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Casey and an important Iranian cleric, Mehdi Karrubi.
and all Sunday afternoon. This is backed up by Secret free the hostages.
Karrubi is now speaker of the Iranian Parliament. The
Service reports produced for the Richard Brenneke perjury Carter believes that Gregg and a number of former
meetings were held in a Madrid hotel room.
trial that say Bush was at the club Sunday with unknown CIA officials may have organized a vendetta against his
Hashemi says Casey™s proposal was “blunt”. “Casey
Administration, which had fired hundreds of CIA agents in
parties. The FBI investigated this and reported that no one
at the country club could substantiate Bush™s presence. A an attempt to reform the agency. “We tried to clean up said the Iranians should hold the hostages until after the
the CIA,” the former President told the Voice. “It had
club representative said Bush was not a member of the election, and the Reagan Administration would behave
club. been shot through with people that were later involved favorably towards Iran, releasing military equipment and
On May 8, 1991, The Wall Street Journal™s Gordon the frozen Iranian assets,” he told Frontline. Karrubi and
with the Iran-Contra affair; people like Secord and so
Crovitz report4 that another Secret Service account of the forth....” The cashiered CIA agents were loyal tp former Casey returned to Madrid in August, when the Iranian
“Lost Weekend” outlined Bush™s day this way: “Sunday, CIA Director Bush, Carter said.3 cleric “expressed acceptance”, Hashemi said. “The
Despite persistent allegations reported by In These
Oct.19, Washington, D.C. (lunch with Supreme Court hostages would be released after Carter™s defeat.”
Times, Z Magazine and other periodicals, the mass media
Justice Potter Stewart and Mrs. Stewart).” This story was Hashemi™s account of the meetings has been confirmed by
two other sources, Sick wrote in the Times.
provided to the Government Accounting Office a few ignored the story until April, when an op-ed article by
former national security aide Gary Sick in the New York
months ago. It, too, cannot be verified: Justice Stewart is At about the same time as the Casey-Karrubi
Times and a PBS Frontline documentary by investigative
dead, and his wife suffers from chronic memoty loss. This meetings in Madrid, Sick wrote, “Individuals associated
version was confirmed last month by Press Secretary journalist Robert Parry gave the allegations new with the Reagan campaign made contact with senior
Marlin Fitzwater, who sketched Bush™s itinerary to the St. government officials in Israel, who agreed to act as the
credibility.
Louis Post-Dispatch. Sick, a Navy officer attached to the Carter channel for the arms deliveries to Iran that Casey had
When approached by the Village Voice for Bush™s promised.” Sick cited two former Israeli intelligence
Administration™s National Security Council as a Middle
itinerary for October 19, the White House Media East expert, is now an adjunct professor of Middle East officers as his sources.
Relations Office denied one existed, adding, “We have Is Hashemi lying about the Casey meetings? If he is,
politics at Columbia University. Sick says he dismissed
nothing going that far back.” A week later, the press the allegations at first but thought the timing of the hostage not even the severest critics of the “October Surprise”
office reversed itself, saying there was a schedule but that release, 30 minutes after Reagan took office, “was allegations have been able to explain why the Iranian arms
the only thing it showed for Sunday was the 7 p.m. speech peculiar”. dealer would deliberately mislead Sick. Hashemi is not
to the Zionist Organization of America. “We had reports later on that the people holding the under indictment or facing any charges.
Jerry Saper of the Washington Times offered yet hostages, in fact, were standing with watches, waiting at Hashemi is not the only source of the meetings
Frontline
another version: “The Secret Service says he awoke about the airport, to make sure that the time had passed-that between Casey and Iranian representatives.
630 a.m., had lunch at his Washington home, and spent interviewed Arif Durrani, an arms dealer now serving a
Carter was no longer President-before releasing the
hostages,” he told Frontline.
the day there...“. l&year sentence in federal prison for selling arms to Iran.
