TEL AVIV (Oct. 4)
The widow of an Israeli official linked to the Iran-Contra affair said over the weekend she does not know how a secret document that alleges: early knowledge of the affair by President Bush reached an ABC television news program.
Judy Moses-Nir, widow of Amiram Nir, said the top-secret document shown and quoted from last Friday on “Nightline” was not among a collection of her husband’s papers she had reported stolen from a safe in her home last year.
The document, in Hebrew and translated into English for “Nightline,” was described as classified Israeli minutes describing Nir’s meeting with Bush in July 1986 at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in which Nir wrote that he apprised the then vice president of arms-for-hostages negotiations with Iran.
Also present at the meeting was Craig Fuller, who was Bush’s chief of staff. A memo written by Fuller was until now the only known written account of the meeting.
The issue has been revisited of late with related comments by former National Security Council staffer Howard Teicher, who also says Bush knew about the clandestine deal.
Judy Moses-Nir reported the theft two years after Nir, 38, was killed in a 1989 plane crash in Mexico. She said she knew of no progress in inquiries into the cause of that crash.
Nir served as special assistant for counter-terrorism issues to Shimon Peres when he was prime minister. The memo was written to Peres.
The television report suggests Nir’s evidence points to earlier awareness by Bush than he claims of the Iran-Contra deal.
There has been no official reaction in Israel to the ABC report. But the Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported Sunday that Israeli defense sources are demanding an investigation into the leak of the Nir document to the U.S. television network.