Mena-CIA Menu

The focus of this website is the murders of Kevin Ives and Don Henry, however, the backstory of the CIA's involvement is essential to understand that there are no boundaries, no party lines, and no more denying.

George H.W. Bush

CIA Director (Jan. 1976 to Jan. 1977) Vice President (1981-1989) President (1989-1993)

Ronald Wilson Reagan

President (1981-1989)

William Jefferson Clinton

Arkansas Governor (1979-1981) and (1983-1992) President (1993-2001)

The crimes of Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, including reckless disregard for human life, are well documented, indisputable, and certainly not justifiable as evidenced by the extreme efforts of these presidents to keep their involvement secret.  Even though the liberal and conservative mainstream medias have managed to quieten an otherwise outraged public with lies, the legacies of these presidents will not exclude their crimes, as they had hoped.

Sarah McClendon

The remarkable White House correspondent, Sarah McClendon, who covered presidential politics for 50 years, baited Bill Clinton at a news conference on October 4, 1994, into admitting that he knew about Mena, which, as governor of Arkansas, he denied its very existence.  We now know that then-Governor Clinton provided protection and was duplicit in covering up the cocaine smuggling and money laundering operations used to raise funds for the Nicaraguan Contras.

Exposing Covert Action Since 1978

If You Want to Understand Why the War on Drugs Failed, There is No Better Place to Look Than Arkansas When Clinton Was Governor

Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine and the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy.

Linda Ives

Linda Ives and Jean Duffey Examine Clinton's Connections to the Train Deaths

Jean Duffey


Thursday, March 12, 1998

Clinton’s Connections


  • Clinton steadfastly supported Malak for years in spite of the public outcry over his asinine ruling that Kevin and Don had fallen asleep in a marijuana induced stupor and had simply let the train run over them. In fact, adding insult to injury, Clinton recommended a whopping 40% raise for Malak. Clinton’s support of Malak never wavered when a nationally renowned medical examiner from Georgia performed a second autopsy and declared that the signs of murder were clear and that the boys had been beaten and stabbed prior to being placed on the tracks.
  • Dozens of Malak’s other manner of death rulings in other suspicious deaths came under scrutiny and his bizarre rulings made him the laughing stock of America, yet Clinton continued to support him. It became increasingly difficult to seat juries in murder trials as potential jurors stated they could not and would not believe anything the state’s star witness, Fahmy Malak, said. The entire Justice system in Arkansas was crumbling because of Malak’s lack of credibility, yet Clinton continued to support and praise him. In fact, Clinton’s support never ceased until he decided to run for president and a newspaper announced that Malak was a weak spot in his campaign. Clinton, in trademark tradition, created a new job for Malak at the state Health Department under Jocelyn Elders. Although Clinton initially denied his involvement in the controversial move, an aide later admitted that Clinton’s office was involved in the “negotiations.
  • Finding evidence that the boys had been stabbed, the state crime lab’s own trace evidence expert wanted to conduct tests on the boys’ clothing. Steve Cox received a memo from acting directors of the crime lab stating that “no tests were to be conducted—they were backing Malak’s ruling.” The directors answered to no one but Clinton.
  • Clinton appointed Robert Shepherd. a “good ole boy” from Saline County. as his state drug czar. Shepherd, who answered only to Clinton, interfered with three separate investigations of the train deaths: In 1990 he met with then U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks to inform him that former task force director Jean Duffey, whose witnesses had presented evidence of drug trafficking and public official corruption, was crazy and that there was no public official corruption in Saline County. In 1993 Shepherd warned investigator John Brown off the case; and in 1994 he requested a meeting with FBI officials investigating the case, no doubt, to discourage their investigation. All three ·investigations were subsequently shut down. It is also interesting to note that Jean’s task force had developed information linking Shepherd to drug trafficking.
  • Don Birdsong, chief investigator on the train deaths case during much of 1888, resigned from the case and was promoted to State Police Liaison to Clinton·s office and became Shepherd’s right hand man . Birdsong was also present when Shepherd advised John Brown to back off the train deaths investigation.
  • According to an FBI agent, Lib Carlisle, then head of the state Democratic party, and one of the “good ole boys” from Saline County, called the state capitol to call off the State Police Investigation of Kevin and Don’s deaths.
  • The parallels between the Mena investigations and the train deaths investigations are frighteningly similar with both having several investigations systematically dismantled and shut down by U.S. Attorneys. Who has the power to shut down federal investigations and what do they have to hide?
  • And perhaps the most damning evidence of all that Clinton has more than a passing interest in the train deaths case is that, despite the fact that I have avoided talking publicly about Clinton’s connections to the case, White House Counsel Mark Fabiani included me on Clinton’s hit list—the “Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce Report.” Fabiani even singled me out for discussion with Phillip Weiss, a reporter who was hand picked by the White House to do a hatchet job on Clinton’s enemies.
Note: Unfortunately for Clinton, Weiss spent weeks investigating the case, and when his article “The Clinton Haters” appeared as the cover story on the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Weiss wrote that “the train deaths” was an example of how legitimate questions gets spun into a conspiracy. Weiss told me in a telephone conversation that the original version of his article submitted to his editors stated that there “should be congressional hearings on the train deaths case.” Needless to say, that statement was edited out. Why was I on Clinton’s enemies list?

