Caspar Weinberger: Remembering a Great Man

On Sunday, December 14 2003, my cell phone rang at 4:30 am. It was my boss, WLS Program Director Michael Packer, informing me that Saddam Hussein had been dragged out of his spider hole, and that as a result, I needed to drag my rear end in to work ASAP. WLS would be running special programming. Other hosts got the same call. Eileen Bryne came in, Deborah Rowe came in and I did extended duty. Our staff of excellent producers also came in on that Sunday. In between hearing from the most important voices on WLS, our wonderful listeners, we interviewed newsmakers the producers found for us.

As many readers know, I don't have a lot of guests on my show, and in those days, I had even fewer than I do now. It takes a lot to make the cut, and when producer Jeff Hackl came on the intercom, most of the time the names he threw out weren't making it. I won't mention any names, but suffice it to say that I failed to see how certain local politicians could shed a lot of light on the foreign policy implications of the dictator's capture, especially since I wouldn't even had interviewed them about the mayor's blue bag recycling plan. If that's the best he had, I told Hackl, I'd rather talk to listeners by myself.

And then he said a name that made me gasp at the very thought that I'd be able to speak to this great man, a man I had admired for many years, but who up until then had been yet another famous courageous freedom fighter I read about, but never hoped to meet. Like Reagan or Thatcher. The man on the phone was Caspar Weinberger, Ronald Reagan's secretary of defense, who along with President Reagan helped defeat the Soviet Union, and who was vilified and despised by the Left for the crime of understanding the evil that was communism.

I guess it's too much to expect the members of the 5th column, anti—American MSM (mainstream media) to tell the truth about Mr. Weinberger, so let me set a couple of things straight. In her AP obit, published March 29th, Elizabeth White wrote:

But his work also led to trouble—federal felony charges stemming from his alleged role in the sale of weapons to Iran to finance secret, illegal aid to the Nicaraguan contras. The 'arms—for—hostages' affair poisoned the closing years of Reagan's administration and permanently stained the reputations of the insiders involved.

At the risk of being too blunt let me just say what a crock of crap that is! And what a clever way to gloss over what really happened. Liberals love to toss around the phrase 'Iran—Contra' when 99% of them couldn't tell you at gunpoint what really happened there. Here's what did: despite spending $47 million and 7 years, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh was unable to find anything on Caspar Weinberger. (Nor was the idiotic and unconstitutional Boland amendment violated, incidentally.) Of course, that didn't stop him from bringing a couple of frivolous indictments against Cap, one of which resulted from Mr. Weinberger's unwillingness to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and implicate President Reagan, and the other of which was deliberately and conveniently issued 5 days before the 1992 presidential election, and almost 5 years after Mr. Weinberger had left office.

President George H.W. Bush, to his credit, saw this indictment for what it was, a contemptible and partisan (and successful) attempt to influence the outcome of the election, and he pardoned Mr. Weinberger, thereby avoiding a trial.

As to the substance of the so—called 'Iran—Contra affair,' let's be very clear. Yes, it was probably a bad idea to trade arms for hostages. I say probably because some analysts think that the availability of arms enabled the Iranian 'moderate' (is that sort of like jumbo shrimp?) Hashemi Rafsanjani to become president after Khomeni died, which they say was a good thing. I don't think it was a good thing because it didn't help achieve our objectives. Hezbollah kept kidnapping people, and Bill Buckley, the Beirut CIA station chief ended up dying while being tortured by the Hezbollah scum who had kidnapped him.

But what were the Democrats in Congress really outraged about? Trading arms for hostages? No. The Democrats were angry because they had a fundamental disagreement with Ronald Reagan and Caspar Weinberger. The disagreement was very basic and very simple to understand. The Democrats were objectively pro—communist. They wanted to make sure that Fidel Castro, Jr. aka Daniel Ortega was able to establish a Cuba—style dictatorship in Nicaragua.  They even passed a law that many legal experts believe was unconstitutional, the Boland amendment. It was never tested in court, but since it was an attempt by Congress to take over foreign policy, it had a good chance at being shot down. President Reagan and Caspar Weinberger didn't share the love that Democrats like John Kerry and Jimmy Carter had for their 'dear commandante' Mr. Ortega, nor did they share their affinity for communism.

That's the bottom line, pure and simple. So when liberals screech about how evil President Reagan was because of 'Iran—Contra,' just remember that's shorthand for 'we love America's enemies.' Caspar Weinberger loved America, not its enemies. I am honored to have been able to speak to him, and very sad at his passing.

Teri O'Brien hosts a talk show on WLS—AM, Chicago, which can be heard here from noonto 3 PM today, Central Daylight time. Her blog is found here.

