Jeff Stein had a piece on the response to the WaPo article on intelligence contracting the other day that started with this question:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has long wanted more members of Congress to know what’s going on at the CIA, but why doesn’t she announce a full-fledged investigation into the intelligence contractor mess, complete with televised hearings?
In it, he quotes from someone he describes as a Pelosi aide saying there’s little will to get this done.
Back to Pelosi: An aide, who like all the others speaks only on condition of anonymity, said she “certainly sees a need to step up oversight.” But after taking an informal sounding, he added, Pelosi found “there wasn’t any momentum for it.”
I asked her about that quote when we talked on Saturday. Her first response was to deny that such a quote could have come from one of her staffers, and to suggest it had come from the intelligence committee (which is what her office said in a follow-up to me as well).
Pelosi: You mean someone from the intelligence committee? Not my staff or my office.
When I asked whether there was any support for doing something about contracting, Pelosi said the WaPo article had raised awareness of the problem.
Wheeler: Is there the support in the House and the Senate to do something about all this contracting?
Pelosi: This has been very well read by members.
Wheeler: The Washington Post piece?
Pelosi: Yes. And it isn’t, it doesn’t come as a surprise to people. But it comes as almost a relief that finally some of this is out in the open.
Pelosi went on to describe all the problems with contracting: the cost, the lack of a single chain of accountability, the lack of information-sharing, and the turf battles. Then she basically said the Intelligence Committee would have to take a look–or, maybe, the Administration might assess whether it was making us safer.