Washington Post Censors the News
[Note the highlighted
the Washington Post Censors the News
A Letter to the Washington Post
by Julian C. Holmes
Richard Harwood, Ombudsman
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20071
Though the Washington Post does not over-extend itself in
of hard news, just let drop the faintest rumor of a
government "conspiracy", and a klaxon horn goes off in the
news room. Aroused
from apathy in the daily routine of reporting
assignations and various
other political and social sports events, editors and
scramble to the phones. The klaxon screams its warning:
single threat to herd-journalism, corporate profits, and
stability -- the dreaded "CONSPIRACY THEORY"!!
It is not known whether anyone has actually been hassled
by any of these frightful spectres, but their presence is
Post readers with a salvo of warnings to avoid the
tricky, sticky webs
spun by the wacko "CONSPIRACY THEORISTS".
Recall how the Post saved us from the truth about
Professional conspiracy exorcist Mark Hosenball was hired
the idea that Oliver North and his CIA-associated
conspired to do wrong (*1). And when, in their syndicated
Anderson and Dale Van Atta discussed some of the
Post sprang to protect its readers, and the conspirators,
the Anderson column before printing it (*2).
But for some time the lid had been coming off the
conspiracy. In 1986, the Christic Institute, an
interfaith center for
law and public policy, had filed a lawsuit alleging a
arms-for-drugs trade that helped keep weapons flowing to
CIA-Contra army in Nicaragua, and cocaine flowing to U.S.
(*3). In 1988 Leslie Cockburn published Out of Control, a
on our bizarre, illegal war against Nicaragua (*4). The
contributed to this discovery process by disparaging the
conspiracy and by publishing false information about the
drug-smuggling evidence presented to the House
Narcotics Abuse and Control. When accused by Committee
Charles Rangel (D-NY). of misleading reporting, the Post
a partial correction and declined to print a letter of
Sworn testimony before Senator John Kerry's Subcommittee
Narcotics, and International Operations confirmed U.S.
complicity in the drug trade (*6). With its coverup of
conspiracy evaporating, the ever-accommodating Post
shifted gears and
retained Hosenball to exorcise from our minds a newly
to domestic tranquility, the "October Surprise"
conspiracy (*7). But
close on the heels of Hosenball and the Post came Barbara
then Gary Sick who authored independently, two years
apart, books with
the same title, "October Surprise" (*8).
Honegger was a member of the Reagan/Bush campaign and transition teams in 1980. Gary
professor of Middle East Politics at Columbia University,
was on the
staff of the National Security Council under Presidents
and Reagan. In 1989 and 1991 respectively, Honegger and
their evidence of how the Republicans made a deal to
supply arms to
Iran if Iran would delay release of the 52 United States
until after the November 1980 election. The purpose of
this deal was
to quash the possibility of a pre-election release(an
surprise). which would have bolstered the reelection
Others published details of this alleged Reagan-Bush
October 1988, Playboy Magazine ran an expose "An
Hostage"; FRONTLINE did another in April 1991 (*9).
In June, 1991 a
conference of distinguished journalists, joined by 8 of
hostages, challenged the Congress to "make a full,
investigation" of the election/hostage allegations.
The Post reported
the statement of the hostages, but not a word of the
which was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building
On February 5, 1992 a gun-shy, uninspired House of
begrudgingly authorized an "October Surprise"
investigation by a task
force of 13 congressmen headed by Lee Hamilton (D-IN).
who had chaired
the House of Representatives Iran-Contra Committee.
Hamilton has named
as chief team counsel Larry Barcella, a lawyer who
when the Bank was indicted in 1988 (*11).
Like the Washington Post, Hamilton had not shown interest
the U.S. arms-for-drugs operation (*12). He had accepted
North's lies,and as Chairman of the House Intelligence
derailed House Resolution 485 which had asked President
answer questions about Contra support activities of
officials and others (*13). After CIA operative John
Hull (from Hamilton's home state). was charged in Costa
Rica with "international drug trafficking and hostile acts
against the nation's
security", Hamilton and 18 fellow members of
Congress tried to
intimidate Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez into
Hull's case "in a manner that will not complicate
relations" (*14). The Post did not report the
Hamilton letter or the
Costa Rican response that declared Hull's case to be
"in as good hands
as our 100 year old uninterrupted democracy can provide
Though the Post does its best to guide our thinking away
theories, it is difficult to avoid the fact that so much
government or corporate conspiracies:
In its COINTELPRO operation, the FBI used disinformation,
surveillance, false arrests, and violence to illegally
U.S.citizens in the 60's (*16).
The CIA's Operation MONGOOSE illegally sabotaged Cuba by
crops, brutalizing citizens, destabilizing the society,
conspiring with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro and
"Standard Oil of New Jersey was found by the
Antitrust Division of
the Department of Justice to be conspiring with
Germany. ...By its cartel agreements with Standard Oil,
United States was effectively prevented from developing
producing [fo rWorld War-II] any substantial amount of
synthetic rubber," said Senator Robert LaFollette of
U.S. Government agencies knowingly withheld information
dosages of radiation "almost certain to produce
abnormalities or cancer" that contaminated people
the nuclear weapons factory at Hanford, Washington (*19).
Various branches of Government deliberately drag their
getting around to cleaning up the Nation's dangerous
weapons sites (*20). State and local governments back the
nuclear industry's secret public relations strategy
"The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer
Society and some
twenty comprehensive cancer centers, have misled and
the public and Congress by repeated claims that we are
the war against cancer. In fact, the cancer establishment
continually minimized the evidence for increasing cancer
which it has largely attributed to smoking and dietary
while discounting or ignoring the causal role of
eposures to industrial carcinogens in the air, food,
the workplace." (*22).
The Bush Administration coverup of its pre-Gulf-War
support of Iraq "is yet another example of the President's people
keep both Congress and the American people in the
If you think about it, conspiracy is a fundamental aspect
doing business in this country.
Take the systematic and cooperative censorship of the
War by the Pentagon and much of the news media (*24).
