Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 2 Num. 88

("Quid coniuratio est?")

I received the following from a CN reader who wishes to remain anonymous. What I plan to do is post the entire document over a period of time, most likely in weekly installments. Here is part 2.

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An Investigation and Discussion of that Part of the United States Government Which We Did Not Elect, Which Is Not Accountable, Which Is Unconstitutional, Which Is Engaged In Unlawful and Unconstitutional Activity, and Then Hides Behind the National Security Act of 1947



7. Draper, Theodore, A Very Thin Line, New York, New York, Hill and Wang, 1991. Draper is an award-winning author and historian. Summary: Documents the Iran-Contra Scandal. Black government, or secret government, illegally and unconstitutionally selling arms and deciding foreign policy. It was government by junta or cabal, a conspiratorial government within a government. The NSC staff replaced Congressional appropriation with third party money, using private persons posing as agents of the U.S. government, selling U.S. arms paid for by U.S. taxpayers to a terrorist country, and pocketing the profit.

Secord and North fraudulently exercised "responsibility to make foreign policy of the United States of American in lieu of the Congress, the Secretary of State, the President of the United States, [and] members of the National Security Council...." [emphasis added] As one political reporter commented, the Iran/Contra scandal "raised questions about the administration's competence in the handling of recent foreign policy problems, including a disinformation campaign against Libya that backfired, a summit in Iceland that produced confusion and damaged chances of an arms control agreement, and now Iran." This hypocrisy damaged the U.S. "Throughout the world, the duplicity of preaching one policy and doing the opposite had made the United States an object of scorn."

What started out as an arms-for-hostages deal degenerated into an arms-for-profit deal, with Secord and Ghorbanifar pocketing millions. Of course, since hostages was the method of payment by Iran for the much-coveted U.S. arms, it was in Iran's interest to obtain more hostages with which to bargain, which is exactly what happened in the midst of all these arms-for-hostages deals by North.

Once it had degenerated into an arms-for-profit deal, and as public discovery became imminent, a CIA agent emphasized the importance of getting hostages released in order to "put the best light on this."

"Since accountability is a basic principle of the American political system, [plausible] deniability cannot be applied to the highest elected American officials in the executive branch and Congress without nullifying accountability." Yet, covert operations use plausible deniability as a matter of course. "The assumption is that the government is doing something which it cannot afford to do openly or admit afterward. By their very nature covert operations make it possible to put the good name or best interests of the country in such jeopardy that the only way to escape from the cost of failure or exposure is the ability to deny that they ever happened or to put the blame on someone else."

The only way to retain a democracy while simultaneously running black operations is by making the highest political authority responsible for permitting them and maintaining control over them. "Unauthorized and uncontrolled covert operations put the covert operators in a position to jeopardize the entire government, or even to take its place. Such covert operations become indistinguishable from government by junta or cabal." Such was the case with the Iran-Contra Scandal.

Part of North's congressional testimony "was an expression of the quasi-conspiratorial and junta-like sense which North and those closest to him had of themselves. They were privileged because they had values and perspectives which set them apart from almost all others in the government. They played by their own rules and were not accountable to [anyone]."

The author states that even he, a seasoned historian and author, was not prepared for what he found while investigating the scandal, as it threatened the very foundations of our country and Constitution. Institutionally, the beginnings of the scandal were with the National Security Act of 1947. Since then, the more the executive branch of government has grown, the more it has duplicated the rest of government, thereby bypassing the system of checks and balances. "There was no one between North and Poindexter and no one between Poindexter and President Reagan. On these pinpoints stood the entire structure of government in the Iran and contra affairs." There is a mystique associated with receiving a call from the White House that makes a request. "The secret of their power was that they could get things done by acting in the president's name....In effect, North's secret weapon was that he could pick up the phone and call from the White House."

During initial investigations, "congressional oversight committees were systematically duped and deceived" by other elements within the U.S. government. Unless the committee knew enough to ask just the right question, they did not get accurate information.

