PENTAGON WITHHELD INFO FROM CONGRESS ON HUMINT EXPANSION
For more than a month, the Pentagon failed to respond to inquiries
from the Senate Committee that has lead responsibility for recent
intelligence reform legislation regarding the scope of newly expanded
military human intelligence operations, two Senators said yesterday.
The new Defense Department human intelligence activity in the form of
"strategic support teams," which was formally acknowledged by the Pentagon this
week (SN, 01/26/05), may be at odds with the intelligence reform
agenda defined in legislation enacted last year, according to
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).
"As authors of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of
2004," they wrote, "we are concerned that this [new Defense HUMINT]
capability could undermine Congress's vision for intelligence reform
as embodied in this new law."
In a January 26 letter, the Senators posed several probing questions
seeking to clarify the nature of the Pentagon activity and its
relation to existing intelligence organizations.
Remarkably, they noted that their prior efforts to obtain such
information from the Defense Department had been unsuccessful.
"Staff of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs have attempted for more than a month to secure information
from the Department on these matters, which have now received
widespread media attention."
"We write because we know that you understand the importance of
Congressional oversight of Executive Branch actions as well as
Congress's responsibility to ensure that its laws are faithfully
executed," they added. See the text of their letter here:
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 10
January 27, 2005
NEW FROM CRS
The Congressional Research Service does not permit direct public
access to the following new CRS publications. So we will.
"Lasers Aimed at Aircraft Cockpits: Background and Possible Options to
Address the Threat to Aviation Safety and Security," January 26,
"Pakistan's Nuclear Proliferation Activities and the Recommendations
of the 9/11 Commission: U.S. Policy Constraints and Options," January
"North Korea: A Chronology of Events, October 2002-December 2004,"
January 24, 2005:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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