Volume 7: Covert Action
The testimony presented in this volume is from the only public
hearings the Church Committee conducted on the subject of covert
action. The Committee decided that the public right to know of these
operations exceeded the possible harm to national security that
might result. In any case, particulars such as names of agents and
other details were kept from public view. These hearings involve
only one area of covert action: the United States government’s attempts
to rid Chile of its democratically elected socialist leadership.
This effort, undertaken in the face of the 1970 Chilean elections
which so alarmed the Nixon administration, was successfully concluded
in 1973 when General Pinochet led a military coup and overthrew
Salvador Allende. Witnesses included high-level Defense and CIA
officers including Clark Clifford and David Phillips, former Ambassadors
to Chile, and others.