The Wackenhut Corporation:  the maturation of "private" government.

     Wackenhut's Director of Special Investigations Service Wayne Black
     told the "Washington Times"' Deanna Hoagin earlier this year:  "We
     are similar to a private FBI."  The company's board of directors
     reads like a who's who of the intelligence community.

from "The First Stone" column of the Sept. 18-24 1991 issue of "In These

                                Scandal Gates
                               By Joel Bleifuss

     As CIA Director-designate Robert Gates pleads ignorance to knowledge
     of CIA misdeeds before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week,
     the lawmakers might do well to remember his sworn testimony of March
     March 6, 1986.  At the time, CIA Director William Casey had
     nominated Gates for the number-two position at the agency.  In an
     effort to impress the senators considering his nomination, Gates
     said:  "[Casey] and I have consulted extensively, even in my present
     position [as deputy director for intelligence] in all areas of
     intelligence policy including not just analysis and estimates but
     also organization, budgeting and covert action.  I will now have a
     formal role in all of these areas."
        If Gates really had "a formal role in all of these areas"--which
     appears likely--he certainly knows more than he has let on.  And
     someone should ask Gates what he knows about the Wackenhut
     Corporation of Coral Gables, Fla.
        As the Wackenhut letterhead puts in, the company provides
     "security systems and services throughout the world."  As
     Wackenhut's Director of Special Investigations Service Wayne Black
     told the "Washington Times"' Deanna Hoagin earlier this year:  "We
     are similar to a private FBI."  The company's board of directors
     reads like a who's who of the intelligence community.  In 1984, for
     example, former Deputy CIA Director Bobby Inman, currently one of
     Gates' main boosters in Washington, was a director of the company.
     And among those on the 1983 board were two former FBI special
     agents, one retired Air Force general, one former commander in chief
     of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), one former
     director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, former CIA Director
     William Rabor, Nixon-appointed FBI Director Clarence Kelly and
     former CIA Deputy Director Frank Carlucci (who would later become
     Ronald Reagan's national security adviser).  Further, the 1983 board
     included Robert Chasen, a former FBI special agent who was Carter's
     commissioner of customs until 1980, when he became a vice president
     of Wackenhut.  Also in 1980, soon-to-be CIA chief William Casey
     served as Wackenhut's outside legal counsel--the same year he
     managed the Reagan-Bush election campaign.

     ON THE RESERVATION:  It was in 1980 that Wackenhut began working
     closely with Southern California's Cabazon Indians and their tribal
     administrator John Philip Nichols.  The "San Francisco Chronicle"'s
     Jonathan Littman reported this month that Nichols, a white American
     who spent years in South American, has boasted to friends about
     working on the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro and the
     successful assassination of Salvador Allende.
        The Cabazons hired Nichols as their administrator in 1978.
     Littman reports that thanks to Nichols' connections and
     grantsmanship, "federal and state agencies are helping to finance
     nearly $250 million worth of projects on the 1,700-acre reservation"
     belonging to the 30-member Cabazon tribe.  According to Littman,
     these projects include a HUD and mafia-financed casino, a 1,800-unit
     housing complex and a $150 million waste incinerator/power plant
     that was built with tax-exempt state bonds.
        But most intriguing is the Wackenhut/Cabazon joint venture, which
     began in 1980 when the tribe was asked to design a security system
     for Crown Prince Fahd's palace in Tiaf, Saudi Arabia.  This was
     followed by Wackenhut/Cabazon joint venture proposals to develop
     biological weapons for the Pentagon and assemble night-vision
     goggles for the Guatemalan and Jordanian governments.
        Why was a security firm so interested in working with a small
     tribe of native Americans?  One good reason can be found in a May
     26, 1981, inter-office memo from Wackenhut executive Robert Frye to
     the above-mentioned Robert Chasen.  Frye described an 11-day
     business trip with Nichols "to explore the apparent potential for
     the Cabazon-Wackenhut joint venture."  Frye wrote that the
     reservation has "several key ingredients necessary" for a weapons
     plant, including "lack of opposition by adjacent governing bodies
     and `irate citizens' over the siting of such a facility."
        John Philip Nichols is no longer officially running the
     reservation.  According to Littman, son Mark Nichols is the tribal
     administrator while the elder Nichols serves as a "mental-health
     counselor to Cabazon reservation employees."  John Philip Nichols
     lost his job because federal law prohibits convicted felons from
     running casinos.
        In January, 1985, Nichols was sentenced to four years in prison
     for capital solicitation of murder.  He served 19 months.  No one
     was killed in that murder-for-hire scheme.  However, in 1981, Alfred
     Alvarez, a Cabazon Indian tribal vice president, and two non-Indians
     were murdered execution style.  Alvarez's sister Linda Streeter
     Dukic says her brother and his friends died because they were about
     to expose mismanagement on the Cabazon reservation.  Mike Kataoka of
     the Palm Springs "Press-Enterprise" reports that in 1985, when
     Nichols was arrested for hiring the hitman, the U.S. Justice
     Department was investigating his possible involvement in those 1981
     deaths.  No charges were ever filed.

