The Australian publishes a “news story” on the funeral of a war criminal:
US president Ronald Reagan’s defence secretary Caspar Weinberger was remembered yesterday as a patriot who hid chocolate in his desk and liked to catch a daytime nap but who also took on totalitarian regimes and helped to end the Cold War.
On Christmas Eve Day 1992, as many Americans were wrapping holiday gifts or rushing off to visit relatives, the nation’s history took a turn that blacked out key chapters of the recent past and foreshadowed troubling developments in the future.
At the center of that historic moment was former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who died on March 28 at the age of 88. In 1992, he was one of six defendants in the Iran-Contra scandal who received Christmas Eve pardons from President George H.W. Bush less than a month before Bush left office.
If Bush had not granted those pardons, Weinberger would have gone on trial in early 1993 facing perjury and obstruction charges, a courtroom drama that could have changed how Americans perceived key figures from the Reagan administration, including Colin Powell and President Bush himself.