THE CIA INSIDE AMERICA

The Senate campaign finance hearings have already started a hornet's nest of questions about the role of the CIA inside America. The first mention of the CIA in the Thompson hearings came when the Agency admitted that they briefed Commerce employee, and DNC fund-raiser, John Huang on secret materials. At one point a CIA agent noted that Huang was given secrets which could pose a significant threat to the US security. Of greater concern is what Mr. Huang did immediately after his secret CIA briefings. It is known that Mr. Huang called his former employer - The Lippo Group. He also walked across the street to a suite owned by Arkansas billionaire, Jackson Stephens, to use their phones.

Were CIA secrets leaked? Mr. Huang, who denies he broke the law, has cited his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify.

Another extra-ordinary incident involves a CIA agent known only as "Bob" with another DNC figure. Memos show that DNC Chairman Don Fowler contacted the mysterious "Bob", seeking the CIA's influence in getting a big dollar donor cleared into the White House. The donor, Roger Tamraz, is a foreign citizen wanted by Interpol on embezzlement charges. Mr. Tamraz was seeking a personal meeting with the President. The National Security Council (NSC) had previous refused Tamraz access to the President on the basis of his background and his business.

In response, CIA agent "Bob" called a NSC staffer, pressing her to allow Tamraz to visit the President. However, the fact that Tamraz had criminal problems did not deter the CIA. At one point, according to a sobbing Sheila Heslin from the NSC, CIA agent "Bob" told her "not to be such a girlscout". In the end Tamraz got his meeting and managed to donate some $300,000 to the DNC. When asked by a Senator if he would do it again, Tamraz replied that he would "donate $600,000" next time.

Yet, the fallout from the CIA involvement with Tamraz extended beyond the beltway and into State politics. $177,000 of the money donated by Tamraz was diverted by the national Democrats into the Virginia Democratic party. The "tainted" money had to be returned by the DPVA on the eve of launching a campaign for Don Byer to be Governor. Byer HAS NOT denied that he met Tamraz. He has declined to answer any press questions concerning the campaign donations. However, recent shortfalls in donations to the DPVA have forced Byer to cut back his blitz of negative TV ads against Republican opponent Jim Gilmore.

Yet the CIA has far more to explain than "Bob", Huang or Roger Tamraz. Under Clinton the CIA has been very active inside the borders of the US. For example, Aviation Week and Space Technology noted in 1993 that the CIA provided direct assistance to the FBI during the Waco stand-off. Aviation Week published that the CIA been called in to assist in the deployment of "non-lethal" weapons against the Branch Davidians.

Another example of CIA work inside the US is the involvement of the agency in the failed CLIPPER project. Clipper, if you will recall, was a chip that would allow the government to intercept scrambled information or phone conversations with encryption. This author sent a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to find out if the CIA had any involvement with domestic encryption.

CIA FOIA public affairs officer Lee S. Strickland wrote back in response: "With respect to your overall request, please be aware, the mission of the Central Intelligence Agency is primarily concerned with foreign intelligence -- not domestic ...Based on the above, we must decline to process your request." Please note the CIA denial to service the FOIA request was not based on any legal reason, such as "national security" or "lawyer-client privilege".

Is there evidence the CIA did work on domestic encryption policy? On April 16, 1993, then National Security advisor Tony Lake, would write a secret memo to the centers of power inside the US government. The memo included Vice President Gore, Attorney General Janet Reno, Secretary Ron Brown and the directors of the FBI, NSA and CIA. Lake told all the parties privy to his secret memo to join the Clipper project through a Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG), "An IWG will be established by the NSC that will include representatives from all cognizant agencies."

Some of the domestic topics that Lake ordered the group to consider included such questions as "Assess the relative practicality of voluntary versus mandatory uses of (CLIPPER)" and "what institutional agents are feasible for key-escrow safekeeping?" In fact, a Department of Justice memo, dated May 17, 1993, was sent to the attendees at the first IWG meeting. This memo includes the blacked-out name of a CIA agent. Thus, the CIA started working on a plan to install a bug in every phone, fax and computer in America.

The CIA had been restricted from working inside the US since President Nixon used the Agency to cover up the Watergate break-ins. Since Nixon the CIA has slowly expanded itself to team with a variety of Federal agencies outside the waters of "foreign" espionage and back into the United States. The CIA has discovered a new mission inside America.


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