Aftergood, Steven. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
1. "Pentagon Intelligence Oversight Falls Short." Secrecy News, 29 May 2008.
According to a March 2008 report to Congress from the Department of Defense's Inspector General, "routine oversight" of the DoD's "massive and far-flung intelligence apparatus has been significantly reduced."
2. "Pentagon Intel Ops 'Often' Evade Oversight." Secrecy News, 6 Jul. 2009.
In its report on the 2010 intelligence bill, "the House Intelligence Committee complained" that DoD "has blurred the distinction between traditional intelligence collection, which is subject to intelligence committee oversight, and clandestine military operations, which are not. Because they are labeled in a misleading manner, some DoD clandestine operations that are substantively the same as intelligence activities are evading the congressional oversight they are supposed to receive."
Aldrich, Richard J. "'Global Intelligence Co-operation versus Accountability: New Facets to an Old Problem." Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 1 (Feb. 2009): 26-56.
"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that intelligence liaison and accountability have never mixed well.... [T]he acceleration of intelligence liaison over the last decade has brought about a qualitative change in the nature of intelligence. Improved international intelligence cooperation has changed the way in which agencies work. Accordingly, the 'black hole' presented by liaison is now too big to ignore."
Associated Press. "Michigander Picked to Lead Intelligence Panel." Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2004, A11. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 25 August 2004, six-term congressman Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) was picked to head the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Hoekstra has served on the committee since 2001.
Babington, Charles. "Hill Wary of Intelligence Oversight Changes: Lawmakers from Both Parties Resist Recommendations of 9/11 Commission." Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2004, A5. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
Babington, Charles. "Senate Intelligence Panel Frayed by Partisan Infighting." Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2006, A9. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
"The Senate intelligence committee, once a symbol of bipartisan oversight, is now so torn by partisan warfare that it can barely function in a time of sharp national debate over intelligence matters, according to several analysts, officials and past and current members."
Babington, Charles, and Dafna Linzer. "More Lawmakers to Be Privy to Classified Briefings." Washington Post, 17 May 2006, A7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 16 May 2006, "the White House agreed to brief all 21 members of the House intelligence committee and all 16 of the Senate panel's members" on the administration's "antiterrorism efforts that include warrantless wiretaps of domestic phone calls and e-mails."
Barrett, David M.
Best, Richard A., Jr. Intelligence Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Updated 9 May 2006. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/IB10012.pdf.
Issues in the 109th Congress: Quality of Analysis; Implementation of the Intelligence Reform Act (P.L. 108-458); ISR Programs; Terrorist Surveillance Program/NSA Electronic Surveillance; Role of the CIA; Role of the FBI; Paramilitary Operations; Regional Concerns; CIA and Allegations of Prisoner Abuse.
Born, Hans, and Ian Leigh. Making Intelligence Accountable: Legal Standards and Best Practice for Oversight of Intelligence Agencies. Oslo: Parliament of Norway, 2005.
According to Lilliu, I&NS 21.4 (Aug. 2006), the authors "have drafted a concise manual, documenting legal standards for democratic accountability together with best practices and procedures for oversight. Their analysis is based on the legal frameworks of intelligence oversight from a variety of democratic countries."
Born, Hans, and Marina Caparini, eds. Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.
According to Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), four Western (France, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and five former Soviet bloc (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) countries are discussed; there are also articles discussing "the fundamental principles of oversight." Although this work "looks closely at what has been and what needs to be done, it does not address the practical problem of the qualifications of those doing the oversight."
Born, Hans, Loch K. Johnson, and Ian Leigh, eds. Who's Watching the Spies? Establishing Intelligence Service Accountability. Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2005.
From publisher: The authors "examine the strengths and weaknesses of the intelligence systems of Argentina, Canada, Germany, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States."
Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), comments that "[t]he experiences of each nation provide an interesting mosaic of desired goals and problems of implementation.... It is a timely topic and worth the attention of all those who must deal with these issues everyday as well as the general public whose civil rights are affected when oversight is too robust or inadequate." To Jacoby, DIJ 16.2 (2007), this work "succeeds greatly as an informative source on the workings of current intelligence oversight systems." However, "[t]he reader is left wanting recommendations and commentary on the ethics of intelligence oversight."
For Winn, Parameters, Summer 2006, this "valuable contribution ... addresses the central criteria that should be taken into account by any nation or international organization that hopes to place intelligence agencies under democratic supervision.... [T]he objectives are to ensure that intelligence and security agencies are insulated from political abuse, but not isolated from executive governance."
Brown, I&NS 21.6 (Dec. 2006), finds this work to be "a diappointment. Most of the material is dry and sometimes soporific. It is also biased toward the advocates of intelligence accountability," in that the "essays all address the positives of such a program, but not the negatives.... A debate format would have been much more appropriate..., and could have easily been accomplished by excluding numerous irrelevant and tedious essays."
Daugherty, William J. "Approval and Review of Covert Action Programs since Reagan." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 62-80.
"Since the Reagan years, the covert action approval and review processes have been such that (a) there is no possibility of a 'rogue' operation by the CIA, and (b) lawyers are present at every stage to insure that constitutional requirements, federal statutes, executive orders, and internal agency regulations are fully complied with."
Dewar, Helen. "Senate Names Intelligence Panel: Frist, Daschle Appoint 22 to Work on 9/11 Recommendations." Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2004, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 24 August 2004, "Senate leaders tapped 22 of the chamber's most powerful members to undertake the highly sensitive task" of reorganizing its intelligence and homeland security operations. The report of the Sept. 11 commission "described congressional oversight of intelligence and counterterrorism operations as 'dysfunctional' and said major changes are needed."
Glees, Anthony, and Philip H.J. Davies. "Intelligence, Iraq and the Limits of Legislative Accountability during Political Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): 848-883.
The authors use the inquiries of the UK's Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) into the issue of Iraq's possession/nonpossession of weapons of mass destruction to frame their discussion of the impact of political loyalties on the legislative oversight function. They conclude that "[a]s a means to provide reliable, trustworthy and hence legitimate and effective oversight,... the legislature and its committees are limited tools.... Legislative oversight ... needs to be combined with various forms of oversight such as independent, judicial and administrative arrangements."
Hulse, Carl. "House Democrats Planning New Intelligence Oversight." New York Times, 15 Dec. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]
Incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi said on 14 December 2006 that "House Democrats would create a new ... select committee, which would include the lawmakers who set intelligence policy as well as those who oversee the intelligence budget.... The committee will review intelligence spending requests, conduct hearings, make financing recommendations and assess how the money is spent."
Return to Oversight Table of Contents