Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
November 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
April 24, 2000
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
May 6, 1972
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00001R000100010040-2.pdf174.81 KB
CPYJRGHT Says His New, Book Would Spill Some Secret 13ut I-It's Old 'Boss, the CIA, Goes to Court, CPYRGH o y F /ichael f, Mall From CIA: No Comment a .Ip .avers leave baseball and write books about what's wrong with it. Soldiers Wave the Army and write books about what's wrong with. that. Victor Marchetti quirt hiss, job and sent an outline of a book about.1?iis~ old business to. a New York pub- . l.i~her.. `Tben; last Tuesday the roof fell in," he aaid?between. court appearances last week. '"Marshal Dillon and Chester came to the door and' presented me with some legal papei:s.. Being just an ordinary guy with three kids living in suburbia, I didn't know where to go for advice. I called my agent and hollered, 'Help!' " Mar.chetti's publishing problem Is that he used to work for the Central Intelli- gence Agency (CIA). The legal papers constituted a court order requiring him to clear anything he writes about intelligence matters, even fiction, with his old em- ployer. If the order holds tip in further 1court tests, it could give the Government a iiew way to plug "leaks" of classified in- formation. Looked at another way, how- ever, it could give the Government a pow- erful new tool for suppressing informed debate of its military and foreign policies. ACLU Answers Call "It's no less important than the Penta- gon Papers case," says Melvin Wulf, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which immediately re- sponded to Marchetti's call for legal help. "If they establish this precedent," Marchetti contends, "it means no Govern- ment employe who had access to classi- fied information will be able to criticize the actions of the Government." The Government's action grows out of a manuscript that Marchetti submitted to esquire magazine and a book outline he tent to Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., a publishing house. A CIA agent obtained copies of both, and the agency went to court con- tending the works contained classified in- formation whose publication would do "ir- reparable damage" to national security. To knowingly transmit such Informa- tion to anyone else, including a publisher, would seem to leave Marchetti open to prosecution under laws that prescribe a i0-year prison sentence for violators. But the Government made a different case. It Noted that Marchetti had signed a secrecy /agreement while with the CIA, promising to not reveal any classified information without written permission from the agency. TIM NATIONAL OBSERVER Approved For Release 2000/05/136 t6P75-00001 R ook . urns ? Writer The Government said this amounted to a legal contract. It contended that Mar- chetti violated the contract by sending his ,writings to a publisher. On this ground it obtained an injunction requiring him to clear his writings with the CIA 30 days be- fore -showing them to anyone else. If Mar- chetti violates the injunction, he can go to jail for contempt of court. The Government's use of this circuitous route to head off a possible breach of secu- rity is unprecedented, lawyers say, with the possible exception of an obscure case during World War I. But it offers the Gov- ernment a method to silence Marchetti without a difficult and time-consuming of fort to prove that the information in his ar- ticles was damaging to national security. If the CIA's case holds, up, it needs t prove only that he violated an agreement that he readily admits signing. The CIA has a policy of taking its lumps in silence, so no spokesman was available to defend its position. But others familiar with the security laws said the laws paradoxically could require 'the agency to bring its secrets into open court in order to protect them, and that a prose- cution could leave Marchetti free to write and speak for months on end as courts and juries made up their minds. A Matter of Security "Ex post facto action against unautho- rized-disclosure is always difficult," says retired Adm. Rufus L. Taylor, for whom Marchetti was executive' assistant when Taylor was deputy director of the CIA. "You've always got to prove damage to the national security and sometimes even intent to damage national security." To Marchetti and his-ACLU lawyers, that ' is just the point. They say the breach-of-contract argument makes it pos- sible for the Government to silence its critics without proving that they had en- dangered national security. They say the information in Marchetti's manuscripts did not present such a danger, and that the secrecy "contract" is legally unen- forceable because it compels an employe to sign away his freedom of speech. "A Government agency can still use classified information to support its poli- cies and build its image," Marchetti argues. "When the military budget comes up, all this stuff about Russian missile capabilities comes out to support its poss. tion. It's leaked and nothing ever happens, But if somebody took the same informa- PP brs, ease 2000/05/23: CIA--RDP75-0000 L. IL V i ,cam }c I v~ k UC i on to ac Anderson to support the opy polite position, they'd go to jail." Marchetti didn't start out to be a cru- ader, and he still doesn't want to go to all for the sake of civil liberties. He left he CIA after 14 years in 1969, at least artly because of the here-I-am-going-on- 0-and-what-have-I-accomplished blues. He lid believe the intelligence apparatus lad become too big, too expensive, and too rozen in Cold War attitudes, but mostly, e says, he wanted to be a novelist. Security vs. Image He has since published one spy novel, he Rope Dancer, which he first showed o the CIA, ("Pretty trashy," says Admiral aylor.) And he wrote one highly critical agazine article, which he didn't clear ith the agency. "In my opinion, this and other things Victor Marchetti says are damaging to the' mage of constituted authority, and it does o good to do things of this sort," Admiral aylor says of the article. "Put I person- Ily perceived no outright security reach." Marchetti suspects that the intelligence gency is more concerned about its image an any security breach in his new manu- cripts, :which Admiral Taylor hasn't seen. The CIA have been the golden boys of he. Federal Government, the American rimes Bonds," Marchetti says. "Very few eople have ever spoken out against them. 'his Is a new experience for them and I uess they didn't like it: "Look, I'm very reluctant to use the 1 itials of the agency where I used to J ork," Marchetti frets, as he tries to de- cribe his criticisms of the CIA without iolating? the court order. Whipping the KGB But in abstract terms, and trying to avoid any concrete examples that could at him in jail, he argues that the agency as succumbed to the mental inertia that flirts any bureaucracy when it faces no tside pressure to change. "It's very hard for a bureaucracy to reform itself," 1 says. Marchetti would like to see an intelli- g nce system that was smaller, cheaper, are subject to congressional control, and I ss influenced by the military. He be- li ves the CIA should stick to intelligence g thering and abandon political missions 11 'e those that helped overthrow. govern- n ents in Iran and Guatemala, and in- volved the United States in a secret war in os. "The CIA can take pride that they w ipped the (Soviet) KGB's tail in many places" with cloak-and-dagger operations 000100010040-2 Approved For Release 2000/05/23 : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100010040-2 MESSING PAGE ORIGINAL DOCUAWNT MISSING PAGE(S): 11 Approved For Release 2000/05/23 : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100010040-2