The "Real Hero Of Yom Kippur" and the "October Surprise"
"The afternoon of the shooting [of then-President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981] Haig
appeared before the TV camera to say: 'Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, vice-president and Secretary of State, in that order and should the President decide he wants to
transfer the helm he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the
White House pending return of the vice-president and in close touch with him; if something came
up, I would check with him, of course...'" (Tarpley and Chaitkin 279-87).
This is the scene most people recall when they have any recollection of who former Secretary of State General Alexander Haig was. This memory probably is accompanied by a certain amount of humor in the process, since the incident seemed largely humorous, even downright laughable.
However, the real truth about what happened that day may not have been told. Was Alexander Haig looking at a copy of the first edition of an obscure book by Brig. Gen. Russell S. Bowen called The Immaculate Deception when he became concerned about the ability of George Bush to become vice-president of the United States? Was he concerned, in light of the book's then very recent revelations, that Bush would be arrested before he could be sworn into office?
When I lived in Houston in 1980, I heard a commercial for a book on my car radio. According to the ad, the book made the allegation that the "vice presidential candidate" landed his plane on a Japanese-held island during World war II and delivered a message to the Japanese, apparently for Standard Oil. I only heard the ad one time, and ten years of investigation and searching failed to turn up a single copy of the book. I thought I'd hear the ad again, so I didn't pay extremely close attention to the title. But it contained phonetic sounds indicative of a title similar to "Black knights" or "black gold"--the phonetic, syllabic sounds "Aaakkk---ooollld---ellldd." I believe now, based on years of research, that this book title was The Immaculate Deception. The edition being advertised in 1980 was different to the edition that was being published by America West out of Carson City, Nevada in 1993, when the book finally reappeared in published form by author Bowen.
Certainly, Alexander Haig went back further than merely the shooting of Reagan in 1981. He had been the head of NATO, the European military organization, as a U.S. general. He had also been Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor. And he was, according to some, the shadowy informant in the Watergate episode who was code-named "Deep Throat."
In their book Silent Coup, Colodny and Gettlin make a strong case that Alexander Haig was not only "deep throat," but also the main reason why Nixon was forced to resign. They show how Haig had acted as an agent for the United States military in spying on Nixon. (420-40).
Due to Nixon's Machievellian management style, the Joint Chiefs of Staff , by the time of Nixon's re-election in 1972, literally didn't trust their President. Nixon was a master at playing one person against another and of playing both ends against the middle. Manipulating both sides in any issue, Nixon placed the members of each group in awkward positions from which he could force them into compromises. But, most of all, he could force them into positions of blind trust, a situation similar to dangling by a thread. One false move and that thread could be cut.
Headed by Admiral Moorer, JCS arranged for General Haig and some lower level officers to spy on Nixon. But they couldn't allow this to be found out. Their machinations in covering up their own spying operations--led primarily by Haig--resulted in the confusion which led to the Watergate scandal (Colodny and Gettlin. 420-40).
When it became clear that Haig might be caught in his espionage on the President, he arranged to set Nixon up instead. He did this by giving information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that would upset Nixon's apple cart. Woodward was in fact a close associate of Haig's in the United States military. (Colodny and Gettlin 420-40). Haig probably didn't intend to cause Nixon's resignation, or even the level of scandal that came about as a result of his machinations.(Colodny and Gettlin 420-40 ).
In the process of setting Nixon up, Haig did a very good job of convincing a number of people that he was acting or speaking for the president or others, when he was in fact doing nothing of the kind. But now, in light of John Loftus' and Mark Aarons' research we know that Haig had practice at such false speaking for the President. Haig had become, in secret, the "real hero of Yom Kippur" in 1973, during the Yom Kippur War (177-200).
