Talk:Iran–Contra affair

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Good articleIran–Contra affair has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
June 13, 2008Good article nomineeListed
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on March 4, 2012, and March 4, 2017.

title change[edit]

should "affair" in the title of this article be capitalized? is there a capitalization convnention at work here? tried to move but redir iran-contra affair already exists Phil E. Transplant '08 13:05, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes it should haha. I've changed it. Happyme22 (talk) 02:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

?moderate Iranians[edit]

the term "moderate iranians" is used throughout the article, starting at the beginning, but there is no citation which gives any real insight as to who these people were. without context "moderate" is a meaningless statement.192.12.69.203 (talk) 01:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Well in this instance, "moderate" is attributed to those opposed to the Ayatollah Khomeni, who was more of the extremist when it came to advocating Islamic values. Happyme22 (talk) 05:01, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

What other "moderate" political groups build up a private cache of weapons? --74.13.190.164 (talk) 21:56, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Note that the characterization of the arms sales being to "moderate" Iranians is solely sourced to Reagan's own account; it needs to be described as such, rather than presented as unvarnished fact. The Walsh report characterizes the sales as being "to Iran" (which after all is a totalitarian state under the control of the Ayatollah). — Steven G. Johnson (talk) 15:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
The arms sales were to the Islamic Republic of Iran, not "moderate" Iranians. The man whom the Americans were hoping to deal with was Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was and still is a major player in Iranian politics. I corrected that, and replaced the anonymous "moderate" faction with the Rafsanjani faction, which might help to clarify things. On a slightly different note, this article uses Reagan's memoirs as its main source. This is highly problematic given that Reagan was president at the time, and so whatever Reagan or more accurately Reagan's ghost-writer wrote is clearly going to be partial to the Gipper. Would Reagan's ghostwriter admit that Reagan broke the law and traded arms for hostages? Merely to ask the question is to answer it. I have no trouble with using Reagan's memoirs as a source, to get Reagan's take on things. But surely the article would be better if it used third party sources rather than Reagan's memoirs? It is rather like if one were to use Nixon's memoirs as the main source for the Watergate article or Clinton's memoirs as the main source for the Lewinsky affair. If one were to use Eden's memoirs as the main source for article on the Suez Crisis of 1956, then the article would say that there was no "collusion" between Israel, France and Britain to attack Egypt. What Eden wrote in his memoirs denying the "collusion" to attack Egypt was a complete and total lie. The Eden memoirs are worthless as history as Eden lies shamelessly about his plans to attack Egypt in 1956 and a great many other things, like being opposed to the appeasement of Germany during his first stint as Foreign Secretary in 1935-38, which he in fact supported. This is especially the case as others like Colonel North have insisted that Reagan did know everything about they were doing. The article notes North's claim, but takes Reagan's side on the basis of his memoirs, which is somewhat problematic. Furthermore at present this article demands of the reader a stunning suspension of belief. The article, using only Reagan's memoirs as a source claims Reagan was dealing with a nameless "moderate" Iranians faction (which is falsely implied not to be the government of Iran) and did not trade arms for hostages. If the aim of sending arms to Iran, first via Israel and then directly was to free hostages held by Hezbollah as Reagan contends in his memoirs, then that is trading arms for hostages, regardless of how Reagan's ghost-writer might try to spin it as not trading arms for hostages. If these Iranian officials had nothing to do with terrorism, how was it that they had enough influence to order Hezbollah to free American hostages? Any Iranian official with the power to order Hezbollah to free hostages is definitely right up to their necks in terrorism. And if the faction led by Rafsanjani were powerful enough to order Hezbollah to free hostages and if they were "moderates" vehemently opposed to terrorism, then why was the Islamic Republic of Iran engaging in terrorism in the first place and letting Hezbollah kidnap Americans? That makes no sense. Indeed, if the Rafsanjani faction were really opposed to terrorism as morally wrong, then why was it necessary for the United States to ship arms to Iran to effect the release of the hostages? Surely, these people would do the morally right thing and have Hezbollah free the hostages without conditions such as arms shipments if they really felt that way? Any Iranian official who had nothing to do with terrorism would not had the power to free the hostages. Either Reagan was really stupid not to understand these very simple points or he was lying. Take your pick. --A.S. Brown (talk) 01:34, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Neutrality Dispute[edit]

Anyone else see this as a problem? This line in particular: 'Reagan was deeply committed to securing the release of the hostages; it was this compassion that motivated his support for the arms initiatives" - maybe this is what he said, or what people said, but no one can pretend to know his thoughts.

That, coupled with the frequent mention of "moderate" Iranians seems to create a clear slant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.55.13.25 (talk) 18:20, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The piece about Reagan being committed to releasing the hostages is directly from his autobiography, so they are his words. The 'moderate' Iranians mention is necessary, as it distinguishes those opposed to the Ayatollah from those supporting him. It was the moderates that Reagan's administration supported, but it deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme. Happyme22 (talk) 21:17, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The words should be quoted and cited then. This is not neutral text. Also, iirc, "moderate" Iranians popped up later as an excuse/apology post factum and in fact the US negotiated with the staunchest Iranian Islamic revolutionaries, who had the power to deliver. When Tower went on national television he surprised the public by claiming to have achieved "damage control" (his words) in the Iran-Contra crisis, and to have protected the president from the fallout. Also, if someone is working on making this into a readable article, the Contra side of the equation is in dire need of treatment. The one sentence that touches upon their role is entirely unclear, as if they were raising money by selling arms to Iran. They were the cocaine terminus, the CIA was running guns and cocaine. This is generally very well known, documented, verifiable etc. Leaving it out is anti NPOV. Good luck with your quest for admin Happyme22, don't ban me for being right :) Hypatea (talk) 23:16, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
The article states Reagan's lack of involvement as a fact in one paragraph. Then another paragraph simply states that Reagan appointed a commission to investigate the matter, and they (surprise, surprise) didn't find proof of his involvement. It seems extremely slanted to declare he didn't approve or even have knowledge of what was going on while 11 members of his administration were convicted and then pardoned by his former Vice-President. There may not be proof of his involvement, but there certainly is no proof that he was totally clueless either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.107.30.155 (talk) 03:12, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
That is a good argument IP 76.107.30.155, and as a result, I have removed the phrase "nor was he aware that funds were being sent to the Contras". Reagan was never found to have possessed any knowlege of the divert-to-Contras part of the scheme, but you are correct in saying that there isn't any proof that he was completely out of the loop. I hope that helped, and thank you for your comment. Happyme22 (talk) 03:24, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I think this article tends to take a more critical stance toward the shredding of documents, or withholding of documents, than is fair. Covert operations are covert for a reason, and the idea of protecting sources of sensitive information is not just a cover-up: at least one Iranian contact disappeared in Iran shortly after many of the documents were made public. According to the New York Times, August 9, 1987, "the disclosures have prompted the intelligence services of some friendly nations to share less information with the United States." The article is implying from the fact that the NSC and CIA did not empty their file cabinets before Congress and the press that they were trying to hide incriminating evidence. On the contrary, the executive branch did hand over any, many documents, declassifying perhaps more than they should have, given the sensitive nature of much of the information, and the effects such revelations often have on the sources. Also, on the question of "moderate Iranians", this is confusing because while in fact those conducting the sales wanted to strengthen pro-Western Iranians, and billed their actions as such, it was not possible to support a faction, only the actual government, the whole regime. So it is understandable that this is a grey area to readers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.63.233.184 (talk) 22:10, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

