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The Rise And Fall Of Yugoslavia

1875 words - 8 pages

Introduction On October 5, 1986 an American cargo plane was shot down in southern Nicaragua. Halfway across the globe, in Iran, Oliver North was in negotiations with Iranian Government officials. North was participating in a National Security Counsel covert operation negotiating arms for hostages. Most Americans were under the impression that these two events had nothing to do with each other, but that outlook would change over the next few months as more information was released.Newspapers quickly grabbed hold of the situation in Nicaragua. When Eugene Hasenfus, the crash's sole survivor, was put in front of a camera by his captors he told the American people that he had been participating in a CIA funded operation to supply the rebel forces in Nicaragua with weapons. Congress was in the process of voting on a bill that would give one-hundred million dollars to the Democratic rebels (Contras) in Nicaragua, but any attempt to aid the Contras before this was passed would violate U.S. laws banning aid to the Contras.One month later, the press came into another shocking story, a Lebanese weekly news magazine uncovered the top-secret, arms for hostages trades going on between the NSC and Iranian officials. This report would send the White House into political crisis once again. If the Lebanese report was true, that the U.S. government was selling arms in order to obtain the release of hostages, then what would that say about President Reagan's highly publicized stance that said, "Americans will never make concessions to terrorists." On November 25th, President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese held a shocking press conference. In an attempt to keep the conspiracy away from the President and his cabinet, they reported that the President had not been "fully informed" of some of the activities that took place in the Iran hostage negotiations. Reagan and Meese spoke of a diversion memo written by Lt. Col. Oliver North, that showed how money gained in the Iran arms sales was being re-directed into a fund to aid the Contras in Nicaragua. The Attorney General told the public that Oliver North had been "relieved of his duties" because he, alone, was responsible for the connection of the Iran arms trades and the Contra funding.We now know that this news conference was part of an early campaign to keep the controversy away from the president, so as to avoid another Watergate impeachment scare. Through this news conference, high government officials tried to say that only small weapons and spare parts were sold to Iran in order to keep relations good, and not as ransom for hostages. The Oval Office wanted people to believe that the only connection between the two events was the redirection of money from arms sales to the contras. Unfortunately for the U.S. government this press conference would not be the last word.The Contra Operations After the U.S. Cargo plane was shot down in southern Nicaragua, the Reagan administration was quick to give credit to...

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