Attached is a copy of the chart that was handed out in class. Please analyze and infer from the data the impact of major Cold War events upon military spending. I would suggest you also remember who was president during each of these years. Remember that an event could actually be from the previous year before it impacts budgetary items. You may write the analysis as annotations, and this is due the next time class meets. Remember, I am no longer accepting late assignments (not even photographs of the completed assignments!), so make sure you have it with you.
Archive for the ‘Chapter 40’ Category
The Challenges in American Automobile Industry in the 1980s:
Crisis, Consolidation, and Competition
Originally there had been dozens if not hundreds of automobile companies in the US at the turn of the 20th century. Over the next few decades, car companies came and went: Nash, Oakland, Maxwell, DeSoto, Stutz, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, Studebaker, Willys, Franklin, Tucker, and Auburn were all early makers of automobiles that most of you have never even heard of.
In the middle to late- 20th century, many of these car companies were either bought out by larger rivals or disappeared entirely. By the 1920s the development of highways spurred automobile manufacturing. The 1950s were notable for the post-war economic prosperity as well as the passage of the Interstate Highway Act; both of these spurred more automobile manufacturing.
By the 1980s, American car manufacturing was centered in the so-called “Big Three” which were usually referred to as Ford, GM, and Chrysler in common conversation. In reality, these corporations controlled many different makes and models of cars, some of shared basic design platforms and components across makes.
By the 1980s, Ford actually included Lincoln and Mercury. By the mid late 1980s- early 1990s, Ford also acquired stakes in Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo, and Land Rover. By the 1980s, Ford had also acquired a 30% stake in Mazda. In 2008, Ford sold Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover.
By the 1980s, General Motors (GM) included Chevrolet, GMC, Oldmobile, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, Vauxhall and Opel (sold in Europe). One of the most popular GM makes in the 1980s was Oldsmobile, whose Cutlass and Delta 88s were very popular. During the late 80s- early 90s, GM also partnered and invested in Toyota and Suzuki as well as partially spinning off Saturn. GM also produces light and medium trucks with Isuzu.
Chrysler included Dodge, Mercury, Plymouth, and Jeep. In the 1980s, Chrysler bought AMC from the French auto maker Renault in order to gain the Jeep line, which became the Jeep-Eagle line in the 1980s. By the 1980s, Chrysler had also acquired stakes in Mitsubishi (and since Mitsubishi sometimes cooperates with Isuzu, there’s a tie there as well). In 1997, Daimler Benz (makers of Mercedes) bought Chrysler, although it was later partially sold to a private equity company. Chrysler no longer makes AMCs (look up the Gremlin for a really weird car) or Eagles, which for a while were a spin-off partially independent brand like Saturn was for GM.
The problems for the Big Three auto makers in the 1980s stemmed from three basic things.
First, the oil crisis from 1973-1974 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis. Together these led to the government imposing fuel efficiency standards on the American auto companies in the 1980s, which meant that they had to reduce engine sizes (from 8 cylinders to usually 4), weight of the cars (by reducing the amount of steel on the bodies and engines and replacing it with lighter materials such as plastic, aluminum, etc., as well as for the first time offering compact and subcompact size cars), and the aerodynamics of the cars (by removing fins and sharp corners on the bodies and making them smoother and more rounded).
Second, manufacturing costs and quality issues, on top of these new smaller cars, went against American preferences. Notorious clunkers included these http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/773102/posts and these http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2008/12/19/the-cars-that-drove-detroits-customers-away (seriously, the Vega, the Pinto, and the Mustang II…. Oh the horror! Look it up. I dare you.) The 1971-1980 Pinto had a gas tank outside the frame of the car in the rear, and if you got hit from behind it could explode. The Chevette. The X-cars (see 1980 Buick Skylark for the ugliest rear of a car before the Pontiac Aztek). The Cadillac Cimarron. The Olds Cutlass Diesel. The Dodge Omni. They were ugly AND they didn’t work most of the time.
The third problem for American car manufacturers was the increasing competition from the Japanese… especially Datsun (Nissan), Toyota, and Honda (which we had primarily known in the early 70s as makers of lawn mowers and motorcycles). These cars got great mileage AND they lasted forever. They were also kind of cute. My family had an orange 1977 Honda Civic CVCC five door hatchback that had 185,000 miles on its little 4 cylinder engine when we sold it. It was unkillable. It got nearly 40 miles to the gallon of gas. The only bad part was my dad’s big hands and thick fingers wouldn’t fit into many of the spaces to fix things like when the throttle cable broke, so he would have to have me actually fix things while he gave instructions. I learned a lot from that car. By the end of the 1980s, most American and Japanese car manufacturer had cooperative agreements or actual investments in each other, so there really was no longer such as thing as an American car. Hondas were made in Tennessee. Isuzus were made in Oklahoma and Indiana. Chrysler cars had Mitsubishi parts. Chrysler built Crown Victorias in Canada. And high American labor costs eventually drove manufacturing further out of the country, including to Canada and Mexico. Look at St. Louis, for example. How many shuttered car plants do we have now?
