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Senate vs CIA On Intel And Torture

Senator Dianne Feinstein accuses the CIA of spying on the Senate. We’ll look at her fight over the reach and record of American intelligence.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, after saying that the CIA's improper search of a stand-alone computer network established for Congress has been referred to the Justice Department. The issue stems from the investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program.  (AP)

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, after saying that the CIA’s improper search of a stand-alone computer network established for Congress has been referred to the Justice Department. The issue stems from the investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program. (AP)

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has defended the U.S. intelligence establishment through thick and thin, even when things looked pretty bad.  She’s defended N.S.A. mass surveillance.  Called Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing “an act of treason.”  But this week, it is Senator Feinstein unloading on the C.I.A.  Charging the C.I.A. has spied on the Senate to keep torture charges out of view.  Charging that this intelligence agency has breached the separation of powers.  Serious charges.  The C.I.A. is punching back.  This hour On Point:  the C.I.A. and Senate Intelligence Committee go to war.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent for the New York Times. Author of “The Way of the Knife: The C.I.A., A Secret Army and a War At the Ends of the Earth.”  (@MarkMazzettiNYT)

Kim Zetter, senior reporter for Wired magazine, covering cyber-crime, privacy, security and civil liberties. (@KimZetter)

Josh Gerstein, senior White House reporter for POLITICO. (@joshgerstein)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: C.I.A. Employees Face New Inquiry Amid Clashes on Detention Program — “The events have elevated the protracted battle — which began as a fight over who writes the history of the program, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the American government’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks — into a bitter standoff that in essence is a dispute over the separation of powers and congressional oversight of spy agencies.”

POLITICO: Dianne Feinstein’s CIA charge scrambles Senate — “Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bombshell accusation about the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday set off a scramble on Capitol Hill — with Democrats and Republicans ignoring the usual party lines in response to her claim that the agency improperly interfered in a congressional investigation. Feinstein (D-Calif.) won immediate backing from top Democrats like Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy while some Republicans, including Lindsey Graham and John McCain, began to echo her concerns.”

The Wall Street Journal: Senate-CIA Dispute Erupts Into a Public Brawl — “Nonetheless, the harsh critique was all the more stinging because it came from a Democratic leader and pro-intelligence lawmaker who is usually an ally of the CIA.It came as the latest blow in an expanding round of criticism of U.S. spy agencies, following last year’s controversies over the CIA’s drone program and a former contractor’s revelations of extensive National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ phone data. Tuesday’s exchange reflects the extent to which spy agencies have found themselves on the defensive just three years after one of their greatest victories—the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden.”

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  • SteveTheTeacher

    So much for the argument that: If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Or that, domestic surveillance is the price we must pay to fend off our ‘enemies.’ Good riddance.

    Senator Feinstein’s has come to recognize the threatening nature of a government foreign espionage agency engaging warrant-less domestic spying. This is a step forward.

    Hopefully this will result in Senator Feinstein being unable to deny the broader threat posed by the NSA’s blanket domestic surveillance.

    Suppose one concedes that President Obama has a good heart and would never allow NSA surveillance to be used to target people or groups for political reasons. What guarantee is there that President Hillary (the Hawk) Clinton, President Chris (revenge is best served in a traffic jam) Christie, President Ted (Tea Partyismo o muerte) Cruz, and every other possible future presidential regime will not do so?

    • John Cedar

      “Suppose one concedes President Obama… would
      never allow …to be used to target people…for
      political reasons.”
      Can’t
      stop
      ROTFLOL

      Suppose the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow?

    • olderworker

      Love the “Ted (Tea Partyismo o muerte) Cruz” description

  • John Cedar

    She said Snowden was a traitor for ratting out the existence of classified surveillance operations. Does that mean she is a traitor too? I mean, like…I’m sure spying on the senate was a classified operation.

    • Ray in VT

      One would think that exposing classified information regarding programs which have been approved as legal by the FISA and disclosing actions by the CIA which, according to some in Congress at least, are illegal would make the two incomparable.

      • Give_Me_Liberty_92

        not really. the substance is the same. the CIA accusation is for congress staff to have copied/moved classified documents from a CIA safe room, which is a federal crime, to expose activities thought illegal, even if condoned by presidential executive actions and other legal precedent/interpretations. Snowden moved/copied classified documents from NSA “secure” computers, which is also a federal crime, to expose activities thought to be illegal and well beyond the scope of the know-nothing-approve-everything FISA court.

        They are both whistle blowers, but the former are protected by the muscle of congress, the second is not.

        If you subscribe to the theory of Snowden as a traitor (I don’t, I think he is a patriot and DiFi a confused hypocrite), you should be at least consistent… alas…

        • Ray in VT

          I was not aware of the details regarding the moving of the documents until this morning, so that is something condemnable by Congressional staffers.

          I don’t see my position as inconsistent. Thinking or believing that something is illegal and having it be so are two different things. I don’t consider Snowden to be a traitor. He may have broken the law, but I do think that some of the things that he exposed needed to be, even if they weren’t illegal. FISA may be problematic, but I like a process, even an imperfect one. The process and rules can be changed if there is enough support to do so or should their activities found to be improper.

          • Robert Guilfoyle

            Now that the CIA is looking at her laptop, she suddenly cares about Constitutional Rights? So it’s ok to spy on citizens, but not ok to spy on politicians? Aren’t politicians citizens too? Maybe they deserve special treatment?

            Apparently some animals are more equal than others. Better read Animal Farm before our Dear Leaders ban it.

