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by Steve Mizrach

October Surprise, Iran-Contra, Noriega, Iraqgate, and BCCI

Before he died in an ineptly performed 'suicide,' the young journalist Danny Casolaro was working on a book that he claimed tied together many of the 'gates' and 'miniscandals' surrounding the Bush presidency. The book identified the web which tied all the scandals together as the "Octopus," a mythical creature with tentacles stretching everywhere. Perhaps the birth of the Octopus lies in the 1980 Presidential election; and its growth occurred under the eight years of the Reagan presidency. Casolaro soon found that the Octopus may have consisted of a 'shadow government' apparatus that went back even further than Bush and Reagan. But what's left of his notes seem primarily to focus on events in the 80s and 90s.

It is very possible that in 1980, Bill Casey and other members of the Reagan team may have conspired with the Iranians to delay the release of the American hostages: they were afraid of an "October Surprise" which might damage Reagan's chances of defeating Carter. Sure enough, the hostages were released right as Reagan was being inaugurated, and in 1981, the first shipment of arms to Iran began. Gunther Rossbacher, an ex-Navy pilot, and two other foreign sources, insist that on October 21st and 22nd, Bush met with Iranian delegates in Paris. The "October Surprise" may have been how Bush and other Reagan team members located the Iranian 'moderates' that played a role in the Iran-Contra scandal. In 1984, the Boland amendment forbade any more military assistance to the Contras. So, in 1985, the underground "Enterprise" - Operation Yellowfruit - began selling arms to Iran and using the proceeds to furnish weapons to the Contras. George Bush claims Iran-Contra has nothing to do with him, but other administration figures' records show he was at the secret meetings - Poindexter, in particular. Amiram Nir, an Israeli terrorism expert, insists he discussed Iranian arms deals with Bush, but that can't be confirmed... he died in a mysterious plane crash in Mexico in 1988.

It turns out the Iran-Contra scandal may have been part of a larger arms-for-hostages deal. The Iranians needed weapons in their war against Iraq, and the Reagan administration felt that the Iranians might have been able to convince the Shiite terrorists in Lebanon to release the American hostages held there. Reagan claimed no "quid pro quo," but then he also claimed he really didn't remember much, either. In any case, additional hostages were seized after the 'non-deal', and many may remain in captivity today, including the Lebanon CIA station head. One man who may have known a great deal about the Iran-Contra business was Manuel Noriega, whose name came up in the 1988 Dukakis-Bush debates. Noriega knew about the Contra drug pipeline, because he was a pusher, himself, while on the CIA payroll throughout the 1980s, and during his trial in Miami in 1989, some testimony emerged which suggested he knew something about the Central American end of the Iran-Contra affair and where some on the missing money may have 'disappeared' into.

On the Middle Eastern end, another man who was a delighted beneficiary of American generosity throughout the 1980s was Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The Agriculture Department and other agencies gave Saddam agricultural credits worth millions of dollars which he used to purchase American attack helicopters, chemical weapons for using on the Kurds, and the components of a nuclear weapons program. It is suspected that the CIA and Justice Department overlooked, or aided, the Banco Nazionale Lavoro (BNL) of Italy while it funneled billions in military aid to Iraq. This recently burgeoning scandal, "Iraqgate," suggests we were playing both sides against the middle during the Iran-Iraq war. We were selling arms to both the Iranians and the Iraqis, and the CIA at various points double-crossed both sides. It is no wonder that America is so distrusted in that part of the world. In any case, there were two men that knew too much, and when Bush became president, he had to clean them up, and he would wage two "cleanup wars" to do it.

One link between Bush, Saddam, and Iran-Contra was the corrupt Middle Eastern bank, the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI). BCCI, it turns out, laundered drug money, financed CIA and Mossad covert operations, and helped Bush, Saddam, and others split over $250 billion in extortion from the sale of Persian Gulf oil. (BCCI also might have had links to the corrupt drug-money-laundering-and-CIA scandals involving Australia's Nugan Hand Bank.) Attorney General Richard Thornburgh squashed an investigation into First American Bankshares, secretly controlled by BCCI, in October 1990; and William von Raab, former U.S. customs official, was fired by Treasury Secretary James Brady for delving too deeply into BCCI. This may have a lot to do with the links between Prescott Bush, First American director Stephens, Bahrain, and Iraq. Bush's family were oilmen, and if there is anything he stood for, it was Big Oil and its interests in the Middle East. (It might be pointed out, incidentally, that it was Norman Schwarzkopf's father who helped boot out Mossadegh in Iran when he threatened to nationalize holdings of British Petroleum.) The mess was in place, and President Bush had a lot of cleaning up to do.

The "Cleanup Wars"

The first "cleanup war" was so-called Operation Just Cause in Panama. We invaded with the ostensibly 'just' cause of arresting a drug dealer and bringing him to justice here in the U.S.. The fact that he was the leader of another country, and that this is a violation of international law, didn't raise a naysayer, although insiders knew that Noriega was working for us before Bush started to see him as a threat. He may have wanted to jail Noriega because of the Iran-Contra secrets he knew. The other ostensible reason was because of Bush family holdings in Panama. It seems that Prescott's friends in the Aoki Corporation of Japan have invested more than $350 million in Panama; their holdings include the luxury resort Caesar Park and the Mariott Hotel. Bush may have been afraid of Noriega nationalizing that property. While Bush claimed to be nailing a dealer, he replaced him with two other dope pushers. Panamanian president Guillermo Endara is a director of the bank used exclusively by the Medellin cartel, and vice president Guillermo Ford is part owner of Dadeland Bank of Florida, which stands accused of laundering South American drug money. This Bush cleanup cost 26 American and 2000 Panamanian (civilian) lives, and several million dollars. It's worth seeing the film The Panama Deception to see some of the chilling secrets of this operation, including hidden mass graves of murdered civilians.

The second 'cleanup war' was Operation Desert Storm, with the purposes of ostensibly 'liberating' Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. It is clear that, in fact, administration official April Glaspie succeeded in goading Hussein into invading Kuwait by saying that the U.S. would not interfere. And that the CIA and NSC provided doctored sattelite photographs making it look like Iraq was preparing to invade Saudi Arabia, when in fact Iraqi troops were nowhere near the Saudi border; further, that the CIA deliberately payed no attention to Iraqi troop buildup prior to the invasion of Kuwait. And that the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador, appearing under a pseudonym, told a false story about how Iraqi soldiers were ripping Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. Saddam Hussein had been set up, and now so were the American people, who Bush promised this was about "jobs" and dealing with America's "VietNam syndrome."

The Desert Storm war never accomplished any of its supposed goals. Kuwait does not have 'democracy,' only a returned monarchy hell-bent on seeking blood vengeance on Palestinian citizens. Saddam Hussein was not toppled from power; and the Kurds who were incited to rise up against him received no U.S. help when Republican Guard American-made attack helicopters mowed them down. Saddam's chemical and nuclear arsenal were never eliminated. Instead, what was destroyed was the Iraqi infrastructure, causing thousands to suffer disease, hunger, and deprivation, in addition to the thousands who died in the 'smart' bombings which nonetheless hit plenty of civilian targets; and the environment of the Persian Gulf, when eco-terrorist Saddam Hussein dumped millions of gallons of oil out of his wells and set ablaze thousands of Kuwaiti oil wells. It was a pyrrhic victory, but not for American oil companies, who profited mightily from increased oil prices... and for George Bush, who used his "VietNam syndrome therapy" as an excuse to hold hundreds of parades celebrating his 'victory' nationwide with yellow ribbons and marching soldiers.

The Wackenhut Connection

The Wackenhut Security Corporation of Miami, Florida, has long been suspected of being a CIA front. The right-wing politics of George Wackenhut, who had ties to Belgian fascists and South American death squads, are well known. But few people realize that Wackenhut, a small company with "only a few" employees, gets some choice assignments, including guarding nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons facilities, the Alaskan Oil pipeline, and several American embassies; or that its board of directors contains several luminaries from the FBI, CIA, and Army Intelligence, including Bobby Ray Inman. Wackenhut has led a covert crusade against whistleblowers at many nuclear power plants, using wiretaps to eavesdrop on them and various 'subtle' techniques to convince them not to talk; it also spied on Chuck Hamel, a critic of the Aleyska Oil Consortium's drilling policies, by setting up a fake environmental-law firm which sought to "pump" him for his sources. Wackenhut may have even used some operatives to try and help topple President Perez of Venezuela through a (failed) military coup, largely for money (rather than politics) it was given by Blanca Ibanez, the mistress of Jaime Luinschi, the former president.

Also, a Wackenhut employee named Ernesto Bermudez was using 1500 'employees' in El Salvador for things he admitted "you wouldn't want your mother to know about" to a reporter from Spy magazine. Candian PM Pierre Trudeau refused to allow Wackenhut to purchase a weapons-propellant plant in Quebec, and it was refused a permit to open a security facility in France because President Francois Mitterand said "we had just gotten rid of the CIA." Wackenhut maintained files on over 4 million suspected 'subversives' of all types, including civil rights activists and antiwar protesters, well into the 1960s, making it the largest private holder of such information. In 1975, after a Congressional investigation into domestic intelligence operations and connections to private firms, Wackenhut turned its files over to the Anti-Communist Church League of America based in Wheaton, Illinois, which is now defunct. Florida Governor Claude Kirk claims to have worked closely with Wackenhut to "fight organized crime," although insiders maintain they were doing anything but fighting the Mob.

