Death of a Journalist Exposes a Secret
Arkansas Airport Called HUB of CIA Drugs and Guns Pipeline
Terror Bill Shuts Door
WAR LEAD TO REPRESSION AT HOME?
|The following interview was broadcast
over Pacifica Radio Network station WBAI-FM on September 29, 1991.
SAMORI MARKSMAN: We go to our next guest, Harry Martin, who is the publisher of the Napa Sentinel [Napa, California] and who has been doing an extraordinary amount of investigatory work around the Inslaw affair. We will begin by welcoming Harry Martin back to WBAI. Good morning. Just to let you know that Im in the studio with Paul DeRienzo.
HARRY MARTIN: The person who is awaiting criminal prosecution is Michael Riconosciuto, of course. But mind you, he was not arrested at the time he made the deposition. He gave a deposition to Congress, and he indicated to the committee that if he went ahead and testified as he didtherefore, he would be subject to arrest within a short period of time. Within seven days he was arrested! But Ari Ben-Menashe is certainly not under any criminal arrest. He is a member of the Israeli Mossad [intelligence agency]. And the other people who have come forward and testified to these various things are not in jail. Michael Riconosciuto is a man who has signed an affidavit, and yes, he is in jail awaiting criminal charges of supposedly owning a Methamphetamine lab in Pearce County, Washington. However, after he was arrestedwhile I was on a Seattle radio show, I was on hold and the news came onthere were three Methamphetamine labs broken up in Pearce County, Washington, not associated with him whatsoever. And it would lead to the suspicion that perhaps they were all connected to one thing and had nothing to do with Michael, but they decided to hang one on him right after his testimony.
PAUL DeRIENZO: Why dont you give us some background on who Ari Ben-Menashe is, because his name has come up on a number of different issues.
HARRY MARTIN: His name has turned up on the October Surprise and everything else. He is a member of the Mossad and he apparently indicates that he is a witness to the exchange of the PROMIS software to the Iraqis in Santiago, Chile. Now there was also a British Air Force officer who was a witness to that thing, supposedly, and he was hung. And they declared that to be suicide. That was in Chile. Ben-Menashe has come forward on a lot of things, but you have to understand that the Israelis, at the present time, are also very irritated with the Bush Administration. And you cannot be sure how much information and disinformation is being passed around.
PAUL DeRIENZO: How about Mr. Riconosciuto? We discussed the legal problems he got himself in after he spoke out. But what is his history?
HARRY MARTIN: Hes a very brilliant computer scientist. He has worked inside the CIA for a long time. And nobody can deny this fact. Nobody is challenging that particular role. He was the man who had the access keys to almost any computer situation: monies, whos who and everything else. Hes very dangerous in the aspect that he has all that knowledge of the key players in many, many things. And, of course, his affidavit stated that he converted the PROMIS software using the Cabazon Indian reservation, in Indio, California to do this. And Dr. Earl Brian was very much involved there. That place was also used for the manufacture of biological warfare and chemical warfare to be used by the Contras in Nicaragua. Testimony has come forward from many people that that whole Indian tribe and those people running it are shown by the California Department of Justice to have Mafia and CIA ties. This is a documented situation. But jurisdiction becomes a problem because it is an independent Indian nation.
PAUL DeRIENZO: We have reports that have come out in "Computerworld" and other sources based on these statements made by Mr. Ben-Menashe and Mr. Riconosciuto that Robert McFarlane, who was the former National Security Advisor, was involved in giving the Israeli Government copies of this software. Bill Hamilton says that he found out, quite by accident, that Canada was using it widely; that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were using it in their intelligence facilities.
HARRY MARTIN: Well, there are several Indian reservations that are being used by the Wackenhut Corporation and intelligence agencies to do things like manufacture equipment or .. They can skip a lot of corners because these nations are technically independent. For instance, one reservation is in New Mexico, but it also goes across the Mexican border. Therefore, it becomes an open corridor where you dont use customs or anything because part of your properties are in one country and part is in another. And they have used these Indian tribes for everything from the manufacture of weapons to the software situation, opening up gambling casinos. And understand, a lot of the money involved in the savings and loan scandal came from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Bureau of Indian Affairs puts out money to be invested on short-term notices, and this is how a lot of the savings and loans that went down started up. And thats where a lot of their money came from.
