It's deja vu all over again. Once more Mr. James Gilbert (in last Saturday's edition of The Inter-Mountain) is dragging up the past and lamenting on the sins of the conservative right, namely Oliver North and his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
In the first place, North couldn't have possibly pulled off Iran-Contra by himself, even if he fostered it. There were people well above his pay grade involved, people whose identities were protected by design. These things usually go past several members of Congress, some of them Democrats. Oops!
Like all Presidents in situations like this, there's little doubt that Reagan knew at least a portion of what was taking place, but there was information withheld from him, also by design.
I take issue with the statement "nearly brought down the Reagan administration." He was never in any danger of leaving. In fact he wasn't even impeached, but Bill Clinton was. If the Senate had been a GOP majority Mr. Clinton would have walked out the front gate talking to the sidewalk.
Have we forgotten that North helped plan the invasion of Grenada to rescue the American college students? What about working with the State Department to force down the airliner carrying the hijackers of that cruise ship Achille Lauro? And the bombing of Libya when Gaddafi cockily masterminded the night club bombing in Germany? North was credited with helping plan or investigate these and more crimes against America. He may be a scoundrel in the writer's eyes, but he is unquestionably a patriot.
What about Charlie Wilson (Democrat, Texas) who helped the Mujahideen run the Soviets out of Afghanistan? That was supposed to be a good thing, but we now know that the Mujahideen , al quaeda and the Taliban all sleep in the same bed, murdering hundreds of thousands and pillaging throughout the Middle East with the same goal, control of the entire region before re-organizing and spreading. Charlie Wilson did a lot of good here at home, but he's got a lot of civilian blood on his hands also.
Now the writer's defense of Bowe Bergdahl is so lame I actually considered not commenting, then thought better of it. Bergdahl's fellow soldiers were yanked before their commanding officer a day or two after he deserted and warned if they told anyone what happened before Bergdahl was found they would be court-martialed and probably imprisoned. They complied, but now they're talking and yes, he will get his day in court, but when his former comrades get done testifying he will be convicted.
Lastly, John McCain never supported swapping those five criminals for Bergdahl. He said he would consider a trade, but he vehemently opposed releasing the five in question. I've listened to the Anderson Cooper interview and read it on at least five web sites. He did not OK it. Look it up, but stay away from the likes of MSNBC.