- Family Jewels (Central Intelligence Agency)
The Family Jewels is the informal name used to refer to a set of reports that detail activities conducted by the
United States Central Intelligence Agency. Considered illegal or inappropriate, these actions were conducted over the span of decades, from the 1950s to the mid-1970s.cite news |first=Karen |last=DeYoung |authorlink=Karen DeYoung |coauthors=Walter Pincus |title=CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/21/AR2007062102434_pf.html |publisher= Washington Post|date=2007-06-22 |accessdate= 2007-06-22] William Colby, who was the CIA directorin the mid-1970s and helped in the compilation of the reports, dubbed them the "skeletons" in the CIA's closet. Most of the documents were publicly released on June 25, 2007, after more than three decades of secrecy.cite news |title=C.I.A. Releases Files on Misdeeds From the Past|url=http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-CIA-Family-Jewels.html |publisher= New York Times|date=2007-06-26 |accessdate= 2007-06-26] . The non-governmental National Security Archivehad filed a FOIA request fifteen years earlier. [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/index.htm The CIA's Family Jewels] , National Security Archive]
The reports that constitute the CIA's "Family Jewels" were commissioned in 1973 by then CIA director
James R. Schlesinger, in response to press accounts of CIA involvement in the Watergate scandal— in particular, support to the burglars, E. Howard Huntand James McCord, both CIA veterans. On May 9, 1973, Schlesinger signed a directive commanding senior officers to compile a report of current or past CIA actions that may have fallen outside the agency's charter. The resulting report, which was in the form of a 693-page loose-leaf book of memos, was passed on to William Colbywhen he succeeded Schlesinger as Director of Central Intelligence in late 1973.
Leaks and official release
Investigative journalist Seymour Hershrevealed some of the contents of the "Family Jewels" in a front-page " New York Times" article in December 1974, in which he reported that:
The Central Intelligence Agency, directly violating its charter, conducted a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation during the Nixon Administration against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States according to well-placed Government sources.cite news |first=Seymour |last=Hersh |authorlink=Seymour Hersh |title=Huge C.I.A. operation reported in U.S. against antiwar forces, other dissidents in Nixon years |publisher=Additional details of the contents trickled out over the years, but requests by journalists and historians for access to the documents under the Freedom of Information Act were long denied. Finally, in June 2007, CIA Director
New York Times|page= 1|date=1974-12-22 |accessdate=2007-06-22] Michael Haydenannounced that the documents would be released to the public at an announcement made to the annual meeting of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. A six-page summary of the reports was made available at the National Security Archive(based at George Washington University), with the following introduction:
The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.The complete set of documents, with some redactions (including a number of pages in their entirety), was released on the CIA website on
June 25, 2007.cite web |url=http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs.asp?doc_no=0001451843 |title=Family Jewels |work= FOIA Electronic Reading Room |accessdate=2007-06-26 |publisher= Central Intelligence Agency. This CIA resource offers quick access, one page at a time, but pages are GIF images without selectable or searchable text. The following file from the National Security Archive offers selectable and searchable text, but it is a 24 MB download. cite web |url=http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/family_jewels_full.pdf |title=CIA's "Family Jewels" - full report |format=PDF |accessdate=2007-06-26 |publisher= National Security Archive]
The reports describe numerous activities conducted by the CIA during the 1950s to 1970s that violated its charter. According to a briefing provided by CIA Director
William Colbyto the Justice Department on December 31, 1974, these included 18 issues which were of legal concern:cite web |url=http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/family_jewels_wilderotter.pdf |title=Memorandum: CIA Matters |accessdate=2007-06-22 |author= James A. Wilderotter|date=1975-01-03 |format= PDF |publisher= National Security Archive]
# Confinement of a Russian defector, Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko, that "might be regarded as a violation of the kidnapping laws."
# Wiretapping of two syndicated columnists,
Robert Allenand Paul Scott, approved by US Attorney General Robert Kennedyand Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara(see also Project Mockingbird)
# Physical surveillance of
investigative journalistand muckraker Jack Andersonand his associates, including Les Whittenof the " Washington Post" and future Fox News Channelanchor and managing editor Brit Hume. Jack Anderson had written two articles on CIA-backed assassination attempts on Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
# Physical surveillance of then-"Washington Post" reporter
Michael Getler, who later was an ombudsman for the " Washington Post" and PBS.