There could be a lot of inter-ties in there. It is so complex, and of course, Danny Casolaro referred to it as "the Octopus". You can understand why now, because it gets into . You see, the trouble is, you cant isolate Inslaw by itself. Inslaw by itself is just a minor thing compared with the overall package. The total corruption that seems to have played around Iran/Contra gets involved, and the October Surprise gets involved. There are just so many players that keep coming across each other, and its a really massive story. I dont know anybody who is going to get the whole picture.
PAUL DeRIENZO: What Im trying to get at are the connections that might lead to an investigation, or try to force an investigation into these things. Because it seems that when you have a reporter who is found dead under mysterious circumstances, by anybodys definition, it deserves being looked into further rather than a simple ruling that this was a suicide because ..
HARRY MARTIN: You have to understand now, Inslaw was sort of on the back burner of the public limelight. In other words, Im getting letters now from your program last week in which people say they havent heard too much about this thing on the East Coast. Originally, Inslaw was carried by the Washington Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and ourselves. And were the only three newspapers in the whole nation giving any credence or concentration to it.
PAUL DeRIENZO: Actually, Barrons also.
HARRY MARTIN: The Sam Nunn Committee got nowhere because the Justice Department refused to turn over any records whatsoever. And Jack Brookss Committee, which is in our Congress, has already had some hearings and some of the testimony is from Judge Bason and so forth. But again, the Justice Department is stonewalling it in refusing to give documentation up. And, of course, my question is: Whos in control, the Congress or the Justice Department? The thing is that the death of Danny Casolaro has opened this to the fact that youre seeing more and more questions asking: What is this Inslaw case? And that in itself is going to open up more questions into other things. See, if they open up the Inslaw case, its just going to be the tip of the iceberg, and they may find a lot of other things involved and interconnected. Perhaps Dannys death is going to give more impetus to the Brooks Committee. Its certainly beginning to wake up the national media, which really slept on this thing. These things take time. Look how long it took Watergate. And Iran/Contra really never got anywhere.
SAMORI MARKSMAN: We want to let our listeners know that we are speaking with Harry Martin who is the publisher of the Napa Sentinel, and as youve been hearing, were focusing on a rather intriguing story which involves some major players in the political affairs of this societybut which isnt receiving the kind of attention that the issue deserves. We here at WBAI are attempting to do so today and we will continue to do so. .. Paul, I want to ask Harry to go back to a point, which he alluded to earlier. We had been talking about the breadth of this issue, that its not simply the disappearance of Danny, that there are many others who have been killed in similarly mysterious circumstances, although some perhaps less mysteriously than others. Could you discuss that again for us, Harry Martin, and show what was a common thread linking these various deaths?
HARRY MARTIN: Well, much of the common thread is Danny Casolaro himself. We have Standorf, who worked for a secret [government] communications division outside of Washington [D.C.]. He was funneling documents to Danny at all times, and he was found beaten to death in his car at National Airport in Washington. And of course, Danny indicated that his sources had [since] dried up. Apparently, they had set up a thing in the Hilton Hotel, in room 900, in which they had high-speed equipment, and they were duplicating everything as quickly as possible to get them back in [returned to] the files.
Then of course, we have Mr. Ng who was in Guatemala. He worked for the Financial Times of London. He was working on this case, but he was also working on the Wackenhut Corporation and following a key witness to the murders of some Cabazon Indians. And he was found shot to death in Guatemala.
And then, of course, Michael Riconosciutos attorneyEiselman, I think it is. I dont have my notes in front of mefrom Philadelphia, was en route to pick up material proving that Riconosciuto was, in fact, telling the truth. And he was found shot to death.
All these things, with the exception of Standorf, were written off as suicides. And Michael May, who we wrote of as being tied into that, and who had had communications with Casolaro . and also, he was the man who supposedly filtered the forty million dollars to the Iranians as the down payment on the "October Surprise" we wrote about him on a Friday in June, and on a Wednesday in San Francisco he was found dead. They said it was a heart attack. Later on, the autopsy revealed that it was polypharmaceuticals that were in his system, and it was not a heart attack.
