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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just doin' my job

Would you brag about this?
From January 1983 to November 1986, Oliver North was the U.S. government's counter-terrorism coordinator. During his tenure the world witnessed a dramatic increase in hijackings, bombing and kidnappings by radical Islamic terrorists.
That's how Fox News recently promoted its well-known talking head.

According to Rupert Murdoch's network, North's "experience will provide you with a unique and unprecedented perspective."

Update note: I sometimes forget my younger readers. Lt. Colonel Oliver North, who was working in the National Security Council, "masterminded" the illegal sale of arms to Iran in the mid-1980s. According to Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh in 1993, North "was the White House official most directly involved in secretly aiding the contras, selling arms to Iran, and diverting Iran arms sales proceeds to the contras."

Since January 19, 1984, Iran has been on the official State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism. It's a significant list:
Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act. Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors.
North's conviction for assorted crimes was overturned because his nationally televised (and immunized) congressional testimony had likely tainted the jury.

So he sold arms to a terrorist-sponsoring nation, but got off on a technicality.

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