Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, the President has sent the name of Mr. Morton Halperin to the Senate for our advice and consent on his nomination to be the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. As I have stated on this floor several times already, I oppose this nomination. Several Senators have asked me why. Simply stated, this nominee has extremely poor judgment--so poor that he will endanger the lives of our young men and women in uniform. In fact, he may have already done so by giving his advice to the Department of Defense on Somalia and Haiti.
I have some quotes to read to you and, I think when I am finished, you will all see that this man should not be given a position of responsibility in the Department of Defense. Let me begin by reading from one of his publications entitled `The Lawless State.'
Using Secret intelligence agencies to defend a constitutional republic is akin to the ancient medical practice of employing leeches to take blood from feverish patients.
Mr. Halperin would do well to talk to Mr. James Woolsey, the Director of Central Intelligence. Mr. Woolsey stated in his confirmation hearings in February of this year:
Yes, we have slain a large dragon * * * but we live now in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes. And in many ways, the dragon was easier to keep track of.
I agree with Mr. Woolsey. The existence of capable intelligence gathering organizations is absolutely crucial to the survival of our constitutional republic, even with the demise of our principal enemy the former Soviet Union. There are plenty of poisonous snames out there that would like to see us blind ourselves to their activities.
As Mr. Halperin nears confirmation, however, he seems to have changed his mind. In response to committee questions he states he can now support secret intelligence agencies because:
I believe that the intelligence services of the United States have undergone a fundamental transformation over the past two decades. * * * I believe that the agencies now operate within the rule of law based on Executive orders and agency regulations.
Mr. Halperin's original statement condemned any use of intelligence agencies. He did not say he condemned it because it didn't follow rules and regulations. He condemned the use of intelligence agencies no matter how they operated. His second statement is merely an attempt to excuse the complete contradiction between what he said before nomination and what he is saying to get confirmed.
Let me read another quote on the subject of unilateral intervention. This one is from the June 1979 edition of The Nation:
All of the genuine security needs of the United States can be met by a simple rule which permits us to intervene when invited to do so by a foreign government.
He restated this philosophy in the summer of 1993 publication entitled Foreign Policy when he wrote:
The United States should explicitly surrender the right to intervene unilaterally in the internal affairs of other countries by overt military means or by covert operations. Such self restraint would bar interventions like those in Grenada and Panama, unless the United States first gained the explicit consent of the international community acting through the Security Council or a regional organization.
By these statements, it appears Mr. Halperin would give up our right as a Nation to act unilaterally even when it is in our own best interests. These remarks indicate to me that he does not trust our own country to decide when intervention is necessary. It appears that he prefers to leave it to some foreign government or international organization to determine when and where we should use our resources. How does that kind of thinking relate to such actions as the air strikes against Libya? I submit that Mr. Halperin would have stopped that beneficial raid and would have left Americans more susceptible to terrorist attacks.
However, Mr. President, Mr. Halperin may have changed his mind on unilateral intervention as well. In response to questions put to him by the Armed Services committee in August of this year, he replied:
. . . we must ensure that other nations clearly understand that the United States is prepared to use force unilaterally when it determines that its interests are threatened.
Mr. President, I have trouble understanding how the same man could make these two statements within months of each other--but Mr. Halperin did just that.
Now that he has been nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr. Halperin appears to be changing his mind on a number of very significant United States policy issues. I have already supplied you with two examples. Let me point out one additional example that might be of interest to the Senate. Mr. Halperin testified before the Church committee on December 5, 1975 as follows:
I believe that the United States should no longer maintain a career service for the purpose of conducting covert operations and covert intelligence collection by human means. I believe also that the United States should eschew, as a matter of national policy, the conduct of covert operations.
In April 1987, Halperin appeared before the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Congressman Henry Hyde confronted Mr. Halperin with this statement, and Halperin admitted it was his position at the time but that it no longer was. When pressed further, he said:
I am against covert operations. I think the statements there on clandestine collection are ones that I would no longer subscribe to.
