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Letters

In response to:

Portugal Under Pressure from the May 29, 1975 issue

To the Editors:

With regard to the article on Portugal which you published on May 17, 1975, I did not see a single one of the people Mr. Maxwell alleges I saw while I was in Portugal last August, Perhaps Mr. Maxwell’s view of my “blundering machinations” is more fiction of his making than fact of my doing.

Vernon A. Walters

Deputy Director, CIA, Washington, DC

Kenneth Maxwell replies:

I have no wish to create fiction. The CIA has better facilities than I possess for that. General Walters well knows, and his recent visit to Spain has no doubt reminded him, that all those I mentioned are at present in jail or in exile. Serious charges have been made against them. None has yet been afforded due process, a failure that The New York Review was the first to criticize. In this context, General Walters’s letter is important for the record, especially as the CIA has previously refused to confirm that he was in Portugal at all last year. Whether the connections between General Walters, Admiral Anderson, and the Portuguese ultras are fact or fiction will surely emerge in the course of time, as will the full story of US policy during the first critical months of the Portuguese revolution. On past performance, I had good reasons to have confidence in my sources. The issue, however, is now a historical one. What is more important is the freedom of the men in question and their right to a fair hearing. If injustice is done I have no desire to contribute to it by giving credence to falsehoods if such they be.

I was mistaken in my May 17 article in asserting that Professor Juan Linz has become a conduit for Gulbenkian funds in the US. I have learned since that this is not the case. It is my understanding that although such an arrangement was discussed at a high level in the foundation as a consequence of the March 17 events, any such arrangement was rejected. Professor Linz assures me he has received no funds from Gulbenkian beyond expenses associated with his visit to Lisbon, and I apologize for any misunderstanding my remarks may have caused.

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