Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


UQ Wire: Bush Flew For Airline Tied To Iran Contra

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire
Sign up for the wire at:
Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

Bush Flew For Airline Tied To Iran Contra Drug Traffiking

Read Pt I (Scoop Mirror) & Pt II (Scoop Mirror) first.

Bush "wouldn't have known" about the connections between Alaska International and the CIA, the airline's president told the NY Times, although he "might have heard some talk around the company."
March 22--Venice, Florida
by Daniel Hopsicker
A MadCowMorningNews World Exclusive!



PLUS: The MadCowMorningNews has begun airing, on Conspiracy Tonight, Episode 2 – Rudi Dekker Walks! FBI Shuts Down Boston Terror Investigation. What Really Happened At Tora Bora.


During the summer of 1974 George W Bush flew for a CIA-connected airline in Alaska later suspected by the Iran Contra Commission of being involved in CIA drug trafficking in support of the Contras, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

The company, Alaska International, has also been publicly accused (AP Report) of illegally selling C-130 military aircraft to Col. Moammar Qaddafi's Libya which were used in Libya’s invasion of Chad, despite the U.S. government ban on sales of the aircraft to Libya.

Bush’s Alaska adventure is another ‘missing’ chapter of Bush’s biography, and has almost completely escaped media attention. We learned of it first in a letter from a reader of the first two segments of our report on “The Secret History of George W. Bush.”

“About the connections you're tracing in Alabama – you might want to look at a few years later when Bush was in Alaska working for Mark Air, which also had a reputation for undercover operations,” the reader wrote.

“He never talks much about his Alaska experiences either—and you'd think he'd boast of em all the time! Many of us Alaskans who were here during the pipeline years have wondered about this… He came up here like a lot of Texans—but it wasn't to work in the oilfields!”

North to Alaska!

When we looked for evidence for the intriguing claim, we found an October 21, 2000 New York Times story confirming our reader’s account of Bush’s summer in Alaska.

“When Mr. Bush arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska International Industries was a fledgling business whose holdings included Alaska International Air, an air cargo company that was loading its giant Lockheed-382 Hercules airplanes, the civilian version of C-130's, with construction equipment and supplies and flying them to pipeline workers 24 hours a day,” reported the Times.

Neil G. Bergt, a pilot and entrepreneur who was president of both the parent company and the airline, told the paper, "We used to haul the equivalent of the Berlin airlift every week."

“People who worked there recall that in addition to its aviation and construction work for the pipeline, the company flew planes that carried food and mining equipment into Zambia and ambulances into Libya. It also "flew a bunch of F-14 parts into a town in Iran for the shah," said Steve Scott, who worked as a loadmaster. And "we helped build a military base in Oman."

The Times reported that a number of onetime employees say they found themselves doing contract work for the CIA. And the company’s President seemed to confirm their reports.

“I had a big reputation for doing C.I.A. work," Mr. Bergt said. "It wasn't deserved. We did some."

Its a Puzzlement

“What might seem puzzling about Mr. Bush's sojourn in Alaska is that it never comes up,” reported the Times. “His autobiography does not mention it. Nor do three other biographies of him published recently. Reporters on his campaign plane say they cannot recall his ever mentioning it, and many of his friends say they have never heard him refer to it.”

In his campaign book, Mr. Bush recounts the summers he spent delivering mail at a law firm, working for a stockbroker, roughnecking on an offshore oil rig, helping out on a ranch and selling sporting goods. But there is no mention of Alaska.

His experience there has now emerged in part because a leaflet that Republicans have circulated in the state on his behalf referred to him as "a former Alaska resident."

Mr. Bartlett, the Bush spokesman, said he did not know why the summer job had not come up before in interviews with the governor. I'm rarely asked about it," Bartlett told the Times. As for why Mr. Bush himself so rarely mentions it, Mr. Bartlett said it was so long ago, so brief and so uneventful that it hardly ever seemed to the governor worth mentioning.

The aviation arm of Alaska International had a colorful list of clients, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the shah of Iran

“But Mr. Bush knew nothing about them, says Dan Bartlett, whom the Bush presidential campaign has placed in charge of dealing with the press on biographical matters.” "The only thing he knew the company was doing was flying freight in C-130's to the north Alaskan slope," Mr. Bartlett said. "That is the extent of his knowledge."

