Mr. Speaker, that is an optimistic hope. The committee might be able to do that on something that happened 25 years ago. However, the exclusions in this mean that the committee cannot deal with anything that is an existing operation. I have already laid out why anything that has happened in the past five to 10 years on the counterterrorism front still have threads out there as parts of active investigations. The committee is not going to be able to get the information.
The powers here, by definition, if there is an intelligence failure, the committee cannot go there and investigate that. If there is an abuse, the committee cannot go there because it is going to be part of such an ongoing evaluation, or it is going to be a threat or “injurious to national security”. Those are the magic words they are using.
If the committee thinks the priorities that the government is pursuing or that our intelligence agencies are pursuing are wrong, the committee cannot investigate that because that would be injurious to national security. If the committee thought that some of the techniques it wanted to look at were inappropriate, it cannot do that either because that would also fall under the exclusion that talking about that would be injurious to national security.
The fact is this committee would simply be a powerless paper tiger that exists for one purpose, like a window or hood ornament on a vehicle, to decorate the fact and suggest that the government has kept a promise that it has not really kept at all.