Mena airport

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The Mena Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena, Arkansas was the logistical hub for the Contra resupply efforts in the last stages of the Cold War.[1]

A centerpiece of President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy was to oppose Soviet supported revolutionary movements and violence worldwide. By the late 1970s and early 1980s Soviet-backed Marxists gained a toehold on the North American continent. The Sandinista regime came to power in Nicaragua in 1979 with Soviet weapons supplied through Cuba. Soviet and Cuban advisers and trainers also assisted. The Soviets, Cubans, and Sandinistas were actively spreading violent Marxist revolution and Soviet manufactured weapons to neighboring El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico.

In the 1984 Budget Act, Democrats in the US House of Representatives sympathetic to the Marxists, lead by later House Speaker Jim Wright,[2] inserted language specifically forbidding the use of any US funds to overthrow the Soviet-supported Sandinista regime. This was known as the Boland Amendment. President Reagan however, as a constitutional officer imbued with powers to protect national security, directed the Soviet, Cuban, and Nicaraguan threat be countered with a funding source other than funds from the US government.

Casey, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton

George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 1982.

CIA Director William Casey headed the OSS Secret Intelligence Branch in Europe during World War II. Casey remarked to Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward, as best as he could recall OSS head Gen. Bill Donovan ordered him to "get some guys in Germany";[3] no one ever thought to check if it was legal as the law required in the 1980s. After a failed bid for a Congressional seat from New York, Casey served as Nixon's chairman of the SEC and later an Under Secretary of State. In 1980 he headed Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign. In the transition he choose to head CIA rather than State Department to avoid all the flying the job required.[4]

Bush Sr. was involved in Operation Mongoose in the early and mid 1960s, an earlier South American gun running program. Immediately after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, John Kennedy set about his own covert operation to remove Cuban strongman Fidel Castro and the communists from power, this time with more determination than he showed at the Bay of Pigs. Bush took part in the training and equipping of Cuban refugees for another planned assault on Cuba, which never materialized. 10 years later Bush headed the CIA. Under Reagan he chaired a White House national security crisis management team, effectively raising him above the National Security Adviser and Chief of Staff. It was Bush who recruited Clinton to come back to work for the CIA and aid the Contra resupply effort.

Bill Clinton was pressed into service for the CIA in 1969 after he was booted out of Oxford for the rape of 19 year old Eileen Wellstone, his first known sexual assault victim.[5][6][7][8][9] When he was tossed out of the Rhodes Scholarship program Clinton lost his deferment and was drafted. Through his Arkansas political patrons, namely Sen. J. William Fulbright, he was able to evade Vietnam and serve the two years active duty he owed his country in the CIA as a snitch spying on European anti-Vietnam war movements and their alleged links to Moscow.[10] Cord Meyer was his London case officer.[11] Clinton's Oxford roommate Strobe Talbot, who was fluent in Russian, also worked for the CIA at this same time translating Nikita Khruschev's memoirs which had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published in the West by CIA.[12]

Clinton demonstrated his good faith and commitment to Reagan's foreign policy by being the only Democratic governor to answer Reagan's call for the states to send National Guard units to assist in training the Contras.[13] The use of Guard units would not violate the Boland Amendment.

All three, Casey, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, were "Company men".[14]

Vince Foster and Jerry Parks

Hillary Clinton asked Vince Foster to help her spy on her husband in 1990. She wanted to know how vulnerable he would be in a presidential race. Foster hired Jerry Parks, an Arkansas investigator who later worked as the head of security for the Clinton/Gore campaign headquarters in Little Rock. According to Parks's widow, “Jerry asked Vince why he needed this stuff on Clinton. He said he needed it for Hillary.”[15]

Parks did other work for Foster. According to his wife, Parks delivered large sums of money from Mena airport to Vince Foster at a K-Mart parking lot. Mrs. Parks discovered this when she opens her car trunk one day and finds so much cash that she had to sit on the trunk to close it again. She asked her husband whether he was dealing drugs, and Foster explained that he paid Parks $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena.[16]

"I'M A DEAD MAN," whispered Parks, as he looked up at the television screen. It was a news bulletin on the local station in Little Rock. Vincent Foster, a childhood friend of the President, had been found dead by the US Park Service outside Washington. Apparent suicide. He muttered darkly that Bill Clinton's people were "cleaning house," and he was "next on the list."

