Congressional Oversight

Frank Church, Democratic senator, Idaho

Otis Pike, Democratic congressman,
Long Island


In 1956, Leverett Saltonstall, the ranking Republican senator on the Armed Services Committee, commented that he knew nothing of what the CIA was doing--and he wanted to know nothing. Amazingly, this remark helped beat back an attempt to establish a congressional committee to oversee the CIA.

By the mid-1970s, however, that situation had changed. We'll look tonight at the reasons, agendas, and effects of the congressional inquiries chaired by Frank Church in the Senate and Otis Pike in the House.


bullet Andrew, For the Presidentís Eyes Only, pp. 397-424
bullet Brett Snider, "Recollections from the Church Committee Investigation"
bullet James McCullough, "Commentary"
bullet Gerald Haines, "The Pike Committee and the CIA"


bullet Church Committee Report

DISCUSSION: Did oversight matter?

bullet David Corn, "Whitewash Committee"
bullet James Woolsey on the restrictions' effects