Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 17, 2019

Seymour Hersh: George H.W. Bush Team Leaked To Media To Reveal CIA's Iran-Contra Affair

A new piece by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books gives some insight into secret U.S. operations during the Reagan administration. The Vice President’s Men includes a quite sensational claim of who revealed the Iran-Contra affair.

According to the conventional wisdom, as reflected in Wikipedia, an Iranian operator revealed to a Lebanese paper that the U.S. was selling weapons to Iran in the hope to get hostages in Lebanon released:

After a leak by Mehdi Hashemi, a senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on 3 November 1986. This was the first public report of the weapons-for-hostages deal.

People is the National Security Council used profits from these weapon sales to illegally arm and finance CIA run anti-government gangs in Nicaragua. Both, the weapon sales to Iran and the weapon delivery to guerilla in Nicaragua, were illegal under U.S. law. The leak to Lebanese paper blew up both operations.

That Mehdi Hashemi, the Iranian operative, leaked the affair is only supported by second hand hearsay from a dubious source. Seymour Hersh reports of a very different culprit.

According to his sources former CIA director George H.W. Bush, who was then Reagan's vice president, ran his own secret operations through a special office in the Pentagon. It was led by Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau. The office and its operations were kept outside of congressional oversight. Neither the CIA nor the Joint Chief's of Staff were aware of its doing. During some 30 different operations the Bush team used small groups of U.S. marines to affect Soviet operations in foreign countries and to get rid of unwanted foreign politicians. Bush essentially ran the prequel of the 'war on/of terror' which today is run by the CIA and the Joint Special Forces Command.

Bush disliked William Casey, who Reagan had named as new CIA director. Casey was a business man who got the job after he managed Ronald Reagan's election campaign. Bush thought that he was too incompetent to run the clandestine service.

One of the operations run under Bush also involved Nicaragua, but had nothing to do with the later Iran-Contra scandal. At the same time the CIA director William Casey was drumming up support for the Contras in Nicaragua. The two operations collided when Lieutenant Colonel Oliver (Ollie) North at the National Security Council used the proceeds from the weapon sales to Iran to illegally finance the CIA's Contras in Nicaragua. While North was also a confidante of the Bush/Moreau's operations, he allegedly freelanced and eventually deserted to the CIA side.

According to a former officer involved in Bush's operations office, Bush and Moreau feared that the CIA's widely expanding Iran-Contra operation run by Oliver North would become a threat to their own operations. They decided to blow it up:

‘Ollie brings in Dick Secord and Iranian dissidents and money people in Texas to the scheme, and it’s gotten totally out of control,’ the officer said. ‘We’re going nuts. If we don’t manage this carefully, our whole structure will unravel. And so we’ – former members of Moreau’s team who were still working for Bush – ‘leaked the story to the magazine in Lebanon.’ He was referring to an article, published on 3 November 1986 by Ash-Shiraa magazine in Beirut, that described the arms for hostages agreement. He would not say how word was passed to the magazine, ...

According to Hersh's source the effect of the leak to the Lebanese paper was foreseen and intended:

The officer explained that it was understood by all that the scandal would unravel in public very quickly, and Congress would get involved. ‘Our goals were to protect the Moreau operation, to limit the vice president’s possible exposure, and to convince the Reagan administration to limit Bill Casey’s management of covert operations. It only took a match to light the fire. It was: “Oh my god. We were paying ransom for the hostages – to Iran.”’

If Hersh's anonymous source is correct, which I have no reason to doubt, the Iranian Mehdi Hashemi did not leak the issue. It was bureaucratic infighting between a former CIA director, who continued to run secret operations, and a sitting one, who was deemed incompetent by the former, that led to the disclosure of the Iran-Contra affair.

Seymour Hersh is known to have lots of contacts with former officials and officers. According to his on telling he is actively seeking them out as soon as they retire. Old men like to tell war stories, but dislike to damage their still living friends. George H.W. Bush died last November. Hersh likely knew the story long ago but is only now allowed to tell it.

The new Hersh/LRB piece is quite long and the details seems to have little relevance for current affairs. But his sources tell an interesting story about the backstage fights that went on between the various branches of the national security bureaucracy during the Reagan presidency. There is no doubt that similar fights, including intentional leaks to damage competing officials, continue today.

Posted by b on January 17, 2019 at 19:11 UTC | Permalink


very interesting. there have been various reports over the years that both casey and bush were involved in delaying the release of hostage in iran in order to tip the election to reagan in 1980. wonder if they were also working against each other, then.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 17 2019 19:40 utc | 1

So Hersh is going back to stories from the '80's? My guess is he's been warned off from doing any more investigation into the Deep State and Democrats' efforts to get rid of Trump by faking the Russiagate and DNC hack stories. First he spends time on his biography, now he's doing stories from forty years ago.

I'd say he's getting ready to retire. After all, with the story about Seth Rich being the Wikileaks source of the DNC emails being buried and his denying it left and right, what can he do now? That story would have been the top of his career. He would have taken down the entire FBI management and the subsequent investigation would have taken down Brennan and the CIA. Obviously he knew that would probably get him killed since threatening the entire FBI and CIA establishment would have been something neither organization would tolerate. So he begged off and now is only useful for exposing stories from forty years ago.

