WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday Congress had been "appropriately informed" about a Pentagon intelligence plan.
"I don't want to get into what members might or might not have known," about the Defense Department's dramatic expansion of its human intelligence capabilities, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., told United Press International. "The committee was appropriately informed... It was clearly communicated at the staff level."
Hoekstra said he and other members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence were being briefed Tuesday by Steven Cambone, the senior-most intelligence official at the Defense Department, about the so-called Strategic Support Branch, the new office the Pentagon is using to plan and execute intelligence operations abroad.
The initiative, funding for which was approved in the 2005 Defense Authorization Act, became the object of controversy after a report on the front page of the Washington Post said that defense officials were "re-interpreting" the law to allow the Pentagon to conduct clandestine operations in areas that had previously been the CIA's bailiwick.