Leaking the “Poindexter MEMO”: Elaine Morton

“Elaine, I have profound disagreements with the substance of your position… We have established, I think, that pressure against Gaddafi does indeed work and can serve to condition/moderate his behavior.” CIA Vincent Cannistraro

Dr Elaine Morton has been suspected of being the source of Woodward’s piece on the US disinformation program towards Libya. (See: THE POINDEXTER MEMORADUM)

As a result, she was forced to resign from the NSC staff. (Brian Lee Davis: Qaddafi, Terrorism and the origins of the US attack on Libya)

Short Biography

Elaine Morton received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and a Ph. D. from Stanford. She began work at the State Department in 1974 as a special assistant to the director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In 1978 she became a member of the Policy Planning staff in the State Department where she periodically briefed senior State Department and White House officials on analysis of Libyan policy options. In June 1985 Dr. Morton worked in the Office of the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of the American States as an international relations officer.

From August 1985 to October 1986 Dr Morton worked at the National Security Council in the Crisis Management Center where she was the director of Crisis Policy Analysis. Her collection focuses on the economic and political issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. In 1986 Dr Morton returned to the State Department.

Material available to researchers (REAGAN LIBRARY COLLECTIONS)

Among the Morton’s documents available, you may find the following:

Libya: Arms Transfers, Subterfuges

[Libya] Pre 04/14/1986 Action

[Libya] Post 04/14/1986 Action (1)(2)

[Libya] June 30th Deadline Backgrounder (1)(2)

Libya: Bankers’ Trust Suit

Libya: Banking and Financial Sanctions

Libya – Chad

Libya – Economic Measures

Libya – Egypt (Post Egypt Air Hijacking) Border Situation

Libya – Egypt (post-Washington Post)

Libya: Further Measures (03/08/1982-01/13/1986)

Libya: Further Measures (01/14/1986-02/09/1986)

Libya: Further Measures (02/10/1986-03/19/1986)

Libya: Further Measures (03/20/1986-03/27/1986)

Libya Game

Libya General

Libya – Internal (08/05/1985-06/26/1986)

Libya – Internal (06/27/1986-08/03/1986)

Libya – Internal (08/04/1986-08/30/1986)

[Libya – National Security Planning Group]

Libya Policy: Implementation (Undated) (1)(2)

Libya Policy: Implementation (08/11/1973-01/10/1986)

Libya Policy: Implementation (01/11/1986-02/02/1986)

Libya Policy: Implementation (02/03/1986-02/12/1986)

Reducing Libyan Oil Revenue

Libya: Refined Products Ban

Libya Sanctions: Preparations for Release (1)(2)

[Libya] Implementation and Policy Feedback – Press


Libya Task Force (04/17/1986-06/04/1986)

Libya Task Force (06/05/1986-07/02/1986)

Libya – Terrorism

Libya, Terrorism, Next Steps

Libya – Trade, “Back Fill”

Libya: Travel Restrictions and Backfill Issue

Libya – U.S.

Libya – U.S.S.R.

I suspect that the “Timeline 1986” could be updated if I could access these files…



Timeline 1986


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