Narco News Global Alert

Monday, May 15, 2000 (updated after the "election")

As voters in the Dominican Republic went to the polls on May 17, 2000, their fate was already sealed: Electoral fraud and drug corruption, directed by the United States and its Narco-Ambassador.

At stake was not only the presidency of the Dominican Republic, but which United States political party will control Caribbean drug trafficking in the years to come.


Narco News Publisher's Note: The story below, by editor Michael C. Ruppert of From The Wilderness -- a subscription-only publication that includes among its subscribers various members of the United States Congress -- was made available to The Narco News Bulletin for public release today, May 15, 2000.

Ruppert , former Los Angeles police officer and international drug enforcement expert, demonstrates in this story -- with facts and hard evidence -- that the top drug traffickers are not in Latin America, but rather, in Washington, D.C.

The Narco News Bulletin extends its profound appreciation and solidarity to Mr. Ruppert for this ground-breaking journalistic investigation and for his clarity and coherence in making the complex narco-trail understandable to all.

After the text of this article is information on how to subscribe to From the Wilderness. For the journalists at The Narco News Bulletin covering the drug war from Latin America it is a must-read publication.


Al Giordano


The Narco News Bulletin


Special to The Narco News Bulletin:

The Democratic Party's Presidential Drug Money Pipeline

Charles Manatt, Clinton's New Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Demonstrates the Importance of Drug Money to Election 2000 and to Al Gore

By Michael C. Ruppert

© COPYRIGHT 2000, FROM THE WILDERNESS PUBLICATIONS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED for 30 days from publication date only. Reprints and quotes must include authorship sourcing. Subject to review and amendment by FTW on Oct. 1, 2001.

Vol. III, No. 2 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- April 30, 2000

As a Managing Director of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read, Catherine Austin Fitts raised more than $100,000 in 1988 for the Bush Presidential Campaign. Her boss at Dillon, Nicholas Brady, a close Bush confidant, became Secretary of the Treasury after the Bush victory. Fitts, as a reward, was appointed Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Last year, in numerous radio and print interviews, Fitts was quick to make the following revealing observations:

"California, Florida, Texas and New York are, far and away, the states where most illegal drugs enter the United States.

"California, Florida, Texas and New York are also the states responsible for laundering most of the $200-250 billion dollars of drug money that pass through the U.S. economy and banking system every year…

"Eighty per cent of all Presidential campaign contributions come from California, Florida, Texas and New York."

From The Wilderness asks, "With Bushes governing Texas and Florida, is there any wonder why Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party need, so desperately, to control New York?"

For the last twenty-five months, From The Wilderness has been drawing a map, based upon documentary evidence, that the financial revenues generated by the illegal drug trade are an indispensable part of the global economic structure - status quo. In lectures around the country I have demonstrated how the stream of drug profits permeates Wall Street and how - thanks to tutelage from Fitts, a former From The Wilderness Contributing Editor - major Leveraged Buy Outs (LBOs) to finance mega mergers are virtually impossible without the use of laundered drug capital. To sum up Catherine's teaching in one "diamond cutting" sentence, "Those who have the lowest cost of capital win."

In the brilliant out-of-print work "The Iran-Contra Connection," authors Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter document how the 1980 Reagan landslide victory was financed, in its earliest stages, with foreign donations engineered in part by John Singlaub and the World Anti-Communist League. Those donations were then funneled through the Public Relations firm of Mike Deaver into campaign coffers. Deaver's right-hand man, Craig Fuller, had been my closest friend through four years at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Craig Fuller served as Assistant to Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985 and as VP George Bush's Chief of Staff from 1985 to 1989. Craig also headed the transition team when Bush became President in 1989, channeling appointments to key fund raisers and supporters.

From The Wilderness's map for its readers says, "If you don't play with drug money you can't play at all." The system is Organized Crime. In this article we show you how drug money is playing directly into the US Democratic Party's Al Gore campaign as a counterbalance to the drug money that we have and will continue to document is flowing into the US Republican Party's Bush campaign.

