As First Published in the September, 1999
Release of Puerto Rican "Terrorists" Requires
a Look Further South
by Michael C. Ruppert
A great deal of controversy
these past few weeks as President Clinton granted highly
publicized clemency to 16 members of the Puerto Rican Independence
Movement FALN. The separatist leaders had been serving
sentences since the 1970s for a series of U.S. bombings.
The conventional wisdom in the media was that
perhaps old WJC was making a play for the Puerto Rican
in New York State where
his wife Hillary is organizing a run for the Senate
next year. Most of the bombings and incarcerations occurred
in New York,
which has a large Puerto Rican population.
FTW believes that there may have been other
reasons for Bill Clinton's generosity.
Throughout the month the political and
economic situation in Colombia
has deteriorated steadily, giving rise to increased speculation
about, and indeed prediction of, U.S.
military involvement to save the faltering regime of President
Andres Pastrana. With fully forty per cent of the nation
controlled by revolutionary groups led by the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Pastrana is also attempting
to deal with sagging production and legal exports and a
right wing paramilitary faction seeking his overthrow. All
factions in Colombia derive
substantial financial assistance from the drug cartels.
FARC leadership claims to be opposed to the Cali Cartel
and more supportive of the Medellin Cartel while "taxing" both.
Historically the Cali Cartel can be described as allied
with the Bush faction and the Medellin Cartel - especially
through the Dominican Republic
and the Bahamas
(controlling drug distribution in New
York) - with the Clinton
Leaving the more detailed niceties aside,
the fact remains that within the last five years Colombia
has become the largest drug-producing nation in the world.
It is now competitive (contrary to USG finger pointing elsewhere)
in the world heroin trade and will soon produce most of
heroin supply. That makes Colombia a
potential economic superpower in the $400 billion a year
drug business. FTW readers will recall the article in our
July issue by Catherine Austin Fitts in which she described
the "cold call" of New York Stock Exchange President
Richard Grasso on FARC leadership as an attempt to ensure
that all of the drug capital entering Colombia
found its way back into the over-inflated bubble on Wall
The economic and political situation in
has degenerated to the point where Pastrana (9/22) had to
seek U.S. support
for a $7.5 billion, multi-nation bailout with new
and ugly IMF sanctions, increased military aide and an
to negotiations with the rebels. What's worse - a
- Bell Helicopter has signaled its intent to sell Colombia
Cobra gunships with U.S.
So what's the connect with FALN? Pull out
a map. With the Panama Canal now
reverted to Panama,
the closest U.S.
military bases to Colombia
are in Puerto Rico. Belated U.S.
attempts to establish a small presence in Equador are of
little strategic significance. Colombia's
next door neighbor, Venezuela,
the single largest supplier of U.S.
oil, is healthy, stable and not very friendly to the idea
of outright U.S.
military intervention in Latin America.
Puerto Rico considers
itself a Latin American nation and its
population speaks Spanish.
The fact of the
matter is that U.S. military
forces staging in Puerto Rico for an invasion of Colombia
would face a risk of infiltration, sabotage and guerilla
attacks unparalleled since U.S. troops screamed "VC
in the wire!" during Vietnam. The release of 16 FALN
leaders has probably ensured that U.S. Forces in Puerto
Rico will remain unmolested as we prepare for
a hemispheric conflict. Bill Clinton's capitulation in a
long simmering dispute over the use of one Puerto Rican
island for Naval weapons training has probably sweetened
the deal for the FALN leaders, giving them a tangible victory
on top of their release.
FTW contacted a retired NYPD detective
who had worked on the FALN bombings and spent most of his
career in intelligence. We asked, "Are the FALN powerful
enough that they could influence events in Puerto
Rico to either cause or prevent bombings and
sabotage of U.S. bases?
His exact response was, "F--- yeah, they are!"