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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 8, 2012
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Publication Date: 
September 27, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870017-3.pdf115.63 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870017-3 cl PAG WASHINGTON POST 27 September 1986 CIA Said to Hold Information On Helms, Pinochet Bugging Alleged Leaks on Chile Trip Being Probed By Joanne Omang Washingtai Post Stai( Writer The Central Intelligence Agency has obtained electronic surveillance information on conversations be- tween Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Chilean President Augusto Pi- nochet last July, Helms' staff and intelligence sources said yesterday. The Justice Department is prob- ing charges that Helms or a mem- ber of his staff leaked classified in- formation to the Chilean govern- ment that enabled the Chileans to shut down a productive information- gathering channel. Helms has called the charges "a concoction" of State Department officials in retaliation for his criticisms of their conduct of foreign policy. A Helms staff member said let- ters have been sent to Attorney General Edwin Meese III and Jus- tice Department officials asking whether Helms or his staff mem- bers have been the target of "elec- tronic surveillance" during his July 9-13 visit to Chile or here at their homes or offices. While surveillance of Pinochet and any of his conversations would he legal under U.S. law, surveil- lance here would be illegal without an advance judicial finding that na- tional security was at stake or that a criminal probe was warranted. Other letters went from Helms to _ CIA Director William J. Casey and Secretary of State George P. Shultz asking for CODies of all intelligence re its t e received o elms' tip i to h e, t e start member said. "Certain t kings we have been o lead us to believe that a number of our meetings [in Chile] were bugged the Pinochet meeting among others," the staff member said. An- other staff member said Helms is certain there had been "eavesdrop- ping," but that it might have been conducted by the Chilean intelligence services and then passed to the CIA. A knowledgeable senator con- firmed that intelligence data on the conversation exists, but said it is in- conclusive on whether Helms passed confidential information to Pinochet. "Jesse should have known enough to take Pinochet for a walk in the woods instead of talking inside," the senator said. Helms has also written to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David F. Durenberger (R-Minn.), asking if he and committee vice chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) followed correct procedures in ask- ing for the justice Department probe on the strength of a State Depart- ment allegation, without convening the full committee. "We haven't gotten satisfactory responses from anybody," the first Helms aide said. Helms and other conservatives have long been at loggerheads with the CIA and the State Department for what they regard as overly com- placent evaluations of Soviet military strength and for minimizing the dan- ger of communist takeovers in many nations, including Chile. Helms said in an interview that the State Department and the CIA have launched a joint "smear cam- paign" against him because he is "working to expose what they're up to.' "I don't like their agenda of kick- ing our friends in the teeth around the world and cozying up to the em- issaries of the Soviet Union," he said. "They would like nothing better than to silence or discredit this senator." He said his North Carolina constit- uents have reacted "overwhelmingly in my favor .... They said, 'Hang in there, Jesse, and to hell with the State Department.' " According to several sources, a report in The New York Times yes- terday that Helms had succeeded in pushing secret legislation through the Senate to curb CIA authority is incorrect. The sources said Helms last week told Durenberger he had 30 amendments he wanted to offer from the Senate floor to Durenber-' ger's bill authorizing funds for the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community. Several would have se- verely curbed CIA authority in re- lation to the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has traditionally seen the Soviet threat as more severe than has the CIA, in line with con- servative thinking. One would have barred the DIA from coordinating its yearly "Soviet Military Power" report with the CIA and another would have set up an independent 15-member panel, known as a "B-team," to review CIA findings on Soviet capacities, treaty adherence, disinformation efforts and other areas in which conserva. tives find CIA reports lacking. In order to speed the bill's pas- sage, Durenberger had his commit= tee staff negotiate with Helms' staff on the amendments Monday and Tuesday. Sources involved in the talks said the staffs reduced the amendments to two: one asking the CIA to probe charges of drug and gun trafficking and human-rights vi- olations by the Panamanian govern- ment, which later passed the Senate, 53 to 46, cnd a classified annex to the bill requesting "competitive anal- ysis" reports on 32 subjects. Neither the "B-team" nor the pro- hibition on DIA-CIA collaboration survived the staff talks, the sources agreed. However, CIA Director Wil- liam J. Casey "was still upset" by the classified annex provision, they said. Helms' staff members and com- mittee officials disagreed on the im- pact of that provision, but would not disclose its content. In his speech before the Senate voted Wednesday, Helms said he had been assured that the 32 reports would be prepared with "appropriate competitive anal- ysis," and one of his staff members said that meant the DIA could put out its Soviet assessment without CIA clearance. "The idea was to give the DIA more authority in military intelli- gence, and we think that purpose was served," the aide said. A committee official disagreed. "The CIA still gets to define 'appro- priate competitive analysis' . . . any GS2 with a crayon can produce those reports by pushing a computer but- ton. Nothing has changed." lJ Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870017-3 -