In other words, he told Congressman Hyde he would favor covert intelligence gathering but not covert operations.
What does he say now that he is nearing confirmation hearings? In September 1993, in response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, he wrote:
* * * I can support the conduct of secret operations conducted pursuant to the requirements of the law.
So he now appears to favor all forms of covert activities.
If you are confused, Mr. President, as to what this man stands for, you are not alone. The more you read, the more times you see he has appeared to revise his thinking. He is now recanting statements on a whole variety of issues causing some to believe he is having a confirmation conversion.
Mr. President, before I end this statement about Mr. Halperin, let me tell you about a former CIA agent named Philip Agee, a person whose works Mr. Halperin has endorsed in the past. Philip Agee very possibly caused an American, Mr. Richard Welch, to be assassinated in Athens, Greece in 1977. Agee identified Mr. Welch as an American CIA agent in one of his publications and Welch was killed shortly thereafter.
This all came about because of a plan Mr. Agee had. Agee told the Intercontinental Press that he wanted to:
Contribute to the growing campaign in the United States to call into question activities, and to work for the eventual abolition of the CIA as part of the overall process of weakening and finally defeating the ruling Capitalist minority in the United States.
In all, Philip Agee wrote many articles and at least 3 books which exposed nearly 2,000 CIA agents all over the world. It caused their lives to be threatened and the United States to spend excessive amounts of time and money to protect and relocate them.
In June 1975, Mr. Agee was quoted in Esquire Magazine as saying:
I have answered affirmatively that I aspire to be a communist and a revolutionary.
In September 1975, just 3 months later, Mr. Halperin wrote an extremely favorable review of one of Mr. Agee's books. That book disclosed over 400 names that Mr. Agee claimed were
agents and yet Mr. Halperin extolled the virtues of Mr. Agee's book. Later, Mr. Halperin went to Great Britain in an attempt to stop efforts to deport Mr. Agee who had exposed a number of British agents as well. Mr. Halperin is not a lawyer. He went as a witness to argue against the British Government's desire to deport Mr. Agee as persona non grata. I believe, Mr. President, that this displays deplorable judgment by Mr. Halperin.
Mr. Halperin has testified for Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo who released classified information to the Press. He has testified for Mr. David Truong who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for espionage. His testimony during those cases again demonstrated the same lack of judgment.
Mr. President, I have read only a few quotes from a man who has written at least a dozen books, hundreds of articles and testified nearly 100 times before Congress. Mr. Halperin has amassed a long history of remarks that are very similar to what I have briefly cited to you here. I will bring you more in the days to come from hundreds I have on file.
Mr. President, the position to which Mr. Halperin has been nominated will place him in possession of volumes of classified information. More importantly, the individual who becomes the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping will be called on to make far-reaching decisions in cases concerning the placement of our American men and women in harms way. I submit to you, Mr. President that he has not shown the good judgment needed for that position.
I call on the Senate to clearly examine this man and judge for itself. He is simply not the proper candidate for this important position. In fact, in my judgment, he will seriously damage the defense of this country if he is placed in that position. He has been in a consulting role at the Department of Defense for nearly 9 months and we have had two of the worst military setbacks in the past 20 years. They both came in the area of peacekeeping--Mr. Haperin's area. I have seen many Defense nominations from this administration and not spoken against any of them. I have helped confirm most of them. I believe that, if the person is not dangerous to our national defense and the President wants the person, he or she should be confirmed. Mr. President, after reviewing Morton Halperin's record and his work, I am convinced this man is dangerous to our national defense.
Mr. President, on October 5, 1993, Mr. Duncan Hunter, a Member of Congress, from California, wrote the Honorable Sam Nunn a letter, and sent me a copy.
His letter reads this way:
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, October 15, 1993.
Hon. Sam Nunn,
Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: Your committee is now considering the nomination of Morton Halperin to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Human Rights. I am very concerned about Mr. Halperin's past activities regarding classified information, the `Pentagon Papers,' and the role of the intelligence community.
