How is this timeline so far?

  • Great

    Votes: 12 48.0%
  • Good

    Votes: 11 44.0%
  • Okay

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • Bad

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Implausible

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    25
Gravel strikes me as a great choice for a third-party candidate. He's eccentric but in a time when the world is on fire, he certainly could garner a following. As implied in the chapter, this won't be the last, we see of him.
He’s a bit like Jerry Brown if Brown wasn’t Fiscally Conservative and more Libertarian etc.
I have to thank @Time Enough for helping me with his expertise on UK politics. His general input will certainly make the portions about the UK 50x better than what my original version was.
Thanks, amusingly this reminds me of a timeline that me and @Oppo did some time ago, accept a bit more sensible.
 
Thanks, amusingly this reminds me of a timeline that me and @Oppo did some time ago, accept a bit more sensible.
I'd say it's fair to call that timeline more sensible and I'll admit it was a good timeline, better than most of my writings that's for sure. Yeah, the UK's screwed up in that timeline but nowhere near the level TTL is. Especially in the Americas and the Middle East and I haven't even gotten to Cianci's term.
 
Chapter X: America on the Highway to Hell
Paul Laxalt’s term is an enigma in American history. Such few American presidents have seen the world changed so much during their term. The problem with the Laxalt presidency being so consequential is that he spent so little time as president. During his short term as president, he did the standard conservative policies. Pass a couple of tax cuts here and there and increase military spending.

These policies weren’t an important part of his administration. Neither was meeting with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but the global backdrop was. Shortly after he was sworn in as president by Chief Justice Warren Burger Guatemala descended into chaos. After the sister revolutions of Nicaragua and El Salvador had descended into an international conflict Guatemala experienced an uptick in revolutionary activity. In response the Guatemalan government, led by Fernando Garcia retaliated with a series of killings and village burnings by military death squads. A group of peasant farmers protested these killings in Guatemala City on December 1st. In response to people using their right to freedom of speech the government brutalized them, beating men and women alike for the crime of speaking out against injustice.

The protestors realized they needed to do something bigger to allow their voices to be heard over the deafening tyranny of the Guatemalan government and took drastic action on the 10th of December. The Spanish embassy was stormed by poor farmers in a desperate attempt to show the plight of poor Ixil and K’iche farmers in the country. Spain was sympathetic to the cause of the indigenous farmers, especially after the murders of several Spanish priests in the region. The Spanish ambassador pleaded with the Guatemalan government to negotiate with the farmers, but the government refused. On December 20th, a few days before Christmas the Guatemalan City police department sent in the SWAT team to dislodge the protestors, despite the brazen violation of international law. A fire soon started due to white phosphorus being deployed by the police mixing with tear gas and Molotov cocktails. The fire burned out of control as the police fled the building along with the staff and protestors, causing the entrances to be jammed. To make the situation even worse the SWAT team actively sabotaged the efforts by protestors to escape the embassy by continuing to deploy tear gas and beating protestors who escaped to the brink of death. In total forty-one people were killed in the fire, including the Spanish ambassador to Guatemala.

Screenshot 2022-01-14 2.02.08 PM.png

First responders at the Guatemala Embassy.

A wave of grief burned like a wildfire through Guatemala City as the funerals for the 41 people murdered on December 20th were held on December 26th. As thousands of citizens viewed the charred bodies their anger only grew when they realized the sheer brutality of the government. But the final straw came when the Guatemalan government broke up the funerals as “riots” due to angry funeral goers burning effigies of the dictator Lucas Garcia. The soldiers deployed tear gas and used batons to brutalize the funeral goers. If they thought their crackdown was going to work, they were mistaken. The next day several factories went on strike to protest the brutality of the Garcia regime and the attack on the funeral service. A couple hours later railroad workers went on strike in the south of Guatemala City in solidarity. By the end of the day 20% of all workers in Guatemala City were on strike and by January 1st that number increased to 35%. The Garcia regime was on the brink of collapse when soldiers fired on strikers on the outskirts of Guatemala City. With a couple of shots Guatemala burst into flames. The Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP) and Organization of People’s Arms (OPRA) saw a dramatic increase in support and renewed their offensives towards Guatemala City. The Garcia regime dug in and begged the Jackson administration for aide. Jackson agreed and sent millions of dollars in guns, RPGs, and artillery to the Garcia regime in the final act of the Jackson administration.

