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Colin Powell's Right Hand man--Dick Armitage

by Vindicator Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001 at 6:49 AM

> SEVENTEEN PARAGRAPHS into a story on Bush's retention of CIA director George Tenet, the NY Times quietly drops a bombshell, "Meanwhile, Gen. Colin L. Powell, Mr. Bush's choice to be secretary of state, has selected Richard > Armitage, his close friend and a former Pentagon official, to be the deputy secretary, two Republicans close to the Bush transition team said.

Sorry, don't know about the veracity of this whole post, but check out the initial portion on "Armitage".






> SEVENTEEN PARAGRAPHS into a story on Bush's retention of CIA director


> Tenet, the NY Times quietly drops a bombshell, "Meanwhile, Gen. Colin L.

> Powell, Mr. Bush's choice to be secretary of state, has selected Richard

> Armitage, his close friend and a former Pentagon official, to be the


> secretary, two Republicans close to the Bush transition team said. Mr.

> Armitage was initially a front-runner for deputy at the Defense


> and resisted entreaties to work for General Powell, fearing it might

> interfere with their friendship. But the general has prevailed upon Mr.

> Armitage to join him at the State Department, associates said."


> Meanwhile, indeed. Nothing - not even Ashcroft - raises so many warning

> flags about the intentions of the Bush administration than does the

> resurrection of this veteran of some of the sleaziest and most corrupt

> periods of American foreign policy, including the CIA-drug trade love fest

> in SE Asia and the Iran-Contra scandal. If we had a press and a Democratic

> Party worthy of their names, the Armitage appointment would be major news.

> Here, for starters, are some reasons why:


> OLIVER NORTH, "UNDER FIRE:" [William] Casey handed [Robert] McFarlane a

> sheet of paper on which he had outlined plans for a new CIA anti-terrorism

> unit . . . [it] officially sanctioned a secret entity with a mandate to

> coordinate our government's response to international terrorism -

> preemptively if possible, retroactively if necessary. I became its first

> chairman . . . My associates on the Task Force included Noel Koch (and


> Richard Armitage) from Defense, Dewey Clarridge and Charlie Allen from the

> CIA, Buck Revell and Wayne Gilbert from the FBI, Bob Oakley from State,


> Art Moreau (and later General Jack Moellering) from the Joint Chiefs of




> support of President Reagan's contra policies and of the Iran arms sales

> encouraged some CIA officials to go beyond legal restrictions in both

> operations. Casey was instrumental in pairing North with [Richard] Secord


> a contra-support team when the Boland Amendment in October 1984 forced the

> CIA to refrain from direct or indirect aid. He also supported the

> North-Secord combination in the Iran arms sales, despite deep reservations

> about Secord within the CIA hierarchy. Casey's position on the contras

> prompted the chief of the CIA's Central American Task Force, Alan D.


> Jr., to "dovetail" CIA activities with those of North's contra-resupply

> network, in violation of Boland restrictions. Casey's support for the NSC


> direct the Iran arms sales and to use arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and

> Secord in the operation, forced the CIA's Directorate of Operations to


> with people it distrusted . . . Contrary to their testimony to the

> presidentially appointed Tower Commission and the Select Iran/contra

> Committees of Congress, Independent Counsel determined that Secretary

> Weinberger and his closest aides were consistently informed of proposed


> actual arms shipments to Iran during 1985 and 1986 . . . The notes

> demonstrated that Weinberger's early testimony that he had only vague and

> generalized information about Iran arms sales in 1985 was false, and that


> in fact had detailed information on the proposed arms sales and the actual

> deliveries. The notes also revealed that Gen. Colin Powell, Weinberger's

> senior military aide, and Richard L. Armitage, assistant secretary of

> defense for international security affairs, also had detailed knowledge of

> the 1985 shipments from Israeli stocks. Armitage and Powell had testified

> that they did not learn of the November 1985 HAWK missile shipment until

> 1986 . . . There was little evidence that Powell's early testimony


> the 1985 shipments and Weinberger's notes was willfully false. Powell

> cooperated with the various Iran/contra investigations and, when his

> recollection was refreshed by Weinberger's notes, he readily conceded


> accuracy. Independent Counsel declined to prosecute Armitage because the

> OIC's limited resources were focused on the case against Weinberger and

> because the evidence against Armitage, while substantial, did not reach


> threshold of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.


