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...First, S. 3006 sets forth the grounds on which the release of documents may be postponed, but this list does not contemplate nondisclosure of executive branch deliberations or law enforcement information of the executive branch (including the entities listed in sections 3(2) (G) through (K)), and it provides only a narrow basis for nondisclosure of national security information. My authority to protect these categories of information comes from the Constitution and cannot be limited by statute. Although only the most extraordinary circumstances would require postponement of the disclosure of documents for reasons other than those recognized in the bill, I cannot abdicate my constitutional responsibility to take such action when necessary. The same applies to the provision purporting to give certain congressional committees "access to any records held or created by the Review Board." This provision will be interpreted consistently with my authority under the Constitution to protect confidential executive branch materials and to supervise and guide executive branch officials.

...George Bush

The White House

Does anyone have a compiled list of documents that have been withheld under the Carte Blanche that King George wrote out for himself on the back of the Constitution?

Ashton

Ashton,

That's a question we have been trying to answer for years now. Jim Lesar, the authority on the matter, gets a runaround from NARA when he asks the question. Lesar said that when specific records were with held by ARRB, a note to that effect was officially published in the Congressional Record and/or National Register? - but no list(s) compiled.

I think Robert Howard recently sent the NARA a written querry and got a response that perhaps he can share with us.

In any case, we know what was destroyed, we know what at one time existed and no longer is available, and somewhere there is a record of what is still officially with held, all of which is slated for release in 2017.

The Ultimate Sac guys claim there is over 1 million JFK assassination related docs that remain classified.

With a new 110th Congress coming in January, dedicated to New and Open government, we have the best opportunity ever to have public Congressional hearings on the JFK Act and government compliance and oversight, or lack of it.

BK

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Does anyone have a compiled list of documents that have been withheld under the Carte Blanche that King George wrote out for himself on the back of the Constitution?

Ashton,

That's a question we have been trying to answer for years now. Jim Lesar, the authority on the matter, gets a runaround from NARA when he asks the question. Lesar said that when specific records were with held by ARRB, a note to that effect was officially published in the Congressional Record and/or National Register? - but no list(s) compiled.

Thanks for the info, Bill.

Personally, I don't see a damned syllable anywhere in the Constitution—or on back of it, for that matter—that grants anyone an authority on any grounds to withhold the fact of existence of any document, anywhere, at any time, produced by a paid and accountable servant of the citizens of the United States.

The entire relationship of citizens to public servants has been completely inverted since at least 1913, and I for one am of the opinion that it's about time it got turned right-side-up again.

First step, I guess, would be to get them stop sucking at the public teat long enough to answer a question.

Ashton

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That's a question we have been trying to answer for years now. Jim Lesar, the authority on the matter, gets a runaround from NARA when he asks the question. Lesar said that when specific records were with held by ARRB, a note to that effect was officially published in the Congressional Record and/or National Register? - but no list(s) compiled.

Thanks for the info, Bill.

Personally, I don't see a damned syllable anywhere in the Constitution—or on back of it, for that matter—that grants anyone an authority on any grounds to withhold the fact of existence of any document, anywhere, at any time, produced by a paid and accountable servant of the citizens of the United States.

The entire relationship of citizens to public servants has been completely inverted since at least 1913, and I for one am of the opinion that it's about time it got turned right-side-up again.

First step, I guess, would be to get them stop sucking at the public teat long enough to answer a question.

Ashton

Correction, not National Register - Federal Register. I was going to post an example of an ARRB announcement on releases and postponements, but we were attacked and I take the assault personally. Here's the example, and note particularly those docs with held in 1998 that were slated for release between then and 2006. We have to list those docs, request them again, and ensure they are in fact available as they should be.

Since the ARRB and the NARA seem to be disinclined about furnishing any lists of with held docs, the index of the daily Federal Register must be reviewed for inclusions of all ARRB notices. Anybody got some spare time?

BK

xxxxx

Federal Register: September 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 189)]

[Notices]

[Page 52236-52237]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr30se98-40]

=======================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD

Formal Determinations, Additional Releases and Corrections

AGENCY: Assassination Records Review Board.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Assassination Records Review Board (Review Board) met in

closed meetings on September 9, 1998 and September 14, 1998, and made

formal determinations on the release of records under the President

John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).

By issuing this notice, the Review Board complies with the section of

the JFK Act that requires the Review Board to publish the results of

its decisions in the Federal Register within 14 days of the date of the

decision.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Voth, Assassination Records

Review Board, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20530, (202) 724-0088, fax

(202) 724-0457. The public may obtain an electronic copy of the

complete document-by-document determinations by contacting

<Eileen__Sullivan@jfk-arrb.gov>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice complies with the requirements

of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act

of 1992, 44 U.S.C. 2107.9©(4)(A) (1992). On September 9, 1998, the

Review Board made formal determinations on records it reviewed under

the JFK Act.

