May 11, 2007

Merely An Inadvertent Omission

'Significant', eh?

I'm guessing that it involves Lebanon.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said yesterday that the CIA violated the law last year when it failed to inform the panel of "a significant covert action activity."

"Despite agency explanations that the failure was inadvertent, the committee is deeply troubled over the fact that such an oversight could occur, whether intentionally or inadvertent," the panel said in its report on the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill released late yesterday.

An intelligence official said yesterday that he could not discuss the covert action. He said that after CIA Director Michael V. Hayden took his post in May 2006 and learned about the program and that Congress had not been fully briefed, "the agency itself took the issue to the Hill [and] corrected what was an inadvertent oversight."

The committee gave no hint of what the covert activity involved. It disclosed the issue in support of provisions it placed in the bill that would require the CIA inspector general to conduct audits of each covert action program at least once every three years and to submit a report on the findings to both the House and Senate intelligence panels. ...

Under the National Security Act, the president can limit "under exceptional circumstances" congressional access to approval of covert actions, but disclosure is expected to be made to the "Gang of Eight" -- the House speaker and minority leader, the Senate majority and minority leaders, and the chairmen and ranking minority members of the two intelligence panels. The president must later inform the committees in "a timely manner."

Covert activities, which are intended to influence political or military actions abroad without any acknowledgment of U.S. involvement, are treated differently from intelligence-gathering activities, about which the law requires Congress to be kept "fully and currently informed."


steve said...

whenever I see a notice like this, I wonder if the country in question is the US.

No one ever thinks about that.


Meatball One said...

You gotta cut back on your weekly doses of Guns 'n Butter Steve or you'll be seein' domestic counter insurgency ops every which way and loose.

Let's be denialists for the sake of a good night's sleep and pretend it's Lebanon.