In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in July focused on the first meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin, the growing chaos surrounding the Trump administration, and the ongoing violence in the Middle East.

Trump Takes Aim at Energy R&D Funds” by Jonathan Marshall, Jul. 1, 2017

What Trump Can Expect from Putin” by Ray McGovern, Jul. 1, 2017

Foisting Blame for Cyber-hacking on Russia” by Gareth Porter, Jul. 2, 2017

The Democratic Party’s Deadly Dead-End” by Nicolas J S Davies, Jul. 3, 2017

Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power” by Ray McGovern, Jul. 3, 2017

Grim Lessons from a Faraway War” by Don North, Jul. 4, 2017

The Price of America’s Endless Wars” by Kathy Kelly, Jul. 4, 2017

The Fight over Mexican-American Books” by Dennis J Bernstein, Jul. 6, 2017

MSM, Still Living in Propaganda-ville” by Robert Parry, Jul. 6, 2017

Macron Cracks Down on French Liberty” by Jonathan Marshall, Jul. 7, 2017

Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion” by Joe Lauria, Jul. 7, 2017

Risk of Unleashing ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis” by David Marks, Jul. 8, 2017

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord” by Ray McGovern, Jul. 8, 2017

Ten Problems with Anti-Russian Obsession” by Rick Sterling, Jul. 9, 2017

Trump and the New Mideast Paradox” by Alastair Crooke, Jul. 10, 2017

The Enduring Injustice of Palestine” by John Pilger, Jul. 10, 2017

Forgetting the ‘Dirty Dossier’ on Trump” by Robert Parry, Jul. 10, 2017

Ignoring the Human Disaster in Yemen” by Alon Ben-Meir, Jul. 12, 2017

How Russia-gate Met the Magnitsky Myth” by Robert Parry, Jul. 13, 2017

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare” by Jonathan Marshall, Jul. 14, 2017

Neocons Enlist in Anti-Trump #Resistance” by James W Carden, Jul. 15, 2017

Moral Corrosion of Drone Warfare” by Ray McGovern, Jul. 16, 2017

The Logic in North Korean ‘Madness’” by Col. Ann Wright, Jul. 17, 2017

Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars” by Robert Parry, Jul. 18, 2017

The Right’s Long War on Media” by Jonathan Marshall, Jul. 20, 2017

How Trump Defines the Future” by Alastair Crooke, Jul. 20, 2017

Holding onto Nuclear Weapons” by Dennis J Bernstein, Jul. 21, 2017

The Bloody ‘Liberation’ of Mosul” by Dennis J Bernstein, Jul. 23, 2017

The Unending Failure of the Afghan War” by Alon Ben-Meir, Jul. 23, 2017

Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence” by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Jul. 24, 2017

Pitching the ‘Forever War’ in Afghanistan” by James W Carden, Jul. 25, 2017

House GOP Seeks to Curb Yemen War” by Dennis J Bernstein, Jul. 26, 2017

PBS’ Anti-Russia Propaganda Series” by Rick Sterling, Jul. 27, 2017

The World’s Shift to Electric Cars” by Jonathan Marshall, Jul. 28, 2017

The Dawn of an Orwellian Future” by Robert Parry, Jul. 28, 2017

An Interview with WikiLeaks’ Assange” by Randy Credico & Dennis J Bernstein, Jul. 29, 2017

Jerry Meldon’s Passion for History”, Jul. 29, 2017

Can Trump Find the ‘Great’ Path?” by Robert Parry, Jul. 30, 2017

Shielding Israel from Popular Outrage” by Lawrence Davidson, Jul. 31, 2017


To produce and publish these stories – and many more – costs money. And except for some book sales, we depend on the generous support of our readers.

So, please consider a tax-deductible donation either by credit card online or by mailing a check. (For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our PayPal Giving Fund account, which is named “The Consortium for Independent Journalism”).


Jerry Meldon’s Passion for History

Jerry Meldon, a Tufts University professor who was one of our first writers at Consortiumnews and a great friend, drowned while swimming in a lake in North Carolina on July 18. He was 69.

Though an associate professor of chemical engineering, Jerry had a  passion for history, especially the dark corners of the Cold War. He wrote frequently about the ugly trade-offs that the U.S. government and the West in general made during those decades.

His stories for us included:

How Wall St. Bailed Out the Nazis June 6, 2013

The CIA’s Ghosts of Tegucigalpa July 14, 2009

Dr. Hamilton and Mr. Hyde March 27, 2008

Why US Shields Japan’s WWII Denials February 24, 2007

The Bush Family’s Favorite Terrorist April 25, 2005

A CIA Officer’s Calamitous Choices May 15, 2003

Behind the Elian Case March 30, 2000

Our Man in Morocco September 17, 1999

Testing Democracy: Elections in Algeria and Turkey April 13, 1999

Kohl’s Defeat & Hitler’s Ghost October 25, 1998

Contra-Crack Guide: Reading Between the Lines 1998

Indonesia: Five More Years of Living Dangerously 1997

Long U.S. Dance with Mobutu Ends 1997

CIA & Cocaine: Agency Assets Cross the Line 1997

Below is Jerry’s article from 2013, “How Wall St. Bailed Out the Nazis”:

By Jerry Meldon

Near the end of World War II, the secret collaboration between U.S. spymaster Allen Dulles and Nazi SS officers enabled many German war criminals to escape prosecution and positioned them to fan the flames of post-war tensions between the former allies, the United States and the Soviet Union.

In that way, the Old Nazis — aided by Dulles and other ex-Wall Street lawyers — prevented a thorough denazification of Germany and put the Third Reich’s stamp on decades of atrocities during the long Cold War, spreading their brutal death-squad techniques to faraway places, especially Latin America.

Though the World War II generation has largely passed from the scene and the Cold War ended more than two decades ago, the consequences of Dulles’s actions in those final days of World War II are still reverberating in Germany.

One of the after-shocks was felt in a Munich courtroom just last month, with the opening of the trial of Beate Zschape, a 38-year-old neo-Nazi who is accused as an accessory to two bombings, 15 bank robberies and ten murders between 2000 and 2007 by the terrorist cell, the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU).

Two male fellow gang members reportedly took their own lives to avoid arrest before Ms. Zschape torched their hideout and turned herself in, in November 2011. But the back story is no less disturbing.

