William Webster - Director Designate - CIA - 1987

William Webster - The latest Reagan pick to head the CIA. (photo: Getty Images)

March 3, 1987 – The CIA Gets A New Director: William Webster – The World Loses An Icon: Danny Kaye.

William Webster - Director Designate - CIA - 1987
William Webster – The latest Reagan pick to head the CIA. (photo: Getty Images)
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March 3, 1987 – CBS Radio News – Spectrum – The World Tonight – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

March 3, 1987 – Busy news day – President Reagan was nominating William Webster to head the CIA, replacing Reagan’s original nominee William Gates, who was mired in the fallout from the Iran-Contra Affair. Both nominees were up to replace William Casey, the former head of the CIA who was stepping down for health reasons, but was indicated as being part of the Iran-Contra Scandal.

Casey was suspected, by some, of involvement with the controversial Iran-Contra affair, in which Reagan administration personnel secretly traded arms to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and secretly diverted some of the resulting income to aid the rebel Contras in Nicaragua, in violation of U.S. law. Casey was called to testify before Congress about his knowledge of the affair. On 15 December 1986, one day before Casey was scheduled to testify before Congress, Casey suffered two seizures and was hospitalized. Three days later, Casey underwent surgery for a previously undiagnosed brain tumor.Casey died in hospital less than 24 hours after former colleague Richard Secord testified that Casey supported the illegal aiding of the Contras.

Robert Gates was initially nominated to become head of the CIA, but he withdrew his name after it became clear the Senate would reject the nomination due to controversy about his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

It was expected that the Webster nomination would be approved with little or no objection.

Former National Security Adviser John Poindexter was going to accept a demotion, but he was reportedly going to stay in the Navy based in Washington. The Pentagon announced Poindexter would be losing one of his stars and return to the rank of Rear Admiral, replacing his rank as Vice-Admiral during his tenure with the White House.

American icon; actor, dancer, comedian, musicians and Philanthropist Danny Kaye died on this day. His film performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.

Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1955). His films were popular, especially for his performances of patter songs and favorites such as “Inchworm” and “The Ugly Duckling”.

He was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in 1954 and received the French Legion of Honor in 1986 for his years of work with the organization.

Kaye died of heart failure on this day at age 76, brought on by internal bleeding and complications of hepatitis C. Kaye had quadruple bypass heart surgery in February 1983 and he contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion.

And an opinion piece by way of CBS Radio’s series Spectrum on the Press, scandal and the Presidency under fire. Some things just don’t change. All on this 3rd day of March in 1987 from CBS Radio News.

Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye – Irreplaceable brilliance.

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