Corporation's Brown and Root is one of the major components of
THE BUSH-CHENEY DRUG EMPIRE
story in the October 24, 2000 issue of "From The
© Copyright 2000, Michael C. Ruppert and "From The
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FTW October 24, 2000 - The
success of Bush Vice Presidential running mate Richard Cheney at
leading Halliburton, Inc. to a five year $3.8 billion "pig-out" on
federal contracts and taxpayer-insured loans is only a partial
indicator of what may happen if the Bush ticket wins in two weeks. A
closer look at available research, including an August 2, 2000
report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) at www.public-i.org,
suggests that drug money has played a role in the successes achieved
by Halliburton under Cheney's tenure as CEO from 1995 to 2000. This
is especially true for Halliburton's most famous subsidiary, heavy
construction and oil giant, Brown and Root. A deeper look into
history reveals that Brown and Root's past as well as the past of
Dick Cheney himself, connect to the international drug trade on more
than one occasion and in more than one way.
June the lead Washington, D.C. attorney for a major Russian oil
company connected in law enforcement reports to heroin smuggling and
also a beneficiary of US backed loans to pay for Brown and Root
contracts in Russia, held a $2.2 million fund raiser to fill the
already bulging coffers of presidential candidate George W. Bush.
This is not the first time that Brown and Root has been connected to
drugs and the fact is that this "poster child" of American industry
may also be a key player in Wall Street's efforts to maintain
domination of the half trillion dollar a year global drug trade and
its profits. And Dick Cheney, who has also come closer to drugs than
most suspect, and who is also Halliburton's largest individual
shareholder ($45.5 million), has a vested interest in seeing to it
that Brown and Root's successes continue.
all American companies dealing directly with the U.S. military and
providing cover for CIA operations few firms can match the global
presence of this giant construction powerhouse which employs 20,000
people in more than 100 countries. Through its sister companies or
joint ventures, Brown and Root can build offshore oil rigs, drill
wells, construct and operate everything from harbors to pipelines to
highways to nuclear reactors. It can train and arm security forces
and it can now also feed, supply and house armies. One key beacon of
Brown and Root's overwhelming appeal to agencies like the CIA is
that, from its own corporate web page, it proudly announces that it
has received the contract to dismantle aging Russian nuclear tipped
ICBMs in their silos.
the relationships between key institutions, players and the Bushes
themselves suggest that under a George "W" administration the Bush
family and its allies may well be able, using Brown and Root as the
operational interface, to control the drug trade all the way from
Medellin to Moscow.
formed as a heavy construction company to build dams, Brown and Root
grew its operations via shrewd political contributions to Senate
candidate Lyndon Johnson in 1948. Expanding into the building of oil
platforms, military bases, ports, nuclear facilities, harbors and
tunnels, Brown and Root virtually underwrote LBJ's political career.
It prospered as a result, making billions on U.S. Government
contracts during the Vietnam War. The "Austin Chronicle" in an
August 28 Op-ed piece entitled "The Candidate From Brown and Root"
labels Republican Cheney as the political dispenser of Brown and
According to political campaign records, during Cheney's five
year tenure at Halliburton the company's political contributions
more than doubled to $1.2 million. Not surprisingly, most of that
money went to Republican candidates.
news service "newsmakingnews.com," also describes how in 1998, with
Cheney as Chairman, Halliburton spent $8.1 billion to purchase oil
industry equipment and drilling supplier Dresser Industries. This
made Halliburton a corporation that will have a presence in almost
any future oil drilling operation anywhere in the world. And it also
brought back into the family fold the company that had once sent a
plane - also in 1948 - to fetch the new Yale Graduate George H.W.
Bush, to begin his career in the Texas oil business. Bush the elder's father,
Prescott, served as a Managing Director for the firm that once owned
Dresser, Brown Bothers Harriman.
is clear that everywhere there is oil there is Brown and Root. But
increasingly, everywhere there is war or insurrection there is Brown
and Root also. From Bosnia and Kosovo, to Chechnya, to Rwanda, to
Burma, to Pakistan, to Laos, to Vietnam, to Indonesia, to Iran to
Libya to Mexico to Colombia, Brown and Root's traditional operations
have expanded from heavy construction to include the provision of
logistical support for the U.S. military. Now, instead of U.S. Army
quartermasters, the world is likely to see Brown and Root warehouses
storing and managing everything from uniforms to rations to
expansion of Brown and Root's operations in Colombia also suggest
Bush preparations for a war inspired feeding frenzy as a part of
"Plan Colombia." This is consistent with moves by former Bush
Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady to open a joint Colombian-American
investment partnership called Corfinsura for the financing of major
construction projects with the Colombian Antioquia Syndicate,
headquartered in Medellin. (See FTW June, 00). And expectations of a
ground war in Colombia may explain why, in a 2000 SEC filing, Brown
and Root reported that in addition to owning more than 800,000
square feet of warehouse space in Colombia, they also lease another
122,000 square feet. According to the filing of the Brown and Root
Energy Services Group, the only other places where the company
maintains warehouse space are in Mexico (525,000 sq. feet), and the
U.S. (38,000) square feet.