Fro more information, see this:
MADD- Mothers Against Drunk Driving – founded by Candy Lightner in 1980 after her daughter was killed by a repeat offender.
The Moral Majority became a power in politics especially during the Reagan years. Founded in 1979 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a television evangelist; it was disbanded in 1989. Here (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,958023,00.html) is the story from TIME magazine about its disbandment.
Solidarity was a labor union founded in communist Poland in the shipyards of Gdansk.Its most famous leader was Lech Walesa, who was later elected president of a democratic Poland. Here is the Encyclopedia Britannica summary: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/553374/Solidarity
TWO TV channels that kind of represent the ’80s were:
MTV! On August1, 1981, teens’ lives were changed forever with the launching of MTv, which has decided to be a complete poopy-pants and remove all the footage I could find from youtube about their opening launch. So here’s what happened: The first video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by a one-hit wonder group called the Buggles. Enjoy! (The Second video was Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run”) We didn’t stop watching for DAYS.
Pat Benatar! Hard rock guitars and yet an incredible voice (the only other group who did this before her was Heart!)
CNN is launched by billionaire Ted Turner in 1980, making 24-hour access to the news possible before the internet:
A little over two months after his inauguration, Ronald Reagan was leaving a Washington hotel after addressing leaders of the AFL-CIO. John Hinckley Jr., hoping to attract the attention of the actress Jodie Foster, fired six shots, wounding four other men including Press Secretary James Brady, who was hit in the head; DC policeman Thomas Delahanty, who was shot in the neck; Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the abdomen; and with the last shot Reagan was wounded by a ricochet which went through his armpit into his lungs near his heart. The .22 caliber ammunition Hinckley used was designed to explode and fracture upon impact for maximum damage.
Ever the joker, Reagan joked before being operated upon that he hoped that all of the doctors were Republicans.
No one was killed, although James Brady was permanently disabled, and he and his wife went on to found the Brady Foundation to try to limit the availability of guns for those with mental illness (such as Hinckley). Their advocacy was instrumental in obtaining the passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1984, which mandated background checks of people attempting to buy firearms from gun shops.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and public outrage over this led to severe limitations on the use of the insanity defense. Hinckley has been confined to a mental institution since his conviction, although he is allowed to visit his parents’ home for ten days at a time.
There is a good scrolling gallery about the Iranian hostage crisis from the BBC. It also has a good summary of the crisis, and includes pictures of the failed rescue mission launched by President Carter.
Due Tuesday, April 16. You orchestra people better have them done, though.
Chapter 40 questions
1. What factors weakened Jimmy Carter in the election of 1980? What opposition did he face within his own party? In what areas did Carter eventually receive admiration after he left office?
2. What groups and causes made up the New Right Movement? How was this different from the Old Right? What are the main beliefs of neoconservatives (neocons)?
3. Contrast Ronald Reagan’s political beliefs with that of FDR, and explain why Reagan moved from his early support of the New Deal? What previous experience had Reagan had as a leader?
4. What were the main battles in the war over taxes in the late 1970s and 1980s? How did this influence Reagan’s two main domestic goals as president?
5. What foreign leader was Reagan’s most similar ally, and what characteristics did they share?
6. What is a “blue dog?”
7. What did supply-side theorists believe would be the specific results of Regan’s economic actions? What were the short-term (by 1982) and long-term effects of these policies?
8. What happened to the value of the dollar during the 1980s, and what impact did that have?
9. What first happened in the election of 1984? How many states did Reagan win in the electoral college vote?
10. What was “the focus of evil in the modern world?” Explain “glasnost” and perestroika.” How did Reagan’s stance toward this country specifically change during his second term?
11. What were the main components of the Iran-Contra scandal? What was revealed about Reagan’s management style by the investigation of this affair?
12. What happened to the federal deficit during the 1980s, and why? What specific impacts did this have?
13. What court decisions dealt with abortion and contraceptive care during the Reagan administration? What impact did each case have on the availability of abortion?
14. What types of industries had to receive government bailouts during the 1980s?
15. How did events in Poland help hasten the end of the USSR? What tensions flared up within former Communist republics in the late 1980s and early 1990s?
