Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter concluded his public testimony yesterday, and these points were made.
ON LOCKING OUT THE PRESIDENT
Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the House committee investigating the Iran-contra affair, charged that Poindexter had locked the president out of the White House decision-making process, but Hamilton added that President Reagan had created the atmosphere that allowed it to happen.
ON SECRET POLICIES
Both Democrats and Republicans expressed concern about the picture emerging from Poindexter's testimony of a White House staff that carried out secret policies in the shadow of a popular president.
"Secret policy's what got us here today," said Rep. Bill McCollum Jr. (R-Fla.), a Reagan partisan, in chiding Poindexter for adopting a secret National Security Council policy in support of the contras, instead of openly confronting Congress.
ON AGREEING TO DISAGREE
Poindexter seemed unmoved by the criticism. He told Hamilton they would have to agree to disagree on the interpretation of events. And he said he was leaving the hearing "with my head held high."
ON POINDEXTER'S MEMORY
When pressed yesterday for specifics about a significant meeting or conversation, the former national security adviser often replied, "I don't recall" or "I don't recollect." In his testimony he has admitted only to what is contained in an existing record, with one exception -- his voluntary statement that he had destroyed a sensitive "intelligence finding" signed by President Reagan because he feared it would cause political embarrassment if revealed. Poindexter said that document was destroyed in front of witnesses.
In other instances, Poindexter insisted on written documentation before he would acknowledge any new information.