Meanwhile Assange will be forced out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, deported to the US, tried for espionage and sent to prison for the next fifty years. Something Hersh might have prevented, had he some more guts.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 17 2019 20:04 utc | 2

Interesting too that Hersh cannot finds a publisher in the United States. The fact that this is in the LRB-where I just read it- tells you all you need to know about, for example, the New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harpers. As to the newspapers, they are a lost cause.
Now let us see if there is any follow up in the MSM..anywhere. My guess is that RT will cover it.
Congratulations, again to b, for spotting the stories that matter and making sure that the imperialist media cannot suppress them.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 17 2019 20:05 utc | 3

"That Mehdi Hashemi, the Iranian operative, leaked the affair is only supported by second hand hearsay from a dubious source."

That dubious source is George Cave aka Ibrahim Razin aka Oswald LeWinter, poet, Shakespeare expert, and involved since the Sixties in disinformation of the highest order. He had a role -- mainly as disinformant, I believe -- in at least the following cases: Charlie Manson, Propaganda Due, Iran-Contra, Olof Palme, Princess Diana, Lockerbie. LeWinter turns up in Francovich's Gladio as well as his Lockerbie movie.

See Wiki and:

LeWinter died a few years ago. A piece of work.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Jan 17 2019 20:13 utc | 4

I think the take home is how agency structure at different levels is used to circumvent relevant laws and public awareness. An auditor applying normal audit technique under contract to one agency would be hard pressed to find this kind of activity because it exist in another agency at a different level. My question is how could this have been discovered at the time it happened? What formula, question or technique could produce a discovery that would lead to the existence of this kind of activity? Even more important did the auditors discover the activity and fail to report it or did they have the data to discover it and just missed it. The audit firm involved might owe the government some money.

Reconciling the actually delivery of assets deployed to the funds that were used to acquire and transport them might have produced a discovery result.?

Posted by: snake | Jan 17 2019 20:14 utc | 5

If you search the most nefarious and deadly covert operations, you will usually find Naval Intelligence deeply involved.

Bush-CIA was always a cover for Bush-Naval Intel.

The Kennedy Assassination plot overlord was Naval Intelligence.

The most pervasive war-mongering by the Hegemon is led by US Naval Intelligence.

See Bob Woodward's background, even Steve Bannon's CV.

The US Navy projects US hegemonic power and is decisive for Logistical transport of war efforts.

The most elite of SOF is Navy SEALS. SEALS are always sent on the most sensitive missions.

The Rumsfeld-Cebrowski doctrine followed this century to destroy the sovereignty of third world states is the masterplan of Cebrowski, an Admiral. Thierry Meyssan always refers to it as the strategic basis for the chaos in MENA and coming to Africa and Latin America.

From the USS Maine in Havana harbor, to Pearl Harbor, to Iran-Contra, to Iraq,Libya, Syria, the handprint is there.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 17 2019 20:15 utc | 6

@ 1:Yep, I've heard those same opinions on the "October Surprise", regarding delaying the hostage release. Here are some aritcles;

Posted by: ben | Jan 17 2019 20:19 utc | 7

Gee, what a surprise, GHW Bush committing ongoing acts of treason, first as DCI then, Veep, then POTUS. Yet another bit of evidence backing my hypothesis that the CIA quickly gained control of the Executive branch of the Federal government soon after its inception. It would be tempting to call it the Mafiosi States of America except that so few Italians or Sicilians are involved. Saker's Anglo-Zionist Empire is quite close to reality, although I prefer my own Outlaw US Empire. What I was trained to portray the USA as to students is a massive lie, some of which I knew at the time, but not to the extent I now know. Frankly, I'm rather glad my elders have all passed--to be told you've been living a lie your entire life is an affront to one's dignity that's hard to top.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2019 20:22 utc | 8

Red Ryder @6--

Tom Clancy's main man Jack Ryan was always provided with Navy rank and taught at Annapolis. His #1 novel, The Hunt For Red October was all about Navy/CIA as I'm sure you know. And of course, fundamental Outlaw US Empire geopolitical strategy was authored by Navy Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 (1890), and The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (1892).

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2019 20:34 utc | 9

Add this to my 7post;

an excerpt;

"After twelve years of mixed media attention, both houses of the US Congress held separate inquiries and concluded that the allegations lacked supporting documentation.[2]

Nevertheless, several individuals—most notably former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr,[3] former naval intelligence officer and U.S. National Security Council member Gary Sick, and former Reagan/Bush campaign staffer and White House analyst Barbara Honegger—stood by the allegation."

Posted by: ben | Jan 17 2019 20:48 utc | 10

The moral of the story being that the rabbit hole always seems to run deeper.

Posted by: paul | Jan 17 2019 21:51 utc | 11

In the 20th December issue of LRB there was an article by someone called Dombey called “Poison and the Bomb”.
It was a most un-LRB piece - just a tired re-heating the NATO Skripal and Litvenienko fairy tales. I have the greatest liking for the LRB and at the time thought “she’s been nobbled”. But maybe the Hersh piece is a quid pro quo.
If so, I hope the LRB gets something a bit more modern to go with it.

Posted by: Montreal | Jan 17 2019 21:57 utc | 12


One more nail in the coffin of the FBI and IC-gate to elect HRC:

FISA shocker: DOJ official Bruce Ohr warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased | The Hill |

Bruce Ohr had a long relationship with Christopher Steele, former member MI-6 espionage ring in UK embassy in Moscow with Sir Andrew Wood [Orbis Business Intelligence associate]

Posted by: Oui | Jan 17 2019 22:06 utc | 13

Trivia Question

Q. When was the last time the U.S. MSM embraced or uncovered a story that embarassed a U.S. govt agency that did not go through official channels?