But there are direct links between Wackenhut and the 'Octopus'. It appears that Michael Riconsciuto, a convicted drug dealer, claims to have met with George Wackenhut, John Amarell (of Wackenhut's Executive Board), and Dr. John Philip Nichols (a CIA operative conducting shady activities on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in the California desert) in Las Vegas in the early 80s to discuss the theft of Inslaw's PROMIS software; he says Wackenhut asked him "how his software work was coming along." (Supposedly, Nichols was using the Cabazon reservation as his own private munitions proving ground, testing things ranging from super-lethal Fuel-Air Explosives and chemical-biological weapons to Electromagnetic Pulse [EMP] generators.) Ammarell confirms the meeting, but claims it was merely about the sale of a boat! Retired general Richard Secord arranged for the Wackenhut Corp. to work with Iraqi arms dealer Ihsan Barbouti; Wackenhut operative David Ramirez claims that he and Barbouti rode in a truck carrying chemical-weapons technology from Texas to Chicago, and then rode on a plane to Iraq. Ramirez indicates that he thinks Wackenhut may have been part of a "food stamp" scheme to get agricultural credits for Iraq which were in turn used to purchase nuclear-weapons technology, making Wackenhut part of the Iraqgate affair as well.

Assisting with Barbouti's arms schemes were two partners, James Tully (who sent Bill Clinton's 'draft-dodge' letter to ABC) and Jack Brennan, who currently works as director of administrative operations in President Bush's office. Brennan and Tully had been involved in a $181 million deal to supply uniforms for the Iraqi army, arranging them to be manufactured in Ceausescu's Romania, of all places. Other partners in that deal were Watergate felon John Mitchell and Sarkis Soghnalian, a Lebanese citizen who was credited with introducing Saddam Hussein to Gerald Bull, the inventor of the so-called "supergun." Soghnalian is currently in prison for selling 103 military helicopters to Iraq; and David Ramirez says that Wackenhut considered the Turkish man to be a "valuable client." Two thousand gallons of ferrocyanide - an important chemical-warfare binary ingredient - vanished from a Boca Raton cherry flavoring factory in 1990. That plant was guarded by - guess who - Wackenhut.

Barbouti owned shares in that company, and two others: TK-7, which makes a fuel additive that could extend the range of liquid-fueled missiles such as the SCUD, and Pipeline Recovery Systems, which coats pipes to make them useable in nuclear power plants. He admits having faked his own death several times, and having helped Moammar Khadafi build his infamous chemical-weapons plant at Rabta, Libya. Further, he owns about $100 million worth of real estate and oil-drilling equipment in Texas and Oklahoma. It is widely believed that the Middle Eastern architect is either currently dead (surprise), living in Jordan, or being kept in a CIA safe house in Florida. An engineering company owned by him in Frankfurt had a $552 million contract to build airfields in Iraq. And - no surprise here - Barbouti used the corrupt BCCI bank as his middleman in many deals.

The CenTrust Connection: the S & Ls, the Mob, and BCCI

The S & L failures of '89 were a massive blow to the banking system. Over 200 small savings and loan banks went under - just under half of those in existence - and had their assets seized by the federal 'dummy' company, the Resolution Trust Corp. Largely, this was a problem created by deregulation legislation passed by the congressional banking committees - the legislation allowed the S & Ls to make investments that were extremely risky and fiscally unsound. In fact, the failure can also be seen as the result of several years of deregulation of many industries under the Reagan administration - deregulation that was "bought" by the very industries which were supposed to be policed. But where were the regulators who were supposed to be the 'watchdogs' of the industry? Almost across the board they were 'bought off' by S & L moguls like Charles Keating, paid to look the other way while the S & Ls invested in fraudulent real estate schemes and sham projects which collapsed after a few years. But to maintain a veneer of solubility for their creditors, many S & Ls actually turned to "junk bond" king Michael Milliken, managing to "puff up" their investment profiles with airy money. There may have been even more crooked things going on, as some recent articles suggest that some of the S & L swindle may have gotten into the hands of the CIA and used to fund the Contras- most funds coming from the failed Palmer National Bank and Vision Savings Bank in Houston.

