|The liaison officer was Chief of the CIA's Special Operations Group which ran Operation CHAOS, discussed in Chapter 11 of this Report.|
|As defined in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, 18 U.S. C. Secs. 2510-20.|
Richard J. Barnet. Dirty tricks and the intelligence underworld.
After Watergate it is not difficult to make a strong case against secret intelligence operations. The costs and risks of maintaining an intelligence underworld sealed from public scrutiny and free from legislative accountability have become obvious. The "misuse" of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), one of the counts in the Article of impeachment adopted by the Judiciary Committee, can occur whenever an insecure President feels tempted to use this classic instrument of dictatorial rule against some domestic "enemy." Although the CI A in the Watergate Affair demonstrated some resistance to improper involvement, there are no institutional safeguards to prevent wigs and burglary tools from being supplied to "the wrong people" again.
Former Attorney General Nicholas Katsenbach and others have persuasively argued that maintaining extensive clandestine operations endangers American democracy and should be ended. The danger is no less when the CIA and other intelligence agencies act "properly," i.e., when they perform the missions they are supposed to perform. CIA clandestine services represent a special sort of secret army. The very existence of such an army undermines American democracy because the people's elected representatives are supposed to decide when and where to go to war. The maintenance of a large bureaucracy whose purpose is deception breeds suspicion and cynicism about government in general.
Systematic lying to the public, an institutionalized habit in such bureaucracies, has eroded confidence In government to an unprecedented extent. Ironically, the widespread use of the political lie in the name of national security has helped undermine a crucial foundation stone of national security--public confidence. In the last days of the Nixon Administration, only about 25 percent of the American people had confidence in either the President or Congress.
The stock in trade of the intelligence underworld is deceit. Its purpose is to create contrived realities, to make things appear different from what they are, for the purpose of manipulation and subversion. More than 200 agents, according to a recent New York Times article, pose as businessmen abroad. The CIA has admitted that more than thirty journalists have been on its payroll since World War II. "Proprietary" corporations-- Air America and other Agency fronts, fake foundations, student organizations and