1977. James Earl Carter wins the White House. George Bush is out as CIA Director and replaced by Stansfield Turner.
October 1977. Stansfield tries to get control and fires 820 agents. “What was really behind the outcries,” writes Turner, “was outrage at my challenging the traditional independence of the espionage branch. If I could summarily reduce the size of the espionage branch, I might next begin to supervise what it did. The cry was over power and turf.” From Craig Unger, House of Bush/House of Saud (page 50): “Certainly the CIA itself saw Bush as a favorite son. Jimmy Carter’s appointment of Stansfield Turner as CIA director had angered hundreds of agents. In October 1977, Turner eliminated 820 surplus CIA personnel, many of whom had been counterintelligence officers. “You can’t imagine the tremendous anger against the Carter administration in the military and intelligence apparatus,” says Susan Clough, Carter’s personal secretary. “Emotions had been boiling for years.”
October 1977. Iranian Revolution begins. Demonstrations against the Shah commenced in October 1977, developing into a campaign of civil resistance that included both secular and religious elements, and which intensified in January 1978.
November 15, 1977. Iranian students riot at the White House while the Shah of Iran is a guest at the White House. President Carter and the Shah are outside giving a speech when tear gas is used, visibly affecting those at the podium.
February 1, 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile.
November 4, 1979. Iranian Hostage Crisis begins. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days.
April 24, 1980. All sorts of mechanical malfunctions with helicopters doom Operation Eagle Claw, killing 8 American soldiers in their efforts to free the hostages. (A successful raid would have greatly increased Carter’s chances of reelection in November 1980).
July 28, 1980. William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager, travels to Madrid, Spain and meets with representatives of Khomenei – Cyrus and Jasmid Hashemi, and others. They discuss an arrangement whereby the United States would supply arms to Iran if Reagan was elected. The condition that Iran should hold the hostages until that point was not discussed, but clearly implied. This arrangement is referred to frequently as the “October Surprise” theory because a successful rescue mission or negotiated hostage release in October 1980 would have favored Carter in the 1980 election.
August 12, 1980. Wikipedia: Karrubi meets again with Casey, saying Khomeini has agreed to the proposal. Casey agrees the next day, naming Cyrus Hashimi as middleman to handle the arms transactions. More meetings are set for October. Cyrus Hashimi purchases a Greek ship and commences arms deliveries valued at $150 million from the Israeli port of Eilat to Bandar Abbas. According to CIA sources, Hashimi receives a $7 million commission. Casey is said to use an aide named Tom Carter in the negotiations.
October 19, 1980. George Bush, on Reagan’s ticket as Vice President, travels to Paris to further discuss arms sales to Iran. “On the 19th of October Mr. Rupp brought Mr. Bush, Mr. Casey and a number of other people to Paris, France from the United States, for a meeting with Iranian representatives, ‘according to Brenneke.’”
January 20, 1981. $8 Billion is transferred to an Algerian account at the Bank of London. Ronald Reagan takes his Oath of Office. The hostages are released. They had been sitting on a plane for over 24 hours. Minor delays kept them from being released for even one minute while President Carter was in office.
March 1981. Rafi Eitan and Ben-Manashe (Israeli intelligence) move to New York to facilitate arm sales of U.S. to Iran. “As the amount of money increased, they had to start a front company for the accounts, name chosen was ORA, or light in Hebrew.” (Gideon’s Spies, pages 169-170).
1983. As reported by Seymour Hersh, Nicholas Davies acted as a broker for arms sales to Iran via Israel. Davies worked for Robert Maxwell at the Daily Mirror.
Summer 1984. Boren Committee: “Documents and testimony indicate that Adnan Khashoggi and other international arms dealers, including Manucher Ghorbanifar, were interested in bringing the U.S. into an arms relationship with Iran, and had discussed this at a series of meetings beginning in the summer of 1984 and continuing into early 1985. These discussions reportedly included the idea of an ‘arms for hostages’ deal in part as a means of establishing each country’s bona fides.“
September 24, 1984. United States embassy annex bombing in Beirut. Wikipedia: “On September 20, 1984, the Shi’a Islamic militant group Hezbollah, with support and direction from the Islamic Republic of Iran, carried out a suicide car bombing targeting the U.S. embassy annex in East Beirut, Lebanon. The attack killed 24 people.”