            I’m livid with the double standards our politicians have. This obnoxious old hag should hang for her flagrant disregard for the Constitution.

          • olderworker

            I object to your calling Senator Feinstein an “old hag” — I agree that her positions on the NSA were untenable, but blatant sexism is not acceptable. thank you.

          • Robert Guilfoyle

            I respect my elders and I will be one soon too however I have no respect for people who do wrong, regardless of their age. I meant to offend no one but the Senator, who clearly is out to only serve herself instead of the people. If you look at her picture, consider her actions and compare to the definition below, I think the term is quite appropriate. I can actually imagine her in Macbeth’s Act 4, stirring a cauldron burning and bubbling, creating spells for new ways to chip away at our Constitutional rights….ask any American and they majority of them will see it too…

            noun
            noun: hag; plural noun: hags
            1.
            a witch, esp. one in the form of an ugly old woman (often used as a term of disparagement for a woman).

          • Robert Guilfoyle

            The CIA is looking in the right place. The biggest terro rists in America have been running the country for over the last decade.

            I’m an average citizen with nothing to hide but concerned about my Constitutional right to privacy….something she spat on before. Her anger now because HER royal laptop exampled only makes me more suspicious of what she has to hide. Hang the hag for treason!

  • Ray in VT

    I find it somewhat amusing when Congress gets around to getting up in arms about issues of surveillance and such when it gets affected. To generalize about the members is somewhat inaccurate, but, it seems to me, that not nearly enough have talked about the issues regarding domestic surveillance.

  • wauch

    This is so rich from the same the same senator who wants to put Snowden away for life I agree with this title from The Guardian “Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures”. Another example of how politicians in both parties – sans Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, and select others – feel that as long as they benefit from the machine no reason to put a monkey wrench in it or at the very least attempt to fix it.

    I called Ms. Feinstein’s office yesterday and you should to
    331 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-3841

    Or home office
    One Post Street
    Suite 2450
    San Francisco, CA 94104
    Phone: (415) 393-0707

  • HonestDebate1

    Diane Feinstein is no lightweight. She is as liberal as they come but is from the old school and has some integrity unlike Harry Reid. This is not a phony scandal.

    • Ray in VT

      Correct. This is no stand down order, supposed intelligence coverup or secret plot to destroy the Second Amendment phony scandal, so the TOP will probably ignore it.

      • MrNutso

        Don’t make me say it.

        Benghazi!

        • Ray in VT

          Well, it did cause Putin to make his move against the Ukraine.

          • jefe68

            I thought it was because Obama plays golf.

          • hennorama

            No, it’s the “mom jeans.”

        • jefe68

          IRS!!!!

    • HonestDebate1

      Wow, they say don’t feed the trolls but what do you do when they feed themselves as below?

      • Ray in VT

        Trolls say huh?

    • J__o__h__n

      She has been a Defense/CIA apologist for years. Despite my low regard for her, I hope she prevails on this issue.

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea, as far as Democrats go, she’s a hawk. I should be careful not to heap too much praise on her but I still think she has a powerful voice and applaud her speaking out.

  • Jeff

    Oh the irony of Feinstein complaining about the CIA spying on the legislators; meanwhile she completely defends the NSA’s spying on American citizens. Time to get rid of the hypocrisy in Congress…that includes both parties.

  • AnneDH

    Look at the building in the background of the picture. If you’ve ever toured DC’s gov’t buildings, you’ll know what I mean by ‘incredibly awesome beauty and scale built to last centuries’. I can’t help but think that the moment a lawmaker at any level steps through those doors and finds his/her office, his/her view of himself is stepped up according to that building’s scale. I do believe this affects their behavior. Same for people at the state level. This is why someone like Bernie Sanders stands out.

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s interesting. I would like to think it humbles some too.

      • AnneDH

        Good point. I would too.

  • MOFYC

    So the position of both Chairwoman Feinstein & Ranking Member Lindsey Graham is that spying on ordinary Americans is an absolute necessity that no patriotic American who opposes al-Qaeda could possibly oppose, but spying on precious Senators and their staffs is completely outrageous. I’m sure most Americans will be disgusted by this hypocrisy.

  • HonestDebate1

    So it’s John Brennan one one side and Di Fi on the other. I never have liked Brennan and have always respected Feinstein.

    Now with Brennan all but daring Obama to fire him if he did something wrong, the question becomes was Brennan acting on Obama’s behalf or simply acting on his own? He knows full well what his boss wants, that’s why he was hired. Ditto Brennan’s staff. Or maybe he’ll be the fall guy.

    The only thing we know for sure is Obama had no idea, will feign outrage, claim ignorance and give Brennan a raise.

    • jefe68

      Meh.

    • Ray in VT

      He’ll probably also get the George Tenet Medal For Outstanding Intelligence Service.

      • HonestDebate1

        Are you a truther??

        • Ray in VT

          I like truth, at least when it can be corroborated by facts.

  • Yar

    We live in troubled times, can we return to a democracy without revolution?
    First the NSA Spied on the Muslims, and I did not speak out– Because I was not Muslim..

    Then Homeland Security abused citizens crossing our borders, and I did not speak out– Because I was not near a border.

    Then drones killed people all around the world, and I did not speak out– Because I was in Congress.

    Then the CIA came for me–and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Follow the money in the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as corporations and institutions of the defense contractors, The Pentagon, the Congress and executive branch. A parallel system is that of the Military–industrial–media complex, along with the more distant politico-media complex and Prison–industrial complex.
    Who really holds the strings of power?

