The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchetti

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchetti

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:56 pm

The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence
by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, Introduction by Melvin L. Wulf
© 1974 by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks



The CIA book that the agency itself tried to suppress. The book in which Victor Marchetti, former high-ranking CIA official, tells how the agency actually works and how its original purpose has been subverted by its obsession with clandestine operations. The first book the U.S. Government ever went to court to censor before publication. Published with blank spaces indicating the exact location and length of the 168 deletions demanded by the CIA

(inscribed on the marble wall of the main lobby at CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia)

Table of Contents:

• Inside Cover
• Publisher's Note
• Authors' Prefaces
• Acknowledgments
• Introduction by Melvin L. Wulf
• Part 1
o 1. The Cult of Intelligence
o 2. The Clandestine Theory
o 3. The CIA and the Intelligence Community
• Part 2
o 4. Special Operations
o 5. Proprietary Organizations
o 6. Propaganda and Disinformation
o 7. Espionage and Counterespionage
• Part 3
o 8. The Clandestine Mentality
o 9. Intelligence and Policy
o 10. Controlling the CIA
o 11. Conclusions
• Appendix: The Bissell Philosophy
• Index
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:59 pm

Inside Cover

This book, the first in American history to be subjected to prior government censorship, began making news even before it was written. From the time it was no more than an outline to the present, the Central Intelligence Agency has been trying to prevent its publication. To a degree, the agency has succeeded. Legal proceedings and injunctions delayed publication for close to a year. One hundred and sixty-eight passages actually censored by the agency continue to be unavailable and are thus missing from the text as published here (although nearly 200 more, first cut and then yielded up by the CIA following insistent demands by lawyers for the authors and the publishers, will be found printed in boldface type). Ironically, however, in a broader sense the agency has failed. In recent months, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence has become more than a book, it has become a public issue of great symbolic important -- as a test of free speech and as a valuable and effective challenge to a peculiarly odious concept: the idea that any government body -- even the CIA -- should be permitted to exist beyond the reach of the Constitution and public control.


What is the CIA really up to? What does it do, and why? No other element of the U.S. government is so lapped in mystery, no other is quite so plainly self-willed and independently powerful. And in the end, no other represents quite such a threat to our long-treasured democratic principles.

There have been many books about the CIA, but never before has there been one that laid bare the facts so explicitly and with such absolute authority. Victor Marchetti spent 14 years in the CIA, much of the time as a high-ranking officer. Co-author John Marks learned about the agency and intelligence procedures while working in the State Department. Their experience and knowledge give The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence its authenticity and make incontestable its basis thesis: that an obsession with clandestine operations -- illegal, even immoral interference in the internal affairs of other countries (and in some recent cases, our own) -- has largely supplanted the agency's original and proper mission -- the overall supervision, coordination, and processing of intelligence.

Many of the details reported for the first time in this book will surprise and probably shock: how, with tactics that included bombing runs by its own B-26s, the agency tried to overthrow Sukarno in 1958; how it conducted paramilitary operations against the Chinese in Tibet; its ownership and management of "proprietary organizations" ranging from airlines to radio stations -- sometimes for profit; the fact that at least one CIA guerrilla PT-boat unit was on hand the night of the famous Tonkin Gulf incident; how the CIA secretly built "a miniature Ft. Bragg" in the Peruvian jungle, and its role in the search for Che Guevara in Bolivia; and more. What surprises remain hidden in the sections censored out?

Yet the real significance of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence lies not in these revelations, startling as they may be, but in the full and wholly convincing picture it gives of a giant, costly organization running wild, altogether free from supervision and accountability. Soberly, comprehensively, the authors anatomize the Central Intelligence Agency -- its structure, its huge budgets, its functions and personnel -- and show how it has, shielded by self-serving (and frequently self-invented) rules of secrecy, built for itself a covert empire capable of stifling, with depressing efficiency, every serious attempt at outside control: by Congress, by various Presidents (who admittedly found the agency useful as a kind of private army, and still do), and by the press.

There can be only one reason why the CIA tried to censor this book: it tells the truth about the CIA.

Photo by Toyo Uyeyama Biddle

Victor Marchetti (at right, above) and John D. Marks joined forces on this book in the fall of 1972. Marchetti is a veteran of 14 years with the CIA -- he first entered the agency in 1955 -- where he served primarily as a Soviet military specialist, rising eventually to be executive assistant to the Deputy Director. After leaving the CIA in 1969, he wrote a novel called The Rope Dancer. Marks joined the State Department in 1966. He worked as an analyst, then as a staff assistant to the Intelligence Director before leaving, in 1970, to become executive assistant to Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey

Jacket design by Robert Anthony
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:01 pm

Publisher's Note

By federal court order, the authors were required to submit the manuscript of this book to the CIA for review prior to publication. Under the terms of the court ruling, the CIA ordered the deletion of 339 passages of varying length. Later, following demands to the CIA by legal counsel for the authors-and the commencement of litigation by the publisher and the authors against the CIA challenging the censorship involved-all but 168 of these deletions were reinstated.

An additional 140 passages, plus parts of two others, were cleared for publication by a federal judge, but because of continuing appeals they are not available for inclusion. For a full account of these events, see the Introduction by Melvin L. Wulf, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which begins on page xix.

As it presently exists, therefore, the manuscript of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence demonstrates with remarkable clarity the actual workings of the CIA's "classification" system. In this edition, passages the CIA originally ordered excised-and then reluctantly permitted to be reinstated-are printed in boldface type. Firm deletions, including the 140-plus passages cleared but still tied up in litigation, are indicated by blank spaces preceded and followed by parentheses: (DELETED). The spaces correspond to the actual length of the cuts.
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:04 pm

Authors' Prefaces


My introduction to the intelligence business came during the early years of the Cold War, while serving with the U.S. Army in Germany. There, in 1952, I was sent to the European Command's "special" school at Oberammergau to study Russian and the rudiments of intelligence methods and techniques. Afterward I was assigned to duty on the East German border. The information we collected on the enemy's plans and activities was of little significance, but the duty was good, sometimes even exciting. We believed that we were keeping the world free for democracy, that we were in the first line of defense against the spread of communism.

After leaving the military service, I returned to college at Penn State, where I majored in Soviet studies and history. Shortly before graduation, I was secretly recruited by the CIA, which I officially joined in September 1955; the struggle between democracy and communism seemed more important than ever, the CIA was in the forefront of that vital international battle. I wanted to contribute.

Except for one year with the Clandestine Services, spent largely in training, most of my career with the CIA was devoted to analytical work. As a Soviet military specialist, I did research, then current intelligence, and finally national estimates-at the time, the highest form of intelligence production. I was at one point the CIA's-and probably the U.S. government's--leading expert on Soviet military aid to the countries of the Third World. I was involved in uncovering Moscow's furtive efforts that culminated in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and, later, in unraveling the enigma of the "Soviet ABM problem."

From 1966 to 1969 I served as a staff officer in the Office of the Director of the CIA, where I held such positions as special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting, special assistant to the Executive Director, and executive assistant to the Deputy Director. It was during these years that I came to see how the highly compartmentalized organization performed as a whole, and what its full role in the U.S. intelligence community was. The view from the Office of the Director was both enlightening and discouraging. The CIA did not, as advertised to the public and the Congress, function primarily as a central clearinghouse and producer of national intelligence for the government. Its basic mission was that of clandestine operations, particularly covert action-the secret intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. Nor was the Director of CIA a dominant-or much interested-figure in the direction and management of the intelligence community which he supposedly headed. Rather, his chief concern, like that of most of his predecessors and the agency's current Director, was in overseeing the CIA's clandestine activities.

Disenchanted and disagreeing with many of the agency's policies and practices, and, for that matter, with those of the intelligence community and the U.S. government, I resigned from the CIA in late 1969. But having been thoroughly indoctrinated with the theology of "national security" for so many years, I was unable at first to speak out publicly. And, I must admit, I was still imbued with the mystique of the agency and the intelligence business in general, even retaining a certain affection for both. I therefore sought to put forth my thoughts-perhaps more accurately, my feelings-in fictional form. I wrote a novel, The Rope-Dancer, in which I tried to describe for the reader what life was actually like in a secret agency such as the CIA, and what the differences were between myth and reality in this overly romanticized profession.

The publication of the novel accomplished two things. It brought me in touch with numerous people outside the inbred, insulated world of intelligence who were concerned over the constantly increasing size and role of intelligence in our government. And this, in turn, convinced me to work toward bringing about an open review and, I hoped, some reform in the U.S. intelligence system. Realizing that the CIA and the intelligence community are incapable of reforming themselves, and that Presidents, who see the system as a private asset, have no desire to change it in any basic way, I hoped to win support for a comprehensive review in Congress. I soon learned, however, that those members of Congress who possessed the power to institute reforms had no interest in doing so. The others either lacked the wherewithal to accomplish any significant changes or were apathetic. I therefore decided to write a book-this book--expressing my views on the CIA and explaining the reasons why I believe the time has come for the U.S. intelligence community to be reviewed and reformed.

The CIA and the government have fought long and hard-and not always ethically-first to discourage the writing of this book and then to prevent its publication. They have managed, through legal technicalities and by raising the specter of "national security" violations, to achieve an unprecedented abridgment of my constitutional right to free speech. They have secured an unwarranted and outrageous permanent injunction against me, requiring that anything I write or say, "factual, fictional or otherwise," on the subject of intelligence must first be censored by the CIA. Under risk of criminal contempt of court, I can speak only at my own peril and must allow the CIA thirty days to review, and excise, my writings - prior to submitting them to a publisher for consideration.

It has been said that among the dangers faced by a democratic society in fighting totalitarian systems, such as fascism and communism, is that the democratic government runs the risk of imitating its enemies' methods and, thereby, destroying the very democracy that it is seeking to defend. I cannot help wondering if my government is more concerned with defending our democratic system or more intent upon imitating the methods of totalitarian regimes in order to maintain its already inordinate power over the American people.

Oakton, Virginia
February 1974


Unlike Victor Marchetti, I did not join the government to do intelligence work. Rather, fresh out of college in 1966, I entered the Foreign Service. My first assignment was to have been London, but with my draft board pressing for my services, the State Department advised me that the best way to stay out of uniform was to go to Vietnam as a civilian advisor in the so-called pacification program. I reluctantly agreed and spent the next eighteen months there, returning to Washington just after the Tet offensive in February 1968. From personal observation, I knew that American policy in Vietnam was ineffective, but I had been one of those who thought that if only better tactics were used the United States could "win." Once back in this country, I soon came to see that American involvement in Indochina was not only ineffective but totally wrong.

The State Department had assigned me to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, first as an analyst of French and Belgian affairs and then as staff assistant to State's intelligence director. Since this bureau carries on State's liaison with the rest of the intelligence community, I was for the first time introduced to the whole worldwide network of American spying-not so much as a participant but as a shuffler of top-secret papers and a note-taker at top-level intelligence meetings. Here I found the same kind of waste and inefficiency I had come to know in Vietnam and, even worse, the same sort of reasoning that had led the country into Vietnam in the first place. In the high councils of the intelligence community, there was no sense that intervention in the internal affairs of other countries was not the inherent right of the United States. "Don't be an idealist; you have to live in the 'real' world," said the professionals. I found it increasingly difficult to agree.

For me, the last straw was the American invasion of Cambodia in April 1970. I felt personally concerned because only two months earlier, on temporary assignment to a White House study group, I had helped write a relatively pessimistic report about the situation in Vietnam. It seemed now that our honest conclusions about the tenuous position of the Thieu government had been used in some small way to justify the overt expansion of the war into a new country.

I wish now that I had walked out of the State Department the day the troops went into Cambodia. Within a few months, however, I found a new job as executive assistant to Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey. Knowing of the Senator's opposition to the war, I looked at my new work as a chance to try to change what I knew was wrong in the way the United States conducts its foreign policy.

During my three years with Senator Case, when we were concentrating our efforts on legislation to end the war, to limit the intelligence community, and to curb presidential abuses of executive agreements, I came to know Victor Marchetti. With our common experience and interest in intelligence, we talked frequently about how things could be improved. In the fall of 1972, obviously disturbed by the legal action the government had taken against the book he intended to write but which he had not yet started, he felt he needed someone to assist him in his work. Best of all would be a coauthor with the background to make a substantive contribution as well as to help in the actual writing. This book is the result of our joint effort.

I entered the project in the hope that what we have to say will have some effect in influencing the public and the Congress to institute meaningful control over American intelligence and to end the type of intervention abroad which, in addition to being counterproductive, is inconsistent with the ideals by which our country is supposed to govern itself. Whether such a hope was misguided remains to be seen.

Washington, D.C.
February 1974
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:05 pm


Work on The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence began in early 1972 and from the beginning the effort was plagued with problems, largely generated by an angry CIA and a misguided U.S. government. Throughout the ordeal, our friend and agent, David Obst, was a constant source of encouragement and help. Similarly, the good people at the American Civil Liberties Union-Aryeh Neier, Sandy Rosen, John Shattuck, Mimi Schneider, and others, but especially Mel Wulf-provided more than free counsel and an effective legal defense of our constitutional rights. They have been friends of the best sort. We owe a special debt of gratitude to our editor, Dan Okrent, and to Tony Schulte of Knopf, who never lost faith and always offered inspiration. To the president of Random House, Robert Bernstein, who had the courage to go forward with the book in the face of intimidating odds, we are deeply indebted. And, lastly, to Jim Boyd of the Fund for Investigative Journalism and all the others who helped in various ways but must in the circumstances remain anonymous, we say thank you.

V.M. and J.D.M.
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 pm

by Melvin L. Wulf
Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union

On April 18, 1972, Victor Marchetti became the first American writer to be served with an official censorship order issued by a court of the United States. The order prohibited him from "disclosing in any manner (1) any information relating to intelligence activities, (2) any information concerning intelligence sources and methods, or (3) any intelligence information."

To secure the order, government lawyers had appeared in the chambers of Judge Albert V. Bryan, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, on the morning of April 18, without having notified Marchetti. The government's papers recited that Marchetti had worked at the CIA from 1955 to 1969, that he had signed several "secrecy agreements" in which he had agreed not to reveal any information learned during his employment, that after he left the CIA he had revealed forbidden information, that he was planning to write a non-fiction book about the agency, and that publication of the book would "result in grave and irreparable injury to the interests of the United States."

Among the papers presented to the judge was an affidavit (classified "Secret") from Thomas H. Karamessines, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the head of the CIA's covert-activities branch. The affidavit said that a magazine article and an outline of a proposed book, both written by Marchetti, had been turned over to the CIA and that they contained information about the CIA's secret activities. The affidavit related several of the items and described how their disclosure would, in the CIA's opinion, be harmful to the United States. On the basis of that affidavit and others, including one by CIA Director Richard Helms, Judge Bryan signed a temporary restraining order forbidding Marchetti to disclose any information about the CIA and requiring him to submit any "manuscript, article or essay, or other writing, factual or otherwise," to the CIA before "releasing it to any person or corporation." It was that order which United States marshals served upon Marchetti. The next month was consumed by a hectic and unsuccessful effort to have the order set aside.

Marchetti asked the ACLU for assistance the day after receiving the order, and was in New York the following day to meet his lawyers and prepare his defense. At the first court appearance, on Friday, April 21, we unsuccessfully urged Judge Bryan to dissolve the temporary restraining order. He also refused to order the government to allow Marchetti's lawyers to read the "secret" affidavit, because none of us had security clearance. The following Monday we were in Baltimore to arrange an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals to argue there that the temporary restraining order should be dissolved. The court agreed to hear argument two days later. During the Baltimore meeting the government lawyers announced that they had conferred security clearance upon me and that I would be able to read the secret affidavit but could not have a copy of it. They said they would clear the other defense lawyers during the next few days. We were also told that any witnesses we intended to present at trial, to be held that Friday, would also require security clearance before we could discuss the secret affidavit with them. That was a hell of a way to prepare for trial; we couldn't even talk to prospective witnesses unless they were approved by the government.