Historically, Congress has abdicated responsibility for its covert operations oversight responsibilities. This, combined with executive officials wanting to insulate the president in case the black operation were to come to light, meant these officials could make decisions and take actions in the president's name without his taking responsibility. "Protecting a superior who wanted something done without being caught at it was an old Washington custom." With no one wanting responsibility, covert operations became out of control.

When the cover-up was created, ignorance became innocence. "Yet this line of defense raised an even more awkward question. How could a single lieutenant colonel on the NSC staff successfully manipulate an entire area of U.S. foreign policy as he saw fit without anyone in the enormous bureaucracy of American government knowing or doing anything about it? What did this extraordinary anomaly tell about the existing structure of the government and the unacceptable risks of covert operations?"

Historically, as the U.S. global power has grown, so has presidential ambition with regard to foreign policy. Historically, presidents have appointed weak secretaries of state who could be bent to the president's will and/or, in a practical sense, replaced them with his personal national security advisor in order to rid themselves of constitutional restraints.

Nixon, Reagan and Bush have refused to acknowledge the War Powers Resolution, the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, and the Intelligence Oversight Act, Congress' attempts to force the executive branch to observe constitutional restraint. Even then, the oversight committee can only know what the black agencies or the executive branch choose to tell them. If the black agencies or "executive branch chose to conceal or misrepresent, there was little the committees could do about it."

Because of constitutional law, each administration has attempted to violate the law without seeming to violate it or without getting caught. In the case of Iran-Contra, these officials wheedled money out of third parties (foreign countries and private U.S. citizens) "to do what it could not do with congressionally appropriated funds, [which] put a fundamental constitutional principle at risk," namely the separation of powers. "By finding a substitute source of money, the administration in effect found a substitute for Congress."

Another example of the Reagan administration seeking a loophole was to seek legal opinions not from the president's counsel, nor the State Department's legal advisor, nor the Department of Defense' counsel, nor the CIA's general counsel, nor the NSC's staff counsel, but instead from an obscure, young lawyer who had passed the bar "on his fifth try, had never practiced law, had been employed in a legal capacity for the first time by the IOB, and had never before written a legal opinion on a legislative act."

Because of each countries' desire to "hold itself formally aloof from the deal, it was transacted by these freewheeling middlemen who were interested in profiting from it." Simultaneously, the price Iran, Israel, and the U.S. paid for using these middlemen was that they "opened themselves up to double-dealing and mutual suspicions." Because the middlemen held themselves out to be representing their respective countries, but in fact were not, they were under no constraints from their respective countries. Further, for the same reasons, the countries were not obligated to carry through with whatever agreements the middlemen made with each other. Secord and Ghorbanifar were acting as "'cutouts,' a setup which so confused patriotic duty with private profit in conditions of secrecy that it was bound to get into trouble."

The secret arms for hostages deals also left America subject to blackmail. "A covert operation which cannot be defended openly, if necessary, is always in danger of becoming a political scandal. By sanctimoniously preaching to the world that Iran was a terrorist state to which no other state should sell arms, and then not only selling arms but also engaging in discussions aiming at no less than a strategic tie, the Americans cut off their line of retreat." The Iran/Contra scandal gave the Israelis, Iranians, and all individual participants an opportunity to blackmail the U.S.

The secrecy, deniability, and compartmentation of covert operations protects the participants from proper criticism and supervision.

Iran/Contra was "symptomatic of a far deeper disorder in the American body politic...constitutional perversion." The participants reflect a school of thought that calls into question the constitutional foundations of our country, namely, whether the president has the right to be sole determinator of foreign policy. Poindexter said, "the constitutional authority of Congress to appropriate moneys should not be used 'to restrict what the President can do in foreign policy.'" North said, "[The president] is the person charged with making and carrying out the foreign policy of this country [italics added]."

This school of thought is what led them to believe that they could do whatever they wanted as long as the president approved.

Poindexter knew if he had used appropriated monies from Congress, he would have had to use a system of strict accountability. But, if unappropriated monies were used (third party monies) then no accounting system was required. This is not the first, nor probably the last, time that this issue has come up.

