Monday, September 23, 2013

A Retrospective on the Church Committee

As the first session of a three-part discussion series, Surveillance and Foreign Intelligence Gathering in the United States: Past, Present, and Future, tomorrow Georgetown Law’s Center on National Security and the Law will be hosting a retrospective on the Church Committee.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, will deliver the keynote.  Panelists are Former Vice President Walter Mondale, Church Committee Member; Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart, Church Committee Member; Former U.S. Ambassador William Miller, Church Committee Staff Director; and Dr. Loch Johnson, Former Special Assistant to Senator Frank Church.  My colleague Laura K. Donohue, Professor of Law and Director of the Center on National Security and the Law, Georgetown University Law Center, will moderate.

The organizers explain:
This is a crucially important time for the United States—a number of foreign intelligence gathering programs using new technologies have recently been unveiled, and the public, the media, and scholars are just beginning to address their implications. Part one of this three-part discussion series will focus on the 1975-76 Church Committee (formally known as the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities), which exposed government surveillance abuses and played a key role in the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Following the keynote address by Senator Leahy, an esteemed panel of former Church Committee members and top staff will discuss this turning point in American history.
The keynote and panel will take place on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in the Hart Auditorium, McDonough Hall, Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.