In Mother Jones, Will Potter profiles Ryan Shapiro, a punk rocker-turned-PhD student who wanted to study how the FBI monitors animal-rights activists. Through trial and error, and a lot of digging, he devised a perfectly legal, highly effective strategy to unearth sensitive documents from the bureau's 'byzantine' filing system. So now the FBI is petitioning the United States District Court in Washington, DC, to prevent the release of 350,000 pages of documents he's after. If the court buys the FBI's argument here, it could make it harder for scholars and journalists to keep tabs on federal agencies.
Meet the Punk Rocker Who Can Liberate Your FBI File. By Will Potter. Mother Jones. Wed Nov. 13, 2013
According to the Justice Department, this tattooed activist-turned-academic is the FBI's "most prolific" Freedom of Information Act requester—filing, during one period in 2011, upward of two documents requests a day. In the course of his doctoral work, which examines how the FBI monitors and investigates protesters, Shapiro has developed a novel, legal, and highly effective approach to mining the agency's records. Which is why the government is petitioning the United States District Court in Washington, DC, to prevent the release of 350,000 pages of documents he's after.
The Guardian wrote yesterday, "Conservative party deletes archive of speeches from internet." The Conservative Party has attempted to delete from their website -- as well as from the Internet Archive! -- all their speeches and press releases online from the past 10 years, including one in which David Cameron promises to use the Internet to make politicians 'more accountable'.
This is troubling news, but something as old as politicians -- see for example ALA's long-running serial "Less access to less information by and about the US government" which ran from 1981 - 1998. But it should also come as yet another warning to librarians and archivists of the dire need to harvest and preserve government information and store content off of .gov servers.
The party has removed the archive from its public website, erasing records of speeches and press releases from 2000 until May 2010. The effect will be to remove any speeches and articles during the Tories' modernisation period, including its commitment to spend the same as a Labour government.
The Labour MP Sheila Gilmore accused the party of a cynical stunt, adding: "It will take more than David Cameron pressing delete to make people forget about his broken promises and failure to stand up for anyone beyond a privileged few."
In a remarkable step the party has also blocked access to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, a US-based library that captures webpages for future generations, using a software robot that directs search engines not to access the pages.
NASA has announced that it is making a large collection of NASA climate and Earth science satellite data available to the public via the Amazon cloud.
- NASA Brings Earth Science 'Big Data' to the Cloud with Amazon Web Services, by Ruth Marlaire, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. RELEASE 13-307 (Nov. 12, 2013).
By using the cloud, research and application users worldwide gain access to an integrated Earth science computational and data management system they can use on their own.
The service encompasses selected NASA satellite and global change data sets -- including temperature, precipitation, and forest cover -- and data processing tools from the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a research platform of the NASA Advanced Supercomputer Facility at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
- NASA NEX, Amazon.
Three NASA NEX datasets are now available, including climate projections and satellite images of Earth.
More information here.
In case you missed the news this week, here is the link to NASA's glorious slideshow of photographs from Cassini, including one of earth as seen from Saturn.
Note: you can download these images...
Great news from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts:
A project providing free online access to federal court opinions has expanded to include 64 courts. The federal Judiciary and the Government Printing Office partner through the GPO’s Federal Digital System, FDsys, to provide public access to more than 750,000 opinions, many dating back to 2004.
The Judicial Conference approved national implementation of the project in September 2012, expanding participation from the original 29 courts. FDsys currently contains opinions from 8 appellate courts, 20 district courts, and 35 bankruptcy courts.
Federal court opinions are one of the most heavily used collections on FDsys, with millions of retrievals each month. Opinions are pulled nightly from the courts’ Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) systems and sent to the GPO, where they are posted on the FDsys website. Collections on FDsys are divided into appellate, district or bankruptcy court opinions and are text-searchable across courts. FDsys also allows embedded animation and audio – an innovation previously only available with opinions posted on a court’s own website or on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).
Congress.gov will be the sole source for texts of pending and passed legislation, committee reports, congressional floor speeches and cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office beginning Nov. 19, the Library of Congress announced on Friday.
YAY, another 24 hour!
