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Mr. DORNAN. If he would say that afterward, of course, under article 52 of the Vienna Conference of 1969—again, people laugh about this-our power compared to Panama; if they had done that behind the scenes, to Bunker and Linowitz, that would have violated the treaty under the International Canons of Law before we even went into the treaty.

The point I am trying to make-and I think you have grasped this because we have talked about it before-the canal is open. If the treaty is not passed, it will stay open. But I maintain that Panama, even under its constituted government today-and I think it is shifting to the left very quickly-would run discriminatory policies as Egypt did against Israel.

As a matter of fact, Torrijos is the kind of man who would make a snap decision about Israel on the other side of the world and not let Israel transit the canal. I think we are headed for one mess. Before my time runs out, either I or someone else asked you in February of 1977 if it was true that Senor Manuel Noriega had been used in the planting of the bomb in the Canal Zone that you were commissioned to protect in, I believe, October of 1976. I believe when we asked the then Ambassador Taylor if that was true, he said, yes, and that he went over and expressed outrage himself quietly, behind the scenes, to the then appointed president and to Ómar Torrijos.

Is this the same Noreiga we have been hearing about yesterday and today, and do you personally believe that he did engage in setting bombs in our Canal Zone 3 years ago?

General MCAULIFFE. We have never been able to solve that bomb case. It must be the same Noriega you are talking about. He is very well known, but we have not been able to determine precisely who set those bombs. There were lots of rumors that we really have never been able to check out, that the G-2 section was behind this. But by the same token, there is also rumor and partial evidence that there may have been another group involved in it. It is just one of those things that we will never know.

I would like to address one point you raised, and that is whether Torrijos would let a Nicaraguan vessel through. Panama does not get complete control of the canal until the year 2000. We just cannot answer that question now. Obviously, Torrijos will not be around and we are hard pressed to know what the nature of the Panama Government will be at that time.

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Grove, I do not mean not to ask you questions, but I have established an acquaintance with the general. I just believe that we have boxed ourselves into a corner by ignoring the House's role. I discussed this with the President. I could see this coming and I was a freshman last year.

I heard the discussion with The Washington Post about whether the President or Tip O'Neill is going to prevail or whether the vote even comes up, which is fascinating, whether or not the votes are there. You have noticed Congressmen coming in all day long, taking a look at the panel, the guns.

The State Department recommended against it. So did other Government agencies. But I think it flushes out the issue.

All I am attempting to do is to go back to the 1930's and to the expressions and they were defending the Abraham Lincoln Bri

gade, a beautiful name, going over to Spain-and we are still terrified and uncomfortable in using the word "conspiracy," even a small Caribbean conspiracy. I note that Torrijos is not a very bright man, like the ghost of Che Guevera and most recently, Mr Castro himself.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you.

Mr. BAUMAN. Thank you.

Just to pursue this question of the defensibility of the canal, if I might, General, I believe you have indicated in statements previously that you could stop the canal from being conquered, as it were, by someone; but you could not insure that it be kept open. We have mentioned the possibility or the probability of ships being sunk in the entrances. I presume the gates, the dams, may be very vulnerable to weaponry of one kind or another.

Could you, without getting into some area that you are not permitted to discuss, could you address that subject?

General MCAULIFFE. I would be pleased to. There are a couple of sensitive points about the canal itself that I would wish to avoid in an open discussion; but I can say that these critical points of the canal, the locks, the dams, the things that, if seriously damaged, would destroy the canal, drain the lakes, and prohibit the use of that canal, these works of the canal were very well made, very well put together.

They can indeed be defended and it would take a rather major effort by a saboteur or anyone else to destroy them.

But having said that, I can also say that it would not take much of an effort to temporarily disable, say, one of the lock gates, and that would be one means of sabotage that would be very difficult to defend against because just a wrench in a gear box could cause that kind of thing.

