Thursday, May 17, 2018

Law & order

Intelligence community always suffers in the long term from its abuses

To comprehend the significance of the memos from James Comey when he was Director of the FBI and the findings by the House Intelligence Committee on the actions of the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in issuing three wiretap warrants for the Trump campaign, these must be viewed in a long-term historical perspective, not from a short-term political vantage point.

Without transgressions by the FBI and CIA, there would not be a House nor a Senate Intelligence Committee.

The FBI was founded in 1908, the CIA in 1947, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in 1976 as part of the Congressional response to Watergate. Whenever the American intelligence community abuses the deference granted by Congress, there is a significant blowback. Count on that for the FBI and the FISA Court matters.

The Founding Fathers intended for Congress to be the most powerful branch of government, which is why it can tax, spend and investigate so as to legislate responsibly. It is also why the House of Representatives, where all new taxes must originate, is up for election every two years, as opposed to the President every four, and Senators six. Legislation can be expected as result of the actions by the FBI and FISA Court on the warrants for the Trump campaign that will increase the oversight of each by Congress.

Historically, there is significant latitude for the activities of the intelligence community.

Much of this is justified, but when it is abused, expanded Congressional oversight is the result. The Constitution requires this to maintain the checks and balances intrinsic for a democracy.

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