On Sunday, December 14 2003, my cell phone rang at 4:30 am. It was my boss, WLS Program Director Michael Packer, informing me that Saddam Hussein had been dragged out of his spider hole, and that as a result, I needed to drag my rear end in to work ASAP. WLS would be running special programming. Other hosts got the same call. Eileen Bryne came in, Deborah Rowe came in and I did extended duty. Our staff of excellent producers also came in on that Sunday. In between hearing from the most important voices on WLS, our wonderful listeners, we interviewed newsmakers the producers found for us.

As many readers know, I don't have a lot of guests on my show, and in those days, I had even fewer than I do now. It takes a lot to make the cut, and when producer Jeff Hackl came on the intercom, most of the time the names he threw out weren't making it. I won't mention any names, but suffice it to say that I failed to see how certain local politicians could shed a lot of light on the foreign policy implications of the dictator's capture, especially since I wouldn't even had interviewed them about the mayor's blue bag recycling plan. If that's the best he had, I told Hackl, I'd rather talk to listeners by myself.

And then he said a name that made me gasp at the very thought that I'd be able to speak to this great man, a man I had admired for many years, but who up until then had been yet another famous courageous freedom fighter I read about, but never hoped to meet. Like Reagan or Thatcher. The man on the phone was Caspar Weinberger, Ronald Reagan's secretary of defense, who along with President Reagan helped defeat the Soviet Union, and who was vilified and despised by the Left for the crime of understanding the evil that was communism.

I guess it's too much to expect the members of the 5th column, anti—American MSM (mainstream media) to tell the truth about Mr. Weinberger, so let me set a couple of things straight. In her AP obit, published March 29th, Elizabeth White wrote:

But his work also led to trouble—federal felony charges stemming from his alleged role in the sale of weapons to Iran to finance secret, illegal aid to the Nicaraguan contras. The 'arms—for—hostages' affair poisoned the closing years of Reagan's administration and permanently stained the reputations of the insiders involved.

At the risk of being too blunt let me just say what a crock of crap that is! And what a clever way to gloss over what really happened. Liberals love to toss around the phrase 'Iran—Contra' when 99% of them couldn't tell you at gunpoint what really happened there. Here's what did: despite spending $47 million and 7 years, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh was unable to find anything on Caspar Weinberger. (Nor was the idiotic and unconstitutional Boland amendment violated, incidentally.) Of course, that didn't stop him from bringing a couple of frivolous indictments against Cap, one of which resulted from Mr. Weinberger's unwillingness to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and implicate President Reagan, and the other of which was deliberately and conveniently issued 5 days before the 1992 presidential election, and almost 5 years after Mr. Weinberger had left office.

President George H.W. Bush, to his credit, saw this indictment for what it was, a contemptible and partisan (and successful) attempt to influence the outcome of the election, and he pardoned Mr. Weinberger, thereby avoiding a trial.

As to the substance of the so—called 'Iran—Contra affair,' let's be very clear. Yes, it was probably a bad idea to trade arms for hostages. I say probably because some analysts think that the availability of arms enabled the Iranian 'moderate' (is that sort of like jumbo shrimp?) Hashemi Rafsanjani to become president after Khomeni died, which they say was a good thing. I don't think it was a good thing because it didn't help achieve our objectives. Hezbollah kept kidnapping people, and Bill Buckley, the Beirut CIA station chief ended up dying while being tortured by the Hezbollah scum who had kidnapped him.

But what were the Democrats in Congress really outraged about? Trading arms for hostages? No. The Democrats were angry because they had a fundamental disagreement with Ronald Reagan and Caspar Weinberger. The disagreement was very basic and very simple to understand. The Democrats were objectively pro—communist. They wanted to make sure that Fidel Castro, Jr. aka Daniel Ortega was able to establish a Cuba—style dictatorship in Nicaragua.  They even passed a law that many legal experts believe was unconstitutional, the Boland amendment. It was never tested in court, but since it was an attempt by Congress to take over foreign policy, it had a good chance at being shot down. President Reagan and Caspar Weinberger didn't share the love that Democrats like John Kerry and Jimmy Carter had for their 'dear commandante' Mr. Ortega, nor did they share their affinity for communism.

That's the bottom line, pure and simple. So when liberals screech about how evil President Reagan was because of 'Iran—Contra,' just remember that's shorthand for 'we love America's enemies.' Caspar Weinberger loved America, not its enemies. I am honored to have been able to speak to him, and very sad at his passing.

Teri O'Brien hosts a talk show on WLS—AM, Chicago, which can be heard here from noonto 3 PM today, Central Daylight time. Her blog is found here.