Thursday, July 17, 2008

OMG! Spine!

Well, I'll be gobsmacked. Congress really has re-discovered it's Constitutional role, at least for the nonce. This time the subject is the nation's intelligence gathering. From today's Washington Post:

The House yesterday passed by voice vote the fiscal 2009 intelligence authorization bill, which limits the funds available for covert actions next year until all members of the House intelligence panel are briefed on the most sensitive ones already underway.

As included in the bill, 75 percent of money sought for covert actions would be held up until the briefings are held.

If that provision remains in the bill when it reaches President Bush, his senior advisers will recommend he veto the measure, a White House statement said yesterday. Current law requires briefing on the most sensitive covert actions only for the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence panels and their ranking minority members, the speaker of the House and the House minority leader, and the Senate majority and minority leaders.

In its report on the bill, the committee said that the Bush administration has not kept lawmakers "fully and currently informed," and that without a briefing on all covert actions for the members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the panel cannot "conduct its inherent oversight function." ...

The bill would also prohibit the hiring of private contractors to carry out interrogations for the intelligence agencies, a provision the White House also opposes.
[Emphasis added]

How about that: the House actually wants to exercise some oversight, and is willing to use the power of the purse to get its way. Stunning, isn't it? I'm surprised that members of the House of Representative even remembered those two basic concepts, given their total refusal to exercise either the past 7+ years.

All snark aside, that the House chose this subject to get riled up over is a welcome development, linked as it is to Guantanamo Bay and the black prisons in Europe and the Middle East and who knows what else. Maybe, just maybe, this kind of stance will actually rein in an intelligence system that has run amok for too long.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy to have found your blog. You ladies have been at this for some time. I'm going to add your link to my blog. I, too, am a tired old lady.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Meander said...

It looks to me like they're working to reign in the NEXT administration, rather than this one.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Welcome, cats r flyfishn

meander, no doubt this worst administration ever is happily waiting for Obama to clean up after them. It seems the GoPervs specialize in making messes.

7:50 AM  

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