Chapter Thirty-eight

Senators, Cabinet Members and Dictators

LaRouche's message that racketeering is twentieth-century Americanism was useful to stroke the egos of Teamster officials. To Mafia dons, it might have been interpreted as a signal that LaRouche wanted a niche in organized crime. But it was hardly the stuff of which effective publicity campaigns are made. For that, he needed something less obvious—an issue that could give a veneer of legitimacy to his "hands off the mob" propaganda.

He found this issue in Abscam's civil liberties implications. FBI undercover agents had solicited bribes from congressmen who, unlike the Brilab defendants, had not previously engaged in a pattern of illegal activities. Targets such as Senator Harrison Williams (D.-N.J.) were widely perceived as victims of prosecutorial tactics outside the legitimate mandate of law enforcement. Williams had a distinguished legislative record and staunchly maintained his innocence. Although a jury found him guilty in May 1981 on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy, he had the potential to gain public sympathy—something a Carlos Marcello or Frank Sheeran could never hope to achieve.

In the fall of 1981, when Williams' case was on appeal and he was facing expulsion from the Senate, the LaRouchians adopted him as their latest victim of political persecution by evil FBI agents. Lacking support from his fellow senators, Williams was ready to grasp at straws, When LaRouche's National Democratic Policy Committee launched a petition campaign among trade unionists to stop the Senate expulsion proceeding, Williams consented to be interviewed for a half-hour NDPC-produced videotape that was later shown at gatherings of labor officials and politicians in New Jersey. The NDPC also sponsored a fundraising event for Williams at New York's Statler Hilton. A Williams aide commented to the Passaic Herald-News that the NDPC had "a rather broader following than is generally thought," especially among "auto dealers and construction people." As the expulsion vote approached, New Solidarity claimed that the NDPC was rallying the Laborers, Teamsters, and other unions to defend Williams. NDPC speakers had been sent, the paper said, to Democratic clubs and union locals around New Jersey to "explain the broader threat to the Constitution and to labor and constituency organizations..."

In February 1982 the NDPC joined with officials from the Teamsters and the construction trades to found the National Labor Committee to Defend Harrison Williams. The LaRouchians promised to launch an "immediate lobbying mobilization across the country to press for a full investigation of Abscam illegalities." The founding meeting was held in Atlantic City, The committee's statement of policy suggested that the defense of Williams was really a cover for defending FBI-targeted labor racketeers: "We...regard the case of Sen. Harrison being a turning point for the labor movement. We either rise to his defense in a unified fashion, across the nation, from the bottom to the top of labor, or we ourselves should not be surprised to hear the knock at the door saying we're next." Support for this statement came mostly from local New Jersey union officials. The AFL-CIO leadership refused to have anything to do with it. New Solidarity then accused AFL-CIO chief Lane Kirkland of being pro-Abscam. In fact, Kirkland spoke out strongly against the sting operations, as did many civil libertarians and trade unionists totally unconnected to LaRouche's committee.

The high point of the NDPC's campaign to defend Williams was a Washington rally at which a message, supposedly from the senator, was read out: "I think that the entire American people will one day thank and commend Lyn and Helga LaRouche...for bringing to light the facts of police state methods, and organizing the resistance to them....Our tradition is not to give in to Gestapo methods but to fight them."

Another beneficiary of the LaRouche organization's crusade against FBI entrapment tactics was auto tycoon John DeLorean, who was indicted in 1982 on charges of cocaine trafficking. According to Gordon Novel, who worked as a private investigator for the defense, LaRouche aide Jeffrey Steinberg provided research materials on how the British government allegedly was out to get DeLorean. Former NCLC security staffer Charles Tate recalls: "I wrote a big paper on Jeff's instructions. I was told I'd get to meet with the DeLoreans but that fell through." Former NCLC security consultants Roy Frankhouser and Lee Fick also say they were assigned to this project. DeLorean, who was acquitted by a jury in 1984, has said that he received information from the LaRouchians but never paid them any money.

