“Nothing is as it appears to be.”
-Robert Booth Nichols
Be patient, spread the word among friends, do your little bit. The system will self-destruct because it is funded on corruption and untruth.
It was evident that when the body of freelance writer Danny Casolaro was found in a bathtub of bloody water on August 10, 1991, his wrists deeply slashed multiple times that it was already a highly unusual ‘suicide’. That he was in the final stages of wrapping up his investigation of an association of mobsters, government officials and rogue intelligence figures grown out of a dirty CIA "Old Boy network that he had dubbed The Octopus and that his body was discovered in a Martinsburg, West Virginia hotel room where he had gone to pick up the final piece of evidence for his story made his death all the more suspicious. The fact that his briefcase and files (always present during his work) were missing, his body prematurely and illegally embalmed prior to the notification of his family and room 517 of the Martinsburg Sheraton professionally cleaned, making any sort of law enforcement forensic investigation prohibitive are not signs that would indicate a typical suicide. Casolaro, according to sources was not despondent but rather quite elated that his investigation was nearing completion when he had made the trip to "bring back the head of the octopus" where he was reportedly set to meet a key figure and to trade information that he had in his possession. There was a 'suicide' note found at the scene but it was short and cryptic, not what a professional writer would likely leave as his final words. There was however, another piece of paper that was found tucked inside of his discarded shoe that would be far more compelling . The mystery surrounding Casolaro is still to this day unsolved and largely forgotten but through the dedicated work of others who were able to pick up the trail and to continue his research into this most important of matters there have been enough pieces of a very elaborate puzzle put together, and the picture is extremely disturbing.
One of the researchers, who has worked tirelessly over the years, at times under great risk to get the real story is author Cheri Seymour, a California based writer who picked up the baton and carried it further and continued to interview Casolaro's sources as well as to expand his scope. Her laboriously researched and now completed book entitled The Last Circle (published by Trine Day) was recently released and provides what is to date the most detailed and damning analysis of The Octopus. Seymour provides a fascinating account of events surrounding not only Casolaro’s investigation but also takes a look at the trickery and deceit of figures within the Reagan Department of Justice and the theft of the Inslaw Corporation’s highly sophisticated PROMIS software program. Described as a precursor to artificial intelligence and the highly technical computer systems of today the story of PROMIS would come to figure prominently in many of the most disturbing aspects of our current system of what is at least for the moment, a soft fascism where Big Brother style surveillance and control, financial chicanery of the highest order and the ominous contingency plans for government reactions to potential domestic unrest are ubiquitous yet they remain largely unnoticed by the average American citizen. Thanks to a cunning and relentless shadow government and a controlled media, most have no idea that they are inside of a rapidly closing trap. Seymour’s book, which is subtitled Danny Casolaro’s Investigation into The Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal is a must read for those who truly have a serious understanding that something in this country has gone terribly wrong.
The Last Circle of the title refers to the bottom level of Dante’s pits, the area that is populated by the real scum, those who were traitors to their country, friends and lords; at this point in late 2010 this pit must have a multi-year waiting list given the wanton and systemic criminality in our rotting Empire. For a subject as important as the Casolaro research, the PROMIS software story, The Octopus and the huge reverberations forward into our current and thoroughly corrupt high-tech militarized surveillance state there has been little written outside of dated magazine and newspaper articles and one book. While bits and pieces are scattered throughout many books based on larger subjects such as BCCI and Iran-Contra, Casolaro’s Octupus has only prominently been featured in one book to my knowledge that even attempted to do it justice, Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith’s The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. While a draft internet version of The Last Circle which has been available on the internet for years and has provided invaluable material to serious researchers the completed version of The Last Circle is a must read, not only for the updated additional information but for the large appendix of well over 100 pages of images and documents including some of Danny Casolaro’s own handwritten notes. It is such a detailed and meticulously researched book that it is truly impossible to even begin to do it justice in any sort of short review. I will however try to offer up a high-level overview of the incredible story presented by Cheri Seymour.
The Last Circle begins with the story of how Seymour who was at the time working as a reporter for the Mariposa Gazette came to realize that local law enforcement figures were involved in drug trafficking. The dark, snaking trail that is described runs through our hidden history and corrupted institutions like the roiling river Styx. Cheri Seymour picks up the trail with a bizarre accident during the Queen of England’s 1983 visit to Yosemite National Park when a routine scouting of the Queen’s motorcade route resulted in a head on collision between a local Sheriff’s car and a car driven by members of the U.S. Secret Service. The accident resulted in the deaths of three Secret Service agents. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s officer, Sergeant Roderick Sinclair was found to have been under the influence of illegal drugs. Three years prior to the accident, Sinclair also had previously investigated the disappearance and presumed drowning of whistleblower deputy Ron Van Meter, a law officer who had been outraged at having discovered drug trafficking within the department. Cover-ups occurred as they typically do in such matters and Van Meter’s death was attributed to a boating accident (he had borrowed the boat to arrest fellow deputies at Lake McClure), the body was not recovered at the time of the incident. Ten years after the “accident”, his body was recovered, wrapped in a fish net and weighted down by several objects including a fire extinguisher.
