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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 27, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Thuriday, February 27, 1975 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD 5 ERIC NICOL Tapping the source "No I said to the family seated at the dinner table, "you are all wondering what to buy me for my birthday." There being no discernible pause in the ac- tivity at the trough, I continued: "As a birth- day present for Daddy may I suggest one of the new wiretap proof telephones, now offered by the Communication Control Cor- poration to individuals who suspect that they are under electronic surveillance." "Why would anybody want to bug our asked a dependent. "Because 1 am a journalist. Certain people may well be anxious to identify my sources of information." "Wfhat I gazed at my steak knife, reflectively, before replying. "If you people read my column you would know that it includes, from time to time, material that might well.be classified as in- formation. For example, I am about to reveal to the public the fact that there are now more than 10 million wiretape transmitters in use in America." "That was in The Reader's said my son.' "Certain people don't read The Reader's I snarled. "They want a Canadian source of information." "How did you find out about the anti- wiretap asked Mummy. "A hard nose for news, that's I said, brandishing a mimeographed letter headed "NEWS from Gerald Freeman, Inc. Public Relations, New York." "Most newspaper columnists would have tossed this release into the wastebasket. Instead, I read it, and learned that for a ren- tal fee of only per month, plus a one time installation charge, a person who cares Book Reviews about his Daddy's privacy can delight him with the gift of a CCC wiretap proof phone." "How does it "According to my 1 said, referring to the news release, "the telephone is a sleek, custom crafted instrument. By simply turning a small dial at the bottom of the telephone, the caller is guaranteed that any existing tap on the phone is defeated." "A telephone with two asked my daughter, exchanging glances with her mother. "You don't think I can handle it." I am quick to detect insinuation in the company of straight data. "You imply that because I sometimes have difficulty finding the correct hole with my finger, in the standard dial, without my glasses, and must ask the operator for assistance, I shall be unable to cope with a second dial at the bottom of the telephone." "I think you have put your fingers on what you should receive for your said Mummy. "New glasses." 1 retired from the table, to the privacy of my den, sitting at my desk and running my hand over a sleek, custom created phantasy Ding-a-ling. "Hello, darlink, this is Zsa Zsa. You are "You have information for me on the latest Soviet test of a nuclear waffle iron." "Yes, darlink, but can you be sure that the line is not being "Never fear, CCC is here." A flip of the secret dial, and a faint cry of frustration from the enemy agent atop his telephone pole Dammit, I may pay for one myself. A news- man 'owes it to his so to speak untapped ART BUCHWALD hope your little brother isn't with the CIA, because what he's doing would be Congress wakes up By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator Lingering in the beyond "Glimpses of the Beyond" by Jean-Baptiste Delacour (Delacortc Press, Z16 pages, distributed by Fitzhenry and. Whiteside "The idea that death is frightful is the frightful said Epictetus, a Roman philosopher who lived around 100 B.C. Jean-Baptiste Delacour lists numerous ac- counts of people who have been clinically dead. What they experienced makes fascinating reading and I would think that most of them were in accordance with the above statement. It would be arrogant to con- sider the accounts of in- dividuals, who have stood at the threshold between life and death, as simple perversion of mental functioning. Yet more study has to be done and far more has to be known on the functioning of the brain to dis- card this possibility. From the examples, it appears that man's deepest fears and exaltations find ex- pression in the so-called beyond. They speak of beautiful music (anything different from today must be tranquil scenes and serenity and no desire to return. They escape from this life through a narrow shaft, that is widening towards the light, they float, are weightless and always meet someone deceased they had been associated with closely in life (mother, husband, friend, The credibility of the ac- counts must of course be up to the beholder. Scientists are generally skeptical, although more attention is being given by them to the subject lately. Speaking for the people who lingered for a while in the beyond and were not enchanted at all to return to consciousness, whose spirits left their bodies and found profound satisfaction being delivered from their physical shell, one can only agree with Christian Morgenstern's wise remark, that "there are no mysteries as such, only un- initiated (phenomena) of all degrees." An exciting book about an interesting subject. HANS SCHAUFL A novel experiment "Canaries on the Clothesline" Harry P. McKeever (Gray's Publishing Ltd., 103 The story