The Octopus was the name given to the encompassing layers of tentacles of monied interests and compromised government contacts by Danny Casolaro. Danny, as you may or may not know, is listed as one of those "suicided" individuals. He "committed suicide" by slicing his wrists horribly in a bathtub. His notes on the Octopus, to be assembled into a book, disappeared, never to surface again.
The book was printed, but for some reason was missing the following chapter - here it is, for your reading pleasure.
[E: This chapter was omitted from the printed edition.]
"This underground empire is controlled by a handful of people for money — that's the only secret of the temple."
— Investigative reporter Danny Casolaro, prior to his murder by the Octopus
The nomenclature of the Lockerbie and World Trade Center bombings provide a unique and unparalleled insight into the dynamics of the Oklahoma City bombing. Each event gives the reader a glimpse of how the Shadow Government operates, utilizing drug dealers, criminals, and terrorists to do its bidding.
All three bombings were sting operations that utilized, and were utilized by, terrorists bent on causing destruction.
But the question still remained: who was controlling the terrorists? To understand that, one must peer through the doorway of time stretching from WWII to the present.
To prepare for the invasion of Sicily during WWII, the OSS (which later became the CIA) collaborated with the Corsican Mafia. The arrangement permitted the Mafia use the port of Marseilles for heroin smuggling in exchange for its assistance in defeating the Nazis.
After WWII, the heroin operation moved to Vietnam and Laos, then to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as the CIA embroiled itself in a covert war against the Soviets. Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Security Affairs Richard Armitage sat on the "208 Committee," which oversaw military aid to the Mujahadeen. Fazoe Haq, the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province (the largest heroin growing province in Afghanistan), who was originally worth $100,000, was suddenly was worth $200 million after the war. Armitage was his main contact.
Vince Cannistraro (Mr. "Libya done it") also sat on the 208 Committee, representing National Security Advisor Robert "Bud" McFarlane, Oliver North's supervisor.
Shortly after the start of the Afghani operation, the CIA began arming the Contras in Nicaragua. Cannistraro himself [along with Duane "Dewy" Clarridge, then Chief of the CIA's Latin American Division] headed Casey's original operation to arm the Contras, based on Reagan's March, 1981 decision. As former Green Beret Andrew Eiva said, "Cannistraro was up to his ears by 1985." This is significant, considering the Boland Amendment, prohibiting aid to the Contras, was passed in 1984.
Some of these are the same players who moved into other Central American countries, setting up security services (death squads) for U.S.-backed dictators, and profiting handsomely from the cocaine trade.
If anyone thinks these are outrageous allegations, consider the statements of Mike Levine, one of the DEA's most highly decorated veterans: "For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North's Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world's biggest drug dealers," including the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, the Contras in Central America, the DFS in Mexico, the Shan United Army in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, and "any of a score of other groups and/or individuals like Manuel Noriega. Support of these people has been secretly deemed more important than getting drugs off our streets."
Or consider the words of Lt. Col. Bo Gritz, former commander of the Special Forces in Latin America and the most decorated soldier in Vietnam. Gritz made a trip to the Golden Triangle in 1983 to search for American POWs, a mission that was ultimately stonewalled. Gritz believes the POWs are being used as drug mules, and the government doesn't want them returned alive, for fear they would expose the Octopus. As Gritz said: "[They] would not want the American POWs to come home. Because when they do, there will be an investigation as to why they were abandoned. At that time we will uncover this secret organization and its illicit drug money and financing. The Secret Team would then be exposed."
As Gritz later wrote in Called to Serve:
If Richard Armitage was, as Khun Sa avowed, a major participant in parallel government drug trafficking, then it explained why our efforts to rescue POWs had been inexplicably foiled, time after time... If it was true, Richard Armitage would be the last man in the world who would desire to see prisoners of war come home alive.
As "Special Consultant to the Pentagon on the MIAs," in Bangkok in 1975, Armitage reportedly spent more time repatriating opium profits then recovering POWs. In 1976, when Khun Sa was still selling heroin to CIA officials, the head of the CIA was none other than George Bush.
Former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, who was appointed presidential investigator for POW/MIA affairs, came upon the same information, and was warned by former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci to stop pursuing the connections to Armitage. As he sadly explained to a group of POW/MIA families in 1987: "I have been instructed to cease and desist."
Ironically, between 1987 and 1991, Vice-President Bush served as head of the South Florida Drug Task Force, and later as chair of the National Narcotics Interdiction System, both set up to "stem" the flow of drugs into the U.S. While Bush was drug czar, the volume of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. tripled.
