Following are excerpts from testimony by Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger in response to Rep. Peter W. Rodino Jr. (D-N.J.):

. . . At the Nov. 10, 1986, meeting in the White House . . . called to discuss how to deal with the press in the event the story broke about selling arms to Iran . . . {White House chief of staff} Don Regan's notes reflect that the president stated . . . "The side with military superiority will win. We want to have things even. This helps Iran, which was weaker." Was that statement correct at the time?

. . . I made notes of the meeting after I got back as best I could recall them. I do not recall a discussion about that aspect of it . . . . Don Regan frequently would be with the president before and stayed afterwards, and it's conceivable that his notes may have reflected . . . something at the meeting which I didn't make notes on . . . . I do not recall that particular subject coming up. Had it come up, I would have disputed it very strongly because I never felt that Iran was losing the war or was weaker. Indeed, one of the points I made in the comment . . . on the original suggestion of this back in June or July of '85 was that . . . the thing seemed to me to be absurd for a number of reasons, but one was that it was based on some assumption that Iran was about to fall and that I thought this was absolute nonsense. It was totally contrary to all of the other information and intelligence I had . . . .

The following is in response to Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.):

. . . Do you have any idea why the CIA paid the Defense Department for those TOW missiles that went to Iran in a series of five checks each in the interesting amount of $999,999 . . . five of them?

No, I didn't know that until right now. I assume your statement is correct, but I . . . have not seen any of that kind. We have records of the total payments to the CIA . . . . That kind of check in that amount wouldn't have served any particular purpose because the threshold for notifying the Congress was much higher than that. But there was no intention to do anything other than to get the fair market value for these weapons that we transferred to the CIA . . . .

But Cap, the Defense Department has a higher level, but the $1 million threshold reporting requirement in this case applied to the CIA.

I didn't know that.

. . . Do you think there's any obligation on the part of the Defense Department people, the administrative people that work for you, to think something might be amiss if they get a check for $999,999 . . . five of them in a row? It looks like you're sending up signals that something is a little fishy.

It's a pretty clumsy way to operate . . . .

The following is in response to Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio).

Our committee heard testimony from Lt. Col. {Oliver L.} North about the desirability of what he called an off-the-shelf, outside-the-system covert capability, with rapid-response capability, a central pool of ready funds and the conduct of covert activities. In his testimony before the committee on July 15, {Rear} Adm. {John M.} Poindexter, in response to a question . . . said . . . "I am saying that a private organization, properly approved, using nonappropriated funds in an approved sort of way, may be a solution to the

problem" . . . . Do you agree with the

admiral and the colonel on this type of thing?

. . . I am not in favor of unofficial private people carrying out governmental activities. I think they are always subject to the worry that they will engage in things that are not subject to proper accountability . . . .

Excerpt from a statement by Sen. James A. McClure (R-Idaho) at the end of his question period:

. . . I am reminded of a line that appeared in a play that I saw in New York a number of years ago . . . . It may apply to this . . . . The playwright was being questioned . . . {about} material . . . that the person protesting this line did not like, and it dealt with some rather intimate sexual behavior. And the playwright's response in that play, "Butterflies Are Free," said, "Well, that's life, and therefore it should be

reported." And the response was, "So is diarrhea, but I don't know how to make it entertaining."

And I think you can apply that to these proceedings and many others like it -- that diarrhea may be a part of life and that this may be a part of our government, but it hardly serves U.S. interests well to reveal it in such intimate and gruesome detail.

Excerpts from closing statement by House select committee Vice Chairman Dick Cheney (R-Wyo.):

. . . It's important that credit be given to the president. He's given his complete cooperation and support . . . provided administration witnesses without ever claiming executive privilege, provided thousands of pages of documents, classified and unclassified, provided access to his own personal diary and given . . . an in-depth look at some of the most sensitive and excruciatingly painful events of his administration.

. . . {It's} important to point out what these hearings did not show. There is no evidence that the president had any knowledge of the diversion of profits from the arms sale to the {contras} . . . . There is also no evidence of any effort by the president or his senior advisers to cover up these events . . . . Evidence clearly shows that the president and the attorney general were the ones primarily responsible for bringing these events and matters to the attention of the nation . . . . These hearings have demonstrated conclusively, in my opinion,

that the president has indeed been telling the truth.

. . . These events have been characterized by some pretty strong statements by my colleagues on the committees and by some of the press over the past eight months. We've heard talk of a grave constitutional crisis, listened to expressions of moral indignation and outrage and even been treated to talk about a coup in the White House, a junta run by a lieutenant colonel and an admiral. My own personal view is that there has been far too much apocalyptic rhetoric about these events, most of it unjustified. If there ever was a crisis, which I doubt, it ended before these committees were established. To the extent that corrective action was required, the president took it unilaterally before our committees had taken a single word of public testimony . . . .

