Church Committee

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Group.png Church Committee   History Commons PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Church Committee.jpg
Formation1975
Extinction1976
InterestsProject MKULTRA, Mind Control research, CIA/Assassinations
Interest ofSenate Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations
Membership• Frank Church
• Philip Hart
• Walter Mondale
• Walter Huddleston
• Robert Morgan
• Gary Hart
• John Tower
• Howard Baker
• Barry Goldwater
• Charles Mathias
• Richard Schweiker
• William G. Miller
• Frederick A. O. Schwartz
• Curtis Smothers
• Audrey Hatey

The Church Committee was the informal name of the US Senate's Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect To Intelligence Activities. It was set up as a result of growing concern about the activities of the CIA, and "led to revelations about many of the dark secrets within the CIA."[1] As a result, it contributed impetus to the offshoring of the US deep state.

Staffing

The Church Committee contained lawyer Charles Mathias, who was well known to the Bilderberg group, having gone there already in 1967[2], 1968[3], 1970[4], 1972[5] and 1974.[6]

Conclusions

The Church Committee warned that covert operations had developed a dangerous "bureaucratic momentum." Numbering some 900 between 1960 and 1975, such operations were becoming "increasingly costly to America's interest and reputation," the committee concluded. But instead of proposing truly meaningful reforms-other than the creation of permanent oversight committees-the panel merely implored that covert operations be reserved for "grave threats to American security" and be "consistent with publicly defined U.S. foreign policy goals." New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis called its recommendations "a gamble that the American system of checks and balances can work even in the powerful secret world of intelligence."[7]

The commission recommended (like the Rockefeller Committee and the Pike Committee) strengthening the CIA Office of Inspector General. This was not followed.[8]

 

Documents by Church Committee

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Covert Action in Chile, 1963-73report1976CIA
Operation Mockingbird
Chile/1973 coup d'état
A Church committee report of the hearings before them to study governmental operations with respect to intelligence activities of the United States Senate. A very thorough, but lengthy, investigation into CIA activity in Chile. Includes numerous instances of media manipulation and propaganda in the millions of dollars.
File:Church Committee - Congo.pdfreport1975Patrice Lumumba/AssassinationAn investigation into CIA involvement in the murder of Patrice Lumumba.

 

A Quote by Church Committee

PageQuote
Foundation funding“"During the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA turned increasingly to covert action in the area of student and labor matters, cultural affairs, and community developments. ... The CIA subsidized, advised, and even helped develop "private" organizations that would compete with the communists around the world. ... [Many] were U.S.-based student, labor, cultural, or philanthropic organizations whose international activities the CIA subsidized. ...
 "The philanthropic [CIA] fronts used prior to 1967 funded a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses, and other private institutions in the United States and abroad. ... Support [was provided to, for instance] an international organization of veterans and an international foundation for developing countries [as well as] an organization of journalists and an international women's association. ... Agency funds were used to host foreign visitors [and] provide scholarships to an international cooperative training center at a United States university... The CIA assisted in the establishment in 1951 and the funding for over a decade of a research institute at a major American university. ...
 "By 1967, when public disclosure of NSA [National Student Association]'s funding ... caused a major curtailment of these activities, interest in the major covert action efforts in these areas was already waning.
 "There appear to be two reasons for this. First, there was considerable skepticism within the CIA as to the effectiveness of this approach. ... Richard Helms [explained], "The clandestine operator ... is trained to believe that you really can't count on the honesty of your agent to do exactly what you want or to report accurately unless you own him body and soul."
 "Second, it became increasingly difficult to conceal the CIA funds that supported these activities as the scale of the operations grew. By fiscal year 1967, for example, over $3 million [$22.5 million in 2018] was budgeted for youth and student programs and $6 million [$45 million in 2018] for labor. Most of the funds were transmitted through legitimate or "devised" foundations -- that is, fictitious entities established by the CIA.
 "The use of philanthropic organizations was a convenient way to pass funds, in that large amounts could be transferred rapidly, and in a form that need not alert unwitting officers of the recipient organizations to their source. In addition, foundation grants bestowed upon the recipient the apparent "blessing" of the foundation. The funding pattern involved a mixture of bona fide charitable foundations, devised foundations and funds, [CIA] "front men" drawn from a list of America's most prominent citizens, and lawyers representing undisclosed clients.
 "The CIA's intrusion into the foundation field in the 1960s can only be described as massive. Excluding grants from the "Big Three" -- Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie -- of the 700 grants over $10,000 given by 164 other foundations during the period 1963-1966, at least 108 involved partial or complete CIA funding. More importantly, CIA funding was involved in nearly half the grants the non-"Big Three" foundations made during this period in the field of international activities. In the same period more than one-third of the grants awarded by non-"Big Three" in the physical, life and social sciences also involved CIA funds.
"Bona fide foundations, rather than those controlled by the CIA, were considered the best and most plausible kind of funding cover for certain kinds of operations. A 1966 CIA study explained the use of legitimate foundations was the most effective way of concealing the CIA's hand as well as reassuring members of funded organizations that the organization was in fact supported by private funds."

