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Otis Pike, who led House CIA inquiry, dies at 92

Rep. Otis Pike

Otis Pike, the former Long Island congressman who chaired the House Select Committee on Intelligence inquiry into CIA skullduggery in 1975, died Monday in Florida.

Pike’s committee was a parallel effort to the one led by Frank Church in the Senate. It investigated the CIA’s role in sponsoring coups in Chile and other countries, and if the agency spied on US citizens. Pike called for more Congressional oversight of intelligence operations in order to rein in abuses.

Though the full US House of Representatives voted to keep the Pike Report secret, the Village Voice ended up printing it after CBS’ Daniel Schorr revealed its existence.

Pike was no fan of intelligence agencies. According to the New York Times: “Mr. Pike maintained that the security agencies were inept bureaucracies that left the country vulnerable. ‘If an attack were to be launched on America in the very near future,’ he said in late 1975, ‘it is my belief that America would not know that the attack was about to be launched.'”

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