Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #490 3rd Interview with Robert Parry

Recorded December 12, 2004
REALAUDIO

Continuing our discussion with ground-breaking journalist Robert Parry, this broadcast begins with the apparent suicide of investigative journalist Gary Webb, whose career was destroyed after he authored an investigation of the CIA’s complicity in the Contra/cocaine connection. Parry eulogizes Gary Webb and discusses the mainstream press’s shameful treatment of Gary and his work. (Parry and his AP colleague Brian Barger were the first to break the story of the Contra/cocaine connection.) The balance of the program consists of material covered in Robert’s book Secrecy and Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. After discussing Webb’s life and work, Robert sets forth information about the Moon organization, one of the main cogs in the GOP’s funding and media/attack apparatus. The Moon organization was involved with the Boliivian Cocaine Coup of 1980, brought about by the collaboration of international fascist elements from Europe and Latin America. The Cocaine Coup was the genesis of the Contras involvement in the cocaine trade. The broadcast also highlights Operation Condor, an assassination consortium put together by Latin American military dictatorships. The most famous Condor assassination—the killing of Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. in 1976—was covered up, in part, by George H.W. Bush’s CIA. Bush accepted millions of dollars in funding from Moon’s organization after he retired from the Presidency. Reverend Jerry Falwell was also a recipient of Moon’s largesse. The broadcast concludes by examining Carlton Sherwood, who wrote a book exculpatory of Moon in the 1980’s and also was behind a television hit piece on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Program Highlights Include: The role of former SS officer (and CIA agent) Klaus Barbie in the Cocaine Coup; the involvement of elements of the World Anti-Communist League in the Cocaine Coup; the role of Argentine fascists in the Cocaine Coup; the granting of a journalism award to Webb’s editor at the San Jose Mercury News for discrediting Webb’s story; the Moon organization’s role in discrediting journalists and investigators probing into the Contra/cocaine connection; the Moon organization’s own links to Contra-connected cocaine smugglers; the influence of the Moon-owned Washington Times within the GOP media machine. Be sure to visit Robert Parry’s ConsortiumNews.com.

1. The first topic of discussion was the death of Gary Webb. Webb, who focused great attention on the CIA’s complicity in the trafficking of drugs, apparently committed suicide on the weekend that this broadcast was recorded. (Mr. Emory hadn’t heard about Webb’s death until immediately before going on air.) As discussed in FTR#’s 485, 489, Robert Parry (along with his associate Brian Barger) first broke the story of the contra-cocaine connection in the mid 1980’s. Listeners can hear a reading of Gary Webb’s original San Jose Mercury News article in FTR#01, available for download on RealAudio. The basic thrust of Robert Parry’s comments can be found in the article that follows:

America’s Debt to Journalist Gary Webb
By Robert Parry
December 13, 2004

In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy – the Reagan-Bush administration’s protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan contra war in the 1980s.

For his brave reporting at the San Jose Mercury News, Webb paid a high price. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the American Journalism Review and even the Nation magazine. Under this >>Continue original article>>

2. Next, the program highlights Operation Condor, an assassination consortium formed by a number of Latin American dictatorships. (For more about Operation Condor, see RFA#’s 19, 22, 27, 29—available from Spitfire—as well as FTR#’s 259, 284. “In November 1975, the loose-knit collaboration among the Southern Cone dictatorships took on a more formal structure during a covert intelligence meeting in Santiago, Chile. Delegates from the security forces of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia committed themselves to a regional strategy against ‘subversives.’ In recognition of Chile’s leadership, the conference named the project after Chile’s national bird, the giant vulture that traverses the Andes Mountains. The project was called ‘Operation Condor.’ The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency confidentially informed Washington that the operation had three phases and that the third and reportedly very secret phase of ‘Operation Condor’ involves the formation of special teams from member countries who are to carry out operations to include assassinations.’ The Condor accord formally took effect on January 30, 1976, the same day George H.W. Bush was sworn in as CIA director.”
(Secrecy and Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq; by Robert Parry; p. 58.)

