Ronald Reagan Typed Letter Signed as President – Great Content Including Iran-Contra and The American West


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40th President.  Typed letter signed (TLS) “Ron” AS PRESIDENT, one page, 7 x 10.5, White House letterhead, December 2, 1986. Letter to his longtime pen pal Dolores M. Ballachino in Boulder City, Nevada, in full:

It was good to hear from you to know how much you have come to love the West. I’m a midwesterner (Illinois) but I became a westerner after a short time and know how you feel. I guess the poet Robert W. Service said it when he wrote the line, ‘The land of gold held him as if in a spell.’

I’m sorry campaigning doesn’t provide time for visits but it was great to see you. If I didn’t look like I recognized you, put it down to self-consciousness. I’m always aware that I’m facing the crowd and they’ll wonder what I’m doing if I appear to be communicating with someone they can’t see.

Thank you and Paul for all you did in the effort to get us a Senator. You have every right to be proud because I’m convinced you made the difference in your precinct.

You are right about the media in this Iran thing. I’ve told them the absolute truth and they just won’t accept it. I think, however, we are moving on a couple of fronts that will put out the fire and break up the lynch mob.

Please thank Sabrina for me for her letter and tell her she is still in our prayers.

In fine condition.

A fascinating letter in which Reagan evokes the great Western plains, the stagecraft involved in politics, and the notorious Iran-Contra scandal.

On the very day he signed this letter, Reagan held a meeting in the Cabinet Room, where, according to his Daily Diary:  “The President participated in a meeting to discuss investigations into the arms sales to Iran and the role of the National Security Council in the conduct of foreign policy with the Republican Congressional leadership.”  That meeting was immediately followed by:  “The President made an Address to the Nation announcing the Independent Counsel to investigate the arms sales to Iran. The remarks were broadcast live over nationwide radio and television. ”

The Address to the Nation on the Investigation of the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy was as follows:

Good afternoon. Since the outset of the controversy over our policy relating to Iran, I’ve done everything in my power to make all the facts concerning this matter known to the American people. I can appreciate why some of these things are difficult to comprehend, and you’re entitled to have your questions answered. And that’s why I’ve pledged to get to the bottom of this matter.

And I have said earlier that I would welcome the appointment of an independent counsel to look into allegations of illegality in the sale of arms to Iran and the use of funds from these sales to assist the forces opposing the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. This morning, Attorney General Meese advised me of his decision that his investigation has turned up reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation by an independent counsel would be appropriate. Accordingly, consistent with his responsibilities under the Independent Counsel Act, I immediately urged him to apply to the court here in Washington for the appointment of an independent counsel.

Yesterday I had my first meeting with the Special Review Board. That Review Board is made up of three men of unquestioned integrity and broad experience in foreign and national security policy. In the meeting with the Board, they promised me a tough, no-nonsense investigation; and I promised them the full cooperation of the White House staff and all Agencies of the executive branch. No area of the NSC staff’s activities will be immune from review. And when the Board reports to me, I intend to make their conclusions and recommendations available to Congress and to the American people. With the appointment of an independent counsel, we will have in place a dual system for assuring a thorough review of all aspects of this matter. If illegal acts were undertaken, those who did so will be brought to justice. If actions in implementing my policy were taken without my authorization, knowledge, or concurrence, this will be exposed and appropriate corrective steps will be implemented.

I recognize fully the interest of Congress in this matter and the fact that in performing its important oversight and legislative role Congress will want to inquire into what occurred. We will cooperate fully with these inquiries. I have already taken the unprecedented step of permitting two of my former national security advisers to testify before a committee of Congress. These congressional inquiries should continue. But I do believe Congress can carry out its duties in getting the facts without disrupting the orderly conduct of a vital part of this nation’s government. Accordingly, I am urging the Congress to consider some mechanism that will consolidate its inquiries — such a step has already been requested by several Members of Congress. I support the idea.

In closing, I want to state again that it is my policy to oppose terrorism throughout the world, to punish those who support it, and to make common cause with those who seek to suppress it. This has been my policy and will continue to be my policy. If the investigative processes now set in motion are given an opportunity to work, all the facts concerning Iran and the transfer of funds to assist the anti-Sandinista forces will shortly be made public. Then the American people — you — will be the final arbiters of this controversy. You will have all the facts and will be able to judge for yourselves.

I am pleased to announce today that I am appointing Frank Carlucci as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. A former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, and Ambassador to Portugal, Mr. Carlucci has the depth of experience in foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence matters that uniquely qualify him to serve as my national security adviser. The American people will be well served by his tenure.

Thank you, and God bless you.

According to the December 2, 1986 entry from The White House Diaries from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute website:

Things moved fast—today became announcement day instead of tomorrow. GOP House & Sen. Ldrshp. came down. We met in Cabinet Room. Again I told them the whole story about Iran and answered their Q’s & we agreed to meet again tomorrow. Then I went on T.V. and announced Carluccis appt. Also that Ed Meese at my urging was going to ask the Court to apt. an Independent Council—we used to call them a Prosecutor. I assured our T.V. viewers we would cooperate with the Congress etc. I think we cooled some of the savage beasts.