Former members of the Church Committee—a special Senate committee established in 1975 to investigate government intelligence abuses—wrote a letter to the president and Congress this week urging them to create a new committee to “undertake a thorough, and public, examination of current intelligence community practices affecting the rights of Americans and to make specific recommendations for future oversight and reform.” According to the group, the committee would work in good faith with the president, hold public and private hearings, and be empowered to obtain documents so that public faith in intelligence gathering can be restored.
The letter comes after revelations of sweeping domestic surveillance programs by the NSA as well as charges by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein that the CIA is spying on and obstructing a Senate investigation into CIA torture methods.
Download the letter here.
Read Frederick A.O. Schwarz’s article in The Nation: “Why We Need a New Church Committee to Fix Our Broken Intelligence System.”