For the release of this Secrecy Report, we asked former-Representative Mickey Edwards, who is also the author of, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans and a noted commentator on restoring the Constitution’s balances of power, to provide insight on how to secure better oversight of national security programs.
How could Congress’ oversight of intelligence programs be improved? Or how can the system of checks and balances be restored to our intelligence programs?
First, the congress must reclaim its constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch, decide on questions of war and peace, regulate the armed forces, and determine how federal funds are to be expended. These are the proper powers of congress but more importantly they are the obligations the constitution places on congress to ensure that the people, through their representatives, control the activities of the federal government.