The Nation: Peeking into the Mail

Looking fit but jowly, former Attorney General John Mitchell returned last week to the marble-walled Senate hearing room where he had been a star witness before the Watergate committee. This time Mitchell came to discuss another kind of conspiracy—the FBI and CIA history of illegally opening and photographing the mail of American citizens.

The problem for the Senate Intelligence Committee was that former CIA Director Richard Helms had testified earlier that, in June of 1971, he told then Attorney General Mitchell of the mail operation and Mitchell raised no objections. But Mitchell denied knowledge of the mail openings, claiming that Helms had...

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