CHAPTER 16 Mitch WerBell and the Hidden Origins of "Dope, Inc."
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In late December 1978, the NCLC published Dope, Inc.: Britain's Opium War Against the U.S. The back cover of the book included this endorsement from Mitchell WerBell: "Dope, Inc. is a book of outstanding importance. It tells the history of a political strike against the United States in an undeclared war waged by Great Britain." Dope, Inc., in fact, was partly put together with the help of a WerBell associate named Walter Mackem, who regularly visited the NCLC's headquarters in New York to help in the "fact gathering" for the book. In his 1978 book Spooks, Jim Hougan describes Mackem as "a former CIA officer and expert in the international narcotics trade."1 The core thesis of Dope, Inc. revolved around the idea that the world drug trade – particularly the drug networks based in Asia – was part of a "British intelligence" plot against America allegedly centering on the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HKSB). The book attempted to link the narcotics business to the British aristocracy as well as to leading Jewish bankers. Most astonishing of all, the book even included a section endorsing the validity of the notorious anti-Semitic hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
At the same time that the NCLC was producing Dope, Inc., WerBell and his cronies in U.S. military intelligence were deeply involved in the formation of their own "drug bank" known as Nugan Hand. Nugan Hand's trail would lead back to a group inside the United States intelligence community known as "Task Force 157." TF-157's members included some of the most notorious figures inside the secret world of American intelligence in the 1970s such as Frank Terpil and Ed Wilson. The creation of Dope, Inc. may even have been part of a strange "disinformation" attempt by elements inside the U.S. intelligence community to divert attention from their own involvement in the international narcotics trade.
WERBELL AND NUGAN HAND BANK
The Australian-based Nugan Hand Bank had U.S. intelligence ties all over it. In June 1982, a report on Nugan Hand was issued by the Australian government entitled The Commonwealth–New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking Report (Vol. 2). The JTF probe was launched after the bank's Australian co-founder, Frank Nugan, was found murdered. The bank's other co-founder, an ex-U.S. Special Forces officer named Michael Hand, vanished after Nugan's death and remains missing to this day. Hand was a former Green Beret who had won a Silver Star, a Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam. He next become a contract agent for the CIA in Vietnam and Laos where he worked the Meo tribes in the CIA's secret war in Laos coordinated by the CIA's infamous Ted Shackley.
The JTF's findings were extensively reported in The Wall Street Journal in a series of articles by the late Jonathan Kwitney that began on 24 August 1982. In his series, Kwitney writes that
The Joint Task Force (JTF) report also looked at WerBell's role in Nugan Hand. The JTF focused on a scheme organized by Nugan Hand's co-founder, Michael Hand. Hand wanted to establish a private project run through Nugan Hand to relocate Meo tribesmen into the Caribbean and South America. Hand's organizer for the project to relocate the Meo was Rear Admiral Earl P. Yates (Ret.). The JTF report describes Yates this way:
As part of the project, Yates contacted his old friend Mitch WerBell. From the JTF report:
When questioned by the JTF, WerBell said that his relationship with Earl Yates began when they both served in the military. As for Yates, when he was asked by the JTF who first arranged WerBell's contact with Nugan Hand, he replied: "I don't know. It might have been Roy Manor." Yates was referring to Le Roy Joseph Manor, Lt. Gen. USAF (Ret.), who had been the former Chief of Staff for the U.S. Pacific Command, the largest operational military command in the U.S. Jonathan Kwitney reported that Manor "had been the special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon for 'counterinsurgency and special activities.'" Both WerBell and Manor worked on the Son Tay raid into North Vietnam, a failed attempt to rescue U.S. POWs. Through his close friend Admiral Yates, Manor joined Nugan Hand as a representative of its Manila office in 1979 and even was said to run the Nugan Hand Manila branch, a claim Manor denied. After Frank Nugan's mysterious death, the plan to relocate the Meo tribesmen ended. But why had the project been started in the first place? The JTF believed the real motive behind the relocation idea involved drugs since the Meo were set to be moved to notorious drug smuggling islands like the Turks and Caicos Islands. From the JTF report:
The Nugan Hand "refugee resettlement program" may well have been a way that the "secret team" of CIA and ex-military man planned to relocate their private Meo Army into the Caribbean to take control of the huge drug trade there while – no doubt – also operating against Cuban-backed and other leftist guerrilla forces in the region, just as they had done in Laos.
THE THAI CONNECTION
One center of Nugan Hand operations (and "Mr. Asia"-linked heroin networks) was Thailand. Another Nugan Hand top official, Gen. Edwin F. Black, had been the commander of all U.S. troops in Thailand during the Vietnam War, before becoming Assistant Chief of Staff for the Army in the Pentagon. Black retired in 1970 and became the executive vice president of the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge. He also worked for LTV Corp., an important CIA contractor. In 1977 Black assumed the presidency of Nugan Hand's branch in Hawaii and make frequent trips to Asia.