Another “modifed limited hangout”

What the Times failed to report was that Bergt changed the airline’s name, when it began passenger service, from Alaska International to Mark Air. This relieved the paper of telling its readers that Mark Air, which flew support flights for Oliver North’s NHAO, had been fingered for drug trafficking by the Iran Contra Final Report.

Ironically, it was Senator John Kerry who began an investigation of allegations that elements of the supply network supporting the Contras were linked to drug traffickers, in early 1986.

When the Commission’s findings were released, they revealed that Mark Air, was "strongly suspected" by US Customs of owning an aircraft that had been used in 1984 to smuggle cocaine into the United States from South America.

Further, according to Customs, the aircraft was sold that same year by Mark Air to "a large scale [unnamed] drug trafficking organization recently convicted in federal court."

Although unnamed by the Kerry Commission, this is almost certainly the smuggling organization of Juan Matta Ballesteros, suspected of having connections capable of ensuring that US law enforcement was “looking the other way” when their C130’s roared into town.

Customs also reported also that it was investigating the financial activities of Mark Air and its officers because of "large cash movements to and from Mexico and other foreign countries."

A "major narcotics smuggling ring"

In a report that is the very definition of a “Modified Limited Hangout,” the Commission stated that US Customs reportedly had confirmed that Mark Air had sold the aircraft to a major narcotics smuggling ring, but "the sale to this group may have been a legitimate business deal and not drug related;” and that Customs indicated that the information concerning Mark Air officers carrying large quantities of cash was "certain," but that "such behavior is common in the air charter business and thus is not by itself suspicious.”

Nor is this the only intelligence-related scandal with which Bush’s employer was involved. Despite an eight-year U.S. embargo on the sale of all military equipment to Libya, the airline assisted Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Khadafy in obtaining three giant C-130 ''Hercules'' transport planes.

''The Hercules aircraft in Libya are doing deadly work. They were in Colonel Khadafy's invasion of Chad,'' said Pierre Salinger on ABC’s 20-20. Libya obtained the three planes -- reportedly the most powerful military aircraft in existence -- through a series of international agents and intrigue, the broadcast reported.

Libya managed to acquire the planes through an intermediary in Miami who purchased the plane from Alaska International Airways, according to Salinger. The 'middleman' used in the deal may be relevant to 9/11: notorious Lebanese weapons merchant Sarkis Soghanalian, also a key figure in BCCI.

Tropical plants & international intrigue

Once again, although young George W Bush played no part in the C130 sale, he was clearly operating in a milieu of “international agents and intrigue” which smacks of the CIA.

In an update on our earlier report about Bush’s year in “tropical plants,” the man Bush was working for during the year he spent traveling Guatemala and Central America (see pt I), former Zapata Offshore President Robert Gow, was at the same time embroiled in a takeover attempt of the notorious United Fruit Company (on whose Board sat his father, Ralph Gow, a long-time Director), and that while Bush was there supposedly “looking over tropical plants,” the company was actively participating in a counter-insurgency program with the Guatemalan Government as part of the CIA’s Operation Condor.

Far from confirming the conventional wisdom that Bush spent the more poorly-documented stretches of time in his biography with his cowboy boots up on a desk somewhere, pulling the tab on another ‘tall cold one,’ the new evidence uncovered points instead to the far more sinister conclusion that during his supposed “lost years” Bush was being initiated into a national-security oligarchy, a secret and invisible state within the public state, composed of multiple generations of certain ‘blue-blood’ Eastern families like Bush’s, who appear to have been running America’s intelligence agencies as if they were a ‘family business.’

The real question is why— especially in an election year— such important information is only available in the MadCowMorningNews .


- Daniel Hopsicker is the author of Barry & 'the boys: The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History. About the author. - Email the author.


STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Julien Troussier: Loving Trump

It’s 3am. Cannot sleep. Restless. Slide to unlock. Open the New York Times App. Look for the latest incident. He did it again. He lashed out. Fear. Anger. Outrage. I needed to see this. I needed to check that the madness was still there. More>>


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Live Blog: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>


Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news