A. Iran contra, before that the Mai Lai massacre and both of these were connected to Seymour Hersh.

Can anyone give a more recent example?
1. WMD in Iraq being a myth doesn't count because the military, to their credit, admitted they couldn't find any WMD after the invasion. The MSM did absolutely nothing to uncover it.

2. The legion of stories about Trump doesn't count because the MSM loves flaying politicians. I am talking about an example where the MSM goes after their beloved agencies such as the State Dept, Pentagon, FBI, or CIA.

Our MSM is hopelessly lazy and corrupt.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 17 2019 22:22 utc | 14

Karlof1 At 8:

Actually, I think "Outlaw US Conglomerate" is a more accurate description of the beast. Classical empires invested at least some the plunder from various colonies in the infrastructure of the empire's ruling power.

But now we are dealing with a structure that transcends national boundaries, a matrix of banks and multi-national corporations mostly based in the US (as well as London, Frankfurt etc.) They have no loyalty to anyplace or anyone except their own shareholders. This arrangement is given a patina of legitimacy by various supra-national organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, World Court, etc. Add to this countless NGOs and "Think-Tanks." It is a financial colonization scam, and requires the elimination of national borders -- in short, globalization.

I like the term Outlaw "US Conglomerate" because it reflects the fact that the core of the beast is corporate, not nationalist.

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Jan 17 2019 22:22 utc | 15

thanks b... reminds me of what is going on at present in the trump admin, but it is just an obvious guess on my part... who knows the behind the scene games, or treason as the case may be - that is happening at present.. unless trump gets more proactive, i can see his next while as pres being a rough slough..

Posted by: james | Jan 17 2019 22:31 utc | 16


Missing link Seymour Hersh’s Vice-President’s Men

Posted by: Oui | Jan 17 2019 22:33 utc | 17

What makes folks think that the Bush secret cabal has gone away?

I see a splintering or bankruptcy of many elite coming as part of the new order.....cull the herd...... If only the elite would take each other down in this event I would be pleased.....grin

Leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces and move on with life after our global private finance/God of Mammon world collapses.

I agree with comment #2 Richard Steven Hack that Hersh is playing his role of keeping focus off more recent crimes against humanity by exposing the deeds of the dead but staying tight lipped about deeds of the living.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 17 2019 22:54 utc | 18

On 28 Sept. 1987, Iranian cleric and revolutionary official Mehdi Hashemi was secretly executed …

The committee, under the chairmanship of Ayatollah Montazeri [NYT], supported Shiite radicals, principally the Party of God in Lebanon, and such other organizations as The Call, in Iraq. Western intelligence officials have said the Iranian directorate and its Lebanese and other affiliates are believed to be linked to such acts of terrorism as the suicide truck bombings of the United States Marine barracks and two United States Embassy buildings in Beirut in 1983 and the kidnapping of Americans in Lebanon.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 17 2019 22:54 utc | 19

Khalifa Haftar: Fits the profile of CIA asset to dispose of Gaddafi in 1984 … lived in exile near CIA HQ in Virginia until 2011. He formed the military wing for the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (LFD), an opposition group to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 17 2019 22:55 utc | 20

@14 Chris Chuba, my answer would be the Niger Yellowcake incident. Unfortunately, it just reinforced the learnings from Iran-Contra that laws and public censure don't matter to the Deep Staters, who realized how little they had to fear besides a little embarrassment in the press.

Posted by: Roy G | Jan 17 2019 23:04 utc | 21

@20 oui.. isn't that the same pic one gets of gulen??

Posted by: james | Jan 17 2019 23:04 utc | 22

If Hersh is now revealing secrets he couldn't while Bush was still alive, I wish he would tell us what connection there was between Bush and the JFK assassination. Unfortunately, Hersh's disgraceful book "The Dark Side of Camelot," suggests he will not. That book reflects thinking by Hersh's CIA and Secret Service sources that Kennedy was such a bad person and president that it's a good thing he was killed. The book never explicitly says this, but it's the underlying thought.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 17 2019 23:08 utc | 23

After the LRB published two Hersh pieces denying Assad had used poison gas, they wouldn't publish a third, for which Hersh had to turn to Die Welt am Sonntag.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 17 2019 23:12 utc | 24

"After the LRB published two Hersh pieces denying Assad had used poison gas, they wouldn't publish a third, for which Hersh had to turn to Die Welt am Sonntag..."
You make a good point Lysias. It's one that Psychohistorian and RS Hack might want to ponder: It is not easy for honest journalists, Pilger is another example, there are many others, to publish their work. Maybe that is why Hersh wrote his autobio, to make some of the money that the MSM will no longer pay for investigative reporting.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 17 2019 23:34 utc | 25

Hersh seems to be engaged in a bit of revisionism to whitewash Bush’s role on Iran-Contra. Probably he has been strong armed, like so many others today

President Bush decapitated the Iran-Contra investigation by pardoning 6 figures including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whose trial was about to begin, with Bush himself likely called to testify. .” Bush first consulted his attorney general at the time, William Barr. Barr has just been named by Trump as attorney general.

Interesting article on Barr here (i broke the link with space). The swamp just keeps getting nastier

Bush was basically the acting President during the Reagan years like Cheney was during his sons regime. Cheney and Bush go way back. Bush like Cheney knew everything going on.

“On May 14, 1982, Vice President Bush's position as chief of all U.S. covert action was formalized in a secret memorandum (signed "for the President" by Ronald Reagan's National Security Adviser William P. Clark and declassified during the congressional Iran-Contra hearings).”

Posted by: Pft | Jan 17 2019 23:36 utc | 26

Re. "If Hersh's anonymous source is correct, which I have no reason to doubt"

Seems we are setting the bar for credibility a bit low.

