Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 8

Title:                      Secrecy And Security Versus Freedom Of Information And The Right To Privacy

Author:                  Paul W. Blackstock

Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 8: “Secrecy And Security Versus Freedom Of Information And The Right To Privacy,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

LCCN:    74011567

Z6724.I7 B55


Date Updated:  April 27, 2016


The publication of the Pentagon Papers and the Anderson Papers plus leaks of government secret documents has created considerable controversy regarding national security and national interests in light of the importance of freedom of information and the right to privacy. A list of titles selected from the growing literature on this subject is contained in this chapter.


Barker, Carol M. (1972) and Matthew H. Fox. Classified Files: The Yellowing Pages—A Report on Scholar’s Access to Government Documents. New York: Twentieth Century Fund

Chevigny, Paul (1972). Cops And Rebels: A Study of Provocation. New York: Pantheon Books

Dorsen, Noman (1974) and Stephen Gillers, eds. None of Your Business; Government Secrecy in America. New York: Viking Press

Halperin, Morton H. (1976), et al. The Lawless State. The Crimes Of The U.S. Intelligence Agencies. New York: Penguin Books

Ladd, Bruce (1968). Crisis in Credibility. New York: New American Library

Marchetti, Victor (1990) and John D. Marks. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Knopf

Rockefeller, Nelson A. (1975). Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.)r

Szulc, Tad (1974). Compulsive Spy: The Strange Career of E. Howard Hunt. New York: Viking Press

Turner, William W. (1970). Hoover’s FBI: The Men And The Myth. Los Angeles, Sherbourne Press

West, Rebecca (1964). The New Meaning of Treason. New York: Viking

Westin, Alan F. (1967). Privacy and Freedom. New York: Atheneum

Westin, Alan F. (1971), ed. Information Technology in A Democracy. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press

Wise, David (1976). The American Police State: The Government Against the People. New York: Random House

Wise, David (1973). The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy, and Power. New York: Random House


Barnds, William J. (1969). The Right to Know, to Withhold And to Lie. The Council on Religion and International Affairs (CRIA), Special Study no. 207. New York: CRIA

An essay with dissenting commentaries. Barnds, a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, was formerly with the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Crewdson, John M. “Ford Asks Intelligence Disclosure Curb.” New York Times, (19 February 1976, pp. 1, 30).

The reporter describes the provisions of a message to the Congress from President Ford in which the president seeks legislation imposing criminal and civil sanctions on government employees who are authorized access to intelligence secrets and who willfully reveal this information. The request to Congress stemmed from the publication of books by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks (The CIA And The Cult Of Intelligence[1]—,see section A of this chapter [8]) and by Philip Agee Inside the Company: A CIA Diary[2]—see chapter 18). Excluded from the provisions of the requested legislation would be members of Congress or staffs of congressional committees. The message, however, does ask for legislation on opening of the mails for intelligence purposes and undertaking of electronic surveillance. Page 30 of the same issue of the New York Times contains the text of the presidential message.

Florence, William G. “A Madness for Secrecy.” Washington Post, (12 December 1971, pp. C1, C4).

The author, ex-security expert for air force headquarters and security consultant to defense attorneys in the Daniel Ellsberg case, describes the abuse of secrecy rules. Examples are cited, some humorous.

Halloran, Richard. “Army Spied on 18,000 Civilians in 2-Year Operation.” New York Times, (18 January 1971, pp. 1, 22).

An article describing the genesis of the Army’s role in collecting names of over 18,000 persons in computer banks, dossiers, and files from the summer of 1967 through the autumn of 1969. The army was given the function of providing intelligence and counterintelligence to support a civil disturbance plan following the riots in Newark and Detroit in 1967 and the anti-Vietnam march on the Pentagon in October 1967.

Hersh, Seymour M. “Huge CIA Operation Reported in U.S. against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years.” New York Times, (22 December 1974, pp. 1, 26).

In this extensive article Hersh reveals that an investigation by the New York Times has established that the CIA conducted domestic intelligence and surveillance operations against antiwar activists with in the United States during the Nixon administration. These alleged operations, according to the article, are considered to be in violation of the 1947 charter of the CIA. Hersh reports his sources as believing that the domestic surveillance started in the 1950s and 1960s as part of legitimate counterintelligence operations to determine penetration and support of antiwar groups by foreign intelligence organizations. Hersh’s sources believe that in the 1960s and early 1970s these operations grew into illegal efforts, such as recruiting informants in the United States to infiltrate some of the more militant dissident groups. Hersh wrote follow-up articles in the 29 December 1974 and 5 January 1975 editions of the New York Times. His articles triggered the establishment by President Ford of a special investigative panel to look into possible CIA charter violations (see also Report To The President By the Commission On CIA activities Within The United States, section A, this chapter [8])[3].

