tv Church Committee Hearing on FBI Informants CSPAN May 21, 2016 10:00pm-11:11pm EDT
give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. ♪ looking torica is get to the activities of the church committee, which did a broad examination of the fbi, the cia, and the nsa. as we continue, we will be looking at the testimonies of two fbi informants. from 1975, we will show you a
fbi of a ku klux klan informant by the name of thomas wrote. he described how he participated in beatings of civil rights activists during the freedom writers movement. -- freedom riders movement. >> did you inform the fbi about planned violence prior to that incident? gary: i gave the fbi information roughly three weeks before. >> and what did you tell them? gary: i stated i had been contacted by a birmingham city detective, who wanted me to meet with a high-ranking officer of the birmingham police department . >> you mean the birmingham police men set up the beating of the freedom riders, and you told the fbi that? gary: correct. >> and were they beaten? >> very badly, yes. minutes withsed 15
absolutely no intervention from any police officer. the information was passed on to the bureau. we had our 15 minutes. approximately 15 minutes after the freedom riders were attacked, a police officer went damn it,d said, god fam get them out of here, we are sending the crew in. >> let me have you underscore what exactly we are hearing here. justwhat i understand, we heard testimony that the fbi and the birmingham police colluded to have the fbi come in and beat the freedom riders for 15 minutes before authorities moved in. is that correct? >> that's what you just heard, and that's what happened. we had two witnesses, gary thomas rowe, who testified
with a hood over his head, and a young woman who was in the vietnam veterans against the war, maybe she worked for that group, and she was an informer for the fbi. ourn, powerpoint was not -- nott was not you should have any informers. informers are a legitimate tool. however, there was absolutely no process for deciding how and to you would pick as an informer, and as that story about knowing beatings of the freedom writers shows, the informers sometimes do some very bad things in order to maintain their credibility. come out into the when he testified in a
murder trial against three ku klux klan people who had murdered the civil rights worker who was on a march in the south, maybe in selma. she was shot by the three ku klux klan people and killed because she was riding in a car .ith two young black men he had gone public and testified at the murder trial against his three confederates in the ku klux klan. what about half an hour to go before the hearing, he said to me, i can't appear on television. we really wanted him on television because it was such a dramatic story. under the rules of the senate, a witness who did not want to appear on television did not have to appear on television, so i came up with the idea of putting a bag over his head and slits over his eyes, and maybe
for his mouth, so that he could see and talk. i thought that was a pretty clever idea. one of the assistants for senator tower, who was presiding , you did thatd in order to embarrass senator tower. senator tower never said any such thing to me. i think if he had thought it, he would have said it. a great idea, was and i got this guy to testify and perhaps added a little bit of drama for having this person with a bag over his head giving that very dramatic testimony that you just played. understand the fbi's motivation, they allowed the ku klux klan to proceed with the beatings so that this gentleman could maintain his an amenity and serve -- his anonymity and serve as an informant, correct? >> yes.
you could go back to world war ii. when we broke the german code, inhad to do some things credibility,tain and not to have the germans know we had broken their code. there is a story about how churchill allowed the german bombing raid to take place on coventry because he was afraid that she was afraid that they were about to take the german people out of coventry. -- heht have destroyed was afraid that they were about to take the german people out of the coventry, because it might have destroyed the code.
it was ambiguous, and are hearing decided to bring that out, they do some pretty horrible things, and that the fbi allowed a beating to go on, they did not have to do that, by the way, to keep this guys an amenity protected -- this guys anonymity protected. to theuld have sent police, you simply cannot allow the beating of this fruit -- of these freedom riders. but public policy was to make some suggestions for improvement in how the fbi would authorize and manage informants. this hearing was chaired by john tower. we have not had a chance to talk about him too much. you worked for a senator on the
republican side. could you speak about john tower in his approach to the work of this committee? -- and his approach to the work of this committee? >> i believe is that john tower that john tower was picked by the vice chair as against a bowl week liberal church which he might take the committee. washe whole, i think tower reasonably supportive. i think that that was an important part of why it was hee to move forward, that did not take an absolutely obstructionist view of the committee. earlier, there was a great range of ideological
opinion on the public inside, -- on the republican side, and tower and goldwater were on the right and bank of that, and they would corral the of that, and it would corral the committee from going otherwise. >> what was the level of cooperation from the white house into the hearing? >> on that subject, john tower was extremely helpful, and pushing for the documents. we had to get documents. i knew this from my experience as a lawyer in private practice. if you don't have documents and you just have witnesses, you get stories that you can't prove the real facts. tower was greatly helpful on that. it came the time, probably
around in december, when the atmosphere on our foreign work csiged a bit, because our station chief in athens had been assassinated, and obviously we had nothing to do with that, and george h.w. bush admitted it, but it changed the atmosphere in the country a little bit. after that point, on the foreign intelligence work, i think tower was less cooperative than he had been all the way into november. in general, he was a good guy. i think elliott had it just right. he may have been cautious, but i thought in the early parts of our work, there was not much difference between john tower and frank church, or john tower .nd mondale and he was essential, i believe, to winning and winning when we
with the documents. the white house position with respect to the committee was, they wanted to be able to preempt the committee, and therefore they had an activity led by vice president rockefeller, and they thought , by looking at intelligence activities in response to the public concern over them, that you could preempt the work of the church committee. and so there was some tension with the white house, and there between senate committees and the white house. but in that sense it was kind of, maybe we can manage our way out of this, limit what the committee does, limit the documents and access to people who would otherwise be available, but in the end, that just did not work.
