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Aftermath Of The Tower Report : Laws That May Have Been Violated

February 28, 1987

Here are excerpts from four federal laws that the Tower Commission says may have been violated by the Reagan Administration's Iran- contras operation:

The National Security Act

The Director of Central Intelligence and the heads of all departments, agencies and other entities of the United States involved in intelligence activities shall keep the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities. . . .

The President shall fully inform the intelligence committees in a timely fashion of intelligence operations in foreign countries, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, for which prior notice was not given . . . and shall provide a statement of the reasons for not giving prior notice.

The Arms Export Control Act

The President may not give his consent to the transfer of any major defense equipment valued in terms of its original acquisition cost at $14 million or more . . . unless at least 30 calendar days before giving such consent the President submits to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report containing the information. . . .

The President shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter, a report listing each price and availability estimate provided by the United States government during such quarter to a foreign country with respect to a possible

sale under this Act of major defense equipment for $7 million or more. . . .

Items on the United States Munitions List may not be exported to any country which the Secretary of State has determined . . . has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. (Note: Iran was officially listed as such a country at the time of the arms sales.)

The Boland Amendment

(To the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 1985). During fiscal year 1985 (later extended to fiscal 1986), no funds available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of which would have the effect of supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by any nation, group, organization, movement or individual.

The Hughes-Ryan Amendment

(To the Foreign Assistance Act). No funds appropriated under the authority of this chapter or any other Act may be expended by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency for operations in foreign countries, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, unless or until the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States. Each such operation shall be considered a significant anticipated intelligence activity for the purpose of Section 413 of Title 50, i.e Section 501 of the National Security Act.

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