The Nation: Helms Makes a Deal

Ex-CIA chiefs conviction shows shift in attitudes about spying

One of the touchiest problems inherited by the Carter Administration was the case of former CIA Director Richard M. Helms. It brought into play questions of national security, loyalty, perjury and, in some ways, the future of the intelligence agency and its directors. Last week the case was settled in a manner that did not completely satisfy anybody but seemed a thoroughly reasonable compromise.

Helms' difficulties date back to 1973, when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was weighing his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Iran. Twice the committee quizzed him in closed sessions about...

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