Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some Good Historical Questions

Robert Parry suggests some possible avenues of inquiry for a (never to be pursued) second generation of "family jewels":

What is the relationship between U.S. intelligence and Sun Myung Moon's organization? Why has Moon's operation, with its relationships with crime kingpins in Asia and Latin America, escaped legal scrutiny even after it was exposed during the Korea-gate scandal in the late 1970s as a South Korean intelligence front?

(Though the Korea-gate findings contributed to Moon's prosecution and conviction on tax charges in 1982, he and his organization have since become untouchables, a pattern of protection that some critics trace to Moon's investment of billions of mysterious dollars in publishing the pro-Republican Washington Times, in financing a right-wing political infrastructure in the United States, and in putting money into the pockets of U.S. political leaders, including former President George H.W. Bush.)

--What was the CIA's hand in the so-called "perception management" operations of the 1980s aimed at influencing how the American people perceived foreign-policy events?

(CIA Director William Casey took a direct interest in establishing a "perception management" operation based in the National Security Council under the guidance of long-time CIA officer Walter Raymond Jr. Though Raymond was "externalized" from the CIA by shifting him to the NSC, this sleight of hand violated at least the spirit of the prohibition against the CIA influencing Americans through distribution of propaganda.)

--What did the CIA know about clandestine weapons shipments to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s?

(Former Reagan administration official Howard Teicher has written in a sworn affidavit that then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, CIA Director William Casey and then-deputy CIA director Robert Gates played secret roles in arranging military assistance to Saddam Hussein's government. But the full story has never been told.)

--Was the CIA aware of the 1985 activities of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and his assistant, Gen. Colin Powell, in arranging illegal shipments of weapons to Iran?

(Ronald Reagan's National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane has testified that he described the operation to Weinberger and Powell in 1985 before there was a presidential intelligence finding and thus when the shipment of U.S. weapons through Israel was illegal. Weinberger denied knowledge and Powell claimed a faulty memory. Then, President George H.W. Bush blocked the truth when he pardoned Weinberger on Christmas Eve 1992, thus preventing Weinberger's Iran-Contra trial and sparing Powell some embarrassing questions.)


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