The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has apparently not received word from the Obama administration that the infamous Ashcroft memorandum, which struck down previous freedom of information edicts that favored disclosure over retention of documents. In one of his first acts as President, Obama instructed all federal departments and agencies, including NARA to "apply a presumption of openness" with regard to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
At the crux of the problem at NARA is its foot dragging in releasing enclosures to a March 16, 1981, formerly classified, memorandumfrom Associate Attorney General-designate Rudolph Giuliani to Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division John Keeney requesting that Keeney prepare a letter for Deputy Attorney General Edward Schmults' signature, a request for a report on a criminal referral from the CIA regarding "alleged foreign government interference with the 1980 Presidential election." In essence, the CIA requested that the Justice Department investigate charges that the Reagan-Bush campaign, with the involvement of Reagan campaign manager William Casey, negotiated with the Iranian revolutionary government an arms-for-no-hostages deal that saw U.S. embassy hostages in Tehran kept as hostages until after the November 1980 election, a contest that saw President Jimmy Carter lose to Reagan primarily due to the Iran "hostage crisis."
After at first indicating that a formal FOIA request was not necessary for access to certain documents, including enclosures to the Giuliani "smoking gun" memo contained in ten boxes of Schmults' papers, which total some 10,000 pages, NARA now claims that FOIA requests are required for certain documents contained in the Schmults records. But NARA does not indicate which papers are subject to a FOIA request. It is clear that NARA is attempting to withhold access to the Giuliani memo enclosures since they will surely point a finger at the complicity of the Reagan-Bush campaign in a conspiracy that resulted in a criminal referral from the CIA to the Justice Department.
According to researchers who have been trying to open up archival materials, their production will prove that the Reagan-Bush campaign conspired with Iran to deny Carter a second term by secretly sending without government authorization a U.S.-flagged merchant ship, the SS Poet, from Philadelphia to an Iranian port with arms, ammunition, and F-14 spare parts, and then having a third-country, reported by WMR to have been Israel, scuttle the vessel and eliminate the crew of 34 American merchant marine men.
According to the researchers, the "Giuliani letter was classified for decades and although it unmistakably refers to the 1980 treasonous October Surprise by the Republicans in making a deal with the Iranians to hold the American hostages past the election in exchange for arms, this letter never surfaced in the House Iran-Contra, Senate October Surprise, Judge Lawrence E. Walsh or other investigations."
The researchers also maintain that "the Poet, a U.S.-flag vessel that U.S. Coast Guard reported as having disappeared without a trace after departing Philadelphia on October 24, 1980, with corn for Egypt, did in fact arrive in Iran. We have forced U.S. Coast Guard to release over 140 documents from their investigation to us after it claimed to have none of them.
Among these documents is the charter for the voyage which has war risk insurance in an odd addition made to the charter. No war or hostilities was in progress in Egypt at the time but Iraq had invaded Iran on September 22, 1980. There are many other facts that we have collected that together support the conclusion that the Poet and the murder of its 34 crewmen were part of October Surprise.
The charter was signed for Egypt by a company whose address was in the same Rosslyn, Virginia building that housed multiple CIA activities, fronts and proprietaries."
The researchers believe that the reported October 2008 loss by NARA of a hard drive containing 2 terabytes of data, said to be from the Clinton administration, could be connected, in part, to covering up information that would point to collusion by the Reagan administration in the October Surprise. The Final Report by Judge Walsh on the Iran-Contra "matters" was not issued until the Clinton administration had been in office for six months. The Clinton administration took no measures to further investigate the previous two administrations, those of Reagan and George H. W. Bush, for the serious allegations of wrongdoing contained in the Walsh Report.
The researchers believe, "From the March 16, 1981, Giuliani letter and our correspondence with the principals we conclude that the Carter CIA made the referral to the Reagan DOJ, that negotiations occurred between the top leadership of both parties and an agreement was reached to hide the facts from the American people through classification. Political conspiracy, including the hiding of treason and murder, and secretly ceding a wrongful Presidential election, in effect put an administration in place subject to blackmail, and all kinds of compromises in legislation, international dealings, subversion of justice and misuse of executive power, initially and on-going, potentially through successive administrations. It negates our Constitution and overrides the checks and balances upon which our democracy depends."
Deputy Attorney Schmults, who sat on the CIA criminal referral regarding Reagan, Bush, and Casey conspiring with the Iranians, remained in the first Reagan term for three years.
His resignation letter follows:
The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500
January 23, 1984
My Dear Mr. President:
For three years, it has been my privilege to be the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Every day I have had a keen sense of accomplishment and pride in working with Bill Smith to serve the cause of justice and carry out your policies here at the Department of Justice. Thus, it is not easy for me to tender my resignation, which I do by this letter, effective on February 3, 1984.
Because of your unswerving leadership and strong support, the Federal effort against crime is being fought more effectively than at any time in our Nation's history. The law enforcement community knows it has a President who respects and supports what it is doing, and the results are now apparent to the American people.
My deepest thanks for the opportunity of helping you to further your goals. As I return to private life, I stand ready to do whatever you ask as you seek a second term, knowing that the American people will reelect a President who has served them so well.
/s/Edward C. Schmults
The Honorable Edward C. Schmults, Deputy Attorney General, Washington, D.C. 20530
It is with regret that I accept your resignation as Deputy Attorney General, effective February 3, 1984.
I know that you have been a strong right hand for Bill Smith as the Department of Justice has kept our promise to the American people to wage unremitting war against crime. You have played a leading role in our counterattack against those who terrorize innocent victims, and especially against organized crime, which can only be defeated by resolute action at the Federal level. Your experience and knowledge in this and many other areas will be sorely missed, but I know that your successor will build on the solid foundations you have laid. I want to thank you personally for a job well done.
Nancy and I send you our best wishes for every future success and happiness.