No one can put Bill Clinton on the Tracks the night Kevin and Don were killed, and his connections to the case are indirect—but make no Mistake—Bill Cinton’s fingerprints are all over my son’s murder case and I believe that Clinton pulled strings from the very beginning and is still pulling them today. It has been nearly 11 years since Kevin was Murdered. Next month he should be celebrating his 28th birthday, instead my family will observe it by taking flowers to cemetery. It is painfully clear that focusing my efforts solely on Kevin’s killers has failed to bring justice for Kevin. The hard reality is, my efforts were doomed from the very beginning.Quite frankly.

I’m battle-torn and weary. It’s very disheartening to watch the press scrambling to ask Clinton questions about his sexcapades. I have some questions I would like to ask him—some that should have been asked years ago, Kevin and Don deserve that much, isn’t there a reporter any where with any guts?

So, they can call me a Clinton basher or anything else they choose, and I’m sure they will. The way I see it, I’m just Kevin’s mom and Bill Clinton is now officially on my enemies list.

Linda Ives

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Update: Saturday, March 07, 1998

Just Following Orders

By Jean Duffey

Clinton Bashers

In spite of the relentless hunt for Clinton scandals, Linda Ives and I have stubbornly refused to be labeled Clinton-bashers. We stood especially firm when the White House included Linda on the President’s “enemies list” they called “the conspiracy commerce report.”   White House Counsel Mark Fabiani even singled Linda out to New York Times Magazine reporter Philip Weiss who was preparing his cover story “The Clinton Haters” printed February 23, 1997.

The White House must have been pleased with Weiss’s take on the questionable motives of several Clinton-haters and his commentary on the “ridiculous reading” conspiracies like the “Body Count List” makes. But then Weiss goes against White House wishes and writes of the “train deaths” as an example of “how a legitimate question gets spun into a conspiracy.” Weiss recognizes the validity of Linda’s story and questions Clinton’s support of Malak, whose cause of death ruling was an attempt to cover up murder. Weiss writes, “Clinton’s own connection to the murders in Saline County is plainly indirect. But he did stand by Malak, even as The Arkansas Democrat and a group of enraged citizens called for his dismissal.”

The summer before the White House sicced Weiss on Linda, Evalyn Lee, a 60 Minutes producer, was sent on a similar mission. Again, after spending two days with Linda and me, Lee confessed that she was supposed “to befriend and interview” us and to “fold our interviews into a story about Clinton-bashers.” According to Lee, the story was to air that fall before the ’96 election and was supposed to boost support for Clinton. Lee said she had changed her mind about using us and planned to ask her superior to run a legitimate story about the “train deaths.” Of course that never happened, but as it turned out, neither did the Clinton-basher story, probably because pre-election polls never indicated Clinton needed a boost.

Linda’s only concern since Kevin’s murder has been to see the killers held accountable. She didn’t go to war with Fahmy Malak until she realized he was an obstacle.  She didn’t get involved with Mena issues until the FBI confirmed a connection to the murders.  And she has not had a reason to point a finger to Bill Clinton for anything other than his staunch support of Malak. However, as more of Clinton’s connections to the cover-ups are discovered, they are beginning to look less and less tenuous. Linda has experienced rude awakenings before, and she has learned to adjust as necessary.

The first major blow came in 1991 when she realized Dan Harmon was using his position as special prosecutor to command a massive cover-up during which time several potential witnesses turned up dead or missing. (6)    It was devastating enough to learn that the one person she and her husband, Larry, trusted the most had orchestrated a cover-up. Then a witness came forward in 1993 and passed an FBI polygraph test placing Harmon on the tracks with the boys the night they were murdered.  Linda then realized that Harmon’s tireless zeal to control the case was to protect himself. But that blow was minor in comparison to the FBI’s claim in November, 1995 that there was no evidence a crime had even been committed.  This effectively closed their eighteen-month-long investigation.

