The CIA and the 'Terrorist' Plot

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He’s a Company man: Russell DeFreitas, a former employee of the CIA’s Evergreen Airlines, appears in court.

When asked what he thought of Western Civilization, Gandhi reportedly replied that he thought it would be a good idea.

One could very well speak in the same vein of the entity called the Central Intelligence Agency. It might be useful if the federal government (once thrown back into its constitutional cage, of course) had an agency devoted to collecting relevant intelligence, rather than what it has now — a body involved in propagating turmoil, terror, and subversion throughout most of the world.

He who sows the wind, we’re told, reaps the whirlwind, and the CIA’s directorate of operations is staffed with people who play a role best described as “Johnny Appleseeds of the global jihad,” sowing and nurturing the seeds of terrorism, nourishing them by fomenting unrest, and helping to bring in the murderous harvest of “blowback.” We can see a potent reminder of this fact in the alleged plot to blow up JFK Airport.

According to Newsday, Russell DeFreitas, commonly identified as a former “baggage handler” at JFK, actually worked as a baggage handler and/or a “trainee supervisor” in the employ of Evergreen International Airlines, a CIA front company based in McMinnville, Oregon. A TV news report out of Oregon revealed that DeFreitas “trained” at Evergreen’s McMinnville facility between July 2000 and May 2001.

As this observant fellow points out, it’s odd for a man in his mid-50s to spend the better part of a year “training” for a job he’d already done for a number of years.

Evergreen, in fact, is a direct descendant of the infamous Air America, the CIA proprietary outfit that has been implicated in drug smuggling, covert arms shipments (according to this former Evergreen pilot, the CIA was providing weapons to both sides in various Cold War brushfires), and — more recently — “extraordinary rendition” flights. More than a few Evergreen flights have served as “torture taxis,” shuttling detainees to various destinations in the CIA-operated global torture archipelago.

DeFreitas left Evergreen’s employ in May 2001. It’s not clear whether he worked at JFK between May 2001 and his arrest last week. But it is clear he worked at the airport in the late 1990s.

According to former Customs Department Special Agent Diane Kleiman, DeFreitas’s background means one thing: “He was working at JFK doing drug smuggling.”

“The CIA has always been involved in drug smuggling, and Evergreen or Air America has played a big role in it,” Kleiman told me in a recent phone interview. “When I was working Customs at JFK, we had this huge problem with airline personnel using their secure keys to give unauthorized access to ‘sterile corridors’ that bypassed Customs inspection. Quite often this involved drug smuggling, and I’ve got ample reason to believe that Evergreen and other CIA assets were involved in it.”

It’s worth remembering that the “confidential informant” who infiltrated the supposed plot to blow up JFK was a convicted drug smuggler. Significant as well is the fact that Jamaat al Muslimeen (JAM), the Trinidad & Tobago—based radical Sunni group implicated in the alleged JFK plot, has been implicated in drug smuggling.

Making matters that much more interesting is the reported fact that JAM leader Umar Abdullah reportedly fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, a fact that raises the possibility that he, too, was on the CIA’s payroll at one time.

I find myself irresistibly reminded of the fact that several members of the terrorist cell responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 had been funded, trained, or otherwise aided by the US federal government. The “spiritual leader” of that cell, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, was permitted to come to the US in 1990 despite the fact that he was on a State Department terrorism watch list, suspected of involvement in the plot to assassinate Anwar Sadat.

It was Abdel-Rahman’s great good fortune that on the particular day he visited the US Consulate in Khartoum in search of a visa, the consular official was absent — and in his place was a CIA operative eager and willing to issue the requested visa.

Funny, isn’t it, how things of this kind happen? And isn’t it just as remarkable to see that in the alleged plot to bomb JFK, both the putative ringleader and the Confidential Informant had connections to the CIA-haunted narcotics underworld?

William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.

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