The Reagan/Bush Iran-Contra Scandal
- Reagan/Bush Iran/Contra Scandal: Exectuve summary by the independent prosecutor
- The Iran-Contra Affair 20 Years On: Documents Spotlight Role of Reagan and Top Aides
- Details from the Walsh Report, along with
official rebuttals and denials by Reagan and Bush lawyers
- Documentation on charges of contra drug smuggling
from Central America to the US
- Chronology of Key Public Events in Iran-Contra Scandal and Aftermath
- FINAL REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL FOR IRAN/CONTRA MATTERS: Volume I: Investigations and Prosecutions by Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel, August 4, 1993 Noted hereafter as Walsh Report
The Basic Facts of Iran/contra from the Walsh Report
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.
2 See n. 1 above. 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.
Independent Counsel has concluded that the President's most senior advisers and the Cabinet members on the National Security Council participated in the strategy to make National Security staff members McFarlane, Poindexter and North the scapegoats whose sacrifice would protect the Reagan Administration in its final two years. In an important sense, this strategy succeeded. Independent Counsel discovered much of the best evidence of the cover-up in the final year of active investigation, too late for most prosecutions.
Executive Summary from Walsh Report
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.
Overall Conclusions from Walsh Report
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
- 1 Independent Counsel is aware that the Reagan Administration Justice Department took the position, after the November 1986 revelations, that the 1985 shipments of United States weapons to Iran did not violate the law. This post hoc position does not correspond with the contemporaneous advice given the President. As detailed within this report, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger (a lawyer with an extensive record in private practice and the former general counsel of the Bechtel Corporation) advised President Reagan in 1985 that the shipments were illegal. Moreover, Weinberger's opinion was shared by attorneys within the Department of Defense and the White House counsel's office once they became aware of the 1985 shipments. Finally, when Attorney General Meese conducted his initial inquiry into the Iran arms sales, he expressed concern that the shipments may have been illegal.
- -- 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 policy -- keeping 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
- -- 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
Part XI: Concluding Observations from Walsh Report
The underlying facts of Iran/contra are that, regardless of criminality, President Reagan, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence and their necessary assistants committed themselves, however reluctantly, to two programs contrary to congressional policy and contrary to national policy. They skirted the law, some of them broke the law, and almost all of them tried to cover up the President's willful activities.
The disrespect for Congress by a popular and powerful President and his appointees was obscured when Congress accepted the tendered concept of a runaway conspiracy of subordinate officers and avoided the unpleasant confrontation with a powerful President and his Cabinet. In haste to display and conclude its investigation of this unwelcome issue, Congress destroyed the most effective lines of inquiry by giving immunity to Oliver L. North and John M. Poindexter so that they could exculpate and eliminate the need for the testimony of President Reagan and Vice President Bush.
Evidence obtained by Independent Counsel establishes that the Iran/contra affair was not an aberrational scheme carried out by a ``cabal of zealots'' on the National Security Council staff, as the congressional Select Committees concluded in their majority report.1 Instead, it was the product of two foreign policy directives by President Reagan which skirted the law and which were executed by the NSC staff with the knowledge and support of high officials in the CIA, State and Defense departments, and to a lesser extent, officials in other agencies.
Independent Counsel found no evidence of dissent among his Cabinet officers from the President's determination to support the contras after federal law banned the use of appropriated funds for that purpose in the Boland Amendment in October 1984. Even the two Cabinet officers who opposed the sale of arms to Iran on the grounds that it was illegal and bad policy -- Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and Secretary of State George P. Shultz -- either cooperated with the decision once made, as in the case of Weinberger, or stood aloof from it while being kept informed of its progress, as was the case of Shultz.
In its report section titled ``Who Was Responsible,'' the Select Committees named CIA Director William Casey, National Security Advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter, along with NSC staff member Oliver L. North, and private sector operatives Richard V. Secord and Albert Hakim. With the exception of Casey who died before he could be questioned by the OIC, Independent Counsel charged and obtained criminal convictions of each of the men named by Congress. There is little doubt that, operationally, these men were central players.
The tone in Iran/contra was set by President Reagan. He directed that the contras be supported, despite a ban on contra aid imposed on him by Congress. And he was willing to trade arms to Iran for the release of Americans held hostage in the Middle East, even if doing so was contrary to the nation's stated policy and possibly in violation of the law.
