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CIA Confirmation Hearing of Anthony Lake

March 13, 1997



Robert Bryan

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney. He is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, and the former Chair of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Today is the third day of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s
confirmation hearings on President Clinton’s nominee for director
of Central Intelligence — Anthony Lake.

Led by Alabama Republican Richard Shelby who chairs the Senate
Intelligence Committee, Senators have fired questions at Lake about
everything from the baseball team he supports to Iranian arms
shipments to Bosnia. Notably absent from the discussion, however,
has been any mention about the CIA role in international narcotics
trafficking or the CIA’s support for anti-democratic and repressive
military regimes.

Still, conservative Republicans on the committee have repeatedly
attacked Lake about his managerial experience, integrity and
political beliefs. Indeed, at times the hearing had the aura of a
McCarthyite "loyalty hearing" from the 1950s. Among the issues that
came up in yesterday was Lake’s resignation — along with four
colleagues — from Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council
staff in the early 1970s in protest at the invasion of Cambodia.
Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma also fired questions about Lake’s
views on communism and the release of the so-called Pentagon Papers
in the early 1970s.

In a minute we’ll be joined by Daniel Ellsberg, a former State
Department and Pentagon official who worked with Anthony Lake
during the Vietnam War era. It was Daniel Ellsberg who released to
politicians and the press the Pentagon Papers — 7,000 pages of top
secret documents on the history of decision-making during the
Vietnam War.

But first let’s hear an excerpt from yesterday’s hearings between
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and nominee Anthony Lake. Here Sen.
Inhofe asks Anthony Lake about his resignation in the early 1970s
from Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council staff in protest
at the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.


GUEST: DANIEL ELLSBERG, a former State Department and Pentagon
official who worked with Anthony Lake in the late 1960s and early
1970s during the Vietnam War era. Daniel Ellsberg made public the
Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top secret documents — 47 volumes
in all — on the history of decision-making during the Vietnam War.

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