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tv   Iran- Contra Tower Commission Report  CSPAN  February 25, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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for information on our schedule and keep up with the latest history news. ago on february 20 6, 1987, the tower commission released a report on the iran-contra and to questions after a brief statement from president reagan. this was a covert operation by members of the national security team involving the sale of military weapons to iran in violation of the arms embargo and the use of proceeds to fund antigovernment rebels in nicaragua. the three members of the review formerere senator tower, secretary of state edmund muskie, and former national security adviser brent snow craft. this program from the video library is about one hour.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. please be seated. on behalf of myself and the american people, i want to extend my thanks to senator tower, secretary muskie and mr. snow craft. whatever this report may say, i have appointed, or i am proud to have appointed this distinguished board because it fills my commitment to get the facts and share them with the american people. this is why i asked the attorney general to conduct his review and why when that review orderedd -- actions, i disclosure of what we knew. it is why i urged the
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appointment of an independent counsel and why i appointed david abshire as my special counselor. and it is also why i ordered full cooperation with congressional inquiries. appointed this board, the tower board. the significance of the board's work is reflected in the size of the volume which i am going to carefully study over the next several days. senator tower, secretary muskie and general snowcroft, you have demonstrated a willingness, when you've shown all your lives, to help your country, to devote yourselves to public service. atmosphere,charged i know it was not easy to interrupt your lives, but this was, this was an important contribution to your nation and in the american people are grateful for it. and now in addition to thinking
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these distinguished gentleman, i want to make it clear that i consider their work far too important for instant analysis. i intend to read and digest it first, think about its findings and act on its recommendations. the week i will address nation and give the american people my response to this report. but i pledge to the american people today that i will do whatever is necessary to enact the proper reforms and to meet the challenges ahead. i want to thank the members of the board again. now, john i am sure there are questions for you. >> mr. president? >> mr. president -- with the iranian -- >> the board will take questions. >> will -- be leaving as your chief of staff?
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>> the special review board has completed its work. senator muskie and the general will have their own statements in a moment. sen. tower: it might be health will to give you the highlights of this lengthy report to the president. before we begin, i want to note that i have never been privileged to work with two more public spirited, perceptive, and intellectually honest men than nowcroft. and brent s the report represents the collective understandings, evaluations and judgments of all. there was never any significant disagreements among us. it was incumbent upon us to put all partisan a side, our personal prejudices, in
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fulfilling this challenging assignment. i am emphasizing that it was not a function to make judgments on criminal culpability. i want to express my gratitude to my colleagues for the considerable time they devoted, there -- their dedication and a of purpose. we would be remiss if we do not pay tribute to these small but dedicated, diligent and highly professional staff who supported us. under the circumstances of deadlines and our expectations, they put together a product i consider to be remarkable. now, let me discuss the report for a few minutes. oncolleagues will expand this in their own statements at the completion of my remarks. we begin our work -- began our work december of last year, the same day that we were appointed to sign the executive order. the president and the executive
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order asked all agencies to cooperate with us. when president reagan appointed us, he urged that all the facts come out on the iran-contra matter. the president wanted us to examine the matter, to find lessons for the future is that it can be put right. we consider the development of the system over time, as part of that review we interviewed former presidents nixon, ford and carter, as well of the living secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, directors of central intelligence, nasa security advisers and two former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. in addition, we looked at specific case studies of the system from the administration of president eisenhower to today, to understand how the system works under stress. the iran initiative and contra
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division served as the case study for our review. a summary of the facts on iran-contra is located in part three of our report. here and elsewhere we have presented the facts as we understand them. some information we have concluded, we have concluded must remain in the classified domain. no material, i emphasized no material, was deleted on the grounds that it might prove politically embarrassing to this administration. what was left off did not alter the substance of the report. and our conclusion is that there are indeed many powerful lessons to be learned. part four of the report called what is wrong, is intended to instruct on those lessons. it is important to emphasize however, that putting into practice those lessons is not susceptible of quick fixes or easy answers.
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our principal recommendation illustrates that point. let me quote from the report. "using the process will not always produce brilliant ideas, but history suggests you can at least help prevent that ideas from becoming presidential policy." eporteports you have -- r you have is a lengthy one, here are some points. mistakes were made, but those mistakes that attract headlines may give a distorted picture of how the -- really works. we looked at case studies from previous administrations, the iran-contra affair was an aberration. hassystem is alive and served us well for the 40 years of his existence -- of its existence. we should profit from those mistakes. the president desires to do so.
