Talk:Boland amendment

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The US didn't provide arms to the Contras through Israel. Arms were sold to the Iranians, through Israel, and then the money from the sale of those weapons went to the Contras.--Epicurius 16:35, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Yes, that's how I remember it. Ted Kennedy was involved in the legislation too, I think. And it was all related to the dispute over whether the Contras were morally or ethically better than the Sandinistas of Nicaragua or the "death squads" of El Salvador. Since a friend of mine actually filmed a documentary on the topic, I may be a bit biased. I'm one of those pro-freedom, anti-murder partisans you're always reading about. --Ed Poor 16:44, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
A lot of the impetus for the Boland Amendment was the discovery that the CIA was involved in helping the Contras mine Nicaragua's harbors, and that this operation had begun without Congressional approval. This revelation caused a backlash even among Congressmen that were generally sympathetic to the Contras.--Epicurius 17:26, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
That should be in the article then. We're trying to figure out the relationship between (1) Nicaragua, (2) the Contras, (3) the Reagan administration, (4) the Boland amendemnt, (5) Israel & Iran and everything else. I like connections and relationships, because I'm a software engineer and I like to draw diagrams. Drives everyone else around me batty. --Ed Poor 18:35, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
The Boland Amendment is one of those left-over reforms from the Vietnam and Watergate era intended to castrate the foreign policy prerogatives of the President. Like the debacle after the collapse of South Vietnam, the Boland Amendment targets funding in support of a regime ally of the Untied States.
In the case of South Vietnam, Nixon & Kissinger won a negotiated settlement at the Paris Peace Talks with North Vietnam that would allow for the withdrawal of active duty US troops. Once that was completed, and after Nixon resigned, the US Congress undermined the negotiated settlement by cutting off all Congressional Appropriations for the Government of South Vietnam. Soon thereafter came the Communist reeducation camps, Cambodian genocide, etc.
It is the Congress exercising the power of the purse and impinging upon the Executive's role as US foreign policy promulgator and Commander-in-Chief. It is a Constitutional question, simply because Congress refuses to provide funding for what the Executive finds necessary for national security does not stop the President from fulfilling his Constitutionally mandated role and upholding his oath of office. The Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on this, or related issues, such as the War Powers Act.
We are faced again with the exact same issues regarding the current Congress & Executive; this news item today, [1] "Pelosi's Syria Trip Undermines US Policy, Says Expert" is deja vu in regards to the famous "Dr. Commandante Letter" to Daniel Ortega from Congressional Democrats in the early 1980s. Here's an excerpt from the above news item,
"Pelosi's visit is likely to undermine the Bush administration's foreign policy and help the Syrians go back to business as usual - much to the dismay of our Lebanese, Iraqi, and Israeli friends, all of whom want the United States to take a tougher stand against Syria... trip to Syria is likely to encourage Syria's dictatorship to think it can get away with murder - literally-in Lebanon." RobS 21:37, 3 April 2007 (EDT)


Thers is actually nothing wrong with this language,
The discovery that the United States, through Israel, provided arms to the Contras triggered the Iran-Contra Affair.
whereas the reverted version "provided funds" is simply not true. RobS 16:48, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
Either way seems fine to me. I think the point is that the Reagan administration tried to get around the law and got caught. We should also point out somewhere that Ollie North and company had a good reason for this evasion. Lee Shapiro's documentary, "Nicaragua Was Our Home" makes a good case for US intervention on the Contra side. --Ed Poor 16:53, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
That is a matter subject to interpretation; to claim the US sold the weapons to Iran than is deny Israeli sovereignty and claim Israel is just a puppet regime of the US. RobS 17:00, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
FYI, my recollection is that the Contras never received the funds.--Aschlafly 17:03, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Well, the problem I had with the language is that the US didn't "provide arms" to the Contras, for the most part. They provided funds (to the extent that the funds got to the Contras. Mr. Schlafly is right that a lot of the money didn't go to the Contras). Here's the Walsh report...the document by the Independent Counsel laying out his findings.[2]--Epicurius 17:14, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

There's a discussion on my talk page right now about this; from memory, I thought it was private arms dealers Khashoggi & Ghorbanifar involved on the Israeli/Iranian end, with Gen Secord then involved in procuring Contra's needs on the Central American end; but now somebody alleges Secord bought from the Pentagon directly. Needs to be looked into closer. RobS 17:19, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
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