What I would like to talk about today, and I will use Iran-Contra as an illustration for much of it, is what I believe to be the conflict between two protective systems: (1) the rule of law as it is enforced by courts and lawyers; and (2) political oversight as set up by our Constitution and as it is carried out by political forces in Congress, particularly in it's oversight of the President. It is my conclusion that in some ways they are like having two alarm systems on your house: A silent system that communicates with police headquarters if there is a burglar on the premises and second alarm which blows a noisy whistle that scares the burglar off.
Lawrence E. Walsh,
Political Oversight, the Rule of Law, and Iran-Contra,
42 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol42/iss4/7