ABSTRACT

Looking for a Rogue Elephant: The Pike Committee Investigations and the CIA   [open pdf - 116KB]

"A storm broke over the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] on 22 December 1974, when Seymour Hersh published a front-page article in The New York Times headlined 'Huge C.I.A. Operation Reported in U.S. Against Anti-War Forces.' Hersh's article alleged that the Agency had been engaged in massive domestic spying activities. His charges stunned the White House and Congress. In response, President Ford established a blue-ribbon panel, the Rockefeller Commission, to investigate CIA activities in the United States. Ford later complicated the already-delicate issue further by hinting of CIA involvement in assassination attempts against foreign leaders. Congress soon launched its own investigation of the entire Intelligence Community (IC) and its possible abuses. On 27 January 1975, the US Senate established the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (the Church Committee). On 19 February 1975, the House voted to create a House Select Intelligence Committee (the Nedzi Committee, which was replaced five months later by the Pike Committee.) The investigations of the Pike Committee, headed by Democratic Representative Otis Pike of New York, paralleled those of the Church Committee, led by Idaho Senator Frank Church, also a Democrat. While the Church Committee centered its attention on the more sensational charges of illegal activities by the CIA and other components of the IC, the Pike Committee set about examining the CIA's effectiveness and its costs to taxpayers. Unfortunately, Representative Pike, the committee, and its staff never developed a cooperative working relationship with the Agency or the Ford administration. The committee soon was at odds with the CIA and the White House over questions of access to documents and information and the declassification of materials. Relations between the Agency and the Pike Committee became confrontational. CIA officials came to detest the committee and its efforts at investigation. Many observers maintained moreover, that Representative Pike was seeking to use the committee hearings to enhance his senatorial ambitions, and the committee staff, almost entirely young and anti-establishment, clashed with Agency and White House officials."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
1998
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Center for the Study of Intelligence: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
Source:
Studies in Intelligence (Winter 1998-1999)
URL:
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