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"Teddy Bear" Unstuffed

"Get De Greiff" Lobby Stumbles Again

January 1, 2001

Narco News 2001

The Narco News Bulletin:

"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simón Bolívar

Colombian Hero Still Towers Over His Attackers

Gustavo De Greiff Started the Legalization Debate

US Authorities Attacked the Colombian Attorney General

Now, a Career Criminal Recycles the Untrue Attacks

A Fact Check is in Order

by Al Giordano

Updated January 3rd: De Greiff Speaks

Another career criminal is trying to gain release by telling false stories that his captors want to hear.

This time it is Roberto Escobar, with the unfortunate criminal nickname of "Osito," that is to say, "The Teddy Bear," who, in a new book written from captivity, "My Brother Pablo," is repeating charges against former Attorney General Gustavo De Greiff that were disproved more than six years ago.

How do we know the charges are false?

Because the publisher of Narco News reported the 1994 Boston Phoenix story that documented the falsity of the exact same claim now being recycled by "The Teddy Bear" in an attempt to get out of jail.

According to El Tiempo of December 22, 2000, "Teddy Bear" Escobar claims in his book:

… that the drug capo (Pablo Escobar) delivered $500,000 dollars to De Greiff to "change his position" in the case of Dandeny Muñoz Mosquera, "La Quica," one of the hitmen of the Medellin cartel and prisoner in the United States.

"La Quica" is imprisoned in the United States accused of being the material author of the attack against the Avianca airplane from Bogotá to Cali on November 27, 1993, when 107 passengers and crew died.

According to "The Teddy Bear," Pablo Escobar sent one of his lawyers, Salomón Lozano, from Medellín to Bogotá to meet with then Attorney General Gustavo De Greiff.

"Pablo decided to personally contact Gustavo De Greiff, the Attorney General of Colombia. Dr. Losana, criminal attorney, was received in his office on 35th Street near the National Park."

"With his lawyer, he sent to Dr. De Greiff a letter with precise instructions. The letter from my brother offered him $500,000 dollars in exchange that De Greiff would change his posture in the case of "La Quica" and sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno exonerating "La Quica" of all responsibility for the attack.

"De Greiff complied with his part and Pablo with his. Days later he sent him the money in cash in two leather suitcases," says the book.

Back in 1994, the same accusation was made by members of Janet Reno's Justice Department and by US Senator John Kerry, egged on by an errant staff member who had once told Senator Tim Wirth in front of witnesses, "we gotta get De Greiff."

They wanted to "get" De Greiff -- whom the US government had previously praised as a drug war hero for apprehending the Medellín Cartel boss Escobar -- because, in 1993, De Greiff had called for the legalization of drugs as the only way to beat the cocaine cartels.

De Greiff thus became the first Latin American leader to openly challenge US drug policy. And the Narco-State -- a system that needs censorship to survive -- attacked him viciously for it.

The US Justice Department got an informant to claim that De Greiff held a "secret meeting" with attorneys for a drug trafficker and terrorist. And they claimed that "secret meeting" led to a letter by De Greiff to the trafficker's defense attorney in New York exonerating the terrorist.

Now, "The Teddy Bear" Escobar has distorted the story farther, claiming that the letter to the attorney was a letter to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and that a bribe was involved.

"The Teddy Bear" offers no evidence. Just his word as an internationally renowned criminal and little brother to a criminal legend.

The 1994 story, "Friendly Fire: John Kerry Stumbles in the Drug War," (May 4, 1994, The Boston Phoenix) documented:

- That the "secret meeting" was not secret and in fact public documents were immediately sent to other Colombian government officials reporting on the meeting.

- That the meeting was required by Colombian law, which stated that the Attorney General must meet with attorneys of any defendant seeking amnesty under the law.

- That the "Amnesty Law" was approved with the endorsement of the US government. De Greiff himself had nothing to do with the passage of that US-backed law. De Greiff, as attorney general, adhered strictly to the law.

