Equatorial Guinea Coup Plotters Tipped Off the Pentagon
Howard Dean, Blonde Goddesses, etc.

Gregory Wales - Theresa Whelan Meeting Was Scheduled for the Initial Date Set for the Equatorial Guinea Coup

The Guardian has more on the Gregory Wales - Theresa Whelan conversations including a fascinating bit on the timing of Wales's meeting with Whelan:

Equatorial Guinea official sources claim that last November, when the plot was in its early stages, an Old Etonian mercenary, Simon Mann, paid Mr Wales about $8,000. . . .

A few days after the alleged payment, Mr Wales went to Washington to a dinner and conference organised by an influential group of US "private military companies", the IPOA (International Peace Operations Association). . . .

IPOA's members include MPRI, a company formed by retired generals. MPRI had already been allowed to compile a survey of Equatorial Guinea's military weaknesses on President Obiang's behalf, overcoming initial objections by the Clinton administration that it would help prop up a dictator.

MPRI persuaded the Pentagon it would be in the US national interest to allow the survey to be done, although the company never went ahead with a planned contract to strengthen Mr Obiang's army.

Mr Wales made his first contact with Ms Whelan at the dinner. The following January his firm, the Sherbourne Foundation, was paid another $35,000 by the coup plotters, according to Equatorial Guinea.

Mr Wales then organised another meeting at the Pentagon with Ms Whelan. This came on the eve of the day originally planned for the coup, February 19. The Pentagon says the meeting in "mid-to-late February" ranged over many African topics, and that Mr Wales's hints were so general that they did not call for any action to be taken. . . .

The February 19 plan is said to have been aborted after a hired aircraft broke down. The plotters then acquired an old former US Air National Guard Boeing, built to a military specification, that was flown over from Kansas with a crew from Florida for a second coup attempt. But the seller, the US firm Dodson Aviation, says there was no US government involvement in the deal.

I wonder about time zones: Did Wales already know about the plane breaking down before he went into the meeting? That seems likely. But that is a detail I'd like to have nailed down.

IN AUGUST, British intelligence services allowed as how they knew about the coup plot in advance, but with a different spin:

British intelligence services helped to foil a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea which led to the arrest of the son of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a newspaper reported here on Sunday.

"Britain co-operated with South Africa in gathering information about the planned coup and helped to put a stop to it, but its intelligence agencies are happy to let the South Africans take the credit," the Independent on Sunday quoted an unnamed source as saying.

This earlier piece aslo discusses the Wales-Whelan connection. (I missed this because I was out of travelling and Internet range when this came out.)