"The question of the appropriations power of Congress over foreign policy is only a special case of other, more far-reaching questions....Do we have an authoritarian president in foreign but a democratic president in domestic policy?" The Iran/Contra scandal was not an exception. It was "brought on by a long process of presidential aggrandizement, congressional fecklessness, and judicial connivance," which has endangered the Constitution.

In a letter from Madison to Jefferson, he wrote, "The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse of all the trusts committed to a Government, because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts and at such times as will best suit particular views; and because the body of the people are less capable of judging, and are more under the influence of prejudices, on that branch of their affairs, than of any other. Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."

The Constitution makes no distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy. "The Constitution clearly does not charge the president with 'making' foreign charges Congress with making and the president with executing both [foreign and domestic policies]....In foreign affairs, the Constitution limits the president the most in his ability to declare war. Yet it has done little to prevent presidents from making war so long as they do it without declaring it or pretend that they are waging something else. If Congress does not choose to be faithful to the Constitution and make itself responsible for declaring war, presidents can do almost anything they please."

Pearl Harbor "was, in fact, the last time a U.S. president permitted Congress to declare war before engaging U.S. armed forces in major hostilities....After World War II, the greater the power of the United States in the world, the greater have become the pretensions of the presidents to monopoly over that power." We have clearly gone a long way toward accepting "a kind of constitutional dictator in foreign policy" wherein the safeguards of a system of constitutional checks and balances is missing.

Professor Kate Stith in her study, "Congress' Power of the Purse," says, "Federal agencies may not resort to nonappropriation financing because their activities are authorized only to the extent of their appropriations." Besides which, nonappropriated funding "puts wealthy donors or foreign countries in a position to conduct, determine, or make American foreign policy...."

Senator Moynihan, following the Iran/Contra scandal, proposed legislation making nonappropriated funding a felony. After passing both the Senate and the House, Bush vetoed it, which makes a repeat of the Iran/Contra scandal, "in which Bush had played such a prominent part," a very real possibility. As Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, the purpose of the separation of powers was "not to avoid friction, save the people from autocracy."

Although constitutional disputes are frequent, "not every dispute...endangers [the Constitution]. This one, however, is qualitatively different." Because there is no reason to believe "the three branches of government have risen to their responsibilities," then the lesson has not been learned and "we can expect similar trouble...."

[As one investigator and researcher, Dave Emory, stated, "If these are the Republican right who are supposed to stand for family values, it must be the Gambino family."]

Each of the participants is listed below with a summary of their participation.


-Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. In 1984 Reagan, without Congressional approval, gave approval to the CIA to mine Nicaraguan harbors. It was an act of war that violated international law and U.S. law. The Nicaraguan government sued the U.S. and won in the International Court of Justice. The U.S. refused to recognize that court's jurisdiction and refused to pay the damages.
-Knew and agreed upon specific arms-for-hostages plans. -Once public discovery was imminent, Reagan was in favor of a continued cover-up, and adamantly refused to tell the American people the truth.
-Once public discovery was imminent, requested Schultz and Weinberger to lie by saying they supported Reagan's policy, that they had been aware of the Iran/Contra operation, that they had been consulted, and that they had approved of it. -Told McFarlane to keep contra funding a secret. -Rewarded Saudi Arabia for funding the contras by giving visiting King Fahd an unusual reception with numerous special privileges. -"Was kept currently informed of the problems associated with the contras and, when needed, stepped in to help out." -Supported, authorized, and signed Sporkin's illegal Finding. -Was motivated not just by the concern for the hostages' welfare, but by the fact that their fate threatened his presidency. -Refused to take advise from Shultz and Weinberger to not engage in the illegal and unconstitutional arms for hostages deal, thereby making the decision to do it entirely the president's. -Admitted complete responsibility for illegally selling weapons to Iran.
-Secreted the third Finding away from Shultz and other members of the NSC staff.
-His staff issued instructions to cut Shultz out of the loop. -Supported, authorized, and signed the third Finding which fraudulently referred to the CIA and not the NSC staff as carrying out the operation.
-Denied to U.S. citizens that there was any U.S. government involvement with Secord's plane that was shot down over Nicaragua. -Approved of numerous meetings and arms sales negotiations with representatives of terrorist countries. -Planned cover-up to American people when public discovery was imminent; he felt that something had to be said "because I'm being held out to dry," but simultaneously did not want to get into specifics for fear the specifics would betray the fact that his activities were not in alignment with policy or law; planned to justify not getting into specifics by hiding behind the skirts of the danger it would represent to the hostages. -Decided to make a public statement wherein "he intended to insist that there had been no ransom and nothing illegal, but that he could not divulge everything in order not to endanger the participants."
-Authorized, approved, and signed presidential Finding that broke laws and instructed the CIA to withhold information from Congress. -Was caught lying to the public, later admitted to it, but adamantly refused to admit that his policy on Iran/Contra was wrong. "And so I think that what we did was right, and we're going to continue on this path." His blatant defiance of media and public opinion created a crisis of confidence in government. -"Permit[ted] North to be made a potential criminal in public and hail[ed] him as an American hero in private." (Reagan told North privately, "You are an American hero.") "[North's] commander in chief in turn did not seem to see anything contradictory in letting an American hero be pilloried." -Later Reagan admitted that he was involved in the decisions to support the contras. He said, "It was my idea to begin with." He also admitted, "It was a covert action that was taken at my behest."
-Knew about the misappropriation of funds. -"Met with and thanked donors [to the contra cause] in the White House."