The lesson of Iran/contra is that if our system of government is to function properly, the branches of government must deal with one another honestly and cooperatively. When disputes arise between the Executive and Legislative branches, as they surely will, the laws that emerge from such disputes must be obeyed. When a President, even with good motive and intent, chooses to skirt the laws or to circumvent them, it is incumbent upon his subordinates to resist, not join in. Their oath and fealty are to the Constitution and the rule of law, not to the man temporarily occupying the Oval Office. Congress has the duty and the power under our system of checks and balances to ensure that the President and his Cabinet officers are faithful to their oaths.
PRIMARY SOURCES (MOSTLY EMAILS) ON THE IRAN-CONTRA SCANDAL
[Added comments are in brackets.]
Some of these documents come from the Reagan White House electronic mail system, IBMS's Professional Office System (PROFs). The system became fully operational within the NSC [National Security Council] in April 1985, and later included other offices. From November 22-25, 1986, John Poindexter and Oliver North electronically shredded more than 5000 e-mail notes in the memory banks of their computer systems, as the Iran-contra scandal breaks. Investigators from the FBI and the Tower Commission later used backup takes to reconstruct the Iran-contra scandal. On February 26, 1987, the Tower Commission issues its report on Iran-contra, reprinting hundreds of PROFs notes exchanged by Robert McFarlane, John Poindexter and Oliver North. On January 19, 1993 - President Bush signs a secret agreement with Don Wilson, head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), purporting to grant Bush exclusive legal control over the e-mail tapes of his administration. Working through the night, a staff team from NARA takes custody of thousands of tapes and disk drives, hurriedly removing them from White House offices to prevent incoming Clinton appointees from gaining access to them.
MSG FROM: NSOLN --CPUA TO: NSVMC --CPUA 12/23/85 17:04:28
*** Reply to note of 12/23/85 10:39 -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: OLIVER NORTH
Subject: Nicaragua Finding
There is a great rush in that this finding is essential to moving out on the provision of secure telecomms and operational intelligence to the UNO forces, thus enabling them to avoid disasters like last week (54 killed in 1 battle) and conduct secure resupply of forces deep inside Nicaragua. We have committed to tbe DRF that this materiel/info will be avail by the end of the year. Please move VERY VERY expeditiously on the finding -- it has already been informally coordinated w/ the intelligence committees by Elliott, Alan and myself.
MSG FROM: NSOLN --CPUA TO: NSWGH --CPUA 04/21/86 10:03:55
To: NSWGH --CPUA
*** Reply to note of 04/21/86 12:57 -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: OLIVER NORTH
Subject: Special Mtg: Central America
Will, please pass to Don: This weekend's trip to Honduras and El Salvador was the most depressing venture in my four years of working the Centam issue. There is great anxiety that the Congress will not act in time to stave off a major defeat for the resistance. This sense exists in the Govts. of Honduras and El Salvador but most alarmingly is now evident in the resistance itself. The lack of a reliable source of resupply has not only affected combat operations, it is now beginning to affect the political viabllity of the UNO leadership. Bermudez, in front of the Southern Front commander, El Negro Chammoro questioned the need for UNO and the drain of scarce resources to support the Atlantic and Southern fronts. While he committed to send in 6-8000 troops in the next few days, he openly admitted in front of Bustillio that they wd have to come back out in 15-20 days if there is no resupply. As known, their most pressing need is for anti-air, but other things are now running short as well. The entire force is back to 1 meal per day and no more boots, uniforms, packs, ponchos or weapons are available for tbe new recruits. All new trainees will be turned away effective today. All hospitalization for WIAs will cease at the end of the week. Troops returning to Nicaragua this week will carry only70-100 rounds of ammo instead of the 500 they had been carrying. No new radio batteries are available so there is no way to pass commands or intelligence.