>> earlier, you referenced another informant by the name of mary joe cook, and she represents the fbi's work investigating the people who protested the war indian on. we should not be remiss in talking about her. who was she, and what did the committee want to learn from her? i remember her name, i remember her testifying. i know she was working with the vietnam veterans against the war, but i do not remember the specifics of her testimony. she obviously was good or useful, or we would not have chosen to put her on as a witness. talk generally about what you remember about the fbi's concerns about the protesters? they believed fbi protesters were communist agents, and in that connection,
lyndon johnson pushed them very investigate the people who were against the war. the bureau probably would have done it anyway, but johnson was a force that was pushing the bureau to do that. they wered communists, or he said he believed they were communists, and of course they weren't. it certainly went well beyond johnson, into the nixon era. i do get is a lesson for us today, it is pretty easy to go -- i think it is a lesson for us today, it is pretty easy to go from people who oppose your policy -- to people you think may be dangerous, to the people who oppose your policy, to everybody. and this was not limited
to johnson, or nexen, but all presidents who tried to push their executive power in this area of intelligence gathering, back to fdr. frederick: and it is the fact of death elliot: it is the fact of's -- elliot: it is the fact of secrecy that allowed that to happen. this secret exercise of power is incredibly alluring. host: at this point, we will watch, as we promised, 45 minutes of the church committee's investigation into fbi informants. this was recorded by nbc cameras on december 2, 1975. sessions, we have examined the borough's use of mail and other electronic means of surveillance, surreptitious entry, individual and organizational bank records, income tax returns, and other sources of intelligence information. , that under proper
judicial scrutiny, if mandated by the congress and the courts, limited invasions of individual privacy involving any or all of the foregoing could be properly to aid the bureau's law enforcement mission. continue to bel the use of these and other techniques without the sanctions of judicial authority, and for purposes often unrelated to law enforcement, as it had traditionally been find in our -- then defined in our constitution. committee isf this to investigate governmental agencies, and is not in anyway and compass on assessment of the overall fbi law enforcement efforts -- encompass an assessment of the overall fbi law enforcement efforts. those fbit of activities, which have come to the loan -- come to be known as
intelligence, this has become an bureau's area of concern. as previously discussed by the counselor, approximately 20% of the bureau's budget is developed -- is devoted to intelligence activities. this is divided by the > domestc intelligence and espionage activities. we have accepted, and we support, the bureau's position that a further budgetary breakdown detailing the precise expenditures for each category might adversely affect the by revealingrest the exact amount of expenditures for counterespionage. therefore, it is less than precise from a budgetary standpoint. this inquiry represents a critical area of our investigation. testimony received by the committee to date indicates that a variety of techniques not limited to those just cited were
employed against individuals and organizations without even covering legislative or judicial authority. the impact of those abuses on individuals, and on legitimate medical, social, religious, and philosophical interests, represents the dangerous erosion of our constitutional guarantee. during our last session, we examined a range of activities extending from information gathering to disruption of the lives of individuals and organizations. we witnessed intelligence at their worst, and reviewed the so-called counterintelligence program against dr. martin luther king. today, we turn to an in-depth review of intelligence methods through an examination of the bureau's most widely used technique, informants.
