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willing to release the hostages immediately. The Americans
to the Republicans. were saying, ˜We cannot release the money so quickly.. . . document, crashed in Soviet territory. This was chartered by
According to Ben-Menashe, Begin wrote a directive that Keep the hostages until January. It will take time to release Israel, and it was carrying American military equipment to
Israel would help gain the release of the hostages by Iran.”
the money. Let™s set a date in January for the release.™ The
On July 23, 1981, the Jerusalem Post reported that an
supporting “the efforts made by various Americans who are Iranians were saying, ˜Just give us the money and you can get
not necessarily members of the present administration”. Ben- your guys.“™ Ben-Menashe refuses to ˜name all the people at Argentinean cargo plane was shot down over Soviet airspace
Menashe says he saw that directive, which was distributed on as it returned to Tel Aviv from Teheran. Subsequently, it was
the meetigs but says the delegation .includedCasey and Bush.
a “need-to-know basis”. He also says Begin™s decision was Richard Brenneke also claims to have been at one of reported that the plane had been transporting $30 million
made very hesitantly. Ben-Menashe claims that the Israelis those meetings. In a deposition for a 1988 federal court case worth of U.S.-made M-48 tank parts and ammunition to Iran6
October Surprise, Barbara Honegger™s watershed expose;
realized their involvement could be interpreted as subverting in Denver, he said, “The purpose of that meeting was to
Gary Sick™s book by the same title; Witness, by Mansur
“legal government in the U.S.“. negotiate not only for the release of the hostages but also to
Ben-Menashe says that CIA Director Turner asked Begin discuss...how we would go about satisfying everybody Rhafizadeh, former head of -the Iranian SAVAK in the U.S.;
to aid the Republican negotiating team. Turner, says Ben- involved.” the new book by former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-
Sadr; and the October 1988 PZuyboy article, “An Election
Menashe, led Begin to believe that he would continue to head According to Brenneke, the Americans at the session
the CIA under a Reagan-Bush Administration. Turner has Held Hostage” by Abbie Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers, that
included Casey and Gregg. Gregg became Bush™s National
Page 8 DECEMBER 13, 1999
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL

may have cost Hoffman his life; all recount in detail the events In spring 1985, Michael Ledeen, a part-time consultant to the arms dealers were released on bail. The charges were
that led to the delay of the hostages™ release and the flow of, Reagan™s NSC, and McFarlane, Reagan™s then-NSC adviser dropped in 1989.
ultimately, billions of dollars worth of U.S. weapons to Iran. and a man whom Ben-Menashe alleges had a “special Despite their longstanding differences on the Palestinian
According to Hoffman and Silvers: relationship” with Israel that dates from 1977, introduced issue, Israel™s Labor and Likud parties agreed on one thing:
As early as February 1981, Secretary of State Alexander Oliver North, Reagan™s NSC operative, to Nir, Nimrodi and Military support for Iran was crucial to Israel™s stability. “Iran
Haig was briefed on Israeli arms sales to Iran. In November, was our main card in the Middle East. It was a deadly enemy
Schwimmer. They helped North and others in the White
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon asked Haig to approve the sale House set up the 1985 and 1986 arms-for-hostages deals to for the Arabs. They were the ones who could hold the Arabs
of F-14 parts to Teheran. While the proposal was in direct free the Americans held in Lebanon. at bay,” says Ben-Menashe.
opposition to publicized Administration objectives, Sharon These two competing arms channels posed a problem for But Israel™s support for Iran was not shared by everyone
pitched it as a way of gaining favor with Iranian “moderates”. in the White House. ˜The Bush people had it in for Israel, or
Bush and his former CIA colleagues who, says Ben-Menashe,
According to The Washington Post, Haig was ambivalent, but had been “controlling and sitting on the Joint Committee™s rather, the Likud, since Liknd was running the show,” says
consented with the approval of top officials, notably Robert operation since Bush became vice president”. However, Ben- Ben-Menashe. He believes that one goal of Bush and his
McFarlane. Menashe says, “Bush did not want to defy Israel™s reigning former CIA colleagues was to maintain Friendly relations with
Israeli Ambassador Moshe Arens later told The Boston Prime Minister, so he didn™t interfere with the Nir-North the Arabs and their oil. To further that goal, the Bush group
Globe that Iranian arms sales had been approved at “almost de&.” established Iraq as a dominant power in the Middle East,
the highest levels” of U.S. Government in spring 1981. In But Nir and North™s arms deals were not as lucrative as according to Ben-Menashe.
