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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,602

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40th Anniversary of All The President's Men

Entertainment Weekly ‏@EW Apr 9

'All the President’s Men' and 4 other movies that brought Watergate to life on screen: http://bit.ly/1N0XyVI

One of the unfortunate side effects to the whole Watergate saga is that Democrats have been much more circumspect about holding Republicans accountable for their corruption since. Which is obviously something GOP honchos have relied on and exploited ever since...

October Surprise


Meanwhile the Benghazi Committee keeps rolling along...
@MotherJones Apr 8

Benghazi Committee Passes 700-Day Milestone http://mojo.ly/1oJh25E

Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, convicted of lying to Congress about Iran Contra

The "Save the Contras" posters were part of short-lived fund-raising campaign by college Republicans in 1985. It came to a halt after "Save the Children," which it was mimicking, complained.

In late 1983, Duane Clarridge, the agent in charge of the covert war, admitted in a closed briefing of the House Intelligence Committee staff that the contras had killed “civilians and Sandinista officials in the provinces, as well as heads of cooperatives, nurses, doctors, and judges.” “After all,” Clarridge reportedly reasoned, “this is a war.” ...

@trevortimm 7 hours ago

Trevor Timm Retweeted Jason Leopold

Duane R. Clarridge, Pardoned CIA Criminal, Who Created Terror Networks And Admitted To A War Crime, Dies at 83


George H. Walker Bush and the 1980 “October Surprise” Mystery

Taking their cue from the President, House Republicans threatened to block continued funding for the inquiry unless the Democrats agreed that Bush had not gone to Paris. Although Bush’s alibi for the key weekend of Oct. 18-19, 1980, was shaky, with details from his Secret Service logs withheld and with supposedly corroborating witnesses contradicting each other, the Democrats agreed to give Bush what he wanted.

After letting Bush off the hook on Paris, the inquiry stumbled along inconclusively with the White House withholding key documents and keeping some key witnesses, such as Bush’s former national security adviser Donald Gregg, out of reach.

Perhaps more importantly, the Casey-Madrid information from Beach’s memo was never shared with Congress, according to House Task Force Chairman Lee Hamilton, who I interviewed about the missing material in 2013.

Whatever interest Congress had in the October Surprise case faded even more after Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton. There was a palpable sense around Official Washington that it would be wrong to pile on the defeated President. The thinking was that Bush (and Reagan) should be allowed to ride off into the sunset with their legacies intact.

So, even as more incriminating evidence arrived at the House task force in December 1992 and in January 1993 – including testimony from French intelligence chief Alexander deMarenches’s biographer confirming the Paris meeting and a report from Russia’s duma revealing that Soviet intelligence had monitored the Republican-Iranian contacts in 1980 – it was all cast aside. The task force simply decided there was “no credible evidence” to support the October Surprise allegations.

Trusting the Suspect

Beyond the disinclination of Hamilton and his investigators to aggressively pursue important leads, they operated with the naïve notion that President Bush, who was a prime suspect in the October Surprise case, would compile and turn over evidence that would prove his guilt and seal his political fate. Power at that level simply doesn’t work that way.

After discovering the Beach memo, I emailed a copy to Hamilton and discussed it with him by phone. The retired Indiana Democratic congressman responded that his task force was never informed that the White House had confirmation of Casey’s trip to Madrid.

“We found no evidence to confirm Casey’s trip to Madrid,” Hamilton told me. “The White House did not notify us that he did make the trip. Should they have passed that on to us? They should have because they knew we were interested in that.”

Asked if knowledge that Casey had traveled to Madrid might have changed the task force’s dismissive October Surprise conclusion, Hamilton said yes, because the question of the Madrid trip was key to the task force’s investigation.

“If the White House knew that Casey was there, they certainly should have shared it with us,” Hamilton said. Hamilton added that “you have to rely on people” in authority to comply with information requests.

Therein, of course, lay the failure of the October Surprise investigation. Hamilton and his team were counting on President Bush and his team to bring all the evidence together in one place and then share it with Congress, when they were more likely to burn it...


Our Brand Is Crisis

The documentary Our Brand Is Crisis pretty much lays out what Evo Morales describes. Which is using social media and other means to steal elections...
Another prime example of why the long-documented US position that "Latin America is our backyard" is so offensive and being rejected.

Cascadiance posted about a documentary that just knocked my socks off. We read about these things, we document them, we know it happens, but this documentary provides an inside look of the process.

In 2002, among the many creepy roles of James Carville was his work as strategist at Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS), when the political consultancy firm he had helped to found went to work to help Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (nicknamed “Goni”) win the hotly contested presidency of Bolivia. Although they thought the man to beat was Manfred Reyes Villa, the mayor of Cochabamba, certainly the one who most worried Washington was the indigenous leader, Evo Morales...


Watching season 3 of Leverage on dvd. In the commentary on the season finale the producer mentions that the documentary Our Brand Is Crisis served as inspiration for that episode.



More recently Our Brand Is Crisis got the Hollywood treatment. It was turned into mind-addling comedy with Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton.

Hamilton let Reagan off the hook then Dubya & Dick Cheney

as co-chair of the 9/11 Commission

Good memory...

That's exactly how I recall it too. Revisionist history has tried to whitewash Reagan's role in the disaster but you are correct.

The problem was the O-Rings that acted to seal the connections between the different stages of the rocket wouldn't seal correctly at cold temperatures. That morning was especially cold, below freezing iirc, but due to the SOTU speech scheduled that evening there was enormous pressure applied by the White House on NASA to launch in spite of their reservations.

