Talk:Iran–Contra affair/Archive 1
- 1 Article expansion proposals
- 2 Inappropriate
- 2.1 Pictures, video links, extra media
- 2.2 Hostages
- 2.3 Documentation-Ollie North's testimony
- 2.4 Ari Ben-Menashe
- 2.5 Clarification
- 2.6 Can someone answer these questions?
- 2.7 First arms sale
- 2.8 Additional/alternative background
- 2.9 inline comments
- 2.10 Cocaine
- 3 Deletions
- 4 Citation and neutrality
- 5 Contras
- 6 2 cents
- 7 Where'd the article go?
- 8 Separation of Powers section and punctuation
- 9 WALSH, Lawrence E. "Firewall"?
- 10 When did Oliver North join the plan?
- 11 Who decided it was to be a direct sale?
- 12 I am thinking of giving up on this article
- 13 External Links
- 14 John Poindexter?
- 15 More vandalism
- 16 Clarity; Facts of the Arms Transaction
- 17 Contras
- 18 broken notes
- 19 Interesting quote from singer/actor Kris Kristofferson
Article expansion proposals
1. This can't be part of any 'cold war' business.
2. The 'hostage taking' section right at the top works like a smoke screen. It's not relevant. What is relevant is the Iran Contras affair. Someone is trying to diffuse matters.
Reagan TV appearance
...in November 1986, President Ronald Reagan appeared on national television... Anybody know the exact day? It says nov. 13 was a week later. Also, if we could find transcripts or videos to link to, then we could put links to 'em. Ojcit 00:52, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
According to Haynes Johnson's book Sleepwalking Through History the exact date of his address was November 6th, 1986. To expand, this address coincided with two events, the Republicans losing controle of the Senate (11/4/86 was election day) and Al-Shiraa's article hitting the wire services. Bellfazar 02:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure there are many pictures relating to the scandal, because the case was in the public spotlight. I read somewhere that the US helped the contras construct an airfield in nicaragua. Maybe someone could find coordinates, then an aerial or satellite image of the field. Xpanzion 18:58, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
What happened to the hostages? Were they all released because of the arms trade, if not when were they released and what happened to them? As far as I can see the article does not cover this yet.Xpanzion 19:18, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Documentation-Ollie North's testimony
I am having trouble finding a copy of Ollie North's testimony before Congress (as depicted in the magazine cover on the page) online. Who wants to hunt with it along with other documentation of the congressional investigation? --126.96.36.199 04:16, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Why is there no mention of Ari Ben-Menashe's Profits of War, a book dedicated to this subject? I think that the article in Consortium News by Jack Colhoun should be here. http://www.consortiumnews.com/1999/101499a.html Ben Menashe claimed that the Bud McFarlane/Oliver North connection to Perez and Iran was a distraction and that the bulk of the 80 billion dollar sale of arms to Iran was made by Bush snr and Shamir through himself, to Hashemi Rafsanjani. He prints letters telexes and other documents from the latter to himself on the back page of the book. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Xpanzion (talk • contribs) 16:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC).
The first 2 sections of this article explain what happend in this conflict, but only in terms of who and how. It doesn't actually explain what was illegal about their actions. Especially when the Boland Ammendment, which according to my understanding prohibited the US from funding the contras, only was effective from December 1983 to September 1985. Yet what Ollie North didn't enter the picture until january of 1986 and Regan's secret presidental "finding" didn't occur until December 1985. So my question is: Under US law, what did those involved do wrong?
I LOVE that last sentence where it says, "In other words, liberals failed to secure their beloved communist Sandinistas." haha I LOVE THAT! Its soo true! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Xpanzion (talk • contribs) 17:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC).
Can someone answer these questions?
I'd love to know the following, because it is important to this article:
- How would the sale of arms to Iran influence Lebanese hostage takers? I can see there was a relationship between Hezbollah and Iran, but I don't see how that relationship would guaruntee a release of hostage takers. Keep in mind that Iran had no authority over the Lebanese.
- Did Reagan authorize the sale of arms to Iran and the funding of the Contras? If he did, how did he do so unknowingly? We know that he did not know, but presumably he authorized these actions, because the members of his administration apparently don't have the power to just act on their own. Reagan maintained he did not know of the sale of arms, so how did these members initate the sales without his express approval? This could happen if he signed papers without reading what he was signing, but that seems unlikely.
- What was the underlying purpose of the sale of arms to Iran? Was it to get back hostages, or was it to fund the Contras? There must have been one purpose that outweighed the other. In other words, what was the primary purpose? According to an article I was reading, it was really about fighting Communism in Central America.
- For exactly how long was this going on? When did the sale of arms begin and when did it end? The article does not state this. The article says a plan was proposed in January of '86, but when did that plan go in effect? The article says "From May to November 1986, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts," but when did the original shipments begin?
- The article states that the sale of arms continued after the last hostage was released. Why would the sale of arms continue after the release of the last hostages? Was this a simple error on behalf of someone, or was it intended? The article says "The arms sale to Iran began before the first United States hostage was taken, and ended a long time after the last hostage was released." What I don't understand is why the arm sale began before there were any hostages. This does not add up. It doesn't make sense. If the sale of arms had nothing to do with hostages, one may assume it had everything to do with supporting the Contras. If only purpose was to support the Contras, why didn't the U.S. make money in some other way to fund them instead of receiving money from Iran?
I feel these questions must be answered for the good of the article. If you can answer these questions, please add them here, or add them to the article to further clarify the matter Stiles 23:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
- The report of Special Counsel has most of the answers.
- How do the arms sales influence release of hostages? As far as I can tell, we only got Weir back for weapons. But the intent was to moderate the tone of policy toward Iran, hoping to check Soviet influence: Casey pushed for adoption of the SNIE as a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD), an operational paper for the national security community. In June 1985, the NSC staff prepared for McFarlane a draft NSDD responding to the ideas contained in the SNIE. The proposed presidential memorandum, entitled ``U.S. Policy Toward Iran,"recommended that the initial focus of any new policy should be on stimulating essential trade. According to the draft NSDD, the United States should: [e]ncourage Western allies and friends to help Iran meet its import requirements so as to reduce the attractiveness of Soviet assistance and trade offers, while demonstrating the value of correct relations with the West. This includes provision of selected military equipment as determined on a case-by-case basis.36
- Reagan explicitly told North to keep the Contras going "body and soul." His approval of covert sources of funding was implicit in the administration's end-run around Boland when it sunsetted. This is in Walsh.
