House International Relations Committee - October 10, 1996 - 104th Congress; 2nd Session



On May 8, 1996, the United States House of Representatives voted to establish and fund the Select Subcommittee on the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia (the "Select Subcommittee"). The Select Subcommittee was authorized to investigate and report on all aspects of United States government policy regarding shipments of arms and other assistance from Iran to the countries of the former Yugoslavia from September 21, 1991 until June 1996, the period in which an international arms embargo was in effect for the region. The scope of the investigation included the impact, if any, of such policy upon the safety and presence of United States troops stationed in and around Bosnia, the relations between the United States and its allies, and upon United States efforts to isolate Iran.

In addition, the Select Subcommittee was authorized to investigate and report on communications and representations to the people and the Congress of the United States regarding such policy, the international arms embargo and United States participation in the international arms embargo. Finally, the Select Subcommittee was authorized to determine what actions were taken to review any of these matters or, conversely, to cover up such matters. In order to report its findings, the Select Subcommittee was empowered to review all relevant deliberations, discussions, and/or communications within the United States Government as well as all communications between the United States Government and other governments, organizations, or individuals.

The following Minority Views to the report of the Select Subcommittee are based upon a thorough review of thousands of pages of classified and unclassified materials made available by the Departments of State and Defense (including the National Security Agency), the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council as well as press reports, materials prepared by Congressional Research Service, and other material in the public domain. In addition, the staff of the Select Subcommittee interviewed and deposed approximately seventy current or former employees of these agencies as well as two foreign nationals. The Minority wishes to thank the individuals who were deposed and interviewed as well as the many employees of the United States Government agencies who spent countless hours identifying and making available relevant documents. In addition, the Minority wishes to thank the investigators detailed to the Select Subcommittee by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their invaluable assistance.

Select Subcommittee Organization and Structure.

Legislative History.

On May 2, 1996, the Committee on International Relations (the "Committee") reported House Resolution 416 creating the Select Subcommittee of the Committee on International Relations to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Bosnia and Croatia. The Committee also reported House Resolution 416 which, as amended, established a budget of $995,000 to be used either until the Select Subcommittee ceased to exist or immediately before noon on January 3, 1997, whichever first occurs. (564)

Legislative Mandate.

House Resolution 416 charged the Select Subcommittee with investigating the following:

(1) The policy of the United States Government with respect to the transfer of arms and other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the "FRY") during any period that an international arms embargo of the former Yugoslavia was in effect.

(2) The nature and extent of the transfer of arms or other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of the FRY during the period that an international arms embargo was in effect.

(3) Any actions taken by the United States Government to facilitate or impede transfers described in the preceding paragraphs.

(4) Any communications or representations made to the Congress of the United States or the American people with respect to the matters described in the preceding paragraphs with respect to the international arms embargo of the FRY, or with respect to efforts to modify or terminate United States participation in that embargo.

(5) Any implication of the matters described in the first three paragraphs for the safety of United States Armed Forces deployed in and around Bosnia, for the prompt withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Bosnia, for relations between the United States and its allies, and for United States efforts to isolate Iran.

(6) Any actions taken to review, analyze, or investigate any of the matters described in the preceding paragraphs, or to keep such matters from being revealed.

(7) All deliberations, discussions, or communications within the United States Government relating to matters described in the preceding paragraphs, and all communications between the United States Government (or any of its officers or employees) and other governments, organizations, or individuals relating to such matters. (565)

House Resolution 416 contains a sunset provision providing for the conclusion of the Select Subcommittee investigation and submission of its final report within six months of the passage of the resolution, or November 8, 1996.

Treatment of Confidential and Classified Information.

The Select Subcommittee investigation of United States policy and actions in the FRY includes fact-finding with respect to policy deliberations, intelligence gathering (including sources and methods), highly sensitive confidential communications between the United States Government and the governments of other nations, and equally privileged communications among United States Government officials. The Minority believes the utmost care must be taken to avoid disclosure of confidential communications between United States and foreign government officials, policy deliberations within the United States government involving senior officials in communication with the President, and the sources and methods of intelligence gathering. For this reason, the Minority has prepared this Executive Summary in a non-classified format which will be supplemented by extended Minority Views in a classified format. The Minority also has rejected the view, espoused by some, that disclosure of highly confidential or classified information in the media and/or in Congressional hearings places such information in the public domain. Advancing such a view provides leakers of sensitive and classified information with the key to unlock such information at their own discretion, and robs the United States Government of its legitimate interest in protecting such information. Notwithstanding the need to protect material which is deserving of protection, the Minority expects the United States Government to exercise the classified application only in cases where the laws and executive orders clearly apply and to refrain from keeping material classified which is merely embarrassing.


The central issues of the Select Subcommittee investigation include whether the United States Government ordered, organized or otherwise encouraged Iran or any other country to ship arms to Bosnia; whether the United States Government




December 20, 1996

Dear Mr. Murray:

(U) This letter responds to the Select Subcommittee's request, contained in letters from Chairman Hyde of October 11, 1996, and Mr. Hamilton of October 15, 1996, that the executive branch review for classification the Subcommittee's majority and minority reports. The final version of the majority report was provided on October 23. The final version of the minority report is dated October 25. Supplemental information to these reports was provided subsequent to both final reports being received. On November 6, the executive branch also received from Chairman Hyde a request to review for classification a 26-page letter to the Department of Justice signed by the Republican members of the Select Subcommittee. As these letters correctly note the reports are lengthy (approximately 600 pages) and contain a great deal of classified information.

(U) In response to these requests NSC staff distributed these materials to designated representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, including component elements, and the Central Intelligence Agency. In order to maximize knowledge, save time, and in the interest of the addressing the majority and minority reports at the same time, the executive branch treated these requests as a single request. Classification/Declassification experts from each of these entities have now completed their review by portion marking each paragraph and footnote. Additionally, we have bracketed the specific portions of the text that are classified within each marked paragraph or footnote.

(U) The executive branch reviewed the document for classified information only. The executive branch review did not address the substantive content of these documents. Neither does this letter. Further, this declassification review does not constitute concurrence in the public release of any declassified information enclosed.

(classified data deleted) Due to the length of these reports, and the voluminous nature of the classified material contained in them, including sources and methods of intelligence that directly inform and provide for the safety of U.S. forces in Bosnia, the executive branch is not in a position to offer substitute language. This would require rewriting the majority of both reports. (classified data deleted)

(U) Executive branch review of the letter to the Department of Justice referenced above, indicated that one sentence on page 18 could reveal an intelligence source or method. With the inclusion of this sentence, the letter would be classified TOP SECRET/GAMMA. With the deletion of this sentence, the letter would be unclassified. The "classified attachment" to the letter should be marked TOP SECRET/GAMMA.

(U) The text of this letter is also being sent to Mr. Van Dusen.


William Danvers

Special Assistant to the President

and Senior Director for

Legislative Affairs

Mr. Patrick Murray

Professional Staff Member

Committee on International Relations

Room 2170 RHOB

Washington, D.C. 29515-6128

Enclosure: a/s

One Hundred Fourth Congress




Select Subcommittee on the United States Role in

Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia


November 7, 1996

The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman


Committee on International Relations

2170 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

In accordance with H.Res 416 (f), directing the Select Subcommittee to transmit a report to the Committee on International Relations not later than six months after the date of the Resolution, please find enclosed a copy of the Select Subcommittee's Report, together with Minority Views. The Report was approved by the Select Subcommittee during an executive session on October 10, 1996.

I urge the Committee to review the Report carefully for matters that the Committee may wish to pursue further in the next Congress. I also believe the Committee should continue the Subcommittee's efforts to get the Executive Branch to declassify as much as much of the Report as possible without endangering legitimately classified information. Assuming the Administration is reasonable in its approach to declassification, it would be of particular value to the American people if the Committee were able to work from the redacted classified version to prepare a revised, unclassified version for public release.


Henry J. Hyde


(Unclassified when detached from Classified Report)




On April 5, 1996, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page article by James Risen and Doyle McManus that led with the sentence:

President Clinton secretly gave a green light to covert Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia in 1994 despite a United Nations arms embargo that the United States was pledged to uphold and the Administration's own policy of isolating Tehran globally as a supporter of terrorism, according to senior Administration officials and other sources. (1)

This article was the first of several extraordinary articles that spelled out in detail, and with what turned out to be excellent sourcing, a policy decision that the Clinton Administration had carefully guarded for two years - forbidding reference to it in writing, denying it to the press, deflecting Congress, hoodwinking allies, and even trying to keep it secret from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Secretary of Defense. The decision came to be referred to by higher ranking Administration officials as the "wink and nod," "the blind eye," and other terms, but the one that seemed to have stuck was given near the time of the decision's inception by one of its intellectual authors: the "green light." (2)

The articles authoritatively spelled out the advantages Iran had reaped from the green light policy, the confusion it had caused within the Executive Branch, and the other policy options that had been overlooked or rejected by the Administration as being too difficult.

The congressional response was one of incredulity. Members were shocked to learn that the Administration had chosen to give Iran an unprecedented foothold in an extremely unstable and vulnerable part of Europe. It was equally disturbing that for two years the Administration had purposely hidden from Congress, US allies, and the American people its highly questionable, major US policy shift.

There had been occasional press reports before that might have exposed the policy earlier; however, Congress continued to believe the Administration's denials of the Iranian green light policy. Congress found it unlikely that the Administration would adopt such a policy that was inconsistent and incompatible with the Administration's well-known and vigorously championed policies regarding the former Yugoslavia and Iran. Also, given the long-settled US policy of isolating Iran both economically and politically, Congress refused to believe that the Administration could have such bad judgment as to invite Iran, the world's largest exporter of terrorism, into Europe, much less into an area so ripe for fundamentalist exploitation as the Balkans.

The thought was that the Administration would surely inform Congress if it intended a major policy shift towards Iran and Bosnia. In retrospect, Congress cannot be blamed for presuming to trust the Administration's truthfulness, consistency, and strategic acumen.

In any case, when the story of the green light policy broke in April 1996, there were calls from both houses of Congress for an investigation; since then, several committees have looked into the issue, emphasizing aspects relevant to their specific areas of oversight. For example, both intelligence oversight committees -- the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- have examined the green light policy with an emphasis on its intelligence-related issues. Also, on May 8, 1996, the House approved Resolution 416, establishing a select subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee and gave it a broad charter to investigate all aspects of the policy and implementation. This subcommittee, the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia (also known as the "Iranian Green Light" Subcommittee) conducted an extensive investigation of the green light policy over the ensuing months and presents its findings and recommendations in this report.

The Uncovering of the Iranian Green Light Policy by the Press

As early as May 1994, allegations began to surface that Iran, with some sort of US complicity, was covertly transferring weapons to Bosnia, despite a United Nations (UN) arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia. Each time the Administration issued denials of US complicity and managed to keep the story in the bottle. (3)

Unfortunately for those seeking to maintain the cover-up, James Risen and Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times became aware of these hidden policy missteps. From April through July 1996, they wrote a series of thirteen investigative articles exposing the missteps with incredible detail to large numbers of well-placed Administration officials who were willing to speak to them on a "not for attribution" basis. (4)

Because the Risen/McManus articles played such an important role in uncovering the green light policy and its consequences, their findings are summarized below.


The Clinton White House was not the first Administration to face the question of Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia through Croatia, but its response was the opposite of the prior administration's. In September 1992, the Bush Administration discovered that Iran was attempting to smuggle arms on board a 747 airplane to Bosnia through Croatia in violation of the arms embargo and, according to former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, "raised hell." The Administration acted decisively and had the 747 and the weapons seized. According to Secretary Eagleburger, "We made it very clear that we were adamantly opposed to this going on. There was no question in the Bush Administration of where we were on this subject." (5)

Throughout the presidential campaign of 1992, Governor Clinton forcefully and repeatedly criticized President Bush for his consistent enforcement of the arms embargo and called for the United States to arm the Bosnians. The new Administration, upon taking office in 1993, found itself hamstrung. Unfortunately for President Clinton, the same policy constraints that faced President Bush -- Unwillingness on the part of the American public to commit troops and allied opposition to lifting the embargo -- equally applied to him. By the spring of 1994, Clinton's frustrations were at a peak. (6)

While Clinton felt compelled by circumstances to follow President Bush's much-criticized path, Iran was also chafing under the policies of containment consistently followed by the Bush Administration and, until the green light policy, under President Clinton. Iran's radical Islamic government was eager to increase its influence in the Balkans and saw the West's refusal to provide weapons to the Bosnian government as an opportunity. Though Iran had smuggled a small, insignificant amount of weapons to the Bosnian government prior to the outbreak of hostilities between Bosnian Croats and Muslims, it was their subsequent truce and creation of the Bosnian Federation that set the stage for Clinton's green light policy decisions.

The Proposal

On April 27, 1994, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic entered the US embassy in Zagreb with a potentially explosive request: Would Washington accede to Croatia's plans to accept Iran's offer to open up a weapons pipeline from Iran into Bosnia? The Croatians were split over the question, having yielded to the Bush Administration's demands in 1992 that weapons shipments be stopped, and were seeking instructions. Granic was giving the US advance notice that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman planned formally to ask US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith how the United States would respond to new arms shipments from Iran. Granic himself was against the idea, a minority view in the Croatian government, but was following his orders to seek Washington's reaction.

Ambassador Galbraith had been impatient with the Clinton Administration for not doing more to aid the Bosnian cause, and was strongly in favor of the US allowing the new arms shipments. Risen noted that Galbraith had earned his reputation as an activist as a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and had sometimes rankled the career officials within the US government in his efforts to expand his role as the first US Ambassador to Croatia. It is clear that Galbraith supported the pro-weapons pipeline faction within the Croatian government, the most prominent member being Gojko Susak, Croatia's Defense Minister and Tudjman's right-hand man. (7)

Though the Administration thought the green light decision "obvious" and insignificant at the time, a senior US diplomat would later acknowledge that the pipeline probably would not have been established if the United States had opposed it forcefully. (8) Peter Galbraith would later testify," I can say that had we in a very, very forceful way made it clear that we would not tolerate the flow of arms to the Bosnians, they probably would not have done it . . . . When we did not object, they proceeded to go ahead and do it." (9)

The Decision

While most diplomatic exchanges require days, if not weeks or months, to coordinate and yet, this request for instructions reached President Clinton in a matter of hours. The first recipient of the cable was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander Vershbow, who referred the question to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, who were travelling with Clinton to Nixon's funeral in Yorba Linda, California.

Talbott and Lake agreed on the solution: Do nothing. Galbraith was to give the coded response of "no instructions," which would tell the Croatians that the US would not act to stop the shipments. Lake asked for 20 minutes of President Clinton's time and was ushered into Clinton's office aboard Air Force One. James Risen described the meeting as follows: "Lake ran the President through the pros and cons and said, 'This is our recommendation . . . .' And he said 'yes' a senior official recounted. There was little discussion and no serious debate. It seemed like 'an obvious choice,' the official said." (10)

No other officials even at the highest levels of the US government were consulted before the green light was given to the Iranian arms transfers. In addition, the Central Intelligence Agency, whose purpose is to protect national security by evaluating information on political and military developments abroad, was never officially notified of the policy. (11)

As a result of this closed and truncated decision-making process, US officials would later admit they gave little thought back in 1994 to the chance that Iran's political and military presence would grow in Bosnia as it did. A senior Administration official would concede they did not focus on the problem until the prospect of US troops going in was raised in 1995. (12)

The Alternatives

For the first two weeks following the breaking of the story, the Administration spin was that "there were no alternatives" to allowing the Iranian arms transfers, and that the decision was "obvious." Further research showed, however, that far from being "forced" into approving the arms transfers, the White House had actively rejected multiple calls for having nations friendly to the United States supply weapons to the Bosnians. The Administration rejected these equally effective alternative means of arming the Bosnians even though they would have negated the chance of increasing Iranian influence in Bosnia. (13)

The first such suggestion was made by Richard Holbrooke several months after the green light decision. In the fall of 1994, Holbrooke sought a legal opinion from State Department attorneys asking what diplomatic approaches to friendly nations could be made without triggering US covert action laws requiring Congress to be notified. Holbrooke thought that the unequal battlefield conditions faced by the Muslims in Bosnia could be eased if friendly nations would covertly supply the weapons with American encouragement.

When news of this proposal reached the upper levels of government, Holbrooke was rebuffed. According to Risen, Anthony Lake thought the idea was "too risky," and Secretary of State Warren Christopher was also opposed. (14) Indeed, Risen would write that, "senior administration officials opposed Holbrooke's plan because they feared that covert smuggling by friendly nations would make it too obvious the United States was encouraging the violation of a UN arms embargo against Bosnia." (15)

In a July 1996 article, Risen and McManus would document other alternatives to the failed green light policy that were rejected by the Clinton Administration. They would note that at least three times between 1993 and 1995, discussions were held about asking friendly countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan to move weapons and support to the Bosnians. The model for such aid existed before in the 1980s when Saudi Arabia served as the conduit between the US and the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgency.

Galbraith himself had suggested using friendly intermediaries in late 1993. He reportedly asked the (classified data deleted) in his embassy how much it would cost to begin a covert operation to aid the Bosnians, wondering if $250 million would be enough. (16) The (classified data deleted) was surprised by the request, advised Galbraith that such an action would be illegal without formal authorization, and warned (classified data deleted) in Washington that Galbraith was thinking along these lines.

The Consequences

Among the negative consequences of the green light policy and how it was implemented, as identified by Risen and McManus, are the confusion it caused within the US government, the resultant increase in Iranian influence in the former Yugoslavia, and concerns that, beneath the Administration's obfuscation of the policy, there may have been an illegal covert action.

A. Policy Confusion

There was considerable confusion among Administration officials throughout the whole process. Very little time elapsed and even less thought took place from the time the original query was made to Galbraith until Lake met with the President on Air Force One. Even after receiving the "no instructions" instruction, Galbraith himself was still unclear what action to take. According to Risen, Galbraith called Jenonne Walker, the National Security Council's chief European expert, who told him Lake had indicated he was to stick to "no instructions," but she added, "Tony was smiling when he said it." (17)

Not only were other appropriate agencies of the US government not consulted, they were not advised of the decision once it was made. Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon were informed of the policy change. Accordingly, the (classified data deleted) in Zagreb continued to be under the impression that the official policy of the United States was to support the arms embargo, the same position which Assistant Secretary of State Talbott would also lead CIA Director James Woolsey to believe was still valid. The CIA continued to collect information on embargo busting and became increasingly mystified at the US government's unwillingness to act on that intelligence. The CIA would never be informed, and, as the evidence grew that Director Woolsey had been deliberately kept in the dark, he resigned in December 1994.

B. Increased Iranian Influence

The most troubling consequence of the green light policy was the resultant exponential expansion of Iranian influence in Bosnia. Risen's sources helped him paint the following assessment of Iranian influence before and after the green light:

Western intelligence agencies detected several hundred militant Muslim guerillas from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in Bosnia as early as 1992, officials said, including several "Afghanis," veterans of the CIA-funded war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. But these were largely ragtag volunteers, with no readily apparent command and control from Iran or anyone else. (18)

In 1994, however, a different kind of Iranian was showing up in Bosnia, officials said:

. . . military and civilian advisors who appeared to have been sent by the Tehran government on well-defined missions. Some were military trainers who taught the Bosnians how to use the wire-guided antitank missiles Iran was shipping, one source said. Others helped with logistics and with weapons factories, according to the Bosnian government. (19)

Ambassador Galbraith himself noted that the difference was like night and day. "Certainly what was being talked about in April 1994 was something very substantially greater" (20) than what had been shipped by Iran previously. Risen would elaborate:

From May 1994 to January 1996, the Iranians shipped more than 5,000 tons of arms to Bosnia through the Croatian pipeline. They provided the largest portion by far of Bosnia's military hardware -- two thirds by official US estimates. The Iranians delivered mostly small arms and equipment, including rifles, ammunition, and uniforms but also antitank weapons and shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles -- weapons that could threaten aircraft, including US aircraft.

Other countries did supply weapons to Bosnia without US encouragement . . . . But Iran was the largest supplier by far. By early 1995 the Iranian flights were landing as often as three times a week. The arms pipeline was managed largely by the Revolutionary Guards, Iran's militant Islamic shock corps, operating out of the Iranian embassy in Zagreb. Other Revolutionary Guard officers moved to Bosnia to serve as military advisors and trainers. The Bosnian Government's intelligence service and internal security forces soon had Iranian advisors too. To both secular Bosnians and US intelligence analysts, this was a worrisome trend: creeping Iranian influence in what once had been a multiethnic, secular state. (21)

The former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who had himself worked in the Balkans for several years as a US diplomat, declared the increase in radical Islamic support in Bosnia as a major blow to the national security of the United States. He referred to it as "the height of insanity. We are inviting Bosnian-Islamic connections with a terrorist state that wishes us as much damage as they sic can possibly inflict upon us." (22)

Of even more concern to the United States and the families of American servicemen deployed in Bosnia is the terrorist threat that materialized in Bosnia under the green light policy. Risen gave two examples in his articles of the increase in the terrorist threat, but alluded to having more information than he reported.

In February 1995, NATO troops raided a "terrorist training school" at which they arrested eight Bosnian and three Iranian "diplomats," who quickly invoked diplomatic immunity and flew back to Iran. Items seized in the raid included bomb devices within shampoo bottles and children's toys and a training video showing how to ambush a car on an open highway and to kill its occupants. (23)

In an even more ominous sign, American embassy officials in Zagreb and Croatia became aware in 1995 of suspected Hizballah (Party of God) members stalking embassy personnel and their families. Suspected Iranian terrorists were seen with video cameras recording Americans as they came and went. Officials feared that an attack was imminent and one official confirmed "the terrorist threat went right up the scale to levels you would see in preparation for an attack." (24)

C. Possible Illegal Covert Action

The final consequence of the Administration's giving the green light to the Iranian arms pipeline was the chance that actions taken by US government officials crossed the legal line from what the Administration terms as passive, i.e., "no instructions," to a concrete act which might reasonably be construed by foreign officials as an invitation to conduct covert action. Under US law, covert action is illegal unless it has been authorized by the President and reported to Congress.

According to Risen's sources, there were two instances when Administration officials came objectively close to the legal line. The first case occurred in May 1994 when Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia Charles Redman intervened with senior Croatian government officials to expedite the movement into Bosnia of a blocked convoy that is believed to have carried arms to the Muslim government troops. Redman claims to have never asked whether arms were being carried, but US officials now acknowledge that questions could be raised whether the Administration had gone beyond passive support for the Bosnian cause and taken on a more active role. (25)

The second case occurred in September of 1995 when a shipment of Iranian (classified data deleted) missiles bound for Bosnia was detained in Croatia because the Croatian government was nervous that the missiles were tipped with chemical warheads. (26) Experts from (classified data deleted) and the US Army rapidly moved to inspect the missiles, determined that they were not carrying chemical or biological warheads, and then permitted them to be delivered into Bosnia. (27) Some US officials were concerned that in this action the US had directly violated the UN arms embargo. (28)

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) was secretly commissioned on November 29, 1994 to investigate the green light policy and to determine if any covert action laws were violated. The IOB's classified report sharply criticized the Administration for excessive secrecy but determined that notification of Congress was not necessary. The Administration's actions, according to the IOB, fell within the category of "traditional diplomatic activity," exempt from US covert action laws. (29)

The IOB investigation had the potential to put the matter to rest, but raised questions of its own. Moreover, the White House, even after receiving the report, failed to advise Congress of the green light policy. What made the situation worse in the minds of many in Congress was the decision by the Administration in April 1996, after the story was out, to bar IOB Chairman Anthony Harrington from sharing the report with Congress or testifying about it under oath. (30) Suspicions were heightened.

The Congressional Response

The congressional response to the revelations about the green light affair was strong. Senior Democrats joined Republicans in denouncing the Clinton Administration's failure to consult with or notify Congress of the important change in policy towards Iran and the arms embargo. It was only this wellspring of bipartisan condemnation that prompted the Administration to admit that it should have consulted Congress. Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff acknowledged that he was unaware of any congressional notification, and an Administration official admitted that "there is a growing understanding in the Administration that in terms of Congress, this could have been handled better. " (31)

In the two years between when the green light policy went into effect and when it was uncovered, there had been innumerable meetings between Members of Congress and senior Administration officials discussing policy options on lifting the arms embargo on Bosnia. The failure of the Administration to mention the green light policy in any of these discussions can only be intentional.

A week after the green light decision was made, Deputy Secretary of State Talbott responded to a lengthy list of specific questions on Bosnia that had been submitted by Republican Senator John Warner. In his letter to Senator Warner, Talbott warned that lifting the embargo, as many favored in Congress, could lead to an increased Iranian presence in Bosnia. Talbott did not mention that he had just taken part in a policy decision that would bring Iranians streaming into the region. (32)

In midsummer 1994, Democratic Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn met with Charles Redman, then chief US negotiator in the Balkans, to discuss ways of aiding the Bosnian cause. Redman failed to mention the fact that the Administration had already made the green light decision. "I don't ever recall anybody in the Administration telling me anything about that," noted Nunn after the cover-up came to light in 1996. (33) Senator Nunn later reflected on the Administration's keeping Congress in the dark, "It seems to me the question is whether Congress should have been informed, not so much as a matter of law but as a matter of comity." (34) In response, Ambassador Redman could only say, "It never came up." (35)

Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, speaking on the floor of the Senate, observed:

While we read and heard reports that Iran was smuggling arms to the Bosnians, we did not know the President and his advisers made a conscious decision to give a green light for Iran to provide arms. Indeed, those of us who advocated lifting the arms embargo -- Republicans and Democrats -- argued that if America did not provide Bosnia with assistance, Iran would be Bosnia's only option. (36)

Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott offered another response in defense of the Administration: Since the press was reporting on Iranian arms shipments, Congress was properly informed. Democratic Senator Robert Kerrey sharply rebutted the argument, "Do you think, Mr. Secretary . . . that Congress getting its information through what really was half a dozen newspaper accounts in 1994 constitutes knowing more or less what you knew?" (37) Senator Kerrey also observed that for Congress to do its job properly, it must be kept informed by the Executive Branch, particularly in the area of foreign policy. "Certainly, you don't want us reaching a conclusion every time we pick up the newspaper or hear a news account of something terrible going on and knee jerk, particularly when its a foreign policy question." (38)

House Speaker Newt Gingrich described the chilling effect the cover-up of the green light has had on trust between the executive and legislative branches of government:

Never did Clinton indicate the Administration had given a green light to Iranian arms smuggling . . . . If you have been told face to face by the President of the United States for three years that you can't help the Bosnians and now you learn after all these face-to-face meetings that they were encouraging the Iranians, giving the Iranian arms shipments a wink and a nod, then how do you walk into the next meeting and believe what you are being told? (39)

Throughout, the congressional reactions to the uncovering of the green light policy was outrage that the Administration had given Iran, the rogue state most actively hostile to US interests around the world, a sanctioned foothold in Europe from which it could launch terrorist campaigns against US personnel across Europe. Congressman Henry Hyde, for example, warned that the policy had to be examined and could not remain "buried behind classified documents." He was of the view that "the introduction of the most radical nation in the world . . . into the Balkans in force with weapons to give them a foothold in that most volatile part of the world is incredible folly." He wondered, as many have since, why the Administration had not chosen readily available and far more palatable means of assisting the Bosnians, means that would not endanger the safety of the American people. "There were some dozen countries," Hyde explained, "that could reasonably be asked to provide weapons for the Bosnians -- not Iran." (40)

A strong majority in Congress was also incredulous that the Administration would violate its own declared policy of containing Iran in favor of inviting the radical terrorist regime into the Balkans. Congressman Christopher Cox would speak for many when he denounced the Administration's decision to give the green light. "This policy was absolutely insane," he noted. "Giving Iran a foothold into Europe . . . . That's what this policy is about." (41) In particular, a great many Members of Congress would express their concern over the increased terrorist threat to US and NATO troops resulting from the expanded Iranian influence in Bosnia, a threat the Administration chose to overlook.

Yet, not all Members of Congress, particularly in the House, were upset by the revelation of the green light policy. Congressman Alcee Hastings spoke for many of them when he publicly thanked Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman for their efforts in putting together the green light policy:

A central criticism of the "no instructions" policy that you two gentlemen have testified here about allows that, according to some, it permitted the dangerous military and intelligence penetration of Bosnia by Iran.

Yet we know just from using open, public sources, the United States decisions in April of 1994 did not give Iran a beachhead in Bosnia; Iran and other Muslim countries were already there. And I might add for historians and the buffs of history, Islam has been involved in the Balkans since fights with the Ottoman empire, if we just want to go back into it . . . . And any Congressperson that did not know all of that, that serves on the Committee on International Relations, was not doing his or her job." (42)

The Genesis and Charter of the Select Subcommittee

The controversy over the secret green light policy culminated in calls for legislative investigations. The House of Representatives' Committees on International Relations, National Security, Intelligence, and Judiciary began investigations probing the Administration's green light policy in April and May of 1996. At the urging of his Senate colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Dole called upon the Chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services, and Judiciary Committees for parallel investigations.

During initial hearings held by the House Intemational Relations Committee, many questions were raised that demanded further examination:

Was the US government directly or indirectly involved in the execution of the transfer of Iranian arms, and did any of the Administration's actions violate US law?

Where did the idea of an Iranian pipeline originate and with whom?

Why were Congress, the CIA and other government agencies, US allies, and the American public not notified of this decision when it was made or in the nearly two years until the policy was exposed by the press?

And, why did the President allow the world's most dangerous terrorist state, Iran, to provide arms and establish a foothold in Europe when other friendly nations were willing to help?

In an effort to consolidate the investigations of the four House committees and to further examine these questions, the House leadership and the International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman announced a proposal to establish a Select Subcommittee to investigate the United States' role in the transfer of arms from Iran to Bosnia and Croatia during the period when the international arms embargo was in effect. On May 8, 1996, the House approved Resolution 416 which created the Select Subcommittee within the International Relations Committee. The Subcommittee is composed of five Republican Members and three Democrat Members, and is chaired by Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, with Lee H. Hamilton as the Ranking Minority Member.

The Select Subcommittee was given the authority to investigate the following areas:

The policy of the United States Government with respect to the transfer of arms and other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during any period that an international arms embargo was in effect;

The nature and extent of the transfer of arms or other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the period that an international arms embargo of the former Yugoslavia was in effect;

Any actions taken by the United States Government to facilitate or to impede such transfers;

Any communication or representations made to the Congress of the United States or the American people with respect to the international arms embargo or with efforts to modify or terminate United States participation in that embargo;

Any implications from the Iranian arms transfers for the safety of United States armed forces deployed in or around Bosnia, for relations between the US and its allies and for United States efforts to isolate Iran;

And all deliberations and communications between the United States Government and other governments, organizations or individuals relating to such matters.

The Subcommittee's charter ends on November 8, 1996, by which time it is to have transmitted its report to the House International Relations Committee. Given its short lifespan and limited resources, the Subcommittee has attempted to address as many of the key questions as possible. What follows are the results of the Subcommittee's investigations.




The events discussed in this report mainly occurred during and after April 1994. To understand these events, however, it is necessary to have a basic familiarity with the political developments in the former Yugoslavia prior to that date.

The autocratic rule of Yugoslav dictator Tito after World War II suppressed but did not eliminate the strongly divergent and divisive ethnic and religious tensions that have existed for hundreds of years between the various peoples living within the borders of what was Yugoslavia. These rivalries reemerged after Tito's death in 1980, and the centrifugal pull of ethnic identities led to increasingly bitter arguments over the scope and powers of the central government. Unable to convince Serbia and Montenegro that a loose confederation was a viable alternative to the existing Serb-dominated government, Slovenia and Croatia proclaimed their independence on June 25, 1991. Further complicating the situation, several Serb-dominated regions of Croatia declared independence from the new republic.

The central Yugoslavian government based in Belgrade, Serbia promptly declared the Slovenia and Croatia secessions "illegal and illegitimate" and sent the Yugoslav Peoples' Army (YPA) to restore control over the breakaway regions. Hostilities broke out when the Croatian and Slovenian forces refused to lay down their arms. The fighting continued until the Brioni agreement was finalized in early July 1991.

The Brioni agreement called for the immediate cessation of hostilities in exchange for a three-month suspension of the declarations of independence by Croatia and Slovenia. The YPA soldiers began immediately to withdraw from Slovenia, where the Slovenian irregulars had been able to hold their own. Despite the agreement, however, the fighting continued within Croatia between the newly independent republic and the Krajina Serbs backed by the YPA forces.

In September 1991, the UN Security Council, through Resolution 713, enacted a general and complete arms embargo over the former Yugoslavia to try to temper the conflict. In October 1991, the three-month moratorium on secession elapsed, and the governments of Slovenia and Croatia formally separated from the former Yugoslavia. Germany recognized both countries as sovereign nations in December 1991. The European Community (EC) followed suit in January 1992.

As Slovenia and Croatia were leaving the former Yugoslavia, a more bitter and protracted conflict was developing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On October 14, 1991, the National Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina passed, by majority vote, a memorandum on sovereignty and independence which stopped just short of declaring outright independence. The following December 21st, the Bosnian Serbs held an unofficial referendum declaring their opposition to withdrawing from the withering Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), and local Serbian leaders proclaimed their independence from Bosnia.

Following the lead of Slovenia and Croatia, Bosnia's Muslim and Croat citizens voted for independence in a March 1992 referendum. The Serbs boycotted. On April 6, the EC recognized the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The following day, the US recognized the nations of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lifted the economic sanctions against the three republics.

The Bosnian Serb minority vigorously opposed the withdrawal of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the rump SFRY that was rapidly becoming a de facto Serbian state. The Bosnian Serbs withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina into their self-proclaimed "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Fighting between the Serbs and the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government ensued. The Bosnian Serbs soon seized more than two-thirds of the Bosnian republic's territory and began the siege of Sarajevo. The Serbs managed their successes despite the fact that, according to a 1991 census, they comprised only 31 percent of the population, with the Muslims and Croatians having 44 and 17 percent, respectively. (43) Two key reasons the Bosnian Serbs gained such an advantage over the Bosnian Muslims so quickly were that the withdrawing YPA relinquished its large arsenal of weapons to the Bosnian Serb forces as it withdrew and that the YPA soldiers with a Bosnian Serb background stayed behind to become a formidable part of the new Bosnian Serb officer corps.

While the Bosnian Serbs and Muslims were fighting, the Bosnian Croatians were working to consolidate their positions in western Bosnia in their desired mini-state, Herceg-Bosnia, which they would proclaim in July 1992. The Bosnian Croatians, much like Croatia, would change sides in the Bosnian conflict as the circumstances affected their interests, supporting the Muslim government at this time, then later moving towards the Bosnian Serbs, until shifting again towards the Muslim government when the 1994 Washington Accords established the Bosnian Federation.

On May 30, 1992, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 757. The resolution condemned the SFRY's defiance of UN demands that it cease its interference in the affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and placed an economic embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia until it fulfilled its obligations under Resolution 752. Resolution 752, which was passed two weeks earlier on May 15, called for an end to the fighting in Bosnia, elimination of influence and forces from both the YPA and Croatia, and respect for the territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Notwithstanding the UN's efforts, the war continued into the summer. In August 1992, representatives from over 30 countries and nongovernmental organizations met in London at the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia to bring about a negotiated end to the fighting. The London Conference, co-sponsored by the EC and the UN, named Lord David Owen and Cyrus Vance co-chairmen of the EC-UN steering committee. The Conference affirmed the principle that international boarders should be changed only by mutual consent, and called for a cease fire, access to detention camps (by international organizations such as UN High Commission on Refugees or the Red Cross), and the protection of human and minority rights. Unfortunately, the London Conference, like the resolution before it, had little effect on the violence on the ground. Finally, on August 31, Cyrus Vance announced that all parties had already violated the terms of the Conference, including the cease-fire, which they had approved just days earlier.

The Geneva Peace Conference was held the following month, for the purpose of developing means of implementing the lofty principles declared by the London Conference. The Geneva Conference, under the co-chairmanship of Vance and Owen, established six working groups focusing on the most pressing issues confronting the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia-Herzegovina, confidence-building measures, humanitarian issues, economic problems, minority rights and various other legal issues.

(classified data deleted) The US became aware of the program and demarche the Croats, who shut it down. The Iranians were forced to return to their small-scale arms smuggling and training efforts.

In October 1992, negotiators Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen advanced their plan (the "Vance-Owen" plan) to settle the conflict. Their plan was to establish a decentralized state with seven to ten autonomous provinces defined by economic and geographic, rather than ethnic, criteria. The Bosnian Serb leadership promptly rejected the plan the following day.

In response to the Bosnian Serbs, Vance and Owen reworked their plan several times, and in January 1993 the Bosnian Croats approved the measure. The Bosnian Muslims followed suit in March. On May 2, Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic signed the plan under intense pressure by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Two days later, the Bosnian Serb Parliament rejected the plan, and the Vance-Owen process was finished.

There was no hiding the viciousness of the fighting. Genocide was frequently alleged by the combatants and, as the world discovered more and more about the atrocities being inflicted by all sides, the Security Council passed Resolution 808 in February 1993, establishing the War Crimes Tribunal. In support of the Resolution, the EC, the UN staff and the US State Department submitted reports documenting the crimes of systematic rape, murder, mutilation, deportation, illegal imprisonment, and "ethnic cleansing" by all parties.

All three sides committed a great many atrocities during this conflict upon innocents, but it appears the Bosnian Serbs were the most egregious in their violations of human rights. It was the Bosnian Serb leadership that set the war aim of creating an ethnically "pure" and geographically contiguous greater Serbia by (seemingly) any means necessary. Unfortunately, it will be future historians who will have to render a more complete accounting of the genocide which occurred.

In May 1993, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic warned of a "new aggression" by Bosnian Croatians, and relations between the Bosnian Muslims and Croatians steadily worsened. As the fighting intensified around the city of Mostar and throughout central Bosnia, both sides engaged in atrocities and "ethnic cleansing" to solidify gains made on the battlefield.

Also that May, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 824, which declared that Sarajevo, Bihac, Srebrenica, Tuzla, Gorazde, and Zepa should be treated as "safe areas" and that all Bosnian Serb military units should withdraw from those areas at once. The Security Council followed up this declaration on June 4, 1993 with Resolution 836 extending the mandate of UN Protection Forces and authorized measures, including use of force, to protect these "safe areas." By February of 1994, the situation on the ground had become intolerable for the NATO leadership as the Bosnian Serbs overran Srebrenica and Zepa and besieged and shelled the others, creating appalling humanitarian conditions. Serbian actions had made a mockery of the term "safe area."

The catalyst for increased international action came when a mortar shell landed in a crowded Sarajevo market on February 5, 1994, killing 68 and wounding over 200 civilians. The following day, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali lifted his opposition to air strikes and asked NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner to seek permission from the North Atlantic Council to secure a heavy weapons exclusion zone around Sarajevo. President Clinton supported the Secretary General's call for air strikes should more violence against civilians occur. On April 10, the NATO Alliance, in its first offensive action since its founding, launched air strikes against Serb positions which had been shelling Gorazde relentlessly. A second strike the following day helped bring the Bosnian Serb advance to a halt, although the Serbs maintained control over a large percentage of the territory acquired in their advance.

The Serbs had also been put on less advantageous terms by the Washington Accords reached the month before, in March, between the Bosnian Muslims and the Croats. The Accords set up a Federation which, in addition to relieving military pressure on the hard-pressed Muslims, put the Serbs in a difficult strategic situation. The Croats were now freed up to begin preparations for a major offensive to retake the Krajina, and the Muslims were able to shore up their defenses and keep other Bosnian Serb units engaged elsewhere in Bosnia.

This was, in brief, the situation in the region in April 1994, when Iran again sought to interject itself into the war on a large scale.




