Manuel Noriega was recruited by the US Defense Intelligence Agency in 1959 as a young military cadet studying in Peru. By 1967 the CIA had him on payroll. The next year, the US Army’s 470th Military Intelligence Group backed a military coup which elevated Noriega to head of Panamanian intelligence.
By 1971 the US Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs had cited Noriega’s penchant for drug trafficking. In 1976, CIA Director George Bush lobbied successfully to have Noriega’s salary increased to $110,000/year. On one occasion, Bush arranged for the General to be put up at the house of his deputy director. 
In the mid 1970’s Noriega supplied the CIA with intelligence on Panama’s negotiating strategies for talks between President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian President Omar Torrijos. They culminated in the Panama Canal Treaty, which called for the canal to revert to Panama’s control by year 2000. In 1981 Torrijos was killed in a suspicious Zia-like helicopter crash. The CIA never trusted Torrijos, who was wildly popular in Panama because he resisted US meddling in Panama’s affairs. He admired the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. His son Martin is Panama’s current president.
Torrijos’ brother says the CIA sabotaged his chopper. Two years later, Noriega became president of Panama. In 1994, as Noriega was receiving a 40-year sentence for drug trafficking from a federal judge in Miami, he stated that US agencies under the Reagan Administration assassinated Torrijos. He also said CIA Director Bush ordered bombing runs in the Canal Zone in 1976 to terrorize Panama’s people ahead of the treaty negotiations. 
Noriega played a big role in helping the US aid the Nicaraguan contras. He began pilfering the Panamanian Treasury in 1982, just as Secord and North were launching the Enterprise. In 1984 Noriega contributed $100,000 to the southern front in Costa Rica where John Hull was training ARDE troops and smuggling Columbian cocaine. In March 1985 Noriega helped North carry out a sabotage campaign in Managua with help from a British mercenary. In 1986 Noriega met with North in London to launch Operation Black Eagle. The black eagle was the emblem of Nazi Germany.
Operation Black Eagle targeted Nicaragua’s economic infrastructure. Noriega offered the services of Israeli commandos, who often assisted him in securing drug shipments. One of these commandos was Michael Harrari, Israeli Mossad Director for Central America and Noriega’s Chief of Security. Harrari bragged of having assassinated the head of the PLO’s Beirut office. He had close ties to the Medellin Cartel. The Columbian cartels employ British and Israeli mercenaries as commanders of their own private armies and to train their paramilitary death squads. Noriega was also trained by Israeli military intelligence. He became a committed Zionist and bought a home in Tel Aviv.
Mossad’s Harrari took charge of Operation Black Eagle, but Vice-President George Bush oversaw it via his NSA Donald Gregg. The most infamous sabotage operation was the mining of Corinto Harbor on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, which the World Court condemned as “an act of terrorism”, demanding that the US pay reparations to Managua. The US refused. Corinto was the tip of the terrorist iceberg. Oil refineries, grain terminals, power plants and municipal water and sewage systems were targeted. In Panama City Noriega helped North set up dummy corporations to fund and arm the contras. These fronts received weapons from Richard Secord through Syrian heroin trafficker and CIA asset Manzer al-Kassar.
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