- Law Cases
by Miki Booth
(Oct. 21, 2010) — One has to think that if this testimony is to be believed, then it’s the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. Indeed, Obama has become the most powerful man on earth and there are elements in his rise to power that must be safeguarded at all cost.
I’m reminded of the film “A Few Good Men.” The JAG officer played by Tom Cruise says he wants the truth and is told by the Jack Nicholson character, “You can’t handle the truth!” I believe the “powers that be” think the truth coming out will result in race riots and civil unrest, but in actuality they are the very ones perpetuating the lie that keeps the truth from the American public and protects Obama’s true identity.
Tick, tock, triple lock!
His records are court sealed.
His records are Executive Order sealed.
His records are CIA sealed.
If Obama wasn’t at Columbia in 1982-83, where was he? And what’s the real scoop about Gov. Lingle and the Hawai’i Department of Health?
At this time, Your Honor, I’d like to call a witness, if we may. And the witness we’d like to call to the would be Attorney Anthony Jones, if he would now take the witness stand.
Unidentified Speaker: If you would raise your right hand, and tell us your full name, please.
Jones: Anthony Clyde Jones.
Unidentified Speaker: Mr. Jones, do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in here today?
Jones: I do.
Unidentified Speaker: Thank you very much.
Unidentified Speaker: All right, [?] the microphone a little bit.
Manning: To your a little closer to you, please.
Manning: All right, you Attorney Jones, you just gave your name to the bailiff and your commitment to truth in this process. And your honor, we introduced the statement in the beginning of this trial, that while Mr. Jones would be assisting me at the prosecution table, he would also be a witness. He has not asked any of the witnesses any questions, and has not interjected himself into the trial in any major way that would compromise his testimony at this time.
But primarily, that his our need for him would be to serve as a witness, and as an attorney. He has participated in the investigation of this process, and so that’s how we’d like to enter his testimony for these purposes.
Now, Attorney Jones for full disclosure, we need to explain to everyone that Attorney Jones is also a member of this congregation. That makes, I think, three people so far that have been interactive with this process.
Mr. Jones, could you tell me where you were born, please?
Jones: Yes, sir. I was born in this community, actually down the block, in the old Sydenham Hospital. Manning: Okay, so just about two blocks from here is your place of birth, in the Sydenham Hospital.
Jones: Yes, sir.
Manning: And how long did you live in this community?
Jones: Let me see. I was born in 1962, and we lived here until 1969, when the family went to New Jersey. But we maintained ties through church and through family. So I’ve always been here, basically, even though we were in Jersey.
Manning: Now, you are presently a graduate of what institutions? If you’re an attorney, where did you get your attorney training?
Jones: Yes, sir. I’m a graduate of Vanderbilt University
Manning: Where is that?
Jones: In Nashville, Tennessee. And I attended there from 1994 to 1997.
Manning: And there what is your degree?
Jones: Yes, I have a Juris Doctorate.
Manning: Okay. And did you go to any other graduate school prior to attending law school?
Jones: Yes, sir. Before again, being in this community, I attended and graduated from Union Theological Seminary, which is over on Broadway, between, I guess, 122nd and 124th Streets.
Manning: 120th and 121st? Jones: I’m sorry, 120th and 121st, in this community. Manning: Now, did you graduate from Union? Jones: I did. Manning: And what kind of degree did they award you at Union Theological Seminary?
Jones: I have a Master’s of Divinity degree from Union.
Manning: All right. Does that mean that you’re some sort of a preacher?
Jones: Well, I wish. No, I am. I’m an ordained minister.
Manning: You are an ordained minister. What years did you attend Union Theological Seminary?
Jones: I attended Union from 1985 to 1988.
Manning: Okay. And what proximity is Union Theological Seminary to Columbia University?
Jones: They’re it’s four blocks apart. It’s right there.
Manning: Well, if you consider Teacher’s College a part of Columbia University, and Teacher’s College will sit right across the street from Union
Jones: Right across the street. It’s all actually, it’s all part of one complex, because I actually took courses at Columbia, with no extra charge.
Manning: What courses did you take at Columbia?
Jones: Mainly some law law courses.
