Talk:Church Committee

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Untitled[edit]

This article should also mention that (in the opinion of some) the Church Committee’s activities were a factor that led to the 9/11 attacks. Legislation passed in the 1970's kept the FBI and the CIA from communicating. The Foreign Services Intelligence Act (passed as a result of the Church Committee’s findings) created an additional wall between the CIA and the FBI.

(Moved from article page, but I did not write this & I don't agree with it. Cromis 01:22, 3 August 2005 (UTC))

Overkill on listing all sections of book 1 and 2?[edit]

I applaud User:DJ_Silverfish adding all of the seperate subsections of the book II and III to this page.

PROS:

It makes anyone searching for the church report to find this site on google.

It makes it easy for someone who wants to read a particular section of the report.

CONS:

It seems like overkill and makes the article look crowded. It seems unnecessary to add all the sections here, when a user can simply click on the book 1 and 2 and get all of the section headers.

SUGGESTION: I say possibly delete it, OR Add summaries of each section to make it more relevant for continued inclusion in the article. As mentioned, right now someone can simply click on the:

  • Book II: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (412 pages)
  • Book III: Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (989 pages) links and get all of the subsections.

Anyway, I knew User:DJ_Silverfish spent a lot of time wikifying this section, so I did not want to miff him and simply delete it--what does everyone who is watching this page think? Travb 03:53, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Patriot act[edit]

The citation after "U.S. Army's spying on the civilian population" is not germane; it's about the Patriot Act and has nothing to do with the subject of the article. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.124.131.161 (talk • contribs) {{{2}}}.

SIGN YOUR POSTS PLEASE! Travb 21:32, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

germane: Being both pertinent and fitting. Big word, I just learned a new one today.Travb 21:32, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

"U.S. Army's spying on the civilian population" Sigh, anon, have you read the Church Committee report? I havent completely, but I may have read more than you. Did you even read the article footnote this sentence was pertaning to, which was a direct quote?

Underlying the discussion about how to respond to the terror attacks was the mid-1970s investigation, led by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), into the government's sordid history of domestic spying. Through hundreds of interviews and the examination of tens of thousands of documents, the Church Committee found that the FBI, the CIA, and other government agencies had engaged in pervasive surveillance of politicians, religious organizations, women's rights advocates, anti-war groups, and civil liberties activists. At FBI headquarters in Washington, agents had developed more than half a million domestic intelligence files during the Cold War. The CIA had secretly opened and often photographed almost a quarter-million letters in the United States from 1953 to 1973. One of the most egregious intelligence abuses was an FBI counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO. It was, the Church Report said, "designed to 'disrupt' groups and 'neutralize' individuals deemed to be threats to domestic security." Among other things, COINTELPRO operations included undermining the jobs of political activists, sending anonymous letters to "spouses of intelligence targets for the purposes of destroying their marriages," and a systematic campaign to undermine the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, civil rights efforts through leaked information about his personal life. "Too many people have been spied upon by too many government agencies and too much information has been collected" through secret informants, wiretaps, bugs, surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, the Church Report had warned.

The article is refering to the Church Committee, and comparing the information uncoverd by the Church Committee to the Patriot Act.

Please read the footnote first. Thank you Travb 21:38, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Hello anon, so far your two links in your edits, has nothing to do with the church committee, and replaces an ABC news article that has a full pragraph about the Chuch committee (italics, above). I figure you are still editing, so I will check back later so there are no edit conflicts. Nice work on typos and "options of US government after the church committee" edits.Travb 23:07, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Wow, great article![edit]

After reading a portion of your footnoted article, it looks good. Nice job. Travb 07:11, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I really am learning a lot from the article--thanks for the link...Travb 07:16, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Maybe two links is better? Maybe two links is better than one :) Looks like another editor added back this link.Travb 23:43, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Rumsfeld section[edit]

It is unclear what value the "Rumsfeld and the Church committee" section has. Does it actually say anything at all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lorenbr (talkcontribs)

Rumsfield was very opposed to the results and recommendations of the CC. Maybe I should write this better, sorry it isn't clearer. Travb (talk) 20:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Rumsfeld defended[edit]

