What's New with My Site?
WILDCARD: Down the rabbit hole
with the man who says he tried to
warn the world about 9/11
A GNN Special Report
By Sander Hicks
[Reprinted as originally published by the Guerilla News Network Sept. 26, 2002. http://www.guerrillanews.com/intelligence/doc749.html]
Part One: A White Knight?
"The question of could [9/11] have been prevented will haunt us
as long as we exist as a country." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.)
Delmart "Mike" Vreeland wants to meet me in the parking lot of the Loblaw grocery store on Lake Shore Drive in Toronto. I arrive as a silver Lincoln circles the parking garage. I park and the car silently glides to me. The passenger door opens. Vreeland is sitting in back, hair cropped short into a Caesar cut, wearing a tight black ribbed t-shirt and black parachute pants. He looks like Eminem. He leans forward and says, "Lock your car. Get in."
As a black storm builds out in the harbor, we head to a big tourist restaurant on the waterfront called "Docks." Vreeland buys us two beers each, we drink and talk. He wonders aloud if anyone is tailing us. Suddenly everyone around me is middle-aged, dressed inconspicuously and wearing sunglasses. The storm breaks and we run inside. The middle-aged men follow us in, still wearing their sunglasses.
That night the limo takes me, Vreeland, Vreeland's son, and the son's best friend up north to a resort lodge. Vreeland feels safer there. He says he's buying a condo for $600,000, in one lump sum to be wired over. From where? He won't say. Does it have to do with his work with former U.S. Treasury operatives, people who claim to be attempting to recover over $27.6 trillion lost in 1993 when a secret Israeli/Palestinian peace deal went awry? (Yes, that's right, $27.6 trillion) Perhaps . . . or perhaps it's just another Vreelandism: a wild story that dissolves in the waters of scrutiny.
Vreeland was no ordinary jailbird. He told Canadian authorities he was a spy for the Office of Naval Intelligence.
This story begins in December, 2000, when Vreeland, an American citizen, was arrested in Toronto and charged by Canadian authorities with fraud, obstructing a peace officer and making a death threat (really, the last one he says was for cursing his betrayers while being arrested). The Canadian charges were soon dropped to speed his extradition back to the U.S., where he was wanted in numerous states on charges that include identity and financial fraud, forgery, and battery to an officer.
Despite his impressive litany of warrants and heavily tattooed body, Vreeland was no ordinary jailbird. He told Canadian authorities he was a spy for the Office of Naval Intelligence, one of the oldest and most powerful intelligence arms of the U.S. government. He also claimed if he was extradited to the U.S. he would be killed. Why? Vreeland claimed to have some very sensitive information.
While in prison, during the summer of 2001, Vreeland says he repeatedly attempted to warn the world about imminent terrorist attacks. Vreeland's then attorney Rocco Galati, (a respected former Canadian prosecutor known for his support of progressive causes) made what he called "head-bashing attempts"(1) to have Vreeland put in touch with the proper authorities, to pass on "vital information about national security"(2) to the governments of Canada and the U.S.
The notes listed a number of potential terrorist targets including the Sears Towers, World Trade Center, White House, and Pentagon; as well as the phrase, "Let one happen. Stop the rest!!!"
Sometime around August 11 or 12, Vreeland wrote a set of notes. They listed a number of potential terrorist targets including the Sears Towers, World Trade Center, White House, and Pentagon. The notes also included the phrase, "Let one happen. Stop the rest!!!" [see the notes here] He sealed them in an envelope and handed them to his Canadian jailers. His lawyers, Galati and Paul Slansky, another well-known former Canadian prosecutor, introduced the documents into court that October, arguing that Vreeland's life would be in danger if he was sent back to the U.S. The lawyers were harassed with dead cats hung on their porches, and smashed car windows. Galati has since bowed out of the case.
News of Vreeland's case spread quickly when alternative 9/11 journalist Mike Ruppert began sending back dramatic dispatches from the courtroom in Toronto. Ruppert called Vreeland a "White Knight Talking Backwards," in articles published on his site, copvcia.com, and here on GNN.tv. To Ruppert, Vreeland's story, combined with his lawyers' testimony, proved that elements within the U.S. government knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing to stop it.
The story became something of an Internet phenomenon, with thousands of readers around the world tracking every dramatic twist and turn. But just as Vreeland's star began to rise, it came crashing down. His long, colorful list of outstanding warrants in the U.S. was released to the public and the international man of mystery was quickly dismissed as a two-bit con man who had concocted an elaborate yarn to avoid prosecution. Canadian authorities dropped their charges against Vreeland on March 14, 2002, and he was paroled to house arrest to await an extradition hearing.
The Nation's Corn wrote Vreeland, "was no spy, he was a flim-flammer," and characterized Ruppert as little more than a web surfer with a vivid imagination.
His case might have slipped off the radar completely, but on March 30, The Nation's Washington correspondent David Corn published an article entitled "The 9/11 X-Files." The article lumped Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the French book that claimed a plane didn't hit the Pentagon, and Vreeland supporter Ruppert into the same 'kook' category. Corn claimed their 'misguided' efforts to look for a conspiracy at the top distracted the public from the more important work of analyzing the Bush Administration's real political misdeeds. Corn wrote Vreeland, "was no spy, he was a flim-flammer," and characterized Ruppert as little more than a web surfer with a vivid imagination: "Ruppert is no journalist." Ruppert fired back, and hundreds of his supporters wrote Corn and The Nation in protest. Corn's response was to intensify his attack, publishing "To Protect And To Spin," a scathing profile of Ruppert full of personal details: romantic affairs gone awry among other nadirs.
Vreeland's most vocal critics could be found on Toronto's alternative radio station CKLN. DJs Ron Aninich and Greg Duffel interviewed numerous people associated with Vreeland, including alleged victims of his scams, and the man himself, in the end, concluding he was little more than a common criminal. They also built an exhaustive Vreeland web site listing interviews, articles and every court document they could find on his case. They even composed a Negativland-esque, anti-Vreeland reworking of the disco hit "In the Navy." Partly in response to what he felt were brutal attacks from CKLN, in the spring of 2002, Vreeland developed his own site, www.ltvreeland.com. He posted information about his case, court documents and records of financial transactions involving a former Reagan White House secret operative named Leo Wanta (more on him later). The site is about as organized as a shotgun blast and did little to help his cause.
Then, on May 21, 2002, the plot thickened. A devoted, lifelong-career FBI agent from Minnesota named Coleen Rowley publicly accused FBI director Robert Mueller of hampering crucial investigations into alleged 9/11 conspirators, charging there was a "delicate and subtle shading/skewing of facts by you [Mueller] and others at the highest levels of FBI management." In July, Arizona-based FBI Special Agent Ken Williams wrote the now-famous Phoenix Memo accusing the FBI of ignoring a call to investigate potential terrorists training at flight schools. In the international press, German, Russian and Israeli intelligence were quoted as claiming they had warned the White House that an attack was imminent. More recently, many family members of 9/11 victims have joined the call for answers. Kristin Breitweiser lost her husband Ronald in the World Trade Center. She told Phil Donahue on MSNBC recently, "At this time of year, everyone is asking us - what can we do to memorialize, what can we do to memorialize. And you know what? An independent investigation. Let's make sure our husbands, our loved ones did not die in vain."