We argued the appeal before the Court of Appeals on Wednesday, but that too was unsuccessful, and the temporary restraining order remained in effect. Our only satisfaction was an order by the court prohibiting both the CIA and the Department of Justice from trying to influence our witnesses in any way.

On Friday we appeared before Judge Bryan and reluctantly asked for a two-week postponement because it had been impossible for us to secure witnesses who could testify that day. The need for security clearance had made it impossible for us to discuss the case with those witnesses who had at least tentatively agreed to testify for the defense. But, more depressing, we had had great difficulty finding people willing to testify at all. We had called a few dozen prospects, largely former members of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who had reputations as liberals and even, in some cases, reputations as civil-libertarians. I'm still waiting for half of them to return my calls. Of the other half, most were simply frightened at the idea of being identified with the case, and some, including a few who had themselves revealed classified information in their published memoirs, agreed with the government that Marchetti's pen should be immobilized. In the end, our list of witnesses was short but notable: Professor Abram Chayes of Harvard Law School, and former Legal Advisor to the Department of State in the Kennedy administration; Professor Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of International Law at Princeton; Morton Halperin, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and staff member of the National Security Council under Kissinger; and Professor Paul Blackstock, an intelligence expert from the University of South Carolina.

The next two weeks were consumed by the frustrating hunt for witnesses and by other pre-trial requirements, including examination of Karamessines and the CIA's Security Director, who were to be the government's chief witnesses.

The trial started and ended on May 15. Essentially, it consisted of Karamessines repeating the contents of his secret affidavit. As interesting as it would be to describe the day in detail, I am forbidden to, for the public was excluded and the testimony of the government witnesses is classified. The result, however, is public. It was a clean sweep for the CIA, and Judge Bryan issued a permanent injunction against Marchetti.

The results on appeal were not much better. The validity of the injunction was broadly affirmed. The only limitation imposed by the Court of Appeals was that only classified information could be deleted from the book by the CIA. The litigation finally came to an end in December 1972 when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. It was a great defeat for Marchetti, for his lawyers - and for the First Amendment.

American law has always recognized that injunctions against publication-"prior restraints," in legal jargon-threaten the root and branch of democratic society. Until 1971, when the New York Times was enjoined from printing the Pentagon Papers, the federal government had never attempted to impose a prior restraint on publication, and the handful of such efforts by the states were uniformly denounced by the Supreme Court. As we learned from the Pentagon Papers Case, however, the Nixon administration was not going to be deterred by a mere two hundred years of history from becoming the first administration to try to suppress publication of a newspaper. They ultimately failed in their specific goal of suppressing publication of a newspaper-but, for fifteen days, a newspaper actually was restrained from publishing, the first such restraint in American history.

The Times' resumption of publication of the Pentagon Papers immediately after the Supreme Court decision would seem to mean that the case ended victoriously. Although it was a victory, it was not a sound victory, for only Justices Black and Douglas said that injunctions against publication were constitutionally forbidden under any circumstances. The other members of the court made it perfectly clear that they could imagine circumstances where such injunctions would be enforced, notwithstanding the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press. Nixon-administration lawyers could read the opinions as well as ACLU lawyers, and they too saw that the decision in the Pentagon Papers Case was not a knockout punch. So only ten months after being beaten off by the New York Times, they were back in court trying the same thing again with Victor Marchetti.

Nine opinions were written in the Pentagon Papers Case. Out of all those opinions one standard emerges under which a majority of the Justices would have allowed information to be suppressed prior to publication: proof by the government that disclosure would "surely result in direct, immediate and irreparable injury to the Nation or its people." We were comfortable with that standard because we were confident that nothing Marchetti had disclosed or would disclose in the future would have that effect. But we were not permitted to put the government to its proof through the testimony of our four witnesses because Judge Bryan agreed with the government that Marchetti's case was different from the Pentagon Papers Case. "We are not enjoining the press in this case," the government lawyers said. "We are merely enforcing a contract between Marchetti and the CIA. This is not a First Amendment case, it's just a contract action." The contract to which they were referring was, of course, Marchetti's secrecy agreement.

All employees of the CIA are required to sign an agreement in which they promise not to reveal any information learned during their employment which relates to "intelligence sources or methods" without first securing authorization from the agency. The standard form of the agreement includes threats of prosecution and promises to deliver the most awful consequences upon the slightest violation. The only trouble with the threats is that until now they have been unenforceable. Apart from disclosure of information classified by the Atomic Energy Commission, it is not a crime to disclose classified information unless it is done under circumstances which involve what is commonly understood as espionage-spying for a foreign nation. The government tried, in the prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg, to stretch the espionage statutes to punish his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, even though he had had no intent to injure the United States, as required by the statute. Though that prosecution was aborted under the most dramatic circumstances, including a surreptitious attempt by President Nixon to influence the trial judge, it is unlikely that the appeals courts would have upheld such an expansive application of the espionage laws-assuming that the jury would even have brought in a guilty verdict.

In any case, being doubtful about how far the threat of prosecution under a dubious statute would deter Marchetti from publicly criticizing the CIA and inevitably disclosing some of its practices, the CIA fell upon the contract theory as a device for trying to suppress his book before it was put into print. The theory struck a harmonious note with the federal judges who heard the case, and proved more successful than the government probably ever dared to hope and certainly more than we had ever expected. But it cheapens the First Amendment to say that an agreement by an employee of the United States not to reveal some government activity is the same as an agreement to deliver a hundred bales of cotton. It ignores the compelling democratic principle that the public has a right to be well informed about its government's actions.

Of course, some will be heard to say, "But these are secrets," and indeed much of the information you will read in this book has been considered to be secret. But "secrets" have been revealed before-there were literally thousands of them in the Pentagon Papers. Every high government official who writes his memoirs after leaving office reveals "secrets" he learned while in government service, and most had signed secrecy agreements too. "Secrets" are regularly leaked to the press by government officers, sometimes to serve official policy, sometimes only to serve a man's own ambitions. In fact, disclosure of so-called secrets-even CIA secrets-has a long and honorable history in our country, and the practice has proved to be valuable because it provides the public with important information that it must have in order to pass judgment on its elected officials.

Furthermore, disclosure of "secret" information is rarely harmful because the decision inside government to classify information is notoriously frivolous. Experts have estimated that up to 99 percent of the millions of documents currently classified ought not be classified at all. But not only is disclosure of "secret" information generally harmless, it is a tonic that improves our nation's health. Government officers cried that disclosure of the Pentagon Papers would put the nation's security in immediate jeopardy. When they were finally published in their entirety, the only damage was to the reputation of officials in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who were shown to have deceived the nation about the war in Vietnam.

When you read this book, you will notice that, unlike any other book previously published in the United States, this one contains blanks. That is the remarkable effect of the government's success. You will also notice that the book has two authors, Victor Marchetti and John Marks. That is another remarkable effect of the government's success. After being enjoined, defeated in his attempts to win relief in the appellate courts, virtually ignored by the press, shunned by his former colleagues at the CIA, unable even to discuss the progress of his work with his editor at Knopf (because the very purpose of the injunction was to forbid the publisher to see the manuscript before the CIA had had the opportunity to censor it), there was serious question whether Marchetti would be able to write the book at all. His discouragement was profound and his bitterness sharp. If he had not written the book, the government's success would have been complete, for that was its real objective. Luckily, Marchetti and Marks came together, and with a shared perspective on the evils of clandestine activities, they were able to do together what the government hoped would not be done at all.

When the manuscript was completed at the end of August 1973, it was delivered to the CIA. Thirty days later, the time allowed by the injunction, we received a letter from the CIA which designated 339 portions of the book that were to be deleted. Some of the deletions were single words, some were several lines, some were portions of organizational charts, and many were whole pages. In all, 15 to 20 percent of the manuscript was ordered deleted. I won't soon forget that September evening when Marchetti, Marks, and I sat in the ACLU office for several hours literally cutting out the deleted parts of the manuscript so that we could deliver the remains to Knopf. It was the Devil's work we did that day.

We filed suit in October, together with Knopf, challenging the CIA's censorship. By the time we went to trial on February 28, the agency had reduced the number of deletions from 339 to 168. Withdrawal of half their original objections should not be taken as a sign of the CIA's generosity. On the contrary, it was the result of our insistent demands over a period of four months, and the agency's recognition that we would go to the mat over the very last censored word. The authors gave up nothing, and rejected several invitations to re-write parts of the book so that it would be satisfactory to the CIA.

There were three issues to be decided at the trial: did the censored portions of the book consist of classified information? Was that information learned by the authors during their government employment? And was any of it in the public domain?

After a two-and-a-half day trial, including testimony by the five highest-ranking officials of the CIA, Judge Bryan decided the case on March 29. It was a major victory for the authors and the publisher. Bryan held that the agency had failed, with a few exceptions, to prove that the deleted information was classified.

The decision was probably more surprising to the CIA. Accustomed as they have become to having their way, it is unlikely to have occurred to them that a mere judge of the United States would contradict their declarations about classified information, for it was the government's theory throughout the case that material was classified if high-ranking officials said it was classified. Our view, presented through the expert testimony of Morton Halperin, was that concrete proof of classification was required. In the absence of documents declaring specific information to be classified, or testimony by the employee who had in fact classified specific information, Judge Bryan flatly rejected mere assertions by ranking CIA officers that such information was classified.

Of the 168 disputed items, he found only 27 which he could say were classified. On the other hand, he found that only seven of the 168 had been learned by Marchetti and Marks outside their government employment, and that none of the information was in the public domain.

The decision is obviously important. It allows virtually the entire book to be published (though the present edition still lacks the deleted sections cleared by Judge Bryan, since he postponed enforcement of his decision to allow the government its right to appeal); it desanctifies the CIA; and it discards the magical authority that has always accompanied government incantation of "national security." Hopefully, the higher courts will agree.

There will necessarily be differences of opinion on the subject of the disclosure of secret information. The reader of this book can decide whether the release of the information it contains serves the public's interest or injures the nation's security. For myself, I have no doubts. Both individual citizens and the nation as a whole will be far better off for the book's having been published. The only injury inflicted in the course of the struggle to publish the book is the damage sustained by the First Amendment.
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:14 pm


ONE: The Cult of Intelligence

But this secrecy ... has become
a god in this country, and those
people who have secrets travel
in a kind of fraternity ... and
they will not speak to anyone else.
-- SENATOR J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, November 1971

There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult -- the cult of intelligence.

Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence-the academic world and the communications media. The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy.

The purpose of the cult is to further the foreign policies of the U.S. government by covert and usually illegal means, while at the same time containing the spread of its avowed enemy, communism. Traditionally, the cult's hope has been to foster a world order in which America would reign supreme, the unchallenged international leader. Today, however, that dream stands tarnished by time and frequent failures. Thus, the cult's objectives are now less grandiose, but no less disturbing. It seeks largely to advance America's self-appointed role as the dominant arbiter of social, economic, and political change in the awakening regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And its worldwide war against communism has to some extent been reduced to a covert struggle to maintain a self-serving stability in the Third World, using whatever clandestine methods are available. For the cult of intelligence, fostering "stability" may in one country mean reluctant and passive acquiescence to evolutionary change; in another country, the active maintenance of the status quo; in yet another, a determined effort to reverse popular trends toward independence and democracy. The cult attempts that which it believes it can accomplish and which-in the event of failure or exposure-the U.S. government can plausibly deny.

The CIA is both the center and the primary instrument of the cult of intelligence. It engages in espionage and counterespionage, in propaganda and disinformation (the deliberate circulation of false information), in psychological warfare and paramilitary activities. It penetrates and manipulates private institutions, and creates its own organizations (called "proprietaries") when necessary. It recruits agents and mercenaries; it bribes and blackmails foreign officials to carry out its most unsavory tasks. It does whatever is required to achieve its goals, without any consideration of the ethics involved or the moral consequences of its actions. As the secret-action arm of American foreign policy, the CIA's most potent weapon is its covert intervention in the internal affairs of countries the U.S. government wishes to control or influence.

Romanticized by myths, the operations of the CIA are also beclouded by false images and shielded by official deceptions. Its practices are hidden behind arcane and antiquated legalisms which prevent the public and even Congress from knowing what the mysterious agency is doing-or why. This the cult of intelligence justifies with dramatic assertions that the CIA's purpose is to preserve the "national security," that its actions are in response to the needs of the nation's defense. No one-in an age in which secrecy is the definitional operative of security-need know more than that.

The cult is intent upon conducting the foreign affairs of the U.S. government without the awareness or participation of the people. It recognizes no role for a questioning legislature or an investigative press. Its adherents believe that only they have the right and the obligation to decide what is necessary to satisfy the national needs. Although it pursues outmoded international policies and unattainable ends, the cult of intelligence demands that it not be held accountable for its actions by the people it professes to serve. It is a privileged, as well as secret, charge. In their minds, those who belong to the cult of intelligence have been ordained, and their service is immune from public scrutiny.

The "clandestine mentality" is a mind-set that thrives on secrecy and deception. It encourages professional amorality-the belief that righteous goals can be achieved through the use of unprincipled and normally unacceptable means. Thus, the cult's leaders must tenaciously guard their official actions from public view. To do otherwise would restrict their ability to act independently; it would permit the American people to pass judgment on not only the utility of their policies, but the ethics of those policies as well. With the cooperation of an acquiescent, ill-informed Congress, and the encouragement and assistance of a series of Presidents, the cult has built a wall of laws and executive orders around the CIA and itself, a wall that has blocked effective public scrutiny.

When necessary, the members of the cult of intelligence, including our Presidents (who are always aware of, generally approve of, and often actually initiate the CIA's major undertakings), have lied to protect the CIA and to hide their own responsibility for its operations. The Eisenhower administration lied to the American people about the CIA's involvement in the Guatemalan coup d'etat in 1954, about the agency's support of the unsuccessful rebellion in Indonesia in 1958, and about Francis Gary Powers' 1960 U-2 mission. The Kennedy administration lied about the CIA's role in the abortive invasion of Cuba in 1961, admitting its involvement only after the operation had failed disastrously. The Johnson administration lied about the extent of most U.S. government commitments in Vietnam and Laos, and all of the CIA's. And the Nixon administration publicly lied about the agency's attempt to fix the Chilean election in 1970. For adherents to the cult of intelligence, hypocrisy and deception, like secrecy, have become standard techniques for preventing public awareness of the CIA's clandestine operations, and governmental accountability for them. And these men who ask that they be regarded as honorable men, true patriots, will, when caught in their own webs of deceit, even assert that the government has an inherent right to lie to its people.

The justification for the "right to lie" is that secrecy in covert operations is necessary to prevent U.S. policies and actions from coming to the attention of the "enemy"-or, in the parlance of the clandestine trade, the "opposition." If the opposition is oblivious to the CIA's operations, the argument runs, then it cannot respond and the CIA activities stand a good chance of succeeding. Nonetheless, in many instances the opposition knows exactly what covert operations are being targeted against it, and it takes counteraction when possible. The U-2 overflights and, later, those of the photographic satellites were, and are, as well known to the Soviets and the Chinese as Soviet overhead reconnaissance of the United States is to the CIA; there is no way, when engaging in operations of this magnitude, to keep them secret from the opposition. It, too, employs a professional intelligence service. In fact, from 1952 to 1964, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet KGB electronically intercepted even the most secret messages routed through the code room of the U.S. embassy in Moscow. This breach in secrecy, however, apparently caused little damage to U.S. national security, nor did the Soviet government collapse because the CIA had for years secretly intercepted the private conversations of the top Russian leaders as they talked over their limousine radio-telephones. Both sides knew more than enough to cancel out the effect of any leaks. The fact is that in this country, secrecy and deception in intelligence operations are as much to keep the Congress and the public from learning what their government is doing as to shield these activities from the opposition. The intelligence establishment operates as it does to maintain freedom of action and avoid accountability.

