Ollie North Chides Congress – July 9, 1987
The Iran-Contra hearings were still big news, this July 9th in 1987.
Oliver North was busy chiding the Congressional Hearing committee for its handling of the investigation, while supporters were busy demonstrating, calling him a hero who was being persecuted by Congress, who they believed were to blame for causing the illegal arms-for-hostages deal to happen in the first place. North, who was accused of illegally selling arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon while in turn illegally funding the Contra rebels in El Salvador was at the center of the scandal.
In his third day of testimony, North accused Congress of doing serious damage to the U.S. reputation overseas, saying Congress was to blame for the Iran-Contra affair because of what North called its “fickleness and vacillation”, forcing the White House to go private to aid the Contras. He went on to accuse the committee of being blatantly unfair. The hearings lumbered on.
Meanwhile, it was also a good day not to be a Merchant ship in the Persian Gulf, as the US owned and operated, but Liberian registered Super-tanker Peconic was attacked by Iranian gunboats off the coast of Kuwait. Despite pleas from ship Captains for American escorts, the Pentagon responded there was no basis for retaliation, saying there was a clear distinction between ships flying the American flag and ships, like the Peconic, who were flying the Liberian flag.
And in South Korea, a mass funeral in Seoul for a student killed in the previous month’s rioting produced new street violence. The funeral, which attracted hundreds of thousands of protestors and was mostly peaceful, until a group of protestors decided to storm South Korean President Chun Doo-whan’s residence, and then things got ugly. Despite this latest round of violence, it was not going to effect the negotiations for a direct Presidential election, according to Protest leaders. And in response, the government chose amnesty to restore the political rights of some 2300 Koreans, including opposition leader Kim Dae-jung, one of the government’s most outspoken critics.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this July 9th in 1987 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.