Notice of Formal Determinations

20 Church Committee Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

6 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

391 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

7 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

1 DOJ Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

679 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

29 JCS Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 JFK Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 LBJ Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 NARA Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 Office of the Secretary of Defense Document: Postponed in Part

until 10/2017

1 Pike Committee Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

2 US ARMY (Califano) Documents: Open in Full

1 US ARMY (Califano) Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

228 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

166 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

The Review Board also determined that the following records are not

believed relevant to the JFK assassination:

CIA Document

104-10079-10281

LBJ Library Documents

177-10001-10277

177-10001-10279

177-10001-10280

US ARMY (IRR) Documents

194-10010-10376

194-10012-10001

194-10012-10002

194-10012-10003

194-10012-10004

194-10012-10005

194-10012-10006

194-10012-10007

194-10012-10009

194-10012-10010

194-10012-10011

194-10012-10040

194-10012-10137

194-10012-10138

194-10012-10139

Notice of Other Releases

After consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, the Review

Board announces that documents from the following agencies are now

being opened in full: 12 Church Committee documents; 7 JCS documents; 3

JFK Library documents; 1 LBJ Library document; 2 NSA documents; 203

U.S. Army (IRR) documents.

On September 14, 1998, the Review Board made formal determinations

on records it reviewed under the JFK Act.

Notice of Formal Determinations

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

246 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

9 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

8 DOJ Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

224 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 HSCA Document: Open in Full

1 HSCA Document: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

3 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

2 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2003

15 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

105 NSA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

18 PFIAB Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

3 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

139 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

Notice of Other Releases

After consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, the Review

Board announces that documents from the following agencies are now

being opened in full: 2 Church Committee documents; 39 U.S. Army (IRR)

documents.

Notice of Corrections

On August 6, 1998 the Review Board made formal determinations that

were published in the August 24, 1998 Federal Register (FR 98-22482, 63

FR 12345). The following documents were declared to be not believed

relevant to the Kennedy Assassination:

US ARMY (IRR) Documents:

194-10001-10323

194-10001-10415

194-10001-10417

194-10001-10421

On August 25, 1998 the Review Board made formal determinations that

were published in the September 15, 1998 Federal Register (FR 98-24741,

63 FR 12345). For that Notice, please make the following corrections:

Previously Published

Notice of Other Releases

105 Church Committee documents.

[[Page 52237]]

Corrected Data

Notice of Other Releases

104 Church Committee documents.

Dated: September 22, 1998.

Laura A. Denk,

Executive Director.

[FR Doc. 98-26086 Filed 9-29-98; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6118-01-P

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Some political commentators have been suggesting that Robert Gates has been brought in to organize the US withdrawal from Iraq. I think the opposite is the case. His role is to convince the Pentagon to support the idea of sending even more US troops to Iraq.

It is reported that George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he wants to increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers.

I suspect this will be one of the options suggested by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker. Who better to implement this policy than fellow member, Robert Gates.

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Gates is sure to be grilled by Democratics when he goes before Congressional oversight committees, which they might want to squeeze in before the 109th Congress disbands and the new Congress takes over in early January.

Whenever the hearings are held, Gates should be questioned about his postion at CIA at the time of the enactment of the JFK Act, and the judge's recent rulling that the director of the CIA has broad authority to with hold records from the public.

BK

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That's a question we have been trying to answer for years now. Jim Lesar, the authority on the matter, gets a runaround from NARA when he asks the question. Lesar said that when specific records were with held by ARRB, a note to that effect was officially published in the Congressional Record and/or National Register? - but no list(s) compiled.

Thanks for the info, Bill.

Personally, I don't see a damned syllable anywhere in the Constitution—or on back of it, for that matter—that grants anyone an authority on any grounds to withhold the fact of existence of any document, anywhere, at any time, produced by a paid and accountable servant of the citizens of the United States.

The entire relationship of citizens to public servants has been completely inverted since at least 1913, and I for one am of the opinion that it's about time it got turned right-side-up again.

First step, I guess, would be to get them stop sucking at the public teat long enough to answer a question.

Ashton

Correction, not National Register - Federal Register. I was going to post an example of an ARRB announcement on releases and postponements, but we were attacked and I take the assault personally. Here's the example, and note particularly those docs with held in 1998 that were slated for release between then and 2006. We have to list those docs, request them again, and ensure they are in fact available as they should be.

Since the ARRB and the NARA seem to be disinclined about furnishing any lists of with held docs, the index of the daily Federal Register must be reviewed for inclusions of all ARRB notices. Anybody got some spare time?

BK

xxxxx

Federal Register: September 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 189)]

[Notices]

[Page 52236-52237]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr30se98-40]

=======================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD

Formal Determinations, Additional Releases and Corrections

AGENCY: Assassination Records Review Board.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Assassination Records Review Board (Review Board) met in

closed meetings on September 9, 1998 and September 14, 1998, and made

formal determinations on the release of records under the President

John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).