Over the last year we began to show you how, by releasing Medellín Cartel co-founder Carlos Lehder from prison, Bill Clinton was establishing a new drug trafficking cartel to run counter to drug money flows established by George Bush between 1986 and 1992. Lehder after his capture received a 99 year prison sentence under Bush. His cartel co-founders Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa were either murdered or forced into hiding. From The Wilderness successfully predicted, a year ago, that Clinton would release former Panamanian dictator and Medellín ally Manuel Noriega from prison before he left office. Noriega was ousted by Bush in 1989 when the U.S. invaded Panama. The official announcement of Noriega's release came last month.

The Clinton objective: to create a more cost effective drug pipeline that would have the locus of its smuggling and financial operations in political centers controlled by the Democratic Party in the East and Northeast rather than in Republican strongholds of the South and Southwest. California, one of the two largest drug money prizes, remains too big and diversified for either side to control.

Here is one of the biggest pieces of the Democratic drug money puzzle.


Hispaniola - The Right Place at The Right Time

Most arbitrary boundaries that exist in the world run east and west and divide specific geographic regions into North and South as in the cases of Korea, Yemen, Ireland and Vietnam of the last century. Few such boundaries run north and south and are drawn to separate a single island into two east and west halves making them separate nations. But this is the case with the island of Hispaniola which is divided into a French speaking western half, called Haiti, and a Spanish speaking eastern half, called the Dominican Republic.

Aside from the fact that the two nations have different languages they share a grinding poverty and "backwardness" almost vying for the title of poorest nations in the hemisphere after Bolivia. They also share an un-policed common border, easily crossed and virtually non-existent for smugglers, and a key strategic position in between the drug producing countries of South America - especially Colombia - and the largest single importation center for illegal drugs in the United States, New York City.

The Clinton Administration has put a lot of effort into the tiny island. In its earliest days it used diplomatic and military muscle to intervene in Haitian affairs and the regime of Jean Bertrand Aristide. The dreaded Tonton Macoute paramilitaries were broken up and a more stable and "predictable" regime was installed. While it was generally known in public that Haiti had something to do with smuggling, little was revealed about the overall importance of the island in new smuggling patterns that were emerging in the 1990s.

But it was the Dominican Republic, on the eastern half of Hispaniola, that was to emerge as the stronger brother in drug politics. This was primarily for two reasons: One, The Dominican Republic, on the eastern half of the island was only a short eighty mile boat or plane ride from the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. South American drugs, smuggled successfully into Puerto Rico could travel to New York without being interfered with by U.S. Customs - because they were already in the United States. Two, Being extremely well organized and comprising the largest ethnic minority in New York City and throughout New England, the Dominicans possessed (Dominicans are black with Spanish as a native tongue) ready-made and hard to infiltrate drug distribution networks throughout the eastern U.S.


Washington Hides the Dominican Connection

On April 12 of this year, Michael Vigil, Special Agent in Charge of the Caribbean Field Division of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) testified before the US Congress House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Drug Policy and Human Resources. In his testimony Vigil labeled Haiti as "The Drug Trafficking Crossroads of the Caribbean." Emphasizing Haiti's role he pointed out that "at just under 430 miles from Colombia's northernmost point [the island of Hispaniola] is easily accessible by twin engine aircraft hauling payloads of 500 to 700 kilos of cocaine."

Still emphasizing Haiti, Vigil continued, "Just as is the case with the Dominican Republic, Haiti presents an ideal location for the staging and transhipment of drugs. Furthermore, there is no effective border control between the two countries."

In a quote that has a slightly different spin from confidential FBI and Department of Justice documents obtained by From The Wilderness, Vigil continued, "… recent statistics released by The US government Inter Agency Assessment of Cocaine Management (IACM), indicate that approximately 15% of the cocaine entering the United States transits either Haiti or the Dominican Republic."

