|President Ronald Reagan and his Vice President|
Oh! Stop!! My!!! Sides!!!!
It should never be forgotten that Reagan presided during the Iran-Contra scandal, when he PERSONALLY approved a plan to sell arms to Iran, which just a few years earlier had held 52 ‘Merkins hostage for 444 days, and may have been the deciding factor in President Jimmy Carter losing re-election. Reagan famously said he would never negotiate with terrorists. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Secretary of State George Schultz were against the deal. Yet, in the end, there can be no other reading: Reagan traded arms for hostages.
However, it didn’t stop there. Less than half of the $30 million Iran paid for the 1,500+ missles ever made it back to ‘Merka. The rest was diverted to the Contras, Nicaragua rebels fighting to overthrow the Sandinista government, or the Junta of National Reconstruction. This fund diversion was only discovered during Attorney General Ed Meese’s investigation of the arms-for-hostage deal. It turned out that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, of the National Security Council, had passed the missing money on to the Contras. Because this had been done under the aegis of National Security Adviser Admiral John Poindexter, North assumed Reagan also knew. This has never been proven but it caused some comedians (most notably me) to ask, “What did the President forget and when did he forget it?” According to PBS:
Speculation about the involvement of Reagan, Vice President George Bush and the administration at large ran rampant. Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh investigated the affair for the next eight years. Fourteen people were charged with either operational or “cover-up” crimes. In the end, North’s conviction was overturned on a technicality, and President Bush issued six pardons, including one to McFarlane, who had already been convicted, and one to Weinberger before he stood trial.
Meanwhile, enjoy these photographs of Reagan throughout his long life.