This should cause the right-wing noise machine’s collective heads to explode. This concerns how Reagan handled the “Iran-Contra Affair”
American hostages have been brutally murdered by terrorists in the Middle East. Other Western captives may suffer the same fate at the hands of the Islamic State. In response, President Obama’s opponents are doing what they always do when the going gets tough for the United States: ask WWRD? In “What Would Reagan Do,” CNN Crossfire host Newt Gingrich penned an imaginary speech that a mythical version of the Gipper would deliver to the nation about the threat from ISIS. Over at the Washington Times, Gayle Trotter used the same gambit, inventing a Reaganesque address announcing military strikes to make the point that “Americans expect their president to vindicate the victims of terrorism.” Meanwhile, Breitbart News even interviewed President Reagan’s former National Security Adviser Robert “Bud” McFarlane to provide a lecture about “peace through strength.”
Unfortunately for the Gipper’s hagiographers, we know exactly what Reagan would do about terrorists with American blood on their hands. President Reagan would send them a cake, a Bible and American weapons. And the Oval Office address he would deliver to the nation would start something like the one he gave on March 4, 1987:
“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages.”
Iran-Contra, as you’ll recall, almost laid waste to the Reagan presidency. Desperate to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon, President Reagan provided weapons Tehran badly needed in its long war with Saddam Hussein (who, of course, was backed by the United States). In a clumsy and illegal attempt to skirt U.S. law, the proceeds of those sales were then funneled to the contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And as the New York Timesrecalled, Reagan’s fiasco started with an emissary bearing gifts from the Gipper himself:
A retired Central Intelligence Agency official has confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that on the secret mission to Teheran last May, Robert C.McFarlane and his party carried a Bible with a handwritten verse from President Reagan for Iranian leaders.According to a person who has read the committee’s draft report, the retired C.I.A. official, George W. Cave, an Iran expert who was part of the mission, said the group had 10 falsified passports, believed to be Irish, and a key-shaped cake to symbolize the anticipated ”opening” to Iran.