Subsequent research revealed that Sinclair had connections and powerful ones at that. His father had been an aide to General Douglas MacArthur, the vaunted WW II leader of forces in the Pacific who became a hero to the more virulent elements of the far right after being dismissed by President Truman during the Korean War. Members of the general’s staff, most prominently Charles Willoughby in the postwar period became integral in the Cold War and the ‘ends justify the means’ ideology that would define the jihad against the Red Menace of Communism that served as blanket justification for immorality and lawlessness from which The Octopus would be birthed. With anti-Communism as a cover and with the postwar creation of the National Security State and the CIA it very quickly became possible for connected insiders to engage in great acts of criminality and atrocity in order to fund off the books operations and enrich themselves while expanding their dark reaches into the global narcotics and drug trade. The fight against Communism provided justification for alliances with former Nazi war criminals who were assisted in escaping justice by U.S. intelligence and then sent to the Eastern Bloc as well as Latin America to protect the ability of U.S. corporations and banking interests to ensure that countries would stay ‘business friendly’ which translates into torture, coups, black ops and most importantly riches. But I am getting ahead of myself.
With growing evidence of the collaboration of local officials and the out of control drug trade that included burgeoning methamphetamine labs and a strange connection through a subsidiary of mega-corporation MCA (the Curry Company was the largest concessions company in Yosemite National Park, hit hard by drug distribution activities at the time); concerned residents of Mariposa County mobilized and attempted to use the legal system to address the very serious problems of illegality that existed. Local groups were formed and lawsuits filed, a letter was written to then President Ronald Reagan by the wife of attorney Ben Wagner who was to represent citizen’s group D.I.G. (Decency in Government) in District Court. In one of the more eerie passages from this very disturbing book Ben Wagner received a response from a “Chuck” at the Reagan White House who scheduled a meeting with him, a secret meeting per White House request. Seymour writes that “However, the day after meeting with “Chuck”, Wagner unplugged his phone and walked out on his law practice and his home in Jackson California, taking nothing with him except his clothes and has wife, never to be seen again”. There are many similar stories of those who have gotten too close to the truth when investigating this intricate web of spooks, mobsters, corrupt government officials and their activities, some have simply disappeared, others have met with strange demises, suspicious accidents and ‘suicides’, the pattern is a consistent one.
Seymour’s investigation led her to a retired FBI agent named Ted Gunderson, a figure who seems to often appear in some of the most sordid and scandalous investigations in recent history who in turn led her to The Octopus. On the basis of earlier material that was provided by Gunderson on the drug trade to the disappeared Wagner for use in the case against drug trafficking cops Seymour called him and a meeting was set up at Gunderson’s home in Manhattan Beach. After the meeting, Gunderson gave the author a series of newspaper clippings and documents, many of which dealt with Danny Casolaro and his investigation of The Octopus. There was also material on Inslaw and PROMIS, Iran-Contra activities, financial scandals including the Savings and Loan crisis and defense contractor the Wackenhut Corporation. The next day Seymour received a collect call from a man named Michael Riconosciuto and he had a tale to tell. Calling from jail in Tacoma, Washington Riconosciuto provided her with the names of people who were in charge of methamphetamine operations in Mariposa and Fresno Counties. When asked who was behind the ring he revealed something much larger and more sinister than would have been imaginable:
“It’s the Company. Arms get shipped to the Contras, the Afghanistan rebels [Mujahaden], the Middle East. You know, to fight the Soviet influence. But the Contras and Mujahaden don’t have the money to pay for the arms, so they pay with drugs, cocaine or heroin. The Company handles the drug end of it in the U.S. …”
The bombshell unleashed by Riconosciuto cut right to the heart of The Octopus, and his entanglements with it were numerous. He divulged that was incarcerated as a result of corrupt Justice Department figures seeking to discredit him for his affidavit provided to Inslaw’s attorney Elliott Richardson for the purpose of providing the House Judiciary Committee that was investigating the theft and illegal modification of Inslaw’s PROMIS software with pertinent. In the affidavit, Riconosciuto admitted that it was he who had modified the software to include a “back door” which would allow for remote users to access information on the host computer. The software, once modified was then sold by Reagan administration cronies to foreign governments where it was used for reasons of espionage. Prior to the affidavit, Riconosciuto had been contacted by a Peter Videnieks of the Justice Department threatening him if he were to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee probe that there would be consequences. Eight days after the affidavit was filed Riconosciuto was arrested for allegedly running a meth lab. Videnieks would himself come under scrutiny in a U.S. Customs Department Internal Affairs probe for potential perjury and other activities. He had also been at DOJ as a contract administrator during the time of the PROMIS theft and modifications and had alleged but never completely proven ties to dirty figures in the Reagan administration.
