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Archive for the ‘Iran Contra’ Category

Don’t know much about history…if you listen to the corporate media

Posted by Charles II on July 14, 2011

Robert Parry, Consortium News:

In November 1991, as Newsweek and The New Republic were ridiculing the idea that Ronald Reagan’s campaign chief William Casey might have made a secret trip to meet Iranians in Madrid in 1980, a senior State Department official was informing George H.W. Bush’s White House that Casey indeed had gone to Spain on a mysterious visit.

State Department legal adviser Edwin D. Williamson told associate White House counsel Chester Paul Beach Jr. that among the State Department “material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations [was] a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown,” Beach noted in a “memorandum for record” dated Nov. 4, 1991.

In other words, as Newsweek and The New Republic were making the October Surprise story into a big joke in mid-November 1991, Bush’s White House had information that contradicted the smug self-certainty of the two magazines. Not surprisingly, the White House made no effort to clarify the record.

From those records, [Newsweek and The New Republic] concluded that Casey, then Reagan’s campaign chief, had been present for a morning session on July 28, 1980, and thus could not have attended a two-day meeting in Madrid, as described by Iranian businessman Jamshid Hashemi.

Now, this may seem like ancient history. But in 1980, Ronald Reagan won the presidency largely because Jimmy Carter did not succeed in freeing American hostages taken by the Iranian Revolution. Therefore, if Reagan’s camp were responsible for delaying the release of those hostages, one could say that Reagan took power through treason. And not treason defined as, “stuff I don’t like” but treason defined as in Article III, Section III of the US Constitution.” Delaying the release of American hostages would probably qualify. And William Casey traveling to Madrid contradicts what the Administration told the Congress, meaning at the very least that the Administration abetted the obstruction of a Congressional investigation.

William Faulkner said that not only is the past not dead, it’s not even over. US democracy is dying because at a series of critical moments, Republicans seized power through illegitimate means, and the corporate media acted as their accomplices. Those moments were:

1. The McCarthy era.
2. The 1968 election, in which Richard Nixon won election by (treasonously) obstructing the peace accords.
3. The 1972 election, in which Richard Nixon used the power of government to win the election.
4. Perhaps the 1980 election, in which Ronald Reagan may have won election by conspiring with Iran
5. The 1994 election, the Gingrich “revolution” seized power using illegal money, personal smears, and lies.
6. The 2000 election, in which Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court, itself the product of perjury and corruption.

I would argue that the elections after 2000 were all fake elections, in which the media were used as propaganda arms of a corporate state to push the result as far to the right as possible. But we probably won’t know until the whole corrupt mess falls apart, and people are willing to talk.

It’s very likely that none of the post-Watergate elections would have been corrupted if Reagan had been exposed in what increasingly looks like treason. Of course, if elections can simply be bought or stolen, why listen to the voice of the people. Until this poison is drained, and people properly understand why Washington seems less and less responsive to their desires, democracy has no chance.

Posted in corruption, election theft, frauds, Iran Contra, Media machine, mediawhores, ratf*cking | 8 Comments »

When America was betrayed

Posted by Charles II on December 9, 2010

Through the lens of the late reporter, Gary Webb, Robert Parry reviews the moment in American history when the media turned from reporting the news to actively suppressing it.

The media has always tailored its reporting to power. One can name many times when it failed to report critical stories. That Watergate and the Pentagon Papers ever came out were miracles. But in the 1980s, the press was actively corrupted. For example, a newspaper run by a convicted felon became a must-read. But nowhere was the corruption more evident than in the Iran-Contra story where for years, reporters like Bob Parry nibbled at the edges of a huge diversion of funds and resources into an off-the-shelf “war” fought principally through death squads and other methods that constitute crimes against humanity. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died. And in this country, hundreds of thousands fell to addictive narcotics imported by the criminals flying weapons south and narcotics north.

At last– and I remember this moment very acutely– a brave reporter by the name of Gary Webb told the story of how those drugs had ravaged poor neighborhoods. The major media, rather than admitting the truth of the story he had broken, mocked him. His editor succumbed to cowardice and failed to back up Webb. Webb ultimately committed suicide.

It was at that moment, at exactly the same time that the complicity of the major media in spreading lies about Bill Clinton began to unravel, that we knew that our media were hopelessly corrupt, acting as friends and allies of narcotraffickers and murderers. It was at that historical moment when Gary Webb’s character was systematically assassinated to silence the little ray of truth that he shone on corruption at high levels that we knew at last that America had been betrayed, that evil had overcome the nation.

Rest in peace, Gary. You served your country as much as any soldier ever did.

Posted in heroes, Iran Contra, War On Some Drugs | 2 Comments »

Lockerbie: What The US Press Won’t Tell You

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2009

Namely, that there’s evidence that Iran, not Libya, did the bombing — but that the CIA did its best to pin it on Libya so that Iran, who was holding some American citizens hostage at the time, could be persuaded to free them.

So yes, when the cancer-stricken al-Megrahi was greeted as an innocent man by his hometown after being freed, this wasn’t the Libyans thumbing their noses at the US as our press has framed it, but their honest (and probably accurate) belief.

Posted in CIA, Iran, Iran Contra, media, Media machine | 2 Comments »

I’ll See You A ’60s Radical And Raise You A Bunch Of Nazi Collaborators And Death Squadders

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 7, 2008

I’d say that McCain and his people may rue the day they ever uttered Bill Ayers’ name in public, but they’re not bright enough for that.

