Kungfu Secret Agent
Agent for Interpol comes clean on his career as an assassin.
by Jason Putman
THAILAND, 1991 - The white man slides behind a North Korean, steel edge of a black Ka-Bar fighting knife glittering as it plunges into the terrorist's neck, then rips out, severing the vocal chords and jugular. Visibly limping from an informant's vicious knee kick earlier in the day, the man and his South Korean partner step inside the two remaining guards' AK rifles and deliver quick, efficient blows to kill the North Koreans. They are wrapped in Kevlar, the Korean carries a Heckler & Koch Mark 23 .45 ACP pistol; his companion a Beretta 92FS 9mm. Communicating with signals developed over years of training, they throw back the flaps of a heavy truck to reveal its precious cargo: 17 children intended for sale in Bangkok's sex district, profits to fund another North Korean terrorist cell.
An hour later, a plane crewed by Interpol agents takes off and drones toward Chinhae, South Korea, where the children will be delivered to the coastal city's naval base, then identified and returned to their families - if they have any.
The team will spend only a few hours in Chinhae, then clean up and separate. It is the group's third mission together, but they have worked solo and in pairs across the globe for eleven years. Combined, these clandestine operatives have saved over 300 children and killed hundreds of slavers, pornographers and terrorists. South Korean secret service agent Lee Hyung-jin reports in Chinhae; his limping companion, David Bannon, will return with the team to their headquarters outside Lyon, France.1
Last January, Bannon published his memoir, RACE AGAINST EVIL: THE SECRET MISSIONS OF THE INTERPOL AGENT WHO TRACKED THE WORLD'S MOST SINISTER CRIMINALS2, telling of years with the international police's elite assassination team, Archangel. Part vigilante squad, part international police force, Archangel broke dozens of international laws, directed by a government agency that denied their existence.
On a hillside in rural Japan, Bannon was in a vicious fight with a rice farmer.3 The baseball bat Bannon had been using as a weapon broke in half during the struggle, but he managed to take the blunt end and ram it into his opponent's throat, bringing him to the ground. The farmer had nearly killed him. "This guy's qi was unbelievable," Bannon says. "I figure maybe Hung Gar." Bannon survived, but only just. "His arm techniques reflected lots of hours with the wooden dummy and he had that low, stable balance point that's so common to Hung Gar stylists. Impossibly fast, this guy, and he didn't telegraph at all. If my partner hadn't done a lot of damage first, I'd be dead."
Over the past 20 years, Bannon's work for Interpol, the notoriously shadowy international police organization, has taken him across the world, prowling sex parlors, undercover with smugglers and terrorists. As a "cleaner" for a secret Interpol sub-directorate called "Archangel," it was his job to hunt down and assassinate those who kidnapped, trafficked and exploited children for use in the global sex trade. Bannon excelled at his vocation, but no matter how the ends justified the means, he was burdened by an almost unimaginable psychic weight-mixed feelings of guilt, bloodlust, despair, pride and even fear.
In April 2003, Bannon, along with his retired superior at Interpol, Commissioner Jacques Defferre, agreed to a rare interview to explain to Kungfu about their motives for working in Archangel. Sitting in a coffee shop in Charlotte, NC, the two plainly described how the underground kiddie porn industry is used to fund terrorist cells, and of the vast international networks of kidnappers and pornographers who continue to earn "billions of dollars" working above the law.
Bannon is 6 foot, about 200 pounds, with a lithe, watchful ease that is an eerie clone of his slightly smaller superior, Defferre. Known in the trade as "grey men" for their ability to blend, Interpol agents can walk into any bar without earning a second glance. They are generally quiet men, emulating the tradition of such grandmasters as Pan Qing Fu (Iron Fist- shown right) and Chan Sau Chung (Tai Shing Pek Kwar, Monkey Style). Their deceptively relaxed demeanor belies the horrors they discuss so casually over croissant. "With these eyes, I've seen it - infants tortured, sexually abused, murdered," Bannon says. "Those memories, those thoughts stick with you all your life." A month after this initial interview, Bannon's comrade, friend and mentor, Jacques Defferre, became a victim to the same cloak-and-dagger violence he once practiced.
Who is David Bannon?
Ambassadors know his name. He sits with senators on trade round tables, addresses global corporations at technology conferences4 and publishes on history, computers and translations from two Asian languages. He holds diplomas in computer science and Asian history, and a 3rd degree black belt in hapkido.5 He was a Mormon missionary once. And an ex-con. His friend of nearly 20 years, Lee Hyung-jin6 blandly told us, "Bannon was imprisoned for three months in Taejon Prison.?7 After Bannon was released from prison, Defferre recruited him. "At first, I was really nothing more than a snitch," Bannon says. "Jacques needed someone that spoke Korean and was locked into that particular network, so he used me. It was about as glamorous as puking in an alley."