Riconosciuto stated that he had altered the software largely on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in Indio, California where the Wackenhut Corporation and the tribe had a joint-venture to use the sovereign lands for weapons testing, for sales to Latin America and other overseas destinations. It was a perfect situation, the reservation provided cover for variety of endeavors including the development and testing of arms including a fuel air explosive, biochemical warfare agents and other armaments that could be provided to third world regimes, primarily to right-wing governments in Latin America. It was an oversight free zone and a haven for spooks, paramilitary figures including Contra leaders such as Eden Pastora during Reagan’s dirty wars south of the border during the 1980s. In his book The Crimes of a President , author Joel Bainerman described the reservation as a “CIA cutout” which would be consistent with the type of activities that were conducted there. Riconosciuto was a technical wizard, a child prodigy who at the tender age of 10 had wired his parents neighborhood with a private telephone system and who won numerous science fairs in his youth. A computer expert who at some point became attractive to intelligence figures and who later became a critical figure in the dark trades practiced by the shadowy operatives of the National Security State. Riconosciuto was also a major source for Danny Casolaro.
The story of the PROMIS software, an abbreviation for Prosecutors Management Information System is complicated and full of the sort of intrigue that would normally be found in something like a Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy novel. Developed by Inslaw Corporation’s Bill Hamilton, it was designed as a legal case management tool where cases could be tracked and with over half a million lines of computer code was an innovative and unprecedented piece of high-technology for its time. The program was capable of integrating numerous databases and was to have been sold by Inslaw to the U.S. Department of Justice to replace the antiquated system in use at the time. However, Inslaw’s contract with the government was subverted by corrupt figures within the Reagan Justice Department who conspired with a Reagan and Edwin Meese crony named Earl Brian (long alleged to be associated with the October Surprise) who then used legal trickery to steal the PROMIS software and drive Inslaw into bankruptcy. The software, after being stolen was modified by Riconosciuto and then distributed by Brian and others to various foreign countries including Israel with the modification allowing intelligence figures to engage in espionage using the back-door feature. The flag waving, drug-running Reagan National Security Council aide Colonel Oliver North also saw much potential in using PROMIS for the surveillance of American citizens as a function of the infamous REX 84 program, a subsidiary of FEMA and the Continuity Of Government contingency plans that were solidified during the Reagan years. Recently, there were two critical articles that referenced the use of PROMIS and derivatives in regards to current day shadow government contingency plans for the tracking and rounding up of potential dissidents, these being Christopher Ketcham’s The Last Roundup and Tim Shorrock’s Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power, both referenced in my own series on the abuse of the software by the shadow government entitled Main Core, PROMIS and the Shadow Government.
The use by extreme reactionaries to assist in the implementation of a fascist police state infrastructure, the spying on foreign countries including allies (which has just been confirmed once again as a matter of policy with the recent Wikileaks data dump and the mandate to collect biometric and credit card data on United Nations officials) and the use of surveillance for control and political blackmail were not the only functions of PROMIS. More darkly, the program could work very well in the laundering of money from illegal narcotic trafficking, the manipulation of financial markets and to the benefit of corrupt government officials in providing intel to organized crime figures. Another Casolaro source, Robert Booth Nichols, a suave dashing sort of a no-holds barred super spook whose activities and work facilitated some of the most sinister elements of what prominent author Peter Dale Scott refers to as the “Deep State” figures prominently in the saga. Nichols, a man who had connections between both legitimate government, shadowy intelligence figures and organized crime figures is a key figure in The Last Circle. Smooth enough to be retained for sensitive foreign intelligence affairs by the U.S. government and ruthless enough to hang a man upside down in front of a running airplane propeller as a method of persuasion Nichols is like a character straight out of central casting, more on him in a little bit.
