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Seymour Hersh: GHW Bush Was Spymaster of the Reagan Deep State
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In the London Review of Books, legendary reporter Seymour Hersh (now an octogenarian) claims that Vice President George H.W. Bush was more or less the spymaster of the Reagan Administration, running 35 covert operations, and even having his own M.

The Vice President’s Men
Seymour M. Hersh

January 24, 2019

When George H.W. Bush arrived in Washington as vice president in January 1981 he seemed little more than a sideshow to Ronald Reagan…

There was another view of Bush: the one held by the military men and civilian professionals who worked for him on national security issues. Unlike the president, he knew what was going on and how to get things done. For them, Reagan was ‘a dimwit’ who didn’t get it, or even try to get it. …

Bush was different: he got it. At his direction, a team of military operatives was set up that bypassed the national security establishment – including the CIA – and wasn’t answerable to congressional oversight. It was led by Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, a brilliant navy officer who would be known to those on the inside as ‘M’. He had most recently been involved, as deputy chief of naval operations, in developing the US’s new maritime strategy, aimed at restricting Soviet freedom of movement. In May 1983 he was promoted to assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vessey, and over the next couple of years he oversaw a secret team – operating in part out of the office of Daniel Murphy, Bush’s chief of staff – which quietly conducted at least 35 covert operations against drug trafficking, terrorism and, most important, perceived Soviet expansionism in more than twenty countries, including Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Senegal, Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Vietnam.

Hersh claims the elder Bush was deeply involved in Iran-Contra.

Is this true?

I dunno …

Let me point out that under American law you can’t be sued for libel by a dead man. That may have something to do with the timing of this story.

On a related note, I think it’s pretty plausible that George H.W. Bush had connections to the CIA well before he served as its director in 1975. There’s a fair amount of evidence that Bush’s offshore oil rigs in Mexican waters served as logistics platforms for aiding in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. But that also doesn’t sound like it would be all that scandalous if it were ever confirmed: U.S. Senator’s son revealed to have helped his Skull & Bonesmates in the CIA out!

Ehhh …

Let me point out that Seymour Hersh is one of the greatest reporters in American history. Yet, reporting is a little like being heavyweight champion of the world. Unless you retire young, it’s hard to go out on top.

Hersh has an impressive track record going back to exposing the My Lai massacre a half century ago. But that doesn’t mean that everybody who talks to you about their putative Deep State doings is motivated solely by honesty.

Presumably, some interested parties have devoted a fair amount of thought to figuring out what kinds of info Hersh tends to trust and what he mistrusts. It’s kind of like a rookie baseball slugger who has a huge first year (e.g., Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers who hit 39 homers as a rookie in 2017) because the pitchers haven’t figured out where the holes in his swing are yet. Albert Pujols is currently struggling late in his career because a huge amount of effort has been devoted over the years to figuring out how to pitch him and, especially, where to position defensive players when he bats. He still hits a fair number of line drives, but now they tend to be right at somebody.

That’s perhaps a weakness of a veteran investigative journalist like Hersh, whereas a relative newcomer like Ronan Farrow might be harder to manipulate until his tendencies have been mapped out.

Anyway, it’s all above my pay grade.

At the bottom of the article, Edward Luttwak offers his own counter-view.

 
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  1. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    “Author Roger Stone’s Latest Conspiracy Theory: George H.W. Bush Behind Reagan Assassination Attempt”

    https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/01/28/author-roger-stones-latest-conspiracy-theory-george-h-w-bush-behind-reagan-assassination-attempt/

    Conspiracy theorist and author of the upcoming booking book, Jeb! and the Bush Crime Family, Roger Stone alleges that former President George H. W. Bush played a role in the 1981 assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan.

    Stone, during an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, claimed he has done research to have found a second gunman at the scene on the grounds of the Washington Hilton Hotel.

    “There are two shooters in the Reagan assassination attempt, not one. I give you photographic evidence and eye-witness evidence of a second man standing on a balcony holding a gun, who can clearly be seen in the uncropped photos and I traced many of the connections of the Bushes to the Hinckleys. It’s more than you’ve been told.”

  2. Need to read the article and think, but that GHWB was what Hersh alleges does not strain credibility. To claim otherwise would. Old New England money gravitates towards the CIA which was the enforcement arm of … wait for it … old new England money.

    My question: Was he the Good Shepherd?

  3. That’s perhaps a weakness of a veteran investigative journalist like Hersh, whereas a relative newcomer like Ronan Farrow might be harder to manipulate until his tendencies have been mapped out.

    True, but Seymour Hersh has for decades exposed the truth and he may know very well what is real and what is not. It is a safe bet that sources will tell a reporter what they think they can get the reporter to believe. I’d place my money on Hersh for being able to see through all the lies.

    • Agree: Anon1
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  4. tsotha says:

    Hersh is “legendary” for not validating his sources. He’s gotten some things right, and he’s gotten some things not so right. I don’t think anything he reported on Iraq turned out to be true.

    On the other hand, this particular assertion has the benefit of fitting available data. Bush had the right connections and the skill set, and was a cold warrior from the word “go”. It was pretty clear he was into the Iran-Contra thing up to his eyeballs. I wouldn’t be surprised to find he was running a dirty war in South and Central America with the only direction from Reagan being “I don’t want to know the details”.

    Though it’s cute Hersh tries to draw some sort of parallel to the deep state we have today. The vice president shipping arms to Nicaraguans and training counterinsurgency forces in El Salvador doesn’t fit the definition of “deep state” nearly as well as no-name bureaucrats in three letter agencies selectively leaking to damage presidents when they felt threatened (Bush and Obama) and trying to depose a newly elected president to cover for their illegal support of his opponent.

  5. Anon[210] • Disclaimer says:

    Didn’t the New Yorker jettison Hirsch when he came up with a radically different Bin Ladin killing story than the official one? He had to publish it in the UK. How has his theory aged? Philip Geraldi liked it. I remember at the time that I thought it had a “they faked the moon landing” smell to it, but I haven’t reexamine it since.

    • Replies: @Jake
    , @Jack Hanson
    , @Mr. Anon
  6. Clyde says:

    Good for George Bush. We were kicking ass during the Reagan Presidency. Low trade deficits, low illegal immigration. Economy was good. Music was very good. Yeah I know Simpson-Mazoli but……. White percentage of population was still high at 82% in 1985

  7. LondonBob says:

    Bush should have been happy to remain the grey cardinal, Pat Buchanan would have been the better front man.

  8. “….realized the Soviet threat was how intelligence agencies justified their budgets”. Like how GW’s B-team did back in the 70s? You know, showing massive improvement in the Soviet economy and military? Odd how Seymour Hersh forgets that.

    • Replies: @Sean
  9. I always figured he had a role in the assassination of JFK, but to have to accept that the Dem claim that he flew a SR-71 to meet with the Iranians is just too much.

  10. Ken52 says:

    Seymour Hersh has always been known for protecting his sources. Remember the whole Seth Rich tape where he never followed through because it would compromise an inside source. The reason we may be seeing more exposes about the past by Hersh is probably not because the subjects are dead but because Hersh’s sources are dead and no longer need protecting.

  11. 5371 says:

    Luttwak is almost as old as Hersh, and has been caught lying or speaking nonsense a lot more.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  12. Sean says:

    October 21: Iran, for reasons not explained, abruptly shifts its position in secret negotiations with the Carter administration and disclaims “further interest in receiving military equipment”.[19]
    October 21–23: Israel secretly ships F-4 fighter-aircraft tires to Iran, in violation of the U.S. arms embargo,[19] and Iran disperses the hostages to different locations.[20]
    January 20, 1981: Hostages are formally released into United States custody after spending 444 days in captivity. The release takes place just minutes after Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president.

    The real conspiracy theory is October surprise (Reagan minions told the Iranians not to release the US Embassy hostages and arranged Israeli arms shipments to Iran). Someone like Casey is much more likely to have been in October surprise, given his propensity for such things. Casey is known to have used a British ex SAS officer for an off the books revenge car bomb assassination attempt on a Shia cleric in Lebanon the Israelis had insisted was responsible for the Marine barracks attack.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Beirut_car_bombing.

    I doubt there was any secret team in the White House under GHW Bush because so many there would be very chary of Keystone Cops given their previous experience of how that kind of unit had a proven tendency to do very stupid things and bring down a president (Nixon).

    Edward Luttwak in that letter below Hersh’s article makes a very surprising assertion. Luttwak says that as Pres, Reagan made clear he was not going to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances, even if Washington was nuked by the USSR in a first strike. I am afraid that is very difficult to believe, and Luttwak’s credibility as a witness is dubious as a result (he is interesting when taking about strategy though).

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  13. Sean says:
    @Anonymous

    It takes a village to shoot a President. One Texan can’t. I think Audie Murphy was a fake, Chris Kyle too.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  14. Art Deco says:

    It’s a fantasy. See Garry Wills assessment of The Dark Side of Camelot, published in 1997. See Kenneth Timmerman on The Samson Option. See Martin Peretz, Michael Ledeen, Fred Greenstein, and Time on The Price of Power. The man’s always been a swindler.

    Hersh has an impressive track record

    Record of what? Of saying egregious things? He accuses the former Prime Minister of India of having been a CIA asset. Dennis Wholey asks him about it in an interview. His reply is that the man is 87 years old and will likely die before a libel suit comes to trial.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  15. Hersh has an impressive track record going back to exposing the My Lai massacre a half century ago. But that doesn’t mean that everybody who talks to you about their putative Deep State doings is motivated solely by honesty.

    The fact that Hersh can’t get published by an American magazine anymore does help his credibility with me. He must be pissing somebody off in DC.

  16. @James Speaks

    Old New England money gravitates towards the CIA which was the enforcement arm of … wait for it … old new England money.

    Ahhh, the good old days! That was before the Deep State was overrun by the Zionists and Neocons. Seems like an eternity ago …

  17. @tsotha

    He’s gotten some things right, and he’s gotten some things not so right. I don’t think anything he reported on Iraq turned out to be true.

    Are you aware that Hersh broke the Abu Graib story? That was true.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Art Deco
  18. Art Deco says:

    For them, Reagan was ‘a dimwit’ who didn’t get it, or even try to get it. …

    IOW, the senior military have precisely the same assessment of the President as the vulgarian reporter from Chicago and his editors. Sounds real plausible.