Anyway it seems a pointless anecdote.
Apperntly papa bush was a dirtbag.
Hard to say what is corruption at this point - seems to pass as standard bussiness.
Iteresting we have portions of government that opperate on illicit funding and without oversite. Mot that oversite from this sleazy bunch would be of much value execpt as entertainment.

Posted by: jared | Jan 18 2019 0:07 utc | 27

Well I believe Hersh when he reports things I can believe and don't when he doesn't. I don't think Seal Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Hersh with all his connections has never revealed anything about the plot to kill JFK, MLK, or MLk. My memory says Iran Contra began to unravel when Eugene Hasenfus's plane full of weapons was shot down by Nicaraugua. I doubt that one article in an obscure Middle East newspaper would do much of anything without the help of the Deep State. Rodriguez who was a big player in the Contra part of the scandal was very close to Bush. You know the guy that got Che Guevara killed. Ollie North didn't do a G Gordon Liddy so his Virginia Senate bid was scuttled by the Country Club Republicans. GWW Bush is dead so let's do a limited hangout. Robert Parry did excellent work on exposing the October Surprise where Bush was involved. Reagan and Bush should have been impeached for Iran Contra.

Posted by: gepay | Jan 18 2019 0:25 utc | 28

Antoinetta III @15--

Your term has great merit! I stuck to Empire as even though it's a rather old term many today have no clue as to its fundamental meaning as proven in a recent Saker thread.

In the US Constitution, the operative word regarding when to Impeach is "shall" as in it's your duty to Impeach when such transgressions are revealed--DUTY all too many Congresspersons have utterly shirked since the Constitution's ratification. Pelosi should have been Impeached, found guilty, hanged, then drawn and quartered for her adamant refusal to do her DUTY but instead kept GW Bush, Cheney, Bolton, et al from their rightful--same--fate of being Impeached and convicted for Treason and waging Aggressive War. But here she is again in charge of the House--but there's no Statute of Limitations on Impeachable offenses, so she's still vulnerable, as are Cheney, Bolton, and crew--Obama, too.

If an actual, uncorrupted Crime-sweep was ever done in DC, the number of Swamp denizens arrested would be in the thousands. It's unknown, but certainly a sizable percentage of votes went to Trump for his pledge to Drain The Swamp. I seem to recall Carlin saying the USA was the biggest criminal operation of all time. Too bad the government shutdown doesn't actually shut down the government, like the military and kindred agencies. Are soldiers still getting their pay?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18 2019 1:08 utc | 29

The U.S. military is still getting its pay. I am still getting my military pension as a retired naval officer.

Of the uniformed services, only the Coast Guard is not being paid, because they are not under the Defense Department.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 18 2019 1:24 utc | 30

Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carrilles did lots of wet work for GWH Bush from 1963 on. Their most famous bmobing was that of a Cuban airliner filled with teenage athletes. They were both terrorists and teflon CIA agents. Ann Louise Bardach wrote about them in "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana".

The Bush Crime Family loved to work with anti-communist Cubans for fun and profit. Still do.

Perhaps it served Bush to pin Iran Contra on Reagan in order to deflect attention from some other nefarious actions he was in the thick of. Like running coke up to his buddy Bill Clinton's place.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 18 2019 1:30 utc | 31


Bush, Rodriguez, Bosch and Posada-Carilles were thick as thieves. Nasty SOBS.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 18 2019 1:33 utc | 32

lysias @30--

Thanks for your prompt response! Unfortunately, where I live a lot of lives are dependent on Coast Guard readiness and willingness. Apparently, shutting down the federal government doesn't shutdown the attendant corruption--Congress is still in session! Apparently, people dependent on Social Security payments and their kin will continue to get paid.

Hersch's article doesn't reveal much more for me as I was already aware of the depth of depravity and corruption present within the Washington DC apparat--Only the outer skin of the federal government onion appears free from blight, but peel back the layers and it gets progressively degraded and rotten until a sort of slimy ooze is revealed at its core, which is where the Executive Branch resides.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18 2019 1:44 utc | 33

The Deep State is not monolithic. I would not be surprised that at the same time as Iran Contra there were other large scale covert operations going on. There certainly are ongoing operations that are directed at keeping actual nationalists (like I believe Putin to be) from gaining power in important resource countries in Africa and other continents - like the operation that brought down Gough Whitlam without the need for Perkin's (Economic hitman) jackals which were probably used to kill Olof Palme.
It does appear that a portion of the Deep State was really disappointed and didn't give up when other billionaires got Trump elected.

Posted by: gepay | Jan 18 2019 1:53 utc | 34

"One of the operations run under Bush also involved Nicaragua, but had nothing to do with the later Iran-Contra scandal"
If Hearsh's source is right, maybe it involved supporting the Sandinistas? After all Bush was enthusiastic about the NWO.
And in all previous cases when the Us had a chance to support republican reformists fighting the reds, they consistently chose to support the reds instead. In Russia, China, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Somosa like the corresponding republican ideologues in the other cases was positively inclined towards the Us and the american system, intending to emulate it in his own country. But the Us wanted none of it. See competition is a sin.

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Jan 18 2019 1:54 utc | 35

A lll @ 15:"I like the term Outlaw "US Conglomerate" because it reflects the fact that the core of the beast is corporate, not nationalist."

Absolutely right on. Guess you could interject the word criminal too.

Outlaw U$ criminal conglomerate. Yep, kind'a says it all.

