Wife of key witness in
Justice scandal - INSLAW
case - is arrested in Napa
By Harry V. Martin
Copyright, Napa Sentinel, 1992
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1992 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 547
The greatest argument Michael Riconosciuto had with his wife Bobbie, was over whether or not Riconosciuto should testify before Congress, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court and a Federal Grand Jury. Bobbie told Riconosciuto that his testimony would destroy their life, and she was right.
WHO IS RICONOCUITO?
Riconosciuto was the computer expert for the Central Intelligence Agency, he was their Einstein. There was nothing he couldn't do with a computer for good or for bad. But Riconosciuto had many secrets and he began to see the ruthlessness of his colleagues. Riconosciuto decided to testify about massive corruption in the U.S. Justice Department and the intelligence agency. He agreed to provide his insider knowledge to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee investigating the INSLAW affair. He also gave his testimony to a Federal Bankruptcy Court which ruled that the Justice Department was deceitful, stole a $6 million software package. The INSLAW case was considered by members of Congress and the Federal Bankruptcy Judge to be "dirtier than Watergate". In fact, the Judge was removed from the bench after 14 years because of his ruling against the Justice Department.
Riconosciuto, in providing his testimony, warned Congress and the Courts that he had been threatened should he testify he would be arrested and his wife would lose a custody battle involving her children by a former marriage. The threats were carried in the Washington Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Napa Sentinel. Within a week of Riconosciuto's testimony he was arrested by Federal Agents. Even while under arrest, he was subpoenaed to testify before a U.S. Federal Grand Jury seated to hear the INSLAW case. On Thursday, November 12, Riconosciuto made a declaration to the court. After the declaration was filed his wife, Bobbie, was arrested in Napa. Bobbie was arrested on a Washington warrant, charged with custodial interference. The warrant was three years old and it actually may be invalid inasmuch as Bobbie was never subpoenaed to appear before a custody suit after a temporary order giving custody of their children to the father was overturned years ago. When Bobbie was arraigned on Friday, heavy security was on hand and everyone was subject to electronic and personal search, a very unusual step associated with such a minor charge. She was being held without bail. Bail was finally set at $50,000. Bobbie had just delivered a letter to the Sentinel addressed to Congressman Jack Brooks and then a few minutes later she was arrested. Her arrest sparked interest with several national radio talk shows and some national media.
The federal agent who arrested Riconosciuto after his Congressional declaration is the same agent who called the Napa County District Attorney's Office to have Bobbie arrested. The children voluntarily left with their father yesterday, but they indicated they felt it was only temporary.
After Riconosciuto's arrest, Bobbie went into hiding she and her family had been threatened and their home broken into. Both Bobbie and Riconosiuito felt that the children were as much in danger as they were. Riconosciuto possessed the knowledge that could destroy powerful forces in and out of Washington. In an August 1992 report from the Brooks Committee in Congress, Riconosciuto is given high credibility for his testimony. The Congress, after reviewing the entire INSLAW case for nearly two years, asked for a Special Prosecutor. The Congressional report also was critical of the Justice Department's cover-ups, missing records and total lack of cooperation with Congressional requests and subpoenas.
HIS FIRST TESTIMONY
On March 21, 1992, Riconosciuto stated in an affidavit to the Court and Congress and before he was arrested the following:
- During the 1980s he served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians of Indio, California. The joint venture was located on the Cabazon reservation.
- The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture sought to develop and/or manufacture certain materials that are used in military and national security operations, including night vision goggles, machine guns, fuel-air explosives, and biological and chemical warfare weapons.
- The Cabazon Band of Indians are a sovereign nation. The sovereign immunity that is accorded the Cabazons as a consequence of this fact made it feasible to pursue on the reservation the development and/or manufacture of materials whose development or manufacture would be subject to stringent controls off the reservation. As a minority group, the Cabazon Indians also provided the Wackenhut Corporation with an enhanced ability to obtain federal contracts through the 8A Set Aside Program, and in connection with Government-owned contractor-operated (GOCO) facilities.
- The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture was intended to support the needs of a number of foreign governments and forces, including forces and governments in Central America and the Middle East. The Contras in Nicaragua represented one of the most important priorities for the joint venture.
