Monday, May 09, 2005

From Iran-contra to Iraq | David Corn

The George W. Bush presidency has been one long rehab session for the Iran-contra scoundrels of the Reagan-Bush administration. Many infamous veterans of the foreign policy connivance of the Reagan days have found a home in Bush II. Elliott Abrams--who pleaded guilty to misleading Congress regarding the Reagan administration's secret support of the contra rebels fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua--was hired as a staff member of George W. Bush's National Security Council and placed in charge of democracy promotion. Retired Admiral John Poindexter--who was Reagan's national security adviser, who supervised Oliver North during the Iran-contra days, and who was convicted of several Iran-contra crimes before the convictions were overturned on a legal technicality--was retained by the Pentagon to search for terrorists using computerized Big Brother technology. John Negroponte--who as ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s was the on-the-ground overseer of pro-contra operations there--was recruited by Bush to be UN ambassador, then ambassador to Iraq, and, most recently, the first director of national intelligence. Otto Reich--who mounted an arguably illegal pro-contra propaganda effort when he was a Reagan official--was appointed by Bush to be in charge of Latin American policy at the State Department. Now comes the news that another Iran-contra alum--a fellow who failed a polygraph test during the Iran-contra investigation--is playing a critical role in Bush's war in terrorism.

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