the excesses of the internal security investigations in the 1950’s should be sufficient to signal caution in dealing with unverified derogatory material within the files of an intelligence gathering agency of government. Indiscriminate public disclosure of such material in response to a citizen’s FOIA request would be as much an abuse of agency authority as an intentional release designed to damage persons. The impact on the individual is the same. The deletions here are appropriate applications of the privacy exemption.

The developments in this FOIA case are sufficiently unusual to be characterized as unique. The classified information within the CIA files relevant to the Riha inquiry has been reviewed by a committee of the United States Senate. Because that committee has continued to keep the information classified, it is a fair inference that the Senators and staff share the concern for the national security and national defense interests reflected in the classification. Additionally, the subject material has been reviewed by a person who holds the highest authority and responsibility for foreign intelligence matters within the executive branch, with the exception of the President himself. I am satisfied with the sufficiency of the responses made in the course of this proceeding and the plaintiff is entitled to nothing more.

A claim for an award of attorney’s fees has been made. 5 U.S.C. 2552(a)(4)(E) authorizes the assessment of reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs in any case in which the complainant has substantially prevailed. Other considerations used in determining an award of attorney’s fees are whether the litigation has resulted in a substantial contribution to the public interest; the commercial benefit to the complainant and the nature of his interests in the records sought; and whether the United States had a “reasonable basis in law” for withholding the records. See Campbell, supra, at 62; Cuneo v. Rumsfeld, 180 U.S. App. D.C. 184, 553 F.2d 1360 (1977); Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council, Inc. v. Usery, 546 F.2d 509 (2d Cir. 1976); Conf. Rep. No. 93-1200, 93rd Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in 1974 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 6285, 6288.

In this case the parties have not yet been given an opportunity to be heard on the issue of attorney’s fees and, accordingly, the entry of judgment will be deferred pending a hearing on attorney’s fees.

Upon the foregoing, it is

ORDERED that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted, and it is

FURTHER ORDERED that entry of judgment upon this order is deferred pending hearing on attorney’s fees.


Who knew what this case meant?  It had far reaching consequences which none of us could have predicted.   From my small-town perspective, I was overwhelmed.  I still haven’t quite managed to appreciate the gravity of the situation, or the historical significance.  I do appreciate, however, how it affected my life and the lives of those around me.  In addition to scuttling the Huston plan and scuttling a presidency, it exposed the CIA activities at the University of Colorado, the various agencies there, the conduct of the war, the establishment of the Edmond Teller Center for Science, Technology and Political Thought, and other things kept secret until then.  It was not a matter of privacy or National Security, there was a coverup to hide embarrassing facts about our paranoid government from us.

From The U.S. Senate regarding my clients and the impact on Watergate Scandal

APRIL 23 (under authority of the order of April 14), 1976



The Scope of the Investigation

On January 27,1975, the United States Senate, meeting early in the 1st Session of the 94th Congress, established through Senate Resolution 21 a Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence

The “New” Hoover

Counterintelligence specialists throughout the government were dismayed when undercover FBI operations important to them, and carried out for several years, were suddenly suspended by Hoover in the 1960s. 19 The new emphasis in the Kennedy Administration on investigations into organized crime and civil rights had already drained manpower from security and intelligence operations, according to an experienced FBI counterintelligence specialist. 20

Then by the mid-1960s, Hoover began to terminate specific security programs. In July 1966, for example, Hoover wrote on a memorandum that henceforth all FBI break-ins — or “black-bag” jobs — were to be cut off. 21 By its refusal to use rigorously a full array of intelligence collection methods, Huston strongly believed the FBI was failing to do its job. This belief was shared widely among intelligence professionals. Helms, Bennett, and Gayler all expressed this view, as did — privately — key intelligence officers within the FBI itself. 22

Intelligence professionals were dismayed by Hoover’s reluctance now to order what he had allowed before on a regular basis. Some suggested that the wiretap hearings held by Senator Edward V. Long in 1965 had turned public opinion against the use of certain intelligence-gathering techniques, 23 and that the Director was merely reading the writing on the wall. One seasoned CIA intelligence officer recalls:

Mr. Hoover’s real concern was that during the Johnson Administration, where the Congress was delving into matters pertaining to FBI activities, Mr. Hoover looked to the President to give him support in terms of conducting those operations. And when that support was lacking, Mr. Hoover had no recourse but to gradually eliminate activities which were unfavorable to the Bureau and which in turn risked public confidence in the number one law enforcement agency. 24

Others pointed to the increased risks involved in break-ins because of new and sophisticated security precautions taken by various Bureau targets. Hoover, according to this theory, was unwilling to engage in past practices when faced with the new dangers of being caught. 25

The fact that Hoover reached age 70 in 1965 was also significant in the view of still others, since he then came within the law which required mandatory retirement. Henceforth, he served each year in a somewhat vulnerable position, as his Directorship was now reviewed for renewal on an annual basis. So he became, according to an FBI official, “very conscious of the fact that any incident which, within his understanding might prove an embarrassment to the Bureau, could reflect questionably on his leadership of the Bureau.” 26