    Ronald Reagan and his brother grow up in an impecunious petty bourgeois family in a small town in Illinois. For the general run of people in his background, finishing high school was optional and garnering any tertiary schooling atypical. Both earned college degrees, something only about 6% of their contemporaries managed. The younger Reagan did so during the most economically inclement period a college student could face. Both brothers managed to stay employed throughout the Depression , both made themselves wealthy working in different segments of the entertainment industry in southern California, neither squandered his fortune. The younger Reagan eventually gets himself elected Governor of California and then President and distinguishes himself for policy innovation and for his skills in setting up a proper personnel system (something Richard Nixon could never manage). Michael Kinsley noted at the time that Reagan accomplished more than his predecessors, like it or lump it, “while eschewing the tiresome convention that a President must be burdened with overwork”. It doesn’t seem to occur to Hirsch that Reagan’s displays of stupidity were a ruse to get troublesome employees to quit yapping.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @RCW
    , @Reg Cæsar
  19. Jake says:
    @Anon

    Daddy Bush also was in Fort Worth, at a speaking engagement, the evening before JFK was shot and afterwards lied about being anywhere near Dallas at the time.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Reg Cæsar
  20. @Digital Samizdat

    Seymour Hersh is one of the great reporters in American history.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Jim Don Bob
    , @Sean
  21. Nathan says:

    I think Edward Luttwak’s response hits closer to the mark. It was the Joint Chiefs that were seen as the problem, probably by GHW Bush, and definitely by others. The Joint Chiefs got the blame for the dysfunction of the Grenanda invasion, and yes, making sure every branch got their slice of the pie would have been a huge concern in any potential Central American war. This issue gave us Goldwater-Nichols in 1986 (after the events of the article) and later JSOC. Careful readers and those who pay attention to such things should be noticing how Goldwater-Nichols and JSOC have caused their own set of problems. With the service chiefs cut out of the chain of command, who represents the interests of the services? I linked to a Propublica article a few days ago that highlighted the problem. Part of the reason that the USS John McCain and Fitzgerald wrecked is that nobody in the Navy can put the brakes on the optempo driven by the Combatant Commanders.

    The other question I have is how these 30+ other covert ops were funded. We know about Iran-contra because the funding got botched. How did Bush run a bunch of covert ops through the military with Title 10 assets and presumably Title 10 funds? Who pays for what is a huge issue when it comes to military operations. We know it’s possible (Iran-Contra happened, after all), but what were the other funding schemes?

    Finally, if your boss tells you that Mississippi Judge joke, you might want to have the self-awareness to wonder who the fucker and who the fuckee is. Reagan’s good ‘ol boy act sailed right over these guys heads.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
  22. @Anonymous

    The assassination attempt may have failed, but it served its purpose. It sent Reagan a message that he heeded well, which was you better let Bush and the CIA do as they please, or else.

  23. Art Deco says:
    @Steve Sailer

    And I am Marie of Roumania

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Mr. Anon
  24. Art Deco says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    Are you aware that Hersh broke the Abu Graib story?

    He didn’t.

  25. Art Deco says:
    @Jake

    From what meme generator did you cull this tidbit? (And why is it suspicious that a prominent member of the county Republican committee in Houston might have a speaking engagement around Dallas?).

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @Anon
  26. Art Deco says:
    @James Speaks

    True, but Seymour Hersh has for decades exposed the truth

    The ‘truth’ about what? Was he telling the ‘truth’ when he claimed to have conducted four interviews a week over a period of four years in producing his 1983 tome? (A wag at the time offered this, “Hersh is known for the harsh, hectoring phone call…”).

    • Replies: @Bill
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    , @Anon1
  27. Anonym says:

    I certainly believe GHWB pulled a lot of strings. He was one scary dude.

    And then there is the Reagan assassination attempt.

  28. I think Herbert Meyer might have a different opinion on this article and Casey’s effectiveness. https://www.c-span.org/video/?153401-1/ronald-reagan-won-cold-war Casey, dissuaded about CIA ‘facts’ of the steady increase in Soviet economy numbers, did an end run / cutout to find out the true status of the stumbling USSR and used that information to ‘win the war.’ Check out just one possible RR mission to delay the Soviets use of their oil fields – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_the_Abyss

    Check out the French movie ‘Farewell’ (with actor Fred Ward as President Reagan) where a Russian defector basically allowed the US to block all the technology leaks going to the Soviets. When RR got to Reykjavik Summit, Gorbachev knew his duck to keep up with western military and commercial achievements was dead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_Dossier

    Author Tom Clancy in TV interview (which I can’t find now) mentioned that after Reagan passed and time accrued, it would come out the guiding hand for the fall of the Soviets belonged solely to ‘Dutch.’

    As to amiable dunce Reagan at meetings, little known is his age-related hearing loss. Hearing aids of that time basically just made things louder, not clearer. Imagine either not hearing the end of the table presentation or overwhelmed by the squeaking chairs moving during a presentation. And with enough leaks to the press and foreign intelligence agencies, why would he even begin to discuss his plans outside a small circle.

    Talking about Ollie North, Seymour blames him for what was probably the CIA being too cheap to properly pay for arms shipments to Barry Seal (played by Tom Cruise in the movie ‘American Deal’) and probably made Barry hook up to the Clinton connection in Arkansas with illegal return trip drug shipments.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  29. @Clyde

    The Last White Decade.

    Really strong dollar, too.

  30. @Anon

    If you don’t think the official OBL story reeks, what with “buried at sea in accordance with Islamic traditions”, most of the SEALs on the mission dead, and his family vanishing into the ether, IDK what to tell you.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
  31. Anon[251] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, do you know about this memo from j. Edgar Hoover from November 1963 referencing “George bush of the cia”?

    Fairly ehh, but since you didn’t mention it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  32. Wilkey says:

    George H.W. Bush and family were brilliant national security experts. We as a country were lucky to have them. They did everything but prevent Latin American peasants from invading and conquering the United States. 29 out of 30 ain’t bad.

    • LOL: AnotherDad
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @MarkinLA
  33. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Art, why are you peddling so hard here?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  34. anonomy says:

    GHW Bush, was such a spy-master, orchestrator extraordinaire that he only managed one term. Maybe some weren’t reading the news then or too you, but George refused to “finish the job” in Iraq. I doubt the American public would have made a big deal about the “read my lips no new taxes” but the endless news of he didn’t finish the job I feel really did he in. Funny how the same news that slammed him for not finishing is the same news who booed and chided Bush junior for getting rid of Sadam, and wanting to call it a day, with his mission accomplished. Sorry George, not good enough?. I guess some people in the news with their left wing politicos and sources, really just wanted to stay there longer and do some democracy-nation building. Look at us all these years later and so broke.
    Don’t look now but there is “apartheid” in Israel, because creating another South Africa would be such a dream. What they need maybe is for Muslims to learn some mind numbing stupid music that brainwashes with “it’s all about love”, while bombing, torture and killing. A steady droning bongo beat, a rhythm and catchy rhyming words, dumb kid like, maybe made for a McDonald’s commercial, in every song should do it.
    I guess we should have stayed Bush’s path; Mission accomplished and come home, but the lefty news and their sources wasn’t done. So we got “look at the mess, Bush created in Iraq, as if Bosnia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, etc… , didn’t exist. All they keep spewing is Bush and Iraq. The entire 911 conspiracy was created by the left, as well as the fake anti-war movement both of which petered out with Obama. While Bush and Iraq was/are still the, see war is bad, look what the republicans did to our country with their war mongering and torture, we democrats are going to nation build through continuous revolution, thanks to their vast knowledge of Marxism., their true plan. One big group hug for the people of color, while pointing the finger at whites for wrecking the world and war mongering.
    The whole thing is tragic. This is what it must be like to be forced to go live in a communist re-education camp, forever bombarded with thought provoking, thought policing, self analyzing, bullshit. But thank goodness for the left that Obama made it all legal, now even your woke friends and family can safely harass your islmophobic, homophobic, racist white ass into the dust-bin of history, with the joys and love that is the people of color you war-mongering white racist, who would deny the Palestinians the right to vote in Israel. You owe everyone of color something and won’t admit it and then work tirelessly to care for these others who spy into your home and they are nothing to you but strangers and you refuse to love them and keep saying they aren’t your people, here watch this movie you racist and this one blah blah blah. Sorry for writing so much and rambling so I guess I’ll just stop here or get my own blog 🙂

  35. Thank you Steve for this story. It’s intriguing and a welcome diversion from present reality.

  36. @Clyde

    Good for George Bush…

    It’s difficult and somewhat subjective to parcel out blame for pieces of the disaster, but George H. W. Bush might just be the worst president the US has ever had. The Immigration Act of 1990 might be the worst piece of legislation in history.

    … We were kicking ass during the Reagan Presidency. Low trade deficits, low illegal immigration. Economy was good. Music was very good. Yeah I know Simpson-Mazoli but……. White percentage of population was still high at 82% in 1985.

    This is crazy thinking.

    Yeah, things were much better in the 80s than today with that 82% white population, but that was inherited from the past, and Simpson-Mazzoli–amnesty without a secure border or interior enforcement–is kicking off both the great Hispanic baby-boom and the tsunami of further illegal immigration.

    You judge a policy by it’s effect, a US Presidency by it’s effect on the future US.

    Reagan’s presidency had it’s ephemeral “good times” and some positive work on the Cold War, but with Simpson-Mazzoli, long term it was a disaster. Reagan’s lack of interest in racial issues–not that that stopped him being called “racist” by the lefty Jews in the media–and lack of focus or follow through meant the US got demographically rolled and the nation destroyed.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute, Ibound1
    • Replies: @Clyde
    , @Mr. Anon
  37. @Wilkey

    Note: my LOL is for the piquant flavor of your quip.

    What’s been done to us isn’t the least bit funny, and i’m filled with sorrow and intense anger at the Bushes and their ilk.

    But laughing helps ward off despair.

  38. This is not a hard one….

    Exhibit A

    George Bush Center for Intelligence aka CIA Headquarters in Langley.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  39. Hersh has an impressive track record going back to exposing the My Lai massacre a half century ago.

    His current method is he reports what insiders leak to him and if any fact checking is done it amounts to insider A tells him the same thing as insider B and he cannot see any obvious collusion or higher hand controlling what he intuits are independent sources. I am sure sometimes this works and sometimes he gets played.

    What I wonder is if this goes all the way back to the beginning. Perhaps he was an intrepid young reporter backpacking around South Vietnam dodging bullets and stepping around land mines and that really was the greatest coup of investigative journalism ever like his fans want to believe. Or maybe some deep state plotters fed him that story too and a bunch his facts were spoon fed to him by spooks with an agenda? Maybe it was part of a hippy black op or something?

    His writing is interesting but I am skeptical it is much truthier than anybody else’s. In the interviews I have heard he does not come across as a nice person.

  40. @Steve Sailer

    The article was long on speculation and short on specifics.

