A little publicised news item features on some BBC programmes this week.
In El Salvador, a campaign is under way for the beatification of former Archbishop Romero, shot while conducting mass in 1980 by a murder squad employed by the El Salvador government, at that time backed by the US government and CIA.
The connection to Lockerbie begins with the November 1995 publication of a formerly secret email written by Vincent Cannistraro, the man who would in time be appointed head of the CIA team investigating the Lockerbie bombing.
Just five years after the Romero assassination, Cannistraro was part of a CIA/White House Restricted Inter-Agency Group (RIG) managing a covert guerrilla war against the Nicaraguan government, by proxy forces known as the "Contras".
Lt. Colonel Oliver North, as Cannistraro's controlling officer, had secretly organised the sale of arms to Iran, and was using the profits from those sales to fund and arm the Contra forces. The US objective was to remove the left wing Nicaraguan government and replace it with amenable politicians friendly to America. Many tens of thousands of Nicaraguan citizens and officials were murdered during the war.
Meanwhile Cannistraro and North conducted a parallel programme of friendly cooperation with the government of El Salvador.
The downing of a plane over the Nicaraguan border carrying a Eugene Hasenfus, a mercenary employed by North’s cohorts on the Nicaraguan supply routes, threatened to derail the entire Iran-Contra affair. Hasenfus had been captured by the Nicaraguans, in his pocket a notebook containing information about the Iran-Contra network. With Hasenfus were other members of the supply team.
An emergency meeting of the RIG was called. Cannistraro, as senior member of the group, minuted the discussion and followed that up with advice and instruction to members of the group and their associated staff.
In the words of Tom Blanton of the US National Security Archive Library (NSA) and author of the November 1995 disclosures White House Email, these instructions are proof of a government in major denial. "This October 8th 1986 email gives the anatomy of the cover-up. It lists the lies decided on by the Restricted Agency Group (RIG) managing the contra war."
Cannistraro’s record of the meeting indicates confidence that the American people will gullibly accept that there has been no U.S. Government involvement. There is too an indication of the subtle and ever-growing Orwellian control exerted by the White House over the media. This account finely balances the advantage of claiming that the captured mercenaries are brave men, against the tactic of ignoring the whole thing.
"[8th Oct. 1986] 16:08 VC [CANNISTRARO] To: JOHN M. POINDEXTER. SUBJECT: DOWNED PLANE. At RIG [Restricted Interagency Group] meeting with Elliott Abrams today the question of the captured Americans held by the Nicaraguans was discussed. Following decisions were made:
-- Demands for consular access would continue. Elliott thought Nics [Nicaraguans] would accede to our request today. (He later called me to say the Nics had still not responded and we should be prepared to escalate tomorrow if there is no movement. Believes we may have to make this a "hostage crisis" to exert leverage on [Nicaraguan] Sandinistas.)
-- Press Guidance was prepared which states no U.S.G. [U.S. Government] involvement or connection, but that we are generally aware of such support contracted by the Contras.
-- UNO [United Nicaraguan Opposition] to be asked to assume responsibility for flight and to assist families of Americans involved. Elliott will follow up with Ollie [North] to facilitate this.
-- ARA [U.S. State Department Inter-American Bureau] will attempt to identify appropriate legal counsel and ask UNO to engage him. Lawyer will be asked to donate services pro bono. Alternatively, private money can be found, according to Elliott.
-- HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and SSCI [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] have been briefed and there were no problems.
--Elliott said he would continue to tell the press these were brave men and brave deeds. We recommended he not do this because it contributes to perception [that the] U.S. Government inspired and encouraged private lethal aid effort."
The November 1995 NSA publication White House Email was only a brief selection from the four thousand available. And the four thousand were themselves only part of ten thousand originally existing in 1986 in the basement of the White House.
When Iran-Contra was exposed, the leader of the conspiracy Colonel Oliver North, and an aide of White House chief Admiral John Poindexter descended to the basement of the White House and commenced the deletion of all secret files concerning Iran-Contra and associated matters.
Over the previous three years an estimated seventy thousand Central American civilians and officials had been murdered, and leaders of several Central American states threatened, bribed or blackmailed. The White House emails and telexes contained the entire brutal history.
North and the Poindexter aide deleted some six thousand emails and telexes before they were discovered. The US courts then stepped in to halt all further deletions. What was in the six thousand deleted may never be known.
Cannistraro continued his illustrious career and moved to the White House Libyan desk to join another of his National Security Committee colleagues Howard Teicher. Their agenda was the destruction of the Gaddafi regime in Libya by the use of propaganda and what they called "disinformation".
Two years later Cannistraro was appointed head of the CIA team investigating the Lockerbie bombing. It was on his watch that a tiny fragment of timer board was said to have been found at the Lockerbie crash site. The fragment was "proved" by the FBI to have been part of a batch of timer boards sold to Libya in 1985.
It is now conclusively demonstrated by two independent and experienced scientists that the Lockerbie fragment did not come from that batch of timers sold to Libya. It appears to be from a "rogue" timer specially made by persons unknown. Questions are being asked as to whether it is even a rogue fragment made to appear like a real timer fragment.
We invite the Scottish Government and Crown Office to consider these recorded and provable facts.