The Family Jewels Then and Now | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Family Jewels Then and Now

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Washington History Seminar
Historical Perspectives on International and National Affairs

“The Family Jewels Then and Now”
John Prados

The famous 1970s investigations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted by the Church Committee and others followed leaks of information from the intelligence agencies revealing activities that were illegal or abusive under the CIA’s charter. The CIA secretly compiled a document known as “The Family Jewels” detailing the abuses. This season of inquiry resulted in the intelligence oversight system that exists today. Now a fresh set of leaks confronts Americans, revealing widespread eavesdropping by the National Security Agency (NSA). What is the proper response to these revelations?

John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive. He leads the Archive’s CIA project, which has recently released a collection of materials documenting agency covert operations. Prados holds a PhD in Political Science (International Relations) from Columbia University and is the author of more than twenty books, including The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Report from the Field: Thomas S. Blanton, National Security Archive

Monday, October 28, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-450-3209

November 4, 2013: Edward Berkowitz on Social Security’s disability program

Sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center, the seminar meets weekly during the academic year. See for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as videos and podcasts.  The seminar is grateful for support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.


  • John Prados

    Senior Fellow and Project Director, National Security Archive, The George Washington University.
  • Thomas Blanton

    Director, National Security Archive