WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The chairman of the House intelligence committee has defended the decision to fund a hugely expensive, controversial top secret satellite program.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., while declining to comment specifically on reports about the satellites told United Press International that there are "differences of opinion about that program."
"Just because someone says the program is not justified," continued Hoekstra, "doesn't mean that there hasn't been oversight. That's just one point of view. Other people might see different priorities."
In an unprecedented series of oblique references to the highly classified program, reportedly codenamed Misty, four Democratic members of the Senate intelligence committee complained that it was unnecessary, wasteful and hugely over budget.
Later reports said that Misty was a so-called stealth satellite -- one invisible to radar -- and put current cost estimates at $9.5 billion.
Hoekstra said that in his previous role as chairman of the Tactical and Technical Intelligence Subcommittee, he had been personally involved in aggressive oversight.
"I can tell you ... we looked very hard at those sort of programs," he said.