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FTR #449 The July Surprise

Record­ed March 7, 2004
Lis­ten:
MP3 One seg­ment [1]
REALAUDIO [2]
NB: This stream con­tains both FTRs #448 and #449 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broad­cast.

Hypo­thet­i­cal in nature, this pro­gram exam­ines the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the GOP and the Bush cam­paign sab­o­taged attempts by the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion to bro­ker a Mid­dle East peace agree­ment. Had the Camp David nego­ti­a­tions that dis­solved in July of 2000 been suc­cess­ful and result­ed in an Israeli-Pales­tin­ian peace treaty, the boost the Demo­c­ra­t­ic camp would have received as a result would have great­ly increased the elec­toral for­tunes of Al Gore. Gore might well have won the elec­tion. Was there a July Sur­prise, that sub­vert­ed the peace process? Begin­ning with an account of appar­ent col­lu­sion between the Rea­gan-Bush cam­paign of 1980 and the PLO, the broad­cast exam­ines the pos­si­bil­i­ty that this liai­son grew into a more pro­found accom­mo­da­tion in the late ’80’s. Even­tu­al­ly, many of the “mod­er­ate” P.L.O. fig­ures were brought to the US under the stew­ard­ship of then Sec­re­tary of State James Bak­er to be tutored in the lat­est PR tech­niques by the CIA. Dubbed “Bak­er’s Dozen” by the agency, these indi­vid­u­als com­prised the Pales­tin­ian nego­ti­at­ing team that walked out of Camp David. In 2000, the Repub­li­cans were also in con­tact with the Israeli right wing and the Likud Par­ty (which came to pow­er as a result of Labor Prime Min­is­ter Barak’s fail­ure to secure a peace agree­ment). This lat­ter con­tact was real­ized by for­mer US ambas­sador to Italy Maxwell Rabb, who brought togeth­er the Likud Par­ty and the Ital­ian far right grouped around for­mer P‑2 mem­ber Sil­vio Berlus­coni. Through­out the late 1990’s, the Repub­li­cans had court­ed the Israeli right in open oppo­si­tion to Clin­ton’s Mid­dle East pol­i­cy. It is alto­geth­er pos­si­ble that, through their twin con­tacts with the Pales­tini­ans and the Israeli Right, the Bush forces sab­o­taged the peace process.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The Sau­di spon­sor­ship of the PLO and the prob­a­ble role of this rela­tion­ship in sub­vert­ing the peace talks; the fact that petro­le­um CEO Dick Cheney was named as Bush’s run­ning mate on the same day that Arafat & com­pa­ny walked out of the peace talks; the pos­si­ble PLO role in the Octo­ber Sur­prise; Clin­ton’s veto of the Dole amend­ment that would have moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—a move opposed by Yitzhak Rabin.

1. The pro­gram begins with an account of appar­ent con­tact between the 1980 Rea­gan-Bush cam­paign and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion. The Reagan/Bush forces were work­ing to enlist the P.L.O. in an effort to pre­vail on the Khome­i­ni forces in Iran to with­hold the Amer­i­can hostages tak­en from the U.S. embassy in 1979, until Jim­my Carter’s humil­i­a­tion and con­se­quent elec­tion defeat was assured. (For more about what has come to be called “the Octo­ber Sur­prise”, see RFA#‘s 31, 38—available from Spitfire—as well as FTR#445.) As indi­cat­ed here, the Rea­gan-Bush forces pro­posed that such a bar­gain would result in polit­i­cal and diplo­mat­ic gains for the P.L.O. Among the sub­jects dis­cussed below is “Bak­er’s Dozen”—P.L.O. “mod­er­ates” recruit­ed by Rea­gan Sec­re­tary of State James Bak­er and the CIA. “Bak­er’s Dozen” com­prised the bulk of the P.L.O. nego­ti­at­ing team that aban­doned the 2000 peace process on the same day that Bush named Cheney as his run­ning mate. ” . . . P.L.O. rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bas­sam Abu Sharif, Yasir Arafat’s chief spokesman, told jour­nal­ist Mor­gan Strong that a Rea­gan backer had approached P.L.O. head­quar­ters. ‘Dur­ing the first cam­paign, the Rea­gan peo­ple con­tact­ed me,’ claims Abu Sharif. ‘One of Rea­gan’s clos­es friends and a major finan­cial con­trib­u­tor to the cam­paign. . . . He kept refer­ring to him as Ron­nie. . . . He said he want­ed the P.L.O. to use its influ­ence to delay the release of the Amer­i­can hostages from the embassy in Tehran until after the elec­tion. . . . They asked that I con­tact the chair­man [Arafat] and make the request. . . . We were told that if the hostages were held, the P.L.O. would be giv­en recog­ni­tion as the legit­i­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ples and the White House door would be open for us.’ ” (“Octo­ber Sur­prise News Cov­er­age [House of Representatives—February, 1992]”; p. 29 [of 64]; accessed at http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_cr/h920205-october-clips.htm.)

