March 21, 1987 – First Day Of Spring At The Reagan White House – The Contra Blunder – How To Sell A War.
March 21, 1987 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
March 21, 1987 – First day of Spring and the world kept spinning. President Reagan and the First Lady spent the day at Camp David, savoring the generally favorable reviews of Reagan’s performance at his recent news conference. White House officials felt the President cleared a major hurdle in the Iran-Contra Affair. Now they believed he had the opportunity to shift the focus to some domestic issues, like Taxes, the budget and welfare reform. The only one not benefitting from the upbeat news conference was vice-President George Bush. The President’s parting comment that Bush raised no objection to the Iran policy put the vice-President in a potentially embarrassing position. Bush said publicly that he had his reservations about the policy and expressed them privately, presumably to the President. That allowed him to put a little distance between himself and the Iran-Contra affair, while still supporting Mr. Reagan. Now, thanks to a casual one-word answer from the President, George Bush finds himself portrayed as a full partner in the worst foreign policy blunder of the Reagan Years.
And not all money that allegedly went to the Contras went to bolster their military capabilities. According to a few sources, some of that money went to bolster the Contras somewhat sagging Public Relations image. State Department inspectors and the House Iran-Contra investigating committee uncovered a secret award of some $276,000 in the form of a State Department Contract to International Business Communications, a PR firm whose President, Richard Miller was an associate of Oliver North; to produce ad campaigns on behalf of the Contras. Details of the contract outlined the briefing of journalists, to plant op-ed pieces and Letters to The Editor in newspapers, to arrange appearances for pro-Contra speakers and to provide points-of-contact for Congressional Offices. The State Department had no comment, and neither did Miller. The whole disclosure raised questions about legality and the use of public funding.
All that, and a lot more for this March 21, 1987 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.
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