The LaRouchians also attempted to help out beleaguered Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan when a federal special prosecutor investigated allegations that his firm, Schiavone Construction Company in Secaucus, New Jersey, had paid bribes to labor racketeers and that Donovan was himself an associate of organized crime. According to LaRouche defectors, a Teamster-linked attorney asked the NCLC's Security staff to gather information on behalf of Donovan and Schiavone. LaRouche's Security chief, Jeffrey Steinberg, personally handled the investigation, A June 18, 1982, Investigative Leads memo from Steinberg to Morris Levin, Schiavone's house counsel, outlined the progress of Steinberg's work and mentioned plans for a meeting with Robert Shortley, a private investigator also working on behalf of Schiavone. Levin recalled this memo in a 1984 phone interview and said he had talked to Steinberg "from time to time." He also said the firm's president, Ronald Schiavone, had met with Steinberg.

Copies of the Steinberg memo and other private investigative documents were obtained by a University of Oklahoma graduate student, Frank Smist, from Robert J. Flynn, a Washington attorney who had been hired by Schiavone to find out who was spreading the allegations about Donovan. In 1984 Smist turned the documents over to the Brooklyn Organized Crime Strike Force. This set off an investigation of whether unauthorized disclosures from government sources (suggested by the documents' contents) might have triggered the murder of Fred Furino, a former official of Tony Pro's Local 560. Furino, whose body was found in a car trunk in mid-June 1982, had been a prospective federal witness regarding alleged Schiavone payoffs to the mob. He had appeared before the grand jury several months previously.

The Steinberg memo, written several days after Furino's disappearance, mentioned that the Teamster official had been a topic of conversation between an NCLC staff member and an NBC television reporter. The NCLC member pumped the reporter to find out if he knew anything about the contents of the not yet released special prosecutor's report. Steinberg claimed his associate learned from the reporter that the special prosecutor's office had given Furino a polygraph test.

In 1984 Ronald Schiavone told The New York Times that he had hired private investigator Shortley to find out who on the Senate Labor Committee staff was spreading allegations about himself and Donovan. NCLC defectors say that Steinberg and other members of Security did research on similar lines. In fact, Executive Intelligence Review published at least two articles in 1981 by a Steinberg assistant purporting to describe a conspiracy by Senate Labor Committee staffers to embarrass the Reagan administration by bringing down Donovan.

Although the special prosecutor's report concluded that there was "insufficient credible evidence" to indict Donovan, an investigation subsequently launched by the Bronx district attorney's office resulted in the September 1984 indictment of Donovan and seven others, including Levin, Schiavone, and Genovese crime family member William {"the Butcher") Masselli. The defendants were charged with 137 counts of larceny and fraud in relation to contracts on a New York City subway tunnel. It was the first time in American history that a sitting cabinet member had been indicted on criminal charges. Donovan resigned after taking a leave of absence. New Solidarity said it was all part of a plot by the KGB, Henry Kissinger, and the AFL-CIO to take over the Labor Department. (As matters turned out, Donovan and his co-defendants were all found innocent in 1987 after an eight-month trial.)

LaRouche's allies in Teamster Local 282 on Long Island were also feeling the heat. Business agent Harold Gross, McMaster's old associate, was indicted in 1981 on charges that included extorting a no-show job from Schiavone Construction for his chauffeur. Local 282 president John Cody was indicted for racketeering in January 1982. That spring the New York Times published a series on corruption in the local construction unions. A major problem, the series charged, was Cody's conduct as head of Local 282, representing 4,000 building supply truckers. Rushing to Cody's defense came LaRouche follower Mel Klenetsky, a candidate in the Democratic primary against U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Klenetsky issued an appeal to the labor movement to unite behind Cody. He also printed up copies of a letter from a prominent builder taking issue with the Times’s criticisms of Local 282. Cody's name subsequently appeared along with those of several Laborers Union officials in an advertisement in New York City's Amsterdam News endorsing Klenetsky. In October 1982 Cody was convicted of seven counts of racketeering and income-tax evasion. One contractor testified he had handed Cody $100,000 in a shoebox. The guilty verdict was obtained in spite of the disappearance of several witnesses, including Carpenters Union chief Ted Maritas (federal investigators believe Maritas was murdered). When Cody was sentenced to five years in prison, New Solidarity said this was more proof of selective prosecution. The case was simply a "frame-up engineered by The New York Times and its organized crime gestapo," allegedly to punish Cody for supporting LaRouche. "The word is that the Times wants to see John Cody dead, because he dared to oppose their friends," said the LaRouche paper. A subsequent article by Klenetsky said the Cody case demonstrated the need for a "national citizens' mobilization to strip the FBI of its funds until its lawlessness is checked." The LaRouchian arguments regarding the Cody case were quite similar to those LaRouche himself would use in his 1988 trial for obstruction of justice.