Horrock, Nicholas M. “President Limits U.S. Surveillance of Citizen’s Lives.” New York Times, (19 February 1976, pp. 1, 30).

Times correspondent Horrock describes the provisions of an executive order of 18 February 1976 prepared by President Ford, sharply restricting the activities of intelligence agencies in intruding upon the lives of American citizens. The thirty-six-page order limits surveillance and bars such practices as burglaries, drug tests on unsuspecting humans, and the illegal use of tax return information. The limitations were imposed on activities of the intelligence community discovered and made public by the Rockefeller Commission investigation and the Senate Select Committee (Church Committee) and House Select Committee (Pike Committee) investigations of 1975 and 1976. Page 30 of the same issue of the New York Times contains excerpts from the executive order.

Marks, John D. “On Being Censored.” Foreign Policy, (15 Summer 1974, pp. 93-107).

An article by the coauthor (with Victor Marchetti) of The Cia And The Cult of Intelligence[4] (see section A, this chapter [8]) in which he recounts the efforts of the agency first to suppress the book and second to delete 339 passages, a number later reduced to 168. Marks argues the case that censorship, if successful, would establish “a legal precedent . . . that the government has the right to rule on the acceptability of writing done by virtually all former officials. The public, as a result, may well be deprived of one of its principal sources of information about American foreign policy,”

Pyle, Christopher H. “CONUS Intelligence: The Army Watches Civilian Politics.” Washington Monthly, (January 1970, p. 5).

A former captain in army intelligence, Pyle alleges the army investigated and maintained files on the activities of civilians unaffiliated with the armed forces in the Continental United States (CONUS). These charges received widespread publicity resulting in demands by more than thirty members of Congress to the Army to know if the charges were true. Pyle became a consultant to the Constitutional Rights Subcommittee (Ervin Subconm ittee) of the Senate Judiciary Committee which investigated the activities of the counterintelligence and security organizations of the Army.

Pyle, Christopher H. “CONUS Revisited: The Army Covers Up.” Washington Monthly, (July 1970, pp. 49-58).

The author charges the army with continuing to watch civilian politics despite congressional inquiries and a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. Senator Fulbright had the original article printed in the 12 March 1970 issue of the Congressional Record (Senate), pages 53644-50, along with copies of his inquiry to the Army and the Army’s response. Pyle has written his doctoral thesis on political surveillance.

Shearer, Lloyd, “What Price Secrecy?” Parade, (22 August 1971, pp. 4-7).

An expose of the use and abuse of the government secrecy classification system. According to one estimate disclosed in the article, there are twenty million classified papers currently held in government, 99 .5 percent of which should not be classified at all.

Stern, Laurence. “Hoover War on New Left Bared.” Washington Post, (7 December 1973, p. A2).

NCB newscaster Carl Stern successfully sued for release of a 1968 FBI memorandum which directed offices to “expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize” the New Left movement. This article describes the memorandum as well as a memorandum by Hoover of April 1971 discontinuing these counterintelligence programs (called COlNTELPRO in the memos).

Stout, Jared. “Military Agents Had Secret Role at 1968 Conventions.” Evening Star (Washington, DC, 2 December 1970, p. AB).

The article alleges that during the 1968 political conventions an Army Security Agency radio intercept unit, elements of the Army’s Counter Intelligence Analysis Detachment (CIAD), and agents of Army, Navy, and Air Force counterintelligence units were active in collecting information, conducting surveillance on civilians, assisting the Secret Service in protecting presidential candidates, and providing security.

Symington, Stuart. “Congress’s Right to Know.” New York Times, (9 August 1970, sec. vi, p. 7).

In a long and detailed article Senator Symington describes the abuse of executive secrecy in the formation and conduct of’ foreign policy and associated military affairs and operations. An authoritative article that attempts to put secrecy and national security in proper perspective.

Teller, Edward. “Secrecy: No Longer a Security Asset.” Wall Street Journal, (15 July 1970, p. 12).

In this lengthy article noted nuclear scientist Teller, who has had much experience with secrecy due to his work with atom[c weapons development, presents the thesis that by the early sixties secrecy had become a political tool to shield leaders from criticism as much as a security measure to block access to classified information by espionage. During 1970 Teller was a member of the Task Force on Secrecy established by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board. The article, copyrighted by Public Affairs International of Princeton, New Jersey, was printed in many newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, (12 July 1970), and the Washington Star, (19 July 1970).

Turn, R. (1973). Privacy Transformation For Databank Systems. RAND Monograph, no. P-4955. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp., March 1973.

“Privacy transformations—are techniques for increasing data security and privacy in computerized databank systems.” This paper discusses cryptographic transformations used ln communications systems for protection against unauthorized use of data and programs in the databanks.