The Church Committee was, without a doubt, terribly destructive to US national security. To this very day the US finds itself incapable of dealing with national security matters in any sensible way. The Church Committee's main result was that, for the first time, a security agent of the US could be imprisoned for having acted in good faith to defend his country. Consequently, we now have CIA & FBI agents who must think about their own personal liability instead of defending the US. This is a shameful legacy and everyone associated with that committee ought to hang their heads in shame. Rumsfeld (arguably America's worst Defense Secretary ever) was one of the very few who publicly opposed the Church witch hunt. Gerald Ford, during this period, showed why he should never have been President. He ought to have told Church where to stick his hearings. The Democrats, in the end, would have been powerless to command testimony by Executive Department employees who were ordered not to cooperate for Constitutional reasons. Congress could then have debated what rules we want our security people to follow. Instead, we got a large dose of fear injected into our security apparatus which still affects them today. But Ford, probably feeling illegitimate anyway, didn't have the stomach to fight off this unconstitutional invasion of the Executive branch by the Congress. Church could not have damaged us more had he been a card carrying agent of the KGB He was, in fact, what the Lenin called a "useful idiot".63.230.163.241 10:05, 20 May 2007 (UTC)Doug W.

Church smearing[edit]

The Church Committee investigations have become somewhat controversial, particularly after the September 11th attacks, as investigations are blamed by some for reducing the ability of the CIA to gather human intelligence.

Der Bingle?[edit]

"Early on, critics such as Bing Crosby and Paul Harvey accused the committee of treasonous activity."

Hehe, this is funny, but I think a more serious presentation of this is more appropriate for this topic. There were many less comical examples of serious critics of the Chuch Committee that could have been chosen. The passage makes it sound like only a couple fringe idiots had any reservations about the committee.

"Controversial figure"[edit]

This statement:

The Church Committee investigations have become somewhat controversial, particularly after the September 11th attacks, as investigations are blamed by some for reducing the ability of the CIA to gather human intelligence.

...bears a striking resemblance to this statement, which was removed from Frank Church after discussion on Talk:Frank Church:

Frank Church has become a controversial figure, particularly after the September 11th attacks, as his 1970s investigations are blamed by some for reducing the ability of the CIA to gather human intelligence.

This is a weasel-worded attempt to blame Church for September 11, and violates the Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words guideline. "Some" are largely controversial figures themselves (e.g. Kissinger) who clearly have political axes to grind. Moreover, the claim, as written, doesn't make sense. The beef would be with the laws enacted after the Church Committee hearings, not the investigations themselves. -- RobLa 23:13, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

This entry should be reworded to include the name & party affiliations of the 3 pols involved, plus an acknowledgement of Kissinger's direct involvement in some of the illegal activities. Knott's published works are not highy regarded in academic circles and have not generated any "controversy" thus far. In fact, if you read, 2 of the 4 articles cited, the American Prospect and Zmag articles, are highly critical of these dubious accusations. Here is another article which categorically rejects the accusations:

http://web.archive.org/web/20010921224410/http://slate.msn.com/pol/01-09-18/pol.asp

The other citation is not a critical examination of the merits of the case, just Sununu's accusation. I do not think the accusations of 3 pols and one secrecy promoting scholar constitute a controversy; they are just accusations. The sentence should be modified accordingly.

One charge, that the Church Committee prevented the recruiting of human rights abusers is ludicrous. Church left the senate in 1980 & died in 85, the CIA guidelines prohibiting (without approval!) the use of agents who work inside foreign governments if they are connected to human rights violations, narcotics trafficking or terrorism, according to administration and congressional sources was from 1995, so not very believable in terms of the Committee hindering HUMINT.

http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/09/bushlet0920.htm

The one piece of legislation enacted, that I am aware of, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, did set up a court that approves surveillance. If you are going to argue that this court allowed 9/11 to happen, shouldn't you have to produce a rejected appeal in order to have a reasonable arguement/controversy? Cronos1 19:24, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

weasel[edit]

RE: {{weasel}} tag added. I think that a sentence that has four references is not a weasel sentence. Adding all four authors would make the sentence sound bulky and awkward. 68.91.90.91 22:41, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Just because there is a bunch of references, that doesn't exempt it from being a weasel sentence. Split it up into several sentences to actually clarify the point being made, rather than having a sloppy and inaccurate summary of the situation. -- RobLa 04:46, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Guatemala[edit]

"After years of stonewalling FOIA requests, finally a limited release on May 23, 1997 provides abundant evidence of this. On a page called
The Guatemala 1954 Documents available at the National Security Archive of George Washington University, we read:

"Although Arbenz and his top aides were able to flee the country, after the CIA installed Castillo Armas in power, hundreds of Guatemalans were rounded up and killed. Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians."