> US STIPULATION IN OLIVER NORTH TRIAL: Stipulation 61 - In late March 1985,

> North advised McFarlane that the initial deliveries of US arms from DoD to

> Honduras had gone well. The Honduran government had expressed its


> through those who were supporting the Resistance. North proposed that

> McFarlane ask Secretary of Defense Weinberger to convey President Reagan's

> and McFarlane's thanks to DoD personnel who had effected the expedited

> procurement for the Honduran government, including Assistant Secretary of

> Defense Richard Armitage and General Gast . . . Stipulation 92 - In late

> March 1986, Elliott Abrams offered Honduran President Azcona immediate

> additional security assistance. LtCol North prepared a memorandum from

> Admiral Poindexter to President Reagan (with copies to Vice President Bush

> and Chief of Staff Regan) describing the results of Abrams' discussions


> Azcona . . . The Honduran army and navy specifically requested a

> sophisticated ground-to-air missile on the ground that the US had already

> furnished such weapons to the Resistance. The total cost for the items

> ultimately agreed upon was approximately 20 million. Among [sic] of the

> additional assistance to Honduras (in addition to President Reagan, Vice

> President Bush, Regan, and Admiral Poindexter) were LtGen Gast (Director


> DSAA), Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage, and Deputy


> Secretary of Defense Nestor Sanchez.


> BO GRITZ: [Gritz, a colorful figure upon whom the character of Rambo was

> partly based, is the most decorated Green Beret commander of the Vietnam

> era] What I want to tell you very quickly is something that I feel is more

> heinous than the Bataan death march . . . What I'm talking about is

> something we found out in Burma - May 1987. We found it out from a man


> Khun Sa. He is the recognized overlord of heroin in the world . . . On


> tape he said to us something that was most astounding: that US government

> officials have been and are now his biggest customers, and have been for


> last twenty years. I wouldn't believe him . . . We ran the war in Laos and

> Cambodia through drugs. The money that would not be appropriated by a

> liberal congress, was appropriated. And you know who we used for

> distribution? Santos Trafficante, old friend of the CIA and mobster out of

> Cuba and Florida . . . Fifty-eight-thousand Americans were killed.

> Seventy-thousand became drug casualties. In the sixties and seventies you

> saw an infusion of drugs into America like never was before.


> PROJECT PHOENIX: Several figures -- including Theodore Shackley, Thomas

> Clines and Richard Armitage - later associated with the Iran Contra


> were involved in Project Phoenix, which was financed in part with opium

> money. It has been alleged that the close relationship with SE Asian drug

> dealers continued after the US withdrawal from Vietnam, with Iran used as


> conduit for drugs and money. It has also been reported that, as a sequel


> Project Phoenix, an off-the-books assassination program was established in

> Iran.


> RALPH MCGEHEE: [Ralph McGehee is a former CIA officer who has exposed

> agency wrongdoing]The Phoenix or Phuong Hoang Operation was originally

> designed to "neutralize," that is assassinate or imprison, members of the

> civilian infrastructure of the [Vietnamese] National Liberation Front.

> Phoenix offices were set up from Saigon down to the district level. Their

> functions were to: (1) collate intelligence about the "Vietcong

> Infrastructure"; (2) interrogate civilians picked up at random by military

> units carrying out sweeps through villages; (3) "neutralize" targeted

> members of the NLF . . . The original Phoenix concept was quickly diluted,

> for two main reasons: (1) pressure from the top to fill numerical quotas


> person to be neutralized; (2) difficulties at the bottom of identifying


> civilian infrastructure, who were often indistinguishable from the general

> population, and the near impossibility of proving anyone membership in the

> NLF. The result was vastly to increase the numbers of innocent persons

> rounded up and imprisoned, indiscriminately murdered, and brutally


> in an effort to show results . . . Between 1968 and 1972 hundreds of

> thousands of Vietnamese civilians were rounded up and turned over to the

> Vietnamese police for questioning. Such interrogation has usually been

> marked by brutal torture.


