GENERAL POST-WORLD WAR II

1980s

Iran-Contra

S - Z

Sayle, Edward F. "The Déja Vu of American Secret Diplomacy." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2, no. 3 (Fall 1988): 399-406.

Politically unpopular secret diplomatic dealings in international affairs are nothing new in U.S. history.

Secord, Richard V., and Jay Wurts. Honored and Betrayed: Irangate, Covert Affairs, and the Secret War in Laos. New York: John Wiley, 1992.

From publisher: "The inside account of Irangate by the man who coordinated and operated the Iran Initiative.... Delineates his dealings with Oliver North, William Casey, Admiral Poindexter, and others. Reveals new information on what President Reagan's and then Vice President Bush's roles were. A point-blank response to Secord's accusers and the administration that hung him out to dry." Armstrong, WPNWE, 19-25 Oct. 1992, believes that Secord's version of Iran-Contra adds "little that is new" and "is marred by myriad mistakes of fact.... [I]t is difficult to take seriously Secord's protestations that he is blameless and upright."

Segev, Samuel. Tr., Haim Watzman. Iranian Triangle: The Untold Story of Israel's Role in the Iran-Contra Affair. New York: Free Press, 1988.

Butterfield, New York Times, 27 Nov. 1988, says Segev provides "the most detailed account so far of the factionalism in Teheran." This book offers "some important historical nuggets," but "should be read with caution." This work leads Bensky, Los Angeles Times, 18 Dec. 1988," to conclude that it is too soon to expect the full story" of Iran-Contra to emerge. However, the author's "recounting of intergovernmental relations" makes clear that, dating from the Eisenhower years, "'the U.S., Israel and Iran worked together" in an "unofficial alliance aimed at halting the Soviet Union's expansion in the Middle East and weakening its friends in the Arab world.'"

Shultz, Richard H., Jr. "Covert Action and Executive-Legislative Relations: The Iran-Contra Crisis and Its Aftermath." Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 12, no. 2 (Spring 1989).

Singlaub, John K. [MGEN/USA (Ret.)], and Malcolm McConnell. Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier in the Twentieth Century. New York: Summit, 1991. [pb] Old Tappan, NJ: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

On 20 March 2015, "[t]wo paver stones outlining the career of retired Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub were installed outside the Airborne & Special Operations Museum" (ASOM) in Fayetteville, NC. The museum executive director "noted that ASOM policy limits veterans to be honored on only one paver, but an exception was made for Singlaub. 'We just couldn't do it,' he said of fitting Singlaub's career on one stone." Drew Brooks, "Retired Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub Honored at Airborne & Special Operations Museum," Fayetteville Observer, 20 Mar. 2015.

Clark comment: John Singlaub is a political troglodyte of the first order, but saying that neither describes him nor does him justice. Singlaub's honesty and integrity are so real that they have an almost tangible quality. Foolish, he may have been but never false. From his jump into occupied France with the OSS (Bill Casey was his case officer) to postwar China with the CIA to Korea and Vietnam and back to Korea with two stars and an attitude, John Singlaub lived for service to the country he loves and believes in. The funny thing is that Carter's plan to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Korea really was ill-advised. His story after the end of his military career is much less interesting, even with the involvement in Iran-Contra. I would not choose to side with the General in a political discussion, but I sure would want him on my side in a fight.

Surveillant 1.6/2.6 says that "General Singlaub ... provides a window on four decades of overt and covert operations with personal accounts of the heroes and scoundrels of America's intelligence and military elite." Gugliotta, WPNWE, 23-29 Sep. 1991, finds that Singlaub is "on safe ground" as long as he sticks with narrating events, but his political commentary on events "remains shallow and one-dimensional." Despite working with most of the main characters in Iran-Contra, Singlaub "offers few fresh insights" into the affair.

Tower, John, Edmund Muskie, and Brent Scowcroft. The Tower Commission Report. New York: Times Books, 1987. Report of the President's Special Review Board, February 26, 1987. Washington, DC: GPO, 1987.

This is the Report of the President's Special Review Board, also known as the Tower Commission, which reviewed the operations of the National Security Council (NSC) in the wake of the Iran-Contra revelations. Excerpts of the report are available at: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-02-27/news/mn-4045_1_tower-commission-report.

NameBase notes that the report "was ... critical of Reagan's 'management style' and provided one of the first official confirmations of the NSC's arms-for-hostages policy. Internal memos and PROF notes (computer mail) between the major players were quoted in detail, and a major portion of North's private funding network was exposed."

See also, U.S. President, Implementation of the Recommendations of the President's Special Review Board: Message. Washington, DC: GPO, 1987.

U.S. Congress. Joint Hearings before the Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, U.S. Senate, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, U.S. House. 100th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1987.

U.S. Congress. Report of the Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, with Supplemental, Minority, and Additional Views. S. Rept. No. 100-216, H. Rept. No. 100-433, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1987. [Available at: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/docset/getList.do?docSetId=1949]

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence. Preliminary Inquiry into the Sale of Arms to Iran and Possible Diversion of Funds to the Nicaraguan Resistance. 100th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1987.

Walsh, Lawrence E. Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up. New York: Norton, 1997.

Elliott, Newsweek, 9 Jun. 1997, comments that the author's "central argument is straightforward: ... members of the Reagan administration broke the law. They then lied and delayed investigations in order to build a 'firewall' around Ronald Reagan.... Unfortunately, Walsh shed little light on the great remaining mystery of Iran-Contra: did Reagan know Iranian cash was being diverted to Nicaragua?"

For Dunn, Choice, Nov. 1997, this is a book that "should be approached with reservations"; it is self-serving and biased, and the author seeks to blame almost everyone but himself for the lack of concrete results from his investigation. Nevertheless, it is "a lively, outspoken, readable account ... of what happened from Walsh's perspective."

Walsh, Lawrence E.

1. Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters, Vol 1: Investigations and Prosecutions. Washington, DC: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, August 4, 1993. Available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/.

2. Iran-Contra: The Final Report. New York: Time Books/Random House, 1994. E876W35

This book reproduces Volume I, "Investigations and Prosecutions," of the three-volume Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters. The other two volumes reproduced "indictments, plea agreements, interim reports to the Congress, and administrative matters" and "comments and materials submitted by individuals and their attorneys responding to Volume I of the Final Report."

According to Choice, Nov. 1994, this volume "explains two interconnected secret US government operations: (1) the arms transfers to Nicaraguan contra rebels ... and (2) the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration." The Final Report is "a devastating indictment of the behavior of officials at the highest level of the Reagan administration."

Weiser, Benjamin. "The Ghost of Iran-Contra Comes Back to Haunt the CIA." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 9-15 Sep. 1991, 31.

On 9 July 1991, Alan Fiers, Jr., former head of the CIA's Latin American task force, pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of "unlawfully withholding information from Congress about his knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal and ... agreed to cooperate with independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh's investigation. Fiers's decision gave new life to Walsh's probe."

Weiser, Benjamin. "An Imperfect Spy: Clair George's Secret Life in the CIA." Washington Post Magazine, 17 May 1992: 10-17, 25-29.

Weiser has tried hard to understand Clair George and others like him; regrettably, such is a task in which few will succeed.

Wroe, Ann. Lives, Lies and the Iran-Contra Affair. London & New York: Tauris, 1991.

Foot, I&NS 7.2, finds that Wroe asks "all the right questions ... even if the answers to some of the questions ... have to remain obscure." The author also "avoids the easy answer of blaming everything" on DCI Casey.

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