Congress' problems . . . will be harder to correct because they have to do with institutional proclivities rather than individual people . . . . I'm personally persuaded that the difficulties we've investigated here could have been avoided if the president had vetoed the Boland Amendment in 1984, but that was an option only if the president was prepared to shut down the entire federal government, since the Boland Amendment was part of that year's continuing {budget} resolution . . . . A second major institutional problem confronting the Congress is our inability to safeguard classified information . . . . I am personally persuaded that {Illinois Republican} Rep. {Henry J.} Hyde's recommendation for the establishment of a small joint intelligence committee would significantly improve our ability to safeguard the nation's secrets.

Excerpts from the closing statement by Senate select committee Vice Chairman Warren H. Rudman (R-N.H.), who said it "fairly represents the views of the {Senate committee's} Republican members."

. . . Some things . . . stand out after these weeks of testimony. The policy of selling arms to Iran was duly authorized by President Reagan and, in the main, legally implemented. Whether it was in reality arms for hostages . . . will never be conclusively determined, but I suspect there is unanimous agreement on the Senate committee that it was an act of folly, as a means of reestablishing relations with Iran . . . .

According to the direct evidence, the diversion of funds was not authorized by or known to President Reagan. I am firmly convinced that statement is unequivocably correct, having reviewed the entire documentary record, including the president's own personal diaries, to which we were given access in an extraordinary and unprecedented decision. The only United States officials who knew of the diversion were Adm. Poindexter, Col. North, Col. {Robert} Earl {North's deputy} and possibly {the late CIA} Director {William J.} Casey. With the exception of Adm. Poindexter, every high-level U.S. official who testified stated that Adm. Poindexter did not have the authority to approve the diversion, that the diversion was improper and possibly illegal and that the president would not

have approved of the diversion had he been consulted . . . .

Other covert operations run out of the National Security Council, specifically, certain other contra-support activities of Col. North and the hostage-release effort involving the {Drug Enforcement Administration}, were not approved by the president. This gives every appearance of violating President Reagan's orders . . . . In the case of the contra-support activities, {it} may have been illegal on other

grounds . . . .

NSC staff attempted to cover up all records of their questionable activities when the possibility of exposure arose . . . . These actions and the attitudes they represent are antithetical to our democratic system of government. They cannot be justified by passion, patriotism, appropriate concern over the expansion of communism in Central America or a legitimate dismay over the policies enacted by the Con- gress . . . .

Excerpts from closing statement by House select committee Chairman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.):

. . . Conduct of foreign policy in a democracy is difficult because the Constitution gives important powers to the president and the Congress . . . . Some believe that a decision-making process that calls for shared powers and public debate just will not work in a dangerous world. They argue that sometimes bypassing normal checks and balances through procedural shortcuts and secrecy are necessary to protect our freedoms . . . . that the president and those who work for him must be given near-total power . . . .

But these hearings make another point: Shortcuts in the democratic process and excessive secrecy in the conduct of government are a sure road to policy failure . . . .

In its joint report, the committee should focus on several areas. First, accountability. Greater accountability to elected officials and ultimately to the American people will require rigorous oversight by the Congress, more openness and less secrecy, more consultation, a more thorough review of legal review, better record-keeping, use of appropriated funds rather than private or third-country donations to carry

out policy, supervision and acceptance of responsibility up the chain of command and

decision-making by elected officials rather than staff.

Second, intelligence analysis should be separated from policy formulation. Substantial testimony before these committees showed great confusion between intelligence and policy functions. Questionable intelligence was used to bolster poor decisions. Good intelligence is essential to good foreign policy, but intelligence should drive policy, not vice versa . . . .

Third, the president and the Congress need to exhibit a greater sensitivity to their respective roles. The president is the preeminent foreign policymaker. Only he can make the hard decisions . . . .

Fourth, the Constitution and the rule of law work if we make them work. They are not self-executing. We must strengthen our allegiance to the concept that this is a nation of laws and of checks and balances . . . .

Excerpt of closing statement by Senate select committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii):

. . . When these hearings began three months ago, I stated that we would examine what happens when the trust, which is the bond between the branches of our government, is breached by high officials . . . . The story has now been told . . . . I see it as a chilling story . . . of deceit and duplicity and the arrogant disregard of the rule of law. It is a story of withholding vital information from the American people, from the Congress, from the secretary of state, from the secretary of defense and, according to Adm. Poindexter's testimony, from the president him- self . . . .

It is a story of how a great nation betrayed the principles which have made it great and thereby became hostage to hostage-takers. And sadly, once the unsound policies began to unravel, it became a story of a cover-up, of shredding and altering of the historical record, and of a "fall-guy" plan suitable for a Grade B movie, not a great power.

I believe we have largely succeeded in piecing together the incredible chapters of this chilling story and presenting to our fellow citizens a chronology of events as they occurred. However, we may never know with precision and truth why it ever happened . . . .

In describing their motive for riding roughshod over the constitutional restraints built into our form of government, Adm. Poindexter, Lt. Col. North used almost the identical words.

"This is a dangerous world," they said. That, my fellow citizens, is an excuse for autocracy, not for policy, because no times were more dangerous than when our country was born, when revolution was our midwife . . . .

Out of this experience may we all better understand and appreciate our Constitution, strive harder to preserve it and make a fresh start at restoring the trust between the branches of government. For in America, as 200 years ago, the people still rule.

With that, these hearings stand in recess until further call.