He also said they did not record any of the statements. How convenient .
February 24, 1989
Committee Chairman Claiborne Pell (D., R.I.) asked Pickering why he decided as ambassador to El Salvador to pass on to Lt. Col. Oliver L. North information that ultimately led to a secret donation of more than $1 million in military equipment and supplies for the Nicaraguan contras.
Pickering insisted that he “saw no money exchanged” but acknowledged that he provided North, then a National Security Council aide in Washington, with a note and an “oral message” from an unidentified individual about the military assistance. At the time, the Boland amendment prohibited the United States from supplying any kind of military aid to the rebels fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua.
Pickering said that he had some “reservations” about being the carrier for such a message but that he did not consider it a violation of the Boland amendment.
“I made the decision this was a suitable way to pass it (the arms information),” the 57-year-old diplomat said.
In 1987, Pickering told congressional committees investigating the Iran- contra affair that the note contained a list of weapons and military supplies being offered by a private group of Nicaraguan exiles and other contra supporters.
Pickering said yesterday that he gave the information to North instead of passing it through regular State Department channels because of its sensitive nature.