Could Vreeland be the one U.S. intelligence operative who blew the whistle before the 9/11 tragedy? Or is his story just the Robert Ludlum fantasies of a low-life military con man?
On September 18, Eleanor Hill, the staff director of a congressional intelligence inquiry into 9/11, testified that there were no less than twelve separate warnings about terrorists hijacking planes in the past five years, including, contrary to the Bush Administration's previous statements, one that specifically involved crashing a plane into the World Trade Center.
As serious doubts about Bush's official story become more accepted, maybe the idea of an American intelligence officer having foreknowledge of 9-11 is not so far-fetched. Could Delmart Vreeland, extensive criminal record and all, be the one U.S. intelligence operative who blew the whistle before the 9/11 tragedy? Or is his story just the Robert Ludlum fantasies of a low-life military con man, as so many have concluded?
It is a bizarre tale, part Bourne Identity, part Miami Vice, and part Jerry Springer, in which facts, disinformation, and delusion all seem to intersect in the dark underbelly of black ops, geopolitics and family dysfunction. The story includes alleged ties to the late-White House lawyer Vince Foster, pardoned arms dealer Marc Rich, a mysterious international financier who calls himself "Reagan's junkyard dog," a restaurateur accused of smuggling cocaine inside live elephants, the Iraqis, a shady Russian tycoon, and Vreeland's country-western musician half-brother, who has a seemingly inexhaustible vendetta to see Vreeland sent to prison.
In the end, this six-month investigation for GNN confirmed what many already know: Delmart Vreeland is a liar and an accomplished con man, adept at spinning tales, and manipulating allegiances to further his own goals. In other words, he is the perfect candidate for work in U.S. intelligence.
1) "Diplomat's Death Remains Unsolved; What Killed Him: A Thief, Natural Causes or Cloak-and-Dagger?," Kathleen Harris, The Ottawa Sun, Dec. 9, 2001
Part Two: Dissecting the Notes
Vreeland claims the now infamous notes were part of a 37-page memo to Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations. Although they fast developed a reputation as a "warning letter," Vreeland says this wasn't his intention. As Vreeland told me in our first interview on April 6, 2002, "These are my own personal notes...The only way to understand the whole thing is to read the whole memo. We have not made that public yet. A big YET on that."
I asked Vreeland about the exact contents and codes of the note:
What were you trying to do in August, 2001?
"I wanted to avert 9/11."
If you had five minutes with President Bush what would you say?"
"I could not tell you what I would say to him. I am forbidden from telling you. I am not suspecting him. I am not making a statement-I am not doing any Bush-bashing."
Five months later, Vreeland, is significantly less pro-Bush. The experience has changed him, and he petulantly remarks, "If anyone said they were going to blow something up in the U.S. I wouldn't do a damn thing."
You have given up?
"Yes. I can hold my punches with George Bush. They scammed that election- It's a dictatorship. It's illegitimate."
Are you afraid?
"I'm surprised I'm still here. I got too many people wanting me dead. If I was after me, I would kidnap me, I would drug me, I would get the info I wanted and then I would kill me."
If you were after you, do you think you could get you?
"Absolutely! I can get anyone if I wanted them badly enough."
What information would you shake out of yourself?
"I'd want to know where the Wanta money is right now. Who in the Pentagon has done wrong? Who killed who-black ops-illegal arms trades, where are blueprints, the docs you brought back from Moscow? Where's Susanna at? Was it her or Oleg who poisoned Bastien? And did McComb County give up Bobby Moore intentionally? Who shot Foster?"
When did you leave ONI?
"The opportunity came, I was getting old, I don't like getting shot, getting stabbed."
"I don't believe Osama had a fucking thing to do with 9/11. I don't believe he set it up. I don't believe it was his people."
Vreeland's notes contain the scrawl "Dr. Haider†> who's his contacts?" According to the L.A. Times (3), Dr. Haider is an alias of Amar Makhnulif, a.k.a. Abu Doha, a.k.a. Rachid Kefflous, a key al Qaeda figure accused of being part of a plan to blow up the Los Angeles airport on New Year's Eve 2000. Abu Doha was arrested in London by British authorities in February of 2001 but then mysteriously released (4).
In April, Vreeland told me, "I don't believe Osama had a fucking thing to do with 9/11. I don't believe he set it up. I don't believe it was his people." In our interview this September, Vreeland's beliefs hadn't changed. He asked, "Why would an agent of the U.S. Government blow up the WTC? You've got Putin pissed off at Afghanistan, you've got the U.S. training Osama."
Then who did pull off the 9/11 attack? Vreeland believes that documents he viewed during his trip to Moscow implicated Iraq. He told me, "The document in Russian talks about blowing up things in the U.S." Earlier, in an April 17 interview with popular Yahoo radio host Jeff Rense, Vreeland said that in Moscow he had read "a letter from Iraq to Moscow detailing what would happen." Vreeland explains he was assigned to courier this letter to Canadian intelligence, but he sensed that something was about to go awry, so he copied the documents he was given. Rense asked him, "How specific was that letter?" Vreeland responded evenly, "Quite specific. It said September, World Trade Center. It specifically named that target, then it identified what was to happen after."
"The initial strike or attack, will be started at the WTC on 9-11-2001, by our brothers in faith...If everything goes as planned the attack will work. After Americans, who undoubtedly will think that Osama is to be blamed and will start a war with his group..."
Late in my reporting this story, on September 23, 2002, I received a copy of the original letter in Russian that Vreeland repeatedly made reference to in April. He had given a copy to Kellia Ramires of Berkeley, Ca. radio's KPFA that month and she had it translated by a Russian speaker not affiliated with anyone in the story. The results were chilling. It is dated June 9, 2000:
"The initial strike or attack, will be started at the WTC on 9-11-2001, by our brothers in faith. 3 Mile Island and Pentagon are as well the goals that we will not miss at the initial terrorist stage of the attack. If everything goes as planned the attack will work. After Americans, who undoubtedly will think that Osama is to be blamed and will start a war with his group, there stands the Russian Empire, to gain the first fruit of war and money promised by the Americans. Finally with Wildcard, the American intelligence service officer Briland Delmart Puba and Bastien Marc will have the deal (or "business") in a way suitable for us, our American official guarantees it. Bastien will die of natural cause, Lt. Vreeland will become a wanted criminal, all his navy (or "sea") records will disappear."
