On This Day — The Iran-Contra Scandal (November 3, 1986)

“My purpose was… to send a signal that the United States was prepared to replace the animosity between [the U.S. and Iran] with a new relationship… At the same time we undertook this initiative, we made clear that Iran must oppose all forms of international terrorism as a condition of progress in our relationship. The most significant step which Iran could take, we indicated, would be to use its influence in Lebanon to secure the release of all hostages held there.”

US President Ronald Reagan — November 13 1986

libya_bombing_reagan_meeting_14_march_1986

On November 3 1986, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the Iran–Contra scandal. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. They hoped, thereby, to fund the Contras in Nicaragua while at the same time negotiating the release of several U.S. hostages. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress. This affair is usually regarded as one of the most important scandals in US modern history.  Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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After receiving the information from Mehdi Hashemi — a senior official in the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution — the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the affair on November 3, 1986.

This was the first public reporting of the weapons-for-hostages deal. The operation was discovered only after an airlift of guns (Corporate Air Services HPF821) was downed over Nicaragua.

Eugene Hasenfus, who was captured by Nicaraguan authorities after surviving the plane crash, initially alleged in a press conference on Nicaraguan soil that two of his coworkers, Max Gomez and Ramon Medina, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

The scandal was compounded when Oliver North destroyed or hid pertinent documents between November 21 and November 25, 1986.

During North’s trial in 1989, his secretary, Fawn Hall, testified extensively about helping North alter, shred, and remove official United States National Security Council (NSC) documents from the White House.

According to the New York Times, enough documents were put into a government shredder to jam it. [Wikipedia]

COVER UP: Behind the Iran Contra Affair

“Ultimately the sale of weapons to Iran was not deemed a criminal offense but charges were brought against five individuals for their support of the Contras.

Those charges, however, were later dropped because the administration refused to declassify certain documents. The indicted conspirators faced various lesser charges instead.

In the end, fourteen administration officials were indicted, including then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Eleven convictions resulted, some of which were vacated on appeal.

The rest of those indicted or convicted were all pardoned in the final days of the presidency of George H. W. Bush, who had been vice-president at the time of the affair.”

 

REFERENCES

Iran–Contra affair — Wikipedia

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On This Day — The Iran-Contra Scandal (November 3 1986)

On This Day — The Iran-Contra Scandal (November 3, 1986)

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