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How Reagan Handled Scandal

One of the great ironies of the Obama White House is that it’s filled with the very type of zealots Obama and his aides think inhabit the Tea Party.

The viciousness with which they attack Republicans – attacks laced with suggestions of racism, misogyny, and so forth – as well as the lies and the dedication to ruling by fiat all suggest an administration populated by true believers willing to sacrifice any principle to the cause.

Reagan and MeeseThis was, for me, the most startling aspect of the Benghazi email written by national Ben Rhodes. In the aftermath of the killing of four American officials – a most dreadfully serious matter – the urgency in the White House was to protect the president’s image, not to find and present accurate facts to the American public.

Writing today in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan contrasts Obama’s handling of Benghazi with the Reagan administration’s approach to its own scandal, the Iran-Contra affair. Noonan, who worked for Reagan, demonstrates that the Reaganites, though committed conservatives, were not zealots, and were willing to take responsibility for their conduct:

The attorney general, Ed Meese, launched a review of the affair. It was a real investigation, and he went public with his findings. The national security adviser who oversaw the operation had left, but his replacement resigned and his deputy was fired.

The president delivered a national address. Two congressional committees launched investigations. Networks covered the hearings live. Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post said it was the most fun he’d had since Watergate.

Reagan waived executive privilege so his aides would testify. He announced a special commission to investigate everything. There was a full housecleaning. Colin Powell was brought in to run the National Security Council, and Mr. Shultz given full authority for all dealings with Iran. Ultimately Reagan dumped his chief of staff.

The Iran-Contra affair did not spring from low motives. There was no hope of partisan gain, it wasn’t a political play.

All involved were trying—sometimes stupidly, almost childishly—to save lives, and perhaps establish a new opening with Iran. They had good reasons, but the actions were bad, and everyone involved paid a price.

Compare that with how the Obama White House has handled Benghazi. It’s all been spin, close ranks, point fingers, obfuscate, withhold documents, accuse your accusers of base motives. Nobody in the administration has paid a price.

The Obama people are drunk with self-righteousness, leftism, and hero-worship. They could not possibly admit to wrongdoing or serious mistakes, and even if they did, they would never allow repellent, bone-headed Republicans to investigate them.

But, with the press having fallen down on the job, a serious probe by a congressional panel led by an experienced prosecutor is exactly what they’ll get.

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14 Responses to How Reagan Handled Scandal

  1. Thank you Keith. Those are facts above which should be blasted, discussed on MSM.
    This has to be resolved so this don’t happen again.
    What is being done now, to be on guard for the Ambassodors, etc. who work abroad.
    The Dems should be just as concerned.

  2. It’s easy to break down the purpose of the federal government to this: to keep us safe and alive, or to make us happy.
    If our leaders lie to us about the safety of some of us so that we’re happy, then people will be harmed or die.
    Fast&Furious, a dubious attempt to inflame anti-gun feelings resulted in harming unknown numbers of Mexican citizens, and killing some of our own.
    Obamacare, is a hammer-fisted takeover of our health care system that will harm unknown numbers of our citizens, and leave some of them to die without proper care.
    Now the IRS scandal, the cold and calculating VetAdm allowing some to die, the thousands of government regulations that will harm all of us, and of course, the Benghazi massacre are all instances of this adminstration’s refusal to do their duty, or to allow citizens to die.

    Lying about these things in an attempt to keep the population happy doesn’t work in a free society, and all of these events are reason to clean the board of those responsible.
    Americans are a forgiving lot; if we weren’t able to forgive, if not forget, then BillClinton would be spending his retirement living in a fishing lodge talking about the good old days instead of flying about the country to promote the next Clinton WhiteHouse.
    For all their lofty talk about how they care for us, the Obama administration has made all of us unhappy, and left us feeling exposed to danger.
    It’s time for the truth about everything. We can handle it.

  3. “The Obama people are drunk with self-righteousness, leftism, and hero-worship. They could not possibly admit to wrongdoing or serious mistakes, and even if they did, they would never allow repellent, bone-headed Republicans to investigate them.”
    Ya think?!?!?

  4. But never forget that Iran – Contra was made necessary by Reagan allowing that poisonous Boland Amendment to stand . Had that piece of unconstitutional mischief been undone by the courts or executive veto , supplying Nicaraguan freedom fighters through the side door would not have been required.

  5. “Dude, it’s been like two years — even the dead guys’ families have forgotten about them.”

    (The Clinton-Obama view of Benghazi.)

    • Quote of the day material, but, seriously, I heard Sharyl Attkisson say that Amb. Steven’s mother does not want an investigation. His mother must be a die-hard (no pun intended) Democrat and Obama supporter.