Dutch city of Haarlem may be world’s first to ban most meat ads

BBC | Sept. 7, 2022

Haarlem in The Netherlands is set to ban most meat ads from public spaces because of the food’s climate impact.

In what is thought to be the first such move by a city, it will enforce the ban from 2024.

The motion drafted by GroenLinks – a green political party – has faced opposition from the meat sector and some who say it stifles free speech.

The UN says livestock generate more than 14% of all man-made greenhouse gases, including methane.

“Meat is very harmful to the environment. We cannot tell people that there is a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of it,” Ziggy Klazes, a councillor from GroenLinks who drafted the motion, told the Trouw newspaper.

The government of the city of 160,000 says it has not yet been decided whether sustainably produced meat will be included in the ad ban.

The proposal was also supported by MPs from the Christian Democratic Challenge party.

The backlash from the meat industry was swift.

“The authorities are going too far in telling people what’s best for them,” said a spokesman from the Central Organisation for the Meat Sector.


The Shills’ Chorus: ‘I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy Who Was Shot in Vegas’

One of the common tactics in staged deceptions are flurries of comments in which the poster claims to know somebody who knows somebody who was killed or injured during an event. Typically, they’re at least two or three parties removed. The names of “victims” are rarely if ever mentioned. The claims are incredibly scripted and repetitive. And now we learn that “50-60” at the Thousand Oaks shooting also were at the Vegas Harvest 91 massacre. [see Thousand Oaks Shooting: The Things We Are Asked to Believe].

This post provides a collection of such comments. One might wonder why large numbers of these commentators feel compelled to use a forum like Reddit’s r/Conspiracy to run with this. The following is a sampling of 39 of them, just about Las Vegas and just from Reddit’s r/Conspiracy sub-Reddit. Many, many more can be mined elsewhere.

The mathematical odds of dozens of people posting the same general narrative to a specific little corner of the internet and sub-Reddit must be millions to one — if not billions. Note also that some of these posts have a high number of up-votes, typically a sign of brigading. I’m convinced a high percentage are these scripts generated by computerized bots.

Clearly, this is an absurdly disproportionate number of people affected personally by the Vegas event, but many also think there’s a real false-flag conspiracy involved. So even though many “question the official narrative,” they harass and insult those who question the basic claims that people were shot — as if every other detail is possibly a lie, but there’s no way anyone would ever fake a shooting. It’s highly suspicious that the staged deception theory is the nonnegotiable point in these narratives. Manipulative.

They combine this with standard gaslighting, questioning the motive for the staged-deception theory.  They create a straw-man argument revolving around why actors would be in on it for no apparent motive or reason. The answer is that these are false personas, or cutouts: people who aren’t real — just like most of the shills. See Miles Mathis Exposes Fake Personas in the Las Vegas Shooting.

Did Rochester Institute of Technology Class of ’07 Grads Provide Fake Personas for the Vegas Shooting?

Our ‘Theory’ Confirmed: Social Media is Largely Faked

Editor’s Note: Credit to /u/joe_jaywalker for assembling the links to this list.

7Seraphim7 5 points 

Listen this theory that nothing happened is kind of a little sketchy. I know of someone killed there with 2 degrees of separation from myself. I know of many people that can be verified this way since I live in Southern California. That being said, if you’re looking to start an actual discussion you could have a different approach than being inflammatory and baiting in the way you ask this question. Unless of course your goal here isn’t a civilized discussion :).

Cigarette5mokingman[S] 2 points 

Once again, I live in Vegas, and I personally know someone who buried a family member. People died. Except this as fact because it is. Other very shady shit went on that night which is not being addressed by the media. Unless perhaps you’re only here to disrupt the conversation.

goingtocalifornia_ 0 points 

I literally know a girl who was shot in the eye. She’s recovering albeit very slowly. How do you explain that, exactly? Of course stuff is being covered up but your assertion is wrong.

rake16 1 point 

Just gotta say, I know someone who was there and she saw people that were actually shot and dead.

She talks about it a little bit on the news as well. I can promise you on this one, people were actually shot, the only debate at this point is motive and who was behind it. Both of those are totally open for discussion.

Plomagliojr 1 point 

My wife and the mother of my son was there. She was injured and she was treated. Most of these “theories” on this site are interesting and creative but this is plain silly.

AnonDocs[S] 5 points 

Oh fuck off people died my best friends old roommate is almost dead, people who live in southern California or Arizona or Vegas know enough people who actually have a life and go to Vegas to know people who were affected or close to that shooting. It was real, it was a false flag.

polkadotgirl 12 points 

I actually do know somebody who died in it. In my community. A real person. Vigil. Funeral. Everything. I think it was still a false flag but real people died.

brooksandretti 3 points 

I know someone who’s in the hospital! The bullets were real, everything else is up in the air


If you’re suggesting that the Las Vegas shooting didn’t happen, you’re wrong. I personally know someone that was killed. I’m not going to be able to prove it so you’re going to have to take my word… or not I really don’t care.

