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How the Washington Post Censors the News. A Letter to the Washington Post

by Julian C. Holmes
   April 25, 1992
   Richard Harwood, Ombudsman
   The Washington Post
   1150 15th Street NW
   Washington, DC 20071
   Dear Mr. Harwood,
   Though the Washington Post does not over-extend itself in the pursuit    of hard news, just let drop the faintest rumor of a government   "conspiracy", and a klaxon horn goes off in the news room. Aroused
   from apathy in the daily routine of reporting assignations and various
   other political and social sports events, editors and reporters
   scramble to the phones. The klaxon screams its warning: the greatest
   single threat to herd-journalism, corporate profits, and government
   stability -- the dreaded "CONSPIRACY THEORY"!!
   It is not known whether anyone has actually been hassled or accosted
   by any of these frightful spectres, but their presence is announced to
   Post readers with a salvo of warnings to avoid the tricky, sticky webs
   spun by the wacko "CONSPIRACY THEORISTS".
  Recall how the Post saved us from the truth about Iran-Contra.
   Professional conspiracy exorcist Mark Hosenball was hired to ridicule
   the idea that Oliver North and his CIA-associated gangsters had
   conspired to do wrong (*1). And when, in their syndicated column, Jack
   Anderson and Dale Van Atta discussed some of the conspirators, the
   Post sprang to protect its readers, and the conspirators, by censoring
   the Anderson column before printing it (*2).
   But for some time the lid had been coming off the Iran-Contra
   conspiracy. In 1986, the Christic Institute, an interfaith center for
   law and public policy, had filed a lawsuit alleging a U.S.
   arms-for-drugs trade that helped keep weapons flowing to the
   CIA-Contra army in Nicaragua, and cocaine flowing to U.S. markets
   (*3). In 1988 Leslie Cockburn published Out of Control, a seminal work
   on our bizarre, illegal war against Nicaragua (*4). The Post
   contributed to this discovery process by disparaging the charges of
   conspiracy and by publishing false information about the
   drug-smuggling evidence presented to the House Subcommittee on
   Narcotics Abuse and Control. When accused by Committee Chairman
   Charles Rangel (D-NY). of misleading reporting, the Post printed only
   a partial correction and declined to print a letter of complaint from
   Rangel (*5).
   Sworn testimony before Senator John Kerry's Subcommittee on Terrorism,
   Narcotics, and International Operations confirmed U.S. Government
   complicity in the drug trade (*6). With its coverup of the arms/drug
   conspiracy evaporating, the ever-accommodating Post shifted gears and
   retained Hosenball to exorcise from our minds a newly emerging threat
   to domestic tranquility, the "October Surprise" conspiracy (*7). But
   close on the heels of Hosenball and the Post came Barbara Honegger and
   then Gary Sick who authored independently, two years apart, books with
   the same title, "October Surprise" (*8). Honegger was a member of the
   Reagan/Bush campaign and transition teams in 1980. Gary Sick,
   professor of Middle East Politics at Columbia University, was on the
   staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter,
   and Reagan. In 1989 and 1991 respectively, Honegger and Sick published
   their evidence of how the Republicans made a deal to supply arms to
   Iran if Iran would delay release of the 52 United States hostages
   until after the November 1980 election. The purpose of this deal was
   to quash the possibility of a pre-election release(an October
   surprise). which would have bolstered the reelection prospects for
   President Carter.
   Others published details of this alleged Reagan-Bush conspiracy. In
   October 1988, Playboy Magazine ran an expose "An Election Held
   Hostage"; FRONTLINE did another in April 1991 (*9). In June, 1991 a
   conference of distinguished journalists, joined by 8 of the former
   hostages, challenged the Congress to "make a full, impartial
   investigation" of the election/hostage allegations. The Post reported
   the statement of the hostages, but not a word of the conference itself
   which was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Auditorium (*10).
   On February 5, 1992 a gun-shy, uninspired House of Representatives
   begrudgingly authorized an "October Surprise" investigation by a task
   force of 13 congressmen headed by Lee Hamilton (D-IN). who had chaired
   the House of Representatives Iran-Contra Committee. Hamilton has named
   as chief team counsel Larry Barcella, a lawyer who represented BCCI
   when the Bank was indicted in 1988 (*11).
   Like the Washington Post, Hamilton had not shown interest in pursuing
   the U.S. arms-for-drugs operation (*12). He had accepted Oliver
   North's lies,and as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee he
   derailed House Resolution 485 which had asked President Reagan to
   answer questions about Contra support activities of government
   officials and others (*13). After CIA operative John
   Hull (from Hamilton's home state). was charged in Costa Rica with
   "international drug trafficking and hostile acts against the nation's
   security", Hamilton and 18 fellow members of Congress tried to
   intimidate Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez into handling
   Hull's case "in a manner that will not complicate U.S.-Costa Rican
   relations" (*14). The Post did not report the Hamilton letter or the
   Costa Rican response that declared Hull's case to be "in as good hands
   as our 100 year old uninterrupted democracy can provide to all
   citizens" (*15).
  Though the Post does its best to guide our thinking away from conspiracy
  theories, it is difficult to avoid the fact that so much wrongdoing involves
  government or corporate conspiracies:
     In its COINTELPRO operation, the FBI used disinformation, forgery,
          surveillance, false arrests, and violence to illegally harass
          U.S.citizens in the 60's (*16).
     The CIA's Operation MONGOOSE illegally sabotaged Cuba by "destroying
          crops, brutalizing citizens, destabilizing the society, and
          conspiring with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro and other
          leaders" (*17).
     "Standard Oil of New Jersey was found by the Antitrust Division of
          the Department of Justice to be conspiring with I.G.Farben...of
          Germany. ...By its cartel agreements with Standard Oil, the
          United States was effectively prevented from developing or
          producing [fo rWorld War-II] any substantial amount of
          synthetic rubber," said Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin
     U.S. Government agencies knowingly withheld information about
          dosages of radiation "almost certain to produce thyroid
          abnormalities or cancer" that contaminated people residing near
          the nuclear weapons factory at Hanford, Washington (*19).
     Various branches of Government deliberately drag their feet in
          getting around to cleaning up the Nation's dangerous nuclear
          weapons sites (*20). State and local governments back the
          nuclear industry's secret public relations strategy (*21).
     "The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and some
          twenty comprehensive cancer centers, have misled and confused
          the public and Congress by repeated claims that we are winning
          the war against cancer. In fact, the cancer establishment has
          continually minimized the evidence for increasing cancer rates
          which it has largely attributed to smoking and dietary fat,
          while discounting or ignoring the causal role of avoidable
          eposures to industrial carcinogens in the air, food, water, and
          the workplace." (*22).
