ROBERT MCFARLANE (8) - Profile
By the time Robert McFarlane addressed the joint hearings, it had been one-and-a-half years since he was President Reagan’s national security advisor. Still, even after McFarlane served as a crucial member of the official Reagan team from 1983 to 1985, he had a direct hand in the Iran-Contra Affair after he left public office. Disgraced by the emerging scandal, McFarlane attempted suicide in Feburary 1987 by overdosing on Valium. He survived the attempt and later said that he felt a responsibility for the scandal and the tarnish that it had cast on Reagan. For the most part, McFarlane came across as a “tightly controlled, impassive, almost somnambulant witness,” wrote The Washington Post. Yet, his emotional upkeep finally unraveled on his fourth day of testimony, quarreling with legislators such as Sen. Warren Rudman, vice chair of the Senate committee. McFarlane told the panel that he did not want any special treatment because of his recent overdose. “Shoot your best shot,” he declared.