The LaRouchian relationship to the national Teamster leadership had its ups and downs in the early 1980s. Roy Williams became IBT president in 1981 after Fitzsimmons' death. Jackie Presser moved up to number two, and was widely expected to soon replace Williams, who was indicted for bribery shortly after assuming office. To demonstrate his capacity for aggressive leadership, Presser decided to go after the TDU and isolate it as thoroughly as possible prior to the 1981 national convention in Las Vegas. A wave of bogus TDU fliers and other forgeries began to circulate in the union. The TDU's newspaper charged that the NCLC was producing them. The nastiest was a letter purporting to be from the National Right to Work Committee, an anti-labor lobbying group, to TDU leader Pete Camarata. "Pete, you are going to have the NRWC's in your upcoming effort to disrupt the Teamsters' Convention," the letter said. Copies were mailed to Teamster locals in plain envelopes with no return address. The TDU promptly denied any connection between Camarata and the NRWC, and pointed out the preposterous references in the letter to such LaRouchian bugbears as the Mont Pelerin Society and the Heritage Foundation. However, many Teamster officials used it, just as they had used The Plot to Destroy the Teamsters in 1977-78. Reports began to pour into the TDU national office from rank-and-file Teamsters who had received copies of the letter. The president of an Alabama local mailed it to members at union expense. Teamster local officers in St. Louis, Toledo, San Antonio, and other cities also distributed the pamphlet. "It is clear," the TDU's Convoy said, "that a national distribution of the Big Lie is underway."

Meanwhile, Presser set up two paper organizations, TRUTH (Teamster Ranks United to Help) and BLAST (Brotherhood of Loyal Americans and Strong Teamsters), spreading standard LaRouche smears about "Commie-Rat-A" (Camarata) and "Ayatollah Mel" (TDU trustee Mel Packer). Goons claiming to be from TRUTH and BLAST created an atmosphere of intimidation at the convention, roughing up Camarata while LaRouche intelligence operatives roamed the floor with guest passes from Midwest locals.

The LaRouchians struck out, however, with Roy Williams. They denounced his indictment with the usual litany about witch-hunts, frame-ups, squealers, and Gestapos, but Williams, the creature of Kansas City crime lord Nick Civella, showed little interest. This coolness and Rolland McMaster's continued friendliness with the Detroit defectors apparently were the reasons for a 1982 editorial in New Solidarity entitled "Teamster Stupidity." For once, the LaRouchians revealed their true feelings about their blue-collar allies. The Justice Department, the editorial argued, could be "easily defeated" if the IBT would organize its nearly two million members for a political counterattack based on LaRouche's ideology. "Unfortunately for this nation," the editorial complained, "the leadership of the Teamsters has thus far proven itself to be of two types when it comes to acting upon this reality: corrupt or stupid." Yet when Williams was convicted of bribery, the LaRouchians attempted to commiserate with him. The decision was, they said, "nothing less than Nazi justice."

When Presser ascended to the Teamster presidency, the LaRouchians finally seemed on the brink of becoming the brain trust of labor's hoodlum wing, in spite of their setback in Detroit. Presser continued the aggressive posture against the TDU that had given the LaRouchians their initial entree to the union leadership. When a TDU convention in Michigan was violently disrupted by thugs in October 1983, Presser stated at a Cleveland joint council meeting: "We should be doing more of that....I'm not going to let up on these people." But in late 1983 and early 1984, as the media began to probe for the first time the relationship between LaRouche and the Reagan administration, Presser followed other Reagan allies in distancing himself from the NCLC.

The LaRouchians suffered a shock when the Los Angeles Times revealed in mid-1984 that Presser had been selectively providing information to the FBI since the early 1970s. It took no clairvoyance for them to realize that providing the FBI with information on LaRouche, as well as on minor hoods like John Nardi, Jr., may have been Presser's way of keeping the FBI off his back while he rose to the Teamster presidency. After all, the LaRouchians themselves had been feeding information to the FBI almost as long as Presser had—on Communists, Yippies, and arms merchants—in hopes the FBI would overlook their own improprieties. (In 1987 the Justice Department officially acknowledged Presser's informant role in motions pursuant to a racketeering prosecution of the Teamster chief. Presser's attorney then confirmed that Presser had had "continuous contact" with the FBI for more than a decade.)

