iAssistant Attorney General Charles J. Cooper made these points in his testimony yesterday. ON THE COVER-UP
The late CIA Director William J. Casey, former national security advisers John M. Poindexter and Robert C. McFarlane, and former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver L. North all attempted to conceal U.S. involvement in the 1985 shipment of U.S.-made Hawk missiles from Israel to Iran because presidential authorization for the CIA's involvement in the shipment made clear that its purpose was to free Americans held hostage in Lebanon. ON CASEY'S TESTIMONY
Casey's testimony on Nov. 21, 1986 to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence falsely implied that the CIA believed oil drilling equipment -- not Hawk missiles -- was in the November 1985 shipment and that the Israelis had provided weapons to the Iranians "before we got involved." ON NORTH'S EMBELLISHMENT
At a meeting on Nov. 20, 1986, North embellished the cover story by saying no one in the administration knew Hawks had been shipped and acted as if he were trying to talk the Iranians into giving the missiles back. Internal National Security Council memos show, however, that North had been actively involved in the transfer of the missiles and knew that the Iranians were dissatisfied with the weapons. ON McFARLANE'S ROLE
McFarlane told Attorney General Edwin Meese III in a meeting last Nov. 21 that he first heard about the Hawk shipment while being briefed to go to Tehran the previous May. But McFarlane actually had helped facilitate the shipment and was the official who told Secretary of State George P. Shultz of the arms-for-hostages deal. ON THE SMOKING GUN
Assistant Attorney General William Bradford Reynolds found an April 1986 draft of a memo from North to Poindexter outlining steps leading to a high-level meeting of U.S. and Iranian officials in Tehran and suggesting that $12 million of profits generated from the sale might be used to help the contras. The document, which was seen by Poindexter and designed for presidential approval or disapproval, is the only paper yet found suggesting a direct presidential link to the diversion of funds. Reagan has denied that he ever saw the memo.
Abraham D. Sofaer, a legal adviser to the State Department, made these points in a deposition taken last week and released yesterday. ON UNCOVERING THE COVER-UP
Failing to reach Meese directly to express his concerns about an apparent cover-up of the Iran arms deal, Sofaer talked to Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns, who later passed along the " . . . 'mysterious,' as he put it, assurance that all was well." That prompted Sofaer to take his concerns directly to the White House, and he threatened to resign if Casey gave misleading testimony.