NSA: IRAN CONTRA AT 25: REAGAN AND BUSH ‘CRIMINAL LIABILITY’ EVALUATIONS

25 November 2011 — National Security Archive

Presidential ‘Exposure’ and roles detailed in Special Prosecutor Reports
Reagan Briefed In Advance on Each Group of Missiles Sold to Iran
Bush Chaired Secret Committee that Recommended Mining Harbors of Nicaragua

For Further Information contact:
Peter Kornbluh: (202) 374-7281
Malcolm Byrne (202) 994-7043

Washington D.C.: President Ronald Reagan was briefed in advance about every weapons shipment in the Iran arms-for-hostages deals in 1985-86, and Vice President George H. W. Bush chaired a committee that recommended the mining of the harbors of Nicaragua in 1983, according to previously secret Independent Counsel assessments of “criminal liability” on the part of the two former leaders posted today by the National Security Archive.

Twenty-Five years after the advent of the “Iran-Contra affair,” the two comprehensive “Memoranda on Criminal Liability of Former President Reagan and of President Bush” provide a roadmap of historical, though not legal, culpability of the nation’s two top elected officials during the scandal from the perspective of the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh.

The documents were obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the National Security Archive for the files compiled during Walsh’s six-year investigation from 1987-1993.

The posting comes on the anniversary of the November 25, 1986, press conference during which Ronald Reagan and his attorney general, Edwin Meese, informed the American public that they had discovered a “diversion” of funds from the sale of arms to Iran to fund the contra war–tying together the two strands of the scandal which until that point had been separate in the public eye. With the Congressional hearings featuring Oliver North, and the trials of former NSC and CIA officials such as John Poindexter and Clair George, the Iran-Contra scandal riveted the nation and dominated political and media discourse in Washington for several ensuing years.

To see the new documents click here http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB365/index.htm

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