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Document Creation Date: 
December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 30, 2006
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Publication Date: 
January 5, 1978
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01314R000300120027-1.pdf119.04 KB
Approved For Release 2006/08/31 : CIA-RDP88-01314R000300120027-1 WASHINGTON POST 5 January 1978 0 Aile uos By John Jacobs washizgtan Post Stag: writer In at least four instances the Cen- tral Intelligence Agency exploited its relationship with foreign and Ameri. can news media to improperly influ. ence events and opinions in the United States, a noted CIA critic testi- fied. yesterday. Morton H. Halperin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, a Washington-based organization crit- ical of the intelligence community, told a House oversight subcommittee that, among other things, the CIA gave a false briefing to a representa- tive of Time magazine on Chilean Marxist leader Salvador Allende and the political situation in Chile around the time of Allende's election as presi- dent. A CIA copy of the briefing paper, portions of which Halperin obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that it argued in considera- ble detail that Allende and his Chi- lean Communist Party sought to de- .?stroy the free press there. This Sept. :.18, 1970, briefing, Halperin said,. con- sisted of the same Information the CIA was disseminating to its Latin American sources for use against Al- lende. Particularly objectionable, Halperin ? said, were personal characterizations of Allende as a supporter of violence as a political necessity. It described him as an "extremely ambitious, very vain man . a symbol of sartorial splendor and capitalist amenities." "Speakiag before a disappointingly small rally in - Santiago on Sept. 13," the paper said, "Allende told the .audience that he and the Unidad Pop- ular would paralyze the country if any- one tried to steal the .'people's' vic- tory.' The rally had obviously been -called to intimidate those who. might be thinking of blocking- AL'ende's sue- -cession to the presidency, and his .message of terror got through despite the small audience." Halperin said this briefing ; was given even though other CIA analysts were suggesting that "no U.S. vital in- terests would be threatened by an Al.' lende regime." .- - . W_ ... .... "Time requested a briefing," Halpe- rin testified. "It was given a propa- ganda document by an official vfa the clandestine services. Such officials, in my view, consider contacts with the American press as 'operations' de. signed to foster the objectives of whatever covert activity they are en- gaged in ... The image of Allende closing down the free press in Chile "The aim of this -dispatch," the di- rective continued, "is to provide mate- rial for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries." Among the methods to be used, the directive said, "were to employ propa- ganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate..." The agency did rian- age to plant one article in The, Specta? tor, a British magazine that Halperin said is widely read by Americans. The CIA also included information it con- sidered derogatory about some of the critics. depended on having that same image presented in Time magazine." However, Allende had allowed the Chilean papers to publish. Within hours of his 1973 fall from power in a bloody military coup, the new ruling junta permanently closed the papers. The Oversight Subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee has been holding hearings on the relation- ship between the CIA and the news media. The other three cases of CIA manip. ulation of American opinion through the press, according to Halperin, were CIA attempts to discredit critics of the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy; "CIA use of the murder of its Athens station chief, Robert Welch, to counter efforts to bring the CIA un- der tighter congressional control, and CIA efforts to discredit Elias Deme- tracopolous, a Greek journalist and business consultant who lives in Washington and who was a persistent critic of the Greek military junta. Criticism of the Warren Commis. sion conclusions, according to an April 1, 1967, CIA directive, "is a mat- ter of concern to the U.S. government, i including our organization " which , "itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed Informa- tion to the investigation." viously reported, the CIA tried to link his death with the publication of his name in CourterSpy magazine. What the CIA did not make public, Halpe- rin said, was that the CIA had warned Welch that he risked assassination un. less he changed houses, because-his house was well known as belonging to the CIA's station chief. "That the stories (in the U.S. press) suggested that Counter Spy was re- sponsible for his ? death," Halperin said, "was the result of a deliberate CIA manipulation of the American press." ? . . Apprpved For Release -2406/08/31 : CIA-RDP88-0131.4R100030020027-1