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Congressional Report Suggests Lake Misled Lawmakers


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 27) -- In what is likely to complicate Senate confirmation of Anthony Lake, President Bill Clinton's choice to head the CIA, a House Republican report suggests the former national security advisor may have provided false statements to Congress about Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia.

More than half of the 600-page report from a select House committee is a rebuttal by committee Democrats, who charge Republicans are making "unsubstantiated" and "reckless" allegations against Lake.

The report, due to be released later this week, examines conflicting statements by Lake and sworn testimony from U.S. diplomats before the committee about the Clinton Administration's controversial decision to turn a blind eye to Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia in April 1994.

The report identifies Lake as the principal advocate for leaving no documents that could establish a paper trail of the policy, which ran the risk of antagonizing America's European allies, and which contradicted the administration's public support for an international arms embargo to all sides in the Bosnian conflict.

Republicans fault Lake for not agreeing to testify under oath, and suggest he may have misled Congress and the FBI about White House actions. In their arguments, Democrats on the panel supported the administration's Bosnia policy, and attributed the inconsistencies in testimony to memory loss.

Lake will soon face skeptical Senate Republicans in confirmation hearings. Asked about the forthcoming report, White House spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters: "The president is fully prepared to engage and go to the mat for Tony Lake."

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