3. “Part of Bush’s job was to spare Ford any fresh embarrassments at the CIA. But in Bush’s first few months, right-wing violence across the Southern Cone surged. On March 24, 1976, the Argentine military staged a coup, ousting the ineffectual President Isabel Peron and escalating a brutal internal security campaign against both violent and non-violent opponents on the Left. The Argentine security forces became especially well-known for grisly methods of torture and the practice of ‘disappearing’ political dissidents who would be snatched from the streets or from their homes, undergo torture and never be seen again. . . .” (Idem.)

4. Perhaps the best known of the “Condor” assassinations was the killing of Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. “ . . .One of the most eloquent voices making the case against Pinochet’s regime was Chile’s former Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier, who was operating out of a liberal think tank in Washington, the Institute for Policy Studies. Earlier in their government careers, when Letelier was briefly defense minister in Allende’s government, Pinochet had been his subordinate. After the coup, Pinochet imprisoned Letelier at a desolate concentration camp on Dawson Island off the south Pacific coast. International pressure won Letelier release a year later.” (Ibid.; p. 60.)

5. “Now, Pinochet was chafing under Letelier’s rough criticism of the regime’s human rights record. Letelier was doubly infuriating to Pinochet because

Letelier was regarded as a man of intellect and charm, even impressing CIA officers who observed him as ‘a personable, socially pleasant man’ and ‘a reasonable, mature democrat,’ according to biographical sketches. Pinochet fumed to U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Kissinger, that Letelier was spreading lies and causing trouble with the U.S. Congress. Soon, Pinochet was plotting with DINA chief Contreras how to silence Letelier’s criticism for good. . . .” (Idem.)

6. “ . . . As for the Letelier plot, DINA was soon devising another way to carry out the killing. In late August, DINA dispatched a preliminary team of one man and one woman to do surveillance on Letelier as he moved around Washington. Then, Townley was sent under a different alias to carry out the murder. After arriving in New York on Sept. 9, 1976, Townley contacted Cuban National Movement leader Guillermo Novo in Union City, New Jersey, and then headed to Washington. Townley assembled a remote-controlled bomb using parts bought at Radio Shack and Sears.” (Ibid.; p. 62.)

7. “On September 18, joined by Cuban extremists Virgilio Paz and Dionisio Suarez, Townley went to Letelier’s home in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington. The assassination team attached the bomb underneath Letelier’s Chevrolet Chevelle. Three days later, on the morning of September 21, Paz and Suarez followed Letelier as he drove to work with two associates, Ronni Moffitt and her husband Michael. As the Chevelle proceeded down Massachusetts Avenue, through an area known as Embassy Row because many of the city’s embassies line the street, the assassins detonated the bomb. The blast ripped off Letelier’s legs and –punctured a hole in Ronni Moffitt’s jugular vein. She drowned in her own blood at the scene; Letelier died after being taken to George Washington University Hospital. Michael Moffitt survived. . . .” (Idem.)

8. “ . . . Bush’s reputation was also at risk. As authors Dinges and Landau noted in Assassination on Embassy Row, ‘the CIA reaction was peculiar,’ after the cable from Ambassador Landau arrived disclosing a covert Chilean intelligence operation and asking Deputy Director Walters if he had a meeting scheduled with the DINA agents. Ambassador ‘Landau expected Walters to take quick action in the event that the Chilean mission did not have CIA clearance,’ authors Dinges and Landau wrote. ‘Yet a week passed during which the assassination team could well have had time to carry out their original plan to go directly from Paraguay to Washington to kill Letelier. Walters and Bush conferred during that week about the matter.’” (Ibid.; pp. 62-63.)

9. “ ‘One thing is clear,’ Dinges and Landau wrote, ‘DINA chief Manuel Contreras would have called off the assassination mission if the CIA or State Department had expressed their displeasure to the Chilean government. An intelligence officer familiar with the case said that any warning would have been sufficient to cause the assassination to be scuttled. Whatever Walters and Bush did—if anything—the DINA mission proceeded.’” (Ibid.; p. 63.)

10. “Within hours of the bombing, Letelier’s associates accused the Pinochet regime, citing its hatred of Letelier and its record for brutality. The Chilean government, however, heatedly denied any responsibility. That night, at a dinner at the Jordanian Embassy, Senator James Abourezk, a South Dakota Democrat, spotted Bush and approached the CIA director. Abourezk said he was a friend of Letelier’s and beseeched Bush to get the CIA ‘to find the bastards who killed him.’ Abourezk said Bush responded: ‘I’ll see what I can do. We are not without assets in Chile.’” (Idem.)

