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 . . .


Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” of the CIA’s Torture Techniques

By: Sunday August 3, 2014 4:00 pm

There was a cascade of coverage of the President’s August 1 remarks concerning John Brennan and his defense of his embattled CIA chief, as Obama was also widely derided for his seeming defense of those who tortured “some folks” after 9/11. (Obama did not mention that the order to torture came from the Oval Office.)

“Well, at least he called the crimes out as ‘torture,” some observers noted. Others, including some in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), called for John Brennan’s resignation as CIA director after he admitted the CIA had spied on Congressional investigators who were writing a thousands-of-pages-long report on the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program.

An Executive Summary of that report, in a censored version produced by the CIA itself, is now back in the hands of the SSCI, who may or may not release it soon. The Committee has already decided the full 6000 or so page report itself will not be released for years (if ever), a cover-up of immense proportions.

The Torture Report America Won’t Be Allowed to See

By: Tuesday April 8, 2014 7:03 pm

Last week a reporter with DW, an English-language German publication, contacted me with some questions for an article she was writing about the Senate’s CIA torture report. Here’s the full text of what we discussed.

The Real Purpose of the CIA Torture Report

By: Sunday April 6, 2014 8:00 am

t’s nice that declassifying a bit of the report will offer the public a little more knowledge about torture. But at the same time, I expect the release will further cement some horribly insidious misapprehensions. We’ll get some knowledge, but no new wisdom.

Intelligence Community Will Close Gaping Hole that Allegedly Led to WikiLeaks Disclosure … in 2013

By: Wednesday April 6, 2011 6:32 pm

if our government is going to claim that leaks are as urgent as it does, if it’s going to continue to pretend that secrets are, you know, really secret, then it really ought to at least pretend to show urgency on responding to the gaping technical issues that will not only protect against leakers, but also provide better cybersecurity and protect against spies. Aspiring to fix those issues years after the fact really doesn’t cut it.

NSA Financial Report Shows System Ripe for Abuse

By: Friday March 18, 2011 5:10 pm

I’m reading through the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on what it did last Congress. Among a number of interesting details, the report describes really really bad accounting at the National Security Agency (NSA).

White House Won’t Tell DNI It Should Be More Powerful

By: Monday June 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Now for your latest installment of the Defense Department’s expanding intelligence authorities, the Director of National Intelligence’s increasing irrelevance, and the White House’s efforts to make sure those trends continue.

Ibn Sheikh al-Libi’s and Abu Zubaydah’s Coffins

By: Wednesday March 3, 2010 12:27 pm

Just past noon on July 31, 2002, Jennifer Koester sent Patrick Philbin an email alerting him that the White House wanted them to finish the memos authorizing Abu Zubaydah’s torture by close of business the next day. Those memos would either retroactively or prospectively authorize Abu Zubaydah to be exposed to the same kind of treatment Ibn Sheikh al-Libi had undergone five months earlier.

Demagoguing Fort Hood, Hoekstra Adds to List of Lies

By: Wednesday November 11, 2009 11:55 am

A short collection of Crazy Pete Hoekstra’s most egregious lies shows that his demagoging of the Fort Hood attack fits into his larger pattern–and ought to warn journalists about treating anything he says seriously.

Mrs Feinstein Regrets

By: Saturday September 26, 2009 7:00 pm

Apparently the GOPs aren’t playing nice with Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Intelligence Committee investigation. They’ve taken their toys and gone home. But there’s a step she should take.

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