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I would appreciate if you would clarify this portion of my testimony for the subcommittee and convey to them my expression of regret for any inconvenience the inadvertent mixup in dates on my part may cause.
DEPARTMENT OF UTTER CONFUSION
Of the many State Department witnesses, none was caught up in such a maelstrom of contradiction as was Robert Joseph McCarthy, Security Officer of the State Department, when he was questioned about the Weiland case on January 23, 1964. A part of the interrogation, which proceeded from mild incoherence to utter confusion, is as follows: 24
Mr. Sou'rWINE. With respect to this matter of the slanting of the documents, the slanting of the reports by Mr. Wieland, you have stated you found no such slanting and so reported to Jr. Reilly.
Mr. MCCARTHY. Yes.
Mr. SOIRWINE. I believe the record will also indicate you said you had read the Wieland file, including the evaluation report.
Mr. McCARTHY. Yes.
Mr. SourWINE. And you found nothing in the evaluation report that made clear the basis of Mr. Otepka's finding that there had been a slanting of reports by Wieland.
Mr. McCarthy. Did you say I said this or
Mr. McCARTHY. My only recollection is that I didn't see anything that would indicate to me that there was slanting of those reports by
Mr. SOURWINE. You did read the evaluation report?
Mr. SOURWINE. So it must have been true, you found nothing in there which would indicate there had been slanting of reports by Wieland; is that right?
Mr. McCarthy. I am sorry, this doesn't quite jell. I don't quite understand what you are saying.
Senator Dopp. Let me see if I understand. Also, it may help me to be sure I do. Otepka had found Wieland had slanted his reports?
Mr. McCarthy. Right.
Senator Dopp. You were asked to review Otepka's findings and seek other materials in the files, and check them?
Mr. McCARTHY. Yes.
Mr. SOURWINE. Well, did you find in the evaluation report anything to indicate to you that Mr. Otepka felt the reports had been slanted?
Mr. McCarthy. Almost anything I say is going to be contradictory here, because, I say, I looked this over and I did not see anything that was slanted, any report that was slanted. You state that Mr. Otepka's summary indicated that he felt there was slanting, and I think that almost your last question a year ago or the last time I was here was, did I find anything in the file Otepka did not find and I said I didn't find anything that he didn't find-so there must have been a controversy. There obviously was, but I wasn't aware
Senator Dodd. Is it a fact there was?
Mr. SOURWINE. I cannot testify, Mr. Chairman, and the report itself is the best evidence and we do not have the report and cannot get it.
Senator Dodd. But I want to understand so we will know what we are talking about.
Mr. SOURwINE. Mr. McCarthy has previously testified, if I remember correctly, that there was no statement or indication in the digest or the summary of the Wieland case that Wieland was slanting reports.
Mr. McCARTHY. If this is what I said, then this is what I believed and this is-it may be totally wrong, but it is what I believed.
Mr. Sourwine. This is what you have said consistently up to a moment ago when Senator Dodd asked you whether Otepka had found that the reports were slanted and you said “Yes."
24 Ibid., pt. 1 pp. 44-46.
Mr. McCarthy. I did not mean that. I meant to say that if this is what Otepka said and if this is what is in the summary, then I did read his summary then, apparently, when I have said that I did not find anything that would indicate any slanting and Mr. Otepka had, then apparently I was saying that-I was saying there is a controversy between what I said and what he said, and yet I also indicated to you last year, we closed up our testimony with me stating I found nothing contrary to what Mr. Otepka found.
Mr. SOURWINE. I am aware of it
Mr. McCarthy. Then obviously I cannot, obviously, answer your question one way or another without contradicting something.
Mr. SourWINE. I think that is quite obvious.
Mr. McCarthy. No, sir. Intellectually I have. But you have never given it to me. I have never seen my testimony. Mr. SOURwINE. Well
, that is rather surprising. I thought all the testimony of all the witnesses had been furnished to the witnesses after being given to the Department for correction by the witness.
Vr. MCCARTHY. I have never seen mine.
Mr. SOURWINE. Well, of course, that is available to you for your corrections, if you want to correct it, and I will see to it it is furnished.
Mr. McCarthy. All right. I thank you.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you recall now whether you did testify that there was no statement or indication in the digest of the summary of the Wieland case to the effect that Wieland was slanting reports?
Mr. MCCARTHY. I know, because you tell me so; yes, sir.
