Oversight

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs: (09/25/07) — In response to an announcement by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that it recently had enacted export control laws to prohibit unlicensed trafficking of “strategic goods” such as chemical and biological weaponry, Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to request a report on the latest U.S. efforts to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of rogue and dangerous countries.

“Because the UAE serves as a major transshipment hub, I remain concerned about the UAE’s potential for diverting highly sensitive U.S. technology to America’s adversaries,” especially Iran, Dodd wrote. “It is critically important that we use every tool in our arsenal … to prevent Tehran from further accumulating dangerous equipment that could eventually be used to threaten the stability of the region.”

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: (09/25/07) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice objecting to the State Department’s instruction to its officials that they cannot communicate with the committee about corruption in the Iraqi government unless the committee agrees to treat all information as national security secrets. “... Congress has a Constitutional prerogative to examine the impacts that corruption within the Iraqi ministries and the activities of Blackwater may have on the prospects for political reconciliation in Iraq. You are wrong to interfere with the Committee’s inquiry,” Waxman wrote.

House Committee on Homeland Security: (09/24/07) — Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology Chairman Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner requesting an investigation into cyber attacks on the department initiated by foreign entities and relating to incompetent and possibly illegal activity by the contractor charged with maintaining security on its networks. “... [W]e ask that you immediately commence an inquiry into these matters, and if necessary refer this matter for criminal investigation,” the letter stated.