ATASCO USA was, of course, created and owned by the Israeli military and connected to the Mossad, but this information is not easily found.
There has only been one article that I have found that mentions what ATASCO has been doing for the past 36 years in the United States, since it was first created by the Israeli Defense Ministry in 1971.
That article, entitled “Ugandan Plane Deal Believed Key to Israeli Spy Operation,” was published in the Washington Post of September 11, 1978.
This investigative article, which involved an international team of journalists that included an Israeli, focused on a “mysterious Israeli tycoon and the Mossad, Israeli’s intelligence service” and how they had provided the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin with two Boeing 707 jetliners as part of an Israeli effort to spy on Libya.
The “big winner” and tycoon in this Mossad spying operation was Shaul Nehemia Eisenberg (1921-1997), “the reclusive Israeli entrepreneur at its center.”
Eisenberg was, as the Washington Post reported in 1978, the central figure in the Mossad spying operation on Libya:
The chief Eisenberg firm in these deals was Aircraft Trading and Services Inc., or Atasco. Headquartered in Asia House, Eisenberg’s luxury building in Tel Aviv, Atasco also has branches in the “Eisenberg Building” in New York and in London.
Atasco was put together in 1971 by executives of Israeli Aircraft Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Israeli Defense Ministry that makes planes and missiles.
Eisenberg got into Atasco as an equal partner with Israeli Aircraft for $500,000 in cash. After the 1973 Middle East War, Israeli Aircraft, staggered by scandals, sold its share in Atasco to Eisenberg, leaving him its sole owner.
The rest of Atasco’s original capital, $5 million, came from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which is supposed to make loans to promote American exports.
The Ex-Im Bank certainly found the right man in Eisenberg. He quickly turned into an eager customer for Pan American Airways’ used Boeing 707s.
Atasco bought 12 or 15 of the advance series “C” 707s that Pan Am was selling and purchased six out of ten earlier series “C” 707s being sold by the airline.
At its Israeli hangars, currently jammed with 707s bearing obscure markings, Atasco remodels the interiors to suit customers and paints on their proud colors – Iran Air, Tarom of Romania, Uganda Airlines.
In May 1976, Atasco sold the 707 that was once Pan Am’s “Clipper Jupiter” to a firm in Zurich, which dealt it on the Amin.
Intelligence sources say that the head of this Zurich firm is a 15-year veteran of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and the firm is an agency “laundry.” It exists, these sources say, to pass on Mossad funds for deals in which the Israeli secret service is interested.
The Washington Post, one of the most important newspapers in the United States, is a leading national newspaper of record. Oddly, however, the extremely important information contained in this article about ATASCO was never repeated in any of the subsequent articles in which this mysterious company was mentioned. For example, when Gerald L. Gitner, a key aviation executive with Pan Am, TWA, and a host of smaller airlines, was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATASCO USA, Inc.
In 1986, when Gitner became CEO of the Israeli-owned company with a documented history of murky business it was simply described as a New York aircraft leasing and brokerage company. ATASCO’s previously published history of involvement in Mossad operations was never mentioned.
Gitner, who was CEO of Mossad’s “privately held” aircraft leasing and maintenance company until 1990, was involved in the dismemberment and selling off of the assets of the once prosperous airlines Pan Am and TWA.
In October 1986, when Gitner was appointed CEO of the Mossad-run ATASCO U.S.A. Inc., he was or had been a senior executive with PanAm Corp. and TWA. He was the president of Texas Air Corp., the holding company for Continental Airlines and New York Air, when he was appointed president and CEO of ATASCO U.S.A., “a private aviation concern involved in commercial aircraft leasing and heavy aircraft maintenance.”
Gitner was also co-founder and president of People Express Airlines. The Houston Chronicle of October 3, 1986, however, only identified ATASCO as “an aircraft leasing and brokerage company.”
In November 1982, when Eisenberg became involved in the Tregaron deal and tried to take over a large piece of prime real estate in Washington, D.C., the Washington Post wrote about Mossad’s “world entrepreneur” and Israel’s point man in China and Panama:
Eisenberg was profiled in a 1981 Business Week article as a businessman of enormous wealth, diversity of business interests, and a proclivity for secretiveness in his dealings. He owns a worldwide network of corporations. His largest company, United Development Inc., was set up in Panama in 1960.
Eisenberg essentially acts as a middleman, according to reports on his dealings, assembling consortiums of manufacturers, builders and banks to construct industrial facilities of all types.