Daddydante88[S] 5 points 

I rock my tinfoil hat with pride. I don’t trust my government or any of its agencies. I believe wholeheartedly that there is a lot of possibility that the story we are being told is not true.

Yet with that said I do have to disagree with you, bullets were flying. People died. I’m going to avoid giving out too much information about my personal life but, my employment leads me to work in a lot of people’s homes. One of my regular customers is a 55 year old woman who was at the Jason Aldean concert in Vegas when it happened. She showed me the blood on her shoes and pants. It wasn’t hers she didn’t get hurt.

Also, there is pictures, there is footage. I won’t post them here but go spend a little time on /pol/ it won’t take you long to see them.

Predator04 2 points 

I have 5 friends that have passed away from this. There has been deaths for sure. Hoax not even. False flag? Yes

JakeElwoodDim5th 8 points 

This guys a fucking dickhole. Notice, all he does is say its fake, and then expect you to prove to him that it’s real.

The burden of proof is on you, u/joe_jaywalker , asshole. I’m two degrees removed from someone there. It happened.

u/joe_jaywalker -You’re stupid enough to believe that they would put together a more elaborate set-up than a fucking top-budgeted hollywood movie when simply shooting people is not only exponentially simpler, but actually possible.

i’m really starting to think this “hoax” narrative is being pushed by an element in Deep State in order to discredit those of us who insist on looking into this event.

marflow75 1 point 

My bosses sister was killed and her husband seriously wounded. I worked with him the night of October 1. Woke up the next morning to the news of the shooting, and then news of his sisters death. He was off work 3 weeks and isn’t the same since he came back. So I’ve seen first hand the effect. My mother has a good friend who was working the event. I’ve heard firsthand her story. So for that to be a hoax those two people would have to also be getting paid off.

Next I would ask what PROOF do you have that it didn’t happen. And your position that the burden of proof is on me doesn’t work.

And then finally, to what end would a hoax be effective? Who would benefit from that? In what way? False flag, yes. Hoax, no.

tterb0331 3 points 

No need to show me examples. I’ve personally seen plenty of gunshot victims. How could you have THAT many “actors” and keep things so quiet? How do I have a friend from the military that was childhood friends with one of the people that died at the concert? Is this just an “actor?” And where does he go now that he is “dead?”

Most people here aren’t arguing the fact that this event did in fact happen, and people really did die. We are trying to figure out how it actually went down, who was behind it, what was the motive, etc...

warrhamster 1 point 

Yeah. I guess anyone can say anything anonymously on here but I did know someone who died there. False flag conspiracies kind of get to me because it’s hard on the people who lost people during them. I don’t think they work either. I live in a small town in the south and they’re never gonna take our guns. Not easily anyways. It was probably a bad idea to even click on this thread. As for my favorite conspiracies, I like more out there stuff like hollow earth, Antarctica stuff, and alien stuff.

TheEstherCutie 7 points 

You didn’t attend my friends funeral…. You might be sadly mistaken there…. if you go into my history you will find the link to our invite and also talking with someone else who felt it didn’t happen.

This hit too close to home for me. I am someone who thought sandy hook was a fake. And now… here I am missing my friend, Brennan Stewart’s presence. He didn’t have to even talk to you for that smile to light up the room.

I remember he was a grade ahead of us. He gave me my first pooka shell necklaces. Good guy. Rip.

FWIW… I don’t blame you for thinking it may not have happened because I have been there with sandy hook and I’ve seen the crisis actors. Maybe it happened with both in Las Vegas?

Maybe… innocent people did die but crisis actors were there to tell a different story. After all, witnesses are dying.

Just food for thought not an attack. I don’t want to let the loss of a friend and my beautiful home dictate how I treat you.

We are all here to ask questions and that’s the point of the sub. So…. that’s just my food for thought.

Shiftyze -2 points 

I don’t think Sandy Hook is legit but I do believe people died in this massacre. I work with two people who were concerned for friends and family that week, getting different details. Then I have two Xbox Live friends who talked to me about it. It happened, we just don’t know the motive.

FlubberNutBuggy 2 points 

4 Canadians were killed there, including 3 from the province I live in. One of those victims, Jessica Klymchuk, was a single mother of FOUR children, school bus driver and teachers assistant and well known in her small community of around 2000 people. Are you really, seriously trying to imply she was somehow in on some American conspiracy? There are really no words for how deluded that is. You think she abandoned her life in some small town that is not even in the US, abandoned her children and her career in which she spent most of her waking hours helping children? Based on what evidence, and what motivation(tentative to wether you think she was willingly involved)?

