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One of the few good things that has come from the last seven months of worldwide notoriety has been the renewed contact that I've had with some of the finest people in the world -- those with whom I served in Vietnam. are many from those who recount the horrors we lived through and who now relate stories of their families and careers.Among the 50,000 or so messages of support that have arrived since I left the N. After Vietnam, I worked with my fellow officers to train good marines to be ready in case we were called upon elsewhere in the world, but at the same time, to hope that we never were.Some, perhaps on this committee, believe that the N. And I don't mean this by way of criticism, but there were occasions when my superiors, confronted with accomplishing goals or difficult tasks, would simply say, ''Fix it, Ollie,'' or ''Take care of it.''Since graduating from the Naval Academy in 1968, I have strived to be the best Marine officer that one can be.In combat my goal was always to understand the objective, follow orders, accomplish the mission, and to keep alive the men who served under me.And in the end you determine the score and declare yourselves the winner. One thing is, I think, for certain: that you will not investigate yourselves in this matter.There is not much chance that you will conclude at the end of these hearings that the Boland Amendments and the frequent policy changes therefore were unwise, that -- or that your restrictions should not have been imposed on the Executive Branch.
We made efforts to open a new relationship with Iran and recover our hostages. I believe that this is a strange process that you are putting me and others through.
If I had to estimate the number of meetings and discussions and phone calls over that five years, it would surely be in the tens of thousands.
My only real regret is that I virtually abandoned my family for work during these years.
The National Security Council is, in essence, the President's staff. Insofar as I can recall, I always acted on major matters with specific approval, after informing my superiors of the facts as I knew them, the risks, and the potential benefits.
It helps to formulate and coordinate national security policy. I readily admit that I was action-oriented, that I took pride in the fact that I was counted upon as a man who got the job done.It's sort of like a baseball game in which you are both the player and the umpire.