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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 22, 2004
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Publication Date: 
September 30, 1974
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01315R000200010006-9.pdf131.11 KB
0 NEW YORK c J I ,tom 30 Sep 1971. Approved For Release 2004/11/01 : CIA-RDP88-01315R06~10&4 C a I " S , t K? I By Tad Szulc ... No such overt and covert power in fore c x147 jA.._7-'L (,U vltilr~r`SslVJC e t a4.,-( Po to j,4- C_ Soul: k ,c,4 been vested in any man, except the president A shadowy group of five powerful officials silently directing America's clandestine foreign policy from the basement Situation-Room in the White House in Washington-the so-called "40 Committee" of the National Secur- ity Council-is the nearest thing we have in this country to a secret super- government body. Headed by Henry A. Kissinger, this committee is not always accountable even to tWe president of the United States, although it has access to virtual- ly unlimited unvouchered government funds and holds the power to order far- ranging covert intelligence and para- military operations around the world. And during the Nixon Watergate era, it may have had links with secret do- mestic intelligence units, possibly in- cluding even the? "Plumbers." Deriving its name from National Security Council Intelligence Decision Memorandum No. 40, which set it up in its present form ijt 1969, the five-man 40 Committee is the current incarna- tion of similar top-secret White House groups that since 1947 have authorized dozens of major covert intelligence un- dertakitrgs from Asia to Latin America anal from Africa to Europe. The most recent known large-scale operation conducted by the 40 Com- mittee was the assignment given the Central Intelligence Agency, at the cost of SS million, to help orchestrate, from inside, the fall a year ago of the regime of Chile's late Socialist presi- dent, Salvador ?Allende Gossens, while other branches of the United States govern r nt applied a variety of simul- taneous pressures from the outside. This increasingly controversial enter- prise was stunningly confirmed by Pres- ide,ot l=ord at his news conference last Monday. His justification was both s':~r,lirtg in philosophy and sparse an, the f -:ts, as he so.;=ht to aivc public to the 40 Cornniintee. T' is was sotu:thin no nresident had ever done before; actually, no-senior ofjiciat_had ever publicly mentioned the committee. Ford, in fact, institutionalized the concept of covert intelligence action (it was not even done during the cold war) when he commented that "Our government, like other governments, does take certain actions in the intelli Bence field to help' implement foreign policy and protect national security .. . I am informed reliably thaf'Communist nations spend -vastly more money than we do for the same kind -'opurposes." Action against Allende between 1970 and 1973 was one of Kissing er's high-priority projects. He personally as- sumed control of the C.I.A.'s covert moves, through the 40 Committee, and of a parallel economic and financial blockade, working through an interde- partmental task force. To Kissinger, it appears, Chile was a "laboratory" test case to determine whether a regime he opposed could be "destabilized" or dislodged without the use of military force that the United States had chosen to apply elsewhere in the past. Specifically, Chile was a test of whether a democratically elec- ted leftist regime, as was Allende's, could be toppled through the creation of internal chaos by outside forces. Recent revelations of Kissinger's al- leged role in the Chilean affair---he has denied any American involvement, al- though the C.1.A., in effect, has con- firmed it-have set off the latest con- troversy swirling around the secretary of state, and have raised again ques- tions about his credibility and future intentions. There are reasons to suspect. for ex- ample, that the 40 Committee is study- ing plans for possible covert American intervention in the confused political process in Italy, ,here the Communist party may soon share power in a coali- tion government. Actually, more thap a year ago the former U.S. ambassador in as crt oc ha he to. gi le, gc of er w to "I U -ti- vv tl cl tf it Q . 6 I Cove ~`. 1k. A, C V A E'. J t t 1' p a: e1 ri creation of secret armies and counter-i insurgency units for- the protection ofd governments 'enjoying our official fa- vor. They have included political sub- version. version, the subornation of statesmen, politicians, labor leaders, and others abroad," propaganda, and the, oversight of "spy-in- -sky espionage, over the Soviet Union, China, and scores of other countries. Overn-ad Intelligence rs the only form of actua', espionage in the purview of the 40 Committee. The C.I.A., ether intelligence agencies, and separate %Vnlte House Conn nl.;tt~ee3 (also 41;.21rt by a re concerned ir,ith the collection of normal iatelii_,ence. The 40 Committee must approve. every moatil,overhe d ii Celli ' ce pro- the re-u!ar launching of photo-sa:cllttcs to secret flights by the Approved For Release 2004/11/01 : CIA-RDP88-01315R000200010006-9