In 1989, George H.W. Bush brought Robert Mueller to Main Justice to dispose of another nemesis, Panamanian President Manuel Noriega. Aside from supporting LaRouche’s “Operation Juarez,” Noriega had refused to go along with the cocaine financing of George H.W. Bush’s Contra insurgency operations directed at El Salvador and Nicaragua. Based on his work for the CIA, Noriega just knew way too much about George H.W. Bush and cocaine. Following multiple unsuccessful coup attempts against Noriega, on December 20, 1989, more than 28,000 U.S. troops invaded Panama, killing hundreds of Panamanians, deposing Noriega’s government and armed forces, and extracting Noriega for trial in the United States. The operation was dubbed “Operation Just Cause,” an antonym if there ever was one.
Manual Noriega was known in the CIA and DEA as a steadfast drug fighter, and DEA and CIA agents testified to that fact at his trial. To overcome this problem, Mueller dealt and bribed Latin America’s most notorious drug gangs with “get out of jail” free cards, if they would say that Noriega dealt drugs. According to reporter Glenn Garvin, Mueller plea bargained down a potential 1,435 years in prison for the lying narcotrafficker criminals testifying for him, to 81 years. These deals and bribes included a $1.25 million bribe to members of the Cali Cartel (whose leaders Noriega had jailed) and a deal with self-avowed Hitler worshiper Carlos Lehder Rivas, leader of the Medellin Cartel. Once again, charges of prosecutorial misconduct flowed daily from Noriega’s defense and appellate legal teams, but the media operations accompanying the prosecutions had turned Noriega into a devil whose claims did not deserve to be heard.