The Biggest CIA Scandal in History Has Its Feet in the Starting
Blocks in a Houston Court House
by Michael C. Ruppert
[The following article appeared in the January, 2000 issue
of From The Wilderness - Copyright
and Reprint Policy]
The following is written after examining more than 900 pages
of documents, in four volumes, filed since last September,
in Houston Federal Court, by attorneys representing former
CIA operative Edwin P. Wilson and the United States Department
of Justice. As strange as it may seem, FTW assures you that
there is a document on file or an on-the-record quote to support
everything we now tell you.
On February 2, 1983, the Houston trial of former CIA agent
Edwin P. Wilson, on Federal charges that he had unlawfully
sold explosives to Libya, hung at a truly precarious moment.
In chambers, the Judge hearing the case had refused to allow
a CIA witness, using the pseudonym William Larson, to testify
using a false name. The CIA, and prosecutors like aggressive
Northern Virginia Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)
Ted Greenberg, relying on investigative materials produced
under the direction of Washington, D.C. AUSAs Larry Barcella
and Carol Bruce, were also concerned about limiting Wilson's
ability to cross examine Larson for "security" reasons.
Larson's intended testimony would have included statements
that, according to CIA records under Larson's care, Ed Wilson
had not been a CIA employee or done any work for the Agency
According to Barcella, who gave a detailed interview to FTW
for this story, the Judge's ruling raised serious security
concerns for the Justice Department. The CIA records issue
still needed to be addressed from another angle - and quickly.
Wilson's defense had already made the case that the CIA had
known and sanctioned the activities for which he was now on
trial. That position needed to be countered in the rebuttal
phase before the case went to the jury. Time was running out.
Ed Wilson stood accused of shipping 42,000 pounds of
the plastic explosive C-4 directly to Libyan dictator Moammar
Qadaffy in 1977, and then hiring U.S. experts - former U.S.
Army Green Berets - to teach Qadaffy's people how to make
bombs shaped like lamps, ashtrays and radios. Bombs
were actually made, and foes of Qadaffy were actually murdered.
This was the ongoing crime that had made Wilson, and his still-missing
accomplice, former CIA employee Frank Terpil, the most infamous
desperadoes in the world. C-4, according to some experts,
is the most powerful non-nuclear explosive made. Two pounds
in the right places can bring down a jumbo jet. Hence, 42,000
pounds would be enough to bring down 21,000 jumbo jets. C-4
is highly prized on the world's black markets and is much
in demand. It is supposedly very tightly controlled where
it is manufactured - in the U.S.
At the time it was shipped from Houston International Airport,
in 1977, the 42,000 pounds of C-4 represented almost the entire
United States domestic supply. It had been collected for Wilson
by one California explosives distributor who collected it
from a number of manufacturers around the country. Surprisingly,
no one had officially noticed. Wilson had, in earlier and
subsequent deals, also sold a number of handguns to Qadaffy,
and several had been used in assassinations of Libyan dissidents
in a number of countries, including the United States. It
was these and other firearms violations by Wilson, including
a scheme to ship more than a thousand M16 rifles to Qadaffy,
that had put the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF)
and Larry Barcella on Wilson's trail back in late 1977.
That investigation, which resulted in a 1982 Virginia conviction,
led to the discovery of the C-4 shipment to Qadaffy. By January
of 1983 Barcella and a team of dedicated BATF agents had been
on Ed Wilson's trail for five long years. Barcella, in Houston
as an observer and advisor, had been "twiddling his thumbs
most of the time," but he did testify as a witness.
He was, by virtue of his role as the originator of the cases,
"the institutional memory" of DoJ. Ted Greenberg
had, from the other side of the Potomac in Alexandria, taken
over other investigations stemming from Wilson's activities
which led eventually to the Eatsco scandal. That investigation
involved Wilson cronies Tom Clines, Air Force General Richard
Secord, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Eric von Marbod
and the legendary Ted Shackley.