A year later, Harmon was indicted under RICO for running his office as a criminal enterprise. A jury convicted him on five of eleven felony counts including drug charges and extortion. However, the charges against Harmon only dated back to August, 1991, when, under RICO, it could have covered crimes ten years back and should have included Harmon’s involvement in the murders of Kevin and Don.

You might recall my prediction of an acquittal for Harmon and my disgust with the weakness of the government’s case. I was offended because their case against Harmon included none of the numerous crimes supported by the evidence collectively amassed in 1990 by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Govar and by my drug task force. Additionally, in spite of our years of accumulated knowledge about Harmon and his connections, neither Linda nor I were even interviewed by the government. There were also many incidents during trial where the government inexplicably held back evidence.

In spite of the government’s lack of zealous prosecution, a twelve-person jury brought back a guilty verdict on five counts assuring Harmon of a minimum of 20 years in prison. I was thrilled to be wrong about an acquittal, but a few weeks ago I heard some frightening news from a particularly reliable source. While in Arkansas, I ran into a prominent Little Rock attorney who told me he recently spoke with Chief U.S. District Judge Stephen M. Reasoner, Harmon’s trial judge. Reasoner said that if Harmon had been tried by him instead of a jury, he would have been acquitted on all counts.

Just Following Orders

My suspicions that the government was deliberately throwing the case were reinforced. The near-fatal flaws in their case couldn’t have been caused by mere incompetence, so I find myself reexamining motives. I’ve heard Little Rock attorneys speculate that U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks was being protected for unjustly clearing Harmon of all accusations made against him prior to June of 1991. Harmon’s indictment on those crimes would be proof that Banks had obstructed justice. I disagree with such speculation. I believe U.S. Attorney Paula Casey was following a directive, like Chuck Banks when he was U.S. Attorney.

An Arkansas Gazette reporter learned from a reliable source months before clearing Harmon that Banks was going to shut down Govar’s investigation in exchange for a federal judgeship nomination from then-President George Bush. The prediction sounded ludicrous at the time, but it came true, and it made perfect sense to me after the FBI confirmed that the boys were murdered by cops who were protecting a Mena operation drug drop. (4)(7)    Mena, of course, would have been exposed if Govar or my task force had been allowed to solve the murders, so Banks’ directive understandably protected George Bush, Oliver North, and other republicans. But since Casey is a Clinton appointee, one can’t ignore the continued cover-up connection to Clinton.

Some connections are:

  • Clinton steadfastly supported Malak in spite of public outrage over his asinine ruling that the boys had fallen into a marijuana-induced sleep on the tracks and let the train run over them. But when Clinton decided to run for president, he lied about being involved in the negotiations to ease Malak out of his job and to find another position for him.
  • The acting directors of the crime lab were told to back Malak’s ruling, and Clinton was the only person to whom the directors answered.
  • An FBI agent said the State Democratic Party Chairman, Lib Carlisle, called the state capital to call off the state police investigation of the “train deaths.”
  • Don Birdsong was one of the first state police investigators put in charge of the “train deaths” investigation, which was nothing short of a sham. Birdsong was later given a job as the state police liaison to the governor.
  • Robert Shepherd, who was appointed by Governor Clinton as the state’s drug czar, interfered with three separate investigations of the “train deaths.” He tried to convince the U.S. Attorney’s officer that I was crazy. He warned John Brown to back off. And he attempted to intervene in the FBI investigation.
  • When asked by Sarah McClendon about Mena, Clinton lied when he said, “The local prosecutor did conduct an investigation based on what was within the jurisdiction of state law.” The truth is, the local prosecutor requested funding for an investigation, and although Clinton gave lip service about getting the money allocated, no money came and no investigation was conducted under state law jurisdiction, and Clinton knows it.
  • After working with the FBI for 18 months, I predicted another shut-down when the Mena connection to Kevin and Don’s murders became incontrovertible. The agent did not believe me and said, “Who has the power to shut down an FBI case.” My answer was, “who, indeed?” The FBI’s case was shut down in November, 1995.
  • After it’s investigation came to a screeching halt, the FBI forwarded its files to Paula Casey, and to this date she has failed to act or even comment on the validity of the evidence against several suspects, including Dan Harmon.
  • Not only was Linda Ives placed on Clinton’s “enemies list” she was singled out by White House Counsel Mark Fabiani to reporter Phil Weiss who wrote The New York Times Magazine article, “Clinton Haters.” Of all the Clinton “enemies” listed in the White House “conspiracy commerce report,” why is Linda Ives important enough to be specified? Do they know something we don’t?

