Sunday, February 13, 2005

December 1986


King George V’s death 1938 was hastened by injection in order for notice to be carried “in the morning papers rather than the less appropriate evening journals.” (quote from doctor’s notes). Also, his last words were not “How is the Empire?” but “God damn you,” to the doctor I guess.

An ind counsel appointed on Iran/Contra. Hitherto, investigation has been done in an incredibly incompetent manner, letting North shred his papers. RR said anything occurring w/out his knowledge would be exposed. No doubt!

Argentina may soon have divorce back

Vanunu charged w/aiding an enemy during war (huh?) & aggravated espionage

Reagan campaigned on basis that SALT II “fatally flawed” because its limits were at too high a level. This was so awful, that we decided to break the limits...

There are 250,000 more fed. employees than when RR took office


Irna profits also going to Afghan guerillas

SA gov rejected a plan negotiated in Natal for a regional parl based on a univ franchise

Poindexter refuses to answer Sen. q’s

RR’s approval rating has dropped from 67% to 46% in 1 mo.


Admin spokesman Larry Speakes resigns

Taiwan has decided to allow an opposition party, of course it can only contest 1/3 of parl seats because the rest repres the mainland

The value of arms sales to Iran, says the Economist, was probably $20,--we charges Israel $12m


Argentina to put a limit on human rights abuse trials from the Ancien Regime

USSR will cont. follow SALT II

On Oct. 21 & 23, 1982, Israeli ambassador Moshe Arens told the Boston Globe that Israel had been supplying Iran “in coordination with the US almost the highest levels” & that “the purpose was to make contact with some military officers who might one day be in a position of power in Iran.” Adds Alexander Cockburn, so much for the hostages

Cartoon on RR: “I cannot tell a lie.. from a fact.”


McFarlane testimony to Senate: RR approved indir. sales to Iran 1985. Israel says that if the deal had been kept secret, Israeli soldiers would have been released

US has been ferrying Honduran troops to fight Nicaraguan raiding party, which I guess couldn’t be found
-Nic. has (again?) proposed to Honduras that UN observers be sent to the border

Shultz annoyed that RR went over his head to the Ambassador to Lebanon on Iran sales

The former gov of Grenada (the coup gov before US invasion) was sentenced to death (14 of ‘em)

America’s current-account deficit will reach $140b this yr, meaning that US will absorb 1/20 gross savings of the rest of the world

Those Taiwanese legislators repres. the Mainland were elected 40 yrs ago--you can’t have a new election, can you? They are going by attrition, though

Whilst all this was going on, US knew that Iran complicit in killings of US Marines & diplomats in Lebanon

US has gotten Brunei to give $10m or more to Contras


SA admits holding children 11-14, 256 of them, under emergency

RR has recently begun a practice of issuing “singing statements” when signing a bill, giving his own interpretation as guideline. Naturally, he abuses it

More House hearings on Iran-Contra: Poindexter & North take the 5th

Honduran Air Force evidently bombed Nicaraguan troops & villages, and well into Nic. itself


SA new press restrictions: no coverage of any opposition, inc strikes. Pre-censorship

SA foreign min said US foreign policy was responsible for continued violence

1979, Iran bought 100s of millions of dollars in arms which were impounded. They are still in warehouses & Iran must be paying up to $100,000/mo storage. Much of it has deteriorated


Nicaragua says that Florida Nat Guard “training mission” to Honduras shelled Nic. troops in last week’s hostilities

Switz. froze an account involved in Contra transfers, when heard US might want to know about it. US failed to file any papers, so account unfrozen

Yesterday’s SA censorship laws have already resulted in a # of arrests, inc an editor. Raids in Swaziland


SA press restrictions: pol utterances by pub gures inc parl deputies. Clearance before reporting on security force actions, protest or dissent. “The aim is to establish free democratic processes.” Similarly, they have dec apartheid to be over, because black will henceforth be white...

