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The CIA Reminds Us Who's Boss ^ | March 13, 2014 | Steve Chapman

Posted on 03/13/2014 4:27:10 PM PDT by Kaslin

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a stalwart ally of the nation's intelligence agencies, says she is appalled to learn they have been spying on her committee, ignoring federal law and possibly trampling on the Constitution in a heavy-handed targeting of innocent people. Hey! Maybe now she knows how the rest of us feel.

Getting Feinstein to denounce the CIA is like trying to get Texas Republicans to disown Ted Nugent. As head of the Intelligence Committee, the California Democrat normally defends the spymasters no matter what. But even the longest rope is finite in length, and Feinstein has hit the end of hers.

That's the good news. The bad news is that, as with everything connected to intelligence and national security, it probably doesn't matter. Charges will fly, revelations will emerge, people will be outraged, and things will go on as they did before.

Feinstein's shock stems from her assumption that elected officials exercise the ultimate authority over what our intelligence agencies may do. But that's an illusion, as Tufts University international law professor Michael Glennon writes in the Harvard National Security Journal.

"Judicial review is negligible; congressional oversight is dysfunctional; and presidential control is nominal," he argues. We have, he says, a "double government" -- the public one that citizens naively believe is in charge, and the hidden one that almost always prevails on anything it cares about.

Bradford Berenson, a lawyer in George W. Bush's White House, put it more delicately: "The dirty little secret here is that the United States government has enduring institutional interests that carry over from administration to administration and almost always dictate the position the government takes."

Barack Obama's presidency will be remembered for confirming this view beyond doubt. He ran on the promise of new protections for privacy, new limits on government snooping and new transparency about the government's activities. But he has governed as a champion of secrecy and untrammeled government power.

Obama continued the secret mass surveillance of Americans' phone records begun under Bush, sat mute as his national intelligence director misled Congress about the program and declined to punish anyone for the use of torture.

He signed a bill authorizing indefinite imprisonment of Americans without charges or trial. He refused to publish the legal rationale for using a drone missile to vaporize a U.S. citizen in Yemen.

"The president will go down in history for having retained and defended George W. Bush's surveillance programs rather than reformed them," Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in January. Over and over, Obama has been Bush lite -- except for the lite part.

Why? Because he either won't or can't corral the mammoth national security and intelligence apparatus built into the federal government. Presidents come and go, but the bureaucracy is eternal, and Obama is no match for it.

Neither is Congress. As Feinstein has learned, the security state is ferocious in defending against any threat posed by its purported overseers. She noted Tuesday that the CIA ran its overseas detention and interrogation program for four years before it let Congress know of its existence. It destroyed videotapes of interrogations using waterboarding and other savage techniques so Congress could never see them.

When the Senate Intelligence Committee found damning information among the 6.2 million pages of material it extracted from the CIA, Feinstein said, the agency searched the computers used by committee staffers and blocked access to crucial documents. In short, the CIA behaved like a rogue elephant.

How much power does even the Intelligence Committee have? It compiled a 6,300-page report that says the CIA misled Bush and others about the value of its harsh interrogation methods -- which, the committee determined, were virtually worthless. But the administration has refused to declassify a summary of the committee report so the public can see for itself.

And where is Obama, the law school instructor who railed against Bush for "violating our fundamental notions of privacy"? He might as well still be teaching law.

Our mistake is trusting that what is visible in our system of government -- elections that transfer power from one person and one party to another, wrangling between the president and Congress -- is what matters. That no longer appears to be the case.

Why do the people in charge of our security apparatus behave as though they can do whatever they want? Because no one has stopped them. What's worse, maybe no one can.

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: cia; feinstein; surveillance

1 posted on 03/13/2014 4:27:10 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Our mistake is trusting that what is visible in our system of government -

No, the mistake is trusting a rat like Feinstein. Let’s wait for the facts to come out before we lynch the CIA.

2 posted on 03/13/2014 4:31:04 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: lodi90

We have plenty of facts to know the CIA was way over the line in this case. They accessed and tampered with files of their own oversight committee in an effort to hide the truth.

