This quote from Frank Church during the investigation of the Church Committee highlights the mistrust of the CIA and what operations were being led abroad. He is referring to powers that the “intelligence community,” this most likely being organizations such as the CIA and FBI, allegedly give to the government to utilize at its own convenience.
His reference to a dictator is no doubt concerning Cuba, who’s most recent dictator, Batista, was ousted in 1959. While he is not implicating that the United States would follow a model such as Cuban dictatorships, he uses this exaggeration to emphasize the grotesque amount of power that the secret service and the government truly have, and could figuratively exercise.
“If a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.”
— Sen. Frank Church
Boldin, Michael. “Frank-Church-Dictator-Nsa-Quote.” Tenth Amendment Center, January 19, 2016. https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/01/20/16-states-simultaneously-announce-efforts-to-protect-privacy/frank-church-dictator-nsa-quote/.