After pointing out to the panel that once any illicit drug reached Puerto Rico "it is unlikely to be subjected to further United States Customs inspection en route to the continental U.S.," Vigil mentioned - almost parenthetically - "Cocaine is also sometimes transferred overland from Haiti to the Dominican Republic for further transhipment to Puerto Rico, the CONUS [Continental United States] Europe and Canada."

For the remainder of his opening remarks the DEA agent Michael Vigil commented on new computerized intelligence networks and joint, multi-national, law enforcement operations targeting Haiti and other Caribbean operations. The largest of these was the recently well-publicized Operation Conquistador that operated in 26 countries, made thousands of arrests and seized a whopping 10,000 pounds of cocaine. The number sounds impressive until one realizes that 10,000 pounds of cocaine, according to DEA's own figures, is well less than 1% of domestic annual U.S. consumption and a far smaller percentage of total consumption for the U.S. and Canada.

Nowhere, in any of the press reports that From The Wilderness reviewed, was there any mention of Conquistador's impact upon, or arrest of, drug smugglers from the Dominican Republic.

In a confidential "Law Enforcement Sensitive" report in June, 1997, entitled The Dominican Threat: A Strategic Assessment of Dominican Drug Trafficking, Product No. 97-E0209-001 the US National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) - a joint project of the DEA, the CIA, the FBI, US Customs and INTERPOL -- painted a slightly different picture of the drug trade throughout the Caribbean and the overall significance of the Dominican Republic.

Department of Justice sources have told From The Wilderness, on condition of anonymity, that - if anything - the significance of Dominican Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), has increased since 1997. This, as previously published in the July and August issues of From The Wilderness, has been with the assistance and protection of the Clinton Administration and the Clinton-controlled Central Intelligence Agency.

NDIC is not a creature of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is more an entity belonging to the Department of Justice and to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which assumed administrative oversight over the DEA in the 1980s. In the governmental food chain two things are clear. The FBI is dominant over DEA and maintains better intelligence. And secondly, the primary seat of Clinton/Gore (Democratic Party) enforcement power is in the Department of Justice and the FBI. As demonstrated by a statement in the report, NDIC Director Richard Callas indicated that the FBI (not DEA) requested that NDIC prepare the 1997 report.

Using maps, flow charts, diagrams and statistical analysis, NDIC stated clearly that the Dominican Trafficking Organizations controlled 12 to 33% (or one third) of the approximately 500 metric tons of cocaine entering the United States every year. Emphasizing the criticality of the Dominican Republic's proximity to Puerto Rico the NDIC report also stressed the significance of the Dominican Trafficking Organizations' control over cocaine distribution within the eastern United States.

"The project team's analysis also indicates that Dominican Trafficking Organizations distribute a significant percentage of the Colombian cocaine within the U.S. borders. Dominican distribution organizations now control the cocaine market in some U.S. cities, and are extending their networks to cities and states across the country at an alarming rate. New York City - more specifically, the Washington Heights area of Upper West Manhattan - is the distribution hub and center of command for Dominican Drug activity on the U.S. mainland."

Later in the same page the report adds, "The Dominican drug threat will continue to expand unless checked by effective law enforcement measures." Sources told From The Wilderness that, indeed, the Dominican dominance has continued to expand and consolidate control in the Caribbean and throughout New York. Dominican Trafficking Organizations have become serious competitors in Florida where drug trafficking has traditionally been dominated by Bush-allied Cubans and they have tightened their grip over distribution throughout New England.

"All this recent hoopla and jumping around over Operation Conquistador is just a bunch of BS," said one US Department of Justice source." All the DEA accomplished - and the line troops had the best of intentions - was that competition was weeded out and all the remaining organizations got lessons in how to avoid getting busted in the future. The Dominican Trafficking Organizations were hardly scratched. They're too sharp."