Manning: Was it the practice of Union Seminary for its students and alumnus, at the time that you attended Union, to do the registration, or at least, health programs, library programs, of Union, to be overseen by Columbia University? In other words, you were given Columbia University identity cards and registration cards and library practices cards.
Jones: Yes. I the healthcare came through Columbia. I had access to the library. It was all, really, part of one system.
Manning: So in effect, you were a part of Columbia as well as a part of Union.
Manning: Could you tell me a little bit about now, you graduated Union Seminary with a Master’s degree
Manning: And then you went on to Vanderbilt Law School, and received a Juris Doctorate. Could you tell me, what influenced you to submit yourself to such torture?
Jones: To such torture?
Manning: Well, I’m only being facetious. Submit yourself to all of that higher learning. Why would you do that?
Jones: Well, I had besides my personal, professional goals, education was the order of the day in my family. My mother’s a teacher, my father’s a teacher. Doing college and graduate
Manning: Well, I met your parents. I know both of them. Jones: Yeah.
Manning: And if I may say so, my observation of your parents they were both teachers, teachers in this community for a goodly number of years. Some of Harlem’s, if you will, most upstanding citizens, your parents were.
Manning: But they also came from a very strong line of independent, if you will, black or African Americans, out of Virginia and North Carolina, owners of large segments of land that was bequeathed to them after the antebellum period. They became developers, business persons. So you come from a family that believes strongly in education indeed, it appeared to me, and this is just an observation, that had you not been thinking about going to college, you would not have been allowed to remain in the family. I met many of your family members, and they all have higher degrees, and they put a lot of emphasis on education, and also on development, in terms of business.
So I suppose I’m trying to answer your question for you, about why you sought two graduate degrees.
Let me ask you about your family’s involvement in politics, and what were you taught by your parents about the Presidency of the United States? As a young boy growing up in Harlem, how did you view that office, and how did you prepare yourself to understand?
And by the way, where did you go to undergraduate school? Jones: I went to Oberlin College for my undergraduate work.
Manning: Okay. If you could respond to the question about growing up in Harlem, what your parents and your family members thought about the office of the Presidency, and at a young age, what you thought about that office as well.
Jones: Sure. My mother was a very unusual woman, in that in 1962 I’m almost afraid to go back that far, but that’s how old I am. But she would tell people even then that within her womb was the first black President of the United States.
I don’t think that she necessarily would be disappointed that I chose not to go down a political path, but I think what she was saying, and what she drilled into all of us, is that we could become anything that we chose to be, including that. And
Manning: Well, I know your mother well, or I knew her.
Jones: Yes. AndsheI’msorry.
Manning: And I believe that when she said that she thought, when she was pregnant with you, that she was carrying the first black President of the United States.
Jones: Actually, that wouldn’t be an unfair statement. She which was remarkable, because in 1962, she couldn’t vote in the State of Virginia. And she lived here, in this community, that in so many ways, the thought was, even then, what good could come from here? But she believed that strongly, and I think it was the hope of the people in this community, and other communities like it, that one day, that someone who a son of the community, would rise up to that esteemed office. So, yes.
Manning: When you became of age, and began to understand this community, began to understand race relations obviously, your mother, in 1962, in the State of Virginia, could not cast a vote during that time, but yet, she had aspirations that one of her children might actually become the President of this great nation.
Manning: What was your earlier recollection of politics, and the highest office of politics in this nation, the Presidency? And then, what did you do to define your understanding of the Presidency and politics?
Jones: Sure. When I was small, I didn’t know that she spoke over her womb like that, but politics was my thing, growing up. I was the leader of my class. I did all the sorts of things that one would expect of someone who was going on for higher political office. My undergraduate degree was in political science, and I was always involved with you know, I was involved with as an officer in my town, with the Democratic organization, I guess from a teenager on.
So I’m not quite a Democrat anymore, but that’s where I was. Manning: Don’t mean to put you on the spot
Manning: But if I were to ask you, just off the top I pray you can answer who was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury?
Jones: Oh, boy, I Manning: I put you on the spot. Jones: I think it was Morgenthau. It was either that, or it was Morgenthau, I believe.
