Dan Arnold aka Daniel C. Arnold
The press service caption for that photograph reads, "Daniel Arnold, former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Bangkok, answers questions at a news conference in Bangkok on Thursday, January 25, 1996. Arnold and two other former U.S. government officials came to the defense of a Thai politician who has been denied a visa to the U.S. because he is suspected of drug trafficking."
Dan Arnold, Rescue by Helicopter?
Shortly after May Chu's husband, Hin Chew, and his brother, Jim, were detained in Brunei, Jim's wife fled to Singapore. There, Lynn was summoned to the apartment of a third Chung brother, Peter, to meet with the shady and sinister ex-CIA agent, Dan Arnold
From the book:
Immediately, after their release from their one year's incarceration in Brunei, Hin Chew, Jim, and Peter were summoned to meet with Dan Arnold in Hong Kong. S. P. Chung, who was on the run, came out of hiding for this meeting. The arrangements were cozy, as all but S. P. stayed on the 18th floor of the Lee Garden Hotel, with Dan Arnold in room 1801.
From the authors’ files:
Dan Arnold, the Lobbyist?
Dan Arnold is now a Board Member of Jefferson Waterman International, a Washington lobbying firm said to be paid by Burmese companies, which US officials say have business ties to the military regime. Dan Arnold has also been mentioned in conjunction with the arms and drug trade in Asia, and an alleged cocaine bust in northern California. There's more, but it's from the book:
United States Senate
DEPOSITION OF SCOTT TRACY BARNES
Quotes from Bohica, by Scott Barnes
Dan Arnold’s testimony before this committee remains classified.
Friday, March 6, 1992
ALDERSON REPORTING COMPANY
1111 14TH STREET, N. W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20005-5650
DEPOSITION OF SCOTT TRACY BARNES
Friday, March 6, 1992
Select Committee on POW/MIA
Washington, D. C.
Deposition of SCOTT TRACY BARNES, the witness
herein, called for examination by counsel for the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, pursuant to notice, in Room S-407, The Capitol, commencing at 10:23 a.m., the witness having been duly sworn by MICHAL ANN SCHAFER, a Notary Public in and for the District of Columbia, and the proceedings being taken down by Stenomask by MICHAL ANN SCHAFER and transcribed under her direction.
On behalf of the Select Committee on POW/MIA
Deputy Staff Director
NEAL KRAVITZ, ESQ.
Authority E.O. 10501
By PMoore NARA, Date 8-3-93
C O N T E N T S
WITNESSES:Scott Tracy Barnes
EXAMINATION:By Mr. Kravitz
P R O C E E D I N G S
SCOTT TRACY BARNES,
the witness herein, called for examination by counsel for the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs and having been duly sworn by the Notary Public, were examined and testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL ON BEHALF OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Mr. Barnes, why don't we just start by having you tell us your full name for the record.
A. Scott Tracy Barnes, B-a-r-n-e-s.
Q. And Tracy is spelled how?
Q. The first thing we're going to do is just have some exhibits that have been previously marked admitted into the record. The first is Exhibit No. 1, which is a copy of the notice of Senate deposition that was served on you, I understand.
A. Yes, by the United States Marshals.
Q. Does Exhibit No. 1 look like an accurate copy of the notice that you received?
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 1 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Exhibit No. 2 is a copy of the subpoena that was serve on you for today?'s deposition. Is that right?
A. Yes, sir, it is.
Q. Does that look like an accurate copy?
A. Yes, it does.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 2 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. And Exhibit No. 3 is just a copy of the authority and rules of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 3 for identification.)
THE WITNESS: And I received a copy of this; yes.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Have you reviewed the copy of the rules?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Let me ask you this first. Have you ever been in a deposition before?
Q. So you understand how it works?
Q. Just so it's clear on the record, as you know, you've been sworn, and all your testimony fill be under oath, subject to perjury.
Q. The way the deposition is going to proceed is I'm going to ask questions, and you're going to give answers. It's very important that you understand the question before you answer it. If you have any doubt about whether you understand the question, just let me know. No one is served by your answering a question if you don't fully understand it. Our interest, as I said before we went on the record, is to get as much accurate information as we can. And if you don't understand my question, I think our interest is going to be foiled. You obviously don't want to be giving answers under oath to questions if you don't understand them. So please, I won't be insulted. Just tell me that my question is bad, it's unclear. And we can rephrase it. A lot of the subjects that we're going to be talking about, you know a whole lot more about than I do. And that's why you're here. So I may not be asking the best questions.
Q. Some of the questions that I ask you, you may have information that you know not only from your own observations, but from observations that other people have related to you.
A. Okay, yes.
Q. Commonly known as hearsay information. I'm interested in knowing both what you know from your own observations, and what you know from what other people have told you about their observations. But it's very important for you to tell us what you know from what you saw yourself, what you smelled yourself, what you heard yourself.
Q. And what other people are telling you,
Q. So if something you're telling me is based on hearsay, just let us know.
A. No problem,
Q. If you don't tell us something is based on hearsay, we're going to assume that it's based on firsthand knowledge.
Q. Try to be as complete as possible in your answers. If you start rambling on and getting irrelevant, we'll interrupt you.
A. That it's irrelevant.
Q. But again, our purpose here is to get as much information as possible. So try to give it to us in as much detail as possible. There may be occasions where we ask for your opinion about why somebody said something or about why somebody did something. In those cases, obviously you're free to speculate and give your opinion. Because that's what the question is asking for.
Otherwise, if we're just asking you factual questions, and you don't know the answer without speculating, it's better to tell us. And I'm going to instruct you to tell us that you don't know the answer without speculated. We're perfectly interested in what your speculat?ion would be, but it's important for us to know that it is speculation. Do you understand that?
Q. I had a telephone conversation, I believe on Tuesday of this week -- which is March 3 -- with Neil Goldstein. Is it correct to say that Neil Goldstein who has advised you regarding your rights in this deposition?
A. That is correct.
Q. Have you had a sufficient amount of time to discuss your rights with Mr. Goldstein?
Q. And do you have any questions for him that you feel you need to ask him before the deposition begins?
A. None whatsoever.
Q. I have Mr. Goldstein's telephone number here. Just for the record, it's area code (213) 828?-1000. And I just want to make it clear on the record that if at any time you feel you need to consult with Mr. Goldstein before answering a question, you're free to ask for a recess and try to reach him by telephone.
Q. I haven't discussed with the people outside the room what arrangements could be made. But I'm confident that arrangements could be made. If worse comes to worst, we can go back to our office and make a telephone available to you. My interest is in making the arrangements, as much as possible, to be as if he were here.
A. No problem, I appreciate that.
Q. I know that Mr. Goldstein requested the Committee to pay for his expenses to fly out here. And the answer was that we couldn't do that. So just so that you're at as little disadvantage as possible, we wanted to make it so that he's here at least in voice, if not in person.
Q. On that same issue, regarding access to Mr. Goldstein, we discussed off the record the Fifth Amendment privilege not to incriminate yourself.
Q. Just to go over again what we said, I will do everything I can not to ask you a question, the answer to which would tend to incriminate you of a crime. Sometimes it might happen by mistake, if I don't know what your answer would be, and in order to answer a question truthfully you did have to say something that would incriminate you or tend to incriminate you. If you think your answer might tend to incriminate you, you should just tell me. And we can either recess for you to call Mr. Goldstein, or if there's no question that your answer would incriminate you or intend to incriminate you, you can just take the Fifth.
A. Or it might be something you could clear up yourself, on the spot, to my satisfaction, also.
Q. Let me ask you this -- do you have a flight that you're supposed to be on?
A. I believe -- unless it's been changed -- they talked about leaving late today because of some economical things with the Senate. Unless that's changed, it's still tomorrow. I can stay as long as you need. That isn't a problem -- as long as you give me a place to lie my head. So I'm here at your disposal. So you do what you need to do. And I'll work it out logistically.
Q. It's 10:30 now. I think what I'd like to do is go for about an hour and 15 minutes -- maybe until quarter of 12, and then break until 12:00. And then maybe go from 12:00 until 1:00; break for lunch; and then come back and have a similar-type schedule this afternoon, until we finish.
(Discussion off the record.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Apparently there's some papers you need to sign at 12:00 regarding your reimbursement for your expenses?. So why don't we break at 12:00 for lunch, because the papers are going to be over in the Hart Building. And then come back at 1:00. And I understand that at 3:00 you need to go back over to the Hart Building, with our clerk, who is Nancy Cuddy, with those papers, to get your reimbursement. So why don't we try to schedule our breaks around those events. Okay.
A. I know this is going to be rude and inconsiderate of me to ask this. But is there a possibility at all of any coffee? Or, are we stuck with water?
Q. I don't know the answer to that.
A. Just thought I'd ask.
Q. We already got your full name. What's your father's full name?
A. Charles Ray -- R-a-y -- Barnes -- B-a-r-n-e-s.
Q. What was your mother's maiden name?
A. Poole, P-o-o-l-e.
Q. What's her first name?
Q. What's your date of birth?
Q. So you are
A. I'll be 38 in 2, 3 months.
Q. Where were you born?
A. Burbank, California, St. Joseph's Hospital.
Q. What's your social security number?
Q. Where are you living now?
A. Prescott, Arizona.
Q. What's your address?
A. Mailing or physical? Mailing is P.O. Box XXXX Prescott, Arizona, XXXXX.
Q. What's your physical address?
A. XXX XXX XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. And I think the community is called Dewey. It's just outside the city limits of Prescott, Arizona.
Q. Dewey is?
Q. How long have you lived there?
A. 5 weeks.
Q. Where were you living before that?
A. XXX XXXXXXXXXX, Pine Top, Arizona.
Q. How long were you living there?
A. 7 weeks.
Q. Are these near each other?
A. Heavens no.
Q. How far apart?
A. Oh, that's probably 170, 180 miles or more.
Q. Why did you move?
A. Well, after a visit from the FBI, I lost a job at the Apache Nation and went to Prescott.
Q. Are you working in Prescott?
A. No, I'm trying to get a business started with the SBA.
Q. What kind of a business?
A. A clothing store for children.
Q. What stage are you at in your attempts to get the business started?
A. Well, everything is done. All I have to do is get the money.
Q. What happened with the FBI 5 weeks ago?
A. Well, I had gotten a visit from an FBI agent by the name of Roger Toronto -- a nice fellow. And we went to lunch. Later on he had called and said, out of the blue, I think you and I need to share some intelligence back and forth, being as the position you have on the Apache Nation. At first I thought that a little bit odd. He was an excellent agent. He was an embassy agent that came up from Uruguay recently. And I said, okay. I called Ross Perot, and I told Ross what was going on. And he said kind of feel the guy out to see where he was coming from. The agent introduced me to his organized crime counterpart out of the Phoenix Bureau, Doug Hopkins. And Roger had called and said look. I need to get some information from you so I can run an international security check on you so you can have a security clearance.
So I gave him the everything that he wanted. And he called back about 10 days later when Bo Gritz was in town running for president -- which was rather puzzling. And he said I lost the information, can he get it again. So I gave it to him again -- and I don't know how much detail you want to go into this.
Q. Let me ask you this: what's the Apache Nation?
A. It's the native American tribe, the Apache Nation, White River, Arizona.
Q. What were you doing for them?
A. I was the supervisor in charge of all child abuse investigations -- anybody under 18 that died on the reservation, it was my duty to investigate it, any serious child abuse, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Q. How big a population is that?
A. The Nation is about 12,000 registered tribal members.
Q. You had that job for how long?
A. About 7 or 8 weeks.
Q. How did you get that job?
A. That's what I'd like to know. I had gotten a call when I was living in Flagstaff, saying we're interested in having you come down here to work for us. You'll technically be a tribal employee. You'll be the first white man to ever have a position, so treat it with extreme caution. Shannon Pike and myself went down there. And I was given the job right on the spot. And instead of starting off at normal pay, they increased it to top pay -- which was rather surprising.
Q. What was your pay?
A. It was supposed to be like $26 000. And they said oh, we're going to give you $30,000 plus, plus -- which was very unusual.
Q. Did you have any background in investigating child abuse?
A. Um-hum. I was a social worker in the State of Washington and did child abuse there.
Q. So you were there for 7 weeks?
A. Approximately 7 weeks.
Q. Where were you working before that?
A. Well, before that I wasn't. I was living in Flagstaff with Shannon Pike, who's dad's an MIA. And before that I was in the State of Washington as a social worker.
Q. How much time passed between when you were working as a social worker in Washington State and when you left Flagstaff to go to Apache Nation?
A. 7 months.
Q. And you just got called out of the blue by the Apache Nation?
Q. Did you know anyone there?
Q. Did you ever figure out how they found you?
A. I assume -- and this is only an assumption -- that it was one of these innocuous, you know, send a resume to these P.O. Boxes and they market it out. I had sent several of those in response to several -- various ads. And I didn't know, and still don't to this day.
Q. What happened after your 7 weeks at the Apache Nation, were you fired?
A. What had happened, there was a couple homicides of some 2-year-old kids. And I solved one with George Poplin, the CI. And they didn't want to look into any further. And then there was another girl who died under strange circumstances. And they didn't want that looked into. They wanted her body immediately disposed of.
Q. Who is they?
A. The tribe.
Q. What do you mean?
A. The Chairman, who lives here in town, Ronny Lupe. So my superior says, look, you've got to understand one thing. We're a Nation within a Nation. And we don't like outside people telling us how and what to do. So the 27th of January my immediate superior came in and said we're tired of getting phone calls from Washington. I need your resignation right now, and I need all your identifications and all your files. And I said I'm not going to play politics here. Here it is, goodbye. And that was it.
Q. Were there any allegations of wrongdoing?
A. Oh, no.
Q. You didn't fight it at all?
A. No, I don't fight anything anymore. I don't care.
Q. How are you supporting yourself now?
A. I'm not. I went into great debt in borrowing a substantial sum of money to do business. Unfortunately, unless SBA kicks in, I'm sunk. Prior to that, I was living with Shannon, like I said. But we're no longer together. I have rent that's due today. I have no income, no unemployment -- nothing.
Q. You mentioned that the people at the Apache Nation told you they were tired of people calling from D.C.
Q. Did you ever find out what they meant by that? Who was supposedly calling?
A. Well, in one instance -- let me try to explain that. Because one of the investigators, George Poplin, a white gentleman from the tribe, he said Scotty, he said something is going on -- major phone calls are going on. Everybody is looking into -- everybody thinks you work for the Government, and you are a plant. Because they need to ask you -- the Chief of Police of the Apache Nation asked me to come here. Do you work for the United States Government in any way, shape, or form? And I said no. I do not. I did when I worked for the Nation. But other than that, no. He goes, well there's a lot of suspicion. Supposedly right after you left all these murder documents disappeared.
And I said, oh, I see the game you're going to try to play. You're going to try to say I stole all the homicide documents when I was the one who was working murders with you. He said, I know, Scott, it's all bunk. But just so you're aware of that, when I asked Ms. Red Steer -- and there's some documents in there with her signature on it -- she said we just can't handle this anymore. I don't know who you work for. I don't know why you're here. We don't know why you even got hired.
Q. I know I asked you previously not to speculate, but this is a question that calls for speculation. Who do you think was calling from Washington, D.C.?
A. I have absolutely no idea. I know that there was a concern that Assistant Secretary -- Dr. Eddie Brown, over here, had made some calls. And I went to see him this morning. And, of course, he refused to see me. So I don't know. I'd like to see their phone logs. But she would never even tell me. And when I saw Ronny Lupe with Steve the other day, that just really surprised me. Because even he -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- when Steve and I were getting ready to go in the elevator, it was well, what are you doing here? I says well, I fluffed it off. But he also bought Attaha. And Attaha is one of the people we were looking into with one of the homicides, who is Vice Chairman of the Apache Nation. To me it was too coincidental... But I don't know who called from Washington. They won't tell me. By all means, call George Poplin, the Apache Police Department. He's an honorable guy.
Q. Do you believe that those calls had anything to do with your involvement in the POW issue?
A. No, no, I do not. If they do, and you find out, let me know.
Q. How long were you doing child abuse investigation work in the State of Washington?
A. 5 months.
Q. How long were you living in the State of Washington before you moved to Arizona?
A. Just that 5-month period. I left California to go accept this position in Washington.
Q. Where in Washington was that?
A. I was working out of the Colville -- out of Spokane, north of Spokane office.
Q. How do you spell it?
Q. What was your position there?
A. I was a Social Worker II -- Roman numeral 2 --Child Abuse Investigations.
Q. Why did you leave that after 5 months?
A. I had a visit from two agents of the OSI who said that they were getting faxes from Washington, D.C. Basically one was an intelligence memo that I was out to assassinate Saddam Hussein. Another one was pages of kiss the boys good-bye. Another fax was that I was a member of the Arian Nation. You'd have to ask the agents. The faxes went from this end of the table to the next. There was hundreds of them, literally. So one of the agents says that it's probably in your best interest that you immediately resign and move out of Washington.
Q. Who was that agent?
A. You'd have to ask Olympia, Washington. I don't remember.
Q. Was it an FBI agent?
A. No, OSI -- Office of Special Investigations for the State of Washington. At least their credentials were State of Washington.
Q. A State official?
A. Uh-huh -- the man to ask would be Roy Harrington, if you can track him down. Because he tried to fight the system. He said I may be -- and I may be mistaken in this because it was a conversation that didn't interest me too much -- he said the Governor's office is getting these faxes, these faxes that are anonymously going to -- you name it -- to churches, to police departments, to anybody that has a fax machine. That's where they're going. So finally the Sheriff of the county issued me a gun permit, advised me to carry a firearm. Because one of the people they suspected of doing this is now one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.
Q. Don't most faxes have, on the top, the number that they're faxed from?
A. And it was a Washington, D.C. number. And all they know is -- I think it was a K Street foreign business. However, the only problem with this is -- and they still have the faxes as evidence up there because they brought in the FBI -- is you can put in any phone number that you want. And that was who they suspect this FBI guy did. Because he just started randomly punching in other people's fax numbers, trying to get all the investigators looking in a different direction. I think one fax number may have been Honolulu. I mean it was bizarre. But yet to answer your question, it also had a phone just like this one on it. But Sergent Lavonne Webb of the Stevens County Sheriff's Department is the main man that was involved in the investigation with OSI; and Jim Davis was the FBI agent out of Spokane.
Q. Who is this guy Harrington?
A. Roy Harrington -- he should now be in Olympia. He's a head honcho with the Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington. And he's the one that said I don't want you to resign. He goes, there has been such political power to get rid of you, Scott. And he says I put my neck on the block to keep you. He goes you're an excellent social worker. Somebody very powerful is obviously trying to undermine you. And I said, you know, I'm not going to fight it anymore.
Q. Do you have any idea who was sending those faxes?
A. Well, yeah. This FBI's 10 Most Wanted character that wiped-out all the Immer family, and also assassinated his girlfriend, Robert Allen Suggs -- a/k/a Robert Michael Allen -- who supposedly was hired to do it; ex-Air Force security; former cop.
Q. So this is your belief?
? A. The FBI said they pretty much tied him in with other people. But obviously not telling me -- so I don't know. For all I know it could have been any number of people.
Q. Do you believe that those faxes had anything to do with your involvement in the POW issue?
A. Oh, heavens, yes. A lot of it surrounded the POW issue, at great length.
Q. The subject in the faxes?
A. Oh, yeah.
Q. Was the POW issue?
A. Not all of them, but a lot of them, yeah.
Q. Did you ever see what actually had arrived?
A. I saw probably 30 or 40 of the faxes. One was a bogus intelligence fax; another one was a Saddam Hussein hit fax; another one was -- I was an international drug smuggler fax; I was a member of the KKK fax. I mean you'd have to ask the authorities because they have them up there as evidence.
Q. Have you ever had any connection with the KKK?
Q. Let's not get too far afield, here. Let me ask you some questions just about your education. Did you graduate from high school?
A. Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, California, June 1972.
Q. Did you ever go to college?
A. Yes, in the Army I went to -- I think it's now called Pierce College. On the post it was called Fort Steilacom Community College; St. Mary's College, up in Washington State; El Camino College, in Torrence, where I got my A.A. Degree in the Administration of Justice; then Saddleback College for the ?DEA school in Orange County; Marimar College for the San Diego Sheriff's College in San Diego; Empire State College, State University of New York, External Degree, Bachelors, in Human Services; California State University, Domingus, Masters in Humanities; and a host of other schools.
Q. So how many advanced degrees do you have?
Q. Or post-high school?
A. Oh, gosh -- three degrees, and 12 or 15 certificates of which I brought with me.
Q. The A.A. degree was from --
A. Administration of Justice from El Camino College, Torrence, California.
Q. And what are the other degree?
A. Bachelors is in Community and Human Services; Masters in Humanities and History.
Q. And those are from which.
A. B.S. is from Empire State College, State University of New York; Masters is California State University, Domingus Hills, Carson, California.
Q. Do you know the years, offhand, roughly?
A. You can look on them, they have them.
Q. Are these copies?
A. Those are yours, yes.
Q. Why don't we mark these as exhibits. I'm marking Exhibit No. 4 -- why don't you tell us what that is?
A. This is a transcript of my bachelors -- I'm sorry, California State University, Domingus Hills, granting me a masters of arts in humanities, August 31, 1987. And I was on academic probation for one semester.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 4 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. We don't need to go into that. Why don't we mark this number 5. Why don't you tell us what Exhibit No. 5 is?
A. Exhibit No. 5 is from El Camino College, California. It's a transcript of my associates of arts degree granted1975, and the degree was actually sent to me in 1976. But I graduated in 1975.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 5 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. We have one here marked St. Martin's College, number six. What's number six?
A. It's a copy of the transcript of the course I took at St. Martin's College in Olympia, Washington, while I was assigned to the 14th Military Police Company, 1974.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 6 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. And I'm showing what's been marked as Exhibit No. 7.
A. It's a transcript copy of Sandy Hill Community College District, of my coursework, spring of 1976 when I attended the San Diego Sheriff's Academy.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 7 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. And one more. Exhibit No. 8?
A. 8 is Ft. Steilacom Community College, transcript of coursework I took while serving in the United States Army at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 8 for identification.)
THE WITNESS: There are a few more in there somewhere.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. I'm showing you now Exhibit Now 9.
A. Exhibit No, 9 is a copy of my degree from State University of New York, Empire State College, Bachelor of Science, issued March 1986,
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No, 9 for identification,)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. And I've got one more in front of me. And then let's move on, But this one looks like another degree that we should put in the record,
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 10 for identification.)
THE WITNESS: Exhibit No, 10 is A copy of my masters degree from California State University, Domingus Hills, conferred August 1987,
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. I lied when I said just one more. Because here's your A.A. degree from El Camino College, Why don't we mark that as number 11
(The document referred to was marked Exhibit No, 11 for identification.)
THE WITNESS: Number 11 is really two. It's a double copy. It's the associate of arts degree from El Camino college, issued June 1976. Below it is a copy of additional training from San Diego Community College, San Diego Sheriff's Department.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. So you graduated from high school in 1972?
Q. And you entered the Army in what year?
A. I signed up -- my entry date, I believe; was July 16th. I came back to the United States July 16, 1973.
Q. You graduated from high school --
A. In June of 1972.
Q. Did you travel out of the United States in the year between the time you graduated from high school and the time you enlisted in the Army?
A. Yes, extensively.
Q. Where did you go?
A. Mexico, Tahiti, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, New Caladonia, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Cuala Lamphoor, Hong Kong, Red China, the Philippines, Vietnam.
Q. The record should reflect that Mr, Barnes is consulting his passport.
A. I'm pretty sure that's most of the countries during that time.
Q. Was there any purpose other than just vacation that you were going to these countries?
A. All except two, pretty much the rest -- Australia and Vietnam -- were other than that.
Q. When did you go to Vietnam?
A. I arrived in Thon Son Nhut in March 1973.
Q. For the record, is that North Vietnam or South Vietnam?
A. South Vietnam.
Q. What was your purpose in going to South Vietnam in March of 1973?
A. Being as it's an area that isn't relevant to the POW/MIA issue, that I would rather not discuss...
Q. Unless you think that there's a Fifth Amendment issue, we are going to direct you to answer that question, Because it is, in our view, relevant to the POW issue.