     The Bush Administration coverup of its pre-Gulf-War support of Iraq
          "is yet another example of the President's people conspiring to
          keep both Congress and the American people in the dark" (*23).
          If you think about it, conspiracy is a fundamental aspect of
          doing business in this country.
     Take the systematic and cooperative censorship of the Persian Gulf
          War by the Pentagon and much of the news media (*24).
     Or the widespread plans of business and government groups to spend
          $100 million in taxes to promote a distorted and truncated
          history of Columbus in America (*25). along the lines of the
          Smithsonian Institution's "fusion of the two worlds", (*26).
          rather than examining more realistic aspects of the Spanish
          invasion, like "anger, cruelty, gold, terror, and death" (*27).
     Or circumstances surrounding the U.S. Justice Department theft from
          the INSLAW company of sophisticated, law-enforcement computer
          software which "now point to a widespread conspiracy
          implicating lesser Government officials in the theft of
          INSLAW's technology", says former U.S. Attorney General Elliot
          Richardson (*28).
     Or Watergate.
     Or the "largest bank fraud in world financial history" (*29), where
          the White House knew of the criminal activities at "the Bank of
          Crooks and Criminals International" (BCCI) (*30), where U.S.
          intelligence agencies did their secret banking (*31), and where
          bribery of prominent American public officials "was a way of
          doing business" (*32).
     Or the 1949 conviction of "GM [General Motors], Standard Oil of
          California, Firestone, and E. Roy Fitzgerald, among others, for
          criminally conspiring to replace electric transportation with
          gas- and diesel-powered buses and to monopolize the sale of
          buses and related products to transportation companies
          throughout the country" [in, among others, the cities of New
          York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Salt Lake
          City, and Los Angeles] (*33).
     Or the collusion in 1973 between Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT).
          and the U.S. Department of Transportation to overlook safety
          defects in the 1.2 million Corvair automobiles manufactured by
          General Motors in the early 60's (*34).
     Or the A. H. Robins Company, which manufactured the Dalkon Shield
          intrauterine contraceptive, and which ignored repeated warnings
          of the Shield's hazards and which "stonewalled, deceived,
          covered up, and
          covered up the coverups...[thus inflicting] on women a
          worldwide epidemic of pelvic infections." (*35).
     Or that cooperation between McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company and
          the FAA resulted in failure to enforce regulations regarding
          the unsafe DC-10 cargo door which failed in flight killing all
          364 passengers on Turkish Airlines Flight 981 on March 3, 1974
     Or the now-banned, cancer-producing pregnancy drug
          Diethylstilbestrol (DES). that was sold by manufacturers who
          ignored tests which showed DES to be carcinogenic; and who
          acted "in concert with each other in the testing and marketing
          of DES for miscarriage purposes" (*37).
     Or the conspiracies among bankers and speculators, with the
          cooperation of a corrupted Congress, to relieve depositors of
          their savings. This "arrogant disregard from the White House,
          Congress and corporate world for the interests and rights of
          the American people" will cost U.S. tapayers many hundreds of
          billions of dollars (*38).
     Or the Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers,Federal Pacific, and General
          Electric executives who met surreptitiously in hotel rooms to
          fix prices and eliminate competition on heavy industrial
          equipment (*39).
     Or the convictions of Industrial Biotest Laboratories (IBT).
          officers for fabricating safety tests on prescription drugs
     Or the conspiracy by the asbestos industry to suppress knowledge of
          medical problemsrelating to asbestos (*41).
     Or the 1928 Achnacarry Agreement through which oil companies "agreed
          not to engage in any effective price competition" (*42).
     Or the conspiracy among U.S. Government agencies and the Congress to
          cover up the nature of our decades-old war against the people
          of Nicaragua
     a covert war that continues in 1992 with the U.S. Government
          applying pressure for the Nicaraguan police to reorganize into
          a more repressive force (*43).
     Or the conspiracy by the CIA and the U.S. Government to interfere in
          the Chilean election process with military aid, covert actions,
          and an economic boycott which culminated in the overthrow of
          the legitimately elected government and the assassination of
          President Salvador Allende in 1973 (*44).
     Or the conspiracy among U.S. officials including Secretary of State
          Henry Kissinger and CIA Director William Colby to finance
          terrorism in Angola for the purpose of disrupting Angola's
          plans for peaceful elections in October 1975, and to lie about
          these actions to the Congress and the news media (*45). And CIA
          Director George Bush's subsequent cover up of this
          U.S.-sponsored terrorism (*46).
     Or President George Bush's consorting with the Pentagon to invade
          Panama in 1989 and thereby violate the Constitution of the
          United States, the U.N. Charter, the O.A.S. Charter, and the
          Panama Canal Treaties (*47).
     Or the "gross antitrust violations" (*48) and the conspiracy of
          American oil companies and the British and U.S. governments to
          strangle Iran economically after Iran nationalized the
          British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951. And the
          subsequent overthrow by the CIA in 1953 of Iranian Prime
          Minister Muhammed Mossadegh (*49).
     Or the CIA-planned assassination of Congo head-of-state Patrice
          Lumumba (*50).
     Or the deliberate and wilful efforts of President George Bush,
          Senator Robert Dole, Senator George Mitchell, various U.S.
          Government agencies, and members of both Houses of the Congress
          to buy the 1990 Nicaraguan national elections for the
          presidential candidate supported by President Bush (*51).
     Or the collective approval by 64 U.S. Senators of Robert Gates to
          head the CIA, in the face of "unmistakable evidence that Gates
          lied about his role in the Iran-Contra scandal" (*52).
     Or "How Reagan and the Pope Conspired to Assist Poland's Solidarity
          Movement and Hasten the Demise of Communism" (*53).
     Or how the Reagan Administration connived with the Vatican to ban
          the use of USAID funds by any country "for the promotion of
          birth control or abortion" (*54).
     Or "the way the Vatican and Washington colluded to achieve common
          purpose in Central America" (*55).
     Or the collaboration of Guatemalan strong-man and mass murderer
          Hector Gramajo with the U.S. Army to design "programs to build
          civilian-military cooperation" at the U.S. Army School of the
          Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia; five of the nine
          soldiers accused in the 1989 Jesuit massacre in El Salvador are
          graduates of SOA which trains Latin/American military personnel
     Or the conspiracy of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant administration
          to harass and cause bodily harm to whistleblower Linda Porter
          who uncovered dangerous working conditions at the facility
     Or the conspiracy of President Richard Nxion and the Government of
          South Vietnam to delay the Paris Peace Talks until after the
          1968 U.S. presidential election (*58).
     Or the pandemic coverups of police violence (*59).
