Former Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North and two other defendants in the Iran-Contra criminal case appeared in federal court in Washington on Friday at a closed hearing about classified documents and possible disclosure of national security secrets. U.S. District Judge Gerhard Gesell presided over the hearing, which he called "to consider the apparent lack of progress being made in declassifying essential papers" that are included among an estimated 300,000 classified documents compiled by indepedent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. Walsh and defense attorneys declined to comment on the proceedings, which lasted about two hours.