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The Assassination of Colonel James SABOW
I have been asked by many about the death of Colonel James Sabow.

The following website covers the details better than I.
However, there is more to this story (found on the web) and its cover-up than meets the eye. This murder was one of many in the 80's and 90's, to cover up a gun and drug running operation through Mexico from El Torro Marine Naval Air Station in California as well as other locations in the desert southwest. DEA agent Ki Ki Camarena was one of the first to be murdered in Americas fake drug war of the 80's and 90's.
Nothing has changed except the drug cartels are much stronger and better organized and they are now operating in this country as "sleeper cells", they have a plan and its not pretty. Berry Seal was another who was assassinated because of what he did for the CIA and the DEA in this so called drug war. Gary Webb also paid the price because he got to close to the truth concerning CIA Central America secret operations.

It was widely known in military circles that the CIA was operating a staging point inside Mexico for guns and drugs going to Central America to support the Contra. (1985-92) It was known as the "CIA Thing". And it was set in motion in violation of the 80's Boland Act

In the next few weeks more information is going to come forth on how the CIA misled Congress on the background of that "specialized" operation and the lies told to stop all investigations into that matter and either assassinated or dis credit sources releasing information which could harm the secret operation..

Following is a real cover-up that could stand tall next to the Kennedy assassination, not thats an honor.

