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December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 9, 2011
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PDF icon CIA-RDP09T00207R001000020044-5.pdf66.4 KB
Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000020044-5 NEW YORK TLMES Covert Abuses President Ford's defense of "covert action" by intelli- gcnce organizations against. foreign governments is faulty both in its particular application to Chile and as a general tenet on foreign policy. The belatedly-revealed campaign against the government of the late President Salvador .Allende adds just one more example of how executive powers can be abused when the element. of effective accountability is absent. Mr. Ford tried to put the most benign face upon the dubious Chilean exploits of his predecessor's Administra- tion at his Monday news. conference, and again yesterday in meeting Congressional leaders. Money was indeed spent to influence Chile's political process, he conceded, despite' all the prcvions- denials by senior government officials who k'.rew better. But the President explained that this was clone only. "to help and assist the preservation of opposition newspapers and electronic media and to pre- serve opposition political parties." This explanation might be more convincing if there were any record of ehailar concern for democratic opposition voices in Greece under the military. junta, for example, or in totalitarian South Vietnam or South Korea today-or for that matter in post-Allende Chile. The broader question is whether such covert activities were properly conceived and policed inside the govern- ;nent, the legislative as well as executive branc!,. XXey Congressional leaders who are supposed to be intorrned of such operations claim they were kept in the dark. Responsible committees of Congress were misled in sworn testimony by Administration officials. inside the Executive branch the so-called 40 Committee for intelligence oversight, chaired by 1-lemy A. Kissinger as President Nixon's national security adviser, reportedly orchestrated the anti-Allende campaign, even as govern- ment spokesmen at all levels were insistently denying any intervention in Chilean affairs. It is not enough for the President and Secretary of State ?r,;mply to brief invited Congressmen on controversial ac- tions once they become known, as happened yesterday. As we have long advocated, the Congress should insist on rnire effective oversight procedures than have been exercised so far; one aim should be to break up the con- centration of decision-making power in the hands of one man or a small group of anonymous officials under the limited accountability that, more than anything else, in- vites free-wh oeling abuse of power. It would r lash statement to say that there is never a need boa t ov;r1 intelligence operations in the modern world, but stringent criteria must be established and enforced before resorting to such dan erou Icchr.iques. Lyman B. Kirkpatrick Jr., one of the nation's most experienced intelligence executives, observrJ several ',ears ago: "The Luse of 'covert action' fo, the imple- mentation of foreign policy mx,,v be even counrerpro- dactive when successful: w hen u.I:succcssful it can be catas'trophic." "z CEP r- 00693 Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000020044-5