CIA Secret Weapons Facility in Texas. CIA’s “Midwest Depot”
Observers of the Central Intelligence Agency know that the Agency maintains two widely acknowledged facilities inside the United States —both in the state of Virginia. One is its headquarters in Langley. The other is inside the Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity, known more commonly as Camp Peary, located near Williamsburg, where officers of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service are allegedly trained.
However, for many decades researchers have speculated that the Agency maintains a third facility, which it uses to stockpile and distribute weapons around the world. The facility has been referred to in declassified documents as the “Midwest Depot”. It is said that billions of dollars of untraceable weapons have been dispatched from the “Midwest Depot” to CIA-supported groups such as Brigade 2506, which conducted the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Other paramilitary groups said to have received weapons from the CIA’s “Midwest Depot” include the Honduras-based Contras, who fought the Sandinistas government in 1980s’ Nicaragua, Angola’s UNITA anti-communist group, as well as the Sunni mujahedeen who fought the Soviet Red Army in Afghanistan.
Now the location of this mysterious depot may have been unearthed thanks to Allen Thomson, a retired CIA analyst. In a 73-page research paper, Thomson concludes that the location of the “Midwest Depot” is actually in Texas. The paper has been published (.pdf) on the website of the Federation of American Scientists’ Intelligence Resource Program, which maintains an extensive archive on topics of current interest to intelligence researchers. Based on what The New York Times calls “a mosaic of documentation”, Thomson claims that the CIA’s “Midwest Depot” is located inside Camp Stanley, located north of San Antonio, Texas.
The latter is officially indexed as a US Army weapons depot. But Thomson says the depot is in fact commanded by the CIA. His paper highlights an explicit reference made to Texas in a memo drafted in 1986 by Colonel Oliver North, who was eventually convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal. In it, North states that the CIA would transport missiles headed for Iran from a military facility to its “Midwest Depot, Texas”.
More recently, says Thomson, Camp Stanley placed a purchase order for over two million rounds of ammunition used for AK-47 rifles, which, says the former CIA analyst, US troops have no use for. Thomson told The Times that he is worried about the fate of the CIA’s “untraceable” weapons. Specifically, he is “worried about the extent to which the US has spread small arms around over the decades […]. Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour has passed, where did they go? How many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s do we see Islamists waving around today?”, he adds.
The Times checked with the US Department of Defense and the CIA, but their spokespersons declined to comment. A spokesperson at Camp Stanley would only say that the facility is “a weapons storage and testing facility for the military”.