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December 15, 2016
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March 4, 2004
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November 7, 1977
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PDF icon CIA-RDP80M00165A002500030029-4.pdf196.98 KB
The Director of Central Intelligence Approved For Rele 52OO4/0'32(3: CIA-RDP80MOO16 fi6;ia4 ? g 7 November 1977 Lear Joe, Just read your column on the Helms issue and -thought it was very balanced and in-Formative. You mentioned me in it, stating that I've ...cut back drastically on the size of the CIA's covert staff." Let me only make it clear that I have cut back only in the Headquarters overhead. There is no intent to cut back the overseas arm that does the clandestine collection and covert action. In short, your statement is technically correct, but I did want you to know that it is not my intent to reduce the net effectiveness of the clandestine/covert organiza- tion. In fact, I think that pruning the excesses from the Headquarters overhead will strengthen our l c andestine/covert capabilities. All the best to you and Anne. STANSFIELD TURNER Mr. Joseph C. Harsch The Christian Science-Monitor One Norway Street Boston, Massachusetts 02115 WEN Approved For Release 2004/03/23 : CIA-RDP80M00165AO02500030029-4 -A A A,%," AAC'A..lM .3i...,, r-n 0...,1L' MUNI9.O; . ,. nnnw ~.inq/23 i+ Appi-eved For ear -~s~~ 02 ~!msc~e ::?Kirts Preserving democracy and spies too: analysis By Joseph C. Iiarseh Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor The immediate case of Richard Helms, master spy, vs. the U.S. Senate is now resolved in the only way it could be re- solved - by a legalistic compromise. He has pleaded nolo con- iendere, meaning he does not choose to contest the charge, His case will not now go to trial. The judge had still to decide on a sentence at this writing. Left unresolved, and perhaps never to be resolved, is how to reconcile the principles of democratic government with clan- destine intelligence operations. Former Central Intelligence Agency director Helms himself will not be prosecuted for fail- ing to disclose in public to the Senate what the CIA actually did in Chile. But does this mean that the CIA in Washington will never again operate clandestinely against a foreign gov- ernment? And does it mean that a future director of Central Intelligence will never again fail to disclose all he knows about such operations to the Senate in public? - In theory, this sort of thing is not likely to happen again soon. New arrangements for congressional oversight exist. And the disclosure of past CIA activities has given clandestine operations a bad name. Adm. Stansfield Turner, the new direc- tor of Central Intelligence, has cut bacl, dr t .g lly the size' of the CIA's covert staff. The general- climate of the times is such TFiaf nothing like the operation in Chile is likely to be at- tempted soon lain, if ever. . M3 The facts of-'The Helms case as now known are as follows: In 1970 the government in Washington was unhappy about the impending election to the presidency of Chile of Dr. Salva- dor Allende Gossens, an avowed Marxist. The; White House, acting through the National Secu- rity Council channels which operated at that time, instructed the CIA to do what it could do by _,onmilitaxy ra-ans tj prevent the elkctiu,a of Mr. Allende: In 1973 a Senate committee investigated re- ports that the CIA had conspired with the In-' ternational Telephone and Telegraph Corpo- ration (ITT) against the Allende cause. Mr.. Helms, then director of CIA, was asked ques- tions about CIA activities in Chile. He denied knowledge of covert CIA activities in Child'iin 1970 or later. It now is known that the CIA did, in fact, spend about $8 million in support of anti-Al- lende political activities in Chile, although ap- parently not in collusion with ITT. The Allende government was overthrown in a counter- revolution in September, 1973. Perjury charge sought The Senate committee headed by Sen. Frank Church (D) of Idaho contended that Mr. Helms's testimony in 1973 amounted to perjury and demanded that the Department of Justice tiring him to trial on a charge of perjury. On Oct. 31, Mr. Helms, now retired from public service, appeared in the federal district court of Judge Barrington D. Palmer, along with officials of the U.S. Department of Justice and entered his plea of nolo contendere: The Department of Justice recommended that there be no, prison sentence. White House spokesman Jody Powell said that this action on the Helms case "upholds the. law but also serves the interests of national security." By upholding "the interests of national secu- rity" Mr. Powell presumably means that no precedent has been set which would push any future CIA director or agent to disclose in an- swer to Senate questions all he knows about clandestine matters which he has taken an oath to keep secret. . Secrecy oath dilemma Mr. Helms, of course, knew all about CIA operations in Chile. He had authorized those operations on instructions from his own superi- ors at the White House. He was a commis- sioned officer of the government of the United States acting on the orders of his superior offi- cer, the President. But these operations were intended to be clandestine and secret. His own oath of office required him to avoid disclosing his knowledge of such operations. - What does any spy do under such conditions? Perhaps the answer to -the many. quandaries disclosed by the whole CIA story is that there should be a system of congressional super- vision which avoids a repetition of what -hap- pened to Mr. Helms. If the Congress, through its own oversight arrangements, is saisfied that the CIA is not acting outside the area of proper authority, then there would be no occa- sion to summon the CIA director to ask him questions which he cannot answer without vio- lating his oath of office and uncovering clan- destine operations. .- CONFIDENTIAL SECRET UNCLASSIFIED OFFICIAL ROUTING SLIP TO NAME AND ADDRESS DATE INI IALS A/DCI/PA, 1F04, H QS z 4 5 DCI 7 NOV 1977 6 X ACTION DIRECT REPLY PREPARE REPLY APPROVAL DISPATCH RECOMMENDATION COMMENT FILE RETURN CONCURRENCE INFORMATION SIGNATURE Remarks : To 1: For your review before DCI signs. FOLD HERE TO RETURN TO SENDER ME. ADDRESS AND PHONE NO. NA FROM:: DATE It~~ QQ Ap~rovbtl AP9relMa 2004/03/23: CIA-RDP80 09 5A60 UNCLASSIFIED CONFIDENTIAL SECRET FORM NO. 7 Use previous editions (40)