tv Church Committee Hearing on FBI Informants CSPAN May 28, 2016 8:00am-9:11am EDT
>> a real america is looking into the activities of the church committee which looked at the work of the cia and fbi. we will be looking at the testimony of two informants before the committee. clip of an iyou a nformant, thomas roe. he describes how he participated in beatings during the freedom riders. inform the fbi about planned violence prior to that incident? i gave the fbi information
about the freedom riders. >> what did you tell them? had beened that i contacted by a birmingham city detective who wanted me to meet with a high ranking officer of the birmingham police department to set a reception for the freedom riders. >> the birmingham police man set that up? >> that is correct. >> and then, were they beaten? >> they were beaten very badly, yes. give you the time they promised you to perform the beating? >> yes, sir. 15 minutes. no intervention whatsoever. the information was passed on to the bureau. we had approximately 15 minutes after the freedom riders were attacked, a police officer ran get to me and stated -- them out of here. your 15 minutes are up.
let me have you underscore for the public exactly what it is we are hearing here. i am trying to understand. we just heard testimony that the fbi and the birmingham police alluded to allow people to come in and beat the freedom riders unimpeded for 15 minutes. is that correct? >> that is what you heard and that is what happened. that day, we had two witnesses, gary thomas roe 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 the group. and she was an informer for the fbi. point was not that you should not have any informers. legitimate law enforcement tour. -- tool. there was absolutely no process
for deciding how and who you would pick as an informer. knowing thatabout beatings of the freedom riders shows, the informers sometimes do some very bad things in order to maintain their credibility. come out into the public. he testified in a murder trial against three clue clucks clan klan peopleu klux who had murdered a civil rights worker in selma. she was shot by the three kkk people and killed because she was riding in the car with two young, black men. he had gone public and testified at the murder trial against the
.hree confederates in the kkk with about half an hour to go before the hearing, he told me that he cannot appear on television. we really wanted him on television because it was such a dramatic story. under the rules of the senate, at least then, a witness who did not want to appear on television did not have to appear on television. i came up with the idea of putting a bag over his head with eyes and mouth so he could see and talk. i thought that was a pretty clever idea. one of the assistants for centered it -- for senator tower who was presiding that day said -- you did that in order to embarrass senator tower. senator tower it never said anything -- any such thing to me.
a great ideawas and it got this guy to testify and added some drama for having this person with a bag over his head giving that dramatic testimony that you just play. >> to understand the fbi's motivation in this, they allow the kkk to proceed with the beatings so this gentleman could retain his anonymity and continue to perform as an informant. >> you can go back to world war ii when we broke the german codes. things, we andme the british broke the german code, we had to do some things in order to maintain credibility and not to have the germans know we had broken their code. is a story about how churchill allowed the raid, the german bombing raid to take place on coventry because he was
theyd that if suddenly were to take people out of the town of coventry, because we had broken the german code and knew the bombing was about to happen, it might have destroyed the knowledge, or reveal the knowledge that the americans and british had broken the german code. informers are inherently ambiguous. our hearing was designed to bring that out. to bring out that they do some pretty horrible things. and the fbi allowed a beating to go on. they did not have to do that by the way to keep this guys anonymity protected. to theuld have said -- birmingham police, you simply cannot allow the beating of these freedom riders. then, there are public policy --
policy point after developing those facts was to make some suggestions for improvement in how the fbi would authorize and then manage informants. >> elliot maxwell, this hearing was chaired by the republican senator john tower. we have not had a chance to talk too much about him. you worked for a senator on the republican side. could you speak about john tower? that johnbelief is tower was picked as the vice possible bulwark against a much more liberal frank church and where he might take the committee. tower wasle, i think
reasonably supportive of the work. i think that was an important part of why it was able to move forward. andid not take obstructionist view of the committee. - as i said earlier, there was a great range of our ideological opinions on the republican side. tower, goldwater, were on the right end of that. corral the would committee to prevent it from going further than it would otherwise. >> this is a big topic what if you could briefly tell us -- what was the level of
cooperation from the white house in the hearings? >> on that subject, john tower was extremely helpful. in pushing for the document. we had to get documents. i knew this from my experience as a lawyer in private practice. if you don't have documents and just have a witnesses, you get stories but you cannot prove the real facts. tower was great -- greatly helpful on that. there came a time, probably around in december, when the atmosphere particularly on our foreign work changed a bit because a cia station chief in athens had been assassinated. we had nothing to do with that obviously and george h w bush admitted that we had nothing to do with that 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 a 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 and mondale. believe tontial i our winning and winning when we did in getting the documents. >> in response to the question about the white house, in general 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. they thought perhaps that if their activity and look -- in looking at intelligence at --