Here is a statement by her employer https://www.hfcrd.ab.ca/about-us/hfcrd-news/post/remembering-jessica-klymchuk

So, by the logic you are trying to propose, either that school board doesn’t exist, and none of the students exist and the town doesn’t exist? Or she was in on it for no apparent motive or reason?

randomguyrandomstuff 12 points 

Dude, I’m not going to go hunt down evidence that people died for you. They did. I had met one of them several times through a family friend.

I have no issue with you believing this was a false flag or whatever, but to say no one was shot is just fucking dumb.

0xnull 1 point 

I dated a girl who was there. She was trampled and watched the woman beside her die from a shot.

runescapejesus 0 points 

Im not sure still.

Ive had my sister tell me her coworker’s friend died and my Aunt tell me a little boy she knows parents died and he came up to her crying.

This is very problematic for me. Because I know for a fact they used crisis actors for this event and that “gore” on liveleak was staged/fake. I will try to ask my Aunt some more details this Christmas Eve about what she knows.

blackbutters 32 points 

My friend got shot in the arm.

chuxarino 0 points 

My friend was shot in the arm. She’s recovering. She’s not an actress. I’ve known her family for years.

TheBigAndy 0 points 

I have know multiple people who were there. A coworker and his friend who was shot, two personal friends who escaped quickly, and my sisters sorority sister was shot. Both people lived who were shot.

cosmosomsoc 10 points 

Vegas local here. My sister was at the event and witnessed everything as it happened. A good friend was shot in the foot and is in recovery. Sisters fiancé is a first responder and performed triage for 12 hours. So…


The people have emerged, one of them is my niece you piece of shit!

walkhardd 4 points 

I saw someone i know dead in this video, you fucking retard. My little sister was there, and she’s fucked up from all this.

ThatGuyNearby 1 point 

You must not live in Vegas or know anybody that happened to be here. I knew people at the concert, knew someone that was killed, and have now heard countless stories from others that were there. Definitely nothing staged

istoleyourribeyes 3 points 

I’ve personally seen a gunshot victim from the event. As in I saw the the person, in person, with a bullet hole. I think their was probably gunshots.

coocookazoo 2 points 

My cousin that lives in Vegas actually has a friend that was shot in the shoulder.

Jhov12 9 points 

My friends sister was killed. Weve covered this

kevjay17 1 point 

Do you think all these families are lying? I know someone who was shot, are they lying?

adidasbdd 6 points 

My buddy was there, people really died. You have tens of thousands of witnesses. You people are insane

dsnuh[S] 3 points 

Hey dumbass, they did die. That attorney in San Diego that died worked with my attorney for the last year.

DrChooch 1 point 

Lol, ok bud. I guess the lady from a small town named Teulon which is near where I live in Winnipeg, MB, Canada getting news coverage of her recovery is part of the act.

If you don’t believe the shots of all the dead bodies laying around, or the accounts of people on here saying they lost a friend, attended a funeral etc…. But the ‘video’ you linked works for you then so be it.

jiveturkey17 1 point 

Yeah well it’s a bit different when I know somebody that actually had three rounds put into their back and died and it wasn’t apart of some fake act. I get this is a conspiracy thread, but damn.

giants707fan[S] 2 points 

I went to the service of someone killed in the attack. Was that a giant production to fool me too?

jollyberries 5 points 

I know two people that died actually, they went to the concert, they did not come home,

thefirdblu 1 point 

One of the victims is from the town I just moved away from, and I know people who knew her.


My ex was murdered in the shooting. Her husband dragged her corpse behind a bench under gunfire because he was unsure if she was dead or not. I went to the funeral and still know the family well. You’re a fucking moron.


I also have personal ties to this and KNOW many people died.

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We Need a New “Church Committee” to Curb Massive Intelligence Agency Criminality Ranging From Illegal Surveillance to Torture and Assassination

By Jeremy Kuzmarov,

Russia-Gate and CIA ties to Ukrainian death squads, along with killer drone program and worldwide surveillance apparatus, necessitates new investigations of U.S. intelligence agencies modeled after the Church Committee hearings of 1975.

The year 1975 was designated “the year of intelligence,” a season of inquiry into America’s spy agencies and their abuses.

Senator Frank Church (D-ID) headed a major Senate investigative committee, which exposed massive CIA and FBI criminality—ranging from its surveillance of Americans and efforts to destroy dissenting groups to its involvement in illegal drug testing and assassination.

As a consequence of these revelations, new reforms were enacted to try to reign in the so-called “deep state,” though these were relatively mild and gradually reversed.

Today, a new Senate investigation modeled after the Church Committee is urgently needed.

In the nearly 50 years since the Church Committee hearings were held, the intelligence agencies have grown exceedingly more powerful, and replicated the pattern of abuse prevalent in the immediate post-World War II era.