Thailand was also an old stomping ground for WerBell. From Spooks:
WerBell’s connections to the region fact dated back to World War II when he worked for the OSS in the Southeast Asian theater. After a LaRouche trip to Thailand in 1984, Sophie and Pakti Tanapura gave an interview to New Solidarity/New Federalist (3 February 1984) and reported: "The warmest welcome [for LaRouche] came from the old Thai networks that date back to the Second World War. The same network worked with the OSS in the region." Northern Thailand was central to the "Golden Triangle" heroin networks that had been first developed by former KMT military men who had been supported by America after the war and who were represented in far right groups like the Asian People's Anti-Communist League (APACL)/World Anti-Communist League (WACL), both of which received support from U.S. intelligence.
COUPS R US
Another one of WerBell's spook friends was Frank Terpil, who would become notorious for his dealings with Libya's Colonel Qaddafi and Uganda's Idi Amin. An arms dealer, Terpil dreamt of marketing WerBell's MAC-10 Ingram around the world. In the Spring 1981 issue of Parapolitics, Jonathan Marshall writes that WerBell and one of his cronies named Morgan
WerBell and Terpil remained close at least until the time Terpil fled the United States. After Terpil was arrested in New York on 22 December 1979 for illegal weapons dealing in a sting set up by undercover cops, WerBell arranged for a journalist to interview Terpil so that Terpil could threaten to expose what he knew of CIA operations. WerBell's connections to Ed Wilson and Frank Terpil surface in the JTF report (Vol. 4, Pt. 2, March 1983). When the JTF talked with WerBell, he told them that Admiral Yates approached him not just to talk about the resettlement of the Meo tribesmen in Central America but also about Haiti. WerBell recalled that when Yates called him in October 1979, he "indicated that he wished to meet with WerBell as there were some matters affecting Haiti which could be to their mutual benefit." So:
WerBell reported that Yates suggested to him that the Meo be resettled after the group acquired "the island of Jacmel in the bay of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for refugee resettlement." Yates then said he wanted WerBell to
WerBell, however, said he told Yates he couldn't do it because the American government would not sanction such an action.2
In the mid-1970s, WerBell and Walter Mackem (who aided the NCLC in the composition of Dope, Inc.) also were involved in a bizarre plot to capture the tiny island of Abaco in the Caribbean with the intent of turning it into a "free enterprise" state inspired by the far right philosophy of Ayn Rand. Such a nation would have been ideal for the creation of casinos and off-shore banks to launder drug money.
ADMIRAL MOORER, THE USS LIBERTY, AND TASK FORCE 157
Behind Nugan Hand bank stood an organization that had been established through the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) known as Task Force 157. TF-157 had been founded in 1965-66 by Admiral Thomas Moorer, then Chief of Naval Operations. Born in Alabama in 1912, Moorer was a World War II war hero. Promoted to Vice Admiral in 1962, he took command of the Seventh Fleet. In June 1964 became commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet as a full Admiral. One year later, he took charge of NATO's U.S. Atlantic Command and the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, becoming the first naval officer to command both the Pacific and Atlantic fleets. In August 1967 Admiral Moorer became the 18th Chief of Naval Operations. After serving almost three years, President Nixon selected Moorer to be Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff – the first naval officer to hold this position in 13 years. As head of the JCS, Moorer strongly pushed for the expansion of the Vietnam War to the north and he played a critical role in getting the Nixon Administration to mine Haiphong harbor and later to conduct major bombing attacks in Hanoi. He remained head of the JCS until he retired in June 1974. Moorer remained a controversial figure throughout his retirement starting with his outspoken attacks on the "Jewish Lobby" to his claim that the United States used poison gas in Laos, a charge that led to a debacle for a CNN documentary team that carried the story shortly before Moorer's death in 2004.
Moorer made no secret of his belief that the Israeli government had far too much power in Washington. On 24 August 1983, Moorer gave an interview (later quoted in Paul Findley's book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby) in which he said:
For years Moorer tried to prove that the attack on the USS Liberty had been a deliberate Israeli action and not a mistake as the Israeli government claimed at the time. While in retirement, Moorer also helped lead the American Security Council (ASC), a hard line group of top retired military men strongly opposed to detente.
TF-157 AND THE MOORER-RADFORD AFFAIR
In 1965-66, Moorer created TF-157 whose principal target was the Soviet Navy. TS-157 agents tracked Soviet ships and listened into Soviet naval chatter as well. In order to insure its own secure communications, TF-157 established its own super-sensitive channel called the SR-1 channel. The USS Liberty was part of the TF-157 and NSA-linked eavesdropping mission. Yet TF-157 was not simply an exercise in technology. It deployed agents across the world whose primary objective was the targeting of port facilities in both the East Bloc and Third World where Russian ships might dock.