One has only to read those two books in close proximity to Honnegar (177-200, 229-42), to see how the October Surprise came about. Haig, as the "hero of Yom Kippur," was a U.S. military officer who was such a close associate of Israeli intelligence, the Mossad, that he was virtually a double agent of Israel. Haig's secret arms dealings in 1973 had literally saved Israel from total destruction during the Yom Kippur War. And he had to go around Kissinger to do this.
Loftus and Aarons describe why Haig had become interested in stopping the enemies of the Jews. During World War II, Haig had been a U.S. Army officer in Europe. Immediately after the war, Allen Dulles, head of the, CIA began illegally recruiting Nazis to serve in the CIA. Dulles had to cover up for some of these Nazis in order for them to avoid Nuremberg prosecutors. One Nazi general Dulles rescued was Reinhard Gehlen, former head of the Nazi Gestapo and intelligence establishment that had spied on Russia. At a base in Europe, Haig served alongside the disgusting Gehlen briefly. The secret training base where he did this was called "Pullach." From information compiled over several years of research, Loftus and Aarons were able to learn that, for years CIA agent John McIntyre had hinted that one of his Pullach comrades later served in the National Security Council and was later a candidate for president. McIntyre, however, died before he could give Loftus and Aarons details about Haig's role in the Gehlen base. However, they were able to find other sources who corroborated that McIntyre's comrade was Alexander Haig, and who also vouched for Haig's disgust at Allen Dulles's Nazis (Loftus and Aarons 583).
Haig may also have learned during this period of time that Allen Dulles could not really be trusted with important National Security issues. This may have included Haig's perception of Dulles's position vis a vis Israel. Dulles and James V. Forrestal, his partner at Standard Oil and a former Secretary of the Navy during World War II, were adamantly opposed to the creation of the nation of Israel, and went to great lengths to stop it (Loftus and Aarons 270-91). Dulles also went too far in covering up for former Nazis who should have faced Nuremberg prosecutors, in order to utilize any intelligence they might have about the Russian military as former spies against Russia during the war. Haig, as a veteran of the Second World War, may have perceived Dulles's actions as treason, and been disgusted by them. He may then have further investigated Dulles and discovered the treason he engaged in toward the end of World War II, when he attempted to negotiate a secret peace with the Axis. It was during this time that Dulles may have enlisted George Bush to act as the courier described in the ad for the book that I had heard in Houston in 1980.
Haig and Carter aide Donald Gregg arranged the illegal arms shipment to Iran known as the "October Surprise." (Sick 27, 197-203). After Iraq's invasion of Iran, it had become Israel's surrogate in the war with Iraq. Haig and Gregg obtained the arms for Iran by drawing down NATO stores of arms, as Haig , using his position as NATO commander in Europe, had done during the 1973 Yom Kippur War for Israel. Sick says that Gregg manipulated statements by Carter and used his position as Carter's National Security Advisor to allow Haig to access NATO stores and supply Iran with the weapons needed to fulfill the "carrot" aspect of the "October Surprise." (27, 197-203). One other thing both he and Haig apparently did was to falsely speak "for the President," to request weapons for Iran out of NATO stores (Honnegar 229-45).
Honnegar believes that both Haig and Kissinger were members of an illegal fascist underground and Mafia-controlled movement in Italy called P-2. But it seems more likely that Kissinger was the activist there, while Haig merely arranged to have himself brought along so that he could be a double agent for Israel in this descendent of Mussolini's fascist party.
The P-2 organization had been founded by Licio Gelli, a former top advisor and officer of Hitler and Mussolini. Gelli allowed top people around the world to join, but his price of admission was high. In order to be safe from exposure, Gelli demanded the ability to counter-expose all members via being given incriminating information from all new members about themselves. Bush apparently joined P-2--as did Haig and William Casey--in the 1960's or '70's. As his price of admission, Bush gave Gelli a document possibly proving his early membership in the CIA--possibly even the OSS during World War II, when it was still headed by Allen Dulles (Honnegar 229-44).