[View Russian document here]
In their on-air interview on June 5, 2002, Ramires asked Vreeland, "Did you communicate this to Canadian or American intelligence?"
"Yes I did, most definitely. I told it to their face, my lawyers told them to their face, they knew what was going on. As far as I know, Corporal Kispel and his partner informed the United States and Ottawa immediately, through the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police], and NSIS, and CSIS [Canadian Intelligence organizations]"
Ramires asked, "So we now can say that we have a document that is date-specific, target-specific with regards to the World Trade Center. You communicated this to Canadian intelligence, and Canadian intelligence communicated this to the American government, is that what you're saying?"
"Without a doubt. The Canadians did their job, but I think they were pressed down by the United States Government."
According to Vreeland, the letter was signed by the oldest son of Saddam, Uday Hussein, the bloodthirsty young Iraqi newspaperman rumored to have killed one of his father's bodyguards. Although his first name is sometimes spelled "Odai," the Russian note is signed, "Kuday H." Another translator, a native-speaking Russian academic and expert on translation hired by GNN, theorized that the note was orginally written in mostly British-influenced English and then translated into Russian by someone who didn't speak either language well, or was "trying not to appear as if they did." The word for China is the Russian for "porcelain." The original English also appears to have included the Brit terms "holiday" for "vacation" and "flat" for "apartment." Though, the American-isms "clueless" and "wildcard" (Vreeland's codename) were spelled out in English in the Russian original.
Is this document the smoking gun that pin-pionts blame for 9-11 on the Iraqis? If so, it could be devastating to the growing international movement to avert war with Iraq. Or is the document just more smoke-and-mirrors, like so much of Vreeland's story?
Vreeland's attorney Paul Slansky did not lend the document creedence. In a September 25, 2002 conversation he said he, "always a little troubled by it...who knows?" He reported that when Corporal Kispal and Sergeant Maybee of the RCMP visited Vreeland in prison on August 8, the document was not in his possession. Slanksky, himself, didn't even hear about the document until April, 2002.
3)The La Times Piece In Question Is Archived Free Of Charge Here.
4) See Abu Doha's Uk Court Documents Here (Shows How The Intrepid Members Of A Group On Google, By Working Together, Can Figure Out The Truth On International Spies). Doha's Uk Court Documents Automatically Download In Pdf Format By Clicking Here.
Part Three: The World's Best Con Man
It's Saturday morning in "cottage country," at a lodge north of Toronto. The lake is as big as the sky and opens up right under my window. I go down to Vreeland's room, and we talk about his criminal past.
"If you're the world's best con man you're not going to work for yourself, are you?," he says. "That would be stupid. Who would you want to work for? Someone who can protect you."
"I needed to have a criminal record.-It's easy to make someone your friend. I can become friends with suits, punkers, rastas, anyone."
Vreeland repeatedly claims, "I've never been legally convicted of anything." The vocal emphasis is on "legally" by which Vreeland seems to mean "legitimately." How then does he explain his long list of outstanding warrants and convictions? "Well, I've seen other lists, with even more, hundreds of them, and then I've also seen them disappear. Remember, the FBI/NSIC fingerprints came back negative." It's true that when he was arrested in Canada, according to the arresting officer's notes, the FBI said they had no fingerprints on Vreeland. And although he is accused of credit card fraud in Michigan, Vreeland's credit card report states that he never had a credit card.
Vreeland says his alleged crimes were just part of his cover, "I played the criminal. Like taking down [a] drug dealer-we needed information, I would get arrested and put in the same cell as him. I needed to have a criminal record.-It's easy to make someone your friend. I can become friends with suits, punkers, rastas, anyone."
The Nation's Corn called Vreeland's note "a hard-to-decipher collection of phrases and names" that "holds no specific information related to the 9/11 assaults. There is no date mentioned, no obvious reference to a set of perpetrators."
That's a distortion worthy of the CIA that Corn has written about (see Corn's book "The Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the Cia's Crusades," Simon and Schuster, 1994). The name "bin Laden" appears at the top of the central paragraph of this note. It mentions a list of targets: "White House-World Trade Center-Pentagon-let one happen, stop the rest-prob. they will call me crazy."
"Yes, it is true." A minute later, she changed her answer to, "No, the prosecution now thinks he got the notes to the jailers after 9/11."
According to Greta Knutzen, reporting from Toronto for FromTheWilderness.com, "Vreeland requested that his guards seal the notes and register them in his personal effects, which they did." As of her report several months ago, "The fact that the notes were written and sealed a month prior to the violent attacks of Sept. 11 has not been disputed." However, a phone call to the Canadian prosecution team resulted in new, somewhat murky results. When I asked Assistant D.A. Dorette Hugins to confirm that the prosecution didn't dispute that the notes was were handed to the jailers in mid-August 2001, she immediately said, that "Yes, it is true." A minute later, she changed her answer to, "No, the prosecution now thinks he got the notes to the jailers after 9/11." Perhaps a forensics test will finally decide this question. Vreeland claims to have written the notes with a kind of blue pen that is technically illegal in Canadian jail. These pens had been handed to him by his attorneys, but confiscated as "contraband" in late August. An analysis of the pen ink of the notes could eventually help determine if they were in fact written in August, 2001.
In court, D.A. Hugins and lead prosecutor Kevin Wilson argued that not only were the notes bogus, but that Vreeland was no spy. On January 10, Vreeland defense attorney Slansky pulled a dramatic courtroom stunt. He called a Pentagon operator from a speakerphone in open court, and asked if there as a listing for a "Delmart Vreeland." He was given an office number and phone extension. The prosecution countered that Vreeland is a computer expert who likely discovered a way to hack into the Pentagon's network from jail, or had simply called the Pentagon from a jail phone and conned a military switchboard operation into assigning him an office and phone extension, though they offered no proof to support their argument. Discussing this that morning at the lodge, Vreeland was incredulous: "You can track an IP [Internet Protocol number] in a heartbeat. Why haven't I been prosecuted for this? That's so stupid."
Vreeland and I are sitting out on the balcony of his hotel room in the crisp Canadian sunshine. The trip is showing me a side of Vreeland that I hadn't seen. He has a 17-year old son of whom he is very protective. For this article, I promise to change his name. Call him "Joey."
Joey is a punk skater with touches of raver. His favorite color is fluorescent orange. He wears black nylon bellbottoms with millions of pockets. He chain smokes, and talks incessantly about being drunk and how Dad's connections are going to get him into Harvard Law School. Vreeland and Joey are endlessly bickering and scrapping, and then bumming Players Navy Cut cigarettes off each other with affection. Just as often as smoking them, Joey will throw the cigarettes at his father in exasperation. Vreeland claims to never have hit Joey, but he does often grab him, and is extremely physical with him, a strange, uncertain mix of roughhousing and desperate attempts at disciplining an uncontrollable kid.
