1975 April 28

Daniel Schorr Reveals CIA Assassination Plots on National TV


On national television, CBS television reporter Daniel Schorr revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had planned numerous assassination plots against the heads of foreign countries, including Fidel Castro of Cuba. The report generated public outrage and led President Gerald Ford to issue an executive order on February 18, 1976 (see below) banning assassinations by the U.S. intelligence agencies.

In his long career, Daniel Schorr was directly involved in a number of important civil liberties events. On June 27, 1973 he disclosed President Richard Nixon’s infamous “enemies list” on national television — and discovered his own name on it while he was reading the list. He obtained a leaked summary of the Pike Committee report on the abuses of the intelligence agencies, which the House of Representatives had voted not to release, and gave his copy to the Village Voice in New York. The Voice published the leaked copy on February 16, 1976.

Read Schorr’s Memoirs: Daniel Schorr, Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism (2001)

Read the Senate Church Committee report on CIA assassination plots: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_ir.htm

Read President Ford’s Executive Order banning assassinations: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=59348

Learn more about the CIA: Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008)

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