16. In what ways did the tactics and ideas of the 1960s New Left influence the 1980s New Right?
17. What do Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, and Jesse Jackson all have in common?
18. How did President Bush (41) describe the hoped-for New World Order that he envisioned after the fall of the majority of the communist bloc?
19. How and why did the US get involved in a gulf war in 1991? What were the results of this war?
20. Why was the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court such a controversial issue? What eventually happened?
“The Evil Empire,”
President Reagan’s Speech to the House of Commons, June 8, 1982
Questions for understanding:
1. What famous speech does Reagan use an image from in the first paragraph? What is the connection between these two speeches?
2. In what way was Marx right, according to Reagan?
3. How does the world refugee situation prove the superiority of capitalism and democracy, according to Reagan?
4. What is the purpose of our engagement in competition with the Soviet Union?
We’re approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention
– totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not at all fragile flower. From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than thirty years to establish their legitimacy. But none — not one regime — has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.
The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union. It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted because everyone would join the opposition party….
Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe–indeed, the world–would look very different today. And certainly they will note it was not the democracies that invaded Afghanistan or suppressed Polish Solidarity or used chemical and toxin warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.
If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma–predictions of doomsday, antinuclear demonstrations, an arms race in which the West must, for its own protection, be an unwilling participant. At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms? Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?
Sir Winston Churchill refused to accept the inevitability of war or even that it was imminent. He said, “I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.”
Well, this is precisely our mission today: to preserve freedom as well as peace. It may not be easy to see; but I believe we live now at a turning point.
In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West but in the home of Marxism- Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then.
The dimensions of this failure are astounding: a country which employs one-fifth of its population in agriculture is unable to feed its own people. Were it not for the private sector, the tiny private sector tolerated in Soviet agriculture, the country might be on the brink of famine. These private plots occupy a bare 3 percent of the arable land but account for nearly one-quarter of Soviet farm output and nearly one-third of meat products and vegetables. Overcentralized, with little or no incentives, year after year the Soviet system pours its best resources into the making of instruments of destruction. The constant shrinkage of economic growth combined with the growth of military production is putting a heavy strain on the Soviet people. What we see here is a political structure that no longer corresponds to its economic base, a society where productive forced are hampered by political ones.
The decay of the Soviet experiment should come as no surprise to us. Wherever the comparisons have been made between free and closed societies — West Germany and East Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Vietnam — it is the democratic countries that are prosperous and responsive to the needs of their people. And one of the simple but overwhelming facts of our time is this: of all the millions of refugees we’ve seen in the modern world, their flight is always away from, not toward the Communist world. Today on the NATO line, our military forces face east to prevent a possible invasion. On the other side of the line, the Soviet forces also face east to prevent their people from leaving.
The hard evidence of totalitarian rule has caused in mankind an uprising of the intellect and will. Whether it is the growth of the new schools of economics in America or England or the appearance of the so-called new philosophers in France, there is one unifying thread running through the intellectual work of these groups — rejection of the arbitrary power of the state, the refusal to subordinate the rights of the individual to the superstate, the realization that collectivism stifles all the best human impulses….
Chairman Brezhnev repeatedly has stressed that the competition of ideas and systems must continue and that this is entirely consistent with relaxation of tensions and peace.
Well, we ask only that these systems begin by living up to their own constitutions, abiding by their own laws, and complying with the international obligations they have undertaken. We ask only for a process, a direction, a basic code of decency, not for an instant transformation.
We cannot ignore the fact that even without our encouragement there has been and will continue to be repeated explosion against repression and dictatorships. The Soviet Union itself is not immune to this reality. Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force.
While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings. So states the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, among other things, guarantees free elections.
The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.
This is not cultural imperialism; it is providing the means for genuine self-determination and protection for diversity. Democracy already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy. Who would voluntarily choose not to have the right to vote, decide to purchase government propaganda handouts instead of independent newspapers, prefer government to worker-controlled unions, opt for land to be owned by the state instead of those who till it, want government repression of religious liberty, a single political party instead of a free choice, a rigid cultural orthodoxy instead of democratic tolerance and diversity.
Since 1917 the Soviet Union has given covert political training and assistance to Marxist-Leninists in many countries. Of course, it also has promoted the use of violence and subversion by these same forces. Over the past several decades, West European and other social democrats, Christian democrats, and leaders have offered open assistance to fraternal, political, and social institutions to bring about peaceful and democratic progress. Appropriately, for a vigorous new democracy, the Federal Republic of Germany’s political foundations have become a major force in this effort.
We in America now intend to take additional steps, as many of our allies have already done, toward realizing this same goal. The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American Political Foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force. They will have the cooperation of congressional leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business, labor, and other major institutions in our society. I look forward to receiving their recommendations and to working with these institutions and the Congress in the common task of strengthening democracy throughout the world.
