Don’t share the information with Congress

More on Trump’s tightening of the screws on the intelligence-gathering branch of government:

Maguire and several of his deputies were reportedly fired because an official in his office, election security expert Shelby Pierson, briefed Congress without Trump’s knowledge on Russia’s ongoing election interference, though the White House is disputing that version of events. The NSA, CIA, and Pentagon have been urged by the White House not to share information about Russia and Ukraine with lawmakers, while the “Gang of Eight” senior members of Congress were bypassed leading up to at least one major intelligence operation.

Say that again?

The NSA, CIA, and Pentagon have been urged by the White House not to share information about Russia and Ukraine with lawmakers

I know we’ve seen it before, but put that way it does make the alarms go off.

I know how this is how democracy, as opposed to autocracy, works; I know it’s always political as well as substantive; I know they’re all thinking about the next election as well as the job at hand; but still. But still, surely they retain some sense of having to work in the national interest before their own.

The NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon are not supposed to hide information from Congress.

“We have an enemy of the United States that is conducting information warfare against us and our executive leadership doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want the Congress to hear it, and doesn’t want the people to hear it,” said former acting DNI David Gompert, who said he was “aghast” at the hiring of Grenell. “We now have a situation where the principal objective, evidently, of this acting DNI is to ensure that information about Russian interference and Russian preference for this particular president does not get out.”

And we know about it but we can’t do anything about it.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has complained openly about the CIA and NSA’s supposed capitulation to White House demands that certain intelligence not be provided to lawmakers.

“The intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine,” Schiff said last month. “Both the NSA and CIA initially pledged cooperation, and it appears now that the White House has interceded before production of documents could begin,” an intelligence committee official said later.

The NSA was initially providing the requested information as part of normal congressional oversight, the former U.S. official said. But the situation became increasingly untenable as O’Brien, the national security adviser, urged the agency to at least temporarily hold back and wait to see what the CIA pushed to produce. Ultimately, the agency produced nothing—and NSA turned off the faucet, too.

That’s not how this is supposed to work.

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