Nine of the NSU’s ten murder victims were immigrants, eight of them Turkish, one Greek. All ten were slain execution-style by the same Ceska Browning pistol. Yet it took more than a decade for police forces across Germany and the country’s domestic intelligence agency, the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV), to connect the dots that would link the homicides to Germany’s xenophobic neo-Nazi netherworld.

Troubling Background

But the question is whether the missed connections resulted from incompetence or complicity. Last summer, following reports of the massive shredding of BFV’s files on right-wing extremists, the head of the agency tendered his resignation. Then in November, Der Spiegel reported:

“Four parliamentary committees [are] dissecting the work of law enforcement units four department heads have already resigned. The government’s failures in fighting rightwing terrorists have plunged [the BFV] into the worst crisis since it was … set up in postwar Germany to stop precisely the kind of extremist thinking that allowed the Nazis to rise to power in the 1930s. The discovery of the NSU and its crimes has shaken the system to its core.

“The more secrets come to light, the clearer it becomes how extensively intelligence agencies had infiltrated right-wing extremist groups. The trio of neo-Nazis that made up the NSU was surrounded by informants linked with [the BFV].   One of the big questions is whether [the BFV] actually strengthened military right-wing groups.”

How the BFV worked at cross-purposes coddling neo-Nazis while supposedly constraining them is not entirely surprising in light of the circumstances surrounding the BFV’s birth.

West Germany’s first parliamentary elections in 1950 propelled into the chancellorship, Konrad Adenauer a stalwart of the same party as that of current German chancellor Angela Merkel, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

When Adenauer named Dr. Hans Globke as his Secretary of State, the West German chancellor laid his cards on the table. Globke’s checkered past included wartime service at the helm of the Nazi Interior Ministry’s Office for Jewish Affairs. He drafted the infamous Nuremberg Laws for the Protection of German Blood and wrote the “Commentary” that provided the rationale for genocide.

The Interior Minister who signed the Nuremberg Laws, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, was sentenced to death at Nuremberg and hanged in October 1946. Globke would appear to have been culpable, too, having advanced his career during Nazi rule. His immediate supervisor, Interior Ministry Legal Counsel Bernard Loesner, resigned following Hitler’s decision to proceed with the extermination of European Jewry. When Loesner stepped down, Globke stepped up and left his fingerprints on the Final Solution.

But Globke was not only spared the fate of some colleagues tried at Nuremberg but emerged as an important figure in shaping post-war West Germany. In the 1961 book, The New Germany and the Old Nazis, T.H. Tetens, a German economist who worked for the U.S. War Crimes Commission, noted that Globke controlled every department of West Germany’s government in Bonn and “has done more than anyone else to re-Nazify West Germany.”

Ex-Nazis Everywhere

Der Spiegel revisited the same subject in a March 2012 article headlined “The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany.” It reported that two dozen cabinet ministers, a president and a chancellor had belonged to Nazi organizations.

The article reported that historians were poring through voluminous BFV files “to determine how many of the Nazi dictatorship’s helpers hid under the coattails of the domestic intelligence service in the earlier years of the Federal Republic” and whether “the protection of the young, optimistic constitution [had been] in the hands of former National Socialists.”

Berlin historian Michael Wildt told Der Spiegel he was convinced that the postwar police and intelligence services had been riddled with former Nazis. Entire government departments and agencies, he said, “covered up, denied and repressed” their murky history which evoked the following mea culpa from Der Spiegel’s staff:

“It’s a charge that doesn’t just apply to politicians and public servants, at least not in the early years of the republic. Senior members of the media, including at Spiegel, proved to be unwilling or incapable of sounding the alarm. This isn’t surprising, given the number of ex-Nazis who had forced their way into editorial offices.”

Author T.H. Tetens noted the irony in Dr. Globke, “[the] former key administrator in the Final Solution, [having] full control over the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.” Had he lived long enough, Tetens might have suggested that the BFV be renamed the Office for the Protection of Neo-Nazis.

Tetens might also feel vindicated by recently released CIA documents describing another branch of German intelligence that Globke’s controlled, the vast spy network run by Adolf Hitler’s former espionage czar, Lt. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, a.k.a. the “Gehlen Organization,” a.k.a. “The Gehlen Org” or, simply, the “Org.”

Until 1955, when West Germany became a sovereign state, the Gehlen Org operated nominally under the aegis of James Critchfield of the CIA which paid for the Org’s intelligence product. In reality, Gehlen ran the Org from its creation in 1946 until his retirement in 1968. In 1956, the Org officially became Germany’s foreign intelligence service and was renamed the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

Recently, the BND has been declassifying its files to come clean about its postwar origins. Documents released to date by both it and the CIA confirm suspicions that, at least in the Gehlen years, the Org/BND was little more than a U.S.-bankrolled “sheep-dipping” operation for fugitive Nazis.

The U.S. Connection

And this troubling history goes back even further to the days of World War II when the American intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services, fell under the control of a group of Wall Street lawyers who saw the world in the moral grays of business deals, measured less by right and wrong than by dollars and cents.

In the introduction to The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA, author Burton Hersh identifies this common denominator: “In 1941 [the year of America’s entry into the war}, an extraordinarily nimble New York antitrust attorney named William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan inveigled Franklin Roosevelt into underwriting the first encompassing intelligence instrumentality, the Office of the Coordinator of Information [OCI].

“Donovan’s profession was relevant, and it was no accident that all three [of The Old Boys’] load-bearing protagonists Bill Donovan, Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner achieved status in America by way of important Wall Street law partnerships.

“The faction-ridden [OCI] gave way in 1942 to the [OSS]. From then on a civilian-directed, operationally oriented spy service would top the wish list of America’s emerging power elite.”

These Wall-Street-lawyers-turned-spymasters brought their moral relativism and their ardor for aggressive capitalism to their World War II decision-making. Thus, they created an opening for Nazi war criminals who after Germany’s crushing defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943 saw the writing on the wall regarding the future of the Third Reich and started hedging their bets.

As the war ground on for two more years, thousands of them took steps to evade post-war prosecutions, in part, by arranging protection from British and American officials. Most of those American officials served in U.S. intelligence agencies, either Army intelligence or the civilian-run OSS, the CIA’s forerunner.

OSS spymaster Allen Dulles played into this Nazi game in spring 1945, as Soviet, British and American forces were converging on Berlin. Dulles engaged in negotiations for the separate surrender of German forces in Italy with SS General Karl Wolff.

