WBAI Pacifica Radio New York
Interview with Mark Swaney
By: Paul DeRienzo.
WBAI radio's fall 1991 interview with Mark
Swaney from "Faithful Arkansas" a citizens group, speaking of
Bill Clintons and George Bushs connection with the CIA covert
drug smuggling operation in Mena Arkansas in support of the Contras.
. [they] set up a front company in
Guadalajara Mexico. The purpose, of which, he was told, was to smuggle
weapons to the Contras in Central America. And he was to be the
front man he was to provide the front cover for this company, but
he was given to know that behind the scenes they [the CIA] would be using
this company to smuggle weapons. So he was ok with that and he went down
to Guadalajara and was down there until the summer of 87actually
the plane was shot down in 86. So this operation in Mexico continued
for a year after the Iran-Contra story was breaking and thats something
that a lot of people dont knowthey think that Iran-Contra
re-supply stopped when the revelations were made in 86, but they
Anyway in the summer of 87, even as
the hearings were going on in Congress, Terry Reed began to suspect they
were using his front company for something other than smuggling weapons.
And one day he was looking for a lathe in one of his warehouses by the
airport there in Guadalajara and he went in and opened up an air freight
shipping container (which are very large, theyre about 28 feet long,
7 feet high, 8 feet wide), and he found it packed full of Cocaine when
he opened it up. He immediately realized he was in a very precarious situation
because he was the only one on paper who had anything to do with that
company, and if they had ever gotten caughtthere was nobody to stand
up and say well this guy didnt know anythinghe was going to
be a patsy if anything went wrong. So he decided he wasnt going
to play the part of the patsy.
The man who was his contact man for the CIA
in Mexico was Felix Rodriguez. So he confronted Felix Rodriguez and said
well listen I didnt bargain on getting into Narcotics smuggling
and Im outta this all together guys Im leaving nowI
refuse to have anything further to do with this. And Felix Rodriguez said
ok fine if you want to be out your out. Now before he was able to return
to Little Rock Arkansas where his home was at the time, Governor Clintons
Chief of Security Raymond Buddy Young, and private investigator, Tommy
Baker, who is Im told a former member of the Arkansas State Police,
were framing Terry Reid for mail fraud.
What this involved was the so-called project
donation that Oliver North had set up. Terry Reids plane had been
stolen a number of years earlier and used in drug missions and such
without his knowledge and he claimed the insurance money for his
plane being stolen and so to set him up what they did was took the
airplane and put it back in his hangar before he got back to Arkansas.
Governor Clintons Chief of Security just supposedly happened and
this is what he tells the presshe says "one day I just
happened to be walking by this hangar, and the wind just happened to blow
the door open and I just happened to look in and see this airplane that
was stolen four years earlier in another state and I realized-that was
the plane." And so this is how the case got started.
How would he have known that was the plane?
Oh thats never been explained. Along
with a number of aspects in this famous story. Were in contact with
Terry Reids defense attorney in Witchita and shes promised
to send us all of the documentswe have some of the documents already
that indicate he was found not guiltywell he never went to
Is that the same Buddy Young by the way whos
head of Governor Clintons security detail.
Yes he is.
Buddy Young; lets keep his name in
mind because I want to come back to him. Lets jump now to the sight
in Arkansas that was used as the landing sight, the airport in Arkansas
in the town of Mena Arkansasthat was determinates of a lot of these
Iran-Contra re-supply flights.
Yes, in fact Terry Reid has stated in that
same article that you have that it was the hub of the Contra re-supply
effort. Many people are not aware that Arkansas was very heavily and very
deeply involved in the Iran-Contra affair all during the time that Governor
Clinton governor of the state. And there were numerous stories written
about it in the press. Well the story about Mena is that Mena is a very
small town in the middle of the Washitah mountains in Southwestern Arkansas
and not coincidentally it happens to be in Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidts
district, the Third Congressional district.
