Copyright © 1995 The Washington Weekly ( All Rights Reserved.
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Interview by Marvin Lee, May 8, 1995
The Washington Weekly, (

Terry Reed was a pilot and subcontractor for the CIA Iran Contra operation in Mena, Arkansas in the 1980s. During this work, he discovered that airplanes flying weapons south to the Nicaraguan Contras returned to the U.S. with cocaine. As described in his book Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the CIA, Reed left the operation in disgust, but was sued in federal court in Wichita Kansas after then-Governor Bill Clinton's chief of security Buddy Young fabricated evidence of insurance fraud with an airplane that was stolen from Terry Reed. The case against Reed was dismissed from federal court and the Judge complained that it had "a high odor to it."

Reed has now filed a civil suit against Buddy Young, now regional FEMA director appointed by President Clinton, claiming violations of Reed's civil rights because of fabrication of false evidence.

Reed's lawyers have so far taken depositions from two State Troopers and one former IRS investigator in the ongoing trial in federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas.

For details of the Mena operation and the lawsuit, see the Washington Weekly Mena archive.

MR. LEE: Mr. Reed, your civil suit has been filed against Buddy Young, Clinton's former chief of security. Is there any possibility that Bill Clinton himself may be implicated in your suit? Do you expect to call him as a witness?

MR. REED: I would certainly like to call him as a witness. As we get into the motive of Mr. Young, my lawyers and I have already determined that the people that I have sued only took their instructions from Bill Clinton. So the motive aspects are pretty clear. Mr. Young certainly would have been operating on instructions of then-Governor Bill Clinton.

As you know, we have not sued Bill, he is not named on the suit, and that is for a good reason, because there is pretty good case law setting precedent that a sitting president can't be sued.

But there are certainly going to be implications there. The implication, I would like to make very clear is that Bill Clinton orchestrated this whole wrongful criminal indictment which was brought upon me and my wife.

MR. LEE: What do you hope to gain from your lawsuit?

MR. REED: Well, you know what upsets me the most is I am now convinced that there are certain elements of the judiciary that have been used for political retribution. That, basically, cowardly individuals have created Gulags within this country: put people in prison for crimes they didn't commit, simply because they become a liability, or in this case I was a "loose end" as they say in Intelligence vernacular. And they decided to deal with me within the criminal justice system, and that was wrong.

MR. LEE: Yes, that brings me to another question: do you expect to get a fair trial in federal court in Little Rock?

MR. REED: Well, I think we have a good judge. So far federal Judge Howard has been very fair to us in his rulings. I have always felt that this story belonged in federal court and not in the media, simply because serious overtones could be dealt with, especially as pertains to not needlessly exposing the names of acting agents who still work for the federal government. And also because that is the only place you can really get people charged for perjury.

Maybe I'm very naive, but I have still some degree of faith in the criminal justice system.

MR. LEE: Are you suffering any threats and intimidations because of your suit?

MR. REED: Certainly. I am operating right now under a written death threat that is not only aimed at me but my wife and children as well. And it is not aimed at my book Compromised, or any of my speaking engagements, it is aimed at staying out of federal court. So it is a direct threat to "stay out of court or I die," as the threat says.

MR. LEE: You said on the Chuck Harder show a few weeks ago that one of your witnesses had died. Can you elaborate on that?

MR. REED: Yes, we had a witness I had developed. His name was Robert Bates. Bates was a mechanic at the Mena airport. A 39- year-old mechanic, and a person who had come forward voluntarily to assist me in some of our investigative efforts as we put together our evidence and witness list for the trial.

It's been about, I assume it's about five weeks ago Mr. Bates turned up very mysteriously dead, having allegedly drunk himself to death on mouthwash, which I find very strange behavior. I have talked to other people in the Mena area. Mr. Bates is from a very affluent family and this was very unusual behavior. I still don't buy off on the results from the autopsy. His body was shipped to Little Rock to have an autopsy performed, and of course they found evidence of this fluid in stomach which they claim lead to his untimely death.

MR. LEE: He wouldn't happen to have been examined by Fahmy Malak?

MR. REED: No, I guess he is no longer the... what was Malak's official title?

MR. LEE: Medical Examiner.

MR. REED: Yes. I think he has been replaced.

I don't know if you are following the rest of the news about Russell Welch -

MR. LEE: Yes, the intimidation?

