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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 14, 2010
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Publication Date: 
May 30, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90B01390R000200300002-3.pdf71.46 KB
Approved For Release 2010/10/14 :CIA-RDP90B01390R000200300002-3 ' CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY j 4 ~%. /x/,174 P-.~ NOTE FOR: The Director VIA: The Deputy Director ~' FROM: Dave Grie~~4 In case you missed this. ~~~~ FIFE .~.~.~.~.._7 Approved For Release 2010/10/14 :CIA-RDP90B01390R000200300002-3 Approved For Release 2010/10/14 :CIA-RDP90B01390R000200300002-3 Letters to the Editor Congressional Leaks Erode Security As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I must take strong exception to Sen. Durenberger's critique (Letters, May 12) of Suzanne Garment's April 18 Capital Chronicle regarding Congress's oversight of intelligence. My Senatorial colleague fails to refute Ms. Garment's basic contention that too many Members and staff are "in the intelligence loop" and "when it comes to secrets, the U.S. Con- gress is a sieve." To imply, as the Senator does, that the current arrangement is leakproof is at var- iance with the facts. I am aware of Con- gressional leaks that have damaged U.S. intelligence interests in Asia, the Middle East and Central America. Overriding se- curity concerns preclude me from elabo- rating. No less a journalistic authority on leaks than Daniel Schorr noted in a Washington Post article (Nov. 14, 1985) "...that it has never been suggested that a Member of Congress could be disciplined other than by Congress itself. This is relevant because (I don't think that I am baring any great journalistic secretsl the exposure of covert intelligence questions is frequently a form of Congressional whistleblowing. Aleak of- ten occurs when a clandestine plan runs into substantial opposition during a brief- ing for Congressional committees." Mr. Schorr cited a number of specific exam- ples involving Congressional leaks of infor- mation on Angola, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Libya. Missing from the Senator's discussion of background investigations for Intelligence Committee staff is the fact that no Mem- ber of Congress is subjected to a commen- surate security check. Such a loophole is an egregious security vulnerability that warrants immediate remedial action. Sen. Durenberger also indicates that creating a Joint Committee on Intelligence as a remedy for the leak problem would essentially eliminate Congressional over- sight of intelligence. That observation sug- gests that he believes that the oversight and analytical capabilities of Senators and Congressmen sitting together around a Joint Committee table would somehow be dramatically diminished or even muted. I don't follow this. logic. I view a Joint Com- mittee arrangement as analogous to an open-ended conference committee. Anyone who has observed a Conference Committee in action knows that the often intense "competitive analysis" of 'the issues that goes on between Senate and House con- ferees is one of the most salient features of these gatherings. The thrust of Ms. Garment's article is right on target, and I am pleased to report that my Joint Committee proposal now has 150 cosponsors in the House. HErreY J. HYDE (R., Ill.l House of Representatives Washington Approved For Release 2010/10/14 :CIA-RDP90B01390R000200300002-3