A good part of the CIA's power position is dependent upon its careful mythologizing and glorification of the exploits of the clandestine profession. Sometimes this even entails fostering a sort of perverse public admiration for the covert practices of the opposition intelligence services-to frighten the public and thereby justify the actions of the CIA. Whatever the method, the selling of the intelligence business is designed to have us admire it as some sort of mysterious, often magical, profession capable of accomplishing terribly difficult, if not miraculous, deeds. Like most myths, the intrigues and successes of the CIA over the years have been more imaginary than real. What is real, unfortunately, is the willingness of both the public and adherents of the cult to believe the fictions that permeate the intelligence business.

The original mission of the CIA was to coordinate the intelligence- collection programs of the various governmental departments and agencies, and to produce the reports and studies required by the national leadership in conducting the affairs of U.S. foreign policy. This was President Truman's view when he requested that Congress establish the secret intelligence agency by passing the National Security Act of 1947. But General William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Allen Dulles, and other veterans of the wartime Office of Strategic Services-a virtually unregulated body, both romantic and daring, tailor-made to the fondest dreams of the covert operator- thought differently. They saw the emergency agency as the clandestine instrument by which Washington could achieve foreign-policy goals not attainable through diplomacy. They believed that the mantle of world leadership had been passed by the British to the Americans, and that their own secret service must take up where the British left off. Thus, they lobbied Congress for the power to conduct covert operations.

That Truman attempted to create an overt intelligence organization, one which would emphasize the gathering and analysis of information rather than secret operations, was commendable. That he thought he could control the advocates of covert action was, in retrospect, a gross miscalculation. Congress, in an atmosphere of Cold War tension, allowed itself to be persuaded by the intelligence professionals. With the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 it allowed the new agency special exemptions from the normal congressional reviewing process, and these exemptions were expanded two years later by the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949. Of the greatest and most far-reaching consequence was the provision in the 1947 law that permitted the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence ... as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." From those few innocuous words the CIA has been able, over the years, to develop a secret charter based on NSC directives and presidential executive orders, a charter almost completely at variance with the apparent intent of the law that established the agency. This vague phrase has provided the CIA with freedom to engage in covert action, the right to intervene secretly in the internal affairs of other nations. It has done so usually with the express approval of the White House, but almost always without the consent of Congress, and virtually never with the knowledge of the American public.

Knowing nothing has meant that the public does not even realize how frequently the CIA has failed. In the field of classical espionage, the CIA's Clandestine Services have been singularly unsuccessful in their attempts to penetrate or spy on the major targets. The Penkovsky case in the early 1960s, the only espionage operation against the Soviets that the agency can point to with pride, was a fortuitous windfall which British Intelligence made possible for the CIA. The loudly heralded Berlin tunnel operation of the mid-1950s-actually a huge telephone wiretap-produced literally tons of trivia and gossip, but provided little in the way of highgrade secret information that could be used by the agency's intelligence analysts. The operation's true value was the embarrassment it caused the KGB and the favorable publicity it generated for the CIA. Against China, there have been no agent-related espionage successes whatever.

Fortunately for the United States, however, the CIA's technical experts, working with their counterparts in the Pentagon and in the private sector, have been able over the years to develop a wide array of electronic methods for collecting much useful information on the U.S.S.R. and China. From these collection systems, supplemented by material accumulated through diplomatic channels and open sources (newspapers, magazines, and so on), the analysts in the CIA and elsewhere in the intelligence community have been able to keep abreast of developments within the communist powers.

The CIA's Clandestine Services have fared better in the area of counterespionage than in classical espionage. But here, too, the gains have been largely fortuitous. Most of the successes were not scored by spies, but secured through the good offices of defectors who, in return for safety, provided whatever information they possessed. And one must subtract from even these limited achievements the misinformation passed on by "deceptions"--double agents sent out or "surfaced" by the opposition to defect to, and confuse, the CIA.

In its favorite field of operational endeavor, covert action, the agency has enjoyed its greatest degree of success, but its blunders and failures have caused much embarrassment to the United States. Clearly, the CIA played a key role in keeping Western Europe free of communism in the early Cold War period, although it sadly erred in its attempts to roll back the Iron and Bamboo curtains in the late 1940s and in the 1950s. And it did perform successfully, if questionably, in the effort to contain the spread of communism elsewhere in the world. Some of its "victories," however, have since come back to haunt the U.S. government. One cannot help but wonder now if it might not have been wiser for the CIA not to have intervened in Guatemala or Cuba or Chile, not to have played its clandestine role in Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East, not to have become so deeply involved in the affairs of Southeast Asia, particularly Indochina. But the agency did, and our nation will have to live with the consequences of those actions.

When its clandestine activities are criticized, the CIA's leadership often points with disingenuous pride to the work of the intelligence analysts. But here, too, the agency's record is spotty. Its many errors in estimating Soviet and Chinese strategic military capabilities and intentions have been a constant source of aggravation to government officials. Often, however, it has accurately judged the dangers and consequences of U.S. involvement in the Third World, especially Southeast Asia and Latin America. Ironically, the clandestine operatives who control the agency rely little on the views of the analysts within their own organization, and the White House staff functionaries tend to be equally heedless of the analysts' warnings. And since the CIA's secret intelligence is largely retained within the executive branch, there is of course no opportunity for Congress or others to use these warnings to question the policies of the administration and the covert practices of the CIA.

Occasionally, clandestine operations backfire spectacularly in public-the U-2 shootdown and the Bay of Pigs invasion, for example- and, further, investigations by journalists and uncowed members of Congress have in these instances given the public some idea of what the CIA actually does. Most recently, investigation of the Watergate scandal has revealed some of the CIA's covert activities within the United States, providing a frightening view of the methods which the agency has employed for years overseas. The assistance given the White House "plumbers" by the CIA and the attempts to involve the agency in the cover-up have pointed up the dangers posed to American democracy by an inadequately controlled secret intelligence organization. As the opportunities for covert action abroad dwindle and are thwarted, those with careers based in clandestine methods are increasingly tempted to turn their talents inward against the citizens of the very nation they profess to serve. Nurtured in the adversary setting of the Cold War, shielded by secrecy, and spurred on by patriotism that views dissent as a threat to the national security, the clandestine operatives of the CIA have the capability, the resources, the experience-and the inclination-to ply their skills increasingly on the domestic scene.

There can be no doubt that the gathering of intelligence is a necessary function of modern government. It makes a significant contribution to national security, and it is vital to the conduct of foreign affairs. Without an effective program to collect information and to analyze the capabilities and possible intentions of other major powers, the United States could neither have confidently negotiated nor could now abide by the S.A.L.T. agreements or achieve any measure of true detente with its international rivals. The proven benefits of intelligence are not in question. Rather, it is the illegal and unethical clandestine operations carried out under the guise of intelligence and the dubious purposes to which they are often put by our government that are questionable-both on moral grounds and in terms of practical benefit to the nation.

The issue at hand is a simple one of purpose. Should the CIA function in the way it was originally intended to-as a coordinating agency responsible for gathering, evaluating, and preparing foreign intelligence of use to governmental policy-makers-or should it be permitted to function as it has done over the years-as an operational arm, a secret instrument of the Presidency and a handful of powerful men, wholly independent of public accountability, whose chief purpose is interference in the domestic affairs of other nations (and perhaps our own) by means of penetration agents, propaganda, covert paramilitary interventions, and an array of other dirty tricks?

The aim of this book is to provide the American people with the inside information which they need-and to which they without question have the right-to understand the significance of this issue and the importance of dealing with it.
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:47 pm

Part 1 of 2

TWO: The Clandestine Theory

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational arm and at times a policymaking arm of the Government. -- PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN, December 1963

(DELETED) Henry Kissinger made that statement not in public, but at a secret White House meeting on June 27, 1970. The country he was referring to was Chile.

In his capacity as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Kissinger was chairman of a meeting of the so-called 40 Committee, an interdepartmental panel responsible for overseeing the CIA's high-risk covert-action operations. The 40 Committee's members are the Director of Central Intelligence, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (At the time of the Chilean meeting, Attorney General John Mitchell was also a member.) It is this small group of bureaucrats and politicians-in close consultation with the President and the governmental departments the men represent-that directs America's secret foreign policy.

On that Saturday in June 1970, the main topic before the 40 Committee was: (DELETED) The Chilean election was scheduled for the following September, and Allende, a declared Marxist, was one of the principal candidates. Although Allende had pledged to maintain the democratic system if he was elected, the U.S. ambassador to Chile (DELETED)

Most of the American companies with large investments in Chile were also fearful of a possible Allende triumph, and at least two of those companies, the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT) and Anaconda Copper, were spending substantial sums of money to prevent his election.

Ambassador Korry's superiors at the State Department in Washington (DELETED)

Richard Helms, then director of the CIA, represented a some· what divided (DELETED) press-perhaps with help from the Soviet KGB-or by American reporters, and that such disclosures would only help Allende.

Helms' position at the 40 Committee meeting was influenced by memories of the Chilean presidential election of 1964. At that time he had been chief of the Clandestine Services and had been actively involved in planning the CIA's secret efforts to defeat Allende, who was then running against Eduardo Frei. ** Frei had won the Presidency, but now, six years later, he was constitutionally forbidden to succeed himself, and Allende's candidacy therefore seemed stronger than before.

Anti-American feeling had grown in Chile since 1964, and one reason was widespread resentment of U.S. interference in Chile's internal affairs. The Chilean leftist press had been full of charges of CIA involvement in the 1964 elections, and these reports had not been without effect on the electorate. Additionally, in 1965 the exposure of the Pentagon's ill-advised Project Camelot had further damaged the reputation of the U.S. government. Ironically, Chile was not one of the principal target countries of the Camelot project, a multimillion-dollar social-science research study of possible counterinsurgency techniques in Latin America. But the existence of Camelot had first been made public in Chile, and newspapers there-of all political stripes-condemned the study as "intervention" and "imperialism." One paper said, in prose typical of the general reaction, that Project Camelot was "intended to investigate the military and political situation prevailing in Chile and to determine the possibility of an anti-democratic coup." Politicians of both President Frei's Christian Democratic Party and Allende's leftist coalition protested publicly. The final result was to cause Washington to cancel first Camelot's limited activities in Chile, and then the project as a whole. While the CIA had not been a sponsor of Camelot, the project added to the fears among Chileans of covert American intelligence activities.

In 1968 the CIA's own Board of National Estimates, after carefully studying the socio-political problems of Latin America, had produced a National Intelligence Estimate on that region for the U.S. government's planners and policy-makers. The central conclusion had been that forces for change in the developing Latin nations were so powerful as to be beyond outside manipulation. This estimate had been endorsed by the United States Intelligence Board, whose members include the heads of the government's various intelligence agencies, and had then been sent to the White House and to those departments that were represented on the 40 Committee.

The 1968 estimate had in effect urged against the kind of intervention that the 40 Committee was in 1970 considering with regard to Chile. But as is so often the case within the government, the most careful advance analysis based on all the intelligence available was either ignored or simply rejected when the time came to make a decision on a specific issue. (DELETED)

Henry Kissinger, the single most powerful man at the 40 Committee meeting on Chile, (DELETED) (DELETED)

During the next two months, before Allende was officially endorsed as President by the Chilean congress, (DELETED)

Some months afterward President Nixon disingenuously explained at a White House press conference: "As far as what happened in Chile is concerned, we can only say that for the United States to have intervened in a free election and to have turned it around, I think, would have had repercussions all around Latin America that would have been far worse than what happened in Chile."

The following year, in the fall of 1972, CIA Director Helms, while giving a rare public lecture at Johns Hopkins University, was asked by a student if the CIA had mucked about in the 1970 Chilean election. His response: "Why should you care? Your side won."

Helms was understandably perturbed. Columnist Jack Anderson had only recently reported "the ITT story," which among other things revealed that the CIA had indeed been involved in an effort to undo Allende's victory-even after he had won the popular vote. Much to the agency's chagrin, Anderson had shown that during September and October 1970, William Broe, chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of the CIA's Clandestine Services, had met several times with high officials of ITT to discuss ways to prevent Allende from taking office. (The ITT board member who later admitted to a Senate investigative committee that he had played the key role in bringing together CIA and ITT officials was John McCone, director of the CIA during the Kennedy administration and, in 1970, a CIA consultant.) Broe had proposed to ITT and a few other American corporations with substantial financial interests in Chile a four-part plan of economic sabotage which was calculated to weaken the local economy to the point where the Chilean military authorities would move to take over the government and thus frustrate the Marxist's rise to power. ITT and the other firms later claimed they had found the CIA's scheme "not workable." But almost three years to the day after Allende's election, at a time when severe inflation, truckers' strikes, food shortages, and international credit problems were plaguing Chile, he was overthrown and killed in a bloody coup d'etat carried out by the combined action of the Chilean armed services and national police. His Marxist government was replaced by a military junta. What role American businesses or the CIA may have played in the coup is not publicly known, and may never be. ITT and the other giant corporations with investments in Chile have all denied any involvement in the military revolt. So has the U.S. government, although CIA Director William Colby admitted in secret testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (revealed by Tad Szulc in the October 21, 1973, Washington Post) that the agency "had some intelligence coverage about the various moves being made," that it had "penetrated" all of Chile's major political parties, and that it had secretly furnished "some assistance" to certain Chilean groups. Colby, himself the former director of the bloody Phoenix counterintelligence program in Vietnam, also told the Congressmen that the executions carried out by the junta after the coup had done "some good" because they reduced the chances that civil war would break out in Chile-an excellent example of the sophistry with which the CIA defends its strategy of promoting "stability" in the Third World.

Even if the CIA did not intervene directly in the final putsch, the U.S. government as a whole did take a series of actions designed to undercut the Allende regime. Henry Kissinger set the tone of the official U.S. position at a background press conference in September 1970, when he said that Allende's Marxist regime would contaminate Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru-a stretch of the geopolitical imagination reminiscent of the Southeast Asian domino theory. Another measure of the White House attitude-and an indication of the methods it was willing to use-was the burglarizing of the Chilean embassy in Washington in May 1972 by some of the same men who the next month staged the break-in at the Watergate. And the U.S. admittedly worked to undercut the Allende government by cutting off most economic assistance, discouraging private lines of credit, and blocking loans by international organizations. State Department officials testifying before Congress after the coup explained it was the Nixon administration's wish that the Allende regime collapse economically, thereby discrediting socialism.

Henry Kissinger has dismissed speculation among journalists and members of Congress that the CIA helped along this economic collapse and then engineered Allende's downfall; privately he has said that the secret agency wasn't competent to manage an operation as difficult as the Chilean coup. Kissinger had already been supervising the CIA's most secret operations for more than four years when he made this disparaging remark. Whether he was telling the truth about the CIA's non-involvement in Chile or was simply indulging in a bit of official lying (called "plausible denial"), he along with the President would have made the crucial decisions on the Chilean situation. For the CIA is not an independent agency in the broad sense of the term, nor is it a governmental agency out of control. Despite occasional dreams of grandeur on the part of some of its clandestine operators, the CIA does not on its own choose to overthrow distasteful governments or determine which dictatorial regimes to support. Just as the State Department might seek, at the President's request, to discourage international aid institutions from offering loans to "unfriendly" governments, so does the CIA act primarily when called upon by the Executive. The agency's methods and assets are a resource that come with the office of the Presidency.

Thus, harnessing the agency's clandestine operators is not the full, or even basic, solution to the CIA problem. The key to the solution is controlling and requiring accountability of those in the White House and elsewhere in the government who direct or approve, then hide behind, the CIA and its covert operations. This elusiveness, more than anything else, is the problem posed by the CIA.

Intelligence Versus Covert Action

The primary and proper purpose of any national intelligence organization is to produce "finished intelligence" for the government's policy-makers. Such intelligence, as opposed to the raw information acquired through espionage and other clandestine means, is data collected from all sources-secret, official, and open-which has been carefully collated and analyzed by substantive experts specifically to meet the needs of the national leadership. The process is difficult, time-consuming, and by no means without error. But it is the only prudent alternative to naked reliance on the unreliable reporting of spies. Most intelligence agencies, however, are nothing more than secret services, more fascinated by the clandestine operations- of which espionage is but one aspect-than they are concerned with the production of "finished intelligence." The CIA, unfortunately, is no exception to this rule. Tactics that require the employment of well-placed agents, the use of money, the mustering of mercenary armies, and a variety of other covert methods designed to influence directly the policies (or determine the life-spans) of foreign governments-such are the tactics that have come to dominate the CIA. This aspect of the modern intelligence business -intervention in the affairs of other countries-is known at the agency as covert action.

