Congress Should Do Its Job

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David has a story today on former Sen. Bob Graham’s 2002 efforts to force a review of the CIA’s torture and detention program. Here’s what Graham says about the responsibilities of the intelligence committee, which he used to run:

There’s one thing that distinguishes the intelligence committees from other committees. There are many eyes looking at health care policy, agricultural policy, economic policy—journalists, academics, outside groups. When it comes to intelligence, the committees are virtually the only eyes, ears and noses of the public. When there are suggestions that the US government is engaged in activities that subvert our commitment to human rights, the intelligence committees have every obligation to find out the truth.

Graham also pointed out that letting the CIA “self-regulate” on interrogation issues is madness. “The whole notion of oversight is based on the belief that is not possible or credible for a person or institution to monitor the appropriateness, consequences and efficacy of their activities,” he said. Anyway, you should read the whole piece. It’s not just broad strokes: Graham specifically criticizes Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), his successor as chair of the Senate intelligence committee, for not pursuing a review of the CIA’s interrogation program.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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