Reagan finally and reluctantly conceded that he had indeed swapped arms for hostages in dealing with Iran and that this was a mistake. According to polls, the American public arrived at this conclusion months ago.
One cannot help but wonder how much better the President's credibility would have fared if he had admitted his mistake from the outset. His failure to do so, despite the evidence, tried the patience of friends as well as opponents at home and abroad. With the passage of time, they came to question not only his candor but his judgment. As one staunch supporter, Republican Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, put it after the President's latest TV address, "This would have been a great speech for the night before Thanksgiving."
BRYCE F. DENNO