    • AnneDH

      Who really holds the strings of power?
      Whoever gets the media’s attention, that’s who.
      One subject missing from the American high school curriculum: how to read a newspaper or listen to a news broadcast. My father told me: always try to imagine what is NOT being reported. A tall order of course, but at least it will get you thinking…

      • hennorama

        AnneDH — one problem with your idea: the frequent question “What’s a newspaper?”

    • pwparsons

      See Bill Moyers/Mike Lofgren, re: THE DEEP STATE (RIP) C. WRIGHT MILLS (1956) THE POWER ELITE

    • Don_B1

      Over the last week on February and the first week of March, Moyers & company has Bill’s interview with Ian Haney López, author and legal scholar, on the Republican’s use of “the dark magic” of Dog Whistle Politics of Race, Parts I and II, where he shows how code words have grabbed a hold on the emotions of many white voters to vote for representatives in government that do not represent their interests. See:

      http://billmoyers.com/episode/ian-haney-lopez-on-the-dog-whistle-politics-of-race/?utm_source=sidebar&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=episode&utm_campaign=dog-whistle

      for an all too brief discussion of one feature of American politics that can lead to the destruction of the lifestyle and more for many of those Americans.

      It is money that is funding this attack, but it has a near lock or full lock on a dark part of the human brain.

  • nj_v2

    So, for Feinstein,

    Other people’s civil rights violated by agency overreach: Meh.

    Senate gets spied on: Crisis!

    Pseudo/part-time-liberal hypocrisy of the highest order.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/11/cia-double-life-dianne-feinstein

    The CIA: the double life of Dianne Feinstein

    “…The exasperation with Ms Feinstein is that she directs her sense of outrage only at the CIA. It seems restricted to issues that impact on her. She is outraged when the CIA allegedly hacked into her committee’s computers. She is upset over the alleged intrusion into the privacy of her own staff. And yet this is the same senator who could not empathise with Americans upset at the revelations in the Snowden documents of millions of citizens whose personal data has been accessed by the NSA. It is the same senator who could not share American anger over the revelation of the co-operation in surveillance of the giant tech companies, whether wittingly or unwittingly.

    Ms Feinstein not only failed to investigate the NSA with a smidgen of the aggression she has shown towards the CIA but has gone out of her way to be the NSA’s most prominent defender. The day after Edward Snowden revealed himself as a whistleblower last June, she was among the first to brand him a traitor.…”

    (excerpt)

    http://www.normansolomon.com/norman_solomon/2014/03/the-feinstein-syndrome-the-fourth-amendment-for-me-but-not-for-thee.html

    The Feinstein Syndrome: “The Fourth Amendment for Me, But Not for Thee”

    “…History tells us that we’d be deluded to depend on entrenched elites to opt for principle rather than continuity of the status quo. With few exceptions, what bonds those at peaks of power routinely trumps what divides them. It takes a massive and sustained uproar to really fracture the perversity of elite cohesion.Consider the fact that the CIA, under the current Democratic administration, has gone to extraordinary lengths to transgress against a CIA-friendly Democratic-controlled Senate intelligence committee, in an effort to prevent anyone from being held accountable for crimes of torture committed under and by the Republican Bush administration.

    While Dianne Feinstein has a long and putrid record as an enemy of civil liberties, transparency and accountability, it’s also true that thieves sometimes fall out — and so do violators of the most basic democratic safeguards in the Bill of Rights. Some powerful “intelligence” scoundrels are now at each other’s throats, even while continuing to brandish daggers at the heart of democracy with their contempt for such ideals as a free press, privacy and due process. The responsibility for all this goes to the very top: President Obama.”

    (excerpt)

  • etragedy

    This is perfectly illustrative of how out of touch congress is with the people they supposedly serve. Domestic spying is fine and justified – until they find out that includes THEM too!

    • DeJay79

      Spying on Americans is fine for the “safety” of us all, as long as it is not on me!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    How many naive, clueless folks canoodled with the Nazis in the early days then found themselves transported in trucks and trains to Auschwitz?

    The Feinsteins of the world never learn. So history must repeat.

    Thanks much. Vietnam-era Veteran

    • jefe68

      Goodwins law, and the day is young.

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — to be fair [Yar] made a Godwin’s Law-ish comment below.

        • jefe68

          Goodwins law is about mentioning nazis, I don’t see them being used in Yar’s comment.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — indeed, but I did use an “-ish” qualifier.

            We are not actually in any serious disagreement (except, of course, that it’s “Godwin” not “Goodwin”).

      • J__o__h__n

        Not every comparison to them is unwarranted and they should be judged individually not according to some broadly applied law.

        • Ray in VT

          True, but there have been so many unwarranted comparisons that I think that it has ensured that even an accurate comparison gets dismissed as just name calling.

  • hennorama

    Mikadocious Debauss — while realizing this will likely fall on blind eyes, since you are new to the forum, one feels compelled to advise you that your words will be better received if you leave out the insults.

    You are also well-advised to read the “community rules”:

    http://www.wbur.org/community/rules

    Thank you for your attention.

    • HonestDebate1

      Schoolmarm.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Who’s the bigger Quisling? The Republican who assaults our rights and freedoms openly or the Democrat who weakens them by staying silent and going along to get along?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    CIA = Caught In (the) Act

  • rich4321

    How come she didn’t speak so vocally when the NSA spied on all of us?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Torture is wrong.

