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May

21

1988

May 21, 1988



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Diary Entry - 05/21/1988

Saturday, May 21, 1988

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Armed Forces day—that was theme of my noon radio cast. At 10:30 A.M. a meeting—10 of us in Yellow Oval room. Subject same as last night’s—Noriega & his indictment. Kozak flew back from Panama with terms agreed on in negotiations with Noriega & his lawyers. He is willing to announce now that he’s retiring as Commander of the nat. military on Aug. 12 & shortly thereafter he’ll leave Panama til after the 1989 election. We in turn are to Quash the indictment Aug. 12. My position is it’s a good deal. The indictment is meaningless because the Panama Const. prohibits our extraditing him. H. Baker, Jim Baker, the V.P. & Ed Meese want us to refuse the deal because of the politics—how it will look giving in to a drug dealer. I say what will it look like backing down & letting him continue as the absolute Dictator of Panama & still in the drug business. I had to duck out at noon & do my radio cast but was back in 15 min. & we went on til about 1:15. Geo. Shultz, Colin & I are practically alone—well no—include Kozak. I finally moved for thinking it over til Mon. & meeting again.

So Nancy (she disagrees with me) & I had lunch on the balcony. An afternoon of reading then a Black Tie evening at the “Preservation Ball” of the “Am. Film Institute” at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It was a wonderful evening—a tribute to Fred Astaire. Bunny Wrather was chairwoman & there were a lot of old friends—Marge Champion, Nanette Fabray, Betty Furness, Joan Leslie, Cyd Charise & a newer friend Mikhail Baryshnikov. Film clips of Freds movies were shown & finally a clip from “This Is The Army” in which I starred & then I said a few words & we came home.