Bush’s ‘October Surprise’ File in Dispute

Exclusive: The enduring October Surprise mystery – whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran – has reached a possible turning point, whether details of George H.W. Bush’s activities on a key day will be released, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The National Archives is reconsidering its initial refusal to release Secret Service records regarding the whereabouts of George H.W. Bush on Oct. 19, 1980, when the then-Republican vice presidential candidate is alleged by some witnesses to have secretly traveled to Paris for illicit meetings with Iranian officials.

Gary M. Stern, general counsel for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), told me that a “serious review” is under way regarding my complaint that an earlier decision – to withhold that information out of concern for the safety of Secret Service agents – made no sense.

Stern said a decision is likely in the next couple of weeks, a time frame that suggests that Bush’s approval is being sought before any final decision is reached. Under existing rules, Bush could assert executive privilege to prevent a release, but that could be overturned by President Barack Obama or the White House counsel’s office.

For the past two decades, the senior George Bush has resisted releasing this information, even when it was sought by congressional investigators in 1992 as part of an inquiry into whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign went behind President Jimmy Carter’s back to delay release of 52 Americans then held hostage in Iran, the so-called October Surprise controversy.

Though redacted Secret Service reports were released in the early 1990s showing that Bush was taking that weekend off in Washington (with two non-public visits on Oct. 19, 1980), key details of those movements were whited-out, including the destination of an afternoon trip.

As the sitting president in 1992, Bush stopped the congressional investigators from checking out his presumed alibi, thus raising questions about whether some friendly Secret Service supervisor might have simply created false reports as a cover story for Bush’s trip to Paris. Under that scenario, Bush might have feared a full investigation would have uncovered the subterfuge.

Carter’s failure to gain release of the American hostages before Election Day 1980 was a key factor in Reagan’s landslide victory, which carried Bush along as vice president (and paved the way to his ascension to the White House in 1989). Iran released the hostages after Bush and Reagan were sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981.

The issue of Bush’s October 1980 Secret Service records resurfaced recently when Bush’s presidential library in College Station, Texas, released a few thousand pages of records related to the October Surprise case in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that I filed several years ago.

However, a thousand or so pages were still withheld on national security grounds or – in the case of Bush’s Secret Service records – as necessary to protect law-enforcement procedures. Noting the 30-plus years since the records were created, I filed an appeal to NARA headquarters.

That appeal was promptly rejected by Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall, who wrote to me on July 26 saying the U.S. Secret Service logs “contain the identities of USSS agents. Based on the numerous court decisions upholding the withholding of agents and third person names, I affirm our initial determination that releasing these names could endanger the life or physical safety of the agents of the USSS.”

Old Secrets

My first reaction was to assume that Wall must not have understood what I was after. How on earth could an address supposedly visited by George H.W. Bush on Oct. 19, 1980, endanger the lives of Secret Service agents today?

Unable to reach Wall by phone, I sent an e-mail to Robert Holzweiss, chief archivist at the Bush library, and noted that “Ms. Wall did not seem to address the central point of my request. … All I was after was the address where Mr. Bush purportedly went on the afternoon of Oct. 19, 1980. Ms. Wall does not specifically deal with that point and I fear she may have misunderstood the purpose of my appeal. …

“Frankly, it stretches credulity that where a vice presidential candidate might have gone on an afternoon more than 30 years ago would somehow put Secret Service agents or those they protect in any jeopardy. …

“The irony is that this information could put to rest, once and for all, suspicions that Mr. Bush took part in a scheme to contact Iranian officials behind President Carter’s back. So, this detail does have historic significance, which should be weighed against any countervailing concerns, especially given how far-fetched those concerns appear to be.”

In my e-mail, I requested that officials at the National Archives rethink their response. After a couple of more weeks – and after I had written a story about the continued secrecy – I got word back from Holzweiss that the Archives was reexamining its response.

When I interviewed NARA general counsel Stern on Thursday, he said the review would probably be completed in a couple of weeks, stressed that the review was “serious,” and suggested I postpone any decision about a court appeal until after that review is completed.

Regarding presidential records from past administrations, ex-presidents continue to have some sway over what does or does not get released. In recent years, those rules also have become a tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats with Republican presidents often giving ex-presidents wider discretion to block releases and Democrats narrowing that authority.

