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December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 22, 2010
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May 3, 1982
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STAT Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/06/22 : CIA-RDP90-00552R000100130006-2 ARTICLE Ap*.pjj ED ON TIME 3 May 1982 Vanishing Act by a Pop ar Spook Bobby Inman leaves the CIA, claiming the reasons are personal embers of Congress serving on com- ~mittees that keep an eye on the CIA have long faced a tricky challenge. Short of employing truth serum or lie detectors, how can they know when officials of an agency trained in the art of deception are dissembling? One such CIA watcher on the House Intelligence Committee swears he discovered an infallible method. Whenever CIA Director William Casey was testifying in secret meetings, the Con- gressman watched the feet of Casey's dep- uty, Admiral Bobby Inman. If the admi- ral shuffled his feet or reached down to pull up his socks, the Congressman con- cluded that Inman knew that his boss was shading the facts. Sure enough, when questioned, the admiral would delicately correct the director. If Inman's telltale fidgeting was sub- conscious rather than intentional, it was one of his few professional imperfections. In Washington's atmosphere of political intrigue, most high CIA officials develop more enemies than friends. But when the White House last week announced In-'s impending retirement from both the CIA and the Navy, the praise for the four-star admiral was downright gushy. Democratic Congressman Edward P. Bo- land, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called Inman "the nation's finest professional intelligence officer." Democratic Senator Joseph Biden even called Inman "the single most competent man in the Federal Government." Inman's bipartisan popularity stems largely from his straight talk and incisive mind. His virtually photographic memory and workaholic habits pushed him to the gence Agency, 1976 to 1977; director of the National Security Agency, 1977 to 1981. As head of the NSA, a supersecret agency that uses satellites, sophisticated monitoring techniques and more employ- ees (more than 20,000) than the CIA (some 16,000) to gather intelligence informa- tion, Inman developed considerable rap- port with congressional committees. When President Reagan was looking for a CIA chief in late 1980, Inman was pushed hard by diverse Capitol Hill backers, most notably Republican Senator Barry Goldwater. Instead, Reagan picked Casey, who had,been his campaign direc- tor.?A bit reluctantly, Inman left NSA to become Casey's deputy. Reagan talked him into it,. he said, with "the smoothest job of arm twisting methods. At the White House, some presidential aides sus- pect that Inman's friction with Allen, who quit in Janu- ary after disclosure that he had accepted gifts from a Japanese magazine, spilled over into hostility between Inman and Casey, since Ca- sey and Allen had long been allies. Inman concedes that I've ever encountered" CIA Director Casey the "air might have had a lit- Why was Inman, 51, now tie strain in it" when Casey leaving the CIA? The admiral told TIME was being investigated and Inman was that he felt he had accomplished what he seen as a successor, but he insisted, "The% had set out to do at the agency: "Get a personal working relationship has been road map created for a long-range re- very easy from the start." building program all across the whole in- Beyond that, said the admiral, "all the telligence community." Having-done that, stories that are running around about ma- he insisted, he was stepping down to build jor policy differences and personality dis- a second career in private business, earn putes are just plain false." He contended, enough money (he now gets $59,500) to that he was involved only in the routine put two teen-age sons through college, kind of conflicts that always goon in Gov- and spend more time with his family. Ad- ernment and that they had nothing to do mitting that his career had involved with his resignation. Unfortunately, Bob "wretched work habits and hours," In- by Inman made that point in a telephone man said his eldest son had asked last conversationrThere was no way to deter- Christmas: "Where's the quality of life in mine whether he was hitching up his top ' S r ,, 201nma/nn . r`IA orionn 005528000100130006 2 EdMaBnusorr. iti d C h., A r v d F r R f r t an ze o pp o e o e e ing periods of my entire life. I found the invidious comparisons both unfair to Bill and embarrassing to me." Inman often clashed with the staff of Reagan's National Security Council, par- ticularly with former National Security Adviser Richard Allen. One quarrel was over an Executive order supported by the NSC that would have given the CIA broad authority to spy on U.S. citizens at home when they were linked to "significant for- eign intelligence" operations. Inman did not publicly object to this domestic CIA role, but he did oppose giving the CIA a free hand in the types of activities it could probe and the methods it could use. Largely because of his efforts, the order was tightened to put clearer limits on what the Cu could do at home. More recently, Inman was said to have been upset by White House leaks that sought to buttress Administration policies in Central America and especial- ly by the contention that the Soviet Union and Cuba were behind the trouble in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Although Inman generally shared the Adminis- tration's thesis, he felt that its disclosures about U.S. surveillance of the region compromised CIA intelligence-gathering