fact, Reagan™s Senior Interdepartmental Group agreed in July The U.S. attitude toward Iraq began to warm in 1982,
the Joint Committee™s, says Ben-Menashe. ˜They connected
1981 that the U.S. should encourage third-party arms sales to with the wrong Iranians.” According to Ben-Menashe, the when the Reagan Administration removed the country from its
Iran to “advance U.S. interests in the Middle East”. The Joint Committee sold 12,000 TOW missiles to Iran in three list of terrorist nations. In late 1983, high-level American
initiative was such a reversal of policy that it™s unlikely Haig batches over four years while, during the same period, Nir and officials began to travel to Baghdad, and in 1984, the U.S.
would have consented without the President™s approval. Haig North managed to provide Iran with only 100 TOWS and some statted supporting the Iraqi war effort against Iran by supplying
refuses to comment. HAWK surface-to-air missiles, which were returned by the intelligence to Iraq.
In November 1986, the Administration finally said the In May 1984, Saddam Hussein stated that Iraq was using
Iranians to Israel because they were not acceptable, since they
Israelis had delivered U.S. military supplies to Iran in the early were decorated with Stars of David. intelligence provided by AWACS flown by American pilots
Eighties. The State Department downplayed the sales, To consolidate the arms business and wipe out the based in Saudi Arabia. In November 1984, the U.S. restored
claiming that the amount of arms Iran received was trivial, that diplomatic relations with Iraq. Around this time, Saddam
competition, North, in 1986, or&ted a U.S. Customs Service
only $10 million or $15 million worth of non-lethal aid had sting operation. The sting put arms dealers who worked with Hussein announced that he was willing to join the Camp David
reached Iran. That figure was disputed. 7he New York Times Israel™s Joint Committee temporarily out of business. peace process.
estimated that before 1983 Iran received $2.8 billion in Administration policy-makers believed a powerful Iraq
The sting was approved by Rudolph Giuliani, the U.S.
supplies from nine countries, including the U.S. A West could accomplish two U.S. goals: Act as a regional balance to
Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The point
German newspaper placed the figure closer to $500 million. Israel, and pressure Israel to reach an accommodation with the
man was Cyrus Hashemi, who had been indicted in 1984 by
a federal grand jury for allegedly violating the Arms Export
Bani-Sadr said that his Administration, alone, received $50 Palestinians.
Control Act. In November 1985, Hashemi had approached
million worth of parts. Houshang Lavi [an Iranian arms Throughout their partnership in the 1984 coalition
dealer, recently deceased] believes Khomeini got at least $500 Giuliani with this deal: He would go undercover for the government, the Likud and Labor parties were split on the
milhon in military supplies. Customs Service, if Giuhani would drop the year-old charges Palestinian issue. Labor was willing to negotiate an
Lavi is [was] in a position to know. In 1981, he and international conference on the Palestinian issue and leaned
against him.
toward a Palestinian State on the West Bank. Likud supported
Israeli arms dealer Yacobi Nimrodi reportedly sold HAWK Michael Finnegan, a New York-based researcher, reports
missiles and guidance systems to Iran. In April and October that an attorney employed by the U.S. Senate who requested a Palestinian State in what is now Jordan.
1981, Western Dynamics International, a Long Island company According to Ben-Menashe, the U.S. attempted to
anonymity said that North and others in the NSC were aware
run by Lavi™s brother, contracted to sell the Iranian Air Force empower Iraq by allegedly supplying it, through third parties,
of the “sting” and had a “vested interest” in Customs using
$16 million worth of bomb fuses and F-14 parts. Admiral such as Chile, with chemicals it needed for chemical weapons.