By issuing this notice, the Review Board complies with the section of

the JFK Act that requires the Review Board to publish the results of

its decisions in the Federal Register within 14 days of the date of the

decision.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Voth, Assassination Records

Review Board, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20530, (202) 724-0088, fax

(202) 724-0457. The public may obtain an electronic copy of the

complete document-by-document determinations by contacting

<Eileen__Sullivan@jfk-arrb.gov>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice complies with the requirements

of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act

of 1992, 44 U.S.C. 2107.9©(4)(A) (1992). On September 9, 1998, the

Review Board made formal determinations on records it reviewed under

the JFK Act.

Notice of Formal Determinations

20 Church Committee Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

6 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

391 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

7 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

1 DOJ Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

679 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

29 JCS Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 JFK Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 LBJ Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 NARA Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 Office of the Secretary of Defense Document: Postponed in Part

until 10/2017

1 Pike Committee Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

2 US ARMY (Califano) Documents: Open in Full

1 US ARMY (Califano) Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

228 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

166 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

The Review Board also determined that the following records are not

believed relevant to the JFK assassination:

CIA Document

104-10079-10281

LBJ Library Documents

177-10001-10277

177-10001-10279

177-10001-10280

US ARMY (IRR) Documents

194-10010-10376

194-10012-10001

194-10012-10002

194-10012-10003

194-10012-10004

194-10012-10005

194-10012-10006

194-10012-10007

194-10012-10009

194-10012-10010

194-10012-10011

194-10012-10040

194-10012-10137

194-10012-10138

194-10012-10139

Notice of Other Releases

After consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, the Review

Board announces that documents from the following agencies are now

being opened in full: 12 Church Committee documents; 7 JCS documents; 3

JFK Library documents; 1 LBJ Library document; 2 NSA documents; 203

U.S. Army (IRR) documents.

On September 14, 1998, the Review Board made formal determinations

on records it reviewed under the JFK Act.

Notice of Formal Determinations

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

246 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

9 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

8 DOJ Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

224 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 HSCA Document: Open in Full

1 HSCA Document: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

3 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

2 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2003

15 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

105 NSA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

18 PFIAB Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

3 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

139 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

Notice of Other Releases

After consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, the Review

Board announces that documents from the following agencies are now

being opened in full: 2 Church Committee documents; 39 U.S. Army (IRR)

documents.

Notice of Corrections

On August 6, 1998 the Review Board made formal determinations that

were published in the August 24, 1998 Federal Register (FR 98-22482, 63

FR 12345). The following documents were declared to be not believed

relevant to the Kennedy Assassination:

US ARMY (IRR) Documents:

194-10001-10323

194-10001-10415

194-10001-10417

194-10001-10421

On August 25, 1998 the Review Board made formal determinations that

were published in the September 15, 1998 Federal Register (FR 98-24741,

63 FR 12345). For that Notice, please make the following corrections:

Previously Published

Notice of Other Releases

105 Church Committee documents.

[[Page 52237]]

Corrected Data

Notice of Other Releases

104 Church Committee documents.

Dated: September 22, 1998.

Laura A. Denk,

Executive Director.

[FR Doc. 98-26086 Filed 9-29-98; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6118-01-P

************************************************************

Notice of Formal Determinations

20 Church Committee Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

6 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

391 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

7 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

1 DOJ Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

679 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

29 JCS Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 JFK Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 LBJ Library Document: Postponed in Full until 10/2017

1 NARA Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 Office of the Secretary of Defense Document: Postponed in Part

until 10/2017

1 Pike Committee Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

2 US ARMY (Califano) Documents: Open in Full

1 US ARMY (Califano) Document: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

228 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

166 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

____________________________________________________

Notice of Formal Determinations

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

16 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

246 CIA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

9 DOJ Documents: Open in Full

8 DOJ Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

224 FBI Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

1 HSCA Document: Open in Full

1 HSCA Document: Postponed in Part until 05/2001

3 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/1999

2 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2003

15 HSCA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

105 NSA Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

18 PFIAB Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

3 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Open in Full

139 US ARMY (IRR) Documents: Postponed in Part until 10/2017

Bill, can you tell me if you know why the year 2017 is significant to the release of these docs, if at all? Besides that, it's my understanding that the information Jackie Kennedy stated she would allow to be put in the public record, fifty years after JFK's death, which would've put that at around the year 2013, has been postponed to the year 2038. I'll be 93 years old, if I live that long. What good can possibly come of it, if we're all dead and buried by that time?

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My campaign against Robert Gates has had some success. My page on him (written when I heard he had been nominated as defence secretary, is currently in 6th place on Google (5th on MSN)

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While in charge of the CIA's analytical division in the mid-1980s, Robert M. Gates made wildly erroneous predictions about the dangers posed by leftist-ruled Nicaragua and espoused policy prescriptions considered too extreme even by the Reagan administration, in one case advocating the U.S. bombing of Nicaragua.

Gates - now President George W. Bush's nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary - expressed his alarmist views about Nicaragua and the need to bomb the country's military targets in a secret Dec. 14, 1984, memorandum to then-CIA Director William Casey.