Admiral Moorer also got tangled up in an important and highly mysterious sub-plot of the Watergate investigation known as "the Moorer-Radford affair" that involved TF-157. The story became public in late January and early February 1974 when Senator John Stennis held hearings on the incident in the Armed Services Committee. The story is so bizarre that it can only briefly be summarized here. In 1970-1971 when Henry Kissinger was planning his back channel negotiations with China, he needed a secure telecommunications link that could not be intercepted either by the Russians or elements inside the U.S. defense establishment opposed to such a move. For this reason, he turned to SR-1, the apparently unbreakable communications system that TF-157 used for its operations. At the same time that Kissinger was using TF-157 for secure communications, the Pentagon's JCS recruited a young Yeoman named Charles Radford – an aide to Admiral Robert O. Welander – to accompany Kissinger and Alexander Haig on their secret trips as a minor assistant. In the course of these travels, Radford stole and copied secret NSC documents and gave them to his military commanders. In late 1971 Kissinger NSC aide David Young and the "Plumbers" began investigating a "military spy ring" within the NSC that led back to Yeoman Radford. Radford was even arrested on charges of leaking copied stolen documents to syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, who quoted from some top secret internal memos intended for Kissinger.
Under interrogation, Radford revealed that he had routinely stole documents from the attache cases and burn bags of both Kissinger and Haig. Radford said he gave the documents to his boss, Admiral Welander, who – through intermediaries – sent them to Admiral Moorer. Something like a thousand documents were pilfered by Radford. Moorer, however, said that he knew what Kissinger was up to via SR-1 and he didn't need the documents. As for the spy network, Radford claimed that it had been organized under Admiral Welander's predecessor, Admiral Rembrandt Robinson, who had died in Vietnam in May 1972. As for Welander, he told the Congress that while he had indeed passed the Radford documents to Moorer, he had no idea that they were stolen. Most astonishing of all, Radford later told journalist Jim Hougan – who interviewed him for his book on Watergate called Secret Agenda - that he believed that Kissinger's foreign policy was "catastrophic" by deliberate design. Radford told Hougan that
Radford said that this conspiracy theory was told to him by Admiral Welander, who, in turn, attributed it to Admiral Moorer! Moorer, however, told Hougan that he held no such views and that the real issue was Moorer's resistance to Kissinger's attempts at detente with the Soviet Union. In his book Go Quietly . . . Or Else, former Vice-President Spiro Agnew writes of this time:
The Congressional hearings on the Moorer-Radford affair took place in early February 1974 and the entire incident was quickly buried. But in June 1974 Admiral Moorer retired. One year later, Admiral Welander would be forced to retire as well.
As it so happened, in late December 1973, seemingly out of the blue, the NCLC suddenly declared that the Rockefeller family was the center of world capitalist evil and that the Rockefeller/Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) network must be defeated at all costs. In so doing, the sect now began to mimic the very worldview that led Radford and Moorer to suspect Kissinger, who had a long pedigree with the Rockefellers, as a "one world government" type who was now suspected of conspiring with Moscow (and China) for the greater glory of Chase Manhattan Bank.
THE U.S. MILITARY AND THE NCLC
Did the NCLC have any covert ties to the U.S. military that predate Mitchell WerBell?
The NCLC believed that the military had a strong interest in monitoring leftist groups. A 7 July 1975 New Solidarity story, for example, claimed that the U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC) maintained some 300 U.S. field offices with a general HQ at Fort Holabird, Maryland. USAINTC was said to maintain computer files on leftist groups that it sent on a regular basis to the Counter-intelligence Analysis Department (CIAD) of the Pentagon. The New Solidarity article claimed that that the Labor Committee had uncovered this new information in the group's investigation "of the FBI-LEAA drug and gun-running ring in Reading, Pennsylvania," that "established that U.S. Army Intelligence has been actively involved in both the 'Schwartze Kapelle' [a reference to Michael Vale] and Reading operations." This story appeared one month after another strange notice in New Solidarity. A 2 June 1975 New Solidarity story ("CIA Agents Kidnap Drug ELC Member") claimed that
The U.S. military may well have taken an interest in the NCLC as early as the fall of 1972. In September 1972, The Next Step (TNS) cadre joined the NCLC. A 18-22 September 1972 New Solidarity article reports that TNS cadre had been very active in distributing propaganda to some 40 US military bases in Germany. As I have already shown in my chapter on TNS, the American military and CIA was quite worried about the GI and deserters' movement in both Europe and Japan. At the time The Next Step linked up with the NCLC, Mike Vale and his comrades were setting up networks not just to handle GI's who deserted to Sweden; they were starting to branch out to try to recruit dissident GIs in American military bases in Germany as well. During this period, TNS organizers began working with the Greek exile group Epanastasi. The issue for military intelligence was not simply limited to political dissent among GIs. There was also the fear that servicemen, wittingly or unwittingly, could give pro-Moscow leftists information about troop deployments or base security that would be of interest to the KGB or the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) and their East Bloc satellite security services. The Next Step never made any secret about its connections to North Vietnam and members of TNS even spoke on NLF radio broadcasts.
In late 1972 or sometime in 1973, the NCLC created something called the Officers Training School (OTS). There was a scandal at the "school" in 1973 that apparently involved the brutalization of cadre that was briefly alluded to at an NCLC conference but never mentioned again. What seems likely is that the methods used to train and indoctrinate specially selected members involved extreme "ego stripping sessions." Members who went through OTS now formed the core cadre of LaRouche's Security Staff that played such an important role in the Chris White hoax.