2. “The P.L.O. was a rea­son­able choice to serve as hostage bro­ker. Two weeks after the embassy take-over, Arafat nego­ti­at­ed the release of 13 Amer­i­cans. If Arafat could per­suade Khome­i­ni to release some hostages, he might just as eas­i­ly per­suade him to hold the rest a lit­tle longer. The P.L.O. has so far refused to doc­u­ment those charges. ‘We have the proof if it is denied,’ says Abu Sharif. ‘And they said they would deny it if it ever become pub­lic. I hope it does, because I would like to drop the bomb­shell on them.’ Still, we have no cor­rob­o­rat­ing details to con­firm the account.” (Idem.)

2. One of the ques­tions posed in the broad­cast con­cerns the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the con­tacts between the Rea­gan-Bush camp dis­cussed above sub­se­quent­ly led to a real­iza­tion of the diplo­mat­ic coop­er­a­tion pro­posed dur­ing the 1980 approach. Key mem­bers of the PLO nego­ti­at­ing team at Camp David were pro­teges of the anti-Semit­ic James Bak­er, the elder George Bush’s Sec­re­tary of State. Bak­er brought key Pales­tin­ian “mod­er­ates” to the Unit­ed States, where they were coached in the lat­est PR tech­niques by the CIA. Termed “Bak­er’s Dozen” by the Agency, they have become the dar­lings of the so-called “pro­gres­sive sec­tor.” In con­junc­tion with the fail­ure of the 2000 peace talks, one should bear in mind the fact that the PLO is bankrolled pri­mar­i­ly by Sau­di Ara­bia and the Saud­is are deeply involved with the Bush/Republican milieu. “Accord­ing to our sources, the CIA secret­ly brought sev­er­al mod­er­ate Pales­tini­ans to the Unit­ed States for inten­sive brief­ing. This group, code named ‘Bak­er’s Dozen,’ includ­ed most of the ‘offi­cial’ Pales­tin­ian nego­ti­at­ing team with Israel: ‘Hanan Ashrawi, Han­na Senio­ra, Saeb Erakat, Sari Nus­seibeh and oth­er low­er rank­ing Pales­tini­ans were sum­moned to Lan­g­ley for a three day con­fer­ence on inte­grat­ing their pol­i­tics with the U.S. . . . Ashrawi was sin­gled out as a good Pales­tin­ian image spokes­woman dubbed by the Company—the Pales­tin­ian Gol­da Meir.’ ” (The Secret War Against the Jews: How West­ern Espi­onage Betrayed the Jew­ish Peo­ple; John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 [SC]; St. Mar­t­in’s Press; ISBN 0–312-15648–0; p. 476.)

3. Next, the broad­cast high­lights the GOP’s active sub­ver­sion of the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion’s attempts to bro­ker a Mid­dle East peace agree­ment. The Repub­li­cans active­ly court­ed the Israeli right wing and under­mined the Clin­ton pol­i­cy at every turn. In 1998, after Hillary Clin­ton had endorsed the con­cept of a Pales­tin­ian state, Newt Gin­grich trav­eled to Israel and, in an address to the Knes­set (the Israeli par­lia­ment), he repu­di­at­ed what Mrs. Clin­ton had pro­posed. The Repub­li­cans tried to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin and Clin­ton viewed this as inim­i­cal to the peace process, and the leg­is­la­tion passed by the Repub­li­can-dom­i­nat­ed Con­gress was vetoed. “Indeed, con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly, the Pres­i­dent can sus­pend the appli­ca­tion of a law approved by Con­gress if he judges it con­trary to the high­er inter­ests of the coun­try, as was the case for the Dole law that pro­posed to trans­fer the embassy of the Unit­ed States to Jerusalem.” (Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 167.)

