September , 2010 -- CIA involved in covering up Air Force General Lavelle scapegoating in Vietnam...
A newly-revealed CIA document shows that the CIA was involved in covering up the Nixon administration's scapegoating of Air Force General John D. Lavelle, the commander of the 7th Air Force in South Vietnam, who was removed from his position and demoted from four-star to two-star general in 1972 after he was accused of carrying out unauthorized bombing missions of North Vietnam in 1971 and early 1972. In fact, the bombings were directly authorized by President Nixon with the full knowledge of Nixon's national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.
In October 1972, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted against allowing Lavelle to retire as a three-star lieutenant general. The chairman of the committee was John Stennis (D-MS). The uncovered CIA document, a memorandum from the CIA Legislative Counsel to CIA director Richard Helms, dated July 11, 1972, indicates that Stennis sent two staffers to Saigon to investigate the Lavelle affair, Jim Woolsey and Larry Garcia. The memo states: "Stennis has sent Jim Woolsey and Larry Garcia of the Committee staff, to Saigon to investigate the LaVelle [sic] case. The station has been alerted to show them appropriate courtesies but avoid any discussion of the LaVelle [sic] matter."
Woolsey was general counsel of the Armed Services Committee who would later serve as CIA director under President Bill Clinton. Woolsey, according to the CIA memo, limited the committee's investigation of the Lavelle affair and, considering the fact that the Senate committee voted to strip Lavelle of his third star for retirement, appeared to acquiesce in the CIA's stonewalling of the congressional investigation, as well as with Kissinger's and Nixon's scapegoating of the general.
Woolsey's perpetuation of lies and myths would continue into the 1990s when he advocated the invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein because of the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction "threat," Woolsey also acted as the chief lobbyist for Iraqi con-man's Iraqi National Congress, which was providing the Clinton and Bush administrations with massive amounts of bogus intelligence on Iraq.
Lavelle protested his innocence until his death in 1979 and stressed that he was acting under orders from his superiors. This past August, Lavelle was finally officially exonerated and his fourth star was posthumously restored and his official record purged of disparaging information. Nixon never revealed that it was he who gave the secret orders to Lavelle, through Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer, US Pacific Commander Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., and South Vietnam U.S. military commander General Creighton Abrams.
The July 11 CIA memo also indicates that the CIA was prepared to declassify certain CIA reports on illicit drug trafficking in Indochina. The information was requested from the CIA by Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) who requested the same information from John Ingersoll, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the forerunner of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Ingersoll referred Rangel's request to the CIA.
The memo states, "The whole problem has been taken up with the White House, where Walter Minick [sic], Bud Krogh's deputy, apparently opposes declassification of any material on the illicit drug traffic."The memo also states, "Rangel seems determined to press for a showdown. On 10 July he issued a public statement charging that CIA's 'paranoid quest for secrecy' was keeping vital information about the drug traffic from the American public, and that we were 'covering up for the international merchants of death.'"
Minnick is now a Democratic congressman from Idaho who is running for re-election and is leading in polls in his race against Republican Raul Labrador. However, the CIA memo indicates that Minnick was involved in covering up the CIA's role in drug trafficking in 1972 while he was a member of the Nixon administration. Krogh was in charge of Nixon's "Plumbers Unit," which ran the operation to burglarize the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office. Krogh was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal and served four and a half months in federal prison.
The same CIA memo also shows some angst at Langley over information received by the offices of Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) and Representative Les Aspin (D-WI) from Professor Alfred McCoy detailing the CIA's role in opium smuggling, using the CIA proprietary airline Air America, from Laos. There is also concern about a letter sent to the office of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-WA) from Craig Jarrell, who was with an "outfit in Vientiane called Lao Air Development" and who complained that the CIA's Air America was overcharging U.S. agencies whereas his firm offered "comparable services at substantially lower rates." Jarrell wrote that he had contacted investigative journalist Jack Anderson about the matter. The memo does not indicate whether Jarrell was aware that the "services" provided by Air America included transporting drugs from Laos to South Vietnam and beyond....
The memo also stated that the Nixon administration was "dismayed" to learn that an "end the war" amendment sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) was being considered by "fence sitter" senators who Kissinger had lobbied to support the Vietnam War. The fence sitters named in the CIA memo were Charles Percy (R-IL) and Jim Pearson (R-KS) and that Kissinger hoped to win them over with the disarray in the Democratic Party after the convention that nominated George McGovern for president and "expected ARVN [Army of the Republic of Vietnam] military successes."
The memo also shows some concern over two reports in The New York Times by Seymour Hersh that described the CIA's role in weather modification in Southeast Asia that was designed to produce drenching rain storms to stymie the flow of troops and materiel via the Ho chi Minh trail in Laos into South Vietnam. Throughout the 1960s and early 70s, silver iodide was dropped from Air America planes based at the Udorn airbase in Thailand. The silver iodide pellets seeded the clouds over Laos, northeastern Cambodia, and both South and North Vietnam, producing drenching rain storms. The CIA's weather modification program was known as Operation POPEYE. The rain that was produced was called "Olive Oil" by the CIA weather modification personnel. The actual seeding operations were code-named MOTORPOOL. The top secret project was the brainchild of scientists at the Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California and was also used to create droughts in Cuba to ruin that nation's sugar cane crop.
Such weather modification programs are now illegal under U.S. law but the drenching rains that caused recent devastating floods in Pakistan and a subsequent warning from US envoy to Afghanistan/Pakistan Richard Holbrooke that Pakistani military's first priority was to fight the "Pakistani Taliban" rather than assist in flood relief has some wondering if the CIA has re-created POPEYE in south Asia. Holbrooke was involved in crafting CIA odious covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war.....