Croatan 24 Hour is a great 24 hour put on by Brandon Wilson and his family. There is absolutely phenomenal support (The aid stations is amongst the best of any ultra I've ever run at - veggie & chicken broth, potato soup, turkey, potatoes, grits, grilled cheese, burgers, veggie burgers, sandwiches, various kinds of cake, tons of snacks, and all the usual traditional ultra fuel.).
The course has some slight uphills on some of the bridges, and there was one "hill." It's not bad but when it turned dark, I would walk it some of the time. But a lot of the times, I ran the beast. The course is very runnable - I think it is as equally hard as Hinson Lake. It is really pretty, as you are running through swamps and you get to see water and lots of trees, though it can get spooky at night. (Think hallucinations of witches, ghost hands touching you, shrunken heads.)
I was trying for 120 miles, but missed it by just over 10 miles. Booo. Not my day, but I still had a good time hanging out with lots of great friends.
I checked in to get a neat hoodie instead of tech tee (Sweet! I know what my new work-at-home top will be.), and Brandon showed me to the yellow bib area where I could stash my stuff in a tent, which made things a little simpler. (Yellow bib were runners who were being tracked closely, as they had hopes of making the national team/elite runners.) Also, got to have the awesome Jonathan Savage give me blister advice, and his son help me with little things like replacing batteries in my headlamp and opening containers of coconut water. (He is a mechanical engineering and physics college student; I may as well take advantage of that.) It was really great.
Enjoying the view
I started off, feeling like my tummy was a little off. I ran with various people, making new friends, chatting with old friends. It was a blast. I ate vanilla gus and drank water. Because it was a no-cup (for water and gatorade) race, everyone left their handhelds by the aid station and a lot of people just drank a little from their bottles whenever they felt like it.
4:12 marathon. Not bad. I ate carefully, but still felt bleh. 5:17 50k. Keep going.
OMG my blister. The one from The Hard Way returned. I changed my socks and shoes and walked my cramped self back towards the course, where one of the runners asked me how I was. Dan was dropping. I mentioned my blister.
"Want me to pop it?"
"I don't know if you can. There's a callous on top."
What did I have to lose but time? I took off my sock and shoe and showed it. Soon, he was jamming a needle into my toe and squeezing it flat while I squeezed Paula's friend's hand so hard I thought I was going to break it. He put some lube on my tootsie and I hobbled off.
And then I ran. Again. Wooohooo!
The day grew warm, but not too warm. Comfortably warm. It was sunny and I squinted a little below my visor. There were birthday spanks every time I passed Frank Lilley, chatting with Susan and Fred Dumar whenever I passed them, cheers for Paula. It was fun.
Dusk. I changed my outfit completely; I was sweat-soaked. I put on a long sleeved tee, which I ran in most of the race. I was moving enough and it never got that cold, though around 6am, I added an extra shirt.
On one of my first headlamp routes, I thought my tummy started feeling worse. I had some ginger ale.
Yes, it's only a 1.36 mile course BUT OH MY GOD IT WAS SO LONG WHERE IS THE PORT-A-POTTY? I thought abt running in the bushes, but I didn't want to use my gloves (They were my warm ones.) or my socks. And there were not enough bushes in the entire Croatan National Forest for what I needed for.
I ran as fast as I could, hoping, suffering.
And then - relief in the Port-a-Potty. I let myself stay in there for one Bob Marley song and then I was out. Ugh. I took Immodium and went to the aid station for more ginger ale. One of the volunteers gave me a natural gu, and then I got a bowl of grits with some broth (for extra nutrition). I walked a lap with Paula, eating my grits, feeling better but not great. Oh, how I hate my tummy troubles.
I began running again, slower. I hallucinated. Witches. Curled-up dogs. Wolves. Witches. All sorts of things I now can't remember, which is probably a good thing.
I ran alone, with music. I ran with Paula. I ran with various people. I tried to keep food down, which was hard as I had zero appetite. My body hurt all over. I appreciated that the port-a-potties had handles to lower yourself down to pee. Ouch.
I tried to not hallucinate. I failed at that. I smiled. I waved. I cheered everyone on. I had fun.
I ran with a woman I had met at Hinson, Melissa, who was getting revenge for not running 100 at Hinson. We ended up running until the end, and as I suspected the race for 3rd place was close, I convinced her to run with me until the finish. Which she did. And got third place.
