This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
Gary Sick is Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Acting Director of the Middle East Institute at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He is an Emeritus board member of Human Rights Watch. 
"The acting director of the SIPA's Middle East Institute, Professor Gary Sick is a Senior Research Scholar and adjunct professor of international affairs at SIPA.
"He is the author of All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter With Iran (Random House, 1985) and October Surprise: America's Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan (Random House/Times Books, 1992).
"Gary Sick received his BA from Kansas University in 1957 and a Master of Science from George Washington University in 1970. In 1973 he earned a PhD from Columbia.
"Professor Sick served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Gerald R. Ford, James Earl Carter, Jr. and Ronald Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. Mr. Sick is a captain (ret.) in the U.S. Navy, with service in the Persian Gulf, North Africa and the Mediterranean. He was the deputy director for International Affairs at the Ford Foundation from 1982 to 1987, where he was responsible for programs relating to U.S. foreign policy. He is also a member of the board of Human Rights Watch in New York and chairman of the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch/Middle East.
- According to the last internet update (July 16, 2002), Sick is listed as co-chair with Lisa Anderson of the Middle East Advisory Committee at Human Rights Watch.
"He is the executive director of Gulf/2000 Project, an international research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf, being conducted at Columbia University in 1994-95 on behalf of the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation."
"Middle East Institute's Gary Sick Says 'Axis of Evil' Label Promotes a Pentagon, Not State Dept., Agenda: Gary Sick, acting director of the Middle East Institute, says the phrase axis of evil, used by President George W. Bush to refer to Iran, Iraq and North Korea, marked an attempt by the Pentagon to put the issue of nuclear non-proliferation back on the public agenda. The administration views the three nations as potential proliferators of nuclear weapons." Quote published April 4, 2002.
"Masquerading as an academic (now associated with Columbia Univ.), Gary Sick has always maintained his government, military and CIA ties in one way or another. Sick's involvements go back at least to the James Earl Carter, Jr. Administration when he was one of the major operatives attempting to prevent and then overturn the Iranian revolution."
The following was extracted from "the text of the speech made by Mohammad Parvin, the Mission for Establshment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR) "representative, at the University of Washington, Seattle, given on May 17, 2003: "US-Iran Relations From Containment to Empowerment."
"Let's examine the intention of those who lobby for establishing relations with the IRI (Islamic Regime of Iran) and argue that it will be for the benefit of Iranian people. And who could be a better candidate than Gary Sick for this study. Gary Sick is one of the AIC (American Iranian Council)'s Board members, the leading lobby group for IRI, as well as the Director of Gulf 2000, an International Research project on policy developments in the Persian gulf. He was National Security Council Staff, with Carter Administration. He has been vigorously lobbying for the relations with the Islamic Regime for years."
"Q Margaret, when the Iraqi Charge came in, he complained about civilian casualties of allied bombardments and we were told that he had produced no evidence of it. But generally speaking, can you address the question of what Gary Sick, for instance, who --
Q Captain Gary Sick, who was on the NSC in the Carter Administration -- Jimmy Carter Administration.
A I don't know him.
Q The Jimmy Carter Administration -- the Democratic Administration. Gary Sick said the United States is engaged in carpet-bombing, which he didn't say was wrong --
A Does he currently serve at the Pentagon?
Q No, no, he serves on television. No, he teaches at (Laughter) -- he teaches at Columbia and he writes books and he's an authority on the Persian Gulf and on the Middle East. He, among other people -- I don't want to single him out particularly -- thinks that there are civilian victims of this bombing and that the United States is killing a lot of Iraqis. Can you address that?
A One, I apologize in advance for my ignorance in not knowing who this gentleman is, but I would have to say that, as you've just confirmed to me, he is not working at the Pentagon. He's not currently at the National Security Council, and I would doubt that he is in the information flow of what our government is or is not doing."
Resources and articles
- [http://www.pira.com/ClientServices/GPRSAdvisoryBoard.htm PIRA’s Global Political Risk Advisory Board ], PIRA, accessed October 29, 2007.
- Daniel Pipes, Gary Sick's Same Old Song, Wall Street Journal, May 2, 1991. Re Reagan's arms for hostages deal with Israel and Iran.
- Biography refers to Gulf/2000 International Research Project.
- Interview with Gary Sick "conducted 10 days before the hard-liners launched their attack on freedom in Iran," IranTodayOnline.com, no date.
- Interview by Augustine Anthuven with "Middle East expert Gary Sick of Columbia University in New York", ChannelNewsAsia, July 23, 2003.
- Voice of America Interview on Democracy in Iraq. Byline Ed Warner. Interview with Gary Sick, July 30, 2003, for The Project on Transitional Democracies.
- "By God, We've Just Created the Iraq Syndrome!", 9 October 2004, The Daily Star