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December 16, 2016
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June 17, 2005
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June 18, 1978
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RDIII(1 T\/ PORTS into App'rov d or e9 ease 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-Op 901R000700060105-2 PROGRAM F i r i n g Line STATION WETA-TV PBS Network DATE June 18P 1978 5:00 PM CITY Washington, D.C. WILLIAM BUCKLEY: The crisis of intelligence is on the minds of most intelligent people. It is a crisis that confronts democratic dogma and existential problems. The executive and con- gressional committees that have looked into the matter, notably one headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, by Senator Church and by Congressman Pike, specialized in advertising the excesses of the essential intelligence agencies. Sweeping reorganizations followed, the effects of which will be discussed, among other things, during this hour with General Vernon A. Walters. General Walters, who served as Deputy Director of CIA for four years, has just published a book called "Silent Missions." Its instructive value apart, it is an engrossing account of high doings and misdoings in the international world of diplomacy and intrigue, in which General Walters played sometimes the part of an assistant architect, sometimes the part of a technician. It is easier to enumerate those international conferences and midnight sessions at which he was not present than those at which he. was. His principal merchandisable commodity has been an uncanny memory and proficiency in language. He speaks fluently French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portugese, Dutch, Greek, and Russian. He has a few difficulties with Japanese, but he can man- age. Accordingly, before he went to the CIA, and indeed even while he was at the CIA, he served as confidential translator in the early years for Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, Kennedy, then Nixon, for Henry Kissinger, Averell Harriman, in Paris, China, South America, Italy, wherever the action was. General Walters, interestingly, didn't attend college, Material supplied by Radio TV Reports, Inc. may be used for file and reference purposes only. It may not be reproduced, sold or publicly demonstrated or exhibited. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 2 though he went to preparatory schools in France and England. He enrolled in the Army as a private. And although untouched by the Watergate scandal, he was the principal witness to the conversation which subsequently proved to be the smoking pistol that forced Richard Nixon out of office. General Walters retired at the age of 59, when George Bush became the Director of CIA. He went to work on his extra- ordinary memoirs. Our interrogator, whom I will introduce in due course, is Mr. Meyer here in Miami. I should like to begin by asking General Walters a ques- tion he might regard as naive. How is it that for 150 years the United States got on without an official intelligence system, let alone a counterintelligence system, but now it is claimed that we require one? GENERAL VERNON WALTERS: I've never heard of your asking a naive question in my life. I think the answer to your question is because God, in the old saying, takes care of fools, drunkards, and the United States of America. Also, geography saved us in the early days. BUCKLEY: Well, in your book you cite the case of Pearl Harbor, and you say that after the shock of Pearl Harbor we had a chance to recoil and come back again; but in a future Pearl Harbor we would not have that opportunity. Is this another reason, based on technology, for an intel- ligence system? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I think the United States -- and this isn't popular to say right now -- is more threatened than it has been at any time in its history. We have never, since the Revolution, faced a global power before. Germany, at the height of its power, was a basically European regional power. Japan, at the height of its power, was basically a Western Pacific/Southeast Asian power. Now, for the first time, we face one global power, and we have another one coming up. Recent events in Angola and in the Horn of Africa have shown that the Soviet Union is not only capable, but willing to project its power thousands of miles from the boundaries of the Soviet Union. BUCKLEY: Well, General, since most of us agree that there is no other explanation for.Soviet activity than its ravenous appetite for power and imperialism, we can, I think, take that as a given. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 3 But specifically on the matter of intelligence, and given the activities that you described in your book, is it a necessary and predictable weakness in democracy that it cannot operate a sufficiently flexible intelligence system because one that is sufficiently flexible cannot stand up under rigorous public scru- tiny? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, no other democracy attempts to run its intelligence service under public scrutiny, whether it be socialist Sweden or neutralist Switzerland. BUCKLEY: From which you deduce what? GENERAL WALTERS: From which I deduce... BUCKLEY: A specific American pathology? GENERAL WALTERS. I deduce a specific American pathology, based largely on false history. BUCKLEY: How would you describe it? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, the average -- we have a great ambivalence towards intelligence. The average American thinks it's something that isn't very clean, it isn't very American, and the Founding Fathers wouldn't like it. Well, I have news for them. George Washington was one of the most prolific readers of other people's mail. Benjamin Franklin, who was Assistant Postmaster of British North America before the Revolution, when we were all loyal subjects of George lll. He busily was opening all the British mail. They caught him. They sent him to London to stand trial before the Privy Council. They found him guilty. Before they could sentence him, he skipped off to France to conduct the covert operation that was to bring France into the war on the side of the Revolution. Now, this was a remark- able achievement, seeing that Anthony Eden's great-great-great-grand- father had fully penetrated Benjamin Franklin's office. His valet was a British agent, his secretary was a British agent, and we have some doubts about one of the three commissioners. BUCKLEY: But a dozen generations after Franklin, the Secretary of State of the United States said, "Gentlemen don't read other people's mail." GENERAL WALTERS: That was Mr. Stimson in 1932. BUCKLEY: That's right. GENERAL WALTERS: Mr. Stimson in 1941 was so busy reading other people's mail, he didn't have much time to do anything else. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 BUCKLEY: Your pointn then, is that the exigencies of the international situation are going to dictate the relevant ethic? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I think there's a first respon- sibility of every government, and that is to insure the survival of its people. And we are operating now under conditions threa- tening national survival that have no precedent in human history. It has never in the past been possible to destroy the sovereignty of a nation in a matter of hours. That is possible now. You spoke of Pearl Harbor. We survived a conventional Pearl Harbor. Who could survive a nuclear Pearl Harbor? The greatest defense against a nuclear Pearl Harbor is the existence of an effective American intelligence community that will make it quite clear to anybody that preparations for such an operation will be picked up. BUCKLEY: Well, the trouble with that statement is that everybody agrees with it. But then when you go on to ask certain questions that you consider to be derivative, you will find con- siderable disagreement. Let's take a hard one, shall we? -- assassination. GENERAL WALTERS: Right. BUCKLEY: Now, both of us know that it has been widely charged recently -- for instance, by Mr. Stockwell -- that the CIA assassinated Lumumba, assassinated Diem, tried to assassinate Castro, and so on and so forth. I guess we both know that, in fact, the CIA didn't do... GENERAL WALTERS: That's right. BUCKLEY: least the first two of those things. GENERAL WALTERS: If they had, Senator Church would have brought it out quite plainly. BUCKLEY: For sure. Now let me ask you this: If the first responsibility of a country is to protect itself, then can't you, ex hypothesi, come up with a situation in which an assassination would be sanctioned by the Walters Rule? And yet it's something we wouldn't want to discuss, quite, would we? GENERAL WALTERS: Let me just amplify a little bit on that. My own position on assassination is I'm against it, for three reasons: It's against the law of God. It's against the law of man. And it generally doesn't work. Now... Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 :CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 .BUCKLEY: Which shows that God was prudent? GENERAL WALTERS: Very. We know that. He only created one human species. The other one, I think, is, if you go into something -- for instance, like the Bay of Pigs -- two U.S. governments, Eisen- hower's and Kennedy's, sanctioned that. Now, I'm not in favor of assassination; I want to make this clear. But they knew that a lot of young men were going to be killed if that operation went forward. Why do you spread an umbrella over one person and not over the others? Having said that, I say I don't believe assassination works. I think if you do it you get another fanatic who is even worse. In the matter of survival, you have to weigh -- I once had a young officer in a friendly country... you? BUCKLEY: You're well into a metaphysical paradox, aren't BUCKLEY: You keep saying, "You understand, I don't believe this." However, the intellectual arguments favor it. GENERAL WALTERS: But I have religious feelings that oppose BUCKLEY: Okay. GENERAL WALTERS: Rationally, I would agree. BUCKLEY: Let's bring this out, then. Assuming that you didn't have -- that you didn't feel the religious sanction and you were guided only by juridical arguments, let me ask you this ques- tion: Suppose Idi Amin were reported by Israeli intelligence as on his way with an atomic bomb that he had managed to filch from some arsenal to bomb Tel Aviv. problem. Now, we acknowledge the right of self-defense, do we not? GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. BUCKLEY: Suppose that... GENERAL WALTERS: It's the limits of it that are the BUCKLEY: Correct. And to what extent can you pre-empt Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 6 a strike of that sort via assassination? Or must you go through a certain juridical ritual -- for instance, a declaration of war -- in order to justify it? GENERAL WALTERS: I would say the latter is correct, except that declaring war has gone out of fashion since 1945. We've had large numbers of conflicts, nearly all of them unde- clared. You know, you've heard a lot of people say, "Oh, you could do that in wartime, but you couldn't do it during the Vietnam War." But what was the Vietnam War? It wasn't a declared war, but the Congress was voting the money to keep the war going, and thereby sanctioned it. BUCKLEY: Well, does it follow that because you have a de facto war, you inherit the de jure rights that a normal war confers on you? For instance, we certainly tried very hard to assassinate individual Japanese leaders, and in some cases... GENERAL WALTERS: We did. BUCKLEY: ...we succeeded. GENERAL WALTERS: Yamamoto. BUCKLEY: Yamamoto, yeah. We succeeded. Now, would we have been justified in searching out Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War and assassinating him? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, whether you say "assassinating him" or whether you say "killing the commander-in-chief of the enemy army." I would say we certainly had the right to do the latter. BUCKLEY: And you don't call it assassination because the juridical protections of a de factor war give you the right moral cover? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, the whole problem is that all these questions of division between assassination and killing an enemy depends on who writes the history books. And the victors usually write the history books. BUCKLEY: History is the polemics of the victor, as somebody said. Now, the reason Sweden and France and Great Britain do not permit public probing of their intelligence systems is what, that they are more cautious races of people, or that they have a longer tradition that suggests to them that which ought to be kept secret and that which ought not to be kept secret? Or is it some- thing about the distinct moralism of the American character that Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 :CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 insists on probing those chemistries? GENERAL WALTERS: There's a mixture of all. First of all, the British had an intelligence service 250 years before we became an independent country. BUCKLEY: On which we heavily relied during the last... GENERAL WALTERS: On which we heavily relied and on which we still hope is quite successful in its area. Let me just tell you a story. Recently a high-ranking official of the CIA went abroad, and he was talking to the head of a large intelligence service of a Western European country that is very democratic, and he explained to hire how that the CIA was going to be kept in perfect order and within the Constitution and the laws and everything else. And he asked this European chief of service what he thought of it. And he said, "Well, I don't understand. To me, the only justification for having a clandestine service is to be able to do illegal things." BUCKLEY: Well, everybody grants that they are illegal by the laws of the country in which you operate, but they're not sup- posed to be illegal by the laws of the patron country. GENERAL WALTERS: But no one has attenipted, l i ke we have, to legislate what an intelligence service can do and can not do. BUCKLEY: Now, are you arguing that we ought not to have such legislation? GENERAL WALTERS: I am arguing that we should not. I believe that intelligence is a part of the Executive Branch. The President, whoever he is, is the depository of the conscience of the American people. He is the ultimate one charged with the sur- vival of the United States. And this is not a... BUCKLEY: Are you making a constitutional -- are you making a constitutional point, or are you simply saying that it is inherent in the responsibilities of -- that Article II confers on the President? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, it has been inherent until Water- gate. No one challenged the President's right in this area. If the President said bug someone, they were bugged. This was the case up to the Watergate. At this point, we passed from an ascendant presidency to an ascendant Congress. Now, at some point we're going to have to Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 8 decide whether the intelligence services, which are a part of the Executive Branch, are going to be under the Congress or under the Executive. BUCKLEY: And preferably before Pearl Harbor. We will settle that question before the next... GENERAL WALTERS: The ascendancy of the presidency began with Franklin Roosevelt. GENERAL WALTERS: We're going to have to decide whether we're going to go to a parliamentary democracy or maintain our ori- ginal constitutional presidential democracy. BUCKLEY: Well, the parliamentary democracy of Great Britain proceeds; however, it is unencumbered by the problems that we're here discussing. Right? GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. For instance, in Great Britain, If you publish the name of the head of the British intelligence service, you go to jail. BUCKLEY: Do you approve of that? GENERAL WALTERS: That's their decision there. I