Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on United States Policy Concerning Political Assassination

October 18, 1984

The United States Government has historically approved support to people and small countries resisting subversion or totalitarian oppression. Where such assistance is required, it is important that such support be consistent with American values and carried out so as to win and increase the loyalty and confidence of the civilian population. The administration has not advocated or condoned political assassination or any other attacks on civilians, nor will we. That is the clear policy of this administration as expressed in the President's Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981.

The President today asked the Director of Central Intelligence to direct the CIA Inspector General to investigate the possibility of improper conduct on the part of employees of the Central Intelligence Agency in regard to the publication of a manual for the Nicaraguan democratic resistance forces. This investigation will determine whether there were any violations of law or policy and whether there were any managerial deficiencies. All available information is being gathered, and the Director of Central Intelligence will be prepared to brief the congressional oversight committees promptly on the facts when they are determined.

The President has asked the Intelligence Oversight Board to investigate this matter, as well, and to report its findings directly to him as soon as possible.