Mr. Arnaud de Borchgrave
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
I appreciate your letter ofecember and offer to discuss our recent problem1 Gertz. Lordoo am sorry we are having problems with the TIMES because we certainly do not need any more enemies among. press.
Bill 6ertz just plain got it wrong. old him on the record was that the Agency received no letter from Attorney General William French Smith to DCI William Casey which stated that the Department of Justice Intended to prosecute Mr. Waterman. lso told Gertz off the record that the DCIighly classified letter onune from the Attorney General, but that It did not say what Gertz claimed ithat the Justice Department planned to prosecute. nformed Gertz that the letter conveyed that Justice had no plans to prosecute, but declined to discuss any particulars since the letter contained classified information and belonged to the Department of Justice. eferred him to Justice for further information. ades plainould that Justice never told us it planned to prosecute Waterman; in fact, onune it specifically stated that it had no plan to do so.
You should know that Gertz is the only journalist in Washington who consistently misrepresents what we tell him. We have arrivedointave had to issue instructions that two of my media relations officers must be on the phone whenever any of us is talking to Gertz so that we will be able to confirm what was and what was not said to him. Indeed, two others can confirm my version of ray conversation with Gertz. That we have had to go to these lengths to protect ourselves in dealing with this one person among all the journalists who call CIA should tell you all that needs to be said.
Mr. Arnaud de
In the future, the best way for us to cope with Gertz is to not discuss anything with Mm by way of background and simplyuote-end-quote statement answering his query. Ue will theno read the statement back to us and will request that he run it exactly as we have dictated it. Ue do not have to do that with other reporters who correctly reproduce statementsASHINGTON POST at least quotes us
As to your sense that we are trying to discredit Gertz and get him off the intelligence beat: which journalists cover us is your business, not ours. Moreover, my office has had nothing to do with the Hale Foundation whatever it Is.
A cardinal rule here at CIA is that we never lie to reporters about anything. ave been in this mfserableand one-half yearsave always found ways of coping with the myriad of problems with which we have been faced without being dishonest or misleading. There is much we cannot say, but we try to be helpful when we can. All we ask in returnhat what little we can say be reported accurately and not be ftHworded toolitical cause or someone's personal vendetta by denigrating they.
I would be delighted to lunch with you any time and Indeed to discuss the foregoing if It is not clear.
Best wishes to you personally and to THE WASHINGTON TIMES.
Georgeauder Director, Public Affairs