Intelligence Reform Bill May Die in Conference

Good news to report on the House-Senate conference negtiations over H.R. 10, the intelligence reform bill. Senators It's stalling. The Senate conferees are doing their job so far and refusing to cave in to the demands of right wing Republican House members.

Our opposition stems from the inclusion in the House version of extreme law enforcment and immigration powers, and new death penalty offenses, none of which were recommended by the 9/11 Commisison.

However, those provisions are in Title IV of the bill. The conferees are still stuck on Title I.

The Senate bill calls for establishment of an independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board within the executive branch that has drawn opposition not only from the House conferees but also from the White House. In addition, the Senate wants the foreign intelligence budget figure made public, which is also opposed by the White House and House members.

The White House wants Congress to authorize only the national intelligence director and a deputy, while allowing all other jobs in the new national intelligence authority to be established by the executive branch. Collins said she and her colleagues plan to insist there be an inspector general and comptroller established within the organization by law.

There also are major differences in the role of the NCTC in formulating plans for covert operations carried out by the CIA, Pentagon or FBI and whether the national intelligence director "controls" the CIA or just receives reports on its activities from the CIA director.

It's time to let this turkey of a bill die.

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