Mosi won for the men. Connie won for the women (after being on a cot under a sleeping bag for 2 hours, and having people beg her to get an IV). I was second woman, which was nice. I won a military hat from WWII. My grandpas, were they alive, would like it.
the hat & the buckle
It is the rare piece of literary fiction that I can get through these days, but I sailed through The Ghost Bride. It's literary, also historical and magical. The story takes place in 19th century Malaysia and in heavenly realms.
I kind of hate marathons. There's always the pressure to run really fast, and I always feel like if I don't PR, I suck. And then NYC marathon is crazy expensive and a big hassle.
But it's the best marathon ever. I've run Boston 3x and it doesn't even hold a candle to NYC.
I knew, a week after running 115.6 miles in 24 Hours at The Hard Way, I would be unlikely to PR. But hey, a girl can dream?
Regardless, I decided the best way to run this marathon would be to have fun! I wore my tutu, and got into the spirit of the marathon. I slapped high five, danced, sang along to the music en route, waved, and smiled at EVERYONE. It was a blast.
I went out at 7:30s, 7:40s, and slowed duh around mile 18. My body said, "Duh. You're an idiot. You ran 115.6 miles last week. You are a madwoman. And your legs are tired. We're slowing down."Let's run with COLOUR!
But that was fun. More time to enjoy each moment.
The last mile, it hit me. THIS WAS HUGE. I was 2nd woman USATF the week before in the 24 hour National Championships and a week later, I was running the NYC Marathon. Tears gathered in my eyes and I sobbed aloud the last mile.
And then I was done. It was a beautifully fun day.
On the Verazanno Bridge!
Hmmm, maybe this marathon a week after a 24 hour wasn't such a hot idea?
According to the American Assn of Law Libraries (AALL) "blawg:"
During last week’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in London, the Obama administration released a preview of its U.S. Open Government National Action Plan 2.0 (NAP). While the second NAP will not be finalized until December 2013, six new commitments to further advance the goals of transparency and accountability in the federal government were announced:
- Expand Open Data
- Modernize the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Increase Fiscal Transparency
- Increase Corporate Transparency
- Advance Citizen Engagement and Empowerment
- More Effectively Manage Public Resources
This is great news for open government (though it's still troubling how the administration is walking a very thin, troubling line in re to the NSA and their attacks on whistleblowers). I hope the administration and policy makers on open government will take some cues from our 2010 Letter to Deputy CTO Noveck: "Open Government Publications".
My menopause book club with Kate Haas is about as regular as a perimenopausal woman's period, since we're on our fourth book since February. This mostly non-fiction anthology is my favorite entry so far. I liked one of the novels quite a bit, but Off the Rag is the first to get into what menopause is like, which is what drove Kate and me to start our club.
I miss being a fertile woman about as much as I miss my wisdom teeth.
As a feminist I couldn't accept that I was a chemically-driven being!
It is my belief that a woman my weight (a little under two hundred pounds) could go into an emergency room with a bleeding stump and her detached leg in her arms and the doctor on call would prescribe a diet.reviewdate: Nov 3 2013 isn: 0-934678-77-4
On Friday I cataloged the first five issues of librarian Anne Hays' pretty gender and self-exploration zine. It started off as a compilation zine, focusing exclusively on gender. In number two, Anne shares a bunch of her friends' responses to questions about how they feel about bras, and the zine continues to evolve into a personal zine on multiple topics with each issue.
Nov 1 2013
Cover image from Stranger Danger zine distro
In part two of Carlson's Blooded series, the only female werewolf in the world is on a mission to rescue her mate, a werecat (of an as yet unidentified genus) with barely a cameo role in this installment. She's fighting a powerful goddess and there are stakes beyond saving her dude, like preventing a war between supernatural sects.
The audiobook "Getting to Know the President" was recently released by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). It's available on GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) in MP3 format, broken into several chapters. It's also available in PDF on the CIA site.
CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) has released its first audio book, Getting to Know the President (Second Edition). The audio book takes listeners inside the history of CIA briefings to presidential candidates and presidents-elect from 1952-2004, all through the eyes of former CIA Inspector General and Director for Intelligence John Helgerson. This second edition of Getting to Know the President updates Helgerson’s 1996 book with reflections on the transition to President George W. Bush in 2000 and the briefings provided to his Democratic challengers in 2004.