of the world's first fami'ly of homing canaries is related here in appropriately homey fashion. Mixed up with information that will fascinate bird fan- ciers are the author's feelings about his birds and toward his wife (an attractive relationship between husband and wife is Following the first two pages, which arouse the reader's interest in the novel- ty of homing canaries, there is a long interruption of 25 pages before the main story is begun. While that intervening material is not without interest and does have some relevance, the book would have had greater unity without it. This pleasing little book is made all the more pleasant by the inclusion of about two dozen drawings by Annora Brown, who lived in Southern Alberta before moving to Vic- toria where the experiment with the canaries took place. DOUG WALKER WASHINGTON There is something terribly ironic about the Senate allocating to probe illegal spying and abuses of power by the CIA and the FBI. For the simple truth is that the lawmakers will be digging into abuses which most of them knew about and were quite willing to tolerate dur- ing a cold war atmosphere, or when civil rights demonstrators were con- sidered a "threat" to the republic. One need not wait for the conclusion of the hearings to know the grim lesson of it all: the invasions of.privacy and incursions against personal freedom which we tolerate out of today's passions become the opening wedge for tomorrow's police state. Consider the FBI. There can scarcely be a member of Congress who was around 12 years ago who was not aware that J. Edgar Hoover was bugging people he disliked, having them tailed by agents, and then using the alleged fruits of such surveillance in reprehensible campaigns of character assassination. The Congress knew this, because in one celebrated case Hoover had the gall to personally carry his slur cam- paign to the Hill where he often based his request for more money on titillating dis- plays of the kind of informa- tion he could acquire through tapping phones and bugging hotel rooms. Former Atty. Gen. Nicholas de B. Katzenbach revealed the other day he once ordered the FBI to stop briefing newsmen about the FBI's bugging of the late Dr. Martin Luther King's hotel room. Katzenbach allowed as how he took no ac- tion against the FBI culprits because the FBI denied it, no newsmen who were briefed would dare speak up against the FBI, and Katzenbach never saw anything in writing The right taste. The right price. The right rye. HiromWdkerViSa In Alberta Right now The raw files of the FBI regarding FBI surveillance of King. They must have kept Katzenbach locked up in. a broom closet. There were dozens of reporters and editors who were willing to say openly that FBI agents had been sent to their offices, to meet them on golf courses and elsewhere' to give briefings designed to poison their minds against King. As for written material, as director of the U.-S. Informa- tion Agency, I saw several "top secret" FBI documents growing out of the wiretapp- ing and tailing of Dr. King. J. Edgar Hoover knew I had seen the documents, which is why he had to curse and bear it when I assailed his police state tactics in this column a few years ago. I learned of Hoover's penchant for titillating congressmen with lurid ac- counts of his wiretaps shortly after President Johnson nam- ed me to the USIA post. Before I was confirmed by the Senate, Johnson invited me to a quiet dinner at the White House where we looked at a movie on the massive 1963 March on Washington which my predecessor Edward R. Murrow had had USIA make. Johnson told me that Sens. John McClellan then chairman of the subcom- mittee which decided on both USIA's and the FBI's budgets, and Allen Ellender vice chairman, wanted a promise from me that I would not distribute this film overseas. After viewing the film, I said to Johnson, "If I become director the film will be dis- tributed. If you don't want it distributed, I'm not your man for director." "Thatjs good enough for said Johnson, "you send the film anywhere you want to." As budget hearing time came for USIA, I wracked my brain over this almost hysterical opposition to USIA on the part of some congressmen and senators especially their constant references to .the film: Then one congressman tipped me off. He said Hoover had given secret testimony during his budget hearings that tended to impugn both the character and the loyalty of Dr. King. Hoover had amused and' aroused the lawmakers with stories about his "per- sonal file" on King. And since King was the hero of the March on Washington film, that started the campaign to. suppress it. That tip (which clued me a's to how to deal with McClellan and Ellender and get them outvoted in the crunch) was most decent and it was about the gutsiest reaction any Congressman dared show to Hoover's blatant abuse of his surveillance powers. Most congressmen and other senators just snickered, even though they knew Hoover was blackmailing King into ceasing his criticism of Hoover and the FBI. Still others shrugged nervously and said to themselves, no doubt, "I sure hope Hoover never gets mad at Now, 11 years late, a sense of outrage builds up and the same lawmakers who didn't give a damn before are