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it is a tribute to president reagan that he had the courage to invite three outsiders in, give them complete access to sensitive national security files, and administration personnel, and deal with the consequences. this act clearly demonstrates the strength and resilience of american democracy with its inherent capacity for constructive self-analysis and self-criticism. make the nsc system work, it must be used. one of the mistakes made in the iran initiative was to ignore the process. process is no substitute for substance. however study and consistent governance has a better opportunity for success if there is an orderly process for decision-making. the president is the ultimate decision-maker in national security. no one can or should pretend otherwise.
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we could not long injured exercising executive power by committee. a strong executive with the flexibility to conduct foreign and diplomatic affairs is an essential feature of our form of government. those who serve as presidential advisers on national security issues have a special responsibility. this is true for this or any administration. of the advisers must assure that the president gets the best counsel possible. a president may not follow their advice, but the advisers have a clear responsibility to continue to bring to his attention matters that are pertinent, even after the decision is made. our report follows these principles, taken as a whole, they constitute a guide to sound management. the board went to considerable lengths to obtain the facts about iran-contra, to the extent
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that we obtained them, they are in appendix b. there the story is told as best we know how. we also looked into the issue of nse involvement in support of the nicaraguan rebels. we do not have the time to do so thoroughly. however, what we learned is in appendix c. they handling of the matter after became known was of interest to is also. -- us also. the board was able to take a look at this, but not in the detail that we devoted to the iran initiative. that is in appendix d and is summarized at the end of part four. the congressional investigating committees and the independent counsel will carry on. leave it to them to analyze new evidence. the value of this effort we leave to the judgment of the american people and to history. senator muskie will now give his
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statement and discuss part 4 of the report. the general will follow him and discuss recommendations. sec. muskie: thank you. evaluation of the work we've done together. i have total respect for both of my colleagues, and i emphasized that this is a unanimous report and i think it was clear from the beginning that it would be. emphasizeso like to that the president appointed us to conduct the study. we would not be here discussing the report if not for that fact. we were given two extensions of time to conclude our work. we were given the kind of access to departments and agencies of the government, which he promised. remarks toess my
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part four of the report, entitled "what was wrong?" i commend it to those who would like a summary of the findings, it goes to our mandate to draw conclusions about the nse system. and it forms the basis of our recommendations. so part four and three taken together are the meek -- meat of what it is we present. now the following are among the conclusions you will find in this section. item -- the iran initiative was handled almost casually, and through informal channels -- channels. always apparently with an expectation that the process would end with the next arms up for hostages exchange. and of course it did not. it was subjected neither to the
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general procedures for inter-agency consideration and -- of policy. there are procedures for covert operations, item, the opportunity for a full hearing before the president was inadequate. agency- inter consideration of the initiative was limited to the cabinet level and an adequate at that. it was never examined at the staff level, expertise on the situation -- the difficulties of dealing with terrorists and the mechanisms of conducting diplomatic openings may have made a difference. analysis mayigence also have provided in independent evaluation of the israeli proposals. a systematic vetting of those
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engaged as of the media areas, and a thorough examination of the initiative, on the effect of the initiative on the iran-iraq war. item, insufficient attention was given to the implications of the nse staff having operational control of the initiative rather than the cia. concern for preserving the secrecy of the initiative provided an excuse for abandoning sound process. item, the informality of the initiative meant that it lacked a formal institutional record and informed analysis. the result was that we were too often dependent on mere recollection, instead of a clear and complete record.
