According to this website, Delmart Vreeland is a fraud and Nick Pron expressed to the author he regretted writing this article and would have a retraction soon.
While jet fighters drop bombs on Afghanistan in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy and FBI agents search for the source of anthrax letters, an incredible tale has been unfolding in a Toronto courtroom.
It draws together the threads of a narrative some describe as "stunning and fantastic," while others wonder if it isn't just the ravings of a lunatic.
The man telling the tale in sworn court affidavits is Delmart Edward Vreeland, who faces credit fraud charges in Canada and in the United States, where officials are attempting to extradite him.
The 35-year-old American claims to be a lieutenant in a U.S. Navy intelligence unit - a spy who says he knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In his affidavit, he says he tried to warn Canadian intelligence about possible terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, along with targets in Ottawa and Toronto, but was written off as a petty criminal.
So he wrote the warning on a piece of paper, sealed it in an envelope, and handed it to jail guards a month before the attacks. They opened the letter Sept. 14 and immediately forwarded the information to Ottawa.
His lawyers, Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky, are fighting extradition, telling the court he could face treason charges and the death penalty in the U.S.
In the first stage of hearings, federal prosecutor Kevin Wilson yesterday told Mr. Justice Archie Campbell of the Superior Court of Justice that he was skeptical of Vreeland's claims.
"Is his story possible? I can't go so far as to say it's not possible, but it's not plausible," Wilson said.
The prosecutor said he has seen no evidence to back Vreeland's claim that Canadian embassy official Marc Bastien was murdered in Moscow in December. Canadian officials said the 35-year-old computer specialist died of natural causes.
So, who is Delmart Edward Joseph Michael Vreeland II?
According to court documents, Vreeland was 18 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1984.
Two years later, Vreeland says in his affidavit, he joined a special unit investigating drug smuggling into the U.S. by naval personnel. But the navy says Vreeland was "unsatisfactorily discharged" in 1986.
Vreeland also claims he gathered information on a crime family in Detroit and testified against them in 1998.
Late last year, he says, he came to Canada to help smuggle Russian military secrets out of Moscow, including Russia's plan to counter the American 'Star Wars' missile defence system. While in Moscow, Vreeland says, he met Bastien.
Vreeland was arrested by a police fugitive squad nine months ago. While in Toronto (Don) Jail, he met Nestor Fonseca, who was facing drug smuggling charges and extradition to the U.S. The court documents say Fonseca allegedly told Vreeland of his plans to kill a Toronto judge and others. Fonseca was charged with counselling to commit murder.
Galati and Slansky said in the documents that Vreeland should be put into the witness protection program in Canada because he is the main witness against Fonseca.
Galati writes in one document: "Neither myself, nor Mr. Slansky ... have seen anything as incomprehensibly frustrating, inexplicable and irresponsibly absurd. as the RCMP's position that they are not interested in reviewing Mr. Vreeland's information."
It would appear, Galati says in the brief, that the Canadian and American governments have written Vreeland off as a "nut case," which he says is a "patently absurd conclusion."
© 2002, Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, all rights reserved. May be reposted, reprinted or distributed for non-profit purposes only when this statement appears with the text. Interview with Michael C. Ruppert
TORONTO, [Filed January 25, 2002] - Delmart Edward "Mike" Vreeland, an American citizen whose claims to being a US Naval Lieutenant assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) are being increasingly corroborated in open court, has been in a Canadian jail since December 6, 2000. On August 11 or 12 of 2001, the date is uncertain, after trying to verbally alert his Canadian jailers to the coming World Trade Center attacks, he wrote down key information and sealed it in an envelope which he then had placed in jailers' custody. Exactly what the letter said is unknown at this point. The letter has fallen into a black hole of national secrecy with the lid sealed by two governments. What is known is that when the envelope was opened on September 14th it set off alarms in the US and Canada. According to reports in The Toronto Star, a burgeoning court record, and his lawyers, the envelope mentioned Osama bin Laden, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and imminent attacks.
The US wants Vreeland back in the States on a Michigan warrant for credit card fraud - using his own credit card. Vreeland, convinced that a return to the US means certain death, wants to stay in Canada in a witness protection program. His lawyers Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky, two former Canadian prosecutors, agree with Vreeland's assessment. They should. Both have been the victims of harassment and threats including dead cats hung on porches and car windows smashed out in car burglaries.
The position -- less defensible by the day -- of the United States government, as represented by Crown Solicitors in Toronto, is that all of this is nonsense. Vreeland, says the Navy, was discharged as a Seaman after a few months of service for unsatisfactory performance in 1986. He has never had anything to do with intelligence according to 1200 pages of Navy records filed in Toronto Superior Court.