"

This is misleading. The quote is not from an official document but from a non-governmental organization. Nor do the quote accuse the US of being responsible for all these deaths. Finally, democracy in Guatemala by the end of the 1960 was as good as that before 1954, according to Polity data series rankings, so difficult to accuse the coup of things happening in the 70s or 80s.Ultramarine (talk) 07:15, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

"The quote is not from an official document but from a non-governmental organization." This is not relevant in whether comment should be edited out. "Nor do the quote accuse the US of being responsible for all these deaths." The CIA installed Armas and between Armas and 1990 'human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians.' This 'makes clear that CIA assassinations, whether by their own hand or by proxies, were very numerous'. "Finally, democracy in Guatemala by the end of the 1960..." Now you are introducing your own OR, if you can find a published source which agrees with the point you are trying to make, that the reprecussions of CIA operations in the 50's terminated as of 1960, then publish as a counter-argument. Restoring. Cronos1 (talk) 18:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

There is also plenty of evidence of CIA's ongoing involvement (post 1960) at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB32/vol2.html in various "counter-terrorism" initiatives. Cronos1 (talk) 22:32, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Some changes[edit]

I've removed the polity series data as not very useful or relevant to the article. What value does it add? It's just one measure of democracy, a particular quantitative model--and disputed one--out of many others. There is no need to promote this one here, esp. not without critics of it. To do so is in effect having WP give it a stamp of endorsement. That is POV. It adds no value to a discussion. I also removed the telegraph piece that makes a false argument, a straw man fallacy by saying the US can not be blamed for all the deaths, which is very is silly: No one does so. It would be relevant to include only if there is a claim that the US is blamed for all the deaths. Upon further examination it is not actually from a close historical examination of Guatemalan history. It is from an op-ed piece specifically directed at the Nobel prize acceptance speech of Harold Pinter. One of Pinter's comments about Ferguson's article, supported by others, was that "Ferguson distorted the whole bloody thing." This op-ed quote has no place in any scholarly article about any subject matter except perhaps about Ferguson and his issues with Pinter, or vise versa, as that is its polemical context, not an historical study, or scholarly paper in anyway. WP has to have better standards than to include straw man fallacies not repeated by any reliable source.Giovanni33 (talk) 01:55, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Polity is widely used in hundreds or thousands of studies so a notable source. Ferguson is a professor of history. "One of Pinter's comments about Ferguson's article, supported by others, was that "Ferguson distorted the whole bloody thing."" Sounds interesting. :) Do you have a source? The article is not more off topic than the article about the coup which is not about the Church Committee. How about we remove all the material regarding the Guatemala which is not the topic here? Ultramarine (talk) 04:20, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Reaction from Pinter about the Ferguson article can be found here...[[1]]. Ferguson's article is clearly not relevant to the Church Committee report, is directed at Pinter, or maybe stretching it someone who says that the U.S. is responsible for all the deaths. I can't see that claim being made in this article. You do not have consensus, so why not wait for other editors to pipe or take to a request for comment? BernardL (talk) 04:33, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
The Guatemala material is not on topic. Nor presented neutrally. So removed.Ultramarine (talk) 04:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Not entirely sure why anyone would claim the Guatemala material is not on topic. It clearly refers to/and rebutts the preceding statement: ""They were very specific about their effort to destroy American intelligence [capabilities]," remembers Robert Ellsworth, a U.S. diplomat. "It was Senator Church who said our intelligence agencies were 'rogue elephants.' They were supposedly out there assassinating people and playing dirty tricks and so forth...Well, that just wasn't true." Rumsfeld and Ellsworth prevented the committees from dismantling the CIA and other intelligence organizations.[4]" Please identify what you believe is not neutrally presented!Cronos1 (talk) 23:07, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
NPOV requires the views of both sides. So restored material presenting the views from the other side.Ultramarine (talk) 08:52, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Isn't the Nat Sec Archive quote a view 'from the other side' of the Ellsworth quote? Should your edit remain, will some editor need to dig up a 'view from the other side' of Ferguson, etc? I don't think the scope of this article on the Church committee needs to expand beyond Accusations vs Rebuttal of Ellsworth.Cronos1 (talk) 21:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
None of the Guatemala material mentions the Church Committee. If we include a discussion on Guatemla, then the views from both sides regarding this should be presented.Ultramarine (talk) 21:23, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The Guatemala material rebutts the specific claim made by Ellsworth, that the CIA wasn't "assassinating people and playing dirty tricks and so forth" and is therefore relevant to this article. If you want to make a case that Guatemala wasn't so bad, why not address in the appropriate article?Cronos1 (talk) 21:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The given sources does not mention Ellsworth or the Church Committee. There is another problem. The Elmsworth quote is from 1977. The Guatemalan Civil War lasted until 1996 with the worst atrocities taking place in the 80s. Incorrect to cite what may have happened after the Ellsworth's quote as evidence that the he was wrong when making his statement! As such I must change my objection to that the civil war material should simply be removed.Ultramarine (talk) 21:53, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
It's true that the source does not mention Ellsworth or the Church comittee, but it provides evidence that Ellsworth's characterization of the Committee's conclusions was not accurate.Cronos1 (talk) 21:18, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
How can it do that when it discusses things taking place much later than 1977? Regarding the 1954 coup, that is on the other hand much earlier. Would need a source regarding conditions during the 70s if criticizing this quote.Ultramarine (talk) 21:21, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