They all agree and press reports confirm that Bush According to Durrani, Iranian officials told him Karrubi
Years later, Sick™s research for a book on the hostage
delivered his speech at the Capitol Hilton in Washington. met in Spain with Casey. Another source, retired Israeli
crisis convinced him that the early reports of a deal
The vice-presidential candidate was present. Secret intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, claims to have seen
between the Reagan campaign and the Iranians were
Service records show Bush arrived at either 7 or at 8:12 intelligence reports on Casey™s trip to Madrid. “The
accurate. Sick says that he has interviewed about 15
p.m. Americans agreed to release money and make promises for
separate sources who claim to know of the secret
Monday, October 20, 1980: Bush arrived that the future when Reagan-Bush take over [sic] to make
negotiations between the Reagan-Bush campaign and the
relations better,” he told Frontline, “and the Americans
morning at Tweed-New Haven Airport for two days of Iranians. A number of the sources are “respectable
people”, Sick told Frontline.
campaigning in Connecticut. He met with factory workers also promised that they will allow arms shipments to
at Avco Lycoming in Stratford before moving to Sacred Iran.... And this is why Israel was brought in.”
Other sources were “money movers, arms dealers,
DECEMBER 13, 1999
Page 6 CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL

Brenneke told Frontline that, while in Paris, Casey
Even though the fundamentalist Iranian Government was agent working for Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
A former Time reporter named Rajiz Samghabadi proved
a sworn enemy of the Jewish State, Israel feared Iraq™s approved the Iranian Government™s shopping list and
growing military power in the region. In the mid-1980s Israel explained how private funds could buy weapons for Iran: to be the most compelling witness for the 39-year-old Ben-
was the source of weapons shipped to Iran during the Iran- “There was, and I added this up as I went along, somewhere Menashe, testifying that Ben-Menashe had told him in early
Contra affair. between $35 million and $40 million that was going to change 1986 about the Reagan Administration™s arms deals with Iran
Retired Air Force Gen. Richard Secord secretly channeled hands. That is, it would wind up being used for the purchase to free the hostages. On Nov. 3, 1986, the Lebanese
newspaper Al Shiraa printed an account co&inning those arms
the profits from these sales to finance the Contra War against of weapons to be...delivered to IranCasey at the time told me
Nicaragua. But if the ˜October Surprise” allegations are true, that I would have the authority to withdraw funds from a de&..
Israel actually began in late 1980 or early 1981 to supply the Mexican bank, and he said, ˜There probably will be an Samghabadi further stated to the Manhattan court: “Ben-
Menashe consistently tried to get a story in print [in Time
Iranians with arms as part of the deal negotiated between Iran American bank or two involved in this whole thing.™ He said
and the Reagan-Bush campaign. ˜yes™ on virtually every hand-held weapon that was asked for. magazine] saying that, as of 1980, there was a huge conspiracy
In mid-September 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. The Iranians, He limited the number of TOW missiles in the initial between the U.S. government and Israel to supply Iran with
now desperate for military supplies, sent an emissary to billions of dollars of weapons++f the books, without legal
shipments.. .. Tires were a big item.”
Washington. Sick™s sources speculate that the Iranians were Did Bush accompany his future National Security Adviser channels knowing anything about them-and it was still
following two tracks, negotiating simultaneously with the U.S. to Paris? “At least five of the sources who say they were in continuing at the time he talked to me. . . . He was extremely
perturbed that despite highly specific information, Time editors
Government and the Reagan-Bush campaign. Paris for these meetings insist that Bush was present for at
least one,” Sick wrote in the Times. “Three of the sources say
Sadegh Tabatabai, Khomeini™s emissary to the United refused to run that story.”