It apparently didn’t bother Dulles that Wolff, like many of his SS brethren, was a major war criminal. After September 1943, when Italy withdrew from the Axis and made peace with the Allies, Wolff’s troops committed an average of 165 war crimes a day executing his orders to liquidate the Italian resistance and terrorize its supporters.

(In 1964, a German judge sentenced Wolff to 15 years in prison for various war crimes, including ordering the deportation of 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp.)

Pushing the Envelope

Initially, Dulles met with Wolff in defiance of orders from the dying President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The contacts also were behind the back of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, whose army had not only turned the tide of the war at Stalingrad but was still doing the bulk of the fighting. As Hitler’s Third Reich neared the end of its days, six out of every seven German divisions were lined up against the Red Army.

Ultimately, Dulles secured authorization for what was code-named “Operation Sunrise,” but his determination to consummate a deal with Wolff didn’t stop at negotiations. When the Italian resistance set a trap for Gen. Wolff, Dulles saved him in what his OSS colleague (and future Supreme Court Justice) Arthur Goldberg described as treason.

Moreover, when Soviet spies informed Stalin about the Dulles-Wolff assignations which continued even as the Red Army suffered 300,000 casualties in a three-week period the ensuing brouhaha played right into Hitler’s own game plan for survival.

Desperate to bolster the morale of his collapsing army, Der Fuehrer seized on the dissension opening in the ranks of the Allies. He gave his generals the following pep talk (as transcribed in Gabriel Kolko’s The Politics of War):

“The states which are now our enemies are the greatest opposites which exist on earth: ultra-capitalist states on one side and ultra-Marxist states on the other. [Their] objectives diverge daily and anyone can see how these antitheses are increasing.

“If we can deal it [the alliance] a couple of heavy blows, this artificially constructed common front may collapse with a mighty thunderclap at any moment.”

Indeed, Wolff’s surrender overtures to Dulles might have been an attempt to both save his own skin and help Hitler drive a wedge into the “artificially constructed common front.”

The overall value of Dulles’s negotiations toward ending the war also was dubious. Less than one week before the general armistice ending the War in Europe, Dulles offered Nazi officers an advantageous deal, letting one million German combatants surrender to British and American forces on May 2, 1945, rather than to the Russians.

By surrendering to the British and Americans, most of these Germans not only avoided harsh treatment from the Russians but high-ranking Nazi officers benefited from the Truman administration’s quick pivot from its war-time alliance with Stalin to the Cold War confrontation with Moscow.

President Harry Truman’s staunchly anti-communist advisers, including Secretary of State James Byrnes, persuaded Truman to default on FDR’s commitment to a thorough postwar denazification of Germany, one in a series of decisions which enabled thousands of war criminals to avoid justice and permitted many to assume key positions in the new West German government.

Steering the Cold War

Yet, the use of Nazis by U.S. intelligence agencies had the additional dangerous effect of letting the Nazis influence how the United States perceived its erstwhile allies in Moscow. Washington formulated much of its early Cold War policies based on information about Moscow’s intentions that originated with Gehlen’s blemished agents.

These infamous Final Solution perpetrators included:

–Willie Krichbaum, reportedly the Gehlen Org’s top recruiter. As the senior Gestapo official for southeastern Europe, Krichbaum managed the deportation of 300,000 Hungarian Jews for extermination.

–Dr. Franz Six, former Dean of the Faculty of the University of Berlin and Adolph Eichmann’s immediate supervisor in the Ideological Combat branch of the SS security apparatus. In 1941, according to a report he wrote (which Christopher Simpson cites in Blowback: The First Account of America’s Recruitment of Nazis, and its Disastrous Effect on our Domestic and Foreign Policy), a Six-led SS commando group murdered 200 people in the Russian city of Smolensk, “among them 38 intellectual Jews.”

Wanted for war crimes, Six joined the Gehlen Org in 1946, but later was betrayed by a former SS officer working undercover for a US/UK dragnet for fugitive Nazis. In 1948, a U.S. military tribunal sentenced him to 20 years for war crimes including murder. After serving four, he was granted clemency by John McCloy, another Wall Street lawyer then serving as U.S. High Commissioner for Germany. Six then rejoined the Org.

–Gestapo captain Klaus Barbie, the infamous “Butcher of Lyon,” who escaped via the so-called “rat lines” to South America, where he then worked with right-wing intelligence services and organized neo-Nazi support for violent coups against elected and reformist governments, including the 1980 “cocaine coup” in Bolivia. After decades of spreading Nazi techniques across Latin America, Barbie was arrested and returned to France where he was given a life sentence in 1984 for ordering the deportation of 44 Jewish orphans to the death camp at Auschwitz

–SS Colonel Walter Rauff, who dodged postwar prosecution for developing mobile gas vans and administering their deployment to murder some 250,000 Eastern Europeans, mostly Jewish women and children. The appearance of Rauff’s name on the list is interesting because, as the Milan-based SS intelligence chief for northwestern Italy in 1945, he was Gen. Wolff’s liaison with Allen Dulles.

According to a 1984 Boston Globe Op-Ed by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer John Loftus, Rauff, after playing his part in Operation Sunrise, calmly turned himself in and told agents of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) that he had made surrender “arrangements [with] Mr. Dulles to avoid further bloodshed in Milan.”

In Loftus’s words, Dulles “promised that none of the [surrender] negotiators would ever be prosecuted as war criminals. When Truman and Stalin discovered what Dulles [had been up to], there were outraged orders to call off Sunrise [But] Dulles went ahead anyway, with Truman’s reluctant concurrence [Dulles] kept his bargain Rauff was released.”

Christopher Simpson confirms in Blowback that “each of the SS officers involved in Operation Sunrise [escaped] serious punishment despite the fact that each was a major war criminal. A U.S. military tribunal tried [SS intelligence chief] Walter Schellenberg, who had helped trap and exterminate the Jews of France. He was convicted but freed shortly thereafter under a clemency [order] from the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John McCloy…

“Wolff was sentenced to ‘time served’ in a [British] denazification proceeding in 1949, then released without objection from U.S. authorities. Fifteen years later a West German court tried Wolff a second time. He was convicted of administering the murder of 300,000 persons, most of them Jews, and of overseeing SS participation in slave labor programs.”

