CIA Releases Top Secret Files From the 1960s and 1970s

June 28, 2007 01:02 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The now-public documents catalog many of the CIA's actions throughout the 1960s and 1970s, confirming long-assumed activities including a failed assassination plot, domestic wiretapping operations, mind-altering drug experiments, and early intelligence gaffes.

30-Second Summary

On June 26 the Central Intelligence Agency released 702 pages of formerly Top Secret documents concerning many of its actions during The Cold War and Vietnam years. The documents, affectionately termed the "Family Jewels" within the Agency, range from the mundane to the scandalous.

Perhaps the most scandalous "Jewels" gem is a series of documents detailing the involvement of the mafia in an attempt on Fidel Castro's life. After the plot to poison the Cuban leader failed, the gangsters then used their knowledge to blackmail the CIA.

However, there is some debate as to how groundbreaking these revelations really are.

Most agree that the information contained in the "Jewels" isn't all that new, pointing to the large redacted sections of the papers as the Agency's real jewels. But perhaps the biggest point of contention for analysts is the motivation behind CIA Director General Michael Hayden's new penchant for transparency.

The conjecture varies from wanting to contrast the seeming lawlessness of the CIA's early years with today's law-minded methods (Hayden's stated reasoning), to depicting it as a veiled threat to current and future White House officials: "Politicize intelligence and you'll find your name on the front page of the newspaper."

Regardless, the documents' release and the issues surrounding the legality of domestic spying operations they raise are particularly timely as the Senate Judiciary Committee has just subpoenaed the White House for documents concerning the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. The Senate has given the White House until July 18 to produce documents which it believes recount the internal debate over the program's legality.

Headline Links: CIA revelations, the most interesting jewels, and the full collection

The "Family Jewels"

Reactions/Analysis: Mob-tied assassination plot, domestic spying, drug experiments, and early intelligence

Assassination Attempt and the Mob
Domestic Spying
Drug Experiments
Early Intelligence

Opinions: Are the jewels hype, political strategy, overly censored, or a yardstick for current tactics?

Reference Material: The story of the CIA

Related Topics: NSA warrantless wiretapping


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