A. Maybe you could tell me why you think that's relevant?
Q. Well, trips to Vietnam --
A. I'll invoke the 5th on the trip to Vietnam.
Q. Is it your position that there was something illegal about that?
Q. Let's talk about your trip to Australia. When were you in Australia?
A. It was 1973, I believe, I'm looking for the stamp -- oh, okay -- February 1973.
Q. How long were you in Australia?
A. I think it was about 2 -- maybe 3 weeks -- maybe a little longer.
Q. What was the purpose of that trip?
A. Predominantly tourist.
Q. But you said previously that Vietnam and Australia were the two countries that you went to for reasons other than being a tourist.
A. Yeah, but I mean predominantly it was tourism.
Q. What was the purpose other than tourism?
A. I don't think that's area, I was sent up to a place called Pine Gap, in the Womerea Rocket Range in Central Australia.
Q. Who sent you there?
A. A man by the name of Dr. Joseph Bissett, B-i-s-s-e-t-t.
Q. Who is he?
A. That's what I'd like to know, I don't know who he was.
Q. How did it come about that he sent you to this area that I won't even pretend to try to pronounce?
A. We had met in New Caladonia. We're talking a long time ago, now. He had instructed me to go to the Vietnamese officials in Canberra, Australia, and to meet him later on in Vietnam. And then in the meantime, for some extra economic assistance, if I would head on up to the Woemera Rocket Range I would meet somebody there who might be of some assistance there.
Q. Who might be of some assistance?
?Q. In what?
A. Whatever is going on at that time in Pine Gap.
Q. What was going on in Pine Gap?
A. I have no idea.
Q. What happened when you got to Pine Gap?
A. The Australian officials with the United States Air Force officials had some discussions about me being on the installation.
C O N T I N U E D
Q. What is Pine Gap?
A. Part of Pine Gap and the Woemera Rocket Test Range -- and I don't know this to be a fact -- was a testing center or joint military operation of our Government and their government. And that's basically all I know about it.
Q. Did you have any affiliation with the United States Government during your trip to Australia in 1973?
A. Not that I'm aware of.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. If I did, I was not aware of it.
Q. How could you have had an affiliation with the United States Government without knowing about it?
A. Well, if I worked for somebody in the private sector and they worked for the Government, and I was an extension of them, and they didn't tell me, then I wouldn't be aware of it.
Q. Okay, Well, what did you do when you got to Pine Gap?
A. I believe I stayed there about 3 or 4 days, maybe.
Q. What did you do in those 3 or 4 days?
A. Like I say it's been a long time -- met with some American Air Force personnel. Other than that --
Q. What did you meet with the Air Force personnel about?
A. They were discussing rocket testing. That's a long time ago, And I don't think it's relevant to the direction that we're heading. So I'd like to move on.
Q. Did you have any training in rocket testing?
A. Oh. heavens no.
Q. Did you have any idea why you were sent up to Pine Gap to discuss rocket testing?
A. Well, no, none whatsoever.
Q. Did you ever question anybody about what you were doing there?
A. No, it was fun and it was adventurous. I was 18.
Q. I'd like to go back to your trip to Vietnam. This is 19 years ago, and I guess I'm not convinced that there is anything you could tell us for which there is even the slightest shred of possibility that you could ever be prosecuted for it.
A. Well, I think it's an area that is irrelevant.
Q. Okay, but that's not for you to decide. I mean we've already decided that it's relevant to our investigation.
A. See, I don't see how.
Q. You can't take the Fifth just because you think something's irrelevant. You can take the Fifth if you think that what you're going to say -- if you have a good faith reason to believe that what you're going to say is going to incriminate you in a crime that there's a reasonable possibility you might be prosecuted for. And it's for us to decide whether something's relevant.
A. I'll just invoke the Fifth and I will refuse to answer that question.
Q. Even understanding that this is, 19 years ago?
A. I wouldn't care if it was 100 years ago. It doesn't matter. Time is moot.
Q. Well, it does matter. Because as we were discussing before, you understand that there are statutes of limitation, and as we were talking before -- I remember we were talking about a burglary that may have happened.
Q. Hypothetically that may have happened more years ago than the statute of limitations would permit your prosecution. And you told me that you understood that that would mean that you could be required to answer questions about the burglary, hypothetically.
Q. So it does make a difference whether something's 19 years ago or 3 years ago or 100 years ago. Do you understand that?
A. Yes, but I think hypothetically it's like our Government -- Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and they still keep stuff and they don't discuss it.
Q. What does that have to do with this?
A. If there's nothing that needs to be brought out, why not reveal it, is what I'm saying. You're not following.
Q. You've lost me.
A. To me it doesn't matter how long ago it was. There are certain things you just don't discuss. And that is a thing that I will not discuss, and I will invoke the Fifth and refuse to answer.
Q. Just so we know, under oath, you're invoking the Fifth because --
Q. Because it's your position that your answer to my question about what you were doing in South Vietnam in 1973 would tend to incriminate you in a crime?
Q. Are you aware of any criminal activity that anyone else was involved in in South Vietnam during your time there?
A. Can you rephrase the question?
Q. Can you tell us what anyone else you observed in South Vietnam was doing?
Q. Why not?
A. I just don't see the relevancy to whatever happened 19 years ago has on this prisoner of war investigative body.
Q. We're telling you that it's relevant to our investigation. That's not your decision to make.
A. I'm not aware of any other activities in South Vietnam in 1973, no.
Q. You mentioned a whole list of other countries that you visited during the year between high school and your enlistment in the military. And you told us that you went to all these countries as a tourist.
Q. Is it true that you went to all these eight or so other countries exclusively as a tourist?
Q. Did you go by yourself or with other people?
A. No, I was always by myself.
Q. How were you travelling, what mode of transportation?
A. I would say 99 percent of it was aircraft; 1 percent was hovercraft or boat.
Q. And how were you supporting yourself at that time?
A. Through the initial stage, I had sold some stock that my father, at the time, had recommended -- a penny stock, as they called it back then -- to invest in. And for whatever reason it did quite well.
Q. You say initially that was how you supported yourself. How did you support yourself after that money ran out?
A. Okay, after meeting this individual in New Caladonia, there was money made available in Australia in South Vietnam. At Chase Manhattan Bank in Saigon, I had a think where I could go in there and withdraw funds. And they would stamp, as it is in here, the Citibank of Saigon.
Q. Your passport would get stamped every time you took money out of the Chase Manhattan Bank?
A. That's what they had requested, sir, every time I went in to withdraw. Under my name and passport number they would stamp it. Why, is beyond me.
Q. How much money do you think you spent during the year you were travelling that year?
A. I would say probably 30 -- maybe $20 to $30 thousand dollars in American money -- not counting foreign currency.
Q. And how much of that money came from the stocks -- if you remember?
A. Less than -- oh, $9,000 maybe, approximately.
Q. So in other words, between $11 and $21,000 came from your activities in Australia and Vietnam?
A. Correct, yes.
Q. Now based on what you described as your activities in Australia -- correct me if I'm wrong -- but it doesn't seem as if you would have been paid very much money for going to the Rocket Place for 4 days.
A. No, transportation, housing, spending, cash was in Australian money. That wasn't very much. But on my arrival, as I recall, in Singapore, I had a good sum. And then in Saigon, a substantial sum.
Q. So it's fair to say that most of this money that you were earning was in South Vietnam in whatever activity it was that you have taken the Fifth on?
A. Yes, that's true.
Q. Between $10,000 and $20,000?
A. I would say $16-ish, yes.
Q. About $16,000?
Q. Did you tell us the name of the source, this person who sent you up to was it Pine Bluffs?
A. Pine Gap yes, Dr. Joseph Bissett.
Q. Is he also the person who sent you to South Vietnam?
Q. Do you have any idea where he is?
Q. Where was he when he sent you to Australia and South Vietnam?
A. New Caladonia.
Q. Which is where?
A. It's in the deep South Pacific, a little community called Lucafolia, New Caladonia -- a French colony.
Q. How did you meet him?
A. I was on the beach, and he had approached me. It was ironic, because it was like he was expecting somebody. But yet we struck up a conversation. He had asked a few questions -- are you travelling alone, et cetera, et cetera. I said yeah. And for the next maybe 2 days we had some discussions.
Q. You've told us that you were exclusively a tourist in the other countries that you listed.
Q. Is there something else?
A. Yes, I was going to say in one country, but -- can we go off the record?
Q. If you have a question. I'd rather stay on the record.
A. I do have a question.
Q. Why don't we go off the record for a second. (Discussion off the record.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Back on the record. While we were off the record Mr. Barnes told us that he, at one point, went into Red China from Hong Kong to see how far he could go. I think he said how far we could go.
Q. Who were you with at that time?
A. There were several groups of Europeans that I had met in Hong Kong and we had wanted to see how far we could get into Red China before we got stopped. Not knowing -- a bunch of kids, what were they going to do?
Q. Why do you view that as being different from the other places you went to simply as a tourist?
A. Because that was an illegal entry into a foreign country that, at that time, the United States was not friendly to.
Q. What were you doing as a tourist in the other countries?
A. All of them -- just seeing the sights; travelling around.
Q. How far did you get into Red China before somebody found you?
A. Well, the British stopped us. We snuck past them. We got in about probably 1/2 mile before the Chinese guards stopped us.
Q. What happened?
A. They took our pictures, and turned us over to the Brits.
Q. Was anyone arrested?
A. No -- I guess you could call it a detainee, because we had to take a boat across, and up to a little hill where there was a British guard place. And they turned us over to them.
Q. What was your main interest or purpose in going on this around-the-world trip? What made you decide to do it?
A. I'd been wanting to see Australia for some time, and just picked up one day and got a ticket and went.
Q. When you left, did you know that you were going to be gone for a whole year?
A. Well, I wasn't gone a whole year. I took a one-way ticket when I left the United States. So I had no idea how long I was going to be gone. That part's correct -- whether it be a week, a month, 8 months -- I had no idea how long I'd be gone. I didn't have any time schedule.
Q. Was there anything about your trip that year that you think formed the approach that you took to the next several years of your life in terms of what you did?
A. No, because I knew upon my immediate return I was going to join the United States Army.
Q. You knew that before you left?
A. Oh, yeah, I had already gone in and seen one recruiter. And I figured before I joined the Service I'd take a trip.
Q. Did you come back to the United States at any time while you were on your around-the-world trip?
Q. You just went from one country to the next?
A. Exactly, yes.
Q. What, again, was the date you ended up joining the military?
A. I believe I actually took the swearing-in the 16th of July 1973. And it was delayed, maybe 5 weeks, something like that.
Q. In August of 1973?
Q. And this was an enlistment rather than the draft?
Q. You enlisted for a period of 3 years?
A. Whatever it was back then -- the standard enlistment -- 3 and 3, or 4 and 2 -- I'm not sure.
Q. Our information is that you enlisted for 3 years,
A. I know it was a 6 year total, counting reserve and whatever, non-active reserve, which was waived.
Q. So in other words, you enlisted for some period of years -- probably 3 -- as an active duty?
A. And 3 years inactive, yes.
Q. And it was the United States Army?
A. Yes, Army.
Q. Now let me ask you this -- I assume you had some training after you enlisted in the Army. Is that right?
Q. What areas of training did you get?
A. The basic, at Fort Ord, Fort Gordon, then Fort Bragg, then on up to Fort Lewis.
Q. That was in the State of Washington?
Q. So basic training was where?
A. Fort Ord, then on down to Fort Gordon, and then Fort Gordon to Fort Bragg and then back to Fort Gordon.
Q. Were those all basic training?
A. No, no -- not basic -- I believe one was AIT and one was Special S.
Q. What's AIT?
A. Advanced Individual Training, the next step after Basic -- whatever your MOS category is going to be.
Q. What kind of training did you get at Fort Bragg?
A. Fort-Bragg was counterinsurgency, recognitions of certain booby traps, guerilla warfare-type, you know, training, analyzing data, lot of body language stuff.
Q. Why were you -- I assume that was not training that everyone who enlists in the Army was receiving, is that right?
A. There was a lot of people in this group, But I have no idea.
Q. Do you know why you were chosen for that training?
A. You'd have to ask 525 MI Group.
Q. Do you know what the specific name of the course you took at Fort Bragg was?
A. It had something to do with the late president -- no, other than it had Kennedy's name in it.
Q. Was it at the JFK Special Warfare Center?
A. I don't know if it was at the center, but I know his name had been brought up as a course guideline -- there was a guy that had discussed, you know, the founding -- the history of this organization was because the late president had a vision to have special operations.
Q. What was the name of the instructor?
A. Captain Sinclair -- I think it was Bob Sinclair.
Q. Bob Sinclair?
A. I'm pretty sure that was it. The other captain -- my captain -- ended up shooting himself. And that was Captain Cherry. He was the one that was kind of coordinating who is going to what post. You'll see, if you get my record, you would see I had signed up to go to Neurenburg, Germany. At the last minute that whole thing got twisted and they wouldn't let me leave the States.
Q. How long a course was it at Fort Bragg?
A. I was up there, first time, 6 -- 6 1/2 weeks, and then brought back to Fort Gordon.
Q. Did you ever have any special military intelligence training during your stint in the Army?
A. No, I wouldn't say so, no.
Q. You seem to be --
A. Well, I would say, you know, it was military. I mean the 525 MI was constantly down there talking with me.
Q. What does that mean, 525 MI?
A. The military intelligence group 525.
Q. Well, did you ever have any, then, informal intelligence training while you were in the Army?
A. What you call -- I don't know what you would call informal, I mean, identification of things -- I mean you would have to define what you regard as intelligence, you know?
Q. How about drug training?
A. We had a lot of drug training, yeah, in interdiction, host nations, stuff like that.
A. I mean I don't see the relevancy of those to this committees investigation into --
Q. Where did you receive the training in drug interdiction?
A. That was down in Fort Gordon. We had people come out of a place called Glencoe, Georgia. And they were coming down -- and I think maybe one or two times we took a trip to Glencoe.
Q. Were you ever involved in military police intelligence?
A. Fort Lewis, Washington.
Q. And tell us what your involvement in military police intelligence was.
A. Basically, there is a drug problem in a couple of areas, one which involved Army CID which I worked with for a while with them.
Q. Where did you work with Army CID?
A. Fort Lewis, Washington.
Q. Do you know a guy named Special Agent Albert Rowe?
A. Doesn't ring a bell.
Q. He's -- I should just tell you -- he's someone whom members of our committee have interviewed. He is special agent in CID at Fort Lewis. And it says that there is absolutely no record of your having anything to do with CID at that base.
A. Well, then you should take the document that they have here and the names, who I worked with at CID. You have it.
Q. Do you want to show us which one that is?
A. Do they even have any record of me being at Fort Lewis? (Pause.) Okay, CIA Special Agent Delbert Richardson is the guy I worked with.
Q. And he was CID special agent at Fort Lewis?
MR. GEKOSKI: He was the Assistant Chief of the Drug Team. We talked to him also.
THE WITNESS: Did he remember me?
MR. GEKOSKI: No.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. For the record, what Mr, Barnes was referring to was this document number 22 in the appendix to his book, the name of which is Bohica -- B-o-h-i-c-a, And document number 22 purports to be a letter, M.D. Wilson, Assistant Chief of Police, Investigations Bureau, City of Seattle, Department of Police.
A. Were you able to talk to Seattle people about that?
A. Do they remember, or are they suddenly having false memories?
Q. Okay, what's -- let me ask you this, Mr. Barnes.
A. This doesn't cease to amaze me.
Q. Did you work on any drug operations when you were at Fort Lewis?
A. Absolutely -- lots of them.
Q. Tell us about that.
A. I worked on one in particular well, that one was a major one.
Q. Which one?
A. The one with the CID in Seattle. Narcotics Task Force, from LSD to mescaline, military people, casket retrieval, you name it. And --
Q. How many drug operations would you say you worked on out of the Fort Lewis Army base?
A. Fort Lewis ?-- 30, 40 major drug operations.
Q. And it's your testimony that this was as a member of the Fort Lewis drug team?
A. No, I was attached to the 296 MP Company, 89th MP Group, 14th MP Detachment.
Q. And just for the record, MP is --
A. Military police.
Q. Were you aware of the existence of the drug team?
Q. And did you have anything to do with the drug team?
Q. And is it conceivable that you could have been, involved in 40 major drug operations and have the commander of, the drug team not know who you were?
A. Not at all. Not at all.
Q. All right, our committee has been told by Special Agent Albert Rowe, who was the Commander of the Drug Team, that you never worked with them. Can you give us any reason for that discrepancy?
A. Well, I would go to Seattle P.D. Narcotics, and Richardson and ask why -- or General McFadden. Ask General McFadden.
Q. Do you know anything about Special Agent Rowe that would lead you to believe why he might lie about you?
A. Maybe he didn't know me. I have no idea because I don't know him.
Q. But if he was the commander of the drug team, you already told us that it would be inconceivable that --
A. I don't know if he was a commander, I mean I'm just going by what you say he was. I have no idea. I worked strictly with one agent handler out of CID, and two guys out of Seattle PD Narcotics Intelligence.
Q. But it remains your testimony that there is no way that the true commander of the drug team at Fort Lewis would not have known who you were?
A. I don't know, I mean if they didn't tell him, I certainly didn't know him. So I don't have any idea. But if it was --
Q. Did you know anyone else who identified himself or herself As the commander of the drug team at Fort Lewis ?-- anyone other than Albert Rowe?
A. No, because I strictly worked with one CID man. He was my contact. That's the only head guy I would ever deal with.
Q. Who is that?
A. Richardson, the one that's in the letter. I mean there's -- it was a court case. The guy was convicted.
MR. KRAVITZ: Why don't we go off the record for a second?
(Discussion off the record.)
MR. KRAVITZ: Back on the record.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Were you involved in a fire base undercover missions?
A. Yes, Yakima Fire Test Center in eastern Washington, at the ASA Center, 1974.
Q. Can you tell us what that was?
A. There was a drug serious drug problem allegation at the intelligence base, underground satellite communications network, I was flown there by helicopter by -- if I'm not mistaken, he's a general now -- Colonel Kanamine, he's a Japanese fellow. And yeah, there was a drug -- well, I shouldn't say was -- there -- yeah, there was a drug problem and it involved officers. And we eradicated it.
Q. Colonel Kanamine is someone whom you mention in your book. Can you tell us what your relationship with Colonel Kanamine was? And just for the record -- tell me if I'm wrong? -- but I think that's spelled K-a-n-a-m-i-n-e.
A. I think that's probably correct, He was a provost marshal that I would directly answer to.
Q. And what was the nature of your relationship with Colonel Kanamine?
A. I would give him briefings on what cases we were working, where they stood.
Q. What kinds of cases?
A. Smuggling cases.
Q. Drug smuggling cases?
A. Drug smuggling cases.
Q. And how often during your year -- how long were you at Fort Lewis?
A. Okay, about 12 months -- about 1 year, right on the nose.
Q. During your year at Fort Lewis; how often would you meet with Colonel Kanamine?
A. As I recall, back then I probably didn't meet with him but maybe ten times -- at the most.
A. CID did not want a whole lot going through to the old man. I mean it was just like -- it was not necessary that the PM knew everything. Because we were investigating, you know, some high-ranking people, higher than, obviously, Colonel Kanamine.
Q. Who were you investigating?
A. Well, we had looked into some activities with the 9th Infantry Division, CG; we looked at some activities with the CG of the 75th Ranger Battalion; there was a lot of things that we looked into.
Q. Did you receive any intelligence training or drug training at Fort Lewis?
A. Yeah, I would say it wasn't in specific, we went on a lot of things with CID surveillance activities -- mostly OJT, I mean working directly with them.
Q. Would you disagree with the statement that there is no formal intelligence and drug training at Fort Lewis at that time?
A. Would I disagree there was no -- I have no idea.
Q. Okay. You're not saying, then, that you had formal intelligence training, or formal drug training during your year at Fort Lewis?
A. No, I mean if we did I don't remember. I mean we went to a lot of different classes for brief subjects; I was going to college there. Mostly instructors were law enforcement people.
Q. Were you involved there with the military police intelligence unit?
A. Um-hum? MPI.
Q. Where were you involved with the MPI?
A. Fort Lewis and the Yakima Fire Test Center.
Q. What was your involvement with the Military Police Intelligence Unit?
A. That we were trying to get information on narcotics trafficking, coming from off-post/on-post; that some of the people -- it was alleged -- the ASA Center was deeply involved in narcotics; trying to find out who was dealing in what, other than this one subject that was convicted -- what the connection was.
Q. Are you actually sure that the military police intelligence unit exists?
Q. As a specific division within Fort Lewis?
A. Well, I don't know the command of it, I mean the guys that I -- and one girl -- that we had worked with, you know, we had our own office, we had our own equipment, we could send and receive stuff; some of them wore civilian clothes, long hair -- some of them had long hair and beards, I mean there was -- and they were constantly coming off post.
Q. So this was an organization that had its own office?
Q. It had its own stationery, for example?
A. No, none at all.
Q. Why not?
A. Well -- you're not going to put MPI on stationery. I mean the stationery we used was typical, you know whatever the PM's office had, and in notes, I mean we didn't need any stationery for anything.
Q. How many people were in the military police intelligence unit when you were dealing with them in 1973 - 1974?
A. I would say the guys and one girl I dealt with, there was about seven.
Q. Did you have any training in the area of corrections?
A. Um-huh -- Fort Gordon, Georgia -- 1 week's worth.
Q. Just 1 week's worth?
Q. Did you ever work in the area of corrections?
A. I worked in the stockade at Fort Lewis for about 10 - 12 days.
Q. Doing what?
A. There was a homicide up there, the William Kaplan -- K-a-p-l-a-n -- case that I assisted in the investigation. And he was in custody, you know, as the trial was going on. And so my job was to, you know, keep an eye on him during my shift.
Q. Keep an eye -- you mean guard him?
A. Well, yeah, I guess it would be guard him. I was one of his main escorts to and from the court martial.
Q. Were you involved in investigations in the correctional facility?
A. There was one investigation, but I don't even remember -- it was on the periphery edge of something but that was it.
Q. And it's your testimony that you worked in the correctional area of Fort Lewis for only-about 10 days?
A. At the most, and that's pushing it -- at the most.
Q. You never spent any other time in addition to those10 days working as a correctional officer?
A. No, I was always out doing dope cases.
Q. When did you leave the Army?
A. December 19, 1974.
Q. What was the reason or reasons that you left the Army?
A. Well, there was a lot of recruiting going on for other agencies that I had been interested in.
Q. Which other agencies?
A. Well, DEA had been through; CIA had been through; MI had been through, And Captain Colbert had said, you know, there's a lot to offer, you know, with the war coming to a conclusion and a lot of troops coming back. We were getting these commendations. He says you can get an EDP if you so desire.
Q. What's an EDP?
A. Early drop program.
Q. And who is Captain Colbert?
A. He was my immediate CO.
Q. Do you know what his first name was?
A. Uh-huh. But he was the company CO.
Q. Okay, so you had been interested in these other agencies. Why did you end up leaving?
A. Well, the deal was that I would get out, go to school, and then eventually can go to work for one of these other agencies upon graduation from college.
Q. Okay, how did you arrange to get out early?
A. I didn't, they did.
Q. Who is they?
A. Whoever the CG was at the time.
Q. What's a CG?
A. The Commanding General.
Q. And how did --
A. All I had to do was sign one form and that was it.
Q. Well, how did it come about that -- that you were even approached about leaving -- leaving the Army?
A. Well, I had requested that -- you know -- one of the recruiters, I had told him yeah, I would be interested. And he says well you're going to have to get more callers than what you already have. And he says, you know, with a clean record and what you've done already -- he says, you know, you're quite good at this. We can arrange things, if so be it. And I said okay. And then I bet -- that was November -- I would say probably the very early part of December, the CO came down. And he says just sign right here, and you've got an EDP. And I signed right there. And the 19th had a plane ticket, and I was out.
