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Conservative Author Reports That Ex-Arkansas State Trooper Believed Clinton Knew About Drug Flights From Central America to Arkansas


November 1995

In an article for The American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. writes that then-Governor Clinton knew about and encouraged smuggling of drugs and guns into Arkansas from Central America (R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., "The Arkansas Drug Shuttle," The American Spectator, August 1995, p. 16-18).

Tyrrell writes that Clinton's friend State Trooper L.D. Brown went on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flights with drug trafficker Barry Seal in 1984. The Justice Department estimates that Seal smuggled between $3 and $5 billion in drugs into the U.S. before his murder by Colombians in 1986. At the time of the flights, Brown was in the course of applying to the CIA for a job. Brown told Tyrrell that the first time he went on one of the flights, they dropped M-16s for the Contras in exchange for cash and mysterious duffel bags.

After the second flight, Brown said Seal showed him a kilogram of cocaine in one of the duffel bags. According to Brown's brother, Brown was very upset that he had participated in drug flights. Brown believes that the missions were initiated by Clinton and supported by an Arkansas bond dealer who was a major contributor to Clinton's political campaigns, but no evidence was cited that supports the claim.

After a string of media attention about Clinton's private life and the Whitewater matter, Brown decided to tell what he knew about the flights from Mena, Arkansas to Central America. Another State Trooper, Larry Patterson, has also said in a sworn statement that Clinton had conversations in which he indicated that drugs and guns were being run through Mena.

[From 1986 to 1988, I was involved in the Congressional investigation of Barry Seal's flights. I eagerly read this article looking for information about Clinton's role in Seal's drug smuggling. The article didn't provide any. This shabby journalism is rife with innuendo. Not a single fact is presented showing Clinton knew about drugs in these flights before or after they occurred. Trooper Brown's suspicions of Clinton are based on Clinton asking him after Brown returned from Central America, "Are we having fun yet?" -- EES]