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'Shoot Best Shot,' McFarlane Urges

May 13, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Former White House National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane, who attempted suicide three months ago in anguish over the Iran- contra scandal, told investigating congressmen Tuesday to quit treating him like "a fragile flower."

As McFarlane entered his eighth hour of testimony at hearings of select House and Senate committees on the Iran-contra affair, House counsel John W. Nields Jr. prefaced a question with a semi-apology for going into an area that is "not perhaps your favorite."

"Listen, Mr. Nields, you're being terribly kind," McFarlane interrupted. "And, during the break, I had the misfortune to turn on the television whereupon a young woman was describing that I was a fragile flower that had to be catered to.

"That's nonsense. Shoot your best shot."

McFarlane later told Nields: "I wasn't being frivolous with you--it was journalists."

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