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The Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID) in 1975. A precursor to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee investigated intelligence gathering for illegality by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after certain activities had been revealed by the Watergate affair.
By the early years of the 1970s, the unpopularity of the Vietnam War and the unfolding Watergate scandal brought the era of minimal oversight to an abrupt halt. The US Congress was determined to rein in the Nixon administration and to ascertain the extent to which the nation's intelligence agencies had been involved in questionable, if not outright illegal, activities.
A series of troubling revelations started to appear in the press concerning intelligence activities. First came the revelations of Christopher Pyle in January 1970 of the U.S. Army's spying on the civilian population and Sam Ervin's Senate investigations that resulted. The dam broke on 22 December 1974, when The New York Times published a lengthy article by Seymour Hersh detailing operations engaged in by the Central Intelligence Agency over the years that had been dubbed the "family jewels". Covert action programs involving assassination attempts against foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens.
These revelations convinced many Senators and Representatives that the Congress itself had been too lax, trusting, and naive in carrying out its oversight responsibilities.
In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee published fourteen reports on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, and the alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed, together with recommendations for reform, some of which were put in place.
Among the matters investigated were attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, the Diem brothers of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and President John F. Kennedy's plan to use the Mafia to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Under recommendations and pressure by this committee, President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905 (ultimately replaced in 1981 by President Reagan's Executive Order 12333) to ban U.S. sanctioned assassinations of foreign leaders.
Together, the Church Committee's reports have been said to constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but more than 50,000 pages have since been declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
HTLINGUAL (also HGLINGUAL) was a secret Central Intelligence Agency project to intercept mail destined for the Soviet Union and China that operated from 1952 until 1973. Originally known under the codename SRPOINTER (also SGPOINTER), the project authority was changed in 1955 and renamed. Early on, only the names and addresses appearing on the exterior of mailed items were collected, but they were later opened at CIA facilities in Los Angeles and New York.
Mail to and from prominent individuals such as Bella Abzug, Linus Pauling, John Steinbeck, Martin Luther King, Edward Albee, and Hubert Humphrey was opened over the course of the operation.
Book II moves from foreign and military intelligence to domestic intelligence. The report is concerned primarily with the FBI’s COINTELPRO counter-intelligence campaign, but also discusses the CIA’s Operation CHAOS, whereby the CIA engaged in domestic intelligence work in violation of the CIA charter. Other agencies including the NSA and Army Intelligence are also discussed. Illegal electronic surveillance, mail opening, infiltration of dissident groups, “black bag” break-in jobs, media manipulation, IRS targeting, and the intense campaign waged against Martin Luther King, Jr. are all subjects of this report. The overriding theme is the violation of the rights of Americans as identified in the U.S. Constitution.
Holt said that such inquiries still left a host of unexamined activities. “There’s a lot to look at, [and] not just who told what to whom, or the treatment of detainees or [renditions], or interrogation, or domestic surveillance or national security letters or on and on and on,” he said. “Church looked at everything since the OSS,” referring to the Office of Strategic Services, the World War II-era predecessor of the CIA. “The recommendations of the Church committee, in large part, have been eroded, ignored or violated since then. The world situation has evolved, and the technologies, methodology and organizations of the intelligence community have evolved, [and] also the look back then, in a sense, has been forgotten by some.”
PSYOP are operations planned to convey selected information and indicators
to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning,
and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups,
and individuals. The purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce foreign
attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives
Hypnosis is one of the oldest techniques for altering and controlling human beh1vior. A method that has had its share of mistrust and professional neglect. Hypnosis in the
past twenty years has been the subject of serious inquiry and sustained interest. During this time, and even before, professIonal hypnotists have speculated on the possibilities of using hypnosis in warfare and in intelligence work. They have proposed that hypnosis could be used to strengthen the psychological defenses of captives and that it could be the means of gaining compliance from otherwise uncooperatlve persons. This paper explores some of tbe operational implications of these proposals.