> AFTER THE WAR: At the end of 1975, Armitage became as a special consultant

> to the Department of Defense, working out of Bangkok and dealing with

> unrepatriated prisoners and the missing in action. Armitage also started a

> mysterious business called the Far East Trading Company. Meanwhile, from

> 1976 to 1979 in Iran, Richard Secord was supervising the sale of US


> aircraft and weapons to Middle Eastern nations. During this same period,

> there are reports that Shackley, Clines, Secord, and Armitage set up


> curious corporations and subsidiaries around the world including Lake

> Resources, Stanford Technology Trading Group, Companie de Services

> Fiduciaria, CSF Investments and Udall Research Corporation.


> ARMITAGE AND POWELL: Powell and Armitage apparently met first in 1981, and

> later, when Powell served as chairman of the joint chiefs, "they started


> call each other daily to share information and bounce ideas off each


> according to a 1993 profile in USA Weekend. "They have become sounding

> boards for just about anything the other guy wants to discuss. Often they

> talk, if only briefly, two or three times a day." Newsweek reported that

> Armitage "may be Powell's closest friend."


> ARMITAGE AND ROSS PEROT: Perot and Armitage met in 1986, when Armitage was

> working on the POW-MIA issue. Perot, bothered by problems with the POW

> program as well as reports of Armitage's involvement with drug


> urged Armitage to resign. Armitage told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, "I

> found out he was putting his mouth on me, and I asked him to come to my

> office." Armitage told Perot that federally investigators had cleared him.

> Perot went to see President Bush who said it was a matter for the FBI.


> then met with FBI Director William Webster and subordinates, pointing out,

> among other things, that Armitage had given a character reference for a

> Vietnamese woman convicted of conducting a major illegal gambling


> in Arlington, Virginia. Bush nominated Armitage to be Secretary of the


> in 1989 but Armitage withdrew before the confirmation hearing following

> reports that Perot and veteran organizes were gearing up to oppose him.

> Syndicated columnist Jack Anderson reported in 1986 that the President's

> Commission on Organized Crime had questioned Armitage about his


> with the Vietnamese refugee. Powell sided with Armitage on the issue.


> [The pro-CIA Time Magazine rises to Armitage's defense]


> GEORGE J. CHURCH, TIME MAGAZINE, 1987: Among the targets of Perot's


> probe are some whose names have surfaced in connection with Iranscam. He


> been looking into the alleged links between ex-CIA agents Thomas Clines


> Theodore Shackley, retired Generals Richard Secord and John Singlaub,

> Iranian born Businessman Albert Hakim and other former and present

> Government officials going back to the early 1960's. "I think we'll


> that Admiral Poindexter and Colonel North were bit players," he told the

> Washington Post, "and the major characters were people who were in the

> weapons business for years, some of whom had CIA connections." A far more

> curious target is Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage, a man

> widely respected for his integrity and effectiveness. After his


> in 1981, Armitage began working in Southeast Asia to track down reports of

> MIAs in Viet-Nam; Perot suspected him of not doing enough. Last October,

> Perot met with Armitage at the Pentagon and bluntly demanded that he


> Perot's stated reason was that Armitage had written, on Pentagon


> a glowing character reference for a Vietnamese woman refugee, Nguyet Thi

> O'Rourke, who had been convicted of running a gambling operation in

> Virginia. Armitage later conceded that using Pentagon stationery had been

> "dumb", but not illegal or improper. At the meeting, Armitage vigorously

> denied any implication that he had anything to do with an illicit arms or

> drug network . . . Lately, Perot and his investigators have been

> interviewing people who have also been questioned by the Christic


> a Washington public interest law firm. Christic last year filed a suit in

> Miami against Clines, Shackley, Secord, Singlaub, Hakim and 24 others;

> Armitage is mentioned several times but is not a defendant. The suit


> that some of the defendants became involved in drug smuggling from


> Asia in the early 1960's and later in a series of shady weapons deals


> the world, using the profits to finance covert anti-Communist activities.

> But the lawsuit's allegations, many of which are inaccurate or based on

> false assumptions, are a shaky foundation on which to base an


> Armitage calls the suit "malicious" and has a four-page list of factual

> refutations. For example, an affidavit filed by the Christic Institute's

> attorney claims that Armitage was in Bangkok setting up a company that

> allegedly served as a front for the movement of opium money during a


> in the late 1970's; part of that time he was actually living in Washington

> and working as administrative assistant to Senator Robert Dole.