After George W. Bush became president in 2001, one of his first acts in office was to issue an executive order delaying the scheduled release of documents from the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

After the 9/11 attacks later in 2001, the junior George Bush expanded his executive order to give the Bush Family indefinite veto power over which of their White House records would ever get released, even passing the privilege down to subsequent generations of Bushes.

On Jan. 21, 2009, one of Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to revoke the Bush Family’s power over that history and to replace it with a more flexible set of regulations for accessing the records. However, ex-presidents still have a significant say.

A living ex-president can invoke executive privilege regarding any planned release of a document, a process that then requires the Archivist to consult with the Justice Department and the White House counsel regarding whether to honor the ex-president’s claim of privilege.

In other words, if former President George H.W. Bush invoked executive privilege to protect the disclosure of his whereabouts as listed in the Secret Service records, the Obama administration would have to decide whether it wanted to respect that privilege claim. If not, the Archivist could disclose the disputed record over Bush’s protests.

On Thursday, NARA general counsel Stern declined to give details about the review process under way. However, the review’s time frame, requiring another couple of weeks, suggests a consultation process may be occurring along the lines of what Obama’s executive order prescribes.

The Enduring Mystery

The drawn-out dispute over Bush’s whereabouts on that Sunday in October 1980 now stretches over more than two decades, from when the Secret Service initially agreed to release only redacted copies of Bush’s travel records – even to federal prosecutors and Congress.

Though most investigators – both inside and out of government – gave great weight to the Secret Service records vouching for Bush’s apparent presence in the Washington area that day, Bush’s refusal to fill in the blanks created suspicions that he might have gotten a friendly supervisor on the Secret Service detail to cook up some movements as a cover story.

Another part of Bush’s alibi for Oct. 19 – a morning trip to the Chevy Chase Country Club – previously collapsed when no one at the club recalled the visit and the account from Secret Service supervisor Leonard Tanis, who described a brunch also involving Barbara Bush and Justice and Mrs. Potter Stewart, turned out to be false.

Disproving Tanis’s account, Mrs. Bush’s Secret Service records showed her taking a morning jog along the C&O Canal, and Mrs. Stewart told me that she and her late husband never had brunch with the Bushes at the Chevy Chase club.

When questioned by congressional investigators, none of the other Secret Service agents on the detail recalled going to the Chevy Chase club at all. After his Chevy Chase story was debunked, Tanis – a Secret Service official who was known to be personally close to Bush – withdrew it

That left Bush’s supposed afternoon trip on Oct. 19 as his key alibi. But there were problems with that story as well.

In 1992, when allegations of Bush’s secret trip to Paris in 1980 were being investigated, Republicans suggested that Democrats were simply trying to embarrass the then-President because the afternoon trip might have involved a rendezvous with a woman.

Since Bush’s reelection campaign was matching up against Democrat Bill Clinton, who was under fire for his own womanizing, the GOP complaint boiled down to that the Democrats were looking for dirt against Bush to counter the dirt against Clinton.

However, that Republican argument also fell apart when Mrs. Bush’s Secret Service records showed her participating in the afternoon trip. Given Barbara Bush’s presence, the idea of a romantic tryst certainly didn’t make much sense.

So, either Mrs. Bush had gone together with her husband on the outing or a sympathetic Secret Service official had used Mrs. Bush’s visit to a family friend to create another false cover story for George H.W. Bush.

Two decades ago, with Bush in the White House and the Democrats almost as timid as they are today, it proved relatively easy for the sitting president to quash requests from federal prosecutors, congressional investigators and journalists for release of the details about his whereabouts on Oct. 19, 1980.

While keeping these details from the public, Bush angrily insisted that he be cleared of the Paris allegations. Congressional investigators looking into the 1980 suspicions were eager to comply, but there remained this peculiar refusal of the Bush administration to supply a confirmable alibi.

In June 1992, a compromise of sorts was struck. A few senior congressional investigators were given the identity of Bush’s mysterious host but only under the condition that they would never interview the alibi witness nor disclose publicly who it was.

The deal may have represented the first time in investigative history that a suspect provided authorities an alibi witness with the proviso that the alibi not be checked out – and the investigators agreed. Maybe only a member of the Bush Family could pull that off.

Evidence of a Paris Trip

Contradicting the shaky Secret Service records were several accounts of a Bush trip to Paris on the night of Oct. 18, 1980, and into the day on Oct. 19.

