From Editor Robert Parry: In our 18 years, Consortiumnews.com has had one priority: to chart a truthful history of the United States and its role in the world. In doing so, we have examined key chapters of that history so our readers can get an honest and independent assessment of how Americans got to the point we have.
I realize that this journalistic journey has not made everyone happy. Frankly, we have uncovered evidence that shook even our own prior beliefs. For instance, my discovery of President Lyndon Johnson’s “‘X’ Envelope,” which contained top-secret evidence of Richard Nixon’s scheme to sabotage LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks, surprised me.
I had always assumed that Johnson’s promise about seeking peace in 1968 was empty rhetoric, but here was documentary evidence that LBJ was sincere – and was closing in on his goal – until Nixon’s ruthless team convinced the South Vietnamese to boycott the peace talks in Paris, thus extending that dreadful war four more years.
Johnson not only called Nixon’s actions “treason” but ordered his national security aide Walt Rostow to remove from the White House the top-secret file containing the evidence, which I found at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, where Rostow belatedly deposited it.
This “lost file” also dropped into place a crucial piece of the Watergate puzzle, explaining why Nixon created his Plumbers in the first place. Nixon had learned about the missing file but couldn’t find it, a predicament that grew critical in the wake of Dan Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
Nixon knew something the rest of us didn’t – that there was a Pentagon Papers “sequel,” what we now know as the “‘X’ Envelope” – but he didn’t know where it was. If disclosed, it would have meant Nixon’s political undoing. So he brought in ex-CIA officer E. Howard Hunt and ordered the first break-in, at Brookings, in pursuit of the file.
In other words, our Web site – through its commitment to independent journalism – rewrote the history of both the Vietnam War and Watergate. We have done much the same regarding the dark chapters of the Reagan/Bush era, including filling in crucial gaps in the Iran-Contra scandal. [See “Rethinking Watergate/Iran-Contra.”]
A parallel case to Nixon’s Vietnam gambit occurred in 1980 when operatives of Ronald Reagan’s campaign interfered with President Jimmy Carter’s frantic efforts to negotiate freedom for 52 U.S. hostages then held in Iran. Though the evidence of Reagan’s “treason” was strong, Republicans mounted a fierce and effective cover-up to frustrate official investigations.
Again, it has taken a long time but we were finally able to uncover documents (this time at the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station, Texas) showing that Bush’s White House hid key evidence from congressional investigators. Just this June, the lead investigator, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, acknowledged that his inquiry had been deceived. Thus, history has been changed for the better. [See “Second Thoughts on October Surprise.”]
Another example, which occurred shortly after our founding in 1995, was the case of investigative journalist Gary Webb, who, in 1996, revived the Reagan-era Contra-cocaine scandal. Though the major U.S. newspapers trashed Webb, we took his side and explained how various government reports – though superficially criticizing Webb – actually documented the severity of the Contra-cocaine problem and showed how Ronald Reagan’s team had covered up those crimes. [See Lost History, for details.]
Sadly, we could not save Webb’s career nor prevent his downward spiral that ended in his 2004 suicide. But we helped push back against the Big Media’s unfair judgment, keeping his case alive enough for Hollywood to undertake a movie version of his tragic story. Filming is scheduled to start this summer.
So, again and again, Consortiumnews has taken on the falsehoods and false narratives that have distorted American democracy. To that end, we have been aided not only by superb journalists but by brilliant former intelligence analysts, who – I discovered to my surprise – were facing the same pressure to twist the truth as mainstream journalists were.
It turned out – I guess not surprisingly – that corrupt politicians and their paid propagandists understood that the best way to control a population in a “free society” was to control the flow of information, to inundate the people with fake news while blocking channels of real news.
At Consortiumnews, we have spent 18 years doing our best to reverse that process. But we can only continue with your help. Our summer fundraising drive seeks to raise a modest $25,000 to cover our costs for the next several months. Here are three ways you can help:
First, you can make a donation, which may be tax-deductible since we are a 501-c-3 tax-exempt non-profit. You can donate by credit card online or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201. (For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our account, which is named after our e-mail address: “consortnew @ aol.com”).
Second, you can buy one of my last four books through the Consortiumnews’ Web site – or my latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, through Amazon.com, either in paper or the e-book version. A portion of each sale will go toward our goal.
Third, for only $34, you can get the trilogy that traces the history of the two Bush presidencies and their impact on the world. The three books – Secrecy & Privilege, Neck Deep (co-authored with Sam and Nat Parry) and America’s Stolen Narrative – would normally cost more than $70.
To get the books for less than half price – and help us meet our fundraising goal – just go to the Web site’s “Donate” button and make a $34 “donation” using Visa, Mastercard or Discover. We will read a donation of that amount as an order for the trilogy.
If your mailing address is the same as your credit card billing address, we will ship the books to that address. If your mailing address is different, just send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make the adjustment. For U.S. orders, we will pay for the shipping. (For non-U.S. orders, add $20 to defray the extra cost.)
You can also take advantage of this special offer by mailing a check for $34 to The Media Consortium; 2200 Wilson Blvd.; Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201. Or you can use our Paypal account, “consortnew @ aol.com.” Just make sure you include your mailing address in the message.
Thanks for your support.
Robert Parry is a longtime investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 to create an outlet for well-reported journalism that was being squeezed out of an increasingly trivialized U.S. news media.