These abuses have included: a) running secret torture sites in the War on Terror; b) coordinating a killer drone program in which even U.S. citizens have been targeted without any judicial process; and c) orchestrating a fake political scandal—Russiagate—based on fraudulent dossiers, which helped condition the public to support a new Cold War with Russia and which was designed to bring down a sitting U.S. president.

The CIA and associated intelligence agencies have additionally: a) expanded an unprecedented surveillance apparatus that violates the U.S. Constitution; b) promoted disinformation in support of illegal wars in Libya and Syria among other countries; c) continued to meddle in foreign countries through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and to support color revolutions designed to facilitate regime change in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; and d) helped coordinate Phoenix-style operations in Ukraine through liaison with the Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) which routinely kidnaps civilians and executes them without trial.

Further investigation is also needed into the extent to which the CIA/FBI and related intelligence agencies have a) adopted COINTELPRO-style operations today designed to manipulate public opinion, co-opt protest movements and destroy the U.S. Left; b) perpetrated black-flag or terrorist attacks as part of a strategy of tension designed to sow fear in the public and advance legislation that violates civil liberties and the Bill of Rights; and c) aided presidential candidates such as George H.W. Bush (a former CIA director), Bill Clinton and Barack Obama among others, and in the process further tarnished the impression of the U.S. as a so-called democratic country.

Revelations of CIA Malfeasance

The Church Committee remains one of the U.S. Senate’s most significant investigations.

It was prompted by a rash of revelations in the media about CIA malfeasance, including: a) illegal domestic surveillance of Americans under Operation Chaos; b) the CIA’s support for torture in the infamous Phoenix Program in Vietnam; and c) its support for a fascist coup d’état in Chile in 1973—the extent of which was unknown until the Church Committee investigations.[1]

The White House, the CIA and the Pike Committee, 1975 | National Security  Archive
Seymour Hersh’s explosive revelations in The New York Times on December 22, 1974, led to White House and congressional investigations into the intelligence community. [Source: nsarchive.gwu.edu]

CIA whistleblower Philip Agee, a co-founder of this Magazine, had also caused a stir in 1975 with the release of his tell-all book, Inside the Company, exposing CIA criminality in Latin America in the context of the political economy of U.S. imperialism.

“A New Kind of McCarthyism”

The Church Committee investigation was preceded by two additional investigations: The Rockefeller Commission, which examined the CIA’s domestic surveillance—carried out in violation of the CIA’s charter—and the Pike Committee, headed by New York Representative Otis Pike (D-NY), which concluded that the CIA had become “a private tool of the executive branch.”[2]

Otis G. Pike, 92, Dies; Long Island Congressman Took On C.I.A. - The New  York Times
Otis Pike presiding over the Pike Committee. [Source: nytimes.com]

Ron Dellums (D-CA), a member of the Pike committee, called for prohibition of all covert activity since they did not fit the democratic principles that the U.S. stood for.[3]

Ron Dellums - Wikiwand
Ron Dellums [Source: wikiwand.com]

The Pike Committee recommended a) the establishment of a permanent House committee on intelligence, b) the disclosure of the intelligence budget, and c) transparent financial accountability and restrictions on the transfer of funding between agencies and departments.[4]

Among the fiercest critics of the Pike Committee report was Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Adviser and, later, Secretary of State, who claimed that the committee had “practiced a new kind of McCarthyism.”[5] These were the bitter statements of an Executive Branch authority contemptuous of any investigation into its abuses of power.

The White House, the CIA and the Pike Committee, 1975 | National Security  Archive
Otis Pike shaking Henry Kissinger’s hand. [Source: nsarchive.gwu.edu]

Exposing Unlawful and Improper Conduct

The Church Committee held hearings in September and October 1975 after months-long investigations which were in part designed to educate the public about the “unlawful or improper conduct” of the intelligence community.

Church Committee, White House and CIA
Church Committee hearings. [Source: nsarchive2.gwu.edu]

Between 1947 and 1975, the CIA had been placed under the authority of four different subcommittees which met only occasionally and were “often nothing more than a tool to silence the opponents of clandestine intelligence activity,” according to historian Dafydd Townley [6]

Former White House Counsel Clark Clifford, who had been part of the Truman administration when the CIA was created, said that, “for nearly thirty years the CIA had wheeled and dealed without supervision. Nobody has really interfered with them in Congress, the White House or the National Security Council. They just free-wheeled their way on and on.”[7]

Clark Clifford: The rise of a reputation - The Washington Post
Clark Clifford [Source: washingtonpost.com]
A person in a suit

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Senator William E. Borah [Source: wikipedia.org]

Though voting for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964, Frank Church emerged as a leading critic of the Vietnam War by the late 1960s and co-authored legislation trimming the president’s war powers. He received a strong rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA).

