Arms for hostages. Covert operations. Executive sessions. You may have heard these terms before, or others, like “invisible government,” “secret government,” or “Secret Team.” The U. S. Congressional investigations into the Iran-Contra affair, as it was known, brought the secret dealings of the CIA and private mercenary firms abroad to light as never before, along with hidden right-wing plans for the suspension of the U. S. Constitution in the event of an uprising by American dissidents. And of course, one of the major players now has his own show on Fox News. As the above video, “Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair,” argues, the Iran hostage crisis was a major topic of national discussion going into the 1980 U. S. Presidential election. Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter’s efforts to bring home American hostages in Iran had failed, which may have been a major factor in his losing of the election to the Reagan-Bush Republican team. After Reagan’s inauguration, however, it was revealed that secret Republican agreements had been made with the hostage holders not to release the hostages until after the election was over. In return, Reagan and Bush’s people (Bush, of course, being a former CIA chief) had promised to supply arms to the Iranians. The teams responsible for the deal, however, put a huge markup on the weapons and apparently used the profits to create right-wing paramilitary death squads in Central American countries which were to be used to suppress violently left-wing peasants’ and indigenous peoples’ rebellions. Guns, drug trafficking and enormous sums of money figure prominently in this sordid tale of espionage and many of the major players, who had previously made huge fortunes from their off-the-books military adventures in Southeast Asia during the U. S. military battles in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, would later rise to prominence once more during the Bush II years, some as targets of the 9/11 skeptics’ movement as possible “inside job” suspects. Below is more footage from the hearings on 8 July 1987 and 14 July 1987, respectively.