Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CIA archives: Langley had its hands heavily involved in treason against President Carter

CIA archives: Langley had its hands heavily involved in treason against President Carter by Wayne Madsen

Declassified Central Intelligence Agency archives indicate that the top brass at Langley was concerned about press reports in 1980 that not only did the Ronald Reagan-George Bush-William Casey campaign team engineer an "arms-for-no-hostages" deal with Ayatollah Khomeini's government in Iran -- thus ensuring the U.S. embassy hostages would remain in Tehran until after the November presidential election -- but also tipped off Iran about President Jimmy Carter's planned attempt to rescue the hostages using military force.

According to documents held in the CIA archives until they were declassified in 2012,      officials of the Carter White House suspected that the Reagan-Casey team had a mole inside the National Security Council. Moreover, this mole was believed to be directly passing classified information on the military operation to rescue the hostages, Operation Eagle Claw, planned for April 24, 1980. The operation was complex and dangerous. Delta Force commandos were to land at an initial staging area in Khorasan province, code named Desert One. They would then fly 260 miles to a second staging area in the Tehran suburbs, code named Desert Two, where they would link up with CIA agents on the ground in Iran and local Iranian support personnel. The U.S. and Iranian team were to drive to the U.S. embassy compound in trucks and then engage the student hostage takers, and, if the plan worked, free the hostages and exfiltrate them to Deserts One and Two and eventual freedom when they reached Saudi Arabia.    

The CIA's director of security, Robert Gambino, the George H. W. Bush loyalist, retired from the CIA in early 1980 to join the Bush presidential campaign. He then switched to the Reagan-Bush campaign after Reagan selected Bush at the July nominating convention in Detroit. Gambino is mentioned in the documents as a liaison between William Casey and disloyal elements within the CIA. Gambino also gave Jeb Bush his CIA indoctrination in 1977 prior to Jeb leaving for a two year assignment as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank, owned by James Baker, in Caracas. Jeb Bush and Gambino initially worked together on George H. W. Bush's campaign in 1980. They both joined the Reagan-Bush campaign in July after Reagan was nominated by the Republican convention in Detroit with Bush as his running mate. Initially, it appears that the CIA group working against Carter was dealing with both the Reagan and Bush presidential campaigns in early 1980. Although Bush beat Reagan in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Reagan went on to win most of the later primaries.

The classified information on Eagle Claw and negotiations with Iran were passed to Casey, Richard Allen, Ed Meese, and Judge William Clark. Essentially, these four men were operating a spy operation targeting the Carter White House using one or more moles within the National Security Council. Bush agents within the National Security Council were also active. These included Stefan Halper whose father-in-law was Dr. Ray Cline, former deputy director of the CIA. Cline's network of agents, including Ted Shackley, forced to retire from the CIA in 1979, extended to the Carter National Security Council and CIA officers who were thought to be loyal to its director Admiral Stansfield Turner. However, these old Bush loyalists were loyal not to Turner but to Bush and Casey. Halper, Cline, and Jeb Bush's pal Gambino worked together to ensure as much intelligence as possible was passed from the White House to Allen, Casey, Meese, and Clark. Many CIA officers recalled how Carter's first choice to head the agency was Ted Sorensen, the aide to and speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy. Many CIA old timers, who were called "cowboys" by President Carter, feared that Sorensen would unlock the secrets of Langley's involvement in the assassination of his old boss, JFK. They strenuously blocked Sorensen's nomination.

Although a dry dust storm, known as a haboob, resulted in one of the helicopters from theUSS Nimitz having to abort its rendezvous at Desert One and return to the ship, the series of errors and accidents that doomed the rescue mission were not what ultimately resulted in its failure.

Delta Force attacked an Iranian oil tanker truck at the Desert One location to prevent it from revealing the operation. One of the passengers in the tanker truck survived and he escaped in a pickup truck. The resulting nighttime explosion also gave away the U.S. presence to a passing Iranian passenger bus that was taken captive by the U.S. assault team. Eagle Claw was aborted by Carter's order. As the U.S. force was withdrawing from Desert One and amid the swirling sand from the haboob, one of the Marine helicopters collided with an Air Force EC-130, resulting in yet a second explosion that killed eight U.S. servicemen.

The debacle at Desert One merely added fuel to the Reagan and Bush campaigns' charges that Carter was an ineffectual president. However, it did not matter whether the haboob caused Eagle Claw's failure or not. The treason committed by both campaigns had already resulted in the Iranians knowing beforehand about the covert operation.

On April 20, 1980, just four days before the commencement of Eagle Claw, The Washington Star ran a piece by longtime CIA Middle East officer Miles Copeland, a man who participated in the CIA's Operation Ajax that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohamed Mosadeq and placed the Shah of Iran in firm power, that provided details of the involvement of Oman, Egypt, and U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf of Oman in a planned hostage rescue mission. The Carter White House went into damage control mode over the obvious leak. Radio Iran broadcast the Star's story the same day that it ran in Washington, April 20.

The White House response was that U.S. military planes in Oman were there to supply the Afghan "freedom fighters." However, Carter was forced to reveal the true nature of the planes to both British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was even then close to candidate Reagan, and her Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington. British MI-6 officers in Oman were, in turn, informed about the hostage rescue mission and they were duty bound to inform Oman's Sultan, Qabus bin Said, what actual mission the U.S. planes on Masirah island were about to embark upon. Soon, the secret plans to rescue the hostages were known in the Persian Gulf city that was the center of all political gossip in the region: Dubai, where Iranian agents were in great abundance. Explanations through diplomatic channels also had to be provided by President Carter to the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, both of which were revealed to be part of the covert operation. The supposed highly-classified plan to rescue the U.S. hostages was leaking like a sieve.

