On February 16, 1976, the Village Voice went to press with an emblazoned “The Report on the CIA That President Ford Doesn’t Want You to Read.” Inside was a leaked copy on the findings of the Pike Committee, a lesser-known (and arguably more damning) companion to the Church Committee - and thanks to the Agency’s obsessive scrapbooking, you can read the full issue scanned into their declassified archives.
Whether because of the restrictive guidelines or, as CIA’s own historian suggests, because of the censorship of the Pike Report, the Government Accountability Office continued to be denied any meaningful ability to audit CIA or aid in Congressional oversight. Several years later, a CIA memo would refer to this as them successfully “holding the GAO and their armies of auditors at bay.”
The 1975 Pike Committee’s report was an immediate problem for the Agency, and inevitably resulting in recommendations that the CIA was desperate to avoid. These concerns, it seemed, were well founded, as the Committee ultimately recommended that the Government Accountability Office be granted audit authority over CIA - recommendations that CIA was able to, once again, successfully prevent from being implemented.
Decades before Donald Trump infamously compared the CIA to Nazi Germany, the National Security Council made its own allusion to the Holocaust - the difference was that in the NSC’s version, it was CIA that was cast as the potential victim of a “Final Solution” that might be imposed by Congress in response to the exposure of the Agency’s illegal and improper activities.
Congresswoman Bella Abzug infamously had issues with trusting CIA when it came to their handling evidence of illegal and improper Agency activities. Internal memos shows those fears were well-founded - while the Congresswoman fought to prevent the destruction of records of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency rushed to begin destroying everything they could.