GA revert[edit]

This article's GA nomination was passed without a review, so I have reverted it. I would also like to point out that the last line of the "Tower Commission" section and the first two paragraphs of "Convictions, pardons, and reinstatements" need to be sourced, as they are potentially controversial and contain quotations. GaryColemanFan (talk) 22:59, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and thank you for doing that. I did not know that it had been passed without a review, which is not good. And the fact tags only help us in getting this article up to GA! Best, Happyme22 (talk) 04:19, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Weapon Condition[edit]

Weren't the missiles we sent them defective? I don't remember where I heard that. Anyone know what the condition of the SAM's and what was wrong with them? Smaug99 (talk) 17:40, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Well if you provide a reliable source, we can certainly take that into consideration. Thanks, Happyme22 (talk) 18:59, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Kind of late, but my take on it is not to bother considering that more than 2500 TOW missiles were sent to the Iranians over a certain period of time, and they would certainly have noted if they were defect since they used them in the war against Iraq and thus ceased any further purchases of the expensive weapons. Pavuvu (talk) 12:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Iran-Contra affair/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I am still reviewing this article, but I do notice one issue that should be fixed. Many citations to web pages are missing the "|accessdate=" field. This is highly recommended, so that if/when the URL is no longer valid the content can be more easily retrieved from a web archiving service.Dave (talk) 18:55, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I will go through those that don't have an |accessdate= parameter and add one, provided the citation is reliable. Happyme22 (talk) 18:58, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
I have added in the parameter on all citations lacking it, as all were indeed reliable and beneficial to the article. Happyme22 (talk) 19:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    The prose is mostly well written. I have identified some awkward sentences that could use a re-write in the "friendly suggestions" section below. WP:MOS violations: There are no major violations of the MOS, However there are several minor violations of the MOS listed in the Friendly Suggestions section below. Most of these are where the 2nd or 3rd mention of a term is explained or wikilinked, whereas the 1st mention of a term should be wikilinked and/or fully explained and other mentions abbriviated. While one or two instances of this can be overlooked, at least some of the friendly suggestions below need to be incorporated to cut down on the MOS violations.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):

Major Issues: There is a sentence tagged with [citation needed]. This must be addressed before the article can reach GA status.

 Done I've removed the uncited statements per WP:V because I cannot find citations for them. Happyme22 (talk) 23:09, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

There are two statements that appear to be WP:OR and must be corrected before this article can pass:

"Reagan was deeply committed to securing the release of the hostages; it was this compassion that motivated his support for the arms initiatives." If I understand the talk page correctly this is a quote from Reagan's bio. So how about, In his biography Reagan stated that...? That makes it clear why the words "deeply committed" and "compassion" are used. Words like this must be attributed or cited for use in an encyclopedia article.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:13, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
This claim must be sourced or removed: The "Teflon President", as Reagan was nicknamed by critics," The word teflon does not appear in the source listed at the end of the sentence, making this statement misleading.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:13, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The linkchecker used for GA and FA reviews is questioning 4 links, however from a manual check these appear ok. You may wish to fix the ones that the linkchecker is complaining redirect to a different website, just so you don't get dinged for this again if you want to take this article to WP:FAC
I am not familiar with these sources, and am unsure or doubt about their suitability. Please explain the appropriateness of these sources:
http://www.espionageinfo.com/Int-Ke/Iran-Contra-Affair.html No site credentials are given besides Copyright © 2007 - Advameg Inc. Who is Advameg inc?
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
http://members.aol.com/megxyz/megan.html - This appears to be a personal website and if so is not be acceptable as a source. Even if its not a self published source, by its own admission it is a transcript of a high school newspaper. Not exactly a scholarly reviewed journal.
 Done Nice catch! Happyme22 (talk) 01:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
http://www.sandford.org/gandercrash/investigations/majority_report/html/_i.shtml This appears to be a Self Published Source as the website is sanford.org and the publisher is listed as copyright Jamie Sanford. However, this may be a copy of a government record. If so, this should be explained and it should be noted how it can be established this is an accurate transcription of the government record. I would advise checking the website for the Canadian Government Agency that supposedly wrote this document and seeing if we can't use the primary source.
 Done My searches cannot seem to find the primary Canadian document. So I've replaced the source. Happyme22 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
http://www.crisispapers.org/guests/hucul.htm - No credentials listed on site, possibly WP:SPS
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1889.html - No credentials listed on site.
Well at the 'about' page of the website it says it is a work of Online Highways , which appears to be a travel guide organization. Happyme22 (talk) 22:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0609-29.htm - This one is unacceptable. This website claims to be republishing a Guardian/UK article (a copyright violation), while linking back to the original. Why not just use the original, it's available on the web also.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Citation 61 needs publisher and author details listed
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:19, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Vern, Asleson is listed as a source, yet no inline citations refer to this name. Same for Cockburn, Alexander and Jeffrey St. Clair and several others.|}}
  1. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  2. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  3. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  4. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    One image is from a non-government museum but is claimed public domain. However the museum's website does state that all content is "public information" so I believe this is ok. All others had PD, GFDL, or CC licenses.
  5. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    Thank you for taking the time to research and write this article. This was a very interesting read. There are issues with this article. By my count there are three issues with the article that are cause for a quickfail. However, as I think this is a mostly worthy article, well written, and the problems can be easily fixed, I will place the GAC on hold and will re-evaluate the article. Just tell me when you are ready, but do advise the 3 quickfail worthy points should be fixed ASAP.Dave (talk) 03:29, 8 June 2008 (UTC)


Friendly Suggestions[edit]

These are not required for GA status, but are friendly observations. Some of these are minor violations of the WP:MOS. Though individually these are minor, collectively they add up to the point that some of these must be addressed for me to vote to pass the article:

