Nixon lie when he said exactly the opposite?nOr does Richard Nixon exist onlyninasmuch as the New York Timesnchooses to reflect his existence?nwne can easily believe the numerousndescriptions by Powers of amicable relationsnbetween top CIA officials likenRichard Helms and New York Timesneditors like James Reston, S. L. Sulzbergernand Powers himself. These CIAnofficials ought to be pleased with thenNew York Times and Powers’s book. Itnis true that the New York Times hasnbeen destroying the CIA at both ends:n”exposing” its often brilliant covertnoperations and covering up its intelligence-data-gatheringnhoaxes. But thenmore inept a CIA official is, the morenhe must realize that without the NewnYork Times cover-up of his ineptitude,nhe would have been fired years ago.nWith its double-barreled destruction ofnthe effectiveness of the CIA, the NewnYork Times and Powers have ensurednhis survival on the job. And isn’t thisnwhat matters?nIt is true that both dogmas mentionednpreviously could be disproved by Powers’snown evidence. But dogmatists donnot think. The world of dogmas and thenworld of facts never touch. Thus, everynPravda editorial could be slashed tonribbons by the evidence contained innPravda itself. But why should Pravdanpeople think?nPowers writes that Richard Nixonn”complained about CIA failures to warnnhim of something in advance, sayingnthat the Agency couldn’t keep up evennwith the wire services.” How to squarenthis with the New York Times-PowersnDogma No. 2? Does Powers mean thatnhe and the top New York Times editorsncan see the CIA’s excellence at gatheringnintelligence data on totalitarian societiesnbecause they are good friends,nwhile Richard Nixon is blinded by hisnhatred of the CIA? If this is the case,nwhy have publications like Village Voicenor Rolling Stone never reported thatnwhich Nixon complained of: the totalnineptitude of the CIA in collecting datan10nChronicles of Culturenon totalitarian societies?nThe CIA “was never successful innpenetrating Hanoi or the NLF withnagents,” writes Powers. “PresidentnJohnson once criticized John McConen[the CIA Director] for the CIA’s failurenin this regard …” Are we to concludenfrom this that the CIA could not penetratenthe infrastructure of North Vietnamnor its guerrilla troops in SouthnVietnam, but that it can penetratenRussia?nI cannot help recalling that RonaldnReagan’s newsletter outlined my scathingnexpose of the CIA’s comical ignorance,nand that the newspaper HumannEvents reprinted it in full, while itnwas rejected with horror by all thosenleft-wing periodicals, authors and publishers—whonare known for their exposesnof the CIA’s “violations of lawnand morality,” and for divulging thennames of CIA agents. It almost seemsnto be a colossal destruction of the CIAn—by vigilant concealment of its ineptitudenin intelligence data gathering andnsimultaneous praise of its imaginaryntalent, knowledge, skills and achievementsnin the same sphere.nIn his introduction. Powers sings anhymn to the omniscience of the CIAnwith respect to the Soviet empire and itsnsatrapies (such a hymn may also bencalled a Judas kiss). “Even the boldestnSoviet initiative,” Powers exclaims, “innthe postwar period—Khrushchev’s decisionnto put nuclear missiles into Cuban—was discovered in sufficiently goodntime to give Kennedy an opportunity tonrespond.”nBut from the text of Powers himselfnwe can see what really happened. Latenin July and early in August 1962, eightnSoviet ships openly docked in Cuba, andna Soviet construction site with Sovietnsurface-to-air missiles was in plain sight,nas American pilots could clearly see andnphotograph. Nothing was hidden orncamouflaged, for Khrushchev assumednthat it was his right to arm his ally,nCuba. Period.nOn September 19, more than a monthnlater, the CIA “concluded (without dis­nnnsent) that the Soviets were unlikely”nto be building missile launches in plainnsight. The CIA stuck to its guns; PresidentnKennedy therefore denied publiclynthat the Soviets were placing nuclearnmissiles in Cuba. It took another monthnfor the CIA to admit, on October 14,nthat the visible world was not a mirage.nSurely the CIA’s discovery belongs tonthe realm of philosophy, certainly notnto intelligence.nIt is clear from The Man Who Keptnthe Secrets, as from hundreds of othern”CIA books,” that the CIA has nevernbeen able to maintain a single agentnwithin the Soviet infrastructure.nBy such an agent I mean a specific personnwho, unsuspected by the Soviets,nhas gained information from within thenSoviet infrastructure, has returned safelynto the West and written a book tonprove his true identity. This is whatnhosts of Soviet agents in sensitive positionsnin the West, like Kim Philby, havendone. In 1951 the CIA was requested,nas Powers describes, to plant one agentnin each Soviet airfield by July 1, 1952,nabout 2,000 agents in all. What was thenCIA’s reaction? “Sure, we can do that.”nThey didn’t. If this is the case, what isnthe worth of the CIA’s declaration thatnit could verify SALT? “Sure, we canndo that.” Can you collect intelligencendata confirming that the Soviet war machinenwill not try to conquer Eurasianand Africa within the next several years,nthus sealing the doom of the UnitednStates too? “Sure, we can do that.”nWith rare exceptions, the “seriousnbooks” published in New York do notnsay anything except that their authorsnconform to this season’s fashion. Inn1975, a book like The Man Who Keptnthe Secrets would have been publishednby a small publishing house somewherenin Arlington, Virginia, and would havenbeen hounded out of New York as ann”antediluvian relic of the Cold War,nMcCarthyism and fascism.” In 1979,nthe book was “just right” for New York.nPowers describes how Joseph McCarthynalluded, in his Wheeling speech, ton