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What Argo Left Out

September 1, 2014

I am sure many of you have enjoyed the Ben Affleck movie Argo. Affleck was as old as I was in 1979 and he claims on NPR that he was a Middle Eastern Studies major. I was not a Middle Eastern studies major but I definitely have a better understanding of what happened during that period and it was not captured in this movie.

With our liberties being threatened since 9/11 and being padded down by TSA when embarking on a flight, I think there are some very important details that would have been nice if it had been captured in this movie, then again, perhaps Affleck does not get padded down at the airport, maybe he takes private jets everywhere like John Travolta, I dont know, but let me share with you what I do know.

Iran was a crucial piece of the geo-petroleum mosaic when actor Ben Affleck and I were only eight years old. And one thing that Affleck should have pointed out in this movie is that where oil is concerned, the Bush Crime Family is not far behind, in particular, George H.W. Bush and his coalition.

In 1979, after years of oppressive rule, the U.S.-backed shah was overthrown, he was given sanctuary in the United States, and angry crowds in Tehran seized the U.S. embassy. The resulting hostage crisis dominated world headlines and began inflicting what would be a mortal wound on Carter’s presidency. It was about this time that a young dark-haired visitor arrived at the offices of a man named James R. Bath, intimate friend of the Bush Crime Family. That dark-haired visitor was an Iranian guy who was ostensibly an aircraft salesman, but he was introduced as His Royal Highness Reza Pahlavi, the shah’s son.

This young man had come to the United States to train as a jet fighter pilot, and spent the previous year at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. But in 1979, with his father overthrown, the shah’s son needed to lay low. The Ayatollah Khomeini had just put out a contract on the shah’s family, and by December, a nephew of the shah would be assassinated in Paris. So Reza was hiding out at Jim Bath’s place, pretending to be an aircraft salesman. His father, Shah Reza Pahlavi, had been installed by two coups–one British (1947), the other North American (1953)–and was incompetent, fabulously corrupt, and gratuitously brutal. The shah’s first national police force, the Gendarmerie, was trained by U.S. World War II veteran General Norman Schwarzkopf, whose son, Schwarzkopf junior led “Desert Storm” on Iraq in 1991 where I and Ben Affleck were in high school by then.

After the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup that toppled a popularly elected prime minister and restored the shah to dictatorial power, it was clear that Reza Pahlavi needed protection against his own people. So the CIA, under Allen Dulles and deputy director Richard Helms, helped train a new Iranian secret police force, the dreaded SAVAK.

Just like JFK was removed from power by the CIA via assassination, Nixon was removed via the assassination of his character through the CIA setup and sabotage of the Watergate break-in where Richard Helms lost his job as CIA director and shipped off to Iran as U.S. ambassador, a bad move for Iran-U.S. relations.

Unfortunately, former President Jimmy Carter kept some bad company by the people he had on his administration beginning with Brzezinski who in October of 1979, as a mouthpiece for the Rockefellers urged President Carter to admit the fleeing shah for medical treatment. This enraged the Iranian populace, which in turn prompted the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of fifty-two North American hostages there.

Less well known is that David and Nelson Rockefeller used the takeover as a pretext to prevent the Iranian revolutionaries from withdrawing petrodollars from the Chase Manhattan Bank in London, where the shah kept most of his assets.

Again under intense pressure from the Rockefellers, the Carter administration seized all of Iran’s assets.

President Jimmy Carter was a sharp fellow, and no pushover. He had been elected with a mandate and an ambition to open up the government. He would not stand in the way of the ongoing congressional inquiries into abuses of power by federal agencies, in particular, the CIA. In fact, one of Carter’s first steps was to try to reform the intelligence agency. I dont think Carter understood that the CIA exists to protect the oil interests of wealthy families and will do whatever it takes to remain in existence, nevertheless, Carter was determined to regain White House control over the CIA. Carter’s administration ousted officers from the Operations Division–the perceived “rogue element”–along with their paid outside agents. There had already been some previous purges on the part of past administrations so there were a lot of angry ex-spooks.

For an organization that has staged coups and political assassinations across the globe and right here at home with JFK, they were not going to just go away and in 1977, former CIA counterintelligence czar James Angleton and some former colleagues started an organization, the Security and Intelligence Fund (SIF), ostensibly to defend U.S. security and intelligence organizations. Notice it wasn’t created to protect the Constitution or the people of the United States, but instead raised money for the defense of two FBI officers then under indictment. Of all these disgruntled ex-CIA officers who had been turned out from their home, none was more disgruntled than the immediate past CIA director, George H.W. Bush.

So just like Nixon’s career was deliberately ruined by the CIA and the Bush Crime Family and just as JFK was assassinated by them, President Carter got his as well via a two-pronged attack and I will get into both.

The first was by looking into the Carter appointed director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance. At issue were loans Lance had used to comply with terms of his stock purchase with the National Bank of Georgia. It was a highly technical matter.

Shortly after Labor Day 1977, Lance resigned as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was out of work and nearly broke–and susceptible to being compromised further. It was at this time that he was introduced to Agha Hassan Abedi, the Pakistani who headed the now infamous BCCI or the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Abedi ostensibly wanted to use Bert Lance as a front man for acquiring a banking operation in the United States, something foreigners then could generally not do under U.S. law.

In November of 1977, Lance met a young Saudi through Abedi named Ghraith Pharaon who was interested in buying Lance’s bank stock–which Pharaon, unlike Abedi, could do because he had already been approved by North American regulators and had already acquired substantial interests in domestic banking. Lance, who was deeply in debt, agreed enthusiastically, and Pharaon bought out his shares in the National Bank of Georgia at a 25 percent premium over market value.

Around the same time in 1977 that BCCI bought out Bert Lance’s bank shares, he was approached separately by a purportedly disgruntled shareholder faction of the giant Washington-based Financial General Bankshares (FGB), a bank with deep connections in the intelligence community. The FGB wanted Lance to assist them in identifying a bank to acquire their FGB stock. This would expose Lance even more and any scrutiny of Lance’s role could not help but point a finger at his close friend and former business associate Jimmy Carter. So Lance and Carter are deep in it to the extent where Abedi even donated five hundred thousand dollars to help create the Carter Center at Emory University.

As if the scandal over Lance’s banking dealings weren’t enough of an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter–seriously tarnishing his image of rectitude–intermediaries connected with North American and Israeli intelligence managed to woo Carter’s brother Billy into a lucrative arms deal with the reviled Libyan dictator Mu’ammar al-Gadhafi.

I am not saying that Carter was a great guy, but he and his administration was being embarrassed in this way and coerced so that he wouldn’t be reelected because the Bush Crime Family and the CIA had other plans for the future of the United States. The next step in this chess game was some information that you dont see in the movie Argo on what happened behind the scenes during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

The greatest fear that Bush and his fellow Republicans had was that the Carter White House would resolve the Iranian hostage crisis in the final weeks of the 1980 campaign and throw the election back to the Democratic incumbent. Within the Reagan-Bush campaign, this threat was termed the “October Surprise.”

Above is a video of Gary Sick, Carter’s National Security Council expert on the Middle East, who contended in his book October Surprise that William Casey, then manager for the Reagan-Bush campaign, worked out a clandestine deal with the Iranians during the summer and fall of 1980. This involved a quid pro quo: if the fifty-two North American hostages were held until after the election, the Republicans vowed to deliver desperately needed arms and spare parts to Iran. This is the story Ben Affleck should have made a movie about, because the 1980 election involved, in Sick’s words, a “political coup” that handed the Reagan-Bush ticket the White House.

 

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From → History, Liberty

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