- The Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture maintained close liaison with certain elements of the United States Government, including representatives of intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies.
- Among the frequent visitors to the Wackenhut-Cabazon joint venture were Peter Videnieks of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and a close associate of Videnieks by the name of Earl W. Brian. Brian is a private businessman who lives in Maryland and who has maintained close business ties with the U.S. intelligence community for many years.
- In connection with my work for Wackenhut, I engaged in some software development and modification work in 1983 and 1984 on the proprietary PROMIS computer software product. The copy of PROMIS on which I worked came from the U.S. Department of Justice. Earl W. Brian made it available to me through Wackenhut after acquiring it from Peter Videnieks, who was then a Department of Justice contracting official with responsibility for the PROMIS software. I performed the modifications to PROMIS in Indio, California, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Miami, Florida.
- The purpose of the PROMIS software modification that I made in 1983 and 1984 was to support a plan for the implementation of PROMIS in law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide. Earl W. Brian was spearheading the plan for this worldwide use of the PROMIS computer software.
- Some of the modifications that I made were specifically designed to facilitate the implementation of PROMIS within two agencies of the Government of Canada: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS). Earl W. Brian would check with me from time to time to make certain that the work would be completed in time to satisfy the schedule for the RCMP and CSIS implementations of PROMIS.
- The propriety version of PROMIS, as modified by me, was, in fact implemented in both the RCMP and the CSIS in Canada. It was my understanding that Earl W. Brian had sold this version of PROMIS to the Government of Canada.
- In February 1991, I had a telephone conversation with Peter Videnieks, then still employed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Videnieks attempted during this telephone conversation to persuade me not to cooperate with an independent investigation of the government's piracy of INSLAW's proprietary PROMIS software being conducted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Videnieks stated that I would be rewarded for a decision not to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee investigation. Videnieks forecasted an immediate and favorable resolution of a protracted child custody dispute being prosecuted against my wife by her former husband, if I were to decide not to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee investigation.
- Videnieks also outlined specific punishments that I could expect to receive from the U.S. Department of Justice if I cooperated with the House Judiciary Committee's investigation.
- One punishment that Videnieks outlined was the future inclusion of me and my father in a criminal prosecution of certain business associates of mine in Orange County, California, in connection with the operation of a savings and loan institution in Orange County. By way of underscoring his power to influence such decisions at the U.S. Department of Justice, Videnieks informed me of the indictment of these business associates prior to the time when that indictment was unsealed and made public.
- Another punishment that Videnieks threatened against me if I cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee is prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice for perjury. Videnieks warned me that credible witnesses would come forward to contradict any damaging claims that I made in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, and that I would subsequently be prosecuted for perjury by the U.S Department of Justice for my testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
Videnieks alleged threats came true Riconosciuto was arrested, and Bobbie's former husband was given favorable treatment in the courts in her absence.
Bobbie's arrest was timely. Her husband filed a declaration with the Federal Grand Jury in Chicago in compliance with a subpoena to testify. He told the Grand Jury that he needed two customized DEC VAX 11-730 computers with the customized operating system media. This is equipment seized by the U.S. Government when Riconosciuto was arrested. The declaration of Riconosciuto was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division (case No. 92 C 6217, Michael J. Riconosciuto, et al., Plaintiffs vs. Nicholas Bua, et al., Defendants.)
GRAND JURY STATEMENT
Riconosciuto told the Grand Jury that with the equipment he could produce information about various operations which developed extremely sensitive military applications from highly advanced technology, such as:
- Electrostatic heat transfer, modified to enable ordinary and readily available electronic parts and hardware to transform ordinary and readily available explosives into devices capable of destruction of nuclear dimension.
- Biotechnological weapons, including, but not limited to, lethal monoclonal antibodies which are gene specific, e.g., able to distinguish between specific racial characteristics and cause painful, disastrous, lethal effects for only those individuals exposed to such antibodies whose cell structure contains the target genes.
- Compact high voltage power supplies, intended to be used in various hi-tech weapons systems and development.
- Advanced communications systems, e.g., spread spectrum data compression, which would enable current microwave transmissions to be 100 times more efficient and, under appropriate development, 100 times more deadly.
