"Some of your words have had a profound impact upon me, and I want to just discuss it briefly because I think the use of language is as important in politics as it is in literature because it helps define what our values are.

" . . . I find it troubling when you say that 'I withheld information from Congress, but I did not mislead it' or that 'the administration support for the contras was secret activity, but not covert action' or that 'the United States acquiesced in the initial shipment of TOW weapons, but did not authorize it' or that 'the transfers of funds for the sale of weapons was a technical implementation, not a substantive decision' and that 'we did not trade arms for the hostages, even though Mr. {Albert A.} Hakim and {retired Air Force major general Richard V.} Secord arrived at the formula of 1 1/2 hostages for 500 TOWs' . . . .

"And I would respectfully suggest that if the administration would like to regain the strong support of the American people, and I hope that it will, that it has to -- it stops insulting their intelligence and tell them the direct, unvarnished truth." Cohen (R-Maine) COHEN (R-MAINE) Cohen (R-Maine) COHEN (R-MAINE)