Perhaps the clearest indication lately that intelligence oversight still matters is a new White House Statement of Administration Policy (pdf) expressing strong opposition to the FY2008 Intelligence Authorization bill.
“If this bill were to pass the House and the Senate and be presented to the President for signature, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the Statement notes.
On issue after issue, from interrogation to congressional reporting, the White House indicates disapproval of the new legislation, which has already been accepted by a House-Senate conference and awaits a final vote in each house.
Among other things, “The Administration also objects to section 328, which attempts to use Congress’ power of the purse to circumvent the authority of the Executive Branch to control access to extraordinarily sensitive information.”
This provision, which represents something of a new milestone in intelligence oversight, would impose a “fence” on certain spending until the Administration briefs the intelligence committees on the Israeli strike on a Syrian facility. It was introduced by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and adopted on a bipartisan basis.