Or the widespread plans of business and government groups
$100 million in taxes to promote a distorted and
history of Columbus in America (*25). along the lines of
Smithsonian Institution's "fusion of the two
rather than examining more realistic aspects of the
invasion, like "anger, cruelty, gold, terror, and
Or circumstances surrounding the U.S. Justice Department
the INSLAW company of sophisticated, law-enforcement
software which "now point to a widespread conspiracy
implicating lesser Government officials in the theft of
INSLAW's technology", says former U.S. Attorney
Or the "largest bank fraud in world financial
history" (*29), where
the White House knew of the criminal activities at
"the Bank of
Crooks and Criminals International" (BCCI) (*30),
intelligence agencies did their secret banking (*31), and
bribery of prominent American public officials "was
a way of
doing business" (*32).
Or the 1949 conviction of "GM [General Motors],
Standard Oil of
California, Firestone, and E. Roy Fitzgerald, among
criminally conspiring to replace electric transportation
gas- and diesel-powered buses and to monopolize the sale
buses and related products to transportation companies
throughout the country" [in, among others, the
cities of New
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Salt
City, and Los Angeles] (*33).
Or the collusion in 1973 between Senator Abraham Ribicoff
and the U.S. Department of Transportation to overlook
defects in the 1.2 million Corvair automobiles
General Motors in the early 60's (*34).
Or the A. H. Robins Company, which manufactured the
intrauterine contraceptive, and which ignored repeated
of the Shield's hazards and which "stonewalled,
covered up, and
covered up the coverups...[thus inflicting] on women a
worldwide epidemic of pelvic infections." (*35).
Or that cooperation between McDonnell Douglas Aircraft
the FAA resulted in failure to enforce regulations
the unsafe DC-10 cargo door which failed in flight
364 passengers on Turkish Airlines Flight 981 on March 3,
Or the now-banned, cancer-producing pregnancy drug
Diethylstilbestrol (DES). that was sold by manufacturers
ignored tests which showed DES to be carcinogenic; and
acted "in concert with each other in the testing and
of DES for miscarriage purposes" (*37).
Or the conspiracies among bankers and speculators, with
cooperation of a corrupted Congress, to relieve
their savings. This "arrogant disregard from the
Congress and corporate world for the interests and rights
the American people" will cost U.S. tapayers many
billions of dollars (*38).
Or the Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers,Federal Pacific, and
Electric executives who met surreptitiously in hotel
fix prices and eliminate competition on heavy industrial equipment (*39).
Or the convictions of Industrial Biotest Laboratories
officers for fabricating safety tests on prescription
Or the conspiracy by the asbestos industry to suppress
medical problemsrelating to asbestos (*41).
Or the 1928 Achnacarry Agreement through which oil
not to engage in any effective price competition" (*42).
Or the conspiracy among U.S. Government agencies and the
cover up the nature of our decades-old war against the
a covert war that continues in 1992 with the U.S.
applying pressure for the Nicaraguan police to reorganize
a more repressive force (*43).
Or the conspiracy by the CIA and the U.S. Government to
the Chilean election process with military aid, covert
and an economic boycott which culminated in the overthrow
the legitimately elected government and the assassination
President Salvador Allende in 1973 (*44).
Or the conspiracy among U.S. officials including
Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger and CIA Director William Colby to finance
terrorism in Angola for the purpose of disrupting
plans for peaceful elections in October 1975, and to lie
these actions to the Congress and the news media (*45).
Director George Bush's subsequent cover up of this
U.S.-sponsored terrorism (*46).
Or President George Bush's consorting with the Pentagon
Panama in 1989 and thereby violate the Constitution of
United States, the U.N. Charter, the O.A.S. Charter, and
Panama Canal Treaties (*47).
Or the "gross antitrust violations" (*48) and
the conspiracy of
American oil companies and the British and U.S.
strangle Iran economically after Iran nationalized the
British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951. And the
subsequent overthrow by the CIA in 1953 of Iranian Prime
Minister Muhammed Mossadegh (*49).
Or the CIA-planned assassination of Congo head-of-state
Or the deliberate and wilful efforts of President George
Senator Robert Dole, Senator George Mitchell, various
Government agencies, and members of both Houses of the
to buy the 1990 Nicaraguan national elections for the
presidential candidate supported by President Bush (*51).
Or the collective approval by 64 U.S. Senators of Robert
head the CIA, in the face of "unmistakable evidence
lied about his role in the Iran-Contra scandal" (*52).
Or "How Reagan and the Pope Conspired to Assist
Movement and Hasten the Demise of Communism" (*53).
Or how the Reagan Administration connived with the
Vatican to ban
the use of USAID funds by any country "for the
birth control or abortion" (*54).
Or "the way the Vatican and Washington colluded to
purpose in Central America" (*55).
Or the collaboration of Guatemalan strong-man and mass
Hector Gramajo with the U.S. Army to design "programs to build
civilian-military cooperation" at the U.S. Army
School of the
Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia; five of the nine
soldiers accused in the 1989 Jesuit massacre in El
graduates of SOA which trains Latin/American military
Or the conspiracy of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant
to harass and cause bodily harm to whistleblower Linda
who uncovered dangerous working conditions at the
Or the conspiracy of President Richard Nxion and the
South Vietnam to delay the Paris Peace Talks until after
1968 U.S. presidential election (*58).
Or the pandemic coverups of police violence (*59).
Or the always safe-to-cite worldwide communist conspiracy
Or maybe the socially responsible, secret consortium to
Satanic Verses in paperback (*61).
Conspiracies are obviously a way to get things done, and
the Washington Post
offers little comment unless conspiracy theorizing
threatens to expose a
really important conspiracy that, let's say, benefits big
business or big
Such a conspiracy would be like our benevolent CIA's 1953
the Iranian government to help out U.S. oil companies; or
illegal war against Panama to tighten U.S. control over
Panama and the
Canal; or like monopoly control of broadcasting that
corporate censorship on issues of public importance
(*62). When the
camouflage of such conspiracies is stripped away, public
the conspiring officials can erode -- depending on how
citizenry perceives the conspiracy to have violated the
Erosion of public trust in the status quo is what the
Post seems to
see as a real threat to its corporate security.