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item, the implementation of the initiative was never subjected to a rigorous review at appropriate times in this long a team of history. -- 18 month history. the board reached several conclusions regarding responsibility. this is not an exhaustive list, but some of the highlights. i would be surprised if the list answered all the questions that you would like to put, but i hope that these will get you started. system was not work unless the president makes it work. after all, this system was created to serve the president of the united states in ways of his choosing. by his actions, by his
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leadership, the president therefore determines the quality of its performance. item, the president did not force his policy to undergo the most critical review of which is the nse participants and process were capable. item, the board found a strong consensus among nse participants that the president's priority in the iran initiative was the release of u.s. hostages. but setting priorities is not enough. when it comes to sensitive and risky initiatives that directly affect u.s. national security. who must the president take responsibility for the nse system and deal with the
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consequences. reagan'ssident personal management style places and especially heavy responsibility on his key advisers. knowing his style, they should have been particularly mindful of the need for special attention to the measures in which the arms sale initiative developed and proceeded. on this score, neither did the national security adviser, nor the other nse principles deserve high marks. item, the national security advisor failed in his responsibility to see that an orderly process was observed. staff alsohief of shares in this responsibility,
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more than almost any chief of staff of recent memory, he asserted personal control over the white house staff and sought to extend his control to the national security adviser. he has -- he as much as anyone should have insisted that an orderly process be observed. in addition, he especially should have ensured that plans were made for handling any public disclosure of initiative. item, given the importance of the initiative, the secretary scholz and weinberg, while indicating opposition, distanced themselves from the march of events. evidence that no director casey made clear to the president that lieutenant north, rather than the cia, was running
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the operation. the president does not recall ever being informed of this fact . indeed, director casey should have gone further and pressed for operational responsibility to be transferred to the cia. i now yield to my colleague. by way ofowcroft: echoing those remarks, let me say i consider that we operated not in a bipartisan mother a nonpartisan fashion. we had a great many arguments about semantics, but i recall not a single one about substance. workedour staff, who days, nights, weekends and holidays, they bring honor to the term staff or bureaucrat, as the case may be. the country owes them a major debt of gratitude. as senator towers said, we
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studied with care the operation of the system over the 40 years of its existence. as far as we know, we're the first such official study to have focused exclusively on this institution. people tend to forget with the national security office system system,bout, the nse the council itself, the staff and in the national security adviser is the president's preacher. the president is accountable to the american people for its excesses and its failures -- successes and its failures but it is not just another agency. it is not intended to be subject to the reach of congress. it is the president's own instrument. it is through this system that he brings his creative impulses in national security to bear on the permanent government, the departments and agencies. it is one of the few structures
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in government that is unequivocably his. the national security act recognized this by giving the president wide latitude to fashion it to his liking. each president has done so with the result that over the years there have been many different operational styles, many different operational organizational modes for the staff and the national security advisor. given its role, there is no ideal structure for the system. it should be sufficiently flexible to be adaptable to the management style and operating philosophy of the or any president. but there are certain functions which in some manner must be performed to provide every president with the tools he requires to do his job. the national security council exists for one purpose, to provide -- to advise the president in his task of
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directing the national security policy of the country. it does not make decisions. the agencies that the agency had -- the agency is there not to represent their departmental views, they are there as individual advisors to offer their best judgment for the president. as a manager of the system, the national secured a advisor must ensure that a memo -- at a minimum, the matters that come before the -- cover the full range of issues of which a review is required, a full range of options are considered together with their opportunities and risks, the all relevant intelligence and other information is available to all participants, especially the president. and that presidential decisions are fully understood and implement it in the manner in which the president intended. but the national security adviser is not simply the manager of the process, we
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believe that he himself should be an important source of advice to the president. his is advice unburdened by agency burdens and perspectives. but he must, to play his role properly, also represent the views of the other principles fully and fairly. essential, difficult, but not an impossible task. the staff, which serves the national security adviser and to the president, should be small, highly confident, and experienced in policymaking. it should be neither able to substitute or duplicate the work of the agencies. it should not undertake operational functions, except in the rarest of circumstances. even then, that should be done only at the express direction of the president, following a judgment, there are no feasible alternative ways to accomplish the task. we have described in the report
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a very general model of a system to serve any president. we do not believe any amendment in the provisions of the national security act, dealing with the structure and operation of the nse, is required or desirable. the uranian affair has led to concerns for which legislative remedies have been suggested. one is the senate confirmation of the national security adviser. our report cites several troubling aspects of this performance from the national security advisor. however, this is the president's problem, not that of the congress. confirmation would introduce a number of new difficulties, which we believe would be damaging. another is a ban on an operational role for the nse staff. we are opposed to them having such a role. rather than a legislative prescription however, we believe asidef in operational