to the web site of Colombia's Foreign Investment Promotion Agency
Brown and Root had no presence in the country until 1997. What does
Brown and Root, which, according to the AP has made more than $2
billion supporting and supplying U.S. troops, know about Colombia
that the U.S. public does not?
Why the need for almost a million square feet of warehouse
space that can be transferred from one Brown and Root operation
(energy) to another (military support) with the stroke of a pen?
described by the Associated Press, during "Iran-Contra" Congressman
Dick Cheney of the House Intelligence Committee was a rabid
supporter of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. This was in spite of the
fact that North had lied to Cheney in a private 1986 White House
briefing. Oliver North's own diaries and subsequent investigations
by the CIA Inspector General have irrevocably tied him directly to
cocaine smuggling during the 1980s and the opening of bank accounts
for one firm moving four tons of cocaine a month. This, however, did
not stop Cheney from actively supporting North's 1994 unsuccessful
run for the U.S. Senate from Virginia just a year before he took
over the reins at Brown and Root's parent company, Dallas based
Halliburton Inc. in 1995.
the Bush Secretary of Defense during Desert Shield/Desert Storm
(1990-91), Cheney also directed special operations involving Kurdish
rebels in northern Iran. The Kurds' primary source of income for
more than fifty years has been heroin smuggling from Afghanistan and
Pakistan through Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Having had some personal
experience with Brown and Root I noted carefully when the Los Angeles Times
observed that on March 22, 1991 that a group of gunmen burst into
the Ankara, Turkey offices of the joint venture, Vinnell, Brown and
Root and assassinated retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John
March of 1991, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees, long-time
assets of the CIA, were being massacred by Sadam Hussein in the wake
of the Gulf War. Sadam, seeking to destroy any hopes of a successful
Kurdish revolt, found it easy to kill thousands of the unwanted
Kurds who had fled to the Turkish border seeking sanctuary. There,
Turkish security forces, trained in part by the Vinnell, Brown and
turned thousands of Kurds back into certain death. Today, the
Vinnell Corporation (a TRW Company) is, along with the firms MPRI
and DynCorp (FTW June, 00) one of the three pre-eminent private
mercenary corporations in the world. It is also the dominant entity
for the training of security forces throughout the Middle East. Not
surprisingly the Turkish border regions in question were the primary
transhipment points for heroin, grown in Afghanistan and Pakistan
and destined for the markets of Europe.
confidential source with intelligence experience in the region
subsequently told me that the Kurds "got some payback against the
folks that used to help them move their drugs." He openly
acknowledged that Brown and Root and Vinnell both routinely provided
NOC or non-official cover for CIA officers. But I already knew that.
1994 to 1999, during US military intervention in the Balkans where,
according to "The Christian Science Monitor" and "Jane's
Intelligence Review," the Kosovo Liberation Army controls 70 per
cent of the heroin entering Western Europe, Cheney's Brown and Root made billions
of dollars supplying U.S. troops from vast facilities in the region.
Brown and Root support operations continue in Bosnia, Kosovo and
Macedonia to this day.
Cheney's footprints have come closer to drugs than one might
suspect. The August Center for Public Integrity report brought them
even closer. It would be factually correct to say that there is a
direct linkage of Brown and Root facilities - often in remote and
hazardous regions - between every drug producing region and every
drug consuming region in the world. These coincidences, in and of
themselves, do not prove complicity in the trade. Other facts,
however, lead inescapably in that direction.
