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Lt. Col. Oliver North: Patriotic Hero or Misguided Zealot?

July 16, 1987

I have listened to much of the testimony of North before the Senate-House investigating committee. I am baffled by the positive response he engenders in many observers.

I don't think North is able to tell the full truth even to himself. He sees himself as an embattled hero, and he is not comfortable in any other role. He will manipulate any evidence, testimony or situation to fit himself into that role.

This man, in league with others slightly less fanatical, constituted a serious threat to our republic. There is hardly a single democratic principle on which our republic is founded that he did not try to subvert, either deliberately or incidentally, in the course of "getting things done" for his superiors.

JIM ROBERTS

Los Angeles

(Since Friday The Times has received 475 letters opposing North's actions and 134 letters in support of him.)

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