    • hennorama

      Neil Blancahrd — yes, but “the U.S. doesn’t torture,” according to Pres. Bush II and VP Richard (insert apt nickname here) Cheney.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        A tortured rose by any other name …

    • HonestDebate1

      Who would disagree with that? The problem arises when we torture the English language to the point where hurt feelings or a nasal rinse that doesn’t hurt are called torture.

      • Ray in VT

        Good to know that torture has its defenders here still.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        You have no idea what water boarding is like – it is torture, pure and simple.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s true, I have never been water boarded as several journalist have volunteered to do just for a story. Or all of our special forces are subjected to for training. I won’t be getting in line.

          Torture maims, it at least hurts. Water boarding doesn’t.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You sir/madam are being intellectually dishonest. Your logic is weak and deeply flawed. Your arrogance is sickening, and utterly disappointing – in that a fellow human being has such distorted and warped thinking as to say something publicly that reveals this for all to see.

            Drowning may or may not “hurt” – but it is torture.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who was drowned? Hell, there were only 3 water boarded at all. They are fat and happy. Drowning kills.

            The typical response is that we executed Japanese for water boarding. I’m surprised you haven’t brought that piece of garbage up.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Does holding a gun to their head hurt?

            D’uh.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Roll call of Obama’s freedom supporters: Rogers, Ruppersberger, Feinstein, Brennan, Alexander, Clapper, Holder.

    Please, sir. May I throw up now?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You don’t see Rep. Jan Schakowsky {DEMOCRAT) complaining about CIA spying on Americans? And she’s a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

    Our country spirals down into a dark and criminal future with the Schakowskys we’ve got. Lucky us.

  • Satwa

    Everyone is spying on everyone. Governments spying on governments. Individuals spying on the government. Individuals spying on individuals. Corporations spying on everyone.
    Who cares.

    • nj_v2

      Not clever enough to be satire, so i assume you’re serious. Sad.

      • Satwa

        No, I really don’t care. We have inner technologies that far out-run the outer technologies. We are in a new era of the inner technology of consciousness.

        • nj_v2

          You use those terms as if we’re supposed to know what you mean by them.

          • Satwa

            Yes, it takes 30-40 years of study. If you start with this article, then, you can start to ask about consciousness, but it will take a book for me to explain it properly, and how to access that within yourself easily — Start here, let me know what this means to you :
            – > http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-time-an-illusion/

          • Satwa

            Yes, 40 years of study across disciplines does not fit into a post. I would have to write a book (which I will soon. )
            A person could start with a search for

            “Is Time an Illusion?” , in Scientific American, special edition “Mind & Brain”, June 2010.

            If you start there, we could discuss it in more depth.

          • Satwa

            Its not hard to understand that the human brain is the most complex and sophisticated entity in the known universe. It doesn’t just calculate and talk to itself. It has great abilities than that.

  • Jay

    This all for show. Nothing substantive will come from these hearings. The American police state will continue to grow unabated, that is until the federal government goes bankrupt ($17.5 trillion in debt), and the US is no longer capable of: spying and collecting data on Americans, supporting al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, bombing innocent civilians around the world with drones, as well as aiding violent, fascist thugs in the overthrow of legitimate and democratically elected governments in places like the Ukraine.

    • hennorama

      Jay — again with the “supporting al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria” screed?

      If you believe this is factual, please provide some evidence to support your repeated claims.

      BTW, how’s your research on the Greater Fool Theory coming along?

      • Jay

        How’s the research coming along? You and your fellow Obama supporters are still die-hard fools.

        • hennorama

          Jay — thank you for your unresponsive response.

          Please allow a translation:

          “I, Jay, have no evidence that supports my repeated claims.”

          Thanks again for your “response.”

          • Jay

            What part of Obama is a dictator don’t you get? Even Dr. Cornel West, a former Obama supporter, has said that Obama “is a war criminal”.

          • hennorama

            Jay — thank you again for yet another unresponsive response.

            Count me among those who won’t hold their breath waiting for you to support your repeated claims with evidence.

          • Jay

            Google ‘Obama supports al-Qaeda’, 2.8 million articles will come up, happy reading.

          • Ray in VT

            How many articles can you get for “Obama born in Kenya” or “moon landing was a fake”?

          • Jay

            Barack Obama’s own grandmother said he was born in Kenya. Are you calling Barack Obama’s grandmother a liar?

          • Ray in VT

            Care to cite that? I found birthers pushing that she said it, and I found this:

            MCRAE: Could I ask her about his actual birthplace? I
            would like to see his birthplace when I come to Kenya in December. Was
            she present when he was born in Kenya?

            OGOMBE: Yes. She says, yes, she was, she was present when Obama was born.

            MCRAE:
            When I come in December. I would like to come by the place, the
            hospital, where he was born. Could you tell me where he was born? Was he
            born in Mombasa?

            OGOMBE: No, Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America.

            MCRAE: Whereabouts was he born? I thought he was born in Kenya.

            OGOMBE: No, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.

            MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going to go by and see where he was born.

            OGOMBE:
            Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of
            Hawaii, where his father was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii.

            http://www.salon.com/2009/07/24/liddy/

          • Jay

            Where did you find that, whitehouse.gov?

          • Ray in VT

            There is a conveniently placed link in my post. If, however, you are inclined to believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories then by all means have at it. What is your source?

          • hennorama

            Jay — TYFY Unresponsive R.

