Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Richard Helms made an unannounced appearance at the Faculty Club last night to speak on "The Moral Obligations of Government" to an assembled group of students from the Kennedy School of Government.
Helms apparently delayed his arrival to deliver the off-the-record talk until the conclusion of an unrelated demonstration outside the Faculty Club, sponsored by the South African Solidarity Committee.
The former CIA director pleaded nolo contendere last October to two misdemeanor counts of failing to testify fully to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1973. His testimony concerned the intelligence agency s alleged efforts to block the election of the late Salvador Allende as president of Chile in 1970.
Helms's arrival at the Faculty Club last night resembled his surprise appearance before a U.S. District Court judge to submit his no contest plea last year, as no advance notice preceded his scheduled talk.
Helms appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington last November to testify on the role of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company (ITT) in the CIA's attempt to prevent Allende's inauguration as president.
The former CIA chief last night declined to comment on his appearance before the grand jury, and said he had "no opinion" as to whether national security considerations should bear on any possible prosecution of ITT executives for alleged perjury committed before the Senate Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations in 1973.
The Justice Department said last October that it had agreed to permit Helms to enter a no contest plea because "a trial of this case might jeopardize national secrets."