March 15, 1985. Robert Maxwell meets with Nahum Admoni, (Mossad Director General). Ben-Manashe, also Mossad, surprises them with the presence of Viktor Chebrikov (vice chairman of the KGB)- at Mirror’s offices in London. Subject: transfer of large sums of money to banks in Soviet Union from ORA’s profits in sales of U.S. arms to Iran.. $450 million then, and billion later. (Gideon’s Spies, page 176)
May 1985. Boren Committee: “In May 1985, the CIA National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East prepared a five-page memo which went to the NSC and the State Department, arguing for a change in U.S. policy that would seek a more constructive relationship with Iranian leaders interested in improved ties with the West. The memo argued in part that the U.S. could permit allies to sell arms to Iran as one of the alternative means of establishing Western influence so as to offset growing Soviet inroads in Iran. Apparently using the arguments in this memo two members of the NSC staff then prepared a draft National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) which proposed a departure in U.S. policy toward Iran.”
May 4, 1985. Boren Committee: “According to Ledeen, he traveled to Israel on 4-5 May 1985, and discussed the situation in Iran with Prime Minister Peres. Peres referred Ledeen to a retired Israeli intelligence official who agreed with Ledeen that both countries needed to work together to improve their knowledge of Iran. Ledeen testified that he reported his talks in Israel to McFarlane in mid-May, and that McFarlane subsequently arranged to task the Intelligence Community to produce a Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) on Iran.“
June 14, 1985. Boren Committee: TWA Flight 847 hijacked. “According to testimony by White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, McFarlane mentioned the possibility of requesting use of the Israeli channel to Iran in briefings to the President during the crisis. Regan said that this was his first awareness of any such contacts.”
July 1985. Boren Committee: “In July 1985 Khashoggi sent McFarlane a lengthy paper he had written dealing with the political situation in Iran. McFarlane testified that he did not recall seeing these papers, but indicated the existence of prior “think pieces” Khashoggi had sent him on the Middle East. A staff member of the NSC testified that McFarlane gave the Khashoggi paper to another NSC staffer. Michael Ledeen, a professor at Georgetown University, and a part-time NSC consultant beginning in February 1985, appears to have played a key role in the initial contacts between the U.S. and Israel vis-a-vis Iran. According to Ledeen, while on a trip to Europe in April 1985, he spoke with a European intelligence official who had just returned from Iran. The official characterized the internal situation in Iran as more fluid than previously thought, and suggested it was time for the U.S. to take a new look at Iran. He said that the U.S. should discuss this with the Israelis, who the official believed were unusually well-informed about Iran.“
July 3, 1985. Boren Committee: “According to testimony by McFarlane, on July 3, 1985, David Kimche, Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and a former intelligence officer, contacted McFarlane and reported to him that Israel had succeeded in establishing a dialogue with Iran. Kimche stated that as a result of growing concerns with Soviet pressures, Iranian officials had asked Israel to determine whether the U.S. would be interested in opening up political talks with Iran. According to McFarlane, Kimche stated that the Iranians understood U.S. concerns regarding their legitimacy and therefore had proposed to use their influence with radical elements holding U.S. hostages in Lebanon. Although there was no specific Iranian request for arms, Kimche admitted to the possibility that the Iranians might raise the arms issue in the future.”
August 8, 1985. Boren Committee: “On August 8, 1985 at a meeting of the National Security Planning Group in the White House residence, McFarlane, with Poindexter, briefed the President, the Vice President, Shultz, Weinberger, Regan, and Casey on the Kimche proposal to permit the sale of TOWs to Iran through Israel.“
August 30, 1985. Boren Committee: “According to documents received by the Committee, the shipment of 508 TOWs left Israel on August 30, 1985, transited a third country and arrived in Iran on September 13. North later asserted to Meese that he was totally unaware of the TOW shipment at the time it occurred.”
September 29, 1985. Sweden raids an arms dealer, which later leads to Olof Palme’s assassination. Executive Intelligence Review: “Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme may very well have signed his own death warrant, when, on Sept. 29, 1985, Swedish Customs officials raided the Malmo offices of arms broker Karl-Erik Schmitz, and seized thousands of pages of documents, detailing the activities of a global arms and munitions cartel, operating on both sides of the Iron Curtain, that was responsible for, among other things, funneling billions of dollars of war materiel to Iran and Iraq, to the Nicaraguan Contras, and to terrorist groups all over the globe.”