Retired Rear Admiral Robert Garrick had actually organized a group of retired military officers to conduct surveillance of U.S. air and naval bases and report to him, who would, in turn, inform the Reagan campaign, any sudden and large movements of planes, ships, or military personnel from the United States to the Middle East. Garrick's job for the campaign was titled "director of research and policy development of the Reagan-Bush Campaign Committee." After Reagan's inauguration, Garrick became deputy counselor to the president under Meese. 
Max Hugel, Casey's campaign assistant, ensured that intelligence assistance for Reagan was supplied by Israel's many agents inside the White House and Pentagon. Hugel became Casey's CIA director of operations in 1981 but soon resigned after it was discovered that Hugel was loose with his lips in passing secrets to Israeli government officials. Hugel resigned, officially for Wall Street securities fraud.

The identity of the mole or moles inside the Carter White House have long been the subject of intense speculation. Robert Gates, a Bush loyalist in the National Security Council and a future CIA director, was one major suspect. Another was Donald Gregg, who started with the National Security Council in 1979 upon transferring from the CIA headquarters where he reported to Shackley. He later became national security adviser to Vice President Bush. The fact that Allen received the same copies of daily CIA intelligence reports that were received by National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski made the likely source of the reports the NSC. Brzezinski had briefed H. Ross Perot, who had already freed from an Iranian prison two of his Electronic Data Systems (EDS) employees, on the operation. Perot contracted with former Green Berets to successfully free his employees and Brzezinski was eager for Perot's experience in carrying out the rescue mission. However, Perot was also close to top Republicans, including fellow Texan oil man Bush, as well as Reagan.

Two enterprising Washington, DC newswomen smelled the Reagan/Bush rat with regard to treason against Carter. They were Elizabeth Drew of The New Yorker and Mary McGrory ofThe Washington Post. The theft of CIA intelligence reports and presidential debate briefing materials from the Carter White House was enough to convince Drew and McGrory, two veteran reporters who covered Watergate, that something was amiss with the Reagan/Bush campaigns. Later, The New Republic's Daniel Schorr joined Drew and McGrory in their suspicions about high-level treason in the Reagan/Bush ranks. However, the two women were facing charges of acting as "conspiracy theorists" from Reagan's willing media accomplices, including George Will, William Buckley, Rowland Evans, Robert Novak, and even muckraking columnist Jack Anderson.

Vice President Walter Mondale was among those who believed that the White House suffered from those who were leaking highly-classified information to the Reagan-Bush campaigns.

Some members of the press were enlisted in the Reagan/Bush treason against Carter. In September 1980, Washington Post Pentagon correspondent George Wilson received in the mail a document titled "OPLAN EAGLE CLAW Loss Estimate." The document claimed that the hostage rescue mission, had it not been aborted, would have resulted in 60 percent of the hostages killed or wounded during the operation. The document, however, turned out to be a clever forgery. It was not the only forgery crafted by the Reagan-Bush-Casey team that was designed to make Carter look bad.

The mole or moles inside the Carter White House would plague him until October 1980, when Carter's sensitive debate "briefing book" was stolen from the Carter team and ended up in the hands of Reagan and his cronies.

The Reagan-Bush treason also resulted in some 100 CIA agents operating in Iran being compromised after the rescue mission failed. Among the CIA assets were several moles placed among the Iranian students who were holding the embassy. Many agents were actually pulled out of Tehran prior to the Desert One catastrophe, fearing the Copeland article had compromised the operation.

One of the CIA assets compromised by the Reagan-Bush treason was Iranian foreign minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, who had, in September 1980, told Agence France-Presse that the Reagan-Bush campaign was trying to forestall a negotiated release of the hostages. The AFPreport quoted Ghotbzadeh as saying that the Reagan people were "'trying to block a solution' to the hostage crisis . . . Two friends of Ghotbzadeh who spoke to him frequently during this period said that he insisted repeatedly that the Republicans were in contact with elements in Iran to try to block a hostage release."

It was later discovered that Ghotbzadeh and his loyalists were part of the Eagle Claw operation. Two days after the November 5th U.S. election, Ghotbzadeh was arrested in Tehran for treason. Although he was released, he became a chief suspect among the Iranian radicals as a Western agent-of-influence. In 1982, he was re-arrested and charged with plotting against the government. Ghotbzadeh was executed by firing squad on September 15, 1982. Ghotzbzadeh was not the only American asset executed. Thanks to the treason of Reagan, Bush, and their teams, a number of other U.S. intelligence assets were caught and executed in Iran.

Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, compromised by Reagan-Bush treason against Jimmy Carter.

As Jeb Bush condemns President Obama for the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, it should be recalled that he, like his father, committed treason against a sitting president in 1980. Ironically, the treason concerned Iran. Jeb Bush's opposition to Obama and the Iran nuclear deal should be seen in light of his treasonous past rather than in a mere policy difference with the current president. As President Carter begins treatment for cancer, the country owes it to him to fully explain the treason of the Bush family, Ronald Reagan, and their cohorts and cronies in 1980. It does not matter how many continuing classified documents need to be leaked to give Jimmy Carter a sense of satisfaction that it was high treason, not political ineptness, that sank his presidency.