- Advanced precious metals recovery systems essential to hi-tech weapons systems.
- Advanced infrared sensor technology, used in night vision goggles, missile surveillance and tracking, and in more sinister applications, saturation surveillance of all movements of all people in every open, visible space on the entire planet.
- Thermal imaging, enabling surveillance through fog.
- Bragg cell technology.
Riconosciuto also told the Grand Jury the computer can prove that he worked on the following military contracts:
- Beacon technology.
- Threat emitter technology, which would enable the transmission of false images on radar scopes, e.g., airplanes could be made to appear to be birds, or vice versa.
- Fuel flow monitoring systems for the F-16 aircraft, enabling higher performance and better fuel optimization.
He also told the Grand Jury that the computer would prove the duplicity and treasonous activity of certain officials of the Wackenhut Corporation, such as:
- Double-billing by Wackenhut officials on U.S. Army contracts at the Yuma, Arizona test site, during 1982 and 1983.
- The misappropriation or theft of highly advanced and lucrative technological developments during the period from 1980 to 1991.
- The brokering and facilitation of the transfer of embargoed technology to listed countries (i.e., countries prohibited from receiving embargoed technology enemies of the people of the United States):
(a) Wackenhut would facilitate and broker said embargoed technology to countries, such as Chile, Brazil and Argentina, using military test sites as demonstration facilities.
(b) Officials of said countries would then, with full knowledge of Wackenhut officials, transfer said embargoed technology to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, the Peoples' Republic of China, South Africa and Israel.
Riconosciuto further stated that the computer would prove the duplicity and treasonous activity of certain officials of First Intercontinental Development Company, a corporation cut-out (i.e., secret negotiating agent) for treasonous deals made through the White House, similar to the deals made through Wackenhut. He stated that one such deal was made with Iraq.
Prior to Operation Desert Shield, the Iraqis obtained the latest fibre-optic command and control capability which enable them to have jam-resistant links from their military command center to the forward battle areas; possession by the Iraqis of said capability required an accelerated manufacturing program of building 4000 pound bombs to eliminate said capability.
The Iraqis had also obtained the latest radio-jamming technology, which enable them to interdict communications of the allied forces; had the Iraqis not showed their hand during Operation Desert Shield, they would have been able to undermine critical communications during the first days of Operation Desert Storm, potentially causing a major military setback for the allied forces with the resultant loss of life and demoralization.
Riconosciuto testified that he was doing business with Thomsen CSF (a French conglomerate which developed the Exocet Missile), International Signals, Eaton Corporation, the Santa Barbara Research Division of Hughes Corporation, Dorn-Margolin, Texas Instruments, General Dynamics, Northrop, Kures-Alterman, E-Systems and Reynolds Capacitor.
CIA MONEY LAUNDERING
With Riconosciuto's credentials acclaimed by Congress and the Grand Jury, he further stated that he facilitated the laundering of CIA funds via his expertise in manipulating electronic data transmission equipment. This included the transfer of funds which were involved in the October Surprise payment to the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran. He said he was also responsible for the manner in which caused the interdiction of funds from the sale of Red Chinese gold and the manner in which large sums of CIA funds were secreted and knowledge of where those funds are located.
"The information available on my computer equipment would also tend to prove and show that the above described treasonous deals are related to the ongoing international scandals involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and that crucial features of said deals are centered in Chicago and involve the courts and prosecutors in Chicago," he stated.
THEN SHE WAS ARRESTED
After this explosive declaration was made public in the courts, Bobbie was arrested in Napa, where she has been for about ten months. Her children were registered in local schools and she was living in American Canyon at the time. Bobbie is still in jail awaiting an extradition hearing.
The Napa Valley Register ran an article on Friday indicating that a Roberta Peterson was arrested for custodial interference and that her husband was a federal prisoner. Little did the public in Napa know the impact and national repercussions. Congressman Jack Brooks was notified. Neither the District Attorney's Office, Napa Police Department nor the Child Protective Services have knowledge of who Bobbie Riconosciuto (Peterson) is. Things like this never usually touch Napa but they did Thursday.
The arrest of Bobbie on the eve of Riconosciuto's testimony to a Federal Grand Jury probing corruption in the U.S. Government may not be a mere coincidence.