November 29, 1986 – A day loaded with intrigue over the growing scandal of Iran-Contra. “The paper shredder was really humming at the National Security Council’s offices” – according to a report in the New York Times on this day. Not only NSC Aide Col. Oliver North was busy at the shredder, but so was NSC Adviser Admiral John Poindexter himself was observed standing over the shredder, destroying “stacks of sensitive documents” according to the report. Although it wasn’t clear if any of those shredded documents contained any of the Administration’s secret deals with Iran and diversion of funds to the Nicaraguan Contras. Further newspaper reports added that, unlike Oliver North, Admiral Poindexter has not been locked out of his office since his resignation earlier in the week. According to the White House, Poindexter was still being allowed in to remove personal belongings.
While the storm was raging on Capitol Hill, President Reagan was taking time off at the ranch while things blew over. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dave Durenburger was quoted as saying the two week investigation by his committee would be looking, not only at violations of the law in this sale of Arms to Iran and the funneling of money to the Contra Rebels, but also for potential damage to the country’s National Security policy. Durenberger was determined to find out who was involved, although it was going to be difficult to find out how those decisions were made at the time; the arms sale and how it pertained to the Hostages and to the Contra activity in Central America. Durenberger added that all those known to be connected with the scandal were going to be called on to testify. It was promising to be a busy, long and at times, entertaining few months ahead.
And aside from SALT Treaty talks and Volcanoes, it was just a small slice of what was going on, this November 29, 1986 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.