A Recounting of the Iran-Contra Affair in the Authentic Verbiage of the Period.
On the morning of his first day of duty at the National Security Council, Deputy Director Oliver North strode confidently into the reception area wearing a half-shirt, OP shorts, and his usual Topsiders with no socks.
“Someone’s looking tasty this a.m.,” he thought, noticing a babe sitting at the reception desk under a mountain of frosted brown hair. What Weinberger told him last night echoed in his head: “Wait until you see your assistant! This appointment’s gonna be a primo nookie opportunity…”
True to her rep, Oliver North’s assistant was the consummate babe in pointy boots, lace spillover socks, a bolo tie, and her favorite blouse — black on the left side, white on the right. With her face powder, eyeliner, and lipstick she looked beautiful, like a rose lying on the black-and-white tile floor of a mansion with Roman columns and doves flying out of it.
“Hi” she said, “You must be Lt. Col. North. We’ve been expecting you…”
North nervously adjusted the strip of cloth tied around his head.
He was about to speak when someone yelled “Ollie!” North spun around to see a man, dressed like a Thompson Twin, extending his loving arms in a way that begged Oliver to hold him, now.
North and Admiral John Poindexter embraced with all their hearts, and stepped into North’s office.
“Did I tell you this job would rock or what?”
“Aoh, it’s so rad. And that secretary is white hot!” North sneaked a glance out the door at her by pretending to scratch his face on his shoulder.
“Fawn Hall? Sorry amigo, but she’s got a main wiener man: Lawrence Walsh”.
“Aoooh.” North’s mind raced uncontrollably back to the time in high school when Walsh and his football buddies threw real, actual shit at his house.
“Hey, don’t worry, be happy, Ollie. There’ll be plenty of PYTs at the party tonight.”
When Ollie showed up at the White House people were streaming across the lawn and a mob had formed at the front door shouting, “Party, party, party!” Ollie got caught in this swarm, and when the doors flung open, he was swept in like a beach volleyball knocked before a tidal wave by a well-muscled fighter pilot misjudging a serve.
Inside, preppies were screaming and shotgunning beers and jumping up and down in their underwear and pearls. Congressional pages were either clinging to the chandeliers for safety or getting tossed around concert-beach-ball style. Washington Redskins were flinging screaming debutantes over their shoulders and bolting up to the guest bedrooms.
Out of nowhere, Poiny grabbed Ollie by the shoulders, “Dude, come with me! There’s someone who wants to meet you!”
When they opened the door to the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan, Bill Casey, Cap Weinberger, and a decorated Iranian General were standing in a semi-circle around Vice President George Bush, who was spinning jerkily on his head. Casey played beat box and Weinberger jammed along on his piano key tie. The President, locking and popping like no president in history, shot the energy up to his head, then out his one gloved hand to his Iranian guest, who, receiving the energy, did a little Persian folk dance in return. Everybody cracked up.
Reagan put an arm around Ollie, communicated the essence of Iran-Contra in four brisk sentences, and immediately snapped back to his Disneyland Hall of Presidents animatronic robot dance.
North was so fired up the next day, he rode his Rampar BMX in all the way from Virginia, through the Capitol, and down the back steps. He arrived at noon.
“Fawn!” he said, out of breath “I’ve got the best news!”
“What’s that, Ollie?” She looked up from the bowl of U.S. Senate Bean Soup she was eating at her desk.
“Last night, at this party, the President…”
North then heard a flush of the executive toilet. His toilet. The door swung open wide and Lawrence E. Walsh strode out in his letterman’s jacket.
“Wh-hooah, if it isn’t Dolly North. Why are you talking to my girlfriend, dickwad? Shouldn’t you be cleaning the real, actual shit off your house?”
“Listen” North said “this is a restricted area. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Sensing conflict, staffers from all over the agency let their hacky-sacks drop and piled into the reception area.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I break your little Cub Scout rules? Here, let me make it up to you by buying you lunch.”
