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you lie and cheat during the campaign, it’s not going to end there. And, of course, it didn’t. Before long we had the Iran-Contra scandal, which we’ll look at in the next chapter. I angrily look at the American people and wonder how they can possibly accept this. We just throw our hands up in the air and say, “Oh, well, that’s government, that’s what they do.” No, we need to understand, government is us! The whole seamy saga surrounding the hostages started to unravel in 1987, when the Miami Herald published an article quoting some statements from a CIA agent, Alfonso Chardy, about the secret October meetings. Also that year, Bani-Sadr wrote a book that was published in Europe and got into some of what he knew. Playboy and Esquire followed up with articles. In 1989, Barbara Honegger came out with her book October Surprise; she’d been a loyal Reagan staffer until she left out of disillusionment with some of the practices she’d observed. Honegger said she was present on inauguration day when she heard Reagan say to “tell the Iranians that the deal is off if that [last] hostage is not freed.”21 Reagan had left office by the time of Honegger’s book, and Poppa Bush was just beginning his first term. In early November 1989, Ari Ben-Menashe was arrested in L.A. The Mossad agent was charged with having violated the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, by attempting to sell Iran three C-130 transport planes with a false-end-user certificate. Apparently our left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing. Israeli master spy Rafi Eitan was worried that Ben-Menashe “was in a position to blow wide open the U.S./Israeli arms-to-Iran network whose tentacles had extended everywhere: down to Central and South America, through London, into Australia, across to Africa, deep into Europe.”22 Sure enough, Ben-Menashe was soon squawking to reporters. He implicated Bush and Gates in the October Surprise. He talked of a secret American policy to send weapons through Chile to the Iraqis. (We’re playing both ends against the middle again). The government of Israel tried to discredit Ben-Menashe as a fabricator, but Associated Press journalist Robert Parry uncovered internal Israeli documents proving he’d worked for an arm of their military intelligence for a decade (1977-1987). So the Israelis had some egg on their face, but meantime both they and the White House were seeking out more friendly reporters. One of these was Steven Emerson, who wrote that he’d seen derogatory records on the “delusional” Ben-Menashe. But corroboration for what Ben-Menashe had to say did surface over time, including the Iraq weapons deal.23 A federal jury acquitted him of the charges at the end of 1990.

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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