For instance, I informed the congressional investigators in 1992 about contemporaneous knowledge of the Bush-to-Paris trip provided to me by Chicago Tribune reporter John Maclean, son of author Norman Maclean who wrote A River Runs Through It.

John Maclean said a well-placed Republican source told him in mid-October 1980 about Bush taking a secret trip to Paris to meet with Iranians on the U.S. hostage issue.

After hearing this news in 1980, Maclean passed on the information to David Henderson, a State Department Foreign Service officer. Henderson recalled the date as Oct. 18, 1980, when the two met at Henderson’s Washington home to discuss another matter.

For his part, Maclean never wrote about the Bush-to-Paris leak because, he told me later, a Reagan campaign spokesman officially denied it. As the years passed, the memory of the leak faded for both Henderson and Maclean, until the October Surprise story bubbled to the surface in the early 1990s.

Henderson mentioned the meeting in a 1991 letter to a U.S. senator that was forwarded to me. Though not eager to become part of the October Surprise story in 1991, Maclean confirmed that he had received the Republican leak. He also agreed with Henderson’s recollection that their conversation occurred on or about Oct. 18, 1980.

The significance of the Maclean-Henderson conversation was that it was a piece of information locked in time untainted by later claims and counter-claims about the October Surprise dispute.

One could not accuse Maclean of concocting the Bush-to-Paris allegation for some ulterior motive, since he hadn’t used it in 1980, nor had he volunteered it a decade later. He only confirmed it – and did so reluctantly.

French Intelligence

And, there was other support for the allegations of a Republican-Iranian meeting in Paris.

David Andelman, the biographer for Count Alexandre deMarenches, then head of France’s Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre-Espionage (SDECE), testified to congressional investigators that deMarenches told him that he had helped the Reagan-Bush campaign arrange meetings with Iranians on the hostage issue in summer and fall of 1980, with one meeting in Paris in October.

Andelman said deMarenches insisted that the secret meetings be kept out of his memoir because the story could otherwise damage the reputations of his friends, William Casey and George H.W. Bush.

The allegations of a Paris meeting also received support from several other sources, including pilot Heinrich Rupp, who said he flew Casey (then Ronald Reagan’s campaign chief and later CIA director) from Washington’s National Airport to Paris on a flight that left very late on a rainy night in mid-October 1980.

Rupp said that after arriving at LeBourget airport outside Paris, he saw a man resembling Bush on the tarmac.

The night of Oct. 18 indeed was rainy in the Washington area. And, sign-in sheets at the Reagan-Bush headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, placed Casey within a five-minute drive of National Airport late that evening.

There were other bits and pieces of corroboration about the Paris meetings.

A French arms dealer, Nicholas Ignatiew, told me in 1990 that he had checked with his government contacts and was told that Republicans did meet with Iranians in Paris in mid-October 1980.

A well-connected French investigative reporter Claude Angeli said his sources inside the French secret service confirmed that the service provided “cover” for a meeting between Republicans and Iranians in France on the weekend of Oct. 18-19. German journalist Martin Kilian had received a similar account from a top aide to intelligence chief deMarenches.

As early as 1987, Iran’s ex-President Bani-Sadr had made similar claims about a Paris meeting, and Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe claimed to have been present outside the meeting and saw Bush, Casey and other Americans in attendance.

A Russian Report

Finally, the Russian government sent a report to the House Task Force, saying that Soviet-era intelligence files contained information about Republicans holding a series of meetings with Iranians in Europe, including one in Paris in October 1980.

“William Casey, in 1980, met three times with representatives of the Iranian leadership,” the Russian report said. “The meetings took place in Madrid and Paris.”

At the Paris meeting in October 1980, “former CIA Director George Bush also took part,” the report said. “The representatives of Ronald Reagan and the Iranian leadership discussed the question of possibly delaying the release of 52 hostages from the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran.”

Requested by Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, who was in charge of a lackadaisical congressional inquiry into the October Surprise mystery in 1992, the Russian report arrived via the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in January 1993. But Hamilton’s task force had already decided to dismiss the October Surprise allegations as lacking solid evidence.

The Russian report was kept hidden until I discovered it after gaining access to the task force’s raw files. Though the report was addressed to Hamilton, he told me last year that he had not seen the report until I sent him a copy shortly before our interview.

