Tatum Chronicles: Flight Logs of a CIA Cocaine Runner

Original is part of the Ted Gunderson Report collection referenced from: http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2014/12/franklin-coverup-the-white-house-call-boy-ring/  the top level of the collection is at: http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/stuff/Gunderson/

Transcript is at http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MENA/TATUM/tatum.html

It seems (probable skull and bonesman) Bill Clinton ran Arkansas in true mob-boss style, and played tweedle-dum to GHW Bush’s tweedle-dee in their presidential “contest”, as fellow “skull and bonesmen” John Kerry and W Bush did in 2004.  (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yOF713wOD4 ) Here’s a brief excerpt:

… I was instructed that in addition to our normal MEDEVAC missions, my duties included a covert group of missions. The control word for these missions was Pegasus. All Pegasus missions took priority over normal medical evacuation missions. Major Rodriguez also instructed me as to my “chain of command.” Missions could be ordered by any of the following:

  • Oliver North – Assistant National Security Advisor to the White House
  • Amiram Nir – Former Israeli Intelligence Officer (Mossad) and Advisor to Vice President Bush
  • Felix Rodriguez – CIA

Normal aviation support provided by Pegasus missions included flights to the following areas:
Ilapongo, El Salvador : This was where Corporate Air Services, a CIA owned aviation company, was based.
Contra Camps, Honduras and Nicaragua : Various Nicaraguan rebel camps were located in the jungles and mountains along the Nicaraguan/Honduran border….

The following morning our air crew departed La Cieba for Palmerola Air Base. During the next week, our missions were equally mixed between Pegasus flights into Contra villages and medevac support of U.S. military and Contra casualties. One common denominator on all Pegasus missions was the movement of large white coolers in and out of the Contra camps. They were always sealed and marked as medical supplies.On October 23rd, 1986, a C-123 cargo plane loaded with arms and ammunition was shot down over Nicaragua. The sole survivor of the crash was captured by the Nicaraguan military and taken to Managua for interrogation. During interrogation, Eugene Hasenfus would reveal to the Ortega led Nicaraguan government that the aircraft which was shot down was owned by the U.S. government and that he was on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Although the United States vehemently denied ownership of the aircraft and any knowledge of employing Mr. Hasenfus, subsequent investigations proved out Mr. Hasenfus’ allegations to be true.

Dubbed the “Iran-Contra” affair by Attorney General Edwin Meese, President Reagan, denying any knowledge of U.S. involvement, called for a special investigation to “look” into these absurd allegations.

At a cost of over $40 million the investigation yielded only a few prosecutions for minor infractions. It is curious that neither the Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance To Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition subcommittee tasked with the congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra, nor the office of the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate criminal wrong-doings which occurred during the Iran-Contra Affair, subpoenaed any active duty military personnel assigned to the border area of Nicaragua/Honduras. Had the service members been called to testify concerning the daily training/resupply, and support of the Contras, it would have been determined that the Boland Act, which prohibited any efforts of the United States or its military to support the Contra effort, was being violated. Testimony by military personnel would have also revealed that military aircraft and supplies were used to support the shipment of cocaine from manufacturing facilities co-located with CIA supported Contra camps. Why weren’t we called to testify?

The following documents were filed with base operations at Palmerola Air Base, Honduras between February and May of 1985. This was a full two years prior to the world ever hearing the names Oliver North or Iran/Contra. The documents were filed and stored through the years by the Honduran Military. Recent attempts to locate the documents proved successful. I have compiled the military documents in chronological order which follows a week-by-week sequence of events involving political, military, and intelligence officials from various countries.As you read the Chronicles, you will find:

A. Flight Plans These are international flight plans filed in conjunction with the 1985 flights. Information includes the name of the crew members, destinations of the flight, and passenger names. Many flight plans will have remarks which were made by the pilots. These remarks were written on the reverse side of the flight plan.

B. Mission Briefs Prior to each flight and at the completion of the flight, any irregularities or information affecting the mission would be briefed and included in the comments section of the mission brief.


