The Times wrote that after “intense lobbying to Congress by industry” resulted in the FAA delegating more authority to manufacturers in 2005, an approach that FAA officials believed would streamline approvals, some staff became concerned that they were no longer able to track what was happening inside Boeing. According to the Times, interviews with over a dozen current and former FAA and Boeing employees have shown that regulators “never independently assessed the risks of the dangerous software known as MCAS [Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System] when they approved the plane in 2017.”
Hey, you remember that time when you were 14 and you called up your crush with your best friend secretly listening in so that after they could tell you what to say? President Donald Trump did just that, except with the Air Force General in charge of the F-35 program and the fucking CEO of Boeing in the room listening.
Who’s keeping watch of the National Security Agency? In Congress, the answer in more and more cases is that the job is going to former lobbyists for NSA contractors and other intelligence community insiders.
A wave of recent appointments has placed intelligence industry insiders into key Congressional roles overseeing intelligence gathering. The influx of insiders is particularly alarming because lawmakers in Washington are set to take up a series of sensitive surveillance and intelligence issues this year, from reform of the Patriot Act to far-reaching “information sharing” legislation.
After the first revelations of domestic surveillance by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, President Obama defended the spying programs by claiming they were “subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate.” But as Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., and other members of Congress have pointed out, there is essentially a “two-tiered” system for oversight, with lawmakers and staff on specialized committees, such as the House and Senate committees on Intelligence and Homeland Security, controlling the flow of information and routinely excluding other Congress members, even those who have asked for specific information relating to pending legislation.