activities and the public's concern over them that you could preempt the work of the church committee. there was some tension with the white house. continually between senate committees and the white house. in that sense, there was a -- maybe we can manage our way out thehis and limit what committee does and limit the documents and access to people that would otherwise be available. in the end, that just did not work. >> we are about to show 45 minutes of the church committee's work and the fbi informants. there was another informant, mary jo cook. she represents the fbi's work in investigating people's participation in the war in vietnam. who was she and what did the committee want to learn from her? >> i remember her name. i remember her testifying. i know shewas in --
was working with the vietnam veterans against the war but i do not remember the specifics of her testimony. usefuliously was good or or we would not have chosen to put her on as a witness. >> can you talk in general about what you remember regarding the fbi's concerns over vietnam protesters? fbi protestersd would communist agents. in that connection, lyndon johnson pushed them very hard to investigate the people who were against the war. the bureau probably would have done it anyway what johnson was a force that was pushing the bureau to do that. believed they were communists. or he said he believed they were communists. of course, they were not. >> it went beyond johnson and
into the nixon era. it is a lesson for us today. from thetty easy to go people who oppose your policy from people who think they may be dangerous. >> you made the point earlier that this was not limited to johnson or two nixon but was all presidents who try to push the limits of their executive power in this area of intelligence gathering that to fdr. fact of secrecy that allowed that to happen. that is the great tension in intelligence activities. they are supposed to be conducted in secret. the secret exercise of power is incredibly alluring. watchthis point, we will 45 minutes of the church
committee's investigation into fbi informants. this was recorded by and be set -- and bc cameras -- by nbc cameras. caret tisha's entry. individual and organizational bank records. income tax returns and other sources of intelligence information. properlear that under judicial scrutiny, as mandated by the congress and the courts, limited invasions of individual privacy involving any or all of the foregoing could be properly undertaken. in eight of the law enforcement mission. the focus of our inquiry has been and will continue to be the use of these and other techniques without the sanction of judicial authority. and for purposes often unrelated to law enforcement as it has
been traditionally defined in our country. i stress that the mandate of this committee is to examine the intelligence gathering activities of governmental agencies and is not in any way assessment of the overall efforts. we make no attempt at overall assessment. with respect to those fbi activities which have come to be known as domestic intelligence, our inquiry has revealed a further bifurcation of the bureau's areas of concern. as previously discussed by the committee's counsel in our live session, approximately 20% of the bureau's budget is devoted to intelligence and committees. this -- intelligence activities. divided between domestic activities and counterespionage activities. we have accepted and support the bureau's position that a further budgetary breakdown detailing
the precise expenditures of each category might adversely affect the national interest by revealing the exact amount of expenditures for counterespionage. therefore, while the nature and extent of these activities is less than precise from a budgetary standpoint, this in represents aeless critical area of our investigation. testimony and other evidence received by the committee to date indicates a variety of techniques, not limited to those just cited, were employed against individuals and organizations without even the cover of legislative or judicial authority. the impact of those abuses on individuals and on legitimate political, social, religious, and his -- philosophical interest represents a dangerous erosion of our constitutional guarantee. counsel survey of these issues
during our last session, we examined a range of activities extending from information of the disruption of the lives of individuals and organizations. ever -- our review of the so-called counter program against dr. martin luther king. they were turned an in-depth review of the intelligence methods. the concept of informing is usually distasteful. however, the informant technique is a valid and recognized one in the intelligence field and it often leads to solid results. at issue is the bureau's abusive employment of these -- of this technique. and abuse at least partially due to the lack of clear guidelines and the lack of appropriate constitutional guarantee.
the legitimate concern of the fbi in investigating criminal contact -- conduct and preventing criminal activities can never justify allowing informants or other law enforcement agents to operate outside of the law. without regard for the rights of others. an informant is used to penetrate an organization, to provide intelligence information, the possible impact of this in lawrence on -- of this influence on the activities of that organization cannot be ignored. represents at the very least a chilling effect on the freedom of citizens to gather and to debate and work for such changes. the fact that an informant is carrying out his role may hinder or alter the advancement of legitimate objectives solved by members of organizations.