Lawrence Barcella, the task force’s chief counsel, acknowledged to me that he might not have shown Hamilton the report and may have simply filed it away in boxes of task force records. [For more on Casey’s European travels, see Consortiumnews.com’s “October Surprise Evidence Surfaces.”]

A Cover-up

Though the Bush library continues to withhold the details about Bush’s purported afternoon trip on Oct. 19, 1980, thousands of other records were released to me this summer under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents shed some additional light on how far the Republicans were prepared to go to protect Bush on the October Surprise issue. The records reveal that GOP members of the congressional investigative task force were collaborating, behind the scenes, with Bush’s White House on a strategy for shielding Bush from the accusations.

For instance, Bush’s White House and Capitol Hill Republicans worked hand in glove to blackball from the task force one Democratic investigator who had the strongest doubts about Bush’s alibi. The suspicions of the investigator, House Foreign Affairs Committee chief counsel Spencer Oliver, had been piqued by the false account from Secret Service supervisor Tanis.

In a six-page memo, Oliver urged a closer look at Bush’s whereabouts and questioned why the Secret Service was concealing the alibi witness’ name.

“Why did the Secret Service refuse to cooperate on a matter which could have conclusively cleared George Bush of these serious allegations?” Oliver asked. “Was the White House involved in this refusal? Did they order it?”

Oliver also noted Bush’s odd behavior in raising the October Surprise issue on his own at two news conferences.

“It can be fairly said that President Bush’s recent outbursts about the October Surprise inquiries and [about] his whereabouts in mid-October of 1980 are disingenuous at best,” wrote Oliver, “since the administration has refused to make available the documents and the witnesses that could finally and conclusively clear Mr. Bush.”

From the newly released White House documents, it is clear that Oliver’s suspicion was well-founded about the involvement of Bush’s White House staff in the decision to conceal the name of the supposed host. The withheld copies of the Secret Service records were in files belonging to senior officials of Bush’s White House counsel’s office.

Keeping Oliver off the October Surprise investigation also became a high priority for the Republicans. At a midway point in the inquiry when some Democratic task force members asked the knowledgeable Oliver to represent them as a staff investigator, Republicans threatened a boycott unless Oliver was barred.

In a gesture of bipartisanship, Rep. Hamilton gave the Republicans the power to veto Oliver’s participation. Denied one of the few Democratic investigators with both the savvy and courage to pursue a serious inquiry, the Democratic members of the task force retreated. [For more, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Inside the October Surprise Cover-up.“]

Now, two decades after the failed congressional inquiry and more than three decades after the events in question, the issue has turned to whether former President George H.W. Bush will continue to resist the release of his whereabouts on that rainy Sunday, Oct. 19, 1980.

[For more on these topics, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep, now available in a two-book set for the discount price of only $19. For details, click here.]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book,Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

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27 comments on “Bush’s ‘October Surprise’ File in Dispute

  1. It is painfully obvious that when George H.W. Bush was in Paris during October of 1980, it was not for the purpose of having a romantic rendezvous with his geriatric wife, Barbara. Yes, Bush had a mistress as much as Eisenhower and FDR. However, Bush was in Paris to serve as the “money man” in the hostage deal made by William Casey in exhcange for the release of the Americans to coincide with Reagan’s inauguration in January of 1981. It appears that the behavior of the Iranians militants and angry student was more honorable than the behavior of St. Ronald Raygun and his henchmen, all of whom did whatver they could for him to be elected in 1980. I think that inflation and the stagnant economy would have been enough for a Repugnantcan victory, but Reagan sealed the deal with his decision to empower the Evangelical Christians, with help from Jerry Falwell, and his negotiations with Iranian terrorists; the empowerment of Christian conservatives had more consequences for American politics by undermining the separation of church and state, especially after the election “victories” of George W. Bush.
    Paul Haider, Chicago

    • Other than false accusations and innuendo, you’ve said absolutely nothing! There has never been news of Reagan or either Bush having an affair (and, if you consider the tabloid fodder to be news, you’re dumber than your post leads me to think you are).
      Having said that, I can only surmise the rest of your accusations, “…the Evangelical Christians, with help from Jerry Falwell and his negotiations with Iranian terrorists…” to be worthless!