the concept of informing is usually distasteful. however, the informants technique is a recognized one in the intelligence field and often leads to very solid results. the bureau's abuse of this technique, at least partially due to the absence of clear guidelines concerning intelligence informers, and the lack of appropriate constitutional guarantees. the legitimate concern of the fbi in investigating criminal conduct and preventing criminal activities can never justify or otherinformants law enforcement agents to operate outside the law without regard to the rights of us. an informant is used to penetrate an organization, to provide intelligence information . of thatible impact
influence cannot be more. surely, there are informants which seek to bring about political, economic, or other changes in our society, and that represents a chilling effect on the freedom of citizens together and debate and work for such changes. the fact that an informant may hinder or alter the advancement of legitimate objectives sought by members of organizations is a matter of which we must all be concerned. the bureau's use of informants in large numbers, and in circumstances where having an informant is dubious in the first place, post is -- poses an additional item of concern. as i have already noted, the bureau's use of the informant is catalogue ofbi's techniques for carrying out its work. our hearing tonight will focus first on the roles actually played by two informants, one
who infiltrated the ku klux klan, another who infiltrated the vietnam veterans against the war. first witnesses today will be mary jo cook and gary thomas rowe. mr. rowe will be wearing a hood so that he cannot be identified. he believes his identification will be inimical to his personal safety. he now resides at a location not to be disclosed, under an alias, which has been given to them by the government. do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth, so help me god? >> i do. >> with the council please identify themselves directly. >> you may be seated. recognizes -- >> [inaudible] >> thank you. recognizes the minority counsel for the committee -- >> i have an inquiry with the examination of mr. cook -- ms. cook. if you will, i would like to by starting with your first affiliation with the federal bureau of investigation. it is my understanding that your contact began in the summer of 1973. if you could explain how that contact came about?
i was living with a man who was working for the bureau, and who has been working with a bureau for a couple of months as an informant. we discussed his activities, and then he subsequently asked me if i would consider becoming an informant. >> which group was he informing for? mary: the fbi. >> and who was he informing about? mary: the vietnam veterans against the war organization. >> i see. meeting.took me to a after we returned from the meeting, we discussed how he felt about being an informant, what he did, why he did it. openi said i would be to talk about being an informant for the fbi, the fbi came to my house to discuss it with me.
came to discuss your becoming an informant? mary: yes. >> what was the nature of that discussion? what were you asked to do? mary: the understanding i got from the meeting was that wwso was an organization are merrily of veterans who were possible victims of manipulation they had ,een through in the vietnam war they had legitimate readjustment needs, and the bureau was afraid they could become violent. they were a cause for social concern, and they wanted me to go in there and participate in the organization and make sure the veterans did not get ripped off. they use words like "the of a voice ofason -- be reason," be a big sister, and keep things calm, cool, and
collected. that sounded like a legitimate thing to do, so i decided to work for the fbi. >> in addition to maintaining reason and keeping things calm, what other functions were you assigned? this whole scenario was called being an informant. , righto go to meetings up reports, phone and reports on what happened, who was there -- phone in reports on what happened, who was there, to identify the background of who was there with their relationships, who they were living with, sleeping with, to try and get some sense of the local structure and local relationships among the people in the organization. i would go to a meeting, identify the people who were present, identify them as individuals, and then identify the substance of the meeting. >> identified the attendees my
name? mary: yes, or by a physical description. identify friends or persons associated with the organization? mary: yes. >> did you provide information on these persons' places of employment and their relationships? mary: yes i did. >> how did you come to gain this information? mary: much of this information would be gathered at a meeting. people would joke in personal conversations, dropping information about themselves. as i got to know them as personal friends later, much more information -- i had access to much more information. to theyou report back bureau all information gained? mary: no, i did not. initially when i worked for the bureau, i did. i had little way of making -- i was alien to the situation.
they said, go into this, so i had no way of knowing what was important and what was not. cleaner forum information, just gathering it. as i became more familiar with the context, i was able to make decisions about what was important and what was not. >> was this on your initiative, or were you given guidance as to what to exclude? mary: this was on my initiative will stop >> -- this was my initiative. >> did you report information on the political views of these persons? mary: yes. >> how many people did you report on? mary: i figured there were about 50 four people in the organization in the local chapter in buffalo. about 250 people in buffalo whose names i identified as being leadership one way or another and social issues they were active in.
and perhaps 400 people nationally, when you take a look at all the organizations i came into contact with. when you add to that the mailing lists i have turned over and the names that came into my hands as being active were interested members, that may be as many. respect to the value of what you have given to the bureau, was there any formal process for identifying what was important as opposed to the trivia that may have resulted from your communications? asking is, what system if any was communicated to you regarding the importance of certain information? was a determined by the guidance of the bureau? was it determined by the amount of payment received for the information?