Celerino "Cele" Castillo, the DEA's head agent in El Salvador and Guatemala from 1985 to 1991, told reporters and Senate investigators of numerous known drug traffickers who used hangers controlled by Oliver North and the CIA in El Salvador's Ilopango military airbase. When Castillo naively tried to warn Bush at a U.S. embassy party in Guatemala, Bush "just shook my hand, smiled and walked away…"
"By the end of 1988," added Castillo, "I realized how hopelessly tangled the DEA, the CIA, and every other U.S. entity in Central America had become with the criminals. The connections boggled my mind."
"The CIA — they're making deals with the Devil," adds Mike Levine. "Unfortunately, the Devil is smarter than they are."
Some of those devils, like Monzer al-Kassar — "business partner" of Richard Secord and Oliver North — would be utilized to do the Octopus's dirty work.
Another name Khun Sa mentioned repeatedly was Ted Shackley. A long-time CIA player, Theodore G. Shackley (known as "The Blond Ghost") began his Agency career as CIA Station Chief in Miami, where he directed the CIA's JM/WAVE Operation, a post-Bay of Pigs attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro and wreck havoc within that sovereign nation. Utilizing Cuban expatriates, the CIA conducted hundreds of sabotage raids against Cuba in direct violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act. Shackley also worked in close partnership with Mob figures John Roselli, Sam Giancana, and Santos Trafficante.
While the operation was shut down in 1965, due mainly to revelations of organized crime connections and drug smuggling, many of the participants remained in Miami, continuing their illegal activities.
Later, as Station Chief of Laos, Shackley directed Major General Richard Secord's air wing in tactical raids against the Communist Pathet Lao, who happened to be General Vang Pao's main competition in the opium trade. By keeping the Pathet Lao busy with the help of the CIA and the American military, Pao's Hmong tribesmen were able to become the region's largest heroin producers.
Of course, Shackley, his deputy Tom Clines (who supervised the air base in Long Tieng), and their colleagues in CIA front companies like Air America were only too happy to help, smuggling heroin to the U.S. in the gutted bodies of dead GIs (with the assistance of their old Mob buddy Santos Trafficante, who had helped form their ZR/RIFLE assassination team, and Vietnamese Air Force General Nguyen Cao Ky), and laundering the profits in the Nugan-Hand bank. As a 1983 Wall Street Journal article stated:
Investigations following Mr. Nugan's death and the failure of the bank revealed widespread dealings by Nugan-Hand with international heroin syndicates, and evidence of massive fraud against U.S. and foreign citizens. Many retired high-ranking Pentagon and CIA officials were executives of or consultants to Nugan-Hand.*
Shackley, along with Nugan-Hand's attorney — former CIA Director William Colby — directed the infamous "Phoenix Program," a largely successful attempt to "neutralize" by torture and murder approximately 40,000 Vietnamese civilians suspected of being Viet Cong sympathizers. One Phoenix operative, testifying before Congress, stated that Phoenix was "a sterile, depersonalized murder program… it was completely indiscriminate." The assassinations would continue in Nicaragua under the code-name "Operation Pegasus."
After becoming the head of the CIA's Western Hemisphere operations (Latin American Division) in 1972, Shackley supervised the overthrow of the Chilean government ("Operation Track II") by murdering democratically elected President Salvador Allende. With the backing of the CIA under Shackley, the military led a violent coup by Right-wing General Augusto Pinochet, which resulted in the abolishment of the Constitution, the closing of all newspapers save for two Right-wing dailies, the outlawing of trade unions, the suppression of all political parties, and the arrest, torture, and execution of thousands.
After a brief stint as Director of the Far East Division, Shackley directed CIA agent Edwin Wilson in training the Shah of Iran's notorious secret police, the Savak, who routinely tortured and murdered the Shah's opponents. Later Shackley would assist more directly in these efforts.
In 1975, Shackley became Associate Director in the Directorate of Operations, which put him in charge of Covert-Operations, Counter-Intelligence, and ironically, Counter-Narcotics, all under the command of George Herbert Walker Bush.
These associations naturally led to Shackley playing a role in the formation of the "Secret Team," (to coin a phrase invented by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty) the covert and illegal enterprise that was the driving force behind the Iran-Contra operation. Donald Gregg, one of Shackley's subordinates during his Saigon tenure, would later become Assistant National Security Advisor during Iran-Contra, reporting directly to Vice-President Bush.
It was against this backdrop that Shackley served as a "consultant" to players such as Bush, Secord, North, and Casey in their illegal and bloody guns-for-drugs network that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the flooding of our streets with tons of drugs.
As Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny writes about Ted Shackley in his book, The Crimes of Patriots:
Looking at the list of disasters Shackley has presided over during his career, one might even conclude that on the day the CIA hired Shackley it might have done better hiring a KGB agent; a Soviet mole probably could not have done as much damage to the national security of the United States with all his wile as Shackley did with the most patriotic of intentions.
Between Shackely's Cuban and Indochinese campaigns, more dope dealers were probably put onto the payroll of the United States Government, and protected and encouraged in their activities, than if the government had simply gone out and hired the Mafia — which, in the case of the Cuban campaign, it did.
CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner forced Shackley to resign from the Agency in 1979, due to his "unauthorized" dealings with rogue agent Edwin Wilson, who was selling plastic explosives to Libya (with Shackley's approval). Had he not left, Shackley would likely have become head of the Agency.
George Bush, who headed the Agency in 1976, strongly desired to continue in that post. He was not reappointed when Jimmy Carter took office.*
Moreover, Turner, who had little faith in HUMNIT (Human Intelligence) sources, decided to reshape the CIA along more advanced technological lines. As a result of Turner's infamous "Halloween Massacre," the CIA cut its field agents from several thousand to just over 300. As President Jimmy Carter would later state, "We were aware that some of the unqualified and incompetent personnel whom he discharged were deeply resentful."
The old hands of the Agency, who formerly had at their disposal almost unlimited "Black Budget" funds for covert operations, were suddenly forced into retirement, or forced into lockstep with Turner's new guidelines.
Although CIA Director William Casey hired 2,000 new covert operators in 1980, many CIA critics felt Turner's actions had already caused the secret cells of the good-old-boy networks to bury themselves — and their illegal activities — even deeper.
It is this element, birthed in the hysteria of the Cold War, legitimized by the paranoia of the National Security state, and nurtured by the politics of greed, that has buried itself in the core of American politics.
As long-time Army Criminal Investigator Gene Wheaton defines it: "An elite, very clandestine, very covert group within the intelligence community…. The CIA and DIA is just the lightening rod for the people who really control things."
Those who could accept the idea of government foreknowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing would be hard-pressed to accept the notion that certain factions within the government might have orchestrated the bombing itself. Those who have a difficult time accepting this are stymied by what they perceive as "government."
As Wheaton explains, "The government is just a bunch of monuments, office buildings, computers, and desks. They don't see the crazies in the government — the little conspiratorial cliques within the government."
These little conspiratorial cliques — the same players that Shackley intersects with, going back to Cuba, Laos, Afghanistan and Nicaragua — have been involved for decades in everything from drug and gun-running, to assassinations, covert warfare, and outright terrorism. It is a terrorism that increasingly has no particular face, no ideological credo, no political goal. It is a terrorism motivated by power and greed.
By no means the lone man behind the curtain, Ted Shackley represents one of the more visible of this lexicon of covert operators upon whom the powers that be depend on for their endless supply of "black ops" and dirty tricks. Perhaps this is how Shackley knows, or seems to know, the complex truth behind Oklahoma City. It is a truth that remains hidden behind a sophisticated labyrinth of covert operatives, all of whom converge at similar times and places. They are, as David Corn writes, "the little faceless gray men we never see and seldom hear about." Those we call the "Shadow Government," the "Parallel Government," the "Enterprise," the "Octopus," or a half-a-dozen other names, are carefully hidden behind an endless roster of official titles and duties, and a plethora of familiar-sounding organizations and institutions.
These same faceless little gray men would pop up in the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy like interminable weeds between the cracks of the pavement. From the Bay of Pigs to Iran-Contra to Oklahoma City, the names, faces, and players would coalesce for a brief moment in time into an indistinguishable menagerie of politicos and spooks, terrorists and assassins — to commit their terrible deed, then fade into the seamless world were little distinction is made between assets and criminals.
Ted Shackley was officially forced to resign from the CIA due to his dealings with friend and renegade agent Edwin Wilson. Wilson and former CIA employee Frank Terpil had smuggled two tons of C-4 to Libya, and at the behest of Shackley, had set up terrorist training camps there utilizing Green Berets led to believe they were working for the Agency. The ostensible purpose of this maneuver was to permit the CIA to gather information on Soviet and Libyan weapons and defense capabilities, and to learn the identities of foreign nationals being trained for guerrilla warfare. Upon obtaining their passports and travel plans, Shackley would alert their home country's secret police, who would then assassinate them upon their return.
While Wilson was sentenced to a long prison term, Terpil fled to Cuba, and has since been involved in numerous dealings with the PLO and other terrorists, supplying them with sophisticated assassination weapons, detonators, and communication systems.
