Crashed Gitmo Torture Jet Did Double Duty as a Coke Mule
December 14, 2007
As the corporate media discusses ad nauseam the waterboarding of one of the CIA’s own, the mentally ill patsy Abu Zubaydah, another story has surfaced, but not one you will likely see anytime soon on the front page of the New York Times.
On September 24, 2007, a Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft, number N987SA, crashed in the Yucatan.
As it turns out, not only was the plane used on at least three CIA rendition flights from Europe and the United States to the Guantánamo torture chamber, but it was loaded with tons of cocaine when it went down.
El Nuevo Herald reported (Avión usado por la CIA y la DEA traficaba drogas) that the CIA plane was loaded up with 3.3 tons of coke in Medellín, Colombia, and was used to ferry “hundreds of delinquents,” including alleged members of the Taliban, to Cuba for waterboarding and other specialties.
A sharp-eyed Daily Kos blogger found the news article on El Nuevo Herald’s website. He was smart enough to screen capture the page because, as should be expected, the original news story has since found its way to the memory hole. It was, however, picked up by the Mexican blog, La Poca Madre News.
“I was recently listening to one of my favorite radio programs that is broadcasted on 99.5 FM in New York City and hosted by the tough as nails Michael Levine, one of the most highly decorated DEA agents in that agency’s history… the subject matter was about this plane being linked to the CIA and Torture Flights,”
writes the blogger (see YouTube videos included here).
“The guy Mr. Levine had on this program is Bill Conroy a young Gary Webb inspired investigative journalist who writes for Narco News Publisher Al Giordano as well as Alex Cockburn’s CounterPunch.”
“This particular Gulfstream II (tail number N987SA), was used between 2003 and 2005 by the CIA for at least three trips between the U.S. east coast and Guantanamo Bay — home to the infamous ‘terrorist’ prison camp — according to a number of press reports. The suggestion that a ‘CIA plane’ was flying a huge quantity of drugs toward the U.S. ensured that this incident would attract far more attention than the typical drug smuggling story,” writes Conroy for Narco News.
The Gulfstream, originating out of Fort Lauderdale, was returning to the United States from Colombia’s Rio Negro José María Córdova International Airport and had a scheduled refueling stop recorded on it’s flight log for Cancún Mexico. For some reason the Mexican military began tracking the plane when it crossed over into Mexican airspace. “The crew clearly had to change that refueling stop and flew west attempting to land at other smaller airports it eventually ran out of jet fuel and crash landed near the tiny Yucatan village of Tixkokob,” writes the Daily Kos blogger, going by the handle “redstatehatemonitor.”
Of course, CIA complicity in the cocaine business is nothing new — they don’t call it the “Cocaine Importing Agency” for nothing — a sordid fact well documented by Gary Webb, the award-winning journalist who managed to commit suicide by shooting himself twice in the head. “Sometimes, when a news story is too hot for national media but too significant to die, it gets buried alive. That’s what happened a decade ago with investigative journalism that linked the CIA and cocaine trafficking,” writes Norman Solomon of the Creators Syndicate.
[The] Iran-Contra hearings avoided CIA and Contra links to large-scale cocaine smuggling. Yet, congressional panels had access to handwritten notes by Reagan administration official Oliver North, whose notebooks contained 543 pages with references to the drug trade. In one notation about Contra arms supplies, North wrote: “$14 million came from drugs.”
Even after such excerpts from North’s notes were made public, most news media bypassed the Contra-CIA-cocaine connection. The detour around the story became more extreme in 1988: The Senate’s subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics, chaired by John Kerry, released an in-depth report that nailed the CIA for cocaine trafficking with the Contras. But media coverage was muddled and fleeting.
As should be painfully obvious by now, the role of the corporate media is to bury the truth and serve us a heaping dose of meaningless pabulum, for instance the latest gossip on the Olsen twins or the divorce of Hulk Hogan.