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by Alex Constantine
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004 at 4:44 PM
"the presence of Secord in Best's Azerbaijani oil venture ought to have raised blood red flags around the world..."
Saudi Entrepreneur Adnan Khashoggi Linked to 911 Terrorists
Part XVIII: ROOTS -
AN IRAN-CONTRA/AL QAEDA READER
e.dited by Alex Constantine
"Aid for Terrorists"
CounterSpy, vol. 6, no. 2
‘In spite of repeated attempts at unification, the Afghan ‘rebel’ groups are as divided as ever. Infighting was pushed to a new peak recently by Sayed Ahmad Gailand, the head of the "National Islamic front of Afghanistan." Gailand confirmed statements made by the Afghan government, when he told a press conference in London, England in early November 1981 that it is ‘incomprehensible and unforgivable’ that the West is aiding certain rebel groups who are ‘terrorizing the Afghan population.’ Gailani, who likes to style himself as a moderate and who is asking for Western aid himself, singled out Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Islamic Party which has ‘shot villagers who had refused to pay them taxes, and sometimes burnt down villages which supported other resistence groups.’ Kekmatyar received U.S. and Pakistani support as early as 1973 when Pakistan clandestinely trained some 5,000 Afghan "rebels" to destabilize the government of Muhammad Daoud.
"God Save the Shah: American Guns, Oil and Spies in Azerbaijan"
by Mark Irkali, Tengiz Kodrarian and Cali Ruchala
"GARY BEST HAS made it his business not to be found. A self-described ‘electronics importer,’ he has left a long trail of anecdote and innuendo of past misdeeds but few testifying witnesses. He was a marginal figure in one of the many subplots of the Iran-Contra Scandal, though how exactly he was related to the activities of Oliver North and his co-conspirators is unclear. His importing business was concentrated primarily in Southeast Asia, but somehow brought him into contact with the Afghan Mujahedin, Iran-Contra conspirator Richard Secord and legendary Air Force special operations commander Brigadier General Harry ‘Heinie’ Aderholt. His current mailing address, and his current profession, are unknown.
"In 1985, Gary's business was headquartered in Marietta, Georgia. What exactly his company did, and how he spent his days, is a mystery. Bob Fletcher, another figure on the periphery of Iran-Contra, claims that in 1985, Gary Best became a partner in his toy company, which he and other Iran-Contra figures planned to use as a cover for illicit weapons transfers of the sort that made Ollie (and Secord) famous.... He allegedly made several visits to the USSR as well as to Mujahedin headquarters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and former associates say that Best bragged about his friendship with sometime-Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who, like many former Mujahedin, is now a sworn enemy of the United States. At the time of writing, Hekmatyar had just been placed on a terrorist list by the State Department, and a staffer contacted at his movement's headquarters in Pakistan was understandably reluctant to discuss too many things with outsiders that spoke English. A week later, the staffer, who claimed to be Hekmatyar's son-in-law, told us that no one in the organization had ever heard of Gary Best....
"According to Andrew, Best has a warrant out for his arrest in the United States and is probably traveling under a false passport.... The "crowd" expanded in 1991 to include another ghost from America's past: prominent Iran-Contra co-conspirator Richard Secord. Whereas the partnership of Best and Aderholt could be written off as a curious pairing, the presence of Secord in Best's Azerbaijani oil venture ought to have raised blood red flags around the world.
"Secord is a man that many people believe should have been in jail in 1991 - just two years after copping a plea to a count of lying to Congress (he was facing trial on eleven other felony charges). Instead, we are to believe that this former mastermind of arms shipments and shady deals with guerrillas and Ayatollahs was taken by the possibilities of dead oil wells in Azerbaijan.
"Best, Aderholt and Secord, with their lack of background in public relations, might be forgiven for picking such an Orwellian name for their venture as "MEGA Oil." Assuming that Aderholt and Secord were, as they say they are, accidental patsies in Best's devious schemes, it's still difficult to believe the atrocious due diligence that two men with extensive backgrounds in intelligence executed. Conducting a post-mortem on MEGA Oil - noting its birthdate and vital statistics - is almost as difficult as tracking down Gary Best.
MEGA Oil's American partners wrote in press releases that the company was based in either Marietta or Atlanta, Georgia. A search of public records finds not one but two companies known as "MEGA Oil USA." One is called "MEGA Oil USA/Vista Joint Ventures," and was incorporated in 1985. "MEGA Oil USA" on the other hand wasn't incorporated until 1993. There is, moreover, a third MEGA Oil involved in the food processing business. None of these Georgia companies could be definitively traced to Best.