  41. @Art Deco

    The denial, if false, is interesting.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Art Deco
  42. Jack D says:

    Hersh may have done some good reporting in Vietnam as a young man (although even that stuff was really bad for the national interests of the United States – e.g. uncovering the My Lai massacre) but my impression of him in later life is that he is a deranged Leftist who is prone to promoting any conspiracy theory that makes the US and its leaders (especially Republicans) look bad and evil. Maybe he was always a deranged Leftist and he just happened to be right when he applied his “America does evil things” theory in Vietnam or maybe he once or twice caught lightning in a bottle and has spent the rest of his life trying to repeat the feat with increasingly lame results, but either way I always assume that anything that he has peddled after 1975 is false or at least greatly exaggerated or distorted.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Mr. Anon
  43. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    ” … that stuff was really bad for the national interests of the United States – e.g. uncovering the My Lai massacre … ”

    Shame on you.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  44. Jack D says:
    @tsotha

    Hersh has uncovered 11 of the last 2 conspiracies involving the US government. Hersh’s hammer is his typewriter (I’m betting he’s the kind of guy who is still literally typing on a manual typewriter) and everything that he sees is a nail with the words “vast evil US Government atrocity and cover up conspiracy” written on the head. As a young man, he achieved great success (and a Pulitzer) for uncovering a GENUINE atrocity and coverup (the My Lai massacre) and he has spent the rest of his life trying to duplicate this feat. The fact that these conspiracies, even if true (especially if true), cause great harm and embarrassment to the national interest of the United States is to him a feature and not a bug – he WANTS to see the US knocked down a notch or three from its high perch. He is sort of the Orson Welles of journalists. Or maybe the Benedict Arnold.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Bill
    , @Mr. Anon
  45. @Anonymous

    There is also the apparent fact that bush’s son was scheduled to have dinner with Hinckley the night of the attempt on Reagan. https://whowhatwhy.org/2016/08/16/bush-angle-reagan-shooting-still-unresolved-hinckley-walks/

    Also don’t forget Hoover’s letter requesting to speak to George Bush of the CIA right after JFK’s assassination.

  46. MarkinLA says:
    @Clyde

    He started the whole “free trade” nonsense that lead to our massive trade deficits. His NSF created the big lie that there was a future “tech worker shortage” which GHWB used to ramp up H-1B type visas. His policies in central America lead to massive numbers of “refugees” that never left and are bringing all their real and paid for “relatives” with them now.

    He wasted tons of money on weapons that were never going to be used.

    Reagan was a turd.

  47. Anonymous[530] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    1) Uncovering “11 of the last 2” sure beats most reporters’ “-2 of the last 2” track record.

    2) Which alleged conspiracies, exactly, has Hersh investigated that turned out to be fictitious? He was, just off the top of my head, right about the US military’s chemical and biological warfare programs, right about My Lai, right about Israel’s nuclear program and right about Abu Gharib. It’s quite understandable that a man who has spent so much time researching and exposing the fictions and deceptions of the US national security state and its nominal “greatest ally” would develop a suspicious mindset.

  48. MarkinLA says:
    @Art Deco

    I read that Reagan was basically broke after his acting career fizzled out after the war. He was living in some nondescript apartment somewhere. Then he became the GE guy on TV that brought him back.

    I don’t know if that is true as I only care about his stupid policies as Preident.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  49. MarkinLA says:
    @Wilkey

    I know this is a joke but a lot of our “national security adventures” had nothing to do with our nation and did not make us more secure in the long run. So I wouldn’t exactly say 29 out of 30.

  50. Of course Hersh is exactly right. You just don’t like him because he doesn’t like the CIA.

  51. @Sean

    Someone like Casey is much more likely to have been in October surprise, given his propensity for such things.

    Maybe. But the day Casey died he became the officially-designated (and sole) author of every scandal-worthy decision ever made by the CIA.

    As his Wikipedia page matter-of-factly notes: “The day before Casey was scheduled to testify before Congress related to his knowledge of the Iran–Contra affair, Casey suffered two seizures and was hospitalized. Three days later, Casey underwent surgery for a previously undiagnosed brain tumor.[3].”

  52. Toddy Cat says:

    Obviously, I don’t know, but I trust Luttwak a lot more that I trust Hersh. That line of Jack D’s about Hersh identifying “11 out of the last 2” government conspiracies is dead-on. I have no doubt that a lot of what Hersh reports is true, but it’s really interesting that somehow, none of the stories that he breaks go against his own political leanings. You would think that a great investigative reporter would, just occasionally, find out something that discredited the Left, but no, no Leftist misdeeds get reported by Hersh until after someone else has broken them, and then only grudgingly, usually with the implication that, somehow, the US was actually at fault (See the KAL 007 shootdown for a good example of this). Arthur Schlesinger, certainly no right-winger, called Hersh “the most gullible investigative reporter I’ve ever seen”. That about sums it up, IMHO.

    By the way, as for the Russians being a bunch of clodhopping buffoons, I’d recommend reading the book “The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB & the Battle for the Third World” by Vasili Mitrokhin. You’ll get a somewhat different picture…

  53. Bill says:
    @Art Deco

    Was he telling the ‘truth’ when he claimed to have conducted four interviews a week over a period of four years in producing his 1983 tome?

    Is this supposed to be implausible or something?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Art Deco
  54. Bill says:
    @Jack D

    The fact that these conspiracies, even if true (especially if true), cause great harm and embarrassment to the national interest of the United States is to him a feature and not a bug – he WANTS to see the US knocked down a notch or three from its high perch.

    High praise, indeed.

  55. Clyde says:
    @AnotherDad

    George Bush was kept on a short enough leash during the Reagan Presidency. Thus was able to do many positive things. What Bush did during his own presidency is another thing. After the USSR blew up and the Berlin Wall fell all bets were off as far as US national unity. We lost our external enemy…. So then we got SELLOUTS like the 1990 Immigration act, NAFTA, WTO. This was the beginning of the end of our Cold War National Security State, which was effective for all Americans. Not just the elites.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @anonomy
    , @MarkinLA
  56. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    And I am Marie of Roumania

    Hersh has done things of note, and often to some good end.

    Whereas you………………..well, I’m sure your card catalog is very spit-and-polish.

    He’s a somebody, for good reason. You’re a nobody…………..also for good reason.

  57. Sean says:

    Bob Woodward was quite clear: Casey had admitted that he had get Money from the Saudis and hired a British ex officer for the car bombing of someone the Israelis said was behind the bombing. It was nothing to do with the career CIA.

    Iran Contra was more of a Iran October Surprise given that the first Reagan-sponsored secret arms sales to Iran began in 1981 before any of the American hostages had been taken in Lebanon.

    The Dems October surprise suspicions about how Reagan became President were remarkable similar to how they thought Nixon had told North Vietnamese not to negotiate with LBJ. As for the suspicions about Trump having contact with the Russians, plus ça change.

  58. Mr. Anon says:
    @AnotherDad

    You are right. Shakespeare summed it up pretty well: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with thier bones.”

    It’s high time that Reagan was knocked off his pedestal. It is only the affection of conservative boomers that keep him there.

    In the long run, Reagan’s Presidency was disastrous – more so then that Jimmy Carter, less so than that of George H.W. Bush. In terms of what is becoming of the country, each is worst than the last.

  59. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    It’s a fantasy. See Garry Wills assessment of The Dark Side of Camelot, published in 1997. See Kenneth Timmerman on The Samson Option. See Martin Peretz, Michael Ledeen, Fred Greenstein, and Time on The Price of Power. The man’s always been a swindler.

    Who are Garry Wills or Martin Peretz that I should care what they think?

    Kenneth Timmerman? This guy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Democracy_in_Iran

    Yeah, I’m sure he has no particular agenda. I’m sure he’s a man of sound judgment.

    And……Michael Ledeen………..well, if you can’t trust Michael Ledeen, whom can you trust?

    Slow day at the library, Art?

    You’re a ridiculous cartoon of a man. Nobody cares what you think.

  60. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    I think Nixon changed planes at Dallas airport that day. And Oswald, the 3 bums, Zabruder , LBJ, Congress critter Gonzalez governor Connoly and the secret service were also in Dallas that day.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  61. Mr. Anon says:
    @Clyde

    We lost our external enemy…. So then we got SELLOUTS like the 1990 Immigration act, NAFTA, WTO. This was the beginning of the end of our Cold War National Security State,……..

    ……..and it’s replacement by the Globo-Homo National Security State.

  62. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    ………….he WANTS to see the US knocked down a notch or three from its high perch.

    It’d be better for us if it were. “American Exceptionalism” is killing the American nation.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  63. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bill

    Is this supposed to be implausible or something?

    I guess it is for Art Deco. Art can’t imagine anybody wanting to talk to him for any length of time.

    I wonder why that is?

    • LOL: Anon1
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  64. Sean says:
    @Redneck farmer

    The CIA director at the time, George H. W. Bush, concluded that the Team B approach set “in motion a process that lends itself to manipulation for purposes other than estimative accuracy

    Albert Wohlstetter, who had invented the Missile Gap for Kennedy, complained the CIA were underestimating Soviet strength and demanded Team B, but the the CIA’s Director refused and as a result Rumsfeld got Pres Ford to sack the Director and replace him with Bush who did authorise Team B but did not really endorse it.

    Brzezinski supported the conclusions of Team B, apparently buying into the Rumsfeldesque idea that Kissinger had been duped by the Soviets. This led Brzezinski to overvalue the Shah of Iran and when the Shah was allowed into into US it caused the Iranians to take the US Embassy staff hostage. Brzezinski was also the one who thought it was a good idea for Carter to annoy Israel and their Lobby

    George HW Bush was a Deep State man in the sense he was the old ruling class establishment, as were his advisors. They had to build up Iraq against Iran,the US previous cop on the ME beat, because Iran had become radically anti American. But then Saddam became radically Anti American as well. George HW Bush tried to stop his son invading Iraq, but unfortunately he was in the grip of a new Neocon establishment.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  65. I wouldn’t be surprised if HW asked that it be leaked after his death. “I was really running things while my dimwit boss got all the credit” is the sort of thing a person wouldn’t the public knowing. When he was alive he might face blowback for it, but now…

    • Replies: @Joe Sweet
  66. Lagertha says:
    @tsotha

    OT, a bit, but Bush is mentioned (actually, mother Harriman) in minute 17.22 seconds; and 1 hour & 9 seconds mark, in this very, very long, yet fascinating/intense video.

    It seems that something smells good in Denmark…however, it still makes me feel anxious (no hygge) – just good to know that not everyone is a loser/cuck in the Nordic countries.

  67. Mr. Anon says:
    @anonymous

    @Jack D

    ” … that stuff was really bad for the national interests of the United States – e.g. uncovering the My Lai massacre … ”

    Shame on you.

    Hey, it wasn’t his people getting massacred, so………….whatever.

  68. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    Hersh may have done some good reporting in Vietnam as a young man (although even that stuff was really bad for the national interests of the United States – e.g. uncovering the My Lai massacre).

    Is it your contention then that good reporting generally is, or ought to be, in the national interest? Or that what is in the “national interest” of the government is the same as what is in the national interest of the nation and its’ people?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  69. res says:
    @Bill Jones

    The denial, if false, is interesting.

    And Art Deco’s failure to realize that himself is also interesting.