We now know Dulles engaged in treason and illegal negotiations with the Axis in World War II (Loftus and Aarons 279-91). Dulles was George Bush's father's attorney. George got into the Navy in June 1942 as an aviator, at the age of only 18. (Tarpley and Chaitkin Since this violated Naval regulations, someone must have pulled strings to get him in. As a pilot, George became a reconnaissance photographer. This role also would have fit with an assignment as a secret agent in Dulles's OSS.
In the early months of 1944, Allen Dulles was attempting to sneak his wealth out of Axis occupied Europe into Japanese-occupied Manchuria. He was also attempting; to arrange a negotiated peace with the Axis, behind FDR's back. He communicated with the Japanese about future alliance with them against Russia, and seems to have encouraged Chiang Kai Shek to negotiate with the Japanese during their Ichigo Offensive in Northern China in 1944. This latter offensive was highly-successful for the Japanese, in large part due to Chiang's betrayal of his troops in the field in return for Japanese cooperation against Mao tse Tung's Communists (Bagby 230-4).
In June 1944, George Bush seems to have been out of pocket for as much as 48 hours off Japanese-held Guam. His plane ostensibly crashed in the water as he performed a water landing. But the only living witness of this event tells a story which is highly unlikely, of Bush's having climbed out of the plane and inflated the life raft before him, even though the life raft was designed in such a way that it couldn't be removed from the plane until after he himself was out. If Bush joined P-2, he may have given Gelli proof that he, in fact, acted as a courier for Dulles during a stage of his illegal negotiations with the Axis in which couriers rather than radios or cables had to be used. This was, interestingly, around June of 1944. This proof may have been a document proving Bush's membership in OSS and possibly a document used for communication with the Japanese.
Through his membership in P-2, Haig became aware of the new crisis facing the Gambino Mafia family and others in international organized crime. According to Honnegar, there was a factor which affected the "October Surprise" hostage negotiations which Loftus and Aarons (who maintain that the "October Surprise" never occurred--at least not as a manifestation of U.S. intelligence operations done against sitting President Jimmy Carter) fail to factor in. This was the crisis which Licio Gelli faced in connection with the hijacking of a ship, called the U.S.S. Poet, which was described in the media at the time of its hijacking as containing a cargo of "corn" Subsequent investigation by Interpol, however, revealed that the Poet didn't have corn on board, but heroin. It was in fact a ship used by the Italian Gambino Mafia family to carry heroin to the east coast of the United States. It had been captured by the Gambinos for use as a heroin transport, but in the midst of its voyage, it was diverted to Iran. There, the Iranian radicals seized its passengers. Even more important, they seized its load of heroin (Honnegar 236-42).
Thus, the Iranians not only had gotten their hands on a group of U.S. hostages in the Tehran embassy, they had also gotten their hands on Mafia personnel, and tons of heroin! According to Honnegar, this could be the missing dimension to the October Surprise scandal (Honnegar 229-44 ).
Bush, being a staunch ally of Iraq from way back, was totally disinterested in the idea of helping Iran defeat or stymie Iraq's invasion, which Saddam had "advertised" as a "dress rehearsal" for his future invasion of Israel. Once Iran was defeated, Israel was next. And the poisonous gases and chemical weapons he was using against Iran--as well as some harsher weapons--could then be turned against Israel.
Against this backdrop, throw in Alexander Haig, the "real hero of Yom Kippur." And throw in this incriminating document George Bush had given to Licio Gelli in order to be admitted as a member of P-2. Once Gelli's people were also taken hostage by the Iranian radicals, the picture changed considerably for George Bush. No longer could he stand on the sidelines, watching. Bush's membership in P-2 gave Gelli a lever with which he could pressure Bush to act in his behalf in getting his people away from the Iranians.
It wasn't just the politics of it. Computer studies indicated that a release of the hostages before the American election would re-elect Carter (Honnegar 7-11). Most Republicans, however, probably were not sure enough about this to have risked something so close to treason, especially if it were discovered later. It should be kept in mind that at the time, they wouldn't have known whether they could successfully cover their tracks or not.
