Daily Revolt

June 28, 2007

"Roots of CIA Abuses Stretch to 1600 Pa. Ave."

Finally someone gets it right on the history of CIA abuses: most of it was ordered, directed, or allowed by the administration in the White House at the time:
[...]the documents lead to one inescapable conclusion: The blame for the CIA's behavior lies less with the agency than with presidents of both parties who misused it to do their dirty work. Many of the documented abuses originated not at the CIA's Langley, Va., headquarters but at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Presidents and senior White House aides took the CIA into domestic espionage, something well beyond its charter and in violation of law and fundamental Fourth Amendment protections. The documents reflect CIA illegalities and incompetence, but they reflect even more poorly on the values of presidents who directed the agency to do, in Hayden's words, "things the CIA should not have done."

President Kennedy, for instance, approved a plan to spy on U.S. journalists in an attempt to find their unnamed sources. President Johnson began, and President Nixon continued, a broad domestic espionage effort directed at the anti-Vietnam War movement.

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