Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Excerpt from "Final Report Of the Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect To Intelligence Activity"...Church Committee Report

    "A Government must protect it's citizens from those bent on engaging in violence and criminal behavior, or in espionage and other hostile foreign intelligence activity"

    "Intelligence work has, at times, successfully prevented dangerous and abhorrent acts, such as bombings and foreign spying, and aided in the prosecution of those responsible for such acts.
But Intelligence activity in the past decades has, all too often, exceeded the restraints on the exercise of governmental power which are imposed by our country's Constitution,  laws,  and traditions.
Excesses in the name of protecting security are not a recent development in our nation's history.  In 1798, for example, shortly after the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed.
 These Acts, passed in response to fear of Pro-French subversion, made it a crime to criticize the Government.
Hundreds of American citizens were prosecuted for anti-war statements during World War 1; and thousands of  "radical" aliens were seized for deportation during the 1920 Palmer Raids.  During the Second World War, over the objection of  J. Edgar Hoover and military intelligence,  4,120,000 Japanese-Americans were apprehended and incarcerated in detention camps.
These actions, however, were fundamentally different from the intelligence activities examined by this Committee. They were generally executed overtly under the authority of a statute or a public executive order.
The victims knew what was being done to them and could challenge the Government in the courts and other forums.
Intelligence activity, on the other hand, is generally covert.
It is concealed from it's victims and is seldom described in statutes or explicit executive orders.
The victim may never suspect that his misfortunes are the intended result of the activities undertaken by his government, and accordingly may have no opportunity to challenge the actions taken against him".


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