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Circuit rejected a challenge by four Congressmen and 17 other taxpayers to certain U.S. activities in Indochina. Plaintiffs had sought to enjoin certain American support activities in Indochina as violative of a statutory ban on combat activities by U.S. Forces there. The District Court dismissed the case on political question grounds, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that plaintiffs lacked standing to sue as taxpayers or as Congressmen. The Court, relying on United States v. Richardson, 418 U.S. 166 (1974) and Schlesinger v. Reservists Committee to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208 (1974), concluded that the taxpayer standing requirements were not met because plaintiffs presented no constitutional challenge to any congressional appropriation. In rejecting plaintiffs' congressional standing argument, the Court held that the Congressmen's voting power was not diluted by the challenged executive action, and that in seeking enforcement of a statute for which they had voted, the Congressmen's interests were “indistinguishable from that of any other citizen."
U.S. Attorneys Bulletin, Vol. 23, Oct. 31, 1975, No. 22.
On December 19, 1975, the U.S. Senate voted by 54 to 22 to bar use of funds under the pending defense appropriation bill from being programmed for military operations in Angola. The vote came on agreeing to a House amendment to Senate amendment No. 75, introduced by Senator John V. Tunney, to H.R. 9861, the Defense Department appropriation act for the fiscal year 1976 and the period ending September 30, 1976. Under the amendment as agreed, no such funds would be available for use in Angola, directly or indirectly, for other than intelligence-gathering activities.
Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 189, Part II, pp. S23051-23056, D1567 (daily ed.).
On January 7, 1975, the Department of Defense announced the award of a three-year contract to a private corporation, the Vinnell Corporation of Los Angeles, to perform training and logistic services in Saudi Arabia in connection with the modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Ambassador Robert J. McCloskey, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, in a letter dated March 11, 1975, to Senator Richard S. Schweiker, explained the legal basis for the contract as follows:
the above contract .. was made between Vinnell Cor. poration and the United States Army Materiel Command pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the Goverment of Saudi Arabia and the United States signed in March 1973. Under this memorandum, as part of our longstanding policy of cooperation with and support for Saudi Arabia, we agreed to assist on a fully reimbursable basis
in the training and equipping of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
The provision of equipment and training for the Saudi Arabian National Guard is authorized by the Foreign Military Sales Act, as amended. Sections 21 and 22 of the Act authorize the President to sell defense articles and services to friendly countries, either by sale of Department of Defense stocks or services or by entering into contracts for the procurement of defense articles or services. The contract with the Vinnell Corporation is an example of the latter. The Saudi Arabian National Guard modernization program includes other Defense Department contracts with civilian companies as well as direct sales from the Department of Defense.
The memorandum of understanding between the United States and Saudi Arabia concerning the Saudi Arabian National Guard modernization program was signed at Jidda Mar. 19, 1973 (TIAS 7634; 24 UST 1106; entered into force Mar. 19, 1973).
Secs. 21 and 22 of the Foreign Military Sales Act are found at 22 U.S.C. 2761 and 2762.
The United States and Greece announced, on April 29, 1975, the termination of the U.S. homeporting facility for the U.S. Sixth Fleet near 'Athens and the closing of the American air base at Athens airport. A joint statement issued at Athens and Washington upon conclusion of a second round of negotiations said:
1. At Greek request:
A. The United States agreed to terminate homeporting at Elefsis.
B. The United States base at Hellenikon will be closed. Certain United States facilities which contribute to Greek de fense needs will continue to operate on the Greek Air Force Base at Hellenikon.
2. Agreement is also expected on the elimination, reduction and consolidation of other United States facilities in Greece.
3. The privileges, immunities and exemptions of American personnel in Greece were reviewed and satisfactory progress has been made.
The installations where United States facilities remain will be placed under Greek commanders. The scope and conditions of operations of remaining facilities will be discussed in detail in the third round.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXII, No. 1873, May 19, 1975, p. 645.
