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Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 9, 2011
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Publication Date: 
September 22, 1974
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Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000020046-3 CHILE AND THE CIA 2 2 SEP 1974 Our Central Intelligence Agency suddenly finds itself the focus of the kind of limelight-public attention that no outfit engaged in the espionage business. seeks or wel- comes. President Gerald R. Ford. did a lot to put the CIA in this uncomfortable spot. In a moment of excessive candor, ' he admitted that it had given money to demo- cratic `parties and media outlets in Chile. At the time, they were threatened with extinction by Chile's late "Marxist president,. Salvador Allende.. Mr. Ford went on to defend such "intervention" where it served our national in- terest-Those remarks 'stirred up of it quite a commotion; some _ ~en_ Church prompted . by genuine concer;r over letting the CIA mix in the internal politics of other nations. But there was a considerable amount of sheer hypocrisy in the outcry,'too. Sen. Frank Church (D-Ida.) indulged' in - a hand- vrina ng, garment-renting, pity-our-poor-country orgy of denunciation.' But Sen. Church has been around long enough to know that the CIA has been involved in what it delicately calls "covert operations" since its establishment. Such phony grandstanding aside, the dust raised by the Chile affair caused President Ford to call in nine Con- gressional leaders to discuss whether-- LANDESTIN E ACTIVITIES -snou;d be continued and, if so, under what ground rules. All n_ arties were mum about how the talks went. In our view, the United States would be most unwise to renounce entirely the use of undercover political tactics. It is admittedly an unsavory business that runs contrary to much in our heritage and traditions. We must face the reality that in thesemes aggres- sion is not always heralded by clanking tanks and march- ing armies; it advances on the little cat feet of subversion. Lacking a capacity to counter this type of stealthy conquest. we would have to choose between two equaily unappealing alternatives: permit it to press ahead un- checked, or meet it with open force. Covert operations should not be undertaken, how- ever, unless it is imperative to do so, and then only under strictest supervision. There is some merit to claims by lawmakers that they are entitled to know more than they are now being told about the details of CIA projects. Better advance briefing may be called for. But if Con-res.a a.~ks and expects fuller information and greater trust frori security agencies, it will have to demonstrate its ability to deal responsibly with.. confidential matters. Intelligence is vital to our security. and secrecy is essential to effective intelligence work. The more people who have to be told about plans and operations, the greater U e risk of leaks. It world be tragic if the flap over Chile resulted in rules that forced the CIA to work in a fishbowl, so exposed to public view that it could not possibly carry out its a122?mil 'lli~SiOf. Approved For Release 2011/08/09: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000020046-3 00695