Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
November 11, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 15, 1998
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
September 24, 1967
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00149R000600040009-6.pdf113.08 KB
Front Ed;t oCner Pace Pago Page Saimitilaed - ni readad For Rel se . ~ ~p - '9F~'b( 0~@0 CPYRGHT that Mr. Otepka's decline began then. UP 2 4 195L - ,_ His safe was cracked by State Depart- 5-273, 709 Mr. Otepka's telephone was bugged. U-126,688 committee with classified information. CPYRGHT who supported him were transferred to ': meaningless jobs, and two of these later were fired. (The two a p p e a l e d , 5 were reinstated, and promptly resigned.) Two officials perjured themselves in an attempt to cover up evidence about the telephone tapping. Mr. Otepka was suspended formally In September, 1963, and was fired in November. He immediately appealed, but hearings on the appeal were post- poned six times. The hearing finally was held last spring - four years to the again in Washington. Lawyers' briefs in the appeal of -the fired State Depart- ment security officer will be filed Sep- tember 29. Thereafter a hearing officer will recommend to Secretary of State Rusk either that Mr. Otepka be rein- stated or that his dismissal be upheld. Because it has dragged on for so long, and because of what it reveals about the hidden inner workings of the State Department, the Otepka case de- serves recapitulation. It probably begat} in 1955, when Mr. Otepka, then chief of the Evaluations Division of the Stag Department's Se- curity Branch, was asked to evaluate the record of a prominent figure - as yet unidentified - who was being consid- ered for appointment to a sensitive post in the Government. Mr. Jpka produced evidence from secret CIA files showing that the man in question had been denied a position on a Cold War strategy board .because of "reservations" about him as a "se- curity liability." The man was passed over for the appointment. . Twice more in five years the same name came up, and both times Mr. Otcp- ka produced the same evaluation. In 1961, under a new Administration, Mr. Otepka's reservations a b o u t this person were overruled. Observers who have follgwed the case closely believe assignment, Mr. Otepka was removed from his jo and put to shuffling papers? in anothe alle 'subcommittee was investigating ga tioni ' 'Mx security procedures in the State Department. - The subcommittee counsel called o Mr. Otepka, who.produced records o his findings and recommendations i several cases, including one in which h had b a llc_ e d at granting "emergency' clearances for 10 persons recommends for appointment to a State Departmen advisory committee. Shortly thereafter onJune 27 1963 month from the time hewas first re- moved from active service as a security officer. The Internal Security subcommittee hearings, which produced a transcript of 1,500,000 words, revealed indications of 1 a systematic State Department purge of i "hard" anti-Communist employes, of whom Otto Otepka was one of the most prominent. The hearings revealed indications of Executive pressure to provide security } clearances for some questionable risks, including William Wieland of Castro fame. They also revealed a picture of Otto Otcpka as a stubborn, conscientious civil servant who insisted on doing his job in the face of subtle pressures designed to lower the security bars to sensitive, high-level positions. (It was revealed aft- er Mr. Otepka was fired that 63 State Department employes, including three senior officers in the Foreign Service, had resigned in 1963 after being con- were security.iiabilities.) The irony of_ the case' is that the State Department persecutors of Otto 'Otepka will have won, no matter how it comes out. Even if Mr. Otepka is rein- stated, which doesn't appear likely, his career is ruined. Any successor in his office will remember vividly how consci- entious work is rewarded, and can be expected to trim his sails accordingly. The affair will leave a black mark forever on the record of the State De- partment. In the minds of many Ameri-? cans, it will cast doubt as to whether he conduct of their country's foreign I f f a I r s Is in completely trustworthy lands. Sanitized - Approved For Relelase : CIA-RDP75-00149R0006000140009-6