761Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such NSA secrets
- Mar 30, 2014
Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such NSA secrets
03/25/2014: US Senator Rockefeller said: “Don’t you understand the way Intelligence works? Do you think that because I’m Chairman of the Intelligence Committee that I just say I want it, and they give it to me? They control it. All of it. ALL of it. ALL THE TIME. I only get - and my committee only gets - what they WANT to give me.”
The Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when high-level NSA whistleblower Russell Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.
Russ Tice … was prepared to testify to Congress to this, too, and so NSA sent him a letter saying, we agree that you have a right to go to Congress to testify, but we have to advise you that the intelligence committees that you want to testify to are not cleared for the programs you want to speak about. Now, that fundamentally is an open admission … by NSA that they are violating the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978, which require NSA and all other intelligence agencies to notify Congress of all the programs that they’re running so they can have effective oversight, which they’ve never had anyway.
Renee Seymour, director of NSA special access programs stated in a Jan. 9 letter to Russ Tice that he should not testify about secret electronic intelligence programs because members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees do not have the proper security clearances for the secret intelligence.
the most dramatic example of the Executive branch wholly stonewalling Congress occurred when Dick Cheney implemented “Continuity of Government” plans on 9/11. This created a “shadow government” which largely sidelined Congress and suspended the Constitution. But Congress wasn’t even informed.
As CBS pointed out, virtually none of the Congressional leadership knew that Continuity of Government (“COG” for short) had been implemented or was still in existence as of March 2002:
Key congressional leaders say they didn’t know President Bush had established a “shadow government,” moving dozens of senior civilian managers to secret underground locations outside Washington to ensure that the federal government could survive a devastating terrorist attack on the nation’s capital, The Washington Post says in its Saturday editions.
Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) told the Post he had not been informed by the White House about the role, location or even the existence of the Continuity of Government that the administration began to deploy the morning of the Sept. 11 hijackings.
The White House has specifically refused to share information about Continuity of Government (COG) plans with the Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress, even though that Committee has proper security clearance to hear the full details of all COG plans.
In the summer 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, on the Homeland Security Committee (and so with proper security access to be briefed on COG issues), inquired about continuity of government plans, and was refused access. DeFazio told Congress that the entire Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress has been denied access to the plans by the White House.
To put it another way, if the White House is successful in frustrating DeFazio, then Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority.
A Federal judge who was on the secret spying court for 3 years says that it’s a kangaroo court. Even the current judges on the secret spying court now admit that they’re out of the loop and powerless to exercise real oversight. When these judges raised concerns about NSA spying, the Justice Department completely ignored them.
The White House has also withheld 9,400 documents from the Senate’s CIA torture investigation.
During the Vietnam war, the NSA spied on two prominent politicians: Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker. Church was the chairman of the committee investigating wrongdoing by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.