Pawn Among Giants

As Oliver North takes the witness stand, prosecutors disclose an embarrassing link to Ronald Reagan and George Bush

In the cavernous Senate Caucus Room two years ago, a misty-eyed Marine Lieut. Colonel Oliver North dazzled millions of TV viewers. Imposing in his sharply creased uniform and Viet Nam combat ribbons, he confidently minimized his role in the Iran-contra scandal, insisting, "I was authorized to do everything that I did." Last week in a Washington federal courtroom, a more subdued North, now a blue-suited civilian with graying hair, took the witness stand and tried to convince twelve jurors that he had been merely a gofer, dutifully carrying out policy set higher in the White House. Surprisingly, the Government conceded for...

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