Shackley had served in the hottest CIA posts in history. He
had run the Miami station known as JM-WAVE, targeting Fidel
Castro in the early 1960s, and had been a key planner in the
Bay of Pigs invasion. He was also directly involved in CIA
attempts on Castro's life in concert with the Mafia. In the
mid-sixties he had been the Chief of Station (COS) in Laos,
running the largest covert operation in CIA history -
a secret war intimately tied with opium and heroin smuggling
and the abandonment of large numbers of American POWs. In
the late sixties and early seventies he had served as COS
in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. After leaving Saigon,
Shackley had, for a time, served as Chief of the Western Hemisphere
Division as the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of Chile's
Salvador Allende. He had then become Associate Deputy Director
of Operations (running all covert operations) in time to,
as FTW believes, "preside" over Ed Wilson's Libyan
affairs and the events that would ultimately result in the
downfall of the Shah of Iran. Everywhere you looked in Wilson's
life - post 1971 - you found either Shackley or his career-long
deputy and sidekick, Tom Clines.
Shackley testified twice before Federal grand juries in the
Wilson case. In one of those sessions, included in Wilson's
recent court filings, he denied anything other than social
contacts and a few meetings to evaluate information that never
amounted to much. CIA Inspector General records (some still
classified) belied Shackley's testimony. In light of voluminous
CIA material, investigative reports, witness statements, BATF
interviews with Shackley associates and a long litany of other
records, Ted Shackley's testimony made a lot of people at
CIA and DoJ very nervous. [FTW found it very interesting to
note that, in his first testimony, Ted Shackley denied having
ever met Ronald Reagan's CIA Director, William Casey. That
may have to be the subject of another FTW article.]
Notes made by Justice Department lawyers in meetings held
in late 1983, after Wilson's conviction, indicate their belief
that Ted Shackley lied to the grand juries. Unattributed quotes
found in meeting notes include the statements "Stupid
-TS lied to GJ."
The Houston prosecution, for which Greenberg had served as
the primary classified record handler, and AUSAs Jim Powers
and Karen Morrissette, had no difficulty establishing that
Wilson, in 1976, had secured plans for miniature timing devices
from CIA contractors and, subsequently, had thousands manufactured
and shipped to Libya. The Houston prosecution had no difficulty
- using Barcella's, Bruce's and Greenberg's investigations
- to establish that Wilson had conspired to obtain and ship
the C-4 in 1977. Greenberg, Barcella, Bruce, Karen Morrissette
and local Houston AUSAs also had absolutely no difficulty
establishing that Wilson then chartered a DC-8 to ship the
C-4 to Libya using falsified records. A hapless lawyer friend
of Wilson's California explosives honcho, believing he had
clearance from the CIA and other government agencies, even
went along on the delivery. He had also been arrested and
charged in the case. All of this took place under the guidance
of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard, and the
supervision of Assistant Attorneys General Steven Trott and
D. Lowell Jensen,
Evidence of Wilson's venality was not hard to find and put
before the jury. While living in Libya for extended periods
between 1977 and 1981, Wilson hired former Green Berets, some
of whom were, according to FTW sources, alleged to be active-duty
troops posing as rogues and retirees out for money. Using
them, he set up an intensive instructional training program
for Qadaffy that was intended to make the Libyan Colonel a
credible terrorist threat - and credible foe - to any opponent,
anywhere in the world. That effort was an unqualified success.
People and things started blowing up and dying all over the
All the while, Wilson traveled the globe first-class, an ostentatiously
wealthy man owning more than 6,000 acres of prime properties
in Virginia, Great Britain and Malta. Much of that, the prosecution
argued, had been paid for with millions from a Libyan dictator
who had subsequently dispatched in 1982, if you believed the
press, assassination teams to blow up Ronald Reagan in the
Making Ed Wilson out to be a very nasty and unlikable individual
was the easy part of the prosecution's case.
