"You could call it John Kerrys memory hole. They have consistently avoided that. Of course, the reason they have avoided it is that he doesnt want the same allegations to resurface that other Democrats made against him at the time, including Lee Hamilton, who is one of his big pals, Lee Hamilton and Danny Inouye. He doesnt want the old charges, frankly, from his own party, so that he purposely did not delve into Iran-Contra as deeply as he could have based on the evidence that the committee had received from people like me. For instance, he totally avoided the issue of CIA narcotic trafficking, and he totally avoided the issue of the enormous amount of fraud committed by the Bush family.
"So what happened that led to this behavior? What took place that led him to drop these things during Iran-Contra hearings?
"His general counsel Jeff Goldstein told me at that time that, despite many of the senior Democratic committee members that wanted to go there, so to speak, Kerry did not want to touch this issue of CIA narcotic trafficking. He felt that it was a divisive issue. He felt that the majority of the American people wouldnt believe it.
"Was he quietly threatened? No, I dont think so. What I believe is that Kerry did have a pretty good understanding of the situation, the bigger picture; that is, had he really acted to expose all of Iran-Contra, the fraud, the illicit weapons, the narcotics, the American people would have gotten too much.
"When you open that can of worms, as Goldstein pointed out to me, how do you stop it? How do you stop where those worms are going to go? And pretty soon, if you keep opening that can of worms, the American people are going to start to be told the great big truths, that no one in Washington, neither side of the aisle, no politician wants them to be told; that, in fact, the CIA has long trafficked in narcotics, that there does exist a military-industrial complex, which was specifically put together to support a right-wing political cabal and to foster this cabal within the Republican Party, that there has been countless trillions of dollars of public monies defrauded by a very small group of people in the post-war era.
"But this is the way it all works. That was the magic connection that Kerry was frightened of, that you couldnt keep this as revelations of fraud, graft, corruption, waste, and abuse. You couldnt keep it as individual examples because there was so much interlinkage that the American people might finally understand that this is the way government works and always has.
"Has there been an historical parallel? Were the ramifications of this parallel the scandal of the so-called Watergate break-in?
"There is no parallel whatsoever because in Iran-Contra you had the entire gamut of waste, fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and malfeasance all in one operation. And had everything been exposed that was Iran-Contra, the people would have put it together, or certainly too many of the people might have understood that these arent individual incidents, as in --Well, Jeb Bush committed this real estate fraud, George Bush committed that insurance fraud.
"Putting it all out there - that wasnt the real problem for Kerry. What the problem was (and Kerry was right to look at it this way and senior Democrats knew this too because they just wanted to make political hay out of it) is that you cant put all that truth out there and make the American people believe that these are individual instances of waste, fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and malfeasance.
"What would have happened is the American people would have started to connect the dots and they wouldve begun to figure out the place that nobody in Washington,regardless of party affiliation, wants to go. And that is what its really all about: how everything, how government works.
(For the whole truth and nothing but the truth, subscribe to Insider Intelligence, just $99. for a six-month online subscription. The preceding was excerpted from the September 2004 issue)
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A weekly column by Al Martin is available at AlMartinRaw.com: Political, Economic and Financial Intelligence (http://www.almartinraw.com)
Al Martin is a political and economic analyst. His tell-all memoir, "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran
Contra Insider," (http://www.almartinraw.com) provides
an unprecedented look at the frauds of the Bush Cabal
during the Iran Contra era. His weekly column, "Behind
the Scenes in the Beltway," is published weekly on Al
Al Martin's website Insider Intelligence (http://www.insiderintelligence.com) will provide a
long term macro-view of world markets and how they are
affected by backroom realpolitik.