     Or the always safe-to-cite worldwide communist conspiracy (*60).
     Or maybe the socially responsible, secret consortium to publish The
          Satanic Verses in paperback (*61).
  Conspiracies are obviously a way to get things done, and the Washington Post
  offers little comment unless conspiracy theorizing threatens to expose a
  really important conspiracy that, let's say, benefits big business or big
   Such a conspiracy would be like our benevolent CIA's 1953 overthrow of
   the Iranian government to help out U.S. oil companies; or like our
   illegal war against Panama to tighten U.S. control over Panama and the
   Canal; or like monopoly control of broadcasting that facilitates
   corporate censorship on issues of public importance (*62). When the
   camouflage of such conspiracies is stripped away, public confidence in
   the conspiring officials can erode -- depending on how seriously the
   citizenry perceives the conspiracy to have violated the public trust.
   Erosion of public trust in the status quo is what the Post seems to
   see as a real threat to its corporate security.
   Currently, the Post has mounted vituperative, frenzied attacks on
   Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", which reexamines the U.S. Government's
   official (Warren Commission. finding that a single gunman, acting
   alone, killed President John F. Kennedy. The movie also is the story
   of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's unsuccessful
   prosecution of Clay Shaw, the only person ever tried in connection
   with the assassination. And the movie proposes that the Kennedy
   assassination was the work of conspirators whose interests would not
   be served by a president who, had he lived, might have disengaged us
   from our war against Vietnam.
   The Post ridicules a reexamination of the Kennedy assassination along
   lines suggested by "JFK". Senior Post journalists like Charles
   Krauthammer, Ken Ringle, George Will, Phil McCombs, and Michael
   Isikoff, have been called up to man the bulwarks against public
   sentiment which has never supported the government's
   non-conspiratorial assassination thesis. In spite of the facts that
   the Senate Intelligence Committee of 1975 and 1976 found that "both
   the FBI and CIA had repeatedly lied to the Warren Commission" (*63)
   and that the 1979 Report of the House Select Committee on
   Assassinations found that President Kennedy was probably killed "as a
   result of a conspiracy" (*64), a truly astounding number of Post
   stories have been used as vehicles to discredit "JFK" as just another
   conspiracy (*65).
   Some of the more vicious attacks on the movie are by editor Stephen
   Rosenfeld, and journalists Richard Cohen, George Will, and George
   Lardner Jr (*66). They ridicule the idea that Kennedy could have had
   second thoughts about escalating the Vietnam War and declaim that
   there is no historical justification for this idea. Seasoned
   journalist Peter Dale Scott, former Pentagon/CIA liaison chief L.
   Fletcher Prouty, and investigators David Scheim and John Newman have
   each authored defense of the "JFK" thesis that Kennedy was not
   enthusiastic about staying in Vietnam (*67). But the Post team just
   continues ranting against the possibility of a high-level
   assassination conspiracy while offering little justification for its
   An example of particularly shabby scholarship and unacceptable
   behavior is George Lardner Jr's contribution to the Post's campaign
   against the movie. Lardner wrote three articles, two before the movie
   was completed, and the third upon its release. In May, six months
   before the movie came out, Lardner obtained a copy of the first draft
   of the script and, contrary to accepted standards, revealed in the
   Post the contents of this copyrighted movie (*68). Also in this
   article, (*69). Lardner discredits Jim Garrison with hostile
   statements from a former Garrison associate Pershing Gervais. Lardner
   does not tell the reader that subsequent to the Clay Shaw trial, in a
   U.S. Government criminal action brought against Garrison, Government
   witness Gervais, who helped set up Garrison for prosecution, admitted
   under oath that in a May 1972 interview with a New Orleans television
   reporter, he, Gervais, had said that the U.S. Government's case
   against Garrison was a fraud (*70). The Post's 1973 account of the
   Garrison acquittal mentions this controversy, but when I recently
   asked Lardner about this, he was not clear as to whether he remembered
   it (*71).
   Two weeks after his first "JFK" article, Lardner blustered his way
   through a justification for his unauthorized possession of the early
   draft ofthe movie (*72). He also defended his reference to Pershing
   Gervais by lashing out at Garrison as a writer "of gothic fiction".
   When the movie was released in December, Lardner "reviewed" it (*73).
   He again ridiculed the film's thesis that following the Kennedy
   assassination, President Johnson reversed Kennedy's plans to
   de-escalate the Vietnam War. Lardner cited a memorandum issued by
   Johnson four days after Kennedy died. Lardner says this memorandum was
   written before the assassination, and that it "was a continuation of
   Kennedy's policy". In fact, the memorandum was drafted the day before
   the assassination by McGeorge Bundy (Kennedy's Assistant for National
   Security Affairs) Kennedy was in Texas, and may never have seen it.
   Following the assassination, it was rewritten; and the final version
   provided for escalating the war against Vietnam (*74) -- facts that
   Lardner avoided.
  The Post's crusade against exposing conspiracies is blatantly dishonest:
   The Warren Commission inquiry into the Kennedy Assassination was for
   the most part conducted in secret. This fact is buried in the Post
   (*75). Nor do current readers of this newspaper find meaningful
   discussion of the Warren Commission's secret doubts about both the FBI
   and the CIA (*76). Or of a dispatch from CIA headquarters instructing
   co-conspirators at field stations to counteract the "new wave of books
   and articles criticizing the [Warren] Commission's findings...[and]
   conspiracy theories ...[that] have frequently thrown suspicion on our
   organization" and to "discuss the publicity problem with liaison and
   friendly elite contacts, especially politicians and editors "and to
   "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the
   critics. ...Book reviews and feature articles are particularly
   appropriate for this purpose. ...The aim of this dispatch is to
   provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the
   conspiracy theorists..." (*77).
  In 1979, Washington journalist Deborah Davis published Katharine The Great,
  the story of Post publisher Katharine Graham and her newspaper's close ties
  with Washington's powerful elite, a number of whom were with the CIA.
   Particularly irksome to Post editor Benjamin Bradlee was a Davis claim
   that Bradlee had "produced CIA material" (*78). Understandably
   sensitive about this kind of publicity, Bradlee told Davis' publisher
   Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ,"Miss Davis is lying ...I never produced
   CIA material ...what I can do is to brand Miss Davis as a fool and to
   put your company in that special little group of publishers who don't
   give a shit for the truth". The Post bullied HBJ into recalling the
   book; HBJ shredded 20,000 copies; Davis sued HBJ for breach of
   contract and damage to reputation; HBJ settled out of court; and Davis
   published her book elsewhere with an appendix that demonstrated
   Bradlee to have been deeply involved with producing cold-war/CIA
   propaganda (*79). Bradlee still says the allegations about his
   association with people in the CIA are false, but he has apparently
   taken no action to contest the xetensive documentation presented by
   Deborah Davis in the second and third editions of her book (*80).