The book offers a look into the interactions of political figures and intelligence professionals across 10 presidential transitions. Helgerson relies on internal documents, public memoirs and interviews with four former presidents, several former Directors of Central Intelligence and Directors of National Intelligence. The result is a highly engaging account, providing both anecdote and analysis.
I was recently interviewed on KPFA (Pacifica) Radio's program Against the Grain. C.S. and I mostly discussed topics surrounding the chapter I wrote, "Meta-Radicalism: The Alternative Press by and for Activist Librarians" for the book Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America, Edited by Christine Pawley and Louise S. Robbins. I'm hoping that I represented the issues involved well, but I'm always challenged by interviews--there are so many ways to represent ideas in conversation(s).
The interview will be broadcast Tuesday November 5 at noon Pacific Time if you'd like to listen.
Against the Grain on Pacifica Radio airs on KPFA 94.1 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area, and on KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno and California's Central Valley.
It also broadcasts worldwide via kpfa.org.
The audio will be archived afterward, in on-demand and downloadable forms, at againstthegrain.org.
Here are some highlights of the past week's activity at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases:
CALIFORNIA (Joel Rane)
Toxicity Criteria - A database of toxic chemicals as defined by the OEHHA, browsable by chemical name and searchable by common name, CAS number, use or synonym.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Linda Johnson)
OneStop Data and Information - More than 30 environmental databases covering air, water, asbestos, permits, and a variety of other topics are brought together here.
For a full listing of the past seven days of activity at our project, visit http://tinyurl.com/statedbs.
Ray K. convinced me to do it, and I'm so glad I did. But really, I'm not sure what pushed me into going, now that you ask me. I think it's just Ray's persuasive and charming personality.
Going out to Oklahoma was a little insane. My life has been insane - Hinson 24 Hour in NC, followed by Ted Corbitt 24 Hour the weekend following, then visiting my bestie in Buffalo (wine! tea! fun!), then Toronto for work and the Toronto Waterfront Half. I came home on Wednesday from my work trip, unpacked and immediately repacked my suitcase. Then I took a nap, worked a day, then flew to Oklahoma. Ray K. and his son Jon picked me up from the airport, where I had shared a flight with the legendary John Geesler (who frightened one of my pacers at the VT100 two years ago when he was literally sleepwalking on the course...of course I was uber impressed).
The race was full of impressive runners - American 24 Hour Women's Record Holder Sabrina Little (who dropped out due to having a wretched cold/bronchitis/asthma), Connie Gardener, John Cash, plus a lot of of the older-but-super-fast-in-their-time runners. I met "Doc" aka Andrew who gave me advice on the damage that my frostbitten feet are STILL experiencing.
Race morning, Ray impressed many by arriving more than 4 minutes before race start. We put our chips on; they used the ankle strap but I have never loved those. I imitated Ray and strung it through my shoelace (which just meant I had to move it when I changed shoes, which I did three times).
The course is a loop just under a mile - something like .96 mile. It's pavement. The course winds a bit, so you have to take the tangents so you don't run way over, but it's not horrible. It's pretty. Since Oklahoma is warmer than NYC, there were more plants alive, and it was pretty. The sun set later, which was nice, though it also rose later, which wasn't as fun. There were some slight hills, which we all regarded as mountains later in the race. "Cherie, toss me your crampons," Ray would yell if we'd pass each other on a "hill." Really, they'd classify more as "rolling hills."
The organization was pretty good. Chisholm is super-duper friendly, and his wife was amazing too. There was a big problem with timing (The display wasn't working, some laps got missed, and everyone was confused about their mileage, which was irritating.), but hopefully things get solved soon. I still am unsure of my exact mileage - I believe around 115.4 miles, which is a PR. Sweet.I missed my goal of 120 miles but I also had some issues, and it was not the perfect day for me - so to get a PR on a less-than-perfect-day is great.
