Pike Committee staffers did remove names and sources, but they left in most of what the Agency objected to. They contended that to comply with the Agency recommendations would leave nothing.
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The Agency, with close White House cooperation and support, continued its assault on the Pike Committee investigations and findings when the committee announced it would investigate 10 years of covert action in general, as well as specific CIA actions with regard to the Italian elections, US covert aid to the Kurds in Iraq from to , and US covert activities in Angola.
Under orders from the White House, CIA officials refused to testify in open session before the committee on these operations, declaring that such hearings would only benefit foreign intelligence services. The committee instead heard from Congressman Michael Harrington and Harvard law professor Roger Fisher, both of whom called for the outlawing of all covert action; former National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, who opposed covert action in peacetime; and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
The committee followed these hearings with a detailed examination of the role of the National Security Council and the "40 Committee", the major decisionmaking bodies when it came to covert action approval. The key question for the committee was whether the CIA was a "rogue elephant" or under strict control of the President and the executive branch?
The committee found that covert actions "were irregularly approved, sloppily implemented, and, at times, had been forced on a reluctant CIA by the President and his national security advisers. With tighter controls in mind, the committee recommended that the DCI notify it in writing with a detailed explanation of the nature, extent, purpose, and cost of all covert operations within 48 hours of initial implementation. It also proposed that the President certify in writing that such a covert action operation was required to protect the national security of the United States.
The committee's findings in this area were generally unexpected by CIA officers. These findings made clear the committee believed that the CIA was not out of control and that the Agency did not conduct operations without approval from higher authority.
Pike himself stated publicly that "the CIA does not go galloping off conducting operations by itself The major things which are done are not done unilaterally by the CIA without approval from higher up the line. The committee's final report also made it clear that the committee did not believe the CIA was out of control. It stated, "All evidence in hand suggests that the CIA, far from being out of control, has been utterly responsive to the instructions of the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
Determined to finish his work by 31 January , Pike pushed his committee for a final report. Searle Field at first hired Stanley Bach, a political scientist with some Hill experience, to write a draft report. Working primarily from the transcripts of the committee's hearings, Bach produced a rather balanced report not uncritical of the IC.
The report called for the establishment of a joint intelligence oversight committee using the Joint Atomic Energy Committee as a model. Pike rejected the draft and assigned the responsibility for producing a satisfactory final report to Field and Aaron Donner.
By early January, they had a draft. On 19 January, Field turned over a copy of the page report for Agency review. He wanted it back by the close of business on 20 January. Rogovin responded with a scalding attack on the report. He criticized the extreme time constraints placed on the Agency in making its response and pictured the report as an "unrelenting indictment couched in biased, pejorative and factually erroneous terms. It gave the American public a distorted view of US intelligence, thereby "severely limiting its impact, credibility, and the important work of your committee.
Despite Rogovin's protest, on 23 January the committee voted 9 to 7 along party lines to release its report with no substantial changes. The Republicans on the committee, strongly supported by the Agency and the White House, now led the fight to suppress the report. At the same time, Colby, fearing that the report would be released, called a press conference to denounce the committee and called the committee report "totally biased and a disservice to our nation.
Unofficially supported by the Agency and the White House, McClory and the other Republicans took the fight to suppress the report to the House floor on 26 January McClory argued that the release of the report would endanger the national security of the United States. On 29 January , the House voted to to direct the Pike Committee not to release its report until it "has been certified by the President as not containing information which would adversely affect the intelligence activities of the CIA. Pike was bitter over the vote. He announced to the House, "The House just voted not to release a document it had not read.
Our committee voted to release a document it had read. This was unacceptable. In an attempt to pacify Pike, McClory on 3 February made a motion in committee "that Speaker Carl Albert be asked to submit the final report to President Ford so that it might be sanitized and released. After extensive inquiry, it failed to find out who leaked the report.
So ended the House investigation of the IC.
The solid recommendations the Pike Committee made for improving Congressional and executive oversight of the IC and for strengthening the DCI's command and control authorities were overlooked in the commotion surrounding the leaking of the committee's report to the press. In addition to its recommendations for prohibiting assassinations, opening the IC budget, allowing GAO audits of the CIA, and introducing stricter oversight of covert actions, the committee's number-one recommendation, like the Church Committee's, was the establishment of a Standing Committee on Intelligence.
Unlike its Senate counterpart, the House committee would have jurisdiction over all legislation and oversight functions relating to all US agencies and departments engaged in foreign or domestic intelligence. It would have exclusive jurisdiction over budget authorization for all intelligence activities and for all covert actions. The Pike Committee also proposed to vest this committee with subpoena power and the right to release any information or documents in its possession or control. Coupled with this last recommendation was an additional section that recommended criminal sanctions for the unauthorized disclosure of information tending to identify any US intelligence officer.
All these reform recommendations were attempts to improve the organization, performance, and control of the IC without adversely affecting US intelligence capabilities. Yet, in the turmoil surrounding the controversy over whether to release the report, the recommendations were ignored, forgotten, or simply lumped in with the report as "outrageous and missing all the points. Later, a reflective Pike saw the leaks and fights over disclosure as "distracting from the committee findings.
Despite its failures, the Pike Committee inquiry was a new and dramatic break with the past. In the final analysis, both the CIA and the committee were caught up in the greater power struggle between the legislative and executive branches in which the Congress in the late s tried to regain control over US intelligence activities and foreign policy. The investigations were part of this overall struggle. And the inquiry foreshadowed, although it was not clear at the time, that Congress would become much more of a consumer of the intelligence product.
Gerald K. Seymour Hersh, "Huge C. Frank J. Smist, Jr. Congressional Quarterly, 19 February , p. The CIA "family jewels" was a page internal report compiled on possible Agency illegal activities. All the original Republicans remained on the new committee, and they added James Johnson. Both had served in the House for seven terms and both had been on the House Armed Services Committee.
Pike had also conducted the House investigation of the North Korean seizure of the Pueblo in In , Pike expressed interest in running for the Senate in Rogovin, telephone interview with author. The report also noted that the military intelligence budget did not include expenditures for tactical military intelligence, and that this greatly distorted the intelligence budgets of the Services.
See The Pike Report, pp. Pike later maintained that this agreement did not extend to the committee's final report. The Pike Report, p. Intelligence Agencies and Activities: Risks and Control, pp.
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The committee issued a subpoena for "40 Committee" records on 6 November The New York Times, 26 January , p. See David E. See The Village Voice, 16 February , p. Under the Church Committee recommendations and the subsequent establishment of a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, responsibility for tactical military intelligence remained solely within the jurisdiction of the Senate Armed Services Committee. We read every letter, fax, or e-mail we receive, and we will convey your comments to CIA officials outside OPA as appropriate.
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See next articles. View page in TimesMachine. Selected pages Table of Contents. Contents Prologue. A Senate Campaign. Whalen Mosher And Dwyers Breed. Scott Crass No preview available - House U. Bibliographic information. Political Science. Statesmen and Mischief Makers: : Officeholders and Their Contributions to History from Kennedy to Reagan Scott Crass Xlibris Corporation , Aug 31, - Political Science - pages 0 Reviews Historically, when sweeping policy changes or legislation of indelible consequence are signed into law, Presidents receive the credit.