Essay Iran-Contra Affair: The Diversion Scandal

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Iran-Contra Affair: The Diversion Scandal

Eugene Hasenfus of Marinette, Wisconsin was captured when his cargo plane suffered damaging missile blows. Hasenfus’ outdated cargo plane was knocked from the sky as a result of Nicaraguan surface to air missiles. After notifying the office of the United States Vice-President, informants in both El Salvador and Costa Rica would scramble to assess and control a seemingly uncomplicated situation. While United States officials prepared to limit their damages, the Nicaraguan captors televised Hasenfus’ explanation of illegal actions by the United States and specifically the Reagan Administration in support of the rebel Contras.

President Ronald Reagan strongly opposed the Sandinista government
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Reagan continued to press for money in support of the Contras, while Democrats in the House of Representatives contemplated complete termination of Contra support. Eventually there was a concession on both parties, creating a limit of twenty-four million dollars of Contra aid for the 1984 Fiscal year. This amount, while generous, is significantly less than the Administration’s aims, hence the opportunity for future additional funding from Congress.

The Reagan Administration was by now committed to supporting the Contras, but limited in their abilities due to the Congressional restriction of aid. In review of the Boland Amendments, using funds available to the CIA, Department of Defense, or any other government intelligence agency was strictly forbidden. The Reagan Administration, in hopes of evading the constraints of the Boland Amendment, utilized the National Security Council (NSC) because of its non-intelligence status. But it was the use of “third-country” or “private” funds that allowed the Administration covert curtailing of the Boland Amendment. It was Robert C. McFarlane, President Reagan’s national security advisor, who proposed the use of foreign contributions to the Contra efforts in Nicaragua. CIA director William J. Casey concurred and provided countries to approach in hopes of this “donation”. McFarlane went on to receive Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the form of one million dollars per month…

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