I walked into Foggy Bottom's office and found him sitting at a table saying, "I had the money, but I didn't have it. That is to say, it was promised to me but it wasn't ever delivered because I got the wrong Swiss bank account number, and somehow the funds disappeared into someone else's hip pocket -- and the Sultan jumped over the moon."

"What are you doing?" I asked him.

"I'm practicing to be a witness at the Irangate hearings. I hear Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams' job is up for grabs, and if I can testify well there is a chance I could get it."

"Why would anyone want to call you as a witness in the hearings? You don't know anything about contramuck."

"Neither does anybody else. I'm ready to blow the whistle on the whole thing because I was just following instructions and assumed all the orders were coming from higher up, which means I can say no crimes were committed."

Foggy Bottom continued, "I think I found the trick of testifying in front of the committee. You give an answer which is neither the truth nor a lie -- but something in between. Like if they ask me if I had any dealings with Colonel North, I reply I went to school with his cousin and that is why I didn't know he was running an illegal taxi company in Iran. Ask me a tough question," Foggy Bottom begged.

"All right. In your estimation was Colonel North a loose cannon?"

"He had to be a loose cannon or he wouldn't have paid all his laundry bills with traveler's checks. By the same token, how could he be a loose cannon and still have direct access to the president? My answer to the question is that North was loose when he had to be loose, and tight when he had to be tight, in that he never picked up a luncheon check in his life. Did you understand any of that?" Foggy Bottom asked.

"Not much."

"Then it proves I would make a good witness for the committee. Did I tell you I know for a fact that we solicited money from Bangladesh, and this money was sent to Canada with a man named Raoul to fight acid rain in the tundra?"

"You know that for a fact?"

"No, Elliott Abrams told me about it after the secretary of state said he was no longer sworn to secrecy."

I said to Foggy Bottom, "What if I asked about your relationship with Secretary Shultz?"

"I would reply that although we know each other slightly, we park our cars in separate garages. This is not to say we don't work together, because we both were constantly trying to raise funds from private sources to finance American foreign policy in Central America since Congress wouldn't give us any money. For example, I was the one who asked South Korea to buy Girl Scout cookies from General Secord."

"Would you say North knew George Bush?"

"I'm not sure of it, but I heard through the grapevine they danced with each other at last year's U.S. Marine Corps ball. This does not mean Bush knew any more about Nicaragua than he did about Iran. My job was to keep everyone in the dark on anything having to do with American foreign policy."

"You're making all this up, aren't you, Foggy Bottom?"

"Yeah, except for the part about building a dirt airstrip in Costa Rica."

"Why would you build an airstrip in Costa Rica?"

"North wanted it so he could fly Cessnas to Moscow and land on Red Square."