DIRECT DRUG LINK
CPI report entitled "Cheney Led Halliburton To Feast at Federal
Trough" written by veteran journalists Knut Royce and Nathaniel
Heller describes how, under five years of Cheney's leadership,
Halliburton, largely through subsidiary Brown and Root, enjoyed $3.8
billion in federal contracts and taxpayer insured loans. The loans
had been granted by the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). According to Ralph McGehee's
"CIA Base ©" both institutions are heavily infiltrated by the CIA
and routinely provide NOC to its officers.
of those loans to Russian financial/banking conglomerate The Alfa
Group of Companies contained $292 million to pay for Brown and
Root's contract to refurbish a Siberian oil field owned by the
Russian Tyumen Oil Company. The Alfa Group completed its 51%
acquisition of Tyumen Oil in what was allegedly a rigged bidding
process in 1998. An official Russian government report claimed that
the Alfa Group's top executives, oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr
Aven "allegedly participated in the transit of drugs from Southeast
Asia through Russia and into Europe."
same executives, Fridman and Aven, who reportedly smuggled the
heroin in connection with Russia's Solntsevo mob family were the
same ones who applied for the EXIM loans that Halliburton's lobbying
later safely secured. As a result Brown and Root's work in Alfa
Tyumen oil fields could continue - and expand.
describing how organized criminal interests in the Alfa Group had
allegedly stolen the oil field by fraud, the CPI story, using
official reports from the FSB
(the Russian equivalent of the FBI), oil companies such as
BP-Amoco, former CIA and KGB officers and press accounts then
established a solid link to Alfa Tyumen and the transportation of
1995 sacks of heroin disguised as sugar were stolen from a rail
container leased by Alfa Echo and sold in the Siberian town of
Khabarovsk. A problem arose when many residents of the town became
"intoxicated" or "poisoned." The CPI story also stated, "The FSB
report said that within days of the incident, Ministry of Internal
Affairs (MVD) agents conducted raids of Alfa Eko buildings and found
'drugs and other compromising documentation.'
reports claim that Alfa Bank has laundered drug funds from Russian
and Colombian drug cartels.
FSB document claims that at the end of 1993, a top Alfa official met
with Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, the now imprisoned financial
mastermind of Colombia's notorious Cali cartel, 'to conclude an
agreement about the transfer of money into the Alfa Bank from
offshore zones such as the Bahamas, Gibraltar and others. The plan
was to insert it back into the Russian economy through the purchase
of stock in Russian companies.
He [the former KGB agent] reported that there was evidence
'regarding [Alfa Bank's] involvement with the money laundering of…
Latin American drug cartels."
then becomes harder for Cheney and Halliburton to assert mere
coincidence in all of this as CPI reported that Tyumen's lead Washington attorney James C,
Langdon, Jr. at the firm of Aikin Gump "helped coordinate a $2.2
million fund raiser for Bush this June. He then agreed to help
recruit 100 lawyers and lobbyists in the capital to raise $25,000
each for W's campaign."
heroin mentioned in the CPI story, originated in Laos where longtime
Bush allies and covert warriors Richard Armitage and retired CIA
ADDO (Associate Deputy Director of Operations) Ted Shackley have
been repeatedly linked to the drug trade. It then made its way
across Southeast Asia to Vietnam, probably the port of Haiphong.
Then the heroin sailed to Russia's Pacific port of Valdivostok from
whence it subsequently bounced across Siberia by rail and thence by
truck or rail to Europe, passing through the hands of Russian Mafia
leaders in Chechnya and Azerbaijan. Chechnya and Azerbaijan are
hotbeds of both armed conflict and oil exploration and Brown and
Root has operations all along this route.
long, expensive and tortured path was hastily established, as
described by FTW in previous issues, after President George Bush's
personal envoy Richard Armitage, holding the rank of Ambassador, had
traveled to the former Soviet Union to assist it with its "economic
development" in 1989. The obstacle then to a more direct, profitable
and efficient route from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Turkey
into Europe was a
cohesive Yugoslavian/Serbian government controlling the Balkans and
continuing instability in the Golden Crescent of
Pakistan/Afghanistan. Also, there was no other way, using heroin
from the Golden Triangle (Burma, Laos and Thailand), to deal with
China and India but to go around them.
is perhaps not by coincidence again that Cheney and Armitage share
membership in the prestigious Aspen Institute, an exclusive
bi-partisan research think tank, and also in the U.S. Azerbaijan
Chamber of Commerce. Just last November, in what may be a portent of
things to come, Armitage, played the role of Secretary of Defense in
an practical exercise at the Council on Foreign Relations where he
and Cheney are also both members. Speculation that the scandal
plagued Armitage, who resigned under a cloud as Assistant Secretary
of Defense in the Reagan Administration, is W's first choice for
Secretary of Defense next year is widespread.
