I’m seeing a lot of leftists defending Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by attacking Ronald Reagan. A typical parry goes “What about your boy Reagan who negotiated with terrorists?”

The first thing I’d observe about this is that…… in the process, we actually got some hostages released. But it wasn’t through “negotiating with terrorists” and it wasn’t Reagan. Obama’s team, meanwhile, didn’t even consider American hostages worth making a fuss over.

In fact, there have evidently been no discussions with Iran on the hostages since the other deal was completed, despite the State department calling them “a priority.”

Just to set the record straight about the Iran-Contra affair:

  • Reagan was not involved; this was handled separately. He was kept out of the loop intentionally.
  • The US did not “give” arms; Oliver North’s group helped to broker shipments from elsewhere (including from Israel) to Iran.
  • Some money from those transactions — Iranian money, not US — went to the Contras fighting communists in Central America.
  • None of this was in contravention of the Boland Amendments, and in fact none of those charges stuck.
  • North was found guilty, later, of accepting a $13,000 home security system from a US Army general to protect his wife and family, when the US government refused to respond to terrorist threats against North and his family.
  • Even that conviction was overturned.
  • And in all the dealings with Iran, North was working with moderate factions, not the hard-line revolutionary government.
  • It was hoped — and this turned out to be correct — that these moderates could exert some influence over the Lebanese jihadists who held US citizens captive.
  • A few of those hostages were ultimately released, just before the media blew everything up.
  • Iran’s hard-liners, once they found out what was going on, apparently killed some of the moderates.
  • And the broadcast of the Congressional hearings with Oliver North as the centerpiece was the most-watched show on television, and went very badly for the Democrats. Lt.Col. North received more than a million pieces of fan mail during the hearings.

The story is told in some detail here, though I’ve also read thousands of pages of transcripts and other material:


So: the US never “negotiated with terrorists,” and (until the media blew it up) this was a good effort to establish a relationship with, and support, those pushing for a more peaceful Iran.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle