Robert McFarlane, the national security adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 84, following a scandal involving Iran’s opposition. According to The New York Times, McFarlane died Thursday in Lansing, Michigan, while visiting family.
On December 5, 2016, Robert “Bud” McFarlane, Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, passes through the lobby of Trump Tower. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are working to fill cabinet and other key positions in the incoming administration.
He admitted to withholding information from Congress during an investigation into the Iran opposition scandal in 1988, when the Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of Western hostages. The money from the arms sales was then secretly channelled to Nicaraguan opposition rebels trying to overthrow the Marxist government.
Robert McFarland served as President Reagan’s National Security Advisor from October 1983 to December 1985. He stepped in after Congress passed the Boland Amendment, which banned aid to the opposition, prompting Reagan to demand that he “keep the rebels physically and mentally alive.
” McFarlane hired NSC staff member Oliver North for the job, though he later claimed telling North not to raise money for opponents violated the law. In 1985, reports of North’s fundraising and opposition to the support network were published in the media, prompting Congress to question McFarland.
He admitted being responsible for North’s actions as his supervisor, but claimed a lack of knowledge about the activities. Subsequent evidence suggests that this is not the case. In fact, NSC general counsel Paul Thompson highlighted six memos North wrote to McFarland in which his actions most blatantly contradicted McFarland’s testimony. McFarland advised North to revise those memos, he simply told independent lawyers to make them more accurate. But North’s changes apparently overshadowed his anti-aid efforts.