This chapter will examine the Clinton Administration's public policy on the UN arms embargo on Bosnia. Starting with the formulation of the Iranian green light policy in April 1994, the actual policy became very different from what the Administration represented it to be in its statements to Congress, the press, and the American people. As is discussed in Section II of this report, where the development and implementation of the Iranian green light policy are discussed at length, the Administration went to extraordinary lengths to keep its diplomatic duplicity under wraps. Senior Administration officials were intent that there should be no US "fingerprints." In the public realm, this went beyond the usual practice of offering "no comment" on allegations of US covert activity; instead, Administration officials from the President on down lied.

Some have criticized the Clinton Administration for a lack of consistency in foreign policy. While this charge could be leveled at several aspects of its Balkans policy, it would largely be unfair in describing the Administration's public record on the Bosnian arms embargo.

Regarding the embargo, the Administration consistently expressed its opposition to the embargo while also consistently stating its unwillingness to take unilateral action to lift it. The concept of unilateral action by the US was fundamentally inconsistent with the "assertive multilateralism" that became the centerpiece of the Administration's foreign policy. Assertive multilateralism rests on a high regard for the UN as an instrument of foreign policy, a profession of the moral obligation to follow the spirit and letter of international law, and the imperative of multilateral cooperation. In its public statements about the arms embargo, the Administration never deviated from the positions necessitated by these principles, despite the fact that the Administration learned within days of taking office that assertive multilateralism effectively tied its hands in working to lift the embargo it believed to be against US interests. It was this quandary that would, in April 1994, lead the Administration to subvert the embargo clandestinely through third parties, specifically Iran and Croatia.

The Administration's Sea Legs: The Idealism of "Assertive Multilateralism"

Although foreign policy was not a centerpiece of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, Bosnia was an exception. Candidate Clinton condemned the Bush Administration's policy of nonintervention, "The continuing bloodshed in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia demands urgent international action . . . . It is time for real leadership to stop the continuing tragedy in the former Yugoslav republics." (44) He expressed confidence that, as president, he could define a policy, working jointly with other countries and the UN, that would stop the fighting and lead to a peace settlement. "We will make the United States the catalyst for a collective stand against aggression, the action I have urged in response to Serbian aggression in Bosnia." (45) He provided some specificity in the first presidential debate in October 1992:

I agree that we cannot commit ground forces to become involved in the quagmire of Bosnia or in the tribal wars of Somalia. But I think that it's important to recognize that there are things that can be done short of that, and that we do have an interest there . . . . I think we should stiffen the embargo on the Belgrade government, and I think we have to consider whether or not we should lift the arms embargo now on the Bosnians, since they are in no way in a fair fight with a heavily armed opponent bent on "ethnic cleansing." We can't get involved in the quagmire, but we must do what we can. (46)

And, as Governor Clinton would repeatedly stress, "what we can do" meant what we can do in tandem with others, that is to say, within the framework of assertive multilateralism.

As might be expected, considering her key role in implementing multilateral foreign policy, US Ambassador to the UN and cabinet member Madeleine Albright became one of the preeminent public advocates of assertive multilateralism. As she has explained it, the US has three roles it can play internationally: " world cop," "ostrich," or "partner," and the Clinton Administration prefers the role of partner. As Ambassador Albright explained:

The fancy word is 'multilateral,' but the ordinary word is 'partner.' I fully believe it is my job at the U.N. and the job of all of us within the foreign policy structure to put an adjective with the partner -- senior, managing, leading, whatever way you want to phrase it. So the term assertive multilateralism comes from having a leadership role within a multilateral setting to deal with the problems that we have to deal with. (47)

Bosnia, for the Clinton Administration, is exactly such a problem; one of those many occasions when, in the words of George Stephanopoulos, "we need to bring pressure to bear on the belligerents of the post-Cold War period and use our influence to prevent ethnic and other regional conflicts from erupting. But usually we will not want to act alone -- our stake will be limited and direct U.S. intervention unwise." (48)

The weeks leading up to the inauguration in January 1993 saw the start of new UN-sponsored diplomatic talks on Bosnia in New York. These talks fed the hopes of the new Clinton foreign policy team, anxious to exercise its policy of multilateralism, as well as the hope of an American populace sickened by the viciousness of the fighting.

The heady days of transition brought forth within the new Administration declarations of major reviews of Bosnian policy alternatives and the strong desire for "improved" options. (49) Nonetheless, in the case of the former Yugoslavia, these deliberations inevitably led back to Clinton's policy as declared in the election campaign. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, speaking in January 1993 said, "I would stress, as President Clinton has, starting last August, that it Bosnia does seem to be a place where the United States needs to be activist and internationalist in our outlook." (50)

International Political Reality: The Europeans Say "No"

Yet, once in office, President Clinton found the Bosnian problem much more complex and intractable than he anticipated as a candidate. Despite the rhetorical flourishes and talk of change, practical changes in the policy from that of the Bush Administration were difficult to discern. Leaving the new Administration's first Bosnia policy review, Secretary Christopher counseled the press to "lower expectations," particularly "in terms of timing." (51) Where candidate Clinton had been calling for "urgent" international action, President Clinton was now urging caution:

The thing I have not been willing to do is to immediately take action, the end of which I could not see. I want to do -- whatever I want to do, I want to do it with vigor and wholeheartedly, I want it to have a reasonable prospect of success, and I have done the best I could with the cards that I found on the table when I became President. (52)

Given the President's desire to act "with vigor and wholeheartedly," it was still not clear what he wanted to do. Yet, it was also clear that he did not know what it was he wanted to do. Some criticized the Clinton Administration for lacking the political will to enact a policy change. Democratic Congressman Frank McCloskey accused the Administration of being an accomplice in genocide in Bosnia, stating that "when it comes to real action to get the arms embargo lifted from the Bosnian Government, the administration opts out." (53) It is probably more accurate to say, however, that the lowering of Presidential sights came about as the Administration realized that it had painted itself into a corner by advocating an end to the arms embargo but surrendering the only vehicle by which the embargo could be lifted -- namely, unilateral action by the US. Simply put, neither the UN (the Clinton Administration's preferred multilateral mechanism) nor other international bodies were willing to go along with lifting the embargo. That left the Administration without a vehicle it thought acceptable to implement the changes in Bosnian foreign policy it believed to be in the national interest.

In the first few months of the Administration, the UN, in particular, turned out to be an unlikely forum for a fresh approach. In addition to the UN Security Council being the body that put the embargo in place, the new Clinton Administration found itself in the uncomfortable position of being unwilling to subscribe fully to the ongoing UN-sponsored Vance-Owen plan it felt would have effectively partitioned Bosnia. For an administration that placed heavy emphasis on the UN and multilateralism in foreign policy, this was not a comfortable situation. Secretary Christopher tried to step around the problem during a trip to the UN in February 1993, saying that the US supported the "process" without necessarily supporting the results. (54) Two days later, using locution that would later become the hallmark of the Iran green light policy, White House spokesman George Stephanopoulos said President Clinton "does not have any specific support or rejection" of the UN plan. (55)

Some commentators have strongly attacked the tenets of the Clinton Administration's policy of assertive multilateralism. Steven Erlanger, in the New York Times, called it "a formula for action that seemed to make the UN the only source of legitimacy for the use of force to keep the world secure," and Peter W. Rodman of the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, declared that for multilateralists "American unilateralism was the principal sin to be avoided, as if to atone for a shameful past." (56) It was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, however, who most astutely identified the inherent weakness of assertive multilateralism. The policy, he said, resigns the US to a belief that "the national interest is on the whole defined by the attainable global consensus." (57) This turned out to be the reef on which the Bosnia policy foundered. Although the Administration wanted to lift the arms embargo as it applied to the Bosnian Muslims, it was unable to lead its global "partners" into a consensus to do so -- and to act unilaterally would require the Administration to violate the philosophical cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The Administration quickly learned that the Europeans, in particular, were unwilling to yield on the fundamental question of lifting the arms embargo. Fighting in eastern Bosnia intensified, and in April 1993, the Serbs, in a much-reported offensive, moved to capture the town of Srebrenica. President Clinton spoke of his outrage at the fighting, "I condemn it and I have condemned it repeatedly and thoroughly. And I have done everything I could to increase the pressure of the international community on the outrages perpetuated in Bosnia by the aggressors and to get people to stand up against ethnic cleansing." (58) The Europeans, however, had refused to go along, and, without their support, the US simply did not have the votes in the Security Council to overturn the embargo. More importantly, though, as President Clinton would repeatedly point out in the years to come, even "if we did, it would endanger the humanitarian mission there carried on by the French and British who oppose lifting the embargo." (59) Despite the President's outrage, he steadfastly refused to permit unilateral US actions. Behind this all there continued the drum-beat of keeping US policy within the boundaries acceptable to the UN. As Secretary Christopher declared, "whatever we would do, we would do multilaterally and we would want to do it with the full concurrence of the UN. We would not try to take any shortcuts in the matter." (60)

President Clinton's press conference on April 23, 1993, illustrated the irreconcilable tension between US national interests and the Administration's allegiance to assertive multilateralism. On the one hand, the President stated vigorously about Bosnia, "I think we should act. We should lead -- the United States should lead." Yet, a few minutes later, in response to a pointed question about multilateralism "hamstringing" US foreign policy, he conceded his Administration's abdication of policy-making to the UN, "The United States, even as the last remaining superpower, has to act consistent with international law and under some mandate of the United Nations." (61)

On May 6, 1993, the Bosnian Serb Assembly rejected the Vance-Owen peace plan, which the Administration had finally come to support. The Administration renewed its call for multilateral lifting of the embargo against Bosnia. Then Secretary Christopher traveled to Europe on an ill-fated mission to win the support of Britain and France. His charter, evidently, was not broad enough to allow him to negotiate the issue forcefuily. Later, Secretary Chrisopher would admit that the effort had been a mistake. "The way that I made the trip to Europe in May 1993 was not consistent with global leadership." (62) After that, the Administration more openly acknowledged its political impotence. President Clinton explained:

Let me tell you something about Bosnia. On Bosnia, I made a decision. The United Nations controls what happens in Bosnia. I cannot unilaterally lift the arms embargo. I didn't change my mind. Our allies decided that they weren't prepared to go that far at this time. They asked me to wait, and they said they would not support it. I didn't change my mind. (63)

It was also at about this time that Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff indicated the US had to rethink its international role and realistically reappraise the degree to which it could hope to act and infiuence international events unilaterally. This doctrine, the socalled "Tarnoff Doctrine," was eventually disavowed by President Clinton. A Congressional Research Service report noted, however, "US policy on Bosnia appeared to confirm Mr. Tarnoff's views rather than contradict them. Lifting the arms embargo, while in principle favored by the Administration, was not viewed as a viable option without the participation of other allies." (64)

On June 30, the Administration suffered yet another defeat in changing US policy. It was the only other Security Council member to back a resolution put forth by five nonaligned member countries to lift the embargo. Even though President Clinton had previously asserted that the US should take the lead in formulating international policy towards Bosnia, the US "did not push strongly for its adoption," (65) and Russia, France, and Britain joined other Council members in handily defeating the measure. The result was that a policy change the Administration deemed to be in the national interest was squelched yet again by the UN.

In July, the President was again put on the defensive in a press conference when a questioner referred to the Administration as being "indecisive" in formulating a Bosnia policy. He replied,

Let me, first of all, point out what the United States has done just since I've been President. We spent a great deal of money on humanitarian aid; we have pushed hard for strengthening the embargo against Serbia; we have pushed for a number of other things to try to help resolve the situation that we have all agreed on.

I did not back away from my position, sir. Britain and France and Russia said they would not support that position within the United Nations. The United States cannot act alone under international law in this instance. (66)

In July, as Serb forces stepped up their assault on Sarajevo and threatened to overrun the Bosnian capital, the Administration finally was moved to act. It announced that, while it hoped to work with the allied states, it was prepared to act unilaterally with air strikes to break the siege of Sarajevo. It is hard to know how serious the Administration was in making this statement. No military action was ever taken, although the threat did motivate NATO to meet in August to consider joint action. Even then, NATO ceded its authority to the UN Secretary-General to determine if military action was warranted and to call for air strikes.

The President's subsequent statements squarely contradicted his professed willingness to take unilateral action and reaffirmed his commitment to multilateralism, no matter what the consequences for US national interests. Seven months later, on February 6, 1994, the day after a rocket attack on a crowded market in Sarajevo killed 68 people, President Clinton made his most categorical statement yet on his interpretation of the limits on US sovereignty in using its military, "The United States, I will say again, under international law, in the absence of an attack on our people, does not have the authority to unilaterally undertake air strikes." (67)

In the same month, February 1994, arguing against Senator Dole's legislative proposal to lift the embargo, Madeleine Albright advanced another argument that the Administration would frequently use -- lifting the embargo would set a precedent allowing states to pick and choose which of the internationally sanctioned embargoes and sanctions they will enforce:

Frankly, what will happen is, if we decide to lift the embargo unilaterally against -- on this particular issue, then there will be those who will decide that we can just not abide by the international embargo against Iraq or against Libya. This is an international system, whereby we deal with rogue states, Iraq and Libya, through an international embargo. We depend on the international community to abide by it. And, even though we do not think it is appropriate for the Bosnian Muslims to be embargoed at the moment, it is an international decision that we cannot change unilaterally. (68)

A few months later, in April, with renewed and increasingly bipartisan criticism of the Administration's refusal to lift the embargo, President Clinton made a similar argument, "If we ignore a United Nations embargo because we think it has no moral basis or even any legal validity, but everyone else feels contrary, then what is to stop our United Nations allies from ignoring the embargoes that we like, such as the embargo against Saddam Hussein? How can we ever say again to all of the other people in the United Nations, you must follow other embargoes?" (69)

By mid-1994 there was bipartisan consensus in Congress that the US should lift the Bosnian arms embargo unilaterally. This opinion was shared by many of those who supported a more active US role in stopping the fighting, as well as by many who still believed the US should be cautious in any action that could commit it to a role on the ground in the region. On May 25, Representatives Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and Henry Hyde urged the President to "act in our national interest and not rely on the UN to determine our policy." (70)

In late summer, with peace talks stalled, Congress began working on several options to remove the embargo. This eventually led to Section 1404 of the fiscal year 1995 National Defense Authorization Act. (71) According to that legislation, if the Bosnian Serbs did not accept the Contact Group peace plan by October 15, the President was to introduce a resolution at the Security Council to lift the arms embargo multilaterally no later than December 1. Moreover, should such a resolution fail to pass, no US funds were to be expended after November 15 to enforce the continued embargo. This provision is commonly referred to as "Nunn-Mitchell," after its Senate sponsors. Since it was clear the Security Council would defeat a resolution to lift the embargo, the Administration halted the use of US funds effective November 12, 1994. It also ended the deployment of American ships in the Adriatic Sea for embargo enforcement and ended the sharing of intelligence on embargo violations with other countries.

In all other respects, the Administration's policy remained unchanged, particularly its opposition to unilaterally lifting the embargo. Although the Administration consulted with Congress on possible plans to aid the Bosnians unilaterally (as was also required in the legislation), the Administration made it clear it would not accept any form of unilateral action by the US. Indeed, on January 8, 1995, Vice President Al Gore warned that the President would veto any bill requiring a unilateral lifting. (72) This actually came to pass on August 11, 1995, when the President vetoed S.21, a bill calling for the unilateral lifting of the embargo after the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from Bosnia or 12 weeks after the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina requested that UN peacekeepers leave, whichever came first.

Another concern expressed repeatedly by the Administration during its debates with Congress in 1995 about the unilateral lifting of the embargo was that it could lead to one of two possible situations, both of which were worse than the status quo. The first was the "Americanization" of the war. The second (and this is brazen in light of the Administration's ongoing secret Iranian green light policy) was the introduction of Iranians into the war.

The logic behind the fear of "Americanization" was that the nation that lifts the embargo unilaterally will be held responsible for what follows. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry explained that the Administration "strenuously" opposed a unilateral lifting of the embargo because it would " give the US unilateral responsibility for the devastating consequences." (73) Consequently, if the Bosnian military were to begin to falter after the lift, the US would have to step in to train, arm, and possibly defend its new dependents. American intervention, the argument went, became all the more likely because a unilateral lifting by the US would likely have led UN peacekeepers to withdraw from the region. Thus, not only would US intervention be required to prop up Bosnian forces, it would also be required to aid the withdrawal of UN forces. (74)

The most disingenuous of the Administration's arguments was that lifting the arms embargo could allow the Iranians a foothold in Europe. The argument was that if the US were to lift the embargo, without itself arming the Muslims, Iran would fill the vacuum and thereby "establish a presence" in Bosnia and the Balkans. (75) (As shown in Section III of this report, the Administration had already secretly acquiesced in Iran's filling the existing vacuum.) It was against such an argument that Senator Dole spoke on June 5, 1995,

W hen those of us who advocate lifting the arms embargo . . . point out that other countries would also participate in arming the Bosnians, we are told that this would allow Iran to arm the Bosnians. The fact is the arms embargo has guaranteed that Iran is a key supplier of arms to Bosnia and administration officials have actually used that fact to argue that there is no need to lift the arms embargo . . . . From statements made by State Department officials to the press, one gets the impression that Iran is the Clinton Administration's preferred provider of weapons to the Bosnians. If the Administration has a problem with Iran arming Bosnia, it should be prepared to do something about it. (76)

Senator Dole had no idea at the time how true his words were about Iran being the Administration's "preferred provider" of weapons. His mistake, like that of his colleagues in Congress, was in believing the Administration's denials of complicity and thinking no administration would be so foolish as to permit Iran -- the world's leading sponsor of statesanctioned terrorism -- to establish a foothold in Europe.

It would seem that the Administration would not want to revisit this particular argument, knowing how it would look when the truth finally emerged. Yet a month later, in July 1995, White House spokesman McCurry could not resist speculating sarcastically that Senator Dole, in his calls for lifting the embargo, was presumably ready to surrender Bosnia to Iran. (77) It would not be until spring 1996 that Congress and the American people would learn the truth and appreciate the irony behind McCurry's statement: A year before he accused Senator Dole of being willing to give the Iranians a free ride into Bosnia, the Clinton Administration had already laid out the welcome mat for Iran.

Denial of the Iranian Green Light Policy

As is discussed elsewhere in this report, the Administration's public pronouncements about its policy on the embargo significantly diverged from actual practice starting in April 1994. It was then that President Clinton authorized the giving of a secret "wink and a nod" or "green light" for the covert transshipment of Iranian arms to the Balkans. The development of that covert policy is treated at length in Section II of this report. In this chapter, treating the publicly acknowledged policy, we will only discuss the official denials that were made as elements of the policy began to leak to the press.

The flow of Iranian arms through Croatia was difficult to disguise, and the opening of the so-called arms pipeline to Bosnia was reported in the US and European press within weeks. (78) An obvious question for the press and our allies with troops on the ground in the region concerned whether the US was involved in either setting up or sanctioning the operation.

On May 13, 1994, two weeks after the Administration gave the green light, State Department spokesman David Johnson commented on reports of Iranian shipments through Zagreb, "It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo on the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia." He quickly added that the US believes "It's important that UN Security Council resolutions be fully observed," a broader statement that suggested that the US expected other nations to respect the embargo as well. (79)

On June 3, the British newspaper, The Independent, reported that Iranian sources "close to the government and opposition in Tehran, claim that elements in President Bill Clinton's administration have made it clear that America would not interfere with Iran's attempts to circumvent the international arms embargo on Bosnia." (80) The same article contained official US denials. Nonetheless, the issue would not die, and the press continued to pursue the story.

Later in June, the Administration once again was faced with a press story that threatened to uncover the green light policy. An article by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times led with the sentence, "Croatia has become a major transit point for covert Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia with the tacit approval of the Clinton administration, which publicly remains opposed to a unilateral lifting of the international arms embargo against the fractured Balkan states." But in the same article a "senior U.S. official" said that the US government opposed the Iranian arms shipments because they undercut UN sanctions. " 'There is no U.S. support for what Iran is doing,' the official said." (81) That same day press guidance issued by the State Department explicitly denied active complicity and any sort of acquiescence, "It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo on the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia. We strongly believe that UN Security Council resolutions must be fully respected." (82) This guidance would be sent out repeatedly in the following months. (83)

Subsequent press guidances and public statements from the State Department, National Security Council and the White House consistently denied any US role in the Iranian arms pipeline. At the State Department's daily press briefing on November 7, for example, spokesman Christine Shelley was asked directly if the US was contributing to, or turning a blind eye to, the violations of the arms embargo. The response was clear and categorical, "We're certainly not contributing to it, and we certainly are not turning a blind eye. We have been a major participant, as you know, in the enforcement of all the different UN Security Council resolutions which have been passed in the past." (84)

Congress took the Administration at its word, yet the press and intelligence reporting indicated the Iranian arms kept flowing and, in the wake of such reports, the growth of Iranian influence in the region became increasingly a matter of concern. While the Administration still denies the linkage, at least for Congress it was obvious from the beginning that there was a direct connection between the provision of Iranian weapons and assistance and the growth of Iranian influence. Senator Dole in January 1995 argued that S. 21, his legislation lifting the embargo, "would reduce the potential influence and role of radical extremist states like Iran" in the Balkans. (85) The Administration nevertheless vetoed the legislation. As on many other occasions, it chose not to advise Congress that the actual Administration policy was that "at the highest level we do not wish to interpose ourselves" between the Iranians and the Balkans -- that is, to permit Iran to use arms transfers to solidify its influence in the region. (86)

In April 1995, a year after the green light policy went into effect, a Washington Post story reopened the question of the US's tacit approval of Iranian arms transfers. Department of State press guidance on April 14 posed the following hypothetical question and guidance on its answer:

Q: Is Iran delivering arms to the Bosnians? Does the US tacitly approve of this activity? What are we doing about it? How do we reconcile this policy with our more general concern about Iranian arms sales?

A: Contrary to the impression left by this morning's Washington Post story,

- T he US neither "allows" nor "tacitly accepts" the provision of Iranian arms to Bosnia or to any other country.

- It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo on the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia ...

- The United States has on many occasions made known its strong objection to the behavior of the Government of Iran. We are actively involved in international efforts to isolate Iran and prevent it from engaging in illegal and dangerous weapons transfers. (87)

In July of 1995, the President and Secretary of State confirmed the press guidance set forth above as the Administration's "declared" policy. In a CNN interview on July 28, 1995, President Clinton was asked if the US was "orchestrating the transfer of arms to the Bosnian Muslims through Arab or Middle-Eastern countries or anywhere else." The answer was a curt "no." On the same program, Secretary Christopher stated, "We are not, as I repeat myself, covertly supplying arms to Bosnia or taking steps to support arms." (88) The next day, Secretary Christopher was quoted in the press as saying, "The United States is not, underline not, covertly supplying arms or supporting the supply of arms to the Bosnian government." (89)

Perhaps the most categorical false denial of the green light came in the National Security Council's press guidance of February 2, 1996, only two months before the Administration finally admitted its true policy towards Iranian arms transfers. This time, the Administration was concerned with allaying suspicions raised by another Washington Post story, this one alleging US involvement with a Saudi program to arm the Bosnians. Again, the guidance is given in hypothetical questions and answers. They are quoted at length below. This is necessary to document the degree to which the Clinton Administration was willing to misrepresent the truth in order to cover up their policy to allow Iran to develop a foothold in Europe through Bosnia.

Q: Response to allegations in the Washington Post that the United States cooperated with Saudi Arabia in a program to arm the Bosnians over the past three years.

A: We categorically deny the allegations in the Post story that the US was in any way involved with the purported Saudi program to arm the Bosnian Government, in violation of the UN arms embargo. While this Administration consistently argued that the arms embargo unfairly punished the victim of aggression during the Bosnian conflict, it was always our policy to abide by the terms of the arms embargo. We opposed a unilateral lifting of the embargo because it would undermine respect for other binding UNSC resolutions, including economic sanctions against Serbia, Iraq and Libya. The US did not cooperate, coordinate or consult with any other government regarding the provision of arms to the Bosnians.

Q: But weren't you aware of covert arms assistance to the Bosnians by the Saudis and other countries, such as Iran?

A: No such shipments were taken in consultation or coordination with the US government.

Q: If you were aware of these shipments, why didn't you stop them?

A: We have always made clear that we were abiding by the arms embargo and that we expected other countries to do so as well. (90)

The Clinton Administration's consistent assertion of the need for assertive multilateralism was matched in effort and practice only by its consistence in falsely denying its "Iranian green light" policy. The truth finally came to light with the publication of the series of highly detailed and well-informed Los Angeles Times articles starting on April 6, 1996. (91) It was only then that the Administration ceased its denials and deceptions and admitted what its true policy was - to allow Iran to purchase influence in the Balkans by supplying arms.



In the preceding chapter, we have discussed at length the Clinton Administration's public policy of duplicity and denial regarding its green light to the Iranians' breaking the UN arms embargo in the former Yugoslavia. What makes the green light policy scandalous is that the Administration chose to use Iran, of all countries, to carry out a policy that the Administration was legally able, but unwilling to carry out itself. The green light decision allowed Iran to expand economic and diplomatic relations in a volatile and unstable part of the world and, worse, to establish programs of military, security, and intelligence assistance and cooperation of unprecedented scope in Europe. This decision was made despite the US's firmly entrenched policy of isolating and containing Iran. The threat from Iran has been as clear as has been the US policy response to the threat, at least prior to the Administration's green light policy. For this reason the green light is not only an inexplicable reversal of long-standing US policy, it is a case of appallingly bad judgment in which US national interests were sacrificed out of the Administration's policy-based objections to unilateral actions by the US to protect American interests.

In later chapters, we will demonstrate how such an indefensible decision was made and the effect it has had in radicalizing certain elements in Bosnia, as well as buying Iran influence in the region. In this chapter, we will simply establish the fact that, in its public pronouncements, the Administration has advocated an Iranian policy that is totally incompatible with its actions in Croatia and Bosnia.

Recognizing the Problem: Iran

The Clinton Administration deserves credit for its public statements recognizing Iran's preeminent role as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to the annual State Department report on international terrorism issued on April 1996, (92) Iran is "the premier state sponsor of international terrorism and is deeply involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts both by its own agents and by surrogate groups." The report goes on to note that Iran continues "to view the United States as its principal foreign adversary, supporting groups such as Hizballah that pose a threat to US citizens. Because of Tehran's and Hizballah's deep antipathy towards the United States, US missions and personnel abroad continue to be at risk." (93) Two years earlier, the annual report reached much the same conclusion:

- Iran again was the most active state sponsor of terrorism and was implicated in terrorist attacks in Italy, Turkey and Pakistan. Its intelligence services support terrorist acts -- either directly or through extremists groups ... Iran still surveys US missions and personnel. Tehran's policymakers view terrorism as a valid tool to accomplish their political objectives, and acts of terrorism are approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government. (94)

In this document, which, ironically, was published the very month of the Administration's green light decision, the Administration provided information that would lead one to believe the Administration would be making efforts to crack down on Iran's involvement in Bosnia and Croatia rather than "wink and nod" at it:

Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic warned in June 1993 that Bosnians living in Europe were likely to resort to terrorism if the West did not come to Bosnia's aid, and outside terrorist groups are reported providing support to the Bosnian Muslims. In August, Croatian authorities confiscated weapons, explosives and false documents from a "terrorist" network that had been aiding Bosnia. Hizballah and Iran have provided training to the Bosnian Muslim army. (95)

Section III of this report further documents the extensive information available to the Administration on Iran and its surrogates' activities in the former Yugoslavia prior to the green light as well as after.

The Policy Response to the Iranian Threat

Not only has the Clinton Administration been clear in acknowledging Iran's threat to US national interests and world stability, the Administration has also been consistent (other than in the former Yugoslavia) in articulating and adhering to a policy that was meant to isolate Iran politically, economically, and militarily. Such isolation, it was hoped, would lead to the regime's moderation. (96)

Secretary Christopher encapsulated the Iran policy and its rationale in May 1994 in a speech before the American Jewish Committee Conference:

Well, Iran is an outlaw country in my judgment and deserves to be treated with containment and isolation. It is not only their weapons of mass destruction program that concerns us, but their resort to terrorism around the world. Their ugly hand can be seen not only in the Middle East but in Africa and some places in Europe. Their determined opposition to the peace process in the Middle East is only one of the reasons why I think that they do not deserve the approbation of the international community.

We cannot expect to end all trade with them, but I think what we can urge our allies is to not give them concessions and not welcome them into the family of nations and accord the advantages of that kind of status. The United States will be working hard in this vein, feeling it's necessary to try to isolate them, to try to contain them until there is a change in their attitudes toward their neighbors and towards the rest of the world.

... Iran is a country that I think deserves our very close watching, and until they make a major change in their policy, I think the United States' present policy of isolation and containment is the correct one. (97)

More than just keeping up the rhetorical drum-beat of calls to isolate Iran, the President has also taken action to further that objective and increase the pressure on its leadership to moderate its many objectionable policies. In May 1995 the President signed an executive order banning, in effect, all US trade and investment in Iran. (98) In August 1996, the President signed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, (99) a bill that had passed the House without a single dissenting vote, imposing sanctions on foreign companies exporting petroleum-related technology to Iran. In regard to this bill, the President said, "You cannot do business with countries that practice commerce with you by day while funding or protecting the terrorists who kill you and your innocent civilians by night. That is wrong. I hope and expect that before long, our allies will come around to accepting this fundamental truth." (100) As National Security Advisor Anthony Lake has noted, those countries that believe positive inducements will work with Iran are wrong and improvement in relations must come about only as a reward for Iran's moderating its objectionable behavior. "The most effective message is a consistent one: no normal relations until these objectionable actions end." (101)

The Administration turned its back on this established principle of American foreign policy in making the green light decision. Instead of "isolating" and "containing" Iran, as Secretary Christopher had promised, the Administration's policy in the Balkans was "at the highest level we do not wish to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and the Croatians." (102) In allowing Iranian arms transfers to Bosnia, the Administration essentially forced the Bosnians into a position of dependence on, and subservience to, Iran. This would soon come back to hurt the Administration.






The Select Subcommittee sought to take depositions from all significant participants in the events under investigation. In some instances, interviews, rather than depositions, were conducted by special investigators, who were detailed as a joint resource to the Subcommittee staff. (103) Both the majority and minority staff were represented at every deposition and interview. The deposition testimony was transcribed by a certified court reporter who is provided by the Office of Official Reporters to Committees of the House of Representatives. Depositions were conducted under oath in a question and answer format. Interviews were conducted by the Select Subcommittee staff and by the special investigators. Interview witnesses were not put under oath.

The Select Subcommittee took the depositions of 27 witnesses and interviewed approximately 55 others.

The following individuals (listed in alphabetical order) appeared for depositions: Janet S. Andres - former Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence; Reginald Bartholomew - former Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia; General Wesley Clark - former Director of Strategic Plans & Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff; Thomas Donilon - Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State; Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith - Ambassador to Croatia; Colonel Richard C. Herrick - Defense & Army Attache, Embassy Zagreb; Ambassador Richard Holbrooke - former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs; Richard A. Holtzapple - former Political Officer/Second Secretary, Embassy Zagreb; Susan C. Hovanec - former Public Affairs Officer, Embassy Zagreb; Ambassador Robert Hunter - Permanent US Representative to the North Atlantic Council; Ambassador Victor L. Jackovich - former Ambassador to Bosnia; (classified data deleted) Douglas MacEachin - former Deputy Director for Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Thomas D. Mittnacht - former Economic/Commercial Officer, Embassy Zagreb; Ronald J. Neitzke - former Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy Zagreb; Rudolf V. Perina - Chief of Mission, Embassy Belgrade; Charles E. Redman - former Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia; Lt. Colonel Robert J. Sadler - Defense Attache, Embassy Zagreb; (classified data deleted) Lt. Colonel John E. Sray - former G- 2 Intelligence Chief for Bosnia/Herzegovina Command, UNPROFOR; Charlotte Stottman - former secretary to Ambassador Galbraith; Strobe Talbott - Deputy Secretary of State; Peter Tarnoff - Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; (classified data deleted) Alexander R. Vershbow - former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs; James Woolsey - former Director of the CIA; Kathryn Zabetakis - former Secretary to Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke.

The Select Subcommitte staff, including staff investigators, also conducted interviews, not taken under oath, of the following individuals: Mark E. Anderson; Terri Lee Baker; Richard C. Barkley; Frederick Baron; Maria Barton; Samuel "Sandy" Berger; Robert L. Burkhart; Ambassador Lawrence Butler (telephonically); Robert Caudle; Peter Comfort; Robert Davis; former Senator Dennis DeConcini; Dushka Djuric; Robert P. Finn; former Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley; Philip S. Goldberg; Jane Green; Anthony G. Harrington; Christopher R. Hill; Christopher J. Hoh; Swanee Hunt; Stephen H. Klemp; National Security Advisor Anthony Lake; former Republican Leader of the House of Representatives Robert Michel; John Monjo; Imam Sevko Omerbasic; Ronna Pazdral; Shane Pitzer; Susan Ray; John Rizzo; William G. Root; James W. Swigert; Mildred Tangney; Alexander "Sandy" Vershbow; Paul Vogel; Ambassador Jenonne Walker; Thomas G. Weston; Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.; and John S. Wolf.

Briefings of Subcommittee staff and special investigators at CIA Headquarters were given by the following CIA analysts of the Directorate of Intelligence. (classified data deleted)

Under advisement of their agency of for other reasons, several of the above individuals declined to testify under oath. The National Security Council (NSC) declined to have its employees testify under oath, including. National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake and his deputy Samuel "Sandy" Berger. Chairman of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, Anthony Harrington, at the instruction of the White House Counsel, also declined to testify under oath. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of Defense William Perry, and Leon Feurth, Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, all declined to sit for a staff deposition.

In addition, the Select Subcommittee acquired copies of relevant testimony given by several individuals in closed hearings conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). HPSCI was most generous in sharing these and other resources for review by the Select Subcommittee. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) also provided the Select Subcommittee access to transcripts of its relevant closed hearings. In addition, SSCI offered the services of their special investigators who shared their research and information they obtained during their investigation of this issue.

Acquisition of Classified and Non-Classified Federal Government Documents

Throughout the Subcommittee's investigation, documents were obtained from several Federal agencies. Documents were processed, each identified with a bate stamp number and stored in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

The Select Subcommittee sought relevant documents from numerous federal agencies. These agencies included the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB), the US Information Agency (USIA), and the Department of State (DOS). The Select Subcommittee initially submitted written requests to Federal agencies based on information available in the public record. The agencies identified responsive documents and, with some exceptions, made them available for review. Security arrangements were made for the review of classified documents, in accordance with proper security procedures. The Conference Room, within the Select Subcommittee offices, was examined for surveillance devices whenever deposition testimony was given or classified documents reviewed.

Some agencies permitted the Select Subcommittee to retain copies of pertinent documents, and others provided documents which were to be returned following this investigation. Review of highly classified documents was conducted in a secure facility at the various agencies, and only notes were permitted to be removed by the staff.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Two staff members from both the Majority and Minority staff were given unrestricted access at CIA headquarters, to a wide variety of requested materials, including over a 1,000 documents and cables related to our inquiry. The Select Subcommittee, also received over 1,000 pages of CIA finished intelligence products for review at the Subcommittee.

Department of Defense (DOD)

Both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) offered their cooperation in providing the Select Subcommittee with documents relating to the Balkans crisis. Several hundred NSA documents were reviewed by staff at NSA headquarters, and approximately 150 pages of materials were made available for review at the Select Subcommittee offices. DIA also compiled several hundred documents for review at DIA headquarters and provided approximately 250 for use at the Select Subcommittee.

National Security Council (NSC)

The National Security Council (NSC) provided fewer than 30 documents for use at the Select Subcommittee. The staff was briefed on an additional 52 documents at the NSC. In addition, the Subcommittee was provided with a Bosnian Document List, however, no actual documents were attached.

White House - Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB)

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) provided the Select Subcommittee with a list of individuals it reviewed in the course of its own investigation. (104)

United States Information Agency (USIA)

The United States Information Agency (USIA) provided the Select Subcommittee with copies of official calendars kept by Susan Hovanec, the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Zagreb, for 1994 and 1995. These calendars documented dates of important meetings between Hovanec and officials in the region, relevant to our investigation.




During the first days of it's existence and throughout the investigation, the Select Subcommittee continuously sought the cooperation of various federal government agencies. In an effort to obtain all classified and unclassified information related to the United States role in Iranian arms transfers to Croatia and Bosnia, the Subcommittee requested the assistance of the White House, National Security Council, Intelligence Oversight Board, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The rate and scope of administration cooperation, however, varied from full compliance from some agencies to almost complete non-compliance from others.

In April 1996, before the establishment of the Select Subcommittee, document requests relating to the Iranian "green light" policy had already been submitted to the Administration. Chairman Arlen Specter and Vice Chairman Robert Kerrey of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence contacted the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, the National Security Council, and the Department of State requesting "any unpublished material bearing on this subject, such as cables, electronic correspondence, internal memoranda, minutes of meetings, letters, and memoranda to other agencies or talking points for briefings." (105) Additionally, Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requested the President turn over "... all documents related to the role that your Administration may have played in proposing, organizing, assisting, consulting, arranging, or agreeing to the transfer of arms by any government or private organization into the former Yugoslavia during the period in which the United Nations arms embargo was in effect." (106) Chairman Benjamin Gilman of the House International Relations

Committee, and Chairman Floyd Spence of the House Committee on National Security also submitted requests at this time, for similar information. (107)

President Clinton on May 15, 1996, insisted that the Administration would cooperate with Congress:

I have asked the relevant agencies . . . to work with you to ensure that the Committee obtains the information it needs on this matter.

I welcome this opportunity to present the policy my Administration has pursued to help bring peace to Bosnia. Let me assure you that my Administration will cooperate fully with the Committee and with other Congressional bodies in their examination of this matter. (108)

Because Congressional requests were made, and because the President directed his agencies to meet these requests, it is presumed that the Administration would have compiled all information relevant to the Iranian arms issue. When the Select Subcommittee later requested this information, however, the Administration needed until the end of September, five months after the original Congressional request, to gather all related materials. The Subcommittee notes, in particular, that the materials made available on September 27 by the Department of State were important documents, critical to the investigation of the US role in Iranian arms transfers. The Department was aware that it was providing access to documents only a week before the Subcommittee planned to finalize its report.

Agency Compliance

Central Intelligence Agency

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was the most cooperative and willing of the Administration agencies in their efforts to provide the Select Subcommittee with requested documents and other related material. Within days of the Subcommittee's inception, thousands of pages of cable traffic were made available at the CIA headquarters for review by a limited number of Select Subcommittee staff. The CIA also accommodated the Subcommittee in making their staff, including former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, available for depositions and interviews, as requested.

In addition, the Agency also played a pivotal role in expediting the security clearance process for Select Subcommittee staff, which enabled the Subcommittee to complete its investigation during its six-month charter.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DOD) was generally helpful in the production of requested documents. It was consistently effective in making Defense personnel available for depositions, as requested. The only exception to this remains an outstanding request for Secretary William Perry's appearance to provide information to the Select Subcommittee.

In addition, the Defense Department's Investigative Service and Security Directorate understood the Subcommittee's critical and immediate need to obtain security clearances, and were instrumental in expediting the processing of background investigations of the Subcommittee staff.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

On May 13, 1996, Chairman Hyde requested special agents be detailed from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the Select Subcommittee to assist with its investigation of the US role in Iranian arms transfers. (109) The "October Surprise Task Force", in 1992, employed the services of seven agents detailed from three federal government investigative agencies, while the Select Subcommittee requested only three agents from the FBI. Additionally, unlike "October Surprise", the Select Subcommittee paid the salary and benefits of these agents, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Subcommittee worked jointly with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI to make the appropriate arrangements to secure their assistance. (110) Both agencies were reluctant at first to provide investigators to the Sub committee. Part of the FBI's hesitancy could rightfully be attributed to the political fervor, at the time of the Subcommittee's request, surrounding the White House/FBI "Filegate" affair. (111) Nonetheless, on July 23, 1996, the Deputy Attorney General, Jamie Gorelick, approved the detailing of three FBI agents to work as shared resources between the Majority and Minority staffs of the Select Subcommittee.

