POGO is urging Congress to vote in favor of an amendment that would enhance oversight of the intelligence community.
The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Rush Holt (D-WV), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and John Tierney (D-MS), would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to comply with Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits.
The GAO would provide the in-depth, careful analysis Congress needs to conduct effective oversight of the intelligence community. As argued in a letter sent this afternoon to the House of Representatives:
GAO reports play an essential role in effective congressional oversight of the intelligence community. And yet, the Obama administration and the intelligence community repeatedly have moved to block GAO reports to Congress, including by issuing a veto threat to the Intelligence Authorization bill that would have restored GAO's role in oversight. Cutting off critical oversight tools does not make us safer, but rather puts our nation at risk by limiting the information Congress needs in order to assess national security threats, civil liberties violations, misuse of taxpayer dollars, gaps in information sharing, and problematic management issues.
We noted in March that statutorily, the intel community already falls within the GAO's purview, but that since the 1960's, it has successfully resisted investigations into its activities and operations. Steve Aftergood has more background here.
-- Bryan Rahija