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trade-off with El Salvador, linking U.S. aid commitments a major munitions dump in Managua.
it.
Years later, after Noriega became a public
there to continued support for the Contras; in January,
Over the next few weeks, Secord and company geared
embarrassment, Bush™s defenders tried to justify our
McFarlane met with President Duarte to close the deal.
up for their first major supply run. In late November,
continued reliance on him by insisting that there was no
Though Bush wasn™t directly involved, he wasn™t out of it,
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL-
DECEMBER 7.7, 1999 Page 17

North, now heavily preoccupied with Iran arms shipments, Honduras and El Salvador to survey supply bases and Contras, he countered that he™d known nothing about it.
accepted their help in completing a botched Israeli weapons airfields. Inexplicably, Iran-Contra investigators missed the Nobody on the investigating committees asked him
delivery to Iran. significance of this trip. Only after a previously undisclosed whether [or not] the swap reference might relate to the aid-
Bush later denied any knowledge of this but, only a Watson memo surfaced in a 1988 lawsuit did anyone for-arms deals the administration had struck with Israel,
couple days after Secord helped make good on the delivery, realize that here was further proof the Vice President lied. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Nor was he pressed
the Vice President sent a Thanksgiving note to North Written in February, shortly after Watson™s return, the to explain why, after hearing Rodriguez out, he hadn™t
commending him for his “tireless work with the hostage memo bears some scrawled notes from Gregg stating that alerted Bush. His explanation, “It was a v,ery murky
“Rodriguez agrees with this”. This belies his claim that he
thing and Central America”. business,” left his congressional inquisitors nodding
Some see this note, which was glossed over at the Iran- and his old friend never discussed the Contras™ supply dumbly.
Contra hearings, as definitive proof of Bush™s full problem before that August. On October 5, a Sandinista gunner shot [down] one of
complicity. But an even stronger clue might be found in Equally damning are two other documents later Secord™s planes over Nicaragua, thus ending the Contra
the seemingly strange U.S. reaction to the crash of an generated by Gregg™s staff. Both are “scheduling memos” supply operation. Appropriately, Rodriguez placed the first
American aircraft near Gander, Newfoundland, two weeks written in anticipation of a May 1 meeting between Bush distress call to Watson, and soon Eugene Hasenfus, the lone
later. According to the Canadian Air Safety Board, it was and Rodriguez, and both list “resupply of the Contras” surviving crew member, announced from jail in Managua
ice on the wings that caused the downing of the chartered among topics to be discussed. When questioned about these that Rodriguez had honchoed the supply effort with Bush™s
DC-8 on December 12. Officially, the ill-fated 248 d6cuments Rodriguez insisted that El Salvador, not the knowledge.
American soldiers on board were heading home for Based on North™s notebooks, the Administration™s
Contras, was the only topic he™d broached with the Vice
Christmas. Nobody in the Pentagon hinted that some might President. In later testimony before the Senate Foreign reaction was to look for a scapegoat. On November 25,
have been secret operatives or that the charter company, Relations Committee, Gregg cast the “resupply” notation as Poindexter apparently proposed that Bush contact the
Arrow Air, might have been doing more than routine a reference to some sort of operation involving “resupply of Israelis and persuade them to accept blame for the profits-
the ˜copters” which Rodriguez had been flying against
transport work. diversion scheme. There is no evidence that Bush followed
Our research suggests, however, that at least 20 of the Salvadoran rebels. through. But the fact that Bush was the logical go-between
crash victims were U.S. commandos returning from a Possibly he and Rodriguez may have been telling the lends weight to Brenneke™s claim of collaboration between
counter-terrorism mission in the Middle East, and that truth. But there is now plenty on record to indicate that by the Vice President and Jerusalem.