The United States began engaging in covert-action operations in a major way during World War II. Taking lessons from the more experienced British secret services, the Office of Strategic Services (aSS) learned to use covert action as an offensive weapon against Germany and Japan. When the war ended, President Truman disbanded the ass on the grounds that such wartime tactics as paramilitary operations, psychological warfare, and political manipulation were not acceptable when the country was at peace. At the same time, however, Truman recognized the need for a permanent organization to coordinate and analyze all the intelligence available to the various governmental departments. He believed that if there had been such an agency within the U.S. government in 1941, it would have been "difficult, if not impossible" for the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor successfully.

It was, therefore, with "coordination of information" in mind that Truman proposed the creation of the CIA in 1947. Leading the opposition to Truman's "limited" view of intelligence, Allen Dulles stated, in a memorandum prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee, that "Intelligence work in time of peace will require other techniques, other personnel, and will have rather different objectives .... We must deal with the problem of conflicting ideologies as democracy faces communism, not only in the relations between Soviet Russia and the countries of the west but in the internal political conflicts with the countries of Europe, Asia, and South America." It was Dulles-to become CIA director six years later-who contributed to the eventual law the clause enabling the agency to carry out "such other functions and duties related to intelligence as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." It was to be the fulcrum of the CIA's power.

Although fifteen years later Truman would claim that he had not intended the CIA to become the covert-action arm of the U.S. government, it was he who, in 1948, authorized the first postwar covert-action programs, although he did not at first assign the responsibility to the CIA. Instead he created a largely separate organization called the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), and named a former OSS man, Frank G. Wisner, Jr., to be its chief. Truman did not go to Congress for authority to form OPC. He did it with a stroke of the presidential pen, by issuing a secret National Security Council Intelligence directive, NSC 10/2. (The CIA provided OPC with cover and support, but Wisner reported directly to the secretaries of State and Defense.) Two years later, when General Walter Bedell Smith became CIA director, he moved to consolidate all major elements of national intelligence under his direct control. As part of this effort, he sought to bring Wisner's operations into the CIA. Truman eventually concurred, and on January 4, 1951, OPC and the Office of Special Operations (a similar semi-independent organization established in 1948 for covert intelligence collection) were merged into the CIA, forming the Directorate of Plans or, as it became known in the agency, the Clandestine Services. Allen Dulles was appointed first chief of the Clandestine Services; Frank Wisner was his deputy.

With its newly formed Clandestine Services and its involvement in the Korean war, the agency expanded rapidly. From less than 5,000 employees in 1950, the CIA grew to about 15,000 by 1955 -and recruited thousands more as contract employees and foreign agents. During these years the agency spent well over a billion dollars to strengthen non-communist governments in Western Europe, to subsidize political parties around the world, to found Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty for propaganda broadcasts to Eastern Europe, to make guerrilla raids into mainland China, to create the Asia Foundation, to overthrow leftist governments in Guatemala and Iran, and to carry out a host of other covert-action programs.

While the agency considered most of its programs to have been successful, there were more than a few failures. Two notable examples were attempts in the late 1940s to establish guerrilla movements in Albania and in the Ukraine, in keeping with the then current national obsession of "rolling back the Iron Curtain." Almost none of the agents, funds, and equipment infiltrated by the agency into those two countries was ever seen or heard from again.

In the early 1950s another blunder occurred when the CIA tried to set up a vast underground apparatus in Poland for espionage and, ultimately, revolutionary purposes. The operation was supported by millions of dollars in agency gold shipped into Poland in installments. Agents inside Poland, using radio broadcasts and secret writing techniques, maintained regular contact with their CIA case officers in West Germany. In fact, the agents continually asked that additional agents and gold be sent to aid the movement. Occasionally an agent would even slip out of Poland to report on the operation's progress-and ask for still more agents and gold. It took the agency several years to learn that the Polish secret service had almost from the first day co-opted the whole network, and that no real CIA underground operation existed in Poland. The Polish service kept the operation going only to lure anti-communist Polish emigres back home-and into prison. And in the process the Poles were able to bilk the CIA of millions of dollars in gold.

One reason, perhaps the most important, that the agency tended from its very beginnings to concentrate largely on covert-action operations was the fact that in the area of traditional espionage (the collection of intelligence through spies) the CIA was able to accomplish little against the principal enemy, the Soviet Union. With its closed society, the U.S.S.R. proved virtually impenetrable. The few American intelligence officers entering the country were severely limited in their movements and closely followed. The Soviet Union's all-pervasive internal security system made the recruitment of agents and the running of clandestine operations next to impossible. Similar difficulties were experienced by the CIA in Eastern Europe, but to a lesser degree. The agency's operators could recruit agents somewhat more easily there, but strict security measures and efficient secret-police establishments still greatly limited successes.

Nevertheless, there were occasional espionage coups, such as the time CIA operators found an Eastern European communist official able to provide them with a copy of Khrushchev's 1956 de-Stalinization speech, which the agency then arranged to have published in the New York Times. Or, from time to time, a higWy knowledgeable defector would bolt to the West and give the agency valuable information. Such defectors, of course, usually crossed over of their own volition, and not because of any ingenious methods used by CIA. A former chief of the agency's Clandestine Services, Richard Bissell, admitted years later in a secret discU5sionwith selected members of the Council on Foreign Relations: "In practice however espionage has been disappointing. . .. The general conclusion is that against the Soviet bloc or other sophisticated societies, espionage is not a primary source of intelligence, although it has had occasional brilliant successes."*

It had been Bissell and his boss Allen Dulles who by the mid- 1950s had come to realize that if secret agents could not do the job, new ways would have to be found to collect intelligence on the U.S.S.R. and the other communist countries. Increasingly, the CIA turned to machines to perform its espionage mission. By the end of the decade, the agency had developed the U-2 spy plane. This high-altitude aircraft, loaded with cameras and electronic listening devices, brought back a wealth of information about Soviet defenses and weapons. Even more important was communications intelligence (COMINT), electronic transmissions monitored at a cost of billions of dollars by the Defense Department's National Security Agency (NSA).

Both Bissell and Dulles, however, believed that the successful use of human assets was at the heart of the intelligence craft. Thus, it was clear to them that if the Clandestine Services were to survive in the age of modern technical espionage, the agency's operators would have to expand their covert-action operations-particularly in the internal affairs of countries where the agency could operate clandestinely.

In the immediate postwar years, CIA covert-action programs had been concentrated in Europe, as communist expansion into Western Europe seemed a real threat. The Red Army had already occupied Eastern Europe, and the war-ravaged countries of the West, then trying to rebuild shattered economies, were particularly vulnerable. Consequently, the CIA subsidized political parties, individual leaders, labor unions, and other groups, especially in West Germany, France, and Italy. It also supported Eastern European emigre groups in the West as part of a program to organize resistance in the communist countries. "There were so many CIA projects at the height of the Cold War," wrote columnist Tom Braden in January 1973, "that it was almost impossible for a man to keep them in balance." Braden spoke from the vantage point of having himself been the CIA division chief in charge of many of these programs. By the end of the 1950s, however, pro- American governments had become firmly established in Western Europe, and the U.S. government, in effect, had given up the idea of "rolling back the Iron Curtain."

Thus. the emphasis within the Clandestine Services shifted toward the Third World. This change reflected to a certain extent the CIA's bureaucratic need as a secret agency to find areas where it could be successful. More important, the shift came as a result of a hardened determination that the United States should protect the rest of the world from communism. A cornerstone of that policy was secret intervention in the internal affairs of countries particularly susceptible to socialist movements, either democratic or revolutionary. Years later, in a letter to Washington Post correspondent Chalmers Roberts, Allen Dulles summed up the prevailing attitude of the times. Referring to the CIA's coups in Iran and Guatemala, he wrote: "Where there begins to be evidence that a country is slipping and Communist takeover is threatened ... we can't wait for an engraved invitation to come and give aid."

The agency's orientation toward covert action was quite obvious to young officers taking operational training during the mid-1950s at "The Farm," the CIA's West Point, located near Williamsburg, Virginia, and operated under the cover of a military base called Camp Peary. Most of the methods and techniques taught there at that time applied to covert action rather than traditional espionage, and to a great extent training was oriented toward such paramilitary activities as infiltration/exfiltration, demolitions, and nighttime parachute jumps. Agency officers, at the end of their formal clandestine education, found that most of the job openings were on the Covert Action Staff and in the Special Operations Division (the CIA's paramilitary component). Assignments to Europe became less coveted, and even veterans with European experience were transferring to posts in the emerging nations, especially in the Far East.

The countries making up the Third World offered far more tempting targets for covert action than those in Europe. These nations, underdeveloped and often corrupt, seemed made to order for the clandestine operators of the CIA, Richard Bissell told the Council on Foreign Relations: "Simply because [their] governments are much less highly organized there is less security consciousness; and there is apt to be more actual or potential diffusion of power among parties, localities, organizations, and individuals outside the central government." And in the frequent power struggles within such governments, all factions are grateful for outside assistance. Relatively small sums of money, whether delivered directly to local forces or deposited (for their leaders) in Swiss bank accounts, can have an almost magical effect in changing volatile political loyalties. In such an atmosphere, the CIA's Clandestine Services have over the years enjoyed considerable success.

Swashbucklers and Secret Wars

During the 1950s most of the CIA's covert-action operations were not nearly so sophisticated or subtle as those Bissell would advocate in 1968. Nor were they aimed exclusively at the rapidly increasing and "less highly organized" governments of the Third World. Covert operations against the communist countries of Europe and Asia continued, but the emphasis was on clandestine propaganda, infiltration and manipulation of youth, labor, and cultural organizations, and the like. The more heavy-handed activities-paramilitary operations, coups, and countercoups-were now reserved for the operationally ripe nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Perhaps the prototype for CIA covert operations during the 1950s was the work of Air Force Colonel Edward Lansdale. His exploits under agency auspices, first in the Philippines and then in Vietnam, became so well known that he served as the model for characters in two best-selling novels, The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, and The Quiet American by Graham Greene. In the former, he was a heroic figure; in the latter, a bumbling fool.

Lansdale was sent to the Philippines in the early 1950s as advisor to Philippine Defense Minister (later President) Ramon Magsaysay in the struggle against the Huks, the local communist guerrillas. Following Lansdale's counsel, Magsaysay prompted social development and land reform to win support of the peasantry away from the Huks. But Lansdale, backed up by millions of dollars in secret U.S. government funds, took the precaution of launching other, less conventional schemes. One such venture was the establishment of the Filipino Civil Affairs Office, which was made responsible for psychological warfare.

After a 1972 interview with Lansdale, now living in quiet retirement, journalist Stanley Karnow reported:

One [Lansdale-initiated] psywar operation played on the superstitious dread in the Philippine countryside of the asuang, a mythical vampire. A psywar squad entered an area, and planted rumors that an asuang lived on where the Communists were based. Two nights later, after giving the rumors time to circulate among Huk sympathizers, the psywar squad laid an ambush for the rebels. When a Huk patrol passed, the ambushers snatched the last man, punctured his neck vampire-fashion with two holes, hung his body until the blood drained out, and put the corpse back on the trail. As superstitious as any other Filipinos, the insurgents fled from the region.

With Magsaysay's election to the Philippine Presidency in 1953, Lansdale returned to Washington. In the eyes of the U.S. government, his mission had been an unquestioned success: the threat of a communist takeover in the Philippines had been eliminated.

A year later, after Vietnam had been provisionally split in two by the Geneva Accords, Lansdale was assigned to South Vietnam to bolster the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem. He quickly became involved in organizing sabotage. and guerrilla operations against North Vietnam, but his most effective work was done in the South. There he initiated various psychological-warfare programs and helped Diem in eliminating his political rivals. His activities, extensively described in the Pentagon Papers, extended to pacification programs, military training, even political consultation: Lansdale helped design the ballots when Diem formally ran for President of South Vietnam in 1955. He used red, the Asian goodluck color, for Diem and green-signifying a cuckold-for Diem's opponent. Diem won with an embarrassingly high 98 percent of the vote, and Lansdale was widely credited within American government circles for having carried out another successful operation. He left Vietnam soon afterward.

Meanwhile, other agency operators, perhaps less celebrated than Lansdale, were carrying out covert-action programs in other countries. Kermit Roosevelt, of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, masterminded the 1953 putsch that overthrew Iran's Premier Mohammed Mossadegh. The Guatemala coup of 1954 was directed by the CIA. Less successful was the attempt to overthrow Indonesian President Sukarno in the late 1950s. Contrary to denials by President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles, the CIA gave direct assistance to rebel groups located on the island of Sumatra. Agency B-26s even carried out bombing missions in support of the insurgents. On May 18, 1958, the Indonesians shot down one of these B-26s and captured the pilot, an American named Allen Pope. Although U.S. government officials claimed that Pope was a "soldier of fortune," he was in fact an employee of a CIA-owned proprietary company, Civil Air Transport. Within a few months after being released from prison four years later, Pope was again flying for the CIA-this time with Southern Air Transport, an agency proprietary airline based in Miami.

As the Eisenhower years came to an end, there still was a national consensus that the CIA was justified in taking almost any action in that "back alley" struggle against communism-this despite Eisenhower's clumsy effort to lie his way out of the U-2 shootdown, which lying led to the cancellation of the 1960 summit conference. Most Americans placed the CIA on the same above-politics level as the FBI, and it was no accident that President-elect Kennedy chose to announce on the same day that both J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles would be staying on in his administration.

It took the national shock resulting from the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 to bring about serious debate over CIA operations-among high government officials and the public as a whole. Not only had the CIA failed to overthrow the Castro regime, it had blundered publicly, and the U.S. government had again been caught lying. For the first time, widespread popular criticism was directed at the agency. And President Kennedy, who had approved the risky operation, came to realize that the CIA could be a definite liability-to both his foreign policy and his personal political fortunes-as well as a secret and private asset of the Presidency. Determined that there would be no repetition of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy moved quickly to tighten White House control of the agency. He reportedly vowed "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds." But the President's anger was evidently more the result of the agency's failure to overthrow Castro than a reaction to its methods or techniques. While neither agency funding nor operations were cut back in the aftermath, the Bay of Pigs marked the end of what was probably the CIA's Golden Age. Never again would the secret agency have so totally free a hand in its role as the clandestine defender of American democracy. Kennedy never carried through on his threat to destroy the CIA, but he did purge three of the agency's top officials, and thus made clear the lines of accountability. If Allen Dulles had seemed in Kennedy's eyes only a few months earlier to be in the same unassailable category as J. Edgar Hoover, the Bay of Pigs had made him expendable. In the fall of 1961 John McCone, a defense contractor who had formerly headed the Atomic Energy Commission, replaced Dulles as CIA Director; within months Major General Marshall "Pat" Carter took over from Major General Charles Cabell as Deputy Director, and Richard Helms became chief of the Clandestine Services in place of Richard Bissell.

Kennedy also ordered General Maxwell Taylor, then special military advisor to the President and soon to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to make a thorough study of U.S. intelligence. Taylor was joined by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Dulles, and Naval Chief Admiral Arleigh Burke. The Taylor committee's report was to a large extent a critique of the tactics used in-not the goals of-the Bay of Pigs operation. It did not call for any fundamental restructuring of the CIA, although many outside critics were urging that the agency's intelligence-collection and analysis functions be completely separated from its covert-action arm. The committee's principal recommendation was that the CIA should not undertake future operations where weapons larger than hand guns would be used.

