Armitage Part II: History in Washington

Mizgin's Desk Reports

Mizginslogo2Our first look at the life of Richard Armitage, the new American Turkish Council chairman, focused on his adventures in Southeast Asia. Today we'll look at his history in Washington.

Back in Washington in 1980, Armitage served as a foreign policy advisor to President-elect Ronald Reagan, and was soon appointed by Reagan to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. Armitage held that position from 1981 until 1983, when he was promoted to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. Wikipedia has a list of the duties associated with Armitage's position as Assistant Secretary of Defense. He held this position until 1989.

ArmitageScrowcroftDuring this time, Armitage became involved with US arms shipments from Israel to Iran that eventually became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. In a report by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, it was determined that US weapons were, in fact, delivered to the Islamic Republic of Iran by Israel on behalf of the US. Neoconservative Michael Ledeen and Iranian businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar facilitated links between the US, Israel, and Iran and they would be mentioned years later when a subsequent US administration sought to manufacture evidence of yellowcake sales to Iraq.

LTC Oliver North modified the original plan of arms sales to Iran in order to divert money to the Nicaraguan Contras and it is through North that Armitage became entangled in the affair. According to the History Commons, with links to reports by the Independent Counsel on Iran-Contra Affairs:

"National Security Council (NSC) officer Oliver North has become far more outspoken among government officials about his illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras (see May 16, 1986). During a meeting of his Restricted Interagency Group (RIG—see Late 1985 and After), CIA official Alan Fiers, a member of the group, is discomfited at North’s straightforward listing of the many activities that he is causing to be conducted on behalf of the Contras, everything from supplying aircraft to paying salaries. Fiers is even less sanguine about North’s frank revelations about using illegally solicited private funding for the Contras (see May 16, 1986). North goes down the list, asking if each activity should be continued or terminated, and, according to Fiers, making it very clear that he can cause his Contra support program (which he now calls PRODEM, or “Project Democracy”) to respond as he directs. North also begins arranging, through Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, for $2 million in stopgap funding for the project. North will confirm the $2 million in an e-mail to NSC Director John Poindexter. North will conduct similar meetings in August and September 1986, at least one of which will include Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage (see July 22, 1987) and other Defense Department officials (see November 13, 1990). It is not until Fiers testifies in 1991 about North’s behaviors that verification of North’s discussion of such specifics about Contra activities and funding will be made public (see July 17, 1991)."

In September, 1986, North brought up for discussion in an RIG meeting in Armitage's office the fact that the Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, would be willing to conduct sabotage inside Nicaragua for money. The discussion focuses on the possibility of paying Noriega from private funds. The offer is ultimately rejected. [Read more...]

Armitage- Part I: The Early Years & the Golden Triangle

Mizgin's Desk Reports

Mizginslogo2As mentioned earlier, Brent Scowcroft will be ending his nine-year reign as chairman of the American Turkish Council (ATC) and will be succeeded by former Bush administration Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage.

Armitage may be best remembered for leaking information to Robert Novak that exposed Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent in a political scandal that became known as the Plame Affair. Selective amnesia on the part of the servile US mainstream media has repeatedly obscured Armitage's curriculum vitae, which goes back decades and begins during the Vietnam conflict.

Graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1967, Armitage served four tours of duty in Vietnam before leaving the military in 1973, when he joined the Defense Attache in Saigon. It was at this time that Armitage's association with the CIA began:

GoldenTriangleTheodore Shackley and Thomas Clines financed a highly intensified phase of the Phoenix Program, in 1974 and 1975, by causing an intense flow of Vang Pao opium money to be secretly brought into Vietnam for this purpose. This Vang Pao opium money was administered for Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines by a US Navy official based in Saigon's US office of Naval Operations by the name of Richard Armitage. However, because Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage knew that their secret anti-communist extermination program was going to be shut down in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in the very near future, they, in 1973, began a highly secret non-CIA authorized program. Thus, from late 1973 until April of 1975, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage disbursed, from the secret, Laotian-based, Vang Pao opium fund, vastly more money than was required to finance even the highly intensified Phoenix Project in Vietnam. [Read more...]