-George Bush was Vice-president under Reagan. -Knew details of Iran/contra scandal.
-Lied to U.S. citizens by claiming ignorance. -Was present at Reagan's briefings, was present at the top-level meetings, and was briefed "at considerable length and in intimate detail about the background and status of the dealings with Iran." -Sent North a Thanksgiving message which said, "Your dedication and tireless work with the hostage thing and with Central America really gives me cause for great pride in you and thanks." -Later admitted that he "went along with it."


-John M. Poindexter was a Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy and a Deputy National Security Advisor, then later National Security Advisor to Reagan, a position that does not have to go through Congressional confirmation, nor has to testify before congressional intelligence committees.
-Had "mania for compartmentation" and "was obsessive about secrecy," two qualities which made the Iran/Contra scandal possible.
-Knew and agreed upon specific arms-for-hostages plans. -Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras.
-Once public discovery was imminent, he was in favor of a continued cover-up and adamantly refused to tell the American people the truth.
-Outright lied to officials in attendance at a government meeting, which included President Reagan, Vice-President Bush, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the CIA Director, the Attorney General, the Chief of Staff, and the Deputy National Security Adviser.
-Later, when he found it convenient to do so, he illegally destroyed the presidential Finding to avoid public discovery and political embarrassment.
-Secreted the presidential Finding from other members of the NSC staff, including the CIA Director, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Defense. -Admitted to keeping critical information from Congress. -Admitted telling Congress an "untruth." -Secreted information away from the State Department. -Claimed that the reason he had not shown the first Finding to the NSC staff was because of his accidental oversight. Later, after an entire month to show the second Finding to the NSC staff, he engaged in the same "accidental oversight" a second time.
-Engaged in misappropriation of funds.
-Deliberately kept information from the president in order to provide deniability.
-Allied himself, not with constitutional law, not with the government, but with the president as an individual. "This presumptuousness was not a mere identification of Poindexter with the president on this issue; it also came from a deeper sense that both of them belonged to a privileged inner circle that made it possible for anyone in it to know what any other wanted and to act for him."
-Deliberately kept information from the CIA Director to avoid disclosure because the Director was liable to be questioned by Congressional committees.
-Neglected his duties as North's superior by not relieving North of some of his responsibilities when it was apparent that North was suffering from sleep deprivation (usually only 3 hours per night), growing fatigue, and depression. -Avoided facing Congressional committee questioning, "as might have been expected from a superior officer, and deliberately pushed North out in front."
-Deliberately avoided giving North guidance with regard to testifying to the congressional committee by taking a well-timed leave from work.
-Congratulated and supported North's improper "invasion of the State Department's traditional territory by a subordinate member of [Poindexter's] staff."
-Expressed displeasure that there had been identifying information aboard the plane shot down over Nicaragua and emphasized the importance of maintaining deniability. -Told North to get rid of his records. -Once public discovery was imminent, he helped Reagan plan the cover-up in terms of just how much to say to the American public. -Once public discovery was imminent, requested Schultz and Weinberger to lie by saying that they supported Reagan's policy, that they had been aware of the Iran/Contra operation, that they had been consulted, and that they had approved of it. -Because Schultz refused to lie regarding a unanimous front, Poindexter changed the public statement from "unanimous support for the president's decisions" to "unanimous support for the President." Amazing how one little word changes the image presented for the public.
-Lied by saying Israel, not the United States, had sold the arms to Iran.
-Advised not getting into specifics for fear the specifics would betray the fact that his activities were not in alignment with policy or law; planned to justify not getting into specifics by hiding behind the skirts of the danger it would represent to the hostages.
-Blatantly lied to Congress by saying that the U.S. had no role at all in arms shipments to Iran prior to January of 1986, when in fact the November 1985 shipment "had been carried out with the cooperation of American officials, from North and McFarlane to CIA and State Department personnel in Washington and Lisbon." -Appeared on the TV program Meet the Press and publicly evaded and concealed the truth from the American people. -Put together an official chronology of what happened which he planned to use once he was under scrutiny. This chronology was very important because it would be very telling as to how much they really believed that what they were doing was truly lawful. First, Poindexter put North in charge of writing it. Second, Poindexter ordered North to leave out all mention of misappropriation of Iranian funds for the contras. Third, as North did with everything else, he hid and distorted facts in the chronology.
-Reported "to the congressional intelligence committees with prefabricated evasions and studied falsehoods." -"The responsibility for what North did was Poindexter's." -Offered sensitive intelligence information to Iran.


