Top Secret America, Ctd

Julian Sanchez is worth reading:

If we were getting this little value for our money in any other sector, you’d find no shortage of legislators eager to make the issue a personal crusadebut investing time and resources in ferreting out inefficiency in a Special Access Program is likely to be a costly endeavor with little promise of a self-congratulatory press release as a reward for one’s trouble.  And that’s on the generous assumption that legislators are in a position to provide much more than oversight kabuki: Intelligence briefings, as many have complained, are typically minimalist affairs where no documentation is provided and note-taking is forbidden. In practice, legislators need to rely on the specialized expertise of a handful of cleared staffers who, even when they’re allowed to attend briefings, are spread gossamer thin. The intelligence agencies themselves are happy to paint any moves toward accountability as efforts to “handcuff” themwith little danger of being publicly gainsaidand we’ve got 1,931 private firms with a vested interest in keeping the sluice gates jammed open.