".... On January 22, 1991, in the backyard of his base house at MCAS, El Toro, CA. Colonel Sabow was found by his wife, dead from a gunshot wound to his head. The NCIS and Base Headquarters immediately designated his death as “suicide”. In fact, within one hour after they arrived at the crime scene, they called Dr. Sabow and informed him that his brother “committed suicide.” Against Department of Navy Regulations (SECNAVINST), his body was taken to the Orange County Coroner rather than to the nearby Balboa Naval Facility and Hospital for a post-mortem examination. The medical examiner at Orange County ruled the death a suicide, in spite of overwhelming autopsy evidence to the contrary.The decedent’s brother, Dr. David Sabow, a prominent neurologist from Rapid City, SD became suspicious of foul play due to a number of inconsistencies. He shared his concerns with the NCIS, as well as a number of senior Marine Corps officers. He became ever more suspicious when relevant documents, including the autopsy report were denied him by the Marine Corps. Having become aware of Dr. Sabow’s concerns, El Toro base commander, Brig. General Tom Adams summoned him to El Toro for a meeting. Dr. Sabow accompanied by Sally Sabow, the Colonel’s widow, sat through a 5-hour vicious and grueling session. Dr. Sabow was assured that Colonel William Lucas who was the chief legal officer at El Toro at the time his brother’s death, would be present to answer pertinent questions that bothered the Sabow family. However, in his place, Colonel Wayne Rich, a Reserve Marine Corps officer, took his place. Wayne Rich turned out to be a special Assistant Attorney General from Washington and he dominated the meeting. Both General Adams and Colonel Rich accused Colonel Sabow of being a “crook and felon” while two other Marine Corps generals in attendance, David Shuter and J.K. Davis remained silent. This, in spite of their glowing “Fitness Reports” of Colonel Sabow during his almost three decade career. Furthermore, the representatives of the NCIS, as well as General Adams and
Colonel Rich, repeatedly stated: “There was not one shred of evidence, other than that proving, that Colonel Sabow committed suicide.” Three months after that meeting, Dr. Sabow received a package in the mail that included the following:
Handwritten notes of a “script” of the meeting in which the plan was to convince Dr. Sabow and Sally Sabow that: “Colonel Sabow was a ‘crook’…Dr. Sabow may talk to the LA TIMES…” Later, Colonel Wayne Rich had admitted under oath that he made these notes while talking to officials in Marine Headquarters, Washington, DC while preparing for the meeting with Dr. Sabow.
A memorandum from the JAG Department of El Toro investigating ways to have Dr. Sabow’s medical license revoked, per orders of General Adams.
A letter from General Adams to the South Dakota Medical Governing Board asking them to revoke Dr. Sabow’s medical license.
Dr. Sabow became increasingly involved in the investigation of his brother’s death. Even in the early stages of that investigation, the evidence he had gathered pointed to murder rather than to suicide. Then, almost one year after Colonel Sabow’s death, Dr. Sabow received a copy of the autopsy report. That document proved beyond any doubt that Colonel Sabow was murdered. One of the most startling findings was that Colonel Sabow had inhaled a large quantity of blood and predominantly into his right lung. Yet, the autopsy stated that there was no remaining brainstem for it was demolished by the shotgun blast. This meant that Colonel Sabow had inhaled a substantial amount of blood into his lungs before he was shot, for breathing is impossible without a brainstem. Furthermore, since most of the inhaled blood was in the right lung, then the decedent must have been lying on the ground on his right side while he breathed. The evidence continued to mount and finally Dr. Sabow acquired skull x-rays that were taken during the autopsy by the Orange County Medical Examiner. The x-rays demonstrated a large depressed occipital skull fracture behind the right ear, which had to have resulted from an external blunt force trauma. That proved that Colonel Sabow had been bludgeoned at the back of his head behind his right ear. These xrays were sent to several universities and were reviewed by specialists who were professors of neurosurgery and neuro-radiology, all of whom confirmed that Colonel Sabow had, in fact, received a severe blow to his skull before the shotgun blast was triggered. It was seen as a “typical external blunt force trauma”. In the meantime, more evidence was being acquired which included:
Statements from an NIS eyewitness that immediately after the death, an unidentified person removed a club from the crime scene. He reported this to his superiors but he was instructed to ignore it and never to repeat it.
The most senior MP on the base, who was one of the first at the scene of the crime, swears that there was no chair on top of Colonel Sabow when he arrived. However, sometime later a chair was placed over the victim’s buttocks in an attempt to give the appearance that the decedent had been sitting in the chair when he shot himself.
A Master Sergeant in charge of the records department at El Toro, informed me that a computer hard drive that contained sensitive refueling records of non-military aircraft and other nonmilitary activities, had been purposely purged.
Dr. Sabow, at enormous personal expense to his family, his profession, his health and his finances, has devoted his life to pursue not only the killers of his brother but also to expose the military and civilian officials who were involved. Through major efforts and the help of a very influential friend, Dr. Sabow was able to convince California
Congressman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to evaluate the evidence he had assembled over the many years of his investigation. Chairman Hunter concluded that indeed the evidence that he reviewed pointed to the fact that Colonel Sabow was murdered. Through the Congressman’s efforts, the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2004 included a section ordering Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld to conduct an independent investigation into Colonel Sabow’s death and to follow very specific directives. These directives were outlined at a meeting on March 12, 2004 convened by Chairman Duncan Hunter to discuss the delay in the start of the investigation. In addition, Chairman Hunter gave specific directives to have been followed by the DOD in concurrence with the legislation. Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense Charles Abell, representing Secretary Rumsfeld at the meeting, assured Mr. Hunter that the DOD would adhere to all of these orders. Paramount among these were the following: Iowa State University would conduct the investigation; all experts identified in Dr. Sabow’s investigation would be identified, interviewed and written reports of their opinions would be made part of the final report; and Dr. Sabow would be included as part of the investigation, at least in a limited role. The DOD ignored each one of these orders. In place of Iowa State University, the DOD employed a Jon Nordby, PhD, who was recommended to them by the FBI. Dr. Nordby interviewed not one expert, and Dr. Sabow was completely excluded from the investigation, despite the mountains of evidence he had collected over the years. The Pentagon presented this “Final Report” to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees in early January 2005. The report has shown the Pentagon’s wisdom in choosing Nordby to undertake the investigation. Despite strong and convincing evidence to the contrary, Nordby denies that Col. Sabow was struck with a blunt instrument. He refutes the opinions of all the experts who stated that a depressed skull fracture is present. In a highly unusual move, he spent a massive portion of his report trying to discredit Dr. David Sabow’s investigation and conclusions, in addition to Dr. Sabow personally. The so-called method of the suicide that he and the DOD have alleged would have placed the shotgun alongside Col. Sabow’s right leg, with his left hand holding the muzzle in his mouth, and with his right hand pulling the trigger. Dr. Nordby’s conclusions defied logic when he could find no gunshot residue on the Colonel’s right hand, or even on the right leg of Col. Sabow’s pajamas. Or when he could not explain the blunt force trauma to Co. Sabow’s head. A separate forensic investigation by an expert retained by Dr. Sabow completely destroys the credibility of the Pentagon report drafted by Dr. Jon Nordby. This obvious picture of someone else placing the gun muzzle in Col. Sabow’s mouth, and then pulling the trigger completely escaped Dr. Nordby’s forensic observations. Dr. Nordby likely thought that his attempt to destroy Dr. Sabow’s reputation and investigation would mask his own failures and his bizarre conclusions. In the course of this so-called investigation, Jon Nordby made several statements to Dr. Sabow that were highly troubling. Without any discussions with the world-renowned professionals who provided opinions and were included in Dr. Sabow’s investigation, Nordby dismissed their conclusions outright by stating that they had no “forensic background” even though their opinions were based on their professional specialties and experience. For instance, five neuro-radiologists and three neurosurgeons who stated that the skull x-rays clearly showed a large depressed skull fracture and was typical of an external blunt force trauma, Nordby stated that every one of them was in error and that there was no depressed fracture. Therefore, when Dr. Nordby requested that Dr. Sabow send him the shotgun that was at the crime scene, Dr. Sabow refused, now believing that Dr. Nordby was hired to manufacture a cover-up of what he now believed to be a murder.
Dr. Sabow researched the expertise and credentials of forensic experts from across the country, and chose one to examine the shotgun and clothing of the decedent for gunshot residue, as well to conduct an overall assessment of the evidence. He chose a forensic expert from California, Bryan Burnett, and sent the evidence to his laboratory. Mr. Burnett, Director of Meixa Tech Forensic Consulting Group, will provide the results to all committee members in a detailed report. His findings concerning gunshot residue were acquired using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which is the most sensitive method available for the detection of GSR. The findings of the Meixa-Tech Consulting Group include the following:
The shotgun leaked GSR from the breech and trigger housing which would have been deposited on the hand of anyone shooting that weapon. However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Forensic Laboratory, which investigated the death scene, reported that Colonel Sabow’s right hand was devoid of GSR.
The GSR would have been deposited on the pants leg of the pajamas worn by the decedent, for the breech would have been in contact with the pajamas. Had Dr. Nordby’s suicide conclusion held any credibility, a massive collection of GSR would have blown back on the thighs of the decedent, if he had shot himself, because from three to five gallons of explosive gases are discharged from the muzzle. The skull cavity has a volume of approximately 1 1/2 quarts. Since there was no exit wound from the skull, at least several gallons of gases which contained the elements of the GSR would have to be blown back out the entrance wound and would have inundated the decedent’s thighs.
No GSR was present on the thighs or any portion of the pajamas.
No GSR was found on the decedent’s right hand according to the NCIS crime scene investigation.
The findings clearly indicate that Colonel Sabow did not fire the shotgun. The evidence of Col. Sabow’s murder is overwhelming. Why he was murdered and why there has been such a massive effort by the government in undertaking this cover-up is another matter. In summary, Colonel Sabow was Chief of Operations for Marine Air, Western Area. Shortly before his death, he learned of criminal activity by higher officials at El Toro Marine Air Base and others, involving illegal weapon shipments to Latin America, and drug shipments into various military bases on the return flights. He was intent on exposing these activities. The cover-up involves the DOD, the FBI and others. It is more than possible that solving the murder of Col. Sabow will lead investigators to those in the military who were involved in the illegal activities spoken of here. The DOJ, which has chosen to look the other way, at some point will be compelled to ask: WHO and WHY. This is perhaps not the first time the U.S. government has failed to seek justice for its citizens. But Col. Sabow’s murder and the subsequent cover-up by high military officials should be brought to light, if not for Col. Sabow’s family to receive justice, then for the American people who deserve much better from their officials. What is obvious from this entire chronicle is to what extent militarism has overcome our country and how covert intelligence operations are used to carry out the militaristic agenda...". (END)

The CIA, the Department of Justice, as well as other government agencies do not want this story to be told in detail...,or the American people to really know the truth and the facts behind these murders and WHY..

Here is another El Torro tie in from an article in 2005 and 2006:

September 14, 2006 - Orange County Weekly (CA)

Cocaine Airways

A Former CIA Pilot Says Secret Flights To El Toro Could Explain A Marine Officer's `Suicide'

By Nick Schou

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

When we first spoke, a decade ago, the fear in his voice -- the staccato pace, the tremor -- was unmistakable.

"I can't talk to you," he said. "This is all classified."

He answered just one question: if he told me what he knew, he'd go straight to federal prison for violating U.S. national security laws.

Then he hung up the telephone.