Currently, the Post has mounted vituperative, frenzied
Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", which reexamines
the U.S. Government's
official (Warren Commission. finding that a single
alone, killed President John F. Kennedy. The movie also
is the story
of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's
prosecution of Clay Shaw, the only person ever tried in
with the assassination. And the movie proposes that the
assassination was the work of conspirators whose
interests would not
be served by a president who, had he lived, might have
from our war against Vietnam.
The Post ridicules a reexamination of the Kennedy
lines suggested by "JFK". Senior Post
journalists like Charles
Krauthammer, Ken Ringle, George Will, Phil McCombs, and
Isikoff, have been called up to man the bulwarks against
sentiment which has never supported the government's
non-conspiratorial assassination thesis. In spite of the
the Senate Intelligence Committee of 1975 and 1976 found
the FBI and CIA had repeatedly lied to the Warren
and that the 1979 Report of the House Select Committee on
Assassinations found that President Kennedy was probably
killed "as a
result of a conspiracy" (*64), a truly astounding
number of Post
stories have been used as vehicles to discredit "JFK" as just another
Some of the more vicious attacks on the movie are by
Rosenfeld, and journalists Richard Cohen, George Will,
Lardner Jr (*66). They ridicule the idea that Kennedy
could have had
second thoughts about escalating the Vietnam War and
there is no historical justification for this idea.
Seasoned journalist Peter Dale Scott, former Pentagon/CIA liaison
Fletcher Prouty, and investigators David Scheim and John
each authored defense of the "JFK" thesis that
Kennedy was not
enthusiastic about staying in Vietnam (*67). But the Post
continues ranting against the possibility of a high-level
assassination conspiracy while offering little
justification for its
An example of particularly shabby scholarship and
behavior is George Lardner Jr's contribution to the
against the movie. Lardner wrote three articles, two
before the movie
was completed, and the third upon its release. In May,
before the movie came out, Lardner obtained a copy of the
of the script and, contrary to accepted standards,
revealed in the
Post the contents of this copyrighted movie (*68). Also
article, (*69). Lardner discredits Jim Garrison with
statements from a former Garrison associate Pershing
does not tell the reader that subsequent to the Clay Shaw
trial, in a
U.S. Government criminal action brought against Garrison,
witness Gervais, who helped set up Garrison for
under oath that in a May 1972 interview with a New
reporter, he, Gervais, had said that the U.S.
against Garrison was a fraud (*70). The Post's 1973
account of thebr>
Garrison acquittal mentions this controversy, but when I
asked Lardner about this, he was not clear as to whether
Two weeks after his first "JFK" article,
Lardner blustered his way
through a justification for his unauthorized possession
of the early
draft ofthe movie (*72). He also defended his reference
Gervais by lashing out at Garrison as a writer "of
When the movie was released in December, Lardner "reviewed" it (*73).
He again ridiculed the film's thesis that following the
assassination, President Johnson reversed Kennedy's plans
de-escalate the Vietnam War. Lardner cited a memorandum
Johnson four days after Kennedy died. Lardner says this
written before the assassination, and that it "was a
Kennedy's policy". In fact, the memorandum was
drafted the day before
the assassination by McGeorge Bundy (Kennedy's Assistant
Security Affairs) Kennedy was in Texas, and may never
have seen it.
Following the assassination, it was rewritten; and the
provided for escalating the war against Vietnam (*74) --
The Post's crusade against exposing conspiracies is
The Warren Commission inquiry into the Kennedy
Assassination was for
the most part conducted in secret. This fact is buried in
(*75). Nor do current readers of this newspaper find
discussion of the Warren Commission's secret doubts about
both the FBI
and the CIA (*76). Or of a dispatch from CIA headquarters
co-conspirators at field stations to counteract the "new wave of books
and articles criticizing the [Warren] Commission's
conspiracy theories ...[that] have frequently thrown
suspicion on our
organization" and to "discuss the publicity
problem with liaison and
friendly elite contacts, especially politicians and
editors "and to"employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the
attacks of the
critics. ...Book reviews and feature articles are
appropriate for this purpose. ...The aim of this dispatch
provide material for countering and discrediting the
claims of the
conspiracy theorists..." (*77).
In 1979, Washington journalist Deborah Davis published
Katharine The Great,
the story of Post publisher Katharine Graham and her
newspaper's close ties
with Washington's powerful elite, a number of whom were
with the CIA.
Particularly irksome to Post editor Benjamin Bradlee was
a Davis claim
that Bradlee had "produced CIA material" (*78).
sensitive about this kind of publicity, Bradlee told
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ,"Miss Davis is lying ...I
CIA material ...what I can do is to brand Miss Davis as a
fool and to
put your company in that special little group of
publishers who don't
give a shit for the truth". The Post bullied HBJ
into recalling the
book; HBJ shredded 20,000 copies; Davis sued HBJ for
contract and damage to reputation; HBJ settled out of
court; and Davis
published her book elsewhere with an appendix that
Bradlee to have been deeply involved with producing
propaganda (*79). Bradlee still says the allegations
association with people in the CIA are false, but he has
taken no action to contest the xetensive documentation
Deborah Davis in the second and third editions of her
And it's not as if the Post were new to conspiracy work.
Washington Post publisher Philip Graham "believing
that the function of the press was more often than not to
mobilize consent for the policies of the government, was
one of the architects of what became a widespread
practice: the use and manipulation of journalists by the
CIA" (*81). This scandal was known by its code name
Operation MOCKINGBIRD. Former Washington Post reporter
Carl Bernstein cites a former CIA deputy director as
saying, "It was widely known that Phil Graham was
someone you could get help from" (*82). More
recently the Post provided cover for CIA personality
Joseph Fernandez by "refusing to print his name for
over a year up until the day his indictment was announced
...for crimes committed in his official capacity as CIA
station chief in Costa Rica" (*83).