On a joint assignment, Bannon fell in love with French counter-terrorist agent Sidelle Rimbaud.8 They planned on marriage; she was killed in a firefight with North Korean child smugglers and terrorists in Marseilles. "I was filled with a raw lust for vengeance," he says. "Jacques told me about Archangel. He didn't have to ask twice."
Defferre had been hunting child sex slavers for Interpol since 1978.9 His team was created under Interpol's loosely worded charter, "To establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes?10 to stem the flow of 900,000 child sex slaves smuggled across international borders each year,11 including nearly 10% of the missing kids from the United States.12
"These producers, the ones who buy and sell the children, do it through coercion or kidnapping; then use torture and drugs to force obedience," Bannon says wearily. "We've witnessed parents selling their infants directly at the doors of the brothels in countries where child prostitution is legal." He cites Thailand and Pakistan. "The resulting pornography could earn billions in profits from an initial investment of about $30-to-50K per child."13 Defferre convinced his superiors that Interpol should match slavers and terrorists for wiliness, adaptability and ruthlessness.14 Archangel's mission: Identify child sex slavers and eliminate them.15
At the elite training facility in La Verpillere, exhaustive psychological and physical examinations gauged the suitability of candidates to work as assassins, 16 known as cleaners. "We trained in firearms, close quarter combat, demolitions, the usual," Bannon says. "We were given fake cover identities, known as 'legends.'17 The cleaners had to fit in anywhere."18
After mastering the fundamentals, the fledgling assassins traveled alone and in small groups for supervised exercises outside the compound. They learned the basics of surveillance and the art of intelligence, such as planting "kernels" of disinformation months or even years in advance across media outlets, then using them in "blowback" campaigns to blackmail or smear targets. Interpol's technical arm, Rosetta, altered Bannon's past in a process called "sheep dipping," after the practice of bathing sheep before they are sheared, that erased the background of an operative and created a new one with family history, friends, school, everything.
These tactics didn't impress everyone. "All of the Interpol guys were always working undercover, but we prefer a standup fight," said Captain Henri Wolper19 with the French counter-terrorist Directorate of Territorial Security (DST). "These Interpol guys train with a mix of styles," says Wolper. "Tai Chi balance, jujitsu locks, karate blocks, hapkido strikes, low kicks, no particular set of rules. But most of what they learn would get them disqualified in an organized bout. If it would be a foul in a tournament, it's just what we needed on the street." Wolper has known Bannon for years but hates Interpol's secret army. "They got nothing you can't find in any special forces team across the world, only without authority. Vigilantism is a crime, no matter what the justification."
Wolper may not be far off. Defferre recruited from all walks of life: ex-military, law officers, even criminals.20 This approach wasn't new to Interpol, whose president Jolly Bugarin (1980-84) used a 13-year member of his police force as an assassin, saying: "In the fight against crime, we also use criminals."21
These illicit ties were confirmed when mafia boss Bill Bonanno blandly wrote, "We had contacts in Interpol.?22 In 1985, the organization's secretary general - Raymond Kendall, who retired in 2000 - accelerated Bugarin's initiative: "If we waited until the laws were adopted, we would wait a long, long time. Unless we have the courage to step outside the usual run of the mill responses we will not achieve anything.?23
Though tiny by Pentagon standards, Interpol's "step outside the usual" included assassination teams planted in Asia, Europe and even the United States.24 "These people operated every day around the world," Lee Hyung-jin says. "They were inserted quickly, clandestinely, without our knowledge or with it, working for or against us."
Local law enforcement cooperation and subsequent supervision of the investigation by Interpol "washer/dryers" helped keep many of the assignments out of the public eye. "It's in everyone's interest to keep the secret," says Geoffrey Ries, a 23-year veteran of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6,25 "whether for national security or disdain for the system's ability to queer it." Ries recalls "dozens of missions" with Defferre before Archangel was officially disbanded between 1989-91.
