U.S. Intelligence: Evolution and Anatomy

By Mark M. Lowenthal | Go to book overview
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5
The Great Intelligence Investigation

Disclosures

Much of Colby's tenure as DCI was taken up with the investigation of CIA wrongdoing, which eventually included all aspects of the intelligence community and its operations. In brief, the first allegations arose in relationship to Watergate, which involved some former CIA employees and an effort by President Nixon to use the CIA connection as a way of blocking the subsequent investigation. Then, in September 1974, the press reported that the CIA had undertaken the "destabilization" of Salvador Allende's Marxist government in Chile, which had been overthrown by the Chilean military in 1973.

Most sensational, perhaps, was the article by Seymour Hersh in the New York Times on December 22, 1974, alleging that the CIA had violated its statutory charter by undertaking domestic surveillance against U.S. citizens opposed to the Vietnam War and others, going as far back as the 1950s. 45 President Gerald Ford, who had been in office just over four months, immediately requested a report from Colby on these charges. Colby based his report on an internal CIA report on all past or present illegal activities first initiated by Schlesinger in response to the original Watergate-

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