26 February, 1985

Wally World, our intelligence compound at Palmerola Air Base, tasked us with a mission requiring us to fly two civilian pilots to one of the largest Contra villages on the Honduran side of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. The names of our passengers as noted in Section 19 of the Department of Defense flight plan filed with Base Operation prior to departure from Palmerola (MHCG) were Bill Cooper and Buzz Sawyer. We departed at 1630Z (Greenwich Means Time). During the flight, Mr. Cooper told us that they worked for Corporate Air Services, a CIA proprietary, based out of Ilapongo Air Base, El Salvador. They were meeting with Contra leaders to coordinate air drops of arms and ammunition to various Contra camps. We arrived at El Paraiso, Honduras without incident. The meeting between the pilots and Contra leaders lasted just over an hour. At the termination of the meeting we were given a white cooler marked “vaccine” and instructed to deliver the cooler to a US Air Force C-130 at La Mesa Airport. Upon arrival at La Mesa Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the cooler was dropped by two of our crew members. It weighed in excess of 200 pounds. The seal broke on the cooler. I picked up some aviation tape commonly called “hundred mile an hour” tape to reseal the vaccine cooler. I gave the crew leave to get lunch ordered. I stayed to refuel the helicopter and reseal the cooler. Messrs. Cooper and Sawyer went to eat and wait for their flight to El Salvador. When I removed the torn tape from the cooler, I saw that the contents consisted of a number of bags of a white powdery substance. There was over one hundred bags of what appeared to be cocaine. I resealed the cooler and continued refueling the aircraft. About two hours following our arrival, the U.S. Air Force C-130 bound for Panama finally arrived to pick up the vaccine….

We arrived late in the night, about 10:30 pm. Dr. Lasater was not waiting for us, so we began our post-flight of the aircraft and flight planning for our next leg to Houston’s Hobby Airport. About 12:15am a limousine, followed by a van, and unmarked law enforcement vehicle, arrived at the FBO. Dr. Lasater was the first out of the limo. I recognized him from a previous flight. He was followed by two others. Dr. Lasater introduced himself to me, apparently not realizing we had met before, and asked if we were the aircraft with the donor organs. I told him that we had the coolers and pointed at them in the rear of the aircraft. Doug, our crew chief, helped Lasater’s limo driver with the coolers. The heavy cooler went into the limo and the light cooler was loaded into the van. Dr. Lasater introduced me to the two gentlemen with him. First, we were introduced to the Governor of Arkansas, Governor William J. Clinton, and then his security chief, Raymond “Buddy” Young. At this point, Mr. Young recognized me and stated so. I was then introduced to a third man standing at the limo. We were invited to stay the night and accepted. (After all, I thought, they may want to talk to me when they find the note I left in the lighter cooler.)

After returning to Ft. Campbell on Friday, I called Director Colby and told him of the delivery and my discovery. I told him that when I opened the cooler, which was ultimately taken by Governor Clinton, it contained several kilos of an off-white powdery substance and lots of money.

The coolers which were delivered to Arkansas were identical to the one I just discovered at La Mesa Airport in Honduras containing cocaine. I decided that I had best begin documenting our cargo for the flight crew’s safety. I went to operations and noted the cocaine on the back of the flight plan….

… The general released us and accompanied us to the embassy. When I arrived at the embassy, I was introduced to William Barr, Mike Harari, and Buddy Young. I had met Mr. Young one year prior in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Barr represented himself as an emissary of Vice President Bush, who would be arriving in the future. This was an advance party designed to set up meetings for Vice President Bush. We joined the cocktail party and then accommodations were arranged at a local hotel. I was then asked to join Mr. Barr, Mr. Young, and Mr. Harari at a local German restaurant. I was picked up by the embassy car. Major Felix Rodriguez was in the car when I entered. We met the others for dinner and continued the meeting at the hotel. I was told that Mr. Young and Mr. Harari would fly back to Palmerola with me in the morning.

We departed the following morning with the passengers listed in Item 19 Remarks section of the Department of Defense Flight Plan dated 16 March, 1985.

The following conversation took place between Messrs. Harari and Young during the flight to Palmerola Air Base. The passengers were wearing headsets and speaking over the aircraft intercom system due to the high noise level in the helicopter. As the command pilot, I routinely monitor all conversations on our intercom. I did not advise our passengers that I was listening, or that I was recording the conversation.

Buddy: “Arkansas has the capability to manufacture anything in the area of weapons – and if we don’t have it – we’ll get it!”

Mike: “How about government controls?”

Buddy: “The Governor’s on top of it, and if the feds get nosey – we hear about it and make a call. Then they’re called off.” He was looking around the countryside and continued, “Why the hell would anyone want to fight for a shit-hole like this?”