No you wouldn't. Ellsworth did not qualify his remarks as being subject to time limitations (The Church Committee's investigations weren't - specifically see wiki on Operation Mockingbird and note the presence of Arbenz! ), he flatly stated that the CIA was not a rogue elephant and rejected the notion that the they were assassinating people which the Nat Sec Archive material contradicts. I am sure the Ferguson material may be relevant to an article on Guatemala, but it is not relevant to the Church committee. A specific charge was made regarding the findings of the committee and evidence refuting that charge is appropriate. If there is specific credible evidence which says that the specific charge is true (post-Nat Sec Archive) or that the Nat Sec Archive documents are not genuine, then I definately see a poinnt to modify, but the Ferguson material is a General comment about the overall condition and does not touch with any specificity on the Ellesworth accusation, the Nat Sec Archive documentation, or the Church committee and should therefore be removed. I would not have a problem with a link to an Wiki on Guatemala where Ferguson's views may be relevant.Cronos1 (talk) 21:47, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
"Assassinating people" seems to be easy to disprove. Just cite some of the assassination attempts against Castro. Ellsworth obviously did not make a prophecy about the future to material later than 1977 is irrelevant like atrocities in the Guatemala Civil War in the 80s. The 1954 coup is not a €god example since assassinations was not the primary objective.Ultramarine (talk) 23:42, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Assassinations are never the primary objective. I suggest you read "Document 1, "CIA and Guatemala Assassination Proposals, 1952-1954" at the National Sec Archive. Ellesworth's assertion is rebutted. The paragraph which deals with Guatemalan history interpretation is not a "balance" to the rebuttal of Ellesworth's statement and should be removed from this article. I believe Ultra and I have discussed this paragraph long enough, time for other editors to chime in.Cronos1 (talk) 14:41, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
The Church Committee caused a ban on assassinations so it is probably that this is what Ellsworth was referring to. Would be better to include material the Church Committee actually investigated like assassination attempt against Castro. The CC never investigated Guatemala so less relevant.Ultramarine (talk) 21:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I see the problem is the same that I've seen with many other article, in which Ultramarine wishes to introduce material because it advances a POV, even if that POV is not within the scope of relevance to what is being discussed in the article. This is done under the pretext of 'NPOV.' However, he often fails to look at the logical context of the arguments being discussed. This is another example. The Guatemala material addresses the specific claim made by Ellsworth about his assertions of the CIA. This is directly relevant to the article. The other material Ultra is introducing is off topic. Arguments about Guatemalan society, or an interpretation of its history is a non-sequitur, i.e. logically relevant and therefor should be confined to a more appropriate article. Thus, I concur with Cronos1 reasoning here here. I also note that this is the same logical errors I've seen employed by Ultramarine within several articles now.Giovanni33 (talk) 19:47, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Spare me the ad hominem. "The Guatemala material addresses the specific claim made by Ellsworth about his assertions of the CIA." The source never mentions the Church Committee. If we despite this mention Guatemala we must follow NPOV regarding this topic.Ultramarine (talk) 21:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
False premise that it needs to mention the Church Committee, in order for it to be logically relevant. Its that latter criteria that is the standard, not the former. By that standard, your material does not follow logically, and therefore it should not go into the article. An explication of these logical connections, and your materials lackthereof, have already been explained. Lastly, there is no ad hominen (unlike many of your posts, I might add).Giovanni33 (talk) 21:42, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Double standard to argue that US critical material can be included despite not mentioning the Church Committee while excluding supporting on the same grounds. Also, what has "Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." to do with assassinations? Ellsworth in 1977 certainly did not state anything regarding what the Guatemalan army did later in the 80s. Ultramarine (talk) 21:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
With respect, this article is not about "US critical material" vs (I suppose) US un-critical material. It is about what the facts relevant to the Church Committee activities.Cronos1 (talk) 22:20, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I concur. To twist this into something else, makes the error of either being off topic, or if its claimed to be "on topic' classic OR/SYN violations.Giovanni33 (talk) 22:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
The Church Committee did not investigate Guatemala. The source for Guatemala does not mention the Church Committee. Also, what has "Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." to do with assassinations? Ellsworth in 1977 certainly did not state anything regarding what the Guatemalan army did later in the 80s. The Church Committee caused a ban on assassinations so it is probably that this is what Ellsworth was referring to. Would be better to include material the Church Committee actually investigated like assassination attempts against Castro. The CC never investigated Guatemala so less relevant.Ultramarine (talk) 22:28, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Before I continue, I have to ask: why is it you insist on editing in a very strong, matter of factly manner, article which you know very little about? Usually when one is ignorant about a subject matter, they are not so bold to argue matter of fact. When that does happen, as it does in your case frequently, the result is not positive. If you knew much about this subject, you would have known that the Church Committe did investigate Guatemala. I highly recommend you educate yourself about an article's subject. Interest alone, and a POV, is not enough. It seems that you are only looking to make any kind of argument you can to push a pro-US govt. POV, no matter if you even know what the arguments about the actual subject matter is about. This, I think, is not what editors are supposed to do, and not why WP is here for.Giovanni33 (talk) 23:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
"The Church Committee did not investigate Guatemala." Yes, it did. As has already been discussed, operation Mockingbird http://www.heart7.net/cia_info.html#45 & http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1169&relPageId=60Cronos1 (talk) 22:47, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Your source have section on this. Why are you not citing this instead? Also please answer my other points.Ultramarine (talk) 22:50, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