I am enclosing a statement regarding my concerns, as well as a joint letter to you that has been signed by many prominent individuals from the national security community. I would be grateful if my statement and the open letter could be included in your committee's report on the nomination. If there is still an opportunity to testify, I would appreciate it if your staff would contact Vicki Middleton of my office.
Member of Congress.
Mr. President, a letter to Senator Nunn of October 15, 1993 says:
October 15, 1993.
Hon. Sam Nunn,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: We strongly urge you and your colleagues to reject the nomination of Morton Halperin to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. We are in agreement with the many Senators of the Armed Services Committee who have said that Halperin's activities have been detrimental to the national security interests of the United States. His record over the past 25 years has demonstrated a complete disregard for the sensitive nature of classified information, and it would not be prudent to have him serve in a senior position at the Department of Defense.
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations.
Adm. Carlisle A. Trost, USN (Ret.) former Chief of Naval Operations.
Adm. James L. Holloway, USN (Ret.) former Chief of Naval Operations.
Frederick B. Dent, former Secretary of Commerce.
William E. Simon, former Secretary of the Treasury.
David Packard, former Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Keith L. Brown, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.
Michael Burch, former Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Dr. Ray S. Cline, former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency.
LG Daniel O. Graham, USA (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency.
BG Theordore Mataxis, USA (Ret.), former Commander, American Division, Vietnam.
MG Hugh Overholt, USA (Ret.), former Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army.
LG James B. Vaught, USA (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army, Korea.
Gen. Donald R. Keith, USA (Ret.), former Commander, Army Materiel Command.
RAdm. John Dalrymple, USN (Ret.), Executive Director, Navy League of the United States.
MG James Pennington, USA (Ret.), President, National Association for Uniformed Services.
John Adams, Executive Director, The Retired Enlisted Association.
Larry Rivers, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
John R. Brinkerhoff, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Carter Administration.
RAdm. Robert H. Spiro, Jr. USNR (Ret.), former Under Secretary of the Army, Carter Administration.
James D. Staton, Executive Director, air Force Sergeants Association.
Michael Cline, Executive Director, Enlisted Associated of the National Guard.
John M. Fisher, Chairman and CEO, American Security Council.
All of these famous, prominent people who served their nation well and in important positions, these former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, these admirals and generals, and all of them who signed this statement said Halperin is not the man to serve in the Defense Department.
I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record at this point a statement by Congressman Duncan Hunter on the nomination of Morton Halperin to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and the members of the Armed Services Committee for providing me with the opportunity to outline my views concerning the nomination of Morton Halperin to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping.
After careful consideration, I am in complete agreement with Senator Strom Thurmond (SC), the ranking Republican on this Committee, and I urge you to reject this nomination. Morton Halperin's persistent activities show a complete disregard for the procurement, use and protection of classified intelligence. I believe he would be a clear security risk, and his past activities have been very detrimental to the national security interests of the United States. Senator Thurmond has said Morton Halperin `is dangerously out of step with the mainstream national security community * * * I am concerned that we may be letting the fox into the hen house should Mr. Halperin be confirmed.'
The Wall Street Journal has described Mr. Halperin, who headed the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union for eight years, as a `left-liberal spearthrower.' They went on to describe him as `wildly naive on most issues of the Cold War, especially in perceiving a `defensive' Soviet Union.'
Morton Halperin has consistently advocated his strange belief that the use of intelligence for purposes of national security is somehow antithetical to our Constitution. In his book, `The Lawless State: The Crimes of U.S. Intelligence Agencies,' Halperin states, `Using secret intelligence agencies to defend a constitutional republic is akin to the ancient medical practice of employing leeches to take blood from feverish patients.' He says, `Secrecy * * * does not serve national security. * * * Covert operations are incompatible with constitutional government and should be abolished.'
The nominee told a Congressional committee in 1975 that intelligence activities should cease to exist. `I believe the United States should no longer maintain a career service for the purpose of conducting covert operations or covert intelligence collection by human beings. I also believe the United States should outlaw as a matter of national policy the conduct of
covert operations.' He reaffirmed this view in 1987 before the House Intelligence Committee.
