Constant's pations

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

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reviewing Congressional Oversight of NSA, DOJ Inspector Generals

Revising the Constitution and Creating A 4th Branch of Investigators: Solving The The Problem With Direct Presidential, Agency Head Appointments of NSA, DOJ IG And Investigators

It cannot be argued that the current system of checks and balances have served us well. They have been ignored, not enforced. This cannot happen again. New laws and new leaders are meaningless. We need structural changes to the way the US government interacts. For We the People this requires a New Constitution, something Congress has no input.

For Congress, the way forward is to examine what failed with the Inspector Generals. We cannot continue with this reckless oversight of the OIG offices. This note discusses a remedy and change in direction.

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We need to look at the Congressional oversight of the President's appointment of the Inspector Generals, law enforcement leadership, and criminal prosecutors. This note argues that these abuse functions need to be removed from the control of the President, and placed in a fourth branch of government that is independent, and has loyalty only to the Constitution and We the People. The aim of this Fourth Branch would be to enforce the Constitution regardless which political party were in power.

Reviewing Congressional Oversight of NSA, DOJ Inspector Generals

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Examining Problems With Current Inspector Gernal Oversight

When we're looking at what failed with the DOJ and NSA in re illegal activity since 2001, one area to review is the auditing and inspector generals. We've previously outlined some legislative reforms, desertification, and a requirement of the NSA IG to get certification sunder penalty of perjury.

Senator Leahy well outlined his concerns the Executive Branch has betrayed America's and the Constitution. Part of the problem has been the failure of auditors to independently audit and report illegal activity.

It is not longer acceptable for the President to have an unsupervised power to appoint anyone as an inspector General, but the Congress not have some input into whether that IG needs to be given some incentives to directly confront the President for illegal orders or guidance to the NSA or DOJ IG.

I would encourage the Congress to review the terms under which inspector Generals are appointed; how often the OIG leadership is audited; and what timely action can be taken investigate OIG regardless who controls congress or the Executive Branch.

One approach is to create a fourth branch of government where all investigators are assigned; and they are afforded the military power to directly confront a President that has been determined to be in violation of the laws of war. Yes, I'm talking giving the leadership of the 4th Branch special combat and arrest powers to enforce investigations, and use lawful military force to arrest and capture a President who has engaged in war crimes.

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A Sample Bill

I realize this is "old' legislation, but things like this have a bad habit of quickly appearing in bills without Congress paying attention. This is not going to work, especially under the current environment where the President is thwarting NSA and DOJ IG from doing their jobj:

(Sec. 435) Amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to require the head of the NRO, DIA, NSA, and NGIA to appoint an independent inspector general for each such agency (thus giving such inspectors general the same information-gathering power and independence as is currently held by inspectors general of other federal agencies). Allows the DNI or the Secretary of Defense to prohibit the inspector general of an IC element from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation if such Director or Secretary determines that the prohibition is necessary to protect vital U.S. national security interests. Requires notification of such determination to the defense and intelligence committees.Ref

Let's get the NSA IG appointment issue on the table: What is the President and NSA Directing thinking that they should continue to have non-Senate involvement with the appointment of the Inspector Generals?

Why does the President believe that he can directly appoint anyone, but not have that supposed "direct reporting auditor to Congress" not subject to Congressional monitoring?