            Again, I shan’t be interrupting normal respiration waiting for you to support your repeated claims with evidence.

            Just for fun, try entering ‘Jay is a fool’ into your favorite search engine, and then report back with the number of results.

          • Jay

            You just don’t want to do the research, more importantly you believe everything that comes out of the Obama Whitehouse, without question.

          • hennorama

            Jay — TYFYUR.

            Let’s try this another way, OK?

            Please provide the evidence supporting your repeated claims that you, Jay, personally find most compelling.

            BTW — how many results did you get? If you want to use the number of results as “evidence,” then the search I proposed has significant evidence of its validity. You might want to use another measure, or yanno, actually cite something.

          • Jay
          • Ray in VT

            There is a claim in there, but I don’t see any evidence. What is that guy citing? Where did he get his information? He is equating supporting the Syrian Opposition with arming Al-Qaeda, which is an easy jump to make if one is prone to over-simplification and sloppy writing.

          • Jay
          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that he knows that they are there, and they may even hate the guy that we don’t like, but that doesn’t mean that we are backing them. Take this for instance:

            US secretly backs rebels to fight al-Qaeda in Syria http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10588308/US-secretly-backs-rebels-to-fight-al-Qaeda-in-Syria.html

          • Ray in VT

            Also note that that says nothing about us actually supporting or arming Al Qaeda, merely noting that we both want to get rid of Assad’s regime.

          • Jay

            Do we really want some pro al-Qaeda group to run Syria and turn it into a fundamentalist state like Iran? That’s no improvement over Assad.

          • Ray in VT

            It seems to me that we are staying away from the jihadists in favor of more moderate elements.

          • Jay

            “moderate elements” are you referring to ‘rebels’ who have committed acts of cannibalism and posted it on the web? Or the “moderates” who sliced off the heads of the heads of Christians with kitchen knives?

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not arguing that they’re all nice people, especially considering what they are up against in the Assad regime, which has butchered tens of thousands of its own people. I’m arguing that the people that we’re supporting aren’t Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists, because I don’t see evidence for that being the case.

          • Jay

            The administration has admitted it’s supporting the ‘rebels’ (al-Qaeda linked terrorists) in Syria. What more proof do you need, a phone call rom Barack himself?

          • Ray in VT

            Conflating all rebels with groups affiliated with Al Qaeda is a gross misrepresentation, but hey, if you want to believe it, then no amount of evidence to the contrary will likely dissuade you.

          • hennorama

            Jay — TYFYR.

            First, you do realize that the linked item is an opinion piece and not a news article, right?

            That you put this up as the evidence supporting your repeated claims that you, Jay, personally find most compelling is quite telling.

            It’s also interesting that when one clicks on the link to the writer of this item, “Conor Higgins,” this is what appears:

            Oops, we can’t seem to locate the page you were looking for

            It looks like the page you requested has lost it’s way… maybe you can find something else of interest in the Featured Neighborhoods and Most Read sections to the right, or the Community Directory below. If all else fails, go home.

            See:
            http://communities.washingtontimes.com/staff/conor-higgins/
            .
            Perhaps, as you claim, “Obama is a dictator,” and is therefore censoring “Conor Higgins.”

          • Ray in VT

            I found this article to be very compelling:

            http://www.giwersworld.org/opinion/space-alien.html

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — Oh dear … yet another reason for my learning to not drink anything while reading new posts.

            Thanks for the comic relief.

            [PS] perhaps the most hilarious part of the linked item is “You have been warned!”

          • Ray in VT

            No probs. This elaborates:

            http://www.obamaisanalien.com/

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — the “Mission” tab is hilarious. Quoting, in part (emphasis added):

            “obamaisanalien.com is dedicated to investigating and sharing information about the fact that Barack Obama comes from outer space …”

            When one clicks on the “Contact Us” tab, we find in part (emphasis added):

            “Submit your theories and/or evidence to us at:…”

            Not exactly internally logical, but then what would one expect from such a site?

          • Ray in VT

            I wondered if it was a joke site. Sometimes it is hard to tell. Like this: http://christwire.org/2009/10/the-golden-girls-how-one-tv-show-turned-a-generation-of-american-boys-into-homosexuals/

            My father-in-law sent it to me years ago, and the question that he had was “is this for real?”

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — gad-friggin’-zooks!

          • Ray in VT
    • dfg

      Then vote out the people who do the things you find wrong. It’s easy to post discontent on a blog and throw insults an accusations around. It’s another thing to actually do something about the problem.

  • nj_v2

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

    Lindsey Graham invoking the “heart and soul of democracy.”

    Whew! The flood gates of elitist hypocrisy have fully opened!

    http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Lindsey_Graham_Civil_Rights.htm

    Support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage

    Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.

    Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

    Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.

    Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions.

    Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

    Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

    Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

    Rated 11% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.

    Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t know if politics has more hypocrites than the public at large or if the ones there are only more visible.

      • AnneDH

        Politics by definition has more hypocrites. The ultimate goal is to be re-elected after all.

        • Ray in VT

          That may be a cynical view, although perhaps entirely justified.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You folks work out that NSA/CIA/US Senate kerfuffle. I’ll be on the back 9 at Andrews working on my swing. Now: watch this drive.
    –Barack H. Obama {Freedom Organizer in ‘ol Chicago}

  • yaya

    The CIA is specifically prohibited from spying on U.S. citizens at home.

    Anyone remember the Church Committee?
    Anyone?
    Hello?