Arrow Air was no run-of-the-mill charter but a CIA With Bush vulnerable to political damage from
early 1986, Rodriguez™s Contra connection and, indeed, his
proprietary airline, and an important part of the Contra increasingly troubled relationship with Secord were the talk Contragate, he and his staff immediately launched a
supply network and the arms shuttle to Iran. In little- of Bush™s office. damage-control gambit. In mid-December, Gregg helped
noticed Iran-Contra testimony, one of Secord™s associates Watson™s own diaries, obtained during the Iran-Contra prepare the chronology that distanced Bush from the secret
admitted the company™s involvement in both operations. hearings, reflect a preoccupation with such problems. One war. As time passed, Gregg increasingly mortgaged his
Given the airline™s covert accounts, a prompt and own credibility to spare his boss. During the 1989
entry, dated July 29, recounts a White House staff meeting
thorough inquiry into the Gander crash might have thrust at which Rodriguez was accused of having “shut down congressional hearings on his ambassadorial appointment to
Iran-Contra into the headlines a year before it surfaced. Three days later, Watson noted a
pilots resupply”. South Korea, Gregg dodged so many questions about Iran-
Even now, the tragedy could come back to haunt Bush. As complaint from North that “F[elixj screwed up s[outhem] Contra that even a staunch Republican supporter confessed
Vice President, he headed up Reagan™s counter-terrorism front”, a reference to the Contra operation in Costa Rica. that some of his testimony “strain[s] belief™.
task force and was responsible for monito$ng operations of In his autobiography, Rodriguez admits that in his As for Bush, he simply brazened it out, initially
the sort allegedly undertaken by the commandos on the pique over Secord™s inefficiency and alleged money rebuffing questions and finally seeking shelter behind the
flight. grubbing, he asserted control over the “private” supply Iran-Contra committees™ concluding report, which didn™t
To imagine that he wasn™t fully briefed on the shuttle. His main worry, apparently, was that &cord would clear him but ignored him.
circumstances surrounding their death, or the reported During the North trial last year, as the trade-off deals
commandeer the air fleet and sell it to the CIA for personal
sensitivity of the carrier™s mission, is unreasonable. profit once congressional restrictions on Contra aid eased. he™d negotiated with Honduras came-to light, he continued
to stonewall, declaring, ˜There was no quid pro quo.” In
According to long-time Army Criminal Investigation Always the crusader, Rodriguez wanted to ensure that the
Department (CID) investigator Gene Wheaton, the tragedy Contras got their fair share. the end, Bush emerged without a scratch. Gregg got his
was hushed-up because so much was at stake. Had the Iran-Contra committees questioned Rodriguez ambassador post and Brenneke just barely escaped jail.
Even before the Gander crash faded from the headlines, about Watson™s notebooks, they might have discovered that For all of Bush™s diligence in constructing a cover-up,
another piece of the Contra supply network suddenly came Bush™s staff knew earlier than anyone would admit. But however, he couldn™t have done it without Congress™ help.
unhinged, and Bush again found himself handling repair again they pulled their punches, allowing both Rodriguez During the Iran-Contra hearings, probers ignored certain
work. The crisis arose in late 1985 when Jose Azcona and Gregg to pretend that it was not until early August, leads to protect Israel and other allies. There is also
Hoyo was elected to replace Suazo as President of after the congressional aid ban was loosened, that Bush™s evidence in North™s notebook that some of them may have
Honduras. Lest the new regime renege on the deal the men learned of the Rodriguez-Secord partnership. been guilty of collusion with the White House. The clue
United States had levered out of its predecessor the previous If you believe Bush™s official chronology, the revelation appears in a newly declassified entry written on March 4,
spring, Bush was hustled to Tegucigalpa the following camegn August 8, when Rodriguez sailed into Gregg™s 1985, just before Bush™s first trip to Honduras.
January for another round of “Let™s Make a Deal”. On that date, according to North™s shorthand, Robert
office to blow the whistle on Secord. Until then,
In a recently released notebook, North keys the trip to. supposedly, Gregg hadn™t realized that Secord and North McFarlane briefed four congressmen, including Henry Hyde
a new “third-country solicitation”. He said the State and Bill McCollum, on the plan to seek “third country
were running a private supply shuttle for the Contras.