Some cops are less enthusiastic. "I met two of these Interpol guys, okay?" says New Orleans police officer Thomas Parker.26 In August-September 1998 he worked on a global raid of Internet child pornographers called The Wonderland Club.27 "I met two of these Interpol guys," he recalls. "One was obviously an ex-con, the other some sort of psychologist. At the time, we figured maybe they were CIA or whatever." When they raided their suspects, Parker and the Interpol team stormed the room and killed four of the seven pornographers. Parker's "ex-con" was Bannon. "These guys, they don't take no prisoners," Parker recalls. "They ain't legit cops, they're killers." The father of an 8-year-old girl that was rescued by Bannon and Parker supported the need for Archangel, but said the work "cankers their souls.?28
Still living with the immense weight of blood on his hands, Bannon decided to expose the horrors of the sex trade to the world. His book came out in January 2003,29 and was met with howls of disapproval. Michael Rose, the organization's chief press officer, released a statement: "If the claims in Mr. Bannon's book are in fact as have been reported to Interpol, they can only be seen as deceptive and irresponsible fantasy."30 By April, Interpol officers were beating down the ex-agent's door in North Carolina,31 demanding that he recant his tale.32 "Leaving the secret world," Defferre said, "is never easy." Defferre33 estimated that each of his operatives accounted for "three digits" worth of arrests or assassinations. Now almost all of the original 250 cleaners are dead or missing.
It wasn't the first time Interpol worked above the law in the United States. In Steinberg v. Interpol (1981) the District of Columbia federal appellate court found that "Interpol appears to occupy a rather ambiguous and shadowy existence in this country. It claims not to exist in the United States, yet it...defames American citizens in the United States as well as elsewhere."34 The court cited a memorandum dated 6 June 1979, from Interpol Director John E. Ingersoll to John Warner, Chief, Strategic Intelligence Office: "The Secretariat consists of international police officers who have given up their allegiance to their individual countries for the term assigned to Interpol."35 The organization's Constitution and General Regulations required that officers "shall neither solicit nor accept instructions from any government or authority outside the Organization,"36 and President Reagan's Executive Order 12425 in 1983 granted Interpol, the world's second largest international organization, diplomatic status and "complete immunity from prosecution in the United States."37
As the enemies of Interpol, the world's second largest international organization (only the UN is larger), Bannon and Defferre needed help. "Interpol is furious that I betrayed them," Bannon says, "but my loyalty is to my family and to the friends who sacrificed so much over the years." Bannon and Defferre found powerful allies. The U.S. Department of Justice had once condemned "the secretive nature of Interpol," and found that "the development of Interpol into a worldwide agency has not been accompanied by a concurrent expansion of Interpol's accountability."38 In 1989, the European Council significantly curtailed Interpol funds, finding: "Interpol was above the laws of any land and not legally accountable for its acts."39 In May 2003, Defferre and Bannon flew to France to meet with U.S. and European intelligence officials. At customs, Bannon was arrested. Defferre and longtime friend Henri Wolper of the DST used their influence to get Bannon released. Then began a race to gather all of Defferre's juiciest documents, amassed over thirty years of fieldwork. Over the next three days, they collected material across France, then drove to Brussels and flew to London, where an MI-6 operative, known as a "scalp hunter," handed over Defferre's insurance policy - eyewitness accounts of Interpol's involvement in the death of a notorious child pornography ringleader.
U.S. intelligence officials agreed to meet with Defferre on May 11, 2003 and exchange excerpts of the documents for protection. The night before they were to deliver the goods, three officers broke into Bannon and Defferre's hotel room to steal the documents, and confronted them. During a struggle, two of the three attackers were killed and the third fled. Bannon was left badly injured, with a dislocated knee and three cracked ribs. Crawling over to Defferre's crumpled body, Bannon found the 67-year-old master spy, his friend of 20 years, was dead.40
"Bannon called me and I could barely hear him," Wolper recalls. "He needed a team of washer/dryers." Wolper sent a group of clean-up specialists and rushed Bannon to a medical facility to reset his knee. The next day, he personally chauffeured him to the all-important meeting. Since then, Bannon's safety has been guaranteed by the information he supplied - and the 256 pages of documents he has carefully hidden across three countries as insurance.
"Jacques was father, friend, enemy, boss," Bannon says. "Labels are too weak and small to describe the depth and breadth of years sharing sweat and blood and death together." He pauses. "Toi qui savais que le tombeau des heros est le coeur des vivants: It's from a monument for Joan of Arc: 'You who knew that the tomb of heroes is the heart of the living.'"41
The quote cuts through philosophy, politics and theology to the heart of every intelligence officer's fear: Is it all worth the cost? "Then you come home and your mom fusses about the dishes or your wife is upset that you forgot bread at the store and you think, 'It's so nice that there are people who still worry about normal stuff.' When I think of my family, your family, so many children, all of them safe to worry about groceries and chores, because some of us walked a line to stop this horrific crime; then I think that maybe it was worth it."
Now living in North Carolina with his family, Bannon is a church-going man, but his career as a killer has taken a mighty toll. "A day does not pass that I don't echo David's lament: 'Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God.'42 You kill so much you lose count and you learn to love it. You're rewarded for it, an entire mechanism patting you on the back for being a good killer," Bannon explains. "When you've felt the dull throbbing horror of taking another human's life, it's difficult not to feel remorse. Maybe Archangel wasn't the answer, but these guys were above the law and needed to be stopped."