Q. Which agency was this recruiter from who implied or --
A. Central Intelligence -- he represented himself as Central Intelligence.
Q. So in other words, in November of 1974, you met with --
A. I don't -- I previously met with several people.
Q. Okay, but in November of 1974, someone who claimed to be a representative for the CIA told you that he would arrange to have you released early from your Army requirements.
A. Right, he would take care of the paperwork.
Q. And the understanding was that you would go-to school for a certain period of time, and then become an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.
A. No, the deal was that I would have to continue on in college using my VA benefits to pay for it; and that after completion of college, any number of one of agencies in the intelligence community -- whether it be DEA or the civilian sector -- you know, I would be in touch with them.
Q. Now did Colonel Kanamine have anything to do with your early release from the Army?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Doesn't your book refer to a meeting with him when he suggested that you should leave early? (Pause.) I'm just going to read from page 6 of the book Bohica. And just for the record, that is a book that you are the author of, is that right?
Q. I'm now quoting from page 6 -- periodically, agency recruiters would come through and want to talk with 30 to 40 people at a time, probably hand-picked by commanding officers, about available positions within the agency. Just as an aside, when you're talking about the agency, you're talking about the Central Intelligence Agency?
Q. Back to the text -- I told one recruiter named Hall on his second -- on the second stop in about 4 months, quote, if I ever get the opportunity I would be willing to be recruited for operations, end quote. He said he'd see what he could do. In 1974 I was sent to Yakima Fire Base, Army Security Agency Center in the eastern part of the State of Washington. For 2 months I worked on undercover assignments, then received orders to report back to Fort Lewis, immediately, to meet with Colonel Kanamine, commander of the military police intelligence unit.
I was transported to Fort Lewis by helicopter. Besides the pilot and the co-pilot, I was the only one aboard. At Fort Lewis, the Colonel informed me, quote, we have an offer for you, Scott. Get out of the military service now instead of waiting. Quote, but I still have a few months left on my hitch, end quote, I told him, curious about what he had in mind, Quote, when am I going to be doing, end quote. Quote, the war is over now, so we don't need so many troops. We have many wounded, and a lot more coming back to the States. So we'll be able to process you out early, end quote. At first I believed his explanation. 3 weeks later I was told, quote, here are your papers. You want to take this opportunity. My senior officers were very encouraging. That is a direct quote from your book?
A. Yes, absolutely.
Q. So is it true, then, that Colonel Kanamine was involved in your decision to leave the Army early?
A. I wouldn't say he was involved with my decision. I think that it was encouraging. He -- I wish I could remember the Major's name -- there was a major. But I think Captain Colbert was probably the most encouraging.
Q. Would you agree that your book states, or at least implies, that Colonel Kanamine encouraged you to leave the Army early?
A. I would say encouraged, but not the main one, no.
Q. Colonel Kanamine has been interviewed by this committee, and says, first of all, he doesn't remember you; and second of all, that he never told anyone or encouraged anyone to get out of the Army under the same circumstances or similar circumstances described in this book. Do you have any explanation for why he would say that?
A. Does he work for the Government? Is he a general?
Q. I don't know what he's doing now.
A. He's a general now.
Q. Is he a general now? Is that what your testimony is?
A. Um - Hum.
Q. Does that give you an explanation for why he would contradict you?
A. I think you said he doesn't remember.
Q. He said he doesn't remember you. He doesn't remember ever having anything to do with you.
A. So you'd have to ask between 1974 and 1991, 1992, how many people he's spoken to, who have spoken to him.
Q. I'm not asking you for how we can interrogate him.
A. I'd like to.
Q. I'm asking whether you have any explanation for why he would contradict you on these points.
A. I don't think he's contradicting. I think like you just said, he says he doesn't recall me.
Q. He says he doesn't remember you personally, even though you say you've talked to him ten times. And in your book you recount an episode where he encouraged you to leave the Army early to take a position in the agency. And he says he never told anybody to leave the Army early to take a position in the agency.
A. Well, I guess he's entitled to his opinion.
Q. Is it your testimony that he would be lying to us?
A. If he said that, he's lying, yes.
Q. When did you actually leave the military?
A. December 19, 1974.
Q. And it's your testimony that the reason for leaving, specifically, was what?
A. To go out and go to school, which I did.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Were you ever described as a correctional specialist when you were in the Army?
Q. What was your interpretation of what that meant?
A. That was one of my trainings, 95 Charlie MOS.
Q. What's an MOS?
A. Military Operating Specialty.
Q. So when did you get the title correctional specialist?
A. I assume as soon as I graduated from Fort Gordon.
Q. Did you ever have any other titles?
A. Not MOS, 95 Charlie, 95 Bravo, my back-up MOS.
Q. Were you ever a guard chief?
A. I think that's the MOS actual title, That's what they call it -- okay, civilian-related occupation, guard chief.
Q. What is it that you're reading off?
A. My DD-214.
Q. What's a DD-214?
A. It's the printed record of your military time and discharge, etcetera; name, address, rank -- all that kind of stuff.
MR. KRAVITZ: Why don't we get marked for identification. (The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 12 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. I'm going to show you what's been marked as Exhibit No. 12, which is a xerox copy of document number 23 out of your book, Bohica. Do you recognize that?
Q. What is that?
A. It's a xeroxed copy out of my DD-214 that the publisher has in my book.
Q. You had another document you were looking at just before I showed you Exhibit No. 12. What is the document that you were looking at?
A. A copy of my DD-214 without the deletions the publisher whited-out to put in the book.
MR. KRAVITZ: Let me have marked as Exhibit No. 13 this exhibit. (The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 13 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ;
Q. I'm going to show you what is marked as Exhibit No.13, which I can tell you is a facsimile copy of what we've been told is your actual form DD-214 discharge papers. Have you ever seen -- if you ignore the green ink that I put on there, have you ever seen that document before?
A. This document? No. This document is a fraud. Not a bad one, but it's a fraud.
Q. Let me ask it let's put this one away for a second. We'll talk about that in a minute. Let me ask you just to compare Exhibit No. 12, which is the xerox copy -- a xerox copy of the DD-214 from your book, and number 13, which we've been told is a facsimile copy of your true DD-214.
A. Well, first of all, let me state for the record under oath, that I have the one and only original copy of my DD-214.
Q. Where is that?
A. It's at home in a safe deposit box. And you're more than welcome to view it at any time.
Q. Is there any way you could submit that to the committee?
A. I'd rather have it done in person. Because it is the one and only hard-inked copy, signed by Lieutenant Stokkes and myself. This is amazing.
Q. Just so it's clear for the record, I have marked several items in green ink that appear to be different from the version in Exhibit No. 12 -- that is, there are items marked in green on Exhibit No. 13 that are different from Exhibit No. 12. Just starting with box no. 16, according to your book, your title is Spec 73-12-13.
A. That's correct.
Q. On Exhibit No. 13, it's correctional specialist as opposed to just specialist. Is that right?
A. That's correct.
Q. And, in fact -- well, let's mark another one.
MR. KRAVITZ: Let's mark this one number 14. (The document referred to was marked Exhibit No. 14 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. What is number 14?
A. This is a copy I made the day before yesterday from my original copy of my DD-214.
Q. So your testimony is that Exhibit No, 14 is an accurate copy of the true, DD-214?
A. Absolutely. Q. You would agree that even on Exhibit No. 14 your title reads different than --
A. The Government's.
Q. Well, it reads different than the title that appeared in your book, Bohica.
A. So you'll know this for the record, whoever the people are at Daren Publishing Group, Dennis had whited-out certain things like my address, social security number. And when they called they said I could white out anything where anybody could cause me any hurt or damage. So whatever they've whited-out back there, before they put it in the book, was entirely up to them.
Q. So your testimony is that you had nothing to do with the decision to white out the correctional specialist on the DD-214?
A. None -- I sent them the DD-214, And whoever the girls were that did the putting of the stuff in the book was sort of worried about your social security number. I said you white out anything that somebody that could cause me harm would come back.
Q. Well, it's your book, isn't it?
Q. And you certainly, I assume, didn't want to be misleading the public about your military background in your writing your book.
Q. Would you agree that when your title is listed as a correctional specialist it certainly makes you appear as if your military experience was more that of a guard than as an intelligence officer?
A. I wasn't an intelligence officer. So I answer your question no.
Q. Or involved in drug-running, all those kinds of investigations?
A. Not at all.
Q. You don't think there's any difference between being titled a correctional officer or being titled an investigator into drugs and guns and all that kind of stuff?
A. No, I mean here in Exhibit No. 14 is the actual copy -- whatever they whited-out was up to them. You'd have to talk to them.
Q. Well, did you ever question them as to why they took out the correctional -- the word correctional from your title?
A. No, you'd have to talk to them.
Q. You don't believe that the word correctional would endanger your safety, would it?
A. No, nothing wrong with that.
Q. But you just told us a couple of moments ago that you instructed them to take out anything that would endanger you.
A. Anything that they thought could cause me any problems.
Q. Did you review this document, as whited out before you okayed it for your book?
Q. So it was out of your hands?
A. Yes, I trust them.
Q. If you had been the person editing this document, would you have left in the word correctional in block number 16?
A. I would have left in everything except my social security, my date of birth, and my home of record, I would have left everything as is.
Q. Going down to box number 27, remarks, even on your copy, Exhibit No, 14, it reads correctional specialist course. You'll agree that on Exhibit No. 12, the copy from your book, the remarks section is blank?
Q. Any explanation as to why that was deleted?
A. You'd have to ask them back in Ohio.
Q. You had nothing to do with that?
Q. If it were up to you, would you have deleted the words correctional specialist course?
A. Not at all. That was part of my training.
Q. Would it have had anything to do with information that we received that that was the only training you got while you were in the military?
Q. And that that information would be inconsistent with your portrayal of your background?
A. Not at all. Can I ask you a question on the record?
Q. Let me finish asking questions. I'm going to show you Exhibit No. 13 again. And on the bottom of the remarks section, you would agree that it reads failure to meet acceptable standards for continued military service.
A. This is what the Government's document 13?
Q. Yes. Have you ever seen it before?
A. Never. As a matter of fact, if you look at the type on all of this, this is obviously added on, after the fact, with a new typewriter at another date.
Q. The type will obviously speak for itself, And I think we all can agree for the record that the type on some of these items is different. I will grant you that. And I don't have any explanation for it. We received this, as you can tell, as a fax on February 28 of this year.
Q. Where did this come from? From the Army Archives in St. Louis.
A. Well, if they're submitting this as an official document, they're doing this -- obviously fraud. What are you going to do about it, on the record?
Q. What are we going to do?
A. What's this committee going to do about this.
Q. We can talk about that off the record. In the deposition, we ask the questions. But I can tell you that one of the subjects that this committee is investigating is fraud of all types related to this issue. And --
A. Well, here you have an official document, Exhibit No. 13, that has been submitted by our Government, which is fraud. And I want to know what you're going to do about it.
Q. We can talk about that. I don't answer questions on the record in a deposition. But I would be happy to talk to you about that.
A. That's right, you work for the Government. I forgot.
Q. I already said that the type is different, for the record. In several of the areas that I have circled in green -- specifically box number 9(c), box number 10, and box number 27 -- the type face that appears on Exhibit No. 13 is different than the rest of the type face in the document.
A. The Government's is different.
Q. That's the Government's document, Some of the stuff, however, you will agree -- some of the information that is included on Exhibit No. 13, which is missing from Exhibit No. 12, is not missing from your own copy.
A. That's right. This is the copy, the original I took out of the safe deposit box -- not just 3 days ago.
Q. I think what would make sense for us to do would be --
A. Which, if you want to ask, you can call him Ken Hall at the Vietnam Veterans Center in Prescott, Arizona, took the original and made these copies for me -- the actual original.
Q. Who is he again?
A. He's in charge of the Vietnam Veterans Center in Prescott.
Q. Okay, and he made this copy from the original?
A. From the original.
Q. In your safe deposit box?
A. That is correct.
Q. What is your understanding as to what they should have in St. Louis? Would they have another --
A. Unequivocally, this is obviously a cover-up, continuing cover-up. And the Government is portraying fraud. They're trying to say things, obviously, that aren't true, to attempt to damage my credibility -- which is comical, at best.
Q. I think we're about to break for lunch, Let me just -- before we go off the record -- tell you -- because I really don't want you to get the wrong impression --
A. I've already gotten the wrong impression. I'm not going to trust this committee any further.
Q. Well, let me just tell you --
A. You've shown your colors.
Q. Let me just tell you -- what we need to do is to get as much information as we can, and to test it to see how credible it is.
A. Mr. Kravitz, it does not take a very intelligent person to see the fraud that's been perpetrated here.
Q. I haven't denied that this looks the way it looks.
A. The Government you work for.
Q. I don't think we need to say anymore. And we will, after lunch, be going into more substantive issues. But I think it's necessary for us to ask you for your reaction to these documents. They exist. And I should say -- I should tell you that one of the things that the committee is looking at is whether there's cover-up of all information regarding the POW issue. And one of the things that's helpful for you to do is to point out stuff like that. And it's now on the record. And I think it's something that should be investigated.
A. Should be, but knowing what I know now, I don't see this ever, being investigated. The Government is bigger than you and me put together.
Q. Why don't you take a couple of minutes to look at it?
A. I guess it should -- it blows my mind. I guess it shouldn't blow my mind. Why don't you ask them to produce the signed original?
Q. Well, I think we should.
A. I think you should, too. And I think if any of you want to come out to Arizona, I will show you the original, along with the original CID letter that's in the book -- the original, -- inked, signed -- this is a trip.
MR. KRAVITZ: Why don't we go off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. We've been discussing the issue of the DD-214 off the record for approximately 5 minutes. And Mr. Barnes has informed us the United States Army was directed by the Federal District Court in San Francisco, back in January of 1981 to produce -- during the Hells Angels Trial -- a complete copy of Mr.Barnes' military record.
We are going to -- as part of our investigation for the committee -- we are going to contact the Federal District Court in California to attempt to get the DD-214 that was submitted, pursuant to that subpoena and that order. We're also going to go back to the Army records in St. Louis and find out where the copy that was faxed to us, and now appears as Exhibit No. 13 came from. I think we should try to make the best attempt we can to see what this -- what this was copied from. Because I agree that there is a serious question as to what's going on with all these documents. I don't know if you want to add anything to that.
A. Well, I would like to know -- obviously this committee is powerless to do anything about fraud. But here our Government is perpetrating fraud. It's now as an Exhibit and, in my opinion, an investigation of a cover-up. And here, our own Government's continuing to perpetrate that. What is going to be done?
Q. Well, I just said what was going to be done in the first instance. I don't want you to have the impression that the committee is powerless to investigate fraud. That is one of the subjects that we are charged with investigating. And it will be investigated.
A. So if you see that this is wrong, and I show you the original, what are you going to do?
Q. That's not going to be up to me. But I guarantee you that it will be brought to the attention of people who are very interested in investigating fraud both within and outside the Government.
MR. KRAVITZ: Why don't we break for lunch.
THE WITNESS: I'd like to ask a question of Steve off the record.
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the taking of the instant deposition recessed, to reconvene this same day.)
SCOTT TRACY BARNES,
the witness on the stand at the time of recess, having been previously duly sworn, was further examined and testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL ON BEHALF OF
THE SELECT COMMITTEE - Resumed
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Let me just say before we start this afternoon session, Mr, Barnes, is there any answer that you gave us before lunch that now, having had an hour to think about it, that you'd want to change in any way?
A. None whatsoever.
Q. Let's move forward in time to 1981. It's my understanding that at some point that year you were in Hawaii. Is that correct?
Q. When did you go to Hawaii?
A. Probably February-ish.
Q. Of 1981?
Q. Where in Hawaii were you?
A. I was on several of the islands, but Oahu.
Q. What were you doing there?
A. In 1981 I went over there to help with a friend that was doing a church.
Q. What was the name of the church?
A. No. that was 1983. 1981 was Maui -- Hope Chapel.
Q. So you went -- this is still February of 1981, and you were in Maui working with Hope Chapel?
A. The City is Kehi, Maui.
Q. How do you spell that?
A. I believe it's K-e-h-i.
Q. What was Hope Chapel -- or what was it at that time?
A.It's a non-denominational, Christian, Orthodox church.
Q. Were you there helping a friend who was running the church?
Q. Who was that?
A. Craig Englert.
Q. How do you spell that?
Q. What exactly were you doing?
A. Basically, they had started a new church and I was just going to help them, you know, get it off the ground.
Q. So what kind of work?
A. Talking to people about the bible, helping them get a permanent building, setting up chairs when they would have their Sunday service in whatever building they were, because they didn't have a permanent building then.
Q. Were you involved in any kind of intelligence work at that time?
A. No, not there in Maui.
Q. Before the time that you got a call from a representative of Hughes Aircraft, what was the most recent time that you had been involved in any intelligence, counter-intelligence?
A. Before that?
A. The Angels trial, which was January of 1981. So I would say the previous month. So fairly recently. Go ahead, I'm sorry. I don't like to be wrong.
Q. Did there come a time that you -- you were contacted by someone from the Hughes Corporation?
Q. When was that?
A. I would say mid to late-April was the first, as I recall, telephonic contact.
Q. And this is 1981?
A. That is correct.
Q. Tell us exactly what the nature of that contact was.
A. As I recall, the very first, initial one, was from a female that worked for Hughes Aircraft, El Segundo, California.
Q. Do you know what her name was?
A. No. and I'm not sure if it's in the book or not.
Q. Where did you receive the phone call?
A. At the Hope Chapel office, in Kehi, Maui -- so you'd be able to get the long distance telephone record from Hughes, Then the next call was from a man wanting to know --
Q. Let's talk about them one at a time. What happened in the first telephone call.
A. First she wanted to know if I had ever heard of a James Gordon Gritz. She wanted to know if I was still in acquaintance with Vang Pao. I said yes. That was essentially it, until a day or two later.
Q. Did she identify herself by name?
A. Yes, but like I say, I don't know if it's in Bohica or not. It might be in the excerpts of the little blue book that's been printed in there. Her name might be in there if you want me to look.
Well, I'm looking, if you want to keep asking questions.
Q. First, what was the conversation about?
A. First if I knew Edward Gordon Gritz, which I said I didn't, and then if I knew Vang Pao, and that I'd get a forthcoming call.
Q. Did she tell you what the call was going to be about?
A. I don't know if she did, but the next call did, yeah.
Q. Okay, What was the next call that you got?
A. It was a man that called, and gave me a call back number, I'm at Hughes Aircraft, and said that, you know, Gritz had wanted to get a hold of me.
A. It was area code (213) -- at that time -- 670-1515, Extension 6563, APD Office, Advanced Program Development, Hughes Aircraft, El Segundo, California. That was the call-back number. And I checked it, and it was.
A. But her name's not down here.
Q. Do you know who it was who called you the second time?
A. The man? No. The third time, yeah.
Q. Okay, now what was the conversation the second -- when the second call with the man?
A. What was my relationship, currently, with Vang Pao; would I be interested in helping this guy, Gritz, gather information on American prisoners of war. I said I don't believe there's any -- I left it at that, I said yeah, I'll talk to him if he calls.
Q. You said you don't believe there's any what?
A. There's any left behind, no.
Q. Did you mean that when you said that, or --
A. Oh, of course. I had no reason to doubt they all came home in 1973.
Q. Okay, so your belief in April of 1981 was that there were no live Americans.
A. That is correct, absolutely.
Q. What was that based on?
A. Well, belief in my Government, belief -- when the President of the United States said all living prisoners of war had now been returned home, I had no reason to refute that, I never doubted my Government then.
Q. What was the nature of your relationship, in April of 1981, with Vang Pao?
A. Very good, very good.
Q. Can you tell us? How did you first meet him?
A. In person, I was going to go to Thailand for him in -- I believe it was in -- early 1980 -- in July 1980 I was going to go to Thailand for him. And I had subsequently had several meetings with him. At one time, Dr. Jane Hamilton Merritt, who is a pretty well-known -- I think she's a college professor up at an all-women's college somewhere in New England now -- she was having a meeting regarding the gas warfare problem down there. So she would be one that you could confirm my existence at that time with General Vang Pao. And she was disturbed that we were in the same room together because she didn't like me. I did not go on the 1980 request, I made it as far as Hawaii. And then that was it.
Q. What was supposed to be the purpose of the 1980 trip to Thailand?
A. That his men, some of his, you know, Hmong people were in need of certain supplies. And I was going to go help them get these supplies.
Q. Was it your understanding in 1980 that Vang Pao was working for the CIA?
A. Um-hum. There had been an on going -- according to him, and Lieutenant Colonel Vang Yee -- an on-going, or maybe a lack of dialogue that a promise was made. And we went over the whole thing -- not that it meant a whole lot to me at the time -- and he was very upset at, you know, our Government, for not coming through with the promise. And we discussed it.
Q. How did you first come in contact with Vang Pao?
A. Well, I know some people say it was in Vietnam in 1973. My first contact was via Hope Chapel, helping some of his refugee people -- not him -- he's not an American Christian by any means -- but some of his Hmong people.
Q. So what was -- his connection with the Hope Chapel was through --
A. His -- none -- just basically some of his Hmong people had gone to get -- you know, our church, at the time, was heavily involved in helping any and all refugees, clothing, food, things of that nature.
Q. Did he have anything to do with the chapel through the refugees?
A. No, none that I'm aware of.
Q. Do you know where he was living back in 1980, 1981?
A. Yeah, he had a little ranch down in Victor, Montana. And he maintained a very substantial office in Garden Grove, California.
Q. And when did you first meet him in person?
A. It would be early 1980's, with Dr. Jane Hamilton Merritt.
A. In his Orange County office.
Q. Between that first meeting in 1980, and the time that you received these telephone calls in Hawaii in April of 1981, how many times did you meet with Vang Pao?
A. Maybe four.
Q. All in the California office?
Q. What were those meetings related to, after the 1980 trip was cancelled?
A. I don't know how to word this -- let me understand the question. You're asking the meetings that I had with General Vang Pao before leaving for Hawaii in 1981, what we discussed?
A. I don't think I can answer that.
A. That -- I just would rather invoke the Fifth Amendment on that one, in its entirety. The meetings had essentially nothing to do with American prisoners of war.
Q. Essentially had nothing to do with?
Q. Okay -- well, let me ask you this -- were you working for the CIA at that point?
A. To my knowledge, I've never worked for the CIA.
Q. Okay, so to your knowledge, you were not working for the CIA in 1981 when you were meeting with Vang Pao?
A. To my knowledge directly to the CIA, no.
Q. Okay. But you're not sure whether you were working indirectly for the CIA as a contractor for someone who might have been working for the CIA.
A. That is correct, yes -- that is true, yes?.
Q. Okay. How widely-known do you think it was, say in the spring of 1981, that you knew Vang Pao?
A. Not at all -- widely, meaning common civilians, none -- not at all.
Q. How do you think it was known by the people -- by Bo Gritz, for example?
A. That, you'd have to ask Bo Gritz.
Q. You never found out how he found out that you knew Vang Pao?
A. Not that I recall, no.
Q. Have you ever heard of a Hmong tribesman by the name of Phimmerchek, an acquaintance of Vang Pao?
A. Doesn't ring a bell, not that name -- I would remember that, I think.
Q. Okay, so you got the second call from a man at Hughes Aircraft.
Q. And you were told to expect a call from Bo Gritz?
A. Well, Bo came in later, I mean the name Bo -- I mean it was always James Gordon Gritz, you know, and then eventually, yes, that dropped. And yes, I was to expect a call from Bo Gritz.
Q. And did you call Colonel Gritz, or did he call you?
A. We call -- he would call, and I wasn't there. And we kept playing phone tag, I bet several days.
Q. Before the time that you actually spoke with Colonel Gritz, did you know what the purpose of his contacting you was?
A. Yes, that he was going to want to discuss American prisoners of war having been left behind in Indochina -- no specific country at that time.