Department wrote Bush™s script, framing a good-cop/bad- The notes Gregg took during this session do not read support” for the Contras. A plan, as North described it,
cop scenario in which he was the pitchman while Admiral like a man caught by surprise. They plod through called for “center[ing] the activity in the White House”.
Poindexter muscled Azcona. Later, as members of the Iran-Contra panels, Hyde and
Rodriguez™s revelations as if they were no news, and
The script apparently played out as written. Within contain a stunning phrase, “a swap of weapons for $ was McCollum became the Administration™s most vocal
weeks Azcona approved a trial supply delivery to the arranged to get aid for the Contras”, that suggests insight cheerleaders, joining fellow Republicans in a minority
Contras, and the Administration paid him with a security- beyond Rodriguez™s problems with Secord. report that got Bush off the hook.
Not only did the report find the Vice President ignorant
assistance package worth $20 million. Rodriguez told Iran-Contra investigators that he
With Bush again personally embroiled in Contra couldn™t remember mentioning a “swap” to Gregg. When of the supply effort, it dismissed the possibility “that any
quid pro quo was sought or received in return for any third
support, his staff routinely got involved. ln January 1986. Gregg was asked by a reporter if he might have been
countrv contribution to the Resistance”.
Gregg™s new deputy, Colonel Sam Watson. packed off to referring to the “diversion” of Iran arms profits to the . _.˜˜.˜, .˜˜.˜˜˜˜˜ In view of Hvde
a
Page 18 CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL DECEMBER 27, 1999

and McCollum™s newly revealed inside knowledge, it™s U.S. government loan to build a lumber mill (he never built In 1986, shortly before the fust U.S. weapons sale to
extraordinary that Bush still cites this as proof of his it), and Owen was trying to get him $500,000 more. Iran, then National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter
innocence. officials of the lending agency have testified that fraud was wrote that while some top Administration officials opposed
the transactions, “most important, President and VP are
Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh once involved in that deal, We know how Qualye was rewarded.
solid in taking the position that we have to try.”
speculated that Irangate was really about the skewing of our Correspondence between Owen and North showed
constitutional checks-and-balances through imperial sleight- concern that drug dealing among the Contras could The House and Senate panels that investigated the
of-hand. I,l is one thing, he suggested, for a White House embarrass the operation, and even identified some drug Iran-Contra affair described the memorandum as “the first
official to claim “executive privilege” when he doesn™t want dealers on the Contra team. But no one followed through. evidence [albeit hearsay] the committees have found
to tell Congress about a secret policy. That puts lawmakers Aircraft-maintenance receipts with signatures have been concerning the Vice President™s position on the Iran
on notice and triggers debate. obtained which prove that the planes of a convicted initiative”.
But if the White House tries to keep Congress out of Colombian cocaine cartel leader, George Morales, carrying Bush told reporters that if it “says that I stood with the
the decision-making process by hiding the truth, he added, Contra leaders as well as drug smugglers were serviced and President, the answer is yes, as I™ve been saying all along”.
the scales are thrown out of kilter. refueled at the Salvadoran base where Rodriguez managed He insisted that the disclosure would not damage his
For all of its faults, the Iran-Contra investigation left the war supplies; Rodriguez reported to Bush, who credibility.
most Americans feeling that the scales had been unbalanced supposedly ran the Administration™s anti-drug program. Bush has said that he had missed key meetirigs
and that Reagan himself deserved much of the blame. But Contra arms were being supplied through Panama with involving the arms transactions but repeated an earlier
no one seemed to be able to fix Bush™s responsibility, the help of Manuel Noriega, but Bush says he didn™t know contention that “I expressed reservations” about the sales.
because the heart of the scandal-the secret horse-trading this, which could put him in a class by himself among drug The congressional investigators and the Commission
on the Contras™ behalf-remained hidden, enforcers. In fact, when Bush took over the CIA in 1976, headed by former Sen. Tower concluded that Bush™s role in
With this last secret blown, Bush now stands exposed the Agency had just received a high-level report from the the Iran-Contra affair was minor. The Senate™s panel
and much more than we expected. He emerges not merely Justice Department (the DeFeo Report) citing Noriega™s leaders, Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (I)-Hawaii) and Vice
as Reagan™s equal in subterfuge, but as his master in action, major role in drug trafficking; the report mentioned that Chairman Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) said in a joint
statement that nothing in the new evidence “would alter
someone who actually helped execute a dirty-tricks scheme U.S. drug agents had even proposed Noriega™s
y
the committee™s conclusions”.
to hijack Congress™ authority. Make no mistake: When assassination. Noriega was then working for the CIA.