1642196480847.png

Socialist militia marching to Guatemala City.

The war became a slaughter as death squads “disposed” of suspected communists in a precursor to the indiscriminate Guatemalan genocide under the Montt regime. But for the time being the OPRA and EGP united under the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) along with dozens of smaller decentralized local militias. The Guatemalan military managed to hold the line due to the US aide but rioting in Guatemala City and massive offensive allowed the URNG to capture vast swathes of land in the poor rural areas of the country. As Laxalt came in he expanded the air war to encompass Guatemala as the Panama War winded down. Plans for a possible invasion of Nicaragua were being drawn up but Laxalt knew he couldn’t invade every country in Latin America. So, his plan of using the CIA to direct and aide the Guatemalan military and JNP was put in motion. The CIA would aide anti-communist dictators and organizations with advisors and weaponry to out class and out gun the communist organizations. This strategy would be first used in Guatemala as the civil war raged on. At first it was successful as the heavy weaponry managed to kill scores of disorganized UNRG members, but things would change in the near future as more fires lit up in Latin America and America’s network of supplies would have to be stretched thin.

Laxalt’s most consequential action would be passing the Wilson Act, named after representative Charlie Wilson of Texas, it’d would provide billions of dollars over the next decade to aid the Islamists in the civil war. This came as the first major battle in Qom was raging between PIF forces who defended the city from an Islamist offensive. The battle quickly devolved into street to street fighting and was considered the most important city besides Tehran. First of all, the city was the political base for the Islamists and if it fell it would deal a great psychological blow to the Islamists. Second it would allow the PIF to penetrate deep into Islamist territory. The battle started with a massive artillery barrage by the PIF that killed thousands before they attempted to storm the city. However, the destruction created by the artillery barrage became the greatest enemy of the PIF. Moderates who were neutral or unwilling to fight in the civil war were horrified by the destruction of mosques, which while not purposeful didn’t exactly disprove the allegations of radical and oppressive atheism that the PIF attempted to dodge. The Islamists soldiers in Qom were soon reinforced by Islamic militias who held back the PIF soldiers while the Islamists entrenched themselves. But more importantly militias formed inside the PRRI itself and were instrumental in sabotaging the supply lines. By the end of the first two weeks the PIF looked like it was going to be pushed out of Qom as Islamic militias wreaked havoc on other parts of the country and were at risk of breaking the front line.

1642135342389.png

Soviet Premier Dimitry Ustinov

The Soviet Union saw this and wasn’t about to allow a potential oil rich ally fall into the hands of the NATO sphere. The PRRI would be a far more helpful and powerful ally compared to the weak and feeble Afghanistan regime they propped up. It was in Tehran that the Soviet Chairman Dimitry Ustinov, who had replaced the sickly Leonid Brezhnev after a stroke incapacitated him in 1978 wanted to leave his mark on the world. He felt that the Soviet Union had the potential to win against the United States in the Cold War due to the fact so many organic revolutionary movements had springing up. Figuring the US was unwilling to fight in Iran as even Jackson flat out rejected the idea of sending US soldiers to Iran when they could’ve easily turned the tide due to the crisis on America’s home continent. Ustinov knew it was a gamble, but he needed to do something to prevent a hostile country in charge of a decent amount of the world’s oil supply from taking root. Just like the US intervention in the Vietnam War the reasoning would be mostly fictitious. On February 14th, 1981, a Soviet plane carrying cargo would be shot down in Islamist territory. The crew survived but shooting down an officially neutral plane was an act of war. Ustinov responded by bombing key Islamist positions, specifically in Qom and dramatically increasing the importation of heavy weaponry to the PRRI. Ayatollah Khamenei denounced the Soviet bombing campaign as an act of war and Muslims across the Middle East burned Soviet flags and called for death of Rajavi and Ustinov. Vice President Cianci while in Egypt to discuss escalating tensions between Israel and Egypt after the failed peace talks of 1979 denounced the intervention as an act of international terrorism.