- Interviews with the author. David Bannon (8 Apr 2003; 16 Jun 2003; 24 Oct 2003) and Hyung-Jin Lee (16 Jun 2003; 23 July 2003) Contact: davidbannon.net
- RACE AGAINST EVIL: THE SECRET MISSIONS OF THE INTERPOL AGENT WHO TRACKED THE WORLD'S MOST SINISTER CRIMINALS (New Horizon Press, $26.95)
- Olivia Fortson. CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (25 Feb 2003): 8E
- I confirmed a cross-section sampling of Bannon's round-table and conference presentations (see also Bannon's list of publications and appearances): THINKING GLOBALLY, ACTING LOCALLY: A ROUND TABLE with David Fitzgerald, U.S. Consulate General, Vancouver, B.C. and Senator Eleanor Lee, Washington State Senate: "The Impact of Asia-Pacific on Pacific North America." University of Washington School of International Studies 23 Jun 1990. PACIFIC CHALLENGE SERIES: "European Community 1992" and "Japan: Future Trends." University of Washington School of International Studies 6 Nov 1990. RDF E-COMMERCE ADVANTAGES: A CASE STUDY 24 May 2001 with Robert S. Gingras, Director of Electronic Commerce, General Motors, USA. XML EUROPE 2001, Berlin, Germany 21-25 May 2001.
- Bannon's qualifications were easy to confirm: Kim, Woo-Chul, Vice Chancellor for the Office of Academic Affairs at Seoul National University, confirmed that Bannon graduated with a doctoral degree in history in 1994. "The following year," he added, "his dissertation was given the Korean War Memorial Museum's Sejong Award for Excellence." Kim also confirmed Bannon's master level degree in computer science. I also flipped through Bannon's books (i.e. INTRODUCTION TO WINDOWS), translations of Korean and Japanese texts in The University of Hawaii's literary journal, HAWAII PACIFIC REVIEW, SNU's ASIAN PACIFIC QUARTERLY, and about seventy issues of various martial arts magazines (See Bannon's list of publications and appearances I also confirmed a cross-section of the periodicals and books via the Internet and inter-library loan, as well as looking over those copies in Bannon's personal library). Bannon's first hapkido instructor in Pusan, South Korea, Kim Changsik, spoke with me on the phone - in English so broken that he quickly grew frustrated and said in a low voice, "Bannon very good student; very wise; very dangerous. Bannon study here; you stop asking now." Finally I tracked down some of Bannon's students. Loretta Wise, past director of the Aurora House, a shelter for women, where Bannon gave free self-defense classes, told me about the hands-on lessons: "Very practical, even too violent for me, but absolutely useful for our ladies. Some of them would say, 'Oh, I wish I'd known this before,' during the classes." By now I felt a little silly, but I asked Wise if she thought Bannon could be faking. "After all he taught our ladies, you ask me that? Why don't you ask him for a demonstration yourself?"
- Interviews with Bannon and Lee
- According to Mr. Pak Chonhwan, an official at Taejon Prison, "Two American inmates were held during time of inquiry. One completed three month sentence for release on timely basis." Mr. Pak declined to confirm or deny the names of the inmates."
- Rimbaud's grave, and Directorate of Territorial Security plaque honoring her death in the line of duty, are in La Treille, a small town in the hills behind Marseilles. Wolper interview and Bannon, 280-1.
- John Harris, "The Most Feared Cops in the World." MASTER DETECTIVE (Sep 1967): 49, 78, 81. Harris quotes Interpol Commissioner Jean-Jacques Marc saying "To cope with international crime, a virtually omnipotent force was a necessity. In Interpol it has become a reality; we are the most feared cops in the world." Marc added that child sex slavery investigations "occupy much of Interpol's time." Interpol's official web site confirms this problem: "The trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is an international, organized, criminal phenomenon." (See Interpol Web Information, "Trafficking in women and children." 16 July 2003.). Also, a 1996 World Conference Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm empowered Interpol "as a supranational body to combat child pornography." (See Bannon, 321-22.)
- [Interpol CONSTITUTION GENERAL PROVISIONS, Article 2 (2). See Fox, 359 and Interpol]
- Lisa Stein, "Sex Trafficking." U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT (23 Jun 2003): 10. See also U.S. President George W. Bush, ADDRESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 23 Sep 2003: "Each year, an estimated eight to nine hundred thousand human beings are bought, sold, or forced across the world's borders." THE NEW YORK TIMES, "In Bush's Words." 24 Sep 2003: A10.
- Richard Estes et al., "The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children." THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (National Study with The University of Montreal and the U.S. Dept of Justice (2001): 12, 16.