The missiles sold to Iran may have been w/drawn from Eur

Sup Court: confession of mentally ill can be used against them

Br may also have sent arms to Iran--$50m

In SA raids on Swaziland, 4 kidnapped--one sent back, possibly a mistake. His kid had died in the raid

SA censorship inc a prohibition on subversive statements that inc everyone & all priv statements, letters, etc


It’s said that some of the Iran money went to support campaigns of Republican candidates


That is, candidates who supported Contras. The campaign was run by Ollie North & possibly Pat Buchanan
-North at least would have broken the law prohibiting fed employees being involved in partisan politics

The Swiss (again?) froze accounts in Iran-Contra affair, inc one used by Ollie North.

According to WaPo, for 2 yrs CIA has provided satellite info to Iraq

A 2nd American has been arrested in Nicaragua. Surely a spy. (This one claims to be a mercenary). Sam Hall, brother of a congresscritter

Br teachers have been unable over 2 yrs to come to a pay & condition agreement so sec state Kenneth Baker intro a bill giving him sole power to dictate terms, thus abolishing collective bargaining for >400,000 pub employees

The other people seized in Swaziland by SA released (Swiss citizens)

A dozen Soviet soldiers executed for refusing to expose themselves to radioactivity by fighting fires at Chernobyl

The next budget will reach $1 trillion


RR wants ltd immunity for Poindexter & North to “get the facts out.”

The new Senate intelligence select cmte on Iran-Contra inc D’s the majority of whom supposed contra aid

Admin trying to limit the ind counsel’s investigation to 1985-6 & Iran + Nicaragua. Illegal activities must date back to 1981
-North’s boss resigned (effective March)

Sowetan & Weekly News prohibited from reporting on mvmt to turn off lights to protest the state of emergency

57 members of the next Senate (inc 10 R’s) signed a letter to RR not to violate START II

Rehnquist: “An error in mistakenly sustaining the constitutionality of a particular enactment, while wrongfully depriving the individual of a right secured to him by the constitution, nonetheless does so by simply letting stand a duly enacted law of a democratically chosen legislative body. The error resulting from a mistaken upholding of an individual’s constitutional claim against the validity of a legislative enactment is a good deal more serious. For the result in such a case is not to leave standing a law duly enacted by a representative assembly, but to impose upon the Nation the judicial fiat of a majority of a court of judges whose connection with the popular will is remote at best.”

There is a persistent story that mercenaries planned to kill Eden Pastora (former Contra leader) & US ambassador to Costa Rica, & blame Nicaragua. In 1984, when a bomb almost got Pastora. And a possible George Bush connection, as with much else Contra-related


Hasenfus pardoned & released. He will now have to testify before Congressional cmtes.

North (may have) had a plan to kidnap relatives of Iranian officials & swap them for Amers.

RR wants aid to Salvadoran police for 2,000


USSR decided to end its nuclear moratorium, but willing to join any moratorium begun by US on one day’s notice. During the moratorium, US announced 20 nuclear tests & USSR says there were 4 secret ones
-Correction: will end it after next US test (scheduled late January)

On question of demonstrating at test site, US will require applications 1 mo. in advance & leaflets be submitted for approval

W Ger has its own arms sale scandal--submarine plans sold to SA. Illegal under W Ger & UN law. Sold privately, but by a comp largely gov-owned


There are, by God, tapes of Iran-Contra White House discussions

Sakharov & wife released. Told by phone by Gorbachev personally

There has been rioting in Kazakhstan against some party decision. Interestingly, this was reported in Soviet press. The decision was the firing of the sec of CP & his replacement by an ethnic Russian. It is suggested that the students are rioting because they bribed their way into university & may be kicked out

Admin requesting 50 more MX missiles

The undervaluing of arms to Iran partly to keep it under the $14m min to report to Congress

LA Times headline: “Malignancy Removed from Casey’s Brain.” It’s difficult to see how he can cont. operating the CIA w/out it

Late Oct. Poindexter got Meese to delay an FBI investigation into Southern Air Transport, a former (they say) CIA comp, in Iran-Contra arms shipments

The governor of NM voted out of office, now using his time in commuting all on death row


MX missile is being tied w/the Midgetman, which Congress wants

New claim: RR signed approval of arms sale to Iran under inf of sedation after cancer surgery. Therefore, he could not remember later. Temporary insanity!?!

