Iran-Contra Scandal: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

Iran-Contra Scandal: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

by Peter Kornbluh
     
 
"The administration in disarray--foreign policy in disarray--cover-up--Who knew what when?" George Bush noted in his personal diary on November 25, 1986, the day that Iran-Contra exploded in the United States and became a major part of our national psyche. Several years later, the controversy surrounding the cover-up, and what George Bush knew and when, sustains the

Overview

"The administration in disarray--foreign policy in disarray--cover-up--Who knew what when?" George Bush noted in his personal diary on November 25, 1986, the day that Iran-Contra exploded in the United States and became a major part of our national psyche. Several years later, the controversy surrounding the cover-up, and what George Bush knew and when, sustains the Iran-Contra affair as a contemporary political issue. This reader provides the most important tools for understanding this complex episode�the actual top-secret documents generated by the foreign policy decisions and covert operations in Central America and Iran, the arms-for-hostage swaps, the Contra war, the quid pro quos, the orchestrated official deception, and the Bush pardons that make up one of the most important political scandals since Watergate.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The National Security Archive, a private public interest agency founded in 1985 to break through the codes of government secrecy, has assembled 100 documents concerning the Iran-Contra scandal, covering the period from Reagan's original presidential finding on December 1, 1981 to Bush's grant of executive clemency on December 24, 1992. With contexual introductions, a helpful chronology of key events, and a glossary of major participants, the volume sets forth the documents relevant to this major controversy in contemporary American politics. The editors have arranged the primary materials to allow the ``facts'' to speak for themselves so that readers may determine if these actions indeed constitute the undermining of the U.S. Constitution, as Theodore Draper has charged in A Very Thin Line ( LJ 6/1/91). Among the myriad books from this event, this volume alone provides the public record needed to reach a final verdict. A professionally done volume, it belongs in every public school and academic library.-- James Rhodes, Luther Coll., Decorah, Ia.
Gilbert Taylor
With a few exceptions, all of the 101 facsimile documents in this collection were released five and six years ago, about when those scandalized by Ollie's antics and those who defended his zeal watched his televised congressional testimony. The exceptions--such as North's notes, CIA debriefs of its Costa Rica station chief, and Bush's diaries--that have since come out add little to the affair's essential lessons (the political cost of pursuing unpopular policies in secret), but prying loose such evidence, with the crowbar of the Freedom of Information Act, is a virtual "raison d'etre" for this book's private sponsor, the National Security Archive. This Beltway entity thrives on indignation about the affair, this being its third, and not last, title about it. Whether or not anyone can seriously agree with the NSA's extravagant belief, summed by introducer T. Draper ("A Very Thin Line: Iran-Contra" ), that "if ever the constitutional democracy of the U.S. is overthrown, we have a better idea of how it is likely to be done," one can support the public value of this collation. Factoring in its chronology, bio sketches, concice editorial matter, and its guts--the titillation sensation of seeing "eyes only" reports--it will ecumenically attract all parties to the political schism, those concerned with, blase about, or even bored with the scandal that keeps on going and going and going . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565840249
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
05/01/1993
Series:
National Security Archive Documents Reader Ser.
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
8.33(w) x 10.33(h) x 1.57(d)

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