But Israel was desperate that Saddam not succeed, since Iran had become its surrogate in its fight against Saddam Hussein. Israel started shipping arms to Iran even before Carter left the White House. Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin and Carter had words about this, but Carter didn't press the issue. He knew how desperate Israel's situation was, despite the humiliation which America was experiencing from the hostage situation.
Alexander Haig was not involved in the Reagan-Bush campaign. However, he engineered, with the help of Donald Gregg, this hostage delay (Honnegar 94-96, 170-90; Sick 27, 197-203). By crafty manipulation of statements by President Carter, whom he worked for at the time, Gregg was able to present the hostage delay as a Carter idea (Honnegar 94-96, 178-81). Their description of the agreement they arranged with the Iranian radicals used the phrase "Carter's agreement," which, they rationalized, they'd re-designed in order to "to spare their lives," rather than to delay the hostages' release. They rationalized that manipulated statements by Carter combined with a general "agreement in principle" with Carter that the safety of the hostages was the paramount consideration (above politics), justified the hostage release delay (Honnegar 139-46). Having been thus given "permission" by Carter aide Gregg, who didn't really speak for Carter in actuality, Haig arranged the same kinds of arms deliveries from NATO stores that he'd earlier arranged during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (Loftus and Aarons 304, 315-16; Honnegar 94-96, 178-85).
But there was a key player who would have known about it, and would have been in a position to protest against it--and who would have wanted to: George Bush. But George Bush could be dealt with. After all, Licio Gelli had an incriminating document about him. However, as a fellow P-2 member now, Haig could also access the document, as well. Israeli intelligence also wanted access to the document, as well, Haig could have realized--or rationalized. With the help of Haig, Israeli intelligence thus accessed the document about Bush from Licio Gelli. Through his position in Israeli intelligence, Robert Maxwell, the Jewish secret agent who was also a British intelligence agent as well as a publisher, could readily access the media at a moment's notice. He could run ads for brand new books and apply the tried and true British intelligence method of manipulating American events by threats of exposure of major scandals on U.S. public officials in the media.
Bush, however, may have been so hesitant to go against his family's old ally, the Ba'ath Party of Iraq, that he fought to the last minute. In order to insure Bush knew that he meant business, Maxwell may have briefly run the ad for the book--the ad that I heard on the radio that day in Houston.
Once the document had been obtained by Alexander Haig, the next step was for it to have come into the hands of "renegade" CIA agents, such as Philip Agee or his would-be co-retiree, Russell S. Bowen. Haig even later insinuated himself in such a way that he could continue to deal with Bowen through Agee, when, as Reagan's Secretary of State, he completed Jimmy Carter's case against Agee, which became the Haig v. Agee case.
In the interim, in order to get his people--and his heroin--out of the hands of the Iranian radicals, Gelli had to get at Bush. He did, in cooperation--though not deliberate cooperation--of Israeli intelligence, Alexander Haig and Robert Maxwell. With his kingpin Donald Gregg in place in the Carter staff, Haig could engineer the second unseating of an American president of his career. (Sick 27, 197-203). But in Israel, he would be seen as a hero.
Haig may have had even more reason to fear Richard Nixon and his staff than Colodny and Gettlin realized. It may not only have been the military surveillance of Nixon that Haig was covering up. He may have been afraid for Nixon to find out that he had been helping Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This was something Nixon--and especially Kissinger--had been adamantly opposed to doing (Loftus and Aarons 177-87). Bush was equally opposed to Israel, and was also opposed to helping Iran fight Iraq. But Haig blackmailed Bush with the Gelli-held document exposing Bush's treason in World War II.
