Unlawful, Unelected, and Unchecked

How the CIA subverts the government at home.
  1. On the first day of August this year, in Room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, there was a hearing that disclosed little to the eye but a good deal to the skeptical mind. The setup looked unpromising enough. With the exception of vast, choreographed numbers like the Iran-Contra waltz of the summer of '87, congressional hearing are deliberately organized to militate against drama, and his particular hearing was no exception. Experts were on hand to speak in tones pitched to guarantee boredom. Committee members, typically half-prepared and distracted, would ensure monotony and torpor. The Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was taking evidence on the murky workings of an international bank-no big deal in our time.

    But the bank in question this day was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and the testimony, as it unfolded, had less to do, really, with the financial workings of BCCI than with th...

The complete text of “Unlawful, Unelected, and Unchecked” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.harpers.org.

Originally published in Harper's, October 1991

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