In an effort to ensure that the inquiry would be conducted in a bipartisan manner, Chief Counsel and Chief Minority Counsel agreed to a memorandum of understanding with respect to the utilization of the agents detailed to the Select Subcommittee. (112) The memorandum provided that the investigators assigned would be a joint resource between the Majority and the Minority staffs. It was also agreed that, upon conducting an interview, the investigators would provide an interview report to both the Majority and Minority staffs.

Department of Justice

In addition to the Department of Justice's assistance in obtaining FBI agents for the Select Subcommittee, DOJ personnel were also helpful in securing space for depositions. The Office of Legislative Affairs, in particular, Alan Hoffman, was able to arrange secured areas to conduct depositions of Ambassadors Charles Redman and Richard Holbrooke in Chicago and New York, respectively. Likewise, the US Attorney's office was most accommodating in these requests. (113)

Department of State

The Department of State (DOS) was generally slow to respond to the Select Subcommittee's document requests and reluctant to facilitate requested depositions and interviews. At the outset of the Subcommittee's investigation, the Department stated that it "remains committed to cooperating fully with the Select Subcommittee, with a view toward concluding this inquiry promptly." (114) The State Department's actual performance fell well short of its assurances. Only days prior to the Subcommittee's drafting deadline and after the Subcommittee had met with all witnesses, did the Department of State provide important documents which were requested within the first month of the Subcommittee's existence.

The Select Subcommittee, on July 26, 1996, made an initial request to the Department of State for Ambassador Galbraith's compilation of memos which he maintained in his office in Zagreb as his "record" of the issues and events that he encountered as US Ambassador to Croatia. Also requested were the Ambassador's calendars, phone records, and travel vouchers. The Department at first characterized the record as being Ambassador Galbraith's personal document despite it having been typed by a government secretary, on a government computer, on government time. (115)

On August 22, 1996, the State Department made available only selected (by State Department officials) portions of the record. Even then, the Subcommittee was not given copies of these materials, as requested, but rather was only allowed to review selected portions at the State Department, where no photocopying or verbatim note taking was permitted. (116) Not until September 18, 1996, were Chairman Hyde and Mr. Hamilton advised that Ambassador Galbraith's "record" would be made available, in its entirety, at the State Department. It was made available for review, however, solely to the chief counsels who could not remove any notes from the Department, nor discuss the contents of the over 150 page document with anyone other than Chairman Hyde and Mr. Hamilton. (117)

Based on testimony received by various witnesses, the Select Subcommittee, on August 14, 1996, requested access to additional documents during staff travel to Embassy Zagreb. The requested documents included the chronological cable file of all cables sent to the State Department by Embassy Zagreb, as well as notes taken by Political Officer Richard Holtzapple during Galbraith's meetings. To alleviate costs and the burdens of production upon the State Department, Select Subcommittee staff offered to review the previously requested phone records and travel voucher information while at Embassy Zagreb, and to simply make copies of only those portions the Subcommittee staff determined to be relevant to their inquiry. This offer would have saved the Department from making photocopies of the entire set of documents, and shipping those same items to the Select Subcommittee offices. (118) Upon arrival in Zagreb, however, the Subcommittee staff was not permitted to view any documents and were told that it would be provided access to them only in Washington. Some of the documents were finally provided on September 18, 1996. (119)

As part of the staff delegation's inquiries, the Select Subcommittee asked the State Department to request, on its behalf, meetings with specified Croatian and Bosnian government officials and community leaders to discuss their knowledge of the United States' role in Iranian arms transfers. (120) Due to the late notice from the State Department, Embassy Zagreb was only able to arrange one meeting. One hour prior to the staff's departure, the Subcommittee staff met with Croatian Muslim cleric Imam Sevko Omerbasic. Despite a renewed request, (121) the State Department has never shared a copy of a diplomatic note or other Departmental correspondence showing Department efforts to arrange the requested meetings with foreign officials.

Subsequent document requests, made in early and mid-August, were also not responded to until September, including requests to turn over the approximately 30 spiral notebooks that former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Alexander Vershbow kept during his tenure with the State Department. The morning of Vershbow's deposition, the Select Subcommittee staff was informed that Vershbow made available some of his handwritten notes, which were taken contemporaneously with events being investigated by the Subcommittee. That same day, Chairman Hyde submitted a document request to the State Department requesting production of all of Vershbow's notes, not just those the State Department decided the Subcommittee should review. (122) More than one month later, the State Department provided only portions of the materials to Hyde and Hamilton, and even fewer sections for review by Subcommittee staff.

The integrity of the Subcommittee's investigation and report rests upon the assurance that all materials it has determined relevant, have been turned over. The Subcommittee could not entrust the truth-seeking process to the Department and individuals who have a stake in the outcome. As with any oversight investigation, it should be the oversight body that makes the determination of relevant material, not the agency at the heart of the investigation.

With respect to requests for depositions, on August 1, 1996, the Select Subcommittee sent letters requesting the State Department make Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff available for staff depositions. (123) Subcommittee Staff was advised that the Department's legal section was reviewing the resolution creating the Subcommittee to determine if the Select Subcommittee had the authority to take staff depositions of "principals." It was asserted that the "principals" were Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Deputy Secretary of State Talbott, and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Tarnoff. Moreover, it was also asserted that the issue of whether the State Department would even allow "principals" to sit for staff depositions was at the same time separate from whether the Select Subcommittee enjoyed the authority to conduct such proceedings. (124)

The State Department's refusal of the Select Subcommittee's request to have Talbott and Tarnoff sit for the requested depositions could not be based upon any legal principle. House Resolution 416 unambiguously authorized such depositions and authorized the Chairman to issue a subpoena compelling the appearance of any individual for such depositions. In the interest of time, the Subcommittee agreed to the State Department's August 28 proposal that Talbott and Tarnoff meet with Chairman Hyde, Mr. Hamilton, and Select Subcommittee staff for a one hour informal unsworn interview. (125) At the interview both Talbott and Tarnoff agreed to provide their testimony under oath and did so.

Additionally, the State Department did not honor the Subcommittee's request (126) to meet with Secretary Christopher. On September 26, the Department informed the Select Subcommittee that the Secretary's schedule did not permit him to accommodate the request. (127)

The White House - National Security Council

The National Security Council (NSC) made only 22 documents available to the Select Subcommittee staff out of approximately 63,000 pages of documents that turned up in response to its initial search request and review. Many of these documents are classified as "Top Secret." There were another 75 documents that the NSC agreed to brief only Members, with staff present. Those documents could neither be copied, nor read by Subcommittee staff.

The Select Subcommittee also requested the NSC make available its personnel for depositions. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and US Ambassador to the Czech Republic Jenonne Walker (who had been on the NSC during the green light decision), were asked to testify due to their direct role in providing instructions to US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith regarding the US response to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's request for a US position on Iranian arms transfers. Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger's deposition was requested because of statements attributed to him by Alexander Vershbow, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs. With respect to Vershbow, he was integral to the formulation of the policy change while he was at the State Department in late April and early May of 1994. In June 1994, he moved to the NSC, where he continued to follow this issue. Based on NSC documents there was also reason to interview him regarding his actions and knowledge after the "no instructions" policy had been articulated to the Croatian government. (128)

The NSC witnesses from whom depositions were requested were determined based on a number of factors, including how central his or her role was in the conveyance of the Iranian green light decision. Disturbing questions of credibility needed to be resolved, as well as issues of whether the President was fully informed of the intelligence on this matter or on the risks inherent in making the decision to let Iran send weapons into Croatia and Bosnia. These issues were particularly difficult to ascertain, due to the "deliberative process" veil of executive privilege the Administration cast over this information.

On August 14, 1996, the Counsel to the President, Jack Quinn, responded to the Select Subcommittee's request to take the depositions of Lake, Berger, Walker, and Vershbow. The White House asserted the position that neither current nor former NSC staff would be allowed to sit for staff depositions, because to do so would intrude upon the President's "deliberative process." (129)

The White House described the President's "deliberative process" on July 23, 1996, as matters pertaining to confidential communications to and from the President, Presidential meetings with foreign heads of state, and the content and deliberations of Principals' and Deputies' Committee meetings. The Select Subcommittee made it clear that their questioning would not intrude upon these areas. The Subcommittee's interest was to establish facts regarding these individuals' actions implementing and transmitting the policy, not to delve into their deliberative discussions with the President. The Subcommittee understands the necessity of preserving the President's ability to seek frank and honest discussion of views from his staff, in order for him to undertake his obligations appropriately. (130)

Due to the NSC's lack of cooperation, the Select Subcommittee began preparation of subpoenas to compel the production of sworn depositions of Lake, Berger, and Vershbow. To avoid issuance of the subpoenas, the White House Counsel met with Chairman Hyde and Subcommittee staff on September 17, 1996. The Counsel explained that "executive privilege is as much a process as it is a privilege." Thus, there was no difficulty for the NSC and the White House to produce these senior government officials for an interview to discuss their role in the execution of the Iranian arms pipeline policy decision so long as it was merely an "interview" format. The Counsel argued that, in the view of the White House, an oath and a transcript alter the nature of a meeting, because those items are "indicia of a hearing." He admitted, however, that there is a well-recognized exception to executive privilege whenever there are "credible allegations of criminal wrongdoing." Additionally, the White House required the presence of a Member of Congress during the interviews with "principals" Lake and Berger. (131)

The White House continued to refuse, however, to permit Leon Fuerth, Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, to appear for a deposition, as requested by the Select Subcommittee (132) . Rather, Fuerth was made available to brief only Chairman Hyde and Mr. Hamilton on issues not touching upon the deliberative process. (133)

To resolve the impasse, and to facilitate the fact-gathering process within the Select Subcommittee's very limited time frame. Chairman Hyde accommodated the White House's prerogative on this issue and agreed to non-sworn interviews. For the record, it was made clear that if the Select Subcommittee was dissatisfied with the conduct of these interviews, it had not waived its prerogative to issue and serve subpoenas compelling the public servants' appearance for sworn depositions.

The Subcommittee is adamant, however, that there is no basis in law for staff of the NSC to refuse to appear before authorized Congressional subcommittees and give sworn testimony demanded by a valid subpoena on matters pertinent to the legislative inquiry. Congress "is entitled to have" a witness under subpoena give nonprivileged "testimony pertinent to the inquiry. . . before the authorized committee." (134) The interest of the Executive Branch in preserving the confidentiality of privileged material is fully protected by appearing in response to the subpoena but asserting privilege in the event the witness is asked questions which call for privileged material. (135) To the extent NSC staff believe that questions or document requests propounded by the Subcommittee through its staff call for privileged material, the NSC may invoke such privileges through the proper procedural mechanism. Short of making a specific claim of privilege, however, NSC staff cannot lay claim to any immunity from the obligation to give sworn testimony in response to a valid subpoena for pertinent information. Such refusal to appear and be placed under oath in response to such a subpoena would be grounds for a citation for contempt of Congress. (136)

The NSC staff cannot claim or be granted immunity from answering subpoenas. First, the White House's assertion that this policy of not appearing for depositions has been a long-standing tradition of the NSC is incorrect. Former NSC aide Oliver North involuntarily testified before Congress, (137) NSC aide David Wigg testified before a federal grand jury, (138) National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and two former NSC staff members were called as witnesses before a Senate investigative subcommittee, (139) and the House Ethics Committee subpoenaed Lawrence Eagleburger, Brent Scowcroft and Robert Hyland, all of whom were NSC staff. (140)

The Administration's argument that these precedents are distinguishable in that they involved investigations into violations of federal criminal laws whereas the Select Subcommittee's investigation is essentially a matter of oversight, is spurious. The Supreme Court has not limited the power of investigation to cases involving allegations of criminal misconduct, nor has the Court accorded less weight to the congressional interest in oversight as compared to investigating crimes. To the contrary, the Supreme Court has held that the congressional investigatory power "encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes," in addition to "probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste." (141)

Second, no official within the Executive Branch of government -- not even the President himself -- enjoys blanket immunity from the obligation to comply with valid subpoenas. If the President lacks blanket immunity from the subpoena power, it follows, a fortiori, that NSC staff lack such immunity. (142) "There is an obligation to testify in appropriate instances that applies equally to all federal officials and that derives specifically from the right of Congress to oversee the faithful execution of the laws by the President and his administration." (143) Although a number of recognized privileges, such as executive privilege "may shield an official from answering some or all congressional questions if they fail to meet the standard of 'right to know,' there is no basis for a constitutional doctrine that some officials need not even appear to hear the legislators' questions because they are wrapped in privilege as to every aspect of their knowledge or activity." (144)

Moreover, according to the Supreme Court:

A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information . . . and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information -- which not infrequently is true -- recourse must be had to others who do possess it. Experience has taught that mere requests for such information which is volunteered is not always accurate and complete; so some means of compulsion are essential to obtain what is needed. (145)

In short, the Supreme Court, has ruled that " t he power of inquiry -- with process to enforce it -- is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function," (146) and "is inherent in the power to make laws." (147)

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board

In order to do as thorough a job as possible investigating the Iranian green light, the Subcommittee attempted to review previous efforts. Principal among them was the investigation undertaken by the President's Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) in 1995. The IOB investigation had been undertaken at the direction of White House Counsel Abner Mikva, and it was upon its findings that the White House Counsel reached his legal conclusions. Accordingly, on July 26, 1996, Chairman Hyde requested a copy of the IOB's report to the President on the Iranian arms matter. The Subcommittee also requested a list of names of the individuals interviewed by the IOB during the course of its investigation and any memoranda of those interviews. (148)

On August 5, 1996, Anthony Harrington, Chairman of the IOB rejected the request for these documents. (149) In their discussions with the Subcommittee, the White House and IOB never asserted privilege, either executive or attorney-client. Their argument was simply that disclosure of the report and the underlying documents would "do violence" to the IOB's ability to obtain a truthful and complete accounting of events from government officials. The IOB was unable to answer the Subcommittee's question of why the IOB's public release, a few months earlier, of its findings on its investigation of intelligence activities in Guatemala under the Reagan and Bush Administrations, had not done more "damage" than sharing the Iranian green light findings with Congress behind closed doors. The IOB did argue that the public release of the Guatemala findings was necessary due to the confused state of the record on the matter. (150) That may very well have been the case, but the Subcommittee notes that the same confusion reigns in the Iranian green light issue.

After much negotiation the White House did eventually relent to providing the Subcommittee with a written list of the individuals the IOB interviewed in the preparation of its Iranian green light report. (151)

On the issue of testifying before the Subcommittee under oath and on the record, Harrington, similar to the NSC staff, also refused, on advisement from the White House. The information he provided to the Subcommittee was through an unsworn interview, without a court reporter present to make a verbatim transcript.

The Subcommittee strongly believes that, in this case, the Administration's refusal to give Congress access to the IOB report has actually done real damage to the integrity of the IOB's investigatory process. Based upon the information the White House has provided from the report, the Subcommittee concludes that at least two individuals interviewed by the IOB withheld relevant documentary information and some may have provided contradictory statements to the IOB and Congress. These individuals are, however, now safe in the knowledge that it is impossible to document these actions because of the IOB's claim of "privilege. "

Finally, the Select Subcommittee is concerned that the Administration has publicly cited this IOB report to exonerate the Administration of wrong doing in the Iranian green light policy, but refuses to allow Congress to examine the report or to allow its author to testify under oath about it so as to allow the Subcommittee to verify its accuracy or authority. Democratic Senator Robert Kerrey has expressed similar concerns:

I think this entity . . . is very badly named as an oversight board, and cannot, under any circumstances, vindicate the President. If there is a claim of oversight -- if there is a claim of Executive Privilege and a claim of vindication simultaneously, one of those two has to fall.

Let me isolate two mistakes. One is in implying because it has a name -- Oversight Board -- that it is an oversight board. It's not.

T here's been some references that the President was vindicated by an oversight board, and that leaves an impression with the citizen that this is different than what I think this organization is.

The second mistake was sending Mr. Harrington to the Hill at all. I mean, I really think he should not have been sent up to Capitol Hill to sit before this Committee with a report that he would read but not be able to leave with the Committee. (152)


Unlike some of the other Congressional examinations of the Iranian green light, the Select Subcommittee enjoys a broad mandate as charted out in House Resolution 416. In order to conduct an authentic oversight investigation, H. Res. 416 bestowed upon the Chairman of the Select Subcommittee, "upon consultation with the ranking minority party member of the Select Subcommittee," the authority to take "affidavits and depositions pursuant to notice or subpoena." Authorized subpoenas may be signed by the Chairman of the Select Subcommittee. Furthermore, the resolution provided that such depositions and affidavits could be conducted by staff as "designated by the chairman of the Select Subcommittee." (153)

The Subcommittee considered the issuance of subpoenas on several occasions, sometimes to the extent of having them prepared for service: once to get the White House to comply with requests for NSC documents and depositions; twice to get the White House to produce IOB materials; and twice to compel the Secretary of State to produce requested documents. On each occasion the issuance was avoided by either the capitulation of the Executive Branch or by Chairman Hyde's negotiating a compromise whereby the Select Subcommittee could get access to critically required information without undermining either the Select Subcommittee's rights to do legitimate oversight or the Executive Branch's asserted privileges. Throughout this process, considering the very limited time made available for it to do its work, the Subcommittee has preferred to compromise in order to do as complete a job as possible rather than join in divisive and counterproductive public battles with the Administration.


The Select Subcommittee on July 26, 1996, (154) asked the State Department to declassify Ambassador Galbraith's two reporting cables (Zagreb 1683 and Zagreb 1721), dated April 27 and 29, 1994, as well as a memorandum to the file he prepared, dated May 6, 1994. (155) These documents are absolutely key to any coherent discussion of the genesis and implementation of the green light policy. They were prepared contemporaneously with key developments and can be used in verifying the accuracy of testimony. The matters discussed in these documents, excepting a few brief phrases, are not diplomatically sensitive and their public disclosure would not compromise national security or intelligence information or techniques. Additionally the substance of large portions of these documents has been testified to in public testimony before various Congressional committees by Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman, Undersecretary Tarnoff, and Deputy Secretary Talbott, with noticeable elisions of inconvenient facts and with a "spin" not substantiated in the documents. Nonetheless, after over one month of deliberations and several missed deadlines, the Department of State finally decided not to declassify any part of the two cables and only declassified approximately one-half of the memorandum to the file. (156)

Clearly demonstrating the Administration's efforts to hide its actions behind the shroud of classification is the fact that several sentences and phrases were redacted from the memorandum that were clearly unclassified, but which would have been embarrassing to the Administration if they were known. For example, characterizations by a senior Department of State official of Washington's inept and confused handling of the initial request from the Croatians about Iranian arms transshipments.

Based upon this highly unsatisfactory response, Chairman Hyde wrote letters to the Information Security Oversight Office and the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel on September 26, 1996 (157) reporting the Department of State's apparent violation of the Clinton Administration's own Executive Order 12958, in which are laid out the proper uses of classification. Specifically, the Department appears to be in violation of the Order's forbidding the classification of information to "prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency." (158) Chairman Hyde advised the House of his action in a floor statement on September 26, 1996. (159) The Subcommittee heard telephonically from the Information Security Oversight on October 2, that an investigation is underway. (160)

More recently, the Department of State refused the Subcommittee's request that it declassify portions of the contemporaneous notes kept by former State Department official Alexander Vershbow. The Subcommittee agrees that those portions that reference confidential discussions with foreign heads of state are legitimately classified. It is, however, unconscionable to refuse, as the Administration has, to declassify those portions of the notes that detail conversations between US government officials on the execution of what is now a publicly revealed policy.



Origins of the IOB Investigation

In the fall of 1994, based upon a variety of intelligence reports from several sources, and operational messages from (classified data deleted) and elsewhere, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) James Woolsey, became alarmed that members of the Clinton Administration may have been involved in an illegal covert action. He was concerned that an improper and unauthorized diplomatic activity was occurring, which was helping Iran circumvent the UN arms embargo in the Balkans. (161)

As Woolsey examined the information that had been compiled for him, (162) he realized the situation under review was related to a matter he had first become aware of in early May 1994. In the current case, as before, there were strong indications that something was askew in the implementation of the US policy enforcing the Bosnian arms embargo as interpreted in the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. Woolsey quickly decided to seek guidance and advice from National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. That meeting occurred on October 5, 1994. (163)

During that meeting, Woolsey shared with Lake the information he had indicating a possible US role in facilitating or acquiescing in the Iranian shipment of weapons to Bosnia by way of Croatia. (164) As a result of that meeting, on October 14, National Security Council (NSC) officials, including Senior Director of Intelligence Programs George Tenet and Deputy Legal Advisor James Baker, (165) met with officials from the CIA to undertake a preliminary investigation and o obtain copies of relevant documents. (166)

On November 1, 1994, NSC Legal Advisor Alan Kreczko met with White House Counsel Abner Mikva to discuss the issues raised at the Woolsey-Lake meeting. (167) At about the same time, Mikva met with Lake and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for the same reason. (168)

In response to some of the legal issues raised in its preliminary investigation, Baker wrote a legal memorandum analyzing the issues presented. That memorandum for the record was dated November 7, 1994. According to oral, unsworn statements by NSC staff, that memo attempts to clarify the distinction between covert activities and diplomatic activities. (169)

On November 29, Mikva met with Anthony Harrington, Chairman of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board. (170) The two men discussed the question of US complicity in the Iranian circumvention of the UN arms embargo. During this meeting, the IOB was assigned the task of investigating the arms embargo violations issues presented by the US actions in the Balkans.

The IOB's investigative mandate was framed very narrowly by White House Counsel Mikva. The IOB's directive was narrower in scope than the Select Subcommittee's charter, as found in H. Res. 416. The issues before the IOB were:

1. Whether Ambassador Galbraith or Ambassador Redman was directly involved in assisting an arms shipment pass through Croatia to Bosnia in May 1994, in violation of the UN Arms Embargo;

2. Whether the "no instructions" message to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman by Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman constituted illegal covert activity; and

3. Whether Ambassador Galbraith and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, Richard Holbrooke, made any offers to provide arms or funds to the Bosnian or Croatian Governments? (171)

Conduct of the IOB Investigation

The IOB conducted its investigation by reviewing the intelligence and operational information underlying the initial concerns of the DCI. The IOB also reviewed additional intelligence that was made available from other non-CIA sources. Several current and former US government officials were interviewed by the IOB. Captain David Wesley (USAF) of the IOB staff was assigned to work with the IOB members in the investigation and the preparation of the report.

The individuals interviewed by the IOB were:

Department of State

Warren Christopher, Secretary

Peter Tarnoff, Under Secretary/Policy

Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs

Charles Redman, Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia

Peter Galbraith, Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia

Ronald Neitzke, Deputy Chief of Mission, Zagreb, Croatia

Jenonne Walker, Ambassador to the Czech Republic (former Senior Director for European Affairs at the NSC)

National Security Council

Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor

Alexander Vershbow, Senior Director for European Affairs (former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs)

Department of Defense

Walter Slocombe, Undersecretary for Policy

General Wesley Clark, Commander in Chief, US Southern Command (former Director of the Office for Strategic Policy and Planning, Joint Chiefs)

Major General Ed Hanlon, US Marine Corps HQ

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Herrick, former Defense Attache, Zagreb, Croatia

Colonel John Sadler, current Defense Attache, Zagreb, Croatia

Colonel Clifton Schroeder, US Marine Corps Reserve, European Command LNO, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Colonel David Hunt, US Army, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Central Intelligence Agency

R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence

Admiral William Studeman, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

(classified data deleted) Chief of Interagency Balkan Task Force

Theodore Price, former Dsputy Director of Operations

Douglas MacEachin, former Deputy Director for Intelligence

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

Harrington stated that the interview process was very informal. The IOB interviews were not conducted under oath. None of the individuals interviewed were informed of the applicability of Title 18, United States Code, 1001, which makes it a crime to provide a material false statement during the course of an investigation conducted by an agency of the Executive branch. Harrington also stated that no verbatim text of any of the interviews exist. The only memorialization of the interviews would be the notes taken by the interviewer. (172)

The IOB concluded its investigation by mid-May 1995. White House Counsel Mikva, presented the IOB's report to the President on May 17, 1995. (173)

Findings of the IOB Investigation

The IOB reached the following factual conclusions, which are addressed, seriatim.

The IOB review found that Ambassador Galbraith did not take any action to facilitate or direct the release of a Bosnia-bound convoy that had been stopped in Croatia in early May 1994. The IOB did find, however, that it had been provided conflicting information regarding the role of Ambassador Redman with respect to this particular convoy. CIA officials stated that the Bosnians asked Redman to help obtain the release of the convoy during negotiations in Vienna on the future of the Bosnian Federation. The IOB, however, deemed Ambassador Redman's conduct as "diplomatic discussions," insofar as he simply removed an impediment to negotiations that had arisen due to the stoppage of the convoy. (174) A (classified data deleted) official working with Ambassador Redman in Vienna stated that Redman had been advised of the problem by the Bosnians and may have taken steps to get it released because the issue was not raised again in the negotiations. Ambassador Redman stated, however, that he had taken no action obtaining the release of this particular convoy. The IOB further found that even if Redman had taken action, the IOB did not believe he was aware that the convoy contained weapons. (175)

For this issue, based on the factual conclusions made by the IOB, White House Counsel decided that Ambassador Galbraith's and Ambassador Redman's actions did not fall within the definition of covert activity.

With respect to the second issue, the IOB concluded that Ambassador Galbraith's and Redman's statements to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman were consistent with the "no instructions" policy approved by Washington. Additionally, the IOB found that Galbraith had been instructed not to report back, in writing, the result of his communications with the Croatian President. (176) The decision not to document the communication between the Ambassadors and the Croatian Government was beyond the scope of the IOB's investigative mandate. (177)

The White House Counsel reached the legal conclusion on this issue that in delivering the "no instructions" message, Galbraith and Redman were following their instructions properly and had not engaged in covert action. (178)

With respect to the third issue, the IOB was unable to reach a conclusion as to exactly what had been discussed by Ambassadors Galbraith and Holbrooke with Bosnian and Croatian government officials in the fall of 1994. The IOB was unable to disprove (classified data deleted) reporting that (classified data deleted) the two Ambassadors had discussed specific covert action proposals with foreign officials. However, the panel believed these discussions probably involved little more than "contingency plans in the event the embargo was lifted." (179) The IOB found no evidence that actual promises of funds or weapons were made by the US officials. (180)

Mikva concluded that legally these conversations were nothing more than hypothetical discussions or items under consideration among the parties to the negotiations. Because nothing concrete was promised, White House Counsel found that no covert action occurred as a result of these discussions. (181)

Limitations of the IOB Report

Despite the generally favorable findings set forth above, the White House, as discussed in Chapter 6, refused to make the IOB report available to the Subcommittee for its review. The White House insisted that it only provide an oral briefing on the report without a verbatim transcript. The White House also refused the Subcommittee's request to review the documentation compiled in the preparation of the IOB report, such as the notes of interviews. Accordingly, the Subcommittee can judge the IOB report based only on the information it has been provided.

That said, it is evident that the IOB investigation cannot be looked to for authoritative answers to many of the questions relating to the lranian green light policy that have been put before the Subcommittee. In addition to the IOB's scope of inquiry being extremely narrow, the report was prepared without benefit of interviews of key participants in the events in question. Similarly, some of the individuals interviewed did not provide the IOB with access to relevant materials and, it appears, some of those interviewed did not respond truthfully or completely. The IOB investigation appears to have been less than thorough and insufficient to support the conclusions reached.

First, the Subcommittee notes that the IOB never interviewed Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott nor Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel ("Sandy") Berger (182) about their participation in the implementation of the President's Iranian green light decision.

In Chapter 8, we explain how these two individuals were in key positions during the period in question. It is sufficient here to note that Talbott, the second highest State Department official in the Administration, and the highest ranking State Department official in the United States at the time the decision was made, (183) was traveling with the President when the green light issue was forwarded to the President. (184) Meanwhile, Berger had been in charge of the NSC; National Security Advisor Lake was traveling with the President.

Harrington has explained that the IOB was not concerned with how the policy was formulated, but rather with the narrow questions of whether the policy was properly implemented and whether the actions of any US government officials violated US law. (185) Key to the first question, however, is understanding what exactly the policy was that Ambassador Galbraith and other US diplomats were to have carried out. To do that, it is necessary to determine Talbott's and Berger's understanding of that policy as given to them by the President and how they expected it to be implemented. The IOB's failure to interview these two key participants in the policy process seriously limits the value of the IOB investigation.

Second, the Select Subcommittee questions the degree to which individuals interviewed by the IOB were honest and forthcoming. Although the White House refuses to disclose any statements of the IOB witnesses to the Select Subcommittee for review, the IOB Chairman has stated that the IOB found no reason to make any criminal referrals to the Justice Department based upon probable false statements made during the course of the IOB's investigation. This leads the Subcommittee to surmise that the witnesses to the IOB investigation gave statements, which contradict their testimony before the Select Subcommittee, or the IOB is somehow unaware of significant factual inconsistencies in various witnesses' statements that have emerged in the Select Subcommittee's investigation. One example, of many, which are developed in the following chapters, pertains to the clear and material contradictions of several witnesses in the purported transmittal of the "no instructions" policy from Anthony Lake "with a raised eyebrow and a smile." the differences in the testimonies allows one to interpret the Administration's policy as being strictly "No instructions. Period," (186) as Anthony Lake put it, or "a wink and a nod" as stated by Ambassador Galbraith.

Finally, it has emerged that some of the individuals whom the IOB interviewed, did not provide the IOB with highly relevant and contemporaneous records of events under investigation which they had in their possession. Specifically, Ambassador Galbraith and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander ("Sandy") Vershbow both made contemporaneous records of events involved in the IOB's inquiry. That they did not share these documents with the IOB, despite the IOB's request for such materials, is disturbing.

In the case of Ambassador Galbraith, he kept a daily "Record" of his activities - as Ambassador to Croatia - in which he documented several highly relevant meetings that are key to understanding whether or not he had acted consistently with the instructions provided him by the Department of State. The head of the IOB, Harrington, only learned of the "Record" in the course of his interview with the Select Subcommittee. The Subcommittee, itself, learned of the "Record's" existence from Galbraith's former secretary, Charlotte Stottman, to whom the "Record" was dictated. (187)

Similarly, it also appears the IOB was never told that Vershbow, (188) who participated in many of the telegraphic and telephonic communications between the embassy in Croatia and the State Department, kept contemporaneous handwritten notes of those communications. (189) The Subcommittee has found those documents invaluable to its efforts to reconstruct the events, especially since the Administration saw to it that the events being scrutinized by the Subcommittee are largely otherwise undocumented. The descriptions of events found in Vershbow's notes, tend to be at odds with the public gloss the Clinton Administration has put on the Iranian green light. His notes display the lack of serious discussion leading up to the President's decision, which led ultimately to the Iranians establishing their strategic beachhead in the heart of Europe. Had the IOB been aware of the notes, it might not have played such a prominent role in the application of that gloss.




The decision by the Clinton Administration to give the Iranians and Croatians a "green light" to throw the door open to Iranian weaponry, personnel and influence in the Balkans was reached and implemented hastily in an uninformed haze of confusion. In exploring the origins of the decision, which reflected a major departure from this country's prior policy toward both Iran and the UN arms embargo, the Select Subcommittee encountered starkly conflicting testimony from individuals involved in the process, as well as significant discrepancies between contemporaneous documentation and the Administration's after-the-fact rationalizations of its conduct. Those inconsistencies and discrepancies represented a significant challenge to our ability to set forth with certainly the factual record necessary to explain the origin of the decision to acquiesce in the establishment of the Iranian arms pipeline. Nevertheless, this chapter will review the relevant facts and contentions as revealed in the course of the investigation with a view toward answering as best we can how such a decision came to be made and implemented.

This chapter is, for purposes of organizational clarity, divided into three sections. In the first section, we have set forth the demonstrated US policy and reaction to Iranian efforts to establish an arms pipeline through Croatia from August 1992, through the summer of 1993. This section provides the background essential for understanding the radical departure reflected by the April 1994 Iranian green light decision.

The second section describes the relevant events between Ambassador Peter Galbraith's July 1993 arrival at his post in Croatia and April 1994, with a view toward describing how Galbraith, Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak, US Special Envoy Charles Redman, various Iranian surrogates and others orchestrated a situation in which a radical departure from established US policy toward Iran was not only contemplated but approved at the highest levels of the US government.

The third section provides a detailed exposition of what the Select Subcommittee has been able to determine regarding the operational details attendant to the new policy's genesis, implementation and immediate aftermath in 1994. It is, of necessity, intensely detailed and inherently complicated, but has been presented in this fulsome manner to allow the reader to reach his own judgment about the Clinton Administration's conduct and its consequences.

No Question -- "We Have A Policy"

In order to minimize the gravity of its decision not to inform Congress of the Iranian green light decision, the Administration has attempted to argue throughout the Select Subcommittee's investigation that the decision did not constitute a change in policy. (190) Although some of the witnesses from the Department of State have testified that, in their opinion, US policy toward the arms embargo did not change in April 1994, no one has ever been so disingenuous as to suggest that the decision was consistent with the US policy of isolating Iran diplomatically, economically and politically. Moreover, numerous witnesses testified that, as they understood it, US policy toward the UN arms embargo in the spring of 1994 was exactly as Ambassador Galbraith described it in late April of 1994: the US respects the arms embargo and expects other nations to do so, as well. (191)

The significant departure from prior policy represented by the Clinton Administration's Iranian green light decision can only be appreciated when contrasted with the response of the Bush Administration to the efforts of the Iranians and Croatians to transship arms through Croatia to Bosnia in September 1992. (192) By swiftly and conclusively informing the Croatian government that the United States did not approve of the Iranians violating the UN arms embargo, bringing weapons and soldiers to Croatia, and using Croatia as a transshipment point for arming Bosnian Muslims, the Bush Administration left no doubt in the minds of the Croatians or the Iranians about American opposition to Iranian involvement in the Balkan crisis. Although the Bush Administration knew that some leakage of the arms embargo was occurring, it would not countenance an Iranian arms pipeline and demanded, through a demarche, that the Croatians shut it down.

The Bush Administration let the Croatians know by words as well as deeds that the Iranian arms pipeline was not to be condoned. (classified data deleted)

Despite this "worry," the Croatian Government tested the US with the Iranian arms shipment in September of 1992 and provided the senior official with a chance to convey the US objections strongly. On Labor Day weekend 1992, he was sent to Croatia to engage his Croatian contacts on the issue of the impounded Iranian arms shipment. He met with Zuzul and advised him, in no uncertain terms, to send the arms back to Iran. (193) Coupled with a United States demarche, a demand by the United States that the arms delivery be reported to the UN and a request by Charge Ronald Neitzke of US Embassy Zagreb to UNPROFOR to seize the arms, the CIA official's message as to the United States' view on Iranian arms could not have been clearer. (194)

(classified data deleted) the Central Intelligence Agency has been able to determine, the attempted Iranian arms pipeline was shut down in September 1992 and remained closed until the Clinton Administration's Iranian Green Light decision in the spring of 1994. (classified data deleted)

On January 20, 1993 Bill Clinton was inaugurated President. As noted earlier in this report, the Clinton Administration expressed its intention to honor the UN arms embargo as long as it was in effect. (195) The Clinton Administration also expressed strongly its policy of isolating Iran diplomatically, economically and militarily. (196) There was certainly nothing in its public discussion of arms embargo policy or the policy toward Iran that would lead foreign governments in the spring of 1993 to conclude that the United States would react differently to the establishment of an Iranian arms pipeline through Croatia than it had in September of 1992. The US had made a clear decision that UN Security Council Resolution 713 applied to all of the former Yugoslavia and that "all arms embargo violations should be investigated and where appropriate prosecuted." (197)

Events confirm that the Iranians and the Croatians understood the US no-nonsense policy on Iranian arms transshipments. (classified data deleted)

In February of 1993, the Turks and Iranians separately approached the Croatian Government about the transshipment of arms to the Bosnian Muslims. (classified data deleted) The Croatian Government was clearly not willing to risk the ire of the United States.

(classified data deleted)

In April 1993, Susak asked the US Special Envoy for the Former Yugoslavia, Reginald Bartholomew, for the US view on Croatia's facilitation of Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia. Bartholomew urged Susak to be careful in dealing with Iran. (198) Bartholomew told him that the United States could not be placed in the position of supporting Croatia in transshipping Iranian arms and that it was Croatia's decision to make. Bartholomew went on to say that the US could not be put in the position of advising the Government of Croatia to supply Iranian arms to the Bosnian Government. (199) Ron Neitzke, serving as the American Charge in Croatia in these pre-ambassadorial times, was informed by Bartholomew of the Susak question and his response. (200) Subsequent events in the next few months revealed that Susak did not perceive Bartholomew's response as American approval for such transshipments.

Around May 7, 1993, President Tudjman discussed with Charge Neitzke the increasing pressure the Croatian Government was receiving from Iran on the arms pipeline issue. Tudjman characterized Iran as knocking at the door, and asked Neitzke what the United States wanted Croatia to do. Neitzke, upon instructions from Washington, told Tudjman that the United States did not want Croatia to enter into a relationship with Iran. (201) The Croatians followed Neitzke's advice a few days later (classified data deleted)

Although the Croatians would continue to flirt with greater ties to Iran in 1993, they saw no need to ask the United States about its attitude toward the Iranian arms pipeline. Charge Neitzke, the (classified data deleted) official, and other US officials had made it abundantly clear: Iranian arms in the Balkans was an unacceptable poison. As Ambassador Galbraith noted in April 1994, "We do have a policy. We obey the embargo and expect other countries to obey Security Council resolutions." (202)

The Question Is Orchestrated

The evidence that Peter Galbraith was involved in the planning of the Iranian arms pipeline, or at the very least was knowledgeable of the details of its origin and operation well before the last week in April 1994, is substantial. In his public testimony before the House International Relations Committee in May of 1996, Galbraith assured Congressman Henry Hyde that the idea of establishing an Iranian arms pipeline to Bosnia originated with the Croatians, and not within the US government. (203) Moreover, Congressman Ballenger questioned Galbraith regarding whether Galbraith or "anyone else in our government ever went to the Croatians, the Bosnians or the Iranians to suggest that they consider establishing an arms pipeline from Iran, or to tell them that we would not object if such a thing were to happen" Galbraith replied that he was not involved in any such conduct, and 'to the best of his knowledge' he did not "inspire" this suggestion. (204) In response to Congressman Gilman's question about whether Galbraith was ever asked by anyone to help implement the Iranian arms pipeline or help facilitate any dealing of Iranian arms to Croatia or Bosnia, Galbraith answered "no." (205) The facts and testimony elicited during the course of the investigation call the truthfulness of these responses into question.

An understanding of the background, activities and motivations of the principal participants in the Croatian events leading to the opening of the Iranian arms pipeline is essential to demonstrating Galbraith's knowledge and involvement.

Getting Acquainted

Peter W. Galbraith assumed his duties as the United States Ambassador to Croatia in July of 1993. Upon Galbraith's arrival, Charge Ron Neitzke became the Deputy Chief of Mission. A man with a penchant for action, Ambassador Galbraith brought to his new position his lengthy experience as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff. As the President's emissary to a nation in what was perhaps one of the most volatile parts of the world, he faced a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Without delay, he immersed himself in the politics and issues of the Balkan region with a self-confidence amply displayed throughout his public life. (206)

Early in his tenure Galbraith made it clear that he was sympathetic to the plight of the Bosnian Muslims, as they battled Serbs and Bosnian Croats in the complicated and seemingly intractable conflict in Bosnia. Within two months of his arrival in Zagreb, Galbraith met with Imam Sevko Omerbasic, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader in Croatia and a key contact of anyone hoping to follow the Bosnian Muslim issue from Croatia. He was also a linch-pin figure in the establishment and operation of the Iranian arms pipeline. In the late summer of 1993, Omerbasic was a sufficiently prominent leader in the Croatian Muslim community to merit a visit from the United States Ambassador.

