The Constitution gives Congress broad authority to oversee and investigate the activities of the executive branch. If Congress is to carry out that authority, it must have access to many kinds of government information, including classified or sensitive national security information which government agencies may be reluctant to reveal.
How do Congress and the executive branch strike a proper balance between the congressional need to have such information and the government’s duty to protect it? What options does Congress have when the government refuses to provide the information it requests? When is it appropriate for Congress to make national security information available to the public and the press?
Please join the Center for American Progress and OpenTheGovernment.org for an address by The Honorable Jane Harman (D-CA), Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information-Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment and former Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who will discuss the importance of national security information to Congress and current efforts by the Administration to resist providing it.
Following Rep. Harman’s remarks, a distinguished panel of experts will examine the means by which Congress obtains and makes use of national security information in performing its oversight and investigative functions.
Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA)
Steven Aftergood, Senior Research Analyst and Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists
Eleanor Hill, former Staff Director of the Joint Congressional Inquiry on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and former Inspector General of the Department of Defense
Eric Lichtblau, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on federal law enforcement and national security issues for the New York Times
Suzanne Spaulding, former Democratic Staff Director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and former Assistant General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency
Mark Agrast, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress