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CIA History of DCI William Colby / CIA Director Distinguishes "bad"/"good"/"lesser" and "non-secrets

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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 05:55 PM
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CIA History of DCI William Colby / CIA Director Distinguishes "bad"/"good"/"lesser" and "non-secrets
Washington, D.C., October 28, 2011 - CIA director William Colby rebuffed criticisms from senior Agency operators about disclosure of CIA misdeeds by describing the difference between "bad secrets," "non-secrets," "good secrets" and "lesser" secrets, according to a previously SECRET internal CIA history of the Colby tenure, published today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University ( ).

Colby responded in March 1974 to the head of the CIA's clandestine service, who claimed that any public discussion would "degrade the fabric of our security" and "lead inevitably to a further exposure of intelligence sources and methods," by writing:

"There are some 'bad secrets' which are properly revealed by an aggressive press. there are some older 'non-secrets' which no longer need to be kept secret and which we should gradually surface, but there are some 'good secrets' which deserve greater protection than we have been able to give them, in part by reason of their association with 'secrets' of lesser importance."
The latest declassification (in August 2011) from a series of secret studies by the CIA History Staff of the agency's directors, the volume gains credibility from its authorship by veteran CIA analyst and operative Harold Ford, who courageously presented to the Congress well-documented internal critiques of CIA director-designate Robert Gates during his confirmation hearings in 1991. To win confirmation, Gates had to promise Congress not to fire Ford in retaliation. The history, William Colby as Director of Central Intelligence, 1973-1976, provides detailed accounts of key episodes such as the firing of counterintelligence chief James Angleton, Colby's role in the revelation of the CIA "family jewels," and the collapse of South Vietnam, where Colby had spent much of his career.
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