States, told Frontline that he and the State Department quickly they saw him there.” That story was about the alleged deal between the 1980
reached agreement on a quid pro quo: The hostages would be Brenneke says he did not see Bush in Paris but was told Reagan-Bush campaign and Khomeini to delay the release of
returned, and the United States would release Iranian assets the hostages. Joel Bleifuss interviewed Samghabadi several
by Heinrich Rupp that he was there. Ari Ben-Menashe, the
and arms deliveries frozen by the Carter Administration. “At times in 1988, during which he professed knowledge of such
former Israeli intelligence officer, also claims he saw Bush in
the end of the talks, I was very optimistic,” Tabatabai said. a deal but would provide no particular˜.˜
Paris that weekend.
“Carter had accepted the conditions set by the Iranians.” The Ben-Menashe was found not guilty after a six-week trial
If Bush did not travel to Paris, it should be a simple
atmosphere seemed favorable for the agreement. The United that garnered little media attention. Nonetheless, he had been
matter for the White House to prove where he was on that
States wanted the hostages, and Iran needed military supplies. punished, spending eleven months and three weeks in jail
weekend. Bush, then a candidate for Vice President, was
This arrangement resembled the deal Casey allegedly awaiting trial. According to federal sentencing guidelines, the
under 24-hour Secret Service guard. Records should be
proposed in Madrid, but there was one important difference: arms-dealing crime for which he was charged carried a
available to document every day of the campaign. Bush
The Administration™s formula involved the immediate recommended 15month sentence.
described the allegations as “grossly untrue, actually incorrect,
liberation of the hostages, while Reagan wanted to stall the Bleifuss interviewed Ben-Menashe at his home in
bald-faced lies” and insists he can “categorically deny any
release until after the election. Former Iranian President Lexington, KY. The Israeli operative had decided to publicize
contact with the Iranians or anything having to do with it”.
Abolhassan Bani-Sadr told Frontline, “If there had not been his carefully-guarded secrets after 14 years, he explained,
But, astonishingly, the White House has circulated a number
contacts with the Reagan-Bush group, the hostages would have because “I was left to hang-dry here in the States. So many
of contradictory alibis for the dates Bush allegedly met with the
been freed six months before the U.S. elections.” people have died. So many people have gone to jail. Cover-
Iranians.
Despite agreement between Washington and Teheran on up after cover-up, it keeps going on and on. The time has
During the Brenneke trial, for example, two Secret
the hostage-arms quid pro quo, the Iranian Government put come to stop thi˜.“˜
Service witnesses testified that they were protecting Bush in
the issue on ice. In early 1980, acknowledged Ben-Menashe, both the
the United States when the Paris meetings reportedly took
Carter Administration and the Republicans who hoped to
place. Under cross-examination, the agents said they could not
FINAL AGREEMENT REACHED capture the White House wanted to make a deal with the
recall seeing Bush that weekend, and they also could not recall
Iranians to release the hostages. To reach an agreement with
whether [or not] they were even on duty. The Government
What happened? In October, according to Sick™s Iran, the Carter Administration asked Iranian arms dealer
also failed to produce any records proving the agents were
reconstruction, Casey met in Paris with representatives of the Cyrus Hashemi and his two brothers to serve as intermediaries.
with Bush, or that Bush was in the country.
Iranian and Israeli governments. An agreement was reached “But Carter and his boys were doing all the wrong
Other conflicting accounts have surfaced:
Frontline obtained “heavily censored Secret Service
on the proposals advanced earlier in Madrid. Iran would not things,” says Ben-Menashe. “The Hashemi brothers were
l

release the hostages until after the election, and Israel would basically frauds, They had enough connections to sell arms to
documents” that showed Bush™s Secret Service detail spent the
ship arms and spare parts to Iran. the Iranians, but they didn™t have the connections to get the
weekend at a suburban country club outside Washington, D.C.
For years, Richard Brenneke said the Agency ordered him hostages out. They needed real connections to Khomeini and
The records do not specify who was in the party and do not
to Paris in October 1980, to launder money for the Reagan- the approval of different factions in the Supreme Council.”
mention Bush.