Not only is Mr. Halperin against the use of intelligence in general, but he is also opposed to the classification of sensitive information. Mr. Halperin stated in 1980 that `Under the First Amendment, Americans have every right to seek to `impede or impair' the functions of any federal agency, whether it is the FTC or the CIA, by publishing information acquired from unclassified sources.'
In 1985 he supported the editors of the Progressive magazine when they published information about the design and manufacturing of nuclear weapons. When the government was prosecuting Samuel Morrison for disclosure of classified satellite photos, Mr. Halperin said the case posed `an extraordinary threat to the First Amendment.'
While dedication to the protection of Constitutional rights is certainly commendable, the nominee clearly takes this protection well beyond prudent limits when the national security interests of the United States are concerned. There is also no reason why his past statements will not reflect future action he takes as Assistant Secretary. Furthermore, at the Pentagon he will of course have full access to classified information.
The nominee has specifically stated he would like to see the following information declassified:
All activities regarding U.S. covert operations;
Detailed nuclear weapons design information;
All commitments to employ American forces;
Research on a new weapon systems;
Diplomatic negotiations; and
Many activities regarding all of our intelligence organizations.
The entire national security community was very disturbed when Morton Halperin assisted Philip Agee in his campaign to expose the identities of CIA agents. At the American Civil Liberties Union he served as Agee's legal counsel and argued that Agee's travel should not be restricted.
Agee described the CIA as `the secret police of American capitalism.' His single minded aim, so he avowed, was to destroy that agency in order to `purify the American role in the world.' Agee's treachery included naming 170 CIA colleagues and friendly agents, all previously under essential and presumably inviolable cover, whom he had worked with. Halperin defended him despite the fact that Agee revealed a number of intelligence operations which he was sworn, by the oath of his employment, never to divulge.
Morton Halperin was Agee's legal counsel and his major defender after the former intelligence operative wrote `Inside the Company: CIA Diary.' In the words of the
bipartisan American Security Council, `few books by an unknown writer have caused so much damage to a national institution.'
According to ASC, `The careers of CIA officers, many of them in the prime of usefulness, were summarily interrupted and diverted by Agee's work and Halperin's defense. The anguish visited upon their families, not to mention the physical danger to them, that went with exposure, must be included in the final cost. For example, Agee's publication CounterSpy, named Richard Welch as the CIA Station Chief in Athens, Greece. Welch was assassinated after Agee's publication put him in the bull's eye by naming him as a CIA officer.'
Former Senator Barry Goldwater, who previously served as Chairman of this Committee, said that Agee should be stripped of his citizenship. Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen, while he was a U.S. Senator, said Agee should be imprisoned. Nevertheless, Morton Halperin rushed to his defense after the British House of Commons upheld Agee's expulsion order by a vote of 138 to 4.
Philip Agee orchestrated a betrayal verging on treason, and Morton Halperin was one of his principal defenders. Both Agee and Halperin were both ring leaders in a campaign to harass, intimidate and deform our national intelligence services.
Morton Halperin's activities were instrumental to the disgraceful and dangerous decline of the prestige and vigilance of our intelligence community in the 1970s. In responding to the Agee/Halperin onslaught, Admiral Stanfield Turner, who served as Jimmy Carter's CIA Director, said in 1978, `I almost hold by breath every morning until I know if today's disclosures include some of our sensitive sources of intelligence * * *. Allied intelligence services are losing confidence that we can keep a secret. We suspect that some are holding back information.' I would remind the Committee that Halperin's activities were occurring at a time the CIA was reporting 1,900 `spies' from the Soviet bloc were operating inside our borders.
Halperin's views on constitutional rights came into direct conflict with the Supreme Court which stated that `Restricting Agee's foreign travel * * * is the only avenue open to the Government to limit these activities * * * Agee's disclosures, among other things, have the declared purpose of obstructing intelligence operations and the recruiting of intelligence personnel. They are clearly not protected by the Constitution.'
