1977 July 14

House Creates Permanent Select Committees on Intelligence


The creation of permanent intelligence committees in both the Senate and the House to oversee the intelligence agencies was among the important post-Watergate reforms arising from the investigations by the Senate Church Committee (January 27, 1975) and the House Pike Committee (February 19, 1975).

In later years, however, journalists and scholars questioned the effectiveness of the committees, arguing that they had been captured and/or manipulated by the CIA. The Senate had created its Select Committee on Intelligence in May 1976. The term “Select” means that committee members serve on a rotating basis, unlike standard Congressional committees.

Learn more about the investigations of the intelligence agencies: Kathryn Olmstead, Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (1996)

Read the Senate Church Committee reports on the abuses of the CIA, FBI and other agencies: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports.htm

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