Mr. BROOKS: You are the only man I ever saw that takes more
pride in not knowing anything than anybody I ever saw. Most
people take pride and are smug about knowledge.
Mr. ABRAMS: I take exception to that remark too, Mr. Brooks.
Mr. BROOKS: You seem to be very proud of not knowing anything
about the technical problems and the real sticky problems with
which you are involved.
Now, I believe you would have been a lot better informed if you
had been reading the daily newspapers, listening to TV, listening
to the radio, and I can only conclude after this that you are either
extremely incompetent or that you are still, as I say, deceiving us
with semantics, or, three, maybe the administration has intentionally kept you in the dark on all these matters so then you can
come down and blatantly mislead us. the Secretary of State
the American people on all of these issues that we have been discussing. and I am deeply troubled by it and wonder if you can survive as an Assistant Secretary of State.
Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my time,
Mr. ABRAMS: If I can respond to that. Mr. Brooks.
Mr. BROOKS: Let him talk.
Mr. ABRAMS: Thank you.
Fortunately. I guess I have to say. I don't work for you. I work for
George Shultz. and he seems to be pretty satisfied with the job I
have done for him. That makes me very happy and very proud.
Mr. BROOKS: And me.
Mr. ABRAMS: The characterization that you have made of my testimony here yesterday and previous testimony, I think, is in too
many ways to state in a brief answer, erroneous.
Mr. BROOKS: I wouldn't think that you would agree with one bit
of it, because you have been very patiently telling us you don't
know about this, you don't know about that, and you weren't informed, you were not authorized to tell the truth. That is the wildest story I ever heard. They were not authorized to tell the committee the truth about something. That is the most cockamamie
idea I ever heard.
Why do you have to be authorized to tell the truth to the appropriate committee in Congress?
Mr. ABRAMS: Well
Mr. BROOKS: I don't want you to tell me. But you should have
told the Intelligence Committee.
Mr. ABRAMS: I would like to repeat the answer as you raise it
that I gave yesterday, and the answer was and is that we treated
this as a highly confidential diplomatic activity because the government of Brunei had insisted on complete confidentiality.
One of the things that I regret is I gave them and the department and the Secretary gave them that commitment, and we
couldn't keep it. I was not authorized to reveal that until the Secretary gave me that authorization on around December 4, but without revealing the name, and that is the truth.