Chairman Edward Boland of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued this press release. In 1981, news reports surfaced that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in an assassination attempt and that the committee had lost trust in the CIA director. The press release referred to reports of alleged CIA plans to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, even though Executive Order 12036, signed January 24, 1978, prohibited the agency from killing foreign leaders.
The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was preceded by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which was created in 1975 to investigate recent questionable activities of U.S. intelligence agencies at home and abroad. At the recommendation of the select committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was created July 14, 1977, with the mandate to continue fulfilling oversight responsibilities on intelligence matters. The permanent select committee also restricted access to the committee’s information by House Members who were not members of the committee, which is different from the more open access that other committees have for non-members. Most of the records of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are classified, so press releases are a good way to review the committee’s activities and the issues that came before it.