September 25, 2007

MANY OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE REAGAN Administration's war against Nicaragua shared a common desire to consolidate support for right-wing guerrillas. While their schemes ranged from political ad- vocacy groups to profit-making entities like the Enterprise of North, Secord and Hakim, all offered ways to keep wars going after funds are cut off by Congress. A June 1985 gathering in Jamba, Angola-base camp of Jonas Savimbi's army, Unita-was meant to mirror the solidarity conferences of socialist organizations. It brought together guerrillas fighting against the govern- ments of Laos, Afghanistan and Nicaragua, as well as Angola. Kampuchean factions led by Prince Sihanouk and Son Sann had been invited but were unable to attend. The meeting was sponsored by Citizens for America, headed by millionaire Lewis Lehrman, member of the Heritage Foundation Board of Directors and 1984 candi- date for governor of New York. Lehrman read a message from President Reagan and the gathering proclaimed itself a"democratic international ofanti-communist insurgents." In the Jamba Declaration the groups vowed to give each other "specific help." It was at this meeting that Jonas Savimbi reportedly "agreed" to send Unita advisers to help the contras.' The previous March, according to journalist Martha Honey, someone "associated with the contras" but "not a contra" was taken to South Africa and from there into Angola to meet with Unita about bringing arms from South Africa to the contras.2 According to one report, the U.S. government paid contra leader Adolfo Calero's fare to the Jamba meeting and gave him "a liberal expense allowance."' Six months earlier the Mozambican government daily reported that Ed6n Pastora had met secretly in Portugal with leaders of Unita and Renamo, the South African- backed guerrillas fighting against Mozambique. The fol- lowing week Pastora issued a public call for a "revolution- ary and democratic" alliance between Renamo, Unita, the Afghan mujaheddin and his own ARDE. 4 Leaders of the "Anticommunist International": Adolfo Calero and Jonas Savimbi Gen. John Singlaub set up committees within the World Anti-Communist League for eight different guer- rilla groups. 5 Representatives of these, including Adolfo Calero, were present at WACL's 1985 convention in Dal- las." With Barbara Studley, his partner in the arms firm GeoMiliTech, Singlaub also drafted a memo outlining a contra international of sorts with its own arms company, financed by a series of technology transfers among Israel, South Africa and China. Once this flow of technology was in place, they wrote, "The United States then has at its disposal a large and continuous supply of Soviet technol- ogy and weapons to channel to Freedom Fighters world- wide, mandating neither the consent or awareness of the Department of State or Congress." In 1985 Studley pre- sented her idea to William Casey. It was later found in Oliver North's safe. 7 Even the Saudis got into the act, with a proposal to establish offshore companies to serve a multiplicity of purposes. Palestinian-American businessman Sam Bam- ieh says he was approached by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, and, at a separate time, by a member of the embassy's staff, and asked to set up a company, an offshore company, whereby we will supply goods and services to different anticom- munist movements in different parts of the world. And he mentioned to [sic] movements in Central America, in Angola, incremental assistance to Afghan mujaheddin. as well as the sale of oil to South Africa.' Bamieh said that the offshore company would buy the oil from Saudi Arabia-which nominally adheres to the UN oil embargo against the apartheid regime-and resell it to South Africa at a markup of 75 cents to one dollar a barrel. He said while he was discussing this with Bandar in Cannes in February 1984, Bandar sought to reassure him it was in line with U.S. policy by telling him that CIA Director Casey and King Fahd were at that very moment discussing the same topic on a yacht in the Mediterranean. (This was later confirmed.) Bamieh said he refused the request, even though Bandar told him such a company could make $50 to $100 million in annual profits. Tricontranental 1. Alan Cowell, "Angolan Rebel Rejects Partial Cuban Pullout," New York Times, June 9, 1985: South Africa Press Association (Johannesburg) 1445 GMT, June 8, 1985, FBIS Middle East and Af/ ia, June 10, 1985, p.U- 1; AFP (HongKong) 0355 GMT, June 6, 1985, FBIS Middle East and Africa, June 6, 1985, p. U- 1. 2. WBAI-FM, April 7, 1987. 3. Michael Bowman, "Propaganda-gate: another Reagan scandal," In These Times, Nov. 5-Dec. 8, 1987. 4. AFP 1253 GMT, Dec. 31, 1984, FBIS Middle East and Aftlica, Jan. 2, 1985, p. U- 1; AFP, Le Monde, Jan. 5, 1985. 5. Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, Inside the League, (New York: Dodd Mead, 1986), pp. 269. 6. Shirley Christian, "Rich Texans Rub Elbows with Rebels," New York Times, Sept. 15, 1985. 7. Testimony of Gen. John Singlaub, Iran-contra hearings, May 20-21, 1987; Stephen J. Hedges, "Talk show host traded callers for cause," Miami Herald, June 11, 1987. 8. U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Africa of the Com- mittee on Foreign Affairs, Possible Violation or Circumvention of the Clark Amendment, July 1, 1987 (Document 80-011), Bamieh responses to ques- tions by subcommittee chair Rep. Howard Wolpe, p.26. 9. Ibid.

Tags: Iran-Contra, Africa, Cold War

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