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«U.S. Foreign Policy and the Iran-Contra Affair: Was Oliver North a Patriot, a Pawn, or an Outlaw? Author: Catherine Holden, Franklin High School, ...»

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On May 5, 1987, joint committee hearings in the House and Senate reviewed the events of the IranContra Affair. The majority of the seats in the House and Senate were held by Democrats. The Majority Report criticized the Reagan Administration and blamed chief aides. The Minority Report, spearheaded by Representative Richard Cheney (R-WY), was signed by eight Republicans in the House and Senate. The Republicans described the hearings as a witch hunt.

Reagan Doctrine, 1985 (RS#03 - Source 2) Source: Federalism and New Conservatism. “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, 6 February 1987.” Patriot Post. Available from http://reagan2020.us/speeches/state_of_the_union_1985.asp. Accessed 28 June 2011.

On February 6, 1985, President Ronald Reagan gave his fifth State of the Union Address, parts of which became known as the Reagan Doctrine. In it Reagan said, “We must stand by all our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives - on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua - to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth. The Sandinista dictatorship of Nicaragua, with full Cuban-Soviet bloc support, not only persecutes its people, the church, and denies a free press, but arms and provides bases for Communist terrorists attacking neighboring states. Support for freedom fighters is self-defense…” Legislation, 1982-1985 (RS#04 - Source 3) Source: “International Security and Development Cooperation Act.” U.S. Department of the Treasury. Available from http://www.treasury.gov/resourcecenter/sanctions/Documents/isdca.pdf. Accessed 27 June 2011.

Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC Center for History Education.

“THOMAS”. Library of Congress. Available from http://thomas.loc.gov/. Accessed 28 June 2011.

In the early 1980s, the House of Representatives and Congress passed a series of laws prohibiting direct expenditures and military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. President Reagan signed the bills into law.

Hearing Testimony Adolfo Calero, 1987 (RS#05 - Source 4) Source: Understanding the Iran-Contra Affair. “Adolfo Calero.” Brown University. Available from http://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/h-ac-gallery.php.

Accessed 27 June 2011.

Adolfo Calero, a former manager of a Coca-Cola plant in Nicaragua, led the Nicaraguan Democratic Force and aided the Contras in Nicaragua, with the assistance of Oliver North. He testified in front of the joint committee of the Iran-Contra investigation.

Email from Oliver North (RS#06 - Source 5) Source: The National Security Archive. “Email From Oliver North to Poindexter.” George Washington University. Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB113/north07.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2011.

Oliver North sent an internal email to National Security Advisor John Poindexter, regarding North’s meeting with Manuel Noriega. Manuel Noriega was the dictator of Panama and a drug trafficker during the 1980s.

Hearing Testimony Fawn Hall, 1987 (RS#07 - Source 6) Source: Understanding the Iran-Contra Affair. “Fawn Hall.” Brown University. Available from http://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/h-fh-gallery.php.

Accessed 27 June 2011.

In testimony given to the Joint Committee during the investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair, Fawn Hall, a former secretary to Oliver North, provided a detailed account of the events that occurred shortly after the scandal broke in the newspapers.

Polls, 1986-1994 (RS#08 - Source 7) Source: Rosellini, Lynn. “Oliver North’s New Crusade.” U.S. News and World Report. 116. 5 June 1994.

Skelton, George. “The Times Poll: Support for Contra Aid Up Sharply.” Los Angeles Times. 15 July 1987.

A series of polls, taken prior to the Iran-Contra Scandal, during Oliver North’s trial, and several years after, show the public’s changing response toward the Nicaraguan Contras, as well as toward North himself.

Other References:

Books Cockburn, Alexander. Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. New York: New Left Books, 1998.

Reagan, Ronald. “Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy, March 4, 1987,” in Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989, ed. Meg Jacobs and Julian E. Zelizer.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martin Press, 2010.

Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC Center for History Education.