  • There are several instances where 2 wikilinked terms are placed next to each other throughout the article. Though not banned in the MOS this is discouraged as it can appear to the reader as a single wikilinked term. I fixed a few, but will leave the rest for you. As an example Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and anti-communist rebel. Suggest re-wording the sentences so the linked terms are not next to each other or just de-link them. In the case of anti-communist rebel, just delink rebel. The article on Contra's defines what they are without the need for the word rebel anyways. In the case of a government official and their title, the article for the government official should have their title in the lead paragraph.
  • The citations are not consistent in listing of authors. Some are Lastname, Firstname others are Firstname Lastname. Citation 58, 63 are examples of two that are reversed.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "Hostage taking in the Middle East did not end there, however." This sentence is rough, how about "This was not the end of hostage taking in the Middle East"?
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Similarly this statement is rough: Reagan allowed McFarlane to meet with the Israeli intermediaries because, according to him, establishing relations with a strategically located country, thus preventing the Soviet Union from doing the same, was a beneficial move.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "and a portion of the proceeds would go to Contras, or Nicaraguan guerilla fighters opposed to communism, at a markup" should have some wiki-links. This is the first mention of the words Contra and Nicaragua outside of the lead.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The acronym TOW is first explained on the 3rd instance (in the "First arms" section). This should be moved up. Acronyms should be explained in the 1st instance.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • but also legislation passed by Congress, known as the Boland Amendment. This is the 2nd mention of the Boland Amendment in the "The affair" section. The explanation and wikilink is not necessary. Important terms should be explained or wikilinked on the 1st mention of each major section.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • involved in Iran and Contra operations. Contra should be wikilinked. This is the first mention of these terms in the "Discovery and Scandal" section.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • wikilink first instance of "Freedom of Information Act".
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • IMO There is overlinking on the dates. Though not stated in the MOS, in my opinion only complete dates should be wikilinked. The last paragraph in the "Discovery and scandal" is especially overlinked IMO. The dates are also inconsistent and should use a common format. Example of one date mention that does not match the other is under "Convictions, pardons and reinstatements" under Charles E. Allen, where August 2005 is not wikilinked or set apart with commons, where similar date mentions in other sections are.
I presume you are reffering to the 'November 21, 22, or 24' in the 'Discovery and scandal' section. And normally I would agree with you, however in the paragraph directly preceding it, a phrase reads, 'November 21 and November 25, 1985'. It would be odd to wikilink only November 25 because it has a '1985' attached to it. Happyme22 (talk) 22:46, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • In the Discovery and Scandal section the acronym CIA as the Central Intelligence Agency is explained in the 2nd instance, not the first. Also delete the wikilink for the 2nd instance.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:54, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • De wikilink Nicaragua in the last sentence of Discovery and scandal. This is about the 15th mention of Nicaragua in the article. If somebody hasn't figured out what Nicargua is by this point in the article, there's trouble afoot =-)
 Done haha! Happyme22 (talk) 23:54, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • First arms sale - this section is too short. Suggest merging with the "Arms transaction" section above.
  • (in his autobiography, An American Life, Reagan does acknowledge authorizing the shipments to Israel[47]) - The Parenthesis are not necessary, this is an important statement, not a footnote or clarification.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:54, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • There are some wordy or redundant sentences that could be shortened. The best example of this is "The report published by the Tower Commission, known as the Tower Commission Report,"
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 23:54, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Run-on sentence in the Tower Commission section: "National Security Council staff;[1] it heavily criticized Reagan" Break into two, "staff. The report heavily criticized Reagan"
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • In the Aftermath section Ash Wednesday is mentioned, Why? Was this co-incidental or significant? If Reagan intentionally chose Ash Wednesday to make his speech, the reason should be noted. If it was co-incidental, this should be removed.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Convictions, pardons, and reinstatements" section is in bad shape and should be pruned. Here are the ones I caught, there may be more:
    • Both 1st and 2nd mentions of George H.W. Bush are wikilinked. U.S. President title is attached on the 2nd mention, not 1st. Also, no need to wikilink U.S. President. If they don't know they'll figure it out when they click the link to George Bush =-)
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Casper Weinburger is fully spelled out on the 2nd mention and abbreviated on the 1st mention, should be reversed.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • 1st and 2nd mention of Elliot Abrams is wikilinked in Aftermath section
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • 1st and 2nd mention of felony is wikilinked in the Aftermath section. I don't think this term needs linking on even a first mention.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • 2nd mention, but not 1st mention, of some crimes are wikilinked, such as obstruction of justice.
 Done Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • August 2005 is not in the same format as other dates mentioned in the article.
I'm not sure what you mean by this one. The reason why it is not wikilinked is because it does nto have a specific day in the month of August. Happyme22 (talk) 04:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • The citation used for Charles E. Allen is not consistent with other citations or compliant with WP:MOS.
 Done I have removed the mention entirely because the source was unverifiable. Happyme22 (talk) 04:14, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Again, this is a well written article. I would like to see this reach GA. Please fix these and advise when you are ready for another look. Dave (talk) 03:29, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very, very much for such a thorough review! I will begin working on these items in the upcoming days. Happyme22 (talk) 01:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
No problem, it was an interesting read. I applaud you for trying to get a controversial topic to GA. I do contribute to controversial articles, but my GA and FA nominations are mostly road articles, cause I'm chicken to try it with a controversial article =-) Dave (talk) 03:50, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Alright, I think I have completed the list of required tasks and friendly suggestions. I have either marked the item with a checkmark, signifying its completion, or I have commented on it. Thanks, Happyme22 (talk) 22:50, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Pass GA[edit]

With the above mentioned fixes, I believe this article now meets the GA criteria. I still have some copyediting concerns, but they are minor. For example, is Special Review Board a proper noun? Also there are some wordy sentences, IMO. However as that is a personal preference. All sourcing issues have been addressed, I accept the explanation about U.S. History.com. That appears to be sufficient to not be a self published source. I also accept your explanation about dates, not my style but I accept.

With that I congratulate the contributors of this article on a job well done. I do appreciate how difficult it is to keep a quality article on such a controversial topic, and you should be proud. I will promote the article. Dave (talk) 07:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Well none of this could have been possible if it were not for your thorough GA review. So thank you, Dave. Happyme22 (talk) 17:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I read the same somewhere, and it's worth adding when sourced. The missiles were ostensibly being returned to the U.S. from West Germany for refitting as TOW II missiles but were diverted to Iran instead. The missiles Iran received were unreliable. I don't recall the source where I read these particular details, but they jive with what I knew at the time. Rklawton (talk) 03:02, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

The U.S. shipped TOW missiles, not SAMs. All American TOW missiles were being refitted at the time to become the TOW II missile. This made the transfers easier - the missiles were routinely being removed from bunkers for shipment stateside, so the operation didn't provoke any questions on the ground. As far as "defective" goes, it's probably more accurate to say they weren't "reliable" and that the U.S. knew they weren't reliable (hence the refit), and that Iran got ripped off in the exchange (committing an act of war by taking diplomats hostage notwithstanding). No doubt all of this is sourced somewhere by now. This was all Army lore back in the '80s when I served. Rklawton (talk) 13:52, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Link to More American imperialism/intervention?[edit]

Perhaps a link to more examples of intervention should be made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.159.135.229 (talk) 04:31, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you could elaborate a bit more on your request? Happyme22 (talk) 05:03, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

US Troops in Honduras[edit]

