Mr. TRIBLE: Thank you, sir. Let me read to you, if I may, from the handbook of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, the section that deals with the honor code.

It says in section 1303, Standards of Conduct, Section 4, "Midshipmen must bear in mind the dishonest nature of making oral or written statements or reports which may be regarded as evasive or misleading—any person in the Naval Service who utilizes such evasive means to obtain any desired end will not and cannot command the respect of his seniors, peers or subordinates."

My question is this—at the Academy, the young men and women that we train to be our future officers are told the truth is absolute. If the conduct, evasion, that you have talked about as mentioned in these regulations is wrong for Midshipmen, isn't it also wrong for officers?

Mr. POINDEXTER: Senator, I think that is a very unfair thing to say and I object to it. I have always lived by the honor concept. I still live that way today.

One of the things you also learn at the Naval Academy is the ability to exercise independent judgments that are in the best interest of the United States. My whole time as a National Security Adviser I worked very hard to do the best that I could to protect the national security of the United States. I don't have any regrets for anything that I did. I think the actions that I took were in the long-term interests of the country, and I am not going to change my mind, and I am not going to be apologetic about it.