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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: 1975 Part 1

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.

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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: The ‘70s Part 2

In an April 1975 letter for CIA Director William Colby, the Agency’s Assistant Legislative Counsel laid out the arguments the Agency intended to make against a bill requiring they allow the Government Accountability Office access to CIA records. In an accompanying cover letter, the Agency lawyer drafting the letter noted they “really slung the B.S.,” and asked for Colby’s help in determining if they had overplayed the CIA’s position a bit.

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Five of the CIA’s most blatant redaction abuses

From beer brands to cafeteria names, here’s five of the most questionable redactions found in the CIA’s declassified database.

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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: The ‘70s Part 1

In 1975, Senator William Proxmire, drawing from a General Accountability Office (GAO) report about their difficulties getting agencies to cooperate, introduced legislation which would effectively force CIA to allow itself to be audited by the GAO. In response, CIA began compiling materials to argue against it - an argument which was described by the Agency lawyer drafting it as “B.S.”

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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: the ‘40s to the ‘60s Part 2

While the CIA had successfully thwarted the Government Accountability Office’s ability to audit the Agency by the early ’60s, the trouble brewing between the two were only beginning. These problems would only serve to further call into question the CIA’s good faith, as testimony and documents demonstrate that the Agency’s issue wasn’t with security concerns, but with the very concept of oversight.

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