CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Nov 18, 1987
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(Studio: Dan Rather) Report introduced.
(DC: Bill Plante) President Reagan's ignoring of Iran/Contra scandal final report noted; scenes shown. Reagan's comment regarding his opinion of the report quoted. White House officials reported saying President Reagan would not read the document and called it a partisan effort. White House spokesperson Marlin Fitzwater's comment regarding the report quoted. President Reagan's strategy of not being able to refute evidence therefore ignoring it discussed. [Former President Jimmy CARTER - says President Reagan should downplay report] [REAGAN - saying over past mos. that he knew nothing of the diversion of money from sale of arms to Iran to the Contras.] Reagan's attitude troubling critics noted. [Historian Arthur SCHLESINGER - says Reagan obviously has not read the Constitution with much care.] President Reagan's attempt to put affair behind him discussed.
(Studio: Dan Rather) Report introduced.
(DC: Eric Engberg) Unanswered questions regarding Iran/Contra scandal discussed; details given, scenes shown. Plan to funnel money to the Contras from sale of arms to Iran said originating with arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar. [Lieutenant Colonel Oliver NORTH - explains how plan came to reality.] Question of whether or not the deal with Iran was North's idea addressed. Vice President George Bush's role in affair discussed. Bush's staff reported helping North operative Felix Rodriguez get his job in Central Am; scenes shown. Bush's insistence he knew nothing of laws being violated iterated. Memo shown of meeting called between Bush and Rodriguez to discuss resupply of Contras. Amt. of money actually reaching Contras outlined. Swiss bank accounts noted holding large profits from deal. [Senator William COHEN - says there were other covert plans which needed funding and profits were earmarked for them.] Some of money reported used for commercials promoting President Reagan's efforts against critics in Congress like Michael Barnes of MD. [Representative Dante FASCELL - says the money was to be used to undermine Congress members who disagreed with Reagan.] Former CIA chief William Casey's involvement discussed. [NORTH - says it was Casey's intention to make the operation self-sustaining.] Arms sales said to provide needed cash to fund other covert operations unchecked by Congress [Senator David BOREN - says foreign policy would have been taken out of the people's hands if scheme had succeeded.] Authors of final report said most frightened by prospect of private government out of voter accountability's reach.
(Studio: Dan Rather) Independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh reported continuing investigation into Iran/Contra scandal. Report introduced.
(DC: Rita Braver) Walsh reported expected to bring indictments against some involved in Iran/Contra scandal; details given, scenes shown. Witnesses testifying under immunity in summer 1987 hearings noted not held accountable in criminal court [WALSH - says the immunization of some witnesses has caused his staff great difficulty in gathering evidence.] [Former Watergate prosecutor Philip LACOVARA - says the Iran/Contra scandal makes Watergate look like third-rate burglary.] Independent cncl.'s efforts recounted; scenes shown; details given. President Reagan reported answering questions from Walsh. People expected to be indicted by Walsh investigation listed on screen. [Operative General Richard SECORD -says he broke no laws.] Criminal charges expected from Walsh listed on screen. Former national security adviser Robert McFarlane mentioned as possibly being charged for lying to Congress regarding North's Contra activities. Congmen. urging president pardon for those charged noted. [Pol. scientist Steven WAYNE - says pardon would go against Americans' beliefs in justice.] Present activities of North, John Poindexter, McFarlane, Secord, Albert Hakim and North's former secretary Fawn Hall mentioned; details given, scenes shown.