Taylor's report was accepted, at least in principle, by the Kennedy administration, but its primary recommendation was disregarded almost immediately. CIA never shut down its two anti-Castro operations bases located in southern Florida, and agency-sponsored raids against Cuba by exile groups continued into the mid-1960s, albeit on a far smaller scale than the Bay of Pigs. The agency also became deeply involved in the chaotic struggle which broke out in the Congo in the early 1960s. Clandestine Service operators regularly bought and sold Congolese politicians, and the agency supplied money and arms to the supporters of Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. By 1964, the CIA had imported its own mercenaries into the Congo, and the agency's B-26 bombers, flown by Cuban exile pilots--many of whom were Bay of Pigs veterans--were carrying out regular missions against insurgent groups.

During these same years American involvement in Vietnam expanded rapidly, and the CIA, along with the rest of the U.S. government, greatly increased the number of its personnel and programs in that country. Among other activities, the agency organized guerrilla and small-boat attacks on North Vietnam, armed and controlled tens of thousands of Vietnamese soldiers in irregular units, and set up a giant intelligence and interrogation system which reached into every South Vietnamese village.

In neighboring Laos, the CIA actually led the rest of the U.S. government-at the White House's order-into a massive American commitment. Although the agency had been carrying out large-scale programs of political manipulation and other covert action up to 1962, that year's Geneva agreement prohibiting the presence of foreign troops in Laos paradoxically opened up the country to the CIA. For almost from the moment the agreement was signed, the Kennedy administration decided not to pull back but to expand American programs in Laos. This was justified partly because the North Vietnamese were also violating the Geneva Accords; partly because Kennedy, still smarting from his Cuban setback, did not want to lose another confrontation with the communists; and partly because of the strategic importance placed on Laos in the then-fashionable "domino theory." Since the United States did not want to admit that it was not living up to the Geneva agreement, the CIA-whose members were not technically "foreign troops" - got the job of conducting a "secret" war. The Laotian operation became one of the largest and most expensive in the agency's history: more than 35,000 opium-growing Meo and other Lao mountain tribesmen were recruited into the CIA's private army, L'Armee Clandestine; CIA-hired pilots flew bombing and supply missions in the agency's own planes; and, finally, when L'Armee Clandestine became less effective after long years of war, the agency recruited and financed over 17,000 Thai mercenaries for its war of attrition against the communists.

By the late 1960s, however, many CIA career officers were expressing opposition to the agency's Laotian and Vietnamese programs- not because they objected to the Indochina wars (few did), but because the programs consisted for the most part of huge, unwieldy, semi-overt paramilitary operations lacking the sophistication and secrecy that most of the agency's operators preferred. Furthermore, the wars had dragged on too long, and many officers viewed them as unwinnable messes. The agency, therefore, found itself in the awkward position of being unable to attract sufficient volunteers to man the field assignments in Vietnam. Consequently, it was forced to draft personnel from other areas of its clandestine activity for service in Southeast Asia.
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:47 pm

Part 2 of 2

Covert-Action Theory

It was in such an atmosphere of restiveness and doubt, on a January evening in 1968, that a small group of former intelligence professionals and several other members of the cult of intelligence met to discuss the role of the CIA in U.S. foreign policy, not at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but at the Harold Pratt House on Park Avenue-the home of the Council on Foreign Relations. The discussion leader was investment banker C. Douglas Dillon, previously Under Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury; the main speaker was Richard Bissell, the former chief of the agency's Clandestine Services, still a consultant to the CIA, and now a high-ranking executive with the United Aircraft Corporation. Like most other former agency officials, Bissell was reluctant to make his views on intelligence known to the public, and the meeting was private.

In 1971, however, as part of an anti-war protest, radical students occupied the building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that houses Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. Once inside, the protesters proceeded to barricade the entrances and ransack the files of faculty members who worked there. Discovered among the papers belonging to Center associate William Harris were the confidential minutes of the January 8, 1968, meeting at the Pratt House. Harris admitted privately a year later that the document in his files had been partially edited to eliminate particularly sensitive material. Even so, the purloined version was still the most complete description of the CIA's covert-action strategy and tactics ever made available to the outside world. Aside from a few newspaper articles which appeared in 1971, however, when it was reprinted by the African Research Group, the Bissell paper attracted almost no interest from the American news media.

Among the CIA's senior Clandestine Services officers, Richard Bissell was one of a very few who had not spent World War II in the ass; in all other respects, he was the ideal agency professional. A product of Groton and Yale, he had impeccable Eastern Establishment credentials. Such a background was not absolutely essential to success in CIA, but it certainly helped, especially during the Allen Dulles years. And Bissell also had the advantage of scholarly training, having earned a doctorate in economics and then having taught the subject at Yale and MIT. He joined the CIA in 1954 and immediately showed a great talent for clandestine work. By 1958 Dulles had named Bissell head of the Clandestine Services.

At the beginning of the Kennedy administration, Bissell was mentioned in White House circles as the logical candidate to succeed Dulles, who was then near seventy. Brilliant and urbane, Bissell seemed to fit perfectly, in David Halberstam's phrase, the "best and the brightest" image of the New Frontier. But Bissell's popularity with the Kennedy administration was short-lived, for it was Bissell's Clandestine Services which planned and carried out the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Bissell's operatives had not only failed, they were not even successful in inventing and maintaining a good cover story, or "plausible denial," which every covert operation is supposed to have and which might have allowed the Kennedy administration to escape the blame. Fidel Castro had told the truth to the world about American intervention in Cuba while the U.S. Secretary of State and other administration officials had been publicly caught in outright lies when their agency-supplied cover stories fell apart. So Kennedy fired the CIA officials who had got him into the Bay of Pigs, which he himself had approved; Bissell was forced out along with Dulles and Deputy Director Charles Cabell.

Bissell's replacement, Richard Helms, despite having been second in command in the Clandestine Services, had managed to stay remarkably untouched by the Bay of Pigs operation. Years later a very senior CIA official would still speak in amazement of the fact that not a single piece of paper existed in the agency which linked Helms to either the planning or the actual execution of the Bay of Pigs. This senior official was not at all critical of Helms, who had been very much involved in the overall supervision of the operation. The official simply was impressed by Helms' bureaucratic skill and good judgment in keeping his signature off the documents concerning the invasion, even in the planning stage.

Helms took over from Bissell as Clandestine Services chief on February 17, 1962, and Bissell was awarded a secret intelligence medal honoring him for his years of service to the agency. But Bissell remained in close touch with clandestine programs as a consultant; the CIA did not want to lose the services of the man who had guided the agency into some of its most advanced techniques. He had been among the first during the 1950s to understand the hopelessness of spying against the Soviets and the Chinese with classic espionage methods, and hence had pushed the use of modern technology as an intelligence tool. He had been instrumental in the development of the U-2 plane, which had been among CIA's greatest successes until the Powers incident. Bissell had also promoted, with the technical help of Kelly Johnson and the so-called Skunk Works development facilities of Lockheed Aircraft Corp., the A-11, later known as SR-71, a spy plane that could fly nearly three times the speed of sound at altitudes even higher than the U-2.

Moreover, Bissell had been a driving force behind the development of space satellites for intelligence purposes-at times to the embarrassment of the Air Force. He had quickly grasped the espionage potential of placing high-resolution cameras in orbit around the globe to photograph secret installations in the Soviet Union and China. And due in great part to the technical advances made by scientists and engineers working under Bissell, the CIA largely dominated the U.S. government's satellite reconnaissance programs in the late 1950s and well into the 1960s. Even today, when the Air Force has taken over most of the operational aspects of the satellite programs, the CIA is responsible for many of the research and development breakthroughs. At the same time that Bissell was sparking many of the innovations in overhead reconnaissance, he was guiding the Clandestine Services into increased emphasis on covert-action programs in the Third World. It was Bissell who developed and put into practice much of the theory and technique which became standard operating procedure in the CIA's many interventions abroad.

Bissell spoke mainly about covert action that January night in 1968 at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and the minutes provide a virtual textbook outline of covert operations. Among his listeners were former CIA officials Allen Dulles and Robert Amory, Jr., former State Department intelligence chief Thomas Hughes, former Kennedy aide Theodore Sorensen, columnist Joseph Kraft, and fourteen others. * All those present were men who had spent most of their lives either in or on the fringes of the government. They could be trusted to remain discreet about what they heard.

Speaking freely to a friendly audience, the former Clandestine Services chief said:

Covert action [is] attempting to influence the internal affairs of other nations-sometimes called "intervention"-by covert means.

. . . the technique is essentially that of "penetration," including "penetrations" of the sort which horrify classicists of covert operations, with a disregard for the "standards" and "agent recruitment rules." Many of the "penetrations" don't take the form of "hiring" but of establishing a close or friendly relationship (which mayor may not be furthered by the provision of money from time to time).

Bissell was explaining that the CIA needs to have its own agents on the inside-i.e., "penetrations"-if it wants to finance a political party, guide the editorial policy of a newspaper, or carry off a military coup. CIA clandestine operators assigned overseas are called case officers, and they recruit and supervise the "penetrations." Their tours of duty are normally two to three years, and most serve with false titles in American embassies. Some live under what is called "deep cover" in foreign countries posing as businessmen, students, newsmen, missionaries, or other seemingly innocent American visitors.

The problem of Agency operations overseas [Bissell continued] is frequently a problem for the State Department. It tends to be true that local allies find themselves dealing always with an American and an official American-since the cover is almost invariably as a U.S. government employee. There are powerful reasons for this practice, and it will always be desirable to have some CIA personnel housed in the Embassy compound, if only for local "command post" and communications requirements.

Nonetheless, it is possible and desirable, although difficult and time-consuming, to build overseas an apparatus of unofficial cover. This would require the use or creation of private organizations, many of the personnel of which would be non- U.S. nationals, with freer entry into the local society and less implication for the official U.S. posture.

Whatever cover the case officer has, his role is to find agents willing to work with or for the CIA. His aim is to penetrate the host government, to learn its inner workings, to manipulate it for the agency's purposes.

But for the larger and more sensitive interventions [Bissell went on], the allies must have their own motivation. On the whole the Agency has been remarkably successful in finding individuals and instrumentalities with which and through which it could work in this fashion. Implied in the requirement for a pre-existing motivation is the corollary that an attempt to induce the local ally to follow a course he does not believe in will at least reduce his effectiveness and may destroy the whole operation.

Covert action is thus an exercise in seeking out "allies" willing to cooperate with the CIA, preferably individuals who believe in the same goals as the agency; at the very least, people who can be manipulated into belief in these goals. CIA case officers must be adept at convincing people that working for the agency is in their interest, and a good case officer normally will use whatever techniques are required to recruit a prospect: appeals to patriotism and anti-communism can be reinforced with flattery, or sweetened with money and power. Cruder methods involving blackmail and coercion may also be used, but are clearly less desirable.

For covert action to be most effective, the recruitment and penetration should be made long before an actual operation is scheduled. When the U.S. government secretly decides to provoke a coup in a particular country, it is then too late for CIA case officers to be looking for local allies. Instead, if the case officers have been performing their jobs well, they will have already built up a network of agents in that country's government, military forces, press, labor unions, and other important groups; thus there is, in effect, a standing force in scores of countries ready to serve the CIA when the need arises. In the interim, many of these agents also serve the agency by turning over intelligence obtained through their official positions. This intelligence can often be of tactical value to the CIA in determining local political power structures and calculating where covert action would be most effective. Again, Bissell:

[There is a] need for continuing efforts to develop covert-action capabilities even where there is no immediate need to employ them. The central task is that of identifying potential indigenous allies-both individuals and organizations-making contact with them, and establishing the fact of a community of interest.

This process is called, in intelligence parlance, "building assets" or developing the operational apparatus. It is a standard function of all CIA clandestine stations and bases overseas. And when a case officer is transferred to a new assignment after several years in a post, he passes on his network of agents and contacts to his replacement, who will stay in touch with them as well as search out new "assets" himself.

Depending on the size and importance of a particular country, from one to scores of CIA case officers may operate there; together, their collective "assets" may number in the hundreds. The planners of any operation will try to orchestrate the use of the available assets so as to have the maximum possible effect. Bissell:

Covert intervention is probably most effective in situations where a comprehensive effort is undertaken with a number of separate operations designed to support and complement one another and to have a cumulatively significant effect.

In fact, once the CIA's case officers have built up their assets, whether or not the United States will intervene at all will be based in large part on a judgment of the potential effectiveness, importance, and trustworthiness of the CIA's agents or, in Bissell's word, "allies." Yet only case officers on the scene and, to a lesser extent, their immediate superiors in the United States are in a position to make this judgment, since only the CIA knows the identity of its agents. This information is not shared with outsiders or even widely known inside the agency, where agents are listed by code names even in top-secret documents. Thus, while the political decision to intervene must be made in the White House, it is the CIA itself (through its Clandestine Services) which supplies the President and his advisors with much of the crucial information upon which their decision to intervene is based.

Even if the CIA's reputation for honesty and accurate assessment were unassailable (which it is not), there would still be a built-in conflict of interest in the system: the CIA draws up the intervention plans; the CIA is the only agency with the specific knowledge to evaluate the merits and the feasibility of those plans; and the CIA is the action arm which carries out the plans once they are approved. When the CIA has its assets in place, the inclination within the agency is to recommend their use; the form of intervention recommended will reflect the type of assets which have been earlier recruited. Further, simply because the assets are available, the top officials of the U.S. government may well rely too heavily on the CIA in a real or imagined crisis situation. To these officials, including the President, covert intervention may seem to be an easier solution to a particular problem than to allow events to follow their natural course or to seek a tortuous diplomatic settlement. The temptation to interfere in another country's internal affairs can be almost irresistible, when the means are at hand.

It is one of the contradictions of the intelligence profession, as practiced by the CIA, that the views of its substantive experts - its analysts-do not carry much weight with the clandestine operators engaging in covert action. The operators usually decide which operations to undertake without consulting the analysts. Even when pertinent intelligence studies and estimates are readily available, they are as often as not ignored, unless they tend to support the particular covert-action cause espoused by the operators. Since the days of the ass, clandestine operators-especially in the field-have distrusted the detached viewpoint of analysts not directly involved in covert action. To ensure against contact with the analysts (and to reduce interference by high-level staff members, even those in the Office of the Director) the operators usually resort to tight operational security - the "need-to-know" principle-and to bureaucratic deceptions when developing or seeking approval of a covert-action operation. Thus, it is quite possible in the CIA for the intel1igence analysts to say one thing, and for the covert-action officers to get the authorization to do another. Although the analysts saw little chance for a successful rebellion against President Sukarno in 1958, the Clandestine Services supported the abortive coup d'etat. Despite the analysts' view that Castro's government had the support of the Cuban people, the agency's operators attempted-and failed-at the Bay of Pigs to overthrow him. In spite of large doubts on the part of the analysts for years as to the efficacy of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the CIA continued to fund these propaganda efforts until 1971, when forced by Congress to withdraw its support. Although the analysts clearly indicated that the wars in Laos and Vietnam were not winnable, the operational leadership of the CIA never ceased to devise and launch new programs in support of the local regimes and in the hope of somehow bringing about victory over the enemy. The analysts had warned against involvement in Latin American politics, but covert action was attempted anyway to manipulate the 1964 and 1970 Chilean presidential elections.

In theory, the dichotomy that exists between the analytical and clandestine components of the CIA is resolved at the top of the agency. It is at the Director's level that the CIA's analytical input is supposed to be balanced against the goals and risks of the covert-action operation. But it does not always, or even often, work that way. Directors like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, both longtime clandestine operators, tended to allow their affinity for secret operations to influence their judgment. Even a remote chance of success was enough to win their approval of a covert-action proposal. The views of the analysts, if requested at all, and if they survived the bureaucratic subterfuge of the clandestine operators, were usually dismissed by the agency's leadership on the grounds that they were too vague or indecisive for the purposes of operational planning.

Still, regardless of the preference of the Director of Central Intelligence, it is the President or his National Security Advisor who provides the ultimate direction and grants the final approval for any significant covert-action program undertaken by the CIA. Often in proposing such a program the agency's operators are responding solely to a presidential directive or to orders of the National Security Council. And always when a CIA covert-action proposal is submitted for approval, the plans are reviewed by the 40 Committee, the special interdepartmental group chaired by the President's National Security Advisor. Thus, the desire of the President or his advisor to move secretly to influence the internal events of another country is frequently the stimulus that either sparks the CIA into action or permits its operators to launch a dubious operation. Only then does the apparatus get into motion; only then do the analysts become meaningless. But "only then" means "almost always."


