Pastagate Montreal controversy, in which an Italian restaurant was investigated by the Quebec government for using words that do not comply with their language laws, such as "bottiglia", "calamari" and "pasta". Pemexgate Scandal involving the state-owned oil company Pemex in Mexico in which funds were used to support a political campaign of the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Petrogate The name given by the press in Peru to the corruption case involving large amounts of oil. Norwegian mining company Discover Petroleum and state-owned Perupetro are involved, which shocks politicians in Peru and prompts the resignation of cabinet ministers.
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The controversial deal—and the ensuing political scandal—threatened to bring down the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The amendment was specifically aimed at Nicaragua, where anti-communist Contras were battling the communist Sandinista government. Still, the president instructed his National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane, to find a way to assist the drug-dealing Contras, regardless of the cost—political or otherwise.
At the same time, Iranian-backed terrorists in Hezbollah were holding hostage seven Americans diplomats and private contractors in Lebanon. Reagan delivered another ultimatum to his advisors: Find a way to bring those hostages home. In , McFarlane sought to do just that. He told Reagan that Iran had approached the United States about purchasing weapons for its war against neighboring Iraq.
There was, however, a U. And, as an aside, the arms deal would secure funds that the CIA could secretly funnel to the Contra insurgency in Nicaragua. Three of the seven hostages in Lebanon were also released, although the Iran-backed terrorist group there later took three more Americans hostage.
Reagan initially denied that he had negotiated with Iran or the terrorists, only to retract the statement a week later. It was then that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North , of the National Security Council, came forward to acknowledge that he had diverted the missing funds to the Contras in Nicaragua, who used them to acquire weapons. He assumed Reagan was also aware of his efforts. Tower Commission The American press hounded Reagan over the matter for the rest of his presidency.
During a subsequent Congressional investigation, in , protagonists in the scandal—including Reagan—testified before the commission in hearings that were televised nationally. Later, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh launched an eight-year investigation into what by then had become known as the Iran-Contra Affair. In all, 14 people were charged, including North, Poindexter and McFarlane. McFarlane was charged with four counts of withholding information from Congress, a misdemeanor.
North was charged with 12 counts relating to conspiracy and making false statements. Although he was convicted in his initial trial, the case was dismissed on appeal, due to a technicality, and North has since worked as a conservative author, critic, television host and head of the NRA. Poindexter was initially indicted on seven felonies and ultimately tried on five.
He was found guilty on four of the charges and sentenced to two years in prison, although his convictions were later vacated. In addition, four CIA officers and five government contractors were also prosecuted; although all were found guilty of charges ranging from conspiracy to perjury to fraud, only one—private contractor Thomas Clines—ultimately served time in prison.
Reagan and Iran Contra Despite the fact that Reagan had promised voters he would never negotiate with terrorists—which he or his underlings did while brokering the weapons sales with Iran—the two-term occupant of the White House left office as a popular president. However, his legacy, at least among his supporters, remains intact—and the Iran-Contra Affair has been relegated to an often-overlooked chapter in U.
Sources The Iran-Contra Affairs. Brown University. The Iran-Contra Affair. The Iran-contra scandal 25 years later. Citation Information.
From the archive, 27 February 1987: President Reagan exonerated in Irangate scandal
At the time of the presidential election of , Reagan was at the height of his popularity. In , the Sandinista liberation movement in Nicaragua had finally overthrown the dictatorship of President Anastasio Somoza Debayle , whereupon Reagan became increasingly convinced that the presence of an actively left-wing regime in that country would spark revolution throughout the region and threaten the security of the United States. To combat this possibility, his administration ploughed massive amounts of military aid into a number of governments in Central America that were beset by civil war and guerrilla fighting. National Archives, Washington, D. C In the case of Nicaragua, the focus was on destabilizing the government and engineering the overthrow of the Marxist-oriented Sandinista regime. Military aid was channeled to militia groups—the "Contras"—fighting to achieve this end.
List of "-gate" scandals
Share via Email Ronald Reagan at a press conference in Washington, He was the tall handsome one who opened the door for the big stars, smiled gamely and then proceeded to fluff the few lines he had before fleeing the scene. It was not a performance which audiences will remember. Perhaps that was what the President was hoping, but if so he will be disappointed. No sooner was his back turned that the three stars of the Tower Commission acquitted him of an Irangate cover-up on the discreet but unmistakable grounds that the old gentleman had not been told enough to cover it up.
The controversial deal—and the ensuing political scandal—threatened to bring down the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The amendment was specifically aimed at Nicaragua, where anti-communist Contras were battling the communist Sandinista government. Still, the president instructed his National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane, to find a way to assist the drug-dealing Contras, regardless of the cost—political or otherwise. At the same time, Iranian-backed terrorists in Hezbollah were holding hostage seven Americans diplomats and private contractors in Lebanon. Reagan delivered another ultimatum to his advisors: Find a way to bring those hostages home.
Background[ edit ] The United States was the largest seller of arms to Iran under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , and the vast majority of the weapons that the Islamic Republic of Iran inherited in January were American-made. President Jimmy Carter imposed an arms embargo on Iran. Almost from the time he took office in , a major goal of the Reagan administration was the overthrow of the left-wing Sandinista government in Nicaragua and to support the Contra rebels. Funding ran out for the Contras by July , and in October a total ban was placed in effect. The second Boland Amendment, in effect from 3 October to 3 December , stated: During the fiscal year no funds available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of or which may have the effect of supporting directly or indirectly military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by any nation, organization, group, movement, or individual. The Reagan administration argued it was not, and many in Congress argued that it was.