Mr. MITCHELL: Mr. McFarlane, you testified Colonel North told you there's going to be a shredding party, and you said that comment occurred either in your car shortly after noon on Friday, November 21, 1986, or at a meeting in your office shortly after noon on Sunday, November 23. Is that correct? Do you recall that testimony?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: Now, the clear meaning of the words "there's going to be a shredding party," suggests that the shredding has not yet occurred but is an event to occur in the future. Do you agree?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: So if in fact Colonel North held his shredding party on that Friday night, that would indicate his comment about shredding was made to you on Friday in the meeting in your car. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: Now, on that same Friday and on the following Monday you met with the Attorney General who questioned you about these events. Is that correct?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: Now, what did you understand Colonel North to mean when he said to you, there is going to be a shredding party?

Mr. McFARLANE: Well, I think the obvious point, that there was going to be the destruction of some documents.

Mr. MITCHELL: As you testified today, do you know what obstruction of justice is?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: Did you know last November when these events occurred what obstruction of justice is?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: And you didn't try to persuade Colonel North not to have a shredding party even though you are close to him, he is your former subordinate, you share a lot in common, you are obvi- ously an important person in his life. Isn't that correct?

Mr. McFARLANE: Yes, sir.

Mr. MITCHELL: And you didn't tell the Attorney General of the United States about it, did you, even though he questioned you about these events with respect to which the documents were to be destroyed. Isn’t that correct?

Mr. McFARLANE: No, sir. On your last question, Senator Mitchell, the response that I gave Colonel North was simply, Ollie, look, you have acted under instruction at all times and I'm confident that you have nothing to worry about, let it all happen and I'll back you up.

Mr. MITCHELL: But you didn't try to persuade him not to destroy

Mr. McFARLANE: No, sir, I didn't, but I think it's worth noting at least that if his reason for saying that to me was his sense of obligation to me to protect me or me to disarm him of any notion that he had to protect me might have eliminated that impulse.

Mr. MITCHELL: Well, you have had an impressive record, Mr. McFarlane, you display great personal Courage, you devoted your life to your country, and I speak only for myself but I'm Sure others feel the same way, moved by your circumstance, but I feel constrained to ask you. As you sit here today, what do you feel the obligation of an American citizen is when he learns that a crime may be about to occur?

Mr. McFARLANE: He should seek to prevent it.

Mr. MITCHELL: Did you do that in this case?

Mr. McFARLANE: Not well enough.

Mr. MITCHELL: Now, throughout these proceedings you have assumed a willingness to accept responsibility. Indeed, it has been at times an eagerness, an anxiousness to assume responsibility. You have said on several occasions, "I'm responsible." But in each instance it has been in a general sense. When the questioning has dealt with specific events, you have been far less willing to acknowledge responsibility there. Mr. Nields devoted a great deal of time to developing the evidence in that regard, and others did, and so I'm not going to review the evidence.

Mr. McFARLANE: Could we, please? I think it's worthwhile, Senator Mitchell.

Mr. MITCHELL: You may do so in your responses; let's leave it that way. But I’m going to ask a conclusory statement regarding those events. First, a chronology. Isn't it true, Mr. McFarlane, that you and Colonel North and other officials deliberately falsified the chronology, you particularly, with respect to the question of whether or not the President had authorized the shipment of TOWs from Israel to Iran in August of 1985?

Mr. McFARLANE: No, sir, it is not.

Mr. MITCHELL: Isn't it true with respect to the activities of the staff as reported to Congress, isn't it true that you participated in the deliberate misleading of Congress regarding the activities of the NSC staff?

Mr. McFARLANE: I think I did not give as full an answer as I should have.

Mr. MITCHELL: No, that is not my question. I know you have said that, you have used the phrase "too casual." I'm asking a direct question: Isn't it true that you deliberately misled the Congress regarding the nature and extent of the activities by members of your staff?

Mr. McFARLANE: I just don't see it in exactly the same terms as you, Senator Mitchell.

Mr. MITCHELL: Isn't it true that notwithstanding your statements to your staff about fund-raising, that you participated in fund-raising, indeed the one country which you directly solicited, Country Two, was the country which provided most of the money that was received?

Mr. McFARLANE: None of what you have said is accurate, Senator Mitchell. I pointed out that the time when the foreign government contributed that first increment, there was no prohibition in law at all about that.

Mr. MITCHELL: Isn't it true that you misled the Attorney General in your meetings with him regarding the state of your knowledge and most specifically regarding your knowledge about the November 1985 shipment of Hawks from Israel to Iran?

Mr. McFARLANE: Senator Mitchell, that is categorically false. May I please give a direct answer, a full answer?

Mr. MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.

Mr. McFARLANE: You know this is very important and very, very disappointing for someone who is trying here today to promote the idea of consulting with the Congress and cooperating with it. Now, here today I believe honestly that effort to cooperate-what have we had?

I think Mr. Nields, consciously wanting to give me a fair opportunity to answer questions, has gone through interrogation, which has left a fundamentally false impression, and deliberately withheld information. I cannot have any other interpretation. For example, on this November 18 episode concerning the Senator's question of misleading the Attorney General about Hawk shipments, your point was, after dozens of questions, to reach the conclusion that I had spent a full week working on the chronology and had not apparently come to the conclusion that there had been a Hawk shipment involved.

Well, surely you must have gone to the trouble of finding out that in that week that you suggest-from the 14th to the 21st of November, I was out of Washington, D.C. for 5 days. How is it that could have spent a week working on the chronology when I wasn't even in the city?

Second, if you will turn to exhibit number 59, you see that at the end of that entire process I still did not have command of whatever must have taken place regarding the sale of Hawk missiles. I put at formally in a note to my successor, and I spent a couple of hours today with Ed Meese going over the record with him. The only blind spot on my part concerned a shipment in November 1985 which still doesn't ring a bell with me.

Now, that is on Friday afternoon, November 21. The time that I spent contributing to that chronology was basically the evening of Wednesday night for a period, or Tuesday night, of about 3 hours almost all of which was spent in working on the opening state- ment, not the chronology at all.

The basic document used for the testimony against me was something that I did not foremostly rely upon, but yet another one which, I take it, has not been introduced into evidence. Now, I will be glad to answer questions all day, but is it not so that there has been until this moment the impression in this committee that I was involved importantly, continuously for a sustained period in the preparation of the chronology, when in fact it is a matter of, a matter of perhaps minutes or hours at most

Mr. MITCHELL: Mr. McFarlane, the record as developed by Mr. Nields yesterday will speak for itself. You have obviously expressed your view. I will express my view that the evidence is clear and convincing, indeed it is overwhelming that you did in fact deliber- ately participate in the falsification of a portion of that chronology.

Mr. McFARLANE: I disagree.

Mr. MITCHELL: And I limited my remarks to that aspect of dealing with the knowledge you had of the President's prior au- thorization of that first shipment. I think no conclusion is possible other than that I have expressed on the reading of those docu- ments.