Office of The United States Trustee vs. Harmon
(Formerly Woo vs. Harmon)
CV05-00030 DAE KSC
U.S. District Court For the District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
Former head of the CIA from 1966 to 1973. Richard Helms passed away from cancer on October 23, 2002, before any Hearing could be held in this case.
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Richard McGarrah Helms (March 30, 1913 – October 23, 2002) was the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973.
He was the only director to have been convicted of lying to Congress over Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) undercover activities. In 1977, he was sentenced to the maximum fine and received a suspended two-year prison sentence....
During World War II he served in the United States Navy. In 1943, he was posted to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) because of his ability to speak German. In the aftermath of the war, he was transferred to the newly formed Office of Special Operations (OSO), where at the age of 33 he was put in charge of intelligence and counter-intelligence operations in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
The OSO became a division of the CIA when that organization was created by the National Security Act of July 1947. Helms became Director of the OSO after the CIA's disastrous role in the attempted invasion of Cuba in 1961. After falling out with the Kennedys, he was sent off to Vietnam where he oversaw the coup to overthrow President Ngo Dinh Diem. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Helms was made Deputy Director of the CIA under Admiral William Raborn. A year later, in 1966, he was appointed Director.
The ease of Helm's role under President Lyndon Johnson changed with the arrival of President Richard Nixon and Nixon's national security advisor Henry Kissinger. After the debacle of Watergate, from which Helms succeeded in distancing the CIA as far as possible, the Agency came under much tighter Congressional control.
In 1972, Helms ordered the destruction of most records from the huge MKULTRA project, over 150 CIA-funded research projects designed to explore any possibilities of mind control. The project became public knowledge two years later, after a New York Times report. Its full extent may never be known.
Nixon considered Helms to be disloyal and fired him as DCI in 1973. Helms then served from 1973 to 1976 as US ambassador to Iran in Tehran.
Helms' ultimate undoing was the CIA role in the subversion of Chilean socialist government and the overthrow, under Nixon's orders, of that country's Communist president Salvador Allende in 1973. Helms had reportedly opposed this operation.
Helms' answers to Congress on the CIA's role in the Chilean affair were proved to be false and he was prosecuted and convicted in 1977. He received a two-year suspended sentence and a $2,000 fine. He wore the conviction as a badge of honor; his fine was paid by friends from the CIA.
Helms testified, under oath, in 1979, that Clay Shaw, the only man ever put on trial for John F. Kennedy's assassination, had, from 1948 to 1956, been a part-time contact of the Domestic Contact Division of the CIA; a claim that has remained unproven from Shaw's trial.
In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations, HSCA cited Helms for perjury in its final report. He had lied about his knowledge of the John F. Kennedy assassination. When testifying before the Warren Commission in 1964 Helms swore he never remembered hearing the name Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination.
"...I had all of our records searched to see if there had been any contacts at any time prior to President Kennedy's assassination by anyone in the Central Intelligence Agency with Lee Harvey Oswald. We checked our card files and our personnel files and all our records. Now, this check turned out to be negative. In addition I got in touch with those officers who were in positions of responsibility at the times in question to see if anybody had any recollection of any contact having even been suggested with this man. This also turned out to be negative, so there is no material in the Central Intelligence Agency, either in the records or in the mind of any of the individuals, that there was any contact had or even contemplated with him." (Warren Report volume V page 120)
However a declassified memo written by Helms on November 25, 1963, the day after Oswald’s murder states that, "As soon as I [blacked out] had heard Oswald's name," he recognized Oswald as a potential recruit. The name of the government agency, recruiter, and operation had been blacked out from the memo. (HSCA Report volume XI page 64.)
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan awarded Helms the National Security Medal.
he died of bone cancer in 2002, Richard Helms was interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Role in bringing Saddam Hussein to power
Video of Helms discussing his role in Watergate
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June 6, 2001 < < < Note the date!
The Accidental Operative
Richard Helms’s Afghani Niece Leads
Corps of Taliban Reps
by Camelia Fard & James Ridgeway
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6—On this muggy afternoon, a group of neatly attired men and a handful of women gather in a conference room at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The guest list includes officials from the furthest corners of the world—Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Turkey—and reps from the World Bank, the Uzbekistan chamber of commerce, the oil industry, and the Russian news agency Tass, along with various individuals identified only as "U.S. Government," which in times past was code for spook.
