Pawtucket Times

Former national security adviser Robert McFarlane dies at 84

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who 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.

McFarlane, who lived in Washington, died Thursday from complicati­ons of a previous illness at a hospital in Michigan, where he was visiting family, according to a family statement.

“As his family we wish to share our deep sadness at the loss of our beloved husband, father and grandfathe­r, and note his profound impact on our lives,” the family said in the statement. “Though recognized as a strategic political thinker, we remember him for his warmth, his wisdom, his deep belief in God, and his commitment to serving others.”

McFarlane, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and Vietnam combat veteran, resigned his White House post in December 1985. He was later pressed into service by the administra­tion as part of secret — and illegal — plan to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the freedom of Western hostages in the Middle East and pass along proceeds to the contra rebels in Nicaragua for their fight against the Marxist Sandinista government.

He played a major role in the affair, leading the secret delegation to Tehran, then as now a U.S. adversary, to open contact with so-called moderate Iranians who were thought to hold influence with kidnappers of American hostages.

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