Iran contra as an example of abused power

Picture of the Day This week, America wraps up the fortieth anniversary of its most dangerous constitutional crises since the Civil War, with little celebration — and arguably no real insight into its lessons.

Iran contra as an example of abused power

Sep 27, James Wilson rated it it was amazing One unfortunate consequence of the Watergate scandal was the demise of the White House taping system.

Historians of the post-Nixon era must settle for memoirs, diaries, interviews, private collections, and official records stored in the National Archives and printed in the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

Memories are selective, however; policymakers tend to win their own memoranda of conversations; and, no piece of paper can match a surreptitiously-recorded meeting with the presid One unfortunate consequence of the Watergate scandal was the demise of the White House taping system.

Memories are selective, however; policymakers tend to win their own memoranda of conversations; and, no piece of paper can match a surreptitiously-recorded meeting with the president of the United States.

Especially in the early years of that administration, Counselor to the President Edwin Meese, a longtime Reagan associate with no formal foreign policy brief, is the person steering the conversation.

One might even regard Meese as the de facto National Security Advisor insince the person actually bearing the title that year, Richard Allen, reported to him.

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Meese provided the results of an initial White House inquiry after newspaper reports surfaced of clandestine U. The gist of the reporting was indeed true. That meant directing the glare of the media and focusing the congressional spotlight on the diversion of funds from one account to the other -- as opposed to whether Reagan had violated the Boland Amendment, which prohibited assistance to the Contras to overthrow the Sandinista regime; or the Hughes-Ryan Act, which required that he submit to Congress a presidential finding before authorizing covert action.

In his valuable new book, Iran-Contra: Inhe edited The Chronology: In Iran-Contra, his first narrative account, he mobilizes earlier evidence in addition to a body of material stemming from Freedom of Information FOIA requests over the past twenty years. But he seems more interested in developing an argument than showing off everything he has found.

The subtitle and cover do not augur its becoming a permanent fixture at the Reagan Library gift store. Readers of all political stripes should nevertheless consider this book; aspirants to high office who seek to avoid mistakes would do well to read it.

Watch any few minutes from the joint House and Senate hearings in late springand Iran-Contra appears to have imperiled the survival of the Republic.

Then again, the national mood that year was gloomy.

Iran contra as an example of abused power

West German and Japanese companies were outpacing American firms. All this came as Americans geared up for a brutal presidential election campaign. Somewhere in the years that followed -- be it the miraculous events of in Eastern and Central Europe, the smashing U.

Nor was it over for Lawrence Walsh, the Republican former deputy attorney general whom Congress enlisted in late to untangle the facts. Democrats cheered when Walsh re-indicted former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on the eve of the election.

Six years later, their enthusiasm for the Office of the Independent Counsel waned as the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for having a sexual relationship with a White House intern. For some, the memory of the investigation eclipsed that of the Iran-Contra scandal itself.

On him it clearly left an impression. Capabilities differ from intentions.

Iran-Contra : Reagan's scandal and the unchecked abuse of presidential power - JH Libraries

The scene begins with a doddering Reagan concluding an interview in which he apologizes for remembering so very little. No sooner has the reporter left the room than Reagan summons his national security team to bark orders at Ed Meese, Don Regan, and the rest of the gang.

The red countries are the countries we sell arms to. The green countries are the countries where we wash our money. This is the part of the job I hate!The investigative phase of the Iran-Contra scandal—covered in this and the following chapter—provided one last, dramatic setting for confrontation between the executive branch and its two traditional contenders for constitutional power, the legislative and judicial branches.

The Iran-Contra affair was very complex, involving the intertwining of U.S. policy toward Iran and Nicaragua. The deputy director and research director of the National Security Archive and a coauthor of two previous books on the topic, Malcolm Byrne draws on a wide range of sources, including the.

Essay: Iran-Contra Affair

Iran-Contra demonstrates that, far from being a "junta" against the president, the affair could not have occurred without awareness and approval at the very top of the U.S.

government. Byrne reveals an unmistakable pattern of dubious behavior—including potentially illegal conduct by the president, vice president, the secretaries of state and.

Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power - Malcolm Byrne Lecture via National Archives.

Iran contra as an example of abused power

Jan 28,  · When a Nicaraguan soldier downed an American plane carrying arms to “Contra” guerrillas on October 5, , a tightly held U.S. clandestine program was exposed. The Iran–Contra affair and the ensuing deception to protect senior administration officials including President Reagan has been cast as an example of post-truth politics.

Background. Under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power by Malcolm Byrne.

Essay: Iran-Contra Affair