The CIA: See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Gates' confirmation hopes brighten as charges against North are dropped

Senate scrutiny of Robert Gates had barely begun when an aide handed intelligence-committee chairman David Boren a slip of paper. Its message: all charges against Oliver North, the former White House aide who carried out the Iran-contra affair, had just been dismissed by a federal judge. As Boren read the bulletin aloud, some of the air went out of the long-awaited hearings on Gates' appointment to head the Central Intelligence Agency. The North dismissal, dimming any prospect of further immunity deals for key Iran-contra players, all but ensured that the Senate may never fully learn what Gates knew about the arms-trading...

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