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October 12, 2007

Overt Activities
Posted by Moira Whelan

The CIA is investigating its investigator. This may have slipped straight from the front page into the Political White Noise created by the numerous Bush failures, but it actually is extremely troubling because it’s a small part in a bigger effort to silence, well, everyone. 

IGs have served as the Official Critics of more than 57 agencies in government since their creation in 1978. IGs can only be investigated by a special panel, and can only be removed by the President.

So the fact that the CIA is investigating their own IG is, um, just not ok. But as any IG will tell you, one time is an “incident” but three is a “pattern.” Recently, Democrats have released evidence demonstrating the Republican hackery of the State Department’s latest IG, and Administration officials have sought to stop Congressional efforts to strengthen the positions of IGs after several had been removed for <<gasp>> being critical of the Bush Administration. Clearly there should be an investigation into how investigators are being handled.

I have no doubt this will be yet another path back to Dick Cheney’s desk, and as with most things he’s pulled, there’s the longer term implication. If the Bushies can get away with having critics taken out of government agencies, why would any President put them back?


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And yet while this is going on we have a bunch of Democrats willing to cave in on FISA. What really needs to happen is that congress has to reign in ALL of the intelligence agencies. More regulation and transarency across the board.

There has been concern in the past that the CIA-IG might release to the public sensitive intelligence information, and so should be on a tighter leash than other governmental IGs.

What does the law say?

Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991
Title VIII: Inspector General for the Central Intelligence Agency
Requires the IG to: (1) provide policy direction for and to conduct, supervise, and coordinate independently, inspections, investigations, and audits relating to CIA programs and operations to assure that they are conducted efficiently and in accordance with applicable law and regulations; (2) keep the Director informed of violations of law and regulations, fraud, and other serious problems, abuses and deficiencies in such programs and operations and of progress made in implementing corrective action; (3) take due regard for the protection of intelligence sources and methods in the preparation of all reports; and (4) comply with generally accepted Government auditing standards.

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