In the midst of an unsuccessful attempt to get Joey to respect his authority, Vreeland comments, "I don't know which is worse, getting shot at or being a Dad."
He tries to convince my editor to send $500 so that he can go to Radio Shack, buy parts and build us a scale model of a missile defense weapon he says he developed for the Navy's Nuclear Training Command.
Vreeland's code name is "Wildcard." Vreeland would like people to think that he can transform into anything and become as powerful as he wills, like the card in an amateur poker game. The nickname is apt for another reason. Vreeland's speech patterns are untamed, and he seems to be in a constant state of chemical imbalance. He drinks like there's a fire in his brain. He claims to have been given Clonapin (an antidepressant) for fifteen years by the Navy. He jumps from topic to topic like he's on a mix of acid and speed. In the hotel room, on the phone to New York, he tries to convince my editor to send $500 so that he can go to Radio Shack, buy parts and build us a scale model of a missile defense weapon he says he developed for the Navy's Nuclear Training Command. He hands me the phone. The first words out of my editor are, "Dude, what the fuck is he talking about?"
The next day at the lodge, Joey is still trying to get his dad's attention by trashing hotel property. He has to be rescued by a nautical patrol while kayaking with his pal, Jacob. Then, they rent bikes, and ride them around inside the hotel. Vreeland yells at them. Joey drinks a beer in the hotel bar with the ID his dad got him so he could jet-ski. Vreeland announces we will all be leaving that night, our trip cut short by a day.
Jane Woodbury, Vreeland's mother, testified during the trial that she remembers Delmart repeatedly warning her not to fly, especially to New York, throughout August, 2001. Immediately after the September 11 attacks, she claims she was visited by a U.S. Secret Service agent named Mitchell Szydlowski, who asked, "Do you believe Delmart is psychic? Did he ever predict 9/11 to you?" Jane Woodbury said no to both questions. In Canadian Court, the Secret Service confirmed that the visit took place. Jane Woodbury's current husband, Tony Matar, remembers her stating in the fall 2001, that her son had predicted the attack. Multiple phone calls to Secret Service agent Mitchell Szydlowski were not returned.
At 3:26 PM Hotel Security calls. They want both boys off the property by sundown. Joey tells security he will have them all fired. The plan to leave that night is cemented. The silver Lincoln arrives and we all pile in for the trip back to Toronto.
Part Four: Moscow Nights
At this point, Vreeland makes claims that are his most difficult to substantiate. In fact, they border on the absurd. Vreeland says he originally brought into the Navy in 1984 to help develop Star Wars strategic missile defense technology. Yet, not only did Vreeland not attend college, his Habeas Corpus application contradicts itself about where he graduated from high school, if he did at all. When pressed about his science background, he answers that his reading habits consisted of "Asimov, physics, whatever." Ruppert, one of Vreeland's most fervent supporters, says he believes the Star Wars line "is a cover story."
In 2000, Vreeland claims he was sent by ONI to Russia to act as a courier for documents related to said Star Wars technology. But something went wrong for him in Moscow. Part of this mission was to break into the apartment of Chalva Tchigirinski, the Russian oil mogul, but he says he was not warned about the infrared scanners that scared him off before he got in. "Someone was trying to set me up."
Vreeland wrote Bastien a letter in June 2001, but when he was informed Bastien had died six months earlier from "natural causes," Vreeland started making noise.
According to his sworn affidavit, when Vreeland was arrested in Canada on December 6, 2000 one of his moves was to phone his contact in the Canada Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada's equivalent to the CIA. When the CSIS didn't respond, his claims about being ONI were laughed off by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But that summer, Vreeland made news when he was able to shed light on the mysterious death of a Canadian diplomat in Moscow, Marc Bastien. Vreeland wrote Bastien a letter in June 2001, but when he was informed Bastien had died six months earlier, in December 2000, from "natural causes," Vreeland started making noise. The official explanation soon changed, after newspaper reports and analysis of Vreeland's claims appeared and a few details from the autopsy were released. According to the Ottawa Sun's Kathleen Harris, a source close to the investigation states a mysterious woman had been with Bastien on his last night in Moscow, and a trace of Clozapine (a powerful drug used to treat schizophrenia) was found in Bastien's system. Harris herself was skeptical of Vreeland, though she told me she consistently discovered "nuggets of truth" in his story.
Vreeland claims Bastien was the Canadian intelligence contact he met in Moscow. He was able to prove a certain level of familiarity with him to Canadian intelligence. "I knew stuff about Bastien that no one else did, like his grandfather's watch, what was inscribed on it, it was an inscription in honor of his retirement." The Ottawa Sun's Harris reported on Vreeland being right-on about the Bastien death, which is now commonly believed to be a result of something other than "natural causes." Bastien's family is reportedly bewildered, living in limbo where official answers are painfully lacking.
Today, on Vreeland's web site, he lists audio files of voicemails left for him at the time of his arrest leave behind an interesting trail: "Lt. Commander Tom Welsh from JAG," i.e. the military court, "Captain McCarthy," and various top brass, media, and law enforcement personnel. Then there's John Criminaro, with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Criminaro "tried for two hours to send that fax." On January 7, 2001, Criminaro called Vreeland several times, but did not return multiple messages left for him on his voicemail in Moscow by this reporter. John Criminaro is with the U.S. Embassy's "Office of Environment, Science and Technology."
Part Five: The Man from Michigan
Delmart Vreeland was born March 20, 1966 near Grosse Pointe, Michigan, outside Detroit. He and his half-brother Terry Weems counted Steve Tocco among their close family friends. (Tocco is related to Jake Tocco, the famous Detroit mafia leader.) Vreeland was not close to his father, Delmart Sr., a chef who was in prison briefly for embezzling money from the "Big Boys" restaurants he managed. Delmart Jr's step-dad, Bob Woodbury, was a Detroit cop who got the 13 year-old Delmart part-time work for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, busting "party stores" along Whittier Avenue who sold liquor to kids. The only problem with this arrangement was that the ATF required the arrests go on Delmart's juvenile record.
From there, Delmart Vreeland joined the Navy. The official Navy records entered into Canadian Court (and in Vreeland's affidavit filed with his Habeas Corpus application) claim that Vreeland was admitted on November 14, 1985 and was discharged only five months later. On March 7, 1986, it looks like he got his walking papers, after repeated write-ups for insubordination and an unwillingness to do push-ups. But the Navy's claim about a 1986 discharge is suspect for a number of reasons. In an LA Times story dated October 2, 1986, "Mike Vreeland" appears as a friendly witness in a story about a massive cocaine seizure. Confidential sources within LAPD (contacted through Mike Ruppert) have confirmed that this was indeed Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, in training as a special agent of ONI. The LA Times states the cocaine raid was headed up by the LAPD's Lt. J.R. Schiller. Later tainted by scandal, Schiller was long-rumored to enjoy deep U.S. intelligence connections (5).
