Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Firewalls: ContraGate and PlameGate Similarities/The Quotable Richard Secord

The nomenclature of the PlameGate cabal is familiar: Cheney, Ledeen, Powell, Armitage, Chalabi, Judith Miller - Wikipedia: Miller "was previously the subject of controversy when in 1986 she wrote numerous articles on Libya, thus contributing to a massive disinformation campaign on Muammar al-Qaddafi which was coordinated by Admiral John Poindexter (Iran-Contra scandal) of the Reagan administration" - off the top of my head. There are more; this list doesn't include media figures who shaped public opinion toward both scandals.- AC
Paying The Penalty For Silence

... There are similarities between Iran-Contra and PlameGate:

[T]he Iran operations were carried out with the knowledge of [the President and Vice President]...

[L]arge volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials; and

[F]ollowing the revelation of these operations in October and November 1986, Reagan Administration officials deliberately deceived the Congress and the public about the level and extent of official knowledge of and support for these operations...

Much of the early phase of the continuing investigation focused on contradictions between the prior sworn testimony of Reagan Administration officials and contemporaneously created documents...

[F]alse testimony was given to, and highly relevant documents were withheld from, the Congressional and criminal Iran/contra investigations, despite representations of cooperation by the Reagan and Bush Administrations;
Each of these points describes PlameGate as well -- although the players have changed. Or have they?

Other Similarities With Reagan

There are other former Reagan officials with links to Iran-Contra who are employed by the Bush White House.

Charles Allen, Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security under Bush the Younger; CIA National Intelligence Ffficer for Counterterrorism under Reagan; Assistant Director of Central Intelligence [ADCI] for Collection under Bush the Elder and Clinton.
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under Bush the Younger; Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs under Reagan; and Director of Central Intelligence under Bush the Elder. Reagan had nominated him for CIA chief but he withdrew because of controversy surrounding Iran-Contra.

John Negroponte, Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to Iraq and Director of National Intelligence under Bush the Younger; ambassador to Honduras under Reagan where he sent "dozens of cables in which the Ambassador sought to undermine regional peace efforts such as the Contadora initiative that ultimately won Costa Rican president Oscar Arias a Nobel Prize, as well as multiple reports of meetings and conversations with Honduran military officers who were instrumental in providing logistical support and infrastructure for CIA covert operations in support of the contras against Nicaragua."

John Poindexter, Director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office (IAO) under Bush the Younger; National Security Advisor under Reagan. Poindexter was convicted of multiple felonies relating to Iran-Contra; the convictions were overturned in 1991 because prosecution evidence might have been tainted Poindexter's Congressional testimony.

Otto Reich, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs under Bush the Younger; Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean in the State Department and Ambassador to Venezuela for Reagan.

So what price is paid for taking the fall?

These six are not the only people implicated or convicted in Iran-Contra for whom Iran-Contra was merely a small pothole for their career. For example, Oliver North is on the talk-show circuit and employed by Fox News Channel.

Where will Libby be in 10 years? Will he have faded to obscurity ... or will he be rewarded with a return to public life by whomever is the next Republican President?
Internal Affairs: Reed's "great quote" from Iran-Contra figure
By the Mercury News

You may have missed it, but our ever-patriotic Mayor Chuck Reed delivered a Memorial Day speech a few weeks back that quoted a former general on the price of freedom.

So what? Well, at least one observer whose memory reaches back to the Reagan era reminds IA that the former general in question was a notorious figure in the Iran-Contra scandal - and also had alleged ties to drug smugglers.

Reed quoted Richard Secord, a retired Air Force major general, who said: "To be born free is an accident; to live free is a privilege; to die free is a responsibility."

Secord is perhaps best known as the chief operative in the scheme to sell arms to Iran and fund guerrillas fighting Nicaragua's Marxist government, in violation of U.S. policy. He pleaded guilty in 1989 to lying to congressional investigators and was sentenced to two years on probation.

During the Vietnam War, Secord flew some 200 combat missions over Southeast Asia. He was later accused of helping the CIA provide cover to anti-communist Laotian leader Vang Pao's narcotics-trafficking activity, a claim Secord denied.

Asked about his choice, Reed said: "I don't think anybody I quote doesn't have something negative in their history. I'm fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson as well, and he was a slave owner."

Besides, Reed added, "It's a great quote, and you shouldn't use quotes without attribution."