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Meet the NRA Board: Oliver North


(Given the debate over gun violence we’re having right now, I thought this article was worth rerunning. For more on the NRA’s wacko board of directors, check out this Mother Jones story. – promoted by lowkell)

This past week, an excellent new website launched, providing voluminous information about the fine folks making up the NRA board. One of the names that jumped out at me was former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. As my writeup described, Gilmore’s background does not paint a pretty picture. In fact, it’s pretty disturbing when you examine it. Yet Gilmore sits happily on the NRA Board of Directors. What does that tell you?

Today we take a look at another Virginian whose background is not pretty, but who fits right in to the NRA Board — Oliver North. For starters, as I’m sure we all remember, North “was fired in 1986 [from the National Security Council] when his role in the Iran-Contra Affair was revealed.” North was ultimately “indicted on 16 felony counts before being convicted on three of them in 1989.” Lovely, eh?

Well, there’s lots more, courtesy of the “Meet the NRA” website. For instance, did you know that North…

In a January 7, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, North expressed his belief that “death panels” existed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 health care reform bill.

“Death panels?” This is lunatic, John Birch Society material that North’s buying into here. In reality, of course, there are no “death panels,”  unless of course we’re considering the ones inside Oliver North’s paranoid brain.

More evidence that North is a combination of crazy and extreme? How about this beauty?

In a December 2010 editorial for Fox News in opposition to the potential repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, North wrote:  “Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo tried and failed.  Mao Zedong, Nikita Khrushchev and Ho Chi Minh couldn’t do it.  But Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama may well succeed where others could not.  If he has his way, he will demolish the finest force for good in the history of mankind-the U.S. Armed Forces.”

Riiiiiight. Believing that GLBT citizens should be able to serve openly in the U.S. military, as they do in most NATO militaries, put you on a level with Hitler (who murder tens of thousands of GLBT people) and Mao (perhaps the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century). Also note that “nearly 80% of [Americans] support the right of gays to serve openly in the U.S. military.” Apparently, according to Oliver North, 80% of Americans are comparable to Hitler and Mao. Not sure what he thinks of the remaining 20%, but presumably they’re good, patriotic Americans, probably NRA members. Heh.

Also on the issue of gays in the military, about which North appears to be weirdly obsessed, he also worries that repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” would lead to “NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Love Association] members, same-sex marriages [in the Armed Forces].” Seriously, this is not a joke — he really believes this. And this guy has access to guns? Scary.

In sum, here’s a guy who was convicted of multiple felonies for, among other things, illegally sending money to the Nicaraguan contras, people who “engaged in widespread human rights abuses, including the rape and murder of civilians. ” and had “links to drug traffickers.”  Just for added measure, North also believes in “death panels,” calling into question his sanity, and also compares the 80% of American who favor repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to Hitler and Mao. In sum, Oliver North is prime material for a seat on the NRA Board of Directors.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.


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