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Iran Contra Case Study Format Prime Essays

An obsessed Captain Ahab or a gallant St. George? Walsh provoked strong emotions and editorials throughout his seven-year-long multimillion-dollar attempt to nail Reaganauts in the Iran-Contra fandango. Attempt is the operative word, for he obtained few convictions and had many of those overturned on appeal. In explaining such a scorecard, Walsh strenuously argues that he and staff were stymied by lies and cover-ups, capped by Bush's pardons; he also engages in serious score-settling with the likes of Caspar Weinberger, George Bush, and Bob Dole. Interestingly, in his first sentence, Walsh says he shares with "many who will read this book" (most likely participants in and dedicated students of the scandal) the trait of "willfulness." To Walsh, that trait perhaps means meticulously reviewing his justifications for his prosecutorial decisions; to Walsh's targets, that trait meant coercing testimony by forcing huge legal bills on them or influencing the 1992 election by his "October surprise" indictment of Weinberger ("sheer inadvertence" is Walsh's explanation). Though sternly accusative, Walsh also waxes defensive about his conduct of his office, and those debating the merits of special prosecutors--a divisive contemporary political issue--have much to masticate in his memoir. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Also on this day

Lead Story

1947

First presidential speech on TV

On this day in 1947, President Harry Truman (1884-1972) makes the first-ever televised presidential address from the White House, asking Americans to cut back on their use of grain in order to help starving Europeans. At the time of Truman’s food-conservation speech, Europe was still recovering from World War II and...

American Revolution

1775

Washington informs Congress of espionage

On this day in 1775, General George Washington writes to the president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, to inform him that a letter from Dr. Benjamin Church, surgeon general of the Continental Army, to Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Gage, British commander in chief for North America, had been intercepted....

Automotive

1919

Enzo Ferrari makes his debut as a race car driver

On October 5, 1919, a young Italian car mechanic and engineer named Enzo Ferrari takes part in his first car race, a hill climb in Parma, Italy. He finished fourth. Ferrari was a good driver, but not a great one: In all, he won just 13 of the 47 races...

Civil War

1864

Battle of Allatoona

After losing the city of Atlanta, Confederate General John Bell Hood attacks Union General William T. Sherman’s supply line at Allatoona Pass, Georgia. Hood’smen could not take the Union stronghold, andthey were forced to retreat into Alabama. Hood took charge of the Rebel army in late July 1864, replacing the defensive-minded...

Crime

1892

The Dalton gang performs their last robbery attempt

The Dalton gang attempts to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, Kansas, but meets resistance from townspeople, who wind up killing four of the five bandits. Emmett Dalton, the sole survivor, returned to the site of the crime nearly 40 years later and offered a caution to would-be thieves: “The...

Disaster

1930

Blimp crashes in France

On this day in 1930, a British dirigible crashes in Beauvais, France, killing 49 people. The blimp, which was Great Britain’s biggest, had first been launched about a year earlier. In the 1920s, the major European nations competed with each other to build larger and larger blimps in order to gain...

General Interest

1813

Tecumseh defeated

During the War of 1812, a combined British and Indian force is defeated by General William Harrison’s American army at the Battle of the Thames near Ontario, Canada. The leader of the Indian forces was Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who organized intertribal resistance to the encroachment of white settlers on...

1877

Chief Joseph surrenders

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrenders to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, declaring, “Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”Earlier in the year, the U.S. government...

1969

Cuban defector lands MiG in Miami

In an embarrassing breach of the United States’ air-defense capability, a Cuban defector enters U.S. air space undetected and lands his Soviet-made MiG-17 at Homestead Air Force Base, south of Miami, Florida. The presidential aircraft Air Force One was at the base at the time, waiting to return President Richard...

1974

American circumnavigates the globe on foot

American David Kunst completes the first round-the-world journey on foot, taking four years and 21 pairs of shoes to complete the 14,500-mile journey across the land masses of four continents. He left his hometown of Waseca, Minnesota, on June 20, 1970. Near the end of his journey in 1974 he...

1989

Dalai Lama wins Peace Prize

The Dalai Lama, the exiled religious and political leader of Tibet, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet.The 14th Dalai Lama was born as Tenzin Gyatso in Tsinghai Province, China, in 1935. He was of Tibetan parentage, and...

2011

Apple founder Steve Jobs dies

On this day in 2011, Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Inc., which revolutionized the computer, music and mobile communications industries with such devices as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad, dies at age 56 of complications from pancreatic cancer. Born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, to...

Hollywood

1990

Henry & June is first NC-17 film

On this day in 1990, Henry & June, starring Uma Thurman, Fred Ward and Maria de Medeiros and inspired by the novel of the same name by Anais Nin, opens in theaters as the first film with an NC-17 rating. Set in Paris, France, in the early 1930s, Henry &...

Literary

1978

Isaac Singer wins Nobel Prize

On this day in 1978, Isaac Bashevis Singer wins the Nobel Prize for literature. Singer wrote in Yiddish about Jewish life in Poland and the United States, and translations of his work became popular in mainstream America as well as Jewish circles. Singer was born in Poland in 1904 into a...

Music

1991

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch earn a #1 hit with “Good Vibrations”

Failed attempts by Hollywood actors to achieve success as singers or rappers are plentiful in the history of pop music. Examples of such unsuccessful crossovers abound, from William Shatner's "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (1968) and Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time" (1985) to the entire musical oeuvres of...

Old West

1892

The Dalton Gang is wiped out in Coffeyville, Kansas

On this day in 1892, the famous Dalton Gang attempts the daring daylight robbery of two Coffeyville, Kansas, banks at the same time. But if the gang members believed the sheer audacity of their plan would bring them success, they were sadly mistaken. Instead, they were nearly all...

Presidential

1829

Chester Arthur is born

On this day in 1829, future President Chester Alan Arthur is born in North Fairfield, Vermont. The precocious and bright young Arthur wanted to become a lawyer and enrolled in Union College in New York at the age of 15. He later supported himself by teaching school while he earned his...

Sports

1953

Yanks win their fifth series in a row

On October 5, 1953, the New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers to win their fifth World Series in a row. It was a record-breaking championship: Joe McCarthy’s legendary 1936-1939 Yanks had won four in a row, but no team had ever won five. The Bombers had squeaked by the...

Vietnam War

1963

South Vietnamese generals plan coup

Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge reports to President John F. Kennedy from Saigon that South Vietnamese generals are planning a coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem. Kennedy and his administration had become increasingly concerned about Diem because of the rising tide of dissent against the Diem regime in South Vietnam. Diem,...

1964

President Johnson under fire from his own party

Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), disturbed by growing reports that the Johnson administration is preparing to escalate U.S. operations in Vietnam, states that Congress did not intend the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to endorse escalation. The resolution had been passed on August 7 in response to what became known as the Gulf...

World War I

1915

Britain and France commit troops to operation in Salonika, Greece

At the request of the Greek prime minister, Eleutherios Venizelos, Britain and France agree on October 5, 1915, to land troops at the city of Salonika (now Thessaloniki), in northern Greece, during World War I. Earlier in the war, David Lloyd George, Britain’s minister of munitions, had argued for sending Allied...

World War II

1942

Stalingrad must not be taken by the enemy.

On this day in 1942, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the Soviet Union, fires off a telegram to the German and Soviet front at Stalingrad, exhorting his forces to victory. “That part of Stalingrad which has been captured must be liberated.” Stalingrad was a key to capturing the Soviet Union,...

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