John Paul Hammerschmidt just happens to be
one of George Bushs very closest friends. He was George Bushs
Presidential Campaign Manager for Bushs campaign in 76 and
again in 1980. The two people are very close. Anyway Mena has an airport
and it looks from the outside like an ordinary, normal airport. The thing
that separates Menas airport from any other is the fact that there
are rows upon row of hangars buildings that house aircraft refitting
facilities. Now aircraft refitting is an industry that is in demand by
two principal paying customers. One of them is the CIA, and the other
ones are drug smugglers. And the reason is, is because if youre
a CIA guy and youre going to do covert actions overseas theyre
almost entirely relying on air transport of some kind. Particularly if
youre going to covertly re-supply an army thats over a thousand
Hasenfuss plane was based there.
Hasenfuss plane, the plane that was
shot down, was based in Mena Arkansas.
That plane was based there formally before
Barry Seal was murdered just a few months before it was shot down.
That was Barry Seals own personal airplane. But anyway what you
need to do, if youre a CIA or a drug smuggler is you need an airplane
that can do things that normally airplanes of the civilian variety are
not allowed to do. Things like have cargo doors that open to the inside
of the airplane so that you can make in-flight dropsso that you
can drop things out of the airplane while its flyingwhich
is illegal on a commercial or civilian type of aircraft. You need to do
things like install advanced navigational equipment sometimes even? You
need things like roller mats to put down on the floor so that you can
roll the crates forward in the fuselage of the airplane to kick them out.
You need to be able to modify a civilian aircraft that is not legally
allowed to have such capability so that it does have those capabilities.
And this was done in Menaa smalltown
Right now Mena has the second or third largestI
dont know which, but one of the largest aircraft refitting facilities
in the United States. And as such it waslong before the Nicaraguan
episode happened, it was a base of CIA covert operation and remains to
this very minute a base of CIA covert operation.
Lets jump to another name that comes
up in thisa fella by the name of Larry Nichols, former employee
of the state of Arkansas. He was a employee of the Arkansas Development
and Finance Authority now I have an Associated Press article that came
out just a couple of days ago that Larry Nichols has dropped a lawsuit
that he had instituted in 1990 against Governor Clinton that came after
his 1988 dismissal from that state job for miss-use of agency telephones.
Can you tell us who Larry Nichols was?
Yeah this is probably the most interesting
part of the story you see Larry Nichols is the source of all these
rumors and the Jennifer Flowers thing and the Governors sex life.
The story that the press has yet not picked up on is the fact that Larry
Nichols was a big time Contra supporter. He has close connections to Mario
Colero, Adolpho Colero and Jack Singlaub. In fact he served with General
Singlove in Vietnam. He spent the first half of the decade working for
the Contras in a connection with an organization that General Singlove
had. He spent time with the Contras on the ground in Honduras. His
job was to collect military information. Now Ive met with Larry
Nicholsthis information that Im about to give you he has told
me directly. And we have checked out a great deal of what hes told
us and everything that he has told us has checked out totally accurate.
So what were seeing here is a connection
between the mistress sex scandal and the Iran-Contra and the Governor
of Arkansas. Theres a connection.
Well what you find out here in a minute is
that the sex scandals really have nothing to do with it. I saw his lawsuit
several months ago when I was in Little Rock and it was of no interest
to me I didnt even bother to make a copy of it. But Larry Nichols,
the man, and his relationship to the Governor is extremely interesting.
You see what it isis that his job was to make military analysis
of the situation in Honduras with the Contras. And to take that information
back to the United States and package it and present it to Congressmen
who are in favor of Contra Aid with a view toward convincing them that
the Contras were an effective military fighting forcethat
they could win militarily against the Sandanistas.
At some point around 85 I believe
this job for Larry ran out, and he didnt have any money and he approached
Governor Clinton. Now according to Larry, he and Governor Clinton are
close friends, have known each other for a long time. In fact before the
Governor was the Governor. He asked Governor Clintonhey Im
broke I need a job. Well its not too usual that somebody could just
call up the Governor and say I want a job and the Governor says sure well
make you Marketing Director for ADFA. Thats the Arkansas Development
Finance Authoritywhich figures centrally in Bill Clintons
relationship to the Contra Re-supply network that the state of Arkansas
was so heavily involved in.
