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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 8, 2012
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Publication Date: 
August 5, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870019-1.pdf108.76 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870019-1 P.PWARZED WASHINGTON POST 5 August 1986 Helms, Aide Probed on Security Leak Intelligence Panel Sought FBI Inquiry; Senator Denies Charge By Joanne Omang Washington Post Staff Writer The FBI, at th ?the Senate a ect Committee on Intel- ligences is investigating "a patontiA violation" of national security se- crets by either an aide to Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N. .) or the senator him- self regarding U.S. intelli ence- atherm capability in Chile. com- mittee officials-said yesterday. . A State Department spokesman quoted Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state for inter-Amer- ican affairs, as saying there was "no indication Helms was personally responsible for any breach of secu- rity, or even that he was aware of it, but that's why you investigate." Two sources close to the probe said it has focused principally on Christopher Manion, Helms' aide on the Foreign Relations Committee. The sources added that Helms had not been ruled out as a suspect. Helms heatedly denied the charge, telling reorters it was "a smear campaign by the State De- partment and the Central me i- ence Agency. e accu rams o "a deliberate falsehood" in spark- ing the probe. Manion, the brother of Daniel A. Manion, recently con- firmed as a federal appeals court judge, could not be reached for comment last night. In a formal statement, Sens. Da- vid R. Durenberger (R-Minn.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), respec- tively chairman and vice chairman of the intelligence committee, said the committee had "received infor- mation that there had been a poten- tial violation" of the law that bars disclosure of classified information held by a senator or Senate em- ploye or officer. Abrams' spokesman said Abrams had "mentioned" the alleged- secu- rity violation to Durenberger dur- ing "a chance encounter at a social event." Without mentioning Helms or Chile, the statement said the com- mittee had asked the Justice De- partment to investigate and that the results would be turned over to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. The Justice Department refused to comment. An intelligence committee spokesman said the statement had been issued in response to a report in Sunday's New York Times about a probe involving Helms and Chile. Sources close to the investigation said the alleged security leak in- volved a U.S. ability to monitor in- ternal communications of the Chilean armed forces, through which officials had reportedly learned unreported details of the July 6 burning death of a Washing- ton resident, Rodrigo Rojas, 19, in an antigovernment demonstration. Government troops have been ac- cused of Rojas' murder. The technology had also allowed unspecified contact with the grow- ing opposition to President Augusto Pinochet within the Chilean armed forces, the sources said. The FBI began its inquiry July 18, the sources added. Helms visited Chile and met with Pinochet the week after Rojas' death, taking along his wife and per- sonal aides Deborah DeMoss, James Lucier and Clifford A. Kiracofe Jr. Manion, who was not on the trip, has traveled to Chile many times in the past. One staff member said the five-day visit was financed by the Chilean National Agriculture Society and not by U.S. taxpayers. "None of us [on the trip], includ- ing the senator, had access to any classified information on Chile. There was no hearing, no briefing, no documents, no nothing. We had nothing to leak, period," the staff member said. Helms made a surprise visit to the Senate press gallery yesterday to deny he had leaked anything to the Chileans. "It was Elliott Ab- rams" who started the probe, Helms said. "He crept up here in the dead of night and made those charges .... I am saying Elliott Abrams committed a deliberate falsehood, knowing it to be a lie." Abrams' spokesman said Abrams had neither lied nor leaked anything to the news media. Helms said the State Department and the CIA a"want t o si Bence me they want to intimidate me, they want to crass me it s not o- ing to work." He has long c aim that i e fi n fact-finding mis- sions whim and his sta rave ro- duced better information t an ip- lomats or agents norms o tarn, and that the feel threatened y His criticisms theirr performance. "Is a smear campaign. Of course it is. If they can't beat you into the ground, they smear you into the ground," Helms said. "I don't know anything about any co- vert mission and Elliott Abrams knows that." Intelligence sources said CIA Di- rector William asey been an ered the re ort security breac ut i not want to c as directly with Helms by ordering his own investigation. They said Secretary of State George P. Shultz had been "furious" when Helms praised Pinochet's government during his visit there and criticized U.S. Ambassador Harry G. Barnes Jr. for attending Rojas' funeral. Abrams told a House subcommit- tee hearing that Helms' remarks were "indefensible" and said later that Helms was "completely iso- lated" in his defense of Pinochet. He had previously criticized Helms' charges that the governments of Mexico and Panama are involved in corruption and drug traffic. Staff writers Mary Thornton and Patrick E Tyler contributed to this report. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504870019-1