The next office that they have to check out is the new pseudo CIA that Rummy created when the others (NSA, CIA, etc.) wouldn't give him the answers he wanted regarding Iraq.
Congress Shuts Pentagon Unit Over Privacy
By CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 — A Pentagon office that became steeped in controversy over privacy issues and a market in terrorism futures was shut down by Congress today as the Senate passed and sent to President Bush a $368 billion military measure that eliminates money for it.
The Pentagon spending plan for 2004 adopted by the Senate says that the office, the Information Awareness Office, which had been headed by Adm. John M. Poindexter, should be "terminated immediately" while a few projects under its control could be shifted elsewhere within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The House passed the measure on Wednesday.
"They turned the lights out on the programs Poindexter conceived," said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, who led opposition to the office. "From a standpoint of civil liberties, this is a huge victory."
Congress first turned its attention to the operation headed by Admiral Poindexter, who had been a central figure in the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980's, because of the proposed Total Information Awareness program, a sweeping computer surveillance initiative developed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Critics challenged the program as a potential invasion of privacy.
Pentagon officials renamed the effort the Terrorism Information Awareness program and said it would be devoted to analyzing foreign intelligence data. But the Senate still imposed restrictions on its operations.
Then, in July, Mr. Wyden and Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, disclosed that the Pentagon office was about to open an Internet trading market to test the theory that traders could help predict the probability of events like terror attacks, missile strikes and assassinations of foreign leaders. Outraged lawmakers called for the program to cease, and it was closed within a day.
The furor surrounding the terror market gave momentum to the effort to cut off money for the office entirely, and the legislative report accompanying the spending measure said Congress wanted it shut.
"This was a hugely unpopular program with a mission far outside what most Americans would consider acceptable in our democracy," said Timothy Edgar, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union office in Washington.
Admiral Poindexter resigned last month, though he defended the initiatives under his control and said the plan for a terror futures market had been sensationalized.
Mr. Wyden said the programs that survived were mainly training initiatives like war-gaming software that helped agencies analyze evidence and communicate with one another. The legislation said Congress allowed the use of "processing, analysis and collaboration tools" developed by the disbanded office for foreign intelligence operations, but it did not specify agencies that would be using it.