CIA Election Meddling

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In recent history, the only American president who has garnered anything resembling the bad press that Donald Trump consistently received was Jimmy Carter in the latter stages of his presidency.  Probably not coincidentally, Carter and Trump were both ushered out of the Oval Office after one term.  In the 24 years since George H.W. Bush was top dog for one term, we had three presidents in Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama who were smiled upon by the press.  Their gentle press treatment was exemplified by the conduct of their press conferences. Clinton was the best actor of the three, making it appear that he had chosen the reporter he was calling on spontaneously.  Bush wasn’t nearly as good as faking it, betraying the lack of spontaneity by looking down at his list before calling a reporter’s name.  Obama simply dropped all pretense in the matter, making no effort to conceal the fact that he was choosing the person to be called upon from a list from which he was reading, which indicates pretty strongly that he knew in advance what the question would be, and everything had been planned in advance.

What this symbiotic relationship between these two-term presidents and the press tells us is that they were smiled upon by what has in recent years come to be called the Deep State.  Before this run of two-term presidents we had the one-term George H.W. Bush, who was about as Deep State as it gets, but his departure from office had an almost voluntary feel about it, like the passing of the reins of the company over to a younger partner for expedient reasons.

We hardly have to remind readers that in the string of press-smiled-upon presidents, there were two Democrats separated by one Republican.  All those people who have cut their teeth either loving or hating Donald Trump need to be reminded of the fact that it is not a case of the “liberal,” pro-Democratic Party media closing ranks against a “conservative” Republican president.  The mainstream press reflects the wishes of the Deep State, and right at the heart of the Deep State is our Central Intelligence Agency.

Stefan Halper, Mole or Weasel?

One man’s nefarious career exemplifies the Deep State bipartisanship of which we speak.  We know him most recently from the Russiagate scandal.  He’s the American Cambridge University professor with known deep ties to the United States intelligence community who, apparently on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, tried to worm his way into the Trump 2016 campaign for president and to set up the low-level foreign policy adviser to that campaign, George Papadopolous, intending to make it appear that Trump was colluding with the Russians, with Papadopolous serving as the initial link.  But when the Democrat Jimmy Carter was president, Halper worked with the Republicans to get him out.  The following passage is from Glenn Greenwald’s May 19, 2018 article in The Intercept entitled “The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election.”

To begin with, it’s obviously notable that the person the FBI used to monitor the Trump campaign is the same person who worked as a CIA operative running that 1980 Presidential election spying campaign.

It was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter did this scandal emerge. It was leaked by right-wing officials inside the Reagan administration who wanted to undermine officials they regarded as too moderate, including then White House Chief of Staff James Baker, who was a Bush loyalist.

The NYT in 1983 said the Reagan campaign spying operation “involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive.” The article, by then-NYT reporter Leslie Gelb, added that its “sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge.” Halper, now 73, had also worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig as part of the Nixon administration.

When the scandal first broke in 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA Director and worked there with Halper’s father-in-law, former CIA Deputy Director Ray Cline, who worked on Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign before Bush ultimately became Reagan’s Vice President. It quoted a former Reagan campaign official as blaming the leak on “conservatives [who] are trying to manipulate the Jimmy Carter papers controversy to force the ouster of White House Chief of Staff James Baker.”

Halper, through his CIA work, has extensive ties to the Bush family. Few remember that the CIA’s perceived meddling in the 1980 election – its open support for its former Director, George H.W. Bush to become President – was a somewhat serious political controversy. And Halper was in that middle of that, too.

In 1980, the Washington Post published an article reporting on the extremely unusual and quite aggressive involvement of the CIA in the 1980 presidential campaign. “Simply put, no presidential campaign in recent memory — perhaps ever — has attracted as much support from the intelligence community as the campaign of former CIA director Bush,” the article said.

This is from Jessica McBride, “Stefan Halper: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,”, May 22, 2018:

A Reagan campaign aide told the Times of Halper that “people talked about his having a network that was keeping track of things inside the Government, mostly in relation to the October surprise.” The same article said that Halper worked “closely with David R. Gergen on the staff of George Bush.” James A. Baker and Gergen were responsible for bringing Halper into the campaign, the story reports.

The old UPI article also contains this paragraph: “The former campaign official said the next step in the strategy would be to attempt to establish that the Carter campaign materials reached the Reagan camp through the vice presidential campaign staff of George Bush — who was CIA director under President Ford.”

In totality, Stefan Halper has ties to three Republican administrations. “The American-born academic previously served in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations,” reports The New York Post. Halper is 73-years-old.

