Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 13, 2011
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
May 13, 1987
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000707010002-8.pdf207.44 KB
STET - Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/13 :CIA-RDP90-009658000707010002-8 Oli'KjE ~_ CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 13 May 1987 Contra robe p uts heat on P State official sy cia?p. ~. Mothet ~~~ and o?mita v~oMnan Syr Staff wnten of The Chnstian Saence Monitor Latin America official, appears to be in deepening troeble in aogncctiog with the Iran-contra scandal. Sautes dose to the probe asy the next few wselm will be crucial for Mr. Abraios as congres- siawl inreatigators and the spacial prosecutor examine si;e~tiorm that he vi~led Congress's bag ou military aid to Nicaragua'$ contra rebels: Abrams, who is 16th in line bn testify before the Iran-contra investigating committees, adamantly 1M~shNplon Elliott Abrams, the State Department's top denies any complicity in private efforts to cir- cumvent the ban in 1986 and 1986. But according to a US government official, both the special prosecu- tor Lawrence Walsh and cot~^essional investiga- tors "have so much stuff on Abrams" that even if he manages to avoid in- dictment he will most likely be "cut to pieces" when he appears before the congressional inves- tigating committees. Senate staff and in- formed legal sources say the special prosecutor's Elliott Abrams: Is he on his way out? office is considering indicting Abrams. The US official says "whether or not he is indicted, Elliott will be politically finished. The State I1Apartment is in a tough position and the bureaucracy will have to Dough someone up and give them to the lions in order to protect itself. Elliott will be 111at someone.,, The official also stated that Abrams will not have the protection of key former allies on the political right, including for- mer UN Ambassador Jenne Kirkpatrick and Jose Soraano, currently the Latin America specialist on the National Secu- rity Council, and their allies in Congress. They cannot forgive Abrams for his attempts to reform the contras and even remove Adolfo Calera, head of the largest contra army, from the leadership of the Nicaraguan res3statcce movement starting late last year, says this ofiidal. ` ~n t understand that tl~see people are on a hoty crusade and Calero is their sacred cow," says this offidal. "So that having alienated both the right and the left, Elliott will find very little back- ing behind him at the moment of troth.,, The allegations against Abrams fall 8~~ . m First, that as chairman of a key interagency Reagan administration policy committee on Latin America, Abrams su- pervised - or at least was aware of -the contra resuppty network now the object of the Iran-contra investigation. The committee, known as the Re- stricted Interagency Group (RIG), was set up in 1981 in part to oversee the contra war against Nicaragua. The RIG includes rt~resentatives from the Pentagon and the CIA. One Abrams subordlnste on the RIG was the NSC's Oliver North. Abrams's critics say it would have been nearly impossible for the assistant secretary to have worked in such close proximity with Mix North without knowl- edge of North's activities. "He's much too smart to have been involved in [the >~IGJ and' not to have asked the right questions," says one con- gressional opponent of contra aid. "If there's any `guilt' on Abrams's part, it was probably in not asking the right questions," says a former administration official, a strong supporter of contra aid. "He may ,just have Bedded to look the other way ? Abrams insisted before the 'ibwer Commiesion investigating the Iran contra scandal that "We did not engage in, nor did we really know anything about this private network.,. A State Department source close to Abrams says too much has been made of the Abrams-North connection. '.What you've got here is abig supposi- tion that Ollie North must have talked to Abrams,,, says this official. "Who says? Abrams had no knowledge of North's il- legal activities. Not one word has Dome out W indicate Ollie was closer to Elliott than anyone else on the [RIG]." The second charge involves Abrams' overseeing the activities of two US am- bassadors who may have played a role in efforts to abet the contra war. News reports say US ambassador to II Salvador Edwin Corr met repeatedly with l~lix Rodri ez, a former CIA offidal "WIio " secret contra resupply flights from II Salvador's llopango air base. Ambassador Corr has indicated that he was aware of the suppty flighb but denies any role in "supervising" the flights, which carried arms airdropped to the contras in9ide Nicaragua v ~onUntK/ Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/13 :CIA-RDP90-009658000707010002-8 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/13 :CIA-RDP90-009658000707010002-8 ' iJ5 ambassador to Costa Rica denied direct laiowledge of the supply Neseo~Mee~iM Lewis Thmlis told the New York 'Mmes network before the House Fbreign Aaairs Aoqusintenoes also describe the con- thaChe was directed by the RIG to give Committee in October 1986, Abrams later troversial t y ~ a ~ logistical help to the contras and to revealed that "we had pretty good infor- political iforml8t. ~ the 1 eking American pilafs airlifting weapons and oration" on the supply network. Harvard student Abrams ~ ~ a supplies to the rebels from a secret air- Abrams later sidestepped a query from Hubert Humphrey, while others of his strip near the Nicaraguan border. Re- the Senate Select Committee on Intelli- antiwar generation gravitated toward sponding to what he says was a directive gei-ce about third-party funding. Later he Minnesota Senator M from North, seconded by Abrams, l>nnbs apologized to the committee for not re- Later, when Geor~ ~,~.,~~y ~~ says he also helped build a southern - vealiiia that he h9ri cntieitad s ~ n ,..;n;,. .,ua~a ,scan -morn in the contra war. "Elliott did not give 'lhmbs those instructions,,' says the State Department source close to Abrams. "1~ie whole story as we know it now is one of individuals making certain representations of author- ity that may not be true." 'ThN~ Abrams~himsplf~ has denied all allega- tions of wrongdoing in connection with the Iran-contra affair, but Capitol Hill sources say the credibility of the assistant secretary has worn thin. After having in contra aid from the Sultan of -- -r ~.~ ?`~W-.rut s~anaara, Abrams sup- Brunei ported the co t the abuses to light. face than in theirs.,, noug Asked to describe Elliott Abrams So far there have been no calls in Con- friends and ~ for ?c-brams's resignation. But some associates invariably use the sources privately say his days may be .same adjectives: "bright,,, .`ambitious,,, numbered, especially if North implicates forceful, ideologically committed." him in testimony. , nservative wing of the Dem- con oeding that his earlier explanation ocratic party led by Washington senator had "left a misleading impi~esaion." The Henry M. Jackson, t 10 million, which was deposited in a "He was culturally isolated from much Swiss bank account by Oliver North, has of his generation," says one congressional since disappeared. source who has dealt with Abrams fre- "Most members of Congress would feel quently. "In a wax his career at State is a that it's not every day Y~ its t 10 million kind of r~ctiari to that; it's as if he's from the Sultan of Brunei,,' says aeon- answering his own youth.,, gressional source. "Abrams has not gone Abrams capped his evolution away out of his way to keep Cottgneas fully fi,pm ~ ~ informed ... It raises serious gtiestiens. ^ ~~ pe~.~ for, ~~ ~ ?n The administration official close to the same ear he The contra issue traces the loss of support for writer and .editorMidge ~~ of Abrams among cociservativea ~ his ei- daughter of Comm, e~~ Norm~ati forts to create a reformed, modernised p~~y~ two of the iiitellecpial godpar- contra movement headed by former ents o~ the "neooonservative" movement Sandinista o111cia1 Arturo Cruz. that bolted from the Democratic Elliott is an intelligent man but he after the It[cGovern Aomination, ~~ never appreciated what he was dealing Abrams has held the poet of assistant with,,, says this oi~caal. "He never under- secretary of state three times under 1't+esi- dan the [Cen~trai~~ in the White House dent Reagan. Tn addition to the Latin others on the cel ~~ and ~~ , he has headed the State right are not mere polio- Department oi~oes that deal -with ititer- cians but moral crusaders. He also under- national organizations and human rights. estimated the depth of the vested inter- As head of the human rights bureau, eats supporting Calero and the contra Abrams received mixed reviews. Human movement as is, especially in the CIA." rights groups credited him with being a 'Ibday, according to the o>$cial, forceful advocate for human rights re- Abrams, who used to be in daily contact forms in countries stick as Chile and with contra moderates, has withdrawn Pgi'aguay. and the CIA is back in the saddle. But in Central Ameri One moderate contra o~ccial sa ~ where criti- used to see Elliott every day. Now' `it's ba.~nt of human rights Practices risked strictly the CIA that handles our day-to- Abrams was mo'o~~u~ ~~ day ?~~o~" groups say Abrams minimized extensive The administration official adds that abuses committed by military regimes "~ State Department thinks that the like those in El Salvador and Guatemala, whole contra issue is a can of worms and while reserving criticisiii for groups that they'd rather see it explode in the CIA's b h ~C, Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/13 :CIA-RDP90-009658000707010002-8