Next, the Most Important Witness?

Poindexter cannot match North's theatrics, but his story will be crucial

Who will prove to be the most important witness the Iran-contra committees hear? No, not Oliver North -- at least not according to Warren Rudman, vice chairman of the Senate panel. After listening to North for four days last week, the New Hampshire Republican repeated a longstanding prediction: the crucial witness will be Ollie's old boss, former National Security Adviser John Poindexter, who follows North to the stand this week.

To be sure, TV viewers cannot expect any rerun of North's theatrics. The balding, pipe-puffing Poindexter is the exact reverse of a dramatic figure. He speaks, when he must, in a...