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Secrets

September 21, 1987

I applaud Sen. Bill Bradley's efforts to get Americans to think clearly about the Soviet Union ("Focusing on the Soviets," Editorial, Sept. 8). However, his statement that Americans are mystified by Russia's "preoccupation with secrets" surprises me. Is our CIA less secretive than Russia's KGB?

Ever since the National Security Act of 1947 spawned the National Security Council and the CIA, American foreign policy has been based on secrecy. In fact the Christic Institute, an interfaith center for legal advocacy in Washington, D.C., claims that for a quarter of a century secret wars have been waged by secret teams of U.S. military and CIA officials, acting both officially and on their own. Such covert activities have involved toppling governments, trafficking in drugs, assassinating political enemies, and subverting the Constitution, the Congress and the American people.

If the institute's charges are correct, and there is strong evidence that they are, perhaps the time has come to abolish the CIA and the National Security Council. Those two agencies seem to pose a greater threat to democracy than communism. And since the Soviet government is currently calling for glasnost , it would seem appropriate that our government respond in kind by pursuing a policy of open covenants arrived at openly.

VANCE GEIER

Los Angeles

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