After Foster's death on July 20, 1993 Parks' home on Barrett Road was burglarized in a sophisticated operation that involved cutting the telephone lines and disarming the electronic alarm system. The dossier Parks had assembled at Hillary and Foster's request was stolen.

Two months later, in September 23, 1993, on the way back from El Chico Mexican Restaurant, at about 6:30 PM, a white Chevrolet Caprice pulled up beside him on the Chenal Parkway. An assassin let off a volley of semi-automatic fire. Parks skidded to a halt in the intersection of Highway 10. The killer jumped out and finished him off with a 9 mm handgun—two more shots into the chest at point blank range. Several witnesses watched as the gunman joined his accomplice in the waiting car and sped away.

The national media ignored the story of the gangland killing of the head of security of the Clinton/Gore campaign headquarters.

The Little Rock Police told asked Mrs. Parks not to talk to the press until the case was solved, and she had agreed. By the spring of 1994 she was losing faith. The original detective, Tom James, had been pulled off the case. It was becoming apparent that the eyewitness accounts of the death were being ignored by the police. Witnesses had described two assassins: hefty men, with beer bellies and broad shoulders, greyish hair, in their late forties or early fifties. Yet the police kept saying that there was only one killer in the car.

Jane Parks went to visit a top official from the State Police whom she knew well from church. He told her outright that the murder was a conspiracy hatched in Hot Springs by five men who moved in the social circle of Buddy Young, the former chief of Governor Clinton's security detail and now the regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the south-central United States. She was given the names of the five men, and was told that they flipped coins to decide which two would carry out the execution. And finally, she was told that nothing was ever going to be done about it.[17][18][19]

Investigating Mena

United States Representative Bill Alexander, representing the 1st District of Arkansas, and Arkansas Secretary of State Winston Bryant flew to Washington to deliver evidence to Lawrence Walsh, special prosecutor for the Iran-Contra investigation, and told Walsh there was absolutely an Iran-Contra connection with Mena, Arkansas. Later the congressman said the Feds dropped the ball and covered it up.

When asked about it in 1991, Governor Bill Clinton claimed he authorized financial help for a grand jury investigation. He said his office dropped off the entire investigative file to a congressional committee. However Charles Black, the Polk County prosecutor, publicly disputed the Clinton's recollection regarding an offer of financial help. Black said he asked for financial help, but the Clinton's office never followed up on the offer.

The Clinton Chronicles documented the Mena airport as the command post of the biggest drug-smuggling operation in the United States importing $100 million per month in cocaine.[20] It alleged that much of that money had been laundered through the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), a bonding agency that Bill Clinton created to help small businesses get started. The video and Mara Leveritt's 1999 book, The Boys on the Tracks discussed that Bill Clinton's half-brother, Roger Clinton, and his bond dealer friend Dan Lasater had gone to prison for cocaine. Richard Garrett had stated on Unsolved Mysteries, a television program which taped informational segments regarding the boys' on the tracks beginning in 1988,[21] that Saline County and Central Arkansas were overrun with drug-trafficking at a high level that extended to other counties and other states.

Leveritt also reported that Jack Blum, an investigator for John Kerry's subcommittee probing the Contra drug-smugglers, said that "The Justice Department flipped out to prevent us from getting access to people, records-anything that would help us find out about it." Blum also says the FBI denied the very existence of records relating to Mena. Blum said he uncovered a procedure which was particularly troubling because people would call the customs office in Miami and say, "Stand down, flights are going out, flights are coming in", and then the customs inspections would be stopped. Blum also said that officials at the Justice Department told US Attorneys "not to talk to us or give us paper."

In March 1998, the Washington Post quoted the CIA inspector general, Frederick Hitz, that dozens of people and companies connected to the Contra program were involved in drug trafficking. The report also said that there was an agreement in 1982, between the Attorney General and the CIA, that agency officers were not required to report allegations of drug trafficking involving non-employees, defined as paid and non-paid assets, pilots who ferried supplies to Contras, as well as Contra officials and others.

The Ives/Henry case

One month after Eugene Hasenfus was shot down in October 1986 exposing to the Mena Contra supply operation, on November 3, 1986 the Lebanese newspaper Al-Shiraa reported the US sold arms to Iran. President Reagan denied knowledge of weapons sales being the funding source for the Nicaraguan Contras and asked a special prosecutor to investigate. The CIA shut down its Mena operation and left town.

