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For make no mistake, without Oliver North the Iran initiative would certainly have developed differently and the profits from the arms sales to Iran most probably would not have been diverted to support the contra resistance in Nicaragua.
Were agents of the FBI and the NSC security staff the enemy, or, in November 1986, were the people directed by the President to investigate Iran-contra the enemy? In the end, it seems, they could all be deceived in the name of a greater good known only to North and other members of the covert operations group. Therein lies the great temptation, of course, and the seeds of obsession that the agent himself may fail to recognize. Therein as well lies the ground on which the democratic system may come to grief. When the inefficiency and lack of responsiveness of democratic procedures become too great a luxury or danger, and persons other than the people's elected representatives conclude that, because they understand the real priorities, democratic procedures must be set aside, then the republic is perhaps most endangered.