Corporation's Brown and Root is one of the major components
BUSH-CHENEY DRUG EMPIRE
[Lead story in
the October 24, 2000 issue of "From The
© Copyright 2000, Michael C. Ruppert and "From The Wilderness" Publications,
P.O. Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413, 818-788-8791,
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Michael C. Ruppert
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
more than one way.
This June the lead Washington, D.C.
for a major Russian oil company connected in law enforcement
reports to heroin smuggling and also a beneficiary of US
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
Of 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
Russian nuclear tipped ICBMs in their silos.
Furthermore, 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,
control the drug trade all the way from Medellin to Moscow.
Originally 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 Root's largesse. 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.
Independent 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.
It 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 vehicles.
Dramatic 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.
According to the web site of Colombia's
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
warehouse space that can be transferred from one Brown and
Root operation (energy) to another (military support) with
the stroke of a pen?
As 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
took over the reins at Brown and Root's parent company, Dallas
based Halliburton Inc. in 1995.
As the Bush Secretary of Defense during
Storm (1990-91), Cheney also directed special operations
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
Ankara, Turkey offices of the joint venture, Vinnell, Brown
and Root and assassinated retired Air Force Chief Master
In March of 1991, tens of thousands
of Kurdish refugees, long-time
assets of the CIA, were being massacred by Saddam Hussein
the wake of the Gulf War. Saddam, seeking to destroy any
of a successful Kurdish revolt, found it easy to kill thousands
of the unwanted Kurds who had fled to the Turkish border
sanctuary. There, Turkish security forces, trained in part
by the Vinnell, Brown and Root partnership, turned
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
A 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.
From 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.
Dick 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
A DIRECT DRUG LINK
The 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.
One 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."
These 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.
After describing how organized criminal interests in the
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
solid link to Alfa Tyumen and the transportation of heroin.
In 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.'
"Both reports claim that Alfa Bank has laundered drug
funds from Russian and Colombian drug cartels.
"The 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
"É He [the former KGB agent] reported that there was
evidence 'regarding [Alfa Bank's] involvement with the money
laundering ofÉ Latin American drug cartels."
It 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."
The 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
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
armed conflict and oil exploration and Brown and Root has
operations all along this route.
This 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
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.
It 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
The 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 operations was 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 eliminated competition.
FTW 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."
THE DARK PAST
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 fiance, 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).
Starting 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.
Although 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.
Arriving 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
communiqus 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
boats that were bringing large quantities of heroin into
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 personnel.
The 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
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.
Disgusted and heart broken at witnessing my fiance 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,
LAPD intelligence officers. They promptly told me that I
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
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.
According 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
To 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.
On 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.
In 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 Saddam Hussein the
Shah had cut off all overt military support for Kurdish rebels
fighting Saddam 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
financed with heroin. Paul was matter-of-fact about it.
In 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 Foreign Relations.
If 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.
De 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 marketÉ
"It 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.
"Big 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
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
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."
After 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.
Michael C. Ruppert
- The Center for Public Integrity, "Cheney Led Halliburton
to Feast at Federal Trough", Knut Royce & Nathaniel
-"Le Monde - Diplomatique", April 2000.
The U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
-The Aspen Institute,
-"The Austin Chronicle", August 28, 2000
-The Associated Press, "Study: US Could Save Cost
in Balkans" - 10/10/00
-The Associated Press, "Cheney, North Relationship
Probed" - 8/11/00
-"The New York Times" Index
-The Council on Foreign Relations
-"The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush" -
Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin
-"CIA Base" © 1992, Ralph McGehee
-CIA 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
-newsmakingnews.com, 27 August 2000, "The
Dick Cheney Data Dump"
Securities and Exchange Commission - "Edgar" Data base.
-Halliburton/Brown and Root - www.Halliburton.com/brs
-The Vinnell Corporation -
-"The New York Press," 8/1/00
-"The Los Angeles Times," March 23, 1991.
-"The Los Angeles Herald Examiner:, Oct. 11 & 18,
-"The Christian Science Monitor" - Oct. 20,
-"Jane's Intelligence Review" - February 1,
-Written testimony of Michael C. Ruppert for the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence dated 10/1/97 - http://www.fromthewilderness.com//free/ciadrugs/ssci.html
-"From The Wilderness" (4/99,
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