  70. @Mr. Anon

    Would you please stop trolling AD and go read some more books or something. There are plenty who care what he thinks.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  71. anonomy says:
    @Clyde

    Before NAFTA there was GATT. It’s amazing how many things are started by say the Clinton Admin, but don’t get put into place until the next Admin, say Bush has to start the Millennial Corporation, which is run by the Treasury and the Secretary of State. Before there was No Child Left Behind there was GOALS 2000 etc…You have to look deep to find who really started what program and what program preceded it. Congress signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Hillary was rooting for a change in Afghanistan when she first thought she was president, she was taking a young woman around, young Afghan who would become a lawyer and activist for women’s rights in Afghanistan. She did vote for Afghanistan and Iraq I believe. Funny we went into Afghanistan instead of Iraq. No Al Qa’ida, in Afghanistan, bunkers empty since at the least 2000 when we bombed and they were empty then.

  72. @James Speaks

    ” … Was he the Good Shepard?”

    If you are referring to the film The Good Shepard (2006) the answer would be no. The Matt Damon character was a composite, primarily based on James Jesus Angleton.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  73. So was it GHW Bush who was responsible for bringing the neocons into the Reagan Administration?

  74. RCW says:
    @Art Deco

    Re: Reagan, then again he capitulated to the Dems illegal alien amnesty and had a hand in GCA68.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  75. @Art Deco

    From which bureaucracy did you retire? Do you realize you’re a fount of conventional wisdom? Who is Jack Chiclets?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Art Deco
  76. U.S. Senator’s son revealed to have helped his Skull & Bonesmates in the CIA out!

    That wouldn’t have been a big scandal in 1965.

    But in 1975 he was appointed director specifically as an outsider to clean it up. Lying about that would have been a big scandal.

    Also, people were nervous about a CIA director running for president. They made him swear not to run in 1976. And the claim that he’d just been involved for the one year was important. Just like the claim that Putin quit the KGB in 1990.

  77. @Anonymous

    Clearly BS, but perhaps it’s a coded message to Putin: “Send evacuation submarine!”

  78. @Anonymous

    “Author Roger Stone’s Latest Conspiracy Theory: George H.W. Bush Behind Reagan Assassination Attempt”

    Bush was a Hinckley descendant, distantly related to the assassin.

    On the other hand, Little Ron’s middle name is Prescott.

    So I’m torn about which conspiratorial rabbit hole to jump into.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  79. @tsotha

    At the time of Iran-Contra — the early to mid 1980s — V.P. Bush was utilizing a network of retired CIA officers led by Ted Shackley to conduct the various operations Hersh describes. At the same time, CIA director William Casey was running Oliver North’s “Enterprise”, which employed the Nicaraguan Somocistas that operated the Columbian cocaine pipeline from Noriega’s Panama to Los Angeles. That logistical infrastructure included private airstrips in El Salvador and Costa Rica. So yeah, the honorable George H.W. Bush was up to his “eye-balls” in all sorts of covert activities.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  80. @Jake

    Nixon was even closer the next day. In Dallas.

  81. @Anon

    Where was Mickey Mantle?

    • Replies: @FPD72
  82. anonomy says:

    Millennium Challenge Corp.

  83. @Mr. Anon

    “American Exceptionalism” was a desperate propaganda term uttered by the decadent political class in the twilight years of the decaying empire, writes the future historian.

  84. @Mr. Anon

    His head is filled with cheese.

  85. @Art Deco

    Reagan was the only person in power to see through the ruse that the Soviet Union was invincible. His offering them SDI was one of the shrewdest moves by any President in foreign policy.

    Dinesh D’Souza’s first and best (by default) book explained how Reagan’s concentration on the top two or three issues is the secret of a successful presidency.

    Unfortunately, immigration wasn’t one of them yet. But the man had a long history of being suckered by the Democrats. The most un-American thing he ever did was to vote for FDR four times. That’s unconscionable.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  86. @Mr. Anon

    Michael Ledeen is a disinformation specialist for the neocon cult.

  87. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anon

    If you ask me, the official story of Bin Laden’s death (which I have no reason to doubt) is already not exactly a USA-USA-chanting, big-foam-finger-waving advert for Team America.

    We sent in two dozen highly trained, heavily armed killers under cover of night to grease a sick, middle-aged man and a few of his immediate family, who had been hiding out under the protection of one of our supposed “allies” in the war on terror. An “ally” that itself was perhaps just awaiting the right time to shop this wasting asset. It was a squalid, unheroic affair. While they were doing it, they should have had a loud-speaker system blaring out Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA in to the Abbottabad compound, just to reinforce the boorishly patriotic shabbiness of the whole affair. ‘Murica!

  88. Art Deco says:
    @anonymous

    I gotta earn my hasbara per diems, chump.

  89. @Jack Hanson

    Why is this comment calling into question the official account of OBL’s passing still in Whim Moderation

  90. Art Deco says:
    @Bill Jones

    No it’s not. It’s the sort of factoid which gets passed from one wacky source to another. The notion George Bush was ‘involved’ in the Kennedy Assassination is a random ass-pull.

  91. LondonBob says:
    @Clyde

    All of them, Bush was Mr CIA.

    The George Bush Center for Intelligence is twinned with the Derek Zoolander Centre for Children who Don’t Read Good.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  92. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    I read that Reagan was basically broke after his acting career fizzled out after the war.

    He had 45 screen credits between 1947 and 1965. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild for six years. That was in addition to the public relations job he had with GE (1954-62).

    He owned two homes in 1950, a ranch property in Northridge and a condominium off of Sunset Blvd. The building in which the condo was located still stands.

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1326-Londonderry-View-Dr-Los-Angeles-CA-90069/2106484021_zpid/

    In 1951/52 he sold both the condominium and the ranch, bought a different ranch in Agoura, Ca., then bought a house in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles.

    https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/sreference/ronald-reagan-s-residences

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @MarkinLA
  93. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Nobody cares what you think.

    You’re stalking me because you ‘don’t care’. Always an education.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Mr. Anon
  94. @Mr. Anon

    Furthermore, it (in the official account, at least) took almost ten years for the US, with its vast resources and global network of allies/client states, to locate global public enemy #1. Not exactly the most flattering display of US power and competence…

    Martin van Creveld made a pretty insightful point in The Transformation of War about how it’s fundamentally a losing proposition in the modern world to fight an enemy who looks much weaker than yourself. You either look like a bully for winning or an idiot for losing.

    I think that the optics of the raid would have been better if the US had wanted/been able to capture bin Laden alive and put him on trial.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  95. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I liked the relationship that existed between the press and the US government during World War II – you had the feeling that they were both fighting for the same side and that the press was not a 5th column fighting for the enemy or for the overthrow of the US government in favor of a socialist regime. Perhaps the fact that the Communists were our Allies at the time had something to do with this.

    Did the press report every atrocity committed by US forces during WWII (and such things did happen)? No, and it was appropriate not to.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
  96. Mr. Anon says:

    I liked the relationship that existed between the press and the US government during World War II?

    The more-or-less complete subordination of the Press to the Government’s will? It’s certainly useful in pursuing the War. But it has nothing to do with a free Press – one of those ideals we were ostensibly fighting for.

    Did the press report every atrocity committed by US forces during WWII (and such things did happen)? No, and it was appropriate not to.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’m rather fond of the truth, even if it cuts against my own side.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  97. Mr. Anon says:
    @Stolen Valor Detective

    I think that the optics of the raid would have been better if the US had wanted/been able to capture bin Laden alive and put him on trial.

    In think it would have been better to try to pay one of his own people to off him. What might have been better still would to have not gotten mixed up with guys like bin Laden in the first place.

  98. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    I’m not stalking you. I’m simply pointing out that you are a serial drivel spewer, you smug nitwit.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  99. @SunBakedSuburb

    A bizarre decision by the filmmakers of The Good Shepherd (De Niro and Roth) to make their character based on James Jesus Angleton, one of the more colorful and mysterious Americans of the 20th Century, so boring.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  100. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    I’m not stalking you, you ridiculous nitwit. In fact, you seem to have taken to stalking this website since nobody was much interested in yours; unsurprisingly, there is little market for your patented brand of smug, condescending pap. If you find everything and everyone here so offensive, why don’t you just f**k off then? You won’t be missed.

  101. Mr. Anon says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    From which bureaucracy did you retire? Do you realize you’re a fount of conventional wisdom? Who is Jack Chiclets?

    He’s a librarian.

  102. Mr. Anon says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Would you please stop trolling AD and go read some more books or something.

    He’s trolling us. He’s a tiresome popinjay who presumes to lecture everyone here.

    There are plenty who care what he thinks.

    How many? Not including him?

    You’re free to drink deep from the fount of his self-proclaimed wisdom, if you like. And I’m free to call him the preening horse’s ass that he obviously is.

  103. Art Deco says:
    @Sean

    as a result Rumsfeld got Pres Ford to sack the Director and replace him with Bush who did authorise Team B but did not really endorse it.

    William Colby was a CIA lifer who was sitting in the director’s chair when the Church Committee and the Pike Committee hung the agency out to dry. Gerald Ford made a number of cabinet changes in the fall of 1975 and replaced Colby because keeping him was bad optics.

    • Replies: @Sean
  104. Art Deco says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I take it you’ve never had to be present in meatspace to be a sounding board during someone else’s paranoid episode.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  105. @Anon

    A number of potential explanations, such as there was another, more obscure George Bush working for the CIA.

    My guess is that George Bush was an Ally of the CIA — he had a real job running his own medium sized oil business, but, as the son of a Senator and a Bonesman, he was trusted by his old friends who worked full time for the CIA to participate in the CIA’s Favor Bank. Hoover, working under pressure after the JFK assassination, didn’t get right that fairly fine distinction about Bush’s status.

    But that’s 100% surmise on my part.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @LondonBob
  106. @Too Observant

    At the Reagan Library, they have tons of Reagan’s handwritten documents on display, such as drafts of letters to Gorbachev. Reagan was a solid writer: he’d been a popular newspaper columnist in the 1970s and he appeared to be about as smart as the typical pundit. The 1980s saw a number of major health problems, such as getting shot, Alzheimers, and perhaps worsening deafness.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    , @Art Deco
    , @MarkinLA
  107. Lagertha says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Now is the time to really uncover the truth of Iran-Contra and JFK assassination…not to mention, Fast & Furious. It is about time. People need to be held accountable for their crimes.

  108. @Nathan

    No, they can put the brakes on it. They just don’t want to fall on their sword when they get relieved of command for doing so and some other yes man beneath them gets their job.

    The lack of personal courage in the military right now isn’t the fault of Goldwater Nichols. That statute didn’t demand the military answer every request with a “Must Do” attitude.

    • Replies: @Nathan
  109. Sparkon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    When it comes to George H.W. Bush, read his lips. If they’re moving, he’s lying.

