Another link has emerged between the post-graduate Central Intelligence Agency “non-official cover” or “NOC” work of Barack Obama for known CIA front Business International Corporation (BIC) and Ronald Reagan administration anti-Communist paramilitary operations. As previously reported by WMR, Obama worked as a CIA cover “journalist” for BIC after he graduated from an international relations studies program at Columbia University, the details of which remain undisclosed by the White House. While at the New York City-based BIC, Obama covered events in Latin America for the company’s various newsletters. BIC admitted that it provided journalistic cover for CIA agents around the world.
It turns out that BIC was not the only CIA front company operating in Latin America at the time Obama was providing reports on such countries as Mexico and Brazil. A shadowy company with a similar-sounding name to BIC, Business Security International (BSI), was established by Langley to provide paramilitary U.S. Support for the Nicaraguan Contras at a time when the Boland Amendment expressly prohibited such assistance to the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguan guerrillas. Obama’s failure to bring officials of the CIA’s torture program to justice and his failure to prosecute the agency and its director, John Brennan, for spying on U.S. Senate computers likely has its roots in the CIA front companies’ participation in the illegal Nicaraguan Contra support network run by Langley during Obama’s employment at BIC.
BIC and BSI were popular under the CIA directorship of William Casey, an advocate of using “off-the-shelf” companies to evade Congressional and Inspector General oversight. BSI was headquartered in Annandale, Virginia. The firm’s chief was Army Lt. Col. Dale Duncan, who was later convicted of fraud and was sentenced to 10 years in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Much of the transcript of Duncan’s court-martial remains classified to this day. While BIC provided the CIA intelligence on the threats posed by nationalistic and left-wing governments and political parties in Latin America and elsewhere, BSI concentrated on left-wing political and guerrilla insurgency threats. the two companies made for a perfect pair for an administration that was convinced it had to re-ignite the Cold War.
Norman Wellen, BIC’s chief executive officer while Obama worked for the firm, was very concerned about Central America. Wellen was concerned that the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and the leftist insurgency in El Salvador could pose a threat to U.S. business activities in those nations. Wellen, who worked for Bear Stearns after BIC was sold to The Economist in 1986 and merged into its Economist Intelligence Unit, a bevvy of former British MI-6 agents, worried about “spillover” from the conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador on business. BIC specialized in providing intelligence on direct foreign investment in Latin America and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador were seen as threats to such investments by U.S.-based multinational corporations. Wellen’s 2011 obituary in the Newark Star-Ledger described him as “a real Mensch.”
One of Obama’s co-workers at BIC’s Manhattan office, Gary Springer, specifically tracked events in Nicaragua for the company, which, in turn, provided the analysis to “The Company” Langley. Springer founded the firm Strategic Eventualities, Inc. in 2001. However, curiously, his biography merely states that in the 1980s he was the associate editor of Business Latin America (now a division of the Economist Intelligence Unit) in New York City. No mention is made of BIC, which published Business Latin America. Springer is not the only ex-BIC employee to omit a reference to the firm in later writings. In his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, Obama failed to mention that the firm he went to work for in Manhattan after graduating from Columbia was, in fact, BIC. Obama only revealed that he worked for “a consulting house to multinational corporations” where he was a “research assistant” and “financial writer.”
Obama’s fellow BIC editor Lou Celi also concentrated on Latin American affairs. Reagan later appointed him as a member of the White House’s business advisory committee for Latin America. Obama’s first CIA-directed coup against a democratically-elected president was overthrew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, Obama’s first year in office. That was followed by Obama authorizing destabilization and coup-making operations against the democratically-elected governments of Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Haiti, Suriname, Guatemala, Brazil, Panama, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Obama has been much more aggressive against Latin America than was his neo-conservative predecessor, George W. Bush, whose 2002 coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was quickly reversed. There were no reversals of the Obama coups against Zelaya and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.
To carry out its clandestine activities in Central America, BSI utilized a Credit Suisse bank account in Switzerland and the company operated under a classified project called Operation YELLOW FRUIT. Those Reagan administration officials with access to the Credit Suisse account included Lt. Col. Oliver North, Casey’s “eyes and ears” inside the National Security Council, and Air Force General Richard Secord. Some of the money that ended up in the Swiss bank account was provided by Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin Sultan. BSI allegedly provided a satellite communications link between the Contras based in Honduras and CIA headquarters in Langley. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger denied any knowledge of BSI or YELLOW FRUIT and it appears that the operation was a CIA cut-out within the Army. Another classified project involving BSI was code-named SEASPRAY and it was responsible for flying reconnaissance missions for the Contras on behalf of the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA). Some of these aircraft were involved in smuggling weapons to Central America and drugs from the region into the United States. One of YELLOW FRUIT’s key operatives was Drug Enforcement Administration informant Barry Seal, who was gunned down in Baton Rouge in 1986 prior to his testifying in a trial that would have implicated Vice President George H W Bush in drug and arms smuggling in the Iran-Contra scandal. BSI also reportedly provided the CIA with cover for its operations in the Middle East. Within the Pentagon and CIA, the BSI operation was known as “2 BSI / YELLOW FRUIT.”
Young Barack Obama’s entrée into the world of covert CIA operations came at a time when the Reagan administration not only flouted the will of Congress but when Casey and his clandestine operatives, who included John Brennan, relied on firms like BSI and BIC to evade oversight by Congress, auditors, Inspectors General, and the press.
Obama’s reticence in holding the CIA and NSA accountable for their massive crimes against the U.S. Constitution and the American people can best be explained by what Obama said in 2008 about Ronald Reagan, the president who gave the green light for U.S. intelligence excesses after they had been curtailed following the Nixon administration and Watergate:
“I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”
Barack Hussein Obama, who, during his CIA stint was also known on his valid Indonesian passport as Barry Soetoro, and as Barry Obama in other facets, was a “company man” in the 1980s and he continues to be one to this day.