The Cabazon Indian Reservation, where PROMIS was modified, is a critical piece of the story; it is the nexus point where many of the elements of the shadow government and its underworld cohorts all intersect. In thoroughly examining Cabazon, it is possible to trace decades of criminality, black operations and the accompanying subversion of the democratic institutions of this nation both backwards into the post WW II era as well as forward to events of late 2010. The clouds of intrigue swirling around the reservation begin with the 1981 execution of Cabazon Indian Tribal Council vice-chairman Fred Alvarez along with friends Ralph Boger and Patricia Castro. Alvarez was appalled at the use of the reservation for sinister purposes and the corruption of then administrator John Phillip Nichols, a connected man whose juice had been instrumental in the Cabazon-Wackenhut joint venture; Alvarez was about to blow the whistle at the time of the triple murders. Shortly afterwards, there were weapons testing demonstrations held for Iran-Contra leaders at Lake Cahuilla and attended by the aforementioned Earl Brian who in an official document in the appendix of Seymour’s book, was identified as a CIA employee.
As Seymour continues to untangle the web of deceit there are more disturbing revelations regarding the Cabazon Reservation and those who used it as a base for operations. Through contact with Riconosciuto and access to a treasure trove of his files kept hidden away in a trailer in Death Valley, she was able to expand her research. In addition to the Alvarez murders, there was another strange death associated with the Cabazon Reservation. The body of Paul Morasca, a Riconosciuto associate, was found in his San Francisco condo hog-tied and slowly strangled with a telephone cord around his legs and neck. He was also pretty good, as was Riconsciuto at moving money around through the SWIFT-CHIPS financial clearing houses utilized by banking institutions. Morasca, who had been appointed to a management position with the Cabazon Reservation casino, was dead months later. He was a financial wizard when it came to moving money through the interbank clearinghouse systems; according to some he may even have been involved in the transfer of funds out of the notorious Australian CIA connected drug-money laundering Nugan Hand Bank as it collapsed; Morasca allegedly had access codes to several accounts used to launder funds at the time of his murder and may have been tortured to provide the information to his killer (s). Another strange death, a school teacher named Mary Quick, the aunt of a Morasca/Riconosciuto associate who may have mistakenly been involved with the access codes was shot in the face during what was ostensibly made to look like a robbery. The Cabazon Reservation's casino, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article received seed money from the Gambino Crime Family.
Now here is a bit of food for thought, the note that was found inside of Danny Casolaro's shoe in Room 517 of the Martinsburg Sheraton had the names of Fred Alvarez and Paul Morasca were among the information that was written on it. It was known that Casolaro had planned a trip to Indio and the Cabazon Reservation as a continuation of his research, a trip that he never was able to make thanks to those who had one hell of a lot to lose were they to be exposed. They would have revealed a very ominous connection between intelligence figures and off the books ops, mob figures and political figures burrowed deep inside the bureaucracy and working hand in hand with criminal elements. I excerpt from the press release for The Last Circle:
During the last week of his life, Danny had discovered a connection between a former director of international affairs for the Justice Department, the Cali Drug Cartel and Robert Booth Nichols, an international intelligence operative whom he had been interviewing extensively for months. Danny's last phone bills indicated he'd spent hundreds of hours on the phone with Nichols, most of the calls averaged one to two hours. This in effect was one tentacle of Danny's Octopus.
Danny had confronted Nichols about the former DOJ director and the Cali Cartel while staying in Martinsburg. It was the last conversation Danny ever had with Nichols and with Bob Bickel, a friend whom Danny Confided in. Bickel subsequently confirmed the conversation, but for reasons unknown, the Cali Cartel connection was never published in any of the official investigative reports on Danny's death. These included the DOJ report of September 27, 1994.
Said Justice Department official was a man named Mike Abbell, a top ranking bureaucrat who after leaving the Justice Department where he once headed the Office of International Affairs, was indicted in a massive drug racketeering case against the Cali Cartel. Casolaro's research had touched upon many corrupt and powerful interests and their long-running illicit schemes but his tracing the criminality directly into the United States Department of Justice may just have been the third rail. The Last Circle provides a substantial amount of information on just how dirty that elements of the nation's top law enforcement institution may have been and provides plenty of information including wiretaps, interviews with the good guys who were trying to get to the bottom of it all and in perhaps the most chilling statement of all, that there are extremely high-ranking officials who may have been involved in obstruction of justice and who are still at the DOJ where their duties now have come to include providing legal cover for torturers and war criminals such as John Yoo and Jay Bybee and frantically working to prevent Wikileaks from publishing information on Bank of America by revising the 1917 Espionage Act. Given the ugly hidden activities of the banksters and a history of fraud and money laundering such a leak could expose the whole game and shine a light on the longtime institutional corruption in this country, especially the collusion between banks, drug traffickers and government figures and we certainly can't have that can we?
Now to return to the previously mentioned Robert Booth Nichols, the intelligence man who was a major source of Danny Casolaro (Casolaro's last days included numerous calls to Nichols) as well as a business partner of Michael Riconosciuto. Nichols was also a board member of FIDCO (First Intercontinental Development Corporation) which includes such interesting luminaries as former Howard Hughes aide and known CIA employee Robert Maheu as well as Texas oil billionaire and former NFL franchise owner of the Dallas Cowboys Clint W. Murchison Jr., a man whose father has been linked by some to the power cabal that would have a hell of a lot to gain were President John F. Kennedy to end up dead. Nichols was a big time player, according to accounts he had done independent contract work for the CIA, the NSA and had been tied to figures in both the Japanese Yakuza as well as the Gambino Crime Family. He dealt in military grade weaponry and had been under Federal investigation for international money laundering at one time. Nichols, it appears was a crucial go-between for darker elements of the U.S. state and organized crime. Former business partner and head of MCA Home Entertainment Eugene Giaquinto, a man with known mob ties was recorded on wiretap as saying that Nichols was his "government man" and that he could be counted on to provide official government documents pertaining to investigations. That figures within the government would have cozy relationships with the mob is really nothing surprising, and I must offer up my standard disclaimer regarding such collaborations. As in previous work that I have done on the subject of mob influence with U.S. government activities and figures I make no moral judgment regarding mob activity, it’s a business to these people and the costs associated are of no regard to me. What I DO have a serious problem with are corrupt or compromised government officials allowing themselves to be used by organized crime or to misuse their positions of trust as public servants to enrich themselves and their organized crime partners. For these rats truly belong within Dante’s last circle or in a Supermax prison at the very least.
There is a long history of the CIA/OSS in working with organized crime figures, the traceable beginning point would be World War II and the government’s deal with Charles “Lucky” Luciano and other bosses to assist the American war effort, notably Operation Underworld. War was war and such alliances were deemed necessary during a time of great national crisis and mobilization, that sort of alliance is much different than the criminality that grew out of the ongoing marriage of the CIA and other intelligence arms with organized crime figures. Such collaborations have a tendency over time to pollute and corrupt the ideals and objectives that they at one time purported to justify, for another example one need look no further than the CIA/OSS providing amnesty to Nazi war criminals, for example General Reinhard Gehlen who was brought in to the U.S. intelligence apparatus, ostensibly to wage the war against demonic Communism. This is a story for another time though, I just needed to make it clear that I have no personal bone to pick with organized crime, only with the officials who betray the country and the public trust by abusing their positions to enrich themselves by working with them.
Nichols seems to be one of those who benefited immensely by playing both sides and through parlaying his connections and interests into a very nice career. He was so important that as recently as 2004 was still a big time go to guy when he was involved in a scheme with chasing down a $250 billion treasury note (Serial Number SC 3040-20) that was allegedly backed by 2,500 metric tons of gold stored at the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Nichols, described in a lawsuit brought by Bayou LLC hedge fund’s Samuel Israel against Nichols for his role in an alleged scam involving the note was said by his attorney as:
“He was asked to find something, and he found it,” Nichols’s lawyer, Joseph Bainton, told Bloomberg, declining to elaborate. “There are very few people capable of performing this service, for which he was paid a lump sum of $10 million”
Nichols was vouched for by one John P. Ellis, a cousin of then President George W. Bush whose long family history of intelligence ties is hardly a secret and whose moral traditions would be consistent in those who would have no qualms about engaging in alliances with organized crime figures. After all, it was George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush whose Wall Street firm was closed down by FDR back in 1942 under the Trading With The Enemies Act for helping to launder money for the Nazis, not that Prescott Bush was unique, plenty of Wall Street bankers and American industrialists cashed in by helping to build the Third Reich. Other than to use those sort of alliances to illustrate the lack of morality, principals or loyalty to their own countries which are exactly the sort of traits that are present in The Octopus and it's disregard for anything even remotely resembling honor, decency and traditional American values, I will leave that story to be told in the future. Nichols by the way is now deceased, he died in Geneva, Switzerland; a victim of a massive heart attack and interestingly enough there was evidence of a blow to the head. It would seem that he had outlived his usefulness and in my personal opinion, considering his history and the type that he ran with I personally am skeptical as to the official cause of death. In The Last Circle, Cheri Seymour describes a harrowing visit to interview a chain-smoking and wily Nichols, after which she, for reasons of personal safety, decided to take an extended vacation away from her home. The creepiest part of the visit being when he broke out his version of the Zapruder film from his personal video collection.