In his talk at the Council on Foreign Relations, Bissell listed eight types of covert action, eight different ways that the CIA intervenes in the domestic affairs of other nations:

( 1) political advice and counsel; (2) subsidies to an individual; (3) financial support and "technical assistance" to political parties; (4) support of private organizations, including labor unions, business firms, cooperatives, etc.; (5) covert propaganda; (6) "private" training of individuals and exchange of persons; (7) economic operations; and (8) paramilitary [or] political action operations designed to overthrow or to support a regime (like the Bay of Pigs and the program in Laos). These operations can be classified in various ways: by the degree and type of secrecy required by their legality, and, perhaps, by their benign or hostile character.[/quote]

Bissell's fifth and eighth categories-covert propaganda and paramililtary operations -- are so large, so important, that they will be discussed at length in later chapters; they are, as well, somewhat self-defining. But the other six categories need some explanation at this point.

The first three categories-political advice and counsel, subsidies to an individual, and financial support and technical assistance to political parties-are usually so closely related that they are nearly impossible to separate. (DELETED) The reporters who covered that affair on April 10, 1971, apparently failed to notice anything unusual about the guests. Seated in the State Dining Room at long white tables forming a large E was the usual assortment of foreign dignitaries, high U.S. government officials, and corporate executives who have become fixtures at such occasions during the Nixon years. The guest list supplied by the White House press office gave the titles and positions for almost all the diners. (DELETED) years later, he was elected mayor of West Berlin. Throughout this period, (DELETED) He was a hard-working politician in Alliedoccupied Berlin, and his goal of making the Social Democratic party a viable alternative to communism (DELETED) And that evening after dinner, singer Pearl Bailey entertained the White House crowd in the East Room. The Washington Post reported the next day that she had "rocked" the White House. (DELETED)


In certain countries where the CIA has been particularly active, the agency's chief of station (cas) maintains closer ties with the head of state than does the U.S. ambassador. Usually, the ambassador is kept informed of the business transacted between the cas (who is officially subordinate to the ambassador) and the head of state (to whom the ambassador is officially accredited as the personal representative of the President of the United States). But Bissell mentioned cases in which the CIA's relationship with the local head of state was so special that the American ambassador was not informed of any of the details, because either the Secretary of State or the head of the host government preferred that the ambassador be kept ignorant of the relationships. (DELETED)


Still another example of a country where the CIA enjoys a special relationship is Nationalist China. In Taiwan, however, the CIA's link is not with President Chiang Kai-shek, but with his son and heir apparent, Premier Chiang Ching-kuo. One former CIA chief of station, Ray Cline, until late 1973 the State Department's Director of Intelligence and Research, became something of a legend within the Clandestine Services because of his frequent allnight drinking bouts with the younger Chiang. (DELETED)

In South Vietnam, Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker insisted on personally conducting all important meetings with President Thieu; sometimes Bunker was accompanied by the CIA chief when there was agency business to be discussed. But there has been another CIA officer in Saigon who has known Thieu for many years and who has retained access to the Vietnamese President. According to a former assistant to Ambassador Bunker, this CIA officer has served as conduit between Thieu and the American government when a formal meeting is not desired or when Thieu wishes to float an idea. (DELETED)

(DELETED) Each man has been thought by the agency to represent a strong anti-communist force that would maintain stability in a potentially volatile country.

Generally speaking, the CIA's ties with foreign political leaders who receive advice and money from the agency are extremely delicate. The CIA is interested in moving the leader and, through him, his party and country into policies to the advantage of the United States. In most countries of the Third World, the United States policy is usually to maintain the status quo, so most subsidies are designed to strengthen the political base of those in power. The foreign leader who receives money from the CIA is typically furthering both his own career and, presumably, what he believes are the legitimate aims of his country. But even that presumption is shaky; any politician's ability to rationalize his actions probably increases once he has made the decision to accept such funds.

Extensive CIA involvement with private institutions at home and overseas (Bissell's fourth category of covert-action tactics) is one of the few aspects of the agency's covert-action effort to have received a good deal of public attention. The 1967 expose by Ramparts magazine of the CIA's clandestine connections with the National Student Association was quickly followed by a flurry of articles in the press concerning agency subsidies to scores of other organizations. Some of these institutions, particularly those used as conduits for covert funds, were under direct CIA control. Others simply were financed by the agency and steered toward policies that it favored through the manipulation of only a few of the organization's key personnel. Sam Brown, a former head of the National Student Association's National Supervisory Policy Board and later a leader in the 1968 McCarthy campaign and in the anti-war movement, told David Wise and Thomas B. Ross that in the case of the NSA, the CIA would select one or two association officers as its contacts. These officers were told that they should be aware of certain secrets and were asked to sign an oath pledging silence. "Then," Brown said,

they were told, "You are employed by the CIA." At that point they were trapped, having signed a statement not to divulge anything .... This is the part of the thing that I found to be most disgusting and horrible. People were duped into this relationship with the CIA, a relationship from which there was no out.

Not all the student leaders recruited over the years by the CIA, however, were displeased with the arrangement. Some later joined the agency formally as clandestine operatives, and one rose to become executive assistant to Director Richard Helms. It was this same man who sometimes posed as an official of the Agency for International Development to entrap unsuspecting NSA officers, revealing his "cover" only after extracting pledges of secrecy and even NSA commitments to cooperate with specific CIA programs.

Tom Braden, who headed the CIA's International Organizations Division from 1950 to 1954 when that component of the Clandestine Services was responsible for subsidizing private organizations, described his own experiences in a 1967 Saturday Evening Post article entitled "I'm Glad the CIA Is 'Immoral' ":

It was my idea to give the $15,000 to Irving Brown [of the American Federation of Labor). He needed it to payoff his strong-arm squads in Mediterranean ports, so that American supplies could be unloaded against the opposition of Communist dock workers .... At [Victor Reuther's] request, I went to Detroit one morning and gave Walter [Reuther] $50,000 in $50 bills. Victor spent the money, mostly in West Germany, to bolster labor unions there ....

I remember the enormous joy I got when the Boston Symphony Orchestra won more acclaim for the U.S. in Paris than John Foster Dulles or Dwight D. Eisenhower could have bought with a hundred speeches. And then there was Encounter, the magazine published in England and dedicated to the proposition that cultural achievement and political freedom were interdependent. Money for both the orchestra's tour and the magazine's publication came from the CIA, and few outside of the CIA knew about it. We had placed one agent in a Europe-based organization of intellectuals called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Another agent became an editor of Encounter. The agents could not only propose anti-Communist programs to the official leaders of the organizations but they could also suggest ways and means to solve the inevitable budgetary problems. Why not see if the needed money could be obtained from "American foundations"? As the agents knew, the CIA-financed foundations were quite generous when it came to the national interest.

The CIA's culture-loving, optimistic, freewheeling operators, however, made serious tactical errors in funding these "private" institutions. Over the years, the agency became involved with so many groups that direct supervision and accounting were not always possible. Moreover, the agency violated a fundamental rule of intelligence in not carefully separating the operations of each organization from all the others. Thus, when the first disclosures of CIA involvement were published early in 1967, enterprising journalists found that the financing arrangements and the conduit foundations were so intertwined and overused that still other groups which had been receiving CIA funds could be tracked down. Bissell acknowledged this sloppiness of technique when he said, " ... it is very clear that we should have had greater compartmenting of operations."

In the aftermath of the disclosures, President Johnson appointed a special committee consisting of Under Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach as chairman, CIA Director Richard Helms, and HEW Secretary John Gardner to study the CIA's relationship with private organizations. On March 29, 1967, the committee unanimously recommended-and the President accepted as the national policy -that: "No federal agency shall provide any covert financial assistance or support, direct or indirect, to any of the nation's educational or private voluntary organizations." The report said that exceptions to this policy might be granted in case of "overriding national security interests," but that no organizations then being subsidized fitted this category. The Katzenbach committee noted that it expected the CIA largely, if not entirely, to terminate its ties with private organizations by the end of 1967.

Yet, a year later Richard Bissell told the Council on Foreign Relations:

If the Agency is to be effective, it will have to make use of private institutions on an expanding scale, though those relations which have "blown" cannot be resurrected. We need to operate under deeper cover, with increased attention to the use of "cut-outs" [i.e., intermediaries]. CIA's interface with the rest of the world needs to be better protected. If various groups hadn't been aware of the source of their funding, the damage subsequent to disclosure might have been far less than occurred. The CIA interface with various private groups, including business and student groups, must be remedied.

Bissell's comments seemed to be in direct contradiction to the official U.S. government policy established by the President. But Bissell, no longer a CIA officer, wasn't challenging presidential authority, and his audience understood that, just as it understood what, indeed, the Katzenbach committee had recommended. Bissell was merely reflecting the general view within the CIA and the cult of intelligence that President Johnson had been pressured by liberals and the press into taking some action to reduce the agency's involvement with private groups; that by naming Katzenbach (then considered by the CIA to be a "friend") as chairman of the committee and by making CIA Director Helms the second of its three members, the President was stacking the deck in the CIA's favor; that the agency certainly could be criticized for its lack of professional skill in so sloppily funding the private groups; but that, essentially, the President did not wish to change appreciably the CIA's covert-action programs.

Once the Katzenbach report appeared, the CIA arranged secret exceptions to the much-heralded new policy. Two CIA broadcasting stations, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which together received more than $30 million annually in CIA funds, were immediately placed outside the restrictions of the presidential order. And the CIA delayed withdrawing its support for other organizations whose agency ties had been exposed until new forms of financing them could be developed. Thus, as late as 1970 the CIA was still subsidizing a major international youth organization through a penetration who was one of the organization's officers. In some cases, "severance payments" were made that could keep an organization afloat for years.

Although the CIA had been widely funding foreign labor unions for more than fifteen years and some of the agency's labor activities were revealed in Tom Braden's Saturday Evening Post article, the Katzenbach committee did not specify unions as the type of organizations the CIA was barred from financing. At the 1968 Council on Foreign Relations meeting at which Bissell spoke, Meyer Bernstein, the Steelworkers Union's Director of International Labor Affairs, commented:

the turn of events has been unexpected. First, there hasn't been any real problem with international labor programs. Indeed, there has been an increase in demand for U.S. labor programs and the strain on our capacity has been embarrassing. Formerly, these foreign labor unions knew we were short of funds, but now they all assume we have secret CIA money, and they ask for more help.

Worse yet, Vic Reuther, who had been alleging that others were receiving CIA money, and whose brother's receipt of $50,000 from CIA in old bills was subsequently disclosed by Tom Braden, still goes on with his charges that the AFL-CIO has taken CIA money. Here again, no one seems to listen. "The net result has been as close to zero as possible. We've come to accept CIA, like sin." So, for example, British Guiana's [Guyana] labor unions were supported through CIA conduits, but now they ask for more assistance than before. So, our expectations to the contrary, there has been almost no damage.

In Vietnam, enthusiastic officials of the U.S. embassy in Saigon were fond of saying during the late 1960s that Tran Ngoc Buu was the Samuel Gompers of the Vietnamese labor movement. They did not say-and most probably did not know-(DELETED)

Bissell also identified" 'private' training of individuals and exchange of persons" as a form of covert action:

Often activities have been initiated through CIA channels because they could be started more quickly and informally but do not inherently need to be secret. An example might be certain exchange-of-persons programs designed to identify potential political leaders and give them some exposure to the United States. It should be noted, however, that many such innocent programs are more effective if carried out by private auspices than if supported officially by the United States Government. They do not need to be covert but if legitimate private entities such as the foundations do not initiate them, there may be no way to get them done except by covert support to "front" organizations.

He was referring to the so-called people-to-people exchange programs, most of which are funded openly by the State Department, the Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and various private organizations and foundations. But the CIA has also been involved to a lesser extent, and has brought foreigners to the United States with funds secretly supplied to conduit organizations. On occasion, the agency will sponsor the training of foreign officials at the facilities of another government agency. A favorite site is AID's International Police Academy in Washington. The academy is operated by AID's Public Safety (police) Division, which regularly supplies cover to CIA operators all over the world. And the CIA takes advantage of exchange programs to recruit agents. While a systematic approach is not followed, the agency considers foreigners visiting the United States to be legitimate targets for recruitment.

The CIA has undertaken comparatively few economic covert-action programs (Bissell's seventh category) over the years, preferring the more direct approach of paramilitary operations or propaganda. And those economic programs attempted by the agency have not been notably successful. During the rnid-1960s Japanese investors were used in an effort to build up the South Vietnamese economy, because American companies tended to shy away from making substantial investments in Vietnam. The U.S. government hoped that the Japanese would fill the void at least partially, and eventually lighten U.S. aid requirements. Thus, CIA representatives promised certain Japanese businessmen that the agency would supply the investment capital if the Japanese would front for the operation and supply the technical expertise for large commercial farms. After long and detailed negotiations, the deal faltered and then failed.

A few years earlier the CIA had tried to disrupt Cuba's sugar trade as part of its program to undercut Fidel Castro's regime. At one point the Clandestine Services operatives proposed that the CIA purchase large amounts of sugar and then dump it in a certain foreign country so as to destroy the market for Cuban sugar. This plan also fell through, but a more serious attack on Cuban sugar occurred in August 1962 when a British freighter under lease to the Soviets docked in Puerto Rico for repairs. The freighter, carrying Cuban sugar destined for the Soviet Union, was placed in a bonded warehouse while the ship was in dry dock. CIA agents broke into the warehouse and contaminated the sugar with a nonpoisonous but unpalatable substance.

As pointed out earlier, one of the advantages a secret agency like the CIA provides to a President is the unique pretext of being able to disclaim responsibility for its actions. Thus, a President can direct or approve high-risk clandestine operations such as a manned overflight of the Soviet Union on the eve of a summit conference, a Bay of Pigs invasion, penetration and manipulation of private youth, labor, or cultural organizations, paramilitary adventures in Southeast Asia, or intervention in the domestic politics of Chile without openly accepting the consequences of these decisions. If the clandestine operations are successful-good. If they fail or backfire, then usually all the President and his staff need do to avoid culpability is to blame the CIA.

In no instance has a President of the United States ever made a serious attempt to review or revamp the covert practices of the CIA. Minor alterations in operational methods and techniques have been carried out, but no basic changes in policy or practice have ever been demanded by the White House. And this is not surprising: Presidents like the CIA. It does their dirty work-work that might not otherwise be "do-able." When the agency fails or blunders, all the President need do is to deny, scold, or threaten.

For the CIA's part, being the focus of presidential blame is an occupational hazard, but one hardly worth worrying about. It is merely an aspect of the cover behind which the agency operates. Like the other aspects of cover, it is part of a deception. The CIA fully realizes that it is too important to the government and the American political aristocracy for any President to do more than tinker with it. The CIA shrugs off its blunders and proceeds to devise new operations, secure in the knowledge that the White House usually cannot resist its offerings, particularly covert action - covert action that dominates, that determines, that defines the shape and purpose of the CIA. America's leaders have not yet reached the point where they are willing to forsake intervention in the internal affairs of other countries and let events naturally run their course. There still is a widely held belief in this country that America has the right and the responsibility to become involved in the internal political processes of foreign nations, and while faith in this belief and that of doctrinaire anti-communism may have been somewhat shaken in the last decade (DELETED)


* The official name for this part of the CIA is the Directorate of Operations  (until early 1973 the Directorate of Plans), but it is more appropriately  referred to within the agency as the Clandestine Services. Some members of  Congress and certain journalists call it the "Department of Dirty Tricks," a  title never used by CIA personnel.