> ARMITAGE AND BURMA: UNOCAL is the leading American investor in Myanmar, a

> target of widespread sanctions and boycotts for its repressive regime. In

> 1997 Richard Armitage reportedly went to Burma on a trip sponsored by the

> Burma/Myanmar Forum, a Washington group with major funding from UNOCAL.


> QUESTIONS NEEDING ANSWERS: Before Richard Armitage holds another public

> office, we need the answers to a few questions such as:


> - What exactly was his role in the disastrous, deadly, and deeply corrupt

> CIA arrangements with the SE drug trade?


> - What is in Lawrence Walsh's files concerning Armitage's involvement in

> Iran Contra?


> - What is in Ross Perot's files concerning Armitage and what is Armitage's

> response?


> - Do the files of the Kerry committee that investigated Iran Contra shed


> light on Armitage's role?


> - What was the nature of the various business enterprises with which

> Armitage has been affiliated?







> GUARDIAN, LONDON: Depleted uranium shells fired by Britain in the Gulf war

> and the US in Kosovo contained traces of plutonium and other highly

> radioactive particles, the Ministry of Defense and the US department of

> energy admitted. The fact that DU rounds used by British and US forces

> contain far more radioactive isotopes than uranium, which are more likely


> cause cancer, is bound to fuel the controversy over Gulf war syndrome. But

> the additional risk to British and US servicemen was minimal because the

> amounts of contaminants were so small, a MoD spokeswoman in London said,

> echoing a NATO statement issued in Brussels.

> The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna was not so sure that the

> dangers of uranium containing even traces of plutonium were small, saying

> there was no data on what happened to contaminated depleted uranium when

> released into the atmosphere. David Kyd, spokesman for the agency, said:

> "The science simply can't provide the answers in terms of the long-term

> consequences. It is definitely worth investigating further, not only in


> Balkans but also in Iraq."




> 23861,00.html




> ONE REASON PEOPLE LOSE their freedoms is because their press treats such

> losses as normal. For example, read how the Washington Post's Inaugural

> guide's treats the possibility of mass false arrests by the police and


> try to imagine how the paper might have covered the Nazi roundup of Jews:


> "How do I get to or avoid all the protests?


> "Protest organizers say they do not intend to act violently or illegally,

> but they say they cannot control everyone. Police might arrest everyone in

> the vicinity of a disruption, so stay clear if you do not want to be







> cows near the Big Hole River valley, Montana rancher Bill Garrison is


> a potentially costly expense he hadn't counted on: Stringing miles of

> additional barbed-wire fence on his property. Mr. Garrison and hundreds of

> ranchers believe their cowboy way of life is under siege, following a


> state Supreme Court ruling that struck down the once-sacred "Open Range

> Doctrine." They're still lobbying for legislation that will dampen the

> effects. But the ruling, largely a response to motorists' safety concerns,

> could mean the end of free-ranging cows in the West . . . With residential

> subdivisions pushing deeper into former agricultural pastures, ex-urban

> owners of "ranchettes" don't want cows tromping through their gardens,

> leaving cow pies on their sod lawns, and scaring their kids. The biggest

> complaint, however, relates to the safety concerns of cows along roads.


> Montana high-court ruling, rendered in mid-December, sprang from a lawsuit

> brought by a motorist injured when her vehicle crashed into a bull on a

> public highway.






> PAUL SPERRY, WORLD NET DAILY: A review of financial assets held over the

> past six years by Elaine L. Chao and her husband, Kentucky Sen. Mitch

> McConnell, reveals that the Labor secretary-designate serves as director


> an insurance company that jointly owns a Lippo Group subsidiary with the

> Chinese government.

> Indonesia-based Lippo is controlled by the Riady family and is at the


> of the Chinagate fund-raising scandal. Lippo chief executive James T.


> has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of defrauding the US

> government. Prosecutors say he funneled foreign donations to the campaigns

> of Bill Clinton and other politicians. Lippo's man in the US, John Huang,

> was convicted of campaign fraud in 1999. Senate financial-disclosure


> show that, over the past four years, Chao has held a seat on the board of

> Protective Life Corp., which owns 50 percent of CRC Protective Life

> Insurance. Lippo co-owns the rest of the Hong Kong-based unit with China

> Resources Holdings Co., an intelligence-gathering front company for


> People's Liberation Army.