- Estes, 8. See also CNN, "Chinese babies found in suitcases." 23 Mar 2003. ; describing how 28 baby girls under three months old - all intended for global trafficking - were discovered packed into nylon suitcases on a bus in southern China in Mar 2003. According to Ron O'Grady, 1,000,000 children were kept as prostitutes in brothels throughout Asia in 2000. In Eastern Europe, about 50,000 children are sold to the sex slave market annually. See Ron O'Grady, "Eradicating Pedophilia: Toward the Humanization of Society." JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (Vol. 55 No. 1 Fall, 2001): pp. 123-140. For the "infants" reference, some as young as 18 months, see George Mohay, ed. COMPUTER AND INTRUSION FORENSICS (ARTECH HOUSE COMPUTER SECURITY SERIES). (New York, 2003): 119-20. Quoted below.
- William Graham, "Uncovering and Eliminating Child Pornography Rings on the Internet: Issues Regarding and Avenues Facilitating Law Enforcement's Access to 'Wonderland'" THE LAW REVIEW OF MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY DETROIT COLLEGE OF LAW (Vol. 2000 Summer No. 2): 464, 479, 483-4. Graham determined that "international enforcement jurisdiction is justified" to "attack this child pornography scourge as the universal crime it is." See also a report on Interpol's counterterrorist activities from The United States General Accounting Office, COUNTERTERRORISM: ROLE OF INTERPOL AND THE U.S. NATIONAL CENTRAL BUREAU GGD-87-93BR June 25, 1987. ]
- Bannon, 324-5. Criminology scholar Mathieu Deflem asserts: "Interpol was constructed beyond and against national laws as an international institution independent from legal and political conditions." See Mathieu Deflem, "Bureaucratization and Social Control: Historical Foundations of International Police Cooperation." LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW (Vol. 34 No. 3 2000): pp. 772-3; Also from Deflem: " The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission ("Interpol")." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE SOCIOLOGY (Vol. 43. No. 1. 2002): pp. 21-44.
- West Point psychology professor Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman offers a thorough examination of "conditioning techniques used by the U.S. government to train assassins" and "the methodology...developed to psychologically enable assassins for the U.S. Navy." His book that is still required reading at West Point. See Dave Grossman. ON KILLING: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL COST OF LEARNING TO KILL IN WAR AND SOCIETY. (New York, 1995): 160-1, 306-7. See also Peter Watson. WAR ON THE MIND: THE MILITARY USES AND ABUSES OF PSYCHOLOGY. (New York: Basic, 1978.) Ray Cline, executive director at Georgetown's Center for Strategic and International Studies, cited "the number of governments that have no hesitation in putting out a contract on others," adding, "It's ironic that in this day, this era, people are surprised at the existence of hit teams." See James Kelly, "Searching for Hit Teams." TIME MAGAZINE (21 Dec 1981): 16-19]
- Techniques and terms are described in Bannon, Glossary, 323-34. More complete definitions can be found in Richard Bennett. ESPIONAGE: SPIES AND SECRETS. (London, 2002).
- "Anywhere" was an understatement. According to Defferre, Lee, Wolper and Bannon, the assignments took agents wherever child trafficking exists - which is every country in the world, including the United States. "There are more slaves alive today than all the people stolen from Africa," writes Kevin Bales, a lecturer at The University of Surrey lecturer and a leading authority on contemporary slavery. See Kevin Bales. DISPOSABLE PEOPLE: NEW SLAVERY IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. (University of California Press, 2000). The numbers are staggering and, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, "The fluid and secretive nature of the trade makes it hard to pin down...specific numbers." Wendy Murray Zoba. "The Hidden Slavery." CHRISTIANITY TODAY. (Nov 2003): 71. Some statistics from reliable sources: In the United States, intrastate domestic trafficking networks trade up to a million women and children each year, according to a report from the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. PROSTITUTION OF CHILDREN AND CHILD-SEX TOURISM: AN ANALYSIS OF DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES. (2003) A recent CIA report estimated that between 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are brought to the United States every year under false pretenses and are forced to work as prostitutes. See "Fact Sheet on Human Trafficking." UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME. In just one of many examples see Dan Springer, "Smuggled South Koreans Turn to Sex Slavery." Fox News Channel. 21 Mar 2004. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,114723,00.html. The United States is a major importer of sex slaves. Laura Lederer, a senior State Department adviser on trafficking, told a reporter: ''We're not finding victims in the United States because we're not looking for them.'' Peter Landesman. " The Girls Next Door." NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. (25 Jan 2004): 32. Researchers estimate that two million people are enslaved by the international sex market (as opposed to the general slave labor market). Numbers in the U.S. domestic sex market reach the hundreds of thousands. See Wendy Murray Zoba. "The Hidden Slavery." CHRISTIANITY TODAY. (Nov 2003): 69-71. Europol estimates that the industry is now worth several billion dollars a year. See " Fact Sheet on Human Trafficking." UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME. "Sex traffickers fake papers, take these women into...America, put them into strip clubs, and then sell them as prostitutes," states Linda Smith, former U.S. Congresswoman and founder of Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing women trafficked as sex slaves. Jane Johnson Struck. "Agent of Change." TODAY'S CHRISTIAN WOMAN. (Jan/Feb 2004): 34. The U.S., Germany, and Italy are the top three destination countries, with the Netherlands and Japan close behind. See United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "Trafficking in Human Beings." (May, 2003):
- Wolper spoke with me via phone on 12 Jul 2003 from Hotel Sonne, Aussee.