The second part of the prosecution's case was that one-time
career CIA Agent Edwin P. Wilson had had absolutely no official
relationship with the Agency since 1971. Wilson was, they
argued, a good guy gone hopelessly bad who had abused his
contacts, experience and the trust placed in him to commit
horrible crimes behind the backs of his former colleagues.
And that was where both the Department of Justice - and the
CIA - were in deep, deep trouble on February 2, 1983.
Wilson, a one time career CIA agent, who had also worked for
the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), was fighting for his
life. An "open source" paper trail from CIA showed
that he had not worked at Langley since 1971. Shortly thereafter
he began working for a secret Navy operation known as Task
Force 157. But, according to other records from both CIA and
the Navy, he stopped working for the ONI in 1976 and none
of his Navy work was connected to Libya. After that, or so
it seemed, even though he continuously socialized with some
of the most powerful people in the U.S. intelligence community
and the military, he did no official work for anyone.
It was in late 1975 and 1976, when George Bush ran the CIA,
that Wilson, as an alleged rogue, opened ties to Qadaffy and
began selling weapons, explosives and other services and equipment
to the terrorist regime.
This would not be the last time that a so-called enemy of
the United States in the Arab world would be supplied with
weapons and bomb making materials on a watch under the command
of George H. W. Bush. While Ed Wilson was training and
equipping Qadaffy, he was also lunching with Bush protg
Shackley. He was providing personal airplanes for Air Force
General Richard Secord to fly around in, and loaning large
sums of money to Shackley's sidekick, Tom Clines. His company,
Consultants International, once a CIA proprietary, which Wilson
"bought" in 1971, was still receiving referral contacts
from the Agency. And while former U.S. Army Green Berets,
in Wilson's employ, were teaching Libyans how to blow things
up, Clines, a high-ranking active CIA officer, was walking
Wilson employee Douglas Schlachter through the halls at CIA
headquarters in Langley, Virginia. In 1977 Clines even introduced
Schlachter to Jimmy Carter's newly appointed CIA Director,
Navy Admiral Stansfield Turner. Exclusive parties, horseback
riding events and private hunting parties were held for the
"A" list at Wilson's expansive Mount Airy farm in
With the January 1977 change in Presidents from Ford to Carter
it was inevitable that George Bush (the elder) would have
to leave as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Shackley,
however, remained in charge of covert operations until December
of that year. Then, with a kiss of death, as Wilson's work
and life became increasingly high-profile, Turner removed
Shackley from the prestigious post of ADDO and transferred
him to a non hands-on post out of the loop. It was the signal
that Shackley's career was over. This came at the same time
that Turner gave 800 CIA career covert operatives pink slips
and "early retirement." FTW believes that it is
no coincidence that Barcella's and the BATF investigations
of Wilson began at exactly the same time.
President Jimmy Carter had already begun the groundbreaking
work with Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt
that would lead to the Camp David peace accords. It would
not be good PR for the U.S. to be exposed secretly arming
Sadat's bitter enemy and next door neighbor, Moammar Qadaffy
- especially since Qadaffy intended to kill Sadat.
The problem with the government's position in the Wilson case
was absolutely huge. It was almost beyond huge. And the rationale
implied during the trial, with the preceding and ensuing vilification
of Wilson in major newspapers, People Magazine and best selling
books like Manhunt by Peter Maas, was that the heinousness
of his crimes justified obsession and even rule-bending in
order to bring the monster to justice. CIA Inspector
General investigations, some partially redacted, made available
to Wilson's prosecutorial team, dating as far back as 1977,
proved that Wilson had provided a number of often embarrassing
services for the Agency since 1971. Those records also showed
no less than 80 "non-social" contacts between Wilson
and the CIA between 1971 and 1978. The Agency had many records,
some still classified, of Wilson meeting with Agency personnel
- especially Shackley, Clines or Shackley's secretary.
