Connection between SS Poet and firm tied to covert arms shipments to Iran
publication date: Jun 14, 2007
WMR has discovered a possible link between the CIA front firm, Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation (EATSCO), formed in 1978 to facilitate secret CIA arms shipments to various countries in the Middle East, and the covert and treasonous shipment of U.S. arms to Iran in October 1980 on board the doomed SS Poet. The secret deal involved rogue CIA agents working with vice presidential candidate George H. W. Bush and Reagan campaign manager William Casey to keep U.S. hostages prisoner in Iran.
EATSCO's cover mission was to support the implementation of the 1978 Camp David accords.
The Iran weapons smuggling plan was cooked up by Bush, Casey, and CIA officials Donald Gregg and Robert Gates as a way to ensure President Jimmy Carter's electoral defeat.
We reported on EATSCO last November: "On Nov. 17/18/19, 2006, WMR reported on the presence of an aircraft linked to Viktor Bout's international weapons smuggling network at Mogadishu airport. WMR reported that the "Boeing-707, registered in Ghana with registry number 9G-GAL, marked with “SACHA” on the fuselage, used the call sign 9QCTA. The plane landed in Mogadishu at 0700 GMT on November 13, 2006. The plane reportedly made previous stops with arms and ammunition at Mogadishu."
WMR has recently learned the aircraft, which is actually registered "9G-OAL," is owned by Johnson's Air of Ghana. Johnson's Air appears to have been founded around 1995 by Kansas City-based Farhad Azima (and may now be operated by Farzin (also spelled Farsin) Azima, Farhad's brother). Azima is well known for his connections to highly placed (and "well-oiled") American friends in Houston and Washington, DC and first became known for his role in the Iran Contra scandal of the 1980's. One of Azima's Boeing 707s was used to ship 23 tons of arms and ammunition to Iran in return for the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon. The plane was leased to Race Aviation, owned by Farzin Azima. Farhad Azima served on the board of Kansas City's Indian Springs State Bank, which, along with its directors, were sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after the bank collapsed in 1984 after making insider loans and engaging in deposit fraud.
Global also had a contract with the Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation (EATSCO) to ship U.S. arms to Egypt. EATSCO was a CIA front company connected to CIA officers Thomas Clines, Edwin Wilson, and Ted Shackley and Egyptian intelligence officer Hussein Salem.
Farhad Azima, an Iranian expatriate, is chairman and CEO of the Aviation Leasing Group of Companies (ALG), which owns and operates some 50 aircraft, including those operated by Buffalo Airways of Waco, Texas. In 1976, Azima founded Global International Airways (the same year that James Bath became the sole U.S. agent for Salem Bin Laden, the older brother of Osama Bin Laden, and who was heavily involved in procuring airline service companies in and around Houston). Azima also acquired a controlling interest of Capital Air, which maintained a large aircraft overhaul operation in Smyrna, Tennessee. In 1983, following the crash of a Global International press plane in Brazil that was accompanying President Reagan on a trip to that country, Global International had its operations suspended by the FAA for safety reasons -- ironic since Azima's company now provides training to the FAA. Azima has friends in both the GOP and Democratic Party -- including former DNC Chair Don Fowler and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson."
EATSCO was likely the cut out used to procure the weapons that were shipped to Iran to fulfill and agreement hammered out in Paris between Iranian representatives and Bush and Casey. The October Surprise was not the first secret deal between Bush and the Iranians. The same network used in October 1980 was used to secretly supply weapons to the Iranians in return for the freeing of Western hostages in Iran during the 1980s. That deal resulted in the Iran-contra scandal that nearly toppled the Reagan administration. In violation of the law, the arms smuggling network, overseen by Oliver North, was used to supply weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua. Ironically, EATSCO had previously been used to supply Palestinian weapons to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. The person who served as EATSCO's silent partner in the 1970s would surface again as a major player in Iran-contra. He was Air Force General Richard Secord.
One of EATSCO's primary agents of influence in Egypt was reportedly Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak. After President Anwar Sadat, one of the co-signers of the Camp David Peace Accords, discovered the role of his vice president in the CIA's covert arms shipments, he ordered an investigation. Sadat was assassinated in 1981 while attending a military parade. Mubarak became president. The investigation was killed.
Our intelligence sources have previously revealed that the Poet was used to secretly ship weapons to Iran. To eliminate witnesses to the arms transfer, the CIA interlocutors, Bush, and Casey ensured that the Poet was sunk, either by the Iranians or by the Iraqis, who were then engaged in a bitter war with Iran. A third party attack on the vessel also cannot be ruled out. In any event, the ship was reported lost without a trace in the Atlantic and the Coast Guard was ordered to conduct a bogus search for the ship, in the same manner that the Navy was ordered to conduct a fake search for the sunk U.S. nuclear submarine, Scorpion, in 1968.
Very little has been written about the fate of the SS Poet and its 34-man crew. The Bush crime family would like to keep it that way.