China has acknowledged a right to protest--will not repress student demos for democracy

George Shultz will meet Oliver Tambo next mo.

SA restrictions in Cape province on appeals for release of pol detainees, call for unbanning pol organizs

CA Sup court blocks CHP using sobriety checkpoints again


Uruguay will end prosecutions of civil rights violations of previous military gov


Labour member says Br Defense Sec closely involved in US bombing of Libya

China banned further demos in Shanghai, which have reached up to 50,000. So much for the right to protest

The 1st publication banned by SA censors under Dec. 11 laws was the newsletter of the Progressive Federal Party

Argentina passed its law--or just its upper house--limiting time for further trials of military gov to 60 dys from now


Chinese student demos reach Beijing

Israeli technician Vanunu has gotten info to reporters that was kidnapped in Rome 9/30/86, where he flew from London. Is charged w/aiding an enemy in wartime, because Israel is technical at war w/most of its neighbors


I’m worried about Jim Wright, who will replace Tip O’Neill as Speaker of House. He doesn’t have the necessary instinct for the jugular needed right now. He even suggested that RR give clemency to North & Poindexter

A 1985 memo from Wm Casey said that arms should be traded for hostages & that if discovered it should be claimed that it was for dipl reasons

There have been 10,124 proposed const. amends

RR’s concern w/Iran-Contra is solely to see “that facts come out into the open.” It is less obvious that he has no interest in prosecutions. The call for immunity would serve the one & not the other. In Watergate, it was over a yr before anyone was granted use immunity. Speakes: “The Pres. decided that the overriding factor at this moment is to get the facts out before the American people as quickly as possible so we can get this business behind us.”

They’re retiring Ollie North’s number: he will not be replaced

A Br reporter in Israel is in trouble for publishing Vanunu’s claim to have been kidnapped


The US ambassador to Costa Rica Oliver Tambs (resigned this mo.) linked to North & a secret Contra air strip built in CR

Defense’s share of GDP up from 5.1% 1980 to 6.7% 1986


SA building an airstrip in the Marian Islands between SA & Antarctica. Obviously for military purposes, but nuclear testing or what?

China now says that the student demos were violent


Of those with VCRs, only half zip past adverts & they do so for only 1/3 of adverts

Economist on tv suggests that narrowly-based cable channels failed because Amers want to be part of a pass mkt & all know the same characters, people who don’t like tv won’t like it & “people do not consume television programmes, they consume television as an end in itself.”


Harold Macmillan d. at 92

Japan has decided to raise military spending above 1% of GNP


1983 RR >doubled the size of US by declaring an exclusive econ zone covering the 3.9b acres w/in 200 mi. of coast

93% of Amer. directors of big comps are white males

Israel’s arms sales are $1.2b annually, ¼ of industrial exports, employing 200,000, 1/20 of work force

Article on Romania’s suppression of Hungarian language & culture, or at least hostility to it in Transylvania. Indicates also a lessening desire to maintain E Eur as a monolith

A new trade war against EEC on food begun

Exxon pulls out of SA

The Economist of Dec. 20 has devised a measure of instability headed by Iraq, Ethiopia, Iran, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Chile, El Salvador, VN & Zaire

1986 more than $150b spent in mergers & acquisitions

China is accusing Taiwan of fomenting student protests--Ch. seems increasingly to be treating protests as coming from outside agitators, if you’ll pardon the expression

North is now saying that diverting funds to Contras an Israeli idea


Buthelezi in 1950s as a student was member of ANC Youth League. All his gov officials must sign a pledge not to criticize him

Chile will allow those exiled to return (some), end state of emergency

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