Did the CIA murder Senator John Tower?
by Wayne Madsen
Did the CIA murder Senator John Tower? by Wayne Madsen ReportAlthough they were both Republican politicians from Texas, Senator John Tower and President George H. W. Bush became bitter rivals. Documents discovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives point to Bush and his allies within the CIA being upset with Tower over his findings as the chairman of the Tower Commission, named to investigate the culprits behind the Iran-contra scandal. The information gleaned by Tower may have also resulted in his and his daughter’s 1991 death in an airplane crash in Georgia.
In November 1986, President Reagan named Tower, who had declined to run for re-election in 1986, to chair the “President’s Special Review Board” on the actions of the National Security Council and its staff during the Iran-contra affair. The Tower Commission, as it was known, discovered, as did Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, that Vice President George Bush was a central figure in the scandal. Bush ensured he had his own plant installed on the Tower Commission, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who would hold the same office in the George H. W. Bush presidency. The third commission member was former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie.
In 1989, Bush nominated Tower to be his Secretary of Defense. However, the Senate rejected their former colleague in a 47-53 vote. The last Senate rejection of a Cabinet nominee was in 1959. It later became known that it was Bush, who, via articles and statements by the vitriolic conservative rabble rouser Paul Weyrich, leaked rumors of Tower’s “womanizing” and problems with alcohol in order to publicly humiliate Tower. The bad press resulted in Tower’s embarrassing rejection by the Senate. In other words, Bush set Tower up for a very public fall. It was retaliation for Tower’s probing of Bush’s central involvement in Iran-contra. And Tower’s rejection opened the door for Dick Cheney to become Secretary of Defense.
On April 5, 1991, Tower and his daughter Marian, along with 21 others, died in the crash of Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 2311 while it approached the Brunswick, Georgia airport. The crash was blamed on aircraft equipment failure. Tower and his daughter, who had just cooperated in the publishing of Tower’s memoir, were collaborating on a second “tell-all” book about Iran-contra that was reportedly going to “name names” and Bush’s name would have been prominently mentioned.
Any further investigations of Bush and Iran-contra went down in flames on April 5, 1991 with Atlantic Southeast 2311 [left] and the plane that crashed the day before in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania [right].
CIA archival documents show that Tower cited as one of the major Iran-contra co-conspirators in the Tower Report, Graham Fuller, who was CIA director William Casey’s top advisers and a friend of Tower Commission member Scowcroft. Fuller was a major architect of the CIA’s training and arming Islamic jihadists to not only fight the Soviets in Afghanistan but in the USSR itself, especially in central Asia and the Caucasus, the latter called the “Second Afghanistan.”
It was this policy of encouraging Islamist radicalization that ultimately led to the creation of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Fuller’s daughter was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev, the uncle of accused Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As previously reported by WMR, Fuller, throughout the 1980s, Fuller was front and center during many of the acts of violence in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, from Lebanon and Syria to Iran, Libya, and Algeria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Yemen. Among Fuller’s fellow CIA provocateurs trying to stir up Muslims against the Russians was John Brennan, the current CIA director who continues the policy with CIA support of jihadist groups in Syria.
As a result of the Tower report, one of the first heads to roll at the CIA was Fuller, who resigned after the report’s release in 1987. Bush and his sycophants at the CIA were livid over not only what Tower released in the report but also what he failed to include but knew about: that Bush was the central kingpin in the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran and the use of the profits to aid the contras. Bush swore out a vendetta against Tower, one that would culminate with a fiery plane crash in Georgia in 1991. Bush tried to escape blame by prodding a dementia-afflicted Reagan to fire White House chief of staff Donald Regan. Bush saw to it that Regan was blamed for the Iran-contra debacle. However, unlike Tower and his daughter, Regan did escape Bush’s wrath with his life.
Not so lucky was Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz III, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated Iran-contra and one of Tower’s supporters in the confirmation vote for Secretary of Defense. On April 4, 1991, the day before Tower died in the plane crash in Georgia, Heinz was killed in a freakish mid-air crash of his plane with a helicopter outside of Philadelphia.