Mr. LIMAN: And were you aware that Colonel North had a role in getting the airstrip in that Central American country?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes. In fact, as I've testified, that issue came up on the trip that I made to Central America in December of 1985.

Mr. LIMAN: Did you brief the President of the United States on that airstrip?


Mr. LIMAN: And is it true that you knew that Colonel North had arranged either with Felix Rodriguez or, more likely, an official in the country where Felix Rodriguez was working, to get logistics support for the Contras?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes. I was aware that he was doing what he could to pave the way for the logistics effort in the surrounding countries.

Mr. LIMAN: And is it

Mr. POINDEXTER: I would like to keep that general.

Mr. LIMAN: Is it true you regarded Colonel North as the switching point that made this whole system work?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes, that's correct.

Mr. LIMAN: Did you ever have a conversation—sorry.

Mr. POINDEXTER: Go ahead.

Mr. LIMAN: Did you have a conversation with Director Casey where he said that the Contras would not be alive without Colonel North?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes. I almost said that, but I figured you were going to ask that as the next question.

Mr. LIMAN: And you shared that view?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Yes, I did. I certainly did.

Mr. LIMAN: And I understand from your earlier testimony that you did not go into this degree of detail in briefing the President; is that so?

Mr. POINDEXTER: I certainly did not brief the President in detail of all of Colonel North's activities. That would have been much too great a level of detail to cover will all of the other arms control and United States-Soviet issues that we were constantly struggling with. But I do think that the President understood that Colonel North was instrumental in keeping the Contras supported without maybe understanding the details of exactly what he was doing.