September 15, 1985. “On September 15, 1985, the Reverend Benjamin Weir was released from his captivity in Lebanon. According to testimony received by the Committee, there was reason to believe at the time that Ghorbanifar played a direct role in the event. In addition, Ledeen testified that it was clear to the Israelis that there was a causal relationship between the September arms shipment and Ghorbanifar’s role in it and the release of Weir. The view that the Iranians helped to secure Weir’s release appears to have been shared by McFarlane.” Wikipedia: “The kidnapping was done by an Islamic fundamentalist group, Islamic Jihad, that later evolved into Hezbollah.”
November 1985. “In November 1985, the CIA role deepened when it directly provided air transport for an arms shipment to Iran.”
November 17, 1985. Boren Committee: “McFarlane testified that on November 17, while in Geneva for the Summit, he received a call from Israeli Defense Minister Rabin. Rabin requested assistance in resolving difficulties Israel was having in a shipment of military equipment through a European country onward to Iran. McFarlane told the Committee that he called Colonel North, briefed him on the President’s August 1985 decision, and requested that he contact Rabin and offer assistance.“
November 25, 1985. Boren Committee: “On November 25, McMahon learned that a CIA proprietary had flown the arms to Iran in support of an “NSC mission” without his knowledge or approval. According to McMahon, he instructed that no further CIA activity in support of the NSC operation was to be conducted without a Presidential Finding authorizing covert action. McMahon also directed that involved CIA officials brief the CIA General Counsel, Stanley Sporkin, on what had transpired.”
November 26, 1985. Boren Committee: “This draft finding was prepared by Sporkin, approved by DCI Casey and delivered to Poindexter on November 26. The draft Finding authorized CIA to provide assistance to “private parties” seeking to free American hostages. It also contained language retroactively ratifying all previous activities undertaken by U.S. officials in pursuit of this effort and directed that the Congress not be informed until directed by the President.“
January 18, 1986. Boren Committee: “On January 18, 1986, he and two other CIA officials, accompanied by the CIA General Counsel, met with North and Poindexter at the White House where they were told that the President had signed a Finding the day before and that CIA would provide support for the activity, which was to be run out of the NSC. They were also told, according to testimony, that the Finding stipulated that Congress was not to be informed because of the sensitivity of the hostage situation. Documents received by the Committee indicate that on January 21, the CIA was asked to assist LTC North in preparing for a meeting in Europe with Ghorbanifar. They did so later that day.“
February 28, 1986. Executive Intelligence Review: “On February 28, 1986, Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on the streets of Stockholm, as he and his wife were walking home from a movie. Palme’s wife was also shot in the attack, but survived. The assassin, or assassins, escaped, despite the fact that the prime minister’s security detail was in the area, when the attack took place.“
April 8, 1986. LA Times: “In an apparent contradiction of Israeli claims that Israel played only a minor role in the shipment of U.S. arms to Iran this year, sources confirmed Friday that a top aide to Prime Minister Shimon Peres tried to help two arms merchants obtain $15 million to finance a U.S.-to-Iran weapons deal this spring. The aide, Amiram Nir, accompanied Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and Iranian businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar to a meeting in London the night of April 8 with Roland W. (Tiny) Rowland, chief executive of Lonrho, a British trading and mining conglomerate, sources said. The meeting continued into the early morning.”
May 25, 1986. “Posing as technicians of Are Lingus, Irish national airline, Amiram Nir and Oliver North flew from Tel Aviv to Tehran on Israeli aircraft with Irish air logo with ninety-seven TOW missiles and a pallet of HAWK spare parts. Nir had a fake US passport provided by North.” (Gideon’s Spies, page 319).
July 21, 1986. Cyrus Hashemi is dead after a sudden onset of leukemia. He had met with William Casey in Madrid to discuss the plan to hold hostages in exchange for arms.
