Regarding Ollie: in Search of the True North

In the article ``On Ollie North, Don't Get Technical,'' June 13, the author discusses the phrase ``on a technicality'' as it may be generally used and as it particularly applies to the case of Lt. Col. Oliver North.

With respect to Mr. North: Brendan Sullivan counseled his client wisely to tell the truth during the Iran-contra hearings. In uniform, wearing his service decorations and medals of valor, North appeared before the nation to state the equivalent of, ``Yes, sir, I lied, I misled, I stole, and I did it because I have a better sense of right and wrong than you do.'' By accepting the grant of immunity for this testimony, North escaped the constraints on his rights as a citizen that would have come from convictions in a court of law. That these convictions did not stick, and that they were reversed ``on a technicality'' does not change North's prior public testimony. It was in that arena that North convicted himself in the eyes of many. That conviction cannot be erased ``on a technicality.'' That an individual with his background can resign his conscience or disregard it so entirely to now seek a position of power in the state is an insult to the perception that informs all daily intercourse. David O. Matson, Suffolk, Va.

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