Who Leaked Achille Lauro Operation Details that “Seriously Compromised U.S. Intelligence Activities?”

Newsweek Says North Was a Source of Leaks
New York Times
July 20, 1987

LEAD: Newsweek magazine says in its current issue that Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North leaked details to the magazine about the interception of the terrorists involved in the Achille Lauro operation, although the colonel complained at the Iran-contra hearings that revelations by Congressmen about the mission had compromised sensitive intelligence.

Newsweek magazine says in its current issue that Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North leaked details to the magazine about the interception of the terrorists involved in the Achille Lauro operation, although the colonel complained at the Iran-contra hearings that revelations by Congressmen about the mission had compromised sensitive intelligence.

In his testimony before the Congressional committees investigating the Iran-contra affair, Colonel North said that he had lied to Congress about his actions because he felt its members often leaked sensitive information. As one example, he discussed the hijacking by Arab terrorists of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in October 1985, in which an American tourist, Leon Klinghoffer, was killed.

After the ship's passengers were freed, United States planes intercepted an Egyptian plane carrying the men believed to be the hijackers. Newsweek printed an article about the incident that contained many behind-the-scenes details of the interception.

In its latest issue, Newsweek noted that Colonel North testified at the Iran-contra hearings that ''a number of members of Congress'' made revelations about the Achille Lauro operation ''that very seriously compromised our intelligence activities.''

''But the colonel did not mention,'' the Newsweek article continued, ''that details of the interception, first published in a Newsweek cover story, were leaked by none other than Colonel North himself.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DEFDD1431F933A15754C0A961948260

  • Doug Diggler

    One could be led to believe that LTC North was involved in aspects of the Achille Lauro incident extending far, far beyond the interception of the terrorists by jet. The utter fishiness of the case was highlighted by the Italian courts throwing out the case at a time when the Italian political structure was wholly a creature of CIA policy by means of Gladio.