Even more daring reports, such as a recent book by investigative reporter Peter Brewton, suggest the Mafia may have been involved with some of the bank fraud - as they most certainly were with the Vatican Bank scandal in Italy. Author Dan Moldea notes extensive connections between the Hollywood motion picture company MCA, the defense/nuclear contractor General Electric, the corrupt Teamsters' Union, and the Mob. Strangely, former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan had connections to all of the above. The fact that there are close Republican ties to the Teamsters, despite the party's overt anti-labor stance, is very curious; but it must be examined in the light of the Teamsters' "patriotic" support of "guns and butter" and other right-wing stances, and their links to the Mafia. (It is widely suspected that Richard Nixon may have pardoned Jimmy Hoffa after making a deal with the Teamsters to give money to his 1972 presidential campaign - yet another unwritten chapter in the Watergate saga, along with the revelations that he may have tried to frame the Democrats for the assassination attempt on George Wallace.) Anthony Summers believes that J. Edgar Hoover was blackmailed by the Mob for his homosexuality, and that is why the former FBI director continued to deny the pervasiveness of "organized crime." One of Brewton's most amazing revelations is that Bush may have actively attempted to conceal the Texas oil - organized crime - S & L - CIA links during the 1988 campaign: but so did Lloyd Bentsen, who told Dukakis it would be "a losing issue for our ticket!"

The cost for fixing the S & L mess - for returning the depositors in the banks all their savings - will be quite high. Another cost involved in the process will be the liquidation of nearly valueless assets owned by the S & Ls - such as acres and acres of undeveloped land out in the Southwest. The properties of the failed S & Ls are being sold by RTC for businessmen for a steal; and taxpayers are being asked to pick up a large part of the tab. Some estimate that the S & L cleanup may cost each and every taxpayer as much as $1000. Each and every taxpayer, of the 200 million who pay taxes! There are economists who feel the beginning wave of the S & L collapse may have contributed to the massive stock market crash of 1987, and that its impact led to other bank failures and a real estate 'bust' contributing to the 1990 recession. Crooked S & L operators received, on the average, 2.4 years in prison for ripping off America with their white-collar crimes. But a robber who steals $200 from a convenience store gets, on average, 7.8 years. One need not be a math wizard to see something glaringly wrong with that. Why have the federal prosecutors under the Bush administration been so slow to prosecute, and so lenient with their sentences? Could it be connected to the extensive amounts of money that Bush himself got from the S & Ls during his 1988 campaign?

Was there also a link between the failed Savings & Loans and BCCI? It turns out, yes, and the (now defunct) Miami CenTrust bank chairman David Paul is the key. According to a NBC special on the S & L scandal, Dexter Lehtinen, the temporary appointee to the position of federal prosecutor for south Florida, claims he was obstructed by the government from serving subpoenas on many of the big figures connected to Paul. Lehtinen was never confirmed officially for the position after serving in it for several years - some say this was because of things in his background that might lead to a confirmation fight, but others feel it was because he was digging too deeply into CenTrust's failures. Lehtinen now claims that Paul may have bribed many local and federal officials to cover up for money laundering and secret Carribean accounts to sequester 'narcodollars.' Investigators found that Paul lived a lavish lifestyle, buying gold fixtures and priceless art treasures for his office in the CenTrust building. When CenTrust was starting to face insolvency, Paul found a cash influx from an unsuspected source - BCCI financier Farouk, who tried to use CenTrust to launder money from the Banco Nazionale Lavore (BNL) in Italy. The S & L scandal is, it seems, yet another arm within the Octopus.

Bush's Teapot Dome?: the INSLAW Affair

George Bush's predecessor, Ronald Reagan, had a terribly corrupt administration. There were huge numbers of indictments, resignations, scandals, and accusations of corruption and coverrup. Housing and Urban Development, under Sam "the Invisible Man" Pierce, turned a blind eye as shifty Republican financiers raked in profits off of shady deals involving public housing. Savings and Loan regulators allowed S & L's all over the country to make ridiculously unsound investments and disappear into bankruptcy. But the corruption in the Reagan administration may have been nowhere more shocking than in the Department of Justice, whose anti-pornography crusader, Edwin Meese III, was accused of improprieties regarding the transfer of a company called Wedtech.

Bush's new Attorney General, Richard Thornburgh, may have done Meese one better, bringing the Department of Injustice one step further. For it now stands accused of being a software pirate - of having stole the Inslaw PROMIS database program from its creators without recompensating them. That PROMIS is a program that can be used to track political dissidents, among other things, has been noted by many commentators. Because William Sessions of the FBI was investigating Justice's possible role in the Inslaw/BNL affair, Attorney General William Barr suddenly launched an investigation of Session's misuse of his phone for making personal calls and allowing his wife to be at meetings - hardly the most major of offenses among government bureaucrats! Curious infighting as the ship went down, it seems.

