Let me begin with the caveat that I am not a fan of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). She spends far more time in bed with America’s rogue agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA) than any Democrat should. That said, I stand in full support of her attempts to bring to light both the crimes committed by the CIA under the Bush Regime, and their subsequent crimes to prevent the Senate Intelligence Committee from fulfilling their proper oversight roll. Here’s the latest.
It was outrageous enough when two successive presidents papered over the Central Intelligence Agency’s history of illegal detention, rendition, torture and fruitless harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects. Now the leader of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, has provided stark and convincing evidence that the C.I.A. may have committed crimes to prevent the exposure of interrogations that she said were “far different and far more harsh” than anything the agency had described to Congress.
Ms. Feinstein delivered an extraordinary speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday in which she said the C.I.A. improperly searched the computers used by committee staff members who were investigating the interrogation program as recently as January.
Beyond the power of her office and long experience, Ms. Feinstein’s accusations carry an additional weight and credibility because she has been a reliable supporter of the intelligence agencies and their expanded powers since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 (sometimes too reliable)… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
I strongly recommend clicking through for the rest of this excellent article.
Here’s an excerpt from Dianne Feinstein’s address on the Senate floor.
I find her statement fully credible. Given her normal conservative bent on national security issues, there is no basis at all to believe she is lying.
Rachel Maddow provided additional detail and explained the background in most excellent fashion.
Major kudos to Rachel Maddow!
The CIA’s complaint is that Intelligence Committee staffers removed the Panetta Report from the computers provided them to a secure safe in the Hart Office Building. Technically, they may be correct, because that did violate the agreement between the Committee and the CIA. However, the CIA had already violated that agreement in two ways. First they had been spying on the use of the computers provided the Committee for their “exclusive use”. Second, they had removed documents from those computers to prevent their use as evidence. When Committee staffers discovered that the CIA was removing documents, they took the steps necessary to protect what they considered the most important document by removing it to the same secure location they would have used to review the documents, were it not for the special arrangements made for this investigation. To me it seems that the purpose the CIA had in having the documents reviewed at the non-standard location, which they controlled, was to surreptitiously prevent the overseers from doing their job. Therefore I find the removal of the of the Panetta Report to be fully justified, under the circumstances.
I am gratified to learn that Feinstein intends to declassify and release the summary and conclusions of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of the torture perpetrated by the Bush Regime until Obama discontinued it, when he took office. I am equally gratified to learn that Obama supports this as well. While I have a pretty good idea what it will contain, releasing this information is long past due.