Can anyone find any reliable sources for the presense of US troops in Honduras, training the Contras? I know they were there, but unfortunately, all my sources are from first hand accounts(veterans from both sides, one from the USAF, the other from the Sandinistas).--Vercalos (talk) 05:46, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I have looked for years without success. I suspect they are classified. Good luck with that.Jarhed (talk) 06:56, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
How about Clara Nieto; Chris Brandt; Howard Zinn (2003), Masters of war: Latin America and United States aggression from the Cuban revolution through the Clinton years, Seven Stories Press, p. 320, ISBN 9781583225455, "The Honduran military participated in joint military maneuvers with the United States on Honduran territory (operations used by the military—behind Congress's back—to build a military infrastructure for the Contras, to arm them) and gave the Contras logistic support by covering their retreat from Nicaragua."?
Also, Kirk S. Bowman, Militarization, Democracy, and Development: The Perils of Praetorianism in Latin America, p. 229, ISBN 9780271023922 Text "publisherPenn State Press

" ignored (help); Text "year2002 " ignored (help) has info about this, mentioning Operation Solid Shield, about which see RICHARD HALLORAN (March 22, 1987), NEW U.S. EXERCISES SET FOR HONDURAS, The New York Times. "United States Military Assistance and Training", HONDURAS - A Country Study at Encyclopedia of the Nations says, about Solid Shield, "... These maneuvers tested the ability of the army, navy, marine corps, air force, and coast guard to mobilize and operate together in a large-scale operation, which was also meant to help train and build a logistical infrastructure for the Contras based in Honduras. ..."

There is more stuff out there, including "PRESENCIA MILITAR DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS Y SU INFLUENCIA EN EL DESARROLLO EDUCATIVO, ORGANIZACIONAL Y TECNOLÓGICO DE LAS FUERZAS ARMADAS DE HONDURAS Y CENTRO AMÉRICA" ("MILITARY PRESENCE ON THE UNITED STATES AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE DESARROLLO EDUCATIVO, ORGANIZACIONAL Y TECNOLÓGICO DE LAS EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL FUERZAS ARMADAS DE HONDURAS Y CENTRO AMÉRICA ARMED FORCES OF HONDURAS AND CENTRAL AMERICA"), a Masters thesis in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish, but I see that Google translates a snippet from that as, "1987 SHIELD SOLID (SOLID SHIELD), Exercises Military Combined Solid Shield 87 kicking on May 13 and are regarded as the most massive maneuver performed to date United States territory in Central America. (break) 1988 attempted invasion, troops arrive 3.200 Americans of the 82 Airborne Division to the FTC-Bravo Palmerola in Honduras in response to a complaint of invasion Nicaragua." Also this -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:50, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Edits by boogalouie (me)[edit]

A defense of my edits for editor Happyme22, who appears to be defending this page. My edits: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iran-Contra_affair&diff=267296763&oldid=267291167 The wikpedia guidlines for an article lead WP:LEAD

  • First off, IMHO the article ought to start out if at all possible with a summary of what the issue is about, in this case how Iran and how the contras are involved. So I replaced

"which was revealed in November 1986 as a result of earlier events " with
"an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran and funding for the Nicaraguan Contras group."
I put it to you that the reader looking for a quick summary is going to be more interested in this, than when the scandal was revealed. (to be continued)

A— Preceding unsigned comment added by BoogaLouie (talkcontribs) 00:01, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not "defending" the page; I have it on my watchlist because I've done extensive work on it and got it up to GA status. As for what you wrote above: that was okay and a discription of the affair earlier up may be good. I think that a timeline should be established, however, and we should retain the "which was revealed in November 1986 as a result of earlier events during the Reagan administration" rather than simply "during the Reagan administration". It is neutral and just to point out that the affair was revealed in 1986, half-way into Reagan's second term, instead of the broad "during the Reagan administration", which leaves it to the reader to find out when it was and results in additional questions.
I know you said above that you have more coming (good), but since I'm here I'm going to go ahead and list some of my thoughts:
  • The addition of 'relatively' to 'moderate' needs a citation. There are citations for moderate, but not for relatively moderate.
  • Noting that this group of moderates was opposed to the Ayatollah is extremely important, for Reagan says in his autobiography that he would not have authorized the Israeli plan had they been hardliners or supporters of Khomeini. Whether he was bluffing or not, we don't know, but that is his account.
  • There was no such thing as "Iranian" payment; the U.S. was to be reimbursed by Israel, not Iran.
  • The deterioration from the initial plan into one of arms-for-hostages was crucial and needs to be retained. After all, that was how the problem started. Reagan authorized the initial Israeli plan, though there has not been any evidence uncovered that he supervised or new about the failure of the original plan and its deterioration, which should be noted.
  • Reagan being unaware of the diversion to the Contras is one of the most talked about aspects of the entire affair. No one will ever know if he really did authorize the Conta diversion, but, as with the deterioration of the first part of the plan, there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that Reagan authorized the Contra diversion. That has to be noted for to achieve accuracy and a NPOV, for it paints an incomplete picture of the scandal without mentioning it.
Those are my grievances; the rest was great and you definitely helped to improve the article's flow and structure. Hope to hear back soon. Thanks, Happyme22 (talk) 01:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
What are you Reagan's Biographer? You have totally rewritten history on this page. The article as it stands now practically makes Reagan and Bush sound like heros. Oh look everybody! They were trying to save hostages the whole time! Nothing to see here. Jeff Carr (talk) 13:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Long term consequences ?[edit]

I am working on a Dutch translation of this article, which was first limited to three paragraphs without any references. I am not a specialist in this field, but I wondered if there hasn't been any speculation on the relation between the Iran-Contra affair and the 9/11 attacks? I am not hinting on a direct relation, but it seems to me this affair may have played a part in the rise of islamist terrorism in the ninetees and after. Does anyone know of a source treating this subject? For instance, Robert Parry/ AdeleivdVelden (talk) 11:39, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Robert Gates and the Iran-Contra affair[edit]

After reading Gates & the Iran-Contra Legacy by Ivan Eland at Consortiumnews.com, I conclude that the article on the Iran-Contra affair needs information on the role of Robert Gates.

On the Dutch page I have added a slightly summarized version of the following paragraph on Robert Gates.

"One of the persons mentioned by Walsh was Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush from December 18, 2006 and from January 20, 2009 under Barack Obama. Walsh concluded in the Tower Report that "(...) contrary to Gates' sworn testimoy before a grand jury and at a confirmation hearing, “evidence proves” that then-Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Gates knew about the unconstitutional diversion of profits from Iran-bound arms sales to the Contras sooner than he let on." [1]

If we agree on this addition, please feel free to add it. AdeleivdVelden (talk) 13:49, 1 February 2009 (UTC)>>>>>>>

References

  1. ^ Eland, Ivan, "Gates & the Iran-Contra legacy". November 15, 2006. Retrieved February 2, 2009.

Dutch translation[edit]

Why is the Dutch translation not shown? What did I do wrong?BoogaLouie (talk) 20:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AdeleivdVelden (talkcontribs) 14:33, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


reply to happyme22[edit]

My original edits since redone by happyme

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iran-Contra_affair&diff=267296763&oldid=267291167 The wikpedia guidlines for an article lead WP:LEAD .....