- The effectiveness of "men recently paroled from prisons, having served sentences for manslaughter or murder" in battle and the practice of "elite forces which depended upon recruiting the most aggressive men...who had prison records," particularly for assassination missions with the Navy SEALS in Vietnam, was exhaustively researched and examined by Joanna Burke, professor of history at Birkbeck College in London. See Joanna Burke, AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF KILLING: FACE-TO-FACE KILLING IN 20TH CENTURY WARFARE. (Granta/Basic Books, 1999): 100-2, 176, 211.
- Bannon, xvii.
- Bill Bonanno. BOUND BY HONOR: A MAFIOSO'S STORY. (St. Martin's Press, 1999): p. 212.]
- Mark Ward, "Interpol Patrols the Web." BBC NEWS (30 Jun 2000). Intelligence and law officers working outside legal boundaries exist within U.S. borders as well. Two recent examples: THE WASHINGTON POST and THE ECONOMIST cover stories in Jan 2003 stated that American officials are using violent interrogation methods on terrorists "that are illegal but which they feel are just and necessary." See THE ECONOMIST, "Special Report on Torture." Vol. 366 No. 8306 (11-17 Jan 2003): 19. Detective Mike Rothmiller (ret.) called the LAPD Organized Crime Intelligence Division "a corps of individual vigilantes on the public payroll" who "believed they were under siege, that extralegal procedures were necessary to counter all those constitutional rights guaranteed to the enemy." See Mike Rothmiller, L.A. SECRET POLICE: INSIDE THE LAPD ELITE SPY NETWORK. (NY, 1992): 33, 82.
- Interpol General Secretary Ronald Noble stated that Interpol's "global network of fugitive investigators [captured] about 1,200 people in 2002" and that officers "are often away on assignments all over the world." See 71ST INTERPOL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, "Interpol's Way: Thinking Beyond Boundaries and Acting Across Borders through Member Countries' Police Services." Tufts University (Boston: 1 March, 2003). Also, the head of Interpol, former senior Special Branch officer Raymond Kendall, said in June 1996: "The most dangerous threat to a nation's security comes from organised crime. Europe is now one vast criminal space, from the Atlantic to the Urals. We must fill that space with effective policing to fight the modern criminal." See Stephen Dorril, MI6: INSIDE THE COVERT WORLD OF HER MAJESTY'S SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE. (Touchstone, 2002): 774. For further discussion of Interpol officer's global reach, see also: UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION IN INTERPOL, THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION. Washington, DC: Department of the Treasury, General Accounting Office, 1976; Slomanson, William R., `Civil Actions Against Interpol: A Field Compass' (1984) 57 TEMPLE LAW QUARTERLY 553-600; Daum, Ulrich, `Interpol - ?ffentliche Gewalt ohne Kontrolle' (1980) 35 JURISTENZEITUNG 798-801; Gallas, Andreas, `Interpol' in Bernhardt, Rudolf (ed.), ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (2nd edn, 1995), vol. II, 1414-16.
- See Dorril for exhaustive research on MI6. Due to the laws governing secrecy in the United Kingdom, Ries was particularly difficult to pin down when we spoke on the phone. However, his legitimacy was confirmed by Bannon; Wolper arranged the phone interview.]
- Interview 3 Jun 2003.