Of the meetings between Graham and his CIA acquaintances
at which the
availability and prices of journalists were discussed, a
man recalls, "You could get a journalist cheaper
than a good call
girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month" (*84).
One may wish to
consider Philip Graham's philosophy along with a more
from his wife Katharine Graham, current Chairman of the
Board of the
Washington Post. In a lecture on terrorism and the news
Graham said: "A second challenge facing the media is
how to prevent
terrorists from using the media as a platform fortheir
views. ... The
point is that we generally know when we are being
we've learned better how and where to draw the line,
decisions are often difficult" (*85).
Today, the Post and its world of big business are
that our elite and our high-level public officials may be
conspirators behind Contra drug-smuggling, October
Surprise, or the
assassination of President Kennedy. This fear is truly
that, like most of us and like most institutions, the
Post runs its
business as a conspiracy of like-minded entrepreneurs --
"to act or work together toward the same result or
goal" (*86). But
where the Post really parts company from just plain
people is when it
pretends that conspiracies associated with big business
are "coincidence". Post reporter Lardner vents
inherent in having to maintain this dichotomy. He lashes
out at Oliver
Stone and suggests that Stone may actually believe that
opposition to Stone's movie is a "conspiracy".
Lardner assures us that
Stone's complaints are "groundless and paranoid and
So how does the Post justify devoting so much energy to
ridiculing those who
The Post has answers: people revert to conspiracy
they need something "neat and tidy" (*88) that
"plugs a gap no other
generally accepted theory fills', (*89. and "coincidence ...is always
the safest and most likely explanation for any
conjunction of curious
circumstances ..." (*90).
And what does this response mean? It means that "coincidence theory"
is what the Post espouses when it would prefer not to
admit to a
conspiracy. In other words, some things just "happen". And, besides,
conspiracy to do certain things would be a crime; "coincidence" is a
Post Ombudsman Richard Harwood, who, it is rumored,
Executive Director of the Benevolent Protective Order of
Theorists, (*91) recently issued a warning about
candidates "who have begun to mutter about a press
Ordinarily, Harwood would simply dismiss these charges as "symptoms of
the media paranoia that quadrennially engulfs members of
political class" (*92). But a fatal mistake was made
by the mutterers;
they used the "C" word against the PRESS! And
Harwood exploded his
off-the-cuff comment into an entire column -- ending it
the new journalists, immersed too long, perhaps, in the
waters of political conformity. But conspirators we
Distinguished investigative journalist Morton Mintz, a
of the Washington Post, now chairs the Fund for
Journalism. In the December issue of The Progressive,
Mintz wrote "A
Reporter Looks Back in Anger -- Why the Media Cover Up
Crime". Therein he discussed the difficulties in
convincing editors to
accept important news stories. He illustrated the article
with his own
experiences at the Post, where he says he was known as "the biggest
pain in the ass in the office" (*93).
Would Harwood argue that grief endured by journalists at
the hands of editors
is a matter of random coincidence?
And that such policy as Mintz described is made
editors without influence from fellow editors or from
Would Harwood have us believe that at the countless
in which news people are ever in attendance, there is no
which stories will run and which ones will find
inadequate space? That
there is no advanced planning for stories or that there
cooperative efforts among the staff? Or that in the face
news-media "grayout" of presidential candidate
Larry Agran, (*94) a
Post journalist would be free to give news space to
equal to that the Post lavishes on candidate Clinton?
Let's face it:
these possibilities are about as likely as Barbara Bush
guests at a soup kitchen.
Would Harwood have us believe that media critic and
Ombudsman Ben Bagdikian is telling less than the truth in
of wire-service control over news: "The largely
anonymous men who
control the syndicate and wire service copy desks and the
photo machines determine at a single decision what
millions will see
and hear. ...there seems to be little doubt that these
preside over an operation in which an appalling amount of
agentry sneaks in the back door of American journalism
untouched out the front door as 'news'" (*95).
When he sat on the U.S. District Court of Appeals in
Clarence Thomas violated U.S. law when he failed to
from a case in which he then proceeded to reverse a $10
judgment against the Ralston Purina Company (*96).
Ralston Purina, the
animal feed empire, is the family fortune of Thomas'
John Danforth. The Post limited its coverage of the
to 56 words buried in the middle of a 1200-word article
Harwood have us believe that the almost complete blackout
matter by the major news media and the U.S. Senate was a
coincidence? Could a Post reporter have written a story
Purina if she had wanted to? Can a brick swim?
Or take the fine report produced last September by Ralph
Public Citizen. Titled All the Vice President's Men, it
the Quayle Council on Competitiveness Secretly Undermines
Safety, and Environmental Programs". Three months
journalists David Broder and Bob Woodward published "The President's
Understudy", a seven-part series on Vice President
this series does address Quayle's role with the
Council, its handling of the Council's disastrous impact
on America is
inadequate. It is 40,000 words of mostly aimless chatter
memorabilia: youth, family, college record, Christianity,
aspirations, intellectual aspirations, wealthy friends,
associates, golf, travels, wife Marilyn, and net worth --
little about Quayle's abilities, his understanding of
problems, or his thoughts about justice and freedom, and
mentioning the comprehensive Nader study of Quayle's
record in the
Bush Administration (*98).
Now, did Broder or did Woodward forget about the Nader
study? Or did
both of them forget? Or did one, or the other, or both
decide not to
mention it? Did these two celebrated, seasoned Post
discuss together their jointly authored stories? Did they
publish such a barren set of articles because it would
reputations? How did management feel about the use of
space for such frivolity? Is it possible that so many
dedicated to this twaddle without people "acting or
toward the same result or goal"? (*99) Do crocodiles
On March 20, front-page headlines in the Wall Street
Journal, the New
York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post read
TSONGAS DROPPED OUT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE CLEARING
TSONGAS ABANDONS CAMPAIGN LEAVING CLINTON CLEAR PATH
TSONGAS CLEARS WAY FOR CLINTON
TSONGAS EXIT CLEARS WAY FOR CLINTON
This display of editorial independence should at least
of whether the news media collective mindset is really
that of any other cartel -- like oil, diamond, energy,
manufacturing cartels, a cartel being "a combination
commercial enterprises designed to limit
The Washington Post editorial page carries the heading:
AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER
Is it? Of course not. There probably is no such thing.