In the Spring of 1973, the NCLC began attacking the American Communist Party. One of LaRouche's ideological justifications for the attack was that the CPUSA was secretly collaborating with the Nixon Administration to impose "slave labor" on welfare mothers. The attacks on the CP were rooted in the NCLC's claim that the CP was encouraging a "Popular Front" government with the Democratic Party in cahoots with Moscow and liberal banking circles in America, including the Rockefellers. The NCLC's argument weirdly mirrored the one outlined in Yeoman Radford's John Birch Society like-testimony about a "one world government" plot between the Rockefellers and the Russians in order to dominate the world currency markets.3
THE NCLC DISRUPTS THE WATERGATE HEARINGS
In the summer of 1973, the NCLC began to argue that Nixon himself was being "set up" for a coup by elements of the "liberal CIA" and the Rockefellers. In May 1973 the NCLC issued a major pamphlet attacking the Popular Front. In a 21-25 May 1973 New Solidarity article on the Soviet Union, the NCLC's failed attacks on the CPUSA were now justified because "the international communist movement led by Moscow has been transformed into a self-conscious counter-insurgency instrument of the depression crazed bourgeoisie." Hard liners like Mikhail Suslov and Pytor Shelest had been defeated by pro-detente "industrial manager" types. As a result of this catastrophe, "the Labor Committee is the only Left that exists in the whole wide world."
Then in the 28 May/1 June 1973 New Solidarity, the group announced that the key factor in world politics today was the Brandt-Brezhnev deal centered around detente. Pursuing this same line, the NCLC began to claim that the CIA was really behind the attacks on Nixon. In a 9-13 July 1973 New Solidarity article written from Germany, LaRouche asked: "Is the CIA out to Topple Nixon?" This article was the first indication of the new turn. On 7 August 1973, eight NCLC members were arrested for trying to physically disrupt the Ervin Committee hearings on Watergate by reading a statement in the midst of the hearings on a CIA plot to take over the United States. The group claimed the hearings were part of a cover-up of the CIA's role in domestic American politics. Although the NCLC didn't openly offer "critical support" to Nixon at the time, a 8/10/73 New Solidarity banner article ("Charge Watergate Cover Up of Domestic CIA Plots") asserted that the CIA was in the process of replacing elected government institutions as part of its "well-laid plans" to "build a fascist movement in the United States in the 1970s." As for the Nixon administration, the same article argued:
Finally in late December 1973 on the eve of the Chris White affair, New Solidarity announced that the Rockefeller family was determined to impose fascism on the world. Less than one month later the NCLC initiated its public critical support for Nixon.
NCLC DEFENSE OF ADMIRAL MOORER AND THE PENTAGON
In January 1974 in the chaotic wake of the Chris White Affair, the NCLC launched an aggressive defense not just of the Nixon administration but the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well. In a 18 January 1974 New Solidarity article entitled "Exclusive! Rockefeller & CIA Set Nixon Up for Watergate," Bob Cohen ("Peter Cuskie") explicitly defended not just Nixon but Admiral Moorer as well:
Cohen claimed that the two key "Rockefeller agents" working for the CIA to bring down the Nixon administration were Henry Kissinger and David Young. Coincidentally, Kissinger and Young were also behind the creation of the investigative unit that broke the "Moorer-Radford" spy ring. Cohen references the incident this way:
Cohen also attacked purges inside both the Pentagon and the CIA during the temporary rule of James Schlesinger:
Remarkably, then, by January 1974 the NCLC publicly defended George Wallace-allied figures like Admiral Moorer and attacked James Schlesinger for firing "anti-special operations agents" at both the Pentagon and CIA! In a 1 March 1974 New Solidarity article ("Rocky Forces Announce Push for Military Government"), LaRouche denounced Jack Anderson for blaming the My Lai massacre on Admiral Moorer and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NS also ran an "Exclusive" entitled "CIA, Not Military, Behind My Lai." Next came an April 1974 article entitled "CIA 'Newsmen' ___ Senator Baker's Probe of Watergate Setup," in which the paper praised a book by former Air Force officer L. Fletcher Prouty:
THE GREG ROSE REVELATIONS
The NCLC's expression of support for the Pentagon was not just literary. Starting sometime in either 1973 or very early 1974, the group's Security Staff openly tried to establish ties to the Pentagon, including one of Admiral Moorer's leading aides. In a 24 January 1976 Daily World article ("NCLC Spied for Army, Says Ex-Leader"), the CP reported on revelations from Greg Rose, one of the former heads of the NCLC Security "Counter-Intelligence Section" who had left the group in 1975. Rose said that Ron Kokinda – an NCLC member whose family owned a farm at which the Security Staff trained – was in charge of sending NCLC reports to the group's Pentagon contacts. They reportedly included:
*Maj. Gen. John Wickham, Jr.
*Lt. Gen. Ray Sitton
*Col. B.V. Brown
*Lt. Gen. L.T. Seith
*Brig. Gen. K. L. Christensen
*Vice Real Admiral P. J. Hannifin
Rose also told the Daily World that the NCLC had ties to an aide of Admiral Moorer as well as to a Col. Heydrich from West Germany.
