by Pete Brewton
SPI Books, NY 1992
pp.209-210 & 224-227
[Rupp is the purported October Surprise pilot that Richard Brenneke was trying to defend, when his testimony got him in trouble.]
When Rupp was in Leavenworth Prison he wrote a letter to President Bush dated August 1, 1989, to which he attached a copy of his membership card in the Association of Former Intelligence Offcers. The letter contains several blatant factual errors. For example, he stated, "My Agency tenure began in 1957 with the OSS." The OSS was disbanded after World War II. He also stated in the letter that he had investigated the "Imhausen/Libya affair and its connection with Ghorbanifar's I.B.I. in Frankfurt." In fact, I.B.I. was controlled by a man named Barbouti, not the Iranian middle man Ghorbanifar.
Rupp closed his letter thusly: "For the protection of this country and the ideals which I have been sworn to uphold, my lips have been and will be sealed, and I remain, Yours in Faithful Service, Heinrich F. Rupp, Scorpio 688."
Just your typical CIA contract agent.
Global was also named as a CIA front by a retired CIA Middle East expert. In December 1990, Bruce Hemmings, a retired CIA senior operations offcer who worked on the Iran desk in 1985, issued several written statements criticizing the CIA's role and cover-up in the Iran-Contra scandal and other misdeeds. In part of his statement entitled "CIA Gun Running to Iran Goes Back to 1981," Hemmings stated:
"Since at least 1981, a worldwide network of 'free-standing' [i.e., no direct U.S. government ties] companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, has been utilized by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA offcials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military offcers.
"The companies include Aero Systems, Inc., of Miami, Arrow Air, Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd of Singapore, Hierax of Hong Kong, Pan Aviation in Miami, Merex in North Carolina, Sur International, St. Lucia Airways, Global International Airways, International Air Tours of Nigeria, Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc., Jupiter, Florida, Varicon, Inc., Dane Aviation Supply of Miami, and others, such as Parvus, Safir, International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd., and Information Security International Inc.
"Through these mechanisms, staffed by ex-intelligence and military officers, the administration and the CIA have been able to circumvent and ignore the legal intelligence mechanisms and Congressional oversight. C-130, F4, TOWs and Hawk missile parts were shipped to Iran in violation of the arms embargo and a variety of mechanisms were used, including International Air Tours of Nigeria in August and September 1985, Arrow Air in November 1985, and Global International and Pan Aviation and others going back in 1981."
In another document, entitled "Corruption Within CIA: A Cast of Characters," Hemmings severely criticizes Thomas Twetten, the deputy director of operations for the CIA and Hemmings's former boss. In one section Hemmings discusses weapons sales to Iran and how Twetten deliberately undermined the case of a foreign official who had information on such sales by turning the matter over to the British:
"Twetten's decision and that of London station is highly suspect ancl negligent, as they knew, as I did, that the British government was, along with the British arms industry, Tiny Rowland, Ashraf Marwan and Adnan Khashoggi, his partner, deeply involved in such trafficking. Obviously, Twetten also knew that North, Shackley, Clines, Hakim, Robert Sensi, and Cyrus Hashemi, and Farhad Azima were also involved in such trafficking, as all these individuals were part of the same network; as him."
Hemmings, who won the CIA's intelligence commendation medallion in 1985, is extremely bitter about the way he was treated by the CIA in its attempts to cover up its role in Iran-Contra.
In his position on the Iran desk in Washington, Hemmings became aware of the senior CIA officials' role in the secret arms-for-hostages transaction with Iran and the subsequent cover up by the CIA. His knowledge of this came up in April 1987 during the confirmation hearings for William Webster as Director of Central Intelligence. Hemmings was ordered by his superiors to prepare a memo on what he knew, but to leave out certain things.
"My refusal to alter my testimony to fit the cover story then, and later in 1989 as a Senate witness, brought me under intense pressure to remain silent or else!! Death, unemployment and loss of access to my children were all used as weapons and threats," Hemmings wrote in a December 1990 statement mailed to me.
All of Azima's wheeling and dealing, his companies' bankruptcies and his associations with mobsters brought him into the gunsights of a very talented and persistent investigator with the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations Division in Kansas City.
[Prosecutor Lloyd Monroe brings case against Azima - Global Airway - that bank, but is told Azmina has a "get out of jail free card" from CIA and he avoids prosecution.]
Mischer has said he knows Bath, but "just to shake hands with him."
One of Mischer's business partners, Jack Trotter, is listed as a reference on Bath's resume. A source close to Bath said that Trotter was one of the Houstonians most responsible for introducing Bath around Houston and getting him wired into the right business circles. Bath and Lan Bentsen brokered a number of multi-thousand-acre tracts to syndications formed by Trotter, who was trustee for Senator Lloyd Bentsen's blind trust.
Another reference on Bath's resume is Sidney A. Adger, the father of John Adger, Robert Corson's former partner, and of Stephen Adger, Kappa Sigma brother of Walt Mischer, Jr.
