Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

With all the talk of Iran and its newly found nuclear facility, President Obama's announcement at the G-20 in Pittsburgh and Iran's agreement to allow inspectors in the country in two weeks, Jon Perr at Crook and Liars takes a stroll down memory lane as a reminder of the last fiasco in Iran and the leadership provided by the greatest of all GOP administrations (as averred by Republicans), the Reagan Administration.

The Iran-Contra scandal, as you'll recall, almost laid waste to the Reagan presidency. Desperate to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon, President Reagan provided weapons Tehran badly needed in its long war with Saddam Hussein (who, of course, was backed by the United States). In a clumsy and illegal attempt to skirt U.S. law, the proceeds of those sales were then funneled to the contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And as the New York Times recalled, Reagan's fiasco started with an emissary bearing gifts from the Gipper himself:

A retired Central Intelligence Agency official has confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that on the secret mission to Teheran last May, Robert C. McFarlane and his party carried a Bible with a handwritten verse from President Reagan for Iranian leaders.
According to a person who has read the committee's draft report, the retired C.I.A. official, George W. Cave, an Iran expert who was part of the mission, said the group had 10 falsified passports, believed to be Irish, and a key-shaped cake to symbolize the anticipated ''opening'' to Iran.
The rest, as they say, is history. After the revelations regarding his trip to Tehran and the Iran-Contra scheme, a disgraced McFarlane attempted suicide. After his initial denials, President Reagan was forced to address the nation on March 4, 1987 and acknowledge he indeed swapped arms for hostages:
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages."
Of course, the sad saga didn't end there.

Read the whole, fascinating post.

1 comment:

NowhereMan said...

The amazing thing was the country bought it hook,line&sinker!Here was Reagen admitting that his aides made an illegal deal trading arms for hostages but he had no idea thats what they were doing!Instead of Reagen getting impeached,they made Reagen look like the poor victim of some overzealous aids.This is the empty suit the right wing idolizes!