Secrecy Much?

Here’s a sort of bewildering, looking glass sort of story that illustrates just how deep the secrecy goes in the entire intel process. As part of the on-going Snowden story we were preparing a piece on the intelligence oversight process itself – particularly the mechanics of just how the congressional oversight committees work. Observers and critics have long argued that classified briefings are so circumscribed and controlled – often with members unable to bring their more technically knowledgable staffers along – that the process of oversight becomes more nominal than real. We spoke to a number of sources for the story and one was a former General Counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. And in the process of this reporting the Intel Committee forbade her from describing how the classified briefings are run. Mind you, not any actual classified material or information. Just the procedures of the classified briefings themselves, stuff like what members are allowed to ask and stuff like that. Here’s the story.

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