Q. Did you know that he was going to discuss that issue in the context of mounting a secret rescue mission?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you do anything to check into Colonel Gritz's background before the time that you actually spoke with him?
A. I may have, but I'm not sure. I may have called a few people, but I -- in all honesty, I don't recall.
Q. Okay. When was it that you first actually spoke with Colonel Gritz?
A. I bet it was end of April, close to the end of April.
Q. And this was on the telephone?
Q. Do you remember who succeeded in reaching whom?
A. I believe I finally had connected with him -- but he may have been connected with me. I'm not sure.
Q. And this was at the Hughes.
A. From Hughes Aircraft because I remember on the phone bill, unfortunately, the church had gotten -- I paid for it, though -- Bo did -- that there was numerous calls back and forth.
Q. Okay, well what was the conversation that you had with Colonel Gritz?
A. Finally, when we got on, he had -- first he wanted to know for sure it was Vang Pao, did we have a good relationship? And I said yes. Was I aware that he was still running certain operations, you know, out of his host country; and what I knew; did I believe there was American prisoners that were left behind; probably at that time I sarcastically laughed, and of course, no, no, there was no Americans.
And he said, would you help me on an operation? You know, you're in Hawaii right now. Would you go to the United States Embassy, you know, and coordinate with some people down there that are very interested in knowing, you know, what Vang Pao's people know.
Q. Well, let me ask you this -- you -- there was no question in your mind that any type of rescue mission would be dangerous?
A. Oh, of course.
Q. And you've told us that your belief back in the spring of 1981 was that your Government was telling you the truth.
Q. - that there were no live POWs.
Q. Why would you agree to go on what was certainly to be a dangerous mission, if you believed that it was going to be fruitless because everybody was dead?
A. Well, they didn't agree, the mission going to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok wasn't dangerous.
Q. Oh, okay, so in other words -- what you signed on for initially was just to go to Bangkok.
A. Yeah, let me explain how that worked, There were some and this is -- I found out after the fact you know, and I don't want to mess up your deposition here that certain elements in the embassy needed Vang Pao's guerrillas' cooperation down there. They were not cooperating with the known people within the embassy. I was to convince Vang Pao's guerrillas, you know, that I'm a representative of Vang Pao; these people are not in any way affiliated with the United States Government. Please help them. They're private. That's all that it was. It was supposed to be an introduction -- as they called it, a greasing of the slids to smooth things over. All these individuals, on paper, are supposed to be retired from any American organizations at all. And that's all that it was. And I said yeah, I'll run down there for you to do that.
Q. So in other words, the expectation was that if any of the -- if the guerrillas thought that this had anything to do with he American Government, they would squash it?
A. Exactly. And that, I learned after the fact.
Q. You learned after the fact that that was why you were asked to be involved?
A. Right, exactly.
Q. So what -- what, exactly, was the agreement that you reached with Colonel Gritz over the telephone that first time?
A. That first of all I wanted to check into some people that I had known, and would he give me names and numbers of those people that I can verify some things -- which he did. He said do you know a courier --
Q. Let me interrupt you for a second. In your book, you tell -- you write that what you wanted to check out was to make sure that it was an official, Government operation.
Q. Isn't that inconsistent with what was going to be presented to the guerrillas?
A. Oh, absolutely. But I wanted to make sure that it was, in fact, backed by the Government, that this ploy was to convince these guerrillas and General Souvan that these guys don't work for the Government. I'm not going to go do something private. I'm not going to get involved in some fantasy escapade, you know, or my life could be endangered or caught and, you know, looked on. I don't mind helping if there's something that is -- that they feel is serious and they want to look into. That's up to them, I don't care.
A. And I would help them do that.
Q. But at the time that you signed on, you had absolutely no expectation that you would be involved in a recognizance mission?
A. None whatsoever, none.
Q. Who did you call to verify that this was, in fact, a Government-sponsored mission?
A. I called two people within Defense Intelligence.
Q. Do you remember what their names were?
A. Pat Hurt and Mike Burns, I spoke to Colonel Kennedy. I spoke to Colonel Robinson.
Q. Let's just slow down -- who is Pat Hurt?
A. Pat Hurt and Mike Burns work for Defense Intelligence Prisoner of War information for the DIA -- or did. I don't know where they are today. I haven't kept in contact with them.
Q. What did Pat Hurt tell you when you called him?
A. How did I get his name and number; told him; he said yeah, you can check with all kinds of people, you know? It's a sanctioned/unsanctioned; official/unofficial. I said okay, I got the drift. Colonel Robinson --
Q. Did you know these people before you called them?
A. I may have known them via Vang Pao. I mean there was a lot of American people that were brought up during several meetings on some things. But I can't say for certain that --
Q. You mean you may have met Pat Hurt?
A. Oh, I don't feel I ever have met either of them. But, I mean, their names may have been brought up at some of Vang Pao's meetings.
Q. And that's how you would have known to call them?
A. That, and Bo had given me, you know, a whole list of names and numbers -- both within the Pentagon and without -- to confirm or deny.
Q. Okay, what did Burns tell you?
A. That it was a -- as I recall -- it was a back-door operation -- and it might not have been, because I mean there was so many people during this period of time that I had spoken to -- so I can't be certain of what actual one individual had said. But the general consensus out of everybody in the confirmation was that it was a back-door operation; that Dick Allen and the Vice-President at the time, George Bush, and William Casey, in protecting certain people, needed to have an intelligence operation go to look to see if this information was valid or not. It's not that they didn't trust it, believe, you know, the Hmong, or the Montenyards, or the LPs, but it's that they, you know, Allen, Casey, and Bush, wanted an American on-ground team to see are there Americans there? It involved a lot of other people that, you know, I had spoken to that confirmed the exact same thing.
Q. What's your best approximation of the date that you, called Pat Hurt on?
A. I would say within the late to the first week of May, late April to the first week of May.
Q. Okay, so sometime between say, April 20, and May 10.
A. And May 8 or 9.
Q. And same --
A. And then subsequent, thereafter, several conversations.
Q. Within how long a period of time?
A. By the end of the year.
Q. Okay, so in other words you continued to talk with Pat Hurt --
A. And Burns.
Q. -- through the end of 1981.
Q. Until a time period after the recognizance mission?
A. I don't recall. The Secret Service and the FBI talked to me Christmas Eve 1981, I'm not sure if I talked to Burns and Hurt after that day or not because that was a key day to cut communications with a lot of people.
Q. Back to late April, early May, after your first telephone conversation with Colonel Gritz, did you call anyone other than those two people at the DIA?
A. I talked to Robinson, I talked to Kennedy.
Q. Okay, where was Robinson?
A. At that time he was in the Pentagon.
Q. Defense Department in what capacity?
A. I think he, at that time, was working chemical/biological research in conjunction with Yellow Rain in Indochina.
Q. Was he someone you knew previously?
A. Knew -- no, I couldn't say that I knew him. But we had had previous conversations.
Q. What information did you get from Robinson?
A. That it was an official mission; the activity was behind it; Dale Duncan was involved; Wayne Longhoffer -- names that I had already heard of and had known previously; and there were some other names. But I don't remember who they were.
Q. What is the -- what is the activity?
A. The activity as described was -- and if you want me to draw it --
Q. Just go ahead and --
A. And I'll do exactly what was done. Apparently what had happened, Admiral Turner, in 1977, 1978, had dismissed a lot of people from Central Intelligence after some of the Church hearings in 1975. And what had occurred is the White House, via the NSC, via Bill Casey, in communications, wanted a special operations group that would not be answerable to Congress, the Senate, that could be circumvented so there would be no connection to the next one up.
Bill Casey, in turn, spoke to certain individuals, informed -- what we just called it the activity period. Substantial amounts of money were needed. Obviously, the agency, in its funding, could not fund an entirely separate arm on its own, without somebody asking questions. I don't want to say the word permission, but it was okay to dabble in the illicit transportation of narcotics and traffic, and certain things, to raise large funds of cash. And there was no account of same. My understanding is you may have already looked into this. Colonel Dale Duncan was later arrested, convicted, for some minor fraud stuff, because they couldn't get him on the big stuff. So they buried him on the small stuff.
Q. We're going to come back to all this stuff about the activity later, actually. Because we're actually very interested in what you know about the activity's involvement with drugs and certain other --
A. But that is not a POW. That's not in your guidelines.
Q. We can talk about that later, I think. I think it probably is. Let's go back to your dealings with Colonel Gritz. Let me just interrupt for one second and introduce you. This is Dino Carluccio, our Deputy Staff Director. Who did you speak with other than Hurt, Burns, and Robinson? Anyone from the CIA?
A. Several people. John Stein, McMahon -- the others are named in the book, I don't remember all their names. But --
Q. And was the information that you received from the CIA people you spoke with essentially the same -- that is, that this was an official --
A. It was a black operation. The activity's hand was in it. You know, if you could assist, you know -- Daniel Arnold was one of the main people.
Q. Do you know what -- is it Stein or Stein?
A. Stein -- S-t-e-i-n, John.
Q. John Stein?
A. John Stein,
A. He was at CDO when I talked to him, I don't know where he is today.
Q. What did you do after you spoke with all these people and learned that this was a Government-sponsored mission?
A. I think -- and you could probably ask the pastor out there -- I think I spoke to him on a Christian level, I mean, you know, looking for advice, you know? I mean I did not believe, obviously, then, that we left men behind.
Q. What was the pastor's name?
A. Craig Englert -- E-n-g-l-e-r-t.
A. And he should still be there. And Jason, the gentleman that was dying of cancer at the time, the other pastor. And he's still alive. He made it. I discussed it with them because I had some concerns.
I knew it was Government. There was no doubt, you know, in my mind. Bo then said do you know of a courier that you, personally know -- you know, he goes, I could send one to you. But you may not know him, and it may, you know, cause a little problem. But you know him -- that I could send over a package. And I said yes. There's somebody I know that lives, you know, 2 or 3 miles from here. He could pick up a package on one condition. And this is where my personal -- at that time -- greed comes in. And that's as long as you pay for him to have a week's vacation in Hawaii. He says oh, we can do that. And so he did, And this individual came over.
Q. By this time had you done any investigation into Colonel Gritz's background?
A. Not other than the people that I had spoken to, you know -- I found out that he was asked in 1979, out of Panama, to start looking into the possibility Americans were left behind. Other than that, there wasn't much for him to look into.
Q. What was the name of the courier?
A. In order to protect him; his name is -- his first name is in the book, I don't really want to divulge his last name.
Q. Well, were you --
A. The FBI's already given him a bad time.
Q. We're going to ask you to give us his name. I mean it's --
A. I just really can't, I mean I need to protect him.
Q. What do you think is going to happen to him if you give us his name? Well, knowing that this mission -- his name was given --
A. Well, his name was given out before and the FBI came to him.
Q. You understand, that as we said before, this deposition is committee confidential, which means it's not going to go to the -- the FBI is not going to see this transcript.
A. You want to bet? You give this to McCain and the whole world is going to have it.
Q. Are you refusing to answer that question?
A. Yes, I will have to refuse to answer it.
Q. What's his first name?
Q. Where did you know Steve from?
A. We've known each other since we were just kids. We grew up together.
Q. What kind of arrangements did you make with Steve?
A. I called him up and I said do you want a week's paid vacation in Hawaii? Maybe I'm quoting him inaccurately -- he says, what is this, another Government da-da-da? I said no, don't worry about it. Just pick up a package. Bring it to me, and we'll go scuba diving every day for the next week. And then I have to go to Thailand. And then boom. He was there.
Q. Was it ever explained to you what Hughes Aircraft connection was in all this?
Q. Who explained that to you?
Q. What did he tell you?
A. That he was placed in Hughes Aircraft as a cover, to run operations for the activity in different parts of the world. He, at that time, for the activity, was focusing in on the POW stuff.
Q. Do you know who in the Government was providing intelligence information to Bo Gritz on the POW issue at that time?
A. Who in the Government, other than Longhoffer, King, Colonel Duncan, and whoever his immediate agent handler was. He had hardcore -- and I've seen it -- hardcore intelligence. I mean it wasn't xeroxed copies from the Government that had been through who knows what.
Q. Who was Bo Gritz's agent handler?
A. By real name, I do not know, It was all done via TRW. And he used all their communications.
Q. What was the name you knew the handler by?
A. I don't know the name. Really, I don't. It wasn't important to me who his immediate man was.
Q. Was money discussed during the telephone conversation between you and Gritz, the initial telephone conversation?
A. What do you mean by money?
Q. Well, did you-discuss with him whether you were going to be paid for this?
A. Of course. What's the statute of limitation on tax, 7 years?
Q. I think it's certainly a lot longer than 11 years, But I have to say I don't know the answer to that -- I'm sorry, a lot shorter than 11 years.
A. Okay, yeah, we discussed money. Money was no problem.
Q. What was the money-discussion?
A. That I would be paid X amount in cash; I would have a contact company, too, really -- one in Hawaii and one in Bangkok, if I needed liquid assets other than what he was sending.
Q. Again, this deal was simply for you to go to --
A. The U.S. Embassy, Bangkok,
Q. It had nothing to do with a recognizance mission?
Q. How much money did he promise to pay you to go to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok?
A. What's the relevancy of that? I mean I'm laughing because it was a lot, for what I thought was a waste of your taxpayers' dollars.
Q. It's relevant because it's a fact about this decision.
A. It was a lot of money. I can't say, but it was in the thousands.
Q. What was it?
A. I bet I probably got 9 or 10 grand in cash.
Q. $9 or $10 thousand in cash?
Q. Up front?
A. Up front.
Q. And that was paid to you in Hawaii?
A. It was paid to me directly in Hawaii, delivered to 45 No Khai Street, Kehi, Maui.
Q. That was before you ever went to Thailand for Gritz?
A. Right, and then Steve had come over. And, of course, he had his plane fare paid, and a whole week's pay to scuba diving.
Q. You mentioned a guy named Longhoffer.
Q. Was he --
A. He was an activity operative.
Q. Do you know someone whose name is simply Wayne Long?
A. It rings a bell, but I'm not sure.
Q. Do you think there might be someone different than Wayne Longhoffer?
A. Well, there was a Wayne Longhoffer. But that rings a bell, I can't place it.
Q. When you were talking on the telephone with Gritz, he was in California?
A. Yes, he was at that one number.
Q. You were in Hawaii?
A. Yeah, now when he called me, I don't know what number he was at.
Q. Were you talking on secure or unsecure telephones?
A. Well, when I called him, I called from the church phone.
Q. Obviously an unsecure telephone.
A. Yeah, him calling me. He said there's no problem But I didn't really care. I didn't think there was anything of any secrecy or hush-hushness about it. He said everything will be spelled-out in the package that yiour friend is bringing.
Q. When did the package arrive?
A. I bet maybe they got things coordinated by late-May, early June.
Q. And it arrived with your friend, Steve?
A. Yes, he brought it over, yes.
Q. What did you do when you got the package?
A. Looked it over.
Q. Were you supposed to open it?
A. Oh, yes, oh, of course.
Q. You weren't simply supposed to deliver it in Thailand?
A. Oh, no, no, there was a sealed package within the package that I was to deliver. That, I never did open. But the main package, yes, I did open.
Q. What was in the package?
A. A letter from General Aaron to Bo, a bio on Bo, some people that I was supposed to contact at the Embassy -- a few names and numbers. Other than that, that was about it.
Q. What was the nature of the letter from General Aaron to Bo?
A. Something to the effect some people within the Government, our Government, believe that we may have left men behind. But another branch of our Government is circumventing to stop that. Would you kindly, with your intelligence apparatus, be a certain contacts, join in and help us do this? And then there was another letter asking him -- and I think it's in Bohica -- to step out of the service on paper, and that upon completion of operation, he would be promoted to Full Bird Colonel, and he'd be put back on active duty with Fifth Maksog.
Q. Did you know who General Aaron was at that time?
Q. Who was he?
A. A deputy DIA commander.
Q. Was the letter to Bo Gritz from General Aaron on DIA stationery?
A. Yes, as I recall -- one of them is in there. But yes. That's one of them.
Q. Go ahead.
A. It was not a copied letter. It was original stationery, with an original ink signature.
Q. Let me go back to your initial conversation with Bo Gritz over the telephone. Again, what's your best estimate as to the date?
A. We had lots of conversations from when the first calls came in, all the way through June when I left.
Q. But you first talked to him probably some time in April?
A. I want to say April.
Q. Did he say anything about a drug connection between CIA Agent Daniel Arnold and General Vang Pao during that first conversation?
A. Did he say anything?
A. I don't recall if he said anything.
Q. Do you recall if you did?
A. There were some discussions.
Q. Can you tell us about that?
A. What does that have to do with it?
Q. It's related to this whole mission.
A. What was the question again?
A. Was there any discussion between you and Bo Gritz when you first spoke with him in April of 1981 regarding drug dealings, or any drug connection between CIA Agent Daniel Arnold and General Vang Pao?
A. I don't recall if they discussed it.
Q. If they discussed it -- I'm talking about your conversation with Bo Gritz.
A. There was some discussion. Bit I don't remember real heavily the time frame, or what it involved. But there was some discussion about things of that nature.
Q. What was the general nature of the discussion?
A. We're getting into in area here that I think doesn't really need to be gotten into. I mean I can't --
Q. Why don't you just tell us what the general drift of the conversation was regarding the drug connection?
A. I'd rather not.
Q. Well, I'm asking you the question.
A. Then I'm going to refuse to answer.
Q. On the basis of what?
A. Well, I Just don't want to discuss that. I don't really feel -- I mean I'll just take the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
Q. Is that an honest answer?
A. That's a very honest answer, I mean there were some discussions. But somebody could twist it around, like obviously things I've seen here today, and make me look like a bad guy, and rather than dig into someone else's world, I'm going to leave it alone.
Q. Well, let me ask you just generally then, whether there was any discussion between you and Colonel Gritz regarding any gun-running connection between Daniel Arnold and General Vang Pao?
Q. Is it your intention to take the Fifth as to any details?
Q. Did you come in contact with a person named Robert Moberg?
Q. Who is he?
A. Who is he in reality, or who was he as he introduced himself to me?
Q. Why don't you answer both?
A. He said he was a retired special forces individual that he was currently, quote, on paper working for the DEA in the Golden Triangle; that he was one of the recognizance helicopter pilots -- the main one, as a matter of fact.
Q. For Bo Gritz mission?
A. For the activity -- let me clarify something for the record. Whenever we spoke -- obviously not everything is in Bohica, or all these other books -- when we'd say the activity, we knew what we were talking about.
Q. Who is we, you and Bo?
A. Everybody involved. We always didn't say ISA, or the dark room, or slogan names. We always knew the activity to be exactly -- as I a little while ago -- explained it to be.
Q. So what did Moberg --
A. Moberg confirmed he was, in fact, the main helicopter pilot; that they had been having some problem with the guerrillas; that Khun Sa had been cooperating in one element; and there had been a problem for when Khun Sa's open field stopped and some other individuals started; and those were areas that apparently this intelligence operation was to take place, in a very hostile area between two drug war lords.
Q. When did you first meet Moberg?
A. Maybe the 16th of June, 1981.
Q. That was when you were in Thailand already?
A. What he could do -- I didn't mean to interrupt you. Every time went to the United States Embassy, I had to sign in in two places, one at the front gate, and one with the U.S. Marine Guards on the inside -- every time. And each time I was there, this passport was given them to hold until I left. So it was a constant -- so there's a record of every single time I went there, along with everybody else that goes through the gates -- unless they took the big white out.
Q. When we first asked you about Moberg, you said something like he had a -- he was someone in reality, and someone different.
A. Exactly, I knew he was a member of the activity, period. But he was, quote, there as a DEA Golden Triangle Eradication person, which was all bullshit.
Q. So in other words, that was his official --
A. That was his official pay chit. Because as he termed it, I guess it would be okay, he could get information from his employer of what was going on in that world, and give it to the activity so they know, certain things -- if you get what I'm saying. Do you know what I mean without saying it?
Q. Certain things about drugs?
A. Yes, okay, DEA is going to Monitor from this date to this date; okay this channel is wide open for the next 14 hours; we can do fly-overs. There will be no electronic set-up. So the inteliigence he would get from DEA, he could filter to the activity, and whatever they did with it, they did with it.
Q. When did you first go to Bangkok for Bo Gritz?
A. For Bo, June 1981.
Q. Was it June 15?
A. I believe so. Let me look. Arrived Bangkok, admitted 15 June, 1981. That is correct.
Q. How did you get there?
A. I believe it was Pan American Airways.
Q. From Hawaii?
Q. Did you go by yourself?
Q. What did you bring with you?
A. I brought the package, in its entirety, that Bo had sent over with Steve; my money; of course, passport; and one small satchel.
Q. Who had made the arrangements, travel arrangements?
A. I believe it was through Secret Service Travel Agency. That was the name of it -- no affiliation to the Secret Service that we know.
Q. Had you made your own arrangements, or had Bo?
A. I think he had made them. And I just went -- and I went just to go pick up the tickets, because I went on a one-way. I went in on a one-way.
Q. What was the reason for going in on a one-way?
A. Because I wasn't sure how long I was going to stay there. He wanted me to get a visa for 6 months. And I think I did get a 6-month visa. I got a visa -- 4-month visa - good for one journey.
Q. What was his explanation for why you might need a 6-month visa, if the only thing you were expected to do -- as you understood it - was to go talk to some people at the American Embassy?
A. That, you'd have to ask him. It might have been because they were only issuing either 1 or 2-day travel visas, or extended, non-immigrant visas. I don't know what the laws are.
Q. Do you remember questioning Gritz about that?
Q. It sounds like based on What you understood you could have accomplished it in 1 or 2 days.
A. Well, who would know, though? I certainly wouldn't have. They might have wanted a lot of other things done.
Q. Did your visa allow more than one entry?
A. No, it did not. It's stamped here good for one journey only.
Q. And it's stamped on what date?
A. June 17, 1981 --- stamped there good for one journey. And I'm to leave September 5, 1981. So it was good for one journey.
Q. So this says the visa must be utilized before September 5, 1981?
A. That's what I did.
Q. I thought you said you went -- oh, I'm sorry. I got the months mixed up. What did you do when you got to Bangkok?
A. Proceeded, as instructed, to the NaNa Hotel; met the individuals I was instructed to meet -- Chanida and others.
Q. Who exactly did you meet there?
A. Chanida -- I couldn't even begin to pronounce the other names -- the one that called us Miss Sari; eventually Dominique Zaponne; what was that guy's name -- Alan Dawson; Paul Vogel; the soldier of fortune boys,
Q. Okay, why don't we go back and just go through these one by one, and you tell us who these people were and what their roles were.
A. Chanida was reported to me to be essentially a contracted individual for the activity. She -- I don't know if she was a manager, or an assistant manager of the NaNa, N-a-N-a. Sukim Vit, she had worked on previous assignments, and knew that I was coming. She had received some sort of telex, or something because she knew who I was right away. And she had the appropriate identification, as was instructed in the package.
Q. Who is next?
A. I think it was Ms. Sari. But I'm not sure. Because the meeting took place -- they wanted the meeting to take place in an extremely neutral, non-listening area. So we went to the middle, some little like a zoo, and got a little paddle boat and rode out in the middle of nowhere to talk -- a little extravagant, but I could see why. It was important. Then there was some problems with these soldier of fortune characters. So I had to re-contact Bo.
Q. Now what was that all about?
A. Jim Coyne and Frank Brown somehow knew that I was there. They sought me out. I let Bo know what was going on. He devised, you know, a-little ruse -- which worked -- obviously, they wrote about it. And ended up getting $750 on his American Express card. And then there was another character named Alan Dawson, who was really strange.
Q. You met him at the hotel?
A. I think it was in a bar that he eventually sought me out, or maybe I sought him out. I'm not sure. I mean there was a problem that Chanida had said with certain individuals that they had known in the confines, they had been coming in, checking, you know, what Americans had checked in and who was there. And then found Dominique Zaponne -- as a matter of fact, Alan Dawson -- no, Bobby Schwab was the other one, Robert Schwab.
