Fox's Oliver North Hypes Conspiracy Theory That State Department Holding Secret Bids For Gitmo Detainees
Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE
Fox News' Oliver North suggested that the Obama administration's State Department is holding "secret auction[s] to the high bidder" for countries willing to take Guantanamo Bay detainees.
On the January 21 edition of On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Oliver North speculated that the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry engaged in a "quid pro quo" scheme with the country of Oman, who he claimed agreed to take Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for weapons:
OLIVER NORTH: Unfortunately, this president in his campaign promise way back in 2008, he made the campaign promise that he was going to close Gitmo within a year of taking office. Well, that didn't happen for very good reasons. Even his own investigation sent down there to go to Camp Delta there were no people there that were harmless goat herders, these were terrorists. These were bad people who tried to kill Americans and in some cases succeeded. Think about this. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11/01 attack on the United States, and with four airliners fly into buildings and killed nearly 3,000 people. He is one of the last to go. Where will he go? Think about what just happened with Oman. Ten detainees here are released to Oman and a week later Oman gets --
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (HOST): A weapons deal.
NORTH: Yes, a $51 million weapons deal that they've been asking for, for years.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's incredible. Said it's a coincidence. Obama administration says it's a coincidence. We're not that stupid.
NORTH: Think about this. Is the Kerry State Department holding a secret auction to the high bidder, secret sealed bids on who will take Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Think about it. I mean, if you look at what's happening with this administration, there is no concern for the safety of American troops or American citizens. This administration ought to be held accountable.
NORTH: I'll give you a prediction. Within six months of the new administration in Washington there will be an investigation that finds quid pro quo and things were provided to these governments for taking these incredibly bad people.
Van Susteren invited North to push his baseless conspiracy theory without disclosing North's own relationship with illegally selling weapons in the Iran-Contra affair in 1985. North, then a Lieutenant Colonel, was fired after it was discovered that he" had been diverting funds from the arms sales [with Iran] to the Contras," anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua.
In 1985, while Iran and Iraq were at war, Iran made a secret request to buy weapons from the United States. McFarlane sought Reagan's approval, in spite of the embargo against selling arms to Iran.
With the backing of the president, the plan progressed. By the time the sales were discovered, more than 1,500 missiles had been shipped to Iran. Three hostages had been released, only to be replaced with three more, in what Secretary of State George Shultz called "a hostage bazaar."
While probing the question of the arms-for-hostages deal, Attorney General Edwin Meese discovered that only $12 million of the $30 million the Iranians reportedly paid had reached government coffers. Then-unknown Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council explained the discrepancy: he had been diverting funds from the arms sales to the Contras, with the full knowledge of National Security Adviser Admiral John Poindexter and with the unspoken blessing, he assumed, of President Reagan.
Poindexter resigned, and North was fired.