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Rusk Y, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:09 - Mail and privacy

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Partial Transcript: This business of reading mail is a somewhat curious one.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the issue of privacy concerning documents sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

Keywords: Founding Fathers; Jane Fonda; Revolutionary War; Tories; Vietnam War; intelligence; war; wartime privacy

00:02:28 - Vietnam, censorship, and privacy

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Partial Transcript: Hey, Pop. Your life is a little unusual in that it doesn't really seem to be any aspects of it that have to stay secret.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explains his views on the anti-censorship protests and terrorist acts that occurred in the United States during the Vietnam War. He further discusses the intelligence decisions made by government officials of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, exploring the issue of "complete truths."

Keywords: American counterculture; American government; Anatoly Dobrynin; Arthur Sylvester; Barry Goldwater; Bill of Rights; Church Committee; Church hearings; Congress; Cuban Missile Crisis; Dun & Bradstreet; Dun and Bradstreet; Edmund Muskie; FBI; Federal Bureau of Investigation; First Amendment; First Amendment rights; Frank Church; Henry Kissinger; Huston Plan; John F. Kennedy; John Locke; Lyndon B. Johnson; Madame Chennault; Paris Peace Accords; Ramsey Clark; Richard Nixon; South Vietnam; The New Left; Thomas Jefferson; U.S. Congress; Vietnam War; White House security; World War II; counterculture; counterintelligence; counterterrorism; credit; credit bureaus; drive theory; government foundations; government intelligence; institutions; intelligence; martial law; political terrorism; polygraphs; privacy; private information; public information; repression; student activism; student protests; terrorism; wiretaps

00:14:02 - Public service and integrity

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Partial Transcript: This is one of the great questions of public service today, Pop, whether or not people can go into public service for the government and do so in an ethical way.

Segment Synopsis: Dean discusses the issue of integrity whilst in public office, exploring a variety of topics from government wire-tapping to resignation over policy conflicts.

Keywords: 303 committee; Adolf Eichmann; Cold War; Cyrus Vance; George Marshall; J. Edgar Hoover; John F. Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; Nuremberg; World War II; Yalta; bugging; covert operations; covert ops; government resignation; obedience; oversight of U.S. covert operations; wiretapping

00:18:45 - Supervision of the CIA

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Partial Transcript: I also wondered what, in your opinion, could be done to improve the supervision of the CIA, either by the executive or the Congress?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explains his perspective on creating a formal processes by which the Central Intelligence Agency is monitored by the U.S. Congress. He further discusses the issue of creating a statutory limitation on the term length of the CIA director.

Keywords: CIA term limit; Central Intelligence Agency; Church committee; Committee on Appropriations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; House of Representatives; J. Edgar Hoover; Joint-Atomic Energy Committee; National Security Council; U.S. Congress; Wyche Fowler; counterespionage; espionage; intelligence; joint committees; term limit

00:21:37 - Congressional power, paramilitary operations

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Partial Transcript: Do you think it would make sense to allow the two intelligence committees to vote formally on paramilitary operations in advance? And, if that approval was not forthcoming on the paramilitary operations, should it be cancelled?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explores the intersection of Executive and Congressional powers, especially during instances of time-sensitive U.S. paramilitary operations such as the Congo Crisis of the 1960s.

Keywords: Andrei Gromyko; Cold War; Congo Crisis; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Executive power; George Shultz; J. William Fulbright; Lyndon B. Johnson; Richard B. Russell; Stanleyville

00:26:14 - Journalism as intelligence

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Partial Transcript: Pop, this is a continuation of the interviews we have had on intelligence and intelligence gathering.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the validity of using the U.S. domestic and foreign press associations as a source of informal intelligence for the U.S. government. He further discusses the implications of "bad news" on current policy, and the process of adapting that policy to better meet the needs of those most affected by them at the time.

Keywords: Alexis Johnson; American foreign press; American press; Carl Rowan; Charles Bohlen; George F. Kennan; James Riddleburger; John F. Kennedy; John Paton Davies, Jr.; John Service; Joseph McCarthy; Llewellyn Thompson; Reza Shah; Rezā Khan; Rezā Shāh; Shah Pahlavi; Soviet Russia; U.S. Ambassadors; U.S. Congress; U.S. intelligence; USSR; W. Averell Harriman; Washington press corps; government leadership; journalism; journalistic objectivity

00:35:10 - Intelligence information flow to Presidents and Secretaries of State

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Partial Transcript: Carl Rowan told a story about you and Robert [Strange] McNamara in Vietnam. He had accompanied you on one of your early trips there back in the sixties.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses his experiences probing the intelligence community during the Vietnam War, and debates the issue of whether political aids to the President or Secretaries of State may sometimes too heavily control the flow of intelligence information to them.

Keywords: Andrei Gromyko; Bay of Pigs; Benjamin H. Read; Cherokee Channel; H.R. Haldeman; John Ehrlichman; Lyndon B. Johnson; Richard Nixon; Robert McNamara; Ronald Reagan; Tet Offensive; The Vietnam War; U.S. Secretariat; U.S. intelligence; Walt Rostow

00:44:46 - CIA and the Third World

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Partial Transcript: Okay, I've got a good question for you here. Now the third world countries in the last two decades especially have claimed that the CIA has had a large hand in the domestic policies of their own countries.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk speaks on the legitimacy of skepticism by leaders in the Third World concerning U.S. intelligence agencies like the CIA.

Keywords: Bureau of Intelligence and Research; CIA assassination plots; Central Intelligence Agency; Church Committee; Fidel Castro; Robert McNamara; Soviet Union; U.S. foreign affairs; U.S. intelligence; USSR; covert operations; government assassinations; international affairs