Q. Okay, now who is Robert Schwab and Dominique Zaponne? Zaponne was a -- and I can only tell you what I was told -- a non-combatant, ex-Green Beret that Bo had recruited out of Van Nuys, California, to help do some cross-the-border intelligence gathering. Schwab, I'm sure you must know who he is, he was captured numerous times by the communist. And I think Richard Childers got him out 8, 9, years ago, 6 years ago. And Dawson was a freelance reporter for the Bangkok Post, if I'm not mistaken.
Q. Were you told that all these people were involved in this mission?
A. No. no, no -- they were problems. They were trying to snoop around and stir up stuff. And they -- you know, lack of killing them, they needed to be pushed out of the picture.
Q. Okay, and who told you that?
A. Bo --I mean he knew a list of -- you know, he said the only one I want you to deal with is Zaponne. All these others are thorns, you know? And we'll deal with them as they pop up.
Q. What was Zaponne's involvement supposed to be?
A. Cross-border with Bo.
A. Big guy.
Q. Were you told that Bobby Schwab was running bones across the southern border?
A. I, myself, personally talked to Schwab about that. He said yes, that Ann mills-Griffith, with the National League of Families had been paying him a couple-of-hundred bucks to get bones and return them -- irregardless of whether they were Americans, dogs, chickens, or cats. And that she needed, to maintain credibility with her people, to keep her in power. And at that time I didn't even know who the hell she was.
Q. So Schwab told you that he was involved in some major fraud with Griffith.
A. Exactly, with Griffith, Ann Mills-Griffith.
Q. Did he tell you the magnitude of --
A. As I recall -- and I'm only doing this by memory -- I think he was getting $200 per delivery of X amount of bones; not full-set skeletal remains, some stuff he had broughten back were dog tags, and airplane parts, serial numbers off some airplanes -- that were legitimate aircrafts shot down.
Q. Did you call a guy named George Brooks?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Who is he?
A. George Brooks, from what Bo explained, was a man that had given Bo -- and I don't want to be held accountable to the amount, because I'm not sure -- it was either $20 or $40,000 -- I'm not sure which one. Bo wanted me to call him, in the United States. And I believe I made the call. And he was in New England somewhere, long-distance from Bangkok, on an open line, which kind of was a little bit strange. And I talked to Mr, Brooks. And you can ask him about the conversation.
Q. Well, what do you remember about the conversation?
A. Not much.
Q. I mean, what --
A. Just that he had given a substantial amount of money to Bo --
Q. For what?
A. To help recover Mr. Brooks' son --
Q. Who was a POW?
A. MIA/POW -- I don't recall right now which one -- and that Bo had been doing some things for the National League, with Ann Mills-Griffith, and that there was some sort of falling out. But Bo wanted to -- if something would happen, Bo wanted to be able to say publicly, well George Brooks helped finance it. Therefore, it's private.
Q. And you learned this information about the payment from --
A. From Mr. Brooks, himself. And Bo admitted that he did receive a substantial amount of money, whether it was $20 or $40, I'm not sure -- or $28.
Q. Okay, when did you first go to the U.S. Embassy in --
A. In Thailand?
A. June, was my very first time.
Q. Was it June 15, the first day you arrived, or was it a couple of days later?
A. I think it was the following morning. But you'd have to check their records.
Q. I think your book indicates that it was the 17th.
A. It might have been.
Q. Does that sound right to you?
A. Somewhere in there.
Q. What was your express purpose in going to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok?
A. It was specifically instructed to see Moberg, and from there it would go to wherever Moberg felt it needed to go.
Q. So Moberg was the person you were supposed to contact when you arrived?
A. Yes, and I did.
Q. Had you met him during the couple of days before you went to the Embassy, or was that the first time?
A. I'm thinking -- I don't think he came to the hotel that day, but he might have, I'm not sure.
Q. Okay, what happened when you met with Moberg at at the Embassy on the 17th of June?
A. Whenever that meeting was, he had come downstairs, real, nice, jovial guy, shook my hand, said let's walk down to the cafeteria and grab a quick cup first, before we go up. Walked down a long hallway; turned left; went in the cafeteria; sat down and started to have some coffee; and we're talking about the operation that was to come, you know.
Q. Did Moberg work at the United States Embassy?
A. Oh, yeah, he had an office on the third floor.
Q. Do you know what his official title was?
A. Drug Enforcement Eradication Pilot, or something like that.
Q. So through his position --
A. He had DEA credentials.
Q. So through his position for the DEA, he had an office at the Embassy.
Q. I'm sorry, go ahead.
A. So we started to have some coffee; discussing that there was a guy in there that he was concerned about. And he said something like bow your head, I don't want this guy to know that you're here. I don't even want to talk to this guy. So I kind of, you know, had my cup similar to this --
THE WITNESS: -- and was sipping. And the guy had made eye contact. And he looked puzzled. And he came over. And he had asked Bob, and he goes, well aren't you going to introduce your friend? And it was like God, we know each other from somewhere. And he kept searching in his mind where we knew each other from, you know? And as I recall, I didn't even say my last name. I just said oh, I'm Scott, or something.
BY MR, KRAVITZ:
Q. Did you recognize this person?
A. Yeah, kind of. Then all of a sudden he goes now I know. June 1975, DEA school, El Turo, California -- something to that effect. I said no, it was Ervine. But yeah, you're right. Because we were in the same class together. Of course, I -- you know, 40, 50 agents from all over the world, and I don't know who everybody was.
Q. So who was this guy?
A. He was a real DEA guy apparently -- unbeknownst to me. There was some discussion about the DEA agent's wife up in Chaing Mai. And they talked a little bit about some stuff that had been going on. And, apparently, there was a -- I believe she was a Thai woman, also murdered up there, messing around in Khun Sa's territory. And Bob said, well, we've got to go. And we went upstairs.
Q. Do you know who this DEA agent was?
Q. Okay, what happened when you went upstairs?
A. A Marine guard escorted us up. There was a part on the stair where he said this is as far as I can go. You have to go from here. I was searched. I take that back. They did do a physical search and electronic search. We went to a door. Bob pushed a bunch of buttons to get in the office and we went in a windowless, little, tiny office that he had and he started talking on the phone to somebody, not in English, bits and pieces in English. After a little while there he says I've got to take you down to Paul Mather, that's who you've got to see and I'll talk to you later. We went down to Colonel Mather's office.
Q. So you didn't have any further discussions with Moberg?
A. 20, 30 minutes, tops.
Q. Was the mission discussed?
A. Of course.
Q. What was discussed about it?
A. That he was going to be one of the helicopter pilots. There was some discussion about the members of the Blue Light, and the Delta team, that they were going to try to do a joint naval operation in the Gulf of Siam.
Q. Let me ask you this. At this point you still believed that your only involvement was delivering this stuff to the embassy?
A. Yes, and that's all at that time that it was,
Q. Why was he telling you all about the mission?
A. Bits and pieces of it were in the package and I had made some mention that I don't believe we left any Americans behind and if we did they want to be there anyway, leave them.
Q. So he was telling you about this secret mission?
A. I wouldn't say it was secret. It was something that was apparently in the planning, way in the future. It wasn't right now then, in June of '81, nothing was happening.
Q. So he was discussing this with you, and then you went down to see?
A. Well, we had discussed Vang Pao and some other things.
Q. And the issue of your involvement in the mission still had not come up?
A. Yeah, just to make sure that Vang Pao's people there, up along the border, were going to assist, that they were under the impression that it was, in fact, a private operation and that what Vang Pao's people had requested was going to be honored, medicine, more munitions, more radios, et cetera, et cetera.
Q. Based on what Moberg was telling you, what was your understanding of what the mission was?
A. There was a dual purpose. The POW part of it was to be an area, whether or not there was Americans in this region, and that's what his involvement was there.
Q. You mean reconnaissance to find out whether they were there?
A. Right. They needed some Americans when the monsoons were over to go in with Vang Pao's people to see and they had to make sure it was not, in any way, connected with the embassy, with the agency, with the activity -- anybody. They needed it cut and dried, everyone quote was a civilian. This was strictly on your own.
Q. And what was the other purpose?
A. It had nothing to do with POWs.
Q. Drugs? Why don't you just tell us if it had to do with drugs or not?
A. Yeah, it had to do with narcotics trafficking.
Q. When you were talking to Moberg that first time at the embassy, did he tell you which area the reconnaissance mission was going to go to?
A. If you have a map I can show you. Several areas were discussed.
Q. Were they all in Laos?
Q. Why don't we get this marked.
(The document referred to was marked Barnes Exhibit No. 15 for identification.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Just for the record, Exhibit 15 is a map of Laos with Vietnam and Thailand, or at least parts of it on there too.
A. Okay, the areas that were discussed, not all of them are printed on here, is, of course, Nape, this, here's Mu Gia Pass, Nhommarath, Mahaxay, and there was an area up in here that was discussed.
Q. Why don't you go through that one more time and state every place?
A. The map that he had was a thousand times more detailed, Nhommarath, N-h-o-m-m-a-r-a-t-h, Nape, N-a-p-e, Mahaxay, M-a-h-a-x-a-y, Mu Gia Pass, M-u G-i-a, but there are several others that aren't named here.
Q. Areas farther to the north and west?
A. More up in the area here.
Q. Were you shown any specific POW camps by Moberg?
A. They weren't called camps, reeducation centers that were pinpointed throughout this area right in here, and what was discussed is the Vietnamese, in all honesty, at certain times could say that no they are not holding any Americans against their will, in their country, but they would move them across the Mu Gia Pass, which would obviously put them in Laotian territory, and then he would say well, they're being honest; they don't hold any Americans. They are over here. So I understood and I said, well, I don't believe there's any Americans. If they're there they want to be there, leave them, and he kind of chuckled.
Q. What did you do when Moberg took you downstairs totalk to who?
A. Right down the hall.
Q. So he took you down the hall?
A. Paul Mather, Bill Wharton, Jim Tully, and I think there was one other gentleman, but I don't recall his name.
Q. Who were these guys?
A. Paul Mather, he introduced me as the Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force and the Joint Casualty Resolution Center boss. He was responsible for all intelligence coming out of the north on Americans and MIA'S, and Bill Wharton was supposedly a retired Marine Corps master sergeant, I think it was, who was a linguistic specialist. Jim Tully, as I recall, worked for defense intelligence and was an intelligence analyst on POW/MIA affairs out of IndoChina, and there was another guy, but I don't remember who he was. And there was another guy, but I don't remember who he was, he came and left, and then Moberg left.
Q. So were you speaking to these four other people all at the same time?
A. Let me think. They were sitting in front and there was Paul's desk, Bill was here, Jim was here, Moberg left -- I know three, we were like this, talking back and forth all the time.
Q. Were these guys supposedly part of the activity's mission?
A. That's what I'm not clear on.
Q. Was it explained to you why you were taken to see them?
A. Only that they were responsible for the primary job of confirming or denying Americans left behind, but more importantly they were in direct negotiations with Hanoi on remains, and it seemed like the importance was more on the remains -- something to the effect also, you are one of Bo's boys. They were cordial.
Q. So these people clearly knew about Bo Gritz's proposed mission?
A. Oh, absolutely. Matter of fact, Bill had mentioned there was a real -- I don't want to say this word, it's a nasty word, but anyway he said Florida was a real blah, blah, blah, so he knew Velvet Hammer was a screw-up and I knew nothing about Velvet Hammer.
Q. This was Bill who?
A. Wharton, W-h-a-r-t-o-n.
Q. What was discussed -- I mean how long a meeting did you have with these three people?
A. At that time? It was pretty long, I bet at least an hour or more, at least.
Q. What were you discussing for an hour?
A. We discussed four files of which I had never heard of any of them.
Q. Four POW files?
A. They didn't call them that, casualty files,
Q. Who were they?
A. At the time, Captain Charles, but he's promoted Colonel; Albert Lundy, Senior; Ron Dodge; and a guy named Bobby Garwood. So it was Shelton, Dodge, Garwood, and Lundy.
Q. What was the context in which those four people were discussed?
A. That Ron -- Commander Dodge's body would be coming back forthwith, that he was in fact captured alive, that he was killed, and that they were waiting for the deterioration of the remains before they returned them. Lundy they had reports on, they weren't sure if he was dead or alive. He was shot down, I think, up in the Plaine des Jarres; Bobby Garwood, like Bill was saying, you know, he opened his big mouth, he talked, he was a test case, you know, that he released to see what the reaction would be - is America ready to pay us some bucks or what happens, obviously they turned him in, I think they said, and he was being brought up on charges or something to that effect. And Shelton, was a living American prisoner of war the Pathet Lao had had, and that he was at one time rescued and then returned to his captors.
Q. Did you give Mather a letter from General Aaron at that time?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Was that the letter in the packet?
A. Yes, it was. One of several, several letters, the bio, there was something in there that could be construed as some sort of cryptic code -- I myself couldn't understand it.
Q. Did Mather say anything about the letter from General Aaron?
A. I don't recall. He opened a sealed envelope and whatever was in there I do not know, even to this very day, but it was something of very significance.
Q. Did you give him a map and code book?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. To Mather?
Q. Those were from the packet of materials?
Q. What was that all about?
A. The code book was just to deliver it in person.
Q. Had you read the code book?
A. I couldn't, I didn't even understand it. It was a code I'd never seen. The map was a topographical map that had certain squared areas with permanent markings on them, target sites is what they were called, such-and-such dates, SR-71 here, KH-13 or something here.
Q. Did those target sites correspond to the areas you were showing us on the map?
A. Exactly, and more.
Q. Can you describe what the code was like, was it a series of numbers and letters?
A. Yeah. It was on treated paper and it was both sides, I'm not sure which side was what you would call side 1 or side 2. There was a foreign writing in one corner, whether it was Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, I have no idea. On the left- hand side, as you go down, there was lines, and then they had boxes, and each box would have something in this foreign language, then it would have an American letter, and then it would have a dash and a number, and it went through the whole thing, then when you turned it over on the opposite side there was no writing and it was all boxed.
And as you go down here, it's almost, as I would read, right to left, but the way they were looking at it, at least from what I saw on the other side of the desk, they were reading from one corner to corner to corner, something like that because he had written down some things about it which I have no idea -- I couldn't decipher it, if I wanted to.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. At some point during your meeting with Mather in the embassy that first time, did you agree to go to Cambodia for him?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. How did that come about?
A. There was a discussion, how do I word this? United States State Department was making certain allegations against the Soviet Union in the use of chemical weapons, i.e. yellow rain in particular. He had asked if I would go deliver a shoe-box type size package to the Khmer Rouge, I made a comment, I thought the Khmer and Pol Pot were against them, and he kind of chuckled and he said you know, if you do this - and I said, okay. That's where it left.
Q. Did you know what was in the package?
A. No, I never opened the package, I never looked inside it. There was something in it, it weighed, I think, 2 or 3 pounds maybe, and I did deliver it. I am not going to deny it. Well --
Q. You've written about it in your book?
A. Well, yeah, I'm just thinking of the Neutrality Act. Is the Neutrality Act statute of limitations over?
Q. That I absolutely have no idea.
A. Yes, I went into Cambodia and delivered the package as requested to the Khmer Rouge, yes.
Q. When did you do that?
A. It was about the 18th, just before my birthday.
Q. Did you go by yourself?
A. No, I went with Prasit.
Q. How do you spell that?
A. P-r-a-s-i-t and Tek was the driver.
Q. When did you meet those guys?
A. Tek showed up the following morning to pick me up. The package was put in the trunk of his vehicle and for the next several hours we drove to Prasit's place over in Arana patat.
Q. Could you show us again on the map?
A. It doesn't go low enough. It would be down in here on the Cambodian/Thai border. If you leave Bangkok and come over here on the border, it's a town called Arana patat and there's a little place called Poiet, P-o-i-e-t, in the same area.
Q. Just so the record is clear you are pointing in the direction southeast of Bangkok?
Q. Do you remember where it was that you crossed the border?
A. Mm, The Sunghoi River, and I know everybody in the world says there's no river there, but I beg to differ with you. If I can find the document, the grid coordinates. Steve, do you know what page it's on?
MR. GEKOSKI: We won't have the right map to match the grid coordinates anyway.
THE WITNESS: No, no, the grid coordinates are in here. The actual numerical. The picture of the little river I fell into is here too.
THE WITNESS: Okay, it's Sunghoi-Si River, Thai/Cambodian border, Southeast Asia map series ND48-9 1/250,oooth,
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. So that is where you crossed the border?
A. That is the area that we crossed, yes.
Q. How long were you in Cambodia?
A. I think we stayed in the Khmer camp a few hours, max.
Q. What kind of arrangements had been made for you to go there?
A. That Prasit was an agent working on behalf of the United States Government to run people with other people, you know, into Cambodia via the JUSMAG and Task Force 80 people.
Q. How long were you there?
A. I got there early in the morning, so I think we came back probably mid afternoon, 4:00, maybe.
Q. Did you see anything of note when you were in Cambodia?
A. Well, what's of note?
Q. Did you just simply go there, drop off this box?
A. Dropped off, the interpreter talked for a while, saw a bunch of American weapons, that kind of surprised me. They were obviously in relatively new condition, weren't weather beaten, didn't look like they were traveled over jungles, rivers, and mountains. There was some discussion the United States had, in fact, been assisting the Khmer in fighting off the Vietnamese invasion, and I made a comment, isn't it true, since they didn't know English, I could say it, that these guys were the ones that were killing their own people, I mean they are involved in genocide. He says that point really doesn't matter. They are our only asset right now for a guerilla force, to keep the Vietnamese off key and so therefore a lot of the stuff removed from Bein Hoa and elsewhere we're just giving it to them.
Q. Did you learn what was in the package when you were in Cambodia?
Q. Have you ever learned what was in that package?
A. Officially no. No, Later on, it did come about that it may have been samples of yellow rain that were to be put in strategic areas so when Al Haig made his visit, or whoever made their visit, they would find samples of yellow rain. They in turn, would make a firm accusation against the Soviets that they were, in fact, using yellow rain.
Q. Where did you hear that?
A. It had come up in some discussions with Prasit.
Q. As far as you could tell, did your trip to Cambodia have anything to do with the POW reconnaissance mission?
A. The later mission?
Q. Or any of it?
A. Yes, in one aspect. There was some discussions with the translator regarding certain areas in Cambodia where Cambodia and Laos meet, but I was not aware of -- but there was some discussion. There was some brief discussions with Prasit and the translator -- other than that.
Q. When did you get back? Where did you go after Cambodia?
A. As I recall, I went back to the ?Na ?Na, from there then I went back to the United States Embassy and reported back to Mather, Then he asked me to go down to the Vietnamese Embassy.
Q. I am sorry, then you went --
A. Then I went down to the Vietnamese Embassy.
Q. What was the purpose of going to the Vietnamese Embassy?
A. From what I understand it was that they needed someone to go down that was a civilian and that it was all prearranged, and that we were going to discuss, there was a certain individual that was at that time from Hanoi, supposedly a very powerful ministerial-type figure that wanted to discuss the prisoner of war issue, but Mather and his people were obviously well known to V.C. intelligence, that they couldn't go down, Moberg couldn't go down, so I went down.
Q. Who did you meet with at the Vietnamese Embassy?
A. I couldn't even begin to pronounce their names, I mean seriously. I'm not trying to be coy, I couldn't. After they opened the gate, there was two fully dressed in their uniforms with some dogs. We went through a metal gate, went through another gate, went down a long corridor. Then some Vietnamese in business suits came in, we went into this room right on the right. A nice gorgeous room. The guards stayed on the doors.
There was one uniformed guy on the inside. Then there was a door right here, and two people obviously of some importance came in because everybody except me stood up, and they started talking. And then the one guy was fairly good English, then two of them started talking in French. I don't know French, but I know bits and pieces, and I said, well, that's not Vietnamese, and they had some discussions and they said well, you'll understand in a minute, and we stayed there -- they had some tea. I wouldn't drink it -- less than 2 hours.
Q. Could you understand any of the conversation that was going on?
A. When we spoke in English, oh sure.
Q. What was being discussed?
A. They knew that I was sent there. They wanted to discuss war crimes and it's just like, who do you think I am? They pulled out some pictures that were very interesting and sad. We did discuss our country's belief that they believed that there was Americans still living, but they were more inclined to have an admission of some sort of war crimes stuff and he showed pictures.
Q. What were the pictures of?
A. They were pictures of Americans holding up decapitated heads of obviously Vietnamese people. There was pictures that were somewhat similar to the My Lai incident. A lot of young, naked individuals that were obviously deceased and deteriorating, decomposing -- some argument, for lack of a better word, over that. Then you go back and you report to your people that there will be some sort of discussion on this issue. I left, went back, reported to Mather.
Q. Were you shown any maps at the Vietnamese Embassy?
A. Well, there was maps that were there, not in English, but there were some maps, yes.
Q. Were they the subject of any discussion?
A. Ironically we discussed, briefly Khun Sa. There was a controlling factor, but other than that there was nothing in any great detail.
Q. What was ultimately your understanding as to the purpose of your trip to the embassy, the Vietnamese Embassy?
A. I think they wanted to see what they would say, and how they would treat me.
Q. Who wanted to see?
A. Mather's people. His little group, knowing that apparently, and I don't know if you might know what the political situation back in June '81 between our country and their countries were, I don't recall. But I think they wanted to see -- are they softening up, are they willing to talk, can we approach them from a non-governmental -- I said, I don't work for the government, I have no government credentials at all.
Q. You mean are they willing to talk about prisoners?
A. That was one of the highlight of discussions. I think they were -- maybe I shouldn't say more interested, they wanted to see if I would say yes, U.S. soldiers committed war crimes. How am I supposed to know, you know? I think they wanted to see my reaction and some names were brought up. But they were not American names and I have no idea who they are.
Q. Were prisoner of war issues discussed at all?
A. Not in any great detail. There was one photo in particular with an American with a bandage across his face and it was brought up that they were going to release him, deceased, and I had said well that's the one Mather had previously had discussed, Commander Dodge, and apparently later on he did come back, full skeletal remains.
Q. What happened when you went back to the American Embassy?
A. I told Mather what had transpired and I went back to my place and went to Burma.
Q. So you left Thailand at that point?
A. Just for the day, I went to Burma and came back.
Q. We are still a little bit unclear as to why you were sent to the Vietnamese Embassy?
A. That you would have to ask them. It could have been a set-up too, because like I think I told you the FBI now has all these pictures of me entering the embassy with something in my hand and then exiting supposedly with nothing in my hand.
Q. Did you bring anything there?.
A. I think I had a little satchel of stuff, but other than that I don't recall.
Q. So just correct me if I'm wrong, I'm trying to paraphrase, but just tell me if I'm wrong. Is it your understanding then that the reason you were sent by Mather to the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok was simply to see how the Vietnamese were going to react to an American?
A. To somebody that quote wasn't affiliated with the government and wanting to discuss the prisoner of war issue. I want to say -- I'm trying to figure out a name, Duk So, was a name that was mentioned quite a bit, a Vietnamese individual. There was one who spoke excellent English. He said he was even educated in the United States. But I think more their focus was on, am I going to say there was war crimes. It's like, how am I supposed to know if there was or not? I have no idea. I think, it was like a game and, of course, the whole thing could have been set up by Mather so the FBI has these pictures, I don't know.
Q. Did anyone at the meeting in the Vietnamese Embassy, any Vietnamese say anything about having live American POW'S?
A. There may have been some discussion that they are not in their country, but there may be some in a neighboring country. You have got to remember I wasn't too interestedthen because I didn't believe there was any, so to me it was irrelevant. It just wasn't that big a deal to me -- sorry to say, knowing what I know now.
Q. How much longer did you stay in Thailand at that time?
A. I think I stayed about 9 or 10 days, I think I left the 24th or 25th of June.
Q. Did you do anything else?
A. Went to Burma.
Q. Did you do anything else related to Bo Gritz or Mather or any of those people?
A. Got rid of the soldier of fortune and Dawson character. Schwab went back to Southern Laos to get bones, Zapone went north. Oh, no I take that back. Yeah, I did. I went to the Bank of America to set up the money wire transfer and we did a test on it, that's correct. There was an American, either he was the president, or vice president of the main B of A branch in Bangkok and I was supposed to set up an account to have money wired to a company.
