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Insider Books on President Reagan

May 17, 1988

The President, who has expressed resentment over the spate of "kiss-and-tell" books, should realize he surrounded himself with people whose morals and code of behavior were guided by simple principles: Is it profitable? Can we get away with it? Does it strengthen the power and pocketbooks of our friends? Basically, they were and are mercenaries, helpful to the President in guiding and carrying out legislation that crippled or jettisoned social welfare programs while making billions for defense profiteers who never had it so good.

And now the President is shocked and angered by the books these men are writing for money. He has a right to be angered; no right at all to be shocked. His mercenaries behaved as mercenaries predictably do. They sold out for cash. Someone should have told Ronnie that's the way things are.

BEN IRWIN

Studio City

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