Posts Tagged ‘Watergate’

The worst thing Ronald Reagan did

February 24, 2011

The worst thing the Reagan administration did was the Iran-Contra deal – secretly arranging the sale of arms to Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo to finance the operations of the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua in violation of U.S. law.

President Richard M. Nixon is supposed to have said that if the President of the United States does something, it is not illegal.  If that had been accepted, then the Constitution would have been “inoperative.”  That’s why the Watergate investigation and impeachment were so important.  It reaffirmed the principle that nobody, not even the President, is above the law.

But the Iran-Contra affair, the acquittal of its major figures and the pardon of the rest (by President George H.W. Bush) reversed the verdict of Watergate.  It showed that a President can put himself above the law and get away with it.  Iran-Contra was a precedent for all the abuses of power that have occurred since, including authorization of torture by President George W. Bush and authorization of death warrants by President Obama.

Click on The Iran-Contra Affair 20 Years On for a detailed review of its history.

Click on Iran-Contra affair wiki for the Wikipedia article on the affair.