1967 December 22

CIA Delivers Second Report on Anti-War Dissent


The CIA on this day delivered the second report on the anti-Vietnam War movement, which President Lyndon Johnson had ordered. Johnson ordered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to spy on the anti-Vietnam War movement because he believed it was funded by foreign governments (August 15, 1967). The action was illegal, as the CIA was barred by its charter from acting within the U.S. The initial report, which the CIA delivered to Johnson on November 15, 1967, concluded that there were not international connections between the anti-war movement and foreign governments. Johnson rejected that conclusion and ordered a new investigation. The report, “A Review of Developments Since 15 November,” which reached the same conclusion, was delivered on this day. Johnson rejected it and ordered a third report, which the CIA delivered on January 5, 1968, and was titled “Student Dissent and its Techniques in the U.S.” A fourth report, “Restless Youth,” was delivered on September 4, 1968.

The CIA domestic spying program expanded into the CHAOS program, which the New York Times exposed on December 22, 1974. The Times story provoked a political uproar that led President Gerald Ford to create the Rockefeller Commission to investigate the CIA, on January 4, 1975. Nevertheless, the Senate created the Church Committee, on January 27, 1975, and the House established the Pike Committee on February 19, 1975, both of which investigated abuses by all of the intelligence agencies.

The Vietnam War created a number of civil liberties crises. They include (1) the lack of a Congressional Declaration of War as required by the Constitution (June 3, 1970); (2) threats to freedom of the press in the Pentagon Papers case (June 30, 1971); (3) spying on the anti-war movement by the CIA (August 15, 1967); (4) threats to freedom of expression, for example high school student protests (February 24, 1969); censorship of television programs (February 25, 1968); and directly and indirectly some of the events that led to the Watergate Scandal (May 9, 1969; January 27, 1972).

Read the Senate Church Committee report on CIA domestic spying (pp. 679–734): http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_book3.htm

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

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