Lt. Col. Oliver L. North may have lied to FBI agents in May, 1986, to get them to investigate people he believed threatened to expose his secret Contra aid network, newly released FBI documents and sources close to the inquiry say.
North told the FBI he had been followed, that his car was vandalized and his dog poisoned, the documents showed. He also said key associates in his Contra aid network were being sued in a bid to disrupt their support for the rebels.
Associate Executive FBI Director Oliver Revell said in sworn testimony to Congress made public last week that in early 1986 he turned aside a North request for an investigation of several people he perceived as political adversaries.
The first person North named as a suspect in the alleged harassment was Jack Terrell, a mercenary who had trained Contra troops in Central America but later defected from the rebel movement, denouncing alleged corruption and human rights abuses.
North also charged harassment by Daniel Sheehan, chief attorney for the nonprofit Christic Institute, who filed a multimillion-dollar suit in Miami accusing 30 defendants, including key members of North's secret Contra operation, of complicity in a fatal 1984 terrorist bombing on the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border.
FBI agents determined North had repeatedly lied to them, and associates of North said his dog was not poisoned but died of cancer.