LaRouche aide Edward Spannaus filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for documents in Presser's informant file "insofar as such documents mention or discuss Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr....or associates of [his]." When the FBI turned down the request, Spannaus filed suit in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. After a government motion for summary judgment was denied, New Solidarity gleefully announced that it hoped to "lift the veil on Presser's real rise to power in the Teamsters." By this time, New Solidarity was no longer calling Presser a heroic Teamster "nation builder," but simply an "accused embezzler."

If the NCLC's alliance with the highest levels of the IBT had turned a cropper, LaRouche simply raised his sights higher—from hoodlums who control unions to those who control nations. After numerous trips to Central America, his intelligence aides latched on to the plight of General Manuel Antonio Noriega. The Panamanian strongman had begun to attract harsh criticism from the U.S. government and media in 1985-86, primarily because of his role in the cocaine traffic. The LaRouchians began to vigorously defend him, just as they had done with the Teamsters.

In early 1986, Senator Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, raised the issue of Noriega's links to Fidel Castro, involvement in drug trafficking, and responsibility for the murder of Dr. Hugo Spadafora, a former Panamanian Health Minister who had been critical of the regime. Helms stated flatly that Noriega was "head of the biggest drug trafficking operation in the Western Hemisphere."

These charges were not right-wing paranoia. DEA, CIA, Pentagon, and State Department reports dating back to the early 1970s had documented Noriega’s involvement in drug trafficking. A 1985 House Foreign Affairs Committee report characterized Panama under Noriega's rule as a "drug and chemical transshipment point and money-laundering center for drug money." In a 1986 New York Times article, James LeMoyne compared Noriega's army to the Mafia, because it "skims funds, takes kickbacks, engages in smuggling and has a political structure resembling a racketeering network in which loyal henchmen share in the spoils." An equally good analogy would have been the Teamsters union. Indeed, the parallels between the leadership style of Noriega and the most corrupt Teamster bosses are uncanny. Just as Jimmy Hoffa indulged in the rhetoric of class struggle at union meetings, so Noriega affected a militant populist and anti-imperialist rhetoric to manipulate Panamanian workers. Just as Jackie Presser became an FBI informer in the early 1970s to divert federal authorities from his own misdeeds, so Noriega became a source for the U.S. intelligence community at that time to facilitate his long-range ambitions. Just as Presser had his TRUTH and BLAST—and Tony Pro his team of enforcers—Noriega had his death squads. Just as Rolland McMaster issued denunciations of the evils of drug trafficking for the Michigan Anti-Drug Coalition, so Noriega went to an international anti-drug conference in Vienna, where he described drugs as the "scourge" of mankind. Just as Presser and the Teamsters were willing to deal with the extremist LaRouchians, so Noriega developed ties with M-19, the pro-Castro guerrilla group in Colombia, and with Castro's secret service, the DGI. Just as certain Teamster leaders were rumored to have encouraged the murder of Hoffa, so Noriega was believed to have bumped off his predecessor, General Omar Torrijos Herrera.

In the mid-1980s, NCLC operative Carlos Wesley made several trips to Panama, where the organization already had a number of contacts (for instance, a top official of the national construction workers union had lent his name to LaRouche's Schiller Institute). After meeting with a pro-Noriega group of businessmen, Wesley announced that these individuals represented "patriotic and nationalist tendencies" and were in substantial agreement with the economic development/anti-IMF program of the Schiller Institute. Soon the LaRouchians had become Noriega's public relations flacks in Washington. As students of Mitch WerBell's classic defense in the 1976 pot-smuggling trial, they knew just how to defend the indefensible. They circulated a white paper on Capitol Hill and other documents that accused Senator Helms of being the "point man" in a State Department conspiracy to overthrow Noriega because of the latter's opposition to drugs. Noriega, they said, was being set up by the real "drug Mafia," which had learned he was planning a "military War on Drugs." This drug Mafia was in league with narco-terrorists, and thus wanted not only to stop Noriega from cracking down on drugs but also to destabilize Panama so the Soviets could gain control of the Canal. Just why the State Department and Helms should want this was explainable only in terms of LaRouche's theory of secret oligarchical control of the Western world. Not a very convincing scenario to anyone in Washington, but that wasn't the point: The LaRouchians knew that a cover story based on absurd premises, as long as it is internally consistent, can be useful as a smoke screen and a delaying tactic.

