Retired Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North used to be one of the left’s favorite whipping boys, chiefly because of his part in the Iran-Contra scandal of the mid ’80s. Today he is, among other things, a columnist who has traveled to Iraq frequently.
Maine’s now retired Sen. George Mitchell gained some serious ink for raking Lt. Colonel North over the coals, but there was at least one other senator who got some good ink for just about the same thing.
Let’s listen in: (abridged version)
Q: “Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?”
A: “Yes, sir.”
Q: “Isn’t that a little excessive?”
A: “No, sir.”
Q: “Why not?”
A: “The lives of my family and I were threatened, sir.”
Q: “By whom?”
A: “A terrorist, sir.”
Q: “What terrorist?”
A: “Osama bin Laden, sir.”
Q: (After struggling unsuccessfully to pronounce the name) “Why are you so afraid of this man?”
A: “He is the most evil man alive that I know of.”
This was 1987, 14 years before 9/11. Five years later the questioner, Al Gore, became vice president of the United States.
Between 1992 and 2000 there are at least two documented instances during which President Clinton could have gotten bin Laden and refused to do so, even though bin Laden had made no secret of his murderous intentions.
Like President Bush or not, and I know that many of you hate him with a visceral passion that is really rather unsettling. He, at least, realizes that we are at war.
Terence McManus, New Sharon