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Lil’ Ol’ Airstrip In Arkansas: The CIA, Clinton & Bush Drug Cartel

Excerpted from Dean Henderson’s book, Big Oil & Their Bankers In The Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network.

In 1982 citizens of Mena, Arkansas began wondering why the town’s airport was experiencing an unusually high rate of nighttime landings. Police there began to suspect drug trafficking, but were kept away from the planes by federal agents. 

When cops started asking questions, they were stonewalled by federal agencies including DEA, FBI, Justice and even the IRS. Scores of witnesses to the strange events began to show up dead.

Pilot Barry Seal says he flew Medellin Cartel cocaine into Mena for the CIA from 1982-1986.  Seal was busted in 1983, then began working for Vice-President Bush’s NNBIS.

He was sent to Nicaragua to take fake photographs supposedly depicting Sandinista soldiers loading cocaine onto Seal’s C-123K cargo plane. Those loading the powder were actually contras. 

According to at least seven other pilots, Seal also began training contras at Mena.

The planes used to ferry weapons from Miami to the Honduran arms supermarket belonged to SETCO and Hondu Carib. 

Suspected drug trafficker Frank Moss worked for both and claims he often made drops at Barry Seal’s farm outside Baton Rouge, LA. Retired Air Force investigator Gene Wheaton says Seal was also flying between Mena and George Bush Sr. oil buddy William Blakemore III’s West Texas ranch, where contras were also being trained.

Wheaton says the plane Seal was using was the same Southern Air Transport aircraft that Eugene Hasenfus later crashed inside Nicaragua. [162]

When Seal started telling authorities about shipments of cocaine coming into Mena and into Blakemore’s West Texas ranch in 1984, Oliver North blew Seal’s cover. A short time later Seal was gunned down in New Orleans. [163]

Pilot Terry Reed said Seal wanted him to turn his plane over to the Enterprise, then declare it stolen and collect the insurance money. 

When Reed refused, his plane was stolen and ended up in Mena anyway. Reed wrote Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, in which he says both he and Seal were actually on CIA payroll when they were flying coke into Mena.

He also claims that the DEA has a video of George W. and Jeb Bush flying into Tamiami Airport outside Miami in their private King jet, “to pick up a couple of kilos for a party”. 

Reed says Seal knew too much about cocaine deals involving both Bush and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Reed is confident that Seal was assassinated by the CIA. [164]

Another outfit serving Mena was Commercial Helicopters run by Bobby Ross. Ross was close to the Ed Wilson TF-157 crowd. 

Commercial leased planes from Claire Chennault’s Flying Tigers Airlines, supplied offshore oil rigs, brokered helicopter sales to the Saudis and ferried Edwin Edwards during his campaign for Governor of Louisiana. When the now-imprisoned Edwards won, he appointed Ross Secretary of Transportation.

Commercial was CIA and worked closely with Woody Jenkins’ Guatemalan helicopter firm.  Commercial bought API Distributors of Houston, which sold oil drilling equipment to PEMEX, the Mexican state oil company. API was set up in 1978 by Tom Clines and Ed Wilson. 

Its board of directors mirrored that of Nugan Hand Bank, which often wired money to API. In 1988 Clines was a top adviser to the Bush campaign. 

Employees of API included Ted Shackley and Raphael Quintero. Financing for the start-up came from Herman Beebe, lieutenant to New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello. [165]

According to Chicago researcher Sherman Skolnick, indicted former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) was a large shareholder in Garfield Ridge Trust & Savings Bank, a Chicago savings and loan which disguised Mena drug money laundering as soybean and currency trades on Chicago’s Commodity Futures Trading Exchange.

Chicago-based Libertyville Savings & Loan had close ties to Walgreens and laundered money through Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan in Little Rock with help from Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster at the Rose Law Firm.

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton received as much as $47 million of this Libertyville cash to protect the Mena drug smuggling operation. [166]

In his book Boy Clinton: The Political Biography, R. Emmett Tyrell Jr. chronicles the mysterious deaths of those who had knowledge of Clinton’s involvement in the Mena operation. 

These included Vince Foster, Kathy Ferguson (ex-wife of former Arkansas State trooper and Clinton bodyguard Danny Ferguson), Bill Shelton (Kathy Ferguson’s boyfriend and an Arkansas cop), Jon Walker (an investigator looking into Madison Guaranty for Resolution Trust Corporation),  Paul Wilcher (an attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport), Danny Casalaro (an investigative journalist working on a book titled The Octopus), Jerry Parks (Clinton’s Chief of Security during his 1992 Presidential campaign) and Stanley Higgins (another Madison Guaranty investigator).

Dennis Patrick, who investigated Clinton friend Dan Lasiter’s law firm, survived three assassination attempts. 

Lasiter was a Little Rock bond swindler convicted in 1986 on drug charges.  He was a major contributor to Clinton’s political career and often let Clinton use his private plane, while providing “entertainment”.

Arkansas State Trooper L. D. Brown claims Clinton often flew to Central America on the planes flying weapons to the contras and returning to Mena with cocaine. 