The memo has new relevance today because Gates's private advice to Casey suggests that Gates was either more of an extremist ideologue than many in Washington believe or he was pandering to Casey's personal zealotry.

Either possibility raises questions about Gates's fitness to run the Pentagon at a time when many observers believe it needs strong doses of realism and independence to stand up to both a strong-willed President and influential neoconservative theorists who promoted the invasion of Iraq.

The Iraq War - now exceeding the length of U.S. participation in World War II - has been marked by politicized intelligence, over-reliance on force, fear of challenging the insider tough-guy talk, and lack of respect for international law - all tendencies that Gates has demonstrated in his career.

In the 1980s, Gates was a Cold War hardliner prone to exaggerate the Soviet threat, which put him in the good graces of Reagan administration officials. They also rejected the growing evidence of a rapid Soviet decline in order to justify a massive U.S. military build-up and aggressive interventions in Third World conflicts.

Put in charge of the CIA's analytical division, which supposedly is dedicated to objective analysis, Gates instead pleased his boss Casey by taking an over-the-top view of the danger posed by Nicaragua, an impoverished Third World nation then ruled by leftist Sandinista revolutionaries who had ousted right-wing dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

Though Gates opens his December 1984 memo with the declaration that "it is time to talk absolutely straight about Nicaragua," he then ignores many relevant facts that get in the way of his thesis about the need to launch air strikes against Sandinista military targets and to overthrow the supposedly "Marxist-Leninist" regime.

For instance, Gates makes no mention of the fact that only a month earlier, the Sandinistas had won an election widely praised for its fairness by European and other international observers. But the Reagan administration had pressured pro-U.S. candidate Arturo Cruz into withdrawing when it became clear he would lose - and then denounced the election as a "sham."

Without assessing whether the Sandinistas had any real commitment to democracy, Gates adopts the Reagan administration's favored position - that Nicaragua's elected president Daniel Ortega was, in effect, a Soviet-style dictator.

"The Nicaraguan regime is steadily moving toward consolidation of a Marxist-Leninist government and the establishment of a permanent and well armed ally of the Soviet Union and Cuba on the mainland of the Western Hemisphere," Gates wrote to Casey.

The Gates assessment, however, turned out to be wrong. Rather than building a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, the Sandinistas competed six years later in a robust presidential election - even allowing the United States to pour in millions of dollars to help elect Washington's favored candidate, Violeta Chamorro.

The Sandinistas respected the election results, ceding power to Chamorro. The Sandinistas also have competed in subsequent elections with Ortega finally regaining the presidency in the latest election held in November 2006.

In the 1984 memo, Gates also promotes another right-wing canard of the era - that Nicaragua's procurement of weapons was proof of its aggressive intentions, not an attempt at national self-defense.

Again, Gates ignores significant facts, including a history starting in 1980 of first the right-wing Argentine junta and then the United States financing and training a brutal counterrevolutionary movement, known as the contras.

By 1984, the contras had earned a reputation for rape, torture, murder and terrorism - as they ravaged towns especially along Nicaragua's northern border. In 1983-84, the CIA also had used the cover of the contra war to plant mines in Nicaragua's harbors, an operation later condemned by the World Court.

But Gates offers none of this context in his five-page memo to Casey, a strong advocate of the contra cause. The memo makes no serious analytical attempt to gauge whether Nicaragua - the target of aggression by a nearby superpower, the United States - might have been trying to build up forces to deter more direct U.S. intervention.

Instead, Gates tells his boss what he wants to hear. "The Soviets and Cubans are turning Nicaragua into an armed camp with military forces far beyond its defensive needs and in a position to intimidate and coerce its neighbors," Gates wrote.

Gate also paints an apocalyptic vision of what might happen if the contras retreated to Honduras. According to Gates, the flight of the contras would touch off a new wave of refugees and destabilize the region.

"These unsettled political and military circumstances in Central America would undoubtedly result in renewed capital flight from Honduras and Guatemala and result in both new hardship and political instability throughout the region," Gates wrote.

This so-called "feet people" theme was another administration rationale for continuing the contra war against Nicaragua. But the truth was that right-wing "death squads" then operating in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras generated far more of a refugee flow than had followed the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua in 1979.

After laying out his premises, Gates moves to his conclusion - that there is no hope the Sandinistas will accept democracy, even if the contras were sustained in the field, and thus there was no choice but to oust the Sandinistas by force. Gates wrote:

It seems to me that the only way that we can prevent disaster in Central America is to acknowledge openly what some have argued privately: that the existence of a Marxist-Leninist regime in Nicaragua closely allied with the Soviet Union and Cuba is unacceptable to the United States and that the United States will do everything in its power short of invasion to put that regime out.

Hopes of causing the regime to reform itself for a more pluralistic government are essentially silly and hopeless. Moreover, few believe that all those weapons and the more to come are only for defense purposes.

