Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 25, 2009


Melvin A. Goodman, Public Record - In 1973, CIA director Richard Helms deceived the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, refusing to acknowledge the role of the CIA in overthrowing the elected government in Chile. Helms falsely testified that the CIA had not passed money to the opposition movement in Chile, and a grand jury was called to see if Helms should be indicted for perjury.

In 1977, the Justice Department brought a lesser charge against Helms, who pleaded nolo contendere; he was fined $2,000 and given a suspended two-year prison sentence. Helms went from the courthouse to the CIA where he was given a hero's welcome and a gift of $2,000 to cover the fine. It was one of the saddest experiences in my 24 years at CIA.

In the new Ford administration, Secretary of State Kissinger, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and White House chief of staff Cheney orchestrated phony intelligence for the Congress in order to get an endorsement for covert arms shipments to anti-government forces in Angola.

The CIA lied to Senator Dick Clark, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who was a critic of the Agency's illegal collaborations with the government of South Africa against Angola and Mozambique. Agency briefers exaggerated the classification of their materials so that Senate and House members could not publicize this information. Agency shields of secrecy and falsehood were extremely effective.

In the 1980s, CIA director William Casey and his deputy, Bob Gates, consistently lied to the congressional oversight committees about their knowledge of Iran-contra. Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) believed that Casey and Gates were running a disinformation campaign against the Senate intelligence committee. Casey even managed to alienate Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), a pro-intelligence, conservative senator who typically walked through barbed wire for the CIA. . .

Throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s, Aldrich Ames performed as the most destructive traitor in the history of the CIA, but CIA directors Gates, William Webster, and Jim Woolsey failed to inform the congressional oversight committees of the serious counter-intelligence problems that had been created.

In the late 1980s, the CIA concealed from the Congress that Saddam Hussein was diverting U.S. farm credits through an Atlanta bank to pay for nuclear technology and sophisticated weapons. The chairman of the Senate and House intelligence committees, Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) and Representative Dan Glickman (D-KS) respectively, were furious with the deception tactics of CIA briefers.

The greatest CIA disinformation campaign in the congress took place in 2002-2003, when CIA director George Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin, consistently lied about Iraqi training for al Qaeda members on chemical and biological weapons as well as the existence of mobile labs to manufacture such weapons. . .

More recently, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), the ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee, documented the dissembling of the CIA to cover-up the Agency's involvement in a drug interdiction program in Peru that led to the loss of innocent lives. Hoekstra accused CIA director Tenet with misleading the Congress. . .


Anonymous m said...

When was the last time that anyone but a baseball player was pursued for lying to Congress?

May 27, 2009 8:52 AM  

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