- The sales to Iran have a two-fold purpose, but from what i can tell, funding the Contras is number one. Walsh begins his summary with the Contra side of the story, for instance.
- How long? Efforts to seek illicit funding for the Contras began soon after the first Boland Amendment was passed in December 1983. Macfarlane had planned to find funds from third-party countries in February 1984, and by May 1984 Saudi Arabia was giving the Contras $1 million a month. Boland ended on October 17, 1986, and Congress appropriated funds for the Contras, making covert funding unnecessary.
- Sales after release of hostages? This is only partly a mistake. Arms sales were not tit-for-tat. Casey thought of them as part of an ongoing make-nice-with-Tehran campaign. Oh, and once the first hostages were released, others were taken. Walsh again: American Frank Reed was taken hostage in Beirut on September 9, 1986. The next day, Poindexter told North to pursue the Second Channel and avoid Ghorbanifar if possible. Two days later, on September 12, 1986, Joseph Cicippio was taken hostage in Beirut. Thus, after a full year of working with Ghorbanifar on the Iran arms sales, and after repeated shipments of TOWs, HAWKs and HAWK spare parts, the score seemed to be two hostages released (Weir and Jenco) and two new hostages taken (Reed and Cicippio).
- Hope this helps, and obviously I think we should get more of Walsh into this article. The Report of Special Counsel took six years -- it's worth referring to. Davidstaniunas 20:04, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
First arms sale
We need more specificity here. It talks about the Israeli government and US government as if they're single players, but if there's evidence it was individuals or organizations within those governments, it'd be nice to say so. Ojcit 01:57, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
- You have a very strong point. In matters like this governments are hardly monolithic.--Atavi 09:52, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
While I am certainly no expert on the Iran-Contra Affair, I came across some additional and largely alternative "background" for the affair in Noam Chomsky's book, What Uncle Sam Really Wants. You can read the relevant section online (entirely legally) at http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/sam/sam-2-08.html. The gist is that:
(1) The shipment of arms to Iran from the U.S. via Israel began just after the fall of the Shah in 1979 and was public knowledge by 1982 ("you could read it on the front page of the New York Times"). Thus the supply of arms to Iran was underway long before the hostage incident or the supposed request to Peres in 1985.
(2) In 1982, the "main Israeli figures" involved in the arms flow offered as its motivation, in a BBC appearance: "to establish links with elements of the military in Iran who might overthrow the regime, restoring the arrangements that prevailed under the Shah" (in Chomsky's words). This is completely different than the supposed motivation of freeing hostages (who had not even been taken yet!), but is (following Chomsky's research) consistent with the pattern of U.S. military support over the previous decades in South/Central America and Southeast Asia, for example.
(3) The illegal CIA operations with the Contras were already publicly known in 1985, a year before the "scandal" broke.
(4) What was new in 1986 was the connection between these two illegal military funding projects, both of which were designed to undermine governments not in line with U.S. interests (whether they be democratic in Nicaragua or totalitarian in Iran).
Hopefully someone more involved with this topic can assimilate these facts into the "background" section. I am hesitant to do so because I can't see how to do it without trashing the existing background material. Chomsky lists his documentary sources in the book, the entirety of which is available online at http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/sam/sam-contents.html. The sources are listed at http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/sam/sam-notes.html.
- It's a very interesting text. It's good that you found it. Since the source and his supporting arguementation are quite reliable and the facts are substantially different from what the article says at the moment, they should be incorporated into the text. I will look into what I can do myself. I hope others will be interested as well.--Atavi 15:38, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
- If we can get additional sources for all these points, so much the better. Chomsky has certainly done a great deal of writing on the subject, but it might be a stretch to call him neutral. I'm actually reading two of his newer books now. His criticism section is the longest I've seen on WP (I'm a long way from forming an opinion on how much of that is deserved). The "sources" section describes speeches, articles, and interveiws given by Chomsky himself, not sources of research for the book (it also says he changed the sources later in the course of the compilation). Also, I'm not sure "background" is the right framework for what you're describing. These are events that allegedly happened concurrently with the actions in the article; a background would be more like the Cold War, situation in latin america, drug trade, etc, all of which can be introduced via links to relevant articles. Ojcit 05:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- I agree that Chomsky is not "neutral." But in my opinion he is reliable. In addition, much of his argumentation is based on dates and news pieces, which can easily be verified. E.g. He mentions the NYT quite often.
- About the title. "Background" was the original title of the section before I edited it. I didn't think long about whether it is the correct title. Maybe you have a point and of course I'm open to any suggestions either in talk either directly editing the page.
- Anyway, I will look into potential changes myself.
- --Atavi 08:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- The original author of that section seems to me to be trying to simplify to a degree greater than current uncertainty warrants. Regardless of its veracity, it breaks the flow of the text. It introduces the counterclaim prior to the claim it repudiates, as if to preemptively shed doubt on the text that follows. The Background section heading may be appropriate if we just (re)move the first "disclaimer" paragraph. Ojcit 18:39, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- Although I believe that the section as a whole has seen a great number of editors, the disclaimer paragraph to which you take exception is entirely my own. Obviously I think it belongs somewhere in the article or I wouldn't have written it. About moving it, I have no serious objection, as long as a place can be found for it. The information about the Israeli ambassador and the dates are not mentioned elsewhere.
- To the extent that the paragraph has any specific purpose, to shed doubt on subsequent claims about hostages, is one. The reason is quite simple: the argumentation by Chomsky is completely convincing to me, so the whole hostage story is doubtful and should only be mentioned as such.
- I don't have any particular objection to the paragraph following rather than preceding the hostages text.