,ary: i had general guidelines identifying people who were present and being aware with people -- being aware of people with a propensity for violence. there were no guidelines for what information was or was not important. my financial arrangement with them was on the basis that i would turn over all information gathered, they would look it over, they would decide what was andalue and not of value, pay me accordingly without necessarily identifying what they considered essential. they rarely gave me information. they did not defined my context and asked me to go into it. they just said, we want you to go in there, we are not going to tell you anything about it. you figure it out. i thought that was fair. >> and your pay was based on the bureau's assessed value of the information? mary: yes. >> how long were you involved in the effort of informing against
the veterans against the war? 1973 through november 1974, a year and a half will stop -- a year and a half. >> did there, time where you raised -- did there, a time when quit -- come a time when questions were raised about you being an informant? yes, this was around 1974. the bureau asked me not to go. i came and i saw people i had met in the course of my activities with blood running down their heads. i came back from washington i started talking with the fbi about all the contradictions i was starting to see. i didn't know what my involvement was anymore. i started saying to them, i don't see the reason for my
continuing. it seems that you don't understand what i'm telling you. these people don't need to be functioning in their midst. if you can't give me assurances that the information that i'm giving you isn't going to be used against these people, then i cannot continue. they tried to get me assurances. they brought someone from washington to talk to make. he talked in philosophical terms about why i should continue and how everything was all fine and good. i was very dissatisfied with those conversations. i was squinting. i gave them a month's notice and quit. >> the person that talked to in philosophical terms from washington. do you recall the substance of that conversation? in this effort to get you to remain as the informant, what kinds of reasons were advanced? mary: mostly they were trying to usher me that the fbi was part -- our conversations were
far-reaching. we discussed all sorts of social issues, poverty, the state program. they tried to assure me that things were doing fine. that the status quo was fine. i was involved with a group that had bad readjustment needs as veterans that do not have social programs that were sufficient for them. i was also involved in welfare rights. i was constantly meeting people that lived in a degree of poverty that provoked them and irritated them, frustrated them. they turned to self-help programs. here on one hand, i have a man telling me that things are fine and that my work for the bureau is part of making sure that -- they had no sympathy with the poverty and consequences that i saw firsthand and lived with day-to-day. we were much miles apart in our
discussions about what was fine and not fine in america. they could not give me the assurances that this information would not be used against people. i no longer could trust that their interest in these people, that it was not sensitive to what the real deal -- the real needs are. >> and shortly after this, your role was terminated. you indicated you no longer decided to work in this capacity. mary: yes. >> let me raise one final area with you. you indicated you became involved in the defense project, representing vietnam anti-war protesters. you worked in the jury survey effort. my questikon -- did you
communicate to the bureau any of your efforts in regard to the defense effort? mary: yes i did. i was put in a position. to bring to the fbi's attention any information that legally they should not have. but on a lawyer. most average citizens -- i'm not a lawyer. most average citizens cannot make a decision about what is legally significant or not. i thought i could legitimately passed information on. fbi shouldstand the not have had that information. i feel badly about that. i was put in the kind of position where a lcerk makes a professional decision. i could not make that decision. >> does the information include correspondence between you and defendants? mary: yes. >> chairman, that concludes my
confirmation. >> from when to when? >> 1959 to 1965. >> can you draw the microphone closer to you? >> 1959 to 1965. >> in 1965, did you surface in connection with the murder case? >> yes i did. >> whose murder, and what role did you place? >> i was in the automobile when a woman was killed. >> this was a situation in connection with the selma mar ch, where a woman from detroit was killed while riding in a car after the march? >> that is correct. >> you testified in three trials, which resulted in a conviction of the persons who had committed the murder. >> that is correct. >> i want to go back to how you came to the point and what you did as an informant. he served in the government
