Black Ops II comes out tomorrow: here’s why I won’t be buying it
Oliver North: from the Iran-Contra scandal to consulting for a videogame developer
“In November 1986, as the sale of weapons was made public, [Oliver] North was dismissed by President Ronald Reagan, and, in July 1987, he was summoned to testify before televised hearings of a joint Congressional committee that was formed to investigate Iran–Contra [...] During the hearings, North admitted that he had lied to Congress, for which, among other things, he was later charged. He defended his actions by stating that he believed in the goal of aiding the Contras, whom he saw as freedom fighters, and said that he viewed the Iran–Contra scheme as a “neat idea”. North admitted shredding government documents related to his Contra and Iranian activities, at William Casey‘s suggestion, when the Iran–Contra scandal became public. He testified that Robert McFarlane had asked him to alter official records to delete references to direct assistance to the Contras and that he had helped.
North was tried in 1988 in relation to his activities while at the National Security Council. He was indicted on sixteen felony counts, and, on May 4, 1989, he was initially convicted of three: accepting an illegal gratuity; aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry; and ordering the destruction of documents via his secretary, Fawn Hall. He was sentenced, by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years’ probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service.
However, on July 20, 1990, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), North’s convictions were vacated, after the appeals court found that witnesses in his trial might have been impermissibly affected by his immunized congressional testimony.”
“In early May, [Oliver] North appeared in a Black Ops II mini-documentary. In the documentary, he speculated about a dark future where America’s most high tech weapons are used against us. He was, we reported, essentially shilling for the game.”
The article also notes that North was used as a consultant for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Mark Lamia, head of Black Ops II development studio Treyarch, in the same interview with Kotaku:
“So, you know we’re not trying to make a political statement with our game. We’re trying to make a piece of art and entertainment … If you’re trying to create that fiction, for us to have met with [North] as we’re creating our fiction is totally appropriate.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is released globally tomorrow. It will almost certainly break sales records.
I will not be purchasing it.