  And it's not as if the Post were new to conspiracy work.
   Former Washington Post publisher Philip Graham "believing that the
   function of the press was more often than not to mobilize consent for
   the policies of the government, was one of the architects of what
   became a widespread practice:the use and manipulation of journalists
   by the CIA" (*81). This scandal was known by its code name Operation
   MOCKINGBIRD. Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein cites a
   former CIA deputy director as saying, "It was widely known that Phil
   Graham was someone you could get help from" (*82). More recently the
   Post provided cover for CIA personality Joseph Fernandez by "refusing
   to print his name for over a year up until the day his indictmen twas
   announced ...for crimes committed in his official capacity as CIA
   station chief in Costa Rica" (*83).

   Of the meetings between Graham and his CIA acquaintances at which the
   availability and prices of journalists were discussed, a former CIA
   man recalls, "You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call
   girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month" (*84). One may wish to
   consider Philip Graham's philosophy along with a more recent statement
   from his wife Katharine Graham, current Chairman of the Board of the
   Washington Post. In a lecture on terrorism and the news media, Mrs.
   Graham said: "A second challenge facing the media is how to prevent
   terrorists from using the media as a platform fortheir views. ... The
   point is that we generally know when we are being manipulated, and
   we've learned better how and where to draw the line, though the
   decisions are often difficult" (*85).
   Today, the Post and its world of big business are apparently terrified
   that our elite and our high-level public officials may be exposed as
   conspirators behind Contra drug-smuggling, October Surprise, or the
   assassination of President Kennedy. This fear is truly remarkable in
   that, like most of us and like most institutions, the Post runs its
   business as a conspiracy of like-minded entrepreneurs -- a conspiracy
   "to act or work together toward the same result or goal" (*86). But
   where the Post really parts company from just plain people is when it
   pretends that conspiracies associated with big business or government
   are "coincidence". Post reporter Lardner vents the frustration
   inherent in having to maintain this dichotomy. He lashes out at Oliver
   Stone and suggests that Stone may actually believe that the Post's
   opposition to Stone's movie is a "conspiracy". Lardner assures us that
   Stone's complaints are "groundless and paranoid and smack of
   McCarthyism" (*87).
  So how does the Post justify devoting so much energy to ridiculing those who
  investigate conspiracies?
   The Post has answers: people revert to conspiracy theories because
   they need something "neat and tidy" (*88) that "plugs a gap no other
   generally accepted theory fills', (*89. and "coincidence ...is always
   the safest and most likely explanation for any conjunction of curious
   circumstances ..." (*90).
   And what does this response mean? It means that "coincidence theory"
   is what the Post espouses when it would prefer not to admit to a
   conspiracy. In other words, some things just "happen". And, besides,
   conspiracy to do certain things would be a crime; "coincidence" is a
   safer bet.
   Post Ombudsman Richard Harwood, who, it is rumored, serves as
   Executive Director of the Benevolent Protective Order of Coincidence
   Theorists, (*91) recently issued a warning about presidential
   candidates "who have begun to mutter about a press conspiracy".
   Ordinarily, Harwood would simply dismiss these charges as "symptoms of
   the media paranoia that quadrennially engulfs members of the American
   political class" (*92). But a fatal mistake was made by the mutterers;
   they used the "C" word against the PRESS! And Harwood exploded his
   off-the-cuff comment into an entire column -- ending it with:"We are
   the new journalists, immersed too long, perhaps, in the cleansing
   waters of political conformity. But conspirators we ain't".
   Distinguished investigative journalist Morton Mintz, a 29-year veteran
   of the Washington Post, now chairs the Fund for Investigative
   Journalism. In the December issue of The Progressive, Mintz wrote "A
   Reporter Looks Back in Anger -- Why the Media Cover Up Corporate
   Crime". Therein he discussed the difficulties in convincing editors to
   accept important news stories. He illustrated the article with his own
   experiences at the Post, where he says he was known as "the biggest
   pain in the ass in the office" (*93).
  Would Harwood argue that grief endured by journalists at the hands of editors
  is a matter of random coincidence?
   And that such policy as Mintz described is made independently by
   editors without influence from fellow editors or from management?
   Would Harwood have us believe that at the countless office "meetings"
   in which news people are ever in attendance, there is no discussion of
   which stories will run and which ones will find inadequate space? That
   there is no advanced planning for stories or that there are no
   cooperative efforts among the staff? Or that in the face of our
   news-media "grayout" of presidential candidate Larry Agran, (*94) a
   Post journalist would be free to give news space to candidate Agran
   equal to that the Post lavishes on candidate Clinton? Let's face it:
   these possibilities are about as likely as Barbara Bush entertaining
   guests at a soup kitchen.
   Would Harwood have us believe that media critic and former Post
   Ombudsman Ben Bagdikian is telling less than the truth in his account
   of wire-service control over news: "The largely anonymous men who
   control the syndicate and wire service copy desks and the central wire
   photo machines determine at a single decision what millions will see
   and hear. ...there seems to be little doubt that these gatekeepers
   preside over an operation in which an appalling amount of press
   agentry sneaks in the back door of American journalism and marches
   untouched out the front door as 'news'" (*95).
   When he sat on the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, Judge
   Clarence Thomas violated U.S. law when he failed to remove himself
   from a case in which he then proceeded to reverse a $10 million
   judgment against the Ralston Purina Company (*96). Ralston Purina, the
   animal feed empire, is the family fortune of Thomas' mentor, Senator
   John Danforth. The Post limited its coverage of the Thomas malfeasance
   to 56 words buried in the middle of a 1200-word article (*97). Would
   Harwood have us believe that the almost complete blackout on this
   matter by the major news media and the U.S. Senate was a matter of
   coincidence? Could a Post reporter have written a story about Ralston
   Purina if she had wanted to? Can a brick swim?
   Or take the fine report produced last September by Ralph Nader's
   Public Citizen. Titled All the Vice President's Men, it documents "How
   the Quayle Council on Competitiveness Secretly Undermines Health,
   Safety, and Environmental Programs". Three months later, Post
   journalists David Broder and Bob Woodward published "The President's
   Understudy", a seven-part series on Vice President Quayle. Although
   this series does address Quayle's role with the Competitiveness
   Council, its handling of the Council's disastrous impact on America is
   inadequate. It is 40,000 words of mostly aimless chatter about Quayle
   memorabilia: youth, family, college record, Christianity, political
   aspirations, intellectual aspirations, wealthy friends, government
   associates, golf, travels, wife Marilyn, and net worth -- revealing
   little about Quayle's abilities, his understanding of society's
   problems, or his thoughts about justice and freedom, and never
   mentioning the comprehensive Nader study of Quayle's record in the
   Bush Administration (*98).
