Copyright 1995 The Kansas City Star Co.
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
April 30, 1995 Sunday METROPOLITAN EDITION
SECTION: NATIONAL/WORLD; Pg. A12
LENGTH: 541 words
HEADLINE: North disputes notion on blast; Iran-contra figure disputes that it was domestic terrorism.
BYLINE: CINDY EBERTING, Staff Writer
Americans should "quit throwing stones" at one another over the Oklahoma City bombing, Iran-contra figure Oliver North said Saturday night.
North, who spoke at Johnson County Community College, also disputed the notion that the bombing was the work of domestic terrorists. The "despicable act" didn't have a political goal, one of the requirements of terrorism, he said.
"We have to step back and stop throwing stones at each otherand remain absolutely steadfast to the principles contained in this document," he said, holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
At a news conference before his speech, North described the bombing as "pathological criminal behavior. "
"It's the same as what the Unabomber is," the former National Security aide said. "The same as the assassin who tried to kill Ronald Reagan. And it should be dealt with as such. "
North, who recently started his own syndicated radio talk show, denounced President Clinton's treatment of the explosion.
"I commended the president for three days on my show on how he handled the tragedy," North said to reporters. "But by Sunday night he received some bad political advice. He tried to capitalize and make political hay over the tragedy, which was a terrible mistake. "
North said Clinton encouraged the nation to "make a minor departure from American civil liberties" because of the bombing.
If Reagan had said something similar after he was shot, North said, "you guys (the media) would have gone nuts. "
North spoke for about 30 minutes to a crowd of more than 800 people who stood and applauded after his introduction, after his speech and after his question-and-answer session.
"Now I know why Bob Dole is from Kansas," he said about the warm reception. "I should have come out here to run. "
Most of North's speech focused on his plan to change government by cutting taxes and reforming welfare.
"I'm tired of a government who taxes, taxes, taxes," he said.
"Who punishes success and invests in failureWhat we want as conservatives is a government who takes less, spends less and intrudes less. "
Displaying a copy of the Constitution, North said: "He wrote to promote the general welfare, you'll note he didn't say to provide welfare generally. "
North, who came under fire from Congress for his part in the Iran-contra affair, said that although "others can't get beyond that," it is not the most important part of his life.
North was criticized for his role in a secret deal to sell missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Money from the weapons sales was then funneled to the contras in Nicaragua.
"Everyone, in time, will come to a point where they have to make a decision between bad and worse," he said about his actions.
North, who ran unsuccessfully last year for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, said he doesn't plan to run for office again until 1999, after his youngest daughter graduates from high school.
Until then, he said, he would be campaigning for the office of "husband and father" and might write another book.
GRAPHIC: Photo, A press conference was held Saturday night by former National Security Council aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North before he spoke at Johnson County Community College.; DAVID PULLIAM/The Star