4. The broad­cast then repris­es an excerpt from FTR#252. This excerpt sets forth net­work­ing between the Vat­i­can-linked milieu of Sil­vio Berlus­coni, ele­ments of Israel’s far-right Likud Par­ty and Maxwell Rabb, for­mer US Ambas­sador to Italy—a long-time liai­son fig­ure between the U.S. right-wing and their Ital­ian coun­ter­parts. The meet­ing described here took place in ear­ly 2000. One can only won­der if this net­work­ing was con­nect­ed to the US Repub­li­can Par­ty’s under­min­ing of the Clinton/Gore admin­is­tra­tion’s attempts at bro­ker­ing a Mideast Peace. What is clear is that the Repub­li­cans were in touch with both the Israeli right-wing and its Likud Par­ty and the P.L.O. “mod­er­ates” who com­prise the bulk of the nego­ti­at­ing team at Camp David. (For more about this, see FTR#344, 346, 430.) (“Inter­na­tion­al Fas­cist Axis” by Ger­ry Gable; The Search­light; Octo­ber of 20000–#304; p. 9.) Berlus­coni is a for­mer mem­ber of Licio Gel­li’s P‑2 lodge. (For more on Berlus­coni, see also: Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M‑60, FTRs 217, 229. His asso­ciate Fini is the head of the Nation­al Alliance, the direct suc­ces­sor to Mus­solin­i’s fas­cist par­ty in Italy. For more on Fini, see M‑60, FTRs 94, 113. For more on the Ital­ian far-right and the P‑2 Lodge, see also: RFAs 17–19, 20, 21, 25, 34, Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M‑60, M‑61, as well as FTRs 43, 59, 70, 71, 80, 81, 98, 185, 213, 217, 221, 229, 237. For more on fas­cist ele­ments in the Zion­ist move­ment, see also: Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M‑30, M‑48, FTRs 94, 113. This should not be mis­un­der­stood as char­ac­ter­iz­ing all, or even most of the Zion­ist move­ment as fas­cist.)

5. In the con­text of the Bak­er affil­i­a­tion to the Pales­tin­ian nego­tia­tors, it is inter­est­ing to note that the day that petro­le­um indus­try pro­fes­sion­al Dick Cheney (anoth­er Bush, Sr. cab­i­net offi­cer) was named as George W’s Vice-Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Yass­er Arafat walked out of the Camp David peace talks that were being bro­kered by Pres­i­dent Clin­ton. (“Clin­ton Ends Dead­locked Peace Talks” by Jane Per­lez; New York Times; 7/26/2000; p. A1; “Bush Names Cheney, Cit­ing ‘Integri­ty’ and ‘Expe­ri­ence’ ” by Frank Bruni; New York Times; 7/26/2000; p. A1.) The pos­si­bil­i­ty that the Republican/petroleum industry/Saudi con­nec­tion may have played a back chan­nel role in inter­dict­ing the peace talks is not a pos­si­bil­i­ty to be too read­i­ly dis­count­ed. (It should be not­ed that, as dis­cussed in FTR#284, the elder George Bush was in touch with the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly dur­ing the 2000 cam­paign through the Car­lyle group. As not­ed in FTR#214, the Bush/Saudi con­nec­tion appears to have helped to destroy Jim­my Carter’s elec­tion prospects in 1980. Had Pres­i­dent Clin­ton suc­cess­ful­ly bro­kered the Israeli/Palestinian peace process, it might have very well giv­en the 2000 elec­tion to Al Gore. Did the Repub­li­cans, act­ing through “Bak­er’s Dozen”, the Sau­di bankrollers of the PLO and the Israeli right-wing sab­o­tage the peace talks? Was there a “July Sur­prise”? Note in this con­text that Ehud Barak’s fail­ure to secure a peace treaty led to his elec­tion defeat and the ele­va­tion of the Likud right-wing that had been in touch with Maxwell Rabb and the Ital­ian fas­cists. Rabb was killed in a fall on the way to work in June of 2002.