U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services, Special Subcommittee on lntelligence. Inquiry Into The Alleged Involvement Of The Central Intelligence Agency In The Watergate And Ellsberg Matters. 93d Cong., 1st. sess., 23 October 1973. Doc. no. 93-25.

A summary report of five months of hearings of some twenty-four principal witnesses, including members of the CIA and former White House staffers. The purpose was to determine whether there was any CIA activity in the Watergate and Ellsberg break-in incidents which was contrary to the letter and spirit of the CIA charter. The investigation was conducted by the House intelligence oversight subcommittee under the chairmanship of Lucien N. Nedzi (D-Mich.).

U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government Information. Security Classification Reform, Hearings. 93d Cong., 2d sess. 11, 25 July, and 1 August 1974.

For three years prior to this report the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government information had focused attention on the nation’s security classification system. In this report there is contained the testimony of many witnesses on a proposed Freedom of Information Act developed by the subcommittee. Included as a witness was Director of Centre I Intelligence William E. Colby who testified on the necessity of protecting by secrecy the sources and methods of intelligence gathering. Twelve useful appendices are included; appendix 3 is a study on the evolution of government information security from 1775 to 1973. The Freedom of Information Act is reprinted in this report.

U.S. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, President of The United States. 93d Cong., 2d sess., 20 August 1974, Rept. no. 93-1305

A report of the Judiciary Committee detailing the articles of impeachment against Richard M. Nixon. Article 1 describes the committee findings regarding unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, by agents of the Committee. For Re-election of the President. Part of the material supporting Article 1 of the impeachment resolution details the preparation, adoption, and implementation of a political intelligence plan (the Liddy Plan), which included the use of electronic surveillance, for the acquisition of domestic political intelligence useful in the re-election of Nixon. Other material Includes evidence on the attempts to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency.

U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. Facts on Communism, Volume 11, The Soviet Union, From Lenin to Khrushchev, Staff Study. 87th Cong., 1st sess., 1961. iv, 367, xix p.

For counterintelligence and security see pages 96-103, “The Cheka”; pages 135-41, “The Police System”; pages 175-86, “Police and Terrorism”; and pages 187-99, “Trials and Purges.”

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Dr. Kissinger’s Role in Wiretapping. 93d Cong., 2d sess., 1974.

A complete report of the inquiry undertaken by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, at the request of Secretory of State Kissinger, regarding his role in the wiretapping of seventeen news-men and government officials during the period from 1969 to 1971. The wiretapping was performed as a means of identifying those who leaked secret classified information from the National Security Council and White House.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Wiretapping, Eaves-Dropping, And The Bill of Rights: Hearings Before The Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. (Ervin Subcommittee temporary manuscript). 86th Cong., 1st sess., 1959

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Wiretapping For National Security: Hearings Before A Subcommittee of The Senate Judiciary Committee. 83d Cong., 2nd sess., 1954.

U.S. Congress. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary. Internal Security Subcommittee. Soviet Intelligence And Security Services, 1964-1970; A Selected Bibliography of Soviet Publications. With Some Additional Titles From Other Sources. 92d Cong., 1st sess., 1972.

For a description and analysis of the contents see the listing and annotation in chapter 4, section B.

U.S. Congress. Senate, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Intelligence Activities And The Rights Of Americans, Book II. 94th Cong., 2nd sess., 26 April 1976. Rept. no. 94-755.

Book II of the final report of the intelligence investigative committee of the Senate (chaired by Senator Frank Church) contains a remarkably thorough history of the evolution of domestic intelligence in the United States from 1936 to the present. Included are details on the roles of the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency. Illegal activities such as mail openings, electronic surveillance, and surreptitious entries into homes and offices are described. See chapter 4, section A, for main annotation.

“United States Foreign Intelligence.” Executive Order of the President, no. 11905, 18 February 1976. In the Federal Register, Part 11. Vol. 41, no. 34 . (19 February 1976): pp. 7703-38.

A reprint of the presidential directive thot reorganized the U.S. intelligence community in response to a report of an investigation headed by the vice-president (see Report to The President by The Commission on CIA Activities Within The United States[5], section A, this chapter), and two investigations of special congressional committees—one in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. The directive establishes new commit-tees and oversight groups and sets down specific responsibilities and restrictions of intelligence agencies as regards activities within the United States.

[1] Marchetti, Victor (1990) and John D. Marks. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Knopf

[2] Agee, Phillip (1975). Inside the Company: A CIA Diary. New York: Stonehill

[3] Rockefeller, Nelson A. (1975). Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

[4] Marchetti, Victor (1990) and John D. Marks. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Knopf

[5] Rockefeller, Nelson A. (1975). Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

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One Response to Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 8

  1. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations, Part II | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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