Bush traveled to Central America in 1985 and 1986 to The initial public reaction to the Iran-Contra But at least one other GOP leader, Alexander M. Haig,
barter for Contra support, he pursued a covert-action revelations inspired hope that after 40 years the nation Jr., expressed displeasure with this.
formula borrowed from his CIA days, the mobilizing of would finally recognize that covert machinations overseas Haig, who had previously denounced the Vice
cutouts to protect the government. Only this time the object subvert our stated policy goals. But the hearings seemed President™s role in the Iran-Contra scandal, said, “George
wasn™t to keep some hostile foreign power in the dark, but damage-controlled by the Administration, and the Bush has a credibility crisis on this issue. The American
all of US.˜ Democratic Party refused to follow it up, for reasons people have a right to know just what he advised our
The Bush-Reagan team rode to office on the issue of unknown. President: to pay ransom or to not pay ransom.”
terrorism, pledging to halt it by never negotiating with As long as the “out” [political] party ignores such Throughout the 1988 presidential campaign, the Iran-
terrorists and stopping others from doing so. For much of Contra affair put Bush in an uncomfortable position: If the
duplicity in government, the United States has, in a sense,
their Administration, federal law prohibited waging war on become a one-party state.4 Vice President did not know much about the sales, he was
Nicaragua. Yet Bush attended dozens of meetings at which The government allowed the Oliver North defense team left out of decision-making in an Administration where he
were discussed either our active role in the Contra War or to reveal evidence of Bush aiding the Nicaraguan Contras has claimed an important role.
the secret supply of arms to Iran, which publicly he called in an agreement that keeps other sensitive information out On the ˜other hand, if Bush participated extensively,
a terrorist state. of the courtroom, according to sources close to the this would raise questions about his judginent.
Bush™s assertion now that he didn™t know of these negotiations. “I think he has not faced the issue directly; I think he
activities is, difficult to accept. An aide™s notes record him The agreement disclosed Bush™s role in promising will have to in the course of his [presidential] primary
being briefed on arms shipments to Iran as they were in millions of dollars in aid to Honduras, the Contras™ most campaign.... The question becomes not one of intent but
progress. He says that he misunderstood; he thought that important ally. But it concealed evidence that North™s one of judgment,” said Sen. William S. Cohen (R-Me.), a
the sales were Israeli. attorneys wanted to introduce that might have revealed member of the Senate panel.
Bush told NBC™s Meet the Press, “If I™d had a lot more
This doesn™t add up.. The records show that he had covert military operations against Nicaragua by the CIA and
been told Israel was our front in the transactions. Bob foreign intelligence services, the sources said. These knowledge of what was going on, I would have said, ˜Don™t
Woodward reported, and Bush hasn™t denied, that Bush was operations were referred to in the document only as “certain do this.™ Or if I had been sharp enough to see into the
with Reagan when the President signed the Bible that was specified actions”. future, that a program that started out as not having arms
a gift to the Ayatollah, along with a planeload of missiles Bush refused to answer questions about this. “I am not for hostages turned into that, I™d have said, ˜Don™t do
and arms. This remains an unsolved mystery. going to comment on any aspect of the North trial while that.“™
Entering the picture at this point in 1984 was Dan it™s in progress,” he said. So much for Iran-Contra. Bush dodged that bullet.
Quayle. Yes, the Dan Quayle, at that time a relatively A member of the Tower Commission, which American voters apparently feared Willie Horton more than
obscure senator from Indiana. Bush claims he picked investigated the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledged that the Manuel Noriega.
