Introduced by Philip Agee
” … the work of the Pike Committee and the other bodies is an exceedingly positive chapter in American history. Who would have dreamed, two years ago, that such a great volume of information on secret American intervention in foreign countries would ever be made public? Who would have dreamed that the vast, illegal domestic operations of the CIA, FBI and NSA would be revealed in great detail? Every bit of this information, together with the general methodology that emerges, can be used by people and organizations to protect themselves now and when the next wave of the same occurs. No doubt wide areas of CIA operations were omitted almost entirely, such as those in the trade union field, but no one can say the world’s knowledge of secret intervention hasn’t improved thanks to the investigations.
Of equal importance is the continuing strength of the best popular traditions in the United States that the investigations demonstrate: the free flow of information, resistance to oppression by government bureaucracy, resistance to government secrecy and coverups. Through the effective functioning of these traditions Americans have been able to learn how necessary corruption and hypocrisy are to the way the current system operates. Abolition of covert action operations, which corrupt the country’s expressed principles, cannot come until fundamental changes are made in other institutions. Meanwhile, the treasure of knowledge gained through the investigations must surely contribute to the understanding that government in a “liberal” society must of necessity function in favour of one class and to the detriment of another.
In July 1976 the chief investigator of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, who had been trying since March to discover how the copies of Parts I and II of the Pike Report were leaked to Daniel Schorr, reported that nearly 50 copies of the report were in different executive and congressional offices when the leak occurred. None of the 207 government officials questioned, including Secretary Kissinger and the members of the Pike Committee, would admit to being the culprit. Thanks to one of them, at least, the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation is able to present for the first time in book form Parts I, II and III of the Pike Report, a document of truly historic significance not only for Americans but also for peoples the world over who have suffered from clandestine American intervention.”
Introduction by Philip Agee, Cambridge, August, 1976