This won’t stop Obama’s crack oppo squad from making sure the media gets prime tidbits like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Barack Obama, Iran Contra, John McCain, Law of Unintended Consequences, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 8 Comments »

McCain Linked to Death Squads

Posted by MEC on October 7, 2008

When Senator McCain decided to go negative by exaggerating Obama’s associations with dubious characters, it apparently didn’t occur to him that it would make his own past associations relevant.

The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe.


Covert arms shipments to the rebels called Contras, financed in part by secret arms sales to Iran, became known as the Iran-Contra affair. They proved to be the undoing of Singlaub’s council.


McCain has said previously he resigned from the council in 1984 and asked in 1986 to have his name removed from the group’s letterhead…. Singlaub does not recall any McCain resignation in 1984 or May 1986. Nor does Joyce Downey, who oversaw the group’s day-to-day activities.

I can hear McCain’s supporters claiming this is different, because stamping out communism was a Good Thing. Um, no, that’s not the crucial difference. The crucial difference is that Barack Obama never supported Bill Ayers’ radical activities, whereas John McCain chose to support the U.S. Council for World Freedom.

Posted in hypocrites, Iran Contra, John McCain | 1 Comment »

Big Media: Still Covering For Bush And McCain

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 17, 2008

From Media Matters’ Jamison Foser:

During a speech to the Israeli parliament yesterday morning, President Bush attacked Barack Obama, comparing him to Nazi appeasers for the Illinois senator’s willingness to hold discussions with Iran.

One problem: Bush’s speech came just hours after The Washington Post reported that Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, said that the United States needs to “sit down and talk with” Iran. Not only that, Gates added, “We can’t go to a discussion and be completely the demander.”


Naturally, then, a media firestorm erupted, with the Bush administration and its political allies questioned all day about whether Bush has any idea what he is talking about, whether he has lost control over the Pentagon, whether Gates will be fired, what Gates thinks about Bush’s comparison of those (like Gates) who advocate dialogue between the United States and Iran to appeasers of Adolf Hitler, and whether the fiasco will remind voters that the Bush administration’s foreign policy has been marked by incompetence and dishonesty, thus doing irreparable electoral damage to John McCain and other Republican candidates.

Sorry — what was I thinking? That didn’t happen.

Instead, much of the news media got busy pretending the Post article didn’t exist and that Gates had not undermined Bush’s political attack on Obama. Instead, many news outlets simply rushed to repeat Bush’s assault over and over again, as though it had merit.

Res ipsa loquitor.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, BushCo malfeasance, GOP/Media Complex, Iran, Iran Contra, Iraq war, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on Big Media: Still Covering For Bush And McCain

John Sidney McCain III Performs A Magic Trick

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2008

He makes the Iran-Contra scandal disappear!

No, seriously:

“Yes, there have been appeasers in the past, and the president is exactly right, and one of them is Neville Chamberlain,’’ Mr. McCain told reporters on his campaign bus after a speech in Columbus, Ohio. “I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.’’

Of course, that is a big fat lie, as anyone who was around for the Iran-Contra scandal — not to mention the earlier October Surprise — knows full well.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Iran, Iran Contra, Iraq war, John McCain, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Ronald Reagan | 5 Comments »

John McCain Gaffes It Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2008


John McCain, Mister Stray Talk Excess, once again showed today that his mastery of world affairs could easily be bested by a moderately-diligent sixth-grader (h/t Penman):

McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Uh, John? Iran’s population is majority Shia Muslim. Al-Qaeda is made up of hardcore Sunni Muslims, with the leadership coming from Wahabi Sunni stronghold Saudi Arabia. (To learn more about the differences between Shia and Sunni, go here.) I mean, gee, even Joe Lieberman knows that, which is why he rushed to your aid:

A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

But Short Ride Joe can’t be around you 24/7 (I imagine both Cindy and Hadassah would be jealous), which is why you also made that gaffe yesterday and again today.

Posted in Iran, Iran Contra, Iraq war, Islam, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, neocons, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Silly Republicans | 8 Comments »


Posted by MEC on May 22, 2007


On May 22, 1987, I broke my leg. I spent 14 weeks in a cast. Which meant spending the summer pretty much confined to my second-floor apartment, since going up and down the stairs on crutches was not something to be undertaken for trivial reasons.

And that meant spending the summer listening to the Iran-Contra hearings. My three clearest memories of the hearings:

1. Hearing one of the senators asking Fawn Hall about her political views, and then saying skeptically, “You don’t read newspapers, you don’t watch the news on TV or listen to it on the radio, but your political views are entirely your own and not just what Colonel North tells you?”

2. Listening to Caspar Weinberger testify that he had no idea what the people in his department were doing, and thinking, “Either he’s lying, or he’s too stupid to have that job.” It will not surprise you that I’ve repeated that observation countless times in the last six years.

3. Hearing a Democratic senator, whose name unfortunately I didn’t get, tell an NPR reporter about Ronald Reagan’s claim that he had no idea that White House staffers were illegal funneling money to the Contras, “We need a president who’s a little higher on the food chain.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Posted in Iran Contra | 7 Comments »

Friday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 16, 2007

— Why attacking/invading Iran is dumb in addition to being immoral.

Greg Palast reports that masterminding the US Attorneys’ Night of the Long Knives isn’t the only skullduggery Harriet Miers has done for Bush.

—  Colonel Ted Westhusing killed himself to protest the corruption and madness that is the BushCo handling of Iraq.  Will General David Petraeus care?

Posted in Iran, Iran Contra, Iraq war, madness of King George | Comments Off on Friday Morning News Roundup

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