A small Houston accounting firm, Weatherford Kinton& Associates, which allegedly did work for a Mischer company, also did the accounting, according to White, for Bath's most interesting company, Skyways Aircraft Leasing. However, when Mischer was asked about Weatherford Kinton, which offices itself in the headquarters building of Mischer's umbrella corporation, he replied, "I don't know them."
Skyways Aircraft Leasing began on July 2, 1980, as a company callled Cotopax Investments, registered in the Cayman Islands. Then, 29 days later, Cotopax changed its name to Skyways Aircraft Leasing Limited. On July 24, 1980, the directors of Skyways Aircraft Leasing met in George Town, Grand Cayman Island. (Interestingly, the meeting was a week before the name change was registered with the Cayman Islands authorities.) The directors named Bath as president and director and then resigned. All of the stock was made into bearer stock, which meant that it belonged to whoever possessed it. In his sworn deposition in the lawsuit against White, Bath refused to name the owners of the Skyway's stock. (Documents filed in another lawsuit indicate that Sheikh Khalid owned Skyways. White said Skyways had at least one airplane, a Gulfstream, that was on a long-term lease to an Abu Dhabi oil company.)
The original subscribers to Cotopax, who then turned Skyways Aircraft Leasing over to Bath, were Cayhaven Corporate Services, Ltd., of George Town, Grand Cayman; David G. Bird of George Town; and Grant J. R. Stein of George Town. Bird and Stein are both directors of Cayhaven Corporate Services and attorneys with W. S. Walker & Company, a law firm in George Town headed by William S. Walker.
Cayhaven Corporate Services and Bird were two of the three subscribers to a Cayman Islands company called I.C., Inc., which was incorporated April 26, 1985. I.C. sits right in the middle of a chart drawn by Oliver North, and found by investigators in North's White House safe, that shows the private network that provided support and money to the Contras. Here's how it worked:
The money started with donations to Spitz Channell's National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty (NEPL). Then it was wired from NEPL's account at Palmer National Bank to the account of IBC, a Washington, D.C., public relations company formed by Republican operative Richard Miller at another Washington bank. Next, IBC wired the money to I.C. in the Cayman Islands, which then transferred a majority of it to the Swiss bank account used by North's "Enterprise" to fund the Contras.
On March 7, 1987, the Washington Post published the only account of these transactions. It called the flow of money a "circuitous route" and then stated: "It is not clear from the documents who is behind I.C., Inc., the Cayman Islands company, or why it was needed to transfer the money." Apparently no investigator with the Tower Commission probe of Iran-Contra or the congressional Iran-Contra committees was able, or even tried, to get to the bottom of I.C. either.
One person behind Cayhaven Corporate Services and the original subscribers to I.C. and Skyways Aircraft Leasing is Cayman Islands attorney William S. Walker. A man in his sixties, Walker has been an attorney in the Caymans for more than 30 years. Sources in George Town said he is from an old family from Guyana.
Cayhaven Corporate Services was ostensibly what is called a "captive manager." This is a company that handles self-insurance plans for companies that want to take advantage of the tax-free environment of the offshore Cayman Islands. A 1988 news story from the Caymans said Cayhaven primarily provides accounting services, and quoted Cayhaven manager Malcolm S. Davies that Cayhaven is "not actively seeking new captive clients and expects to keep a low profile. Premium volume for the captives under Cayhaven's management totals less than $14 million." Sources in George Town said Cayhaven is not one of the island's major captive managers.
In 1986, Cayhaven was replaced as the agent for Skyways by Caledonian Bank and Trust, a small local George Town bank, which is controlled by William S. Walker. From all appearances, Walker is just anominee or front for the actual owners of I.C. And Skyways. In the case of I.C. And its successor company, Intel Co-operation, they both vanished after they were exposed in the Washington Post . After Skyways became embroiled in the Bath/White dispute, it registered in Texas and changed it's name to Skyways International. But it apparently continues to be owened by Saudi Arabians.
Of the $3.6 million sent out by NEPL through IBC and I.C., about $1.7 million ended up ins the Swiss bank account designated for the Contras. IBC kept about $400,000, while I.C. Apparently kept about $1.5 million. Of this, some $452,000 went to another Cayman Islands company with Cayhaven as its registered agent, World Affairs Counselors, Inc. Another $21,182 went from I.C. To the Gulf and Caribbean Foundation.
For of the top officers at Skyways came to Bath's company from Farhad Azima's Buffalo Airways. The earlier mention George Selma was Director of Maintenanace at Skyways. He had worked for Buffalo for five years before joining Skyways in August 1989, six months after Azima took over Buffalo. Before working at Buffalo, he worked for Azima's Global and before that for Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Selman resigned from Skyways in March 1991, just a few months after the Houston Post's John Mecklin began writing stories about Bath. Skyways's former president and director of operations, William E. Crocker, resigned four months later, in July. Crocker worked at Buffalo Airways for four years before leaving in May 1989 for Skyways. Before Buffalo, Crocker had worked for Arrow Air, a Miami-based company that has allegedly transported weapons for the CIA.
Finally, George Lovell, Skyways's Director of Operations, joined Bath's company in 1987, after working for Buffalo Airways for two years. Back in the mid-1970s, Lovell worked for Saudi Arabian Airlines.