going to put un a costly probe. It is never too late for a free society to rein in the secret agencies which so often become the blocking wedges for tyrants. But it is so much cheaper and safer when free men stand up the very first moment they notice power abusers trampling over the rights of the people. FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley said recently, in a speech, that collecting information about private citizens is not a serious threat unless the data is mis- used. And there, as Hamlet's masseur would say, is the rub. What guarantees are there that the raw files will not be misused? Sup- pose you haye a vindictive computer which has in its memory bank files on some of our leading citizens. Director Kelley may say it can't happen, but it did just last week. I was on a tour through FBI headquarters when I fell behind and this computer started chattering on its printout. "Would you like to hear about a senator who wears silk stockings and high heels when he's working on tax reform at I was shaken and punched back, "Of course not." The computer's typewriter worked again. "There's a certain female movie star who takes baths in Coors beer with a well known professional football player." "What's so strange about I typed back. "Nothing, except he poses for Schlitz beer the printout read, "and always says, 'When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of "Oh, for heaven's I typed back, "don't you have anything better to do than just print gossip about The computer seemed to ignore my message and came back with, "There's a liberal actor in The Towering Inferno, who sneaked off for a weekend to Lake Tahoe with a right wing married actress from the same picture." "Do you haye proof of the computer replied, "but where there's smoke there's fire." And its lights started blinking as if it was enjoying its own joke. I typed back, "I think this is disgraceful. You have all this material stored in you and none of it has been verified. You could do tremendous damage to innocent people." The computer's lights turned dark red. It was angry. "There are no innocent people. There are only Americans we know things about and Americans we the printout read. "I am the keeper of the skeletons in everyone's closet." "But just because you have it in your memory bank." I protested, "doesn't make it a fact." "That's what you think. Once the raw files are fed into a computer it becomes the gospel truth. Computers never lie. Have you heard the Supreme Court justice who took his wife to see Deep "What's so wrong with I typed back. "Six "Lies, all lies." I hit the keys furiously. "Your tapes are filled with rumor, innuendo and vicious gossip. Don't you have any shame at The lights turned red again. "No one has ever called me a liar before." "You're a disgrace to I angrily typed back. "Thomas Watson would be turning over in his grave if he knew the filth you had stored; in The lights turned green. "Would you like to. know whatlhave on the printout read. 1 turned white. "What could you possibly have on I typed out with my fingers shaking. The computer clicked noisily. "The Allegheny stewardess in Little Rock." I almost broke my fingers. "I've never been in Little Rock in my life." "Then maybe it was Kansas City." "Allegheny doesn't fly to Kansas I typed back. "Then maybe it was the Hertz Rent A Car the computer replied. "I can't remember everything." The necessary intelligence game By Shaun Herron, Herald special commentator I want to return to the matter of the CIA which appears to be of some interest to the public and ought to be. It is true that the motives of some of the at- tackers are purely political and you take that sort of sport into account automatically. I think also indeed I know there are abuses within all such organizations and violations of the democratic rights of citizens of the country involved. Now we haye stories of the FBI (and I believe them) keeping files on congressmen; but they're not new. These files have been known about for a decade or more. How do you suppose presidents who hated Edgar Hoover put up with him just the same? He had too much on everybody. And that the CIA killed some of its own agents? Of course they did. An intelligence agency is not a Sunday school teachers' union. The CIA, SS and every other agency has killed some of its own men. I'm not con- doning it; I'm saying that in the nature of the business, its internal justifications and the risks it runs, almost anything is legitimate in its eyes to protect its operations and its secrets. And of course, it. is going to take its secrets very seriously, even when they're not very serious. Secret'work begins to be secret for the sake of secrecy, on exactly the same terms that religious work becomes matter what it is an in- stitutional self justification even when the local community club is better fitted to do it. And not all intelligence secrets are worth keeping. The mind that emerges from im- mersion in this world is often very funny, in a sinister sort of way; a foolish sort of way; an easily caricatured sort of way; on exactly the same terms that the parlor manners of the English lower middle classes or the upper middle classes could be and have been mocked. Organizations are