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Hope for (Better) Oversight

This gem from Secrecy News is encouraging:

A bill introduced by Congressional Democrats would empower the Government Accountability Office GAO) to perform financial audits and other oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies, a function that those agencies have long resisted.

“Since 9/11, effective [intelligence] oversight is needed now more than ever,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) in a September 28 floor statement.

“However, now the Congress cannot do its job properly, in part, because its key investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, is not given adequate access to the intelligence community.”

Normally I’m not a big fan of Akaka-sponsored legislation, but this makes up for a lot. Oversight committees have a tough job and the relative handful of staff they have cannot possibly hope to keep up with all tasks that need attention. They may have backgrounds in the field, but they’re not diggers and rooters like GAO investigators are. Being able to turn the GAO loose onto the IC would shine some much needed light on the machinations of self-serving mandarins and their precious rice-bowls. For everyone on the job who has stood in wonder of those who have abandonded any pretense about mission accomplishment in their quest for self-aggrandizement, this is most welcome news.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.