Two weeks ago, I tracked the man to his home in rural Pennsylvania. This time, he didn't hang up on me. The terror in his voice was gone, replaced by the cheerful nonchalance that maybe just comes with being 69 years old and knowing that your kids have finished college, you're well into retirement, and it's too late for anyone to ruin your life for talking to a reporter about matters that powerful people would rather keep secret.

He laughed when he recalled our conversation a decade ago. He apologized for not answering my questions. He asked me what I wanted to know.

Over the course of the next several days, the man told me his life story.

* * *

William Robert "Tosh" Plumlee was a CIA contract pilot. He worked where the agency sent him. That meant that he ran guns to Fidel Castro in the 1950s, and then, when Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista, Plumlee ran guns to Castro's opponents. In the 1980s, he flew guns again, in and out of military bases including Orange County's El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, March Air Force Base in Riverside, and Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. The weapons were destined for the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras, a right-wing army aiding the agency's war on communism.

On return flights -- and this is where Plumlee's story becomes really interesting -- he says he flew cocaine back to the bases with Uncle Sam's approval. Plumlee figures he made at least three weapons flights to El Toro in the mid-1980s and says it's possible there were drugs in some of those crates as well. Other pilots he knew told him about off-loading tons of drugs at El Toro.

There have been rumors of such activity for two decades, and they have everything to do with one family's suspicions about a high-ranking Marine officer who commited "suicide" at El Toro in 1991.

All of Plumlee's landings were late at night, and the unmarked airplanes -- massive C-130 cargo carriers -- were painted dark green. And though Plumlee landed at military installations, the men who unloaded his planes were dressed just as he was -- in civilian attire, sporting long hair. Plumlee says he guesses they could have easily passed for drug dealers.

He doesn't know the identities of those cargo handlers. But he's pretty sure they weren't military.

"I was CIA," Plumlee says. "So why wouldn't they be too?"

* * *

He was born in Panama City, Florida, in 1937, where his father worked as a pipe fitter in a paper mill. His family moved to Dallas when he was six months old. At 14 and a half, he forged a birth certificate and joined the Texas National Guard; six months later he leapt to the U.S. Army, which promptly discovered he'd lied about his age and booted him with an honorable discharge, adding that if he stayed in Dallas and came back in two years -- this time with his parents' consent -- he could re-enlist.

After rejoining the military, Plumlee received flying lessons and was assigned to military intelligence. "They were experimenting with a lot of young people who weren't coming out of prison, but who didn't have a lot of family ties. Basically juvenile delinquents who liked adventure," Plumlee says. "I started flying for a series of companies -- Southwest Aero Charter, Intermountain Aviation, Riddle Aviation in Miami, and a few others."

Plumlee would only later discover his employers were funded, if not completely run, by the CIA. His first major assignment: running guns from the Florida Keys to Fidel Castro and a group of students at the University of Havana known as the Movement of the 26th of July, or M26-7. The group was supported by the CIA in its effort to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. "I was making hit-and-run raids in Cuba," Plumlee says. "The CIA was funding it and sending guns and hardware to them, and I was flying those guns in and out of Cuba."

On one such raid, in the mountains of northern Cuba near Santa Clara, Plumlee's DC-3 airplane lost an engine. "We couldn't get out of there," he says. "We made a weapons drop there at a site that had been secured and we landed and couldn't get enough power to get out. We abandoned the aircraft and they took us to Raul Castro's compound. Raul Castro got me off the island. I had coffee with Fidel Castro in the mountains. Fidel Castro gave me a fatigue hat. I thought he was democratic and patriotic and still to this day believe we drove him into this communist deal. All he wanted was tractors."

One of Plumlee's partners in running guns to Castro and his cohorts was a man we'll call "Carlos," an M26-7 member whose sister, along with several others, had been gunned down by Batista's agents in a raid on a Havana safe house. Convinced a Batista agent masquerading as a revolutionary had aided the attack, Carlos spent two years establishing the mole's identity and then lured him onto a gunrunning flight from Florida's Marathon Key to Cuba. Plumlee copiloted the plane. "Somewhere between Cat Cay, southeast of the Keys, and the Cuban coast, the door light went red in the cockpit, meaning the cargo door had been unlatched," Plumlee says. He went back to the cargo area to investigate. The suspected Batista agent had disappeared, and Carlos was re-latching the cargo door. "My copilot told me to get back in my seat," he says. "He told me it was a Cuban affair."

In 1961, two years after Castro took over Cuba, Plumlee went to work running guns to Castro's right-wing opponents. He says he was attached to the CIA's Miami station in a project known as JMWAVE, the agency's codename for anti-Castro operations. "JMWAVE was the first time I knew I was CIA," Plumlee says. He got to be friends with various members of Alpha 66, a group of anti-Castro extremists recruited by the CIA to carry out terrorist attacks inside Cuba. One of those operatives was Frank Sturgis, who later turned up as a Watergate burglar. "Sturgis and I made flights to Cuba together," Plumlee says. "He was a good friend of mine in the Cuba days. We dropped some leaflets over Cuba together and made an air raid over Santa Clara. But when Watergate happened, I hadn't seen him in years."

* * *

Plumlee made numerous flights to Cuba in support of Alpha 66 and other agency-backed groups. "My end was mostly supply stuff," he says. "We would take people out and in, make drops, land and remove people. There was a situation where we removed some missile technicians -- defectors -- out of Cuba before the missile crisis." He says he was asked to retrieve a few freelance counterrevolutionaries, private citizens who'd launched raids on Cuba. And he flew ABC reporter Lisa Howard into Cuba, where she created a back channel between Robert F. Kennedy and Castro after the Cuban missile crisis. "There was an arm [of the CIA] out there trying to talk peace with Castro during the assassination attempts," he says.

As an ostensibly civilian pilot, Plumlee says he was told to fit in with Miami's anti-Castro contingent. "Nobody actually said `infiltrate,'" he explains. "But I was undercover, a `cut-out' used by various agencies, but most of the time the CIA provided logistical support. I got heavily involved with organized crime in Florida. The next thing you know, one of my good friends was John Martino. Johnny Roselli was a good friend of mine. I flew Roselli in and out of Cuba many times."

Martino was a Cuban mob-tied bookie and casino operator who escaped to Florida after being jailed by Castro. Roselli was a Chicago mobster who became involved with the CIA's anti-Castro campaign and later wrote a book claiming the Cuban-tied mafia murdered President Kennedy. (Other books have claimed Roselli was involved in the alleged plot.) His decomposing corpse was discovered in an oil drum floating off the Florida coast in 1976, shortly after he testified about the assassination to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He had been stabbed to death and his legs had been sawed off.