"Your source have section on this." I am not at all sure what this is supposed to mean? The original is not my edit. Before we go any further, can you admit that the church committe investigated Guatemala?Cronos1 (talk) 22:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

"www.heart7.net" seems somewhat dubious as a source. Is it an official doument or someone's personal summary of the report which was several volumes long? The text have a section on Guatemala without listing any sources.Ultramarine (talk) 23:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Is it cited in the article? No. It is not a "source" but is an example of more than one instance where Guatemala is discussed relative to the Committee's activities.Cronos1 (talk) 00:26, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Ultra, just for the sake of understanding, I looked up the Polity report on Guatemala at http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/Guatemala2006.pdf

The 1st 2 paragraphs read: "Military-backed oligarchic rule and factional political violence have long defined Guatemalan politics. After a brief experiment with economic and social reform in the late 1940s and early 1950s, for the next three decades executive recruitment in this poor Central American country became the sole domain of rival conservative factions within the armed forces. The consolidation of political power by the military during this period triggered a peasant-based insurrection that would ultimately claim over 200,000 lives. The vast majority of these casualties were rural peasants who suffered brutal repression at the hands of the Guatemalan military and pro-government paramilitary units. Amidst widespread public discontent in the aftermath of the fraudulent 1982 presidential elections, a military coup brought to power a new government led by General Rios Montt. The brutal, albeit short-lived, Montt dictatorship exacerbated the civil war in Guatemala and triggered the 1983 coup by reformist military leader General Oscar Humberto Mejia. Spurred on by the reformist military government, a new democratic constitution was promulgated in 1985 as restrictions on press and political party activities were lifted. In 1986 democratic elections were held and Mario Vinicio Cerezo became the country’s first civilian president in over two decades. While the return to civilian rule was a positive development, nevertheless, the military continued to exert significant political powers and the civil war remained a constant threat to the political and economic stability of the country."

Not sure that I find this inconsistant with the human rights views expressed in the Church article.Cronos1 (talk) 00:56, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