Several highly-placed observers in the intelligence community also believed the Director was simply growing old and more wary about preserving his established reputation — a wariness nurtured by the protective instincts of his close friend and professional colleague, Clyde Tolson, who held the second highest position in the FBI. Dr. Louis Tordella, the long-time top civilian at NSA, speculated in conversations with William C. Sullivan in 1969 that Tolson probably had told Hoover something to the effect: “If these techniques ever backfire, your image and the reputation of the Bureau will be badly damaged.” 27

Tordella, Sullivan, and others in the intelligence world grew increasingly impatient with the “new” Hoover and with what they considered to be his abstinence on the question of intelligence collection. If they were to expand their collection capabilities, as they and the White House wished, the new restrictions would have to be eased. Yet no one was willing to challenge Hoover’s policy directly.

Tordella and General Marshall Carter, when he was Director of NSA, tried in 1967 and failed. 28 Their 15-minute appointment with Mr. Hoover in the spring of that year stretched into two-and-a-half hours. The communications experts first heard more than they wanted to about John Dillinger, “Ma” Barker, and the “Communist Threat.” Finally, they were able to explain to Hoover their arguments for reinstating certain collection practices valuable to the National Security Agency. Hoover seemed to yield, telling the NSA spokesmen their reasoning was persuasive and he would consider reestablishing the earlier policies.

The news came a few days later that Hoover would allow FBI agents to resume the collection methods desired by NSA. Tordella and Carter were surprised, and gratified. Then three more days passed and the FBI liaison to NSA brought the word that Hoover had changed his mind; his new stringency would be maintained after all. William Sullivan called to tell Tordella that “someone got to the old man. It’s dead.” That someone, Sullivan surmised, was Tolson.

Hoover added a note to his message for Carter and Tordella, indicating that he would assist the National Security Agency in its collection requirements only if so ordered by the President or the Attorney General. Tordella, however, was reluctant to approach either. “I couldn’t go to the chief law enforcement figure in the country and ask him to approve something that was illegal,” he recently explained (despite the fact that he and General Carter had already asked the Director of the FBI to approve an identical policy). As for the President, this was “not a topic with which he should soil his hands.” For the time being, Tordella would let the NSA case rest.

Nor was Richard Helms going to be the man to urge Hoover to relax the newly imposed restrictions. He and Hoover had little patience for one another for several years. Hoover distrusted the “Ivy League” style of CIA personnel in general; according to Sullivan “Ph.D. intelligence” was a term of derision Hoover liked to use against the Agency. 29 Gayler and Bennett, newcomers to the intelligence community, were warned immediately by their assistants not to challenge the Director of the Bureau directly on matters relating to domestic intelligence. 30

It would take the pressure of events, skillful maneuvering by a group of FBI counterintelligence specialists, and Huston’s strategic position on the White House staff to focus the attention of the President on the problem of intelligence collection.

The Pressure of Events

Events encouraged action. Riots and bombings escalated throughout the country in the spring of 1970. In his official statement on the Huston Plan, issued while he was still in the White House, President Nixon recalled that “in March a wave of bombings and explosions struck college campuses and cities. There were 400 bomb threats in one 24-hour period in New York City.” 31 The explosion of a Weatherman “bomb factory” in a Greenwich Village townhouse in March particularly shocked Tom Huston and other White House staffers. 32 The response of the President was to send anti-bombing legislation to the Congress.

Moreover, in the spring of 1970 the FBI severed its formal liaison to the CIA in reaction to a CIA-FBI dispute over confidential sources in Colorado. 33 Though hostility between the two agencies had surfaced before with some frequency over matters such as disagreement regarding the bona fides of communist defectors, this particular dispute was “the one straw that broke the camel’s back.” 34 The incident in Colorado, now known as the Riha Case, involved a CIA officer who received information concerning the disappearance of a foreign national on the faculty of the University of Colorado, a Czechoslovak by the name of Thomas Riha.

The information apparently came from an unnamed FBI officer stationed in Denver. Hoover demanded to know the identity of the FBI agent; but, as a matter of personal integrity, the CIA officer refused to divulge the name of his source. Hoover was furious with Helms for not providing the FBI with this information and, “in a fit of pique,” 35 he broke formal Bureau ties with the Agency. 36 To many observers, including Huston and Sullivan, the severance of these ties contributed to the perceived inability of the Bureau’s intelligence division to perform their task adequately.

In this context, a special meeting was called on April 22, 1970, in Haldeman’s office. In attendance were Haldeman, Krogh, Huston Alexander Butterfield (who had responsibility for White House liaison’ with the Secret Service), and Ehrlichman. The purpose of this gathering was to improve coordination among the White House staff for contact with intelligence agencies in the government and, more importantly, as Huston remembers, to decide “whether — because of the escalating level of the violence — something within the government further needed to be done.” 37

A decision was made. The President would be asked to meet with the directors of the four intelligence agencies to take some action that might curb the growing violence. The intelligence agencies would be asked by the President to write a report on what could be done. The meeting was planned for May. In addition, Tom Huston was given a high staff position in the White House; henceforth, he would have responsibilities for internal security affairs. 38 He was now in a strategic position to help Sullivan reverse existing Bureau policies.

