A tribute to Robert Parry, the founder and editor of Consortium News, was held in Berkeley last month. Here is the video of the event and excerpts from the speakers who celebrated Bob’s life.
By Rick Sterling
Event Photos by Bill Hackwell
A celebration and salute to the investigative journalist and publisher Robert Parry took place on Saturday, May 19 in Berkeley California.
You can watch a video shot by Raj Sahei of the entire event here.
Robert Parry was born in 1949 and died of pancreatic cancer in January 2018. From 1974 until the early 1990’s he worked as investigative journalist for Associated Press, Newsweek magazine and then PBS Frontline. During that time, he played a key role breaking stories on the illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras, CIA collusion with drug dealers, and Ronald Reagan election team negotiating with Iran to delaying the release of American hostages until after the 1980 election. Frustrated with the increasing difficulty of getting his research and findings published, Parry founded the investigative journal Consortium News, which continues to today.
Although Bob never became a household name, many readers will recall News stories he played a key role in bringing to public consciousness. He uncovered the “Iran-Contra scandal” where the US secretly sold weapons to Iran via Israel with profits supporting mercenary “Contras” attacking the Nicaraguan government. He uncovered Lt. Col. Oliver North secretly working at the Reagan White House to supervise support for the Contras. He exposed CIA collusion with criminals sending weapons to the Contras and receiving tons of cocaine on return flights from Colombia and Central America.
In 1988, Parry co-authored an article that documented CIA and State Department activities to misinform the public to promote the desired public policy.
Next, Parry worked with PBS Frontline to uncover the “October Surprise”. That story involved Ronald Reagan’s election team secretly delaying the release of American hostages held in Iran. These stories appeared in mainstream media but were ultimately swept under the carpet.
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