America’s intelligence agencies have been under public scrutiny since 9/11. Most recently, these questions have centered on whether these agencies were overstepping constitutional protections through wiretapping and bulk electronic data collection.
These excesses were not the only time the secret agencies pushed legal bounds. In 1975, the Church Committee in the U.S. Senate discovered a range of improper activities carried out by these organizations.
Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of International Affairs, examines these earlier abuses of power and connects them to the more recent revelations about unlawful spying at home. A Season of Inquiry Revisited details a moment that was at once a high-water mark for intelligence accountability in the U.S. and a low point in the American people’s trust of the agencies sworn to protect them.