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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 01:11 PM

6. Iran-Contra warn't Reagan, it was Poppy Bush who trampled Constitution.

Reagan gave his veep authority over “counter-terrorism,” meaning spookstuff.

George Bush Takes Charge: The Uses of ‘Counter-Terrorism’

By Christopher Simpson
Covert Action Quarterly 58

A paper trail of declassified documents from the Reagan‑Bush era yields valuable information on how counter‑terrorism provided a powerful mechanism for solidifying Bush's power base and launching a broad range of national security initiatives.

During the Reagan years, George Bush used "crisis management" and "counter‑terrorism" as vehicles for running key parts of the clandestine side of the US government.

Bush proved especially adept at plausible denial. Some measure of his skill in avoiding responsibility can be taken from the fact that even after the Iran‑Contra affair blew the Reagan administration apart, Bush went on to become the "foreign policy president," while CIA Director William Casey, by then conveniently dead, took most of the blame for a number of covert foreign policy debacles that Bush had set in motion.

The trail of National Security Decision Directives (NSDDS) left by the Reagan administration begins to tell the story. True, much remains classified, and still more was never committed to paper in the first place. Even so, the main picture is clear: [font size="5"][font color="green"]As vice president, George Bush was at the center of secret wars, political murders, and America's convoluted oil politics in the Middle East.[/font color][/font size]


Reagan and the NSC also used NSDDs to settle conflicts among security agencies over bureaucratic turf and lines of command. It is through that prism that we see the first glimmers of Vice President Bush's role in clandestine operations during the 1980s.



The Reagan administration's commitment to significantly expand covert operations had been clear since before the 1980 election. How such operations were actually to be managed from day to day, however, was considerably less certain. The management problem became particularly knotty owing to legal requirements to notify congressional intelligence oversight committees of covert operations, on the one hand, and the tacitly accepted presidential mandate to deceive those same committees concerning sensitive operations such as the Contra war in Nicaragua, on the other.

The solution attempted in NSDD 159 was to establish a small coordinating committee headed by Vice President George Bush through which all information concerning US covert operations was to be funneled. The order also established a category of top secret information known as Veil, to be used exclusively for managing records pertaining to covert operations.

The system was designed to keep circulation of written records to an absolute minimum while at the same time ensuring that the vice president retained the ability to coordinate US covert operations with the administration's overt diplomacy and propaganda.

Only eight copies of NSDD 159 were created. The existence of the vice president's committee was itself highly classified.
The directive became public as a result of the criminal prosecutions of Oliver North, John Poindexter, and others involved in the Iran‑Contra affair, hence the designation "Exhibit A" running up the left side of the document.


CovertAction Quarterly no 58 Fall 1996 pp31-40.

FYI on the anniversary of America’s Coup.

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H2O Man Nov 2019 OP
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2019 #1
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coeur_de_lion Nov 2019 #4
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coeur_de_lion Nov 2019 #13
LineReply Iran-Contra warn't Reagan, it was Poppy Bush who trampled Constitution.
Kid Berwyn Nov 2019 #6
H2O Man Nov 2019 #10
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H2O Man Nov 2019 #16
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