I’ve always been a World War II buff, and I have always loved the movie “Patton.” Right now on Fox News, “Oliver North’s War Stories” is featuring the invasion of Sicily during World War II.
It’s a fascinating program, and it’s moving to see and hear actual veterans of the invasion talking, in between historians and historical footage.
But there’s one thing that bothers me — Oliver North. He does a fine job of hosting the show, but I still remember him from the Iran-Contra scandal. And to the day he dies, no matter what else he does in his life, he’ll always be the United States Marine Colonel who, in full uniform, raised his hand, swore to tell the truth, and then lied. I’ll never stop seeing him as the man who violated his oath to protect and defend the Constitution — and was proud of it.
Yes, the whole Iran-Contra investigation was a cesspool of petty partisan squabbling, a purely political scandal — but to me, that doesn’t excuse what North did. To me, lying under oath is wrong. I don’t care if you’re Oliver North lying to Congress to cover up the details of the Iran-Contra scandal or Bill Clinton lying about his affair with Monical Lewinsky — perjury is perjury. And when one is a Marine, sworn to uphold the Constitution, lying to a legal inquiry by Congress should be a grave matter.
But North wears his perjury as a badge of honor, and has built his entire post-service career upon it. And it grates on me still.