(Excerpted from Chapter 4: Nicaraguan Contraband: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
Within weeks of the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua, former CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters, who 26 years earlier hatched the Mossadegh coup in Iran, arrived in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to meet with members of Somoza’s deposed National Guard (Somocistas) to plan the demise of Sandinista President Daniel Ortega. A counter-revolutionary force would be trained in southern Honduras to attack the Nicaraguan government. The group would be known as the contras and would be trained largely by Cuban exile Bay of Pigs veterans and Argentinean advisers who answered to Langley.
The ex-Somocistas took the name 15th of September Legion. In conjunction with the Walters effort, another group of Cuban exiles were training another bunch of Somocistas in Miami who would become known as the Nicaraguan Democratic Union. Two years later at a 1981 meeting in Guatemala City organized by the CIA, the two forces agreed to unite into the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN).
The FDN was led by Enrique Bermudez and Adolfo Calero. Calero had long owned the Coca Cola franchise in Managua under Somoza’s rule and served as figure head. Bermudez commanded FDN troops as they set up bases just inside Honduras.
Other Somocistas fled south into Costa Rica. In 1982 the Revolutionary Democratic Alliance (ARDE) was formed when Alfonso Rebelo’s MDN joined with the Revolutionary Front of Sandino, headed by Eden Pastora. Two other contra groups were formed among the Miskito and Rama Indians in Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast region with encouragement from US missionaries, who have historically captured hearts and mind for the CIA.
Eventually all the groups merged into the United Nicaraguan Opposition (UNO). With the FDN attacking from the north out of Honduras, ARDE launching raids from Costa Rica and the Miskito and Rama Indians taking up arms in the remote eastern provinces in Nicaragua, newly elected President Ronald Reagan had his contra “freedom fighters” in place.
The contras targeted economic infrastructure in order to destroy the Nicaraguan economy and devalue its currency, the cordoba. Oil refineries, grain terminals, power plants and municipal water systems were all fair game. The idea was to destroy the economy and terrorize the people of Nicaragua so the Sandinista government would lose popularity.
Colonel Enrique Bermudez delivered a manual to the US Congress written by the CIA and titled A Handbook for Psychological Warfare. The manual was given to all contra units and detailed the need to commit the most grotesque murders possible, so as to psychologically wear down the peasantry and force them to desire a new government. The manual also discussed the need for economic warfare and was an extension of The Pink Plan, which Felix Rodriguez had pioneered for CIA during the Vietnam War. It called for low-intensity warfare- constant and brutal terrorism of an underwhelming sort with the goal of psychologically wearing down your adversary.
Still the US media regurgitated Reagan’s “freedom fighters” gibberish. Staff reporters huddled at the Managua Intercontinental Hotel, owned by the CIA-connected Dallas Murchison family, to await their daily “news” briefing.
Former Dean of the School of Journalism at the University of California/Berkeley Ben Bagdikian reported in his 1982 book The Media Monopoly that 50 corporations controlled all mass media in the US. By January 1990, Bagdikian said 23 corporations filled this role. By 1997, according to Standard & Poors, there were only 10: AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney, TCI, News Corporation, CBS, General Electric, Gannett, Advance Publications, Cox Enterprises and New York Times.
Most owners and executives of corporate media are members of the Council on Foreign Relations including Laurence Tisch and William Paley of CBS; John Welch of NBC; Thomas Murphy of ABC; Cyrus Vance, Richard Gelb, William Scranton, A. M. Rosenthal and Harrison Salsbury of the New York Times; Leonard Downie Jr. and Stephen Rosenfeld of the Washington Post; Richard Wood, Robert Bartley and Karen House of Wall Street Journal, David Gergen of US News & World Report; Sol Linowitz, Ralph Davidson, Henry Grunwald and Strobe Talbott of Time; and Robert Christopher and Phillip Geyelin of Newsweek.
The following television anchors, columnists and reporters are also members of either the CFR or the Trilateral Commission: Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Diane Sawyer, David Brinkley, Ted Koppel, Barbara Walters, John Chancellor, Marvin Kalb, David Halberstram, George Will, Mort Zuckerman, Georgie Ann Geyer, Ben Wattenberg, Joseph Kraft, Max Frankel and James Reston, Robert McNeill, Jim Lehrer, Hodding Carter III and Daniel Schorr. 
Despite the facts, Reagan masterfully conjured up the myth of a “liberal media”, while setting up the Restricted Interagency Committee (RIG) to drum up support for the contras. Heading RIG was Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Thomas Enders. Enders had presided over the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. But the sheer brutality of the contras was so extreme that Enders resigned from RIG in disgust.
His replacement was Langhorne Motley who later gave way to Elliot Abrams. Abrams was joined on RIG by CIA Chief of Station for Nicaragua Duane Claridge and by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who had been part of the Shackley/Secord SOG in Laos and was now White House liaison to the NSC. North became fall guy for the Iran/Contra scandal and now hosts a radio talk show. Claridge is now employed by General Dynamics, the #2 supplier to the Pentagon and a major CIA and NSA contractor. 
Dean Henderson is the author of five books:Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @www.hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com