CONGRESSIONAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: COMPANY MAN PROBES CONTRAS
The integrity of the congressional panel investigating the
Iran-contra scandal was seriously compromised by the appointment of
Thomas Polgar as an investigator. The appointment also might explain
why CIA involvement in drug trafficking and the La Penca bombing were
not explored during the televised hearings.
During the Vietnam war, Polgar, the CIA station chief in Saigon,
was the object of congressional criticism because of his ongoing
misinformation campaign to defend a continuing U.S. presence in
Vietnam even though his own emergency rooftop departure from the
embassy was only two months away. Despite his history of misleading
Congress, Polgar was appointed to the Senate panel which raises
undeniable conflict-of-interest issues.
Polgar is an active mmeber of the Association of Former
Intelligence Officers (AFIO), an organization that actively lobbies
Congress on behalf of U.S. intelligence activities. He served as a
consultant to the Vice President's Task Force on Combatting Terrorism,
a group loaded with operatives who participated in the covert aid
pipeline to the contras, including John Poindexter and Oliver North.
He is a paid consultant for a corporate risk-analysis firm that had
ties to ex-Nicarguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. And in Vietnam, Polgar
worked for Theodore Shackley, a former top CIA official who
facilitated arms sales to Iran.
Polgar was one of two investigators who traveled to Costa Rica to
investigate such things as contra drug running and the La Penca
bombing which was supposed to kill Eden Pastora, the dissident contra
leader, but instead killed eight other people including one American
Evidence supporting CIA involvement in the La Penca bombing and
drug trafficking was within reach of Polgar when he arrived in Costa
Rica. John Hull, a U.S. rancher based in Costa Rica, would have been
a logical witness to interview because of his ties to the supply
network and allegations about his involvement in drug running.
However, Hull told IN THESE TIMES that he never talked with Polgar.
Polgar also failed to interview Peter Glibbery, a key witness to
Hull's operation, who is in jail in Costa Rica.
Polgar did interview two reporters from Costa Rica's English
language newspaper, THE TICO TIMES, but did not seem interested in
hard facts. "His questions were subjective, what we thought about
Pastora and Hull", said reporter Beth Hawkins. "Polgar didn't want to
hear anything specific -- dates, evidence, sources." Nor did he even
ask about La Penca.
As with Watergate, the congressional hearings on the Iran-contra
issue could have helped restore credibility to our government;
instead, sending a longtime CIA operative to investigate a scandal
replete with CIA illegalities only further compromised the integrity
of the system.
SOURCE: IN THESE TIMES, 6/10/87, "Congressional conflict of
interest: a CIA good ol' boy probes the network," by Vince Bielski and
Dennis Bernstein, pp 6-7.