Dressing up his recommendations as hardheaded realism, Gates added:

Once you accept that ridding the Continent of this regime is important to our national interest and must be our primary objective, the issue then becomes a stark one. You either acknowledge that you are willing to take all necessary measures (short of military invasion) to bring down that regime or you admit that you do not have the will to do anything about the problem and you make the best deal you can.

Casting aside all fictions, it is the latter course we are on. ... Any negotiated agreement simply will offer a cover for the consolidation of the regime and two or three years from now we will be in considerably worse shape than we are now."

Gates then calls for withdrawing diplomatic recognition of the Nicaraguan government, backing a government-in-exile, imposing an economic embargo on exports and imports "to maximize the economic dislocation of the regime," and launching "air strikes to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup (focusing particularly on the tanks and the helicopters)."

In the memo, Gates depicts those who would do less as weaklings and fools, including some administration officials who favored focusing on arranging new covert aid to the contras.

"These are hard measures," Gates wrote about his recommendations. "They probably are politically unacceptable. But it is time to stop fooling ourselves about what is going to happen in Central America. Putting our heads in the sand will not prevent the events that I outlined at the beginning of this note. ...

"The fact is that the Western Hemisphere is the sphere of influence of the United States. If we have decided totally to abandon the Monroe Doctrine, if in the 1980's taking strong actions to protect our interests despite the hail of criticism is too difficult, then we ought to save political capital in Washington, acknowledge our helplessness and stop wasting everybody's time."

More than two decades later, as the Senate rushes to confirm Gates as Rumsfeld's successor, neither the Republicans nor Democrats are showing much inclination to review Gates's troubling record.

But the Nicaragua-bombing memo alone should give the senators pause. One could readily imagine Gates playing into George W. Bush's predilections on Iraq by presenting similar dichotomies between doing the wise but "politically unacceptable" thing by escalating the violence or "putting our heads in the sand" to negotiate some cowardly compromise.

What's less clear is whether Gates actually believed his hard-line rhetoric in 1984 or was just parroting what he thought his boss wanted to hear.

Some longtime Gates watchers at the CIA believe Gates is essentially a "chameleon" who adapts to the colorations of whatever political environment he finds himself in. His mild-mannered style also has led powerful mentors to see what they wish to see in him.

So, is Gates a closet ideologue who shares his real views only with like-minded individuals like Casey or is he a skilled apple-polisher who curries favor with those above him by leaving them little presents like the Nicaragua-bombing memo for Casey.

Another striking aspect of the Nicaragua memo is that it proves what many Gates critics have alleged over the years - that he tossed aside the principles of objective analysis to position himself as a political/policy advocate.

Gates did that in the 1984 memo even while serving as the official responsible for protecting the integrity of the intelligence product. But Gates not only crossed the red line against entering the world of policy recommendations, he turned out to be wrong in virtually all his dire predictions.

None of his predictions proved true after the Reagan administration rejected Gates's extreme proposals. The Reagan administration did not create a Nicaraguan government-in-exile. Nor did it bomb Nicaragua's military targets. Instead, President Reagan ordered his subordinates to continue arranging financial and military support for the contras, an operation led by White House aide Oliver North.

Later, during George H.W. Bush's presidency, Secretary of State James Baker pushed a strategy of negotiations to resolve the bloody violence raging across Central America. Then, in 1990, the Bush I administration spent millions of dollars to support the Nicaraguan presidential candidacy of Violeta Chamorro against Daniel Ortega.

The Sandinistas permitted the elections to go forward despite the continued contra violence and despite the U.S. intervention in Nicaragua's internal politics. After Chamorro's victory, the Sandinistas accepted the outcome and went into opposition.

Despite Gates's apocalyptic vision, Nicaragua never hardened into a "Marxist-Leninist" dictatorship; it never used its military buildup against neighboring states; it turned out that hoping Nicaragua would become a pluralistic democracy wasn't "silly and hopeless"; Nicaragua even joined in regional peace negotiations that halted the political violence.

As it turned out Gates had favored policies to the right of Ronald Reagan - and was proven wrong in judgment after judgment after judgment.

Yet now two decades later, after a stint as president of Texas A&M, Gates is returning to Washington as a respected Wise Man who will be trusted to guide the United States out of the bloody debacle in Iraq.

Thankful that George W. Bush's first Defense Secretary is on his way out, the U.S. Senate seems determined to trust in Bush's wisdom in choosing a replacement. The Senate also appears ready to trust in the judgment of Robert M. Gates to make the right decisions about the Iraq War.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/112706.html

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I have argued on anther thread that John McCloy, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger manipulated Jimmy Carter to allow the Shah of Iran to enter the US and that this triggered the taking of the US hostages. This was the turning point in the Carter presidency. From now on, Carter was to be judged on his ability to free the American hostages.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3762

The next stage in this conspiracy involves George H. W. Bush, Ted Shackley, Rafael Quintero, Robert Gates and Richard Armitage. After Richard Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford brought in Bush as Director of the CIA. This was followed by Shackley being appointed as Deputy Director of Operations. He therefore became second-in-command of all CIA covert activity.