Mike: Shaking his head in awe, answered,”What we do has nothing to do with preserving a country’s integrity – it’s just business, and third world countries see their destiny as defeating borders and expanding. The more of this mentality we can produce – the greater our wealth. We train and we arm – that’s our job. And, in return, we get a product far more valuable than the money for a gun. We’re paid with product. And we credit top dollar for product.”

Buddy: Still looked confused.

Mike: “Look – one gun and 3,000 rounds of ammo is $1,200. A kilo of product is about $1,000. We credit the Contras $1,500 for every kilo. That’s top dollar for a kilo of cocaine. It’s equivalent to the American K-Mart special – buy four, get one free. On our side – we spend $1,200 for a kilo and sell it for $12,000 to $15,000. Now, that’s a profit center. And the market is much greater for the product than for weapons. It’s just good business sense – understand?

Buddy: “Damn! So you guys promote wars and revolutions to provide weapons for drugs – we provide the non-numbered parts to change out and we all win. Damn that’s good!”

Mike: “It’s good when it works – but someone is, how do you say, has his hand in the coffer.”

Buddy: Responding on the defensive,”Well, we get our ten percent right off the top and that’s plenty. GOFUS can make it go a long way.” Mike:”Who is GOFUS?”

Buddy: “Governor Clinton! That’s our pet word for him. You know they call the President ‘POTUS’ for ‘President of the United States’. Well, we call Clinton ‘GOFUS’ for ‘Governor of the United States’. He thinks he is anyhow.

Mike: “That’s your problem in America. You have no respect for your elected officials. They are more powerful than you think and have ears everywhere. You should heed my words and be loyal to your leaders. Especially when speaking to persons like me. Your remarks indicate a weakness – something our intelligence analysts look for.”

Buddy: “Aw hell, Mike. Everybody knows the Clinton’s want the White House and will do anything to get it. That’s why I’m here instead of someone else. We know about the cocaine – hell! I’ve picked it up before with Lasater when he was worried about going on Little Rock Air Base to get it.”

A new line of conversation ensued. Harari questioned Young about his knowledge of who the ‘players’ were. He went down a list. He started with ‘The Boss – Clinton’. Here’s a synopsis of the players according to Young.

Buddy: “Clinton – thinks he’s in charge, but he’ll only go as far as Casey allows. Me and my staff – we keep the lid on things you know – complaints about night flying – Arkansas people are private folks – they don’t like a lot of commotion and Mena just isn’t the right place for the operation. It keeps us busy at the shredder – if you know what I mean. Dan the Man (Lasater) – He does magic with the money – between him and Jack Stevens we don’t have to worry a bit. Then we got Parks – if there’s a problem – he’s the man. We call him the Archer – that’s the codename that Casey and Colby told us to assign to that position. Finnis oversee’s our drop zone. Nash – he’s just the boss’ ‘yes’ man. Personally I think he’s a mistake! [Barry] Seal and his guys – I like his attitude “and leave the driving to us!” he said, quoting one of Seal’s good ole boy sayings.

Mike: “You like Seal?”

Buddy: “Hell! He’s the only one I trust – respect is the word.”

Mike: “Do you see much of him?”

Buddy: “Hell, yea. We test drive Clinton’s rides before we send ’em on, ya know? (He laughed, grinding his hips.) Say – how much coke do you recon you can make in a week?”

Mike: “One camp can produce 400 keys a week. The others are about half that. But that’s just our operation here. We have other sources in various parts of the world. Why do you ask?”

Buddy: “What? Oh, the Governor wanted to know our capacity.”

Mike: “Who else is on the team?”

Buddy: “Well, hell, I forgot who I told you about.”

Mike ran down the list from memory.

Buddy: “Ok, there’s the manufacturers – hell, these two..”

The tape stopped.

I didn’t recognize the names. I ran out of paper on my kneeboard shortly after the tape stopped. Something like Johnson and Johnson. The flight continued and so did their discussions…about people mostly. We landed and I went to Operations and made a note on the back of the flight plan that I filed by phone. …

… Barry and I walked outside of the cafe so that we could talk privately. I asked Barry to level with me concerning the drugs and who was involved. I felt that Barry Seal was the only person I had met to date that I could get a straight answer out of. The following is what Barry Seal told me concerning the drugs in general and, more specifically, the destination of the drugs which we delivered to San Lorenzo on 9 and 10 April, 1985.