-Robert C. McFarlane was the Deputy National Security Adviser to Reagan, a position that does not have to go through Congressional confirmation, nor has to testify before congressional intelligence committees.
-"Behaved as if he were authorized to conduct his own foreign policy...."
-Arranged for Saudi Arabia to contribute millions to the contras. -Arranged for Taiwan to contribute millions to the contras. -"Put up a perfectly innocent, totally unrepentant front" when questioned by Congress.
-Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras.
-Told Iranians during negotiations to think big, think beyond the hostages, think economic aid, think of all the help America could give to Iran.


-Ollie North was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps and assigned to the National Security Council as the Assistant Deputy Director for Political-Military Affairs. He authorized military operations in Nicaragua to aid the contras. -Planned to sink a Nicaraguan ship.
-Conspired to deceive congress.
-Fraudulently used "a tax exempt foundation devoted to humanitarian assistance for the purpose of buying military equipment for the contras."
-Collected millions of dollars from private U.S. citizens for the contras.
-Told the private citizens that their contributions for arms were tax deductible.
-Lied to anyone who asked (including foreign governments) whether what he was doing was legal.
-Had free-floating funds at his command. -Destroyed the ledger in which he kept track of these free- floating funds.
-Took the unconstitutional position that "the activities of the...National Security Council staff is part of the office of the President, is not a matter for congressional intrusion." -Boasted that he lied to Congress.
-Boasted that he lied to the CIA.
-Held the unconstitutional position "that the NSC staff was the president's personal staff, to do with as he pleased." -Twisted the Department of State's policy (against using arms for hostages) into an excuse to not put the deal down on paper, lying that the Department of State did not want it on paper, when in fact the Department of State did not want anything to do with the entire policy.
-Knew he was hiring liars and cheats to carry out the arms for hostages deals, but confessed it was difficult to get honorable people involved in these kinds of operations. -Continued to use Ghorbanifar even after he failed a polygraph. -Engaged in misappropriation of funds.
-Violated a federal law by accepting a $16,000 gift other than salary, and then "tried to paper over that whole thing." -"Was belligerently unapologetic about his admitted deception of the [congressional] committee."
-"I participated in preparation of documents for the Congress that were erroneous, misleading, evasive, and wrong...." more than once.
-In order to avoid, among other things, political embarrassment, North shredded dozens and dozens of documents prior to Justice Department lawyers coming in to examine his files. -Deliberately kept out of the loop in order to avoid dissent in the decision-making process was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That an obscure lieutenant colonel on the NSC staff knew more about the transfer of arms and military intelligence to Iran than did the highest-ranking officer in the entire U.S. armed forces boggles the mind.
-Posed as the president's confidant, saying he had flown up to Camp David to talk with the president, saying the president had referred to Saddam Hussein as a (expletive), promising Iran that the president's long-term objective was to arrive at full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran, and "to assure the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran." -"Made up American [foreign] policy as he went along." -Admitted to making blatant false statements to Iran. "I lied every time I met the Iranians." Thought that "lies could be made the foundation of a 'long-term strategic relationship'" with a foreign country.
-Lied to his superior, Poindexter, by misrepresenting what agreements the U.S. had actually made with Iran. -Knew and agreed upon specific arms-for-hostages plans. -Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras.
