John Simkin Posted May 22, 2006 Share Posted May 22, 2006 Robert Parry has worked as a journalist for The Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS Frontline and has reported from Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Israel and Haiti. In the 1980s Robert Parry broke many of the stories that later became known as the Iran-Contra affair. Those stories included the first story about the White House network led by Oliver North. He also co-authored the first story about Nicaraguan contra-cocaine trafficking. In 1984 Robert Parry won the George Polk Award for National Reporting. Robert Parry, who has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Journalism, is the author of Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, The Press & Project Truth (1992), The October Surprise X-Files: The Hidden Origins of the Reagan-Bush Era ( 1996) and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004). He also runs the Consortium News website. (1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an investigative journalist? (2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian? (3) How do you decide about what to write about? (4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research into controversial issues will get you into trouble with those who have power and influence? (5) Did the publication of Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & "Project Truth." (1999) and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004) cause you any problems? (6) Did you have any problems having your books published? Would it have been easier and better for your career if you wrote a book saying that George Bush and Ronald Reagan were telling the truth about the Iran-Contra scandal? (7) On page 3 of Lost History you argue that America’s secret history “is in danger of being lost, possibly forever”. You add that this is because that the “national news media is absorbed by tabloid journalism and disinterested in serious research.” I agree that this was the case before the emergence of the web. Are you more optimistic about the exposure of the “secret history” in 2006? (8) In Lost History you argue that the 1970s journalists had some notable successes such as Watergate and the publication of Pentagon Papers. However, is it possible that these were examples of a “limited hangout”. According to Victor Marchetti, a top CIA agent: “A limited hangout is spy jargon for a favourite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phoney cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting - sometimes even volunteering some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.” The two editors who take the credit for Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, Ben Bradlee (Washington Post) and Abe Rosenthal (New York Times) have a long record of covering up important political scandals and were very much under the influence of “Operation Mockingbird”. Is it possible that the truth about Watergate and the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK was never revealed during the 1960s and 1970s? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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