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Paul Wilcher and the “October Surprise”

Posted June 18, 2000

On or about May 21, 1993, Washington attorney Paul Wilcher went to the Department of Justice and hand delivered a letter claiming holdover DOJ employees from the Reagan-Bush era were responsible for a number of government cover ups, unbeknownst to the Attorney General and President Clinton. The 100 page letter was addressed to Janet Reno. On or about June 11, Wilcher was interviewed regarding the contents of the letter. Later, after days of not hearing from him, worried friends contacted the police, who went to Wilcher’s apartment on June 23. His decomposing body was found propped on a toilet.

In January of 1996, PACC received an unsolicited copy of the Wilcher letter. We approached a person familiar with the content of the letter as a work in progress and the final draft to determine whether or not we had a true copy.

Several pages of the letter are devoted to Wilcher’s advising the Attorney General on how to proceed with his information, much of which is very general and speculative, with no sources mentioned.

However, the section on the “October Surprise” is detailed, specific, and attributed to a Wilcher client with first hand knowledge, according to the letter. PACC can neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the information below, excerpted verbatim from the Wilcher letter, with no changes in spelling, punctuation, or emphasis.


Friday, May 21st, 1993

I have laid out at length and in specific detail what occurred on George Bush’s secret trip to Paris, France, on the weekend of October 18th and 19th, 1980, as well as the broader historical context in which that trip occurred, in my Final Letter to Congressman Lee Hamilton, dated May 20th, 1992, which is attached as an exhibit below.

My client here is Gunther Karl Russbacher, a life-long covert operative for the CIA and the Office of Naval Intelligence (“ONI) who has operated at the highest levels of both of these super-secret organizations over the past 30 and 25 years, respectively.

Because of his extremely high intelligence, his exceptional physical skills, his extensive training, his fluency in 8 languages, his proficiency as one of the CIA’s top pilots and marksmen, and the fact that his father was one of the original founders (along with William Casey, “Wild Bill” Donovan, and others) of the Central Intelligence Agency, back in 1947, Gunther has always operated at the highest levels of these “intelligence” organizations, and has been entrusted with carrying out some of their most difficult, sensitive, and top secret covert operations.

Indeed, he has spent much of the past 30 years carrying out some of the CIA’s and ONI’s “dirtiest” business. My Letter to Congressman Hamilton goes into some of Gunther’s background, as well as some of the principal covert operations he has participated in, in some detail.

For the moment, however, I want to focus on one pivotal event in Gunther’s career -- the fact that he was the CIA pilot who flew George Bush and others (listed below) to and from Paris on this “October Surprise” weekend, and then flew George Bush back to America on the CIA’s hypersonic spy plane, the SR-71, to get him back home before anyone would notice that he was gone.

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The following Is a brief synopsis of the key happenings and principal players In that historic top secret trip to Paris:

(a) On the flight over to Paris, Gunther was the lead pilot of the Saudi royal family BAC-111 plane carrying a total of approximately 25 to 30 persons -- including:

#1) George Bush, the former CIA Director under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, who had been engaged in CIA covert operations ever since his days as a Navy pilot during World War II, and who was now Ronald Reagan’s Vice Presidential Candidate;

#2) William Casey, one of the original founders, along with “Wild Bill” Donovan, Gunther’s father, and others, of the CIA, who later became Reagan’s (actually Bush’s) Director of Central Intelligence and who later died of a mysterious brain hemorrhage;

#3) Donald Gregg, then the chairman of the CIA’s Disciplinary Commission, and later President Bush’s Ambassador to South Korea;

#4) Robert Gates, one of the overseers of the CIA’s secret War in Laos (during the Vietnam era) when Gunther, while seeking to rescue other POW’s in Laos, was captured and taken prisoner himself, and held for 17 months, suffering some of the most unspeakable torture (see pages 9 to 11 of my Hamilton Letter). Gates later became Bush’s Director of Central Intelligence;

#5) Robert McFarlane, then a chief aid to Senator John Towers, on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later Reagan’s National Security Advisor;

#6) Robert Allen, Reagan’s first National Security Advisor;

#7) Earl Brian, a long-time CIA covert operative who, along with Michael Riconosciuto (who worked under Gunther) helped arrange the $40 million bribe paid by Bush to the Iranians in Paris, and who, as a reward for his efforts, was allowed to steal Inslaw’s “PROMIS” software, to alter it (with the help of Riconosciuto), to peddle it, as if it were his own, to governments, police forces, and intelligence agencies around the world, and to pocket most, if not all, of these illegal profits which rightfully belonged to William & Nancy Hamilton, the owners of the Inslaw Corporation;

#8) Jennifer Fitzgerald, one of Bush’s reported long-time paramours;

#9) Alan Michael May, an attorney reportedly involved in secret CIA money transfers (along with Riconosciuto) as well as stealing large assets out of the Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco -- (he has since been murdered);

#10) Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski (D—I1l), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee;

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#11) Congressman Dan Burton (R-Ind), who was only a congressional. aide at the time, but who has since been elected to Congress in his own right;

#12) Senator Robert Byrd (D-W Va), the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. who tried, not long ago, to move many of the CIA’s offices and functions out of suburban Virginia to his own home state of West Virginia.

Senator Byrd has gone on record on the Senate floor denouncing the “October Surprise’ treason In the most scathing language heard thus far, and calling for a “full investigation” in the most vociferous language. Yet, hypocritically, he was both one of the key players in the original treason himself, and has been one of the principal movers behind the Congress’s iron-fisted cover up which continues up to the present moment.