Fleeing to Latin America

However, when the war ended, neither the Gehlen Org recruitment program nor Wall Street lawyer McCloy’s clemency rulings had begun, leaving tens of thousands of war criminals desperate to relocate in secure foreign outposts. SS Col. Rauff just happened to have the right connections to make that happen.

In Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis and Soviet Intelligence, Australian investigative reporter, Mark Aarons, and former Justice Department lawyer Loftus reconstruct how Rauff became the mass murderers’ travel agent of choice.

Shortly after the Wolff/Dulles surrender negotiations were successfully completed on April 29, 1945, Rauff was arrested by unidentified Americans and delivered to an OSS unit led by James Angleton, the future CIA counter-intelligence chief.

From its description by Aarons and Loftus, Angleton’s team appears to have been tracking communists in the Italian underground which would have been consistent with Washington’s postwar policy of backhanding leftwing resistance leaders, from European partisans to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh, irrespective of the magnitude of their contributions to the Allied cause.

Angleton’s team reportedly debriefed Rauff at length, probably about what he had learned when he carried out Wolff’s orders to liquidate the resistance. After Angleton’s team released him, Rauff established contact with his former SS colleague Friederich Schwendt who was already on the payroll of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) and, like Rauff himself, was wanted for murder.

Schwendt was also a master counterfeiter. He laundered his product through banks, obtaining legitimate Western currency in return enough, in fact, that over the next three years, Rauff was able to furnish thousands of fellow war criminals false identities and one-way tickets to South America.

Rauff himself wound up in Chile, where he later reportedly advised Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s ruthless secret police.

As for Allen Dulles, he became director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Under his leadership, the CIA overthrew democratically elected governments in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954) and replaced them with anti-democratic dictatorships. To this day, neither country has fully regained its democratic footing.

After the CIA’s disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, President John F. Kennedy sacked Dulles, but Dulles did not wander far from the centers of power. After JFK’s assassination two years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Dulles to serve on the Warren Commission’s investigation of Kennedy’s murder.

Dulles died on Jan. 29, 1969. However, even today, seven decades after Dulles opened the door to U.S. collaboration with Nazi war criminals, his decision continues to infect government actions around the globe.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June dealt with the seemingly endless Russia-gate frenzy, President Trump’s stumbling debut on the global stage and Oliver Stone’s insightful interviews with Vladimir Putin.

Missing the Real Noriega Story” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 1, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s Deceptive Blame-Shifting” by Robert Parry, Jun. 1, 2017

Hiding the Ugly Business of Torture” by Ray McGovern, Jun. 2, 2017

Trump Tumbles into Saudi-Israeli Trap” by Alastair Crooke, Jun. 3, 2017

The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow” by Gareth Porter, Jun. 3, 2017

Will the Neocons’ Long War Ever End?” by Nicolas JS Davies, Jun. 5, 2017

McMaster Urges Another Afghan ‘Surge’” by James W Carden, Jun. 5, 2017

Russia-gate’s Mythical Heroes” by Coleen Rowley, Jun. 6, 2017

NYT’s New Syria-Sarin Report Challenged” by Robert Parry, Jun. 7, 2017

‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight” by Robert Parry, Jun. 8, 2017

Trump’s Blunders Fuel Mideast Conflicts” by Alastair Crooke, Jun. 9, 2017

The US Hand in the Libyan/Syrian Tragedies” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 9, 2017

U.K.’s Corbyn Told Truth about Terrorism” by Lawrence Davidson, Jun. 10, 2017

Saudi Royals Bring Trump into Line” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 10, 2017

NBC’s Kelly Hits Putin with a Beloved Canard” by Ray McGovern, Jun. 12, 2017

Oliver Stone Reveals a Vulnerable Putin” by Robert Parry, Jun. 12, 2017

How Vladimir Putin Sees the World” by Robert Parry, Jun. 13, 2017

Putin, Ukraine and What Americans Know” by Robert Parry, Jun. 13, 2017

Oliver Stone Receives Gary Webb Award”, Jun. 14, 2017

Sorting Out Ukraine Conflict’s History” by James W Carden, Jun. 15, 2017

Clapper’s Unhinged Russia-Bashing” by David Marks, Jun. 15, 2017

Europe Discovers a Volatile Populism” by Andrew Spannaus, Jun. 16, 2017

The Fallacies of the ‘Russia-Truthers’” by James W Carden, Jun. 16, 2017

US Intervention in Syria at Crossroads” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 17, 2017

Trump Embraces GOP Tax-Cut Orthodoxy” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 17, 2017

Trump Complies with War-Hawk Wishes” by Ann Wright, Jun. 19, 2017

US Risks Wider War by Downing Syrian Plane” by Gilbert Doctorow, Jun. 19, 2017

Spoiling for a Wider War in Syria” by Robert Parry, Jun. 20, 2017

At FBI, Mueller Oversaw Post-9/11 Abuses” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 21, 2017

Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket” by Robert Parry, Jun. 21, 2017

Institutional Factors in US Violence” by Lawrence Davidson, Jun. 22, 2017

The Criminal ‘Laws’ of Counterinsurgency” by Todd E Pierce, Jun. 22, 2017

Deep History of America’s Deep State” by Jada Thacker, Jun. 23, 2017

Policing ‘Truth’ to Restore ‘Trust’” by Robert Parry, Jun. 24, 2017

A Baseless Justification for War in Syria” by Dennis J Bernstein, Jun. 25, 2017

Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned” by Ray McGovern, Jun. 25, 2017

How Trump Risks a Saudi-Qatar War” by Joe Lauria, Jun. 26, 2017

Russia-gate Is No Watergate or Iran-Contra” by Robert Parry, Jun. 28, 2017

Parry Awarded Gellhorn Journalism Prize”, Jun. 29, 2017

NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard” by Robert Parry, Jun. 29, 2017

The Mad Chase for Russia-gate Prey” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 30, 2017

To produce and publish these stories – and many more – costs money. And except for some book sales, we depend on the generous support of our readers.

So, please consider a tax-deductible donation either by credit card online or by mailing a check. (For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our PayPal Giving Fund account, which is named “The Consortium for Independent Journalism”).

Parry Awarded Gellhorn Journalism Prize

Consortiumnews editor and longtime investigative reporter Robert Parry received the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism at an event in London on Tuesday, presented by journalist John Pilger.