Clinton’s connections to the “train deaths” may be indirect, but the connections are too numerous to believe he has no interest in the cover-up. And the fact that Fabiani considers Linda Ives important enough to single her out strengthens the otherwise tenuous connections Clinton has to the “train deaths” case. Linda and I have not wavered in our drive to expose the truth regardless of where it leads. If that means we are going to be labeled Clinton-bashers, so-be-it. We will not back away from the truth.

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Sunday, February 23, 1997
Excerpt from: The New York Times Magazine

The Clinton Haters

By Philip Weiss

The notion of a Body Count list apparently began with an Indianapolis lawyer named Linda Thompson, a feverish woman who was incited by the 1993 burning of the Branch-Davidian compound outside Waco, Tex.

“Linda [Thompson] first announced that list on my program,” says Stan Solomon, a right-wing talk-show host. “It was very early in the Clinton Presidency that she started connecting these deaths. She is a very analytical person, although I think she has succumbed to a great deal of pressure. She later sent me letters every day on my being a Government agent.”

The lists make sad reading, and ridiculous reading, but not entirely and here one can glimpse how a legitimate question gets spun into a conspiracy. Notable on all the lists are “the boys on the tracks.” This is the case of two small-town teen-agers in Saline County, just outside Little Rock, who were killed late one night in August 1987. They were clubbed and stabbed and their unconscious bodies were laid on the railroad tracks to be mutilated by a train. Their murders have never been solved. One theory given a lot of credence by those who have looked into the case is that “the boys on the tracks” had wandered in on a drug drop.

The medical examiner under Governor Clinton, Fahmy Malak, did a terrible disservice in the matter. He said that the boys’ deaths were accidental, that they lay down on the tracks in a marijuana stupor. It took years for the families to undo this ruling.

Clinton’s own connection to the murders in Saline County is plainly indirect. But he did stand by Malak, even as The Arkansas Democrat and a group of enraged citizens called for his dismissal. (Malak left the job for a state health department position in 1991.) Linda Ives, the mother of one of the boys, says: “My agenda is not Bill Clinton. The only goal I have is arrest and conviction in my son’s case.”

Still, the deaths of the boys have taken on huge emblematic significance to the far right, people who believe that government regularly covers up brutalities. The legend of the boys is reminiscent of the legend surrounding the 1992 killing by an F.B.I. sharpshooter of Vicki Weaver, a white supremacist, as she held her baby in her arms in northern Idaho. Ives told me that she has heard of highway overpasses in the Middle West painted with the message “Bill Clinton Knows Who Killed Kevin Ives.”

The Wall Street Journal attacked me twice on its editorial page as a White House dupe and said I was planning to undermine its coverage of the Linda Ives case. The Journal said Ives said the White House had “sicced” me on her. But the former Whitewater counsel, Mark Fabiani, had spoken of her case to me in rather neutral terms, and as I told Ives, I thought official inaction in her son’s case merited further investigation. I had told the Journal reporter, Micah Morrison, that I admired his coverage of the boys on the tracks.

Copyright 1997 The New York Times


A Brief History

In October, 1987, a plane belonging to the CIA was shot down in Nicaragua by a communist Sandinista missile.  The plane was loaded with weapons to be delivered to the Nicaraguan freedom-fighters, who were being supported through CIA covert operations at the behest of President Ronald Reagan.  This incident broke one of the ugliest foreign policy secrets in American history, the Iran-Contra scandal.  The illegal operation, which included drug-smuggling, gun-running, and money-laundering was set up by Vice President George H. W. Bush. The inner city of Los Angeles, California was targeted for raising funds by selling crack cocaine. While at a small airport in rural  Mena, Arkansas, the notorious smuggler Barry Seal was given protection by Governor Bill Clinton to continue his drug-smuggling, gun-running, money laundering operation but now as a DEA informant and a CIA contract pilot, also set up by Bush.

Call me crazy, but . . .

