Email Hoax: Ollie North Grilled by Al Gore

I received the following text in an Internet broadcast email that I was supposed to send on to my friends. I get a many of those, but this one just didn’t smell right. Here is the content of that email:

It was 1987! At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt. Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration.

There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!

He was being drilled by a senator, ‘Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for home security system?’

Ollie replied, ‘Yes, I did, Sir.’

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, ‘Isn’t that just a little

‘No, sir,’ continued Ollie.

‘No? And why not?’ the senator asked.

‘Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir.’

‘Threatened?  By whom?’ the senator questioned.

‘By a terrorist, sir’ Ollie answered.

‘Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?’

‘His name is Osama bin Laden, sir’ Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn’t pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn’t.  A couple of people laughed at the attempt.  Then the senator continued.  Why are you so afraid of this man?’ the senator asked.

‘Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of’, Ollie answered. 

‘And what do you recommend we do about him?’ asked the senator.

‘Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.’

The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.

The senator who conducted the questioning was Al Gore.

I decided to do some checking. I reviewed scores of videos of Ollie North in front the Congress in 1987. Al Gore was not even on the panel. From my knowledge of the history of Afghanistan, I knew that Osama bin Laden was still fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1987. He was not a terrorist yet. Then I found this transcript of what really happened on page 129 of the Iran Contra Investigation Transcript:

Al Gore was not even on the panel. John Nields was the committee’s chief counsel. The questioning was about a security system. Ollie North denies that he ever stated that we was afraid of anybody. 

A lot of people send emails around to their friends, where statements are made about alleged facts that turn out to be pure fabrication. I don’t know why somebody would make up such nonsense, particularly if it can be proven to be nonsense at best, or lies more appropriately. This one was easy to check out, since the fabrications were just too outlandish. Others are harder.

I try not to believe everything my friends forward to me in emails. Most of it is trash.