Contrary to what would later become almost nonsensical hairsplitting
by some of the most powerful, and supposedly ethical, lawyers
in the country, the CIA - according to incredibly detailed
reports compiled by the BATF, the FBI and the CIA's own Inspector
General - was "operationally tasking" Wilson and
his employees to accomplish specific objectives in Libya before,
during and after delivery of the C-4. Both the Justice Department
and the CIA had witness statements that the CIA had been tasking
and debriefing Wilson's employees at exactly the same time
that Wilson's employees were teaching Qadaffy's people how
to blow things up.
Wilson's defense against the government's case had concluded
at the end of January. His attorneys had made a compelling
argument that apparently threw the Justice Department and
the CIA into a crisis mode. Exhibits filed in Wilson's motion
show that Greenberg and Barcella were concerned about it in
advance. The defense was simple: Edwin P. Wilson, a loyal
American whose company, Consultants International, received
CIA referral business throughout the period, had been sanctioned
by the CIA for the purposes of gathering intelligence, gaining
access to Soviet military equipment in Libyan hands and other
murky objectives. If Ed Wilson had not been sanctioned, he
certainly believed that he had been, and the litany of his
CIA contacts reasonably justified that belief. It was more
than enough to raise doubt in the mind of the jury.
Wilson and his trial lawyers had introduced evidence from
1977 CIA Inspector General reports and other records that
supported his claims. It was not enough to dismiss the case,
perhaps, but it was a point that the prosecution could not
let go unchallenged. There was too much at stake. Contrary
to Barcella's suggestion to FTW that he was essentially an
observer in Houston he did say that, "One of the problems
that I had certainly had, from prior cases involving claims
of a CIA defense, was that the Agency's compartmentalization
oftentimes required two or three different people to be doing
record searches because only certain people would be allowed
to search certain components of the Agency.
"It was a pain in the ass from a trial lawyer's standpoint
because you would oftentimes end up with three different witnesses.
And any good defense lawyerÉ. can make mincemeat out of them
by bouncing back and forth between one and the otherÉ One
of the things that I wanted was one person as a witness to
be given the authority by the CIA to search all components
of the Agency, not just a single component of the Agency.
The man originally scheduled to perform that role, to speak
for all of the records in the Central Intelligence Agency,
the man with the pseudonym "Larson", had just been
exposed to cross examination by Wilson and been withdrawn.
There had to be another way.
The Briggs Declaration
Charles A. Briggs was, on February 3, 1983, the third highest-ranking
official at the Central Intelligence Agency. He was one of
few men at CIA who could break through the compartments and
search anywhere for records. He was the man to solve the problem
in Houston. In Langley, Virginia, at 2:23 P.M., Houston time
(according to a government teletype), Charles Briggs signed
a declaration stating that on November 8th of 1982 he had
authorized a search of all records of the CIA "for any
material that in any way pertains to Edwin P. Wilson or the
various allegations concerning his activities after 28 February
1971, when he resigned from the CIA."
Paragraph 4 of the Briggs Declaration states, "According
to CIA records, with one exception while he was employed by
Naval Intelligence in 1972, Mr. Edwin P. Wilson was not asked
or requested, directly or indirectly, to perform or provide
any services, directly or indirectly, for CIA."
At 2:30 P.M., Houston time, CIA General Counsel Stanley Sporkin
certified the affidavit and affixed the seal of the Central
Intelligence Agency to it. It was also notarized by a notary
public licensed in Fairfax County, Virginia. Harold
Fahringer, one of Wilson's attorneys was served with a copy
of the affidavit at 3:55 P.M. Houston time - presumably
in Houston. According to a partially declassified CIA memorandum,
included in Wilson's filings, dated March 15, 1983 (40 days
after Wilson's conviction), on the day and evening of February
3, 1983 "CIA attorneys stated to Assistant U.S. Attorney
(AUSA) Ted Greenberg that the Briggs affidavit should not
be admitted into evidence as then written, and requested that
Greenberg not introduce the affidavit.