Manning: No, it was Morgenthau. It was Henry Morgenthau.
Manning: Now, your grandmother was very influential, as grandmothers are, under black tradition, African American tradition. What was significant about your grandmother’s idea about the Presidency, and about you becoming the President of the United States?
And by the way, let me just set, for the jury, we’re not positioning Attorney Jones as having missed the opportunity to become the President of the United States. That’s not what we’re doing. I think we’re just talking about the way mothers feel about their children, and how people love this nation, no matter what their color may be, and they want to participate in it fully. This is not a disgruntled Presidential candidate. Now, please don’t misunderstand that.
Jones: (laughter) No. No.
Manning: We’re just having him testify.
Jones: She felt the same way. She had a grandmother’s love. And she did everything to encourage me to believe in this country, and to believe that, yes, I could be President of the United States, and if that, of course, anything else I wanted to be would be a lesser included entity.
But she I remember in 1968, she took me out, and we stayed out all day long, so that we could see then Vice President Humphrey campaign, just about 20 blocks from here, when he was
Manning: Why was that important, to see Vice President Humphrey? Why what was
Jones: Because I wanted to be President. And she and she actually, she it wasn’t me staying with her. She stayed with me
Manning: The whole day.
Jones: Yes, so that
Manning: Did you get a chance to see him, by the way?
Jones: We did, yeah. He came up, and we you know, started speaking, and we left. But I remember that vividly.
Manning: Now, in 1968, was that prior to the assassination of Dr. King, or after?
Jones: It was just after. It was Dr. King died in April, and we went out to that event, I believe, somewhere in late September or early October.
Manning: How did your family respond to the death of Dr. King?
Jones: We well, I actually, I remember, as a boy, watching it. We everything shut down. I remember watching the funeral. They had great love and great respect for Martin Luther King, and thought that he about this time, in this community, for instance, there were Black Power advocates were beginning to raise their voices, people who were more militant. They believed that the way of nonviolence was the way, so they greatly supported him and greatly mourned him.
Manning: I think we need to state that there were a number of people who did not agree with Dr. King, in terms of nonviolence, and there were several groups one was the Black Panthers, and of course, there was Stokely Carmichael, and the Student NonViolent Coordinating Committee there were the Mau Maus, even. A number of groups right here in Harlem. And even the leadership of the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who had perhaps a different perspective. Not to mention a large number of the Baptist pastors, of whom Dr. King was a member, who did not support his ideology of nonviolence.
Jones: Yes. That’s true.
Manning: And then ultimately, we have the Black Muslims, with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. And they were all in this community at the time.
Now, you grew up in the midst of Malcolm X, Adam Powell, Dr. King, the Mau Maus, the Black Panthers. Did you grow up bitter? Did you who influenced you? I mean, who was it Dr. King that influenced you? Was it these other, more violent, vocal groups?
Jones: It was Dr. King was the great influence in our home. I would say that my grandmother, who was very conservative in most ways I mean, we grew up we there was a love for Adam Powell, but not the radicalism. But they remember him for fighting so that people could have jobs. You could 125th Street, which is right at the in the heart of this community, was a place where black people couldn’t work, until Adam came along. So they loved him for that.
But it was Dr. King’s influence that was the main thing, and no, there was no bitterness in my family. In fact, my father would always teach us that in fact, the truth of the matter is, that not every black man is your friend, and not every white man is your enemy. And so, that’s the way we grew up.
Manning: So you didn’t grow up bitter, and you didn’t grow up hating white people? You [multiple speakers]
Jones: No, I mean, when we moved to New Jersey, I was in a totally integrated school. We moved to Teaneck, and I got elected Class President with, like 80% of the vote. And
Manning: That’s [multiple speakers]. Jones: And most of those where white votes, so no.
Manning: Now, your parents belonged to the Anglican Church, is that right?
Jones: Yes, we grew up in a church maybe six blocks from here St. Andrew’s.
Manning: And you decided to leave that tradition, and unite with this church
Jones: That’s true.
Manning: Which has been about how many years have you been here?
Jones: Twenty five or so.