11. “A problem, however, was that one of the CIA’s best-placed assets—DINA chief Manuel Contreras—would turn out to be the mastermind of the assassination. Wiley Gilstrap, the CIA’s Santiago Station Chief, did approach Contreras with questions about the Letelier bombing and wired back to Langley Contreras’s assurance that the Chilean government wasn’t involved. Following the strategy of public misdirection already used in hundreds of ‘disappearances,’ Contreras pointed the finger at the Chilean Left. Contreras suggested that leftists had killed Letelier to turn him into a martyr.” (Idem.)

12. “The Ford administration, of course, had plenty of evidence that Contreras was lying. Like a quarter century later, when the U.S. government immediately recognized al-Qaeda’s hand in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington because U.S. officials knew about Osama bin Laden’s intentions, there were signs everywhere in September 1976 that DINA had been plotting some kind of attack inside the United States. If anything, the Letelier assassination should have been even easier to solve since the Pinochet government had flashed its intention to mount a suspicious operation inside the United States by involving the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay and the deputy director of the CIA. Bush’s CIA even had in its files a photograph of the leader of the terrorist squad, Michael Townley. . . .” (Idem.)

13. As CIA director, George Bush actually led potential investigators away from the real culprits in the Letelier killing. “Rather than fulfilling his promise to Abourezk to ‘see what I can do,’ Bush ignored the leads. The CIA either didn’t put the pieces together or chose to avoid the obvious conclusions that the evidence presented. Indeed, the CIA didn’t seem to want any information that might implicate the Pinochet regime. On October 6, a CIA informant in Chile went to the CIA Station in Santiago and relayed an account of Pinochet denouncing Letelier. The informant said the dictator had called Letelier’s criticism of the government ‘unacceptable.’ The source ‘believes that the Chilean Government is directly involved in Letelier’s death and feels that investigation into the incident will so indicate,’ the CIA field report said. But Bush’s CIA chose to accept Contreras’s denials and even began leaking information that pointed away from the real killers.” (Ibid.; p. 64.)

14. Returning to the subject that was the focal point of Gary Webb’s work—the Contra/cocaine connection—the program sets forth the genesis of that operation, the Bolivian Cocaine Coup of 1980. Realized through the type of international fascist collaboration exemplified by Condor, the Cocaine Coup was assisted by Argentine terror veterans, who then helped set the contras up in the cocaine trade. “Another secret tactic passed on to the contras was how to finance operations through drug trafficking and drug money laundering. According to Argentine money-launderer and contra trainer Sanchez-Reisse, Argentine intelligence arranged an early flow of drug money into the contras’ coffers. In closed testimony to Senator John Kerry’s contra-drug investigation in more than $30 million to support right-wing paramilitary operations in Central and South America, including the contra war.” (Ibid.; p. 214.)

15. “Sanchez-Reisse, who oversaw the operation’s money laundering, said the drug money first helped finance a 1980 military coup in Bolivia that ousted a democratically elected left-of-center government. Argentine intelligence officers—and a cadre of European neo-Nazis—assisted in the putsch, which became known as the Cocaine Coup because it gave the drug lords free run of the country.” (Idem.)

16. “Sanchez-Reisse said he and an Argentine neo-fascist ‘death squad’ leader named Raul Guglielminetti oversaw the Miami-based money-laundering front that shared some profits with the contras. Sanchez-Reisse said the Miami money laundry used two front companies—Argenshow, a promoter of U.S. entertainment acts in Argentina, and the Silver Dollar, a pawn shop that was licensed to sell guns. Sanchez-Reisse said the real work of the companies was the transfer of Roberto Suarez’s $30 million into political and paramilit

ary operations that had the blessings of the CIA. The money for the Bolivian Cocaine Coup ‘was shipped from Bahamas to United States,’ Sanchez-Reisse said. ‘It was money [that] belonged to people connected with drug traffic in Bolivia at the time, specifically Mr. Roberto Suarez in Bolivia.’” (Idem.)

