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Postal Secrets: The Mail Opening Programs of the CIA and FBI

ByChurch Committee

The Church Committee inquired into the question of why the Federal Government opened the mail of American citizens for over two decades, a policy fundamentally at odds with freedom of expression and contrary to the laws of the land. The committee first reviewed in public some details of the CIA mail openings while considering the Huston Plan (see: White House Horrors). One provision of that plan was a recommendation to institute a mail opening program, although, ironically, intelligence officers were already busily unsealing envelopes in various parts of the country and had been doing so for years. As a case study, mail opening provides the most revealing look at the inner life of the CIA and the FBI. In the instance of the CIA, the evidence suggests their mail program was allowed to continue despite the harshest criticism of it from investigators within the CIA Inspector General's Office, and despite the fact that it was not very productive in terms of intelligence information.


Publication Date
Sep 28, 2011
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Church Committee



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