Haig gave the document to Robert Maxwell, via arranging to have Gelli's villa in Italy raided by Italian police. In March, 1981, shortly before Reagan was shot, the Italian police had broken into Gelli's villa (Honnegar 230-2). Through his connections in the Italian police, due to his own membership in both the Knights of Malta and P-2, Haig was able to access the documents the Italian police obtained. But there was really only one that Haig was interested in: the one that Gelli had on George Bush.
Once the "October Surprise" deed was done, and Iran had its illegal arms shipment that kept it in existence in its war with Iraq, it remained for Haig to deal with the knowledge of the document that Gelli possessed. He wasn't particularly interested in exposing Bush, but there was always that possibility. Gelli no longer had possession of the incriminating document about George Bush. Through Alexander Haig, Israel now had access to this document. They could now blackmail Bush as they had Nelson Rockefeller, and about the same type of scandal: treason during World War II.
Loftus and Aarons point out another occasion when Haig would have blackmailed Bush. The only times Bush engaged in "hostage negotiations" with the Iranians were instances that involved two situations: (1) During the Iran-Iraq War; and (2) during a Presidential election year (Loftus and Aarons 460-70).
Thus, in 1980-81, Bush participated in the October Surprise (Honnegar 177-200). And in 1984, also an election year, Bush participated, Loftus and Aarons point out, in a shipment of arms to Iran from Israel, via Greece (460-70). These arms shipments couldn't have occurred without Bush. And they may not have occurred in any other year except an election year.
This leads me to wonder if more than one scenario is possible as to when Bush engaged in hostage negotiations, and why. Just how solid was the document that Gelli had on Bush? In one scenario, it may be that this document was valuable only in the sense that it was "politically true." There are various kinds of truth in the real world. Something can be said to be "absolutely" true, all right. However, in a finite world, with finite amounts of time available, some things can be "relatively" true.
In the world of politics and politicians, this is especially true. George Bush, in 1980 and 1984, was running for Vice-President of the United States. But his sights were set on 1988 and his run for President. In that time frame, if a charge came up during the middle or near the end of the campaign which had "just enough" data to keep it alive for a few weeks, this was all that was required.
Suppose Gelli had just enough data to bring this kind of a "truth" into the picture? What if George Bush might have been able to disprove this charge, in the long term, but couldn't have disproved it in the short term? This would explain why he appeared only to engage in "hostage negotiations" during election years and not in non-election years.
Bush, astute politician that he was, knew that in politics, something is truer late in the campaign than it is earlier in the campaign. If a charge is raised, say, three weeks before the election and it has just enough data to require two or three weeks to be answered effectively once it is presented and expanded in the media, this is all the "truth" that is needed. It is pseudo-truth. But in politics, in the last days of a presidential election campaign, so much is pseudo-truth!
The other scenario is reinforced by recent writings by Judge Lawrence Walsh in his book Firewall (530-1). Walsh now maintains that Bush basically broke the law in the manner in which he pardoned Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, preventing the questioning of him in regard to Iran-Contra and helping insure the shut-down of Walsh's investigation (530-1). Walsh says that it is improper to pardon an individual until after they have been on trial for a few days or weeks. In Weinberger's case, however, Walsh points out, Bush issued the pardon before any trial was in progress. Thus, Walsh maintains, Bush essentially violated the law even in his act of pardon (Walsh 530-1). Walsh also speculates on why Bush was thus so desperate to pardon Weinberger. He notes that material discovered in Weinberger's notes has now proven Weinberger's knowledge of the Iran-Contra illegal arms sales. And he points out that Weinberger's notes reveal conversations with both Bush and Reagan about these illegal arms sales. If this scenario is accurate, Bush also engaged in negotiations with Iran in non-election years. This being the case, the document Gelli had against Bush must have been much more solid than in the other scenario. That is, this document has "teeth" which would hold even if not presented in an election year. This, in turn, suggests that there is more than just "circumstantial evidence" of Bush's having committed treason for his father, Allen Dulles and Standard Oil during World War II.