Halperin also favorably reviewed Agee's book `Inside the Company: CIA Diary,' saying that in it `we learn in devastating detail what is done in the name of the United States.' He did not criticize the book for releasing over 30 pages of names of U.S. covert operatives overseas, or the fact that Agee acknowledges in the preface the help he received from the Cuban Communist Party.
Halperin concluded the review by saying, `The only way to stop all of this is to dissolve the CIA covert career service and to bar the CIA from at least developing and allied nations.'
Then there is the matter of Mr. Halperin's involvement in the unauthorized publication of the so-called `Pentagon Papers.' The nominee's role was crucial to giving Daniel Ellsberg access to this classified material. In fact, Mr. Halperin had the central responsibility for deciding who would have access to the `Pentagon Papers.' Mr. Halperin invited Ellsberg to participate in a classified study of U.S. policy in Vietnam even though Ellsberg had previously said he felt these top-secret papers should be made public.
Unfortunately, Morton Halperin's involvement did not end there. Ellsberg lived in Halperin's home while the `Pentagon Papers' were being illegally copied and stored, and while Ellsberg gave the `Pentagon Papers' to the radical Institute for Policy Studies. Henry Kissinger was so concerned about the nominee's activities in leaking sensitive information to the news media that he ordered a tap placed on Mr. Halperin's telephone. Whether the nominee directly participated or not, it is certainly clear Halperin knew Ellsberg was releasing classified information about the Papers. Halperin's involvement was brought to a conclusion when he later went on to help with Ellsberg's legal defense.
All of the members of the Armed Services Committee have received an indepth policy paper prepared by Frank Gaffney, the former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and his Center for Security Policy. This outstanding research document, entitled `The Case Against the Halperin Nomination,' contains numerous examples of statements the nominee has made over the past two and a half decades which clearly raise serious concerns about his commitment to our national security interests. I have also reviewed an analysis of Morton Halperin's positions prepared by the bipartisan American Security Council. According to ASC, the nominee's entire record can be described as `blaming America first' for many adverse activities throughout the world.
From the early 1970s, Morton Halperin consistently forgave and defended the former Soviet Union. In the Nation magazine, he wrote, `Every action which the Soviet Union and Cuba have taken in Africa has been consistent with the principles of international law. The Cubans have come in only when invited by a government, and have remained only at their request . . . Soviet conduct reflects simply a different Soviet estimate of what should happen in the African continent and a genuine conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union.'
In his 1971 book, `Defense Strategies for the Seventies,' he states: `The Soviet Union apparently never even contemplated the overt use of military force against Western Europe. * * * The Soviet posture toward Western Europe has been, and continues to be, a defensive and deterrent one. The positioning of Soviet ground forces in Eastern Europe and the limited logistical capability of these forces suggests an orientation primarily toward defense against a Western attack.'
The nominee always diminished the military threat the Soviet Union posed to the world. He consistently focused on portraying a `defensive' Soviet Union. Such ideas run counter to what was widely believed at the time, and to what we now know to be the truth.
It is clear the nomination of Morton Halperin to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping is a security risk we cannot afford to take. Mr. Halperin is completely opposed to the use of intelligence agencies, and he strongly believes that much of the top-secret information concerning national security should be declassified.
The nominee has demonstrated this not only in his extensive writings, but also in the actions he has taken to achieve these goals. It would be a mistake to allow a person with this background to be confirmed in a senior program in the Department of Defense.
Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, in view of Mr. Halperin's record, I just do not see why he was ever appointed to serve in the Department of Defense. If the President wants him to serve in some other department, that might be another thing. But Mr. Halperin has no business serving in the Department of Defense.
We are very disappointed his name was sent down here, and he should not be confirmed. I hope the Senate will give careful consideration to this letter and all of this information I furnished here on this man Halperin.
I yield the floor.
Mr. DURENBERGER addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Feinstein). The Senator from Minnesota is recognized.