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December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 16, 2011
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PDF icon CIA-RDP09T00207R001000030052-5.pdf42.98 KB
Approved For Release 2011/08/17: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000030052-5 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR Bell still undecided on Helms case By United Press International Washington Calling it "most active thing in my office," Attorney General Griffin Bell said ~-3- he will decide soon whether to seek a federal in- dictment against former Central Intelligence Agency Director Richard Helms on charges of lying to Congress. Mr. Bell conceded he has had plenty of ad- vice from senators and other government offi- cials on Mr. Helms and the CIA involvement in Chile - most of it advising him to drop the controversy because a Helms public trial might damage national security. "I'll make a decision at an early date on the Helms matter," he said. "It's about the most active thing in my of- fice, I suppose, because I've got to make a de- cision. I'm considering foreign intelligence that would be involved on the one hand - and on the other hand the gravity of the allegations. We've got to come down somewhere between the two extremes." Mr. Helms, who served as director of the CIA from 1966 to 1973, has been accused of lying to a congressional committee in denying close CIA infiltration and involvement in Chile before and during the administration of leftist President Salvador Allende. The attorney general was interviewed on the NBC Today program about reports he is under extreme pressure not to indict Mr. Helms, who recently retired as ambassador to Iran. "Well, I'm under, a good deal of - I don't consider it to be pressure, incidentally - but I know how people feel and it ranges from sena- tors to former high government officials to people in the government now," Mr. Bell said. "You know these sort of cases - no one ever comes to you and says `prosecute.' They all say 'don't prosecute.' " He was asked if refusal to prosecute would give government officials a license to lie to Congress. ? "That's the difficult thing. Ordinarily, you wouldn't think of doing that," he replied, not- ing the Justice Department earlier this year obtained the first federal indictment against an FBI agent. C ,S, R, - f0.Jt Approved For Release 2011/08/17: CIA-RDP09TOO207RO01000030052-5