    After the article appeared, the C.I.A. put out a story that the George Bush mentioned in the memorandum was not Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush; he was George William Bush, who had worked for the agency in 1963-64. Although the agency claimed that his present whereabouts were unknown, I located George William Bush. He told me he was a coast and landing-beach analyst with the agency in those years, with the rank of GS-5, but that he definitely did not receive the F.B.I. briefing in 1963.
    […]
    I called Colonel Bush, who said he was George William Bush’s father. He confirmed that his son had worked for the C.I.A. and still lived in the house, but said he could not come to the phone because he was ill; he asked me to call back the following evening. When I did, I spoke to George William Bush, who is 49 and works as a claim representative for the Social Security Administration. He said he had worked for the C.I.A. for about six months in 1963-64. When I read him the Hoover memo about the F.B.I. briefing, his response was, “Is that the other George Bush?”

    While in the C.I.A. he had never received interagency briefings because he was “just a lowly researcher and analyst” and worked only with documents and photographs. He said he “knew neither one” of two people the memorandum mentions as also being briefed, William T. Forsyth of the F.B.I. nd Capt. William Edwards of the D.I.A. “So it wasn’t me, “ he said.

    ttps://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP99-01448R000401580054-2.pdf

    The “other” George Bush reminds one of the “other” Nancy Reagan, a subject the Ronnie fans here might pursue for their own edification.

    ps. Ronald Reagan’s biggest physical handicap throughout his life was his very poor eyesight.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  110. @Clyde

    I’ve got a shocking hangover, so maybe I’ve failed to detect sarcasm or irony… but the whole Langley complex was formally re-named the George Bush Center [sic] for Intelligence in 1999.

    It’s annoying that states refer to their clandestine goings-on as “intelligence“, because state apparatus has never been staffed with genuinely primo talent.

    That goes triple for the security-theatre boondoggle, because the lack of accountability makes it the ideal environment for triangulating shitbags… which is why most first-quintile talent they manage to recruit, quits after their first 2-year hitch. (CIA have 60% attrition at the 2-year mark; their overall attrition rate of 3.5% masks that – higher-level triangulators stick around until they qualify for a pension).

    And that is precisely why “intelligence agencies” failed to predict (let alone forestall or prevent) every event of geopolitical importance over the last century[1].

    Their schtick is really lame and only appeals to gullible dimbulbs: here’s a brief- and partial – list of some of the events that didn’t get predicted by the system that cost trillions (combined, globally) over the course of the century from 1914 to 2014…

    • the outbreak of WWI
    • the duration of WWI (and its effects on European political structures)
    • the rise of the Soviet Union
    • the rise of Mussolini
    • the rise of Hitler
    • the outbreak of WWII
    • Pearl Harbour
    • the fall of Singapore
    • Soviet acquisition of nuclear weapons,
    • Chinese acquisition of nuclear weapons,
    • Soviet infiltration of MI5 (Philby, Burgess, McLean, Blunt, Mclean and others)
    • US failure to achieve strategic objectives in Viet Nam,
    • the Indian acquisition of nuclear weapons,
    • the overthrow of the Shah/ rise of the mullahs,
    • Soviet infiltration of CIA, NSA (Aldrich Ames, Ed Howard and others)
    • the Beirut barracks bombing,
    • the collapse of the USSR and collapse of the Berlin Wall,
    • the first WTC bombing (1993)
    • the bombing of the Nairobi Embassy
    • Pakistan acquisition of nuclear weapons,
    • “Foreign Policy Blowback Day” (20010911)
    • the London bombing (7/7)
    • the Bali bombing
    • the Madrid train bombing
    • How hard Afghanistan is to invade
    • North Korea’s first nuclear test…

    But each country’s ‘intelligence’ and ‘security’ halfwits will bleat that they’ve averted other events that they can’t tell us about but everybody super-secret pinkie-swears that they totally saved us all, countless times.

    What is never asked, is how different those outcomes would have been if governments world-wide simply stopped wasting money on the Little Eichmanns who participate in all this bullshit cloak-and-dagger nonsense.

    If the national-security “threatscape” is impossible to predict (and generate useful, actionable countermeasures), then the sensible thing to do is not to bother: that is not an acceptable conclusion for those whose career rests on threat prediction, so they spend more than half their time on threat-inflation. And they still miss everything.

    [1] Obviously they security-theatre nincompoops could sometimes predict geopolitical events in which their governments were directly involved – but sometimes, not so much.

    The German government didn’t genuinely think that Lenin’s agitators would topple the Tsar when they put him on that train in 1917; the Germans thought his movement would be crushed, but that it would be a pain in Tsar Nicholas’ arse and would divert resources to internal security.

    Conversely, the KGB did not ‘fail to predict’ the Soviets developing a nuclear deterrent… but KGB, CIA, MI6 (etc) failed to predict China, Pakistan, and India getting nuclear capability.

    By ‘predict” I mean getting within a bull’s roar of the actual timing of the event, and being able to prevent or significantly delay the event. The acquisition of nukes is a good example: the first nuke test for each new nuke power, was a total and utter shock to pretty much everyone else in the club: almost everyone obtained the tech by stealing it off members of the club (since governments have always been absolutely shit at data-protection) – with the only exceptions being the French and the Israelis, who were given the tech with the full knowledge and cooperation of their respective sponsors.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @FPD72
    , @Clyde
  111. @Jack D

    The (((NYT))) running cover for Stalin and pushing us towards war in WWI was just business as usual to you, I see.

    • Replies: @Kaganovitch
  112. Sparkon says:
    @Sparkon

    Erratum: The “other” Nancy Reagan Davis

  113. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    The part about journalists being lazy so they could get away with anything rings true.

    There’s a book called “stars on the wall” or something with an amusing conceit–the author decides to see if he can figure out who are the unknown dead CIA operatives honored by a memorial of anonymous stars. He is able to track down the identity of *every single one* (40 or so?). Turns out nobody had ever tried.

  114. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Noam Chomsky had this take on “intelligence.”

    They don’t know anything because they’re “ideological fanatics.” So, eg, if they’re in Cuba, they hang out with the type of Cubans that Yale businessmen would hang out with, so they never learn anything about whats going on with Castro.

    Same thing is true in Saudi Arabia, etc. There are PLENTY of Arabs who LOVE Yale businessmen and are happy to talk to them in Four Seasons hotel rooms about deposing middle eastern regimes and making more room for Yale businessmen. The pious, devout terrorists aren’t among them, though.

    Chomsky said reading his own file confirmed his thesis that the watchmen are clueless about their targets.

  115. Anon[251] • Disclaimer says:

    I had a similar notion. Sometimes I wonder if the fine distinction your taking about even existed in the early cia. With all of their self funded off the books stuff, it’s not as easy as seeing who was cashing government paychecks.

    From Wikipedia’s Entry on zapata oil.

    “ccording to a CIA internal memo dated November 29, 1975,[4] Zapata Petroleum began in 1953 through Bush’s joint efforts with Thomas J. Devine, a CIA staffer who had resigned his agency position that same year to go into private business, but who continued to work for the CIA under commercial cover. Devine would later accompany Bush to Vietnam in late 1967 as a “cleared and witting commercial asset” of the agency, acted as his informal foreign affairs advisor, and had a close relationship with him through 1975”

  116. Nathan says:
    @Jack Hanson

    https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/

    Nope, you would think that, but it’s simply not the case. From the article:

    “Individual combatant commanders, who report to the secretary of defense, are in charge of military operations inside six global regions, no matter which branch of the military is conducting the operation. The leaders of the Navy, Army and Air Force are responsible for delivering trained and equipped troops. They can lobby the Pentagon against an operation they feel is ill-advised, but the final say goes to the defense secretary, and ultimately the president.”

    According to interviews and to internal reports cited in the article, multiple three and four star Admirals and the number 2 civilian in the Navy attempted to stand down, train Sailors, and repair ships. They couldn’t, and in large part that’s due to Goldwater-Nichols’ redefinition of the chain of command. It goes from President to SecDef to Combatant Commander.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
  117. @Jack Hanson

    Did you miss that ” during ww2″ ?

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
  118. @The Alarmist

    Hersh tells us that Bush’s point man, Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, was the man who knew of Bush’s deep involvement in all of these covert operations run out of the office of Chief of Staff Daniel Murphy.

    (” Moreau’s small, off-the-record team, primarily made up of navy officers, was tasked with foreign operations deemed necessary by the vice president. The group’s link to Bush was indirect.”)

    But the best part is later:

    ” There was another factor: on 1 October 1985, Admiral William Crowe replaced John Vessey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The formidable Crowe had been filled in, up to a point, on the clandestine operations inside the vice president’s office. ‘He got a whiff of what was going on,’ the officer said. Crowe quickly disbanded Moreau’s secret team and returned its officers to navy duty. There would be no undeclared operations on his watch. The roof could have fallen in the following November, when the Iran-Contra scandal became public . . .

    Bush, with his seemingly secure run for the presidency in 1988 under threat, flew into a panic about the burgeoning scandal. He had played a major role in the sure-to-fail scheme; a comprehensive inquiry might well discover the 35 or so earlier covert operations – many of them successful – that he and the Moreau group had conducted. ”

    So, what happened to the strongest link between the covert ops and George H. W. Bush?

    At age 55, much to the surprise of his Navy colleagues, Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau dropped dead of a heart attack in December of 1986, just as the scandal from Iran-Contra was heating up.

    Dead men can’t connect the former CIA chief and the current VP (with presidential aspirations) to any scandal that might derail those aspirations.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  119. @Mr. Anon

    Give it a rest. If that were true you wouldn’t need to point it out.

    You are, however, making clear your own nature.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  120. @The Alarmist

    Geroge H. W. Bush’s point man on the covert ops was Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau:

    Moreau’s small, off-the-record team, primarily made up of navy officers, was tasked with foreign operations deemed necessary by the vice president. The group’s link to Bush was indirect. There were two go-betweens, known for their closeness to the vice president and their ability to keep secrets: Murphy, a retired admiral who had served as Bush’s deputy director at the CIA; and, to a lesser extent, Donald Gregg, Bush’s national security adviser and another veteran of CIA covert operations.”

    Who knew?

    “Congress, and the constitution, were at first no more of an obstacle to Bush and Moreau’s covert operations than the press. The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was Dick Cheney.”

    So what happened to Bush’s Secret Team?

    “There was another factor: on 1 October 1985, Admiral William Crowe replaced John Vessey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The formidable Crowe had been filled in, up to a point, on the clandestine operations inside the vice president’s office. ‘He got a whiff of what was going on,’ the officer said. Crowe quickly disbanded Moreau’s secret team and returned its officers to navy duty. There would be no undeclared operations on his watch. The roof could have fallen in the following November, when the Iran-Contra scandal became public. ”

    And then:

    Bush, with his seemingly secure run for the presidency in 1988 under threat, flew into a panic about the burgeoning scandal. He had played a major role in the sure-to-fail scheme; a comprehensive inquiry might well discover the 35 or so earlier covert operations . . .”