Manning: Why would you leave that sort of a silk stocking, if you will, high worship, or high ecclesiastical worship, to come and join a bunch of thumpers like ourselves?
Jones: (laughter) Thetruth?
Jones: The truth is, it was you. (laughter)
Manning: Oh, okay.
Jones: You you you were just like my parents. When I I mean, I really didn’t aspire to be a minister, but when that I always wanted to be a lawyer. I did not want to answer a call to ministry. But when I came, there were only two things I wanted. I never asked for a pulpit, I never asked for a microphone. What I did ask for was a leader who combined a the same respect for Biblical truth that I grew up with, but I also wanted someone with a love of intellectual things. And there you were.
Manning: Now, having united with this church, and having me as your pastor, you then made the decision to go and study theology at Union Seminary. Could you tell us a little bit about what that’s like? And what I really want you to help us to understand, you were there, I believe, in the late ’80s
Jones: True. Mid to mid ’80s, ’85 through ’88. Yeah.
Manning: You were there at a critical time and a turning point of black theology. The most renowned black professor in America at the time was your professor for three years, if I’m not mistaken.
Jones: That’s true.
Manning: And perhaps the secondmost renowned black philosopher was also your professor at Union for three years as well. Is that right?
Jones: That’s true.
Manning: Could you tell us a little bit about what Union believed in terms of social justice, and the application of the Scriptures as gospel to be preached as we find them in the text?
Jones: Sure. Well, I’m going to answer you as I’m perceiving the question. If I’m not hitting the mark, you’ll
Manning: That’s fine.
Jones: At that time, there was a strong belief in ministry as ministry of social justice. You’re right, James Cone was there at that time. He’s still there, I believe. And he was really the father of this movement called Liberation Theology. His emphasis was on blackness, and he wrote a book in the I think 1969, Black Theology and Black Power. And it came out of that the turmoil right after Dr. King’s death. I mean, the Black Power movement began to gain influence, and he tried to argue that Christianity ought to be seen in the light of Black Power.
And but that type of Liberation Theology spread beyond just black. It’s taken hold in Latin America, and taken hold in Africa and other places. But that was really ground zero.
Manning: So in other words, you’re saying that the influence of Dr. James Cone, who is still at Union Theological Seminary, by the way, I think
Manning: was greatly received by churches, black churches in America, and also in Latin America, as the ideal theology, in fact as the trutheology, for people who may consider them oppressed. In fact, I think he had a book that referenced the term oppressed in its title. Do you know it?
Jones: Yeah. God of the Oppressed, and I think, 1975 that came out. Yes.
Manning: So, James Cone conducted a theology that was widely accepted in all types of black churches and Latin American churches, that God was the God of the oppressed. And anyone who felt or was within that particular category, that God was their God. That was the only God that had
Jones: Yes, in a nutshell. Yeah. I mean, there are nuances, but in a nutshell, that’s it.
Manning: Now, this was a teaching of James Cone. You also, for three years, had Cornel West, Dr. West, who is now, I believe, at Harvard, as a Black Theology, or Black Studies professor. What was his ideology, and wasn’t he was he raised a black Baptist? Was he was Cornel West a preacher, and how did he affect you the three years you were there at Union?
Jones: Yes. He was a he was an ordained minister. I think he was ordained as a Baptist. I didn’t have I really only had one class with him, and he it was more or less along the lines of philosophy, because he was trained in western philosophy, but then he mixed that with liberation thought.
Quite frankly, I couldn’t even figure out the title for his class
Manning: I don’t think [multiple speakers].
Jones: But he I did have a class with him, and he I mean, he is along the same he believes that church should function along the same lines of being politically active in the world, as a mechanism of social justice. I think he was one of Obama’s advisors, so that fits right along along the lines of how he lives.
Manning: Would you say that the influence of James Cone from the late ’60s, early ’70s, through the late ’80s, was most imminent and prominent in the minds of black and Latin theologians, and to some degree, sociologists as well? That no one, during theology or sociology, in any way, would not have known who James Cone was, and if they had the opportunity to seek out his counsel, would have certainly made that attempt to talk with him, or be in his meetings? I mean, he lectured as far as Sri Lanka. He was all over the world.
