A Dec. 12 Daily Kos piece resurrecting the old CIA-cocaine connection is rapidly making its way around the Internet conspirosphere. Below a YouTube video showing a private jet flying over a tropical landscape and footage of Mexican troops guarding seized cargo, it states: “This Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA crash landed on September 24, 2007 after it ran out of fuel over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula it had a cargo of several tons of Cocaine on board now documents have turned up on both sides of the Atlantic that link this Cocaine Smuggling Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA that crashed in Mexico to the CIA who used it on at least 3 rendition flights from Europe and the USA to Guantanamo’s infamous torture chambers between 2003 to 2005.” (Link and bad grammar from original.)
No identification is given for the voice-over on the video, but WW4 Report recognizes it as ex-DEA agent Mike Levine of the “Expert Witness Show” on New York’s WBAI, interviewing journalist Bill Conroy of Narco News Dec. 10. Conroy’s Dec. 1 story on Narco News examines the jet’s bill of sale to extrapolate that it was previously used in FBI/DEA-contracted counter-narcotics flights between Colombia and Florida. So the flight that went down in Yucatan could have been either freelance corruption or a what the DEA calls a “controlled shipment” to help track distribution networks (a more prosaic hypothesis that Conroy fails to invoke). The plane’s apparent ex-owner Baruch Vega had been charged with a “corruption scheme” by the FBI in 2000, although the charges were dropped. Conroy makes no allegations in the story concerning extradition or rendition flights.
The CIA connection appears to have first been raised in a Nov. 29 story by G. Guillen in Miami’s Spanish-language Nuevo Herald. Daily Kos provides a link, but it is expired, and a Google search indicates (oddly) that the complete text is nowhere else on the Net. Daily Kos provides two paragraphs of the text (perhaps inaccurately, as the Spanish seems a little garbled):
Un jet ejecutivo que el gobierno de Estados Unidos usó durante año [sic—WW4R] para extraditar delincuentes desde Colombia y talibanes desde Europa a la base de Guantánamo, Cuba, es el mismo que have [sic] dos meses se precipitó a tierra en una selvática zona de la península de Yucatán, México, con un cargamento de 3.3 toneladas de cocaína que, al parecer, fueron cargadas en Medellín, en donde hizo el último despegue.
El avión, un Gluf [sic] Stream II, de matrícula norteamericana N987SA, era célebre en Colombia porque durante años en él fueron embarcados en Bogotá centenares de delincuentes para ser puestos en poder de la justicia estadounidense.
Which we translate thusly:
An executive jet which the government of the United States used during the year [not given] to extradite delinquents [criminal suspects] from Colombia and Taliban from Europe to the base at Guantánamo, Cuba, is the same which two months ago crashed to the earth in the jungle zone of the Yucatan Peninusla, Mexico, with a cargo of 3.3 tons of cocaine which, it appears, were loaded in Medellín, where it made its last take-off.
The plane, a Gluf [sic] Stream II, of North American registry N987SA, was famous in Colombia because it was used for years to dispatch hundreds of delinquents from Bogotá to face justice in the United States.
Daily Kos of course takes the opportunity to fume at the “mainstream media” for ignoring the story, but we sure wish more information were available…
A Sept. 24 Reuters story noted the crash (at Tixkokob, west of Cancun), but made no reference to the CIA or rendition flights. The Narco News account was picked up Dec. 1 by Cuba’s Ganma.
See our last posts on Mexico, Colombia and the torture scandal.