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Document Creation Date: 
December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
March 14, 2007
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January 22, 1980
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PDF icon CIA-RDP99-00498R000100190081-5.pdf105.64 KB
Approved-For Release 2007/03/15: CIA-RDP99-00498R0001 30190081 6 U_. I.JJf.= into the Washington. STRONG POSSIBILITY is ,, growing on Capitol Hill that there will be a . favorable turn this year in the melancholy. fortunes of .the Central Intelligence Agency. We may-and that word "may:' has to be emphasized-we'may soon begin to see revitalization- of.-an agency that for five years hassuf- fered a fate it never deserved. If this prospect materializes,, something good, at least;: will haven By James J.. Kilpatrick his judgment. emerged from the mesa in the Middle East. Under wise safeguards, not fat-. uous ones, the CIA may be able to resume covert operations clearly in ..the national interest There seems to be a growing senti-1 ment both on Capitol Hill and in the' Whits House that the time has conzel to repeal the Hughes-Ryan amend-i went of 1974. This alone would not breathe life back into the demorall ized CIA, but it would surely help. By way of background: During the last couple of years of the Nixon ad= ministration, the .CIA. became the .target of pacifists and, idealists who saw the agency as -an unrestrained monster. I do not question. the_ sin=! cerity or the good intentions of Sena *tor Frank Church of Idaho, who came: to symbolize the campaign against the CIA. emphatically question. How as convinced that the agency had to come in from the cold; he. 'wanted its covert operations severely ,restricted if not halted altogether; ;Though he sought conscientiously-to `prevent disclosure of the CIA's names and sources, he cherished the naive notion that it would be better -more democratic, you know-=taget it all hang out. THE BALTIMORE SUN 22 January 1980 Thus began the systematic; sense- :less dismantling of an intelligencej agency that. had been the beat in the.. world. In December of 1974, ' es - an I amendment-to the Foreign Aid Act,.! Congress approved a provision spon- sored by Harold Hughes of Iowa in' the Senate and by Leo Ryan of Cali- fornia in the House. This is what it; said: "No funds appropriated under.the authority of this or any other act may ! be expended by or on behalf of the CIA for operations in foreign cam- tries, other than activities intended; solely for obtaining necessary intelli- gence, unless and until the President finds that each such operation is Lin- .portant to the national security and reports, in a timely fashion, a de- scription and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of the Congress. " . There turned out to be eight such "appropriate" committees on -the ; Hill. Each of the committees' has- a . large . staff. Faced.- with the virtual certainty of massive leaks, President; Ford threw in the towel: President Carter, who suffered-until quite re' cently from - qualms and - delusions, 1 followed in the paths of innocence that Frank Church had established. Mr..Carter's. choice to -head the! CIA, - Admiral Stansfield Turner,.; fired 800 CIA officers and'pushed an other 2,000 into retirement. Nothing very good has happened to the CIA since then. - - That the CIA made some gross mistakes in . the period before Hughes-Ryan, no one denies, -though some of us will continue .to believe that the CIA's role in Chile between 1964 and 1973 was not as diabolical as The New. York Times would have us believe. The CIA politicked quite effec- tively- on behalf of the Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei in .1964 and almost succeeded in preventing the -Marxist Salvador Allende from win- ning his one-point plurality in 1970. Through its ' own covert opera- -tions, the Soviet Union was- doing precisely the same kind of thing the-? CIA was doing. No -apologies are:) called for. The Soviets put their mans in power and brought chaos on the country. The anti-Allende coup ? of 1973 would have developed if the CIA 1 had spent its time on. tea and 'chum- l :pets. Few observers would give :thel president-any president--unre` strained power to conduct covert paramilitary operations through the CIA. But in the, kind of world Fve'live in, a world increasingly imperiled by aggressive Soviet expansion, it makes, no sense to fight fire with water pis-l tols. We ought to repeal Hughes-Ryan and limit presidential confidences to, the two intelligence committees-only:l Such a move would provide a useful' first step on a long road back.