By Richard Nelson, Product Manager
A new compilation of indispensable documents on the CIA’s covert operations, curated by the National Security Archive and its publishing partner ProQuest, is now available!
The new collection, CIA Covert Operations II: The Year of Intelligence, 1975, totals more than 1,000 documents and expands on the National Security Archive’s previously published collection CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010. It is easily the most extensive published collection available on the historic intelligence investigations of the 1970s.
1975, the first full year of the Gerald R. Ford administration, is known as "The Year of Intelligence," denoting a season of inquiry into America's spy agencies, ignited by a wave of media revelations of official abuses and wrongdoing that predate the current era of media and congressional investigations by decades. In 1973, Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger had felt it necessary for his own information to order the compilation of a document (now notorious as "The Family Jewels") that detailed many of the abuses. (In 2007, the National Security Archive won the release of this 693-page file through the Freedom of Information Act – after a 15-year wait.)
How explosive these records were was revealed when publication of similar information in The New York Times in late 1974 triggered a firestorm of public outrage. This led to successive investigations of the intelligence agencies by a blue-ribbon presidential panel (the Rockefeller Commission), a special committee of the United States Senate (Church Committee) and a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (Pike Committee).
Each of these bodies in its way would serve as a model for similar investigative processes in subsequent years. The "Year of Intelligence" collection documents these investigations richly. Step by step, the set shows how the agency under Director William Colby reported on the revelations; how President Ford's White House staff -- led by Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney -- created and managed a strategy to limit and restrain the investigations; how the Rockefeller Commission and congressional committee members pursued their inquiries, and many of the secrets they uncovered.
This collection offers one-stop access to not only the ground-breaking Church, Pike, and Rockefeller Commission reports, but to previously unavailable supporting documentation of the inner workings of the three investigations. It is impossible to understand the full significance of the political and legal debates over the array of post-9/11 intelligence scandals without access to this groundbreaking chapter in our nation’s history. Both the substance of the revelations and the policy, political, and legal questions they raised almost four decades ago make the uniquely wide-ranging "Year of Intelligence" collection indispensable for students of the U.S. intelligence community, national security affairs, presidential decision-making in foreign policy, and the role of Congress and the media in government oversight.
Topics discussed in this collection include every aspect of intelligence work, including:
Coupled with CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010, researchers now have access to over 3,000 declassified documents providing an unparalleled view into the operational and diplomatic history of U.S. covert operations.
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If you are a current DNSA customer, don’t forget to read about the exciting migration to the ProQuest platform here.