The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 05, 1989, Page 2, Image 2

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Editor Curt Waanar Night Now* Editor* Victoria Ayotta
473.17M Chrla Carroll
.. ,1' uiZ Publication* Board
a!S “ WSS lSTmSSi cn»'™n j«ji «“»
Editorial Pago Editor Amy ?*“.?« Prolossronal Advisor Dost Walton
The Daily NobraskantUSPS 144 080) is published by the UNL Publications Board, Ne
braska Umon 34, 1400 R St.. Lincoln, NE, Monday through Friday during the academic
year, weekly during summer sessions
Readers are encouraged to submit story idons and commonts to the Daily Nebraskan
by phoning 4/2 1763 between 9 a m and op m Monday through Friday The public also
has access to the Publications Board For information, contact Tom Macy, 475 9868.
Subscription price is $45 for one year
Postmaster Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,1400
R St .1 mcoln NE 88588 0448 Second class postage paid at Lincoln, NE
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L. North, the Marine at the center
tof the Reagan administration s
secret effort to arm the Nicaragua
Contras, was convicted Thursday
of shredding documents and two
other charges in the Iran-Contra
affair. He was acquitted on nine
other counts.
North said he would appeal the
jury’s decision: “We’re abso
lutely confident of the final out
come. As a Marine I was taught to
fight and fight hard for as long as it
takes to prevail.”
“We will continue this battle..
. and we will be fully vindicated,”
he told reporters in a statement at
his lawyer’s office. He did not take
1 ne tormer Marine, wno iuu»
up to 10 years in prison on the
convictions, accepted the verdict
without any show of emotion. But
a congressional supporter de
scribed him as ‘absolutely
elated” at the jury’s decision.
After judge and jury had left the
room, North walked to a railing
separating him from his wife,
Betsy, and kissed her lightly on the
cheek. Mrs. North had been sitting
in the front row with a clergyman.
It was the first trial bom of the
scandal that marred the last two
years of Ronald Reagan’s presi
dency and raised questions about
then Vice PresidentGeorgc Bush’s
involvement in the administra
tion’s clandestine effort to arm the
Even as the jury was returning
its verdict, Bush told reporters at
the White House that he did not
participate in any arrangement to
expedite aid to other countries in
exchange for their support for the
Contras. The White House said
Bush would have no comment on
the verdict.
In Los Angeles, former Prcsient
Reagan also declined comment
North's defense was that he had
been a good soldier loyally carry
ing out what he knew his com
mander-in-chief, the president,
“The principle that no man is
above the law has been vindi
cated,” said prosecutor John
Keker, who refused to answer re
porters’ questions.
Keker, in a brief statement on
the courthouse steps, told report
ers, “Some said the system of jus
tice could not deal effectively with
this case. Some even said it could
not be tried. Col. North has been
convicted of three very serious
charges. The jury has spoken.
North, 45, was pale and smiling
nervously as he entered the court
room where his trial began with
jury selection more than three
months ago.
fenders in the congressional Iran
Contra hearings two years ago,
was in the courtroom for the ver
dict Afterward, he walked up to
North at the defense table and
shock his hand. NguIi smiled
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R
Calif., described North as “abso
lutely elated.”
“We gave each other thumbs
up,” said Rohrabacher, a former
White House aide for whom North
campaigned last year. He said the
jury found North guilty “of only
cutting comers and not breaking
the law.”
Public disclosure of the affair in
November 1986 began the worst
crisis of President Reagan's eight
year presidency, a public furor that
did not subside until after televised
congressional hearings that made
North a national figure.
The former Marine lieutenant
colonel, twice wounded in the
Vietnam war and decorated with
the Silver Star for heroism, re
mained seated while the judge read
the verdict
The nine women and three men
on the jury did not look at North as
they filed into their seats. The
panel found North guilty of three
criminal charges - shredding docu
ments, accepting an illegal gratu
ity and one count of aiding and
abetting in an obstruction of Con
U.S. District Judge Gerhard A.
Gesell set June 23 for sentencing.
The illegal gratuity conviction -
accepting a $ 13,800 security fence
for his home - carries a maximum
penalty of two years in prison and
a $250,000 fine.
The conviction for destroying
documents is punishable by a three
year sentence and $250,000 fine.