Shackley was hoping to eventually replace Bush as director of the CIA. However, the election of Jimmy Carter was a severe blow to his chances. Carter appointed an outsider, Stansfield Turner, as head of the CIA. He immediately carried out an investigation of into CIA covert activities. Turner eventually found out about Shackley’s “Secret Team”. He was especially worried about the activities of Edwin Wilson and the Nugan Hand Bank.

One of the men Wilson employed was former CIA officer Kevin P. Mulcahy. He became concerned about Wilson's illegal activities and sent a message about them to the agency. Shackley was initially able to block any internal investigation of Wilson. However, in April, 1977, the Washington Post, published an article on Wilson's activities stating that he may be getting support from "current CIA employees". Stansfield Turner ordered an investigation and discovered that both Shackley and Thomas G. Clines had close relationships with Wilson. Shackley was called in to explain what was going on. His explanation was not satisfactory and it was made clear that his career at the CIA had come to an end. Richard Helms, reportedly said: "Ted (Shackley) is what we call in the spook business a quadruple threat - Drugs, Arms, Money and Murder."

After leaving the CIA in September, 1979, Shackley formed his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business. He also joined with Thomas G. Clines, Raphael Quintero, and Ricardo Chavez (another former CIA operative) in another company called API Distributors. According to David Corn (Blond Ghost) Edwin Wilson provided Clines with "half a million dollars to get his business empire going". Shackley also freelanced with API but found it difficult taking orders from his former subordinate, Clines. Shackley also established his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business (in other words he sold them classified information from CIA files).

According to Daniel Sheehan: “In 1976, Richard Secord moved to Tehran, Iran and became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense in Iran, in charge of the Middle Eastern Division of the Defense Security Assistance Administration. In this capacity, Secord functioned as the chief operations officer for the U.S. Defense Department in the Middle East in charge of foreign military sales of U.S. aircraft, weapons and military equipment to Middle Eastern nations allied to the U.S. Secord's immediate superior was Eric Van Marbad, the former 40 Committee liaison officer to Theodore Shackley's Phoenix program in Vietnam from 1973 to 1975.”

From 1977 until 1979, Richard Armitage operated a business named The Far East Trading Company. This company was in fact merely a "front" for Armitage's secret operations conducting Vang Pao opium money out of Southeast Asia to Tehran and the Nugan Hand Bank in Australia to fund the ultra right-wing, private anti-communist "anti-terrorist" assassination program and "unconventional warfare" operation of Theodore Shackley's and Thomas Cline's "Secret Team". (Daniel P. Sheehan’s affidavit).

In his book, The Crimes of a President, Joel Bainerman argues that the "Secret Team" still used the Nugan Hand Bank to hide their illegal profits from drugs and arms. The President of the Nugan Hand Bank was Admiral Earl P. Yates, former Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning of US Forces in Asia. Other directors of the bank included Dale Holmgree (also worked for Civil Air Transport, a CIA proprietary company) and General Edwin F. Black, (commander of U.S. troops in Thailand during the Vietnam War). George Farris (a CIA operative in Vietnam) ran the Washington office of the Nugan Hand Bank and the bank’s legal counsel was William Colby.

The bank grew and had offices or affiliates in 13 countries. According to Jonathan Kwitny, Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, Crimes of Patriots), the bank did little banking. What it did do was to amass, move, collect and disburse great sums of money.

In 1980 Frank Nugan was found dead in his car. His co-founder, Michael Hand had disappeared at the same time. The Australian authorities were forced to investigate the bank. They discovered that Ricardo Chavez, the former CIA operative who was co-owner of API Distributors with Thomas G. Clines and Rafael Quintero, was attempting to take control of the bank. The Corporate Affairs Commission of New South Wales came to the conclusion that Chavez was working on behalf of Clines, Quintero and Wilson. They blocked the move but they were unable or unwilling to explore the connections between the CIA and the Nugan Hand Bank.

The Secret Team (Shackley, Thomas G. Clines, Richard Secord, Ricardo Chavez, Rafael Quintero, Albert Hakim, Edwin Wilson, and Richard L. Armitage set up several corporations and subsidiaries around the world through which to conceal the operations of the "Secret Team". Many of these corporations were set up in Switzerland. Some of these were: (1) Lake Resources, Inc.; (2) The Stanford Technology Trading Group, Inc.; and (3) Companie de Services Fiduciaria. Other companies were set up in Central America, such as: (4) CSF Investments, Ltd. and (5) Udall research Corporation. Some were set up inside the United States by Edwin Wilson. Some of these were: (6) Orca Supply Company in Florida and (7) Consultants International in Washington, D.C. Through these corporations the "Secret Team" laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of secret Vang Pao opium money.

Shackley had still not given up hope that he would eventually be appointed director of the CIA. His best hope was in getting Jimmy Carter defeated in 1980. Shackley had several secret meetings with George H. W. Bush as he campaigned for the Republican nomination (his wife, Hazel Shackley also worked for Bush). Ronald Reagan won the nomination but got the support of the CIA by selecting Bush as his vice president. According to Rafael Quintero, during the presidential campaign, Shackley met Bush almost every week.