The meeting between President Nixon and the intelligence directors was not held in May, because plans for, and the reaction to, the April 29 invasion of Cambodia in Southeast Asia disrupted the entire White House schedule. In the aftermath of this event, the meeting “became even more important,” recalls Huston. 39 The expansion of the Indochina war into Cambodia and the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State had focused the actions on antiwar movement and civil rights activists.

As soon as the reaction to the Cambodian incursion had stabilized somewhat, the meeting between President Nixon and the intelligence directors was rescheduled for June 5th. It was to start a chain of events that would culminate in the Huston Plan.



     Her husband called.  He was in jail for armed robbery.  He was an addict and desperate.  His wife, an addict, had been kidnapped by a group of sex traffickers and rescued by the FBI.  However, there was a failure to appear warrant from Ft Collins, and rather than being protected, she was jailed.  The initial charge was for introducing contraband into the jail, not intentionally, but because she couldn’t toss it before her arrest, for a disturbance at a motel.   She too was an addict.  While incarcerated in Ft. Collins, she tried to enter rehab programs, but she was homeless, with a jailed husband, and was held as a material witness for the FBI with a bounty on her by some very bad guys.   She had been sold as a teenager, had no High School diploma, suffered from Hepatitis C, Epilepsy, Delayed Stress Syndrome, and other ailments.  The District Attorney was tough on crime and prosecuted, not just merely for possession.  Rehab programs, all private, wanted payment, which was impossible.  After 6 weeks’ confinement, a judge put her on probation.  He also added about $2000 in fees.  He knew or should have known this was impossible, but, like a good marionette, followed orders.  This relieved the judge of any responsibility.  Also, as an ex-prosecutor, he knew that addicts were scum, anyway.  Everyone at the country club says so.

She tried to stay clean, but, since she was homeless and at the mercy of strangers she met on the street, she relapsed.  These same judges are the first to lecture the peasantry about taking responsibility for themselves, even though it has been almost 100 years since scientists discovered that environment was a large factor in creating a criminal.  Again, shifting blame away from a corrupt and anonymous system is a good way for the simple mind to ignore humanity.  It is easy to apply “the spirit of Capitalism” described by Max Weber in this instance.  It goes like this: “God has rewarded me with a fairly good life and money.  You are poor and homeless.  God is punishing you because you are bad.  If God can punish, so can I.  Therefore, I don’t have to consider how privatization, and specialization has affected you.  Go prostitute yourself for money, drugs, and, most importantly your court costs.  You can always find a dumpster to sleep in.” How can this happen?  It has been over 50 years since I took my first graduate course in criminology.  At that time, there were courses in corrections, counseling, budgeting, support group building, etc.  The curricula ended in a master’s degree in correction.  That degree is no longer offered because there are no jobs for such trained people.  Since privatization, skilled, trained empathetic people have no place in the Court Supervision system.  The probation officer’s job is not to help people and cut recidivism, but to increase the bottom line of corporate profits.  Correcting isn’t profitable, is costly and labor intensive.  Ignoring problems and applying policy is cheap and easy and has the effect of built in obsolescence, guaranteeing future profits, explaining why a rate that was constant for 40 decades, exponential growth in prison rates from 100, to 450 prisoners per 100,000 persons, since the election of Richard Nixon. The largest private prison system had $1.65 Billion in revenue last year.  Essentially, the District Attorneys and Judges have become shills for greedy, profiteering business enterprise.  Since officials market fear, this is sold as the cost of a safe society.  Complete and utter horseshit!

So, we must ask ourselves.  Do we want to continue putting judicial robes on Prosecutors?  Is the purpose of the third branch of Government; to punish and benefit corporations, or to benefit society?  Should we continue to allow judges to cop out and blame everything on the legislatures, rather than use their inherent supervisory powers to correct things?  Should we tolerate officials that promote a police state, or rid ourselves of them.  Do we want to continue to train police to murder us or to help us?  Do we ignore research, common sense, and justice or demand that justice and betterment of society take priority over profits?  Do we hold the corporations liable for the damage they cause by not insisting that they hire trained staff instead of goons, or do we make waterboarding and torture the new norm?  Do we make the Attorney Generals of the country personally liable for the murders by police resulting from the police training?  Do we want efficiency, or do we demand justice?  Please let me know.

Fellow citizens aren’t commodities.  Citizens don’t exist for the benefit of business or corporations.  Profit motive supremacy has no place in a caring society.  We Should: Reinstitute Corrections as a career and valid area of study.  Re-emphasize fairness instead of efficiency.  Make judges seek fairness, not expediency.  Don’t go gently into oblivion.  Do as Dylan Thomas mandates and “Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.”

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