Interview: Jeremy Scahill On NSA Oversight

Must-see interview with Jeremy Scahill on NSA oversight.

Here’s the state of oversight in the USA according to author and journalist Jeremy Scahill:

"Let me tell you a story about what the sort of state of oversight is right now in the U.S. Senate. There are a handful of U.S. Senators that are allowed to go to what’s called a secured classified intelligence facility, a SCIP, and to review certain memos, not all, but certain memos the White House has deemed appropriate to share with Congress.

Congress, by law, is supposed to be overseeing all of the actions that are conducted around the world on any given day. And there are certain members of Congress that are, by law, supposed to be briefed on covert actions, particularly lethal operations. The White House has been stone-walling Congress and not providing them with all of the documents about the kill program.

How does an American citizen get on a kill list? How do they get off of a kill list, short of being killed in a hell-fire strike? So these, limited number of Senators and Representatives go into these padded rooms, essentially. They’re not allowed to bring a writing utensil. They can’t bring paper. They’re not allowed to bring anything with a battery. And they look at certain memos, not all that the White House has agreed to show them. And then, they’re not permitted to share what they’ve seen with anyone. Not their constituents. Not other lawmakers. That’s the state of oversight on some of the most sensitive operations.

It’s thoroughly anti-democratic. The idea that even those that are elected with a mandate to oversee the actions of another branch of the U.S. government, are basically just given part of the story, should be deeply offensive to all Americans."

Watch this must-see video where Jeremy Scahill explains how this lack of oversight is connected to covert US military action around the world, the expansion of America’s surveillance state, the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the danger we’re all in when journalism and whistleblowing are criminalized.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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