Many of you may not have heard of Congressman Otis Pike, but he led the Pike Committee in exposing the NSA scandal and those hearings were far more intense and revealing than the better-known Church Committee’s Senate hearings, which went on at the same time. His death has went unannounced and unnoticed, it seems by the media and this regime.
The Church Committee focused on excesses and abuses, implying that with the proper reforms and oversights, the intelligence structures could be set right. But as the Pike Committee started pulling up the floorboards, what they discovered quickly led Rep. Pike and others to declare that the entire intelligence apparatus was a dangerous boondoggle. Not only were taxpayers getting fleeced, but agencies like the NSA and CIA were a direct threat to America’s security and democracy, the proverbial monkey playing with a live grenade. The problem was that Pike asked the right questions—and that led him to some very wrong answers, as far as the powers that be were concerned.
It was Pike’s committee that got the first ever admission—from CIA director William Colby—that the NSA was routinely tapping Americans’ phone calls. Days after that stunning confession, Pike succeeded in getting the head of the NSA, Lew Allen Jr., to testify in public before his committee—the first time in history that an NSA chief publicly testified. It was the first time that the NSA publicly maintained that it was legally entitled to wiretap Americans’ communications overseas, in spite of the 1934 Communications Act and other legal restrictions placed on other intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Thank you, Congressman Pike, for standing up for the American people and our right to know the truth. You will be missed, even if they want us to forget you, we will not. RIP-