The CIA, Senate Intelligence Committee & the Culture of Impunity for Torture

By: Tuesday March 11, 2014 4:15 pm

The remarks, which Senator Dianne Feinstein delivered on the floor of the Senate, was one of the more significant statements given by a United States senator in recent history. They clarified the extent to which the Central Intelligence Agency has worked to interfere and even intimidate senators and their staff, as they have worked to complete and finalize a study on the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program that involved torture.

 

US Must Not Surrender in Big Brother Arms Race, Senator Argues in Hearing on NSA Surveillance

By: Thursday December 12, 2013 9:35 am

National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and Office of the Director for National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt were all witnesses for another Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on surveillance. It attempted to address some of the numerous issues that have been made clear as a result of news stories on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden—stories which continue to be published.

Senator Dianne Feinstein Publishes Another Op-Ed as Part of Effort to Save NSA Surveillance Powers

By: Monday October 21, 2013 10:45 am

At the forefront of efforts to limit the political effects of this shift in public opinion is Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California. She has used her status in the Senate as the chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to help the NSA defend programs that have come under scrutiny.

In Wall Street Journal, Senator Dianne Feinstein Insidiously Defends NSA Surveillance

By: Monday October 14, 2013 1:45 pm

At the forefront of intelligence community efforts to fully restore legitimacy to the massive surveillance apparatus that has grown since the September 11th attacks is Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Senate Hearing: US Intelligence Leaders Confronted for Misleading Public on Effectiveness of NSA Programs

By: Wednesday October 2, 2013 2:03 pm

This hearing was yet another example of the power of leaks to influence elected officials. The senators would not have asked questions about whether NSA was creating dossiers on Americans if it had not been for Snowden or the story published by the Times.

Senate to Hold Hearing on Reforming Mandatory Minimum Sentences

By: Thursday September 12, 2013 9:25 am

While the process has been painfully slow even the federal government is starting to acknowledge that our aggressive war on drugs has created serious problems.

Leahy Schedules Senate Hearing to Press Obama Administration on Marijuana Policy

By: Monday August 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) plans to push the Obama administration on its possible response to the legalizing of marijuana in in Colorado and Washington state. Leahy has scheduled a Senate hearing on September 10th to focus on federal marijuana policy and how it affects state laws. Attorney General Eric Holder has been invited to testify.

Holder promised an official response to Colorado and Washington state “soon”, but six months later there still has been no announcement.

Catholic Bishops Now Oppose Violence Against Women Act

By: Saturday March 9, 2013 9:00 am

Once upon a time, the USCCB produced a pastoral statement on domestic violence that opened with this sentence: “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.” Among other things, the statement takes on those who would misuse scripture to justify domestic violence, and calls on the church to keep in mind three things: the safety of the victim (and any children in the home), accountability for the perpetrator, and either restoring the relationship or mourning its loss.

Once upon a time, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported the Violence Against Women Act. This is not that time. Not any more . . .

Sen. Leahy to Holder: There Are More Serious Priorities Than Marijuana Possession

By: Wednesday March 6, 2013 12:55 pm

It has been four months since voters in Washington State and Colorado overwhelmingly decided to legalize marijuana for adults and there still has been no indication of how the Obama administration plans to handle the federal/state conflict. Whenever US Attorney General Eric Holder is directly asked about it by governors, state attorney generals or senators he only gives evasive non-answers.

Republicans and Democrats Speak Out Against “Too Big to Jail” HSBC Case

By: Monday December 17, 2012 9:05 am

Where is Patrick Leahy on this? He has made no public statement on the HSBC case, despite being the co-author of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which was supposed to deliver funds toward prosecuting fraudulent big bank activity (it never actually did). Grassley, a co-author, has spoken out. Why not Leahy?

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