The Soviet weaponry of APCs and heavy artillery and air strikes did much to help the PIF as they were now able to focus on Islamist forces in Qom and cause some serious casualties. A month after the Soviet intervention the PIF launched an offensive on Islamist supply lines just South of Qom forced the Islamists to retreat. After the deaths of 80,000 people the battle of Qom was won. Most of the city, including several important religious monuments were destroyed in the crossfire and were the real decisive factor in the battle. It was an important strategic victory for the PIF on paper but to the public it was a rallying cry. Many Muslims viewed the PRRI as another puppet of the Soviet Union and one that would destroy Islam in the Middle East. The popularity of the PIF collapsed in the religious, conservative, poor, and rural areas of the country. This made occupying the rural areas of the country increasingly difficult as Islamists ran a brutal guerilla campaign against the PIF that wreaked havoc on their supply lines and soldiers. The Battle of Qom may have been a victory for the PIF, but it was a political blow that they would never shake off. The US at the advice of Secretary of State Alexander Haig began to bomb PIF positions.

1642197362490.png

Saddam Hussein announcing the invasion of Iran.

If things were looking to simple for those looking at the Iranian Civil War a new country would join the war on February 25th. Iraqi soldiers crossed into the Khuzestan region in the dead of night as the lightly defended border was wide open. The few Islamists and PIF soldiers or militia members were swiftly crushed by the superior Iraqi soldiers. Saddam Hussein had long sought the Khuzestan region since he came to power in 1979. This was due to the immense oil wealth in the region that would turn Iraq into a superpower that would command respect from the rest of the world. Furthermore, he would supplant Egypt as the leader of the Arab world. Seeing Iran torn apart by civil war gave him the best possible opportunity to invade with minimal casualties. As news trickled into the ears of the Islamists and PIF the more soldiers trickled into the Khuzestan region. Almost immediately both the Soviet Union and the United States condemned the invasion of Iran by Iraq as a criminal act of aggression. Overnight Iraq turned into a pariah state in both the Warsaw Pact nations and the American aligned bloc of the world. One particular opponent of the invasion was representative George W. Bush of Texas who said on the house floor:

“This battle in Iran serves as a battle not just against Godless socialism but also now against the tyrannical piranha state of Iraq who seek to only benefit off chaos and murder scores of innocents. Hussein and his ilk are no better and just as tyrannical as the China and the Soviet Union. Him and his fellow tyrants, Ustinov, Hongwen, Rajavi, and Ortega are part of a new axis of evil that threatens the very fabric of society.”

Bush's gaffe aside the US would become a sworn enemy of Iraq as they penetrated deeper into the Khuzestan territory. But one nation would stand out in their support for Hussein as both the Soviets and United States wished for his death. That nation was Israel. A surprise for sure as what do they have to gain from Iraq? Well Israel had been fearful of an avowed antisemitic Islamist state backed by one of the most powerful nations on earth. Israel didn’t like Rajavi and the PRRI for obvious reasons, but the Islamists’s brazen antisemitism and ultra-reactionary subgroups terrified the state that was surrounded by hostile states. Especially since the failed peace talks in 1979 between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin allies or even non-hostile countries were hard to come by. So, they naturally looked for someone who would tip the Middle East in their favor. Israel’s whole policy was to play for the Arab powers against each other while they lived in peace and the other nations were too busy either fighting or bickering with themselves to focus their wrath of Israel. Hussein’s invasion of Iran presented a golden opportunity for Israel as Hussein was desperate for support after both the Soviet Union and United States denounced him as a rogue regime and he would do serious damage to the Islamists and PIF who hated Israel. If Hussein’s plan did succeed then Israel had a somewhat competent ally in the Middle East who would be willing to tolerate them and would make nations like Syria, Egypt, and Iran think twice about messing with them. If he lost, then well he’s alienated and would have to be a friend of Israel to prevent Iraq from becoming a hermit kingdom. Plus, he’d weaken whoever won the Iranian Civil War for years to come. The support for Iraq was at first clandestine but once it was figured out it was going to unleash a firestorm Begin would regret for the last of his time on earth. But for now, the Iraqi military only just started to face resistance from the Islamist and PIF soldiers. The first major battle came in Ahvaz against the Islamist forces. The Iraqi army went in overly cocky and with high expectations that this was going to be a quick and decisive victory for the nation. What followed was a brutal battle that saw Islamist militias fight with an intensity not seen since the crusades. The Iraqi soldiers were stunned and suffered a hefty price for entering the city. Urban warfare made the Iraqi soldiers cramped and easy to pick off by merely blowing up a house with either booby traps or an RPG.