-When asked who was supporting the Iran operation, North answered, "On the for side you would have Reagan, Regan, Poindexter, Casey, and over here [against] you would put Shultz and Weinberger. And after that, nobody else counts." [emphasis added] Apparently in North's mind, Congress, other U.S. officials, and the U.S. citizenry did not count. -Told Iranians in the course of negotiations, "Think big. Think beyond the hostages. Think economic aid." -Told blatant lies to the Attorney General of the United States. -North testified, "I remain convinced that what we tried to accomplish was worth the risk." He "was proud of his role to the last."
-"When North was asked why he had not tried to find out why Poindexter had not discussed [the misappropriation of funds] with the president, North answered, 'First of all, I am not in the habit of questioning my superiors. If he deemed it not to be necessary to ask the President, I saluted smartly and charged up the hill. That's what lieutenant colonels are supposed to do. I have no problem with that. I don't believe that what we did even under those circumstances is wrong or illegal. I told you I thought it was a good idea to begin with. I still think it was a good idea, counsel.'" Then Senator Liman asked, "And have you wondered why, if it was a good idea, that the President of the United States dismissed you because of it?" North replied, "Let me just make one thing very clear, counsel. This lieutenant colonel is not going to challenge a decision of the Commander in Chief for whom I still work, and I am proud to work for that Commander in Chief, and if the Commander in Chief tells this lieutenant colonel to go stand in the corner and sit on his head, I will do so. And if the Commander in Chief decides to dismiss me from the NSC staff, this lieutenant colonel will proudly salute and say, 'thank you for the opportunity to have served,' and go, and I am not going to criticize his decision no matter how he relieves me, sir." But after all North's brave talk of being willing to play the martyred scapegoat, when charged criminally, in effect, told "to stand in a corner and sit on his head," he refused. At North's criminal trial, his lawyer tried to absolve North by putting all the blame on Reagan. -Requested his secretary, Fawn Hall, to fraudulently alter documents.
-Requested his secretary to conceal documents. -Offered sensitive intelligence information to Iran. -Instructed ambassadors to help facilitate the shipment of weapons, construct air strips for arms shipments, and to bypass the normal channels of communication to maintain secrecy, with which they complied.


-Richard Secord retired from the air force under questionable circumstances when he was linked with a former CIA agent who was convicted of selling arms to Libya's Qaddafi. He was thereafter denied security clearance. He organized a shadow CIA-type covert operation using former CIA agents and retired military officers. He privately profited by millions from selling to Iran U.S. arms that had been bought and paid for by U.S. taxpayers. -Secord and Hakim were the "commercial cutout,...a person or company used by the government to carry out its policy in such a way that the government itself was not openly linked with the operation and could make it seem to be an ordinary commercial transaction. 'Cutouts' served 'deniability.'" -Posed as an agent for the U.S. government. -One of Secord's airplanes was shot down over Nicaragua with three Americans on board. Only one survived. Secord's poor planning was probably a contributing factor. -Made up foreign policy as he went along, committing the U.S. to a war with the U.S.S.R. if the Soviets were to invade Iran, whether the Iranian government wanted U.S. help or not. -Told his employees they were working for the CIA. -Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to the Nicaraguan contras.
-Promised Iran that America would go in and rebuild Iran's air force if the hostages were released.
-Offered sensitive intelligence information to Iran.


