Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Again, the CIA and the Press." 21 Feb. 1996, A18.
[Text] "The latest life-imitates-art entry involves the CIA. A task force assembled by the Council on Foreign Relations had suggested reviewing the agency's 20-year ban on recruitment of American journalists and journals for covert assignment. It was a controversial proposal, drawing the fire of, among others, the president of the council. But meanwhile somebody was telling The Post's Walter Pincus that, unbeknownst even to many intelligence officials, the CIA all along had a 'waiver' permitting use of journalistic cover on 'extraordinarily rare' occasions. To those who believe that generally the CIA should keep hands off but that in certain exceptional circumstances it should have the option of reaching in, the argument was over.
"Except it's not so simple. The use of American journalists to spy and American spies to pose as journalists is an appalling idea. It enables a secret agency of government to exploit an instrument whose claim to trust and constitutional protection lies precisely in its independence from government. Assume what experience teaches us not to assume: That in each 'extraordinarily rare' exception, the CIA had good cause and produced good effect. Those gains must still be measured against the subversion of a primary institution of a free society.
"These things tend to leak. In this instance, rightly or wrongly every journalist and journal operating internationally comes under a darkened cloud. It is a burden difficult to dispel and one that, now given post-Cold War renewal, will for years put at added risk the credibility and personal safety of journalists. These are the consequences of the CIA's evident endowment of itself with a secret waiver capability undercutting its public pledge of respect for the integrity of the press.
"Of course, there are others with an even larger obligation to the integrity of the press -- journalists. At the other end of every official recruitment bid, in a position to say no, sits a journalist or journalistic entity. They should not be crying that they relied on an agency of government to be their moral custodian. Some journalists may feel that ultimately their responsibilities as citizens are on a higher plane than their responsibilities as professionals. In that case, some straight talk will have to take place between individual journalists and their employers. Someone has got to convey that a press determined to do its journalistic duty and to merit its constitutional privilege cannot become an arm of government. It is not dishonorable for others to work for the CIA. But it is treacherous for the press."
Washington Post. "Australian Faces More Spy Charges." 16 Jul. 1999, B2. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]
Jean-Philippe Wispelaere was indicted on 15 July 1999 by a federal grand jury in Alexandria "on a charge of espionage and a second count of attempted espionage for allegedly selling U.S. secrets to a foreign country."
Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Chipping Away at Liberty." Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2002, A24. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
"The unanimous decision" by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review "presents a compelling reading of the law. The fault for the problem it creates lies not with the court but with Congress, for the carelessness and haste with which it passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and its unwillingness to push back against Bush administration excesses."
Washington Post ("From News Sevices"). "CIA Officer's Body Brought Home to Family." 3 Dec. 2001, A13. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 2 December 2001, a military transport plane returned Spann's body to Andrews Air Force Base. "Family, friends and CIA colleagues attended a brief ceremony in which a Marine honor guard carried the coffin, draped in an American flag, to a hearse."
Washington Post. "[Editorial:] A CIA Secret." 28 Dec. 1998, A24. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]
"[T]he CIA is refusing to release the intelligence budget request for 1999 and is vigorously opposing a suit that is seeking that information.... The budget request ... is a critical figure in any public policy debate about the intelligence budget, because it involves pending public policy questions.... The government's unwillingness to disclose the budget request smacks of reflexive government secrecy and of an unreadiness of the agency to subject itself to the most rudimentary public accountability. The CIA should reconsider."
Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Cloak Over the CIA Budget." 29 Nov. 1999, A22. [http:// www.washingtonpost.com]
"It simply cannot be that the same figures can sensibly be unclassified one year and classified the next." Clark comment: It does not help this discussion that the main media seemingly refuse to learn the difference between the CIA (one agency) budget and the Intelligence (multiple agencies) budget, the latter being the figure released in the two previous years.
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