Vice President Bush has challenged the press to ask him questions about his part in the Iran-contra affair. Here are a few compiled from colleagues.
Mr. Vice President, you have said that "mistakes" were made. What were they?
You have never said you were hard of hearing. How do you explain your claim that you did not hear about opposition within the administration to the arms sales to Iran? You were at the Jan. 7, 1986, meeting where Secretary of State George P. Shultz and then-Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger expressed vehement opposition.
If your mind was elsewhere at that meeting, or you were called out while they were speaking, did you ever ask Shultz and Weinberger for their views?
You have said many times you had "reservations" about the deal. But others say that these related not to the principle of doing business with terrorists but to the danger of giving Israel such leverage over our government. Could you expand on this?
If you had other reservations, what were they? None of the participants can remember your saying anything at meetings. Did you at any time tell the president that you thought the transactions, if exposed (and Shultz repeatedly warned they would be) -- could lead to hideous embarrassment for him and the country?
You admit you "stood solidly" with the president on the arms sales to the ayatollah. Did you really think there were "moderate Iranians" whose acquaintance we needed to make, and do you still think so?
You have claimed from the beginning that you were "out of the loop" on the deal. How do you explain the memo found in John M. Poindexter's computer that has you counseling a delay in the cake-and-arms expedition to Tehran until you were out of Saudi Arabia? Doesn't this suggest intimate familiarity with the operation?
On a recent campaign trip to Iowa, the day The Washington Post revealed your attendance at about three dozen meetings at which Iran was discussed, you virtually admitted that the whole affair was a swap of arms for hostages.
Your exact words: "If we erred, the president and I, it was on the side of human life. It was an overconcern about freeing Americans." How do you reconcile that statement with your insistence that it was not an arms-for-hostages swap?
How do you reconcile that admission with your previous claim that you had no idea it was a swap until Sen. David F. Durenberger (R-Minn.) told you, a year after the fact, that it was?
Last week, at the National Press Club, you volunteered that the antiterrorist report you coauthored is "the best antiterror report that a country has." It was written at the time that you were endorsing a deal with Iran, which you cite as a nation of state-sponsored terrorism. How can you brag about that report when you were secretly subverting it?
As for the diversion of arms-sales profits to the contras, you say you knew absolutely nothing about it. Can you tell us what you knew about the secret shipments of arms to the contras?
You admit that you met three times with Felix Rodriguez, the ex-CIA agent who was masterminding the supply operation out of Ilapango airport in El Salvador. Your briefing papers say that one of the topics you discussed was "contra resupply." You say that you talked only about the insurgency in El Salvador. Do you expect people to believe you never talked about the one next door in Nicaragua? Did you not read your briefing papers?
If you knew nothing about the secret arms drops to the contras and never discussed them with Rodriguez, could you explain why, when Eugene Hasenfus' plane was shot down, Sam Watson, your deputy national security adviser, was the first to be told about it? If Watson and his superior Donald Gregg knew about it, why didn't they tell you?
You have been extravagant in your praise of Poindexter and Oliver L. North. You invited them to your Christmas party. You called North "a hero" in your interview with David Frost. Poindexter testified that he destroyed a presidential finding without telling the president while the attorney general was investigating the arms sale.
North admitted under oath that during the same investigation he shredded classified documents and had others spirited out of the White House under his secretary's clothes. Was that a "mistake," or do you think it was reprehensible? Did the thought of cover-up ever cross your mind?
You, like the president, say it is "premature" to discuss pardons for Poindexter and North. When, in your view, would be an appropriate time?
Mr. Vice President, do you agree with Alexander M. Haig Jr. that the scandal will be an issue in the election if you are the nominee?