Michael Riconosciutos arrest, of course . It would take me forever to explain them all, but that gives you a synopsis of some of the things that have happened to people associated with that particular case.
PAUL DeRIENZO: Lets concentrate on one of the more outrageous of these murders. And that, besides Casolaros death (many people, including Bill Hamilton call that a murder) .
HARRY MARTIN: We refer to them as deaths. Were not taking the total line yet that they were murders
PAUL DeRIENZO: There is conflict on these [deaths], but they are very suspicious. One actual murder that nobody will deny was that of Mr. Alvarez, the crusading member of the Cabazon Indians who opposed the .
HARRY MARTIN: Absolutely! And he was shot with two other people, execution style. Jimmy Hughes was a man who worked for Wackenhut and who was the bagman to bring the money over [to pay for the contract murders of Fred Alvarez and company]. And he has testified to the Riverside County [California] District Attorneys office. He is now in hiding in Guatemala, of course. Thats where Mr. Ng was down to see him. He also carried a lot of other information, which was extremely damaging. We were able to talk to people who helped him escape, because he came up this way at first, and now hes down in Guatemala. The Indian situation itself is its own scandal. Then theres the Wackenhut Corporation, and you get into Inslaw . Like I say, its just so wide you would need a massive computer just to do a chart.
PAUL DeRIENZO: Can we focus now on Alvarez? Can you tell us that story?
HARRY MARTIN: Alvarez was basically the head of the Cabazon Indians, and when Wackenhut and Dr. Brian and people came in to take over and create the gambling parlors and to convert the Inslaw software and to manufacture chemical warfare weapons and so forth, he protested. He wanted control of the Indian tribe back. And he was summarily executed. The money came from the people who were running that, according to the testimony of Jimmy Hughes, which is on file with the State of California in the Riverside County DAs office. Incidentally now, after all these years they have finally reopened that case in Riverside because of the publicity associated with the Inslaw case.
PAUL DeRIENZO: At first, there was a grand jury investigation and there were no indictments or suspects mentioned in that first investigation.
HARRY MARTIN: And yet, Hughes testified to names, places, events, everything.
PAUL DeRIENZO: Mr. John P. Nichols, who was at that time the head of the tribe and who now is an advisor to the Cabazon Indians, said that the death of Mr. Alvarez and two non-Indian companions, who were found shot to death with him, had nothing to do with whats going on in the Cabazon reservation.
HARRY MARTIN: Yet, Jimmy Hughes has testified to the Riverside people that John Nichols is the one who gave him the money to deliver to the hit-man in Palm Springs. Also, Mr. John Nichols was later on convicted for murder-for-hire and his sons are now technically running the tribe.
PAUL DeRIENZO: He was actually convicted rather than charged? I heard he was brought up on charges. But he was actually convicted of that?
HARRY MARTIN: Absolutely.
PAUL DeRIENZO: But Mr. Nichols seems to have a tremendous amount of support. From what I understand, hes getting a lot of support from liberal figures such as James Aboureszk, the former senator from South Dakota.
HARRY MARTIN: You have to understand, Mr. Nichols, by his own boasting and through other publications, indicates that he was involved in the assassination of [democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador] Allende, and he was involved in the attempted assassination of [Cuban Premier Fidel] Castro. His links as a CIA contractorhis links with the Mafia are well documented with the State of California. Therefore, obviously hes going to get some support from groups that are probably within that channel.
SAMORI MARKSMAN: Harry Martin, wed like to thank you very much for joining us again here on WBAI. Any closing points that you would like to make?
HARRY MARTIN: Well, just that Dannys concept of an "Octopus" . you can see exactly what he was talking about. The tentacles went everywhere, and he seemed to be on the verge of breaking a lot of that information. And then all of his records, everything disappeared. And he died. To say that a journalist would commit suicide when hes on the verge of breaking a big story is ludicrous because anybody knowing a journalist knows that once they are on a drive, neither food nor anything else matters but to get that story across. He was very close to it, and you dont cash in the chips on the verge of winning the jackpot.
SAMORI MARKSMAN: So true. Harry Martin, publisher of the Napa [California] Sentinel, thank you very much for joining us here on WBAI, non-commercial, listener-sponsored Pacifica Radio at 99.5 FM in New York.
contact: Paul DeRienzo