A hugely important part of Seymour's book is the section where she meets with investigators Sean McDade of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and California Homicide Detective Sue Todd (who was investigating another potentially connected murder of a father and son) at her home. McDade was investigating the PROMIS software story on an official national security assignment for Canada and contacted Seymour for information given his research of the draft version of her book on the internet. An arrangement was made for McDade to visit Seymour in order to gain access to her research materials and he and Detective Todd met with her, and in the process of culling and copying documents he dropped a couple of bombshells. First being a reference to a December 1999 meeting at the Los Alamos facility in New Mexico attended by heads of the intelligence services of the United States, Britain, Israel and Canada over the potential for disruptive shared computer problems due to the Y2K period. McDade had a source that alluded to all four countries using the PROMIS software. He offered up a scenario that the "Israeli Mossad may have modified the original PROMIS modification, or back door, so that it became a 'two-way' back door allowing the Israelis access to U.S. weapons secrets at Los Alamos and other installations." and according to Seymour, McDade "hinted through innuendo that the Israelis may now possess all the nuclear secrets of the United States." There would seem to be some additional evidence that may support this sort of Israeli espionage in a London Times story on whistleblower Sibel Edmonds entitled For Sale: West's Deadly Nuclear Secrets. McDade also stated that : "The details of my findings in Canada could cause a major scandal in both Canada and the U.S. If my investigation is successful, it could cause the entire U.S. Republican party to be dismantled, and more than one presidential administration will be exposed for their knowledge of this."
McDade returned to Canada along with a load of copied documents and the investigation continued. The probe continued and eventually progressed enough to become sufficiently disturbing to those affected. The FBI as well as the Israeli Mossad were monitoring him as he progressed through the process of conducting interviews with potential witnesses and building the case. He had obtained several tapes that according to Riconsciuto contained the boot up versions of the modified PROMIS software. He planned to fly Bill Hamilton of INSLAW to RCMP headquarters to assist in accessing the tapes when a Toronto Star article was published in late August 2000 that resulted in the shutdown of the 8 month investigation. Chapter 21 of The Last Circle details a long conversation between Detective Sue Todd and the author on what the findings had been and which she wanted published were anything to happen to her. A subsequent investigation of the closed down RCMP investigation was undertaken by journalist Kelly O'Meara of Insight Magazine and the four parts are available here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Despite the official stonewalling, obfuscation and danger involved, the author reveals that both Sue Todd and Kelly O'Meara developed a proposal in 2001 to continue to work to expose The Octopus, let us hope that we have not heard the last from them and their dedication to justice serves as an inspiration to all.
"Organized crime will put a man in the White House someday - and he won't know it until they hand him the bill"
-Ralph Solerno, NYPD (from Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob)
The Last Circle also devotes considerable space to the relationship between former President Ronald Reagan and the MCA Corporation, his agent. Drawing on Dan Moldea's book Dark Victory, subtitled Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob. It isn't well publicized that the hallowed national icon of those who dabble in the black arts of revisionist history, Ronald Reagan is a man with more than a few skeletons in his closet. Reagan was in the 1940-50s a struggling B-movie actor and Democrat who campaigned for Harry Truman in 1948 (this link is as priceless as it is stunning). Reagan, at some point realized that the real future laid in his willingness to sell out whatever ideals that he may have had and join the Republican party, ratting out his Hollywood peers as Communists to a McCarthyist nation braying for blood while president of the Screen Actors Guild and building up the necessary resume and connections for his ascension to America's throne. Long before Saint Ronald Reagan was authorizing criminals like Edwin Meese and Oliver North and their ilk to destroy the national regulatory structure, wantonly subvert the Constitution, and engage in a global spree of weapons and drug trafficking to fund torturers and murders in Latin America he made his pact with the devil.