The aid stations were great. There's one water and Gatorade stop in the middle of the woods, which I only stopped at a few times, but was nice to know that it was there. (So if I wanted a gel mid-loop, I could get some hydration with it. Yay.) The main station included a separate section for beverages, which was great if you were blasting through and just wanted to grab some liquid - water, Gatorade sodas, red bulls of various kinds. They were lacking ginger ale early on, but after maybe 8 hours, they had some, which was nice that they listened to requests (I requested it; not sure if others did too?). The food - broth (chicken & vegetarian, yay, vegetarian!), standard ultra snacks of chips (but different kinds, how neat!), lots of hammergels, skittles, starburst, muffins (mmmm), frosted cake, grilled cheese, burgers, pulled pork, peanut butter, graham crackers, cookies, pretzels, and so many things. Basically, even a picky-in-ultras-eater like me was quite happy. I LOVED THIS AID STATION! I supplemented this with Delta cookies I hoarded from recent flights.
Also, people moved a Halloween costume hammer around the course, and several balls. It's just a thing you did; pick it up and hang it from a tree branch or put it on a bench...They hung white Christmas lights in two different dark spots on the course which were pretty and fun...and combined with that and the brightly-lit sky, you did NOT need a headlamp.
I started out feeling good. As I blazed through the start/finish/main aid station, I thought, "Oops, a little too fast." I was running with a super nice woman Carol, also wearing pink (whose two sons were also running, how neat!), and said, "Ray is going to kill me." I was running sub-9s for a while.
After two hours, my tummy told me it was in charge. Good thing there were plenty of port-a-potties (always with toilet paper, yay) along the course. I stopped eating gels, visited the potties, and took an Immodium. Sad face. I hate my tummy sometime.
I slowed down, and skipped on gels for four or six hours. I switched to pretzels, veggie broth, and blueberry muffins. I was sad when they ran out of blueberry muffins (possibly because I ate them all) and I was forced to eat the lovely-but-just-not-as-delicious banana nut muffins.
And then, somewhere around 40 miles, I ran into Jameelah, and she told me her insane journey of getting to the race (which involved sleeping in a Walgreens!), of recovering from a recent injury, and then she mentioned the medics had done some work on a blister of hers. I had already changed shoes back and forth to accommodate my blister pain that day, so figured, why not stop by?
As I watched John Cash and Sabrina Little and Connie Gardener blow by me, the medical staff were super awesome and attended to my needs. First they taped up my toes together, and then did some massage to help my stomach, and gave me Rolaids and a ginger root pill. I ran a lap and felt like I was going to fall over - my balance was totally off with my toes taped together. They tried to cushion it. I ran another lap. "This is still not helping," I told Jared and the medical director. "Run another lap - we'll get the scalpel and then try to scrape it off."
I ran another lap and saw Jon mid-way and told him what they'd be doing. "Scalpel? Can I take photos?" Sure, why not. So of course he ran over to the medical tent. He wasn't running, but was taking photos.
I spent a little too much time getting my toe scraped at. Basically, there is a callous that has grown, and the blister was underneath. Or something. I'm headed to George Morgano tomorrow, my awesome podiatrist, who will hopefully help. So they had to scrape it down, then put these cushion things on my toe, then tape it up. Then I put on my cut-apart sneakers, because every ultrarunner has shoes with the toes cut out, right?
And I felt better.
I ran on. I chatted with people, smiled, got lost in my head. I counted the laps, pushed up the hills, sipped broth. And I was feeling mostly good. It was an ultra. It was a 24 hour race, which is where you get to make friends with the fastest and the slowest of runners. I loved the people who set up some carports and hung their TV in the middle of the course, watching "the game" and updating everyone with the score. I laughed. I had fun. Even when it hurt, even when it sucked, I still had a lot of fun.
It rained. Silly Oklahoma. I wore a rain jacket, which normally would dissuade the rain, but the rain didn't listen. It wasn't heavy, but I wanted it to stop. It got a little muddy by one of the port-a-janes. It stopped before nightfall.
Night fell. I changed into a completely dry outfit in my new BFF Sherry's tent. (I was squatting with my plastic bags of supplies outside her tent and we became friends.) I felt amazing in dry clothes. I ran a lap and then ran into Chris Roman, a good friend of Tony's. We began running together....
...and we didn't stop until the end.
It was pretty awesome. I was pushing him, and he was pushing me. When I felt like crap, I thought, "I can't lose Chris now. He's pushed me so much already." And we were doing that thing, where I thought I had to run faster to keep up with him, and he thought he had to run faster to keep up with me. Basically, we spent over 12 hours running together, talking, laughing. I got a lot less sleepy and hallucinated a lot less than normal, mainly because Chris was keeping me focused and awake the whole time.
