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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
January 13, 2011
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Publication Date: 
August 15, 1984
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00552R000505390075-9.pdf72.78 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/13: CIA-RDP90-00552R000505390075-9 ARTICLE LrFZARED pN FAG: l,./ 7 j. - CIA Exceeded Authority .With Salvadoran Aid Scarcely 14 years after the CIA meddled in Chile's national election and was property scolded by Con- gress for its bizarre plottings, the CIA again has intervened in the pol- itics of a sovereign nation. The story behind the CIA's machinations in El Salvador have been hushed up. But here are the details, which my associate Dale Van Atta has pieced together from intelligence sources: ? In 1981, President Reagan ap- proved a covert action "finding"- the secret routine that authorizes CIA funds for clandestine opera- tions. This allowed the CIA to fi- nance non-communist candidates in Latin American elections. The in- tent was to block communist sym- pathizers from coming to power, not to discriminate between rival anti-communist candidates. ? Without further White House authorization, the CIA slipped a re- ported $960,000 to El Salvador's Christian Democratic Party, whose candidate, Jose Napoleon Duarte, won the presidential runoff on May 6. 1984. Also, $437,000 was deliv- ered to the moderate National Con- ciliation Party. The purpose was to defeat Roberto D'Aubuisson, the WASHINGTON POST '15 August 1984 right-wing candidate, who allegedly is linked to the notorious "death squads." ? President Reagan didn't learn about the CIA's meddling in the Sal- vadoran election until after the Sen- ate Select, Committee on Intelli- gence was briefed May 3 about the secret payments. Five days later, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) went public with the charge that the CIA had "bought the election , for Duarte. Press accounts Deported that the president summoned Helms to the White House for a reprimand. Our sources say that Reagan was furi- ous, not at Helms but at the CIA. He thanked Helms for saving him from the embarrassment of hailing the election in his May 9 television address as an example of democra- cy in action-words be would have had to eat when the CIA's involve- ment became known. ? After the election, the Reagan administration changed its attitude toward D'Aubuisson. The policy- makers decided that a leader who had won 46 percent of the vote- regardless of his alleged bloody background-could not be ignored and that it would be wise to start a dialogue with him. Reagan wrote D'Aubuisson, congratulating him on his strong showing. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who pre- viously denied D'Aubuisson a visa, asked Helms privately to invite the right-wing leader to Washington. Footnote: There have been other occasions when Helms has used his right-wing channels. He won a stun- ning concession from the Argen- tines at the beginning of the Falk- lands waz because the military junta trusted him. The Argentines told Helms that they would withdraw their troops from the islands if the British would halt their fleet before it readied the Falklands. This se- cret concession, which could have prevented the war, got lost in the rush of events. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/13: CIA-RDP90-00552R000505390075-9