Quayle as his 1988 running mate because of his strong three-member Commission never asked Bush about
right-wing principles, no doubt true. FOOTNOTES:
soliciting™ third-country aid.
But he also owed Quayle a favor and, importantly, “We knew we did not have the whole story,” said
Quayle was someone Bush could trust. former Sen. Edmund Mu&e, D-Maine. The Commission™s ™ Linda Frazier, “U.S. Beating Victim Back In Texas”,
Tico Times, May 27, 1983
When the Administration expanded its illegal war other members were former Sen. John Tower, who lost a
against Nicaragua by secretly opening a southern front in bitter confirmation battle to be Bush™s Defense Secretary, 2 “EX-CIA officer won™t be tried-Iran-Contra figure™s
case voided after key material withheld”, the Dallas
Costa Rica, it used Quayle™s office. Quayle™s staff aide, and retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft, now Bush™s National
Morning News, November 25, 1989
Rob Owen, put North in touch with another Indianan, John Security Adviser.
Hull, who owned vast lands in northern Costa Rica. Bush, who said that he was “out of the loop” when the 3 Frank Snepp, “George Bush: Spymaster General”,
Penthouse, December 1990
Hull™s property, containing six airstrips, became the Reagan Administration decided to sell arms to Iran, was a
4 Jonathan Kwitny, editorial in the Los Angeles Times,
secret Contra arms depot and staging base. Owen went key backer of the initiative, a White House memorandum
further as a facilitator. For his help, Hull got a $375,0 acknowledged. November 4, 1988
JANUARY 3,200O
Page 16 CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL



The Immaculate Deception
TheBushCrime
FamilyExposed
Chapters
EightAndNine
By Russell S. Bowen


CHAPTER 8
massed troops invaded and occupied Kuwait.
On August 29, 1990, the Miami Herald reported
THE BUSH-WHACKING OF IRA0
that the State Department had been ordered to give its
“I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I files concerning the July 25, 1990 meeting between
don™t always agree with them. “-President George Hussein and Glaspie to a federal judge to decide whether
Bush, leader of the free world [or not] they must be released.
The Associated Press reported that the State
On July 25, 1990, eight days before the Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait, U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie met Department was fighting a .lawsuit filed by Public
with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein at the -Presidentiel Citizens, which contended that the files must be released
under the Freedom of information Act.
Palace in Baghdad. The following is a transcript of their
discussion: U.S. District Judge Charles Richey, on August 28,
Glaspie: I have direct instructions from President stated that he needed to review the documents to
Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have determine whether [or not] the State Department properly
considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil withheld them from release. State contended that the
prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with documents were either “classified in the interest of
Kuwait. As you know, I have lived here for years and national defense or foreign policy, or reflected the
admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. agency™s deliberative process”.
We know you need funds. We understand that, and our Richey wrote that Glaspie™s public testimony may
opinion is that you should have the opportunity to have “so thoroughly covered the subjects addressed in
rebuild your country. We can see that you have the withheld documents that the defendant may have
deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. waived the exemption”.
Normally, that would be none of our business, but when The meeting in Baghdad between Glaspie and
this happens in the context of your other threats against Hussein has been a critical issue in the debate over
Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be whether [or not] the United States led Hussein to believe
concerned. For this reason, I have received an it would not interfere if he invaded Kuwait, which he did
instruction to ask you in the spirit of friendship, not a week later.
confrontation, regarding your intentions: Why are your An Iraqi-released transcript of the meeting quoted
troops massed so very close to Kuwait™s borders? Glaspie as saying that the United States would not take
Hussein: As you know, for years now I have made sides in “Arab-Arab” conflicts, such as the border
every effort to reach a settlement on our dispute with dispute with Kuwait.
