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December 22, 2016
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July 30, 2010
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March 28, 1984
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/30: CIA-RDP90-00806R000201140066-1 MOSCOW IDAHONIAN (ID) 28 March 1984 Manuel Cordero Lively exchange marks Borah panel discussion By Wendy Taylor The implications of past and present CIA covert action in Latin America, along with the moral and ethical questions of whether the U.S. should be in- volved there at all, sparked one of the liveliest panel dis- cussion a Borah Symposium audience has seen in years. "This is getting good," said one audience member as David Phillips, the former CIA chief of Latin America and Caribbe- an operations and Ralph Mc- Gehee, a former CIA agent, got into an arguement on the level of "I didn't say that," "Yes, you did." Phillips was disputing McGehee's interpretation of a passage in his book. About 600 people attended the final session of this year's symposium in the Universii of Idaho Student Union ues ay night. Most stayed until it ended at 10. . Moderator. Laurence Birns opened the session by inviting former CIA agents - includ- ing the agency's former .direc- tor, William Colby - to "spill the beans." "This could be the Moscow moment," Birns joked. "David Phillips could really become a famous man today if he has the guts not be cowed by Bill Colby Cbn}~h~d Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/30: CIA-RDP90-00806R000201140066-1 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/30: CIA-RDP90-00806R000201140066-1 oZ and uses this opportunity to con- fess." Phillips shot back: "I'm David Phillips, not Gordon Liddy." No one else accepted Birns' in vitation, although there were plenty of recriminations for al- leged past actions on the part of the intelligence agency. Whether the CIA actually pulled the trigger in the 1973 mili- tary coup that assassinated Chil- ean President Salvador Allende is beside the point, said the critics., of the CIA. The agency, reportedly follow- ing orders from then U.S. Presi7 dent Richard Nixon, put Chile in such an untenable economic posi- tion that a coup was inevitable, speakers said. - However, Colby exhorted the panel and the audience not to look at events in Chile and other places as black and, white. It's al- ways much more complicated than that, he said. Chilean exile Jaime Barrios said one of the apparent contra- dictions is that when the U.S.' helped depose Allende's govern- ment, it ended more than 50 years of democracy in Chile, which he said has been replaced by a totali- tarian government. If covert action is to be a part., of the administration's policy; it- should be reduced to more man- ageable proportions, Phillips said. He retired-from the.CIA 1n`1975, and in September of that year he was questioned by former Idaho Sen. Frank Church's committee to investigate covert action. "My recommendation to the as- tonishment of my colleagues was that covert action should be taken away from the CIA," Phillips said. "I proposed a small office report- ing to the Congress and the exec- utive should be established. The number of employees should be limited to 100 persons," including` secretaries and janitors, he said. In his book, "Deadly Deceits," McGehee describes the CIA as "the covert action arm of the President's foreign policy advis- ers," which "as noted in the Church Committee's final report, the agency's task is to develop an international anticommunist ide- ology." Manuel Cordero, Nicaragua's deputy ambassador to the U.S., criticized the Reagan administra- tion for establishing what he called the CIA's "proxy" army in neighboring Honduras, and the strikes against schools and health institutions. Barrios asked who benefited from the 1973 coup in Chile. "How were the U.S. interests served? How is the image of America enhanced?" That question was echoed by Michael Harrington, a former congressman from Massachu- setts. He asked what- kind of ex- ample is America setting to its young people and to the rest of McGehee said the U.S. justifies intervention by strewing a trail of red herrings, manufacturing a So- viet presence in areas that might be strategically advantageous. "Grenada was. about to take over the U.S. with seven warehouses full of weapons, according to President Reagan. We got there just in time." While denying that he was try- ing to defend all CIA actions, Col- by said that, "behind the picture one finds a very mixed picture." He acknowledged that the CIA did continue operations in Chile after Allende came to -power in 1970, but the examples he gave in- cluded things like helping supply newsprint to a newspaper the government was trying to stifle. Barrios' responded., , that even that "was an intolerable intrusion in Chilean 'affairs. Even to have spent Si to alter.the Chilean proc- ess, was wrong; he said. e (~ Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/30: CIA-RDP90-00806R000201140066-1