According to Riconsciouto, the INSLAW affair might have been, among other things, a political payoff for the role a former political operative and Justice Department official, Earl Brian, played in the October Surprise. INSLAW was originally a nonprofit organization basically of quasi-governmental nature, which went private in the 1980s in an effort to market its software commercially. PROMIS was marketed to law enforcement agencies as an efficient tool for tracking criminal cases. However, its versatility for use in such wide-ranging areas as political intelligence and monitoring caught the eye of the Justice Department - which would require modifying the program's original design. So Brian first tried to seize INSLAW Corp. in an illegally authorized "hostile takeover," and when that failed, basically stole the PROMIS software outright. Copies of the program were thought to be distributed or sold to, among others, Israel, South Africa, some Central American regimes, and perhaps Saddam Hussein - by the Bush administration - all without consent or compensation for the program's original authors. It is believed that some regimes even today still use chilling, modified versions of the program for tracking political dissidents.

Is the Octopus Still Alive?: Mena, Arkansas and a Clinton Compromise

Riconsciouto claims that Clinton, like Bush, has been "compromised" by the CIA. He says that he personally flew planes carrying illegal shipments of arms to and drugs from the Contra rebels which took off from a secret airstrip near Mena, Arkansas - one which apparently existed with the full knowledge and consent of then-governor Bill Clinton. He and others think that Clinton made a basic "deal" with Bush after he won -- Bush would not criticize Clinton or bring up too much about Whitewater or Mena airstrip, and in return Clinton would not pursue indictments against Bush Administration officials. Today, as the Clinton administration battles off a series of its own political scandals, writers for the alternative media still puzzle over the "mainstream" media's total refusal to look at whatever was going at Mena, in 1992 or now. Because then-governor Clinton may have been permitting the CIA to run a small scale "black operation" right in his own state. So it's obvious that Clinton has no interest in pursuing the Octopus, the question then becomes - even if his administration isn't involved, does it still thrive in its own shadowy centres?

Danny Casolaro may have been killed because he got too close to the truth. The Christic Institute may have been SLAPPed out of existence because of it. Even if the Octopus isn't still operating, there are likely to be various "tentacles" of it who want to cover up the roles that they played in it. It may have branched into things that Casolaro hadn't gotten around to investigating yet. Certainly it tied together a series of sinister forces and operations. George Bush was undoubtedly a key figure, but he isn't going to be running for President again. What's more tragic is the way that he and other co-conspirators may have basically gotten off scot-free. And at this point, it's too early to tell what role Clinton and his administration may or may not be playing in keeping the creature going. Which to me is more important than any unwise land investments he and his wife may have made during the 1980s.

- original source

Octopus Backdrop To the Lewinsky Matter

original source [down?]

After reading "Matt Drudge Meets The Octopus" in the Things Are Gonna Slide section of the Steamshovel web page, a reader wrote:

"There's more on Barbara Ledeen. She's executive director of the Independent Women's Forum, yet another conservative foundation, this one focused on hijacking feminism for right-wing purposes. The friend-of-the-court brief which Ken Starr prepared for the original Paula Jones legal team was undertaken at the behest ofthe Independent Women's Forum. In the last couple of years, Ledeen has spoken out several times in support of Jones and her "cause." It's been reported that Starr's amicus curiae brief was prepared on behalf of the Scaife-funded Landmark Legal Foundation and Mark Levin, president of Landmark, has denounced such claims. Turns out that he's technically correct; the job was handled by another part of the vast right-wing network, Ledeen's IWF. This is reported in the Feb. 27 issue of the LaRouchie Executive Intelligence Review. They connect Ledeen and her husband to what they call the Bush "secret government" network, a claim which, given Iran-Contra, seems plausible enough. They also connect the Ledeens--again correctly--to the Jewish-American neoconservative movement, the group that, next to Pat Robertson's evangelicals, is the biggest American supporter of the right wing in Israel.The LaRouchies, of course, see both groups collaborating in the operation to Get Clinton."

Michael Ledeen goes after Clinton a little more in the April 6 issue of National Review, calling the president a product of small town politics that "always have a bit of the mafia about them, particularly in the south, whether it be southern Italy, southern Germany or the Southern United States." Ledeen explains at length various mafioso practices of the current administration, including making Al Gore "the bag-man in the Buddhist temple caper" because all mafioso "must be guilty of serious crimes, so that betrayal will doom them all to extended prison terms." "For outsiders who pose a danger, more explicit threast are required.," Ledeen continues with his spin on Monica Lewisnsky, "Anyone acting against the family must be destroyed (as the White house brags it is doing with Kenneth Starr), but at the same time the Godfather invariably offers such people a corrupt way out: cooperation is rewarded." He concludes noting the Clinton marriage of the Arkansas and Chicago mobs, longstanding Clinton financial ties to Asian families, and the implication that outright war would be better than Clinton corruption.