At hand is a low-profile briefing on international narcotics by a top State Department official, who has recently returned from a United Nations trip to inspect the poppy fields of Afghanistan, source of 80 percent of the world's opium and target of a recent eradication campaign by the fundamentalist Taliban. The lecture begins as every other in Washington: The speaker politely informs the crowd he has nothing to do with policymaking. And, by the way, it's all off the record.
Lecture over, the chairman asks for questions. One man after another rises to describe his own observations while in the foreign service. The moderator pauses, looks to the back of the room, and says in a scarcely audible voice: "Laili Helms." The room goes silent.
For the people gathered here, the name brings back memories of Richard Helms, director of the CIA during the tumultuous 1960s, the era of Cuba and Vietnam. After he was accused of destroying most of the agency's secret documents detailing its own crimes, Helms left the CIA and became President Ford's ambassador to Iran. There, he trained the repressive secret police, inadvertently sparking the revolution that soon toppled his friend the Shah.
Laili Helms, his niece by marriage, is an operative, too—but of a different kind. This pleasant young woman who makes her home in New Jersey is the Taliban rulers' unofficial ambassador in the U.S., and their most active and best-known advocate elsewhere in the West. As such she not only defends but promotes a severe regime that has given the White House fits for the past six years—by throwing women out of jobs and schools, stoning adulterers, forcing Hindus to wear an identifying yellow patch, and smashing ancient Buddha statues.
In meetings on Capitol Hill and at the State Department, Helms represents a theocracy that harbors America's Public Enemy No. 1: Osama bin Laden, the man who allegedly masterminded the bombing of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and is suspected of blowing up the USS Cole. From his Afghan fortress, bin Laden operates a terrorist network reaching across the world.
All of which is highly ironic since bin Laden is the progeny of a U.S. policy that sought to unite Muslims in a jihad against the Soviet Union, but over a decade eroded the moderate political wing and launched a wave of young radical fundamentalists. The Taliban, says the author Ahmed Rashid, "is the hip-hop generation of Islamic militants. They know nothing about nothing. Their aim is the destruction of the status quo, but they offer nothing to replace it with."
Now the Bush administration is lowering its sights, viewing the Taliban within a broader context of an oil-rich central Asia. The chaotic region is strewn with crooked governments, terrorist brotherhoods, thieving warlords, and smugglers. Against this backdrop, the Taliban sometimes seems to be the least of our problems.
The mullahs would like to take advantage of the Bush administration's own fundamentalist leanings, complete with antidrug, pro-energy, and feminist-rollback policies. Their often comic efforts to establish representation in the U.S. took off when they found Helms. For them, she is a disarming presence, the unassuming woman at the back of the room.
After spending most her life in the States, Helms has impeccable suburban credentials. She lives in Jersey City and is the mother of a couple of grade-school kids. Her husband works at Chase Manhattan.
A granddaughter of a former Afghan minister in the last monarchy, she returned home during the war to work on U.S. aid missions. "Everyone thinks I'm a spy," she said in a recent Voice interview. "And Uncle Dick thinks I'm crazy."
Helms's home across the Hudson has become a sort of kitchen-table embassy. She says she patches together conference calls between the Taliban leadership and State Department officials. A recent one cost more than $1000, an expense she covered from her own checking account.
One moment she's packing up a used computer for the foreign ministry in Kabul, the next driving down to Washington for a briefing or meeting with members of Congress. Her cell phone rings nonstop. "These guys," she says, referring to the Taliban leaders, "are on no one else's agenda. They are so isolated you can't call the country. You can't send letters out. None of their officials can leave Afghanistan now."
Indeed, the Taliban government is virtually unrecognized by most others. It has no standing at the UN, where it has come under scathing indictment for human rights abuses. In February, the U.S. demanded that Taliban offices here be closed.
Helms may be just another suburban mom in the States, but last year in Afghanistan she got movie-star treatment, driving around downtown Kabul in a smart late-model Japanese car, escorted by armed guards waving Kalashnikov rifles, rattling away in English and Farsi as she shot video footage to prove that Afghan women are working, free, and happy.