Would you consider that a fair assumption about the influence of James Cone among all black people within that timeframe?
Jones: Sure. Anyone who had any anyone who was thinking about those issues would certainly know who he is, and because he was right here, they would more than likely seek him out, as well as you know, Dr. West, and perhaps Dr. Washington.
Manning: So now, when you attended Union Theological Seminary, you took courses at Columbia. You were registered through Columbia’s program. And vice versa. Students from Columbia took courses at Union Theological Seminary.
Manning: Now, Mr. Obama alleges that he attended Columbia University from 1981 to 1983. Did was James Cone a professor consistently at Union Theological Seminary, and in conjunction with Columbia University, from 1981 to 1983?
Manning: Was Cornel West a professor of theology and philosophy at Union Theological Seminary, and a conjunction program that he could have had with Columbia here 1981 to 1983?
Manning: Now, in your own estimation, is it plausible that a young black student at Columbia University would spend two years at Columbia in political science and never have an interview or take a class with the most esteemed black professor or, the two most esteemed black professors in America at the time? Is it plausible that a political science major who was allegedly black would fail to interact in any way if they are attending the school where those professors are teaching? Is that plausible?
Jones: It would it’s very implausible, particularly when you look at what Obama says his mindset was at the time. He says that he was trying to get in touch with his sense of blackness. He was finding himself. And he was also he claims that he was he was concerned, and involved with social issues.
Not to have any interaction and Cone never says that he ever met the man. West never you know, there’s no claim anywhere by West that he ever met the man. And you kind of remember something like that, someone, years later, running for President. Never met him. And Obama never makes the claim in any of his works that he ever interacted with, or even knew these men. So it’s
And the other thing about it is that the church that he attended in Chicago, that’s all that was, was with Wright Jeremiah Wright. That’s all that was, was Conian.
Manning: Yes. There are two there is Dr. Dwight Hopkins, who was a classmate of mine at Union, and yours as well, under the PhD program
Jones: Yeah, I know Dwight.
Manning: who is now a leader at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
Manning: who studied in fact, he was Cone’s student, who guided him through the PhD program, the doctoral program. And also, Jeremiah Wright, who was not a student at Union, but certainly, a deep and compassionate follower of the teachings of James Cone.
But Obama, who became a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ, has never mentioned once that he ever had any interaction with such esteemed persons as James Cone or Cornel West, and there’s never there’s not any record, there’s nothing written in any book, there’s no class roster, where these two ever came in contact with one another, though Obama was at Columbia and essentially at Union for two years.
Jones: Well, he says he was at Columbia.
Manning: Oh, okay.
Jones: But no, that would be highly unlikely. I read the materials in Ohio, and I went to see these men, to question them before I was even in a theological program. What’s more significant is that they never mention him. Or what’s just as significant is that they have no knowledge of him.
Manning: You grew up in this community.
Jones: Yes, sir.
Manning: You remember the well, I suppose during your early years, the Apollo Theater was pretty a big place, a pretty important place. You saw the long lines for James Brown?
Jones: Yes, I saw James Brown, [?]
Manning: You remember the baby grand, and the
Jones: Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t going in there as a boy, but yes. Yes.
Manning: Now, in this community, there was, at the time of your growing up, there was a great sense of nationalism, being spurned out of the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, Adam Powell again, Dr. King, Malcolm X. I mean, nationalism was black nationalism was, indeed, most imminent. And there was a store, a bookstore that prospered, that carried literature that you couldn’t find at Columbia. Indeed, some of the Columbia and Union professors would say to you, well, our bookstore does not carry this material, but you can find it at the Liberation Bookstore, which was about black liberation and some of the writers that were not on the approved list of the trustees of Columbia and Union. And it was just up the block from here. This is Lenox Avenue, just outside to our West, 132nd Street, at Liberation Bookstore.
Manning: Is it possible that any black student at New York University, Columbia University, Union Seminary, to have completed a course of study in either political science, theology, or sociology, who would not have gone at least once to the Liberation Bookstore?
