Honduran Sting

One of the mysteries concerning U.S. aid to the contras has been why Washington for a time funneled supplies through Ilopango air base in El Salvador rather than through Honduras, the rebels' sanctuary. Administration officials now say the move enabled the U.S. to dodge a sting.

The story begins in July 1985, when Congress authorized $27 million in "humanitarian" aid (food, clothing, medicine) for the contras. The State Department, which administered the account, has never been able to satisfy Congress on what happened to the money. One reason, officials told TIME, is that sizable chunks were used for bribes to Honduran...

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