Fifty-one years old at the time of the hearings, Church’s career ambition was to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee like his political idol William Borah, an isolationist also from Idaho, who had supported U.S. neutrality in World War I; favored the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war; and opposed U.S. imperialism in Central America in the 1920s.[8]

The Economist of London characterized Church as “the scourge of immorality in undercover intelligence operations and the inquisitor of corrupt practices by American corporations abroad.” The latter characterization resulted from Church’s presiding over a the Senate Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations in the early 1970s, which exposed corrupt practices, including bribery, involving corporations such as Lockheed, and Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco).[9]

A couple of men sitting at a table with microphones

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Frank Church [Source: inthesetimes.com]

In chairing the Senate intelligence hearings, Church was motivated by his political ideal of a transparent and accountable democratic process. He feared that the theme of national security had been used “as a mitigating force to allow those in power to manipulate and circumvent the processes of American democracy.”[10]

Church explained that the inquiry was designed to “safeguard the legitimate interests of the country, identify the abuses that had occurred, and to prevent the United States from slipping into the practices of a police state.”[11]


Though the Church Committee staff did not always receive documents in a timely fashion, they enjoyed unprecedented access to materials that had never before been made public.

One limitation was that the committee allowed the intelligence agencies to predominantly shoulder the guilt for illegal activities that ultimately derived from the White House. CIA lawyers also stonewalled investigation into CIA crimes such as the assassination of Orlando Letelier, a former socialist government official in Chile gunned down in Washington D.C.

Several members of the Church Committee were extremely friendly to the CIA, including Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), who told NBC’s “Tomorrow Show” that he had “begged Church not to get into assassinations,” Howard Baker (R-TN), who helped cover up the Iran-Contra affair as Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff (1988) and was even offered the post of CIA director, and Walter Huddleston (D-KY), who in 1980 helped pass a bill limiting congressional oversight of the CIA.[12]

Explosive Revelations

The Church Committee’s most explosive revelations were about the CIA’s recruitment of underworld figures—including John Roselli, Sam Giancana, and Santo Trafficante—to try to assassinate Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

The Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations had also sanctioned the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, and Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam whom the Kennedy administration merely wanted kidnapped and overthrown though not necessarily murdered—as he was.[13]

Arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem - Wikipedia
Former U.S. proxy Ngo Dinh Diem after he was killed following a CIA-backed coup in South Vietnam. Diem had made peace overtures toward the “Vietcong” which the U.S. ruling elite did not like, as there was too much money to be made off war in Vietnam. [Source: wikipedia.org]

The Church Committee, additionally, revealed that the Nixon administration had supported a 1970 Chilean plot to kidnap the head of the Chilean army, General René Schneider, who was shot to death with a machine gun that had been supplied to his executioners by the CIA.

Schneider was a constitutionalist who refused to support the CIA’s plot to overthrow Chile’s legally elected President Salvador Allende, a socialist whom President Richard Nixon branded “unacceptable to the United States.”[14]

Schneider official portrait
General René Schneider, a victim of a CIA kidnapping plot and regime-change operations in Chile. [Source: nsarchive.gwu.edu]

The Church committee concluded  that the FBI and the Warren Commission were deficient in their investigation into the JFK assassination.

Further explosive was the Church Committee’s examination of the CIA’s unauthorized storage of toxic agents, including shellfish toxins, in large amounts that made it clear that the Agency was not interested in “purely defensive uses as it claimed.”

The eleven grams of poison kept by the CIA, despite a presidential order to destroy it all in 1970, was confirmed by CIA Director William Colby (1973-1976) to be part of a joint Army-CIA operation that had the potential to kill thousands of people.[15]

User Clip: CIA Director William Colby, The Church committee, and the shellfish  toxin dartgun | C-SPAN.org
CIA Director William Colby testifying before the Church Committee. [Source: c-span.org]

The Church Committee further revealed the Agency’s development of a poison dart gun to be used for assassinating foreign leaders and other enemies of the state.

Suspect in the Public Mind”: The 1970s, Global Corporations and America's  Multinational Moment — bv knapp
Frank Church, sitting next to John Tower (R-TX) holds up poison dart gun that the CIA had developed for assassinations. [Source: bvknapp.com]

“Degrading to a Free Society”

The Church Committee blazed a trail for Edward Snowden by establishing public hearings on National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, which was previously unknown to the U.S. public. Church had uncovered that the NSA used U.S. telecommunications corporations, such as ITT Communications, Western Union Telegraph Company and RCA Communications, to collect information on U.S. citizens in an operation codenamed Shamrock.

The history of NSA spying, from telegrams to email - The Daily Dot
[Source: dailydot.com]

As part of its data collection efforts, the NSA worked alongside the FBI and CIA in maintaining a watch list that was first compiled under instructions from U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The targets were U.S. citizens thought to be associated either with organized crime or communist Cuba.

