Another Dead Body From the Cheney Dual Nuclear Chain-of-Command Days Turns Up
John Wheeler's suspicious death latest in many of Air Force officials
in the last few years.
WMR | Former special assistant to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, John Wheeler III, also a veteran of the GHW Bush and Reagan administrations, was discovered at the Cherry Island landfill in Wilmington, Delaware on December 31 after it was dumped from a sanitation truck that originated its run in Newark, Delaware. Wheeler's wife lives part-time in Harlem, New York where she reportedly runs a Cambodian silk import business.
On December 31, 2010, Wilmington Police issued the following press notice: "At 9:56 a.m., Wilmington Police were called to the landfill on East 12th St. Upon arrival, officers were directed to a dump site within the landfill where they located a male body lying in a pile of rubbish. This incident is being handled as a suspicious death investigation. The victim’s identity has not been confirmed at this time. The body has been turned over to the State of Delaware Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. Anyone with information regarding this crime, please contact Criminal Investigation Division at 302-576-3620."
The body was later identified as Wheeler's. Wheeler was last seen on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington on December 28.
Wheeler, a West Point graduate, former Army officer, and lawyer, served under Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne until Wynne and Air Force chief of staff General T. Michael Moseley. Wynne and Moseley were fired by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on June 5, 2008, over a breakdown in the security of nuclear weapons under Air Force control, particularly at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Wheeler left his Air Force position in June 2008, the same month Wynne and Moseley were fired. After leaving the Pentagon, Wheeler took a job with MITRE Corporation.
While assisting the Secretary of the Air Force, Wheeler was primarily tasked with "standing up" Cyberspace Forces and providing Precision Strike technology and Real Time Streaming Video targeting links U.S. ground combat troops. It was one such targeting video from Baghdad that was among Wikileaks's first major discloures of U.S. classified information that led to charges that the U.S. was indiscriminantly killing civilians in Iraq.
Wheeler was also known to be a strong opponent of the use of biological weapons by the United States. Wheeler was last seen on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington on December 28. Wheeler was also chairman of the fund that raised money to build the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. In that role, Wheeler had a testy relationship with one of the major funders of the project, former independent presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. While serving as director of the Vietnam Veteran's Leadership Foundation, Wheeler was also special counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission durung the 1980s.
According to various Washington Post reports from the time, on November 4, 1983, Wheeler filed a criminal complaint with the Montgomery County Police Department against WDVM [which is now WUSA] Channel 9 investigative reporter Carlton Sherwood for illegally taping a conversation between himself and Wheeler at Wheeler's home in Bethesda, Maryland. Sherwood, like Wheeler, served in Vietnam. However, Sherwood began investigating for Channel 9 where most of the $9 million raised for the Vietnam memorial by Wheeler and memorial fund president Jan Scruggs was spent. Sherwood was arrested by Montgomery County police on November 7, 1983. Channel 9's news management maintained that two audits of the fund were less-than-detailed. In 1984, WDVM retracted its investigative series on the "financial propriety" of the memorial fund and apologized for the story. Sherwood later went to CNN as a special assignments reporter and The Washington Times and he was active in the "Swift Boat Veterans" criticism leveled against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam combat record.
Wheeler, as special assistant to Wynne, would have known about the dual nuclear chain-of-command established by Vice President Dick Cheney, bypassing the Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, that resulted in a spate of nuclear surety and security incidents during 2007 and 2008.
WMR reported on those incidents from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana in 2008.
On April 21, 2008, WMR reported:"There is something radically wrong with America's control over its nuclear weapons, particularly those maintained by the U.S. Air Force. After a long investigation, it can now be reported that there is, in effect, two de facto nuclear chains-of-command in the Air Force, one with dangerous links to the neocon cell that exists within the office of Vice President Dick Cheney and Air Force headquarters, the other acting within the bounds of established nuclear weapons surety and control.
On August 30, 2007, a B-52, assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, left Minot AFB with reportedly five AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles armed with W-80-1 nuclear warheads. The number five apparently was reported to Air Force Times, a Gannett publication, by three high-ranking Air Force officers who blew the whistle on what was later described by the Air Force as a 'mistake.' Later, the Associated Press said there were six nuclear armed missiles on board the aircraft. In theory, there should be no discrepancies for such a small number and for such a serious incident.