Brown says he asked Clinton once if he knew Barry Seal was running drugs and unreported currency and Clinton replied, “Don’t worry. That’s Lasiter’s deal.”

When Clinton became President he appointed DNC Chairman Ron Brown as his Secretary of Commerce. When the Whitewater Scandal erupted, Brown talked openly of cutting a deal with prosecutors.  A short while later his plane went down while on a trade mission to Eastern Europe. 

A pathologist close to the crash investigation said there was a hole in Brown’s skull resembling a gun-shot wound.

Not long after the crash, Clinton’s Whitewater partner James McDougal died of an apparent heart attack while in solitary confinement in a federal prison in Arkansas. 

On November 29, 1996 Barbara Wise, a Commerce Department staffer who had been close to Ron Brown, was found dead, her badly bruised and naked body locked in a closet at Commerce.

In 1993 Reverend Jerry Falwell began circulating a video titled, The Clinton Chronicles, which documents Clinton’s involvement in Mena.

Scores of Arkansas Highway Patrolmen were also implicated. From the opposite side of the political spectrum, High Times magazine did an expose in its January 1995 issue alleging the same thing, but also implicating Vice-President Bush in the Mena escapades. 

The High Times article claims that Bush and Clinton worked together in the CIA.

The New York Times reported on November 20, 1993 that the CIA had imported 1,000 kilos of cocaine into the United States in 1990. 

In 1996, the Democratic National Committee received a $20,000 contribution from convicted Miami cocaine smuggler Jorge Cabrera who was invited to a White House Party and to a Miami reception for Vice-President Al Gore. [167]

Excerpted from Dean Henderson‘s book, Big Oil & Their Bankers In The Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network


[131] The Gulf: Scramble for Security. Raj Choudhry. Sreedhar Press. New Dehli. 1983. p.59

[132] “War Criminals, Real and Imagined”. Gregory Elich. Covert Action Quarterly. Winter 2001. p.21

[133] Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World. Jonathan Kwitny. Penguin Books. New York. 1986. p.265

[134] Dope Inc.: The Book That Drove Kissinger Crazy. The Editors of Executive Intelligence Review. Washington, DC. 1992. p.504

[135] Hot Money and the Politics of Debt. R.T. Naylor. The Linden Press/Simon & Schuster. New York. 1987. p.78

[136] Kwitny. p.233

[137] Naylor. p.80

[138] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.105

[139] “Naming Names”. Louis Wolf. Covert Action Information Bulletin. #32.

Summer 1989. p.14

[140] The Big White Lie: The Deep Cover Operation that Exposed the CIA Sabotage of the Drug War. Michael Levine w/Laura Kavanau-Levine. Thunder’s Mouth Press. New York. 1993

[141] “Recent Findings from the La Penca Lawsuit Investigation”. Convergence. Christic Institute. 9-3-88. p.3

[142] Ibid. p.4

[143] Ibid. p.4

[144] Ibid. p.3

[145] The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI. Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne. Random House. New York. 1993

[146] “Ex-Agents Say CIA Compiled Death Lists for Indonesia”. Kitty Kadane. San Francisco Examiner. 5-20-90

[147] Elich. p.20

[148] “The Bombing of Pan Am 103”. Jeff Jones. Philippine Currents. November/December 1991. p.32

[149] Convergence. p.2

[150] “Up North, Sanctuary for Hull”. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta. Washington Post. 8-8-90. p.D-13

[151] The Mafia, CIA and George Bush: The Untold Story of America’s Greatest Financial Debacle. Pete Brewton. SPI Books. New York. 1992

[152] In Banks We Trust. Penny Lernoux. Anchor Press/Doubleday. Garden City, NY. 1984. p.79

[153] Editors of Executive Intelligence Review. p.250

[154] Ibid

[155] Ibid

[156] Ibid

[157] Marrs

[158] “The Other Iran-Contra Cases”. Fred Strasser. The National Law Journal.

3-26-90. p.1

[159] “Costa Rica is Asking US to Extradite Rancher Tied to 1984 Bombing that Killed

Four”. Lindsey Grusco. New York Times (International Edition). 3-1-90

[160] “Legacy of War, Misery and Manipulation”. Phillip N.D. Martin. Covert Action Information Bulletin. Spring 1991

[161] “Vernon Walters: Crypto-Diplomat and Terrorist”. Ellen Ray and William

Schaap. Covert Action Information Bulletin. #32. Summer 1989. p.49

[162] Brewton

[163] “Noriega, Drugs and the Ones that Got Away”. Garry Emmons. In These Times. Chicago, IL. September 18-24, 1991. p.2

[164] “Book Answers Bush’s Cocaine Questions”. Uri Dowbenko. The Spotlight. 9-6-99. p.1

[165] Brewton

[166] “The Nugan Hand/S&L Connection”. Sherman H. Skolnick. http://www.skolnickreports.com. 1997

[167] “Return to Sender”. AP. Missoulian. 10-26-96