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December 21, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 27, 2008
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August 23, 1983
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01070R000200850005-0.pdf154.92 KB
Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 RADIO TV REPORTS, INC. 4701 \MLLARD AVENUE, CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND 20815 656-4068 PROGRAM The Merv Griffin Show STATION WTTG-TV Syndicated DATE August 23, 1983 9:00 P.M. Washington, D.C. MERV GRIFFIN: Right now we're going to continue our series on international espionage with a look into our own intelligence arm, the CIA, whose covert activities are not always as successful or as wholesome as many of us would like to believe. Perhaps the most damning evidence of that is in this book, which has just gone paperback with new information in it, called "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence." This latest edition represents a decade of legal struggle with CIA censorship of its contents. And now we're going to hear why from the coauthor, former Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director of the CIA, Victor Marchetti. Welcome, Victor. [Applause] GRIFFIN: How did the CIA attempt to stifle the publish- ing of this book? VICTOR MARCHETTI: Well, the first thing they tried to do was bribe the publisher not to publish it. That was Alfred Knopf. GRIFFIN: With an offer of money? MARCHETTI: Yes. But an indirect sort of offer. They'll buy up all the copies. And Knopf said, "Well, we'll just keep producing them, then." So after they couldn't talk Knopf out of that, they got an injunction against me saying that I could not show -- I had not yet written the book. I had only agreed to write. And they Material supplied by Radio N Reports, Inc. may be used for file and reference purposes only. It may not be reproduced, sold or publicly demonstrated or exhibited, Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 got an injunction against me saying that I had to show it to them first, which I thought that was fine. But then they began to censor it and they began cutting out all kinds of simple things which they later admitted to. They were doin't it just simply to give me a bad time and to prevent the book from being written. GRIFFIN: Is our CIA too dependent on covert actions? MARCHETTI: Yes, in the Third World area. In Africa, Latin America and Asia, we depend too much on secret activities in order to manipulate events in those countries. When we should rely, really, on our real strength, which is promoting America. I mean we can do more good in these countries with Kentucky fried chicken, hamburgers, jeans, rock music, and that, than we can with all the spies in there trying to manipulate the government. GRIFFIN: But we've done that for a long time. That's hardly a counteraction to infiltration by Cuba's forces and Libya and everybody else who's sending in -- the Soviets are sending in guns and bombs to the terrorists. We can't send down Kentucky fried chicken. MARCHETTI: No. Okay. The point is this, is that we wouldn't be in these situations, say, in a country like El Salvador, if in addition to all that good stuff we were doing, that we would take the advice of our Catholic and Protestant missionaries who've been down there and said do something about the plight of the people. Don't let the big industries make them work for just a few pesos a day. Give them a decent standard of living. Give them an opportunity for free elections, and that. In other words, export real Americanism. MARCHETTI: Oh, yes. We're in trouble down there, in El Salvador. We're in trouble in Guatemala, throughout all of Central America. And the basic reason is that we're constantly supporting dictatorships which are really fascist dictatorships that want to keep the lid on, want to maintain the status quo, cheap labor. I mean that's why United Fruit gets so concerned about these things. The computer companies have chips made in these countries. The drug companies have cheap labor to produce pharmaceuticals. It's easy, then, for the KGB to get in there and stir these people up and they get angry. But the first chance they get, these people would come back to the American way if we gave them half a chance. GRIFFIN: Talk about some of those little devices that we have our spies using, the ones that don't work. What have you seen? Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 MARCHETTI: Well, they get a little carried away with themselves. And one time they wanted to make an airplane that would fit into two suitcases. Now, can you imagine this, a guy going into Russia with two great big suitcases? Assuming he gets past Customs, he's saying, "A-1 goes onto A-2," he puts this airplane together. You're going to fly over a missile site and the Russians aren't going to do anything about it, and he's going to fly out? GRIFFIN: What kind of bugs do they have? MARCHETTI: Here's another one. They came up with a bug one time. They decided that they would this bug in a cat. MARCHETTI: In the cat. And this cat would wander in here by us, see, and it would overhear our conversation, and the message would be relayed back to a van somewhere. Well, the cat came on -- well, they cut him open, they put a battery in him and wired him all up. His tail was the antenna, and everything. [Laughter] MARCHETTI: He comes wandering along and he gets hungry, so he walks off the job. So now they had to put another wire on him so they knew when he was hungry, and still another one to override the hunger tantrum. Now they find out, in the next test, that he's a male. GRIFFIN: Uh-oh. MARCHETTI: Because another one went by of a different sex and he wanted off the job again. GRIFFIN: They must have been hearing extraordinary things. MARCHETTI: Oh, they were. The dials kept going like They put on two more wires, and the finally had this poor thing all shaved and wired and taped together, all these wires on. The big test comes. Two guys sitting on a park bench across the street from the van, go over there and listen to their conversation. He walks across the street, a cab comes down and runs over him. Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0 [Laughter] MARCHETTI: Two hundred thousand dollars down the drain. GRIFFIN: It sounds a little "Mission Impossible" to me. MARCHETTI: Well, actually, they used to do that. I have a friend of mine who was involved in making these devices. And he told me, he said, "Every Tuesday morning they'd come in with all these crazy notions. They want a drill made out of plastic that'll go through steel." And he said, "I don't know where they get these ideas." Well, one night he watched "Mission Impossible" on Monday night... GRIFFIN: On Monday night. MARCHETTI: And Tuesday morning he knew what they were going to ask. [Laughter] GRIFFIN: The book is called "The CIA," and it is by Victor Marchetti. And thank you, Victor, very much. Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200850005-0