The B-52 flew 3 1/2 hours across the United States with missiles thought by the B-52 crew to be "dummy warheads" being shipped to Barksdale for 'disposal' under the US-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) arms treaty.
There was, according to sources WMR spoke to at both Minot and Barksdale Air Force Bases, no mistake whatsoever in the transfer of the nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to Barksdale. One airman who had been a bomb loader for 11 years in the USAF relayed, "that was no mistake. That was a major operation." The cover story was that the cruise missiles were flown to Barksdale for decommissioning. However, conventional cruise missiles are sent to Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, Arizona for decommissioning while nuclear missiles, according to the former 2nd Bomb Wing official, are sent to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. The nuclear warheads are sent to either Sandia National Laboratories or Pantex in Texas for disposal. Barksdale plays no part in the missile decommissioning process. Barksdale is, however, a major deployment base for Middle East air operations.
It has been discovered that there were a series of security 'incidents' directed by what amounts to a renegade nuclear chain-of-command that permitted five or six nuclear 5 to 150 kiloton thermonuclear weapons to remain outside of legitimate control for some 36 hours, resulting in a rare Bent Spear nuclear incident report that quickly reached the Oval Office.
The rogue nuclear chain-of-command starts at the White House office of Vice President Dick Cheney, with significant influence from Cheney's Chief of Staff David Addington, and extends to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, and further to the Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley."
Our report continued:"Minot's 5th Bomb Wing Commander, Col. Emig, who had been transferred to Minot only three months before the August 30 nuclear incident, was transferred to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Division at the Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. One of the Air Force's primary UAV contractors is Northrop Grumman, which has a cooperative relationship with Israel Aircraft Industries on using Israeli UAV technology, particularly for the Global Hawk UAV.
Emig's colleague, 5th Maintenance Group commander, Col. Cynthia Lundell, was not as fortunate. Directly responsible for the nuclear weapons at Minot, Lundell was transferred to a 'dead end' special assistant job at Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia. WMR has learned that Emig was in charge of Minot when a number of experienced senior non-commissioned officers and officers, including those directly responsible for nuclear surety and safety, were suddenly transferred on temporary assignments to Iraq and Afghanistan from Minot in the months and weeks prior to the nuclear incident.
It is clear that the rival nuclear chain-of-command acted outside the authority of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and used a little-known nuclear weapons protocol known as the 'permissive link' that allows nuclear weapons to be moved and used outside of presidential authority and the transmittal of nuclear codes found in a briefcase known as the 'football' that is always carried by the President's military aide . . .
A little over a week after the Minot-Barksdale nuclear weapons incident, the body of US Air Force Captain and Major-selectee John Frueh, assigned to 'Operations Weather' at Hurlburt Field, adjacent to Eglin, was found near is rental car, near Badger Peak in Washington state. Frueh was in Portland to attend his best friend's wedding. Frueh's last phone call to his family in Florida was from a pay phone at Portland International Airport on August 30, the very same day the B-52 flew with the loose nuclear missiles from Minot to Barksdale.
Frueh was a U.S. Air Force Special Operations 'Weather Warrior' with the 10th Combat Weather Squadron at Hurlburt Field. Weather Warriors are, according to the Air Force, 'Special operations weathermen [who] are meteorologists with advanced tactical training to operate in hostile or denied territory." It should be noted that Iran is considered "denied territory' by the U.S. military.
Frueh was last seen on August 29 in Portland. He was carrying in his backpack at Global Positioning System (GPS), camera, camcorder, and cell phone. Oddly, Frueh's last call to his family was from a pay phone at the airport and not from his cell phone.
There were initial reports that when the B-52 from Minot landed at Barksdale on August 30, it sat on the runway for as much as ten hours, virtually unguarded with five or six nuclear weapons under its starboard wing. However, WMR spoke to a former high-ranking officer with the 2nd Bomb Wing in Barksdale who said that the security for the movement of any nuclear weapons is extremely tight. The officer said that when the nuclear weapons were removed from their highly-secured bunkers, known as 'igloos,' within the similarly highly-secured weapons storage facility at Minot, two-person controls, constant checks of the weapons' serial numbers, higher officer sign-offs, the clearing of a secure route from the weapons storage facility to the B-52 on the ready alert apron by armed security personnel, the placement of orange cones around the nuclear weapons while they are stationary, and the entering of the weapons types on the B-52 flight log, known as the '781.' The '781' would inform the crew whether they were carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, either under the wings or in the plane's interior . . .
