PROCEDURES AND RESOURCES
- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) responded to the DCI's tasking of
September 3, 1996 by immediately forming an investigative team that included
three Investigators, an Auditor, a Research Assistant, and a Secretary. By
November 1996, the team was expanded to encompass 17 full-time OIG
Investigators, Inspectors, Auditors, and another Research Assistant.
Additionally, four other individuals with expertise in specific areas also
joined the investigative team for periods of time ranging from one to eight
- OIG constructed a comprehensive tasking memorandum that was distributed
to all CIA components on September 12, 1996. The OIG tasking memorandum
requested that OIG be furnished with all information regarding three broad
- Copies of all internal and external documents and information relating to
any CIA connection with, or knowledge of, the activities of the following
individuals who are identified in the San Jose Mercury News article:
Danilo Blandon, Juan Norwin Meneses Cantarero, Ricky Donnell Ross, Carlos
Augusto Cabezas, Adolfo Calero, Orlando Murillo, Luis Enrique Meneses Cantarero,
Enrique Miranda, Enrique Bermudez, Marcos Aguado, Julio Zavala, and Horacio
- Copies of all internal and external documents and information regarding
possible drug trafficking and related activities directed toward or conducted
within the United States by the Contras or persons associated with the Contras,
and what actions CIA took in response to the receipt of such information;
- Copies of all internal and external documents relating to any contacts
between CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Justice Department, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, and other U.S.
federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies and any foreign law
enforcement entities or other organizations relating to the individuals listed
above or possible drug trafficking and related activities by the Contras
directed toward or conducted within the United States.
The tasking memorandum directed that responses include all relevant official
and unofficial files, memoranda, taskings, notes, letters, correspondence,
communications, finished intelligence, electronic mail and other computer
messages, cable traffic, briefing books, calendars, and personal notes. All
categories of material were to be included in response regardless of their
classification or sensitivity.
- OIG also issued two Employee Bulletins--on September 12, 1996 and
October 23, 1996--with copies distributed to every CIA employee--informing them
of this investigation and asking employees who may have knowledge of the issues
under investigation to contact OIG. On September 30, 1996, OIG placed an
article in the Agency newsletter, What's News at CIA, requesting that
CIA employees contact OIG with any information potentially relevant to this
- By March 1997, OIG had received approximately 50,000 pages of documents
provided by Agency components. In May, the team received an additional 42,000
pages of documentary material, including information drawn from the Agency's
holdings of Iran-Contra-related documents that had been provided to the
Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters, Lawrence Walsh. Additional
documentary material responding to specific OIG follow-up taskings of Agency
components continued to be received through December 1997. In total, OIG
reviewed about one-quarter million pages of documents and indexed over 53,000
pages into its investigative records. By the conclusion of the investigation,
these documents were organized into more than 104 three-ring binder volumes and
26,000 pages of documents in other files.
- Documents relating to operational, security, polygraph, and personnel
matters were obtained from appropriate components within the Directorate of
Operations (DO) and the Directorate of Administration. Files relating to
relevant Agency assets, operations and counterintelligence issues were reviewed.
Records from the Office of General Counsel (OGC) were obtained and reviewed.
The Agency's collection of records that responded to the Office of the
Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters (OIC)--comprising approximately 300
linear feet of Agency and other Executive Branch documents--was reviewed and
potentially relevant information was obtained by OIG.
- Relevant current and long-term finished intelligence, as well as
memoranda and other records, from the Directorate of Intelligence and the
National Intelligence Council were obtained and reviewed by OIG. Memoranda,
briefing materials and other relevant information from the Office of the DCI
were reviewed. Information from the Office of Congressional Affairs and the
Office of the Comptroller was obtained, as were documents from the Directorate
of Science and Technology. Reporting from other Intelligence Community
agencies, including the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence
Agency, that had been shared with CIA and was available in CIA databases was
provided by CIA components to OIG.
- OIG also worked with the Department of Justice/Office of the Inspector
General (DoJ/OIG) in common areas of investigative interest and jurisdiction.
OIG reviewed relevant records obtained by DoJ/OIG relating to the transmittal of
information concerning Contra-drug trafficking allegations between CIA and law
enforcement agencies. OIG also engaged in direct communications with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) to review relevant information. OIG also contacted DoJ's National Drug
Intelligence Center and DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center for potentially
- OIG detailed two officers to the National Archives where the records of
the OIC for Iran-Contra Matters reside. Their function was to review those
records and obtain copies of those that were relevant to this investigation. A
forensic analysis regarding specific documents that were obtained from a U.S.
District Court was conducted, at OIG's request, by the DoJ's Immigration and
Naturalization Service Forensic Laboratory.
- Also reviewed were available records relating to briefings that were
provided by Agency officials to the Congressional intelligence oversight
committees. Complete records of all briefings were not available, since the
committees and CIA officials did not always create records of information
briefings provided to committee staff.
- OIG conducted over 365 interviews with individuals who possessed
potentially relevant information. In some cases, individuals were interviewed
more than once as new information developed. These interviews included current
and former Agency employees and other current or former U.S. Government
officials. Also interviewed were individuals--both in the United States and
abroad--who were involved with the Contras in the 1980s on behalf of CIA and
other persons who were in a position to know what CIA may have known, or done,
about Contra-related individuals who were allegedly involved in drug
trafficking. Most individuals who were interviewed were administered an oath
attesting to the truthfulness of their statements. The OIG interviews involved
travel to four continents and throughout the United States. OIG conducted a
number of interviews jointly with DoJ/OIG where common investigative interests
- The persons interviewed also included senior Agency management
officials, including DCI George Tenet, former DCI Robert Gates, former Deputy
Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) and Deputy Director for Operations (DDO)
John McMahon, former DDO Richard Stolz, several former DO Chiefs of Latin
America Division, and relevant former Chiefs of the DO/Central American Task
Force (CATF). A large number of CIA officers--both current and retired--who
were involved in support of the Contras in the 1980s were interviewed. Former
Contra leaders, including Eden Pastora, Adolfo Calero and Alfonso Robelo were
interviewed. OIG also interviewed Ricky Ross, Danilo Blandon and Norwin
- Seven people declined OIG's request to be interviewed. They include
six former CIA personnel--a middle-level officer who resigned from CIA some time
ago; Duane Clarridge; Joseph Fernandez; Clair George; John McCavitt; and Gerald
Svat--and Celerino Castillo, a former DEA employee. Three other former senior
Agency managers responded in writing to questions posed by OIG.