O'Reilly denies allegations of White House/FOX symbiosis in one segment, thanks CIA-linked private airline for lift to Iraq in another
Reported by Chrish - December 20, 2006 -
Last night 12/18/06 on the Factor host Bill O'Reilly did a segment attacking retired newsman Dan Rather for comments about the White House and FOX News having a "different" relationship than other news networks. O'Reilly said he is rapidly losing respect for Rather and complained that Rather is "too busy" to come on the Factor but managed to fit in an interview on CNN, where he reiterated his opinion that the two are operating in synch. O'Reilly was adamant that there is no such relationship, yet earlier in his Talking Points Memo he had thanked Evergreen International Aviation for the fine service on O'Reilly's trip to Iraq last week.
What a plug! Must be crony-owned, I figured. A trip to their website is less than fruitful - they are privately held and names of principals or a board were not easily found.
A visit to SourceWatch.org was much more revealing. According to them,
"Evergreen International Aviation, Inc. is an Oregon-based aviation company with longstanding ties to the CIA. Its huge Evergreen Air Center in Arizona was bought from the Agency, which offered the property to no-one else. In 1980 an Evergreen plane flew the recently deposed Shah of Iran from Panama to Egypt, hours before the Panamanian government was due to receive an extradition request from the new government in Tehran. Giving rides to dictators is something of a specialty for the company - it also allowed El Salvador's President Duarte to use its helicopter, which was officially in the country to help repair power lines.
And according to a series of articles in The Oregonian in 1988, Evergreen's owner and founder Delford M. Smith "...acknowledged one agreement under which his companies provide occasional jobs and cover to foreign nationals the CIA wants taken out of other countries or brought into the United States. However, neither Smith nor CIA officials would say whether any broader agreement existed."
Selected snips from the article include these tidbits:
"Reports from private pilots who have attempted to refuel at the Evergreen Air Center in Arizona indicate that it is a militarized facility:"
"Business is booming, thanks to the Iraq war
According to a 2004 article in The Oregonian, Evergreen has benefited from the Iraq war:
"...the Iraq conflict is pumping some new money into Oregon. Defense Department spending in the state rose in fiscal 2003 to $491.2 million, up from $404.1 million in fiscal 2002, according to a department Web site. Evergreen nabbed a good chunk of those new dollars. About 40 percent of Evergreen's $568.6 million operating revenues last year came from cargo bound for U.S. military operations in Iraq, according to a March 1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission." "
A much longer article at FromtheWilderness .com laid out the history of the airline and its involvement with covert and illegal activities, beginning with
"In 1976 Senator Frank Church submitted CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston to intense grilling over the Agency's questionable and illegal operation of proprietary air transport services. At that time, Houston admitted that the CIA had routinely used the United States Postal Service and the U.S. Forrest Service as covers for covert activities. Houston admitted that The Forest Service had been infiltrated by CIA and that CIA shared an address with the Forrest Service's Air Research and Development unit on Kent Street in Alexandria, VA.
Houston also admitted that the primary company, responsible for all of CIA covert air operations, was a holding company named Pacific Corp. There is an Oregon based corporation known as Pacificorp which has a multitude of sub entities with varying versions of the name including Pacific Power & Light, Pacificorp and Pacific Harbor Capital. In 1993 a Seattle paper ran a story connecting Pacificorp to CIA's Pacific Corp. Under oath, before the Senate in 1976, Houston admitted that Pacific Corp, owned and controlled such CIA notables as Air America, Southern Air Transport and Intermountain Air. In 1976 the CIA was ordered to sell Air America and divest itself of all its holdings.
Since 1973 the CIA had been anticipating this and had moved quickly to give all of its clandestinely owned aircraft to its alleged proprietary, Evergreen International based out of Marana Air Park near Tucson Arizona and McMinville Oregon, near Portland. Coincidentally, Medford Oregon is the home base of aircraft broker Roy Reagan. Reagan was convicted in 1997, along with another man on criminal charges stemming from a scheme to fraudulently take $80 million worth of airplanes from the U.S. government and place them in private hands. Reagan was also the broker for Evergreen according to a lawsuit filed by former CIA pilot Gary Eitel."
Read much more...
So to sum up, O'Reilly denies allegations of close relations between FOX News and the White House (which is laughable and refutable just by looking at who gets all the "exclusives" with Bush and Cheney) shortly after thanking a CIA-linked crony-co for the lift to Iraq. I wonder how Al Franken got to Iraq for his fourth USO tour.