Iran Contra Affair
This is yet another true conspiracy, and it was also called Irangate and Contragate.
This scandal happened during Reagan's second term, and it seems rather strange considering the current situation with Iran. Reagan's senior administrators brokered a deal to sell weapons to Iran so that they could help the administration fund the Contra, which was a militant group based in Honduras that was trying to overthrow the Communist Sandinista National Liberation Front government in Nicaragua. Congress had suspended aid to the Contras in July 1984 but reinstated it just before the scandal broke in October 1986.
This deal to sell arms to Iran went through Israel, despite Iran being labeled a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Keep in mind that Iran was involved in a disastrous war with Iraq and that the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was democratically elected. Apparently Israel was interested in supplying small arms to a moderate Iranian faction, hoping they would ferment a revolution against terrorism. This deal also was designed to release American hostages held by Hezbollah.
The main character in this circus was Oliver North, a military aide to the NSC (National Security Council). He ended up taking the heat and being grilled in a congressional hearing.
North arranged the deal so that the arms were marked up and the excess could be secretly transferred to the Contras. Keep in mind that these transactions were illegal and against a number of government laws and policies. It was also against the rule that hostages would not be bartered for with arms.
The scandal was revealed when the money transfers through North's Swiss Bank Account was botched, and it forced Reagan to give a TV press conference in which he apologized for the affair on November 13, 1986.
Of course, North destroyed any documents that would have implicated Reagan directly. North's trail brought out a lot of dirt, resulting in people resigning and he being fired. A subsequent Tower Commission hearing grilled Reagan, who categorically denied knowing anything about the affair. Reagan did subsequently take responsibility for the affair, but it was only the Democrats that were shocked by it.
In my opinion, this is just another CIA conspiracy that got out of hand. It demonstrates how politicians can get away with illegal acts as long as they don't involve domestic situations. As long as it's in a foreign setting, anything goes.
Thanks for reading.
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