On May 12, 1975, President Ford, by letter, certified to the Congress that the construction of facilities on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean was vital to the national interests of the United States. On May 19, Senator Mike Mansfield introduced a resolution of disapproval (S. Res. 160) under the provisions of Section 613 of the Military Construction Authorization Act of 1975 (P.L. 93–552; 88 Stat. 1766), approved December 27, 1974, which provides that funds appropriated under the Act for construction at Diego Garcia may not be obligated if either House of Congress, within 60 days of continuous session after receiving the President's certification, adopts a resolution of disapproval. No similar resolution was introduced in the House.
On July 28, 1975, when the 60 days had expired, the Senate rejected the resolution, by a vote of 53-43, thus permitting appropriated funds to be used for construction of a naval facility on the British-owned island in the Indian Ocean. The United States already maintained a small communications station on Diego Garcia under an agreement with the United Kingdom (TIAS 7481; 23 UST 3087; entered into force October 24, 1972). Signature of a revised agreement was deferred pending congressional review of the proposed expansion of the facility. The revised Diego Garcia Agreement, 1976, was signed on February 25, 1976 (TIAS 8230; 27 UST).
On September 17, 1975, the United States and Spanish Delegations conducting negotiations for a new agreement on U.S. facilities in Spain issued a joint communique which included the following statement regarding interim continuation of the 1970 Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation (TIAS 6924; 21 UST 1677; entered into force September 26, 1970):
While the present agreement e it provides that, in the event it is not remain in Spain for one year in acc prescribed by Article 39 of the prese stood that this provision will be app permit the two sides to continue to without interrupting the cooperati which serve the interests of both expect that negotiations looking tow continue beyond the expiration date.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 189 Spain Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation submitted to the Senate on Feb. 18, 1976, for a Cong., 2d Sess.).
On July 10, 1975, the Department of the intention to issue two letters of Jordan for the Vulcan air defense defense system. On July 14, Congre introduced House Concurrent Resolu proposed sales under the concurrent re in Section 36(b) of the Foreign Military On July 24, the House Committee reported the resolution favorably (H. Sess.), and on July 28 the Departm committee and the Senate Foreign I had been decided not to proceed with imminent congressional recess, but to Congress' return.
A new notice of intent to sell Hav Jordan was transmitted to Congress again Congressman Bingham introd to disapprove the sale. On Septembe from President Ford of a letter to informing them of the conditions of t had been received from the Govern of the Hawk missiles solely for defen and the existing restrictions on their tion and agreements, Congressman I tion.
See Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 136, Sept. 17, 1 ed.).
Transfers by Recipient Nations
On October 16, 1975, Ambassador Robert J. McCloskey, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, responded to an inquiry from Congressman Benjamin S. Rosenthal regarding a reported transfer of aircraft from Libya to Turkey and the protest by the United States to Libya regarding the transfer. He pointed out that there was no breach of any legal obligation on the part of Turkey in accepting the aircraft. The following is an excerpt from Ambassador McCloskey's letter:
Reports from several sources have confirmed that Libya has delivered to Turkey seven F-5A aircraft, which were purchased by Libya from the United States in 1967 under foreign military sales procedures. The United States Government has not given its approval to any country to transfer to Turkey U.S.-supplied military equipment since the suspension of our military shipments on February 5, 1975. Libyan authorities did not request United States Government approval of this transfer and we had no advance knowledge of it from any source.
Accordingly, we are instructing our Embassy in Tripoli to lodge a protest with the Libyan Government, pointing out that failure to conform with restrictions on the transfer of U.S.supplied military equipment will be taken into account in our consideration of any future requests by the Libyan Government to purchase military items from within the United States.
The United States is making no current military sales to Libya. In these circumstances, we believe the protest as described above is the most effective way to encourage Libyan compliance with the terms of its FMS contracts.
Of course, our contract with Libya could not impose any obligations on third countries, and Turkey has not breached any legal obligation in accepting aircraft from Libya. Given Turkey's grave concern that its air defense is being incapacitated by the U.S. embargo, it is not surprising that Turkey has sought to procure military equipment from other sources. We are unaware of any similar previous transaction for the transfer of military equipment by Libya to Turkey.
Dept. of State File No. P75 0160-0063.