which we matter with all must be concerned. the bureau's use of informants in large numbers and in circumstances where the proprietary of having an informant is dubious in the poses an additional item of concern. as i have already noted, the bureau's use of the informant as part of the fbi's catalogue of techniques of carrying out its work. our hearing today will focus first on the roles actually played by two informants. kkk.ho infiltrated the another who infiltrated vietnam veterans against the war. the first witness today will be mary jo cook and gary thomas rowe. will be wearing a hood so he cannot be physically identify. he believes his physical identification is in them a call to his personal safety. he now resides at a location not
to be disclosed under an alias. which has been given to him by the government. do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? represented byre counsel today. please identify yourself. >> [indiscernible] recognizes --ow [indiscernible] >thank you. the chair now recognizes the
minority counsel for the committee. >> we will start with the examination of ms. cook. ms. cook, if you will, i would like to begin 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 come up briefly for the committee explain how that contact came about. man -- iliving with a was living with the man who was working for the bureau and had been for a couple of months as an informant. he asked me, i observed his activities and we discussed them and he subsequently asked me if i would consider becoming an informant. >> which group was he informing
for? >> the fbi. >> who was he informing about? >> a vietnam veteran organization. he took me to a meeting. after we returned, we discussed in ward d cap how he felt about being an informant, and why he did it. when i said i would be open to talking about eating an informant with the fbi -- about an informant with the fbi he set up a meeting. >> what was the nature of that discussion? what were you asked to do? >> the major understanding i got from the meeting was that the madeization was primarily of veterans who were possible victims of manipulation. i had been through the vietnam war. they had legitimate readjustment
needs. the bureau feared they could become violent or manipulated in the cause of a social concern. they wanted me to go in and participate in the organization to make sure that the veterans did not get ripped off. they used words like -- be a big sister. be a voice of reason. the other guiding force in the organization and keep things calm, cool, and collected. >> in addition to maintaining reason and keeping things calm, what other functions were you a signed by the fbi? >> the scenario that was represented -- that was presented was to be an informant. i was to go to meetings. write up reports or phone in reports about what happened and who was there.
and in some way try to identify the background of every person there. what their relationships were. who they were living with or sleeping with to try to get some ande of the local structure local relationships among the people in this organization. a meeting.to identify the people who were present. identify them as individuals and identify the substance of the meeting. >> did you identify the attendees by name? >> yes or by physical description. ordid you identify friends people associated with the people at the meeting? did you provide information about their places of employment? and on their personal relationships? >> yes, i did. >> how did you gain this information? >> initially, it would be gathered at a meeting.
joke in personal conversations and drop information about themselves. as i got to know them as personal friends later, much more information -- i had access to much more information. >> did you report back to the bureau all information gained? >> no, not all information gained. when i initially worked for the bureau, i did. i was alien to the situation. knowing what was important and what was not. i was a vacuum cleaner for information. as i became more familiar with the context in which i was working, i could make decisions about what was important. >> was this on your initiative? were you given guidance on what to exclude? >> this was on my initiative. >> did you report initiative
--did you report information on the political views? >> yes, i did. involvedny people were in this reporting back process? how many people did you report on? >> 50 core people in the organization in the local chapter in buffalo. if you look at it in concentric circles, there are perhaps 250 people in the buffalo community whose names i identified as being leadership in one way or the other. and then perhaps 400 people nationally and you take a look at the national organization. when you add to that, the mailing lists that i turned over and the names that came into my hands as being active or interested members, that is perhaps 1000 names. 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? asking what system if any was communicated to you regarding the importance of certain kinds of information? was a determinant on the basis of some guidance by the bureau? was it based on the amount of pay received for the information? >> we had general guidelines. identifying people who were present and being aware of people with a propensity for violence. there was no guidelines as to what information was in fort -- was important. the financial arrangement was on the basis that i would turn over all information gathered. they would look it over and decide what was a value to them.