Walsh picked up Fawn’s bowl of U.S. Senate Bean Soup and overturned it on Oliver’s head. As Ollie pushed the white beans from his eyes, Walsh added, “And how rude of me not to offer you a drink with that,” adding Fawn’s coffee to the mix.
The entire NSC staff laughing at him. North just stood there speechless, his exposed navel filling with creamy white coffee. Walsh took a bow, turned to leave, and the entire agency followed him out, cheering.
Inside his office, North was drying his hair with his halfshirt. “That bogus asswipe douchebag. I hope an appeals court reverses or vacates his career’s major verdicts!”
Fawn walked in, “Oh, I’m sorry”
“No, come on in”
“Listen, Larry’s not usually like that….”
“Never mind. Doesn’t matter. Hey, I’m really excited about involving you in this new project. To start, I want you to get on the phone and negotiate a payment between the Israelis and Iranians to get these missiles delivered— "
“It’s just that, I’ve never been trusted to do real work before.”
“Well”, Oliver said, “welcome to working with me.” He leaned back at his desk chair and pressed play on the boombox. A popular song began:
Moving forward using all my breath
Making love to you was never second best
I saw the world thrashing all around your face
Never knowing it was always mesh and lace
I’ll stop the world and melt with you….
The song played a lot over the next hours, days, weeks and months, as Fawn and Ollie brainstormed operations, put pins on a giant wall map, ate Chinese food by the tidal basin, removed books from the Library of Congress shelves, peeking at each other through the resulting holes, took site visits to the jungles of Nicaragua, and threw handfuls of shredded documents at one another.
After one particularly tiring game of shredded document war, they both fell exhausted into a mountain of chopped paper and a song called “Take My Breath Away” started to play from the other room. They laughed and smiled and came very close to kissing. But just as it was about to happen, Ollie said, “Fawn, listen, like, I never told this to anyone, but you know, what we’re doing, it’s illegal. It’s right, but illegal. So, if anything ever happens to me, just shred everything and we’ll be safe as kittens, okay?”
Fawn pulled back. The music stopped. She furrowed her brow and parted her glossy lips with an audible smack.
A voice boomed from the reception area. Fawn ran out of the shredding room. Ollie heard Walsh say, “Where have you been? What’s that crap in your hair? Confetti?”
Fawn said, “Baby, I have something important to tell you.”
The next time Oliver North saw Fawn Hall, he was before the grand jury on conspiracy charges. The prosecutor: Lawrence E. Walsh.
Walsh held a football as he spoke, “Mister North, I am here to argue that you and your co-conspirators willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully sold thousands of missiles to Iran, a terrorist nation and our country’s greatest enemy, and violated congressional law by funding anti-government guerillas in Nicaragua. Tell us, on behalf of all of you, just who in the hell did you think you are?”
“Mister Walsh, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a totally cool international operation for whatever it is we did wrong, but I think you’re crazy for making me give a statement telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a National Security Advisor, a Director of the CIA, and a Secretary of Defense, a mid-level staff assistant at the NSC, and a President of the United States. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The— "
Walsh interrupted, “As much as I’d like that little speech to incriminate Mr. North and his friends, it doesn’t. It just so happens however, that I do have evidence that will. Miss Fawn Hall, please take the stand.”
“Ms. Hall, do you not have evidence that shows that Misters North, Reagan, Casey, Poindexter, and Weinberger are guilty as charged?”
“I do have such documentation, Mr. Walsh. I happen to have it right here.”
As she uttered that final word, she reached into her Le Sport Sac and grabbed a handful of document shreddings and moved to throw them skyward. Her arm reached up, up above her head to the ceiling. Everything went black for a couple seconds until “Take My Breath Away” started to play. Confetti fell down onto the floor of the Capitol rotunda, which was strewn with black-and-white balloons, streamers, and champagne bottles. The room was empty except for Fawn and Ollie in black-tie dress, slow-dancing in a pool of saturated gray light. As they began to make out, the rotunda grew dark from the edges, and everything faded to black.
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