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January 07, 1986
It seems that this was a day spent on 2 issues—one was Quadafi (Libya) and the other our 5 hostages in Lebanon.
First on Libyas top clown, after quite a session I finally came down on the side of an exec. order bringing Ams. & Am. business home from Libya and canceling relations,—trade etc. with them. At the same time we beef up the 6th fleet in the Med. Sea. If Mr. Q. decides not to push another terrorist act—O.K. we’ve been successful with our implied threat. If on the other hand he takes this for weakness & does loose another one, we will have targets in mind & instantly respond with a h--l of a punch. At tonites press conf. I announce the exec. order.
The other issue is a highly secret convoluted process that sees Israel freeing some 20 Hizballahs who aren’t really guilty of any blood letting. At the same time they sell Iran some “Tow” anti-tank weapons. We in turn sell Israel replacements & the Hisballah free our 5 hostages. Iran also pledges there will be no more kidnapings. We sit quietly by & never reveal how we got them back.
Rest of the day was spent preparing for the press conf. & then 8 P.M.—on the air. There were 15 Q’s. & 13 follow ups so only 15 got to ask. It turned out fine 18 were on the Middle East & Quadhafi. Reaction to the conf. generally good.