The meeting occurred in Omerbasic's office. Galbraith was accompanied by the Embassy Zagreb Public Affairs Officer Susan Hovanec and another individual was present as a translator. Hovanec believes Duska Djuric, a Foreign Service National working at the Embassy, arranged the meeting. (207) The evidence is conflicting, but it is possible that Embassy Economic/Commercial Officer Tom Mittnacht accompanied Ambassador Galbraith to the meeting, as well. (208) The meeting was a courtesy call which evolved into an hour long discussion of Muslim suffering and dying. (209) Galbraith expressed his sympathy for the Bosnian Muslims and informed Omerbasic that the US did not fear Islam or believe everything it heard about the dangers of increasing Islamic fundamentalism. (210) Although Omerbasic claims never to have had any further meetings with Galbraith, the credible evidence available as a result of this investigation suggests that Galbraith and Omerbasic met a number of times between August 1993 and April 29, 1994. (211)

The significance of this contact and relationship between Galbraith and Omerbasic arises from the role Omerbasic played as the key facilitator and operator of the Iranian arms pipeline through Croatia to Bosnia. (212) (classified data deleted)

By the end of 1993, Peter Galbraith was firmly convinced that the Bosnian Muslims were desperately in need of weaponry or they would not survive. (213) He had mobilized his staff to study and alleviate the Muslim refugee situation in Croatia. Embassy personnel were communicating regularly with UN officials and Muslim community leaders, seeking information and doing what they could on the problems. (214) Anyone truly interested in the Bosnian Muslim situation would have been acquainted with the Muslim leaders, including Omerbasic.

Galbraith had no aversion to Islamic fundamentalism. As noted earlier, he told Omerbasic as much in their first meeting. Moreover, Galbraith was not as concerned about Iran or its influence, as were other Embassy Zagreb officials. As Neitzke has characterized the situation, he and Galbraith had different views on Iran. (215) Neitzke described his own view toward dealings with Iran as "don't do it, don't do anything with Iran." (216) He became very much aware of Galbraith's different view when, after the Iranian arms pipeline opened up, Galbraith proved reluctant to do anything to end the Croatian-Iran cooperation for fear that the arms flow would be interrupted. Galbraith dismissed Neitzke's fear of Iranian terrorism by proclaiming that it was not in Iran's interest to attack the US. (217) With his mind open with respect to Iranian intentions and set upon finding a solution for arming the Bosnian Muslims, Galbraith was poised to act at the beginning of 1994 and receptive to ideas.

Shortly after his arrival in Croatia, Ambassador Galbraith developed another important relationship for purposes of this investigation, a long and close working relationship with Croatian Defense Minister Susak. (218) The two men met and dined frequently, establishing an alliance of professional convenience and mutual benefit which bore, as part of its fruit, the Iranian green light decision. Gojko Susak, although a Croat by birth, spent much of his adult life in Canada, amassing a fortune through his pizza business. Born in a small town in Bosnia in the hills between Mostar and Split, after his return to the Balkans as Croatian Defense Minister he became intensely focused on regaining the region of his birth, known as the Krajina. (219) As Defense Minister, Susak set about building a military capable of retaking the United Nations protected areas in the Krajina, Sectors North, South, East and West. (classified data deleted)

Susak ran the Croatian military with a hands-on approach, functioning more like a commanding general than an American Secretary of Defense. (220) As his primary focus was Croatian nationalism, he was hostile toward the interests of the Bosnian Muslims and, even when playing a critical role in the Iranian arms pipeline, he was not eager to see the Bosnian Muslims armed with artillery or missiles. (221) Susak was a powerful man in Croatia, fluent in English from his Canadian years and a man of action for whom Galbraith developed a strong affinity.

In the fall of 1993, the UN arms embargo posed an obstacle to Susak's efforts to augment his army. Embroiled in fighting with Bosnian Muslims and Serbs, Susak embarked on a shopping trip for weapons (classified data deleted) Upon Susak's return, he met with Galbraith in one of the first of many one-on-one meetings the two would have over the next three years. (222) (classified data deleted) As Susak declined to make himself available for an interview with the Select Subcommittee, it is impossible to conclude with certainty whether or not parts of an Iranian-Croatian arms deal were already well along as early as November 1993.

Besides the arms shopping trip to Iran, Susak attempted to curry favor with US officials and learn what he could of US attitudes and policy toward the Balkans. In a November 1993 meeting with Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff and US Special Envoy Charles Redman, he learned that it was very important to these US officials that Croatia cooperate in the process of getting humanitarian aid to the Bosnians. (223) At that time and on throughout 1994, the humanitarian aid flow to Bosnia consisted primarily of convoys, organized by Muslim humanitarian organizations that later played a significant role in the Iranian arms pipeline to Bosnia.

(classified data deleted)

Ambassador Galbraith was irritated by the fact that his friend Susak had not been viewed as important enough to warrant a meeting with Woolsey. (classified data deleted) This did not deter Galbraith from his efforts to cultivate an exclusive relationship with Susak. As previously mentioned, the two began working closely together, and Galbraith would frequently meet with Susak through 1995, often without reporting such meetings to Washington. (224) Both men began to realize that they could achieve important goals working in tandem or by using each other.

As 1993 came to an end, Susak was still mulling over the possible arms deal with Iran, although not excited about the prospects of sharing firepower with the Muslims with whom the Croatians were still at war. The US was discouraging his military aspirations and apparently had little interest in taking Croatia's side in the ongoing Balkan dispute. Moreover, If he decided to go forward with an arms deal with Iran, he could anticipate opposition from many within the Croatian government, who greatly feared the spread of Iranian influence in the area, as well as fierce objections from the US about Iranian flirtations. (225) Susak's friendship and working relationship with Galbraith offered a solution to his problems.

The Bosnian Muslims were more than ready to be rescued, armed or otherwise assisted in a war they were clearly not winning. The US Ambassador to Bosnia in 1993 and 1994, Victor Jackovich, was constantly importuned by both Bosnian officials and citizens as to the need for weapons or a lifting of the arms embargo. (226) The arms embargo was the most important issue for the Bosnian government and Bosnian officials discussed its lifting with Ambassador Jackovich, Redman, congressional delegations and any US official who would listen. (227)

In late 1993 or the early months of 1994 Ambassador Jackovich received a request that was different from the generalized importuning mentioned earlier. Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic approached Jackovich and told him that Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic, during a trip to Muslim countries, was informed by the Libyan Foreign Minister that Libya would be willing to send arms to Bosnia if the US was agreeable. Jackovich made no comment on the proposal, but agreed to pass it on to Washington. Jackovich reported by cable to the European Bureau of the Department of State. He never received a response from the Department of State on the Libyan arms proposal, and does not recall any followup with Bosnian officials. (228)

Thus, it was no surprise that after Jackovich failed to respond favorably to the Libyan arms deal, the Iranian arms pipeline proposal was never suggested or broached with him. (229) In fact, although he knew that the Iranian and Bosnian government were having continuous contact throughout March and April of 1994, Jackovich was not surprised that the Bosnians did not discuss these contacts with him, in light of the US attitude toward Iran. (230) Clearly, although sympathetic to the Bosnian Muslim concerns, the US Ambassador to Bosnia was not a good prospect for assisting the Iranians in securing their arms dealing franchise in the Balkans. The prospects were better in Zagreb.

Without Our Fingerprints

On the eve of the Clinton Administration's Iranian green light decision in late April 1994, Ambassador Galbraith assured the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Sandy Vershbow that he could handle giving the US guidance to the Croatians on the Iranian arms issue "without our fingerprints." (231) Although this remark is discussed in detail later in this report in the context of explaining the manner in which the US conveyed the Iranian green light, it was a telling remark regarding Galbraith's state of mind in the Spring of 1994 and the extent to which he was familiar with the planned Iranian arms pipeline.

Try as he might, as the Iranian arms pipeline was established in the spring of 1994, Ambassador Galbraith was unable to keep his own proverbial fingerprint from appearing on the evidence. A mere comparison of how the Iranian pipeline was operated with Ambassador Galbraith's words and deeds in the winter and spring of 1994 reveals starkly his knowledge and role.

In late February or early March of 1994, Ambassador Galbraith approached (classified data deleted) to discuss a proposal he was exploring to arm the Bosnian Muslims. Galbraith requested that the (classified data deleted) begin a covert action proposal. The proposal, as described by Galbraith, would involve the US communicating to the Croatians that it would look the other way if the Croatians would allow arms for the Bosnian Muslims to transit Croatian territory on whatever terms could be worked out between the Croatians and the other parties. Galbraith further suggested that the Iranians could be the supplier of the arms. He further proposed that the Turks be used as "cut-outs" in the plan. The (classified data deleted) appalled at the idea, replied that the plan was not a good idea as it would give Iran a firmer foothold in the Balkans, would violate US law under the UN arms embargo regime, would be unsustainable in an operational sense (UNPROFOR or NATO would notice or the Iranians would leak knowledge of its existence) and it would result in the Serbs viewing the US as a co-belligerent in the war. (232)

As additional downsides to Galbraith's plan, the (classified data deleted) identified the risk of encouraging Croatian military aspirations, the lack of deniability given the need to let ships or planes sneak by and the substantial risk to intelligence "equities" posed by such an "Iran-Contra" type plan without clear policy-level guidance. The (classified data deleted) ended his remarks by informing the Ambassador that such a proposal would have to come down from the NSC or the White House, and he would not initiate such an action proposal (classified data deleted)

Despite the (classified data deleted) bleak assessment of the wisdom or prospects for his Iranian "look the other way" plan, Galbraith appeared undeterred in his enthusiasm. He told the (classified data deleted) that he might raise the plan with National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. The (classified data deleted) believed that he had sufficiently discouraged Galbraith such that his Iranian plan would "die a deserved death." (629)

Galbraith thought differently. He was no stranger to creative thinking about actions to arm the Bosnian Muslims. In November of 1992, while still a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, he accompanied Senator Daniel Moynihan to Bosnia. In a meeting with the UN Commander, General Morillon, he asked the General what he thought about the US arming the Bosnian Muslims. Morillon replied, "Just give me five days to get the hell out of here and you can do what you want." (233) In December 1993, shortly after (classified data deleted) Galbraith had approached (classified data deleted) and asked him whether (classified data deleted) was conducting a covert action to arm the Bosnian Muslims. He openly advocated that such an action would be a good thing, but cautioned that a friendly Muslim country such as Saudi Arabia should be the provider of the weapons to alleviate "the political blowback." (classified data deleted) checked with the (classified data deleted) and learned that no such plan was in effect, and there was no Presidential finding authorizing such a program. (234) Galbraith expressed further interest in proposing such a plan. (235)

As noted, by the spring of 1994, the Iranians figured prominently in his new proposal. This was no accident. Galbraith's proposal was a virtual blueprint for the Iranian arms pipeline that was put into effect by Susak, Omerbasic and Hasan Cengic in May 1994. This telltale similarity between the Galbraith plan and the Iranian pipeline is not the only evidence that he had advance knowledge of the Iranian-Croatian plan. In another of his frequent telephone conversations with Alexander Vershbow during the last week of April 1994, Galbraith told Vershbow details about the Iranian arms fights, such as the fact that they would arrive in unmarked 747 aircraft and the fact that the Croatians and the Muslims would split the arms, fifty-fifty, which he could not have known had he not had knowledge of the plan before President Tudjman's question. (236)

Whether Galbraith authored the arms pipeline plan and brought the Croatians and Iranians to agreement, or whether the plan was designed by the Croatians and Iranians, who then told Galbraith of the details and secured his help, no one may ever be able to determine. Susak refused to make himself available for an interview with the Select Subcommittee staff during its investigative visit to Zagreb. And although Omerbasic consented to a brief meeting during that Zagreb trip, his answers to the staff's questions were demonstrably false on most of the issues critical to the investigation, and thus of little help. Nevertheless, Galbraith's own words reveal his central importance to the evolution of the pipeline.

(classified data deleted) shared this information with Ambassador Galbraith, who admitted that he was one of the US officials who met with Omerbasic, but that the meeting was in a mosque at a public religious event and that there was no discussion with Omerbasic on the subject of arming the Bosnian Muslims. Galbraith identified the other "official" mentioned in the report as Tom Mittnacht. (237) (classified data deleted) shared with Galbraith in the next few weeks the intelligence information regarding Omerbasic's activities. (238)

(classified data deleted) The import of this distancing was not lost on Omerbasic, who was still angry at US officials two years later when then Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Finn of the Embassy Zagreb paid him a courtesy call. Omerbasic pointedly observed to Finn that no US Embassy official had paid him a visit since spring of 1994. (239) This distancing activity is strongly indicative of a consciousness on Galbraith's part that being linked to Omerbasic, in light of the other evidence of his advance knowledge of or possible participation in the planning of the Iranian arms pipeline, would contradict his denials of any role in encouraging the Croatians and Iranians to establish the pipeline or in orchestrating the posing of the question to the US government. In sworn testimony before a congressional committee, he has attempted to minimize his contacts with Omerbasic to a single very fleeting, public meeting. (240) Testimony elicited and evidence obtained in the Select Subcommittee's investigation has revealed that Galbraith had other meetings with Omerbasic, some of them in the US Embassy, and that the business card of Omerbasic was in the Ambassador's Roiodex as late as August 1996. (241)

The evidence is also clear that during the spring of 1994, as Galbraith shopped his Iranian "look the other way" solution to the crisis of the Bosnian Muslims with the (classified data deleted) Omerbasic and Susak were working with the Iranians to make that solution a reality. The Washington Accords, resulting in the Muslim-Croat Federation, by halting the fighting between Croats and Bosnian Muslims, softened Susak's resistance to the Iranian arms proposal. (classified data deleted) Given the Croatian desire to act in accordance with the wishes of the US, the Croatians could not give the Iranians any guarantees without assuring that the US would not object. (242)

The key to getting the favorable US response necessary for the Iranians, Croatians and Bosnians to feel secure in cementing this "win-win-win" arrangement was Ambassador Galbraith. In light of his sympathy for the Bosnian Muslims, his open-minded view towards Iran, his friendship and close working relationship with Susak, his desire to make the Federation work and his natural tendency toward action, Galbraith was willing to orchestrate a diplomatic exchange which would meet the needs of all parties. Confident in his ability to sway the opinions of his superiors, he set to work to assure that the Croatian government asked the right question, and received the answer it needed. (243) (classified data deleted) It was on April 29 that Peter Galbraith recited the words which gave the Iranians and Croatians the green light.

The Question is Posed

By mid-April 1994, Croatian Defense Minister Susak, had apparently prevailed upon President Tudjman to accept weapons from Iran and allow the Iranian arms pipeline to Bosnia to pass through Croatia. In light of what he knew of the mutual antipathy between Iran and the US, as well as past reactions by the US to arms embargo violations, Tudjman proceeded cautiously to seek the US position with regard to such a move. Whether Susak discussed with Tudjman the efforts and willingness of Ambassador Galbraith to arrange for a positive US response on the Iranian arms pipeline is a matter of mere speculation, given the refusal of President Tudjman and Susak to make themselves available to the Select Subcommittee for interviews. Nevertheless, despite a division within his own government regarding the wisdom of working with Iran, President Tudjman decided to pose the question. How that question was asked, how the US developed a response, and how Ambassador Galbraith conveyed that response, as well as the consequences and the confusion that flowed from the decision are discussed in the pages that follow.

The Croatians Test the Waters

In mid-April of 1994, the Croatian officials began again to explore whether or not the US Government would tolerate or approve the shipment of Iranian arms to Croatia and Bosnia. On April 18, 1994, during a meeting with Special Envoy Charles Redman, (classified data deleted) informed Redman that the Bosnians had come to the Croatian Government earlier that day, asking for weapons. (classified data deleted) stated that Croatia remained "oriented toward peace, " and that Croatia hoped for US support for that position. To the US Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Ronald Neitzke, who was in attendance at the meeting, (classified data deleted) remarks evidenced that the Croatians had little appetite for reestablishing a pipeline for arms to Bosnia. He also formed the impression that the Croatians might soon seek more specific guidance from the US on this issue. On April 19, 1994, Neitzke reported on this conversation to the Department of State by cable. (244)

On April 20, 1994, the (classified data deleted) reported to his headquarters that, in the wake of Redman's April 18, 1994 visit, the question of Croatian circumvention of the arms embargo had resurfaced. He recounted Ambassador Galbraith's conversations with him in March 1994 about developing a covert action to let the Croats know the US would look the other way if arms were to transit their territory, stressing that, although he believed Galbraith's plan had "died a deserved death," that belief was apparently premature. He reported that he had been informed by Neitzke that Ambassadors Redman and Galbraith were among those discussing "doing an Afghanistan" in Bosnia to arm the Muslims. Although uncertain about the seriousness of such talk, the (classified data deleted) reported it out of an abundance of caution to keep headquarters informed. (245)

The following day, April 21, 1994, the (classified data deleted) was approached by a (classified data deleted) and was asked what the US position was with respect to the arms embargo and the transhipment of arms through Croatia. The contact expressed his opinion that allowing such transshipments would be a bad idea, possibly leading to renewed fighting between Bosnian Muslims and Croats. The (classified data deleted) further offered to help interdict such arms shipments if the (classified data deleted) could provide information on them.

The (classified data deleted) aware of the US position to date and having watched President Clinton declare publicly on television the previous evening that the US honored the arms embargo, responded to the question by stating that compliance with the arms embargo was US policy. The (classified data deleted) informed Neitzke, who was Charge in the absence of Ambassador Galbraith, of the query from the (classified data deleted) Neitzke sent the Department of State a message on this development in which he referred to a related conversation that (classified data deleted) had with Redman on April 18. He opined that (classified data deleted) had perhaps been too subtle in his approach with Redman, and may have wanted to ask the US more formally to stand with Croatia in rejecting the Bosnian approaches. The Croatians, in his view, clearly intended to stonewall the Bosnians until they received formal clarification of United States support for their inclination to refuse. The cable also informed the Department of State that Iran still loomed most prominently as the likely source of arms. (246) Neitzke sought guidance on the issue.

Croatian government officials continued to test the waters on the Iranian pipeline issue. On April 22, 1994, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Herrick, the Defense Attache to the US Embassy Zagreb, met with Croatian Defense Minister Susak regarding a number of military issues. The meeting was one in a regular series of meetings that the two held to discuss matters of mutual military interest. (classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

On his return to the Embassy, Herrick reported this conversation to Neitzke. Neitzke told him to report the discussion back to Washington, which Herrick promptly did by cable on Monday, April 25, 1994. (247) Herrick showed the cable to Ambassador Galbraith upon the latter's return to Zagreb on April 25 or 26.

Shortly thereafter, Galbraith, Neitzke, Herrick and the (classified data deleted) met to discuss the various Croatian approaches. Galbraith questioned Herrick as to why he responded to Susak as he had. Herrick replied that his response was the US officially stated policy. The Ambassador asked Herrick to set up a meeting between the Ambassador and Susak at which time the same question could be posed. In other words, he told Herrick to get Susak to ask him the question. The (classified data deleted) expressed his opinion during the meeting that anything having to do with Iran was fraught with danger and should be avoided. He urged the Ambassador not to support the Croatian proposal. (248)

On April 27, 1994, Neitzke, Special Envoy Redman and Croatian Foreign Minister Granic met in Zagreb to discuss the Washington Accords and Federation issues. When the discussion on these subjects ended, (classified data deleted) appealed to Neitzke for help in withstanding Iranian pressure to allow the transshipment of Iranian arms to the Bosnian Muslims. Neitzke was also informed that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman would ask Galbraith about the US position on this issue at a meeting the following morning. April 28, 1994. Neitzke remembers Redman being present during this conversation with (classified data deleted) and believes that he should have heard what was said. (249) Nonetheless, Redman has stated in sworn testimony that he was unaware of the Croatian request regarding the transshipment of Iranian arms until his return to Zagreb on April 29, 1994. (250) On his return to the Embassy, Neitzke informed Ambassador Galbraith of his conversation with (classified data deleted) Galbraith seemed unaware that the question was to be posed to him the next morning, and he acted quickly to contact Washington for instructions. Although Galbraith wanted a "nonobjection" instruction, Neitzke made it clear that he did not agree (251)

At the close of business on April 27, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith asked his (classified data deleted) to meet with him in the conference room. During that meeting, Galbraith described a recent meeting with Susak, in which Susak had made the case in favor of the United States' supporting the transshipment of Iranian arms through Croatia. Galbraith told the (classified data deleted) that if (classified data deleted) should raise the arms transshipment issue again, the US position on the arms embargo "is not firm." Since that statement was not consistent with publicly stated US policy, the (classified data deleted) asked Galbraith if he had received instructions to that effect. The Ambassador responded that the matter was under review and that "Washington doesn't know what policy it wants anyway." Without some sort of confirmation of a policy shift or reconsideration, the (classified data deleted) declined, so the Ambassador told him to get (classified data deleted) to ask the question of the Ambassador instead. (252)

The Home Office Fails to Distinguish Itself

As this preliminary sounding out of the US policy was underway in Croatia, Ambassador Galbraith was actively lobbying the Department of State for a response that would signal to the Croatians that the United States had no objection to the proposed Iranian arms pipeline. According to contemporaneous notes taken by Alexander "Sandy" Vershbow, then serving as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, Ambassador Galbraith spoke with him by telephone at the Department of State on either April 25 or April 26 to argue his position. Galbraith told Vershbow that President Tudjman of Croatia would be requesting the United States view on such shipments at an upcoming meeting, that it was an important matter and that he needed instructions from senior levels in Washington. Galbraith explained that the (classified data deleted) and Defense Attache Herrick had told Croatian officials that US policy was to uphold the UN Security Council resolutions and to oppose their violation. Ambassador Galbraith stated that he needed clear guidance on the President's policy and wanted instructions vetted at a high level, such as by the Acting Secretary of State or National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. He wanted those instructions by cable. (253)

In that same telephone conversation, Ambassador Galbraith discussed what he believed to be the pros and cons of the different responses available to the question anticipated from President Tudjman. He warned that UNPROFOR would most likely detect the arms shipment traffic. He also betrayed a strikingly detailed and prophetic knowledge of the details of the Iranian/Croatian plan, remarking that the arms would arrive in unmarked 747 airplanes, the Croatians would take half of the arms for themselves and the other half would go on to the Bosnians. (254) Galbraith characterized the United States' response he advocated as a "wink and nod." (255) He was insistent that he must have Departmental guidance prior to his scheduled meeting with President Tudjman on the morning of April 28.

Vershbow, accepting this deadline, began to regard the issue as "urgent." (256) Accordingly, immediately after this conversation with Galbraith, Vershbow brought the issue to the decision makers on "the Seventh Floor" of the Department, in particular Undersecretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff. Mr. Tarnoff was the Senior Department official responsible for policy with respect to Bosnia. Tarnoff was also the Acting Secretary of State, as Secretary Christopher was traveling in the Middle East and Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott was traveling with President Clinton's entourage to the funeral of former President Richard Nixon in California. On April 27, 1994 Vershbow's notes indicate that he attended a meeting on Bosnian-related issues with Tarnoff. During the course of that meeting. Vershbow received a message from Tom Donilon, the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State advising him not to let too much time elapse before responding to President Tudjman and that there should be " no funny business." (257) Vershbow recollects no further discussion of the Tudjman question during the April 27 meeting.

At the time of the meeting, Donilon was traveling with Secretary Christopher in the Middle East. On the evening of President Richard Nixon's funeral, April 27, 1994, Mr. Donilon was at the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. He had several telephone conversations with Tarnoff that night, serving as Secretary Christopher's "link" back to the State Department. Although Donilon has no present recollection of the "no funny business" remark, he does not question the accuracy of Vershbow's notes indicating that he made it. (258) Tarnoff advised Donilon that the issue raised by Ambassador Galbraith was under consideration, and that there were differing opinions in Washington as to what the response should be. Tarnoff also indicated that he was in contact with Talbott, who was with the President on Air Force One. Donilon informed Secretary Christopher that the issue was being discussed back in the United States, and Secretary Christopher exhibited no memorable response beyond acknowledgment of the information. (259)

Later in the day on April 27, as the discussions continued in Washington, Galbraith called Vershbow, informing him that the meeting with President Tudjman the next morning would begin at 11:30 a.m. Galbraith said something about having or having had lunch with Defense Minister Susak, and Vershbow surmised that Galbraith may have learned of President Tudjman's planned question during such a lunch. Galbraith also reported in the conversation that he had heard from the Croatians that Croatian Prime Minister Valentic was scheduled to depart for Iran on April 29, (classified data deleted) He expressed concern to Vershbow that using the "no instructions" policy may not have the right effect, and that the Croatians might back off from the arms pipeline idea. (260)

Besides speaking with Vershbow, Galbraith made other efforts to advocate his position. He placed a telephone call directly to Undersecretary Tarnoff, which was not returned. (261) He also composed and transmitted a cable to the attention of Secretary Christopher on April 27. (262)

In this April 27 cable, Ambassador Galbraith recommended that President Tudjman be given a "non-responsive" answer that indirectly signaled that the United States wouldn't object to the arms shipments. While acknowledging that the major supplier of arms would be Iran, he argued that a non-response would be better than "no instructions." He argued forcefully that "if we do not object to Croatia's role as a conduit, it is better to signal that now." He repeated his concerns that the Valentic visit to Iran would be hindered, as he believed that the only thing the Iranians wished to discuss with Valentic were the arrangements for the transhipments of arms. Ironically, he suggested that he should also "caution" the Croatians on developing too close of a relationship with Iran. (263)

Ambassador Galbraith also discussed in this cable his understanding of Croatian government views on the Iranian arms issue. He judged that Croatia wanted to act with US approval, and it also wanted to be sure that the US would not act or speak against Croatia if it undertook the role of arms conduit. He acknowledged the differences of opinion within the Croatian government, (classified data deleted) He also argued that stopping the arms pipeline risked repeating a mistake of the past. He specifically argued that the US demarche to Croatia in September 1992 over Iranian arms transhipment had led to the outbreak of war between Bosnians and Croats that fall. His cable once again stressed the urgency of his request. (264)

On the morning of April 28, 1994, Vershbow called Ambassador Galbraith on an open (that is, non-secure) phone line to tell him to convey to President Tudjman in their meeting that he (Galbraith) "really had no instructions." (265) Galbraith was left with the understanding that the issue was still being reviewed and that a decision had not yet been made. He continued to press his arguments with Vershbow, again advocating a "nonresponsive response" that would give President Tudjman a go ahead to cooperate with Iran. Galbraith ventured a political argument for his position, opining that those in Congress who favored lifting the arms embargo would be pleased with his proposed course of action, since it would help the Bosnians. Vershbow's notes also reflect that Ambassador Galbraith said such members of Congress would "be less hot on the issue." (266) Vershbow, during this telephone conversation or another one later that day, indicated his belief that "no instructions" would have the same effect as a non-responsive response. Galbraith argued once again Susak's view that if the Croatians did not cooperate with the pipeline, the Bosnian Muslims would lose their commitment to the Federation. He repeated that cutting off arms flows in 1993 had led to war. (267)

In his telephone conversation with Vershbow, Galbraith expressed his impatience that Washington had not yet made a decision. He was adamant that he did not want to attend a meeting with Tudjman without guidance. Galbraith stated to Vershbow that the United States could handle the matter and provide guidance to the Croatians "without our fingerprints" and that he could say what he wanted to say "less directly." (268)

Later on April 28, 1994 Galbraith attended the much-anticipated meeting with President Tudjman in Zagreb. At the meeting, Galbraith stuck to the guidance he had, such as it was. He informed Tudjman that the United States honors the arms embargo. He further stated that, although his embassy had been aware that the arms issue might be raised and he had sought his instructions from Washington, he had not yet received any. In sum, he told President Tudjman he could not give a direct reply to the question. (269)

President Tudjman advised that he sought US guidance because the Croatian government wanted to act in accordance with US policy, especially in light of the Washington Accords. He was well aware of the West's attitude toward Iran, but described the request as a test of Croatia's good will toward Bosnia. (270)

Following this meeting with President Tudjman, Ambassador Galbraith urgently cabled the Department of State, reporting his conversations and once again advocating a modification of US policy. He reminded Washington of his understanding of US policy ("We have a policy. We obey the embargo and expect other countries to obey Security Council resolutions.") and urged that it be modified to signal to the Croatians that we would not object if they were to serve as the arms conduit to the Muslims. In his desperation, the Ambassador stressed that the Croatians had repeatedly signaled Tudjman's intent to ask the question and the State Department had known so for over a week. (271)

While Galbraith agonized over his failure to receive instructions, Vershbow, Tarnoff and other officials in Washington had not yet reached a decision. Vershbow testified that he and Tarnoff considered only two options available for Galbraith's response: 1) a clear statement that the United States abides by the arms embargo and expects others to do so, or 2) an indication that the US neither endorses nor approves by continuing to say "no instructions." Although they were concerned that Iran would be the principal arms supplier, they felt that having a "neutral stance" was justified in that it opened the arms flow. (272) There was no consideration of an option that might have closed the door on Iranian arms, but left it open regarding more palatable and less dangerous sources.

During these discussions, Vershbow did not share with Tarnoff all of the information he learned from Galbraith. He neglected to mention that Galbraith had advance knowledge of the Iranian intent to ship the arms in unmarked 747 aircraft. He also did not convey that the Croatians would be keeping half of the weapons for themselves. (273)

In the midst of this process, Special Envoy Charles Redman telephoned Vershbow from Bosnia. Vershbow's contemporaneous notes indicate that Redman told him that he (Redman), at the request of President Tudjman, was on his way to Croatia to discuss arms, Iran and other subjects. Redman added that, if he had instructions, he would use them. (274) In closed and public testimony, Redman denied that he knew anything about the Tudjman question regarding the Iranian arms issue prior to his arrival in Zagreb on April 29, 1994. (275) Vershbow's contemporaneous notes cast doubt on the truthfulness of those denials. Vershbow was also told in that April 28 telephone conversation with Redman that (classified data deleted) stated that pending contracts with Iran were being held up by "Bosnia-Iran connivance." Vershbow recalled no greater detail about that portion of the conversation. (276)

The Washington Decision

As Redman traveled to Zagreb, officials in Washington and en route from the Nixon funeral apparently arrived at a decision on how to respond to the Tudjman question. Despite the fact that the Administration has characterized the "no instructions" decision as a "brilliant" stroke of diplomacy, (277) the least "lousy" of all available options and a judgment call which led to the Dayton Peace Accords, (278) the Select Subcommittee's investigation has revealed that those consulted in the decision making process have displayed a curious tendency to minimize their own involvement in the decision, while readily extolling its virtues. To the extent facts and circumstances concerning the decision's genesis have been made available, they can be summarized as follows.

As the Acting Secretary of State, Peter Tarnoff made efforts to keep in touch with Chief of Staff Donilon in Secretary Christopher's party in the Middle East. In addition to talking to Donilon, he also had at least one discussion with Secretary Christopher himself on the issue. During that discussion, Tarnoff and Christopher spoke about three options which Mr. Tarnoff believed were being contemplated on Air Force One by the Presidential advisors: responding with no objection, objecting, on responding with "no instructions." Tarnoff informed Secretary Christopher of a consensus developing among those involved in the process toward "no instructions," and the Secretary seemed comfortable with that development. (279) In addition to Secretary Christopher. Tarnoff discussed the issue with Alexander Vershbow, Tom Donilon and Sandy Berger, the President's Deputy National Security Advisor. (280)

Berger told Tarnoff that the President had made the decision that Ambassador Galbraith was to have no instructions. (281) Tarnoff called Tom Donilon to inform him of the President's decision, and Donilon, in turn, informed Secretary Christopher, who acknowledged Donilon's message and expressed no objection to it. (282) Tarnoff has no recollection of telling Vershbow of the President's decision. (283) Moreover, Tarnoff does not recall how the "no instructions" guidance was conveyed to Galbraith. (284) Vershbow recalls, however, that between April 28 and April 30 he gave Galbraith the "no instructions" position three times, and believes that Tarnoff probably directed him to make these calls. (285)

The decision was purportedly taken to President Clinton while he was aboard Air Force One returning from the Nixon funeral in California. Deputy Secretary Talbott and National Security Advisor Lake, who were accompanying the President, first discussed the options privately. Talbott also recalls being in touch with Tarnoff by telephone from the plane. It is his recollection that he and Lake concluded that the "no instructions" response was the best option and should be the recommendation to the President. Talbott did not speak with the President about this matter. Lake then went to the President's compartment to discuss the matter. He returned shortly and advised Talbott that the President approved the "no instructions" option. (286)

President Clinton has not publicly acknowledged or claimed that he personally made the decision to issue the "no instructions" guidance to Ambassador Galbraith. In a letter dated May 15, 1996 to Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, the President characterized the decision by saying "we chose not to take a position with respect to Croatia's permitting arms shipments to Bosnia across its territory. I believe that my Administration made the correct decision at the time . . ." (287) The Select Subcommittee's ability to determine precisely what was presented to the President during his discussion with Lake (and his responses to such information) has been hindered by the refusal of the White House Counsel to permit Lake to respond to questions regarding his conversations with the President, as well as, the refusal of White House counsel to permit Lake's testimony to be taken under oath.

The evidence available with respect to the decision making process reveals that the President was almost certainly not provided with relevant, highly sensitive, and controversial information important to the decision he was being asked to make. The details of the arms delivery plans known to Ambassador Galbraith and conveyed to Vershbow were not passed on to Tarnoff, and consequently not to Lake, Berger or the President. Tarnoff, Talbott, Berger and Lake were unaware, at that time, of the discussions Galbraith had prior to April 1994 regarding his proposed plan to signal the Croatians that the United States would look the other way if it acted as an arms conduit, or that Galbraith had suggested that the Iranians might be used as a source of the smuggled arms. (288)

Determining precisely what information and arguments were considered in the decision-making process has, of necessity, been dependent upon the recollections of the US officials involved, many of whom were reluctant or outright refused to share the details of the statements by and between officials. Moreover, no written position papers, decision memoranda or other written analysis were prepared for the President or, his advisors. Nonetheless, a few conclusions about the discussions are clear. Tarnoff has testified that the "consensus" reached in the process was that the Iranians already had a presence in the Balkans and that the "no instructions" message would not lead to a significant increase in Iranian presence or influence. (289) This consensus prediction proved to be woefully inaccurate. (290) Galbraith and Vershbow shared the hope that Croatia would accede to the pressure to allow the pipeline even though the NATO allies would discover the arms flow, and despite the fact that some members of the Croatian government opposed it. (291) Whether other relevant United States officials felt the same way or were advised at all of the split in the Croatian Government is unknown, given the information made available. Lake and Berger were unaware of that split. (292)

Vershbow and Tarnoff never discussed with Galbraith the type of arms which the Iranians anticipated shipping through the pipeline, nor did they discuss with him how such an arms flow could be controlled, so as to prevent chemical weapons or other undesirable arms from entering the Bosnian theatre. (293) There is no evidence that this aspect of the decision was discussed with or between higher level officials.

Undersecretary Tarnoff's recollection indicates that, during the decision-making process, there was no discussion by officials of the impact of the "no instructions" solution upon the United States policy toward Iran, (294) and there was no consideration that the "no instructions" guidance could send Iran the wrong message about US attitudes or policy. (295) Vershbow was aware at the time he participated in the discussions that the Iranian agenda was to gain greater influence, promote Islamic fundamentalism and support anti-Western aims. The US policy widely understood in the Administration at that time, was to isolate Iran, economically, militarily, and politically. (296)

Exactly Where We Want to Be

On April 29, 1994, Special Envoy Charles Redman arrived in Zagreb, Croatia to find Ambassador Galbraith still impatiently awaiting a response from the Department of State which he would feel comfortable conveying to President Tudjman. Redman has testified that he traveled to Zagreb on that date to brief President Tudjman on Contact Group issues, and had been advised by Galbraith by telephone that he (Redman) needed to be briefed on something prior to the meeting with President Tudjman. Ambassador Galbraith provided no details as to the subject matter, out of concern that the telephone call may have been monitored by the Croatians. (297)

Redman and Galbraith met at the Ambassador's residence. Redman recalls being briefed on the Tudjman question and has testified that he could not see how the appropriate answer could be anything other than "no instructions." It was clear to him, however, that Ambassador Galbraith wanted further instructions from Washington. (298) Ambassador Galbraith asked Defense Attache Richard Herrick, who was present at the Ambassador's residence that evening, to place a telephone call to Jenonne Walker of the National Security Council (NSC) ostensibly to discuss the Council's assistance in getting a demolition team to Croatia to assist with an ordinance issue. After placing the call, Herrick turned the telephone over to Ambassador Galbraith. Herrick's recollection of the remainder of the telephone call is that Ambassador Galbraith spoke with Jenonne Walker regarding the military demolition team issue and the Iranian arms question. Herrick recalls that Redman then spoke with Walker, although he did not overhear that conversation. (299)

Redman, in his deposition testimony before the Select Subcommittee stated that Galbraith spoke with Walker during that telephone conversation regarding the Tudjman question and received the "no instructions" instruction. Redman acknowledges that he then got on the line to speak with Walker, but only about Contact Group issues. (300)

At the time of the above referenced telephone discussion, Jenonne Walker served on the staff of the National Security Council as the Senior Director for Europe. In the Spring of 1994, the countries which had constituted the former Yugoslavia (including Croatia and Bosnia) were the responsibility of the European Directorate. (301) In that capacity, her duties included a coordinating role, such as chairing interagency committees, as well as the preparation of papers on various subjects for the President, reflecting the positions of the involved agencies. (302) Prior to her service in that position, Walker had served as a CIA analyst, an assistant to CIA Director William Colby, an assistant to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a member of the Policy Planning Staff during the Carter Administration and as Director of the Office of UN and European Arms Control during the second term of the Reagan Administration. (303) She left the NSC at the beginning of July, 1994, to prepare for her current position as US Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Galbraith, Redman and Walker have given conflicting statements or testimony as to the content of the April 29, 1994 telephone conversation. As noted earlier, Redman has testified he did not discuss the Tudjman question with Walker. When Galbraith was talking to Walker, Redman could not hear Walker's side of the telephone discussion. Galbraith told Redman, after the call's completion, that Walker said that Anthony Lake had given the "no instructions" instruction with a smile and raised eyebrows. (304)

Galbraith, in describing the content of the telephone conversation, has also stated that Walker advised him that Lake's instructions to him were to say that he had no instructions, but that Lake had said this "with raised eyebrows and a smile." (305)

Walker's recollection of the telephone conversation with Galbraith and Redman is that it occurred after she became aware that Galbraith had received the "no instructions" guidance, and after President Tudjman had first posed the question. She also recalls her discussion of the Tudjman question to be an "add-on" to a conversation she had in a regular series of conversations with Redman regarding Bosnian issues. Typically in these calls, Redman would discuss his thoughts and observations regarding the Bosnian Civil War negotiations and check the "mood music" in Washington, that is, what the policy makers in Washington were thinking. (306)

Walker recollects that Redman informed her during the call from Zagreb that Galbraith had received instructions from the Department of State which both "surprised and troubled" Redman and Galbraith. Redman then put Galbraith on the telephone. Galbraith told her that State had instructed him to respond to President Tudjman's question about the US position on the transshipment of Iranian arms to Bosnia through Croatia by saying that the US was going to comply with the arms embargo on Bosnia and that the United State assumed Croatia would also comply. Galbraith expressed his belief that such a response would reflect a change in US policy, and that the response would cause problems related to the newly created Federation. (307)

Walker told Galbraith that it was her understanding at the time that Galbraith was to respond to the Tudjman question by advising that the US would comply with the embargo, but that Galbraith had no instructions as to Croatia. (308) Given the discrepancy, she took up the matter with Anthony Lake. Lake told Walker to tell Ambassador Galbraith that he would be receiving the "no instructions" instruction. Although she has no specific recollection of passing this information on to Galbraith, Walker doubts that she said that Lake had smiled and raised his eyebrows when conveying the "no instructions" message to her, as that is not something Lake would do or something that she would say. She also believes she did not indicate in that conversation that the no instructions matter had been decided in a meeting with the President, as she was never a party to any presidential discussions on the issue. (309) She also does not recall discussing ordinance demolition issues with either Redman or Galbraith.