Does the Post"conspire" to keep its staff and its newspaper
from wandering too far
from the safety of mediocrity? The Post would respond
question is absurd. In that I am not privy to the Post's
conversations, I can only speculate on how closely the
must monitor the staff. But we all know how few
micro-seconds it takes
a new reporter to learn what subjects are taboo and what
and that experienced reporters don't have to ask.
What is more important, however, than speculating about
how the Post
communicates within its own corporate structure and with
of the cartel, is to document and publicize what the Post
public, namely, how it shapes and censors the news.
Julian C. Holmes
Copies to: Public-spirited citizens, both inside and
outside the news
media, And - maybe a few others.
Letter of April 25, 1992:
1. Mark Hosenball, "The Ultimate
Conspiracy", Washington Post,
September 11, 1988, p.C1
2a. Julian Holmes, Letter to Washington Post
Harwood, June 4,1991. Notes that the Post
censored, from the
Anderson/Van Atta column, references to the
Christic Institute and to
2b. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta,
"Iran-Contra Figure Dodges
Extradition", Washington Merry-Go-Round,
United Feature Syndicate, May
26, 1991. This is the column submitted to the
Post (see note 2a)..
2c. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "The
Man Washington Doesn't Want
to Extradite", Washington Post, May 26,
1991. The column (see note
2b). as it appeared in the Post (see note 2a)..
3a. Case No. 86-1146-CIV-KING, Amended Complaint
for RICO Conspiracy,
etc., United States District Court, Southern
District of Florida, Tony
Avirgan and Martha Honey v. John Hull et al.,
October 3, 1986.
3b. Vince Bielski and Dennis Bernstein,
"Reports: Contras Send Drugs
to U.S.", Cleveland Plain Dealer, November
3c. Neal Matthews, "I Ran Drugs for Uncle
Sam" (based on interviews
with Robert Plumlee, contra resupply pilot)., San
Diego Reader, April
4. Leslie Cockburn, Out of Control. New York:
Atlantic Monthly Press,
5a. Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall,
University ofCalifornia Press, 1991, p.179-181.
5b. David S. Hilzenrath, "Hill Panel Finds
No Evidence Linking Contras
to Drug Smuggling", Washington Post, July
22, 1987, p.A07.
5c. Partial correction to the Washington Post of
July 22, Washington
Post, July 24,1987, p.A3.
5d. The Washington Post declined to publish
Rangel's Letter- to-the-Editor of July 22, 1987.
It was printed in the
Congressional Record on August 6, 1987,
6a. Michael Kranish, "Kerry Says US Turned
Blind Eye to Contra-Drug
Trail", Boston Globe, April 10, 1988.
6b. Mary McGrory, "The Contra-Drug
Stink", Washington Post, April 10,
1988, p.B1. 6c. Robert Parry with Rod Nordland,
"Guns for Drugs?
Senate Probers Trace an Old Contra Connection to
Office", Newsweek, May 23, 1988, p.22.
6d. Dennis Bernstein, "Iran-Contra -- The
Coverup Continues", The
Progressive, November 1988, p.24.
6e. "Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign
Policy", A Report Prepared by
the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and
of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United
States Senate, December
7a. Mark Hosenball, "If It's October ...
Then It's Time for an Iranian
Conspiracy Theory", Washington Post, October
9, 1988, p.D1.
7b. Mark Hosenball, "October Surprise!
Redux! The Latest Version of
the 1980 'Hostage- Deal' Story Is Still Full of
Post, April 21, 1991,p.B2.
8a. Barbara Honegger, October Surprise, New York:
8b. Gary Sick, October Surprise, New York: Times
Books, Random House,
9a. Abbie Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers, "An
Election Held Hostage",
Playboy, October 1988, p.73.
9b. Robert Parry and Robert Ross, "The
Election Held Hostage",
FRONTLINE, WGBH-TV,April 16, 1991.
10a. Reuter, "Ex-Hostages Seek Probe By
Congress", Washington Post,
10b. "An Election Held Hostage?",
Conference, Dirksen Senate Office
Building Auditorium, Washington DC, June 13,
1991; Sponsored by The
Fund For New Priorities in America, 171 Madison
Avenue, New York, NY,
11a. David Brown and Guy Gugliotta, "House
Approves Inquiry Into
'OctoberSurprise'", Washington Post,
February 6, 1992, p.A11.
11b. Jack Colhoun, "Lawmakers Lose Nerve on
October Surprise", The
Guardian, December 11, 1991, p.7.
11c. Jack Colhoun, "October Surprise Probe
Taps BCCI Lawyer", The
Guardian, February 26, 1992, p.3.
12. See note 5a, p.180-1.
13a. See note 4, p.229, 240-1.
13b. Report of the Congressional Committees
Iran-Contra Affair, Senate Report No. 100-216,
House Report No.
100-433, November 1987, p.139-141.
14a. Letter to His Excellency Oscar Arias
Sanchez, President of the
Republic of Costa Rica; from Members of the U.S.
Dreier, Lee Hamilton, Dave McCurdy, Dan Burton,
Mary Rose Oakar, Jim
Bunning, Frank McCloskey, Cass Ballenger, Peter
Kostmayer, Jim Bates,
Douglas Bosco, James Inhofe, Thomas Foglietta,
Rod Chandler, Ike
Skelton, Howard Wolpe, Gary Ackerman, Robert
Lagomarsino, and Bob
McEwen; January 26, 1989.
14b. Peter Brennan, "Costa Rica Considers
Seeking Contra Backer in
U.S. -- Indiana Native Wanted on Murder Charge in
1984 Bomb Attack in
Nicaragua", WashingtonPost, February 1,
14c. "Costa Rica Seeks Extradition of
Indiana Farmer", Scripps-Howard
News Service,April 25, 1991.
