the witness hereinbefore named, having been previously cautioned and sworn, or affirmed, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth testified as follows:
1 A. During the whole period I worked for them.
2 Q. And that was what years?
3 A. That would be '68 through '80 -- I think the last flying I
4 did for them was in '84.
5 Q. Did you ever pilot an aircraft to a location at Mena,
7 A. Yes, sir. I did on a number of occasions.
8 Q. And what aircraft did you fly into Mena?
9 A. I generally flew a C-130. Aircraft would be brought into
10 Mena, the first trips that I made started in early '84.
11 Q. I see. Were you based out of Mena for a period of time?
12 A. That would be a very appropriate description.
13 Q. How many flights would you say that you made from the Mena,
14 Arkansas airport for the CIA during the period of time that you
15 worked for them?
16 A. Ten to twelve.
17 Q. Ten to twelve flights? And you flew a C-130?
18 A. Generally flew a C-130. I did, however, on occasion come
19 in -- on one occasion specifically I recall coming in on a Lear
20 Jet, on one occasion on a 400 Series Cessna.
21 Q. You kept flight logs of all of your flights for the CIA?
22 A. Yes, sir. I certainly did.
23 Q. You have those logs?
24 A. They're lodged with my attorney.
25 Q. And would you submit to us copies of -- exact copies of
1 those logs, and make those an attachment to this record?
2 A. I certainly will.
3 Q. And I’d like to ask that the record be held openat this
4 point subject tosubmission of those logs by the witness at a
5 future time. Now --
6 A. For the record, I’ll try and get those to you next week.
7 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Brenneke, could you tell us when you
8 first made a flight for the CIA from Mena, Arkansas?
9 A. It would have been March, April of 1984.
10 Q. 1984. And what was the cargo that you transported for the
11 CIA from Mena?
12 A. From Mena?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Okay. From Mena I would generally take people who had been trained
15 in the area around Mena, generally paramilitary or military
16 forces from Central America. They would be taken back to Panama
17 City, where I would drop them. And, in addition to that, we
18 would carry weapons that were being shipped down there. The
19 weapons, as I've said, frequently came either from government
20 stores or through Tamiami Gun Shop in Miami, Florida.
21 Q. Now, were the shipments made from Mena, though?
22 A. Yes, sir, they were.
23 Q. Okay. Now, the guns, how did you know they were guns?
24 A. I could see them being loaded on my aircraft.
25 Q. Were the guns in boxes?
1 A. The guns were in crates, and they were stamped clearly on
2 the outside as to what they were.
3 Q. Now, can you identify for the record some of the kinds of
4 guns that were being shipped from Mena to Central America?
5 A. M-1's, M-1 rifles, recoil -- small recoilless rifles, 106,
6 I've forgotten the exact caliber on it, grenades, ammunition for
7 these weapons, fuses, detonator fuses. And I remember that one
8 very specifically because it only happened once. But we had
9 detonator fuses on board, and my concern was that we might have
10 the equipment being detonated on the same flight, and I didn't
11 want that.
12 Q. Did you inspect the crates yourself prior to airlifting?
13 A. No, sir. I didn't look at every crate. But I would, from
14 time-to-time, open one because I wanted to make sure of the
15 weights on them.
16 Q. And who was with you as co-pilot on the first flight?
17 A. Harry Rupp, a friend of mine who lives in Denver, Colorado.
18 Q. Did he accompany you on all the flights or were there other
20 A. No, there were other co-pilots from time-to-time.
21 Q. Can you describe -- name for us the co-pilots that
22 accompanied you on the several flights that you made to Central
24 A. No, sir, I can't. It's been too long.
25 Q. Do you recall names other than Harry Rupp?
1 A. Yes. Unfortunately only nicknames. There was a fellow
2 that I flew with regularly that was called "The Hippie." He
3 worked out Medellin, would frequently fly the trips up north
4 to us.
5 Q. "Up north," what do you mean?
6 A. Up to Mena.
7 Q. To Mena?
8 A. And also into Iron Mountain Ranch in Texas.
9 Q. Into Texas. So you -- let's deal with the Mena location
10 at the moment, and we can go to other locations today if we wish --
11 A. Sure.
12 Q. -- at a later time. There is an airport at Mena,
13 and what's the name of it?
