Saturday, June 09, 2007

Debris Field

Two books about the Iran-Contra scandal shed considerable light on how power really works behind closed doors -- and in full view of the general public.

Michael Lynch and David Bogen provide a dense but fascinating deconstruction of a historical moment in the Reagan Administration with The Spectacle of History: Speech, Text, and Memory at the Iran-Contra Hearings (Duke University Press, 1996), while independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh summarizes the whole fiasco in Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up (W.W. Norton, 1997).

A sample – including Prince Bandar yet again -- from the meticulous Walsh (b. born 1/8/1912, now 95):

Against a backdrop of negative publicity, the Reagan administration . . . sought to increase funding for the Contras [contrarrevolucionarios attempting to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua]. Congress responded by enacting the most severe of the Boland amendments which barred the CIA and the Defense Department as well as any “entity engaged in intelligence activities” from assisting the Contras. . . . . Reagan signed the appropriation acts containing the Boland amendments, but he had no intention of abiding by the restrictions.

First, he [i.e. Ronald Reagan] directed Robert McFarlane to “keep the Contras together body and soul,” ignoring the fact that McFarlane could not do so without breaking the law. McFarlane then invited the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to replace part of the funds withheld by Congress. Bandar arranged a contribution of $1 million a month to the Contras, beginning in mid-1984. At a breakfast meeting with Reagan in early 1985, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz volunteered to double that amount. In all, the Saudis contributed $32 million to the Nicaraguan insurgents.

When the CIA was forced to stop assisting the Contras, Director William Casey reassured the Contra leaders that U.S. support would continue. He and [Duane] Clarridge introduced Oliver North in July 1984 as the Contras’ future government contact. Thereafter, North reported directly to Casey as well as to McFarlane.

Source: Walsh, Firewall, p. 19 of 544.

Birthdays: Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner, Charles Joseph Bonaparte, Cole Porter, Fred Waring, Robert Strange McNamara, Jackie Mason (b. Yacov Moshe Maza), Jackie Wilson (b. Detroit), Johnny Depp, Kaleth Miguel Morales Troya.

Hasta La Vista!


Anonymous said...

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Military action is one of the options in dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Israel's deputy prime minister said Saturday, after discussing the issue with senior U.S. officials.

For now, sanctions are the best way to go, said the Cabinet minister, Shaul Mofaz. He said Israel and the U.S. agreed to review the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of 2007.

the walking man said...

Until we have subdued the Iraqi's and have a formed army from them who hate their Persian neighbors we have no military options except nuclear to deal with Iran.

Think of it, The American government if victorious in Iraq and Iran would then control more crude than everyone but Saudi Arabia and posibly Russia.

Fuke the whales and Nuke Iran!! hell of an idea.

Ok Eric that was the teflon presidents part in the contra half of this now where does Iran fit in?