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Saturday, Jul. 28, 2001 at 7:37 PM
From investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker. Part one of his reporting on Asa Hutchinson ties to drug smugglers can be found at http://www.madcowprod.com
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE "NOT INTERESTED" IN DRUG SMUGGLING TIES OF NEW DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION CHIEF
An aide to Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) Senate Judiciary Committee said that the Committee is "not interested" in probing links to drug smugglers of Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson in his confirmation hearing Tuesday to be the new head of America’s Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Its not our job to conduct any investigation into the matters you’ve brought up," Mary DeOreo told Daniel Hopsicker, author of a new book with damaging information about Hutchinson in a phone call Monday. The book, "Barry & ‘the boys’" (MadCowPress) due out in September, documents Hutchinson’s recent ties with one of Mena drug smuggler Barry Seal’s top operatives in the cocaine smuggling which took place while Hutchinson was US Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, encompassing Mena.
"Asa Hutchinson has documented recent ties with one of the principals in Barry Seal's smuggling organization, Michael Roy Fugler, that operated with impunity while numerous law enforcement officials accused Hutchinson of doing nothing to stop it, and of, in fact, protecting the operation," Hopsicker stated.
"Its shocking that the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must approve Hutchinson’s nomination, is uninterested in the fact that Hutchinson became the "marketing poster boy" for a company recently taken public by a member of Seal’s drug ring."
The book quotes Arkansas State Police Commander, Finis Duvall, whose area included Mena, as saying that on at least one occasion then-US Attorney Asa Hutchinson ‘took care’ of a Mena legal entanglement for Barry Seal that has never been surfaced in the press. Duvall states the Arkansas State police didn't even try to develop a case against the Mena drug smuggling, because it was well known that it was being 'protected.' "We always knew we couldn't prosecute Barry Seal, no matter what we got on him, because of the politics involved in the Western Judicial District," said the former Arkansas State Police Commander, referring to Hutchinson.
"Barry & ‘the boys, The CIA, the Mob, and America’s Secret History" is the result of a three-year long investigation into Barry Seal, who government attorneys called the biggest drug smuggler in American history, contains revelations about Seal’s involvement with top officials in both major political parties, including Republican Attorney General Ed Meese, former Democratic National Chairman Charles Manatt, and Al Gore's campaign chairman Tony Coelho.
According to informed sources like Miami private investigator Gary McDaniel, "Every successful drug smuggling organization needs four things: "Production, distribution, transportation, and protection." Did the man about to be in charge of America’s Drug War provide protection to the biggest smuggling operation in American history?
Apparently, the Senate Judiciary Committee is afraid to find out.
("Barry & ‘the boys,’" in bookstores in September, is currently available in a pre-publication release at www.barryandtheboys.com, or by calling 800.556.2012.)
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