Is the CIA Storing Weapons in Texas?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Camp Stanley, circa 1917 (photo: Military City USA)

A U.S. Army base outside San Antonio may have doubled as a secret weapons depot for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) going back to the height of the Cold War.

 

Allen Thomson, who worked for the CIA as an analyst from 1972 to 1985, says in a report (pdf) he compiled that the spy agency used Camp Stanley, located in Boerne, Texas, for decades to store guns, explosives and other munitions.

 

From there, the military equipment was shipped off to foreign countries where the CIA was operating covert missions, including those aimed at thwarting the Soviet Union and its allies and others attacking the Taliban and al Qaeda following 9/11.

 

Referred to as “Midwest Depot,” the cache helped supply the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, as well as armed rebels in Angola, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and other nations.

 

“I have worried about the extent to which the U.S. has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” Thomson wrote to The New York Times in an email. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?”

 

Prior to Thomson’s report, which was published by the Federation of American Scientists, the identification of Camp Stanley as the home of the Midwest Depot first occurred in 2011, according to the Times. That was when another CIA official, Kevin Shipp, tried to sue the CIA over exposing his family to toxic mold in the housing provided at Camp Stanley. The lawsuit was thrown out of court.

 

Before that, a 2007 essay written to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Iran-Contra scandal referenced the depot and its supplying missiles to Iran. The author, John Saxon, a former congressional investigator, wrote that the site remained classified even though other “incredible things were unveiled during the hearings.”

 

Midwest Depot might still be used by the CIA. According to Thomson, the Army in 2013 solicited bids for 2 million rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition. That doesn’t fit any U.S.-issue rifles, but it is what’s used in AK-47s. The solicitation specified delivery to Camp Stanley.

 

When contacted by the Times, the CIA refused to comment on the depot or its location.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Arms Cache Most Likely Kept in Texas by the C.I.A. (by Charlie Savage, New York Times)

The U.S. Army Camp Stanley Storage Activity and the CIA Midwest Depot (Allen Thomson, Federation of American Scientists) (pdf)

Comments

Leave a comment

captcha