To make up for MEGA Oil's lack of experience in the industry, Best contracted a company which specialized in rehabilitating and servicing existing oil wells. Ponder Industries, registered in Delaware but conducting business in Alice, Texas, entered into partnership with MEGA Oil in Azerbaijan feeling like they had trumped an entire industry. Later, an Securities and Exchange Commission panel expressed astonishment that Ponder had done even less due diligence on MEGA than they would have with any Texas partner - almost as little as Aderholt and Secord. Gary Best, insiders say, led Ponder to believe that his connections with the Azeri government would take care of any problems. As a result, Ponder agreed to fund and staff the oil wells in Azerbaijan by themselves, as well as providing unspecified "operating costs" to MEGA. All MEGA had to do was bring them the contract with SOCAR, the Azeri state oil company. Best promptly faxed it over. It was written in Russian, and no one in Ponder's office could read it. Incredibly, they took Best's word that the fax was exactly what he said it was: a joint venture agreement between MEGA Oil and SOCAR to service the abandoned oil wells.
Ponder began flying their equipment and staff into Azerbaijan in late 1991 and January of 1992. The latter was the date when the conflict in Karabakh, which had hitherto been fought by guerrillas and militias, exploded into a full-scale war as Azeri soldiers pounded the Karabakh Armenians' "capital," Stepanakert, with thousands of rounds of artillery fire. It was intended to soften the Armenians' position, with thousands of fresh troops following the path of fire.
‘The hopes of the Azeris for a quick and decisive thrust into Karabakh were bolstered when their American friends offered to help train-and-equip their beleaguered armed forces, and even bring in some of their old special forces friends to lend a hand in drilling and structural reorganization. MEGA Oil, a company in Azerbaijan which was created in order to fund a farcical search for POWs in Vietnam, was now hiring mercenaries.
Deterring Democracy excerpt,
South End Press, 1991
... the CIA shifted its attention to the terrorist war against Nicaragua and the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation. The complicity of the Reagan-Bush administrations in the drug rackets in Central America as part of their contra support operations is by now well known. Pakistan is reported to have become one of the major international centers of the heroin trade when Afghan manufacturers and dealers ‘found their operations restricted after the Soviet invasion in 1979,’ and moved the enterprise across the borders (South). "The U.S. government has for several years received, but declined to investigate, reports of heroin trafficking by some Afghan guerrillas and Pakistani military officers with whom it cooperates," the Washington Post reported well after the drug war was charging full steam ahead. U.S. officials have received first-hand accounts of ‘extensive heroin smuggling’ by the leading Afghan recipients of U.S. aid and the Pakistani military establishment, who gave detailed information to the press in Pakistan and Washington. ‘Nevertheless, according to U.S. officials, the United States has failed to investigate or take action against some [read ‘any’] of those suspected.’ U.S. favorite Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the terrorist leader of the fundamentalist Hizbe-Islami party, is reported to be deeply implicated in drug trafficking. Other reports indicate that the Aghan rebels are being ‘debilitated by increasingly fierce local battles for the lucrative heroin trade.’"
"How to Unseat the War Criminals and Reverse the Tide of War?"
Expose the Links between
Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration
by Michel Chossudovsky
www.globalresearch.ca 15 March 2003
"Colin Powell's Role: From Iran-Contra to September 11"
"Both Colin Powell and his Deputy Richard Armitage, who casually accuse Baghdad and other foreign governments of "harboring" Al Qaeda, played a direct role, at different points in their careers, in supporting terrorist organizations.
"Although Colin Powell was not directly involved in the arms' transfer negotiations, which had been entrusted to Oliver North, he was among ‘at least five men within the Pentagon who knew arms were being transferred to the CIA.’ (The Record, 29 December 1986). Lieutenant General Powell was directly instrumental in giving the ‘green light’ to lower-level Irangate officials in blatant violation of Congressional procedures. According to the New York Times, Colin Powell took the decision (at the level of military procurement), to allow the delivery of weapons to Iran:
"Hurriedly, one of the men closest to Secretary of Defense Weinberger, Maj. Gen. Colin Powell, bypassed the written ''focal point system'' procedures and ordered the Defense Logistics Agency [responsible for procurement] to turn over the first of 2,008 TOW missiles to the C.I.A., which acted as cutout for delivery to Iran" (New York Times, 16 February 1987) ...
"CIA Director William Casey with the collaboration of Richard Armitage in the Pentagon ‘ran the Mujahideen covert war against the Soviet Union…’ (quoted in Domestic Terrorism: The Big Lie The "War") "Contragate was also an off-the-shelf drug-financed operation run by Casey." (Ibid ).
Financing the Islamic Brigades
"The Iran Contra procedure was similar to that used in Afghanistan, where secret aid was channeled to the militant Islamic brigade (US News and World Report, 15 December 1986). In fact part of the proceeds of the weapons sales to Iran had been channeled to finance the Mujahideen.
"The Washington Post reported that profits from the Iran arms sales were deposited in one CIA-managed account into which the U.S. and Saudi Arabia had placed 0 million apiece. That money was disbursed not only to the contras in Central America but to the rebels fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan." (U.S. News & World Report, 15 December 1986)
[TO BE CONTINUED]
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