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THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE Gelman Library, Suite 701 2130 H Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 Phone: 202 / 994-7000 Fax: 202 / 994-7005 E-mail: [email protected] Web: http://www.nsarchive.org - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 -
THE NEGROPONTE FILE John Negroponte's Chron File from Tenure in Honduras Posted
National Security Archive Update Close Relations with Honduran Military; Contra "Special Project" Against Nicaraguan Sandinistas Dominated Cable Traffic; Reporting on Human Rights Violations Nonexistent between 1982 and 1984
For more information: Peter Kornbluh - 202/994-7116 [email protected]
Washington, D.C. -- As the Senate Intelligence Committee convenes to consider the nomination of John Negroponte to be Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Archive today posted hundreds of his cables written from the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa between late 1981 and 1984. The majority of his "chron file" -- cables and memos written during his tenure as Ambassador -- was obtained by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents were actually declassified at Negroponte's request in June 1998, after he had temporarily retired from the Foreign Service.
The 392 cables and memos record Negroponte's daily, and even hourly, activities as the powerful Ambassador to Honduras during the contra war in the early 1980s. They include dozens of cables in which the Ambassador sought to undermine regional peace efforts such as the Contadora initiative that ultimately won Costa Rican president Oscar Arias a Nobel Prize, as well as multiple reports of meetings and conversations with Honduran military officers who were instrumental in providing logistical support and infrastructure for CIA covert operations in support of the contras against Nicaragua -- "our special project" as Negroponte refers to the contra war in the cable traffic. Among the records are special back channel communications with then CIA director William Casey, including a recommendation to increase the number of arms being supplied to the leading contra force, the FDN in mid 1983, and advice on how to rewrite a Presidential finding on covert operations to overthrow the Sandinistas to make it more politically palatable to an increasingly uneasy U.S. Congress.
Conspicuously absent from the cable traffic, however, is reporting on human rights atrocities that were committed by the Honduran military and its secret police unit known as Battalion 316, between 1982 and 1984, under the military leadership of General Gustavo Alvarez, Negroponte's main liaison with the Honduran government. The Honduran human rights ombudsman later found that more than 50 people disappeared at the hands of the military during those years. But Negroponte's cables reflect no protest, or even discussion of these issues during his many meetings with General Alvarez, his deputies and Honduran President Robert Suazo. Nor do the released cables contain any reporting to Washington on the human rights abuses that were taking place.
Today's posting by the National Security Archive includes the complete series of cables released under the Freedom of Information Act. The State Department released another several dozen cables from the series yesterday, and these will be included on the Archive site later today.
THE NEGROPONTE FILE: Part 2 Additional Papers Posted on "Special Project"
National Security Archive Update For more information: Peter Kornbluh - 202/994-7116 [email protected]
Washington, D.C., April 13, 2005: As John Negroponte faced questioning today about his activities in Honduras during the contra war, the National Security Archive posted additional documents from his chron file as ambassador. The documents, part of a large file of 470 cables obtained by the Washington Post through the FOIA, provide a virtual day-to-day record of Negroponte's unique tenure as ambassador, as he secured Honduran military, logistical and political support for the controversial CIA paramilitary campaign to overthrow the Sandinista government.
Follow the link below to read the complete Negroponte file: http://www.nsarchive.org
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.
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