We previewed this last week, but now the day has arrived. Shortly after this article goes live, the House “3C” subcommittee on intelligence will open up the first congressional hearing on the subject of UFOs in more than half a century. The guests of honor who will be questioned on the progress of the new AOIMSG office will be Scott Bray, Director of Naval Intelligence Activity and Ronald S. Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. Based on some of the public comments of the committee members who will be participating, these two men will have many questions to answer. But as Bryan Bender pointed out at Politico yesterday, the level of cooperation that the committee can expect remains unknown. Many in the defense and intelligence community have been “struggling” with just how much information they can or should share with the public, or even with Congress. In response, Congress may have to offer some “incentives” to get them to open up.
But there is a tug of war among competing factions inside the national security bureaucracy that will make it difficult for Congress to compel military branches, spy agencies, national laboratories and other organizations to come clean given the longstanding secrecy and stigma surrounding the issue.
“Without forcing peoples’ hand, it is going to be very difficult to uncover legacy ventures and programs that we know about based on oral interviews we dug up,” said a Defense Department official who is involved in the new effort but was not authorized to speak publicly. “There has to be a forcing mechanism.”
“There has to be something to hold people accountable but also give them a chance to come out clean for a period of time,” the official added, noting that in his experience the Pentagon oversight group has been “stonewalled.”
Congressman Andre’ Carson has emerged as one of the driving forces behind holding these hearings and demanding answers. He, along with many members who have received classified briefings on the Pentagon’s UFO investigations, has reportedly been “alarmed” at some of the things they’ve learned. But not all of the concern has been caused by inexplicable things in the skies near our sensitive military and nuclear facilities and operations. It’s also become clear that a lot has been happening behind closed doors, with little to no oversight by Congress. It’s also been suggested that some of these activities might have involved funding that was not explicitly appropriated by Congress.
If that’s the case, people who know the answers Congress is seeking may need some incentives to step forward. Many have suggested that Congress offer some sort of amnesty for potential whistleblowers. Such an amnesty offer could involve no prosecutions for funding entanglements or the breaking of non-disclosure agreements and oaths of secrecy. That topic is only one of many we’re hoping to hear the committee members ask the witnesses about today. We also hope to learn which agencies in defense and intelligence have been cooperating with the AOIMSG investigations and which have been stonewalling.
Following the public hearing, there will be a classified hearing with the same witnesses. The public will not be allowed to view that portion, but it should give the members the opportunity to ask even more probing questions. Let’s hope they break through some longstanding walls as this process moves forward. The public deserves to know what’s been going on, particularly since the taxpayers have been footing the bill for all of this.
As a reminder, the House Intelligence YouTube channel (yes… that’s a thing) will be livestreaming the hearing. Or you can just watch it right here.