Plumlee's story stretches credulity. His Zelig-like appearances during many of the most exotic moments of covert U.S. government activity seem implausible. And there's more. On Nov. 22, 1963 -- the day of Kennedy's assassination -- Plumlee says he was standing in Dealey Plaza -- next to Sergio Rojas, a military operative.

But what seems to start as a yarn best served from a barstool quickly gains the look and feel of real history: the CIA had received information "that a couple of Cubans were going to fire a bazooka at Air Force One in West Palm Beach," he says. "This information came from the FBI. They had information that two Cubans had been arrested with a bazooka. There was talk about Austin, Texas -- there was supposed to be a hit on Kennedy."

Both the CIA and FBI, Plumlee adds, were desperate to track down anyone, especially Cubans, who might be plotting an assassination attempt during Kennedy's tour of the southern U.S. And so they sent their Cuba team -- including Plumlee -- to Dallas.

"We were dispatched to Dallas to check for spotters, to see if we could abort any assassination," Plumlee says. Plumlee flew Roselli and several other CIA assets familiar with the Cuban mafia crowd to Redbird Airport. They stayed at a safe house, he says, and were assigned positions along Kennedy's limousine route.

"This was standard, routine stuff," he says. "Nobody really thought too much about it. Our main task was the south parking lot, south of the [grassy] knoll. The object was to look for the best possible location for shooters, and go unnoticed because we were not supposed to be there. We didn't see anything suspicious."

Seeing is one thing; hearing another. Just as Kennedy's limousine passed the Texas Book Depository, Plumlee recalls that he and Sergio heard a shot from behind them.

"I am familiar with gunfire, and I've said it to Congress and anybody who has a concern about this thing," he says. "We both felt there was a shot that came over our left shoulder where we were standing, from either the parking lot or the triple overpass."

Plumlee doesn't think the CIA or FBI had a hand in Kennedy's assassination, but that gunshot convinces him Oswald wasn't acting alone. "There is no doubt there was a team there to kill the president," he says. "And the fact that there was an abort team tells me there was prior knowledge. But there are people on the Internet saying I flew Roselli and a team to Dallas to kill Kennedy. And to go on a limb and say the dirty CIA planned it all? No, there were elements of the FBI and CIA that tried to stop the assassination."

Things got weirder for Plumlee a week later. He returned to Florida, where he was arrested and extradited to Denver to stand trial on a $50 forged check. Despite the relatively nominal money at stake, and despite the absence of evidence, "the judge sentenced me to an indefinite stay in jail," Plumlee says. "Then I was sent to the reformatory and the FBI came out telling me if I didn't shut up about what I knew about the Kennedy assassination, I'd never get out of there."

In September 1964, two weeks after the Warren Commission released its report saying Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, Plumlee says he walked out of prison a free man. "No checks were ever produced written by me," he says. "And I was never asked to testify to the Warren Commission. I never talked about it for years, until the 1970s." That's when investigators for the Church Committee met with Plumlee in Phoenix and took his testimony about the Kennedy assassination.

Plumlee stayed in Colorado throughout the '80s, flying as a commercial pilot with several airlines. Some of his work put him in close contact with people who were suspected of smuggling drugs around the country. When he wasn't flying, he fielded telephone calls from Kennedy assassination researchers and flirted with the idea of publishing a book about his experiences. FBI records from the 1970s document that Plumlee told the agency about his involvement with Roselli and other Cuban mobsters -- and about his presence in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963. But his dream of writing a book on the subject went up in smoke. "My house burned down in Colorado in 1981," he recalls. "The house was firebombed. I got beat up in a bar. There were a lot of papers taken out of the house, and later, I had the IRS all over me. I blamed it on the Cubans."

* * *

The fire that destroyed Plumlee's book project drove him back into the dark world of CIA gunrunning. When friends in Arizona law enforcement learned about his problems, they offered him a job: posing as a drug pilot in an effort to infiltrate the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels then establishing themselves as middlemen in a broad conspiracy to smuggle cocaine from South America into the United States.

According to Plumlee, he and other pilots were secretly working for the Arizona-based Tri-State Drug Task Force. "My contact was the Phoenix organized crime detail," Plumlee says. "The federal agents didn't know about my existence." Plumlee flew under an assigned fake name: William H. Pearson. "All of us ops guys used aliases," he says.

When he first started flying drugs into the United States, Plumlee says he was certain the information he collected -- flight routes, drop points and cargo loads -- was being passed on to federal drug agents, along with the tons of cocaine he was ferrying. "The whole thing was set up as an interdiction program operating through Mexico," he says. "We were transporting weapons and drugs on C-130s. I was flying drugs into this country and weapons back into Mexico. We were working undercover to log and record the aircraft ID numbers and where the landing strips were. The object was to log these staging points and flyways. But then Iran-Contra came along, and we started flying guns back and forth and drugs into the southwest U.S."

Iran-Contra, as the covert operation Plumlee had stumbled into would later be known ("Iran" being a reference to the Reagan administration's secret missiles-for-hostages exchange with the Iranian government), began as a covert effort to arm the Nicaraguan Contras. The Contras were a right-wing army partly created by the CIA to topple the country's Sandinista rebels, who took over the country during a popular uprising in 1979. When the U.S. Congress banned any aid to the Contras, Oliver North, then a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps working for Reagan's National Security Council, secretly continued arms shipments. In 1986, the crash of a C-123 aircraft in Nicaragua that was owned by Southern Air Transport and piloted by a friend of Plumlee's, Bill Cooper, exposed the covert operation.

"The drug interdiction program was used as a cut-out for the CIA," Plumlee says, referring to the Tri-State Drug Task Force. "We had a meeting in the Oaxaca Cafe in Phoenix, and I was asked if I wanted to fly C-130s. The next thing I know, I was working for the CIA . . . The way that happened is that I was the last person who would ever be thought to be CIA because of all the past stuff that had happened with me not getting along too well with the FBI or CIA."

Plumlee says all the pilots involved in the CIA's guns-for-drugs exchange were given special numbers to push on their aircraft's transponder, codes that would give them the greenlight as they entered U.S. airspace; a U.S. Customs balloon on the Mexican border functioned as the traffic cop. "Someone was sanctioned to clear us across that border," he says. "It takes quite a coordination to do that." There were times, he says, when the balloon was conveniently brought to earth -- just as Plumlee or some other CIA pilot neared the border -- and other times when they'd simply broadcast the specified numbers on their transponders. "We don't see anybody within 50 miles of us," Plumlee says. "I say that's CIA."