What human rights view expressed in which Church article? Why are you citing Montt's regime in the 80s as evidence against Ellsworth's 1977 speech? The Church Committee caused a ban on assassinations so it is probably that this is what Ellsworth was referring to when speaking about assassinations. Would be better to include assassinations that the Church Committee actually investigated like assassination attempts against Castro.Ultramarine (talk) 08:52, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
"What human rights view expressed in which Church article?" Are you serious? Why don't you read the article and your own posts above?Cronos1 (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, why are you citing Montt's regime in the 80s as evidence against Ellsworth's 1977 speech? You cannot possibly accuse him of lying by citing what happened after he made his claim.Ultramarine (talk) 14:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
No one is "citing Montt's regime in the 80s as evidence against Ellsworth's 1977 speech". You are the one who has cited the polity series as evidence that the quote you find objectionable is not accurate. Yet, when one looks at the polity series ratings and report, one finds that their is no real basis for claiming that it contradicts the quote! Cronos1 (talk) 15:14, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You just cited statements regarding Montt above. Again, atrocities during the Guatemalan civil war, most taking place in the 80s, are not relevant for the truth of a claim made in 1977. The Polity material does not mention the Church Committee. Atrocities by the Guatemalan army are not assassinations or dirty tricks by the CIA at any time. Why is this statement included "Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." Are you arguing that this is assassinations by CIA proxies? That would be OR which is not allowed.Ultramarine (talk) 15:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
"You just cited statements regarding Montt above." I cited statements from a source you represented as contradicting the views of human rights groups; the source does not contradict the views of human rights groups. "Again, atrocities during the Guatemalan civil war, most taking place in the 80s, are not relevant for the truth of a claim made in 1977." You are correct and that is why no one has attempted to say that they are relevant to the claim in 1977. All the Pre-1977 evidence contained in the Nat Sec Archives is relevant though, if you can admit this and that no one is trying to introduce Montt, etc. about a claim in 1977, we can continue. Otherwise, you have failed to establish a consensus which would allow your off-topic edit to remain.Cronos1 (talk) 19:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
So you agree we can remove ""Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." from the article?Ultramarine (talk) 08:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
One thing at a time. The issue under discussion is your edit which a concensus says is off-topic. You have claimed that it is necessary to maintain balance; it is not. You have not been able to explain how the edit is informative to either the subject of the Church Committee, Ellesworth's statement or the rebuttal of that statement. Once this issue is resolved, you may wish to discuss issues you have with the article.Cronos1 (talk) 15:27, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
"Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." is the principal statement I oppose. OR to argue that the Guatemalan army was CIA proxies. Just absurd to mention what happened after 1977.Ultramarine (talk) 19:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Repressive Operatives[edit]

"Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." is the principal statement I oppose. OR to argue that the Guatemalan army was CIA proxies. Just absurd to mention what happened after 1977." Why don't you sart by telling us 1) What you think OR is & 2)Why you think the statement "repressive operatives of successive military regimes" means "the Guatemalan army was CIA proxies".Cronos1 (talk) 02:18, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I've removed all the Gautemala material, it's not relevant. This article is about the Church committee, none of the provided sources tie the Guatemala material to that. - Merzbow (talk) 03:19, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Ellesworth's statement that the CIA wasn't involved in assassinations, etc. and the committee's conclusions/statements were untrue are proven false. Seemes to be relevant to the charge at a minimum...Cronos1 (talk) 21:41, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
OR. Sources does not mention the Church Committee. The Guatemalan army is not argued to be a CIA proxy doing assassinations. Read WP:SYN. "Synthesizing material occurs when an editor tries to demonstrate the validity of his or her own conclusions by citing sources that when put together serve to advance the editor's position. If the sources cited do not explicitly reach the same conclusion, or if the sources cited are not directly related to the subject of the article, then the editor is engaged in original research.".Ultramarine (talk) 21:46, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Please be a little more specific when you say 'Sources does not mention the Church Committee', & 'The Guatemalan army is not argued to be a CIA proxy doing assassinations.'Cronos1 (talk) 22:05, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm addressing Ultra an inserting here for continuity sake. If someone else wishes to comment, fine but Ultra is the one who raised this and so am most interested in his reply. I have read WP:SYN. I do not believe it applies to this situation and would be willing to go to arbitration. Is there some other aspect of the quote you feel is OR?Cronos1 (talk) 01:53, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not investigative journalism. You seem to be claiming the Guat material is relevant because it disproves Ellsworth's statement. Maybe so, but you need to find a reliable source that specifically says that. You can't just drop it in the article as "proof". And even if its inclusion was justified, it would then also be justified to include alternative viewpoints about the material, like Ferguson's. You can't have your cake and eat it too. - Merzbow (talk) 22:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Didn't say 'Wikipedia is investigative journalism. I didn't put the comment in, but it would seem directly relevant to the charge raised by Ellesworth. Obviously, I think the documents confirming the CIA did engage in the things that Ellesworth claims it did not are a reliable source. Ferguson's op-ed would not be a reliable source, it is attached to no official document, is not footnoted in any way with sources, and doesn't address the issue at hand; it merely claims that at some point, presumably after the time period when CIA direct involvement is documented, the Guatemalan Armed Forces inflicted casualties without the CIA's approval and against their wishes. This is irrelevant to whether Ellesworth's statement is true or false.Cronos1 (talk) 22:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Arguing that actions done by the Guatemalan army proves that the CIA did assassinations is far fetched, OR, and SYN. Ellesworth was discussing the CIA, not the Guatemalan army. "the sources cited do not explicitly reach" the conclusion that Guatemalan army atrocities meant that Ellesworth was wrong.Ultramarine (talk) 22:28, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Again inserting. The entire source, duly cited, is about CIA involvement in the coup. The CIA made lists of targets to be assassinated (the names have been redacted) and created a field manual for making it happen. I personally don't see how you could honestly claim they weren't involved in actual assassinations, but in the narrowest sense, this at least would seem to rebut the claim that the CIA wasn't up to "dirty tricks". Did you read the Haines document? Summary from the web page: "He concluded that as early as January 1952, CIA headquarters began compiling lists of individuals in Arbenz's government "to eliminate immediately in event of [a] successful anti-Communist coup." Planning for assassination included budgeting, training programs, creation of hit teams, drafting of target lists of persons, and transfer of armaments."
From an excellent article Ultra cited, "In the course of our review, we found that several CIA assets were credibly alleged to have ordered, planned, or participated in serious human rights violations such as assassination, extrajudicial execution, torture, or kidnapping while they were assets--and that the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) headquarters was aware at the time of the allegations." http://www.ciponline.org/iob.htm . Not sure what happened to the CIA from their days of innocence in '54 to the 90's, you'll forgive me if I remain skeptical of anyone who claims that the idea that 'CIA did assassinations is far fetched'.Cronos1 (talk) 23:06, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