In any case he was there working at ADFA
and someone at ADFA a fellow employee had found out about this guy that
was working with them who was this romantic jungle fighter type of character.
And eventually she began to talk to some friends about it and word reached
the ears of a reporter and a reporter began to investigate Larry
Nicholswondering what this big Contra supporter was doing working
for ADFA. Everyone who holds a top position at ADFA is directly appointed
by Bill Clintonin fact ADFA is a total invention of Bill Clintonshe
created the agency out of thin air and appoints all of the top directors.
In any case a reporter approached Bill Clinton in Japan and started to
question him about Larry Nichols wanted to know what this guy was
doing on state payroll if he was lobbying for the Contras
or just what the story was.
Mr. Clinton, rather precipitously fired Larry
Nichols directly after that. And the story that was put out was that he
was fired for misusing state telephones that hed supposedly made
hundreds of calls to the Contras and ran up thousands of dollars worth
of bills to the Contrasumm that is an unsubstantiated allegationin
fact on Larry Nichols suggestion the organization I work with received
his entire phone records from ADFA through freedom of information act
and went over those phone records with him call by call and we did not
find any records of calls by him outside the United States on those phone
records so it was a phony charge and Larry Nichols was in fact wrongfully
fired and they made up this story that he was calling the Contras in order
to get rid of him.
Why do you think that was?
Well I dont know the exact reason but
I can tell you this that Larry Nichols and Buddy Young the man I mentioned
earlier, are very close friends.
Well thats a point that you just mentioned
that Buddy Young was the State Security man who discovered the airplanethe
allegedly stolen airplane belonging to Terry Reid was in fact in a certain
Everything to do with that in fact the federal
judge is on record for calling Buddy Young a liar in Terry Reids
trial. But see Larry Nichols and Buddy Young knew each other and are close
friends according to the newspaper accounts that were in the newspaper
down here in Arkansas yesterdaytheyre old buddies.
Yes, well thats what the Associated
Press report that Im looking at right now says that Nichols dropped
his lawsuit after consulting with Buddy Young.
Yes, Now Im going to say something
right now which is rather shockingthis is the first time this has
been made public to my knowledge. A member of my organization who is going
to be at a press conference that were having tomorrowspoke
with Larry Nicholsweve been in contact with him for several
months off and on the telephone, and hes had a conversation with
him sometime around the first week of Januaryduring which Larry
Nichols told this member of my organizationthat Buddy Young had
called him and told him that he in fact was a dead manthat was under
threat of death.
Buddy Young was?
No. Larry Nichols, And at that time Buddy
Young was frightened he was not threatening Larry Nichols personally
he was saying that were all in trouble with this because theres
a move in the Governors office to get rid of me. So Buddy Young
was afraid that Governor Clinton was about to axe him in the same way
that he axed Larry Nichols. And so serious did he take this possibility
that he informed Larry Nichols directly that he was a dead man.
So Larry Nichols is now saying that Buddy
Young the Chief of Governor Clintons gubernatorial campaign has
told him that hes a dead man.
Yes, that is the information that Larry Nichols
gave to us now as I say that has not been reported anywhere else
and I would not bet a lot right now on Mr. Nichols backing that statement
up, but I back it up.
And this is prior to him dropping this lawsuit
against Governor Clinton.
Yes, the timing of his dropping the lawsuit
is interesting to us too, because we just recently were in contact with
the Nation Magazine, and it was approximately two days after the Nation
Magazine actually decided to take the information that we had collected
on this case very seriously and in fact are now pursuing their own investigative
journalism on this, it was about two days after that that Larry Nichols
declared that he was going to drop his lawsuit. Uh, so there are some
very strange things that are going on. Theres a great deal of other
informationuh, connecting Governor Clinton to the operation in Mena.
