John Brennan, Dianne Feinstein, and the Soon-to-be-Released (?) Torture Report

By: Saturday September 13, 2014 9:20 am

CIA Director John “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Overseers” Brennan and Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (i.e., the aforementioned “Stinkin’ Overseers”) have been having a nasty little spat, revolving around both the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique, and also the CIA’s spying on SSCI staffers who are trying to investigate and report on the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique. This past week has given us a few new developments, with Feinstein saying that the report will be out by the end of the month.

Lucy’s holding the football again, but will Charlie Brown finally get to kick it? There’s reason to hope that he just might . . .

 

Internal CIA Investigation Confirms CIA Hacked Into Senate Computers Being Used for Torture Report

By: Thursday July 31, 2014 10:13 am

An investigation by the CIA inspector general has confirmed CIA employees hacked into computers being used by the Senate intelligence committee to produce a 6,300-page torture report, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

Journalists Jonathan Landay and Ali Watkins obtained a statement from CIA spokesman Dean Boyd, who indicated, “Findings of the investigation by the CIA Inspector General’s Office ‘include a judgment that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between SSCI (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and the CIA in 2009.”

CIA, Senate and a Constitutional Crisis Resolved (not in favor of the Constitution)

By: Friday July 11, 2014 3:50 pm

The CIA attacks on the Senate, designed to impede, alter or influence the outcome of a report on torture, coupled with a lack of concern from the White House and the Department of Justice, as well as apparently by the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee itself, are another example of our new world, a Post-Constitutional America where the old rules of an aging republic no longer apply.

The Punitive Use of Medical Restraints on Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

By: Monday June 16, 2014 9:00 am

A partially redacted set of medical records released in the aftermath of the 2006 deaths of three Guantanamo prisoners shows that the use of “medical restraints” in the use of forced feeding of hunger striking detainees was used as a threat on hunger striking prisoners. At least one detainee was told over and over that use of “medical restraints” was due to his voluntary refusal to eat.

Clapper, Senators & Obama Administration Favor Transparency on Drone Strikes—If It Makes Them More Defensible

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 9:48 am

At the request of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the wider executive branch, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein, agreed to remove a provision in an intelligence bill that would have required the president to release an annual report on casualties from drone strikes launched by the United States.

Why the Brennan/Feinstein/Reid Cage Match Isn’t No-Holds-Barred

By: Saturday March 22, 2014 7:52 am

Following last week’s dramatic Senate speech by Intelligence Committee head Dianne Feinstein denouncing the CIA for essentially spying on her oversight committee, today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released his own statements, one to John Brennan, Director of the CIA, the other to Eric Holder, the Attorney General, regarding the CIA’s misbehavior. It’s quite a fracas: the Director of the CIA and the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Majority Leader suddenly throwing punches at each other! All the fascinated onlookers shouting, “Fight! Fight!” An elbow, a knee, a bloody lip, a closed eye … is this thing going to get out of hand?

Probably not.

Beyond CIA & NSA Spying: Corruption

By: Monday March 17, 2014 3:30 pm

Even before open war erupted last week between the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), embattled NSA officials had woven tangled skeins to downplay public crimes including lying to Congress.

Many observers have noted the double-standard apparent in Feinstein challenging the CIA while deferring to the NSA. Few have recognized that both the NSA’s pattern of spying and then lying about it, and the CIA’s trajectory of first committing torture crimes, then spying on Congress to cover it up and then lying about the spying when caught, can be described in a single word: corruption.

The CIA’s Excuse for Removing Documents Senators Were Using for Their Report on Torture

By: Friday March 14, 2014 7:42 am

The Central Intelligence Agency claims documents were removed from the computer system Senate staffers were using to produce a report on the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program because the CIA was worried that details in those documents could lead to the revelation of CIA identities. However, there is ample reason to consider this an excuse intended to retroactively justify a questionable act by the CIA.

Late Night: Ass Forward

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 8:00 pm

It’s becoming increasingly clear each day that President Obama’s legacy, if you want to call it that, will be defined forever by his nutty and self- destructive declaration that the goal of his administration would be to “look forward, not back.”

In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

Secret Government & the CIA’s Efforts Against a Senate Report on Torture

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 9:25 am

“Despite the frequency of misguided practices and policies” within particular agencies, like the CIA, in the “national security” area of government, there are often very few whistleblowers. Abuses remain “well-concealed” even though they relate to “gravely wrongful or dangerous policies.”

This is what Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has previously written. He’s also described how there is an “apparatus of secrecy” in government, which works to conceal from Americans, the Congress, the courts, “policy errors, recklessness, violation of domestic and international law, deception, crimes, corruption in various forms, questionable or disastrous judgment, responsibility for catastrophes,” etc.

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