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Suicide Plans Hinted if Iran Mission Failed

May 14, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Former National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane indicated in congressional testimony Wednesday that he was prepared to commit suicide if he had been taken hostage in Tehran in May, 1986, but later admonished the press: "Don't write about it."

McFarlane, who actually attempted suicide three months ago after the Iran initiative became public, frequently has admitted that he knew there was a risk of being captured when he flew to Iran in an unsuccessful effort to exchange a load of U.S. military spare parts for American hostages held in Lebanon.

'Prepared . . . to Die?'

Rep. Jim Courter (R-N.J.), noting that McFarlane, as the President's former adviser, possesses considerable knowledge of U.S. secrets, asked him: "Is it too much to say that you were, therefore, prepared to be tortured and to die for your country?"

McFarlane: "Yes, sir. I think people that have to be in that situation occasionally make arrangements to deal with it and that's part of the job."

Courter: "Can you be more specific?"

McFarlane: "Well, it was a little bit of false bravado, I think. I am confident that I had the means at hand to foreclose my being exploited for intelligence."

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