John Pilger made the following remarks in presenting the 15th Martha Gellhorn Prize to Robert Parry at a dinner in London on June 27.

There are too many awards for journalism. Too many simply celebrate the status quo. The idea that journalists ought to challenge the status quo — what Orwell called Newspeak and Robert Parry calls “groupthink” — is becoming increasingly rare.

More than a generation ago, a space opened up for a journalism that dissented from the groupthink and flourished briefly and often tenuously in the press and broadcasting. Today, that space has almost closed in the so-called mainstream media. The best journalists have become – often against their will – dissidents.

The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism recognizes these honorable exceptions. It is very different from other prizes. Let me quote in full why we give this award:

“The Gellhorn Prize is in honor of one of the 20th century’s greatest reporters. It is awarded to a journalist whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth – a truth validated by powerful facts that expose what Martha Gellhorn called ‘official drivel.’ She meant establishment propaganda.”

Martha was renowned as a war reporter. Her dispatches from Spain in the 1930s and D-Day in 1944 are classics. But she was more than that. As both a reporter and a committed humanitarian, she was a pioneer: one of the first in Vietnam to report what she called “a new kind of war against civilians”: a precursor to the wars of today.

She was the reason I was sent to Vietnam as a reporter. My editor had spread across his desk her articles that had run in the Guardian and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A headline read, “Targeting the people.” For that series, she was placed on a blacklist by the U.S. military and never allowed to return to South Vietnam.

She and I became good friends. Indeed, all my fellow judges of the Martha Gellhorn Prize  – Sandy and Shirlee Matthews, James Fox, Jeremy Harding — have that in common. We keep her memory.

She was indefatigable. She would call very early in the morning and open up the conversation with one of her favourite expressions – “I smell a rat.”

When, in 1990, President George Bush Senior invaded Panama on the pretext of nabbing his old CIA buddy General Noriega, the embedded media made almost no mention of civilian suffering. My phone rang. “I smell a rat,” said a familiar voice.

Within 24 hours Martha was on a plane to Panama. She was then in her 80s.  She went straight to the barrios of Panama City, and walked from door to door, interviewing ordinary people. That was the way she worked – in apartheid South Africa, in the favelas of Brazil, in the villages of Vietnam.

She estimated that the American bombing and invasion of Panama had killed at least 6,000 people.

She flew to Washington and stood up at a press conference at the Pentagon and asked a general: “Why did you kill so many people then lie about it?”

Imagine that question being asked today.  And that is what we are honoring this evening. Truth-telling, and the courage to find out, to ask the forbidden question.

Robert Parry is a very distinguished honorable exception.

I first heard of Bob Parry in the 1980s when he broke the Iran-Contra scandal as an Associated Press reporter. This was a story as important as Watergate. Some would say it was more important.

The administration of Ronald Reagan had secretly and illegally sold weapons to Iran in order to secretly and illegally bankroll a bloodthirsty group known as the Contras, which was then trying to crush Nicaragua’s Sandinista government — on behalf of the CIA. You could barely make it up.

Bob Parry’s career has been devoted to finding out, lifting rocks – and supporting others who do the same. In the 1990s, he supported Gary Webb, who revealed that the Reagan administration had allowed the Contras to traffic cocaine in the U.S. For this, Webb was crucified by the so-called mainstream media, and took his own life. Lifting the big rocks can be as dangerous as a warzone.

In 1995, Parry founded his own news service, the Consortium for Independent Journalism. But, really, there was just him. Today, his website reflects the authority and dissidence that marks Parry’s career.

What he does is make sense of the news – why Saudi Arabia should be held accountable; why the invasion of Libya was a folly and a crime; why the New York Times is an apologist for great power; why Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have much in common; why Russia is not our enemy; why history is critical to understanding.

For his journalism, Robert Parry is the winner of the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize. He joins the likes of Robert Fisk, Iona Craig, Patrick Cockburn, Mohammed Omer, Dahr Jamail, Marie Colvin, Julian Assange, Gareth Porter and other honorable exceptions.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in May addressed the ongoing Russia-gate imbroglio, Europe’s populist challenge to the elites, and America’s long history with foreign lobbying.

Demonstrating America’s Need for Immigrants” by Dennis Bernstein, May 1, 2017

NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms” by Robert Parry, May 2, 2017

Government Smearing of Israel’s Critics” by Lawrence Davidson, May 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton Blame-Shifts Her Defeat” by Robert Parry, May 3, 2017

Oliver Stone Honored with Press Freedom Award” by Robert Parry, May 4, 2017

The McCarthyism of Russia-gate” by Robert Parry, May 7, 2017

East Timor’s Suffering and Survival” by John Pilger, May 8, 2017

Dems Still Blaming Others for Trump” by Nat Parry, May 8, 2017

Turning Gen. Flynn into Road Kill” by Robert Parry, May 8, 2017

European Union’s Democracy Dilemma” by Andrew Spannaus, May 9, 2017

The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War” by Nicolas JS Davies, May 9, 2017

Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup?” by Robert Parry, May 10, 2017

The Scandal Hidden Behind Russia-gate” by Daniel Lazare, May 11, 2017

The Glorious Return of Condi Rice” by James W Carden, May 12, 2017

The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate” by Robert Parry, May 13, 2017

Taming or Tiptoeing Around Trump” by Michael Brenner, May 14, 2017

Gorbachev Warns of Growing Danger” by Rick Sterling, May 15, 2017

The Push for Trump’s Impeachment” by Robert Parry, May 15, 2017

Seth Rich Murder Case Stirs Russia Doubts” by Joe Lauria, May 17, 2017

Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War” by Steven Chovanec, May 18, 2017

When the Trump Coup-makers Cometh” by Robert Parry, May 18, 2017

Donald Trump at a Lonely Crossroads” by Alastair Crooke, May 19, 2017

The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying” by Jonathan Marshall, May 19, 2017

The Gaping Holes of Russia-gate” by William Binney and Ray McGovern, May 20, 2017

