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Document Creation Date: 
December 9, 2016
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November 14, 2000
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Publication Date: 
June 30, 1983
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PDF icon CIA-RDP91-00901R000500070010-8.pdf220.22 KB
STATINTL Approved For Release 2001/03/06 :U9JA- 91-00901 30 June 1983 ~., `.,n w P P E A lED INQUIRY TOPIC: THE CIA I William Colby, 63, who was director of the CIA from 1973 to 1976, is the author of Honorable Men - My Life in the CIA. He practices inter- national law and has joined the public debate on nuclear arms as an advocate of a freeze on nuclear weapons. Called the CIA's -"soldier priest," Colby was inter- viewed by USA TO- DAY's Barbara Rey- USA TODAY: Is it a policy of the CIA to lie to the Ameri- can public as a recent con- gressional committee Im- piied? . COLBY: No. The CIA does protect some secrets that it is required to protect, but beyond that it does not actively lie to the people. USA TODAY: What types of things should be kept from the public? COLBY: We are sworn to protect our sources. A law was passed about a year or so ago that said that anyone who con- sciously goes out to reveal our sources can be punished. I think that was a very good law. USA TODAY: When are co- vert operations against other countries warranted? COLBY: If there is a country that is important to our country engaged in a conflict between a brutal dictator whom we don't like and a ruthless terror- ist who doesn't like us, there is a course of action other than choosing between those two. That is secretly helping some decent, moderate leadership to arise in the country, an alterna- tive to those extremes. Now, that is exactly what we did in the Philippines in the 1950s. times when the overthrow of a government is advisable? COLBY: I pretty well object- ed to that in most of the cases that I recall being involved in. I objected to the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam The value of covert political action is when you are building strength, not when you are trying to attack somebody else. USA TODAY: Are there other instances of the CIA's deciding to overthrow a gov- ernment? COLBY: One time the presi- dent of the United States told the director of the CIA to do anything he could to make sure that Mr. Salvador Allende was not ratified as president of Chile in 1970. For six weeks the CIA did what it could to accom- plish that and then stopped its program and had nothing to do with the coup three years later, which did overthrow Mr. Allen- de USA TODAY: Didn't con- gressional investigations show that the CIA was direct- ly involved in that overthrow? COLBY: It was involved in an attempt in 1970, which In-. _voived a bungled kidnapping. (of Gen. Rene Schneider, com- Agency jus. keeps secrets army). There was a lot of other activity in 1970, which was stopped a very few months thereafter. It didn't go on for very long, and the subsequent coup was conducted by the Chilean military without the CIA involvement. USA TODAY. Congress has reported that the CIA helped plot the assassination of Bel- gian Congo leader Patrice Lu- mumba and conspired with the Mafia In an attempt to kill Fidel Castro. How large a role do assassinations play in CIA activities? COLBY: None. Under presi- dential directive, the CIA is specifically directed not to en- gage In assassination activities. The Senate committee that in- vestigated the CIA in 1975 for a full year looked into every cor- ner of the CIA's activity. It con- cluded that no foreign leader had been assassinated by the CIA. That was not for lack of trying in Mr. Castro's case. They Included a contact with the Mafia. It was stupid. The action of Mr. Lumumba's death came entirely without any CIA connection. This was stopped by the opposition of a CIA officer before the action ever got out of CIA channels. USA TODAY: What about recent reports that President Reagan wanted to overthrow the government of Surinam and our involvement in coup attempts in Ghana? COLBY: I don't know any- thing about that. Charges occur all the time, partly because of the hysteria with which the subject was discussed here in. America in 1975. USA TODAY: It It neces- sary to hide CIA operations In the congressional budget? .401-FbIle2916ti