Oliver North

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Oliver Laurence North (born October 7, 1943) is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, political commentator, host of War Stories with Oliver North on Fox News Channel, a military historian, and a New York Times best-selling author.

North was at the center of national attention during the Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council member involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran, which served to encourage the release of U.S. hostages from Lebanon. North formulated the second part of the plan: diverting proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua (funding to the Contras had been prohibited under the Boland Amendment amidst widespread public opposition in the U.S. and controversies surrounding human rights abuses by the Contras). North was charged with several felonies and convicted of three, but the convictions were later vacated, and the underlying charges dismissed due to the limited immunity agreement granted for his pre-trial public Congressional testimony about the affair.[1]


Iran-Contra affair

North came into the public spotlight as a result of his participation in the Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s, in which he claimed partial responsibility for the sale of weapons via intermediaries to Iran, with the profits being channeled to the Contras in Nicaragua. He was reportedly responsible for the establishment of a covert network used for the purposes of aiding the Contras. U.S. funding of the Contras by appropriated funds spent by intelligence agencies had been prohibited by the Boland Amendment. Funding was facilitated through Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1983 by Harvey McLean, Jr., a businessman from Shreveport, Louisiana. It was initially funded with $2.8 million dollars to McLean from Herman K. Beebe. North supposedly used this bank during the Iran-Contra scandal by funneling money from his shell organization, the "National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty", through Palmer National Bank to the Contras.

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