Clinton Administration took care of all that wasted travel for
heroin with the 1998 destruction of Serbia and Kosovo and the
installation of the KLA as a regional power. That opened a direct
line from Afghanistan to Western Europe and Brown and Root was right
in the middle of that too. The Clinton skill at streamlining drug
described in detail in the May issue of FTW in a story entitled "The
Democratic Party's Presidential Drug Money Pipeline." That article
has since been reprinted in three countries. The essence of the drug
economic lesson was that by growing opium in Colombia and by
smuggling both cocaine and heroin from Colombia to New York City
through the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (a virtual straight
line), traditional smuggling routes could be shortened or even
eliminated. This reduced both risk and cost, increased profits and
suspects the hand of Medellin co-founder Carlos Lehder in this
process and it is interesting to note that Lehder, released from
prison under Clinton in 1995, is now active in both the Bahamas and
South America. Lehder was known during the eighties as "The genius
of transportation." I can well imagine a Dick Cheney, having
witnessed the complete restructuring of the global drug trade in the
last eight years, going to George W and saying, "Look, I know how we
can make it even better." One thing is for certain. As quoted in the
CPI article, one Halliburton Vice President noted that if the
Bush-Cheney ticket was elected, "the company's government contracts
would obviously go through the roof."
In July of 1977 this writer,
then a Los Angeles Police officer struggled to make sense of a world
gone haywire. In a last ditch effort to salvage a relationship with
my fiancée, Nordica Theodora D'Orsay (Teddy), a CIA contract agent, I had
traveled to find her in New Orleans. On a hastily arranged vacation,
secured with the blessing of my Commanding Officer, Captain Jesse
Brewer of LAPD, I had gone on my own, unofficially, to avoid the
scrutiny of LAPD's Organized Crime Intelligence Division (OCID).
in the late spring of 1976 Teddy had wanted me to join her
operations from within the ranks of LAPD. I had refused to get
involved with drugs in any way and everything she mentioned seemed
to involve either heroin or cocaine along with guns that she was
always moving out of the country. The Director of the CIA then was
George Herbert Walker Bush.
officially on staff at the LAPD Academy at the time, I had been
unofficially loaned to OCID since January when Teddy, announcing the
start of a new operation planned in the fall of 1976 had suddenly
disappeared. She left
many people, including me, baffled and twisting in the breeze. The
OCID detectives had been pressuring me hard for information about
her and what I knew of her activities. It was information I could
not give them. Hoping against hope that I would find some way to
understand her involvement with CIA, LAPD, the royal family of Iran,
the Mafia and drugs I set out alone into eight days of Dantean revelations that
have determined the course of my life from that day to this.
in New Orleans in early July, 1977 I found her living in an
apartment across the river in Gretna. Equipped with scrambler
phones, night vision devices and working from sealed communiqués
delivered by naval and air force personnel from nearby Belle Chasse
Naval Air Station, Teddy was involved in something truly ugly. She
was arranging for large quantities of weapons to be loaded onto
ships leaving for Iran. At the same time she was working with Mafia
associates of New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello to coordinate
the movement of service boats that were bringing large quantities of
heroin into the city. The boats arrived at Marcello controlled
docks, unmolested by even the New Orleans police she introduced me
to, along with divers, military men, former Green Berets and CIA
service boats were retrieving the heroin from oil rigs in the Gulf
of Mexico, oil rigs in
international waters, oil rigs built and serviced by Brown and Root.
The guns that Teddy monitored, apparently Vietnam era surplus AK 47s
and M16s, were being loaded onto ships also owned or leased by Brown
and Root. And more than once during the eight days I spent in New
Orleans I met and ate at restaurants with Brown and Root employees
who were boarding those ships and leaving for Iran within days.
Once, while leaving a bar and apparently having asked the wrong
question, I was shot at in an attempt to scare me off.
and heart broken at witnessing my fiancée and my government
smuggling drugs, I ended the relationship. Returning home to LA I
made a clean breast and reported all the activity I had seen,
including the connections to Brown and Root, to LAPD intelligence
officers. They promptly told me that I was crazy. Forced out of LAPD
under threat of death at the end of 1978, I made complaints to
LAPD's Internal Affairs Division and to the LA office of the FBI
under the command of FBI SAC Ted Gunderson. I and my attorney wrote
to the politicians, the Department of Justice, the CIA and contacted
the L.A. Times. The FBI and the LAPD said that I was crazy.
to a 1981 two-part news story in the "Los Angeles Herald Examiner"
it was revealed that The FBI had taken Teddy into custody and then
released her before classifying their investigation without further
action. Former New Orleans Crime Commissioner Aaron Cohen told
reporter Randall Sullivan that he found my description of events
perfectly plausible after his thirty years of studying Louisiana's
organized crime operations.
this day a CIA report prepared as a result of my complaint remains
classified and exempt from release pursuant to Executive Order of
the President in the interests of national security and because it
would reveal the identities of CIA agents.
