Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why is This Even a Thing?

From The Hill:

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to make public a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some Republicans say are "shocking" surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

At the same time, the committee voted against making public a Democrat-drafted countermemo.

Why would there even need to be votes on this?

Who the hell are these people who think they're entitled to keep their memos, their work product, secret from the people they claim are their employers, until and unless they just happen to decide that they'd like to share?

Even assuming that the government should be allowed to keep secrets at all (when they start picking up the check for their hijinks themselves instead of expecting everyone else to cover their tab, we'll talk), "'shocking' surveillance abuses" implies crimes ... and it's illegal under the government's own rules to classify information for the purpose of covering up crimes.

If we're going to let these jokers continue to play their games, I'm for some kind of citizen ombudsman program. Like this:

Every time there's a "closed" congressional hearing, three names are drawn by lottery from a pool of present volunteers who are not government employees. Anyone who wants to can show up and sit in the volunteer room any time. If there aren't at least three volunteers present, the meeting gets postponed until there are at least three available to supervise the meeting.

Those three ombudsmen sit in on the meeting, with total access to all memos, submissions, etc., and their unanimous consent is required to stop publication of the entire transcript/video of the meeting, including all reports and exhibits, or any part thereof, within one hour of the meeting's adjournment. Absent that consent it is automatic with failure to so publish or obstruction of publication punishable as a felony.

That would be a start, anyway.

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