Lt. Col. Oliver L. North made these points in his testimony yesterday:
ON WHAT SHULTZ KNEW
Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who hugged the Marine last September and congratulated North for "keeping the Nicaraguan resistance alive," knew more about the secret U.S. support for the contras than previously disclosed. Shultz's office denied that assertion yesterday.
ON HIS FINANCES
North said his attempt to conceal that someone else paid for a security system at his Great Falls, Va., home was the "grossest misjudgment" of his life but swore that he "never took a penny that didn't belong to me" from the Iran-contra funds.
ON THE REAGAN PHONE CALL
North said he could not remember telling Marine Lt. Col. Robert L. Earl last Nov. 25 that President Reagan had said in a telephone conversation that day, "It's important that I not know" about the diversion of arms sales profits to the contras. Instead, North said Reagan had said, "I just didn't know," but allowed that the president may have elaborated.
ON THE UNSPENT FUNDS
North said he was shocked to learn that retired Air Force major general Richard V. Secord and Albert A. Hakim, who were deeply involved in both the Iranian and contra operations, had spent only about $4 million in support of the contras while $8 million remains unspent in their Swiss bank account.
ON THE ULTIMATE COVERT OPERATION
The late CIA Director William J. Casey guided the secret Iran-contra operations, was kept informed of their progress and was "effusive" in praising the plan to divert funds from the Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan rebels. Casey considered using profits from the arms sales for "other" covert operations, and he called the contra aid scheme, which was suggested by Iranian businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar, "the ultimate covert operation."
ON THE TERRORIST THREAT
North challenged Abu Nidal, whom he described as the "world's leading terrorist" and who North said had targeted him for assassination, to meet "on equal terms anywhere in the world." The former National Security Council aide similarly challenged the congressional committees and battled to save his reputation by appealing to the country at large.