Following the telephone conversation with Walker, Galbraith's mood and approach changed as he and Redman prepared for the dinner meeting scheduled for that evening with President Tudjman. Ambassador Galbraith rehearsed a number of embellishments of the simple "no instructions," and he decided that he would try to explain the response to Tudjman by saying, "Pay attention to what I don't say as well as what I do say. I am not saying yes or no." Redman and Galbraith believed that they could not say "no" because that response would hurt the Federation, and that they could not say "yes" because of the embargo. Galbraith was satisfied with his guidance from Walker and his planned embellishment as the two of them departed for the Tudjman dinner. (310)

The dinner meeting on the evening of April 29, 1994 was held at the Presidential Palace in Zagreb. As expected, President Tudjman asked the US position on the transhipment of Iranian and other arms to Bosnia. According to Galbraith, (classified data deleted) Galbraith has stated that in reply to Tudjman's question and remarks, he stated that his statement from the day before still stood. Galbraith said he had no instructions from Washington on the issue, and urged President Tudjman to focus not only on what he had said, but also on what he had not said. (311)

President Tudjman was apparently still, confused. He pulled Redman aside and asked again. Redman responded by telling President Tudjman, "It's your decision. We don't want to be in a position of saying no." (312) Following this exchange, President Tudjman seemed satisfied with the answer and as later events confirm, the Croatian Government concluded that the United States had given its approval to the Iranian arms conduit. Redman fully expected that, after hearing what he and Galbraith had said, the Croatians would go ahead with the arms pipeline. (313)

After the meeting and dinner at the Presidential Palace, Galbraith and Redman discussed whether to report on the conversation by cable. Redman suggested that, because he was traveling back to Washington the following day, he could convey the events orally, in person, to National Security Advisor Lake. (314) One of Redman's objectives in reporting back to the National Security Council on the events was to make sure that officials back in Washington understood that the arms pipeline would most probably open.

On his arrival in Washington, Redman met with Lake and brought him up to date on the Contact Group and the April 29 Tudjman meeting. According to testimony provided to the Select Subcommittee by Redman, Lake was not surprised about the meeting and indicated that he understood the results of the exchange. He expressed no reservations about what had been said, and posed no questions to Redman about it. Lake made it clear to Redman that the President had been involved in the decision and had himself personally decided on the response to Tudjman. Lake also informed Redman that there was no need to report in writing on the April 29 conversation with Tudjman. (315) Anthony Lake, when interviewed by the Select Subcommittee, stated that he vaguely recollected meeting with Redman on this matter. Although Redman has testified that Lake showed no surprise when told what Galbraith and Redman said to Tudjman, Lake opined that he has a memory of vigorously stating to all within earshot within a week of the Nixon funeral that "no instructions means to instructions." He offered during his interview that the response may have been made after Redman told him about the comments to Tudjman. (316) On or about May 2, 1994, Redman told Ambassador Galbraith by telephone of Lake's direction not to report in writing on the issue. (317)

On April 30, 1994, the day after the dinner meeting with President Tudjman, press reports indicated that Croatian Prime Minister Valentic and the Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister Bukvic had arrived in Iran separately on April 29, 1994. (classified data deleted) Galbraith had known in advance of the Valentic trip and was concerned that if the US did not clearly get its "non-objection" across to the Croatians regarding the Iranian arms pipeline, the trip could be canceled. (318) (classified data deleted) (319)

On May 1, the Secretary's Morning Summary mentioned the press reports of more economic cooperation between Croatia, Iran and Bosnia, commenting that this cooperation would strengthen the Federation, but also give Iran a greater foothold in the former Yugoslavia. (320) (classified data deleted)

By this time, it was becoming obvious that the response to the Tudjman question had avoided Galbraith's fears of derailing the Croatia-Iran arms pipeline and the economic deal between those countries. The pipeline was open. In the words of Alexander Vershbow to Ambassador Galbraith on May 5, 1994, " You and Chuck have taken it exactly where we want to be." (321)

Mine Shaft Canary

A period of confusion, second thoughts and miscommunication regarding the wisdom and execution of the "no instructions" instructions began on Monday, May 2, 1994. As noted earlier, it was on May 2 that Redman informed Ambassador Galbraith that he had spoken with National Security Advisor Lake and that Lake had said that there was no need to report in writing on the April 29 meeting with President Tudjman. Both Redman and Galbraith have stated they believe that Lake was satisfied with the manner in which the "no instructions" message was conveyed. Ambassador Galbraith expressed through his actions and words in the next few days no reluctance to assure that the Iranian arms pipeline would become operational.

Also on May 2, Ambassador Galbraith met with the his (classified data deleted) and instructed him to use his (classified data deleted) to advise the Croatians that it was US policy to have no position as to the enforcement of the UN arms embargo. He explained to the (classified data deleted) that he and Redman had already conveyed the "no instructions" message to President Tudjman on instructions from Washington. The (classified data deleted) asked Ambassador Galbraith if the response given would not send the message to the Croatians that they could go forward with bringing Iranian weaponry into the area. Galbraith said that Washington was aware of this and that he had done all that he could to let the Croatians know that the United States would look the other way, without actually saying so. (322)

Disturbed by this unusual and potentially dangerous shift in policy, the (classified data deleted) asked to see the Ambassador's instructions. When Ambassador Galbraith said his instructions came telephonically from the National Security Council, the (classified data deleted) replied that he would need guidance from his headquarters before he could use the (classified data deleted) to convey such a message to the Croatians, since such an action might be considered a covert action. Galbraith became angry and "ordered" the (classified data deleted) to convey the message. Again, the (classified data deleted) refused to act as directed, stressing the need for guidance given the legal and oversight issues. (323)

The agitated Ambassador questioned what right the (classified data deleted) had to block the policy of the President. The (classified data deleted) responded that he was not attempting to block policy, but that he needed to see some sort of written instructions from the President or at least consult his headquarters first. Galbraith continued his argument with the (classified data deleted) by declaring that "Tony Lake" had wanted to know why the (classified data deleted) and Defense Attache Herrick had told the (classified data deleted) and Susak respectively that the US policy was still to enforce the UN arms embargo. The (classified data deleted) replied with a number of reasons, among them the fact that President Clinton had reaffirmed that policy in a statement on April 20, 1994. Frustrated by his inability to change the (classified data deleted) mind, Galbraith ended the conversation. (324)

Shortly after this discussion, Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke informed the (classified data deleted) that Galbraith had never actually spoken to Anthony Lake, and that he (Neitzke) had advised Galbraith not to push the "policy line." Neitzke also characterized the Ambassador as being in a "Capitol Hill mode," making policy, cutting deals and maybe getting out ahead of Washington on this policy issue. (325) Subsequent discussions with Neitzke revealed to the (classified data deleted) that, as of May 4, 1994, the Embassy had still not received any written guidance on the Iranian arms issue. Neitzke also expressed his understanding that the failure to issue written instructions had been deliberate for reasons of establishing deniability.

On May 4, 1994, disturbed by the dangers of the Iranian green light decision, and concerned as to whether it truly was the US policy, the (classified data deleted) sought guidance from his headquarters in a cable which summarized his conversations of May 2 with the Ambassador. With the memory of the Iran-Contra scandal still fresh (classified data deleted) wisely and fortunately began to function, (classified data deleted) as a "mine shaft canary," assuring that activities and events were carefully documented in this sensitive area of quasi-covert activity. (326) On May 5, 1994, the (classified data deleted) was advised that he should continue to refrain from using his (classified data deleted) to influence Croatian policy towards embargo busting unless he was specifically instructed otherwise. He was further commended with a "well done" and advised that perhaps a telephone call from Woolsey to Lake was in order. (327)

On that same date, May 5, 1994, the (classified data deleted) raised with Ambassador Galbraith, the issue of his request to use (classified data deleted) and invited him to send a message to (classified data deleted) about it. The Ambassador indicated that the communication through (classified data deleted) would no longer be necessary, as the "ball is rolling." He also stated that he saw no need for him to send a message on the matter to (classified data deleted) The (classified data deleted) also met with Neitzke on that day, and Neitzke filled him in on his understanding of the events of April 29 at the Presidential Palace. He related that Galbraith had been told to tell Tudjman that he had no instructions regarding the enforcement of Croatian compliance with the arms embargo and to "smile when he said it." (328) Neitzke added that after the Ambassador conveyed this remark, President Tudjman still missed the point and went for a walk with Redman. Redman then told Tudjman that the United States did not want to be put in the position of having to say "No" on the issue. According to Neitzke's version, all concerned understood that the arms shipments were to come from Middle Eastern countries, principally Iran. (329)

During that same discussion, Neitzke informed the (classified data deleted) that it was his further understanding that Galbraith had been told by the National Security Council that reports of the Tudjman discussion were not to be put on paper and that the Ambassador's job would be imperilled or forfeit if it was. Sensing the irregularity of the situation, Neitzke had urged the Ambassador to write a memorandum on the incident for the Ambassador's protection. To Neitzke's knowledge, the Ambassador had not yet done so as of May 5. The (classified data deleted) asked Neitzke why, if the policy was defensible as a means of helping the Bosnian Muslims, it should not be put in writing. Neitzke's understanding, based on his conversations with the Ambassador, was that either those involved in the decision had failed to fully coordinate with their superiors or did not wish for the incident to be the subject of coordination with the Department of Defense or CIA. Throughout this May 5 discussion, Neitzke was very concerned and anxious that if any of this information got out to the national security community, the "White House" would "have their heads." (classified data deleted) expressed support for Neitzke's plan to push Galbraith to write a memorandum. Despite Neitzke's misgivings about sharing these events and concerns with other government agencies, (classified data deleted) reported on his May 5 discussions with Galbraith and Neitzke to his headquarters. (330)

Ambassador Galbraith began to share the concerns of Neitzke and (classified data deleted) He spoke by telephone with Sandy Vershbow at least once, maybe twice on May 5, 1994. Although Vershbow and Galbraith denied during the course of the Select Subcommittee's investigation that Vershbow rebuked, reprimanded or criticized Galbraith for his conduct in the "no instruction" exchange, evidence of Galbraith's contemporary reaction to his discussions with Vershbow and other State officials establishes that he was verbally chastised for his conduct. (331) As late as July of 1994, Galbraith was still angry over having had his "knuckles rapped" by State and having been called on the carpet for his conduct in giving the "no instructions" message. (332) Galbraith claims that on May 5, he informed Vershbow of the content of his and Redman's statements to Tudjman, and that Vershbow told him that "you and Chuck have taken it exactly where we want to be," adding that "at the highest level we do not wish to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and the Croatians." (333) Galbraith's later actions reveal that the conversation with Vershbow was not as reassuring as he now portrays it.

Later that evening on May 5, 1994, after a meeting at his residence with Defense Attache Herrick, Neitzke and General George Joulwan (Commander-in- Chief of the US European Command), Ambassador Galbraith asked Herrick to take him back to the Embassy for purposes of making a secure phone call. Galbraith got through to Washington shortly after midnight, Zagreb time. The available evidence suggests that he spoke with Jenonne Walker at the NSC. Herrick overheard him asking whether his response to Tudjman was proper policy. He mentioned the rebuke he received from Vershbow and commented that, as an Ambassador, he worked for the President, not the Department of State. Galbraith repeated that he had given the Croatians a wink and a nod at the direction of the NSC and that Redman had done a good deal more than that. He asked whether the US was ready to back him and Croatia on this issue. Herrick also heard Galbraith state during the call that the (classified data deleted) and Herrick had reported on the issue, and there was no guarantee that it would not get out. (334)

Having been advised of the previous month's unusual events in Zagreb, officials (classified data deleted) were not at all certain that Ambassador Galbraith's activities had been properly coordinated or were talking the United States anywhere near it wanted or ought to be. On May 5, 1994, (classified data deleted) Headquarters advised the (classified data deleted) to continue to resist Galbraith's request to the use the (classified data deleted) (classified data deleted) officials (classified data deleted) arranged to have R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence, raise the events in Zagreb with Secretary of State Warren Christopher at a meeting on May 5, 1994.

The conversation at the May 5 meeting has been the subject of slightly conflicting testimony, as have been the recollections of the participants as to the reasons for the meeting, and the impressions it left. It is undisputed, however, that Woolsey and Deputy Director for Intelligence Doug MacEachin were present at the meeting for the CIA, and that Secretary Christopher, Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott and Ambassador Phil Wilcox of the Department of State also attended. The recollection of the CIA participants, assisted by a memorandum for the record the CIA notetaker prepared immediately after the meeting, (335) is that Woolsey raised the issue by describing the reports from the (classified data deleted) that Ambassador Galbraith was urging him to use (classified data deleted) to the Croatian government that the US would look the other way from Croatian transshipments of arms from Iran to Bosnia. Woolsey informed the attendees that he had also given this information to National Security Advisor Lake

Secretary Christopher said nothing in response. Talbott replied that he had been called by Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger after Woolsey's call to Lake. He then informed Woolsey of the situation in Zagreb from the perspective of the Department of State. Talbott said that Galbraith had been told twice (once before his meeting with Tudjman and once after) that he had " no instructions" as to Tudjman's question. After his first meeting with Tudjman, Galbraith contacted the Department of State and requested more in the way of instructions, seeking something on the order of an "amber light." Talbott indicated to the attendees that Galbraith had been told "rather tartly" that he should stick to his "no instructions" statement with nothing more. He had been told that he was not to hint at having any "wiggle room." Talbott further commented that Galbraith was apparently not absorbing the message and would be informed again so he could not misunderstand. Woolsey was not informed of any change in United States policy during the meeting, and left with the impression that no such policy change had occurred. (336)

Talbott recalls the conversation essentially as does Woolsey, and has testified publicly that, in his view, the "no instructions" message to Ambassador Galbraith had not been a "change in policy," hence there was no discussion of such a change at the meeting. He did not at the time appreciate the "disconnect" in his communications with Woolsey. (337)

Doug MacEachin, who served as the CIA notetaker at the meeting described the discussion in these terms:

O ur Ambassador is asking our (classified data deleted) to take an active step to permit an arms shipment that we -- that I go to meetings on, that we are supposed to be against. What's going on here? . . . and that's the way I heard Woolsey present it, saying you know, is your ambassador being too ambitious, or has there been a change? And Talbott said . . . I've checked everything that he has been told and it's unambiguous. He has been told "no instructions," he is not to indicate any wiggle room . . . . He apparently hasn't gotten the message and we are going to give him the message again. (338)

When leaving the meeting, Ambassador Wilcox stated that Ambassador Galbraith was (or was going to be) in trouble with his "boss." (339)

The events at the May 5, 1994 Woolsey-Talbott meeting were conveyed to the (classified data deleted) by cable on May 6, 1994. He was further advised that there had been no change in US policy, and that (classified data deleted) would advise the (classified data deleted) if and when, any such change occurred. (340) The cable by which he received this information also commended the (classified data deleted) for his excellent judgment under intense pressure and for having kept headquarters well-advised of events. (341)

In Zagreb, the Woolsey-Talbott meeting had an unsettling impact on Ambassador Galbraith and Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke. On May 6, 1994, Deputy Secretary Talbott spoke with Galbraith by telephone. Three versions of this telephone conversation have been given during the course of this investigation. Galbraith set forth one version of the conversation in an almost contemporaneous written memorandum he prepared on May 6, 1994. (342) Talbott testified regarding the conversation, both publicly and in closed session. Moreover, contemporaneous notes taken by Sandy Vershbow of a conversation between Talbott and Vershbow contain another version of the Talbott-Galbraith discussion. (343) From the aforementioned sources, it appears that the substance of the conversation between Talbott and Galbraith was as follows.

Mr. Talbott, after his meeting with Woolsey, had a concern that "something more than and other than no instructions was being transmitted." (344) As a result of the uncertainty over the policy, he had a concern that the right signal had not been sent to the Croatians. He telephoned Ambassador Galbraith on May 6 to try to address that concern. During the discussion, Galbraith informed Talbott of the instructions he had received from Jenonne Walker, and the remark about Tony Lake smiling and raising his eyebrow. Talbott informed him that his instructions on the Tudjman question had been "no instructions" and that the Administration did not want word to get out that the US had given "a green or amber light" to the Croatians. Galbraith recounted exactly what he and Redman had said to President Tudjman on the issue, and explained that anything short of a statement that the Croatians should not facilitate the Iranian arms flow would be understood as a "green light" from the United States. (345) He informed Talbott that the Croatians, if cornered, would put out the word that we had given a green light, especially since the arms traffic would be picked up by NATO and UNPROFOR. Galbraith also noted that the Croatians would view this new statement of position in the context of the interception of the 1992 Iran Air shipment and the seizure of a Croatian vessel smuggling arms just a few weeks earlier. (346)

Ambassador Galbraith recalls Talbott stating in the telephone conversation that the United States wanted to do nothing that would undermine the "fragile" Muslim-Croat Federation, but it also did not want to be seen as undermining the arms embargo. Talbott told Galbraith that he was doing an excellent job, and that he had carried the messages on the issue with great skill given the confusion in Washington. Talbott opined that the "home office had not distinguished itself." Talbott was also curious as to whether the United States could "walk this situation back." By this statement, Talbott now claims that he meant "walking it back would mean make sure that the Croatians aren't reading more into this than we are saying." (347) Galbraith replied that to do so would be almost impossible unless the US wanted to cut off the flow of arms. When Galbraith said that he had been told not to report on the Tudjman exchange and asked if Talbott wanted a written report, Talbott said, "Yes," but he should not send one unless contacted by Vershbow or Assistant Secretary Oxman. (348)

Ambassador Galbraith, troubled by his telephone conversation with Talbott, approached the (classified data deleted) on that same date. He asked the (classified data deleted) what "exactly" he had shared with (classified data deleted) on the Iranian arms issue. The (classified data deleted) replied that he had reported Galbraith's request that he use the (classified data deleted) to convey the "no instructions" message. Ambassador Galbraith was very curious about the language used and any knowledge that the (classified data deleted) had about the May 5 meeting between Talbott and Woolsey. Galbraith stated that Talbott had contacted him to tell him that Woolsey stated that he thought, based on the (classified data deleted) information, that the "high sign" for the Iranian arms pipeline was given by Galbraith and Redman. The (classified data deleted) replied that he told his headquarters about the "no instructions" message and how, in combination with intelligence available, it amounted to a "go-ahead." Galbraith acknowledged the truth of this statement. (349)

The (classified data deleted) reminded Ambassador Galbraith that this confusion was part of the danger of pushing an uncoordinated policy line and the consequence of not informing the (classified data deleted) of what was going on. He brought to the attention of the Ambassador a recent tasking request from the Department of Defense on May 5 seeking information on Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia and what could be done to stop them. (350) The Ambassador characterized this request as the Department of Defense just trying to find out what was going on, and the (classified data deleted) readily agreed, noting that the Defense officials ought to be informed as to this issue. (351)

The two discussed the fact that foreign and allied intelligence sources were taking an interest in the Iranian-Croat deal, and the (classified data deleted) predicted that any decent foreign intelligence service would be able to "walk this issue back," given the unreliability of the players. Ambassador Galbraith ventured his opinion that this issue was not as serious a matter politically as Iran-Contra. The (classified data deleted) answered that, if this were so, why had no written instructions been provided? He further urged Galbraith to create a memorandum of his conversations about his instructions, for his own protection. (352)

Ambassador Galbraith took to heart the advice of Neitzke and the (classified data deleted) On May 6, 1994 he created a written memorandum for record, setting forth his version of the discussions with President Tudjman, NSC officials, State Department officials and Redman. His secretary, Charlotte Stottman, typed the memorandum, and it was signed and dated by Galbraith, and by Neitzke, as a witness. (353) After the document was signed in front of Stottman, she sealed it in an envelope and locked it in the Ambassador's safe. The Ambassador told Stottman that the memorandum was for his own protection because of events which had taken place where he had received instructions over the telephone from Washington. The memorandum would serve as his proof of the events which occurred. The memorandum remained in the safe until Captain David Wesley, working for the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, asked to have it read to him in the winter of 1994-1995. (354)

"Hunker Down"

May 6, 1994 was also a day of worry and second thoughts about the Iranian green light in Washington, D.C. Deputy Secretary Talbott and Vershbow discussed Talbott's conversation with Ambassador Galbraith. Talbott recounted his directive to Galbraith to "walk it back" if he could to "no instructions" only. He pointed out that Galbraith had received mixed signals, hearing both that Washington had not made a decision and that he had no instructions. Talbott worried that the US needed to "get the right signal on the record," but that it might be too difficult to do so. In evaluating the available courses of action, Talbott stated that perhaps they would have to "hunker down" and let things stay as they were. Talbott told Vershbow that he had decided that, if anything were put in writing, there should be only one copy. Talbott feared that public disclosure of what had happened would create serious difficulty with the United States' allies. (355)

On May 6 or May 7, Talbott and Vershbow discussed the rapidly growing concerns at the National Security Council about the "no instructions" events. Talbott reported that he had met with Deputy National Security Advisor Berger. Berger, on the subject of the "no instructions" events, stated that he thought it would be "dynamite to do a record," meaning that there should be no paper trail. (356) In his remarks to Vershbow, Talbott also made reference to Jenonne Walker's being disciplined. (357) Although Walker, when Interviewed by the Select Subcommittee Staff, denied having been disciplined or criticized by any of her superiors at the NSC, she did reveal that when she approached Berger with a request from Ambassador Galbraith that he receive his instructions in writing, Berger replied with words to the effect of "Dammit, Jenonnel Shut up! He is not going to get his instruction in writing, he has his instructions." (358) Contrary to later public and private contentions that the, Iranian green light policy was a sound and well executed, the doubts and near panic regarding its wisdom and impact were very much in evidence in May 1994.

The panic was also growing in Zagreb. On May 6 or May 7, Neitzke spoke with the (classified data deleted) about his concerns over recent events. Neitzke told the (classified data deleted) that Galbraith had talked to Talbott on May 6 and that the Washington officials were now denying that they ever intended to indicate acquiescence to the Iranian-Croatian dealings. They also reportedly could not believe that the Croatians so indiscreetly allowed so many Iranian deliveries so quickly. Neitzke felt that the Ambassador was worried about being made a scapegoat for the green light decision. Galbraith spent a good portion of May 6 on the secure phone with Redman and Washington. (359)

Within the next week on May 12, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith sought the (classified data deleted) view on the (classified data deleted) understanding of the US policy on Iranian arms transhipments. He was especially interested in anything that the (classified data deleted) might know about the discussions between Woolsey and Lake on the issue. The (classified data deleted) advised Galbraith that he had heard nothing new. Galbraith also stated that he had received a phone call from a reporter regarding Iranian arms on May 11, but that he had responded with a "no comment." (360) On that same day, Neitzke told the (classified data deleted) that Galbraith had received an apology from the NSC for being left out on a limb, and that policy was, indeed, the wink and nod approach. (361) Defense Attache Herrick also advised the (classified data deleted) that he was receiving numerous calls from the Department of Defense on the Iranian arms issue, and that the Department of Defense was in the dark, wondering what was going on. (362) From the vantage point of Zagreb, there appeared to be confusion among the departments in Washington on this new policy, and a lingering fear in the Embassy that Washington might disavow the Ambassador's activity.

The Iranians and Croatians had wasted little time in turning on the arms pipeline. As the Embassy Zagreb Public Affairs officer would later testify, the sudden and open presence of Iranian arms flights was quite "provocative." (363) (classified data deleted)

Western journalists noted the sudden appearance of Iranian aircraft in Croatia. (364) On May 25, after seeing one newspaper story in the Washington Post concerning Iranian arms shipment to Croatia, Fred Baron, a US Representative to the UN Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 724 (1991) Concerning Yugoslavia, suggested at a meeting of the Committee that the Committee should look into the alleged violations of the arms embargo by Iran. (365) Clearly the US representatives serving on various UN bodies concerned with arms embargo issues were not advised of the Iranian green light policy. Fortunately in light of the potential for embarrassment, Secretary Ngobi of the Committee advised that he had already sent letters to the Governments of Croatia and Bosnia asking them to investigate the story, as well as a letter requesting a response from Iran. The US was spared the ordeal of being exposed as a hypocrite. (366)

A UN Sanctions Committee team traveled to Zagreb in May 1994 to investigate the delivery of Iranian arms through Croatia. The British had expressed concern about these arms embargo violations. In late May of 1994, Ambassador Galbraith informed the (classified data deleted) that the investigation had been inconclusive. (367) It is readily apparent that Galbraith had not gone out of his way to assist the visiting UN investigators.

In addition to the CIA and the United Nations, the Department of Defense, then involved in the interdiction of arms embargo violators, was not informed of the US tolerance or complicity in the Iranian arms pipeline, let alone the Iranian green light policy decision. As of May 5, 1994, the Secretary of Defense had requested that the CIA provide information relative to the clandestine arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims. (368) As noted earlier, as of May 12, 1994, Defense Attache Herrick was also receiving inquiries from the Department of Defense Iranian arms shipments. (369)

Department of Defense interest in the issue reached a crescendo on approximately May 13, 1994. On the eve of a "Principals Meeting" (370) in Washington, the Defense Attache's Office in Zagreb was contacted with frantic calls from the Pentagon seeking information on the Iranian arms flow for use in briefing Secretary William Perry. As Herrick was absent from the Embassy at the time, his assistant sought advice on how to respond from the (classified data deleted) The (classified data deleted) advised him to wait for Herrick's return. Ambassador Galbraith asked the (classified data deleted) what the (classified data deleted) instructions were on responding to the requests for information. The (classified data deleted) responded that he was not to get involved in the matter or raise it in his (classified data deleted) Galbraith commented that the Department of Defense should get "on board," and added that he was covered on the issue, as he was following instructions from the White House. (371) Neitzke, upon learning of the Pentagon inquiries, expressed his desire to talk to Herrick before he communicated anything back to the Pentagon. (372) Evidence further suggests that upon Herrick's return to the Embassy, Galbraith told him not to respond to inquiries from Washington on the Iranian arms issue beyond references to press or intelligence reports already available. (373)

The suspicions of the Ambassador, the (classified data deleted) and Neitzke that the Department of Defense had not been advised of the Iranian green light policy, provoked anxious discussion on July 21, 1994 regarding an imminent visit to Croatia by Secretary Perry. Ambassador Galbraith asked the (classified data deleted) whether or not Croatian Prime Minister Valentic (a significant figure in the Iran-Croatia relationship) should be invited to have lunch with Secretary Perry. The (classified data deleted) ventured his opinion that to do so could create an awkward situation if, as they all suspected, Secretary Perry had not been informed of the Iranian green light/no instructions decision. The Ambassador wanted to discuss the matter further in the Secure Conference room at the Embassy. In that discussion, Galbraith stated that he was tired of the CIA and Department of Defense running a separate foreign policy from that of the Department of State, the NSC and "probably" that of the President on the Iranian arms issue. The (classified data deleted) disagreed with Galbraith and pointed out that the Director of Central Intelligence had been personally told by the Department of State that the "wink and nod" was not US policy. (374)

Galbraith asked the (classified data deleted) whether he thought Secretary Perry might raise the Iranian arms issue. The (classified data deleted) said that he could not speak for the Secretary of Defense and opined that Galbraith was probably better placed to guess what might have been happening back in Washington. Galbraith responded that he thought he knew what went on, and that he, in any event, had acted on instructions. The discussion then turned to the subject of the Ambassador's concern that Croatian Defense Minister Susak might raise the issue with Secretary Perry, and how Susak might react if the Secretary told him that the arms embargo remained in force. The (classified data deleted) replied that although Susak would be confused, he would probably continue the Iranian shipments. Defense Attache Herrick had the final word on the issue, when asked if there was "angst" at the Department of Defense over the issue and whether Galbraith should raise it with Secretary Perry. Herrick replied that the level of concern at the Department varied. Herrick also advised against Galbraith raising the issue with Secretary Perry, warning that it might open up "Pandora's Box." (375)

Unbeknownst to the participants in this meeting, Secretary Perry had already flipped open the proverbial lid on Pandora's Box, only to have it slammed shut by Anthony Lake. In June of 1994, Secretary Perry met with Lake, asking for clarification regarding why the US had not taken action to block the Iranian arms shipments to Croatia. According to a Department of Defense official, Lake replied that he was tired of hearing about the issue and that the shipments would be permitted to continue. Secretary Perry was upset about the situation and Lake's response. (376)

Others in high positions at the Department of Defense were also in the dark about the green light. From April 1994 to June 1996, General Wesley Clark served as the J-5, that is, as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. As the J-5, General Clark was the staff officer who advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on US military policies worldwide. In April and May of 1994, General Clark was neither consulted nor informed of the Iranian green light decision. Although aware in May of 1994 that there was an influx of arms into Bosnia, he did not know the reason for it or that the US was involved with it. His understanding was that US policy was to enforce the UN arms embargo, and he regularly saw reports indicating that the embargo was, in fact, being enforced. (377)

As the summer of 1994 wore on, it became more and more apparent to Ambassador Galbraith, Mr. Neitzke and the (classified data deleted) that the list of those unaware of the Iranian green light was lengthy and troubling. Through all of Galbraith's display of bravado, he and Neitzke became increasingly dismayed at the prospect of being hung out to dry if and when the misguided decision was exposed. Throughout the summer, Galbraith probed visitors and officials for information on the issue.

On a June 1, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith quizzed the (classified data deleted) regarding a recent meeting (classified data deleted) had with the (classified data deleted) Galbraith tried, without success, to get an acknowledgment of CIA involvement in the Iranian arms situation. (378) On that same date, Neitzke spoke with the (classified data deleted) about his perception that Galbraith was sitting on "the horns of a dilemma." Neitzke was concerned that, because Galbraith was without written instructions, Washington would hang him out to dry. He speculated that Charles Redman and Jenonne Walker would be in the same unpleasant predicament. (379) The (classified data deleted) speculated it appeared possible that the instructions had been an NSC directive without the Department of State's knowledge and that no one at State was willing to stand up for Galbraith. (380)

Ambassador Galbraith's search for clues about the Washington scene continued on (classified data deleted) Galbraith questioned a visiting team of intelligence analysts from the Balkan Task Force regarding their knowledge of the Iranian arms issue. He specifically asked if they had seen anything to indicate that there was a US government connection to the Iranian arms flow. The analysis responded that they had not seen anything definitive on a US role. (381)

Later in July of 1994, Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke visited Washington. After his return to Zagreb, he met with Ambassador Galbraith and the (classified data deleted) for the purpose of receiving an intelligence report on the latest Iranian arms deliveries to Croatia. Neitzke shared his observations on what various Washington officials knew about the decision to look the other way with regard to the Iranian arms shipments. Neitzke expressed his clear impression that the Department of Defense and the CIA had no knowledge of the policy on the Iranian arms. He was even doubtful whether the State Department was on board, declaring, "You could not find two people at State who have the same idea as to our policy in the region much less on Iranian arms." (382)

Neitzke continued in this vein, stating that it was his understanding that the issue of whether Iranian weapons deliveries to Croatia should be tacitly allowed had been raised by Secretary Christopher with Anthony Lake. Neitzke had heard that Christopher was equivocal on the issue and told Lake that he might go along if nothing was put in writing. Upon hearing this, Galbraith remarked that the scenario didn't explain why he had his "knuckles rapped" by the State Department on this issue. Neitzke responded that there was inconsistent knowledge of the policy at the State Department and that Deputy Secretary Talbott is clearly not completely "in the loop." Galbraith continued to obsess about the reprimand he received in May. He maintained that despite Neitzke's analysis he couldn't understand being called on the carpet. Neitzke agreed that the reprimand was difficult to explain since Jenonne Walker had told Galbraith and Neitzke that Lake had cleared the policy with the President. Neitzke further commented that Charles Redman's "key" role in the Iranian arms issue was not widely recognized in Washington. (383)

By August 2, 1994, Neitzke's thinking on the Iranian Green Light events and the implications thereof had evolved to a sense of dread. He sought information from the (classified data deleted) as to the terrorist threat to Americans citizens posed by the aftermath of the decision. His disillusion with the frightening growth of Iranian presence in Croatia and the strange lack of appreciation for the consequences of the decision in Washington led him to seriously consider sending a "dissent cable" on the issue. (384) He was, in many respects, a worried man. As events would have it he was not alone. He soon had plenty of company in Washington and abroad

"Walk it Back"

There is substantial evidence indicating that beginning within weeks, if not days, of Galbraith's response to President Tudjman US government officials began to have second thoughts about the decision to signal a green light to the Iranian arms shipments. Other officials, unaware of Galbraith's response or that the US had been consulted on the issue, noticed the flow of Iranian arms and personnel, and were ready to shut it down. Between early May 1994 and the effective date of the Nunn-Mitchell legislation in November 1994, the Administration had several opportunities to halt or mitigate the Iranian arms flow and failed to take advantage of them. By September 1994, some leaders of the Bosnian Muslims, the very people that the Clinton Administration hoped to assist through the Iranian arms pipeline, asked US officials to find a way to arm them that did not involve the Iranians. The Administration did nothing, though, to staunch the growth of Iranian influence.

Information regarding the Iranian arms shipments and the consequences of those shipments was frequently included in the Secretary's Morning Summary prepared by the Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis (INR) at the Department of State. When the pipeline opened, the Morning Summary for May 14, 1994 commented that, "Though there seems little doubt that regular arms-supply flights to Croatia are under way, it is not clear how long they can be kept from becoming public knowledge or prompting reaction from the international community." (385) (classified data deleted) On the eve of an important Principals Meeting on May 20, the Secretary's Morning Summary reported that:

The Croatians are serving as hustling middlemen in a long-term arms-supply operation that gives Croatia a stake in the ongoing Bosnian conflict, encourages closer Croatian-Iranian ties, and provides an incentive to sneer at sanctions. (386)

(classified data deleted)

Against this backdrop, a Principals' Meeting was conducted on or about May 20, 1994. A "pre-brief" meeting was held beforehand, attended by Secretary Christopher, Charles Redman, and Tom Donilon. Christopher expressed concern about the "winking and nodding" that had gone on (or was going on) regarding the flow of arms from Iran to Bosnia, and the participants discussed the pros and cons of the matter. (387) The issue of the Iranian arms shipments to Croatia and Bosnia did come up at the Principals' Meeting. Some participants argued that the US should go to the Croatian government and tell them to stop the Iranian shipments. (388) To the recollection of Anthony Lake, present at the meeting, no one discussed the "no instructions" decision. (389) The contemporaneous notes of Jenonne Walker reflect that someone (the NSC has refused to disclose to the Subcommittee the person's identity) said that the President knew that the arms flow was happening and that the US was not taking any position with respect to it. (390) Lake recalls informing the other participants that to take action on the Iranian arms shipments would require taking the issue to the President. No one suggested that the matter be reviewed with President Clinton. (391)

As of May 24, 1994, the interest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in shutting down the Iranian arms flights was strong. Colonel Donald K. Herrick, assigned to the NSC, reported to Jenonne Walker on that date that during a "Bosnia teleconference" the Joint Staff suggested that something be done about the Iranian arms flights taking place. He informed Walker that he told the Joint Chiefs that the US would probably not push the issue at the time. (392)

Great Britain was alarmed about the Iranian arms shipments in May 1994 and was willing to join the US in taking action to intercept or halt such shipments. The British concern with the Iranian arms deliveries was entirely reasonable, given the significant number of British soldiers on the ground in war-tom Bosnia as part of UNPROFOR. (393) The British were very interested in keeping even small arms from reaching the warring factions in Bosnia, as those weapons were the source of numerous British and French casualties. (394) An American soldier serving with UNPROFOR, Lieutenant Colonel John Sray, shared the British alarm. As the S-2 (Intelligence) officer assigned to UNPROFOR Commander General Michael Rose's staff, Colonel Sray was well placed to observe the effects of the Iranian arms pipeline in increasing the fighting. (395)

On May 27, 1994 the British embassy in Washington sent a letter to Secretary Christopher, care of the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In that letter, (classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted) She recounted the fact that before the Croatians agreed to allow the Iranian shipment several of their officials asked for the US reaction to the proposal, and observed that "the Croats surely now think we approved of the arms deal as long as it remained plausibly deniable." (396)

On June 3, 1994, James Bevan, the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington, also informed Colonel Kerrick of the NSC of Foreign Minister Hurd's intention to raise the issue of the Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia with Secretary Christopher. Bevan expressed concern because the British did not want to see Iran gain the influence and access in Bosnia which would create a hostile Muslim nation, and because the Iranian arms placed British soldiers in danger. Moreover, the British worried that the West and the US would lose credibility as far as enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions was concerned if the arms were allowed to flow. He alerted Kerrick to the fact that the British intended to ask the US to join with them in pressing Croatia to stop the shipments. Significantly, Bevan indicated that the British were willing to consider the lifting of the arms embargo (a lifting which the British has previously opposed) if the peace process was unsuccessful. (397) General Kerrick's memorandum reflects that it was intended to be passed on to Anthony Lake and Sandy Berger. (398)

The Select Subcommittee has been provided with no information regarding whether or not Secretary Christopher discussed the Iranian arms flow with Foreign Secretary Hurd. It can be inferred from subsequent events that the Clinton Administration was not candid with the British on this issue, as the British continued to press the United States to take action regarding the Iranian arms pipeline. In early July of 1994, Kerrick received a cable which emphasized the British "fear" of "creeping fundamentalism" in Bosnia stemming from the Iranian influence. Kerrick passed this cable on to Vershbow, who had left the Department of State at the end of June 1994 and assumed Jenonne Walker's position at the NSC. Vershbow recalls taking no action as to the British concerns and doesn't believe the British complained at a high enough level for the US to consider reacting to their concerns. (399)

(classified data deleted)

In addition to the risks to intelligence activity, the Clinton Administration's efforts to keep the green light policy secret resulted in US government officials in the region, who had and overriding "need to know," being kept ignorant. The US Ambassador to Serbia was not informed of the decision, nor was the US Ambassador to Bosnia, the very country to which the arms were being funneled. (400) Moreover, the US Ambassador to NATO was unaware of the Iranian Green Light, and was under the impression throughout 1994 that the US policy was to respect the UN arms embargo and expect other countries to do so as well. (401) Given the potential for Serb retaliation against American interests or personnel if the Serbs regarded the US as co-belligerents with the Croatians or Bosnians, this secrecy, born of fear of embarrassment or detection was reckless.