Rose further claimed that the "invitation for the contacts" was not simply one way and that the NCLC sent the Pentagon what he called "extremely secret" reports, although the content of the reports is not known. What is clear is that the NCLC was lacing its information with demands for some kind of military-led takeover of the government. Rose claimed that Filio Torres, one member of Security, grew angry at the way the NCLC tried to get the military to back some kind of Seven Days in May like-coup.
COLSON, CONEIN, AND WERBELL
In the spring and summer of 1974 as the contacts with the Pentagon developed, the NCLC began promoting the views of Nixon White House official Charles "Chuck" Colson. Colson, in turn, tried to steer attention to alleged CIA meddling in Watergate. As it so happened, Colson knew Watergate's E. Howard Hunt – like Colson a former Brown alumni – and helped bring him into the White House. Colson also knew Mitch WerBell's friend and mentor of sorts, Lucien Conein. Colson most likely had been introduced to Conein by E. Howard Hunt, who helped Conein find a job at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In Spooks, Jim Hougan reports that as a condition for getting the job, Conein first had to reach a deal with Colson:
As a DEA official, Conein turned to his friend WerBell to help set up an "off the shelf" assassination operation meant to take out leading drug dealers otherwise untouchable by law. Again from Spooks:
(In an 11 September 1979 New Solidarity article, LaRouche alludes to this period, writing: "You know Richard Nixon formed an anti-drug team. I can't tell some aspects of this, I wasn't involved, but some of the friends with whom I've worked were involved.")
Another one of WerBell's cronies at the time turns up both in Watergate and later with the NCLC. This was the mysterious Gordon Novel. Novel entered the murky world of Watergate because Colson believed that the CIA had "tapes" of everything relating to the White House. From Jim Hougan's book Secret Agenda:
Gordon Novel later visited the NCLC's New York headquarters as one of Mitch WerBell's aides. In 1977, Novel tried to supply the government with information against the NCLC, apparently based on his belief that LaRouche wanted to kill leading Carter administration officials. In a 1 December 1978 New Solidarity article, LaRouche recalled:
WERBELL AND DRUGS
In the mid-1970s WerBell was indicted by the U.S. government for planning to ship a large quantity of marijuana into the United States, an incident dubbed "the Great Pot Plot."4 Lou Conein and WerBell had extensive ties to networks in Southeast Asia who smuggled drugs into the West courtesy of the CIA's Air America to help finance the Secret War in Laos and Southeast Asia. In his book The Great Heroin Coup, Danish investigative reporter Henrik Kruger hypothesizes that the DEA and Conein were more interested in taking out rival competitors to the drug trade than eliminating drugs per se.5
If the Conein-WerBell project was to carry out assassinations of selected drug dealers in an attempt to corner the market for narcotics sources that they could control for the benefit of their own intelligence network – a network based on the old Golden Triangle KMT/APACL networks in Southeast Asia as well as rightist governments in Latin America – the collapse of the Nixon administration made such schemes impossible to implement. If, however, this scheme "went black," it might explain the creation of Nugan Hand bank in the 1970s and the bank's interest in relocating Laotian Meo tribesmen to the Caribbean. It might further explain why as soon as the Carter Administration came to power, there was a massive attempt by both the CIA and ONI to shut down TF-157.
In a 24 August 1977 internal memorandum, Lyndon LaRouche described the NCLC's overtures to the military right:
McCrary was reported by the NCLC to have worked for U.S. military intelligence as a military attache in Taiwan. If true, he was dead center in the KMT "China Lobby." McCrary hated Henry Kissinger and believed that Kissinger had tipped off Mao to Lin Biao's attempted September 1971 coup plot. McCrary was also heavily involved in George Wallace's American Independence Party (AIP). In 1968, Wallace's candidate for vice-president was none other than the former head of the Strategic Air Command, General Curtis LeMay. LeMay ran with Wallace because he believed that if Nixon won, the new administration would encourage a policy of strategic parity and detente with the USSR.
Following the AIP split after the 1972 election, McCrary endorsed the wing of the party allied with former Georgia governor Lester Maddox. Thanks to McCrary, various NCLC leaders addressed gatherings of AIP supporters in the mid-1970s. The 19 July 1977 issue of Executive Intelligence Review (4/29) even reprinted a statement by McCrary praising LaRouche. At the time, the Gainsville, Georgia-based McCrary headed up the "National Coalition of Independent Voters on Issues," which may have served as a clearing house for the Liberty Lobby/AIP network to liaison with LaRouche as McCrary's statement praised LaRouche and denounced Chase Manhattan Bank. It is even possible that the Labor Committee itself helped ghostwrite the statement that McCrary signed.