Hashemi to “shut down elements of competition”.
Bobby Ray Inman, William Casey™s Deputy Director of On April 21, 1986, the sting went down. That day the ˜The Americans are giving chemicals to Iraq to maintain a
Central Intelligence, said that the CIA knew in 1981 that Israel balance of terror and convince Israel that it couldn™t last with
U.S. Customs Service arrested 17 Israeli, European and
and private arms dealers were making sizable deliveries to just military might. This could force the Israelis into a peace
American arms dealers lured to Bermuda by Hashemi.
Iran. The Reagan White House raised no objections. Giuliani later indicted 13 of the dealers for conspiring to sell plan. That was the deal,” he says. “Even today, the Bush
Eighteen months after Reagan took office, Iran had Iran $2 billion in missiles, fighter aircraft, tanks, guns and Administration is keeping Hussein intact in order that he
received virtually all the spare parts and weapons that Carter remains a perceived threat to Israel.”
spare parts.
Included in the 13 were four men Ben-Menashe says were William Northrop, a self-described Colonel in Israeli
had refused to include in his hostage accord.
It is not known who authorized the sales to Iran. Nicholas connected to Israel™s Joint Committe: Brig. Gen. Abraham military intelligence, says President Carter approved an Israeli
Veliotis told Frontline, ˜“It was clear to me after my military shipment to Iran in the hostage crisis in mid-1980.
Bar™ am; Samuel Evans, the lawyer for Saudi arms dealer
conversations with people on high that, indeed, we had agreed Adnan Khashoggi; and two Israelis, Rafael Eisenberg and his The arms expert, who played a role in the Iran-Contra affair,
that the Israelis could trans-ship to Iran some American-origin son Guriel. Ben-Menashe says he had also planned to travel told a federal court that the Carter Administration backed an
Israeli arms shipment to Iran before the 1980 electiot+at the
military equipment.” to the Bermuda meeting but was warned to stay away by John
Haig put it this way to Frontline, “I have the sneaking DeLaroque, an arms dealer indicted in the sting but not time the Republicans were purportedly bargaining to forestall
suspicion that somebody in the White House winked.” an early release of the 52 American hostages in Teheran.
apprehended in Bermuda.
Northrop also stated, in an affidavit obtained by the
In 1984, a coalition government in Israel between the Ben-Menashe says he and other Israeli intelligence
Village Voice, that within weeks of the inauguration and the
Likud and Labor parties was formed, and Labor leader Shimon officers convinced Giuliani to release the indicted Israelis from
Peres began serving a two-year term as Prime Minister. “At freeing of the hostages, the Reagan White House okayed huge
New York™s Metropolitan Correctional Center where they
Israeli arms shipments to the Ayatollah, though such deliveries
the time, Peres tried to wrest the ongoing U.S. arms sales to were being held. They vowed to get even with North for
Iran out of the hands of the middlemen in the Israeli were banned on November 13, 1979. The allegation, denied
allowing the sting to proceed.
intelligence community. That way, he could turn the sales over by former Carter officials, raises the prospect that the Carter
To achieve these ends, Ben-Menashe says that he leaked
to his own cronies, who were half-private contractors,” says the story of the White House™s 1985 and 1986 arms-for- White House inadvertently gave the Israelis a green light to
Ben-Menashe, who adds that Israeli arms merchants Adolph tamper with the negotiations to free the 52 American hostages.
hostages deals.
On Nov. 3, 1986, the Beirut newspaper Al Shiraa The picture Northrop draws is of massive U.S.-Israeli
Schwimmer and Yacobi Nimrodi were two of Peres™ cronies.