think that is excessive, myself, in the present day, because they can reproduce it from a foreign newspaper which says it, so people know who it is. However, basically, when they have something wrong with their intelligence service, they form a Royal Commission. This is what the Canadians and the Australians or anyone else do. They investigate it. These are a group of responsible citizens who are not running for office and not advancing their own presidential candidacies. They come up with a report, they present it to the chief of state or the chief of government, they show it to senior leaders of the Congress, not everybody. You know, John Marshall -- John Jay -- I'm sorry -- who was the first Chief Justice, ran the spies of the Revolution. It was called the Committee of Secret Correspondence. And on one occasion he was asked to lay before the Congress the names of the people employed by him, the sums paid to them, and the purposes for which paid. And he replied, "Experience has shown that the Congress is composed of too many people to keep this kind of secret. Such revelations have generally been fatal to many of the people in- volved." BUCKLEY: Should William Colby have replied in like manner to the congressional committees before which he testified? Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 9 GENERAL WALTERS: Well, it's a difficult one. I would say, theoretically, yes. Whether that was possible in the momentum of the anti-intelligence thrust at that time, whether it would have served a useful purpose or not, I don't know. . I have enormous admiration for Bill Colby, but I am some- what harder on this subject than he is. I am somewhat less peni- tential, shall we say. BUCKLEY: Well, you deal with that very eloquently in your Edward Heath said recently, "Leakage in the U.S. presents a terrible problem for the Free World. If I were Prime Minister now, I don't know how I could possibly recommend carrying on exchanges of intelligence information with the United States." Now, is this something -- is this attitude of Heath's reflected in the current relations between American and British intelligence? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, all I can tell you is that for 4 1/2 years one of my principal jobs was reassuring friends. 1 used to go about once a month abroad to do that. BUCKLEY: How can you reassure them with any confidence? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, there are certain ways that you can do this. You can tell them, "We may give up our secrets, but we won't give up yours." And to my knowledge we have given up very few of other people's secrets. You can reassure them that at some point the United States will begin to behave like an adult nation, and not like a bunch of children, again. And finally, we do have certain technical intelligence that they have nowhere else to go for, which... BUCKLEY: Gives you a quid pro quo to argue from. GENERAL WALTERS: Gives you a good quid pro quo from argue from. BUCKLEY: Now, General, you deal in your book with Water- gate, but I'd rather hear you make this point than for me to recapi- tulate it. It is, I think, correct to say that when, on orders from the President of the United States, you and your agency were in- structed not to pursue an investigation into Watergate... Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIAO-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 GENERAL WALTERS: I n Mexico only. BUCKLEY: In Mexico only. A great many Americans got the impression that the CIA had become a political pawn of the United States. You are very indignant on this point in your book, and I wish you'd tell us why. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I tried to mask any indignation I might feel. BUCKLEY: Legitimate indignation, I think. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I think the reason is this: I'd been in that job for six weeks when Haldeman called me in. And I had never heard the word Mexico used -- remember, this is a week after the event. And he says, "Stop the investigation in Mexico. It may uncover some secret CIA activities there." Well, I mean neither Helms nor I know all of the CIA activities. I had just come from three years of secret negotiations in Paris with the Chinese and the North Vietnamese. I figured they had something like this going with Castro in Mexico City. This is on a Friday afternoon. And, also, it may seem naive in retrospect, but when the President's chief of staff calls you into his office and tells you to do something, you have no reason to believe he's asking you to do anything illegal. And again, in this area, no one had challenged the President's power until this time. All you have to do is read some of the things that were going on in the field of intelligence. BUCKLEY: I don't think anybody challenges his power even now. The question is, how was he motivated? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I don't know what his motivations... BUCKLEY: Well, we all know how he was motivated now, be- cause of the June 23rd tape. GENERAL WALTERS: But Haldeman did not tell me specifi- cally, "The President wants you to do it." He did not tell me that way. So I went and did it. That was on the Friday afternoon. -I came back to the CIA and I was still a little bothered at this. Now, if he'd asked me to stop the whole investigation, I would have been more concerned. But just Mexico -- since Mexico hadn't sur- faced in any way in connection with Watergate at that time, this seemed a rather limited area to me. BUCKLEY:. And then John Dean called you. GENERAL WALTERS: Then -- no. Before that, I went back to Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 CIA and I called in our Western Hemisphere people and I said, "I want you to tell me whether there's anything going on in Mexico City, whether you sense anything going on in Mexico City." What I mean is, specifically, when I was doing this in Paris, I was giving the traffic to the White House, through the CIA communications, but I was coding it so they couldn't read it. I said, "Is there any traffic coming out of Mexico City we're not reading?" And I asked Colby, and he so says in his book. He checked on the Friday, and they either told me Friday or Satur- day that there was no CIA interest. Monday morning, John Dean calls me and says, "What's the CIA connection?" BUCKLEY: Monday morning being the Monday after June 23rd. GENERAL WALTERS: The Monday after June 23rd; June 25th, said, "There's none. I've checked into it. There's Now, I was told that he was the coordinator, he was in touch with Gray, with Haldeman, with Ehrlichman, and everybody. Rather naively, in retrospect, I believed that he would tell Gray. He called me the second day and asked me to pay bail for these people. And I told him, no, I wouldn't do it; and the third day I told him, no, I wouldn't do it. At the end of the week I received a call from Pat Gray, the Director of the FBI, the Acting Director, which rather sur- prised me, since I had naively thought that Dean would have told him on the Monday, which would have meant that the thing would have been held up a total of 72 hours. I might point out that if you look over this -- and even the Washington Post, which is not suspect of special partiality toward the CIA, said the CIA was the only government organization which did not do what It was asked. BUCKLEY: And that is testimony to what, a kind of insti- tutional integrity that shows that it is not really subservient to the President for venal purposes? GENERAL WALTERS: No. In my opinion, I did not address the morality of it. I knew it wouldn't work. BUCKLEY: Well, is this something you're willing to say about the CIA that you would not be willing to say about the FBI, as witness the use of the FBI by Johnson and Kennedy for getting Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : C14 RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 tapes on Martin Luther King, and that kind of thing? GENERAL WALTERS: I think there's no way you can stop a certain amount of this. I think you've got to weight it against the total impact. When you're dealing with very large numbers of people -- for instance, you take the CIA. Eighty thousand people have passed through the CIA, in totol, since it began. I can't tell you that among them there weren't some kooks and nuts and people with bad judgment and zealots. BUCKLEY: Well, Agee, for instance. GENERAL WALTERS: Yeah. Well, defectors. BUCKLEY: Yeah. Un-huh. GENERAL WALTERS: I can't tell you there weren't, but I can tell you that the number compares favorably with the Department of Agriculture or Health, Education and Welfare. BUCKLEY: Well, on the other hand, it jolly well should, given the character of its responsibility. Right? GENERAL WALTERS: Right. BUCKLEY: Now, President Carter has an elaborate reorgan- ization of intelligence. Do you feel free to give your opinion as to whether there is sufficient latitude for an effective CIA under the existing program? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, somewhere deep in the American national character is buried a profound but mistaken belief that reorganization is an effective substitute for intelligent and forceful action. Unfortunately, it is not. In 35 years in intelligence, I have watched an endless series of reorganizations. A good organization with bad people will produce deplorably. A bad organization with good people will produce very well. People are what count. BUCKLEY: So, what you would look at is less the tables of organization than who's actually running the thing. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I think that again we get to this American ambivalence. I think it is very difficult to legislate how a secret intelligence agency is going to operate. First of all, the consensus changes. If we were to judge Thomas Jefferson by our morality of today -- he owned slaves. So did George Washington. Retroactive morality is a very difficult thing to cope with. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : dIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 BUCKLEY: Well, I agree. But the figures are there that show us, for instance, that CIA personnel engaged in covert activity diminished from 8500 to 4500. Now, unless we can assume that this was -- this is gesture towards efficiency, we've got to assume that we are undertaking fewer covert responsibilities. This is a position that President Nixon has recently complained about, and Henry Kissin- ger. GENERAL WALTERS: I agree. BUCKLEY: Is that correct? GENERAL WALTERS: That is correct. BUCKLEY: Well, what's going to change that? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, when the American people gradu- ally realize that they must have something between a diplomatic protest and landing U.S. forces in the way of ability to quietly help our friends while our enemies are being massively assisted on the outside. There are some signs of awakening now. We have been behaving very virtuously in Africa, and we've been losing steadily. BUCKLEY: Well, is one of the difficulties of the CIA that it is not permitted, by the nature of its functions, to elabor- ate on its successes? BUCKLEY: Now, Melvin Laird, for instance, published a few months ago an account of some of the operations of the CIA concerning which most people were unfamiliar. It saved Golda Meir's life in New York City, for instance. Now, there are some of those in your book. BUCKLEY: That was a technical violation, wasn't it? GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. BUCKLEY: How is that elision coped with? GENERAL WALTERS: It isn't. BUCKLEY: In other words, no schematic accommodates that problem. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, the attempt to divide this on an Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 14 absolute line is just not practical. BUCKLEY: Including assassination? GENERAL WALTERS: No. I mean between domestic and foreign. What is domestic and what is foreign intelligence? This attempt to say, "Well, as long as they're on the airplane, they're the CIA's. When they get off at the airport, they become the FBI's." I mean this is the ideal to do it, and everything else. But when you try to put down an absolute law and say you can't reach one inch beyond the customs enclosure, it's not practical. BUCKLEY: But there are categorical prohibitions, under the new.arrangements. One of them is covert activities in the United States. Another is attempts to assassinate. A third is contracts with academic or other non-government institutions without disclosing the nature of the contract. Now, is an attempt at a categorical prohibition in itself wrongheaded? GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. BUCKLEY: I agree with you. GENERAL WALTERS: Let me just tell you a little story current in Europe right now. BUCKLEY: I wish you'd say something I disagree with. GENERAL WALTERS: The Soviets recruit an American spy, obviously an American because he's protected by all the constitu- tional guarantees, whereas if you have a foreigner he might not be. They take him to Moscow, they teach him shortwave transmission, secret writing, invisible ink, special communications, everything else; and they send him back to the United States, and they tell him, "Now, you stay there, and we'll be in touch with you in a couple of years." In a couple of years they try to find him, and they've lost his address. And they're very upset about this. They spent an awful lot of money on him, and they don't know how to get hold of him. And finally somebody says, "I have an idea. We ask the Americans, under the Freedom of Information Act, where he is." You don't even have to be an American to get information under the Freedom of Information Act. BUCKLEY: And operationally, how does that proceed? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, then you cover yourself in the Privacy Act, that prevents you from getting... Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : b A-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 BUCKLEY: And you quote a couple of instances in which the Privacy Act was something on which you relied. GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. I'm fascinated. When I have my annual physical, the Army asks for my permission to derogate the Privacy Act so they can pass the findings on to somebody. You know, this is carrying these things to absolutely an absurd degree. After Entebbe, someone asked me, "Could we do that?" And I said, "No." And they said, "Why not?" I said, "if the Israelis had had to report that covert operation, that paramilitary operation to seven different com- mittees of the Knesset, composing 52% of the members of that body, Id! Amin would have been waiting for them on the end of the runway." Now, we've got to decide whether we want to run a highly moralistic thing, in the light of the morality of today, or whether we want to have an effective intelligence agency. An old professor of ethics once said to me, "The most immoral thing in the world is to fail to do what is necessary to insure the survival of human freedom." Because if we fall -- it's not like the British, who had us behind them -- there is no one behind us. The Dark Ages close in if we go down. BUCKLEY: Well, but, General, don't you -- you seem to be saying two things. On the one hand you are saying that we are really running the danger that we can't mount an Entebbe-type operation. On the other hand you are telling me, really, that all of these organizational constrictions, in fact, don't keep you from doing what it is required that you do. GENERAL WALTERS: If I said that, I'm wrong. They do keep you from doing. And I think we are in a catastrophically dangerous situation. As I said before, I think the United States is in greater danger now than it was in 1939, 1941, 1917, 1898, 1848, or whenever you want. And nobody perceives this danger. BUCKLEY: Well, is it a danger inherent in democracy, or do you simply adduce once again the Swedish experience and the English experience to show that you can have both? GENERAL WALTERS: You can have both. It's a peculiar we have been led to this. BUCKLEY: It's an American disease. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, what you've got right now... Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 16 BUCKLEY: It's angelism, isn't it? GENERAL WALTERS: It's angel ism. This is going to make me unpopular; but basically, we are a country that is run by the media. We are accustomed to get our information and our news and our education, in a sense, from the various forms of the media. And whether this mediacracy has led us to mediocrity, or mediocrity has led us to mediacracy, I don't know; but neither of them are good. BUCKLEY: We permit no puns on Firing Line, General. BUCKLEY: If the media -- in your book you have a mar- velous episode. Here's Kissinger on one of his 15 secret missions, all of which you supervised, in Paris. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, you can't supervise Dr. Kissinger. BUCKLEY: I said the mission. And he runs into Le Duc The. And Le Duc Tho is at his arrogant worst. GENERAL WALTERS: Oh, yes. BUCKLEY: And he talks about how American opposition is going to deliver Vietnam into Hanoi's hands [unintelligible]. And you quote a little lecture that Kissinger gave, rather approvingly. What was it? GENERAL WALTERS: I'd rather tell the whole story. BUCKLEY: Yeah, go ahead. GENERAL WALTERS: We were seeing Le Due Tho. You know, the North Vietnamese lived in most luxurious areas In Paris, in Avenue Mozart. But they always met Mr. Kissinger in a very poor communist suburb, in a drab little villa. And we went out there to meet him. And as we were at the foot of the steps, Le Duc Tho was standing at the top of the steps, and he looked down at Kis- singer and he said, "You know, I don't know why I'm wasting my time negotiating anything with you. I've just spent six hours with Senator McGovern. Your opposition is going to force you to give me what I want." Unfortunately, he was right historically. But that was one of Dr. Kissinger's better days. He looked at him and he said, "Dr. Le Duc Tho, you are a citizen of Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 17 the most totalitarian nation on the surface of this planet. You know nothing about an opposition because you have always brutally destroyed any opposition which showed itself in your own country. Do not attempt to interpret that which you do not tolerate. Leave that to those of us who tolerate an opposition." BUCKLEY: I can see why you have your reputation of a memory. I bet that was verbatim. But I had rather sinister purposes in bringing this up. GENERAL WALTERS: That's why I mentioned the name. BUCKLEY: And my sinister purpose is that isn't it that opposition that has caused an investigation of the Central Intel- ligence Agency? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, you know, you get back to the old Latin thing of qui Bono, who benefits from this? BUCKLEY: Oh, of course. But we're not here to say that the media are working for the Soviet Union; they are working for themselves. GENERAL WALTERS: Lenin once said that the most useful adjuncts of world communism are the useful idiots, not the agents. BUCKLEY: Well, and this I don't doubt. And if you're here to say, "Look, when the New York Times publishes papers whisked away by Daniel Ellsberg, the New York Times is actually doing something that helps the enemy," I agree with you. However, this is not their motive. GENERAL WALTERS: Oh, no. BUCKLEY: Their motive is precisely what you alluded BUCKLEY: Yeah. And people get Pulitzer Prizes for being part of this enterprise. But what I'm asking you Is, given the sort of spine- tingling lecture that Kissinger gave Le Duc Tho, aren't we required to believe that perhaps this very opposition prevents the Chief Executive from sanctioning a CIA that requires too much power? Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 18 GENERAL WALTERS: Well, how it can require too much power, I'm not sure, vis-a-vis the President. You see, I had the experience in the 4 1/2 years I was there of having four separate Directors shot out from over me. And as long as the President controls the appointment of the Director and can fire him, I don't see how the CIA can acquire all this power. BUCKLEY: Well, you have a novel by John Ehrlichman in which he described a situation in which the President couldn't fire the head of the CIA. Now, that hasn't happened, but stranger things have, like the impeachment of Presidents who tried to order the CIA around. GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. Well, I must say, Mr. Ehrlichman obviously has a greater imagination than I do. BUCKLEY: Well, but your imagination is very vivid in respect of what it is that the Soviet Union might do to us if we are not prepared to penetrate it. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I'm more concerned with the Soviet Union's ability to play chess with us. I don't believe they're looking for a nuclear confronation in which they could lose a large part of their infrastructure and a large part of their population, regardless of whether they have air raid shelters or not. I think they're much more interested in what I call the salami technique, of taking little slices at a time so that no one will raise up against them. BUCKLEY: Not more than one Afghanistan per month? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, let me tell you an interesting story. The other day I was talking to the head of a friendly for- eign service and I said to him, "You know, it's a little incon- gruous. Brezhnev, after making himself a Marshal of the Soviet Union, has now got himself given the Star of Victory, which was the medal they gave to the victorious marshals of World War It, and which has not been awarded since 1945." He said, "You're wrong. You think the Cold War -- like all the other Americans, you think the Cold War is over." He said, "To the Soviets, turning Clausewitz around, war is the continuation of peace by other means -- of foreign policy by other means. "Now," he said, "from their point of view, under Brezhnev, they have taken over -- the communists have taken over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, and are in the process of taking over the Horn of Africa. Quite frankly, he's conquered a lot more territory that Zhukov, Koniev (?), Tarbuk (?), and Arokosovsky (?)." Victory. They see nothing incongruous in his getting the Star of Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : 4-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 BUCKLEY: Well, the -- there is no question that he deserves anything that he gets. However, Isn't it also true that these conquests were made not, as the conquests of his predecessors, with Soviet -- with U.S. aid, but, ostensibly, in spite of U.S. opposition. And this is the real story, isn't it? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, he should get a Star of Victory slightly larger than the others. No Soviet soldiers died conquering these territories. BUCKLEY: What should our Presidents get? GENERAL WALTERS: A long year -- a long career in the service of my country and respect for the Commanders-in-Chief pre- vents me from answering. BUCKLEY: I once had a professor at Yale who didn't believe in presidential elections. His thesis was interesting. He said that every American President feels that he's entitled to lose one continent to the Soviet Union, so you may as well hang on to the one you've got, rather than to give his replace- ment a sense that he has fresh countries to give away. Do you think that there are reasons to suppose that the events of the past few months, the salami events of the past few months, have alerted the President to at least the necessity to reinvigorate the CIA? GENERAL WALTERS: I think there are the beginnings of that perception. You know, I'II never forget. I went to see Peron once after he returned to Argentina. And we were talking about the various things he'd said he was going to do in Madrid before he came home. And I asked him about this. And he said, "You know, how different the panorama is from Madrid and from inside the Casa Rosada (?)," the Argentine White House. It looks easy on the outside. When you get in, it's more difficult. But one of the principal problems of the intelligence community has been its politicization. The outs think it's ter- rible when you're furnishing this intelligence to the ins. Then you have an election and the ins go out and the outs come in. The old outs, now ins, think it's marvelous. They've changed their whole view about it. But the old ins, who are now out, think its immoral to be giving this to the new ins. BUCKLEY: And this is simply -- this is not a partisan point you're making; it's simply a point of human nature. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CI~DRDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 GENERAL WALTERS: No. It's true of both parties. BUCKLEY: General, in your book you stress that the intelligence function has to do only in part with collecting information. It has primarily and ultimately to do with intuiting the enemy's intentions. My question is the following: Have we reached a point in which the intentions of the Soviet Union are an easy deduction from the nature of their military planning? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, the overall intentions, I think, were laid down in the will of Peter the Great: push everywhere. The intentions -- when you look at the Soviet Union today, which has achieved a military force far greater than is necessary to deter anyone from attacking the Soviet Union, and you see the sacrifices that are being imposed on the Russian people to con- tinue and expand this, I believe that there's no way you can com- pare the economy of a free state, where things belong to private enterprise, and a state where the government controls all the means of production and distribution and movement. I would say the Soviet Union of today is spending more money on defense than the United States out of a gross national product less than half the size of ours. Now, as to the ultimate intentions, I think they're clear. I mean Brezhnev has told us, Khrushchev has told us. We have re- fused to believe what they tell us. We hope it isn't true. But here again... BUCKLEY: To say nothing of that talkative admiral. GENERAL WALTERS: Yes, Admiral Gorshkov. BUCKLEY: Yes. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I usually go around the world handing out copies of "Red Star Rising at Sea." I think it's very helpful. Basically, the intentions have never changed. The tactics have changed; the strategic purpose has never changed. Regardless of the changes of government in the Soviet Union, whether you went from Stalin to Malenkov to Khrushchev to Brezhnev, there is a con- tinuity we cannot hope to match, unless we develop some of the con- sensus we used to have, unless we have politics stop at the water's edge. That has not been the case in the last few years. BUCKLEY: Well, why is there such apparent apathy? Why is it difficult for Congress to pass a realistic defense budget in Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 21 such circumstances as you describe? You just finished saying that the media operates the United States. Well, the media certainly is in a position to pass on, and indeed has passed on, raw information about the frenetic pace of Soviet military expansionism. Why is there no ---- why is there no reaction, sensible reaction on the part of the public? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, a good deal of this is presented in a rather non-alarmist fashion. You know, I'm not saying the media run the whole United States. I.say that Americans get their information largely from the media, and that forms public opinion. Now, I noticed the other day on two of the biggest news- papers in this country -- on one it was on page 12 and on the other it was on page 20. There was a four-line dispatch saying, "Private property has been abolished in Vietnam in order to avoid black market speculation." I do not marvel at the news; I marvel at the brevity of it, on page 12 and page 20. Had this happened anywhere else, I have a feeling it would have been presented in a much more alarming fashion to Americans. But, you see, we are constantly led to believe that the Soviet Union -- the Cold War is over and that detente is new and the Soviet Union doesn't have horrible things in store for us. That is a delusion. It is a happy delusion, and people like good news. You know, in the old days they used to kill the bringers of bad news. Some of that lingers with us. BUCKLEY: Well, let me ask you this: Are there -- is there detailed intelligence information, which you have not divulged nor are at liberty to divulge, which, if the American people knew it, would cause them realistic alarm, about, for instance, the specific nature of certain Soviet weaponry, about the configuration of the MIRVed missiles, that sort of thing? GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I think all of that has been made public. But it's presented in a rather factual, rather non-alarmist fashion. You get somewhere -- if you read a dispatch on page 5 or page 8, you'll find that in the Far East there are 15,000 Soviet tanks, modern, facing 5000 antique Chinese tanks; that in Western Europe there are 20,000 Soviet tanks facing 7000 NATO tanks. But this is not picked up as presenting -- because it goes back to the old story of, "Oh, the Soviets have suffered great trauma by the various invasions, and they want to protect themselves," and so forth and so on. I think if you look -- you know, if it has paws like a lion, a mane like a lion, it roars like a lion, there's a high per- centage of probability that it just might be a lion. BUCKLEY: Well, do you consider... Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 BUCKLEY: Do you consider that President Nixon is sub- stantially at fault, inasmuch as his tradition as a realist in international affairs, combined with the initiation of detente under his patronage, was the final anesthetic affecting this American torpor? GENERAL WALTERS: I don't think I could say that. I think he had a rather realistic attitude towards the view of the Soviets' intentions towards us. He was pressed by being a minority President in the Congress, he was pressed later by Watergate, he was pressed by other things, he was pressed by what was popular. But I don't think he himself had any illusions about the Soviets' intentions concerning us. BUCKLEY: Why is it that when he ran his triumphant cam- paign in 1972 he didn't pay the kind of stress to this problem that would be appropriate? - GENERAL WALTERS: Because it wasn't popular and probably wouldn't have got him elected by as large a majority as he was reelected by. BUCKLEY: Well, certainly the contrary didn't do George McGovern much good, did it? BUCKLEY: So are you willing to go so far as to say that he missed an opportunity to inform the American people? GENERAL WALTERS: I think he thought he could manipulate this to our advantage. It's like the multiple people who believe that you can use the communists. Nobody uses the communists. BUCKLEY: Didn't you use them, ever? GENERAL WALTERS: I'd like to be able to say yes. I may have had some tiny little advantages here and there. But in the long term, I can't say I ever used them, no. BUCKLEY: At I-east you'd know what they were saying to each other when they whispered in Russian, right? GENERAL WALTERS: Yes. BUCKLEY: Mr. Silvan Meyer is our examiner. Mr. Meyer is the publisher of Miami magazine, president of Meyer Publications, and formerly editor of the Miami News. SILVAN MEYER: Mr. Buckley, General, I feel that we really Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 :JA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 need to go back to a couple of topics that you discussed earlier, on the function of an intelligence community in a democratic soci- ety. And since both of you gentlemen have a history of affiliation with the CIA -- and I don't say that that has colored your judgment, but I do think it may have given you -?