Monday, December 19, 2005

We don't have to tell you a thing

Over at the Bellman, Jason has a great post about the administration's inability to foresee the logical implications of their policies.

Over at the Law Librarian's Blog, there a link to a report sent to Sen. Feinstein by Congressional Research Services about the duty of the Executive Branch to share (or withhold) intelligence with the Legislative Branch.

Absent a court ruling more clearly defining executive and legislative branch authorities in this area, which most observers view as unlikely, the executive branch has contended that it is under no legal obligation to provide Congress access to all national intelligence. By contrast, Congress, through its congressional intelligence oversight committees, has asserted in principle a legal authority for unrestricted access to intelligence information. The Committees, historically, have interpreted the law as allowing room to decide how, rather than whether, they will have access to intelligence information, provided that such access is consistent with the protection of sources and methods. In practice, however, Congress has not sought all national intelligence information. Unless there has been a compelling need, the intelligence committees generally have not routinely sought access to such sensitive intelligence information as intelligence sources and methods. When they have cited such compelling need for access, the committees generally have reach an accommodation with the executive branch usually, but not always. (footnotes omitted)|Link to PDF|
Of course, this administration seems to think that executive privilege gives it carte blanche to do anything it wants from authorizing torture to conducting illegal surveillance operations.

Maybe Jason's right and it's just a lack of imagination rather than megalomania.

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