Subject NORTH ACQUITTAL ALL IN THE FAMILY Written 429 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdpch
Subject: NORTH ACQUITTAL: ALL IN THE FAMILY
Written 4:29 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdp:christic.news
NORTH ACQUITTAL: ALL IN THE FAMILY
Project Censored: Nomination for the "Ten Best Censored Stories of 1990"
Substantial questions of conflict of interest should be raised in
connection with the July 20, 1990 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Washington to void the three-count conviction of former White House aide
Oliver North on charges stemming from the Iran- contra scandal. Judge
Laurence H. Silberman, a member of the three- judge panel that threw out the
convictions, has ties to at least one of North's co-conspirators, and
participated in activities that closely paralleled and possibly even
initiated North's arms-for- hostages dealings.
Silberman's vote proved decisive in the court's 2-1 ruling to throw out
A key Iran-contra figure linked to Silberman is Robert McFarlane,
former-President Reagan's National Security Advisor, and North's former
boss. In the fall of 1980, Silberman and McFarlane took part in a
controversial meeting to discuss the possible release of the 52 American
hostages being held in Teheran in exchange for U.S. military equipment.
Silberman, at the time, was a top advisor to the Reagan-Bush presidential
campaign. McFarlane was on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Also present at the meeting was Richard Allen, Silberman's immediate
superior and chief foreign policy analyst for the Republican campaign, and
another man who claimed to be a representative of the Iranian government.
The four men met in the lobby of the L'Enfant Hotel in Washington D.C.,
shortly before the 1980 presidential election. Significant details remain
sketchy, however. "All I can remember was that there was discussion about
somehow releasing the hostages to the Reagan campaign or under the auspices
of the Reagan campaign...to humiliate Carter and influence our election,"
Silberman told the San Jose Mercury News.
In 1988, Houshang Lavi, an Iranian-born arms dealer, stepped forward
claiming to be the "emissary" who met with Silberman, McFarlane, and Allen.
Silberman does not deny knowing Lavi, but in an interview in Newsday, he
stated that he was "sure" that Lavi was not the emissary at L'Enfant Plaza.
After being confronted with Lavi's notes from the meeting, however,
Silberman downgraded his disclaimer to being "virtually certain."
As we now know, both Allen and McFarlane went on to become President
Reagan's National Security Advisor, and interestingly enough, Silberman went
on to become the Reagan-Bush transition team's liason to the CIA during the
period between the election and the inauguration before being appointed to
the federal judiciary by President Reagan in 1985.
At this point, Judge Silberman, who made North's acquittal possible, isn't
returning phone calls, and independent counsel Lawrence Walsh has refused
comment on the matter. And so, it seems, has the press.
SOURCE: RANDOM LENGTHS, 8/16/90, "North Verdict Tainted," by David
Armstrong, pp 1-6.
End of text from cdp:christic.news
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