Ten Questions for John Brennan, and his Senatorial Confirmers.
1. How effective has congressional oversight functioned with the CIA? <br>
2. The Church Commission required an FBI Director be confirmed every decade, and this was not done with FBI Director Mueller. Why? Is periodic confirmation of ANY spy/surveillance/investigative agency a good idea in light of the Church Commission findings? <br>
3.According to Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and Wm Arkin in their Top Secret America report, there are 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies engaged in security work similar or associated with the CIA. Who has oversight? Who confirms their directors and directions and budgets, and how frequently? What is the aggregate cost… and why is this budget “black”?
4. Senator Ron Wyden’s question as I roughly recall: If our government decides to kill a citizen, does it supply a courtesy call as to why? And who, apart from the President and those in his chain of command selects and approves these assassinations?
5. Is there concern about assassinations in other countries by US agents without the constitutionally required letter of Marque and Reprisal granted by the Congress (not the executive branch)? If not, why?
6.Who, if anyone in government, is concerned about going to war without a declaration, as required by the constitution? What is the significance of the oath or affirmation that office holders and service personnel take to preserve and protect the constitution? Does that refer to the physical object, or the meaning of the words contained in it? (trying to keep my questions light, like Sn. Wyden.)
7. What has been the cost to the United States of fighting famous CIA alumnus such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Manuel Noriega, in lives and money, not to mention opportunity cost? What has been the cost of conflicts with lesser known alums. Any idea of ongoing and future costs? Who monitors the fallout of the 1,271 government, and 1,931 private agencies?…. or is this as I fear, divided between numerous Congressional committees fighting for turf. Who gains by this disorganization?
8. The drone boom is currently a lucrative area of development when there are few opportunities in this post crash economy. How long before drones will, as all inventions do, return upon the United States, both government and civil society. How long will these new threats harm our country? Is our collective investment in this in the long term security interest of the US, or like the H bomb, a moral albatross which will fester in time? Is this the security job equivalent to a self licking ice cream cone?
9. If a declaration of war were to be written, to provide an outline of what victory might look like, is short, what we want….. what would it say?
10. Since this is the intelligence committee, and while great expense is proffered surveilling the wide world, and yet because of our disjointed economy, banks and hedge funds are selling great swaths of America overseas. Is this intelligent? In the national interest?