Tuesday, February 15, 2005

July 1987


Meese did not follow the Ethics in Gov Act in his blind investments

RR nominates Judge Robert Bork. Anti-abortion, of course. He was the one who fired Archibald Cox for Nixon. Age 60

MD. will stop giving $ to legal groups representing the poor & handicapped until they promise not to sue the state. This would, of course, make the lawyer’s obligation more to the interests of the state than their client

Supreme Soviet passed a law giving citizens right of legal appeal against actions of pub officials in violation of their rights

Gorbachev calls for family farms. And directors of coops will have more power

All right, this time Chun really did make demo. concessions


There have been serious anti-gov. riots in Panama, though overshadowed here by those in S Korea. The US gov has begun a verbal offensive (again) against Gen. Noriega

Kahane did take his oath of allegiance to the Knesset

Saudi Arabia contrib millions to UNITA in Angola, evidently at request of Wm Casey

1983 Bork wrote an article calling a civil rights bill (desegregation of bars, restaurants, etc) a “departure from freedom of the indiv to decide with whom he will deal”. Allegedly later changed his mind. In 1984, ruled that homosexuality not constitutionally protected. In that case, rejected the argument that the moral preferences of the majority could not be a const basis for legislation. “We would find it impossible to conclude that a right to homosexual conduct is ‘fundamental’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ unless any and all private sexual behavior falls within those categories, a conclusion we are unwilling to draw.”


Denis Healey retires to back benches


De Beers will sell part of itself to the Botswana gov for >$370m. De Beers will gain full control over the diamond stockpile owned by Debswana. Debswana will own 5.3% of De Beers & nominate 2 directors to De B & the Diamond Trading Comp


Ollie North testified today. Claims not to have broken any laws but admits to falsifying the chronology & other documents. No sign of apology about anything. Claims he assumed RR approved but he didn’t know for sure

Evidently, the admin has placed all the records of the Tower Commission in the hands of the counsel to the President, and thus outside the FOIA

Part 2 of Hitchens in the July 4/11 Nation on the 1st arms shipment to Iran. Mentions a similar move by Nixon 1968, getting SVN to withdraw from peace talks 11/2/68. In Oct80 Reaganites met w/a rep of Iran, arranged by McFarlane & inc Lawrence Silberman, Richard Allen (involved 1968 too). Allen claims his notes have been mislaid. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, then prez of Iran, now in Paris, says there were negotiations w/2 ayatollahs & the RR campaign. A memo by Allen dated 10/10/80 reads “FCI (Fred Ikle, now under sec of defense, then on an RR action group)--partial release of hostages for parts.” This all came out in the House investigation of Debategate (RR campaign’s theft of Carter briefing books for 1980 debates)., At the time, Meese, Casey and James Baker confirmed that Adm. Garrick ran a network of serving & retired officers to watch US bases for any signs of unusual activity. Garrick claimed not to remember the people or bases involved. Also from the House investigation, documents from the Teheran embassy were found in the files of Meese & Anthony Dolan. These came from Iranians, not Amers. One in Meese’s file had a note of acknowledgment signed Ron.

Bork believes that 1st amend protects primarily pol speech, not, say, artistic


Ollie North says it was a mistake to cover up the gift to him of a c.$14,000 security fence, then blamed Congress for not giving him the platoon of guards he seems to think he warranted
-Says he cashed travellers’ checks only to reimburse himself for operational expenses

“When in doubt, doubt.”

Orrin Hatch on tv again saying North was v. candid & forthright. He’s said that about everyone so far.


North was finally allowed to make his opening statement, which blamed Congress for everything.
-Says he misled previous congressional inquiries “in good faith”
-Says that while being investigated by Justice, was shredding documents

SA says unrest incidents had fallen by 85% but the revo climate still exists... So the Emergency cont.

Jonas Savimbi says SA black politicians should negotiate with the SA gov

Marcos had a plan to take over gov of Philippines. There is a tape made by an undercover US agent in which talks about taking Aquino hostage.

North put responsibility on Casey, surprise surprise.
-North thinks the hearings shouldn’t exist, certainly not in public. Thinks it’s like the Congress being both the player & umpire in a baseball game. Shocked that there is a criminal investigation of policy differences
-Thinks the policy of not negotiating with terrorists is mistaken
-He would take the rap for pol., not criminal purposes. He is “the victim of a criminal prosecution”
-Thus had to remove documents to his home


North says the ($8m) Hakim controls should go to the Contras & 10 minutes alone w/Hakim should convince him
-Admits none of the 10 contributing countries had stepped forward on their own
-Says Taiwan never brought up the impending trade bill that RR vetoed when contrib $2m
-North says there was a finding for swapping Hawk missiles for hostages, in Nov85 w/participation of Casey & Meese, who says he did not know of the shipments till a yr later. Said Abrams did know.
-North Tues. said there was a choice between “lives and lies”, but says James Reston, “What he did not explain was how these agents and hostages, who are still at risk, would be secure now that he was talking.”