After the operation expanded and became known as MINARET, the targets widened to include participants in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, and political activists like Jane Fonda and Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman.[16]

Biography of Robert Kennedy, US Attorney General
Robert F. Kennedy with his brother John, then a Senator during the 1957 McLellan hearings investigating labor union corruption. [Source: thoughtco.com]

Church sought the exposure of these programs because he saw the “incredible potential of an agency such as the NSA to impede the daily lives and freedoms of American citizens.”[17]

The same held true for the FBI, whose counterintelligence operation (COINTELPRO) lasting from 1956 to 1971 aimed to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize political dissent within the United States.”

Senator Frank Church [Source: maryferrell.org]

Targets of COINTELPRO ranged from the American Communist Party and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to the Black Panther Party and Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Black-bag jobs were employed where FBI agents illegally broke into and entered homes to conduct warrantless surveillance, obtained IRS tax returns and prompted IRS investigations into individuals and organizations. FBI agents further spread rumors about informants in an attempt to sow divisions within radical groups, and planted provocateurs to discredit them or set up members for arrest.[18]

In its final report, the Church Committee labeled such actions by the FBI as “indisputably degrading to a free society.”

One of the most shocking revelations concerned the FBI’s harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was the target of “the most complete surveillance imaginable.”[19]

[Source: saobserver.com]

Yet more dirty tricks had been planned under the Huston Plan—named after Nixon’s White House adviser Tom Huston—a coordinated attack on left-wing radicals which involved organized surveillance of protest groups, conducted largely illegally through break-ins, unwarranted surveillance, mail opening and electronic eavesdropping.[20]

Nixon and Huston
Dick Nixon walks with Tom Huston on the White House lawn. [Source: nsarchive.gwu.edu]

Winds of Change

After holding 126 committee meetings, 40 subcommittee hearings, interviewing some 800 witnesses in public and closed sessions, and combing through 110,000 documents, the Church Committee in its final report, published on April 29, 1976, concluded that U.S. intelligence agencies had “undermined the constitutional rights of citizens primarily because checks and balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure accountability have not been applied.”

Afterwards, in response to the wide public demand for reform, a permanent select committee on intelligence was set up whose aim was to facilitate greater transparency in the intelligence agencies and control overreach by the Executive Branch.

In 1976, the Clark Amendment was passed, barring CIA support for right-wing rebels in Angola, and, in 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which established specialized courts that had to authorize any surveillance operations, hence setting legal limitations on domestic intelligence gathering within the U.S.[21]

During the 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter selected as his running mate Walter Mondale who was part of the Church Committee.

Jimmy Carter Leads Tributes to Walter Mondale - The New York Times
Jimmy Carter with Church Committee alum Walter Mondale. [Source: nytimes.com]

After Carter’s victory, he appointed as CIA director Stansfield Turner, who gutted some 20 percent of the CIA’s clandestine service (reportedly some 800 operatives) in the Halloween massacre.[22]

Explore the aftermath of the CIA's infamous
[Source: muckrock.com]

The Empire Strikes Back

From the outset, the CIA and Executive Branch authorities had tried to discredit the Church Committee hearings.

They claimed that the committee’s activities were a national security risk that emboldened Moscow and resulted in the murder of CIA station chief Richard Welch on Christmas Eve 1975 in Athens.

The assassination of Richard Welch
CIA Station Chief in Greece Richard Welch before his assassination. [Source: ekathimerini.com]

Richard Cottrell, author of Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis, suggests that Welch was a victim of “deep state machinations,” as he was never supplied with a bodyguard even though he had been outed as a CIA agent—in a country where the CIA was reviled for having supported a fascist coup.[23]

The master of ceremonies at Welch’s carefully choreographed funeral at Arlington Cemetery, was, not coincidentally, Dick Cheney, who was then serving as President Gerald Ford’s chief of staff.

President Gerald R. Ford and Chief of Staff Dick Cheney meet at Camp David. Mr. Cheney served on the transition team and later as Deputy Assistant to the President when Ford assumed the Presidency in August 1974. In November 1975, Cheney was named Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, a position he held throughout the remainder of the Ford Administration.
Dick Cheney with Gerald Ford. [Source: georgewbush-archives.whitehouse.org]

Cheney was a leading figure throughout his career in trying to reassert Executive Branch authority over Congress and trying to re-empower the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

The Church Committee for years functioned as a scapegoat for intelligence failures and was even blamed for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The political culture of the 1980s and 1990s had grown extremely conservative, with fictional writers like Tom Clancy helping to rehabilitate the CIA and related agencies’ public image (Clancy’s novels chronicled the exploits of CIA agent extraordinaire Jack Ryan).[24]

Clancy told Fox News after 9/11 that “the CIA was gutted by people on the political left who don’t like intelligence operations.”[25] This was a veiled reference to the Church Committee hearing, which was a perennial whipping boy of the neoconservatives.

Push to Keep Church (Frank) and State Separate

As the political climate shifted in the 1980s, the reforms ushered in by the Church Committee were largely neutralized or reversed.

