[Cette interview est trop longue pour que je le traduise dans l’immédiat, mais si vous lisez l’anglais, l’interview de Roger Morris, véteran du Conseil de Sécurité Nationale, opposant à la guerre au Vietnam, sur les affaires louches du Clan Clinton (et notamment l’affaire de Mena) est très intéressante ]

[From a long interview with Roger Morris. Morris is a former foreign service officer and has also served on Presidents Lyndon Johnson’s and Richard Nixon’s National Security Council senior staff. He resigned, however, over the invasion of Cambodia. Roger Morris is now a fellow at the Green Institute, a lecturer, and the author of several books]

SUZAN MAZUR, SCOOP, NZ – You suggest in your book, Partners in Power, based on what you describe as « a numbing accumulation » of evidence following numerous trips to Arkansas,100 interviews and the review of thousands of documents – that Bill and Hillary Clinton, as Governor and First Lady of Arkansas, knew about the ongoing CIA drugs and gun running by CIA asset Barry Seal, et al., out of Mena’s Intermountain Regional Airport in the Ouachitas in the 1980s. The operation armed the Nicaraguan Contras and delivered $3 billion to $5 billion worth of cocaine for distribution throughout the American homeland – as you note, « the single largest cocaine smuggling operation in US history ». . .

Roger Morris: I don’t know about Manchurian Candidate, I just think that the Clintons are the quintessential compromised American politicians. That’s a tragedy as well as an outrage. These are two people who were young people of promise, and I think for all we know about them, of some initial idealism and some purpose and goals beyond their own ambition, although that ambition was outsized in both cases. We don’t know, of course, how much of the detail they were aware of regarding Mena, but I’m convinced they were both aware of what was essentially going on there.

Suzan Mazur: How early did they know?

Roger Morris: My guess is they learned of it very soon after it started, if not at the very inception. . .

This is a seamless web of corruption and compromise in Arkansas. It was part of the job after all to tend to these large corporate interests – Walmart and Tyson’s Foods and all of the other big hitters in Arkansas. Hillary was working for a law firm that represented most of those interests in Arkansas and elsewhere throughout the South. I think they simply saw this as part of what one had to do in political life and political office.

Suzan Mazur: But this is something quite serious because it had to do with the poisoning of millions of Americans with drugs smuggled in through Arkansas from Latin America.

Roger Morris: Absolutely. It’s not a casual corruption. . .

Suzan Mazur: After Mena came under scrutiny following the October 1986 crash of the CIA’s Fat Lady plane over Nicaragua « with a load of arms for the Contras » and CIA asset Eugene Hasenfus’ capture – the Colorado City Municipal Airport run by the FLDS polygamists began receiving . . .

Roger Morris: I once interviewed a DEA agent who was retired and was quite cynical about all of this and he compared it to – the whole thing should have been written about by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He said they had the gulags, the archipelago. We have the drug running archipelago. That the map of the United States is a map of leopard spots, of airstrips, of depots, of centers of distribution. And, of course, it tends to be heavier in the Southern states closer to the supply when the supply was mainly the South. But the West is heavily populated with it as well. . .

Mena was one of these marginalized subjects that the American body politic, certainly the culture of media and certainly respectable historians, biographers, etc., people who pretend to write about what’s real in American political life – never really wanted to touch.

Suzan Mazur: Sixty Minutes dropped it.

Roger Morris: Oh Sixty Minutes was fascinated initially and wanted to talk about it and when they got a diffident – I don’t know – from Congressman Jim Leach, who was in the process of investigating Mena at the time, Sixty Minutes dropped it as well.

Suzan Mazur: It may be time for Sixty Minutes to look at it again.

Roger Morris: You know, it’s like so much in foreign policy. We’re never going to come to terms with the crises we face in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world until we face the history of our involvement there. We’re not going to come to terms with the corruption in American politics as huge as the tyranny of money is until we understand how it works.

Suzan Mazur: Mena is a case study.

Roger Morris: Mena wasn’t, as you point out, just a plundering corporation – a health care, an insurance giant, or somebody giving money to protect a venal interest – this was a criminal empire that victimized millions of Americans. That used its money for the most nefarious purposes around the world.

Suzan Mazur: Aside from Mena serving as the air hub for the trafficking of drugs and guns – you report in the book that Nella, Arkansas, just outside Mena, was a training grounds for Contra pilots and guerrillas. And you note that Seal also flew in to Mena Medellin cartel kingpin Jorge Ochoa to show him the operation.

You also describe secretaries from a bank close to the airport telling investigators that couriers from the Mena drugs for arms operation brought bags of money there, and that in order to avoid scrutiny, they purchased cashier checks in amounts just under $10,000. Would you expand on this about the bags of cash?

Roger Morris: We don’t know very much about the sheer size of that traffic. We simply know that it happened from time to time – from locals from people who worked in the banks, people who were in local law enforcement and those who worked around the airport. . .

Suzan Mazur: There was a town adjacent to the airport, so it wasn’t a secluded airport in a land that time forgot.

