Henry A. Kissinger approved a series of CIA clandestine intelligence gathering and spying operations in the Pacific trust territory of Micronesia in October, 1979, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The report criticized the operations and said they have been terminated.
In addition, Kissinger, who was then President Nixon's Secretary of State and national security adviser, gave the Central Intelligence Agency permission "to assess the possibility of exerting covert influence on key elements of the Micronesian independence movement," the report said.
No covert action was actually undertaken, according to the committee report, but CIA surveillance and clandestine intelligence gathering included:
Recruiting and paying Micronesian residents for information, among them some who belonged to local political groups and at least one person who served in the island organization negotiating with the United States on the future status and perhaps eventual independence of the 2,200 strategically placed islands.
Use of one microphone room bug for three months in 1975 with the approval of the Director of Central Intelligence to gather information on the negotiations. The report said the bugging was "wholly unproductive" and the surveillance tapes have been destroyed.
The United States governs the islands under a United Nations trusteeship.
President Carter last week blocked release of the report because of a sentence revealing that the CIA effectively had a spy on the Micronesian negotiating committee. The Senate committee, however, voted unanimously yesterday to release the report following a press report about the disputed sentence.
Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.), a member of the Senate committee, said yesterday that CIA spying in Micronesia is "one of this country's most shabby operations in modern time . . . it is deplorable to even contemplate what we did."
Hart added: "What is improper is not the scope or consequences but that we agree to watch over someone as a trustee and then to use these techniques."
The report said Kissinger's deputy, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, "asked the CIA to initiate clandestine collection activities in Micronesia." It added. "Responsible officials failed to differentiate between intelligence techniques appropriate for use against an armed adversary and those proper for use against a people under U.S. administration and protection."
Kissinger could not be reached for comment last night.
The report criticized the use of the CIA to gather intelligence in Micronesia, adding that such information "would have been more properly obtained by other government agencies such as the Department of State or the Department of the Interior," which administers the territory.
The committee said in the future its opinion should be sought when the CIA conducts "such a highly intrusive technique as microphone surveillance."
Appropriate congressional committees were not informed of the 1975 microphone surveillance in Micronesia because the CIA "advised the committee that it was not the practice at that time to report such activities to congressional committees," the report said.
The committee began its investigation following a Dec. 12, 1976, story in The Washington Post alleging CIA electronic surveillance to learn the Micronesian negotiating position in talks with the United States.
The State Department disputed the legality of the surveillance in May, 1976, according to the committee report. Reliable sources said that President Ford last year was informed of this State Department objection but that he did not order the surveillance stopped.
The committee report concluded yesterday by saying, "We are satisfied that the agency's operations have been completely terminated and that all parties should make every effort to restore those vital elements of mutual trust and confidence which are absolutely essential to a successful resolution of the talks."