October 26, 1981, in the basement of the West Wing of the White
House, I reported on what I had seen in New Orleans to my friend and
UCLA classmate Craig Fuller. Craig Fuller went on to become Chief of
Staff to Vice President Bush from 1981 to 1985.
1982, then UCLA political science professor Paul Jabber, filled in
many of the pieces in my quest to understand what I had seen in New
Orleans. He was qualified to do so because he had served as a CIA
and State Department consultant to the Carter administration. Paul
explained that, after a
1975 treaty between the Shah of Iran and Sadam Hussein the
Shah had cut off all overt military support for Kurdish rebels
fighting Sadam from the north of Iraq. In exchange the Shah had
gained access to the Shat al-Arab waterway so that he could multiply
his oil exports and income. Not wanting to lose a long-term valuable
asset in the Kurds, the CIA had then used Brown and Root, which
operated in both countries and maintained port facilities in the
Persian Gulf and near Shat al-Arab to rearm the Kurds. The whole
operation had been financed with heroin. Paul was matter-of-fact
1983 Paul Jabber left UCLA to become a Vice President of Banker's
Trust and Chairman of the Middle East Department of the Council on
one is courageous enough to seek an "operating system" that
theoretically explains what FTW has just described for you, one need
look no further than a fabulous two-part article in "Le Monde
Diplomatique" in April of this year. The brilliant stories, focusing
heavily on drug capital are titled "Crime, The World's Biggest Free
Enterprise." The brilliant and penetrating words of authors
Christian de Brie and Jean de Maillard do a better job of explaining
the actual world economic and political situation than anything that
I have ever read.
Brie writes, "By allowing capital to flow unchecked from one end of
the world to the other, globalization and abandon of sovereignty
have together fostered the explosive growth of an outlaw financial
is a coherent system closely linked to the expansion of modern
capitalism and based on an association of three partners:
governments, transnational corporations and mafias. Business is
business: financial crime is first and foremost a market, thriving
and structured, ruled by supply and demand.
business complicity and political laisser faire is the only way that
large-scale organized crime can launder and recycle the fabulous
proceeds of its activities. And the transnationals need the support
of governments and the neutrality of regulatory authorities in order
to consolidate their positions, increase their profits, withstand
and crush the competition, pull off the "deal of the century" and
finance their illicit operations. Politicians are directly involved
and their ability to intervene depends on the backing and the
funding that keep them in power. This collusion of interests is an
essential part of the world economy, the oil that keeps the wheels
of capitalism turning."
confronting CIA Director John Deutch on world television on November
15, 1996 I was interviewed by the staffs of both the Senate and
House Intelligence Committees. I prepared written testimony for
Senate Intelligence which I submitted although I was never called to
testify. In every one of those interviews and in my written
testimony and in every lecture since that time I have told the story
of Brown and Root. I will tell it again at the USC School of
International Relations on December the 8th, 2000 -
regardless of who wins the election.
Center for Public Integrity, "Cheney Led Halliburton to Feast at
Federal Trough", Knut Royce & Nathaniel Heller,
Monde - Diplomatique",
U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
Aspen Institute, http://www.aspeninst.org/
Austin Chronicle", August 28, 2000
Associated Press, "Study: US Could Save Cost in Balkans" - 10/10/00
Associated Press, "Cheney, North Relationship Probed" - 8/11/00
New York Times" Index
Council on Foreign Relations
Unauthorized Biography of George Bush" - Webster Tarpley and Anton
Base" © 1992, Ralph McGehee
Inspector General Report of Investigation: Allegations of
Connections Between CIA and the Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to
the United States. Volume II: The Contra Story - Report 96-0143-IG.
newsmakingnews.com, 27 August 2000, "The Dick
Cheney Data Dump"
and Exchange Commission - "Edgar" Data base.
and Root - www.Halliburton.com/brs
Vinnell Corporation - http://www.vinnell.com/
New York Press," 8/1/00
Los Angeles Times," March 23, 1991.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner:, Oct. 11 & 18, 1981
Christian Science Monitor" - Oct. 20, 1994
Intelligence Review" - February 1, 1995.
testimony of Michael C. Ruppert for the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence dated 10/1/97 - http://www.copvcia.com/ssci.html
The Wilderness" (4/99, 4/00, 6/00)