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appears essential, it should be undertaken only after explicit approval by the president. as analysis of the affair, the senator has stated, indicates to us that the problem at the heart was one of people, not of process. it was not that the structure was faulty, it is that the structure was not used. the president is a powerful figure under the constitution, the objective should be to give him tools which will help and not inhibit the performance of his tasks. unless the system is flexible enough to serve any president needs, it will either become an obstacle and a source of frustration to the president, or in institutional irrelevance as he fashions and informal structure more to his liking. we believe the recommendations
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outlined provide for a system that can be operated so as to minimize the likelihood of major error in national secure the policy without destroying the creative impulses of the presidents. does the president take responsibility or deal with the consequences, as you say in this case? >> i think the president has said that he would take the responsibility for what happened. ,nd in this particular instance i believe that the president was poorly advised and poorly served. i think that he should have followed up more and monitored the operation more closely. i do not think he was aware of a lot of the things that were going on and the way the operation was structured and who was involved. he clearly do not understand all that. >> you list a number of things the president should have done,
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but did not do. in plain english, are you saying the president made mistakes? president: yes, the did make mistakes. a lot of his subordinates made mistakes. i might know that every president has made mistakes from time to time, some with far greater consequence than the one that president reagan has made. i think the whole initiative could be justified on the grounds of age you strategic opening, but that the arms for hostages exchange cannot be justified and it was actually counterproductive of the long-term objectives. >> i would like to ask all three of you to answer, because you all have experience dealing with presidents. if you can put in comparison with other presidencies, how disengaged was this president from the process and how troubling is that to you and how dangerous is it to have a foreign policy that the
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president was not running? >> let me make my comments on that. my colleagues will have other observations. president reagan has a particular type of management style, delegating authority. meansat style to work that the president must be surrounded by experts who will act responsibly. at the same time, the president must from time to time monitor the actions of those with whom he has delegated authority. there are other presidents have had different styles, some get heavily involved in operations to the point where they failed to see the big picture. they lose vision and concepts. i think that president reagan is a man of great vision and concept, and i think for the most part of the operation and the foreign policy of this administration has been good and i think the policy has been fundamentally sound. in this instance, it was not the
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public policy of the united states that was in question. the fact is, there was a covert activity that was going absolutely contrary to the public policy of the united states that was set by the president himself. >> the others? >> the other should be permitted. >> the key to the system is it ought to be able to adapt to the management style of different presidents. we have had some, as john had some, as john said, a laid-back style. what happened in this case is the system did not compensate for the management style of the president. , ask enoughperhaps questions. it was incumbent upon the other participants in the system to ensure that the president was absolutely clear about what was going on.
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there should have been bells ringing, lights flashing, and so on, so that there was no question, not to try to steer him, but no question what the consequences of him pursuing this policy was. >> let me put it this way. the policy was a wrong policy. and it was the president's policy. aboutere's no question what he felt deeply about that policy and its purposes and object this. and that was not a casual -- at the same time he was emotionally
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and heavily involved in the fate. last 18ecall the months, there are many opportunities in which the president was exposed to the tragedy of these various hostage situations. in 1985 for example, the hostages came back. and that day and those circumstances happen to coincide with the first initiative taken by the israelis to present a proposal to him. and he reacted strongly. from beginning to end. -- e was this presidents
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but given his heavy personal and emotional commitment to both objectives, it was then incumbent upon his staff to make all of the implications of the policy were investigated. i think i made some comments on that in my opening statement. >> the lady in red back there. >> [indiscernible] involvement in the financing situation. particularly on [indiscernible] know about any of the fortune 500 that they themselves or their subsidiaries financed this charitable contribution. say we did not deal with private contributors.
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that is not helpful -- that is not helped with here. engagedf was obviously helping to manage and coordinate activities that were clearly not sanctioned by the amendment. the lady here in red. >> you have a lengthy appendix that says -- about his involvement. thatu conclude from that that was a policy of this government in contradiction to ,he amendment and others including the president and vice president were aware of it? we cann't believe comment on this.
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the president was directly involved in this effort, that it was indeed an operation going on in the staff, but they were not personally involved or knowledgeable. >> they had been running the separation without the president's knowledge or anyone else hire up knowing. i think it is important to underscore the legislative provisions dealing with nicaragua are extraordinarily complex, ambiguous, and it is not at all clear whether they were operating violations. it is not our job to review criminal culpability. we look at what happened and try to figure out why it happened, whether or not it was in contradiction of laws.
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was it in fact considered? it is a very murky question. >> does that mean the president has in fact been honest at all stages of the investigation. >> i think the press did not direct, and we don't use the term cover-up, the president did not direct the materials that were employed in their public presentation. was an effort to mislead by those who prepared these materials. i don't believe the president the americanled people. i think the president convince himself of the veracity of what he was saying. the same time he felt that there was still an opportunity for additional hostages to be released. stronglye felt very
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that any public comment he might one could have some impact the personal safety of the people of both hostages and people in iran. on three occasions, twice in testimony and once by letter, there were variances about the authorization of the israeli shipment. can you address what you find and what you believe the president's position on that is, and what the board's finding is in terms of an authorization to make a shipment? >> absent any evidence to the contrary, we have to conclude that the president's recollection of when the first shipment is approved is faulty. he does acknowledge having approved it. the question is whether it was approved retrospectively.
