The former United States Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief for Latin America has defended the CIA against charges that it plotted anti-Government coups and assassinations.
SV AND CU Retired CIA official Phillips delivering speech (MUTE)
SV AND GV Newsmen listening to speech (3 shots) (MUTE)
CU Phillips speaks
TRANSCRIPT: PHILLIPS (SEQ 3): "I have never seen a plan for assassination. I am not aware that it's ever happened. However, there must be something there. There have been discussions. And now people who are much senior than me have said 'Yes, there were some sort of discussions'. In recent times, I've learned more than I knew when I came back to this job two years ago. A great deal of it I got from the press. But I've also talked to all my friends and there's no question in those traumatic times, something took place which might have been termed 'discussions'. Whether they were plans or not I don't know. But I talked about this and obviously there's something there."
Initials CL/2358 CL/0010
This film is serviced with an extract from Mr. Phillip's speech commenting on the allegation that the CIA has been involved in assassinations.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The former United States Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief for Latin America has defended the CIA against charges that it plotted anti-Government coups and assassinations.
Mr. David Phillips, 52, said in Washington on Saturday (10 May) that he resigned from his job in order to help clear the agency's name by speaking publicly.
He denied the CIA'S involvement in the overthrow and death of Chilean President Salvadore Allende in 1973.
Mr. Phillips, who was in charge of the Latin American branch at the time of the coup, added that he had written to Senora Allende giving her new information on the case hoping that it will modify her outlook on the question of CIA culpability.
Speaking at a news conference, the former CIA chief said he could only speak of CIA activities in South America -- where he served, among other places, in Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Chile.
Mr. Phillips was, however, not so emphatic and sounded ambiguous when he spoke of the agency's general activities.