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With Ronald Reagan's knowledge and support, the United States attempted to trade arms for hostages held by Iranian terrorists; some of the secret money then funded the guerrilla activities of the Nicaraguan Contras, a counter-revolutionary group that Congress had specifically forbidden the administration to support. In this historic, first-person account, the independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation exposes the extraordinary duplicity of the highest officials of the Reagan administration and the paralyzing effects of the cover-up.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393318609
ISBN-10: 0393318605
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 157mm x 35mm)
Pages: 952
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 10-Feb-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions


US Kirkus Review » Walsh, the former independent counsel for Iran/Contra matters, submits an injudicious, self-serving brief in aid of reversing the probable verdict of history that his extended and contentious investigation of malfeasance at the highest levels of US government produced appreciably more heat than light. Drawing on the record he compiled in the course of a six-year investigation, the author delivers a largely chronological narrative built around a rehash of serious charges that were never proved in court. At issue was the question of whether Ronald Reagan exceeded his presidential authority in sanctioning a hushed-up arms-for-hostages deal with Iran, which also yielded cash used to equip the Contra forces in Nicaragua. These clandestine operations came to light in the mid-1980s, and Walsh was called in to unravel the tangled web at the start of 1987. By the author's account, he had no axes to grind at the outset of his inquiry. Perhaps not, but his office became vaultingly ambitious in its selection of targets after failing to put the usual CIA, National Security Council, or White House suspects, let alone Oliver North and John Poindexter, behind bars. At various times, Walsh recounts, he and his aides went after George Bush, Edwin Meese, Donald Regan, George Shultz, and Caspar Weinberger. The fact that he got nary a one of these men in the clock does not stop the author from repeating in detail allegations of supposed misdeeds that resulted in but a single indictment. Attentive readers will learn that feckless subordinates, ill-informed judges, and national-security hurdles, not Walsh, are to blame for the paucity of scalps. A spirited if one-sided effort by Walsh to have the last word on the Iran/Contra affair and to justify his largely unavailing stewardship of the independent counsel's office. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Lawrence E. Walsh

Lawrence E. Walsh (1912-2014) was an American lawyer and former U.S. District Court judge and Deputy Attorney General who was appointed Independent Counsel in December 1986 to investigate the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan Administration.