House Intel Committee Needs Oversight of Its Own

In a new op-ed published on MSNBC.com, Steven Aftergood, Director of the Government Secrecy Project, and Representative Rush Holt, Former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee and Congressman from New Jersey’s 12th District, examine how the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has lost sight of the founding principles of the committee in the wake of the passing of the annual intelligence authorization bill with a vote of 345-59.

Aftergood and Holt write that with this bill, “it should have represented an opportunity for a dramatic overhaul of the intelligence community and for some critical examination of HPSCI’s own role. But it appears that HPSCI has lost sight of its founding principles – that it is, in effect, choosing allegiance to our nation’s spies, rather than to the law-abiding citizens who are being spied upon.” In order to fix the problem of oversight, the authors recommend that Congress establish strong protections for Intelligence Community whistleblowers to ensure that they can approach lawmakers with their concerns without fear of reprisal.

Read the op-ed here.