Jones: Well, yeah. If you’re part of this community, if you’re part of the intellectual life of this community, then yeah, it’s someplace that actually, it’s a historic site. And certainly, one would yeah. One would expect that one would have gone there, at least known about it, or acknowledge it in someplace. It was just that historic. Everybody went there.
In fact, the woman who owned it, when she was about to lose her lease, the whole community rose up. I remember being her attorney, as a matter of fact, in landlord/tenant court. So [multiple speakers].
Manning: Well, let me ask you another question. Malcolm X was the leader or at least, founder, of Mosque No. 7, which again, is just down the block south, on 116th Street Lenox Avenue, the next avenue outside of this church. You travel down to 116th Street, and there was Mosque No. 7.
Now, Malcolm was not always the teacher, or the Imam there, but he founded that mosque under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad, and established Islam in New York in a very powerful way. As you know, it was Malcolm’s duty to establish mosques all over America, and he did a great job of that. So that has a historic, if you will, presence, and people traveling from around the world generally go into Mosque No. 7, because they know that Malcolm X taught there. And simply for its historical value, people want to be in that space for that timeframe.
Are you aware of anyone from the Islamic group, from Farrakhan’s now leadership of the black Muslims? Or any writings or statements by Obama during the time of his campaign, or in any of his writings, in Audacity of Hope, or Dreams From My Father, where he states that he happened to either pass by Mosque No. 7, made famous by Malcolm X, or went there to see what Islam was about in this community? Are you aware of any statement anywhere, where he references or acknowledges Mosque No. 7, which is right here in Harlem?
Jones: Let me just answer the question this way. The short answer is, no. He I did that research. Really, the truth of the matter is, there is nothing in the thousands or millions of words that Barack Obama has spoken since the time he declared for President, up until now, that he mentions any of the landmarks that one would expect somebody to have seen, if they were in this community, if they were right up the block at Columbia, not the Liberation Bookstore, not the mosque, not the place where Marcus Garvey was, not the Schoenberg library, which is world famous nothing. There’s no indication of anything, that there’s no footprints of his anywhere in this community. Except for Sylvia’s, where he came to eat once, I think.
Manning: Was that during the campaign?
Jones: That was during the campaign. Not during his
Manning: Well, I like to be fair. I think he did mention that at one point, he used to kind of sneak into the Abyssinian church, sit in the back while listening to the choir. And they because he was looking for his black roots. This was in his book, Dreams From My Father, and we can get you the page and the statement where he stated that. He did go to Abyssinia occasionally, searching for his roots. But he never mentioned the pastor, he never mentions a sermon, and he never mentions that anyone knew him at Abyssinia, searching for his roots. So I that and Abyssinia is a big icon in this community, as some of you may or may not be aware.
But beyond that, there are no now, his friend, Sahol Sadiki, and making comments to BusinessWeek magazine, stated that while he and Obama were roommates, that they took in the ambience of New York, they went to Central Park, they went downtown, they but they never mentioned coming ever to Harlem. And are you aware of that, as statements about his relationship of the landmarks in this community?
Jones: I’m aware of that, and again, that raises red flags, it raises questions. I mean, obviously, I wasn’t with Obama 24/7 to account for his whereabouts. But the truth of the matter still remains that for him to say that he was searching for his roots, for him to have said that he was at Columbia, and not to mention these things, is almost like saying that I’ve gone to Paris and know nothing about Notre Dame, or Le Seine, or the Louvre. They’re just things that one would expect.
And even with Abyssinia, I remember Dr. Proctor [ph] I think he came and he preached right here, and students from Columbia, from Union, if they were coming into town, it was his joy to greet it was his custom, and I believe also with Butts [ph], I’m not as clear on Butts. But it was their custom to greet the students, and to sit down with them, and to encourage them, knowing that they were far away from home, to give them any assistance.
So I mean, I can’t dispute that he was at Abyssinia, but I find it hard to believe, knowing the MO of the pastors in the church.
Manning: Now, you are the corporation counsel for this church, is that right? Jones: Yes, sir. Manning: So you’re here quite often.
Jones: Yes, sir.
Manning: Have you ever witnessed students from Columbia University or New York University, working on their PhD program, make appointments with me and come and sit with me for hours, discussing this community, black nationalism, Socialism, the whole idea of black development economically. Have you ever witnessed that take place, with the students coming from Columbia to this church to talk with me about their PhD thesis?
