Throughout the early and mid-1980s, the Reagan administration declared that the Russians were spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan -- the so-called "yellow rain" -- and had caused more than ten thousand deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981, so precise was the information). President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 15 times in documents and speeches. The "yellow rain", it turned out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by huge swarms of honeybees flying far overhead. 17
Reagan's long-drawn-out statements re: Contragate (the scandal involving the covert sale of weapons to Iran to enable Reaganites to continue financing the Contras in the war against the Nicaraguan government after the US Congress cut off funding for the Contras) can be summarized as follows:
I didn't know what was happening.Notes
If I did know, I didn't know enough.
If I knew enough, I didn't know it in time.
If I knew it in time, it wasn't illegal.
If it was illegal, the law didn't apply to me.
If the law applied to me, I didn't know what was happening.
1. Sunday Telegraph (Australia), December 19, 2010
2. Salon.com, December 15, 2010, "The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention". See also his attorney's account of Manning's typical day; and Washington Post, December 16, 2010
3. The Guardian (London), December 17, 2010
4. New York Times, December 19, 2010
5. Washington Post, December 20, 2010
6. Diane Rehm show, National Public Radio, Dec. 9, 2010
7. The Guardian (London), December 21, 2010
8. Information Clearing House, December 23 2010, "WikiLeaks to Release Israel Documents in Six Months"
9. Washington Post, December 12, 2010
10. From Medved's radio show, December 14, 2010; "Nixon: The Anti-Semitic Savior of Israel"
11. Al Jazeera, December 22 2010, Frost Over the World: Julian Assange interview
12. March 21, 1983, in the White House
13. "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II", p.17-18. Also for the five countries listed above, see the respective chapters in this book.
14. June, 2004; Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter; Weissman, editor of the Multinational Monitor, both in Washington, D.C.
15. April, 2007; Baker is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC
16. Washington Post columnist, June 3, 2009
17. "Killing Hope", p.349