February 3, 1988 – Contras: Funding A War To Achieve A Peace
February 3, 1988 – and on Capitol Hill, debate was raging back and forth over President Reagan‘s aid package to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Reagan had requested additional funding to aid the Rebels, and the arguments back and forth had no end in sight. And more arguments were scheduled to begin in the Senate the following day, when a similar-but-separate funding bill hit their desks. The Contras were a group of several right-wing para-military groups, which were fully backed by the Reagan Administration, while the Sandinistas represented the left-wing, and the party in power in Nicaragua. The White House viewed the Sandinistas as a threat of Communist influence in Central America and sought to vigorously paint a picture of the party in charge as a group of Moscow puppets in order to legitimize an overthrow. But the Contras were anything but squeaky clean – accused by several Human Rights organization as engaging in mass murder and torture, the Contras were viewed with suspicion, and the Reagan White House was working on changing that image around – by hook or crook.
Meanwhile, a potential political problem for Robert Dole, just a week away from Iowa caucuses, kicking off Campaign ’88. Congressional investigators alleged he made a phone call in 1983 to help a former aide get a no-bid government contract. It was a deal that the investigators said Dole’s political allies profited from and they said that was illegal. Dole’s Aides countered by saying the Senator could not remember whether he made the call in question or not.
And Anthony Kennedy was confirmed as the new member of the Supreme Court. His confirmation zipped through the Senate earlier this day; a unanimous 97-0 vote was a slam-dunk for now-Justice Kennedy.
And that’s a small slice of news for this February 3, 1988 as presented by CBS Radio‘s Hourly News.