08/12/2002 Entry: "Disinformation and Bush's rise to power"
Bush's rise to power
by Toby Rogers and Dean Latimer
On September 30, 2000, FBI agents were interviewing Karl Rove of Austin, Texas, currently employed as chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney campaign. The interrogation of Rove was regarding confidential Bush campaign debate-preparation videos and briefing books that had been inexplicably sent by Express Mail, on Sept. 11, from Austin, TX to former congressman Tom Downey, currently an aide to the Democratic National Committee.
Though Downey instantly sent all this material, un-reviewed, to the FBI, and though the DNC has called the whole scandal a classic dirty-tricks ploy by the GOP to embarrass their candidate, Al Gore, the mainstream press have consistently treated it as a genuine espionage theft by Democratic "moles" planted inside the Bush campaign. The focus of the briefing-tapes investigation, according to universal press report, centers strictly around the Bush-Cheney campaign's chief outside-media adviser, Mark McKinnon, and on a low-level employee of his Maverick Media, ostensibly hired to help prepare GW Bush Jr. for October's televised debates with Gore.
As usual when a pre-election scandal touches off fireworks all around him, the figure of Karl Rove remains nearly indistinguishable in the deep background. While TV and wireservice reporters continue to interview Rove about the forthcoming Bush administration's foreign-policy initiatives--expecting him to gain a cabinet slot like Secretary of State, after Bush wins the election on November 7--no one is mentioning this sordid little matter of some deliberately-leaked campaign material. Or any of the other sordid little matters which have decorated Karl Rove's 30-year-career in the Republican Party's nethermost regions.
Dancing Naked On A Tabletop?
Near the beginning of America's latest Presidential campaign, in the spring of 1999, the Internet's industrious DRUDGE REPORT and the NATIONAL STAR supermarket tabloid ran salacious, top-visibility stories about photos allegedly in existence showing a young, intoxicated George H.W. Bush dancing naked on top of a bar. Inevitably, after the story quickly went sour when no such photos could be located, insiders in the New York media began looking for the origin of the story, and inevitably some fingers pointed at veteran GOP dirty-tricks specialist Karl Rove. The naked-dancing story was cynically planted, many came to believe, to blur the touchy issue of Bush's prior alcoholism by presenting it in a preposterous context, easily shown to be fallacious. The photo never surfaced because the story was not true. The media since then have infallibly treated the issue of Bush's legendary fondness for booze with kid gloves.
Another Donald Segretti? HIRE The Boy!
This is not an isolated incident. For over 25 years now, the career of Karl Rove has been characterized by an epic trail of dirty tricks and spellbinding disinformation. As early as 1973, the Republican National Committee initiated an inquiry into Rove, then 22 and chairman of Texas College Republicans, for conniving at political dirty tricks, like "dumpster-diving" through the garbage of political opponents to retrieve embarrassing personal evidence against them. Rove had also, two years previously, stolen the campaign stationery of a Democratic candidate for office, and used it to advertise bogus "free pizza parties" at the candidate's headquarters--posting the forged invitations wherever pot smoking young people congregated locally. In this the young Rove was following the memorable style of GOP disinformation specialist Donald Segretti, who torpedoed all the challengers to Richard M. Nixon in his 1972 campaign (and then was pitilessly exposed in the subsequent Watergate investigation.)
The 1972 inquiry into Rove's machinations in Texas fell under the purview of RNC chairman George Bush Sr., who not surprisingly wound up clearing this inventive young fellow, and moreover hiring him as a staff assistant. Rove thereafter became close to the Bush family, running Republican fund raising committees for Bush's friends and ultimately working for the 1980 Bush presidential campaign. This was where Rove was tutored by Bush's immortal "Halloween Crew" on how to sabotage elections and tilt them in your favor.
The Betrayal of The Patriots
The Halloween Crew had its genesis in Congress' Select Committee on Assassinations in the mid-1970s. In October of 1977, right at Halloween that year, President Carter's new Director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, fired almost a thousand veteran CIA covert-action agents and station chiefs, keeping a campaign promise to clean up the CIA. These fired agents had been involved in manipulating elections and maintaining dictatorships throughout the Third World for decades, and their expertise would have been shamefully lost if George W. Bush Sr.--who had run the CIA himself before Turner's "Halloween Massacre"--had not rounded them up to work for the GOP, leading up to the 1980 election season. Incensed at Carter, seeing themselves as patriots who had risked their lives for their country and then been foully betrayed, many of these disgruntled spooks volunteered outright to work for the incipient Bush campaign in å79. And when Ronald Reagan adopted Bush as his Vice Presidential candidate, they were happy to work for the great Reagan/Bush Leviathan of 1980.
The Reagan/Bush campaign of 1980 can only be described as an election held hostage by Bush's Halloween Crew of superannuated CIA officers. It was a campaign legendary for orchestrating false stories to the media, who were succeeding as never before, that year, in perpetually petrifying all the country with the never-ending "America Held Hostage" drama in Iran. If President Carter's diplomats had succeeded in clearing up that crisis by November, the Democrats would surely win the election. It was the job of the GOP's Halloween Crew to make sure that this would not happen.