Iran’s Victory for Moderation” by Trita Parsi, May 20, 2017

How China Lobby Shaped America” by Jonathan Marshall, May 20, 2017

Not Remembering the USS Liberty” by Ray McGovern, May 21, 2017

Israel Lobby Pays the Political Piper” by Jonathan Marshall, May 21, 2017

Saudis Win Hearts by Lining Pockets” by Jonathan Marshall, May 22, 2017

US Journalism’s New ‘Golden Age’?” by Robert Parry, May 22, 2017

Trump Lets Saudis Off on 9/11 Evidence” by Kristen Breitweiser, May 23, 2017

Turkey’s Varied Tactics of US Lobbying” by Jonathan Marshall, May 23, 2017

New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’” by Robert Parry, May 23, 2017

Growing Poverty Fuels Europe’s Extremism” by Andrew Spannaus, May  24, 2017

Ukraine Factions Vie for Lobbying Edge” by Jonathan Marshall, May 24, 2017

‘Getting Trump’ with the New McCarthyism” by Robert Parry, May 24, 2017

Believing the Russian ‘Hacking’ Claim” by David Swanson, May 26, 2017

Europe May Finally Rethink NATO Costs” by Ray McGovern, May 27, 2017

George W. Bush’s Horrific Legacy” by Lawrence Davidson, May 28, 2017

Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy” by Daniel Lazare, May 28, 2017

The Meaning of Assange’s Persecution” by Marjorie Cohn, May 29, 2017

Alleged Russia-Taliban Arms Link Disputed” by Jonathan Marshall, May 28, 2017

Trump: The Narcissist with Haters” by David Marks, May 30, 2017

Libya’s Link to Manchester’s Tragedy” by John Pilger, May 31, 2017

Avoiding War with China” by Chas W. Freeman Jr., May 31, 2017

Comprehending Today’s Russia” by Rick Sterling, May 31, 2017

To produce and publish these stories – and many more – costs money. And except for some book sales, we depend on the generous support of our readers.

So, please consider a tax-deductible donation either by credit card online or by mailing a check. (For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our PayPal Giving Fund account, which is named “The Consortium for Independent Journalism”).

Oliver Stone Receives Gary Webb Award

For his brave work in the field of documentaries, director Oliver Stone was the 2016 recipient of the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, which he received from’s editor Robert Parry on June 3.

Robert Parry: Everyone knows Oliver Stone is a great screenwriter, director and producer. He’s done famous movies. But I also thought people should recognize that he has done very significant support for documentary projects. He has been involved in them, he has helped fund them.

What he’s done, which is almost unique at this moment in American history, is he tries to deal with people who are often leaders of other countries that are under attack by the United States, or being harshly criticized. Some of these leaders are being demonized and they’re being turned into cardboard characters that can be easily denounced and dismissed.

And what Oliver Stone has done, like in his documentary about some of the leaders of South America [South of the Border], is to show this from their side, what they’re thinking, what makes them tick. And that is so important at a time when the United States can engage in horrible wars. We’ve seen the effects of demonizing leaders. And it’s not to say these leaders are great guys, no one’s suggesting that, but that when we demonize and make them not into human beings anymore, then it becomes very easy to go to war with them and their countries. We saw this happen with Saddam Hussein for instance, in Iraq, and to the horrible cost to the people of that region and to the American soldiers who had to execute this war.

So we’ve seen the consequences of not dealing honestly and fairly with people and not trying to explain to the public that these are multi-dimensional leaders. They are people that you may end up not liking, that you may disagree with, but you should at least know what drives them.

Oliver Stone is really one of the very few people with the courage to say, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to present these people as real people, and we can factor that in to how the American people want to feel about this issue.”

He supported a documentary project that I was interviewed in regarding Ukraine [Ukraine on Fire], trying to offer a more subtle, more nuanced view of what happened there and now he’s doing a program for Showtime, which will deal with interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, another person who, even more importantly than some of the others, we have to understand [The Putin Interviews].

Because the idea of rushing into a conflict with Russia in this kind of blind way that we did in Iraq and have done in other countries, dealing with a nuclear-armed Russia, is even more dangerous. Not just for the American people, but for all people. So this is why we wanted to honor Oliver Stone with this award.

I want to thank him for coming and accepting it.

Oliver Stone: Thank you very much. I’m very honored. I know who Gary Webb is and that’s a great story. That’s how I look at it as a dramatist, I suppose I’m a little cold that way. But it was a sad story. They made a movie, it died at the box office, it wasn’t happy, but it was a pretty good movie [Kill the Messenger]. Jeremy Renner played Gary Webb.

It just shows you how movies that go against the American image sometimes just don’t make it. First of all they don’t get made, it was very hard for those people to make that movie, it took many years, it died at the box office. I’ve been there. And you can make a movie that somehow is pro-American, put Tom Hanks in it, and you do pretty well, judging from the last Clinton Eastwood film about the pilot [Sully], which made a lot of money.

Making a film about Edward Snowden was another lesson for me in disappointment. It’s like making a film about [NSA whistleblower] Tom Drake. It took three years, actually, and when we finished all the work and had been talking to Ed, getting his side of the story, in fact it was his story, it was his point of view, it was not NSA in anyway, they wouldn’t cooperate.

But many people helped us, and Ed approved it and so on, [and then] we couldn’t get any financing out of America at first. We got everything to get started out of Germany and France and some other European countries. We made the movie with a limited budget, we got a small American distributor and the film died here.

We didn’t want to distribute it here first. We wanted to distribute it in France and start there. They wouldn’t let us because it was an American production and they wanted to stick to America first. But those are the kind of problems you have.

So it’s very hard to get these movies made, very hard. And on television, almost forget it. Because they can criticize inside a family, but it’s very rare that they will step outside and go to a broader criticism of our country. And we need this, we are filled with ourselves, we are filled with arrogance.

I’m even worse on this than Bob because Bob is tempered. It pisses me off sometimes, the arrogance of us, and the way we see the world. We so rarely are able to step outside of ourselves and have any empathy for “the other.” The other is what terrifies us, the other is always “the other.” There’s always the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Red Planet.

I grew up in the 1950s, I was born in ’46, I still remember the first Cold War and it was horrifying. I was telling someone earlier that was younger than I that in the 1950s my father was social and he had many liberal friends from the 1930s who were socialists, Democrats, sometimes even ex-communists or communists.

They were in that society, the businessman, the “grey flannel suit society,” but there was no future for them. They could not really say what they meant because it would be noted. It would be noted they were a pink-o, or whatever they called it at that time, and then promotions would not come to them. They always were on the lower-income side of the equation.