Nothing about the deal was conventional. Even the source of weapons was masked: in the early 1980s, the U.S. Army's 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions staged maneuvers in Honduras to prepare for an unlikely invasion by neighboring Nicaragua's left-wing Sandinista government. "The [Army] took military equipment and certified it was destroyed in airdrops," Plumlee says. Although the military told the Government Accounting Office (GAO) that the weapons were a total loss, the equipment was in fact transported back to the U.S and retrofitted before being flown back to Central America and into the hands of the CIA's Contra army.

The weapons "were taken back to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and the U.S. Army Proving Grounds near Yuma, Arizona, because they needed to be repaired," Plumlee says. "There were weapons, helicopter parts, stinger missiles. I remember three specific trips to El Toro and one, possibly -- I'm not really sure -- of drugs going in there." He's sure of a few things: "These flights were all between 1 and 4 a.m.; that's when the [control] tower was thinly staffed. The planes were dark olive drab with camouflaging. We didn't fly marked aircraft. If we got hit with customs interdiction aircraft, we didn't want any photographs of tail numbers."

Plumlee says the pilots officially worked for civilian air charters under contract to the CIA, including the infamous Southern Air Transport and Evergreen International Airlines. He was always paid in cash, usually about $5,000 per flight. Once he landed at El Toro, Plumlee says, he'd taxi the C-130 to the southwest side of the field, close to Interstate 5.

"I had long hair in those days -- bushy hair," he says. "I looked like a drug runner. There was nobody in uniform offloading our aircraft. I figured they were CIA spooks. When you see people like that on a military base in the early morning, unloading, I say that's CIA. It's an assumption on my part, but it is based on a preponderance of evidence."

* * *

At some point in all the excitement, however, it became apparent to Plumlee that the drugs he and other pilots were transporting into the U.S. weren't actually being seized by the DEA. Nor was anyone in a hurry to close down the Mexican airstrips used for running drugs and guns. And no one seemed eager to use Plumlee's intelligence to throw a net over the cartels. Plumlee's suspicions -- and those of other pilots involved in the Reagan administration's war in Central America -- helped to spark one of the darkest and least-known chapters of the Iran-Contra scandal. Dozens of pilots, including Plumlee, would eventually testify in top-secret hearings on Capitol Hill that they flew massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S., and that those flights often arrived at U.S. military bases.

"At the time, there was open war between the CIA and the DEA," he says. "They weren't sharing any information." Pilots who broke the code of silence were set up as drug smugglers whose claims that they worked for the CIA would be treated as lies -- stupid lies. "A lot of guys were picking up documents to protect their asses," Plumlee says. "People were being indicted."

In 1983, Plumlee contacted staffers for U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado) and told them everything he knew about the phony drug-interdiction program and how it had been used by the CIA as cover for the agency's secret -- and illegal -- shipment of arms for the Nicaraguan Contras. "I didn't do that for publicity, but to protect myself," he says. "This was before the fact -- before the Iran-Contra hearings."

Once the scandal broke, Hart passed Plumlee to John Kerry, the Massachusetts senator investigating accusations that the CIA was involved in drug smuggling. Kerry took Plumlee's testimony under oath -- and then sealed it. Plumlee's testimony will remain classified until 2020, although his name is still listed on the Kerry commission's official list of witnesses, available on microfiche at public libraries.

A copy of a Feb. 14, 1991, letter from Hart to Kerry confirms Plumlee's story. "In March of 1983, Plumlee contacted my Denver Senate Office and met with . . . my Senate staff," Hart wrote. "During the initial meeting, Plumlee raised certain allegations concerning U.S. foreign and military policy toward Nicaragua and the use of covert activities by U.S. intelligence agencies. . . . He stated that he had grave concerns that certain intelligence information about illegal arms and narcotic shipments were not being appropriately acted upon by U.S intelligence and law enforcement agencies."

That meeting was three years before the U.S. public knew anything about Iran-Contra.

"Mr. Plumlee stated that he had personally flown U.S.-sponsored covert missions into Nicaragua," Hart told Kerry. "In [later] meetings, Mr. Plumlee raised several issues, including that covert U.S. intelligence agencies were directly involved in the smuggling and distribution of drugs to raise funds for covert military operations against the government of Nicaragua. He provided my staff with detailed maps and names of alleged covert landing strips in Mexico, Costa Rica, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, and California where he alleged aircraft cargoes of drugs were off-loaded and replaced with Contra military supplies."

El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is closed now, its runways headed for the shredder, its acres of residential homes and amenities slated for civilian conversion or the bulldozer. The question of whether drugs and weapons were secretly flown through El Toro is central to a mysterious death at the base more than 15 years ago. On Jan. 20, 1991, Colonel James E. Sabow, assistant chief of staff at the base, was relieved of command while investigators weighed evidence that he had diverted military aircraft for personal use. Investigations by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the U.S. Department of Defense concluded that, two days later, a despondent Sabow walked into his back yard, put a shotgun barrel in his mouth and blew his head off.

But South Dakota neurologist Dr. David Sabow, the colonel's brother, didn't buy the suicide theory. He says the Orange County coroner's original investigation provides the best evidence of foul play. Specifically, the autopsy report stated that a large amount of aspirated blood was discovered in Sabow's lungs, suggesting that he had somehow taken several deep breaths after he shot himself in the head. According to Dr. Sabow and several neurologists who reviewed the evidence on his behalf, breathing would have been impossible for a man whose brain stem -- including the medulla, which regulates breathing and other bodily functions -- had been vaporized by the shotgun blast.

Dr. Sabow is certain that a rogue element at the base whacked his brother over the head with a blunt weapon, rendering him unconscious, then placed the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He believes his brother was about to blow the whistle on illegal drug flights at the base. He points to a Defense Department Inspector General report that included statements by a military policeman (MP) at El Toro who claimed to have witnessed unmarked C-130 cargo aircraft landing and taking off in the middle of the night just months before Sabow died. "Through binoculars, the crew appeared to have shoulder-length hair," the report quoted one MP as saying. "He assumed they were civilians."

In 1993, two years after Colonel Sabow's death, Dr. Sabow appeared on Connie Chung's Eye to Eye. "I think my brother was murdered," Sabow told CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg. "Cold-blooded, calculated, premeditated murder . . . There's no question in my mind that this was ordered by the military, [and] it was carried out by the military."

Also appearing on the program were Gene Wheaton, a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer who also believed Sabow was murdered -- and who offered to help Dr. Sabow prove it in court -- and Tosh Plumlee. "I flew into three separate military bases that I can recall," Plumlee told Goldberg.