We dont have what youd call a
smoking gun on this I have in front of me a piece of paper that
Ive written 17 questions for the Governor that the media has totally
overlooked in their haste to salivate over all these sexual storiestheyve
totally missed whats available. For example, the organization that
I work for has beenI dont say I work for, nobody pays us were
getting broke doing this, but in any case weve collected just about
everything thats publicly available about Mena and all of its ramifications
and its a tremendous story, and Id like to emphasize right now that
Governor Clintons part in this is very minorthe real big fish
in this story is George Bush. The damage that could come from this information
coming out is in fact far more damaging to George Bush than anyone else,
because hes directly responsible for this this operation was
run out of the then Vice President George Bushs office.
And Id also like to add that the Arkansas
chapter of the Iran-Contra story was the one that was most heavily covered
up at the time. It was part of the story they had that they took the most
care to see to it that nothing ever came out about it. And that was for
two reasons: 1) because it involves massive cocaine smugglingwe
had one pilot that came to the University and spoke directly to us and
said "I personally flew for the CIA, guns, Panamanian Defense forces
and approximately one ton of cocaine per flight. I flew seven of these
flights into Mena Arkansas." So they wanted to cover it up because
it was the one thing that would have exposed the drug connection within
the United States most heavily. 2) And the other reason that they were
very anxious to cover-up Menas involvement was because the base
of operations that the CIA was using was in fact still active at the time
the hearings were going on. And that base of operations supports covert
operations all around the world not just in Central America. For example,
theres a current covert operation that was going on there at least
as late as May of last year that killed a man from Arkansas in Angola.
So the entire time that Barry Seal was operating out of that airport the
CIA was supporting there covert war with Jonas Savimbi in Angola. And
we have sources within the United States government that there is covert
activity going on this very day.
Thank you very much Mark Swaney. The real
story about Governor Bill Clinton, that were getting served to us
from all the media from start to finish from morning to night headlines
in all the New York papers, is this thing about Jennifer Flowers and her
association with the Governor. The real story which you get on WBAI underneath
it all from our contacts in Arkansas is that in fact the Governor of Arkansas
is covering up an illegal operation that began in the Vice Presidents
office who is now President of the United StatesGeorge Bush. Which
makes me wonder why should I even bother votingwhos there
to vote for. I mean both sides the Democrats and the Republicans are involved.
Thats another part of the storyyou
know the best way to buy off an election is to pay off both candidates.
Theres significant Republican interest in seeing Bill Clinton get
the nomination from the standpoint that they will be assured then that
none of the issues of the Iran-Contra affair are likely to be talked about.
Certainly Clinton doesnt want to talk about them.
We tried before we knew that Mr. Clinton
was involved in this, we only came across this information 5 or 6 months
ago and for two years now weve been doing demonstrations, writing
letters collecting petitions holding informational gatherings to try to
get this story to the people. We have on several occasions sent Bill Clinton
signatures, petitions of Arkansans asking for a state investigation
and he refused to do anything about them he would do nothing more than
have an aide send us a two sentence letter saying we have received your
petition. Then this last September, just one week before he decided to
run for the Presidency, we contacted his office and said listen wed
be willing to talk, so that we could talk to you about this major crime
problem in our state. That were concerned about that wed like
to get to the bottom ofand he refused that.
During the 4 or 5 years now that the press
has covered this story about Mena and Barry Seal, this is a story about
people who have been murdered; this is a very, very serious affair. During
all of this time talk of massive Cocaine smuggling, corruption of local
officials corruption of Federal and State judicial system on and on and
on there was total silence from the Governor, not a word. And it was not
until our organization had a large demonstration it wasnt
really a large demonstration but it was very well covered in the Arkansas
pressthat reporters approached Mr. Clinton about Mena. He talked
about it for the first time in 4 or 5 years and what he had to say at
that time was that he had in fact authorized some money for lonely little
Polk County, which is a poor county in Southwestern Arkansas to run an
investigation and so we asked him for back up from the Governors
office we said-freedom of information act wed like to know
if you have any documentation whatsoever to back up your statement that
you are willing to help the Polk County investigators do their own state
investigation in this affair. And he could not produce a single thing.