"The signers of the affidavit further state that CIA
General Counsel Stanley Sporkin stated that, at minimum, the
word 'indirectly' should be removed from paragraph four of
the Briggs affidavit.
The signers of the document further state in the document
that AUSA Greenberg decided against complying with the CIA
attorneys' requests described above."
Apparently, through the evening of February 3rd, the phone
lines between Langley and Houston were smoking. FTW has interviewed
a number of people close to the trial and none indicate that
Ted Greenberg left Houston to retrieve the declaration. Stanley
Sporkin knew that the affidavit was incorrect and so did a
great many people at CIA. The Houston time apparently indicates
that a copy was telexed to Wilson's lawyer and another copy
was placed in the master DoJ case files in Houston. Larry
Barcella has "no recollection" of being involved
in those phone conversations. No phone logs listing participants
in them have, as yet, been disclosed.
In researching this story FTW contacted best-selling author
Peter Maas who wrote the book Manhunt which detailed the hunt
for Ed Wilson and the four and a half year mission by Barcella,
et al to bring him to justice. Maas indicated that he had
been aware of the Briggs affidavit and questions surrounding
its use in court. He was careful to state that it was his
belief that Barcella had no knowledge of the inaccuracies
in the document - or the controversy surrounding it - until
after it had been introduced into evidence. The paper trail
seems to contradict this position. Barcella was in almost
every pre-trial conference discussing Wilson's history. He
was aware of the affidavit's existence and, therefore, had
to have been aware that it was inaccurate.
Maas was, however, more open on the subject of Ted Greenberg
who apparently had the power to override the CIA's top lawyer
and number three executive. Maas said simply that Greenberg
was aggressive and not well liked by the other lawyers. He
was, in Mass' opinion, "Capable of anything."
On February 4th 1983, apparently without objection, the Briggs
declaration was entered into evidence by Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Both the prosecution and the defense rested and, in the afternoon,
the jury began deliberations.
On the morning of February 5th, 1983, the jury sent a note
to the trial judge requesting that the Briggs affidavit be
reread. At 9:50 A.M. the Judge empanelled the jury and reread
the affidavit to them. The jury returned to deliberations
and, at 10:45 A.M., sent a note announcing that they had reached
a verdict. Wilson was guilty on all counts. The jury never
asked for any other exhibit to be reread.
That same day a UPI wire service story described the deliberations.
"Juror Betty Metzler said the panel was divided 11-1
almost from the start, and one juror was not convinced until
Saturday morning by rereading of Briggs' affidavit denying
Wilson's actions had anything to do with the CIA."
A week later, on February 10, 1983, Attorney Kim E.
Rosenfield in the Attorney General's office sent a memorandum
to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard who ran
DoJ's Criminal Division. The title of the memorandum was "Duty
to Disclose Possibly False Testimony" and the memorandum
pulled no punches. It went straight to prevailing case law
(then and now) as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and cited
two cases known as Brady and Napue. The Napue case held that,
"Failure of prosecutor to correct testimony which he
knows to be false violates due process, whether the falsehood
bears on credibility of witness or guilt of defendant, if
it is in any way relevant to the case." In Brady the
court ruled that "Suppression of material evidence by
the government requires a new trial, irrespective of good
or bad faith."
The memorandum continued, "Prosecutor has duty to correct
false testimony even if falsehood was inadvertent or caused
by another government officer. New trial required if the false
testimony could "in any reasonable likelihood have affected
the judgement of the jury."
The Forrest and the Trees
FTW has, unfortunately, interviewed no less than six lawyers
in researching this article. The problem with that is that
if one talks to too many lawyers, for too long, one gets confused
- very confused. Medication, meditation and/or prayer is sometimes
required. Clarity vanishes. Occasionally, however, an attorney
will utter statements of breathtaking logic that confirm what
the layman already suspected. We want to thank Larry Barcella
for giving us that kind of clarity in one instance but he
may not like what we did with it.
