On November 25, 1986 at five minutes past noon, President Ronald Reagan marched into the White House briefing room to announce that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North had been relieved of his duties on the National Security Council staff for supplying arms to the Iranians.
By Stephan Perry
It began in 1961 when Oliver North joined the Marine Corps, never knowing what he was in store for.
Combat-decorated Marine, best selling author, founder of a small business, host of a nationally heard radio show, inventor with three U.S. patents and former candidate for the U.S. Senate, Oliver North is returning to newspapers with his hard-hitting column.
“Ollie”, as he prefers to be called, was born in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and served 22 years as a U.S. Marine. His awards for service in combat are the silver star, the
bronze star for valor and two purple hearts for the wounds he received in action. Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, North was involved in planning the rescue of 804 students on the Island of Grenada and played a major role in the daring capture of the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. After helping to plan the U.S. raid on Maummar Qaddaffis, terrorist based in Libya, he was targeted by Abu Nidal, the world’s deadliest assassin.
North’s involvement in the Reagan administration’s support for the anti-communist freedom fighters in Nicaragua and the rescue of American hostages held in Beirut Lebanon, catapulted North into international prominence. North has lectured at Oxford and many other colleges and American universities. He is controversial and committed, but retains the charisma that shocked the world during the so-called Iran Contra hearings and in his 1994 campaign for U.S. Senate. North believes that
“We can disagree without being disagreeable.”
The Iran Contra affair is the name of the major
United States foreign policy scandal in the 1980s. It involved two secret operations by the executive branch of the government. The operations were 1) the sale of military equipment to Iran and enemy of the U.S.; and
2) The provision of the military aid to Contra rebels in Nicaragua, which Congress had banned. The two operations were connected by the use of profits from the Iranian arms sales to aid the Contra rebels. After
United States president Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he claimed the Sandinistas had set up a communist dictatorship. He directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to begin aiding the Contras, Nicaraguan rebels who were fighting to overthrow the Sandinistas. In 1983, however, Congress voted to limit the CIA support. In October 1984, Congress voted to cut off all aid to the Contras.
In 1989, a federal court convicted North on three charges relating to the Iran Contra affair, including altering and destroying evidence. North had worked under National Security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and
John M. Poindexter. In 1989 McFarlane pleaded guilty of withholding information from Congress during its investigation. In 1990, Poindexter was convicted of conspiracy and of lying to and obstructing Congress. In 1990 and 1991, appeals’ courts overturned the convictions of North and Poindexter on grounds that their 1987 testimony might have influenced the outcome of their later trials. Now Mr. North is living in Virginia with his wife and four kids, and as said before, writes a weekly syndicated column, has a daily radio commentary, and regularly makes speaking appearances nation wide.