Perhaps this latter fact might explain why Haig saw and used this opportunity to exert leverage over events by complicating the scenario for Bush. He may have had genuine concerns about what might happen to President Reagan at Bush's hands, should Bush think Reagan not cooperative enough in his cover-up efforts about Bush's activities in World War 2. Perhaps Haig had thus now learned, once and for all, from Gelli's document, just how extreme Bush's position was and how far Bush might have had to go to cover up for himself.
In fact, several possible scenarios also present themselves as to the motives of both Agee and Bowen in their whistle-blowing efforts, just as we've seen they do for Reagan, Haig and Bush in their opposite efforts.
Aside from financial gain, Agee and Bowen may have had genuine national security concerns. In addition, one may have been attempting to cover for the other. In doing this, they had a tool with which to protect each other in efforts to escape from the CIA and reveal what they'd learned about it and its people .
In about a "fortnight" much happened to change the picture, however. Alan Friedman tells us in Spider's Web that many persons who attempt to retire from the Central Intelligence Agency find that they are in reality not "allowed' to by the Agency (260-6). Fred Haobsch, former CIA agent, was terrorized during the time he attempted to retire from the Agency. That terrorism was always traceable via license plate, in cooperation with the local police, to individuals found to be employed by the Defense Intelligence Agency at a nearby base (Friedman 260-6).
In reading the brief autobiographical information about Russell Bowen in his book The Immaculate Deception, I learned that it was also during this period of time that Bowen had first wanted to retire from the CIA (Bowen vi). Yet, not long after Reagan and Bush took office in l98l, Bowen returned to or stayed with the Agency. Could this have been for the same reasons that Haobsch described: terrorism--nightly drive-bys, threatening phone calls? (Friedman 260-6).
Responding to such terrorism, Bowen would have found himself, after January, 1981, under the command of the George Bush he'd been attempting to write about. He'd have been forced to turn over any materials he had that proved conclusively that Bush engaged in the World War II activities described in the commercial for the book that I heard in Houston during 1980--a book that I am almost one hundred percent sure now was titled The Immaculate Deception.
This scenario explains Bowen's withdrawal of his book from the market, his long delay in finally publishing and writing when he had originally become interested as early as 1978, and makes sense of the Haig announcement. It also explains the sense of stress Haig seems to have felt that day of his "I'm in control here" announcement. Haig was feeling the need to keep a "contingency" under wraps, but still allow for it.
That "contingency" involved the silencing of Russell Bowen. His early knowledge of Bush's vulnerability to possible criminal charges might; explain Haig's early interest in having the "power" as Secretary of State to become acting president that is requested in his organizational proposal presented to Reagan as NSDD1--the "Haig initiative."
Still another scenario that presents itself would be that Haig wasn't interested in power, but was trying to insure that, in the event something went wrong, this contingency of Bush's being revealed as a traitor in World War II wouldn't stop the government. If the suddenly intensified CIA terrorism against Bowen didn't succeed in getting him back into the agency, or, in the extreme, if a killing of Bowen didn't serve to silence the issue, then that contingency did have to be allowed for.
In other words, Haig was in limbo. Had Reagan signed off on NSDD1 or not? If he had Haig's powers were enormously increased, essentially making him the National Security head, answerable to no one, at the national security end, barring Reagan's recovery and return to power or the actual swearing-in of the vice-president. The normal order of succession might have been interrupted had Haig's initiative been approved. Normally, the role of acting President would have fallen to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Protem of the Senate (until the swearing in of the vice-president)--only then, if they weren't available, would the Secretary of State (Haig) have been "in charge here."