Opportunities to "walk it back," that is, to dilute or eliminate Iranian influence continued to present themselves to US officials. The Croatians and the Bosnians both expressed concerns and reservations about the dominant role played by the Iranians as the main supplier of weaponry. (classified data deleted)

In August of 1994, General Wesley Clark visited Bosnia on behalf of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine Bosnian military needs if the UN arms embargo were lifted. During the course of a series of discussions with Bosnian officials, General Clark met with Bosnian President Izetbegovic and Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic. Izetbegovic asked Clark whether the US would " covertly assist" the Bosnians by authorizing Slovenia to release two thousand tons of weaponry the Slovenians were detaining. General Clark stated that he would pass on the Bosnian request to his superiors. He did so, informing General Shalikashvilli. Shalikashvilli directed General Clark to take the matter to Deputy National Security Advisor Berger at the White House. General Clark met with Berger personally and put nothing in writing about the request. Although General Clark was never specifically advised of the US response, he later saw a letter from Sven Alkalai, the Bosnian Ambassador to the United States which led him to believe that the US had denied the Bosnian request. (402) Berger, when questioned by the Select Subcommittee staff regarding the Bosnian request for Slovenian arms, had no recollection of the request or its ultimate disposition. (403)

Bosnian and Croatian interest in obtaining weapons from sources other than Iran and stemming the growth of Iranian influence in the region continued into the fall of 1994. According to Ambassador Galbraith, Defense Minister Susak informed him at lunch on September 5, 1994 that he preferred a covert program for providing arms to Croatia and Bosnia to a lifting of the UN arms embargo. Moreover, Susak contended that he knew of other countries that were willing to help if the US would provide "a signal." Galbraith claims to have pointed out that the US could neither violate the arms embargo nor actively cooperate in its violation. At the same time he believed Susak understood the US would not actively stop others from violating it. (404)

Richard Holbrooke became the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs in September of 1994. A firm believer in taking action, he plunged into the morass of Balkan politics with a vengeance. During an early fact-finding trip to Croatia, he learned of the Iranian green light incident from Ambassador Galbraith. (405) Holbrooke, in his previous position as Ambassador to Germany, had been aware that Iranian and other arms were flowing into Croatia and Bosnia, so he asked Galbraith what the US knew and was doing about it. Galbraith told Holbrooke that in April of 1994 that either Tudjman or Susak (Holbrooke's present memory is uncertain) called him in and told him Iran wanted to ship arms through Croatia to the Bosnians and asked what US policy was on this issue. Galbraith said he had called the White House (Holbrooke understood him to say that he had talked with Tony Lake), and was told to say he had no instructions, no position. Galbraith said he did exactly that and that someone at the NSC told him not to report back by normal channels. (406)

After hearing Galbraith's account, Holbrooke was highly concerned about the role of Iran in Bosnia and the Balkans. This remained the case through the time of negotiating the Dayton Accords when he was adamant in seeking assurances that the Iranians would be required to leave Bosnia. (407)

To Holbrooke's credit, he began working on ideas to eliminate or dilute the Iranian dominance of the arms flow to Bosnia in September 1994. Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic, for all his earlier willingness to accept arms from any country that would provide them, had changed his tune by the fall of 1994. According to Holbrooke, Silajdzic made a point of telling American policy- makers at every opportunity that the Iranian arms pipeline was a "very risky thing because it would increase Iranian influence." (408) In September of 1994, Holbrooke met with Silajdzic in New York City where Silajdzic floated a plan that would diminish the Bosnian Government's dependence on Iran. (409) (classified data deleted) Holbrooke liked the idea and supported it, in no small measure because it reduced the Bosnians dependency on Iran. Holbrooke discussed it with Secretary Christopher, who Holbrooke believes, Christopher obtained a legal opinion on the proposal. (410)

A few days following the meeting in New York, Silajdzic met in Washington with Holbrooke, and Lake. Holbrooke believes that Lake heard part, but not all, of Silajdzic's proposal before Lake was called out to a meeting with President Clinton. The proposal went nowhere in Washington and despite Holbrooke's advocacy, it was rejected for policy rather than legal reasons. (411)

The Bosnians remained interested in alternatives to the Iranian arms pipeline even after November 1994 and the Nunn-Mitchell Amendment. Ambassador Galbraith's assistance was sought on November 23, 1994 in yet another effort to secure the release of Bosnian-bound weapons that had been seized by the Slovenes. Although asked to intervene with the Slovenes, Galbraith said nothing to the Bosnians, noting in his memoirs that "any comment would be seen as us working to undermine the embargo" and could jeopardize the way in which the Bosnians received "real quantities" of weaponry, presumably from the Iranians. (412)

As 1994 was coming to a close, the Iranian arms pipeline continued to flow, and Iranian influence continued to increase. A disillusioned Prime Minister Silajdzic dined with Galbraith on December 16, 1994. (classified data deleted) As Holbrooke never told Silajdzic that his proposal for reducing Iranian influence had been rejected by the Administration, Silajdzic was unaware that his lunch partner on that December day was truly far more to blame for Iran's running amok in Bosnia than was Holbrooke. (413)




Assistance to Arms Convoy

Among the issues which the Select Subcommittee examined in the course of its investigation was the question of whether or not US officials knowingly assisted the passage of convoys containing weapons from Croatia to Bosnia in violation of the UN arms embargo. Press reports had identified one specific allegation of such assistance, purportedly involving intervention by US Special Envoy Charles Redman to secure the release of a convoy containing Iranian weapons detained by the Croatians on or about May 13, 1994. (414) Information developed in several depositions, the interview of Anthony Harrington of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, and from relevant written records, allowed the Subcommittee to determine the facts as follows.

US officials at the embassy in Zagreb were actively involved in efforts to expedite and facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid to the Bosnian Muslims from Croatia throughout 1993 and 1994. (415) In 1994, although many of the convoys traveling from Croatia to Bosnia legitimately carried nothing but humanitarian aid. (classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted) Ambassador Turkovic attempted to convince the US Ambassador to Bosnia, Victor Jackovich, to join her in the convoy. Ambassador Jackovich declined the invitation, determining that it was an odd request and also a matter occurring outside his jurisdiction as Ambassador. (416) (classified data deleted)

On May 13, 1994, Turkovic placed a telephone call to Ambassador Galbraith, seeking his assistance in getting the Croatians to release the convoy. (417) Galbraith gave her a noncommittal response because he believed that the convoy contained weaponry and he did not want to be involved in facilitating its passage. (418) Galbraith's belief that the convoy contained arms was based either upon conversations he had with news reporters or upon intelligence information. (419)

Unsuccessful in obtaining Galbraith's assistance, Turkovic called Special Envoy Redman for his help. He was, at the time, in Vienna negotiating with Bosnian and Croatian officials regarding various issues. Redman often intervened in order to help relief convoys cross the border, but when questioned during the investigation regarding the Turkovic convoy he had no recollection of assisting in securing its release. (420) According to (classified data deleted) traveling with Redman at the time, the detained convoy was a sticking point in the negotiations between the Muslims and the Croatians. Redman acted as if he were interested in resolving the dispute but (classified data deleted) has no firsthand knowledge that Redman acted to free the convoy. (421) (classified data deleted) however, had no knowledge that weapons were in the convoy, nor any indication that Redman had such knowledge.

The Turkovic convoy was released by the Croatians and the circumstantial, but logical conclusion is that the release was the result of intercession by Redman. (422) Although Galbraith and the (classified data deleted) clearly had suspicions that arms were probably in the Turkovic convoy, there is no evidence to suggest that Redman or (classified data deleted) had such suspicions. In fact, while the convoy was detained, the (classified data deleted) did not contact (classified data deleted) to inform her of the convoy's suspicious content. (423) The Select Subcommittee also encountered no proof that Galbraith informed Redman of his knowledge or suspicion that arms were contained in the convoy.

Apparently, Redman unknowingly intervened in a transaction which violated the UN arms embargo. His intervention was not atypical, however, because Clinton Administration officials regularly intervened to facilitate the passage of convoys to Bosnia which they believed contained humanitarian aid without consistently making efforts to ascertain whether those convoys also contained weaponry. Hence, after May 1, 1994, US officials may have routinely (albeit unwittingly) facilitated the Iranian arms flow to Bosnia. (424)

(classified data deleted) Missile Episode

During the course of the investigation of the evolution and implementation of the Clinton Administration's Iranian green light policy, the Select Subcommittee examined in detail a troubling incident in 1995 which casts doubt on the Administration's contentions that the "no instructions" instruction involved nothing more than a failure to object to violations of the UN arms embargo. The incident suggests that in this instance, and perhaps in others as well, Ambassador Galbraith may have gone beyond standing mute in the face of embargo violations, and may have actually secretly played a direct role in violating the embargo.

In September 1995, Croatian officials intercepted six crates of (classified data deleted) missiles from Iran that, after being dropped off by an unmarked airplane that was said to carry only humanitarian aid, were en route to Bosnia across Croatian territory. (425) The land-to-land missiles carried one warhead each (but not, it was later learned, chemical weapons), and were designed to be fired from a stand-alone missile launcher. (426) The weaponry, like the aircraft that delivered it, did not bear any marking that would identify their source, but that type of missile is known to be of Iranian manufacture. (427)

Croatian officials informed US officials of the suspicious missiles' capture and requested guidance from the United States. (428) In particular, the Croatians were concerned that the missiles might carry chemical weapons. US officials inspected the arms, which were being detained at Pula. (classified data deleted) A second inspection (classified data deleted) resulted in positive identification of the weapons. (429) (classified data deleted)

This much is certain. What is less clear is, among other things, why the Croatians, knowing that the United States did not "want to be in a position of saying no" as to arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims from other nations, (430) sought US guidance in the first place, and why the Croatian government ultimately decided to release the shipment of missiles. On these important matters, the testimony of the US officials involved is in conflict.

According to General Wesley Clark, who was serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, the interception of the missiles was brought to the attention of the US in a meeting in Zagreb between Croatian President Tudjman and Special Envoy Holbrooke. (431) At that meeting, Foreign Minister Susak informed Holbrooke that the Iranian weapons had been captured and were being detained by the Croatian government. Susak asked Holbrooke to send a team of US experts to inspect the missiles. Holbrooke tasked Clark, who was in attendance at the meeting, with handling the matter. Clark, in turn, asked Lieutenant Colonel John Sadler, the Defense Attache for the US Embassy in Zagreb, to examine the missiles, at which point Clark's involvement ended. Clark stated that the only purpose for the Croatian request was to determine whether or not the missiles were carrying chemical weapons, and specifically denied that Susak was asking the United States whether or not the government should allow the missiles to pass. (432)

Clark's testimony as to the purpose of the Croatian request was contradicted by Sadler. Sadler indicated that Susak contacted Ambassador Galbraith about the (classified data deleted) missiles and asked Galbraith to have the missiles investigated. (433) Galbraith told Sadler to examine the missiles. Sadler complied and reported his findings to the Department of Defense for analysis. (434) When the experts were unable to identify the missiles based on Sadler's description, the (classified data deleted) asked Sadler to make a second trip to Pula, this time with a (classified data deleted) weapons expert. Galbraith approved the second inspection, and it was conducted six days after the initial examination. The results of the second examination were forwarded to the Department of Defense a couple of days later. (435)

Later in the month of September, during a meeting with Sadler, Susak asked questions about the missile shipment that suggests that the Croatians were holding the missiles pending instructions from the US as to what to do with them. Sadler testified that Susak said, "I'm getting a lot of pressure from the Bosnians to let these missiles into the country, into Bosnia." (436) Susak then pointedly asked, "What should I do (437)?" Sadler responded that he could not comment on that issue.

Ambassador Galbraith gave a similar account. He stated that although Susak was concerned that the missiles might contain chemical weapons, he was asking more of the United States than simply to determine the nature of the missiles. Galbraith understood that Susak was asking the US government for permission to let the convoy of missiles proceed into Bosnia. (438) Consistent with the green light policy he had championed to his superiors, Galbraith testified that the arms shipment "was a Croatian and Bosnian operation" and "wasn't one for us to monitor or control." (439)

(classified data deleted)

These facts, taken as a whole, suggest that Ambassador Galbraith was doing more than simply saying he had "no instructions" concerning Iranian arms shipments through Croatia in violation of the Bosnian arms embargo. The picture that emerges, instead, is that Galbraith may have played an active role in managing and controlling the transshipment of arms. The Croatian government was formally instructed two years earlier, in April 1994, that the US did not " want to be in a position of saying no" to such arms shipments. (440) During the two years that had since elapsed, Iranian arms had steadily poured across Croatia and into Bosnia, without any protest by the Administration.

In light of these facts, it is somewhat surprising that Croatian officials asked the US government in the fall of 1995 whether they should permit the missiles to continue into Bosnia. If Galbraith is to be believed, they should have known that the answer they would have gotten would have been "I have no instructions, pay attention to what I'm not saying" - that is, a "wink and a nod," - and the Croatians would be left to decide for themselves what to do. Of course, all agree that the Croatians were concerned that the (classified data deleted) missiles might carry chemical weapons and that they wanted US weapons experts to see whether they had chemical capabilities. Even so, the clear preponderance of the evidence, including testimony from Galbraith himself, shows that the Croatians wanted more than simple advice on whether the missiles carried chemical weapons. What they ultimately wanted to know, as Susak asked Sadler, was what they should do with the Iranian missiles. (441)

The (classified data deleted) testimony provides a ready and plausible explanation for why, after two years of the green light, the Croatians would ask the question: They were looking for US permission to turn back the missiles. Even though the Croatians were receiving a share of the arms transferred to Bosnia, it clearly was not in their self-interest to allow Bosnia to develop military capabilities that rivaled Croatia's. The Federation might not last forever, and the Croatians had good reason to think that they might someday be at war with Bosnia. The Croatians thus were reluctant to allow the sophisticated Iranian missiles to pass into Bosnian hands. They ultimately did so, however, because "Galbraith told us to release" them. (442)

Tudjman's statement that Galbraith had directed the release of the missiles was confirmed by a statement of Susak from the previous year, which was memorialized in a (classified data deleted) The clear suggestion was that US involvement consisted of more than mere passive acquiescence in the release of the (classified data deleted) missiles into Bosnia.

There is additional evidence supporting the inference that Galbraith did more than simply manage the flow of arms through the Iranian-Bosnia pipeline; it would appear that he took affirmative steps to ensure that the pipeline remained open. (classified data deleted) Galbraith's response was not that it was for Croatia to decide for itself whether to accept further transshipments of Iranian arms. To the contrary, his response was that Croatia could not shut down the pipeline to which the Administration had given the green light. (classified data deleted) The Croatians, Galbraith explained, "are on the hook for it," meaning that they are committed to act as a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia. (443) (classified data deleted)

These facts, taken as a whole, suggest that, on these occasions, Galbraith may well have overstepped the bounds of the no instructions policy. Instead of remaining neutral in third-party violations of the arms embargo, albeit with the expectation that Croatia would transship arms, Galbraith apparently exerted pressure on Croatian officials to violate the embargo. To be sure, it is perhaps possible to reach a different factual conclusion, and there may be facts that are presently unknown which might support a conclusion other than the one the Subcommittee has reached. Nevertheless, based on the facts known to it, it is the conclusion of this Subcommittee that the totality of the evidence suggests that Galbraith may have played an active role in the release of the (classified data deleted) missiles. The (classified data deleted) missile episode also provides at least some reason to believe that, on other occasions as well, Galbraith may have more or less actively managed the flow of Iranian arms and quashed any possibility that Croatia would shut down the Iranian arms pipeline before Bosnia became totally co-opted -- and corrupted -- by Iran.

Tuzia Mystery Flights

The Select Subcommittee encountered in the course of its investigation, allegations in press accounts that United States military personnel and equipment participated in the delivery of weapons and supplies to Bosnian Muslim forces in the vicinity of Tuzla, Bosnia during February of 1995. According to newspaper stories, UN observers claimed to have observed C-130 military transport aircraft operating what they believed to be low-level parachute drops in the Tuzla area on February 10, 12, 17, and 23 of 1995. News reports also indicated Danish and Norwegian troops serving with UNPROFOR in the area claimed to have "heard" C-130 aircraft, seen American military weaponry and packaging, and been fired upon when they attempted to investigate the mysterious flights. In light of NATO denials that any such US or NATO flights were occurring, tensions developed between the UN observers and NATO commanders on the issue. (444)

The Select Subcommittee has attempted to determine the accuracy of these stories and based upon the information made available, has concluded that there is no reliable evidence to support the contention that the US military and US intelligence agencies were involved in what have become colloquially known as the "Tuzla Mystery Flights." The Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency have all independently and exhaustively investigated the allegations. Having reviewed materials obtained from these agencies, the Select Subcommittee agrees with their conclusions that there is no evidence of US government involvement in the incidents. Deposition testimony from other individuals who conducted investigations or inquiries regarding the matter have also supported the results of the aforementioned agency investigations. (445)




Any discussion of the legal constraints on the President's use of covert action must start with the realization that covert action is a legitimate instrument of foreign policy. Covert action, wisely conceived and judiciously executed, can aid the United States in the achievement of its legitimate foreign policy goals and objectives. It is occasionally an indispensable tool, the use of which can effectively advance US interests. Thus, we should not, and do not, start with the proposition that covert action is to be avoided at all costs or should be restricted in ways that make its employment impossible.

At the same time, covert activities, by their very nature, must not be publicly disclosed, at least for some period of time. The planning and execution of these activities are not open for the public to see, to debate, to criticize, or to protest, as are most other governmental activities in this free society. For these and other reasons, the political processes that normally constrain and control exercises of governmental authority do not easily or effectively operate in this sphere. This lack of traditional political and legal oversight is compounded by the wide discretion the Executive Branch enjoys under US law in the foreign policy arena. This decision, coupled with diminished political accountability, leaves an overzealous administration with the ability to pursue policies that are unwise or outright illegal.

Against this backdrop, it is the purpose of this section to address one principal question: Did US officials formulating or executing the green light decision violate any of the laws or circumvent any of the procedures established by Congress and the Executive Branch? In the event US laws were violated, the next question is what action, if any, ought to be taken. If there were no violations of law, we must still consider whether, in light of the facts as they have been uncovered through this investigation, current laws and procedures are adequate to provide sufficient oversight and control of covert activities.

Overview of the Legal Regime Governing Covert Action

A detailed history of the various laws and executive orders governing covert action is not essential to the purpose of this report and, in any event, is readily available elsewhere. (446) At the same time, to determine whether the various actors in the green light affair have complied with both the letter and spirit of applicable laws, it is important to highlight the Congressional concerns that have generated the various legal and procedural restrictions over the years.

A review of the legislative activities in this area reveals that Congress has been most concerned about three particular aspects of covert action. First Congress has sought to ensure that covert action is not carried out by subordinate officials within the Executive Branch operating without adequate coordination among relevant agencies and officials and without supervision by the President and his most senior foreign policy and national security advisers. To eliminate such possibly renegade and generally highly ill-conceived operations, Congress, in cooperation with the Executive Branch, has taken steps to ensure that any possible covert action will be carefully considered at the highest levels of the Executive Branch. Congress has worked closely with the Executive Branch to rationalize the functions and responsibilities of the different intelligence agencies, again for the purpose of ensuring a process of high-level review, analysis and advice to the President regarding any proposed covert activity, and to guarantee advance Presidential approval of any such activities.

Second, Congress has been concerned about the appropriate bounds of such activities. In that regard, it has successfully solicited representations from successive Presidents that certain types of covert activities will not be undertaken as a general rule. The Executive Order generally restricting attempts to assassinate foreign leaders is an example of this kind of undertaking. Congress has also occasionally expressed its concerns in this regard more formally through the legislative process, as, for example, when it prohibited the Executive Branch from using any federal monies to supply arms to the Contras.

Third, Congress has also frequently wondered about the wisdom of proposed covert activities, especially how such activities relate to other stated foreign policy goals and objectives and how such activities advance the national interests of the United States. Accordingly, Congress has provided by statute that " t he President shall ensure that any finding approved pursuant to the Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991 shall be reported to the intelligence committees as soon as possible after such approval and before the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding...," except in certain cases. (447) The statutory exception is rather broad and open ended, to allow the President adequate discretion to conduct foreign affairs within the scope of his constitutional powers. But, at the same time, the statute continues that in those cases in which the President does not give prior notice, he then "shall fully inform the intelligence committees in timely fashion and shall provide a statement of the reasons for not giving prior notice." (448) Whatever may constitute "timely" notification, the congressional concern is clear. Congress wants its leadership informed about clandestine US adventures abroad - before the fact, whenever possible, and shortly thereafter in the few remaining cases. Such notification permits a much more informed, candid dialogue between these two branches of government and significantly increases the ability of Congress to carry out effectively its constitutional responsibilities with respect to these activities.

It is against this backdrop that we must examine the legal requirements in this area. Of particular relevance to the instant inquiry is a single broad inquiry: Did any of the individuals involved in the green light affair engage in unauthorized "covert action?" Under current law, the President cannot authorize a covert action unless: (1) the President has made, in advance, a written finding that the action "is necessary to support identifiable foreign policy objectives of the United States and is important to the national security of the United States," and (2) the President has notified Congress, if at all possible, in advance of the covert activity or, in exceptional cases, soon thereafter. (449) Of course, to determine whether there is covert action, we must examine the legal definition of "covert action."

The current definition of covert action has not been arrived at easily. Interestingly, what is often thought to be the initial legislative authorization for broad-scale covert activities - the National Security Act of 1947 - does not even use the term "covert" in its relevant sections. Instead, the statute merely indicates that it shall be the duty of the "Agency, under the direction of the National Security Council... (5) to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." (450) The National Security Council directive issued in relation to the 1947 Act does refer to covert action in the course of assigning responsibility for coordinating and executing such activity, but provides no clear definition of the phrase. (451)

Definitions did gradually begin to creep into official documents, however. For example, by 1976, Executive Order 11905 contained the following definition of "special activities," a then-convenient euphemism for covert action:

Special activities in support of national foreign policy objectives means activities, other than the collection and production of intelligence and related support functions, designed to further official United States programs and policies abroad which are planned and executed so that the role of the United States Government is not apparent or publicly acknowledged. (452)

Executive Order 12333, issued five years later by President Ronald Reagan, embellishes that definition by enumerating activities that are not to be considered special activities or covert action. These include "diplomatic activities," as well as the "collection and production of intelligence or related support functions." (453)

The exclusion for traditional diplomatic activities is particularly relevant here because some of the participants in the green light affair claim to have done nothing more than engage in the routine conduct of foreign diplomacy. Routine diplomatic activities often occur under some cloak of confidentiality, if not secrecy. Indeed, one of the bedrocks of foreign diplomacy is the belief, often vindicated in practice, that foreign government officials are often more candid than they might otherwise be when they can expect that their conversations with US government officials will be held in confidence.

It was on precisely this point that in 1990 President Bush pocket vetoed the proposed Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991 (S. 2834). In Section 602 of that proposed act, Congress attempted its first legislative definition of covert action.

Covert action was defined under the bill to include, among other things, any "request" by the US that a foreign government or a private citizen take action that would constitute "covert action" if performed by the United States. (454) The Joint Explanatory Statement which accompanied S. 2834 explained that the provision was designed, "to prevent the conduct of a covert action at the specific request of the United States that bypasses the requirement for Administration review, Presidential approval, and consultation with the intelligence committees." (455)

In his Memorandum of Disapproval, the President indicated his belief that the provision "purports to regulate diplomacy by the President and other members of the Executive Branch by forbidding the expression of certain views to foreign governments and private citizens absent compliance with specified procedures." (456) He opined that this provision "could require, in most instances, prior reporting to the Congress of the intent to express those views." This was unacceptable, in his view, because:

... the vagueness of this provision could seriously impair the effective conduct of our Nation's foreign relations. It is unclear exactly what sort of discussions with foreign governments would constitute a reportable "request" under this provision, and the very possibility of a broad construction of this term could have a chilling effect on the ability of our diplomats to conduct highly sensitive discussions concerning projects that are vital to our national security. Furthermore, the mere existence of this provision could deter foreign governments from discussing certain topics with the United States at all. Such a provision could result in frequent and divisive disputes on whether an activity is covered by the definition and whether individuals in the executive branch have complied with a statutory requirement. (457)

As the President made clear in that same Memorandum, however, his disagreement with Congress was largely over the vagueness of the definition, not the substance of the provision. He went on to note:

. . . O bjections to this provision should not be misinterpreted to mean that executive branch officials can somehow conduct activities otherwise prohibited by law or Executive order. Quite the contrary. It remains Administration policy that our intelligence services will not ask third parties to carry out activities that they are themselves forbidden to undertake under Executive Order No. 12333 on U.S. intelligence activities. (458)

To allay Congressional concerns, moreover, he explicitly indicated that he had "directed that the notice to the Congress of covert actions indicate whether a foreign government will participate significantly."

That the President and Congress were in basic agreement regarding prior policy and practice was also made clear by a letter to the President from the chairmen of both the Senate and the House intelligence committees, dated November 29, 1990. In the letter, they explained to the President that the provision was not intended as a departure from prior practice, but rather as an attempt to codify what they believed was a pre-existing mutual understanding regarding the requirements that might entail use of foreign governments and non-governmental entities to take covert action on behalf of the US In that letter, the chairmen stated:

Findings have never been required to authorize contacts made by the Government to determine the feasibility of, and to plan for, a covert action prior to seeking the approval of the President. Indeed, it is not the intent of this provision to preclude the informal contacts and consultations which would be required prior to the United States officially requesting a third country or private citizen to undertake such activities on its behalf. Only once it had been determined that such assistance was feasible and is made the subject of an official request by the United States Government would the requirement for a finding and reporting to the intelligence committees come into play. That is, indeed, consistent with the understandings that have long existed between the Administration and two committees. (459)

Thus, both chairmen confirmed the intent of Congress merely to codify existing practice, not to create new standards or obligations.

Subsequent negotiations did not bring the two sides any closer to agreement on appropriate language. As the House Report on the subsequent version of the Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991, noted: "Efforts to resolve the President's concern with the definition of covert action in S.2834, and related issues concerning the notification to Congress of covert actions, in a manner satisfactory to the Committee, were unsuccessful." (460) Accordingly, that part of the definition of covert action was dropped from the next version of the bill.

Congress' expectation that it would continue to receive timely notification of any covert activity that the US government requested a third party to execute was in no way diminished by failure to include explicitly this requirement in the definition of covert action. After all, Congress had the President's explicit assurance in this regard. (461) Congress was not content ro rely entirely on the good will of the President, however. Congress included in the new law a requirement that any time the US uses a third party to take covert action, the President must make a specific finding to that effect. The law also makes clear that no finding of the President could "authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States." (462)

Under pre-existing understandings and clear Presidential representations made during the course of the legislative process, it is clear that some requests to foreign governments or third parties to undertake certain actions fall within the purview of the regulations on covert actions, while other discussions with foreign governments presumably do not. The trick, of course, is to decide which is which. At the extremes, it is easy to draw the line between traditional diplomatic activities and covert action. If US government officials are simply told that some government intends to take a certain action and the US has played, or plays in the future, absolutely no further role in the matter, it has not engaged in covert action. If, on the other hand, US government officials instigate, facilitate and otherwise play a significant executory role in the action, even though it is carried out by entities other than the US government, their conduct approaches, if not crosses, the line into covert action.

Application of the Covert Action Law

Successful delineation of this dividing line is no abstract matter in the case at hand because it is precisely the role of US Government officials in their discussions with foreign governments that is at issue. This is made all the more difficult because, on some crucial issues, the evidence in this case conflicts. Depending on the inferences one draws from the evidence, the role of US Government officials may draw closer to or farther away from, the line.

Some of the conduct in the Iranian green light matter clearly does not constitute covert action. Although Ambassador Galbraith may properly be criticized for being somewhat overzealous in his advocacy of the green light policy, and although he may be criticized for pushing the foreign policymaking apparatus to an unduly hurried and ill-considered conclusion, the formulation of the policy does not constitute covert action. Ambassadors are not expected to be mere passive conduits for flows of communications and information between foreign governments and domestic policymakers. It is perfectly legitimate for, and part of the traditional functions of, a diplomat to make recommendations among alternative courses of action. His zeal in advocating giving Iran the green light does not detract from the legitimacy of his championing a particular cause within the corridors of the Executive Branch. Such conduct simply does not fall within the definition of covert action.

Similarly, diplomatic efforts to implement the green light policy do not constitute covert action. Again, the traditional function of a diplomat comes into play. Diplomats traditionally have been responsible for communicating the policies of their governments to representatives of foreign nations, either on their own initiative or upon request from a foreign representative. Even though the policy in this case was, as Ambassador Galbraith described it, to give "a wink and a nod" to Iranian arms transfers in violation of the UN arms embargo, (463) the fact that a communication of policy (as opposed to a request to take action) might be intended or expected to produce action on the part of a third party does not subject the diplomat's activity to scrutiny under US covert action laws. Consequently, telling Croatian officials that US officials had been given no instructions on whether to object to Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims does not constitute covert action.

The Subcommittee's investigation did, however, include allegations that US officials had taken action in support of the Iranian arms pipeline that, in theory at least, could constitute covert action. The allegation is that in May 1994 Special Envoy Redman, at the request of the Bosnian Ambassador to Croatia, pressured the Croatians into releasing a convoy that purportedly carried only humanitarian supplies but that, in actuality, carried some amounts of arms. (464) We find that this activity could constitute covert action if Redman knew that the convoy contained arms, but we find no basis for believing that he had such knowledge. The second allegation of potential covert action was that US officials had airlifted weapons and supplies to Bosnian Muslim forces in Tuzla, Bosnia in February 1995. (465) Like the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, the Subcommittee found no evidence that US officials had any involvement in the so-called "Tuzla Mystery Flights." On each of these allegations, we find no grounds for concluding that US officials engaged in any covert action.

Unfortunately, we are constrained to reach a different conclusion on certain other allegations pertaining to Ambassador Galbraith, based on evidence revealed during this investigation. These allegations relate to the Nazeat missile shipment captured by Croatian officials in September 1995. (466) At the request of Croatian officials, US weapons experts analyzed the Iranian missiles to determine whether they carried chemical weapons. Those missiles were released by Croatia, and the Subcommittee's inquiry on this issue focused primarily on who authorized the missiles to be released. The totality of the available evidence suggests that it may have been Galbraith who instructed the Croatians to release the missiles.

(classified data deleted) Galbraith argued that Susak and the rest of the Croatians were "on the hook" and, therefore, simply could not discontinue serving as a conduit for arms shipments from Iran to Bosnia. (467) In Galbraith's view (classified data deleted) "it was the intent of US policy to facilitate the delivery of Iranian arms to Bosnia ." (468)

Taken as a whole, these facts provide reason to believe that Galbraith may have engaged in an unauthorized covert action with respect to this shipment of missiles. To the extent he affirmatively and knowingly intervened in the shipment of arms to Bosnia, Galbraith may well have crossed the line from merely carrying out the no instructions policy and taken active part in a clear violation of the UN arms embargo. This conduct -- managing the flow of arms -- appears to exceed the bounds of traditional diplomatic activity, a phrase that, as a matter of plain meaning, does not exempt any and all conduct undertaken by a diplomat. If, as it seems, Galbraith funneled the (classified data deleted) missiles into Bosnia, his conduct would appear to fulfill the definition of covert action. That is so because the shipment was done secretly, in a manner that saved the US role from being "apparent" or "publicly acknowledged," and was intended to prop up the Bosnian government and military (thereby influencing "political, economic or military conditions abroad"). (469) Such conduct would be lawful only upon a prior presidential finding and prompt notification of Congress, neither of which occurred here. (470)

In light of these conclusions, the Subcommittee is compelled to recommend to the House International Relations Committee (HIRC) that this Report and the evidentiary materials amassed in the course of this investigation be referred to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action within that Committee's jurisdiction.

Additional Concerns

An Invitation to More Restrictions?

Even if they were lawful under covert action laws, the Administration's actions in the green light affair are inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation in the formation and execution of US policy that should exist, and has previously existed, between the Congress and the Executive Branch. Before the Administration gave Iran the green light, Congress had expressed strong concerns both about the plight of the Bosnian Muslims and about the need to contain Iranian influence around the world. In taking steps that directly exacerbated both these legislative concerns, it is inexcusable that the Administration not only failed to consult with Congress about its major shift in US policy, but affirmatively concealed its misguided green light policy through outright deception of the American people and their representatives in Congress. This was a matter that, either as a matter of law or as a matter of comity, clearly should have been promptly brought to the attention of Congress.

It also appears that the green light policy occurred as a result of a complete breakdown of normal Executive Branch deliberative processes. The policy was hastily adopted without adequate consideration of alternatives due to undocumented, behind-the-scenes machinations of senior diplomatic personnel, activities that circumvented the normal foreign policy decision making process. It, therefore, is open to serious question whether the President enjoyed the benefit of adequate reflection and consideration of this policy and its potential consequences by his senior foreign policy and national security personnel. It is precisely to avoid these kinds of problems in areas such as this, with such potentially explosive consequences, that well-defined processes and procedures have been worked out. Whether or not a legal line was crossed in the haphazard, if not reckless, manner in which the policy was implemented, the American people, to say the least, were not well served in this instance of gross foreign policy mismanagement.

Finally, the wisdom of the Administration's procedures and processes is open to serious question. While it is clear that many in the Congress wanted more arms to flow to the Bosnian Muslims, the Administration repeatedly told Congress and the American public that the Administration could not unilaterally arm the Muslims in the face of the UN Security Council arms embargo and opposition from US allies. To play at least some role in encouraging and facilitating, however obliquely, violations of precisely the standards of international law that the Administration declared itself bound to obey is an exercise in duplicity that, to say the least, cannot be expected to inspire confidence that the Administration is complying with the legal strictures that supposedly govern Administration behavior.

Even more problematically in this case, the supplying country was known to be Iran. US policy to deny Iran the opportunity to expand its economic, military, and political influence in any way could not have been clearer. To find that the Administration was not only tolerating such expansions of Iran's pernicious influence, but, at a minimum, "winking" and "nodding" assent, if not doing more, certainly must give Congress second thoughts about the extent to which the representations of this Administration can be relied upon by lawmakers.

In addition to being ill-advised as a policy matter, the sum of the Administration's actions in this matter seem certain to invite Congress to consider whether more formal restrictions and procedures on the scope of Presidential discretion are warranted. History is a good guide in this respect. When Presidents, in the development and execution for policy, even policy related to America's foreign interests, treat Congress as the adversary, the usual result is ever-increasing restrictions on the procedures and processes by which that policy is formed and executed. An Administration that deals with congressional concerns in such a cavalier and dismissive way leaves Congress little choice but to consider enacting further limitations and restrictions on the discretion of the Executive Branch. Such limitations can be avoided only if Presidents effectively monitor their advisers and themselves engage congressional leadership in an open and frank dialogue on issues that implicate our fundamental national security concerns, such as the US policy to isolate Iran.

Noncooperation in Congressional Investigative Functions

It is worth noting that the problems mentioned above have been exacerbated by the manner in which the Administration has obstructed congressional investigations of its green light policy. We have highlighted at various points in this report actions by the Administration that seem designed not to protect the integrity of the decision-making process or protect confidential communications between US and foreign government officials, but rather merely to discourage the revelation of embarrassing details about a foreign policy process gone amuck. Administration officials, at all levels, seemed less interested in serving the public good than in thwarting it, especially with respect to Congress' attempt to fulfill its constitutionally mandated oversight and investigating responsibilities. Needless to say, such obstructionist tactics by the Administration cannot be condoned.



In the course of its investigation, the Select Subcommittee obtained testimony and information from numerous individuals regarding the matters under investigation. While recognizing that the recollections of witnesses to the same incidents or events may vary on occasion as a result of failure of memory, or differing perceptions, the Select Subcommittee encountered a number of troubling instances where testimony or statements of witnesses was directly contradictory on important matters under investigation. Those contradictions, in some instances, raise the possibility that perjured testimony was provided by witnesses.

The integrity of Congressional investigative authority is adversely affected by perjury, and Congress will encounter tremendous difficulty in carrying out its legislative mandate if false testimony or statements are permitted to obstruct the inquiry. As a result, the Select Subcommittee will set forth the principal instances of conflicting testimony in this chapter, with a view toward identifying with specificity, matters which require investigation by the United States Department of Justice or Independent Counsel.

Conflicting Testimony as to the Content

of the Instructions Given to Ambassador Galbraith

A significant factual issue addressed by the Select Subcommittee in its investigation involved the determination as to what instructions were conveyed to Ambassador Galbraith for use in his diplomatic response to President Tudjman's question regarding the transshipment of Iranian arms. The sworn testimony of Ambassadors Galbraith and Charles Redman varies from the sworn testimony of Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott, former Deputy Assistant Secretary Alexander Vershbow, and Undersecretary Peter Tamoff and the unsworn statements of National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, and former National Security Council official Jenonne Walker on the subject of the content of Galbraith's instructions.

The conflict pertains to a material matter under investigation, and is not easily resolved in light of the fact that the NSC staff declined to provide testimony under oath. The matter would be most appropriately addressed by referral to the US Department of Justice for further investigation.

Conflicting Testimony and Evidence as to Whether Congress

was Informed of the Administration's Iranian Green Light Decision

In the course of its investigation the Select Subcommittee interviewed chairmen and ranking members of various congressional committees with an interest in the subject matter of the Iranian green light decision to determine whether such members were advised by the Administration of Ambassador Galbraith's exchange with President Tudjman and the Administration's decision to give the green light to Iranian arms shipments. With the exception of former Senator Dennis DeConcini, all Members of Congress who responded indicated that they were unaware of the Galbraith exchange or the green light. Moreover, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke testified under oath that the Administration made a conscious decision not to inform Congress of these matters, and, hence, did not do so. As Senator DeConcini's statement to the Select Subcommittee staff are in conflict with both sworn testimony and the vast majority of information available to the Select Subcommittee, further investigation by the Department of Justice of the matter is necessary to determine if any laws have been violated.

Conflicting Testimony and Evidence as to the Availability

of the "Record" Maintained by Peter Galbraith

Ambassador Galbraith made available to the Select Subcommittee, for its review, portions of the written "record" he maintains of his recollections and thoughts on the events of his ambassadorial tour. Charlotte Stottman, his former secretary (who typed the record from his dictation), and Ronald Neitzke, his former Deputy Chief of Mission (who frequently saw him dictating the record), have informed the Subcommittee staff that Galbraith began creating the record in 1993, shortly after his arrival in Croatia. Galbraith has testified that he did not begin to keep the record until November 1994. This conflict must be resolved through an investigation, so as to assure that the Select Subcommittee has been provided with access to all of the document maintained by Galbraith. The withholding of portions could constitute offenses against both the Congress and the Department of State.





The decision "at the highest levels" of the Clinton Administration in April 1994 not "to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and Croatians" (471) removed the only effective external impediment to Iran's hopes to interject itself into the Bosnian conflict and gain its long-sought foothold in Europe. Before then, Iran had achieved limited success in ingratiating itself with the Bosnian government and almost no success in Croatia. With the US giving the green light, however, Iran has had an unprecedented opportunity to advance its influence in the region and develop a European-based infrastructure -- overt and covert -- to spread further its radical political and religious message. As bad as the strategic implications are of nefarious and hostile Iranian activities in Europe, Iran's success at co-opting the Bosnian political leadership and developing agents and mechanisms of political influence has also been a disaster for Bosnia itself. It has corrupted the Bosnian Muslim body politic to a degree that, as yet, is not well understood in the West. Moreover, it has immensely complicated, if not doomed, the process that was to have led to the development of a multi-ethnic, secular Bosnia.

The public statements of Administration officials paint exactly the opposite picture, however.

Ambassador Galbraith testified before the House International Relations Committee that the Iranian presence in Croatia after April 1994 increased "slightly, but not significantly." (472) In the same session, he stated that the Clinton Administration's green light policy "contributed to peace and to the very significant reduction of the Iranian influence." (473)

National Security Advisor Anthony Lake advised the Subcommittee that the Iranian push in the Balkans preceded the green light. "We have no evidence after the 'no instructions' decision that there was a further significant build up of Iran in the area." (474)

Undersecretary of State Peter Tamoff characterized the April 1994 decision as one that would allow "the possibility that Iranian influence or Iranian personnel might marginally increase." (475)

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott assured the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the issue in April 1994 was not "to open a door that had been closed to the Iranians. That door was already open." (476)

Volumes of raw and finished intelligence product, reams of diplomatic cable traffic, and Department of State documentation show these statements to be, at best, uninformed. At worst, they are disingenuous. Moreover, with the passage of each day, the newspapers carry more and more information making it appear that the Administration's expectations for the success of the Dayton Peace Process were unrealistic and that the peace process is unraveling. As the peace process falters, the threat of resurgent Iranian influence in Bosnia -- direct and through ideological surrogates -- grows.

The Bush Administration's Refusal

to Open the Door to the Iranians

What the Iranians accomplished on the watch of the Clinton State Department had been tried before, but was rebuffed by the US in 1992.

