Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Oh, Those Forgetful Spies!




An interesting item from Secrecy News, which is published by the inimitable Steven Aftergood of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists:

CONGRESS NOT TOLD OF COVERT ACTION, COMMITTEE COMPLAINS

U.S. intelligence recently undertook a "significant" covert action without notifying Congress, as required by law, the House Intelligence Committee disclosed in a new report on the 2008 intelligence authorization bill.

"The Committee was dismayed at a recent incident wherein the Intelligence Community failed to inform the Congress of a significant covert action activity. This failure to notify Congress constitutes a violation of the National Security Act of 1947."

"Despite agency explanations that the failure was inadvertent, the Committee is deeply troubled over the fact that such an oversight could occur, whether intentionally or inadvertently."

"The Committee firmly believes that scrupulous transparency between the Intelligence Community and this Committee is an absolute necessity on matters related to covert action."

In response to this lapse, the Committee adopted a provision in its authorization bill that would require the CIA Inspector General to audit each covert action program at least once every three years.


At least once every three year? That would mean that if the intelligence community again failed to inform Congress of a "significant covert action"--say, a secret war somewhere--that program could continue for three years before the IG came in and asked, "Hey, guys, by the way, have you made sure that Congress knows what you're doing?" And was anyone held accountable for this particular lapse? The House report does not say--nor does it provide any hint of what the intelligence establishment did without telling Congress. You can read the entire report here.

Posted by David Corn at May 9, 2007 09:29 PM

6 comments:

capt said...

A fake 'come to Jesus' meeting with Bush



The meeting was just a staged 'cover their ass' event


According to a carefully-orchestrated campaign of planted news leaks by the Representatives who attended the meeting, a group of 11 "moderate" Republicans confronted President George W. Bush in a "come to Jesus" meeting Tuesday over his failed Iraq war.

They claim they told the President his credibility with the American people is "gone" when it comes to the Iraq war and that Republicans will bail on him if the war does not show "significant progress" by September 1.

Yeah, right.

While I believe a growing number of Republicans privately express their disgust with the scandal-scarred and ethically-challenged President, I don't for a second believe the 11 who visited the President Tuesday came anywhere close to telling him the truth about what a monumental failure he is for their party and the country.

"It was a tough meeting in terms of people being as frank as they possibly could about their districts and their feelings about where the American people are on the war," said Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois. "It was a no-holds-barred meeting."

I know Ray LaHood. He once worked for Illinois Republican Rep. Paul Findley, my first boss in Washington when I took a sabbatical from journalism to work inside the political system. If he told me to look for sunrises in the East I'd confirm it with a second source.

Others who know what really happened in the meeting with Bush say the Congresspeople couched their criticism with so many caveats that the gathering turned into little more than an exchange of pleasantries.


More HERE

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I do not believe Bunnypants would resign no matter who or what. I do not believe he would even recognize an impeachment or he would step down with a signing statement to the effect that stepping down doesn't apply to his unitary highness.



capt

capt said...

‘Phase Two,’ At Last



Via Laura Rozen:

"The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and the Vice Chairman, Senator Kit Bond, announced today that the Committee has adopted its Phase II report on prewar intelligence assessments about postwar Iraq. The Committee will submit the report to the Director of National Intelligence for classification review. Following declassification, the Committee will release the report to the public."

Go here for a timeline of the interminable delays in releasing phase two of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on how we were lied into war prewar intelligence. Go here for some indication of what the report might contain — and how heavily dedacted it is likely to be. Go here to see how it might impact the AIPAC spy trial, and also explain the sudden resignation of Douglas Feith as undersecretary of defense for policy.

More HERE

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Finally Phase II? Inquiring minds want to know.



capt

capt said...

Tension Mounts as Antiwar Movement Challenges Dems' Commitment to Stop the War



The Democrats' endorsement of this crude neocolonial exploitation plan makes them accomplices in the occupation, and further legitimizes the insurgency.


There is a growing number of people out there who believe the Reid-Pelosi Iraq war supplemental is a gigantic crock of shit, and who think the Democratic Party leadership should now officially be labeled conspirators in the war effort. I've even seen it suggested that Reid and Pelosi should now be sent official "certificates of war ownership," to formally put them in a club with Bush, Cheney, Richard Perle and the rest of the actual war authors.

The growing tension between the real antiwar movement and the Democratic Party was reflected in a long article over the weekend in the New York Times. "Antiwar Groups Use New Clout to Influence Democrats." The piece that described how an umbrella group of antiwar activists called Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq was ready to drop the public relations hammer on the Dems, should they cave too easily in their negotiations with the president.

The thinking goes something like this: the Democrats, who are mostly the same people who voted for the war in the first place, don't really want to end it. They do, however, want to take political advantage of antiwar sentiment. So they will appear to be against the conflict but set things up in such a way that their "efforts" to end the war will fall just slightly short, like a fourth-quarter pass thrown by a point-shaving quarterback.

More HERE

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The proof in the pudding is in the eating not the making.



capt

capt said...

Richardson’s New Ad: What Makes Him Think He’s Qualified?



Governor Bill Richardson's new ad just hit the airwaves, and it's freaking great. Informative, original and hysterical.

Download (WMV)

Download (MOV)


This is not an endorsement, but Governor Richardson easily has the most impressive résumé of any candidate in the race on either side.

More HERE

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Bill Richardson has been a good governor here in NM.



capt

capt said...

Iraqi parliament speaker slams U.S. officials over criticism of its summer break plans



BAGHDAD: Iraq's maverick parliament speaker on Wednesday rejected U.S. criticism of the 275-seat legislature over its summer break plans, saying it amounted to unacceptable interference in Iraqi affairs as Vice President Dick Cheney was expected to take up the issue during a visit to Baghdad.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani did not mention the United States or any U.S. official by name, but his comments to lawmakers, broadcast live on Iraq's state television, left little doubt he was addressing Washington.

In a barb at the Bush administration, he said those behind the criticism of Iraq's parliament would make better use of their time trying to counter criticism by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is leading a campaign against U.S. President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

"You had better try and control Nancy Pelosi rather than Mahmoud al-Mashhadani," the speaker said.

The remarks followed comments by U.S. Ambassador in Iraq Ryan Crocker that Cheney was likely in talks with Iraqi leaders Wednesday to renew a U.S. request that the Iraqi parliament not take a scheduled two-month summer break starting in July.

More HERE

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Thing are going so swell that the Iraqi politicians can take two months off - okay that also means they do not need any of our boots on the ground. Simple enough.



capt

capt said...

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