Church himself was defeated in Idaho’s 1980 Senate election after conservative political action groups poured in $275,000 on advertising against him. The Senate intelligence committees designed to oversee the CIA’s activity were staffed with politicians from both parties where more likely to rubber-stamp than challenge the CIA’s operations. The chairman was Barry Goldwater, and Vice Chairman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), whom Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff called “the biggest friend of the CIA the Agency ever had.”[26]

Daniel Patrick Moynihan—the CIA’s biggest friend, according to Nat Hentoff. [Source: wikipedia.org]

Senator Joe Biden, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee in the early 1980s, admitted that the committee failed at its task of providing “vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

Biden told The New York Times in 1982 that there was a “lack of prudent and consistent oversight…and a willingness to accept blanket findings and to give indefinite approval for conducting operations.”

In June 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which mandated a $50,000 fine and ten years’ imprisonment for those who had access to classified information and publicly identified covert agents.

Former CIA agent John Stockwell said that the real purpose of the law was to “gain an important weapon for the CIA to use in silencing its critics.”[27]

A picture containing grass, outdoor, person

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Ronald Reagan giving speech in favor of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act with CIA Director William J. Casey seated to his right. [Source: shutterstrock.com]

The law was part of a wave of post-Church Committee legislation that aimed to reaffirm the authority of the CIA. One bill, introduced by Senator Moynihan exempted the CIA from the Freedom of Information Act, while Senator Huddleston (D-KY) led passage of a bill supported by then-Senator Joe Biden limiting congressional oversight of the CIA

CIA veterans James “Jesus” Angleton and Ray Cline had set up two new pro-intelligence foundations in the late 1970s which pledged support for restoration of the CIA’s effectiveness while lamenting the damage done by revelations and criticism [by the Church Committee].

In a 1976 article entitled “On the Separation of Church and State,” Angleton had blamed Church for helping to “uncloth and disarm” the CIA. Angleton called Church a “muckracker…befuddled by the fantasies of détente,” which in Angleton’s view was a “sham” that emboldened Soviet proxies like Fidel Castro and resulted in more falling dominos.

Angleton and co-author Charles J.V. Murphy wrote that “the Senate would be well advised in the Bicentennial year to give heed to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers: to keep Church (Frank) and State (affairs of) separate. At least where life and death matters are concerned.”

Previously, Angleton asked: “Whose payroll is [Church] on: KGB? GRU [Soviet military intelligence]? Or perhaps the Cubans have recruited him?”

A person in a suit and tie

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James Jesus Angleton [Source: theintercept.com]

The Old Risk-Taking Spirit Returns

in the 1980s, the CIA ran wild in Central America where it was involved in illegal arms-smuggling and drug-running operations.

Numerous CIA functions began to be taken over by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA offshoot founded in 1983, which supported dissidents and opposition media in countries that were geopolitical rivals of the U.S. or targeted for regime change.

President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) appointed future CIA Director Leon Panetta as his chief of staff and expanded America’s covert empire of overseas surveillance outposts while increasing the budget for secret intelligence spending.[28]

Journalist James Risen reported that, after CIA Director George Tenet (1996-2004) won major budget increases and reopened stations in Africa, “the CIA’s old risk-taking spirit began to return.”[29] From the halcyon pre-Church Committee hearing days, that is.

George Tenet - Wikipedia
George Tenet [Source: wikipedia.org]

Rolling Over in His Grave

Frank Church, who died in 1984 at the age of 59, was by this time likely rolling over in his grave.

The aftermath of the 9/11 attacks resulted in an ever-greater reversal of Church’s legacy with the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, which increased intelligence agencies’ ability to share information and lifted restrictions on communications surveillance.

Law enforcement officials under the USA PATRIOT Act were given broader mandates to fight counterfeiting, smuggling and money laundering schemes that funded terrorists, and the FBI was granted increased powers to access personal information such as medical and financial records.

patriot act
[Source: weboages.scu.edu]

Liberal acquiescence to the rising power of the “deep state” was apparent in their support for the CIA-run drone war and 2011 U.S.-NATO bombing of Libya which followed from a CIA disinformation campaign accusing Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi of feeding his soldiers viagra so they would carry out mass rapes.

Gaddafi soldiers WERE given 'Viagra' to rape innocent women civilians, says  UN | Daily Mail Online
[Source: dailymail.co.uk]

The kind of liberals who had once supported Frank Church now rallied behind America’s first Black president, Barack Obama, who worked for a CIA-front after college and had likely family ties to the Agency, whose memoir had all the earmarks of a CIA disinformation pamphlet, and who according to his first CIA director, Leon Panetta, “gave the CIA everything it wanted.”[30]

Barack Obama tells Europe to get its act together – POLITICO
[Source: covertactionmagazine.com]

Liberal support for the “deep state” increased further during the presidency of Donald Trump, whom the Agency slandered as a Russian foreign agent and Manchurian candidate allegedly installed by Vladimir Putin.