Jones: Yes. Quite frankly, I’ve lost count of how many times that’s happened.
Manning: So if you’re in if you’re a student, even at the PhD level, of Columbia, you seek out people within the Harlem community who have some sense about the community. So
Manning: It would have been something that a student, that like Obama would have done with James Cone. I certainly am not as widely known as James Cone. But over the years, a large number of PhD students have been in this church. They’ve actually come to worship, to try to discover exactly what makes us go.
Can I just change the line of questioning for one moment? I want to try to determine the years that Mr. Obama would have been here in New York, at Columbia. And I want to see what the stage of our nation, and what was happening globally, with respect to politics.
We know that the Iranian hostage crisis, on the heels of the fall of Saigon, and the loss of prestige of our military, having to cut and run, if you will, out of Vietnam, and then our embassy leaders were taken hostage in Iran by a group of students, and held that way for 440some days, and released upon the exchanging of the Presidency of Carter to Reagan. So we were in a very difficult time. The Carter years were very difficult economic years, they were difficult military years, a difficult time for America in general.
Could you help me to understand because in 1979, the Soviet Union invaded the nation of Afghanistan. And of course, there had been the war going on between Iraq and Iran.
Could you help me to understand something about the mindset of both the Carter administration and the Reagan administration with respect to foreign policy, with what was happening in with the Contras, the Sandinistas in South Central America, and what was happening with the invasion, and how both Carter and Reagan interpreted what American support could do.
If that question’s not too long I’ll try to break it up for you, but I think you have a general idea of what I’m trying to ask you.
Jones: Sure. You’re right. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and the United States followed as best I can tell, the policy that we had ever since 1947 in the Truman administration, and that is, wherever Communism was on the move, wherever there was Communist aggression, that it was the policy of this nation to oppose it.
And so, we gave aid and support to the Mujahedin, who were fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And same thing in Nicaragua, although in that case, the Sandinistas were the government. They were the ones in charge. And in that instance, we gave aid to the group known as the Contras, that were opposing the Socialists.
Manning: And how do we aid the Contras in Nicaragua?
Jones: Oh. Well, we supplied we supplied them with both arms and with financial support. There was sort of a there was a there was a there was a plan put in place that involved Iran and Iraq.
Maybe the best way to answer that question is just to give a is to go back, give a little bit of background, and then try to hit it.
Manning: We’ll do that. We’ll hear that.
Jones: We all remember the 52 hostages that were held in Iran, up until the day that President Reagan was inaugurated. But what we don’t remember quite as well is that other American hostages, and other western hostages, were taken even after that. And what the Reagan administration sought to do was to gain the release of those hostages, and a plan that was developed within the National Security Council, it was well, maybe if we aided the Iranians in their war against Iraq by supplying them with arms, that it would lead to the release of those hostages. And that plan kind of, in a nutshell, mushroomed, and as we sold arms to third parties that didn’t distributed them, we got a flood of money, and then the idea developed, well, why don’t we use some of that money to aid the Contras [multiple speakers].
Manning: Is it customary and tradition for the National Security Council and the President to conference and make decisions about the selling of arms to enemy nations or friendly nations? Or should there be some Congressional approval about arms deals?
Jones: Well, let me just say, in fairness to President Reagan, it’s not clear that he ever knew about those parts of the plan that were illegal, but yes. We actually, people got indicted in the administration, because there was an arms control law that set parameters. Remember, we Iran was still technically our enemy. They’re taking our people hostage. So
Manning: But now we’re selling them arms
Jones: Yeah. And there was also the Arms Control Export Act was in place, that made some of what happened there illegal. In fact, using private citizens to funnel money, using third parties, did contravene Congressional mandate.
Same thing in Nicaragua. Even though even though our firm policy was to withstand Communism or Socialism wherever it reared its head, there were ways to go about it. And in this instance, it was illegal, because there was something called the Boland amendment, which had been passed in Congress, saying that we were not allowed to directly interfere in the internal workings of, in this case, Nicaragua. But we did. And
Manning: Is it common knowledge that in the efforts to supply the Contras with funding to fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and at the same time, to seek to help the Iranians, who were our enemies, overthrow an even greater enemy, Iraq, that there were illegal arms sales going on, and that the administration while you state that Reagan may have may perhaps may not have known about this, used the Central Intelligence Agency to make this process work?
