Mr. Kennedy begins by mentioning a book he has written, American Values, which he says documents his family’s almost 75-year battle with the CIA.
He says the fight with the CIA started in the mid 1950s when President Truman asked his grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, to serve on a commission called “The Hoover Commission.”
Their task was to look at the CIA, because the CIA was not originally chartered to engage in paramilitary activities, fixing elections, murdering world leaders, and interfering with the democracies of other countries.
Mr. Kennedy mentioned that the CIA was created with great reluctance by both Democrats and Republicans, because the precursor to the CIA, the “Office of Strategic Services,” a military secret intelligence agency, was liquidated after WWII, because the belief at the time was that secret police organizations were inconsistent with a democracy ruled by a Constitution.
In those days, when Americans thought of secret police, they thought of the “Stasi” (German secret police), or they thought of the “KGB” (Russian secret police), or they thought of the “Gestapo” (Nazi Germany secret police).
So there were debates in Congress when the CIA was being launched, and both Republicans and Democrats did not believe this was something America should be doing.
When the CIA was started, it was supposed to be exclusively an “espionage” program for gathering intelligence. It was not meant to interfere.
But Alan Dulles, the first director of the CIA, apparently had other plans, and soon they were overthrowing democracies in Guatemala, Iran, and all over the world. So when Joseph Kennedy was on the Hoover Commission, he recommended dismantling the CIA.