 

Related Quotation

PageQuoteAuthor
Foundation funding“"During the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA turned increasingly to covert action in the area of student and labor matters, cultural affairs, and community developments. ... The CIA subsidized, advised, and even helped develop "private" organizations that would compete with the communists around the world. ... [Many] were U.S.-based student, labor, cultural, or philanthropic organizations whose international activities the CIA subsidized. ...
 "The philanthropic [CIA] fronts used prior to 1967 funded a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses, and other private institutions in the United States and abroad. ... Support [was provided to, for instance] an international organization of veterans and an international foundation for developing countries [as well as] an organization of journalists and an international women's association. ... Agency funds were used to host foreign visitors [and] provide scholarships to an international cooperative training center at a United States university... The CIA assisted in the establishment in 1951 and the funding for over a decade of a research institute at a major American university. ...
 "By 1967, when public disclosure of NSA [National Student Association]'s funding ... caused a major curtailment of these activities, interest in the major covert action efforts in these areas was already waning.
 "There appear to be two reasons for this. First, there was considerable skepticism within the CIA as to the effectiveness of this approach. ... Richard Helms [explained], "The clandestine operator ... is trained to believe that you really can't count on the honesty of your agent to do exactly what you want or to report accurately unless you own him body and soul."
 "Second, it became increasingly difficult to conceal the CIA funds that supported these activities as the scale of the operations grew. By fiscal year 1967, for example, over $3 million [$22.5 million in 2018] was budgeted for youth and student programs and $6 million [$45 million in 2018] for labor. Most of the funds were transmitted through legitimate or "devised" foundations -- that is, fictitious entities established by the CIA.
 "The use of philanthropic organizations was a convenient way to pass funds, in that large amounts could be transferred rapidly, and in a form that need not alert unwitting officers of the recipient organizations to their source. In addition, foundation grants bestowed upon the recipient the apparent "blessing" of the foundation. The funding pattern involved a mixture of bona fide charitable foundations, devised foundations and funds, [CIA] "front men" drawn from a list of America's most prominent citizens, and lawyers representing undisclosed clients.
 "The CIA's intrusion into the foundation field in the 1960s can only be described as massive. Excluding grants from the "Big Three" -- Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie -- of the 700 grants over $10,000 given by 164 other foundations during the period 1963-1966, at least 108 involved partial or complete CIA funding. More importantly, CIA funding was involved in nearly half the grants the non-"Big Three" foundations made during this period in the field of international activities. In the same period more than one-third of the grants awarded by non-"Big Three" in the physical, life and social sciences also involved CIA funds.
"Bona fide foundations, rather than those controlled by the CIA, were considered the best and most plausible kind of funding cover for certain kinds of operations. A 1966 CIA study explained the use of legitimate foundations was the most effective way of concealing the CIA's hand as well as reassuring members of funded organizations that the organization was in fact supported by private funds."
Church Committee
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References