By Alex Constantine
IRAN-CONTRA CONNECTIONS TO 9/11: The Taliban and Al Qaeda were both nurtured by American intelligence, and the seditious, worm-tongued fascist veterans of Iran contra - about due now for a good, All-American public hanging - knew how to make use of America's rabid armed assets in the Muslim world ... (Originally posted in 2005)
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." Gailani 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 Hekmatyars' Islamic Party which has shot villagers who had refused to pay them taxes, and sometimes burnt down villages which supported other resistence groups. Hekmatyar 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. ...
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....
"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.
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).
by Michel Chossudovsky
"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:
"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. :
Dick Cheney, Vice President:
Cheney said today that he would advise President Bush not to turn over to Congress the August intelligence briefing that warned that terrorists were interested in hijacking airplanes, and he insisted that the investigation into Sept. 11 should be handled by the Congressional intelligence committees, not an independent commission.
In appearances on several television news programs, Mr. Cheney said "it would be a mistake" to give broad Congressional access to the Aug. 6 memorandum to the president, which ignited a political uproar over whether the nation could have anticipated the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Alison Mitchell , "Cheney Moves to Block 9-11 Probe") http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/05.21A.Cheney.Block.911.p.htm
Thomas Kean, 911 Commission Chairman:
Not mentioned in Kean's official Commission biography was his role as director of Amerada Hess Corporation, which in 1998 formed joint venture Delta-Hess, with Delta Oil, in part owned by Khalid bin Mahfouz. Mahfouz inherited a controlling interest in the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, the country's largest bank, and was a director with 20% interest in BCCI, the now defunct financial conglomerate involved in money laundering, bribery, support of terrorism, arms trafficking and other crimes. Mahfouz paid $225 million to escape prosecution for his role in the BCCI scandal. Mahfouz also inherited the assets of the Saudi bin Laden group when Salem bin Laden died in a 1988 plane crash. These included an interest in Arbusto Energy, a Houston, Texas oil company founded by George W. Bush. Bin Mahfouz's interests were managed in part by James R. Bath, a close friend of Bush, who served in the Texas ANG with him. Bath's name was inexplicably redacted in Bush's Air National Guard military medical reports. (http://www.worldhistory.com/wiki/K/Khalid-bin-Mahfuz.htm).
Osama bin Laden:
The emergence of William Casey and his 'off-the-shelf' (meaning unaccountable and invisible) covert operations as Director of the CIA led from the arming of the fundamentalist Islamic mujehaddin to the intricacies of Contragate. This covert funding included profits from the sale of opium and illicit drugs, and half was funneled through BCCI at the behest of the Saudi Arabian government, working closely with the American CIA that used a proxy to cover its involvement, Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence agency, or ISI. These funds went to a drug dealer named Hekmyatar and to his protg, Osama bin Laden. CIA funding is reported to have stopped when the USSR withdrew, and the Taliban came to power. However, the US continued to fund the Taliban as well, giving them $43 million in 2001 to stop growing opium. ISI funding to Mohammed Atta, allegedly linked to bin Laden continued as late as August, 2001 http://www.williambowles.info/911/911_critique.html
Lee Hamilton, 911 Commission Vice Chairman:
Lee H. Hamilton brings to the commission the "damage control" procedures followed during the Iran Contra investigation, which broadly served to uphold the practices of US foreign policy. - "Who's Who On 911 Commission," by Michel Chossufdovsky http://vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2003/12/96732.php
Chairman of the House select committee investigating the Iran-contra affair, was shown ample evidence against Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, but he did not probe their wrongdoing ...