Petty Officer Gilford suggested that perhaps Vreeland was in a "low-key type field" or got his rank through unusual means. "You're a fishy guy, sir."
Vreeland and his supporters claim that there are falsifications in the Navy's file on him. Perhaps anticipating this, on August 21, 2001, after his note was sealed and in the hands of his jailers, Vreeland called the U.S. Navy office of Personnel Service Detachment in Norfolk, Virginia. He spoke with Petty Officer Terry Gilford. Through a 3-way connection with his attorneys, he was able to make an audio recording and transcript of this conversation. This tape has been copied and submitted to court as an exhibit.
The Petty Officer cheerfully helped Vreeland confirm that the records did show him joining the Navy in 1985, to be kicked out five months later in 1986. How do you explain the records that showed Vreeland's rank as "Lieutenant," a rank that usually takes years to obtain? Petty Officer Gilford admitted that something smelled funny. Gilford suggested that perhaps Vreeland was in a "low-key type field" or got his rank through unusual means. "You're a fishy guy, sir," said Gilford, who agreed with Vreeland several times throughout the conversation that the records appeared to have been tampered with. When Vreeland confirmed Gilford's name, Gilford said, perhaps half joking, "I don't know if I wanna tell you my name now."
In court, the Navy submitted records that showed Vreeland was in the Navy for less than a year. But this time the D.E.E.R.S record showed that he was in the Navy's employ until December 9, 2000.
I confirmed this conversation with Petty Officer Gilford on June 12, 2002. On the phone, Gilford remembered Lieutenant Vreeland, eleven months earlier. Although all of Vreeland's records came up blank on almost all of the Navy's databases, when Gilford checked Vreeland with the D.E.E.R.S (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) he was able to view a "read only" record that confirmed Vreeland joined up in November 1985. But this time the D.E.E.R.S record showed that he was in the Navy's employ until December 9, 2000. For some reason, someone in the Navy had changed course and now the record read closer to what Vreeland originally claimed. I double-checked this D.E.E.R.S record at the local Navy/Marines recruiting station, and the exit date of year 2000 was there as well.
All other medical and personnel records in Vreeland's D.E.E.R.S. record, including his blood type, were blank. Officer Gilford found the blood type record especially odd, "It's not just that it's unknown, it just says 'blank.' That's not unusual for someone who just joined up, but it's weird for someone who's been with us for a while, fifteen years...I thought I would be able to print that, but it wouldn't print."
According to the U.S. Navy's Rockie Beasley, GS-12 Assistant Officer in Charge of the Personnel Support Department, at the Norfolk Naval Base, in VA, it is not easy to modify a D.E.E.R.S record, "You have to be authorized. You need a background check and a password." You also need the new, "CAC Card, Combined Access Card - a new card with a microchip in it," that plugs into the computer you're working on.
5) Sources on this include LAPD insiders as well as Mae Brussell, a pioneering radio journalist, researcher and historian of Iran/Contra and the JFK Assassination who died in 1988. On the archive of her weekly radio program on KAZU, in Pacific Grove, Ca., Brussell discussed Schiller and the "Western Goals" scandal. Also, Mike Ruppert, former LAPD narcotics investigator reports to GNN: "Bud" Schiller was discussed at length by the L.A. Times throughout the 1980s, not as a narcotics investigator, but as a high-ranking officer in LAPD's Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID). PDID was the center of a huge spy scandal that involved the selling of intelligence records and computers stored in a private residence that were ultimately traced back to a private think-tank named Western Goals that had connections to people like John Singlaub of Iran-Contra fame.
Part Six: The World's Worst Liar?
"Vreeland's an extremely intelligent man," recalls Assistant District Attorney for McComb County Eric Kaiser. "He weaves truth and fiction so well, it's difficult to sort out."
Many people who initially believed Vreeland's story have had a change of heart. The Internet is rife with those who took up his cause, but then felt betrayed by the many holes, inconsistencies and blatant lies in his story. This reporter has himself been on both sides of the fence. The rule in journalism (and law enforcement) is that once a source has lied to you, nothing else that source says can be credible. So how do you deal with a guy like Vreeland, a highly intelligent, slick, cunning and possibly professional spy? As Ruppert said, "Out of maybe thirty men I have met over the years that have been connected with covert operations, only two have been total straight talkers."
Vreeland claims to be the great-grandson of Charles E. Vreeland, one of the first directors of ONI. A couple days of research shows his great-grandfather is actually Charles R. Vreeland, a railroad worker.
Vreeland's own web site proudly displays a photograph of the U.S.S. Vreeland on the home page, a battleship named for Charles E. Vreeland, one of the first directors of ONI. Delmart has claimed on his web site and in interviews to be the great-grandson of this Charles E. Vreeland. However, a couple days of research into Vreeland's heredity shows that his great-grandfather is actually Charles R. Vreeland, a railroad worker.
Vreelands' actual half-brother Terry Weems, a country-western guitarist who lives in Alabama, has given numerous media interviews and popped up on various web sites, including GNN.tv, to discuss his brother. Weems seems to possess a feud-level obsession to discredit the theory that Vreeland has intelligence connections. On GNN.tv's message boards, Weems logged on to post what he purported to be a list of Vreeland's outstanding warrants, and to lash out at readers who were sympathetic to his case. "He shoves out a lot of B.S. and people like you swallow it down like your favorite drink," he wrote. "So go ahead say what you will about me. I still say in the long run I will be laughing at ALL OF YOU! - Remember I know him and I have been around him year in and year out so who knows what? I think I do. I wish some of you could talk to his therapist. You probably need to." Vreeland logged on himself, and fired back. The ensuing flame war prompted GNN's Stephen Marshall to quip he "hears quiet echoes of some dueling banjos."
Weems remembers Vreeland's early Naval career involving watching his half-brother, "yelling at an admiral over the phone and being AWOL. He was arrested in the credit union. I was there also for that. He was on crack really bad during that time."
Weems also claims that Vreeland stole and illegally used his Social Security number, numerous times. In fact, "Terry Weems" is one of the aliases listed on the U.S. State Department extradition document (signed by Colin Powell) and sent to Canadian authorities. In an interview on Toronto radio station CKLN, Weems said Delmart is the "luckiest criminal I've ever known. He's very good at identity theft, and after a lot of years, he was probably wanted, but he was able to elude police using a fake ID."
Indeed, according a list of warrants supplied by Lt. Steve Zavislak of the Troy, Michigan police department, Delmart's alleged crimes are garish, colorful and wide. Reportedly, he test-drove a boat in Florida, ran aground and swam back to shore. He reportedly scammed a furniture store in Michigan of $40,000 worth of goods using an American Express card that AmEx later claimed wasn't properly authorized (AmEx refuses to comment).
