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Iran-Contra Report

January 28, 1994

* I read with regret the comments of former Presidents Reagan and Bush to independent counsel Lawrence Walsh's report on the Iran-Contra affair (Jan. 19). I was especially appalled by Bush's notion that the Iran-Contra scandal was merely "a political dispute between the executive and legislative branches over foreign policy."

The Boland amendments, imperfect as they may have been, were the law of the United States, both having been passed by Congress over the President's veto. Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress alone has the power to "make all laws." No court ever ruled the amendments unconstitutional. In such a case, Article II, Section 4 clearly states that the President shall "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

Instead of executing the laws, the Reagan Administration used its influence in a deliberate scheme to encourage citizens to skirt them. The role of the Reagan Administration in deliberately avoiding faithful enforcement of the laws of the United States is clearly a violation of the President's oath of office, as well as the oath of each officer of the executive branch (including military officers), each of whom swore to faithfully execute his office and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. It also violated several criminal provisions.

While President Reagan, and members of his Administration, could have lobbied Congress to change the law, once it was enacted, the President had a solemn responsibility to which he had sworn. In the case of the Boland amendments, that is exactly what President Reagan and then Vice President Bush together with Messrs. Casey, North, Poindexter and crew failed to do. This is not merely a political question. It is and must be a legal question. And it could be criminal.

RICHARD M. GEE

La Crescenta

* I read with distress your support for the report issued by Walsh (editorial, Jan. 22).

Walsh spent seven years and $35 million and was unable to indict anyone of crime. Failing that, he issues a report which slanders nearly every officer of the Reagan presidency.

Americans historically have felt an individual innocent until proven guilty. Evidently suspicion is all we need today. It is questionable that this report should have ever been released, but to endorse it celebrates mendacious behavior.

The risk is that honorable men may refuse public office if this is to be their reward.

PETER J. EICHLER

Los Angeles

* Former President Ronald Reagan's response to the report on the Iran-Contra scandal indicates that Reagan has suddenly regained his previously faulty memory.

FRED R. HOFELD

Los Angeles

* There they go again! It's been eight years and we still see Iran-Contra all over the news. You see the anchors on the news just bubbling over with joy, just like old times!

Even though Walsh, the special prosecutor of Iran-Contra, says Reagan and Bush knew about everything and are guilty, he admits he has no evidence--no evidence after eight years and $35 million of taxpayers' money, and the Democrats are still digging.

PHIL FERRARO

Downey

* Should we take Ronald Reagan at his word that the Walsh report on Iran-Contra is a "fantasy"? Perhaps so. With the possible exception of Walt Disney Co., perhaps no one has mastered fantasies better and with more authority (if not notoriety) then Ronald Reagan.

BARRY S. NAIDITCH

San Diego

* Cal Thomas' article (Column Right, Jan. 20) is full of omissions and inaccuracies. He neglects to mention that the Nicaraguan Contras actually committed more human-rights abuses than the Sandinista government. He also neglects to mention that Walsh did in fact prosecute Oliver North in a court of law and won convictions for charges including drafting misleading letters to Congress. Therefore Walsh's use of North's name at his press conference was not a "smear" and was not unconscionable.

Finally, his reference to the Reagan Administration as "principled men who loved freedom" needs to be closely examined. These men did not value freedom, just capitalism. Reagan's foreign policy indicates that he was willing to tolerate dictators, just as long as they were right-wing dictators.

JEFFERS DODGE

Santa Monica

* Always trying to look on the positive side, I anguished over benefits from Larry Walsh's seven-year, $7,067.57 per word report.

Probably the most significant is the publicity for Lt. Col. North, which will easily place him in the Senate from the state of Virginia.

JERRY STRAWN

Twentynine Palms

* Regarding Reagan's response to the Iran-Contra probe findings:

The only "fantasy" going on is the one in Reagan's head!

VICKIE R. COLEMAN

Westminster

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