Friday, May 22, 2009

Richard Helms Testifies at The Church Committee Hearings - 1975

From Crooks and Liars

(Richard Helms - What Didn't He Know and When Didn't He Know It

Ever since the latest fiasco regarding the CIA surfaced, I kept thinking how adept the CIA has always been, historically in telling half-truths, no truths and "who me?" prevarications.

Beginning in 1975, a series of hearings took place in an attempt to investigate certain "illegal goings on" within the CIA, It ran the full gamut from wiretapping, domestic espionage, assassinations and mail tampering. Heading up the Senate Select Committee was Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), and the hearings were dubbed The Church Committee. The hearings lasted several months and fortunately most all of them were recorded and broadcast by NPR, back when NPR actually stood for something in the way of integrity and solid reporting.

This particular clip, from the afternoon session of October 22, 1975, features former CIA Director Richard Helms (who would later serve as Ambassador to Iran) being questioned by Senator Church over his role in the matter of illegal mail tampering - a practice that had gone on since the days Allen Dulles ran the CIA in 1953.

Since there are numerous hours of testimony to sift through from many witnesses, I will try and offer as much as I can in small doses over the next few weeks. Bear with me - it'll be worth it.


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