Iran-Contra’s ‘Lost Chapter’ By Robert Parry (A Special Report)

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
Consortium News
June 30, 2008

As historians ponder George W. Bush’s disastrous presidency, they may wonder how Republicans perfected a propaganda system that could fool tens of millions of Americans, intimidate Democrats, and transform the vaunted Washington press corps from watchdogs to lapdogs.

To understand this extraordinary development, historians might want to look back at the 1980s and examine the Iran-Contra scandal’s “lost chapter,” a narrative describing how Ronald Reagan’s administration brought CIA tactics to bear domestically to reshape the way Americans perceived the world.

That chapter – which we are publishing here for the first time – was “lost” because Republicans on the congressional Iran-Contra investigation waged a rear-guard fight that traded elimination of the chapter’s key findings for the votes of three moderate GOP senators, giving the final report a patina of bipartisanship.

Under that compromise, a few segments of the draft chapter were inserted in the final report’s Executive Summary and in another section on White House private fundraising, but the chapter’s conclusions and its detailed account of how the “perception management” operation worked ended up on the editing room floor.

The American people thus were spared the chapter’s troubling finding: that the Reagan administration had built a domestic covert propaganda apparatus managed by a CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist working out of the National Security Council.

“One of the CIA’s most senior covert action operators was sent to the NSC in 1983 by CIA Director [William] Casey where he participated in the creation of an inter-agency public diplomacy mechanism that included the use of seasoned intelligence specialists,” the chapter’s conclusion stated.

“This public/private network set out to accomplish what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might attempt – to sway the media, the Congress, and American public opinion in the direction of the Reagan administration’s policies.”

However, with the chapter’s key findings deleted, the right-wing domestic propaganda operation not only survived the Iran-Contra fallout but thrived.


Neck Deep

by Robert Parry, Sam Parry and Nat Parry

Neck Deep Cover

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Ex-Agent Says CIA Ignored Iran Facts

One thought on “Iran-Contra’s ‘Lost Chapter’ By Robert Parry (A Special Report)

  1. Every time I see Ollie North propagandizing on FOX, I think how easy it is to dupe the USA, commit treasonous crimes, and not only get away with it, but the criminals prevail and prosper.

    I can’t help thinking that this is precisely what the people truly want.

    Over and over they are lead down rabbit holes of corrupt foreign policy, and willfully believing the bogus lies. Even when the truth is so often later uncovered (Kissinger’s illegal covert bombing of Cambodia, the Gulf of Tonkin farce, the ‘Red Scare’ reasons for toppling democracies in Latin America, WMD in Iraq, etc. etc.), no heads ever roll, the people go blithely on consumerizing and believerizing.

    It’s as if the populace of the USA are themselves covertly complicit in deceiving their own minds for their own personal agenda: They actually LIKE what these things do for them, the myth of fat-cat lotto-like ‘opportunity’ that only happens for the richest 1%, and the absurd notion that the USA stands for freedom and Democracy in the world.

    No amount of evidence of drug-running by the CIA, and the consequences of that cocaine and heroine for the populace, no amount of evidence of fraud in their insane invasions, despite the horrific consequences for the enlistees and their families, clear evidence of voter fraud by the neocons bringing on the most corrupt presidency in history, etc. ever sways the public opinion when it matters.

    Right now McBomb trails Obama only 5% in the polls, despite his complete adoption of the neocon agenda.

    This could never happen if the US populace was not willfully buying into the myths fed to them by the warmongering, greed/god/guns right wing that has run things for 40+ years (and which, I’m near convinced, will stage another ‘event’ & declare their ‘October surprise’ martial law before ceding power to any opposition).

    I can no longer buy the idea that the CIA brainwashes the people. The people must simply want to be brainwashed. They want to disbelieve evolution despite the science, they want to believe in Dispensationalism despite the absurdity, they were so happy debunking global warming for decades when something could have been done to slow it while there was still time.

    The populace of the USA are a backward, intentionally daft group of self-hypnotizing consumerist, Vegas-haunting, televangelist-believing, violent, gun-worshiping red-state gangsters, yet they think of themselves with some sort of ‘leave-it-to-beaver’ innocence.

    This is the psychology of this place which these people are so proud of. The ‘greatest country under god’ or whatever Hannity calls it. Dispute that statement and you’re a ‘communist’ and a threat to the americon way of life.

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