The Panamanian embassy in Washington had nothing more convincing to offer the media, especially after Noriega forced figurehead President Nicolas Ardito Barletta to resign at gunpoint for urging an independent investigation of the Spadafora slaying. The embassy suggested that journalists call the LaRouchians, who said that Barletta's resignation was a cause for rejoicing. Was he not a wretched agent of Henry Kissinger and those "who lend their souls to the institutions of usury"? LaRouche followers demonstrated outside the Senate hearings on Panama, with signs suggesting that Helms was in the pay of Israel's Mossad. Executive Intelligence Review reprinted a speech by Noriega discussing the "transcendental role" of the military in Central America. When the United States suspended aid to Panama in July 1987, the LaRouchians compared the regime's plight to their own problems with federal prosecutors.

Most grotesque was New Solidarity's attitude toward the Spadafora murder. The former government health official had been tortured for several hours and then decapitated. His head had been placed in a U.S. postal bag and dumped over the border in Costa Rica. New Solidarity treated this as a case of good riddance to bad rubbish, claiming that Spadafora had been a left-wing narco-terrorist plotting to launch a Sandinista-style movement in Panama. These charges, made in the context of ridiculing the Spadafora family's grief, were totally untrue. Spadafora was an opponent of the Cuban-backed Sandinista regime, had served with Eden Pastora's Contra forces, and had supported the Miskito Indian resistance movement. He had been an informant for U.S. intelligence agencies on vital matters of national security. Only days before his murder he had met with a DEA official to supply details about Noriega's trafficking.

The relationship between LaRouche and Noriega was touched on in February 9, 1988, testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations. Jose I. Blandón Castillo, Panama's former New York consul general, stated that "Mr LaRouche works for Mr. Noriega" and that LaRouche's followers had given Noriega intelligence reports on several U.S. senators. "When [the senators] arrived in Panama, we had the information and published it in the papers before they arrived." Blandón added that the LaRouchian propaganda cover story on the death of Spadafora (that he was a left-wing terrorist) was the "official version" of Noriega's G-2 (military intelligence). Blandón also revealed that Mario Parnther, a Panamanian politician close to Noriega, was one of the links to LaRouche. Parnther "came to the States to speak in favor of Lyndon LaRouche...he spoke to me of LaRouche's role in connection with Panama, and said that he, Parnther, met with LaRouche in Boston."

The LaRouchians had not kept Parnther’s trip a secret. EIR had reported on it in September 1987, noting that he addressed the Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations in the United States, an organization set up to protest the federal prosecutions of LaRouche and his followers. Identifying Parnther as a member of the national directorate of Noriega's party, EIR had quoted him as praising LaRouche's "unyielding commitment to the truth about Panama" and asserting: "We are fortunate that men emerge such as Lyndon LaRouche...."

In reporting on Blandón 's testimony, EIR implied that LaRouche had advised Noriega, via Parnther, to reject the State Department's plan that the dictator resign in exchange for immunity. EIR suggested that LaRouche had helped to influence Noriega's decision to adopt a hard line against the United States (a line that sent U.S. policy in Central America into a tailspin). Whether or not LaRouche's role was really so crucial, he had apparently indeed suggested that Noriega emulate what he himself was doing in the Boston case: Delay and hang tight until the enemy gets exhausted; in the meantime, create as much ideological obfuscation as possible and threaten to expose everybody in Washington who has ever secretly dealt with you. In early 1988 the Panamanian government produced a 300-page report that backed up the LaRouchian claim that Noriega was Latin America's premier anti-drug warrior. It was a pathetic record of arrests of mules, spraying of marijuana plantations, and seizures of cocaine from small dealers who hadn't made the proper payoffs. Most of the arrests described were a result either of DEA arm-twisting or else of Noriega enforcing the Medellin cartel's control of the action. But the report showed that Noriega, like his apparent adviser LaRouche, had a certain embarrassment potential: Included was the text of a 1984 letter from DEA chief Francis Mullen, Jr., to Noriega, hailing the dictator's "long-standing" and "very meaningful" support for the DEA and thanking him for "the autographed photograph." Wrote Mullen: "I have had it framed and it is proudly displayed in my office."