   Now, did Broder or did Woodward forget about the Nader study? Or did
   both of them forget? Or did one, or the other, or both decide not to
   mention it? Did these two celebrated, seasoned Post reporters ever
   discuss together their jointly authored stories? Did they decide to
   publish such a barren set of articles because it would enhance their
   reputations? How did management feel about the use of precious news
   space for such frivolity? Is it possible that so many pages were
   dedicated to this twaddle without people "acting or working together
   toward the same result or goal"? (*99) Do crocodiles fly?
   On March 20, front-page headlines in the Wall Street Journal, the New
   York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post read respectively:
   This display of editorial independence should at least raise questions
   of whether the news media collective mindset is really different from
   that of any other cartel -- like oil, diamond, energy, (*100) or
   manufacturing cartels, a cartel being "a combination of independent
   commercial enterprises designed to limit competition" (*101).
   The Washington Post editorial page carries the heading:
   Is it? Of course not. There probably is no such thing. Does the Post
   "conspire" to keep its staff and its newspaper from wandering too far
   from the safety of mediocrity? The Post would respond that the
   question is absurd. In that I am not privy to the Post's telephone
   conversations, I can only speculate on how closely the media elite
   must monitor the staff. But we all know how few micro-seconds it takes
   a new reporter to learn what subjects are taboo and what are "safe",
   and that experienced reporters don't have to ask.
   What is more important, however, than speculating about how the Post
   communicates within its own corporate structure and with other members
   of the cartel, is to document and publicize what the Post does in
   public, namely, how it shapes and censors the news.
                              Julian C. Holmes
   Copies to: Public-spirited citizens, both inside and outside the news
   media, And - maybe a few others.
   Notes to Letter of April 25, 1992:
   1. Mark Hosenball, "The Ultimate Conspiracy", Washington Post,
   September 11, 1988, p.C1
   2a. Julian Holmes, Letter to Washington Post Ombudsman Richard
   Harwood, June 4,1991. Notes that the Post censored, from the
   Anderson/Van Atta column, references to the Christic Institute and to
   Robert Gates.
   2b. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "Iran-Contra Figure Dodges
   Extradition", Washington Merry-Go-Round, United Feature Syndicate, May
   26, 1991. This is the column submitted to the Post (see note 2a)..
   2c. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "The Man Washington Doesn't Want
   to Extradite", Washington Post, May 26, 1991. The column (see note
   2b). as it appeared in the Post (see note 2a)..
   3a. Case No. 86-1146-CIV-KING, Amended Complaint for RICO Conspiracy,
   etc., United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Tony
   Avirgan and Martha Honey v. John Hull et al., October 3, 1986.
   3b. Vince Bielski and Dennis Bernstein, "Reports: Contras Send Drugs
   to U.S.", Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 16, 1986.
   3c. Neal Matthews, "I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam" (based on interviews
   with Robert Plumlee, contra resupply pilot)., San Diego Reader, April
   5, 1990.
   4. Leslie Cockburn, Out of Control. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press,
   5a. Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics,
   University ofCalifornia Press, 1991, p.179-181.
   5b. David S. Hilzenrath, "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras
   to Drug Smuggling", Washington Post, July 22, 1987, p.A07.
   5c. Partial correction to the Washington Post of July 22, Washington
   Post, July 24,1987, p.A3.
   5d. The Washington Post declined to publish SubCommittee Chairman
   Rangel's Letter- to-the-Editor of July 22, 1987. It was printed in the
   Congressional Record on August 6, 1987, p.E3296-7.
   6a. Michael Kranish, "Kerry Says US Turned Blind Eye to Contra-Drug
   Trail", Boston Globe, April 10, 1988.
   6b. Mary McGrory, "The Contra-Drug Stink", Washington Post, April 10,
   1988, p.B1. 6c. Robert Parry with Rod Nordland, "Guns for Drugs?
   Senate Probers Trace an Old Contra Connection to George Bush's
   Office", Newsweek, May 23, 1988, p.22.
   6d. Dennis Bernstein, "Iran-Contra -- The Coverup Continues", The
   Progressive, November 1988, p.24.
   6e. "Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy", A Report Prepared by
   the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations
   of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, December
   7a. Mark Hosenball, "If It's October ... Then It's Time for an Iranian
   Conspiracy Theory", Washington Post, October 9, 1988, p.D1.
   7b. Mark Hosenball, "October Surprise! Redux! The Latest Version of
   the 1980 'Hostage- Deal' Story Is Still Full of Holes", Washington
   Post, April 21, 1991,p.B2.
   8a. Barbara Honegger, October Surprise, New York: Tudor, 1989.
   8b. Gary Sick, October Surprise, New York: Times Books, Random House,
   9a. Abbie Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers, "An Election Held Hostage",
   Playboy, October 1988, p.73.
   9b. Robert Parry and Robert Ross, "The Election Held Hostage",
   FRONTLINE, WGBH-TV,April 16, 1991.
   10a. Reuter, "Ex-Hostages Seek Probe By Congress", Washington Post,
   June 14,1991,p.A4.
   10b. "An Election Held Hostage?", Conference, Dirksen Senate Office
   Building Auditorium, Washington DC, June 13, 1991; Sponsored by The
   Fund For New Priorities in America, 171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY,
   11a. David Brown and Guy Gugliotta, "House Approves Inquiry Into
   'OctoberSurprise'", Washington Post, February 6, 1992, p.A11.
   11b. Jack Colhoun, "Lawmakers Lose Nerve on October Surprise", The
   Guardian, December 11, 1991, p.7.
   11c. Jack Colhoun, "October Surprise Probe Taps BCCI Lawyer", The
   Guardian, February 26, 1992, p.3.
   12. See note 5a, p.180-1.
   13a. See note 4, p.229, 240-1.
   13b. Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the
   Iran-Contra Affair, Senate Report No. 100-216, House Report No.
   100-433, November 1987, p.139-141.
   14a. Letter to His Excellency Oscar Arias Sanchez, President of the
   Republic of Costa Rica; from Members of the U.S. Congress David
   Dreier, Lee Hamilton, Dave McCurdy, Dan Burton, Mary Rose Oakar, Jim
   Bunning, Frank McCloskey, Cass Ballenger, Peter Kostmayer, Jim Bates,
   Douglas Bosco, James Inhofe, Thomas Foglietta, Rod Chandler, Ike
   Skelton, Howard Wolpe, Gary Ackerman, Robert Lagomarsino, and Bob
   McEwen; January 26, 1989.