trying to be an important - government trying to be an informant? you had been a marine? however you? -- how old were you? >> at 14.5 years of age. >> the fbi recruited you to infiltrate the klan, is that right? >> that is correct. >> what kind of information did you report back to the fbi about the klan? >> any and everything that i observed or heard from any klansman. >> did that include information relating to planned violence, or actual violence? >> yes or. >> does it include information related to political manners? >> yes sir. >> what is an example of that? >> we had a former avi agent running for mayor. -- fbi agent running for mayor. i was instructed to attend meetings. observ whether they were republicanse or regrets. names, and whether
they were active political voters. >> in addition to reporting back political information and relating to violence, did you report back information relating to the social life of the members of the klan? >> yes i did. >> including the most intimate details of their social life? >> you were instructed to do that, and you did that? >> that is correct. >> did you also go to meetings of civil rights organizations and report back what was being said at those meetings? >> yes i did. >> did you report the same information to the bureau and the klan? >> the same information, yes sir. >> you were a number of something called the kbi, the klan bureau of investigations. you were informing civil rights organizations to provoke the bureau and the klan. >> that is correct. >> turning to the subject of violence, what instructions, if any, were you given at the outset of your employment by the
fbi with respect to purchase a patient in violent activity? -- to participation in violent activity? >> i was instructed under no conditions to participate in violence whatsoever. >> did they subsequently change? >> yes they did. >> describe the change. >> iwas contacted by my agent. crapys, "i noted a lot a that you aren't reporting. i know it's happening, i don't know why you don't see it. the seventh in the open meetings. a written every night report my meeting." i see a group after the meeting is over, i see a certain group remain. they don't come out. the agent stated i should get closer to numbers of this certain group, find out who they were, and it closer to them. >> did you do that? >> yes i did. >> did you participate yourself in the violent acts? >> yes i did.
>> digital the fbi you are participating in violent acts? >> yes i did. >> what were some of the acts you participated in? >> the birmingham freedom riders. >> did you also participate in acts where you beat people with chains at a certain county fair? >> there was a county fair in alabama. i personally gave the fbi several days notice, a good week notice that this was going to occur. my instructions were to go and see what happens. >> did the fbi ever tell you that when you went to these violent occasions, you should stand back and not participate? or did they say, you are on your own and do what is necessary. >> he stated, "we have to by law instruct you that you are not to participate in any violence. how
ever, we know this is something that you have to do. we need the information. that's the important thing." >> to get the information, was it necessary to participate in the violent acts yourself? >> some of the information yes, some i would say no. >> with the freedom riders incident, did you inform the fbi about planned violence prior to that incident? >> sir, i get the the i information -- the fbi the information approximately 3 week before it occurred. >> what did you tell them? >> i stated that i had been contacted by a birmingham city detective, who in turn wanted me to meet with a high-ranking officer of the birmingham police department. there was a reception for the freedom riders. >> you mean the birmingham policeman set up the beating of the freedom riders. >> that is correct. >> and where they beaten? >> they were beaten very badly, yes. >> did the birmingham police
give you the time that they promised? >> yes sir. we were promised 15 minutes with no intervention from any police officer whatsoever. we had our 15 minutes. 15 minutes after the freedom riders were attacked, a officer said god damnit, get them out of your! your 15 minutes are up! >> were any arrests made? >> absolutely not. i quit shortly after because of this incident. my exact phrase, "why wasn't something done?" there were 1000 men on that morning running up and down city hall. we had baseball events -- cha ins, pistols sticking out of our belts. it was unbelievable. >> what about the fbi? did you ever discuss with them?
>> i was told by the fbi "who the hell are we going to report it to? the police department was involved. they help set it up. he said, we are in investigating agency, not in enforcement agency." >> were you told that teh fbi i declared war on the klan? >> that is correct. >> what you told to do under the program? >> under the cointel program, i had been instructed to disrupt, discredit, or disorganized the klan organization to the best of my ability. >> what did you do? >> i was instructed to give inf ormation to find out who was sleeping with who. i was to pass the word around to different people to cause dissension around their ranks. i was instructed to attend
church services to see if there were any political activities going on as opposed to klan meetings. many klan meetings were held in church. >> were you instructed personally to attempt to break up marriages by sleeping with wives of members of the klan? >> yes i was, my searches were to sleep as with as many wives as a good. -- wives as i could. >> yes i did pass the information on. >> the committee will stand in recess.
