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and you can treat it that way, but I think the main problem, strangely enough, is freedom.
Senator SASSER. Yes. I am interested in hearing you say that, because I well remember when a number of Soviet defectors or resettlement cases or whatever we want to call them went back to the Soviet Union almost en mass, and in the interviews that some of them gave to the media, it was clear that they were having a real problem contending here with a free society and the freedom of choice that was available to them and trying to compete economically in our society.
Director WEBSTER. Senator, I heard on the radio this morning that a man stole a car and drove to the police station and demanded to be arrested and put back in jail in time for mealtime this morning. We don't have that very often in this country, but it is reflective of people who are not used to making choices and dealing with individual opportunity.
Senator SASSER. You have outlined for Senator Roth some of the means by which the Soviets and the Eastern Bloc countries will seek to induce an individual to redefect. Can you tell us here, in an open session, first, do we have any means by which we seek to induce an individual not to redefect or to try to neutralize the redefection measures that the Soviets or the Eastern Bloc uses? Do we utilize such means?
Director WEBSTER. I want to emphasize that everyone in this country, including resettlement people, are protected by our Constitution, and therefore, the courts and our laws protect their rights to leave, just as they do an American citizen's right to leave, if that's their choice.
We do, if we get indications early on that someone is unhappy about something, we try to see whether it is possible to resolve that unhappiness or to clarify an issue that is causing them trouble and to give them support if they are feeling nobody cares about them, to provide that kind of support.
We have had some obvious failures in the past. I think it would be wrong for us to assume that nobody redefects unless they had their arm twisted by the Soviet or the Soviet Bloc countries. That is not the case. Obviously, some of them reach that decision all by themselves simply because they are unhappy with their situation in this country.
Those are the areas in which I think if we find, if we are on top of the situation, we can do a great deal to correct and minimize the number of people who call it quits and go back.
There is an enormous pull, especially in Soviet Russia, to the homeland. It has nothing to do, so far as I can determine from fairly thorough study of it, has nothing to do with their loyalty to the Soviet regime or Communism, but simply homeland, and if they are homesick, they may want to go home, and that happens.
Senator SASSER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Director, Mr. Chairman.
Senator NUNN. Senator Cohen?
In response to Senator Sasser's question about the ballerina, I think that the implication was, well, since they have no real intelli
gence association that perhaps they would not fall within the purview of the CIA or the FBI.
But I think that perhaps is a generalized statement which we have to recognize there are exceptions to.
Director WEBSTER. That is right.
Senator COHEN. For example, as I recall, there were two Korean movie stars who were favorites of Kim Yung Sun's son, Kim Jong Ill, as I recall, who, in fact, provided very valuable information about one of the most closed societies on earth.
So to simply have dismissed them as movie stars would have been inappropriate under the circumstances, because they did provide valuable intelligence information. Similarly, I suppose that if we knew whether the ballerina had performed before Andropov two weeks before he died, that might have been of some intelligence value in trying to determine what the state of health of Andropov was.
Director WEBSTER. Absolutely, and my responses to Senator Sasser were really directed to whether, because they were famous, they were automatically defectors. I am trying to say it is not because they were famous.
Senator COHEN. But you would make a determination as to what their activities were, would you not?
Director WEBSTER. That is right.
Senator COHEN. Or would you simply say these are stars, but not intelligence stars.
Director WEBSTER. No. We would want to know about the individual.
Senator COHEN. Do the Soviets harass those who are of little intelligence or political significance?
Director WEBSTER. I don't know that I should try to answer that question in this forum. Obviously, their greatest interest is in those who can do them the most harm, but there are times, I believe, when they have tried to reach a group as a whole, even though the people in the group
are not important. Senator COHEN. The point I am trying to make is, on the one hand, we spend very little attention and devote very little activity to those who have little intelligence or political significance. I was wondering whether the Soviets take the same attitude, whether they can either apply pressure to a large number of the disaffected and see if they can't encourage them to return en mass back to the Soviet Union for the propaganda effect that might have.
The question was: Do they turn their attention to the individuals in the hope that they might have a collective return to the Soviet Union for propaganda purposes, or do they tend to concentrate their activities on those intelligence officers or people who might have access to intelligence in that state?
Director WEBSTER. I think they do whatever is useful, whatever they think is useful to the Soviet Union, and I am sure it is carefully prioritized.
Senator COHEN. On the second question, in which you responded to Senator Roth, that they harass individuals perhaps for the purpose of trying to encourage them to become double agents, for the Soviet Union. The question occurred to me whether that creates additional pressures upon the CIA and other agencies in our government to constantly re-evaluate the legitimacy or reliability to those who have defected, and if we are constantly re-evaluating them, does that, in turn, have the effect of causing those individuals to become disenchanted, disaffected with the United Statesthe purpose is then achieved that they turn away from the United States?
Director WEBSTER. I know that I can answer the last part of the question. Certainly, it does put additional burdens, particularly, on the FBI. I hate to recall old wounds, but it was that particular undertaking to keep abreast of what was going on in the Soviet emigre society in San Francisco or Los Angeles, rather, that the FBI Agent Miller was assigned to do. You have to do it without being harassing; you have to do it in a way that that elicits cooperation but it is a big job, and it is one that doesn't produce an awful lot in and of itself.
Senator COHEN. You mentioned in one of your responses about gifted people who come to the United States, don't have employment opportunities, lose their self-respect and, therefore, are inclined to want to return to their motherland.
I was struck by that, because we have a number of journalists, television journalists in the audience today. On occasion, I have had the opportunity to go on various programs out of New York. On Sunday morning, for example, I have always been struck by the fact that most of the limo drivers are all from the Soviet Union. I have inquired about that, and I had one individual who said he was in the Soviet opera—Moscow Opera, I think. He indicated he was now driving a limosine.
