Engaging with IG on UAPs on Jan. 12, 2024
Congressional Briefing Packet:
ICIG Session on Grusch UAP Allegations
This briefing booklet is prepared for the Congressional members who will engage with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) regarding the whistleblower complaint filed by David Grusch. The session aims to illuminate the circumstances surrounding Grusch's allegations of retaliation for reporting on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) programs and to explore the broader implications for transparency and accountability within intelligence operations concerning UAP. It is crucial, especially in a year filled with political distractions and global crises, that Congress is fully prepared to extract clear, undiluted information during this briefing.
Disclaimer: Throughout this document, various terms such as unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), non-human intelligence (NHI), technologies of unknown origin (TUO), anomalous aerial vehicles (AAV), and off-world technologies are used. While these terms might seem distinct, they are used interchangeably to reference the same overarching concept. Due to the lack of a universally accepted definition for these technologies, all questions in this document are framed to encompass any naming convention, whether specifically mentioned or implied, including but not limited to those listed above.
The ICIG's handling of Grusch’s complaint represents a critical juncture in the ongoing conversation about UAP and the government's management of information pertaining to such phenomena. It is an opportunity for Congress to assert its oversight role and to ensure that whistleblower protections are robust and effective, especially in areas touching on national security and public interest. The sentiment following the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) briefing highlighted a deficiency in transparency, with members left seeking more direct and unvarnished information. With Grusch’s explicit approval of the release of his IG report, Congress must advocate for direct access to the full content of the report, rather than a potentially sanitized summary, to properly exercise oversight and demand accountability.
David Grusch's Disclosure: Grusch, having served in an investigative capacity specializing in UAP for the UAP Task Force under the leadership of Jay Stratton, unearthed troubling inconsistencies and potential misconduct within Special Access Programs and Controlled Access Programs pertaining to UAP activities. His meticulous research including interviews with over 40 witnesses over 4 years indicated a possible internal web of evasion, potentially designed to keep certain activities obscured from the oversight of Congress.
The Allegations: Central to Grusch's disclosure is the claim that covert programs have dealt with retrieved crafts of non-human origin, information which he alleges has been deliberately and illegally withheld from Congress. Several members of the alleged recovery program have lent weight to these allegations through their testimonies to the Inspector General, painting a picture of a government potentially at odds with its own best interests.
Objectives for Congress: The overarching objectives for Congress in this briefing are to:
Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the facts surrounding Grusch's allegations via direct access to IG Report.
Examine the adequacy of the ICIG's response to Grusch’s complaint.
Evaluate the broader policy and procedural frameworks governing the classification and declassification of UAP-related information.
Conclusion and Anticipation: The briefing presents an opportunity to dissect Grusch's claims in the presence of those tasked with UAP oversight and investigation. It is a critical moment for Congressional members to employ their collective expertise, question with precision, and demand answers that have long evaded the public domain. The expectation is not merely for answers but for a roadmap that navigates towards a future where transparency isn't an exception but the norm in UAP-related governance.
Introduction to UAPs and David Grusch: An Update on the Investigation
David Grusch's journey from an intelligence officer to a whistleblower has been marked by a struggle for transparency and accountability in the face of alleged obfuscation. His reports to the DoD IG and subsequently to the ICIG highlight concerns of a potential cover-up within the tightly held compartments of UAP-related Special Access Programs.
Current Status of Grusch's Case: Following Grusch’s detailed allegations regarding UAP-related programs, both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) received classified briefings in December 2022. The information disclosed thus far has only intensified the need for clarity and spurred calls for a more in-depth investigation.
Post DoD IG Briefing Sentiment: The previous briefing with the DoD IG (Oct 26, 2023) left many with a sentiment of dissatisfaction, raising questions about the depth and integrity of the investigative process and and suggesting a possible intentional effort to mislead Congress. As Grusch's allegations remain largely unaddressed, there is a growing impetus among Congressional members for a decisive engagement with the ICIG. This briefing is seen not just as another procedural step, but as a pivotal moment that could either restore faith in the system or catalyze a move towards more assertive oversight measures.