- Let me say that simplification was not intended. It is a complicated issue, and one whose truth may not become known. To treat any assertion as a possibility rather than fact is necessary, when it has arisen that the truth has been concealed on several occasions.
- A final note is that I fail to see how text flow is broken. The paragraph follows the introduction, and precedes the detailed account of the events. It summarizes all the aspects of the affair as will be described in detail later.
- --Atavi 19:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
!-- There should be an explanation on why arms were sold to Iran before hostage taking began, and why it continued after the last hostage was released. Not explaining this would only confuse people, since to most people, it seems the arms were sold in the first place all for the release of hostages. Continuing the sale of arms after the release of hostages implies the arms sale had nothing to do with the hostages --
Please leave comments on the discussion page, as they can be more easily discussed concurrently with the editing process. Ojcit 02:16, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Should there be any mention of the Dark Alliances/Gary Webb contra cocaine connection?
Yes there should.... I'm amazed that it wasn't even brought up in passing. I understand that in the US it is still controversial and considered a "conspiracy theory," but it is (or should be) very much a part of the discussion everywhere else in the world. -AC
Why is it not even mentioned? -km
- no it should not be mentioned. while it is relevant to the Contras, it is not relevant to Iran-Contra (and the latter took place in the late '80s, the cocaine scandal only came out in the mid-'90s.) btw, good job with the identical sig styles. J. Parker Stone 01:10, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
- The allegations of drug trafficking had been around since 1986. It was only in 1996 that they stuck. And the CIA report into the Webb allegations specifically mentions Oliver North's knowledge of contra drug trafficking - I've put in three paragraphs on the subject.. -- Aim Here 03:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Please note that if you see a statement saying "this unsigned comment was added by xpanzion" it wasn't actually me who said it. I am trying to organize the discussion page, therefore, I have cut and pasted many threads.
Removing irrelevant information
I removed the paragraph about the Nicaraguan economy, which belongs in articles such as History of Nicaragua and Sandinista National Liberation Front but is not directly related to the Iran-Contra Affair. Similarly, the ICJ ruling came out of opposition to the U.S. funding the Contras at all, and the issues it concerned (such as the CIA mining of the Nicaraguan harbor in '84) occurred before the Iran-Contra Affair. J. Parker Stone 9 July 2005 06:45 (UTC)
take this: "The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on 3 November 1986." this was only the first sign of the agreement. compare that to: "On June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice (or World Court) ruled in favor of Nicaragua in the case of Nicaragua v. United States." The ICJ made the ruling before Iran-Contra was even known -- it related to the Contras, yes, but it was not related to the Iran-Contra scandal. J. Parker Stone 04:36, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
- I don't see you moving material, I see you deleting material. For example, you removed this: "The devastation of Hurricane Joan in 1988, called by then-US Ambassador to Honduras John Negroponte "a contra victory," was another serious blow." (and a lot of other material) — Davenbelle July 9, 2005 06:49 (UTC)
- on a side note it seems you RVed back in anti-Sandinista POV on the FSLN article, telling me you're more interested in RV-on-sight then accuracy. J. Parker Stone 9 July 2005 06:51 (UTC)
I think the current version is more concise and accurate (at least on the Contra section, which has been the focus) -- it details the relevant info without delving into tangents about the Contras, the Sandinistas, or what have you. I'd appreciate it if the users watching this article would post here before reverting the current version. J. Parker Stone 04:13, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Deleted material regarding Reagan, etc.
I deleted the following material in relation to the release of hostages from Iran:
- This timely return of American hostages is a reflection of Reagan's promised hard-line stance towards the United States' percieved [sic] enemies, in stark contrast to outgoing President Jimmy Carter's stance of peaceful negotiation and limited use of military force (arguably a residual policy left in the wake of the failed Vietnam War, but a policy which proved disatrous [sic] in the failed Operation Eagle Claw rescue attmept [sic]).
While I don't strongly disagree with this commentary, the problem is that it is just that: commentary lacking a neutral point of view. It also lacks sourcing and thus is unverifiable for purposes of Wikipedia. Whether the timely return of the hostages is a reflection of Reagan's promised hard-line stance is an opinion, not a fact.
Maybe someone can find an example of where a secondary source made comments like this. In such case, something similar could be included in the article -- but only as an example of someone's commentary, with proper sourcing, and not as statements of fact. Yours, Famspear 19:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Unless there are objections I want to delete two clauses from this article. One notes that, El Salvador "(...was run by a US-backed right wing military dictatorship)." The second states that the contras were "led by former members of the National Guard of the overthrown Somoza regime (1936-1979)." The first assertion can be refuted by this wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Napoleon_Duarte The article notes that the government of El Salvador, in 1986, was led by Jose Napoleon Duarte, a leader who was elected in part because he did not have ties to military death squads. The second clause is a great generalization, as noted in this wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra This article notes that Eden Pastora's contra group, among others, was not affiliated with the Somoza regime.
The previous version was lefty?!?!? I thought it was right-wing. The entire article approaches the affair from a US-centric point of view. For the rest of the world the main issue was not which American politician said this or that but the murder and terrorism caused by America's unlawful assault on a defenceless third world country. That seems to be the major fact of the incident -- where is the death toll for example? David Byron
Well, the scandal was a US scandal, so it would have to be a somewhat US-centric article by definition. But otherwise, I agree with you that it is important to note that the US supported a terrorist group (the contras) against a democratic government in Nicaragua.
The Iran-Contra Affair is the US-centric incident as encompassed by the Congressional inquiry.
There probably should be a separate entry on the total US involvement in Nicaragua, which would cover the death toll, etc.
- I don't agree that the contras were terrorists -- at least not compared with the Sandinistas. What are your sources?
- Free elections and the appearance of free elections are different.
- I absolutely refuse to engage in an editing war over this. Any of my changes which get reverted, I shall assume you have good reason.
-- Ed Poor
The Contras were specifically trained by the CIA, and engaged in terrorist actions, including killing civilians, targeting infrastructural elements (power stations, etc.), and assassinating political and military figures.
If we're going to go around calling people terrorists, then they were terrorists.
