Continuation: Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Colonel James Sabow – Jockeying for Power Is a Ruthless Business – Oliver North Was a “Volatile and Dangerous Person” – GHWB’s “Perfect Circle” – John Hull’s Ranch in Costa Rica Ran Drugs and Weapons – Mobsters in Uniform – The Enterprise Takes Over – Dan Quayle Was GHWB’s “Impeachment Insurance” – Flying In and Out With the Right Transponder Numbers
“I have put thousands of Americans away for tens of thousands of years for less evidence for conspiracy with less evidence than is available against Ollie North and CIA people. . . . I personally was involved in a deep-cover case that went to the top of the drug world in three countries. The CIA killed it.” – Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, CNBC-TV, October 8, 1996
“They get rid of the good guys. The Marine Corps are the assassins for the Mob. The military is run by the Mob. The military IS the Mob.” –Kay Griggs
The Reagan and Bush administrations used the profits from the sales of cocaine to fund an undeclared war in Nicaragua, avoided the Congressional Boland Amendments to use appropriated funds to fund the Nicaraguan War, fueled a crack cocaine epidemic, killing thousands of Americans, and ordered the murder of military officers and others who were a threat to blow the whistle on cocaine trafficking.[i]
In the 1980s and early 1990s, CIA proprietary Lockheed C-130s used El Toro and other military bases to ship weapons to Central and South America and return to the U.S. with cocaine. The cocaine flights into El Toro were shut down in January 1991 but not before Marine Colonel James E. Sabow, third in command at the base was murdered in his quarters. The government called his death a suicide, but forensic and medical evidence support homicide—a government sanctioned murder. Colonel Sabow was a threat to blow the whistle on the illegal narcotrafficking and was murdered by a government hit team and the crime scene staged to support suicide.
The CIA involvement in assassination plots of government leaders is documented in the CIA’s “Family Jewels” released to the public in 2007. A retired Army warrant officer and former Marine with decades of criminal investigation background and close ties to CIA operatives reported an extremist intelligence assassination cell within the Pentagon/DOD. Their mission is to not take out terrorists but US military officers who threaten to expose illegal covert operations.
Gene Wheaton refused an offer to join the Pentagon assassination team and later worked with Dan Sheehan of the Christic Institute in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suit (Avirgan v. Hull), going after those involved in the Iran/Contra Affair. A federal judge threw out the case, ordered the Christic Institute to pay one million dollars of the defendant’s legal fees and the IRS stripped the Institute of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Congressional testimony from a former CIA pilot and other witnesses reported that El Toro was used by unmarked C-130’s to fly weapons to Central and South America and cocaine in the 1980s and 1990s. These were not Marine Corps aircraft and the planes were not flown by Marines. In the 1980s the crack epidemic in the U.S. was fueled by influx of cocaine used to fund the Contra war.
Colonel Sabow had to know about the authorized shipment of weapons in a covert operation run by the NSC [National Security Council] and became aware of the shipments of cocaine the night before his murder. He met at least three times with Lt. Colonel Oliver North, widely recognized as the point man for Iran/Contra, with Jim Callahan, his longtime friend and wingman, driving him to the meetings in a hotel off Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. Accused of personal misuse of military aircraft in January 1991, he refused to go quietly, demanding a court martial to clear his name. In doing so, he unknowingly signed his own death warrant.
Confirmations of the cocaine shipment from El Salvador to the US were documented by Celerino “Cele” Castillo, a DEA agent, in numerous reports to his superiors. No action was taken. Enrique Kiki Camarena, another DEA agent, paid the ultimate price for getting too close to the money tail weapons for drugs. Lt. Colonel Ollie North’s meticulous diary entries documented the transport of drugs on CIA proprietary aircraft. [Note: It was Edward Lansdale who was largely responsible for fusing the US Military and the CIA with the mob.] A former CIA pilot flew tons of drugs into the country and lived to tell about it in Congressional testimony. In the end, it didn’t matter. No one in Iran/Contra was prosecuted for narcotrafficking and murder.