It is time that we committed ourselves as a nation — in both the public and private sectors — to assisting democratic development….
What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people. And that’s why we must continue our efforts to strengthen NATO even as we move forward with our zero-option initiative in the negotiations on intermediate-range forces and our proposal for a one-third reduction in strategic ballistic missile warheads.
Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.
The British people know that, given strong leadership, time, and a little bit of hope, the forces of good ultimately rally and triumph over evil. Here among you is the cradle of self-government, the Mother of Parliaments. Here is the enduring greatness of the British contribution to mankind, the great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, and the rule of law under God.
I’ve often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the West about standing for these ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of our imperfect world. This reluctance to use those vast resources at our command reminds me of the elderly lady whose home was bombed in the blitz. As the rescuers moved about, they found a bottle of brandy she’d stored behind the staircase, which was all that was left standing. And since she was barely conscious, one of the workers pulled the cork to give her a taste of it. She came around immediately and said, “Here now — there now, put it back. That’s for emergencies.”
Well, the emergency is upon us. Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.
During the dark days of the Second World War, when this island was incandescent with courage, Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain’s adversaries, “What kind of people do they think we are?” Well, Britain’s adversaries found out what extraordinary people the British are. But all the democracies paid a terrible price for allowing the dictators to underestimate us. We dare not make that mistake again. So, let us ask
ourselves, “What kind of people do we think we are?” And let us answer, “Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.”
Sir Winston led his people to great victory in war and then lost an election just as the fruits of victory were about to be enjoyed. But he left office honorably and, as it turned out, temporarily, knowing that the liberty of his people was more important than the fate of any single leader. History recalls his greatness in ways no dictator will ever know. And he left us a message of hope for the future, as timely now as when he first uttered it, as opposition leader in the Commons nearly twenty-seven years ago, when he said, “When we look back on all the perils through which we have passed and at the mighty foes that we have laid low and all the dark and deadly designs that we have frustrated, why should we fear for our future? We have,” he said, “come safely through the worst.”
Well, the task I’ve set forth will long outlive our own generation. But together, we too have come through the worst. Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best – a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.
Regan gave this address in March of 1987 on the Iran-contra scandal.
Here is a report by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh explaining the most important points of the Iran-contra affair. Remember, Congress had passed the Boland Amendment forbidding the use of government funds to supports the right-wing militias fighting against the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
Executive Summary of the Iran-contra Affair
Report by Lawrence E. Walsh, independent counsel
In October and November 1986, two secret U.S. Government operations were publicly exposed, potentially implicating Reagan Administration officials in illegal activities. These operations were the provision of assistance to the military activities of the Nicaraguan contra rebels during an October 1984 to October 1986 prohibition on such aid, and the sale of U.S. arms to Iran in contravention of stated U.S. policy and in possible violation of arms-export controls. In late November 1986, Reagan Administration officials announced that some of the proceeds from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran had been diverted to the contras.
As a result of the exposure of these operations, Attorney General Edwin Meese III sought the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute possible crimes arising from them.
The Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit appointed Lawrence E. Walsh as Independent Counsel on December 19, 1986, and charged him with investigating:
(1) the direct or indirect sale, shipment, or transfer since in or about 1984 down to the present, of military arms, materiel, or funds to the government of Iran, officials of that government, persons, organizations or entities connected with or purporting to represent that government, or persons located in Iran;
(2) the direct or indirect sale, shipment, or transfer of military arms, materiel or funds to any government, entity, or person acting, or purporting to act as an intermediary in any transaction referred to above;
(3) the financing or funding of any direct or indirect sale, shipment or transfer referred to above;
(4) the diversion of proceeds from any transaction described above to or for any person, organization, foreign government, or any faction or body of insurgents in any foreign country, including, but not limited to Nicaragua;
(5) the provision or coordination of support for persons or entities engaged as military insurgents in armed conflict with the government of Nicaragua since 1984.
This is the final report of that investigation.
The investigations and prosecutions have shown that high-ranking Administration officials violated laws and executive orders in the Iran/contra matter.
Independent Counsel concluded that:
•the sales of arms to Iran contravened United States Government policy and may have violated the Arms Export Control Act1
•the provision and coordination of support to the contras violated the Boland Amendment ban on aid to military activities in Nicaragua;
•the policies behind both the Iran and contra operations were fully reviewed and developed at the highest levels of the Reagan Administration;
•although there was little evidence of National Security Council level knowledge of most of the actual contra-support operations, there was no evidence that any NSC member dissented from the underlying policykeeping the contras alive despite congressional limitations on contra support;
•the Iran operations were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter; of these officials, only Weinberger and Shultz dissented from the policy decision, and Weinberger eventually acquiesced by ordering the Department of Defense to provide the necessary arms; and
•large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials.