One of the presaging scandals to the Iran-Contra Affair was the discovery of CIA guerrilla tactics and assassination manuals in Contra possession.
I don't know how much the Sandinistas engaged in the same actions when they were a guerrilla force, but the Contras at least were definitely a pretty brutal bunch.
The Sandinistas were definitely not perfect, and it's an open question how repressive or militaristic they would have been if the US hadn't been supporting the contra forces. Other than right-wing US elements, it seems pretty much everyone thought they were doing a good job.
But that doesn't mean they were--maybe they were as bad as Reagan claimed. But I suspect their main crime was to receive lots of support from the Soviet Union. I think your edits have been useful and, as long as you don't consider this a war, I hope you'll still contribute.
A useful but unabashedly pro-Sandinista reference, and an engrossing tale in any right, is The Death of Ben Linder.
Currently the article is about as biased as an article on September 11th that somehow manages to talk about the Palestinians and Osama's point of view but never gets round to mentioning anyone was ever killed! The US backed terrorism is (I think?) unique in provoking the international court to declare America's actions an unlawful use of force, that their 'humanitarian aid' was not humanitarian at all and ruling that the US had to cease any military action or support of military action and pay reparations to Nicaragua. Instead the US increased the slaughter in one of the best documented and most incredibly barbaric acts of terrorism of last century which all countries except Israel opposed the US over.
Ed what basis do you have for calling the Sandanistas terrorists? David Byron
David, I think your comments here are very one-sided. When you say things like "the international court", you're presenting a very skewed picture of how nations interact. There is no "the" international court. The rules of the courts in question specifically permit nations to completely opt out of their judgments -- and that's what usually happens! The judges of the court were and are from such bastions of democracy and freedom as China and Cuba -- their judgment is seriously in doubt in these and all related matters.
Notice that I didn't say one word of defense here of U.S. actions in Nicaragua. That's a totally separate matter from the question of whether a fair encyclopedia article ought to be writt in the manner that you would have us write it!
Should the court decision be covered here? Yes! Absolutely! And in a NPOV way. Words like 'slaughter' and 'terrorism' should probably be avoided completely unless we sufficiently distance ourselves from them. Instead of saying "Instead, the US increased the slaughter..." We should say... well, I'll leave the NPOV version as an exercise for the reader. :-)
- I've given up on expecting any NPOV from the articles here, and once again I have refused to update the article because of comments like yours. You've even deleted my /Talk comments before this. Despite this I believe Ed is more likely to reconsider his position than most here, so I thought it was worth commenting on the extreme bias of the article.
- Jimbo, you said "There is no "the" international court. The rules of the courts in question specifically permit nations to completely opt out of their judgments -- and that's what usually happens!". He is talking about the International Court of Justice, and the International Court of Justice is an international court, if not the international court. Secondly, no international court permits nations to "completely opt out of their judgements". Once the state has agreed to accept the Court's jurisdiction, it is bound under international law to accept and implement the Court's judgements. The United States voluntarily accepted the ICJ's jursidiction by lodging a declaration of acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction, and by becoming party to treaties that provided for the ICJ to have jurisdiction over the treaty. The ICJ found that it had jurisdiction, it found that the US had violated international law (see Nicaragua v. United States) and the US was therefore obligated to obey its judgement. Furthermore, yes, since the Court represents all the nations in the world, it includes judges from some dictatorships. But it also includes judges from democracies -- and some of the judges from democracies found against the US as well. Furthermore, the judges are independent -- they are not permitted to take instructions from their government. -- SJK
I don't honestly find labelling the Contras terrorists more helpful than calling them freedom fighters. I don't want to get into a mutual overwriting game any more than Ed, but I too would be intrigued to see why he thinks the Sandinistas were more terroristic than their enemies. I've done my best to be neutral in my latest edit. But please let's leave "terrorists" and "freedom fighters" out of this. David Parker
- I disagree. With terrorism so much in use as a word, and this case is so open and shut. Has there ever been a better documented case? No international court ever ruled on the IRA or Hamas or whatever. If you cannot use the word "terrorist" here then you'd have to remove the word from all the references to September 11th too. This was an incredibly bloodthirsty horrific set of events that went on and on. The US government's 'opinion' as one of the combatants is surely biased and every other country in the UN general assembly but Israel opposed their 'opinion'.
- Maybe it should be a sub-page? I don't think the page needs the "US point of view" to be NPOV. That would be to suggest the court itself was biased. I don't think anyone is suggesting that. If they are then that's a whole nother kettle of fish entirely. If there was a US POV on that page you'd need a balancing anti-US POV in addition to the court's findings.
- Well, maybe not--for one thing, the entire U.S. response should be presented on the case, meaning the U.S. reasoning for why the court didn't have jurisdiction. The purpose of the page, presumably, is to explain the facts of this important case, including its political and historical significance, on the views of prominent observers. Its purpose is not to show how the U.S. was wrong, even if some people would like to use the page to do that.
- But, beyond that, I'd certainly agree that the official U.S. point of view on its involvement in Nicaragua should be explained elsewhere. --LMS
Jimbo, by just about any accounting, the actions of the contras brand them as terrorists. They were really, really awful. BTW, some of this discussion is already covered in the doublespeak entry. I'll probably work on the guerrilla entry--I have some good research on that I could plug in.--TheCunctator
This is disgusting. Obviously, some people don't brand them as terrorists, and obviously, some people do. It is not our job to tell them who's right on this. It's our job to present the controversy fairly. This means that we should be concerned about presenting the pro-Contra view, even if it is repugnant to us. If you (personally, whoever you are) can't, or if you think you can't (which I would interpret as meaning that you're just unwilling--certainly you're all smart enough), then please don't work on the article!
- What if no one can present the alternative view, but people still insist that alternative view is correct? This is what happened on the Feminism page and I concluded I simply couldn't continue to add text to the page until someone turned up who was willing and able to add a counter POV. A lot of people hold a lot of beliefs that they cannot substantiate but are still passionate about. What if there is no pro-Contra view here beyond simply stating they are not terrorists? David Byron
I find this sort of debate strange. Why are we engaged in a debate over this? Why? I don't see what particular paragraphs in the article are affected. If you can see that, then why don't you just change them?