She stands at the public relations hub of a ragtag network of amateur Taliban advocates in the U.S. At the University of Southern California, economics professor Nake M. Kamrany arranged last year for the Taliban's Rahmatullah Hashami, ambassador at large, to bypass the visa block. He even rounded up enough money for Hashami to lecture at the University of California, both in Los Angeles and Berkeley. The trip ended at the State Department in D.C., with a reported offer to turn Osama bin Laden over to the U.S.
Kamrany hardly looks the part of a foreign emissary, showing up for an interview recently in Santa Monica dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and insisting on a tuna fish sandwich before getting down to defending the burqa, the head-to-toe covering required for Afghani women. In addition to Kamrany, there's the erstwhile official Taliban representative, Abdul Hakim Mojahed, in Queens, whom Helms dismisses with a wave of her hand as a do-nothing, not worth talking to. Mojahed's voice line has been disconnected, and his fax number never picks up.
Dr. Davood Davoodyar, an economics professor at Cal State in San Francisco, joined the jihad to fight against the Soviets in the early 1980s. Today he keeps in touch with the elusive Mojahed, who seems to have gone underground since his office was shuttered. Davoodyar thinks the Taliban is helping to stabilize Afghanistan, but concedes, "If I asked my wife to wear the burqa, she'd kill me."
Also in San Francisco, Ghamar Farhad, a bank supervisor, has served as host to the Taliban's visiting deputy minister of information along with the ambassador at large. She generally likes the Taliban because she believes they have cut down on rape, but got very upset when they blew up the Buddha statues. When the Taliban explained to her that these satanic idols had to go, Farhad says, she changed her mind.
Led by Helms, these people have answers for all the accusations made against the Taliban, starting with its treatment of women. To a visitor it might seem as if women had just disappeared, as if by some sort of massive ethnic cleansing. Though they made up 40 percent of all the doctors and 70 percent of teachers in the capital, women were forced to abandon Western clothes and stay indoors behind windows painted black "for their own good." Ten million reportedly have been denied education, hospital care, and the right to work.
The Taliban insists that a woman wear a burqa, stifling garb with only tiny slits for her eyes and no peripheral vision. Even her voice is banned. In shops or in the market, she must have her brother, husband, or father speak to the shopkeeper so that she will not excite him with the sound of her speaking.
Helms argues that foreign observers have forgotten conditions in the country following the war against the Soviets. "Afghanistan was like a Mad Max scenario," she says. "Anyone who had a gun and a pickup truck could abduct your women, rape them. . . . When the Taliban came and established security, the majority of Afghan women who suffered from the chaotic conditions were happy, because they could live, their children could live."
But a current Physicians for Human Rights poll taken in Afghanistan reports that women surveyed in Taliban-controlled areas "almost unanimously expressed that the Taliban had made their life 'much worse.' " They reported high rates of depression and suicide.
Last year a group of Afghani women gathered in Tajikistan made a concerted demand for basic human rights, citing "torture and inhumane and degrading treatment." Their address noted that "poverty and the lack of freedom of movement push women into prostitution, involuntary exile, forced marriages, and the selling and trafficking of their daughters."
The Taliban drew more worldwide criticism for its abuse of other religious and ethnic minorities. It required that Hindus wear yellow clothing—saris for women and shirts for men, so they could be distinguished from Muslims—a move that immediately brought back images of Jews in Nazi Germany wearing the Star of David. There are 5000 Hindus living in Kabul and thousands more in other Afghan cities. An Indian external affairs spokesman condemned the new requirements as "reprehensible" and told The Times of India it was another example of the Taliban's "obscurantist and racist ideology, which is alien to Afghan traditions."
Helms argues outsiders don't understand the import of the yellow tags. "We asked them to identify themselves [to protect] their religious beliefs. Everyone has identity cards. The intention is to protect people." She shrugs. "Here you have labels for handicapped people. So you can have special parking."
Blowing up the ancient statues of Buddhas, hewn from cliffs in the third and fifth centuries B.C., was another matter. "That was a very big deal," she says. "That was them thumbing their nose at the international community."
Helms has little regard for Osama bin Laden, whom she sneeringly refers to as a "tractor driver." She says he was inherited by the Taliban and is widely viewed as a "hang nail."