     ANOTHER MURDER?  The Cabazon/Wackenhut connection was of particular
     interest to Danny Casolaro, the Washington-based journalist who was
     found dead in the Martinsburg, W. Va., Sheraton on August 10 (see
     "The First Stone," Sept. 4 [an earlier post in this on-line
     series]).  Casolaro's friends, family and professional associates
     fear he was murdered--and that the crime was related to his
     investigations into a series of corporate and governmental scandals.
        Casolaro's brother, Anthony, told the Washington-based "Corporate
     Crime Reporter," "Danny was trying to track monies Wackenhut spent
     and what Danny found was that [Wackenhut] had ear-marked a half
     million dollars for what they call `research.'"
        Anthony Casolaro said that the money "ties in Wackenhut with this
     Indian reservation and organized crime and CIA guys . . .  Those
     same people showed up with Inslaw and one of them shows up in the
     October Surprise."
        The "October Surprise" was the alleged campaign deal between Iran
     and the 1980 Reagan campaign to delay the release of the U.S.
     hostages held in Tehran (see "In These Times," June 24, 1987, Oct.
     12, 1988 and April 27, 1991).
        "Inslaw was Inslaw Inc. of Washington D.C.--a firm that has
     brought suit in federal court, charging that the Reagan Justice
     Department stole the company's Promis case-management software
     program.  Two judges has thus far ruled in the company's favor.  The
     suit is still in the courts (see "In These Times," May 29, 1991
     ["Software Pirates," an earlier on-line post in this series]).
        Earlier this year, Inslaw further alleged that the Justice
     Department turned the stolen software over to Earl Brian, a friend
     of both former President Ronald Reagan and former Attorney General
     Edwin Meese.  Inslaw charges that the software was a payback for
     Brian's help in arranging the October Surprise.  Former Israeli
     intelligence agent Ari Ben-Menashe alleges that Brian--now the head
     of United Press International--was directly involved in arranging
     the 1980 deal.  Ben-Menashe claims that Brian "worked very closely"
     on the deal with Robert Gates, who was then a top CIA official.

     NO JUSTICE:  Wackenhut is also linked to the Inslaw scandal.
     Michael Riconosciuto--a weapons-systems designer and software
     specialist--was director of research for the Wackenhut/Cabazon joint
     venture in the early '80s.  In a March 1991 affidavit for the Inslaw
     case, Riconosciuto claimed that "in connection with [Riconosciuto's]
     work for Wackenhut," he modified the stolen Promis software for
     foreign sales.  "Earl W. Brian made [the software program] available
     to me through Wackenhut after acquiring it from Peter Videnieks, who
     was then a Department of Justice contracting official with
     responsibility for the Promis software."
        Videnieks, a former Customs Service official under Commissioner
     Chasen, served in the Justice Department from 1981 through 1990.  In
     his affidavit, Riconosciuto said Videnieks had threatened to
     retaliate against Riconosciuto if he cooperated with a House
     Judiciary Committee probe of the Inslaw case.  Seven days after
     filing the affidavit (which was not, technically, part of the
     committee investigation), Riconosciuto was arrested on drug-selling
     charges.  He is now in a Seattle jail awaiting trial.

     PRIVATE SPIES  The 1980s were a decade of privatization.  As a for-
     profit intelligence service, Wackenhut appears to have taken on the
     kind of work that in earlier years the FBI and CIA would have done
     (and still do), albeit illegally.
        On the environmental-crime front, Wackenhut is now the object of
     an investigation by the House Interior Committee.  Early in 1990,
     the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., a consortium of seven oil
     companies that run the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, hired Wackenhut to
     spy on environmentalists, whistleblowers and other oil company
     critics.  Wackenhut tactics included setting up a phoney
     environmental organization and having agents pose as reporters.  It
     is alleged in press reports that the company also monitored Rep.
     George Miller (D-CA) whose house subcommittee has been investigating
     environmental crimes allegedly committed by the consortium which is
     composed of British Petroleum, Exxon, ARCO, Phillips, Unocal, Mobil
     and Amerada Hess.

                                             daveus rattus

                                   yer friendly neighborhood ratman


   ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language)  n.  1. crazy life.  2. life
       in turmoil.  3. life out of balance.  4. life disintegrating.
         5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.