The Boland Amendments, named after U.S. Representative Edward Boland who authored them from 1982 to 1984, outlawed military assistance to the Contras for the purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government. The restriction prevented the use of appropriated funds, but the administration, using the President’s National Security Council (NSC) found a way around the law. They attempted to circumvent Congress by using the profits from the sales of weapons to Iran (in exchange for the release of Americans held captive in Lebanon), private donations from wealthy benefiters, ‘gifts’ from foreign governments and the sale of illegal drugs by the Contras in the US. Supplies were air dropped to Contras in Nicaragua. A connection to the NSC and the White House was made when a Southern Air Transport C-123K aircraft was shot down on a resupply mission in Nicaragua in October 1986.
On October 5, 1986, a Fairchild C-123K dropping supplies over Southern Nicaragua is shot down by the Sandinistas. Eugene Hasenfus, a 45 year old cargo handler and former Marine, is the sole survivor. Against orders, he was wearing a parachute when the aircraft was hit. It saved his life. There were no other survivors. The ‘cat is literally out of the bag.’ The media is all over the story. Hasenfus’ capture and photo is published in newspapers across the US. President Reagan fires Oliver North from the NSC in November 1986. But, the illegal cocaine flights continued. Not even the Iran/Contra hearings in 1987 and the end of the Contra War in 1990 could stop the cocaine flights. It was too lucrative and easy fly the huge cargo aircraft across the border and the demand for the while powder was high. A Marnie MP witnessed the flights and was told by Colonel Joseph Underwood to “keep his ass off the runway.”
Staff Sergeant Randy Robinson, El Toro Marine MP, used his binoculars in the early morning hours after the airfield was closed to normal operations to observe the landings and take-off of C-130s, which were definitely not Marine aircraft.
The black painted Lockheed C-130 slowly turned off of El Toro’s Runway 7L and headed for the two twin hangars in the Southwest quadrant of the base. This area of the base, 200 acres of mostly concrete and asphalt, was assigned to the Marine Wing Service Group 37.
No night operations were underway and with the exception of a few Marines on duty watch and the occasional military police truck on routine patrol duty, there were no other personnel in the area. Whoever scheduled this operation picked the perfect time and place to unload the C-130’s cargo. Refueling would be easy. And, if the aircraft needed parts and servicing, then the plane could use one of the empty hangar bays away from unwanted eyes. There were no markings on the tail, the fuselage or wings. This was definitely not a military aircraft. The floodlights from the hangars illuminated the aircraft. Its arrival didn’t go unnoticed.
The cargo was unloaded by long-haired civilians in jeans and loaded into a civilian van with California plates. There’s no sense in putting this in the log, he thought. His orders were to stay away from ‘Spook Corner’.[ii]
There’s no way that civilians would have access to the El Toro without the knowledge and consent of Marine Corps leadership. The unmarked C-130s unloaded the cocaine in the early morning hours when everyone except for duty watches was asleep. The long-haired civilians who off-loaded the drugs had to be CIA contract employees or Contras. But, you couldn’t just drive onto the base. El Toro’s Marine sentries would challenge any vehicle without a decal or pass. Occupants were subject to identity checks. Marines with short hair might get by without showing their military IDs, if their vehicle had a military decal, but long hair civilians in a vehicle without a decal or approved pass would be stopped by the MPs. And, the aircraft loaded with weapons and illegal drugs couldn’t enter and leave the US without clearance from US Customs and, at the very least, the tacit approval of the DEA and CIA.
William Robert Plumlee (Tosh Plumlee) was a long time contract CIA pilot; put his life on the line to tell government officials about illegal narcotrafficking of flights into MCAS El Toro and other military bases. Some listened; others didn’t. Plumlee’s Colorado home was burned to the ground, he was shot at while driving his pick-up truck and beaten-up with a warning to shut-up or else. Plumlee wasn’t deterred.[iii]
Plumlee told the story of US covert gun and drug running to former Senator Gary Hart who had his staff fact checked it before forwarding the information to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Plumlee emailed us a copy of his February 1991 letter from former Senator Gary Hart to Senator John Kerry, Chairman, and Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications and a redacted summary transcript of his testimony before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from August 1991. The Senate report shows that Plumlee was a “former deep-cover military and CIA asset from 1956 to 1987 with a long history of CIA activities in Central America, Cuba, and Mexico.”