I'm not "defending" the page; I have it on my watchlist because I've done extensive work on it and got it up to GA status. As for what you wrote above: that was okay and a discription of the affair earlier up may be good. I think that a timeline should be established, however, and we should retain the "which was revealed in November 1986 as a result of earlier events during the Reagan administration" rather than simply "during the Reagan administration". It is neutral and just to point out that the affair was revealed in 1986, half-way into Reagan's second term, instead of the broad "during the Reagan administration", which leaves it to the reader to find out when it was and results in additional questions.
no shame in guarding. articles can get pretty messy without someone watching over them. --BoogaLouie (talk) 20:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I know you said above that you have more coming (good), but since I'm here I'm going to go ahead and list some of my thoughts:
The addition of 'relatively' to 'moderate' needs a citation. There are citations for moderate, but not for relatively moderate.
Agreed. (I have to say here that my expertise (such as it is) is in Iranian history and Islam, not the Iran-Contra affair itself.) --BoogaLouie (talk) 20:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Noting that this group of moderates was opposed to the Ayatollah is extremely important, for Reagan says in his autobiography that he would not have authorized the Israeli plan had they been hardliners or supporters of Khomeini. Whether he was bluffing or not, we don't know, but that is his account.
Here's the problem: we have copious verbage about how the Iranians dealt with were "moderates" (the word moderate, as in "moderate Iran group" or "moderate Iranians," occurs 13 times in the article), and of Reagan's self-described intensions:
Reagan initially rejected the plan, until Israel sent information to the U.S. showing that the moderate Iranians were opposed to terrorism and had fought against it.[19] Now having a reason to trust the moderates, Reagan approved the transaction, which was meant to be between Israel and the moderates in Iran, with the U.S. reimbursing Israel.[17] In his 1990 autobiography An American Life, Reagan states that he was deeply committed to securing the release of the hostages; it was this compassion that motivated his support for the arms initiatives.[1] The president requested that the moderate Iranians do everything in their capability to free the hostages held by Hezbollah
but who are these moderates? Did anyone find out?? What were their names? Was there a group of them they all belonged to? Did they oppose Khomeini? Surely by now we know more about them then Reagan did back then.
There is only one Iranian (in Iran) mentioned that I could find: In July 1985, Israel sent American-made BGM-71 TOW antitank missiles to Iran through an arms dealer named Manucher Ghorbanifar, a friend of Iran's Prime Minister.
The link for Iranian prime minister goes to short article on prime ministers in Iran, at the end of which is a link to list of prime ministers, from which you can scroll down about 10 feet and find out that between 1981 – 1989 Mir-Hossein Mousavi was prime minister of Iran.
So the problem is two fold:
  1. In Iran at the time, anti-Khomeini groups and activists had all been crushed. Any Iranian group or person in a position to negotiate for arms to go to the Iranian military, could not breath a word in opposition to Khomeini. It would be like an American official in the 1950s coming out in support of the Soviet Union.
  2. Mousavi was one of Khomeini's core supporters. Althought the article on Mousavi does not say so, Mousavi was one of the "radicals" of Iranian politics. He was a member of the Islamic Republic Party. Later on the radicals such as him feuded with "pragmatic conservatives" like Rafanjani who wanted to open Iran to more foreign investment. To give an example of who was who in Iranian politics back then, another base of support for the radicals of Iran was Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, the hostage takers of the American embassy.

So we need more information and rewriting for this article. --BoogaLouie (talk) 22:35, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Okay, thanks for the response. Your expertise is very beneficial! So we are clear on Khomeini, but what about everything below? Do you plan on commenting on those? We are not in a hurry, just wondering. Thanks, Happyme22 (talk) 02:11, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • There was no such thing as "Iranian" payment; the U.S. was to be reimbursed by Israel, not Iran.
  • The deterioration from the initial plan into one of arms-for-hostages was crucial and needs to be retained. After all, that was how the problem started. Reagan authorized the initial Israeli plan, though there has not been any evidence uncovered that he supervised or new about the failure of the original plan and its deterioration, which should be noted.
  • Reagan being unaware of the diversion to the Contras is one of the most talked about aspects of the entire affair. No one will ever know if he really did authorize the Conta diversion, but, as with the deterioration of the first part of the plan, there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that Reagan authorized the Contra diversion. That has to be noted for to achieve accuracy and a NPOV, for it paints an incomplete picture of the scandal without mentioning it.
Those are my grievances; the rest was great and you definitely helped to improve the article's flow and structure. Hope to hear back soon. Thanks, Happyme22 (talk) 01:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
quite busy right now but I'll go along with
  • There was no such thing as "Iranian" payment; the U.S. was to be reimbursed by Israel, not Iran.
and this
  • The deterioration from the initial plan into one of arms-for-hostages was crucial and needs to be retained. After all, that was how the problem started. Reagan authorized the initial Israeli plan, though there has not been any evidence uncovered that he supervised or new about the failure of the original plan and its deterioration, which should be noted.
but this ...
  • Reagan being unaware of the diversion to the Contras is one of the most talked about aspects of the entire affair. No one will ever know if he really did authorize the Conta diversion, but, as with the deterioration of the first part of the plan, there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that Reagan authorized the Contra diversion. That has to be noted for to achieve accuracy and a NPOV, for it paints an incomplete picture of the scandal without mentioning it.
... has a problem: There are three different mentions of Reagan's innocence in the lead.
  • members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages, without the direct authorization of President Ronald Reagan.
  • While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause,[1] there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that he authorized this plan
  • Several investigations ensued, including those by the United States Congress and the three-man, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither found any evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs.
I know you are devoted to President Reagan, but surely one (the last one) will suffice.
--BoogaLouie (talk) 16:10, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. Just to clarify, I am no way "devoted" to President Reagan, rather I have worked extensively on his article in the past and, as a result, it was able to achieve FA status. So I know about the man. Let me amend the page and see what you think. Happyme22 (talk) 01:59, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Guys, there is one other reason to cite why Reagan had no knowledge of the diversion: Poindexter testified clearly and flatly that he did not tell the president on purpose--http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/chap_03.htm.Jarhed (talk) 06:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Reagan, Ronald (1990), p. 542

Boland Amendment[edit]

The Boland Amendment is cited as "banning direct aid" to the Contras. However, the language of the Boland Amendment referred only to "appropriated funds" which means funds that Congress has appropriated for a specific use, Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 524 (1838). Nonappropriated funds, such as from the sale of government property, simply were not banned by the Boland Amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boland_Amendment The goal here seems to be to misstate what the Boland Amendment actually said, and then accuse Reagan and his administration of not following the misinterpretation. The question is fairly raised whether the Boland Amendment was actually intended to limit military aid to the contras (however military aid is actually defined) or whether it was part of a smoke screen intended to give Reagan cover? This is the danger of interpreting legal documents as though they were written by actual human beings instead of lawyers.JPStrikes (talk) 01:21, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Your fringe theory would definitely need a citation before including anything like it in the article (see WP:RS). And there were WP:NPOV problems. Happyme22 (talk) 01:27, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
More than a fringe theory is the Reagan administration opinion that the prohibition was unconstitutional. The article on the amendment discusses this issue. Reagan maneuvered mightily to prevent such a test, and it never was tested, so we will never know. However, any claim that the Reagan administration violated the Boland Amendment must be viewed in that light.Jarhed (talk) 06:25, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Duplicate Sources[edit]

Sources 6 and 47 seem to be duplicates. Calder 02:01, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't see it. One is a speech on March 4, 1987, the other on November 13, 1986. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:37, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Some additions and changes that I would like to make[edit]

1. There is no discussion of Oliver North's testimony before Congress in 1987. It was a huge media sensation at the time, over a period of months. So far as I can determine, Col. North was as truthful and forthcoming in that testimony as he was able. His testimony made him a national figure and a hero to many, and in fact his truthfulness was probably a major factor in his exoneration on appeal.

