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Bohemian Grove & Reagan's "Treason"

By       Message Robert Parry     Permalink
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Some of you might object to this reasoning. It might seem to you that just because someone writes a person's home phone number down doesn't mean the person is necessarily at home, especially since Allen told the investigators he had no memory or record of reaching Casey at his home.

As an experiment, you might test out the investigators' logic yourself. If you're, say, out to dinner with someone and you write their home number down, are they still sitting across from you or have they vanished and rematerialized at home?

One of the Democratic congressmen on the House task force investigating the October Surprise issue even made this observation. Rep. Mervyn Dymally, D-California, wrote a draft dissent that said "just because phones ring ... doesn't mean that someone is there to answer the phone." But Dymally said he was subsequently bullied by task force chairman Lee Hamilton into withdrawing his objection.

So, with the new Bohemian Grove alibi grafted in -- along with other alibis almost as meritorious -- the October Surprise allegations was again debunked, assigned to the loony ward of conspiracy theories along with the two dozen or so witnesses and various documents that indicated that Reagan's team had gone behind Carter's back on the hostage crisis to gain an advantage in the 1980 election.

Thus, the reputations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were preserved. Everyone who mattered in the U.S. political/media structure could breathe a sigh of relief.

Finding a Photo

But the absurd Bohemian Grove alibi and the task force's other strange cover stories never sat well with me, leading me in late 1994 to arrange access to some of the raw documents from the 1992 October Surprise task force investigation.

Inside the boxes of those records, I found a number of documents that pointed in the opposite direction from the official conclusion of Reagan/Bush innocence, including some that were marked "secret" and "top secret," apparently left behind with the unclassified documents by mistake. I managed to make copies of some of these papers and later posted them on the Internet.

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But one photo was particularly interesting to me. It was a group picture of the Bohemian Grove members and guests who had stayed at the Parsonage cottage on that last weekend in July 1980. The Parsonage is where Casey had been assigned in 1980. So, it would seem material to the October Surprise investigation whether he was in the group photo or not.

I scanned the photo (and you can, too). Casey was not in the group that stayed in the Parsonage the last weekend of July 1980. In other words, the October Surprise investigators not only had documentary evidence showing that Casey was at the Grove the first weekend of August; they had a photo showing that he was not there on the last weekend of July.

Not surprisingly, I guess, the House task force investigators hid the photograph and went ahead with their Bohemian Grove alibi.

After obtaining the photograph and other concealed evidence that revealed the House task force debunking to be more a cover-up than an investigation, I tried to speak with Rep. Lee Hamilton and chief counsel Lawrence Barcella about the discrepancies, but they refused to engage in the details. They clearly felt that I lacked the clout to get anyone to take my criticisms seriously -- and they were right.

To this day, the House task force debunking of the October Surprise allegations, with the Bohemian Grove alibi a key link in the chain, is the Official Wisdom of Washington. It also stands as a case study of how power and influence can trump logic and fact.

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[For more on this topic, see's "Where's Bill Casey" or "Unmasking October Surprise Debunker" or Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege.]

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

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