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December 19, 2016
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November 28, 2005
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February 22, 1977
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Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901 TESTIMONY OF BEFORE THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE -- HEARINGS ON THE NOMINATION OF ADMIRAL STANFIELD TURNER AS DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, FEBRUARY 22, 1977. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you'as a citizen with strong feelings. about intelligence and covert operations. I come with some background knowledge on these matters, as the co-author with Victor Marchetti of the book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, as a frequent writer in the field and as Director of the CIA Project at the Center for National;Security Studies in Washington. Although I'am not taking a position on whether or not Admiral Turner should be approved, I urge you to take advantage of the confirmation process to insure, in advance, that the .abuses of the past will not be repeated. If the CIA continues to be marked by scandal and wrongdoing under the new DCI, this committee will not be able to "plausibly deny" its share of the blame. In my view, the committee 'should make clear to the DCI that his first .priority must be to supply the country with the best possible intelligence on what is happening in. the world. While the concept of "national, security" has been misused in recent years to cover-up official misconduct, the CIA's critics -- of which I ant one accept that it is vital to the country's security that we know about such matters as Soviet missile strength, Chinese nuclear testing, and world food shortages. US intelligence agencies have suffered huge breakdowns in the past -- failing to predict the Tet offensive in Vietnam, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Yom Kippur war, etc. While nobody's perfect, this committee should insist that the intelligence community under Admiral Turner make better use of the $6 to $10 billion of the taxpayer's money it spends each year. . The recent controversy over the CIA's estimate of Soviet military strength is a case in point. This assessment will de- termine to,some extent our national priorities in coming years, since if we sharply increase defense spending to meet a perceived Soviet threat, the money spent will not be abailable to meet other needs. Yet, so far at least, the information available to the Congress and the public -- who must ultimately make the key decisions -- is based on an intelligence process in which it is difficult to have full confidence. Whatever the merits of the particular arguments, there is no question that political, personal, and institutional biases all became factors in making the estimate. Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 .-2- I believe this committee has a responsibility to require the new DCI to commit himself to a more honest intelligence process. The basic information available to the policy-makers should be provided, within common sense limits, to the Congress and the public. Senator John. Sherman Cooper introduced a bill several years ago which would have required the CIA to furnish Congress with its intelligence estimates. While legislation of this sort may be ultimately desireable, this committee should make sure that the CIA produces and widely disseminates accurate and unbiased intelligence. At present, our policy-makers receive most of their in- telligence from non-provocative means, of collection such as satellite photography, electronic eavesdropping, and the analy- sis of open sources. Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union questions the right of the other to use these methods, as long as the one does not intrude on the other's territory (although US intelligence has been slow to renounce the old U-2 syndrome and, at least through recent years, has often sent submarines jammed with espionage equipment inside Soviet waters.) Without question, plain old-fashioned spying by human beings still brings in a small amount of information of value to the policy-makers. Reasonable people can differ on whether the marginal advantage gained by the knowledge received justifies the risks,. social costs, and lawlessness (in breaking other countries' laws.and sometimes our own) involved in this Mata Hari kind of collection. my own view is that human espionage is not cost-effective, in any sense, especially considering that against the two countries with the military might to threaten our security, as former Assistant CIA Director Herbert Scoville states, "It is difficult to see how such agents can .ever be counted on as a major factor in our intelligence on Soviet or Chinese military matters." In any case, the controversy surrounding the CIA has little to'do with intelligence. it is covert action -- or the use of money, violence, and propaganda to secretly manipulate events -- which is at issue. Unfortunately, Admiral Turner's predecessors have allowed the intelligence process to be overshadowed and distorted by the CIA's covert