2. There is no mention of the timing of the Weinburger indictment by Walsh, nor of GHWB’s pardon of him. Walsh announced his indictment of Weinburger mere days before the 1992 presidential election, which clearly indicates a political agenda. Further, sworn testimony before the commission indicated that of all of the knowledgeable players in the incident, only Weinburger objected to the plan. In other words, Weinburger could not have been more innocent, and it is easy to infer that GHWB had no choice but to pardon him.

3. I think that the use of Oliver North’s mugshot to illustrate this article violates NPOV, especially in light of his successful appeal. I am working on getting better images.

4. There is no mention of GHWB's role in dealing with the Contras. North's biography mentions several vivid incidents, and while peripheral, these might be pertinent to the story.

I am willing to work on the above, but I would like some discussion first. I don’t want to edit war with anyone. Have a great day.

BTW, great work and effort on the article. I am impressed.Jarhed (talk) 05:47, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

eRumor 9/11[edit]

I concur with Jarhed. I just received an eRumor from my aunt that forms a connection between the Iran-Contra affair, and the Sept 11 destruction of the World Trade Towers. Attached was a reply-forward debasing the connection. I personally am not up on this topic, and feel that the inclusion of the 1987 Congress testimony is important. We all agree that the Sept 11, 2001 attack could have been avoided, however, using it to validate an invalid argument is not only bad historical accuracy, but does injustice to the victims. I propose that someone up to the task, obtains factual references to either argument, and provides a comparison between the two claims, as to how the rumor/contradiction may have originated.

Please open a new section that either validates the eRumor, or else proves the eRumor as nothing more than rumor. The rumor/contradiction can be found at http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/ollienorth-osama.htm but I am not familiar with TruthOrFiction.com's credentials. Christopher, Salem, OR (talk) 23:18, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I see many problems here. You're going to need a reliable source to start with, as an email from your Aunt which was picked up by TruthorFiction.com isn't going to cut it. Happyme22 (talk) 05:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

that isn't a reliable source Thewarrior72 (talk) 17:02, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

"unknowingly connected"[edit]

Can anyone clarify the meaning of "unknowingly" in the sentence "...who were unknowingly connected to the Army of Guardians..." (i.e., unknown to whom and in what manner)? Greg Ravn (talk) 09:08, 9 November 2009 (UTC)


This needs a citation. Otherwise it's simply an apology for the Reagan administration. SanchoAnchovy (talk) 11:35, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

"convicted" vs "indicted"[edit]

This article seems to confuse "convicted" with "indicted," at least in the case of Weinberger, who was indicted and then pardoned by G.H.W. Bush. Weinberger was not convicted, at least not as far as I could tell from looking at some of the sources listed in the notes. Yet the article refers to him as having been "convicted."Redound (talk) 15:45, 14 November 2009 (UTC) P.s. I have removed the word "convicted" from the relevant sentence.71.178.144.245 (talk) 15:55, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Fixed, thank you.Jarhed (talk) 03:53, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Richard Secord[edit]

There's no mention of him anywhere, despite his lengthy testimony before Congress and subsequent trials.Uniquerman (talk) 00:40, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

If you want to make an edit, please do.Jarhed (talk) 03:01, 3 March 2010 (UTC)


Historical Revisionism?[edit]

This article seems to suggest that the Iran-Contra affair was about exchanging weapons for hostages. As little as five years ago, the Iran-Contra affair was about covertly selling arms to Iran to covertly fund various projects in Central America and had absolutely nothing to do with the hostage situation, which was generally considered to be a Republican ploy to tear down Jimmy Carter, whatsoever. When did this revision of history become mainstream? Should a section explaining the revision, why it happened and what lead to it's ascendancy be included?— Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.254.121.196 (talkcontribs) 18:27, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

The hostage question was a part of the discussions at the inception of the program. There was debate within the executive branch as to whether the hostages or diplomatic relations with Iran ought to be the focus of talks, with some arguing that the release of hostages must precede any diplomatic discussions, and others advocating the forging of diplomatic relations first, with the release of Hezbollah-held hostages coming as a natural result of such a renewed relationship. So, the hostages were in fact part of discussions from the beginning, but had nothing to do with Carter, except in the superficial similarity that there were also Iran-held hostages during Carter's administration. I would recommend the book "Perilous Statecraft: An insider's account of the Iran-Contra Affair" by Michael Ledeen, which has the advantage of having been written very close to the event by a person who participated in them enough to have a good view without being too close to have a decently objective perspective. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.63.233.184 (talk) 22:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Historically, Iran will not enter into deals if it involves releasing American hostages or prisoners.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.32.107.150 (talkcontribs) 14:05, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Nicaragua Vs The United States???[edit]

I was surprised to see that there was a whole article devoted to the legal international conflict between Nicaragua and the United States, that wasnt adressed, not even once, in an article devoted to the conflict that gave birth to the above mentioned dispute in the first place.I have added a short paragraph under the headline "aftermath" even do, in my opinion, there should be a whole section dedicated to this. Yet still, I think is best to discuss the issue before making any mayor changes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.233.79.27 (talk) 17:58, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


this as well as the many contra war controversies preceding the scandal should be mentioned as background (human rights abuses on the part of the contras were extensive and horrific, as confirmed by human rights watch and several church groups who conducted reports; the boland amendment should be mentioned; general issues with the background of the contras and origins of the FDN leadership as ex-Somoza-guardsmen should be mentioned). 96.246.39.61 (talk) 07:44, 6 March 2011 (UTC)


When the background refers to the human rights abuses by the United States against Nicaragua, it would be worth referring to the case before the International Court of Justice (Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), ICJ, Judgement of 27 June 1986, Merits[1]). The Court, for instance, decides:

Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State;
Decides that the United States of America is under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by the breaches of obligations under customary international law enumerated above;

FredericGo (talk) 14:50, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory[edit]

I'm not sure when and why that happened exactly, but why is the iran-cntra-affair categorized as conspiracy theory incliding that navigation bar. That looks like seriously misleading categorization. If no convincing justification can be given for that it should be removed.--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:27, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

US govt drug involvement[edit]

One sentence has been added, "The report however, despite being the product of lengthy and detailed investigation, stated that the allegations were "exaggerated" and "unsubstantiated."

