Saturday, May 16, 2009

Suggestion Concerning Legislative Record-Keeping In CIA Briefings

The short version:
Allow legislators in the briefings to take notes, but allow the CIA to keep those notes unless/until they are needed.

The long version:
So, first, it kind of freaks me out that legislators aren't allowed to take notes in certain briefings by the CIA. Presumably the worry is that the CIA can't trust legislators to keep the notes secure. Of course I don't know anything about it, but I had no idea that legislative offices were less secure than the CIA. If they aren't less secure, then, unless there is some reason to believe that House and Senate leaders are less reliable about security than CIA agents, then I still don't see how the policy makes sense.

Is there any reason to think that House and Senate leaders are less reliable about security than CIA agents? (I mean, I realize that legislators aren't amazingly reliable...but I don't know how reliable CIA agents are...)

At any rate, let's suppose for our purposes here that it is a good idea to prevent Legislators from leaving the briefings with notes.

This doesn't mean that they shouldn't be allowed to take notes, just that the notes should be stored somewhere secure. for example, the CIA could keep them. Legislators could take whatever notes they want, then give them over to the CIA for safe-keeping unless/until they are needed. If this system had been used, we probably wouldn't face the current Pelosi problem.

Just a thought.


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