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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Steven Aftergood
A small federal panel that oversees privacy issues has been catapulted from a bureaucratic backwater into the political maelstrom roiled by leaks about the National Security Agency's domestic snooping.
When retired Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden headed the CIA, one question vexed him so much that he set up a special working group to help him answer it: "Will America be able to conduct espionage in the future, inside a political culture that every day demands more and more transparency in every facet of national life?" Mr. Hayden said the working group "came back with the answer, more or less: 'We're not sure.'"
Congressional auditors said Wednesday they are launching a first-of-its-kind review of the system for safeguarding national security secrets, with a view to measuring the scale of a widely understood but unquantified problem — "classification inflation."
Members of Congress tried years ago to raise the alarm about the danger U.S. intelligence agencies faced from "insider threats" like National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, but officials dragged their feet in implementing mandatory security measures that might have stopped him.
Taking a hard line after devastating leaks, the Pentagon is ordering workers to delete from their computers any classified information they find online and warning it will punish those who confirm secrets already in the public domain, according to an internal memo obtained by the Washington Guardian.
The U.S. spent $75.4 billion on its military and civilian spy agencies in the last fiscal year, officials announced Tuesday.
The Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was planned and "not spontaneous," a U.S. intelligence official has told The Washington Times.
The White House is standing by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to appoint two U.S. attorneys to investigate the recent spate of national security leaks, rejecting Republican arguments that only an outside counsel would be independent enough for such a task.
Most of the recent battles over government spending have been dramatic, bloody and excruciatingly fought in public, but disputes over the approximately $80 billion budgeted every year for the intelligence community has generally been hidden - until now.
The Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking thousands of classified documents was formally charged Thursday with aiding the enemy, but he deferred entering a plea.
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's ... a drone, and it's watching you. That's what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.
The Obama administration is using a century-old anti-spying law to prosecute federal workers for leaking secrets to the media, drawing criticism that the law is draconian and the prosecutions are chilling efforts to report news.
Court documents in the case of an Army intelligence analyst accused of giving classified files to WikiLeaks show a catalog of problems in the Army's handling of classified materials in war zones, especially the use of supposedly secure computer networks.
Government prosecutors announced a last-minute plea bargain Thursday evening in a high-profile leak case against a senior National Security Agency official, dropping almost all the charges in a decision hailed by government-transparency advocates as ending a case of Obama administration overreach.
Forget about civility. Let's go for maturity. Republicans are ready for an "adult conversation," not a "Hail Mary speech," on the nation's economy. So says National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in the aftermath of President Obama's "remarks on fiscal policy," as his speech was billed by the White House.
"The White House, under both President Bush and President Obama, took its sweet time," Mr. Aftergood said.
Mr. Davis' resignation highlighted criticism that the board lacked independence, said Steven Aftergood, a government transparency analyst for the Federation of American Scientists.