  • etragedy

    Oh and just to prove there’s irony on BOTH sides here, the CIA is whining that the Senate Intelligence Committee is spying on THEM! I’m sorry, leaving aside that that’s the JOB of an oversight committee – you’re supposed to be an intelligence agency – if you can’t keep your own documents secure, how the hell are WE supposed to trust you!

  • lexpublius

    Dr. Feinstein and her monster, the CIA, a creature of Congress largely under her fingerprint for liberal spying policies. The monster has turned on Dr. Feinstein and the village is up in torches. Wow what a great analogy Barock called in with.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If you think that constitutional law professor you voted for has steamrolled civil liberties in America, wait till you install me in the White House for two terms. I’m thinking an American Gestapo without all the black leather.
    –HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton {American Empress}

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Arbeit macht frei translated: move on, nothing to see here.

  • Yar

    Didn’t President Kennedy piss off the CIA?

    • Jeff

      I think the CIA pissed off Kennedy first with that whole Bay of Pigs incident…then Kennedy simply returned the favor.

      • Yar

        Read the story of King David and Uriah. The President is not David, he is Uriah. David get what David wants. Laws be damned.

  • bmad2012

    Obama MIA again. Why has it taken years to get to this point? From what Mazetti just said, Obama afraid of making the CIA an enemy. Not hard to believe when you read this story (this from Wired)

    How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error”After seven years of litigation, two trips to a federal appeals court and $3.8 million worth of lawyer time, the public has finally learned why a wheelchair-bound Stanford University scholar was cuffed, detained and denied a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii: FBI human error.

    FBI agent Kevin Kelley was investigating Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 when he checked the wrong box on a terrorism form, erroneously placing Rahinah Ibrahim on the no-fly list.

    What happened next was the real shame. Instead of admitting to the error, high-ranking President Barack Obama administration officials spent years covering it up. Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and a litany of other government officials claimed repeatedly that disclosing the reason Ibrahim was detained, or even acknowledging that she’d been placed on a watch list, would cause serious damage to the U.S. national security. Again and again they asserted the so-called “state secrets privilege” to block the 48-year-old woman’s lawsuit, which sought only to clear her name.
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/02/no-fly-coverup/

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Maybe Tom Ashbrook will air the list of clueless Democrats in the US Senate who voted for Brennan’s confirmation. How criminally foolish is that?

  • J__o__h__n

    Feinstein has rubber-stamped every intrusion and now is complaining that it happened to her. What a hypocrite. McCain and Graham are even worse.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Representative government. Do you really want more of it? Hoober Doober

  • Yar

    The CIA doesn’t play games!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Feinstein v. CIA. And the winner is.. Vladimir Putin, laughing uproariously.

  • Bstm300

    Watch CIA agents show up to the on air studio during these last minutes and order tom to stop airing this story in the name of “national security.”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    CIA spies hiding in my soup
    Brennan and Feinstein loop the loop

  • jimino

    If W’s “you’re either with us or against us” is still the controlling principle, why is spying on everybody to determine whose side they’re on not appropriate, if not compelled by that standard?

    • TFRX

      Now Jimino, things are just…different…now. There was no way on earth we’d have been having these conversations about spying back when patriotism was compulsory.

  • Bstm300

    Even if Feinstein’s actions can arguably seen as hypocritical, it still benefits the public to hear about this overreach. Would you rather her stay silent and we never hear about it?

    • OnPointComments

      You mean like she stayed silent until Edward Snowden let us know about the spying on American citizens?

      • Bstm300

        I’m not disputing that she has what my geography teacher way back in high school called selective hearing. I’m saying we still benefit from this public battle between the two branches,

  • PWF

    Please see AP/WP article on key dates of CIA SSIC dispute: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/key-dates-in-dispute-between-the-cia-and-senate/2014/03/11/707b4e2c-a960-11e3-8a7b-c1c684e2671f_story.html

    The SSIC has a duty to oversee the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Sen. Feinstein is chair of the SSIC and therefore is especially responsible to manage the oversight process. From the timeline it seems clear that the CIA has attempted to frustrate the committee’s thorough investigation of the so-called RDI (Rendition, Detention and Interrogation) program. Not only did the CIA raid the committee’s segregated computers and remove 920 pages of previously supplied documents, but it then admitted and later denied having done so. Later it raided the committee’s computers again and removed an internal CIA report (the Panetta report) on the program that was a lot more revealing than the documents previously supplied. When the SSIC drew from the contents of the Panetta report to use in its own report the CIA complained that the committee was being unfair and, at the same time, accused the committee of having illegally obtained classified CIA documents that had not been provided to it. Meanwhile the CIA attorney behind this charade is Robert Eatinger, the very same attorney in charge of justifying the CIA RDI (torture) program.

    Brennan and Eatinger need to resign.

    • Bstm300

      Attorney Eatinger should certainly recuse himself from the case.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Brennan: Don’t spy on me
    Feinstein: Don’t spy on me
    CIA/US Senate: Spy on those fellers behind the tree (Americans)

  • OnPointComments

    CIA agency director John Brennan has denied Senator Feinstein’s allegations. I wonder if Senator Feinstein will be upset, this time, if it turns out the denial is untrue.

    03/12/2013 Chairman Diane Feinstein’s Senate Select Intelligence Committee:

    Senator Ron Wyden: “What I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question ‘Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?’ ”

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “No, sir.”

    Senator Ron Wyden: “It does not?”