operations. Former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence recently wrote that Allen Dulles spent only 5% of his time on intelligence estimates. DCIs have tended to be preoccupied with the "tradecraft" of overthrowing governments here or propping them up there. Our most recent DCIs have by no means neglected the clandestine arts -- even while the CIA was under serious outside investigation -- but they have also been forced to devote much of their time trying to protect the Agency and to explain away everything from the CIA's alliance with the Mafia to illegal domestic spying. These Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 Approved For.Release 2005/12/14--tlA-RDP91-00901 R000600380005-9 more recent DCIs, starting with James Schlesinger in 1973, have instituted a limited degree of internal reform, agreed to be bound by presidential and. -- to a lesser extent -- congression- al control, -tried to keep information from surfacing about potential scandals, and generally worked to maintain the CIA's power to continue doing most of what it has been doing covertly for the last 30 years. . Now, after a decade of Vietnam, Watergate, and the ongoing intelligence scandals, the popular perception of the CIA has changed considerably. The Agency is no longer seen as a sancrosanct institution, battling valiantly in the "back alleys" of the world. The revelations about CIA abuses abroad and at home have made the AGency, for many, a national liability and created for the first time a climate which makes it possible for the executive and Congress to bring about meaninfgul reform. In the past, most congressmen and even presidents -- in their public stance, at least -- could claim ignorance about actual CIA operations. This confortable "cover" has now been blown -- probably never to return. From now on, Congress and the President will have to share responsibility for unleashing the tactics of covert action, and these tactics -'- bribery, subversion, paramilitary warfare, and even assassination -- are criminal in nature, even when practiced by people sincerely convinced they are protecting the "national security." Covert operations have unquestionably been cut back since their heyday a few years ago. Senator Gary Hart recently stated that there were six such operations going on. around the world -- a level which may or may not be acceptable under Secretary of State Vance's guideline limiting CIA intervention abroad to "the most extraordinary possible circumstances." yet, the CIA's vast clandestine apparatus still remains largely intact, particularly in the Third World where it has been used mainly for either putting or keeping in power anti-communist governments -- from whibh the US has seemed willing to accept virtually any level of internal repression, as long as domestic order was guaranteed and foreign investments protected. The maintenance of this CIA controlled network serves to corrupt the societies we are supposedly trying to "save," as covert "assets" are built up and "agents of influence" are kept on the payroll. If the United States has a legitimate national interest in helping a particular foreign government .(or faction), it should do so openly, in accordance with our own laws, and not be dependent on this secret underground. I believe.this committee -- and by extension, Admiral Turner -- will soon have to make a basic choice: you can either choose to clean out the CIA's Clandestine Services and put the full force of Agency into the intelligence business or you can try to protect past secrets and capabilities by aligning yourselves with the professional operatives and their supporters against a changing society. The committee will find it difficult to Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91700901R000600380005-9 -4- Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 have things both ways because of the very nature of covert operations and because of the way our society now reacts to these "dirty tricks." If the committee chooses to. allow continued covert action, it will find itself inexorably drawn into the process of covering up what the CIA is doing. Secret operations are, by definition, based on deception and lies --? which this committee will become involved in protecting. Moreover, there will be no respite from press disclosures about CIA activities which, it turns out, are only well hidden from reporters and other investigators who are not paying attention. Outraged whistle- blowers and infighting bureaucrats will not stop exposing such recent activities as a secret CIA war in Angola, wiretapping in Micronesia, or covert payoffs to the king of Jordan. As long as the executive branch insists on using the CIA secretly to do things it is unwilling to stand up for openly, the Agency will remain a legitimate investigative target. Even if the press could somehow be turned off or diverted, there would still be grand juries, congressional committees, public interest groups, and the Justice Department carrying on probes that will expose CIA operations. For example, investi- gations already under way should soon tell us how the CIA could have learned in 1970 about a plot personally organized by the President ct South Korea to subvert the