But when we talk about the possibility of disrupting the canal by a hostile force, the force does not have to be very strong and does not have to reach the canal itself. It can stand off beyond the Canal Zone boundary, which is 5 miles from the centerline of the canal except in the lake area, and lob in mortar rounds or recoilless rifle rounds or something like that. Even if they did not hit anything, just lobbing those into the centers where the canal operating employees are working, and there are several such centers, would scatter those employees and by that scattering, render the canal useless until such time as you could get them all back on the job again.

So that the opportunities to disrupt the canal operations by a small military or paramilitary force are rather limitless down there.

Mr. BOWEN. Thank you, General.

I have gathered that there are some who feel, without saying so explicitly, that if we lost our right to remain in Panama through failure to pass legislation, for example, or in some other manner violating the treaties, that we could always stay down there under the forces under your command, for example. And I think it is enlightening to know that it would be an extremely difficult matter to keep the canal open.

Certainly, we could stay there if we wanted to use force, although I do not think many Americans would support that course

of action. But the matter of keeping the canal open, which we all want to do, would be extremely difficult.

Did either one, or both, of you have the opportunity to hear the testimony of retired General Sumner? Were you here?

General MCAULIFFE. Yes.

Mr. GROVE. Yes.

Mr. BOWEN. If I could ask you, General, or Mr. Grove, either, he seemed to indicate that if we failed to pass any legislation or in some other manner violated the treaty, and if that repudiated the treaties and our obligation under them, and if Panama under international law terminated the treaties and invited us to remove our troops and personnel, that somehow or other we could all get together and Panama would agree to some international administration of the canal.

I wonder if you might comment what you think might happen. Do you see that sort of attitude on the part of Panama?

General MCAULIFFE. I certainly do not see that attitude at the present time, sir.

I believe that if implementing legislation should not be passed, there will be an adverse reaction, first of all, by the canal employees who are depending on that legislation for their future jobs and welfare, and by the military forces who are depending on it as well.

There are several very essential provisions in the legislation. Getting to the point, I believe the canal employees would themselves probably cause the canal to stop operating. Then you would have an adverse reaction as well from Panama.

I believe that instead of coming into the zone with flowers and flags, which I understand to be under consideration by groups of Panamanians, the Panamanians may be coming in with rocks in their hands on October 1, laying claim to those areas that are to be released to Panama under the terms of the treaty, and otherwise expressing their complete opposition to the course of events.

I would also say, since we have been discussing Mr. Castro here earlier today, that such an event would give Castro ample basis to tell Torrijos and other leaders of Latin American countries, "I told you not to trust those gringos."

Mr. BOWEN. So you feel there is no likelihood, then, that Panama would be quite as cooperative as was suggested this morning, and would be delighted to sit down and work out an international arrangement which would, in a sense, dispose of the treaties we are not looking at?

General MCAULIFFE. No, sir, I do not. I think it would serve to encourage those more radical elements in the country to seek an early exit of the United States from that area.

Mr. BOWEN. Mr. Chairman, if I might make one further comment, I believe Congressman Dornan of California has certainly given the strongest possible argument for supporting the implementing legislation.

He has pointed out that he simply does not trust Torrijos or the Panama Government to maintain the neutrality and openness of access to the canal to all nations.

I think that, of course, would be a very, very strong argument for passing the implementing legislation and ensuring that the United States of America will run the canal for the next 20 years, and

that we will keep the troops under your command there, and that we will keep our 4,000 trained and skilled personnel there, so we could work out a transition for the year 2000.

We would hope that by the end of the century a different climate might exist in Central America, and one we might contribute to that improved climate through our presence in Panama.

I assume you agree, if we keep our forces in Panama we would have substantially more impact than if we withdrew them and pushed the canal over to Panama?

General MCAULIFFE. There is no question about that. I agree with it entirely.

Mr. HUBBARD. Congressman Wyatt?

Mr. WYATT. Mr. Grove, for my own benefit, what would be the situation at some later point? For example-is there any opportunity at all for Panama to deny the use of the canal to Nicaraguan ships or any other ships?

