WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci warned Congress today that U.S. allies will cut off intelligence cooperation with Washington if lawmakers move to exert tighter control over secret operations in the wake of the Iran-Contra scandal.
"It is a matter of perceptions. Other governments are extraordinarily sensitive on this point," he told the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"If our intelligence assets around the world, particularly cooperating organizations, perceive that the CIA is obliged to disgorge whatever the (intelligence) committees may want, then it is very clear based on my experience that our intelligence assets would dry up."
Carlucci testified on legislation proposed by Sen. William S. Cohen (R-Me.) and others--and strongly opposed by President Reagan--that would force Presidents to notify Congress within 48 hours of approving a covert operation.
The bill would also force the White House to provide quickly reasons for intelligence activities.
The Reagan Administration charges that such mandatory reporting could drag the names of cooperating governments through the TV limelight and threaten the lives of U.S. and allied secret agents.