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”

  • Bstm300

    If Obama views oversight and related reports as a distraction to moving forward his domestic agenda, is he really willing to get Obamacare fully rolled out at the cost of ignoring Feinstein’s accusation’s and condoning enhanced interrogation techniques?

  • William

    If we add up all the security changes we see an alarming trend.
    - Tank like vehicles being given to police departments
    - Routine arrests and search warrants being conducted by SWAT teams
    - Unlimited use of wiretaps on phones, email, chats etc…
    - Seizing of money by police during routine traffic stops and the requirement that the citizen prove they obtained the money via legal means.
    - In your face attitude by the CIA towards members of Congress.
    - Unlimited budgets by various Homeland Security agencies with little if any cost controls or consolidation of agencies.
    - People being arrested for recording or filming police in public despite the courts ruling that it is perfectly legal.

    We are now all suspects awaiting arrest for something.

    • Robert Guilfoyle

      This is just a portion. Look up “citizenship checkpoints” and Pastor Steven Anderson (who would defiantly refuse to answer questions) and see how he won a lawsuit against DHS. why is illegal to carry cash? What if I want to buy some jewelry at Target? We all know how well they secure credit cards. T

      We need to Unite to fight this now. We are becoming a police state. Martial law and curfews will be next.

      This is absurd. Unite to fight or our kids will grow up in the land of the jailed.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Brennan/Feinstein: We agree to stop the fight and go back to scumbagging our country. Everybody WINS!

  • John_Hamilton

    There are two aspects to this situation that explain at least its fundamental character. One is the nature of bureaucracy, and the other is the nature of an intelligence bureaucracy.

    Any bureaucracy, though created to serve a larger purpose, settles into the day-to-day practicality of serving itself. All of its employees depend for their daily bread on their supervisors, and to some degree on coworkers. In relation to “outsiders,” including an authorizing body like the Congress, a bureaucracy sees them as threats to be fended off, and if possible, compromised, rendering them impotent to meddle, as they would see it, into their activities.

    In the case of a spy agency, it would tend to go even farther, because the agency has the authorization and purpose of spying on people, governments, economies, military forces, and anything else that can be justified by “national security” concerns. Outside justification quickly gets replaced by inside justification, and any spy agency will have the tendency to spy on whomever it wants.

    As we are seeing with the NSA, if a spy agency has the technology, manpower, and money, it will expand its spying anywhere it can, regardless of authorization. In the CIA’s case, it has historically delved into extra-intelligence-related activities like assassination, kidnapping, detention, torture, and in recent times military activities, including drone attacks.

    A good historical reference for spy bureaucracies is the Soviet Union, and its notorious spy agencies – the KGB in Russia and the Stasi in East Germany. They expanded their activities to the degree that they became a hindrance to the functioning of the state, and accelerated the demise of the Soviet system.

    What to do? We are speeding headlong into global climate change debacle and the collapse of our unsustainable infinite-growth economic system. Spy agencies can collect data about the economy and about climate change, but they have nothing to offer in terms of facing and solving these problems that threaten the future of human civilization. Indeed, as we are seeing with the NSA, all they have to offer is spying on people and organizations dedicated to solving these problems.

    Maybe, though not likely, the Congress can reduce their budgets. Then we’ll see some serious hysteria, clamoring about how “terrorists” are all over the place, even in Congress, and guaranteeing attacks worse than “911.” Derogatory information about members of Congress will mysteriously appear in our compliant news media. Officials, on the condition of anonymity, will spew unflattering personal information.

    It will take great effort and scrutiny for as long as spy agencies exist to keep this tendency under control. In a high-tech world it is almost impossible. Meanwhile, the climate is warming. Tick, tick, tick…

  • bmad2012

    Attorney General Holder claims State Secrets privilege to cover up a mistake by an FBI agent, Mazetti just pointed out that the Senate committee afraid of angering CIA – CIA just CYA

  • Scott B

    The level of hypocrisy is astounding.

    So, Sen. Feinstein, how’s it feel to be on our side of the all-seeing eye and probing fingers of spies?

    When did the people become the enemy? When it became easier to spy on lackadaisical Americans than those outside our borders that would seek to harm us, because the CIA (NSA, as well) hasn’t gotten one thing right as far as foreign intelligence?

    • OnPointComments

      Now Senator Feinstein is upset about spying. Now she’s upset. Who could have guessed that the shoe didn’t fit the other foot?

      Senator Feinstein: “Only a strictly limited number of NSA analysts (among the thousands of professionals at the agency) may search the phone records database…

      Bradley Manning.

      “…and only after articulating a specific reason that must be approved by a senior official…”

      Edward Snowden.

      “…Those decisions are reviewed regularly by the Justice Department, Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court…”

      NSA spied on foreign allies.

      “…which imposes strict privacy protections.”

      CIA.

      Thanks Senator Feinstein. I feel much better about the situation now.

      • Scott B

        This is what happens when our three branches of gov’t makes it harder, if not outright criminal, for whistle-blowers by treating them, like the public, as the enemy.

      • georgepotts

        Employees have to obey. Senators can throw bombs.

  • John_in_VT

    It has become clearer with each revelation that the elected civilian oversight of the Congress-created ‘Terror/War Machine’ has dissolved and that machine is now trying to protect itself. It needs to be taken apart now, while there is still a chance to do so. See William’s comments below.

  • Sy2502

    Senator Feinstein’s silence over REGULAR Americans being spied on by the NSA was deafening. She’s only speaking up because her own interests were touched by the latest development. This tells me all I need to know about her.