It would be easy to pull example after example out of the
900 pages of Exhibits filed by Ed Wilson's attorney, David
Adler, to show various and sundry shocking examples of Wilson's
ongoing contacts with Agency personnel and Ted Shackley. But,
to do that would distract from the real issues. We could laughingly
try to lay out some of the pretzel-bending logic expended
by an array of legal horsepower, up to and including Assistant
Attorneys General of the United States. We could pull quotes,
like one in notes from a meeting including Mark Richard, Lowell
Jensen and a half dozen other lawyers in which someone quipped,
"We're bending over backwards to fall down."
From the documents in the filing it is apparent that through
November of 1983, long after Edwin Wilson had been sentenced
to 17 years on the C-4 violations, every lawyer from the Justice
Department who became aware of the "inaccuracy"
of the Briggs affidavit kept their moth shut about it. A reading
of the law and an easily understandable sense of fair play
suggest that this was wrong. That many people were worried
about the use of the memorandum is clear. Both Stanley Sporkin
and Mark Richard can be seen, in a variety of memoranda and
meetings, arguing for disclosure or some remedy. It is apparent
that either their consciences or their fears of exposure were
And, on close scrutiny, the remedy that was found does not
sit well either. From exhibits filed by Adler on Wilson's
behalf it is apparent that Assistant Attorney General Steven
Trott, now a Judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,
gave permission to the worried lawyers to disclose some "inaccuracies"
in the Briggs affidavit in an obscure paragraph in filings
to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. This was long after the
conviction. If the Appeals court said to do something they
would, if not, they were off the hook. Adler's response on
this point is clear and compelling. "The problem with
the logic is, at least, twofold. The 'disclosure' was made
to the appeals court, not the trial court. I don't believe
the Supreme Court's prohibition on the government's knowing
use of false testimony is rectified by admitting the truth
to an entirely different court. The second problem is that
telling the truth and admitting a lie has been told are two
different statementsÉ It [DoJ's attempt to satisfy disclosure
requirements] simply mentioned (in a document only a few select
people had access to) that Wilson had provided 'a few services'.
The trial court and, more importantly, the jury were never
Barcella's position is that a lot of honorable people engaged
in a lot of mental effort, that may have "gotten too
technical" to protect the integrity of a conviction that
doesn't need to be undermined.
"While the inaccuracies in the Briggs affidavit are unfortunate,"
Barcella said, "they really don't go to the heart of
the defense. To have an authorization defense you have got
to be able to show that the act that you are charged with
was authorizedÉ Wilson never even alleged that he was authorized
to ship the C-4. He didn't want to admit that he had anything
to do with the C-4É He never called Shackley or Clines to
the stand because he knew what they would have said. That
claim would have been very easy to refute.
"People can claim the CIA does weird, bizarre, strange
counterproductive things. And they may be able to claim that
with some good, solid basis behind it. But what kind of logic
would have to be employed to assume that the CIA would authorize
the shipment of 40,000 pounds, 20 tons, of C-4, to the
guy that was then the biggest terrorist in the world?"
Ironically Barcella's own logic is called into question on
three accounts. Once, by the very CIA witness whose testimony
the prosecution refused to allow under the conditions imposed
by the court - William Larson. In a deposition before the
Judge's ruling, according to Adler's motion, Larson told prosecutors
"Éthat the Agency might consider providing 40,000 pounds
of explosives to Libya if the source who needed to provide
the explosives could obtain 'great' information in return.
Larson said the Agency would deal with the devil if needed."
Second, as regular FTW readers know, we have often spoken
of the pattern of the U.S. secretly arming its enemies for
the purposes of expanding budgets, "stimulating"
the economy and ensuring election victories. Abundant documentation
- irrefutable documentation - exists to indicate that the
Rockefellers, Henry Ford and major American firms financed
Adolph Hitler both before and during the Second World War.