I have a formula that I should probably add to the new neutral point of view article: if you think there's something wrong with some paragraph, from a neutrality point of view, and you think someone's going to disagree with you about that, then (1) make the changes you think are necessary, (2) quote the paragraph on the talk page, (3) explain how it is that your changes made the paragraph more fully unbiased--not more "correct" in the sense of representing your view, but more fully unbiased. I think in most cases, if we were to get into this habit, there won't be much left for people to argue about on talk pages (as long as people are thinking clearly).
- That's fine in theory. In practise what happens is someone calls you a "vandal" and uses rollback to eliminate all the changes without bothering with further justification. (I assume this is only true on contentious issues where you edit to represent the minority view). Again this is where theory meets trouble in practise. David Byron
I have to say I am bothered a fair bit by those who constantly attempt to represent their own views on politically charged topics, and they seem not to care at all about whether other points of view are represented fairly. Yes, that is your job. If you don't commit yourself to doing that, Wikipedia will be much, much weaker for it. I think that's already the case, actually, and I think it should stop. I think we should all be engaged in explaining each other's points of view as sympathetically as possible! --LMS
- reply here
From bottom of the article:
- There's more to add here, particularly on the political impact of the scandal on Reagan's presidency. It won't do simply to say "it was damaging"; it's obviously more complicated than that.
The moral heart (or controversy) of the Iran-Contra Affair was that President Reagan's Administration was caught funding terrorists. This antiseptic article does little to describe this dynamic. I added a little to ameliorate the article.
Reagan's Administration built roads, docks, airfields, and communications relays in the Honduras from which to supply and direct the Contras. They provided the communications and equipment the Contras used. They provided pilots and the planes for the Contras to use and intelligence on the Nicaraguan army. The CIA coordinated with the Contras constantly, advising, training, and directing them. The CIA printed, published, and distributed a handbook on guerrilla warfare called "Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare."
The Contras tortured and murdered noncombatants of all genders and ages, targeted doctors and teachers for assassination, and waged a general campaign of terror for a decade against the democratically-elected government of a third-world country that had already spent most of the last century under the heel of U.S.-backed dictator. Some of this information might be relevent in this article.
I also took out some truly dubious material: "The Tower Commission was believed to have done more in its ten-week effort than the Congressional report on the Iran-Contra Affair," among other sentences. Who thinks that, the members of the Tower Commission? I think the Tower Commission was not as hard on the president as the congressional investigation, and I am not alone. How honest of an investigation of the president are you going to get when he appoints his own investigator? MarkB
Unexplained deletions of text
Going in history, I see that all this part has been removed:
"In July 1985 the Israeli government approached the Reagan administration with a proposal to get hostages held by Hezbollah released. + - + - The Israelis wanted the United States to act as an intermediary by shipping 508 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of the Rev. Benjamin Weir, an American hostage being held by Hezbollah, a militant Shi'a organization. This was done with the understanding that the United States would then ship replacement missiles to Israel. Robert McFarlane, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, approached Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and arranged the details. The transfer took place over the next two months. The first American hostage was released in mid-September. + - + - In November 1985, there was another round of negotiations, where the Israelis proposed to ship Iran 500 HAWK surface-to-air missiles in exchange for the release of all remaining American hostages being held in Lebanon. Major General Colin Powell, senior military assistant to Weinberger, attempted to procure the missiles, but realized that the deal would require Congressional notification as its overall value exceeded $14 million. McFarlane responded to Powell that the President had decided to conduct the sale anyway. Israel sent an initial shipment of 18 missiles to Iran in late November, 1985, but the Iranians didn't approve of the missiles, and further shipments were halted. Negotiations continued with the Israelis and Iranians over the next few months. + - + - In December 1985, President Reagan signed a secret presidential "finding" describing the deal as "arms-for-hostages." + - + - In January of 1986, the administration approved a plan proposed by McFarlane employee Michael Ledeen, whereby an intermediary, rather than Israel, would sell arms to Iran in exchange for the release of the hostages, with proceeds made available to the Contras. At first, the Iranians had refused the weapons from Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian intermediary, when both Oliver North and Ghorbanifar created a 370% markup (WALSH, Lawrence E. "Firewall"). The arms were eventually sold - in February, 1000 TOW missiles were shipped to Iran. From May to November, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts. However, Hezbollah proceeded to take more hostages after they had released old ones, and failing to produce any meaningful results, the arms-for-hostages program was finally cancelled. "
Has this been justified? Tazmaniacs
This article is hopeless - partisan hacks war over what and what not should be included.
The worst aspects of wikipedia being displayed.
Go elsewhere if you really want to discover what Iran/Contra involves
The statement that “total of all arms sales was less than a planeload” doesn’t ring true. First of all, the citation provided is from Ronald Raegan’s speech where he defended the scheme. Hardly an objective reference. Secondly, what is “a planeload” anyway? Is that in volume or weight? Are we talking about a C-47 or an Antonov? Thirdly, we are told that 1,000 TOW missiles were the initial shipment. The missiles alone weigh 22 kilos each. Add another 100 kilos for the launchers. So we’re talking 22 tons of missiles, even without anything to fire them from. The cargo capacity of a C-130, for example, is 20 tons. So we’re over that for a planeload even for the first shipment and that’s estimating super conservatively. Other web references I can find cite a total of 107 tons of arms were shipped. That’s way more than even an AN-22 can haul. --Mat Hardy (Affentitten) 06:16, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
- I think that the expression can be deleted.--Atavi 08:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Citation and neutrality
Question about citation
Ojcit, you have placed several pertinent and important "citation required" tags. There is one though, which is unclear to me:
- "The plan went ahead, and proceeds from the arms sales went to the Contras, a group engaged in an insurgency against the left-wing Sandinista government of Nicaragua"
What is it that you want supported by a citation? If the money went to the Contras? If the Contras were engaged in insurgency?