In 1999, Helms says, she got a message from the Taliban leadership that they were willing to turn over all of bin Laden's communications equipment, which they had seized, to the U.S. When she called the State Department with this offer, officials were at first interested, but later said, "No. We want him."
In the same year, Prince Turki, head of Saudi intelligence, reputedly came up with a scheme to capture bin Laden on his own; after consulting with the Taliban he flew his private plane to Kabul and drove out to see Mullah Omar at his HQ. The two men sat down, as Helms recounts the story, and the Saudi said, "There's just one little thing. Will you kill bin Laden before you put him on the plane?" Mullah Omar called for a bucket of cold water. As the Saudi delegation fidgeted, he took off his turban, splashed water on his head, and then washed his hands before sitting back down. "You know why I asked for the cold water?" he asked Turki. "What you just said made my blood boil."
Bin Laden was a guest of the Afghanis and there was no way they were going to kill him, though they might turn him over for a trial. At that the deal collapsed, and Turki flew home empty-handed.
Early this year, the Taliban's ambassador at large, Hashami, a young man speaking perfect English, met with CIA operations people and State Department reps, Helms says. At this final meeting, she says, Hashami proposed that the Taliban hold bin Laden in one location long enough for the U.S. to locate and destroy him. The U.S. refused, says Helms, who claims she was the go-between in this deal between the supreme leader and the feds.
A U.S. government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, made clear that the U.S. is not trying to kill bin Laden but instead wants him expelled from Afghanistan so he can be brought to justice. Acknowledging that Laili Helms does a lot of lobbying on behalf of the Taliban, this source said Helms does not speak to the Taliban for the U.S.
In the realpolitik of Bush foreign policy, the Taliban may have improved its chances for an opening of relations with the rest of the world. As it now stands, there seems little question that Afghanistan has indeed stopped the production of poppies in the areas under its control. Partly as a result, its farmers are destitute, their lives made more miserable by drought.
But that's not likely to faze the powers that be in Afghanistan, since most of the country's real money comes from taxing non-dope trade. Nor will it bother the drug traffickers, who swarm the region and are shifting production north and west into such places as Turkmenistan. As of last month, the U.S. had committed $124 million in aid to Afghanistan, according to the State Department. Meanwhile, Iran, which harbors some 2 million Afghan refugees and is fighting massive drug addiction, has sent agricultural engineers north to help repair Afghanistan's irrigation systems.
Last week Milt Bearden, the former CIA station chief in Pakistan and Sudan, argued in The Wall Street Journal that the Bush administration should take a "more restrained approach" to bin Laden. "There may be a realization that the two years of unrestrained rhetoric of the Clinton administration following the 1998 attacks in Africa may have done little more than inflate the myth that has inspired others to harm Americans," he wrote.
None of this has changed the impression most people here have of the Taliban. Helms and her cohorts have a lot of work to do. As she freely admits, the Taliban leaders "are considered fascists, tyrants, Pol Pots. They can't do anything right. We perceive them as monsters no matter what they do."
Additional reporting: Ariston-Lizabeth Anderson and Rouven Gueissaz
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Richard Helms is expected to testify regarding his business, professional, political and personal relationships with Robert Gates, Ron Rewald, Scott Barnes, Kenneth Starr, John Burns, George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Larry Mehau, Francis Keala, Thomas Hayes, Tany Hong, Jim Dannenberg, Judge Martin Pence, Judge Harold M. Fong, James B. Nicholson, Arnold Morgado, Barron Hilton, Lamar Hunt, Calvin Gunderson, Sunny Wong, General Hunter Harris, Stanley Sporkin, Judge Sarah Adler, Price Waterhouse, Ricky Zobel, Ayala Corporation, Sultan of Brunei, Sukamto Sia, William Casey, Richard Armitage, E. Howard Hunt, Stanley Sporkin, George H.W. Bush, John Peyton, Tom Selleck, Jack Lord, Jack Radin, Henry Kissinger, Nugan/Hand Bank, Robert W. Jinks, Charles Duck, General Arnold Brasswell, Bo Gritz, Klaus Barbie, Heinrich Rupp, Lon Nol, Pan Am Airways, Air America, Hugh Grundy, Sam Pryor, Daniel Case; Ray Fuqua, Ed Kubo, BCCI, Oliver North, V.K. Durham, and others to be named upon discovery.
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