Paul S. Cutter

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Paul S. Cutter, also known as Paul Sjeklocha[1] (born 9 October 1937[2]), is a Yugoslav-born American publisher who was convicted by a US court of selling arms to Iran. He was described by the New York Times in 1987 as "a former American diplomatic official who had worked for the United States Information Agency in Moscow and served for 11 years as a researcher and translator for the Central Intelligence Agency".[3]

Career[edit]

In the 1960s Cutter worked for the United States Information Agency in Moscow,[4] and subsequently worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 11 years as analyst and translator.[3][5] Sjeklocha told a former employer that in the 1970s he had worked for the CIA in Moscow helping dissidents to leave the country.[6] In 1976 Cutter was detained in Yugoslavia on suspicion of spying for the US Government, and held for four and a half years.[4]

In 1982 Sjeklocha visited Israel as a journalist on a tour sponsored by JINSA in which ex-Defense Intelligence Agency chief Eugene F. Tighe also participated.[1] Sjeklocha became a member of JINSA's Board of Advisors the following year.[7][8] According to JINSA, the two were added to the tour at the request of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. The tour met Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli defense personnel, and produced generally favourable coverage of Israel, with some of Sjeklocha's work re-published in the Pentagon's "Current News" newsletter.[1] Harry V. Martin, a former editor of one of Sjeklocha's magazines, Military Electronics/Countermeasures, told Knight-Ridder in 1985 that Sjeklocha had returned from the tour with a scheme to sell weapons captured by Israel in Lebanon, telling the editor that he had been asked to be the agent for the sale. The editor protested that Sjeklocha's European Defense Associates was a publishing company and not an arms dealership, and despite Sjeklocha having an array of photographs of the captured arms, that was the last the editor knew of it.[1] The scheme (apparently without Sjeklocha's involvement) later became Operation Tipped Kettle, with the arms sold to the US at minimal cost (essentially shipping and handling fees) for supply to the Nicaraguan Contras.

In December 1983 Cutter joined forces with Colonel Ralph Mark Broman, Paris chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation until 31 July 1984, becoming manager of European Defense Associates' Paris branch in March and chairman and 50% shareholder of the company in August. Cutter also made Broman editor of two of his magazines. Two arms dealers told the New York Times in 1987 that potential deals with Iran were discussed with Broman in his office before his retirement.[3]

In August 1985 Sjeklocha, owner and President of European Defense Associates, was one of seven charged with conspiracy to sell arms to Iran, including 1,104 TOW anti-tank missiles and 10 F-4 engines.[9][10][11] Sjeklocha, the company, and one other person were convicted in December 1985, while the remaining five were acquitted on the grounds that Sjeklocha had led them to believe he was acting with government sanction.[12] According to the Orlando Sentinel, "Several of those defendants contended that Cutter claimed to be an U.S. intelligence officer who had secret approval from the Pentagon and the government`s Office of Defense Cooperation in Paris to arrange the weapons shipments. They also said Cutter had close ties to Israeli defense officials."[13] Sjeklocha was sentenced to five years in prison.[14]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Pete Garey and Alan Gathright, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, The Day, 9 August 1985, Alleged smuggler met with Sharon
  2. ^ profpaulcutter.com, About Me
  3. ^ a b c Stuart Diamond with Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, 11 January 1987, TWO U.S. COLONELS LINKED TO EFFORTS TO SELL IRAN ARMS
  4. ^ a b Jim Leusner, Orlando Sentinel, 6 August 1985, Suspect: Agents Threatened Death 7th Person Sought In Arms Plot Surrenders At Orlando Airport
  5. ^ Stuart Diamond with Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, 2 February 1987, HUGE ILLEGAL DEAL ON ARMS FOR IRAN WAS KNOWN TO U.S.
  6. ^ Nancy Skelton and Saul Rubin, Los Angeles Times, 3 August 1985, 2 Divergent Californians Caught Up in Missile Plot
  7. ^ WRMEA, 14 July 1986, Pollard and Beyond
  8. ^ JINSA, JINSA Newsletter, III (27), March-April 1984
  9. ^ Glen Elsasser, Chicago Tribune, 2 August 1985, Plot To Sell Missiles To Iran Foiled
  10. ^ Ike Flores, Associated Press, 5 November 1985, Attorney Calls Witness In Iran Arms Plot Trial 'Scum'
  11. ^ AP, Los Angeles Times, 21 August 1985, U.S. Indicts 7 in Plot to Buy Anti-Tank Missiles for Iran
  12. ^ Ike Flores, Associated Press, 16 December 1985, Jury: Two Guilty In Arms-to-Iran Conspiracy
  13. ^ Jim Leusner and Craig Crawford, Orlando Sentinel, 15 November 1986, Lawyers In Iran Arms Cases Cry Foul
  14. ^ AP, Los Angeles Times, 21 January 1986, Publisher Sentenced in Iran Plot
  15. ^ The New York Review of Books, 9 May 1968, Art and Apparat

External links[edit]