Vreeland's official criminal records say he was not only ripping off Scott Shuptrine Furniture store on December 21, 1999, he was simultaneously in New York, where he was arrested for Grand Larceny Auto. Vreeland claims he was in jail in New York City around this time from a drunk driving incident on the 17th. He also says his friend, Josh Emley was approved to use his Amex card in Michigan. As Greta Knutzen said, who first reported this for FromTheWilderness.com, "Whatever the truth is behind this one, 'official' records claim that Vreeland was in two places at once†a fact that my deductive reasoning informs me is a problem."
Law enforcement believed Bobby Moore was smuggling cocaine through the digestive tracts of elephants.
Sound strange? You haven't heard about the Bobby Moore arson case. Bobby Moore was a local impresario in the McComb County/Grosse Point area: an outgoing restaurateur who raised elephants and raced speedboats. McComb County Assistant District Attorney Eric Kaiser stated in our interview that law enforcement there all believed that Bobby Moore was smuggling cocaine through the digestive tracts of his elephants. Moore's friend, 40th District Judge William Crouchman, used to eat and drink and get into fistfights with less favored attorneys in Moore's restaurant, Bobby Moore's Steak House.
According to Vreeland, the Coast Guard sank a boat of Moore's cocaine in the Great Lakes, and the goods had not been paid for. When the Steak House burnt to the ground in a suspicious blaze, Moore was charged with arson, along with Steve Tocco, Delmart Vreeland and a fourth man. The case was assigned to Judge Crouchman, and Bobby Moore never did time. After trying to appeal, the DA was amazed to see Moore get "the sweetest deal I've ever seen. The Feds took over part of Moore's marina and he never got prosecuted criminally."
When the case against Moore was dismissed, Judge Crouchman called Vreeland, "the least credible witness I have ever seen." Today, DA Kaiser wishes he hadn't used Vreeland as his star witness against Moore. According to Kaiser, Vreeland changed his testimony on the stand, and further screwed up the case by fabricating a letter that pinned Moore with drug trafficking evidence. But Vreeland is unrepentant. He is happy with his work on the case, going after Moore, who he calls the creepy guy who married his step-sister: "I damaged him. He took an $8 million loss. No more restaurant, no more drug-dealing. He is watched so closely now."
The searches used all five of Vreeland's aliases and each came up empty. Vreeland says he was released December 21, 1999, "at the Navy's request. They got me out of there quick."
In interviews, the only conviction Vreeland will admit to deserving is the December 17, 1999 drunk driving arrest, referenced above. As detailed in his Canadian affidavit, he had been at a party at the United Nations with military friends from Naval Intelligence. After some serious boozing, Vreeland drove a limo the wrong way through Times Square and collided with another car. Since an arrest record would probably list all the passengers, the arrest, the bail and court records of the incident could help substantiate Vreeland's alleged Navy connections, if this arrest record still existed.
Searches at the New York City Office of Court Administration, as well as the Clerk's office at the New York Criminal Court, came up with zero records of an arrest, a pending prosecution or a conviction in NYC, at any time. The searches used all five of Vreeland's aliases and each came up empty. Vreeland says he was released December 21, 1999, "at the Navy's request. They got me out of there quick."
Speaking of quick exits, a search of Vreeland's arrest records in South Bend, Indiana is also insightful: on February 7, 2000, Vreeland violently resisted arrest, after being suspected of stealing a red Porsche. As the Mishawaka Police Department Records show, he was charged with Burglary and Battery to a Police Officer after he punched and kicked an Officer Kasznia. Yet, the case ended abruptly. The police report ends with, "the suspect - released without any identification."
Part Seven: ONI & CIA
Al Martin is a former ONI officer who got busted with his boss, the National Security Council's Richard Secord, in the Iran/Contra Scandal. Today, on his website and in his books, he exposes Pentagon pork-barrel greased palms and Bush Family connivance. I asked the Vietnam Vet if he believed Vreeland was former ONI.
"Former ONI? I think he's still there!"
To Martin, the brouhaha about Vreeland's criminality is just so much noise, it's likely that Vreeland never technically left ONI. After all, Martin says, ONI protect their prized "domestic assets."
In Martin's view, ONI's historical advantage was, "contacts in foreign intelligence services and in foreign governments that the CIA never could have hoped to obtain. The CIA can't control any of its own assets domestically because it's against the law for it to do so, thus the ONI is obviously in a superior position. ONI is where the real deep control is. It's where the real deep secrets are kept."
After Mobster "Lucky" Luciano was pardoned for his work with ONI, he went back to Italy and became a kingpin in the heroin trade.
According to "A Tangled Web: A History of CIA Complicity in International Drug Trafficking ," an independent report read into the Congressional Record in 1998 by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ONI has been dealing with criminals and shady characters since the end of World War II. ONI worked with the U.S. Italian Mafia, including S. C. Luciana a.k.a. Lucky Luciano to fight the communists in Italy, gather intelligence for the Allied invasion of Sicily, and control the ports in the U.S. during wartime. After Luciano was pardoned in jail for his work with ONI (and CIA precursor Office of Strategic Services, OSS), he went back to Italy and became a kingpin in the heroin trade. Around this time, ONI also worked with the Chinese mafia in the opiate trade in the "Golden Triangle," the heroin-producing zone between Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and China's Yunnan Province.
In Al Martin's experience with the Iran Contra operation "Black Eagle," crooks and highly intelligent con men were always part of the team. "Black Eagle" was "narcotics trafficking, massive fraud and weapons deals" with con man extraordinaire Lawrence Hamil at the center. "Hamil" was "not just a simple con man, a government-connected swindler and money launderer, as people seem to think. He was very deeply involved in all sorts of political deals at the same time."
Mike Ruppert is a former LAPD narcotics investigator who has known enough intelligence operatives to see a pattern. Vreeland fits the profile: intense, intelligent and slippery. In a recent open letter to his critics, Ruppert wrote, "Has Vreeland lied to me? Yes, he's lied to everybody I know who has talked to him about one thing or another. But so did Chip Tatum, Bo Gritz, Scott Weekly, Ed Wilson, Scott Barnes and many others whose cases I have been familiar with."
Part Eight: The Junkyard Dog
In our original April interview, Vreeland quipped, "I know people who know George Bush Sr. personally." At the time, this paled amidst his other outrageous tales. But it turned out to be a yarn with legs.
"There were certain things in the note...clues to get people to contact others to contact me," Vreeland said.
"I mean, like the reference to the 'M-234 RAGS.' Those weapons were sold to Malaysia. I wrote that to get Eva Teleki to contact me. She had been involved in the sale. She contacted Leo Wanta and said, 'This guy needs our help.'"
Wanta is a former U.S. Dept. of Treasury operative, and former Somali Ambassador to Switzerland, among other things. The M-234 Ring Airfoil Grenade is an attachment for an M-16 machine gun that creates an anti-riot, crowd-control stun effect. And although Eva Teleki denies selling anything to Malaysia, she does speak highly of Vreeland, confirming that he is a former officer of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Both Teleki and Vreeland have formal business relationships with Wanta.