In September 1992, almost two years before the Clinton Administration signaled its green light, the Iranians tried for the first time to set themselves up as the Bosnians' most important ally, using Croatia as the middleman. The UN-imposed arms embargo (UN Security Council Resolution 713), which passed in September 1991, had achieved the unintended effect of giving the Bosnian Serbs a military advantage over the Muslims and Croatians. Despite a significant numberical advantage, the Muslim forces were left without a significant source of weaponry and supplies, whereas the Bosnian Serbs were able to get supplies from the neighboring Serb-dominated Yugoslav Army. The Iranians saw this as their opportunity. They could exploit the desperation of the Bosnian Muslims so as to become their main benefactor and buy influence and a friendly beachhead in Europe. The plan would, however, require the cooperation of the Croatian government because Croatia controlled the only safe land routes into Bosnia.

The Bush Administration became aware of the Iranian scheme in August 1992 and put the Croatian government on notice that the US would find such an arrangement highly objectionable. Thus, in September when an Iranian 747 arrived at Zagreb airport, loaded with military equipment and mujahedin from Iran and other Muslim countries, the Croatian government notified the US and worked closely and cooperatively to bring the UN in, seize the weapons, and send the plane and its passengers back to Iran. This decisive action -- this clear "red light" policy -- stymied Iranian plans until the Clinton Administration flashed the green light in April 1994. In the meantime, the Iranians put their designs for a beachhead back on the shelf and contented themselves with small-scale arms smuggling and the incremental expansion of its presence and influence in the region.

Interestingly, Ambassador Galbraith has argued that the Bush Administration's demarche to the Croatian government to stop the establishment of the arms pipeline was a principal cause of the outbreak of the Croat-Muslim war in early 1993. (477) Based on that interpretation, he argued that the Clinton Administration did not want in April 1994 to repeat this error of the past. The premise of the argument -- that the seizure led to Croat-Muslim fighting -- is highly questionable. Ronald Neitzke, Ambassador Galbraith's deputy in 1994 and the US Charge to Zagreb in 1992, when the first incident took place, disagrees with Galbraith's analysis and did so even when Galbraith was citing it in 1994 in an effort to convince Washington of the wisdom of giving the green light. (478) There is also no intelligence linking the demarche and the outbreak of hostilities in 1993. (classified data deleted) the head of the Intergency Balkans Task Force and the US Intelligence Community's senior analyst of the former Yugoslavia, forcefully dissents from Ambassador Galbraith's view, "I have not seen anything that would support that as a rationale for the start of that war." (479)

The Iranian Green Light and the Growth of Iranian Influence

and the Terrorist Threat in Croatia

President Clinton's green light decision threw open the door of Croatia to the Iranians. After the Bush Administration's demarche of September 1992 and into early 1994 the Iranian presence in Croatia was limited and its influence insignificant. It had a "modest" (480) embassy and maintained a small but active intelligence presence. Relations with the Croatians were proper but by no means warm. The Croatians were suspicious of Iran's objectives in the region and were troubled by its efforts to radicalize the local Muslim population and the Bosnian Muslims with whom, for most of this period, the Croatians were fighting.

The green light decision changed the situation in late April 1994 when the US authorized Iran to use Croatia as its forward staging area and depot in the arms supply line into Bosnia.

Within days of the green light, Croatian Prime Minister Nikica Valentic made a highly publicized and friendly visit to Tehran. The US had known of this trip in advance, and it was cited as the basis for the urgency of Ambassador Galbraith's cables to Washington seeking issuance of a green light instruction. In his message to Secretary Christopher on April 27, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith expressed concern that "if we frown on their the Croatians' role in supplying the Muslims, this trip may be canceled." (481) The green light was given despite the US's often-stated and steadfastly defended policy of isolating Iran diplomatically, economically, and politically. (482) As a result, Valentic traveled to Tehran where the press reported his joint pronouncements of cooperation with Iranian President Rafsanjani and the successful negotiation of several wide-ranging bilateral economic agreements. (classified data deleted) Additionally, the two countries set up an agenda for concluding three-way economic agreements including Bosnia.

(classified data deleted) Apparently, the green light from the US was all they were waiting for. A few days later, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati reciprocated Valentic's visit by going to Zagreb. There, they agreed to expand areas of cooperation and, as reported in the press consulted on establishing tripartite cooperation arrangements with Bosnia.

In subsequent years, the trade between Croatia and Iran would work significantly to Iran's advantage, particularly because of its hard currency problems (classified data deleted)

The significance of the Zagreb-Tehran agreements in opening up the Balkans to Iran was not missed by political and intelligence analysts within the Department of State. The Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), on May 1, 1994, just four days after the President's green light decision, wrote that the agreements "will give Iran a greater foothold in the former Yugoslavia." (483) Thirty days later, another State Department analysis concluded, "Iran sees this as an opportunity to win converts for Islamic fundamentalism and establish a foothold for a base of operations in Europe." (484) And just two months after the green light decision, the Secretary of State's "Morning Summary" included the assessment that Croatian and Iranian bilateral relations had "rebounded" and noted, as an aside, that the Croatian foreign ministry believed the US "tacitly approves" of Croatia's role as a centerpiece of the Iranian pipeline. The Summary concluded that under the circumstances the "lure of close relations with Iran will be hard to resist." (485) On the ground in Croatia, the effect was also clear. US Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke noted:

In the summer of 1993 . . . . the Iranian presence in Zagreb had been extremely limited . . . . It grew rather dynamically in the aftermath of Croatia's agreeing to transship lots of arms to Bosnia in April 1994 such that by the late fall of '94 relations were clearly booming between Croatia and Iran. We had to drive by their Embassy all the time. We could see the antennas sprouting, more Mercedes plates, and from "intel" sources we were aware that they were a great deal more active. They had more diplomats around town. (486)

(classified data deleted) This did not include Iranian flight crews, "passengers," and others who traveled in and out of Croatia as they were needed.

Considering the influx of IRGC into the Balkans, it is important to remember that the IRGC is much more than simply an elite fighting force. It is also Iran's "primary instrument in exporting its Islamic Revolution," with contingents in Lebanon and Sudan. It also supports radical Islamic forces in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, and in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, it has close ties with several terrorist organizations, particularly and most noteworthy Hizballah, which it helped establish in the early 1980's. (487) Similarly, in Croatia the IRGC was involved in all these activities, in addition to those of a traditional military nature.

Iranian intelligence activities were also growing exponentially. In 1994, the Iranians began developing an intelligence network that soon spanned Croatia. In 1995, the Iranians built on this success and began developing another independent network of agents and contacts.

The Croatians knew the dangers of dealing with a rogue state such as Iran. They had not lost their fear that the Iranians would radicalize the neighboring Bosnian Muslims. There were, however, some "realpolitik" advantages to the Croatians' new bilateral ties. In addition to the commercial benefits described above, Croatia received a commission of at least thirty (and in some cases fifty) percent of all Iranian arms being transshipped across its territory. Additionally, regional commanders and officials in parts of Croatia and in the Croat-held areas of Bosnia were in a position to demand further payments in arms and cash to facilitate the flow. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak, who controlled the military apparatus in Croatia, as well as in Herceg-Bosna, saw the most gain from this arrangement.

Inevitably, these beneficial aspects of this relationship influenced the Croatians and made it easy for them to overlook the clear dangers of dealing with Iran. The actual destabilizing consequences of the Iranian-Croatian relationship in the region and its facilitation of Iran's terrorist designs and capabilities - particularly those directed against the US - are appalling. Unfortunately, it is entirely too easy to document these harmful consequences caused by the green light policy. Two incidents - one from the summer of 1993 and the other from the summer of 1995 - dramatically illustrate Iranian influence in Croatia which came at the cost of endangering the safety of US citizens in the region and the US's ability to work with Croatia to counter Iran's terrorist designs.

In the summer of 1993 - one year before the green light decision - based on extremely fragmentary intelligence information about a terrorist threat. (classified data deleted) The Croatian response was immediate and totally responsive to US concerns over the safety of its citizens. At the time the Iranian presence in Croatia was extremely limited, and the Croatians showed no concern about possibly harming bilateral relations with Iran by acting vigorously against the terrorists.

A mere two years and a green light later, in the summer of 1995, the situation was very different. By that time, supporting the massive military assistance program that had been given the green light and enjoying the resultant privileged relationship it had with Croatia, the Iranian embassy in Zagreb had become its largest in Europe. For months (starting in the fall of 1994), the US had been gathering evidence of Iranian terrorist planning against US officials presence in Zagreb. The indications were many and unambiguous: (classified data deleted) The threat was so serious that the US embassy instituted more rigorous security measures and evacuated individuals who were believed to be most at risk. (488)

At the strong urging of his Deputy Chief of Mission Ronald Neitzke, Ambassador Galbraith approved using the Embassy's various contacts within the Croatian government to urge that they act against the terrorists. These diplomatic efforts were fruitless, however, and the security situation continued to deteriorate. The Iranian terrorist activities soon accelerated to the point that the US embassy was certain a terrorist act was imminent. Accordingly, in April, while the Ambassador was traveling outside Croatia, Neitzke drafted a strongly worded message to Washington. In it he stated that the time of gentle pressure had passed, and he asked that Washington approve a demarche to the Croatian government to take immediate and decisive action to neutralize the terrorist threat.

In his message, Neitzke linked the threat of Iranian terrorism to the President's green light policy and pointed out the diplomatic corner the US had painted itself into by giving the Croatians an "all clear" signal to cozy up to the Iranians. The message warrants quoting at length:

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

Neitzke concluded his message by stating that the only other option available was to authorize an evacuation of American officials and their families.

The message had its intended effect: the Department of State approved the first of a series of strong demarches to the Croatians. Even then, the Croatians refused to expel the Iranians involved in the terrorist planning. Nonessential US officials and their families were evacuated from Zagreb in early May due to Serbian missile attacks on the city. This resulted in the terrorists having a less "target rich" environment and may have foiled their plans for attack, particularly against the families of US officials. But even so, hostile Iranian activities - including surveillance of Americans - continued at an alarming pace into August when the US again issued a demarche. The Croatians responded that they were "not in favor" of the Iranians' activities but were "afraid that taking action would involve Iranian retribution against Croatia." (489) As this was happening, the Croatians continued to profit economically and militarily from their flowering relationship with Iran. The Iranians plotting the terrorist actions were never asked to leave Croatia and hostile activities continued. Fortunately, these actions have not culminated in a terrorist attack, but that option remains available to Iran when and if it believes the time is right to strike.

Interestingly, the difference in the Croatian attitude between 1993 and 1995 was mirrored somewhat in the leadership of the US mission in Zagreb. In 1993, the US Embassy's action was unhesitating. In 1995, however, there was a difference of opinion within the US Embassy leadership concerning the will of the Iranians to engage in terrorist acts in Zagreb. Although he does not question Ambassador Galbraith's resolve to counter legitimate terrorist threats, Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke has indicated that he and Galbraith had a recurring difference of opinion about the Iranian threat. Galbraith was of the belief "that it was not in Iran's strategic interest to sanction an attack against the United States." (490) Neitzke says he "found the logic of that impeccable; with one exception: terrorists don't think like that; and terrorists hatch subplots or there are revenge killings or people are executed to embarrass somebody else, or Zagreb is a sideshow in the overall Iranian-U.S. terrorist relationship for any number of reasons." Neitzke particularly did not find the local strategic argument compelling when Iranians were "targeting specific vehicles and apparently specific people." Neitzke also was unconvinced by the Ambassador's argument that the US dare not "tweak" the Iranians by asking the Croatians to move against their terrorists. In Neitzke's words, "What had we degenerated to if that was our point?" Similarly, Neitzke took exception to the reluctance he sensed in Washington to the taking of action that might save American lives out of fear that it could also "lead to the interruption of the arms pipeline."

In retrospect, it is hard to hold the Croatian government solely responsible for its reluctance to respond forcefully to the anti-US terrorist threat in 1995. To be sure, Croatia's refusal to take action to prevent an imminent terrorist attack against American citizens within its borders is deplorable. Even so, however, this end result was foreseeable by the Administration when it debated the green light policy. Nevertheless, the Administration accepted the known risk of increased terrorism and it decided " at the highest levels not to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and the Croatians." (491) The Select Subcommittee finds it even more amazing that, even as the terrorist danger was making itself known on a daily basis in credible reports from Embassy employees, some Administration officials were inclined to question the threat or, worse, ignore it in order to keep the Iranian arms pipeline open.




Even more than in Croatia, the US green light to the Iranian arms pipeline allowed Iran to fulfill its most ambitious designs in Bosnia - for Bosnia, not Croatia, was and remains the European centerpiece of Iranian hopes and plans for the future. The green light and other Clinton Administration decisions that denied or rejected the possibility of allowing other more moderate countries a role in aiding the Bosnian Muslims, in effect, gave the Iranians what amounted to an exclusive license to assist the Bosnian Muslims. Through that assistance, the Iranians successfully ingratiated and insinuated themselves with the political and military leadership of Bosnia to a degree that the US has been extremely hard pressed in its efforts to extricate them. The entrenched Iranian influence within Bosnia, particularly its clandestine influence, is a serious challenge to US interests in the region and to the hopes of the Bosnian people for a peaceful, democratic, and Western-oriented future.

The gravity of the situation was captured well in a Select Subcommittee deposition with a (classified data deleted)

There is no question that the policy of getting arms into Bosnia was of great assistance in allowing the Iranians to dig in and create good relations with the Bosnian Government. And it is a thing we will live to regret, because when they blow up some Americans, as they no doubt will before this goddamn thing is over, it will be in part because the Iranians were able to have the time and the contacts to establish themselves well in Bosnia. (492)

Before the Green Light

Iran was quick to recognize that the ethnic strife in the former Yugoslavia - in particular, the tribulations of a beleaguered Muslim community - could give it an opportunity to entrench itself in a European nation. Iran was among the first nations to recognize Bosnia after it declared itself independent in March 1992. For a few months in the later half of 1992, Iran, along with several other Muslim states, was able to smuggle small amounts of weaponry to the Bosnian Muslims, sometimes by ad hoc arrangements with Croat officials who would allow the weapons to pass through their territory for a ten to twenty five percent payment in kind. However, the Croatians closed down this small scale operation by February 1993 due to deteriorating Croat-Muslim relations and, once again, the Bosnians were for the most part left to their own devices. (493) The State Department in April 1993 characterized the Iranian contribution to the Bosnian war-effort as having been "relatively small." (494)

In August 1992, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the radical Islamic Propagation Organization and newly named director of the Iranian "Bosnia-Herzegovina Support Headquarters" visited Bosnia as a personal representative of the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamene'i. (classified data deleted) By April 1993 there were estimates that their numbers had reached up to 150 soldiers. (495) On the international front, in addition to numerous public statements of support to the Bosnian Muslims, Iran was instrumental in December 1992 in getting the Organization of the Islamic Conference to pass a resolution calling for the lifting of the arms embargo on Bosnia. (496)

Iran's support, even if more rhetorical and moral than substantive, did not go unappreciated by the Bosnian Muslim government, which was in desperate need of assistance. Neither were the Iranians hesitant to try to capitalize on this appreciation. Iran was already hard at work trying to insinuate itself into every element of Bosnian life through propaganda, the setting up and exploitation of clandestine intelligence mechanisms, and cultural and political overtures. In comparison with the heyday that followed the green light, however, Iran's ability to exploit the situation was limited. Iran did not, for example, even have an embassy in Bosnia. It was only after the US gave the green light that Iran was able to develop a massive, multi-faceted program that would, on a public level, burnish its image as Bosnia's savior and, on a hidden level, give it political influence and the reach to build a formidable, well-entrenched clandestine capability to carry out its anti-Western designs.

Deputy Secretary Talbott observed in a statement cited at the beginning of the previous chapter that the green light did not open the door to Bosnia for Iran. He is technically correct; what the green light did was to throw the door wider open and put out a welcome mat.

After the Green Light

Although the weapons provided after the green light via the Iranian pipeline did not turn the war around and probably did little more than help the Muslims better defend themselves, there is no denying the magnitude of Iran's effort in comparison with its marginal involvement in the war before April 1994. (classified data deleted)

With the weapons came an Iranian military assistance infrastructure, an expension of the Iranian presence, and a commensurate expansion of Iranian activity and influence

(classified data deleted)

Within months the Iranian influence in the military was pervasive. Iranians were training, advising, and indoctrinating Muslim fighters in facilities throughout Bosnia. By 1996 thousands of Bosnian military personnel, not including police and security forces, had gone through IRGC training courses in Bosnia and Iran. (497) (classified data deleted) Also, as in Croatia, the IRGC continued to carry out its "other duties" in trying to export the Iranian revolution and support terrorist organizations, including Hizballah. (498)

Iranian intelligence activities also increased exponentially. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) expanded its assistance, training, and cooperation with the Bosnian intelligence service, and -- more ominously -- it accelerated its clandestine efforts not known even to the Bosnians. Specifically, Iran moved quickly recruiting well-placed agents of influence and setting up secret networks throughout Bosnia. The MOIS also, like the IRGC, worked closely with Hizballah elements in the region and sought to organize small groups of Bosnians who could form native Bosnian Hizballah-type cells ultimately loyal to Tehran. The Iranian intelligence service was also working to recruit individual Bosnians to act as its "future terrorists." (499)

On the political and diplomatic level the Iranians were also much more active in the months following the green light, although they did not advertise all their activities to the West. Within ten days of the green light, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati made a highly publicized visit to Sarajevo where he presented Bosnian President Izetbegovic with a check for one million dollars, and promised to deliver 10,000 tons of diesel fuel. President Izetbegovic profusely thanked Velayati by saying "While we cannot tell all the details now, we must understand that our fight for freedom . . . would be less successful without Iran and its aid." (500)

Also within ten days of the green light, Iran appointed its first ambassador to Bosnia, Mohammed Taherian. Taherian's main responsibility was to manage the Iranian program of aid to cultivate, wield and influence on behalf of Tehran. Taherian was eminently qualified for the task by his experiences as Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan in the 1980s, where he proved himself adept at funneling aid to the Afghan Shiite mujahedin. (501) The Iranian embassy quickly became the largest in Sarajevo. For instance, the street on which their diplomats lived was blocked off by the Bosnian police, and even UNPROFOR forces, who were supposed to be able to travel freely on their peace-keeping mission, were not allowed to get close enough to observe the Iranians' comings and goings. (502) The embassy conducted aggressive activities to popularize radical Iranian political and Shi'a religious thought. This public diplomacy complemented Iran's inauguration on May 10 of pro-Iranian, anti-Western propaganda radio broadcasts in the region in Serbo-Croatian.

With the backing of Iran and the green light from the Clinton Administration, the Bosnian government increasingly became more fundamentalist in its orientation. This occurred even though the Bosnian people are largely secular. The government installed loudspeakers on street corners to broadcast the call to prayer in the mosques. Foreign mujahedin and Bosnian fundamentalists coerced Bosnian Muslims to be more strict in observing "proper" Islamic customs. That summer, for example, Bosnian women wearing bathing suits were beaten and some were even shot for their perceived immodesty. (503)

By the end of the year, the (classified data deleted) concluded "Bosnian officials appear to have made cultivating Sarajevo's relationship with Tehran a top priority." (504) (classified data deleted)

In 1995 the Iranians would consolidate and expand their influence and activities throughout Bosnia and Bosnian society. The IRGC presence remained in the range of 400 personnel in country. The mujahedin presence was, by the end of the year, 1000 or more. A UN source estimated 1,000 in October, various press accounts in December placed the number between 2,000 and 4,000; and the Washington Post on December 9 reported UN figures of 1,500 foreign mujahedin and 1,500 Bosnian recruits. (552) Although the mujahedin are not necessarily under the direct control of Iran, they share Iran's fanatical anti-Western beliefs and, consequently, appear to act as tactical allies on the ground in Bosnia.

Iranian intelligence and terrorist related activities were particularly noteworthy in 1995. The MOIS developed an extraordinarily close working relationship with the Bosnian intelligence service which it largely set up. In addition to training, the Iranians provided operational direction and financial support. This assistance was repaid by Bosnian assistance to the MOIS. (classified data deleted)

By early 1996, the Iranians would have some sort of "special" relations with (classified data deleted) senior Bosnian officials and (classified data deleted) Even though senior Bosnian government officials, such as Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, were becoming increasingly distressed at Iran's burgeoning influence, the prevailing sentiment was that the Iranians had demonstrated themselves to be the Bosnia's only "true friends." (505)

While the long-term effects of Iran's pervasive influence throughout Bosnia will not manifest themselves for some time, the Iranian presence clearly does not bode well for the US. Based on past experience, Iran can be expected to continue to target US citizens and installations for terrorist attacks. Iran's continued efforts to radicalize the government and people of Bosnia and to turn them against the US and the West will drive a wedge between the free world and Bosnia. As for Iran itself, the new economic ties with Bosnia will bring Tehran much-needed foreign capital, undermining the effectiveness of US and UN economic sanctions against Iran. The overriding goal for which the Administration accepted these ominous and substantial threats to US interests -- achievement of peace in the former Yugoslavia -- is now jeopardized by the Iranian influence. As the next section demonstrates, Iran's influence has already presented the Clinton Administration with a substantial -- and perhaps intractable -- problem implementing the Dayton Peace Accords.

The Green Light and the Dayton Accords:

An Expedient Becomes an Impediment

As this report is being written, the Dayton Accords are coming unraveled and are, on a day-by-day basis, being amended and modified in perhaps the vain hope of keeping them alive. If we assume that the accords were not flawed in their inception and thus could have led to peace, then the effects of the green light are even more tragic. President Clinton and others in the administration argued that the green light decision made the Dayton accords possible. (506) In reality, the policy expedient of the green light -- letting malevolent Iran become the unchallenged benefactor of Bosnia -- has undermined the Dayton peace Accords.

The facts show that the residual effects of the green light -- the well-entrenched Iranian presence and its pervasive and pernicious influence in Bosnia in effect delayed key elements of the plan for over six months. It also critically hampered efforts to built a multiethnic, militarily defensible, and economically viable Bosnia during the scheduled one-year IFOR plan. If IFOR is unable to complete its work within the one year period and the US extends the deployment of its forces in Bosnia (as appears almost certain), the green light policy will have been a major if not principal cause.

According to Article III of Annex 1A of the Dayton Accords, all foreign forces, including freedom fighters, trainers, volunteers, and advisors were to have been expelled from Bosnia and Herzegovina no later than January 13, 1996, that is, thirty days after the agreement went into effect. Certification of the withdrawal would allow the US to go ahead with some of its more significant efforts to rebuild Bosnia economically and military so as to give the national entities recognized by Dayton a reasonable chance of surviving past the one year IFOR-supervised implementation plan. Among these US initiatives is the release of $100 million of surplus US military equipment and $70 million in economic reconstruction assistance.

Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration, either oblivious to or dismissive of intelligence reporting on the subject, seriously underestimated the degree to which the Iranians had managed to ingratiate themselves with the Bosnian Muslim government and infiltrate the Bosnian military, intelligence apparatus, and other government and public organizations. In the months after the Accords were signed, the Administration repeatedly found itself stymied in its efforts to convince the Bosnian Muslims that Iran, who became their most reliable ally under the green light policy, now had to be unceremoniously removed.

Within a week of the signing of the Accords, (classified data deleted)

This defiance of the Dayton Accords and the US became a front-page story on February 15, 1996 when NATO forces raided the joint Iranian-Bosnian terrorist training center on a mountaintop near Fojnica, Bosnia. NATO forces seized sixty weapons, explosives, manuals and booby-trapped objects, including toys and household items. The NATO forces also confiscated instruction manuals for laying land mines. Pictures of the Ayatollah Khomeini were prominently displayed on the walls, and the bookshelves contained Iranian and other radical Muslim literature. Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr., the American commander of NATO forces in Bosnia said, "It doesn't take a genius to figure out what we found here is an abomination. No one can escape the obvious, that there is terrorist training activity going on in this building and it has direct association with people in the Bosnian government." (507) A US intelligence official on the scene noted that "what is bothersome is the presence of Iranians on the ground . . . . There is no complaint that an intelligence school was run, but methods of terrorism and kidnaping which obviously violate international accords are our great concerns. And it appears the students were Bosnians and the instructors were Iranian." (508)

On television that night, President Izetbegovic, was unapologetic, "We have more places like that Fojnica for training people to hunt war criminals . . . . We will continue that activity." (509) (classified data deleted)

Having had so little success in its direct dealings with the Bosnian Muslim government, the Clinton Administration in late February approached over fifty foreign governments, principally in Europe and the Middle East, asking them to lobby the Bosnians to cut their ties with Iran. The talking points provided to the ambassadors, taken from much more specific and damning intelligence reports, actually described the extent of the US's impatience in Bosnia in the wake of the green light.

-- Iran has developed a security relationship with Bosnia as part of its longterm effort to promote militant Islam and establish a strategic presence in the Balkans. To achieve these goals, Tehran has followed a multi-pronged program which includes providing arms, dispatching intelligence personnel and military trainers and conducting high profile diplomatic efforts attached to limited economic assistance. Iran's long term goals could undermine Bosnia's future.

-- Over the year, several hundred Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) troops have worked closely with the Bosnian army. IRGC personnel also are attempting to indoctrinate susceptible Bosnian military personnel with the long-term aim of creating a religiously motivated Bosnian military sympathetic to Tehran's interest.

(classified data deleted)

-- The intelligence training center near Fojnica, which IFOR raided on February 15, shows dramatically the dangers of the Iranian intelligence presence.

-- We are concerned, however, that Bosnian government officials do not seem to view the Iranians as a threat to IFOR. US officials had cited the Fojnica training area to Mr. Silajdzic during his visit to Washington in early December 1995 as one element of our understanding of the Iranian's presence.

-- Iran continues to have the largest diplomatic mission is Sarajevo including a large number of intelligence officers.

-- Given Iranian experience in providing intelligence training to countries as well as radical Islamic groups, we are concerned that Iranian intelligence personnel will try to establish an intelligence training mission with the Bosnian government circumventing the Dayton requirement that they be withdrawn.

(classified data deleted)

-- Islamic donors -- especially Iran -- have supplied more the sic 10,000 tons of war material to Bosnia, since mid-1994. Heavy transport aircraft have delivered arms and other military supplies to Pula airfield in Croatia where they are moved to Bosnia over land or by air. Iran has used other third countries as conduits for its arms shipments.

The talking points went on to note that several Islamic terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hizballah, and the Egyptian Al-Gama'at Al-Islamiyyah -- which claimed responsibility for the October car bombing in Rijeka, Croatia -- and extremists from Algeria and Sudan established a presence in Bosnia early in the war. (510)

Despite this global diplomatic effort, the Bosnians did little to comply with the Dayton Accords. In late March, three months after the accords were signed, Bosnia still had not expelled the Iranians. This, according to several Department of Defense analyses, revealed that the Bosnian government was unwilling to turn its back on Iran, the country that had been its best supporter. A US Army report characterized the US as being put between "a rock and a hard place." It noted that in response to a Clinton Administration threat to withhold nearly $400 million in military training funds unless the Iranians were expelled, the Iranians offered to train and arm the Bosnians unilaterally. Moreover, the US's "strong-arm" tactics, combined with the lack of enthusiasm of the Europeans to rearm Bosnia, had "convinced most of the Muslim leadership that future support from the West may be ephemeral." The report concludes that these factors plus the fragile nature of the Muslim-Croatian federation means the Bosnian Muslims are even more likely to maintain ties with Iran and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. (511) This assessment mirrors a Defense Intelligence Agency judgment: "The Muslims appreciate Iran's assistance during the conflict . . . . They are unlikely to cut their ties to Iran even if a Western equipment and training program were in place." (512) Similarly, a Department of Defense report frankly concluded that "because Iran has steadfastly helped Bosnia through times of grave crisis, Bosnia considers it necessary to maintain ties to Iran as a future source of assistance after IFOR's withdrawal." (513) The Defense Intelligence Agency warned that strenuous US efforts to force the Iranians out could result in Iranian terrorist reprisals. (514)

In the period from March through June 1996, the US continued regularly to demarche the Bosnian government, which appears to be slowly bringing it closer to compliance. In May, a State Department spokesman admitted that there were still "a lot" of Iranians in Bosnia in a "big embassy" and that they make up a large percentage of the foreign mujahedin who remain. (515) Finally, on June 26, 1996 -- over five months behind schedule -- President Clinton certified to Congress that the Bosnian government had fulfilled its obligation to reduce its relations with Iran. The careful wording of the press statement and its admission of the scope and seriousness of the Iranian problem make it worth quoting at length:

Since the signing of the Dayton Accords, the Bosnian government has made major progress in meeting our demands on foreign forces and in ending its military and intelligence relationship with Iran. Although some individuals have assimilated into Bosnian society and assumed civilian roles, there is no evidence of any remaining organized Mujahedin units.

With respect to the Iranians, the Bosnian government has assured that all IRGC personnel we identified to them have left Bosnia. We have no evidence that those IRGC remain. . . .

Although we have never demanded that all Iranian nationals depart Bosnia or that Bosnia terminate diplomatic or economic relations with Tehran, we have insisted that the Bosnian government end bilateral intelligence cooperation in such operational areas as training and investigations, and end all military ties. The Bosnian government has moved to end the operational military and intelligence relationship with Iran. It has removed from positions of authority key officials that were heavily engaged in intelligence cooperation with Iran, including the former head of the Bosnian intelligence agency.

Congress conditioned appropriation of the final $70 million for economic reconstruction assistance in FY 1996 on the President certifying Bosnian compliance with these requirements. With this certification, these funds will now be available to meet the needs of the Bosnian people and to begin the long process of rebuilding the war-shattered Bosnian economy. The President's certification also removes a major stumbling block to commencing the US-led program to train and equip Bosnian Federation armed forces and to strengthening Bosnia's self-defense capability. We are eager to move ahead with this program and will do so as soon as final defense arrangements between Bosnians and Croatians have been completed. (516)

Missing from this statement is an admission that this foreign policy problem was largely, if not entirely, self-inflicted. Moreover, the certification is itself highly questionable. Indeed, intelligence information and a great number of press reports that appeared after the certification show that only by the most lawyerly of interpretation can the certification be termed anything but an outright falsehood.

Within two weeks of the certification, US Ambassador to Bosnia John Menzies and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Deutch voiced concern to President Izetbegovic over the continued presence in Bosnia of Iranians and other foreign Islamic militants. (517) According to press reporting the State Department estimated their number "as less than 100." (518) However, NATO reports from the period estimated that as many as a hundred Iranian fighters remained and as many as "several hundred" foreign Islamic militants remained of all nationalities. (519)

The Boston Globe noted that the President's certification was wrong -- instead of leaving Bosnia, "several hundred of the Islamic militants simply moved over to the Bosnian police, with the encouragement of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action." The Globe went on to discuss the forced marriage of Bosnian girls to foreigners in order to make the foreigners eligible for citizenship and Izetbegovic's use of the mujahedin to harass and intimidate political opponents. The newspaper's editors called upon the Administration to "make every effort to force Izetbegovic and his henchmen to disgorge foreign fighters who threaten peace and democracy in Bosnia." (520)

At about the same time, in early July, the Washington Post printed a lengthy piece on the open presence of armed, officially-sanctioned, and frequently Iranian mujahedin in Bosnia. According to the Post, despite the Clinton Administration's public assurances to the contrary, "Bosnian officials said they think several hundred Islamic fighters are still here, and U.S. officials still think they pose a threat to U.S. forces." The article also referred to the movement of large numbers of mujahedin out of the military and into the police. The article went on to say that the remaining foreign fighters, who "are establishing themselves in a broad swatch of central Bosnia," are principally Iranian and that they are supported by President Alija Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action. The party uses them as a "kind of paramilitary guard" to "terrorize potential political opponents." In Zenica, the mujahedin are armed and are free to do as they please. They are supported by the Islamic Center of Zenica, which is controlled by Bosnian officials who are loyal to Izetbegovic. The Center seeks to establish an Islamic state and, throughout the war, had helped fund the Iranian trained Seventh Muslim Brigade. The Center protects the Islamic militants "because the men could play an important role in any Muslim state that might emerge should the Dayton accord collapse." (521)

In early August, six weeks after the certification, the Washington Times ran an article by its correspondent in Zenica describing the continued presence and influence of the mujahedin in organizing "a broad pattern of intimidation. " The author observed that, despite the Clinton Administration's assurances that remaining mujahedin are not in organized fighting units or "acting in threatening ways," Bosnians and NATO officers dispute these assertions. One American officer recounted, "They the foreign fighters stand around us waving their big knives in the air and drawing them across their neck (sic) saying, 'I'll kill you after the elections, you Jewish pig."' (522) There were also reports in mid-August that "despite intense US pressure on the Bosnian Muslims to cut their links to Iran and other radical Islamic states, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic continues to cultivate such connections." (523) He was also reported as having recently traveled to meet with prominent officials in the radical Islamic government of Sudan. (524)

Clearly, the Clinton Administration's green light policy has effectively given the Iranians the persistent foothold they desperately wanted in Europe. That, in turn, has given the US a serious, unanticipated strategic problem. The US is now virtually impotent in its dealings with Bosnia, and prospects for peace in the region now appear as bleak as ever.




Diminishing Hopes

As this report is being written - at the beginning of October 1996 - fewer and fewer observers of the political situation in Bosnia expect the Dayton peace process will lead to its objective: a multi-ethnic, democratic Bosnia. It is already certain that the process, as originally defined by the Administration, will fail in that quest. We are in the last few months of what the Clinton Administration pledged was to have been a one-year commitment of US troops. The process is hopelessly behind schedule, in large part, as we have shown, due to the lingering Iranian presence in Bosnia. Recently, the Administration has begun to talk of the "follow-on" commitment of US troops as part of an indeterminant, long-term multinational force. Virtually all agree that without such a multinational force, the factions will resume fighting, and, rested and resupplied, the human carnage and destruction will be greater than ever.

Of course, the hope now is that a multi-national force will remain and supervise elections that will populate the democratic political structure envisioned by the Dayton Accords. The elections, however, are in serious trouble. They were to have taken place on September 14, but campaign intimidation, voter fraud, and rampant disregard of the Dayton Accord rules and procedures led the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on August 27 to postpone the municipal elections. OSCE's American director in Bosnia, former US diplomat Robert Frowick, cited "across the board" and "pervasive" irregularities and stated, "We're trying to do too much in too short a time." (525) Although the same problems applied to the presidential and parliamentary elections, the US succeeded in pressuring the OSCE to proceed with them, reportedly out of fear that any backtracking in Bosnia could affect Clinton's re-election campaign." (526)

Under existing circumstances, elections are highly unlikely to advance Bosnia towards the ideal of a democratic, multi-ethnic state. Although the Bosnian population is anxious to find a political solution that will allow all Bosnians to live in peace, the September 14 elections showed that the political leadership of the three communities -- Serb, Croat, and Muslim -- succeeded in stacking the decks to make sure their supporters, that is the most revanchist and nationalistic elements, will dominate within their zones of influence. In this way, elections are simply providing window-dressing for the ethnic partition of Bosnia, hardening the lines of division rather than dismantling them. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bosnia had predicted, elections in Bosnia "will produce hard-line winners and xenophobic nationalists committed to the maintenance of hostile, homogeneous statelets." (527)

The behavior of the Serb and Croat political factions in this deteriorating process has been predictable. From the beginning they have sought separation from what they believe could be a Muslim-dominated, united Bosnia. Indeed, despite a superficial commitment in Dayton to a unified Bosnia, most Bosnian Serb and Croat political and military leaders have as their ill-disguised true objective an alliance with, if not outright integration, into Serbia and Croatia, respectively. True to form, the Serbs have been the most visible in their flaunting of the OSCE rules. The Croatians, too, as has been shown in their brinkmanship with the OSCE over the governance of Mostar, are reluctant participants in the building of secular political institutions. The only remaining hope for the Dayton Accords, therefore, is that they will provide a framework in which the three factions will be able to move peacefully towards some form of political partition; the prospect of a unified Bosnia is all but hopeless.

Izetbegovic and the Radicalization the Muslim Political Leadership

It is the abandonment of secular and democratic principles by the Bosnian Muslim political leadership, particularly by President Izetbegovic and his Party of Democratic Action (SDA), that is the most surprising and disappointing failure of the Bosnian political elite to rise to the challenge of the electoral process mandated by the Dayton Accords. Under the leadership of President Izetbegovic, the Muslims have, in the years since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, frequently tried to calm the fears and suspicions of the Serb and Croat minorities by emphasizing a commitment to secularism and the protection of minority democratic rights. Increasingly, though, the radicalized SDA has taken refuge in nationalism and a divisive emphasis on the Islamic identity of Bosnia. The SDA now, controlling a plurality of the Bosnian population (some forty percent are Muslim), appears single-mindedly intent that only Bosnia be unified under its domination.

The behavior of President Izetbegovic and the SDA since the Dayton Accords were signed -- mirroring the worst behavior of the nationalist Croat and Serb parties (528) -- belies any professed democratic objectives. This unwelcome development is of grave concern not only to the Croatians and Serbs, but also to the West and to the US. If the events of this last year are indicative, a Bosnia under the leadership of President Izetbegovic, the SDA, and allied parties may very well be authoritarian, Islamic, and a refuge for anti-Western, anti-American radicals.

Who exactly is Izetbegovic and what role will he play in shaping the future of Bosnia? A senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region has been quoted as saying, "If you read President Izetbegovic's writings, as I have, there is no doubt that he is an Islamic fundamentalist . . . . He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, and the Serbs and the Croatians understand this better than the rest of us." (529)

Izetbegovic was trained as an Islamic scholar and a lawyer, and in his writings he shows a deep knowledge not only of Islamic political and religious thought, but also of the development of Western political philosophy. Nonetheless, over the decades he has been a constant and strong Islamic political activist and was twice arrested during the Tito era for his calls for "Islamization" of the Yugoslavian Muslims.

Two of Izetbegovic's books are available in the West, Islam between East and West and The Islamic Declaration. Islam Between East and West is a scholarly work treating a variety of theological and philosophical issues. The Islamic Declaration, is more revealing of Izetbegovic's practical political beliefs since it was written to be, as it is subtitled, "a programme of the Islamization of Moslems and Moslem peoples." (530) It was written in 1970 and illegally copied and circulated among Muslims in Yugoslavia as a roadmap for the development of a resurgent, politically powerful Islam and the building of an Islamic state. It is, therefore, of specific interest in seeing what Izetbegovic's leadership portends for the future of Bosnia.