    So what happened to the man who could effectively link George H. W. Bush to the Secret Team?

    Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, the one man who could spill the details that could derail the GHWB presidential run, at the age of 55, much to the surprise of his Navy colleagues, in December of 1986, just as the Iran-Contra scandal was gaining traction . . .

    dropped dead of a heart attack.

    Since dead men tell no tales, that heart attack was mighty convenient for ol’ GHWB.

    Just sayin’.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1986-12-14/news/mn-3021_1_u-s-naval-forces-in-europe

  121. @Mr. Anon

    Has any person or group been willing and able to do something like 9/11 since then?

    Has anybody attempted it?

    On one level the Bin Laden hit lets the world know the United States will go to any lengths.

    You cannot hide. So don’t do it in the first place. You will never win.

    Like what the Israelis did with Nazi war criminals.

    Like the Romans did at Masada.

    It is a demonstration of awesome power.

    So what if it took longer than it should have. It got done. So what if it wasn’t pretty. Neither were Tarawa, Anzio, or Omaha Beach.

    Your comic-book characterization of the whole affair based on your emotions and expectations is just that.

    I can criticize just about everything anyone has ever done, too. It’s not that hard.

    It takes discipline to remind myself constantly that I live in the United States in 2019. Historically, this is probably the best time and place to have lived. The vast majority of humans that have lived have not had these things and opportunities. But we complain.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  122. FPD72 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Probably at a country club, playing either golf or poker, quite possibly in the buff. I’d guess at Preston Trail CC, but it didn’t get started until two years later.

  123. FPD72 says:
    @Kratoklastes

    When Lenin was put on the train in 1917 to return to Russia, German intelligence was VERY confident that he would not overthrow the Tsar, since the Tsar had already been overthrown and replaced by a Provisional Government in February.

    Lenin didn’t overthrow the Tsar; he overthrew Alexander Kerensky.

  124. @Anonymous

    The guy who wrote the big MI6 history said only one agent who was a full time government employee was ever killed in the line of duty. It was in Aden if I recall correctly. Almost none of those heroes ever collected a government paycheck with medical and retirement benefits over time. They were mostly like Afghanistan teenagers who were hired to wear a suicide vest bomb for a one time cash payment to their family.

    It’s complete BS through and through.

    Here is the MI6 book:

    https://www.amazon.com/MI6-Inside-Majestys-Intelligence-Service/dp/B000C4SM0E

    It’s very long and I skipped the 200 pages on Albania. But I will never forget that 1/5 of the best history of MI6 was spent on fucking Albania. You cannot make this shit up.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @anonymous
  125. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    I take it you’ve never had to be present in meatspace to be a sounding board during someone else’s paranoid episode.

    Is that our function for you? Why don’t you just try some thorazine.

  126. Clyde says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I’ve got a shocking hangover, so maybe I’ve failed to detect sarcasm or irony… but the whole Langley complex was formally re-named the George Bush Center [sic] for Intelligence in 1999.

    Thanks. I only know Langley, VA as “CIA Headquarters” I never knew it was named after George Bush while he was still alive.

  127. Mr. Anon says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Give it a rest.

    No, and f**k you.

    If that were true you wouldn’t need to point it out.

    I’m not the only one.

    But if you are such a big fan of Ralph Wiggum, I’m perfectly happy to think of you as a dull-witted idiot too.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  128. Naturally, you like his My Lai reporting and hate what he is doing now.

    Because My Lai was just a few expendable dumb-cluck ground-pounders who got caught. From the viewpoint of our owners, great. Nobody upstairs gets attacked.

    Nowadays he goes right for our owners, blaming them, not pathetic pawns.

    And so naturally, nowadays, he must be wrong. Because our owners must always be right. This, this, what you believe.

  129. Mr. Anon says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Has any person or group been willing and able to do something like 9/11 since then?

    Has anybody attempted it?

    No, the government has had to relay on entrapped FBI patsies to keep up interest in the entirely useless “War on Terror”.

    Meanwhile, muslim immigration to the west has accelerated, steadily altering the very character of what used to be our countries. Mission Accomplished, huh?

    So what if it took longer than it should have. It got done.

    And yet we are still in Afghanistan, 17 years after 9/11 now. Yeah, that sure seems like victory.

    Your comic-book characterization of the whole affair based on your emotions and expectations is just that.

    You’re the one engaging in comic-book characterizations.

    I can criticize just about everything anyone has ever done, too. It’s not that hard.

    It’s just about your speed then.

    It takes discipline to remind myself constantly that I live in the United States in 2019.

    Funny, for me it just takes a calendar.

    Historically, this is probably the best time and place to have lived. The vast majority of humans that have lived have not had these things and opportunities. But we complain.

    Good for you, Dr. Pangloss. I remember when it was better, not materially maybe, but in a lot of other ways.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  130. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Anon

    There’s a cute Jim Carrey movie called Liar Liar where Jim Carrey is a lawyer who gets into all sorts of trouble because he is under a spell where he cannot tell a lie for 24 hours. Nations are like that, on steroids. Putin certainly understands that truth is a dangerous drug, like fentanyl, which needs to be carefully administered in small doses concerning matters of state. If it is given out freely and indiscriminately, it can be deadly. Sometime you need to actively lie and other times merely to withhold the complete story. Churchill understood this also. Americans have this strange compulsion to tell the truth all the time as if they have been drinking truth serum by the gallon. Truth is generally a good thing but it’s not the only thing.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @Mr. Anon
  131. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @simple_pseudonymic_handle

    my favorite rejoinder to conspiracy theorists (in the narrow sense) is robert baer, former CIA clandestine officer, saying he couldnt dream of pulling off something as awesome as 9/11 and neither could anyone he ever knew in intelligence.

    i dont mean this is some kind of knock-down logical refutation, i just found it personally convincing because i believed baer when he said it. it was sort of a “holy shit, i WISH we could have done operations that complex and impactful but…lol we were in no way capable.”

    edit: then again, wheels within wheels. i read “stars on the wall” because the CIA itself recommended it to my sister when they were recruiting her as a clandestine officer. so who knows where he got his info? of course they also told her not to tell anyone she was being interviewed but….

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Mr. Anon
  132. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    my mistake. the book is called “the book of honor”

    In the entrance of the CIA headquarters looms a huge marble wall into which seventy-one stars are carved-each representing an agent who has died in the line of duty. Official CIA records only name thirty-five of them, however. Undeterred by claims that revealing the identities of these “nameless stars” might compromise national security, Ted Gup sorted through thousands of documents and interviewed over 400 CIA officers in his attempt to bring their long-hidden stories to light. The result of this extraordinary work of investigation is a surprising glimpse at the real lives of secret agents, and an unprecedented history of the most compelling—and controversial—department of the US government.

  133. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Anon

    We sent in two dozen highly trained, heavily armed killers under cover of night to grease a sick, middle-aged man

    We always go in with overwhelming force. The last thing you want is a fair fight. By the time the Israelis found Eichmann, he was a rather pathetic figure too, a mousy looking blue collar worker riding the bus from his assembly line job to his house in a Buenos Aires barrio without electricity. And Saddam was hiding in a spider hole with a wild man’s beard like an Arab David Letterman in retirement. That’s how it goes in real life – not with a bang but a whimper.

    What is the alternative – to let these guys go? No can do. Their victims cry out for justice from the grave. And in Bin Laden’s case, justice did not mean some endless circus of a trial in Federal court followed by endless appeals, it meant a double tap to the head.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  134. nebulafox says:
    @Jack D

    >Americans have this strange compulsion to tell the truth all the time as if they have been drinking truth serum by the gallon.

    Truth be told, I find the American tendency to divide the world into “friends” and “enemies” far stranger. I can’t think of any other culture in the world that views relationships with other nations in this way.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  135. Joe Sweet says:
    @Nosferatu Zodd

    I’ve been giving him credit for running things during the Reagan administration since the mid 80’s.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  136. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    We always go in with overwhelming force. The last thing you want is a fair fight.

    It’s the last thing we’ll get too. Someday, that karma bill will be pretty steep.

    In any event, it’s squalid and unheroic, as I said. it’s tawdry when the fire-eating 30-something SEAL who shot a prone man in the head goes on FOX TV and talks about himself as if he were Audie Murphy.

  137. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    Truth is generally a good thing but it’s not the only thing.

    It would be nice if were tried occasionally. Doesn’t seem to be.

  138. Mr. Anon says:
    @anonymous

    my favorite rejoinder to conspiracy theorists (in the narrow sense) is robert baer, former CIA clandestine officer, saying he couldnt dream of pulling off something as awesome as 9/11 and neither could anyone he ever knew in intelligence.

    And yet he would admit that an actual conspiracy of a few dozen arab guys did indeed pull it off. Is it therefore so inconceivable that a few more people were involved as well?

  139. Cato says:
    @Clyde

    Low trade deficits

    Reagan actually created an enormous trade deficit: tax cuts and the defense build-up led to deficit spending which led to high government borrowing which pushed up interest rates. Foreigners found our bonds attractive and the inflow of funds led to a stronger dollar. The strong dollar made foreign goods cheap and we bought and bought. The Reagan administration was a time of panic among American manufacturers — it was a time where we worried that the Japanese would completely wipe out our domestic automobile manufacturing.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Clyde
  140. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    No other (white, english-speaking) country matters. At all. And they know it (consciously or subconsciously).

    That filters down into the culture. New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, whatever–none of them are relevant. They’re all just passengers on the American empire train.

    And so they’ve all developed a weird, beta, passive-aggressive mentality to process their powerlessness. Most obviously in Canada where the default worldview is that of the snarky backseat critic of American empire. But then again, what other choice do they have? They live every day knowing they’re being plowed forward by an engine they don’t control so the only “power” they can imagine exerting is as commentary on those who do run it.

    Different people react in different ways. Britain sees itself as having passed the baton to its cousin. Hence their knowing, wry detachment.

    But you see the crisis at its intellectual and emotional peak in France: a country that used to matter, “won” the World Wars and found itself at the center of a European conflict in which it was rendered a fully impotent spectator. Hence the insanity of French intellectual/artistic culture of the last several decades.

    So yeah, Irishmen and Aussies are “game for a laugh, mate.” Their entire existence is silly and frivolous like an American on vacation in Las Vegas.

  141. @Paul Jolliffe

    Several Iran-Contra players met untimely deaths; it’s what used to happen. Now the scumbags just write books and make bank.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Art Deco
  142. @Joe Sweet

    “I’ve been giving him credit for running things during the Reagan administration since the mid 80’s.”

