There is a touch of farce to some incidents in the Iran-contra affair: Robert MacFarlane carries a cake from a Tel Aviv bakery as a gift on his secret mission to Teheran; Fawn Hall smuggles official documents out of Oliver North’s office in the waistband of her panty hose. These are comforting memories because their sheer looniness suggests Iran-contra is an exception to the normal course of events even in the twilight zones of international politics.
This muting of the more serious implications of the affair is also apparent in the report of the first official inquiry by the Tower Board, which blamed President Ronald Reagan’s “management style.” Senators William S. Cohen and George J. Mitchell in Men of...
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