Intelligence Agencies Under Fire

Archive Report

Concern Over Alleged Failures

Criticism of Surprises in Iran and Cuba

Public concern about intelligence agency abuses became intense in the wake of the Watergate scandal, in which murky connections between the Central Intelligence Agency and Watergate figures came to light.1 The disclosure in December 1974 that the CIA had illegally spied on thousands of Americans led to the establishment of two investigations, one by the Rockefeller Commission and the other by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under the chairmanship of Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho.2 A series of revelations soon followed. Among other things, it was discovered that the agency had conducted drug experiments on unwitting victims, conspired to overthrow constitutionally elected governments abroad, and cooperated in efforts involving the assassination or attempted assassination of ...

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