The Russian report was kept hidden until I discovered it after gaining access to the task force's raw files. Though the report was addressed to Hamilton, he told me last year that he had not seen the report until I sent him a copy shortly before our interview.
Lawrence Barcella, the task force's chief counsel, acknowledged to me that he might not have shown Hamilton the report and may have simply filed it away in boxes of task force records.
Casey in Spain
I also discovered in the files at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, another document that supported allegations that Casey had traveled to Madrid, as Iranian businessman Jamshid Hashemi had claimed. Hashemi testified under oath that Casey met with Iranian emissary Mehdi Karrubi in Madrid, Spain, in late July 1980 to discuss delaying the release of the American hostages until after the presidential election so as not to help President Carter.
Searching through the archived files at the Bush library, I found a "memorandum for record" dated Nov. 4, 1991, by associate White House counsel Chester Paul Beach Jr.
Beach reported on a conversation with State Department legal adviser Edwin D. Williamson who said that among the State Department "material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations [was] a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown."
However, the House task force was apparently never told about this confirmation of Casey's presence in Madrid and proceeded to reject the Madrid allegations by citing a particularly bizarre alibi for Casey's whereabouts on the last weekend in July 1980.
The task force placed Casey at the exclusive all-male retreat at the Bohemian Grove in California although the documentary evidence clearly showed that Casey attended the Grove on the first weekend of August, not the last weekend of July. [For details, see Secrecy & Privilege. For more on Casey's alleged travels, see Consortiumnews.com's "October Surprise Evidence Surfaces."]
Stranger Than Fiction
Another stranger-than-fiction twist in this story is the new revelation that a figure from the Watergate cover-up was Bush's "alibi witness," although the witness apparently could not be counted on to support Bush's October Surprise alibi.
Though Richard A. Moore was not one of the household names from the Watergate cover-up, a review of literature on the scandal reveals that he was a trusted aide to President Nixon and helped formulate both legal and public-relations strategies to fend off the Watergate investigations.
In The Haldeman Diaries, White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman describes Nixon frequently sending his top aides to consult with Moore about developments in the scandal. At one point, as White House counsel Dean is starting to talk with prosecutors, Haldeman notes that "Moore was very close to Dean, how about having him talk with Dean and see what he has in mind."
In Dean's Blind Ambition, Dean credits Moore with first coming up with the memorable phrase that the Watergate cover-up was becoming "a cancer" on Nixon's presidency, a metaphor that Dean used in a key confrontation with Nixon and repeated during the Watergate hearings.
During those hearings, Moore was dispatched by the White House to dispute Dean's assertion that Nixon was complicit in the cover-up of the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters at least as early as that September.
On July 12, 1973, Moore told the Senate Watergate Committee that "nothing said in my meetings with Mr. Dean or my meetings with the President suggests in any way that before March 21  the President had known, or that Mr. Dean believed he had known, of any involvement of White House personnel in the bugging or the cover-up."
Perhaps because of his status as a lawyer to Nixon, Moore escaped the fate of many other White House insiders who were indicted and prosecuted for false testimony and obstruction of justice.
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