Congress of the United States without doing anything meaningful to stop it until 1975. Or what has been the CIA's relationship with -- and knowledge of -- corporate bribery, the Howard Highes empire, organized crime, the drug trade, and other forms of corruption around which covert operators seem'to thrive; or why did the CIA withhold material evidence from the Warren Commission and then, from 1967 on, embark on a worldwide "disinformation" campaign against critics of the official version of events; or what was. the role of high Agency officials in lying them- selves and suborning perjury from ITT personnel in Senate probes of covert operations in Chile; or how does the CIA use the intelligence services of "friendly" countries to carry out operations that not only may violate all accepted standards of decency but which also can be used to skirt executive branch and congressional controls. And these scandals will probably have their follow-ons. Look for the Iranian SAVAK and Chilean DINA.,to grabe the spot- light from the Korean CIA. There may even be tales of the China Lobby -- one of whose most prominent members, Anna Chennault, recently admitted to authors Russell Howe and Sarah Hays Trott that at the personal request of Richard Nixon, she intervened to keep the South Vietnamese away from the Paris peace talks just before the 1968 US presidential election and, in the process, may well have changed the outcome. Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 _57 Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 This committee's predecessor, chaired by Senator Church, may have thought it best in the 1976 election year -- or at any other time for that matter -- not to have, probed the CIA's close working relationship with the AFL-CIO's international programs or its many tie-ins with American business, but these matters will not remain under wraps forever -- especially as. a new generation of leaders starts to take over the US labor movement and as American corporations become increasingly vulnerable to pressures exerted by foreign governments. Despite revelations about how the CIA has funded and manipulated a wide variety of private institutions, the AGency still refuses to give up the idea that non-governmental groups and individuals can be mobilized for covert activities. Thus; there will be continuing revelations about the several hundred. American academics the Church committee reported were still secretly working for the CIA, about the Agency's continued sponsorship of propaganda operations, ad nauseam. The CIA can try to fight the trend toward. ever more frequent scandals by going deeper underground, by mounting covert opera- tions against its critics, by pushing for an Official Secrets Act, by generally toughing it out. But this kind of hard line approach is probably doomed -- unless American society reverses itself on basic notions of civil liberties and press freedom. The revelations should keep coming, and I, for one, have no doubt there are plenty more skeletons, literally and figuratively, in CIA closets. The only red! reform that has come out of the intelligence scandals thus far has been the formation of this committee to oversee the intelligence agencies. You should now work to- gether with Admiral Turner to make sure that the abuses of the past do not occur again. The committee's staff has already drafted legislative charters for the various agencies, and such legislation -- carefully worded as to what the CIA and the others can and cannot do -- should be adopted as quickly as possible. For better or worse, you and Admiral Turner are in the covert stew together, and it would be best for both the country and your own reputations if you work together to lift yourselves out. Nevertheless, there are a whole variety of measures which Admiral Turner can take, as soon as he assumes office,. which would go a long way toward reassuring the country that the CIA is really changing. i urge you strongly, before you confirm him, to seek his assurances that he will take the following steps: .1. The new DCI should announce that the CIA will cooperate fully in the Justice Department and congressional investigations of "friendly" secret services in the United States; that the CIA will turn over transcripts of conversations in the Korean president's office and all other intelligence that bears on illegality within the United States; that the Agency will no Approved For Release 2005/12/14 -: CIA-RDP91-00901 R000600380005-9 -~- Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 tolerate operational activity by the "friendlies" in the US; and that it will break off liaison and stop all other forms of aid to secret services which repress human rights. 2. The new DCI: should announce that while the Agency has no legitimate law enforcement role in the US, it will make available to appropriate police agencies all intelligence it possesses on Cuban terrorism, which has been particularly murderous lately. (The CIA last year turned down a request by the Dade County z1liami% police for the names of Cubans who had beer trained by the CIA in the use of explosives.); and that the CIA will be committed to stamping. out terrorism and dru g-traffick .ng among its. former employees. 