Reagan Names Carlucci As Assistant for National Security Affairs
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Reagan Names Carlucci As Assistant for National Security Affairs

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President Reagan announced Tuesday the appointment of Frank Carlucci, a former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as his Assistant for National Security Affairs. He succeeds Vice Admiral John Poindexter, who resigned after it was learned funds from the sale of American arms to Iran were deposited in a secret fund in Switzerland for the Contras, the force fighting the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Carlucci, 56, is considered close to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. He served under Weinberger in the Nixon Administration and as Weinberger’s deputy at the Pentagon from 1981 until December 1983.

This has caused speculation in Washington that in Reagan’s last two years, Weinberger will be the major voice in national security affairs, a position dominated by Secretary of State George Shultz for the last few years.

Nevertheless, State Department spokesman Charles Redman said Shultz was “delighted” that Reagan has appointed Carlucci, who he said has “proven abilities across the whole range of national security affairs.”


Carlucci is credited with the Defense Department’s policy in the early days of the Reagan Administration of trying to sell arms abroad, particularly in the Middle East. He is believed to have proposed the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia in 1981 and had pushed for arms for the Saudis when he was deputy director of the CIA in the Carter Administration from 1978 to 1981.

A career foreign service officer from 1956 to 1969, Carlucci also served in the Nixon Administration as director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, undersecretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and Ambassador to Portugal. Since October 1984, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Sears World Trade Inc., in Washington.


Reagan announced the appointment in a short televised address from the Oval Office in which he also announced that an independent counsel will be named to investigate whether any federal laws had been violated in the U.S. sale of arms to Iran or in the transfer of funds to the secret Contra account.

The President also pledged continued cooperation with the various Congressional investigations but suggested that Congress “consolidate its inquiries.” There has been talk of having a special investigating committee as was the case during Watergate.

Attorney General Edwin Meese told a press conference at the Justice Department that his department would continue its investigation until the independent counsel was appointed and the information would then be turned over to the counsel.

Reagan ended his address by stressing his commitment to fight international terrorism. “It is my policy to oppose terrorists throughout the world, to punish those who support it and to make common cause with those who seek to suppress it,” the President said. “This has been my policy and will continue to be my policy.”


Robert Kasten was misidentified in the December 2 Bulletin. He is a Republican Senator from Wisconsin.

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