"I am of the opinion that my clients would endorse that you gathered the information that you have shared with my client while acting in the capacity of an 'intel op' agent of the U.S. Government."
On February 13, 2002, a former U.S. Attorney named Tom Henry wrote Vreeland a letter. Henry, who is Leo Wanta's legal advisor, had put Vreeland through a series of tests attempting to see if Vreeland could recognize certain "passwords or security code names." Vreeland aced it. Henry's letter concluded, "On best information and belief I am of the opinion that my clients would endorse that you gathered the information that you have shared with my client while acting in the capacity of an 'intel op' agent of the U.S. Government." In the past, Henry has worked with the Department of Justice in the Ford Administration before moving on to become a consultant on business matters in China.
Wanta, who describes himself as Ronald Reagan's former "taskmaster," has an extensive resume of his own, which includes work for the CIA, Dept. of Treasury, and the NSC, as well as deals involving foreign currencies, arms, and precious metals. Much of Wanta's background is sketchy. But this much we know: Wanta worked on the 1988 Bush Presidential campaign and received a thank you letter from Bush in 1981, when Wanta was working on getting a job with the White House. According to Claire Sterling's book "Theives World," and others contacted by GNN, Wanta destabilized the Russian ruble at the White House's request in the 80's, hastening the fall of the crumbling Soviet Union.
Tom Hanneghan, a powerful Los Angeles Democrat and commodities trader who is critical of Wanta, gives him due credit, "He worked for the U.S. intelligence agencies. He helped bring down the Soviet communist government. He's a brilliant engineer, lots of technical skills. He did a great job. He probably gathered too much knowledge for his own sake."
"Reagan had no faith in DC politicians, he liked his 'junkyard dogs'" . . . In 1988, Wanta made headlines trying to seal a deal to sell 30,000 automatic pistols to Manuel Noriega.
Wanta says he was Ronald Reagan's favorite "junkyard dog." He remembers, "Reagan had no faith in DC politicians, he liked his 'junkyard dogs.'" According to Wanta, Reagan praised him for his ability to get special tasks executed quickly and without going through normal channels.
In 1988, Wanta made headlines trying to seal a deal to sell 30,000 automatic pistols to Manuel Noriega. Wanta explains that this was a part of a scheme to enable the U.S. to identify every member of the Panamanian military. Shortly after, Bush invaded on December 20, 1989 , swiftly arresting Noriega, restoring a pro-U.S. regime in control of the Panama Canal and leaving an estimated 3,000 civilians dead.
Wanta's net worth in 1992 was $432 billion, according to tax documents prepared in anticipation of Wanta's plans to move back to the U.S., pay Federal income taxes from offshore business deals, and retire in 1995. This $432 billion was not exactly all cash, according to Wanta - a lot of it was tied up in "prime bank guarantees," a kind of certified deposit that Wanta would purchase from top "credit-worthy" banks and trade at a profit, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department, working under the aegis of Aneko Credit PTE, LTD, in Singapore. Wanta was involved in a complex form of private banking, comparable to arbitrage but cash-based, highly-volatile, at extreme velocity, and accumulating $22 million each day that a prime bank guarantee was purchased at a par value of $100 million. Wanta planned to retire in 1995. But it was not to be.
According to reports from Wanta, Henry, and Vreeland, Wanta traveled to Switzerland with notorious financier Marc Rich between June 30 and July 3, 1993.
In early June of 1993, Leo Wanta was appointed the Somali ambassador to Canada and Switzerland, in what he says was an effort to help make Somalia a safe launching ground for the U.S. military. According to reports from Wanta, Henry, and Vreeland, Wanta traveled to Switzerland with notorious financier Marc Rich between June 30 and July 3, 1993. According to Wanta, on their trip to Switzerland, Wanta helped to negotiate the financing for "UN Contract 4," a little-known deal which tried to secure various sources of international capital to buy peace in the Middle East. Each side of the Rabin/PLO Agreement would get $5 billion.
Louis Lanier, publisher of the International Diplomatic Observer, worked for Al Gore from 1991 through 1993. He corroborated that Wanta was appointed a bona fide ambassador, and that "UN Contract 4" was an actual proposal being discussed in international circles of power in 1993. "There were several packages floating around at the time-Ted Turner's $1 billion donation to the UN for example. Ambassador Wanta was floating UN Contract 4 -. I have seen memos from 1993, from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to Amb. Wanta, thanking the Amb. for his efforts."
According to Wanta, Lanier and others, the Clinton White House, acting through attorney Vince Foster, asked that $250 million be placed into the Swiss account of the Children's Defense Fund, as a charitable byproduct of the deal. But Contract 4 didn't pan out, and later that year, the historic Oslo Peace Accord, negotiated behind closed doors in Norway, was signed in a dramatic White House ceremony in September 1993.
After receiving a controversial pardon by President Clinton, it was widely reported that Wanta's Contract 4 cohort Marc Rich had worked as a spy for Israel. Articles in the LA Times and the New York Post cited evidence from the House Oversight Committee that claimed Rich performed numerous secret missions for the Israeli government, including helping secure back channel financing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Wanta remembers that Rich was also looking out for number one, "Marc Rich was doing a tremendous amount of things against what we were doing in Russia and Switzerland. He was doing deals with Iraqis, Iranians, Swiss banks." In 2001, Marc Rich was living in exile in Switzerland, facing American charges for racketeering, wire fraud, illegally selling oil to the Iranians and owing $48 million in back taxes. On January 20, 2001, hours before he would leave office, Clinton pardoned him. Israel's then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak had called Clinton the night before asking for the pardon and stating it was "important - financially."
Back in 1993, in Switzerland, Wanta says he had orders to arrest Rich, and if that failed, to assassinate him. According to the story from both Vreeland and Wanta, the ONI had snipers nearby, when Wanta and Rich were on a ferry to a casino in France, traveling across Lake Geneva from Lausanne. The sniper from ONI was told to stand down, when he couldn't get a clear shot off. According to their story, that sniper was Delmart Vreeland.
Something went awry that day in Switzerland. Three weeks later, Vince Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park, just outside DC in Arlington, VA. The death was swiftly ruled a suicide by the Park Police who had little experience with suicide investigations. The day prior to the discovery of Vince Foster's body, FBI director William Sessions was fired. His temporary replacement, Floyd Clarke, let the bumbling Park Police run the investigation of Foster's death, despite the victim being the First Lady's best friend and confidante. Former FBI's director William Sessions later stated outright he believes he was fired to hamper a Foster death investigation. Three independent criminal evidence experts hired by Strategic Investor newsletter studied the Foster suicide note and declared it a forgery.
