Secrecy News Headlines: Clapper, GAO, Budget

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CLAPPER: MILITARY INTEL BUDGET TO BE DISCLOSED

The size of the annual budget for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which has been classified up to now, will be publicly disclosed, said Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., the nominee to be the next Director of National Intelligence.  He said that he had personally advocated and won approval for release of the budget figure.

SEEKING STRUCTURAL REFORM OF THE INTEL BUDGET

Open government advocates believe that intelligence budget disclosure is good public policy and may even be required by the Constitution’s statement and account clause.  But what makes it potentially interesting to policymakers is that it would permit the intelligence budget to be directly appropriated, rather than being secretly funneled through the Pentagon budget as it is now.

CLAPPER EMBRACES GAO INTEL OVERSIGHT, SSCI DOESN’T

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, won plaudits for its contributions to intelligence oversight from Gen. James R. Clapper at his July 20 confirmation hearing to be the next Director of National Intelligence.  But in the latest version of the intelligence authorization bill, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yielded to White House opposition and abandoned a provision that would have enhanced GAO’s role in intelligence oversight.

Phi Beta Iota: The day will come when a Department of Education, Intelligence, & Research has, at a minimum, a National Strategy Center and a national Open Source Agency that are both under diplomatic auspices and enjoy the same hand-off relationship with the Executive that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) enjoy.  Right now Jim Clapper is feeling his way in uncertain territory–independence from a chain of command that is suffering moral myopia as well as practical cognitive failure.  This fight will have to wait for the next President.  Put bluntly, the IC is doing the wrong things with too much money, and totally divorced from five of the eight tribes of intelligence as well as 184 countries not included in the absurd CIA and DoD “special relationship.”