In establishing ties with persons like Noriega and Jackie Presser, LaRouche was not just being a crime groupie. He was developing meanwhile his own operation on the grand scale—an effort that eventually raked in over $200 million, much of it via credit-card and loan fraud, while spinning off numerous secondary scams involving federal matching funds, nonprofit foundations, and election campaign committees. Many LaRouchians who participated in these operations developed a predatory frame of mind not just through LaRouche's psychological manipulation but also by associating with convicted felons such as Michele Sindona and Rolland McMaster and idolizing the likes of Tony Provenzano. This outlook, coupled with the NCLC's eleven-year history of shifting alliances with various underworld figures, suggest that LaRouche is neither just a political extremist nor simply a white-collar criminal in the Bernie Cornfeld mold. Rather, he is the "boss" (as he puts it) of an organization with striking resemblances to a traditional racketeering enterprise.

In this aspect of his work, LaRouche has revealed the same genius for innovation as in his political organizing. He constructed his businesses on the basis of cultism and ideology rather than ethnic ties and blood oaths. He maximized profits by persuading his followers to devote every waking hour to the organization—and without even having to give them a cut of the action. He operated within the constitutionally protected framework of electoral activity (the first such entrepreneur to do so). He utilized an unincorporated political association that is everywhere and yet nowhere, permeating a bewildering network of corporate shells. Most important, he developed a unique system for warding off prosecutors—not a Maginot line of mob attorneys, but a multi-layered defense in depth.

Studying the plight of the Teamsters union, LaRouche observed how intimately prosecutorial initiatives are linked to investigative journalism and the media spotlight. He was able to break that link by aggressive libel suits and various other forms of pressure on people with media influence, thus diverting the media away from any serious pursuit of him for years. Even though he lost every libel battle, he won the war (at least for a few years) by making exposes of LaRouche too expensive for the media chains.

But LaRouche took things a step further: When law enforcement agencies did begin to investigate him, he immediately counterattacked with civil liberties suits in federal court, charging a conspiracy to undermine his constitutional rights. He kept the FBI tied down for ten years with a suit, still pending in Manhattan, that has cost the government heavily in pretrial litigation costs.

In the early 1980s he also used this technique to keep the Manhattan DA's office, the Illinois state attorney general's office, and Federal Election Commission investigators at bay. When NCLC member Joyce Rubinstein was arrested in 1985 on misdemeanor theft charges in Princeton, New Jersey, the LaRouchians launched a federal suit against the arresting officers and the municipality. (This type of suit makes local police departments think twice about tangling with people who can make more trouble than their arrest seems worth.)

LaRouche and his followers also developed a reputation as monumental extra-courtroom nuisances. Any prosecutor who went after them—or any politician who took a public stand against them that might encourage prosecutors—could expect to be picketed and to become the target of a smear campaign and/or harassing phone calls. In wielding the weapon of the Big Smear, LaRouche had four advantages: the means of gathering intelligence and nasty gossip, the means of distributing smear materials, freedom from fear of libel suits, and freedom from having to worry about his own reputation. His publishing entities could crank out leaflets and brochures on a moment's notice, and his followers could pass out hundreds of thousands of copies within days. His publications were meanwhile protected by the NCLC corporate shell game and thus were virtually judgment-proof against libel suits (in fact they were rarely sued—most targeted persons didn't know what else LaRouche might have on them). Likewise, LaRouche didn't have to worry about upholding an image of moderation. He could play the mad-dog publisher with impunity, laying out the smears no one else would touch (but occasionally seeing his material picked up by the major media once he had done the spadework). All this served as a powerful incentive—just like his civil liberties suits—for prosecutors to go after easier targets, as well as for politicians and media figures to leave him alone. In New York City in the early 1980s, as we have seen, this tactic protected him as effectively as payoffs and rubouts protect Mafia dons.

Finally, LaRouche used his intelligence community gambit. Although this was far from being a new idea, his attempts to compromise the CIA included new twists.

LaRouche's system was not infallible, and by 1988 he and his followers were embroiled in multiple indictments. Yet for over a decade he had conducted his questionable operations with virtual impunity, thanks to his creative tactics. And what ultimately was this defense-in-depth set up to protect? The full scope of LaRouche's financial activities is only beginning to be known. Veteran LaRouche watchers believe there are still huge gaps in the puzzle of where the money came from to pay for his empire of political, intelligence-gathering, and propaganda fronts in over a dozen countries. As yet, neither law enforcement nor investigative reporters have probed his operations in Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Mexico, his close ties with military officers and members of the landowning elite in Thailand, and his organization's alleged use of offshore bank accounts and couriers to move cash around the world. It is quite probable that the intelligence agencies of more than one country would prefer that these matters never be probed.