3. The new DCI should announce that the CIA will no longer make covert use of American universities or academic activities; --h.at the CIA will stop secretly employing pro- fessors to "spot" foreign students for recruitment as CIA agents (and hence, become traitors to their own countries); that all CIA sponsored research on campus will be identified as such (even if the results must on occasion remain secret); and that academic exchange programs will not be used for covert purposes. 4. The new DCI should announce that the CIA will no longer propagandize foreigners (and Americans); that no more foreign or American reporters will be secretly hired; that the CIA will end its covert use for_prppaaanda purposes of the 200 newspapers and magazines, 25 book publishers, 30 press services and news agencies, and 20 radio and television stations around the world that, according to absolutely reliable intelligence sources, the CIA had acces to last year; and that the CIA will try tp correct the historical record to show where "disinfor- mation" by the Agency and other secret services has resulted in false public perceptions. 5. The new DCI should announce that the CIA will close down its paramilitary staff and transfer to the Pentagon re- sponsibility for all overseas combat and military advisory roles and that the CIA will consider itself bound, as the Defense Department,is, by the war-making limitations imposed by Congress in the War Powers Act of 1973. 6. The new.DCI whould announce that the CIA will sever it operational ties to American labor unions, business associa- tions, corporations, and other non-governmental groups; and that it will no longer be permissible for the Agency to secretly use non-public sectors of American society for espionage or covert operations. Even those who maintain that the United States must have the right to secretly intervene abroad should be able to ac- cept that the measures listed. above represent no more than a recognition that all government agencies, including the CIA, must follow our laws and not turn their backs on illegality; Approved For Release 2005/12/14,: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 -7- Approved For Release 2005/12/14: CIA-RDP91-00901R000600380005-9 that constitutional limitations should be observed; and that the CIA should not penetrate our own society,.for any purpose. While the Carter administration is apparently not yet prepared to completely forego secret interference abroad, I would submit that covert action is no longer acceptable to a. large and vocal group of Americans. As the country has changed in the last decade, covert action has become a Cold War anachronism. Its basic premise -- that any and all means are permissible -- is antithetical to American ideals and values. The, scandals of recent years have shown, among other things, that it is impossible to use these methods overseas, without having a severe domestic fallout. We have, in effect, adopted the tactics of totalitarian states supposedly to protect our own security and,, in the process, wound up subverting ourselves. Moreover, the CIA's covert operations have done the country's reputation incalculable harm abroad and changed our image from that of a benevolent democracy to that of a scheming manipulator. Not only does covert action employ methods of dubious morality, but it is, on its face, illegal because the United States is bound by international obligations, including the United Nations and Organization of American States charters, which as treaties are "the supreme law of the land" and which bind the US not to interfere in other'countries' internal affairs. Yet, these treaty requirements are brushed aside by supporters of covert action., as President Ford did in 1974 when he said: I'm not going to pass judgment on whether it's permitted or authorized under international law.. It's a recognized fact that historically as well as 'presently, such actions are taken in the best interest of the countries involved. I would only hope that the Carter administration would not take such a contemptuous attitude toward.our country's inter- national obligations. Unhappily, arguments that stress the immorality or amorality of covert action, its anti-democratic nature,. or its corrosive effect on our own system have not yet been taken seriously by those in a position to do something about it. Covert action partisans tend to ignore these factors, while stressing concepts like "the Russians do it."' They base their defense on the ex- -pediency needed. in "the real world." Because of the "toughness" and apparent practicality of this approach, they try to pin a label of weakness and "fuzzy-headedness" on anyone emphasizing such values as decency, legality, democracy, or morality. My view is that we as a nation should. follow. the toughest course of all: Staying true to our ideals on. the foreign as well as domestic level. We should defend ourselves against any foreign subversion, but neither the Soviet Union nor any country should be our model, whether in silencing internal dissidents or in carrying out covert action. Our country is supposed to be dcf ferent Approved For Release 2005/12/14: G* P91tM903'RQ+00Gb&!Me&9