-Edwin Meese III was White House Counselor and later Attorney General under Reagan.
-Recommended loopholes to avoid complying with the legal requirements of the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act.
-When public discovery was imminent, he advised Reagan to "get away from idea people were bypassed, division within U.S. government."
-Once public discovery was imminent, requested Schultz and Weinberger to lie by saying that they supported Reagan's policy, that they had been aware of the Iran/Contra operation, that they had been consulted, and that they had approved of it. -Lied by saying Israel, not the United States, had sold the arms to Iran.
-Advised not getting into specifics for fear the specifics would betray the fact that his activities were not in alignment with policy or law; planned to justify not getting into specifics by hiding behind the skirts of the danger it would represent to the hostages.
-Was aware that the Iran/Contra operation was an impeachable offense.
-Lied "that Poindexter had chosen to resign 'of his own volition.'"
-Lied by denying "that Poindexter had approved the diversion." -Lied that "North had requested his own return to the Marine Corps."


-Donald T. Regan was Chief of Staff under Reagan. -When public discovery was imminent, Regan supported cover-up by refusing Shultz' request for full and swift disclosure of the truth to the American people.
-"Threatened to invoke executive privilege if Congress tried to look into the secret contacts with Iran."


-Elliott Abrams was the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter- American Affairs under Reagan.
-He was the chief person responsible for damage control following Secord's airplane being shot down over Nicaragua, adopting a strategy of putting all the responsibility on the contras. -Told numerous lies to U.S. citizens on national TV. -Admitted he was careful to not ask a lot of questions as to legality regarding the Iran/contra operations, yet it was on the basis of such flimsy investigation that he was willing to give categorical assurances to the Secretary of State, under oath to Congress, to the press, and to U.S. citizenry. -"Took on a money-raising responsibility for the contras," and then "chose an account which he could not monitor and about which he admittedly knew nothing."
-Was not able to account to the law regarding the requirement that the money be used for humanitarian purposes only. -Evaded and deceived Congress.


-William Casey was the Director of the CIA. He requested and got from National Security Adviser Clark a National Security Decision Directive 77 which "provided for strengthening 'the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy,'" public diplomacy being a misnomer for indoctrination and propaganda, both foreign and domestic in practice. Specifically, op-ed pieces appeared in major U.S. newspapers to propagandize issues related to Central America. -Proposed funds be collected from private U.S. citizens to fund contra groups.
-Casey and North organized an extensive system of bribery and blackmail by giving a list of names of people in El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala who provided support, cooperation, and services for the contras in exchange for payoffs. -Supported Sporkin's illegal presidential Finding. -Ignorance was highly prized within the CIA. Casey said relative to Iran/Contra, "I haven't asked any questions about it. I don't want to know about it. I've kept myself ignorant." The reason ignorance was so highly prized was that if the agents within the CIA had spoken up earlier or more clearly, they might have embarrassed the agency or endangered their careers. -After Secord's plane was shot down over Nicaragua, Casey told North to "clean up" his files, "get rid of things, get rid of that book because that book has in it the names of everybody, the addresses of everybody. Just get rid of it and clean things up." -Gave congress a deceptive report.
-Knew and agreed upon specific arms-for-hostages plans. -Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras.
-Advised participants to not get into specifics during press conferences for fear the specifics would betray the fact that their activities were not in alignment with policy or law; planned to justify not getting into specifics by hiding behind the skirts of the danger it would represent to the hostages. -When Shultz refused to lie to the American people, Casey tried to get him fired.
-Reported "to the congressional intelligence committees with prefabricated evasions and studied falsehoods." -Told Congress that it was not a good idea for the NSC staff to carry out operations, "as if he had had nothing to do with it." -"Inspired and supported some of North's activities." -Urged Reagan to not go public with the scandal, citing devastating consequences as reasons to not do so, such as "no more funds to the contras, Central America poisoned by the Sandinistas, Arab outrage over the Israeli role, Iranian wrath at having been over-charged for the missiles."

