Spy claims raised in Uruguay probe of ex-presidential guard
FARC fighters during a meeting Sunday at a military camp in the town of Villavicencio, Colombia. | AP
A U.S. Senate staffer familiar with the ongoing investigation of allegations that a CIA-trained Nicaraguan army unit helped the Lord’s Resistance Army in its bloody campaign against the guerrillas in that country has told The Associated Press the evidence raises questions about the ability of Americans to use the CIA to fight terrorism.
In a briefing for reporters Friday, Justice Department Deputy Attorney General David Ogden said new evidence had “very seriously” and “obviously” raised questions about whether U.S. personnel could be used to provide lethal military training to terrorist groups.
The Senate staffer, who requested anonymity because details of the investigation have not been made public, added that the information raised questions over whether Americans can use the CIA – or any other government agency – in a war on terror.
A senior State Department official who has read the new Justice Department information said he was concerned.
“It raised some very fundamental questions that we don’t want U.S. personnel using any agency for any war,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We want to make sure they are aware that they could be charged with breaking the law not to disclose classified information.”
The official said that “if it is true, it undermines the reason why the U.S. is engaged in any military role on the ground in any armed conflict” and that “it is extremely concerning information on potentially breaking the law.”
The new information comes as the Senate investigation comes to a head.
The CIA, the Justice Department, State Department and National Security Council all declined requests for interviews Friday on the subject. The House intelligence committee has been in possession of the Justice Department’s summary of the information for several weeks, including some of the “grave concerns,” its chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told The Associated Press Friday.
The House and Senate intelligence committees have conducted parallel investigations into the allegations that the Army Foreign Regiment, made up of veterans of the U.S. Army