Trick Or Treat For The Ayatollah
The Halloween Crew mobilized an extensive and sophisticated operations center in Arlington, VA that buzzed twenty-four hours a day. They penetrated key federal agencies to intercept early- warning information about political developments before the media got wind of them. This was quite easy, according to Robert Neumann, a senior foreign-policy adviser at the time, because of President Carter's notorious penchant for trying to "micro-manage" federal agencies, and thus provoking resentment from the career bureaucrats in charge of them. But suborning delivery of classified information from disgruntled bureaucrats was just the beginning of the "dirty tricks" to come.
All through the autumn of 1980, the US media were keeping the population glued to their TV screens with the agonizing "America Held Hostage" crisis, tracing endlessly frustrating developments in the effort to release the contingent of State Department diplomats and Marine guards who'd been sequestered in the US Embassy in Tehran for nearly a year. Behind the scenes, seasoned overseas intelligence operatives among George Bush Sr.'s Halloween Crew were slyly inducing powerful dignitaries in the Arab world to delay the release of the Embassy hostages until past the election. They did such a good job at this that the hostages were, in fact, ultimately released on the very day Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. were inaugurated the following January.
The Reagan-Bush campaign's maneuverings to prolong the "America In Crisis" media orgy past the November '80 elections, demonstrating Jimmy Carter's impotence in foreign affairs, is ancient history now. In 1996, when Jimmy Carter was visiting Gaza, PLO chief Yasir Arafat candidly told him, "You should know in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran." Arafat has said he nixed this offer himself, probably unwisely--because according to PLO information chief Bassam Abu Sharif, when Arafat shortly afterward visited Iran, he learned that the Ayatollah Khomeini's officials had in fact already just cut exactly such a deal with secret American envoys-- presumably the GOP's Halloween Crew.
The October Surprise: Heartbreak for America
The unsuspecting US public meanwhile remained glued nightly to their TV screens all that autumn, as the media's "America Held Hostage" anxiety orgy proceeded through an unending soap opera of desperately optimistic developments, each followed immediately by crushing disillusionment. "Mysterious news stories popped up from coast to coast," recalls Carter's National Security adviser, Gary Sick, "asserting that military equipment was being assembled or was actually on its way to the Middle East as part of a last-minute swap for release of the hostages. All had one thing in common. They were false. WLS-TV in Chicago began reporting in mid-October that, according to 'military reserve pilots,' five US Navy cargo aircraft loaded with spares were due to arrive in Iran within 48 hours. There were a string of such reports on radio and television, in newspapers and from wire services throughout the country. These reports were all characterized by a wealth of convincing details: places, times, quantities and the like. Since in reality nothing was moving, these reports now appear--as they did to the White House at the time--as part of a deliberate program of disinformation. They seem to have been invented out of whole cloth and fed to the media by credible but anonymous sources as part of a propaganda campaign." And since each of these bogus television-network rumors sent America's hearts collectively rushing skyward with hope, only to be horribly refuted in the next cycle's news, it all contributed to crush Carter politically.
The Crew also stole President Carter's briefing book, which the Republicans used to prep Reagan for the October 28th debate with Carter. And after several more roller-coaster emotional vicissitudes in the "America Held Hostage" series, Ronald Reagan and George Bush won in a landslide. The Ayatollah's goons kept the hostages for another two months, though, so that they could garnish Reagan's deliriously triumphant Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC the following January.
Bugs In The Belfry
The brilliant Halloween Gang mechanics behind the Reagan/Bush victory in 1980 were immensely edifying to the younger operatives working in the campaign that year. One of them, Karl Rove, wound up with Republican candidate Bill Clemens' campaign for governor of Texas in 1986. According to The Washington POST, just hours before a debate between Clemens and Democrat incumbent Mark White, Karl Rove noisily announced that his office had been bugged. Rove was careful not to blame Gov. White, but slyly stated that "our political opposition would benefit" from eavesdropping on his conversations (through a bug "discovered" in a needlepoint GOP elephant hanging on Rove's office wall.) White's office retorted that Rove and his team obviously "planted" the story to "draw attention from the debate that evening." The POST also reported that "the FBI launched an investigation, but it sputtered to a halt a few weeks later when the head of the security firm that found the bug declined to take a polygraph test."
The 1988 Bush vs Dukakis election also had an endless barrage of lies and disinformation. The Bush campaign was run by Lee Atwater of Georgia, the ultimate ninja warrior of bad-boy politics. It was Karl Rove, in fact, who discovered Atwater and introduced him to the Bush family. George Bush the Younger, who also worked on the campaign, was in awe of Atwater's political savvy, immensely impressed by his take-no-prisoners political sensibility.
Picking On The Invalids
After skillful leaks and lies out of the GOP National Committee had defeated Gary Hart, Bob Dole and Pat Robertson, the Bush camp went ballistic on the Democrats' ultimate candidate, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, with skillfully planted stories that Dukakis in the past had consulted a psychiatrist for depression. The stories were completely untrue, but that didn't stop President Reagan from compassionately telling reporters, when asked about this rumor, that he was "not going to pick on a invalid." From there Atwater was able to destroy Dukakis with an endless carpet-bombing of unprecedented attack ads, like the viciously racist "Willie Horton" commercials about a black man who'd been charged with murder while on work-release in Massachusetts. When the smoke cleared, George Bush the Elder was victorious.
