The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy / Edition 1by David M. Barrett
From its inception more than half a century ago and for decades afterward, the Central Intelligence Agency was deeply shrouded in secrecy, with little or no real oversight by Congress—or so many Americans believe. David M. Barrett reveals, however, that during the agency's first fifteen years, Congress often monitored the CIA's actions and plans, sometimes… See more details below
From its inception more than half a century ago and for decades afterward, the Central Intelligence Agency was deeply shrouded in secrecy, with little or no real oversight by Congress—or so many Americans believe. David M. Barrett reveals, however, that during the agency's first fifteen years, Congress often monitored the CIA's actions and plans, sometimes aggressively.
Drawing on a wealth of newly declassified documents, research at some two dozen archives, and interviews with former officials, Barrett provides an unprecedented and often colorful account of relations between American spymasters and Capitol Hill. He chronicles the CIA's dealings with senior legislators who were haunted by memories of our intelligence failure at Pearl Harbor and yet riddled with fears that such an organization might morph into an American Gestapo. He focuses in particular on the efforts of Congress to monitor, finance, and control the agency's activities from the creation of the national security state in 1947 through the planning for the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
Along the way, Barrett highlights how Congress criticized the agency for failing to predict the first Soviet atomic test, the startling appearance of Sputnik over American air space, and the overthrow of Iraq's pro-American government in 1958. He also explores how Congress viewed the CIA's handling of Senator McCarthy's charges of communist infiltration, the crisis created by the downing of a U-2 spy plane, and President Eisenhower's complaint that Congress meddled too much in CIA matters. Ironically, as Barrett shows, Congress itself often pushed the agency to expand its covert operations against other nations.
The CIA and Congress provides a much-needed historical perspective for current debates in Congress and beyond concerning the agency's recent failures and ultimate fate. In our post-9/11 era, it shows that anxieties over the challenges to democracy posed by our intelligence communities have been with us from the very beginning.
- University Press of Kansas
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.66(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.78(d)
Table of Contents
List of Acronyms
Introduction: First Hidden, Then Lost
Part 1. The Truman Era, 1947-1952
No "American Gestapo, " But "No More Pearl Harbors"
Initial Oversight: Budgets and Covert Action
"A South American Pearl Harbor"
The Soviet A-Bomb: "We Apparently Don't Have the Remotest Idea"
Communists and "Perverts" in the CIA
Korea: "No Better Today Than on December 7, 1941"
A New DCI
The "Dirty Business"
CIA Subcommittees, Intelligence Roles, and Budgets
"We Don't Let Just Anybody Look at Our Files"
"There Will Be No Changes"
Part 2. The Eisenhower Era, 1953-1960
Guatemala: "Sterilizing the Red Infection"
Mr. Mansfield Goes to the Senate
Joseph McCarthy: The CIA's Other Would-Be Overseer
"You, Who Championed Our Cause"
"Dodging Dead Cats"
"They Have to Have a Building"
The New Mansfield Resolution: Two Surprises
"We Have a History of Underestimation"
Hungary and the Suez: "We Had a Very Good Idea, Senator"
An Early "Year of Intelligence"?
"I Cannot Always Predict When There Is Going to Be a Riot"
Iraq: "Our Intelligence Was Just Plain Lousy"
Return to the Missile Gap
From the Pforzheimer Era to the Warner Era
In and Out of Hearing Rooms
"Who Are Our Liquidators?"
"I'd Like to Tell Him to His Face What I Think about Him"
U-2: "We Have Felt These Operations Were Appropriate"
Pouring Oil on Fire
"Their Answer to That Demand": Congressional Paternity?
"My Opinion of the CIA Went Skyrocketing"
Part 3. Cuba, the CIA, and Congress: 1960-1961
Castro: "This Fellow Is Bad and Ought to Go"
"What is the Rationale behind That?"
"I Agree That You Had to Replace Dulles"
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