Bringing The Payne

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His response wasn’t quite that Cheneyesque, but would-be George W. Bush Library benefactor Steve Payne concedes nothing. He claims remarks are taken out of context, says his request of confidentiality was violated, and tells some more whoppers.

“I have been a victim of a confidence game sponsored by the paper. The paper and its employees, not content with merely reporting news, have instead opted to manufacture the news in this worst-case example of “Gotcha Journalism”.”

Payne’s statement claims that hidden donations to the Bush Library were the furthest thing from his mind, and that he expected the worthy gentlemen with whom he was dealing to be above board in thought and deed.

“I was also very clear… in this conversation and in subsequent e-mails that any donations would need to be completely transparent and open to public scrutiny.”

The transparency extends to a Payne email dump which accompanied his statement., in which he suggests the Library cash could be hidden:

“The donation will be done publicly and must be in the form of a check or wire and will be done publicly in Akayev’s name unless he wants to be anonymous for some reason?”

Stan By Your Man

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The Times of London has a Bush Pioneer on tape offering access to administration officials, possibly including Bush, for a fee of $600,000 to $750,000, a third of which would be directed to the Bush Library.

Lobbyist Stephen Payne says it can be done.

The exact budget I will come up with, but it will be somewhere between $600,000 and $750,000, with about a third of it going directly to the Bush library

The paper approached Payne pretending to represent former Kyrgyzstan strongman Askar Akayev, ousted in a 2005 popular revolt. Akayev is hanging about Moscow these days, and The Times claimed he longed to return to power. The laying on of hands in Washington was to be the anointment

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How does Stephen Payne work his wonders for democracy?

The Times has Payne in a remarkable string of photos with such luminaries as Rice, Cheney, Putin, Musharraf and more, best in show being Payne and Bush clearing brush together in Crawford.

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Axis Of Evil: Before They Were Stars

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Intrepid rakers of muck at Consortium News are still on the case of Iran-Contra, long after most of us have blurred Ollie North and Gordon Liddy in the Leather-Jacketed-Poseur-Infamous-For-Something category.

Who Did Which President Know…

north-oliver.jpg …And When Did They Know Them? liddy-in-leather.JPG

Their latest nugget is a draft report from the Congressional Iran-Contra investigation, exploring the domestic propaganda fallout of the scandal. The CIA was turned on the American people, Army Psy-Ops men were brought to Washington from Fort Bragg for the plot.

Kicking that Vietnam Syndrome, The Early Years 4th-psychological-operations-group-airborne-at-fort-bragg.gif

All in service of the Reagan Administration’s scheme to fund Nicaraguan terrorists by selling weapons to Iran, defending itself from Iraq’s invasion. Which we were abetting, sending Donald Rumsfeld to wink at Saddam Hussein’s “terrorizing his own people“.

Reagan went into the plan fearing he’d be hung by his thumbs if word leaked. But he walked when Congress caved, confronted by Dick Cheney and other Iran-Contra Deniers, burying it’s report in the interests of reaching across the aisles to get things done in a bi-partisan fashion.

Too much can be made of the report, and is, but it’s worth reading as an early example of White House media manipulation which is now commonplace.

…one of the CIA’s most senior covert action operators, was sent to the NSC in 1983 by CIA Director Casey where he participated in the creation of an inter-agency public diplomacy mechanism that included the use of seasoned intelligence specialists… This public/private network set out to accomplish what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might attempt to sway the media, the Congress, and American public opinion in the direction of the Reagan Administration’s policies.

As Cheney demonstrated recently with Gerald Ford, he’ll use any stick to beat the dog. Kind words on the death of Ford became a consensus that Nixon got what he deserved, so Bush will be vindicated in the fullness of time too.

The Democrats never seem to learn to kick ’em when they’re down.

Giants Steps

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Part of the entertainment value of thumb-suckers musing over the Bush Administration’s “Legacy” is who asks the questions. It’s our old friends and perpetual whipping boys, The Media!

bush-model-of-iraq-war-end-declartion.jpg A part of society which for the most part went unquestioningly into battle in Iraq, and which let Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford go to their graves as demigods, is in charge of the searching questions in the last months.

And don’t think Bush’s people aren’t watching. Dick Cheney’s Lincoln/Truman lonely visionary talking points have been consistent over time, with Gerald Ford thrown in on occasion. The most recent example came in a follow up to his “So?” interview dismissing popular opinion over the war. Cheney claims that nice things said during Ford’s funeral week justify the Nixon pardon, which also means Iraq will look great in three decades.

“…he demonstrated, I think, great courage and great foresight, and the country was better off for what Jerry Ford did that day. And 30 years later, everybody recognized it…And I have the same strong conviction the issues we’re dealing with today — the global war on terror, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq — that all of the tough calls the president has had to make, that 30 years from now it will be clear that he made the right decisions, and that the effort we mounted was the right one, and that if we had listened to the polls, we would have gotten it wrong.”

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