1642196857953.png

Iraqi soldiers in 1981 after capturing an enemy position and Islamist flag.

The Iraqi soldiers would win the battle of Ahvaz by the end of April but at an enormous cost in morale and lives. Shortly after the United States bombed Iraqi soldiers as they attempted to take the coastline. The air strikes slowed down the advance to a stalemate as they came under attack from PIF soldiers in the north of the country. Next Hussein tried to secure a defensive line against the PIF to allow him to focus his main fire power on the Islamists and force a peace deal. Instead, the battle turned into a full-blown siege as Rajavi told the people of Illam via radio to hold strong against the tide of Iraqi imperialism and Arab Nationalism. By the end of May Hussein was making gains but at a slower pace than expected. Thanks to support by Israeli advisors and weaponry he managed to stabilize the situation, but Soviet and United States air strikes damaged his ability to totally cripple the Islamist forces. Laxalt was planning in around a month to confront the UN about implementing international sanctions against Iraq but in the meantime he had too much to chew on. The FSLN and FDN were inflicting thousands of casualties on the Honduras military and there was now a refugee crisis on the southern border. The stress was getting to him, and he decided he would knock out three visits with foreign leaders at once. He would first stop in Sydney Australia to meet with Prime Minister Bill Hayden of Australia for two days between May 5th and May 7th. Then he would meet with the Queen in Auckland to discuss global issues and take a couple of photos for the UK-US press. Then the next day on the 9th he would meet with Robert Muldoon to round off the trip and return back to the US. A tight schedule that wouldn’t be healthy, but neither was being president.

He just wouldn’t realize how unhealthy it was. Everything was going fine until his visit to Auckland. He got a feeling in his gut this wasn’t a good idea. It was as if his guardian angel was telling him something he told his wife. On the 9th he had gotten a good night of sleep, but he still had the nagging feeling ghat something was wrong. He ignored it, figuring it was just some anxiety due to the situation in Latin America or Iran. As he drove up to the parliament building from his hotel crowds started to form at the sight of a foreign visitor of such prestige. He exited his car and waved to the crowd. Bang. One shot rang out from fifty feet away. The gun shot was the last sound Laxalt heard before fell into the arms of a secret service man, dead from a direct shot to the head. The bodyguard was covered in blood and Laxalt’s wife was screaming in horror as would America when they woke up to find out their nightmare had just begun. America was now on the highway to hell.
 
That would be the bit that would hit a little too close to home for some of us - but still worth it.
Cianci acting like a mob boss IOTL was bad enough when he had the police and several city officials on his side, allowing him to torture and extort a guy for allegedly cheating on his wife. Now imagine that but with the CIA and FBI on his side and the federal government under his control. Even Nixon will be disgusted by his criminality.
 
Cianci acting like a mob boss IOTL was bad enough when he had the police and several city officials on his side, allowing him to torture and extort a guy for allegedly cheating on his wife. Now imagine that but with the CIA and FBI on his side and the federal government under his control. Even Nixon will be disgusted by his criminality.
Oh, definitely. The "Rhode Island model" going national should eventually be a spur for reform, both at the federal level and back home in Rhode Island. As crazy as it sounds, Cianci was but one facet of it towards the extreme, yet RI had always been like that for a long time (I'd argue since colonial days, even if that sounds like a big stretch). That's the main thing to keep in mind for non-Rhode Islanders.
 
Oh, definitely. The "Rhode Island model" going national should eventually be a spur for reform, both at the federal level and back home in Rhode Island. As crazy as it sounds, Cianci was but one facet of it towards the extreme, yet RI had always been like that for a long time (I'd argue since colonial days, even if that sounds like a big stretch). That's the main thing to keep in mind for non-Rhode Islanders.
There is going to be massive pressure for the political system to change. America in 1988 will be hungry for anyone who can destroy the corruption caused by Cianci and at least attempt to fix America. The Cianci scandals will be very far reaching, farther reaching then you'd guess.
 
Chapter XI: A Day of Malice New
Cianci was in bed when the secret service shook him awake. Dazed and confused he asked them “why the hell did you wake me up at three in the morning?”

The secret service member replied with “the president has been shot and has been pronounced dead.”

Cianci’s anger turned into pure shock as he heard those words. He was still half asleep and figured he somehow misheard the man. “Repeat that?”

