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I will tell you straight up that this is not a comprehensive diary. My hope is someone with a better grasp and more skill will take this to another level. My interest was piqued by seeing a familiar name Robert O'Dowd in an unfamiliar place.

This ain't your daddy's Iran-Contra...

More below the Fleur de Kos.

Funny where following links will take you...

I was prowling the internet tubes and went to the Tico Times. I went to the letters to the editor and came across this.  I had heard of Robert O'Dowd as the guy bringing a suit about the toxic sludge... er... water that was being used by thousands of Marines and their families. I had been interested in the water and toxic waste issues surrounding the Marines, their families, and the civilians who were poisoned by substances like trichlorethylene (TCE) and mercury and radium and other heavy metals at facilities like Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and about 135 other military installations on the EPA's Toxic Waste Site list. When I read Mr O'Dowd's letter I was shocked at the allegations made. Would the Navy actually put a 'hit' on a whistleblower? According to O'Dowd and others, yes.

A Costa Rican journalist working for Diario1 El Salvador, Lafitte Fernandez, has investigated the claims in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico. This is still a hot story in Central America, involving the death of a DEA agent, Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, supposedly at the hands of Rafael Caro Quintero, a mexican drug lord who was supplying arms and training for the Contras in the 1980's in exchange for a percentage of the profit on the drugs he was having some sketchy CIA "assets" smuggle to the US, apparently with CIA blessing. Turns out Quintero probably didn't do it. But there was a "CIA asset" present at Camarena's death. The CIA has been obstructive in supplying information about this case, even today. Thus the antipathy of the DEA for the CIA.  As late as 2010, the Navy put a 'cold case' team on the death of Col. James E. Sabow, who committed "suicide" in 1991 after informing superiors about cocaine smuggling from El Salvador’s Ilopango Air Base, to the U.S. They promptly bungled it. Other players in this on-going drama are Manuel Noriega, the president of Costa Rica (at the time) Luis Alberto Monge, Pablo Escobar, and the Nazi criminal Klaus Barbie who was trafficking in Bolivia.

I'm not an investigator, and an even worse diarist. I hope someone with better skills than I can make this a cogent story for consumption here. It's a brutal, ugly story.

If you are interested in water issues as I am, read Robert O'Dowd's book Betrayal: Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder, and Government Cover-up.

Happy Veteran's Day.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Proud of your country yet? (8+ / 0-)

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 05:25:10 PM PST

  •  Boy these rogue CIA types move fast (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, JVolvo
    Col. Sabow, a straight-arrow Marine and decorated fighter pilot, learned the day before he was killed that these aircraft were using El Toro and other military bases to fly cocaine into the U.S. He voiced his objections in a 65-minute telephone call to the retired deputy commandant of the Marine Corps, a four-star general. The next day his wife found his body on their patio, after returning from mass in Santa Ana.
    Nothing to see here, move on...

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:49:32 PM PST

    •  The article states... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, cotterperson, CroneWit, maggid

      ...it was the Navy, not the CIA, implicated in the death of Col. Sabow.

      I'm not promoting CT here. I came across this article while searching for other material. But the questions raised in the entire affair deserve better than a flip, dismissive comment.

      I wish the US had serious journalists. I have to go to Central or South America websites to find this. The US won't allow it.

      Truth and it's liberal bias, you know.

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:03:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snark? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave
      Nothing to see here, move on...
      Buenos noches ;)

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:46:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting stuff, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    Memory is notoriously fallible, but the story is consistent with numerous things I read during those days. The U.S. corporate media will never touch it, of course, so thanks for this report. Relying only on memory, this from your link certainly rings true:

    ground zero for the cocaine and arms trafficking was El Salvador’s Ilopango Air Base, where both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and “private benefactors” – who helped the Contras when the U.S. Congress had prohibited official aid – maintained airplane hangars through which arms flowed to the Contras and cocaine to U.S. markets.
    For decades seen the "war on drugs" as a means of oppressing opposition to TPTB, and this report lends strong support to that idea. We may never know how many have been slaughtered in Latin America. Yet we insist on calling our nation "America" -- as if to claim all of North and South America. Will we never get over that??

    If the US is so exceptional, why do we not help our neighbors in the Americas? I suspect it is because that's a convenient place for TPTB to do their dirty business.

    It's ongoing, but is Africa next?

    Again, thanks for the diary.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:44:08 PM PST

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