    • OnPointComments

      Senator Feinstein would be in a better position if she had been silent about NSA spying on regular Americans. Instead, she actively supports spying on the ordinary people — it’s only when they’re spying on her that she doesn’t like it.

  • jimino

    This is just the latest manifestation of the growth and institutionalization of “right-wing authoritarianism” that has been the hallmark of the USA since 9-11. And although it isn’t the exclusive province of one political party, those who self identify as conservative Republicans have proven to be more likely to display and promote such behavior.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism

    I welcome a change, regardless of who we blame and how we get there.

    • OnPointComments

      Leave it to an undiscerning Obama toady to blame the tribulations of the current administration on right-wing authoritarianism and Republicans. Barack Obama has been president for five years. FIVE YEARS. During these five years, President Obama and his chief henchman Attorney General Eric Holder have thwarted the US Constitution by seizing reporters’ records and charging a reporter as a criminal conspirator, spying on foreign heads of state and allies, using the IRS and federal agencies as a weapon against those they dislike, collecting billions of records on American citizens, changing laws passed by the Congress, deciding that other laws won’t be enforced, unilaterally enacting laws, allowing the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels, and on and on. All of this done by the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in history.

      I, too, welcome a change.

      • jimino

        I’m no defender of Obama, who I consider the third most right-wing president in modern times, but only a fool would fail to recognize that this authoritarian form of rule has been growing for a long time before he was elected, and accelerated mightily post 9-11.

        As far as what types of people accept the need for such authoritarian rule, driven by their fear of myriad real and fake threats to their way of life, I am confident in what I wrote.

        • OnPointComments

          Obviously President Obama accepts the need for such authoritarian rule because he has the power to change it, but chooses not to.

        • Dee

          9/11 was all about government lies and corporate expansion and control over
          Middle East oil and natural resources..
          (see the URL, Afghanistan, A Threat to
          plunder )

          David Ray Griffin who reviewed the 9/11
          Commission’s Report said he couldn’t
          believe a sentence of it…See the URL
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmuYgP7-RfU

          This was followed up by a US architect
          Richard Gage who also found the gov.
          story a complete lie when he examined
          the evidence…See the URL below…..
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vb7o-OOe20

          And Lawrence Wright’s book sounds
          like another testimony of lies to justify
          the government’s story….(wright was
          a fiction writer on terrorism for the New Yorker when he was asked to write
          about the road to 9/11…The Looming Towers ….

          Yet when this writer he met with one of the members of the Muslim brother-
          hood to do research for his book.he told Terry Gross/ Fresh Air about his “anger”
          about the admission…….What a nerd…
          (Who can believe a word he has written)
          also with such preconditions……

          Yet this writer like Tom Friedman made
          it onto the NYT best sellers list and
          even won the pulitzer prize for best literature… This is all beyond shocking
          to me and others today..And still people
          in the media …..including Terry Gross
          on Fresh Air hasn’t attempted to take
          on his falsehoods even in light of evid-ence and David Ray Griffin’s book and follow up books 10 yrs down the road.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmuYgP7-RfU

          In Afghanistan, A Threat to Plunder
          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opinion/20collier.html?_r=0

    • hennorama

      jimino — while acknowledging your caveat, your point might be better-received if you included the following from the linked item:

      “Right and Left[edit]

      “The phrase right wing in right-wing authoritarianism does not necessarily refer to someone’s politics, but to psychological preferences and personality. It means that the person tends to follow the established conventions and authorities in society. In theory, the authorities could have either right-wing or left-wing political views.”

      Just my $0.02

  • Sy2502

    I remember how the Government reacted to the indignation over the NSA spying. Something like “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry”. Well Sen. Feinstein, what’s the problem? Got something to hide?

  • Dee

    Re: Obama’s and his turning the page on the CIA …

    What a great injustice Obama & company have committed towards the often helpless and innocent victims of the CIA (& the American public ) with the suggestion to his staff that they ” turn the pages on the CIA…”

    Many of us are still outraged by this agency’s abuse of power and war crimes in the name of United States and the American people. I recall the words of the Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal here … “There are war crimes no one has a right to shrugg off, excuse or dismiss…”

    Thus from JFK’s Bay of Pigs and to his shocking assassination
    in the 1960s to the many other shocking assassinations of pro democracy leaders in S. America and to the many manmade conflicts and wars in the Middle East today.. and especially the abuse of power in the US Drone Program many people like myself are still wanting for the criminals and killers in the CIA to be reined….and charged accordingly… This agency , along with
    other international and national security agencies closed down
    as failing to represent our democratic values at home & abroad.

  • SAMAISAL

    S.Feinstein is a hero!
    She´s reviving, rejuvenating and renewing the
    democratic process and the bottom line of any Trust System:
    checks and balances within which the PEOPLE decides the politics delegated for a time to chosen civil servants.

    The CIA and any Gvt branch MUST be overseen and controlled by Congress chosen by the people.

    The moment this cardinal rule is infringed upon, America is any
    Thirld World/dictatorship/misery system where a few men at their whim
    and money decide the fate of millions, imprison and kill humans as
    flies. Then America is not different from any other country in the
    M.East or elsewhere. Worse we, who wish to emulate America, cannot
    invoke her anymore as a model.

    Anything can be discussed; this should not!!
    The CIA, as any structue and corporation tend naturally to enlarge, grow and autonomize on its OWN RULES. It´s time to stop the process and remind the CIA that the People through Congress is the Boss!!

  • http://www.sosbeevfbi.com geral sosbee
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