Plumlee provided Hart’s staff with maps and names of covert landing strips in Mexico, Costa Rica, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, and California: Plumlee was involved in covert military activities in Central and South American starting in February 1978 and “had personally flown US sponsored covert missions into Nicaragua… that Nicaragua was receiving assistance from Cuba with nearly 6,000 Cuban military advisors and large quantities of military supplies were being stockpiled at various staging areas inside Nicaragua and the Costa Rica border.” [iv]
In contacting Senator Hart in 1983, Plumlee’s purpose was to initiate a congressional investigation on illegal arms and narcotic shipments “which were not being acted upon by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies.” [v]
Plumlee was also motivated by what happened to his buddies who flew the same planes for the CIA. Plumlee told Matthews that, “These same agencies that asked us for the intelligence on drugs started sacrificing our men, busting us, calling us a bunch of mercenaries, rogue elephants. I figured, if they’d hang out certain guys to dry like John Hull, Eugene Hasenfus or Barry Seal, what would they do to me?” According to Plumlee, these operations were not under the control of the CIA but were directed by the White House, Pentagon, and NSC.
Plumlee testified about the gun/drug running to the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy in 1990. He told the Committee that he flew unmarked C-130s into El Toro, which contained loads of cocaine as much as 2,000 kilos. His testimony was classified Top Secret, Committee Sensitive, but released to the media by others. It didn’t deter Plumlee; he retold this story to Connie Chung and a national television audience in a 1993 segment of her news program “Eye to Eye.”
Plumlee kept a map with names, including the names of future Iran-Contra players like Robert Owens, [Note: Robert Owens worked for Dan Quayle and it was Owens who introduced Oliver North to Robert Hull who was from Indiana. Indiana is where Dan Quayle is from and it is Robert Hull who ran the 4,000 acre ranch in Costa Rica used for staging weapons and drug shipments. This is why GHWB chose Dan Quayle as his running mate to implicate Quayle in the Iran-Contra dealings in the event that GHWB ever came up for impeachment. This is where the phrase “Quayle is Bush’s impeachment insurance” came from alleged to have been coined by Barbara Honegger. These connections with these people is where the phrase “The Enterprise” came from, or the “perfect circle.”] Felix Rodriguez, and Richard Secord with drop-off points in Mexico, Central America and the U.S. “as a form of security”. Since a copy of the map was in Hart’s hands, the map would protect him if he was shot down in Central America and the government tried to discredit him and deny his activities. Plumlee was not a college graduate but he had an ‘advanced degree’ in street smarts.
Plumlee said these trips were approved by military intelligence personnel attached to the Pentagon with CIA logistical support. They were made in total secrecy to the extent that other government agencies were not aware of the existence of these flights, or of the operation. The pilots were given a specific coded transponder number to squawk so their aircraft would not be challenged by US Customs aircraft when patrolling the US border. He says it began in the 1980s, when the US Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne were sent to Costa Rica for maneuvers. A large number of weapons were sent with them. However, some of the weapons did not return to the United States and were later taken off the books by the military, marked as either lost or destroyed and reported to the Government Accounting Office as such.[vi]
Plumlee and other pilots testified to Congress that they were working for a secret US military intelligence operation that clandestinely sent them from the United States to bring back the so-called damaged and disappeared weapons for retrofitting and repair.
When the weapons were repaired and tested at China Lake and Twentynine Palms [Marine Air Ground Combat Center], in California, they were staged and once again flown back from El Toro Marine Air Station to Latin America, via Mexico, to be supplied to the Contras. [vii]
The aircraft used by this group were designated as “cutouts” and certified as belonging to the US Forest Service’s aircraft fleet. They were, however, controlled by US military intelligence, and contracted by civilian operators for whom Plumlee and other pilots worked.