According to Ben-Menashe, Peres™ move created an arms published an article detailing the secret deals with Iran. collusion in breaching the U.S. arms embargo against Iran,
channel that tried to compete with the one operated by the long before Lt. Cal. Oliver North became involved in late
Journalist Richard Ryan, using sources other than Ben-
1985. Since congressional Iran-Contra investigators never
Joint Committee, for which Ben-Menashe worked. The Menashe, reported how the Israelis got even with North in
channel operated out of the office of Amiram Nir, who served looked into the early deals, Northrop™s testimony provides a
“Revenge is Revenge; the exclusive story of how the Israelis
as Peres™ antiterrorism adviser. Nimrodi and Schwimmer piece of the puzzle barely glimpsed.
leaked Irangate to save their agents”.7
After the Al Shirau story exposed the Iran-Contra deals, It also complicates debate over the “October Surprise”
worked with Nir to set up the channel.
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL
DECEMBER 13, 1999 Page 9

charges. Northrop™s account does not contradict these
allegations. But in raising the possibility that the Carter
Administration also approved Israeli shipments to Iran, he
casts the Israelis, not the Republicans, as spoilers. Indeed, if
his testimony proves accurate, it would appear that both sides
in the 1980 presidential race allowed the Israelis a free hand
in pursuing covert arms policies that affected U.S. politics.
In a recent phone conversation, Sick elaborated, saying
that Carter sent a message to Begin on October 23, 1980
protesting the Israeli shipment of aircraft tires, and was advised
the following day that the cargo had already departed for Iran.
“Technically speaking,” said Sick, “Carter approved the
transaction in the sense that he didn™t break off relations with
Israel.” But, Sick emphasized, there had been no explicit
approval. That being said, however, he refused to discount
Northrop™s allegations. Indeed, he argued that the Israelis may
have been misled about Carter™s position on arms shipments
by rogue CIA agents acting behind the President™s back.
These agents, he speculated, may have duped the Israelis into
believing they could resupply Iran with Carter™s blessing, in
order to derail the President™s last-minute hostage negotiations.
Northrop does not mention in his affidavit any of the
alleged Republican “October Surprise” efforts to delay a
hostage release. But he does say that in December 1980,
before the Reagan inauguration, Israel™s military attache in
Washington, Menachem Meron, sounded out the incoming
Administration on its policy toward Iranian arms sales.
Northrop says the query was passed on to Reagan aide Richard
Allen through a member of the American-Israel Political
Action Committee, Morris Amitay.
Like several other events mentioned in Northrop™s
affidavit, the Allen-Amitay exchange has been previously
reported. But in contrast to other published accounts of the
conversation, Northrop insists that the Reagan official gave a
thumbs-up to the deliveries. “Allen checked [with his
superiors],” says Northrop “and advised Amitay of the new
Administration™s approval.”
Ultimately, the Justice Department dropped its case
against him and other defendants in early 1989, after
congressional Iran-Contra revelations indicated that the Reagan
Administration had engaged in arms-for-hostage deals with
Iran.
In the summer of 1992, Congressional investigators
concluded that “ah credible evidence” contradicts claims that
President Bush went to Paris personally in 1980 to delay the
release of American hostages. Their findings came despite the
testimony of several people, including an Israeli arms dealer
and a man claiming to have flown on secret government
missions, who footh] said they saw Bush in Paris on Oct19 or
20, 1980.
Despite these findings, the House Task Force said it
would continue its investigation on whether the Reagan-Bush
campaign conspired with Iran to delay the release of the 52
American captives to deny President Carter a potential boost
toward re-election. The head of the Task Force, Rep. Lee
Hamilton, said interest in allegations about Bush was so high
that the group decided to publicly release their conclusions.

FOOTNOTES:

™ John Palmer, Jr. in The Oregonian, April 25, 1990
™ Joel Bleifliss, In These Times
3 Robert Morris, “Behind the October Surprise”,
Village Voice, May 21, 1991, p.31
-I Joel Bleifliss, In These Times, October 12, 1988.
5 Joel Bleifliss, “Truth: The Last Hostage”, In These
Times, April 17-23, 1991
6 Bleifuss, “Arms business as usual: guns to Iran since
1980”, In These Times, October 12, 1988
7 In These Times, February 11, 1987
CONTACT: THE PHOENIX JOURNAL Page 13
DECEMBER 20, 1999




The Immaculate Deception
declared @s] War Against Drugs in October of 1969-
and made the CIA the chief drug intelligence agency-
the result was that, by 1971, more than 100 CIA-
trained Cuban exiles, under cover of narcotics



TheBushCrime
FamilyExposed
enforcement, were functioning as a White House “goon
squad™; that experiment terminated in Watergate.
