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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 10, 1995

Attached is a memorandum from Anthony Lake, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, to Anthony S. Harrington, Chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Board, on the terms of reference for the government-wide review ordered by the President on March 30 of the allegations surrounding the 1990 death of Michael DeVine and the 1992 disappearance of Efrain Bamaca Valasquez and related matters.

April 7, 1995


                       Intelligence Oversight Board
FROM:                  ANTHONY LAKE 
                       Assistant to the President for 
                       National Security Affairs

SUBJECT:               Intelligence Oversight Board Terms of Reference:

On March 30, the President directed that the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) conduct a government-wide review of any and all aspects of the allegations surrounding the 1990 death of Michael DeVine and the 1992 disappearance of Efrain Bamaca Valasquez in Guatemala, as well as any related matters. Because a healthy and vigorous intelligence capability is a critical element of our national power and influence, the President has directed that the IOB be unsparing in uncovering all relevant facts as well as make clear where allegations regarding these events are unfounded. He has further directed that the timing and scope of the inquiry be consistent with law enforcement requirements.

To facilitate the IOB's review, this memorandum sets forth some of the specific questions the IOB should consider during its review as well as some of the procedural mechanisms for conducting its review. The terms of reference below, however, are intended to guide the Board's inquiry. They are not intended to restrict the Board's inquiry if in your judgment the facts warrant that additional subjects be considered. Nor should the terms of reference be read to require a duplication of effort between your review and those ongoing by the Department of Justice and agency inspectors general, if in the Board's judgment the questions presented have been or are being satisfactorily addressed elsewhere.

Terms of Reference:

  1. Michael DeVine and Efrain Bamaca Valasquez. The IOB should review the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael DeVine and the disappearance of Efrain Bamaca Valasquez. Among other things:
    1. The Board should determine whether any U.S. Government employees and/or intelligenceassets were directly or indirectly involved in these incidents. The Board should review the manner in which any intelligence assets so identified were validated and their suitability reviewed. Did this validation include a search of all relevant sources of derogatory information?
    2. The Board should determine what information, if any, the U.S. Government obtained regarding these incidents before they took place and after they took place. When, to whom, and in what manner was this information disseminated, including dissemination to the White House, executive branch agencies, and the Congress? Were possible links between the two cases explored, and if so, were such links adequately explained and brought to the attention of policymakers?
    3. What information was provided to the families of Michael DeVine and Efrain Bamaca Valasquez? Was this information accurate? To the exent that some information was withheld from the families, on what basis was it withheld? Are procedures for clearing and disseminating such information appropriate?

In considering these questions, the Board should determine whether any intelligence regulations, procedures, or directives were violated; possible violations of law should be referred to the Department of Justice.

2. Other Cases. The Board is also requested to review, in light of the questions presented above and below, any intelligence that may bear on the facts surrounding the torture, disappearance, or death of any US citizens in Guatemala since 1984. In particular, the Board should review the torture of Sister Diana Ortiz in 1989, the death of Griffith Davis in 1985 and the death of Nicholas Blake in 1985.

3. Intelligence/Policy Coordination. Was information involving the DeVine, Bamaca, and any other cases identified above, disseminated in a timely and accurate manner within the intelligence community and to policymakers at the White House, State Department and Defense Department? Are inter-agency and intra-agency procedures for disseminating such information adequate? Were there any patterns of human rights abuse by U.S. intelligence assets, and if so, were these patterns identified within the intelligence community and explained to policymakers? Was timely and accurate referral of the DeVine case and facts made to the Department of Justice? Did the Department of Justice respond in a timely and appropriate manner to the CIA? Within the United States mission in Guatemala City was intelligence information shared with the Chief of Mission in a timely and complete manner? Was any information withheld from the Chief of Mission, other senior embassy officers, policymakers in Washington or the Congress? Were U.S. Chiefs of Mission kept appropriately informed about the intelligence community's liaison relationships with the GOG?

4. The U.S. Intelligence Relationship with Guatemala. U.S. intelligence support to the Government of Guatemala (GOG) has taken a number of different forms. For example, the United States Government has cooperated with the GOG in the area counternarcotics. In addition, the USG has at various times had an intelligence liaison relationship with the GOG. Was intelligence support for the GOG by the intelligence community and/or U.S. military consistent with Presidential directives and decisions applicable since 1984? Did our intelligence programs in Guatemala focus sufficient resources on collecting information on human rights violations by security forces?

5. Asset Validation Process. The Board should review regulations and guidelines regarding the manner in which U.S. intelligence assets related to Guatemala are validated, including the ongoing process of evaluating the costs and benefits of continuing specific relationships. How does the Board evaluate their adequacy? Does asset validation include a mechanism for evaluating all- source information?


In conducting your review, the President fully anticipates that you will rely on the expertise, assets and ongoing work of relevant agency inspectors general. In consulting with inspectors general the IOB should ensure that the full scope of the President's questions are being adequately addressed. Where appropriate, and consistent with law enforcement equities, the IOB may independently choose to validate any facts or conclusions presented by agency inspectors general and ultimately draw its own conclusions regarding the questions presented above.

The Board should identify for the President any ``lessons learned'' in the course of its review. In addition, the Board should make recommendations as to any changes to existing policies, regulations, and directives governing United States intelligence activities the IOB considers warranted.

The timing of your review should be dictated by the your ability to adequately address the questions presented and law enforcement considerations. The President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, should however be kept apprised of your review on a continuing basis.

It is essential that the Board's review be conducted in a manner consistent with national security. While it is the President's intention that all appropriate information about the events surrounding the death of Michael DeVine and the disappearance of Efrain Bamaca Valasquez be provided to the public, such dissemination should be done at the close of the IOB's review, by the President or his designee.

Finally, I would note that it is because of the independence and integrity of the Board's members and their record of fair and thorough review of intelligence oversight issues, that the President has specifically turned to the IOB to conduct this review. Your willingness to take on this assignment is appreciated.

cc: Abner J. Mikva

Counsel to the President