On July 26, 1990, top CIA pilot Gunther Russbacher arrived at Crows Landing US Naval Air Station where he found four CIA SR-71 hypersonic spy planes being readied for a trans-polar flight to Moscow. The mission was straight forward enough but so ultra secret that it would ultimately change the course of history; the signature of the then Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev was needed on a secret agreement prepared and signed by President George Bush. According to Russbacher the agreement provided that Russia would not intervene if the United States attacked Iraq in the near future. Russbacher spoke Russian, having been assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during the 70’s, and personally knew Gorbachev, so he was a natural choice for the mission.
The top secret hypersonic planes took off with two inflight refuelings en route; one occured just northeast of Seattle and the second refueling, by Russian tankers, took place as they approached the Soviet Union. Also on board one of the four two seater SR-71’s was, according to Russbacher, the then national security advisor Brent Scowcroft.
On arrival Russbacher presented Gorbachev with the secret agreement, obtained his signature and promptly returned to the U.S..However on the return flight there were only 3 SR-71’s; one having been left behind in payment, as it were, for Gorbachev’s signature.
Again the aircraft refueled twice on the return flight and landed at Fallon Naval Air Station on July 26, 1990; that’s the day after U.S. Ambassador Glaspie’s meeting with Saddam Hussein when he had been assured that the U.S. had ‘no interest’ in Iraq’s dispute with Kuwait.
Russbacher was more than a top CIA covert opperative and pilot though; he was also a Captain in the U.S. Navy’s air corp and on his return to the U.S. he was promised a high ranking promotion within the Navy.
On July 29 he reported at Castle Air Force Base for a debriefing on the mission to Moscow. This occured the following day whereupon, on July 31, FBI agents burst into his living quarters and arrested him for allegedly impersonating a Naval officer. The charges were soon dropped but others were quickly filed.
Whilst this may all seem a little confusing the reality is quite simple and once again it all boils down to one name, Bush. At the time the CIA was divided into a number of factions; one element was loyal to Russbacher, his father being one of the organisations founders while another faction, now the dominant one, was loyal to George Bush. In effect Russbacher was being silenced for knowing too much and because George Bush was not 100% sure of his loyalty.
Postscript: subseqent to completeing the above we have been informed that Russbacher was in fact released on his own recogninzance on December 14, 1993, bail was dropped and it was expected that the original charges against him would be dropped too. However shortly before his release he had undergone emergency heart by-pass surgery, having suffered several heart attacks, which damaged sections of his heart. Docters who examined him in 1994 said that his chances of surviving another 6 months were only 50%.
Sources include Defrauding America by Rodney Stich and the Paul Wilcher Report.