RESERVE LT COLONEL AND FBI SPECIAL
Telling the truth and refusing to back down always carries a price. And for former FBI agent and U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Richard Taus, the cost was heavy indeed.
The decorated Vietnam veteran, who survived the Tet Offensive and flew dangerous helicopter missions in support of the Marines at Khe Sanh, now languishes in a prison in upstate New York after he was convicted on trumped-up charges.
If the Feds have their way, he'll never be a free man again. The ex-G-man, who worked on the New York Bureau's organized crime squad, is serving a 32 to 90 year-sentence. Chances are, he'll die in custody unless someone is willing to re-examine the frame-up used against him.
We at MilitaryCorruption.com have been contacted by veteran whistleblower Rodney Stich (see www.defraudingamerica.com), a highly-respected former aircraft crash investigator for the Federal Aviation Administration. The California man is also a WWII combat pilot and longtime commercial airline captain.
"Taus had uncovered and reported evidence of major criminal activities, some involving the CIA and other government operations," Stich told us. "When his reports exposed CIA or White House involvement in these activities, his supervisors (at the FBI) ordered him to halt his investigation, using the old excuse it was in the interest of national security. When Taus sought to circumvent the coverups, government power was misused to silence him."
COLONEL FIRST SAW CIA CORRUPTION IN VIETNAM
It was a helicopter mission in Vietnam. Then-CPT. Taus was flying over the jungle when he heard a radio distress call from the pilot of an Air America C-46 as the plane was about to make a crash landing. [Readers of this site most likely know Air America was a CIA airline in Indochina].
Taus landed his chopper at the crash site and offered to fly the unharmed pilots to their base of operations, but the Air America crew refused to leave the aircraft, saying they would wait for Air America people to arrive. The reason for the refusal was suggested by the nature of the cargo, which consisted of about 4,000 pounds of heroin.
That was the Army pilot's first exposure to official government corruption, but far from the last. Fast forward ten years, to when Richard Taus joined the FBI. In the late 1970's, Taus was one of the FBI agents investigating establishment of a criminal group on Long Island, New York called the "K-Team."
TAUS TOLD TO "BACK OFF, OR ELSE"
"Not knowing at the time that these were CIA activities, Taus' FBI superiors ordered him -starting in 1981 - to begin an undercover operation in Freeport to investigate this group," Stich told MilitaryCorruption.com. "The cover for this FBI investigation was called The Freeport Soccer Club, and enabled the FBI to infiltrate the K-Team operation.
"The K-Team ran a front with a patriotic-sounding name, National Freedom Institute, and called it's operations 'The Enterprise.'
"During this investigation," Stich said, "Taus' team discovered the K-Team was a CIA operation engaged in drug trafficking, looting of savings and loans, and activities related to what later became known as Irangate and Iraqgate. The FBI agent discovered in 1983 that K-Team members arranged for Iraq to obtain U.S.-backed loans for agricultural products and that the money was used to purchase war material. These loans and the purchase of military hardware continued until Iraq used the weapons to invade Kuwait."
As the investigation continued, it was learned that the Iraq and Iran scandals were not only a CIA operation, but that several high-ranking federal officials were implicated. Shortly before the 1988 presidential election, Taus' supervisors instructed him to "shut down" the undercover operation. When he refused, it became necessary to silence and discredit the veteran FBI agent.
FBI AGENT DISCREDITED BY ELABORATE FRAME-UP
Taus was arrested by his fellow agents on sham charges which included the specious accusation Taus used a government credit card during a criminal investigation, when a government car was unavailable, to obtain ten dollars worth of fuel for his car.
Far more damaging, was sexual allegations, allegedly occurring almost a year earlier. Some teenage boys from the Freeport Soccer Club, the front group Taus had been ordered to set up, claimed that the FBI agent had molested them. It is interesting these boys were facing other charges which were quickly dropped when they decided to make the accusations against Taus. At first, they had refused.
"The families of the boys had been earlier charged with criminal offenses," Stich related, " and those charges were dismissed only after the youths did what the prosecution wanted them to do," Stich recalled. "The teens were told they themselves would go to jail unless they cooperated with the frame-up."
Despite many holes in the prosecution's case - such as a charge Taus "molested" one boy over a July 4th holiday - Taus proved he was far away from Long Island on Army Reserve annual training on that date - he was still found "guilty."
The sentence of up to 90 years in prison for a much-decorated combat veteran, field-grade officer, and 10-year FBI agent, was way out of proportion - even if guilty of the offenses charged - and was designed to put a terrible fear into anyone else who thought they might go to the media or "tell tales out of school."
"This outrage, that could be easily called cruel and unusual punishment, which is forbidden in our Constitution, could be expected to forever seal Taus' lips about the criminal activities he discovered and reported to his superiors," Stich said.
WILL SEN. HILLARY CLINTON GET INVOLVED?
Some of the people implicated by Taus were highly-placed Republicans, which would make one think the Democrats (no paragons of virtue themselves despite their bleatings of self-righteous hypocrisy) would be eager to uncover corruption by the GOP prior to the 2006 mid-term elections. Hillary Clinton is, after all, a U.S. Senator from New York. And her influence could make a world of difference for Taus. But is she willing to buck the CIA, FBI and the White House? Or is she just another "go along to get along" politician? We shall see.
"WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND," EVENTUALLY
If there is any justice at all for Richard Taus, it has come with the passage of time. Two of the principal figures who persecuted and prosecuted him on Long Island have been in trouble themselves with the law.
His prosecutor and the deputy chief district attorney J. Kenneth Littman, who railed against Taus for alleged "sex violations," was caught soliciting sex from a boy in the Nassau County Courthouse.
One of Taus' FBI colleagues who turned on him during his trial, Lindley Devecchio, has been indicted by the Brooklyn, New York District Attorney on charges he was involved in at least four murders. Gone are the days of J. Edgar Hoover's publicity machine.
The old transvestite is dead now and his "boyfriend," Clyde Tolson is in the cemetery. The once impeccable image of FBI agents as men (and women) of unquestioned integrity, has been forever tarnished by a long series of scandals involving "G-Men" working hand-in-glove with Organized Crime or disclosing secrets over the pillow to foreign-born mistresses they were supposed to investigate.
Perhaps someday, justice will come for Richard Taus. But it hasn't yet. And it won't, we suspect, as long as a Bush is in the White House.