    SNL had a great send-up of who was really running the Reagan Whitehouse:

    • Replies: @Anon87
  143. LondonBob says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Cover story has to be convincing though, running a medium sized oil business is convincing enough. Holt claimed his handler at the CIA was Philip Twombly, a Coca Cola executive.

    https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKtwombly.htm

    Take the Whelan fella in Moscow, unlikely to be an officer but perhaps an agent, how does a low level grunt with a BCD from the Marines become global head of security for a major corporation.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  144. Sean says:
    @Art Deco

    In 1974 Wohlstetter publicly claimed the Soviets were approaching the capability of successful first strike. In 1975, under pressure from the Reaganite wing, Ford fired James Schlesinger at the Pentagon and replaced him with Rumsfeld, who promptly started making unattributed briefing to the effect that Kissinger had been duped by the Soviets, just as Wohstetter had claimed and insisted a Team B exercise would show. Later that year Ford replaced Colby with Bush as CIA Director and Bush authorized the Team B exercise. So Ford’s dismissal of Colby stemmed from letting Rumsfeld in to placate the right wing.

    Rumsfeld and his allies ( a hard line ethnically Polish US nuke general, a boyfriend of Wohlstetter’s daughter from Hollywood High School AKA Richard Perle, and Perle’s boss the so called Senator From Boeing ) were the anonymous sources quoted for stories by the “Prince of Darkness” columnist Novak that Kissinger supported by Rockefeller was going to hand the USSR thermonuclear first strike capability. Ford was stampeded into canceling SALT II nuclear arms limitation talks and détente, which may well have cost him the election.

    In a re-run of Carter, who had made all sorts of promises to the Israel Lobby but once president tried to restrain Israel over the occupied territories, George H.W. Bush’s run at the presidency was officially endorsed by AIPAC, but then he tried to stop Israel spending the US money on occupied land by settling the West Bank . President George HW Bush was a fan of Rockefeller, and excluded Rumsfeld.

    With his military industrial complex backed foundation and old allies Rumsfeld eventually got back in. While meeting with the House Armed Services Committee, then new Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld distributed copies of a foreword to Roberta Wohlstetter’s 1962 book, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision.

    President Bush the younger ignored George Bush Sr’s advice after 9/11 (which was not a first strike nuking by Russia such as the Wohlsetters had influenced Rumsfeld to warning of for decades). Eventually young Bush angrily told his father he was sick of being bombarded with advice from Brent Scowcroft and others in the foreign policy establishment about why America should not attack and occupy Iraq.

    What I take from all this is that Colby, Ford, Carter, Rockefeller and Bush the elder were part of a mediating WASP led establishment that was was slowly but surely overthrown by an unholy alliance of disparate commercial, ethnic and opportunistic interests.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  145. @Nathan

    Obviously we have different ideas of what “tried to” entails, as I read that article when it first came out.

    For the record, slapdash fixes and then saluting the flag when you’re told to and going under steam isn’t “tried to”. Obviously I missed the part where someone resigned their command under protest and was told “no u gotta captain that destroyer Goldwater Nichols lol”, which is what someone should have done versus what they did.

  146. @Kaganovitch

    Did you miss what the media did to America First?

  147. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:

    I read that article last month. To everyone here it is well worth reading.

  148. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob

    when youve aquired as many passports as whelan has it must prove competency in something. He is British, Irish, Canadian and American all at the same time

  149. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    Several Iran-Contra players met untimely deaths

    Not Ollie North though who is now head of the NRA. Beats writing books any day. interestingly the bourne identity movie is a fictionalised version of the assasination elements that Oliver North was using during iran contra. Doug Liman ditched ludlum’s source novel and relied on his fathers memories of iran contra where he was part of North’s legal council.

  150. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @Cato

    Reagan allowed the neocons to build the 600 ship navy and indebted the U.S to China.

  151. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @simple_pseudonymic_handle

    mi6 was thoroughly compromised during the cold war but to be fair they messed up albania because of philby.

  152. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob

    Whats is this a school for ants?!

  153. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Bill Clinton was the middleman for the planes in arkansas and used the skimmed money to run for president. Look up bill clinton mena drug dealing

  154. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    ‘Bush was a Hinckley descendant, distantly related to the assassin.’

    The bush and hinckley families are actually good friends

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  155. anonymous[682] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    ‘ I think Audie Murphy was a fake, Chris Kyle too.’

    Im very curious why audie murphy?

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    , @Sean
  156. Clyde says:
    @Cato

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/historical/gands.pdf
    The US trade deficit numbers were low during Ronald Reagan’s first three years. They rose but were still not as bad as they are today. Inflation adjusted.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Cato
  157. Art Deco says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In re the Alzheimer’s, Maureen Reagan said she observed nothing untoward until the spring of 1993. Edmund Morris said the man was unrecognizable by February 1995.

    Some people disappear into dementia incrementally. Reagan’s mental acuity appears to have dropped like a stone over a period of about 20 months. (I was good friends at one time with a married couple who both lost their reason; even six years into his decline, you could still have a decent conversation with the husband. The wife was fine in August of 2004 and unable to form new memories by April of 2006; she was only intermittently aware that her husband had died and she was living in a locked ward; very much herself in other ways, though).

  158. MarkinLA says:
    @Clyde

    NAFTA was a Reagan wet dream. He campaigned on it. He just couldn’t get the Mexicans on board. He got “fast track” legislation to cut Congress out of the negotiations and then negotiated the Canadian American Free Trade Agreement signed. GHWB got it ratified.

    https://www.heritage.org/trade/report/the-north-american-free-trade-agreement-ronald-reagans-vision-realized

    The USSR didn’t collapse because of one feckless leader and the US didn’t turn into the shithole it is becoming because of one President.

  159. MarkinLA says:
    @RCW

    He didn’t capitulate. The GOP leadership was all for it. They thought the Mexicans would be their niggers and reflexively vote Republican for decades.

  160. MarkinLA says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Yes, but when you are constantly playing the tough guy and belly-bucking with somebody your own size, sometimes shit happens. Like almost ending the world.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24280831

    The only reason why Reagan’s Presidency looks successful is because people refuse to connect the dots to all the bad things directly related to his policies. Nobody ever gives him credit for the Savings and Loan fiasco which was the result of exiting problems made 10x worse by the Garn – St Germain Act. GHWB had to clean up the mess and it put his Presidency in a hole from the beginning.

    https://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/sandl/slbib6.html

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Reg Cæsar
  161. MarkinLA says:
    @Art Deco

    He was president of the Screen Actors Guild for six years.

    I think that more than anything else proves he was a has been and in financial difficulty. Didn’t his ranch need to be saved by the people who bought and paid for him?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  162. MarkinLA says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A lot of people like to point to Reagan getting shot as though it was some major turning point in his Presidency and an excuse for the policies that were not in the interest of average Americans. Kind of like how they blame the Democrats for not keeping their word on Reagan’s amnesty.

    However, I don’t see any difference policywise in Reagan’s adminstration before and after the shooting. He may have seemed more dimwitted but it wasn’t like he was railing against Jewish influence in our foreign policy one day and hiring neocons to fill his administration up the next.

  163. Art Deco says:
    @Bill

    Yes. The interviews require preparation, scheduling, and, commonly, travel. And, of course, the interviews are conducted conjointly with any documentary research he has to do and any writing he has to do. Peretz in reviewing the book took an inventory of the interviews listed in the citations and bibliography, and it’s nowhere near 1,000.

    • Replies: @Bill
  164. @109

    US failure to achieve strategic objectives in Viet Nam?

    Vietnam was a 100% success, for what we call the Deep State today. Do a Startpage or Duckduckgo search on the date August 15, 1971.

  165. @anonymous

    Pretty sure it was tongue-in-cheek.

  166. Art Deco says:
    @Sean

    In 1975, under pressure from the Reaganite wing, Ford fired James Schlesinger at the Pentagon and replaced him with Rumsfeld, who promptly started making unattributed briefing to the effect that Kissinger had been duped by the Soviets, just as Wohstetter had claimed and insisted a Team B exercise would show. Later that year Ford replaced Colby with Bush as CIA Director and Bush authorized the Team B exercise. So Ford’s dismissal of Colby stemmed from letting Rumsfeld in to placate the right wing.

    You’ve got it backwards. Reagan was an admirer of Schlesinger and spoke well of him in an interview with Time coincident with his dismissal, and offered more than once that he’d be on deck for a position in a Reagan Administration. He was critical of Ford for dismissing him and found the dismissal baffling.

    Ford issued a letter of dismissal to Schlesinger and asked for Colby’s resignation the same day (back-to-back meetings IIRC).

    Again, Ron Nessen summarizes some of Ford’s objects with his cabinet and staff changes (which included reconfiguring Henry Kissinger’s duties) in his own memoir. He’s quite clear that policy was not at issue in Schlesinger’s dismissal or Colby’s replacement and performance was not at issue in re Colby. Ford fired Schlesinger because he simply could not abide him as a human being. Colby’s removal was for display; Ford didn’t actually hold him responsible for the CIA’s various and sundry abuses (which was the salient issue in the fall of 1975). George Bush was used by Nixon and Ford for stop-gap appointments. His position at the CIA was the fourth such appointment he’d received in five years.

    Rumsfeld and his allies ( a hard line ethnically Polish US nuke general, a boyfriend of Wohlstetter’s daughter from Hollywood High School AKA Richard Perle, and Perle’s boss the so called Senator From Boeing ) were the anonymous sources quoted for stories by the “Prince of Darkness” columnist Novak that Kissinger supported by Rockefeller was going to hand the USSR thermonuclear first strike capability.

    Nessen addresses leaks to Evans & Novak in his memoir. Their inside source was Robert Hartman, Rumsfeld’s archrival on the White House staff, and the content concerned general goings-on at the White House, not foreign policy specifically. Hartman resented being passed over for the chief-of-staff job when Ford moved into the Presidency and was boycotting meetings and backbiting. Rumsfeld’s deputy at the White House was Richard Cheney, who’s name appeared frequently in the Evans & Novak column. He called them “Errors and No-Facts”.

    Ford was stampeded into canceling SALT II nuclear arms limitation talks and détente, which may well have cost him the election.

    He did neither, nor were these notable issues during the fall election. The Ford-Carter race was quite close and there were any number of potentially decisive events. These include campaign blunders (during the 2d debate with Carter), a residue of resentment over the Nixon pardon, a residue of resentment over the 1973-75 recession, continuing problems with inflation and elevated unemployment rates, and media hostility to the Administration (which Nessen discusses as well).

    In a re-run of Carter, who had made all sorts of promises to the Israel Lobby but once president tried to restrain Israel over the occupied territories, George H.W. Bush’s run at the presidency was officially endorsed by AIPAC, but then he tried to stop Israel spending the US money on occupied land by settling the West Bank . President George HW Bush was a fan of Rockefeller, and excluded Rumsfeld.