Bush deal with the Iranians. The CIA denies the Agency ever Working for the Republicans, says Ben-Menashe, were
The Washington Times reported that “Reagan-Bush
l
employed Brenneke. Carter intelligence officers who had worked with Bush when
campaign records, independently confirmed” by the newspaper,
In a September 10 Village Voice story, banner-headlined he was CIA Director from 1976 to 1977.
proved that Bush spent Sunday, Gct.19, at home. ˜The Secret
“BRENNEKE EXPOSED”, Frank Snepp damaged Brenneke™s According to Ben-Menashe, Carter made a mistake when
credibility. He discovered, while examining credit card and Service says he awoke about 6:30 a.m., had lunch at his he named Stansfield Turner to replace Bush as CIA Director.
other receipts, that Brenneke was upparendy charging meals Washington home and spent the day there preparing [a] Carter should have made “sure that all the Bush people were
and motel rooms in Portland and Seattle during many of the thrown out”. Carter had earned the enmity of many CIA
speech. He returned home from the speech about 9 p.m.“, the
times he claimed he was in Paris and elsewhere during 1980. officers following his house-cleaning of the agency, prompted
Times reported.
Even though the receipts indicated he was not where he by congressional investigations into earlier CIA misdeeds.
l Also on May 8, columnist L. Gordon Crovitz, a member of
claimed to have been, Brenneke™s information was accurate. Two of the CIA officers Ben-Menashe says Carter should
the WaZE Street Journul editorial board, wrote that on Oct.19
October Surprise author Barbara Honegger, who is familiar have dumped were Donald Gregg and Robert Gates, both of
Bush had lunch at the Supreme Court with Justice Potter
with the story, questions how thoroughly Snepp verified that whom held prominent positions under Carter and later Reagan.
Stewart and his wife. Stewart is now dead, his wife reportedly
the receipts were signed by Brenneke, and claims Snepp Gregg, a career CIA officer, served as the CIA™s Chief of
suffers from chronic memory loss and no office records or
admitted he had made no effort to verify Brenneke™s Station in Korea during Bush™s tenure at the CIA. At the time
diaries exist to support this alibi.-Christic Institute,
whereabouts during that period. of the hostage crisis, Gregg worked in Carter™s National
Snepp and his editor at the Village Voice, Dan Bischoff, Convergence, Summer 1991. Security Council as CIA liaison. After the election, he was
were unwilling to provide receipts to Barbara Honegger for In the fall of 1990, in Manhattan™s Southern District named Vice President Bush™s National Security Adviser. He
verification of Brenneke™s signature and purported activities, Court, another chapter in the Iran-Contra drama quietly played now serves as Ambassador to Korea.
claiming they were holding them for a television special. out. Ari Ben-Menashe had been charged by the U.S. Gates, also a career CIA officer, served on Ford™s NSC.
Honegger also claims Snepp advised her-following her press government with attempting to sell, in April 1989, three Under Carter, he remained at the NSC and was later Executive
conference in Washington, D.C., in August 198˜to drop her military-transport airplanes belonging to Israel, to a man who Assistant to CIA Director Turner. Gates™ career prospered
investigation, because her activities were “threatening an claimed to represent Iran, but was actually a U.S. Customs under Reagan™s CIA Director and 1980 campaign manager,
important covert operation”. agent. Ben-Menashe claimed in court that he was an Israeli William Casey. Gates now is Bush™s CIA Director, after
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL
DECEMBER 13, 1999 Page 7

having served as Deputy National Security Adviser. denied this. On Oct. 2, 1980, Ben-Menashe says he met three Security Adviser. Brenneke also said that he heard from his
“In early 1980, it.was already clear that it was going to be members of the Reagan-Bush campaign at the L™Enfant Plaza friend, Heinrich Rupp, an American pilot who claims he flew
a Reagan-Bush ticket,” says Ben-Menashe, who explains that Hotel in Washington, D.C. He says he presented the three- Casey to Paris, that Bush was in France at the time. At
this information was contained in an intelligence-community McFarlane, Richard Allen and Lawrence Silberman-with an Brenneke™s perjury trial, the U.S. Attorney failed to prove that
circular and attributed to Ezra Weitzman, Prime Minister alternative to the deal Casey had negotiated in Madrid. Ben- Gregg, Casey and Bush were in Paris on Oct. 18-22, 1980.