Posted by: ben | Jan 18 2019 2:04 utc | 36

I'd be curious to know what connection either George H W Bush or William Casey might have had, if they did, with the Lockerbie bombing in December 1988. If, as has been claimed, the bombing had been carried out by a Lebanese or Palestinian drug-trafficking gang with the blessings of the CIA to eliminate DIA agents carrying evidence that the CIA had been involved in trafficking heroin in the Middle East, surely there is some evidence implicating the most senior officials within the CIA having given the go-ahead? Or is the CIA more rogue than even we can believe and anyone who's anyone with his/her personal agenda can get money, people and resources to carry out a personal crusade?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 18 2019 3:43 utc | 37

@ 37 what are you talking about. the u.s. supported somoza, the anti castro cubans, the white russians and chiang kai chek.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 18 2019 4:02 utc | 38

We've speculated on Hersh, for years here at MOA. We have a great archive of said, discussions, if anyone cares to look...
Also, agree with psychohistorian | Jan 17, 2019 5:54:09 PM | 18 above...

What makes folks think that the Bush secret cabal has gone away?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 18 2019 4:14 utc | 39

gepay @34:

It does appear that a portion of the Deep State was really disappointed and didn't give up when other billionaires got Trump elected.

What portion was really disappointed?
- The neocons? But Trump brought in Bolton.

- The globalists? They got TPP language into the new North American Trade Agreement and Trump hasn't left NATO (as he threatened to do during the campaign).

- Brennan? Trump nominated his acolyte Gina Haspel for CIA Director.

- Clapper? Still hasn't been brought up on charges for lying to Congress.

- Comey and Mueller? Trump has nominated their friend Barr has been for Attorney General.

- Hillary? Trump declined to seek prosecution.

- billionaires? They got a nice tax cut.

- Wall Street? Trump reneged on his promise to eliminate the carried interest tax deduction (Obama also reneged on the same promise).

- MIC? Still going strong. Trump increased the military budget and created a space force.

- AIPAC? Trump moved US embassy to Jerusalem, cut aid to Palestinians. Plus Trump terminated US participation in JCPOA and pressured other countries to do the same (Europe pretended to fight Trump but has mostly gone along with USA).

- Saudis? Trump stood by MbS and still assists KSA+UAE genocidal activities in Yemen.

- Drain the swamp? Nope. LOL. Trump works with swamp creates like Jared, Wilbur Ross, Betsy DeVos, Mnuchin, and of course himself (where are those tax returns, Donald?).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 18 2019 5:19 utc | 40

I just saw Oliver North as a fairly significant speaking role in an episode of Season 1 JAG. Many egregious Bill Clinton cameos as well. A good example of the deep state in action.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2019 5:31 utc | 41

If nothing else, the one thing Hersch's piece ought to remind everyone about is just how long the Outlaw US Empire's been doing essentially the same thing and getting away with it completely--Who has gone to prison or been executed for the massive crimes against humanity perpetrated by leaders/members of the US government since August 1945. Zero, a most exceptional record shared by every other Western Imperialist nation. I submit that such a record contributes greatly to the continuance of the crimes committed by those nations, and they will continue until they are stopped by force and suffer Nuremburg level consequences. The joint project launched by Russia and China to unite Eurasia will not succeed until such justice is rendered at long last, as the Outlaw Empire will employ its own forces to gain its way just as it has over the past 200+ years, and just as we're seeing now.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18 2019 6:33 utc | 42

If Hersch's version of History is correct then Rumsfeld's post-9/11 bullshit factory, the Office Of Special Plans at the Pentagon, was a natural progression from and expansion of, the Shadow Government exposed in this LRB article.

Andrew Feinsein's seductive book & doco the Shadow World gives the whole scam a Global texture and names a lot of names.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 18 2019 6:50 utc | 43

Everyone recalls collaborative facts that implicate organized crime (OC) in public and private space that happened in forgotten memory time, but none have yet produced a method capable to circumvent the cover ups implicit in the highly controlled, privately owned MSM. The object is to document and reveal criminal activities at the time of their happening? Exception has been the work of Julian Assange.. It seems (CIPOGE) crime in private or government enterprise is afforded protection by at least five mechanisms: 1) the law 2) non disclosure secrecy agreements 3) CIPOGE control over the prosecutors office 4) silenced by threat and corruption jouralism and 5) criminals elected to serve in executive positions. If true, this means only high risk illegal entry into the legally protected CIPOGEs data is capable to produce the necessary information in timely enough fashion to be acted on? it also means audits are a waste of time.
Reliance on the profession of journalism has failed us, even strengthen the legal barriers that protect the illegal and self serving activities of the CIPOGEs.
There must be another way? I believe alternative media has the means to develop it.
Lets hear some ideas?

Posted by: snake | Jan 18 2019 7:16 utc | 44

Rumsfeld's tinkering with NORAD's Standard Operating Procedure - a hotline between Air Traffic Control and NORAD - ensured that 9/11 went smoothly for the perps. Rummy had all ATC calls to NORAD routed to a phone in a locked room at the Pentagon > for Nat Sec (and known unknown) reasons :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 18 2019 7:21 utc | 45

Lets hear some ideas?
Posted by: snake | Jan 18, 2019 2:16:14 AM | 44

(Banks/Public Utilities being run by Organised Crime in the West)

Here's four ideas...
1. Don't vote for ANY candidate who refuses to Nationalise utilities.
2. Don't vote for ANY candidate who refuses to Nationalise utilities.
3. Don't vote for ANY candidate who refuses to Nationalise utilities.
4. Lynch the ones who promise to, but then break the promise.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 18 2019 7:44 utc | 46

@Richard Steven Hack, post 2: it is easy to criticise when you are sitting in your armchair. Have a look at Chris Hedges's angle

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 18 2019 14:18 utc | 47

Just a coincidence?