It is believed that Shackley used his contacts in the CIA to provide information to Reagan and Bush. I believe this information came from Robert Gates. This included information that Carter was attempting to negotiate a deal with Iran to get the American hostages released. This was disastrous news for the Reagan/Bush campaign. If Carter got the hostages out before the election, the public perception of the man might change and he might be elected for a second-term.

According to Barbara Honegger, a researcher and policy analyst with the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, William Casey and other representatives of the Reagan presidential campaign made a deal at two sets of meetings in July and August at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid with Iranians to delay the release of Americans held hostage in Iran until after the November 1980 presidential elections. Reagan’s aides promised that they would get a better deal if they waited until Carter was defeated.

On 22nd September, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. The Iranian government was now in desperate need of spare parts and equipment for its armed forces. Carter now proposed that the US would be willing to hand over supplies in return for the hostages.

Once again, the CIA leaked this information to Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. This attempted deal was also passed to the media. On 11th October, the Washington Post reported rumours of a “secret deal that would see the hostages released in exchange for the American made military spare parts Iran needs to continue its fight against Iraq”.

In October, 1980, Shackley joined the company owned by Albert Hakim (he was paid $5,000 a month as a part-time “risk analyst”). Hakim was keen to use Shackley’s contacts to make money out of the Iran-Iraq War that had started the previous month.

A couple of days before the election Barry Goldwater was reported as saying that he had information that “two air force C-5 transports were being loaded with spare parts for Iran”. This was not true. However, this publicity had made it impossible for Jimmy Carter to do a deal. Ronald Reagan on the other hand, had promised the Iranian government that he would arrange for them to get all the arms they needed in exchange for the hostages. According to Mansur Rafizadeh, the former U.S. station chief of SAVAK, the Iranian secret police, CIA agents had persuaded Khomeini not to release the American hostages until Reagan was sworn in. In fact, they were released twenty minutes after his inaugural address (October Surprise).

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In his autobiography, Robert Gates puts the blame on William Casey for the Iran-Contra scandal. Oliver North also testified that Casey was the mastermind. Was this true. He was the ideal fall-guy as he could not answer back. Here is a chronology of our events unfolded.

In May 1986 Gene Wheaton told William Casey, Director of the CIA, about what he knew about the Iran-Contra operation. Casey refused to take any action, claiming that the agency or the government were not involved in what later became known as Irangate.

Gene Wheaton now took his story to Daniel Sheehan, a left-wing lawyer. Wheaton also contacted Newt Royce and Mike Acoca, two journalists based in Washington. The first article on this scandal appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 27th July, 1986. As a result of this story, Congressman Dante Facell wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, asking him if it "true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations." Two months later, Weinberger denied that the government knew about this illegal operation.

Charles Allen, a national intelligence officer for counter-terrorism, went to see Robert Gates on 1st October, 1986, and told him that he believed that the proceeds from the Iran arms sales may have been diverted to support the contras. Gates then passed this information onto Casey.

On 5th October a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, survived the crash and told his captors that he thought the CIA was behind the operation. Two days later, Roy Furmark, who was currently working for Adnan Khashoggi, told Casey that his boss was owed $10 million for his role played in the arms-hostages deal. Furmark also claimed that the man behind the deal was Oliver North.

On 9th October, Casey and Robert Gates had lunch with Oliver North. It seems that the CIA wanted to see the paperwork for the delivery of arms to Iran. Gates told North: "If you think it's that sensitive we can put it in the director's personal safe. But we need our copy." That afternoon, Casey appeared before two Congressional oversight committees, where he maintained that the CIA had nothing to do with the supplying of contras.

On 15th October, leaflets were given out in Tehran stating that high-ranking advisers to President Ronald Reagan had been visiting Iran the previous month to negotiate a deal to release hostages for arms. Two days later, Charles Allen provided Casey with a seven-page assessment of the "arms-hostage machinations". Allen wrote: "The government of the United States, along with the government of Israel, acquired substantial profit from these transactions, some of which profit was redistributed to other projects of the U.S. and of Israel."

Meanwhile, Eugene Hasenfus was providing information to his captors on two Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Salvador. This information was made public and it was not long before journalists managed to identify Raphael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez as the two men described by Hasenfus.

At the beginning of November, newspapers in the United States began running stories about the Iran-Contra conspiracy. On 6th November, President Reagan told reporters that the story that Robert McFarlane had been negotiating an arms for hostages deal "has no foundation". He also argued that he would not carry out talks with Iran as its government was part of "a new international version of Murder Incorporated".

On 21st November, Casey appeared again before the House Select Committee on Intelligence (HSCI). By this time it was public knowledge about the arms-hostages deal. Casey was asked who was responsible for what one committee member described as this "misguided policy". Casey replied: "I think it was the President". Casey also claimed that this was a National Security Council operation. As Bernard McMahon pointed out, "we came out believing the CIA had acted only in a support role at the direction of the White House".

