According to a report by the CIA Inspector General, the White House was informed of the CIA’s plan to hack US Senate computers to discover what was going to be in the Senate Torture Report. CIA Director John Brennan met with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough then ordered CIA employees to “use whatever means necessary” to find out what Senate investigators knew.
Given the White House’s role in the illegal hacking of Senate computers it becomes obvious why the Justice Department headed by President Obama-appointed Attorney General Eric Holder is not likely to bring charges against the CIA – charges against the CIA could lead back to the White House.
The specific content of the conversation between Brennan and McDonough is not disclosed but after the conversation Brennan instructed his subordinates at the CIA to trash the Constitution and engage in espionage activity against the US Senate.
Brennan’s consultation with McDonough also came before the CIA revealed the search to then-Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose staff was the target of the snooping. The new information suggesting the White House was aware of — and did not stop — the CIA’s computer snooping is unlikely to improve the existing distrust between Senate committee members and the executive branch. Feinstein has said that the CIA’s computer search likely violated the constitutional separation of powers, an allegation the White House has declined to directly address.
The Oval Office’s prior knowledge of the controversial computer review will no doubt worsen the tensions that have erupted over the matter between the executive branch, its chief intelligence agency and the lawmakers tasked with their oversight.
Thought experiment for partisan Democrats – close your eyes and imagine President Bush did this. Feel the outrage? Go with that. This is absolutely outrageous criminal conduct and a smoking gun violation of the Constitution.
Luckily for the Obama Administration the present day political calculus works out well for them – they approved illegal spying on fellow Democrats to protect a torture program by a Republican administration. In other words, it is unlikely anyone will hold the White House accountable for this despite the clear evidence of wrongdoing because the politics is so muddled and the taint of corruption reaches so many varied hands.
And people say Washington isn’t bipartisan.