   14b. Peter Brennan, "Costa Rica Considers Seeking Contra Backer in
   U.S. -- Indiana Native Wanted on Murder Charge in 1984 Bomb Attack in
   Nicaragua", WashingtonPost, February 1, 1990.
   14c. "Costa Rica Seeks Extradition of Indiana Farmer", Scripps-Howard
   News Service,April 25, 1991.
   15. Press Release from the Costa Rican Embassy, Washington DC, On the
   Case of the Imprisonment of Costa Rican Citizen John Hull", February
   6, 1989.
   16. Brian Glick, War at Home, Boston: South End Press, 1989.
   17. John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard-- The U.S. Role in the New
   World Order, Boston: South End Press, 1991, p.121.
   18. Hearings Before the Committee on Patents, United States Senate,
   77th Cong., 2nd Session (1942)., part I, as cited in Joseph Borkin,
   The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben, New York: The Free Press,
   Macmillan, 1978, p.93.
   19. R. Jeffrey Smith, "Study of A-Plant Neighbors' Health Urged",
   Washington Post, July 13, 1990, p.A6.
   20. Tom Horton, "A Cost Higher Than the Peace Dividend -- Price Tag
   Mounts to Clean Up Nuclear Weapons Sites", Baltimore Sun, February 23,
   1992, p.1K.
   21. "The Nuclear Industry's Secret PR Strategy", EXTRA!, March 1992,
   22a. Samuel S. Epstein, MD et al, Losing the War Against Cancer: Need
   for PublicPolicy Reform", Congressional Record, April 2, 1992,
   22b. Samuel S. Epstein, "The Cancer Establishment", Washington Post,
   March 10, 1992.
   23a. Hon. Henry B. Gonzalez, "Efforts to Thwart Investigation of the
   BNL Scandal", Congressional Record, March 30, 1992, p.H2005-2014.
   23b. Hon. David E. Skaggs (CO)., White House Spin Control on Pre-War
   Iraq Policy", Congressional Record, April 2, 1992, p.H2285.
   23c. Nicholas Rostow, Special Assistant to the President and Legal
   Adviser, Memorandum to Jeanne S. Archibald et al, "Meeting on
   congressional requests for information and documents", April 8, 1991;
   Congressional Record, April 2, 1992,p.H2285.
   24a. Michio Kaku, "Operation Desert Lie: Pentagon Confesses", The
   Guardian, March11, 1992, p.4.
   24b. J. Max Robins, "NBC's Unaired Iraq Tapes Not a Black and White
   Case", Variety Magazine, March 4, 1991, p.25.
   25. Emory R. Searcy Jr., Clergy and Laity Concerned, Spring 1991
   Letter to"Friends", p.1.
   26. Jean Dimeo, "Selling Hispanics on Columbus -- Luis Vasquez-Ajmac
   Is Hired to Promote Smithsonian Project", Washington Post, November
   18, 1991, p.Bus.8.
   27. Hans Koning, "Teach the Truth About Columbus", Washington Post,
   September 3,1991, p.A19.
   28a. James Kilpatrick, "Software-Piracy Case Emitting Big Stench", St.
   Louis Post/Dispatch, March 18, 1991, p.3B. Elliot L. Richardson, "A
   High-Tech Watergate", New York Times, October 21,1991.
   29. "BCCI -- NBC Sunday Today", February 23, 1992, p.12; transcript
   prepared by Burrelle's Information Services. The quote is from New
   York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau who is running his own
   independent investigation of BCCI.
   30. Norman Bailey, former Reagan White House intelligence analyst;
   from an interview with Mark Rosenthal of NBC News. See note 29, p.5.
   31. Jack Colhoun, "BCCI Skeletons Haunting Bush's Closet", The
   Guardian, September 18, 1991, p.9.
   32. Robert Morgenthau. See note 29, p.10.
   33. Russell Mokhiber, Corporate Crime and Violence, San Francisco:
   Sierra ClubBooks, 1989 paperback edition, p.227.
   34. See note 33, p.136-7.
   35. Morton Mintz, At Any Cost: Corporate Greed, Women, and the Dalkon
   Shield, NewYork: Pantheon, 1985. As cited in Mokhiber, see note 33,
   36. See note 33, p.164-171.
   37. See note 33, p.172-180.
   38. Michael Waldman, Who Robbed America?, New York: Random House,
   1990. The quote is from Ralph Nader's Introduction, p.iii.
   39. See note 33, p.217.
   40. See note 33, p.235.
   41. See note 33, p.277-288.
   42. See note 33, p.323.
   43. Katherine Hoyt Gonzalez, Nicaragua Network Education Fund
   Newsletter, March1992, p.1.
   44. William Blum, The CIA -- A Forgotten History, London: Zed Books
   Ltd., 1986,p.232-243.
   45a. John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies, New York: Norton, 1978.
   45b. See note 44, p.284-291.
   46. See note 17, p.18.
   47a. Letter to President George Bush from The Ad Hoc Committee for
   Panama (James Abourezk et al)., January 10, 1990; published in The
   Nation, February 5, 1990, p.163.
   47b. Philip E. Wheaton, Panama, Trenton NJ: Red Sea Press, 1992,
   48a. Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen, Power, Inc., New York: Bantam
   Books, 1977,p.521.
   48b. "The International Oil Cartel", Federal Trade Commission,
   December 2, 1949. Cited in 48a, p.521.
   49a. See note 44, p.67-76.
   49b. See note 48a, p.530-1.
   50. Ralph W. McGehee, Deadly Deceits, New York: Sheridan Square
   Publications, 1983,p.60.
   51. HR-3385, "An Act to Provide Assistance for Free and Fair Elections
   in Nicaragua". Passed the U.S. House of Representatives on October 4,
   1989 by avote of 263 to 136, and the Senate on October 17 by a vote of
   64 to 35.
   52. Jack Colhoun, "Gates Oozing Trail of Lies, Gets Top CIA Post", The
   Guardian,November 20, 1991, p.6.
   53. Carl Bernstein, Time, February 24, 1992, Cover Story p.28-35.
   54. "The U.S. and the Vatican on Birth Control", Time, February 24,
   1992, p.35.
   55. "Time's Missing Link: Poland to Latin America", National Catholic
   Reporter,February 28, 1992, p.24.
   56a. Jim Lynn, "School of Americas Commander Hopes to Expand Mission",
   Benning Patriot, February 21, 1992, p.12.
   56b. Vicky Imerman, "U.S. Army School of the Americas Plans
   Expansion", News Release from S.O.A. Watch, P.O. Bo 3330, Columbus,
   Georgia 31903.