The picture is, in short, very dismal unless a new source of "bridge" funding can be identified. While we should not raise specific sources with Fred et al, we need to explore this problem urgently or there won't be a force to help when the Congress finally acts. Warm regards, North
FROM: NSOLN --CPUA TO: NSJMP --CPUA 05/06/86 00:04:05
To: NSJMP --CPUA
*** Reply to note of 05/02/86 23:01 -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: OLIVER NORTH
Subject: CONTRA PROJECT
I know that many have provided input re this missive, but before I depart for a day and one half, let me try to respond briefly: Notwithstanding some of the historical inaccuracies in Ben's book -and the fact that many legislative constraints have been imposed on the President since Truman and Eisenhower, there are still several things which can - and perhaps should be done. When I was in El Salvador two weeks ago, Bustillo again raised the issue of Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran support for a "liberated zone" in Nicaraguan territory. I am very reluctant to raise this for fear that we will be accused of manipulating the event (a la the Tonkin Gulf accusations) - but it is entirely likely that within the next 6 to 8 weeks, the resistance will make a major effort to capture a principal coastal population center, run up the blue and white Nicaraguan flag, salute it - an scream like hell for help. At that point the rest of the world will wait to see what we do - recognize the new territory - and UNO as the govt - or evacuate them as in a Bay of Pigs. It will undoubtedly be a major crisis - for us and many others. News of this plan leaking out could well doom it and we may even want to in order to prevent it. The important thing to know is that Bermudez, Chamorro and the Indian military leaders have already talked to Bustillo, the Guatemalans and the [Deleted, (b)(1)(s) exemption] - and they all said the same thing: it depends on what the Gringos do. The Salvadorans clearly relish the thought of using their airforce to bomb hell out of Sandinista tanks counterattacking up muddy roads. They wd expect the use of presidential emerg authorities to replenish expenditures and losses. I believe that we cd expect the same action from the Guats, Panamanians, Honduras and [Deleted, (b)(1)(s) exemption] U.S. direct assistance to the Democratic Govt of Nic wd be limited to offshore support, Air cover (but not bombing,) and a guarantee that the introduction of Cuban troops, Migs or a seaborne assault wd be met w/ U.S. military force. My guess is that most of the Latin Americans (not Mexico) will follow our lead w/ recognition and that the American body politic wd respond very favorably to the image of the DRF engaged in a final desperate struggle and that we could act within 4-5 days with significant help - including prompt Congressional action on funds, authorities, etc. It may be the only way we ever get to help given that O'Neill is working to screw them again and that there seems to be no stopping DRF planning for the scenario described above, anyway. The DRF has finally had it with our empty promises of help tomorrow - and intend to seize the initiative at tremendous risk. They see no other course. There probably isn't any. Warm regards, North
FROM: NSRLE --CPUA TO: NSOLN --CPUA 06/20/86 17:57:39
To: NSOLN --CPUA NOTE FROM: Robert L. Earl
SUBJECT: MORE NORTH-CONTRA ALLEGATIONS
Karna advises that CBS (the W. 57th St show in a week or two) seeks NSC comment on their information that John Hall was receiving monthly checks from the NSC. She seeks guidance on Monday (23 June).
To: NSOLN --CPUA
NOTE FROM: KARNA SMALL
SUBJECT: Question from CBS
Last Friday I told Bob Earl that the CBS show "West 57th St." was doing a special feature on contras etc....it will probably be a blast, from what I can gather. They specifically called to ask for an "NSC comment on the fact that somebody named Robert Hull has been boasting to friends that for a while he was receiving weekly checks from the NSC." They asked to interview you and I declined... however, I said I would have to get back to them on the Hull matter. I asked Bob about it last week -- this week he said it was bullshit.. that NSC doesn't have a checking account. While that may all be true -- the show obviously has an interview with this guy and I can't just give them the "bullshit" response... Bob said he would get with you to get me some facts on just who this guy is and why he's implicating us. I know you all have been really tied up with the contra aid vote etc. but I don't like to let an entire week go by without responding to a network question. This note is just a reminder that perhaps you two could discuss and
get back to me. Many thanks.
** Reply to note of 08/11/86 17:35 NOTE FROM: Raymond Burghardt
Subject: info of press conf.
The President can respond as follows on those two issues:
--US/Nicaraguan Meetings: Secretary Shultz visited Managua in June 1984 to meet with Daniel Ortega. We then held nine rounds of meetings with the Nicaraguan government. We continue to maintain diplomatic relations; our ambassador has regular contact with their top officials.
