Mr. SARBANES: Are you familiar with the PROF notes between North and Poindexter that appear in the Tower Report? When North suggested to Poindexter before departing for Tehran with McFarlane that he and Poindexter have a quiet meeting with the President and McFarlane without papers and that Poindexter might want to include the Secretaries of State and Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, Poindexter responded negatively, "I don't want a meeting with Ronald Reagan, Shultz, and Weinberger."

Secretary WEINBERGER: I became aware of it when I read it in that report.

Mr. SARBANES: Well, Mr. Secretary, what was going on? What is your perception of what was occurring? You are the Secretary of Defense, you're a statutory member of the National Security Council. You are charged with major responsibility and, in fact, in the command and control function in the case of conflict, have a very unique and special responsibility that has been entrusted to you and yet here we are with your obtaining information about what your own government is doing from foreign sources. The National Security Adviser in effect is saying, no, we don't want the Secretaries of State and Defense to consult with the President. What is your perception of what was taking place in our government?

Secretary WEINBERGER: Senator, what was taking place, I believe, is what I described earlier and which I strongly disapprove of, that people with their own agenda who thought that this opening was a good thing, who knew that I opposed it and that George Shultz opposed it, did not want the President to hear these arguments after the decision had been made or perhaps indeed even to the extent that they were made before, I don't know. But I think that that was basically the problem, and I think that people with their own agenda as I have said in the Security Council were doing everything they can and maybe their motives were good, I don't know, but were doing everything they could to put this agenda into effect and one of the ways they tried to do that was to keep away from the President views that they suspected, quite correctly most of the time, differ with theirs. I think it was a very bad procedure. I think it has been completely corrected now because we have totally different kinds of people who have a totally different approach. I am not trying to lay blame, or anything, I am trying candidly to express to you how I think this situation came about.