Bridging the Information Gap: There exists a significant information gap between what has been reported in Grusch's complaints and the knowledge Congress currently possesses. The upcoming ICIG briefing must serve to bridge this divide, offering substantive insights into the handling of Grusch's case. This session stands as a potential turning point where the sufficiency of internal checks and balances within the intelligence community is put to the test.
A Last Stand Before Escalation: With the patience of Congressional members tested and the stakes understood to be of national importance, the upcoming ICIG briefing carries the weight of a "last stand." It is an opportunity for members to probe the defenses of established secrecy, challenge any semblance of bureaucratic stonewalling, and, if necessary, pave the way for more forceful legislative action.
Conclusion and the Road Ahead: David Grusch's allegations have brought us to a crossroads. The choices made and the actions taken in the wake of this ICIG briefing will reverberate through the halls of Congress and the intelligence community alike. It is imperative that this meeting not only serves as an avenue for information dissemination but also as a catalyst for an earnest and rigorous pursuit of the truth regarding UAP.
Prospective Briefing Agenda
As we approach the ICIG briefing, it's imperative to acknowledge the gravity with which the Inspector General assessed David Grusch's claims. By designating them as "credible and urgent," the ICIG has effectively underscored the potential severity of the issues at hand. The Oversight Committee, recognizing the profound implications of these designations, is justified in its expectation to review the underlying data that prompted such a determination. The committee's access to this information is not only a matter of privilege but a responsibility vested in them to ensure government accountability and the safeguarding of national interests, particularly given the underlying allegation of the withholding of classified information from Congress as well as the misappropriation of funds related to UAP programs.
Moreover, the acknowledgment that Grusch has provided the necessary authorizations for Congress to access his report intensifies the anticipation for this briefing. This gesture of transparency from Grusch indicates his readiness for a thorough examination of his claims by the appropriate congressional authorities. Given this context, a reiteration of the previous stance taken by Thomas Monheim, which lacked the depth of disclosure expected by the committee, would be inadequate and unacceptable. The members should be prepared to push beyond superficial summaries to demand comprehensive insights.
Opening Remarks: Welcome and purpose of the meeting.
Validation of "Credible and Urgent" Status: The ICIG must articulate the rationale behind the "credible and urgent" classification of Grusch's claims. What specific evidence or testimony substantiated this status?
Review of Grusch's Report: Detailed examination of Grusch's report, with an emphasis on any supporting documents or corroborative testimonies that the ICIG considered during their assessment.
Protocols and Procedures: Discussion of the procedures followed by Grusch in filing his complaint and the subsequent actions taken by the ICIG, which should include the protocols for handling claims of retaliation.
Access to Information: The committee should insist on direct access to all relevant materials associated with Grusch's complaint, including any classified annexes or supplementary evidence.
Accountability Measures: Outline of the steps the ICIG has implemented, or plans to implement, to address the allegations made by Grusch and any identified systemic issues within the handling of UAP information.
Recommendations for Oversight: Solicitation of the ICIG’s recommendations for future congressional actions to prevent similar incidents and to promote greater transparency and accountability within UAP-related programs.
Communication with Other Agencies: Inquiry into the ICIG’s interactions with other intelligence or defense agencies regarding Grusch's allegations, aiming to understand the breadth of the issue across the intelligence community.
Future Actions and Precautions: A forward-looking strategy session on how Congress and the ICIG can collaborate to ensure that whistleblower complaints are treated with the seriousness they warrant, especially in matters of national security.
In anticipation of the ICIG briefing on the allegations brought forth by David Grusch, it is prudent to prepare for potential pushback on various fronts. The sensitive nature of the topics to be discussed, coupled with the necessary protection of national security and individual privacy, may present challenges in obtaining full disclosure. It is essential, therefore, for Congress to delineate clear strategies for navigating these complex issues. This section outlines the prepared responses to anticipated pushback, ensuring that the dialogue remains constructive and focused on uncovering the truth while respecting legal and ethical boundaries.