Fletcher Prouty, using Department of Defense Records has documented
how, in 1946, we gave half the weapons intended for use by
the U.S. military in the aborted invasion of Japan to Ho Chi
Minh. Iraqgate and the scandal around Banco Nacional de Lavoro
(BNL) and Kennametal showed us how George Bush had secretly
armed Saddam Hussein before the Gulf War. Even Ted Shackley's
own book, The Third Option (McGraw-Hill, 1981), suggests that
arming both sides of a conflict is often the best way to control
the outcome, sharpen skills and make a profit.
Third, the concept of plausible deniability is not a theoretical
abstract from spy novels. It is an enshrined principle of
covert operations around the world. There is a point in the
food chain at which deniability by higher ups is essential
to the conduct of all covert operations. Ed Wilson made millions
of dollars because he was taking the risks. He knew that if
Shackley or (the now deceased) Tom Clines ever took the stand,
they would deny any connection to his actions. That, FTW believes,
was the deal from the start. Deniability is reportedly one
of Ted Shackley's favorite words.
Is it really so hard to believe? It is harder for FTW to believe
that Ed Wilson had so much contact with Agency employees and
they didn't know about the C-4. Is that possible when Wilson's
personal assistant Douglas Schlachter was walking the halls
at CIA headquarters with Clines? That would kind of make the
reported $30 billion CIA budget a waste of money wouldn't
it? And, as it plays right now, believing that we live in
a nation governed by the rule of law doesn't make much sense
either. Our favorite quote from all of the exhibits so far
is not an exact quote but rather a note included with the
exhibits. It was made during a meeting of lawyers held on
an undetermined date after the trial. Attending the meeting
were D. Lowell Jensen, Mark Richard, Stanley Sporkin, Larry
Barcella,, Houston AUSA Jim Powers, CIA Attorney David Pearline,
DoJ Lawyer Kim Rosenfield (who wrote the Duty to Disclose
memorandum) and several other people.
Jensen, now a sitting U.S. District Court Judge in Oakland
said that the premise was that DoJ didn't need to disclose
because Wilson already knew the facts. As recorded in the
notes Stanley Sporkin the replied, "Goes beyond thatÉ
this is record affidavit, if found things in records, must
be disclosed. - Not in someone's mind."
We wish that Justice was that simple.
In a response made public on January 18, the Department of
Justice acknowledged that Ted Greenberg introduced inaccurate
testimony at Wilson's trial. David Adler has told FTW that
he has until February 11th to file his response to the DoJ
at which time the court may grant Wilson's motion to set aside
the conviction, reject it, or hold a hearing. Adler has told
FTW of his intention to subpoena all of the involved attorneys
and judges and put them on the stand if a hearing is granted.
Adler also intends to call Ted Shackley. Former CIA Director,
Admiral Stansfield Turner was also on the list of potential
witnesses until he was critically injured in an airplane accident
on Jan 15th.
If the hearing takes place David Adler may then have to admonish
each witness of their rights against self-incrimination before
asking them about their role in the submission of, and their
ensuing silence about, the Briggs affidavit.
FTW will be following every development closely. We
are in the process of obtaining a copy of the government's
response and we will report on that next month. We have secured
permission from Wilson and his lawyer for a telephone interview
but, as of press time, the Federal Prison at Allenwood, Pennsylvania
has not put me on the approved phone list. - We are not holding
our breath. FTW has already been denied permission to interview
Wilson in person.
If Edwin Wilson's conviction is vacated then a great deal
more than just one man will be on trial next. And it is hard
to believe that the government, after the mountains of press
devoted to Wilson, could let him walk without another trial.
It is also not inconceivable that the first conviction could
be placed in jeopardy as well. Wilson's last conviction, 25
years for conspiracy to murder Larry Barcella and other prosecutors,
remains intact but Wilson has now served 17 years. If two
convictions are thrown out then he is at least eligible for
a parole hearing. At 71, and with reportedly failing health,
there might remain little justification for keeping him locked
up in a maximum security prison.
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