Former White Home nationwide safety advisor Robert C. McFarlane, a prime aide to President Reagan who pleaded responsible to expenses for his function in an unlawful arms-for-hostages deal generally known as the Iran-Contra affair, has died at 84.
McFarlane, who lived in Washington, died Thursday from issues of a earlier sickness at a hospital in Michigan, the place he was visiting household, in response to a household assertion.
“As his household we want to share our deep unhappiness on the lack of our beloved husband, father and grandfather, and observe his profound affect on our lives,” the household mentioned within the assertion. “Although acknowledged as a strategic political thinker, we keep in mind him for his heat, his knowledge, his deep perception in God, and his dedication to serving others.”
McFarlane, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and Vietnam fight veteran, resigned his White Home submit in December 1985. He was later pressed into service by the administration as a part of secret — and unlawful — plan to promote arms to Iran in trade for the liberty of Western hostages within the Center East and cross alongside the proceeds to the contra rebels in Nicaragua for his or her battle in opposition to the Marxist Sandinista authorities.
He performed a significant function within the affair, main the key delegation to Tehran, then as now a U.S. adversary, to open contact with so-called reasonable Iranians who have been thought to carry affect with kidnappers of American hostages. He introduced with him a cake and a Bible signed by Reagan.
The scheme started to unfold after a cargo airplane carrying a CIA-arranged cargo of arms was shot down in October 1986 by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, setting off what finally turned one of many largest fashionable political scandals.
McFarlane was rushed to a Washington-area hospital in February 1987 after taking an overdose of Valium the day earlier than he was scheduled to testify earlier than a presidential fee investigating the affair.
He pleaded responsible in March 1988 to 4 misdemeanor counts of withholding info from Congress. His lawyer mentioned he was being unfairly singled out as a result of he, not like different key figures within the affair, testified willingly earlier than investigative panels. He additionally admitted his function.
″I did certainly withhold info from the Congress,” he instructed reporters on the time. “I imagine strongly that, all through, my actions have been motivated by what I believed to be within the international coverage curiosity of the USA.″
He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, together with 5 different figures from the scandal.
McFarlane, a profession Marine generally known as “Bud” to his buddies, had risen to lieutenant colonel and to positions within the Nixon and Ford administrations. He served as nationwide safety particular assistant to Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford throughout their presidencies.
Throughout the Carter administration, he was on the Republican employees of the Senate Armed Providers Committee. He returned to the manager department with Reagan’s election, serving as a State Division counselor till shifting to the White Home as nationwide safety advisor William Clark’s deputy in January 1982. He was appointed to the highest nationwide safety submit in 1983.
McFarlane, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was the son of a former Democratic congressman from Texas, William Doddridge McFarlane, who served from 1932 to 1938. He’s survived by his spouse of 63 years, two daughters and a son.