“The Contras needed weapons for their rebellion against the Sandinistas. When the CIA approached the Contras in the early 80’s they promised total support in weapons, training, and money required to sustain the operations. This is what prompted the Nicaraguans to begin open recruiting against the Ortega-led Sandinista government. But, as time went on, the U.S. renigged on their promise to the rebels. Not only did the U.S. cut money needed for medical and food supplies for the Contra camps, but they also refused to provide the weaponry needed to stay alive. This left the Contras in a hell of a spot. William Casey met with Adolfo Colero and it was decided that the Contras would get the much needed money and weapons in exchange for cocaine. Casey put Ollie North over the project. North, at the CIAs promptings, recruited Seal to oversee delivery of the products, and a man named Ramon Navarro (Medellin Cartel) to train the Contras in the manufacturing process. Colero was the “point man” for the Contras. He dealt with Washington and others as needed. Contra leader Enrique Bermudez was tasked with getting the cocaine kitchens built and protected. Bermudez had solicited three other Contra commanders to assist in this project. Their names are Commander Fernando, Commander Franklin, and Commander Marlan. Ramon Navarro supplied the cocaine paste and raw coca leaves to the Contras. The U.S. provided the equipment. It was delivered to the camps by Chinook helicopters (CH-47) out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky (159th Aviation Battalion). It was Barry’s job to deliver the finished product and monies to destinations as dictated by Mr. North.

Barry gave me the names of his various drop points and told me to be very wary of North. “He’ll give up his mamma if he has to!” was his comment concerning North’s lack of honor. He also gave me the names of U.S. officials, politicians, and drug enforcement officials involved in the cocaine enterprise.

I asked him to be exact about the shipments so that I could better understand. He used the six coolers that we just delivered as his example. He said that these coolers and the coolers delivered the previous day would be taken to El Salvador. From El Salvador they would be taken to a site in Southern California. There it would be distributed in rock form called “crack.” I made note of his comments and his “Boss Hog” list, as Barry called it, on the back of the flight plan concerning this specific flight. The notes were made on the evening of 10 April, 1985.

Transcription:

Delivered 6 coolers of cocaine to SLN. Met Bany Seal in C-123. Ramon Navarro was with Seal. Asked Seal what was up with the cocaine being made in contra camps. – Said it was a CIA OPN. This shipment was going to Calif to make a drug called crack. Seal said that the CIA planned to get all the riggers in the U S. hooked on it & then throw ’em in prison. Said the the S’s for the crack goes to buy weapons for the contrast Asked him who is involved – he said it goes all the way to the white house. Said I could talk to the boss – he’d be here (in Honduras) in a couple days. Took notes on back of AA. Msn request for RMTC. Will include with this flight plan. Msn RQ dtd 6 April.

Thats all I had to take notes on. Missions getting out of hand. Major Hethcox is getting suspicious of the flights. Sent Willet to make sure we really went to SLN. Fat Boy gave me some Olives – man they were good! Told me to stay with it as long as I could. Said that he would let North know about the heat from Hethcox.

11 April, 1985

We delivered personnel and supplies to several Contra camps. Among the Contra soldiers that we carried was the Contra leader in charge of the North camps, Enrique Bermudez. We flew several sorties making for a very long flight day. I would only see Commander Bermudez on two more occasions. The last time I would see Enrique Bermudez alive would be in 1991 outside of a hotel in Managua.

Enrique served as a faithful Commander during the Nicaraguan Revolution on behalf of the Counter Revolutionaries against the Sandinista government led by Daniel Ortega. But, beyond his fighting ability, was his loyalty to Vice President Bush and CIA Director Bill Casey. It was Commander Three Eight Zero (Bermudez) who would insure the safety of the cocaine manufacturing facilities co-located in the Contra camps.

When the revolution ended, and there was a democratically elected president, Enrique Bermudez rightly expected a prominent position. However, President Chamarro, Nicaragua’s new president, was not comfortable with Commander Three Eight Zero. She felt that he did not possess the political qualities she desired in her cabinet. In 1991 Bermudez pressured President Bush to convince Chamarro of his political value. Chamarro resisted Bush. Bermudez, desperate to position himself, decided to use his “ace in the hole.” Bermudez told Bush that if he did not receive a prominent governmental position he would expose Bush, North and company of their cocaine trafficking enterprise in Honduras.

As Enrique Bermudez walked down the street in front of the Intercontinental Hotel in 1991, a shot rang out and a bullet entered the back of Commander Three Eight Zero’s head. I departed the area of operation before he stopped twitching, knowing that the mission was complete. The message passed to the White House was quite simple, “The playing field is clear.” …

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