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THE CIA: More on Russell Bartley and the CIA

We praised the scholarship of Russell Bartley in his article on the role of the CIA as the "piper" whose funds led notable intellectuals down the propaganda path. It is necessary to make a distinction between the research division of the CIA and the much smaller covert action ("dirty tricks") division. The CIA subsidies not provided by the latter simply helped bona fide research by well-known intellectuals. If these did not distort their ideas to suit the CIA, such subsidies were as valid as any scholarly subsidy. If it can be shown that they danced to the piperīs tune, that is a different matter, but there is no evidence that they did. It is still true that subsidies went to those supporting western ideals including free speech and a free press, but that is not generally viewed as offensive. Critics did great harm to their reputation simply by mentioning the CIA, and that is unfair, since it implied that they had sold out. I do not know how closely the two divisions of the CIA worked together.

My problem with the CIA, which led to my resignation as founder-director of Stanfordīs Latin American program, was with the dirty tricks department, which organized the ill-conceived Bay of Pigs Operation. Former CIA director Robert J. Woolsey gave a long interview about the agency in which he said that during the Kennedy presidency and with his full knowledge, that department carried out all kinds of schemes to kill Fidel Castro. Such plans were later abandoned, so that the CIA of today should not be confused with the CIA under Kennedy.

Robert Woolsey has had a distinguished career. A Stanford graduate and later member of the Board of Trustees, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and received his law degree from Yale. He has held a variety of government and diplomatic jobs. He should develop his testimony into a book.. His testimony would be of great value.

Ronald Hilton - 7/19/01