Central Intelligence Agency:

-Knowingly gave operational support to North's Iran/Contra operation.
-Knowingly cooperated with Secord's illegal demands. -Provided planes from their proprietary airline for transport of arms.
-CIA's resources were made available to North for two reasons: First, because it was an NSC operation; and second, as a result of compartmentation (spies learn to not ask questions, particularly for any demands coming from the White House). -Third highest-ranking CIA official gave false testimony to Congress.
-CIA agent withheld critical information from Congress regarding the CIA's involvement in the Iran/Contra scandal. -Was deeply implicated in the Iran affair, and Director Casey went along with it "because he did not want the CIA to bear the formal responsibility for such a 'high-risk operation.'" -Knew and agreed upon specific arms-for-hostages plans. -The sole survivor of the plane shot down over Nicaragua publicly declared he had been working for the CIA. -Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras.
-Requested Defense Department to release arms to the CIA, which then released them to Secord's operation.

Drug Enforcement Administration:

-North called upon Drug Enforcement Administration personnel in order to carry out his operations, and they complied without getting proper authorization.

Department of State:

-North called upon the State Department personnel in order to carry out his operations, and they complied without getting proper authorization.


-George Schults was the Secretary of State under Reagan. -Believed getting money from third countries was an impeachable offense.
-Refused to agree to pretense of unanimous approval of Iran/Contra operation. So Poindexter changed the public statement from "unani??ZX? the right to defer for so long reporting to Congress."

Department of Defense:

-Engaged in ongoing struggle with the CIA as to who was to take responsibility for the transfer of arms to Iran, as neither of them wanted responsibility.
-North called upon Defense Department personnel in order to carry out his operations, and they complied without getting proper authorization.
-Released arms to the CIA which then released them to Secord's operation.


-Caspar Weinberger was Secretary of Defense under Reagan. -"Permitted months to go by without doing much of anything to prevent or even protest against what [he] knew to be wrong."


-Robert Earl was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps and was North's aide.
-Helped North shred documents.
-Knew details of Iran/Contra operations. -Concealed documents.

Fawn Hall:

-North's secretary.
-Fraudulently altered documents.
-Concealed documents.
-Shredded documents.


-John K. Singlaub was a retired Major General in the U.S. Army. -Obsessed by the communist threat.
-Functioned as military consultant to corporation which shipped arms to contras.
-Approached Taiwan and South Korea for funds for the contras. -Solicited funds and recruited military advisers for contras.


-Stanley Sporkin was the CIA General Counsel. -Drafted a presidential Finding that illegally committed the president to postpone reporting to Congress for as long as he pleased.
-Prevented the president's Finding from going through the Department of Justice.


-Albert Hakim was an Iranian businessman and acquaintance of Secord. He later moved to the U.S. and became a U.S. citizen. -Was business partners with Secord.


-Manucher Ghorbanifar functioned as middleman in the Iran/Israel/U.S. arms deals.
-Prior to Iran/Contra, had cooperated with the CIA, but later "the CIA issued a 'burn notice' to other government agencies to stay away from him."
-Conceived a plan to sell arms to Iran using Israel as the middleman, and bating the U.S. with promises of freeing American hostages.
-Plausible deniability enabled him to play one side off against the other.
-Was a liar, cheat, and profiteer who made enormous sums of money. -Failed a polygraph.
-Knew about misappropriation of Iranian funds to Nicaraguan contras. -Offered to sell influence in Washington to his business partner, Khashoggi, by raising money from Saudi Arabia to give to the contras.


-Adnan Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian entrepreneur and was Ghorbanifar's business partner in the Iran/Israel/U.S. arms deals. -Took out a $22 million life insurance policy on Ghorbanifar when Ghorbanifar's unpaid debts kept escalating, which North later used to pressure Reagan and Poindexter into approving another arms-for-hostages deal.
-Boasted of having successfully lied to the CIA director. -Boasted of having misled the Americans.


-Missed opportunities to investigate the problems before they multiplied exponentially.
-Gave mixed signals through its confused and contradictory policies.
-Mockery was made of the oversight function of Congress, yet none of the members of the oversight committee engaged in any self- criticism.

[ be continued...]

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9

Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

"Justice" = "Just us" = "History is written by the assassins."