In light of all this, Steamshovel reviews here what Danny Casolaro had to say about Michael Ledeen and political corruption. The following is taken from The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro:

One of the ways in which Jimmy Carter may have "bruised the Octopus", as Casolaro says, was through the imposition of a 1979 embargo on the shipment of arms to Iran. Certainly that bruise healed quickly. Octopus familiar Ted Shackley appears, after his alleged retirement from the CIA in 1979, in 1984 negotiations for the shipment of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration. Shackley passed information from Iranians General Manucher Hashemi and Manucher Ghorbanifar, who had held influential positions in the SAVAK secret police under the Shah, and now were close to the Ayatollah Khomeini, to Oliver North and alleged P2 member Michael Ledeen in the White House. The Iranians suggested that arms shipments to "moderates" such as themselves in Iran could do much to prevent the Ayatollah from taking sides with the Soviets, and could speed the release of the American hostages. The billions of dollars of arms shipments began, using Israel, Taiwan, and South Korea as middlemen, as early as 1981, with some of the profits from the Iranian shipments being diverted to help the contra cause in Nicaragua.….

The National Endowment for Democracy has been alleged to be a private intelligence network with the purpose of establishing a fascist, corporatist world state, a theme which also seems to inform the movements of Casolaro's Octopus. The model of this state can be observed in Michael Ledeen's book, Universal Fascism, in which he extolls a fascist state based upon the ideals of Gabriele d'Annunzio, Mussolini's predecessor. Ledeen was connected to P 2, which was in turn connected to the NSC. Reporting directly to North (as well as being a consultant in the Pentagon and State Department) was Michael Ledeen. Ledeen was responsible for obtaining Israeli Mossad spy Jonathan Pollard his job in the Department of the Navy, for establishing a line of Israeli influence into the NSC, and is known in Italy to have been a member of the P2 (Propaganda Due) Masonic lodge. P2, with a membership believed to include Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig, is the organization known to have taken over the highest levels of Italian government and responsible during the 70s and 80s for an attempted bankrupting of the Vatican, in an alliance that linked the P2, the KGB, and major networks of drug trade.The Wall Street Journal detailed a meeting between Alexander Haig, Michael Ledeen, and high ranking P 2 member and number two man in Italian intelligence Francesco Pazienza. Pazienza is said to have been involved in shipments of US arms to Iran arranged by the Reagan administration.

Reference: Honnegger, Barbara, October Surprise, New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1989

(57) Honegger, p. 124; Servadio, Leonardo, "Ledeen's Spanish Connection", Executive Intelligence Review, March 20, 1987


In 1979 Edwin Wilson and Theodore Shackley formed EATSCO, the Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation, which according to some sources obtained an exclusive and highly lucrative Pentagon contract to ship US arms to Egypt. Wilson also included in the partnership Richard Secord, Thomas Clines, Hussein K. Salem, and Erich von Marbod (at the time Deputy Director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency in the Pentagon... Can you say, "conflict of interest"?). Secord and his partners were indicted in 1983 for $8 million in "billing abuses" to the government. Michael Ledeen, at the time a State Department advisor, stepped in, suggesting to US Attorney E. Lawrence Barcella that the overcharged funds may have been used for the funding of black operations (thus rendering them a "hands off" proposition for prosecution). Secord retired from the Pentagon in 1983, after the EATSCO scandal, then started another company, IRANSCO, with Albert Hakim, in order to ship arms to Iran. (73)


- by Marvin Lee, March 11, 1996

The CIA was formed to protect our form of government from foreign threats. Top employees, however, realized that Congressional interference, Congressional funding limits, and U.S. law was an impediment in carrying out that mission efficiently. They secretly formed a Super CIA to avoid these constraints.

A source who was being recruited for this Super CIA in the 1970s by an agent using the name Bueso Rosa told the Washington Weekly that the Super CIA was formed outside the United States and was funded in part by drug money.

"They were originally going to achieve self-sufficiency by dealing in drugs. But they were only going to do it long enough to get money together to start legitimate businesses and then they would stop that," the source says. But the drug importation at Mena, Arkansas to fund the covert CIA war in Nicaragua shows that drug smuggling continued up through the 1980s. And reporter Scott Wheeler says he has documentary evidence suggesting drug activity at Mena airport during the past year. He has documented arrivals of planes with non-registered tail numbers, suggesting illegal activity.

The corrupting influence of this Super CIA reached into the Justice Department, the FBI, the DEA, and other agencies. "I realized that the FBI was in on all that stuff. The FBI and the DEA - these guys are getting their take."