      • Why would anyone trust the post WW II US corporate media? There was never any ‘news’ of a conspiracy to murder JFK in Dallas, TX. But the bulk of the evidence of a right wing political and CIA conspiracy was ignored by the official media and the Warren Commission. Even when Oswald was murdered before a trial, in a Dallas Police Station, a visible indication of a coverup of a conspiracy, the press found no ‘news’ of more than one lone Book Depository gunman. But there were at least two men involved, both were labeled by the press as ‘lone’ gunmen. A half dozen premature deaths in the months and years afterwards of witnesses and associated persons were ‘lone events’ and the connections with the assassination of JFK was ignored. There was never a trial. The official report was never proved. But the press accepted it as the only set of facts worth repeating as ‘news’ to the public. Even when RFK was assassinated, after vowing to investigate JFK’s murder, no right wing political or CIA connection was made between the two ‘lone’ assassination events. Imagine if both HW Bush and GW Bush had been assassinated, one while in office and one on the campaign trial. We would still be hearing about it in 2011.

  2. Ethan Allen on said:

    Robert,

    I, for one, completely agree with your relentless pursuit of this historical example of traitorous corruption. It must be emphasized that this is not solely a partisan situation to be considered simplistically in terms of Republican or Democrat party affiliation; it does, however, identify the collusion of CONservative factions in both parties when it come to their willingness to corrupt both our political process and the government that it is designed to issue. As you have so carefully documented on so many occasions, the conspicuous coincidence of the repeated reappearance of ‘players’, such as Lee Hamilton, being placed in positions of authority over official investigations into corrupt activities, dramatically calls out, in and of itself, for serious investigation. Mr. Hamilton, along with Tom Ridge, is, yet again, presently being trotted out as our government’s official historical spokesperson on the events of 9/11; how unfortunate it is that the citizens of this country, especially during this time of hardship and political confusion, should be subjected to the ethically corrupted musings of these two revisionist charlatans.

  3. To begin with, I am a lifelong Democrat. I also believe that politicians’ personal lives should be their own business, as they were until the 1970s. And I’ve also written a book arguing that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK as part of a conspiracy.

    The identity of Bush’s long-term extramarital partner is well known, and it is a thousand times more likely that he spent that day with her than that he was flying to and from Paris for a mysterious meeting. She was presumably the alibi witness.

    I do not say that I know this for certain but it is clearly the most likely explanation.

    • I don't trust David Kaiser on said:

      I read Kaiser’s book and found it laughably bad, notwithstanding that “I’m a lifelong Democrat who believes in conspiracies” smokescreen he suggests here. If Kaises is a lifelong Democrat, he’s a very patriotic, pro-military, pro-CIA Democrat, and he wrote a book endorsing that silly “the mafia did it” conspiracy about JFK’s murder, which has never made a lick of sense and is only put out there sometimes now because it’s so insanely indefensible at this point to claim that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK alone. Nontrustworthy source.

      • “because it’s so insanely indefensible at this point to claim that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK alone”

        No, it is not indefensible. It just isn’t marketable. No one is going to buy a book saying the Warren Commission got the basic facts correct, so if you want to make a buck writing a book about JFK in Dallas, you have to claim something different.

      • “..a lifelong Democrat, who believes in conspiracies,” solves the riddle of why Bill Clinton committed federal perjury, the Senate (democrats, that is) let him off and then Hillary wrote it was “a Right Wing attempt to discredit his administration.”
        Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    • Jo Lowrey on said:

      Mr Bani-Sadr, former President of Iran, referred to this in his book “My Turn to Speak: Iran, the Revolution & Secret Deals with the U.S’, published in France, buried in the U.S. Makes one wonder what really happened to the Carter’s administration’s hostage rescue effort.

  4. Tom Sciamanna on said:

    It’s more than likely that the elder Bush was CIA since the early 50s. His daddy, Prescott, was a dear friend of Allen Dulles, the first head of the CIA. It is also likely that Poppy Bush cooperated in the Bay of Pigs operation. (Zapata oil was a Bush operation. The invasion was code named: Operation Zapata!) H.W. is still not very clear as to where he was on 11/22/63. (Daddy Prescott loathed JFK for firing Allen Dulles.) He was appointed head of the CIA by President Ford, where he successfully stone walled Congressional investigations about Company excesses and the assassinations of the 60s. Would he have taken part in an October surprise? Of course he would have. Nixon negotiated with the South Vietnamese before the 1968 elections, urging them to hold out until he gained the White House. He promised them a better deal. Do Republicans cheat? Does a bear do you-know-what in the woods? As Casey Stengel used to say: “You could look it up.” My hope is that the author look often in his rear-view mirror as he pursues his investigation of one of the most corrupt families in US history. At the same time, I wish him good luck. The truth will only help insure the survival of the Republic.

