clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NO CIA FUNDS ARE GOING TO GUATEMALA, CHRISTOPHER SAYS

Secretary of State Warren Christopher gave assurances Sunday that no CIA money is now going to Guatemala, and that any intelligence officials involved in past misconduct in Guatemala will be disciplined.

"I'm satisfied there's no money going down there now," Christopher said on CBS' "Face the Nation."But the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said later on the same program that he was "very dissatisfied" with the situation and planned hearings this week on CIA funding for Guatemalan military leaders in the early 1990s.

He said he thought Christopher "equivocated just a little" in his reluctance to spell out what the State Department knows about CIA activities in Guatemala.

"We need to know when the funds were cut off and we need to make an inquiry about the very serious issue with the situation where the Bush administration cut off funding in December of 1990, some $3 million, and then the reports that the CIA went ahead through the back door and funded $5 million to $7 million."

The issue of CIA-Guatemala relations has resurfaced with revelations that a Guatemalan colonel accused of ordering the murder of an American innkeeper in 1990 and a rebel leader married to an American lawyer in 1992 was on the CIA payroll.

Christopher would not go into the chronology of the CIA's ties in the Central American country, but promised full disclosure once an investigation that President Clinton ordered last week is completed.

"If there's misconduct, people will be disciplined," he said.

Specter said there "seems to be quite a lot of evidence that the State Department did not know what the CIA was doing, so I think the American people are entitled to really know what is going on."

Asked about the future of the CIA, Specter said, "it appears that a housekeeping is really in order from top to bottom."