Secret air bases in Costa Rica, including the John Hull Ranch, were used for unloading and staging areas for the illegal weapons. They also used hidden runways in Costa Rica and El Salvador, controlled by the drug cartels, which then allowed them to bring drugs into the United States on the return trips. According to Plumlee, “These flyways and airstrips were secretly recorded by undercover flight crews and reported to various government interdiction agencies in the United States. In 1986, Plumlee said that an early operation known by the code name, ‘Penetrate,’ was shut down because of the politically explosive Iran-Contra matter.”
Plumlee goes on to say that in 1990, there was still a covert weapons operation continuing to fly weapons to Latin America, mostly to Bogota, Columbia, which allowed the group to bring back drugs into the United States via Mexico, “These flyways and staging areas in Mexico were duly noted by undercover pilots and passed on to CIA and DEA personnel.”
The convert flights were only known to a select few individuals and that pilots had the capability to automatically turn on runway lights from an airborne aircraft, if airfield were closed for flight operations. Plumlee said that this capability existed for years:
I can’t remember what that automatic system of lighting the runways is called but you can ask the FAA or a flight instructor for the name and procedures to activate. It’s still in use at small airports around the country and activated by assigned radio frequencies. That system of activation for field runway lights has been around for many years now and is used throughout the FAA system for airports that are closed after midnight or night operations have been suspended.[viii]
Plumlee said, “[he] talked with two investigators that Gene Wheaton sent to interview him in Grant Colorado as well as two others from the IG’s office in Washington. I never heard back from any of them after I told them about the night flights into El Toro. Later I was told that my information was not considered as creditable.”
We asked Plumlee to describe the procedures he used to land at El Toro in the early morning hours. Here’s Plumlee’s memory of a covert approach into El Toro in the early hours of the morning when the runway lights were off and the field was closed to traffic:
When we approached El Toro we were called, “Phantom” or “Dark One” and squawked a special coded transponder number for Air Traffic Control LA regional TACAN. The approach into control airspace of El Toro was radar VFR in place of IFR FAA filed flight plan… most of the time at 0300 the El Toro tower was shut down and the approach lights were turned on by approach aircraft, transmitting an assigned, ‘after tower operational hours’ VHF frequency… a click of the radio mic would automatically turn on the runway lights. All Phantom aircraft approaches to El Toro were covert and secret. Only a select few military personal were authorized to work as ground crews for loading and off-loading of these covert flights from Central America and Mexico.[ix]
Gene Wheaton accompanied Nick Schou, writing for the Orange County Weekly in September 2006, to a meeting in the desert with a mysterious source who claimed to have top secret documentation showing the use of US military bases to fly drugs in the country in the 1980s. Schou wrote:
…the man pulled a folder from his pocket and handed it to me. Inside was a piece of paper stamped with the logo of the US Department of Defense. It looked like an uncensored version of what had been faxed to my office a week or so earlier: instructions from the Pentagon to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and March Air Force Base not to record landings or takeoffs by two civilian airlines. This time, the names of the airlines weren’t blacked out: Southern Air Transport and Evergreen International Airlines. The man with the walkie-talkie didn’t demand anything—except that I take the paper from his hands. But the document wasn’t stamped “declassified.” It could be stolen, Wheaton warned, and if I accepted it, I could go to federal prison for violating national security laws.”[x]
To his regret, Schou decided not to accept the document; asked the source to mail it to him, but never heard from him again.
Others were killed for getting too close to the cocaine trafficking story, including a DEA agent and former Marine, other El Toro Marines who like Colonel Sabow knew too much and were a threat to blow the whistle, and Gary Webb who shot himself two times in the head and whose manner of death was called a suicide by the coroner.
[i] The sale of cocaine in the U.S. is a billion dollar business. Estimated sales of cocaine in the U.S. from 1998-2008 in billions of dollars were 43.6, 44.5, 44.1, 45.3, 35.9, 35.2, 32.3, 31.9, 33.5, 35.9, and 35.0: World Drug Report, 2010, http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2010/1.3_The_globa_cocaine_market.pdf.