WMR's special report continued on April 25, 2008: "On August 24, 2007, three B-52s operating from Barksdale flew a training exercise called REX REDUX, officially billed as a commemoration of a 1938 B-17 flight directed at the Italian luxury liner SS Rex. The exercise, personally ordered by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, was actually testing an Israeli-developed imaging and targeting pod called LITENING II on a U.S. Navy contracted merchant vessel, the USNS Bobo, in the Atlantic east of Bermuda and several targets of opportunity along the planes' flight paths through the southern United States.
REX REDUX also involved assets of the Air Force's embryonic Cyber Command in Washington and Barksdale.
Four days later, on August 30, a Barksdale-based B-52 flew six nuclear warhead tipped AGM-129 advanced cruise missiles from Minot to Barksdale. The incident was later called a "mistake" by Air Force officials. However, three high-ranking Air Force officers leaked the incident to the Air Force Times.
Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, a key member of the rival chain-of-command, rewarded his loyalists in Barksdale by announcing the base had been selected as the preliminary headquarters for the Air Force Cyber Command. Wynne made his announcement at a Shreveport gambling casino. Wynne, according to a CNN report, advocated the testing of nonlethal weapons, like high-power microwave weapons, against American citizens. Wynne said, 'If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation.' . . .
The rival nuclear chain-of-command that was responsible for the Minot nuclear incident, REX REDUX, and associated events is as follows:
Vice President Dick Cheney
-- Chief of Staff David Addington
Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley
-- Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Strategic Studies Group - CHECKMATE
-- Dr. Lani Kass, ex-Israeli Air Force, Cyber Warfare, US Air Force, CHECKMATE
Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, Commander 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base
Col. Bruce Emig, Commander 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base (relieved of command after nuclear incident)
Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein, Commander Air Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base. . .
In July 2007, there was another unusual incident involving Minot security, one of many reported during the summer of 2007 by Minot security personnel. Found in the Minot Police Department's files is case number CFS# 07-16088. The case involved the misappropriation of a cache of military supplies by two Air Force sergeants assigned to guard nuclear weapons at Minot. The report states: 'Minot Air Force Base Investigations called requesting assistance in locating and apprehending two individuals that had filed a report about missing military equipment.' The two individuals reported the theft of the equipment from a vehicle parked in the city of Minot.
Minot police went to an address of one of the Air Force security personnel in Minot and found 'several other people that were also at the residence.' There were a total of three military personnel at the residence. The police went to a second residence of the other Air Force security sergeant and found 'several flash bang grenades along with one smoke grenade.' One of the Air Force security guards from Minot had originally reported military equipment being stolen from his car in Minot on July 17, 2007. However, the report was false. The two security personnel were actually hording the military equipment for what they described was a 'plan.' Minot Air Force Base security later clamped a gag order on all discussions about 'the plan.' . . .
Nor was Minot the only base involved with the August 30 nuclear incident to experience an unusual event with its nuclear security personnel. On September 27, 2007, the police blotter in the Shreveport Times reported the following: 'A Barksdale Air Force security forces airman was accidentally shot early Thursday, base officials said.
The shooting occurred during shift change about 7:30 a.m. at the 2nd Security Forces Squadron headquarters in Hangar 3. The airman was shot by a fellow security staffer. The incident remains under investigation, so officials could not say what action, if any, may result from the incident.'
There is also the possibility that an Air Force carve out contract may have been used to support the rival chain-of-command. The FBI and Pentagon are investigating a sole source Air Force contract with Commonwealth Research Institute (CRI), a non-profit intelligence subsidiary of Concurrent Technologies.
Charles Riechers, a senior Air Force civilian, was paid by CRI while awaiting confirmation as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. After Riecher's conflict of interest was made public, he was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Fairfax County, Virginia home. [On October 14, 2007]. CRI paid Riechers a salary of over $26,000 for no work. Concurrent and CRI are both listed as tax-exempt charities. A federal grand jury is currently examining ties between CRI and Concurrent and particular Air Force officials, including those in the Air Force's office responsible for security, counter-intelligence, and special program oversight (e.g., nuclear and Operation Checkmate). CRI and Concurrent have also provided contract support to the NSA, CIA, National Reconnaissance Office, and Defense Intelligence Agency. CRI has also provided support to the federal government on managing faith-based initiatives. The Washington Post reported that a CRI spokesperson reported that CRI had 20 employees involved in 'very specialized work/ for the Pentagon and Intelligence Community.