Since Eisenberg was the “sole owner” of ATASCO since 1973, the Mossad’s “aircraft trading and services” company naturally began its murky business on the American continent in Panama.
In 1978 the Washington Post reported that there were “frequent but unsubstantiated reports that Eisenberg operates mostly from Central America.” Eisenberg was the “Panamanian honorary general consul in Tel Aviv,” the Post reported.
The first mention of ATASCO other than the 1978 article in the Washington Post was in the New York Times on October 29, 1981, when it reported that Emery Air Freight had purchased a Boeing 727-100 from Atasco-Panama.
Israel Aircraft Industries also has a branch in Bogota, Colombia, IAI Sucursal Colombia, a nation known more for the production and distribution of cocaine than aircraft. Why would IAI establish aircraft leasing and maintenance facilities in Colombia and Panama?
Is airlifting drugs a central part of the IAI operations in Latin America? Does the Mossad use IAI facilities in Colombia to run its own drug smuggling routes to fund its operations? Does Mossad drug smuggling involve American politicians and intelligence agencies which it then controls?
There are a number of indications that the Mossad is deeply involved in the Colombian drug trade. The horde of Mossad operatives who were disguised as Israeli art students in the years prior to 9-11 were known to have been targeting the offices and personnel of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Why would the Mossad be seeking to penetrate the DEA if it were not involved in drug smuggling?
It is also well known that Israeli gangs are heavily involved in illicit drug smuggling. A disproportionately large number of Israelis have been arrested in Europe and the United States with large amounts of narcotics and synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy. Are these the small fry of a much large Israeli presence in the illegal drug trade?
The rumors about the Bush and Clinton families being involved in large scale drug smuggling operations are legion. From George H.W. Bush’s days in the Texas oil business and as head of the CIA to his position as a director of the Prozac giant Eli Lilly and Co., the drug trade is a central part of the Bush family legend.
The allegations about Gov. Bill Clinton’s involvement in the drug smuggling operation in Mena, Arkansas are also legion. Aircraft were used to smuggle drugs and weapons through the airport in Mena in the 1980s while Gov. Clinton protected the entire operation.
“Given the scope and implications of the Mena story, it may be easy to understand the media’s initial skepticism and reluctance,” Sally Denton and Roger Morris wrote in their July 1995 article “The Crimes of Mena”:
Mena, from 1981 to 1985, was indeed one of the centers for international smuggling traffic. According to official I.R.S. and D.E.A. calculations, sworn court testimony, and other corroborative records, the traffic amounted to thousands of kilos of cocaine and heroin and literally hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits. According to a 1986 letter from the Louisiana attorney general to then U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese, [Adler Berriman Seal, or "Barry"] Seal “smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion of drugs into the U.S.”
Seal had been a pilot with TWA from 1966 to 1974, according his on-line biography. Gitner, who began his career at TWA in 1968 was a vice president when he also left TWA in 1974 to join the much smaller Texas International Airlines.
The numerous reports and allegations of involvement in drug smuggling are what the Bush and Clinton families have in common. These are the families which have dominated the executive branch of the United States government since 1981. There has been either a Bush or Clinton in the White House for the past 26 years, since January 1981.
Is the illegal drug business something the Bush’s and Clinton’s have had a hand in with Israel’s Mossad?
If the reports, allegations, and rumors are true, the illegal drug trade is where the interests of the Bush family, the Clintons, the CIA and the Mossad all come together. This would explain the choice to invade and occupy Afghanistan, where opium production is now at record levels after having been nearly eradicated under the Taliban regime.
This would explain the unusual pressure to medicate the 9-11 relatives.
It appears that drug smuggling could very well be the illegal enterprise at the center of the criminal network behind 9-11. This is a subject that certainly deserves further investigation.
In the 1978 article about Eisenberg and the Mossad the Washington Post reported that ATASCO had sold the Boeing 707, which had been Pan Am’s “Clipper Jupiter,” to a firm in Zurich, which had immediately transferred ownership to Idi Amin in Uganda:
Intelligence sources say that the head of this Zurich firm is a 15-year veteran of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and the firm is an agency ‘laundry.’ It exists, these sources say, to pass on Mossad funds for deals in which the Israeli secret service is interested.