17. Among the principal figures in the Cocaine Coup was former SS man and CIA agent Klaus Barbie. (For more about Barbie, see—among other programs—RFA#’s 3, 19, 27—available from Spitfire. Other references can be accessed by using the Spitfire search function. “The Cocaine Coup had its own extraordinary history. One organizer of the Bolivian coup was World War II Nazi fugitive Klaus Barbie, the notorious ‘Butcher of Lyon’ who was working as a Bolivian intelligence officer under the name Klaus Altmann. Barbie drew up plans modeled after the 1976 Argentine coup and contacted hardliners in the Argentine security services for help. One of the first Argentine officers to arrive, Lieutenant Alfred Mario Mingolla, later described Barbie’s role to German journalist Kai Hermann. ‘Before our departure, we received a dossier on [Barbie],’ Mingolla said. ‘There it stated that he was of great use to Argentina because he played an important role in all of Latin America in the fight against communism.’” (Idem.)

18. “Beyond the routine planning, Barbie enlisted a younger generation of Italian neo-fascists, including Stefano della Chiaie, who was already working with the Argentine ‘death squads.’ Barbie established a secret lodge called ‘Thule,’ where he lectured his followers underneath swastikas by candlelight. The Bolivian military coup leader was Colonel Luis Arce-Gomez, the cousin of drug lord Roberto Suarez. Dr. Alfred Candia, the Bolivian leader of the World Anti-Communist League, coordinated arrival of the paramilitary operatives.” (Ibid.; pp. 214-215.)

19. “Planning for the coup proceeded almost in the open. There were reports about a June 17, 1980, meeting between six of Bolivia’s largest drug traffickers and the Bolivian military conspirators to hammer out financial arrangements for the future protection of the cocaine trade. The plotting was so brazen that one La Paz businessman dubbed the operation the Cocaine Coup, a name that stuck.” (Ibid.; p. 215.)

20. “On July 17, 1980, the Cocaine Coup unfolded, spearheaded by Barbie and his neo-fascist acolytes who went by the name Fiances of Death. ‘The masked thugs were not Bolivian; they spoke Spanish with German, French and Italian accents,’ wrote Michael Levine, an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent operating in South America. ‘Their uniforms bore neither national identification nor any markings, although many of them wore Nazi swastika armbands and insignias.’” (Idem.)

21. “The slaughter was fierce. When the putschists stormed the national labor headquarters, they wounded labor leader Marcelo Quiroga, who had led the battle to indict former military dictator Hugo Banzer on drug and corruption charges. Quiroga ‘was dragged off to police headquarters to be the object of a game played by some of the torture experts imported from Argentina’s dreaded Mechanic School of the Navy,’ Levine wrote. ‘These experts applied their ‘science’ to Quiroga as a lesson to the Bolivians, who were a little backward in such matters. They kept Quiroga alive and suffering for hours. His castrated, tortured body was found days later in a place called ‘The Valley of the Moon’ in southern La Paz.’” (Idem.)

22. “To DEA agent Levine back in Buenos Aires, it was soon clear ‘that the primary goal of the revolution was the protection and control of Bolivia’s cocaine industry. All major drug traffickers in prison were released, after which they joined the neo-Nazis in their rampage. Government buildings were invaded and trafficker files were either carried off or burned. Government employees were tortured and shot, the women tied and repeatedly raped by paramilitaries and the freed traffickers.’” (Idem.)

23. “Colonel Arce-Gomez, the pot-bellied cousin of drug lord Roberto Suarez, grabbed broad powers as Interior Minister. General Luis Garcia Meza became Bolivia’s new president. After the coup, Arce-Gomez went into partnership with big narco-traffickers, including Mafia-connected Cuban-American smugglers based in Miami. According to DEA agent Levine, Arce-Gomez bragged to one trafficker, ‘we will flood America’s borders with cocaine,’ a boast that proved prescient.” (Idem.)

24. “ ‘Bolivia soon became the principal supplier of cocaine base to the then fledgling Colombian cartels, making themselves the main suppliers of cocaine to the United States,’ Levine said. Cartel money-launderer Ramon Milian Rodriguez corroborated the importance of the Bolivian supply line for the Colombian cartels in the early days. ‘Bolivia was much more significant than the other countries,’ Milian Rodriguez said in testimony to Senator Kerry’s contra-drug investigation on April 6, 1988.” (Ibid.; pp. 215-216.)