Don't worry, I did hallucinate though; I kept seeing headless runners (I'd see someone but see no head) or it would look like runners were running with their heads on backwards. Ummmmm....I have strange hallucinations.
Chris told me stories of running the Eerie Canal, the Brazil 135, races he had done, stories of mutual friends. He cursed when I convinced him to run up a hill. Sorry about that, Chris, but I figured that uphill was good for us. You know, good for you like cabbage.
I hit the 100 mile in 20:28! A PR by 30 minutes. I was SO excited. I believe I was screaming in the aid station. Everyone seemed amused. Oh well. Good for something.
One of the race timers told me, "You're third woman overall, 2nd USATF."
"What does that mean?"
"You're third woman. The second place woman isn't USATF. So you're second USATF."
"What do I get?"
"A shiny silver medal."
"I want a pony!"
But alas, I did not get a pony, but I do get a rather nice cheque.
The USATF thing...you have to be a member of USA Track & Field, or you won't be counted in this race as a USATF winner, and since this is the national championships, it makes sense to be a member. I'm a member. The 2nd place woman didn't realize this, was not a member, and was rather upset at the awards ceremony. I don't blame her, as she ran a stellar race, and it wasn't acknowledged in the awards ceremony officially.
Anyway, the last 3.5 hours were rough. Chris and I both felt pretty tired. He hit a wall around hour 23 and I am afraid he may have been cursing me frequently in his head. I believe I did the same at one point. Something along the lines of, "WTF, why are we running? OMG this hurts, UGH, I hate this." But we stuck together. We were at the point where we had run together so long, we were NOT going to lose each other. We'd coordinate our bathroom breaks or I'd walk while he'd go or vice versa and then we'd catch up with each other.
We finished. Chris ran more miles than me early on, for 127 miles total. WOW. I kick myself for my stupid blister problems, which I probably wasted about 45 minutes total on. (What can you do, though?) Possibly more. Ouch. And my stomach is always a challenge. Luckily, Immodium, pretzels, veggie broth, and muffins saved the day.
At the end of the day, I had something like 115.4 miles. A PR. I was very proud of myself. 2nd woman USATF, 3rd woman overall.I was a little delirious. I ate food, then we left partway through the awards ceremony so I could throw myself into the shower, shove all my disgusting and stinky and wet running attire and supplies into my suitcase, and rush into the airport and onto my flight with wet hair and bags under my eyes.
And then it was all a dream...an amazing race...new friends made....those paths will never leave my head.
Next up....New York City Marathon! I don't think the aid stations will be anywhere near as good, but I always love a running party!
It's hard to believe we're rapidly approaching FGI's 9 year anniversary(!). We'd like to ring in our 10th year with an invitation to the community to become citizen documents bloggers. We don't want to have news and information critical to the govt information community fall through the cracks -- fugitive news?! -- and so we need your help. Are you a news hound? Maybe you'd like to cover the "doc in the news" beat like the one we just posted. Passionate about fugitive documents? Freshen up the blog with periodic posts about interesting fugitives -- perhaps ones you've found on the lostdocs blog. Policy wonk? You could set up Govtrack.us alerts and write about legislation of interest to libraries and the docs community.
The possibilities are limitless, but we need your help to make them a reality. Contact us at freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com if you're intrigued.
I ran across a story in the Guardian on Friday that sent me on a document hunt. Congressman Alan Grayson wrote a piece in which he referenced the Pike Committee investigation of the CIA:
"Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I'm in Congress." Alan Grayson. The Guardian, Friday 25 October 2013.
In the 1970s, Congressman Otis Pike of New York chaired a special congressional committee to investigate abuses by the American so-called "intelligence community" – the spies. After the investigation, Pike commented:
'It took this investigation to convince me that I had always been told lies, to make me realize that I was tired of being told lies. I'm tired of the spies telling lies, too.'
Pike's investigation initiated one of the first congressional oversight debates for the vast and hidden collective of espionage agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). Before the Pike Commission, Congress was kept in the dark about them – a tactic designed to thwart congressional deterrence of the sometimes illegal and often shocking activities carried out by the "intelligence community". Today, we are seeing a repeat of this professional voyeurism by our nation's spies, on an unprecedented and pervasive scale.