However, he also received a lot of money from the U.S. government during the Obama administration. (emphasis added)

David Gergen’s Perfidy

And speaking of bipartisan Deep Staters, although, to my knowledge, he has not been identified with the CIA, that man that Halper worked closely with on the staff of George H.W. Bush, David Gergen, did go to the foremost agency recruiting ground, Yale University, where he was the managing editor of another favored recruiting field, the student newspaper.  He has had a remarkable government career, serving on the White House staffs of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, three Republicans and a Democrat, that is.  He virtually epitomizes our permanent government.  Most recently, he has turned up as a standard Trump-hating regular contributor to CNN.  During Gergen’s time as a spokesperson for Clinton, he managed to lie spectacularly on a key matter related to the mysterious death of Deputy White House Counsel, Vincent Foster, which bears all the earmarks of a Deep State hit job.  This is from The Washington Post of July 30, 1993:

Police who arrived at Foster’s house the night of the death were turned away after being told Lisa Foster and family members were too distraught to talk. Investigators were not allowed to interview her until yesterday. “That was a matter between her lawyers and the police,” Gergen said, and the White House “had no role in it.”

Apparently, they didn’t all have their stories straight at that point so they decided to float this phony story, and The Post would have known it was phony because their reporter, Walter Pincus, was at the Foster house that night.  We would learn a year later that it was not true when the report of the investigating U.S. Park Police was released and they revealed that they did talk at length with Foster family members at the house that night, not having been turned away.  If Gergen is not CIA, he certainly has shown himself to be a good enough liar for the job.

Halper, the Champ

But when it comes to big time treachery related to elections, few people are in the same league as Stefan A. Halper.  Some information we recently discovered in a 2018 UK-published book, not available on Amazon, The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi: Victim of His Times, by Arlene Lois Johnson, provides some important fleshing our for that tantalizing passage from The New York Times, “mostly in relation to the October Surprise,” when speaking of what Halper’s spying on the Carter administration entailed:

It began in early 1980, when pollsters for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan reported that if President Jimmy Carter was able to obtain freedom for 52 American hostages held in Iran, he would win the election.  The Carter Administration was in negotiations with Iran at the time and a release looked promising.  The Reagan-Bush campaign was wary of a possible “October Surprise” by the Carter Administration that would result in the early release of the American hostages.  Actually, the Iranian government was tired of the hostage issue and wanted to have an early release.  They were bickering over release of frozen assets of military replacement parts to support their squadrons of American fighters.  At the same time, Iraq was threatening war against Iran.  Carter also considered the possibility of a second rescue attempt, but American officials leaked that information to the Iranian government, via Stephen [sic] Halper, and they dispersed the hostages to many different locations. (p. 204, emphasis added) *

If true, this is treachery of the highest order, if not flat-out treason.  It is generally well known that the October Surprise scandal involved clandestine negotiations by the Reagan team, led by vice-presidential nominee, George H.W. Bush, with the Iranians, particularly at a meeting in Paris, to hold on to the U.S. Embassy hostages that militants had taken until after the election in return for a number of favors.  It is not generally known, though, that the collusion with the Iranians might have also involved the thwarting of physical rescue attempts.  The passage quoted describes the thwarting of a possible “second rescue attempt.”  A few pages later, we find that the Reagan-Bush interference might have been with the ill-fated rescue attempt, as well:

One of the pieces of information that the moles inside the White House learned was that Carter had planned a rescue mission, a mission that ended in a desert disaster.  According to several books and the San Jose Mercury News, among others, three retired Air Force officers, who were overseers to the Contras, also planned the desert rescue operation.  The same people involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, which grew out of the alleged October deal made between the Reagan-Bush team and the Iranian, were tied into the rescue mission.  Reports that have surfaced from the intelligence community indicate that the rescue attempt may have been sabotaged.  Eight American servicemen died in the fiasco.  The Iranians were also informed of the rescue attempt through the moles in the White House.  The Director of the Center for Strategic and international Studies and Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Stephen [sic] Halper, had “far reaching access to the most sensitive materials.”  Richard Allen, to become Reagan’s National Security Advisor and later disgraced, was circulating the day-to-day memos of President Carter.  The CIA had virtually vetoed Carter’s first choice for CIA chief and successfully pushed for the appointment of Stansfield Turner.  Turner is believed to have played a key role in the October Surprise.  He believed he would be reappointed.

The future of American politics, the Iran-Contra deals, arms for drugs shipments, and even the war in Iraq, all had their embryo in the 1980 election campaign.  Close to the election, Reagan’s own pollsters showed the election was too close to call.  Richard Wirthlin, the pollster for the Reagan-Bush campaign, said that if the hostages were released before the election Carter would gain a boost of 5 or 6 percentage points in the polls, or even as much as 10 per cent, giving him a sure victory for that election. (p. 210, emphasis added)

If our Deep State, led by the CIA, would go to such lengths as these to determine who is to be the president of the United States, what’s a little vote rigging?

*Johnson is actually quoting from the late Harry V. Martin’s series of articles that appeared in the Napa Sentinel in 1991.  That series has been published online by Rumor Mill News.  However, in their version, the accusatory three words, “via Stephen Halper,” are missing.  The author, Johnson, assures me by email that they are in the original.  Rumor Mill News tells us that the series has a 1995 copyright from Free American.  We must wonder who took those three crucial words out.

David Martin

5 Thoughts to “CIA Election Meddling”

  1. B. Lokey

    Business as usual. Is there anything new under the sun?

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