The Covert Cowboys
The use of former enemy soldiers, criminals, and terrorists for their dirty work is also a time-honored tradition among intelligence agencies, who stand to gain the "plausible deniability" so coveted in the world of covert operations.
At the close of WWII, the U.S. Government helped thousands of Nazi war criminals escape justice, integrating them into its scientific/military/intelligence establishment. Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's senior intelligence officer on the Eastern Front, and other high-ranking Nazis, were spirited out of Germany with the aid of the OSS and the Vatican, then installed in top-secret, sensitive posts in the U.S. and abroad.
Gehlen's SS officers had been instrumental in the mass extermination of Gypsies and Jews, and Gehlen was personally responsible for the torture, interrogation, and murder by starvation of some 4 million Soviet prisoners of war.
Gehlen later boasted of teaching the newly formed CIA everything it knew.
Many of the world's deadliest terrorists were in fact trained by agencies such as the CIA and KGB, who went on to commit mayhem and murder on an unprecedented scale. A prime example is Shackley's JM/WAVE anti-Casto campaign of the mid-1960s, which trained Cuban exiles in techniques of assassination and terror, then unleashed them on their native country. The most infamous of these "Cuban Cowboys," Luis Posada Carriles (AKA: Ramon Medina), a member of the anti-Casto group CORU (also a member of the CIA's ZR/RIFLE assassination team under the command of E. Howard Hunt), killed 78 people in October of 1976 by bombing a Cuban airliner.*
Carriles said he planned the bombing at the CIA's instigation.
As one of CORU's members explained in a CBS interview, "We use the tactics that we learned from the CIA because we — we were trained to do everything. We are trained to set off a bomb, we were trained to kill… we were trained to do everything."
The mastermind of the bombing, Orlando Bosch, responsible for more than 50 anti-Castro bombings in Cuba and elsewhere, was released from prison at the behest of George Bush's son Jeb, who has strong ties to both the Cuban expatriate community and the Contras.
As Vice-President, Bush also headed the Task Force on Combating Terrorism. Proudly displaying his condemnation of terrorism, Bush pardoned Bosch, giving him special permission to live in Miami.
The CIA's support of the Afghani Mujahadeen between 1979 and 1989 resulted in a huge wave of well-armed and trained Muslim extremists bent on venting their political and ideological rage against the U.S. At the same time, the overflow from the Afghani operation resulted in one of the largest pools of potential recruits for covert operations.
One of the main operatives the CIA had utilized in its war against the Soviets was Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman. The CIA utilized Rahman because of his influence over the Mujahadeen, then brought him into the U.S. on a CIA-sponsored visa. While the Sheik was eventually convicted for conspiracy to bomb targets in the U.S., prosecutors encountered resistance in pursuing him and other World Trade Center bombing suspects because of their ties to the Mujahadeen, and their ties to U.S. intelligence.
As Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, put it: "One of the big problems here is that many suspects in the World Trade Center bombing were associated with the Mujahadeen. And there are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war."
A staunch anti-Western crusader, Rahman became a shining light for thousands of Muslim extremists after the war in their crusade for the holy Jihad. Nearby Peshawar, Pakistan became the staging area for tens of thousands of radicals, many of whom went on to form smaller cells around the world, including the U.S. The groups that flocked to Pakistan's terrorist training centers included the Egyptian Al-Gama'a al-Islamiya, the Palestinian Hammers, the Algerian Al-Jihad, and the Filipino Moro Liberation Front.
World Trade Center mastermind Ramzi Yousef also spent considerable time in Pakistan. As one Western diplomat noted: "The United States created a Moscow Central in Peshawar for these groups, and the consequences for all of us are astronomical."
As Mary Ann Weaver writes in the May, 1996 issue of The Atlantic Monthly: "…the CIA helped to train and fund what eventually became an international network of highly disciplined and effective Islamic militants — and a new breed of terrorist as well."
To the CIA, which pumped more than $2 billion into the fourteen-year Afghani resistance effort, Sheik Omar was what intelligence officials call "a valuable asset."
El Sayyid Nosair, a core member of the Al Salaam Mosque run by Rahman, shot and killed the radical Right-wing Rabbi Meir Kahane in November of 1990. During a conversation between a 20-year veteran FBI agent and one of his top undercover operatives, the operative asked:
"Why aren't we going after the Sheik [Adbel Rahman]?" demanded the undercover man.
"It's hands off," answered the agent.
"Why?" asked the operative.
"It was no accident that the Sheik got a visa and that he's still in the country," replied the agent, visibly upset. "He's here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA."
