Mr. LIMAN: Is it your best recollection that you obtained the approval of the President of the United States?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes, it is.

Mr. LIMAN: You are aware of the plan because we have shown it to you as well as Colonel North's testimony about the part of the plan that dealt with the Dawa, correct?

Mr. POINDEXTER: That is correct.

Mr. LIMAN: And you were a subscriber to the policy of the United States, that the United States should not lean on the Kuwaitis to release these prisoners?

Mr. POINDEXTER: That is correct.

Mr. LIMAN: 'These were terrorists?

Mr. POINDEXTER: That is correct, and the President felt very strongly about the issue.

Mr. LIMAN: Did Colonel North--

Mr. POINDEXTER: We had discussed that numerous times.

Mr. LIMAN: Did Colonel North report to you that part of the plan was for General Secord or Hakim to come up with a plan that the Iranians could use to attempt to convince the Kuwaitis to release the Dawa prisoners?

Mr. POINDEXTER: I believe he did. That was my understanding, that it was not something that General Secord-I don't, I can't say that I really remember Albert Hakim's role in this, but my recollection would be that General Secord was to come up with a plan which he could give the Iranians that the Iranians could execute, not that the U.S. Government would do it or not even that General Secord would actually do anything.

Mr. LIMAN: Did you clear that with the President?

Mr. POINDEXTER: My best recollection is I did.

Mr. LIMAN: Did you understand that General Secord was acting in this venture at the request of the United States namely the NSC? '

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes, I did.

Mr. LIMAN: And did you discuss with the President that General Secord was in fact being asked to act for the United States in this venture? Did he know, in other words, that Secord was not in this just on his own but had been brought in it by the CIA and by the NSC?

Mr. POINDEXTER: I believe so. I can recall-and as I told you in the closed testimony, I want to obviously be very careful as to what I attribute to the President and what I don't. It is obviously an important issue, so unless I can remember something very specific, I'm reluctant to attribute things to the President, either things he said or things that I think he knows.

Mr. LIMAN: And you know my view that I think it is essential that it is only where you have an actual recollection that you should do that.

Mr. POINDEXTER: But I do have a recollection of talking to the President at one point during the Iranian project, that General Secord was involved as a private individual, and that he indeed was a true patriot. I don't recall going into great detail about the mechanics of how the discussions were going on, but I always briefed the President on the results of the discussions, and discussed the possibilities for next steps and got his approval for the major next steps that we took at various times.

Mr. LIMAN: So, as I understand it, you got the President's approval for the next steps in the venture excluding, for the reasons you have stated, the use of the proceeds for the Contras?

Mr. POINDEXTER: That is correct.