What occurred last summer at Minot, Barksdale, and inside the Air Force offices at the Pentagon and Cheney's White House office was the first time that a renegade chain-of-command assumed control over part of America's nuclear arsenal. Dr. Strangelove is no longer fiction, it is fact.
UPDATE: Inexplicably, the Shreveport Times, a Gannet newspaper, which publishes one edition per day, had two different headlines on its front page. A Times source revealed that this was possibly the result of the presses being stopped after the first print run and the original headline being replaced with a substitute requested by Barksdale Air Force Base public affairs officials. The source said the newspaper was likely pressured by Air Force officials to alter the headline.
The first headline in the September 6, 2007 edition was "B-52 hauls errant nukes to BAFB." The second headline indicates the event was accidental: "B-52 unwittingly delivers nukes to BAFB." The two different headlines were discovered in a microfiche search of the newspaper in the Bossier City, Louisiana Public Library. Other than the headlines, the content of the two articles is the same."
Our April 25, 2008 report also pointed out: "Gates ordered an outside review of the Minot incident conducted by retired former Air Force Chief of Staff General Larry Welch. Welch was hardly an impartial judge, having been part of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's favorite program, the Ballistic Missile Defense System or 'Star Wars II.' Welch led a Blue Ribbon panel that heaped praise on the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, then led by Air Force General Ronald Kadish.
The Welch Report failed to discover the breakdown in Air Force nuclear command-and-control and the existence of the rival chain. An indication of the worthlessness of the Welch Report was the discovery that in August 2006, four Minuteman nose cone nuclear fuse assemblies were 'mistakenly' shipped from Hill Air Force Base in Utah to Taiwan. The fuses had originally been shipped to Hill from F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming in March 2005. Gates reacted to the incident by ordering an unprecedented inventory of all nuclear weapons and nuclear material in the U.S. arsenal . . .
On April 24, 2008, as news broke of an FBI investigation into a long-time Israeli intelligence ring that penetrated the U.S. military and intelligence communities, CIA director, Air Force General Michael Hayden, revealed further 'intelligence' on the Syrian facility, said to be a joint North Korean-Syrian reactor modeled after the Yongbyon facility in North Korea. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and American weapons experts cast doubt on the veracity of the CIA's intelligence, including a dubious videotape said to have originated with Israeli intelligence sources. Hayden, it appears, is part of the rival Air Force chain-of-command, taking orders directly from Cheney, to prepare and incite a U.S. military conflict with Syria and Iran.
The FBI investigation of the Israeli spy ring, which included convicted US Navy spy Jonathan Pollard; accused Army spy Ben-Ami Kadish ; and possibly others who served in high positions in the George W. Bush administration is also reportedly looking at key members of the rival Air Force chain-of-command."
While working for Wynne, Wheeler helped formulate the Pentagon's cyber-war policy which ultimately resulted in the creation of the US Cyber Command in 2009. In that position, he worked with Lani Kass, the ex-Israeli Air Force major who now advises the chairman of the Joint Chiefs on policy. Wheeler was opposed to co-locating the US Cyber Command with the National Security Agency. However, NSA director General Keith Alexander now wears both hats -- NSA director and commander of the US Cyber Command -- at his two Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters. The June 25, 2009, Washington Times reported that Wheeler favored putting the Cyber Command headquarters in "Texas or California or Colorado or North Carolina."
Welch remains a member of the Defense Science; Ronald Kadish works for Booz Allen; Wynne is a promoter of the KC-X Air Force refueling tanker project; Stutzriem is Directo of Plans, Policy and Strategy for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Elder remains Commander, 8th Air Force, Air Combat Command, at Barksdale Air Force Base; Kass is the Senior Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen; Ben-Ami Kadish received a $50,000 fine but no jail sentence from US Judge William Pauley III, who said prison "would serve no purpose." And now Wheeler, an adviser to Wynne on a number of issues and policy questions, has turned up dead in a Delaware landfill.