This documentary of the Iran Contra affair consolidates the evidence and conspiracy theories of the incident after the 13-week Congressional hearings proved inadequate, acting merely as "damage control" and failing to show any sincere effort to get to the real truth of the matter. Illuminated are the delays by the Reagan-Bush ticket in releasing the American hostages until after the election -- after outgoing President Jimmy Carter worked tirelessly to free them. Accusations are levied that a "shadow government" regularly carries out covert activities at home and abroad, and the CIA is implicated in dealing in huge shipments of cocaine and with the profits supplying weapons to the right-wing activities of the Nicaraguan Contras. Also examined are the actions of Oliver North, who willfully ignored the Constitution in masterminding covert weapons deals with Middle-Eastern governments to additionally fund the Nicaraguan Contras. This documentary raised more questions than answers in a post-Watergate political climate where the public had become desensitized to scandal. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide.
Oliver North and John Poindexter were indicted on multiple charges on March 16, 1988. North, indicted on 16 counts, was found guilty by a jury of three minor counts. The convictions were vacated on appeal on the grounds that North's Fifth Amendment rights may have been violated by the indirect use of his testimony to Congress which had been given under a grant of immunity. In 1990, Poindexter was convicted on several felony counts of conspiracy, lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and altering and destroying documents pertinent to the investigation. His convictions were also overturned on appeal on similar grounds. Arthur L. Liman served as chief counsel for the Senate during the Iran-Contra Affair. The Independent Counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, chose not to re-try North or Poindexter. Caspar Weinberger was indicted for lying to the Independent Counsel but was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush. In 1992 George H. W. Bush pardoned six convicted administration officials, namely Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, Robert McFarlane, and Caspar Weinberger.
George W. Bush selected some individuals that served under Reagan for high-level posts in his presidential administration. They include: Elliott Abrams: under Bush, the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs; in Iran-Contra, pleaded guilty on two counts of unlawfully withholding information, pardoned.
Otto Reich: head of the Office of Public Diplomacy under Reagan. John Negroponte: under Bush, served as the Ambassador to Iraq, the National Intelligence Director, and the Deputy Secretary of State. Admiral John Poindexter: under Bush, Director of the Information Awareness Office; in Iran-Contra, found guilty of multiple felony counts for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence, convictions reversed. In Poindexter's hometown of Odon, Indiana, a street was renamed to John Poindexter Street. Bill Breedan, a former minister, stole the street's sign in protest of the Iran-Contra Affair. He claimed that he was holding it for a ransom of $30 million, in reference to the amount of money given to Iran to transfer to the contras. He was later arrested and confined to prison, making him, as satirized by Howard Zinn, "the only person to be imprisoned as a result of the Iran-Contra affair."