Intelligence for Security

December 28, 1961

Report Outline
Reorganization of Intelligence Operations
Growth of Central Intelligence Activity
Major Successes and Failures at C.I.A.

Reorganization of Intelligence Operations

Hearings on Plan for Supervision of C.I.A.

A Review in public of the functions and performance of the highly secret Central Intelligence Agency is likely to provoke intense controversy at the approaching session of Congress. Soon after Congress convenes, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to set a date for opening hearings on a joint resolution introduced by Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D Minn.) last April 27, ten days after the abortive Cuban invasion. The resolution provides for creation of a Joint Committee of the House and Senate on Foreign Intelligence and Information. The committee, in the words of McCarthy, would “establish some kind of continuing supervision over foreign policy activities and foreign intelligence and information programs by the U.S. government.”

A similar proposal was given extended consideration by the Senate in 1956. Pressure for instituting a form of congressional supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency comparable to that exercised over the Atomic Energy Commission may be stronger today than it was six years ago. Failure of the anti-Castro Cuban invasion, which was carried out under the direction of C.I.A., called into question again the almost unlimited extent of that agency's powers and, in particular, its participation in foreign ventures that carry risk of seriously damaging the prestige and interests of the United States.

Sen. McCarthy said, when he introduced the pending joint resolution, that he considered it to be “a proper responsibility on the part of the members of the U.S. Congress to accept responsibility in this field, to be informed, and to be involved when major policy decisions are called for.” He added: “Under the Constitution, Congress is called upon to participate in a declaration of war. In modern times, war is not declared. Congress, therefore, has a continuing and a very substantial responsibility for policy decisions with regard to the cold war or conducting foreign policy by any other means.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Sep. 25, 2009  Interrogating the CIA
Jun. 04, 2004  Re-examining 9/11
Sep. 12, 2003  Homeland Security
Jan. 25, 2002  Intelligence Reforms
Apr. 11, 1997  The FBI Under Fire
Feb. 02, 1996  Reforming the CIA
Dec. 11, 1992  The New CIA
Dec. 28, 1979  Intelligence Agencies Under Fire
Sep. 30, 1977  FBI in Transition
Jul. 25, 1973  Intelligence Community
Jun. 25, 1971  Future of the FBI
Dec. 28, 1961  Intelligence for Security
Feb. 03, 1954  Security Risks in Government
May 18, 1949  Foreign Intelligence
Military Intelligence