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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 9, 2011
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September 30, 1974
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Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09T00207R001000020022-9 3 0 SEP 197- Director Colby on the Record The degree of our involvement in co- Should the operational side of the In a rare on-the-record interview vert activities reflects the kind of world CIA be separated from intelligence with TIME Correspondent Strobe Tal we live in. If it's a world where two su- I gathering? bott, Director William Colby defended perpowets are peering over the fence at the CIA against its critics, ranged over each other, then it's a matter of con- i That proposal stems from the Bay the current functions of the agency, and cern when a hostile political group is of Pigs. The problem there was that we discussed future prospects. Highlights: about to take over a country. But if it's didn't let the analysts in on the act. Now Why does the CIA intervene in oth- ernations'internal affairs? I'm not saying we're engaged in a campaign to bring democracy to the world. That's not what the U.S. Gov- ernment expects from this agency. We're expected to carry out U.S. pol- icy. Over the years, we've helped dem- ocratic forces rather broadly. In those cases where we have got involved with military regimes, we did so because there was a greater danger from some place else. I don't think we've toppled dem- ocratic regimes, and I don't think we a world in which we've worked out a re- senior levels of the analyst community lationship of reasonable restraint, or are aware of covert activities and have detente, with the other superpowers, a chance to comment. In the early years then it won't matter to us who runs one of the agency, we tried conducting I'n- of these countries in a far-flung area. telligence and action operations through Of course, something very close to us two separate units, but they kept get- might still be important for political or - ting in each other's way. security reasons. There may still be cer- tain situations where U.S. interests -and I don't mean corporate interests, but fundamental political interests--can be adversely affected. In some of those cases it would be appropriate to take some modest action such as establishing a relationship with somebody who needs the help. But I stress: it's not now our about the coup, and second,,the Allen- de regime was not democratic, Granted the military regime is not democratic, democratic. Our program in Chile was to sus- tain the democratic forces against the Allende political forces, which were sup- pressing various democratic elements in a variety of ways-harassing radio sta- tions, harassing some parts of the press and some political groups. We looked forward to the democratic forces com- ing to power in the elections of 1976. To what extent had Communist forces intervened in Chile? Castro spent about a month down there in the late spring of 1973. There were a lot of extremist exiles in Chile from other countries in Latin America. There was a lot of assistance going into Chile from Cuba and other Communist How is a covert operation started? We follow the traffic with the em- bassy. We follow the political attitudes that we have toward that country. We generate a specific suggestion in the light of what we think would be national policy. We don't do anything without approval. Sometimes we get the specific sug- gestion from the outside-from an am- bassador, from the State Department or from the National Security Council staff. They'll say: "Why don't you guys do so and so?" We have the technicians here who decide what is possible and what is not. It's the same sort of thing you get with military activity. How you land troops on a hostile shore is not devel- oped in the White House. The Joint Chiefs develop a proposal. Then if the White House approves it, you go ahead. But I was some Soviet activity. They were put-, want to emphasize that we're ring some money in, as well as hard- talking about a very small number of co- This was a pro- vert actions. Policy is generated at the ware of various sorts. gram to support an eventual takeover NsC, not here. in what I would call a nondemocratic fashion-suppressing the opposition and extending Communist influence else where in the hemisphere. Will the CIA continue to mount co- vert operations? The CIA has three major functions: science and technological work, analy- sis, and the clandestine collection of in- telligence. Now there's been a fourth re- sponsibility, and that is positively influencing a situation through political or paramilitary means. That's the one that goes up and down depending on na- tional policy. Right now it's way down. What would you regard as a suc- cessful covert action? Laos. It was considered important to the U.S. that a country remain friend- ly and not be taken over by hostile forc- es. Rather than use our military force or an enormous political effort, you try to influence some key people and key po- litical groups. The Laos operation cost substantial amounts but was cheap com- pared with other ways of doing btasiness. We were not involved in the 1967 coup in Greece or in the coup in Chile last year. What alternatives to covert opera- tions are possible for the CIA? We could not-and did not-con- duct the SALT negotiations and reach a: SALT agreement until after our intelli- gence techniques had improved to the 'degree that we could tell whether the So- viets were going to abide by the agree- ments. On a number of occasions, we have identified a situation that was get- ting very sour in some country or be- tween two countries. By reporting the facts and our assessment, we generated diplomatic action so that the trouble we predicted did not happen. For instance, peace arrangements might have broken down, but because of our intelligence, negotiations saved the situation. In the future this sort of intelligence will help our country in negotiations and diplomatic relationships. As a result, we will be less likely to get into screaming crises, and there will be less need for co- vert action. It will be the increasing re- sponsibility of the CIA to give our lead- ers the knowledge necessary to move into a dire situation and defuse it. Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09T00207R001000020022-9