This would seem to agree with the US National Drug Intelligence Center report which stated on page 16, "Dominican traffickers are extremely adept at operational security and counter surveillance. Their use of radio transceivers, alarm systems, police scanners, miniature video cameras and other high-tech equipment to detect and monitor law enforcement is common." Later, the report stressed that the Dominicans were most adept at violence and almost impossible to penetrate because of their combined Spanish language and African descent. As documented previously in From The Wilderness, a unique cultural identity has proven distinctly advantageous to the Kosovo Liberation Army which controls 70% of the heroin entering Western Europe. Because of their Albanian ethnicity and language, the KLA can tap into ethnic Albanian communities all over Europe for reliable and discreet services. It's easy to tell your own bad guys from the good guys.

On a more ominous note, the NDIC report observed that, Dominican Trafficking Organizations controlled all of the Colombian heroin distribution in their territories and indicated that the only reason that Colombian heroin did not dominate the U.S. market was because (in 1997) Colombia couldn't grow it fast enough. From The Wilderness has observed that all recent reports indicate that Colombia has been increasing its opium (heroin) production steadily ever since. This is particularly ominous since the US National Drug Intelligence Center reported that "Sixty-two percent of DEA heroin seizures in 1995 had a Colombian signature." As recently as 1999 the DEA reported the Colombia continued to increase its share of the heroin market.

Cops and The Money Trail
Dominican Drug Lords and Al Gore

In the July and August 1999 issues of From The Wilderness we documented the travails first of a dedicated US Immigration Agent, Joe Occhipinti in New York and later, John "Sparky" McLaughlin in Pennsylvania. In the 1980s, Occhipinti, using his initiative, started a task force to attack the rampant money laundering taking place in Dominican dominated mini-markets, known as bodegas, in the Washington Heights section of New York City.

Occhipinti's efforts started out wildly successful until he butted heads with financial institutions like Seacrest Ltd., that were later linked to the CIA and powerful political machines dependent upon Dominican "contributions." Instead of garnering praise and promotions, Occhipinti's highly successful operations led him to incur the wrath of New York's Democratic Party machine and eventually a prison sentence for allegedly violating the civil rights of Dominican drug dealers. Never once was Occhipinti charged with dishonesty or excessive force yet he was sentenced to years in prison. Occhipinti was later pardoned by then-US President George Bush.

John McLaughlin, an Agent with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, starting in 1995 began developing Dominican informants working with drug rings in Philadelphia. Those informants led directly into the heart of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), a supposedly rabid Marxist revolutionary group. What surprised McLaughlin was that every leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party in the United States was a major trafficker with a DEA NADDIS [Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Information System] number. Thinking he was doing his duty, McGlaughlin notified the CIA and the State Department where his investigations had led him. He was right, but for the wrong reasons.

The CIA came to Philly to meet with "Sparky" McLaughlin and his team more than once. Several CIA memoranda were produced and ultimately shown to those attending. They included a memorandum from the CIA Chief of Station (CoS) in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo indicating that the Dominican Revolutionary Party was the chosen and approved party of both Bill Clinton's State Department and his CIA.

Not only that, subsequent meetings revealed that as recently as December, 1994, Assistant Secretary of State Alex Watson had traveled to the Dominican Republica to meet with Dominican Revolutionary Party head Jose Francisco Pena-Gomez, Sparky's number one drug dealer!

Then, in March of 1996, CIA Officer Dave Lawrence, demanded that McLaughlin reveal the name of his informant inside the Dominican Revolutionary Party. This, "Sparky" knew, was a death sentence for sure and he refused. He also refused to compromise his investigation in spite of the fact that it has led to more than five years or relentless persecution, harassment in the media, "freeway therapy" and character assassination. [Ed Note: In North America, freeway therapy is a form of punishment that requires employees to drive very long distances between home and work assignments. It often adds as much as eight hours to the work day.]