ENTER MITCH WERBELL
The first NCLC reference in print to Mitchell WerBell-related enterprise appeared in a 18 February 1977 New Solidarity article by Paul Goldstein about far-right networks tied into the CIA and Interpol. Goldstein discusses an Italian fascist named Pierluigi Concutelli, who had carried out the assassination of an Italian judge using a WerBell-produced MAC-10.6 Goldstein writes:
Two months after Goldstein's article mentioning the MAC-10, on 17 May 1977, New Solidarity ran an article announcing that Teamster boss John Nardi – a criminal associate of WerBell – had been "assassinated."7 A 19 July 1777 New Solidarity story declared that the Carter administration was plotting to murder NCLC leaders starting with LaRouche. The supposed murders would coincide with a right-wing coup in France as well as with attempts to trigger a new Mideast war. Then on 26 July 1977, New Solidarity reported that Willis Carto's far right "populist" Spotlight newspaper had run a story on the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) that detailed the harassment of the USLP, the electoral wing of the NCLC. During this same period, New Solidarity commented favorably on Libya. A 29 July 1977 New Solidarity piece, for example, claimed that Anwar Sadat ("a Carter puppet") was out to attack Libya. Finally on 2 August 1977, New Solidarity announced a supposed "Baader-Meinhof plot" to kill LaRouche in Wiesbaden. In the next 5 August issue, New Solidarity said that Mitch WerBell was now taking over the duty of "protecting" LaRouche from imminent assassination. Once again a period of artificial hysteria generated by a fake assassination plot against LaRouche served as the justification for WerBell to openly ally himself with LaRouche. Anyone tempted inside the organization to raise objections to the NCLC's collaboration with proclaimed "Wizard of Whispering Death" would themselves be threatened with helping to conspire in LaRouche's demise.
THE DESTRUCTION OF TF-157 AND THE NCLC
With the coming to power of Jimmy Carter in 1977 – a move the NCLC tried furiously to prevent – the CIA received a new director in Admiral Stansfield Turner. Starting in 1977, Turner reportedly cut the CIA's covert operations directorate from 1,200 to fewer than 400 operatives. The still ostensibly socialist NCLC, however, denounced Turner's purge. In a 19 July 1977 New Solidarity article, LaRouche attacked Turner's dismissal of CIA Deputy Director E. Henry Knoche. He further bragged that his 30-minute nationwide television performance on the eve of the 1976 elections – where he warned the nation that electing Jimmy Carter would lead to World War III – had resulted in a "briefing channel" being opened between the NCLC and "conservative circles in the U.S. close to both the military and intelligence community."
On 17 February 1978, New Solidarity claimed that Admiral Turner was deliberately out to dismantle the CIA "old boys'" networks and promote high technology intelligence gathering methods in order to "reduce the political potential in running intelligence operations by dumping old-time professional intelligence analysts." On 27 February 1978, New Solidarity again attacked Turner for having "lyingly contended that the Soviet Union's civil defense capabilities were not sufficiently developed to the point where the Soviets would risk a thermonuclear war with the U.S." In yet another article in the 30 May 1978 New Solidarity, LaRouche turned against the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and stated that the ONI was now pulling the strings at the CIA. He again singled out the dismissal of Knoche as CIA Deputy Director as part of an ONI move coordinated by Turner and Admiral Bobby Ray Inman. LaRouche also claimed that the ONI wanted to break up "CIA private channels" to the Soviet Union. LaRouche returned to the ONI and the dismantling of TF-157 in a long article in the 21 November 1978 issue of New Solidarity entitled "Flank of Assassination Plot Exposed." In a section entitled "The ONI Angle," LaRouche writes:
He later adds:
Admiral Bobby Ray Inman
In 1977 TF-157 was indeed being dismantled by the ONI. An article in the 23 November 1981 issue of Inquiry magazine notes that "Task Force 157 was disbanded in 1977 when . . . about seventy-five other civilian task force employees were abruptly fired following an internal scandal that was kept secret from most in the spy unit itself." The TF-157 purge was led by Admiral Bobby Ray Inman. In his book on Ed Wilson (The Death Merchant), author Joseph Goulden states that:
Given LaRouche's reference to the Mideast in particular, it is worth noting that TF-157 had maintained a particularly strong presence in that region. Again from The Death Merchant:
Under "corporate assignment," Wilson helped establish networks throughout the region. On one mission to Tehran, Wilson claimed to be there at the behest of Admiral Moorer. Wilson also claimed he ran the "Middle East desk" for TF-157 and maintained extensive connections in Egypt as well as with the SAVAK in Iran.