- or, persuaded you in par- ticular directions as far as information is concerned. And I think when we talk about intelligence secrecy, I would have to say I don't think most Americans want intelligence secrets revealed. What Americans want is what is the policy of our intelligence. And I would like to ask you about the practice of aggres- sive intelligence politically in other countries which we practiced for a period of history prior to Vietnam, when there was indeed a consensus that we had to insert ourselves politically in other coun- tries to counteract similar subversion by the communists. But in this area that's less serious or less immediate than assassination, the whole area of trying to influence the poli- tical direction of another country from the inside, the development of political sympathizers... BUCKLEY: Your question is, what was the attitude of friendly governments to America doing this? MEYER: No. My question is, now, do you believe we should resume, or have we resumed, this kind of covert activity? I'm not talking about finding secrets and passing notes in hollow trees. I'm talking about developing a political attitude sympathetic to our own. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I don't know what we're doing cur- rently, because I've been gone from there for a year and a half. I would devotedly hope that we have. MEYER: But have not we made some serious errors in attempting this, such as Chile, such as Vietnam, where... GENERAL WALTERS: I'm not sure Chile was an error. Now, this is not a popular position. We see 42,000 Cubans spread around Africa today acting contrary to the interests of the United States. If Salvador had remained President of Chile, we might have had another 42,000 Cubans doing the same thing. BUCKLEY: Chileans. GENERAL WALTERS: Anybody who thinks Salvador Allende was not a deadly enemy of the United States is deceiving himself. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 24 BUCKLEY: Well, he was a most articulate and outspoken admirer of Fidel Castro. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, Fidel Castro went to Chile and spent 52 days there. I think it was the longest state visit in... MEYER: Be that as it may, have we not, in a way, des- troyed, through our actions in Chile, the credibility of that sort of CIA activity as far as the American people are concerned? I'm not saying that we should not pursue this sort of activity, but I think there's a perception in the American people that we aren't pursuing it very well or very competently. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, first of all, there is a general misunderstanding of what happened in Chile. I was at CIA. I was the number two there at the time that this happened. The CIA had no contact whatsoever with General Pinochet or the military who overthrew Salvador Allende. All contact with that group was broken off more than a year before the revolution which overthrew Allende. The CIA had given assistance to democratic newspapers and democratic parties that were resisting the attempts of Allende to put them out of business. Now, on the 22nd of May, the Chilean Supreme Court, in the year before he was overthrown, said, "This President, by his crass disregard for the Constitution, has placed himself outside its protection." On the 20th of June, the Comptroller General of the nation said, "This President, by his ruthless-disregard for all of the restrictions placed upon the President, is violating the Consti- tution." The Chilean House of Representatives passed a resolution, I remember, on my mother's birthday, the 22nd of October, again re- peating that the President had violated the Constitution. Now, the CIA -- the information is the CIA was doing some- thing in Chile, therefore it overthrew Allende. This is not a fact. ception? BUCKLEY: But answer his question. Is it an American per- GENERAL WALTERS: It is an American perception that we.did. BUCKLEY: Why? GENERAL WALTERS: Because that's the way it was presented BUCKLEY: Why? GENERAL WALTERS: That's a good question. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : O1A-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 MEYER: But if policies were revealed, if policies were revealed to the people.-- I'm not talking about the specific tech- nical secrets and the exchanges of information... MEYER: But if the policies, if the policies were revealed, then would not the American people support this? And if mistakes were made in the execution of the policy, then might not the Ameri- can people be more sympathetic with their intelligence establishment? GENERAL WALTERS: I don't believe you can operate an intel- ligence service if you reveal your intelligence policies, because you're not revealing them to the American people, you're revealing them to the Soviet Union, to China, or any other of your enemies. MEYER: Why should It be a secret that we want to influence what used to be British Guiana, Guyana, or South Vietnam, when there was one, where we did make these attempts? Why should it be a secret that we want to influence these countries in a democratic direction? GENERAL WALTERS: It's only a secret in the United States. BUCKLEY: Well, you're violating local laws, is the main GENERAL WALTERS: First of all, you're violating local laws. Secondly, you have things like -- for instance, some powers ask you not to say -- they say, "It's all right if you do this, but just don't talk about it." GENERAL WALTERS: Well, recently this nuclear reactor on the top of this mountain in India. You know, the Indians announced great indignation for it. Then when they got back to their files, they found that the present Prime Minister of India was the Defense Minister who authorized it. This idea that you can operate an intelligence service in Macy's window is a naive delusion. I know it isn't popular to say this, but you can't do it. Just if I may tell one other story about a Soviet spy recruited in the United States, and he goes back to the United States, and three years later they come for him, and the Soviet agent comes and looks at the building and he sees, "Jones, Ground Floor, Right." And so he pushes the door button and he says, "Mr. Jones, I am from the Center." And the man said, "You've got the wrong Jones. I'm Jones the tailor. Jones the spy is on the third floor." . Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CI 2 RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 MEYER: Yes. I've heard this story. I've been trying to discover -- because I was, as an editorial writer, an advocate of covert action in order to prevail on supposedly neutral countries to follow our point of view rather than the Soviet point of view. And I have to stand on what I wrote 15 or 20 years ago. GENERAL WALTERS: But every country in the world... MEYER: But what did that prevent? GENERAL WALTERS: Everything. MEYER: Where has that -- where has that succeeded? And is not one of the reasons for the failures that we've seen in this kind of covert activity the fact that the American people did not know about it? Now, I don't mean that the people have to know exactly what's going on in the specific country. But I think we do have a right to believe that the policies espoused by our President are those that are being executed covertly or overtly. And I think this turned out not to be the case. And is this not... GENERAL WALTERS: Where was it not the case? Where did the CIA do something the President hadn't directed them to do? MEYER: I can't say that. GENERAL WALTERS: I think it'd be difficult to find one. MEYER: But what I do say is that I think the people heard the President state policies, and later heard of covert actions that did not match the policies that were stated. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, you know, they had one of these voice-stress Indicators, and I think every President that they've run through it has been proved not to be telling the whole truth at some point or another. The idea that a chief of state must reveal everything he's doing... You know, interesting to me at the U-2 conference was the fact that the Russians did not regard Eisenhower's admittance that we had organized the U-2 as anything other than a gesture of contempt towards them. They would never have admitted it. And when he admitted it they thought, "He must care so little about our capability to retaliate or our anger, that he doesn't mind saying it publicly." You cannot -- I repeat -- you cannot run an intelligence service and covert operations in public. It is impossible. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 27 MEYER: But one of the things that's led to the present situation, which is, I think, a rather deplorable lack of credi- bility in our intelligence services... GENERAL WALTERS: Specify. HEYER: Well, I'm being -- specifically in regard to what appears to be support of governments that are in some respects un- savory in the American -- in the American view. GENERAL WALTERS: Now, who's the tribunal for who's savory or unsavory? BUCKLEY: Yeah. And besides, all governments are, in some respects, unsavory, including our own. GENERAL WALTERS: Including our own. MEYER: Well, I would agree that our governments occa- sionally do unsavory things. But where our policies seem to help governments that have been oppressive, dictatorial, etcetera, then when these -- when circumstances fall apart and we have problems in these countries, then the American people feel that our govern- ment has made a mistake, and it made the mistake in secret. GENERAL WALTERS: Winston Churchill, on being informed that Germany had attacked the Soviet Union, said, "I would make a pact with the devil himself to defeat...." BUCKLEY: Which is not very good theology, by the way. GENERAL WALTERS: Not very good theology, but it's a sign of a certain amount of realism. You can't pick and choose. There aren?t that many democratic governments around the world. You can count the really democratic governments on the fingers of two hands. Now, the unsavory of governments is a relative thing. For instance, today the average person thinks Chile is pretty horrible. Well, I will bet you that Mr. Ceausescu in Romania is doing away with more people in one month than President Pinochet has done away with In three years. BUCKLEY: Yeah. And Ceausescu arrives in Washington and is compared to Thomas Jefferson by the President of the United States. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, just to take the question of religion. Every Catholic bishop in Romania has been forced to join the Orthodox Church or go to jail. MEYER: Let me go back to Vietnam for a monent. In your Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CL DP91-00901 R000700060105-2 book, you say that -- you refer to our leaving Vietnam and you limit your coment, and say that you're limiting your comment, to the fact that we departed Vietnam because of a loss of resolution. GENERAL WALTERS: That's right. MEYER: I'd like to go a little further as to what you mean by that loss of resolution. If we had stuck to it, do you think we might have prevailed? GENERAL WALTERS: I think at any time, without the use of nuclear weapons, within 30 days we could have brought the Vietnam War to a successful conclusion. I would suggest to any- body who doubts this to talk to some of the released prisoners about what happened during the heavy Christmastime bombing. You will find that the guards were coming to them and saying, "If your people get here, you'll tell them I treated you well, won't you?" I know, as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, that on the day that massive bombing was stopped, there was one day's supply of surface-to-air missiles left in North Vietnam. BUCKLEY: Did Nixon know it? GENERAL WALTERS: I don't think he knew it right at that time, but we've known it ex post facto. You know, Napoleon once said, "Victory belongs to the guy who holds out to the last 15 minutes." And as a result of the loss of Vietnam, we are now in the position that Britain and France were in after Munich. We have lost our credibility. Nobody believes us anymore. MEYER: But part of what went on in Vietnam, and part of the reason for our lack of perseverance, was the political situation in South Vietnam itself, the corruption inside that government, which has been fairly widely reported. Now, here again, we were in a situation that to many Americans was Ideologically untenable. GENERAL WALTERS: I think "fairly widely reported" is an understatement of the fact. Let me tell you something. You can get out of Vietnam right now by paying 33 [unintelligible] of gold. In any country where a Cabinet minister earns $300 a month, no one expects him to live on it. And one final item. As a newspaperman, it will interest Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 29 you. In the time of President Thieu in South Vietnam, there were 30 daily newspapers in Saigon. Six of them were pretty much in opposition to the government. Now, they'd get closed for a day or a week or a month. But then they'd reappear. Do you know how many newspapers there are in South Vietnam now? One. Now, that may be an improvement in the eyes of some people. I don't think it is, from the point of view of the freedom of the press. BUCKLEY: I might remind you that the British suspended all elections during their war. So it's a little bit difficult to exact from the South Vietnamese conduct that Winston Churchill, after a thousand years' experience with democracy, was not able to conduct. GENERAL WALTERS: But there are no elections in North Vietnam, ever. MEYER: What I'm really attempting to do is to take the devil's advocate position on the question of the effective- ness of covert intelligence. In a political situation, even in a pre-combat situation, where we had ample opportunity to prac- tice this in Vietnam, and apparently it didn't work. Is that an accurate assessment? GENERAL WALTERS: Oh, no. Oh, no. What did work is the other side rapidly perceived that the U.S. Government was not going to conduct the war to victory. If we'd told Adolf Hitler, as we told the North Viet- namese, that under no circumstances were we going to invade Germany, when do you think the war would have ended? MEYER: Wasn't one of the reasons, though, that the enemy perceived this was that we had by and large failed to per- ceive what was in essence a civil war in Vietnam, and failed to bring a sufficient amount of the populous to our point of view? GENERAL WALTERS: It was a civil war, probably in the same sense that the American Revolution was. BUCKLEY: Well, If I may disagree with you, I think much less. It was absolutely established in 1975, when, without any adornment, the North Vietnamese simply moved in orthodox military fashion, that it was a North Vietnamese invasion. And that to the extent that they had sympathizers in the South, they were relying on them only exiguously. GENERAL WALTERS: Well, I was in Vietnam, and the amount of Southern sympathy was not large. During the Tet offensive, Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2 30 when they came into the cities, no one rose to join them. In the final days of the offensive, we saw these incredible spec- tacles of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing in blind terror, because they knew what was going to follow: a police state of the first magnitude, about which nobody talks. We're all busy talking about Cambodia and about Chile, and about this and about the other. The North Vietnamese have inaugurated in Vietnam a regime ten times as repressive as anything that ever preceded it, even under French colonial rule. BUCKLEY: Thank you, General Walters, the author of Silent Missions, described as "Five Presidents used his talents, millions of have seen his photograph. Now read his enthralling story." And thank you very much, Mr. Meyer. Ladies and gentle- men of Miami, thank you. Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060105-2