Daniel Pipes’s column today gave me a nice memory. His topic is ally-on-ally spying. Years ago, Richard Helms was on the David Brinkley show. This was during the Jonathan Pollard affair. Helms had been DCI (director of Central Intelligence) from 1966 to 1973. At one point, Sam Donaldson said to him, “Well, surely, Mr. Helms, the United States isn’t spying on its allies, is it?” Helms answered, matter-of-factly, “I certainly hope so.”
I admired Helms. Sent him a letter once, when I was in my early twenties. He sent me a gracious reply, immediately. Later on, I was at some Washington gathering at which he was present, and Charles Krauthammer too. Dr. K. said to me, “Go up and ask him about the time he interviewed Hitler.” (Helms had been a journalist.) I didn’t, and could kick myself for it.