and pay me of accordingly without necessarily identifying what they considered essential. they rarely gave me information. they did not define my context and then asked me to go into it. they just said -- we want you to go in there. i figured that was fair. based on theay was bureau's assessment of the value of the information you turned over? >> yes. >> how long were you involved in the effort in in informing against the veterans against the war? until june of1973 1974. >> did there come a time that you were dissatisfied or raise questions about your activities? >> yes. >> when did this occur? aftery much so in july 1974. to washington and been in
the only large demonstration i had ever been in. to go.eau advised me not i came and i saw people i had met in the course of my act duties with lot running down their heads. blood back from -- with running down their heads. when i returned, i did not understand my involvement anymore so i started saying -- i do not see the reason for my continuing. it seems you do not understand what i am telling you. if you cannot give me insurance is that the information i am giving you which you seem to strip the context away from is not going to be used against these people then i cannot continue. they tried to give me a assurance is. they brought someone from washington to talk to me. he spoke to me in philosophical terms about why i should
continue and everything was fine and good. it i was very dissatisfied with those conversations. insisted on quitting. i gave them a month's notice. >> this person that spoke to you from washington in philosophical terms, do you recall the substance of that conversation? what kinds of reasons were advanced? >> mostly, they were trying to assured me that the fbi was part -- our conversations were far ranging. we discussed all sorts of social issues from poverty, to the space program to ecology. they tried to show me that the status quo was fine. i was involved with a group of people with bad readjustment needs who did not have social programs that were sufficient for them. i was also involved in welfare rights. i was meeting people who lived
with a degree of poverty which provoked them and frustrated them. they turned to self-help programs. here i have on one hand a man telling me that things are fine and my work for the bureau is -- theymaking sure that had no sympathy with the poverty and the consequences of that property that i was viewing firsthand and living with, day to day. we were miles apart. in our discussions about what was fine and what was not find in america. the could not give me assurances that this information would not be used against people. i could no longer trust that their interests in these people -- that they were just not sensitive to the real needs of these people. thiss it shortly after that your role as an informant
was terminated? >> yes. >> let me raise one final area with you. discussion, you indicated that there came a time when you had become involved in the defense project representing the vietnam veterans against the war. you had been involved in things like the jury survey efforts. my question is -- did you communicate to the bureau any of your efforts in this regard as they related to the africa defense? defense? did.s, i i was told not to bring to the fbi's attention any information that legally they should not have. a lawyer and most average citizens cannot make decisions about what is legally significant and what is not.
there are many instances when i passed information thinking i could legitimately do that. i now understand that the information -- legally the fbi should not have that. i feel badly about that. but i was put in a position where i was required to make a professional decision. i could not do that. >> did the information passed include correspondence between you and the defendants? >> yes. mythat concludes questioning. 1959 to 1965. 65, did you surface in connection with the murder case? whose murder and what role did you play in that case? whenwas in the automobile
a woman was killed by a klansman. >> this was in connection with the selma march? >> that is correct. >> you surfaced and testified at three trials which resulted in the conviction of the persons who had committed that murder. >> that is correct. >> i want to go back to how you came to that point and what you did as an informant before performing that service. you served in the government before? >> yes. >> you were a marine. >> yes. i joined the marine reserves. tothe fbi recruited you infiltrate the klan? >> yes. >> what kind of information did
you report back? >> anything and everything. >> did that include information relating to plan to violence or actual violence? >> yes, sir. >> and political matters? and what would be an example? we had a former fbi agent running for mayor of birmingham. i was instructed to attend meetings, observe who was there and whether people were republicans or democrats. and give their names. and if they were active political voters. reporting backto political information and information relating to violence, did you report back information relating to the social life? >> yes. >> including the most intimate details? >> yes. i was instructed to do that. why the bureau. -- by the bureau. >> did you also go to meetings
of civil rights organizations? >> yes. >> did you report the same information? >> basically, yes. >> you were a member of the clan bureau investigation. you were informing on the civil rights organizations to both the bureau and the kkk. turning to the subject of violence, what extractions --what instructions were you given with respect to participation in violent activity? under noinstructed conditions. >> did those instructions change? >> yes. >> describe the change. by awas contacted contacted agent and he told me -- i know there is a lot of stuff going on. happening, but i
do not know why you do not report it. and i told them it was not happening at the meeting. i give them a full written report. there was no violence discussed at the meetings. the agent stated i should try to get closer to a smaller group and find out who they were and try to get closer. >> did you do that and did you participate in the violent acts? >> yes, i did. >> did you tell the fbi? >> before i participated, yes. >> what violent acts did you participate in? >> the birmingham freedom riders. >> did you also participate in acts where you beat people with chains? >> yes. there was a county fair in alabama. i personally gave the fbi
several days notice. that this was going to occur. my instructions were to hang in. and see what happens. >> did the fbi ever tell you when you went to these violent occasions, that you should stand back and not participate? we havestated to me -- to by law to instruct you that you are not to participate in any violence. however, we know you have to do this. and we understand. we need information. that is the important thing. >> to get the information, what is --was it necessary to participate in those violent acts? >> some, yes. >> in connection to the freedom riders incident, did you inform the fbi about the planned violence? >> i gave the fbi information
pertaining to the freedom riders approximately three weeks before. beented that i had contacted by a birmingham city detective who wanted me to meet with a high ranking officer of the birmingham police department to set a reception for the freedom riders. policemen setham up the beating of the freedom riders? >> that is correct. >> and then, with a beaten? >> did yes, very badly. >> we were promised 15 minutes with no intervention from any police officer whatsoever. information was passed on to the bureau. we had our 15 minutes. approximately 15 minutes after the freedom riders were attacked, a police officer ran over to me and stated -- get out of here.
