WASHINGTON -- Quotes heard throughout the congressional Iran arms-Contra aid hearings.
'The buck stops here with me.' Former national security adviser John Poindexter.
'If the president did not know what you did, he should have known.' Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ohio, to Poindexter.
'I frankly felt that I was the one who was loyal to the president because I was the one who was trying to get him the facts so he could make a decision ... But it was a battle royal.' Secretary of State George Shultz.
'I never carried out a single act ... in which I did not have authority from my superiors.' Lt. Col. Oliver North.
'Although I was convinced that we could properly do it, and that the president would approve, if asked, I made a very deliberate decision not to ask the president so that I could insulate him from the decision and provide some future deniability for the president if it ever leaked out.' Poindexter.
'What's news about that? I've been saying that for seven months.' President Reagan on Poindexter's testimony that he was not told.
'I do not believe that heroes are people who deceive their president.' Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H.
'I came here to tell you the truth -- the good, the bad and the ugly.' North.
'Colonel, if you look at whatever it is in front of you, will that refresh you?' Arthur Liman, Senate counsel.
'I can't recall.' Poindexter on several occasions.
'I'm not impugning this committee by saying that you're trying to conduct a trial ... but the long arm of the independent counsel has reached right down in the core of this committee and has structured every arrangement.' Richard Beckler, Poindexter's attorney.
'I assumed that the president was aware of what I was doing and had, through my superiors, approved it.' North.
'This guy, I know, was an actor ... but I'd give him an Academy Award if he knew anything about this. ... He couldn't have known.' Former chief of staff Donald Regan, on President Reagan's knowledge of the Contra diversion.
'The essential point to keep in mind is that our purpose was not to conduct a criminal investigation. Indeed, on the 21st of November (1986), there was no hint that criminal activity was in any way implicated in the Iranian arms transactions.' Attorney General Edwin Meese, on his original investigation.
'I think the actions that I took were in the long-term interests of the country, and I'm not going to change my mind. And I'm not going to be apologetic aboaut it.' Poindexter.
'If the commander in chief tells this lieutenant colonel to go stand in the corner and sit on his head, I will do so.' North.
'I don't want you prosecutred. I don't. I don't think that many people in America do. And I think there's going to be one lot of hell raised if you are.' Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to North.
'I'm not a potted plant.' Brendan Sullivan Jr., North's attorney.
'The American people have the constitutional right to be wrong.' Rudman.
'I must confess to you that I thought using the ayatollah's money to support the Nicaraguan resistance was a right idea ... I still do. I don't think it was wrong. I think it was a neat idea.' North.
'It is possible for an American to disagree with you on aid to the Contras and still love God and still love this country just as much as you do ... In America, disagreement with the policies of the government is not evidence of lack of patriotism.' Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, to North.
'I'll be glad to meet Abu Nidal on equal terms anywhere in the world.' North.
'Sometimes you have to go above the written law.' Former NSC secretary Fawn Hall.
'Our government is not a government of men. It is still a government of laws.' Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.
'Nothing ever gets settled in this town.' Shultz.