I think everyone should make up his own mind about what the Iran-contra affair means without coaching from people on Capitol Hill. I must admit I was not satisfied with the majority report or the minority report issued by members of Congress, so I have written my own report based on hundreds of hours of watching the hearings on television.
Testimony by people who worked in the White House confirms that the object of the exercise was to exchange missiles for good will. They succeeded in this because relations between Iran and the United States have never been better. It's doubtful if the two countries would be peacefully sharing the Persian Gulf if some bright person hadn't come up with the idea of financing arms for the contras.
Attorney General Ed Meese's role in Irangate was questioned by the majority report. I take exception to this. Meese's handling of the case was just right. He was neither too hard nor too soft on the suspects. One of the reasons people criticize Ed Meese is that he plays a twofold role in the administration and this gets confusing at times. I personally am perplexed because every time I see Meese enter a grand jury room I never know if he is there to testify for the government or himself.
As far as we know no crimes were committed during Irangate -- except for perjury, misuse of government funds, obstruction of justice, embezzlement, tax fraud, destruction of vital evidence and profiteering on military equipment. But since all of these crimes were done to save the Western world from going communist, the special prosecutor should pack up and get the hell out of Washington before he hurts somebody.
The president did not know anything about Irangate. This is obvious to anyone who saw him on TV during the period it was occurring. Had Mr. Reagan been involved he would have been nervous and ill at ease. But during the time the arms were being shipped he was relaxed and at peace with himself. Evidence at the hearings indicated the president was not only unaware that Adm. Poindexter and Col. North were involved in a covert operation -- he didn't know either man was in Washington.
Ollie North is the most interesting person in Irangate. The only connection he seems to have had with the scandal was that Fawn Hall worked for him as a secretary. Fawn Hall, one of the most mysterious figures in the affair, made North shred reams of evidence linking her with the case. She prevailed on the Marine colonel to alter documents that might indicate Miss Hall was having her government salary deposited in a Swiss bank account.
Why did North cooperate? He testified, "I believed in what Fawn was doing and there was no hanky-panky involved."
In almost every instance North was just following orders and therefore he should still be treated as a hero.
The one person who didn't lie on the stand was Bill Casey, the CIA director. Had he been alive during the hearings it might have been a different story. In his last words to Bob Woodward before passing away, Casey said, "Irangate is nothing but a third-rate burglary and therefore I am not a crook." The key to the entire mystery is somewhere in that sentence if someone could just break the code.
Adm. Poindexter's role has still not been resolved.
Because he was national security adviser, his office was located in the White House right next to the president's. Poindexter, as NSC adviser, had only one duty and that was to keep all information about national security away from Mr. Reagan.
Whenever someone tried to carry a message to the president, Poindexter would trip him and say, "The buck stops here."
Unlike the majority and minority reports, mine is written far more objectively because I'm not worried about the political ramifications. I was the one who wanted Albert Hakim appointed to the Supreme Court.
In conclusion I recommend the president give everyone involved a full pardon. After all, nobody saw anything, heard anything or said anything to justify being indicted. And even if they did, it's silly to make a federal case of it.