The following day, two investigators working for Attorney General Edwin Meese, discovered important documents while searching Oliver North's office. These documents revealed that the profits on the Iranian arms deals amounted to $16.1 million. However, the Contras had only received $4 million and at least another $12.1 million had gone missing. It was later established that Richard Secord and his partners had taken at least $6.6 million in profits and commissions.

Casey was now summoned to appear before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. On Monday 8th December, he was questioned about the possibility of Iranian payments being diverted to Afghanistan. Two days later he appeared before the House Foreign Relations Committee (HFRC). He was questioned about when he first knew that money was being diverted from the profits of the hostage-arms deals. Casey claimed that he first heard about it from Edwin Meese. Members of the HFRC pointed out that Roy Furmark had already testified that he told casey about the deal as early as the 7th October. Casey was questioned for five and a half hours. One member said that "questioning Bill Casey was like punching a pillow". Another claimed: "He didn't seem to know what was going on in his own agency."

The following day Casey appeared before the House Select Committee on Intelligence (HSCI). Alan Fiers, a colleague at the CIA who also attended the session, remarked: He stumbled and fumbled. at times it seemed he couldn't talk. He had to be carried. He'd start to answer and wave to one of us to take over when his words or his facts failed him."

Casey was due to appear before the HSCI on 16th December. The day before, CIA physician, Dr. Arvel Tharp went to visit Casey in his office. According to Tharp, while he was being examined, Casey suffered a seizure. He was taken to Georgetown University Hospital and was not able to appear before the HSCI. Tharp told Casey he had a brain tumor and that he would have to endure an operation. Casey was not keen and asked if he could have radio therapy instead. However, Tharp was insistent that he needed surgery.

Casey entered the operating room on 18th December. The tumor was removed but during the operation, brain cells were damaged and Casey lost his ability to speak. As his biographer, Joseph E. Persico, points out (The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey): "one school of rumors ran, the CIA or the NSC or the White House had arranged to have a piece of the brain removed from the man who knew the secrets".

Robert Gates now became acting director of the CIA. He claimed that he was not involved in the Iran-Contra operation. As Lawrence E. Walsh pointed out in Iran-Contra: The Final Report (1993): "Gates consistently testified that he first heard on October 1, 1986, from the national intelligence officer who was closest to the Iran initiative, Charles E. Allen, that proceeds from the Iran arms sales may have been diverted to support the contras. Other evidence proves, however, that Gates received a report on the diversion during the summer of 1986 from DDI Richard Kerr. The issue was whether Independent Counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gates was deliberately not telling the truth when he later claimed not to have remembered any reference to the diversion before meeting with Allen in October."

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It is interesting to compare the Jack Ruby case with that of William Casey, who was likely to tell the HSCI what he knew about what he knew about the Iran-Contra conspiracy.

Casey was due to appear before the HSCI on 16th December. The day before, CIA physician, Dr. Arvel Tharp went to visit Casey in his office. According to Tharp, while he was being examined, Casey suffered a seizure. He was taken to Georgetown University Hospital and was not able to appear before the HSCI. Tharp told Casey he had a brain tumor and that he would have to endure an operation. Casey was not keen and asked if he could have radio therapy instead. However, Tharp was insistent that he needed surgery.

Casey entered the operating room on 18th December. The tumor was removed but during the operation, brain cells were damaged and Casey lost his ability to speak. As his biographer, Joseph E. Persico, points out (The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey): "one school of rumors ran, the CIA or the NSC or the White House had arranged to have a piece of the brain removed from the man who knew the secrets".

Robert Gates now became acting director of the CIA. He claimed that he was not involved in the Iran-Contra operation. As Lawrence E. Walsh pointed out in Iran-Contra: The Final Report (1993): "Gates consistently testified that he first heard on October 1, 1986, from the national intelligence officer who was closest to the Iran initiative, Charles E. Allen, that proceeds from the Iran arms sales may have been diverted to support the contras. Other evidence proves, however, that Gates received a report on the diversion during the summer of 1986 from DDI Richard Kerr. The issue was whether Independent Counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gates was deliberately not telling the truth when he later claimed not to have remembered any reference to the diversion before meeting with Allen in October."

This is astounding information John. Is there a book or other source you recommended for further research?

Thanks.

The best source on the Iran-Contra scandal is Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation. See the following: Final Report: Iran-Contra (1993) and Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up (1997).

Robert Parry's Secrecy & Priviledge: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004) is also well worth reading.

The most detailed book I have seen on Casey is Joseph E. Persico's The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey (1990). Persico is not a conspiracy theorist but he provides enough information to enable you to work it out yourself. Robert Gates' book, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996), where he puts the blame on Casey is also worth reading. However, make sure you have a copy of Walsh's two books by your side so you can see how Gates lies about his involvement in the case.

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