15. Press Release from the Costa Rican Embassy,
Washington DC, On the
Case of the Imprisonment of Costa Rican Citizen
John Hull", February
16. Brian Glick, War at Home, Boston: South End
17. John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard-- The
U.S. Role in the New
World Order, Boston: South End Press, 1991,
18. Hearings Before the Committee on Patents,
United States Senate,
77th Cong., 2nd Session (1942)., part I, as cited
in Joseph Borkin,
The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben, New
York: The Free Press,
Macmillan, 1978, p.93.
19. R. Jeffrey Smith, "Study of A-Plant
Neighbors' Health Urged",
Washington Post, July 13, 1990, p.A6.
20. Tom Horton, "A Cost Higher Than the
Peace Dividend -- Price Tag
Mounts to Clean Up Nuclear Weapons Sites",
Baltimore Sun, February 23,
21. "The Nuclear Industry's Secret PR
Strategy", EXTRA!, March 1992,
22a. Samuel S. Epstein, MD et al, Losing the War
Against Cancer: Need
for PublicPolicy Reform", Congressional
Record, April 2, 1992,
22b. Samuel S. Epstein, "The Cancer
Establishment", Washington Post,
March 10, 1992.
23a. Hon. Henry B. Gonzalez, "Efforts to
Thwart Investigation of the
BNL Scandal", Congressional Record, March
30, 1992, p.H2005-2014.
23b. Hon. David E. Skaggs (CO)., White House Spin
Control on Pre-War
Iraq Policy", Congressional Record, April 2,
23c. Nicholas Rostow, Special Assistant to the
President and Legal
Adviser, Memorandum to Jeanne S. Archibald et al,
congressional requests for information and
documents", April 8, 1991;
Congressional Record, April 2, 1992,p.H2285.
24a. Michio Kaku, "Operation Desert Lie:
Pentagon Confesses", The
Guardian, March11, 1992, p.4.
24b. J. Max Robins, "NBC's Unaired Iraq
Tapes Not a Black and White
Case", Variety Magazine, March 4, 1991,
25. Emory R. Searcy Jr., Clergy and Laity
Concerned, Spring 1991
Letter to"Friends", p.1.
26. Jean Dimeo, "Selling Hispanics on
Columbus -- Luis Vasquez-Ajmac
Is Hired to Promote Smithsonian Project",
Washington Post, November
18, 1991, p.Bus.8.
27. Hans Koning, "Teach the Truth About
Columbus", Washington Post,
September 3,1991, p.A19.
28a. James Kilpatrick, "Software-Piracy Case
Emitting Big Stench", St.
Louis Post/Dispatch, March 18, 1991, p.3B. Elliot
L. Richardson, "A
High-Tech Watergate", New York Times,
29. "BCCI -- NBC Sunday Today",
February 23, 1992, p.12; transcript
prepared by Burrelle's Information Services. The
quote is from New
York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau who is
running his own
independent investigation of BCCI.
30. Norman Bailey, former Reagan White House
from an interview with Mark Rosenthal of NBC
News. See note 29, p.5.
31. Jack Colhoun, "BCCI Skeletons Haunting
Bush's Closet", The
Guardian, September 18, 1991, p.9.
32. Robert Morgenthau. See note 29, p.10.
33. Russell Mokhiber, Corporate Crime and
Violence, San Francisco:
Sierra ClubBooks, 1989 paperback edition, p.227.
34. See note 33, p.136-7.
35. Morton Mintz, At Any Cost: Corporate Greed,
Women, and the Dalkon
Shield, NewYork: Pantheon, 1985. As cited in
Mokhiber, see note 33,
36. See note 33, p.164-171.
37. See note 33, p.172-180.
38. Michael Waldman, Who Robbed America?, New
York: Random House,
1990. The quote is from Ralph Nader's
39. See note 33, p.217.
40. See note 33, p.235.
41. See note 33, p.277-288.
42. See note 33, p.323.
43. Katherine Hoyt Gonzalez, Nicaragua Network
Newsletter, March1992, p.1.
44. William Blum, The CIA -- A Forgotten History,
London: Zed Books
45a. John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies, New
York: Norton, 1978.
45b. See note 44, p.284-291.
46. See note 17, p.18.
47a. Letter to President George Bush from The Ad
Hoc Committee for
Panama (James Abourezk et al)., January 10, 1990;
published in The
Nation, February 5, 1990, p.163.
47b. Philip E. Wheaton, Panama, Trenton NJ: Red
Sea Press, 1992,
48a. Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen, Power,
Inc., New York: Bantam
48b. "The International Oil Cartel",
Federal Trade Commission,
December 2, 1949. Cited in 48a, p.521.
49a. See note 44, p.67-76.
49b. See note 48a, p.530-1.
50. Ralph W. McGehee, Deadly Deceits, New York:
51. HR-3385, "An Act to Provide Assistance
for Free and Fair Elections
in Nicaragua". Passed the U.S. House of
Representatives on October 4,
1989 by avote of 263 to 136, and the Senate on
October 17 by a vote of
64 to 35.
52. Jack Colhoun, "Gates Oozing Trail of
Lies, Gets Top CIA Post", The
Guardian,November 20, 1991, p.6.
53. Carl Bernstein, Time, February 24, 1992,
Cover Story p.28-35.
54. "The U.S. and the Vatican on Birth
Control", Time, February 24,
55. "Time's Missing Link: Poland to Latin
America", National Catholic
Reporter,February 28, 1992, p.24.
56a. Jim Lynn, "School of Americas Commander
Hopes to Expand Mission",
Benning Patriot, February 21, 1992, p.12.
56b. Vicky Imerman, "U.S. Army School of the
Expansion", News Release from S.O.A. Watch,
P.O. Bo 3330, Columbus,
57. 60 MINUTES, CBS, March 8, 1992.
58. Jack Colhoun, "Tricky Dick's Quick
Election Fix", The Guardian,
January 29,1992, p.18.
59a. Sean P. Murphy, "Several Probes May
Have Ignored Evidence Against
Police", Boston Globe, July 28, 1991, p.1.