25. “Another significant aspect of the Cocaine Coup was that it was the point of contamination for the Nicaraguan contra operation, another secret that would have to be protected by the Reagan-Bush administration. Though both President Reagan and Vice President Bush were sympathetic to the harsh anticommunism practiced by the Argentines and their Latin American allies, the disclosure of cocaine trafficking that implicated the contra movement would have devastated the fragile public support for the operation.” (Ibid.; p. 216.)

26. “Still, the Argentine training and support for the contras proceeded. The Argentine intelligence officers who had assisted in the Cocaine Coup simply moved their base of operation from Bolivia to Honduras, where the ragtag force of former Nicaraguan national guardsmen was taking shape. Argentine money-launderer Sanchez-Reisse said the money from the Argenshow-Silver Dollar laundry was soon flowing into the contras’ coffers. Sanchez-Reisse said his partner, Guglielminetti, befriended American farmer John Hull, who let the contras use his ranch in Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border.” (Idem.)

27. Much of the program focuses on the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. Moon’s organization was deeply involved in the Cocaine Coup of 1980. “In 1980, Moon made more friends in South America when Bolivia’s Cocaine Coup plotters seized power. Before the coup, WACL associates, such as Alfred Candia, allegedly had coordinated the arrival of some of the paramilitary operatives who assisted in the violent coup. Afterwards, one of the first well-wishers arriving in La Paz to congratulate the new government was Moon’s top lieutenant, Bo Hi Pak. The Moon organization published a photo of Pak meeting with the new strongman, General Garcia Meza. After the visit to the mountainous capital, Pak declared, ‘I have erected a throne for Father Moon in the world’s highest city.’” (Ibid.; p. 231.)

28. “According to later Bolivian government and newspaper reports, a Moon representative invested about $4 million in preparations for the coup. Bolivia’s WACL representatives also played key roles, and CAUSA, one of Moon’s anti-communist organizations, listed as members nearly all the leading Bolivian coup-makers. . . .” (Idem.)

29. Moon was active in the World Anti-Communist League. (For more about WACL, see RFA#’s 14, 15, 36, 37—available from Spitfire. Additional references can be obtained using the “search” function on the Spitfire website.) “ . . . A month after the coup, General Garcia Meza participated in the Fourth Congress of the Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation, an arm of the World Anti-Communist League. Also attending the Fourth Congress was WACL president Woo Jae Sung, a leading Moon disciple. Moon claimed to have split wi

th WACL as of 1975, calling the group ‘fascist,’ but his followers remained active in the organization.” (Idem.)

30. “As the drug lords consolidated their power in Bolivia, the Moon organization expanded its presence, too. Hermann reported that in early 1981, war criminal Barbie and Moon leader Thomas Ward were often seen together in apparent prayer. Mingolla, the Argentine intelligence officer, described Ward as his CIA paymaster, with the $1,500 monthly salary coming from the CAUSA office of Ward’s representative.” (Ibid.; pp. 231-232.)

31. “On May 31, 1981, Moon representatives sponsored a CAUSA reception at the Sheraton Hotel’s Hall of Freedom in La Paz. Moon’s Lieutenant Bo Hi Pak and Bolivian strongman Garcia Meza led a prayer for President Reagan’s recovery from an assassination attempt. In his speech, Bo Hi Pak declared, ‘God had chosen the Bolivian people in the heart of South America s the ones to conquer communism.’ According to a later Bolivian intelligence report, the Moon organization sought to recruit an ‘armed church’ of Bolivians, with about 7,000 Bolivians receiving some paramilitary training.” (Idem.)

32. The Moon organization also had strong links to the Contra/cocaine smugglers. “ . . . Besides collaborating with Sasakawa and other leaders of the Japanese yakuza and the Cocaine Coup government of Bolivia, Moon’s organization developed close ties with the Honduran military and with Nicaraguan contras units tied to drug smuggling. Moon’s organization also used its political clout in Washington to intimidate or discredit government officials and journalists who tried to investigate those criminal activities.” (Ibid.; p. 235.)

