Southern Changes

The Journal of the Southern Regional Council, 1978-2003

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Go to Article List for Southern Changes. Volume 10, Number 3, 1988

Just a Little Guy Who Got Hit by the Arms Truck

By Eric Guthey

Vol. 10, No. 3, 1988, p. 3

I RAISED MY children according to the principle that if you see something that's not right," you report it, says Bob Fletcher, the former Marietta, Ga., toymaker who says his company was taken over by arms merchants with ties to the secret team.

Fletcher's story begins in 1985, a full year and a half before the Iran contra story became public knowledge. "There's no way that I could have dreamed this stuff up and and [sic] have it come true a year and a half later," he now insists.

Fletcher recounts how Gary Best bought out his toy company and kept him on to run the business. Soon Fletcher started to notice Telex messages from locations like Angola and Pakistan. His new associate was forever flying to Geneva, Switzerland, and to other countries and never seemed to spend any time on the toy business. Eventually Fletcher confronted Best and asked how he made his money. "Without batting an eye, he said, 'I sell armaments,'" Fletcher recalls.

Fletcher now believes that Best let him in on many of his dealing activities with the intent to recruit him. "All of these different covert actions--Angola, Pakistan, Nicaragua, POW/MIA missions, the Rambo-type stuff--all of this was being coordinated out of my company by Gary Best."

At a certain point, retired Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, who has since been indicted in the Iran-Contra affair, became a consultant to the company. Bill Kenney, an associate of Oliver North, also came in and out frequently.

Finally, Best asked Fletcher to run courier missions to Angola--at a salary of $2,000 per trip. Fletcher says Best told him if he talked to the wrong people about the operation he would be killed. Fletcher declined the offer and Best forced him out of the company after he complained about the shady goings-on.

Fletcher eventually contacted the Congressional Iran-Contra committees to tell them about what he knew. But two of the committees' investigators, Thomas Polgar and Bob Bermingham, seemed to have no interest in Fletcher's story or in its relation to the Iran-Contra affair. "Polgar and Bermingham are old-time employees of (Thomas) Clines and (Edmund) Wilson, and of Singlaub and (Theodore) Shackley [all alleged members of the Secret Team and defendants in Christic's lawsuit]," Fletcher points out.

Fletcher is committed to making his story heard. "I'm not a radical--I'm just a little guy that got run over by these bastards," he says. "But people have to understand what is going on here. They lied to the Senate, they lied to the public, and they're still doing whatever they please."

Go to Article List for Southern Changes. Volume 10, Number 3, 1988

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Vol. 10, No. 3, 1988, pp. 15-16

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