[ii] Marine MP reports seeing unmarked aircraft: This commentary is based on an interview of former Staff Sergeant Randy Robinson, a Marine MP, who told Department of Defense Inspector General investigators in 1996 that because of his often late-night schedule, “sometimes he would see an aircraft taking off at 4 a.m. He told us the aircraft were C-130s that were painted black with no markings on the tail, wings, fuselage, or anywhere else. He stated that, through binoculars, the crew appeared to have shoulder-length hair and that he assumed they were civilians. The flights began about four to six months prior to Colonel Sabow’s death. Mr. Robinson stated that prior to that, he had worked regular daytime hours and may not have noticed the aircraft since they operated only at night. He told us that junior troops had told him they saw aircraft landing at night, parking at the end of the runway and taking off shortly after they arrived.”
[iii] Plumlee put his life on the line to tell government officials about illegal narcotrafficking supported by flights. As one of the civilian pilots who ran weapons for the US government in the 1980s, Tosh Plumlee said that he made numerous operationally approved trips to Latin America; trips that he described as “sanctioned drug interdiction operations.” See Neal Matthews, “I Flew Drugs for Uncle Sam,” San Diego’s Weekly Reader, April 5, 1990.
[iv] Military supplies were being stockpiled at various staging areas inside Nicaragua and the Costa Rica border: Letter from Gary Hart to Senator John Kerry, dated February 14, 1991 (See: Appendix). volatile
[vi] These trips were approved by military intelligence personnel attached to the Pentagon: Interview with Robert Tosh Plumlee.
[vii] When the weapons were repaired, they were staged and once again flown back from El Toro Marine Air Base to Latin America: Interview with Robert Tosh Plumlee.
[viii] Automatic system of lighting the runway: Interview with Robert Tosh Plumlee.
[ix] Procedures he used to land at El Toro in the early morning hours: Interview with Robert Tosh Plumlee.
[x] Nick Schou, “Cocaine Airways”, Orange County Weekly, September 14, 2006, http://www.ocweekly.com/2006-09-14/news/cocaine-airways/
Continued: Monopoly on Weapons (Munitions), Drugs and Sex Trade – United States Government/Military Contracting Out Transshipment of Drugs – Two Americans Lose Their Lives: James Sabow and Gary Webb – The Secret Team: Enforces The “National Security State” – America Imports 50% of World-Wide Cocaine Production – Interfere With This Operation and Meet a Certain Death
Commodity Backing US$: Drugs – The “War on Drugs” Continues – USMC Cocaine Delivery Services via US Military Aircraft – The Fourth Reich Embedded Deeply in America’s Military – The New Semper Fi Code: Marine Colonel James Sabow Ambushed In His Backyard by IRT Team – Estimated Global Trade in Cocaine: US$88 Billion – Need Help Defending That Trade? – Call the Marines
This article appeared
There is a man occupying a pivotal position in Dennis Kucinich’s campaign that I am extremely leery of. And, so it seems, are some other Kucinich supporters.
In more intimate circles, my distrust of attorney Daniel Sheehan is well known. I have not made much of an issue of it, because Sheehan can get blown out of proportion. There are “attack poodles” who defend him at every turn. Sheehan is the man who literally destroyed two of the best and biggest lawsuits connected to CIA drug dealing in history: the Christic Institute lawsuit in the 1980s and a civil suit arising from the murder of Marine Col. James Sabow at El Toro Marine Air Station after Sabow had discovered CIA-connected C-130s flying tons of cocaine onto his base in 1990 and 1991. As it turns out, the cases ultimately connected with each other, and what happened in both cases is remarkably consistent. As lead attorney, Sheehan raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims and activists (Christic) and from the Sabow family, only to drag litigation out over a period of years and, through egregious legal conduct, destroy suits that could have changed the course of history. The Christic suit was “dismissed with prejudice” meaning that it could never be filed again by another attorney.
Rather than describe these cases and Sheehan’s conduct in detail, I will rely on the excellent work of investigative reporter Nick Schou of The Orange County Weekly who has reported on Sheehan for years. An excellent history of Sheehan’s record is contained in a February 2000 story by Schou located at http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/00/24/news-schou.php.
