To the editors:
I noticed a mention in Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird" column (August 3, 1990) of the case of a man found not guilty of perjury by a jury in Portland, Oregon. The man had been indicted in 1980 after he testified that he accompanied George Bush to Paris that year, where Mr. Bush, he claimed, secretly encouraged Iranian officials to keep holding the American hostages for the duration of the election campaign in order to hurt President Carter's reelection bid. You rarely see mention of this story in the press, so I appreciated Mr. Shepherd's reference to it.
Conspiracy theories always abound, and all presidents in recent times have been the object of some. But probably never before has an incumbent had so many serious charges leveled at him backed by considerable evidence. The evidence is overwhelming that the CIA, going back to the sixties, engaged in the lucrative heroin trafficking out of Southeast Asia in order to raise money to finance covert operations for which the Congress was unwilling to appropriate funds. The day after George Bush gave his "war on drugs" speech in 1989, various public radio stations broadcasted a half-hour, documentary-style program alleging that this drug-trafficking continued during the time Mr. Bush was head of the CIA, with his probable knowledge and consent.
In addition, a report of a Senate subcommittee issued in December, 1988, has led many to conclude that in the 1980s, some profits from cocaine trafficking in this hemisphere were used to help finance contras fighting in Nicaragua, with the knowledge and approval of a number of Reagan administration officials, including Mr. Bush.
Furthermore, there is circulating a recently made film (not shown on national television) entitled Cover-up, which alleges as per the Iran-Contra scandal, that American weapons began flowing to Iran, not in the mid-1980s, but as soon as Mr. Reagan came into office in 1981. There is a recently published book which also makes this claim.
The evidence is quite substantial that, in order to guarantee victory in the 1980 presidential election, members of the Reagan campaign--including George Bush--committed treason against the United States by making a deal with the Ayatollah Khomeini whereby Iran would hold the American hostages for the duration of the 1980 campaign and the Carter presidency, and in exchange the U.S. would send arms to Iran for use in its war against Iraq. The hostages were released moments after Mr. Reagan took the oath of office, and then (according to Gary Sick, former National Security Council staff member and now professor at Columbia University) almost immediately, huge quantities of American weapons began to flow secretly to Iran through the intermediation of Israel.
While these various charges occasionally receive a small measure of public discussion, the major media have been unwilling to seriously scrutinize them. It is corrosive to a republic to have such charges circulating in this manner, without being either substantiated or refuted. Ours has become a nation in which the best informed citizens are disaffected and alienated by virtue of the knowledge and information they have attained, unless, as with some in the news business, they have decided to become complicitously silent.
Dan Quayle, evidently, has become George Bush's insurance policy against exposure and impeachment, and possibly even prosecution and imprisonment. Mr. Bush has insured that we will be terrified that anything might happen to him that would result in Mr. Quayle becoming president.
As we have entered a new decade, it would appear (at least to many of us) that we have as president an unconvicted felon, and as vice-president, a dim-bulb waiting in the wings. We have a Congress made up of 535 gutless wonders, and a press that has freely chosen not to be free. As freedom dawns in other parts of the world, and other nations struggle to become truly democratic republics, perhaps it is time for a little American glasnost--time to acknowledge that we gave up ours a long time ago.
W. Briar Place