59b. Christopher B. Daly, "Pattern of Police
Abuses Reported in Boston
Case", Washington Post, July 12, 1991, p.A3.
59c. Associated Press, "Dayton Police
Probing Erasure of Arrest
Video", WashingtonPost, May 26, 1991, p.A20.
59d. Gabriel Escobar, "Deaf Man's Death In
Police Scuffle Called
Homicide", Washington Post, May 18, 1991,
59e. Jay Mathews, "L.A. Police Laughed at
Beating", Washington Post,
March 19, 1991, p.A1.
59f. David Maraniss, "One Cop's View of
Police Violence", Washington
Post, April 12,1991, p.A1.
59g. From News Services, "Police Abuse
Detailed", Washington Post,
February 8, 1992,p.A8.
60. Michael Dobbs, "Panhandling the Kremlin:
How Gus Hall Got
Millions", Washington Post, March 1, 1992,
61. David Streitfeld, "Secret Consortium To
Publish Rushdie In
Paperback", Washington Post, March 14, 1992,
62a. See notes 48 and 49.
62b. See note 47b, p.63-76.
62c. "Fairness In Broadcasting Act of
1987", U.S. Senate Bill S742.
62d. "Now Let That 'Fairness' Bill
Die", Editorial, Washington Post,
June 24, 1987. The Post opposed the Fairness in
63. David E. Scheim, Contract on America -- The
Mafia Murder of
President John F.Kennedy, New York: Shapolsky
64. See note 63, p.28.
65a. Chuck Conconi, "Out and About",
Washington Post, February 26,
65b. George Lardner Jr., "On the Set: Dallas
Washington Post, May19, 1991, p.D1.
65c. George Lardner, "...Or Just a Sloppy
Mess", Washington Post, June
65d. Charles Krauthammer, "A Rash of
Conspiracy Theories -- When Do We
Dig Up BillCasey?", Washington Post, July 5,
65e. Eric Brace, "Personalities",
Washington Post, October 31, 1991,
65f. Associated Press, "'JFK' Director
Condemned -- Warren Commission
Attorney Calls Stone Film 'A Big Lie'",
Washington Post, December 16,
65g. Gerald R. Ford and David W. Belin,
"Kennedy Assassination: How
About the Truth?", Washington Post, December
17, 1991, p.A21.
65h. Rita Kemply, "'JFK': History Through A
Prism", Washington Post,
December 20,1991, p.D1.
65i. George Lardner Jr., "The Way it Wasn't
-- In 'JFK', Stone
Assassinates the Truth", Washington Post,
December 20, 1991, p.D2.
65j. Desson Howe, "Dallas Mystery: Who Shot
JFK?", Washington Post,
December 20,1991, p.55.
65k. Phil McCombs, "Oliver Stone, Returning
the Fire -- In Defending
His 'JFK' Conspiracy Film, the Director Reveals
His Rage and
Reasoning", Washington Post, December 21,
65l. George F. Will, "'JFK': Paranoid
History", Washington Post,
December 26, 1991,p.A23.
65m. "On Screen", 'JFK' movie review,
Washington Post, Weekend,
December 27, 1991.
65n. Stephen S. Rosenfeld, "Shadow
Play", Washington Post, December
27, 1991, p.A21.
65o. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "The Paranoid
Style", Washington Post,
December 29,1991, p.C7.
65p. Michael Isikoff, "H-e-e-e-e-r-e's
Conspiracy! -- Why Did Oliver
Stone Omit (Or Suppress!). the Role of Johnny
Post, December 29, 1991,p.C2.
65q. Robert O'Harrow Jr., "Conspiracy Theory
Wins Converts --
Moviegoers Say 'JFK' Nourishes Doubts That Oswald
Washington Post, January 2, 1992, p.B1.
65r. Michael R. Beschloss, "Assassination
and Obsession", Washington
Post, January 5, 1992, p.C1.
65s. Charles Krauthammer, "'JFK': A Lie, But
Post, January 10,1992, p.A19.
65t. Art Buchwald, "Bugged: The Flu
Conspiracy", Washington Post,
January 14, 1992,p.E1.
65u. Ken Ringle, "The Fallacy of Conspiracy
Theories -- Good on Film,
But the Motivation Is All Wrong", Washington
Post, January 19, 1992,
65v. Charles Paul Freund, "If History Is a
Lie -- America's Resort to
Conspiracy Thinking", Washington Post,
January 19, 1992, p.C1.
65w. Richard Cohen, "Oliver's Twist",
Washington Post Magazine,
January 19, 1992, p.5.
65. Michael Isikoff, "Seeking JFK's Missing
Brain", Washington Post,
January 21,1992, p.A17.
65y. Don Oldenburg, "The Plots Thicken --
Conspiracy Theorists Are
Everywhere", Washington Post, January 28,
65z. Joel Achenbach, "JFK Conspiracy: Myth
vs. the Facts", Washington
Post, February 28, 1992, p.C5.
65A. List of books on the best-seller list: On
the Trail of the
Assassins is characterized as "conspiracy
plot theories", Washington
Post, March 8, 1992,Bookworld, p.12
66. See notes 65n, 65w, 65l, 65b, 65c, and 65i.
67a. Peter Dale Scott, "Vietnamization and
the Drama of the Pentagon
Papers". Published in The Senator Gravel
Edition of The Pentagon
Papers, Volume V,p.211-247.
67b. Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy -- The
Secret Road to the
Second Indochina War, Indianapolis/New York:
Bobbs-Merrill, 1972, p.
67c. L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team,
Copyright 1973. New
printing, Costa Mesa CA: Institute for Historical
67d. See note 63, p.58, 183, 187, 194, 273-4.
67e. John M. Newman, JFK and Vietnam, New York:
Warner Books, 1992.
67f. Peter Dale Scott, Letter to the Editor, The
Nation, March 9,
68a. See note 65b.
68b. Oliver Stone, "The Post, George
Lardner, and My Version of the
JFK Assassination", Washington Post, June 2,
69. See note 65b.
70. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of The Assassins,
New York: Warner
Books, 1988, 315/318.