On its face the official US position is absurd. And the courtroom prowess of Slansky and Galati in making a mockery of the straight-faced presentations of opposing counsel and the US government are eerily unnoticed by any major media and, apparently, also the judge.
"How is it," says Galati, "that the Navy says that he was only in the service a few months and then send us a 1200 page personnel file? Some of the entries are obvious forgeries or alterations and the sanitizing of his records was done so hurriedly that some dates of medical exams in the 1990s were left intact."
In a January 10, 2002 tactic worthy of Perry Mason, with the greatest possible risk to his client if it failed, attorney Slansky got the judge to agree to let him call the Pentagon from open court. Using a speaker phone, in front of at least six witnesses, Slansky first dialed directory information and got a number for the Pentagon switchboard. Then, calling that number he asked the Department of Defense operator to locate the office of Lt. Delmart Vreeland. Within moments the operator had confirmed Vreeland's posting, his rank as a Lieutenant O-3, his room number and given Slansky his direct-dial number.
All of this is a part of the court record.
On January 17, as this writer sat in the courtroom, another mind numbing event occurred.
As Vreeland sat shackled in a corner, closely flanked by two guards, the Crown Solicitor sought to debunk Vreeland's assertions that he had been assigned to travel to Moscow to review and retrieve highly technical and classified documents pertaining to Russian and Chinese efforts to counter the proposed US "Star Wars" missile defense system. [Ed Note: We believe this to be a cover story]. "Why," said the Crown Solicitor, "would the US choose, in a case involving some of the most highly technical intelligence, a random seaman with training in the tool and die field." The point that someone discharged in 1986 with no special training and rank would be sent to review technical documents sounded reasonable - assuming that Vreeland's background was as the Solicitor argued.
The reasonableness vanished a few moments later as the Crown Solicitor argued that Vreeland, who has been in jail and without access to a computer for thirteen months, had somehow cracked the Pentagon's personnel records and inserted his name, an office number, and telephone extension into the Pentagon database.
No one except for Vreeland and attorney Galati seemed to notice the contradiction.
The Crown Solicitor ventured further through the looking glass by then arguing that Vreeland, having certain papers in his possession at the time of his arrest, had memorized Russian and Albanian documents and then had translated them from memory. Vreeland doesn't speak Russian or Albanian. The judge, waking up for this one, asked the Solicitor to restate the point. The argument then became that Vreeland had an unnamed colleague go to an unspecified web site, print Russian and Albanian documents for him, and then used foreign language dictionaries to translate them.
Vreeland's extradition process could take years and his time in jail has not been easy. There have been threats, illnesses and his every move is watched. Galati and Slansky wonder how long his psyche will hold up. The history of jailhouse deaths of key witnesses leans heavily in favor of Vreeland's belief that he could be killed at any moment. His apparent strategy is to not reveal any accurate Top Secret material to either his lawyers or the press, hoping that his silence will provide him with some support from US clandestine services. This a standard approach taken in dozens of similar cases researched by FTW in the past They include the cases - well known in research circles - of William Tyree and Michael Riconosciuto. Tyree has been jailed on a questionable murder conviction since 1979 and Riconosciuto on a variety or drug-related charges since the early 1990s. Both men have been directly connected to CIA and other intelligence operations by official documents.
"We don't need to know and we don't want to know the secret details, "says Galati. "They're not necessary for us to do the job of keeping our client alive and in Canada. He faces a special danger in the US because he has also been an informant against an organized crime family in Michigan where the criminal charges originate. The most he is facing there is two years but we believe he might not live for two days in that system."
Additional press reports indicate that Vreeland's intelligence work was connected to drug smuggling - a much more likely reason for his trip to Moscow. And the history of the relations between Naval Intelligence and the mafia is documented as far back as the Second World War when ONI officers made deals with convicted mafia don Lucky Luciano and his Lieutenant Vito Genovese to protect New York docks and assist with the subsequent Allied invasion and occupation of Italy.
Mike Vreeland is one man who, in a rational world, could totally expose the complicity of the US government in the attacks of September 11th. No one has disputed what he wrote and stuffed into that mysterious envelope. In a rational world that would be the most pressing and public inquiry of all. The two questions remaining are whether Vreeland will live and whether or not he will ever tell what he knows. That may be a mutually exclusive proposition.
FTW has retained the services of freelance journalist Greta Knutsen in Toronto to report on developments in this critical case for our subscribers. Important updates will be posted and sent out via subscriber bulletin to our readers as they become available.