>> your question is -- what criteria to use and the selection of informants? >> it is based on needs. in our cases relating to extremist matters, surely in order to get an informant who can meld into a group which is engaged in a criminal type activity, you have a different set of criteria. if you are talking about internal security, we set rather high standards. a preliminary inquiry should be conducted, which is based of
checks of headquarters, field office indices, checks with other informants who are operating in the same area and with various established police. such as local following this, it would appear that the person is the type that has credibility and can be reliable, we would interview the individual. terminationmake a as to whether or not he would be willing to assist the fbi in its responsibilities. thatwing that, assuming the answer was positive, we would conduct an in-depth investigation with the purpose of further attempting to establish credibility. how does the bureau distinguish the use of informants for law enforcement as opposed to intelligence
collection? is the guidance any different? >> it was not always acted upon. >> in none of these cases were there adequate evidence of conspiracy. >> the departmental rules at that time, and still do, required departmental approval where you have a conspiracy. more 241, it takes 2o r persons acting together. you can have a mob scene and have blacks and whites belting each other, but unless you can show that those initiated the action acted in concert in a, conspiracy you have no violation. congress recognized this. it wasn't until 1968 that they added section 245 to the civil rights statute, which added punitive measures against an
individual. it didn't have to be a conspiracy. this was a problem that people country was grappling with. we were in a situation where we had lawlessness taking place. from the memorandum that we sent to the attorney general, we were able to obtain and prevent violence and neutralize the claim -- neutralize the klan. >> what was the bureau's purpose in continuing informant surveillance of the vietnam veterans against the war? was there a legitimate law enforcement purpose, or was the intent to alter political expression? >> we had information on the vietnam veterans against the war that indicated there were subversive groups involved. they were going to north vietnam, meeting with communist
forces. they were going to paris, attending meetings paid for and sponsored by the communist party, the international communist party. we feel that we had a very valid basis to direct our attention. in 1967, with the head of the communist party usa making comments. it split off into the revolutionary union, which was a maoist group, and the hardline communist group. at that point, factionalism developed in many of the chapters. we close to those chapters. there was no longer any intent to follow the national organization. we have a valid basis for investigating it. we determined if there was affiliation and subservience to
the national office. >> mr. adams did address himself to that. >> the problem we have at the an investigative agency -- we do not have police powers even like the u.s. marshals. i guess, they had authorities that bordered on what a sheriff has. we are the investigative agency of the department of justice. during these times, the department of justice have us maintain the role of investigative agency. we were to report on activities. we put the information to the local police. we furnished it to the government of justice. in those areas where the local
police did not act, it resulted finally in the attorney general sending 500 u.s. marshals down to guarantee the safety of those who were trying to march in protest of their civil rights. this was an extraordinary measure because the team -- it came at a time of civil rights versus program. it's obvious that a lot of informers will have pre-knowle dge of violence. >> we have them in boston. we are investigating the violations under the civil rights act. the marshals are in boston.they are in louisville at the same time. this is the approach that the federal government finally recognized was the solution to the problem, where you had to have added federal force. >> instead of waiting until it gets to boston state, which was advanced a competition.
should we have a coordinated program that, when you go up the ladder of the fbi, on an immediate and contemporary basis, that kind of help can be sought, instantly instead of waiting for a boston? >> we are at a time when conditions have subsided in the country, even from the 1960's and 1970's. report to the berkman of justice on trouble spots run the country. so that the department will be aware of them. year ine place a advance with state official, city officials, the affirmative justice and the fbi. our only approach was through
informants. through the use of informants, we solved these cases. ones that were solved. some of the bombing cases we never solved. , as we talkedts to the president, he was in a position where he could forewarn us of violence that had transpired. we knew that this could continue forever unless we could create enough disruption that these members will realize, if i go out and murder 3 civil rights workers, even though that it, that ire in on will be caught. that is what we did. that is why the violence
stopped, the klan was insecure. just like you say, they thought 80% of --they thought 50% were klan members. they did not engage in these acts of violence because they knew they could not engage in conspiracy any longer. i'm sorry. >> one quick question. is it correct in that in 1971, we were using around 6500 informers for a black ghetto situation? >> sure, if that is the year. we had one year we had a number, that would have been around 6000. that was a time when cities were being burned. detroit, washington, areas like this. we were given a mandate to know what the situation is. where is violence going to break out next? they weren't informants like an
individual penetrating an organization. they were listing those in the community that would help tell us that we have a group getting ready to start another firefight. >> there are three more senators remaining. if you can get everything in in the first round, that could be one of the best organizations in the world. when the fbi acts in the world of political ideas, it has pummeled its job, it interferes with civil liberties. , finally in the last month or two, through its public disclosures, heaped shame upon itself. and led toward an undermining of crucial public confidence in an essential law enforcement agency of this country. in a real sense, history has repeated itself. it was precisely the problem
that led to the creation of the fbi in 1924. in world war i, bureau of investigations straight from its law enforcement function. -- strayed from its law enforcement function. it seems that the basis of this strategy that people can't protect themselves from dangerous ideas. that somehow you need to use the tools of law enforcement to check people from subversive or dangerous ideas. which i find strange and quite profoundly at odds with the philosophy of american government. ago.rted politics years got tost thing -- we've restrain it define it, so that precisely what is expected by the fbi is known by you, the public. that you can justify your actions when we ask you. >> i agree with that senator.
