Since 1949, for 68 of Central Intelligence Agency’s 70 years, the Agency has waged a war against the Government Accountability Office and what CIA described as its “army of auditors.” Not until 2010 was Congress ready to grant GAO that authority, though the provision was dropped under threat of a veto from President Obama. The end result is a hard line that meant the Agency would almost certainly refuse to cooperate at all with any probe that they felt was oversight related. This interactive timeline offers a blow-by-blow of the last seven decades, explaining how and why things got to where they are today.
As a result of the failure by the Senate Intelligence Committee to restore the GAO’s authority to audit or review the Central Intelligence Agency, by the next year that immunity had spread to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which had assumed some of the Agency’s responsibilities in coordinating the Intelligence Community. Like CIA, the ODNI cited a legally dubious position in a 1988 letter from the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel stating that the GAO had no authority to look at anything relating to “intelligence activities.” Also like CIA, the ODNI used a such a broad definition of intelligence activities so that “by definition” they were categorically exempt.
The task of enforcing our country’s immigration laws has become a sprawling responsibility in the United States, and the mechanisms by which non-citizens are detained and removed are facing a lot of strain: practically, financially, and socially.
With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program formally rescinded (with a six-month implementation delay), there have been a lot of questions about whether the databases created for the program - as well as state and local support programs - could ultimately be used against DACA recipients. Last November, one DACA recipient predicted just that situation in an unsuccessful plea to former President Barack Obama to delete the database, and now the issue is likely to play out across states and municipalities throughout the United States.