Ex-CIA Official May Face Charges in Iran-Contra Case
A former CIA official, Duane (Dewey) Clarridge, has been formally notified that he is a “target” of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh’s investigation of CIA complicity in a cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal.
Walsh’s prosecutors, sources said, have collected fresh evidence indicating that Clarridge lied in congressional testimony about a November, 1985, shipment of Hawk missiles to Iran.
The shipment was intended to help gain the release of four Americans then held hostage in Lebanon by pro-Iranian extremists.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that four other intelligence officials have been notified that they are under scrutiny in the inquiry. One is Clair E. George, who, as the CIA’s third-ranking official, supervised covert operations around the globe.
The notification to Clarridge that he is a target means that Walsh’s office intends to seek his indictment in the near future, lawyers said.
His indictment could undermine a longstanding contention by some top Ronald Reagan Administration and CIA officials that they had no reason to know at the time of the shipment that it contained arms for Tehran.
Clarridge, who was chief of the CIA’s Western European division at the time, said under oath in an April, 1987, deposition for the House-Senate Iran-Contra committees that he had been “told it was sophisticated oil-drilling equipment.”
But, according to evidence compiled by Walsh’s prosecutors, former White House aide Oliver L. North explicitly told Clarridge, in advance of the shipment, that it contained Hawk missiles.