Begin™s Defense Minister. Weitzman said that Bush had Menashe says that the Israelis had arranged this deal with Iran The Justice Department was also unable to provide Casey with
confided this to some friends in Israel. because they had qualms about helping the Republicans an alibi. Gregg™s claim fell apart, also, following the
According to Ben-Menashe, in early 1980, two subvert the Carter Administration™s negotiations with the meteorologist™s testimony.
Republican campaign representatives approached Iran about The testimony of the two Secret Service agents was not
Iranians for the hostages™ release.
convincing. Brenneke™s lawyer, Michael Scott, told Frontline,
At the time, McFarlane was working for Sen. Tower on
striking a deal. One was Robert McFarlane. Ben-Menashe,
in a deposition for a federal case in 1991, stated that the Senate Armed Services Committee. McFarlane later ˜They had two Secret S&vice witnesses testify that they were
McFarlane had a special [paid] relationship with Israel since served as Reagan™s National Security Adviser. McFarlane on the Secret Service team that was protecting the vice-
1978, when he worked as an aide for the late Sen. John Tower negotiated the 1985 secret arms-for-hostages negotiations with presidential candidate, George Bush, at the time. They didn™t
(R-TX). Subsequently, McFarlane told Phil Linsalata of the St. Iran. In 1980, Allen was the Reagan-Bush campaign™s remember what hours they worked. They thought they were
Louis Post-Dispatch that Ben-Menashe™s accusation is on duty that weekend, but they couldn™t be sure.. . . They
foreign-policy adviser. Silberman, an Allen aide during the
“absolutely false”. However, In &se Times reportedthe FBI 1980 campaign, was later appointed to the federal judiciary. weren™t sure that they saw George Bush at any time during that
was investigating the allegation that McFarlane was an Israeli A photocopy of Ben-Menashe™s notes on the meeting weekend.”
Parry reported for FrontZine that he obtained “heavily
agent. reads, in part, “Oct. 2, 1980. Eastern Shuttle, D.C. E. Plaza
According to Ben-Menashe, the other Republican Hotel...To meet Silberman, Allen, Bob McFar. 40-page censored Secret Service documents...that show that Bush™s
representative was Dr. Earl Brian, a former Secretaty of Health document F-14 parts aheady paid for, in return of the hostages. detail went to a suburban country club [that weekend]. But the
and Welfare for California under Gov. Reagan who left public Swap in Karachi. Charter 707.” According to Ben-Menashe, papers do not specify with whom the candidate might have
met, nor do they supply any other details as to who was
service in 1974, allegedly to deal arms to the Shah™s Iran. the Iranians had told the Israelis that they would release the
Brian, says Ben-Menashe, was connected to Iranian Prime hostages immediately, in exchange for U.S.-made F-14 parts actually in the party.”
Gary Sick, Carter™s NSC point man on the Teheran
Minister Mehdi Bazaragan, who resigned after the American that Iran, under the Shah, had aheady paid for.
hostages were taken in Teheran but continued to play a He says that the three Americans “turned that deal down” hostage crisis-in his version of the 1980 hostage negotiations
in October Sulptie-told Frontline, “I think it was something
prominent role in Iran™s government. Both men, says Ben- because the Americans “wanted the hostages held until after
like 15 people that claim personal knowledge that this [the
Menashe, “worked very closely” with Gates, then an aide to the election. The Iranians were dying to get rid of the
deal] happened. . . . There are a very large number of very
CIA Director Turner. hostages. But the Americans wanted to strike their own deal,
respectable people who really do believe that this happened.. ..
