Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 4, 2012
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Publication Date: 
August 5, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320032-0.pdf92.32 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320032-0 WASHINGTON TIMES 5 August 1986 Helms charges State's Abrams pushed leak story 6 By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES Sen. Jesse Helms yesterday accused an assistant secretary of state of circulating reports that the North Carolina Republican or one of his aides leaked classified informa- tion to Chile. "It was Elliott Abrams," Mr. Helms charged in a hastily called press conference. "He crept up here in the dead of night and made these charges. ... I am saying Elliott Ab- rams committed a deliberate falsehood, knowing it to be false. "Then he slips back to his little hole at the State Department and calls The New York Times and says, 'Hey, I got a big scoop for you: "This will die a silent death:" Mr. Helms said. "The only result will be The New York Times and the State Department once again have man- aged to smear Jesse Helms. That's fine. I can take it." News of the Chilean leaks first appeared in Sunday editions of The Times. "First, the suggestion that I leaked the story to The New York Times is false and they can obvi- ously confirm that:' Mr. Abrams, as- sistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs, told United Press International yesterday. "Secondly, I made no false statement:' The FBI yesterday confirmed that a "leak investigation," normally con- ducted by the FBI counterintelli- gence agents under the espionage statute that makes it a crime to dis- close classified information, is un- der way. "We are investigating, but as sen- sitive as this thing is, we are not saying anymore:' said Steve Ramey, an FBI spokesman. Justice Department sources, however, said the investigation had turned up no evidence that the con- servative North Carolina Republi- can was involved in, or knew any- thing about, the disclosure. The FBI investigation is focused on the Helms' staff, the sources said. One Helms' aide, Christopher Manion, is under suspicion of pass- ing the U.S. intelligence on Chilean human rights violations to the Chil- ean government, according to UPI. Mr. Manion is the brother of Dan- iel Manion, who was recently con- firmed as a federal judge during a bitter partisan battle in the Senate. Christopher Manion, who serves as the representative of Mr. Helms on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attended a confidential briefing at which sensitive informa- tion was disclosed that later made its way to the Chilean government, sources said. Attempts to reach Christopher Manion last night were unsuccess- ful. Mr. Helms, who has charged that the State Department bureaucracy is undermining President Reagan's foreign policy initiatives, visited the Chilean leader, Gen. Augusto Pino- chet, last month. While in Santiago, Mr. Helms pub- licly criticized Harry Barnes, the U.S. ambassador to Chile, for attend- ing the funeral of a Chilean exile, who while on a visit to his homeland, was burned to death during anti- government protests. Mr. Helms said the funeral was a pro-communist demonstration that was not attended by any Latin Amer- ican ambassadors and included only Sen. Jesse Helms the French and American ambassa- dors among the official representa-. tives from the West. A Helms' staff aide yesterday said three aides who accompanied the senator on the three-day Chilean visit early last month had not re- ceived classified intelligence briefings before the trip, nor were they given any information on Chile by the Senate Intelligence Commit- tee. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dave Durenberger, Min- nesota Republican, and Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, released a statement yes- terday saying the committee had "received information" that a leak of classified information might have occurred and asked the Justice De- partment to investigate. Mr. Helms criticized Mr. Duren- berger's handling of the investiga- tion, saying the committee referred the matter to the Justice Depart- ment without conducting a prelimi- nary investigation to determine if the allegations were serious. Mr. Helms also denounced the State Department for attempting to "silence" his criticism of its policies and political appointees with the leak charges, but said the tactic would have the opposite affect. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302320032-0