The difference between this and investigative journalism that the former is OR. This is, however, sourced, and it is directly relevant to the material being discussed. At this point I think we don't have consensus yet--one way or the other. Perhaps the solution is to open it up for others to comment via a Rfc? Its much better than edit warring.Giovanni33 (talk) 23:16, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

"Directly relevant" would be a source tying this to the subject of the article - the Church Committee or those directly involved. What is actually being done here is an editor has plucked an incident out of the blue that the CIA was allegedly involved in, and claims it is relevant simply because it matches the description of the kind of stuff Ellsworth was talking about, around the same period of time (and not even that, as Ultra has pointed out). This is ridiculous. - Merzbow (talk) 00:08, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and WP:ONUS - "The onus is on those seeking to include content, to justify and achieve consensus for its inclusion". - Merzbow (talk) 00:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Is it? By my calculation then, it is at least 3 - 2 in favor of including. Ellesworth made a sweeping criticism of the subject of this article and there is evidence from a very secretive organization (events = 1954, infinitesimal redacted disclosure = 1997) that in at least one instance, his criticism is not true, ,and this, according to you, is not "directly relevant"! Safe to assume that I am confident of the relevancy to the point of arbitration. It is true that the comment encompasses a time frame larger than that between the coup and the activities of the committee (which no one has denied, btw), but it also applies to that specific time period. Cronos1 (talk) 00:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
You picked, out of your own judgment, one event that you think would qualify as one of the things the Church Committee accused the CIA of doing. But as of yet you have no source that actually says the Church committee mentioned Guat. If you have one, then we can discuss Guat in the article. If not, then why not provide material instead on one of the other events, from the list of events in the "Overview" section that apparently the Church committee actually discussed? - Merzbow (talk) 03:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, I did not pick anything. Another editor did. I am defending that edit, however, so I will respond. The relevant quote is Ellesworth's. He said the CIA was not engaged in assassinations or dirty tricks as eleged by Church Committee. And yet, we know, thanks to the FOIA material that they were. The Church Committeee was not investigating specific countries, but CIA malfeascance. Extensive proof is to be found in cited materials at the Nat Sec Archives which concern the country the material is available on; 'Guat'. In the totality of Guat history, this is but a part, but it is the part relevant to the Church Committee's activities; oversight of the Intelligence community. From my reading, there were many other players, Dems & Republicans, etc thru the years sharing in whatever portion of the blame falls on the US, it wasn't until the funding of the Guat military was cut-off that the country's situation improved. That, however, is beyond the scope of this article.Cronos1 (talk) 03:44, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
How is Guatemalan army atrocities in the 80s relevant to Ellesworth's statement in 1977? OR and SYN to argue that they contradict Ellesworth's claims regarding CIA in 1977.Ultramarine (talk) 07:22, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
It's not. However, the quote encompasses the relevant years (coup to Ellesworth/Church) as well as those years that post-Ellesworth (mid-80's). Not OR or Syn as they contradict Ellesworth AND talk about the 80's (unless you want to claim 100% of casualties occurred post-Ellesworth).Cronos1 (talk) 16:58, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
It's your opinion they contradict E. Please find a reliable source that says so or otherwise ties Guat to the subject of this article. I don't understand why you won't agree to discussing instead one of the other incidents that the Church Committee specifically discussed. - Merzbow (talk) 18:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
There is a reliable source that says that Ellesworth's accusations are not true, it has been cited. If you can make a legitimate arguement they do not contradict, please do so as the arguements made so far do not meet this criteria.Cronos1 (talk) 21:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Does that source point to Guat as an example? It still seems to be just your opinion that Guat is a counter-proof. - Merzbow (talk) 21:28, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes...""Although Arbenz and his top aides were able to flee the country, after the CIA installed Castillo Armas in power, hundreds of Guatemalans were rounded up and killed. Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians."Cronos1 (talk) 21:38, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it does not mention Ellesworth or the Church Committee. Or claim that the Guatemalan army is CIA proxies doing assassinations. That is your OR interpretation.Ultramarine (talk) 21:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually Ultra, you are the only one saying 'the Guatemalan army is CIA proxies doing assassinations'. You said it a number of times, but no matter how many times you say it, it doesn't mean that it's my opinion or, to the point of whether it meets Wiki standards, an opinion that can reasonably be said to reflect the statement in the material quoted. The quote is pretty straight forward, no need to add the spin you are giving it.Cronos1 (talk) 21:38, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

