Monday, January 10, 2011

The "Shadow CIA" and the REvenge of the Spooks: The October (1980) Surprise: Part II

A pro-Reagan operative at the National Security Council stole President Carter’s debate briefing book on foreign policy and delivered it to the Reagan campaign. A subsequent investigation found James Baker’s fingerprints on the book, but a committee suggested William Casey was probably involved in the theft. There was suspicion that Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Major General Richard Secord sabotaged Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue mission launched by Carter on April 25, 1980.

According to Mansur Rafizadeh, a secret C.I.A. team directed by William Casey sabotaged the mission.Rafizadeh was a C.I.A. agent who had run SAVAK. Rafizadeh had been a C.I.A. operative for 18-19 years. In his book, he added that the Reagan-Bush people specifically required that the hostages not be released until Reagan was sworn in. They did not want Carter to have any role and opposed return of the hjostages after the election was over.

He also said that people on the C.I.A.’s Iran desk were wildly anti-Carter in 1980. However, it is unthinkable that Americans involved in the rescue effort could have wanted it to fail and there is no good evidence that they did anything to produce this result. Yet, several people who would be closely tied to George H.W. Bush’s black operations in subsequent years were part of the rescue effort. Oliver North was aboard a helicopter near the Turkish border. General Richard Secord was the main planner, and Albert Hakim was involved in ground operations. Hakim fled Baghdad 24 hours before the operation; his job was to obtain ground vehicles. . As is known, only 5 of the eight helicopters got to the site in working condition. The Pentagon review board found astonishing incompetence and negligence in the operation Later, Cynthia Dwyer, who had not yet been taken as the 53rd hostage, told a minister that the C.I.A. deliberately botched the operation.

It is known that the C.I.A. paid for polling by Richard Beale and Richard Wirthlin to learn what would be the effect on Reagan’s lead in the campaign of Carter were to secure the release of the prisoners. The results were swent directly to the Reagan campaign. They confirmed the opinion of some that Reagan must disrupt Carter’s efforts to gain the release of the hostages.

Casey was able to get in touch with the Iranians with the help of the French intelligence service, Count Alexandre de Marenches. Carter had unwittingly sealed his own fate by refusing to trade arms for hostages. However, there is strong evidence that the Israeli’s played a major role in opening dialog between the Republicans and the Iranian government. The Israelis had been asked to sell a limited number of arms to Iran, and they wanted a green light from potentially the next American government to sell more. For that reason, Israeli intelligence sent an Arab merchant with Iranian ties to negotiate with Republican operatives at the L" Enfante Hotel in Washington. He proposed the kind of deal Casey negotiated, except that Israel would immediately begin unlimited arms sales The main Iranian spokesman was Ayatollah Mohanned Baheshti, an aid to Speaker Ransanjani and assistant to Ayatollah Khomeini.

Casey was a hard-bitten capitalistic high-roller with intelligence experience. He knew how possession of power would have positive economic consequences for himself and his friends. Others may have been driven more by ideology. Carrying on diplomatic negotiations with a foreign enemy is a violation of the law, as was coordinating arms shipments to Iran, before and after Reagan took power. One would think that patriots would want the hostages returned as soon as possible and would support the nation’s foreign policy in a time of crisis, even if the president was a Democrat.

What led these people to violate the law overcame any patriotic impulses to carry on their own destructive foreign policy. The best answer is that they were so convinced by their own ideology and attacks on the Democrats that they felt justified in doing anything necessary to restore Republican control of the White House. It was as though elected Democrats automatically lack legitimacy, except when they co-operate in enacting and carrying out Republican policy. There was an op-ed piece and a PBS special outlining the facts in this matter in 1991.

Not one Republican politi C.I.A.n or pundit expressed any interest in the possibility that this may have happened. So-called liberal politicians and journalists showed little interest when it became clear that there was not overwhelming evidence that President George Bush was involved. The Secret Service records for Bush at that time were only partially made available to Congress. Because they were redacted, Bush’s claims to have been in Washington could not be proven.

One agent claimed to have been with the Bushes much of that day, but it was later proven that the agent was jogging along the C and O Canal that day and not on duty. Years later, Yasir Arafat told Jimmy Carter that the Republicans had asked them to help with the arms deal used to keep the hostages captive until after the election. In 1993, Russia Supreme Soviet agreed to give Congressional investigators files that showed that Casey met with the Iranians in 1980 and that Robert Gates and George H.W. Bush were involved in the deal with Iran. The Russian report added that Robert Gates, then a Carter NSC staffer, was in Paris negotiating on behalf of Reagan and that Casey attended meetings at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid and Paris.

The Russians saw a bidding war between Carter and Reagan for control of release of the hostages, with the Republicans able to disrupt the Carter operation and make a deal with the Iranians. A Congressional task force had just concluded that the Republicans did not interfere in the hostage crisis before the Russian report arrived, and nothing was done to change the Congressional report. Some of the Russian report was based on allegations of former Israeli intelligence official Ari Ben-Menashe. Israel said he had never been a government employee until he produced documents. Then the Israelis simply said he was lying about the October Surprise. The Russian Report was ignored, and ended up in a box of documents in a former ladies room in the Rayburn Building.1

Among other things, Casey promised that Israel would sell some arms and parts to Iran immediately and that they would sell many more after Ronald Reagan became president. The Republicans promised to provide about $5 billion worth of arms. Much later, in May, 1986, McCarlane visited Iran and was taped saying that up until then the Reagan administration had provided 1.3 billion in arms and add3ed that it would provide trhe rest. The Iranians were also promised the return of $12 billion in blocked funds. Prime Minister Menachin Begin, who had promised not to sell so much as a shoelace to Iran, cooperated with the Republicans" efforts to undermine the Carter position. These activities thoroughly undermined the activities of the legitimately elected government of the United States and weakened the U.S. position in bargaining for the return of the hostages. Former Iranian president Bani-Sadr was ale to provide investigators with details of the money transferred to Iranians , along with bank account numbers. 2

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading Room:

Giffords had best chance of any woman to become President, according to Salon columnist Rebecca Traister and author of a book on the subject:

Was this MKULTRA?

Shades of Columbine, another Kosher Nazi? You won't read this on Fox News ("Mother Jones" is not for limousine liberals who hate unions but does qualify as "Alternative Media")

Two days before the heinous act, Giffords predicted DEAD by Soros funded "Daily Kos" who also had published the Blue Dog Democrat's photo with a bullseye!