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Mon Jun 17, 2013, 11:10 PM

Put the Spies Back Under One Roof


By TIM SHORROCK
Published: June 17, 2013

... “I’m very concerned that we have government contractors doing what are essentially governmental jobs,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last week. “Maybe we should bring some of that more in-house,” the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, mused ...

... it is dangerous to have half a million people — the number of private contractors holding top-secret security clearances — peering into the lives of their fellow citizens. Contractors aren’t part of the chain of command at the N.S.A. or other agencies and aren’t subject to Congressional oversight. Officially, their only loyalty is to their company and its shareholders.

Second, with billions of dollars of government money sloshing around, and with contractors providing advice on how to spend it, conflicts of interest and corruption are inevitable. Contractors simply shouldn’t be in the business of managing large projects and providing procurement advice to intelligence agencies. Thomas A. Drake, one of the N.S.A. whistle-blowers who exposed the waste and fraud in the N.S.A.’s Trailblazer program — Mr. Hayden’s disastrous attempt to privatize the N.S.A.’s analysis of intercepted signals intelligence — estimates that the project cost taxpayers as much as $7 billion (it was canceled in 2006). Yet the contracts kept rolling in, and Mr. Hayden went on to head the C.I.A.

Third, we’ve allowed contractors to conduct our most secret and sensitive operations with virtually no oversight. This is true not only at the N.S.A. Contractors now work alongside the C.I.A. in covert operations (two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were C.I.A. contractors; we still don’t know who their employer was) ...


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/opinion/put-the-spies-back-under-one-roof.html?_r=0


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Reply Put the Spies Back Under One Roof (Original post)
struggle4progress Jun 2013 OP
leveymg Jun 2013 #1

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 11:16 PM

1. Where were you this past decade, Dianne and Nancy?

None of this is new. This NYT editorial reads like my DU screeds going back ten years.

Still, it's nice to see these fine elected officials finally coming around to talking openly about these things.

On edit: I'll even be the first to rec this one for my old friend, S4P.

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