The insinuation of the original, "The matter was further examined in the 1997 report of the US Department of Justice Inspector General, where the main question under investigation was whether CIA was instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, and where evidence was presented of patronizing by CIA of drug trafficking to Los Angeles, California.[54]" is that there in fact was govt involvement. The report is cited as evidence of or support for this when in fact it concludes that claims of drug money funding the Contras were exaggerated and that reports of drug importation, influence peddling, etc were unsubstantiated.

Whether or not the US govt or any of its agencies were involved in the drug trade or in protecting the druggies is neither here nor there. One should not cite a reference to support a claim when the reference actually dismisses it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hilde27 (talkcontribs) 20:36, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Actually the sentence wasn't really that wrong, since the executative summary of the literally states "We found that the allegations contained in the original Mercury News articles were exaggerations of the actual facts.". So I reinstated the sentence but removed the "unsubstantiated" claim and added a link to the report on a government website. Somenody however should add page number or paragraph/chapter references for the earlier citations, since you can't expect people to reead the whole lengty report just to verify a single claim.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:04, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

drug trafficking[edit]

There should probably be more mention about the allegations of drug trafficking on the part of the contras. It is currently scantly represented in the article, yet it represented a major part of the scandal (at the time, an entire book was written on it, "Cocaine Politics", and later Gary Webb's research purported to uncover links to the LA crack trade as well).96.246.39.61 (talk) 07:46, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Well you are welcome to make some properly sourced additions, but be aware that this might be controversial.--Kmhkmh (talk) 06:57, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
CIA/Contra involvement in drug trafficking is actually quite well documented, and played a major role in the Iran-Contra affair; see, for example, [2], [3], or [4]. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 07:06, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
You get no objection from me, but there are some sources claiming somewhat otherwise like the congressional report. So I just wanted to point out that some editors (not me though) might object.--Kmhkmh (talk) 08:54, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Skipping the beginning?[edit]

When reading this article, the first thing that perturbed me was the fact that after the overview, the article jumps straight to the scandal, without any pretext whatsoever! I would really appreciate it if this article include some of the following points: -US ties or relationship with the Contras before the scandal -Us ties or relationship with the Iranians before the scandal -The events that unfolded that allowed the US workers to be taken hostage -The actual hostage-taking event itself -What the Reagan Administration was doing in present-tense, as in while the public was unaware.

I feel as if the article jumps to the exposure in the beginning, without setting any pretext. Bullercruz1 (talk) 00:32, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Can someone explain how these lines in the article do not contradict each other?[edit]

During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.

...

Several investigations ensued, including those by the United States Congress and the three-man, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither found any evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs

--Sirfith (talk) 13:48, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

It is explained in the cited source. Essentially is is a somewhat awkward description, which doesn't fully reflect the fine differences given in the source. The source essentially states that Reagan knew of the contra support and than he knew of the weapons for hostages deal, but he may not have known about how they got linked by his staff and which illegal activities were involved in the details.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:27, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
North and Poindexter said that Reagan did not know about the Contra funding program. However, everyone in the administration knew that Reagan wanted the Contras supported.Jarhed (talk) 15:50, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Reagan Testified[edit]

I don't see in this article any mention of Ronald Reagan testifying during a trial on Iran-Contra. On Youtube, a simple search of "Ronald Reagan Testimony" shows about 22 videos of him testifying. I don't know much about the Iran-Contra affair, and the reason I'm even typing this is because I came on here to find out why exactly he was testifying and received NO information. Could someone add it?--Xxhopingtearsxx (talk) 20:52, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Arrow Air 1285 crash[edit]

Why is this in the Iran-contra article?

I see no evidence to tie the crash to Iran Contra. Does someone suspect that this crash was caused by iran, as a result of the "botched" missile sales? If so, then that should be clarified.

H870rce (talk) 09:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

the passage was not related to the Iran-Contra Affair --no RS mentions it--so I deleted it. Rjensen (talk) 18:01, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Aftermath[edit]

The Nicaragua vs US case at the International Court of Justice cannot be part of the "aftermath" of the Iran-Contra affair, as the case was filed by Nicaragua on 9 April 1984 Application instituting proceedings and the finale decision on merits was delivered by the Court on 27 June 1986 Decision of merits FredericGo (talk) 15:11, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Archive was lost, not sure how to fix it, HELP![edit]

Archive was lost with [5] this edit, not sure how to fix it, please help! Raquel Baranow (talk) 18:28, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I restored the archive, hopefully in the correct way. 76.10.128.192 (talk) 05:05, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Christic Institute[edit]

Can anyone explain how the Christic Institute is given credit for uncovering Iran Contra? To my knowledge it was a Lebanese publication which first reported on the arms sale.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.45.45.7 (talkcontribs) 19:29, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

The material referred to above was added 23:14, 12 May 2014 then removed 00:48, 13 July 2014. Despite the fact that Avirgan v. Hull had no merit and was thrown out as a frivolous lawsuit[6], Daniel Sheehan and his supporters like to claim that "the Christic Institute uncovered the Iran–Contra affair". Allegations of CIA drug trafficking predated Sheehan, and Sheehan had made some new claims before the Iran–Contra story broke. Once the Iran–Contra story broke, he tacked on some of the publicized names to the lawsuit and made it one gigantic conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theorists love these scandals because they can use the people involved in them to simply make up stuff (e.g. Watergate figures were involved in the assassination of JFK) and they have an audience that eats it up. In the case of the Christic Institute, they used their lawsuit as a publicity stunt and fund-raising tool. - Location (talk) 11:19, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

1996 FBB versions of Iran-Contra files[edit]

This would have been useful for people who are unable to open PDF files or have slow connections:

Unfortunately these are NOT archived:

If there are versions still hosted on government servers, try to archive them or upload them to the Commons WhisperToMe (talk) 17:34, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Syria's role in scandal leaking to the press.[edit]

Today an article of a CIA journal was declassified relating this scandal. It says Syria played a role in leaking the scandal to the press, it also explains its motivations to do so. It may be useful to this article. As far as I understand this information is new, but I'm not that informed about the topic to make the assertion in an edit, so I'll leave it to you. I may come later to contribute. See ya.

http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0000621341.pdf HOW THE IRAN-CONTRA STORY LEAKED Document Number: 0000621341 http://www.foia.cia.gov/collection/declassified-articles-studies-intelligence-cias-house-intelligence-journal

Fernando A. Gimenez (talk) 23:47, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