Sheehan had failed to report [in the Sabow case] that the Christic Institute had been fined more than $1 million by a federal judge in Miami. According to the government’s motion, the judge fined Sheehan after he submitted “an affidavit with unknown, nonexistent, deceased sources,” using a “deceptive style used to mask its shortcomings…” Sheehan appealed King’s ruling, lost, and was ordered to pay the legal fees for the defendants: $1,034,381.35…
… Honey [the Christic plaintiff], now the peace and security program director for the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told the Weekly that Sheehan single-handedly ruined the La Penca [Christic] case.
“Sheehan’s a lousy, lousy lawyer,” she said. “None of the good legal work was done by him.” Honey stated that she has unsuccessfully tried to get Sheehan disbarred as an attorney and has even sued him to recover investigative material and other records from the unsuccessful lawsuit. “After we found out about the Sandinista connection, we realized we had wasted millions of dollars and a decade with Sheehan,” Honey concluded.
The great irony, still recited as a pro-Sheehan catechism today by many of his supporters, is that the allegations made by Sheehan in the case were subsequently corroborated, almost in their entirety, in hearings chaired by none other than John Kerry. What the Sheehan supporters fail to realize is that it was Sheehan’s legal conduct, not the facts, that got the Christic case dismissed.
What makes the case of Col. James Sabow so tragic is that not only was he obviously murdered (all sides agreed that he had aspirated blood in his lungs and a skull fracture from a source other than a self-inflicted shotgun wound), but a man with an impeccable record and real honor was betrayed by those who claimed to be friends. When Sabow tried to expose the drug smuggling, connected to Iran-Contra operations, the Marine Corps charged him with using military aircraft to transport golf clubs, speakers and wall decorations for his son, who was attending college in the Pacific Northwest. And for that, the Marines claim a devout Catholic committed suicide. Then Dan Sheehan showed up and took the case for the family.
I will never forget a night in Washington, DC in 1995 when Sheehan’s chief investigator, Gene Wheaton (who also worked on the Christic case), presented Sabow’s brother, Dr. David Sabow, at a small discussion group headed by veteran White House correspondent Sarah McClendon. As Wheaton paraded Sabow and made his presentation — saying that the case under appeal by Sheehan would bring the government down — there were snickers from a senior congressional staffer, a former CIA analyst, and me that another victim was about to be fleeced and have his case destroyed. It took five more years and more than $100,000 of Dave Sabow’s money, but that is exactly what happened.
Nick Schou’s analysis of Sheehan’s handling of the Sabow case revealed that:
Witness testimony that might have shown Marine Corps officers lied to the Sabows about their official investigation into the death was either excluded by the court as irrelevant or was obscured by Sheehan’s habit of asking interminable, speculative and, in some cases, unintelligible questions. [Jesuit trained.] Indeed, toward the end of the six-day trial, the government’s lawyers needed only to look as if they might object to Sheehan’s questions–to lean forward, look annoyed or raise a hand–and Stotler would stop him.
The increasingly testy Stotler occasionally challenged Sheehan’s skills as a lawyer, at one point observing, “Counsel, that is literally the worst question I have ever heard in my life.” When Sheehan repeatedly pressed NCIS agent Mike Barrett about the quality of the Navy’s original death investigation, Stotler intervened again. “That has nothing to do with this case,” she told Sheehan. “Do you have any other questions for this witness?”
On the fifth day, the Justice Department asked Stotler to end the trial; the plaintiffs had called all their witnesses and hadn’t proved a thing, the government attorneys argued. Stotler said she would consider it; 24 hours later, on the afternoon of Jan. 27, it was clear that she had had enough. “I am prepared to grant the defense’s motion. I don’t need to hear any further testimony at this point,” she announced with finality, just moments before Adams was supposed to take the stand. “It’s pretty apparent that, looking only at the plaintiff’s testimony, their allegations have not been met by the evidence.”
