Discredited Gary Sick Cited by MSM as Expert on Iran Nuke 'Deal'

April 3rd, 2015 2:14 PM

Would you want to cite someone who has been thoroughly discredited in the very field he is supposed to be an expert in? Well, that is exactly what several news organizations did yesterday including Charlie Rose on PBS, the New York Times, and Bloomberg when they cited Gary Sick as an expert on Iran in stories about the nuke "deal" which was actually more of an agreement on the framework to discuss the...well, you get it. It really wasn't an actual deal but Gary Sick was chirping away like it was some sort of positive development.. Of course none of the news organizations gave a hint that Sick is the author of completely  discredited 1992 October Surprise book which claimed that the 1980 Ronald Reagan campaign conspired with the Iranian government to delay the release of the American hostages captured in 1979.

Both independent and House and Senate investigations have thoroughly discredited Gary Sick. What makes it particularly bizarre for the New York Times to cite Gary Sick is the fact that it reported in 1993 the results of a congressional inquiry headed by Democrat Lee Hamilton which clearly demonstrates that Sick's premise was completely false:


WASHINGTON, Jan. 12— A bipartisan House panel has concluded that there is no merit to the persistent accusations that people associated with the 1980 Presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan struck a secret deal with Iran to delay the release of American hostages until after the election.

"There is no credible evidence supporting any attempt or proposal to attempt by the Reagan Presidential campaign, or persons representing or associated with the campaign to delay the release of the American hostages in Iran," the panel concluded in a summary of its report, which is to be made public on Wednesday. Congressional aides distributed the summary to news organizations today.

The summary describes the report as "the most thorough and complete investigation and analysis of the October Surprise allegations to date." More than 230 people were interviewed in several countries by 10 lawyers and six investigators working for House October Surprise Task Force.

...The hostages were freed by Iran on Jan. 20, 1981, the day that Mr. Reagan was sworn in as President. The theory that the Republican campaign had engineered a delay of the release until after Election Day circulated in Washington throughout the Reagan and Bush Administrations, but it attracted heightened public interest in April 1991, when Gary Sick, a national security aide in the Carter White House, wrote an article for the Op-Ed page in The New York Times saying he had concluded that the accusations were true because of the variety of sources who told similar stories.

Yet despite what the Times itself reported about Sick and how his October Surprise theory has been proven to be completely false, here is the same newspaper yesterday citing Sick as an Iran expert with no reference to his disreputable past:

Gary G. Sick, a former National Security Council official and now a Columbia University scholar who has studied Iran for more than four decades, said that Iran’s leaders would place great weight on presenting a deal as a victory, even if they made major concessions in the fine print.

In addition to the Times, neither Bloomberg nor Charlie Rose informed the public about how the book by which Gary Sick is best known was discredited by numerous investigations. Since it appears that Sick will continue to be cited as some sort of Iran expert by the MSM for the next few months as the Iran nuke talks drag on, it is important to get some insight as to his character, or lack of it, starting with the appropriately titled GARY SICK'S BALD-FACED LIES in the March 1993 American Spectator:

When his facts were challenged, Sick would jump into the fray. In May 1992, when CNN reported that secret 1980 wiretaps showed that a Paris meeting Sick alleged William Casey attended could not have taken place, Sick immediately told an AP reporter that Casey could have traveled to and from Paris on the Concorde. In November 1992, when a Senate report called the October Surprise unfounded, Sick showed up just hours later on television, claiming the report showed that a new "cover-up" was underway. Sick said he would await the outcome of the House investigation. Sick's partner in crime, the New York Times editorialists -- who endorsed the conspiracy from the day they put it on the opinion page -- leaped to his defense, saying "a fuller, fairer understanding may have to await a parallel House inquiry."

For Sick, however, the day of the House report's release was a day of reckoning. Ever since he first began making the charges publicly, he had been careful to cloak his accusations in the mantle of wanting to assure justice and fairness. "If [the October Surprise] did not happen," he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in November 1991, then "we owe it to Mr. Casey and others to clear any suspicion from their name." In a separate interview, Sick promised to apologize to President Bush if the charges were disproved.

Sick dishonestly implied that he was only chronicling charges made by others. Nonetheless, his avowed willingness to abide by the results of the investigation made the project look at least superficially reasonable. But on the day after the House investigators slammed the door on Sick's theory, both he and the New York Times were conspicuously quiet.

...The October Surprise was an exercise in abject dishonesty from beginning to end. The documents collected by the congressional investigators show beyond a doubt that Sick knowingly quoted sources who made demonstrably false allegations to him, that he weeded out mounds of evidence showing his sources to be lying and their claims to be inventions, and that he actually fabricated evidence in a desperate attempt to marshal proof for what turned into a profitable book.

...The book actually represented a first effort to rehabilitate the Carter Administration, and in particular Sick's own role in Iran. In essence, Sick parlayed one of the most abysmal foreign policy failures of post–World War II history into a raging success. Here was a man who presided over the collapse of America's strongest Islamic ally, leaving the Reagan Administration with few options in dealing with a rogue regime bent on disrupting the Middle East. Instead of being held accountable for the loss of Iran -- after all, Sick was in charge of Iran policy on the Carter NSC -- Sick managed to shift the blame elsewhere.

By any normal standard of accountability and rationality, the House investigation -- on top of other evidence of the man's incompetence -- should have terminated the Clinton Administration's interest in Sick. It didn't. In the end, though, we may be thankful to Gary Sick for at least one thing: we now know a little more about why the Carter Administration lost Iran.

So the man who was in large part responsible for the failure of Jimmy Carter's Iran policy and also authored a book chock full of lies about the Reagan 1980 campaign and the Iranian government is now the MSM go to guy for commentary about the Iran nuke talks as if he has some sort of credible expertise on the subject? For more recent information on Gary Sick and his fraud check out the Spring 2012 Middle East Quarterly which also has the highly appropriate title of Gary Sick, Discredited but Honored.