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A Reagan Press Conference From May 1987 That Must Be Included In 'Aftermath'[edit]

http://articles.latimes.com/1987-05-16/news/mn-9385_1_iran-contra

Although the article as it is may be correct in its assertion that the specific level of Reagan's involvement is 'unknown,' the tone of this piece is overall obfuscatory given the press conference of May 1987 in which Reagan vociferously took credit for the general idea of the Affair, while insisting that all actions were legal under the Boland Amendment, etc. At the risk of violating NPOV principles, I think the article might mention that the President went on to cite positive poll numbers as justification for his personal involvement. Maurizio689 (talk) 18:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Here is a transcript of that press conference. One reporter asked if Reagan had been "mortally wounded" by the Iran–Contra affair; he replied that he had not seen any evidence that he had been. A second report asked how Reagan would respond to public opinion polls that had shown a drop in support for him and his policies over the preceding six months; he replied that he still had high favorability ratings and that poll results are dependent upon how questions were asked. In other words, Reagan was not justifying anything; he was refuting the premise of the questions.
Regardless, the Iran–Contra affair encompasses a many different aspects, so what specifically would he be presumed to be justifying via those quotes? Negotiating with Iran? Selling arms to Iran? Supporting the Contras? The diversion of funds? - Location (talk) 22:14, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Some fundamental issues in the problematic representation of this article[edit]

While it is well-presented in its details, this article suffers from a noticeable equivocation between what are statements of fact concerning a definitive set of apparently illegal exchanges, and what are political talking points by those who would be (or were in fact) the defendants. Historically, the public position of those individuals implicated in this ordeal was overwhelmingly reliant on the claim of a "noble cause": that these transactions were primarily an agreement that was contemplated for the reason of obtaining the return of hostages. The actual transactions recorded, however, are that arms had been, in fact, sold and transferred to Iran, and that proceeds had been directed toward the arming of the Contras. No hostages were involved in any of the actual transactions. Again, the undisputed events to which this article refers are transactions concerning Contras and transactions concerning Iran: in both cases, exchanges (money for weapons) were successfully executed, none (repeat, NONE) of which involved any hostages.

If you were sitting in a court of law, concerning illegal, completed (key word: "completed") transactions, and you started off your brief by quoting the talking points of the defendants (as is done in this present article), and stating, as an assumed fact, that they did this because "they hoped thereby to secure the release of several US hostages," you would (a) clearly be the defense lawyer, and, (b) your defense would be standing on very tenuous ground. This is not even considering the settled fact that high-level, implicated persons illegally destroyed government documents of the transactions (should we also assume that these would have somehow exonerated them?).

In short, documented facts of the case should be the prominent features of the article; not the positions of personal memoirs and editorial articles, which should be secondary and qualified. Wikibearwithme (talk) 08:41, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

I think you will need to be a tad more specific in what you think should be added, removed, or changed. While I haven't fact-checked every citation, it appears most of the material cited to Reagan's autobiography can be supported by other reliable secondary sources. No doubt that secondary sourcing would almost always be better given that Reagan was a major player in the scandal.
I am also not clear what your point is about the "noble cause" claim, particularly since you seem to lump the many participants together as entering the fray all at the same time, having the same knowledge of events, and having the same agenda or intentions. That's just not the case. Strangely, you seem to suggest that the ends justified the means... if all the hostages in Lebanon had been released, then all or some of the participants - hard to know which ones you are charging with what - may have been exonerated in this hypothetical court of law. Also, "NONE" is not accurate given the circumstances of the release of Father Jenco. - Location (talk) 04:08, 18 November 2015 (UTC)


(a) I believe, for obvious reasons, secondary sources are clearly called for under Wikipedia guidelines, particularly under these circumstances. If Reagan's autobiography is so reliably backed up by secondary sources, then it would seem incumbent upon the author of this piece to cite those secondary sources. At this juncture, the claim of needed secondary sources being out there somewhere is merely an unsupported claim. However, as a highly politicized episode, with many so-called secondary sources being essentially cheerleaders, none of this appears adequate, relative to the simple fact that only the Reagan-preferred side of the story is itierated throughout this article.

(b) I fail to see how the chronology of interactions that you refer to, or their individual motives, is of relevance to my citing what was uniformly the official and unofficial (in autobiography) "reason" for the business transactions in question. This "reason" (hostage release) is reiterated with great repetition, unquestioned in its credibility, throughout this article. As an alleged reason for the executed business transactions in question, I don't think that it is in dispute that the motive of obtaining hostage release was widely considered a "noble cause" and obviously a patriotic cause.

It is not clear how you arrived at your comments on what I "seem" to imply, in your second paragraph, without making a great deal of inferences for which I did not provide any support. I made no suggestion that any "exoneration" should have been forthcoming, in any event. And clearly, I did not suggest or intimate that this "noble cause" was in any way ample justification for the means in question. I think it is pretty clear that I utilized the term "noble cause" to explain the alibi of those implicated in these transactions and, so, attempting to defend their own actions - never suggested it was adequate - quite the contrary, in fact.

(c) Please explain and support (by secondary sources) how Lawrence Jenco could be considered one of the Iran-held hostages in question, who was released as a consideration in the business transactions in question. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikibearwithme (talkcontribs) 23:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

(a) Keep in mind that this is Wikipedia, so the "author of this piece" is currently 1,562 different users[1] Feel free to look up in the article's edit history who placed the links to Reagan's book and tell them you think it is incumbent upon them to cite secondary sources. Alternatively, I have no objections to you adding secondary source material that conforms to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.
(b) What I think you are saying is the same as what I though you were saying before, so there is no need for me to proffer a response and keep us going round in circles. Your best bet is to suggest a specific passage and a specific fix.
(c) The report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran–Contra affair states that Benjamin Weir and Father Jenco were both released due to the involvement of Ghorbanifar.[2] The Tower Commission also gives substantial discussion to Jenco.[3] I'm not sure how this is going to change the article, so again... your best best is to suggest a specific passage and a specific fix. - Location (talk) 01:26, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

References

I think this passage and a following talk section and citation link might help this discussion:
Post-truth politics (also called post-factual politics) is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored. Post-truth differs from traditional contesting and falsifying of truth by rendering it of "secondary" importance. Johnvr4 (talk) 14:05, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

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As an Example of post-truth Comment[edit]

In this diff I've added a sentence and new citation about post-truth to the WP:Lead. It will need to be discussed and added to the body of the entry too. Johnvr4 (talk) 20:16, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

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Post-truth Politics is a Neologism[edit]

Removed reference to neologism "post-truth politics" as per MOS:NEO. This is a recently popularized term which tries to advance a POV narrative about how the subject matter should be interpreted. Mere mention of the term colors a reader's perception of the actors involved, adding nothing but subjective commentary from a modern perspective. This line is appropriate in the post-truth politics article as an example, but not here. Kphawkins (talk) 06:24, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

If you object to the term, you need to take that up at the talk page of that article; this isn't the place. Vanamonde (Talk) 20:16, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
The term is not necessary to describe the Iran-Contra affair so it is inappropriate to use it, irregardless of whether a reputable source is trying to popularize the term. I have moved the line down to the aftermath section since the impact of the term is a modern interpretation of an alleged larger cultural phenomena. I think it should be removed but perhaps this is a suitable compromise? Kphawkins (talk) 02:15, 14 February 2019 (UTC)