It is you who insist on including "Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." What is the relation to Ellesworth's quote? If you are not doing OR and arguing the Guatemalan army are CIA proxies doing assassinatins, then why is it included? The source does not mention the Church Committee.Ultramarine (talk) 21:57, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
You are quite correct that the quote does not mention the Church Committee (and no one has claimed that it does). As has been demonstrated numerous times, this does not mean that it is not relevant to Ellesworth's criticism of the Committee. The full quote is this: "Although Arbenz and his top aides were able to flee the country, after the CIA installed Castillo Armas in power, hundreds of Guatemalans were rounded up and killed. Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians." Cronos1 (talk) 23:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
"this does not mean that it is not relevant to Ellesworth's criticism of the Committee" - A true statement. But you need to find a reliable source that says it is relevant, period. I don't know how else to make this clear, the correct attribution of opinions is a fundamental tenet of Wikipedia. If you continue to insist on including this material (instead of one of the other options the Church committee mentions, which is an entirely reasonable compromise IMHO), we'll have to take this to higher levels of dispute resolution. - Merzbow (talk) 23:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Define "reliable source".Cronos1 (talk) 01:12, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

See WP:RS. If you can present a source that directly links Guat <-> Church Committee/Ellsworth, then we can discuss whether it fits the criteria. - Merzbow (talk) 02:53, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the Wiki link. Which specific feature of the National Security Archive or the quote makes it not a "reliable source"?Cronos1 (talk) 21:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
It's reliable but not relevant, since they do not mention the Church committee. - Merzbow (talk) 02:50, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Let's pretend for a sec that I have taken Your and Ultra's gracious advise and wish to address the assasination attempt on Castro. If CIA releases a document tomorrow that says 'I, D-CIA Dulles hereby authorize any and all means to terminate the life of Fidel Castro and direct all assets in Cuba to accomplish this mission.' without commentary, I could not use in this article because the document would have to be accompanied by a commentary which says that the 'Church Committee investigated this matter'?Cronos1 (talk) 21:02, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, because this article is about the Church Committee and associated individuals. Wikipedia is infinitely big; I'm sure there are articles devoted to CIA misdeeds in general, into which such a topic would fit. We have to be very careful with controversial material like this in that we must lean on reliable sources to make connections for us. It may be obvious to one person that Guat is an "example" of the kind of nefarious deeds the Church Committee was thinking of, but not to others (as has been pointed out, there are timeline problems, for one). - Merzbow (talk) 02:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
There are lots of sources about the CC investigating assassination attempts against Castro and others. Why not simply mention these if you want a rebuttal? Also, even if the Church Committee had investigated assassinations in regard to the 1954 coup and found the CIA responsible, and we included this, then why insist on including "Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians."? That is not CIA assassinations and most took place after 1977 when Ellesworth made his claim. This is not an article for discussing the Guatemalan Civil War and if it was then POVs from all sides should be included.Ultramarine (talk) 06:05, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Unclear writing, Lead section[edit]

It says: " A precursor to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee investigated intelligence gathering for illegality by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after certain activities had been revealed by the Watergate affair."

Which committee? It is unclear whether the subject is the Church Committee, or the Senate Select Committee. Also, the lead seems incomplete, see: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)
--68.127.92.76 (talk) 22:57, 5 July 2013 (UTC)Doug Bashford