The following is an excerpt from the prologue to Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare by Scott Horton:By Scott Horton
A fundamental concept underlying the American Constitution is the delicate rapport established between Congress and the various agencies of the executive. The massive government apparatus, including the ballooning intelligence community, is controlled by the executive. Yet the individual agencies, including the CIA - called into existence and defined by acts of Congress - operate using money that Congress gives them, subject to any limitations Congress may apply. The legislative branch exercises specific powers of oversight and inquiry into the work of agencies of the executive, including the right to conduct investigations, to require documents to be produced and employees of the government to appear and testify before it, and to issue reports with its findings and conclusions.