your 15 minutes are up. >> were any arrests made? >> none. as a matter of fact, i quit shortly after because of this incident. --why was something not done? roaming in1000 men front of city hall. we had baseball bats and chains. it was unbelievable. >> that if the problem with the birmingham police department. what about the fbi? --whoas told by the fbi will we report it to? the police department was involved in it. they helped set it out. we are an investigating agency not an enforcement agency. were youme after that, told that the fbi had declared war on the kkk? what were you told to do under
this program? under the program, i was instructed to disrupt, discredit, or disorganized the kkk as best as i could. i was instructed to give information if i found out who was sleeping with home. whom to cause dissension in their homes and try to break them up. i was also instructed to attend church services to see if there were any political activities going on. kkk meetings were held in churches. >> were you instructed purposely to attempt to break up marriages? >> yes, i was. to try totions were sleep with as many wives as i could. thereafter, you did see that
in our cases relating to extremist matters, in order to get an informant who can melt into a group which is engaged in criminal activities, you will have a different set of criteria. if you are talking about internal security matters come we set rather high standards. we require a preliminary inquiry be conducted consisting of headquarters, embassies, field offices. checks with other informants who are operating in the same area and with very is sources such as local police departments. following, if it appears that the person is the type that has credibility, and can be depended upon to be reliable, we would interview the individual. a determination
as to whether or not he would be willing to assist the fbi in discharging its responsibilities in that field. following that, assuming the answer was positive, we would conduct a rather in-depth investigation with the purpose of further attempting to establish crested -- credibility and reliability. how does the bureau distinguish between the use of informants or law were spent as opposed to intelligence collection? is the guidance any different? have passed on the responsibility to do something about that. these cases, was there adequate evidence of conspiracy. >> the department rules at the time require departmental
approval where you have a takesracy under 241, it two or more persons acting together. you can have a mob scene and you can have blacks and whites belting each other but unless you can show that those that initiated the action acted in concert, you have no violation. congress recognized this and it theyot until 1968 that came along and added section 245 to the civil rights statute which added measures against an individual that did not have to be a conspiracy. this was a problem that the whole country was grappling with. the president, attorney general's, they were in a situation where we had ranked lawlessness taking place. as you know from the memoranda we sent you come up sent to the attorney general, the accomplishments we were able to
update in preventing violence and in neutralizing the kkk. >> what was the bureau's purpose in continuing and urging continued informant surveillance of the vietnam veterans against the war? was there a legitimate law enforcement purpose? >> we had information on the vietnam veterans against the war. that there were subversive groups involved. they were going to north vietnam and meeting with the communist forces. they were going to paris and attending meetings sponsored by the international communist party. have a very we valid basis to direct our attention to the organization. 1967 with gus in hall who is part of the
communist party, usa. what it boiled down to is a situation where americans split and the the revolution hard-line communist group. at that point, factionalism developed in many of the chapters and we closed them because there was no longer any intent to follow the national organization. we had basis for investigating them to determine if there was affiliation to the national office. mr. adams did address himself to that. >> the problem we had at the time was the same problem as today. we are an investigative agency. we do not have police powers.
