Remember, kids, how the NSA and its defenders keep talking about how much oversight there is? One part of that is the inspector general who is supposed to make sure that the NSA isn't going rogue. Except... now that the Judiciary Committee asked the intelligence community Inspector General Charles McCullough to investigate the NSA's dragnet data collections, he's told them he just can't do it
, according to a recent report at Politico.
“At present, we are not resourced to conduct the requested review within the requested timeframe,” wrote McCullough, before adding he and other agency inspectors general are weighing now whether they can combine forces on a larger probe.
Not surprisingly, those who asked for the help, are not pleased. Senator Pat Leahy appears particularly angry about this:
That response didn’t sit well with Leahy, who raised the letter during a scathing speech on the Senate floor Wednesday that slammed the intelligence community for a “trust deficit.” Leahy also emphasized his belief that “the American people are rightly concerned that their private information could be swept up into a massive database, and then compromised.”
While it may be true that McCullough does not have significant resources to do this kind of investigation, that really just highlights the problem. There clearly is not sufficient oversight over the NSA's activities. The fact that the very person in charge of this kind of investigation, when told to do it by Congress, says he can't, should demonstrate just how little actual oversight there is. Perhaps instead of putting more money
towards stopping the next Ed Snowden, the Senate should give that money to the inspector general to investigate the NSA and encourage
the next Ed Snowden to come forward.