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Iran Contra, Complex Political Scandal Essay

1075 words - 5 pages

The Iran-Contra Affair, a covert arrangement that occurred in the 1980s, is one of the biggest, most complex, scandals in politics, but has largely been forgotten. It was mostly a political scandal, although finances were a very important part of the scandal. In the most basic terms, the administration of President Ronald Reagan secretly sold arms to Iran in hopes that, in exchange, they could use their influence to encourage the release of American hostages in Lebanon (Sabato 1 of 1). Also, money was secretly funded to the contras in Nicaragua who were fighting the Sandinistas. The biggest reason it was a scandal, besides the fact that many laws were broken and the scandal basically ...view middle of the document...

Money was also diverted from the sales of arms to Iran in hopes that Iran would use its influence to convince Lebanon to release American hostages (Busby 1 of 3). It was discovered that only 12 million of the 30 million dollars from Iranians actually reached government officials. The rest of the money from the arms sales was diverted to the contras (The Iran-Contra 1 of 2). In 1985, Iran made an offer to buy weapons from the United States, despite the embargo that prohibited the sale of arms to Iran during the war between Iran and Iraq (The Iran-Contra 1 of 2). Two thousand and four TOW missiles were sent secretly, as well as eighteen HAWK missiles in hopes of gaining assistance in the release of American hostages (Busby 1 of 3). All aspects of the operations involved in this scandal were violating American policy. The operations were revealed when a plane carrying supplies for Contra forces crashed (Busby 2 of 3). The Iran Contra Scandal was a major affair that caused a lot of issues and threatened Reagan’s presidency.
Many people were involved in this scandal, including many members of Reagan’s administration. Members of the National Security Council carried out the actions of the scandal, especially National Security Advisors Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter (Busby 2 of 3). The credibility of the President was greatly questioned. It is unknown how much the President knew about what was going on, so he was not charged for any of the crimes. The main person associated with this crisis was Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a Marine and a member of the National Security Council. Oliver North was considered the “mastermind” behind the affairs (Oliver 1 of 2). Oliver North was responsible for diverting funds from the arms sales to the contras in Nicaragua. As more details about the crimes arose, North and his secretary Fawn Hall shredded records and started a coverup (Busby 2 of 3). Oliver North was fired and Poindexter resigned from his position. North was charged with obstruction of Congress, making false statements, obstruction for writing a false timeline of the arms sales, hiding and destroying documents, accepting...

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