Oliver North

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Even though I'm one of the few Americans, besides President George W. Bush, to be personally attacked by Sen. John Kerry on a regular basis, it just hasn't seemed right to respond. After all, President Bush has been virtually silent as Kerry used four letter expletives to describe his policies.

The commander in chief turned the other cheek when Democrats said he was "AWOL" and a "deserter." The president was too polite to return fire when Kerry denigrated National Guard service by equating it with draft dodgers who "went to Canada." Given this model of even-tempered presidential propriety, who am I to stoop to throwing mud back at Kerry just because he has slung it at me?

I have been holding steadfastly to this noble position for several months -- through interminable debates and trumped up reporting from hyperventilated reporters. But this week, one of the young computer wizards who works down the hall informed me, "You're all over the Kerry campaign website!"

"So?" I replied, somewhat irritated at the intrusion. I make it a practice not to read the reviews of my television show or books, and wasn't prepared to make an exception for some political website.

My young informant said, "He says he 'exposed you!'" Given the alleged activities of certain athletes and entertainers, the word "exposed" caught my attention, so I investigated.

On Kerry's campaign website, the Bay State's junior senator claims he deserves credit for "holding Oliver North accountable and exposing the fraud and abuse at the heart of the BCCI scandal." In speeches and interviews, he goes even further -- alleging that he "blew the whistle" on my "illegal activities" in support of the Nicaraguan Contras. It's great fodder for the political left and hard-core radicals. It might even leave Ivy League professors panting. There is only one problem: It's not true.

John Kerry wasn't even on the so-called bipartisan congressional committee that spent months investigating the so-called Iran-Contra affair. He never asked me, or any of us involved in supporting the Nicaraguan democratic resistance, a single question. At no time did he question me or anyone else I worked with about our efforts to rescue Americans from dungeons in Beirut. He says he held me accountable? How? When? Where?

Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.