Also, under what circumstances could that take place?

Mr. GROVE. The only circumstances I could imagine occurring after October 1 when the treaties actually come into effect, and they will come into effect on that day, will amount-would have to occur after the turn of the century, since between now and the end of the century we ourselves are responsible for the operation of the canal and the maintenance of the canal as an open waterway without discrimination to world shipping.

The question that perhaps you are referring to would arise, it seems to me, only after the turn of the century when the canal would have gone to Panama.

But the neutrality treaty would at that time also continue to be in effect, and would have the full force of the treaty. If the Panamanians were at that time, 21 years from now, to deny passage to a Nicaraguan ship, or perhaps the ship of another nation, it seems to me quite evident that they would be in gross violation of a treaty that we had made.

Mr. WYATT. Under the neutrality provision, in essence, we have internationalized the canal; would you say that?

Mr. GROVE. Pardon me?

Mr. WYATT. Was the nature of the treaty that in essence you have internationalized the canal?

Mr. GROVE. Not in the sense in which it was discussed this morning. I do recall the earlier proposal. There was one such proposal considered within the U.S. Government.

It was found that that proposal did not meet our interests well at all, and the present treaty strategy that has led to the treaty that now exists was adopted over any sort of international scheme. I believe it is certainly correct to say that the canal has been an international waterway since it first opened, and the prospects of its continuing that way are very real indeed.

Mr. WYATT. In regard to the movement of weapons through Panama, would you not assume that at least there is some complicity on the part of the Government of Panama, from what we have been able to see thus far in this hearing, what has been written in the papers, et cetera?

Mr. GROVE. No, sir, I am not in a position to make that assumption at all.

I would note, for example, that the Government of Nicaragua had an opportunity 3 days ago in the Organization of American States to present its case about such matters as arms shipments, which indeed it did, and to accuse in a body where such matters are very appropriately discussed, the Government of Panama of that kind of violation had the government itself been involved Mr. WYATT. That was not done?

Mr. GROVE. That was not done. In fact, I am not being hypothetical. The Panamanian Ambassador who was present asked the Nicaraguan representative, Sevilla-Sacasa, whether the statements he had made in his opening statement were a formal charge against Panama. Sevilla-Sacasa replied that they were not.

Then to be sure he had heard him correctly, the Panamanian asked him the same question once again, and the response was that this is not a formal charge.

I, for one, would have thought that if there were this kind of complicity, that would have been the forum and the moment to bring it out and to make the kind of charges that could have been made.

Mr. WYATT. In your statement, page 8, you say that the subject matter under discussion today, although important, bears no legal or practical relation to that purpose.

You were talking about the implementing legislation. Should an amendment be offered and adopted ultimately to become part ofand this is a hypothetical-the implementing legislation, to say that if any shipment of arms to Nicaragua or any other country could be traced directly to the Panamanian Government by complicity or whatever, that payment made under the act would be removed, Do you think that would be a violation of the treaty? Mr. GROVE. I think it would cause us very serious problems with our relations with Panama. I think they would perceive it as an attempt to seriously change the-

Mr. WYATT. Do you believe it would be a change?

Mr. GROVE. Yes; I do.

Mr. WYATT. That kind of language or limitation?

Mr. GROVE. Yes; I do.

Mr. WYATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you.

Congressman Bauman.

Mr. BAUMAN. I want to take this occasion to say thank you, again, to General McAuliffe for his many courtesies to the members of this committee and to me personally.

I had the pleasure of working with him over the years and sitting through two classified briefings. I wish you could be as frank today as you were in those briefings. I think it would probably be of interest, but no one wants to violate the rules that protect our national security.

I would like to ask you a few questions about the testimony earlier. While I was not here, in reply to a question from the chairman, dealing with the testimony of Colonel Thomas that he had seen a number of intelligence reports implicating the Panama Government in activities either against Nicaragua or of a similar nature as those of the subject of this hearing, you replied that you also had seen similar reports.

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