INTELLIGENCE: The Directors Defend Themselves

Director William E. Colby admitted last week that the Central Intelligence Agency may have made "some missteps" in its 27-year history. Former Director James R. Schlesinger said that the agency had committed a "small number of misdemeanors," then corrected himself and called them "inappropriate actions." But no matter how cautiously Colby and Schlesinger chose their words, their meaning was clear: they were acknowledging that the CIA had spied for years on an undisclosed number of American dissidents within the U.S.

Theirs were the first official admissions that there was substance to the press allegations of CIA misconduct, and they came...

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