- Of the many accounts of the Wonderland Club raids, Graham's remains the most authoritative (see above). See also George Mohay, ed. COMPUTER AND INTRUSION FORENSICS (ARTECH HOUSE COMPUTER SECURITY SERIES). (New York, 2003): 119-20: "In 1998, a major raid of a global child pornography ring known as the 'Wonderland Club' resulted in raids of nearly 200 persons in the United States and 13 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. Search warrants were served on 90 addresses that had been identified in the United States and the U.S. Customs Service seized computers from 32 suspects in 22 states. British authorities conducting the investigation retrieved over 100,000 images of children as young as 18 months engaged in sexual acts. Forensic analysis of the computer seized revealed many members of the club had over 10,000 child porn images. Bill Anthony, a special agent with U.S. Customs said during an interview that some members of the club may even have used their own children in the images or accepted money for having used their children. (USA TODAY, 3/9/98). Suspects are also believed to have sent live video feeds of child molestation across the Internet (WASHINGTON POST, 3/9/98)." Since 1998, the numbers have increased. "It's a lot more than ten times the number of girls out there as there used to be a few years ago," according to Special Agent Ann Quinn-Robinson, a juvenile-prostitution detective with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Child abductions for sex trafficking are epidemic in Minnesota, which is called "the factory" by pimps in Las Vegas. "They think of us as an assembly line down here," says a Minneapolis judge. See David Critchell. "Inside the Teen-Hooker Factory." ROLLING STONE. (16 Oct 2003): 79.
- KUNGFU QIGONG MAGAZINE, Mar/Apr 2002: 95. Also, interview with the author (13 May 2003).
- Bannon, 253-61. Many passages in Bannon's book are confirmed by independent sources. For example: Bannon's book was released 21 Jan 2003 and included this description of North Korean torture: "I saw one woman's stomach filled with water via a tube forced down her throat; then the water was pushed out by a guard who stood on a board across her stomach." (pp. 257-8) Five months later, the 23 Jun 2003 issue of U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT had a special feature on North Korea that included an interview with prison camp survivor Ms. Lee Soon Ok: "In interrogations aimed at forcing a confession, Lee, now 56, was also subjected to water torture. She says guards force-fed her water by pushing the spout of a canister into her mouth. They laid a wooden plank across her abdomen--and pressed down, forcing water out through her mouth, nose, and bladder. 'It feels like your intestines are exploding. There's no way even to describe the pain you feel,' she recalls, with no trace of emotion." Thomas Omestad. "Gulag nation: Inside North Korea's Secret Prisons." U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. (23 Jun 2003): 12-19.
- Olivia Fortson. CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (25 Feb 2003): 8E. Denial may be Interpol's most powerful ally, a strategy with a long tradition among intelligence agencies: "The sheer horror of atrocity serves not only to terrify those who must face it, but also to generate disbelief in distant observers," writes Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, professor of psychology at West Point and a staunch military supporter. Grossman comments on atrocities committed by military and intelligence officers: "The sheer awfulness of atrocity makes us wish it away...and the nearer it hits home, the harder we want to disbelieve it." Grossman writes that because of official denials, "a significant and vocal minority of America was trapped in this program of self-deception. It is their very goodness and decency that causes them to be so completely incapable of believing that someone or something they approve of could be so completely evil...this simple, na?ve tendency to disbelieve or look the other way is, possibly more than any other factor, responsible for the perpetuation of atrocity and horror in our world today." Dave Grossman. ON KILLING: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL COST OF LEARNING TO KILL IN WAR AND SOCIETY. (Boston: 1995): 211-13. What Grossman calls a "simple, na?ve tendency to disbelieve" is not a phenomenon isolated to history books. When ROLLING STONE reporter David Critchell interviewed a teenage hooker that had been kidnapped from Minnesota at age 13 and forced into 18 months of sex slavery, his initial response indicates the power of denial: "You'd be tempted to shrug it all off, one gruesome anecdote at a time, were it not for the cop sitting next to her, confirming every last word." See David Critchell. "Inside the Teen-Hooker Factory." ROLLING STONE. (16 Oct 2003): 79.
- Bannon, Lee, Defferre interviews. Lee commented on Interpol's Gestapo tactics and Nazi associations from World War II: "It was a short trip and a direct line - from the Nazi origins of an organization that reshaped itself to fit any master - to the vigilantism of the 1980s." An example of Interpol's current, far-reaching powers of search, restraint and seizure is in Max G. Manwaring, ed. GRAY AREA PHENOMENA: CONFRONTING THE NEW WORLD DISORDER. (Westview Press, 1993): 99. "Interpol's Caribbean and Latin American working groups have successfully initiated model legislation on money laundering. The General Assembly of Interpol subsequently adopted that model legislation, which provides for the temporary freezing of property prior to the filing of criminal charges. Additionally, the legislation authorizes the issuance of restraining orders, injunctions and other actions upon property which is deemed to be derived from criminal activity. It also provides for the forfeiture of such property to the government of the country where located upon conviction for the offense of possession of criminal proceeds. Interpol's FONDS PROVENANT D'ACTIVITES CRIMINELLES (FOPAC) working group continues to review asset forfeiture and other economic crime issues, particularly as they relate to drug trafficking." For a discussion of Interpol's current adaptation of Gestapo tactics, see also Mathieu Deflem: "The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission ("Interpol")." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE SOCIOLOGY (Vol. 43. No. 1. 2002): pp. 21-44. For the Interpol-Nazi history, see John Keegan. THE SECOND WORLD WAR. (New York, 1990): 279. "In January 1942, at a meeting held at the headquarters of Interpol, of which Himmler was president, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, his deputy Heydrich proposed and received authority to institutionalise the massacre of the Jews, a measure to be known as the "Final Solution" (ENDLOSUNG)." NY TIMES best-selling author Edwin Black, with his team of 50 researchers, examined Interpol's continuing involvement with international eugenics in the turgidly titled, WAR AGAINST THE WEAK: EUGENICS AND AMERICA'S CAMPAIGN TO CREATE A MASTER RACE. (New York, 2003): 430. "The network of DNA databases will soon be global. Interpol conducts a regular International DNA Users Conference to proliferate and link police DNA databank systems worldwide. Soon every nation...will be able to tap into the international genetic network." See also Interpol web site. "International DNA Users' Conference."
