In other words, in bang-for-the-buck practical terms, Washington’s NSS should be viewed as a remarkable failure. And yet, in faith-based terms, it couldn’t be a greater success. Its false gods are largely accepted by acclamation and regularly worshipped in Washington and beyond. As the funding continues to pour in, the NSS has transformed itself into something like a shadow government in that city, while precluding from all serious discussion the possibility of its own future dismantlement or what could replace it. It has made more immediate dangers than terrorism to the health and well-being of Americans seem, at best, secondary. It has pumped fear into the American soul. It is a religion of state power. No Martian could mistake it for anything else.
==Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (Tom Engelhardt)
Staff members seen by the CIA as pressing too hard can find themselves improperly monitored by the Agency, according to senators whose complaints resulted in an investigation by the CIA’s inspector general. In one case, according to Feinstein, “the acting general counsel of the CIA filed a crimes report with the Department of Justice concerning the committee staff’s action.”
“The business of Congress,” CIA director William Casey said in 1984, “is to stay out of my business.” He and many successors treated Congress accordingly. “We are like mushrooms,” Representative Norman Mineta, a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in 1983. “They [the CIA] keep us in the dark and feed us a lot of manure.”
==National Security and Double Government (Michael J. Glennon)
Allegations of censorship and secrecy. A watchdog office that’s gone without a permanent leader for three years and counting. Outraged Members of Congress.
Yet another Inspector General is in the hot seat, this time the IG at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Eight current auditors and employees have alleged that the IG’s office removed critical findings from audits issued between 2011 and 2013, according to a story by The Washington Post. “In some cases,” the Post reported, “the findings were put into confidential ‘management letters’ and financial documents, which are sent to high-ranking USAID officials but are generally kept from public view.”
If this story sounds suspiciously familiar, that’s because it is. There have been a slew of recent reports about IGs who allegedly hid or edited negative findings:
Another report by the Post said that an investigator from the Department of Homeland Security IG’s office “felt pressure from his superiors in the office of Charles K. Edwards, who was then the acting inspector general, to withhold evidence” about the Secret Service’s Colombia prostitution scandal.
According to the Washington Examiner, the IG at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “knew at least six years ago” that “improper scheduling practices were routinely being used at the [VA’s] Phoenix hospital,” but the IG didn’t release its findings to the public, and wouldn’t release the report to the Examiner in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Greenwire reported that the Department of the Interior (DOI) IG closed 457 investigations in 2013, but released only three public reports. The hidden reports include “cases exposing nepotism, contracting violations and allegations that BP America underpaid its gas royalties by millions of dollars.”
The Project on Government Oversight reported that the Department of Defense IG withheld critical findings about how Defense Secretary Leon Panetta mishandled sensitive information during his tenure as director of the CIA. The IG’s final report on what access the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers had to classfied information omitted any mention of Panetta’s disclosure of “TOP SECRET” and other sensitive information at an event attended by the film’s screenwriter.