How Cocaine Fogs The Brain
Ten years later, after George Bush the Younger had been elected governor of Texas and Clinton was humiliated by impeachment, the Bush family's industrial cronies were plotting to recapture the White House. But Gov. Bush had some skeletons in his closet that could, it was feared by many, damage him politically. The younger Bush's well-known battle with alcoholism, and an allegedly un-refuted taste for cocaine, were two political landmines that would would have to be defused before the 2000 primary season got into high gear.
In the fall of 1998, celebrity biographer James H. Hatfield had contacted Gov. Bush's office and requested an interview for his forthcoming biography of W, tentatively titled LONE STAR RISING. Hatfield was told in writing by campaign seneschal Karen Hughes that Mr. Bush "will not be able to accept due to the high volume of requests and many demands on his time." The book, thereafter renamed FORTUNATE SON, was published in October 1999 by St. Martin's Press in an explosion of controversy.
The first bomb that went off was planted in Hatfield's "afterword" to the book, which implicated George W. Bush in a petty-possession cocaine bust in 1972, which had been covered up by an obliging Houston judge: "one of those 'behind-closed-doors-in-the-judge's- chamber' kind of thing, between the old man and one of his Texas cronies who owed him a favor," according to a former Yale classmate of George the Younger's.
With no paperwork available in Houston anent a 28-year-old local sidewalk bust for petty dope possession which terminated, supposedly, in a brief "community service" stretch of neighborhood social-service work in Houston, Hatfield was pretty much left with only the odd coincidence that George Bush Jr did IN FACT do some neighborhood social-service work in Houston that year--an odd and un-repeated item in his otherwise fast-lane political biography. But then it got all complicated, thanks to another source for Hatfield's book, who Hatfield calls his "Eufala Connection."
Fishing For Disinformation
Hatfield claims that in June of 1999, after much cloak-and-dagger preparation, he met and went fishing, on Lake Eufala in Oklahoma, with a tobacco-chewing individual he describes as a highly-placed and deeply knowledgable professional Republican campaign operative in Texas. Among other tidbits Hatfield snapped up from that individual was an offhand remark that it was a Republican judge in Houston who'd deep-sixed any records of George the Younger's 1972 cocaine misadventure, at the urging of George the Elder. And later on, of course, when Hatfield's book came out and the media bombs started going off, this particular bomb was deftly defused when researchers quickly discovered that in fact there had been NO Republican judges anywhere in Houston in 1972.
The next bomb was the revelation that Hatfield himself was a convicted felon, having stepped over the line in a nasty case of alienated affection concerning a woman some years back--a fact evidently unknown to his publishers, St. Martin's, though it could have easily been retrieved by someone like his "Eufala connection" in Austin, before he offered to "confirm" any rumors Hatfield had heard about Dubya from other sources. Though St. Martin's reacted by literally burning most of their run of FORTUNATE SON, Soft Skull Press of New York City stepped in and republished a quite handsome edition. They point out that while there are endless insta-books on Bill Clinton, alleging all sorts of salacious, treasonous, and flatly libelous political charges, which remain unchallenged on public bookshelves, Hatfield's Bush bio alone was physically suppressed by its publisher and physically withheld from open distribution.
Asking Hatfield about his "Eufala connection," Soft Skull publisher Sander Hicks was told it was Karl Rove. If in fact it was Rove who endeavored to braid easily-disproven falsehoods into Hatfield's exposition on G.W. Bush Jr's 1972 cocaine misadventure--in the guise of "confirming" rumors Hatfield had previously heard from other sources--it ranks right up there, as genius disinformation, with those stories about a booze-addled Dubya dancing naked on nightclub table tops. And the proof is in the pudding, in that immediately after these FORTUNATE SON allegations were "debunked" last summer, the national media stopped reporting on--or even alluding to--any information pertaining to Bush the Younger's cocaine days.
by Toby Rogers and Dean Latimer, Special to HighWitness News
Viewer Commentary: 2 comments
An addendum to the story.
Hatfield was found dead in a hotel in Arkansas exactly one year ago.
The official story is suicide.
Hatfield was in fact murdered by Bush's team.
Posted by IntelQ @ 08/12/2002 03:12 PM EST
Danny Calosaro met a similar fate. He was the Investigative journalist who was probing government wrongdoings in the FBI's Global spy software "Promis"
He was ready to break a huge story called operation octopus.
But they suicided him before he got a chance to publish his book.
They found him in a hotel room in Arkansas with his wrists slashed. He was suicided just like Hatfield.
One can only imagine the scene. did they hold him down and enjoy watching him die as they slashed his wrists alive, or did they kill him first then simoply empty his veins in his bathtub.
Posted by Baxter Noren @ 08/24/2002 03:04 PM EST