I read with interest this weekend an NBC article in which House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is quoted as saying that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden “was a thief who we believe had some help.” Though I don’t have enough information upon which to agree or disagree with that assessment, I do know members of Congress deserve a great deal of blame for Snowden’s actions.
If members of Congress had exercised more oversight of decision-making processes used by federal government agency officials to select credibility assessment technologies, then its unlikely Edward Snowden would have found himself in a position whereby he might be able to compromise national security. Instead, he was able to pass the very polygraph exams that were supposed to have caught him.
“More oversight” would involve holding Defense Intelligence Agency officials accountable to members of the public who attempt to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of unclassified documents from the agency. I, for one, have waited more than 18 months for DIA officials to comply with one of my requests.
It would also involve tightening controls on programs via which Justice and Defense Department agencies dispense millions of grant dollars to individuals, usually academics, whose research methods often produce results that are suspect at best.
Finally, it would involve listening to people such as the retired U.S. Army Green Beret I interviewed as part of my aforementioned investigation. He used a non-polygraph technology to conduct nearly 500 interrogations — more than any other individual in the U.S. military and nearly half of the total number of exams conducted by Army Special Forces Groups between 2004 and 2009 — and told me he would be willing to testify in front of Congress about the non-polygraph technology he described as “essential” for saving lives in combat zones.
Of course, members of Congress are not alone in being responsible for national security shortfalls. Others are spotlighted inside the pages of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.
The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, THE CLAPPER MEMO reveals what one retired Navy SEALs training program commander described as “an unconscionable cover-up” and what several other high-profile individuals have endorsed as well. It’s available in paperback and ebook versions. Order THE CLAPPER MEMO today.