    AIPAC is a registered lobby. I don’t think they’ve ever endorsed candidates. George Bush the Elder never had a particularly congenial relationship with pro-Israel lobbies. Nor was he at any time in his career remarked upon as an admirer of Nelson Rockefeller. He never at any time in his career as an electoral politician presented himself as a Rockefeller Republican or a 1950s Modern Republican. George Bush’s Secretary of Defense was Richard Cheney, who had been Rumsfeld’s deputy when Rumsfeld was the White House chief of staff. The two men had no history of antagonism. (No clue where you got the idea that Carter was in 1976 any more of a people pleaser to the Israel lobby than he was to any other constituency). (Both Carter and Bush the Elder had personal qualities which made them hard-sells for Jewish voters. Some of this was discussed at the time in articles in The New Republic).

    • Replies: @Sean
  167. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    No clue why you fancy being President of the Screen Actors Guild means he was ‘in financial difficulty’. No clue who you fancy ‘bought and paid’ for him. No clue how you figure a man who gets regular work as a performer, owns two homes, has two salaried positions on top of his contract work, and is married to a woman who also gets contract work, is ‘in financial difficulty’. Except that you appear to read hit pieces in Mother Jones and then scramble the details around in your head to amuse yourself.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  168. Art Deco says:
    @Clyde

    The merchandise trade and current account deficits appeared during the Carter administration and the grew quite large during the Reagan administration. They were around 3% of nominal GDP ca. 1984, similar to today.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  169. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    Nobody ever gives him credit for the Savings and Loan fiasco which was the result of exiting problems made 10x worse by the Garn – St Germain Act.

    Because the S & L lobbies had advocates of every persuasion in Congress. Fernand St. Germain was a Democrat from Rhode Island. Their most inveterate booster was Frank d’Annunzio, machine hack from Chicago. When he was Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Edwin Gray remonstrated with Congress and reporters about the financial condition of the S & Ls but was largely ignored.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  170. MarkinLA says:
    @Art Deco

    No clue why you fancy being President of the Screen Actors Guild means he was ‘in financial difficulty’

    Easy, the history of “Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild” IS one of has-beens trying to hold onto their now non-existant carreers. Patty Duke, Melissa Gilbert,…..

    Nobody whose a real star wants the gig. Reagan was a low level contract actor with no real leverage. It is not uncommon for people who come into some money to start living above their pay and then having to sell everything off and go down-scale later in life. It happens to pro athletes and has-been actors all the time.

    I used to drive through Agoura every day in the late 70s on my way to work in Westlake Village. Buying a “ranch” out there cost next to nothing even in the late 70s. You seem to forget the during Reagans time California real estate was not that pricy and the huge differences in location were not so prevalent.

    Why did Reagan need 2 million dollarsfor his book tour at the end of his Presidency and why did his rich friends have to bail his ranch out if he was so well off?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  171. MarkinLA says:
    @Art Deco

    Yes, that is why Carter never did what he should have done, which is clean up the entire S&L industry through the FSLIC when he was told it would take 15 billion dollars.

    Instead Reagan SIGNED (so he gets the blame) a bill designed to allow S&Ls the ability to “grow” out of their problems but instead allowed every white collar criminal in the country to make a home there. Reagan STARVED (so he also gets the blame) the regulatory agencies the resources they needed to keep things under some level of control.

  172. Art Deco says:
    @anonymous

    Hinckley’s parents met and married in Oklahoma. Papa Hinckley’s family had migrated from Connecticut (nearer Hartford) via North Carolina, Mama’s from Missouri and Kansas. They went from there to Dallas to the Denver exurbs. Don’t think George and Barbara Bush ever lived in any of these places. One of their sons lived in Dallas with his family, but they’re 20 years younger than the senior Hinckleys.

  173. @MarkinLA

    Like almost ending the world.

    Reagan was responsible for Soviet system failure? He made them that nervous? I guess so, because they put Gorby in charge, which they never would have done with Jimmy Carter.

    Almost three-quarters of a century on, only one leader has ever resorted to nuclear warfare. He wasn’t a Communist, nor was he a Republican.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  174. Sean says:
    @Art Deco

    Schlesinger was a former Director of the CIA and Colby the current one, and it seems to me that their dismissal, and George HW Bush becoming head of the CIA cleared the way for the Team B exercise.

    Nowak portrayed Rumsfeld in a very flattering light relative to Kissinger. Some other journalists were so annoyed by Rumsfeld’s sneaky briefing against Kissinger that they outed Rumsfeld as their source. Wohlstetter was a huge influence on Rumsfeld, just as he had been on JFK. Reagan’s Window of Opportunity was the Missile Gap of JFK as posited by Wohlstetter.

    Eizenstat’s book on Carter explains just how close he was to the Israel Lobby from the begining of his political career in Georgia, and how as Pres he ended up telling distraught Lobby representatives that he would commit suicide before he would do anything to harm Israel.

    To date it is unique, but yes AIPAC officially endorsed the candidature of George Bush the Elder for President. Carter and Bush Sr., two presidents that got in the White House by pleasing the Lobby but did not get a second term because they had displeased the lobby by trying to be even handed about the occupied territories.

  175. MarkinLA says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Like I said things spiral out of control and quickly. We might not be here if the Soviet sub commander had used a real nuclear tipped torpedo when the US was dropping training depth charges on him during the Cuban embargo. I thought we had learned from that whole episode to tone things down.

    I do think they were on a higher state of alertness under Reagan. Don’t forget, they had to worry about a failure in our early warning systems as well. Does it really matter if the fault lies in the Soviet system for the start of an all-out nuclear war?

  176. Sparkon says:
    @Art Deco

    Under Reagan, the United States went from the world’s largest creditor nation to its largest debtor in just a few years. Reagan tripled the national debt, and we’ve never crawled out of that hole.

    But what about “the other Nancy Davis”? Did you get to that part yet?

    As President, SAG, Ronnie helped Nancy cover up her Red past by blaming it on “the other Nancy Davis.” Of course, Reagan himself had some questionable associations in his past, prolly why the FBI approached him to be a snitch.

    In 1987, I found the other Nancy Davis working at a snack bar in Ventura, California, and interviewed her for The Nation. When I asked about the first lady, she said, “She’s been lying about me for years…. I never was a Communist. I told Reagan back in the fifties that if she didn’t stop saying I was a Communist, I’d sue her.”

    https://www.thenation.com/article/nancy-reagan-and-the-problem-of-the-two-nancys/

    Someone somewhere must have made a speech — or given an order — with the line: “Mr. Reagan, tear down this country.”

    And he did.

  177. Sean says:
    @anonymous

    Undersized, assaultative Texan loner who enjoyed hunting and had spent time time in an orphanage before joining up at 17 years old. Just like Lee Harvey Oswald, although LHO did not perform his feats of marksmanship while suffering from malaria as Murphy did.

  178. Cato says:
    @Clyde

    Another graph, showing net exports as a share of GDP: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=n3dh

  179. MarkinLA says:
    @Art Deco

    From looking at the Reagan website, it looks more like Londonderry was just a rented apartment.

    This is an apartment building. Reagan may have lived in unit number 5. After he married Jane Wyman, who also lived in the building, they moved together into one unit until their new house was finished. However, they apparently rented the apartment for a while after their move to the house (perhaps just until the lease ended?).

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  180. Anon87 says:
    @The Alarmist

    That skit always cracked me up. Today it would just be some Z list comedian screeching “Reagan AIDS retard racist” while the audience laughs and claps in violent synchronization.

  181. Anon87 says:

    Sorry Steve, the only thing that figured out Pujols was Father Time. I think the analogy you want is more Kevin Maas.

    And this is great stuff I never knew, and would never happen these days.

    “About halfway through the season a group of a dozen or so young ladies began wearing “Maas-tops” to Yankees home games and sitting in the right field stands. Whenever Maas hit a home run to right, the girls would get up, remove their tops and jump up and down until Maas finished circling the bases.[6] However, after a few home runs the women were banned from entering Yankee Stadium.[citation needed]”

  182. Mr. Anon says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Whatever.

    Yeah, some deep thought goes into your thought.

  183. Anon1 says:
    @Art Deco

    My Lai massacre.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  184. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    Easy, the history of “Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild” IS one of has-beens trying to hold onto their now non-existant carreers. Patty Duke, Melissa Gilbert,…..

    Gilbert accumulated over 90 screen credits between 1983 and 2007. Duke accumulated about 180 between 1966 and 2012, over 40% of them after she was elected SAG president. Duke’s predecessor was Edward Asner, who is still working regularly and has accumulated over 400 credits over six decades. His predecesor was Patty Duke’s on-screen papa Wm Schallert (over 400 screen credits accumulated over 6 decades, working steadily before and after). (And, I repeat, Reagan accumulated 45 credits after being elected president of the Guild).

    Reagan was a low level contract actor with no real leverage.

    He starred in over 20 feature films over the period running from 1939 to 1957, and was co-star in a half-dozen others. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941 and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

    Why did Reagan need 2 million dollars for his book tour at the end of his Presidency

    To amuse himself. Jimmy Carter’s the only recent President who didn’t do a certain amount buck-raking on leaving office. You’re telling me all these man with six-figure pensions are broke?

    and why did his rich friends have to bail his ranch out if he was so well off?

    No one is under any obligation to explain the things which originate in your imagination.

    What’s interesting about this discussion is that you’ve made several factual statements which are grossly false and whose falsity is readily discoverable. You’ve also indicated that you’re at least 60 years old. Pretty interesting that being a brazen BS-artist doesn’t seem to have bitten you on the ass enough times that it cured you of the habit.

  185. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    He had the unit for 13 years, including the period during which he was resident elsewhere with Wyman. I don’t think he was renting.

  186. Bill says:
    @Art Deco

    We can add talking to reporters to the long list of things you know nothing about.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  187. Art Deco says:
    @Bill

    I’ve been interviewed over the phone and in person by people producing brief articles for the daily paper. Some of them do their jobs better than others. Been a while.

    Hersh was purporting to be writing a work of current history. The distinction isn’t that difficult to understand. That aside, he listed nowhere near 1,000 interviews in his citations or in his bibliography.

    • Replies: @Bill
  188. Art Deco says:
    @Anon1

    My Lai was an event which dovetailed with the story he wanted to tell. Now what happens when events aren’t co-operating?

  189. Art Deco says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Calling an ‘investigative reporter’ a malicious con man is neither conventional nor not conventional.

  190. Sideways says:

    The main reason Pujols is struggling is that he’s about 42 years old. His age fraud is pretty well known

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  191. @Sideways

    High school coaches protested that 220 pound Pujols couldn’t possibly be a real 17-year-old.

  192. Bill says:
    @Art Deco

    Sure, sure. Four interviews a week isn’t a lot. Many will require little prep and little time. There’s no reason to list all the interviews. Your position here is bizarre. It’s mysterious why you take it. I doubt there are more than a very few people reading dumb enough to believe you.

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