August, 2019


By Jean Duffey

Linda and I have been called crazy for decades and for many reasons, but time has proven us right on every point:  Dan Harmon was an out-of-control drug dealer, was on the tracks with the boys when they were killed, and lead a sham investigation of the murders as witnesses turned up dead;  Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane (now the Arkansas Drug Czar) are the prime suspects in the hands on killing of the boys;  6 shutdown investigations of Saline County were systemic from the local through the federal level, which paralleled the systemic shut down of 6 investigations into the crimes of Mena.

Back then, we were called crazy for suggesting there was anything illegal going on in Mena, and certainly we were crazy for connecting the murders to Mena.  Now, only morons dispute that Mena was the hub of a drug-smuggling, gun-running, money-laundering operation taken over by the CIA when Barry Seal sought a deal from Vice President George H. W. Bush to stay out of prison.  The deal was made and Seal continued his operations as an agent for the CIA and and informant for the DEA.  After Seal’s assassination in 1986, the CIA continued the Mena operations that funded and supplied the Nicaraguan Contras at the behest of President Ronald Reagan and under the protection in Arkansas by Governor Bill Clinton’s state police.

The consequences of Reagan’s financial support of the communist-fighting Contras, was our nation’s saturation of cocaine.  It all came to a sudden halt when Seal’s C-123k military cargo plane carrying a load of guns to the Contras was shot down in Nicaragua by a Sandinista missile.  The denials started flying from every direction, but this event began the Iran-Conta affair and as time passed and responsible journalists investigated, deniability became impossible. Time will inevitably correct the legacies of 3 U.S. Presidents.  Call me crazy, but we’ll see.

 It seems the Reagan’s were in conflict.  While she was saying, “Just say no.”  He was thinking “Just fly low.” 

The End Did Not Justify The Means.

“The end justifies the means” is quoted to justify an immoral or even criminal method used to achieve a desired result.  The “means” used by the CIA was the saturation of cocaine in our country.  President Reagan’s desired “end” was to finance the Nicaraguan Contras in their fight for democracy. This was accomplished, but the disregard for the inevitable result, our country’s crack cocaine epidemic, was not justifiable.  Tens of thousands of families were destroyed, in spite of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign.  It seems the Reagan’s were in conflict.  While she was saying, “Just say no.”  He was thinking “Just fly low.”  If the citizens of our country had been informed by a responsible mainstream media, we would never have allowed the means  nor the end, yet mainstream media has managed to contain the outrage, with a bipartisan consensus to quash the story.


1977 – Federal authorities, DEA, FBI, and CIA were watching Barry Seal as he set up his drug smuggling operation in Mena, Arkansas.  Some believe he was already a DEA informant.

1979 – The “Sandinistas” were declared the ruling party in Nicaragua, while small rebel groups started forming.

1981 – The CIA begin coordinating rebel groups to form the “Contras.”

Late 1982 – Barry Seal makes deal with DEA and CIA and increases his smuggling operations at Mena.

1983 – The CIA begin to smuggling drugs into Los Angeles.

1983 – 1995 – Federal investigations are covered up and shut down.

Feb 3, 1986 – The Arkansas IRS assess Barry Seal’s income taxes at $29,487,718.00 for smuggling 30,000 kilos of cocaine into Mena from 1981 to 1983, saying nothing of 1984 to 1986 after which he acquired his two C-123 Air America cargo planes.

Feb 19, 1986 – Barry Seal was assassinated just before he was supposed to testify at the trial of Colombian drug lords Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa of the Medellin Cartel. 

After Seal’s murder, the CIA continued operations at the Mena airfield.

Oct, 1986 – Eugene Hasenfus was shot down by a Nicaraguan Sandinista missile while flying one of Seal’s C-123k military cargo planes carrying weapons to the Contras. This broke the Iran-Contra scandal, yet the operations at Mena continued

Aug 23, 1987 – Kevin Ives and Don Henry stumbled on a drug drop while walking down the railroad tracks in rural Saline County, Arkansas.  They were murdered, placed on the tracks, and run over by a train.

Jul, 1995 – “The Crimes of Mena” by Sally Denton and Roger Morris was published

Aug, 1996, Oct, 1996, and Jan, 1997 – The 3-part-series, “The Dark Alliance” by Gary Webb was published.

Mara Leveritt has been questioning affairs at Mena since 1992. See her reporting here. Mara’s most recent book, All Quiet at Mena, is  a detailed an account of the hazards investigators faced in confronting an official cover-up. And her memoir of reporting that story. All Quiet at Mena is available at Amazon.

Mara Leveritt