    • What’s the story with Prescott and Hitler. I wouldn’t be surprised if because of oil the Bush clan wasn’t
      involved in the Kennedy assination….just think they would be involved in three horrible things that happened
      in the US, if you include the Iranian problem. And to think the last Bush if he had just had a little more time
      he could have used his Hooveromics to pull off a depression worst than the one before…what a lousy family.
      I won’t even start with Cheney! Now isn’t it nice that he has that wonderful invention to keep his kind, kind
      heart beating at our expense?

      • Tom Sciamanna on said:

        Get hold of Russell Baker’s book, (Family Secrets)? It lays out the history of the Bush clan and the development of their banking activities. No mystery. The US government considered prosecuting the Family for violation of the Trading With The Enemy Act. Their money aided and abetted the Nazi state in Germany. Prescott Bush loathed John Kennedy for firing his good friend, Allen Dulles, whose planned failure at the Bay of Pigs enfuriated the President. When you look at Allen Dulles’ career in the OSS and the CIA and the closeness of Prescott Bush to this scoundrel, you will understand many things. Dulles imported the Nazi spy chief’s (Gehlen) spy network to work for the CIA. Bushes? Nazis? Dulles? Indeed. Their goal was to make the world safe for corporations. The Republic be damned. What a sorry bunch.

      • You forget the Bush/Saudi connection. Bandar “Bush”, Saudi ambassoitor to the US for a long time, till suddenly he suddenly flew home, never to return. Why? Why were the Bushes so tight with the House of Saud? At best, the connection stinks to hell. And the redacted 20some pages of the 9/11 commish report? Connections to Saudi officials? Connections to Bandar maybe?

  5. Rick Drake on said:

    Poppy Bush, to this day, says he can’t remember where he was on Nov 22, 1963! I have friends who don’t even live in the USA who remember where they were that day. He’s a liar and worse!

  6. Archie1954 on said:

    All the Bushes are traitors, it’s in their genetics. They hail from a long line of traitors going back a hundred years. They were Nazi supporters and made millions working against the best interests of their own country and still do. Can’t the American people understand that? Why are they so ignorant of their own history?

    • Because there’s no reason for the American school system to educate our children about the possible corruption in our vaunted system of government or the U.S. Media to pursue it as there are much more lucrative stories everyday to actually follow a story that used to be the reason for their existence.

  7. They decide to come out with this old story now?Should have done this years ago it would have had impact on our government.We dont negociate with terrorist!!!???

    • Philip Tarnofsky on said:

      They did come out with this story many times, they even made a documentary about called COVEREUP! Look IT UP!

      • Kay Rout on said:

        Cover Up was a documentary about 20 minutes long on the Iran-Contra deal, not about the 1980 hostage crisis.

  8. I think all words have been said ,what bothers other governments is they had to go allong with their lies thus lying to their folks to get what the bushes wanted,allways pleading for help ,,lying at same time!!

  9. Many think that democracy died with Kennedy, but the crook Nixon was forced to resign and laws enacted to outlaw his form of political corruption of money for policy, showing it still had some life into the 70′s. The four Supreme Court justices Nixon appointed enshrined his corrupt politics in the Constitution by ruling that money in politics is protected speech in 1976.
    This set off a bidding war between the parties to sell out the public’s interest. The Democrats were winning because they had the power. Republicans needed to seize power to be competitive. This is the importance of the 1980 October Surprise, Bush’s treasonous undermining of US foreign policy which copied what Nixon had done in 1968.
    Robert Parry deserves an award for refusing to let this fulcrum event fade into history. It was the founding act of the era we now inhabit. It marks the death of democracy from which the country has never recovered.

  10. “Carter’s failure to gain release of the American hostages before Election Day 1980 was a key factor in Reagan’s landslide victory……”

    Are you kidding me?

    Could the fact that the Jimmy Carter almost single handedly destroyed the American economy have anything to do with his huge loss to Reagan. People were dismayed with Jimmy and voted him out. You are about to see the same thing happen again next year.

    Anytime I read an article like this that is full of I, and me, I get the feeling that the author is needing someone to justify his attempt to sensationalize a non issue. Can’t you just stick with the Kennedy Conspiracy?

