Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 19, 2016
Document Release Date: 
September 22, 2006
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Publication Date: 
May 21, 1978
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PDF icon CIA-RDP91-00901R000700070006-1.pdf139.16 KB
~ Approved For Rele~2~79~~Ipl~~i~301 R0007000~00~0~--~ ~ ~ ~~~~~ ~,~,~ ytt,~. ARTICLE APPEAR I,l 2I MAY 197$ i~~3-~'dCi~$~ lbiy Life in the CIA. Illusirated.-493pp. New York:_. . Simon and Schuster. $t2.9S.:.::,;"` ByTrernanA. Wafters. ~ ? Illustrated. 654 pp. New Yorh:.I?oulaleday & Co. $12.95. ? By THOMAS ?1POl~V,1rR5Y When the-Cent:wl Itelligence Agency's secrets began to tumble out in their melancholy profusion three years ago, veterans of the agency warned that it would. not be easy to put the lid back on, rtSore ~~es- tions would be raised than answered, and the process ? of exposure would leave the practice of intelligence in demoralized disarray. At the time, such arguments were roughly dismissed as disingenuous, motivated less by honest concern for "national security" -fast replacing patriotism as the last refuge of scoundrels -than by fear of embarrassment. But it turns out the? Cassandras were absolutely right: the code-breaking com~uters?may still be humming, the satellites click- ing off their high~resotution photos and the mighty river of paper working its way toward the National Se- citrIty Gouncii!, but nothing else is the same. The Intel- Iigence'community is divided and confused, just as predicted, and there is probably no better~ptace to go for a glimpse of the awful mess than the memoirs of William Colby, Director of the C.I.A. cram 2973 to 1976. dt may come as a surpHse to most readers to learn 'i that the intelligence community blames Mr. Colby. not nosy reporters or the- Congressional investigators of 2975, for the uglier revelations of recent years, but that is -the case. Few men have suffered such disso- nant reputations. The.public probably remernbez's I'Yir. Colby best as the architect of the notorious Phoenix program in South Vietnam, which tatted up the deaths ?of at Least Zp,Of10 Vietcong political cadremen; or as a peripheral Watergate figure who, in his own wards, lichman's name to the Federal prosecutors, But for C.I.A. people, Mr, Colby is the man who may have wrecked the agency with his decision to let out the "bad secrets" concerning assassination plats, domes- tic intelligence pragrarns, illegal drug-testing and the Like. White at least one segment of the public fs in- clined to see Mr. Colby as a war criminal, his former , comrades think of him as a prig and snitch, aturncoat- . (or worse) who delivered secret files by the cartIoad to the Pike and Church committees; who ioid a re- ; porter about the C.LA.'s illegal mail-intercept pro- ~~ gram in order to' engineer the 1?emoval of an arch- . rival, and who gave the Justice Department evidence I that suggested 'that Mr. Coiby's immediate predeces-.: { sor but ono, Richard 8etms, had lied to th'e SenatQ ,~ about C.I.A. political operations .in Chile. When Mr, Colby finally left the C.I.A. early in 1976. his departure was not loudly lamented. ~ .. At first. or even third, glance Wlltlam Egan Colb}- seems an . unlikely candidate for such heated controversy. His appointment. as Director of Centro] , Intelligence in mid-1973 seems to have been made in a ? ~ fit of absent-mindedness while Richard M. Nixon was busy plugging leaks in the White .House levees. Certainly there was nothing inevitable about it.' For the most part Nlr. Colby's ? years in the C.I.A?. were unex- ? ceptional, a steady cfirnb from job to jab i;n a, manner that net- ; ther made enemies nor left much` by way ?of anecdote among his friends. In the early 1950's he organized stay-behind nets in.. Scandinavia to harass Russian occupiers in the event of a third world war. A few 'years . later, he orchestrated C.I.A. support in Italy. for the? Christian ; .::'Democrats =and ? backed the "opening to the ]eft" that brought Italian Socialists into the : Government, despite opposition" (by, the=;C.I.A.'s James Angietonv among other=s) ' contending. that- the Commu~.. nists would not be far behind..: '! I _.. In 1959 Mr. Colby moved an to. Vietnam'to halp gear up for the war he :still.: feels we never -should have lost. As chief bf sta4 ' lion in Saigon, chief of the Far e -East division in the clandestine- i services section of the C.I.A. and head of the Phoenix pro ~ gram, Mr. Colby spent 12 years trying to dv what the French , had failed to achieve before him. Vietnam absorbs the larg- est part of his book. as it did his life, and one is tempted to linger overhis astonishing (tome) Ina- bility to notice any but the most particular causes of failure. Approved Far Release 2006109/22 : CIS?P91-009018000700070006-1