What more do you want to know?

3 posted on 03/13/2014 4:46:59 PM PDT by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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To: Triple

What more do you want to know?

I want to know why you are trusting the rats with anything regarding CIA interrogations. Their duplicity and general unhinged behavior on this topic is well documented. It’s entirely plausible some rat staffer went overboard and took documents they were not authorized to have.

I’d rather wait for all the facts to emerge before we start cheering for Team Kenya. That’s all.

4 posted on 03/13/2014 4:56:03 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: lodi90

Now that (moslem jihadi) John Brennan runs CIA, all bets are off.

5 posted on 03/13/2014 5:09:37 PM PDT by LyinLibs (If victims of islam were more "islamophobic," maybe they'd still be alive.)
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To: Kaslin

Sideshow Bob say’s this is a sideshow.

6 posted on 03/13/2014 5:13:06 PM PDT by Usagi_yo (Standardization is an Evolutionary dead end.)
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To: Triple
What more do you want to know?

Here is what you need to ponder. Who do you think is a major player behind Zero's reign? Do you not doubt for a minute that the CIA is up to their eyeballs in the Obummer charade? Don't kid yourself, they have always known who he is and he remains where he is because they likely have him covered by a phony national security classification at the highest level. Additionally, they are likely threatening security violations against anyone who may rat him out and they have the Unjustice Department to back them up. Common sense informs us that Obummer has to be where he is with the good graces of the Agency. In my book, that makes them our worst enemy since their activities are clearly anti-American, yes, treasonous, as they hide behind the curtains promoting their new world order agenda.

7 posted on 03/13/2014 5:33:51 PM PDT by iontheball
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To: Kaslin

Suck it up Diane ... you SOB (sad old b!tch).

8 posted on 03/13/2014 6:09:09 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (WWP and Paralyed Veterans Assoc. doing the work the U.S. Veterans Administration won't do!)
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To: Kaslin
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a stalwart ally of the nation's intelligence agencies, says she is appalled to learn they have been spying on her committee...

Honey; that's what TRANSPARENT means: everyone can SEE what you are doing; therefore it is NOT 'spying'.

Think of them as, oh, let's say... newsroom monitors.

9 posted on 03/13/2014 8:01:18 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: iontheball; All

Speaker John Boehner is shirking his Constitutional Duty by not issuing Articles of Impeachment for B. Hussein Obama.

Removal from Office by the US Senate can ONLY be accomplished AFTER a perp. is Impeached by the US House.

The House is the Police, and the Senate is the Judge and Jury.

First the House must Impeach the POS.

Then the Senate determines if the Impeached POS should be removed from office.

Most FReepers fall in the all or nothing camp and only want a clear path to removal.

Our Constitution makes it very clear: Impeach first by the House, and then have the Senate decide on Removal.

The objective is to punish all those who violate their sacred oaths to defend the US Constitution.

A bi-weekly Impeachment of B. Hussein Obama would be needed to punish him for all of his Constitutional violations over the last 5 years, but I will be satisfied with just one Impeachment.

Obama’s Removal from Office by the US Senate would be good for America, but Reid’s Senate has not yet demonstrated any interest in what is good for America.

Since the RINOs have control of the US House of Representatives in 2014, 2014 is the last year that we can be certain that Obama could be Impeached.

The RINOs assume that they will maintain control of the US House, but their usual desire to lose to Democrats is so strong, that their assumption may not be a valid one.

Impeach B. Hussein Soetoro-Obama in 2014, PERIOD.

10 posted on 03/13/2014 8:19:49 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: lodi90

The idiots in Congress are useful idiots of government bureaucrats. They have funded such enormous amounts for their private personal security with government they end up having none themselves.

And what do they have to hide from the CIA? Money is money, and money has no value if only crooks handle it. I am sure someone out there is aware of that. When it comes to money, immunity usually does not work as advertised.

America is nearly done and disfigured economically.

11 posted on 03/14/2014 1:06:53 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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