The Reagan Era
Oliver North (1943-) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Marine Corps who became a key figure in the Reagan Administration's Iran-Contra Scandal in the late 1980s. Iran-Contra led to North's conviction on three felony counts, but his convictions were later overturned on a technicality on appeal. Today North appears frequently as a conservative pundit on Fox News Channel.
During the 1980s, Colonel North was assigned to a posting at the National Security Council, where he worked closely with top Reagan Administration figures to implement American foreign policy. From his NSC office, North coordinated the day-to-day operations of the Iran-Contra Affair, illegally arranging to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages, then unlawfully diverting the profits from those weapons sales to fund the anticommunist Contra guerillas in Nicaragua. North famously said he thought the scheme was "a neat idea." North's sworn testimony before a congressional investigative committee became the iconic image of the Iran-Contra Affair. North proudly admitted his crimes and insisted he would commit them again in the national interest.