71. Associated Press, "Garrison, 2 Others,
Found Not Guilty Of Bribery
Charge", Washington Post, September 28,
72. See note 65c.
73. See note 65i.
74. See note 67e, p.438-450.
75. John G. Leyden, "Historians, Buffs, and
Post, Bookworld, January 26, 1992, p.8.
76a. Tad Szulc, "New Doubts, Fears in JFK
Washington Star,September 19, 1975, p.A1.
76b. Tad Szulc, "Warren Commission's
Self-Doubts Grew Day by Day --
'This Bullet Business Leaves Me Confused'",
Washington Star, September
20, 1975, p.A1.
76c. Tad Szulc, "Urgent and Secret Meeting
of the Warren Commission --
Dulles Proposed that the Minutes be
Destroyed", Washington Star,
September 21, 1975,p.A1.
77. "Cable Sought to Discredit Critics of
Warren Report", New York
Times, December 26, 1977, p.A37.
78. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, New York:
79a. Eve Pell, "Private Censorship --
Killing 'Katharine The Great'",
The Nation, November 12, 1983.
79b. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, Bethesda
MD: National Press,
1987. Davis says, "...corporate documents
that became available during
my subsequent lawsuit against him [Harcourt Brace
William Jovanovich] showed that 20,000 copies [of
Katharine the Great]
had been "processed and converted into waste
79c. Daniel Brandt, "All the Publisher's Men
-- A Suppressed Book
About Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham
Is On Sale Again"
National Reporter, Fall 1987, p.60.
79d. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, New
York: Sheridan Square
Press, 1991. "...publishers who don't give a
shit", p.iv-v; bullying
HBJ into recalling the book, p.iv-vi; lawsuit and
80. Benjamin C. Bradlee, Letter to Deborah Davis,
April 1, 1987. See
note 79d, p.304.
81. See note 79d, p.119-132.
82. Carl Bernstein, "The CIA and the Media
-- How America's Most
Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the
Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It
Up", Rolling Stone,
October 20, 1977, p.63.
83a. Daniel Brandt, Letter to Richard L. Harwood
of The Washington
Post, September 15, 1988. The letter asks for the
Post's rationale for
its policy of protecting government covert
actions, and whether this
policy is still in effect.
83b. Daniel Brandt, "Little Magazines May
Come and Go", The National
Reporter, Fall 1988, p.4. Notes the Post's
protection of the identity
of CIA agent Joseph F.Fernandez. Brandt says,
"America needs to
confront its own recent history as well as
protect the interests of
its citizens, and both can be accomplished by
covert activity. This would contribute more to
Americans than all the counterterrorist proposals
and elite strike
forces that ever found their way onto Pentagon
83c. Richard L. Harwood, Letter to Daniel Brandt,
September 28, 1988.
Harwood's two- sentence letter reads, "We
have a long-standing policy
of not naming covert agents of the C.I.A., except
circumstances. We applied that policy to
84. See note 79d, p.131.
85. Katharine Graham, "Safeguarding Our
Freedoms As We Cover Terrorist
Acts", Washington Post, April 20, 1986,
86. "conspire", ß4ßRandom House
Dictionary of the English Language,
Second Edition Unabridged, 1987.
87. Howard Kurtz, "Media Notes",
Washington Post, June 18, 1991, p.D1.
88. See note 65y.
89. See note 65n.
90. See note 65d.
91. William Casey, Private Communications with
JCH, March 1992.
Richard Harwood, "What Conspiracy?",
Washington Post, March 1, 1992,
93. p. 29-32.
94a. Washington Post Electronic Data Base, Dialog
Inc., April 25, 1992. In 1991 and 1992, the name
Bill Clinton appeared
in 878 Washington Post stories, columns, letters,
"Jerry" Brown in 485, Pat Buchanan in
303, and Larry Agran in 28. In
those 28, Agran's name appeared 76 times,
Clinton's 151, and Brown
105. In only 1 of those 28 did Agran's name
appear in a headline.
94b. Colman McCarthy, "What's 'Minor' About
Washington Post, February 1, 1992. Washington
Post columnist McCarthy
tells how television and party officials have
candidate Larry Agran out of sight. The Post's
own daily news-blackout
of Agran is not discussed.
94c. Scot Lehigh, "Larry Agran: 'Winner' in
Debate With Little Chance
For the Big Prize", Boston Globe, February
94d. Joshua Meyrowitz, "The Press Rejects a
Journalism Review,March/April, 1992.
95. Ben H. Bagdikian, The Effete Conspiracy And
Other Crimes By The
Press, NewYork: Harper and Row, 1972, p.36-7.
96a. 28 USC Section 455. "Any justice,
judge, or magistrate of the
United States shall disqualify himself in any
proceeding in which his
impartiality might reasonably be
questioned." [emphasis added]
96b. Alpo Petfoods, Inc. v. Ralston Purina Co.,
913 F2d 958 (CA DC
96c. Monroe Freedman, "Thomas' Ethics and
the Court -- Nominee 'Unfit
to Sit' For Failing to Recuse In Ralston Purina
Case", Legal Times,
August 26, 1991.
96d. Paul D. Wilcher, "Opposition to the
Confirmation of Judge
Clarence Thomas to become a Justice on the U.S.
Supreme Court on the
grounds of his JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT", Letter
to U.S. Senator Joseph R.
Biden, October 15, 1991.
97. Al Kamen and Michael Isikoff, "'A
Distressing Turn', Activists
Decry What Process Has Become", Washington
Post, October 12, 1991,
98. January 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 1992, p.A1
99. See note 86.
100. Thomas W. Lippman, "Energy Lobby Fights
Washington Post,April 1, 1992, p.A21. This
article explains that "representatives of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, the National
Association of Manufacturers and the coal, oil,
natural gas, offshore
drilling and nuclear power industries, whose
interests often conflict,
pledged to work together to oppose amendments
limiting offshore oil
drilling, nuclear power and carbon dioxide
emissions soon to be
offered by key House members".
101. "cartel", Webster's New Collegiate