Christopher Pyle

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Professor Emeritus

Christopher H. Pyle
Born1939
NationalityAmerican
OccupationProfessor
Known for1970 congressional testimony on Army intelligence surveillance on US soil
AwardsPolk Award et al.
Academic background
EducationBowdoin College (BA)
Columbia University (LLB, MA, PhD)
Websitehttps://www.mtholyoke.edu/people/christopher-pyle

Christopher H. Pyle (born 1939) is a journalist and Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He testified to Congress about the use of military intelligence against civilians, worked for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, as well as the Senate Committee on Government Oversight. He is the author of several books and Congressional reports on military intelligence and constitutional rights, and has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on issues of deportation and extradition.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Pyle studied at Bowdoin College (here, Winter 2011)

Pyle graduated from Bowdoin College (1961) and earned LLB (1964), MA (1966), and PhD (1974) degrees at Columbia University.[1]

Career[edit]

Government Service[edit]

Church Committee report derived in part from findings made by analyst Pyle

In the 1960s, Pyle served in the United States Army as a captain in Army Intelligence Command (now United States Army Intelligence and Security Command).[1]

In the 1960s while an Army captain in intelligence, Pyle learned that "Army intelligence had 1,500 plainclothes agents watching every demonstration of 20 people or more throughout the United States," (as later Pyle recounted on December 19, 2005, on Democracy Now[3] and again on ABC News on January 6, 2006,[4]) as part of a broad-based program of domestic spying. In January and July 1970, Pyle disclosed the Army's spying in articles that appeared in a new publication, Washington Monthly. The exposé went into syndication in more than 40 newspapers in the USA. While Pyle went on to interview more than 120 anonymous soldiers to document the practices, he himself came under attack in "bureaucratic retaliation" that included a spot on President Richard M. Nixon's "Enemies List." The upshot of investigations into Pyle resulted in the discovery by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – that Pyle had overpaid his taxes.[5]

Senator Sam Ervin investigated the Army's spying as chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, and Pyle worked as an analyst for his committee, testifying to Congress about his own findings (1971-1974). Ervin continued to investigate government activities; together with the Church Committee inquiries, these Congressional studies led to the drafting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Pyle served as a consultant for three Congressional committees in this area: the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights on the Judiciary Committee (1971-1974), the Committee on Government Operations (1974), the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (1975-1976). (Later in the 1970s Ervin served as chair of the Congressional committee that conducted hearings on the Watergate scandal.)[1] He also helped draft the Privacy Act of 1974.[5]

Pyle also served as a consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment as well as a constitutional expert before Senate and House Judiciary committees and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.[1]

Academics[edit]

Pyle has taught since the 1970s at Mount Holyoke College (here, gate to main campus, 2007)

In 1973, Pyle taught at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice through 1976.

Pyle first joined Mount Holyoke College in the 1970s. He has taught constitutional law, constitutional history, civil liberties, American politics, American political thought, and American bureaucratic politics; he chaired Mount Holyoke's programs in American Studies and Complex Organizations and the Department of Politics (2011-2012).[1][5]

Pyle has taught politics to intelligence agents in the army; to policemen at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice; undergraduates at University College, Dublin; law students at Harvard University, and graduate students at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.[1]

Private life[edit]

Pyle is a member of the board of directors of the ACLU of Massachusetts.[1]

In 2004, Plye was elected chairman of the board of the Petra Foundation, a national organization that recognizes and assists “unsung heroes” who make extraordinary contributions to social justice.[1] He also chaired its awards committee.[citation needed]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Awards:

  • 1970: Hillman Prize for investigative journalism[1][2]
  • 1971: Polk Award for investigative journalism[1][2]
  • 2002: "Outstanding Academic Title," Choice, for Extradition, Politics and Human Rights (2001)[citation needed]
  • 2004: Luther Knight Mcnair Award from ACLU Massachusetts for contributions as “teacher, scholar, and model citizen activist”[1]
  • 2007: Distinguished teaching award from Mt. Holyoke[1]

Fellowships and Grants: Pyle has received the following:[1]

  • Russell Sage Foundation
  • Mellon Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Institute for the Study of World Politics
  • Aspen Institute
  • Fulbright Program

Works[edit]

Pyle made many of his congressional reports for US Senator Frank Church (undated photo)

Books: Pyle has written several books on military surveillance, extradition, and issues related to the use of torture in intelligence gathering in the US war on terror, including:

