SARAH MCCLENDON'S WASHINGTON REPORT
March 2, 1991
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Mistreatment of Political Prisoners Here
2 Illegal Contra Base in Arkansas
GUNTHER RUSSBACHER WHO CLAIMS HE FLEW CANDIDATE BUSH TO PARIS in 1980 suffered a major heart attack in prison at Fulton, Mo., on Feb. 28. At the time he was being held in a secluded place in a psychiatric hospital where he was permitted only one phone call at intervals to his wife. He was not allowed to talk to reporters or friends. He had been given 21 years in prison by a state judge in Missouri, alleging that Russbacher had violated parole of four years. The original charges were stealing by deceit.
Raye Allan Russbacher, his wife, said the last time she talked with him he did not seem like himself. She feared they were giving him mind-altering drugs. She also feared he might get killed in prison. Recently in another prison, a cell mate suffered a violent attack of stomach illness immediately after eating food brought to Russbacher. Safety in prison seems to be an issue, his wife told friends.
A network of friends is trying to help but the prison authorities ordered the hospital where Russbacber was taken in Columbia, Mo. not to admit that he was a patient, and not to give out any information, despite the fact this was a hospital funded by taxpayers under the auspices of the University of Missouri. (It is ironic that this University is the location of the first School of Journalism in the U.S., a center for advocating. freedom, of speech and human rights.)
President Bush could do something about this if be wanted to do so, in the name of humanity. Bush claims that Russbac.her has been lying about that trip to Paris.
Who is Russbacher? He is a descendant of the royal family Hapsburg of Austria who was brought to this country as a young boy by his family. He became involved in the Navy, especially Naval Intelligence, and the Central Intelligence, agency which for years has been dominated by Naval Intelligence. Russbacher claims he was ordered, in October of 1980, to Andrews Air Force Base, Md, and there outfitted to pilot a plane to the Paris suburbs. On the plane, he claims, were, Bush and friends who included Jennifer Fitzgerald.
After arrival, Russbacher went to a hotel to sleep but was awakened and asked to fly Bush back to Washington. He then flew Bush from another Paris suburb to McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey. The plane used was the SR 71, the needle-nosed spy plane, one of the fastest in the U.S. arsenal. The trip was made in less than two hours.
Purpose of the trip was to cinch a deal between Iran and Presidential Candidate Ronald Reagan and Vice Presidential Candidate Bush to keep 52 American hostages until after the November election of 1980 at which time they would be delivered to the U.S. in exchange for weapons and spare parts and money which Iran needed to carry on its war with Iraq. Bush claims he did not go. Ariel Ben-Menasche, Iran-born Israeli, working for the Israel government, said he took down the names of those who entered the conference in Paris. One was Bill Casey, and the other was George Bush. Casey was chairman of the Reagan-Bush campaign.
Russbacher finished serving a 20-month sentence at Terminal Island, Calif., on Dec.23, 1991. The Immigration Service sought to deport him, but found it could not do so. Then he was remanded by force to the court in Missouri. That case originated, Russbacher claims, that on orders from the CIA he was operating a brokerage firm to get money through private investments to spend on covert operations. The CIA disavowed his claim of connection and he is forbidden to wear the Navy uniform any more.
He is not the only one claiming knowledge about Bush being in Paris to linger in jail. There are several other cases of men being put in prison for claiming knowledge of "October Surprise," a name given by Republicans in the 1980 campaign to what they expected would be a rescue attempt of American hostages by President Jimmy Carter.
A BASE TO AID FOREIGN REBELS in Nicaragua was established in quiet Mena, Ark,, at a municipally-owned airport. This became a base for drug smuggling, weapons running and for training foreign troops in ways of killing their fellow countrymen. This base began operatins in 1982 and contiues to this day, run by the Central Intelligence Agency with a number of U.S. governmental offices collaborating, under orders. Oliver North was often there, using the alias of John Cathey. Felix Rodriguez, a CIA operative and close associate of George Bush was in and out working under the name of Max Gomez. Weapons produced on the base for the Contras were disguised to look like Soviet arms so if captured the Soviets could be blamed for supplying them. Airplanes were retrofitted to provide larger storage space for hauling suppplies which mostly were tons of cocaine from South America. The cocaine was sold in this country to provide money for further Contra weapons purchases and to provide money for CIA activities.
The Arkansas congressmen were refused information about the operations of the bass or who was responsible. Gov. Bill Clinton was asked to provide state money for an investigation but never provided it. He readily consented for the Arkansas National Guard to go to Guatemala. He gave a job to Larry Nichols, a supporter of the Contras.