Executive Power

It Takes a Congress of Minions to Hold Us Back

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Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists reports that Congress is not exactly maximizing its oversight duty on the NSA:

The Government Accountability Office maintains an office at the National Security Agency but it remains unused since no one in Congress has asked GAO to perform any oversight of the Agency, the head of GAO disclosed last week. […]

Comptroller General David M. Walker, the outgoing director of GAO, confirmed that it was true.

"We still actually do have space at the NSA. We just don't use it and the reason we don't use it is we're not getting any requests, you know. So I don't want to have people sitting out there twiddling their thumbs," Mr. Walker said.

During the last presidential campaign, I wrote about how Ford Administration veterans Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were being successful in their 30-year quest to roll back post-Watergate congressional checks on executive power. And when Ford died, I argued that our long national nightmare was still going strong.