1975 February 19

House Creates Pike Committee to Investigate Abuses by the CIA, other Agencies


The Pike Committee was created by the House of Representatives to investigate abuses by the U.S. Intelligence agencies, following both the Watergate Scandal and the exposé of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spying on American citizens by The New York Times on December 22, 1974. The Pike Committee in the House paralleled the Church Committee, created by the Senate on January 27, 1975. Both committees uncovered significant abuses of the intelligence agencies: the CIA, the FBI, and other federal agencies.

The House, however, voted to not publish the Pike Committee’s report on January 29, 1976, as the public mood began to turn against further exposés. Reporter Daniel Schorr obtained a copy of the report’s summary, however, and leaked it to the Village Voice, which published it on February 16, 1976. The full Pike Committee report has never been released, although material from it was published in a series of news reports before the House voted not to publish it.

Although the Pike Committee report was never published, the Church Committee’s reports are an invaluable source of information about the abuses of the intelligence agencies and the role of presidents, both Republican and Democratic, in approving many if not most of the abuses.

Read the Senate Church Committee reports: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports.htm

Learn more about the Pike and Church Committees: Kathryn Olmstead, Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (1996)

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