“The Family Jewels Then and Now”
If you are around the Washington, D.C. area on Monday, October 28, 2013, please join Archive Senior Analyst John Prados and Archive Director Tom Blanton for the Washington History Seminar, “The Family Jewels Then and Now,” sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center.
The Archive won the disclosure of the long-secret “family jewels” report from the CIA on June 26, 2007, 15 years after filing a FOIA request for it, and the 702-page “family jewels” infamously catalogs 25 years of the CIA’s illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation.
Then-CIA director Schlesinger commissioned the “family jewels” on May 9, 1973, after finding out that Watergate burglars E. Howard Hunt and James McCord (both veteran CIA officers) had cooperation from the Agency as they carried out “dirty tricks” for President Nixon. The Schlesinger directive commanded senior CIA officials to report immediately on any current or past Agency matters that might fall outside CIA authority.
Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA’s illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974 (“Huge C.I.A. Operation Reported in U.S. Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years”), writing that “a check of the CIA’s domestic files ordered last year… produced evidence of dozens of other illegal activities… beginning in the nineteen fifties, including break-ins, wiretapping, and the surreptitious inspection of mail.”
The Archive’s Top 10 favorite “jewels” are:
1) Journalist surveillance – operation CELOTEX I-II (pp. 26-30)
3) Watergate burglar and former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt requests a lock picker (p. 107)
4) 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) (p. 213)
5) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) reflecting Agency employee resentment against participation (p. 326)
6) Plan to poison Congo leader Patrice Lumumba (p. 464)
7) Report of detention of Soviet defector Yuriy Nosenko (p. 522)
8) Document describing John Lennon funding anti-war activists (p. 552)
9) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) (pp. 591-93)
10) CIA counter-intelligence official James J. Angleton and issue of training foreign police in bomb-making, sabotage, etc. (pp. 599-603)
Plus a bonus “Jewel”:
Warrantless wiretapping by CIA’s Division D (pp. 533-539)
Now that Edward Snowden’s leaks confront Americans, revealing widespread eavesdropping by the National Security Agency (NSA), join Dr. Prados and Tom Blanton for a timely discussion on what the proper response to these revelations might be based on what we learned from the “family jewels.”
The event takes place on Monday October 28, 2013, at 4 p.m., at the
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop
Reservations requested because of limited seating:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-450-3209
Photo ID required for admittance to the building.
The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See http://www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.