Marcos trying to get loan from a member of the Saudi royal family & pay it back w/gold still hidden in Philippines, worth $14b. Treasure hunt! Was told by USG not to leave Hawaii


Israel stopped bills allowing Orthodox to define who a Jew is. Interestingly, the decisive votes were Arab. Another defeated vote was for a blanket amnesty (69-40) on Jewish terrorists who attacked W Bank Palestinians 1985. Shamir voted for it

Ollie North has a higher approval rating than anyone running for prez

North’s opening statement: “...it is the Congress which must accept at least some of the blame in the Nicaraguan freedom fighters matter.
“Plain and simple, the Congress is to blame because of the fickle, vacillating, unpredictable, on-again-off-again policy toward the Nicaraguan democratic resistance, the so-called contras.
“I do not believe that the support of the Nic. freedom fighters can be treated as the passage of a budget. ...
“The Congress of the United States left soldiers in the field unsupported and vulnerable to their Communist enemies.”

One reason North shredded was that his successor might not have the “same values” & “perspective”

North was not given protection because he asked the FBI, which doesn’t give it, not the 3 or 4 agencies which do

NYT seems to be concentrating on Ollie’s performance as much as content. Why is it papers think that talking about how style is replacing content in politics is a substitute for going after than content? Yup, we’ll stop concentrating on style & start concentrating on the real issue, which is why style is so important

The Oakland City Council voted to buy newspapers ad space to publicize the names of men who solicit prostitutes


Salvadoran death squads are now operating in the US. Last week a woman was abducted & tortured. Now there are threats

Glenn Robinette testified that Secord paid him $100,000 1986 to investigate Avigan & Honey of the Christic Institute suit & to develop derogatory info about them

North denied threatening prez of Costa Rica on revealing air strip

In a trial last yr of an admin official, North was a character witness & lied about where he went to college, extended his tour of duty

Reported plans for suspending the Const in case of emergency drawn up by North among others, were not allowed to be discussed in the hearings


McFarlane returns to contradict North. Says N. never told him about anything, like fundraising or telling Ambassador Tombs to open a southern front. But he doesn’t think that North would ever mislead or lie (!!!), so it must be an honest disagreement

Taiwan ends 38 yrs of martial law


Poindexter says he destroyed the finding for arms sales to Iran to protect RR, when Meese told him last Nov. that he was beginning an investigation
-Says didn’t tell RR of the diversion, but there was the finding for a dir arms-for-hostages exchange

Anglo American is considering offering a stake to its (black) workers

The ave UN member votes w/US 23.7% of time

Ghorbanifar (Iranian middleman). 1st offered North a $1m bribe then, in same conversation, G. suggested the surplus go to Contras


Poindexter considered the diversion merely a “detail” of RR’s policy, so he didn’t need approval
-Said didn’t tell Casey of the diversion because he had to testify before Congress & Poindexter did not want him to have to lie
-P. destroyed the finding because it was “a significant political embarrassment to the President” & “it’s always the responsibility of a staff to protect their leader.”

North: “Only the US can, as a partner, protect the independent nations of Latin America from Communist conquest and help preserve Hispanic-American culture from sterilization by international Marxist materialism.”


Poindexter says it was a mistake for North to be fired.
-Says telling the Congress that NSC was complying with Boland was not misleading because it did not apply to NSC. How can you comply with a law that does not apply to you?

Fitzwater (RR press sec) said that RR would not have allowed the diversion had he been told. This is, of course, deniability in action.

Poindexter would not call this action a covert action as in Exec Order 1233 (CIA should undertake covert actions unless Pres. designates another. Says “if you take the totality of the President’s actions, that was clearly his intent.”

Pat Robertson says he’d want Ollie North as his VP


Poindexter says didn’t withhold anything from Cabinet officers they didn’t want withheld
-Says didn’t authorize North to lie, but “I did think that he would withhold information and be evasive”. Did want to withhold from Congress what NSC doing, but it wasn’t illegal, had to withhold 1) to keep policy covert, 2) prevent a more restrictive version of Boland Amend


The 1st Soviet Jews to travel through Romania, w/no option to go to US, have travelled


Rep. Patricia Schroeder is thinking about running for president. 8-termer. Not bad.