So the opportunity to make a few cheap political points in a SOTU speech that night for Ronald Reagan trumped the safety of those astronauts.

OJ Simpson & the Frogman Case

Costa Rica related but pretty far afield otherwise. It seems, up until murdering Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, OJ Simpson was slated to star in a new show for NBC that had similar themes to some of the work Gary Webb had done around that time period in uncovering the contra-cocaine scandal ..
...Hitz acknowledged that cocaine smugglers played a significant early role in the Nicaraguan contra movement and that the CIA intervened to block an image-threatening 1984 federal investigation into a San Francisco-based drug ring with suspected ties to the contras, the so-called “Frogman Case.”...

CIA Drug Asset

Along the Southern Front, in Costa Rica, the drug evidence centered on the forces of Eden Pastora, another leading contra commander...



Yes, O.J. Simpson really made a 1994 NBC pilot titled Frogmen that was locked away forever http://uproxx.it/1UeS3Vm
11:13 PM - 15 Mar 2016

The seventh episode of The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story focused mainly on the infamous bloody glove moment at the trial, where Christopher Darden directed Simpson to try it on only to have the plan backfire when the glove appeared too tight. It was an important moment in the trial, and therefore an important moment in the series, but it was completely overshadowed — for me, at least — by a brief discussion Marcia Clark had with Christopher Darden’s friends about O.J. Simpson’s starring role in a scrapped 1994 NBC pilot titled Frogmen.

Yes, Frogmen was a real thing. It was described at the time as a kind of A-Team-esque series about beach bum former Navy SEALs. If you read that sentence and thought, “Well that sounds like an incredible television show,” there’s a good reason for that: It sounds like an incredible television show. From a 2000 Los Angeles Times article about the pilot:

The premise centers on a team of Navy SEALs who, as described in the pilot, “take on special assignments for the government and private sector.”

Simpson plays their leader, John “Bullfrog” Burke, who goes to Costa Rica with four fellow ex-SEALs ...



Thomas Dodd & Son

Sen. Thomas Dodd and JFK by Lisa Pease

Blacklist of advertisers on Air America Radio

Gravel was opposed to the war in Vietnam. He had filibustered on the floor of the Senate to block the draft. Ellsberg had given a copy of the papers to Ben Bagdikian, an editor at The Washington Post, on the condition that he give a copy to Sen. Gravel. Bagdikian met Gravel at midnight and transferred the papers from the trunk of one car to another outside The Mayflower Hotel. In order to enter these classified documents into the Congressional Record, Gravel found a loophole, which he recalled to me recently on the “Democracy Now!” news hour...

As Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Professor Ben Bagdikian puts it, whereas once the men and women who owned the media could fit in a “modest hotel ballroom,” the same owners (all male) could now fit into a “generous phone booth.” He could have added that, whilst a phone box may not exactly be the chosen venue for the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone, these individuals do indeed meet at plush venues such as Idaho’s Sun Valley to identify and forge their collective interests...

Started in 1967, the CIA's Operation CHAOS was (is) an illegal domestic program to attack domestic dissent against the Vietnam War and activist groups in general.

When Ramparts Magazine started exposing CIA manipulation of Students for a Democratic Society and other illegal domestic tricks, Richard Helms cooked up a plan to target dissent under the cover of targeting terrorism...

One of Capital City's early founders was William Casey, who would later become Ronald Reagan's Director of the CIA. At the time of Casey's nomination, the press expressed surprise that Reagan would hire a businessman whose last-known intelligence experience was limited to OSS operations in World War II. The fact is, however, that Casey had never left intelligence. Throughout the Cold War he kept a foot in both worlds, in private business as well as the CIA. A history of Casey's business dealings reveals that he was an aggressive player who saw nothing wrong with bending the law to further his own conservative agenda. When he became implicated as a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, many Washington insiders considered it a predictable continuation of a very shady career...

By the 1980s, Capital Cities had grown powerful enough that it was now poised to hunt truly big game: a major television network. A vulnerable target appeared in the form of ABC, whose poor management in the early 80s was driving both its profits and stocks into oblivion. Back then, ABC's journalistic slant was indeed liberal; its criticism of the Reagan Administration had drawn the wrath of conservatives everywhere, from Wall Street to Washington. This was in marked contrast to the rest of the White House press corps, which was, in Bagdikian's words, "stunningly uncritical" of Reagan. Behind the scenes, Reagan was deregulating the FCC and eliminating anti-monopoly laws for the media, a fact the media appreciated and rewarded. The only exception was ABC. Sam Donaldson's penetrating questions during press conferences were so embarrassing to Reagan that his handlers scheduled the fewest Presidential press conferences in modern history...

Mitt Romney’s “Pinochet Moment”

Interesting piece from the last POTUS election cycle...

Mitt Romney’s “Pinochet Moment”
Posted on September 20, 2012 by Daniel Hopsicker

...Speaking about US policy towards Honduras, Romney accused President Obama of backing a "pro-Marxist" leader in Honduras, faulting him for not more quickly and enthusiastically supporting the military coup in 2009 that deposed the elected President of a fledgling democracy.

That Romney chose to say anything at all about a small nation in Central America was somewhat surprising, especially since he hasn't been specific about much else.

But, as he must know, Honduras is important to US foreign policy for only one reason: Controlling Hondurus is important to controlling the drug trade.

Romney was signaling that in a Republican Administration, a return to the good old days when death squads could just "disappear" inconvenient people would be A-OK with him...

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