Dec. 24, 1992: Outcry after President George H.W. Bush pardons cabinet members implicated in Iran-Contra
The special prosecutor responsible for investigating crimes committed in the Iran-Contra Affair, Lawrence E. Walsh, denounced the pardons granted the day before by President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Walsh charged that “the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed.”
He had pardoned: Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense, soon to go on trial for lying to Congress; Clair E. George, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine services, who had been convicted twice of perjury; Robert C. McFarlane, the former national security adviser, and Elliott Abrams, the former assistant Secretary of State for Central America, both of whom had pled guilty to withholding information from Congress; two other CIA operatives were granted clemency.
Walsh said “evidence of a conspiracy among the highest ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public” was central to his case against Weinberger. Pres. Bush had been Vice President at the time of the arms sales for hostages to Iran, and illegal aid to the insurgent Contras in Nicaragua.
Where are they today?
Caspar Weinberger: Died on March 28, 2006 at the age of 88. Following his pardon, he became the publisher of Forbes magazine.
Clair George: Is a security consultant who ran into trouble in 2002 when he was accused of phone tapping and organizing a dirty tricks campaign against an investigative reporter working on a story unflattering to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, one of George’s clients. Story here.
Robert McFarlane: He founded and led Global Energy Investors and is chair of Energy & Communications Solutions, LLC, which focuses on the development of energy and communications infrastructure projects in emerging markets.
Elliott Abrams: Worked during the 1990s for a number of right wing think tanks, including the Project for the New American Century. He was appointed director of the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs by President George W. Bush in 2002. Abrams has been implicated in a coup attempt against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. In 2005, he was promoted to Deputy National Security Advisor to President Bush.
So glad to know that subverting the Constitution and undermining Congress had real penalties. /snark