Reporter Danny Casolaro was tracing the tentacles of this Super CIA and referred to it as the Octopus when he was found dead in his hotel room in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1991. "That's what it is, that's what the Super CIA is, it's the Octopus. It's just another name for the same thing," the source says.

But members of this Super CIA did not necessarily consider what they were doing as being wrong. "Bueso Rosa said that they consider themselves the real American patriots of this century. They were doing it to fight communism. Any means justified guaranteeing the continued existence of the U.S. form of government... smuggling drugs, counterfeiting, blackmailing, they assassinate people, they have accidents, they do anything that they need to do to get the job done."

The source also says that the Super CIA funded political campaigns both abroad and in the U.S. - even presidential campaigns. This corroborates the claim made by Terry Reed in his 1994 book "Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA," where he asks: "Does the CIA sponsor candidates to the office of U.S. President? The answer is yes." Reed was referring to Bill Clinton, who facilitated the use of Mena airport for CIA activities.

We may be seeing the latest tentacle of this Super CIA right before our eyes. The string of announced retirements by Congressmen allegedly is caused by them being caught with stashes of money in foreign bank accounts. "People would not believe the number of U.S. Congressmen and Senators that have huge bank accounts in Grand Cayman Island," the source says. Reporter James Norman, who has made similar claims, told the Washington Weekly that the two Congressmen who announced their retirement last Monday, Toby Roth and Sam Gibbons, received manila envelopes exposing their secret accounts the weekend before. He says that three more envelopes were delivered last week. [Published in the March 11, 1996 issue of the Washington Weekly]

The Octopus Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro

by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith

Review by Jon Roland

Danny Casolaro called it "the Octopus". A vast, interlocking network of criminal conspiracy that reaches into every branch and agency of the U.S. government, many other national governments, and every sector of our societies.

An investigative reporter seeking the truth, Danny told his friends he was meeting an informant to "bring back the head of the Octopus" when his body was found in a hotel in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on August 10, 1991. Much of the evidence he had gathered was missing. The death was ruled a "suicide", but the evidence supports murder. He never had the chance to write the book he was working on. This is an attempt to finish the book Danny started, based on his surviving notes and further investigation.

Critics will say that this book contains much material that is unconfirmed. The authors admit this, but much of the information is of a character that does not lend itself to confirmation, unless we some day kill the Octopus and dissect its tentacles. Nevertheless, the pieces do fit together to create a coherent picture, albeit an incomplete one. Much work remains to be done to bring the full truth to light. This book can provide a foundation for further investigation.

Casolaro's investigation began with his inquiry into the case of Inslaw, from whom the U.S. Justice Department stole a software package called PROMIS and sold it to governments and financial institutions around the world, after modifying it to provide a back door by which they would track the movement of money and other assets everywhere.

In investigations it is an old rule that you "follow the money", but in this case we can track the spread of the PROMIS package to follow the people who are following the money, and in so doing, exhibit the links in the network of criminal influence around the world and back to their origins, the way a physician might use an angiogram to reveal the blood flows in a human body.

Along the way the authors touch on virtually every kind of criminal enterprise and official corruption and abuse. They tie it all together in what is, if nothing else, the most complete and complex conspiracy theory yet developed, and one that is perhaps the best supported by available evidence. If even a part of this is true, it demands the attention of every responsible person. There is no escaping this monster. Either we kill it or it will kill us.

Much of this material will be familiar to investigators, reformers, and conspiracy buffs. But Thomas and Keith have found some new material and put the pieces together in some new ways that make sense. Time will tell how much of it is true. But the evidence, if not all valid, certainly needs to be explained.

If you thought all you had to worry about was the feds reading your email, or perhaps picking up the RF from your computer keyboard, consider what is said in an interview in this book with Michael Riconosciuto, the computer expert who modified the PROMIS package for the U.S. government:

Q: There was that one interview with [William] Hamilton where he was talking about how PROMIS is some kind of system that includes chips that broadcast directly to NSA satellites.

MR: They are not chips as such. The existing chips in the machine are tricked into doing it. I'm getting ready to go on television explaining that chapter and verse.

Q: On national television?

MR: German television. I will explain in hardcore, unambiguous technical terms how it's done. Unambiguous to people who are technically competent.

Q: When I describe these things to other people they say "That's not possible", particularly people who like to think of themselves as computer jocks. My thought is that ordinary people with PCs can do incredible things now, particularly with the CD ROM stuff.

MR: If you know what you're doing.

Q: But the people who actually invest enormous amounts of money and resources into it, like the National Security Agency, can do things untold, I'm sure.

MR: I'm letting the cat out of the bag where PROMIS is with the NSA. It's in the MOSIS program. The Metal Oxide Semiconductor Implementation System.