It has also led to a lawsuit in which McLaughlin, represented by former Pennsylvania Congressman Don Bailey, is fighting back hard to restore the honor and good name of a truly honest team of cops. It was while researching that case for the August issue that From The Wilderness came across the National Drug Intelligence Center report which had been submitted as an exhibit in Sparky's suit. We were able to obtain a copy before it was sealed by the court and that seems to have angered Bill Clinton's Department of Justice:

McGlaughlin's work resulted in the formation of a Task Force including DEA and various agencies from New York State. Even while the CIA was trying to put the brakes on the investigation, the Dominican task force following the Dominican Revolutionary Party leadership continued doing its job until, as reported in the August issue of From The Wilderness:

"On a night in September, 1996, if you had zoomed in on a close up, from God's eye, into Coogan's Pub in Washington Heights, you would have seen Dominican Revolutionary Party leaders Simon A. Diaz, the party's Executive Commission Vice President (NADDIS #3164850 - Money Launderer) and Pablo Espinal, it's Executive Commission and Zone President (NADDIS #1289859 File # ZL-79-0017 - Money Launderer) hold a fund raiser for Vice President Al Gore who was only too happy to attend in person.

Many of those attending that night had been present back in March for Pena's fundraiser. Several of them had convictions for sales of pounds of cocaine, weapons violations and the laundering of millions of dollars in drug money. From The Wilderness did not have the resources to check US Federal Election Commission records to determine how much money Gore raised but several sources have indicated that it was probably several hundred thousand dollars at least.

OK readers, ask yourself one question: Is it possible that Vice President Al Gore's Secret Service detail did not know that most of the people in Coogan's Pub had NADDIS numbers - with prior drug records - and many had a history of violence? Is it possible the FBI did not know? Is it possible that DEA wouldn't tell the Secret Service? For the record, it is mandatory for the US Secret Service, the agency charged with protecting federal officials, to run background checks on everyone arranging a function with the President or the Vice President or any member of their families. They search just about every database there is.

As demonstrated on April 19, 2000 when Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senatorial campaign returned $22,000 to a businesswoman linked to Cuban drug smuggler Jorge Cabrera, this single documented instance of Al Gore receiving money from drug traffickers is not enough to indict the whole system. It does not completely establish that national political campaigns can no longer be conducted without drug money. Something more is needed.


The Democrats' Dynamic Duo

Tony Coelho, Al Gore's Campaign Chairman and Charles Manatt go way back. The Atlantic Monthly in an October 1986 story by Gregg Easterbrook, described the dark days after the 1980 Reagan landslide when the Republicans had all the money and the Democratic Party could seemingly raise none. Two new stars arose to resurrect the party and make it financially competitive again.

"The Democratic camp stood in even worse disorder than usual, with a little known Los Angeles lawyer, Charles Manatt, taking over the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the utterly anonymous Tony Coelho, a thirty-nine year-old California congressman with no organizational experience, assuming leadership of the related Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which is charged with raising money for democratic congressmen. Twenty-five more seats in 1982 would have given the Republicans the House, and with it, full control over federal decision making. The conventional wisdom held that the Democratic Party would not get out of the Reagan revolution alive."

But get out alive it did. It was not without incurring the wrath of some of the Democratic old guard that Coelho and Manatt resurrected party finances. But, according to the article, "Coelho tripled the take from DCCC fund raising, from $2 million to $6 million, in his first two years."

The story continued three paragraphs later, "Another businesslike decision Coelho made early on was to invest a portion of the DCCC's rapidly increasing income. Previously, the money had immediately gone out to finance campaigns or to retire old debts; some of these venerable obligations date to the days of the Humphrey-Nixon race. Coelho set aside about $3.5 million of the first $6 million he raised to finance a media center and a direct-mail operation; at the DNC, Charles Manatt was doing much the same."

