On the Intellectual Ramparts

New think tanks are advocating as well as incubating ideas

As the day drew near for a House vote on aid to the Nicaraguan contras, the Heritage Foundation massed its forces on behalf of the rebel troops. In its snug maroon auditorium just a few blocks from the Capitol, it held an all-day seminar for congressional staffers. The guests of honor: two top contra officers and a Nicaraguan opposition journalist. A week later Heritage issued a brisk nine-page report titled Nicaragua's Terrorist Connection, copies of which were distributed by hand to all Congressmen and to targeted staff members. Heritage's pro-contra blitz was on. The reign of the pensive, passive, pipe-smoking Washington...

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