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CIA in New York Times
CIA Secrets Revealed in New York Times Article

C.I.A.: Maker of Policy, or Tool?
April 25, 1966, New York Times

[In 1960, an embarrassing CIA] incident led the U.S. Government to tell a lie in public and then to admit the lle even more publicly. The lle was no sooner disclosed than a world predisposed to suspicion of the CIA and unaware of what really had happened ... 5 years earller began to repeat questions that have dogged the Agency and the U.S. Government for years.

Was this secret body, which was known to have overthrown governments and installed others, raised armies, staged an invasion of Cuba, spied and counterspied, established airlines, radio stations and schools and supported books, magazines and businesses, running out of the control of its supposed political master? Was it in fact damaging, while it sought to advance, the national interest?

Could it spend huge sums for ransoms, bribes and subversion without check or regard for the consequences? Did it lie to or influence the political leaders of the United States to such an extent that it really was an "invisible government" more powerful than even the President? These are questions constantly asked around the world.

"The Invisible Government" was the phrase applied to American intelllgence agencies, and particularly the CIA, in a book of that title by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross. It was a bestseller in the United States and among many government officials abroad.

Former President Truman, whose administration established the CIA in 1947, said In 1963 that by then he saw "something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic positions, and I feel that we need to correct it.' And President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his administration that he wanted "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.'

In the 19 years that the CIA has been in existence, 150 resolutions for tighter congressional control have been introduced - and put aside. The statistic in itself is evidence of widespread uneasiness about the CIA and of how little is known about the Agency. For the truth is that despite the CIA's international reputation, few persons in or out of the American Government know much about its work, its organization, its supervision or its relationship to the other arms of the executive branch. A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for instance, had no idea how big the CIA budget was. A Senator experienced in foreign affairs proved in an interview to know very little about, but to fear very much, its operations.

In 1960, CIA agents in Laos, disguised as "military advisers," stuffed ballot boxes and engineered local uprisings to help a hand-picked strongman, Gen. Phoumi Nosavan, set up a "pro-American" government that was desired by President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. This operation succeeded--so much so that it stimulated Soviet intervention on the side of leftists Laotians, who counterattacked the Phoumi government. When the Kennedy administration set out to reverse the policy of the Eisenhower administration, it found the CIA deeply committed to Phouml Nosovan and needed 2 years of negotiations and threats to restore the neutralist regime of Prince Souvanna Phouma.

It was the CIA that built up Ngo Dinh Diem as the pro-American head of South Vietnam after the French, through Emperor Baa Dai, had found him in a monastery cell in Belgium and brought him back to Saigon as Premier. And it was the CIA that helped persuade the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations to ride out the Vietnamese storm with Diem--probably too long. These recorded incidents not only have prompted much soul searching about the influence of an instrument such as the CIA on American policies but also have given the CIA a reputation for deeds and misdeeds far beyond its real intentions and capacities.

When an embassy subordinate in Lagos, Nigeria, known to be the CIA station chief had a fancier house than the U.S. ambassador, Nigerians made the obvious deduction about who was in charge.

But as in the case of its overseas reputation, its actual activities in the United States--for instance, its aid in financing a center for international studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology--have made the fear of infiltration real to many scholars and businesses. The revelation that CIA agents served among Michigan State University scholars in South Vietnam from 1955 to 1959 has contributed to the fear. The nature of the agents' work and the cIrcumstances of their employment are in dispute, but their very involvement, even relatively long ago, has aroused concern that hundreds of scholarly and charitable American efforts abroad will be tainted and hampered by the suspicions of other governments.

How far should the political leaders of the United States go in approving the clandestine violation of treaties and borders, financing of coups, influencing of parties and governments, without tarnishing and retarding those ideas of freedom and self-government they proclaim to the world? And how much of the secrecy and autonomy necessary to carry out such acts can or should be tolerated by a free society? There are no certain or easy answers.

Note: Note that the above is a collection of excerpts from the much longer original article. To see a full copy of this revealing article, click here. For more on the secret and illegal activities of major intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.

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