There a lot of cab drivers who like to sing, but there are very few opera singers, obviously, who like to drive a cab. I didn't have any way of checking out his diploma, because we were told they don't bring their diplomas here as to whether or not that was, in fact, true. But, it seems to me that is a particular problem that we have. Talented people don't have, really, any opportunity to channel those talents into something productive and are reduced to either driving cabs or limos or whatever.
Is that a problem that you have found with defectors, those who call themselves or are classified as defectors?
Director WEBSTER. I think in some cases, although in those that are classified defectors, including, effort is put into not letting that happen.
Senator COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I have just one other thing to raise here with the Director, and it is from a statement that has been submitted to the committee. I don't know that he will appear as a witness, but I would like to read what one of the defectors had to say about the problems that he encountered. I think it gives you some insights into what is, perhaps, wrong or deficient in the way in which we approach the problem.
The ingenuous American respect for the privacy of others may be read as a lack of attention or interest or profound heartlessness. Similarly,
And this is kind of key, The refusal of an American to participate in a heavy drinking session with a defector may be interpreted as an indication of dishonest intentions. Finally, the meritorious American straightforwardness is ususally taken for either stupidity or utter cunningness.
Russian and American concepts of friendship also differ dramatically. In America, a friend is a very loose term. Americans may have hundreds of friends, many of whom could be people they have met only several times in their lives. In the hostile environment of the Soviet Union, a friend means a close, intimate friend who is willing to cover your back or, in extreme circumstances, even sacrifice his life for you. In the USSR, one can have only one, two, or at a maximum, three true friendsI am not sure that doesn't apply here, as well, but anyway, And that those are earned through loyalty shown during the years of mutual troubles and hardships. The defector desperately needs a Russian-style friend, particularly after the debriefing is over. He is left on his own.
I think that those words should be taken to heart.
Director WEBSTER. I think those are very good statements and very good observations. If I could make one comment about that, that is the kind of attention that is particularly important in the early stages of defection. But I think it would be a mistake if we tried to create and preserve that kind of environment without introducing and helping the defector shift cultures and to become a part of the American scene.
We can't keep him in a bottle forever, and so there has to be a transition forward with which those friends, you call, can be very helpful.
Senator COHEN. What he points out is at precisely the time he has finished his debriefing, he is sort of cut loose from these loose friends he has accumulated in the intelligence service. He says this is very unfortunate, because his mistrust of people at this point is still very high. His English language abilities are still very poor. He does not accept many American social values. He hates "receptions, football, baseball, hamburgers, American women, suburban life," and so on. [Laughter.]
Director WEBSTER. Very common, very common.
Senator Nunn. You said you can't keep them in a bottle forever. I guess you mean that literally and figuratively. [Laughter.]
Two questions I have before we go to our next witness. One is: How do you distinguish here in general terms between the role of the CIA and the FBI in dealing with defectors, and I would say, also, in dealing with the second category, people who don't fit the definition of defector?
Director WEBSTER. CIA and FBI have worked very well together over the years in encouraging defections, depending on what part of the world this is taking place in. Often, the defections, as you know, Mr. Chairman, occur in other parts of the world, and then it becomes primarily the job of the Central Intelligence Agency to be sure that that person gets safely to the United States and is still of a desire to defect.
Historically, the care and feeding of defectors-and I don't mean that in any sense of disrespect-but the responsibility for nurturing them has fallen to the CIA with on-going liaison with the FBI. The FBI has legitimate reasons for wanting to interview, debrief, get information from these defectors and supply information to be useful to the Agency. That is the way it has worked in the past.
We have been looking for ways to improve it in the future, including other agencies who were skilled in relocation and other services after the basic debriefing period has taken place. We have no real role with respect to the masses of aliens coming to the United States, other than to work in liaison with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the State Department to be sure that they are aware of our interest, helping them to be alert to persons of defection that can be followed up on by the appropriate agency, depending on where it is. I think that is the best general answer I can give you.
Senator Nunn. Who is responsible for counterintelligence among the defectors?
Director WEBSTER. Among the defectors?
Director WEBSTER. It is a combination in the sense that many defectors who have worked in this country or who have worked with espionage agents who are in this country have information of value in the counterintelligence in this country. And that is the FBI's role, to find space here.
They also are well aware of activities around the world in which the Central Intelligence has a specific counterintelligence responsibilty. So it is a level of coordination.
Senator NUNN. What about the defectors themselves in terms of their legitimacy or whether they, indeed, have been sent for intelligence purposes rather than true defection purposes?
Director WEBSTER. That is joint.
Director WEBSTER. I equate it with the same problem that intelligence services face with double agents. One must always be alert to have the best possible sense of the bona fides of the person you are working with, and the same thing is true of the defectors, but that has to be very skillfully and professionally done.
If they are treated as potential double agents, they are not going to be very good defectors.
Senator NUNN. So it has to be balanced very carefully?
Senator Nunn. Any other questions, Senator Cohen or Senator Sasser?
Senator SASSER. No, no further questions.
Senator Nunn. Director, we appreciate you being with us, and we will have other questions for the record. We may need to get into some private testimony. We may have to do that or do it in connection with an intelligence hearing at some point on some of these questions, but the information we ask at the beginning we would appreciate your furnishing.
Director WEBSTER. All right. Thank you.
Our next witness is Lieutenant General William E. Odom, Director of the National Security Agency.
General Odom has not only a tremendous intelligence background, but he has a very broad background that contains a great deal of exposure to Russian studies and Russian history. General Odom, we welcome you here today. I hate to have to get you to stand, but our rules before this committee require that all of our witnesses be sworn, even Senators, so we ask you to hold up your hand.