"You're flying cocaine?"

"We're flying cocaine. . . . These are all military bases."

"Does it sound plausible to you that if a high-ranking Marine knew something about covert operations and somebody was afraid he might go public with it -- is it plausible that somebody might try to kill him?"

"Well, to me, yes," Plumlee answered. "It would be extremely -- I mean, it would really be plausible."

In January 2000, with Wheaton's help, Dr. Sabow sued the Marine Corps at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana. His lawyer was Daniel Sheehan, a crusading attorney who, in the 1980s, had unsuccessfully sued the CIA for its ties to drug traffickers. I covered the trial and watched as a federal judge tossed the case out of court (see "Who Killed Col. James Sabow?" Feb. 7, 2000).

Sheehan needed only to prove the very narrow claim that Marine Corps officials had threatened Dr. Sabow -- intentionally inflicting severe emotional stress. But he was after bigger game, a chance to redeem himself, and used the Sabow trial to go public again with his assertion that the CIA was running drugs to raise cash for the Contras.

Plumlee waited at a Santa Ana hotel, thinking he would be called to the stand. That never happened. He says he later grew to regret having anything to do with the case, and thinks that Wheaton and Sheehan derailed it. "I haven't talked to Wheaton in years," he said. But given that Colonel Sabow was stationed at El Toro from 1984 to 1986 (he returned to the base in 1989 after a stint in Arizona), Plumlee remains suspicious about the colonel's death.

As a high-ranking Marine officer in charge of an entire air wing, Plumlee says, Sabow would have known about takeoffs and landings at El Toro and other air bases. "I dropped drugs into areas around Borrego Springs [in San Diego County], Lake Havasu, and outside Eagle Pass, Texas," Plumlee says. "I never saw drugs being unloaded in El Toro," he adds. "The only thing I saw being offloaded from our aircraft were crates with weapons, but there could have been kilos in there too. There was talk about drugs going into El Toro. A lot of pilots talked about it. But I know for a fact that Colonel Sabow was in command at El Toro when this happened. There is no way he could not have known about it. He would have to sign off on refueling of these C-130s. He would have to have been briefed, because he was a wing commander at El Toro. . . . I think he was murdered."

Whatever Plumlee has told the government about secret CIA flights involving weapons and drugs that involved military bases, including El Toro, during the 1980s, remains a secret, his testimony classified. So far, no document has emerged showing that his under-cover-of-darkness landings in Orange County ever took place.

But I may have nearly had that document one chilly winter morning 10 years ago.

That day, I found myself shivering in California's high desert, standing beneath the wing of a hulking B-52 bomber at March Air Force Base's Historical Aircraft Museum near Riverside. The sky was clear, and the glare of the sun off the silver fuselage above us was blinding. At my side was Gene Wheaton, a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer with leathery skin, silver hair and a scraggly beard. We were waiting to meet a mysterious source who claimed to have top-secret government documents proving that drugs and weapons were flown in and out of U.S. military bases during the 1980s.

He was late. Wheaton grumbled impatiently. Suddenly, an overweight, middle-aged Latino in a faded U.S. Army parka and dark aviator sunglasses marched toward us. He was breathing heavily. In his right hand, he clutched a black walkie-talkie. He was not happy.

"Which one of you is the reporter?" he barked.

I lifted my hand, waving slightly.

"You didn't mention anything about bringing a partner."

"This is Gene Wheaton," I answered. "He used to work in Army intelligence. I brought him here to make sure your documents are the real thing."

"Hi there," said Wheaton.

The man didn't answer. Instead, he glanced around, peering beneath the belly of the B-52, and raised the walkie-talkie to his mouth.

"Perimeter. Status?"

"Perimeter. Check," a voice squawked. "All clear."

Satisfied, the man told us he also used to work in Army intelligence. He hinted at a top-secret background in black-box operations, including, he said, covert drug flights sponsored by Uncle Sam. With his free hand, the man pulled a folder from his pocket and handed it to me. Inside was a piece of paper stamped with the logo of the U.S. Department of Defense. It looked like an uncensored version of what had been faxed to my office a week or so earlier: instructions from the Pentagon to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and March Air Force Base not to record landings or takeoffs by two civilian airlines.

This time, the names of the airlines weren't blacked out: Southern Air Transport and Evergreen International Airlines. The man with the walkie-talkie didn't demand anything -- except that I take the paper from his hands. But the document wasn't stamped "declassified." It could be stolen, Wheaton warned, and if I accepted it, I could go to federal prison for violating national security laws.

Spooked, I followed Wheaton's advice and refused the gift. The thought dawned on me that I had just narrowly avoided being set up. The guy's bizarre appearance and behavior suggested he might have been a fraud -- even though his paperwork looked like the real thing. I would later hear from reliable sources that Wheaton was wrong, and that I could have taken the document without fear of being arrested. I gave the man my business card and told him if he was determined to give me the document, to stick it in the mail and call me at work to let me know it was coming.

The strange man stomped off with his walkie-talkie. He passed through the shadow of the B-52 and disappeared into the bright sunlight. I'm still waiting for his call.
Here is another background info for any who are interested in the Sabow case:


It's been over 15 long years since Col. James Sabow was shotgunned to death in the backyard of his quarters at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in California, but at last, the remaining pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. has learned two men have come forward to say they believe the highly-decorated USMC pilot was killed. One, a former CIA contract pilot, who admits he once ran guns and drugs into the now shutdown installation; the other, a former chief of the Orange County District Attorney's Homicide Squad.

The pilot, William "Tosh" Plumlee, says "Sabow was murdered," while top cop Mike Jacobs calls the military investigation a "whitewash" and flat-out declared "someone killed Sabow and staged the crime to look like a suicide."


The latest revelations in the bizarre death of one of the Marine Corps best pilots of the Vietnam War, puts the top brass in an untenable position. To admit that justice was not served in 1991 and the official story that Sabow committed "suicide," (see our "related stories box" below for full details on the case), would greatly hurt the Corps' public image. However, to continue to "deny and lie" in the face of overwhelming circumstantial and forensic evidence the death had to be a homicide, could damage the Marines even more in the long run.

There's a famous saying in the Corps that "no wounded is ever left behind." What then, shall we do about an outstanding senior officer like Col. Sabow, who flew over 200 missions over North Vietnam in an A-6 Intruder? Isn't it about time the Marines admit a terrible crime was covered up and Sabow lost his life because he was about to "blow the whistle" on drug-running activities at the once-bustling military air station? We think so.

