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Document Creation Date: 
December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 20, 2007
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November 23, 1977
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Approved For Release 2007/08/20: CIA-RDP99-00498R000100120042-5 ST. LOUIS GLOBE-DEfOCI>~AT 23 N ove:nber 1977 CIA's pink slips a bonus to Reds The spies who pre being kicked out erg the cold (CMS). These boards are tant, longtime friend and spe- SMITH HEMPSTONE By rector Stansfieid Turner has accomplished in less than a year what the Kremlin has- been unable to achieve in 30 years of Cold War: the shat- tering of the morale of his own agency's top-secret Di-' rectorate of Operations. In his memo DDO.77-8855, dated Oct. 7, CIA Deputy Director for Operations Wil- liam W. Wells informed the 4,500 officers of the agency's .clandestine services, which, handle covert operations such as espionage, counterespion- age and political and paramil- itary operations, that they faced a two-stage purge that will reduce their ranks by nearly 20 per cent within the next 15 months. In his memo, Wells admit- ted that "there is no easy way to accomplish this reduction of personnel," and conceded that among the spies to be kicked out into the cold were "a number of individuals" who have made "a valuable contribution" to the agency and the security of the United States. According to. the Wells memo, those to be forced out of the CIA were to be selected . on the basis of their past seven years's standing rated by yearly evaluation boards conducted by. the agency's Career Management Staff grades senior to those being rated. Under a curious point sys- tem-developed by the C:tiMS, a senior. CIA agent who has reached supergrade rank and lived up to his potential has almost no way of avoiding vulnerability to the purge: the only three ways an officer can accumulate positive points to wipe out any negative ones is by having been promoted in fiscal years 1976 or 1977, or being evaluated as ..-having "highest potential" or "may develop high potential," all of which are unlikely for any officer much over 50. The first 198 CIA agents got their pink slips in the unpubli- cized Halloween Massacre of Oct. 31, and will leave the agency by March 1 (two of. them are threatening class- action suits). Another 622 clandestine operatives will get their walking papers by June 1, and be out by the end of next year. And in DDO-77- 8855, Wells warns that if the normal attrition. rate factored. into Turner's planning should lag, "additional employees" of the Operations Directorate will be fired in 1978. Wells, a career CIA officer, is not the villain in this weakening of our country's security. Architect of the cuts was Robert D. ("Rusty") Wil- liams, a management consul- cial'assistant to the 53-year- old Turner. Williams and Turner reportedly were urged on by David Aaron of the National Security Council, a former Mondale aide and staff member of the Church Com- mittee that cut up the CIA in 1975.- There is, of course,, some- thing to be said for thinning out the senior ranks of any. organization to avoid harden. ing of the bureaucratic arter- ies and to make room at the top for younger men. That officers of the Directorate of. Operations since 1964 have been able to retire at 70 per: cent of their pay, at age 50 after five years of hazardous service would seem to indicate that many "burned-out cases" were anticipated. Yet according to at least one CIA source who is not being dismissed, some agents who are virtually irreplacea- ble are being forced out of the agency. If so, the Halloween Massacre and next year's purge of the Directorate of Operations could well cause the collapse of some vital U.S. spy networks in Europe and the Middle East. In fairness to the Queeg-like Turner, it has to be said that his two immediate predeces- In short, what the U.S. needs is a balanced intelli- gence capability. It needs sat- ellites and electronic inter- cepts, historians and physi- cists, psychologists and soil experts. But the U.S. also needs tough, dedicated clandestine operatives willing and able to go out into the backalleys of the world to play the danger- ous and sometimes dirty game forced on us by our enemies. Admiral Turner and his co- terse of black-shoe Navy men may be right in what they're trying to do. But they're cer- tainly wrong .in the way they're going about it If a cut-back is desirable, it ought to be phased. over a longer period. And men who have given years of brave and honorable service to this coun- try deserve something more I than a two-sentence pink slip telling them their careers are at an end. . i sors, William Colby and George Bush, also were com-- milted to deemphasizing the clandestine services in favor' of technological intelligence. gathering devices such as sat ellites and electronic inter- cepts. t =` . In part, this was no more than recognition of the ad- vances made-by science In this area. But It was also linked to a post Vietnam, post- Watergate revulsion for cov ert operations such. as the "destabilization" of the Al-: lende regime in Chile. But if the "cowboys" who- graduated from General "Wild Bill" Donovan's war- time Office-of Strategic Serv-- ices into the. CIA had their faults of excess, technology, also has its limits. A satellite can tell much about an ene- my's capabilities, but it can say nothing about his inten- ing of hunter-killer satellites.. indicates the vulnerability- of STAT STAT Approved For Release 2007/08/20: CIA-RDP99-00498R000100120042-5