In February 1980, says Ben-Menashe, McFarlane and not an Israeli one, with the Iranians, so they threw that one out
Brian traveled to Teheran to arrange meetings between Casey I finally, I guess, passed a point where it was harder to explain
and struck their own deal later [that month] in Paris.”
away the people who were supposedly all lying to me-for
and representatives of Khomeini. According to Ben-Menashe, Over the past four years, Allen, McFarlane and Silberman
reasons that I couldn™t understand-than it was to believe that
between March and September 1980, Casey met with Iran™s have acknowledged that they met an Iranian representative at
Ayatollah Mehdi Karrubi four times in Spain to discuss the something, in fact, happened.”
L™Enfant Plaza Hotel in early October 1980, and were told that
Sick experienced fallout from the alleged deal. Carter
following deal: Iran would hold the hostages until after the his country was willing to release the hostages to the Reagan
election and, in return, the Reagan Administration, after taking campaign. All three have insisted that they dismissed the offer, aides negotiating details of the concurrent Carter deal m
office, would release frozen Iranian assets and provide Iran and they don™t remember the name of the man. Allen says he October 1980 noted a shift in the Iranian bargaining position.
lost his minutes of the meeting. He told Frontline,
with U.S. weapons. In 1988, Sick told reporters that by (X.22, 1980, the Iranians
It was not, however, decided how the weapons would be “Eventually, I™ll be able to find the memorandum I wrote on had changed their demands from spare parts for military
transferred to Iran via a third party. Karrubi is now Speaker this meeting, but I haven™t been able to find it yet.” equipment to cash. Such a shift would make sense if Iran
of the Iranian Parliament. Frontline, using other sources, Ben-Menashe said he was accompanied at this meeting by knew it would have access to U.S.-made arms during the
reports that Casey and Karrubi met twice in Madrid-+nce in the late Houshang Lavi, an Iranian-born arms dealer who had Reagan Administmtion.
July and once in August 1980. On Nov. 28, 1980, Ben-Menashe says he was appointed
previously brokered multibillion-dollar U.S. weapons sales to
That August, the Iranians struck a similar but separate Iran. But Ben-Menashe says Lavi, an Israeli agent, did not to the IDFMI-Mossad Joint Committee for Iran-Israel
participate. Lavi, however, told Frontline he met with the
deal with the Carter Administration. CIA Director Turner told Relations. He joined five others on the committee, four of
Frontline that the Carter Administration negotiated with three Americans. whom he says he had worked with in Paris the previous
Sadegh Tabatabai, a young businessman related to the The alleged deal that Casey had pursued during his month. He says, “Between that date and September 1987, I
Ayatollah Khomeini through marriage. Tabatabai told meetings in Spain-with the Ayatollah™s representative, was executing an official policy of the Israeli Government, in
Frontline, “At the end of the talks, I was very optimistic Carter Karrubi-was completed at a gathering of Americans, Israelis other words, gunrunning.”
had accepted the conditions set by the Iranians.” Arms sales to Iran via Israel began soon after Reagan
and Iranians in Paris on Oct. 18-22, 1980, says Ben-Menashe.
Parry reported on Frontline, ˜me Iranian offer mirrored He says he was a member of the Israeli group. The Israelis, took office, according to Ben-Menashe.
the agreement that Casey had allegedly accepted in Madrid.” Nicholas Veliotis was Assistant Secretary of State for the
live men and one woman, attended at Casey™s request. He
But after striking the Carter deal, the Iranians expressed little Middle East at the beginning of the Reagan Administration.
needed them to coordinate the arms deliveries to Iran.
He told Frontline, “My own firsthand knowledge starts when
interest in finishing it before the 1980 election. According to Ben-Menashe, “My job was basically to put
Although Begin had respected Caner™s wishes since April together an address book of all the Iranians at the meetings.” I™m Assistant Secretary of State in early February 1981.. . .
Ben-Menashe told Frontline, ˜The Iranians were basically Within a few months, we received a press report from TASS
1980 and curtaibed arms deals with Iran, Israel™s Prime
Minister changed his mind that August, throwing his support that an Argentinean plane had crashed and, according to the

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