Sheehan hadn’t just failed to prove a vast conspiracy involving drug running, covert flights and murder. He had also failed to prove the government acted maliciously in a death investigation…
While the OIG said it found no evidence to support the conclusion that Sabow was murdered, Sheehan’s lawsuit contains what purports to be unassailable direct eyewitness testimony showing that Sabow was murdered. That allegation is based on the claims of “Mr. X,” whom Dr. Sabow identified as an ex-Marine Corps official, now a law-enforcement officer somewhere in the southwestern United States. Sheehan refused to identify Mr. X or produce him for interviews either with military investigators or the media…
James Sabow was murdered. Mr. X was never necessary to prove that, and he should never have been brought up. The physical evidence does it. Among other loose ends, all fingerprints had been wiped from the shotgun that killed Sabow. Several police forensics experts said that it would have been impossible for Sabow to not have left his fingerprints on the weapon he used to kill himself.
But when Sheehan introduced a Mr. X, and couldn’t follow simple legal procedure, the case fell, in part, because he couldn’t produce the witness that he himself had brought up. Sound familiar? The Sheehan case rested on the premise that the Marine Corps had been rude to the Sabow family. It did not even address the wrongful death, which, according to legal experts interviewed by FTW, was outside the bounds of the so-called Feres Doctrine that basically says that soldiers are military property. I was surprised to learn, just a few weeks ago, that the indefatigable David had succeeded in getting a member of Congress to take a new look at the case from a different tack. In a September 5th 2003 interview, Sabow told The Orange County Weekly, “Now I believe that all the people who warned me about (Sheehan) were correct. I think there was a lot of duplicity involved. I don’t lose any sleep over using the people that offered to help me, but I am disappointed in their character.” The full story is at:
Richard Scheck is a political activist and researcher who was a classmate of Sheehan’s at Harvard Law. He has long known of concerns about Sheehan. Six months ago, this writer provided Scheck with a copy of the Schou article and asked him to pass it up in the campaign for comment.
Scheck was a volunteer for the Kucinich team when he saw that Sheehan was positioning himself to play a major role in developing policy and strategy for Kucinich. He spoke personally with the Congressman, as well as several high-level aides, in an attempt to have a potential problem dealt with at the earliest possible moment.
“Dennis and his team are six months late in addressing this. I alerted them back in March and was ignored,” Scheck told FTW.
Scheck wrote an internal memo to a senior campaign staffer regarding Sheehan’s January speech in Ashland, Oregon in which, “Sheehan told the audience he hoped Dennis would run and that Danny intended to have Dennis include the platform Danny was developing at his new institute in Boston called the Center for the Study of Alternative World Views.”
He told FTW, “The day after I spoke to Kucinich and sent this memo, I saw Dennis embrace Danny and speak with him at the big fund-raiser held in Marin at the beginning of his presidential campaign.”
Scheck adds, “My clear sense is that Danny and his wife are playing a major role in the Kucinich campaign. Danny personally told me back in March he was planning a 10-state strategy. I recently learned from a source within the campaign that Sarah [Sheehan’s wife] was deeply involved.”
Aris Anagnos of Los Angeles is a pillar of the activist, pro-peace community and another staunch Kucinich supporter. A past president of Americans for Democratic Action, founder of L.A.’s Peace Center, and key supporter of the Office of the Americas, Anagnos was also a major supporter of the Christic Institute lawsuit. In an Oct 13th interview with FTW, Anagnos indicated that he was aware of the role Sheehan was playing in the Kucinich campaign and had “expressed his feelings inside the campaign”.
He told FTW, “In the early 1990s, when the Christic ruling came up for appeal, Sheehan needed to post a bond to get it going. I put up a bond of almost a million and a half dollars to do that. When the appeal failed, the court said ‘pay up’. I asked Sheehan, who had a large mailing list of people who knew that the allegations had been validated [by the Kerry hearings], if he would send out a letter asking them to help bear the burden. One person should not have to do it. He refused to do it. I had to pay up and I nearly went bankrupt. But I don’t hold him responsible for the failure of the lawsuit.”
