However, once that brain freeze lodged in the head of the GOP thawed the scripted talking points of criticism began to play themselves out on the stage of dirty politics, innuendo, and in the case of some, blatant hypocrisy. Not surprisingly, lead characters including the usual big name method actors such as House Speaker John Boehner, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham…et al were cast for type and sadly did not disappoint. Of course then there are the up and comers like Senators Ted Cruz, Mark Rubio, Kelly Ayotte and some Congressman who if I were to name would only add to our malaise. Last, but not least, as it relates to the usual suspects there is the supporting cast studio of Fox News and its stable of the only skid-row actors known to pawn off delirious improvisation as fact-filled news reporting successfully.
However, once in a while there emerges onto the scene an actor of old. Although the face and name are familiar, the role of his lifetime, the one for which he is famous, is archived in the vault alongside another actor’s lost episode. I speak of none other than Colonel Oliver North and the actor alongside which his story is archived is President Ronald Reagan. So, let’s dust off the film canister and take a walk down memory street.
However, for some perspective before we remove the lid, let’s find out what the Colonel said to warrant a ‘for old times’ sake’ viewing of his most famous role. During a Newsmax radio show, North accused the Obama administration of paying a ransom for Sgt. Bergdahl North saying, “Someone paid a ransom,” North said. “Whether the Qataries paid it, or some big oil sheik, or somebody used our petro-dollars, there was a ransom paid in cash for each one of them. My guess would be somewhere in the round numbers of $5 or 6 Million to get Bergdahl freed. I know that the offer that was on the table before was close to a million.”
This past Tuesday while a guest with Sean Hannity on Fox News, North said President Obama might believe “unilateral surrender is the way to end the war,” and once again demanded to know whether a ransom was paid to the Haqqanis. North went on to add, “and if a ransom was paid, either at our behest or with American tax dollars, it means this government is causing to be funded a criminal enterprise that kills Americans, the Haqqanis.”
Mind you, this is coming from someone who admitted his role in the Iran–Contra affair, a political scandal that rocked the second term of President Reagan’s Administration. North acknowledged his role in aiding the sale of weapons through channels to Iran with the profits going to the Contras in Nicaragua. North was accused of forming an undercover network, which subsequently funneled those funds to the Contras in direct violation of the Boland Amendment that prohibited the appropriation of U.S. funds by intelligence agencies for the support of the Contras. The money was passed through a shell organization, the “National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty”, to the Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C., and then to the Contras.
The scheme’s initial plan had as its objective freeing the American hostages taken and held in Iran during the Carter Administration. However, North along with other Reagan administration officials illegally used the proceeds to finance rebels in Nicaragua. It remains a widely held belief that the Iran-Contra scandal spawned not only the arms for hostages scandal, but also the crack epidemic of the American inner cities.
*This was prompted by the journalist Gary Webb‘s report in the San Jose Mercury News alleging that the CIA was behind the 1980s crack epidemic. Gary Webb alleged through his Dark Alliance series that the government had been complicit in the trade of drugs in the inner city through the use of a kingpin named Freeway Ricky Ross. According to the Oakland Tribune, “In the course of his rise, prosecutors estimate that Ross exported several tons of cocaine to New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and made more than $600 million in the process.”
Crack allegations notwithstanding, North along with other Reagan Administration officials were indicted on multiple charges in 1988 relating to the Iran –Contra arms for hostages scandal. However, with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, North appealed and his conviction was overturned.
House Speaker Boehner said on Tuesday regarding the swap for Sgt. Berghdal, “We’re going to pay for this.” Well, Speaker Boehner according to Colonel North and your GOP, and Fox News cohorts we already have. Oh, sorry folks, no time for the movie.
~~ Written By Jay Arrington
Maryland Daily Examiner