The agent pointed out that the Sheik had been granted a tourist visa, and later a green card, despite the fact that he was on a State Department terrorist watch-list that should have barred him from the country. He's an untouchable, concluded the agent.…"
It was also revealed during the Sheik's conspiracy trial that in 1989 the U.S. Army had sent Special Forces Sergeant Ali A. Mohammed to Jersey City to provide training for Mujahadeen recruits, including Nosair and Mahmud Abouhalima, a convicted World Trade Center bomber. Interestingly, this was at the same time the pair were under surveillance by the FBI as suspected terrorists.*
The experiences of the CIA's expatriated Nazis, Anti-Castro Cubans, and Mujahadeen veterans were strikingly similar to that of the Ku Klux Klan, which for decades remained on the end of a long leash controlled by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
One of the most infamous examples of FBI-orchestrated terror-murder were the brutal 1963 KKK attacks on civil rights workers in Birmingham, Alabama, led by FBI informant Gary Rowe.
It seems that Rowe was no mere informant. As Curt Gentry writes in J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets: "Klan members stated he had veto power over any violent activity contemplated by the Eastview 13 Klavern."
Rowe also participated in the 1965 murder of civil rights marcher Viola Liuzzo. As the National Review reported, "The 1978 investigation implicated [Rowe] as an agent provocateur.… Three other Klansmen testified that it was Rowe who had actually shot Viola." While Rowe was indicted on first degree murder, a federal judge blocked Rowe's extradition, claiming that a federal agent has rights that protect him when "placed in a compromising position because of his undercover work." A Federal Appeals Court upheld the ruling.
The FBI informant was also accused of helping plant the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church. Although Rowe failed lie-detector tests regarding his complicity in that and the Viola murder, he was never prosecuted, and instead was given a $20,000 "reward" by the FBI.
A similar case of government-orchestrated terror-murder would come about in 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina with the murder of five Communist Workers Party members by KKK and Nazi Party goons — led by FBI operative Edward Dawson and ATF informant Bernard Butkovich. Both the Washington Post and the New York Times reported that Butkovich "offered to procure explosives," and "offered to train them in activities such as making pipe bombs and fire bombs."
Even more suspiciously, the tactical squad assigned to monitor the march was reportedly "out to lunch" at the time, and a patrol car that happened to be in the area, was told to "clear the area as soon as possible."
The incident is suspiciously similar to the ATF agents in Oklahoma who were paged not to come into work on the morning of the blast.
Echoing the factitious rants of ATF chief Lester Matz, Governor Frank Keating, and other federal officials in Oklahoma, FBI Director William Webster called the charges of federal complicity "utterly absurd." Although the killers had been recruited, organized and led on their murderous rampage by ATF and FBI operatives, none ever served a day of jail-time.
Like the FBI's KKK mules, or the ATF's pet Nazis at Elohim City, the Pakistani/Afghani Mujahadeen and Iraqi veterans resettled into the U.S. represent the next wave of "covert cowboys" — ready and willing to do the CIA/FBI's dirty work.
As Gene Wheaton observes: "Every major Middle-Eastern terrorist organization is under surveillance and control of the intelligence agencies in the U.S. None of these guys move around as freely as they'd like you to think."
Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of the PLO splinter group Black September, which carried out the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, was put on the CIA's payroll. That is, until the Mossad caught up with him in 1979. Even so, the Israelis checked with the CIA before killing him.
A Pakistani named Ali Ahmand was standing directly behind Senator Robert Kennedy when he was shot. Former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow saw Ahmand holding a Nikon camera, and recalled seeing Nikon cameras that fired bullets while at the CIA.
Another "valuable asset," Mir Aimal Kansi, had been recruited by the CIA to assist in the smuggling of weapons to the Mujahadeen. Kansi, who had a "financial misunderstanding" with the Agency, resolved the issue by opening fire with an AK-47 outside of CIA headquarters in January of 1993, killing two Agency employees. Like World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, he fled to Pakistan.
Curiously, Hussain al-Hussaini — who had been seen speeding away from the bombing in a brown pick-up — would make no similar attempt to flee. Was he part of a government-sanctioned operation? As Professor Bruce Hoffman at the Center fo the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrew's University in England noted, there have been various attempts to infiltrate Islamic terrorist teams in Oklahoma.
Could this be why FBI Agent Jeffrey Jenkins "cringed" when he saw KFOR's televised report on Hussaini?*
Did Hussaini and Khalid, like Timothy McVeigh casually pulling over for Patrolman Hanger, believe they were protected?
