Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 4, 2012
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
August 11, 1986
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320029-4.pdf87.47 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320029-4 AM Lf APPEAPUBT 3p 760644... ' WASHINGTON TIMES 11 August 1986 Helms wants to know if U.S. spied on him \ By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES Sen. Jesse Helms has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether the CIA and National Secu- rity Agency illegally spied on him during his recent trip to Chile. In an Aug. 5 letter to Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Mr. Helms, North Carolina Republican, charged that the intelligence ser- vices may have violated "executive orders and legal restrictions" that forbid surveillance of U.S. citizens abroad. "My concern lies with the possi- bility that the CIA and other U.S. intelligence organizations may be unlawfully invading the vrivacv of senators, including me," Mr. Helms wrote. "... Accordingly, I request an FBI investigation of the CIA and the NSA to determine whether the Helms delegation was under U.S. electronic or physical surveillance at anytime during its trip to Chile in July 1986." A Justice Department spokesman confirmed that the letter had been received, but declined further com- ment. The Helms' letter is the latest salvo in the battle between the sen- ator and several Reagan administra- tion agencies. The FBI said it was conducting a "leak investigation" of Mr. Helms and his staff following reports that U.S. intelligence information was passed illegally to the government of Chile. Christopher Manion, a Helms aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and another unidentifed staff member are under suspicion in the investigation, congressional sources say. Mr. Helms charged last week that the State Department and the CIA have engaged in a "smear cam- paign" against him because of his opposition to what he has described as a Reagan administration cam- paign to destabilize Chile's military government. He also accused Assistant Secre- tary of State Elliott Abrams of sup- plying false information to the Sen- ate which led to the leak investigation, a charge Mr. Abrams denied. The Foreign Intelligence Surveil- lance Act of 1978 restricts spying on Americans to. cases where there is evidence of criminality. The law, however, allows the NSA to intercept communications between foreign embassies and their governments. but requires intelligence agencies to limit spying on people not directly under surveillance. In addition, President Carter in 1978 issued an executive order re- stricting agencies from spying on Americans abroad, but a Reagan ad- ministration directive in 1981 re- portedly relaxed controls on over- seas monitoring of Americans. One application of the prohibition occurred in 1978 when Carter ad- ministration officials turned down a CIA request to wiretap telephone conversations in France of Ibrahim Yazdi, at the time an aide to Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, ac- cording to published reports. The re- quest was denied because Mr. Yazdi was an American citizen. Mr. Helms charged in his letter that recent press attacks against him and his staff for allegedly leak- ing classified information to the Chilean government were "frivolous and false." "Yet some of the information ap- pearing in the press claims to have reference to conversations we had in Chile, and subsequently, about mat- ters which are in no way classified," Mr. Helms wrote. A Helms staff aide said the dele- gation held a 21/2-hour meeting with Chilean Interior Minister Ricardo Garcia Rodriguez July 9. Mr. Helms spent about 50 minutes of the meet- ing asking the Chilean leader to pro- vide details on the case of American permanent resident Rodrigo Rojas. Mr. Rojas was burned to death in Chile during anti-government pro- tests in an incident now under inves- tigation by the Chilean government. Witnesses said men dressed as sol- diers poured a liquid over him and set him afire. Several members of the Chilean military have been ar- rested in connection with the inci- dent. The leak investigation of Mr. Helms and his staff reportedly fo- cuses on the compromise of a U.S. agent in the Chilean military who supplied an internal military report on the burning death to the U.S. gov- ernment. Meanwhile, Mr. Helms asked Sen- ate Majority Leader Robert Dole in an Aug. 7 letter to be notified in ad- vance of any Senate action on the fiscal 1987 House and Senate Intelli- gence Authorization bills in order to give the senator time "to study both measures in depth." "I intend to offer a package of amendments related to strengthening counterintelligence, competitive analysis, improvements in verification by national technical means, and protection of [intelli- gence] sources and methods:' Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320029-4