i'll point out that when the attorney general made his statement, mr. hoover subscribed to it. we follow the policy for about 10 years, when the president said we should investigate the nazi party. i feel that we should investigate the nazi party. i feel that our investigation of the nazi party resulted in the fact that in world war ii, sconce contrasted to world war i, there was not one incident of foreign directed seven taj in the u.s. -- foreign directed sabotage in the u.s. >> you could've tesh isn't sabotagea crime? could you investigate it? >> after it happens. >> every time you get challenged on getting involved in political ideas, you defend yourself on the basis of crimes that you can investigate. it interesting. in my opinion, you have to stand here. if you're going to continue what you are now doing, and you still insist you did the right thing
investigating the council of churches, investigating antiwar veterans. this can still go on under your interpretation, which you try to justify polygrams of your -- justify on the grounds of your law enforcement activity. >> the law does not say we have to wait until we have murdered before we can act. >> absolutely. there you go again. you are trying to defend-- that's the law. >> that's right. but how do you find out which of the 20,000 members might have been a saboteur? you don't have probable cause to investigate every one. you can direct intelligence against the german-american boon. you object to going to record and asking for a warrant? >> because you don't have probable cause to go against an individual. and the law doesn't provide for
probable cause to investigate an organization. time they were going to outlaw the communist party. >> what i don't understand is, why it wouldn't be better for the fbi, for us to define the authority you can use where under court authority you could investigate where there is probable cause to suspect sabotage. wouldn't that make a lot more sense than making decisions on your own? >> we have expressed complete concurrence in that. we feel we will get beat to death for the next 100 years, the damned if you do, damned if you don't, if we don't have a delineation of responsibility. >> these hearings took place inside this room on december 2, 1975. this is the first time you have seen some of this film of these fbi informants testifying.
what is your reaction? >> first of all, there is a comedic quality to it. this gentlemen comes in with his head partially covered. he was a former informant for the kkk, and comes in with a white sort of sheetlike thing over his head. it's hard to believe that is not an snl skit. you also have -- what's interesting about these two cook.ters, mary joe these two informants are here justifying in part because they were deeply conflicted about the role they played in these intelligent operations. tooi think that it suggests something that was important to the investigation, the role of informants. what i mean our whistleblowers, people that worked within the agencies and participated in these programs. whohe cia, fbi and nsa, and
became internally conflicted about some of the programs that these agencies were creating and perpetuating. information they can provide to the church committee is vital to understand the sort of narrative arc. what are the types of abuses that were taking place? why do they happen? how do we correct them? i think watching this particular piece is really fascinating because the senators become quite animated about the roles these individuals played. in particular, senator walter mondale of minnesota is involved in this piece of the investigation. he was at this point, leading in an informal way, the investigation of the fbi. people responded that while
the cia activity was appalling, the programs that the the i had -- the fbi had created was perhaps the worst example of the abuse of the intelligence community. this particular hearing and this exchange between the members is really powerful. very emotional. >> the beginning of this hearing, the fbi portion, senator church says this is the first time the senate has taking a close look. bring us to the present. how has that changed them? >> senator church and the others make a point several times in the hearings to say, this is the first time that we have done a
comprehensive investigation with the broader intelligence community. one of the ongoing jokes was that they look into an agency known as nsa, which they called "no such. agency" people literally did not know that it existed. members of the committee did not know about this agency branch of the investigation. he's making the broad point that this is the first time where we are investigating these issues. that is why so much need to be brought to light publicly. as a result of the church committee investigation, one of the long-term legacies of the committee is that the senate created a permanent intelligence oversight committee. in 1976, shortly after the conclusion of the church committee investigation. that committee has been focused primarily on ensuring consistent
oversight of the intelligence community. for the fbi, that has always been a responsibility, a jurisdictional responsibility of the senate judiciary committee. that continues to this day. aboutwas a lively debate the creation of a permanent intelligence oversight committee. the request was of jurisdiction. how will the new committee deal with those that already have jurisdiction? they decided that the judiciary committee needed to maintain oversight of the fbi more roughly within its oversight of the department of justice.that is where we are today . >> how can you convey the importance of this room? after watching some of this? >> institutionally, this room has been the site of most of the