Terpil also supplied torture devices to Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin, who used a bomb supplied by Terpil to assassinate Kenyan cabinet member Bruce McKenzie.*
One month later, Terpil was implicated in the murder of three executives of the IBEX corporation — a high-technology company that was doing business with the Savak. John Harper, IBEX's former director of security, said that while in Tripoli, he saw a mock-up of the ambush site at the training facility that Terpil and Wilson had set up.†
Readers will recall this is the same Frank Terpil that was seen by Cary Gagan in Mexico City with Omar (Sam Khalid?), six months before the Oklahoma City bombing. "I saw him down in Mexico," recalled Gagan, "in November of '94, in Mexico City… with Omar."
Gagan said he and Omar met Terpil at the Hotel Maria Isabelle in the Zona Rosa district. Gagan didn't know who Terpil was at the time, but described him as a fat, balding, 60ish fellow, who was "terribly dressed." In other words — Frank Terpil.
"I heard the name because I knew Wilson's name from the Florence Federal Penitentiary in Colorado." Gagan said that one of his intelligence contacts, a man named Daniel, told him about Terpil. "The conversation came up in reference to the Gander, Newfoundland crash," said Gagan.
Was Terpil in Mexico to supply explosives to Omar? While Gagan wasn't privy to the conversation, he believes that was the purpose of the meeting.
When Wilson and Terpil were selling arms and explosives to Libya, they were reporting to none other than Ted Shackley. Kwitny notes that Wilson and Terpil were hiring anti-Castro Cubans from Shackley's old JM/WAVE program [and Green Berets] to assassinate President Qaddafi's political opponents abroad:
Some U.S. Army men were literally lured away from the doorway of Fort Bragg, their North Carolina training post. The GIs were given every reason to believe that the operation summoning them was being carried out with the full backing of the CIA.…
Readers will also recall that while Timothy McVeigh was still in the Army, he wrote his sister a letter telling her that he had been picked for a Special Forces (Green Beret) Covert Tactical Unit (CTU) that was involved in illegal activities. These illegal activities included "protecting drug shipments, eliminating the [Octopus's drug] competition, and population control."
This is exactly what Shackley, Clines, and Secord did in Laos — assassinating and bombing Vang Pao's opium competition out of existence.
Could this CTU McVeigh claims he was recruited for be a latter-day version of Shackley's assassins? Former federal grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg said McVeigh's letter indicates that he turned them down, while former FBI SAC Ted Gundersen claims McVeigh actually worked for the group for a while, then became disenchanted.
If McVeigh had actually been recruited for such a group, the question arises of what cover-story he was given. As discussed, it is highly likely he was told that he was on an important mission — to infiltrate a terrorist organization and prevent a bombing. Considering McVeigh's background and character, it is unlikely he is a terrorist who set out to murder 169 innocent people.
Also recall that McVeigh was seen with Hussain al-Hussaini. The Iraqis would provide a convincing and plausible excuse if McVeigh was led to believe he was part of a sting operation: "Son, you were a hero in the Gulf War. Your country needs you now in the fight against terrorism." It is a story a young, impressionable man like McVeigh would fall for.
It is also possible that McVeigh was sheep-dipped as disgruntled ex-GI for infiltration into the neo-Nazi community, which would provide a doorway into the bombing conspiracy through places like Elohim City.
Or perhaps, as a result of his becoming "disenchanted" and "leaving" the CTU, he became targeted for "termination," and was set up as a fall-guy. Such is standard operating procedure for those who attempt to leave the world of covert operations.
Either way, the fact that there appeared to be two "Timothy McVeighs," just as there were two Oswalds, would suggest a sophisticated intelligence operation, one that was designed to put McVeigh in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Like Oswald, McVeigh probably believed himself to be a government agent, part of a secret project. Like Oswald, McVeigh was not told what the plan really involved, and was trapped, framed, and made a patsy.
This goes a long way towards explaining why an armed McVeigh didn't shoot and kill Officer Charles Hanger when he was stopped on the Interstate after the bombing. Why would a man who had just killed 169 men, women, and children balk at killing a cop (a member of the system that McVeigh allegedly hated) on a lonely stretch of highway? The only possible answer is that McVeigh believed he was part of a sting operation — a government asset — and would be protected.
Whatever McVeigh's actual purpose and intent, it is curious, to say the least, that Ted Shackley would tell D'Ferdinand Carone that the perpetrator of the bombing was somebody from here.
How did he know?