Wanta himself was arrested by Swiss authorities and deported on the flimsy pretext of State of Wisconsin tax evasion charges. According to Wanta's counsel, Tom Henry, Wanta always followed orders, except when his superiors told him to do something illegal and refused to put it in writing. Wanta was extradited without a warrant and flown from Switzerland in leg, arm and neck shackles. The Wisconsin prosecutor levied tax evasion charges against Wanta for 1989 through 1991, although he had not lived in Wisconsin since 1985. He was convicted and imprisoned after a swift trial, despite the fact that the IRS stated he did not owe any federal taxes from the same period. He remains under house arrest in Wisconsin.
When Wanta's case came before Wisconsin Court in Madison, there was outright ridicule of him in the media. In particular, Cliff Miller of the Appleton Post helped shape the public's perception of Wanta, characterizing him as a lunatic with delusions of grandeur. But any journalist with a Lexis/Nexis account could see that Wanta actually was the "global businessman" he claimed to be. The older news clip about Noriega and the arms deal were all part of the public record. But in 1993, consistent jabs in the Madison newspapers destroyed Wanta in the court of public opinion. Wanta was not allowed to hire his own attorney, and his court-appointed one, John Chavez, didn't believe his story. Leo Wanta's sanity was often questioned in court, but he was never found incompetent to stand trial. Wanta's friends relate that the experience took its toll on him, both mentally and physically.
Wanta claims that when he was arrested, he was forced to leave behind about $200 billion in Prime Bank Guarantees, "lawfully earned funds," Wanta says, that international banks and governments have been allowed to "use free of charge" since he's been detained. When you total up the interest and the capital that can accumulate through smart use of $200 billion, Wanta says it comes out to about $27.6 trillion (give or take a billion). After Wanta and his counsel Henry confirmed to their satisfaction that Vreeland was a U.S. intel-op, Wanta hired Vreeland to help recover some of the funds.
In a late night, 3-way conversation between this reporter, Vreeland and Wanta, Vreeland blurted out to Wanta, "Who has controlled me in the last eight months?"
Wanta gruffly stated, "ONI."
"Where would they get orders from?"
Admonished later by Vreeland for saying too much about Switzerland, Leo Wanta replied, "I'm in constant pain, rheumatism, arthritis, I have not received proper medical care. I'm not afraid anymore."
On the 25th of July, 2002, Leo Wanta was re-arrested, suspended from house arrest/parole and detained for 24 hours by the FBI. Tom Henry was detained in Chicago, en route to visit his client. Both had been accused of carrying large amounts of cash, plus millions of dollars in U.S. Treasury notes, but the charges were dropped. The Chicago police told Henry that they had gotten the tip-off "anonymously," but as a former U.S. Attorney, Henry knew the Chicago Police probably had traced the call. He guessed the area code in two tries, naming a number that lead back to Iowa. Linda Fanton, a concerned citizen and diehard Vreeland supporter, had made the calls, using information provided by Vreeland.
Why did you set up your old allies?
"I switched sides," Vreeland told me in Canada.
Who are you working for right now?
If you are no longer attempting to recover the Wanta funds for Wanta, who are you doing this recovery for?
"Technically, the U.S. Treasury. I have the ability to recover funds, but not spend them. I can, however, spend my pay order. One percent of anything I recover."
Part Nine: AWOL in Wonderland
Leutrell Osbourne is an antiterrorism expert who worked for the CIA for 26 years before quitting in disgust. A security consultant with ties to the Black Congressional Caucus, Osbourne was interviewed on national television the day after 9-11. Provided with updates throughout my journey down the Vreeland rabbit hole, he was both skeptical and supportive of Vreeland's claims. He also had words of warning, "I would back off, and watch it, watch everything that happens, it's volatile, what do you got? Who's pulling the strings? I'm not ready to say yet. But I'm getting closer."
So far, the progressive media has all but forgotten about Vreeland's story. The Nation, which has seen its circulation skyrocket since 9/11, is still leading the charge against the claims of a 9/11 Bush conspiracy. But the American people have questions. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's web site polled their users on April 14, 2002, and asked how many believed "Bush had foreknowledge of 9-11," 46% was the final number, before the poll was taken down and disappeared.
The September 11 disaster descended on the American people, killing working Americans, motivating the rest of the population for war. The attacks also transformed the lackadaisical and oily Dubya Bush into a hero.
"That doesn't make them above the law-You can't kill 5,000 people and say, 'Hey hey you can't touch me, I've got immunity.'"
But the recent evidence of ignored warnings indicates something is rotten. Are interests larger than us using our anger? Are we getting the full story from the media?
Vreeland told Yahoo radio's Jeff Rense, "I want the people who did certain things, and allowed certain things to take place, I want them to be dealt with, by the law." Rense responded with sympathy and skepticism, "You may be talking about the highest levels of American government."
"That doesn't make them above the law-You can't kill 5,000 people and say, 'Hey hey you can't touch me, I've got immunity.'"
Rense: "You'd like to think so."
Mike Ruppert was also present at this radio interview, and added some big picture analysis at this point, "None of us are saints, but all of us have moments in which we try to do the right thing, and that's when we need to be supported. This is not over yet."
Vreeland's apartment looked like a cyclone had hit it.
It was ransacked, but without signs of bloodshed.
On August 13, a death certificate with Vreeland's name and details on it showed up on the web. Apparently, he shot himself in the back of the head. The internet is abuzz with the rumor. I call the dead man. He is unfazed, "We used to do this all the time. It's a way to let someone know you are after them."
Vreeland had an extradition hearing on Monday, September 9, 2002, but he did not show up. He had spent the entire day before with his attorney, Paul Slansky, who later told the Toronto Sun, Vreeland had been concerned that certain forces, "were going to shut him up and do something to him."
The next day a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. That night, Slansky entered Vreeland's apartment with the police. It looked like a cyclone had hit it. It was ransacked, but without signs of bloodshed. If Vreeland had left town of his own free will, it didn't show. Slansky stated, "Everything is there, his toothbrush, his underwear, his shaving gear, everything."
However, sources close to the story tell GNN that Delmart "Mike" Vreeland still had his head above water, AWOL and on the run.
Sander Hicks founded Soft Skull Press in 1992, and worked there until 2001, most notably on "Fortunate Son," the controversial biography of George W. Bush. On a leave of absence, he is working on a biography of Bush White House strategist Karl Rove. He is the lead singer of White Collar Crime, a playwright, and a political activist. His home page is www.sanderhicks.com.
A lot of people besides the author contributed work, advice and vitriolic criticism to this article in its emerging draft stages over the course of this summer. Special thanks to: Michael Ruppert and Greta Knutzen at FromtheWilderness.com, Ron Anicich at CKLN Radio, Kellia Ramires at KPFA, and Linda Fanton. Also, thanks to Tarrah "Torino" Haines for attending Vreeland's extradition hearing when Vreeland did not.
Anthony Lapp³, Executive Editor, GNN.tv, edited this article.