Marzieh Hashemi, 59, an anchorwoman for Iran's English-language Press TV, was arrested on arrival at St Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday and transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC, the broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

Posted by: BertheRochester | Jan 18 2019 14:36 utc | 48

Something is wrong here.

"During some 30 different operations the Bush team used small groups of U.S. marines to effect Soviet operations in foreign countries and to get rid of unwanted foreign politicians."

"effect", from the French "effectuer" means "to cause to happen, to bring about".

I do not understand why the Bush team was using small groups of marins to bring about Soviet opeations in foreign countries.

Which were those countries, and why did the Soviet Union want to get rid of the politicians in those countries, and why were Bush & Co. helping thenm?

Have I missed something, or was the author of the sentence intending to say something else and somehow inadvertantly miscast the sentence?


Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18 2019 14:38 utc | 49

@ Ernesto Che with the criticism of #2 commenter Richard Steven Hack

I read the Banishing Truth article and stand by my support of commenter #2 RSH

Why do I say that? Because truth is a contextual concept for me. Hersh and Hedges only report on humanity "failings" at a certain acceptable level of context.

Do they ever call out global private finance for discussion like I do? Why not and what are the implications to society of why not?

We need reporters like b that rip off the blinders on geo-politics.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 18 2019 14:46 utc | 50

Upon reconsideration: could the author have intended to write "thwart"?

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18 2019 14:55 utc | 51

Red Ryder | Jan 17, 2019 3:15:46 PM | 6 points out: "If you search the most nefarious and deadly covert operations, you will usually find Naval Intelligence deeply involved," and adds: "Thierry Meyssan always refers to it as the strategic basis for the chaos in MENA and coming to Africa and Latin America."

Back 17+ years ago, when Thierry Meyssan was investigating the 911 attacks, he insisted that the whole operation was organized and directed by Naval Intelligence.

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18 2019 15:05 utc | 52

@1 @7

The late Robert Parry covered the "October Surprise" and wrote a book on it.

October Surprise Series

Trick or Treason: The 1980 October Surprise Mystery

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jan 18 2019 15:28 utc | 53

Jen | Jan 17, 2019 10:43:59 PM | 37: "Or is the CIA more rogue than even we can believe and anyone who's anyone with his/her personal agenda can get money, people and resources to carry out a personal crusade?"

The operatives of the OSS set the tone during the second World War when they were involved with the Italian mafia in trafficking first cigarettes and coffee, then penicillen (think of Harry Lime) then herioin from Turkey. They all took a cut and filled their pockets. As time went on, many of them became wealthy from this work.

Also, the organization itself, in a practice that continued once the OSS had been transformed into the CIA, was setting up its own war chest in order to be able to evade Congressional oversight. The money was deposited in a sort of black trust fund managed by the State Street Bank in New Yok.

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18 2019 15:36 utc | 54

On Sy Hersch - Some time last year I was out in the car and an interview of Hersch came on the radio. I quickly pulled over in a parking lot to listen. He is now 82 years old and has children and I expect grandchildren. When he was asked about his safety, he mostly demurred but did confess that he was concerned for his childrens' privacy and safety.

On the Skripals, he thought that the poisoners were from the Russian mafia. It seems they knew that Skripal was giving MI6 information on their world-wide operations.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jan 18 2019 15:51 utc | 55

Regarding the mildly criticism of Hedges I can only concur that he often does in fact cover topics on geopolictics/American Empire and the structure of the global corpocracy on his program 'ON CONTACT'. Not in such an extent that he generates new investigative insight but at least he dismantles the Western narrative of corporate finance when he has his tete-at-tetes with guests like Michael Hudson, David Harvey etc.

Posted by: Vato | Jan 18 2019 16:06 utc | 56

Red Ryder | Jan 17, 2019 3:15:46 PM | 6 points out: "If you search the most nefarious and deadly covert operations, you will usually find Naval Intelligence deeply involved,"

In the "Banishing Truth" article, Hedges says: "The Navy intelligence official, Jonathan Pollard, for example, had been caught spying for Israel in 1985 and given a life sentence."

Another example.

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18 2019 16:15 utc | 57

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 18, 2019 9:38:21 AM | 49

(some 30 operations)

Try opening b's link to the LRB Hersch article and searching the text for the word operation. The third paragraph places it near the number 35, which is "more than" 30 :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 18 2019 16:19 utc | 58

From the end of WW2, until the CIA was officially formed in 1948, they supported themselves by Wall Street donations and drug running, as I understand it.
As far as an obscure journal in the Middle East affecting the Mighty Wurlitzer of imperial propaganda....yeah, the chances are small. If it is not sprayed over all media 24/7, it dies in the dark.
The October Surprise was documented by Robert Parry, but is still officially denied.
The Lockerbie bombing is not only covered up, the Mighty Wurlitzer changed its tune midstream and feckless journalists followed right along. For a couple of years they blamed Iran, but then Iran supported the 1991 attack on Iraq, so they switched to blaming Libya. And the media said "Jump? How high?"

I distinctly remember a report in the 80s saying that Oliver North had transported some of his mujahadeen in Afghanistan to Colombia, to teach farmers there how to grow opium (which is not a native crop in Colombia). That story appeared only once. Now, we are told by the imperial media that heroin in the US comes from south of the border, that none of the thousands of tons grown in Afghanistan touches our veins. OK, if you're going to believe that story, then how does it get grown and transported from South America? 17 spy agencies, plus the DEA, and all they can tell us is "South, not Afghanistan"?