MR. REED: Oh, there's a major effort right now to intimidate our witnesses. And Welch had his final hearing on Friday, May 5th, and has now been officially sanctioned for his dereliction of duty and non-performance and what not and is now being forced to spend three hours a day commuting to and from his desk job in Hot Springs, Arkansas. So there's certainly a concerted effort right now to dismantle our witness list which we find very frustrating.

MR. LEE: I want to ask you also about your other contacts with the media. They have not all been positive. A number of reporters have tried to attack your credibility. It appears they have done so in spite of their knowledge to the contrary, and that they used the testimony of felons to discredit you. One was a reporter with Time magazine, and we know of the close ties between Time editor Strobe Talbott and Clinton. They shared a room at Oxford. Another is John Camp of CNN who had an interview with you. Can you tell us how his interview came about and what do you think his motive was for his attack on you?

MR. REED: Well. I don't mean to sound like a conspiracist, but I certainly think that CNN is now into containment mode. They are working with the Clinton administration to try to keep a lid on the Mena story. This guy, Camp, is not an expert on anything as relates to Mena, Arkansas. He was never there, he only met Barry Seal at the very latter stages of his life, yet Camp is now surfacing as a so-called self-appointed expert on Barry Seal's life.

All I know about the man is he came from a station, I think it was WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He seems to be surfacing wherever there is damage control to be performed now for the Clinton administration when it comes to this Mena story.

I was not told that he wanted to be my interviewer. I still probably would have cooperated with the interview but I would have done it certainly different. CNN lied to me, they told me they wanted to interview me about my book. They told me another person was going to do the interviewing, but when I arrived at their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia on a Sunday as I was traveling down to Florida, there was Mr. Camp who immediately went on the offensive.

I have demanded from the president of CNN, Mr. Robert Johnson, a complete copy of the videotape, which I have not been provided. It was edited in a very reckless manner, in my opinion, to try to present the story the way they wanted to present it. But I think anybody that would see the whole unedited tape would realize how concocted the interview actually was.

MR. LEE: And they tried to bring in [Seal's aircraft mechanic] Joe Evans - I guess they didn't tell you about that either?

MR. REED: No, and if I had just known he was going to be available, I would have been hand-carrying a subpoena he had been avoiding being served in my court case for over two years. We wasted a lot of money trying to serve Joe Evans, and here they had gone to the trouble of flying him in to present him as a hostile witness. And again, if you could see the whole tape, I think you'd realize that I handled myself pretty well considering how ganged-up on I was during that interview.

You know, Chuck Harder calls them the "Clinton News Network."

MR. LEE: Are there any breaking news in your lawsuit?

MR. REED: Yes, at this time next week we will be in Little Rock taking six more depositions. We hope to have some major news breaking from those. We are focusing right now on the "orchestrated crime," as we call it, Mr. Young's behavior manipulating evidence, his tampering with evidence, his perjury before the federal court in Wichita, Kansas.

But this next week we are going to be expanding outside of that into other people that we now know were working in concert with him. So it should get pretty interesting as we get closer and closer to Mr. Young's former boss.

MR. LEE: So at this point you have not taken depositions of more than three people?

MR. REED: So far we have taken depositions of three, we have six on our list next week, we have a very busy schedule throughout the summer. Our cutoff for discovery is July 31, unless we will be granted an extension which I think we will be asking for due to the uncooperative behavior of the Arkansas Attorney General's office. They are defending former Captain Young, and they are trying to run out the time clock on us - we know what they're doing.

They keep breaking appointments for depositions to try to run the clock out on us to keep us from accomplishing our discovery. But we are making a motion to extend; I think the judge will rule favorably on that considering the uncooperative behavior of the AG's office.

MR. LEE: Okay, when is the paperback version of your book coming out?

MR. REED: I'm glad you asked. It is going to be out in June, the first week in June we hope. I have a West Coast publisher, it is being distributed by National Book Network out of Maryland. It is going to be a very, very large paperback.

MR. LEE: It is going to be in bookstores nationwide?

MR. REED: Yes, NBN, we also have already 10,000 back ordered sales.

MR. LEE: Mr. Reed, thank you so much for your time.

[Stay tuned to the Washington Weekly for further developments in the Mena trial. Reed is willing to answer questions from Washington Weekly readers. Send your questions, including name, to: Answers will be published in the Washington Weekly at a later date]

[Printed in the May 15, 1995 issue of the Washington Weekly]