The people who made money were the people who talked the American Game and that was the only way to get to the top. So it was a scary world, a conformist world, even more conformist than now. Far more conformist. People did not differ.

We — Peter [Kuznick], I, all these people here — we suffered in the American school system for that. I didn’t know history until [I started researching] the Untold History of the United States in 2008, I really started to study American history and all the sources.

Peter Kuznick, my co-author, [and the research], they gave me a college education at the age of 60. I needed it. Americans have no idea [of] their history, no idea. It’s really stunning. And we have taken this book and this documentary everywhere and we’ve made progress. Progressive people have supported this in reviews. The mainstream ignored it completely, completely. So these documentaries, going back to Castro, have been a struggle but they give me, sometimes, the best satisfaction I’ve ever had from my work.

I worry about Bob [Parry] very much. I’m a big supporter of his but I’m scared for him. I always say, “How can you say that and walk around your neighborhood?” This is Arlington, Virginia. Maybe he’s safer here than he would be somewhere else. We need Bob’s voice. He writes beautifully, first of all, which is important for a journalist. And he’s compelling and he tells a narrative. And what’s better is he repeats it, because you have to repeat as a teacher, for people to really start to memorize and remember. It’s a sad narrative and it’s so pathetic that we have reached this place of lying to ourselves. The lies do get bigger, more dangerous.

And now, in particular, perhaps because we’re getting older, I feel that it’s gotten to proportions of extreme exaggeration. Where now [the sentiment is] “Our president is a Manchurian Candidate for the Russians. The Russians are here, the Russians are in our schools, the Russians are in our businesses, the Russians are everywhere.” Whatever went wrong is blame-able on the Russians.

This is what’s really happened. That was somewhat the case with the hysteria of 1947, ‘48, ‘49, ‘50. It was a hysteria about not being strong enough. I don’t know how to overcome that because if you don’t feel strong enough, you’re never going to feel strong. You’re never going to have the weaponry, you’re never going to have the muscle to go down to the beach and take on the bully that’s always waiting for you.

Our fear is everywhere. It’s in our souls. And as long as we’re outwardly motivated to find an enemy, it’ll be terrorism, it’ll be Noriega, Hussein, Gaddafi, and Syria, of course, Mr. Assad. And now it’ll be, “the Russians are back.” It doesn’t end.

I’ve never seen it so personal as the demonization of Mr. Putin. In the old days we never insulted “Khrushchev’s Russia” or “Chernenko’s Russia.” Now it’s always Putin. There’s a death here, a gay person is killed there, it’s “Putin’s Russia.” It’s really crazy and bad journalism on top of that. Very bad.

So, we’ve got to hope for some of these young people to pick up the slack and start really investigating the news because you can get lazy very easily in this country. There’s a lot of consumerism, you can be happy and try to escape from this century. How long can we keep it up? I really don’t know. I think our karma is due. You can’t kill too many million people and get away with it forever. I’m surprised we got away with the Vietnam War, the way we did. And the reason I think we did was because we fought very hard against that reputation.

Mr. Reagan turned things around in his way and then of course Communism collapsed, so we always had a narrative to go. We ran out of a narrative from ’91 to about 2001, but we certainly made up a lot of lies. The kids don’t know this. So to them this is a new enemy.

I can tell you this from personal observation from being in Russia many times, is that the Russian people are not pushovers, at all. They did fight to the bitter end during World War II. They gave their lives in enormous quantities, they gave everything. They don’t give up. We can’t insult them and insult them and batter them like we have been doing and expect them to concede things that we expect. They won’t do it.

They will go to the end on this and it will be a big mistake for us. We will lose so much more than they do, because we’re so much richer. And I don’t understand why we can spend ten more times on our military than they do and still have this fear of them. It’s a fear that never goes away.

So, to the destruction of fear and to the enlightenment of the species, I salute you too [Robert Parry], for spreading the word. Thank you very much.

[To read Parry’s announcement of the award in May, click here.]

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in April focused on the continuing Russia-gate imbroglio, President Trump’s missile strike on Syria, and the danger of the mainstream media mediating “truth.”

Democrats’ Blind Obsession on Russia-gate” by Daniel Lazare, Apr. 1, 2017

Trump’s Foreign Policy Incoherence” by Robert Parry, Apr. 3, 2017

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death” by Gary G. Kohls, Apr. 4, 2017

Mainstream Media as Arbiters of Truth” by Robert Parry, Apr. 4, 2017

Team Trump Ponders Climate ‘Engineering’” by Jonathan Marshall, Apr. 5, 2017

Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria” by Robert Parry, Apr. 5, 2017

The Ugly Underbelly of Russia-gate” by James W Carden, Apr. 6, 2017

NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims” by Robert Parry, Apr. 6, 2017

Dashed Hopes for Trump’s Foreign Policy” by Gilbert Doctorow, Apr. 7, 2017

Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment” by Robert Parry, Apr. 7, 2017

Trampling the US Constitution for War” by Daniel C Maguire, Apr. 8, 2017

Trump’s 59-Tomahawk ‘Tweet’” by Alastair Crooke, Apr. 8, 2017

Luring Trump into Mideast Wars” by Daniel Lazare, Apr. 8, 2017

Where Was CIA’s Pompeo on Syria?” by Robert Parry, Apr. 8, 2017

Bill Maher’s Muddled Attacks on Islam” by JP Sottile, Apr. 9, 2017

Trump Plunges Toward World War III” by Norman Solomon, Apr. 10, 2017

How Media Bias Fuels Syrian Escalation” by Rick Sterling, Apr. 10, 2017

Neocons Have Trump on His Knees” by Robert Parry, Apr. 10, 2017

Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation” by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Apr. 11, 2017

Trump’s Syria Attack Trampled Many Laws” by Marjorie Cohn, Apr. 11, 2017

Russia’s Disdain for Tillerson and Trump” by Gilbert Doctorow, Apr. 11, 2017

To Russia with More Russia-Bashing” by Nat Parry, Apr. 12, 2017

Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence” by Robert Parry, Apr. 12, 2017

Trump Finds His Groove with Warmaking” by Dennis J Bernstein, Apr. 12, 2017

Pushing Australia into War with China” by John Pilger, Apr. 12, 2017

Tillerson’s Bad Hand in Kremlin Showdown” by Gilbert Doctorow, Apr. 13, 2017

Trump Lurches into Chaos and Conflict” by Alastair Crooke, Apr. 14, 2017

Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again?” by Robert Parry, Apr. 14, 2017

