The Admiral Takes the Hit

Poindexter says he never told Reagan about the diversion of arms profits

Throughout his career, John Poindexter had played by the rules. As a vice admiral in the U.S. Navy, he was regarded as a painstakingly efficient officer who paid scrupulous attention to the chain of command, never challenging his superiors, always following orders to the letter. Indeed, one commanding officer characterized Poindexter as "totally loyal and trustworthy, and a thorough briefer who rarely interjected his own viewpoints." But as Ronald Reagan's National Security Adviser from December 1985 to November 1986, Poindexter told his questioners last week, he broke that pattern. In February 1986, after just two months on the job, he decided...

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