- I don't get this one either, what is unclear about that statement? Jlee562 05:26, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Question about citation
What concerns me is the fact that you write things that are not supported by a citation. If you cannot find a citation for a statement you make, then it is probably not true. Cooldude1234 05:26, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
separation of powers
I don't think lists of broad questions or themes are encyclopedic. It's not original thought, but it borders on analysis, and almost soapboxing. Also, linking to GWB may not be appropriate, since he wasn't directly involved. Yes, there are echoes of the same kinds of controversy, but if that is encyclopedic, it's too ethereal for discussion of one particular historic event. I recommend linking to a separation of powers article and moving the discussion questions to wikiversity or user group/forum. It's the reader's job to ask questions; the encyclopedia should provide succinct, specific, documented, and quantitative answers. Ojcit 18:55, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- About the questions you may have a point.
- About GWB I believe you don't. The article mentions how GWB pardoned and reinstated in public office persons involved in the scandal. It does not implicate him in the scandal as such.
- --Atavi 19:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm moving the discussion questions here. They're good questions, and worth asking, but I don't feel they belong in an encyclopedia article. If there are gaps in what the article addresses, they should be filled to the extent possible while maintaining NPOV and staying on topic. Also, I don't know wikiversity's scope and policies well, but maybe some of them would make good essay topics.
The Iran-Contra Affair is significant because it brought several questions into public view that continue to resonate today:
Most, if not all, of the constitutional and ethical questions are still unresolved. On one view, it appears that if the legislative and executive branches do not wish to work together, there are no legal remedies.
- Does the President have unconditional authority to conduct foreign policy over the objection of Congress and the laws it passes?
- Can the President approve selling arms to a foreign nation without congressional approval?
- What information does the President have to provide to Congress and when should that information be supplied?
- What information does the President have to provide the American people?
- Can the President present factually incorrect information to the American people about key foreign policy initiatives if he believes his motives are just?
- What authority does Congress have to oversee functions of the executive branch?
- Does funding for foreign policy initiatives have to be approved by Congress?
- Who defines the entire spending budget and who regulates it?
- Is the provision of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act creating the position of independent counsel answering to the Attorney General constitutional?
- What role does the Supreme Court have in deciding conflicts between the legislative branch and executive branch?
- How much support is America entitled to provide to armed opposition forces seeking to replace governments with ones more sympathetic to the United States?
Ojcit 05:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
"...the Contra rebels fighting to overthrow the leftist, Soviet aligned, and democratically-elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua."
"...the Contra rebels fighting to overthrow the leftist and democratically-elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua."
The Sandinistas were not orthodox Marxist-Leninists, and should not be referred to as communists in the Cold War context. However, to merely refer to them as a leftist democratically elected government would be putting them on the same level as France under Mitterrand, which would make us think that the Reagan administration planned on invading France next. The Sadinista government received large sums of Soviet and Cuban aid, and this alignment should be made clear. The Contras and Reagan administration's desire to undermine and overthrow the Sandinista government needs to be put into context. There is a world of difference between the "leftist" middle class, election oriented Parti Socialiste under François Mitterrand and the "leftist" armed peasant revolutionary Sandinista movement under Daniel Oretega - a difference that should be noted, because even though the Sandinista government was democratically legitimate, they acted like typical Soviet-client guerillas.
- First, in our own article on the Sandinistas, there is no support for your assertion they received "large sums of Soviet and Cuban aid". Second, do you really think it would be widely accepted if we were to start referring to countries like Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia as "US clients" or "US satellites"? -- Viajero 10:02, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
- I agree with the first statement. They were Soviet Aligned. Moscow was supporting them even if they weren't strict marxists.WHEELER 17:33, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
- The label "Soviet aligned" is inherently not neutral. What makes a country "aligned"? Why should such a label be used, and in which circumstances would it be helpful to characterize current or former governments as "aligned" to others? Is Israel US-aligned? Was Pinochet's Chile? The government that followed the Sandinistas? We certainly cannot want such debates about dozens of articles. If there is an issue it should be specified like "received large amounts of foreign or military aid" or so. Get-back-world-respect 17:58, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I changed "freaking United States" to "United States." Gyrofrog 00:39, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Source 7 is a self-published paper written by a high school student. It's very good quality for HS, but I don't think it qualifies per Wikipedia:Reliable_sources#Self-published_sources, especially as a sole source. Also, it could be clearer where it says "the kidnappings did not end there" Ojcit 01:50, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
- Then again, it was reportedly published in the school's Journal, so it's not that cut-and-dry. It's hosted at members.aol.com in any case. Ojcit 01:52, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Neocons being in the Bush administration has no relevance to Iran-Contra's Constitutional implications. J. Parker Stone 03:55, 3 August 2005 (UTC) I agree, I think if people wan't to make a page about of people who wan't to bash bush do it under a differnt thing which is relevent to the page which it is on. the list has nothing to do with this article. 188.8.131.52 03:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC) west coaster
Does anyone else think the sources section should be removed? Currently the "notes" section is very similar to the "sources" section. I've tried to find a wikipedia guide to article sections, but couldn't find anything. Most articles I see just have a "references" section. Can anyone tell me why this article has both "notes" and "sources"? Xpanzion 16:52, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
- The reason there are notes and sources is this: The notes section is produced automatically, collecting references from the main body of the article, where the <references> tag is used. The sources section is written out in full under the header. If you find any duplicate references you could probably remove them from the "sources" section--Atavi 10:52, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Should it be mentioned that the US also supplied personnel to train the Contras, and actually got into firefights with the Sandanistas? Perhaps even the fact that there was a very large bounty on American heads?--Vercalos 07:38, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
- Anything that is substantial and can be verified should be added to the story. Feel free to add. Stiles 16:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Quick question, wasn't Honduras the Contras' base of operation? And I remember that we didn't just fund the Contras, we actually had soldiers there training them.--Vercalos 23:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
- See contras, A contra is a general spanish term, so it could be used to describe any type of rebel group, maybe there were contras active in Honduras. However, the Contras in this article were active only in Nicaragua as far as I can see. Xpanzion 18:39, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
- Actually, as far as I know, the Nicaragua Contras, referred to in this article, did operate out of Honduras, and probably received training there as well.--Atavi 10:48, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Is assistance with drug trafficking strictly related to this particular scandal? If it's not proven, then it may belong in another place. If the suggestion is that the Contras have enough income from other sources that U.S. funding wouldn't have a material effect on their ability to do what they do, I don't consider that NPOV. Most organizations have income from more than once source, and it doesn't diminish the supposed culpability of an alleged terrorist sponsor if that sponsor is one of many. Ojcit 02:43, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
- The drug money treatment started as a single sentence and gradually came to be what it is now. It's not a bad idea to have a separate article, and go back to one sentence about it in this article.
