FILE ID:97022802.TXT

(Lake, foreign affairs agencies, CWC)  (1010)


Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Shelby
(Republican-Alabama) said February 27 he will not hold confirmation
hearings on Anthony Lake, President Clinton's nominee to head the
Central Intelligence Agency, until the White House releases all the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files on Lake, and not just a
summary of them.

Shelby told PBS: "I believe that when we, on the Intelligence
Committee, ask for the FBI file -- this is a controversial nomination,
otherwise I wouldn't have asked for it -- that we're entitled to it."
He said he wants to see the raw FBI files, not just summary reports.

Shelby twice has postponed confirmation hearings for Lake, who served
as National Security Adviser during the President's first term in
office. Before the new development, hearings on the nomination were
scheduled to begin March 11.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (Republican-Mississippi) and a dozen
other conservative Senators, led by Senator Phil Gramm
(Republican-Texas), support Shelby's comments demanding the complete
FBI files.

Gramm told CBS-TV's "This Morning" February 28 that "We have a right
to see this information ... and we're going to see it or Anthony Lake
is not going to be CIA director."

But Senator Richard Lugar (Republican-Indiana), a leading Senate
Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Bob
Kerrey, (Democrat-Nebraska), the ranking minority member on the Senate
Intelligence Committee, strongly disagree with Shelby's demand for the
raw files on Lake.

Kerrey said Shelby's conduct in demanding the raw files was
"endangering the committee's capacity to function." He said there was
nothing in the summary FBI report that supports asking for the raw

"The whole confirmation process has become more and more outrageous,"
Lugar told the New York Times. "People feel it's their duty to engage
in character assassination or cause a nominee's defeat or discourage
and demoralize them," he said.

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry told reporters February 27
that the White House "is more than willing to work with Senator Shelby
and members of his staff to satisfy any concerns they have." McCurry
said "there may be a number of ways to do that, and my understanding
is that we have good conversations underway with his staff to resolve"
the matter.

Asked if it's legitimate for Shelby to ask for the complete FBI files,
McCurry said, "it's legitimate for senators to exercise their advise
and consent role, and if they have concerns we attempt to address them
in the course of a nomination hearing."

The last time senators demanded to see complete FBI files on a
presidential nominee was with the ill-fated nomination of John Tower
for Defense Secretary in 1989 during the Bush Administration.

Earlier in the week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Jesse
Helms sent a letter to Shelby saying that the Senate should not
confirm Lake because the nominee, as National Security Adviser, had
shown a "clear pattern of contempt and disregard" for Congress on
several foreign policy matters.


At the first hearing in the 105th Congress of the Senate Foreign
Relations Subcommittee on International Operations February 27,
subcommittee chair Rod Grams (Republican-Minnesota) called on the
Clinton Administration to present its proposal for reorganizing the
State Department and related foreign affairs agencies.

Grams said Congress and the President should work together to
accomplish U.S. foreign policy goals "rather than engage in finger
pointing." Tough decisions in setting budget priorities must be made,
he said, and both branches should be prepared to take full
responsibility for them.

Senator Joseph Biden, (Democrat-Delaware), the ranking minority member
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a member of the
subcommittee as well, said he has an open mind about reorganizing the
foreign affairs infrastructure.

"But everyone should understand," Biden said, "that willingness to
consider reorganization does not equate with a willingness to further
reduce our budget for international affairs." President Clinton's
request of $19.5 billion for international affairs should be regarded
"as the bare minimum needed to assure that we can protect our
interests around the globe," he said.


Senator Richard Lugar (Republican-Indiana) held a press conference
February 28 to unveil a new poll that shows overwhelming support among
U. S. citizens for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) -- a treaty
that bans the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use
of chemical weapons.

The CWC, which goes into effect on April 29, 180 days after the 65th
country ratified the treaty, is currently pending in the Senate, with
some influential senators attempting to block its passage.

The poll was commissioned by the Henry L. Stimson Center, a non-profit
public policy group in Washington, to learn the attitudes of the
American public on the treaty, Lugar said.

Conducting the poll were two highly respected polling organizations,
he said, the Wirthlin Group, that has worked closely with Republican
Party groups in the past, and the Mellman Group, that has worked
closely with Democratic Party circles.

The results are based on the views of 1,002 randomly sampled adult
Americans nationwide February 20-22.

The polling shows that public support for the treaty cuts across every
demographic group, and is supported equally by both Republicans and
Democrats, Lugar said. It also shows that voters are much more likely
to support a politician who supports the treaty than one who opposes
it, and Americans reject the premise of treaty opponents, while
accepting the views of its supporters.

Lugar, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and
Intelligence Committees, has long supported the treaty.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Jesse Helms (Republican-North
Carolina) opposes the treaty and is leading the effort to block Senate
approval of it.

If the United States does not ratify the treaty before April 29, it
will have no input in its rules and administration and will not be
represented on the inspection teams, Lugar said.