- That the letter in question was solicited not by Reno, but by a New York defense attorney for "La Quica." The defense had written to the Colombian attorney general with a request known as "derecho a petición" under Colombian law. That's something similar to the discovery process in US courts, in which a defendant has a right to exculpatory information. De Greiff was then required by the laws of his country to disclose that there was not sufficient evidence in Colombia to convict the defendant of the airplane bombing.

Because sunlight is the best disinfectant, The Narco News Bulletin repeats these facts before lazy and unethical "journalists" start repeating the recycled lies as CNN Español has already done.

De Greiff is the man who broke the Medellín Cartel. He also stood up to the US government.

"The Teddy Bear" is a typical criminal informant, singing whatever tune he thinks that the Clinton and Pastrana governments want to hear in order to gain his release.

"The Teddy Bear" is also extremely stupid, because he chose to recycle a charge that was already disproved with documents.

The songs of professional informants like Roberto Escobar or Sarkis Soghanalian sing volumes about the corrupted priorities of the US and other governments.

Governments don't often admit their real agendas. The professional criminal-informants, however, reveal the motives of Washington and other capitals through the lies that they choose to tell. The statements by informants like "The Teddy Bear" or Soghanalian are, in a sense, more revealing than any State Department news briefing session. Whereas governments have interest to hide their true agendas, snitches respond to the true priorities of governments and end up spilling the beans.

"The Teddy Bear" is singing this song because he knows that US officials are desperate to silence the growing Latin American drug legalization movement.

They wish to remind leaders like President Jorge Batlle of Uruguay -- and some heads of state that agree with his pro-legalization position but have not yet spoken -- of how they smeared De Greiff. And "Teddy Bear" Escobar thinks he can get out of jail by pleasing the corrupt Narco-States of Bogotá and Washington with his song against De Greiff.

The censorious drug warriors count on lazy and unethical "journalists" like some at CNN Español, which recently repeated these recycled and discredited charges.

But De Greiff - who, in 1997 became Colombian Ambassador to Mexico over the loud objections of the US government - is still standing, his credibility intact.

Kerry, Reno and the others in Washington backed away from this trumped-up charge six years ago because they had already embarrassed themselves by getting caught in their falsehood.

The Narco News Bulletin extends its congratulations to Gustavo De Greiff for his continued honesty, forthrightness and courage in the face of these attacks.

De Greiff is a statesman. His critics are professional informants, or worse, dishonest politicians waging a dirty war against their own people.

Narco News, yesterday, reached De Greiff at the Colegio de México, where he is a respected academic leader. De Greiff said, "I have requested of the Colombian Prosecutor General that he conduct an investigation on this matter."

"Except for revenge or trying to win favor from DEA," he noted of Escobar's possible motives, "I can not imagine how
anyone can invent such lies."

Review De Greiff's response, also published that same day in El Tiempo, and note its openness and forthrightness:

Yesterday, De Greiff, former Ambassador to Mexico, where he resides, emphatically denied the accusations by Escobar and said that it was a lie and that he is ready to appear at any moment before Colombian authorities.

"All that I have to say is that the statement of this individual, a crook, is absolutely and totally false as it pertains to me."

"My life is open to any investigation by any legal authority in my country."

"Certainly, he is attempting revenge for the decisive role of the Attorney General, of my conduct in the dismantling of the so-called Medellín cartel that ended in the death of the brother of the accuser," said De Greiff.

History continues to shine upon Gustavo De Greiff, a bona fide drug war hero, the man who laid the groundwork that Uruguay President Jorge Batlle can walk today.

The latest maneuver, getting a crook to repeat discredited charges, reveals the desperation of the drug warriors in trying to censor and silence the truth about the failed war on drugs.

Thus, as they lose the war, they have lost another battle to distort the facts and the truth. Gustavo De Greiff is a thousand times bigger than his dishonest accusers. That's why they attack him. It's the envy and jealousy that the corrupt and small have for the great and honest men and women of history.

Keeping Historic Memory Alive in Our América