The Marines certainly owe that much to Sally, Col. Sabow's widow, as well as his family, including the dead officer's loyal brother, Dr. David Sabow, who has waged a long and courageous battle to find out the truth of what really took place.


Most of the media have forgotten the Sabow case by now, but one enterprising reporter has been instrumental in digging out the facts in this matter and locating both Plumlee and Jacobs. That man is Nick Schou. In a series of hard-hitting articles in the Orange County Weekly ( he has expertly laid out the details of how the colonel was "suicided." When the truth is finally known, and the USMC apologizes to the Sabow family for putting them through an unspeakable hell, Schou is a sure bet for a top journalism award.

We too, at, have been absolutely determined, over the past six years, in exposing how the military covers up murders and calls them "suicides" when a real investigation might prove embarrassing and inconvenient. Whether it's the strange death of USAF Col. Philip Shue in Texas, or the obvious slaying of Navy Chief Petty Officer Tom Traylor in California, and we have investigated both cases at length, our findings to date can be found using the "search" button under the masthead of on the web site's "jump page."

It is unconscionable that the Pentagon would allow these abuses to continue. Not only is the reputation of fine men and women besmirched by labeling their suspicious deaths "suicide" when the evidence points elsewhere, but the families of the deceased are also victimized - sentenced to a lifetime of pain and humiliation, as well. This must stop. An honest accounting of what's happened so far is remote, however, as long as a slimy megalomaniac and political neo-CON like Donald Rumsfeld continues to disgrace the office of secretary of defense.


Plumlee was too scared to talk to investigative reporter Schou when the California newsman first contacted him in 1996.

The fear in the pilot's voice was noticeable as he stammered into the telephone, "I can't talk to you, this is all classified."

The veteran CIA contract pilot from Panama City, Fla.said he might go straight to federal prison if he talked. But that was then, and this is now. His children are through college and the nearly 70 year-old expert at jockeying a loaded aircraft in and out of tight spots around the globe was at last ready to give his views on how Col. Sabow died.

"There was talk about drugs going into El Toro," Plumlee said. "A lot of pilots talked about it." He told Schou crates of weapons were unloaded off his unmarked plane at El Toro and the cases could have easily contained drugs.

As to Sabow, known as a straight arrow who would tolerate no misconduct of any type on his watch and would certainly turn in fellow Marines if he suspected they were involved in drug smuggling, Plumlee confirmed the colonel was high in the chain-of-command at El Toro when the special flights took place.

"There's no way he couldn't have known about it, he would have had to have been briefed. I think he was murdered."


Jacobs suspects foul play as well, and he was in a key position to know.

"I've always believed that someone killed Sabow in broad daylight and staged the crime to look like a suicide," he told the Orange County Weekly. While the veteran cop won't guess as to why Sabow was murdered - he says his investigation "never went that far" - he says "somebody is covering up a cold-blooded murder."

"After you look at the evidence, it's quite compelling that it wasn't a suicide," Jacobs said. "It looked to me . . . like a whitewash and possible cover-up. Why won't the government do something? This guy (Col. Sabow) was an honorable man with a good military record, and to sweep what happened to him under the carpet really says something about our government."

Jacobs is highly-skilled at working homicide cases. He's conducted more than 250 of them in his long career and contends the crime scene photos (which has seen) "suggest foul play."


"Even an amateur would view the scene as staged. A person who shoots himself with a shotgun does not fall forward," Jacobs said. "The manner in which the weapon was found underneath him and the positioning of the hands and the chair - the whole thing looked staged."

[In our earlier stories, MCC pointed out the colonel's fingerprints were nowhere on the weapon he supposedly used to fire the fatal round into his mouth. There was a large amount of aspirated blood found in the colonel's lungs - meaning Sabow had to have taken a few deep breaths after shooting himself in the head. Dr. David Sabow and other neurological experts who reviewed the evidence said those breaths would be impossible for a man like the colonel, whose brain stem - including the medulla - had been destroyed in the shotgun blast. The shocking lack of blood at the scene suggest the officer had been knocked out and was lying on the ground when the shotgun was fired. X-ray photographs showed a depressed skull fracture, suggesting the colonel had been struck from behind.]

Jacobs told Schou one of his former detectives, a Marine Corps veteran with decades of experience investigating homicides, agrees Sabow was murdered. But the detective has asked to remain anonymous. What he told Jacobs was revealing: "There's no evidence Sabow was suicidal," he said. "There's no suicide note . . . nobody at Naval Investigative Service conducted the investigation as a homicide. They immediately treated it as a suicide."

Why? To conceal the fact that a USMC colonel had been murdered in the backyard of his own living quarters at El Toro MCAS? Perhaps it was to cover-up drug-trafficking that was going on and believed to be known about at the highest levels of the Marine Corps.


In the Book of Genesis, the Old Testament, in the Holy Bible, the story is told of Cain and Able. The first-born of Adam and Eve, the brothers quarreled when Cain grew jealous of Able's favor in the eyes of God.

The evil Cain slew his sibling with a rock and hid the body. It was the first murder in recorded history. When God asked Cain where Able was, Cain replied: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

We honor Dr. David Sabow here, a man who never lost his love for his slain brother, Col. James Sabow, and who, someday, will be blessed with solving this case and bringing those responsible to justice.

Confined to a wheelchair and in poor health, the South Dakota-based physician never loses sight of his ultimate goal. Even faced with threats to his life, the determined and dedicated Midwesterner refuses to back off.

He has spent many thousands of dollars out of his own pocket trying to get to the bottom of the case. Dr. Sabow has had to endure indignities unspeakable from politicians, phony "investigators," opportunists, and out-and-out liars who have tried to block his path every step of the way.

We are inspired and awed by this man's courage and high degree of character. If you, dear reader, had a brother with even a part of the loyalty and devotion this man has shown, you can call yourself blessed indeed. "salutes" Dr. David Sabow as a unique American who gives us all hope in knowing there are still people of his caliber that exist. May God bless him and lead him to ultimate victory.
Thanks for this information Tosh. I posted a link to Dr Sabow's new web site about his brother yesterday and also posted a link to the military corruption web site. Both of them deserve as much exposure as possible. I've put these on the DPF Facebook too so if you have Facebook you can circulate that also. I noted Rumsfeld's name there when Dr Sabow was able to get a DoD re-investigation of his brother's death and thought "Oh, no, this will go nowhere now" The kiss of death as far as truth, justice and integrity goes. We must keep pushing Tosh.

