In a Dec. 31 NewsBusters post, Seton Motley attempts a revisionist version of the Iran-Contra affair, as seen through the eyes of the film "Clear and Present Danger," the plot of which he insists isn't directly comparable to Iran-Contra. He goes on to bash "liberal historian[s]" for making that comparison, then adds:
Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan gets to the bottom of it and at the film's close begins his blockbuster testimony before Congress. After which we are sure a great many members of the fictitious Administration, including the President, would be soon thereafter frog-marched in shackles out of the White House -- as they were shown throughout the film to be clearly guilty.
By contrast, the Iran-Contra affair occurred, in actuality and not on a Hollywood lot, during the Ronald Reagan Administration. In which outmoded and outdated weapons were sold to Iran, with the proceeds therefrom going to fund Contra rebels fighting the Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
‘Twas at the time a titanic scandal, at least according to Congressional Democrats and the media. But after seven years of thorough, partisan investigation, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh ended up with a grand total of zero (0) upheld convictions. Meaning try as he might, Walsh could not prove any actual wrongdoing was committed by anyone.
In fact, according to Lawrence Walsh's Iran-Contra report, the sentences of Richard Secord (making false statements to Congress), Carl Channell (conspiracy to defraud the United States) and Thomas Clines (underreporting his earnings to the IRS) appear to have been upheld and served.
Further, the reasons other convictions were not upheld had little to do with failing to prove "any actual wrongdoing." As the Walsh report details, most principals were pardoned -- some even before being sentenced -- and those whose sentences were overturned, such as Oliver North and John Poindexter, were not done for lack of proof but, rather, because there were questions about the use of immunized testimony.
Looks like there was plenty of "actual wrongdoing" proven by Walsh. Will Motley correct himself?