   57. 60 MINUTES, CBS, March 8, 1992.
   58. Jack Colhoun, "Tricky Dick's Quick Election Fix", The Guardian,
   January 29,1992, p.18.
   59a. Sean P. Murphy, "Several Probes May Have Ignored Evidence Against
   Police", Boston Globe, July 28, 1991, p.1.
   59b. Christopher B. Daly, "Pattern of Police Abuses Reported in Boston
   Case", Washington Post, July 12, 1991, p.A3.
   59c. Associated Press, "Dayton Police Probing Erasure of Arrest
   Video", WashingtonPost, May 26, 1991, p.A20.
   59d. Gabriel Escobar, "Deaf Man's Death In Police Scuffle Called
   Homicide", Washington Post, May 18, 1991, p.B1.
   59e. Jay Mathews, "L.A. Police Laughed at Beating", Washington Post,
   March 19, 1991, p.A1.
   59f. David Maraniss, "One Cop's View of Police Violence", Washington
   Post, April 12,1991, p.A1.
   59g. From News Services, "Police Abuse Detailed", Washington Post,
   February 8, 1992,p.A8.
   60. Michael Dobbs, "Panhandling the Kremlin: How Gus Hall Got
   Millions", Washington Post, March 1, 1992, p.A1.
   61. David Streitfeld, "Secret Consortium To Publish Rushdie In
   Paperback", Washington Post, March 14, 1992, p.D1.
   62a. See notes 48 and 49.
   62b. See note 47b, p.63-76.
   62c. "Fairness In Broadcasting Act of 1987", U.S. Senate Bill S742.
   62d. "Now Let That 'Fairness' Bill Die", Editorial, Washington Post,
   June 24, 1987. The Post opposed the Fairness in Broadcasting Act.
   63. David E. Scheim, Contract on America -- The Mafia Murder of
   President John F.Kennedy, New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1988,
   64. See note 63, p.28.
   65a. Chuck Conconi, "Out and About", Washington Post, February 26,
   1991, p.B3.
   65b. George Lardner Jr., "On the Set: Dallas in Wonderland",
   Washington Post, May19, 1991, p.D1.
   65c. George Lardner, "...Or Just a Sloppy Mess", Washington Post, June
   2, 1991,p.D3.
   65d. Charles Krauthammer, "A Rash of Conspiracy Theories -- When Do We
   Dig Up BillCasey?", Washington Post, July 5, 1991, p.A19.
   65e. Eric Brace, "Personalities", Washington Post, October 31, 1991,
   65f. Associated Press, "'JFK' Director Condemned -- Warren Commission
   Attorney Calls Stone Film 'A Big Lie'", Washington Post, December 16,
   1991, p.D14.
   65g. Gerald R. Ford and David W. Belin, "Kennedy Assassination: How
   About the Truth?", Washington Post, December 17, 1991, p.A21.
   65h. Rita Kemply, "'JFK': History Through A Prism", Washington Post,
   December 20,1991, p.D1.
   65i. George Lardner Jr., "The Way it Wasn't -- In 'JFK', Stone
   Assassinates the Truth", Washington Post, December 20, 1991, p.D2.
   65j. Desson Howe, "Dallas Mystery: Who Shot JFK?", Washington Post,
   December 20,1991, p.55.
   65k. Phil McCombs, "Oliver Stone, Returning the Fire -- In Defending
   His 'JFK' Conspiracy Film, the Director Reveals His Rage and
   Reasoning", Washington Post, December 21, 1991, p.F1.
   65l. George F. Will, "'JFK': Paranoid History", Washington Post,
   December 26, 1991,p.A23.
   65m. "On Screen", 'JFK' movie review, Washington Post, Weekend,
   December 27, 1991.
   65n. Stephen S. Rosenfeld, "Shadow Play", Washington Post, December
   27, 1991, p.A21.
   65o. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "The Paranoid Style", Washington Post,
   December 29,1991, p.C7.
   65p. Michael Isikoff, "H-e-e-e-e-r-e's Conspiracy! -- Why Did Oliver
   Stone Omit (Or Suppress!). the Role of Johnny Carson?", Washington
   Post, December 29, 1991,p.C2.
   65q. Robert O'Harrow Jr., "Conspiracy Theory Wins Converts --
   Moviegoers Say 'JFK' Nourishes Doubts That Oswald Acted Alone",
   Washington Post, January 2, 1992, p.B1.
   65r. Michael R. Beschloss, "Assassination and Obsession", Washington
   Post, January 5, 1992, p.C1.
   65s. Charles Krauthammer, "'JFK': A Lie, But Harmless", Washington
   Post, January 10,1992, p.A19.
   65t. Art Buchwald, "Bugged: The Flu Conspiracy", Washington Post,
   January 14, 1992,p.E1.
   65u. Ken Ringle, "The Fallacy of Conspiracy Theories -- Good on Film,
   But the Motivation Is All Wrong", Washington Post, January 19, 1992,
   65v. Charles Paul Freund, "If History Is a Lie -- America's Resort to
   Conspiracy Thinking", Washington Post, January 19, 1992, p.C1.
   65w. Richard Cohen, "Oliver's Twist", Washington Post Magazine,
   January 19, 1992, p.5.
   65. Michael Isikoff, "Seeking JFK's Missing Brain", Washington Post,
   January 21,1992, p.A17.
   65y. Don Oldenburg, "The Plots Thicken -- Conspiracy Theorists Are
   Everywhere", Washington Post, January 28, 1992, p.E5.
   65z. Joel Achenbach, "JFK Conspiracy: Myth vs. the Facts", Washington
   Post, February 28, 1992, p.C5.
   65A. List of books on the best-seller list: On the Trail of the
   Assassins is characterized as "conspiracy plot theories", Washington
   Post, March 8, 1992,Bookworld, p.12
   66. See notes 65n, 65w, 65l, 65b, 65c, and 65i.
   67a. Peter Dale Scott, "Vietnamization and the Drama of the Pentagon
   Papers". Published in The Senator Gravel Edition of The Pentagon
   Papers, Volume V,p.211-247.
   67b. Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy -- The Secret Road to the
   Second Indochina War, Indianapolis/New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972, p.
   67c. L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team, Copyright 1973. New
   printing, Costa Mesa CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1990,
   67d. See note 63, p.58, 183, 187, 194, 273-4.
   67e. John M. Newman, JFK and Vietnam, New York: Warner Books, 1992.
   67f. Peter Dale Scott, Letter to the Editor, The Nation, March 9,
   1992, p.290.
   68a. See note 65b.