Q. This was your payment from Bo Gritz?
A. No, no, this was for them for the future, and I did go to B of A and I did receive a wire so it was active and working.
Q. How did you get involved in that?
A. That was part of the package discussions, that I wasto go, you know -- Chanida had a whole list of orders, too, that needed to be set up, that she knew from Bo, that she had already had, and I did go to B of A and I did set that up and I did receive a wire, just to make sure it was working.
Q. Money came through?
A. Yes. It was $500 I remember that, Because it had to be handled by one individual guy in the bank, a white guy, so if you could find whoever he was then, and get the information.
Q. So that happened between say the 19th of June and the 25th of June?
A. Yeah, it was more towards the latter part.
Q. At this time, was it still your understanding that your involvement was going to end with this trip to Thailand?
A. Well, yes and no. I was supposed to go back, I'd never met Bo, I was supposed to go back, tell him what had transpired, everything was go, and that would be shake hands, get another wad of cash, and that would be the extent of my involvement, yes.
Q. Before we talk about your trip back to the United States, you mentioned a joint Delta-Blue Light exercise in the Gulf of Siam?
A. Right. It was discussed that there was going to be, our government was going to have a naval operation going on down there which -- how do I word this, I wasn't Navy so I don't know what they call them -- a training exercise, so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary that all these ships are there. And that there was going to be members of Blue Light and Delta. It was a two-fold operational plan in that one was going to be a hit and the other was going to provide the exit. Other than that I never knew if there was a big military operation in the Gulf.
Q. This was something you discussed in your meeting at the U.S. Embassy?
A. That is correct.
Q. With Mather?
A. With Moberg.
Q. Did you go back to the U.S. to meet with Gritz?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Where did you meet with him?
A. I met with him in Hermosa Beach, California, for the first time in person.
Q. What was the purpose of that meeting?
A. He wanted to know what happened. I did turn over some pictures to him of the Khmer, and he briefly discussed, it was an ongoing situation. He wanted to know if I could introduce him personally to General Vang Pao. I hemmed and I hawed and I arranged that and I did bring them together. Then we got, unfortunately, a little bit deeper into the situation. He said, I saw you on ABC's television show. He says it was good you were out of the country when that aired.
Q. Where did your meeting with Gritz take place?
A. It's a little like a taco place near the Hermosa Beach pier in California.
Q. Did you go to his house?
A. Later on, yes,
Q. When later on?
A. I don't know if it was that day or maybe a day or two later.
Q. Did you see any equipment at his house when you went there?
A. At the house on Holy Cross, here is the home and you go down the driveway and back here was an office. In here there was some. But there was blue house next door that he was using to store stuff. Later on, yes, a tremendous amount there.
Q. What type of equipment did you see?
A. Equipment I'd never -- I shouldn't say never, but a lot of radio equipment, recording equipment, there was a device that a helium balloon could automatically inflate and take something up fast for aerial retrieval, cameras, recorders, parabolic apparatus. There was a device -- it was the damnest thing I've ever seen, I would say it would be about probably about this size, plastic. It looked like a giant calculator, and he would hook it up to the telephone and push in buttons, for some scrambling apparatus on numbers. That he personally carried with him and we used that frequently.
Q. Did Colonel Gritz tell you where he got all this equipment?
A. Yes, some of it was on behalf of Litton, some of it was on behalf of Hughes. There was some stuff that charter members, they had little metal tags, that were obvious, that were removed, and they were activity materials that could not be traced back, hopefully could not be traced back to the government.
Q. Did you ask Gritz what all the equipment was for?
A. Well, later on I did, yeah, we went over most of it.
Q. Later on, you mean, before you --
A. Went in October, yes.
Q. Was all of that equipment activity equipment, or just some of it?
A. I don't know what you mean by all of it. Did he say all of this came from the activity or just some of it, isthat --
A. No. He would say this is from Litton, this is from Hughes, this is from Bragg, but I would say 90 percent was activity-donated, for lack of a better word, equipment.
Q. When were you first told what this equipment was for?
A. I think it was after I first introduced him to V.P.
Q. When was the introduction to Vang Pao?
A. As I recall, it was either in Bob Dornan's office, or at V.P.'s Lao Community Center, I'm not sure because one was the one day and the other was the next day.
Q. So Vang Pao's community center was in California?
A. Yes, he has a Lao community center down in Euclid. He has two really, both in Orange County, one in Garden Grove, and one in, I believe it is Santa Anna,
Q. So you didn't take Gritz to Montana?
A. Oh no, no, we never had to leave California to connect with V.P. at all.
Q. Could you describe for us what happened when they met?
A. Yeah, they saluted each other, it was bullshit. It was funny. They respected each other as officers, which I thought was a joke, because they were in civilian clothes, but it was very serious, even though I laughed. It was funny. Vang Pao would not talk to Bo without me there, which kind of surprised me. I said you guys have met. I have introduced you. Matter of fact, Bo even pulled out a military I.D. card showing he's retired, lieutenant colonel rank. Bo offered him money. He was not at all concerned about money. Cash was not a problem to him. It was at the Laos office was the first introduction because I remember as we walked in General Souvan had introduced himself so it was the Laos center, the first introduction.
Q. Were there any maps looked at?
A. There was one at Vang Pao's, but the main map was in Congressman Robert K. Dornan's office near LAX.
Q. Why don't you tell us about the discussion with the map?
A. Bo said that basically on a humanitarian side he and a group of people had gotten some information before they retired and they wanted to go see if there were Americans there. Vang Pao had said, you know, I have been telling, you know, Daniel, and the rest of them for years that every now and then we would run across areas that there are Americans there, and not just white men, there's black men there. They are not Cubans, they are not Soviets, they are American and I'm telling you that.
I've told you before -- not Bo, but you, the government -- that they are there. They discussed, way up in Sam Nuea province, I mean, way up, where he says that it would taken anywhere from 6 to 8 months for him to get the information, that's how hard it would be from Sam Nuea to get the information back into Thailand, Thailand back to V.P. But he says your government wants nothing to do with it. They chitted-chatted about military stuff for a while. V.P. was very concerned that there was absolutely no CIA involvement at all. He was really upset at the agency, and he made it very well known, in no small manner.
Q. So was he told that the agency had absolutely nothing to do with this?
A. Bo told him, yeah. I told him too. I said, trust me G. There's nothing going on. You know me. I wouldn't get involved if it had anything to do with the government, and he was convinced. I think he was especially convinced when he was offered a substantial amount of money because he knew the agency wouldn't do that.
Q. Did Vang Pao tell you or tell Gritz what it was that had made him distrust the CIA?
A. Yeah, we all had a discussion. I had kind of previously known from some '80 conversations. During the conclusion of the war, Dan Arnold had promised Vang Pao that he would go ahead and continue the pipeline, that he would get not only his immediate family, but all the high-ranking individuals that worked the Lima sights out. Whatever happened, that didn't happen. He said that Turner ended up screwing everything up 2 years after the fall of Saigon, a lot of the guys ended up being out of work. And that all kinds of Vang Pao's -- and I think there were some loyalty there -- a lot of his men were murdered, killed, and he was very upset at that.
And he comes back and the government gives him a community center and puts 20,000 of his people on welfare and it's like, wait a minute, you promised this, this, this. They bought him a nice wheat and barley ranch, in the freezing cold Montana, when he's used to Indo-China weather. I mean he was very pissed, and I can now understand why. I would have been pissed. So he wanted to make sure there was no company involvement. It's almost like he was ready to go to war with the agency, if he had to.
Q. Did he know what the activity was?
A. Mm. Bo had mentioned it to him,
Q. Was he comfortable that the activity was?
Q. So he was comfortable with that?
Q. He didn't know the connection between the activity and the agency?
A. Not at all.
Q. What exactly as far as you could tell -- what was Gritz trying to get from Vang Pao?
A. His cooperation with not only him here, but mainly his men there that were in and out of the country doing cross- border operations constantly. There was a list, and it's not in my handwriting, of some things that they had wanted. He said, you know, the hardest thing that we are having to get and we need is penicillin. We need atrophine, and we need all kinds of medical stuff. And he was told, yeah, we could get everything for him. He didn't want much in the way of munitions, he wanted a few, but weapons was not a problem.
Just so you get into the area of the meeting in Robert Dornan's office. That was a significant meeting.
Q. Why don't we talk about that meeting and then take a break so we can go down to the disbursement office. Let's move on to that meeting. When did the meeting in Congressman Dornan's office take place?
A. I would say it was about August 26th, 28th, somewhere around there.
Q. Who was present at that meeting?
A. Let's see, General Vang Pao came, Colonel Gritz, myself, Colonel Gee, Colonel Van Yee, some Chinaman, Stan Mullin, Congressman Dornan's aide. I think that was it.
Q.Dornan was not there?
A. No. It was funny because it was set specifically to make sure he wasn't there, but then that following Sunday Bo met personally with Bob, so it was, in my opinion, because you asked for opinions earlier, a ruse to convince Vang Pao that it was not involved with the agency. Bob Dornan at that time, as I recall, was chairman of the POW/MIA task force, had an interest, and so it was very convincing for Vang Pao to meet there.
We had an hour meeting, maybe a few minutes more. Stan Mullin, as I recall, and you could find him, I think was present for almost all of it. We discussed in detail -- I shouldn't say we, they discussed in detail, camps, and the last reported live sightings that had occurred, and which camps were closest to the Mekong River on the Thai border/Laos border area that could be easily verifiable rather than going deep in country and risking more casualties. They flip-flopped military jargon back and forth.
Q. They being Vang Pao?
A. And Bo.
Q. What was your involvement with Gritz at that point?
A. Just to bring them together in Dornan's office. I called and arranged the meeting.
Q. You were still not signed up to go on any missions?
A. I had no intentions of going anywhere.
Q. Was anything agreed upon between Vang Pao and Gritz at that meeting?
A. Yes, Vang Pao at that meeting agreed he would cooperate 100 percent for a further incursion, that he would go ahead and send intelligence to his people down there, andit was agreed, yes.
Q. What exactly was the incursion that was agreed on?
A. They had agreed that some time, as soon as the weather cleared up, October, November, that an American team would go down with his people and go take Pictures of POW's in a camp.
Q. And the purpose for taking the pictures was explained to you how?
A. That it was a reconnaissance team, that they wanted to go in and identify are there Americans there, that they had been hearing it via intelligence and I think the KH-135 and SR-71 had taken photos. That wasn't good enough. They had information, but they wanted Americans to actually come back and say, hey, were they there?
Q. Then what was going to happen?
A. Then Blue Light and Delta were going to go ahead and do a massive rescue, and that's all they needed was to show they're there. You had this whole naval task force in the Gulf of Siam to back it up. You had a joint Ubon/Udorn air operation, so you had some power there. If it was going to happen you had a lot of power.
Q. Was there one specific camp that was being discussed?
A. Yes, we discussed, not one, but there were several that they were discussing. Let's go back to the map here. They were discussing mostly Mahaxay and the Nhommarath, thosetwo areas right here. One of the hottest places was here, Mahaxay, but the problem they'd been having by the time intelligence would get here, back to Vang Pao's people, it could be literally a month, so what they had done is previously there was an operation that had given them radios so they could communicate quicker, letting them know. So there was a lot of spotted camps up along here, that were mobile camps, and that they might have them there for 10 to 15 days at a time working and then they would move them.
Q. When you say them, you mean the prisoners?
A. American prisoners, right.
Q. Just so that the transcript is correct, you are talking about mobile camps?
A. Along here on the other side of highway 1.
Q. Northwest of Nhommarath?
A. If you go in NKP, here's NKP which is a border town, which is on the Laos side, north of here, Vientiane was up here. This is where we launched somewhere in here, it's not written here, but it's somewhere along in here. If we had a more detailed map it would show you. And on the other side of Highway 1, I think you're missing Highway 2, it's one real close to the river on the other side, and there had been mobile camps along here. I have no idea what is in here, whether it's gems, jewels, opium, rice, or what, but they had been working a lot of Americans along this side of the ridge.
Q. Why don't you take this purple pen and just draw a circle around where the mobile camps were?
(The witness complied.)
THE WITNESS: I would say probably in here. You want to call it A?
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Sure. That's the area Vang Pao was talking about?
A. He was talking about when there's mobile people here, it would be better to go ahead and cross here and try and verify intelligence than it would be to launch deep in country. Granted all along here they were being moved back and forth in the Mu Gia Pass, but if you just needed a rapid confirmation, get your pictures, and then you'd have your confirmation, but like you said it's not going to do any good.
Q. So the decision was not to go into Nhommarath or Mahaxay?
A. Yes. See we were told, we went to this area, our maps, of course, weren't anything like this. We had an area that said like the Mahaxay area. When we launched from Vientiane -- we could have gone -- the way we went, we could have gone here, but I have no idea, you know -- that we had discussed these camps because these were apparently permanent highway camps and people would come in from Mu Gia on a frequent bad is and they would move them back over into Vietnam. But, you know, these were of extreme importance to Vang Pao.
Q. What was the arrangement ultimately when that meeting ended in Dornan's office that day?
A. That he was going to contact his people,
Q. He being Vang Pao?
A. Yes. He would go ahead and approve to his guerillas down there to get the most current and recent intelligence that you have on Americans, the movements, send it to him.
Q. Send it to?
A. Vang Pao, and that he would go ahead and recontact us, which he did.
MR. KRAVITZ: Why don't we take a break.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Before we broke we were talking about the meeting in Congressman Dornan's office primarily between Vang Pao and Bo Gritz at which the decision was made to go ahead with the mission. Was there a time later that year, in 1981, that you were specifically told that the mission was on for a specific time?
A. Yes. There were several meetings from that late August through September, there was a call to where Bo had called me in another location in California and said the?? mission was a go, there is a Presidential Charter, would I come down and assist in some other elements of it. I came down, saw a very large suitcase of money.
Q. Where did you come down to?
A. 8029 Holy Cross Drive in Westchester, California, Bo Gritz's home. I was given some money, he had asked if I would go to Bangkok with his team because his team didn't know Vang Pao, et cetera, et cetera. I said, well, let me think about it. The financial offer was substantial so I accepted.
Q. Was this the first time that you'd been asked to go along on any part of this mission?
A. I believe so, before it was always just -- I think what had happened is Bo realized that Vang Pao, being Bo was the new man on the block, Vang Pao might not explicitly trust him. There were comments made by Vang Pao, well, you know is Scott going to go down and meet with these people? So, I think it was decided that I would go, but that's as far as I would go, was Bangkok.
Q. So when you met with Bo Gritz that time, when was this, in October?
A. September. We had several meetings.
Q. But when he first gave you money it was to go simply to Bangkok as opposed to going into Laos?
A. Correct, yes.
Q. How much money did he give you at that time?
A. I think it was about $7,200.
Q. In cash?
A. Yes. Hundred dollar bills.
Q. How much money did you see at Bo Gritz's house?
A. He said it was $426,000. There was no doubt in my mind it could have been. I don't know because I didn't count it, but there was a large briefcase full of cash.
Q. He had one briefcase?
A. One briefcase, opened it up and said, look at all this money.
Q. $100 bills?
A. All $100 bills.
Q. That's what he paid you in?
A. Yeah, he gave me a roll, a very large roll of $100 bills. I gave some to the church, took Randy Sanford out, and, you know, basically gave $100 bills away.
Q. Did you ask Bo where the money came from?
A. I didn't have to. Well, after taking the money and after having gone back, we had some further discussions that might be in the area, that might not be a good area to discuss because I did take some of the money. Your question is did I ask Bo where the money came from? The answer no.
Q. Did Bo indicate to you whether the money came from the activity?
A. A portion thereof, yes.
Q. What did Bo say about that?
A. That he was in direct contact with Jerry King and others and that's pretty much where I left it.
Q. Where else did Bo say the money came from?
A. Ask Bo, that would be hearsay,
Q. It's not hearsay it he told it to you. Where did he say the money came from?
A. It came from profits, from other sources, other situations.
Q. Drug money,
A. I'm not going to say that it was.
Q. You are not going to say that it wasn't?
A. Well, it's self incriminating to say did you take drug money, Scott, and I say, yes, then I've incriminated myself.
Q. We don't need to go into that.
A. To me that's not important where the money came from. I know you might think it is.
Q. Did Bo say anything about the money coming from any POW fund raising organizations?
A. Never, never.
Q. Did you ever suspect?
A. No, I knew that it wasn't.
Q. What was the plan that you and Bo agreed to specifically when he gave you the $7,200?
A. That I would go ahead, meet with these other people that were coming in from different parts of the country.
Q. Meet in California?
A. Yes, we all met in California, but I was pretty much not to ever tell them anything about Vang Pao's meetings in any sort of detail that Bo -- in other words, he wanted to keep each of us only knowing bits and pieces. He didn't want us to share information amongst each other.
Q. Why is that?
A. I don't know. Probably to protect some things that he didn't want these people to know about and I left it at that. It didn't really matter to me, back then.
Q. Did you then meet with these other people who were going to be involved in the trip?
A. Yeah, there were some other people from Hughes that I had met with before these gentlemen came into the picture, but yes, I did meet each of them individually.
Q. You met them individually?
Q. Who were they?
A. There was William Macris, if I pronounce the name right, Ben Donatowski, J.D. Bath, Butch Jones, and the other man that didn't go on the mission, but we had cursory contact, one was Vic and I don't recall his last name. There was a couple of girls, no they weren't involved in the mission. Other guys would come and go, they were brief contacts, but I was never formally introduced, we shook hands, had a beer, went to dinner a few times.
Q. What was the purpose of the meetings with all of these people in California?
A. They were going to have their intricate parts, for an intelligence, reconnaissance operation, to confirm or deny the existence of live Americans. Bill or William Macris was to be the contact with Colonel Mike Eiland in cryptography, Ben Donatowski and J.D. themselves were former Delta members and J.D., I think was voted to be the tie-breaker, if there was some sort of problem.
Q. And your role was simply to go over there and deal with Vang Pao's people?
A. To get these gentlemen introduced to Vang Pao's people, get them happy, I come home, they do whatever they're going to do.
Q. When did you actually go over to Thailand?
A. I think we left about the 19th of October, 1981. I was admitted into Thailand 21 October, 1981 so counting the date line and loss of a day, we left on PAN AM flight number 1, so we probably left afternoon of the 19th, given the date line, and a whole day flying there.
Q. How specifically planned out was the mission before you left California?
A. Quite a bit. There was all kinds of meetings -- there was all kinds of communiques. There was stuff going on TRW M-4, a few things at Hughes, there was a lot of things going on. When I had officially said I would go, at no time was I to be separated from any member of the Delta force. There always had to be at least one member of Delta with me, and any other member with any of the other guys.
The only one that was ever gone by himself, and we followed him a couple of times was Bo, and he did in fact go to TRW M-4, we saw him walk right in the building, so there was no problem with that. Lance Trimmer, he was contacted in Montana to pick up a letter from Vang Pao's ranch.
Q. Who was the letter for?
A. It was General Vang Pao's identification and introduction to Lieutenant Colonel Souboun, S-o-u-b-o-u-n, I believe it is spelled.
Q. A guerilla?
Q. And that was to be brought by you, by the team?
A. Whoever was going to meet with Souboun was to deliver the letter and it was in a sealed envelope, not just a regular lick'em, stick'em shut. It had a Laos seal on it.
Q. Can you tell us the names of all the people, Vang Pao's people in Thailand that you knew?
A. Gosh, if I could look at the book. There was Colonel Souboun, there was another strange name, okay, there was Sung torn -- I'll spell the last name, C-h-i-r-a-y-o-s. We called him Southern Chicago. There was a Colonel Soubom, S-o-u-b-o-m, in the pictures we worked with some of the guerillas, some of them are in here. I couldn't even begin to pronounce their names.
Q. These were all contacts that Vang Pao gave to you?
A. Right. He had already prearranged two people. There was a photograph of myself and a photograph of Bo Gritz that were given to General Vang Pao that he was going to have couriered to his people and it was either one or both of us were supposed to show up. Of course, everybody assumed it would be Bo, being the big Green Beret would be the man to go. It wasn't until the last moment that he was asked to stay behind, which really didn't cause suspicion. It concerned some of the Delta members more than it did me. I thought well, wait a minute. This guy's supposed to be going, at the airport. Matter of fact the day we were to leave, he got orders to stay behind and to help plan the actual rescue, which still bothers me.
Q. When was the actual rescue supposed to take place?
A. If there was a confirmation, the rescue was supposed to take place within 72 hours of the satellite burst confirming the existence of Americans in a particular camp. That's a 3-day launch period, if they could get in, confirm it within 72 hours, there was supposed to be a rescue.
Q. How long before the team was leaving California did Bo announce that he wasn't going?
A. The day.
Q. It was just that day?
A. As I recall, it was like I've been told I've got to stay behind and help finish the actual rescue team itself which made sense in that he was a Green Beret commander.
Q. Were there any practices or rehearsals of the reconnaissance mission, any stagings of it?
A. They had some, yeah, but I was never aware of them. I certainly didn't partake.
Q. You weren't involved?
A. No. not at all.
Q. The Delta members that you were describing, were these active Delta members or former Delta members?
A. Good question. As I recall, Jim said he retired. I think Ben still was active.
Q. Who's Jim?
A. Bath, J.D. Bath -- he uses Jim and Jeff so -- Mac, I think already was retired from service. However, they all did have green military cards. I think, well, there was a lot of them that could be phony. There was a lot of bogus from passports to military I.D,'s, to business cards, to you-name-it, so who knows what was real.
Q. What kind of equipment did you all take over there?
A. Who said we took any?
Q. Did you take any equipment?
A. Some equipment was brought over there -- high tech electronic, eavesdropping equipment, recording equipment, several compact and backpack type radios, a small, I wish I could describe it, almost like a TWX machine.
Q. I don't know what that is,
A. Like a teletype, similar to a teletype, only its pinpoint is like if you are reading braille. It was bumpy. You are not familiar?
Q. When you say it was brought over, who brought that stuff over?
A. It just showed up. It was part of the cargo to be brought.
Q. It just showed up in Bangkok?
A. It got there.
Q. Who actually left California to go to Bangkok?
A. There were four of us and there was supposed to be a six-man detail on that flight also who we never, throughout the entire flight, had contact to my knowledge with.
Q. Did you know who they were?
A. No, we had no idea. We knew that there was going to be six people on that plane that were involved for several reasons, one to make sure we weren't compromised, two to provide added intelligence and security support, and three to make sure that we got to where we were supposed to be going.
Q. Who were the four people in addition to you, who would?
A. Counting me it would be myself, Ben Donatowski, Bill Macris, and J.D. Bath, we were the only four from that flight.
Q. So Butch Johns didn't go?
A. Nor did Bo.
Q. And Vic?
A. Vic was just a business man.
Q. When you arrived in Thailand, did you go through customs?
A. Right. First, we went to Hong Kong, had about an hour or so layover. There was some contact made here.
Q. What was that like?
A. Hong Kong.
Q. Was there anything unusual about the contact?
A. Just that there was a discussion that merchandise that was on its way down that we couldn't carry with us was okay, was going to get there on time, and was going to be no problem.
Q. This was a discussion with customs?
A. No, no, in Hong Kong was a discussion with somebody that I was not privy to meet. As I recall his name was Silas Hong, an ICA representative. But, yes, we went through a kind of a customs when we arrived in Bangkok. There was some fear at first because part of this cargo that was handcarried tothe aircraft was electronic equipment and obviously if it was discovered, it would have been a violation of the Thai law.
Q. Was this a regular commercial airplane that you went on?
A. Yeah. PAN AM flight 1, yes.
Q. What happened, then you flew from Hong Kong to Bangkok?
A. To Bangkok.
Q. What happened when you got there?
A. First, there was a little concern. We split up. It's almost like we went through -- there wasn't that many. It's not like United States where everything's all high tech like. There was almost, when they took our passports and ran the numbers, no problem. They didn't even look at anything. Immediately got in separate vehicles and I think it was myself and J.D. went to the Rajah.
