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Readers Should Know About Columnist Oliver North

I understand the purpose of the opinion page, and I am a died-in-the-wool supporter of our constitutional right to free speech, however, the truth and the whole truth is very important.

Oliver North commenting on a prisoner trade without full disclosure of his role in an illegal guns for terrorists deal in the 1980's is a bit disingenuous. His profile reads "combat-decorated US Marine, No. 1 bestseller etc."

Where is the part where he was on the National Security Council and part of a team who diverted proceeds of an illegal gun deal to the Khomeini regime in Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua?

This activity for which he was a part of resulted in 11 convictions. Although a criminal activity, North and others believed it was a "good" way to free American hostages. Ultimately, he was found guilty of obstruction of Congress, destroying documents, and accepting illegal gratuity. He was sentenced to two years’ probation. Of course, a few years later he was lucky enough to have the charges dropped.

His comments in the Chronicle judging an American citizen as not worthy of saving just telegraphs the bigotry that we have been forced to tolerate in the name of free speech over the past six years.

I am not saying Oliver North does not have a right to free speech, but I am saying that the Chronicle's readers have a right to understand the context from which a featured editorial contributor writes.

Calling out Brittany Griner by her race and her gender as if she could not be worthy of rescue is the very reason people take a knee in prayer for equal justice at the singing of the national anthem.

All Americans deserve the same protection and treatment, as North so eloquently ends his column: protect our homeland and countrymen (men, women, black, brown, white, genders) from adversaries.

Carol Cohen


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