Understanding that privacy concerns are a valid and sensitive issue, it is expected that the ICIG may invoke privacy protections as a reason for withholding certain details. However, Congress must emphasize that:
The protection of individual privacy must be balanced with the public's right to understand the activities of their government, especially in matters of national interest.
Procedures exist to protect privacy while still providing detailed information, such as in-camera reviews and redactions of personally identifiable information.
Congress members are already cleared for sensitive material, and as such, are positioned to handle private information with the discretion it requires.
The precedent exists for such disclosures in other sensitive investigations where the public interest was deemed significant.
The ICIG may cite the integrity of ongoing investigations as a reason for limited disclosure. In anticipation, Congress should be prepared to:
Affirm the need for oversight to ensure the investigations are thorough and not unduly limited or influenced.
Request timelines and scope outlines for these investigations to gauge progress and areas of focus without divulging specifics that could compromise the efforts.
Advocate for interim reports or briefings to maintain a level of ongoing transparency throughout the investigative process.
Insist on understanding the mechanisms in place for ensuring accountability and preventing conflicts of interest within these investigations.
When faced with pushback on the grounds of classification levels:
Congress should assert its role in the oversight of classified programs, reinforcing the established practice that no program should be beyond the purview of congressional oversight.
It can be highlighted that the briefing is already occurring in a SCIF and the members of Congress attending the briefing possess the necessary clearances and are accustomed to dealing with national security matters in such secure environments.
Members should request a review of the classification criteria applied in this case, to determine whether they are appropriately applied or unnecessarily restrictive.
Stress the potential for over-classification to serve as a barrier to transparency and accountability, and request a justification for the need-to-know restrictions that have been imposed.
The public interest in UAP, especially regarding the claims made by David Grusch, has reached an unprecedented level. Given the gravity of the allegations and the potential implications for national security, public policy, and global affairs, it's no surprise that countless individuals are demanding clarity and transparency.
However, it's essential to recognize that while the public's enthusiasm for answers is well-founded, many are not versed in bureaucratic intricacies. The Inspector General, a role steeped in a myriad of competing objectives and regulatory constraints, is often hesitant to engage in overt political discussions. This isn't the ideal forum for complete revelation, especially given the limited time available. With that in mind, we've curated a set of questions. These have been chosen based on their direct relevance, considering both the anticipated pushback from the ICIG and the public's fervor.
Confirmation of Grusch’s Allegations:
Can the ICIG confirm the credibility and authenticity of David Grusch's allegations beyond the "credible and urgent" designation?
What specific steps have been taken to investigate these allegations, and what findings can be shared with Congress?
Have there been any confirmed programs for the reverse engineering of recovered non-human spacecraft? If so, what evidence supports this conclusion?
What knowledge has been derived from such programs, especially concerning advanced propulsion or energy generation?
Engagement with Non-Human Intelligence:
Has the ICIG found any evidence or credible claims within their investigation that suggest direct communication with non-human intelligence?
Are there records of any agreements or treaties with non-human entities, as claimed by some sources?
Retaliation Against Whistleblowers:
What measures has the ICIG taken to protect whistleblowers like David Grusch from retaliation?
Can you detail any instances of such retaliation and the actions taken by the IG to address them?
Oversight and Funding:
How are these legacy programs accessing millions of taxpayer dollars without explicit Congressional approval, according to Grusch's claims?
Who is responsible for overseeing the allocation of these funds, and what mechanisms are in place to ensure transparency and accountability?
Evidence for Congressional Review:
Can the ICIG provide concrete evidence or summaries of evidence, such as in-camera footage, radar data, documents, or physical materials related to UAPs, that can be reviewed by Congress?
What has prevented the sharing of such evidence to date, and how can these barriers be overcome?
Grusch's Security Clearance and Access to Information:
What is the current status of David Grusch's security clearance, and what has hindered his ability to communicate further details to Congress?
Is there a pathway to reinstating or facilitating Grusch's clearance for the purposes of comprehensive congressional briefing?
Historical UAP Incidents:
Has the ICIG reviewed historical UAP incidents and their documentation, especially those with substantial witness testimony or physical evidence?
What can the ICIG disclose about historical government interactions with UAP, and are there plans to declassify relevant information?