Kuwait. There is to be a meeting in two days: I am However, Glaspie declared in congressional
prepared to give negotiations only this one more brief testimony that she also told Hussein that the United
chance. When we [the Iraqis] meet [with the Kuwaitis] States would insist that any dispute be settled peacefully.
and we see there is hope, then nothing will happen. But On September 2, 1990, one month after Saddam™s
if we are unable to find a solution, then it will be natural invasion of Kuwait, British journalists obtained a tape
that Iraq will not accept death. and transcript of the above Hussein-Glaspie meeting.
Glaspie: What solutions would be acceptable? Astounded, they confronted Ms. Glaspie.
Hussein: If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Journalist 1: (Holding the transcripts up) Are the
Arab, our strategic goal in our war with Iran, we will transcripts correct, Madam Ambassador? (Ambassador
make concessions [to the Kuwaitis]. But, if we are Glaspie did not respond.)
Journalist 2: You knew Saddam was going to
forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and
the whole of Iraq [i.e. including Kuwait], then we will invade [Kuwait], but you didn™t warn him not to. You
give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait didn™t tell him America would defend Kuwait. You told
to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. him the opposit-that America was not associated with
What is the United States™ opinion on this? Kuwait.
Glaspie: (Pause, then she speaks very carefully) Journalist 1: You encouraged this aggression-his
We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such invasion. What were you thinking?
U.S. Ambassador Glaspie: Obviously, I didn™t
as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary [of State James]
Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to
take aZ2of Kuwait. ”
given to™ Iraq in the l%Os, that the Kuwait issue is not
˜,&.&&t˜ ,\liii&A&dca. . :™ &mri&# I:.™ You tknfght he™was just going tot&
˜.-“a s&p& : ..
some of it? But, how could you? Saddam ˜told yti that,
On August 2, 1990, eight days later, Saddam™s if negotiations failed. he would pive tm his ban Watt al
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURiVX ™ Page 17
JANUARY+3,2000

Arab waterway] goal for the “whole of Iraq, in the shape Asked whether [or not] the U.S. presence in the Gulf In addition to clearing the way for new financial aid,
we wish it to be”. You know that includes Kuwait, should be reinforced to make up for forced reduction in s&ior Bush aides, in the spring of 1990, overrode
which the Iraqis have always viewed as an historic part central Europe, Henry Schuler, the Center™s Director, concern among other government officials and insisted
of their country! said that the internal stability of the governments in the that Hussein continue to be allowed to buy so-called
(Ambassador Glaspie said nothing, pushing past the region was his “main concern” but that the U.S. was “dual-use” technology-advanced equipment used for
two journalists to leave.) powerless in that respect. Schuler felt that Arab oil both civilian and military purposes. The Iraqis were
Journalist 1: America green-lighted the invasion. producers could get $24 to $25 a barrel without given continued access to such equipment, despite
At a minimum, you admit signaling Saddam that some consumers searching for alternative sources. Why leave evidence that they were working on nuclear arms and
aggression was okay-that the U.S. would not oppose a money on the table for American consumers and the other weapons.
grab of the al-Rumeilah oil field, the disputed border “Iraq is not to be singled out,” National Security
government? Criticizing those who did so could be a
strip and the Gulf islands, territories claimed by Iraq? Council official Richard Haas declared at a high-level
popular course, he observed.
(Again, Ambassador Glaspie said nothing as a This could be achieved by a change of policy in one meeting in April 1990, according to participants™ notes,
limousine door slammed and the car drove off.) or more of the key exporting Gulf states: “One with the when the Commerce Department proposed curbing Iraqi
The Bush Administration actively encouraged power to force all the states of the Gulf to follow suit,” purchases of militarily-sensitive technology.
Hussein to pursue higher oil prices seven months before Schuler explained. The easiest way would be by “some Invoking Bush™s authority, Robert Kimmitt,
the invasion of Kuwait. According to high-level U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, added, ˜The
change in leadership”.
sources, it was discreetly suggested at a New York President doesn™t want to single out Iraq.”
Both President George Bush and Secretary of State
meeting in January that Iraq should engineer a big oil Furthermore, the pressure in 1989 and 1990 to give

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