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In 1975, I served as the assistant to Senator Frank Church, the chairman of an investigative committee tapped to examine media allegations about illegal domestic spying by the Central Intelligence Agency.The 16-month inquiry confirmed that much of the work done by the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and other U.S. agencies was laudable – and, in fact, indispensable for the security of the United States. In jeopardy is the entire system of intelligence checks and balances that the Church Committee put in place, including the credibility of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.Few, if any, members of Congress have been aware of how widely the NSA has cast its intelligence-collection dragnet.The public needs to know, too, whether the CIA has improperly interfered with the SSCI's probe into the torture allegations or spied on members of Congress and their professional staff.
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