Reagan's rise to power and later, canonization by the conservative movement was helped along enormously by his affiliation with MCA and the accumulated chits that he would receive which would serve him in his rise to the presidency. MCA, originally a talent agency that became the 800 pound gorilla of Hollywood as well as a partner of organized crime figures had benefited greatly when Reagan, as SAG president played an integral role in negotiating a deal that would allow the corporation to circumvent antitrust laws in order to enter into television production as well as talent. Reagan was subsequently targeted by a federal grand jury for his role in the "sweetheart deal" between MCA and the actor's union. According to a Justice Department memorandum from the case described a Hollywood source as saying that "Ronald Reagan a complete slave of MCA who would do their bidding on anything." Reagan changed his political affiliation to Republican, citing a newfound contempt of big government, became wealthy and increasingly strident in his ideology and rhetoric, so much so that General Electric Theatre, he was a host became uncomfortable with his on air reactionary rants. Reagan then ran for and was elected Governor of California where he continued to hone his act and pile up favors that would serve him for his enthronement at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Reagan, like all presidents came into power surrounded by cronies and lackeys, one of course was Edwin Meese who rose to Attorney General and according to information obtained from FBI wiretaps on Gambino crime family figures may have intervened in order to foil a federal investigation into MCA and alleged mob connections that could have torpedoed the sale of MCA to Japanese interests. On the wiretaps, Eugene Giaquinto who was a board member of the MCA Corporation who had a lifetime relationship to Gambino boss John Gotti had stated that "he would call Edwin Meese and have the FBI's investigation of MCA stopped." The Reagan era Justice Department was not only engaged in corrupt practices such as the theft of Inslaw's PROMIS software but also was actively engaged in the obstruction of justice in order to protect Reagan's longtime benefactor MCA. The investigation was of course shut down and the MCA deal went through, principled and honest public servants resigned out of disgust and the bad guys won again. The litany of crimes and unethical practices of the Reagan administration is long and his Octopus's tentacles have slithered into too many scandals and institutions to list here but there are two very important and serendipitous connections. Giaquinto had bragged about his "government man" Robert Booth Nichols who provided him with critical information and Danny Casolaro was also investigating MCA connections to The Octopus at the time of his death.
"After a six-year hitch in the military, I became a professional hit man for the Mafia. I collected money, hurt a lot of people and saw a lot of blood. I know what it's like to cut the throat of a man, see a man die, or throw a man in the trunk of a car and take him to his death. I did many horrible things. I allowed myself to do whatever was necessary.
-Jimmy Hughes: Admitted killer
An Authorized, Government Backed Covert Action: The final chapter in The Last Circle deals with the quest for justice by Rachel Begley, whose father Ralph Boger was murdered along with Fred Alvarez, the man who was about to blow the whistle on the illicit activities at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in 1981. Begley relentlessly pursued the truth about the murders and her story was chronicled in the work of Emmy Award winning reporter Nathan Baca's 35 part series on the Octopus Murders for Palm Springs KESQ-TV. Also known online as Desertfae, she at great personal danger considering the malevolent figures that she was dealing with successfully worked to expose the truth about her father's murder and her tenacity led to the cold case being re-opened by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Her courageous efforts led to the arrest of admitted hitman Jimmy Hughes, now running a pseudo religious organization in Honduras.
Detective John Powers of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department was investigating the cold case of the Alvarez murders, having been led in that direction as a result of a more recent probe into the 2005 murder- suicide of David McGowan and his family. McGowan, a Riverside County District Attorney investigator who may have been digging too deeply. According to Baca (whose links have all apparently been disappeared down the memory hole at KESQ now that he is working for a Las Vegas station but fortunately desertfae has posted many of the videos on her You Tube site) in his work on the story that:
The murder case has been reopened and closed multiple times in the past 27 years. Sheriff’s investigators have asked friends and former partners of District Attorney Investigator David McGowan whether he was working the case in 2005. An investigation concluded that McGowan murdered his family of five before shooting himself on May 10th, 2005. Surviving family members tell News Channel 3 they believe the investigation was rushed and incomplete.
Detective Powers and Rachel Begley were working on seeking justice for the murders when they met with Cheri Seymour who assisted them in gleaning important information on the case. She strongly encouraged Powers to get copies of the Paul Morasca Homicide Investigation File of which no electronic copies existed and access was restricted. The file, Case No. 82-1052505 was being stored with the San Francisco Police Department records and contained long missing files on the Alvarez murders which he has now backed up lest it be conveniently misplaced. An arrest warrant for Hughes was issued and he was apprehended in September 2009 as he was boarding a plane in Miami.
Hughes, a former head of security at the Cabazon reservation has admitted to being a hired gun for both the mafia and the CIA. Hughes incidentally was the guy who Financial Times reporter Anson Ng was allegedly chasing down when he himself was murdered in Guatemala in July of 1991. His organization, very originally named Jimmy Hughes Ministries is a testament to the adage of religion being the last refuge of scoundrels and provides cover by serving as a front for black ops such as the 2009 Honduran coup d'etat against president Manuel Zelaya who had to be deposed for being an ally of Venezuala’s Hugo Chavez. Chavez is a man the U.S. power structure despises and has already moved against and failed and whose ability to stand up to the United States plutocracy cannot be allowed to spread regionally lest the rivers of blood that have been loosed by dictators, their thugs and their CIA facilitators, most trained at the torture institute The School of the Americas stop flowing so that lust for money and power can be slaked. In The Last Circle it is noted that Hughes, sponsored by the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International (FGBMFI) provided support for the overthrow. Hughes never ceased being a thug for hire, he just changed venues.