Because of NSDD1, the normal order of succession was complicated. If Reagan had already signed NSDD1, (Haig's "original" version), then Reagan would have been saying, "Until someone else is sworn in, the Secretary of State has control of the National Security powers of the Federal government," that is, primarily, the Red Phone.(But crucially, also, the "classified" status of US documents": this latter might have been of ultimate concern to Bush, since, if Haig had been given such powers temporarily by Reagan, he'd be in a position, should Reagan die, of declassifying Bush's carrier's log in those few minutes before Bush was sworn in. The state of limbo for this situation may have saved Reagan's life, since Bush would have seen it as useless to kill Reagan if it only meant Haig would declassify his carrier's log before he--Bush--was ready. Since Bush didn't know this, either, he made the decision to only disable, not kill, Reagan.) But if Reagan hadn't signed the document, the automatic order of succession to the Presidency would have kicked in. It isn't clear, in fact, that Reagan's signature on NSDD1 would have been constitutional or legal either--that is, whether such an order of succession would have been supported by the Supreme Court if challenged in court at some subsequent time.
So, Constitutionally, Haig was on. But at that moment in time, Haig's version of NSDD1 was a complicating factor. At the time of the shooting, President Reagan had in his personal file, the original NSDD1--the one written by Alexander Haig, the "Haig initiative."
This made the situation very complicated for vice-president Bush. He had at that moment no clear claim to immediate ascendancy to the National Security end of the federal executive branch, pending being able to determine whether Reagan had signed NSDD1 already. Bush must surely have been sweating it out! How was Bush to determine whether he could directly control the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency closely enough to ensure that the proper dispatch of the little "Bowen question" was accomplished?
And it could be that Haig and possibly Reagan were aware of this. For Haig, the issue at that moment in time may not have been whether this was some ultimate transfer of power, or even a workable one in any kind of long-term way. The issue was, rather, would this work over the next few hours, to keep Ronald Reagan from being murdered by Bush's henchmen as he lay in the hospital?
Again, there is more than one possible scenario here. Reagan may have known or he may not, about the coming assassination attempt. It is clear that Haig knew or could surmise about it in advance, given his membership in the ultra-secret right-wing P-2 organization and his information sources at the NSA from even before the Reagan Administration. Haig may have learned about the assassination attempt as late as March 1981, when the Italian police raided Gelli's villa. At that time, through his connections in P-2 (who in turn had connections in the corrupt Italian police) Haig may have learned of Gelli's plans to control America by killing or disabling Reagan so that Bush could have control. Or he may have learned that the Iranians were planning to try to kill Reagan and that Bush would have to cover this up if it occurred, due to his own ties now with the radicals in Iran--ties that had been forced on him by blackmail.
Haig may have wanted to protect the President, primarily. But he may also have been trying to complicate the situation for Bush, in order to illustrate to Reagan how really complex was the problem of running the National Security Council and its "red phone' (which can never--not even for a second--be left unattended regardless of the length of time it takes to swear in a Presidential successor).
Or, it may be that Reagan and Haig were playing a dangerous game with Bush--and knew they were playing with fire. By remaining within the Party, Haig and/or Reagan may have felt they could challenge Bush in a way no one else could. But this could also be dangerous: such an attempt at some type of manipulation or blackmail always is.
So, in the event, the gimmick of NSDD1 worked for a few hours--enough time to ensure some added security for the President, as he lay unconscious in his hospital room.
To ensure that no Bush plants were in the Secret Service entourage. But only Haig and Reagan could have known who was who well enough to have ensured this.
As for the nature of the conspiracy itself, more than one scenario is possible there as well. Bush may have been only a second-hand conspirator, caught up in a murder attempt he never planned. He may simply have been forced to cover up for the Iranian extremists who, virtually on their own, resolved to kill the new "American Satan,' President Ronald Reagan. They, with their royalist thinking, would have ignored any underlings, and would have gone straight to the top.
Yet, Bush would have had to have covered up the true nature of the shooting, in order not to reveal how privileged the Iranian terrorists were during that stage of the Reagan administration.
