CIA Signals Continuity With Bush Era
February 26th, 2009
Via: Wall Street Journal:
The Central Intelligence Agency’s new director outlined spy policies Wednesday, including an aggressive campaign in Pakistan, that underscored considerable continuity with the Bush administration.
CIA Director Leon Panetta, in his first meeting with reporters, said the agency will continue to carry out drone attacks on militants in Pakistan. He also said that while CIA interrogations will have new limits, President Barack Obama can still use his wartime powers to authorize harsher techniques if necessary.
Among changes under way at the CIA, the agency is now assembling a daily Economic Intelligence Brief to monitor the global economic slowdown’s impact on stability. Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela are facing “serious problems” that threaten their economic stability, Mr. Panetta said.
The Obama administration has also shown a reluctance to overturn Bush administration views on certain terrorism-related legal matters. Earlier this month, it backed Bush-era positions that a case against a contractor alleged to have helped with CIA renditions shouldn’t go forward because it will reveal “state secrets,” and that detainees in Afghanistan don’t have the right to challenge their detention in a U.S. court. Coming cases that will provide additional signals include a lawsuit to force the release of Justice Department memos on anti-terrorism policies.
Finally, because we’re also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.
Pentagon Officials Must Sign Budget Secrecy Pledge
Department of Defense officials who are involved in preparation of the Fiscal Year 2010 budget request are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement pledging not to divulge budget-related information to unauthorized persons.
Defense Department regulations (such as DoD Directive 7045.14 [pdf], section 4.7) already prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of budget planning documents, so the policy itself is not new. But the use of non-disclosure agreements to enforce and encourage compliance with the policy appears to be without precedent.
The new non-disclosure agreement was first reported in “DoD Officials Must Vow Secrecy on Budget” by John T. Bennett, Defense News, February 19, 2009.
Speaking of cloudy things and things that SHOULD be in the open and in the public domain in a democratic society...
In His ,memo on government transparency President Obama has stated that his Admin
"will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government."