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Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:20 PM

Feinstein: CIA spied on Senate

Feinstein: CIA spied on Senate

By Steve Benen

If the dispute between Congress and the CIA was simmering last week, it bubbled over this morning.

At issue is a completed Senate investigation into the CIA’s interrogation policies, included as part of a lengthy, still-classified report on Bush/Cheney-era abuses. Senate staffers have accused the CIA of spying on them, while the CIA has said Senate staffers were responsible for a security breach, which the agency says it pursued appropriately....the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who hasn’t said much about the controversy publicly, addressed the matter in a big way.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein has accused the CIA of violating the law and the Constitution of the United States by interfering in a committee investigation into Bush-era torture of terror suspects.

Feinstein accused the CIA of removing documents provided to the committee through a special, segregated network set up by the agency for the committee to pursue its investigation. Among the documents removed was an internal review of CIA interrogation techniques conducted by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, which corroborated committee findings critical of the agency’s interrogation program.

“The CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers,” Feinstein said on the Senate floor.

And to put it mildly, that’s a serious allegation. As Adam Serwer suggested, this is arguably the most contentious – and most important – dispute between Congress and the CIA since the activities that led to the Church Committee nearly four decades ago.

<...>

In terms of the criminal allegations, msnbc’s report added that Feinstein believes the CIA’s activities “may have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and an executive order barring domestic surveillance conducted by the CIA. Feinstein also said the CIA’s activities violated the separation of powers principles in the Constitution by interfering with congressional oversight of the executive branch. Feinstein also said that the CIA Inspector General had referred the matter to the Justice Department. “

The seriousness of the allegations is not lost on other senators. After Feinstein finished speaking on the Senate floor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said that “in 40 years here, it was one of the best speeches I’d ever heard and one of the most important.”

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/feinstein-cia-spied-senate



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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:25 PM

1. Someone has to spy on the Senate and staffers

 

There are lots of security risks on Capitol Hill. Although, isn't this FBI counterintelligence's job?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:46 PM

2. Wow, you must be an authoritarianist

No group which has congressional oversight should be allowed to spy on Congress. If given credible evidence of a crime, they should investigate, but that is it.

The national security state has gotten totally out of control and must be reined in.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:54 PM

4. The CIA shouldn't be investigating the crime, though, right? Even if they thought (as they maintain

 

in this matter) that some staffers may have taken classified documents that should have remained at the CIA, shouldn't they refer that to the FBI/Justice?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:52 PM

3. This is gonna be one helluva fight between Congress and the CIA. nt

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:25 PM

5. Fortunately the CIA is pretty terrible at gathering intelligence.

 

At this point, the only reason it exists is to be a deniable paramilitary wing of the US.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:00 PM

6. Reid Backs Feinstein Amid Her Charges Of CIA Spying On Congress

Reid Backs Feinstein Amid Her Charges Of CIA Spying On Congress

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday stood by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) after she publicly accused the CIA of breaking the law and spying on Congress.

"I believe in the separation of powers. I support Senator Feinstein unequivocally," Reid told reporters in the Capitol. "And I'm disappointed that the CIA is apparently unrepentant on what I understand they did."

He declined to say when asked, if they allegations proved to be true, whether CIA Director John Brennan should resign: "That's not my decision."

Reid also wouldn't weigh in on whether a criminal investigation was appropriate.

"Right now, there are a lot of things going on," he said. "I think we should all just pause for a little bit, not very long, and find out where all this stuff leads."

- more -

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/harry-reid-dianne-feinstein-cia-spying



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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:02 PM

7. Whats interesting in this whole story....

Is she is accusing the CIA of spying on computers the CIA installed and managed for the senate.

It's no wonder putin is more popular than congress.

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