Sam Smith: Reagan Lie Detector
REAGAN LIE DETECTOR
By Prorev.com Editor Sam Smith
Reagan conducted one of the most absurd invasions of American history, targetting the tiny island of Grenada.
His invasion against Panama was directed against a dictator who at one point was earning more from the CIA than the president's salary.
As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan informed on fellow actors to the FBI.
The Reagan admininstration was one of the most corrupt in American history, including by one estimate 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. By comparison 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself. There were in addition 61 indictments or misdemeanor charges. 14 persons were imprisoned.
Using a looser standard that included resignations, David R. Simon and D. Stanley Eitzen in Elite Deviance, say that 138 appointees of the Reagan administration either resigned under an ethical cloud or were criminally indicted. Curiously Haynes Johnson uses the same figure but with a different standard in "Sleep-Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years: "By the end of his term, 138 administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations."
Four members of the Reagan cabinet came under criminal investiation, as compared with five in the Clinton cabinet. Three top officials of the Harding administration were in indicted in the Teapot Dome scandal.
Reagan's decision to send troops to Lebanon cost 241 lives. As the NY Times noted recently, "Mr. Reagan's decision to send marines to Lebanon was disastrous and his invasion of Grenada pure melodrama."
During the Reagan administration the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third.
Reagan's policies led to the greatest financial scandal in American history: the Savings & Loan debacle which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Julian Bond, president of the NAACP: "He was a polarizing figure in black America. He was hostile to the generally accepted remedies for discrimination. His appointments were of people as equally hostile. I can't think of any Reagan policy that African Americans would embrace."
Reagan made major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and school lunch programs.
Reagan fired 13,000 air traffic controllers in a devasting blow to government union members from which the labor movement never recovered.
Washington Post: "Reagan, during his 1980 campaign, blamed trees for emitting 93 percent of the nation's nitrogen oxide pollution -- giving rise to jokes about 'killer trees.'"
The national debt tripled under Reagan
The AIDS crisis exploded (with 20,000 deaths) before Reagan could even bring himself to address the issue six years later. In his authorized biography he is quoted as saying that "maybe the Lord brought down this plague," because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments."
Washington Post: "The administration in 1984 secretly sold arms to Iran -- which the United States considered a supporter of terrorism -- to raise cash for Nicaraguan contra rebels, despite a congressional ban on support for the Latin American insurgency. An independent investigation concluded that the arms sales to Iran operations "were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan [and] Vice President George Bush," and that "large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials." . . . Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel who ran the inquiry, said there was "no credible evidence" that Reagan broke the law, but he set the stage for the illegal activities of others. Impeachment, Walsh said, "certainly should have been considered."
His administration was resonsible for numerous brutal actions in Latin America, including massacres in El Salvador and the war against Nicaragua.
The claim that Reagan won the Cold War is pure rightwing propaganda. The Soviet Union had long been far weaker than many American leaders knew, or wished to acknowledge, thanks to CIA gross overestimates of its economy. The Soviet Union was brought down by a number of factors including the inherent weaknesses of dictatorship and ethnic divides that eventually forced its breakup.
William Blum: "[George Kennan], the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of 'containment' of the same country, asserts that 'the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish.' He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. 'Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union.'"
After a major tax cut, there was a long recession and unemployment that hit ten percent.
Bill Press - "It was Reagan who first proposed a missile defense system -- immediately dubbed "Star Wars" by skeptical reporters -- in a March 23, 1983 speech from the Oval Office. However, as Frances Fitzgerald reveals in her brilliant history "Way Out There in the Blue," Reagan didn't get his plan from the scientists or the generals. The Pentagon wasn't even notified of his speech ahead of time. Reagan stole Star Wars directly from -- the movies.
In 1940, appearing in the Warner Brothers thriller "Murder in the Air," Reagan played an American secret agent charged with protecting a super weapon that could strike all enemy planes from the air. Seed planted in Reagan's brain. Then in 1966, Alfred Hitchcock released a Reagan favorite, "Torn Curtain," in which American agent Paul Newman works on developing an anti-missile missile. In words that must have made Ronnie tingle, Newman's character asserts: "We will produce a defensive weapon that will make all nuclear weapons obsolete, and thereby abolish the terror of nuclear warfare." Sound familiar? Reagan used almost the exact words in selling missile defense from the office, 17 years later.
REAGAN’S SECRET COUP
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - With few exceptions, the media ignored what well could be the most startling revelation to have come out of the Iran/Contra affair, namely that high officials of the US government were planning a possible military/civilian coup. First among the exceptions was the Miami Herald, which on July 5, 1987, ran the story to which Jack Brooks referred. The article, by Alfonzo Chardy, revealed Oliver North's involvement in plans for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over federal, state and local functions during an ill-defined national emergency. . .