33. The Moon organization routinely attacked investigators and journalists who uncovered evidence of the links between the Contras and cocaine traffic. “ . . . In the mid-1980’s, for instance, when journalists and congressional investigators began probing the evidence of contra-connected drug trafficking, they came under attacks from Moon’s Washington Times. An Associated Press story that I co-wrote with Brian Barger about a Miami-based federal probe into gun-and drug-running by the contras was denigrated in a front-page Washington Times article with the headline: ‘Story on [contra] drug smuggling denounced as political ploy.’” (Ibid.; pp. 235-236.)

34. “When Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts conducted a Senate probe and uncovered additional evidence of contra drug trafficking, The Washington Times denounced him, too. The newspaper first published anti-contra efforts extensive, expensive, in vain,’ announced the headline of one Times article.” (Ibid.; p. 236)

35. “But when Kerry exposed more contra wrongdoing, The Washington Times shifted tactics. In 1987, in front-page articles, it began accusing Kerry’s staff of obstructing justice because their investigation was supposedly interfering with Reagan-Bush administration efforts to get at the truth. ‘Kerry staffers damaged FBI probe,’ said one Times article that opened with the assertion: ‘Congressional investigators for Sen. John Kerry severely damaged a federal drug investigation last summer by interfering with a witness while pursuing allegations of drug smuggling by the Nicaraguan resistance, federal law enforcement officials said.’” (Idem.)

36. John Kerry’s congressional investigation of the contra/cocaine connection placed him in opposition to then Vice-President George Bush, who was in charge of attempting to interdict the flow of narcotics into the U.S. through its Southern borders. “ . . . The Kerry investigation represented an indirect challenge to Vice President George H.W. Bush, who had been named by President Reagan to head the South Florida Task Force for interdicting the flow of drugs into the United States and was later put in charge of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System. In short, Bush was the lead official in the U.S. government to counter the drug trade, which he himself had dubbed a national security threat.” (Ibid.; pp. 236-237.)

37. “If the American voters came to believe that Bush had compromised his anti-drug responsibilities to protect the image of the Nicaraguan contras and other rightists in Central America, that judgment could have threatened the political future of Bush and his politically ambitious family. By publicly challenging press and congressional investigations of this touchy subject, The Washington Times helped keep an unfavorable media spotlight from swinging in the direction of the Vice President.” (Ibid.; p. 237.)

38. “The available evidence now shows that there was much more to the contra drug issue than either the Reagan-Bush administration or Moon’s organization wanted the American people to know in the 1980’s. The evidence—assembled over the years by inspectors general at the CIA, the Justice Department and other federal agencies—indicates that Bolivia’s Cocaine Coup government was only the first in a line of drug enterprises that tried to squeeze under the protective umbrella of Ronald Reagan’s favorite covert operation, the contra war.” (Idem.)

39. After retiring from the Presidency, Bush garnered enormous speaking fees for the Moon outfit. Some of these fees were in exchange for promotional appearances he did in Latin America for Tiempos del Mundo, a Spanish-language paper Moon was starting in Latin America. “ . . . Given the controversy, Argentina’s elected president, Carlos Menem, decided to reject Moon’s invitation. But Moon had a trump card to play in his bid for South American respectability: the endorsement of an ex-President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Agreeing to speak at the newspaper’s launch, Bush flew aboard a private plane, arriving in Buenos Aires on November 22. Bush stayed at Menem’s official residence, the Olivos, though Bush’s presence didn’t change Menem’s mind about attending the gala.” (Ibid.; p. 272.)

40. “Still, as the biggest VIP at the inaugural celebration, Bush saved the day, Moon’s followers gushed. ‘Mr. Bush’s presence as keynote speaker gave the event invaluable prestige,’ wrote the Unification News. ‘Father [Moon] and Mother [Mrs. Moon] sat with several of the True Children [Moon’s offspring] just a few feet from the podium’ where Bush spoke. Before about 900 Moon guests at the Sheraton Hotel, Bush lavished praise on Moon.” (Idem.)

41. “ ‘I want to salute Reverend Moon, who is the founder of The Washington Times and also of Tiempos del Mundo,’ Bush declared. ‘A lot of my friends in South America don’t know about The Washington Times, but it is an independent voice. The editors of The Washington Times tell me that never once has the man with the vision interfered with the running of the paper, a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington, D.C. I am convinced that Tiempos del Mundo is going to do the same thing’ in Latin America.” (Ibid.; pp. 272-273.)