> DAN EGGEN & DAVID A. VISE, WASHINGTON POST: In his opening testimony to


> Senate Judiciary Committee, attorney general nominee John D. Ashcroft

> vigorously defended his fight against a landmark voluntary desegregation

> plan in St. Louis, arguing the state had "done nothing wrong" and "had


> found guilty of no wrong" in the case. But court documents show that a

> federal district judge ruled that the state was a "primary constitutional

> wrongdoer" in perpetuating segregated schools in St. Louis, both by


> blacks an equal education in the past and doing little to remedy the

> situation later. Appellate courts repeatedly upheld that conclusion, and


> US Supreme Court declined to hear three appeals initiated by Ashcroft


> he was the state's attorney general . . . Ashcroft said, for example, that

> "in all of the cases where the court made an order, I followed the order,

> both as attorney general and as governor." But US District Judge William

> Hungate threatened to hold Ashcroft -- who was Missouri's attorney general

> -- and the state in contempt in 1981 for "continual delay and failure to

> comply" with orders to file a desegregation plan. "The state has, as a

> matter of deliberate policy, decided to defy the authority of this court,"

> Hungate wrote in a subsequent order. In a town forum three years later

> during his run for governor, Ashcroft said he had done "everything in my

> power legally" to fight the desegregation plan, according to a wire


> account. "Just ask Judge Hungate, who threatened me with contempt," he






> JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: So far the Judiciary Committee hearings


> scarcely penetrated the surface concerns raised about Ashcroft's


> All eight Republicans on the committee have promised to vote for Ashcroft.

> The Democrats are undeclared, but if their advance statements and line of

> questioning are any guide, two of these, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, both

> of Wisconsin, are open to and maybe even leaning toward confirming


> A filibuster could dramatically change the dynamics of the Ashcroft

> nomination battle. The Republicans are promising to vote as a bloc, which

> means 51 votes in favor Ashcroft. Media reports have Ashcroft getting an

> additional 11 Democratic votes. If true that would put him easily over the

> top. But once a filibuster is begun, it takes 60 votes to shut it off (or

> provide "closure" as the process is called). In a close fight, holding


> the democratic votes might prove hard for the Republicans.






> - Percent of lawyers in all state legislatures, 1976: 22%

> - Percent of lawyers in all state legislatures, 1995: 15%

> - Percent of lawyers in Congress, 1969: 58%

> - Percent of lawyers in Congress, 1999: 43%

> - Percent of lawyers in adult population: less than 1%

> - Percent of lawyers in New York state legislature, 1969: 61%

> - Percent of lawyers in New York state legislature, 1999: 34%

> - Percent of lawyers in California state legislature, 1969: 48%

> - Percent of lawyers in New York state legislature, 1999: 22%

> - Percent of retired persons in Maine state legislature: 41%

> - Percent of educators in Maine state legislature: 30%

> - Percent of business people in Maine state legislature: 23%

> - Percent of health and social services workers in Maine state

legislature: 17%

> - Percent of lawyers in Maine state legislature: 11%


> [NY Times, Casco Bay Weekly]




> YOUR EDITOR is among 24 persons nominated for a "new media" hero award by

> Alternet, the online journal and syndication service. They say some nice

> things, to wit: "One nominator called him 'a hero of ours. We consider


> a national treasure.' Another said: 'Sam is almost like a latter-day,

> progressive IF Stone.' If you want, you can vote to make me not just a

> nominated hero but a full fledged one, or - if you're afraid that might go

> to my head - you can vote for some of the others, who are pretty nifty.





> PAUL KRASSNER: Paul Krassner, whose Realist has just published its last

> issue, is interviewed on NPR





> ----------------------------------------------------


> REVIEW E-MAIL: mailto:news@p...



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> Progressive Review. Matter not independently copyrighted may be reprinted

> provided TPR is paid your normal reprint fees, if any, and is given proper

> credit. Because of its quantity, TPR's mail is not always answered, but it

> is always read. The editor is cheered or remorseful as appropriate and


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