Conservative Group Praises Wyden, Heinrich For Challenging CIA Data Abuse, Demands Republican Action

forcing the declassification of CIA activity and their collection of data in bulk from American citizens without warrant.
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(Fairfax, Virginia) - Today the conservative group Alliance for Free Citizens, a national organization which states that their mission is dedicated to advancing constitutional principles, praised Democratic Senators Ron Wyden (above left) of Oregon and Martin Heinrich  (above right) of New Mexico for forcing the declassification of CIA activity and their collection of data in bulk from American citizens without warrant.

The abuse of citizens' constitutional right to privacy was kept secret from the Senate Intelligence Committee. The full details of the senators' rebuke of the CIA was reported in The New York Times on February 10 by Charlie Savage.

“The CIA continues to ignore the legitimate authority of the elected government and the Constitution of the United States,” said Joshua Pratt, Executive Director of the Alliance. “If this were the first time they had overstepped, we might be able to move on. But the facts are that the CIA has for decades been engaged in activities that show utter contempt for the principles of representative government. It is time for all senators — of both parties — to launch a full scale investigation and look to, in the words of President John F Kennedy, ‘smash the CIA into a thousand pieces.’”

Pratt referred to the 1975 Church Committee investigation led by Idaho Senator Frank Church and related investigations by the House Pike Committee led by New York Congressman Otis Pike.

CIA programs exposed by the two committees include Operation MKULTRA, where unwitting U.S. citizens were drugged and tortured in bizarre attempts at mind control, Operation COINTELPRO where civil rights and antiwar groups were surveilled and infiltrated, Operation Mockingbird which was a program of recruiting and coopting foreign and American journalists to disseminate systemic propaganda, and Operation Family Jewels, a program for the covert assassination of foreign leaders.

“Has the CIA changed since the Church and Pike Committees' revelations 47 years ago?” asked Pratt. “It would appear that agency disregard for legal limits and constitutional principles is engrained. The CIA is showing the same level of contempt and disdain now as they did in the 1960s and 1970s.”

“It is also important to note that the CIA and its allied agencies — the NSA and the FBI — which have collectively become known as 'the Deep State,' continue to oppose release of information about their abuses. In 1975 the CIA flat out refused to hand over documents to the Pike Committee. It was only after a compromise negotiated by President Gerald Ford that an accommodation was found. And today, Senators Wyden and Heinrich had to force the declassification of what they had found," continued Pratt.

“Where do these people think they have a right to ‘negotiate’ with the elected representatives of the American people? The arrogance and outright contempt the CIA has shown is enough justification for the dismantling of this rouge, out of control threat to liberty,” Pratt concluded.

The Alliance for Free Citizens sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate urging them to join Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich in launching a new Church Committee to cleanse rogue intelligence agencies. You can read the letter here.

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