Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Discussion of the impact of the Iran-Contra scandal on the American government and its attitude toward secrecy.
00:06Copy video clip URL Malcolm Byrne, Iran-Contra Analyst for the National Security Archive, describes the result of the scandal: “For many people, particularly in the Congress, secrecy will continue to be a major issue that they will continue to go after, in order to avoid similar covert programs, that operated, apparently, outside of the legal restrictions of government.” He is cynical that anything will be done, however: “So, we stand in a position of having no significant legislation, having made it out of the Iran-Contra hearings, and if serious steps are not taken soon, then there is nothing to prevent a similar disaster from occurring in the future.”
00:44Copy video clip URL Videomaker Eddie Becker shoots the old executive office building, musing on Oliver North’s office.
01:05Copy video clip URL Peter Kornbluh, Iran-Contra Analyst for the National Security Archive. “Even as there is more documentation, even as there is more accountability as we go into the 1990s, further Congressional scrutiny, a closer public look at what its own government is doing… this will actually lead to deeper, darker covert operations, rather than to less shenanigans, if you will. The likelihood is that these types of operations are not going to stop, they will be ongoing, but they will become even harder to trace. Less documents will be generated. No paper trail. Very few people in the public view will be involved. So I think when we look at what’s going to happen in the next decade of U.S. foreign policy, particularly as it relates to covert operations, we’re going to be seeing deeper and darker covert operations, if we see them at all.” While he is speaking, a video plays showing weapons testing in Central America that was financed by Iran-Contra arms.