Retired Air Force major general Richard V. Secord made these points in testimony yesterday:
ON PERSONAL PROFITS:
Secord rejected suggestions that any money from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran went for his personal use, even though "the enterprise" amassed some $12 million in cash and assets in barely two years. "I didn't come here voluntarily to be badgered by these questions," he said. Regarding the $8 million remaining in Swiss bank accounts, Sen. Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) said he would seek to have the U.S. government make a claim for the funds.
ON SHREDDED DOCUMENTS:
Secord acknowledged he told his secretary to "get rid" of "routine telex traffic" with a Portuguese arms dealer and telephone logs shortly after an investigation was started into arms shipments to the contras. Secord said the probe had nothing to do with the destruction of documents. "I've shredded tens of thousands of documents during my career," Secord said. "And when you don't need these documents, you get rid of them."
"There's no question that the covert operation was designed to be concealed from Congress," Secord testified. "They chose not to notify the Congress, but that wasn't my decision. It wasn't my decision at all."
ON HIS AMBITIONS:
Secord said he had hoped one day to return to the government as director of CIA covert operations.
N LT. COL. OLIVER L. NORTH:
Secord recalled that North had jokingly commented that if the facts ever were made public, North would get a pardon. "When that came up, I laughed at him, and I said, 'That's ridiculous! What are you talking about?' " Secord said. "I mean, just everything we've discussed repeatedly, that no laws are being broken, we're doing everything we can to live within the law."