Strober, Deborah Hart and Gerald S. Strober. The Reagan Presidency: An Oral History. Washington D.C.:

Brassey Inc, 2003.

Troy, Gil. Morning in America: How Reagan Invented the 1980s. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Walsh, Lawrence E., Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover Up. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

Newspapers and Magazines Krauthammer, Charles. “Essay: The Reagan Doctrine.” Time. 1 April 1985.

Rosellini, Lynn. “Oliver North’s New Crusade.” U.S. News and World Report. 116. 5 June 1994.

Skelton, George. “The Times Poll: Support for Contra Aid Up Sharply.” Los Angeles Times. 15 July 1987.

Online Sources American Presidency Project. “Excerpts from the Tower Commission’s Reports.” University of California Santa Barbara. Available from http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/PS157/assignment%20files%20public/TOWER%20EXCERPTS.h tm. Accessed 27 June 2011.

“Appropriations – Deficiency Act, 11 September 1984.” United States Government Accountability Office.

Available from http://redbook.gao.gov/14/fl0067296.php. Accessed 27 June 2011.

Federalism and New Conservatism. “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, 6 February 1987.” Patriot Post. Available from http://reagan2020.us/speeches/state_of_the_union_1985.asp. Accessed 28 June 2011.

“‘Give ‘em Hell Ollie’ by Tom Bridges (1987).” Authentic History Center. Available from http://www.authentichistory.com/1974-1992/3-reagan/5-irancontra/index.html. Accessed 27 June 2011.

“International Security and Development Cooperation Act.” U.S. Department of the Treasury. Available from http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Documents/isdca.pdf. Accessed 27 June 2011.

“Iran-Contra Report: Arms, Hostages and Contras: How a Secret Foreign Policy Unraveled.” The New York Times, 19 November 1987. Available from http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/19/world/iran-contra-report-arms-hostages-contras-secretforeign-unraveled.htm. Accessed 29 May 2013.

National Security Archives. “CIA, Memorandum, Subject: Fabricator Notice - Manucher Ghorbanifaras, SECRET, 25 July 1984.” George Washington University. Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB210/12-Ghorbanifar%20Fabricator%207-25IC%2000505).pdf. Accessed 28 June 2011.

National Security Archives. “Independent Counsel, Court Record, U.S. Government Stipulation on Quid Pro Quos with Other Governments as Part of Contra Operation, 6 April 1989.” George Washington University. Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB210/11-Stipulation%20(IC%2004305).pdf.

Accessed 28 June 2011.

Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC Center for History Education.

National Security Archives. “The Iran-Contra Affair 20 Years On.” George Washington University.

Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB210/index.htm. Accessed 27 June 2011.

National Security Archives. “NSC, Oliver L. North Memorandum, Release of American Hostages in Beirut." (so-called "Diversion Memo"). TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE. 4 April 1986,” George Washington University. Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB210/16-Diversion%20Memo%204-4IC%2002614).pdf. Accessed 28 June 2011.

National Security Archives. “White House, John M. Poindexter Memorandum to President Reagan, Covert Action Finding Regarding Iran, January 17, 1986.” George Washington University.

Available from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB210/15Reagan%20Finding%201-17-86%20(IC%2002181).pdf. Accessed 28 June 2011.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “Remarks Announcing the Review of the National Security Council's Role in the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy, 25 November 1986.” University of Texas at Austin. Available from http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/112586a.htm.

Accessed 27 June 2011.

“THOMAS”. Library of Congress. Available from http://thomas.loc.gov/. Accessed 28 June 2011.

Understanding the Iran-Contra Affair. “Adolfo Calero.” Brown University. Available from http://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/h-ac-gallery.php.

Accessed 27 June 2011.

Understanding the Iran-Contra Affair. “Minority Report.” Brown University. Available from http://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/h-thereport.php.

Accessed 27 June 2011).

“U.S. Constitution.” Cornell University Law School. Available from http://topics.law.cornell.edu/constitution/overview. Accessed 27 June 2011.



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