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Second Round of Tailwind Lawsuits
Moves Toward "High Noon"

The Likelihood That Sarin Gas Use To Kill VN War Defectors on Kissinger Orders Will Make It To Court Is High -- Will AOL/CNN Buy Everyone Off?

by

Michael C. Ruppert

COPYRIGHT 1998, 1999, 2000 Michael C. Ruppert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Permission to reprint or excerpt only if the following appears: "Reprinted by permission, Michael C. Ruppert & From The Wilderness at www.copvcia.com."

[The following appeared in the April 31, 2000 issue of From The Wilderness]

 

CNN's June 7, 1998 Tailwind story on the use of the poison gas Sarin (or GB) by Army Special Forces to kill American defectors in Laos refuses to disperse in the winds of time. On March 21, District Court Judge Marvin Shoob, while dismissing five of the ten counts in a lawsuit filed by fired CNN Producer Jack Smith against his former employer, allowed others to proceed. Shoob let stand the five remaining counts arising from the network's brutal response to the story in the wake of angry protests from, among others, Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell. The story reported that in 1970, commandos from the Special Operations Group (SOG) - closely connected to the CIA - infiltrated Laos and used Sarin to kill as many as 20 U.S. "defectors" at a secret camp in Laos. The gas also killed more than 100 Montangard tribesmen, employed by the CIA, because their faces were too small to complete effective seals in U.S. issued gas masks.

Immediately after the story broke, CNN owner Ted Turner and CNN President Tom Johnson caved in and summarily fired the show's producers April Oliver and Jack Smith. This, in spite of the fact that as many as seven key executives at CNN, including attorneys, had vetted the story and approved its broadcast.

FTW has been following the story closely from the start. In July, 1998 we wrote a detailed story in support of Oliver and Smith and on June 23, 2000 we were the first news entity in the world to post the entirety of a deposition given by retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer. That deposition, resulting from a barrage of suits, including a counter suit by Oliver, categorically affirmed every aspect of the story. Shortly after the deposition Oliver's suit against CNN was settled out of court. According to CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld, her confidential settlement may have been as high as $3.5 million.

Smith's suit raises the possibility that the details of Moorer's deposition as well as other evidence, such as the notes containing confirmation of the Sarin use by former SOG commander John Singlaub, will be both introduced and confirmed in open court.

Of the seven key CNN execs who approved the story, and the scapegoating of Oliver and Smith, only three remain. Jim Conner is the latest to leave. As Schonfeld wryly notes on his web site www.meandted.com:

"Jim Connor is leaving CNN on April 20th. CNN refuses to comment. Connor was one of those who supervised the Tailwind investigation. After the Tailwind firings, Conner was put in charge of the "Newsstand" unit. If he's on his way out, CNN is now firing the people who fired the people who produced Tailwind."

CNN should not underestimate Jack Smith's desire for public vindication. He's an old school man-of-honor with little to lose. And the truth is on his side.


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Truth And Lies About 9-11