For obstruction of Congress, the
maximum penally is five years and
Rep. Henry Hyde, R-lll., who
had been one of North’s chief de
The jury convicted North of
falsifying and destroying docu
ments in November 1986 as the
affair was about to become public,
and of accepting an illegal gratuity
- the home security system - from
Iran-Contra co-defendant Richard
North also was convicted of
aiding and abetting in obstruction
of Congress by falsifying a chro
nology of events in the affair. The
false chronology stated that no one
in the U.S. government knew until
January 1986 that a CIA-assisted
shipment from Israel to Iran in
November 1985 contained Hawk
He was acquitted of five other
charges of lying to or obstructing
Congress, of two counts of lying to
then-Attorney General Edwin
Mccse III and obstructing Mccse’s
inquiry into the affair, of convert
ing tra veler’s checks to his own use
and of conspiring to defraud the
Internal Revenue Service by using
a tax-exempt foundation to raise
funds for the Contras.
Space exploration resumed
Craft sails into orbit,
Magellan close behind
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Atlantis
found a hole in the clouds and thundered into
orbit Thursday, sailing 184 miles above Earth,
where five astronauts prepared to propel
NASA’s state-of-the-art Magellan probe on a
mapmaking journey to Venus.
Scientists hoped the S550 million project
would open a new “golden age’ ’ for an Ameri
can planetary program dormant for a decade
In a spectacular start, the winged
spaccplanc vaulted away from its seaside
launch pad at 2:47 p.m. EDT, after being
delayed a cliff-hanging 59 minutes by shifting
clouds and winds that had threatened a second
postponement in six days.
The astronauts quickly turned to remotely
checking Magellan before its scheduled re
lease later Thursday into an independent orbit.
An hour after that release, a rocket motor
was to fire to propel the 7,600-pound Magellan
on the start of a 456-day, 806-million-milc trip
to Venus, a course that will take it 1 1/2 times
around the sun.
Atlantis departed the pad just five minutes
before its64-minute launch window for the day
would have expired - a window dictated by a
requirement to have the shuttle in the proper
position in orbit to dispatch Magellan.
The launch team had advanced the couni
down to the 5-minutc mark and held there,
waiting for a break in the clouds that obscured
a runway near the launch pad where Atlantis
would land in an emergency.
Chief astronaut Dan Brandenstcin, flying a
weather scout plane, found a break, signaled
the go-ahead, and the count was started and
carried down to the blazing liftoff. -
“It was another cliff-hanger. I’m glad you
stuck with it,” acting NASA administrator
Dale D. Myers said as he congratulated the
launch team.
It waslhe60lh U.S. man-in-space flight, the
29th for the shuttle and the fourth since the
^a||cn^e|,plosion more than three years
“Four of us arc very happy to be back in
space, and the fifth one is very happy to be
here,” radioed astronaut David Walker, mis
sion commander.
Walker, pilot Ron Grabc and mission spe
cialists Mary Clcvc and Norman Thagard flew
on previous shuttle flights. Mission specialist
Mark Lee is a rookie.
“Did somebody win the pool up there?
mission control commentator John Creighton
asked the crew. *‘ We had only five mmutes leit
in the window.”
“We wouldn’t want to push it any closer,’
rcpl'cd Walker.
A launch attempt last Friday was halted
with just 31 seconds to go because of a short
circuit in an engine fuel pump. Technicians
worked around the clock over the weekend to
replace the pump and a fuel line. NASA had to
launch Magellan by May 28 or ground it lor
two years until Earth and Venus were again in
the proper alignment.
Among tens ol thousands wno wdiuicu uu,
rare afternoon liftoff were some of the coun
try’s most renowned planetary scientists. I hey
have been wailing to resume solar system
exploration since 1978, when Pioneer-Venus
was launched on the last U.S. planetary expedi
Success for Magellan would signal the start
of a science-rich three-year period during
which five major probes will be rocketed into
“The overture, the symphony, begins witn
Magellan,” said NASA science chic! Lennart!
Fisk. “It’s going to be a long symphony. Its
going to have a lot of crescendos.... Nobody is
going to question our leadership in planetary
science again.” f
Fisk hailed Magellan’s flight as the start o
a “second golden age” of space science, i n
first was the period from the mid- 1960s to tn
late-1970s when unmanned spacecraft lor t e
first time were launched to make closeup e' '
aminations pf Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupitc »
Saturn and Uranus. , ,.. 1 •