The book's first page gives the goal "Islamization of Moslems" and the motto "Believe and Fight." It then condemns the East and West "for injecting their ideas and capital, and by this new form of influence . . . to ensure their presence and keep Moslem nations spiritually weak and materially and politically dependent." (531) Izetbegovic professes that there is a fundamental "incompatibility of Islam and non-Islamic systems. There can be no peace nor coexistence between the 'Islamic faith' and 'non-Islamic' social and political institutions." (532) He rejects the Western concept of private property and believes the Islamic state must control natural resources and "all major sources of social wealth." (533) Moreover, "the upbringing of the people, in particular via the mass media -- the press, radio, television and film -- should be controlled by people of unquestionable Islamic moral intellectual authority." (534) He counsels that, through religious revival, Muslims can develop themselves to a point where they can assume political authority, but that "the choice of the right moment is always a specific question and depends on a number of factors. Nonetheless, there is a general rule: Islamic order should and can approach the overtaking of rule as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough not only to overthrow the non-Islamic rule but develop new Islamic rule." (535) Izetbegovic also believes that eventually there is nothing more " natural" and "realistic" than for the Islamic states to join in "supranational structures -- economic, cultural and political -- for coordinated and concerted action." (536) Indeed, he believes Muslims must "struggle to create a large Islamic federation stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, and from tropical Africa to Central Asia." (537)

These views of President Izetbegovic are not particularly radical in the context of current fundamentalist Islamic political thought; they are, however, completely antithetical to Western, democratic values. They are also the ideological gunpowder present in the Balkans that the Clinton Administration ignored when it added the Iranian spark in the form of its green light policy. (classified data deleted)

Since the political process in Bosnia has been open, even if it has not been fair, the international press has been free to document the radicalization of the Muslim political elite up to and in the aftermath of, the September 14 elections. (538) During the campaigning, NATO officials and international monitors in Bosnia described an officially sanctioned campaign to terrorize the political opposition -- Muslim and non-Muslim -- of President Izetbegovic. The campaign, orchestrated by the intelligence service, (BAID), regularly used hundreds of garment agents, police officers, and thugs to disrupt the political rallies of the opposition. (539) These thugs illegally detained and interrogated the opposition, even resorting to physical abuse and violence. Political parties that were not as stridently nationalistic and Islamic as the SDA were particularly targeted for attack. (540)

This campaign of intimidation was particularly fierce in its harassment of President Izetbegovic's most prominent Muslim opponent, former Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic. Silajdzic established a reputation during the war as being more secular in his orientation than Izetbegovic and concerned about Iranian influence and the radicalization of Bosnia. Accordingly, he campaigned against the increasing stridency of the Islamic and exclusivist message of President Izetbegovic and the SDA. Silajdzic rejected Izetbegovic's belief that in order to unify Bosnia, the Muslims must build a strongly nationalist Islamic party to counter the Croat and Serb nationalists who want to partition the country. (541) Silajdzic believed the only way to prevent partition is to build secular parties and institutions open to all Bosnians. For this heresy, SDA youth activists with the help of the local police and SDA attacked Silajdzic in June 1996, hitting him on the head with a metal pipe. (542) Because of this outrage, the OSCE struck seven SDA candidates from the local slate. The result, however, was an increase in SDA harassment and more illegal police arrests of opposition party members. (543)

As observed by Michael Steiner, the second in command of the international civilian effort to oversee the peace agreement, Bosnian Muslim leaders "just don't want the American and European concept of the free flow of ideas; they want to control ideas." (544)

The degree to which President Izetbegovic's party has aligned itself with Iran and abandoned any pretense at secularism was captured in a report from New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges in September. (545) He reported on a campaign rally held in a remote mountainous region of Bosnia. Such rallies, Hedges reports, were "not designed to alleviate the fears of those who believe he Izetbegovic wants to set up a Muslim state." The rally began with religious music, followed by Koranic prayers. Speeches were drowned out by cries of "God is great" in Arabic. White-clad Muslim soldiers wearing green head-bands inscribed with Koranic verses signaling their willingness to die for Islam, were in attendance. And, President Izetbegovic himself issued "a call to arms filled with promises never to forget the sacrifice of the 'martyrs.' "

Alongside Izetbegovic on the dias was the Iranian ambassador and his Iranian bodyguards. The ambassador was the only foreign diplomat, indeed the only foreigner, traveling with the President on the campaign swing. The Ambassador's presence, Hedges noted "lent a silent Islamic imprimatur to the event, one that many American and European supporters of the Bosnian Government are trying hard to ignore or dismiss." (546)

In the weeks that followed, Izetbegovic kept up his close contact with the Iranians, purged his party of supporters "not considered Islamic enough," and continued to marginalize Serbs and Croatians in the government. (547)

The SDA campaign seeks to achieve more than just political objectives. According to NATO sources, foreign Islamic militants, including Iranian-backed terrorist cells, with the connivance of Izetbegovic, work jointly with the BAID to forward the "long-term goal" of setting up a "base for European-wide terrorist operations." (548) (classified data deleted)

Despite our inclination to overlook the transgressions of the Bosnian Muslim political leadership because of the terrible tragedies the Muslim people suffered in the war, the leadership's repressive conduct in the recent elections clearly indicates that it has become the hostage of an ideology the US would normally oppose, particularly in a volatile part of Europe. It has become increasingly fundamentalist in pushing a radical agenda of political Islam that has developed out of Bosnia's friendship with Iran. The tragedy is that the Administration did not pursue a policy in Bosnia to minimize radicalization rather than throwing the Bosnians into the arms of Iran's ayatollahs.

The Iranian and Foreign Radical Islamic

Presence and Influence Today

A number of press reports in September indicate that the situation regarding the presence of Iranians and foreign Islamic radicals continues without improvement:

NATO officials and Western diplomats report that the Iranian-backed Hamas, Hizballah, and Islamic Jihad organizations still have training camps throughout Muslim-controlled areas, with many of their members managing to stay in Bosnia with false documents or else because of forced marriages to Bosnian women and girls. (549)

NATO officials estimate that throughout Bosnia as many as a "couple of hundred" Iranian and other foreign militants remain, particularly in central Bosnia. The town of Bakotici alone has as many as 50 to 100. (550)

President Izetbegovic has shrugged off requests that he expel a group of Middle Eastern fighters who threatened to kill US troops and civilians. The threat was so intolerable that on September 12, the US had lodged a formal demand that the fighters be expelled. (551)

A senior NATO official stated that there were large numbers of foreign mercenaries present in Bosnia who are trained as fighters and terrorists. These mercenaries, who are closely allied with Iranian intelligence, are awaiting orders to set off car bombs and carry out assassinations and are "poised" to strike. (552)

As recently as the fourth week of September, US entreaties to President Izetbegovic to turn out foreign Islamic militants were "ignored." Nonetheless, the US again approached the Bosnians with a request that they expel senior Iranian intelligence operatives. (553)

Fundamentalist activities in Bosnia continue to be covertly funded by Iran and are supported by President Izetbegovic and his close colleague, Deputy Defense Minister Hasan Cengic. (554)

In these circumstances, it is no wonder that the current situation in Bosnia has been characterized as a "time bomb waiting to go off." (555)

Cengic, a Muslim cleric, is an important player in Bosnian political and governmental affairs and has obstructed US efforts to reduce Iranian influence in Bosnia. As the senior Muslim in the Defense Ministry, he is its effectual head. His is a long-time friend of Izetbegovic, and the two were co-defendants in a 1983 trial for fomenting Muslim nationalism in what was then Yugoslavia. Cengic, who has lived in Iran, was responsible for the logistical and financial operations of the Iranian arms pipeline. In addition to being avowedly anti-secular and open in his admiration of Iran (classified data deleted)

The British have expressed their concern to the US that someone with this background and affinity for Iran should be the principal Bosnian administrator of the over $100 million US program to train and equip the Bosnians. (556) Interestingly, a senior US official has also identified Cengic as being "the biggest obstacle" to the smooth operation of the program. (557) Difficulties encountered have included Bosnian efforts to shake down the US assistance program with "taxes" and charging exorbitant prices for simple logistic services. Even if one were not to know Cengic's background and clandestine affiliation with Iran, his actions clearly indicate his objective is to preserve Iranian and militant Islamic influences in the Bosnian military and to keep the US influence to a minimum.

A second individual who is working actively to counter US efforts at minimizing the influence and activities of Iran in Bosnia is Irfan Ljevakovic. Ljevakovic is known for his "strong ties" to Iran and his work in getting the Middle Easterners into Bosnia to help wage the war. (558) Interestingly, Ljevakovic, who was a co-founder of the SDA with Izetbegovic, now also serves as a senior officer in the BAID secret police. (559) At this point it should come as no surprise that he is the very individual Izetbegovic has made the principal interlocutor with the US in discussing Iranian and mujahedin issues.

Intelligence information confirms much of the above and amplifies it, sometimes in frightening detail. (classified data deleted)

While the Iranians have lowered their political profiles somewhat, and while their numbers decreased through early 1996, the US intelligence community has concluded that, notwithstanding President Clinton's certification, that the Iranian presence in Bosnia has actually begun to increase again since June 1996. (classified data deleted)

Moreover, the Administration's assertion that the Bosnians who were closest to the Iranians have been removed is incorrect. (classified data deleted) He has since, under US pressure, been officially moved to a senior position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (classified data deleted)

A US intelligence assessment prepared in September 1996 concluded that the MOIS actively carries on in Bosnia a variety of activities inimicable to US interests:

(classified data deleted)

(classified data deleted)

The Iranian Green Light and the Future of Bosnia:

Worrying Signs

In contemplating the ramifications of the Administration's green light policy on the future, we cannot speculate on each of the possible permutations of the political future of Bosnia. It is sufficient here to note that it appears increasingly unlikely that Bosnia will emerge as a stable, multi-ethnic democracy. Either peacefully or through war, there will likely be a de facto or de jure partition of Bosnia into factions ethnically dominated autonomous regions or states, possibly followed by annexations of the irredentist areas into Croatia and Serbia.

Assuming a Bosnian Muslim state survives this process, it will be the indelible mark of Iran as a result of the green light. The Bosnia government uses Iranians and other foreign mujahedin as political, ideological, and religious storm-troopers, beating and terrorizing those who do not subscribe to a nationalist and Islamic agenda. The Bosnian government has been transformed from secularism to a brand of repressive political Islam. Iran and Bosnia just this year coordinated intelligence and terrorist activities, some of which were directed against the US. (classified data deleted) There is little hope that the Bosnian Muslim leadership will give up its emotional and other ties to Iran and re-embrace democratic values.

This is the grim legacy of the Administration's Iranian green light policy, and it must be acknowledged if we as a nation are to work to neutralize it.




Much of this report is classified and must undergo a declassification process before it can be shared with the public. That process is, by law, in the hands of the Executive Branch. Due to difficulties the Select Subcommittee has had with the Clinton Administration's hiding behind classification statutes so as to avoid declassifying embarrassing information -- and there is a great deal here highly embarrassing to the Administration -- we are not hopeful that this process can be completed successfully, particularly in the near future.

The Subcommittee feels, however, the need to share with the American people, as best it can, the results of the investigation. For this reason we have crafted the following conclusions in a way that they do not reference properly or improperly "classified" information. They are, therefore, less precise and comprehensive -- and less pointed -- than they would otherwise be, but they may, at least, be shared publicly.

It is our hope that the Administration will relent in its efforts to conceal the history of this foreign policy fiasco so that the American public will eventually see a reasonably complete version of the full report which fully documents the conclusions summarized below -- and much, much more.

1. The Administration's Iranian green light policy gave Iran an unprecedented foothold in Europe and has recklessly endangered American lives and US strategic interests.

The Clinton Administration, unable to convince the United Nations to follow its lead in lifting the Bosnian arms embargo and unwilling to abandon its foreign policy philosophy of assertive multilateralism (which denied the US the authority to act unilaterally), found itself in 1994 without a vehicle it found acceptable to implement a change in foreign policy it believed to be in the national interest -- the lifting of the Bosnian arms embargo. Accordingly, the Administration was receptive when its ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith - - a man noted by his colleagues for his passionate pursuit of causes, free-wheeling style, and an open attitude towards Iran -- pressed policy- makers to consider a scheme whereby Iran would be allowed to act as the US surrogate in providing militarily assistance to the Bosnians.

The President's decision to give Iran a green light in the Balkans allowed Iran to expand its economic and diplomatic relations, as well as establish a military, security, and intelligence presence so expansive it became the largest concentration of official Iranians outside the Middle East. The consequences have been far-reaching and pernicious. They persist to this day.

In Croatia, a government that had before the green light been a consistent ally in the US's fight against Iranian-sponsored terrorism, was co-opted by the weapons it received in exchange for being a staging point for the shipment of Iranian arms into Bosnia. As a result, after the green light, there was a serious deterioration of cooperation with the US in countering very real and imminent Iranian-linked terrorist threats. The US even now must cope with the consequences of Croatia's developing what has been referred to as an "all-but-out-of-control" relationship with Iran in the wake of the green light.

The consequences of the green light policy have been much, much worse in Bosnia. After the Administration gave the green light, Iran virtually overnight became the unrivaled foreign benefactor of the Bosnian government. As a result, the Bosnian government became less secular and democratic and more open in its embrace of a radical Islamic political agenda acceptable to Iran but inimicable to US national security interests and democratic values. (classified data deleted)

These disturbing yet clearly foreseeable developments leave no room for doubt that the Administration's green light to Iran -- of all countries -- may have doomed the only real hope for Bosnia: the development of social and political institutions founded on respect for human rights and democratic principles. Somehow the Administration failed to see the short-term expediency of its Iranian green light was a long-term curse on the Bosnian people.

Even now, the Administration is having to cope with the fallout from its policy. Iran's pernicious influence and the Bosnian political leadership's private thralldom to Iran are giving the Clinton Administration its most intractable, behind-the-scenes problems in Bosnia. Despite the Administration's public assurances to the American people and Congress to the contrary, Iranian influence in the highest Bosnian ruling circles remains pervasive and Iranian terrorist and intelligence capabilities in Bosnia remain great cause for US concern. The Iranians are biding their time, and the radicalized Bosnian Muslim political leadership (in contrast to a largely secular population), may yet succeed in turning Bosnia into a radical and authoritarian state. There appears to be little hope that the situation will improve since the Bosnian government is fighting tooth-and-nail US efforts to cut its ties to Iran. The probability that the green light will end up costing American lives is all too great given Iran's track record.

What is even more disturbing to the Subcommittee than the disastrous consequences of this ill-conceived policy is that even after its folly became apparent, the Administration rejected other specific and readily available options that could have lessened, if not reversed, the damage that had been done. Instead, it took actions that exacerbated the problem and further enhanced Iran's grip on Bosnia.

2. The President and the American people were poorly served by the Administration officials who rushed the green light decision without due deliberation, full information and an adequate consideration of the consequences.

The Administration's decision to issue the green light was reached hurriedly and without a full knowledge of the relevant facts. Traditional consultative mechanisms were circumvented. The decision and deliberative processes were intentionally undocumented. Key information was not passed up to the President's advisors, and even less information was made available to the President himself. Moreover, senior NSC and Department of State officials allowed themselves to be forced to rush the decision-making process to meet an artificially short deadline that discouraged their consideration of other less dangerous policy options. As a result, the decision was made without full consideration of the strategic consequences of giving Iran -- the rogue state most hostile to the US -- an effective exclusive franchise to buy influence and peddle terrorism in a volatile part of Europe highly vulnerable to fundamentalist agitation. Had the President and his senior advisors inquired deeper, it is possible that the hazards of the Iranian green light policy would have been appreciated and, perhaps, avoided.

3. The Iranian green light policy was inconsistent with -- indeed antithetical to -- the established policy to isolate and contain Iran.

The Clinton Administration has shown an admirable consistency in advocating and enforcing the long-held and bipartisan-supported policy of isolating and containing Iran, politically, militarily, and economically. When presented with the question in the spring of 1994 about Iran's proposal to come into the Balkans and Europe in a big way, the policy was clear and the answer should have been obvious: "Just say 'no.' " That is exactly what the Bush Administration did two years earlier when presented with almost the identical situation. It is baffling, therefore, that the Administration decided instead to give the Iranians a green light and held open the door to Europe for them. The Administration, in an amazing lapse of judgment, scuttled its own policy of isolating Iran and instead helped it develop an extensive and uniquely valuable set of political, military, and economic relationships in Europe.

It is impossible to reconcile the Administration's much-ballyhooed public policy of isolating Iran with its secret efforts to help Iran expand and normalize its foreign relations.

4. The Administration's efforts to keep even senior US officials from seeing its "fingerprints" on the green light policy led to confusion and disarray within the government.

From the beginning, the Administration realized the green light policy was "dynamite" and so worked to implement it "without fingerprints." Within the Administration, this meant that only a handful of senior officials were officially aware of it -- basically, the President and a few individuals in the National Security Council and the Department of State. The CIA, which was responsible for collecting intelligence on embargo busting and Iran, as well as working to support the policy of isolating Iran, and the Department of Defense, which was responsible for enforcing the arms embargo, were not advised even at the most senior levels. Moreover, important State Department officials working with key allies, the UN, and in relevant policy areas continued to work with the understanding that it remained US policy to oppose violations of the arms embargo. In effect, while the CIA, Defense Department and most State Department officials were working to counter the green light policy, a few senior policy makers were secretly working to implement it. This complete lack of coordination between relevant US agencies on matters of important national policy was such that, were the consequences not so serious, it would be worthy fodder for a Shakespearean, if not a Marx Brothers comedy.

5. The Administration's duplicity has seriously damaged US credibility with its allies.

It is ironic that this Administration -- one that has placed such an emphasis on multilateralism -- has in its duplicitous, if not outright deceptive, Iranian green light policy, given other countries serious reason to doubt the US's good faith in any of its assurances and commitments.

On numerous occasions, senior Administration officials, including the President, defended their unwillingness to arm the Bosnian Muslims unless the UN arms embargo was lifted. Two reasons were emphasized. First, the Administration professed an unbreakable fidelity to the letter and spirit of UN Security Council resolutions, even when inconvenient for the US, because a strong UN represented the very best possibility of creating a stable, more just and responsible world order. Second, the Administration repeatedly counseled Congress and other countries that we must keep faith with our allies in the Contact Group. Any move by the US to break the embargo, they argued, would endanger allied soldiers on the ground in Bosnia as part of UNPROFOR and, therefore, lead to the evacuation of European troops.

At the same time the Administration was making these high-minded arguments about the need to respect both internationally agreed upon rules and US allies, it was working assiduously behind the scenes to undermine them. The message this sends is clear: 1) so long as you publicly support international law, you may privately do virtually anything you want, and 2) it would be a foolish ally, indeed, that trusted this Administration to act in concert and in accordance with its agreements.

It is no wonder that our allies have been less willing to follow the US lead during the past months in any number of international arenas.

In the Iranian green light matter the Administration has squandered our allies' good will and trust in us. Moreover, it did so in pursuit of a short-sighted and eventually self-destructive policy.

6. The Administration repeatedly deceived the American people about its Iranian green light policy.

Rather than follow the traditional practice of deflecting questions and refusing to comment on allegations of particularly sensitive foreign activities of the US government, Clinton Administration officials, including the President, directly and through press spokesmen and press statements, repeatedly deceived the American people in an effort to coverup its secret policy of giving Iran a green light to expand its presence and influence in the Balkans.

These are just a few of many examples:

"The United States is not, underline not, covertly supplying arms or supporting the supply of arms to the Bosnian government." (Secretary of State Warren Christopher) (560)

"The US did not cooperate, coordinate or consult with any other government regarding the provision of arms to the Bosnians . . . . We have always made clear that we were abiding by the arms embargo and that we expected other countries to do so as well." (National Security Council) (561)

"We are certainly not contributing to it, and we certainly are not turning a blind eye." (Department of State, in response to a question about the US role in getting Iranian arms to Bosnia.) (562)

"No." (President Clinton in response to a question if the US was involved in "orchestrating the transfer of arms to the Bosnian Muslims") (563)

7. The Administration deliberately concealed the truth from Congress regarding the President's Iranian green light decision.

Despite protests to the contrary in the early months of this investigation, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott recently admitted to the Subcommittee that the Administration had intentionally not told Congress of the green light it gave Iran in the Balkans. The Administration's deliberate efforts to keep Congress in the dark was inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation in the formation and execution of US foreign policy that various legislative mandates and executive orders have been designed to foster. It is Congress' constitutional right to insist that the Executive Branch's activities stay within the bounds lawfully mandated by Congress and that Congress be consulted on important foreign policy matters. Consultation with Congress is especially important when the President has adopted policies that directly impinge on matters about which Congress has expressed strong views. Two such matters are clearly the Bosnian arms embargo and the US policy to isolate Iran. In taking measures that circumvented the embargo and frustrated the bipartisan Congressional policy of isolating Iran, it is highly disturbing that the Administration not only did not take any steps to consult with or even inform Congress, but said things that, in retrospect, can only be viewed as intentionally misleading.

8. Several Administration officials gave false testimony to Congress on the development and implementation of the Iranian green light policy.

The Select Subcommittee, in addition to reviewing reams of documents in its investigation, took swom depositions from 27 individuals who were in key positions of particular importance for understanding the events under examination. The Subcommittee interviewed another 50 or more people less central to the investigation or who were directed by the White House not to provide sworn testimony on the basis of executive privilege. Comparing the statements of several individuals, it is apparent that there are serious material discrepancies over several matters central to the Subcommittee's investigations.

The Select Subcommittee is truly disturbed that it received testimony and statements from the National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, and Ambassador Jenonne Walker that directly contradicts Ambassador Peter Galbraith's swom testimony with respect to material issues before the Subcommittee and Congress.

Moreover, the Select Subcommittee is further dismayed that swom testimony provided by Ambassadors Peter Galbraith and Charles Redman, both before the House International Relations Committee and the Select Subcommittee, is not supported by evidence uncovered through this investigation.

Accordingly, the Subcommittee is referring this matter to the Department of Justice for further criminal investigation.

9. There is evidence that Ambassador Peter Galbraith may have engaged in activities that could be characterized as unauthorized covert action. The evidence is sufficlent to warrant referral to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action within its jurisdiction.

There is evidence that Ambassador Galbraith played a significant supervisory role with respect to at least one Iranian weapons transshipments through Croatia. Galbraith's goal in facilitating this transshipment was to affect political and military conditions in Bosnia.

There is also evidence that he had input into or advance knowledge of the planning and operation of the Iranian weapons pipeline that Iran used to ship arms and gain influence in the embattled Balkans. There is uncontroverted evidence that he was privy to operational details concerning the pipeline that would ordinarily be known only by active participants in the planning or operation of the pipeline.

To the extent he actively participated in the formation and execution of the Iranian arms pipeline, there is a high probability that he overstepped the bounds of traditional diplomatic activities and engaged in an unlawful covert action undertaken in the absence of a Presidential finding and without timely notification of Congress.

In light of these conclusions we are recommending to the House International Relations Committee that this Report and the results of this investigation be referred to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action within that Committee's jurisdiction.

10. The Central Intelligence Agency exercised sound judgment in its refusal to participate in activities that might have otherwise led to an inadvertent and illegal covert action.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not participate in the development of the green light policy. CIA officers at several levels correctly refused to participate in its implementation without assurances that it was being conducted within the parameters of legal support to diplomatic activities or a presidential finding. Because CIA officials rightly insisted on proper legal authorization for the change in US policy to the green light policy (and, if required, a notification of Congress), the Administration side-stepped the CIA and did not keep it adequately informed.

It is also our finding that CIA officers acted appropriately in monitoring and reporting to their superiors what were, to them, apparently rogue activities by senior US State Department officials. Moreover, senior CIA officials properly reported this information to the appropriate authorities with the Department of State and the National Security Council for their action. CIA was put in this awkward situation solely because of the unnecessary and unjustifiable secrecy within the Administration concerning its green light policy.

11. The Administration is hiding its embarrassment behind the vell of classification.

Despite the President's assurance to Congress that his Administration would "cooperate fully" in its examination of the Iranian green light policy, the Administration has repeatedly placed serious, unnecessary obstacles in the Select Subcommittee's way, including the withholding of documents and the refusal to allow some officials to sit for swom depositions. In addition to its efforts to hamper the investigation, the Administration is also abusing its authority to classify information so as to avoid letting the Subcommittee share with the American public what it has learned.

In July the Subcommittee tested the Administration's commitment to cooperate by asking the Department of State to review three documents for declassification that are essential to telling the story of how the green light policy was actually implemented, as opposed to how it has been publicly portrayed by the Administration. After over one month of deliberation and several missed deadlines, the Department finally responded by refusing to declassify and part of two of the documents and declassifying only approximately a half of the third document. This was despite the fact that a substantial portion of these documents pertained to events that have been testified about publicly (with "spin") by several Administration officials.

What most clearly demonstrated the Administration's efforts to hide its actions behind the shroud of classification is that several sentences and phrases were redacted from the third document that were clearly unclassified but which would have embarrassed the Administration. This includes, for example, a senior State Department official's negative characterization of the policy-making community in Washington. Follow-up discussions with the State Department did not result in a reconsideration of their obviously improper action. Accordingly, at the request of Chairman Hyde, the Information Security Oversight Office has launched an investigation of the Department's behavior in this case.


A. Budget, Biographies, and Acknowledgments



House Resolution 416 authorized the establishment of a Select Subcommittee on the United States Role In Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia of the Committee on International Relations. The budget was approved with the passage of House Resolution 417 on May 8, 1996, authorizing the expenditure of funds to establish and conduct an investigation. The Majority and Minority Counsel conducted the investigation in the most economical manner possible. The Congress budgeted $995,000.00 for a period not to exceed six months.


Chief Counsel Richard J. Pocker

Richard J. Pocker is presently a partner in the Nevada law firm of Dickerson, Dickerson, Consul and Pocker, engaged primarily in civil litigation. Prior to entering private practice, he served with the United States Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, Nevada as an Assistant United States Attorney, the Chief Assistant United States Attorney and as the interim United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, appointed to the latter position by U.S. Attorney General Richard Thomburgh.

During his career as a Federal prosecutor, Mr. Pocker successfully prosecuted William Potter Gale and other anti-government, anti-Semitic tax protestors in the celebrated "Committee of the States" trail in 1987, a prosecution that set the stage for later efforts against groups such as the Freemen of Montana. In the late 1980's, Mr. Pocker's significant series of court room victories over fraudulent telemarketing companies resulted in his receiving the Directors' Special Commendation Award from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award for Excellence of Performance in the Administration of Justice. He is a 1980 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and a veteran of the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Staff Director John I. Millis

John Millis previously worked for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence, the subcommittee responsible for, among other things, oversight of most CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI intelligence activities.

Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Mr. Millis served for 12 years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations as an operations officer and manager in a variety of overseas posts in Asia and Africa. In 1991-92 he also served as the Director of Central Intelligence's liaison officer to the National Security Agency (NSA) and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director of NSA. Mr. Millis graduated from Wake Forest University in 1975 and attended graduate school at the University of Chicago and Banaras Hindu University, India. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. (with distinction) from Chicago.

Deputy Chief Counsel Patrick B. Murray

Patrick B. Murray served as full committee Counsel with the House Judiciary Committee from January 1995 through May 1996. His primary responsibilities involved crime issues pending before the Committee. He assisted Chairman Hyde in the drafting and ultimate enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which was signed into law on April 24, 1996 (P.L. 104- 132).

Before moving to Washington in 1995, Mr. Murray was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago, Illinois. He served the United States Justice Department in that capacity since 1990. He was involved in prosecuting major narcotics offenses, and white collar crimes, including mail and wire fraud and public corruption cases. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Mr. Murray was engaged in the private practice of law as an Associate with the firm of Clausen, Miller, Gorman, Caffrey, & Witous P.C., also in Chicago.

Mr. Murray is a graduate of the DePaul University College of Law (J.D.) and received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University (B.A.).

Associate Counsel Michael K. Young

Michael K. Young, is a Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law and Legal Institutions: Director, Center for Japanese Legal Studies and Center for Korean Legal Studies at Columbia University. Mr. Young was a law clerk to Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1976-77, and to Justice William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court, 1977-78. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1978. Mr. Young has been a visiting scholar at the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo, 1978-80, 1983, a Japan Foundation Fellow, 1979-80 and a visiting professor at Nihon University, 1985 and Waseda University, 1989. He also served as Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs, 1992-93; Deputy Undersecretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, 1991-93; and Deputy Legal Adviser to the US Department of State, 1989-91.

Mr. Young has been the Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Japan Society's Public Affairs Program; a POSCO Research Institute Fellow; and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He graduated in 1973 with a B.A. from Brigham Young University and received a J.D. from Harvard University in 1976, where he served as note editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Associate Counsel Stephen F. Smith

Stephen F. Smith is an associate with the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley & Austin, where his practice focuses on litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state appellate courts. Before joining Sidley & Austin, Mr. Smith served as law clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge David B. Sentelle, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Smith graduated with honors in 1992 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Law Review, and received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1988.

Executive Assistant Julia W. Gaines

Julia Gaines, prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, served as the Legal Research Assistant for the Office of Independent Counsel Joseph E. diGenova from January 1992 through June 1996. From May 1991 through January 1992, she was the Minority Staff Assistant for the U.S. House of Representative's "October Surprise" Task Force.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Gaines was the Administrative Assistant for Merrill Lynch and a Senior Sales Assistant/Insurance Coordinator's Assistant for Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. In addition, she was the Senior Sales Assistant/New Accounts Administrator for Prudential-Bache Securities. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1982.

Senior Staff Associate Janine E. Doherty

Janine Doherty, prior to joining the Select Subcommittee on June 17, 1996 as Senior Staff Associate, served in the office of Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY). During her year with Representative King, she handled legislative research and constituent correspondence. Ms. Doherty received a B.A. in International Politics from the American University in 1994, and next year plans to pursue a law degree.

Staff Associate Douglas C. Austin

Douglas Austin joined the Select Subcommittee on July 15, 1996. Prior to his current position he worked as a researcher for the Republican National Committee and previously as an intern for the House Republican Policy Committee. Mr. Austin graduated with Honors in 1992 from the University of Redlands with a B.A. in Government and History and received a Masters Degree in International Studies from Claremont Graduate School in 1994.

Full Committee Support Staff

We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance provided from Full Committee Staff Members, Christopher A. Baugh, Caroline G. Cooper, Barbara J. Scantlebury, and Allison K. Kiernan, whose tireless work and dedication were indispensable to the completion of this project.

We would also like to acknowledge John Mackey for his insights and suggestions offered as Liaison to the Select Subcommittee. In addition, the Select Subcommittee could not have succeeded without the valuable expertise of Senior Staff Associate Jo Weber and Budget/Fiscal Affairs Officer Shelly Livingston.

We would also like to acknowledge the extensive help in travel arrangements and security measures provided by the Security Officer Willie Lobo. In addition, the Select Subcommittee could not have completed any of its work without the continued support and help from Systems Administrator Cheryl Earnshaw in establishing a computer system which enabled the Subcommittee to not only write its report, but also, through the use of removable hard-drives, enable it to draft a report while maintaining the security of classified information.


Minority Chief Counsel Richard Meltzer

Richard Meltzer is a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Washington Counsel, P.C. In July 1996, he was appointed Minority Chief Counsel to the Select Subcommittee. Mr. Meltzer served for three years as the Chief Counsel to the US House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Mr. Meltzer also served as Legislative Director to US Representative Abner J. Mikva. Mr. Meltzer has conducted numerous investigative, legislative, and oversight hearings. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Minority Staff Director Michelle Maynard

Prior to being appointed Minority Staff Director of the Subcommittee, Michelle Maynard served from 1989-1996 as Professional Democratic Staff Member for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, with lead staff responsibility for the Newly Independent States and Europe, including Bosnia, Croatia and the former Yugoslavia.

Before joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1989, Ms. Maynard served for two years with the US Department of State's Public Affairs Bureau. She holds a Masters Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the College of Holy Cross.

Deputy Minority Chief Counsel Charles Tiefer

Charles Tiefer, in addition to his position with the Select Subcommittee, is an Associate Professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. Mr. Tiefer was the Deputy General Counsel and Solicitor of the US House of Representatives from 1984-1995. In 1987, he was the Special Deputy Chief Counsel for the US House of Representatives Select Committee Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. Mr. Tiefer has published the The Semi-Sovereign President (Westview Press, 1994), and Congressional Practice and Procedure (Greenwood Press 1989).

Deputy Minority Chief Counsel Charles Rothfeld

Prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, Charles Rothfeld served as a Special Associate Independent Counsel on the Iran-Contra inquiry and a consultant to th ?? HUD Independent Counsel inquiry. Since 1991, Mr. Rothfeld has been special counsel at Mayer, Brown and Platt. He served as assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States from 1984-1988 and as Counsel to the State and Local Legal Center from 1989-1990.

Mr. Rothfeld was the law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court and to Chief Judge Spottswood Robinson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is a graduate of Cornell University and received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Minority Staff Associate Carrie Y. Moore

Prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, Carrie Moore served as the Legislative Assistant to the Minority Chief Counsel for the US House of Representatives Committee on Resources, from 1991-1996. Ms. Moore's duties included researching and drafting legislation, Committee Reports, floor speeches and amendments. Ms. Moore received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in June 1991.

Minority Staff Associate Lisa A. Rich

Prior to her appointment to the Select Subcommittee, Ms. Rich served as the legal research analyst for both Independent Counsel Daniel S. Pearson in his investigation of former Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown and Independent Counsel Joseph E. diGenova in his investigation of former White House official Janet Mullins. Ms. Rich also worked as a legal research assistant for an investigative law firm. In 1992, Ms. Rich was a majority staff assistant on the US House of Representatives "October Surprise" Task Force. Ms. Rich has worked under grant for the Marine Corps Historical Center and served as an intern to Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY). Ms. Rich completed her undergraduate degree in Beijing, China and currently is pursuing her J.D. degree from American University.

D. Special Investigators

The Federal Bureau of Investigation detailed three agents to the Select Subcommittee for the purpose of conduting interviews and conducting analysis of documents. They were detailed as a source to be shared by both the Majority and Minority Staff.

Dave F. Olson, Supervisory Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Olson joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1970. He has been assigned to FBI Field Offices located in Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas and Milwaukee where he held the position of Supervisor. In addition, he has had two tours of duty at FBI Headquarters, in Washington, D.C., and is currently assigned there.

Peter A. Gulotta, Jr., Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Gulotta joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1969. He has been assigned to the Detroit Division, Washington Metropolitan Field Office, FBI Headquarters, and the Baltimore Division. In addition to his assignments as a SA in the field working criminal, foreign counterintelligence and applicant matters, SA Gulotta has served in management as a Field Supervisor, a FBI Headquarters Supervisor, and Assistant Inspector, and Unit Chief in charge of FBI hiring. Prior to reporting to the Select Subcommittee he was assigned to drug investigations in the Baltimore Division of the FBI.

Daniel F. Bradley, Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Bradley joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1986. He has been assigned to Phoenix, Arizona and Washington, D.C. He is currently a primary relief supervisory assigned to the Washington Field Office.


The Select Subcommittee would like to express its appreciation to several individuals who assisted our efforts during this investigation.

At the CIA, Sandy Chaloner of the Office of Congressional Affairs particularly deserves warm thanks for her hurdling of bureaucratic obstacles to get security clearances for Subcommittee staff in record time. Laurie Goodwin of the CIA's Directorate of Operations also deserves commendation for her cheerful accommodation of staff requests for access to CIA materials, frequently on short notice and at odd hours.

Several individuals at the Department of Defense also went well beyond the normal call of duty in helping with the staff clearance process. In particular, we thank Larry Shockley of the Office of Legislative Affairs and Gigi Blakes and Stephen O'Toole of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The Select Subcommittee also expresses appreciation for the diligent work of the Capitol Hill Police, specifically Joseph W. Simpson and Penny Womack, who were instrumental in the processing of security requests. Also, the Police staff responsible for physical and technical security were always immediately responsive to the Subcommittee's sometimes unpredictable needs for their services.

The Subcommittee also wishes to thank the exceptional job performed by the US House of Representatives Office of Official Reporters. Not only did they execute complete and accurate transcripts, but they did so in an extraordinarily timely fashion. The court reporters displayed a tremendous dedication to their work, a willingness to travel, and we are most grateful for their persistent efforts. The reporters were: Ray A. Boyum (chief reporter), Julie C. Bryan, Pamela L. Garland, Marcia D. Stein, and Joseph W. Strickland. The transcribers were: Angela F. Gallacher, Kathleen A. Magmer, Jeanne S. Mayer, Bernita A. Parker, and Joyce A. Quintero. The Subcommittee also appreciates the patience and outstanding assistance exhibited by the reporters' chief clerk Jo Ann Hooks, who accommodated our ever-changing schedule with aplomb.

The Select Subcommittee expresses its appreciation to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) for generously sharing their information and materials with our staff during the course of our investigation.

In the course of our investigation, the Select Subcommittee found it necessary to conduct depositions and further investigation overseas. The Subcommittee especially thanks Roderick W. Moore, First Secretary, Embassy Zagreb, for his exceptional assistance during the STAFFDEL to the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. Likewise, the Subcommittee thanks John H. Winant, Second Secretary, Embassy Prague, for his assistance upon our arrival at the US Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic.

Finally, the Select Subcommittee expresses enormous gratitude to the Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman and the staff of the Committee on International Relations for their support and assistance in conducting our investigation. We have previously mentioned those individuals most closely associated with our work but would also like to mention Chief of Staff Rich Garon, Chief Counsel Stephen Rademaker, Professional Staff Members John Mackey, David Jung, Hillel Weinberg, and Administrative Director Nancy Bloomer.

B. Correspondence

United States Senate



April 9, 1996

SSCI# 96-1392-C

The Honorable Warren M. Christopher

Secretary of State

Department of State

Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

On April 5, 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported that "President Clinton secretly gave a green light to covert Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia in 1994 despite a United Nations arms embargo that the United States was pledged to uphold and the administration's own policy of isolating Tehran globally as a supporter of terrorism." This letter is to inform you that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is commencing today an inquiry into alleged U.S. support for Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia. A list of questions of particular interest to the committee is attached for your information.

The committee would appreciate receiving, by April 12, 1996, copies of all published intelligence since January 1, 1994, dealing with arms flows into Bosnia and of all other statements on this matter that have been provided by an element of the U.S. intelligence community under your jurisdiction to any member or committee of the United States Senate. We also request that each element of the U.S. intelligence community provide - by April 15, 1996, to the extent possible - any unpublished material bearing on this subject, such as cables, electronic correspondence, internal memoranda, minutes of meetings, letters, and memoranda to other agencies or talking points for briefings that old not constitute published intelligence. Finally, we request your cooperation in making personnel available for such interviews, depositions and testimony as the committee may require.

Any questions regarding the committee's inquiry may be addressed to the committee's Staff Directors, its General Counsel or Mr. Edward Levine of the committee staff, who is leading the staff group handling this inquiry.


Arien Specter J. Robert Kerrey

Chairman Vice Chairman


Ambassador Peter Galbraith Memo


May 6, 1994

Memorandum To the File

During an April 29 evening meeting with (classified data deleted) and Ambassador Redman, (classified data deleted) sought for the second time U.S. advice as to whether Croatia should facilitate arms transfers from Islamic countries, principally Iran, to the GOBH.

In reply, I told (classified data deleted) that what I said the day before still stood, that I had no instructions from Washington on how to advise (classified data deleted) on this issue. I urged (classified data deleted) to focus not only on what I had said yesterday, but on what I had not said. Ambassador Redman told (classified data deleted) "It is your decision to make. We don't want to be in the position of saying no." (classified data deleted) in (classified data deleted) response to several requests for guidance, I was told by Sandy Vershbow (classified data deleted) that I was to tell (classified data deleted) I did not have instructions at this time. On April 29, at 9:30 P.M., in a conversation with Jennone Walker, Jennone conveyed a message from Tony Lake that my instructions were to say "I had no instructions" but that Tony had said this "with raised eyebrows and a smile." On April 30, Sandy-Vershbow again told me to relay a no-instructions message to (classified data deleted) clearly drawing his attention to the idea we were not saying no. Finally, in a May 2 telephone conversation, Ambassador Redman conveyed to me an instruction from Tony Lake that I not report the conversation with (classified data deleted) In a May 5 conversation, Vershbow said, after I recounted Redman and my conversation with (classified data deleted) that "you and Chuck have taken it exactly where we want to be"

In a May 6 conversation with Deputy Secretary Talbott, Talbott said the instructions were no instructions (classified data deleted) I (classified data deleted) explained that anything short of a statement that the Croats should not facilitate the flow of Iranian arms to the Bosnians would be understood as a U.S. green light (classified data deleted) Talbott said we (classified data deleted) did not want to be seen as undermining the embargo. (classified data deleted) I told him of the order not to report the (classified data deleted) April 29 conversation and asked if he wanted it reported. He said the answer is almost certainly yes, but Steve Oxman or Sandy Vershbow would be in touch.

Peter W. Galbraith


May 6, 1994

To the best of my knowledge, the facts in this statement are accurate. The conversations described herein were recounted to me by Ambassador Galbraith, and in the case of the (classified data deleted) meeting by the notetaker (classified data deleted) shortly after they took place.


Copyright 1997 Congressional Information Service, Inc.

Posted for Fair Use only.


NOTE: This document is not complete. Footnote citations are missing, and so is the report of the Minority. To see the complete report go to a U.S. Federal Depository Library and look-up: SU DOC.# Y4.IN8/16:IR1/4


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