--Allegations of Contra Drug Trafficking: All of those allegations have been carefully examined by our intelligence and law enforcement authorities. We have not turned up any evidence that the contra organizations were involved in narcotics trafficking. (FYI: Out of the 20,000 freedom fighters, there are a handful of individuals, mainly in fringe groups which we do not support, who have some record of ties to narcotics traffickers. In cases where we have presented such evidence to the groups' leadership, they have expelled the individuals.
Robert Dutton to Oliver North 10/06/1986
"Cooper, Sawyer and Hasenfus with a talker on board departed Ilopango 0950L. Full fuel and 10K lbs ammo. Route same as usual." [Nicaraguan Sandinistas shot down the plane carrying arms to the contras.]
Question to Reagan 10/07/1986: "Mr. President, was there any US involvement in this flight over Nicaragua, carrying the arms, any involvement whatsoever?"
Reagan: "I'm glad you asked that. Absolutely not."
MSG FROM: NSRCM --CPUA TO: NSJMP --CPUA 11/07/86 20:30:32
To: NSJMP --CPUA JOHN M. POINDEXTER -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: ROBERT MCFARLANE
SUBJECT: Current Events
Having been out of town for two days and maintaining the no comment line, I returned today to find that Don Regan has backgrounded the weeklies and laid the entire problem at my feet; my idea, my management, a strict arms for hostages deal, no larger agenda in
mind, etc. I was told this not by a journalist but by my closest friend who had been getting calls all day to the effect that "Bud is being hung out to dry by Don Regan." I still have not commented to anyone.
But I must tell you that if this is true, I will be quite mad. This will be the second lie Don Regan has sowed against my character and I won't stand for it. It might be useful to review just what the truth is.
*** Reply to note of 08/31/85 13:26 -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: OLIVER NORTH
Subject: PRIVATE BLANK CHECK
Ref the Presidential speech for Sunday: Am very concerned that we may be coming to a serious problem w/ the televised speech. In accord w/ earlier guidance, we worked very closely w/ Ben Elliot to build a speech aimed at Congressional passage of the President's proposal to the Congress. With some tinkering, the draft Ben provided will do just that. It is aimed at the Congress -- thru the American people - and presents the issues in terms that they grasp in a non-partisan way on an issue of extraordinary national security importance. For whatever reason, Pat Buchanan had Tony Dolan do another draft. This alternative version is long on fear, anecdotal remarks and no clear end -- except that the Democrats should be blamed when it goes wrong. It practically assumes that the initiative will be voted down.
I believe -- right or wrong -- that we have a group at work here who are more intent on the 1988 elections than a democratic outcome in Nicaragua. You know that I feel very strongly about this -- or I wd not bother you by coming directly to you. I believe that this may well be our last chance to keep from having our sons -- and maybe you and I -- go to war in Central America. If we lose this vote because others were more intent on blaming the Democratic party/liberals for a disaster, this country will truly suffer irreparable damage. With some work, Ben Elliott's version of the Sunday speech will be an extraordinary help to a victory on the hill next week. I do not believe Tony's version will help us achieve this end. It may help the conservative cause in the 88 elections but it won't help prevent the introduction of U.S. forces in 1990 after everything has been lost in CentAm. Wd you pls look at both versions. I will go to work hard on whichever approach you direct, but wd vy much appreciate yr. views. Warm regards, North
PRIVATE BLANK CHECK
*** Reply to note of 06/26/86 12:28 -- SECRET --
NOTE FROM: Ron Sable
Subject: Contra Vote
BARNES WAS REJECTED 225-198.the 'BORDER AMENDMENT" WAS MRAZEK,WHICH WE LOST 215-213.THE MEASURE WOULD PROHIBIT U.S. PERSONNEL FROM ENTERING HONDURAS OR COSTA RICA"WITHIN 20MILES OF THE NICARAGUAN BORDER_TO TRAIN OR OTHERWISE AID IN THE CONTRA FORCES".AS I MENTIONED, IF NEED BE WE WILL MOVE THE BORDER TO ACCOUNT FOR BASE CAMPS ETC.
