Director of Outreach
Ensuring Congressional Access to National Security Information
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.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Lunch will be served at noon.
Center for American Progress
Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange
For more information, please call 202.741.6246.
Congresswoman Jane Harman is a
leading congressional expert on terrorism, homeland security, and foreign
affairs. Now in her seventh term, Rep. Harman was first elected in 1992 to
2006, Rep. Harman completed eight years of service on the House Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence?the final four as Ranking Member?where she
played a lead role in the creation and passage of the Intelligence Reform Act
of 2004. She was a familiar voice and frequent Administration critic on
Prior to her election to Congress, Rep. Harman worked as an attorney, served as deputy secretary to the Cabinet in the Carter White House, and served as special counsel to the Department of Defense. She began her career on Capitol Hill as chief counsel and staff director for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.
Steven Aftergood is a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy and to promote reform of official secrecy practices.
In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.
Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977) and has published research in solid state physics. He joined the FAS staff in 1989. He has authored or co-authored papers and essays in Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Issues in Science and Technology on topics including space nuclear power, atmospheric effects of launch vehicles, and government information policy. From 1992-1998, he served on the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.
For his work on confronting government secrecy, Mr. Aftergood has received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), and the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004).
Eleanor Hill returned to King & Spalding as a partner in October 2003 following her service as the Staff Director of the Joint Congressional Inquiry on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a member of the firm's Special Matters/Government Investigations Group, her practice focuses on corporate internal investigations, Congressional and other government investigations, legislative and policy issues, compliance matters, and issues pertaining to homeland security and intelligence.
Prior to her work with the Joint Inquiry, Ms. Hill was a partner at King & Spalding. From 1995 through 1999, she served as Inspector General to the Department of Defense. She served as Chair of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, as the co-chair of the Intelligence Community Inspectors General Forum, and as a Member of the Attorney General's Council on White Collar Crime. She was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal by Secretary William Perry and the Bronze Palm to the Distinguished Public Service Medal by Secretary William Cohen.
1980 through February 1995, Ms. Hill was associated with the United States
Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. As the Subcommittee's
Chief Counsel and Staff Director, she led numerous efforts to draft and
negotiate legislative proposals in a variety of areas. In 1987, she also
served as Liaison Counsel for Senator Sam Nunn on the Senate Select Committee
on Secret Military Assistance to
Ms. Hill is also an experienced federal prosecutor and trial lawyer, having served both as an Assistant United States Attorney in Tampa, Florida and as a Special Attorney with the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Hill graduated, magna cum laude,
Eric Lichtblau covers
federal law enforcement and national security issues for the
For his work on the domestic spying scandal, Lichtblau was the recipient of a Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and is also the 2006 recipient, with Times reporter James Risen, of the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. The Pulitzer jury applauded them "for their carefully sourced stories on secret domestic eavesdropping that stirred a national debate on the boundary line between fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberty."
Lichtblau has recently uncovered more government monitoring activities. The Swift story, in which counter-terrorism officials accessed the banking transactions of thousands of Americans from an international database, has alarmed many. The government's departure from typical practice in how they acquire large amounts of sensitive financial data has stirred concerns about legal and privacy issues.
coming to the Times, he worked
for the The Los Angeles Times
for 15 years in both
is also a guest commentator on television, appearing frequently on CNN,
CNBC's Hardball, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He also appears
regularly on NPR's All Things Considered.
Lichtblau has given speeches for
Suzanne Spaulding is Of Counsel at Bingham McCutchen LLP and Principal of Bingham Consulting Group LLP. She is an authority on national security related issues, including terrorism, homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, intelligence, law enforcement, crisis management, and issues related to the threat from chemical, biological, nuclear, or radiological weapons. She works with clients to develop and implement legislative strategies around these and other issues.
She started working on national security issues on Capitol Hill over 20 years ago. More recently, she was the executive director of two congressionally mandated commissions: the National Commission on Terrorism, chaired by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, and the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, chaired by former CIA Director John Deutch. She has been quoted regularly in media outlets around the country, offering analysis and insight into issues related to national security.
Suzanne served as minority staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Her previous legislative experience includes serving as deputy staff director and general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and as legislative director and senior counsel for Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). She has also worked for Representative Jane Harman (D-CA).
was assistant general counsel at CIA, including a position as legal adviser
Mark Agrast is a
Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focuses on the
Constitution, separation of powers, terrorism and civil liberties, and the
rule of law. Prior to joining the Center for American Progress, Agrast was
Counsel and Legislative Director to Congressman William D. Delahunt of
has been a leader in a number of professional and civic organizations, including
the American Bar Association, in which he serves on the 37-member Board of
Governors and its Executive Committee. He is a past chair of the ABA Section
of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and represents the section on the
Executive Board of the
for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute
dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free