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the board has made a plausible judgment, in my view, that the topment was approved prior the transfer of arms. again, that is a judgment on our part. miss white. >> you are considered a reagan loyalist. viewed as sympathetic to the president. what steps do you think he needs to take to restore public confidence in his ability to govern? >> i think the president must respond with great candor. there will be a great deal that he will learn reading our report -- our report. we criticized his subordinates a great deal here, even though i have been a supporter of this
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givedent i'm not going to public advice. >> mr. casey, poindexter north, many of them misled the president, did not do their job basically. the nation has been through a nightmare before in terms of white house staff. how can this not happen again? i don't think you can guarantee mistakes will not be made in the future. what happened here was a failure to use the process that was available to the president, the failure to follow guidelines that had been set down by this administration in a classified document in january 1985. had prescribed system been followed, probably all of this would not have happened. clear, that very members of the system who were privy to what was going on
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failed the president. they failed to advise him, they fail to insist on periodic they failed to expose him to expert judgments and briefings on matters he should .ave been made privy to because the president and not clearly understand the nature of this operation, who was involved, and what was happening. -- are therehad any heroes involved with this? did anybody do his or her job? did anybody blow the whistle or attempt to? >> we are not in the business of coldr determining criminal or finding heroes. we try to present an objective .eport i wouldn't try to single out is really ase this
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story of people whose premise was short of hero. >> two things seem to stand out, one the staff did not support the president, they excluded him from knowing things and the president and desist on knowing when he started this operation. why do you think the people are afraid to tell the president what was going on? >> that would be speculators of me to answer that question. it's not my position to be speculative. i'm here as a member of the board. maybe later on i will do speculation. i don't propose to do it now because i will try to give you objective answers to the questions. >> the report would seem to suggest that almost every step disregard for a what was legal or what might not , and almostgal
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delivered attempt to avoid pursuing that question at each step. does anything need to be done to prevent that? mostthink the single important factor is the over of session with secrecy. there are occasions when it is necessary to hold closely information about covert operations, but even possibly other operations of the government. every time you are over concerned about secrecy you tend to abandon process. i mention some of those points in my opening statement. case,sult is in this control of the operation slips into the hands of the lieutenant colonel and the people he assembled to pursue it.
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the details are spelled out here. once that happened it was operating outside established government circles and was in the hands of the intermediaries outside the government and others, so it was very difficult of the president to have direct responsibility to him to get the information. >> was it or wasn't it? it startedss of what out as and i've no reason to believe it didn't start out as anything but his geostrategic opening to iran which fundamentally is desirable, because iran occupies a strategic position. we have certain long-term in which a former
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relationship with iran would serve. i think it very quickly became an armed hostage deal. thethe whole chronology of affair very clearly demonstrates that's what it became, in which the idea of a strategic opening provided the rationale. >> you say the staff does not it, whatigh marks for marx does the president deserve? and do you think he has a weak style of management? >> this goes back to a question that was asked earlier. after all the system has performed well during the course of this administration. report thisin our was an aberration, the iran-contra affair. system broke down. my colleagues commented on the fact that every president has
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his own style. you can say this president hodes himself a little bit too aloof from the implementation of policy. i think a lot of people made the criticism of his predecessor that he got too much involved. i know a lot of members of the press complained that could never get a handle on this president and a lot of his detractors did. the reason is the performance to date has been satisfactory. this is an aberration. >> in your conclusions, in your recommendations use adjusted congress full did intelligence agencies and merged them into one. thehe findings you suggest secrecy was one of the problems. forany justification withholding the information from congress in light of your
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recommendation? >> i think congress gets disproportionate blame and certainly want to believe that if one screw tonight's is the past two months. there is the natural tension between the president and congress. the president has a unique responsibility in the field of foreign affairs. president can implement foreign policy's subject to constitutional checks. presidents do get obsessed with secrecy, they all do. and they don't want to expose an operation or see the security of it violated. there is a natural inclination not to want to share. be ank consultation can
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protection and can be useful. there are times when deferring notification may be really essential. let's take the iran hostage rescue. i think president carter was perfectly justified in not notifying the congress until the mission was aborted. this instance i think a case can be made for deferring , because of the danger that hostages or certain iranian contacts may be in as a result of information leaking. i think the president must not get to excess with this. thing that might tend to cure this obsession would be for congress to abandon the system
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of select intelligence committees in large staffs and housings and have a joint committee patterned after the atomicommittee on energy. >> we have seen a process that involves many nations, foreign and covert operations in describing the management style of the president appears to have been without the oversight of the president and congress seems to have been deprived of oversight. my question is to whom devolves responsibility, constitutionally speaking, for this wide range of operations? >> to the extent other countries were involved one way or another , there are limits to how much we can disclose. we are talking about an began in israel
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or the united states. i think the report clearly presents the facts of any of those three conclusions. but there responsibility obviously, since the president conducts foreign policy, the responsibility relies on the executive branch. this is why our report concentrates very heavily on the failure of the system to perform . >> talking about how you feel about all of this, i wonder as a , do you actually think after all you know that some laws were broken? >> i think you asked for the whole panel to comment.
