Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Hoekstra [R-MI] makes inconsistent statements on intelligence oversight

Update: 13 Feb 2006 To see how this effort fits in with the White House disinformation strategy, visit this summary box, open in a new window to see the larger pattern and other related ruses: [ Click ]

Ann Althouse, I corrected your name spelling. Blogosphere, thanks for letting me know!

News Flash AF OSI reopens Sibel Edmonds investigation.

Congressman Hoekstra might look into the DoD intelligence issues if the weather cooperates.

Behind the news: 9-11 information wasn't shared with the 9-11 commission.

Operation Able Danger was a domestic DoD data-mining intelligence operation. It remains to be understood whether this data-mining operation was inter alia:

A. Coordinated with the NSA;
B. Conducted in violation of laws which prohibit surveillance of US citizens;
C. Amounts to a domestic use of DoD personnel in a law enforcement capacity; and/or
D. Was/is/remains in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Regardless Able Danger: There were still 52 FAA warnings

More on Able Danger: Updates: 12 Aug 05

There's more distraction going on. Sure, the information from Able Danger was known. But now the issue becomes: Why despite the multiple avenues and reports didn't the President act? The Downing Street Memo shows he has agendas other than reality.

9-11 Commission dismissed Able Danger info because didn't fit precoceived notion of what happened. This is not fact finding, but shaping.

They were briefd twice according to Carol Platt Liebau, and she asks an excellent question: "What would have been the harm in simply noting the existence of this contradictory evidence?" Indeed, perhaps there are more "inconsitencies" that have been dismissed that we should know about.

Ann Althouse wonders, "WHAT ELSE THEY TOSSED OUT". Good grief, Ann we need your sound mind asking the good questions. Keep up the attention on this, thanks!

The problem with blaming Gorelick for the wall-argument, is that "despite the wall," FBI and CIA information was brought together under the DSP; and the FAA had 52 warnings.

Some have argued unpersuasively that Gorelick has problems:

  • She created some wall preventing the President from getting information. However, this wall was actually just an internal DoJ memo; had nothing to do with creating a wall within the NSC or CIA.

  • She interfered with the Able Danger issues on the 9-11 Commission. This argument doesn't wash: Gorelick was recused on these issues.

    Nothing stopped NSC from getting all the inputs; providing recommendations; or for the President making a decision. Or are we saying that despite all this incoming information the President was unsure what to do?

    Who was President in 2001, and was in a position after "nobody did anything about the information in 2000" to "finally listen"? Bush. I'm not persuaded that the "problem" lies with either the 9-11 commission or Clinton; Bush showed up saying we would have a new President. Apparently Bush was the same as Clinton: "Pay no attention." Bush was in a position to do something about it in 2001.

    Remember, Bush not Gore or Clinton, was selected by the Supreme Court to be President. When will the White House accept responsibiltiy for what they failed to do; and failling to act on the multiple reports?

    We see no evidence of accountability. Just more excuses, and diversions from the White House.

    This is not leadership. It is a failure. Indeed, "This is the best" that the RNC and White House can posit as a "defense".

    It's not convincing.

  • Original Blog

    Congress has said it would look into it.
    "I do take seriously any issues that may be brought to light by other members of Congress." -- chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Peter Hoekstra Ref
    Small problem. Just last week when Operation Scorpion was revealed, Congress said it wasn't going to look into the tactical decisions.
    "We're not spending a lot of time going back and dissecting tactical programs." -- Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R- Mich.) Ref
    US Intelligence Oversight -- Implications for the Fitzgerald Chicago Grand Jury.

    In theory, there's one person in charge of US intelligence programs. That person remains accountable today for the entire umbrella. What I am hearing is a bunch of non-sense about, "We can't look at that," or "We have no answers," or "We're not sure."

    That is not acceptable.

    I don't want to hear that "this is a CIA/NSA/FBI matter." That's a bunch of baloney. Scorpions was a DoD-CIA joint operation to glean intelligence on WMD in Iraq. [BTW: Scorpion-translator personnel have been implicated in Iraqi contract fraud allegations for taking bribes]

    Supposedly "the Scorpion findings" were not only passed back and forth between CIA/NSA in the US but also to MI6 in UK. Translation: This means more Downing Street Memo-stuff.

    Fitzgerald Chicago Grand Jury

    Hello, Grand Jury in Chicago: Was there something in your "request for information" that DoD "forgot" to give you when you were reviewing these matters, or are we to believe "it's all over" now that the indictments are sealed?

    Grand Jury needs to look into OSP and how it fit in with the WMD information. Remember, the same people who are former Scorpions are alleged to have been taking bribes by contractors in order to get favorable positions before the non-Arabic-speaking US personnel.

  • It's very serious when important information is withheld. In re the Chicago much information has the US government not provided, but required, in re 9-11?

  • It is troubling that the information is not being provided. It remains to be understood whether there has been obstruction of justice. How much information related to 9-11 has DoD not provided to the 9-11 Commission?

