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November 11, 2016
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December 15, 1998
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November 11, 1963
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NEW YORK IERALE) 'FIURI Nr. NOV 1.1 19,63 Sanitized - Approved For Release : Cl Today in National Affairs ^ The Dagger in the Cloak ---.And Mr. Otepka's Back CPYRGHT CPYRGHT By David Lawrence. WASHINGTON. Sen. Thomas J. Dodd, D., Conn., has achieved a repu a- tion for independent thinking. When he says that the Depart- ment of State, in dismissing its Director' of Security, used methods that are highly questionable, the country naturally becomes interested, especially since Mr. Dodd himself at one time served in the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover. The Connecticut Senator told the Senate Tue'sday, Nov. 5, that a "serious challenge to responsible government" occurred when Otto Otepka was dismissed by the State Department simply because he had "testi- fied honestly before the Sen- Mr. Otepl:a was the last ate Subcommittee on Internal old-line security officer hold- .Security on matters relating ing a top position in the to security in the Department Office of Security. He has of State." He quoted the ex- been an employee of the isting statutes which say that United States government for "the right of persons em- 27 years. He has served as ployed in the Civil Service of Deputy Director of the Office the United States, either in- of Security and Officer in dividually or collectively, to charge of evaluations. His petition Congress, or any efficiency ratings have always member thereof, or to furnish ; been `excellent.' In 1958 he information to either house of received the meritorious ser- ;Congress or to any committee vice award from Secretary or member thereof, shall not of State Dulles. But suddenly, be denied or interfered with." for some strange reason, ter- Sen. Dodd declared that, tain people in the department by its action in the Otepka decided that Mr. Otepka had case, tl4c State Department to go. "has in effect, .nullified this "And so, they began first, statute" and has issued a to restrict his functions. Then warning "to all employees they installed a tap on his that co-operation with the telephone. Although a State established committees of Department official has de the Senate, if this-co-opera- nied under oath that this tion involves testimony con- was done, the Subcommittee sidered unpalatable at higher on internal Security has proof echelon, is a crime punish- that the tap was installed. able by dismissal." Then they began to monitor Then came a sensational Mr. Otepka's burn basket. development. The Senate In- Then they locked him out of ternal Security subcommittee r,- ^f" --A ' - whole question of s:ivirig security clearance to individ- uals employed in the Depart- ment of State now has been raised in a sensational man- ner. Sen. Dodd concluded: "If the dismissal of Mr. Otepka is permitter} to stand, it will become impossible or exceedingly difficult to elicit any information from em- ployees of the executive branch that bears on dis- loyalty, malfeasants, ' conflict of interest, or other wrong- doing by their. superiors." The Department of State has not made public its de- tailed reasons for the dis- missal of Mr. Otepka, nor has it given a satisfactory explanation to the ,,Senate In, 'Security subcommittee. But wherever the question of security arises, Congress is naturally on the alert. For there have been too many in- stances in which employees in the executive branch 'of the government have been given security clearance and later turned out to be indiscreet in passing out to friends and ac- quaintances information which eventually reached the Communist side. In a vast organization of employees such as' the Federal government maintains .today, it is natural that there should be instances of questionable security. But the system which the Department of State has for years maintained is one that has created In Congress confidence in its procEdgres. The Otepka case has shaken that confidence. And the fact that the current fight for bet ter security is being led by. a Northern Democrat, who him- self is an expert in security matters, is accepted by other Senators as an indication that the problem'Is being handled by the ? Senate in a wholly nonpartisan way. The Administration has the responsibility of answering to the Senate and to the public just why the methods com- plained of by Sen. Dodd were used to remove a competent official from tthe delicate and difficult post of handling se- curity matters in the Depart- released on Nov. 9 letters filed access to his files, althoueh by three State Department no charge . had yet been officials asking that the rec- brought against him. ord of their testimony be "No one suspected of es- amended and conceding that pionage or disloyalty has to an eavesdropping device had my knowledge been subjected been placed on the telephone to such surveillance and hu- wire in Mr. Otepka's office. miliation. But Mr. Otepka Sen. R. L. Hruska, R., Neb., was not suspected of disloyal- thereupon demanded that the ty or espionage. He was sus- State Department consider pected very simply of co- dismissing the three men operating with the Senate, who, he said, had misled the Subcommittee on Internal Senate. Immediately after Security and of providing it Mr. Hruska's statement, two with information that some of the same three men-who of his superiors found em- have been the principal ac- barrassing or objectionable." cusers of Mr. Otepka-were. In many respects this is placed on "administrative more important than the al- leave" for the time being by leged scandals that are being the State Department. investigated on Capitol Hill Sen. ? Dodd, in his initial in domestic affairs, for the speech, pointed out that the ca P c~ nnot~?b5 ler teA - Approved For Rele se : CIA-RDP75-0014 FOIAb3b 9R000600040094-2