FTW then asked Anagnos if he was aware of the fact that the Christic suit had been dismissed because of Sheehan’s flawed affidavit using deceased and “non-existent” witnesses. I also asked if Anagnos was aware that the appeal had been thrown out because the trial court’s ruling had been a dismissal with prejudice because of misconduct and that the money was a fine (as reported by Schou) and not a bond. To both questions Anagnos said, “I wasn’t aware of that. I didn’t know that.” Anagnos was also not familiar with the Sabow case, even though it had been positively featured in two segments of a CBS News program anchored by Connie Chung.
Throughout the course of the Christic suit, Daniel Sheehan compiled a mailing list of supporters who donated hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars to support the case. In politics, such a mailing list is gold. Ask Bill Clinton about how important such lists are. A question that arises is, did Sheehan protect his donor list by having only one man pay the bill for his arguable legal malpractice?
There is something else that is remarkably consistent about Daniel Sheehan’s behavior. He has a record of telling people what not to say.
I spoke with him in 1986 during the Christic trial well before the dismissal, and offered him my first-hand observations and records alleging CIA involvement in drug dealing. He was not interested, and he encouraged me to forget about it. He promised to contact me again and obtain my records, but he never called. I called back and left several messages. He refused to respond.
In 1992, during the Perot campaign, while I was serving as LA Press spokesman, I was told by Perot insiders that Sheehan had been communicating with Perot, and urging him to remain silent about POW and CIA-drug issues. One Perot staffer confirmed to me that Perot had recently met with or spoken to Sheehan on more than one occasion.
In 1996, just days after I had confronted CIA Director John Deutch at Locke High School with hard evidence of CIA drug trafficking (including names of CIA operations), Sheehan drove to my residence in Sylmar, California and spent three hours trying to persuade me to give up the whole issue and get on with my life. My efforts, he told me, were futile.
In January of 1997, at a large Los Angeles demonstration focusing on CIA-drug trafficking after a series of stories in The San Jose Mercury, Sheehan showed up with David Sabow, who was going to address an eager audience about proof that the CIA was involved in smuggling cocaine. Sheehan dogged Sabow’s every step, and Sabow told me, “I have to clear everything I say with Danny. I just can’t say that we know that the CIA was dealing drugs.” Sabow’s statement to the crowd was tepid, to say the least.
Is Sheehan having the same effect on Dennis Kucinich?
Decorated Vietnam veteran and lawyer Gary Eitel served as a special federal prosecutor in a case that looked into the CIA’s diversion of C-130 Hercules aircraft into the hands of private companies who were operating as CIA contractors or proprietaries. These were the same C-130s that flew into Jim Sabow’s life. Eitel’s investigation and prosecution, unlike Sheehan’s, resulted in two felony convictions and other civil remedies. Eitel indirectly provided some pro bono work to the Sabow family. He told them that the way to prove their case was to find the refueling records that would identify the El Toro planes as the same ones he had already proven had been maneuvered through the Forest Service by the government. According to Eitel, as soon as this information was passed to Sheehan’s investigator, it was discovered that the records had been destroyed.
FTW’s 1998 investigation of the CIA’s diversion of twenty-eight C-130s is located at:
Eitel then seemed to raise a question that is on many people’s minds. “When Danny Sheehan comes into any case, like he did with Christic, the case comes unglued. The team that prosecuted those cases couldn’t have done a better job for the other side if they had been working for them.”
A common assessment by those sympathetic to Sheehan is that his legal failures are the result of incompetence. However, another perspective could be offered: Namely that Sheehan is extremely competent at diffusing any case or issues – maybe even candidates — that are potentially devastating to government covert operations. Eitel observed, “Sheehan was right there in the middle of all of it and he could have unraveled it right back to Southern Air Transport, [Bill] Casey and Richard Secord from the Sabow case. Instead it all went away when Sheehan turned a wrongful death case into a being rude case, and then blew that one.”
One more thing should be said about Danny Sheehan. I received a confirmation in 2000 that Daniel Sheehan had served as the executive director of the Rockefeller/Michael Milken-funded State of the World Forum in San Francisco. The Rockefellers are, of course, the creator-founders of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
FTW solicited comment on Sheehan’s role in the Kucinich campaign from three separate high-level campaign officials. As of press time for this article, that request has been neither acknowledged nor responded to…