Senator DodD. That cannot be so. I want to be sure you understand each other. I understand that, up to this, you said you found from your view there was no slanting.
Mr. McCarthy. That is correct; yes, sir.
Senator Dodd. Well, now, Counsel is asking--and the witness says something else.
Mr. SOURWINE. Well, what I just asked, Senator, was whether he had an independent recollection of having testified previously that there was no statement or indication in the digest of the summary of the Wieland case to the effect that Wieland was slanting reports, and he says he doesn't remember, that he understands he did not testify to that, but he doesn't independently remember.
Senator Dodd. I see.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know whether it is true that both the summary and digest in the Wieland case make it clear that the evaluator had concluded that Wieland was slanting his reports?
Mr. McCARTHY. No, sir.
Mr. SOU'RWINE. I don't know whether this will work, Mr. Chairman, but we might try--if the order might be that we request the Secretary or some person designated by him to look at the digest and the summary to see if they do contain a statement which reflects that Mr. Wieland was slanting reports, and let us know his conclusion without giving us the report. We might get it that way.
Senator Dodd. Off the record. (Discussion off the record.) Senator Dodd. On the record. Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. McCarthy, do you remember testifying that the evidence of Mr. Shaffer before the subcommittee was discussed, in the security report of the Wieland case or the digest of the Wieland case?
Mr. McCARTHY. Do I remember testifying that Mr. Shaffer's testimony
Mr. SOURWINE. Was discussed, in the security case, the report on the Wieland case, or the digest of the Wieland security file, referring there to the report prepared by Mr. Otepka?
Jr. McCarthy. I think it was in the SY (security) files; I think so.
Mr. SOURWINE. Well, as a matter of fact, isn't it true that the Shaffer testimony was not prepared until after Otepka's report had been prepared and transmitted?
Mr. McCarthy. If I received Shaffer's testimony outside of the committee's records, if Shaffer's testimony is in the SY file, I received it from Mr. Otepka and I don't know whether it predated or postdated Mr. Otepka's initial finding.
Despite a statement by Secretary Rusk that State Department witnesses should meet the needs of congressional committees as fully and promptly as possible, the Internal Security Subcomınittee in this series of hearings found it difficult in many instances to get straight answers to questions and to requests for documentary information. In many instances requests for documents were refused.
Form letters sent by the State Department to individuals contained misleading information, including quotations out of context.
The subcommittee feels that if a policy is effective and efficient, the only defense it needs is truth and candor. Tactics used by certain witnesses strongly suggest that the Department had something to hide.
Even if an abundance of other evidence of the weakness of State Department security had not been uncovered in these hearings, the reluctance to provide information freely imputes vulnerability of the Department's security procedures.
STATE DEPARTMENT ATTEMPTS TO LIMIT EMPLOYEE
WITNESSES TOLD OF OTEPKA CASE GAG RULE
A studied and persistent effort was made by the Department to put the Otepka case out of bounds for any of its employees called to testify before the Internal Security Subcommittee. One or more of the Department's legal advisers met with employee after employee, as they were listed to testify, and outlined areas where they should remain silent.
Otto Otepka, himself, though facing charges and dismissal, was told he should not discuss the merits of his case. This ban was lifted—as to him-after he protested.
Herewith is a portion of the testimony of Richard A. Frank, of the Office of the Legal Adviser, as he was questioned on August 11, 1964:
Mr. SOURWINE. You conducted the briefing of Mír. Otepka, did you not? 1 Mr. FRANK. I did, sir.
Mr. SOURWINE. I am asking you just what it was that he was in fact instructed in this area.
Vr. FRANK. I would be happy to. Let me say that one point in this article 2 which I thought was the most inaccurate was the statement that people who were being briefed were told that they might lose their jobs, or were at the risk of losing their jobs if they testified any particular thing.
Mr. SOURWINE. We'll get to that point next. That follows in sequence in the article. That follows the one I am asking you about.
Mr. FRANK. Mr. Otepka was briefed in my office. He was told to be truthful and be responsive to the committee. One of those areas which we indicated the first time I met Mr. Otepka that he should not discuss was the merits of his
At that time, he indicated to me that he desired to discuss the merits of his case,
I conveyed that desire to my superiors, and was informed that I should tell Mr. Otepka that he was authorized to discuss the merits of his case.
Mr. SOURWINE. Did Mr. Otepka indicate that he wanted to do this voluntarily, or only that he wanted to be free to do it if he were questioned about it?