“The president is dead.”

Cianci couldn’t believe his ears. Six years after Ford was murdered by a mad woman in Sacremento another president would leave in a body bag. He didn’t know how to react to the news. It was terrible but surreal. He could now remember three assassinations in his lifetime and now he was in the same position as Rockefeller and Johnson. He wanted to become president but not like this. Laxalt was a friend of his. Despite their differences they got along well and were developing an unbreakable friendship but now Laxalt was gone and Cianci would never be able to speak with him again.

Cianci spent the morning preparing to tell the American people the horrible news. The day was supposed to be a sunny one but instead it should have been a cloudy day with raging thunderstorms. Him and his staff didn’t know how to calm the nation at 8:00 AM. The man they needed most was just murdered in a foreign country as the world was going to hell. Latin America was burning and now the Middle East was going up in flames. Cianci’s first job was informing Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that he was going to nominate a new vice president shortly. When the time came for his eulogy the gravity of the past decade hit him. As of now there was only two other presidents alive were the controversial Jackson and Nixon, a crook. Ironically for three years the only two presidents' alive would-be crooks even if Cianci would never admit it.

His speech writers finished editing Cianci’s eulogy for the former president Laxalt and he motioned for the camera man to start the broadcast. Over two hundred million Americans watched their new president give his first speech in the wake of another unspeakable tragedy. He took the podium from Alexander Haig and the words began to come out of his mouth.

1642380183138.png


“As you most likely have seen our president has been murdered. Laxalt was on a routine diplomatic visit to the usually calm and peaceful nation of New Zealand when he was like Ford six years earlier struck down by a callous criminal. Thankfully the police were able to apprehend this individual alive so unlike so many he will face justice for his great crime. I know many of you are angry and sad at this news. Because lord knows I am. But instead of focusing on the murderer whose name isn’t worth a mention I will focus on the victim. Laxalt was a man who was known for his warm attitude to all he met. To him it didn’t matter if you had an R or a D next to your name because to him, we were all Americans. I believe that vision is important especially right now. As you know we’ve been through a lifetime of tragedy in the past two decades. In 1963 Kennedy was killed in Dallas. In 1968 we saw mass riots grip our beautiful nation. In 1975 Ford was murdered. In 1978 we were once again at war with Panama after the attack on the Panama Canal. And now we have seen Paul Laxalt killed in cold blood. In the wake of these tragedies malice and anger are common emotions that we all experienced but these emotions will never undo the tragedies of yesterday. All we can do is what I’ve always done as Americans and push forward and not be paralyzed by fear. This is the time for us to unite as Americans, in honor of Laxalt’s legacy and push forward. The world isn’t great right now but nor was it in 1941 or 1861. The way we made the world a better place is by fighting for what was right and right now we need that more than ever. God bless you all and God bless you, Paul.”

By the end of the speech Cianci had tears in his eyes and shortly after the camera cut, he cried for Laxalt. Cianci had his inauguration planned out in his head. He would be inaugurated by a chief justice most likely appointed by Laxalt and Laxalt would be there, right next to him and his wife with his family. Now that fantasy was shattered and overtaken by the dark reality that things were only getting worse. But now with the eulogy over the focus shifted the man who killed Laxalt in cold blood.

1642380401557.png

Christopher John Lewis. The man who killed Laxalt.

In New Zealand the police apprehended the man who was suspected of murdering Laxalt. His name was Christopher John Lewis. An officer spotted him as he tried to flee the scene with his .22 rifle and was promptly tackled and arrested for murder. Now he stood in the spotlight in the most public murder case in world history. Never before had a president been killed in foreign land and naturally the world wanted to know the man who killed one of the most powerful men in the world. What they found was a mentally deranged individual who should’ve been in jail.

Lewis was a troubled youth who by the time of the assassination of Laxalt had been expelled from school due to assaulting a fellow student and robbed a post office with his friends. Why he was on the streets let alone possessing a firearm was beyond the people of both New Zealand and the United States. The media soon enough began to psychoanalyze Lewis as he became the poster child of mentally disturbed youth in the English-speaking world. A deranged individual who idolized Charles Manson and showed no remorse for his actions. When asked by the police if he understood the gravity of what he just committed he responded with “will I get tried here or in the United States?” An unfortunate side effect of Lewis murdering Laxalt was the fascination of the mentally ill in US media with those suffering from mental health issues being portrayed as tomorrow’s serial killer or president killer. Despite most mentally ill folks being non-violent and more likely to suffer from poverty they were still smeared by the media due to the actions of Lewis. It wasn’t until the Kleefisch administration when attitudes started to change as the mentally ill were recognized as victims of mental illness instead of perpetrators of violence.

