- - Thursday, September 22, 2011


Nominee for intel watchdog pledges oversight

The U.S. intelligence world is slated to get an independent watchdog to police misspent funds to contractors, U.S. spies run amok overseas and other illegal activities.

The Senate intelligence committee Thursday questioned Irvin Charles McCullough III, nominated as the first inspector general for the intelligence community.

Congress created the position to watch for waste in an intelligence budget that has grown to more than $80 billion annually since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. McCullough said that if confirmed, he will look into suspicions that contractors are doing things only the government should do, such as firing armed drones at al Qaeda suspects and spying.

A former FBI agent, Mr. McCullough worked at the inspector general’s office at the National Security Agency and is deputy inspector general for the director for national intelligence.



Full severance pay for military gays opposed

Two days after the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against gays serving openly in the military, the Obama administration is opposing a lawsuit seeking full severance pay for those dismissed under the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking class-action status for 142 people who received only half pay after their discharge because of their homosexuality. But the Justice Department asked the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to dismiss the case.

The administration is not defending the merits of the policy adopted in 1991, two years before “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Instead, it argues that the court cannot rewrite military regulations.

Judge Christine Odell Cook Miller said Thursday that she probably will let the case continue and questioned why the government wouldn’t pay now that the law has changed.


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