Lt. Col. Oliver L. North made these points in his testimony yesterday: ON DIVERTING ARMS PROCEEDS
North testified that five times last year he prepared memos for President Reagan suggesting that proceeds from the proposed sales of U.S. arms to Iran could be used to support the Nicaraguan contras. North said that he " . . . sent each one of those up the line, and that on the three where I had approval to proceed, I thought I had received authority from the president . . . " although he said that none of those memos ever came back with the president's initials or name on them.
ON WHITE HOUSE APPROVAL
North insisted throughout the day that he had never done anything without the approval of his superiors, including President Reagan. He asserted that he had personally seen Reagan's signature on a key document in which the president authorized the CIA to assist in a November 1985 transfer of arms by Israel to Iran. The document, which is currently missing, characterized the operation as an attempt to trade arms for hostages, a description that Reagan has repeatedly rejected.
ON SHREDDING DOCUMENTS
Destruction of key White House documents on the Iran-contra affair began early last October, more than a month earlier than previously had been disclosed, after North and then-CIA Director William J. Casey concluded that their enterprise ". . . was coming unraveled." The events that persuaded them were the disclosure that North had organized and directed air delivery of arms to the contras, which came to light with the capture of Eugene Hasenfus after his cargo plane was shot down Oct. 5 over Nicaragua, and warnings to Casey two days later that two men who had helped finance some of the arms sales to Iran were threatening a lawsuit.
ON ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY
North said he was willing ". . . to accept responsibility for that which I did." But he said he was unwilling to "accept responsibility for that which I did not do."