Also, Senator Byrd’s Executive Assistant, Barbara Videnieks, is the wife of Peter Videnieks, a CIA operative who (along with Earl BrianEdwin Meese and others) is one of the prime movers in the Justice Department’s and CIA’s theft of Inslaw’s “PRQMIS” software and the criminal obstruction of justice to cover up that theft. Peter Videnieks, for example, threatened Michael Riconosciuto that if he gave his affidavit, laying out the facts of the Justice Department’s wrongdoing in the “October Surpriseand Inslaw cases, to the House Judiciary Committee, that Riconosciuto would be arrested on trumped up charges and put away for life, and that he and his wife would lose her children (by a previous marriage) -- all of which, per Videnieks’ instructions, has now been carried out in vindictive retribution to punish Riconosciuto for his whistle blowing activities.

#13) Senator John Tower (R-Tex), then on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who later became its chairman, and then chaired the “Tower Commission’s” phony “investigation” which covered up the Irangate and Contragate scandals. Senator Tower was later murdered, when his private plane was blown out of the sky, as he was going around the country to publicize his new book, reportedly because he had let friends know that he intended to revise the final chapter of that book to set forth the true facts concerning the involvement of President Bush and others in the ‘October Surprise” and Iran-Contra scandals.

#14) Senator John Heinz CR-Pa), was also later murdered in order to keep him quiet -- again because he was threatening to come forward and tell what he knew about President Bush’s involvement in the “October Surprise” and other scandals. Like Senator Tower, Senator Heinz’ death resulted from his private plane being blown out of the sky. News reports at the time indicated that Senator Heinz’ plane had collided with a helicopter. What actually happened, however, is that the helicopter fired a missile at Heinz’s plane causing it to explode. But because the helicopter pilot was inexperienced and did not get out of the way in time, the exploding debris from the plane fell onto the helicopter, causing it to crash also. (See page 48 above on both the Tower & Heinz murders.)

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#15) Other prominent Members of Congress whom Gunther has not yet identified. He will, however, identify these other Members of Congress as soon as he has received full immunity and protection for himself and his family (and the remaining 15 covert operatives who also wish to come forward to testify have likewise received immunity and protection for themselves and their families).

#16) Five (5) or so Secret Service Agents. It is Interesting that the Secret Service CANNOT (or, more correctly, will not account for where Mr. Bush and these agents were during this so-called “missing” 16- to 18-hour period. Indeed, George Bush and those speaking for him have offered no less than 6 or 7 different, and conflicting, explanations as to where he was, and what he was doing, during this period. Apparently the Secret Service was keeping duplicate or triplicate books for this period, because several Secret Service documents have surfaced thus far which show Bush in two or three different locations at exactly the same date and time during this “missing” period.

#17) and other persons -- including Gunther himself, his cousin and co-pilot Richard Brenneke, and 5 or so other members of Gunther’s secret Navy Seals Team (whom Gunther will likewise NOT identify for the record until both he and they have been granted immunity from prosecution as well as protection for themselves and their families).

(b)         There were a total of 25 to 30 persons on this flight -- (even the Senators and Congressmen, the pilots, and the Secret Service Agents) were tied to the covert operations side of the CIA.

(c)        The flight left from Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, D.C. (departing about 7:00 EST, on Saturday, October 18th, 1980) and landed at LeBourget Airport in Paris, France (about 9:40 AM European time, on Sunday, October 19th, 1980).

(d)            Gunther’s close friend (and fellow CIA covert operative), Heinrich Rupp piloted a Grumman Gulfstream aircraft which rendezvoused with Gunther’s BAC-111 over the American side of the Atlantic, and then flew in close formation across the Atlantic with Gunther’s transponder turned off, so that ground radar below would pick up only Rupp’s plane -- in order to protect the “plausible deniability” that the BAC-111 (and therefore George Bush and all of his entourage) had supposedly never made this top secret trip to Paris.

(e)        As soon as the plane landed at LeBourget Airport, it was met at the far end of the runway (at some distance away from the Tower, the concourse, and anyone else who might be watching) by a fleet of limousines from the Iranian and American Embassies.

(7)        Bush and his party divided up into small “subcommittees” and each of was whisked away in a separate limousine to a different Hotel in the downtown area of Paris, where they met with their Iranian counterparts.

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(g)        Later, after all of the rest of the party had been picked up by the Iranians, Gunther, Brenneke, and an Air Force Major who was the third person in the cockpit, were taken by a limousine from the American Embassy to their own hotel.

(h)            Gunther then waited several hours in his Hotel room, listening by remote radio to the negotiations being carried out by Bush and Casey with the Iranians, as they were happening, in another Paris hotel.

(i)         The gist of these negotiations (and deal) was that Bush and Casey delivered to the Iranians $40 million in cash

(it started out as $62 million, but by the time many of the Americans had dipped their hands into the till, only about $35 million was left to give to the Iranians),
basically as bribe money, plus the promise of $5 billion more in illegal arms sales and spare parts, beginning immediately.
(actually illegal arms and spare parts worth many times this amount were ultimately sold and delivered by the U.S. to the Iranians over the duration of the Iran-Iraq war),
in exchange for the Iranians’ agreement NOT to release the 52 American hostages captured in Tehran on November 4th, 1979, until after the November 4th, 1980, U.S. Presidential election -- in order to guarantee the humiliation and defeat of then-President Jimmy Carter, and the victory of Ronald Reagan and George Bush.


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