BUNCIN/DEACON, the CIA™s major experiment in
drug interdiction, increased the flow of drugs into the
country. So has every other CIA attempt to help out

ChapterSix the drug wars. When George Bush was CIA Director
in 1976, he received two reports, one from the DEA,
the other from the General Accounting Office,
By Russell S. Bowen evaluating the CIA™s sad-sack role in the drug wars.
Both concluded that drug enforcement and intelligence
on unaware Americans, many of them university kids. were two different worlds; it was folly to throw the
CHAPTER 6
In the ˜6Os, during the Vietnam War, the CIA CIA-whose business was covert operations based on
collaborated with Southeast Asia™s heroin-smuggling maintaining unsavory alliances-into drug wars.
“JUST FLY LOW”
generals and the opium-growing tribesmen of the Bush, nevertheless, did just that when he became
“Well, George, Z go in looking for prisoners, but Golden Triangle; the stories of the CIA™s Air America anti-drug czar in the Reagan Administration. In 1983,
Z spend all my time discovering the government has planes taking dope to market are legend. he announced a major effort against drugs to increase
been moving drugs around the world and is involved After the Bay of Pigs, the CIA™s paramilitary anti- “CIA help in the crackdown”. The results were, once
in illegal arms deals...Z can™t get at the prisoners Castro Cubans drifted from their Miami base into major again, calamity.
because of the corruption among our own covert narcotics smuggling and, by the ˜7Os, had developed DEA officials later testified before Congress that
people. “- Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot to then- the CIA sandbagged them on Gen. Noriega, to whom
alliances with far-right dope-financed terrorist
Vice President George Bush in 1987, when Bush organizations that the Agency kept at arm™s length but the DEA sent “attaboy” letters of congratulation on his
asked Perot how his investigation into missing occasionally used to its advantage. In the ˜8Os, the anti-drug efforts, while the CIA knew the Medellin
Vietnam POWs was going cartel was using Panama for a parking lot.
CIA™s Contra re-supply network and cooperating
“For 7% years I™ve worked alongside Reagan, and Given the Agency™s narcotic past, President Bush™s
Central American military honchos took advantage of
I™m proud to be his partner. We™ve had triumphs, decision to send a “reluctant” CIA once more into the
the cocaine boom with the Agency™s knowledge-and,
we™ve made mistakes, we™ve had SEX. ..uh, Z mean breach is anything but an exercise in cost-efficiency.
occasionally, under its protection.
SETBACKS, we™ve had setbacks. “-Vice President Through all these years there was, as Nixon once The CIA™s role is likely to be nothing more than making
George Bush, May 6, 1987 memorably put it, “a lot of hanky-panky” between the sure the troops in Bush™s expanded drug wars don™t go
CIA and its underworld assets and allies, many of off in right field and arrest the wrong people.™
“I fear I owe you an apology,” C.L. Sulzberger of
the New York Times wrote to poet Allen Ginsberg on The author has concluded that the CIA is not the
whom were importing increasing amounts of heavy
April 11, 1978. “I have been reading a succession of The CIA™s method in these model of decorous behavior for the silent services that
drugs into America.
alliances was to hold its soiled cards close to its vest he once considered it. The whole story-including the
pieces about CIA involvement in the dope trade in
and, when a drug-dealing asset was caught by the cops, abuse of secrecy by some intelligence officials he
Southeast Asia, and I remember when you first
suggested I look into this I thought you were full of intercede with the law. Scores of major narcotics cases believes were privately profiting from the CIA-sync
Asian drug traffic-would “just about destroy the
beans. Indeed, you were right.” were dropped at CIA insistence during the 1970s.
Intimately and subtly involved in a “lot of hanky- agency, if an honest investigation were held”, said the
The nation™s newspaper of record may have

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