Chairman INOUYE: This has been a very difficult time for me as a Member of the U.S. Senate. Early this morning we were told how immoral we were in our congressional policy in Central America, and I suppose as a result you felt it justified to ignore some of our laws, carry out secret diplomacy, and some of your testimony just intrigued me.

For example, you had a major debate in the RIG on wristwatches, whether this was lethal or non-lethal, and yet you weren't sufficiently curious to inquire on the Hasenfus case or to check with Colonel North after the Miami article was published. I have no idea who is being candid with us. It is not our job, we are not a bunch of prosecutors. But I think it must be, at the least, confusing for the people of the United States and, at worse, disconcerting to find that the Government of the United States has been less than candid not only with the Congress but with the people. So I would hope that future witnesses would take the statement made by Chairman Hamilton very seriously, because I don't think we can stand too many days such as this listening to testimony which would question great heroes of ours. I don't know whether to believe you or General Singlaub, to believe you or Ambassador Tambs, and it is not my job to decide whether you or the other one is honest, but someone is not being honest with us. Can you help us?

Mr. ABRAMS: Senator, with respect to General Singlaub, I think his memory is wrong. I think he is being completely honest. I think he has always been completely honest. I don't think it is possible to say that he is being dishonest because his memory disagrees with mine.

I want to return for a moment to the word "immoral" to make sure you understood what I said or tried to say. I don't approve of what I call "tin-cup diplomacy," but given the congressional mandate to engage in it which we have, given the terrible needs of the Contras, I thought it would be immoral for me to fail to use the authority you gave to the State Department to help them. That was the use of the word "immorality." With respect to the wristwatches, we did debate it. Of course, that was something that was under the State Department's direct supervision and control, and we tried to do the best job we could with it. We had a lot of debates about the limits of that legislation.