Continuing with Jonathan Kwitny's work ' The Crimes of Patriots
A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money & The CIA'
.... Beazley was introduced to the staff in grand style at a big conference for several dozen Nugan Hand executives from around the empire. At an estimated cost of $500,000, they were flown to Sydney, stashed at a good hotel, and wined and dined for several days, October 13-15, 1979.
Beazley and Yates have used that conference to try to belittle their affiliation with Nugan Hand. In effect, they have put themselves on opposite sides of the same coin. Beazley says Yates persuaded him to come to the conference and look around. "I was just there on an interim basis," he says. "I said I'd go in there and see if I liked what I'd find. They were going to produce a consolidated financial statement. They never were able to produce one." So, he says, he walked out and isn't responsible for what happened later.
Yates, on the other hand, says he resigned at the conference and that Beazley came on board to replace him. "I introduced my relief," Yates says, in admirals' lingo. So, by this explanation, he also isn't responsible for what happened later.
Fortunately for the truth, the conference was secretly tape-recorded, and the tapes have been found. They make clear that Beazley had agreed to be president of the Nugan Hand holding company, in charge of daily operations. Mike Hand and Frank Nugan were going to be co-chairmen, in general oversight positions.
And there was no indication that Yates intended to do anything other than stay on as president of the Nugan Hand Bank; certainly there were plenty of plans for his activities with Nugan Hand in the coming months. The Stewart Royal Commission said Yates was made vice-chairman of the group, and that his salary was soon increased to $100,000 a year.
Frank Nugan began the conference by telling the group, "Admiral Earl P. Yates . . . who has been perhaps our most important counsellor for the last two years and ten months has gone to a great deal of difficulty and effort in guiding us and in himself assisting in recruiting a very fine new president." ....
....A month after the meeting in Sydney, according to the Joint Task Force report, Admiral Yates attended a meeting in a London hotel; with him was Frank Terpil, former CIA officer and the partner of Edwin Wilson in the sale of U.S. military equipment, including plastic explosives, to Libya. Also present, the task force says, were the source known as "J"—a Wilson employee named Douglas Schlachter—and another retired senior U.S. military officer, unnamed.
"Discussions, at times between Yates and 'J,' centered around the possibility of Nugan Hand becoming involved in the financing and handling of finances for Libyan airport shelters and hangars," the task force said. "The contract potential for this construction work was three to four hundred million dollars. 'J' is not aware if there were other meetings between Yates, the unnamed officer and/or Terpil, or precisely how the above described meeting came about. He is aware, however, that the unnamed officer and Yates knew one another previously, and from the conversations that took place, [he] formed the view that Yates and Terpil had at least met one another before. It was not long after this meeting that Terpil was arrested when he attempted to import the machine guns to South America," the task force said.
After reading the task force report, Yates exploded with denials. In reference to the November 1979 meeting "J" described, he wrote the task force, "I attended no such meeting, do not know Terpil, and discussed no involvement of Nugan Hand in financing such activity." His very next sentence, however, may indicate his state of truthfulness at the time of writing: "I resigned from Nugan Hand officially on October 12, 1979, and had no authority whatsoever to discuss such matters."...