Handing Killer Drones to Donald Trump” by Jesselyn Radack, Apr. 15, 2017

Neocons Point Housebroken Trump at Iran” by Jonathan Marshall, Apr. 15, 2017

Obama/Trump: Contrasting Deceivers” by Sam Husseini, Apr. 16, 2017

Trump Uses Tiny Nation to Insult Russia” by Ted Snider, Apr. 16, 2017

What Russia-gate Has Wrought” by Robert Parry, Apr. 16, 2017

A Personal Look Inside Modern Islam” by Arnold R. Isaacs, Apr. 17, 2017

Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass” by Nicolas JS Davies, Apr. 17, 2017

Dropping the (Non-Nuclear) Big One” by Dennis J Bernstein, Apr. 18, 2017

NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims” by Robert Parry, Apr. 18, 2017

Erdogan’s Neo-Fascist Turkish Allies” by Jonathan Marshall, Apr. 19 2017

Why Hillary Clinton Really Lost” by Robert Parry, Apr. 19, 2017

Russia-Bashing Helps Wall Street Democrats” by Norman Solomon, Apr. 20, 2017

Why Not a Probe of ‘Israel-gate’?” by Robert Parry, Apr. 20, 2017

Populism v. Elites in French Election” by Andrew Spannaus, Apr. 21, 2017

How US Race Laws Inspired Nazism” by David Swanson, Apr. 22, 2017

Coal Miners’ Futures in Renewable Energy” by Jonathan Marshall, Apr. 22, 2017

The Pro-War Twist of the ‘Resistance’” by James W Carden, Apr. 24, 2017

The Risk of Brushing Aside Intelligence” by Lawrence Davidson, Apr. 25, 2017

Donald Trump’s Failing Presidency” by Robert Parry, Apr. 25, 2017

France Circles Back to Status Quo” by Gilbert Doctorow, Apr. 26, 2017

Intel Vets Voice Doubts on Syrian Crisis” by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Apr. 26, 2017

More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case” by Robert Parry, Apr. 28, 2017

The Existential Question of Whom to Trust” by Robert Parry, Apr. 30, 2017

To produce and publish these stories – and many more – costs money. And except for some book sales, we depend on the generous support of our readers.

So, please consider a tax-deductible donation either by credit card online or by mailing a check. (For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our PayPal Giving Fund account, which is named “The Consortium for Independent Journalism”).

Oliver Stone Honored with Press Freedom Award

Director Oliver Stone – in recognition of his brave work in documentary films – has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Though most people know Oliver Stone as a famous screenwriter and movie director, he has also lent his talents and resources to a number of documentary films that embrace the core journalistic idea that there are usually two sides – if not more – to a story.

In doing so, Stone has taken on controversial subjects, both in challenging conventional history as with Showtime’s “Untold History of the United States” and daring to treat foreign leaders – who were undergoing demonization by the U.S. government and media – as complex figures who deserve to have their say as well.

Not surprisingly, Stone has faced intense criticism for deviating from mainstream U.S. groupthinks, which seek to portray international adversaries as cardboard villains deserving only of American hatred and bombs.

But Stone learned as a decorated young soldier in the Vietnam War how that propaganda process can lead to unspeakable horrors, including the unnecessary deaths of millions of people and the devastation of entire nations and regions.

The Vietnam War – and the U.S. government’s lies that justified it – taught Stone a powerful lesson that is as true now as it was then, that a healthy democracy should encourage a diversity of viewpoints, appreciate all sides of a conflict, and have the courage to engage in serious self-criticism, not simply assume that what the authorities are saying is true.

Stone’s documentaries have included close-up studies of Latin American leftist leaders challenging U.S. hegemony in the hemisphere, including Cuba’s Fidel and Raul Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, the Kirschners of Argentina, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.

Stone recently produced a documentary on the Ukraine crisis, entitled “Ukraine on Fire,” which offered a nuanced understanding of Ukraine’s modern history as well as explaining the behind-the-scenes story of the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the secret U.S. hand in turning Ukraine into a flashpoint for a new Cold War.

In June, Showtime is scheduled to release Stone’s series of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, spanning two years, entitled “The Putin Interviews.”

Because of his courage and tenacity in presenting sides of important stories that many powerful interests in the United States would prefer the American people not hear, the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Independent Journalism (which publishes presents Oliver Stone with the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award for 2016.

Background of Award

The award is named in honor of investigative reporter Gary Webb who in 1996 courageously revived interest in one of the darkest scandals of the 1980s, the Reagan administration’s tolerance of cocaine trafficking by the CIA-organized Nicaraguan Contra rebels who were fighting to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.

The Contra-Cocaine scandal was originally exposed by Associated Press reporters Robert Parry and Brian Barger in 1985, but the major U.S. newspapers accepted the Reagan administration’s denials and treated the story as a “conspiracy theory.”

So, when Webb revived the story in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News and described how some of the Contra cocaine fueled the spread of crack across urban America, the major newspapers again rallied to the defense of the Contras and the Reagan administration’s legacy.

The assault on Webb was led by The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times – and was so ferocious that Webb’s editors at the Mercury News sacrificed him to protect their own careers. Webb found himself cast out from the profession that he loved.

It didn’t even matter that an internal CIA investigation by Inspector General Frederick Hitz confirmed, in 1998, that the CIA was aware of the Contra cocaine trafficking but had put its goal of ousting the Sandinistas ahead of any responsibility to expose the Contra criminality.

Because of the false impression that Webb had manufactured a fake story, he remained unemployable in mainstream journalism. In 2004, with his life in tatters and his financial resources spent, Webb took his own life, a tragic casualty in the difficult fight for a truly free press in America, a press that doesn’t just rubber stamp government propaganda and accept official lies as truth.

[For more on that history, see’s “The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

Last Call for Spring Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: Our Spring Fund Drive ends tonight – and we are about $500 short of our goal of $30,000. If you can help us reach our target, we would be most appreciative.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry

Wrapping Up Spring Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we have gotten to within about $5,000 of our spring fund-drive goal of $30,000, an important target so we can continue this important independent news Web site.

If you haven’t contributed yet, any amount that you can afford will help. You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry