Mr. LIMAN: Now, as I understand your testimony, you genuinely believed that in approving the diversion, that it was consistent with the policies of the President in terms of third country support. You have already testified to that, and I would like to ask you some questions about that. Is it a fact that the administration had gone to Congress in 1985 and gotten permission from Congress to solicit third-country support?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes. We worked with Members of Congress to get that provision.

Mr. LIMAN: And is it a fact that that provision for obtaining third-country support was limited to humanitarian aid?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Since leaving the White House and going back over this material, that is correct. I can't say that during the discussions that I can recall in the White House there was great distinction made between humanitarian aid or any other kind of aid at that particular time. There was with respect to the 27 million. I simply don't recall great distinctions being made.

Mr. LIMAN: Are you saying that when Congress worked out the legislation with the administration that authorized solicitation for humanitarian aid, the administration interpreted that as meaning it could solicit the lethal aid?

Mr. POINDEXTER: No. I am not saying that at all. I am just giving you my recollection at the time.

Mr. LIMAN: And you also understood that that bill provided that it was only the State Department that could do the solicitation. Do you recall that, sir?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes, I recall that.

Mr. LIMAN: Now, was the money that you were getting from the Ayatollah, or Secord, however you viewed it, was that money to be limited to being disbursed for humanitarian aid?

Mr. POINDEXTER: In no way. You see, the distinction here is that—and this is contrary to what you have heard before from other witnesses, but I never believed, and I don't believe today, that the Boland Amendment ever applied to the National Security Council staff or the President's personal staff. But the problem was that the Boland Amendment did apply to the State Department, it did apply to CIA, and it did apply to the Defense Department. We had been running this operation on our own for a long period of time because there was no other alternative in order to keep the Contras alive. And we wanted help, we wanted also a more public recognition of the fact that the United States was supporting the Contras in some way. I, frankly, I personally still wanted that to be done, the public support to be done in such a way that we could slowly turn back to a covert program run by the CIA, but it was important to me and to others that we get the State Department back into the game.