The purpose of the Russiagate scandal was to manufacture animus toward Russia whose government the CIA wanted to overthrow, and to undermine Donald Trump whom the dominant forces in the CIA hated because of some of his idiosyncratic positions, his making peaceful overtures to some American enemies (North Korea, Russia) and because he was an embarrassment to the U.S.

Who's who in Trump-Russia saga | CNN Politics
Russia-Gate—a CIA-manufactured scandal. [Source: cnn.com]

Cleansing the Nation of Its Sins

With no political opposition or proper transparency or oversight, the CIA and related agencies like the NSA and FBI have since 1980 repeated the pattern of abuse that was prevalent in the period from 1947 to 1975.

The CIA’s abuses today are as bad or possibly even worse then ever—running a worldwide drone assassination program, for example, is something that the Dulles brothers could have only dreamed of.

Murder for Hire: The CIA's Secret Deal with Pakistan and the Birth of the Drone  Program
[Source: gawker.com]

The FBI and CIA furthermore appear to be far more brazen in interfering in U.S. politics, including by infiltrating left and right-wing groups with provocateurs, co-opting mainstream and alternative media, and covertly supporting political candidates.

Unfortunately, the prospects of a new Church Committee being established in today’s political climate are slim to none. The media and Congress have been totally corrupted, the Democratic Party and liberal establishment are hopelessly wedded to identity politics, and the “deep state” has become so powerful that no one dares to challenge it.

A citizens’ movement nevertheless can prevail against all odds if people from across the political spectrum—left and right—mobilize together. Certainly congressional oversight is not the be-all and end-all of profound social change and justice. Still, citizens should demand such investigations as a starting point and draw inspiration from Frank Church and the Church Committee. As efforts to cleanse the nation of its sins, the shining of light into dark places is sorely needed again and again.

  1. See Dafydd Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States: Public Opinion, National Security, and the 1975 Church Committee (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). 
  2. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 113. 
  3. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 114. 
  4. Idem
  5. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 115. 
  6. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 134. 
  7. Idem
  8. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 145. On Borah, see Robert James Maddox, William E. Borah and American Foreign Policy (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1970). Borah had led the prosecution of Big Bill Haywood, head of the anarcho-syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), on murder charges. Haywood was acquitted. 
  9. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 145; James Angleton and Charles J. V Murphy, “On the Separation of Church and State,” American Cause, June 1976. 
  10. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 155. 
  11. Idem
  12. A member of the Rockefeller financed Trilateral commission dedicated to sustaining U.S. global hegemony after Vietnam, Walter Mondale (D-MN) was also friendly to the CIA, having worked for Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman who headed a CIA front corporation, Business International Corporation (BIC), that Barack Obama worked for after graduating from Columbia University. 
  13. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 184. 
  14. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 178. 
  15. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 177. 
  16. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 187, 188. 
  17. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 191. 
  18. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 202. 
  19. Idem
  20. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 198. 
  21. Idem
  22. Turner said that he wanted to focus on high-tech intelligence collection such as satellites. 
  23. Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis (Palm Desert, CA: Progressive Press, 2012). 
  24. Townley, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, 232. 
  25. Idem
  26. Ronald L. Hatzenbuehlert and Bert W. Marley, “Why Church Lost: A Preliminary Analysis of the Church-Symms Election of 1980,” Pacific Historical Review, 56, 1 (February 1987), 101; Anthony Frank, Destroying America: The CIA’s Quest to Control the Government (independently published, 2022). William F. Buckley, a suspected CIA asset, had advocated for Moynihan as a candidate on the Republican Party presidential ticket in 1980.
  27. Chris Agee and Jeremy Kuzmarov, “Joe Biden Wanted To Lock Up My Father, CIA Whistleblower Philip Agee—Just Like He Wants To Lock Up Edward Snowden And Julian Assange,” CovertAction Magazine, March 3, 2021, https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/03/03/joe-biden-wanted-to-lock-up-my-father-cia-whistleblower-philip-agee-just-like-he-wants-to-lock-up-edward-snowden-and-julian-assange/
  28. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (Oakland: AK Press/Counterpunch, 2004), 12; James Ciment and Immanuel Ness, “NED and the Empire’s New Clothes,” https://thirdworldtraveler.com/NED/NED-EmpiresNewClothes.html; Susan B. Epstein, “National Endowment for Democracy: Policy and Funding Issues,” https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/19990816_96-222_c4d603ed41513187b32654f9aacd3050636c9712.pdf 
  29. James Risen, “The Nation; the Clinton Administration’s See No Evil CIA,” The New York Times, September 10, 2000; Frank, Destroying America, 150, 151. 
  30. See Jeremy Kuzmarov, Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).