WASHINGTON — Richard V. Secord, leadoff witness as congressional hearings open today on the Iran- contra affair, is a retired Air Force major general who will be breaking his public silence on his major role in the covert operations that have shaken the Reagan presidency.
Secord, who has been interviewed by the staffs of the House and Senate investigating committees, "feels sincerely that he has nothing to hide and that he has done nothing wrong," said Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate committee.
Unlike many other witnesses, Secord will testify without a grant of immunity from prosecution for the information he reveals. His testimony is scheduled for the afternoon session, which begins at 2 p.m. (11 a.m. PST). The morning session, which will be devoted to opening statements by committee members, starts at 10 a.m. (7 a.m. PST).
The 55-year-old West Point graduate is reported to have worked closely with fired National Security Council staff member Oliver L. North in negotiating the Iran arms sales, then in handling logistics to deliver the weapons. He is also reported to have been deeply involved in developing and running the private supply network for Nicaragua's rebels.