Pan Am’s “Clipper Jupiter,” with tail registration number N766PA, was sold to a Zurich-based company called Zimex Aviation on May 12, 1976. The same day, Zimex Aviation transferred the plane with a new tail number, 5X-UAL, to Uganda Airlines.
The “15-year veteran of Mossad” would be Hans Ziegler, who headed Zimex as reported in The Oregonian on August 22, 1988:
Charles Hanner, then a Page [Airways] vice president, testified by deposition that he had been introduced to Amin by Hans Ziegler, a veteran agent of Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service. Ziegler’s Swiss company, Zimex Aviation, had sold a number of aircraft to Middle Eastern potentates and to Amin’s friend Moammar Khadafy, the Libyan dictator.
Gitner reportedly stayed with ATASCO from October 1986 through December 1989. In 1989, Gitner was appointed to head Presidential Airways of Herndon, Virginia.
Gitner later served on the board of directors of another Mossad-run company, ICTS, which is one of the key defendants in the 9-11 litigation. Along with a handful of senior Israeli Mossad veterans, Gitner was a director of ICTS from at least 1997 through 2005. Most significantly, he was a director of the Israeli parent company which was responsible for airline security and passenger screening at Boston’s Logan Airport on 9-11.
International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS) International, N.V. is the Mossad-run company that owns Huntleigh USA, the airline security company that oversaw the passenger screening operation at Boston and Newark airports on September 11, 2001.
How would Gitner be a director or CEO of a Mossad-run company like ATASCO or ICTS if he were not working for the Mossad? Has Gerald Gitner from Boston been working with the Israelis since he began at TWA in the late 1960s? Is this the reason he left TWA and began working for Texas International?
IAI is “a world leader in aircraft conversion and modernization programs, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), communication programs and defense electronics,” according to the company’s website.
Shalom Yoran’s company, Bedek Aviation Group, reportedly converted its first Boeing 767 from a passenger to cargo jet in early 2000.
The converted passenger jet was the first of 11 767s to be converted for Airborne-Express, according to the Jerusalem Post of April 4, 2000.
“Bedek is one of the world’s leaders in plane conversions,” the Israeli newspaper reported.
In early 2001, Bedek delivered a refurbished Boeing 707 refueling tanker for the Israeli air force, according to the Jerusalem Post of February 22, 2001.
“The number of [Israeli] refueling tankers is classified,” the Post reported. “The first 707 air refueling tanker converted for the Air Force was delivered 20 years ago.”
This Israeli report indicates that Bedek has been converting Boeing aircraft into tankers since the early 1980s.
“The main benefit of this present aircraft is in its versatility, its quick conversion from a refueling tanker to a cargo jet. In this way, the aircraft can be used as a cargo plane in times of peace and a refueling tanker in an emergency,” an IAI statement said.
“Boeing has been working with Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. for 30 years,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in October 1998.
Miami International Airport has long been the site of one of Bedek’s maintenance stations, along with Paris, Moscow, Baku and Bajkal, according to the Jerusalem Post of January 13, 1995.
The Bedek operation in Miami was known as Commodore Aviation. IAI and Bedek had “offices in Arlington, Va.; New York City; Princeton, N.J., for its Galaxy Aerospace subsidiary; and in Miami for its Commodore Aviation unit,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article from 1998.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made a four-day trade mission to Israel in November 1999 during which he appealed to the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries to expand their business operations in Florida.
IAI’s Miami-based Commodore Aviation was already the largest Israeli business presence in Florida in 1999 with about 500 employees, The Stuart News (Florida) reported.
In 2003, Commodore Aviation, “part of IAI’s Bedek Aviation Group,” pulled out of Miami, reportedly owing nearly a million dollars to the Miami airport and moved to Rome, New York, where it renamed its operation the “Empire Air Center.”
“Commodore has been searching for a new location since June 2002 and owes $800,000 in back rent to Miami International Airport, where it’s currently based,” South Florida CEO reported in May 2003 when it announced Commodore Aviation’s move to New York and name change.
Like ATASCO, Commodore has been funded by the U.S. taxpayer. Commodore Aviation made money by its move to the former Griffis Air Force Base, where it operates in a massive hangar in which B-52 bombers and tankers were once serviced.
The move profited Commodore, which received some $25 million in grants and tax incentives from federal and New York sources, the Jerusalem Post reported on November 21, 2003.
“The whole relocation didn’t cost IAI one dollar,” said Gerry Stoch, New York state’s economic attache in Israel.
Copyright © 2007 Christopher Bollyn
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