    Post 9-11: The wrong problems were addressed

    To state the obvious:

    A. DoD, DoJ, and the intelligence community fall under one person: The president.

    B. Notice all the attention not on the single entity above all the agencies: The White House.

  • We just had a reorganization. It remains to be understood whether the basis for the government expenditures were credible. Is there or isn't there a single focal point within the US intelligence community that the Congress can or cannot go to in order to inter alia:
    - exercise oversight;
    - get information;
    - get a straight story of what is going on;
    - find out what the real problems are; and
    - determine whether the White House is suppressing information that would put the blame on the White House?
  • The information is there. It is to be provided. There is oversight. There are CIA, DoJ, and DoD Inspector Generals. If there is a single focal point in the US government that "supposedly" oversees intelligence, why do we have inconsistent responses to reasonable government requests for information about intelligence?

  • It does not appear as though SecDef is cooperating with reasonable efforts to understand what is going on. Why the inconsistency in why DoD will or will not discuss intelligence related issues in the Scorpion and Able Danger Programs?

    Reasonable doubts about government reforms

    Supposedly after Pearl Harbor we "learned some things." Then the NSA was created to "implement those lessons learned." Surprise, surprise: We thought the problem with 9-11 and WMD had to do with "faulty human intelligence." So reforms got implemented. Everyone cheered.

    Then reality hit us. The intelligence investigations were a whitewash. And now we find out that, despite the whitewash investigation, that the committee wasn't given all the information it needed. And when there were issues brought to the Committees attention, the Committee chairman has said he's not going to look into the "tactical" issues.

    Translation: The issues are "justified as not warranting oversight" because they are:

    [a] in the past, too long ago;
    [b] related to things we don't want to know about;
    [c] too minor; or
    [d] might make the White House look like it failed to act despite clear information, warnings, and multiple reports.

    All of the above are excuses for: Inaction. That is not responsive government.

    It is a failure of government. You are there to address issues, not to make excuses.

    Who is the American government to preach to the world about the "benefits democracy" when its own example is an abysmal failure.

    1776! Parliament failed to act or respond. Why do we have to go through this on every issue? It's as if the American government has to be reminded once again what a representative government is "all about."

    The American government has a collective approach of "we aren't going to do anything" and "we're not going to take any responsibility" and "we really don't want to know" and "don't blame us for our inaction."

    Why are you there? How much money do you seriously want to get paid to do nothing?

    This is a legitimacy issue. If the American government has an excuse for "everything that goes wrong" but has no desire to look into other issues, or make policy decisions based on facts, why is the American government needed?

    Other than a self-supporting system which "collects taxes" for whatever reason we are told "is the reason this week" . . . why we should continue to have confidence in this unresponsive, ineffectual, and non-fact-related-decision-making-body?

    It remains a high burden of proof for the government to justify continued confidence in the American government.

    Are you serious about leadership?

    Do you want to go to the American public and say, "We are really serious"?

    I see nothing before me that suggests there is a serious desire to find out. Rather, I see a serious desire to do nothing, take no action, and find "no fault" so long as "the facts can be suppressed."

    How long do you expect to suppress the facts?

    This government apparently wants to suppress the information so that the public cannot make informed decisions about settlements, negotiations, or whether they vote.

    Questions for Congress, DoD, CIA, NSA, and DOJ JTTF

    Congress and the intelligence community have a collective problem. Why? Because the White House is shifting the responsibility for the inaction on to the very systems that provide information or oversee those systems.

    Yet, where is the White House accountability? Answer: there's none, by design; and the Congress and intelligence community are "taking the brunt."

    Wrong! The burden and responsibility needs to land right on the White House.

    The White House, Congress, and intelligence Community need to come up with a very clean and concise story:

    Credibility of reforms

  • Why are we to believe in 2005 that the "reforms" of the US intelligence community are credible given that the "needed information to understand what happened" in re 9-11 was not disclosed?

  • Given the reality that DoD [and likely other US agencies] have not given the 9-11 commission all the information needed to "know what really happened," why are we to believe that the solutions, recommendations, and implemented "reforms" in the intelligence community actually addressed the real problems?

    Government responsiveness

  • How much time is DoD, CIA, NSA, DOJ JTTF/CIFA asking the Congress to take to "review the matters" into 2006?

  • Why does DoD have two standards on which intelligence operations it is willing to discuss, look into, or be accountable before the House Intelligence Committee?

    Checks and balances failure: Inconsistencies on oversight

  • The Republican Congressional representative from Michigan says one week that the Committee won't spend much time on tactical matters; but now wants us to believe that he's serious about "any issues" before the committee when it comes to the 9-11 commission. Why should we believe the Congressman?

    Congressman Hoekstra

  • Why is the Congressman Hoekstra, and with it the House Intelligence Committee, taking two different approaches to the intelligence issues?

  • Why should we believe current promises to look into the intelligence issues [related to Able Danger] given the statements that there will be no reviews/cursory reviews/not much time on other matters [related to the Scorpions]? Under the umbrella of the House intelligence Committee

  • What's Congressman Hoekstra's position this week on [a] "intelligence oversight"; [b] "finding out what happened"; or [c] "exercising some adult supervision of DoD, CIA, DoJ-JTTF-CIFA" if the weather is cooperating?