Cold War Patriot and Statesman, Richard M. Nixon

By Leon Friedman; William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview
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actions that would normally be reportable under section 662 of the Foreign Assistance Act (the Hughes-Ryan Amendment) or under section 501 of the National Security Act of 1947. Among other things, the CIA director, at the express order of the president, withheld from the Intelligence Committee of Congress a January 17, 1987, presidential "finding" authorizing Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert actions related to the arms sales to Iran. Furthermore, staff of the National Security Council used personnel and other CIA resources to facilitate arms sales to Iran in a manner that would avoid congressional scrutiny and awareness of these activities. The two congressional committees investigating the Iran/Contra affair have received testimony that the president does not recall approving at least one December 1985 "finding" needed to authorize CIA covert action in the sale of arms to Iran.

Consequently, Representative Louis Stokes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and others have cosponsored legislation (H.R. 1013) to eliminate the perceived ambiguities in current law regarding prior notification of covert actions to Congress and thus help ensure that it can fulfill its responsibilities to oversee them. A key question Congress faces is whether or not it should amend existing law that governs notification to it of covert actions by the United States. Even if the law is not strengthened, it appears safe to conclude that U.S. officials, at least for a time, will be more careful in the use of secret operations for fear of prompting the kind of counterproductive reaction caused by the secret arms sale to Iran.


APPENDIX

TEXT OF U.S.-PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT SHANGHAI, FEBRUARY 27, 1972

President Richard Nixon of the United States of America visited the People's Republic of China at the invitation of Premier Chou En-lai of the People's Republic of China from February 21 to February 28, 1972. Accompanying the President were Mrs. Nixon, U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers, Assistant to the President Dr. Henry Kissinger, and other American officials.

President Nixon met with Chairman Mao Tse-tung of the Communist Party of China on February 21. The two leaders had a serious and frank exchange of views on Sino-U.S. relations and world affairs.

During the visit, extensive, earnest and frank discussions were held between President Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai on the normalization of relations between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China, as well as on other matters of interest to both sides. In addition, Secretary of State William Rogers and Foreign Minister Chi Peng-fei held talks in the same spirit.

President Nixon and his party visited Peking and viewed cultural, industrial and agricultural sites, and they also toured Hangchow and Shanghai where,

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