July 29, 1986. George Bush meets with Amiram Nir in Jerusalem. Executive Intelligence Review: “Boyden Gray has been caught several times falsifying the public record about the involvement of Bush and of his office staff in Iran-Contra. Gray was the principal public apologist for the suppression of Bush aide Craig Fuller’s notes on the meeting of Bush with Amiram Nir in Jerusalem on July 29, 1986. These notes were deleted from the Boren Committee report of January 1987 for “diplomatic” reasons, according to the State Department.” Gideon’s Spies, page 323: “According to writer Joel Bainerman, ‘Nir was secretly taping the entire conversation. And this provided him with evidence linking Bush to the arms-for-hostages deal. At the meeting were McKee and Gannon, who would die in the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie.’”
August 1986. New York Times: Swiss shipping magnate receives $10 Million in error from Sultan of Brunei due to mistake transposing numbers on bank account by Oliver North. Elliott Abrams then notified the Sultan, who ordered the $10 million transferred by Citibank’s branch in Brunei to the account in Credit Suisse in Geneva.
November 1986. Lebanese newspaper Al Shirra breaks story about US arms sales to Iran. (Craig Unger, House of Bush/House of Saud, page 76.)
November 24, 1986. Washington Post op-ed: “The attorney general (Edwin Meese) said (lied) on Nov. 24 that North was the only person in the U.S. government who knew precisely about funds from the Iran arms transfers being transferred to the contras.”
December 1, 1986. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (“Boren Committee“) “undertook a preliminary inquiry into the sale of arms to Iran and possible diversion of funds to the Contras.”
December 14, 1986. William S. Broomfield, R-MI, writes op-ed to WaPo “That crisis can be avoided by acting immediately to secure the truth by granting immunity to North for his testimony.”
December 20, 1986. LA Times: “In an apparent contradiction of Israeli claims that Israel played only a minor role in the shipment of U.S. arms to Iran this year, sources confirmed Friday that a top aide to Prime Minister Shimon Peres tried to help two arms merchants obtain $15 million to finance a U.S.-to-Iran weapons deal this spring. The aide, Amiram Nir, accompanied Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and Iranian businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar to a meeting in London the night of April 8 with Roland W. (Tiny) Rowland, chief executive of Lonrho, a British trading and mining conglomerate, sources said. The meeting continued into the early morning. An Israeli magazine reported in an issue this week that Khashoggi and Nir may have approached other unnamed “millionaires” in search of front money. The involvement of Nir in any such meeting was bound to give the impression that top-level Israelis backed such deals, but it is unclear whether Nir’s involvement was authorized by higher Israeli officials.”
January 9, 1987. Executive Intelligence Review: “The Washington Post (can’t find original link via Google search) of Jan. 9, 1987 published a front-page picture of Amiram Nir with the caption: ‘Israeli Met Bush About Deal.’ Relevant paragraphs are as follows: ‘White House officials also disclosed yesterday that Vice President Bush met last July with Amiram Nir, a key Israeli official on the arms sales, while Bush was in Jerusalem. Nir made it clear to Bush that the arms shipments were meant, at least in part, to lead to freedom for the American hostages. He told Bush that some elements in Iran were resisting the release of all the hostages, apparently seeking to use the remaining captives as leverage for additional weapons shipments from the United States.’ (Paragraph) ‘An informed source familiar with the meeting quoted Nir as saying, ‘If all the hostages came out, the relationship [between Iran and Israel and the United States] might die, and the relationship was going to grow if we could demonstrate our good intentions by providing weapons.’”
February 27, 1987. The Tower Commission report is published, blaming William Casey for IranContra. “Director Casey appears to have been informed in considerable detail about the specifics of the Iranian operation. He appears to have acquiesced in and to have encouraged North’s exercise of direct operational control of the operation. Because of the NSC staff’s proximity to and close identification with the President, this increased the risks to the President if the initiative became public or the operation failed. (Paragraph). There is no evidence, however, that Director Casey explained this risk to the President or made clear to the President that LtCol North, rather than the CIA, was running the operation. The President does not recall ever having been informed of this fact. Indeed, Director Casey should have gone further and pressed for operational responsibility to be transferred to the CIA.” John Tower was a Republican Senator from Texas. He’s in the center of the picture below:
May 5, 1987. “Dick Cheney (R-WY), as Ranking Member of the House Select Committee to investigate ‘Iran/Contra,’ says in his opening remarks that the President has cooperated fully.”