- I think it started as a side note, and then got expanded by people who knew about the subject.
- We should discuss a potential offshoot article, its title, etc and perhaps move most of the material there.
- --Atavi 09:50, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Don't mean to but in on this argument. I just thought I would give an independent frame of reference. I admittedly don't know as much about this topic as it seems most of the people writing here do (hence my reading the article in the first place), but I felt that the argument was very informative and didn't feel that it was particularly skewed towards the left or right. I feel much more editing may be splitting hairs. This being said, I'm glad that there is a forum like this for the discussion and improvement of articles. Take this all as you will.
Where'd the article go?
I'm relatively new to wikipedia.. but I know for a fact that the Iran-Contra incident can't be summed up with the word "dipset". Is there something I'm missing?
- You were looking at an edit in which someone vandalized the article. The edit has since been reverted, see here. When in doubt, click on the "Page History" link in a given article. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 22:00, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
- You may sometimes get stale versions due to a slight bug in the revision history (quickly consecutive edits appear in wrong order). It helps to purge the cache (go to the history, then type "purge" instead of "history" in your browser - like this). 184.108.40.206 10:26, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Separation of Powers section and punctuation
The section on separation of powers consists largely of a list of questions, lacking in question marks. I think that question marks should be added to the end of the questions. If there isn't any disaggreement, I'll go ahead and do it. (and I keep on forgetting to sign stuff --- sorry) Ealex292 08:28, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
WALSH, Lawrence E. "Firewall"?
In the article there's a parenthetical expression: (WALSH, Lawrence E. "Firewall"). To which all I have to say is: huh? What does this even mean? Could someone rewrite this so at least it's clear? That is, assuming anyone knows what it's all about? --220.127.116.11 15:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
When did Oliver North join the plan?
Please read the following:
- In January of 1986, Michael Ledeen, a consultant of Robert McFarlane concocted a plan whereby an intermediary would sell arms to Iran in exchange for the release of the hostages. At first, the Iranians had refused the weapons from Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian intermediary, when both Oliver North and Ghorbanifar created a 370% markup. The arms were eventually sold in February with the shipment of 1000 BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-sighted, Wire-guided) missiles to Iran. From May to November 1986, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts. Despite the fact that arms were being sold to Iran, no hostages were being released. This resulted in Ledeen's plan failing. In the end, only a single hostage was released.
I should mention the Iran-Contra Affair consisted of two stages. The first stage was a plan by Michael Ledeen, but that plan failed as the paragraph states. The second stage is where Oliver North came into the scene, when he came up with the second plan. Either the author of the above paragraph (some of the text is by myself) skipped much of the stoy by going directly to Oliver North, or something else is going on. This concerns me because the factual accuracy of this article is in question. If you do not believe there were two stages of the Iran-Contra Affair, make sure to check out Megan Tuck's piece on this matter. It is the only writing I have read that mentions two seperate plans proposed by two different people.
I would appreciate commentary. Stiles 04:09, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe some of the confusion comes from the statement "In January of 1986, Michael Ledeen, a consultant of Robert McFarlane concocted a plan". Leeden's plan started in January 1985, and failed shortly after that. North's plan started on November 30, 1985, and the Iranians finally accepted the arms in February, and continued from May to November 1986. The hostages were actually released under Leeden's plan, and North's plan seems to have been more to get money to the Contras. While Leeden did sell arms to the Iranians and it can be considered part of the affair, it is not the widely known part because it was not until North came and sold the arms for money to give to the Contras that it became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.
Also, was the 370% markup in the intermediaries of Leeden's plan or a fund-raising part of North's plan?
That's what I have found regarding this. --18.104.22.168 01:50, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
- I see what you are saying, but to be honest, it doesn't make sense. The Iran-Contra Affair was exposed on November 3, 1985, so how could it have continued when everyone in the nation was talking about including Congress? Besides, Oliver North was fired at some point, though I am not sure of the exact date. We do know, however, he was fired that same month: November. Therefore, the plan could not have continued. In any case, do you have reference that you can cite saying the affair continued after it was exposed?
- The hostages were not released under Ledeen's plan. Only a single hostage was released under Ledeen's plan. More were released under North's plan. Check out An Affair To Remember which is also cited in the article.
- You mention that North's plan is what truly became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. Well, why is that? The main problem with the affair is that arms were being sold to Iran. That was a bigger problem than money being given to the Contras. Reagan's November 13th speech first and foremost addresses the sale of arms to those he called "terrorists," the Iranian government.
- As for the markup, I can't find any reference stating there was a 370% markup. I did find a source saying there were two seperate markups. There was one markup by Oliver North of an additional $15 million, and there was a markup by Ghorbanifar, who created a 41% markup. Check out Robert M. Gates. I will have to remove the 370% markup claim. Stiles 03:58, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
- I believe it was exposed in November 1986, as seen here. It stopped immediately after it was exposed. And where do you see that hostages were released under North? I see no mention of any hostages being released except for the one on September 15th, 1985.
- While the sale of arms to Iran was, in Reagan's eyes, the bigger wrongdoing and went against policy, it was not illegal. Reagan said that the U.S. should not give arms to Iran because it would be seen as a sign of weakness and would show the shah that he could get what he wanted. However, the diverting of money to the Contras was illegal under the Boland Amendment passed in 1982 which stated that federal intelligence money could not be covertly sent to aid the rebels in Nicaragua. This is why North got in much more trouble, and his part turned it into a scandal. He was never convicted of that because of a technicality saying that the NSA was not an intelligence agency as per that amendment, though he still violated the spirit of the law.