 **Nine years later Laurence Stern of the Washington Post finally exposed  the CIA's massive clandestine effort in the 1964 Chilean election. He quoted  a strategically placed U.S. intelligence official as saying, "U.S. government intervention in Chile was blatant and almost obscene." Stern reported that  both the State Department and the Agency for International Development  cooperated with the CIA in funneling up to $20 million into the country,  and that one conduit for the funds was an ostensibly private organization  called the International Development Foundation.
* This and all subsequent quotes from the Bissell speech come from the  official minutes of the meeting. The minutes do not quote Bissell directly  but, rather, paraphrase his remarks.
* A complete listing of the participants, as well as the available minutes of the meeting, are contained in the Appendix, “The Bissell Philosophy.”
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Re: The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchett

Postby admin » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:17 am

Part 1 of 2

THREE: The CIA and the Intelligence Community

It is the task of the Director of Central Intelligence, utilizing his influence in the various interdepartmental mechanisms, to create out of these diverse components a truly national estimate, useful to the national interest and not just to a particular bureaucratic preference. This is not an easy task. -- HARRY HOWE RANSOM, The Intelligence Establishment

THE CIA is big, very big. Officially, it has authorized manpower of 16,500, and an authorized budget of $750 million -- and even those figures are jealously guarded, generally made available only to Congress. Yet, regardless of its official size and cost, the agency is far larger and more affluent than these figures indicate.

The CIA itself does not even know how many people work for it. The 16,500 figure does not reflect the tens of thousands who serve under contract (mercenaries, agents, consultants, etc.) or who work for the agency's proprietary companies. * Past efforts to total up the number of foreign agents have never resulted in precise figures because of the inordinate secrecy and compartmentalization practiced by the Clandestine Services. Sloppy record-keeping - often deliberate on the part of the operators "for security purposes"- is also a factor. There are one-time agents hired for specific missions, contract agents who serve for extended periods of time, and career agents who spend their entire working lives secretly employed by the CIA. In some instances, contract agents are retained long after their usefulness has passed, but usually are known only to the case officers with whom they deal. One of the Watergate burglars, Eugenio Martinez, was in this category. When he was caught inside the Watergate on that day in June 1972, he still was receiving a $100-a-month stipend from the agency for work apparently unrelated to his covert assignment for the Committee to Re-Elect the President. The CIA claims to have since dropped him from the payroll.

A good chunk of the agency's annual operational funds, called "project money," is wasted in this fashion. Payments to no-longer-productive agents are justified on several grounds: the need to maintain secrecy about their operations even though these occurred years ago; the vague hope that such agents will again prove to be useful (operators are always reluctant to give up an asset, even a useless one), and the claim that the agency has a commitment to its old allies-a phenomenon known in the CIA as "emotional attachment." It is the last justification that carries the most weight within the agency. Thus, hundreds-perhaps thousands-of former Cuban, East European, and other minor clandestine agents are still on the CIA payroll, at an annual cost to the taxpayers of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year.

All mercenaries and many field-operations officers used in CIA paramilitary activities are also contractees and, therefore, are not reflected in the agency's authorized manpower level. The records kept on these soldiers of fortune are at best only gross approximations. In Laos and Vietnam, for example, the Clandestine Services had a fairly clear idea of how many local tribesmen were in its pay, but the operators were never quite certain of the total number of mercenaries they were financing through the agency's numerous support programs, some of which were fronted for by the Department of Defense, the Agency for International Development, and, of course, the CIA proprietary, Air America.

Private individuals under contract to-or in confidential contact with-the agency for a wide variety of tasks other than soldiering or spying are also left out of the personnel totals, and complete records of their employment are not kept in any single place. * In 1967, however, when the CIA's role on American campuses was under close scrutiny because of the embarrassing National Student Association revelations, Helms asked his staff to find out just how many university personnel were under secret contract to the CIA. After a few days of investigation, senior CIA officers reported back that they could not find the answer. Helms immediately ordered a full study of the situation, and after more than a month of searching records allover the agency, a report was handed in to Helms listing hundreds of professors and administrators on over a hundred campuses. But the staff officers who compiled the report knew that their work was incomplete. Within weeks, another campus connection was exposed in the press. The contact was not on the list that had been compiled for the director.

Just as difficult as adding up the number of agency contractees is the task of figuring out how many people work for its proprietaries. CIA headquarters, for instance, has never been able to compute exactly the number of planes flown by the airlines it owns, and personnel figures for the proprietaries are similarly imprecise. An agency holding company, the Pacific Corporation, including Air America and Air Asia, alone accounts for almost 20,000 people, more than the entire workforce of the parent CIA. For years this vast activity was dominated and controlled by one contract agent, George Doole, who later was elevated to the rank of a career officer. Even then his operation was supervised, part time, by only a single senior officer who lamented that he did not know "what the hell was going on."

Well aware that the agency is two or three times as large as it appears to be, the CIA's leadership has consistently sought to downplay its size. During the directorship of Richard Helms, when the agency had a career-personnel ceiling of 18,000, CIA administrative officers were careful to hold the employee totals to 200 or 300 people below the authorized complement. Even at the height of the Vietnam war, while most national-security agencies were increasing their number of employees, the CIA handled its increased needs through secret contracts, thus giving a deceptive impression of personnel leanness. Other bureaucratic gambits were used in a similar way to keep the agency below the 18,000 ceiling. Senior officers were often rehired on contract immediately after they retired and started to draw government pensions. Overseas, agency wives were often put on contract to perform secretarial duties.

Just as the personnel figure is deceptive, so does the budget figure not account for a great part of the CIA's campaign chest. The agency's proprietaries are often money-making enterprises, and thus provide "free" services to the parent organization. The prime examples of this phenomenon are the airlines (Air America, Air Asia, and others) organized under the CIA holding company, the Pacific Corporation, which have grown bigger than the CIA itself by conducting as much private business as possible and continually reinvesting the profits. These companies generate revenues in the tens of millions of dollars each year, but the figures are imprecise because detailed accounting of their activities is not normally required by agency bookkeepers. For all practical purposes, the proprietaries conduct their own financial affairs with a minimum of oversight from CIA headquarters. Only when a proprietary is in need of funds for, say, expansion of its fleet of planes does it request agency money. Otherwise, it is free to use its profits in any way it sees fit. In this atmosphere, the proprietaries tend to take on lives of their own, and several have grown too big and too independent to be either controlled from or dissolved by headquarters.

Size and Cost of the CIA (Approximate)

-- / Personnel / $ Millions

Office of the Director / 400 / 10
Clandestine Services (Directorate of Operations) / 6,000 / 440
Espionage/ Counterespionage / (4,200) / (180)
Covert Action / (1,800) / (260)
Directorate of Management and Services / 5,300 / 110
Communications / (2,000) / (70
Other Support / (3,300) / (40)
Directorate of Intelligence / 3,500 / 70
Analysis / (1,200) / (50)
Information Processing / (2,300) / (20)
Directorate of Science and Technology / 1,300 / 120
Technical Collection / (1,000) / (50)
Research and Development / (300) / (70)

[Total] / 16,500* / 750**

* Nearly 5,000 CIA personnel serve overseas, the majority (60-70 percent) being members of the Clandestine Services. Of the remainder, most are communications officers and other operational support personnel.

** Does not include the Director's Special Contingency Fund.

Similarly, the CIA's annual budget does not show the Pentagon's annual contribution to the agency, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, to fund certain major technical espionage programs and some particularly expensive clandestine activities. For example, the CIA's Science and Technology Directorate has an annual budget of only a little more than $100 million, but it actually spends well over $500 million a year. The difference is funded largely by the Air Force, which underwrites the national overhead-reconnaissance effort for the entire U.S. intelligence community. Moreover, the Clandestine Services waged a "secret" war in Laos for more than a decade at an annual cost to the government of approximately $500 million. Yet, the CIA itself financed less than 10 percent of this amount each year. The bulk of the expense was paid for by other federal agencies, mostly the Defense Department but also the Agency for International Development. Fully aware of these additional sources of revenue, the CIA's chief of planning and programming reverently observed a few years ago that the director does not operate a mere multimillion-dollar agency but actually runs a multibillion-dollar conglomerate-with virtually no outside oversight.

In terms of financial assets, the CIA is not only more affluent than its official annual budget reflects, it is one of the few federal agencies that have no shortage of funds. In fact, the CIA has more money to spend than it needs. Since its creation in 1947, the agency has ended almost every fiscal year with a surplus-which it takes great pains to hide from possible discovery by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or by the congressional oversight subcommittees. The risk of discovery is not high, however, since both the OMB and the subcommittees are usually friendly and indulgent when dealing with the CIA. Yet, each year the agency's bookkeepers, at the direction of the organization's top leadership, transfer the excess funds to the accounts of the CIA's major components with the understanding that the money will be kept available if requested by the director's office. This practice of squirreling away these extra dollars would seem particularly unnecessary because the agency always has some $50 to $100 million on call for unanticipated costs in a special account called the Director's Contingency Fund.

The Director's Contingency Fund was authorized by a piece of legislation which is unique in the American system. Under the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was granted the privilege of expending funds "without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of Government funds; and for objects of confidential, extraordinary, or emergency nature, such expenditures to be accounted for solely on the certificate of the Director. ... " In the past, the Fund (DELETED) But there have been times when the fund has been used for the highly questionable purpose of paying expenses incurred by other agencies of the government.

In 1967 Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara promised Norwegian officials that the U.S. government would provide them with some new air-defense equipment costing several million dollars. McNamara subsequently learned the equipment was not available in the Pentagon's inventories and would have to be specially purchased for delivery to Norway. He was also informed that, because of the high cost of the Vietnam war (for which the Defense Department was then seeking a supplemental appropriation from Congress), funds to procure the air-defense equipment were not immediately at hand. Further complications arose from the fact that the Secretary was then engaged in a disagreement with some members of Congress over the issue of foreign military aid. It was therefore decided not to openly request the funds for the small but potentially sticky commitment to the Norwegians. Instead, the Pentagon asked the CIA (with White House approval) to supply the money needed for the purchase of air-defense equipment. The funds were secretly transferred to the Defense (DELETED) That same year President Johnson traveled to Punta del Este, a posh resort in Uruguay, for a meeting of the Organization of American States. He entertained the attending foreign leaders in a lavish manner which he apparently thought befitted the President of the United States, and he freely dispensed expensive gifts and souvenirs. In the process, LBJ greatly exceeded the representational allowance that the State Department had set aside for the conference. When the department found itself in the embarrassing position of being unable to cover the President's bills because of its tight budget (due in part to the economies LBJ had been demanding of the federal bureaucracy to help pay for the war in Vietnam), it was reluctant to seek additional funds from Congress. Representative John Rooney of Brooklyn, who almost singlehandedly controlled State's appropriations, had for years been a strong critic of representational funds (called the "booze allowance") for America's diplomats. Rather than face Rooney's wrath, State turned to the CIA, and the Director's Contingency Fund was used to pay for the President's fling at Punta del Este.

For some reason-perhaps because of the general view in the CIA that its operations are above the law-the agency has tended to play fiscal games that other government departments would not dare engage in. One example concerns the agency's use of its employee retirement fund, certain agent and contract-personnel escrow accounts, and the CIA credit union's capital, to play the stock market. With the approval of the top CIA leadership, a small group of senior agency officers has for years secretly supervised the management of these funds and invested them in stocks, hoping to turn a greater profit than normally would be earned through the Treasury Department's traditional low-interest but safe bank deposits and bond issues. Originally, the investment group, consisting of CIA economists, accountants, and lawyers, dealt with an established Boston brokerage house, which made the final investment decisions. But several years ago the Boston brokers proved too conservative to suit the agency investors, some of whom were making fatter profits with their personal portfolios. The CIA group decided it could do much better by picking its own stocks, so the brokerage house was reduced to doing only the actual stock trading (still with a handsome commission, of course). Within a matter of months the agency investors were earning bigger profits than ever before. Presumably, the gains were plowed back into the retirement, escrow, and credit-union funds.*

In 1968, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, then the chairman of the Senate joint subcommittee for overseeing the CIA's activities, privately informed Director Helms that because of increasing skepticism among certain Senators about the agency operations, it probably would be a good idea for the CIA to arrange to have its financial procedures reviewed by an independent authority. Thus, in Russell's view, potential Senate critics who might be considering making an issue of the agency's special fiscal privileges would be undercut in advance. Senator Russell suggested the names of a few private individuals who might be willing to undertake such a task on behalf of the CIA. After conferring with his senior officers, Helms chose to ask Wilfred McNeil, at that time the president of Grace Shipping Lines (DELETED) to serve as the confidential reviewer of the agency's budgetary practices. McNeil, a former admiral and once comptroller for the Defense Department, was thought by Helms to be ideally suited, politically and otherwise, for the assignment.

McNeil accepted the task and soon came to CIA headquarters for a full briefing on the agency's most sensitive financial procedures- including an account of the methods used for purchasing and laundering currency on the international black market. He was told of the CIA's new planning, programming, and budgeting system, modeled after the innovations Robert McNamara had introduced at the Defense Department. Agency experts explained to McNeil how funds for new operations were authorized within the agency. He learned that the agency maintained a sliding-scale system for the approval of new projects or the periodic renewal of ongoing ones; that espionage operations costing up to $10,000 could be okayed by operators in the field; and that progressively more expensive operations necessitated branch, division, and Clandestine Services chief approval until, finally, operations costing over $100,000 were authorized personally by the Director. McNeil also was briefed on the agency's internal auditing system to prevent field operatives from misusing secret funds.

McNeil's reaction to his long and detailed briefing was to express surprise at the scope of the CIA's financial system and to praise the accounting practices used. When asked where and when he would like to begin his work in depth, he politely demurred and departed-never to return. A month or so later a CIA officer working in the Director's office learned that McNeil had had certain misgivings about the project and had sought the advice of former agency Director William Raborn, who had his own doubts about the reliability of the CIA's top career officers. Raborn had apparently discouraged McNeil from becoming involved in such a review. But as far as the CIA was concerned, Senator Russell's request for an independent audit had been carried out, since the agency's fiscal practices had been looked over by a qualified outsider and found to be in no need of improvement. The whole matter was then dropped.


The CIA is neatly organized into five distinct parts, a relatively small office of the Director and four functional directorates, the largest of which is the Directorate of Operations (known inside the agency as the Clandestine Services). The executive suite houses the CIA's only two political appointees, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the Deputy Director (DDCI), and their immediate staffs. Included organizationally, but not physically, in the Office of the Director are two components that assist the DCI in his role as head of the U.S. intelligence community. One is a small group of senior analysts, drawn from the CIA and the other agencies of the community, which prepares the "blue books," or National Intelligence Estimates, on such subjects as Soviet strategic defense capabilities, Chinese long-range missile developments, and the political outlook for Chile. * The other is the Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee, a group created in 1971, which provides staff assistance to the Director in his efforts to manage and streamline the $6-billion intelligence community.

The Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee, long a dream of those officers who believe the U.S. intelligence community to be too big and inefficient, has thus far proven to be something of a nightmare. Instead of eliminating wasteful and redundant activities within U.S. intelligence, it has been turned into a vehicle for the military intelligence agencies to justify and expand their already overly ambitious collection programs. Likewise, the recent revamping of the Board of National Estimates, under present Director William Colby, has been characterized by some experienced hands as "a sellout" to Pentagon power, caused in part by the political pressures of Henry Kissinger's National Security Council staff. Under Colby, the board has been greatly reduced in both prestige and independence, and has been brought under the stifling influence of military men whose first allegiance is to their parent services rather than to the production of objective, balanced intelligence assessments for the policy-makers.


The other components of the Office of the Director include those traditionally found in governmental bureaucracies: press officers, congressional liaison, legal counsel, and so on. Only two merit special note: the Cable Secretariat and the Historical Staff. The former was established in 1950 at the insistence of the Director, General Walter Bedell Smith. When Smith, an experienced military staff officer, learned that agency communications, especially those between headquarters and the covert field stations and bases, were controlled by the Clandestine Services, he immediately demanded a change in the system. "The operators are not going to decide what secret information I will see or not see," he is reported to have said. Thus, the Cable Secretariat, or message center, was put under the Director's immediate authority. Since then, however, the operators have found other ways, when it is thought necessary, of keeping their most sensitive communications from going outside the Clandestine Services.