42. “Bush then held up the colorful new newspaper and complimented several articles, including one flattering piece about his wife Barbara. Bush’s speech was so effusive that it surprised even Moon’s followers. ‘Once again, heaven turned a disappointment into a victory,’ the Unification News exulted. ‘Everyone was delighted to hear his compliments. We knew would give an appropriate and ‘nice’ speech, but praise in Father’s presence was more than we expected. . . . I

t was vindication. We could just hear a sigh of relief from Heaven.’” (Ibid.; p. 273.)

43. “In September 1995, Bush and his wife, Barbara, gave six speeches in Asia for the Women’s Federation for World Peace, a group led by Moon’s wife, Hak Ja Han Moon. In one speech on September 14 to 50,000 Moon supporters in Tokyo, Bush insisted that ‘what really counts is faith, family and friends.’ Mrs. Moon followed the ex-President to the podium and announced that ‘it has to be Reverend Moon to save the United States, which is in decline because of the destruction of the family and moral decay.’” (Idem.)

44. “In summer 1996, Bush was lending his prestige to Moon again. Bush addressed the Moon-connected Family Federation for World Peace in Washington, an event that gained notoriety when comedian Bill Cosby tried to back out of his contract after learning of Moon’s connection. Bush had no such qualms.” (Ibid.; pp. 273-274.)

45. The total for Bush’s speeches on behalf of Moon may have exceeded $10 million. “Throughout these public appearances for Moon, Bush’s office refused to divulge how much Moon-affiliated organizations have paid the ex-President. But estimates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,00 and $500,000. Sources close to the Unification Church have put the total Bush-Moon package in the millions, with one source telling me that Bush stood to make as much as $10 million total from Moon “Throughout these public appearances for Moon, Bush’s office refused to divulge how much Moon-affiliated organizations have paid the ex-President. But estimates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,00 and $500,000. Sources close to the Unification Church have put the total Bush-Moon package in the millions, with one source telling me that Bush stood to make as much as $10 million total from Moon’s organization.” (Ibid.; p. 274.)

46. Among the beneficiaries of Moon’s largesse was Reverend Jerry Falwell. (In addition to Moon, Falwell accepted large sums of money from Wally Hilliard, who owned the flight schools through which the 9/11 hijackers infiltrated. For more about this, see FTR#482.) “But Falwell was joyous. He told local reporters that the moment was ‘the greatest single day of financial advantage’ in the school’s history. Left unmentioned in the happy sermon was the identity of the bigger guardian angel who had appeared at the propitious moment to protect Falwell’s financial interests. Falwell’s secret benefector was the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed South Korean Messiah who is controversial with many fundamentalist Christians because of his strange Biblical interpretations and his alleged brainwashing of thousands of young Americans, often shattering their bonds with their biological families replaced by Moon and his wife as True Parents. Covertly, Moon had helped bail out Liberty University through one of his front groups which funneled $3.5 million to the Reber-Thomas Christian Heritage Foundation, the non-profit that had purchased the school’s debt. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 267.)

47. Current FBI director Robert Mueller helped to exonerate Moon. (FTR#’s 462, 464 document Mueller’s efforts at obfuscating the terrorist funding apparatus that backed Al Qaeda. FTR#485 highlights Mueller’s less than vigorous investigation of the BCCI affair.) “ . . . As public demands mounted for Moon and his front groups to register as foreign agents, the Justice Department added a new argument to its reasons to say no. In an August 19, 1992, letter, Assistant Attorney General Robert S. Mueller rebuffed a demand that the Moon-backed American Freedom Council register under FARA by noting that Moon, a South Korean citizen, had obtained U.S. resident-alien status—or a ‘green card.’” (Ibid.; p. 242.)

48. “Mueller, who is now FBI director, wrote that ‘in the absence of a foreign principal, there is no requirement for registration. . . .The Reverend Sun Myung Moon enjoys the status of permanent resident alien in the United States and therefore does not fall within FARA’s definition of foreign principal. It follows that the Act is not applicable to the [American Freedom] Council because of its association with Reverend Moon.’” (Idem.)

