Mr. BROOMFIELD: When the CIA sells arms covertly overseas,
should the Department of Defense provide them at anything less
than their full market value?
Secretary WEINBERGER: No, and we do not.
Mr. BROOMFIELD: During the unfolding of the Iran initiative, you
have had an opportunity to try to influence this policy. I guess you
have had this question put to you an awful lot of times, but I
wonder if you believe you went far enough in attempting to try to
change the policy of our government.
Secretary WEINBERGER: Yes, sir, I do. I can't think of anything
else that might have been done that would have been in anyway
effective. As we lawyers say, you run out of appeals after a time.
There are no more tribunals left to appeal to.
I made these appeals many times and did the equivalent of
moving for new trials, but unfortunately there was no change in
the basic decision because of the conviction that this was offered a degree of hope both for hostages and for a better relationship, and
I was not able to be persuasive enough, and I'm sorry that I wasn’t—
that that was not possible.
Mr. BROOMFIELD: I understand that we had Secretary Shultz
a few days ago, and he was telling us that your opposition was
Secretary WEINBERGER: Well, it was as strong as I could make
and I have been told I can be extremely unpleasant.
Mr. BROOMFIELD: The Iran initiative, right from the
my judgment, was certainly a flawed policy, as you indicated earlier this morning. It just kept going.
My question is, what do you feel were the driving forces behind
the Iran program, which continued despite your opposition and the
reservations of other senior officials?
Secretary WEINBERGER: Well, I think that the continued reporting to the President, outside the hearing of anybody else, that
there was a real chance of getting the hostages, that next week
there were going to be two and the next week after that there were
going to be four. If there weren't two or four, something had gone
wrong, but it would be corrected the following week, and that there
were really people in positions of authority in Iran and they were
very favorable and friendly in these meetings that, I think should
never have taken place, so on and so forth.
I think when this is continually reported as fact, as it apparently
was, that the cumulative effect of that is to be persuasive, and 1
don't know because I wasn't there, but I suspect this was probably
what was at least a part of the element.
Mr. BROOMFIELD: Bill Casey was a major force. Do you believe
that Casey's motivation was primarily in the recovery of Willian
Buckley, the CIA Mission Chief in Lebanon—who, by the way, a
everybody knows, was brutally murdered?
Secretary WEINBERGER: Yes, he was. I think that was certainly
part of it.
Bill felt naturally very keenly about any of his people, as I think
we all do. But I think he also felt, as he said many times, that he
was sincerely convinced there was an opportunity for a genuine intelligence gain here and that this would be a very useful additional
source, and provision of materials that would be very helpful to us.
I think that was one of his motives, but certainly the attempting to
get Mr. Buckley back was, I'm sure, loomed large in his mind. Yet,
he is a very compassionate man, as is the President.
Mr. BROOMFIELD: The President's interests, of course, were primarily in the hostage area—in other words, getting them out?
Secretary WEINBERGER: Well, that was part of the motive, there
wasn't the slightest question. I never heard the President discuss
at which he didn't mention also this other longer range strategic
concept that we should have, with which everybody agreed,
better relationship with a country as important as Iran, and the
differences came and the feelings that I had expressed many times
that that was simply not possible with this present bunch of people
who were in charge of Iran.