in 1795, or sometime like that, marshals had authority like a sheriff. we are the investigative agency of the department of justice. during these times, the department of justice had us maintain the role of an investigative agency. we were just poor on activities. to the the information local police who had an obligation to act. we furnished the information to the department of justice. note the local police did act, it resulted in the attorney general sending 500 marshals down to guarantee the safety of those marching in protest to protect their civil rights. this was an extraordinary measure. it came at a time of civil rights. informants have knowledge of a use of violence.
inwe had them in boston connection with the busing incident. we are investigating the violations under the civil rights acts. the marshals are in boston and in louisville. this is the approach that the federal government finally recognized was the solution to the problem. you had to have added federal import. >> instead of waiting till it , which isboston state an advanced confrontation, shouldn't we have a coordinated program that when you go up the ender, on an immediate fairly contemporary basis, that kind of help can be soft instantly instead of waiting until we get to a boston level. >> maybe we need a better remedy than what we have. whereare in a time
conditions have subsided in the country even from the 1960's -- i mean the 1950's and the 1960's. ring report to the department of justice on potential trouble spots around the country. the planning for boston for instance took place a year in of officials,tate city officials, the department of justice and the fbi. our only approach was through informants. and through the use of informants, we saw -- we solved the cases. there were some bombing cases that we never solved. those are extremely difficult. these informants as we told the attorney general and the president -- that we had moved to thents like mr. rowe top leadership. he was the bodyguard to the head
man. position to forewarn us of violence and could help us on cases that had transpired. we knew and could see that this could continue forever unless we can create enough disruption that these members will realize that if i go out and murders civil -- three civil rights workers even if the share of and other law enforcement officers are in on it, that i will be caught. that is what we did. that is why violence stopped. the kkk was insecure. thought 50% of their -- ers they knew they could not control the conspiracy any longer. >> i just have one quick question. around, we were using
6500 informers for a black ghetto situation? >> imed not sure of the gear. we did have one year with a number like that, around 6000. that is when the cities were being burned. detroit, washington -- areas like this. we were given a mandate to know what the situation is and where is violence going to break out next. informants that word like an individual that had penetrated an organization. they were listening posts. there are many senators remaining for questioning. if you can try to get everything in on your first round. it may be the best
professional organization in the world but when the fbi acts in the field of political ideas, it job, it hasits interfered with civil liberties, and finally, in the last month or so, through its public disclosures come it has heaped shame upon itself. and really led towards an undermining of crucial public confidence in an essential law enforcement agency of this country. in a real sense, history has repeated itself. it is precisely that problem that led to the creation of the fbi in 1924. in world war i, the bureau of investigation strayed from its law enforcement functions. basis of this the strategy that people cannot protect themselves from dangerous ideas. that somehow come at you need to use the tools of law enforcement to protect able from subversive
ideas. i find that strange and quite profoundly at odds with the philosophy of american government. ago andd politics years the first thing -- to control this, restrain it so that precisely what is expected -- of the fbi is known by you and the public and you can justify your actions when we ask you. i agree with that senator. i would like to point out that when the eternal -- when the attorney general made his statement, we subscribed to it. we followed that policy until the president said we should investigate the nazi party. i feel we should. our investigation of the party resulted in the fact that in world war ii as contrasted to world war i, there was not one
single incident of foreign directed sabotage that took place in the u.s. >> under the criminal law, you could have investigated these issues of sabotage. >> sabotage is a crime. we could investigate it after it happened. >> every time you are challenged, you defend yourself by the crimes you are investigating. in my opinion, you have to stand here if you are going to continue what you are now doing and as i understand it you still think you did the right thing regarding the vietnam organization. this can still go on under your interpretation of your present powers which you try to justify on the grounds of your law enforcement act to be in terms of criminal matters. >> the law does not say we have to wait until we have been murdered before we can act. >> absolutely. but that is the field of law again.
