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.