John McCain Proposes A New Senate Committee To Do What The Intelligence Committee Is Supposed To Do

from the don't-we-have-that-already dept

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence came out of the Church Committee, which was set up to explore abuses by the intelligence community, and to create a more functioning oversight of the intelligence community. Of course, as we’ve seen over the years, what started out as an effort to rein in abuses and to make sure the intelligence community plays by the rules, has instead turned into a committee to basically be complicit in many of those abuses and to try to run interference in Congress against any attempt to stop them. Either way, it seems somewhat ironic that Senator John McCain, who is not currently a member of the Intelligence Committee, has now proposed a brand new “select committee” to explore Congress’s oversight of the intelligence community. Think of it as a shadow intelligence committee.

The full resolution even notes:

Whereas senior officials in the intelligence community may have misled Congress or otherwise obfuscated the nature, extent, or use of certain intelligence-collection programs, operations, and activities of the National Security Agency, including intelligence-collection programs affecting Americans;

Whereas the provision of incomplete or inaccurate information by officials of the intelligence community has inhibited effective congressional oversight of certain intelligence-collection programs, operations, and activities of the National Security Agency, including intelligence- collection programs affecting Americans, and undermined congressional and public support of these programs;

That said, I wouldn’t think of this so much as a new Church Committee at all. While the above sections do suggest some interest in reining in a rogue intelligence community, much of the other aspects of the proposed committee are focused on things like exploring how the Snowden leak happened in the first place, whether or not the NSA should stop using contractors, and whether or not the Snowden leaks “harmed” US spying methods (note that they don’t seem to want to explore whether or not informing the public may actually help).

So, yes, this proposed committee seems more like the status quo, but at the same time, something of a slap in the face to the existing Intelligence Committee and the fact that it doesn’t seem to have done its job.

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Comments on “John McCain Proposes A New Senate Committee To Do What The Intelligence Committee Is Supposed To Do”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I read a post elsewhere that mentioned who was to be on this new committee. What’s notable is the ones that were chosen (Feinstein/Chambliss) but also the ones that were not chosen (Wyden/Udall).

So, McCain wants to set up a brand spanking new committee to investigate abuses by the NSA and intelligence community and failures of the intelligence committees to oversee it. But instead, he manages to ensure that that committee is attended by the biggest of NSA apologists and those who are complicit in the very thing being investigated while also ensuring that those calling out the abuse and oversight failures aren’t in attendance.

This is a committee purposely crafted to not find anything wrong with the NSA.

Does he really think we’re that stupid?

rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Safety!

Hey, didn’t you know that the best way for you to be safe and secure is to keep information from you?

Security is the apex of an uninformed citizenry.

Committee’s exist to help you … Committee’s keep us safe, healthy, fed, employed, traveling without hassling and, most of all, … I have no idea where I’m going with this. It’s almost as if I didn’t have a point.. hmmm..

Anonymous Coward says:

The NSA is squirming very much in it’s hot seat. McCain’s little ploy comes after Obama’s speech didn’t do anything for those that want the NSA reined in.

Problem is these people chosen to be on this new committee are the same old same old that got us in this place to begin with. I don’t know anyone that thought Obama’s speech was something the public could depend on as the government doing something about the real issues. Nor will these people change their tune once ensconced into the seat of a new committee. Nor will the public be fooled by what is taking place.

I’ve always said not to listen to what politicians say, look at what they do for clues as to what is going on. Wyden and Udall are two that the NSA is very uncomfortable over having anything to do with oversight. This is their method of removing those two senators. McCain is already on a short leash as his home constituents have issued a rebuke over his congressional actions.

GEMont (profile) says:

McCain Burger and Fries

“So, would you call this the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee Oversight Committee?”

Nope. I’d call it John McCain’s Public Relations Trick.

Its exactly the kind of thing one should expect from someone like McCain. Like Obama, faking sincerity is his forte.

Its entire purpose is to regain the “confidence” of the public, by pretending to do what needs to be done, exactly as Obama has been doing with his TV appearances. This is precisely the kind of response you will always get from government when its caught with its hand in your pocket.

Its the public’s confidence that government seeks to restore, for the very same reason that any con-man would.

And to answer the question in the top insightful post:

“This is a committee purposely crafted to not find anything wrong with the NSA. Does he really think we’re that stupid?”

Yes, absolutely.

After all, they’ve been doing this sort of thing for decades and we are only now catching on, and only because someone named Snowden forced the facts down our throats.

Read up on Hoover.

How can they NOT think we’re that stupid?

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