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Tilsley

SEC Hearing Regarding Iran-Contra

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I just want to take a moment and personally thank each of you for your service to our country and for your willingness to appear today and answer our questions. Thank you. 

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  On 10/10/2018 at 5:33 PM, DMH said:

Colonel Oliver North: I did what I get was necessary to complete the task given to me. All of my actions were approved by my superiors within the NSC. I completed the orders given to me by my superiors and I make no apology for that. As I stated in the beginning of this hearing, I have never violated an order in all my years serving this country and I will not apologize for that either.

 

This is not what I asked. Are you elected officials, accountable to the voting public, and the American people like the President of the United States is? And if your superior, in this case the POTUS, gives you an order that is left up to "interpretation" then does he not share in responsibility for how you carried out his orders? 

 

Also, you say that you have not ever received an order from the President to violate the law, but if like you have said before, you were left to interpret the President's orders, can you say with 100% certainty that you did not misinterpret his words, or that a thousand other people in your position, would have interpreted his orders to "Keep the Body and Soul of the Contras alive" in a manner that did not violate established laws? 

 

  On 10/10/2018 at 5:33 PM, DMH said:

Was that a question or a statement Congressman?

 

Sir, is it part of your job description to speak for, and interpret the wishes of the President of the United States? Are you allowed to circumvent the law, when you do not agree with the written law? 

 

Bump to this from yesterday. 

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The vote is 4-2 in favor to extend.

 

There is now a 48 hour extension for any additional questions and debate. (Period ends 10/14 at 12:22 PM EST)

Edited by Tilsley

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23 hours ago, FrankP said:
  On 10/10/2018 at 5:33 PM, DMH said:

Colonel Oliver North: I did what I get was necessary to complete the task given to me. All of my actions were approved by my superiors within the NSC. I completed the orders given to me by my superiors and I make no apology for that. As I stated in the beginning of this hearing, I have never violated an order in all my years serving this country and I will not apologize for that either.

 

This is not what I asked. Are you elected officials, accountable to the voting public, and the American people like the President of the United States is? And if your superior, in this case the POTUS, gives you an order that is left up to "interpretation" then does he not share in responsibility for how you carried out his orders? 

 

Also, you say that you have not ever received an order from the President to violate the law, but if like you have said before, you were left to interpret the President's orders, can you say with 100% certainty that you did not misinterpret his words, or that a thousand other people in your position, would have interpreted his orders to "Keep the Body and Soul of the Contras alive" in a manner that did not violate established laws? 

 

  On 10/10/2018 at 5:33 PM, DMH said:

Was that a question or a statement Congressman?

 

Sir, is it part of your job description to speak for, and interpret the wishes of the President of the United States? Are you allowed to circumvent the law, when you do not agree with the written law? 

 

Bump to this from yesterday. 

 

Colonel Oliver North: I would point you to the Tower Commission Report for that question Congressman.

 

Admiral John Poindexter: We are beholden to the law Congressman. One's interpretation of that law can vary. The Boland Amendment prohibits the providing of military support to the Contras from American intelligence agencies. The NSC is not an intelligence agency and thus, it was the interpretation that the NSC was legally allowed to continue to fund the Contras.

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17 hours ago, DMH said:

Colonel Oliver North: I would point you to the Tower Commission Report for that question Congressman

 

I am asking you, and I want your answer to the question. Are you refusing to answer the questions? 

 

17 hours ago, DMH said:

Admiral John Poindexter: We are beholden to the law Congressman. One's interpretation of that law can vary. The Boland Amendment prohibits the providing of military support to the Contras from American intelligence agencies. The NSC is not an intelligence agency and thus, it was the interpretation that the NSC was legally allowed to continue to fund the Contras.

 

How did you and Colonel North communicate during this time period Admiral? 

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17 hours ago, DMH said:

The NSC is not an intelligence agency and thus, it was the interpretation that the NSC was legally allowed to continue to fund the Contras.

 

Let me read to you a summary of what the NSC does, from the NSC itself. 

 

"The National Security Council is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials".

 

Admiral, does this not point to the NSC having a function in, and being a significant part of the intelligence sector in the U.S. government? 

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I will note for the record that the National Security Council is not a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States which was formed in 1981.

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6 hours ago, FrankP said:

 

I am asking you, and I want your answer to the question. Are you refusing to answer the questions? 

 

 

How did you and Colonel North communicate during this time period Admiral? 

 

Colonel Oliver North: The President gave me a directive and I followed through on it. The President is not a policy wonk on the issue of Nicaragua and the Contras so he trusted those within his sphere who are to execute his general directive. As I stated before, I was under the impression he was aware of our actions but both the Tower Commission Report and the President himself have shown that he was not aware. I know the President would have never authorized any member of the NSC to engage in any activities that stepped outside the law.

 

Admiral John Poindexter: Our communication was done both in person and via the usage of files and documents shared between our respective offices. 

 

6 hours ago, FrankP said:

 

Let me read to you a summary of what the NSC does, from the NSC itself. 

 

"The National Security Council is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials".

 

Admiral, does this not point to the NSC having a function in, and being a significant part of the intelligence sector in the U.S. government? 

 

Admiral John Poindexter: As the Congressman stated, the NSC is not an intelligence agency. This would mean that it would not technically fall under the purview of the Boland Amendment under the administration's interpretation of the law.

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