# Break-in at the home of a former CIA employee.
# Break-in at the office of a former defector.
# Warrantless entry into the apartment of a former CIA employee.
# Opening of mail to and from the
Soviet Unionfrom 1953 to 1973 (including letters associated with actress Jane Fonda) (project SRPOINTER/ HTLINGUALat JFK airport)
# Opening of mail to and from the
People's Republic of Chinafrom 1969 to 1972 (project SRPOINTER/ HTLINGUALat JFK airport - see also Project SHAMROCKby the NSA)
# Funding of
behavior modificationresearch on unwitting U.S. citizens, including unscientific, non-consensual human experiments. [ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/top04.pdf 4 documents relating to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb:] CIA Science and Technology Directorate Chief Carl Duckett "thinks the Director would be ill-advised to say he is acquainted with this program" ( Sidney Gottlieb's drug experiments)] (see also Project MKULTRAconcerning LSDexperiments)
# Assassination plots against
Cuban President Fidel Castro(authorized by Robert Kennedy) [ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/family_jewels_wh2.pdf January 4, 1975 memorandum of conversation] between President Gerald Fordand Henry Kissinger, made available by the National Security Archive, June 2007 ] ; Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba; President Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic; and René Schneider, Commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army. All of these plots were said to be unsuccessful ones. [ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/family_jewels_wh1.pdf Memo of conversation] , January 3, 1975, between President Gerald Ford, William Colby, etc., made available by the National Security Archive]
# Surveillance of dissident groups between 1967 and 1971 (see
Project RESISTANCE, Project MERRIMACand Operation CHAOS)
# Surveillance of a particular Latin American female, and of U.S. citizens in Detroit.
# Surveillance of former CIA officer and Agency critic,
Victor Marchetti, author of the book, " The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence," published in 1974.
# Amassing of files on 9,900-plus Americans related to the antiwar movement (see
Project RESISTANCE, Project MERRIMACand Operation CHAOS).
Polygraphexperiments with the sheriff of San Mateo County, California.
# Fake CIA identification documents that might violate state laws.
# Testing of electronic equipment on U.S. telephone circuits.
The documents also include Watergate-related items (p. 350-351) as well as a joint
USAID-OPS operation concerning training foreign police in bomb-making, sabotage, etc. (one quotes Dan Mitrione[ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/top10.pdf 10) CIA counter-intelligence official James J. Angleton and issue of training foreign police in bomb-making, sabotage, etc. (pp. 599-603)] , National Security Archive] , responsible of the Office of Public Safetyin Uruguay, and a torture expert who coordinated police forces in South America).
It also highlights equipment support to local police, which could have been considered illegal under the
National Security Actof 1947 (page 6).
The Family jewels also document the infiltration and surveillance of the
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs(BNDD), the predecessor to the DEA, on requests of the BNDD's director in order to root out corruption from among its ranks.
The CIA also surveilled
black nationalismin the Caribbean and in the US, producing two memorandums in 1969 and 1970 (p.188). It focused primarily on Stokely Carmichael's visits to the Caribbean Islands, and concluded that there was no "evidence of important links between militant blacks in the US and the Caribbean." A copy of these reports "was inadvertently sent to the FBI."
After FBI's director
John Edgar Hoover's public statement that "the Black Panthersare supported by terrorist organizations," the CIA responded in December 1970 that they "found no indication of any relationship between the fedayeenand the Black Panthers." (p.283)
Apart of surveilling
student activismin the US (in particular the Students for a Democratic Society, SDS), the CIA also had surveys in 19 countries, from Argentina to Yugoslavia (p.191).
The CIA requested to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) "the establishment of a two-acre plot of
opium poppiesat a USDA research site in Washington, to be used for tests of photo-recognitionof opium poppies" (p.246). The agency was then investigating into multi-spectral sensors (p.254 and 257).
Some pages are also dedicated to the
Pentagon Papers(p.288 sq.), leaked in 1971 by Daniel Ellsbergwho became the subject of focused attention.
Reactions to release of documents
Cuban President Fidel Castro, who was the target of multiple CIA assassination attempts reported in these documents, responded to their release on July 1, 2007, saying that the United States was still a "killing machine" and that the revealing of the documents was an attempt at diversion. [ Fidel Castro, [http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/cuba/2007-07-01/la-maquina-de-matar La máquina de matar] , " Juventud Rebelde", July 1, 2007 es icon ] [ [http://www.miamiherald.com/915/story/157565.html Castro: US is still a 'killing machine'] , " Associated Press", published by " The Miami Herald", July 1, 2007 en icon] Some commentators, including David Cornand Amy Zegart, noted that one key 'jewel' had been redacted and remained classified. [ [http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?pid=208296 Where's the CIA's Missing Jewel?] David Corn, "Capital Games"] [ [http://washington.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/entire-category-of-activities-still-classified/] Amy Zegart, "Keeping Track of All the Redactions"]
Project RESISTANCE, Project MERRIMACand Operation CHAOS
Kerry Committee report
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