senate's most significant investigations. investigatione into the titanic accident were conducted in this room. that takes us to the early 20th century. senator joe mccarthy famously conducted some of his hearings here in this room. watergate was famously conducted in this room. the vietnam hearings conducted by the senate foreign relations committee in 19 cities six -- 1966 were done in this room. it is a beautiful space. impressivee that is for a number of reasons. but historically and institutionally, it has been the site of some of the most important investigations in the senate passed. -- senate's past. this suggests that they knew
there would be a large crowd, [laughter] that the media would want to attend and they would need them. a site thattionally earliererences to investigations. one of the challenges the church committee had to overcome was the criticism that investigating the national intelligence community in the public, and exposing to the public some of be exposingty, will the intelligence community and thereby weakening it. by having the hearings in this room, the senators meant to draw upon that institutional respect that people have for responsible investigations. >> kids got, thank you very much. -- kate scott, thank you very
much. >> thank you. this weekend on c-span cities tour, along with our comcast table partners, will explore the -- comcast table partners, we will explore hattiesburg, mississippi. "don't paris me down to hades," the book draws on rare diary entries to tell the story of the civil war through the eyes of the soldiers and their families, and how important keeping in touch was for those on the battlefield and family members at home. >> so many women were writing two men at first, saying -- to m en at first saying, we have1/5 fifth of the crops we normally do. i just buried our youngest in the back. we won't have anything left. you don't -- you need to come home. >> we examined the vietnam war and the 1967 experiences of charlie company.
discussing the battlefields of vietnam and what soldiers had to find upon their return to the u.s. >> vietnam veterans have been used as political footballs. they have been used as a morality play. they have been used as many things. hardly anybody had gotten to tell their story, who they were as young men before they went. the trauma of war, both its great victories, it's funny times, it's horrible times. and what happened to them as a generation since they have been home. >> on american history tv, the 1956 slaying of civil rights activist vernon dahmer at the hands of the. -- of the ku klux klan. >> for what reason did anybody want to come and kill him? it came as a result of the owners from the head of the clan , he said go and violate him. they killed the whole family. >> and learn about the freedom
summer school program during the summer of 1964. when volunteers from around the country taught african americans in mississippi methods of nonviolent resistance and encouraged voter registration. >> meetings held throughout the city in various churches preparing the residents and informing them of their political rights, getting ready to register to vote. >> watch the c-span cities tour to hattiesburg, mississippi on c-span 2's tv and on american history tv on c-span 3. >> this weekend, on lectures in history, marshall university professor kat williams teaches a class about life on the home front for women during world war ii. . the preview. -- here is a preview. >> remember me telling you how women didn't have a lot of opportunities to work outside the home? certainly not a lot of opportunities that challenged
the societal norm. these women were given an opportunity to play professional baseball. the first season was called the all-american girls softball league. wrigley realized, these were good ballplayers. people came to watch them play ball. the size of the ball changed. ultimately it became the all-american girls professional baseball league. paid 45-80 five dollars a week. -- $45-85 a week. that was an enormous amount of money. they got to do it playing baseball. something you would never have dreamed was possible. >> watch the entire lecture tonight at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on c-span 3's american history tv.
"thenday, on communicators," we broadcast from the ntix conference in boston, sponsored by the cable telecommunications association. we interview fcc chairman tom wheeler about the cable industry, set top boxes, and net neutrality. tom: you see the evolution of the nature of television, the explosion of video. you see increased talk about smaller bundles and how that changes the relationship with the consumer. you see alternative pathways to the consumer over m plus 1 kinds of devices. we have the potential to be forring the best era ever consumers, for programmers, and
those that deliver. >> watch "the communicators" at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> each week until the 2016 election, road to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. nxet, new york congresswoman geraldine ferraro accepts the vice principal nomination at the 1984 democratic convention in in san francisco. walter mondale selected her as his running mate. she became the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency or vice presidency. the mondale ticket lost the general election to republican incumbents while writing and george h.w. bush, with reagon winning 49 states and receiving 49% of the vote. this is a little over a half. -- over a half hour. ♪