The FBI's refusal to look at Khalid strongly points to such a possibility. Khalid's ability to monitor the activities of a group of Middle Eastern immigrants (through giving them jobs and renting them homes), and his status as a former felon, make him a likely candidate as an operative or informant.
And why had McVeigh met with Hussaini in the first place? Like Carol Howe and Andreas Strassmeir, were they both acting as undercover operatives, without each other's knowledge?*
Like McVeigh, Hussaini was most likely recruited into a covert intelligence unit after his resettlement into the U.S. Believing he was working for the government, he was given a cover story that he was preventing a bombing.
It is likely, given the necessary compartmentalization of covert operations, that each was on a "need-to-know" basis. While McVeigh, Hussaini, and their pals parked the Ryder truck in front of the Murrah Building, the real bombers were the third component of the compartmentalized operation.
Recall that five days before the bombing, HUD worker Jane Graham saw three men in the garage who she thought were telephone repairmen. They had plans of the building, and were holding what appeared to be C-4 plastic explosive. "It was a putty color," said Graham, "a solid piece of block.… they had that and they had this wiring.
"The man in the brown shirt obviously knew what he was doing and was in charge…" said Graham. "He reminded me of a surveyor or construction foreman except that I doubt that they would have been in that good of shape. These men were definitely physically well trained."
Physically well-trained does not sound like McVeigh or Nichols.
The men looked "uncomfortable" when they saw Graham, and quickly put the items into a paper bag and hid it in their car — which was clearly not a utility company vehicle.
Another witness saw several men working on the pillars in the garage, in the dark, without lights. When they were questioned by this visitor, they said, "We're just putting things right again."
Were they, or were they placing explosive charges to be activated later?
This bizarre activity was seen by at least two other witnesses — IRS worker Kathy Wilburn, and a HUD worker named Joan. None of the "repairmen" matched the description of Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, or Hussain al-Hussaini.*
Then, on the day of the bombing, twenty minutes before the blast, Michael Linehan saw McVeigh's yellow Mercury run a red light and slip quickly into the building's garage. Why did "McVeigh" need to enter the building moments before the blast? To place secondary charges or activate remote detonators, perhaps?†
Several minutes later, a woman riding the elevator saw a young Arab man with a backpack frantically pushing the lobby button, as though trying to exit the building.
After the blast, Kay H. was almost run over by a brown pick-up driven by Hussain al-Hussaini. There were three suspects in the truck. At least two of them were Arabs.
Seconds later, Gary Lewis ran outside to see a Middle Eastern man grinning from ear to ear.
Approximately 15 minutes later, HUD employee Germaine Johnston came across McVeigh and John Doe 2 in an alley near the Murrah Building. "They were just standing there watching," she said. McVeigh then asked Johnston if anyone had been killed, and both men looked sad when she told them that children had died.
If McVeigh had blown up the building — a building he knew to contain a day-care center — as an act of revenge, why would he appear sad? And if Hussain al-Hussaini had conspired with McVeigh for similar motives, why did he cry upon learning that children had been killed?
Moreover, why would he be casually hanging around near the scene of the crime? "…I ask you, does that sound like a man who was running?" said Johnston's friend and co-worker Jane Graham. "I don't think so. It sounds like a plan that went awry or something he did not know was going to happen."
And those federal agents who had been surveilling the building all night long… why did they appear so shocked when the bomb(s) went off? Because they didn't expect them to go off. As Representative Istook said, John Doe 2, [one of] the government's undercover agents, did not know how to disarm the truck-bomb, which contained a redundant timing device. They didn't know about the charges inside the building.
And the Army leg who helped place the shaped C-4 charges on the building's columns was not advised that he had a zero-time-delay detonator and was going to be vaporized. The leg was on the wrong side of the column when the detonator was activated.*
Fortunately for the conspirators, the crime scene was leveled to preclude any independent forensic analysis. Federal agents and local officials quickly scrambled to initiate their damage-control operation.
Those who threatened to reveal the "sting gone bad" were told to keep quiet for "the good of the country." Yes, it was a terrible tragedy. But brave undercover agents like John Doe 2 were safely on the job, just waiting to prevent more "militiamen" like Timothy James McVeigh from blowing up more babies.
Honest law-enforcement personnel like Sergeant Terrance Yeakey, who didn't go along with the cover-up… "committed suicide."
And the American public, was fed a completely different lie. A disgruntled racist and latent neo-Nazi and his anti-government friend, angry over Waco, using a homemade bomb, had vented their rage in a brutal and vicious act of revenge.