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Casey weathers Senate inquiry

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY CLARA GERMANI / July 31, 1981



Washington

Central Intelligence Director William J. Casey, the first member of the Reagan administration to be the target of a congressional investigation, has apparently survived unscathed. The Senate Intelligence Committee ended a day of questioning Mr. Casey by concluding there was no basis for determining him "unfit to serve."

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Committee chairman Barry Goldwater (R) of Arizona, who last week said Casey should resign, said the panel will still "chase down some loose ends" before completing its investigation. The probe focused on Casey's business dealings and stewardship of the CIA. The panel scrutinized a ruling by a federal judge that Casey and former associates misled investors in 1968 and his appointment of Max Hugel as chief of clandestine operations. Mr. Hugel resigned July 14 after allegations -- which he denied -- of improper stock practices.

Meanwhile, reporting for National Public Radio, Daniel Schorr said that some senators were earlier reported to be concerned about Casey's judgment in allegedly proposing secret operations to support opposition to Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The White House, he said, had planted a story concerning a possible CIA-backed coup in Mauritania in order to divert attention from a Newsweek story concerning Casey's approval of the Libyan plan.