Thursday, January 21, 2010

CIA Domestic Activities Timeline - February 1973

7 February 1973

Maury noted that Mr. Helms is appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning on police training, ITT, and the Watergate incident. He also noted that he has solicited the support of Senators Humphrey, McGee, and Scott to make appropriate public statements following Mr. Helms' appearance.

Mary advised that in response to Chairman Holifield's investigation of Agency training of policemen, he will meet with Herbert Roback, Counsel of the House Government Operations Committee, to explain our briefing of various police departments.

8 February 1973
The Director noted his scheduled meeting tomorrow with Defense Secretary Richardson and asked Executive Committee members to give him a note on any item they wish him to raise with the Secretary. Candidates are . . . Secretary Richardson's earlier concerns with respect to HEW providing the Agency with travel plans of officers going to Communist Bloc countries. On the latter item the DDI explained that since Secretary Richardson's inquiry to Mr. Helms (see minutes of 23 Jan 73), a survey had been undertaken and reviewed with HEW, which had no problems with these old arrangements but is shifting the point of pickup to its public affairs staff where such information is available to anyone.

Maury noted the statement by Senator Fulbright following Mr. Helms' appearance yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in which the Senator expressed his opposition to the whole concept of the Agency getting involved with the police even in an innocuous way. Maury added that he will see Chairman Holifield's staff assistance Herbert Roback today. Maury said that a statement had been transmitted to the White House yesterday for John Ehrlichman's possible use (attached). The Director asked that a contingency document be prepared along the lines that we will continue to comply with the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 which approves of our assistance to various police forces when authorized by the Justice Department. In response to the DDI's suggestions, the DDS will review what assistance to police forces had been given prior to 1968 and advise.

Maury concurred in the Director's judgment that it is impossible to keep all congressional elements happy and that we face a period of increased criticism from this quarter which must be met with firm assurances that what we are being criticized for is fully authorized and justified. Unless the facts justify such a statement, we would be well advised to terminate the activity in question.

Maury recalled that we are obligated to sit down with Chairman Nedzi and review what we do and don't do in the U.S. (see Morning Minutes of 18 and 19 January). The Director concurred. The DDI suggested that we undertake an in-house review of what it is we are doing within the U.S. and identify and eliminate the marginal.

9 February 1973
Maury said he spent an hour yesterday with Congressman Holifield and they decided to have their respective staffs work on a letter for Holifield to send to the Director suggesting restrictive, but not prohibitive, guidelines regarding such activities in the future. Maury noted Chairman Nedzi's current concerns about this topic and said the proposed letter may satisfy his worries.

14 February 1973
Thuermer noted advice from Nicholas Horrock of Newsweek that a "soft story" is floating around Newsweek on the general topic of political espionage and ex-CIA agents. Mr. Horrock asked what constraints we have on former employees. A lengthy discussion followed, noting in particular that the only legal constraint imposed is the terminal secrecy agreement as reinforced by the courts in the Marchetti case. Other than this, there are no constraints except moral ones. Thuermer will advise Horrock that thousands of employees have gone through CIA, and it is a matter of considerable pride that only a handful have deported themselves improperly.

15 February 1973
. . . . . Maury added that he went over (with Nedzi) Seymour Hersh's charges with respect to the Agency and our position on each. DDI recalled our obligation to brief Chairman Nedzi on Agency activities in the US.

20 February 1973
Maury related that Herb Roback of Senator Holifield's staff is being asked by David Burnham of the New York Times for the names of those city police departments we have briefed in the past. The DDS called attention to our obligation to clear with these police departments any mention of their having been briefed. In response to the Director's suggestion that the Agency issue a press release on this topic, a lengthy discussion followed and the Director asked the DDS to report to him on what our understanding with various police departments has been prior to our agreement to brief same. He also asked that editorial comment on any past Agency briefing of the press or press releases be assembled and explained that in principle we should from time to time make it known that we are part of the U.S. Government.

23 February 1973
Maury noted that Herb Roback of Senator Holifield's staff and Chairman Nedzi have concurred in a letter for the Director's signature which will indicate that we will undertake training of U.S. police "only for the most compelling reasons." A brief discussion followed and the Director observed that it is important for us to decide what we do and then advise the Hill accordingly.

27 February 1973
The Director noted a call from Senator Jackson, who asked him to meet with Senator McClellan sometime next week with regard to Congressman Holifield's inquiry concerning Agency training of U.S. police departments.

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