  • The President, Congress and the Constitution with Richard Pious (1984) ISBN 0-02-925380-2
  • Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967-1970 (American legal and constitutional history) (1986) ISBN 0-8240-8290-7
  • Extradition, Politics, and Human Rights (2001) ISBN 1-56639-823-1
  • Getting Away with Torture: Secret Government, War Crimes, and the Rule of Law (Potomac Books Inc. (2008) ISBN 1-59797-387-4; ISBN 978-1-59797-387-8
  • The Constitution under Siege with Richard Pious (2010)

Congressional Testimony:

  • "The Domestic Intelligence Community" (1971)[6]
  • "CONUS Intelligence: A Case of Military Overkill" (1971)[7]
  • "S.2318 and the Military's Legitimate Intelligence Needs" (1974)[8]
  • Statement on Proposed Privacy Legislation (1974)[9]
  • "COINTELPRO, Preventive Action, and Proposals for Reform" (1976)[10]
  • "The Foreign Intelligence Bill of 1977 (S.1566)" (1978)[11]
  • "The FBI Charter: A Section-by-Section Analysis" (1979)[12]
  • "Provision of H.R. 3519 Regarding Military Assistance to Civilian" (1981)
  • "Extradition and Political Crimes" (1981)[13]
  • "Extradition and Political Crimes" (1982)[14]
  • "The Extradition Act of 1982" (1982)[15]
  • "Terrorism and Political Crimes Defense to Extradition" (1982)
  • "Extradition, Political Crimes, and the Rule of Non-Inquiry" (1982)
  • "The Defense Department's Polygraph Regulations of 1982" (1982)[16]

Congressional Reports:

  • Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis with Lawrence Baskir (1972)[17]
  • Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics (1973)[18]
  • "Extradition, Political Crimes, and the U.K. Treaty" (1985)

Articles:
Pyle has written for hundreds of newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, as well as magazines and journals including The Nation, Washington Monthly, Civil Liberties Review, Foreign Policy, American Political Science Review, Political Science Quarterly, and Boston University Law Review, including:

  • "How to Brief a Case" (1982)[19]
  • "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid, of Spying by U.S. Army" (2003)[20]
  • "The Intelligence Revolution" (2013)[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Christopher H. Pyle". Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Mount Holyoke Prof Attends "War Crimes" Conference". Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  3. ^ "An Impeachable Offense? Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Eavesdrop on Americans Without Court Approval". Democracy Now. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  4. ^ "No Place to Hide". ABC News. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Cords, Sarah (12 September 2020). "How a U.S. Army Whistleblower Revealed 'the Apparatus of a Police State'". The Progressive. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  6. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1971). "The Domestic Intelligence Community". Federal Data Banks, Computers, and the Bill of Rights: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-second Congress, First Session on Federal Data Banks, Computers and the Bill of Rights. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 2164. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  7. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1971). "CONUS Intelligence: A Case of Military Overkill". Federal Data Banks, Computers, and the Bill of Rights: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-second Congress, First Session on Federal Data Banks, Computers and the Bill of Rights. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 2164. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  8. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1974). "S.2318 and the Military's Legitimate Intelligence Needs". Military Surveillance: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 397. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  9. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1974). "Statement on Proposed Privacy Legislation". Military Surveillance: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 397. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  10. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1976). "COINTELPRO, Preventive Action, and Proposals for Reform". FBI Oversight: Preliminary and final report by the GAO on FBI Domestic Intelligence Operations. House, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 628. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  11. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1978). "The Foreign Intelligence Bill of 1977 (S.1566)" (PDF). Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978: Hearings. Subcommittee on Intelligence and the Rights of Americans of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, Second Session. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 315. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  12. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1979). "The FBI Charter: A Section-by-Section Analysis" (PDF). Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978: Hearings. Subcommittee on Intelligence and the Rights of Americans of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, Second Session. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 315. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  13. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (14 October 1981). "Extradition and Political Crimes". Extradition Act of 1981: Hearing. Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, First Session. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 353. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  14. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1981). "Extradition and Political Crimes". Extradition Reform Act of 1981: Hearing. Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, First Session. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 353. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  15. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1982). "Extradition and Political Crimes". Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates. Washington, DC: US GPO. p. 353. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  16. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1982). The Defense Department's Polygraph Regulations of 1982 (PDF). Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Committee on the Judiciary. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. p. 25. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  17. ^ Pyle, Christopher H.; Baskir, Lawrence M. (1972). Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis. US GPO. p. 97. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  18. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1973). Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics. US GPO. p. 150. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  19. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (1982). How to Brief a Case. John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  20. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (2003). "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid, of Spying by U.S. Army". Retrieved 22 August 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ Pyle, Christopher H. (2013). "The Intelligence Revolution". Retrieved 22 August 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]