14 A. It's Mena Airport.
15 Q. Mena Airport. And who did you see personally involved in
16 the loading of these crates and the management of these cargoes
17 that you knew personally and you can identify for the record?
18 Did you see anyone there you would --
19 A. Yes, a man by the name of Freddie Hampton.
20 Q. Were there -- Freddie Hampton, is he from Mena?
21 A. Fred Hampton owns and operates Rich Mountain Aviation.
22 Q. In Mena, Arkansas?
23 A. In Mena, Arkansas. And he would be the individual
24 directing his workers. I assume they’re his workers, because
25 they followed his direction in loading and unloading aircraft.
1 Q. How many workers do you recall were used for the purpose of
2 loading and unloading aircraft?
3 A. Depending on the equipment, it could run as high as twelve,
4 more often than not it was around five or six people.
5 Q. Five or six people. Would you -- do you recall any of the
6 names of the people who participated?
7 A. I was never introduced to who they were.
8 Q. I see. So as I understand it, they would load the guns and
9 munitions on the C-130, and you and a co-pilot, one of whom
10 you've identified as Harry Rupp --
11 A. Uh-huh.
12 Q. -- would fly these munitions and equipment to locations in
13 Central America. Where was the cargo destined for; where did
14 you fly it to?
15 A. We flew it to Panama City and off loaded it there.
16 Q. Do you remember where in Panama City?
17 A. Panama -- at Tecuman Airport.
18 Q. Which airport?
19 A. Tecuman.
20 Q. Tecuman?
21 A. Tecuman, T-E-C-U-M-A-N.
22 Q. Tecuman Airport. That's in Panama City?
23 A. In Panama City.
24 Q. Did you fly them to other locations?
25 A. Yes, sir. We also flew to a point on the East Coast of
1 Panama and Colon.
2 Q. Colon?
3 A. It's a Greek word.
4 Q. Now, could -- were the shipments met by people in Panama?
5 A. Yes, they were. They were. They were met by military types who wore
6 military uniforms and were easily identified as members of the
7 Panamanian Defense Force, which essentially is the Palace Guard.
8 Q. All right. Do you know any of the people? Did you
9 recognize any of the PDF forces that met these shipments?
10 A. I recognized them -- I did not know the names of all of
11 them; however, I did know the name of the man who trained them,
12 and he would frequently be there to meet the shipments, and he
13 is a man by the name of Michael Harari.
14 Q. Who is Michael Harari?
15 A. Mike Harari was a Mossad agent. He’s an Israeli national.
16 M best understanding is he lives in Israel right now. He was
17 Manuel Noriega’s partner in a number of business deals in
18 Panama. I know that firsthand because I had to deal with him.
19 Q. All right. Now, Manuel Noriega, is he the former President
20 of Panama?
21 A. Yes, sir. He is.
22 Q. Is that the same Manuel Noriega that is now incarcerated
23 and is subject to trial in the Miami District Court?
24 A. Yes, sir. He is.
25 Q. Now --
1 A. If I may --
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. There’s another that -- a man by the name of Jose
4 Blandon, who was the Minister of Intelligence of the
5 Intelligence Ministry in Panama at that time, and he also worked
6 for Noriega and left somewhere in the mid-eighties, is currently
7 in the United States in the Witness Protection Program.
8 Q. I see. Now, what would happen to the cargo once you landed
9 in Panama at either of these locations when it was met by the
10 Panamanian Defense Forces?
11 A. The cargo would be immediately off loaded off the aircraft
12 and loaded either onto trucks or stacked in warehouses. If we
13 were going into Colon, there are bonded warehouses where it
14 would simply be stacked.
15 Q. Were these military trucks?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Could you identify the military insignias on the trucks?
18 A. No. They were just --
19 Q. They were military trucks?
20 A. Drab olive green.
21 Q. Olive green trucks?
22 A. With numbers stenciled on the side.
23 Q. I see. Operated by --
24 A. Operated by people in military garb. I assume they were
25 military trucks.