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william colby

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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: 1975 Part 2

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.”

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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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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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The short but eventful tenure of the CIA’s Hispanic Program Coordinator

In the mid-1970s, the CIA had an extremely low number of Hispanic employees, which, given the agency’s extensive involvement in Latin and Caribbean nations might come as a surprise. As a solution to the Agency’s disproportionate representation of the nation’s second largest minority, the agency hired a Hispanic Program Coordinator (HPC). Less than four years later, the unnamed and unthanked program coordinator resigned, having increased the Agency’s Hispanic employee population to an entire one percent.

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CIA memo highlights the dilemma of declassification

One of the dilemmas of reading declassified documents is that readers are constantly faced with the question of whether or not to take the exemptions at face value - after all, CIA redacts beer brands and cafeteria names while claiming to “protect sources and methods.” Doing so erodes faith in the Agency’s choices to redact certain pieces of information, creating a situation where one of two possibilities are likely: that the CIA chose to improperly redact information to protect itself from embarrassment regarding improper activities, or that some of those activities are still seen as at least potentially valid.

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