>> when you have sabotaged -- >> that is the law. out whichyou find member is a saboteur. you don't have probable cause to investigate anyone. the same thing we did after congress -- >> did you get a warrant for the? -- for that? don't have probable cause to go after an individual. dide were activities which take place like one time they were going to outlaw the communist party. i do not understand is why it would not be better for the fbi, for us to define the authority that you can use wear canr court authority you investigate where there is
probable or reasonable cause to suspect sabotage and the rest. wouldn't that make your sense than just making these decisions on your own? >> we have expressed complete concurrence with that. we feel we are going to be beaten to death for the next 100 we. do not have a delineation of our responsible in this area. the hearings took place in this room on december 2, 1975. this is the first time you have seen some of this film of the fbi informants testifying. what is your reaction? >> there is a comedic quality to it. this gentleman comes in with his head partially covered. he was an informant for the kkk and he comes in with a white come sheetlike thing over his head. it is hard to believe it is not a snl sketch. what is interesting about these
characters, mary jo cook -- two informants are here testifying in part because they were deeply conflicted about the role that they played in these domestic intelligence operations. suggestshat it something that was very important to this investigation -- the role of informants. the whistleblowers. these who work in agencies and participated in some of these programs in the fbi, cia, nsa, and became internally conflicted about some of the programs that these agencies were creating and perpetuating. the information that they can provide to the church committee is vital to helping the committee understand the narrative arc. what are the types of abuses taking place. why did they happen. how can we correct them.
this particular piece is really fascinating. become quite animated about the role of these individuals played and what that says about the fbi. in particular, senator walter mondale is very involved in this piece of the investigation. he was, at this point, leading in an informal way, the investigation of the fbi in particular. responded or remarked that while the cia activity was appalling or the programs that the fbi had created and the ways in which it had violated civil liberties of american citizens was perhaps 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 -- taken a close look at the fbi. 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. there was a lively debate about
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 broadly 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. portions of the investigation 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. it's a space that is impressive 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, that the media would want to attend and they would need them. it was intentionally a site that drew references to earlier
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 their activity, will be exposing 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. >> kate scott, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> this memorial day weekend on american history tv on c-span tv -- on the civil war -- >> sherman could not have agreed more. atlanta,me he captured his thoughts on the matter had fully matured.
another major city had fallen and still the confederates would not give up. so, rather than continue the futile war against people, he would wage war against property. ongeorgia society president william tecumseh sherman, arguing that his march to the sea campaign was hard for rather than total war and his targets toe carefully selected destroy confederate resolve. on american artifacts, with senator mitch mcconnell. the good fortune to actually be here on august 28, 1963 when martin luther king made the "i have a dream" speech. i confess i could not hear a word. i was at this end of the mall. he was on the lincoln memorial, looking at the throng scum of people. that you knew you were in the --
looking at the throngs and throngs of people. that you knew you were in the presence of something significant. presidentscussion of johnson in the vietnam era. >> lbj anguished about that war every single day. that is not an exaggeration. the daily body counts, the calls to or from the situation room, often at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning. nd is joined hw bra and lbj aide -- and a nixon aide. america,p.m. on real the church committee hearings, intended to investigate the fbi, cia, and nsa.
>> we are here to review the major findings of our full investigation of domestic intelligence. fbi surveillance of law-abiding citizens and groups -- political abuses of fbi intelligence, and several specific cases of unjustified intelligence operations. >> for the complete american history tv schedule, go to www.c-span.org. effectink today we in catch up with the 20th century. we have been the invisible half of the congress for the past seven years. housee watched our colleagues with interest -- at least i have with interest. and the tv coverage of our colleagues in the house. >> today as the u.s. senate
comes out of the communications dark ages, we create another historic moment in the relationship the between congress and technological advancements through radio and television. our executiveo, branch began appearing on television. today marks the first time that we will appear on the medium of information through which most americans get their information about what our country and our government does. broadcast media coverage recognizes the basic right and need of the citizens of our nation to know the business of their government. >> thursday -- c-span marks the 30th anniversary of our live gavel to gavel senate floor coverage on c-span2.
we feature key moments from the senate floor over the last 30 years. >> now i will show to you the body of evidence in this question, do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have just witnessed something that has never before happened in senate history. a change of power during a session of congress. people doe american not understand in this bill, there are areas in the bill that will put the government in charge of everybody's health care. >> plus an interview with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. senator mcconnell: i'm sure i've of mistakes during my career, but voting against c-span was one of them. what's 30 years of the u.s. senate on television. coverage from our c-span2, go to c-span.org.
>> each week until the 2016 election, road to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. next, new york congresswoman gerald in florida except the vice presidential 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-ferraro ticket lost the general election to republican incumbents while writing and george h.w. bush, with reagan winning 49 states and receiving 49% of the vote. this is a little over half an hour. ♪ ["new york, new