According to Chardy, the plan called for 'suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law.' The proposal appears to have forgotten that Congress, legislatures and the judiciary even existed.
In a November 18, 1991 story, the New York Times elaborated:
"Acting outside the Constitution in the early 1980s, a secret federal agency established a line of succession to the presidency to assure continued government in the event of a devastating nuclear attack, current and former United States officials said today."
The program was called "Continuity of Government." In the words of a report by the Fund for Constitutional Government, "succession or succession-by-designation would be implemented by unknown and perhaps unelected persons who would pick three potential successor presidents in advance of an emergency. These potential successors to the Oval Office may not be elected, and they are not confirmed by Congress.
According to CNN, the list eventually grew to 17 names and included Howard Baker, Richard Helms, Jeanne Kirkpatrick James Schlesinger, Richard Thornberg, Edwin Meese, Tip O'Neil, and Richard Cheney.
The plan was not even limited to a nuclear attack but included any "national security emergency" which was defined as:
"Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States."
This bizarre scheme was dismissed in many Washington quarters as further evidence of the loony quality of the whole Iran/contra affair. One FEMA official called it a lot of crap while a representative for Attorney General Meese described it as 'bullshit.". . . At least one high government official took the plan seriously enough to vigorously oppose it. In a August 1984 letter to NSC chair Robert McFarlane, Attorney General William French Smith wrote:
"I believe that the role assigned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the revised Executive Order exceeds its proper function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness . . . This department and others have repeatedly raised serious policy and legal objections to the creation of an 'emergency czar' role for FEMA."
FEMA was clearly out of control. Another memo, written in 1982 to then FEMA director Louis Giuffrida and given only tightly restricted circulation even within the agency, made this astonishing assertion:
"Over the long term, the peacetime action programs of FEMA and other departments and agencies have the effect of making the conceivable need for military takeover less and less as time goes by. A fully implemented civil defense program may not now be regarded as a substitute for martial law, nor could it be so marketed, but if successful in its execution it could have that effect."
The memo essentially proposed that the American people would rather be taken over by FEMA than by the military. When those are the options on the table, you know you're in trouble.
The head of FEMA until 1985, Giuffrida also once wrote a paper on the Legal Aspects of Managing Disorders. Here is some of what he said:
"No constitution, no statute or ordinance can authorize Martial Rule. [It commences] upon a determination (not a declaration) by the senior military commander that the civil government must be replaced because it is no longer functioning anyway . . . The significance of Martial Rule in civil disorders is that it shifts control from civilians and to the military completely and without the necessity of a declaration, proclamation or other form of public manifestation . . . As stated above, Martial Rule is limited only by the principle of necessary force."
Those words come from a time when Giuffrida was the head of then-Governor Reagan's California Specialized Training Institute, a National Guard school. It was not, for Giuffrida, a new thought. In 1970 he had written a paper for the Army War College in which he called for martial law in case of a national uprising by black militants. Among his ideas were "assembly centers or relocation camps" for at least 21 million "American Negroes."
During 1968 and 1972, Reagan ran a series of war games in California called Cable Splicer, which involved the Guard, state and local police, and the US Sixth Army. Details of this operation were reported in 1975 in a story by Ron Ridenour of the New Times, an Arizona alternative paper, and later exhumed by Dave Lindorff in the Village Voice.
Cable Splicer, it turned out, was a training exercise for martial law. The man in charge was none other than Edwin Meese, then Reagan's executive secretary. At one point, Meese told the Cable Splicer combatants:
"This is an operation, this is an exercise, this is an objective which is going forward because in the long run . . . it is the only way that will be able to prevail [against anti-war protests.]"
Addressing the kickoff of Cable Splicer, Governor Reagan told some 500 military and police officers:
"You know, there are people in the state who, if they could see this gathering right now and my presence here, would decide their worst fears and convictions had been realized -- I was planning a military takeover."
MAR 1, 2004
FROM THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
EDITED BY SAM SMITH
Washington's most unofficial source
1312 18th St. NW #502, Washington DC 20036
202-835-0770 Fax: 835-0779
REVIEW INDEX: http://www.prorev.com/
LATEST HEADLINES: http://prorev.com
SUBSCRIBE TO REGULAR EDITION: mailto:email@example.com
PROBLEMS SUBSCRIBING? SUBSCRIBE DIRECTLY: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBSCRIBE TO HEADLINES ONLY: mailto:email@example.com with HEADS ONLY in