Hughes has stated in a 1985 television interview that the Alvarez murders were “an authorized, government backed covert action" and was caught on video by Rachel Begley and Fred Alvarez's son Mikel during his February 2008 appearance at an FGBMFI dinner event in Fresno stating that:
"I was trained in the military. I killed people all of the world, right or wrong, because the government ordered me to. Your dad and I were friends. He touched somebody…they gave an order and that’s what happened to him. It’s a lot bigger than the murder of this guy or the murder of that guy. It’s big …. You’re talking political people. “
Hughes also made veiled threats like the chilling "you've got to be crazy...you're knocking on some very dangerous doors..just think about your children..they need a mother" to Begley. Once arrested and extradited to California to stand trial Hughes was due to finally face the judgement of the law but then in
another one of the travesties that plague the rotten to the core judicial system of this corrupt empire the case against Hughes were dismissed, and with a deft twisting of the knife, the charges were dropped on the very anniversary of the murders. Jimmy Hughes walked, perhaps he knew fully well where too many bodies were buried, that and he continues to serve the dark forces of The Octopus. As of this writing, Rachel Begley is not giving up, she has justifiably filed a formal complaint against Deputy Attorney General Mike Murphy, just another one of the charlatans masquerading as servants of the law in this terminally damaged republic.
The dismissal of the case against Jimmy Hughes is just another example of the vast corruption that has slowly eaten away at the once strong interpinnings of the American system of justice. Today, there is no consistent enforcement of the law, there exists a system that has been throughout the years rigged in order to allow those who have the financial means or the political connections to circumvent justice. In the post-9/11 era in which our once vibrant democracy has turned into something perversely un-American that has now very appropriately been named the HOMELAND, our true birthright, the civil liberties as set forth in the Bill of Rights have been eroded and are on the verge of extinction. All due to systemic corruption and the actions of The Octopus and those who serve it.
We have seen the gradual erosion of such long-standing legal principles such as Habeas Corpus disposed, under the guise of course of fighting 'terrorism'. Posse Comitatus has been struck from the books with the establishment of NORTHCOM and the surveillance colossus that grew out of PROMIS is rendering obsolete the right to privacy. Our airports have turned into something out of post Stalin Russia with the TSA 'pat-downs' and naked body scanners and just this week word comes that Janet Napolitano, top apartchik of the Department of Homeland Security will be appearing on TV screens in the nation's Wal-Marts with the "If You See Something, Say Something" inducement to report 'suspicious' behavior. The noose is tightening and as has been predicted by many of us, the entire facade of the War On Terror was only a ruse, every oppressive tactic, every torture chamber and secret prison was being prepared for the real enemy: patriotic Americans demanding the truth. The entire system has now been transformed in order to protect the interests of criminals, looters and the progeny of The Octopus. You will see no serious investigation of the heads of Wall Street banks, their profits largely derived through fraud, money laundering and other ill gotten gains from cash cows such as drug trafficking. Nor will you see any war criminals, war profiteers or the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who cover up for them, rig the laws and engage in acts of subterfuge for money be prosecuted. This is the country in which we now live.
As Cheri Seymour writes:
"Every government official I talked to, every journalist, told me that nothing can be done to dismantle The Octopus, there is no one in office in this great nation that has the power to prosecute the Octopus criminals because the tentacles have become an integral, and accepted culture within our society, and indeed within our economy."
So the responsibility in stopping this all lies with us. I opened this essay with the quote from Anthony Sutton that appeared in The Last Circle : "Be patient, spread the word among friends, do your little bit. The system will self-destruct because it is funded on corruption and untruth". This much is essential, for the only way to regain our freedom, dignity and liberty and to ensure that those who are guilty of a myriad of crimes is to be tenacious in researching - and reporting on their crimes. It is true that the only things that The Octopus, now fully assimilated into the system understands is power and money, the only thing that it fears is the truth.
The Octopus: Eight people who have changed the course of the world, a real life "Mission Impossible" team whose gifts exploited the secret empires of rogue spy networks, big oil and organized crime.
-From Danny Casolaro's notes