- Defferre and Lee Hyung-jin offered their support and publicly defended his account. Even such notables as Interpol Vice President of Asia, Kim Joong Kyoun, weighed in to support Bannon, writing that the autobiography is filled with "a terrible sense of injustice and misery." See "Sad Truth of South Korea." 23 Mar 2003.]
- Interview with Defferre, at which time he showed me various letters and memos that he asserted were authentic, took place in Charlotte, NC, 17-18 Apr 2003. Defferre was killed in the line of duty on 10 May 2003. See National Public Radio(NPR) report.
- August Reinisch. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BEFORE NATIONAL COURTS. (Cambridge University Press, 2000): pp. 154, 170. Although the US participated in the work of Interpol, the Districts of Columbia federal appellate court expressly noted that the "United States is not party to any international agreement or treaty defining Interpol's status". 672 F. 2d 927, note 1 (DC Cir. 1981).
- Malcolm Anderson, et al. POLICING THE EUROPEAN UNION. (Oxford University Press, 1995): pp. 51, 253, 263. Anderson also asserts: "The Secretariat-General is responsible for daily management of Interpol and is not accountable to the governments of member states. (p. 51.) Interpol has not been accountable to a separate agency for most of its functions. (p. 253) Interpol has long been characterized by informality and 'ad hocery' at worst. In such barren terrain, there is little opportunity for robust systems of accountability to take root. (263) Interpol has not been accountable to a separate agency for most of its functions."
- Hazel Fox. THE LAW OF STATE IMMUNITY (FOUNDATIONS OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW). (Oxford University Press, 2003): p. 359. Fox offers the complete text of Interpol's CONSTITUTION AND GENERAL REGULATIONS. Fox asserts: "If some form of immunity is required by reason of the public nature of their police functions, this might appropriately be conferred by reference to the shared common purpose, particularly where this is given effect by the establishment of an international organization; thus Interpol now enjoys international personality and a separate protocol confers privileges and immunities on liaison officers working under its auspices with other Member States' police forces." Fox also reproduces and comments on: Constitution of Interpol and Protocol relating to immunities; Agreement between the International Criminal Police Organization and the Government of the French Republic regarding Interpol's headquarters and its Privileges and Immunities in France (AGN/51/RAP/6); in force 14 February 1984 (replaced the Headquarters Agreement of 12 May 1972). Bilateral Police Cooperation Agreements.
- U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, "Executive Order 12425." Federal Register (June 16, 1983): 48 FR 28069.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service, "International Criminal Police Organization: A Case Study of Oversight." US DEPT OF JUSTICE NIJ PUB 55488 (1978).
- Council of Europe, "Recommendation No. R (91) 11 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States Concerning Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in, Children and Young Adults." 9 September 1991.
- Bannon, Wolper interviews; see also NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO(NPR) report.
- The reference is to a complex in Rouen, France, on the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. In 1964 Andre Malraux dedicated the spot with words that are still inscribed in the marketplace wall: "Jean d'Arc, sans sepulcre et sans portrait, toi qui savais que le tombeau des heros est le Coeur de vivants." ("Joan of arc, without tomb and without portrait, you who knew that the grave of heroes is the heart of the living.") The spot is now a hang out for teenagers and vagrants. Mary Gordon. JOAN OF ARC: A PENGUIN LIFE. (New York, 2000): xv-xvi
- Psalms 51:14
About Jason Putman :
is a freelance writer operating out of the southeastern United States. His book, SECRET ARMIES: THE WORLD'S ELITE INTELLIGENCE FORCES, will be released in 2005. http://www.geocities.com/JasonPutmanwrites/