But for the time being Lewis stood as a poster child for the mentally ill. After Lewis officially took responsibility for the murder, he was booked in the newly built Auckland Prison while Prime Minister Robert Muldoon and Buddy Cianci discussed the future extradition of Lewis to the United States on 1st degree murder. Muldoon had concerns about the death penalty, but Cianci was unsympathetic to his concerns. Muldoon had no place to negotiate with Cianci as the situation was already making New Zealand look quite terrible internationally. Muldoon accepted Cianci’s request for extradition despite it being a guarantee that Lewis would be put to death by the US government. Lewis on June 9th was officially taken from Auckland Prison to Auckland airport where military police from the US escorted him into a military cargo plane that was outfitted with a brand-new cell to hold him. Lewis would not escape justice this time and by the time he arrived in LA talks of his death amongst Americans were already being discussed with great glee. Shortly before his arrival Lynette Fromme was executed in Sacramento. Cianci was in Sacramento to campaign on his tough on crime approach which he called for states to re-implement the death penalty and a national crackdown on drugs, which the media ate up with heaps of praise. Cianci at this point as the murder of his friend wore off began to revert to his usual habits. He would personally lead the Turner Broadcasting Association (TBA) on a tour of where Fromme was set to be executed. During the tour he had a hint of glee in his voice as a murderer would face the same fate as their victim in a twisted sense of justice. One reporter asked Cianci if Fromme would feel any pain during the execution in which he replied with “not that I know of. I wouldn’t say I would feel bad personally.”

Cianci originally wanted to do a tour of the maximum-security prison where Lewis would be staying and most likely executed at, but Attorney General Orrin Hatch talked him out of it, believing it would interfere with the case and lead to a small chance of a mistrial due to the intervention of the president. Cianci may have been a bombastic but wanted to see his friend’s murder avenged, even if he had to change his style until after the verdict. A small price to see him meet the same fate as his friend.

Another change America saw in the wake of the murder of Laxalt was the dramatic increase in police spending across the US. Police were starting to find themselves with brand new weaponry to crackdown on crime, with the LAPD and the NYPD becoming the owners of new armored cars that were able to mount machine guns. Soon enough if you were in your living room doing drugs you could find yourself on the receiving end of a fully armed SWAT team. This overkill reaction to crime was popular amongst most Americans as it led to some actual results due to the federal government being paranoid about more assassinations in the future. In Rhode Island the Patriarca Crime Family was attacked ruthlessly by the FBI due to them being a perceived threat to Cianci. The head of the family, Raymond L.S Patriarca was arrested in 1982 for the alleged murder of an informant. However, the police were fired upon at his house when they attempted to serve the warrant and an FBI SWAT team was sent to arrest him. A four-hour standoff culminated in a shootout which ended in three of Patriarca’s goons dying and one FBI agent being killed after being shot in the head. The further crackdown on the Patriarca crime family led to the arrest of thirty associates or family members. Cianci during his time became Rhode Island’s hero. An anti-corruption crusader who through honest and noble work became president. Even when he got to the big leagues, he still came back to destroy the tyranny of corruption. This was before his crimes were exposed and they found out he was merely replacing those who threatened his power. Patriarca may have gone down but he was merely replaced by a greater thug. One who has the full resources of the federal government behind him.

1642380566420.png

Police during the Patriarca Standoff (1981).