Mr. FRANK. I'm sorry, Mr. Sourwine.
Mr. SOURWINE. Well, Mr. Otepka has not told us that he has anything new to impart to the committee with regards to the merits of his case, and I'm wondering if, when he told you that he wanted to testify with regard to the merits of his case, he indicated, or you understood, that he had some voluntary statement that he wanted to make; or only that he wanted to be free to answer questions in this area.
Mr. Fravk. I'm really not sure.
Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Otepka then is, at the present time, free to answer any questions the committee has about the merits of his case?
Mr. FRANK. That is correct, sir.
Here's how it went with Mr. Otepka on the stand (Aug. 17, 1965): 3
I State Department Security hearings, pt. 2, p. 33.
2 Column by Richard Wilson, in Washington Evening Star, Aug. 5, 1964, under the heading "The State Department Ġag Rule.” State Department Security hearings, pt. 8, p. 500.
Mr. OTEPKA. Mr. Frank did virtually all of the talking. Mr. Hoover was present during the discussion.
Mr. SOURWINE. And were you told not to testify with respect to any particular matters or in any specified areas?
Mr. OTEPKA. Yes, there were five points that were covered during this briefing.
One, first of all, I was asked to be responsive to all questions and to be truthful in my replies to all questions; two, that in the event I should be asked to furnish documents in connection with my testimony, I should inform this subcommittee that a request for the specific documents should be submitted to the Secretary by the subcommittee; three, that I should observe the provisions of the Truman directive of March 13, 1948, if I were asked about furnishing information from personnel security files; four, that I should observe the third agency rules; and five, that I was not to discuss the merits of the Otepka case. That is my own case.
Mr. SOURWINE. That last is a little surprising. Did you protest that instruction?
Mr. OTEPKA. Yes, I did. I informed Mr. Frank and Mr. Hoover politely that since I was put into an adversary position by the Department of State, it was rather unusual for them to tell me that I could not discuss the merits of that case; in fact, I considered that admonition a denial of my right to defend myself here as I saw fit.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were you then told that there would be a relaxation of this instruction, or did the instruction stand?
Vr. OTEPKA. That instruction did not stand, because on July 31 Mr. Frank came to my office and told me that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Leonard Meeker, who, I understand, is the Acting Legal Adviser, and that it was decided that I could, if I wished, discuss the merits of my case.
Mr. SOURWINE. When Mr. Frank gave you this instruction about not discussing the merits of your case, did he explain what the purpose of that instruction was?
Mr. OTEPKA. He told me that it was in my best interest that I should not go into the merits of my case, in that matters might be presented here where I would not have the opportunity to defend myself.
Mr. SorrWINE. Mr. Otepka, have you ever been questioned about any subject here and not allowed to make whatever statements you wished with respect to it, or whatever defense you wished to make to the action or failure to act that was referred to in the question?
Mr. OTEPKA. I feel that in all of my appearances before this subcommittee, I was given the fullest opportunity to explain, fully explain, my side of any particular issue that came up.
Vir. SOTRWINE. Is there anything about this briefing that you have not covered? Mr. OTEPKA. I believe that covers it pretty specifically.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were you told anything in particular about a committee request for documents?
Mr. OTEPKA. Yes. I mentioned that was one of the points, that if I were to be asked for any documents, I was to tell the subcommittee that a request for these documents should be made to the Secretary.
Mr. SOURwINE. Was anything said to you about documents which were your own?
Mr. OTEPKA. No.
Mr. SOURwINE. Was anything said to you about documents which were in your possession but were the property of another individual, not the property of the State Department?
Mr. (TEPKA, No.
Mr. SOURWINE. I ask those questions, Mr. Chairman, because it appears on the record that certain other witnesses were instructed in that regard.
BOUNDARIES "NOT ALWAYS CLEAR” What at first appeared to be a simple matter of not testifying about the Otepka case soon became involved. Mr. Frank acknowledged (Aug. 11, 1964) that it was not always clear what were the boundaries of the banned area. He drew a reprimand for ducking questions."
Mr. SOURWINE. The article that we have just placed in the record,” Mr. Frank, states that other prospective witnesses, presumably witnesses before this subcom· State Department Security hearings, pt. 2, pp. 34-35. 3 Column by Richard Wilson, in Washington Star, Aug. 5, 1964.