- --BotLobsta 22:24, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
- You are right about the date of exposure, and the scandal began sometime in the summer of 1985, I believe. I will have to make sure the article is factually correct. I believe I am mistaken about hostages being released under North's plan. It seems I misread something earlier. The question then is...when were the rest released, and why were they released? We do know that there were six hostages in total.
- I am pretty sure North wasn't jailed because statements were used against him that he issued under immunity. He was given full immunity by Congress, I believe, and therefore, everything he said there could not have been used against him court. The government, nevertheless, did use it against him, and I believe that is why he won. Stiles 04:10, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Who decided it was to be a direct sale?
Like I said on other issues, things just don't add up with the Iran-Contra Affair. I am finding several sources that are clearly contradicting eachother. It is unbelievable. The article by Megan Tuck states:
- On November 30, 1985, McFarlane resigned and was succeeded by Admiral John Poindexter. On that same day, Lieutenant Colonel North of the National Security Council staff proposed a new “arms-for-hostages” deal which involved the transfer of 3,300 Israeli Tows and 50 Israeli Hawks to Iran in exchange for the release of the remaining five hostages. Colonel North, on December 9, proposed the direct delivery of the arms.
The Jewish Virtual Library piece says something different:
- By December 1985, the President [Reagan] had decided future sales to the Iranians would come directly from U.S. supplies.
I am astonished as to how obvious the contradiction is, and since we do not do original research, how do we know which sources we go with? I don't know the facts myself, and I hope someone will be able to shed a light on who decided the arms sale would be direct. Stiles 03:33, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I am thinking of giving up on this article
As interesting as this topic may be, the facts are out of hand. I am just trying to write about the matter, but it is much too difficult. I can't tell what is and what is not a fact. Also, almost every source (articles found on the Internet) has different "facts," and this easily leads to confusion. I am considering abandoning this project, and I hope someone with more patience will pick it up. If I change my mind, I'll be back. Stiles 03:43, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
- It's an exercise in patience and tenacity. I'd have to agree that unbiased sources are hard to come by. You're not alone. Ojcit 05:42, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I am removing the link to amazon in external links. Shouldn't reference to Grandin's book in a bibliography or a further reading section (if at all)? Davidstaniunas 18:08, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
ditto the see also section. removed the following: "Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-1988" by Doyle McManus and Jane Mayer - a carefully documented narrative of one aspect of the second presidential term of Ronald Reagan. Primarily includes a painstakingly detailed history of the Iran-Contra Scandal. Davidstaniunas 18:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Just bouncing around links to Poindexter's wiki page and was astounded at how little information there was there relating him to Iran-Contra. Would someone want to pop over there and add a little detail? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Poindexter
Just a request, thanks! --Alex
I am new to Wikipedia or would make this fix myself -- isn't "Drug pee money" vandalism? Is this article getting vandalized a lot? Thanks for taking note! -John —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Johnpdeever (talk • contribs) 19:45, 23 January 2007 (UTC).
Clarity; Facts of the Arms Transaction
I am a student of this article, and do not intend to profess any knowledge superior to those who have written it. In reading the article, as a novice, I am unclear as to the situation in the Iran-Contra affair as to the transaction of hostages between the US and Iran. Observe:
I belive the purpose of this article is to brief a complete novice of the situation of the historical facts in a politically neutral way. I have some knowledge of the situation from experience during it's revelation to the public, but reading this article could not breach the chasms in my understanding of the "cooperation" between the Iranian and American forces. While the article is satisfactorily neutral in it's political stature (relievingly so, I might add), it honestly does not promote any clarity to the nationality of the hostages were given back to their (unknown) origin.
I might add, that as a novice to the subject, when I read the article I see several possible implications described. If six of the thirty Westrn hostages were American, of what nationality were the three who were released? Their nationality (as Americans, or as American allies) would corroborate the way that the US government acted towards the situation. For example, if they were all American, what would have happened? If they were all American allies, how would the situation have been different? The omission of this technicality could be an oversight, or it could be a "glazing" tactic to paste neutrality over the seams of the article.
I am not politically biased towards the Iran-Contra affair, nor to this article, I would just like to see more specific facts recored in what I believe is a crucial factor in the affair. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Yakksoho (talk • contribs) 09:07, 5 February 2007 (UTC).
I don't believe it helps this article to label the Contras as "anti-communist." The Contras were a heterogeneous bunch, and included ex-Sandinistas (like Edén Pastora). Many would also argue that the Sandinistas were not communist, and to label them as such is POV. Let's stick with "rebels" or something neutral. Notmyrealname 19:04, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
- I'm afraid that you're completely wrong. With regards to the United States' foreign policy, the Contras were an "anti-Communist" force and this is why the Reagan Administration supported them. You're welcome to provide nuance to the heterogeneous makeup of the group in the article about them specifically. As far as the Iran-Contra affair is concerned, the US supported the Contras because they were anti-Communist insurgents. Period - end of story. --AStanhope 00:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
- No. Reagan supported them for many reasons, one of them being that his administration viewed them as anti-communist insurgents. However, that doesn't make it true. The article on the Contras makes this clear. Since there is indeed a great deal of nuance and heterogeneity it is therefore inappropriate and unhelpful to slap on labels like this. Notmyrealname 01:07, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I changed the article to refer to them as "anti-Sandinista" simply because I thought it was more specific. I hope this won't be a problem. Atropos 06:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The link for note 41 is broken. I guess the CIA no longer things this report is important to the public (probably reclassified as state secrets). Does anyone know where another copy of the report can be found? I quick glance at the memory hole didn't turn anything up. Funkyj 21:11, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Interesting quote from singer/actor Kris Kristofferson
from The Guardian: But Kristofferson gets in a parting shot about Iran-Contra and the war in Iraq. "Iran-Contra! We should have jailed all those guys for ever back then, and we wouldn't be where we are right now - because it's the same guys now, the same 20 guys!"  Can this be substantiated by anything else? --Torchpratt (talk) 13:10, 13 March 2008 (UTC)