Roger Moore, the mysterious gun dealer whom the government claimed McVeigh and Nichols robbed to "finance" the bombing, ran a company next to Bahia Mar Marina in South Florida (a popular hang-out for the Iran-Contra crowd), which manufactured high-speed boats. The boats — sold through Intercontinental Industries of Costa Rica (an Ollie North "cut-out") — were used to mine Nicaragua's harbors in "Operation Cordova Harbor."
One source I spoke to said Moore had direct contact with Oliver North. "I don't know who his [Moore's] contact was on Iran-Contra beyond Don Aranow. I know he had access and would talk directly to Oliver North. He knew Felix Rodriquez pretty well, he knew Nester Sanchez, Manny Diaz, all those guys around Jeb [Bush] pretty well."
This source also claimed that Moore was a "paymaster" for Tom Posey's Civilian Military Assistance (CMA) — the covert paramilitary operation that served as the primary nexus for arming the Contras.
A retired CIA/DIA agent I spoke to in Arkansas, said "[Moore] was an Agency contractor."
Other sources say Moore was an informant for the FBI. He allegedly tried to sell heavy weapons to the Militia of Montana (MOM) as part of an FBI sting operation. A call to MOM indicated that Moore had indeed stopped by for a friendly chat. He told Randy Trochmann, one of MOM's leaders, that he was traveling the country meeting with militia groups in an attempt to verify black helicopter sightings and rumors of UN troop movements. This seems a peculiar pastime for a man who worked for a network of spooks devoted to bypassing and subverting the Constitution.*
What is also peculiar is a letter written by Moore to McVeigh in early 1995. Introduced at the trial of Terry Nichols, the letter, speaks of "a plan… to bring the country down and have a few more things happen."
Robert "Bud" McFarlane went on to form his own consulting firm, and joined the board of American Equity Investors (AEI), founded by Prescott Bush. AEI's board of directors reads like a Who's Who of the spook world, including former CIA officials George Clairmont and Howard Hebert, and CIA lawyer Mitch Rogovin, who was George Bush's legal counsel when he was Director of the Agency.
AEI invested in a Tulsa, Oklahoma company: Hawkins Oil and Gas, from 1988 to 1991. McFarlane was a "consultant" for Hawkins and several other companies on the Ech power project in Pakistan, which required frequent trips to that country. This was during the tail end of the largest covert operation the U.S. ever conducted — the arming of the Mujahadeen, who trained in Pakistan. McFarlane sat on the "208 Committee," who's job it was to procure weapons for the Mujahadeen, and arms contracts for the Pakistani government.
Recall that Richard Armitage, who was the contact for Fazoe Haq, governor of the Northwest Frontier Province, also sat on the "208 Committee." As Alfred A. McCoy writes in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia:
It's known that the CIA paid the Afghan guerrillas, who were based in Pakistan, through BCCI.… That the Pakistan military were in fact banking their drug profits, moving their drug profits from the consuming country back to Pakistan though BCCI. In fact the boom in the Pakistan drug trade was financed by BCCI.…
BCCI also served as a conduit for the Iran-Contra operation, largely through Gaith Pharon, former head of Saudi Intelligence, who operated out of Islamabad, Pakistan. The Saudis played a major role in funding the Mujahadeen and [via the request of Secord and McFarlane] the Contras.
McFarlane — who former Mossad official Ari Ben Menashe claims is a Mossad asset — worked with the president of Hawkins' International Division, Mujeeb Rehman Cheema, on the Ech project. Was Hani Kamal's supposed statement that Khalid was connected to the Mossad accurate? A prominent Muslim community leader, Cheema claims he does not know Sam Khalid.
Interestingly, Gagan said that at one point, Terry Nichols rendezvoused with his Middle Eastern friends at the Islamic society of Nevada. Cheema is chairman of the Islamic Society of Tulsa. Is there a connection? And what of Cheema's links to McFarlane? Was McFarlane using Hawkins as a front for CIA activities in Pakistan?
It is perhaps prophetic that many of the terrorists implicated in the major bombings of the last decade attended the terrorist conference held in the Northwest Frontier Province town of Konli, Pakistan in July of 1996. As noted, Osama bin Ladin, a Saudi who funded the Mujahadeen and was implicated in the Riyadh and Dhahran bombings, (a close associate of Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman, implicated in the World Trade Center bombing), Ahmed Jibril (who bombed Pan Am 103), and senior representatives of Iranian and Pakistani intelligence, and Hamas, HizbAllah, and other groups attended the conference.
Stephen Jones claimed he had learned through the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service that Iraq had hired seven Pakistani mercenaries — Mujahadeen veterans — to bomb targets in the U.S., one of which was the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
Just who were these "Pakistani mercenaries," and were they really working for Iraq?