Mr. NIELDS: Now the last account is the Button account, it has
$200,000 in it, and your records reflect that that amount was put
into the Button account May 20, 1986. Is Button short for something?
Mr. HAKIM: In this case, no. The name, Button, actually came as
the result of a joke between Mr. Zucker and myself at a time that
we were having a discussion. Actually, the complete name is Belly.
button, and this was a name that I decided to use at the time because
we laughed about the joke, and I simply took the name and
used it for this set-aside.
Mr. NIELDS: Does it refer to a person?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, it does.
Mr. NIELDS: Who?
Mr. HAKIM: Lt. Col. North.
Mr. NIELDS: Can you explain the circumstances surrounding the
setting up of an account for Lt. Col. North?
Mr. HAKIM: I must start by saying that when I established this
account, Lt. Col. North had absolutely no idea about this. This oc·
curred during the time that the so-called McFarlane Tehran trip
was about to take place.
Mr. NIELDS: That took place approximately the 24th, 25th of May
1986, and this account was set up on May 20th?
Mr. HAKIM: I am talking about the time when the concept and
idea came to my mind. We knew that such a trip was going to
place, and by this time I had become extremely fond of Lt. Col.
North. To me, he is an amazing person. I noticed something in this
man that—he has got two loves. One is his country, and to a point
that he is, in my mind, the biggest satisfaction that can be given to
him is if he would enter into an environment that he could get
killed for his country. I sensed that so many times.
The other love that he has is his family, and he especially during
the time of the second channel, I witnessed him being torn apart
between these two loves
But coming back to how this thing came about, I came up with
the idea that Ollie had to be insured, and it started out with put-
ting this money aside as a death benefit for him, and I had also
learned through scattered discussions—it was not that there was
one discussion that this issue was analyzed—I had hear through
various remarks that Ollie was not spending time at home, and he
was not attending to his family, to his kids' education and so forth,
and I had become emotionally very attached to Ollie, still am, and
I really love this man.br/>
I talked to Richard, General Secord, I said that I thought it
would be wise to set aside $500,000 to cover the—as a death benefit
for Ollie. I recall that Richard opposed to this figure.
Mr. NIELDS: Richard what?
Mr. HAKIM: Opposed.
Mr. NIELDS: Was against it?
Mr. HAKIM: Against it, yes. As a matter of fact, he made a
remark that the point of reference that I use is my own lifestyle
and I have no understanding of what a soldier's life is, and that
there are benefits that the government provides, and I came up
with the figure of two hundred. General Secord made no opposition
to this. He did not disagree, and yet he did not come right out and
say that, fine, go ahead and do it. And I did not pursue this.
That is how this was developed and the reason I came up with
this figure in addition to the fact that General Secord had been opposed to my original idea, I figured that the interest on $200,000
could cover a good part of a child's university education.
Mr. NIELDS: Did you tell Colonel North that you had set this money aside?
Mr. HAKIM: I cannot recall having told Colonel North that I had
set money aside for his family's benefit, but I do recall my reaction
to the times that we were discussing his family problem, basically
for not being able to attend to his family, and also his concern
about the education of his kids and his concern what would happen
if he should get killed and so on.
The way I remarked to him was, "Ollie, you are part of the
family. For as long as one of us is alive, you need not worry about
your family." That is what I remember having told him. I do not
recall sitting him down and saying that I have set aside $200,000
for your family's benefit.
Mr. NIELDS: You have referred to this at times as a death benefit.
I take it this was shortly before the trip to Tehran in May of 1986?
Mr. HAKIM: You are correct.
Mr. NIELDS: You have also said some things about his children's
education. Did you ever take any steps to get some part of this
money or any other money into his possession for his children's
Mr. HAKIM: The answer is yes.