Manatt was a skilled attorney. He was also a banker. In 1965 had founded the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt and Phelps that was eventually to become one of the largest and most powerful Democratic law firms in the country. Manatt would mentor and stay close to leading California Democratic political figures like Maxine Waters, Gray Davis and Tom Bradley. Powerful behind the scenes, Manatt also became a deal maker and big time money man. Surprisingly however, Charles Manatt has also been linked to shady deals that connected to legendary drug smuggler Barry Seal and covert CIA operations of the Contra era.

Recently, From The Wilderness Contributing Editor Daniel Hopsicker finished writing an as yet unpublished biography of CIA pilot/operative and legendary drug smuggler Barry Seal. While co-writing the October 1999 From The Wilderness story entitled "Why Does George W Bush Fly In Drug Smuggler Barry Seal's Airplane?", Hopsicker discovered that a Beechcraft King Airplane 200, tail number N6308F, was directly connected to a CIA "front" company through a series of fraudulent financial transactions.

That particular airplane had been leased to Barry Seal by real estate mega-developer Eugene Glick. To his surprise, while going through boxes of Seal's personal records, Hopsicker also came across documentary evidence, in Seal's own handwriting, that Glick's attorney at the time (1982) was none other than Charles Manatt. From The Wilderness has called the offices of Manatt and Phelps several times and inquired if their records confirm Manatt's representation of Glick. As of press time the firm has not responded.

Could Manatt and Coelho have been solving some of the Democratic Party's financial problems with drug money? Bill Clinton was certainly doing that in Arkansas.

[The full story of the Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft, which is now owned by the State of Texas and regularly used by Governor George W. Bush, now Republican Party candidate for US president, on state business, is covered in Dan Hopsicker's outstanding video In Search of the American Drug Lords which is available through From The Wilderness by mail order or at the web site -]

Major Democratic Party figures doing business with drug traffickers and intelligence agencies is not as surprising as it might sound. Hopsicker also interviewed Iran-Contra insiders who told him that Democratic powerhouse attorney Richard Ben Veniste had - also in 1982 - incorporated a company named Trinity Oil for Barry Seal as a vehicle to launder Seal's enormous cocaine cash flow. Clearly, by 1982 the Democratic Party had learned from watching the old US espionage veterans from the OSS and CIA who had acquired decades of drug dealing experience in Corsica, France, Vietnam, Laos, Korea, Thailand and Taiwan. They had used the drug trade to finance elections, form political cadres, buy institutions and they had used that experience to elect Ronald Reagan.

The Democrats were now back in the game as tons of CIA-protected cocaine began to flow through Mena Arkansas and much of the money flowed through Arkansas banks, state agencies and law firms. The key was placing yourself to be in control of the right strategic locations ahead of time. In the 1980s Arkansas, Louisiana and California were the places to be if you were a Democrat.

[As of this writing, Daniel's fabulous book remains - sadly - without a publisher. His research and documentation of the life of Barry Seal are breathtaking and riveting. Contacted for this story, Hopsicker reiterated his belief that Barry Seal was documenting drug connections to both parties as blackmail insurance before his 1986 assassination in Baton Rouge.]

Manatt has other interesting bona fides. According to US FDIC records, and his own published biography, Charles Manatt founded and served as Chairman of First Los Angeles Bank in 1973. The bank got into serious trouble in 1989 and was later criticized for mismanagement by the government and the courts before being finally sold in 1995. This was at the same time that Tony Coelho's questionable association with junk bond king and L.A. resident, Michael Milken forced him to resign abruptly from Congress.

Manatt's law firm, including as a partner future Clinton crony Mickey Kantor, also represented the Bank of Credit and Commerce International's [BCCI's'] insider and number two man, Swaleh Naqvi. BCCI bank's well documented connections to drug money laundering and the CIA suggest other possible intelligence connections for Manatt. Internal BCCI bank documents are said to show that the bank used the Manatt firm to lobby the National Security Council in 1992 in an attempt to close down the investigations of New York DA Robert Morgenthau into BCCI operations.

