THE MALTESE DOUBLE CROSS -- ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY & SCREENCAP GALLERY
Vincent Cannistraro will later head the CIA's investigation into Lockerbie. Bob Woodward in the front pages of the Washington Post using top secret documents leaked to him from the National Security Council wrote about the program.
Deception and disinformation.
[Howard Teicher, U.S. National Security Council, Senior Director 1985-1987] Mr. Cannistraro and myself were the coordinators of Libya policy within the NSC and did have a direct role in coordinating the papers written by State, but then put from the CIA in the Department of Defense and other agencies that all had a role.
[Vincent Cannistraro, CIA head of Lockerbie Investigation] I developed the policy towards Libya. In fact, I wrote the draft paper that was later adopted by the President.
[Narrator] Clouded stories. Fabricated stories. Stories that were meant to spin the world around: Crazy Gaddafi. Flaky Gaddafi.
The climax of the Vince and Ollie show was to be kept very very quiet. It does have a name.
State Dept. Plan Urged Libya Coup
[Vincent Cannistraro, CIA head of Lockerbie Investigation] I worked next to Ollie for about two years. And he was a man that would do anything to achieve the objective he was working on.
First he considered it the most important thing in the world, and secondly, he would use any means whether than meant lying, even to his friends, to manipulating people. He would do anything to achieve the goal.
[Howard Teicher, U.S. National Security Council, Senior Director 1985-1987] There was intelligence information which could not be absolutely confirmed that Gaddafi was indeed interested in killing President Reagan. It is true that since then people have argued that this was a fabrication by CIA director Casey. Of course, with Casey dead, no one can know for sure what was Casey's agenda and whether indeed this information was fabricated.
[Vincent Cannistraro, CIA head of Lockerbie Investigation] Oliver North was one of the principal proponents of the bombing of Tripoli in 1986, and as we understand now, did manipulate the press, talked quite freely with a lot of media people and had no compunctions about providing false information.
[Howard Teicher, U.S. National Security Council, Senior Director 1985-1987] It is certain that Gaddafi sent people who worked for him, Libyans and others, into the United States to kill Libyan dissidents. There is no question about that. Whether some people may have twisted the information that dealt with those individuals into stories alleging a conspiracy against President Reagan, it may be true or it may not be true.
[Narrator] The airplanes gather in silence, even if the afterburners are at full thrust as they always have been during every long war that waxes hot and cold.
The affable ally, the lady never keeps the gentleman waiting for long. The bombs and planes are American. The British provide only the pavement. That way, these two very special partners can again skirt the rest of Europe, lady and gentleman waiting, pilot, cues and bomb all waiting.
If the wait is too long, a pretext can always be created.
In 1986, La Belle disco in Berlin bombed. Libya is like magnetic north. The finger always points there. After the rubble settles in Berlin, Tripoli and Van Garden?, the evidence implicating Libya goes up in smoke.
[Howard Teicher, U.S. National Security Council, Senior Director 1985-1987] We were able through technical intelligence means in almost real time to intercept communications between the Libyan's People's Bureau in Germany and the Intelligence Headquarters in Tripoli which stated very clearly that a terrorist act had just been perpetrated against an American target as had been directed and as far as the United States government was concerned, this was ample proof and justification for the retaliation which ensued.
[Ronald Reagan] My fellow Americans, at 7:00 this evening Eastern time, air and naval forces of the United States launched a series of strikes against the headquarters of terrorist facilities and military assets that support Muammar Gaddafi's [inaudible]. The attacks were concentrated and were carefully targeted to minimize casualties among the Libyan people with whom we had no quarrel.
[Man] [Inaudible] They have about 5,000 [inaudible]. Now we have the right to kill them. Right now.
[Man] [Inaudible] kill just the citizens. Not military, not military counts.