May 6, 1987. The day before Casey (now Director of CIA) was scheduled to testify before Congress, Casey suffered two seizures and was hospitalized. Three days later, Casey underwent surgery for a previously undiagnosed brain tumor.
May 11, 1987. Robert McFarlane (former National Security Advisor for Reagan) testifies about “shredding parties” with Oliver North.
May 13, 1987. Robert McFarlane continutes testimony to William Cohen, R-Maine. Mr. COHEN: “In fact, we have evidence that Colonel North was calling the chief of station in a Central American Country and having him report to Colonel North. We have an ambassador being called in Lebanon, having him report to Colonel North. It is rather clear that Oliver North was acting under the-at least the aegis of Director Casey during this time?” Mr. McFARLANE: “Yes, sir.” William Cohen, a Republican, became Defense Secretary under President Clinton. Below is the “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” photo of William Cohen, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton on April 25, 1999- the day before CIA Headquarters were named after George Bush.
May 17, 1987. New York Times: “The special prosecutor in the Iran-contra case has granted immunity to a key figure in the case, Robert C. Dutton, and has questioned him before a grand jury, according to a Federal investigator and others with knowledge of the inquiry.”
August 1, 1987. New York Times: “The special prosecutor in the Iran-contra affair has granted full immunity to Lieut. Col. Richard B. Gadd, a key participant in the affair who helped direct the private network supplying weapons to the Nicaraguan rebels, according to a Federal law-enforcement official and the colonel’s lawyer.”
March 17, 1988. New York Times: “Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North, Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter and two other key participants in the Iran-contra affair were indicted today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States by illegally providing the Nicaraguan rebels with profits from the sale of American weapons to Iran.”
July 4, 1988. “Trump Princess, formerly Nabila when owned by Adnan Khashoggi, set sail from the Azores to arrive in New York on July 4, 1988, in time for a huge party Trump threw on the yacht.”
November 30, 1988. Amiram Nir is in a plane crash.
December 21, 1988. Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland. “On board the aircraft as it left London on that December night in 1988 were eight members of the U.S. intelligence community returning from duty in the Middle East. Four of them were CIA field officers, led by Matthew Gannon. Also on board were U.S. Army major Charles McKee and his small team of experts in hostage rescue. They had been in the Middle East to explore the possibility of freeing the Western hostages still held in Beirut.… Aviv’s report claimed McKee had learned about the “CIA rogue team,” which had worked under the code name of COREA, and that its members also had close ties to another of those mysterious figures who had found his niche on the fringes of the intelligence world. Monzer Al-Kassar had built a reputations an arms dealer in Europe, including supplying Colonel Oliver North with weapons for him to pass on to the Nicaraguan Contras in 1985-86.… The report further claimed McKee had discovered the scam while pursuing his own contacts in the Middle East underworld in an attempt to find a way to rescue the Beirut hostages. Aviv stated in his report that “McKee planned to bring back to the U.S. proof of the rogue intelligence connections to Al-Kassar. (Gideon’s Spies, pages 316-321).
March 3, 1989. Robert McFarlane, former US National Security Advisor under President Reagan, got a $20,000 fine and 2 years probation for the Iran-Contra affair.
March 9, 1989. The Senate rejected John Tower by a 55-45 after being nominated by Reagan to be Secretary of Defense.
March 10, 1989. Reagan nominated Dick Cheney to be Secretary of Defense who was later confirmed.
April 7, 1989. John Poindexter convicted on April 7, 1990, of five counts of lying to Congress and obstructing the Congressional committees investigating the Iran–Contra affair.
April 5, 1991. John Tower dies in a plane crash.
November 4, 1991. Consortium News: “In a ‘memorandum for record’ dated Nov. 4, 1991, Associate White House Counsel Paul Beach Jr. wrote that one document that had been unearthed was a record of Reagan’s campaign director William J. Casey traveling to Madrid, Spain, a potentially key corroboration of Jamshid Hashemi’s claim that Casey had met with senior Iranian emissary Mehdi Karrubi in Madrid in late July and again in mid-August 1980.”
November 5, 1991. Robert Maxwell is dead and found floating in the sea the next day. I took a closer look at it here.