The Obama administration’s nominee to be the next director of national intelligence is expected to face questions from Congress on Tuesday about the expansion of top-secret agencies and contracts, after reports in The Washington Post showing that these efforts have become “so unwieldy and so secretive” that effective oversight is impossible.
Retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. is presently the undersecretary for intelligence at the Pentagon, where more than two-thirds of intelligence programs reside and where the explosion in contracting is prominent.
“We have seen a lot of disorganization in the intelligence community,” said Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is holding Clapper’s confirmation hearing. “We have seen questionable expenditures. . . . We need to bring back into the government all of the things that we can adequately staff.”
Bond said such concerns are one reason the committee is pushing for an intelligence reauthorization bill that would establish legislative guidelines to enable Congress to strengthen its oversight of the community and its shadow workforce of contractors. Lawmakers are also expected to probe how Clapper views the director’s role overseeing the 16-agency community.