The Historical Staff represents one of the CIA's more clever attempts to maintain the secrecy on which the organization thrives. Several years ago the agency began to invite retiring officers to spend an additional year or two with the agency-on contract, at regular pay-writing their official memoirs. The product of their effort is, of course, highly classified and tightly restricted. In the agency's eyes, this is far better than having former officers openly publish what really happened during their careers with the CIA.

The largest of the agency's four directorates is the Directorate of Operations, or the Clandestine Services, which has about 6,000 professionals and clericals. The ratio between professionals, mostly operations officers, and clericals, largely secretaries, is roughly two to one. Approximately 45 percent of the Clandestine Services personnel is stationed overseas, the vast majority using official cover -Le., posing as representatives of the State or Defense Department. About two out of three of the people in the Clandestine Services are engaged in general intelligence activities-liaison, espionage, and counterespionage-the remainder concentrating on various forms of covert action. Yet despite the smaller number of personnel working on covert action, these interventions in the internal affairs of other countries cost about half again as much as spying and counterspying ($260 million v. $180 million annually). The greater expense for covert action is explained by the high costs of paying for paramilitary operations and subsidizing political parties, labor unions, and other international groups.

The Clandestine Services is broken down into fifteen separate components, but its actual operating patterns do not follow the neat lines of an organizational chart. Exceptions are the rule. Certain clandestine activities which would seem to an outsider to be logically the responsibility of one component are often carried out by another-because of political sensitivity, because of an assumed need for even greater secrecy than usual, because of bureaucratic compartmentalization, or simply because things have always been done that way.

The bulk of the Clandestine Services' personnel, about 4,800 people, work in the so-called area divisions, both at headquarters and overseas. These divisions correspond roughly to the State Department's geographic bureaus-a logical breakdown, since most CIA operators in foreign countries work under State cover. The largest area division is the Far East (with about 1,500 people), followed in order of descending size by Europe (Western Europe only), Western Hemisphere (Latin America plus Canada), Near East, Soviet Bloc (Eastern Europe), and Africa (with only 300 staff). The chain of command goes from the head of the Clandestine Services to the chiefs of the area divisions, then overseas to the chiefs of stations (COS) and their chiefs of bases (COB).

The CIA's stations and bases around the world serve as the principal headquarters of covert activity in the country in which each is located. The station is usually housed in the U.S. embassy in the capital city, while bases are in other major cities or sometimes on American or foreign military bases. For example, in West Germany, the CIA's largest site for operations, the station is located in Bonn; the chief of station is on the staff of the American ambassador. There are subordinate bases in ( DELETED) and a few other cities, along with several bases under American military cover scattered throughout the German countryside.

The Domestic Operations Division of Clandestine Services is, in essence, an area division, but it conducts its mysterious clandestine activities in the United States, not overseas. Its chief-like the other area-division chiefs, the civilian equivalent of a two- or three-star general-works out of an office in downtown Washington, within two blocks of the White House. Under the Washington station are bases located in other major American cities.

Also in the Clandestine Services are three staffs, Foreign Intelligence (espionage), Counterintelligence (counterespionage), and Covert Action, which oversee operational policy in their respective specialties and provide assistance to the area divisions and the field elements. For instance, in an operation to plant a slanted news story in a Chilean newspaper, propaganda experts on the Covert Action Staff might devise an article in cooperation with the Chilean desk of the Western Hemisphere Division. A CIA proprietary, like (DELETED) might be used to write and transmit the story to Chile so it would not be directly attributable to the agency, and then a clandestine operator working out of the American embassy in Santiago might work through one of his penetration agents in the local press to ensure that the article is reprinted. While most CIA operations abroad are carried out through the area divisions, the operational staffs, particularly the Covert Action Staff, also conduct independent activities.

The Special Operations Division is something of a hybrid between the area divisions and the operational staffs. Its main function is to provide the assets for paramilitary operations, largely the contracted manpower (mercenaries or military men on loan), the materiel, and the expertise to get the job done. Its operations, however, are organizationally under t-he station chief in the country where they are located.

The remaining three components of the Clandestine Services provide technical assistance to the operational components. These three are: the Missions and Programs Staff, which does much of the bureaucratic planning and budgeting for the Clandestine Services and which writes up the justification for covert operations submitted for approval to the 40 Committee; the Operational Services Division, which among other things sets up cover arrangements for clandestine officers; and the Technical Services Division, which produces in its own laboratories the gimmicks of the spy trade-the disguises, miniature cameras, tape recorders, secret writing kits, and the like.

The Directorate of Management and Services (formerly the Directorate of Support) is the CIA's administrative and housekeeping part. However, most of its budget and personnel is devoted to assisting the Clandestine Services in carrying out covert operations. (This directorate is sometimes referred to within the agency as the Clandestine Services' "slave" directorate.) Various forms of support are also provided to the Directorate of Intelligence and the Directorate of Science and Technology, but the needs of these two components for anything beyond routine administrative tasks are generally minimal. Covert operations, however, require a large support effort, and the M&S Directorate, in addition to providing normal administrative assistance, contributes in such areas as communications, logistics, and training.

The M&S Directorate's Office of Finance, for example, maintains field units in Hong Kong, Beirut, Buenos Aires, and Geneva with easy access to the international money markets. The Office of Finance tries to keep a ready inventory of the world's currencies on hand for future clandestine operations. Many of the purchases are made in illegal black markets where certain currencies are available at bargain rates. In some instances, most notably in the case of the South Vietnamese piaster, black-market purchases of a single currency amount to millions of dollars a year.

The Office of Security provides physical protection for clandestine installations at home and abroad and conducts polygraph (lie detector) tests for all CIA employees and contract personnel and most foreign agents. The Office of Medical Services heals the sicknesses and illnesses (both mental and physical) of CIA personnel by providing "cleared" psychiatrists and physicians to treat agency officers; analyzes prospective and already recruited agents; and prepares "psychological profiles" of foreign leaders (and once, in 1971, at the request of the Watergate "plumbers," did a "profile" of Daniel Ellsberg). The Office of Logistics operates the agency's weapons and other warehouses in the United States and overseas, supplies normal office equipment and household furniture, as well as the more esoteric clandestine materiel to foreign stations and bases, and performs other housekeeping chores. The Office of Communications, employing over 40 percent of the Directorate of Management and Services's more than 5,000 career employees, maintains facilities for secret communications between CIA headquarters and the hundreds of stations and bases overseas. It also provides the same services, on a reimbursable basis, for the State Department and most of its embassies and consulates. The Office of Training operates the agency's training facilities at many locations around the United States, and a few overseas. (The Office of Communications, however, runs (DELETED) The Office of Personnel handles the recruitment and record-keeping for the CIA's career personnel.

Support functions are often vital for successful conduct of covert operations, and a good support officer, like a good supply sergeant in an army, is indispensable to a CIA station or base. Once a station chief has found the right support officer, one who can provide everything from housekeeping to operational support, the two will often form a professional alliance and stay together as they move from post to post during their careers. In some instances the senior support officer may even serve as the de facto second-in- command because of his close relationship with the chief.

Together, the Clandestine Services and the Directorate for Management and Services constitute an agency within an agency. These two components, like the largest and most dangerous part of an iceberg, float along virtually unseen. Their missions, methods, and personnel are quite different from those of the CIA's other two directorates, which account for only less than a third of the agency's budget and manpower. Yet the CIA-and particularly former Director Richard Helms-has tried to convince the American public that the analysts and technicians of the Directorates for Intelligence and Science and Technology, the clean white tip of the CIA iceberg, are the agency's key personnel.

The Directorate of Intelligence, with some 3,500 employees, engages in two basic activities: first, the production of finished intelligence reports from the analysis of information (both classified and unclassified); and second, the performance of certain services of common concern for the benefit of the whole intelligence community. Included in the latter category are the agency's various reference services (e.g., a huge computerized biographical library of foreign personalities, another on foreign factories, and so on); the Foreign Broadcasting Information Service (a worldwide radio and television monitoring system); and the National Photographic Interpretation Center (an organization, run in close cooperation with the Pentagon, which analyzes photographs taken from satellites and spy planes). About two thirds of the Intelligence Directorate's $70 million annual budget is devoted to carrying out these services of common concern for the government's entire national-security bureaucracy. Thus, the State and Defense departments are spared the expense of maintaining duplicate facilities, receiving from the CIA finished intelligence in areas of interest to them. For example, when there is a shift in the Soviet leadership, or a new Chinese diplomat is posted to Washington, the Intelligence Directorate routinely sends biographical information (usually classified "secret") on the personalities involved to the other government agencies. Similarly, the various State Department bureaus (along with selected American academicians and newspapers) regularly receive the agency's unclassified transcripts of foreign radio and television broadcasts.

Most of the rest of the Intelligence Directorate's assets are focused on political, economic, and strategic military research. The agency's specialists produce both current intelligence--reports and explanations on a daily basis of the world's breaking events -- and long-range analysis of trends, potential crisis areas, and other matters of interest to the government's policy-makers. Turning out current intelligence reports is akin to publishing a newspaper, and, in fact, the Intelligence Directorate puts out daily and weekly publications which, except for their high security classifications, are similar to work done by the American press. These regular intelligence reports, along with special ones on topics like corruption in South Vietnam or the prospects for the Soviet wheat crop, are sent to hundreds of "consumers" in the federal government. The primary consumer, however, is the President, and he receives every morning a special publication called the President's Daily Brief. In the Johnson administration these reports frequently contained, in addition to the normal intelligence fare, rather scandalous descriptions of the private lives of certain world leaders, always avidly read by the President. * The agency found, however, that in the Nixon administration such items were not appreciated, and the tone of the daily report was changed. Even so, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger soon lost interest in reading the publication; the task was relegated to lower-ranking officials on the National Security Council staff.

The fourth and newest of the CIA's directorates. Science and Technology, also employs the smallest number of personnel, about 1,300 people. It carries out functions such as basic research and development, the operation of spy satellites, and intelligence analysis in highly technical fields. In addition to these activities, it also handles the bulk of the agency's electronic data-processing (computer) work. While the S&T Directorate keeps abreast of and does research work in a wide variety of scientific fields, its most important successes have come in developing technical espionage systems. The precursor of this directorate was instrumental in the development of the U-2 and SR·71 spy planes. The S&T experts have also made several brilliant breakthroughs in the intelligence- satellite field. In the late 1950s, when Clandestine Services chief Richard Bissell encouraged the technicians in their development of America's first photo-reconnaissance satellite, they produced a model which was still in use as late as 1971. And agency technicians have continued to make remarkable advances in the "state of the art." Today spy satellites, capable of producing photographs from space with less than (DELETED) resolution, lead all other collection means as a source of intelligence. The S&T Directorate has also been a leader in developing other technical espionage techniques, such as over-the-horizon radars, "stationary" satellites, and various other electronic information- gathering devices.

The normal procedure has been for the S&T Directorate, using both CIA and Pentagon funds, to work on a collection system through the research-and-development stage. Then, once the system is perfected, it is turned over to the Defense Department. In the case of a few particularly esoteric systems, the CIA has kept operational control, but the agency's S&T budget of about $120 million per year is simply not large enough to support many independent technical collection systems.

CIA technicians, for example, worked with Lockheed Aircraft at a secret site in Nevada to develop the A-II, probably the most potent airborne collection system ever to fly. In February 1964, before the plane became operational, President Johnson revealed its existence to the news media, describing it as a long-range Air Force interceptor. Five months later, at another news conference, the President disclosed that there was a second version of the aircraft, which he described as "an advanced strategic reconnaissance plane for military use, capable of worldwide reconnaissance." Three years after that, when the A-ll, now the SR-71, was flying regularly, the program was turned over to the Air Force. (DELETED)


Any reasonable reviewer of the CIA, after surveying the deployment of agency funds and personnel and weighing these against the intelligence gains produced by the various directorates, would probably come to the same conclusion as did Richard Helms' temporary replacement as Director, James Schlesinger. On April 5, 1973, Schlesinger admitted to the Senate Armed Forces Committee that "We have a problem ... we just have too many people. It turns out to be too many people in the operational areas. These are the people who in the past served overseas .... Increasing emphasis is being placed on science and technology, and on intelligence judgments."

Schlesinger's words-and the fact that he was not a "house man" from the Clandestine Services-were auguries of hope to those many critics of the CIA who believe that it is overly preoccupied with the covert side of intelligence. But Schlesinger lasted only four months at the agency before he was named Secretary of Defense, and the changes he effected were generally confined to a 6-percent staff cut and an early-retirement program for certain superannuated employees. Schlesinger has been succeeded by William Colby-a man who had a highly successful career as a clandestine operator specializing in "dirty tricks," and who can only be expected to maintain the Dulles-Helms policy of concentration on covert action.

At present the agency uses about two thirds of its funds and its manpower for covert operations and their support-proportions that have been held relatively constant for more than ten years. Thus, out of the agency's career workforce of roughly 16,500 people and yearly budget of about $750 million, 11,000 personnel and roughly $550 million are earmarked for the Clandestine Services and those activities of the Directorate of Management and Services (formerly the Directorate of Support), such as communications, logistics, and training, which contribute to covert activities. Only about 20 percent of the CIA's career employees (spending less than 10 percent of the budget) work on intelligence analysis and information processing. There is little reason, at present, to expect that things will change.

The Intelligence Community

Taken as a whole, U.S. intelligence is no longer made up of a small glamorous fraternity of adventurous bluebloods-men motivated by a sense of noblesse oblige who carry out daring undercover missions. That is the romantic myth without which there would be few spy novels, but it is not the substance of the modern intelligence profession. Today the vast majority of those in the spy business are faceless, desk-bound bureaucrats, far removed from the world of the secret agent. To be sure, the CIA still strives to keep alive such techniques as classical espionage and covert action, but its efforts have been dwarfed by the huge technical collection programs of other government intelligence organizations--chiefly military agencies.

In all, there are ten different components of the federal government which concern themselves with the collection and/or analysis of foreign intelligence. These ten agencies, complete with their hundreds of subordinate commands, offices, and staffs, are commonly referred to as the "intelligence community." Operating silently in the shadows of the federal government, carefully obscured from public view and virtually immune to congressional oversight, the intelligence community every year spends over $6 billion and has a full-time workforce of more than 150,000 people. The bulk of this money and manpower is devoted to the collection of information through technical means and the processing and analysis of that information. The intelligence community amasses data on all the world's countries, but the primary targets are the communist nations, especially the Soviet Union and China, and the most sought-after information concerns their military capabilities and intentions.

Size and Cost of U.S. Intelligence Community (Approximate)


Central Intelligence Agency/ 16,500 / $750,000,000
National Security Agency* / 24,000 / $1,200,000,000
Defense Intelligence Agency * / 5,000 / $200,000,000
Army Intelligence* / 35,000 / $700,000,000
Naval Intelligence* / 15,000 / $600,000,000
Air Force Intelligence* (Including the National Reconnaissance Office / 56,000 / $2,700,000,000
State Department (Bureau of Intelligence and Research) / 350 / $8,000,000
Federal Bureau of Investigation (Internal Security Division) / 800 / $40,000,000
Atomic Energy Commission (Division of Intelligence) / 300 / $20,000,000
Treasury Department / 300 / $10,000,000

TOTAL / 153,250 / $6,228,000,000

* Department of Defense agency

As can be seen, the intelligence community's best-known member, the CIA, accounts for less than 15 percent of its total funds and personnel. Despite the agency's comparatively small size, however, the head of the CIA is not only the number-one man in his own agency but, as a result of the National Security Act of 1947, is also the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI)-the titular chief of the entire intelligence community. However, the community which the DCI supposedly oversees is made up of fiercely independent bureaucratic entities with little desire for outside supervision. All the members except the CIA are parts of much larger governmental departments, and they look to their parent agencies for guidance, not to the DCI. While all participants share the same profession and general aim of protecting the national security, the intelligence community has developed into an interlocking, overlapping maze of organizations, each with its own goals. In the words of Admiral Rufus Taylor, former head of Naval Intelligence and former Deputy Director of the CIA, it most closely resembles a "tribal federation."
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