NEW YORK — Lt. Col. Oliver L. North's wife says she and her four children are prepared if her husband has to go to jail because "if that happens, it will still be all right. We're Christians."
Betsy North, in an interview in the August issue of Life magazine, said her impression of the congressional hearings is that "I feel like they've got all the guns--and then there's us."
The fired National Security Council aide is scheduled to begin testifying before Congress about the Iran- contra scandal on Tuesday.
"He's not bitter," she said. "He's hopeful that he can get the real story across. If you get the true story out, I don't know how people can't see the need to fight back when communism is spreading out. . . . His motives were pure."
But she acknowledged she didn't always know where he was. "I trusted him," she said. "I rarely knew where he was going."
She would complain about his absences and was often angry, she said.
She and her husband, whom she calls by his boyhood name, Larry, play host to a church "cell group" at their home every Thursday at which four or five couples gather to read Scripture.
Betsy North, known by the code name "Mrs. Belly Button" among Iran-contra operatives, said she sometimes watches the hearings at home.
"The Bible says that you should pray for your enemies," she said. "That's what I should do. I can't say I always do. . . . I get very angry at what people say sometimes."
She said she and the children are ready if her husband has to go to jail.
"I don't think he anticipates that. I don't. But if that happens, it will still be all right. We're Christians."
The magazine said Oliver North "maintains the blithe demeanor of innocence."
The report said that while cutting the lawn with a push mower, he jokingly told the Life correspondent, "If I'd taken as much money as they say, I'd be using a riding mower instead of pushing this thing around."