The Minister for Cocaine is today in jail in Bolivia. Do you know what has happened to Sonia Atala? Is she still in witness protection?

Also the Honduras coup is all about that group too which is one reason why it must not succeed.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
From a previous post on another thread concerning Col Sabow... I thought I would bring them all together in one thread for those who might be interested in this case.

".... taken from article of 1998 with permission)

"... December 1998, Michael Ruppert, 'Only the Godfather':
"... a lingering and persistent body of evidence persists which indicates that U.S. Marine Col.Jim Sabow was murdered because he caught the CIA flying drugs onto a base where he was Chief of Air Operations. Much of the evidence indicates that the cocaine arrived on the same C-130s which had been given to the Forest Service. In a 1993 segment of her news program Eye to Eye, Connie Chung covered the Sabow death in detail and showed evidence of the murder by introducing statements from Sabow's brother, a medical doctor, that Sabow had been unconscious and aspirating blood for minutes before a shotgun was rammed so far down his throat that it sheared off the uvula. In that same segment, veteran Air America and CIA pilot Tosh Plumlee stated that he flew loads of cocaine as large as 2,000 kilos onto El Toro in the years and months prior to Sabow's death - for the CIA. Plumlee stated clearly that he was flying C-130s operated by the Forest Service and their contractors. In later conversations with this writer Plumley (Plumlee) admitted that he routinely flew loads as large as 2,500 kilos onto military installations in California and Arizona for the CIA." ...".

One other good man, among many, taken out was DEA agent Ki Ki Camarena and his pilot Alverz who were working the early years of the Colombian and Mexican drug war.

(see details DEA secret report concerning the assassination of Mexican reporter Manuel Buendia at:


If you notice these three people were murdered.., all within a year of eachother and all from leaks from within our own government agencies.

note: ... shortly after the Eye to Eye program the show was cancelled and soon thereafter Connie Jung was reassigned tlo other duties and taken out of the 'limelight". Her budding carree was destoryed.

I feel this information although already posted in another thread, I think it should be brought forward to be considered in view of the current border situation:

"...August 23, 1991, The Miami Herald, 'Noriega: CIA, DEA OKd Deals':
"Manuel Noriega says he had good reasons for allowing drugs and guns to slip through Panama: The last seven CIA directors, including George Bush, asked him to help with the guns, while four directors of the Drug Enforcement Administration sought his help on the drugs... The weapons shipments were destined for Nicaragua and Honduras, the papers said. Besides Bush, the CIA directors who asked Noriega to allow them to travel through Panama included Richard Helms, William Colby, James Schlesinger, Stansfield Turner, William Casey and William Webster... The DEA directors who purportedly asked Noriega to allow drugs to pass through his country included Terrance Burk, Francis Mullen, Jack Lawn and John Ingersoll... Diane Cossin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, said the prosecution will present evidence that links Noriega's BCCI money and drugs."

June 24, 1985, Miami Herald:
"Also involved in the anti-Sandinista [Contra] effort are several of Reagan's millionaire friends including beer tycoon Joseph Coors and industrialist J. Peter Grace... Grace spokesman Fred Bona said his boss "may have" asked the Central American chapters of the 900-year-old Knights of Malta order to help distribute privately collected humanitarian aid among Nicaraguan refugees. Grace heads the group's U.S. chapter. Former Treasury secretary William Simon and CIA Director William Casey also belong to the Knights of Malta. Simon and Grace declined comment on whether they had ever discussed with Casey alternate ways to help the contras. Simon heads the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund, a private aid group initially launched by the Unification Church-owned [Moonies] newspaper The Washington Times which received a letter from President Reagan dated May 30, 1985, expressing "wholehearted" support for its activity on behalf of the contras... While the contras get humanitarian aid from these groups, they rely mainly on retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub and his World Anti-Communist League for private military aid."

Celerino Castillo, 'Powderburns - Cocaine, Contras, & the Drug War':
"The American Public would quickly lose interest in the Iran Contra scandal... Had they discovered our government hired and protected a squad of drug traffickers, and they gave them free passes into the U.S., the story might have ended very differently... My informants were perfectly placed... They fed me the names of Contra pilots. Again and again, those names showed up in the DEA database as documented drug traffickers. When I pursued the case, my superiors quietly and firmly advised me to move on to other investigations... I'll never forget Corr's [U.S. ambassador to El Salvador] response. "It's a White House operation, Cele. Stay away from it."
Cele, a high level DEA agent, was assigned to represent the DEA in El Salvador at the height of the Contra war. It was there that he began to record intelligence on how known drug traffickers, with multiple DEA files, used hangars numbers four and five at Ilopango airfield to ferry cocaine north and weapons and money south. Hangars four and five were owned and operated by the CIA and the National Security Council. He found out that the traffickers were also being given US visas by the CIA, in spite of their well known activities. Castillo also documented and spoke out about CIA and National Security Agency abuses in a manner utterly consistent with his heritage and the reats of his life. Then Cele discovered that the Contra flights were under the direct supervision of US Lt. Col. Oliver North and had the additional protection of Felix Rodriguez (a retired CIA agent) who ran hanger 4 at Ilopango. Castillo was repeatedly warned that the drug profits were being utilized to support the Reagan-Bush backed right-wing "Contras" in Nicaragua and surrounding countries and that he should stop his investigations.

(note Celle Castillo is currently awaiting to go to prison for a three year time span, because it is said by the US government's DoJ AG (Sutton) that he sold a gun to an undercover operative without a permit.)

Perhaps, some can read between the lines on this sentence.

..... Additional background information on assassinated Mexican reporter Manuel Buendia:

"... That which Buendía was investigating months before was confirmed by the assassination of Camerena, a DEA agent assigned to the US Consulate in Guadalajara. Did Bartlett know or not that his Political and Social Investigations Agency and Federal Security Agency were protecting drug traffickers? There are testimony transcripts from a collaborator of the accused police chief Zorrilla in the Federal Security Agency, José Luis Esqueda, that directly informed Bartlett that the agency protected drug traffickers. In place of launching a house-cleaning, Bartlett reassigned Esqueda to a municipal support office, until one night when the agent was shot down while using a public telephone. ...".

It should be noted that the information received by the American mainstream media was not reported in depth.... it was limited at best, because to do a full report would jepordise US Mexico relations and perhaps expose the "CIA Thing" that Ki Ki Camarena had reported to his supervisors.. it was said by government officials.

To this day, 2009, the real story of the death of Camarena and Buendia as well as US Marine Col James Sabow has never been reported accurately.

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