In August of 1971, the White House directed the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct a “crash study of intelligence leaks” that had appeared in the press since the beginning of the Nixon Administration on January 20, 1969. That study resulted in a new proposal - an Agency created and maintained database of past and present leaks to help track their damage and identify the leakers. While ultimately successful, the creation of the database raised some unexpected questions for CIA, such as who should be responsible for it, what counted as a leak, and did the Agency care?
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.
According to a recently uncovered memo in the CIA’s Kissinger archive, Jack Anderson let word of Bob Woodward’s investigation into the Nixon pardon slip to the National Security Council.
In 1988, then-Deputy Director of the CIA Robert Gates gave a talk at the National War College that left enough of an impression that a line or two ended up in the college’s end of the year “Book of Proverbs, Jokes, and Other Comments.” The Agency, never one to let a mention go unarchived, then preserved said book for posterity in CREST. Let’s just say there’s more than a few folks who’d probably prefer that didn’t happen.
A pair of declassified memos from January 4, 1975 reveal just how contentious things were in the lead-up to the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, with recent exposés having rocked the American public’s faith in the government, already strained by the still-fresh memories of Watergate, and undermined CIA’s legitimacy.