Q. Is that a hotel?
A. Yes. And then Ben and Mac went to the NaNa where I had previously stayed in June of '81.
Q. What was your understanding as to why you got through customs so easily?
A. That we had been expected, that it was obviously a government operation, and that our two countries were assisting the stuff needed in, and it needed to be brought in with the people that were going to use it.
Q. What was the first thing you did after arriving in Bangkok relative to the mission?
A. Well, we went to the Rajah and went to bed, got up the next day to have a meeting with Colonel Mike Eiland, and met with an American named Ken Vest at Gym World, and --
Q. What were those meetings about?
A. To confirm that certain weapons had arrived.
Q. Weapons that arrived with you?
A. No, no, no. They had the previous meeting in Hong Kong about.
Q. These were weapons that Bo had arranged to arrive in Bangkok from elsewhere?
A. I didn't say Bo, but the operation, yes.
Q. Someone connected to the operation?
Q. Had arranged to have additional weapons?
Q. What kind of weapons did you have?
A. Armor light 180's.
Q. What are those?
A. Basic 223 caliber automatic, semi automatic weapon.
Q. And these were to carry on the mission?
A. Well, I don't know. They were weapons that someone was to use.
Q. Did you have meetings with any of Vang Pao's people?
A. Not in Bangkok, no.
Q. When did that happen?
A. We've jumped way ahead.
Q. Let's not jump way ahead then. What else happened in Bangkok before you left to go closer to the Laotian border?
A. Well, Mike Eiland came from the embassy, there was some discussions with Mac and I think it was Ben met with him and I think the next day J.D. and I left, went down and had our passports stamped that we were leaving the country and we flew up to Udorn.
Q. How did it come about you were going to go on the mission all of a sudden, on the reconnaissance mission?
A. Well, it didn't. I was still going to go and introduce them to Vang Pao's people up in the NKP, Nakhon Phanom and Nung Kai, right up on the border. So somewhere along the lines I was going to have to go up there and introduce them, which was not a problem, you know, just catch a flight back.
Q. But Vang Pao's people were still inside Thailand?
A. You have to understand, here you have the Mekong River. Here's Laos, and here's Thai, and here's people zig-zagged all up and down across the river, so they have refugee camps all along on the free side, so they do cross border, so I had obviously known all up to Nung Kai here that he had people staged all along here.
Q. So you got your passport stamped in the event you had to cross the river?
A. No, no, I got it stamped that I left Thailand.
Q. Why did you do that?
A. Because it was brought to our attention like from this day on you guys are out of Thailand, the whole world, if anything ever happens, you are not here. I didn't have a problem with that. What we needed to do, we needed to do so they stamped it, that we left on I think it was the 24th October, 1981.
Q. So in other words the purpose of that was to keep the secrecy of this?
A. Right and there's stamp that we left Thailand 24th October, 1981.
Q. Who arranged to have your passport stamped like that?
A. I have no idea who arranged it.
Q. Where did it get stamped?
A. It got stamped right there in an office at the airport as we were boarding the plane.
Q. To Udorn?
A. To Udorn, air base.
Q. And that's still in Thailand?
A. Northern Thailand.
Q. So you and J.D. went up there?
Q. What happened when you got to Udorn?
A. In short we were met there. At first, I thought we got compromised. He apparently knew more than I did. He said no they are our escort. From there we got in a vehicle and were driven to NKP, which is on the border, on the river, and tried to find our various contacts.
Q. Did you have any success?
A. Oh yes.
Q. Who did you find?
A. The first contact was Southern Chicago.
Q. Again what was Southern Chicago's real name?
A. It's a bizarre spelling name. Chirayos Sungtorn or something like that. Anyway he's an intelligence agent, who spoke fluent English; discussed had there been any recent reports from Vang Pao's people of Americans and he pretty much confirmed, yes there was; but that area's too hostile; it could not be penetrated. That he himself had recently come across the river, but we were to go up and meet with Colonel Soubom and deliver this introductory letter and that Sungtorn wasn't aware if he was back or not. The only way that they were going to find out is, if they were going to find out, was to go up to Baneg Pang and see.
Q. How far was that from NKP?
A. I would say right in maybe 1-1/2 hours, something like that, slow ride.
Q. Why were you and J.D. the only one who went to Udorn and NKP?
A. Mike Eiland had made a comment and mentioned my name at this meeting and said that was hot, whatever that meant, and they said we'd better get him up to the northeast section or quadrant as soon as possible. If he's with you. They didn't acknowledge that I was even there, to Mike, and that's where Vang Pao's guerillas were so that's where I had to go. J.D. was the one who was picked to go there with me.
Q. Was there any problem with the guerillas recognizing you from the photographs that Vang Pao had supplied to them?
A. They knew who I was, in fact, one kid wrote Bo on a shirt, expecting I'm sure to see Bo and he didn't. But no, Colonel Soubom's wife apparently knew who I was and came out and gave me a hug and started talking saying, hi, how are you doing.
Q. So you went up to see Colonel?
A. We were looking for Colonel Soubom.
Q. Did you find him?
A. No, we found his wife. He was still in country, in Laos, not running cross border and coming back with the intelligence on POW camps. She had taken us on up to Nung Kai to a Monk monastery to where there was a contact point and the man there, you know, had said, no he's still over there. He should be back any day now.
Q. How were you traveling?
A. From Baneg Pang up we rode in one of their transit, old beat-up things -- you know, they didn't want to bring attention, cause there was road blocks every so many miles, so we just traveled in a regular beat-up, old bus.
Q. Who was taking you places?
A. Colonel Soubom's wife,
Q. So you weren't being transported around by the guerillas?
A. No, no, not there, there was no need to.
Q. So it was just Colonel Soubom's wife and you and J.D.?
A. And there was others that had gone with her to make sure she's okay.
Q. What happened to the six guys who were also on the airplane?
A. I have no idea. I don't even know who they are. To this day I don't know who they are.
Q. Did you ultimately catch up with Colonel Soubom?
Q. When did you first obtain sufficient intelligence information about the location of POW'S, for the decision to be made to go in for the reconnaissance mission?
A. Back in Dorman's office.
Q. What happened after you went up north with Soubom's wife?
A. We had met with a lieutenant colonel who had just recently gotten out of there, escaped a reeducation camp. We had met with him and a monk, discussed what was going on. And he had written a letter, the letter that's in there to bring back to the States. He confirmed there was still several active camps. Obviously, by then I believed there may be something to this. Maybe there is some people left behind.
Q. You were starting to change your opinion?
A. I still had my doubts. I said, well, maybe they're there because they want to be there. In the dope trade, it's big business, gun trade, whatever, but he had some interesting information to relate, very interesting.
Q. What was the information that he had?
A. He was in a reeducation camp, I don't know if it was 4, 5, or 6. The name's in the letter, I think.
Q. What was this man's name?
A. Kham Ouane, K-h-a-m, last name 0-u-a-n-e.
Q. He was the guy who had escaped?
A. From the reeducation, yes.
Q. Do you know if he was ever debriefed by the CIA?
Q. So what was the interesting information this refugee had?
A. That there was a lack of intelligence that he was able to bring back to Vang Pao's, him being a lieutenant colonel himself, that he would give the information to his superiors, which would have been some of Vang Pao's people, and that he had been cut off by agency personnel, Daniel Arnold was one of his agent contacts, who was one of the letters I did deliver, or mail to Daniel Arnold, that why the Americans had not gone in on previous information. He knew that there was previous operations that people had gone in, actually seen Americans being held, and nothing was ever done and there was some concern of why nothing was done.
Q. Did he indicate to you which camps specifically Americans had gone in to see and then nothing had been done?
A. I want to say camp 7, but without looking at his letter, because he went to several different camps and there were some camps that were way north, that he was sent to for reeducation purposes and apparently he went along with the thing, but the Americans were kept on one side, and he was never privy to actually have contact with them. But it was way north, way north of Sam Nuea.
Q. How did he know that Americans had been in to see the camps?
A. Since his escape, and some of the guerrillas had actually gone to these camps, throughout the whole area, because this was an area that Vang Pao's aid the CI had operations during the war and then we backed out, whichever ones got captured, they were sent to all these various camps. People had made contact and he had found out that there was confirmation long after he had escaped. There was other teams that went in and he would say this camp I was at, let's say camp 5 or 6, he would say send somebody there, there's Americans there and apparently they did, but nothing was ever done. He could never understand why the Americans wouldn't come in and get these men out. I mean he came back to tell them, I think it's in the letter. I escaped at such-and- such a date and I have returned.
Q. So was it based on his information that the reconnaissance mission -- well, let me just ask this. What was it that made the reconnaissance mission actually the final go?
A. Okay, One of the colonels not Soubom himself, but one of the colonels who had been working with Soubom had been returned, instructed the monk what was going on and he in turn told this Dwan colonel, like colonel, that there was two active camps on the other side of Dwan, and it was one of those mobile camps, and that there needed to be someone go in to see and so the plan was that someone would go and do that, certainly not me.
Q. How did it come about that it was you?
A. Well, we spent the night there, got up the next day,
Q. You and J.D.?
A. Yes. Went back down with the colonels wife and their little entourage,
Q. To NKP?
A. No, to Baneg Pang, and I'll jump ahead. What had happened is J.D. was going to go back down to make sure everything was set up.
Q. Go back down to where?
A. NKP -- have one of them or two of them come back up to see if they'd gotten all the medication, radio stuff was in place -- in other words, everything was set up. Out of the blue, comes an American which obviously is not out of the blue, he was apparently waiting for J.D. to leave, and J.D. departs, he has a picture and another picture and he says, well, he's not here, you're it, let's go. M.J.B, is who he called himself. Michael J. Baldwin. There were some discussions with Soubom's wife. Some of the guerrillas were there. You'd go down to the river bank and it was like there was an army packed. ln-other words, this was already arranged. They were waiting to take someone across.
Q. They being?
A. Vang Pao's people, they had come from that side over to this side and they were ready, let's go. I wouldn't say there was an argument, there was a conflict, like, wait a minute. I'd gone this far, went from Bangkok to here to here, and I say this has gotten to be a little ridiculous, and he says, look this man's not here.
Q. Who wasn't there?
A. And I said this is ludicrous.
Q. In other words the guerrillas said we have pictures of you and Bo?
A. No, no, no,. M.J.B. Here's a picture and it's like, well, he's not here, so you're it. So in other words, if I wasn't there and Bo was, then Bo would be going.
Q. Was Barnes there -- who's M.J.B.?
A. Michael J. Baldwin, A.K.A. Jerry Daniels.
Q. Was he there?
A. Yeah, he was the one that was there with the guerrillas, as soon as J.D. left, he comes out.
Q. Where did J.D. -- J.D. went back to?
Q. So it was you and Baldwin?
A. And the indigenous.
Q. How did you get convinced to go along? Did you get paid more money?
A. No, money was fine. His insistence, his disbelief.
Q. Whose disbelief?
A. Michael. His disbelief that there were any Americans behind, that this was the closest mobile site at that time, that they had to get to, within a matter of a few days otherwise they would be moved, back over Mu Gia, up to Nape, to Nhommarath, down to Mahaxay itself to where nobody could get to them.
Q. Who is Baldwin?
A. Michael J. Baldwin is Jerry Daniels, Jerry Barker Daniels, he was a CIA operator for 15 years. His immediate superior was Mike Eiland.
Q. Did you know Baldwin before that day that you met him?
A. In person, no.
Q. Why was he involved in this?
A. He had been Vang Pao's right-hand man for umpteen years. He was one of the few people from the company that he did trust and believe in, that voluntarily, assignment wise stayed behind after the war ended to continue to work with the Hmong where most of the agents said, good, give me a new duty station. He didn't, he stayed behind.
Q. He was still working for the CIA at that time?
Q. Definitely not retired?
A. Oh heavens no.
Q. When you agreed to go into Laos, what was your understanding as to how far away the camp was?
A. According to them the zig-zag would have been 27 kilometers, which was too far. You see, they call them Haxay region, he was actually Mahaxay itself which is way out of the area and mobile camps were along here. When they said okay we are going to the Mahaxay region which you have to understand is when they say Mahaxay region, it's like saying San Bernardino, California, and saying we are going to go to the San Bernardino area and that could be up here and San Bernardino itself is located here.
He said the Mahaxay region, so what had occurred is the men that were involved here, permanent campwise were moved to work up on the mobile stuff, so we knew -- I shouldn't say we knew. The belief was that the Mahaxay region, which entails this, these men were from these camps, moved up to these temporary camps up here, along 1. They didn't know how long they were actually going to be there, but they knew they were only there a matter of days at each time, as they are brought in. So that's why they were so insistent, we've got to move them. We have got to move now. Soubom was still there, Colonel Soubom was still there.
Q. And your understanding was that the Americans were just doing hard labor there?
A. Were working there, but what they were working on I still don't know.
Q. So you agreed to go on the trip?
Q. You and Baldwin?
A. Yes, and all the indigenous.
Q. How many?
A. We probably left 20 to 30 on one side and there was a whole group already on the other side.
Q. How many total do you think?
A. I have no idea, I would say 30 to 40, but at separate times, distance, that we had seen, and of course there were scouts that were way ahead of us, and way to the rear.
Q. How were you traveling?
A. Cross country on foot. Other than the little sampan across the river.
Q. Were people carrying backpacks?
A. Everybody had rucksacks, everybody -- there wasn't one person who didn't have some major cargo with them.
Q. Were you traveling just at night?
A. Mostly, we did some day traveling. There was an area that had to be crossed that was quite, for lack of a better word, hazardous, and that had to be done in the daytime, but other than that predominantly dusk. They knew where they were going.
Q. What were the hazardous areas, mountains or streams?
A. There was one area that was excessively swampy, infestation. There was a nipple on one side, what they called the nipple, and they had to find a way, a short way over the nipple.
Q. You said at some point J.D. went back to see whetherthe equipment was in order?
Q. Was it?
A. It was up there, everything and then some, was up there, at Baneg Pang. Everything that we needed, or anybody would need was there.
Q. So you had everything?
A. We had everything, and then some stuff that was either left from previous operations or was sent up by the embassy days before.
Q. So the equipment was being carried in the rucksacks?
A. Yes, and some of the radios were regular radio backpacks, there was no secret about that, I mean, everybody had something other than me of major heavy consequence.
Q. And everybody was armed?
A. Most everybody. You have got to understand, if you say you're armed, you went into a foreign country and you have a neutrality violations and you have an arms problem, I am not going to say that, but most people had guns.
Q. Apparently your book indicates you were carrying a Winchester shotgun?
A. I had a Wingmaster 870 in Cambodia, but not in Laos. That's right, it does say in the book, but that was Cambodia,
Q. How long was the trip until you got to a camp?
A. 2-1/2, 3 days max.
Q. And everyone's just kind of tromping along?
A. No, because there was fresh Vang Pao's people that would come back every now and then and replace other people, either they were forward scouts or rear scouts or point people. There was a constant movement of people. We had our cell group, that predominantly stuck together, but the external guerrillas were constantly changing.
Q. Were you sleeping at all?
A. Well, can we say something off the record, I'll admit to it but I want it definitely off the record.
MR. KRAVITZ: Sure.
(Discussion off the record.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Let's go back on the record. Okay, so you weren't sleeping a lot?
Q. This may be a really obvious question, but how did you figure out that you had found what you were looking for?
A. One of the guerrillas had come back, told the basic translator that we were approaching one of the camps that had been discussed. Obviously you must understand my attitude is yeah, right.
Q. Let me ask you this. During the 2-1/2 days or 3 days that you were traveling through Laos, were there any problems?
A. There was one hamlet that we had to avoid obviously because I'm white, and Jerry was predominantly white. He had more sun than me, and there was some concern that they didn't want the hamlet people to see us, and, of course, they didn't want us to come in with any sort of new type boot tracks, obvious stuff. Other than we couldn't use various lotions and stuff for insect problems, other than that I wouldn't say any real problems. There was team work. They had team work. They were together people.
Q. So there were no ambushes?
A. Oh, heavens, no. No violence at all.
Q. They had the place scouted out perfectly?
A. Oh, yeah. I felt safer there than going to east L.A. at night, but they knew what they were doing. There was times we would whisper, and they would tell us to shut up for a few minutes, but no, there was never any firing of any weapons by us.
Q. I interrupted you before. You were telling us that at some point somebody came and told you that you were approaching?
A. Yeah, we are on a knoll. We are going down a knoll, we are going up another knoll, and then on top of the other knoll was basically looking into a small valley, a clearing that was one of the mobile camps.
Q. So what happened when you got that information what time of day was it?
A. Oh, I would imagine, we were probably earlyish afternoon, 1 to 2, I didn't have any watches. I left my dogtag on the bank, early afternoon to mid afternoon.
Q. During the 3 days or 2-1/2 days of travel, was there any communication back to Thailand?
A. Okay, there was something that had gone on, on one of the radios that I was not privy to. They would communicate, you are a lawyer and I'm trying to explain it. The guerrillas could communicate with their apparatus. There was some apparatus that I never actually saw used, but was told that they were sending back versed information, giving out exact grid coordinates, constant compass locations, weather reports, I remember, because they had written down on certain days, certain times, cloud structure was like, what the ground was like, to me silly stuff, what's unimportant, to me was unimportant, but there was some communication going back to whoever, I do not know.
Q. How about Baldwin, was he communicating?
A. He would go with the one guerilla that's pictured in there and they would do whatever they would do, quite a bit away from me. I was not privy to any communications.
Q. Do you know if Baldwin was communicating with CIA people back in Thailand?
A. I don't know, he was not talkative about a whole lot, but there was some communication going on, and that's about all I know.
Q. What happened when you got the information that just over the next knoll was one of the mobile camps?
A. Basically we had stopped for a while. They wanted to set up a security perimeter. It took them a few minutes to get that done. We had come up on a knoll and started unpacking all the apparatus and then looked down and there in fact was, cut basically in a jungle clearing, a detainee camp.
Q. You could see it from the knoll?
A. Yeah, when you're sitting up on the knoll and we're looking down, you could see a clear cut area with a road going back off into under the tundra, under the brush.
Q. How far away was the knoll?
A. His measurements because he had a thing that was taking measurements, he estimated it.
Q. Who's he?
A. Jerry or Mike, whatever you want to call him now. About 600 foot from the base here in. From here down to the base, I would guess maybe 200 feet, maybe.
Q. So, in other words, 200 feet from the top of the knoll to the base of the knoll and then another 600 feet from the base of the knoll to the cutout location.
A. I guessed it at 600 directly, but he had some thing that would give him an accurate measurement.
Q. If you could see the detainee camp from the top of the knoll, why were you putting up all of your stuff at the top of the knoll?
A. We weren't going to get any closer than that, that was as close as we were going to get.
Q. Weren't you afraid they'd be able to see you?
A. Oh, heavens no, if you saw the place. You're talking thick as a thicket. You could look out, but if I was looking up at a Mountainside and I see nothing but all jungle, that's all I'm going to see is jungle.
Q. What did this area look like?
A. It was triangular in shape.
Q. Let's just take a piece of paper and have it marked as an exhibit and have you draw it for us?
(The document referred to was marked Barnes Exhibit No. 16 for identification.)
THE WITNESS: As you're looking down it's triangular in shape, well, the DIA has one of these I drew for them, and these are towers that aren't much higher than the fencing. The fencing here consisted of what looked like pieces of wood, and bamboo, cheap.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. And this is cut out right in the middle of the jungle?
A. Yeah, but it was a fairly large clearing, and here, somewhere around this general area, you would see a road that went right back up into the jungle, and in between that you would see like rows of farming.
Q. Rows of what?
A. For cultivation, you know, mounds of, you know, like dirt. As I recall looking down on this side there was a building.
Q. Why don't you write building in there?
(The witness complied.)
THE WITNESS: I think on this side there was a large, when it would rained the tin stuff would empty into this big, like --
MR. TAYLOR: Cistern?
THE WITNESS: Yes, There was holes that were dug along and there were several others into the ground that had dirt piled up around them and there was like a top that would sit down on top of them. I think on this side, it looked like it was a generating for electricity and stuff. I mean this is not to scale, but throughout the whole thing you could see there was armed NVA regulars guarding the people, the LP's that were working here.
From one side of the camp to another side of the camp, there was two individuals that were armed and there was two Caucasians that were being escorted from one side to the next, and what had happened is, when we were looking down, one of them had gotten struck in the butt, the rifle had gone there and he had hit him with the butt into the elbow and apparently he had told to Mike or Jerry whatever you want to refer to him as, oh shit, and there was a minor name calling back and forth, and that's when he said, oh, my God, we did leave them behind, they're speaking American. I mean, that's American English. Seeing that they were, in fact, dirty white, you know, I cried, I mean, I really did. It was a very upsetting situation, and I said, I can't believe we would leave them behind. His major concern right then was to go ahead and get photographic intelligence. He was setting up.
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Let me interrupt you for a second. You guys were looking at all this from the knoll?
Q. How many people were up at the top of the knoll at this point?
A. That were actually with us?
Q. You and Baldwin and who else?
A. I guess there was seven with us, not to mess that up, and as we were looking down we had a perimeter of people all around us. We had who knows how many people back here so what they had done is we are looking down. This whole area was secured and there was about seven to nine actually right there with us and one of them had said this is what we've been telling you people about year, after year, after year, and you've done nothing.
And their attitude was let's hit the camp, and they were heavily armed, and there was probably enough of them, but like he was telling me, how do you think we're going to get back. So we go in and we get these two people. How do you think we are going to get them in the condition they're in, all the way back. It's impossible, we're here just to prove it. He goes well. It was basic, like, there was an argument between them and Jerry, like we've told you, you've seen them, now do something. They were probably more angry at us for not doing anything and that's why they were so adamant about let's do it now.
Q. Were you viewing this simply with a naked eye?
A. Oh, heavens no.
Q. What did you have?
A. We had one camera that had a very long lens that had a tripod at the end that you had to set down and it was swivelling, you could take as many pictures as you want, as fast as you could take them. There was no rewind, it was all automatic. As I recall, it was almost like you couldn't hear anything as soon as you would take it. It was a very minor motor, no it was almost deaf to the ear. There was binoculars with one eye, there were small tripod-like telescopes the kids get at Sears to look at the moon and stuff.
There was a thing on them that would slant for reflection so if you are up looking and the sunlight hit it, it would not reflect so when you'd look you'd have to look at a very down angle. The cameras, several with long distance, but one main one that was being used and he said, here, reload as fast as you can, keep taking pictures, change the ASA to this setting, change it to that setting, use this film. There were so many different kinds of film.
Q. Did you take pictures of the NVA?
A. Everything here was taken care of.
Q. Who was taking pictures?
A. Both of us.
Q. Out of separate cameras?
A. Right. And then he wanted
Q. Who is he?
A. Jerry, Michael, wanted to get more electronic. He was setting up more of a parabolic apparatus. It was almost, he had one that was almost like a satellite dish that was coned that had a battery pack and you could tune it in and you could raise the volume and it was like you could almost shoot, and if I just want to hear one person I could channel in on that one person, or the two closest to him.
Q. Was it a special listening device?
A. Excellent, a super little apparatus.
Q. Who was operating the listening device?
A. He had started it. I tried because he wanted to get more pictures with another camera. I tried.
Q. Did you have headphones on?
A. Uh. Just like a walkman.
Q. And you had sets for both you and Baldwin?
A. There was two different types of a parabolic-type apparatus. He called them parabolic mirrors, but one you set up -- it looks like a miniature satellite dish and you can look through a spotter on it and line it up. One was a pointer that you would point with your own eyes, like looking through a rifle scope and it was all recorded, they were on tape recordings, everything was recorded, even our conversation back and forth, oh, my God, we did leave them here, and Mike started to cry, I don't believe this.
Q. How long were you observing the camp -- actually, let me go back. How big is this camp, how many feet?
A. This is only an estimation. I would say 60 yards, by maybe 40, by 60 maximum.
Q. Just for the record, why don't you write in 60 yards, 60 yards, 40 yards,
(The witness complied.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. Just so it's clear, you've drawn a triangle in Exhibit No. 16 and you have the base of the triangle, 40 yards maximum, and then the two sides of the triangle, 60 yards maximum, correct?
