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Observations on the Iran-Contra Congressional Hearings

July 30, 1987

It was amusing and ironic, to say the least, to see Republican representatives such as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), Rep. Michael DeWine (R-Ohio) and Rep. William Broomfield (R-Mich.)--men who have been such staunch defenders of Reagan and, to various degrees, of North and Poindexter even--attacking Shultz, the most credible player of the whole affair, to date.

They kept suggesting that Shultz should have resigned, threatened to resign, or done something more dramatic than he did to awaken Reagan to the right decision-- something which would have caused him to see the idea of an arms for hostages swap for the bizarre thing it was. And yet obviously, Shultz was not stifled; he did his best to make his views and rationale known to Reagan.

But common sense eluded Reagan; apparently the thought of being credited with securing the hostages' release crowded out discernment. Shultz paints the picture that Poindexter and North were overpowering voices which misled the President. But the fact remains that Reagan was blind to the obvious and blind to the good counsel of Shultz for far too long.

ELIZABETH WATSON

Fullerton

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