February 12, 1976 and another day where secret documents found their way into mass circulation. This time, it was the findings by the Pike Committee on Capitol Hill, investigating the CIA. The documents revealing the committee’s findings found their way in print, via The Village Voice – and the resulting uproar reverberated everywhere, from the White House to the Secretary of State.
Fingers were pointing blame for the leak in every direction imaginable; from the White House to CBS News correspondent Daniel Schorr, who was preparing a series of reports on the findings. A visibly shaken Secretary of State Henry Kissinger offered his resignation if it came to pass that the source of the leak was from his office.
It was the biggest scandal to hit since Watergate, and the first large bomb to drop on the Ford White House since he pardoned Richard Nixon in 1974. It was an election year, and any embarrassment was a damaging embarrassment in the eyes of the Ford administration. And so an investigation of the investigation leak was underway. Heads would roll – just whose and when was the question.
But there was other news, this February 12th in 1976 – A bomb exploded on the grounds of famed William Randolph Hearst‘s palacial San Simeon estate. No one was hurt. Meanwhile, the Prosecution continued its case against Patricia Hearst with allegations that Hearst was a much more willing participant in the armed robberies during her kidnapping by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army than first led to believe.
And the government released its fifth report on Marijuana and Health, taking a more decisive stand than it has in the past. At issue was the conflict in claims that Marijuana use increased criminal behavior. The Ford Administration said it was; but The National Institute On Drug Abuse said it was less harmful than cigarettes or alcohol. The White House was adamant about maintaining jail sentences for Pot smoking, while Dr. Robert DuPont of the Institute said it should only be subject to a fine.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this February 12th, 1976 – as reported by The World Tonight from CBS Radio.