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Doc in the news: Pike report on the CIA

I ran across a story in the Guardian on Friday that sent me on a document hunt. Congressman Alan Grayson wrote a piece in which he referenced the Pike Committee investigation of the CIA:

“Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I’m in Congress.” Alan Grayson. The Guardian, Friday 25 October 2013.

In the 1970s, Congressman Otis Pike of New York chaired a special congressional committee to investigate abuses by the American so-called “intelligence community” – the spies. After the investigation, Pike commented:

‘It took this investigation to convince me that I had always been told lies, to make me realize that I was tired of being told lies. I’m tired of the spies telling lies, too.’

Pike’s investigation initiated one of the first congressional oversight debates for the vast and hidden collective of espionage agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). Before the Pike Commission, Congress was kept in the dark about them – a tactic designed to thwart congressional deterrence of the sometimes illegal and often shocking activities carried out by the “intelligence community”. Today, we are seeing a repeat of this professional voyeurism by our nation’s spies, on an unprecedented and pervasive scale.

The [[Pike_Committee|Pike Committee]] was the common name of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during the period when it was chaired by Democratic Representative Otis G. Pike of New York. It was the mirror to the Senate’s more famous [[Church_Committee|Church Committee]] which published fourteen reports in the mid-1970s on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed, and recommendations for reform.

Interestingly, the Pike committee report passed the Committee but was not approved by the House and not officially published. Consequently, a draft was leaked by Daniel Schorr of CBS News — Schorr refused to divulge his source! — to the Village Voice under the title “The CIA report the President doesn’t want you to read.” The Voice published major sections of the report and a British publisher published it in its entirety as CIA : the Pike report.

The House held a hearing to try and find out who leaked the document, but it’s findings were inconclusive:

Investigation of publication of Select Committee on Intelligence report : Hearings … ninety-fourth Congress, second session pursuant to H. Res. 1042 … July 19-29; Sept. 8-15, 1976

Here’s more historic context direct from the CIA Historian.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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