Obama says he’ll veto the Intelligence Authorization Bill if it includes measures to expand notification on covert ops outside of the Gang of Eight. Laughably, he says the Gang of Eight notification requirement has been a "fundamental compact between Congress and the President."
Report on Covert Actions (Section 321). The Administration strongly objects to section 321, which would replace the current “Gang of 8” notification procedures on covert activities. There is a long tradition spanning decades of comity between the branches regarding intelligence matters, and the Administration has emphasized the importance of providing timely and complete congressional notification, and using “Gang of 8” limitations only to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting the vital interests of the United States. Unfortunately, section 321 undermines this fundamental compact between the Congress and the President as embodied in Title V of the National Security Act regarding the reporting of sensitive intelligence matters – an arrangement that for decades has balanced congressional oversight responsibilities with the President’s responsibility to protect sensitive national security information. Section 321 would run afoul of tradition by restricting an important established means by which the President protects the most sensitive intelligence activities that are carried out in the Nation’s vital national security interests. In addition, the section raises serious constitutional concerns by amending sections 501-503 of the National Security Act of 1947 in ways that would raise significant executive privilege concerns by purporting to require the disclosure of internal Executive branch legal advice and deliberations. Administrations of both political parties have long recognized the importance of protecting the confidentiality of the Executive Branch’s legal advice and deliberations. If the final bill presented to the President contains this provision, the President’s senior advisors would recommend a veto. [my bold]
With all due respect, Mr. President. But are you fucking nuts?!?!?!
The Gang of Eight briefing system has been a central instrument of abuse of power, by which the President does things that violate fundamental tenets of the Constitution, but gets legal "sanction" for those things by telling
eight four people who are all but hamstrung to do anything about those things. And when people "lie affirmatively" to you, you can’t really say that’s part of "comity" or a "fundamental compact." The Gang of Eight briefing system has been neither an element of "comity" nor a "fundamental compact" but rather a keystone of a dysfunctional, abusive relationship that guts our Constitution.
And Obama wants to keep it that way.