It started over lunch: investigating and exposing the Iran-Contra scandal, amid news media silence

From Consortium News
April 16, 2018

The following are remarks at the memorial for Bob Parry delivered on Saturday by Brian Barger, who shared many bylines with Bob (and a drink or two) at the Associated Press, uncovering the Iran-Contra scandal, and provoking the ire of AP editors, nervous about what the two friends were finding out.

By Brian Barger

I remember it was a pleasure to meet Bob in 1984. The CIA was ramping up its covert war in Nicaragua. News reports from the region documented atrocities committed by President Reagan’s “freedom fighters” and their CIA handlers. Congress was starting to take notice, and was threatening to cut off US aid.

I got a call from Betsy Cohn, a Latin America scholar from Georgetown University, saying I should meet this guy from the AP. Over lunch we shared notes. I’d done much of my reporting from Central America and Miami, and Bob from Washington. We agreed there was a lot of low-hanging fruit on this story, and we talked about why there was such reluctance to cover it, particularly among the Washington press corps. We agreed that this could be a good reporting partnership.

And it was in these early days that I learned some important lessons about journalism from Bob.

It started over that lunch, when Bob politely reminded me that I’d buried the lede in a recent story that should have received wide attention – but didn’t. This was Bob Parry journalism lesson number one: Don’t bury the lede.

The story was about a blue, cloth-covered manual produced by the CIA and distributed to contra commanders in Honduras. Bob wanted a copy. So, Bob Parry journalism lesson Number Two: Be persistent. I gave it to him, and Bob produced a deeply reported piece on what thereafter was known as the CIA assassination manual. Lesson number three: Make those ten extra phone calls before calling it a day.

This was the beginning of an enduring friendship that lasted 35 years. It was also the beginning of an enduring work relationship. Over the next two years, we peeled back the story about White House aide Oliver North and the White House role orchestrating a secret war in Nicaragua.

For the rest of the story: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/04/16/it-started-over-lunch-and-ended-with-the-exposure-of-one-of-the-greatest-scandals-in-u-s-history/

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New Ukraine law: OUN, UPA, ultranationalist, Nazi collaborator and terrorist groups honored as freedom fighters

From Global Research, May 17, 2015
By Stephen Lendman

Kiev’s regime is a US-installed, illegitimate, lawless, Nazi infested, fascist police state in Europe’s heartland – waging naked aggression on its own people, risking regional peace and stability. Russians, Jews and others are vilified. Rule by intimidation is official policy.

In April, a “decommunization” process began – banning communist and Soviet era symbols and values, including longstanding statues and street names.

Communist Party members face police state persecution – including fabricated civil and criminal charges.

Poroshenko declared Ukraine a “unitary state” – code language opposing any person or group against its police state practices.

New legislation honors Nazi era ultranationalists as “freedom fighters” – including militant groups like the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and other extremist ones operating in Soviet Russia from 1917 – 1991.

An explanatory legislative note states:

“The law provides for state recognition of the struggle for Ukrainian independence in the twentieth century and defines the legal status of participants in the struggle for Ukrainian independence in the twentieth century.”

Crimes against peace these groups committed are considered lawful – claiming they’re in compliance with the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other fundamental international laws.

Historians blame OUN and UPA for at least one million Russian and Polish deaths, including many Jews.

They continued fighting Soviet Russia after WW II ended. Intellectuals and government officials were targeted.

Fascist elements have operated openly in Ukraine since Washington’s 2004 Orange Revolution.

Democratically elected Viktor Yanukovoych was ousted. Viktor Yushchenko replaced him.

Yushchenko’s last presidential act was naming Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera a Hero of Ukraine – the nation’s highest honor, given for “personal heroism and great labor achievements.”

Following months of European Parliament, Russian, Polish and Jewish organization, the award was rescinded.

In November 2014, Russia’s Supreme Court designated Ukrainian insurgent extremists terrorists – banning their activity on Russian territory.

Ukraine’s new law equates communism with Nazism. Poroshenko signed it on Friday.

It blatantly contravenes fundamental international law. It’s part of Kiev’s thinly veiled scheme to ban regime opposition.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/kiev-recognizes-ultranationalist-nazi-era-collaborators-as-freedom-fighters/5449953

Ukrainian parliament defines OUN-UPA as independence fighters

Posted on Voice of Sevastopol, April 9, 2015

Ukrainian nationalists march in Kiev

Ukrainian nationalists march in Kiev

KIEV, April 9. /TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, acknowledged on Thursday that the activity of OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army) was the fight for the country’s independence.

In the second reading on Thursday, the lawmakers adopted a law on the legal status and honoring the memory of participants of the fight for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century.

A total of 271 lawmakers voted in favor of the decision, above the required minimum of 226 votes.

“The law envisages that the state recognizes the fight for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century and defines a legal status of the participants for the fight for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century,” an explanatory note to the document reads.

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) is an ultra-right political organization in western Ukraine in the 1930’s-50’s of the last century. To reach the goal of establishing Ukraine as an independent state, it used extremist means, including terrorist attacks.

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists during World War II worked for German intelligence. In 1943, OUN organized the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), forming the backbone of the SS Division Galicia. OUN-UPA militants killed at least a million people, including almost 200 thousand Poles.

During President Viktor Yushchenko’s office term in 2005 an attempt was undertaken in Ukraine to reconcile the OUN-UPA veterans with veterans of the Soviet army. However, according to public opinion polls, the majority of Ukrainians were ready to support reconciliation of the veterans of the Soviet and German armies, rather than veterans of OUN-UPA and the Red Army.

In 2010, Yushchenko issued a decree on awarding posthumously the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera (OUN active figure since 1929, since 1940 — head of the OUN faction).

Members of the European parliament then officially expressed regret over this fact and urged the then-newly-elected President Viktor Yanukovych to revise Yushchenko’s decisions. A year later, by a decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine, this decree was finally declared illegal. Polish media previously claimed that the glorification of Ukrainian nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, as well as President Petro Poroshenko’s decision to move the February 23 army holiday celebration to the date of the UPA formation testify to the fact that the cult of nationalism in Ukraine has penetrated into the power structures of the highest level.

Source

 http://en.voicesevas.ru/news/4134-ukrainian-parliament-defines-wwii-nationalist-insurgent-army-as-independence-fighters.html