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not -- i am a not a lawyer, b that is not what we are focused on. what we did identify is there that didmber of laws apply in one way or another to the kinds of operations that were conducted. what we did determine was there was apparently no clear searching legal analysis as to what was or whatnot was permitted. laws,h respect to the which forbear on individual war criminal culpability, that was outside our area. i would not speculate. there were obviously people whose performance was wrong. that was different than reaching a conclusion that it was criminal.
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>> we were not charged in doing that. we can't make any judgment on that. >> the process is basically part of the president's management style. is there any believe anything is going to change? he has had the style for a long time.
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the council doesn't perform staff operations, it is the staff that does that. is a membernt bush of the council.
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there weree i think not to or three, at most three meetings of the national security council to consider this policy, its consequences, results, andits its problems. there were too few meetings where vice president bush and other members of that counsel were given an opportunity or had an opportunity to influence the result. whether there were circumstances outside the formal meetings where vice president bush might have been made aware or learned what was going on? >> it is difficult to get that kind of a record. access toable to get swiss bank accounts. how much to you think is still out there, still untold? >> we think there's still some out there that is untold.
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evidence of a contra diversion, there is no way we could conclude there had been a diversion because we didn't have access to these accounts. and we can't establish what happened to the money. that remains to this -- remains to solve that riddle. i won't speculate about what happened in the future. the president had no knowledge of any diversionary effort. references to missing documents, specifically admiral poindexter's documents. were there any relevant documents that were destroyed or altered? >> there is no way for us to
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know whether documents had been destroyed or are relevant. that would be a question we can only speculate on. >> in substance and semantics, my question is did you argue over language about the president's involvement? >> i will ask my colleagues to comment on that. debatet into a lengthy -- lengthy debate on split incentives. >> there was no cover of in our operation. >> the commission could have taken a much narrower focus on the national security staff operations and still for fillets mandate. you -- howind us how and why you decided to broaden
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the scope of your inquiry. >> we do not broaden the scope of our inquiry. we were brought into being by the iran-contra affair. the president specifically directed us to study the iran-contra case and other cases. is already other studies on other cases that we access and cited from time to time. this when we had to do our own study. that is why this occupied a great deal of our time. our conclusions and recommendations are based not ,ust on the iran-contra affair but on the performance and operation of the national security council and staff historically. >> could the members of the board give their understanding in the whole affair, the policy
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formulation and the provision of intelligence and the facilitation of these affairs? >> we don't have a full picture of the role of israel in this, partly because we have testimony from only one side, the israelis did not make themselves available to us. there is no question that the israelis encouraged and did not and thatthis policy, they did whatever they could when it appeared to be flagging from time to time to renew its vigor. i think the problem is our goals and the israeli goals were not synonymous in some respects. they certainly supported if they did not take a lead in the policy.
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>> that is essentially it. we met with the ambassador here in washington to request participation or that the request be made available to us, servants of the israeli government and israeli citizens who could contribute to our understanding of the system. so weejected that idea are not in a position to evaluate from their point of view. think they summarized our impression of the situation. >> i would emphasize there is heavy israeli involvement. clearly there were members of the israeli government that perceived the service of their own national interest in
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involving themselves in this matter. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. >> could you address that please? could you clarify that report? with her mr. reagan was involved in bringing together a false chronology? >> i think we will just have to stick -- we will just have to go with what is in the report. >> ok. >> 30 years ago after the release of the tower commission report on the iran-contra affair, members of congress appeared on capitol hill to field questions from the p


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