Official Response of Former President Reagan to the Independent Counsel's Final Report
The Response of former President Reagan to the Final Report demonstrates the following:
- The Iran-Contra Independent Counsel has misused and abused the reporting
process that is mandated by the independent counsel statute. The Final Report unfairly
and unnecessarily injures the rights and reputations of individuals, relies on innuendo,
speculation and conjecture instead of proof, violates established standards governing
the conduct of prosecutors, and improperly relies on secret grand jury materials to
support the Independent Counsel's many accusations.
- The Independent Counsel's principal accusation in his Final Report is that officials at
the highest levels of the Reagan Administration engaged in a "cover-up" designed to
conceal the fact that President Reagan had contemporaneous knowledge of the 1985
arms shipments. There was, however, no "cover-up." To the contrary, President
Reagan repeatedly insisted, both publicly and privately, that the complete facts of
Iran-Contra be publicly aired and that his Administration cooperate fully with
investigators. Moreover, the evidence is overwhelming that the essential facts of the an
initiative were readily and repeatedly disclosed by President Reagan and his top
advisers. The contemporaneous notes of participants in the meetings referred to by the
Independent Counsel independently refute the notion of a cover-up and demonstrate
that the Independent Counsel has falsely depicted the events that he purports to
describe. In fact, President Reagan's knowledge of the 1985 arms transactions
supports, not undermines, the legality of those transactions.
- The Independent Counsel's contention that President Reagan and his senior advisers
and Cabinet officials participated in a strategy to make National Security Council
("NSC") staff member Lt. Col. North, and National Security Advisers Robert C.
McFarlane and John M. Poindexter "scapegoats" with respect to Iran-Contra is
demonstrably false. President Reagan took full responsibility for the an initiative from
the outset. He also accepted responsibility for all actions within the scope of his
instructions taken by his subordinates in support of the Contras. But he was not aware
of and could not responsibly be blamed for the diversion of funds to the Contras, the
destruction of records by individuals acting contrary to his instructions or other conduct
that was not authorized or sanctioned. The "scapegoat" theory of the Independent
Counsel has been advanced and repeatedly rejected since the first public revelation of
Iran-contra, and was rejected by the Independent Counsel himself in the cases that he
prosecuted. His Final Report adds nothing to the record except his own, internally
inconsistent, personal theory.
- The Independent Counsel repeatedly seeks to convey the impression that
high-ranking Reagan Administration officials, including the President, violated civil laws
and Executive Orders in carrying out the Iranian initiative, particularly with regard to the
1985 arms shipments. But there is, in fact, strong authority supporting the legality of the
Iranian arms shipments. The President had the power and responsibility to take certain
measures to advance U.S. policies and interests and the constitutional discretion to
protect the lives and liberty of Americans in foreign countries. The President properly
relied on legal experts to ensure that his actions were lawful, as the Independent
Counsel grudgingly acknowledges. The Iranian initiative was consistent with other
applicable laws, and the Independent Counsel has provided no reasoned legal analysis
to the contrary.
- Although the Independent Counsel concedes that there is "no credible evidence that
the President authorized or was aware of the diversion of profits from the Iran arms
sales to assist the contras," Final Report, Vol. 1, at 443 (emphasis added), his Final
Report indulges in the irresponsible speculation that the President must have known
about the diversion. However, that speculation has no evidentiary support whatsoever,
and is directly contradicted by the findings of the Tower Commission and the
Congressional Committees that investigated Iran-Contra. President Reagan has
consistently, unequivocally and categorically stated that he had no knowledge of the
diversion, and every bit of credible evidence in the record—including the voluminous
record compiled by Independent Counsel Walsh—is consistent with the President's
clear and unwavering position on this point. The Independent Counsel's Report adds
nothing new beyond his capricious speculation.
- The Independent Counsel asserts that President Reagan is responsible for "set[ting]
the stage" for alleged violations of the law by his subordinates by expressing his
continuing Public support for the Contras. . . . However, President Reagan gave
repeated instructions to members of his Administration to follow the law and abide by
the Boland restrictions. The activities authorized by President Reagan complied with the Boland Amendments and all other laws of the United States. The Independent Counsel has been unable to establish that any conduct by the President the various vague appropriations riders referred to as the Boland Amendments.
Source: "Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Vol. III:
Comments and Materials Submitted by Individuals and Their Attorneys
Responding to Volume I of the Final Report," December 3, 1993 (Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993), 21–35, 639–646.