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December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 15, 2007
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Publication Date: 
April 6, 1980
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STAT Approved For Release 2007/06/15: CIA-RDP99-00498R000100200135-3 :ARTICU A RED , .Z. ON Pl.rT~ BY Tt2d szulc Room S-407 on the Senate side of the Capitol has more than its share of pro- tective electronic devices inside and armed guards outside. It is designed to keep its secrets. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, during the Congressional Christmas recess, a small group of Senators was summoned back to Washington to meet in 5-407, the most "secure" room in all of Congress, with high officials of the Central Intelli- gence Agency. The agenda: a presenta- tion by the C.I.A. of its plans for covert, paramilitary operations in Afghani stan. The Senators included Birch Bayh of Indiana, chairman of the Select Com- mittee on Intelligence; Barry Goldwa- ter of Arizona, vice chairman, and Jo- seph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware - plus the committee staff director, William G. Miller, and the minority staff direc- tor, Earl D. Eisenhower. The C.I.A. was represented by the Deputy Direc- tor of Central Intelligence, Frank C. Carlucci, accompanied by John McMahon, Deputy Director for Opera- tions, the top man in clandestine opera- tions. What Mr. Carlucci spelled out at the session was a new covert aid program for the anti-Soviet Moslem guerrillas of Afghanistan. Since last November, as the Senators knew, the C.I.A. had been secretly prov?ding the rebels with lim- ited assistance - field hospitals and communications equipment. But after the Soviet invasion of Dec. 27, the Car- ter Administration had decided to esca- late that aid program dramatically. The C.I.A. proposed to provide the Af- ghan rebels with Soviet-made AK-47 as- sault rifles from American stocks, TOW antitank weapons and SAM-7 sur- face-to-air missiles-`and launchers. (The SAM's were for use against an an- ticipated spring offensive when the weather would permit the Russians greater use of planes and helicopters; the offensive has since begun.) The Senators listened. They offered no major objections. The next day, Mr. Carlucci advised the White House of the results of the session, and President Carter signed a Presidential Decision (known as a P.D.) setting the program in motion. C? Approved NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE 6 APRIL 1980 -For all the secrecy and the high- stakes international gamble involved, 1 that progression from Room S-407 to the signing of the P.D. was fairly rou- tine. It was a standard example of Con- gressional oversight of American intel- ligence work as it has developed in the last five years - a balancing of the C.LA.'s national-security require- ments and the Congress's desire to keep a hand in foreign-policy decisions and safeguard Americans' individual rights. According to sources in both camps, the agency has been informing the appropriate Congressional commit- tees of its vlans. and the committees have, apparently with few exceptions, gone along. Today, however, that relationship is undergoing dramatic change. The C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies are openly and successfully seeking greater independence of Congressional oversight and of a variety of other re- straints, as well. According to its crit- ics, the "unleashing" of the C.I.A. is well under way. V NA bill that would deprive the Con- gressional intelligence committees of the right to review all C.I.A. covert operations has been approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It is likely that some such legislation will be passed by Congress this year.. W A measure, once encouraged by the Carter Administration, which would for the first time have defined the powers of the intelligence agencies, is given lit- tle chance in Congress this year. IRA bill to amend the Freedom of In- formation Act to protect the agency's secrets is expected to pass the Senate. Further protection has been granted by a Supreme Court ruling. ? doing the shouting. In the wake of the .Vietnam War, Congress took- a long, hard look at the freewheeling ways of the C.I.A. The first concrete result was the Hughes-Ryan Amendment to the Foreign Aid Authorization Act of 1974. According to this measure, no funds could be spent on a covert intelligence operation unless it was reported in a "timely fashion" to the appropriate. committees in.Congress. Public reports of secret, widespread and illegal C.I.A. moves against political dissenters in the United States (code-named Opera- tion CHAOS) led to the hasty creation of the Select Committee to Study Govern- mental. Operations With Respect to In- telligence Activities, with Senator Frank Church of Idaho as chairman. Along the way, the committee learned in detail of C.I.A. plans to as- sassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro and the Congo's Patrice Lumumba, and of the agency's crucial role in establishing a climate in which Chile's President Sal- vador Allende Gossens, a democrati- cally elected Marxist, could in 1973 bei overthrown by the Chilean military. The committee also discovered that the agency had been conducting mind-con- trol experiments, feeding LSD and other drugs to unwitting subjects;- co- vertly passing money to foreign politi- cal parties to affect the outcome of elec- tions, and recruiting American journal- tM ists, clergymen-and academics for se- the C.I.A.'s ability. in effect, to make. i Congress demanded a curtailment of