Reagan's Speech on the Contras

The Great Communicator has delivered his final comments on the Iran-contra affair and has flown west to ride horses and chop wood on his Santa Barbara ranch.

As reporter Karen Tumulty's article (Part 1, Aug. 13) noted, President Reagan neglected to answer several key questions. The most important question is who is the lieutenant colonel that Reagan left in Washington to run foreign policy while he is on vacation?

On a more serious topic:

To use the simplest analogy I can imagine, Reagan's explanations remind me of a child, caught by his mother eating cookies he was told not to eat, claiming that his brother took the cookies and gave him some and, while he told his brother he wanted some cookies, he didn't tell him to take them.

Regardless of the veracity of the child's story, both children deserve to be disciplined. Of course, some people may consider the child who took the cookies at his brother's behest to be a hero, and chastise the mother when she asserts her authority.

Thus the principal challenge posed by this scandal is will the U.S. be governed by presidential insinuation and plausible deniability or by the rule of law?

Those who have made the cookie-taker their hero have chosen the former.



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