GOOD GOLLY COL OLLIE!
Is Virginia Ready For You?
By TERRY SOUTHERN
The Millerton News & Lakevill Journal
May 22nd, 1994
COL. OLIVER C. North is certainly no stranger to illicit surveillance, although it has usually been he who was on the illicit, or "shafting" side of the procedure. It was therefore quite refreshing to receive recently from a private investigator acquaintance, an audiotape of an "election strategy confab" between North and Republican bigwigs Robert Dole and Newt Gingrich.
North is running for senator from the state of Virginia, and the conversation purportedly took place at a Holiday Inn outside Charlotte on the evening of April 8. Dole and Gingrich are in conversation before being joined by North
GINGRICH (enthusiastically)"Bob, are you as excited by this darn candidacy as much as I am?
DOLE (very upbeat): Hey, you bet I am! Boy-oh-boy, if we can regenerate some of the "freedom fighter" spirit of the Contra days! Bro-ther! We might even resurrect the fatal charm of the Gipper!
GINGIRCH (in vigorous agreement): Golden says, Bob! Golden days! How is Ollie feeling about it?
DOLE: Ollie? Oh, Ollie is hot to trot, there's not doubt about that (pause) - there is one minor glitch...
GINGRICH (SURPRISED) Oh, what's that, Bob?
DOLE: Well, he want to revive the GIDO part of the old Contra scheme. He's convinced it can still fly, and I'm, well, heck, I'm just not too sure about it.
GINGRICH: GIDO ... hey, wasn't that Bill Casey's ...
DOLE: That's right, Newt. GIDO was Bill Casey's baby, all the way. And you know how dose he and Ollie were.
GINGRICH (reverently): Like father and son. Could you bring me up to speed on that GIDO business, Bob. It's been a while.
DOLE (clears his throat, waxing expansive): Well, GIDO was Dad Casey's way of characterizing our air shipments of hardware to the Contras. The initials, of course, stoodfor"Guns In, Drugs Out."
They are joined by Col. Ollie North.
OLLIE (booming and jovial): "Guns In, Drugs Out! And ne'er an empty craft in either direction!" as Dad Casey used to say. Hi guys.
DOLE: Hello, Ollie.
GINGRICH: Hi big fella.
OLLIE: And you know he was as right as rain, bless his buttons.
DOLE: Oh, it was a marvelous thing at the time, Ollie, there's no doubt about that. Everyone got healthy on that operation. I'm just concerned about how appropriate itwould, be right now.
OLLIE: Hey, are you kidding? With today's trouble-spots? Haiti? North Korea? Bosnia? The Mid-East? They all need guns, and they've all got drugs! Made to order for the GIDO Op!
GINGRICH: He may be right, Bob, God knows the Committee (Republican National Committee) could use the funds.
DOLE (impatiently): I know, I know. It's simply a question of perception in the publiceye. I mean, right now we've got a healthy, chunk of the *War On Drugs" thing. I don't think we want to jeopardize that, do we, by suddenly appearing to be actually involved in the trade. My God!
OLLIE: No problem there, pal. I can register it with the Agency - post facto, natch--as a national security 'sting op'. That might even get us a news blackout duringthe op. After all, the media has got a pretty damn full plate right now, dealing with the Whitewater scam. Am I right?
DOLE: Yes, thank God, but who knows how much longer that thing can last? I've got a hunch it may be on its very last legs.
GINGRICH (with grim relish): Unless ... unless it were to get a nice new juicy infusion of ultra-sleaze. Know what I'm saying? Am I getting through to the American public? Hello? Hello?
OLLIE: I'm reading you loud and clear, Senator. In fact, I think I'd better start shaking something tasty out of Dad Caseys old bag of 'tricks'--if you garner my infererence, ho-ho.
GINGRICH (brightly): With you all the way, big bruiser!
DOLE (nervous laugh): I hope neither one of you guys is wearing a wire. Just kidding.
OLLIE (gleefully): Hey, I can smell a wire from a block away. We're all dean here, Senator. Ha-ha.
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