A. Correct. And that's just a guess from the distance that we were at.
Q. How long were you looking at the camp before you saw the two Caucasian prisoners?
A. As we were actually tuning in and looking. A matter of minutes, literally.
Q. I am sorry, I didn't hear you sir?
A. A matter of minutes before these two guys were being escorted out of our sight.
Q. Which direction, in the drawing -- which direction were you at?
A. We would have been up here, looking down from here, this way.
Q. Why don't you just draw an arrow pointing there, and why don't you write knoll or something like that?
(The witness complied.)
BY MR. KRAVITZ:
Q. You've written US-ISA team?
A. On knoll.
Q. Before you saw the two white people being escorted, had you seen anyone else inside the camp?
A. Just peasants.
Q. What were they doing?
A. Well, these out here were obviously fixing their little gardens. The ones by the building, there was people standing on the building, not really doing much of anything They were armed, uniformed, NVA people, regulars, but they weren't white, and they were small. That's why we called them little people.
Q. Had you or Baldwin been able to hear any conversation?
A. He had. He knew how to work the apparatus whereas I did not.
Q. But he was telling you what he was listening to?
A. Right and when we had both seen these --
Q. Before the people, white people walked into your sight had he heard any other conversation?
A. I think just some brief mention about farming that little garden.
Q. So within minutes of the time that you set up your surveillance you saw the two white men?
A. Well, we didn't totally get it set up, but we were setting up the camera equipment, and the parabolic apparatus, and there was two Caucasians that were walking under two armed guards from one end to the next.
Q. Were they handcuffed?
A. It looked like -- their feet looked like they might have had, not a shackle, but some sort of like a stick, and then a tie around.
Q. Like a yoke almost?
A. They were walking, you know, shuffling, but no, their arms were totally free.
Q. And they were being escorted for how long a distance?
A. Oh, I would say at least a third of a football field, maybe less.
Q. How long a time period did you have these two men in your sight?
A. Probably less than 2 minutes, less than 2 minutes easy.
Q. More than a minute?
A. Could have been, but you've got to understand the adrenaline is going on.
Q. Who saw them first?
A. The guerrillas had pointed them out.
Q. And then you, looking through the binoculars?
A. We could see through the naked eye that there was some movement, but we certainly could not tell whether they were white at that time.
Q. How were you able to tell that they were white?
A. As soon as we looked through not only the telescope, but the binoculars and the camera as we telephotoed it in, it was obvious.
Q. What did the two people look like?
A. Beat up old dirty men, one balding, faces really, the cheek bones were protruding.
Q. Just for the record the arrow that you've drawn on Exhibit 16 is the direction that the prisoners were being escorted in?
Q. So from your vantage point, down in the lower left- hand corner of this diagram you would be seeing a profile view of these guys?
A. Correct, exactly.
Q. Were you able to see one better than the other?
A. The one who got hit in the elbow as he turned to yell at the guard, yeah. They just both looked like tired, beat-up men.
Q. Did they have facial hair?
A. 6 to 8 days maybe. You've got to understand, they were filthy, filthy. The pajamas they were wearing were filthy. Everything about them was filthy.
Q. How old did they appear?
A. They looked late thirties, early forties.
Q. How would you describe their build?
A. Slim, depressive looking. It's almost like they were told to look down like this, always keep their heads down. Until he got hit. The worst condition of a living human that was still alive that I've ever seen and I've been in a lot of places and I've never seen anybody that looks physically in that bad a condition, that was alive. It was sad.
Q. So tell us again, exactly what happened while you were watching, one of them got hit?
A. One of the guys as he was walking apparently had said something or was saying or maybe wasn't walking fast enough, I don't know. One of the guards took the butt of the rifle and smacked him in the elbow. He in turn turned around and said something, and as he turned, that's when Mike said they're Americans.
Q. He heard what the guy said?
Q. Did he tell you what the man said?
A. Something like oh, shit, you mother -- something, it was kind of comical. He says, I know they're Americans. There's no other person that's going to say that but us. But, you know, who knows.
Q. You were not able to hear anything?
A. I tried. I couldn't really hear. I mean you could hear stuff, but the tuning and everything. I could not and he was just, get more pictures, get more pictures.
Q. So you were then just taking as many pictures as you could?
Q. How many pictures did you take?
A. I would estimate no less than 400.
Q. In a minute?
A. Oh. no, no, it took several minutes.
Q. These guys were only out for?
A. Not 400 of them.
Q. How many pictures of the prisoners?
A. Gosh, probably, let's see the rolls were 36, maybe actually 20 some of them.
Q. And then they disappeared, where?
A. They went out of sight. There was, I want to call, I don't want to call it an out-house, but it was like a generating place, we could see there was power hooked up, and I assume it was an out-house in there, and they were out of sight.
Q. And you took 400 photographs?
A. At least.
Q. With what kind of a camera?
A. I believe it was an F4 Nikon on one. There was another one that had no names that was all black, and there was one that was fairly used and I think it had Olympia, or Olympus, or something like that.
Q. So you were using three different cameras?
A. Several different cameras.
Q. How about Baldwin?
A. He had several of his own, even the guerrillas had some.
Q. So Baldwin was taking photographs as well?
A. Right. After voice contact ended and it was recorded, it was in fact recorded, he went on to another camera. He even started taking down, he had a piece of paper, that had just like a checkboard and what he was doing was sizing up areas and he was taking measurements of the distance from here to here, the distance from here to here. In other words, he was trying to plan as quickly and as rapidly as possible. Well, if this tower gets taken out, and this tower, a helicopter can land here, that's hard ground, you know what I'm saying. He was military mind.
Q. Was there a tower at each corner of the triangle?
A. All three of them, there was a tower. It was barely over the fencing though. It was not that high.
Q. Were there armed guards in the towers?
A. Mm. You could visibly see them with no problem at all.
Q. Were all these cameras and the audio and tape recording equipment, was it provided by the activity?
A. Of course and I assume some of it was donated by other facilities --
Q. Such as?
A. Hughes, Litton, you know, but yeah, it was all state-of-art equipment, there was nothing second-class about any of it. It was all top notch stuff.
Q. Were any of the guerrillas who were with you, you said they were taking photographs?
A. Some of them were taking photographs, too.
Q. Do you have any idea where those photographs would be?
A. No, you'd have to ask some of them, I mean we left the cameras with them. I didn't take anything home.
Q. What can you tell us to help us ask some of them? Do you have any idea?
A. Some of them that are still alive, their pictures in the book. I'd go to Baneg Pang, find Soubom, Soubom's wife, that lieutenant colonel. I'd find everybody that was there.
Q. That would know who those --
Q. Who those guerrillas were?
A. Absolutely, you've got that many guerrillas you are not going to convince me today, in '92, that every single guerilla is dead, unless they were involved in continued cross-border operations and were captured and killed, but there's got to be 3 or 4 still alive today. They were young people, 15, 19.
Q. Have you ever gone back since 1981 to try to find any of these people?
A. Not down there, never.
Q. Do you know if anyone else has?
A. Mm. Several people.
Q. Has anyone had any luck at finding any of these photographs?
A. I don't think they went to look for the photographs. They just went to look for some of the guerrillas.
Q. Has anyone had any luck finding any of the guerrillas?
A. I think an L.A. Times guy said he did.
Q. Who's that?
A. Rick Myer, but I don't believe him.
Q. Anybody else?
A. Not that I'm aware of.
Q. How long were you guys on the knoll -- before I ask this I take it Baldwin resisted the guerrillas' question that you go in and take the camp now?
A. I would say he thought about it for a minute. There was a brief discussion if he would send a burst for an immediate rescue, how long would it take them to get there; and it was out of the question. I mean, if you're going to hit that place, you are going to have to hit it, hard fast and get out hard and fast, because they had antennas so they had communication and I agree. If you hit, and who knows who's in the holes in these other ones, and I have no idea.
But let's say you rescue these guys, these guerrillas, there's no doubt, all the NVA we saw, there's no doubt these guerrillas could have taken them out, surprised them, I'm convinced of that. But so you get them, and then he did make some -- he says how are you going to get two decrepit men back to the Mekong River, impossible, I made a comment, I said, well, you know if they do that, and you can't get them back alive, then chop off one of their hands and then you have a fingerprint to bring back, granted the guy's dead, but here's his hand, here's his print, now tell me who he is. As cold as that may sound, you try to think what alternative you can do to prove there's Americans living there. There was comments made by some of the guerrillas to hang around because there's others that are on a work detail. They said, can you wait, wait, there will be others, and black men coming back. They are on a work detail.
Q. Others coming back at the end of a day?
Q. You've described the armed guards outside the camp as NVA?
A. They had regular, khaki, what do you call those hats you see them wearing -- African-type, the regular. They were not clean, but they were regular uniforms, they were not dressed in guerilla guard like our guerrillas were.
Q. There weren't Pathet Lao?
A. No. they were Vietnamese, no if's, ands, or buts. They were NVA regulars.
Q. So your conclusion was that these were prisoners of Vietnam?
A. Well, it was they were prisoners of Laos being held by Vietnamese, yeah, I mean I was skeptical that, well, maybe they are operatives that got caught in illegal operations before, but I think one's mind tends to, I don't want to believe this, and you try to think of well, maybe this is what happened, I mean, who knows? But once you analyze all the facts and the data you realize, yeah, they were men who were left behind, no doubt about it. No doubt.
Q. How long were you there before you left?
A. I think the full time that we actually were there was 40, 45 minutes, max.
Q. Did you see any people inside the actual camp other than the two prisoners and the two armed guards?
A. There were some peasants, but we didn't really pay any attention, I didn't.
Q. So you,left before the laborers came back?
A. Yes. You mean the work detail?
A. Oh yeah.
Q. Why was the decision made to leave so soon, without staying longer, to get a sense of how many prisoners there were?
A. It was irrelevant. We said they're there, we need to get the information back, and we need to get the rescue team jumping, and I think he probably had -- let's go ahead. I mean there were discussions with the translators about should we hit, should we not hit, should we not go ahead and send a burst back, go ahead and send a full message and ask for help now, Certainly Udorn had the aircraft, it would only take 14 minutes for a fly over.
Q. How many miles from the Thailand border was this camp?
A. The way we went because we zigzagged, if you went as the crow flies, I'll bet we weren't, in kilometers versus miles, less than 20 miles, much less.
Q. What was done with the film and the tape recording before you started back?
A. We had divided it up. We had especially -- special, I don't want to call them security bags, but bags to put these things in. He had a bag to put in the tapes.
Q. Just so the record is clear, he again is?
A. Baldwin. He had a bag for the film. We divided the film up.
Q. Just between the two of you?
A. Yes, I had a sealed bag that they were put in that would protect them from water and fire. I mean it was a special little bag that was obviously made to protect confidential documents. He took his to report to the U.S. Embassy. He said I'm going to get these down to Udorn, Ubon, catch a flight, get to the embassy. You know your instructions, you take care of this, and I said okay. To me, we were in a rush obviously to get back, which we did, but we came back a lot further south than we went in.
Q. Why was that?
A. I can only assume as -- like I said, we zigzagged, sometime we might go 3 or 4 hours this way, and then also we might go 1 hour this way, and then 10 minutes this way, and it seems like we were just going all over the place, and I think it was probably for security reasons, but when we came back across, it was like way south of Baneg Pang, way south.
Q. You all stayed together the whole way back?
A. The guerrillas. There were a lot of guerrillas that stayed. We left the equipment. We didn't bring back the equipment. All the electronics, the radios, the cameras, we just took back the actual evidence that we needed.
Q. Was that just so it would be easier to get back?
A. No, I think it was to leave for them. I mean they were carrying the stuff. I wasn't carrying anything heavy.
Q. Who did you go back with?
A. With Jerry.
Q. Just the two of you?
A. No we had our guerilla team, but we didn't have the full force at all.
Q. So the equipment was just basically going to be donated to the guerrillas?
A. Yes, that's the right word, yes. We certainly didn't need it.
Q. You weren't afraid that it would just be left at the knoll?
A. Oh, no, the knoll was going to be sanitized. He had told them to secure the area, no if's, ands, or buts. Butthat was one of the things that they had been requesting is new high tech stuff.
Q. Oh, I see.
A. And they got it, I'm telling you. This is the best stuff I've ever seen. I've never seen anything like it tothis day. It's good stuff.
Q. How long did it take you to get back?
A. It seemed like it took us longer, I'd say it took more like 3, 3-1/2, but there again it might have only been 2-1/2 actual travel days or 2 days.
Q. And again, it was an uneventful trip in that sense?
A. No problems, none.
Q. So you are carrying in your safe bag several hundred photographs?
A. Well, the rolls. Not hundreds of the rolls, but if you accumulate the 36, there was several hundred photos in there.
Q. Did you have the tape recording?
A. He took that in his bag because he wanted that to go to the embassy. He was going to report directly to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.
Q. You referred to Baldwin telling you, well, Scott, you know your instructions. What were your instructions?
A. To mail them to 1705 Fox Run Court, Vienna, Virginia, Daniel C. Arnold. He said there's no way that you can carry out of the country. You don't want to get caught with it, mail it. The postal place which I knew of was secured and safe.
Q. Who had given you that instruction?
A. They were in the packet of instructions that we all had carried. Everybody had a packet of instructions.
Q. Carried from where?
A. We brought it with us from the United States. Each of us had our name on a packet of instructions in the event of open and these were in the event of.
Q. But you had told us that you weren't supposed to be going into Laos until 5 minutes before you went. How could that have been in your instructions?
A. Well, see they had the -- in the event of -- this is what this is. Everybody had their own little things. Who knows what was going to happen, so it was obvious they knew Bo wasn't coming. Bo was staying back in the United States, so Stateside and in the embassy knew certain things, so in the event of, open, and I had known who Arnold was. Not that I didn't open the envelope, but in the event of.
Q. The envelope said what -- in the event that you end up going and you have photographs?
A. Any confirmation forward on to this address to this address and I did.
Q. And this was in your package?
A. Along with other information.
Q. Even though your deal was, you were just supposed to go up, to go up there and introduce these people?
A. Of course, every package could have said the same thing, I wouldn't know I've never seen the other packages. It could have been every single one said the exact same thing and they just put your name, you know, on the heading.
Q. You've mentioned a rescue force that was kind of standing by?
A. Right. I was told that they had Moberg being the pilot.
Q. Where were they?
A. One was supposed to be at Ubon and the other was supposed to be coordinated out of NKP.
Q. And they were there while you were in Laos?
A. They were supposed to be in place by the time we even got up to NKP.
Q. How many people were involved in the rescue forces?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Did you know anyone other than Moberg?
Q. Was there more than one helicopter involved?
A. Oh heavens yes, but Moberg was supposed to be the actual one that would go in and pull any of them out to where they would have a live body because all they needed was one live body, that would do it.
Q. Let me just ask you a question, if you know, if it was the government's theory that they had to rely on an unofficial group to do this reconnaissance in order to prevent any kind of embarrassing incident, why would they have an active CIA agent like Baldwin be the one to go over there?
A. Well, I think you have to look at it that the Hmong would not go over there with anybody they did not trust or believe in and that Vang Pao had a clearing with. Vang Pao, if you don't know, Jerry was like a son to Vang Pao. There was no closer individual other than his own children that was close as Jerry was.
Q. Just so the record is completely clear. We have been using interchangeably Jerry Daniels and Michael Baldwin --
A. And Michael J. Baldwin are one and the same individual.
Q. I just wanted to say that one time so there's no question. So the answer to the question of why they would use Baldwin, an active CIA agent, is that it was more important to have someone who was solid with Vang Pao than it was to have someone who had no connection to the agency?
A. Vang Pao, even though Vang Pao knew that he continued working for the company, that they were blood friends. Jerry's activities, he was still helping. In other words, he was doing the best he can to help Vang Pao's people. That's why he was assigned to the refugee project. You know, he was busting his ass to help the Hmong. He didn't care, he could have gotten a promotion and transferred to all the kinds of other countries, and he didn't take that. He stayed behind. He was that loyal to the Hmong. He was a very dedicated person. You've never seen a man that was so in love with the people.
Q. Where was this in the event envelope during the trip?
A. Where did I have it at? I had it in that little safety pouch that I carried around my waist. We called it a boogey bag.
Q. Why did you bring that into Laos with you?
A. I wasn't going to go anywhere without it.
Q. Well, presumably it had the name of CIA agents, right?
A. Everybody knew who Daniel Arnold was. Everybody knew who Jerry was. They were not unknown names on both sides of the border, so if I got caught with it, yeah, I could be tried, and Convicted, and shot as a spy, me.
Q. In light of that, why would you bring it across with you?
A. I wasn't going to leave anything in Thailand, nothing. I left my dogtags and that was it. Everything else I brought with me.
Q. Why would you rather be walking around Laos on a secret mission with the name and address of a known CIA agent than leave it in Thailand?
A. Because if I got captured, there's no doubt in my mind I'm going to die, and if I'm going to die I want someone to know, my children, Dad died here, this is what happened to him. I don't want it secret that something happened to me. I am not going to leave anything behind. My passport was with me. I didn't care what they thought. They didn't know I had it.
Q. Who is they?
A. Well, the guys at NKP. The little people didn't know, I mean, nobody looked into my bag. I took stuff with me I wasn't supposed to have with me, and I knew that, but I'm not going to let my ass get uncovered.
Q. So you weren't supposed to take the in the event of envelope?
A. No, mm. Everything, the only thing they made me take off was my dogtags and that they did make me take off and leave.
Q. Who are they?
A. Vang Pao's people right there on the border. They took them off my neck, I said, okay, here they're yours. I'll get them on the way back. But nobody would look in my boogey bags. Those were Jerry's and my own, for us to see only.
Q. What happened when you got back to the river?
A. We came back, Jerry immediately had transportation and he went to the air base to get down to Bangkok. I took my transportation and went down to NKP, walked into the NKP hotel, and up to the room, and there three of them were standing, having some discussion, pissed off as hell.
Q. Three of who?
A. Mac, J.D. and Ben and there was an argument, He said
Q. Who's he?
A. Mac. He was the one that pretty much talked about the codes. He said Bo Gritz has been fired. Mike Eiland's now in charge. I said, okay, hold everything. They're there. We've seen them. We have eye-witnessed them, you know, we have the documents, et cetera, et cetera. He said no, you don't understand. Things have changed. The helicopter's been grounded. I think Moberg was transferred to Singapore or something.
So in other words while we were gone, a lot of other things had transpired unbeknownst to us, or at least unbeknownst to me. We got in an argument. He said if merchandise confirmed, then liquidate, the little code thing. I said, well, wait a minute.
Q. He said what?
A. He said if merchandise confirmed then liquidate, and I knew merchandise was the code word for living prisoners of war; liquidate, the plausible term for selective assassination. I said wait a minute, are you reading that right, are we hearing this right?
Q. Who said that to you?
A. Mac. He said if merchandise confirmed then liquidate. He said this is an assassination order and they are to be killed, whoever they are. I said I want no part of this.
Q. Did Mac say where the order came from?
A. They came over the telex that we used and he had it there. I actually saw it.
Q. Did the telex message say where the message was coming from?
A. It had a bunch of numbers and letters, DOE frstal com center Washington, D.C.
A. F-r-s-t-a-l, something to that effect. HQ frstal, DOE, dah, dah, dah, and then he deciphered the code, you know, I mean I saw it, I don't know, I can only believe him, what he was telling me.
Q. This is Mac?
A. I argued about it, I said I want no part of this. He pulled his arm back and smacked me right in the head.
Q. So your understanding was that from Mac was that the order was that you were to go back into Laos --
A. Not me, that if the merchandise was confirmed --
Q. Let me finish the question. Your understanding was that the group, or your mission, would be to go back into Laos, not necessarily you specifically, but the mission of your group, of the activity group would be to back into Laos and assassinate the live Americans?
A. That is correct.
Q. Okay, so you were told that by Mac?
Q. And you said you didn't want any part of it?
Q. Then what happened?
A. He smacked me square in the head and knocked me to the ground.
Q. Mac did?
Q. With any weapon?
A. No, one big fist. Like hitting a brick wall, I mean, literally -- I had a thump right here in the middle of my forehead. He smacked me good.
Q. What happened to the film?
A. It was mailed. I had mailed it.
Q. You had already mailed it?
A. Oh yeah. I stopped off at the P.O. right there, maybe a mile out of town.
Q. So you mailed the film before you went back to meet with Mac?
A. Absolutely. I wasn't going to get caught with anything.
Q. You mailed the film to whom?
A. Daniel C. Arnold, 1705 Fox Run Court, Vienna, Virginia.
Q. How big a package was it?
A. It was probably -- if you look at this black binder wrapped up, about that size.
Q. Did it have a letter in it?
A. It had a letter taped on the outside addressing itto Daniel C. Arnold, an envelope.
Q. I see, a letter from you?
A. Right. I send him a correspondence.
Q. What did the correspondence say?
A. Here it is, enclosed. I'll be bringing back letters from colonel, whatever his name is, from the reeducation camp, and I'll call you when I get back to the States, which I did.
Q. And included in that package were pictures of the white prisoners?
A. Rolls of film.
Q. Including pictures?
A. Including pictures of these two men in Laos.
Q. And that was mailed at a post office?
A. It was a military postal place that I had already known about.
Q. American military?
A. No, no, Thai. It was all Thai military people there.
Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that it was properly mailed, I mean properly delivered to the post office there?
A. I delivered it.
Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that it was properly delivered?
A. Oh, to the States, no. I am convinced it was delivered. I was told after the fact at the '86 hearing that Daniel did get a package from me, but he said, I don't recall the film. You'd have to go and ask him.
Q. Let's go back to your meeting with Mac. You said he smacked you in the head, you fell to the ground?
Q. Then what happened?
A. I got up with the help of I think it was Ben or J.D., and said I'm out of here. Mac said, don't let him leave the country. Take him to the U.S. Embassy for debriefing, don't let him out of your sight. I went to my room and basically was going to get some money and get out of there. I grabbed my PA.
Q. What's a PA?
A. MY PAN AM ticket. And J.D. says, look, just cool down, calm down, we don't want this thing to get out of hand, the operation's not over. I said, in so many languages, as far as I'm concerned it's finished. That guy's nuts. I said let's go.
Q. Did you go to the embassy for debriefing?
A. No. He dropped me off literally in front. He says I can legally and honestly say I escorted you down to the embassy. I let you out right in front of the embassy. My suggestion to you is you disappear and never talk, never say a word ever again.
(Discussion off the record.)
MR. KRAVITZ: We're back on the record, and it's 5:30, and we've been told by the Senate security staff that we have to end the deposition for today, so we're going to suspend the deposition with the hopes that it can be continued in the near future.
(Whereupon, at 5:33 p.m., the taking of the instant deposition ceased.)
Signature of the Witness
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this ______________day of
MY Commission expires:
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) ss.:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA )
I, MICHAL ANN SCHAFER, the officer before whom the foregoing deposition was taken, do hereby certify that the witness whose testimony appears in the foregoing deposition was duly sworn by me; that the testimony of said witness was taken by me to the best of my ability and thereafter reduced to typewriting under my direction; that I am neither counsel for, related to, nor employed by any of the parties to the action in which this deposition was taken, and further that I am not a relative or employee of any attorncy or counsel employed by the partics thereto, nor financially or otherwise interested in the outcome of the action.
Signature -> --------------------------
Notary Public in and for
the District of Columbia
My commission expires: 2-28-95
E N D
Scott Barnes, the CIA operative, from whose testimony (below, right) we learned much about Dan Arnold, and author of Bohica, met with us on August 7, 2004 and corroborated what we wrote about Mr. Arnold.
Scott Barnes also filled us in on Richard Armitage, the oil pipeline from Yemen, and his "interview" (while wearing an FBI wire) of James Oberwetter. Oberwetter, a Ken Lay associate, was then with Hunt Oil, and is now the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia!
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