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Document Creation Date: 
December 27, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 4, 2013
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Publication Date: 
February 23, 1987
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PDF icon CIA-RDP99-01448R000301270034-9.pdf79.41 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2013/06/05 :CIA-RDP99-014488000301270034-9 OM PAGEPAGE~~.I.-~ ~VEW YORK POST 23 February 1987 New boss of-the CIA will have to fight off temptations of secrecy and partisan politics ~~ Senate hearings regarding the con- ' firmation oP Robert ~,?to be- come director o n al Intelligence have focused anew on one of the great anomalies of American life: we keep play- ing games of secrecy when one calamity after another tells us that secrecy and democracy are incompatible. The history of the CIA, from Day One till now, tells us that no agency that operates in secrecy, with billions. of dollars to spend, can long be controlled - by the Congress, the President, the judiciary, the press or anything else. We Americans assume that, in a wicked world of violent intrigue, we must have an agency that deals as dirtily as the KGB. But we learn that in giving power and the right of secrecy to such an agency, we vir- tually wipe out the constitutional system of checks and balances. Secrecy becomes an even greater bane of a free and democratic society when the CIA can pull off a stupid clandestine operation, then have it shielded by a "retroactive find- ing". by the President. Under these circumstances, the CIA must become a magnet for all the Rambos, zealots and soldiers of fortune in America. You need not have spent more than four years in top government jobs, as I did, to know that this country could not long sur- vive without a strong and competent CIA. This is a brutally mean world in which one nation always is seeking a military, intelli- gence, scientific or other advantage over a perceived adversary. So the Soviets spy at the Pentagon and the State Dept. and the supersecret National Security Agency -and in Silicon Valley and wherever else U.S. secrets are to be grabbed to the benefit of the Communist countries. And we spy, steal, counterspy, strive for technological breakthroughs to ensure that -the Kremlin will never dare order an invasion and occupation of America akin to the television nonsense some Americans watched last week The much?maligned CIA is vital to the comfort and security of every American. But, sad to say, the CIA is, like that "Mi.9- sion Impossible" tape in the telephone booth, programmed to self-destruct at least every generation. I have defended the CIA time and again. knowing that we live in a world in which we would be naked to America's enemies with- out such an agency. The Soviet Union and its KGB try to manipulate the outcomes of elections in Nicaragua, Finland. Italy and even Argentina. The CIA tries to destabilize an Allende government in Chile, to over- . throw a black government in Angola, or in Grenada, all in the name o[ protecting and spreading democracy. Quarrel with this role, if you will, but rea- sonable people might conclude the CIA is acting responsibly -until the stories pop up that it is not just trying to manipulate . politicians and governments thousands of miles away, but is trying to dictate the poll- - cies of the State Dept., the military deci? sions of the Defense Dept. The CIA is a great American institution until it follows some self-destructive urge to tread upon the constitutional rights of the American people. During the Nixon years, it blundered into the outrages of "The Huston .Plan" and other unconstitutional schemes of Nixon's White House '~luizibers." The CIA was al? most destroyed by revelations that it had perpetrated burglaries, murders or at? tempted assassinations, illegal drug experi? menu on ,unwitting citizens, attempted toothpaste poisonings and other crimes. Here we are again, with a seriously wounded CIA, and with a nominee to head it who seems less than up to the challenge Before confirming Gates, the least the Senate can do is try to insure that the new director of Central Intelligence takes seri- ously the business of congressional over- sight, and that he will not quickly succumb to the temptations of secrecy or the cor? rupting influences of partisan politics. Declassified and Approved For Release 2013/06/05 :CIA-RDP99-014488000301270034-9