AFTERMATH OF THE TOWER REPORT : Data in North’s Safe Points to Conservative : Fund-Raiser Possibly Aided Rebels
A diagram found in the safe of fired White House aide Oliver L. North suggests that organizations controlled by conservative fund-raiser Carl R. (Spitz) Channell helped to fund a network of private groups secretly providing military aid to the Nicaraguan contras.
The hand-drawn diagram, printed in the Tower Commission report, indicates that money flowed from two of Channell’s groups through a public relations firm into a North-connected company. The chart suggests the funds then went to three firms reportedly involved in supplying arms and building an airstrip for the contras .
Nearly all of the firms identified in this diagram and in a second diagram found in the safe are believed to have been under the influence of North and his two prime associates in the Iran-contra scheme, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord and California-Iranian businessman Albert A. Hakim.
At the upper left corner of the first diagram are two boxes labeled “NEPL” and “ACT.” Channell runs a tax-exempt foundation called the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty and a political action committee called the American Conservative Trust.
Under law, the tax-exempt foundation is supposed to stick to educational activities and the PAC to support of political candidates.
The independent counsel investigating the Iran-contra affair is considering whether Channell broke the law by allegedly using millions of dollars he raised from private citizens to help buy arms for the Nicaraguan rebels. Channell was reportedly interviewed in Washington Friday by the special counsel’s investigators.
Channell’s organizations also are reportedly under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.
$2 Million for Contras
Dotted lines and arrows on the diagram lead from NEPL and ACT to a box labeled “IBC.” Jane McLaughlin, a former employee of Channell, has told news organizations that NEPL funneled more than $2 million to the contras through International Business Communications, a Washington public relations firm. IBC is run by a former Reagan-Bush election campaign worker, Richard R. Miller.
A dotted line travels next to “I.C. Inc.” and “I.C.S.A.,” about which little is known, and then arrives at “Lake.” Lake Resources Inc., a corporation registered in Panama with a Swiss bank account, was the repository for money from the Iran arms sales and is considered by investigators the most likely conduit for funds diverted to the contras . It was controlled by Secord in consultation with North.
From Lake, dotted lines run to “Udall,” “Defex” and “TWA.”
Udall Research Corp., also registered in Panama, apparently was a major operations company for “Project Democracy,” the name North gave to the private contra-aid network he secretly ran out of his White House office. Udall Research Corp. was linked to Secord and financed the construction of an airstrip in Costa Rica that was used to resupply the contras, the Tower Commission said.
Defex is a Portuguese firm that engaged in arms sales with Energy Resources International, a corporation that has the same address as Secord in Vienna, Va. Energy Resources was a major purchaser of Polish and Portuguese arms for shipment to the contras .
“TWA” is believed to stand for Trans World Arms, a Canadian company that brokered a deal with Defex for arms reportedly intended for the contras .
A second diagram retrieved from North’s safe shows “Lake Resources,” “Gulf Marketing Consultants” and “Dolmy Business Inc.” as “collecting” companies with Swiss bank accounts. Portrayed as “treasury” companies, or conduits, in the chart are “Albon Values,” “Hyde Park Square Corp.” and “CSFR Inv. Ltd.” The diagram identifies “Udall” and “Toyco” as “operating” companies.”
The Tower Commission report noted that the two diagrams “link Udall Corp. with Lake Resources . . . Lake Resources may have been used to transfer funds--probably private--for Mr. Secord’s use in Central American operations.” The report said that North scribbled a reminder to himself last April to “call Copp (Secord’s alias), 650k to LAKE.” Two weeks later, Secord sent a message to North reporting that “650k received today as reported by the banker.”
Code Name ‘Toys’
McLaughlin, the former Channell employee, said that about $2.2 million raised for a project code-named “Toys” went for military aid to the contras . It is not known whether Toys and the firm listed on the second diagram as Toyco are linked.
CSF Investments has been identified in press reports as a funnel for up to $17 million in Swiss bank account money to contra leaders.
Albon Values Corp. reportedly supplied $1 million to Amalgamated Commercial Enterprises for aircraft purchases. The latter firm has been purchased by Southern Air Transport Corp., a former CIA-owned airline that has flown arms to the contras .
Dolmy Business Inc. has a Swiss bank account that the Justice Department reportedly has asked Swiss officials to freeze in connection with the investigation.