Presidential Present

On the night before Christmas, Bush grants Iran-contra pardons

GEORGE BUSH HAS BEEN BUSY LATELY TIDYING UP his presidency for the history books. But his decision to grant pardons to six Iran-contra defendants may have the opposite effect. If anything, Bush's Christmas Eve gift is likely to make historians more curious than ever about his own role in the scandal -- especially in view of independent counsel Lawrence Walsh's charge that the President has withheld "highly relevant" Iran-contra notes.

The most prominent of those pardoned was former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who was awaiting trial in January. The President also absolved former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, former Assistant Secretary...

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