Oliver North Warned of the Terrorism of Osama Bin Laden during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987Fiction!



Summary of eRumor:
Oliver North allegedly told a congressional hearing that he had installed a security system in his home because of threats to his family by Osama Bin Laden.  Later versions of the story say the person questioning Col. North was Senator Al Gore.

The Truth:

According to the Congressional Record, there was no mention of Osama Bin Laden during the Iran-Contra hearings by Oliver North or anyone else.  In fact, there was no mention of Osama Bin Laden in the Congressional Record at all in 1987, the year of the hearings.

Also, Senator Al Gore was not a member of the joint House-Senate Iran-Contra Committee and did not do any of the questioning.

One of the charges against North at that time, however, was his accepting a security system for his home as a gift.  He said he needed it because of threats against himself and his family by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal.

Paul Bedard whose column WASHINGTON WHISPERS appears on USNEWS.com contacted North who confirmed that he never referenced Bin Laden who, in fact, became a friend of the U.S. against Soviet invaders of Afghanistan.

updated 4/20/12

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

  Subject: A little history…
  You know, it’s funny. I remember very vividly
  the Oliver North hearings, but did not recall the
  name of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist that
  North was threatened by. Has this slimeball been
  around that long?. It’s pretty evident, in hindsight
  that we should have listened to OLLIE!
  I was at a UNC lecture the other day where they
  played a video of Oliver North during the Iran-Contra
  deals during the Reagan administration.
  I was naive back then but
  was surprised by this particular clip.
  There was Olie in front of God and Country
  getting the third degree.
  But what he said stunned me. He was being
  drilled by some senator I didn’t recognize who
  asked him;
  ‘Did you not recently spend close to $60,000
  for a home security system?’
  Oliver replied, ‘Yes I did sir.’
  The senator continued, trying to get a laugh
  out of the audience,
  ‘Isn’t this just a little excessive?’
  ‘No sir,’ continued Oliver.
  ‘No. And why not?’
  ‘Because the life of my family and I were threatened.’
  ‘Threatened? By who.’
  ‘By a terrorist, sir.’
  ‘Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare
  you that much?’
  ‘His name is Osama bin Laden.’
  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
  ‘Why are you so afraid of this man?’
  ‘Because sir, he is the most evil person alive
  that I know of.’
  ‘And what do you recommend we do about him?’
  ‘If it were me I would recommend 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 they showed of the clip.
  It’s scary when you think 15 years ago the
  government was aware of Osama bin Laden
  and his potential threat to the security of the world.
  I guess like all great tyrants they start small but if
  left untended spread like the virus they truly are.