But drug smuggling into Mena continued in Bill Clinton's Arkansas. The Clinton political machine and local economy now had a vested stake in seeing it continue, not to aid in the effort to bring about the collapse of communism which was occurring globally in 1986, but for the enrichment of themselves. On April 23, 1987, two 16-year-old boys, Kevin Ives and Don Henry, stumbled upon and witnessed an aerial drop in the area of Bauxite and Alexander, Arkansas.[22] Initial cause of death was claimed to be the result of passing out on a railroad track in Arkansas after smoking marijuana.[23] The ruling was made by Arkansas' State medical examiner Dr. Fahmy Malak.[24]

In April 1988, Kevin's body was exhumed, and another autopsy was performed, this one by Atlanta medical examiner Dr. Joseph Burton who discovered that Kevin died from a crushed skull prior to being placed on the tracks. Don Henry's body was exhumed and discovered to have been stabbed in the back prior to being placed on the tracks. The deaths were indeed homocides.

Arkansas State Police (ASP) files of the investigation report the area where the two boys' bodies were found was a drop zone for drugs. Another report was that on the night the boys were killed, two witnesses saw two police officers beat up two boys and throw them in the back of a police car a short distance from where the bodies were found.[25]

John Brown, an investigator for the Saline County Sheriffs office, reported that Sheriff Pridgen and ex-prosecutor Jean Duffey talked to a pilot in Texas who admitted being a drug pilot and remembered that he had flown drugs to points near the Saline-Pulaski county lines, precisely where the boys' bodies were found. Prosecutor Duffey concluded the cover-up was because the drugs were Mena drugs.

A federal investigation was begun, but the Assistant United States Attorney, Bob Govar, reported that the FBI and DEA did not seem interested and did not furnish much help. Other reports in the state police file revealed that residents had complained about frequent low-flying planes in the area around the tracks.

In September 1995, agent William Temple of the FBI office in Little Rock told Linda Ives and her husband that it might be time for her to consider that a crime was not committed although the FBI had been working for two years on the case through its agent, Phyllis Coman.

In March 1996, the documentary, Obstruction of Justice,[26] was released about the investigation into the murders and Dan Harmon's activities. John Brown, a former Saline county detective on the video, made the link between drug corruption in Saline County and drug corruption at Mena which began when Russell Welch, the Arkansas State police investigator in Mena, gave him a statement made by a confidential informant in federal prison which said the boys were killed because of the drug activity they had discovered and it was connected to the drug enterprise headquartered at Mena. The video explained what was known about Barry Seal and his use of airplanes to distribute cocaine. Brown told of reports he had found in the Saline County Sheriffs office dating back to 1987 and 1988 of residents living there where the boys' bodies were found complaining of planes flying over the tracks at 100 feet above ground level with their lights out.

In November 1996, Linda Ives, Kevin Ives mother, got a call from Philip Weiss who told her he had been asked to prepare an article in the New York Times Magazine about people who hated Clinton. Weiss explained that Mark Fabiani, a White House lawyer, provided him with a set of news clippings about people who oppose the president and among those was a story about the "boys on the tracks." Linda Ives called Micah Morrison, an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal, who had written an article about her earlier in the year,[27] inquiring about Phillip Weiss, and telling Morrison that Weiss talked about a packet of press clippings Weiss got from Fabiani including the article Morrison had written. Morrison then made wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal, January 6, 1997, in which he broke the news that the White House was distributing to reporters packets of news clips to attack victims claiming it to be "conspiracy theories and innuendo."[28]

See also


  1. ; see also Bill Plante & Michael Singer, Still a Strong Scent on the Mena Trail, Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, 5/3/94.
  3. [1]
  4. Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987,by Bob Woodward
  5. The missing Clinton women, By - The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004.
  6. The Bill Clinton Albatross, DailyKos, Mar 19, 2008.
  7. Undone by ghost of trysts past, Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald, March 3, 2008.
  8. A Millennial's Guide to Bill Clinton's 20+ Sex Scandals, FOX News, 29 December 2015.
  9. Latest anti-Clinton book promises to be most ‘fantastic’ yet, By Alex Seitz-Wald, MSNBC, 09/03/15.
  14. [2]
  17. The Secret Life Of Bill Clinton, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 1997
  25. [3]