homework question 16

Provide a response to the following questions:

#1 Discuss U.S. intelligence oversight. Is the process sufficient? If not, how should it be changed?

  • Provide evidence from the weekly readings to support your arguments via APA parenthetical citations.
  • Other sources (if used at all) must be subordinate to your understanding of the readings presented in the class.

Articles for weekly assignment:

Gibson. Intelligence Oversight Design. Pages 545-553 in AFIO’s Guide to the Study of Intelligence. https://www.afio.com/publications/Guide/index.html…

Kimery. Reforming Congressional Oversight of DHS Still Priority One, 9/11 Commission Members Say.

https://www.hstoday.us/kimery-report/reforming-con…

CIA. Procedures Pursuant to EO12333 approved by the Attorney General.

https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/privacy-and-civil-li…

Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 350 words.

Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 250 words to each student and include direct questions.

Student#1 Destin

The intelligence community has gone through various changes since 9/11. The failures of the intelligence community contributed mostly to a lack of information sharing and political unravel, which sparked national attention for improvements. This need for improvement interest in oversight became the responsibility of many government agencies, but mostly congress in particular. “Effective congressional oversight of the intelligence community requires members of Congress to have a high degree of access to ongoing intelligence operations, the authority to effect changes in operations or halt operations that have run aground of either constitutional or statutory prohibitions, the power to enforce their collective judgment, and the willingness to conduct oversight (Riley & Schneider, 2010).”

Is this process sufficient? Everything has their imperfections, but no this is not too effective or efficient. This is not because of oversight or the established capabilities of the oversight committees, but more so of the continued issues that are present. Many of the oversight objectives are a direct result of political issues and ruses aimed at furthering one congressional members interests over another’s or used as bargaining chips. It is unfortunate and in poor taste to face this, but it tends to happen.

Unfortunately, there are no real answers in how to fix this issue and establish proper procedures and practices against oversight. The intelligence community has shown that they are not capable to handle this and that congressional oversight is dominated by politics. This can be seen in the events following the attack on 9/11, and various attacks in places like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya. A Senate investigative report “laid out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on a diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the city. It said the State Department failed to increase security at its mission despite warnings, and blamed intelligence agencies for not sharing information (Goldman & Gearan, 2014).” The media and world itself, had a field day with this. The political fall-out was the primary concern on news rather than, how or why this attack was able to take place and an explanation as the lack of resources. There still remains many concerns with the oversight of the intelligence community. Many of which are increasingly becoming improved and lessons learned, but not without judgement.

References:

John Riley & Mary Schneider. 2010. “Congressional Oversight of U.S. Intelligence”.

Homeland Security and Intelligence. Westport, CT: Prager Publishers. http://psi.praeger.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/doc.aspx?d=/books/gpg/C9095C/C9095C-2234.xml (Accessed July 18, 2014)

Adam Goldman & Anne Gearan. 2014. “Senate report: Attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi could have been

prevented”. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senate-report-attack-on-us-compound-in-benghazi-could-have-been-prevented/2014/01/15/5e197224-7de9-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_story.html (Accessed July 18, 2014)

Student#2 Kyle

Well, this course coincides with a significant appointment in the intelligence community. President Trump has appointed Gina Haspel, a career intelligence officer, to run the Central Intelligence Agency. While watching the news coverage regarding the Senate confirmation hearings I heard someone state that she has not conducted herself morally throughout her career, referring to waterboarding. I thought to myself, she is in an immoral business. The country has asked her to do immoral things time and time again. To me, the façade some elected official put up is insulting. Many elected officials are much more concerned with putting on a show of moral authority than actually doing what is right for the country and in this case, the intelligence community.

I do think there is sufficient oversight. Probably the most impactful is Congresses ability to defund intelligence operations (Gibson, 2016). I think it’s unlikely that this would come to fruition, but if it did happen it could cripple intelligence operations. The executive branch having the ability to appoint department heads is significant as well (Gibson, 2016). This gives the president the ability to completely change the direction of intelligence operations.

I said I think the oversight is sufficient because that is what the assigned question was. In reality I think there is too much oversight. The intelligence field is a critical asset to our security and I think there should be great freedoms given to intelligence operations. If good leadership is put in place over the agencies, Americans can trust that the intelligence communities are doing what is necessary to keep the country safe. Sometimes what is necessary is not something the country needs to hear about.

Regarding my next step with AMU, I am in week two of my Senior Seminar, my final class. I am absolutely going to take a break and enjoy not having assignments to complete. It feels great to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will likely go on to a Master’s program at some point, probably in Homeland Security. I hope all is well for everyone.

-Kyle

Gibson, T. (2016). Intelligence Oversite Design. In P. Oleson, AFIO Guide to the Study of Intelligence (pp. 545-554). Falls Church: Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

 
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