Before the Comittee's investigation got underway, I had a revealing discussion with a former high-ranking CIA officer. He had retired to Florida and, having lost the narrow focus of the career insider, he had slowly begun viewing the Agency in a new light. He told me that the CIA's response to the coming investigation would be "predictable." It would react the way it always reacted: A "task force" of key personnel would be formed to "handle and contain" the inquiry. He cited the Agency's response to both the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee as examples. He said the "clandestine mentality" that is drilled into CIA operatives until it is instinctual would permit most of them to commit perjury because, in their view, their secrecy oath supersedes any other.
"You represent the United States Congress," he said. "But what the hell is that to the CIA?"
The Last Investigation by Gaeton Fonzi, p. 302.