Wilson even began to see TF-157 as a potential replacement for the CIA. Again from The Death Merchant:
Following the Colson "CIA conspiracy" angle in Watergate, Wilson also told his associates:
THE "E TO L MEMO"
One of the mysteries of the Task Force 147 saga is the possibility that LaRouche may have been in direct contact at one time with former TS-157 operative Ed Wilson. Below is a transcription of an October 1981 exchange which I have only changed by fixing some obvious typos and adding one or two grammatical punctuation marks when needed. Curiously, “E” is advocating the NCLC adopt a more favorable policy towards closer U.S. engagement with Libya and against the polemical attacks emanating from the new Reagan Administration and Al Haig’s State Department in particular. “E” obviously wants the LC to use its propaganda networks to encourage a closer American link with Libya. The memo also came at a time when the story of Ed Wilson from TF-157 and his connections to the Qaddafi regime became newspaper fodder. More curious, however, is LaRouche’s wacky response to “E’s” request: He in effect turns him down cold. Instead, LaRouche tries to portray Qaddafi as part of a sinister British/Jesuit diabolical plot. Is the author of the first memo Ed Wilson so the "E to L Memo" could be from "Ed to Lyn"? It is also important to keep in mind that the Libyans had semi-covertly financed the Labor Committee to the tune of buying some 2,000 copies of a Labor Committee Campaigner entitled "Zionism Is Not Judaism" that was published in December 1978. This news surfaced in a presentation by Nancy Spannaus in 1995 in part 4 of her lecture series on the history of the Labor Committee on U-Tube at minute 1:31 and available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m64AJJadG68. What remains unclear is whether or not this was the only time the Libyans gave the organization money during this period.
In any case, Dennis King strongly believes the idea that "E" might be Ed Wilson is wrong. He argues that the memo was almost certainly written by Roy Frankhouser, the KKK leader turned Labor Committee "security consultant." King believes that Frankhouser scammed the NCLC Security Staff by falsely claiming to have high contacts inside the intelligence community and there is no doubt that the NCLC believed in Frankhouser. Part of Frankhouser's genius was to feed the group "paper" he had concocted. Thus it is important to remember that any speculation that this text might be really from Ed Wilson is a highly contested claim. Even if the memo is a Frankhouser fake, he remarkably managed to capture what Wilson may well have been thinking at the time. Whatever the truth of the matter, here is the memo along with LaRouche's truly strange response:
THE LAROUCHE RESPONSE
On 16 October 1981, LaRouche submitted this wacky response:
MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON?
The Labor Committee arguments about the Rockefellers and the Zionists in America are associated with the far right.
But what about in Russia?
In its 11 November 1978 issue, The New Republic ran an article by Robert Herr about an evening lecture he attended at Moscow State University, Soviet Russia’s Harvard. The talk (entitled “The Pre-Election Campaign in the USA”) was presented not by a specialist from The Institute of the USA and Canada but by someone whom Herr describes as “an informed amateur, an editor of the journal Man and Law, who has written a few books on international affairs.” A large audience filled the hall, mostly students but its ranks also included “many middle-aged men and women as well.” And this is some of what they heard: The Zionists were responsible for killing President Kennedy; the Zionists were also behind all the key conspiracies in the United States. The Zionists also controlled Nixon and put him into power but then they watergated him later on:
The audience, reports Herr,
Like the speaker, the NCLC passionately promoted the idea that Former Secretary of State Kissinger was responsible for Moro's death. As for the "Zionist myth of the six million victims": In the 22 August 1978 issue of New Solidarity, LaRouche first went public with this whopper: While talking to a “Zionist friend,” he opined: “Granted, the Nazis did not kill six million Jews, but they did kill upwards of a million and a half.” Anyway, “Whether Hitler killed one and a half million Jews or more, which he did, or six million Jews which he did not, really makes little difference . . ." As for "the Masons," one month before the Moscow State University presentation, the 3 October 1978 issue of New Solidarity reported that in mid-September 1978 the Soviet youth daily Komsomolskaya Pravda ran an expose linking Zionism to Masonry. It further stated that both groups use the same subversive tactics. Yet perhaps the weirdest reference of all may be to the "two Soviet diplomats." In a 21 November 1978 New Solidarity LaRouche-penned article, which appeared shortly after the Moscow University speech, we read more about those two alleged Soviet spies mentioned in the Moscow talk.
Some background. In late May 1978, two Soviet nationals, Valdik Enger (Assistant to the Under Secretary General of the UN) and Rudolf Chernyayev (UN Personnel officer) were arrested in an espionage sting in New Jersey while trying to buy classified information on antisubmarine warfare from a man whom they mistakenly thought was a cash-starved U.S. Navy Officer and thus the kind of capitalist crook they thought they could trust. A third Russian named Vladimir Zinyakin was picked up as well but he had to be released as he had diplomatic immunity as a member of the Soviet Mission to the UN. On 30 October 1978 the two remaining Russians were sentenced to 50 years in jail. In April 1979 they were exchanged for five Soviet dissidents.
Now we turn to LaRouche's 21 November 1978 New Solidarity opus to discover what he claims really happened: "According to authoritative Atlantic intelligence community sources, the arrest and conviction of the two Soviet UN employees charged with espionage in the New Jersey case ‘smells to high heaven.’ Every indication is that they were not guilty in fact." LaRouche continues:
One such “courtesy” the Russians dearly hoped would be channeled was “material related to underwater acoustics, submarine detection systems, helicopter system and other secret matters” to quote the New York Times. LaRouche then writes about the spies: "Both were, according to reports, highly trained persons and therefore would not, under any circumstances, have put themselves knowingly into a position of receiving unlawful information of the sort classifiable as espionage."