49. The program concludes with discussion of Carlton Sherwood. Sherwood was instrumental in helping to defend Moon against attacks and investigations in the 1980’s. More recently, Carlton Sherwood was a prime mover behind an attack “pseudo-documentary” that was produced for the Sinclair broadcasting network.

Kerry Attacker Protected Rev. Moon
By Robert Parry
October 15, 2004

Carlton Sherwood, who has produced an anti-John Kerry video that will be aired across the United States before the Nov. 2 elections, wrote a book in the 1980s denouncing federal investigators who tried to crack down on Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s illicit financial operations.

In retrospect, Sherwood’s book, Inquisition: The Prosecution and Persecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, appears to have been part of a right-wing counter-offensive aimed at >>Continue original article>>

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #490 3rd Interview with Robert Parry”

  1. While Henry Kissinger’s status as a real-life Dr. Strangelove is somewhat complicated, he never fails to inspire dark humor:

    Mother Jones

    New Memo: Kissinger Gave the “Green Light” for Argentina’s Dirty War

    —By David Corn | Tue Jan. 14, 2014 12:23 PM GMT

    Only a few months ago, Henry Kissinger was dancing with Stephen Colbert in a funny bit on the latter’s Comedy Central show. But for years, the former secretary of state has sidestepped judgment for his complicity in horrific human rights abuses abroad, and a new memo has emerged that provides clear evidence that in 1976 Kissinger gave Argentina’s neo-fascist military junta the “green light” for the dirty war it was conducting against civilian and militant leftists that resulted in the disappearance—that is, deaths—of an estimated 30,000 people.

    In April 1977, Patt Derian, a onetime civil rights activist whom President Jimmy Carter had recently appointed assistant secretary of state for human rights, met with the US ambassador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. A memo recording that conversation has been unearthed by Martin Edwin Andersen, who in 1987 first reported that Kissinger had told the Argentine generals to proceed with their terror campaign against leftists (whom the junta routinely referred to as “terrorists”). The memo notes that Hill told Derian about a meeting Kissinger held with Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti the previous June. What the two men discussed was revealed in 2004 when the National Security Archive obtained and released the secret memorandum of conversation for that get-together. Guzzetti, according to that document, told Kissinger, “our main problem in Argentina is terrorism.” Kissinger replied, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you must get back quickly to normal procedures.” In other words, go ahead with your killing crusade against the leftists.

    The new document shows that Kissinger was even more explicit in encouraging the Argentine junta. The memo recounts Hill describing the Kissinger-Guzzetti discussion this way:

    The Argentines were very worried that Kissinger would lecture to them on human rights. Guzzetti and Kissinger had a very long breakfast but the Secretary did not raise the subject. Finally Guzzetti did. Kissinger asked how long will it take you (the Argentines) to clean up the problem. Guzzetti replied that it would be done by the end of the year. Kissinger approved.

    In other words, Ambassador Hill explained, Kissinger gave the Argentines the green light.

    That’s a damning statement: a US ambassador saying a secretary of state had egged on a repressive regime that was engaged in a killing spree.

    In August 1976, according to the new memo, Hill discussed “the matter personally with Kissinger, on the way back to Washington from a Bohemian Grove meeting in San Francisco.” Kissinger, Hill told Derian, confirmed the Guzzetti conversation and informed Hill that he wanted Argentina “to finish its terrorist problem before year end.” Kissinger was concerned about new human rights laws passed by the Congress requiring the White House to certify a government was not violating human rights before providing US aid. He was hoping the Argentine generals could wrap up their murderous eradication of the left before the law took effect.

    Hill, who died in 1978, never did testify that Kissinger had urged on the Argentine generals, and the Carter administration reversed policy and made human rights a priority in its relations with Argentina and other nations. As for Kissinger, he skated—and he has been skating ever since, dodging responsibility for dirty deeds in Chile, Bangladesh, East Timor, Cambodia, and elsewhere. Kissinger watchers have known for years that he at least implicitly (though privately) endorsed the Argentine dirty war, but this new memo makes clear he was an enabler for an endeavor that entailed the torture, disappearance, and murder of tens of thousands of people. Next time you see him dancing on television, don’t laugh.

    We shouldn’t laugh at Kissinger’s legacy although some of Robert Hill’s memos might be inspirational. And there’s always the original kind of dark humor that might be appropriate given the context.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 16, 2014, 8:24 pm

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