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Church Committee Members Say New Group Needed To Watch NSA 143

Trailrunner7 writes "In a letter sent to President Obama and members of Congress, former members and staff of the Church Committee on Intelligence said that the revelations of the NSA activities have caused 'a crisis of public confidence' and encouraged the formation of a new committee to undertake 'significant and public reexamination of intelligence community practices.' In the letter sent Monday to Obama and Congress, several former advisers to and members of the Church committee, including the former chief counsel, said that the current situation involving the NSA bears striking resemblances to the one in 1975 and that the scope of what the NSA is doing today is orders of magnitude larger than what was happening nearly 40 years ago.

'The need for another thorough, independent, and public congressional investigation of intelligence activity practices that affect the rights of Americans is apparent. There is a crisis of public confidence. Misleading statements by agency officials to Congress, the courts, and the public have undermined public trust in the intelligence community and in the capacity for the branches of government to provide meaningful oversight,' the letter says."
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Church Committee Members Say New Group Needed To Watch NSA

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  • by r_jensen11 ( 598210 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:58PM (#46517137)

    Who watches the watchmen?

    Yes, the NSA and the greater intelligence community clearly needs oversight, but will anyone trust someone with that much power any more than we currently trust the NSA?

    And to preach to the choir, but shouldn't the conversation shift to asking:

    • Which risks are we (as a society) willing to take
    • What does the intelligence community need to fulfill its social responsibility?
  • Beyond oversight? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tchdab1 ( 164848 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:10PM (#46517301) Homepage

    Seems like the NSA and CIA might be by nature beyond oversight. Their job includes assuming that the worst scenarios are possible, which then justifies any action to thwart them, including lying to their overseers in order to keep doing illegal things they think is necessary to prevent those worst possible scenarios. It's bureaucratic paranoia resulting in functional schizophrenia that makes sense within the hive mind but not within the greater public mind that employs them to keep us safe.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:11PM (#46517311) Journal another committee, I'm sure of it.

    Maybe a committe, and a staff...of course you have to have a competent staff. And they're going to be overworked, so a whole fleet of nubile, er, naive, er, talented interns.

    And they'll need offices, maybe a new office building, somewhere downtown so they can exercise 'oversight' as closely as possible. A parking garage, certainly, plus probably a cafeteria. Probably a monorail from the airport is worth considering too...

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong