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• • •
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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

August 15, 2010


Thanks so much to everyone who donated to the minifundraiser for Consortium News. With more than $2,000 now raised, I will stop yelling at you, and both my mother and I will donate an additional $100.

I wasn't sure this was going to work, and it's extremely gratifying to me that it did. Robert Parry has given the world so much useful, albeit horrifying, information, and I'm truly grateful to everyone for participating in repaying him in some small way.

I believe I first encountered Parry's writing in 1996 after Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance" series about the CIA's complicity in the Central American cocaine trade was published online by the San Jose Mercury News. I was still dumb enough to be shocked by the attacks on Webb by the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc., and even more shocked that no one in authority in the government seemed to care. It was Parry's site which provided the back story and additional investigation that allowed me to understand what was going on. Since then I've continued to learn from Parry about perhaps five more scandals that each should have been enough to put America's entire political class in jail for life.

If you're not familiar with all of Parry's reporting, I suggested you begin with (1) the evidence for the 1980 "October Surprise", including the report provided to Congress by Russia's government and Alexander Haig's briefing to Ronald Reagan mentioning how Carter gave Saddam a green light to invade Iran; (2) the Contra-cocaine connection; (3) Rev. Moon's extremely unwholesome background; and (4) the even more unwholesome background of Colin Powell.

I'll be in touch soon with the people who've won the non-valuable prizes. And definitely let me know if you already gave and I left you off the list below.

HONOR ROLL OF FREEDOM: Peter Beattie, NE, Jared, Nell, shargash, Donald Johnson, Aaron Datesman, Mike Meyer, RoninJin, jeanie, The Other Duncan, Gladys Murphy, NomadUK, mistah charley, ph.d., Tony, Justin, John James Morton, ethan, BGGB, "-", drip, Matt, Mike B., John Halle, Grandpa Ken, hf, Save the Oocytes, laym, Rosemary Molloy, Cosette, icecreammang, cemmcs, will shetterly, otto, ba, Steve @ New Hampshire Gazette, [Anonymous - $250], [Anonymous - $100], [Anonymous - $75], Jody Schwarz, [Anonymous - $100], [Anonymous - $25], Colin Brace, [Anonymous - $50], [Anonymous - $200], Rob, Mike of Angle & Bob

And of course if you're not on the list, you can still donate and get added—just go here and let me know that you've done so.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at August 15, 2010 12:29 PM

Wait, so I'm free to not give anything now? Phew!

Okay, okay, I'll send them $25. Stop making me feel bad!

Posted by: rtm at August 15, 2010 06:15 PM

OK, now yell at people until they give me $2,000.

Posted by: ethan at August 15, 2010 09:57 PM

Another great tribute to Parry, who is one of my biggest heroes too, but I have one little quibble with this post--Parry never said nor endorsed the notion that "Carter" gave Saddam the green light, and Carter almost certainly didn't do that despite what Fahd later told Haig.

As the linked article by Parry notes, the Iraqi invasion screwed up Carter's plans to get the hostages back from Teheran, so it would have been pretty stupid of Carter to give Saddam the green light for an invasion. Leaking lies is a great tactic, and so is reporting lies that are told to you.

Of course, SOMEONE must have given Saddam a green light--just not Carter. The invasion screwed Carter, as did the subsequent shenanigans with Operation Eagle Claw that ruined the Pentagon's most poorly planned hostage rescue ever. Whoever egged on Saddam to attack Iran wanted to prevent the release of the hostages and ruin Carter's Presidency, so the prime suspects would seem to be the same folks behind the October Surprise negotiations in Paris that have been so amply documented in the past 20 years, thanks in large part to Parry.

Throughout Carter's Presidency, an informal international right-wing intelligence network (dubbed The Safari Club) tried to step into the shoes of the CIA to keep the empire running while Carter made speeches about human rights and tried to reign in the CIA. Needless to say, the CIA didn't want to be reigned in. The first big privatization of US intelligence work happened then, with Poppy Bush in charge. It seems highly likely that Saddam was given the green light by those who wanted to replace Carter with Reagan and/or Poppy Bush in order to restore American power and prestige abroad. Fahd certainly knew all that when he pinned the invasion on Carter during his talk with Haig, and Haig probably knew it too, not that he cared. It suited both Fahd and Haig to blame Carter, especially because Reagan didn't understand the real story and would thereafter believe that Carter had been behind the Iraqi attack. Reagan was gullible and believed pretty much whatever he was told by those around him, and manipulating Reagan was therefore part of the way power was excercised by his advisers. The ease with which Reagan could be manipulated contributed greatly to the power struggle between Haig and Poppy Bush at the beginning of Reagan's Presidency.

Not everything done during a President's administration is done for and on behalf of the President. Sometimes things are done TO a President. When the President does things like make human rights the core of his foreign policy, it shouldn't surprise anyone when lots of things are done TO him by agencies that are supposed to be working for him. And it shouldn't surprise anyone that they all lie about it. It certainly hasn't surprised Parry for the last quarter of a century.

Posted by: N E at August 16, 2010 08:27 AM

NE wrote

Carter made speeches about human rights and tried to reign in the CIA. Needless to say, the CIA didn't want to be reigned in.

You mean reined in

homophonically your's,
mc, phd

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at August 16, 2010 10:04 AM

Thank you for your homophoneticism, mistah charlie. Only rarely are my numberous inadvertent spelling gaffes defensible on the grounds of wit, but I think the CIA doesn't like being reigned in any more than they like being reined in. I'm sure I had that in mind.

Posted by: N E at August 16, 2010 01:12 PM

The ONLY reason I gave, is that YOU YELLED, glad to see YOU are learning how.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 16, 2010 03:30 PM

No more Mr Schwarz for me. Your yelling petrified me like nothing ever did.
From now on, it will be Jon!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at August 16, 2010 05:06 PM

The other thing that Parry brought to light is how James Carville grabbed Kerry the morning after and told Kerry that there was no way that Kerry could possibly win. That there was simply too few outstanding and provisional ballots out there, and that George W should be given his victory.

Which was a lie. All a big fat lie.

But one that Kerry decided to believe, so he conceded before even a full 24 hours had passed.

Bad Carville. Bad weak Kerry.

And good reporting by Parry.

Posted by: elise at August 21, 2010 04:09 PM