It is also revealing that Manatt, Phelps and Kantor, (later to become Manatt, Phelps and Phillips) also represented Mochtar Riady's Lippo Group and the Worthen Bank of Arkansas, which was then owned by Jackson Stephens (Jimmy Carter's roommate at Annapolis). Both the Lippo Group and the now defunct Worthen Bank turn up like a carpet weave throughout Bill Clinton's history, the history of Mena Arkansas, Democratic Party fundraising and the story of BCCI. We also noticed that. Conveniently, Charles Manatt also sits on the Board of Federal Express.

A search of CIA-Base ©, a research tool developed by retired CIA agent Ralph McGehee offers another clue. It seems that Charles Manatt also served as a Director of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). The CIA subsidized NDI organization, counted among its directors, Manatt, Walter Mondale and Edmund Muskie according to records in the National Endowment for Democracy. The NDI's ostensible purpose was to help facilitate elections in such CIA areas of operation as Northern Ireland, Taiwan, South Korea, Nicaragua, Panama and Chile.

It is not surprising then that Tony Coelho, who left Congress in 1989 under a storm front of allegations regarding his financial practices, in the middle of his sixth term as a Representative from California, is the Chairman of Al Gore's Presidential Campaign. He is the rainmaker. On him, and the money he can raise, ride the hopes of the emerging dominant faction in American politics.

But recently, Tony Coelho has fallen under investigation from the State Department regarding his alleged misuse of government funds while serving as the U.S. Commissioner General at Expo 98 in Portugal. A very detailed March 23, 2000 article by Bill Hogan in The National Journal, describes Coelho's expensive tastes and questionable business practices. Not only did Coelho rent a lavish beachfront apartment, he used U.S. government staff for his personal business, sought donations of airline tickets from various political cronies and then used his position at the trade Expo to solicit investments for his private ventures including a now defunct Internet Mortgage Loan Brokerage venture called LoanNet.

It is also not surprising then that, "Coelho invited Manatt and [ Democratic party power attorney, Coelho associate and fund raiser William] Cable and their spouses to Portugal… Coelho's government-paid Portuguese chauffeur, Samuel Silva, picked up the Manatts and the Cables at the Lisbon airport. The two couples stayed gratis for at least part of their trips in Coelho's $18,000-a-month luxury apartment, which had been restocked at his direction with Johnnie Walker whisky, Bacardi rum, vodka, gin, and other bar essentials - all purchased on government accounts…." According to The National Journal, Manatt and Cable both invested $200,000 apiece in Coelho's soon to fail LoanNet.

"The Narco-Ambassador"

On December 9, 1999 Charles Manatt presented his credentials to the government of the Dominican Republic and became the fortieth U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic since 1883. There are a couple of unusual features to Manatt's appointment in a Presidential election year.

Former party chairmen, prodigious fund raisers and power brokering attorneys are not appointed to such backward and undesirable postings. Pamela Harriman, arch fundraiser and Presidential groomer asked for - and got - Paris. The Dominican Republic, with its rampant poverty, on the same island that is credited with helping spread AIDS to North America, with no major resorts, is a backwater. Even US Congresswoman Maxine Waters' husband Sidney Williams, as a reward for services to the cause was given the Ambassadorship to the Bahamas where he served from 1993 until 1998. The Bahamas are much nicer than the Dominican Republic. They speak English there and there are nice casinos and resort hotels like The Atlantis where drug lord Carlos Lehder's beautiful wife/consort, Coral Baca, even has a tower named after her and her photo adorns the publicity brochure.

[It was this same Coral Baca who delivered the federal grand jury transcripts to Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Webb at The San Jose Mercury News in 1995. That contact resulted in the stories in his book, The Dark Alliance, that swept across the nation in 1996 (also a Presidential election year), giving the California Democrat Maxine Waters a national forum to talk about Republican backed cocaine trafficking during the 1980s.]

In fact - according to State Department records - the previous twelve U.S. Ambassadors to the Dominican Republic, dating back to 1957, have not been political appointees receiving rewards at all. They have been career foreign service officers, assigned to the post because no "politicals" wanted it. The post remained vacant for almost two years from 1997 until Manatt arrived just in time for the Presidential election campaign.

In the days of Ancient Rome it was customary, whenever there was a critical political or military alliance with a province, for the Emperor to send a member of his family as a Consul or emissary to signify the importance of the relationship with Rome. This also served to demonstrate that no action would be taken against provincial leaders, who could - if necessary - take the emissary hostage knowing his importance to the Empire. The presence of the dignitary also provided status for the provincial leaders as they conducted business both within and around their territories. This is the role of Charles Manatt 2000 years later.

How accurate is From The Wilderness's analysis here? It is accurate enough that in February of this year the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg tried to rake the attorney for Pennsylvania narc John McLaughlin over the coals because From The Wilderness had acquired their confidential report on Dominican drug traffickers used in this story. Don Bailey, as a former Member of Congress, wasn't going for the intimidation. Knowing that From The Wilderness had acquired the document legally he suggested in a terse and eloquent letter that US Department of Justice, "Buzz off." In a conversation with this writer he stated the obvious, "They aren't concerned with drug traffickers getting the information. They are concerned with covering up their own actions."


Throughout their careers Tony Coelho and Charles Manatt have done one thing better than all the rest. They raised money. Now, with Coelho as Chairman of the campaign and Manatt protecting the money flow from the Dominican Republic - especially just after the Clinton controlled DEA has disrupted all Caribbean competition - the Democrats stand a chance to compete financially with the decades old entrenched drug money behind the Republican Bush family.

The politicians know the truth and it is just as simple as Catherine Austin Fitts has stated, "Those with access to capital and those with the lowest cost of capital win. If you don't play with drug money you can't play at all."

And therein lies the certainty that the American political system can do nothing but decline from here on out. Once criminal activity and rule breaking is established and enshrined there is no course left but a steady descent into collapse and chaos. Rome is a good case in point. And perhaps this is a well deserved and a good thing for America. It certainly is if fresh blood and thinking can rise to the top in the middle of the descent.

This has not been a story about how the Democrats are bad and the Republicans are good - although I am sure that I'll be getting more calls from Republican talk show hosts next month. This is a story about how the system has become and IS organized crime. If there are three "branches" of government today they are the banks and financial institutions, the government as enforcer, and the criminal syndicates.

There is no rule of law, there is only the rule of money. And I am often amazed at how conservative Christians sometimes ask me to label Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Illuminati, Trilaterals, Jews, Bliderbergers, Masons, or Nazis as the source of evil in this world. I wonder why they don't read their own book. It says it quite clearly there - in the words of their own Master - "For the love of money is the root of all evil."


- The Atlantic Monthly, October 1986, "The Business of Politics" by Gregg Easterbrook
- The Iran Contra Connection, Marshall, Scott and Hunter, South End Press, 1987.
- The New York Post, April 19, 2000
- The Drug Enforcement Administration -
- The U.S. Department of State,
- The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
- CIA Base, © Copyright 1992 - Ralph McGehee
- Barry and The Boys, by Daniel Hopsicker, unpublished, © 2000
- In Search of the American Drug Lords (video), by Daniel Hopsicker, © 2000
- The National Journal, March 23, 2000, "POLITICS The Coelho Case" by Bill Hogan
- From The Wilderness, January, July, August, October, 1999 © Michael C. Ruppert,
- THE DOMINICAN THREAT, A Strategic Assessment of Dominican Drug Trafficking, Product No. 97-E0209-001, June 1997, The National Drug Intelligence Center, Johnstown, PA. - Law Enforcement Sensitive.
- The web site of Catherine Austin Fitts and Solari Village


Narco News Publisher's Post-Script

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