Sam Husseini points out it was twenty years ago today that this peculiar exchange took place during the nationally televised Iran Contra hearings:
REP. BROOKS: Colonel North, in your work at the NSC, were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the “continuity of government” in the event of a major disaster?
SEN. INOUYE: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch on that, sir?
REP. BROOKS: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was the area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.
SEN. INOUYE: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.
Sam goes on to explain how this turned him into a radical.