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Ronald Reagan & Oliver North committed more war crimes than 23 emails

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Trading arms for hostages and shredding federal documents is much more serious than hiding 23 emails.

Ronald Reagan's efforts to eradicate Communism spanned the globe, but the insurgent Contras' cause in Nicaragua was particularly dear to him. Battling the Cuban-backed Sandinistas, the Contras were, according to Reagan, "the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine, the CIA trained and assisted this and other anti-Communist insurgencies worldwide.


Oliver North

Assisting involved supplying financial support, a difficult task politically after the Democratic sweep of congressional elections in November 1982. First Democrats passed the Boland Amendment, which restricted CIA and Department of Defense operations in Nicaragua specifically; in 1984, a strengthened Boland Amendment made support almost impossible. A determined, unyielding Reagan told National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, "I want you to do whatever you have to do to help these people keep body and soul together."


What followed would alter the public's perception of the president dramatically. How "Iran" and "Contra" came to be said in the same breath was the result of complicated covert activities, all carried out, the players said, in the name of democracy.