Statement from CIA Director Pompeo on Former DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner

“I think Mike Hayden is extremely well qualified for the job, but there is this big question mark over the legality of the wiretapping that was done under his supervision. I happen to think it was illegal.”

Former DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner — (On the nomination of  General Michael Hayden as head of the CIA )

Former DCI Stansfield Turner died on January 18 at home in Seattle, Washington.  Turner was sworn in as 12th DCI on 9 March 1977 and remained at the helm of the Agency until January 20, 1981. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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Stansfield Turner was a Navy admiral and Rhodes Scholar. Turner was Director of Central Intelligence under President Jimmy Carter. He was 94. The cause of the death was not immediately reported.

Statement from CIA Director Pompeo on Former DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner

It is with sadness that I note the passing of the former Director of our Agency, Admiral Stansfield Turner. Admiral Turner was a devoted patriot and public servant who led our Agency through a turbulent period of history, including both the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution.

An analyst at heart, Admiral Turner championed analytic innovation and applied his extensive military knowledge and insight to the challenges of the day, even taking a direct role in preparing the annual estimates on Soviet offensive strategic nuclear forces.

On behalf of all of us at CIA, I pass along our deepest condolences to Admiral Turner’s family, and I thank them for his faithful service to our country.

First 100 Days — Official CIA History

When newly elected President Carter called him to the White House in early February 1977, Adm. Stansfield Turner, then commander of NATO’s Southern Flank in Naples, thought he might be offered appointment as DCI.

At this suggestion his deputy observed, “Stan, the President is your classmate and friend; he wouldn’t do that to you.” He did, and Turner accepted, although he regretted the end of his military career.

President Carter had rejected George Bush’s offer to remain DCI for a few months to demonstrate that it was not a political or policy position that had to change with a new administration; Bush left CIA on 20 January.

In the face of stiff Congressional opposition, however, Carter’s original nominee, Theodore C. Sorenson, had with some bitterness withdrawn his name. After this setback, it was natural for Carter to look for a nonpolitical senior military officer who could be quickly confirmed for the post.

In retrospect, Turner recalls that his attitude toward CIA was strongly influenced by the experience of his first 100 days. In that period he permitted the courts to examine CIA evidence which led to the convictions of Christopher J. Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee in the spring of 1977. This case convinced him that CIA had severe security problems in managing its contractors.

Similarly, his discovery (on information from Washington
Post reporter Bob Woodward) that former CIA officer Edmund Wilson, who worked for Libyan President Qaddafi, had contacts inside CIA raised doubts about the DO’s probity and security (although Turner trusted his DDO, Bill Wells).

By summer CIA had unearthed and turned over to Congress more information about CIA’s massive drug testing programs of the 1950s and 1960s, which again put CIA into the headlines.

Turner’s most disturbing discovery was the harsh questioning and illegal imprisonment that the Agency’s Counterintelligence Staff had imposed for several years on Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko. This convinced him that CIA could be a dangerous organization if not kept closely accountable to the DCI, the President, and the Congress.

Turner soon found that he did not have a close working relationship with DDCI Knoche, whom Bush had appointed the previous year. By summer, when he asked Knoche to leave, Turner had become convinced that the Agency’s culture was an obstacle to the reforms that CIA needed.

Taking stock : Fifteen DCIs’ First 100 Days — CIA History Staff

Stansfield Turner — The Quest for Peace

 

REFERENCES

Statement from CIA Director Pompeo on Former DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner — CIA Website

Ex-CIA Director Stansfield Turner dead at 94; served under Carter — Reuters

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Statement from CIA Director Pompeo on Former DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner

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