prone to tunnel vi- sion all organizations, not just spy organizations. So: It seems to me that the attack on the CIA is directed to the wrong target. The CIA as such is Being attacked. Only a part of its operations is vulnerable that part classified as Operations, or Planning, or whatever at any given moment an intelligence agency decides to call it; like the color of code pads, everything changes, for security reasons. You may suppose that Operations, as they are described in spy novels, are invention. The actual episodes may be though far from always and you may suppose that the things described are good, hot too clean, fun that isn't close to the bone. I haye never read a spy story in which the author's invention outmatched an agency's activities. Indeed, any agency could take an author into its bosom and let him see the facts and provide him with material he could never in a 100 years have made his readers believe. And a great deal of this sort of caper is un- necessary. Hugh Trevor Roper once said to me that you don't pick a man's pocket merely to find out what's in it; you pick it because you know what's in it, need it, and can't get it any other way. That is precisely the only justification for what are sometimes describ- ed as Dirty Tricks. You know where the stuff is, you know what it is, you need it so you send somebody to get it. There are many: ways of doing this. They make up the raw material of the spy story. And a great many of them ace institutional business, like academic papers from English departments on The Titles of William Faulkner's Novels: In short, the habits of mind of the trade, and the condition of mind created by the trade, are acted out because of an interior compul- sion to go on doing what has been done. That is not to say there is never any justification for Operations. There is. But not on the scale known to be practised by the CIA (or the There is an artificial necessity in intelligence circles to conduct. their business as if war conditions always prevail. There are those who say, of course, that they always do. This is not the fact; not even now. But it is true that some things can- not be got any way other than the nirty Trick, way, and so the Dirty Trick has to be used. There is always justification in the terms that are natural and necessary to intelligence for the seduction and corruption of people in places where they can be useful. People in place, they are called and it applies as much to statesmen or civil servants or enemy agents as it does to bank clerks or filing clerks. But then, a great deal of the information got the Operations way is available by easier means. By Research and Analysis. By far the greater part of air the information and intelligence gathering is information gather- ing won by agencies is won by Research and Analysis people who never leave their desks, wouldn't know what to do if they left them and would die of fright if they met somebody who put to them a proposition that implied they were corruptible. More infor- mation is collected by deskmen, in war and in peace, than by picking pockets to find out what's in them. The technical means today are enormous, and far greater than the general public knows or cares about. The analysis of scientific and technical publications is constant and rewarding. It is towards this balance that politicians who want a more efficient intelligence ser- vice and a less dangerous one less dangerous to their constituents ought to direct their attention and their investigations. Any politician who thinks you don't need intelligence services is not his country's friend. Horror at the thought that our own, however small it may be, is com- mitting some wrong by giving the CIA infor- mation on certain Canadian citizens or residents, is also presumably supposing that sin doesn't cross borders or that other intelligence forces respect borders. We get our share of what is useful to us, coming the other way. There is a kind of dangerous simpleness about protesting co operation between the agencies of friendly countries. Only simpletons could believe it to be reprehensible. When the people who com- plain have to be protected, they will no doubt accept the protection without too much com- plaint. It is not the fact of intelligence that needs investigation. It is the waste created by dangerous "intelligence mindedness" that needs looking into, arid means need to be found to reorganize and redirect a necessary activity. An accusatory question By Doug Walker We probably won't see George Chessor back at church for another six months (that's how long Ruth said it had been since his last He had a rather rough time of it. First, Ruth informed him that she wouldn't be sitting with him because she had to be near the front for a commissioning to office ritual. George looked so bereft that I took him in tow to sit with us. Having to sit next to me didn't put him greatly at ease, either. But his worst shock was to come later. After she was commissioned, Ruth came back and joined George but just long enough to sing a hymn and pass the offering plate and then she was gone again to help count the offering. Then Elspeth leaned over me and said to George, "Ruth has left you again what's the matter with ;