Even though they are just conspiracy theories we must talk about the allegations of Cianci killing Laxalt. Soon after the prosecution of Cianci began another investigation was started by Attorney General Martin D. Ginsburg which became known as the Hecht Commission. The Hecht Commission was tasked with investigating allegations by Vito Miceli, who alleged Cianci had bragged about having Laxalt killed. This was most likely an attempt to save himself from a harsh prison sentence in Italy, but it was investigated, nonetheless. The Hecht Commission had little to work with as Lewis been executed in 1982 shortly after he was found guilty. After hours of interviews with CIA agents, disgraced general Oliver North, members of the Cianci administration, and the New Zealand police they determined that Cianci did not kill Laxalt. Despite this the Hecht Commission inherently sowed distrust in Cianci’s innocence by merely giving credence to the theory he murdered Laxalt as the Biden Commission uncovered numerous other violent crimes committed by him and his accomplices. Rudy Guliani, the former governor of New York and one of the lawyers of Cianci’s prosecution still doubts the innocence of Cianci. Claiming that the CIA and Cianci sought to get rid Laxalt for his planned meeting with Prime Minister Moro of Italy to settle the diplomatic spat between the two countries and his opposition to the OPN death squads in El Salvador. These claims have been once again debunked and rejected by every presidential administration since Cianci left office. Though one can hardly blame people for being suspicious of Cianci's innocence.

1642380488173.png

Hecht announcing the findings of the Hecht Commission (1990).

But many Americans and Italians still believe Cianci was responsible for the death of Laxalt, with Prime Minister Massimo Zedda raising suspicions in 2017. Furthermore, the film Cianci by Oliver Stone and Alex Jones is laced with the theory of Cianci killing Laxalt, with it being implied him and the CIA were working together to hire and train an assassin shortly after Laxalt became president. Despite it being panned by critics for its stunning lack of historical accuracy that would make PRC apologists blush it was a hit, making $300 million at the box office. Matteo Renzi, the current Prime Minister of Italy has publicly stated it was one of his favorite movies and Cianci’s former wife Shelia said she could see him killing Laxalt. Of course, she has reasons to believe that considering she saw Cianci’s actions behind closed doors. But the government has no reason to lie about Cianci’s crimes. Some claim it’s because it would expose the CIA’s criminality. Of course, they conveniently forget the CIA suffered such a blow in the wake of Cianci’s administration they were eventually abolished in 1999 and replaced by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) due to them becoming the most hated and distrusted government agency in not only the US but the world. By the time the CIA was abolished and replaced it had become a liability for the US's diplomacy. By the time they were replaced their criminality during the Cianci years were very well known and impossible to avoid when the CIA was brought up. All documents on the Laxalt Assassination were released in 2001 and no evidence of Cianci or any government agency being involved in the assassination were found in the documents. Everything was truly done by Christopher John Lewis.
 
I can't imagine how badly the CIA has fucked up for them to be actually abolished, considering what they got and get away with in otl.
The stuff they got away with IOTL caused massive distrust and hatred of the CIA in countries we funded death squads in or gave clandestine support for crimes against humanity. America could care less about pissing off El Salvador or Vietnam. But once you piss off your own allies into not trusting you by funding a criminal organization that includes terrorists, then they become a liability and it’s better to cut their funding and start a new more transparent department. The hint I’ll give is that the criminal organization Cianci and the CIA worked had a future prime minister as a member.
 
Last edited:
And, of course, any episode that has the Patriarcas taken down a peg or two is always welcome. ;)
It'll be one of the few good things Cianci does. Organized crime during Cianci's tenure and afterwards will be cracked down hard upon for obvious reasons. After the 1984 election I think that'll be an entire chapter. Those who opposed organized crime ITTL will be rewarded handsomely for fighting to free the country from the stranglehold of corruption.
 
There is no conceivable legal mechanism by which New Zealand would extradite someone to the US for a crime committed in New Zealand. The murderer would be tried in New Zealand.
Pinochet IOTL was indicted by the Spanish government for murdering a Spanish citizen and torturing Spanish citizens. If the extradition came through he would’ve been prosecuted in Spain for his crimes as he committed them against Spanish citizens. That’s the case I’m going off of for the timeline.
 
There are legal precedents where countries have claimed universal jurisdiction. The recent prosecution of a Syrian general in Germany is one such example. But if Syria were a functioning democracy, he would have been returned to Syria for trial. If Pinochet were in Chile and likely to be charged in Chile, there would be no likelihood of Spain seeking extradition.

The US has at times attempted to try & imprison people such as Mexican drug lords mainly out of frustration that there was so much corruption in the Mexican legal system that they were released. The US has never attempted to do this with Canada which has a robust legal system. If the crime was committed in NZ it would be tried in NZ. Even in the case of a crime committed in the US, extradition from NZ would require a commitment not to apply the death penalty.
 
Top