Gary Webb, and his 1996 series on the CIA running crack cocaine to ghettoes in the 80s, shows what happens when a mainstream media source (Knight Ridder, now gone) steps out of line. There should be no bafflement about the compliance of the media to the Deep State.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 18 2019 16:25 utc | 59

I'm not saying Hersh hasn't done good investigative work over the years. He certainly has. But at this point he's in direct danger from the FBI and CIA and in my view he flinched and backed off a story that would have brought down both of them.

Can you imagine the effect if it was proven that the FBI has sat on a report that directly links Seth Rich to the Wikileaks DNC emails for the last two and a half years? That would have eviscerated fifty percent of the Russiagate hoax. If it caused a serious investigation of the actual alleged DNC "hack" and the efforts by the DNC and the Clintons and Ukrainians to turn a leak into a "hack" that could have brought down the Clintons as well. Everyone in FBI and CIA management as well as the Clintons goes down for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, maybe even murder if Rich was actually murdered and not just killed during a botched robbery.

It would be the biggest story Hersh could possibly write.

I can't buy that just because he has trouble finding a mainstream publisher that he can't expose this story elsewhere. He could scratch it in chalk on a sidewalk and it would still be the biggest story which couldn't possibly be suppressed as long as he had actual evidence such as a copy of the FBI report.

Of course, if he only has "hearsay" from various contacts as much of his work is, and if it can be dismissed as mere "allegations" as his previous work has been, that maybe he's right to weigh his own and his children's privacy and security more highly than revealing it. But he could always try to find some other journalist more willing to expose themselves to the same risks and slip that person what evidence he has and let them take the credit.

Bottom line: This story, if true, needs to get out by any means necessary.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 18 2019 16:52 utc | 60

Richard Steven Hack | Jan 18, 2019 11:52:31 AM | 60
You need to get over the idea that there are stories too big to ignore.
Our imperial media is capable of ignoring stories as big as Seth Rich's murder and bigger. Think 9-11.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 18 2019 18:10 utc | 61

A very important point is revealed by the passage "...former CIA director George H.W. Bush, who was then Reagan's vice president, ran his own secret operations through a special office in the Pentagon... The office and its operations were kept outside of congressional oversight."

How was it possible for Bush Sr to run operations outside of congressional oversight? Covert operations require big piles of cash. Economics defines what can and cannot be done with covert operations the same way that the Laws of Thermodynamics constrains processes in the natural world.

Running covert operations outside of congressional oversight was precisely what Iran-Contra was all about. For Bush Sr to have been running other covert operations that congress could pretend they didn't know about there must have been other sources of "off-budget financing" beyond selling weapons to Iran.

Perhaps to most who comment here it is taken for granted that the CIA regularly traffics in drugs, weapons and people in order to finance its death squad armies and regime change operations, but this is not widely acknowledged by the population at large. I think if this narrative does gain legs in the public's consciousness it would be useful to highlight the implications it reveals about how enormous the CIA's global criminal operations actually are.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 18 2019 18:20 utc | 62

Of course, if he only has "hearsay" from various contacts as much of his work is, and if it can be dismissed as mere "allegations" as his previous work has been, that maybe he's right to weigh his own and his children's privacy and security more highly than revealing it. But he could always try to find some other journalist more willing to expose themselves to the same risks and slip that person what evidence he has and let them take the credit.

Bottom line: This story, if true, needs to get out by any means necessary.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 18, 2019 11:52:31 AM | 60

Wow! that really is disingenuous. None so blind as those who will not see, eh Richard? Hersh doesn't have to "find some other journalist." His articles can be seen as a de facto invitation to every journalist to get the story out. Clearly, he and all the other journalists he has inspired to pursue the challenge haven't detected enough signs that a full revelation will produce the desired result.

The fact that "other" journalists such as Assange, Snowden, Manning et al have contributed to exposure of the evil-doers and failed to arouse SUFFICIENT interest, merely hilights Hersh's dilemna. i.e. mere exposure is not enough. The exposure must be delivered in a new and innovative context and no-one, including Hersh, has been able to figure out the precise nature of that elusive context.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 18 2019 18:34 utc | 63

Gruff @62

I think this article will help. You can hide expenses and you don't need to tell anyone. That's now legal... but do you really think it hasn't been happening prior to it being made legal?

Posted by: Castellio | Jan 18 2019 19:03 utc | 64

William Gruff @62--

Agree that's the salient point as the public's woefully uninformed about the massive wastage of its monies and the vast amount of black monies involved in Imperial operations. But as I wrote above, the other salient point is the great number of years such illegalities are ongoing, that it hasn't been just one or several administrations that chose to go rogue--it's been USG policy since 1945 which has served to institutionalize the Outlaw behavior we all rail about but which continues unabated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18 2019 19:25 utc | 65

Richard Steven Hack @ 60:

You might want to consider that no matter how much people like Craig Murray have dropped hints about a connection between Seth Rich and whoever leaked DNC information to Wikileaks, those hints are falling on deaf ears because most people in the US government and its agencies really do believe in the Russiagate narrative and those people may include the contacts Seymour Hersh relies on. At the end of the day, Hersh's articles and stories are only as good as the sources he uses.

I'm astonished also that your comments @ 2 and 60 appear to suggest that Hersh and other journalists should pursue certain areas of investigation for personal glory.