  11. Paul Magill Smith on said:

    What is equally important to further investigate, and perhaps as devastating to the social fabric of this country, is the suppressed allegations GHW Bush, Ollie North, and the CIA were responsible for the intentional introduction of crack cocaine into the US during the Iran-Contra scandal. Evils attributed to Italian Mafia gangsters pale in comparison to the generations of dirty un-American anti-patriotic deeds visited upon us by the Bush mobsters.

  12. Meremark on said:

    Wayne Madsen has published the deposition of the owner/president of Sun Shipbuilding associated with the Navy site in Philadelphia. The man died one recent year. The USG bought his shipyard and ‘converted’ it, in recent years.

    The story is the arms (Tomahawk missiles and more) bound for Iran (in exchange for hostages) was loaded on the SS Poet in the 4th (aft-most) cargo hold and welded shut. At the Sun Shipbuilding yard, (as I recall but all this is off the top of my head and fallible; anyway, the Sun yard owner told of personally knowing that military hardware was in the aft cargo hold which was welded shut). Then the SS Poet loaded corn in the other three cargo holds, ostensibly bound for Port Said, Egypt.

    Where it never arrived. Indeed, some sort of documents (Madsen claims) of observers at the Strait of Gibraltar, keeping constant surveillance and logs of passing ships, shows the Poet never entered the Mediterranean.

    Instead, further tracing circumstantially shows the Poet rounded Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, and eventually (Madsen gives dates) entered the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz observed, and off-loaded the arms at an Iranian port.

    Then the Poet with its crew of 34 started back, getting as far as the Gulf of Oman, where unidentified (suspected Israeli) fighter jet(s) straifed and sunk it. 34 crewmen murdered on the high seas.

    Possibly by orders and with knowledge of GHWBush. The thing is, murder has no statute of limitations. Bush can yet be charged 30 years later.

    Madsen’s disclosure was assembled in successive pieces, as the boss from Sun Ship supplied information, over the course of time from Jan.’07 to Aug.’09, and continuing, I suppose.

    Visit this site — http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/sitemap — and search in the page for several instances of ‘Poet’ headlines on developments advancing the story. Madsen’s reports archives require a subscription fee but I could bring the SS Poet material here, in whole or part, IF any one is interested further in it and hasn’t got subscriber access.

    -

    This ‘Surprise’ anniversary, Oct.20, 2011, Dubya Bush is scheduled to speak in British Columbia, Canada. Actions are underway to arrest him if he crosses the border, according to Canadian law as a signatory of the Int’l Criminal Court, pursuant to complaints filed with the ICC and therefrom summons/subpoena issued and outstanding. (USA is not signatory of ICC.)

  13. Tom Sciamanna’s post above concerning the connections between Prescott Bush and Allen Dulles, George HW Bush and his overt and covert CIA credentials merits further discussion.

    Former Yalie Scull and Bonesman George H W “Pappy” Bush was the first professional spy elected President of the United States. His career progression included a stint as Director of Central Intelligence and Chair of the Republican Party. Even if someone comes from a very prominent political family with big time connections to powerful Washington political elites, how could Bush have ever even temporarily hold the post of CIA Director if he had no prior background experience in national security matters either in the civilian intelligence or military intelligence establishments?

    The mainstream US media always highlighted the former KGB credentials of top Russian politicians like Andropov and Putin. It continues to amaze me that this parallel credential in George H W Bush’s distinguished American career progression resume is scarcely mentioned, even today. To be the first spy to actually get elected and run the White House is a singular achievement in the long history of the US presidency.

    Spy culture is different than military culture, law enforcement culture, business culture, partisan electoral culture, academic culture, or the other background variables of the men who have held the office of President. The core value of spycraft is deception – conscious, deliberate lying elevated into a pure, high art form. Small wonder it has taken tenacious journalists like Robert Parry over thirty years to only partially peel back the artfully crafted layers of cover story, disinformation and misinformation surrounding historic events like the October surprize and Iran Contra.

    An issue that should be squarely addressed is whether spy culture is compatible with the principles of democratic government at all. Personally, I think it’s an oil and water phenomenon. The chilling remarks to author Ron Suskind of one of George W Bush’s top advisors (presumably Karl Rove) about how, in the post-911 world, we’ve entered an age in which “history’s actors” can act to “create our own reality” is what happens when spooks take charge of running the show.

    Bill from Saginaw