The Tower Panel: Laying Out the Brutal Facts

Tower's panel shows that the devil was in the details

It was bound in soothing blue and bore the Presidential Seal. Its language was restrained, dignified, sometimes even gentle. But its message was scalding. Rarely has a presidential commission so sharply criticized its creator. The 288-page report of the President's Special Review Board on the Iran-contra affair describes an incredibly inattentive Ronald Reagan, a hear-no-evil Secretary of State George Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, a devious former CIA Director William Casey, and a Chief of Staff Don Regan whose proclaimed mastery of spin control failed miserably when faced with a matter of substance. And while these officials floundered, Oliver North,...

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