Certainly, Bush wasn't wild about this crowd of louts: they may have originally dealt with the Nazis (at least, some of them) but they weren't as smooth and civilized as Saddam Hussein in Iraq (their desperate enemy). Bush wanted, as much as possible, to threaten Iran with Iraq, using both the carrot technique of promised arms shipments and the stick of the threat of a powerfully armed Iraqi Ba'ath Party, with whom Bush had connections going all the way back to World War II. Most of all, there was clearly more money to be made by arming Iraq to the teeth, and using it as our bulldog in the Middle East--including bullying Iran--than there was to be had in merely re-supplying Iran in its relatively mundane requests for fighter parts. Saddam wanted poison gas and other chemical items. These were right up Standard's ally. And, after all, the Ba'ath Party had been founded by family friends during WW2. (See, for example, Charles Higham, Trading With the Enemy: An Expose of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-47. New York: Delacorte, 1983. 39-42).
So, though Bush didn't particularly care for the Iranians, he had to cover up for them in this action, in order to cover up for himself. He had to cover up Hinckley's membership in the Islamic Guerrilla Army. And he had to above all cover up the conspiracy--even though he had not been in on the original plot.
Another scenario has it that Bush planned the shooting from day one, and had it as a goal from fairly early on. According to this scenario, this is why he didn't have himself sworn in as Acting President that day: he'd been planning this thing for awhile. He had re-arranged the NSA, for example, with his "initiative" (which, we've seen, was competing with Haig's). Bush had also been careful not to kill Reagan, so that the police wouldn't have as powerful a motive to continue any investigation. He resolved that he was only to be wounded, disabled, so that the wheels of his coup could kick in, changing the nature of the structures of the U.S. government, making George Bush, officially only the Vice-President, in fact the real president of the U.S. from March 31, l981.
This latter scenario might make a little more sense of the way Haig was so reluctant to continue his challenge of Bush's insistence on a Cabinet statement that there had been no conspiracy. As Tarpley and Chaitkin note, Bush was a ruthless rival, and Haig, after reviewing how Bush had arranged everything, must have realized that there was no way he could effectively intervene.(Tarpley and Chaitkin 379-87). Not only this, but Haig found himself fired by the same Reagan whose life he may have saved. It isn't clear that Bush was trying to kill Reagan but the fanatical Iranians were, and Bush may have manipulated their fanaticism.
Or, perhaps Haig felt fairly sure that Bush wasn't going to kill Reagan, but, just to be on the safe side, had arrranged the NSDD1 gimmick to keep the situation cloudy for a few hours in the event he did. After all he had learned about George Bush from Licio Gelli's document and from his experience in post-World War II Europe in serving under Allen Dulles at the secret "Pullach" base alongside Nazi war criminals, Alexander Haig was trying to save America from a Fascist takeover.
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Bagby, Wesley Marvin. The Eagle-Dragon Alliance: America's Relations With China in
World War II. Cranbury, NJ: Associated UP, 1992. 230-4.
Bowen, Brig. Gen. Russell S. (ret.). The Immaculate Deception: The Bush Crime Family
Exposed. Carson City, NV: America West, 1991. vi, 50-66, 123-9.
Brewton, Pete. The Mafia, CIA and George Bush. New York: SPI/Shapolsky, 1992. 370-9
Colodny, Len and Robert Gettlin. Silent Coup: The Removal of A President. New York: Bantam, 1993. 27, 69, 120-4, 197-203, 280-7, 420-40.
Higham, Charles. Trading With the Enemy: An Exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-47. New York: Delacorte, 1983.
Honnegar, Barbara. October Surprise. New York: Tudor, 1989. 177-245,
Sick, Gary. October Surprise. New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1991. 89-91.
Simpson, Christopher. Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects On the Cold War. New York: Collier, 1988. 150-79ff
Tarpley, Webster Griffin and Anton Chaitkin. The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush. New York: Executive Intelligence Review/Ben Franklin, 1991. 350-87
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