Roger Morris: The airport was always incongruous. State of the art. Long runway. Very sophisticated maintenance. For all intents and purposes, it could have been a very advanced Air Force base or government installation with a small town nearby, but of course it wasn’t. It was essentially a private airport. The traffic that went in and out of Mena – they weren’t resident in the town. These were not people who lived there. They were always on their way somewhere else. They got picked up in limousines or helicopters or whatever and taken off to Little Rock or to other places. . .

Suzan Mazur: You seem to find former Arkansas trooper L.D. Brown’s « firsthand evidence » compelling about Bill Clinton pulling some strings to get him into the CIA, about Brown meeting and flying with Seal, and about his being « privy to some of the Clintons’ most personal liaisons » – including the « sustained affair », dating from the mid-80s, between Hillary Clinton and Rose [Law Firm] partner Vince Foster. Would you comment on the credibility of LD Brown?

Roger Morris: I thought Brown was a credible witness. I thought most of the other troopers were credible as well. We’ve gone through a kind of ebb and flow of credibility with the troopers. They were first on the scene with exposes in the American Spectator. We often forget that they also talked to reporters from the Los Angeles Times who did a very similar series. For whatever one thinks of the American Spectator, the LA Times did much the same thing. They were roundly attacked, of course, personally as well as professionally by the Clinton camp. They sort of receded. And they’ve now reappeared – lately. . .

Let me just say that everything [LD Brown] told me about everything else with the Clintons – details large and small – personal and political – everything checked out. And everything he told me about his experience with the drug running and all the rest checked out similarly as much as I could check it with other sources. You’re always up against credibility issues in this world and you make choices. But there was so much other evidence that this was going on.

Sixty Minutes was very interested because they wanted one single talking head, a simple story line to pin on Clinton and those simple story lines are the easiest to knock down as the Clintons have always understood. You destroy the credibility of a Gennifer Flowers or an LD Brown or Paula. . .

Suzan Mazur: Was there a draft of the letter LD Brown sent to the CIA that Clinton made notes on?

Roger Morris: I don’t know about the notes. There was a recommendation Clinton made. And as the book explains, Clinton’s connections with the Agency go back a long way. Since the book was published, I’ve had people come forward and tell me that they knew much more than even the informants I was talking to, and I was talking to people who were retired from the Agency, who were quite categorical about Bill Clinton having been a source for Operation Chaos and for informing on American students abroad while he was at Oxford and all the rest.

Since then I’ve had people come to me and say, well don’t you know you missed the story, he was actually recruited at Georgetown. Georgetown was a veritable recruiting center in those days for the CIA – not just for Americans but for the large number of foreign students, the sons of foreign wealthy who were at Georgetown. So Bill’s contact with the Agency went back for years and years. . .

Suzan Mazur: You also suggest in your book that Clinton’s Uncle Raymond Clinton had his mob connections. And I believe you’ve said that Raymond may have been Bill’s ticket into Georgetown’s school of Foreign Service.

Roger Morris: Uncle Raymond was pure and simple mob proconsul for Hot Springs, Arkansas. . .

But coming back to what I was saying earlier, about Hillary and Bill – you can’t do business in American politics without coming upon this absolutely shady world that operates in a kind of no-man’s land between crime and legality. And of course much of organized crime – billions and billions, now trillions of dollars in profits from gambling and everything else – has been washed clean, as it would, and legalized in all sorts of things – electronics, land, agribusiness, and all the rest. Hillary has an extraordinary number of donors and contributors, supporters, etc., who have dubious records of legality, both here in the US and in the world at large. It’s commonly thought that Giuliani has a set of seedy contacts but Hillary can match ’em seedy-for-seedy. . .

Suzan Mazur: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the Clintons?

Roger Morris: It may sound corny but I think it’s genuinely an American tragedy. I think this is a woman who is acting out a personal tragedy in the most dramatic and historic political terms. She’s going to be obviously the first serious woman contender for the presidency of the United States and it’s going to be such a freighted choice, such a fraught campaign, simply because of the character of her background and her own compromise over the years. It may have been inevitable. Being wooed and won by this winning young Southerner, this Sisyphus who kept pushing the rock of his seedy background up the hill only to find it falling back down again. This wanton libido that overtook him.

I really do feel a sense of sorrow and compassion about her tragedy, because I think she loved him. I think this was a devastating blow to her life as well as a great humiliation because she always thought she was smarter, better, more disciplined, etc., more able to lead than he. And it didn’t work that way of course. It hasn’t worked out. She’s trying to salvage it even as we speak.

Suzan Mazur: How powerful do you think organized crime is at this point?

Roger Morris: I think we’re in a wholly new era with Iraq and with post 9/11 and the Bush administration. The privatization of armed forces and of national security and of intelligence is absolutely unprecedented. And so too is this open looting of a war. We’ve always had plunderers and profiteers in war time, but what’s gone on in Iraq with cash and suitcases full of it and with the overcharging and the looting by the Halliburtons and others is absolutely unprecedented.

Suzan Mazur: It’s dizzying.

Roger Morris: It’s absolutely dizzying. And we’ll never catch up with it. That looses into the body politics untold amounts of cash and influence so that this stands to be by far the most corrupt political campaign in the history of the republic. And we’ve had some very corrupt ones. But all of this money you see headlined, $30 million raised here, $27 million raised there. All of this is a fraction of what’s really changing hands. . .

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0707/S00058.htm