Matthew Freedman Lobbied for Ferdinand Marcos — While Mark Malloch Brown Lobbied for Cory Aquino


Senator Lugar was on the side of democracy in the Philippines before it became fashionable. But apparently Bolton “management advisor” Matthew Freedman was not.
This just came to me from a reliable source who knew Freedman two decades ago:

Your penultimate post (on Matthew Freedman) triggered long-stored memories.
It was the reference to “rice patties in the Philippines” that triggered my recollection that, during the final years of the Marcos regime, Black Manafort had the Marcos lobbying account.
Matt was one of three guys servicing the account in the field.
US policy was undergoing a dramatic shift at the time. Secretary of State George Shultz had quietly persuaded Ronald Reagan that it was time to ditch the Marcos family — and the Black Manafort retainer from the Marcos family had been hugely increased in an effort to turn this around.
The USG was discreetly funding the Marcos opposition (including the more sedate opposition group led by Cardinal Jaime Sin and the more radical NAMFREL).
One of Matt’s tasks was to attempt to document these connections in hopes that they could be used to drive a wedge into Hill support for the administration policy shift.
It was a time of “battling flacks”. Cory Aquino, widow of the opposition leader Benigno Aquino who had been murdered by a Marcos thug earlier that year, had retained none other than Mark Malloch Brown as her Washington lobbyist.
Mark and Matt were frequently in and out of the Philippines in those days, each developing sources and feeding material into the SFRC and the HFAC.
Dick Lugar proved central to this story. Shultz won Lugar’s support for dropping the Marcos connection. . . provided Marcos could be ousted in an election.
Republican election specialist Eddie Mahe was retained by the USG to analyze and defeat the Marcos election-rigging schemes.
Meanwhile, Matt was among those helping the Marcos family to carry out such schemes.
Dick Lugar led the international team that observed (and discredited) the elections that led to the ignominious departure of the Marcos family from their Malacanang Palace (in helicopters from Clark Air Base using the Malacanang roof as an LZ while the angry mob stormed the Palace.)
This bit of history might actually be useful, since Matt was working directly at cross purposes with Dick Lugar.

I am grateful to J.S. for his level-headedness on these matters I post about. Sometimes he is neutral, sometimes a fan, and sometimes opposed — just the way it should be.
I will be writing more later on the subject of Richard Armitage and his so-called support of John Bolton.
Check back for more on this in a few hours.
— Steve Clemons