1968 September 4

CIA Delivers “Restless Youth” Report on U.S. Peace Groups


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on this day delivered the fourth in a series of reports on the anti-Vietnam War movement, entitled “Restless Youth.” The reports had been ordered by President Lyndon Johnson, who was convinced that the movement was supported by foreign governments. CIA Director Richard Helms told Johnson that spying within the U.S. would violate the CIA charter and be illegal, but Johnson ordered him to do it anyway. After their meeting, the secret CIA spying began on August 15, 1967. None of the CIA investigations reported any foreign government support for the anti-war movement. The first three reports were delivered to the president on November 15, 1967; December 22, 1967, and January 5, 1968.

The CIA spying continued and evolved into a larger program, known as CHAOS, which The New York Times exposed on December 22, 1974. Following the revelations — and enormous political uproar — about the CIA by the Times, President Gerald Ford tried to head off Congressional investigations by creating the Rockefeller Commission to investigate the CIA on January 4, 1975, but that effort failed when Congress established its own committees to investigate the CIA and the other intelligence agencies. The Senate created the Church Committee on January 27, 1974, and the House created the Pike Committee on February 19, 1975.

Read the CIA report: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000518840.pdf

Learn more about the CIA: Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2007)

Read the Church Committee report on CIA domestic spying (pp. 661–734): http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports.htm

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