Coping with Iran-Contra: Personal Reflections on Bill Casey's Last Month at CIA

By James McCullough


During 34 years as an intelligence officer, I have had my share of exciting assignments and difficult passages. But as I think back on my career, one brief period stands out as uniquely memorable—three weeks in November and December of 1986, when I found myself in the

middle of the Agency’s effort to understand and come to grips with its roles in the Iran-Contra affair.

These were the three weeks when the roof, in both political and physical terms, fell in on DCI Bill Casey. It was also the period during which the impression formed within other parts of the executive branch, the Congress, the media, and the public that Casey and the CIA were involved in a conspiracy to “cover up” the facts of their involvement in Iran-Contra—an impression that still lingers.

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