My project, “The Iran-Contra Affair: Patriotism or Politics?” demonstrates how the Iran-Contra affair is an ideal example of the damaging consequences that occur when a governmental branch acts independently to pursue its political goals.
After months of searching through a variety of topics, I was excited to find the Iran-Contra affair. It interested me and held a profound legacy. I had no prior knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair, so I was really shocked and intrigued by it. The more websites, articles, and books I read, the more my curiosity and the complexity of this topic grew. I have always been interested in issues relating to the Constitution and division of powers.
One of the main reasons I selected this topic, however, was because it very closely fit the theme, “Explore, Encounter, and Exchange.” The Reagan administration explored ways to bypass the restrictive laws they encountered in an attempt to protect democracy and American citizens. As a result, an exchange of arms for hostages and institutional roles took place when the NSC assumed the responsibilities formerly held by the CIA. Hence, the theme underscored my position which is that all governmental branches are accountable for upholding our Constitutional checks and balances. So, its relation to the theme is the primary reason I selected the Iran-Contra affair.
After finding this perfect topic, I conducted research by initially finding many different websites and database articles to gain an understanding of the Iran-Contra affair. Next, I visited my local library and read multiple books to deepen my knowledge. Through this, I began outlining my sections and creating a rough draft essay of what I wanted to include in my website. In October, I visited the National Security Archive which provided an extensive collection of primary source documents on my topic. While I was there, I had the awesome privilege to meet with Malcolm Bryne, author of Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power. I continued research by collecting multimedia, quotes, documents, and book excerpts. I completed my research and cited my sources. I then constructed my essay and finalized it. Finally, I returned to the National Security Archive to have an interview with Malcolm Bryne.
During my research, I realized how extensive this topic was and how much relevant media was available. Many words were needed to communicate my point and give others a good understanding of the affair. Also, I wanted to bring this topic to life through videos, images, and other multimedia I collected. So, I chose the website category. In addition, I have considerable knowledge with creating websites and coding using Java, HTML, CSS, and more. These skills were useful, as simple features that Weebly did not offer such as text borders were easy to incorporate. I created my website by inserting the sections of my essay, quotes, and appropriate multimedia into my webpages. Altogether, this learning experience has been an unforgettable one, and I am very happy I decided to do this project.