Obama Signing Statement Rejects Wider Sharing of Intelligence Info with Congress

Monday, October 11, 2010
President Barack Obama continues to refuse to notify the full House and Senate Intelligence Committees about covert operations, reaffirming his position in a signing statement attached to his approval of an intelligence authorization bill recently approved by Congress.
Normally, if a U.S. president objects to a law passed by Congress, he vetoes it. But a president can ignore a certain section of a law if he says he considers it unconstitutional or if he claims that it might “interfere with his ability to conduct foreign policy.”
The legislation in question includes language telling the White House that the president has to at least give the committee members a “general description” of secret military activities. President Obama responded in his signing statement that he interprets the “general description” requirement as meaning he has to notify lawmakers only that he’s not telling them everything.
Rather than inform the full intelligence committees, the president prefers to keep briefings limited to the so-called “Gang of Eight,” which consists of the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Both Parties in House Slam Obama Signing Statement (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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