In sort, just as the NCLC tried to suck up to U.S. far right military and intelligence officials, the organization felt they had a similar network of co-thinkers in the East Bloc as well. As for the Russians, many of the conspiracy theories endemic inside the Soviet Union would surface publicly in the late 1980s starting with the organization Pamyat that may well have had some support in Soviet military circles just as Carto's Liberty Lobby enjoyed good relations with many members of the U.S. military.
Given the fact that Dope, Inc. was being put together under the guidance of the NCLC's Security Staff in cahoots with the WerBell network just at the time that sections of the old TF-157 and "China Lobby" networks were building up Nugan Hand, it seems legitimate to pose this question: Was the production of Dope, Inc. one part of an intended disinformation project by disaffected fringe elements inside the U.S. intelligence community, who may have been looking to drug networks to help finance them following the purges carried out by the Carter Administration?
Yet no matter what back-room deals may or may not have been made, the failure of the NCLC to gain serious public support for LaRouche politically from the anti-Eastern Establishment wing of the military-industrial complex is obvious. It is even discussed in part in a 15 August 1978 NS attack by LaRouche on the "Peace Through Strength" group that he associated with the American Security Council (then headed by Admiral Moorer). LaRouche argued that people like Moorer wanted to confront the USSR militarily at the very time when America has lost its advantage in war-fighting capability, as evidenced by alleged Soviet breakthroughs in Soviet laser beam weapon technology.
That the tiny NCLC's courtship of the American military elite ended in failure is not surprising. What is important is the way that the attempted connection to the military – just as with the NCLC's attempted alliances with the Liberty Lobby – further distorted the organization politically. On the one hand, the NCLC throughout the 1970s was an ostensibly a pro-Soviet and pro-East Bloc organization that applauded the most hard-line elements behind the Iron Curtain. On the other hand, LaRouche desperately tried to find some kind of base inside the bitterly anti-Soviet American far right and military-industrial complex.
To justify his impossible attempt to pander to two diametrically opposite social blocs, LaRouche announced that the categories of "left" and "right" were actually mythological and that real politics was a "secret known only to the inner elite." Yet his attempt to get anyone outside of the small circle of the NCLC itself to accept his view was a total failure. It also led to convoluted attempts to rationalize NCLC policy such as this gem from a 2 January 1976 New Solidarity article: "All indications suggest that the so-called anti-detente faction is in fact pro-peace, although it consists of Cold War psychosis-hardened paranoiacs."
The NCLC's bizarre politics left it wide open to claims that the group may have been part of some East German or Soviet-sponsored attempt to infiltrate the American intelligence community by pandering to right-wing notions of Eastern Establishment cabals, and with a healthy dose of crazed anti-Semitism added to the mix for good measure. Given just how bizarre the NCLC had become after 1973, its activities could give rise to any number of conspiratorial views as to LaRouche's "real" motive from passionate arguments that claimed he was a secret neo-Nazi agent by the Yippies to assertions from John Birch Society member and Western Goals leader Congressman Larry McDonald that the NCLC acted as a sophisticated Soviet Bloc intelligence gathering operation.
For LaRouche, however, the mirage of alliances with the likes of a WerBell only helped drive him deeper and deeper into the never-never land of fringe American politics while further fueling his delusion that he had become a major player in a great covert chess game for world power. Now more than ever, LaRouche imagined himself a grand master of statecraft or Philosopher King even as the rest of the world viewed him more and more as an increasingly deranged pawn. In short, Dope, Inc. appears in retrospect more than anything else as an ugly and weird expression of a political opium dream.
1. In this chapter, I will frequently cite from Jim Hougan's book Spooks: The Haunting of America: The Private Use of Secret Agents first published in August 1978 by William Morrow. Hougan extensively interviewed WerBell for the book. I also rely on Hougan's 1984 study of Watergate, Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA, published by Random House.
2. The Haiti coup plot would resurface in a curious way in the Ed Wilson investigation. At one time Wilson had a bodyguard named John Dutcher, who was also close to Terpil and Terpil's sidekick Garry Korkola. When Terpil and Korkola were arrested in late 1979 on charges of offering to supply 10,000 light Sten machine guns to right-wing "Latin American revolutionaries" – who turned out to be New York cops – Dutcher was with them, since part of the deal involved Dutcher training the phantom army. Just one month before his arrest, Terpil was in London in the company of Admiral Yates.
According to the JTF report:
In this meeting the role that Nugan Hand could play with Libya was also discussed:
In 1981 there was a falling out between Dutcher and Wilson. To get revenge against Dutcher, Wilson leaked part of the Yates plot involving Haiti – the plot WerBell turned down in late 1979 – to Jack Anderson. From Joseph Goulden's book The Death Merchant:
3. For more background on "Brandt-Brezhnev," see http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.UnityNow7.
4. For extensive coverage of this incident see Hougan's book Spooks. Also see Dennis King's discussion in his book Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism.
5. Kruger argued that
See Henrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, and International Fascism (Boston: South End Press, 1980), 131.
6. WerBell's Ingram MAC-10 gun is also prominently displayed in the film Three Days of the Condor.
7. The best discussion of NCLC ties to the Mafia is in Dennis King, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism.
Pdf file downloadable here (194 Kb)