Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, died Thursday at 84.McFarlane’s son Scott McFarlane said the cause of death was complications from a previous lung condition. Robert McFarlane died while hospitalized in Michigan.
McFarlane was a Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, a congressman’s son and a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War.
Two weeks after he became Reagan’s deputy national security adviser, a bombing killed 241 U.S. Marines in their barracks in Lebanon.
McFarlane was a central figure in the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal. He got two years probation and was fined $20,000 for his role in the scandal.
He testified in congressional hearings about the covert plan to sell arms to Iran to free some Americans held in Lebanon.
Tens of millions of dollars from that sale were then to be used to supply weapons to the contra guerrillas trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.
McFarlane attempted suicide in 1987 and was hospitalized after a drug overdose.
McFarlane published a memoir in 1994 called “Special Trust.”