Following the revelation of these operations in October and November 1986, Reagan Administration officials deliberately deceived the Congress and the public about the level and extent of official knowledge of and support for these operations.
In addition, Independent Counsel concluded that the off-the-books nature of the Iran and contra operations gave line-level personnel the opportunity to commit money crimes.
In the course of Independent Counsel’s investigation, 14 persons were charged with criminal violations. There were two broad classes of crimes charged: Operational crimes, which largely concerned the illegal use of funds generated in the course of the operations, and “cover-up” crimes, which largely concerned false statements and obstructions after the revelation of the operations. Independent Counsel did not charge violations of the Arms Export Control Act or Boland Amendment. Although apparent violations of these statutes provided the impetus for the cover-up, they are not criminal statutes and do not contain any enforcement provisions.
All of the individuals charged were convicted, except for one CIA official whose case was dismissed on national security grounds and two officials who received unprecedented pre-trial pardons by President Bush following his electoral defeat in 1992. Two of the convictions were reversed on appeal on constitutional grounds that in no way cast doubt on the factual guilt of the men convicted. The individuals charged and the disposition of their cases are:
(1) Robert C. McFarlane: pleaded guilty to four counts of withholding information from Congress;
(2) Oliver L. North: convicted of altering and destroying documents, accepting an illegal gratuity, and aiding and abetting in the obstruction of Congress; conviction reversed on appeal;
(3) John M. Poindexter: convicted of conspiracy, false statements, destruction and removal of records, and obstruction of Congress; conviction reversed on appeal;
(4) Richard V. Secord: pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress;
(5) Albert Hakim: pleaded guilty to supplementing the salary of North;
(6) Thomas G. Clines: convicted of four counts of tax-related offenses for failing to report income from the operations;
(7) Carl R. Channell: pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States;
(8) Richard R. Miller: pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States;
(9) Clair E. George: convicted of false statements and perjury before Congress;
(10) Duane R. Clarridge: indicted on seven counts of perjury and false statements; pardoned before trial by President Bush;
(11) Alan D. Fiers, Jr.: pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress;
(12) Joseph F. Fernandez: indicted on four counts of obstruction and false statements; case dismissed when Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense;
(13) Elliott Abrams: pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress;
(14) Caspar W. Weinberger: charged with four counts of false statements and perjury; pardoned before trial by President Bush.
At the time President Bush pardoned Weinberger and Clarridge, he also pardoned George, Fiers, Abrams, and McFarlane.
The Basic Facts of Iran/contra
The Iran/contra affair concerned two secret Reagan Administration policies whose operations were coordinated by National Security Council staff. The Iran operation involved efforts in 1985 and 1986 to obtain the release of Americans held hostage in the Middle East through the sale of U.S. weapons to Iran, despite an embargo on such sales. The contra operations from 1984 through most of 1986 involved the secret governmental support of contra military and paramilitary activities in Nicaragua, despite congressional prohibition of this support.
The Iran and contra operations were merged when funds generated from the sale of weapons to Iran were diverted to support the contra effort in Nicaragua. Although this “diversion” may be the most dramatic aspect of Iran/contra, it is important to emphasize that both the Iran and contra operations, separately, violated United States policy and law.2 The ignorance of the “diversion” asserted by President Reagan and his Cabinet officers on the National Security Council in no way absolves them of responsibility for the underlying Iran and contra operations.
The secrecy concerning the Iran and contra activities was finally pierced by events that took place thousands of miles apart in the fall of 1986. The first occurred on October 5, 1986, when Nicaraguan government soldiers shot down an American cargo plane that was carrying military supplies to contra forces; the one surviving crew member, American Eugene Hasenfus, was taken into captivity and stated that he was employed by the CIA. A month after the Hasenfus shootdown, President Reagan’s secret sale of U.S. arms to Iran was reported by a Lebanese publication on November 3. The joining of these two operations was made public on November 25, 1986, when Attorney General Meese announced that Justice Department officials had discovered that some of the proceeds from the Iran arms sales had been diverted to the contras.
When these operations ended, the exposure of the Iran/contra affair generated a new round of illegality. Beginning with the testimony of Elliott Abrams and others in October 1986 and continuing through the public testimony of Caspar W. Weinberger on the last day of the congressional hearings in the summer of 1987, senior Reagan Administration officials engaged in a concerted effort to deceive Congress and the public about their knowledge of and support for the operations.