Dems backpedaling on 9/11 panel promises.

Remember Democrats saying over and over that if elected they’d implement every one of the September 11th panel’s suggestions? Well, nevermind. They’ve decided not to do anything about he panel’s recommendation that Congress totally reorganize how it deals with oversight.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

5 replies on “Dems backpedaling on 9/11 panel promises.”

  1. It’s hard to get too upset about this – at least from a strategic perspective – although I guess the broken promise may rankle some. The “wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation’s intelligence agencies” would probably only amount to a bureaucracy shuffle no matter which party ran Congress.

    However, my complete lack of confidence in either party to do the job correctly does say something about them. Or me.

  2. Politicians aren’t willing to legislate oversight? Shocking!

    Cynicism aside, I absolutely detest this kind of crap. It’s like Feinstein’s insistence that now that the Democrats are in power, they don’t need an independent ethics committee. It’s as if they think that their party is infalliable, and that they’ll be in power forever. Either that, or they don’t want their actions looked into.

    It’s things like this that make me wish one of the national parties was actually in favor of small government. Unfortunately, accountability isn’t enough of a priority for enough voters to hold people responsible.

    I guess it’s time to start writing letters.

  3. Smails,

    I don’t know if this particular measure is worthwhile or whether it is, as you say, just a bureaucracy shuffle, but I do find it quite disturbing as part of a general trend of democrats to forget about government accountability before they even get into office.

    Sadly, I think this is a bipartisan problem, as well. I hope that if the Democrats continue down this road, they’ll see the groundswell of support disappear beneath their feet.

  4. I don’t think it’s about additional bureaucracy at all. It’s about “power and authority” the entire reason these guys got into politics in the first place. Now that the Democrats are in charge they aren’t as eager to upset the apple cart as they were when they were out of power. So now we’re seeing that good old “Democrat Double Standard” that’s been seen many times before.

    From the Article:

    In 2004, the commission urged Congress to grant the House and Senate intelligence committees the power not only to oversee the nation’s intelligence agencies but also to fund them and shape intelligence policy. The intelligence committees’ gains would come at the expense of the armed services committees and the appropriations panels’ defense subcommittees. Powerful lawmakers on those panels would have to give up prized legislative turf.

    To the Sept. 11 commission, the call for congressional overhaul was vital, said former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean (R), the commission’s co-chairman. Because intelligence committee membership affords lawmakers access to classified information, only intelligence committee members can develop the expertise to watch over operations properly, he said. But because the panels do not control the budget, intelligence agencies tend to dismiss them.

    “The person who controls your budget is the person you listen to,” Kean said.

    The other aspect of this is also “Political accountability.” Right now when the Intelligence Agencies screw up badly politicians can say- “well they didn’t listen to our recommendations” and it’s all the intelligence agency leaders that have to take the fall. However if they screw up after a restructuring the politicians would have to take a larger share of the heat.

    In all I expected the backsliding. It’s why I’m an independent now and no longer a democrat.

  5. There is really absolutely nothing about Nancy Pelosi that I like. Thank God that Harry Reid has his head firmly outside of his ass and we can still expect good work to come out of the Senate.

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