1997-06-08, Washington Weekly: The Troubling Nomination of William Weld

From: comstock@wild-life.com
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 22:15:43 -0700
To: ciadrugs@mars.galstar.com

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The Significance of the Drug Trade in Mexico

Bill Clinton has nominated Massachusetts governor William Weld for U.S. ambassador to Mexico. This is a truly troubling nomination, because of Weld's past in the Iran-Contra drug affair.

During Iran Contra, William Weld was head of the Justice Department Criminal Division, and as such responsible for covering up U.S. complicity in drug smuggling to finance Central American wars. When Senate investigator Jack Blum tried to investigate the Contra connection to the West Coast cocaine trade (recently resurrected by the San Jose Mercury News), Weld fought giving him access to essential records and to witnesses in government custody. Instead, U.S. attorneys in California were instructed in running interference. Just as U.S. attorney Michael Fitzhugh was stonewalling the investigations by Russell Welch, Bill Duncan, and a grand jury in Arkansas.

But that is not all. As the head of the Criminal Division, Weld was part of all the sinister plots hatched in a Justice Department run amok: he wrote a February 29, 1988 memo declining a preliminary investigation of the Inslaw affair "due to lack of evidence of criminality." Congress later concluded otherwise.

Already as U.S. attorney in Boston in 1985, Weld had shown his value to drug networks. He failed to vigorously pursue evidence that the Bank of Boston had participated in money laundering in the amount of $1.2 billion.

It does serve to Weld's credit, however, that he resigned as Assistant Attorney General in 1988, protesting Attorney General Ed Meese's political use of the agency.

So what may appear on the surface to be a gesture by Bill Clinton to include Republicans in his administration, is more likely the shadows a bipartisan network of political corruption, a network that was in its formative years during Iran-Contra when Weld was at Justice and Clinton was in Mena, Arkansas. But the connection goes back even before that. It started back in 1974, where Bill Weld and Hillary Clinton served on the temporary staff of the Watergate Committee together with Richard Ben-Veniste, later the lawyer for drug smuggler and covert operative Barry Seal.

Interestingly, Jerome Zeifman, permanent counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate proceedings, claims that Watergate counsel John Doar and his entourage, including Weld, Nussbaum and Clinton, were brought in not so much to defeat Nixon but to prevent the exposure of other government crimes--crimes committed in the name of national security.

Weld's nomination is the more troubling, coming as it does right after the appointment of Barry McCaffrey to U.S. drug Czar. McCaffrey looked the other way when U.S. counter-narcotics funds were diverted to death squads in Colombia, and he called the Mexican drug czar "incorruptible" and of "unquestioned integrity" months before he was indicted on massive drug corruption.

So a suspicious mind would conclude that the Clinton Administration has another agenda besides "bipartisanhip" in Mexico. And that agenda is to protect the drug trade.

Published in the Jun. 9, 1997 issue of The Washington Weekly
Copyright 1997 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com)
Reposting permitted with this message intact

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