Documents Offer Unflattering View of CIA
Wed Jul 4, 2007 21:18

Documents Offer Unflattering View of CIA
Friday June 22, 2007 5:31 AM
By JENNIFER C. KERR Associated Press Writer,,-6727713,00.html

WASHINGTON (AP) - Little-known documents now being
made public detail illegal and scandalous activities
by the CIA more than 30 years ago: wiretappings of
journalists, kidnappings, warrantless searches and

The documents provide a glimpse of nearly 700 pages of
materials that the agency plans to declassify next
week. A six-page summary memo that was declassified in
2000 and released by The National Security Archive at
George Washington University on Thursday outlines 18
activities by the CIA that ``presented legal
questions'' and were discussed with President Ford in

Among them:

-The ``two-year physical confinement'' in the
mid-1960s of a Soviet defector.

-Assassination plots of foreign leaders, including
Fidel Castro.

-CIA wiretapping in 1963 of two columnists, Robert
Allen and Paul Scott, following a newspaper column in
which national security information was disclosed. The
wiretapping revealed calls from 12 senators and six
representatives but did not indicate the source of the

-The ``personal surveillances'' in 1972 of muckraking
columnist Jack Anderson and staff members, including
Les Whitten and Brit Hume. The surveillance involved
watching the targets but no wiretapping. The memo said
it followed a series of ``tilt toward Pakistan''
stories by Anderson.

-The personal surveillance of Washington Post reporter
Mike Getler over three months beginning in late 1971.
No specific stories are mentioned in the memo.

-CIA screening programs, beginning in the early 1950s
and lasting until 1973, in which mail coming into the
United States was reviewed and ``in some cases
opened'' from the Soviet Union and China.

Much of the decades-old activities have been known for
years. But Tom Blanton, head of the National Security
Archive, said the 1975 summary memo prepared by
Justice Department lawyers had never been publicly
released. It sheds light on meetings in the top
echelon of government that were little known by the
public, he said.

CIA Director Michael Hayden on Thursday called the
documents being released next week unflattering, but
he added that ``it is CIA's history.''

``The documents provide a glimpse of a very different
time and a very different agency,'' Hayden told a
conference of historians.

Blanton pointed to more recent concerns, such as
post-Sept. 11 programs that included government
wiretapping without warrants. ``The resonance with
today's controversies is just uncanny,'' he said.

The long-secret documents being released next week
were compiled at the direction of then-CIA Director
James Schlesinger in 1973. In the wake of the
Watergate scandal, he directed senior CIA officials to
report immediately on any current or past agency
matters that might fall outside the authority of the

A separate memo, also dated 1975 and made public by
the National Security Archive, discusses the briefing
given to Ford detailing abuses by the spy agency.
Then-CIA director William Colby tells the president
that the CIA ``has done some things it shouldn't

Among the activities discussed was the mail program in
New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Of the
airmail received from the Soviet Union, he said, ``we
have four (letters) to Jane Fonda.''


On the Net:

The documents can be found at:


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