Jones: Yes. There’s a within the CIA, there’s a let me make sure I have the right word. There’s a group called the Special Activities Group, and sometimes they do good things, and sometimes it’s not so good. I mean, in this instance, what they always do, they are the spearhead for for any insurgency movements that we’re making in other countries, any covert activities that we are doing in other countries such as Iran or Nicaragua. That group is directly involved in the planning. If people need to be placed or planted in a country, that’s the group that was responsible. If money needed to move, that’s the group that was responsible.
Manning: So when Reagan became President, he was faced with two major wars going on. One was Iran and Iraq, and the other would have been the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, but also, very critical in Central America, would have been Nicaragua. So there was an explosion of wars that he needed to be able to try to manage, that we might maintain our leadership.
What would have happened and you don’t have to be an expert on this, but what do in your estimation, would have happened if the Soviets had been successful in overthrowing the Mujahedins and taken power over the nation of Afghanistan? How would that have affected our American policy, China’s policy towards both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the ultimate effect upon all of the Islamic world, if the Soviet Union had been able to conquer that nation? Just your you don’t have to be an expert on this, and we’ll just hear what you have to say.
Jones: Yeah, I’ll just take the parts that I have fairly certain opinions on. I think that in the end, even though there may be questions of the legality or illegality, I think that American policy was basically right. I think that we had to withstand the Soviet expansion. We had to well, we had to do it in Nicaragua, we had to do it in Afghanistan. And I think that the wisdom of the policy lay in this that once you saw victory in Afghanistan, it sent a signal to the whole world that the Soviets were not able to secure a piece of land right around its own border. And it didn’t take I think maybe three years after the end of that war, you saw the beginning of the collapse of the whole Soviet regime.
Jones: So I think that the policy itself Afghanistan was critical. I think everybody knew it, because upon it hinged the whole east/west conflict. That’s just my take on it.
Manning: And I want your observation as well of the general policy of the Central Intelligence Agency during those years, prior years, and at present, would have been to do recruitment on college campuses, and to some degree, high school campuses as well. And if I would like to know if you are aware of the CIA ever having been involved in recruitment on college campuses, high school campuses as well, and whether or not you are aware of any public knowledge about the CIA involvement in supplying arms to the Mujahedins during the Soviet invasion.
Jones: Well, it’s all public now. The first answer is yes. I’m aware, through the research that I did, about college recruitment taking place with the CIA yeah, I’m very much aware of that. And it is in fact, I forget the gentleman’s name, but the person who was actually the head of Special Activities has long since come out and acknowledged that the CIA was involved in giving aid to the Mujahedin.
I mean, these people up in the hills, the weaponry was sophisticated. It had to come from somewhere. And we helped. And I think it was a the policy the way it was done, there may be some debate over it, but the policy itself proved successful. So Afghanistan was critical.
Manning: Okay. All right. Attorney Jones, I think that’s all of the questions that I have for you. I want to thank you for your time, and for the information that you’ve given. I’d like to reserve the right to recall you.
And Your Honor, since the defendants have chosen not to be represented here at this proceeding, obviously, there’s no one to cross examine or to challenge. So if it’s your permission, the witness can stand down at this point.
Thank you, Attorney Jones.
Your Honor, also, I would like to, at this time, to indulge the Court just one more time for a complete adjournment for today, inasmuch as that there are two other three potential witnesses that I need to prepare, that I have not had the opportunity to do so, because they are out of state, and they may have to be the presentation may have to come on Skype, or we may delete them altogether. But as we stated as well, that tomorrow being Monday, will be a fuller day, and Tuesday, we’d like to try to wrap things up.
With your permission, Your Honor, I’d like to ask for an adjournment of all today’s proceedings, and we’ll meet tomorrow morning after the march, if you make such a pronouncement.
Unger: Okay, Court adjourned.
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