But there may be good guys at work, too. In the final "Chronology", we find:

"At Casolaro's funeral, two unknown figures appear. One of them places a medal on Casolaro's casket and saluted, although Casolaro never served in the military."

Your mission, gentle readers, if you care to accept it, is to finish the work Danny started. But along the way, just make sure it is the bad guys who commit "suicide".

And make sure all your friends read this book.

This book is now out of print. Check with its publisher, Feral House, for updates on its availability, or with used booksellers.


"The Octopus Returns"

by Kenn Thomas

Here's a quick refresher paragraph on the Octopus:

Danny Casolaro was "suicided" in 1992 on the trail of the mother of all conspiracies, a transnational cabal manipulating world political events since World War II called The Octopus. Key to his research was a super-surveillance software called PROMIS, which was given to a crony of Ronald Reagan's as a pay off for the deliverance of $40 million to the Ayatollah Khomeini for the "October Surprise" -- holding on to the 52 American hostages in Iran until after Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election. The crony profiteered from PROMIS (really owned by a company called Inslaw) by selling it to police agencies throughout the world for the purpose of tracking criminals and extrapolating their next moves.

Feral House plans a new edition of the book The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Casolaro's own notes - those that didn't disappear the night he died - provided the basis of the book, which I co-wrote with another celebrated conspiracy writer, Jim Keith. That first edition came out in 1996 and is now a bit of a collector's item, costing about $100 on amazon if you can find a copy.

Like all great conspiracy writers, Casolaro was dismissed as a paranoid crank. The book's existence as a kind of cult classic testifies to how cutting-edge parapolitical insight is pushed into an underground of the few who care to know. It's re-emergence now, however, has an eerie, although not unsurprising, parallel with events and people easily recognizable to the wider world. The Octopus, the real one, has returned just in time for the book.

Example one: shortly after the Afghanistan war stories began circulating that Osama Bin Laden was using the PROMIS extrapolation function to avoid capture. According to these stories, it was given to him via a circuitous route from the Russians who got it from the famed turncoat spy Robert Hanssen.

Example two: the June resignation of Paul Redmond, Assistant Secretary of Information Analysis for the US Homeland Security department. Described by some as a "legendary spy catcher" - he had a role in the capture of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames - Redmond officially resigned for "health reasons." Most took that as polite cover for Redmond's frustration with under-funding of the department, but others connected into to a rumored secret investigation Redmond was conducting of long-standing common interests between the Bush and bin Laden families and was forced to resign. Among the connections: PROMIS, also had been given to Saddam Hussein by the senior Bush in the early 1990s, and he too now uses it to avoid capture. Danny Casolaro had reported that Iraq was among the countries that originally purchased the software illegally.

Example three: Casolaro had also written about John Poindexter, one of the few people convicted in the Iran-contra scandal, a trading-with-the-enemy affair that grew out of the October Surprise. An appeals court overturned his five 1990 felony convicitions, however, and more recently Poindexter was appointed head of a new information technology unit of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that developed the internet. This new DARPA unit was called Total Information Awareness. Symbolized on its website and on a wall decoration in Poindexter's office by an eye over a pyramid - a tip of the hat that he worked for secret masters -- it's purpose was to further develop PROMIS-like software that could track every detail of every American citizen's life.

In July, Poindexter was forced to resign from the administration when it was discovered that DARPA's TOI also was developing a futures trading market based on the prediction of terrorist events. Of course, a short-selling spree on the real market made a fortune for someone just after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, so someone was already pretty good at predicting terrorist events.

Examples four and five: the central conspiracy that concerns even the major media now is the role of the Saudis in the 9/11 disasters. Casolaro had written about the al-Yamama aerospace contract umbrella that keeps US and British money flowing into Saudi Arabia. He focused on the career of arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi, who helped develop the contracts, and his partner, Manucher Ghorbanifar. Back in March, because of meetings Khashoggi set up with Bush defense adviser Richard Perle to privately profiteer from the still pending war in Iraq, Perle was also forced to resign. This month it has been reported that Pentagon underlings for the Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, have been meeting with Manucher Ghorbanifar, unauthorized by Dubya, of course.

The pattern of resignations is erupting around the edges of the Octopus entity that Casolaro began to delineate back in the late 80s/early 90s. The low-level, limited hang-out resignations more or less shield the central creature from true exposure. The compliant press helps with that, of course, not having enough historical memory to see the pattern. The only memory it has of Danny Casolaro is that he had whacky conspiracy "theories".

The new book looks at all of this and much else concerning The Octopus, Casolaro's original research as well as how it illuminates what now goes on in the post 9/11 warfare world. - steamshovelpress.com



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