>Norman Bailey recalls that soon after he joined the National Security Council, he received a call from NSC officials asking him to talk to a group of followers of right-wing presidential candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. who were offering intelligence information to the agency. Bailey, then NSC's senior director of international economic affairs, said he found the visitors' intelligence on economics and foreign affairs surprisingly on target.
>He said he met with LaRouche's followers numerous times in 1982 and 1983 in his Executive Office Building office, and three times with LaRouche himself -- including once for dinner at LaRouche's rented Loudoun County estate. Bailey said he circulated within NSC a well-researched position paper that two LaRouche followers wrote about fusion energy. "Some of them are quite good," Bailey said of LaRouche's associates. He said that he found them to be "useful" because of their "excellent" international contacts.
>"They can operate more freely and openly than official agencies" such as the CIA, Bailey said. "They do know a lot of people around the world. They do get to talk to prime ministers and presidents." Bailey also has described LaRouche's organization as "one of the best private intelligence services in the world."
>It's a view shared by others in powerful places in Washington. Through dogged work, the LaRouche organization has assembled a worldwide network of contacts in governments and in military agencies who meet regularly and swap information with them, officials and former members said. In Washington, the LaRouche group has spent the last several years currying favor with officials of the NSC, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, Drug Enforcement Administration, the military and numerous other agencies, as well as with defense scientists doing classified research, according to federal officials and ex-members of the LaRouche group. "They've made a very concerted effort to influence the government," said Richard Morris, counselor to Interior Secretary William Clark and formerly Clark's assistant when he was NSC chief. "Their influence never went beyond the mid-level. There's no way they could influence the president."
>"They obviously want to impress, with their knowledge, people who are in the know in Washington," said Ray S. Cline, a former top State Department and CIA intelligence official who said he was approached by LaRouche associates in 1980 and has spoken with them a number of times since. "They're terribly eager to find somebody" in government to talk to.
>The LaRouche group stepped up its presence in Washington about 1981, when President Reagan took office, and it has publicly promoted many of his initiatives in its publications and on Capitol Hill.
>In an interview, Inman recalled the visit at his CIA office by LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who had just returned from Europe. He said that she gave enticing information about the West German Green Party, an antinuclear group. "At the time, nobody in intelligence was covering them at all," Inman said of the Greens.
>Inman, now head of a Texas-based computer research organization, said the meeting was not extraordinary, because, as a CIA official, he sometimes met with people returning from overseas trips. He said he did not give information, but listened. Inman and other intelligence officials said they doubt the stories, widely circulated inside the LaRouche group, that the organization has informants inside the CIA who provide it with intelligence. Former associates said the organization dealt with several "cutouts," or intermediaries, who claimed they received confidential reports from the CIA. The code name for one supposed CIA contact was "Mr. Ed," said ex-associates, who added they know of no confirmation that the contact existed.
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