It’s long past time for the elected representatives of the People to make it abundantly clear to the intelligence agencies that they do not have the right or the responsibility to refuse to disclose any information requested by the President, the Senate, or the House of Representatives.
Two top House Republicans issued a rallying call on Sunday to combat resistance from intelligence agencies to disclose classified information that they argue will blow wide open a controversy surrounding Russia’s role in disrupting the 2016 election.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, went so far as to raise the possibility of an overhaul of the U.S. intelligence community if leaders are not more forthcoming with their findings, even as national security experts warn of sources and methods being put at risk and Democrats charge Republicans with pushing Russian disinformation to boost President Trump ahead of the 2020 election.
“We want every damn bit of evidence that every intelligence agency has, or it’s maybe time to shut those agencies down,” the California Republican said on the Fox News show Sunday Morning Futures. “Because, at the end of the day … our liberties are more important than anything else we have in this country. And they have been stampeded over by these dirty cops.”
Nunes and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, another California Republican who also appeared on the show hosted by Maria Bartiromo, both confirmed they have seen underlying evidence to a letter released last week from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that said in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies received “insight” into a Russian intelligence analysis alleging that Hillary Clinton, then a candidate for president, approved a campaign plan to “stir up a scandal” against Trump tying him to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
“Every member of Congress should read the underlying information behind this,” McCarthy said. “This is really a bombshell of what we have wasted so much time on, that it was created by Hillary Clinton.”
The only “national security” threat more dire than that of a rogue intelligence agency is a rogue military. And given how far out of control these agencies are, and how questionable their loyalties are, shutting them down would be a lot less risky than permitting them to continue to operate without effective oversight.