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Imperial Bush
A closer look at the Bush record -- from the war in Iraq to the war on the environment

2004 Campaign
Will Americans take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?

Behind Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.

The 2000 Campaign
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign

Media Crisis
Is the national media a danger to democracy?

The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment

Nazi Echo
Pinochet & Other Characters

The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics

Contra Crack
Contra drug stories uncovered

Lost History
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups

The October Surprise "X-Files"
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed

From free trade to the Kosovo crisis

Other Investigative Stories



A Brief History of

By Robert Parry, Editor
December 21, 2004

We founded the Web site in 1995, back in the "early days" of the modern Internet. The site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories that weren't welcome in the O.J. Simpson-obsessed, conventional-wisdom-driven national news media of that time.

As one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.

Also by 1995, documents were emerging that put the history of the 1980s in a new – and more troubling – light. Yet, there were fewer and fewer media outlets interested in that history. The memories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were enveloped in warm-and-fuzzy myths that represented another kind of danger: false history that could lead to mistaken political judgments in the future.

So, with my eldest son Sam serving as technical adviser (he was in his early 20s so the Internet didn't seem that strange to him), we started what we called "the Internet's first investigative 'Zine" in November 1995.

Some of our articles reexamined important chapters of the 1980s (such as the “October Surprise” controversy from Election 1980 and evidence of Nicaraguan contra-cocaine trafficking). Other stories explored current crises (such as the War in Kosovo and the impeachment assault on President Bill Clinton).

Author Norman Solomon and I produced a groundbreaking series on the real story behind Colin Powell's legend. Another series examined how Rev. Sun Myung Moon became an influential player in Washington. Working with talented freelance reporters around the world, we also undertook important historical investigations (such as how the Nazis after World War II -- crossing "rat lines" to South America -- contributed to the region’s bloody repression).


By 1999 and early 2000, we were looking at the reemergence of the Bush family dynasty. However, as Campaign 2000 was heating up, we ran out of money. I was forced to make a part-time enterprise and took an editing job at Bloomberg News. One of our last stories before that break described how the news media was exaggerating Vice President Al Gore’s alleged exaggerations.

Though operating on a part-time basis, we managed to churn out a number of stories in the months before Election 2000 and kept tabs on the recount battle with stories including how George W. Bush dispatched thugs to Miami to intimidate vote counters. In November 2001, we were the first to note that the big news outlets – which had conducted an unofficial recount of Florida’s ballots – had buried their own lead, the fact that Gore would have won Florida if all legal votes were counted.

In 2002, during the buildup to war in Iraq, we also picked up the pace, questioning the Bush administration's case about weapons of mass destruction and criticizing the flag-waving coverage from the mainstream news media. As the Iraq invasion was underway in March 2003, I consulted with some of my old military sources who recognized the disaster ahead. I entitled that article "Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down."

Also in 2003, author Kevin Phillips cited the investigative work of in his seminal book on the Bush family, American Dynasty. Phillips took note of our investigative series that examined the elder George Bush's role in alleged Republican dirty tricks during the 1980 campaign.


To flesh out more parts of the Bush family's rise to power, I left Bloomberg News in April 2004 and began work on my fourth book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. It was published in late September 2004.

In fall 2004, we also resumed more frequent publication of stories at One of those articles described John Kerry's pioneering investigation of contra-drug trafficking in the late 1980s. Since Nov. 2, we have written about the controversies surrounding Election 2004 and the political danger created by today’s media imbalance in the United States.

Indeed, a founding idea of the Consortium for Independent Journalism was that a major investment was needed in journalistic endeavors committed to honestly informing the American people about important events, no matter what the political and economic pressures.

While we are proud of the journalistic contribution that this Web site has made over the past decade – and while we are deeply grateful to our readers whose contributions have kept us afloat – we also must admit that we have not made the case well enough that this mission is a vital one.

Despite all that’s happened, including the ongoing disaster in Iraq, many people still don’t understand that the fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

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