Bruce Babbitt on Iran-Contra: “The longer these hearings go on, the more I believe they may yet discover a link between Ronald Reagan and the presidency.”

Trible read the midshipman’s code to Poindexter & asked if it wasn’t true that lying is a bad thing. P. objected

Why did P. wait 8 mos to announce that he authorized the diversion if it were true & he wanted to protect RR?
-P. keeps saying the Amer. people don’t want to know details
-Why didn’t RR ask P. of the diversion when he fired him?


Portugal’s Soc Dems win an actual majority gov

Ariel Sharon now Israeli Industry & Trade Minister, on his own sent a bulldozer to lay foundation for a W Bank settlement that has not been approved. Fortunately, he was stopped

The chief lobbyist for the Citizens Cmte for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is trying to get the Vatican to choose a patron saint of handgunners


Cory Aquino finally enacts land reform

Newsweek has announced that Ollie North was the source for info on the Achille Lauro affair--leaks North had blamed on Congress


Last Nov., Casey asked RR to fire Shultz

The ship mentioned earlier in the hearings as having been rented was to broadcast disinformation into Libya


North shreds documents. In the Republican Party, this makes him a historian

New nominee for head of FBI, Judge Wm Sessions of Texas--does not look on porno as victimless crime

Israel didn’t like an NBC documentary on the W Bank & will respond by denying interviews w/top officials


Yesterday’s San Jose Mercury talks of the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) of various units involved in covert ops connected w/Ollie North, inc flying saboteurs inside Nicaragua 1983-4, covering fire for saboteurs’ retreat. Inc use of priv funds to escape scrutiny & used agencies not overseen by Intelligence or Armed Services Cmtes. North head of a DEA effort to ransom hostages

There are definitely black holes in the center of nearby galaxies--10m-100m solar masses. In Andromeda & M32

At Yale in 1978, Bork was against barring recruiters that discrim against homosexuals. Said the faculty should not “ratify homosexuality” which is “obviously not an unchangeable condition like race or gender.”
-In 1984 in his anti-gay ruling wrote that the right of the majority to legislate morality was “the very predicate of democratic gov”


WaPo reported Sunday that RR led attempt to mislead & conceal details of I-C, saying Nov 10 not to talk specifics or say that there was bargaining for hostages. Fitzwater complains that the press is trying to destroy RR and, of course, that RR was trying to protect the lives of the hostages

Dole suggests that RR put Bork on Sup Court w/out Sen. confirmation during recess


Don’t know if I mentioned, but special investigator Walsh has asked Justice for everything on its Nov86 inquiry & is investigating Meese’s role in delaying FBI investigation into Southern Air Transport (evidently, never resumed)

SA makes major raid on Angola, killing, they say, 190 Angolan troops & SWAPO

Meese claims NSC can undertake actions prohibited to the CIA. Or Dept of Agriculture. And he wouldn’t consider this to be evasion

Italy finally has a new gov, led by Christ. Dems

A draft of the Bill of Rights was found, with no mention of bearing arms, but one says Congress “shall not have power to grant any monopoly”. Says military service in militias “shall not be required of persons religiously scrupulous of bearing arms.”

Meese said RR couldn’t call in North & Poindexter & question w/out reading them their rights

USSR warning Israel about its devt of a medium-range missile

Meese said the $8m profits belong to the USB

G B Shaw wrote of someone “whom I have got to like so much that it would be superfluous to fall in love with her”

In Israel, 10% of votes & 15% of electorate are Arab


Don Regan claims that one of the findings may have been signed by mistake & was just a draft

The Republican Senate campaign cmte distrib a report on Sen. Metzenbaum whose “Communist sympathies have found their way onto the Senate floor.” R’s have apologized. But, report said should be cautious as “M. has mastered the craft of playing the victim and would, undoubtedly, use an attack on his ‘patriotism’ to his advantage.”

Meese defend the time he gave North to destroy documents. Q: “Do you think Col. North spent from 11:00 in the evening until 4:15 the next morning destroying irrelevant documents?” A: “I think he probably did.”

Morocco has evidently applied to join the EEC. Not bloody likely


An ex-MI5 agent Peter Wright has a book out, Spycatcher, which talks of buggings of ambassadors & attempts to discredit Wilson’s gov. The book was pub. in US & is available to Brits through credit cards, but newspapers can’t even review it or mention. HMG is threatening the publishers in the US (Viking). Br papers banned from reporting on the case in Australia to ban it there

RR proposed regs to bar family planning clinics counseling clients about abortion (covers 4,000 clinics serving 4.3m clients).

The House approves a 10-yr extension of the law limiting liability of nuke plant operators. 396-17 though limit raised to $7b/accident

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