Perhaps the reason that Hersh and other people don't investigate the Seth Rich / Wikileaks connection further is that the allegations are not solid enough that the story is worth following up. A murder investigation is also under way and if Seth Rich's electronic devices and the information they have are in the custody of the FBI, then there is not much journalists can do anyway. There is also the possibility that Seth Rich was not the only person who who might have sent DNC files to Wikileaks.

There are other areas of investigation and stories that need to get out, for which evidence is more solid: why shouldn't Hersh and other journalists explore and work on these areas first?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 18 2019 20:04 utc | 66

RJPJR @49 and 51

Or simpler, rather than use 'effect' perhaps 'affect' was meant?

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 18 2019 20:26 utc | 67

#26 you forget the Bushs and the Hinkleys come from Midland TX.

Russ Bakers family of secrets is with really good for dealing with the curious movements of Bush in Texas at the time of the Kennedy assassination.

Posted by: Heath | Jan 18 2019 22:16 utc | 68

Mr. Hersh fed again a nice fiction possibly sprinkled with some truth.

What I found most interesting in his story is this part : '‘Nobody on the Joint Chiefs of Staff ever believed we were going to build Star Wars,’ the officer said, ‘but if we could convince the Russians that we could survive a first strike, we win the game.’ The aim of the game was to find a way to change the nuclear status quo of Mutual Assured Destruction, or seem to do so..'

Seems to me the same is going on today but with the russians playing the game of military superiority with all their Computer generated Simulation Dreams of weapons they supposedly are developing or even already have.

Its all a joke, like all the rest of 'our official history', written by others for us to loose precious time of our life discussing and debating it, instead of making something meaningful for and with the community next to us.

Posted by: youss | Jan 19 2019 3:45 utc | 69

It has a lot of relevance re. current affairs.

Both sides in the Iran Iraq war being backed/supplied by the US is no small deal and runs through to modern events.

Then there is the effect on friendly countries, such as

The slush fund mentioned was during Carter admin, which suggests a seperate outfit running outside of the legislative.

Posted by: Anom | Jan 19 2019 4:06 utc | 70

I'm not sure why you're bringing in carter, it was a portuguese slush fund, no? and the people dealing with selling arms to iran at the time were the reagan campaign, which had won the election a month before the crash.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 19 2019 17:32 utc | 71

It was a Portuguese slush fund synchronised with US activity. The Portuguese are not likely at all to instigate US weapons sales to Iran.

I say it was going during Carter admin to point out that it most likely will have been outside of legislative or presidential control...unless you think Carter authorised this.

Posted by: Anom | Jan 19 2019 20:17 utc | 72

Not meaning to serial post:

The portuguese supplied arms to both Iran and Iraq during this period, as well as to the contras. Costa had asked about shipments occuring to Iran just prior to what appears a CIA disposal of him. At that point arms sales to Iran had been banned in Portugal by he and president Carneiro who was also in the aircraft . The arms trade to Iran through Portugal appears to be a CIA conduit. As far as I know the Portuguese arms sale to Iraq were above board.

Will leave it there. Thanks.

Posted by: Anom | Jan 19 2019 21:02 utc | 73

#38 pretzelattack
I think you meant me on #35 judging from your comment.
And you are not the only one who got it completely wrong.
Although my speculation about GHWB being supportive of the sandinistas was something that occurred to me as a possibility only after reading Hearst's piece.
Somosa said it himself, that the Us apparently didnt want him to emulate their system, which he had praised.
And Cuba? Three Us ambassadors in sworn testimonies and in varying extents confirmed that the state department, the Cia and NYT helped bring Castro to power. And Cia boss Allen Dulles, (knight of Malta), knew Castro was a communist since many years, but Dulles withheld it from the Usg. His brother John Foster, (married into the Rockefeller family), was part of Eisenauers team and both brothers were NWO-ers.
David Rockefeller was a Fabian socialist and had even published a positively held dissertation about socialism.
The last Us ambassador to Cuba, Smith, wrote a book, the fourth floor where he summarises it. He even states that the Cia directly handed over weapons to the rebels in one case. However the typical in all communist revolutions is that the angloamericans obstruct weapons deliveries to the opponent of the reds. With Somosa, Battista and the White armies. And with Chiang Kai Shek.
General Macarthur might have stopped the reds if he had been allowed.
But the angloamerican establishment had other plans.
And he was a high freemason so I'm not entirely sure about him either.
There is a recent book in english translation about Britains obstruction of the white armies where the author Nikolai Starikov provides lots of examples of Britains actions and inactions with the result that they, clearly deliberately, helped the reds to win the civil war.
Title Liquidation of Russia, who helped the reds win the civil war?
None of this means that the angloamerican establishment wouldnt give them a hard time once the reds gained power. But the important thing was to prevent those countries from becoming capitalist rivals. They said it openly regarding the bolsheviks, that it would make Russia a less competent rival.

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Jan 20 2019 1:33 utc | 74

@psychohistorian #50: you state:
> Do they ever call out global private finance for discussion like I do? Why not and what are the implications to society of why not?

That statement is based on nothing but an attempt to justify your support for the RSH. In & of itself there is nothing wrong with support, but in my view RSH criticises for criticism's sake, and supporting that is, weak, to put it mildly.

I do not dispute that we need a publication like MoA to rip the blinders off, but why make this irreleavnt comment here? B does not criticise Hersh other than saying he added a lot of irrelevant detail; B also makes clear that the core of Hersh's article gives very useful info, which B has highlighted here.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 21 2019 14:07 utc | 75

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