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Pentagon confirms Iran-Contra figure in senior job(Article)

  1. Jul 11, 2005 #1
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Robert Earl, who destroyed national security documents during the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, is working as chief of staff to acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, the Pentagon said on Monday.

    Earl destroyed and stole national security documents while working for Lt. Col. Oliver North during a secret arms deal with Iran in which the United States passed money from those weapons sales to Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua, according to a report to Congress by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh.

    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed Earl was a senior England aide, a fact first reported in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. He added, "I wonder why it's an issue now."

    "It was a long time ago," Whitman said. "He has served ably for many years in the department and in industry."

    Earl was granted immunity for his testimony in the Iran-Contra scandal and was never prosecuted.

    John Ullyot, spokesman for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, said the Pentagon informed the committee about the issue. He declined any further comment.

    But congressional watchdog groups raised questions about the administration's decision to give such a senior job to a person with a record of tampering with the very kinds of classified national security documents he will now oversee.

    "That fact is that this is a very sensitive and critical job," said Mary Boyle, spokewoman for Common Cause. "While it is true that people can pay their debts to society ... this is a job that should be filled by someone who is beyond reproach."

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2005 #2
    Seems to me that if you had a bank robber who testifed against his fellows and received immunity for that testamony would not be given a position of bank teller any time soon!? :confused:
  4. Jul 11, 2005 #3

    This administration is so corrupt. I can't get over it.

    The argument of someone being the "best person for the job" (Rice, Bolton, and now this) doesn't wash. If these are the best our country can muster for top positions ..... God.

    On the other hand, if DC is a den of thieves looking to protect its own interests..... God.
  5. Jul 11, 2005 #4


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  6. Jul 12, 2005 #5
    You think this is only the evil Republicans? I guarantee you that Berger will be working for the next Democrat.

  7. Jul 12, 2005 #6


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    How about we charge them after they commit the crime ?

    Besides, who said anything about evil republicans ? The only pointed accusation were against the Bush White House.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2005
  8. Jul 12, 2005 #7
    well, he admitted to the crime and was found guilty.

    and do we need to get into how many criminals made their way into the Clinton white house? do we need to go down that road again?
  9. Jul 12, 2005 #8


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    You know that's not the charge I'm talking about. You just accused a future Democratic White House of the future crime of hiring Sandy Berger.
  10. Jul 12, 2005 #9
    Ok, well assuming that the dems win the next presidential election (which they probably will) I will take a raincheck on that and postpone my statement until 2009, alright?
  11. Jul 12, 2005 #10
    Ok. can we say then that the US goverment (doesn't mathers if it's a republicans or democrats) is made of criminals??

    I agree with both of you....
  12. Jul 12, 2005 #11
    Question of the day: whose government has a greater percentage of criminals, the US or Argentina? :rofl:
  13. Jul 12, 2005 #12
    Actualy our most corrupt leaders (Carlos Menem, Domingo Cavallo) where also those who had the best diplomatic relationships with the us goverment..
    We use to say here that they had "Carnal Relations" with the us goverment...
    Anyway, that question depend if you are talking about the number of corrupt goverment oficials (in that case we win we have plenty more) or you are refering to the magnitud and the reach of their criminal acts (in that case you win)

    Edit:When our corrupt leaders comit crimes (all the time) we are the one who suffer. but when your's commit a crime it's the entire world....
  14. Jul 12, 2005 #13
    touche, however to my knowledge corruption has not reached the point where the US economy has defaulted.

    Consider the following:


    In terms of corruption, Argentina is listed as being #33 whereas the US is in the bottom 15% at #112. I think that it is safe to say that law enforcement keeps corruption in the US to a minimum.

    If your statement is some kind of tongue-in-cheek statement about US foreign policy, then I don't know what to say.
  15. Jul 12, 2005 #14
    hey i am not saying that argentina hasn't a corrupt goverment.. of course we have a very very corrupt goverment. tell that to my, i am sick of it.. i has been shot by the police with rubber bullets for protesting against my goverment.

    The problem is that US gov is the 1st power of the world. And coruption is in it's higher spheres of power, for example in my country you can pay for your drivers licence and not do any driving test.. or you can pay a cop to avoid a trafic ticket.... that doens't happen in USA, but cheney, condoleza rice, carlucci, bush, clinton, etc are all proven corrupt.... with the diference that their decicions afects the entire world...
  16. Jul 12, 2005 #15
    by corrupt you mean that they are stealing money from the people? or is it that you see their foreign actions as immoral?
  17. Jul 12, 2005 #16
    No, when i say corrupt for example could be:

    The police acepting a bribe of a driver for not doing a speeding ticket for example.. no money is being stolen from the people, it's just that the driver prefer to pay the cop a small amount and not pay the trafic ticket.....

    Another common case of corruption, at least here in argentina, let say the minister of infrastructure.... He aproves a program to build a bridge, then he make a "Ghost corporation" who only exist in papers, then he make his gosth corporation win the bid, and pay the corporation with state money to build the bridge, he keeps the money of the bridge and no bridge is done.. or they chose 2 or 3 corporations who's owner are personal friends of them, and they gave all the contracts to them in exchange of a bribe...

    Those are specific cases of corruption, but when all this thing happens all the time, this make a Mafia instead of a goverment.... so if you are not playing the game, you are busted. My goverment is not more a goverment, it's a group of criminals who have everything organized to steal all the money and power they can from the people.

    Another form of corruption is that of Conflict of interest, for example, i am the ceo of a private corporations, let's say "Weapons manufacturer INC" and after i resing i get a place in the goverment as "Defence purchasing office"
    Or i was the ceo of "Global Oil unlimited" and after i resing i end up in the "Ministry of Petroleum and Energy "

    And that is the kind of corruption that us have.. with the problem that they are the number 1 weapons manufacturer and the number 1 in oil consumption in the world...
  18. Jul 12, 2005 #17
    I can see your point, Burnsys.

    However, I can also see the following point:

    Let's say that I am a retiring General. I'm now looking to go work in the private sector. What industry am I now fit to go into, other than the defense industry? Wouldn't be a natural choice that a former General would be the head of a defense company? Who better to lead one?

    There are strong ties between business and government, but it's not always bad. Some people have certain expertise, and that expertise is badly needed by the government, so much so that they contract the work out.

    Where I would agree with you is if these ties become a little too strong to a single particular company, in which case the gov. (and therefore the people) may not be getting what they paid for. And, as you have pointed out, the influence that a single company (or possibly even a monopoly) may have over the gov. policies may not be in the best interests of the people or the industry in general.
  19. Jul 12, 2005 #18
    Now sell that to most Americans, few if any who actually care about Iran-Contra and more of those who holding bitterly opposite positions on the subject. Like I said before, it's good to see Earl back.
  20. Jul 13, 2005 #19
    what kind of world do we live in where we defend our nation's state of corruption by pointing out the state of corruption of other nations?

    i mean we should accept and redeem instead of passing the buck shouldn't we?
  21. Jul 14, 2005 #20
    So ... my question is, "Why did you say 'retiring' and not 'seeking employment eslewhere where I can now pedal my influence'"?

    Call a spade a spade.

    The man should also be prevented from collecting that 'pension' for retirement until he actually DOES retire.
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