100. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

1. Intelligence Committee on Panama—Ambassadors Bunker and Linowitz testified along with Stansfield Turner today before Inouye’s Intelligence Committee on the question of whether or not intelligence leaks and/or threats of exposure by the Panamanians affected the treaty negotiations. At the conclusion of the session, Inouye read a statement to the press as follows:

“The Committee has no evidence or reason to believe or conclude that U.S. intelligence activities have in any way affected the final results of the Panama Canal treaties negotiations.”

While you can be expected to face a question at your next press conference as to whether or not the United States conducted intelligence activities against Panama, Inouye’s clean bill of health for the treaties should protect them from further fallout,2 [1½ lines not declassified] In view of last week’s leak from the Intelligence Committee, Inouye is making every conceivable effort to avoid further embarrassment.3

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 19, Evening Reports (State), 9/77. Secret. Carter initialed the memorandum and wrote: “Cy.” All brackets are in the original except those indicating text omitted by the editors or that remains classified.
  2. Carter wrote in the left margin: “good.”
  3. Presumably a reference to the CBS News report. See footnote 2, Document 97.