   68b. Oliver Stone, "The Post, George Lardner, and My Version of the
   JFK Assassination", Washington Post, June 2, 1991, p.D3.
   69. See note 65b.
   70. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of The Assassins, New York: Warner
   Books, 1988, 315/318.
   71. Associated Press, "Garrison, 2 Others, Found Not Guilty Of Bribery
   Charge", Washington Post, September 28, 1973, p.A3.
   72. See note 65c.
   73. See note 65i.
   74. See note 67e, p.438-450.
   75. John G. Leyden, "Historians, Buffs, and Crackpots", Washington
   Post, Bookworld, January 26, 1992, p.8.
   76a. Tad Szulc, "New Doubts, Fears in JFK Assassination Probe",
   Washington Star,September 19, 1975, p.A1.
   76b. Tad Szulc, "Warren Commission's Self-Doubts Grew Day by Day --
   'This Bullet Business Leaves Me Confused'", Washington Star, September
   20, 1975, p.A1.
   76c. Tad Szulc, "Urgent and Secret Meeting of the Warren Commission --
   Dulles Proposed that the Minutes be Destroyed", Washington Star,
   September 21, 1975,p.A1.
   77. "Cable Sought to Discredit Critics of Warren Report", New York
   Times, December 26, 1977, p.A37.
   78. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, New York: Harcourt Brace
   Jovanovich, 1979,p.141-2.
   79a. Eve Pell, "Private Censorship -- Killing 'Katharine The Great'",
   The Nation, November 12, 1983.
   79b. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, Bethesda MD: National Press,
   1987. Davis says, "...corporate documents that became available during
   my subsequent lawsuit against him [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich chairman,
   William Jovanovich] showed that 20,000 copies [of Katharine the Great]
   had been "processed and converted into waste paper"".
   79c. Daniel Brandt, "All the Publisher's Men -- A Suppressed Book
   About Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham Is On Sale Again"
   National Reporter, Fall 1987, p.60.
   79d. Deborah Davis, Katharine The Great, New York: Sheridan Square
   Press, 1991. "...publishers who don't give a shit", p.iv-v; bullying
   HBJ into recalling the book, p.iv-vi; lawsuit and settlement, p..
   80. Benjamin C. Bradlee, Letter to Deborah Davis, April 1, 1987. See
   note 79d, p.304.
   81. See note 79d, p.119-132.
   82. Carl Bernstein, "The CIA and the Media -- How America's Most
   Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence
   Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up", Rolling Stone,
   October 20, 1977, p.63.
   83a. Daniel Brandt, Letter to Richard L. Harwood of The Washington
   Post, September 15, 1988. The letter asks for the Post's rationale for
   its policy of protecting government covert actions, and whether this
   policy is still in effect.
   83b. Daniel Brandt, "Little Magazines May Come and Go", The National
   Reporter, Fall 1988, p.4. Notes the Post's protection of the identity
   of CIA agent Joseph F.Fernandez. Brandt says, "America needs to
   confront its own recent history as well as protect the interests of
   its citizens, and both can be accomplished by outlawing peacetime
   covert activity. This would contribute more to thesecurity of
   Americans than all the counterterrorist proposals and elite strike
   forces that ever found their way onto Pentagon wish-lists."
   83c. Richard L. Harwood, Letter to Daniel Brandt, September 28, 1988.
   Harwood's two- sentence letter reads, "We have a long-standing policy
   of not naming covert agents of the C.I.A., except in unusual
   circumstances. We applied that policy to Fernandez."
   84. See note 79d, p.131.
   85. Katharine Graham, "Safeguarding Our Freedoms As We Cover Terrorist
   Acts", Washington Post, April 20, 1986, p.C1.
   86. "conspire", ▀4▀Random House Dictionary of the English Language,
   Second Edition Unabridged, 1987.
   87. Howard Kurtz, "Media Notes", Washington Post, June 18, 1991, p.D1.
   88. See note 65y.
   89. See note 65n.
   90. See note 65d.
   91. William Casey, Private Communications with JCH, March 1992.
   Richard Harwood, "What Conspiracy?", Washington Post, March 1, 1992,
   93. p. 29-32.
   94a. Washington Post Electronic Data Base, Dialog Information Services
   Inc., April 25, 1992. In 1991 and 1992, the name Bill Clinton appeared
   in 878 Washington Post stories, columns, letters, or editorials;
   "Jerry" Brown in 485, Pat Buchanan in 303, and Larry Agran in 28. In
   those 28, Agran's name appeared 76 times, Clinton's 151, and Brown
   105. In only 1 of those 28 did Agran's name appear in a headline.
   94b. Colman McCarthy, "What's 'Minor' About This Candidate?",
   Washington Post, February 1, 1992. Washington Post columnist McCarthy
   tells how television and party officials have kept presidential
   candidate Larry Agran out of sight. The Post's own daily news-blackout
   of Agran is not discussed.
   94c. Scot Lehigh, "Larry Agran: 'Winner' in Debate With Little Chance
   For the Big Prize", Boston Globe, February 25, 1992.
   94d. Joshua Meyrowitz, "The Press Rejects a Candidate", Columbia
   Journalism Review,March/April, 1992.
   95. Ben H. Bagdikian, The Effete Conspiracy And Other Crimes By The
   Press, NewYork: Harper and Row, 1972, p.36-7.
   96a. 28 USC Section 455. "Any justice, judge, or magistrate of the
   United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his
   impartiality might reasonably be questioned." [emphasis added]
   96b. Alpo Petfoods, Inc. v. Ralston Purina Co., 913 F2d 958 (CA DC
   96c. Monroe Freedman, "Thomas' Ethics and the Court -- Nominee 'Unfit
   to Sit' For Failing to Recuse In Ralston Purina Case", Legal Times,
   August 26, 1991.
   96d. Paul D. Wilcher, "Opposition to the Confirmation of Judge
   Clarence Thomas to become a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court on the
   grounds of his JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT", Letter to U.S. Senator Joseph R.
   Biden, October 15, 1991.
   97. Al Kamen and Michael Isikoff, "'A Distressing Turn', Activists
   Decry What Process Has Become", Washington Post, October 12, 1991,
   98. January 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 1992, p.A1 each day.
   99. See note 86.
   100. Thomas W. Lippman, "Energy Lobby Fights Unseen 'Killers'",
   Washington Post,April 1, 1992, p.A21. This article explains that
   "representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National
   Association of Manufacturers and the coal, oil, natural gas, offshore
   drilling and nuclear power industries, whose interests often conflict,
   pledged to work together to oppose amendments limiting offshore oil
   drilling, nuclear power and carbon dioxide emissions soon to be
   offered by key House members".
   101. "cartel", Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977.