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Robert McFarlane, National Security Adviser implicated in the Iran-Contra affair, dies at 84

Former White House National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who has pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra Affair, has died. He was 84 years old.

MacFarlane, who lived in Washington, died Thursday of complications from a previous lung disease in a Michigan hospital, where he was visiting his family, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Washington Post And New York times.

MacFarlane, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, resigned his position in the White House in December 1985. The administration subsequently pressured him to serve as part of a covert – and illegal – plan to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for the freedom and passage of Western hostages in the Middle East Along proceeds to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua for their fight against the Sandinista Marxist government.

He played a major role in the case, leading the secret delegation to Tehran, then an adversary of the United States, to open contact with the so-called moderate Iranians believed to be in power with the American hostage-takers. He brought a cake and a Torah signed by Reagan.

The scheme began to emerge after a cargo plane carrying a CIA-arranged weapons shipment was shot down in October 1986 by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, leading to what eventually became one of the biggest modern political scandals.

MacFarlane was admitted to a Washington-area hospital in February 1987 after overdosing on Valium the day before he was scheduled to testify before a presidential commission investigating the case.

He pleaded guilty in March 1988 to four counts of misdemeanor offenses with withholding information from Congress, readily admitting his role in the case.

“I’ve already withheld information from Congress,” he told reporters at the time. “I firmly believe that, all along, my actions have been motivated by what I believe is in the foreign policy interest of the United States.

President George HW Bush has pardoned him, along with five other figures from the scandal.

MacFarlane, a Marine known as “Budd” to his friends, rose to the rank of colonel and to positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations. He served as Special Assistant to the National Security for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford during their presidency.

During the Carter administration, he was a member of the Republican staff on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He returned to the executive branch with Reagan’s election, and served as a consultant at the State Department until his move to the White House as Deputy National Security Adviser William Clark in January 1982. He was appointed to the highest national security position in 1983.

MacFarlane, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, is the son of a former Democratic Congressman from Texas, William Dodridge MacFarlane, who served from 1932 to 1938. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.

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